IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Stops Food Distribution to Low Income Families By Police Seva Vanitha Because His Photo was Not Put on Food Parcels

Sri Lanka’s Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara has scuttled a charity drive organised by women at the police headquarters in the latest in his growing list of controversial moves.

Jayasundara stopped trucks transporting food and dry rations that were due to be distributed among low-income families at Ambanpola on Thursday. The Seva Vanitha (women) unit of the police headquarters had organised the event.

Senior DIG, Nandana Munasinghe is reported to have been admonished by Jayasundara who had questioned why his (Jayasundara’s) photo was not included with the food parcels that were to be distributed.

Continue reading ‘IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Stops Food Distribution to Low Income Families By Police Seva Vanitha Because His Photo was Not Put on Food Parcels’ »

Malwatte Mahanayake Tells Premier Wickremesinghe That he Had Not Opposed New Constitution as reported by Sections of Media

The Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter rejected media reports which mischievously suggested that he opposed any Constitutional reforms, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today at a media briefing.

The Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera told the Prime Minister that privately-owned newspapers and TV networks misled the public into believing that he objected to a new statute being formulated.

The Prime Minister was addressing the media after accepting a report on ‘Constitution for Peoples’ Governance – A youth led programme to promote public support for a new constitution, public opinions and recommendations’ by the Sri Lanka College of Journalism and three other organizations, at the parliamentary complex.

Continue reading ‘Malwatte Mahanayake Tells Premier Wickremesinghe That he Had Not Opposed New Constitution as reported by Sections of Media’ »

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Faults Editors For “Misreporting” Malwatte Mahanayake Opposed Constitution While Prelate was Out of the Country.

By

Akitha Perera

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday took exception to media coverage given to a joint statement issued by Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters of the dominant Siyam Sect demanding an immediate halt to the ongoing constitution making process.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that some newspapers had misled the public by publishing reports that the Mahanayakes had opposed the new constitution.

Mahanayake of the Malwatte chapter was out of the country but the newspapers published his picture with a story stating that Mahanayakes were against the new constitution, the Prime Minister said, addressing a ceremony held at the Parliament committee room to accept three survey reports on the proposed new constitution by three independent organisations.

Continue reading ‘Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Faults Editors For “Misreporting” Malwatte Mahanayake Opposed Constitution While Prelate was Out of the Country.’ »

Asgiriya and Malwatte “Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha” Opposition May Result in Constitution Making Process Grinding to a Halt

The Sri Lankan constitution making process is likely to come to a grinding halt as the representatives of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters of the Buddhist Maha Sangha, have opposed any change in the constitution, whether piecemeal or wholesale.

The Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha, of the Malwatu & Asgiriya Chapters which met in Kandy on Wednesday, said that there is no need for a new constitution or even amendments to the present constitution, and urged the government to stop the constitution drafting process immediately.

Those who attended the meeting were: the Anunayake of the Malwatte Maha Vihara, Ven. Dimbulkumbure Wimaladharma Thera; the Anunayakes of the Asgiriya Maha Vihara, Ven. Wedaruwe Upali Thera; and Anamaduwe Sri Dammadassi Nayaka Thera.

Following a two-hour meeting, the Anunayake of the Malwatte Maha Vihara, Ven. Dimbulkumbure Wimaladharma Thera, told the media that the proposed constitution will lead to a division of power going down to the level of Pradeshiya Sabhas or local bodies.

Continue reading ‘Asgiriya and Malwatte “Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha” Opposition May Result in Constitution Making Process Grinding to a Halt’ »

J.R. Jayewardene’s Executive Presidency May Not Be Abolished After All

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Reputed American Writer and Humourist Samuel Clemens known to the world as Mark Twain was in London in May 1897 on a lecture tour. A rumour began circulating in the USA that Mark Twain was gravely ill on the verge of death. Subsequently another rumour began spreading in the US of Mark Twain passing away in the UK. On May 28th 1897 the editors of the “New York Journal” cabled their London Correspondent Frank Marshall White to contact the creator of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer and get Mark Twain’s reaction to reports about the author being on his deathbed in England.

Frank Marshall White relayed the request of his editors to Mark Twain who readily obliged. On May 31st 1897 Twain wrote down his response and sent it to the journalist. Frank Marshall White’s article about Mark Twain’s health appeared in the “New York Journal” of June 2nd 1897. A relevant excerpt stated as follows –

“Mark Twain was undecided whether to be more amused or annoyed when a Journal representative informed him today of the report in New York that he was dying in poverty in London. The great humorist, while not perhaps very robust, is in the best of health. He said: “I can understand perfectly how the report of my illness got about, I have even heard on good authority that I was dead. James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine, was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London, but is well now. The report of my illness grew out of his illness.
The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

The response of Mark Twain that the report of his death was an exaggeration became quite famous over the years. The passage of time led to the original wording being somewhat embellished. Two popular versions of Mark Twain’s responses are ” The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” and “Reports of my death are grossly exaggerated”. Both lines attributed to Mark Twain have been “greatly or grossly” quoted and cited by many in their writings.

The lines about the exaggerated reports of Mark Twain’s death often come to mind in the context of Sri Lanka’s executive presidency. There have been many reports in the past that the executive presidency was going to be abolished. There have been many assurances by political leaders that the executive presidency would be done away with. There have been some attempts also in that direction. None have succeeded so far. All reports of the executive presidency being abolished have been “greatly exaggerated” so far.

J.R. Jayewardene

Junius Richard Jayewardene

The much maligned executive presidency was established by the United National Party (UNP) Govt of Junius Richard Jayawardene in 1978. Today in an ironic twist of fate, the UNP headed by JR’s nephew Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to abolish the very same executive presidency. Ranil Wickremesinghe first elected to Parliament in 1977 was himself part of the UNP govt which demolished the prevailing Westminster parliamentary system and introduced the presidential form of government.
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Asgiriya and Malwatte Maha Sagha Sabhas “Decide” That Lanka Does Not Need a New Constitution or Constitutional Amendments.

The chief prelates of two main of the Buddhist chapters yesterday issued a special announcement saying Sri Lanka did not need a new Constitution or amendments to the present Constitution of the country.

The members of the Maha Sangha Sabhas of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters convened yesterday at the historic Temple of the Tooth in Kandy to discuss the proposed new constitutional reforms.

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“Judwaa – 2” Hindi Film Starring Sri Lankan Beauty Queen Jacqueline Fernandez Makes Over Two Billion Indian Rupees in Three Weeks.

By

S.Venkatnarayan

Bollywood’s romcom ‘Judwaa 2’ starring Varun Dhawan with Sri Lankan beauty queen Jacqueline Fernandez and Tapsee Pannuas the female leads, has got a thumbs up from the audience not just in India but across the globe as well.

In just a little over three weeks since its release on September 29, it has grossed over INR 2 billion worldwide, and has been declared a super hit.

Jacqueline Fernandez

Judwa 2 is Jacqueline’s ninth film since she entered Bollywood in 2009 with Aladin, a box office disaster. It is her third film to gatecrash into the exclusive Billionaire Club—of films that have earned over a billion rupees at the box office. While Kick (2014), in which she romances with superstar Salman Khan, raked in INR 2.33 billion, her Houseful 2 (2012) made INR 1.18 billion.

Continue reading ‘“Judwaa – 2” Hindi Film Starring Sri Lankan Beauty Queen Jacqueline Fernandez Makes Over Two Billion Indian Rupees in Three Weeks.’ »

President,PM&Speaker “Unhappy” Over IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Antagonizing Senior Minister in Govt

Sri Lanka’s controversial police chief Pujith Jayasundara, who is in trouble mandatory meditation for men and women in the service, is in deeper water this time after taking on a senior minister of the government.

Jayasundara addressed staff of the Criminal Investigations Department and accused them of leaking a video of him roughing up staff who had failed to comply with his order to meditate.

The leaked video showed Jayasundara flying into a rage and lifting the lift operator by his collar and making intimidating gestures towards a police woman. The police chief on Friday denied he threatened to rape her and insisted that all he said was: “kelawanawa” (I’ll fix you).

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President Sirisena Warns Tamils In Jaffna That If They Dont Support Him the “Devil” (Mahinda Rajapaksa) Will Step Into His Shoes.

By

P.K.Balachandran

Elections to the Sri Lankan local bodies and Provincial Councils are due in 2018. But President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe heading the Yahapalanaya or Good Governance regime in Colombo, not prepared for it. The lack of preparedness is seen in the way they had been trying every trick in the book to get the elections postponed until it became politically impossible to continue to do so.

Promising Start

To give the devil its due, the Yahapalanaya government can boast of making peace with the UN, the West and India, all powerful forces which had been alienated by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The government enacted the 19 th. Constitutional Amendment to make it impossible for anyone to be President more than twice and had established Independent Commissions to oversee the working of key arms of the State.

But all other problems facing the war-torn developing country have remained unattended, leading to a steady erosion of popular support.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Warns Tamils In Jaffna That If They Dont Support Him the “Devil” (Mahinda Rajapaksa) Will Step Into His Shoes.’ »

The UN Special Rapporteur and the Sri Lankan Government’s Duty

By

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

UN Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff, currently on a two week visit to Sri Lanka, announced before his visit that he intends to “review the progress made thus far, to identify obstacles and bottlenecks in the implementation of the transitional justice and reform process”.

The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry for its part issued a media release insisting that “Governments are not bound by the advice or recommendations of Special Rapporteurs” and that it was up to the Government of Sri Lanka to decide whether it will “draw on his knowledge, expertise and advice and consult him further in any manner.”

This sudden assertion of autonomy provoked a critical Editorial from a leading Sunday newspaper which alleged that the Ministry was “straining to allay growing public concern that this Government will capitulate before continuing international pressure”.

The Ministry claimed that the government can make its decision on his findings once Mr. Pablo de Greiff presents his report to the UNHRC “in September 2018”. However, it is unlikely that the Special Rapporteur would hold off presenting at least some of his conclusions until September next year, with the High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council, where all Special Rapporteurs make presentations, just a few months away in March 2018. Besides, Mr. de Greiff is scheduled to have the customary media briefing at the end of his visit on the 23rd of this month at which he is likely to indicate at least some of his impressions.

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Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia Who Exposed Corruption By High Level Politicians in Malta Killed in Car Bomb Explosion Near Valetta.

The journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her home.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device which blew the vehicle into several pieces and threw the debris into a nearby field.

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the Politico website as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”. Her blogs were a thorn in the side of both the establishment and underworld figures that hold sway in Europe’s smallest member state.

Her most recent revelations pointed the finger at Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

Continue reading ‘Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia Who Exposed Corruption By High Level Politicians in Malta Killed in Car Bomb Explosion Near Valetta.’ »

Anil Nettikumara Who Calls Ravi Karunanayake “Uncle Ravi” Has Made Death Threats Against Bond Commission Key Witness Anika Wijeysuriya


By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena

Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda PC yesterday informed the presidential commission of Inquiry probing alleged bond scams that Anika Wijesuriya, a key witness who testified before the Commission, had left the country due to death threats from someone close to former Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s family.

Anika divulged before the commission vital information with regard to former Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake’s family acquiring a penthouse formerly owned by her at the Monarch Residencies at Colombo 03 Kodagoda told the Commission that Wijith Wijesuriya, a close relative of Anika Wijesuriya had complained to the commission of threats. According to the complaint Anil Nettikumara, who called Ravi Karunanayke, Uncle Ravi, was the man who had allegedly threatened Anika.

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Inquiry Commission Sends Questions to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to Answer by Affidavit;may Summon PM as Witness if Necessary


BY Sarath Dharmasena and Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte

Chairman of the presidential commission of inquiry probing alleged bonds scams Justice K.T.Chitrasiri yesterday said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would be summoned as a witness if necessary.

Justice Chitrasiri said that already a list of questions had been sent to the Prime Minister, who had been requested to submit his answers by way of an affidavit and another set of questions would be sent to him if necessary.

Justice Chitrasiri said that when the commission received the PM’s answers to the questions it would decide whether the Prime Minister should be summoned before the commission or whether he should make a clarification.

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Presidential Cpmmission of Inquiry on Bond Issues Concludes But May Hold Additional Hearings In The Future If Necessary.

By Himal Kotelawala

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance concluded its hearings yesterday, noting that additional hearings may be held if needed, and witnesses including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called in the event further testimony is required.

Making a statement at the conclusion of yesterday’s proceedings, Chairman of the Commission Justice K. T. Chitrasiri said that the Commission had forwarded a questionnaire to the Prime Minister’s Office expecting a response in the form of an affidavit.

“If required, a list of further questions will be forwarded to the Prime Minister. Upon receipt of the affidavit, the Commission of Inquiry will peruse its contents and, if necessary, request the Prime Minister to attend a hearing of the Commission of Inquiry to give evidence or request the Prime Minister to provide further clarification, as this Commission of Inquiry considers necessary,” said Justice Chitrasiri.

If any further hearing is to be held, he added, a notice to such effect will be displayed at the Office of the Commission of Inquiry before the day of any such hearing.

Continue reading ‘Presidential Cpmmission of Inquiry on Bond Issues Concludes But May Hold Additional Hearings In The Future If Necessary.’ »

Basil Rajapaksa Hallucinates About His Party Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna Winning Over 200 Pradeshiya Sabha Polls

By

Vishwamithra 1984

“A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.”
~Bertrand Russell

Pradesheeya Sabhas became a devolved subject under the Provincial Councils in the Local Government system of Sri Lanka. This mechanism of local government was introduced in 1987 through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.The legislative bodies that preside over the third tier municipalities in the country, they total up to 271 and are collectively responsible for governance of approximately 16,726,000 people. Ranging from 5 to 23 per council, there are 3,624 Councillors in total.

“The world loves to be amused by hollow professions, to be deceived by flattering appearances, to live in a state of hallucination; and can forgive everything but the plain, downright, simple, honest truth.”

The above quotation is attributed to William Hazlitt (April 10, 1778 – September 18, 1830), an English writer, drama and literary critic, painter, social commentator, and philosopher. He is now considered one of the greatest critics and essayists in the history of the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. Such a writer would not put his pen on paper and write rubbish.

In relation to Basil Rajapaksa’s prediction on the upcoming local government elections, one must understand the ‘simple and honest truth’ this quotation reveals.

