December 2014

Minister Wimal supporters attack UNP Office

25th December 2014 // 0 Comments

by Zacki Jabbar A clash near UNP headquarters, Sirikotha, yesterday left more than 30 persons injured. Trouble began when a group of pro-government activists staged a protest demanding that the UNP reveal what they called the contents of a secret pact between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Both sides accused each other of starting the clash. The UNP said that Engineering Services Minister Wimal Weerawansa had engineered mob attack on its headquarters Sirikotha while the party’s Education Trade Union Convention was on. Both the National Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe were participating in the Convention which was attended by over a 1000 members of the Education Trade Union. Working Committee member of the UNP R.Yogarajan MP […]

US surveys Tamil strongholds

25th December 2014 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando The US embassy is examining the ground situation in former LTTE Vanni bastion in the run-up to Jan. 8, 2015 presidential election. Political Officer Sandeep Cross has met representatives of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as well Puthukudirippu based senior UPFA coordinator Kanagaratnam. Authoritative sources told The Island that Cross had met Opposition Leader of the Eastern Provincial Council Thandayudhapani (TNA) on Dec 22. There were several other meetings with Trincomalee based politicians. First Secretary (Political) Michael Ervinhadn’t accompanied the Political Officer due to extreme bad weather conditions. Sources said that the US Embassy had been seeking information directly from those based in the provinces in view of differences in the TNA as regards the presidential election. At recent discussions between Opposition […]

The Sri Lankan Nation And The End Of The Rajapaksa Regime

25th December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Emil van der Poorten – Defeat is inevitable but surrender of power may not follow: The Sri Lankan nation and the end of the Rajapaksa Regime I will make no apology for the lengthy title of this piece because I think it is appropriate to the subject matter. (I will not, also, apologise for it because I believe it will provoke those village idiots parading as “commentators” to provide readers with the usual amusement that their outpourings do!) Also, if, in part, the content is somewhat repetitious, that is unfortunate because I believe that the time and place is more than opportune to state what might be the obvious and which might already have been stated. I have never pretended to Cassandra status in […]

Majority Of Sinhalese, Tamils And Muslims Are Likely To Deny Third Term To MR

25th December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Veluppillai Thangavelu – The presidential election is only two weeks away. The propaganda war between the UPFA and the NDF (National Democratic Front) is heating up. There are accusations and counter accusations. There is also sporadic violence by the supporters of the ruling party. These are to be expected and they are common features in any election in Sri Lanka. It has become part of our political culture. When it comes to resources both man power and money power to fight an election, the opposition is no match to the governing party. Mahinda Rajapaksa is using the entire state machinery openly to further his election campaign. Retired army personnel have been pressed into service to canvass votes byGotabaya Rajapaksa, the de facto Defence Minister. As usual the government […]

‘Will not STOP Militarization of Tamil Area’ – Mahinda.

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Global Tamil Forum (GTF), an influential diaspora group based in London led by Father S.J. Emmanuel, has strongly urged the Tamil people in Sri Lanka to use every vote carefully during the January 8 Presidential Election. In a statement issued today, GTF says Tamil people have a long history of voting based on principled considerations. The upcoming Presidential election is no different. “GTF is fully aware that in the post-independent Sri Lanka, Tamil people have continuously lost their rights under a flawed majoritarian electoral system.  Their desire to have a degree of control in the Tamil majority areas was never granted, despite repeated democratic expressions of their wishes through all available electoral means. Nevertheless, from our perspective, whether Sri Lanka should continue in the same path […]

Sri Lanka Polls 2015 a close contest between Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Colombo,Dec 23 (TruthDive): Sri Lanka goes to presidential polls next year on January 8. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for a snap presidential polls seeking a record third term although left with two more years to complete his second term in power. Rajapaksa has effected this through pushing changes into the Constitution with strong hopes of being re-elected. However, this decision led to the split of his party with coalition partner, the nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) breaking away from  the president’s party to  form a coalition with the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) and ex-president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Health Minister Maithreepala Sirisena is the candidate representing the main opposition; he was  as well  the secretary-general of Rajapaksa’s own party, the Sri Lanka […]

Hizbullah remains with MAHINDA

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) has split over the decision by party leader Rishad Bathiudeen to support common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena, party officials said today. Mr. Bathiudeen and recently sworn in MP Ameer Ali had joined the common opposition while the party’s national organiser M.L.A. Hizbullah said he would support ruling party candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Hizbullah, who is also the Deputy Economic Development Minister, said he had the backing of party’s Eastern provincial councillor Sibly Farook and Western provincial councillor Mohamed Faize. “All six members of Kattaknkudi Urban Council including the mayor and the five members of Ottamawadi Pradeshiya Sabha will support the President,” he said. Responding to the allegation that the safety of the Muslim community has been compromised under the […]

