14th December 2014

Mano Says Solution Not Expected

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Karunarathne As the common candidate Maithreepala Sirisena is seeking a mandate to be an interim president, Tamils cannot expect him to present a proposal to address the Tamil national issue in his election manifesto, the Democratic People’s Front said. The Leader of the Democratic People’s Front Mano Ganesan told The Sunday Leader that Sirisena is seeking a mandate to be an interim president with specific goals to restore democracy. According to him, the prime goals of the interim president include abolishing the executive presidency, repealing the 18th Amendment and implementing the 17th Amendment. He said that the government which comes into power at the next General election will look to address the Tamil issue. “The new government emerging from the general election will […]

Election ‘terror’ in Kolonnawa?

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

UPFA Parliamentarian and party organizer for Kolonnawa Duminda Silva scoffed at claims made by supporters of Maithripala Sirisena to the effect that ‘terror stalks the electorate’.  He was responding to allegations made by recent defector to the Opposition camp and former Chairman, Kotkawatte-Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha Prasanna Solangaarachchi. Prasanna Solangaarachchi told reporters in Colombo a few days ago that armed groups were roaming Kotikawatte and Mulleriyawa areas every night in Defenders and the lives of opposition’s activists are under threat. Sollangaarachchi is known to be a staunch supporter of Hirunika Premachandra’s father, the late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. With Western Provincial Councilor Hirunika Premachandra leaving the country citing “security reasons” and Solangaarachchi claiming there is a plot to assassinate him, the Opposition alleges there is a state […]

EU Monitors Rejected

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Karunarathne A request to consider election monitors from the European Union (EU) has been rejected by four Presidential candidates. Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya told The Sunday Leader that he can only invite election monitors from the unions or forums only if the Department of Election or the country holds memberships of those unions. He said that if he is to invite any other monitors from organisations which Sri Lanka does not hold a membership, he needs to obtain the consent of all the candidates who are contesting the election. “Four presidential candidates disagreed to invite the election monitors from the EU. Therefore, we will not be able to call upon the election monitors from the EU,” Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya explained. Deshapriya said […]

Lanka hooked by fresh conditions for exports to EU

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

A Sri Lanka delegation that had talks with the European Union to avert a ban on fish exports has been slapped with fresh demands.The fresh demands include establishing a mechanism to inspect and monitor all multiday vessels, the delegation led by Minister Sarath Amunugama was told.  Other demands put forward by the EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries are a proper Vessel Monitoring System, and regulations against white shark fishing, the Sunday Times learns. The EU was earlier concerned only about inspection and monitoring of the vessels in excess of 15 metres length operating under the Sri Lankan flag. Sri Lanka has only 35 vessels over 15 metres length in operation. However during the discussions the EU has raised concerns about the country’s mechanisms on […]

TNA to announce its stand on Sri Lankan polls in a month

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

 SLMC decides tomorrow while TNA gives supporters a free hand Sri Lankan Tamil politician and Member of Parliament Seenithambi Yogeswaran has said the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), an amalgamation of Tamil parties, will announce by this month-end its stand on the January 8 presidential elections. Talking to reporters on Saturday, Mr. Yogeswaran, who was here to attend a conference organised by the Hindu Makkal Katchi, said the TNA wanted to keep the cards close to its chest because it did not want its decision to influence the outcome of the elections. He said that as both President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking third term, and Maithripala Sirisena, the joint opposition candidate, were anti-Tamils, the TNA would take a stand after they released their manifestos. Replying […]

No conclusion after SLMC meet

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has still not been able to reach a conclusion on who it will support at the Presidential election next month. A meeting was held today in Gatambe, Kandy with the participation of SLMC Parliamentarians, Provincial Council members and Local Council members. However following the meeting SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said that the party has not been able to reach a final decision on who to support at the polls. He said that the government has shown flexibility with regards to resolving the issues faced by Muslims and the proposals put forward by the SLMC. However he said the SLMC is unable to decide if it can back the government unconditionally at the January 8 Presidential election and so will […]

Sri Lankan leaders’ assets kept secret in run up to poll

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

EconomyNext – Sri Lankans are being denied access to asset declarations by candidates in next month’s presidential election in which allegations of corruption and abuse of power against the government are a key plank of the opposition’s campaign. All 19 candidates in the January 8, 2015 poll, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his main challenger Maithripala Sirisena, have filed their declarations of assets and liabilities with the Elections Department, newspapers reported Sunday. But Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has blocked public access to the asset declarations of all presidential candidates till after the election, the Sunday Times reported in a story headlined ‘Candidates bare assets, but polls chief covers them’. “The public can request for them after the elections,” the Sunday Times quoted the Elections Commissioner […]

British Conservative Party Members promises to support Maithri?

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Three representatives from the governing Conservative Party has met with common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena recently and promised to back him at the presidential election. The Conservative Party members had also participated in separate discussions with Democratic Party leader Sarath Fonseka, former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe and Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya. At the talks the Conservative Party members have said that the UK government would politically back a change towards good governance in Sri Lanka as per the results of a secret survey that they carried out in Sri Lanka in recent times. The Conservative Party members who visited Sri Lanka are to compile a report on their Sri Lanka visit and present it to the British Government. http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2014/12/14/conservative-party-members-meet-sirisena/

Malaysia deports Lankan national to Colombo, ignores India’s plea

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

A Sri Lankan national (working for Pakistan’s ISI and were part of the ISI plot for carrying out strikes on the US Consulate in Chennai and Israeli Consulate in Bengaluru,) wanted in India for allegedly plotting terror strikes at American and Israeli consulates in the country has been deported by Malaysia to the island nation notwithstanding India’s plea for his extradition to unravel key aspects of the conspiracy. Highly-placed sources here said that 47-year-old Mohammed Hussain Mohammed Sulaiman was recently sent back to Sri Lanka by Malaysian authorities without even executing a production warrant issued by a special court in India seeking his extradition. Sulaiman was deported to Sri Lanka to face murder charges there with Malaysia ignoring repeated requests by India under various treaties, […]