Only last week this very newspaper, under the headline ‘SLPP slated to win over 200 PSs – Basil’,reported thus: “Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) front liner Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday they would contest the upcoming Local Government election as a ‘broad alliance’ with other political parties and would secure more than 200 Pradesheeya Sabhas”. There are 271 such councils in Sri Lanka. Of the 271, 65 fall within the Northern and Eastern Province. Northern Province has 28 while the Eastern Province has the rest, 37.

Continue reading ‘Basil Rajapaksa Hallucinates About His Party Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna Winning Over 200 Pradeshiya Sabha Polls’ »

Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga Returns to Active Politics as Attanagalla Organizer of Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

By

Harim Peiris

An election the opposition has been clamouring for, the local government elections are finally expected to be conducted on or around the 20thof January 2018. Preceding those elections was what some sections of the media described as a purge of SLFP dissidents from the all-important post of organizer of an electorate. JO stalwarts, Kumara Welgama and Mahindananda Aluthgamage, being among others sacked from their positions by President Maithripala Sirisena as SLFP Party Leader. Consequently, President Sirisena appointed a range of new SLFP electoral organizers, mostly fresh, younger politicians from the provincial level. What was clear though, through the sackings, was that the attempted rapprochement between the two factions of the SLFP, those within the government and those with the Opposition, was now effectively over and the battle lines for the local elections have been drawn. We are headed for an essentially a three-way contest, between the two partners in government, the UNP and the SLFP, and the new SLPP – the most likely political vehicle of the Joint Opposition and its smaller allies.

Most interestingly though was the reinduction of retired President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga as SLFP organizer for the Attanagalla electorate, a Bandaranaike stronghold which the family has nursed for generations and which has stood with the SLFP during good times and bad, including the nadir of the 1977 defeat. The appointment as electoral organizer, signals a return from retirement back to electoral politics for the matriarch of the SLFP. The Gampaha District, Sri Lanka’s second most populous district on which a national election can turn. With her profile and stature, President Kumaratunga is now effectively the SLFP District Leader for Gampaha.

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Many of Ex-Governor Nivard Cabraal’s Close Relatives Held Top Posts in Banks Coming Under Central Bank’s Purview

By
Amali Mallawaarachchi

It was revealed yesterday before the Treasury Bond Commission that former Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal, while holding office, had several of his close relatives appointed to top posts in banks coming under the purview of the Central Bank.

This information transpired after a member of the Monetary Board Nihal Fonseka, who also happened to be a first cousin of Cabraal testified before the Commission and from whom expert opinions were sought with regard to several matters under the Commission’s probe.

Accordingly, Cabraal’s first cousin, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and his brother-in-law’s daughter were holding directorial positions in banks which came under the Central Bank’s supervision.

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Anika Wijesuriya Who Testified Against Ravi Karunanayake At Treasury Bond Commission Leaves Sri Lanka After Getting Death Threats.

The Attorney General’s Department this morning informed the Presidential Commission investigating the Treasury bond issue that Annika Wijesuriya – who testified against former Minister Ravi Karunanayake – has left the country after receiving death threats.

Annika Wijesuriya, on July 23, testified that Arjun Aloysius had paid a monthly lease of Rs. 4.1 million on behalf of then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake; which revelation led to the public resignation of the Minister who was in charge of Foreign Affairs at the time.
Continue reading ‘Anika Wijesuriya Who Testified Against Ravi Karunanayake At Treasury Bond Commission Leaves Sri Lanka After Getting Death Threats.’ »

How Namal Rajapaksa Made Millions Through Lucrative Deals Via Gowers Corporate Services

(Excerpts From the “Sunday Politics” Column in the “Sunday Observer” of October 15th 2017)

Gowers Corporate Services, the controversial legal and consultancy firm linked to parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, is making headlines again with Ornella Iresha Silva, a Director of the Company and a former Private Secretary to Rajapaksa, being arrested by Police at the Airport, earlier this week.

The money laundering case involving Namal Rajapaksa is significant as it is the most serious court case against a member of the former first family, at the moment.

Although some of the family members are under investigation for more serious cases, the Attorney General’s Department is yet to indict them.

Knotty

The story of Gowers Corporate Services is knotty and convoluted.

It all started with a company named HelloCorp, initially a fully owned subsidiary of ExpoLanka Holdings, which was later acquired by the young parliamentarian, who was the heir apparent in the Rajapaksa administration.

HelloCorp was formed in 2002 as one of the first Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) companies in Sri Lanka, offering service to local and overseas clients.

At the time of the company’s formation, Rajapaksa was a Grade 11 student of the S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, who had little interest in business and politics.

Continue reading ‘How Namal Rajapaksa Made Millions Through Lucrative Deals Via Gowers Corporate Services’ »

How and Why Was Namal Rajapaksa Allowed To Use His Mobile Phone and Tweet to UNRC while in Police Custody?

(Excerpts From the “Sunday Politics” Column in the “Sunday Observer” of October 15th 2017)

Namal Rajapaksa’s next ordeal this week was the Police investigation into a protest the Joint Opposition held in Hambantota against the government’s plans to develop the Mattala International Airport with the help of India.

A day before the protest, ASP SanathAmarasinghe and the Hambantota Police OIC, Priyantha Abeysinghe sought a restraining order from the Hambantota Magistrate preventing protesters from entering the vicinity of the Hambantota Port, the Indian Consulate and the roads leading to the Hambantota Port.
Accordingly, the Hambantota Magistrate issued an injunction order and banned the protesters from entering those areas. Despite the order, the Joint Opposition said they would continue with the protest and there were early signs of confrontations between the Police and the Joint Opposition protesters.

Continue reading ‘How and Why Was Namal Rajapaksa Allowed To Use His Mobile Phone and Tweet to UNRC while in Police Custody?’ »

Mahinda Rajapaksa Warns of a Kurdistan or Catalonia Type of Referendum in Sri Lanka If New Constitution Proposals are Implemented

Former Sri Lanka president and Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the government to abandon what he described as ‘the destructive proposal’ for a new constitution and to implement the Govt’s “original constitutional pledges”.

In a statement issued on Monday October 16th 2017, the ex-president said ” My request to the government is that they abandon this destructive proposal for a new constitution and to bring forward proposals to implement the original constitutional pledges they made”.

He also pointed out that the proposed constitutional reforms could lay the conceptual framework needed for a Kurdistan or Catalonia style referendum for independence in Sri Lanka in the future.

The former president stated “The purpose of these constitutional proposals is to meet commitments made to the local and international forces that helped them to capture power in January 2015. The proposed constitutional reforms if implemented will put in place the legal and conceptual framework needed to have in Sri Lanka a Kurdistan or Catalonia style referendum for independence at a future date”.

The full text of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s statement is as follows

“The government has tabled in Parliament, proposals for a new constitution. The constitutional reform pledges made by the yahapalana coalition at the last presidential election was restricted to changing the system of elections and abolishing the executive presidential system. This government never received a mandate to repeal and replace the existing constitution. We are completely opposed to the following proposals made in the interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly.

Continue reading ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Warns of a Kurdistan or Catalonia Type of Referendum in Sri Lanka If New Constitution Proposals are Implemented’ »

Evidence Given by Former Prisons Dept Head and STF Chief Implicate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in Welikade Jail Killings Despite Ex-Def Secy’s Denial.

By Chandani Kirinde

The deployment of a staggering number of 798 armed STF personnel to conduct a search of two wards of the Welikada Prisons in November 2012, in violation of all laid down procedure to be followed when Prison premises are searched, led to the riot there which resulted in the death of 27 inmates and caused injuries to many more, the report of a fact-finding committee states.

The 3-member committee, to look into facts pertaining to the incident that occurred at the Welikada Prison on 9.11.2012, was appointed by former Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. Its report was tabled in Parliament in February this year by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Sunday Times filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to obtain a copy from Parliament early this month.

Among the disturbing findings of the Committee was evidence that, in the case of six of the inmates killed in the incident, T-56 automatic weapons had been introduced where the bodies were found, with a view to projecting they had used the weapons, and thus justify their extermination. As evidence, the Committee produced photographs in which the weapons are absent in the photos taken by the Prison Depts’ official photographer, soon after the incident, but the T-56 are clearly seen near the bodies when the Magistrate visited the scene for the inquest, a few hours later.

Also going by the evidence of the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO), the Committee concluded that three of the inmates were selectively killed.

Continue reading ‘Evidence Given by Former Prisons Dept Head and STF Chief Implicate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in Welikade Jail Killings Despite Ex-Def Secy’s Denial.’ »

President Sirisena Flouts Security Procedures by Getting Down from Official Vehicle and Engages With Black Flag Protesters in Jaffna.


By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan and T. Pratheepan

President Maithripala Sirisena took his security detail by surprise after he threw caution to the wind and abruptly alighted from his official vehicle to confront a group of protesters in Jaffna yesterday. The President was in Jaffna to inaugurate the National Tamil Language Day celebrations at the Jaffna Hindu College when the incident took place.

According to eyewitnesses the President had calmly walked up to the black flag waving protesters and inquired into their problems.

The protesters numbering around 75 and led by former MP M.K. Sivajilingam, along with Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) Leader Suresh Premachandran and attorney Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam told the President to settle the issue of the LTTE prisoners who are being held without charges.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Flouts Security Procedures by Getting Down from Official Vehicle and Engages With Black Flag Protesters in Jaffna.’ »

Ananda Sarath Kumara Who Forced Lady Teacher To Kneel Down Before Him Publicly is Appointed SLFP Anamaduwa Organizer by Maithripala Sirisena.


By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

President Maithripala Sirisena who is also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) has embarked on a project of purging the party of organizers regarded as loyalists of former president and party leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. Maithripala has removed more than 50 electoral organizers and replaced them with persons who are supposedly loyal to him. More removals and replacements are expected in the next few weeks

Amomg the changes according to reports in Colombo newspapers is the removal of former state minister and Puttalam district MP Priyankara Jayaratna who has been removed as SLFP organizer for Anamaduwa electoral district. Jayaratna has been replaced by ex- North Western Provincial councillor Ananda Sarath Kumara.

Ananda Sarath Kumara

Whatever may be the reasons for Sirisena’s choice of Ananda Sarath Kumara the appointment is causing a storm of protest among those regarded as members and supporters of the SLFP faction led by Maithripala.

The reason being the notorious reputation of Ananda Sarath Kumara who is a thuggish bully and tough guy.

He is a man who incurred the wrath of the teaching fraternity in the Wayamba province and the condemnation of all decent persons in Sri Lanka during the Rajapaksa regime. Sarath Kumara then a United Peoples Freedom Alliance(UPFA)Provincial councillor from the North western province , was responsible for forcing a Lady teacher to kneel down before him in public before teachers and students of the school she was attached to.

Continue reading ‘Ananda Sarath Kumara Who Forced Lady Teacher To Kneel Down Before Him Publicly is Appointed SLFP Anamaduwa Organizer by Maithripala Sirisena.’ »

Sanja’s Analytical Skills and Lyrical Passion Makes Her Book “Mission Impossible-Geneva “Both Instructive and Enjoyable

By

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha


Mission Impossible-Geneva
is an inspiring account of developments at the Human Rights Council in Geneva when Dayan Jayatilleka was our Permanent Representative there. It is written by his wife Sanja, which provides for fascinating insights about the manner in which he planned how to overcome the threats from Western nations that seemed designed to stop us eliminating the terrorist threat within Sri Lanka of the LTTE.

The book is essential reading for anyone who believes that Sri Lanka needs a coherent and effective foreign policy if it is to withstand the multiple threats a small country faces. These are exacerbated by our situation, and the developing dynamics in Asia with continuing interference by the United States to preserve what it sees as its rightful hegemony.

Sanja brings to bear keen analytical skills as well as lyrical passion, which makes the book both enjoyable and instructive. She relieves the tension of her account of what happened in May 2009 with a moving account of her and Dayan walking in their garden, ‘discussing the situation…There was a wondrous little pond on the side, which provided the most pleasant surprise when I first came across it, for it was filled with pink lotus flowers in full bloom…it was restful to sit by the pond taking in the tranquility they offered’.

Continue reading ‘Sanja’s Analytical Skills and Lyrical Passion Makes Her Book “Mission Impossible-Geneva “Both Instructive and Enjoyable’ »

Aung San Suu Kyi and the Annihilation of Myanmar’s Rohingya


By Neve Gordon

I recently met Penny Green to discuss the situation in Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi’s role in the perpetration of the horrific crimes carried out against the Rohingya.

A professor of law and globalization and the founding director of the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) at Queen Mary University of London, Green has been closely monitoring the treatment of the Rohingya in Myanmar for the past five years. In a 2015 report based on 12 months of field work and over 200 interviews, ISCI found ample evidence that the Rohingya have been subjected to systematic and widespread human-rights violations, including killings, torture, and rape; denial of citizenship; destruction of villages; land confiscation; and forced labor. Citing Daniel Feierstein’s Genocide as Social Practice, which outlines six stages leading to genocide, ISCI claimed that the Myanmar regime had already perpetrated four: (1) stigmatization and dehumanization; (2) harassment, violence, and terror; (3) isolation and segregation; and (4) the systematic weakening of the target group. Now the Rohingya potentially face the final two stages of genocide—mass annihilation and erasure of the group from Myanmar’s history.

NEVE GORDON:
Can you provide some background about the Rohingya’s plight and the processes that have brought us to where we are today?

PENNY GREEN:

Burma, known today as Myanmar, received independence in 1948. The country had been part of a vast British colony, and not unlike India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Burma’s borders were determined partly according to religious lines, with the Bengal state being mostly Hindu, Bangladesh mostly Muslim and Burma mostly Buddhist. The Rohingya, who are Muslim, had been living for centuries mostly in what became Rakhine State in the newly established Burma. In 1950, they were issued citizenship identification cards and granted the right to vote under the first post-independence Prime Minister, U Nu. Until the late 1970s, the Rohingya held important government positions as civil servants, the official Burma Broadcasting Service relayed a Rohingya-language radio program three times a week, and the term “Rohingya” was used in school textbooks and official documents.

In the early 1980s, we start to witness the beginning of the process that ultimately aims at erasing the Rohingya from Myanmar’s history and geography. In 1982, the Rohingya were removed from the list of Myanmar’s 135 officially recognized ethnic minorities and stripped of citizenship. A little more than a decade later, the government suddenly refused to issue birth certificates to Rohingya babies. It then began to completely erase the term “Rohingya” from the official texts and even to condemn anyone who uttered the word. After the 2012 government-sanctioned Rakhine violence, the Rohingya were restricted to secure zones, detention camps, ghettos, and prison villages, and were excluded from higher education, all professions, the military and the public service.