TNA studying MR’s and MS’s manifestos

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

TNA studying MR’s and MS’s manifestos By Ananth Palakidnar The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) claimed they were currently studying the manifestos of the two major candidates and would reveal their stand by 27 December. TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathiraja said the decision would be taken, after their leader R. Sampanthan returns from India this week. Senathiraja said the TNA is currently in the process of having discussions with its regional Party men, represented in the local bodies in the North and East. “We had several discussions in Jaffna, Batticaloa and in Colombo with our party men. But our stance will be announced after the arrival of Sampanthan,” he stated. Sampanthan has been under medication in India for the past two weeks, Senathiraja added.

I will Raise my voice for women of all races – Ananthi Sasitharan

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

I will Raise my voice for women of all races – Ananthi Sasitharan Northern Provincial Councillor and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member Ananthi Sasitharan told Ceylon Today that, women in the North were faced with immense problems. “The war is over but the violence and issues against women seem to continue, as teenage rape cases are increasing in the Jaffna Peninsula. All women should be united to solve these burning issues, disregarding racial or religious differences,” she observed. “I have no differences and I will not only serve the Tamil women in the North, but also I have raised my voice for the women in the plantation sector too. I will raise my voice for all women with no difference as Sinhalese or Muslims. Women […]

Sri Lanka president pledges another ‘NEW War Crimes’ probe to fool the people.

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s president, under pressure from his main opponent in upcoming elections, on Tuesday promised a judicial inquiry into allegations that his troops killed thousands of Tamil civilians at the end of the civil war. Related Stories UN rights chief accuses Sri Lanka of sabotaging war crimes probe AFP Sri Lanka president accuses Oslo peace envoy of funding rebels AFP Sri Lanka president gets court nod for re-election bid AFP UN rights chief blasts Sri Lankan attacks on probe Associated Press Sri Lanka says papal visit on despite snap polls AFP But President Mahinda Rajapakse reiterated that he would not cooperate with a UN-mandated investigation into the government’s 2009 crushing of the Tamil Tiger rebellion. “If any rights have been violated (during the war), justice […]

Rishard ‘heartbroken’ by attempt to justify racial activities

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

In emotional four-page letter to President Rajapaksa, ex-Commerce Minister slams tacit Govt. support of hardline groups Minister Rishard Bathiudeen who quit the ruling alliance yesterday, spelled out a list of grievances to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his letter of resignation, describing his ‘heartbreak’ at the Government’s attempt to justify racial activities by hardline groups.  In a four page letter to President Rajapaksa dated 22 December 2014, the former Industry and Commerce Minister says the incumbent had repeatedly brushed off references to the religious violence in Aluthgama and Beruwela in June this year. “What is more stunning and heartbreaking was the attempt by Your Excellency to justify the racial activities on the basis that they were natural reactions by the public to incidents of criminal nature caused […]

Ensuring Tamil participation in election important to reconciliation effort

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

by Jehan Perera The manifesto of the Joint Opposition Candidate reflects the concerns of the different political parties that have formed the opposition alliance.  Some of them have signed agreements with him, others have not.  So, the manifesto reflects those agreements. The main ethnic minority parties representing the Sri Lanka Tamils and Muslims have yet to publicly declare their stance at the election.  Consequently, their input into the opposition mandate is not manifest.   One crucial area of governance that has been left out is the issue of inter-ethnic relations and devolution of power.   However, speaking on the political platform the UNP leader and Prime Minister-designate Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the 13th Amendment will be implemented.  In this context, it is not surprising if the Presidential […]

A War-Time Issue That Is Meaningful To More Than Tamil Voter

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera The Presidential election campaign has yet to grip the imagination of the Tamil voters in the North and East.  Visitors there report that they see no overt sign of interest in the election there, unlike in the rest of the country. While there is some government campaign there is hardly any opposition campaign.  Most people in the North and East appear to have little idea who the opposition candidate is. Like most politicians from the ethnic majority community, he did not taken any particularly strong interest in the affairs of the ethnic minorities in the past.  However, with regard to the presidential election, the opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena will assuredly need the support of the ethnic minorities if he is to compete with […]

‘Only Mithiri can settle Geneva crisis’