Britain to maintain ban on LTTE

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

By Neville de Silva Britain’s ban on the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organisation will remain and is not affected by the decision of the European Union’s General Court annulling some of the sanctions imposed on the LTTE by the European Union. A Foreign and Commonwealth Office source said, “Britain’s domestic proscription of the LTTE is unaffected by this judgment.” He said Britain had denounced the LTTE as a brutal terrorist organisation and it would remain a proscribed group under British law. The source said Britain would support the European Union Council in appealing against the decision of the EU’s General Court. He said the effects of the annulment would not come into force until the appeal reached its conclusion. “With the rest of the […]

Crossovers and cross currents

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Gross encounters of a political kind Nominations for the presidential election closed on Monday to be followed by a week that saw a record number of crossovers. Emotions are running high with both camps locked in a do-or-die battle for the country’s top spot. At least three political figures have cried on camera, on public platforms. Election monitors have noticed that this election has generated more excitement than any other. It’s not clear whether this ‘excitement’ had anything to do with Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s shocking, disgusting remarks about former president Chandrika Kumaratunga aired on public television. What’s clear is that the minister is unaware that over half the voters in this country are women, who will not be impressed by such abuse directed […]

Pope’s visit confirmed, MR assures bishops he will step down peacefully if he loses

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

UPFA showpieces Tissa; Maithri offers Rs. 10,000 pay hike and petrol at Rs. 50 By Our Political Editor Attanayake accused of links with Rajapaksa for two  years; UNP trio hit back at former secretary Pope’s visit confirmed, MR assures bishops he will step down peacefully if he loses The ‘star of the week’, the United National Party’s former General Secretary Tissa Attanayake was on board the SriLankan Airlines airbus A 330 with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, wife Shiranthi and son Yoshita when it rolled out from the runway of the Bandaranaike International Airport last Tuesday afternoon. For Attanayake, who had been an Opposition politician until much less than 24 hours earlier, it was a signal honour. There are more than a 100 ministers and deputies in […]

Besieged Muslims made up their minds

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Forthcoming Presidential Elections Muslim politicians irrelevant in today’s political scenario  By Latheef Farook With campaign for the forthcoming presidential elections on 8 January 2015 under way in full swing, the island’s Muslims appear to have made up their minds. In doing so they dismissed Muslim political parties and politicians as corrupt, morally bankrupt and unfit to represent the Muslim community.Muslims, by and large, have lost confidence in their politicians in view of their shameful records which brought disrepute to the community. They failed to defend the community especially during the past four years when saffron terror gangs, with state patronage, unleashed violence against them.These attacks striking at the very root of their religious, economic, cultural life and very existence as a community, subjected Muslims to […]

I am Not a Puppet On a Chain to Dance to the Tunes of the West I will dance only to Tunes of China!

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

The Srilankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday, while addressing at his election public meeting at Matara, Thalala Area has said, “Only the Puppet Politicians of our nation has to dance to the tunes of the Western Countries. But I am not a Puppet on a Chain like other politicians who are dancing to the tunes of the West”. Adding further to the above statement, Mahinda Rajapaksa also said, “I am not a puppet on a Chain to dance to suit to the tunes of the Western nations. We all of us have to be gathered together to defeat the Puppet Politicians presently, who are dancing to suit to the tunes of the Western Countries. We should retain the Victory that has been brought by the war […]

Journalists rally in Colombo over media restrictions ahead of election

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Hundreds of journalists and trade union activists protested on Friday against government threats to the media ahead of a contentious presidential election in January. The protest, organized at the Colombo Fort railway station by the civil society group Citizen’s Power, condemned the interrogation of KW Janaranjana, editor in chief of the Ravaya Sinhalaweekly newspaper, by the Criminal Investigation Department. Janaranjana was questioned for several hours on November 30 over an article that suggested opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena had an edge in the race for president. Joining Friday’s protest, Janaranjana said police had no just cause to question him. “All these incidents are direct attempts to supress the media close to the election,” he told ucanews.com, referring to his interrogation as well as the targeting of […]

Maithri To “Restructure” Lankan Foreign Service

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

Common candidate Maithripala Sirisena yesterday promised to bring back the country’s Foreign Ministry to its former glory. The Common Candidate added that the foreign service is being ‘ruined’ by whom he termed as some lackeys of the of the first family who have been appointed to key diplomatic missions overseas. “This has brought disrepute to the country,” Sirisena added, addressing an election meeting in Puttalam yesterday. He also added that the country was beleaguered in the international domain due to discrepancies on the country’s foreign service. He cited this as the main reason for Sri Lanka’s recent defeat at the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva. He said who are capable of handing responsibilities pertaining to international relations should be appointed to the […]

People Should Force Leaders To Deliver Promises

14th December 2014 // 0 Comments

JVP Politburo member and Western Provincial Council Member K.D. Lalkantha said that whether the politicians deliver their promises (they make to people) or not the people have to take it from them. Speaking at a public rally yesterday he said that Maithripala Sirisena has given a number of promises similar to Mahinda such as the abolition of executive presidency and re-enactment of the 17th amendment. “We have seen those promises earlier,” Lalkantha added, saying that the people have seen enough promises being broken as well. President Mahinda has given such promises long before he was the president and Minister Wimal Weerawansa was against the Executive Presidency system but all their promises were broken once they get hold of power. Mahinda had promised implement 13+ amendment to […]