11th December 2014

SLFP will rally around Sirisena in case of his victory

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

“About three years ago, at a private meeting at the Central Bank Maithreepala Sirisena was the first person to say that there are questions about the way the roads are being built. He said there was a lot of waste going on. I think that was very brave of him.” University don turned parliamentarian Rajiva Wijesinghe was in the news recently for having crossed over from the government to the opposition and for having appeared on Al Jazeera with the head of the Global Tamil Forum Suren Surenthiran where he made some utterances that have been given various interpretations. In this interview, he speaks to C. A. Chandraprema about his Al Jazeera interview, and his support for Maithreepala Sirisena.   Q. You seem to have […]

Opposition takes power of Nuwara Eliya PS

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

The opposition has taken control of the Nuwara Eliya Pradeshiya Sabha. The change of power occurred after Palani Digambaram and P Radhakrishnan, two former Deputy Ministers from Nuwara Eliya District, joined the opposition yesterday. Digambaram was from National Workers’ Union while Radhakrishnan was from Up-country People’s Front. Along with them 4 Provincial Council Members and 34 members of local government bodies joined the opposition. With this change, the power in the 23 member Nuwara Eliya Pradeshiya Sabha transferred to the opposition. In the local elections held on March 17, 2011, the UPF had won 11 out of 23 seats and the UNP had won 7 seats while Ceylon Democratic Unity Alliance won 4 seats and an independent group won 1 seat. The UNP has succeeded in […]

My life is in danger: Solangarachchi

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

State sponsored goons had been unleashed on him and his that his life was at risk, Prasanna Solangarachchi, who teamed up with common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena, said at a hurriedly arranged media briefing today. Prasanna Solangarachchi is the Chairman of the Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha. Addressing a press conference hurriedly summoned by the United National Party (UNP), he said persons, appeared to be from the Special Task Force, were following him in Defender vehicles after he left the government and decided to support Mr. Sirisena. He said even the cut-outs erected in front of his house had been damaged by those elements. “The Police remained mute observers in the face of this violence. My life is at great risk. I do not know whether I […]

“Our soldiers did not murder any Tamil civilians,” the President added.

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he is ready to hold a referendum to seek public opinion on constitutional changes after the Presidential elections. Speaking in Anuradhapura today at the first election rally of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) as part of the President’s election campaign, the President said that he can make the constitutional changes sought by the people. “I will make the constitutional changes but it will be what the people want through a referendum,” he said. He said that while the war is over the LTTE is still active and that their network is operating overseas. The President said that the UN Human Rights Council had sent a letter seeking information on the soldiers and their ranks during the war against the LTTE. […]

Gammanpila’s ‘Tryst’ With Ranil And True Reasons Behind His Exit

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Multiple sources of the government and the opposition  confirmed that Western Provincial Councilor Hirunika Premachandra’s move to cross over to the common opposition ‘quickened’ Udaya Gammanpila decision to break ranks with the JHU. While it is widely believed that a businessman-Parliamentarian who is officially representing the opposition acted as the “broker” of the crossover, Hirunika Premeachandra’s presence in the common opposition has also been a major reason for Gammanpila’s exit. “It was widely rumoured among political sources that the Hirunika was promised the Chief Ministerial post of the Western Provincial Council. Maybe Gammanpila was aware of that. On the other hand, Hirunika topped the preferential votes list of the Colombo district, surpassing Gammanpila, who was certainly the favorite among the two. He knew that his next […]

SLMC still on the fence

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

SLMC still on the fence – By Cassendra Doole SLMC was still considering which candidate to support at the forthcoming Presidential Election. “Various opinions were discussed”at a meeting held at Dharussalam, SLMC Headquarters, on Tuesday, with no conclusive decision taken, SLMC sources told Ceylon Today. SLMC General Secretary, Hassan Ali said, a decision will only be taken in a few days after another meeting. He however, denied that any discussions were held with the joint Opposition. SLMC sources said, a large number of members took part in the meeting and some maintained support for President Rajapaksa, while others wanted Sirisena. Udaya pole vaults again By Gagani Weerakoon Former Western Provincial Councillor Udaya Gammanpila, who resigned from the government with his colleague, Minister Patali Champika Ranawake a […]