Continue reading ‘Aung San Suu Kyi and the Annihilation of Myanmar’s Rohingya’ »

Cabinet Colleagues In Heated Argument With Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella Over Potuhera to Galagedara Construction in Central Expressway Project


At last week’s weekly ministerial meeting, Megapolis and Western Province Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka dropped a bombshell that triggered a lengthy discussion. It came after Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella sought approval “to pay the cost of environmental and social due diligence to be carried out by the lending agency from the local funds allocated” for the construction of the “Pothuhera to Galagedera” section under the Central Expressway Project. The distance involved in this project is a mere 32.5 kilometres.

Minister Ranawaka said that the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa government was criticised for spending colossal amounts of money on road projects. Then it was over the construction of 175 kilometres of highways. This criticism was on the basis that the costs were high and fears that there would be no funds left for other development activities. And now, from 2015 to 2017, an extent of 189 kilometres of highway is being built. The project in question is being implemented without due consideration for the National Physical Plan which expressly sought to discourage urbanisation of hill areas to prevent natural disasters. He complained that there were 50 to 100 percent deviation in costs for Japanese projects. The RDA had extended Rs 123 million (20 percent of the cost). It could end up between Rs 200 billion to Rs 250 billion, he warned. Pointing out that “we are under IMF medication,” he said a four lane highway from Kurunegala to Galagedera would have been less expensive. He questioned the basis on which the selections were made.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Colleagues In Heated Argument With Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella Over Potuhera to Galagedara Construction in Central Expressway Project’ »

Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Admits in Court That He Had Said He Would not Accept “Suddhange Neethiya” (White Man’s Law)

By

Lakmal Sooriyagoda

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera said he didn’t intend to insult the judiciary with the remarks made inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court in January 2016.

Gnanasara Thera made this remarks as a defense witness regarding the contempt of court case filed against him.

“I had no intention to insult the judiciary or any other person in court. The emotional feelings created subsequent to an order to further remand the army intelligence officers led to address in open court,” Gnanasara Thera said.

Continue reading ‘Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Admits in Court That He Had Said He Would not Accept “Suddhange Neethiya” (White Man’s Law)’ »

Former TULF Mannar MP Soosaithasan Passes Away at the Age of 83 in Sri Lanka.

By

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Former Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF) Member of Parliament for Mannar Mr. P. S. Soosaithasan has passed away after a brief period of illness on Friday October 13 th 2017 in Sri Lanka. He was 83 years old.

Mr. Soosaithasan popularly known as Soosai hailed from Vangaalai in the Mannar district of Sri Lanka’s Northern province. Born on July 24th 1934, he was a chartered accountant by profession and served in Sri Lanka, UK, Zambia and Canada.

Former Parliamentarian P.S.Soosaithasan honours President of Colombo Tamil Sangam, Saba Jeyarasa, at the Tamil Music Festival held in July 2008~Pic: By DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Mr. Soosaithasan contested the 1977 General Elections from the newly formed TULF and was to parliament as the Mannar MP with a majority of 2212 votes He polled 15, 142 votes. The TULF contesting on a separatist platform swept the polls in the North and East winning 18 of the 19 Tamil majority seats in Parliament.

P.S.Soosaithasan honours Kumar Nadesan, Managing Director of Express Newspapers Ceylon Ltd in July 2008

Continue reading ‘Former TULF Mannar MP Soosaithasan Passes Away at the Age of 83 in Sri Lanka.’ »

Govt to Tackle Sensitive “Milibiz” Issue By Gradually Scaling Down Businesses Run By Armed Forces -Eran Wickramaratne

Sri Lanka is mulling alternatives to scaling back military business, amid warnings that”milibiz” not only stifles private entrepreneurs but that it has been a slippery slope to authoritarianism in other countries.

Sri Lanka’s military runs an airline, restaurants, and even a whale watching ship, following the expansion of armed forces into civilian space during the last administration.

The military also built a hotel chain braded Laya with tax payer money.

Continue reading ‘Govt to Tackle Sensitive “Milibiz” Issue By Gradually Scaling Down Businesses Run By Armed Forces -Eran Wickramaratne’ »

How Moonesinghe and Nammuni Allegedly De-frauded US $1.1 Million From Taiwan Bank


A team from Taiwan’s Criminal Investigations Bureau arrived in Colombo this week as part of a probe into an international multi-million US dollar hacking scam of a Taipei-based bank where two businessmen with foreign passports have been taken into custody in Colombo.

Litro Gas Chairman Shahlila Moonesinghe, a British passport holder of Sri Lankan descent, and J.C. Nammuni, a businessman who owns a metal quarry with dual UK citizenship were arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on allegations of colluding with an international ring of hackers to plant malware in the Far Eastern International Bank computers in Taiwan to make bogus cash.

The first intimation of their alleged involvement came early this week when the Sri Lanka National Central Bureau of the Interpol, which functions at the CID headquarters in Colombo received an urgent alert by Interpol that hackers had infiltrated the SWIFT system at the Far Eastern International Bank in Taipei (Taiwan) to create a false bank-to-bank transaction. This was by sending malware encoded mail that is automatically downloaded into the computer system enabling hackers to order false transfers. SWIFT is a members-only organisation of financial institutions including banks that provide safe and secure financial transactions through standardised communications.

Continue reading ‘How Moonesinghe and Nammuni Allegedly De-frauded US $1.1 Million From Taiwan Bank’ »

Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe Ready to Clarify if Required About References Made to him at Treasury Bonds Inquiry Commission

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is prepared to offer clarifications to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Central Bank Bond auctions, his office said yesterday.

The Premier is ready at any time should the commissioners require him to respond in view of references to him during the public proceedings, the office said in a brief statement.

“Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is prepared to offer clarifications at any time to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Bond auctions in view of references to him during proceedings,” the statement said.

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Maithripala-Ranil Govt Likely To Lose Referendum On New Constitution

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The coalition Govt of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has – as one of its primary objectives – the political project of enacting and passing a new Constitution.This requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament and endorsement by the people in an Island -wide referendum. More importantly the Govt has been trying to justify its move to introduce a new Constitution by saying the envisaged Constitution would be sanctioned by the people at a referendum.While the Govt appears to be optimistic about garnering the necessary Parliamentary majority and obtaining the people’s approval at a referendum, current political trends as well as ground realities seem to suggest that holding the Referendum in the current context may very well backfire on the Govt.

President Maithripala Sirisena made an observation tour to Hammenhiel Prison in Jaffna, Oct 8, 2017~pic: facebook.com/maithripalas

The Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe released its interim report on Proposals to be considered in the envisaged Constitution. The Steering Committee’s Interim Report was presented to Parliament/Constitutional Assembly by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on September 21st 2017. The Parliamentary debate on the interim report will be held for three days on October 30th , 31st and Nov 1st respectively. Thereafter if everything goes according to schedule the final report would be compiled and completed by the end of the year and placed before the Constitutional Assembly/Parliament in January 2018. But then as observed by Robert Burns, in life very often, “the best laid plans of men and mice often go awry”
Continue reading ‘Maithripala-Ranil Govt Likely To Lose Referendum On New Constitution’ »

Political Parties Face Challenge in Selecting Suitable Women Candidates to Meet 25 % Women Representation Rule.

By Chrishanthi Christopher

The Local Authority Elections Amendment Act (LAEAA) passed in Parliament in August, requires 25% of women representation in the 335 Councils at the forthcoming elections in January 2018.

The Parties said they are frantically searching for the right women candidates to represent their Parties.

Under the LAEAA, it is mandatory that Nomination Lists of Parties have 25% women representation. Lists with lesser numbers will be rejected in total by the Elections Commissioner.

The new system permits Parties to appoint 60% candidates on direct voting and 40% by the proportional representation (PR) system.

If sufficient women fail to win, Parties will be called on to appoint women candidates from their list to make up for the 25% representation in the Council. All votes received by the Parties in a Council is counted and candidates will be appointed under the PR system.

Continue reading ‘Political Parties Face Challenge in Selecting Suitable Women Candidates to Meet 25 % Women Representation Rule.’ »

Tamil National Alliance Boycotts State Festivals in Jaffna and Kilinochchi With President Sirisena as Chief Guest

By Chris Kamalendran

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday boycotted a state festival presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena in Jaffna in protest over the failure to resolve an going issue over Tamil prisoners in custody. The boycott came after Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan wrote to President Sirisena on Thursday seeking the release of prisoners held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

The President was in the North to take part in state functions in Jaffna and Kilinochchi. In Jaffna, he took part in the Tamil Language Day events to which the Opposition Leader Sampanthan was also invited. The TNA’s Jaffna district Parliamentarian S. Shritharan said they decided to boycott the function as they had not received a response to their plea to release “political prisoners’.

“We are often given various promises during his visits to Jaffna, but they are not implemented,” he said.

However, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene has said that despite protests in the north, persons who have committed crimes will not be released. “The TNA, for political reasons says there are political prisoners. But there is not a category known as political prisoners. Some of them have been involved in serious offences,” he told journalists at a function in Biyagama on Frida.

Continue reading ‘Tamil National Alliance Boycotts State Festivals in Jaffna and Kilinochchi With President Sirisena as Chief Guest’ »

Controversial Provincial Councils (Amendment) Act: The procedure and the challenges


By Nihal Seneviratne,
former Secretary General of Parliament

The Provincial Councils (Amend) Act No. 17 of 2017 was passed in Parliament on Sept. 20 and certified by the Speaker on Sept. 22. There has arisen a great deal of controversy and debate regarding the passage of the Bill and its enactment.

The Bill was presented to the House on July 26 and had its first reading on Sept. 20. It was taken up for its second reading and passed with 154 voting for and 43 against. At the end of the committee stage and third reading, the Bill was passed with 157 votes for and 37 against. Two days later the Bill was certified by the Speaker and became Act No. 17 of 2017.

Much of the controversy and debate has arisen as a result of many amendments being moved at the committee stage. It is argued that these amendments were not made available earlier when the Bill was gazetted on Aug. 3; nor were they made available to the members at the second reading stage; and so the members had no opportunity to study in depth the contents of the amendments.

In a sense the argument is correct except that Standing Orders of the House 37-40 provide for in detail the procedure of moving amendments at the committee stage. This is recognised parliamentary procedure and is practised and followed in all parliaments throughout the world. Standing Order 38 provides the form in which amendments can be moved and subsection 3 stipulates that an amendment must be relevant to the stipulation that each amendment proposed shall be examined by the Attorney General in terms of Article 77 of the Constitution.

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Treasury Bond Inquiry Commission Proceedings akin to “Bread and Circus” Sideshows of Ancient Rome.

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Juvenal’s beautifully scornful castigation of the people being diverted by ‘bread and circuses’ (panem et circenses), has a specific application in the present day. That cynical tactic served the Roman emperors well in turning the attention of bored plebians away from pressing national issues and civic duties.

Catching the gleeful imagination of the public

Sri Lanka has had its fair share of diversions through the decades since we embarked on our less than distinguished expedition of gaining independence from colonial rulers and keeping a proud national identity intact. In recent times and under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we had gleaming expressways snaking through the country and the sprucing up of Colombo to distract from abominable robberies of the public purse.

Now, the ‘yahapalanaya’ Sirisena-Wickremesinghe unity alliance has none too dubious ‘achievements’ all of its own. At the core is the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) bond issuance allegedly profiting Arjun Aloysius, principal shareholder and director of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd and the son-in-law of Arjuna Mahendran, former Governor of the Central Bank who was the handpicked choice of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

On its own part, the Commission of Inquiry inquiring into the CBSL bond issuance has certainly caught the gleeful imagination of a bored and cynical public after a very long time. The happenings coming to light before the Commission have all the hallmarks of a classic thriller. This week, we are beguiled with tempting references to shadowy characters codenamed ‘Wolverine’, ‘Little Jhonnie’, Tango’ and ‘Charlie’ and allegations of money being paid to them under the table by Perpetual Treasuries Limited. Fresh controversies ignite each day.

Continue reading ‘Treasury Bond Inquiry Commission Proceedings akin to “Bread and Circus” Sideshows of Ancient Rome.’ »

Once Thriving Co-operative Movement in Jaffna Requires Urgent Shot in the arm for Renaissance.

By Namini Wijedasa in Jaffna

Off the road from Jaffna to Karainagar, in the sleepy village of Moolai, stands a distinctive cream-coloured edifice that the World Health Organisation says is the first non-profit co-operative hospital in all of Southeast Asia.

In its heyday, the Co-operative Hospital Moolai was bustling. Today, it is far quieter. With many patients choosing to go to the Karainagar Divisional Hospital across the causeway, this institution now caters to about 65 outpatients a day while around two or three are in its wards on ordinary days.

The hospital has a cardiology, dental, emergency and x-ray unit, among a few others. It is open 24 hours. Specialist doctors are chauffeured the 15km from Jaffna in one of its two ambulances (one is now out of service) offer channel service here for a cheaper fee.

Yet, there are many empty buildings. Its nursing school is a desolate shell; squirrels have built nests in the holes mortar shells have left in its walls. Some areas of the premises are overgrown with weeds.

Continue reading ‘Once Thriving Co-operative Movement in Jaffna Requires Urgent Shot in the arm for Renaissance.’ »

Is Govt “Move” Of Holding Local Authority Polls in Jan 2018 a “Ruse” To Hoodwink the Supreme Court?

by C.A.Chandraprema

In the past few days, the government has been conveying the impression to the public that they are going through the final motions necessary to hold the local government elections. Amendments to the local government laws were passed by Parliament recently and the Chairman of the Elections Commission was heard saying that all that needs to be done now is for the minister to gazette the number of representatives in each local government area to be elected on the 40% proportional representation quota and after that the Elections Commission will be able to call for nominations. With this government however, nothing can be taken at face value. Even if the nominations are handed in, that is no guarantee that an election will be held. The elections to the Puthukudiirippu and Maritime Pattu Pradesheeya Sabhas were delayed for years and finally never held due to litigation after the handing of nominations.

With the Herculean effort put into getting the elections to the provincial councils postponed, the government is in the happy position of being able to go on till the last quarter of 2019 without holding any election at all, if they so wish. Of course there will be protests and public anger at the indefinite postponement of elections, But this is not a government that has shown any sensitivity to public opinion. We see street protests and near-riot situations on a daily basis but the government seems oblivious. The agitation for an election will be just another noise added to the cacophony. So long as the government does not hold an election, they will be able to hold onto power. But if they hold an election and lose – especially a country-wide election like the LG elections, or even come close to losing, every demonstration will become an effort to force the government to resign.

