January 2015

The Mighty Fall Of Rajapaksas

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By R Hariharan – The recently concluded Sri Lankan presidential elections belied PresidentMahinda Rajapaksa’s confidence as he was beaten by Maithripala Sirisena, former health minister and a long- term colleague of his. People seem to have preferred “unknown angel” Sirisena to “known devil” Rajapaksa, as he described himself in an election rally. Rajapaksa was so confident of winning the people’s mandate for a third term that he advanced the election by two years before his second term ended. But Sirisena, general sec- retary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), emerged as a challenger on the eve of the election announcement. According to the official results, Sirisena won by a 3.7 percent margin over the more crafty Rajapaksa and was preferred by 51.38 per-cent of the […]

UNHCR, European Union to Help SL Tamils Return Home

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  (UNHCR) and the European Union (EU) have undertaken to help the Sri Lankan government repatriate Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu and resettle them in the Island Nation, the Lankan Ministry of Resettlement has said. Assurance of aid was given to the Lankan Minister for Resettlement, D M Swaminathan, when he met local representatives Gulam Abbas and Igor Ivancic of the UNHCR, and Jaime Royo-Olid and Libuse Soukupova of the EU, here last week, a Ministry statement said. The EU has already built 23,000 houses in the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces and an additional 3,000 houses are to be built. The EU has set aside Euro 14 million for this project in 2015. There are still […]

What really happened on 8 January night? CaFFE observation report

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

It has been now revealed that there was an attempt by the Rajapaksa Government to prevent the election results being announced on 9 January. Although what really transpired in these fateful hours can only be known with certainty after the relevant mandated and legitimate institutions conduct a proper investigation, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) would like to present an account of what its staff, observers and other stakeholders of the organisation observed in the late hours of 8 January and the early hours of 9 January.                         Rumours of a military takeover Two days prior to the election, several leaders of the Opposition and other reliable sources informed CaFFE that there is […]

Govt. has given priority to rule of law – Archbishop

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Ishara Mudugamuwa The government has undertaken the important task of ensuring the rule of law in the country and peace and harmony among different communities by appointing Ministers for Religious Affairs who believe in their particular religion, Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said. He was addressing a ceremony marking the beginning of work of the Minister of Public Security, Christian Religious Affairs and Disaster Management Affairs John Amaratunga held at Archbishop’s House in Borella yesterday. The Archbishop said that there had been a situation before where especially the minority religious communities were feeling somewhat uncomfortable because of the activities of certain extremists groups in the country. “It was a happy moment to see different ministries given to people who believe in their […]

Gallant youth dives in and saves two of three

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Panchamee Hewavissenti A67-years-old woman of Vadamarachchi, Jaffna died in a most tragic manner. In a bid to save her grandson who had accidently fallen into a well in their garden, she unhesitatingly had jumped in to save the child. The boy’s sister too had jumped into the well seeing her grandmother do so, she followed suit in order to save both her grandmother’s and brother’s lives. All three of them got into difficulty in the end, but luckily they were spotted by a brave youngster of the same area and he was able to rescue the two children, who were fortunate enough to survive the ordeal unlike the unfortunate grandmother. This incident occurred at Kudaththanai, Wadamarachchi East area last week. The two children were […]

regime change and power sharing

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Recent regime change in Colombo, Sri Lanka did not take place in vacuum. There was international support and networks to depose the former regime led by Mr. Rajapaksa who provided political leadership to defeat the Tamil Tigers and local political actors contributed to the scheme planned by powerful actors. One of the key developments with regard to deposing the regime apparently staged in Singapore. As TamilNet correctly pointed, there was agenda and that was coined as the 10 points formula. “The 10-points agreed between the Sampanthan polity and the regime changers including the new SL Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, at Singapore in 2013 follow: Singapore Principles 1. In describing the nature of the State what is important is the substance; the labels are secondary. 2. […]

