January 2015

MR trying to replace Muslim leadership with Salman Khan – Ranil

1st January 2015 // 0 Comments

Faizer Mustapha, Nirosha Virajini, Damayanthi Fonseka, Renuka Balasuriya join Maithripala   by Zacki Jabbar With the Muslim leadership deserting the government in hordes, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had brought down Indian actor Salman Khan in an attempt to replace them, but it was a futile attempt, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. Addressing the UNP Eksath Lanka Vanitha Convention at the Vihara Maha Devi Park Open Air Theater in Colombo, he noted that Salman Khan would not be able to reverse the massive Maithri Wave that was spreading throughout the country with members of all communities uniting as never before. The slide was irreversible and no foreign actor or actress could save Rajapaksa from losing the January 8, Presidential Election, Wickremesinghe said, adding that the President’s […]

Mahinda vs. Maithri: Frenzied contest races to final week

1st January 2015 // 0 Comments

A few months ago, President Mahinda Rajapaksa quipped that faced with a lack of opposition, his Government had to step into play the role. Supremely confident of victory, he sought re-election two years ahead of schedule. How does he come to be fighting tooth and nail for survival against an Opposition that was in all kinds of disarray only four weeks ago?  At the Bambalapitiya junction, a larger-than-life silhouette of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is illuminated with hundreds of tiny blue, red and white fairy lights. It’s a strange depiction because his hair and facial features are covered in tiny blue lights. Behind the giant light spectacle is an entire façade of presidential portraits and signatures. Last week, a large screen television was mounted upon the […]

Thuggery (Chandikama) as a Method of Intimidation, Bullying and Harassment in the South

1st January 2015 // 0 Comments

Use of thugs ‘chandiyas’ or ‘marayas’ by those in authority has its roots in the colonial period. Later, Sinhalese politicians adopted this method in village level politics spreading into urban locales. It is a method used to control public opinion and behaviour, more importantly to submerge alternative viewpoints and behaviour and divert the popular will in the direction of those in authority by using physical force, fear and the like. The only way to counter such acts of intimidation, thuggery, bullying and harassment is to organise those with alternative viewpoints into collectives or action-groups and resist while educating the public. This paper argues that perhaps it is time to set up a Nelum Balakaya (NB) to spread the message about the need for democratic freedoms, […]

Tamil’s fundamentally anxious for democracy and change

1st January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha When I began this column, over seven months ago, I did not think that the threat to President Rajapaksa would come to fruition quite so quickly. Until the incidents at Aluthgama, I thought it unlikely that anyone would be able to defeat him in a Presidential Election. After that I thought any reasonable candidate would probably win, if there was unity in the opposition, but it seemed unlikely that that would be achieved. And after Uva, when it seemed that the government was on a slippery slope, I assumed Mahinda Rajapaksa would have the sense to back down if he was unable to make the few simple reforms and tough decisions that would have restored his popularity. But he failed to […]

Frank and upfront with Zuhair

1st January 2015 // 0 Comments

Frank and upfront with Zuhair While many point out that the manifesto of the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena does not address the issues of the minorities specifically, National United Front, Leader M. M. Zuhair who is part of the common opposition said, such mention was left out on purpose, as it was time to move beyond ‘100 years of communal politics’. He advocated that a country with good governance and rule of law would solve the problems of all regardless of ethnicity and that was more important than the interests of communal parties that fired up ethnic differences amongst the people for their own personal gains.Following are excerpts of an interview CT had with him… Q. You were one of the founding members of the […]

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