So an election at this stage simply does not make political sense for the yahapalana government especially after all the contortions they performed to get the PC elections postponed just weeks ago. Furthermore, if an election is held and the President’s party gets wiped out, that will drastically affect the legitimacy of the entire government. If they are going to hold the LG elections in January next year, all the contortions they performed up to now will come to nought. It would have been better for this government to have held elections earlier rather than later. If they had held the local government elections when they were due in the first quarter of 2015, the government would no doubt have done much better than they would now. The reason why they delayed the local government elections and changed the law at the last minute to avoid holding the PC elections was due to the fear of defeat. If there was any risk of defeat now, it will only have increased by next January.

Continue reading ‘Is Govt “Move” Of Holding Local Authority Polls in Jan 2018 a “Ruse” To Hoodwink the Supreme Court?’ »

SLFP Leader Maithripala Sirisena Purges Party of Organizers Loyal to Mahinda Rajapaksa and Replaces Them With More Than 50 New Organizers .

By Norman Palihawadane, Kushan Subasinghe and Ajith Alahakoon

As purging of dissident SLFP leaders from the party is in full swing, incumbent and former Presidents of the party have expressed divergent opinions on the future of the SLFP.

President Maithripala Sirisena, on Thursday, called on his new electoral organisers to reorganise and prepare the party for the next election.

The president, handing over letters of appointment to the new electoral organisers at the President’s House, said the upcoming elections would be held under a new electoral system and the party had rid itself of its weak elements. The party should be reorganised to face the elections and that should be the duty of the newly appointed electoral organisers, the President said.

Continue reading ‘SLFP Leader Maithripala Sirisena Purges Party of Organizers Loyal to Mahinda Rajapaksa and Replaces Them With More Than 50 New Organizers .’ »

Feelings of Hopelessness and Helplessness Enveloping Sri Lankans is a National Tragedy.

By Goolbai Gunasekara

If ever there was an emotion shared by everyone in this country it is that of an energy- sapping hopelessness. Every citizen eventually realizes that despite strikes, despite vociferous public protests, despite angry articles by journalists, despite a literacy rate that is among the highest in the world, despite a beautiful and fertile land, despite a kind, natural habitat compared to that of the rest of the world and despite an intelligent citizenry we are mired in hopelessness.

Each morning I read the papers with a sense of foreboding and I am not disappointed. The doings of politicians and even ordinary citizens reported in the Press are all geared to arousing not only my ire but also my sense of impending doom. Try as I may I can rarely find ANYTHING that is written which can make me say, “I am proud of my country”, or even better to be able to say, “I am so glad I live in Sri Lanka”. And yet I AM glad I live in Sri Lanka and not elsewhere.

Continue reading ‘Feelings of Hopelessness and Helplessness Enveloping Sri Lankans is a National Tragedy.’ »

Crooked “Bondscam” Dealers Turn Employees Provident Fund Into Employees PICKPOCKET Fund

By

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

From its outset, the Treasury Bond Scam was seen as a massive fraud carried on public funds or people’s assets managed by the Central Bank. As the probe on the Bond Scams that took place shortly after the election of the present government in 2015, what the public saw was the crooked manipulation of the Central Bank, the repository of the liquid national assets, made possible by the appointment of a Governor whose interests were more that of Green Politics, than of the people and the country.

As the probe moves on to its final stages, the country is now seeing a different area of fraud that directly affects the several million employees in the private sector in the country, as well as a large number employed in the State institutions, that are not government departments. Apart from the larger national assets, we now see the hugely crooked and fraudulent manipulation of the savings of this wide mass of employees in the country, who have no right to state pensions.

It is the Employees’ Provident Fund – EPF – that manages the life’s savings of almost all non-state employees in the country that has been rigged by a combination of Treasury Bond dealers with the foul assistance of those in the EPF itself.

The EPF, established in 1958, and is described as the largest Social Security Scheme in the country, has said its aim as to “assure financial stability to the employee in the winter of life and to reward the employee for his or her role in the economic growth of the country.”

Continue reading ‘Crooked “Bondscam” Dealers Turn Employees Provident Fund Into Employees PICKPOCKET Fund’ »

India in Advanced Stage of Talks With Lanka to Operate Mattala Airport Discloses Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva

India is in advanced talks with Sri Lanka to operate an airport on the southern tip of the island, where China has invested heavily as part of its Belt and Road initiative, a Minister said.

Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala said the country had been looking for alternative investors in the Hambantota area, where China has built a seaport and is in discussions to build an investment zone and a refinery.

“It was during this time India came up with a proposal,” Siripala said Monday. “They were ready for a joint venture with the Airport and Aviation Services Limited,” he said, referring to the State-run company that runs Sri Lanka’s main airport in the capital Colombo and the one in the south, in Mattala.

Continue reading ‘India in Advanced Stage of Talks With Lanka to Operate Mattala Airport Discloses Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva’ »

Remanded LTTE Suspects Wont be Released Without Judicial Process Despite Hartal in North by TNA says Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene

Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene yesterday, reiterated that the remanded LTTE suspects, who had allegedly committed serious crimes,will not be freed without a judicial process despite the hartal campaigns in the North.

The State Minister observed that the hartal campaign in the North is politically motivated and a group seeking political mileage is behind it.

Wijewardene made these observations speaking to the media after an event at a school in Biyagama.The State Minister pointed out that several TNA members are trying to disrupt the day-to-day life of the people in the North by organizing a hartal campaign.

Continue reading ‘Remanded LTTE Suspects Wont be Released Without Judicial Process Despite Hartal in North by TNA says Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene’ »

Only One Member of a Family Should Be Allowed to Contest Elections Says Local Govt Minister Faizer Mustapha


Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faizer Mustapha said yesterday that there should be a system to ensure that only one member from one family can contest at the forthcoming and Provincial Council Local Government elections.

Under the present system, most of the candidates are from political families. This deprives so many others in the 20 million population of contesting at any election.

We should consider taking forward the concept of only one candidate from one family at the forthcoming election,” he added.

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Ravi Karunanayake’s Brother -in -law TMR Bangsa Jayah Sacked From Sri Lanka Insurance Joint Managing Director Post By State Enterprises Development Minister Kabir Hashim

Sri Lanka’s state-run insurance giant has sacked its Joint Managing Director T. M. R. Bangsa Jayah, the brother-in-law of former finance minister Ravi Karunanayake, officials said today.

Bangsa Jayah, an appointee of Karunanayake, refused to step down to allow the ministry of State Enterprise Development carry out a restructuring of Sri Lanka Insurance (SLC) forcing his sacking, the official said.

“The minister (Kabir Hashim) has decided to make SLC more effective by getting a professional management team,” the official said. “For that to take effect, everyone was asked to step down, but Mr. Bangsa Jayah refused.”

He was given marching orders following a board meeting on Wednesday evening. He is expected to be expelled from SLC board too. SLI chairman Hemaka Amarasuriya is to be retained as chairman of SLI.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake’s Brother -in -law TMR Bangsa Jayah Sacked From Sri Lanka Insurance Joint Managing Director Post By State Enterprises Development Minister Kabir Hashim’ »

UNP Did Not Get Funds From Arjun Aloysius, His Family Members or Perpetual Treasuries State Ministers Samarawickrama and Hashim.


By Himal Kotelawala

Two senior Cabinet Ministers yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance that at a meeting held on 26 February 2015, a fund requirement of Rs. 18 billion had been discussed for stalled road development work initiated by the previous administration.

Ministers Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama, testifying before the commission, appeared to confirm evidence previously given by former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran that a meeting had taken place in the morning of 26 February, the day before the controversial bond auction, attended by Mahendran, the two ministers, former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, officials of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and the Treasury, the Director General of the Road Development Authority (RDA) and officials from the Ministry of Highways and others, where urgent fund requirements for road development work was discussed.

In evidence given to the commission last month, it was mentioned that a request had been made to the former Governor at the 26 February meeting to raise a sum of Rs. 75 billion within a month for urgent road construction work, as substantiated by a letter purportedly written by the former Finance Minister that was furnished to the Bond Commission as evidence (document No. AM22). The Prime Minister, however, in a statement to Parliament on 17 March 2015, had made reference to an urgent requirement of Rs. 15 billion only. This was later clarified by Mahendran as an initial requirement of Rs. 15 billion needed immediately, followed by a further Rs. 75 billion.

Hashim had taken part in the 26 February meeting in his capacity as then Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion while Samarawickrama had attended as then Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister.

Continue reading ‘UNP Did Not Get Funds From Arjun Aloysius, His Family Members or Perpetual Treasuries State Ministers Samarawickrama and Hashim.’ »

Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga Appointed as SLFP Organizer for Attanagalle By President Maithripala Sirisena

By

Ajantha Kumara Agalakada

Ps Kumara Welgama and Mahindananda Aluthgamage had been removed from their Posts of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Organisers for Matugama and Nawalapitiya respectively, informed sources said.

Meanwhile, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga had been appointed as the SLFP organiser for Attanagalla by President Maithripala Sirisena at a meeting held with SLFP organisers this evening, they said.

Courtesy:Daily Mirror

People Are Convinced That “Yahapalanaya” and “Rajapaksapalanaya” Are Only Tweedledum and Tweedledee -“The Island”

(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Island ” of October 13th 2017 Under the heading “Eloquent silence”)

Today is Friday the 13th. Not all of us are troubled by triskaidekaphobia, but its association with Satan reminds us of the proverbial man who sold his soul to the devil. The day is of significance to Sri Lankans owing to the conclusion of the proceedings of the presidential commission of inquiry probing bond scams. The evil forces behind the biggest ever financial fraud in the country will heave a sigh of relief today.

Ministers Malik Samarawickrema and Kabir Hashim testified before the presidential commission on Wednesday. Interestingly, while Hashim, the General Secretary of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s party (UNP), was giving evidence in connection with the Central Bank bond scam, Shalila Moonesinghe, the leader of the party (New Democratic Front), on whose ticket Maithripala Sirisena was elected President in 2015, was remanded over an international financial scam!

Nobody apparently took any interest in the two ministers’ evidence for obvious reasons. Disillusioned, people no longer expect the big names involved in the bond scams to be brought to justice. They are now convinced that yahapalanaya and Rajapaksa palanaya are only Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Continue reading ‘People Are Convinced That “Yahapalanaya” and “Rajapaksapalanaya” Are Only Tweedledum and Tweedledee -“The Island”’ »

Police Commission Transfers ASP Thushara Daluwatte of ” Hambantota Protest Assault Fame ” From Tangalle to Matara

By

Darshana Sanjeewa

Tangalle Division ASP Thushara Daluwatta, who allegedly assaulted a youth during a protest held in Hambantota last week, was transferred to the Matara Division by the National Police Commission (NPC) today .

Commission Secretary Ariyadasa Cooray said the decision was taken during the commission meeting held today.

Continue reading ‘Police Commission Transfers ASP Thushara Daluwatte of ” Hambantota Protest Assault Fame ” From Tangalle to Matara’ »

Opposition Leader Sampanthan Urges President Sirisena to Immediately Release All Tamil Prisoners Detained Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Tamil National Leader and Leader of the Opposition Rajavarothayam Sampanthan has in a letter written to President Maithripala Sirisena urged the immediate release of Tamil prisoners being detained under the prevention of terrorism act(PTA), The full text of the letter is reproduced below-


12th October 2017

His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena
President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo-01

Your Excellency,


Tamil Prisoners in Custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Law.

I write to you on behalf of the above category of prisoners who have been agitating for their release for a long period of time.

I wish to state the following: –

(I) These persons are held in custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Law irrespective of whether they have been convicted, have been charged, or have not yet been charged. They have been arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Law and all action taken against them has been in terms of that Law.

(ii)It has been accepted by the Sri Lankan State both domestically and internationally that, the said Prevention of Terrorism Law is draconian,obnoxious, and should therefore be regarded as obsolete. The Sri Lankan State has made several commitments both domestically and internationally that the said Law will be repealed, and that a new Law will be enacted in keeping with acceptable domestic and international norms.


(iii)
The Sri Lankan State is yet to fulfill this commitment, but that does not derogatefrom the Sri Lanka State’s commitment that the said Law should not remain on the Statute Book.

Continue reading ‘Opposition Leader Sampanthan Urges President Sirisena to Immediately Release All Tamil Prisoners Detained Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.’ »

Maithripala-Ranil Govt Deceives People Through Constitutional Trickery


By C. A. Chandraprema

Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne has been trying to allay anxieties of concerned citizens about the new constitution that he is involved in drafting. He claims that there will be a special constitutional provision against secession. What he is referring to is the following provision in the recently released interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly:

“The President may, on the advice of the Prime Minister, where a situation has arisen in which a provincial administration is promoting armed rebellion or insurrection or engaging in an intentional violation of the Constitution which constitutes a clear and present danger to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic, by Proclamation – (a) Assume to the President, all or any of the functions of the administration of the Province and all or any of the powers vested in, or exercisable by, the Governor, the Chief Minister, the Board of Ministers or anybody or authority in the Province; and (b) Where it is necessary for the effectual exercise of the powers under subparagraph (a) of this paragraph, dissolve the Provincial Council. (c) The proclamation shall include reasons for the making of such proclamation. Such a Proclamation shall be subject to Parliamentary approval and be subject to judicial review.”

This is supposed to be the provision that will be Wickremaratne’s magic bullet to prevent separatism. Even the best educated members of society are unfamiliar with constitutional matters and if those drafting a new constitution are out to deceive the public, there is nothing to prevent them from doing it. One glaring example is the way they made the President responsible to Parliament through the 19th Amendment. After the 19th Amendment was promulgated, the yahapalana leaders claimed that earlier the President was a law unto himself and that it was the yahapalana government that had made the president responsible to Parliament. This was, in fact, even touted as one of the ways in which the powers of the presidency had been truncated and the institution made more ‘democratic’.

This provision to make the president responsible to Parliament, which was brought in by the 19th Amendment as Article 33A of the Constitution is as follows:

“33A. The President shall be responsible to Parliament for the due exercise, performance and discharge of his powers, duties and functions under the Constitution and any written law, including the law for the time being relating to public security”

What the yahapalana constitution makers did not tell the public, however, was this supposedly new Article 33A had always been in the 1978 Constitution from the time J. R. Jayewardene promulgated it as Article 42 of the Constitution.