More to cross over – Maithri

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

More to cross over – Maithri By Sanjaya Dassanayake In the next 10 to 12 days, more than half the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MPs will crossover to the Opposition, the joint Opposition common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena claimed at an election propaganda rally in Bulathsinhala on the 9 December. He added that all those who work at the Temple Trees will also vote for the ‘Swan’ symbol. “I have been visiting the Temple Trees for over 20 years. So I tell you that all those people will definitely vote for the “Swan” symbol, he said. Sirisena added that only a few have crossed-over and that more will join in the near future. “The rest haven’t come as yet. However, in ten to twelve days, […]

Rajapaksa Power In A Castrated State

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Tisaranee Gunasekara – “For five years now, we have enjoyed absolute freedom.” – President Mahinda Rajapaksa[i] Some pictures say it all[ii]. Rohitha Rajapaksa is President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s youngest son. He is not a parliamentarian, a provincial councillor or even a Pradesheeya Sabha member. He is not a public official, an academic or any other professional. So what is he doing in the official Lankan delegation which met Indian Prime Minister Modi during the Kathmandu SAARC summit? As The Sunday Times reported, India at this meeting was represented by her Prime Minister and other heavyweights such as External Affairs Minister, National Security Advisor, Foreign Secretary and Ministry Spokesman/Joint Secretary[iii]. (Incidentally, but significantly, the Indian team included one Sikh and one Muslim while the Lankan side consisted […]

The Government has lost its two-thirds majority in the 225-member House

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

The Piper and his broken charm! December 11, 2014 · With ruling party members still threatening to exit and the opposition campaign gaining momentum, can the Rajapaksa campaign continue to sing the same old tune? The 8 January 2015 presidential election is a feeding frenzy for international conspirators and the LTTE rump. The candidacy of Maithripala Sirisena is not part of the democratic attempt to effect change through a multi-party, pluralistic electoral process. He is Washington’s pawn in the grand geopolitical struggle for influence between the US and China. The Sirisena candidacy project is the brainchild of vengeance-seeking, power-hungry ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga and former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. He challenges President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid to remain in power for a third unprecedented term in order […]

”We must Defeat Mahinda Rajapaksha” says JVP

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

The campaign under the main theme “Prepare and line up for Democracy in Sri Lanka” started from Colombo Fort Railway Station with distributing leaflets to public. The party will continue the campaign countrywide.   “Current president Mahinda Rajapaksa is violating Sri Lankan Constitution and breaking all the traditional political practice of call at this election. And it is illegal, and we make all our effect to defeat him,” the leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. “Same time we are [JVP] inviting all the Sri Lankans to join us to go beyond the January 8, for Democracy in Sri Lanka. We planned and launch a program to get rid of Rajapaksa government and we are certain that we will deliver that on 9th of January […]

MDMK to show black flag to Modi

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

T.N. fishermen go on strike Fishermen of Nagapattinam, Karaikal and Pudukottai districts began an indefinite strike from Wednesday, demanding the release of the arr… » “If Prime Minister Narendra Modi could accord a red carpet welcome to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we will show black flag to him whenever he visits Tamil Nadu,” said Vaiko, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary, here on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters, he said Tamils were massacred in the island nation by some Sinhalese groups led by Mr. Rajapaksa, and such a person was given State honour and accorded ‘royal’ welcome at Tirumala. This was not the first time that Tamils were betrayed by the BJP and this had prompted the MDMK to quit the NDA, he said. The […]