Current political trend signals harmony among communities – M.A.Sumanthiran MP

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

by P.Krishnaswamy Tamil National Alliance (TNA) frontliner M.A.Sumanthiran MP in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer spelt out the TNA’s needs – their stance with regard to a lasting solution to the Tamil problem, the immediate measures that they have insisted over the livelihood and rehabilitation of the conflict-affected Tamils, the current controversy over the post of Chief Minister (CM) of the Eastern Provincial Council (PC) and the Government’s measures to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full. He said that the Maithripala administration which the Tamils exuberantly supported has already initiated measures to resolve their outstanding issues and expressed optimism that the current political trend signals harmony and mutual understanding among the different communities in the country. Excerpts of the interview: […]

There was Nothing in the 100 Day Program about Implementing 13th Amendment or Holding Domestic War Crimes Inquiry

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By C.A.Chandraprema The bizarre situation that we have been experiencing for the past two weeks where the opposition UPFA has a clear majority in parliament but still chooses to remain in the opposition still holds. But last Friday’s SLFP central committee meeting attended by president Maithripala Sirisena indicates that this situation may not last long. A clear indication of this is that a firm decision was taken to act against SLFP provincial councilors who collude with the UNP to topple provincial administrations. The mere fact that S.B.Dissanayake a bitter enemy of Chandrika Kumaratunga has been appointed a vice chairman of the SLFP may be an indication that the SLFP is trying to unite all sections of the party and to go forward. The SLFP’s chosen leader […]

“Full Implementation of the 13th Amendment is no Lasting Solution”-MA Sumanthiran MP

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

by P.Krishnaswamy Tamil National Alliance (TNA) frontliner M.A.Sumanthiran MP in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer spelt out the TNA’s needs – their stance with regard to a lasting solution to the Tamil problem, the immediate measures that they have insisted over the livelihood and rehabilitation of the conflict-affected Tamils, the current controversy over the post of Chief Minister (CM) of the Eastern Provincial Council (PC) and the Government’s measures to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full. He said that the Maithripala administration which the Tamils exuberantly supported has already initiated measures to resolve their outstanding issues and expressed optimism that the current political trend signals harmony and mutualunderstanding among the different communities in the country. Excerpts of the interview: Q: […]

On Behalf Of Returning Exiles

26th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole – Invitation for Exiles to return Now we have the dawn of a new era for exiles – in my case after almost 4 years abroad. The Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the Wall Street Journal and Ministers such as Mangala Samaraweera, Rajitha Senaratne and Gayantha Karunatilake have invited those of us writers in exile to return. White vans have been stopped. Thank you. Concrete Steps Required from the Attorney General But a lot more is required besides open invitations. In my own case I wrote of election malpractices of the previous regime in Kayts on election day – not allowing opponents to campaign, Rajapaksa posters at the polling booth, police and other vehicles running around Kayts without number plates, polling […]

SF: Unlawful military deployment is military coup

26th January 2015 // 0 Comments

“If they are not denying there is the question. If you asked me if I was involved in a coup, I would say no. If someone was not involved or if such an attempt never took place, he or she could always deny it. The inability to deny leaves a big question mark.” Democratic Party Leader General Sarath Fonseka in a candid interview with the Daily Mirror spoke on his role in the new government, the security situation of the country, the LTTE and on their plans to proceed at the upcoming General Elections. Excerpts: QWhat is your role in the new government? I cannot be directly involved in the processes since I am not an MP but am a member of the National Executive […]

Take A Stand For Justice At Jaffna Uni And Everywhere In Sri Lanka

26th January 2015 // 0 Comments

y Arulkumaran Subajini – University of Jaffna is full of wrongdoings. Every appointment from the VC’s down to that of Labourer is based on political loyalty rather than excellence. The most senior persons from whom we expect leadership have no backbone. The Council – both internal and external members – simply sit back and endorse these improper appointments. As an Acting Dean awaiting regular appointment confessed to a friend, “I need to go along with the VC in everything to survive.” I was wrongfully denied an appointment as Computer Applications Assistant. Many friends have advised me not to complain and suggest that my husband Mahalingam Arulkumaran who works as a Technical Officer under the Vice Chancellor will pay dearly if I pursue a complaint. As […]

Election night coup What really happend?