Continue reading ‘Maithripala-Ranil Govt Deceives People Through Constitutional Trickery’ »

Namal Rajapaksa “Tweets” Complaint to UN Human Rights Council About Being Arrested For Hambantota Protest.

Sri Lanka’s opposition legislator Namal Rajapaksa turned to the United Nations Human Rights Council soon after he was arrested along with two other members of parliament over their recent anti-India protest.

Rajapaksa, a leading member of the Joint Opposition which is highly critical of the UN Rights Council, complained to the world body as well as the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, about their arrest.

“#SriLanka Police arrested us 4 our peaceful protest against selling national assets, stifling opposition voices. @UNHumanRights @nikkihaley,” Namal said on Twitter as he was remanded in custody till October 16.

Government spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said it was ironic that Rajapaksa who had accused the UN rights body of interfering in Sri Lanka seeking the help of the same organisation when he is arrested.

Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa “Tweets” Complaint to UN Human Rights Council About Being Arrested For Hambantota Protest.’ »

Is Govt Cracking Down Hard On Those Who Stormed Hambantota Indian Consulate Due To Quiet Indian Pressure?

In order not to alienate India, the Sri Lankan government is taking stern action against those who tried to storm the Indian Consulate in Hambantota last Friday in protest against the government’s bid to go for a Joint Venture (JV) with India to run the non-functioning Mattala International Airport.

Twenty-eight persons were arrested during the violent protest. And on Tuesday, a further six, including Namal Rajapaksa, opposition MP and son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, were held and remanded till October 16.

Initially, the demonstration was to be held at the airport but since the police had obtained a court order prohibiting demonstrations there, the organizers, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), turned their wrath on the Office of the Indian Consul General in Hambantota town.

Continue reading ‘Is Govt Cracking Down Hard On Those Who Stormed Hambantota Indian Consulate Due To Quiet Indian Pressure?’ »

SASG Dappula De Livera Has “No Questions” For Ministers Samarawickrama and Hashim at Presidential Inquiry Commission

Ministers Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama, testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the bond scams, yesterday said that to make payments to the contractors engaged in road development projects and to continue with the ongoing projects the government had needed funds to the tune of Rs.15 billion.

A meeting had been held at the Central Bank Head office on February 26, 2015, it had never been discussed with the Central Bank Governor and officials how the funds could be raised. The controversial Treasury bond auction scheduled for the following day (27), the Ministers told the Commission had not been discussed, they said.

Continue reading ‘SASG Dappula De Livera Has “No Questions” For Ministers Samarawickrama and Hashim at Presidential Inquiry Commission’ »

Cabinet Ministers Malik Samarawickrama and Kabir Hashim Grilled by Commissioners at Inquiry On Treasury Bonds

By Himal Kotelawala

Two senior Cabinet Ministers yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance that at a meeting held on 26 February 2015, a fund requirement of Rs. 18 billion had been discussed for stalled road development work initiated by the previous administration.

Ministers Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama, testifying before the commission, appeared to confirm evidence previously given by former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran that a meeting had taken place in the morning of 26 February, the day before the controversial bond auction, attended by Mahendran, the two ministers, former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, officials of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and the Treasury, the Director General of the Road Development Authority (RDA) and officials from the Ministry of Highways and others, where urgent fund requirements for road development work was discussed.

In evidence given to the commission last month, it was mentioned that a request had been made to the former Governor at the 26 February meeting to raise a sum of Rs. 75 billion within a month for urgent road construction work, as substantiated by a letter purportedly written by the former Finance Minister that was furnished to the Bond Commission as evidence (document No. AM22). The Prime Minister, however, in a statement to Parliament on 17 March 2015, had made reference to an urgent requirement of Rs. 15 billion only. This was later clarified by Mahendran as an initial requirement of Rs. 15 billion needed immediately, followed by a further Rs. 75 billion.

Continue reading ‘Cabinet Ministers Malik Samarawickrama and Kabir Hashim Grilled by Commissioners at Inquiry On Treasury Bonds’ »

Solution is a Unitary State With Power Devolved To Autonomous Provinces.

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Machiavelli said that the enterprise entailing the deadliest risk in politics is to try to institute a new order, and to be a new ruler while doing so (“a new prince in a new principality”). To be a relatively new government trying to introduce a new political system in a polarized, poly-ethnic society with low economic growth, is as fraught an undertaking as one can imagine. The Government is intensifying th evolatility of reform in every possible way.

The Government does not get that you cannot marginalize, alienate and seek to suppress the overwhelmingly largest segment of the Southern opposition, led by probably the country’s most popular figure, and expect it not to be tempted/provoked into playing spoiler.

The Tamil nationalists do not get that the majority Sinhalese on this small island so close to Tamil Nadu (and India), are existentially committed to a state with a strong centre.The Sinhalese have a unitary ethos.

The Sinhala nationalists do not get that it was possible to beat the world’s most formidable terrorist army but it is impossible to get the Tamils to submit politically. Tamil cooperation and partnership is feasible; Tamil submission to political, ideological and social domination is not.

Continue reading ‘Solution is a Unitary State With Power Devolved To Autonomous Provinces.’ »

Gowers Money Laundering Case Against Namal Rajapaksa, Senani, Sujani and Iresha Fixed For Trial on Feb 16th 2018


By

Lakmal Sooriyagoda

A case filed against Hambantota district Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa and five others for their alleged involvement in laundering money amounting to Rs.30 million through Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited was yesterday fixed for trial by the Colombo High Court.

Iresha Silva, one of the directors of Gowers Corporate Services, was present in court
when the case was taken up and later released on bail. Silva seen leaving the High Courtpremises yesterday.

The Colombo High Court fixed the case for trial on February 16 and prosecution witnesses of the case were noticed to appear in Courts on the next trial date.

Continue reading ‘Gowers Money Laundering Case Against Namal Rajapaksa, Senani, Sujani and Iresha Fixed For Trial on Feb 16th 2018’ »

Questions Over Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Statements Should Be Posed to Prime Minister and Not To Him Says Ex – CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran.


By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta

Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendra, testifying before the presidential commission of inquiry probing alleged bond scams, yesterday, said he could not speak for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said so when Senior Additional Solicitor General (SASG) Dappula de Livera, PC asked him some questions, based on a statement the Prime Minister had made in Parliament on March 17, 2017. The SASG produced extracts of the PM’s speech while questioning Mahendran.

When the SASG raised more questions, Mahendra said they should be posed to the PM.

Continue reading ‘Questions Over Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Statements Should Be Posed to Prime Minister and Not To Him Says Ex – CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran.’ »

Parliamentarians Namal Rajapaksa,DV Chanaka and Prasanna Ranaweera Arrested and Remanded Till Oct 16th Over Hambantota Protest.

MPs Namal Rajapaksa, DV Chanaka, Prasanna Ranaweera and three provincial councillors were arrested by Hambantota police late last evening over the Joint Opposition protest at Hambantota last Friday.

They were taken into custody when they had arrived at the Hambantoa Police station to make their statements.

Continue reading ‘Parliamentarians Namal Rajapaksa,DV Chanaka and Prasanna Ranaweera Arrested and Remanded Till Oct 16th Over Hambantota Protest.’ »

UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrama and Party Gen -Secy Kabir Hashim Summoned To Give Evidence Before Bondscam Inquiry


By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta and Sarath Dharmasena

The presidential commission of inquiry probing the treasury bond scams has summoned Public Enterprises Development Minister Kabir Hashim and Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama to give evidence before it today.

Minister Samarawickrama is the UNP Chairman, Hashim the party’s General Secretary.

Continue reading ‘UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrama and Party Gen -Secy Kabir Hashim Summoned To Give Evidence Before Bondscam Inquiry’ »

Namal Rajapaksa and Five Others Including Two MP’s Arrested Over Anti-Indian Protest at Hambantota.

– Sri Lanka’s police arrested Namal Rajapaksa and two of his legislator colleagues Tuesday for their role in leading a violent anti-India demonstration last week.

Police said in a statement that Rajapaksa was taken into custody after he gave a statement to the Hambantota police over his role in Friday’s demonstration that was broke up by police just before it reached the Indian consulate.

Members of parliament D. V. Chanaka and Prasanna Ranaweera and three others were also taken in along with Namal, a police statement said.

Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa and Five Others Including Two MP’s Arrested Over Anti-Indian Protest at Hambantota.’ »

Ex – CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran Aggressively Cross Examined By A- G Dept Counsel at Bondscam Inquiry Commission.

By Himal Kotelawala

Proceedings at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance heated up yesterday as former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran was cross-examined aggressively by the Attorney General’s Department.

Mahendran denied any knowledge of meetings said to have been called by former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake where the latter had allegedly instructed the chairmen of the three state banks to bid at lower-than-market yield rates at Treasury bond auctions held in late March 2016.

A telephone conversation purportedly held between a People’s Bank official and the then Superintendent of the Public Debt Department (PDD) of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) was played before the Commission by Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunatillake. In the call, the People’s Bank official can be heard telling the PDD Head that the state banks had been instructed to bid at a particular level, and adding that if bids above the instructed levels were accepted, the state banks would suffer.

At first, the Superintendent can be heard saying it was a decision for the committee, but subsequently agrees to convey the People’s Banks concerns to the decision-makers at CBSL.

Mahendran, responding to questions by DSG Gunatillake, said he was not aware of the meeting – referring to the meeting said to have been chaired by former Minister Karunanayake – and added that his impression was that this had been a “frivolous” conversation that did not warrant comment.

Continue reading ‘Ex – CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran Aggressively Cross Examined By A- G Dept Counsel at Bondscam Inquiry Commission.’ »

Ornella Iresha Silva Produced in Courts By Police Released on 500,000 Cash and 5 Million Rs surety bail by High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe

By

Yoshitha Perera

Former Secretary to MP Namal Rajapaksa, Ornella Iresha Silva was released on bail by High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe today.

Ms. Silva, who arrived in Sri Lanka this morning from Abu Dhabi, was arrested at the Airport following a court order.

Continue reading ‘Ornella Iresha Silva Produced in Courts By Police Released on 500,000 Cash and 5 Million Rs surety bail by High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe’ »

Namal Rajapaksa’s Ex -Secretary Ornella Iresha Silva Arrives From Abu Dhabi and is Taken Into Custody By Police FCID Officials at Katunayake Airport

By

Deepa Adikari

MP Namal Rajapaksa’s former secretary Ornella Iresha Silva was arrested this morning at the Colombo International Airport, Katunayake following a court order.

She arrived at the BIA at 05.07 this morning from Abu Dhabi

Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa’s Ex -Secretary Ornella Iresha Silva Arrives From Abu Dhabi and is Taken Into Custody By Police FCID Officials at Katunayake Airport’ »

Immigration Authorities Detain Ornella Iresha Silva at Katunayake Airport Upon Arrival From Abu Dhabi and Hand Her Over to Police.

Sri Lanka’s police Tuesday arrested a key business partner of Namal Rajapaksa who is facing several charges relating to money laundering through several companies set up when his father was president.

Ornella Iresha Silva, a director of companies established by Rajapaksa, was wanted since August last year in connection with money laundering allegations, but she had fled the country promoting courts to issue an international arrest warrant.

It is not immediately clear if Abu Dhabi authorities had executed the Interpol Red Notice or she was simply departed on a direct flight to Colombo to be arrested on arrival by local authorities.

Continue reading ‘Immigration Authorities Detain Ornella Iresha Silva at Katunayake Airport Upon Arrival From Abu Dhabi and Hand Her Over to Police.’ »

Namal Rajapaksa’s Former Secretary Iresha Silva To Be Extradited From Abu Dhabi Following Issuance of Interpol Warrant On Money Laundering Charges.

Authorities in Abu Dhabi are to extradite Hambantota MP Namal Rajapaksa’s former secretary Iresha Silva from the country.

The expulsion comes on a request made by the INTERPOL, through the Sri Lanka Police.

Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa’s Former Secretary Iresha Silva To Be Extradited From Abu Dhabi Following Issuance of Interpol Warrant On Money Laundering Charges.’ »

Colombo High Court Issues Warrant Through Interpol for Arrest Of Iresha Silva Over Money Laundering Connected to Firm Owned By Namal Rajapaksa.

The Colombo High Court has issued a warrant through Interpol for the arrest of Batapola Arachchige Oranella Iresha Silva for her alleged involvement in laundering money amounting to Rs.30 million through Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited allegedly owned by Hambantota district Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa.

High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe had made this order taking into consideration the facts presented by Attorney General that the suspect had left the country and evading courts since the inception of inquiry into the matter.

On a previous occasion, three accused Namal Rajapaksa, the eldest son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nithya Senani Samaranayake and Sujani Bogollagama who functioned as the directors of Gowers Corporation Pvt Ltd as directors were present in court.

Continue reading ‘Colombo High Court Issues Warrant Through Interpol for Arrest Of Iresha Silva Over Money Laundering Connected to Firm Owned By Namal Rajapaksa.’ »

Litro Gas Company Head Shalila Moonesinghe Arrested Over Computer Hacked Robbery Of Taiwan Bank Funds

The head of the state-owned Litro gas company, Shalila Moonesinghe, is among two people arrested in connection with millions of rupees wired to a state bank, believed to be from a computer hacking and robbery of a Taiwan bank, officials said Monday.

Moonesinghe, who is also the leader of the New Democratic Front under whose nomination Maithripala Sirisena won the January 2015 Presidential election, is being held by the police Criminal Investigation Department.

Officials said Moonesinghe and another identified as J. C. Nammuni were in custody after they attempted to withdraw millions of rupees that had been wired to their local bank accounts from the hacked Taiwan bank.

Police officials said about $1.3 million had been wired to at least three back accounts maintained at state-bank branches in Colombo.

Continue reading ‘Litro Gas Company Head Shalila Moonesinghe Arrested Over Computer Hacked Robbery Of Taiwan Bank Funds’ »

Sarath N Silva as “Citizen” is Going Against Ruling Given By Him as Chief Justice Points Out MA Sumanthiran PC in Court.

By

S.S.Selvanayagam

Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva today told the Supreme Court that the Attorney General was guilty of misleading Parliament through his opinion on the amendments introduced to the Provincial Councils Amendment Bill during the committee stage of its passage.

