30th October 2014

Did Gotabaya Precipitate The Crisis With Chris Nonis?

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesinha – In the course of the frenetic travel programme I had set myself before the usual budget period, I had just two days in Sri Lanka last week. They were packed, with Parliament, and an overnight stay with a cousin visiting after several days, and the 92nd birthday of my most distinguished aunt, but also a couple of interviews as well as meetings with two ambassadors. Though I feel increasingly despondent, I continue to defend the war record of the government, and indeed feel that some of the absurdities now occurring spring from the bitterness felt with regard to unfair attacks on us. But when I reiterated how fundamentally wrong the Darusman Report had been, one of them asked very simply why we had […]

Like LTTE wartime clearance – Sumanthiran

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Skandha Gunasekara and Gagani Weerakoon TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran compared the newly implemented travel restrictions in the North to the era when the LTTE held sway in the province. The recently imposed travel restriction to the North can be compared to those that were in place during the war, when the LTTE held military control over the north of the county, Sumanthiran said. Speaking at Tuesday’s (28 Oct.) budget debate, Sumanthiran said that during the war, the now fallen LTTE Leader Prabhakaran controlled the North, a person needed to apply for a ‘visa’ to travel to that region. Today’s situation too necessitates a separate permit to travel to the North. “During the time of the LTTE, people had to obtain a ‘visa’ to […]

‘Lankan Government Stooge’ and the C’wealth: Reading between the lines

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

“This erosion of democracy and fundamental freedoms is no longer only Sri Lanka’s crisis. The fate and future credibility of the Commonwealth is inextricably bound to the actions of its Chair in office…It is your crisis too.” Mangala Samaraweera, in a letter to C’wealth SG Kamalesh Sharma, April 2014   President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma during their meeting this week For 11 months in 2013, Kamalesh Sharma, the Commonwealth Secretary General was Sri Lanka’s main man. In his hands lay the fate of the prestigious Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013, the biennial summit that attracts over 50 heads of state presiding over former British colonies. Withstanding immense pressure, the threat of funding cuts and intense media scrutiny and humiliation, […]

The Mystery Of Presidential Election Date

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Dr Jehan Perera The government spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has announced that Presidential Elections will be held in January. He has also said that he knows the date but will not reveal it. In not giving the date of the election the Minister is only following proper procedure. The Minister would be privy to government thinking and decision making with regard to the holding of elections as soon as possible. But the choice of date of election is legally vested in the Election Commissioner who is expected to act independently.  Previous experience of dates selected for presidential elections shows that they have been called between 52 and 61 days after the incumbent President gave notice that elections will be held. This puts the prospective […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa And The Seven Dwarfs

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesinha – Enemies of the President’s Promise Chapter 2 Happy Part 1 During the conflict period, relations with India had been handled not by the Foreign Ministry, but by three trusted confidantes of the President. These were his Secretary, Lalith Weeratunge, and two of his brothers, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa. These two, both younger than the President, were neither of them Ministers at the time (as opposed to the oldest brother, Chamal, who was a long standing member of Parliament and a senior Minister). It was the two younger brothers however who were considered the most powerful members of the government. Gotabaya was virtually a Minister in fact, since he was Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, with the President being the Minister, and […]