Minister Vasu to Commit suicide

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

If presidency not abolished in his lifetime Vasu to Commit suicide By Kavindya Thomas Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudeva Nanayakkara stated he will take his own life, if the executive presidential system was not abolished during his lifetime.The statement was made at a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday (10). During the briefing, he said the abolishment of the executive presidential system was essential and the executive powers should be bestowed upon the Parliament as a whole, since that was where the democratically elected representatives were in action. The Democratic Left Front (DLF), General Secretary issued a ‘people-friendly’ public proposal of action for the government, to be put into action during a five-year period from 2015-2020. This proposal addressed several issues such […]

Azwer and the Muslim factor

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Azwer and the Muslim factor BY Zahrah lmtidz A. H. M. Azwer, a firebrand personality in Parliament for the last 25 years recently retired to make way for Amir Ali of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress. As the government tries to balance the ‘Muslim factor’ before the upcoming elections, the former MP and present senior advisor to the President on Parliamentary Affairs, Mass Media and Information, said it was time for the Muslims to make the wise decision to back President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming election, in order to avoid a severe backlash of ‘Sinhala chauvinistic’ elements if the President were not to come back into power. Following are the excerpts of the interview: Q. There have been many crossovers from one party to […]

Turning Temple Trees into a ‘goldmine’ a political gimmick

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Turning Temple Trees into a ‘goldmine’ a political gimmick M.S. Fernando’s Tamil song, Thanga Kodi Sarippannuven, resonates Jaffna people’s fondness for investing in gold By Manekshaw Temple Trees turned into a ‘goldmine’ recently when President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over the gold jewellery recovered from the possession of the LTTE to the rightful owners. In the late 80s, the LTTE started its campaign to collect one gold sovereign from each family in the Northern Province, to enhance its monetary strength. One of the bigwigs of the LTTE’s political wing, Yogaratnam Yogi, even conducted meetings in schools in Jaffna and said the lives of the LTTE cadres who were fighting the Eelam war were much more precious than the gold in possession of the Jaffna people. In […]

Will Sri Lanka be called to pay for making bribery charges against Sison?

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

 Why did Mahinda say US had changed? Diplomatic circles focused attention on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent view that, following his talks with United States Secretary of Stat… Will Sri Lanka be called to pay for making bribery charges against Sison? Alist of names of likely defectors who were to follow Maithripala Sirisena to the Opposition when the latter made his exit from the government has now been publicized through the social media. Though some made their exit others did not. Among those names was Minister Gunaratne Weerakoon. Now, the minister claims that the United States Ambassador in Colombo Michele J. Sison promised to offer him a bribe if he was to cross over to the Opposition. This allegation was made on the eve of the […]

Address Controversial Political Issues That Are Not Being Addressed Now

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera The political campaign for the presidential elections will begin in earnest after nominations are handed over on December 8. Not all issues will be canvassed during the campaign as some of them will felt to be too politically controversial. There is however two issues in particular that need some agreement within the contesting political groupings, at least at the level of principle, prior to the establishment of a new government. After the election there are bound to be a host of new and unexpected issues that will emerge to capture the attention of the new government. At that point of time there will be no time for reflection, only for action. The two issues of critical importance to the country’s future but which […]

Two deputy ministers quit; CWC suffers split

11th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Three Provincial councillors and 14 Pradeshiya Sabha members of Digambaram’s National Workers Union (NWU) pledged their support to common opposition candidate while one Provincial councillor of the Upcountry People’s Front also declared his support By Shamindra Ferdinando Having pledged to back Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8, 2015 poll, National Workers’ Union (NWU) leader and National Languages and Social Integration Deputy Minister Palani Digambaram quit the SLFP-led coalition yesterday. The move was made amidst frantic efforts by the SLFP leadership to convince the young politician to remain in the government. Well informed sources said that Digambaram as well as several others, including Deputy Minister V. S. Radhakrishan were to join Maithripala Sirisena on stage during a public rally in Kandy on Tuesday. […]