Making submissions as a citizen of the country in support of his fundamental rights application in the Supreme Court, he said he was not challenging the Speaker’s endorsement but that of the Attorney General’s opinion.

He claimed that it had been done in secrecy and that the AG was guilty of misleading Parliament.

Mr. Silva was making his submissions to support the leave to proceed with his FR application before the SC Bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justices B.P. Aluvihara and Nalin Perera.

Continue reading ‘Sarath N Silva as “Citizen” is Going Against Ruling Given By Him as Chief Justice Points Out MA Sumanthiran PC in Court.’ »

Allocations For President Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe to be Increased by 50% and 41% Respectively in New Budget.

By Saman Indrajith

The government yesterday presented to Parliament its estimated expenditure for the next year in which the expenses of the President’s office has been increased by more than 50 percent. The expenditure of the Prime Minister is expected to increase by 29%.

The appropriation bill presented to Parliament by Acting Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne has estimated the total government expenditure at Rs. 3, 982 billion (Rs 3, 982, 367,818,000).

The amount is an increase of Rs 2,162 billion compared to the previous year’s allocation of Rs. 1,819 billion (1,819,544,000,000) The limit on borrowings for 2018 has been set at Rs. 1, 813 billion (Rs. 1,813,367,818,000).

The allocation to the President’s Office (Rs 6.4 billion in 2017) has been increased to over Rs. 9.9 billion (9,983,525,000) in the next financial year, indicating over a fifty per cent increase. Of this amount, around Rs. 2.7 billion will go for recurrent expenditure while the rest will be for operational and development activities under the President’s Office.

Continue reading ‘Allocations For President Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe to be Increased by 50% and 41% Respectively in New Budget.’ »

Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva Appears In Court Personally To Seek Leave From SC to Proceed With His FR Petition

By Chitra Weerarathne

Former Chief Justice, Sarath Nanda Silva, yesterday, appeared in person to obtain leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation petition he had filed, citing the Attorney General, as the first respondent.

The petitioner has informed the Supreme Court, that amendments were added to the Provincial Councils Election (Amendment) Act, at the committees stage of the Parliament. Those amendments were not in the Bill Gazetted by the government. The people could not challenge those amendments in the Supreme Court. The procedure was bad in law.

The petitioner has said that according to Article (3) of the constitution of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the people.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva Appears In Court Personally To Seek Leave From SC to Proceed With His FR Petition’ »

President Sirisena Being Kept In The Dark About Steering Committee Interim Report Is a Bizarre Situation

By

Janaki Chandrararatna

Sri Lanka is at the crossroads once again. This time it is with the introduction of a new constitution. Constitution making is no easy task and that is the reason that countries generally adopt the amendment process to make changes to a constitution.

Since Sri Lanka is like no other country in the world, our people, in particular the Heads of the current regime revel in doing things in their own way. Unfortunately, the outcomes of these strategies in most occasions are not of benefit to the country or its people. Appointment of a Prime Minister (PM) from a minority party; appointment of defeated candidates from the respective party national lists, sacking of the Chief Justice without due process, the Unity Govt. of two parties with disparate policy positions, postponement of elections, Office of Missing Persons etc. are a few examples.

Although the constitution making process was in operation over the last 18 months, the Interim Draft Report, which was submitted to Parliament on 21 September, appears to have mushroomed quite magically within a few weeks, quite unknown to the President. This is a bizarre situation where the President, the Head of the State, is not informed of a major piece of legislation that has the potential to affect the sovereignty, and the integrity of the country as a ‘Unitary State’. One would expect the President to have a close scrutiny of the contents of the Interim Report, before its tabling.

Continue reading ‘President Sirisena Being Kept In The Dark About Steering Committee Interim Report Is a Bizarre Situation’ »

Critical Engagement With Pablo de Greiff Essential During UN “Transitional Justice” Expert’s Long Visit to Sri Lanka

By

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence is due to visit Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka, on rather a long visit, from 10th to 23rd October 2017. Almost two whole weeks.

According to the Office of the High Commissioner’s (OHCHR) website, Mr. Pablo de Greiff’s visit is “to examine the progress made in redressing the legacies of massive past violations and abuses, including those that resulted from a conflict that spanned more than 25 years.”

Describing him as a “UN Expert on Transitional Justice” the news item adds that “In 2015, the Government of Sri Lanka committed itself to designing and implementing a comprehensive transitional justice strategy.”

In September this year, in the Special Rapporteur’s report (A/HRC/36/50) to the Human Rights Council, Mr. de Greiff thanked Sri Lanka for the invitation and “regrets that his requests for visits to Brazil, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Guinea, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Nepal and Rwanda are still pending.” Interesting!

Continue reading ‘Critical Engagement With Pablo de Greiff Essential During UN “Transitional Justice” Expert’s Long Visit to Sri Lanka’ »

Ex – President Mahinda Rajapaksa Given Shabby Treatment in Japan By Lankan Ambassador Dhammika Ganganath “On President Sirisena’s Orders”.

By

Gagani Weerakoon

Former President Rajapaksa who is on a 10-day private visit to Japan, this time has not even been offered a protocol officer upon his arrival at the Airport.

When his Private Secretary Uditha Lokubandara inquired from Ambassador Dhammika Ganganath as to why such shabby treatment was given to the former President, the response he got from the other end was “on President Sirisena’s orders.”

Continue reading ‘Ex – President Mahinda Rajapaksa Given Shabby Treatment in Japan By Lankan Ambassador Dhammika Ganganath “On President Sirisena’s Orders”.’ »

Human Rights Commission Inquires Into Assault by ASP Roshan Daluwatte on Freelance Journalist Susantha Bandara Karunaratne Covering Hambantota Protest.

By Norman Palihawadane and Saman Indrajith

The Human Rights Commission has launched an inquiry into a senior police officer assaulting a journalist taken into custody while he was covering the protest at Hambantota on Friday.

Media spokesperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Saliya Peiris said they had launched an investigation into the assault by an Assistant Superintendent of Police on a detained protester.

Peiris said that so far no one had lodged a complaint with the commission about the incident.

He however said the Commission would launch an inquiry into the incident after viewing video clips of the incident.

Accordingly an inquiry would be launched by the SLHRC today, he said.

Continue reading ‘Human Rights Commission Inquires Into Assault by ASP Roshan Daluwatte on Freelance Journalist Susantha Bandara Karunaratne Covering Hambantota Protest.’ »

Dinesh Gunawardena Receives “Enlightenment” on New Constitution from Malwatte Mahanayake Who Gives JO Leader an “Earful”.

By Gagani Weerakoon

Following repeated assurance by President Maithripala Sirisena, the perspective of Mahanayake Theras’- at least, that of Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter- on the proposed constitutional reforms seems to have changed drastically. This was evident, when Leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna and Joint Opposition Dinesh Gunawardena – who his colleagues identify as de facto Opposition Leader of the country – called on Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera earlier this week.

In keeping with the practice of ancient kings, politicians and rulers of the country go seeking blessings, advice and backing of the Maha Sangha, especially of Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters, at crucial times. Few months ago the chief prelates expressed their concerns about the process of constitutional reforms and ruled out the need for a new Constitution.

Soon after that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, led by President Maithripala Sirisena was seen distancing themselves, from Constitution-making process and said they will not entertain any amendment that would lead to a referendum or that would change the higher status given to Buddhism above other religions.

Continue reading ‘Dinesh Gunawardena Receives “Enlightenment” on New Constitution from Malwatte Mahanayake Who Gives JO Leader an “Earful”.’ »

Policemen at H’Tota Hold Journalist Firmly While Asst Supdt of Police Delivers a Savage Slap Causing Bleeding Injuries to his ear

( Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of October 9th 2017 Under the Heading ” When democracy gets slapped around”)

No sooner had the yahapalana government given the apex court a thundering slap across the face by circumventing a judicial ruling to ratify the Provincial Council Election (Amendment) Bill than the guardians of the law physically assaulted a journalist in full view of the media. An ASP proved his mettle by slapping the victim during a Joint Opposition (JO)-led protest in Hambantota against, among other things, a government move to hand over the Mattala airport to an Indian company.

The khaki-clad swashbuckling hero strode boldly up to the hapless scribe, being held by police and delivered a slap savagely. His conduct is unbecoming of a law enforcement officer, to say the least. The victim was thereafter bundled into a waiting paddy wagon without treatment for a bleeding ear. Friday’s slap has brought the entire Police Department to shame, but as far as the ASP is concerned it is surely a slam dunk. Having endeared himself to the yahapalana leaders, he can rest assured that he will get a hearty slap on his back and a promotion soon. It may be recalled that a Navy Commander who went out of his way to manhandle a journalist during a protest in Hambantota last year was rewarded with an extension of service by the yahapalana leaders.

Continue reading ‘Policemen at H’Tota Hold Journalist Firmly While Asst Supdt of Police Delivers a Savage Slap Causing Bleeding Injuries to his ear’ »

Sri Lanka Podujana Party Supports the Return to Owners of All Military Occupied Private Lands in Jaffna says Basil Rajapaksa

By

Gagani Weerakoon

With impending Local Government Elections, all major parties have started selecting candidates and if there was any political leader that stunned the entire country with his campaign, that is non-other than Basil Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa was extensively blamed and criticized for the embarrassing defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential elections held in January 2015.

The beginning of his campaign took many aback when Rajapaksa (Basil), who did not attempt hiding a bunch of amulets (surayas) as he got engaged in religious activities in Jaffna, declared his new party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) supports the full return of all occupied private land in Jaffna.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka Podujana Party Supports the Return to Owners of All Military Occupied Private Lands in Jaffna says Basil Rajapaksa’ »

Namal Rajapaksa MP Accuses Police of Unleashing “Terror” On Peaceful Protest Conducted by Joint Opposition in Hambantota.

By Dileepa N. Jayasekera

Hambantota District UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that police personnel had unleashed what he called terror against protest staged by the Joint Opposition at Hambantota on Friday also taken into custody even some patients waiting in the queues at hospitals.

“Police not only tear gassed and used water cannon to disperse our peaceful protest but also made arrests en masse. They took some eluderly women waiting at the queues at Ayurveda and government hospitals,” MP Rajapaksa said.

Continue reading ‘Namal Rajapaksa MP Accuses Police of Unleashing “Terror” On Peaceful Protest Conducted by Joint Opposition in Hambantota.’ »

MA Sumanthiran MP Files Intervenient Petition Against Fundamental Rights Filed By Ex – Chief Justice Sarath Silva


By S.S. Selvanayagam

A parliamentarian of the Tamil National Alliance has filed an intervenient petition against the fundamental rights petition filed by former Chief Justice challenging the enactment of the Provincial Council Elections Amendment Bill.

M.A. Sumanthiran MP Pic courtesy of: facebook.com/FCASLANKA/

TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran PC is crying foul at former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva’s fundamental rights petition saying that if it is heard by the Supreme Court , it would violate his rights as a Member of Parliament and those under and in terms of the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act.

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How Can Credible Constitutional Reform Take Place When The Legislative Mandate Is Being Flouted?

By

Kishali Pinto Jayawardena

Sneaky strategies adopted by the Government to smuggle hasty amendments to the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act at the committee stage so as to transform that Amendment into an entirely strange creature altogether must be condemned, strongly and categorically.

A nightmare becomes real

Such wily tricks on the part of those in political power are not unknown to us. Previous Governments also attempted to twist Bills employing this device. Anxious care was taken when Bills were constitutionally challenged in the past therefore to ensure that no committee stage amendments were brought in later so as to reverse judicial rulings already made.

In the mid 199O’s when the Supreme Court took its constitutional role of checking executive and legislative excesses with due solemnity, I recall perturbed conversations following the Court’s jurisdiction being invoked, as to what preventive action could be taken if, in fact, entire sets of committee stage amendments were passed bypassing public scrutiny. At that point, the dangers were intermittent. None involved pasting entirely different amendments to a Bill of a much different character. Now it appears as if this nightmare has indeed become real, ironically under the seal of the ‘yahapalanaya’ (good governance) administration.

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President Sirisena Not Ready to be a “Sirisangabo” and Abolish the Executive Presidency

by C. A. Chandraprema

The interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly is now on the table and there seems to be a stand off developing between the UNP and the pro-Sirisena SLFP over its contents. President Sirisena is being furiously assailed in pro-UNP websites like Lanka e News. Simultaneously we see the noose tightening around the UNP in relation to the bond scam. This is not to suggest that anybody is stage managing the events taking place in the Bond Commission – such a thing is not possible but it can be seen that the Bond Commission has reached another high point with the evidence given by the three heads of state owned banks.

These events do have the practical effect of a stand off between the UNP and the SLFP. Lanka e News has taken up in a major way the fact that the construction giant SMEC of Australia was recently blacklisted by the World Bank for having paid bribes to the authorities in Sri Lanka to obtain a contract relating to a WB funded project – a matter in which Sirisena’s name had also transpired. Another line of attack has been that the defence ministry which is under Sirisena has purchased an old war ship for the Navy from Russia for over Rs 20 billion – an expenditure that Sri Lanka can ill afford at this point in time. Lanka e News claims that Sirisena in incurring this unnecessary expenditure at this point in time for no other reason than to pocket the commission. This has led to the SLFP youth wing leader Shantha Bandara stating that the ‘Central Bank bond thieves’ are trying to malign the President.

This furious exchange is taking place in a context where the UNP needs to persuade Sirisena to agree to abolish the executive presidency which will be the main selling point for the new constitution. Without being able to present the abolition of the executive presidency as the centerpiece of the constitutional reform process, it does not have a snowflake’s chance in hell of being able to garner public support. However, Sirisena does not seem to be in any mood to do a Sirisangabo. The SLFP proposals to the Steering Committee has stated that the executive presidency should not be abolished. Since the next presidential election is due only in Jan. 2020, Sirisena has two years left of his presidential term and he may be reluctant to give up his position at this stage. One would think that a compromise position that could be arrived at would be for him to agree to abolish the executive presidency at the end of his term so that there will be no executive president from the beginning of 2020 onwards.

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Che Guevara – Unique Personality who Imprinted His Visage On The Shroud Of Time.

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

50th Death Anniversary of Che Guevara


[This essay was originally published in English and in Spanish translation in Granma, the official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, in 2007, on the 40th anniversary of Che Guevara’s death.]