24th December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The UNP-led Opposition yesterday declared that a victory for Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena at January 8, 2015 poll would help settle accountability issues/war crimes charges raised by the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Addressing the media at the Opposition Leader’s Office at Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, UNP strategist MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, stressed that as re-election of incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a third term would be inimical to Sri Lanka’s interests, people should vote for Maithripala Sirisena. MP Rajapakshe was flanked by one-time JVP heavyweight Nandana Gunatilleke and Western Provincial Councillor S.M. Marikkar, who is also UNP organiser for Kolonnawa. MP Rajapakshe said that those struggling to make ends meet would have to face the consequences in case […]

Police tear gas protesting students

23rd December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Kavindya Chris Thomas Police used tear gas and water canons to disperse members of the Student Collective of the Higher National Diploma for Accountancy (HNDA), who were protesting opposite the University Grants Commission (UGC) yesterday. This led to the hospitalization of 28 students. The students were protesting the cancellation of the degree status for their programme. The students walked in procession from the Pettah. The HNDA Student Collective also conducted a demonstration on 5 December, where a solution to the problem was promised by the UGC.Speaking to Ceylon Today, Sarath de Silva of the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) stated that the solution was to be issued on 19 December but they did not get any response from the UGC upto now. “We conducted […]

Bathiudeen quits Govt, backs Sirisena Brings along Ameer Ali, 69 LC members, 7 Provincial Councillors

23rd December 2014 // 0 Comments

by Zacki Jabbar Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen yesterday quit the government and pledged the support of his party to the National Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Addressing a news conference at the Opposition leaders office shortly after the ACMC had met in emergency session, Bathiudeen flanked by recently appointed UPFA National List MP Ameer Ali, Maithripala Sirisena,former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that in addition to Ali, 69 local government members and seven Provincial Councillors had also pledged their support to the NDF at the January 8, Presidential Election. Emphasising that he had taken a principled position, the ACMC leader observed that with the end of the war, […]

WHY ALL TAMILS AND MUSLIMS MUST VOTE MAITHIRI – LEAKED DOCUMENT

23rd December 2014 // 0 Comments

Reduce the number of troops stationed in the North by 50 percent. Dismantle all the High Security Zones (Mahinda wants to continue to militarise the Tamil area) Return the lands held by Army to their Tamil owners (Gotha refused to do it)  13+ amendment to be implemented to give equal rights to minority (a promise made by Mahinda in 2009 but never implemented). Cutting down 40 per cent of funds allocated to the Defence Ministry. Provide the money for the development of the Northern and Eastern Provinces effected by war. By Maheesha Mudugamuwa Former UNP General Secretary and Health Minister Tissa Attanayake yesterday told the media in Colombo that the UNP and opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena had, in an undisclosed pact signed on Nov. […]

Monitors accuse Local Govt. politicos

21st December 2014 // 0 Comments

Opposition Activists Attacked In Hambanthota Election Violence Election monitors have accused local government politicians of being behind some of the most serious incidents of election violence, while police have also confirmed at least 10 Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) members are under arrest and more are being sought for incidents of election violence since the handing over of nominations on December 10. Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), Executive Director, Keerthi Tennakoon yesterday (20) stated that local government politicians are the people who engage in most cases related to election violence. “It is not a secret that the majority of election violence activities are done by local government politicians and they use state property, human and state resources to carry out such actions.” he said. When […]

Defence Ministry clearance required for foreign observers visiting North: Spokesman

21st December 2014 // 0 Comments

International Observers (IO) visiting the country to monitor the presidential election will require a ‘special clearance’ along with a recommendation from the Elections Commissioner, to visit the Northern Province for monitoring purposes, Military spokesman Brig. Ruwan Wanigasuriya said yesterday. “We have not lifted the restrictions on travel to the North. Foreign nationals will not be allowed to visit the North under ‘blanket approval’ without obtaining necessary clearance from the Defence ministry,” he said. He said there has been no official request to date, from the Elections Commissioner to the Defence Ministry, regarding this matter. Brig Wanigasuriya said the Commissioner has to send the details of the foreign nationals including their passport details to the Defence Ministry to be processed before giving clearance. “If there is […]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa leading with 57.62%

21st December 2014 // 0 Comments

The NGO One Text has conducted a survey on the upcoming presidential election. According to the survey, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is said to be leading with 57.62% of the vote while common candidate of the opposition Maithripala Sirisena is said to be trailing with 40% of the votes. Members of One Text include people from different political parties. It is headed by Mangala Munasinghe.

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