The literary imagination of genius is often more intuitive about the movement of History than that of the historian, philosopher or social scientist. In 1842, six years before the publication of the Communist Manifesto, Heinrich Heine foresaw the role and fate of Communism in these dramatic terms: “Communism is the secret name of the dread antagonist setting proletarian rule with all its consequences against the present bourgeois rule. How it will end no one knows but gods and goddesses acquainted with the future. We only know this much: Communism, though little discussed now and loitering in hidden garrets on miserable straw pallets, is the dark hero destined for a great if temporary role in the modern tragedy.”

Of all those who auditioned for the role of that dark hero of modern tragedy, none played it as memorably on the screen of History as Che. His looks and his ‘Look’ (in the Sartrean sense of ‘the gaze’), the specific aesthetic he constituted, are symbols of the trinity of rebel-hero-martyr. Soren Kierkegaard wrote of two types of heroes: ‘heroes of thought’ and ‘heroes of action’. There are passionate individualist intellectuals, thinkers, writers who stand out from the norm, mountain eagles alighting on lonely crags. There are, on the other hand, those who engage in Herculean or Sisyphean enterprise in the service of a collective cause. Che was a synthesis.

The communist experiment issued from the contradictions of Modernity. It always contained the ‘moment’ of the heroic. The most subtle of Marxist thinkers after Antonio Gramsci, Walter Benjamin, remarked in his study of Charles Baudelaire (Che was an avid fan of Baudelaire’s ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’- ‘The Flowers of Evil’) that “the hero is the true subject of modernism. In other words, it takes a heroic constitution to live modernism. That was also Balzac’s opinion”. The communist hero was modernist. “Lenin was from tip to toe a man of the new world. Herein lies his immense uniqueness, herein lies his incommunicable charm” observed Lunacharsky. Che, a hero of late Modernity, was the personification of its traits of unrest, searching, mobility, self-consciousness, intensity and violence.

It is difficult, they always say, to imagine Che had he lived until today, but one may safely surmise he would have been like Fredrick Engels, with the latter’s sensibility, his coolly confident and lucidly analytical writing style, his intense interest in the military aspect of international politics (Engels’ nickname was ‘the General’), his Pauline interventions in the international socialist movement. Except for one set of qualities, which Engels didn’t have: Che’s restlessness, his inner tensions, his self-reflexivity, his risk-taking, and the propulsive pressure he subjected himself to: his Messianism.

Continue reading ‘Che Guevara – Unique Personality who Imprinted His Visage On The Shroud Of Time.’ »

“Aekiya Raajya – Orumiththa Naadu”: For An Undivided, Indivisible Sri Lanka.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has laboured mightily and brought forth the Interim report of proposals for an envisaged new Constitution. It would be premature to prognosticate on the report’s potential future or delve deeply into its contents at this point of time. Nevertheless it must be stated that the release of the report in the current political landscape was like a welcome shower of rain pouring on drought-stricken , parched earth.

The British High Commission marked the International Day of Peace on 21 September 2011 by hosting an Art Festival in Colombo, involving over 50 school children-pic courtesy: UK In Sri Lanka

The Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee’s Interim Report was presented to Parliament in its Constitutional Assembly “Avatar” by Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is also the committee chairman. The parliamentary debate on the interim report will be held for three days on October 30th, 31st and November 1st respectively. Thereafter if everything goes well as planned the final report would be compiled and completed by the end of the year and placed before the Constitutional Assembly/Parliament in January 2018.

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Ex-President’s Son Namal Rajapaksa Leads Anti-India Protest in Hambantota Shouting Over Hailer ” Indo Colony Apita Epa”(We Dont Want Indian Colony)

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s legislator son Namal beat a hasty retreat yesterday after leading an anti-India protest outside the Indian Consulate and clashing with police at Hambantota.

The young Member of Parliament used a loud hailer to work the crowd to a frenzy as the Joint Opposition rally marched from the Hambantota beach to the Consulate.

“Indo (Indian) colony apita epa, Indo colony apita epa, (we don’t want Indian colonies, we don’t want Indian colonies),” Namal repeated at the top of his voice, while his chorus shouted “Epa, epa (don’t want, don’t want).”

Continue reading ‘Ex-President’s Son Namal Rajapaksa Leads Anti-India Protest in Hambantota Shouting Over Hailer ” Indo Colony Apita Epa”(We Dont Want Indian Colony)’ »

Playing With Words In Constitution is an Insult to the Intelligence of the Sri Lankan People

By

Veeragathy Thanabalasingham

Two weeks have passed since the presentation of the Interim Report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly to the parliament of Sri Lanka by Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe. As in the case of the release of the reports of the six sub- committees, this report also has created a furor among nationalist sections of the Sinhala polity that have always been in the forefront of opposition to any move taken by th current dispensation to address the legitimate grievances of the minorities particularly Tamils.

From the very inception of the constitutional reform process one and a half years ago, these nationalist forces, with the support of the Joint Opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapksa, have been engaging in a virulent campaign to mislead the majority community saying that the Yahapalanaya (Good Governance) government is trying to impose a new constitution in an attempt to appease the Western world and the Tamil Diaspora eventually paving the way for the division of the country.

In the wake of the release of the Interim Report, they created a controversy that the government has embarked on a process to change the “unitary” character of Sri Lankan State and deprive Buddhism of the foremost place given to it in the present constitution.

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Rosy Senanayake Has “Rosy” plans For City If and When Elected Mayor of Colombo

By

Marianne David


In the running for the position of Colombo Mayor, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister’s Office Rosy Senanayake is confident of victory and armed with comprehensive plans to turn Colombo into a “safe, smart, economically viable, and corruption-free city”. Having announced her candidature recently, Senanayake is now preparing for the elections, which are expected to be held in January.

In an interview with Daily FT, she outlined her plans for Colombo and also spoke on a wide range of topics including the Government’s key achievements, education, women’s rights, women in politics and abortion. Senanayake also addressed the allegations against her son in relation to the bond investigation.


Following are excerpts:

Question: You are running for Mayor of Colombo and the elections will be held soon. Could you tell us your plans for Colombo?

Answer :

Yes, I am getting ready for the elections and right now we are finalising the list of nominations. Things have changed for the first time in terms of women’s political representation and we are looking at women having a mandatory representation of 25% in line with the amendment. The elections will be held hopefully in January.

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Joint Opposition Demonstrates Outside Indian Consulate in Hambantota In Protest Against Mattala Airport Agreement With India.

By

Shamindra Ferdinando

Joint Opposition (JO) activists protesting against government move to hand over the Mattala airport to an Indian company were attcked by the police yesterday outside the Consulate in Hambantota.

Police used water cannon and fired tear gas to disperse crowds gathered outside the Indian mission.

Police arrested 26 persons during the crackdown. Yesterday’s protest was the first by the JO against India since the change of government.

Continue reading ‘Joint Opposition Demonstrates Outside Indian Consulate in Hambantota In Protest Against Mattala Airport Agreement With India.’ »

How Can Federalism Be Anathema to Any Political Party or Party Leader in Sri Lanka?

By

M.S.M.Ayub

Whenever the discourse on Constitution-making came to fore during the past two decades, the bone of contention was the nature of the state with the Tamils wanting a federal mode of governance and the Sinhalese insisting on a unitary state. However, even after more than thirty years since the ethnic problem took a violent turn, both the Sinhalese and the Tamils are fighting over ethnological terms such as federalism, unitary state and right to self-determination.

With Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is also the Chairman of the Steering Committee set-up under the Constitutional Assembly presenting an Interim Report of his committee in the Parliament on September 21, the terminological war with special emphasis on nature of the state has again become the main subject discussed in the political arena and media.

This time, while almost all Sinhalese nationalists are insisting that the country’s unitary state that has been incorporated in the Constitution must be preserved, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara, a strong and strident Sinhalese nationalist, has come up with a different stance in an article published in the Daily Mirror on Wednesday. The essence of his article was that despite almost all other Sinhalese nationalists stressing the need to retain the current nature of the State, Sri Lanka is already a federal state. He stressed that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which brought in this federal structure into the country should be revoked.

Almost all political parties in the country or the leaders of them had at least once in their history been supportive of the federal system though they call others traitors for doing the same

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Steering Committee Interim Report Indicates Game Plan of the “Yahapalana” Coalition.

By C. A. Chandraprema

When looking at the interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, the game plan of the yahapalana coalition becomes immediately apparent. For over one and a half years, we have been intermittently receiving various documents from the Steering Committee which made it only too clear what the yahapalana government has in mind in terms of constitutional reform. The most immediate thing that becomes apparent in this interim report is the strategy they seem to have adopted to see that they get the Constitutional reforms they desire. On the first three numbered pages of this interim report, they have proposed various changes to Articles 1 to 9 of the present Constitution. In actual fact, not much damage will be done to the yahapalana purpose even if they drop all the proposals made to change Articles 1 to 9 of the present Constitution. However, the contents of Articles 1 to 9 are such that the mere fact that changes have been proposed to them is enough to spark off controversy.

Yet, these are the very provisions where they can back off without doing any substantial damage to their real objectives. The game plan obviously is that once a controversy is generated, for the yahapalana side to retreat on all reforms proposed to Articles 1 to 9 of the present Constitution and to agree to retain the present provisions as they are so that the real reforms they want can be got through as a compromise measure. This is the same principle used by drug smugglers. When a big shipment is being brought in, the smugglers also ship in dummy consignments which are supposed to get caught to the authorities while the main shipment gets through. Here, too, we have a dummy consignment in the first few pages which they can afford to discard without doing much damage to their ultimate purpose.

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Rising Tide of Sinhala Fundamentalism Will Play Into The Hands Of The Govt

By

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Philosophy, said Kautilya (Chanakya) in the Arthashathra, deals primarily with the right and wrong use of force. At least from that time, it was recognized that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing even what is necessary or unavoidable. This was of course the very premise of the Just War doctrine of Christian theologians St Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. A war had to be for the right cause and the right cause was not self-evident or merely self-referential and self–proclaimed. It needed to pass certain criteria to qualify. This too was not enough. For war to be just it not only needed to satisfy the criteria for a just cause but be fought by just means, which too needed to meet certain criteria to warrant the appellation. Modern theologians, especially of the Protestant persuasion, have added a third criterion, that of Just Peace, i.e. of the outcome of the war.

These preliminary remarks are intended by me to make two points. Firstly that Sri Lanka fought a Just War by basically just means (albeit certain excesses noted by the LLRC which need judicial investigation, but NOT by Special Courts let alone hybrid ones). However, Sri Lanka has not yet arrived at a Just Peace and is still searching for it. It is a necessary and legitimate search; an imperative one.

Secondly, this Government and its new constitution must be opposed, but not every form of opposition is valid, helpful and desirable. It is in the context of the return and rise of the Sinhala New Right, that Prof Peiris’ polemical response (‘The Devolution Debate: Facts that should not be forgotten’, The Island, Thursday October 5th) must be situated and understood.

The rising tide of Sinhala fundamentalist opposition will damage not only the progressive patriotic Joint Opposition (JO) and the cause of a patriotic, modernizing presidential candidate, but will play into the hands of the Government and what is worse, into the hands of Sri Lanka’s external enemies and lead within our lifetime, to the (avoidable) dismemberment of this country.

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If New Constitution is not Framed to Resolve National Question There Could be Recurrence of Violence Warns Opposition Leader Sampanthan.

(Text Of Press Release issued by the Tamil National Alliance Media Office on October 5th 2017)

The visiting UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Rt. Hon. Mark Field met with the Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance Hon.R. Sampanthan today (04.10.2017) at Westminster House in Colombo.

Detailing the current political situation to the Honorable Minister Mr. Sampanthan said that the Tamil National Alliance genuinely participated in the processes of framing a new Constitution. Highlighting the Constitutional making process Mr. Sampanthan said from 1957 onwards there had been various attempts made to recognize the pluralism in this country, but unfortunately, none of those efforts came to be realized.
“The need for a power sharing arrangement has been in discussion over 30 years since 1957. Only in 1987 with the involvement of Indian Government for the very first time a power sharing arrangement was recognized in the constitution of this country Mr. Sampanthan said. “From that time, onwards steps were taken by every successive Government to address the National question and evolve a final solution” he added”.

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Ravi Karunanayake Misused His Powers as Finance Minister to Manipulate Treasury Bond Auctions For Perpetual to Make More Money

Sri Lanka’s large state banks have been asked to bid at low rates at volumes given by then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, at two controversial bond auctions alleged to have been rigged, a commission of inquiry had been told.

A meeting of state bank officials of National Savings Bank, People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon had been called on March 28, by Minister Karunanayake, Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror newspaper reported

People’s Bank General Manager Vasantha Kumara was quoted as saying that the state banks were given the rage of rates to bid at four different maturities offered at the auction the following day.

The Minister had assured the banks that bids are higher rates (lower prices) would not be accepted. Kumara had his Treasury to confirm with the Public Debt Department of the central bank, that such would be the case.

The bank had been told that the message would be conveyed the tender board.

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Ravi Karunanayake Ordered Three State Run Banks to Make Lower Bids at Two Treasury Bond Auctions While Higher Bids From Other Dealers was Accepted.

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena

Chairmen and senior officials of three major state banks––the Bank of Ceylon, the People’s Bank and the National Savings Bank–– testifying before the presidential commission of inquiry probing the bond scams yesterday said that on two occasions in 2016, the then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had instructed them to make bids at the treasury bond auctions at lower interest (yield) rates and their institutions had therefore been deprived of an opportunity to make substantial profits.

Those who testified before the Commission yesterday included Chairman People’s Bank Hemasiri Fernando, Chairman Bank of Ceylon Roland Perera and Chairman National Savings Bank Ashwin de Silva and some key officials of the three institutions.

The senior officials of the three banks also said that though they had followed the instructions given by Minister Ravi Karunanayake, the latter had failed to honour his promise that the Central Bank would not accept bids at rates higher than the yield rate range he had mentioned to them.

Continue reading ‘Ravi Karunanayake Ordered Three State Run Banks to Make Lower Bids at Two Treasury Bond Auctions While Higher Bids From Other Dealers was Accepted.’ »

“Betrayal” of State Owned Banks at Treasury Bonds Auction by Ex- Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake ?

By Himal Kotelawala

Chairmen, CEOs/General Managers and other senior officials of the three state-owned banks yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance that former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had on two occasions instructed them to bid at lower-than-market yield rates, assuring them that bids at higher rates would not be accepted.

However, much to their surprise, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) had accepted bids at significantly higher yield rates from other primary dealers at the Treasury bond auctions held following the two meetings in late March 2016, resulting in a notional opportunity loss to the banks.

Leading evidence before the commission, officers of the Attorney General’s Department questioned eight witnesses from the Bank of Ceylon (BoC), the National Savings Bank (NSB) and People’s Bank on events leading up to the two auctions, all of whom attested to two separate meetings chaired by the former Minister on 28 March and 30 March 2016, instructing them to bid low, supposedly seeking their assistance to bring down high interest rates prevalent in the market at the time.

Continue reading ‘“Betrayal” of State Owned Banks at Treasury Bonds Auction by Ex- Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake ?’ »

Police Summoned to Control Crowds in Fort as Chilaw Plantations Company Sells Coconuts at 50% Discount for Finance Ministry Employees.

Sri Lanka’s finance ministry employees went nuts when a mini forutune was offered to them by Chilaw Plantations company in the form of precious coconuts at a near 50 percent discount.

Some 1,200 employees at the General Treasury Building in Colombo Fort had the good fortune to double their money buying coconuts at 65 rupees each and flipping them at double the cost.

However, the party was short-lived when the vendor got wise and restricted the number of nuts each treasury staffer could purchase to just eight. It is not clear on what basis / formula the nuts were rationed at eight per person.

Police stepped up security at the treasury as the coconut cargo pulled up with each truck carrying nearly 1.5 million rupees worth of fresh nuts.

Continue reading ‘Police Summoned to Control Crowds in Fort as Chilaw Plantations Company Sells Coconuts at 50% Discount for Finance Ministry Employees.’ »

Shabby Treatment Given to Sagala Ratnayake by Traffic Police Over Vehicle Convoy Incident Despite the Law and Order Minister Being in Charge of Police.

Sri Lanka’s minister in charge of law and order has become a victim of a hit-and-run attack on the Southern Expressway, but the police department which is under him has failed to track the offending motorist.

Adding insult to injury, the traffic police has given the run around to Minister Sagala Ratnayaka’s personal security officer when he tried to lodge a formal complaint about the incident on Friday night.

Traffic police had insisted that the minister’s vehicle be brought for their inspection leaving the minister high and dry on the expressway while those responsible for traffic on the E1 failed to detain the hit-and-run vehicle.

“If this is the way I am treated, I dread to think what the ordinary people of this country have to put up with,” an exasperated minister was quoted as saying during a meeting with senior police officers at Temple Trees on Monday.

Continue reading ‘Shabby Treatment Given to Sagala Ratnayake by Traffic Police Over Vehicle Convoy Incident Despite the Law and Order Minister Being in Charge of Police.’ »

Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva’s FR Petition Seeking Judicial Review of PC Elections Bill is Doomed to Fail.


By Faizer Shaheid

Former Chief Justice, Sarath N. Silva has grown more and more politically inclined over the years, but his take on the Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Act raises a little more than a few eyebrows. While the enactment itself is largely positive, the manner in which the Bill was passed has definitely shocked many people including those who endorsed the contents of the enactment.

Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Faiszer Musthapha has been championing the cause of women participating in politics for some time. Therefore, when the Bill was introduced, the general consensus was to support his initiative to bring forth a guaranteed 25% quota for women. The Bill was introduced together with the proposed 20th Amendment, which was eventually struck down after the Supreme Court ruled that certain provisions require a referendum.

However, the Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Act was given the green light to proceed, and subsequently, a major change was introduced to the Bill during the Committee Stage of the Bill. The Minister proposed inclusion of electoral reforms, and then heads began to crack.

Continue reading ‘Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva’s FR Petition Seeking Judicial Review of PC Elections Bill is Doomed to Fail.’ »

Sri Lankan Govt Linking Country With US Led War Drive Against China Will Have Catastrophic Consequences

By Nanda Wickremasinghe

While rapidly strengthening its military ties with Sri Lanka, the Trump administration is voicing concerns over Colombo’s “unsustainable debts” with China. These views were outlined last month by Alice Wells, the US acting assistant secretary for South and Central Asia, in a report to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Entitled, “Maintaining US Influence in South Asia: the FY 2018 budget,” the report deals with Washington’s foreign assistance to South Asian countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives, over the next financial year.

Wells told the House Foreign Affairs committee that Sri Lanka’s “historic” elections in January 2015 had “ushered in a path to reform and reconciliation” She also noted, however, that Washington would “continue its oversight of implementation” of steps outlined in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution passed in October 2015.

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Did Perpetual Treasuries(Pvt)Ltd have Two “Things – to – do” Files for Arjuna Mahendran and Ravi Karunanayake Marked “AM’ And “RK” ?

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena

Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, PC yesterday told the presidential commission of inquiry probing bond scams that Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt.) Ltd (PTL) had maintained two ‘things-to-do’ files for RK and AM.

PC de Livera mentioned this while former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran was testifying before the Commission. Mehendran denied any knowledge of the files or the initials, RK and AM.

The SASG said the aforesaid facts were corroborated by text messages exchanged between Mahendran and his Personal Assistant Steve Samuel.

The details of messages exchanged between the duo were marked and submitted to the Commission.

Continue reading ‘Did Perpetual Treasuries(Pvt)Ltd have Two “Things – to – do” Files for Arjuna Mahendran and Ravi Karunanayake Marked “AM’ And “RK” ?’ »

Buddha Sasana Ministry and Mahanayakes Appear to do Little to Curb Rowdy Behavious of Monks.

By

Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda

Discussions on a possible new Constitution seem to be dominated by two important issues. One is the organization of the country as “united or unitary”. The other is regarding the status of Buddhism. The leadership keeps assuring the populace that the current status of pre-eminence of Buddhism will not only be retained, but be enhanced.

In the circumstances, one is encouraged to consider the extent to which the supposed pre-eminence in the current Constitution has manifested itself. Besides the establishment of a Ministry of Buddhasasana, a Department and the attendant bureaucracy, the extent to which this action has benefited in improving Buddhism, promoting scholarship and disseminating the doctrine would bear elucidation. I must leave this to better informed authorities to do, but would like to draw attention to a few anachronistic features.

Much debate can surround consideration of the appropriateness of any kind of discrimination or privilege extended to one component of an acknowledged diverse community, with a professed desire to encourage participation, unity, respect and inclusivity in its diversity. To develop cohesion, even the slightest whiff of inequality may not have a place. If unity is desired, impartiality should be manifest.

Continue reading ‘Buddha Sasana Ministry and Mahanayakes Appear to do Little to Curb Rowdy Behavious of Monks.’ »

Galle District MP Geetha Kumarasinghe’s Lawyer Romesh de Silva PC tells Court that her Election to Parliament Could Not be Set Aside by Quo warranto writ in Appeal Court.

By Chitra Weerarathne

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva told the Supreme Court yesterday that Geetha Kumarasinghe had been elected to Parliament on August 17, 2015 and her nominations accepted without protests. There had been no election petition against her. She took the oaths as a Member of Parliament, before the Speaker, sat and voted in Parliament.

Counsel was supporting the application of appeal by Kumarasinghe against a Court of Appeal judgment, which disqualified her on the grounds that she was a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Switzerland.

Some voters of Galle petitioned Court of Appeal against her election.

An election could be set aside by an election petition and not by a writ of quo warranto in the Court of Appeal, Kumarasinghe’s counsel argued.

Continue reading ‘Galle District MP Geetha Kumarasinghe’s Lawyer Romesh de Silva PC tells Court that her Election to Parliament Could Not be Set Aside by Quo warranto writ in Appeal Court.’ »

Ranil Wickremesinghe Instructed him to Issue Treasury Bonds Only Through Public Auction Says Arjuna Mahendran Before Inquiry Commission.


By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta and Sarath Dharmasena

Former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran, testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the bond scams, yesterday, said it was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who had instructed him to issue Treasury bonds only through public auctions.

Mehendran was answering a query raised by Commission member Justice Prasanna S. Jayawardena. He said Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had instructed him to stop direct placement and he (Mahendran) had, on Feb. 27, 2015, instructed the Public Debt Department to do so.

Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Instructed him to Issue Treasury Bonds Only Through Public Auction Says Arjuna Mahendran Before Inquiry Commission.’ »

JHU Ex-MP and”Sinhalese National Force”‘s Buddhist Monk Leader Akmeemana Dayarathana Arrested and Remanded for Attack on Rohingya Refugees.

The Mount Lavinia magistrate today remanded monk and former member of parliament Akmeemana Dayarathana for leading a violent mob which stormed a refugee centre and caused severe distress to peace-loving Buddhists.

Police told the magistrate that the monk’s hate speech and his violent actions that were uploaded live over his own facebook page had upset law abiding Buddhists who were shocked to see such violence unleashed by a monk.

Monk Dayarathana’s radical Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa (Sinhalese National Force) raided the multi-storeyed UN-protected refugee shelter at Mount Lavinia on Tuesday forcing 31 Rohingya, including 16 children, to leave.

Continue reading ‘JHU Ex-MP and”Sinhalese National Force”‘s Buddhist Monk Leader Akmeemana Dayarathana Arrested and Remanded for Attack on Rohingya Refugees.’ »

Catalonia’s Regional Govt Claims It has Right to Independence From Spain After Landslide “YES” win in Referendum

Catalonia’s regional government declared a landslide win for the “yes” side in a disputed referendum on independence from Spain that degenerated into ugly scenes of mayhem on Sunday, with more than 800 people injured as riot police attacked peaceful protesters and unarmed civilians gathered to cast their ballots.

Catalonia has “won the right to become an independent state,” Catalan president Carles Puigdemont said after the polls closed, adding that he would keep his pledge to declare independence unilaterally from Spain if the “yes” side wins.

“Today the Spanish state wrote another shameful page in its history with Catalonia,” Puigdemont added, saying he would appeal to the European Union to look into alleged human rights violations during the vote.

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“Our Forces Didn’t Commit “War Crimes” But Individuals May Have Done “Crimes” Admits Basil Rajapaksa in Jaffna.

By

Selvanayagam Ravishanth

Former minister Basil Rajapaksa stunned journalists in Jaffna Sunday by admitting that security forces commanded by his president brother Mahinda committed “crimes” during and after the Tamil separatist war.

Basil told the Jaffna Press Club that troops continued to break the law even after the end of the war in May 2009. It is the first time that one of the kingpins of the Rajapaksa administration admitted, in the former war zone, that armed forces had committed crimes.

His remarks strengthened charges made by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka that there may have been individuals who stepped out of line and who should be investigated and punished to clear the good name of the Sri Lankan forces.

Asked for his views on Field Marshal Fonseka’s remarks, including his willingness to testify before any war crimes tribunal, Rajapaksa said he was reluctant to comment, but ended up admitting to “crimes” by security forces.

Continue reading ‘“Our Forces Didn’t Commit “War Crimes” But Individuals May Have Done “Crimes” Admits Basil Rajapaksa in Jaffna.’ »

Sri Lanka’s Official Representatives Remained Silent When Criticism was Levelled Against Country at UNHRC in Geneva.

By Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka

The 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council closed just a few days back, on the 29th of September. At that session, there were allegations of genocide, systematic discrimination, rape and torture in custody, extrajudicial killings and militarization leveled at Sri Lanka besides a call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid al Hussein, for the second time in two sessions, for Universal Jurisdiction to be exercised. Universal Jurisdiction allows the courts of another country to prosecute a Sri Lankan citizen for alleged violations of crimes against humanity normally outside its national jurisdiction.

In reply, Sri Lanka’s official representatives (the representatives of the Sri Lankan state, appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka) in Geneva said nothing, according to the summary of the full proceedings provided by the United Nations Office in Geneva. By contrast in all these debates, other States which had accusations of violations of human rights used their ‘Right of Reply’ (an opportunity presented to States), to answer those allegation and to clarify any confusion. Sri Lanka did not.

The accusations came from the Non-Government Organizations. NGOs participateat these debates because the United Nations regards them as essential partners in the promotion and protection of Human Rights. To disregard their submissions is to set your country up for criticism by States who take the civil society/NGO submissions seriously, especially in the absence of a refutation by the country concerned, and therefore find them credible. The record of the 36th session shows no refutation by the Sri Lankan state.

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Navy Commander Travis Sinniah Appointed on Aug 22 Has to “Retire” on Oct 26 as President Extends his Term by One Month Only.

By

Darshana Sanjeewa

The term of office of newly appointed Navy Commander Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah, who turned 55 on September 26, had only been extended by one month by President Maithripala Sirisena, sources said.

Although the President has the power to extend the tenure of the Navy Commander by another year he has only been granted a one month extension which would now expire on October 26.

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Dan Priyasad and 5 Others Remanded Till Oct 9th Over Attack on Rohingyas; Akmeemana Dayaratne and Arambepola Rathnasara Summoned for Police CCD Inquiry

Six suspects who were arrested by police in connection with a mob attack on a group of Rohingya refugees who were seeking shelter at a United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) safe house in Mount Lavinia on Tuesday (26), have been remanded until October 9 by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate.

The latest suspects arrested include Liyanage Abeyrathne and Suresh Priyasad alias Dan who goes by the moniker Dan Priyasad. Prior to his arrest Dan Priyasad had posted on this social media page saying that Police had visited his home to arrest him but he was in hiding.

Police have also arrested a 24-year-old woman, who has been identified as Kalyani Podi Menike, a resident of Ratmalana for taking part in the attack. The others who are in remand custody include Janitha Niroshana Deepagey, Nawalage Don Chinthaka Sanjeewa and Nanayakkara Godakanda Kankanamlage Gayan Madushanka Senevirathne.

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Proposed New Constitution Wont Have any Federal Features Assures Dr.Jayampathy Wickramaratne MP

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The government yesterday said the proposed new Constitution wouldn’t have any federal features whatsoever though some interested parties distorted facts in an obvious bid to derail the process.

The assurance was given by member of the Steering Committee spearheading the project, UNP National List MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, PC, at a special press conference at the Information Department.

The former LSSP stalwart was flanked by UNP National List MP Ashu Marasinghe and attorney-at-law Suren Fernando, a member of panel of experts assisting the Constitutional Assembly as well as the Steering Committee.

When The Island pointed out that no less a person than President Maithripala Sirisena had declared on Sept. 29 that he was yet to see the interim report of Steering Committee submitted to parliament on Sept 21, Dr Wickramaratne said President Sirisena inquired from him about the proposed Constitution having federal features.

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