26th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Earlier this week, Indian media quoting new External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera reported there was a  fear of a real coup in Sri Lanka during the early hours of January 9, when it was becoming evident to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the poll results were not in his favour. However, as the first light of the day hit the city of Colombo on January 9, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa accepted his defeat and left Temple Trees, assuring a smooth transfer of power to the incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena. This came as a surprise to many, and mostly to those who foretold the 2015 Presidential election would record the highest election violence in the history of polls in Sri Lanka. However, these claims of the […]

With Maithri, Ranil & Mangala – Real Change Should Occur For Tamils Too

26th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah – Would Tamils be forced to play the ‘waiting game’: Examining some legitimate questions and concerns that Tamils have about their future in the uncertain world of Sri Lankan politics that they are inexorably tied to. Part 1 I would like to offer my congratulations to President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Co and wish them the very best towards restoring this island paradise, with a rich heritage, now known as Sri Lanka, to its original glory, where all its inhabitants, living there since pre-historic times and having their distinct traditional homelands in the island, are treated with equality, their distinct socio, political, cultural, ethnic and religious identities and rights preserved and furthered; […]

Ashok K. Mehta: Post-Poll scenario in Sri Lanka

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Now that a peaceful and democratic regime change has occurred in Sri Lanka, a story that nearly played out can be told. Hours before voting, a senior diplomat in the Indian High Commission in Colombo, when asked whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa would get an unprecedented third term, replied: “How can he lose?” But he added: “It will be very close and if he loses by a whisker, he may go to the Supreme Court or ask the military to intervene.” In a stunning verdict, Sri Lankans spoke: Rajapaksa must go. He was defeated by an unthinkable rainbow coalition of different religious and political groups. Rajapaksa’s astrologer, Sumanadasa Abeygunawardene, has no place to hide, as the presidential poll was called two years early at his bidding… […]

Sri Lanka probes alleged abuses by ex-president

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Colombo – From 68,000 campaign clocks and bulletproof limousines to billions believed stashed abroad, nothing is being overlooked as the new Sri Lankan government sets about investigating the administration of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Since his stunning defeat at the hands of Mr Maithripala Sirisena in the Jan 8 election, Mr Rajapaksa has faced growing accusations of abuse of power, including a failed coup attempt to deny Mr Sirisena victory. The media, once muzzled under his nine-year rule, has been writing about the lavish lifestyles of Mr Rajapaksa and his family members. His country home was recently searched by officials looking for an Italian sports car and a private plane the family is believed to own. “Our family has been in politics since 1931. But […]

Consensus on implementing 13th amendment: Ranil

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on Saturday said political parties have agreed to implement the thirteenth amendment as a solution to end the country’s over three-decade-old ethnic conflict involving the Tamil minority. “All parties have agreed to solve the ethnic problem within the framework of the thirteenth amendment. We are continuing our talks,” Mr. Wickramasinghe said while addressing a gathering at Deniyaya in the south. Power to Councils He further said that all Provincial Councils will have equal powers now that the Tamil National Alliance has said that they are for a solution within an undivided Sri Lanka. Provincial Councils became part of the Sri Lankan statute as a direct result of the landmark 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka accord, popularly known as the Rajiv-Jayawardane Accord, […]

Extremism led to Mahinda Rajapaksas defeat – Ex-Deputy Foreign  Minister

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Religious minorities feared BBS rampage, if Mahinda was re-elected President by Zacki Jabbar  Sinhala Buddhist extremism had led to the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential Election, one of his former Ministers said yesterday.  Former Deputy Foreign Minister Neomal Perera told The Sunday Island that the religious minorities feared that if  President Rajapaksa was re-elected for a third term the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and other extremists in the UPFA government, whom he had failed to   discipline, would have created further havoc in the country leading to another ethnic conflict.  “The religious minorities, just like other all other peace-loving citizens, who were expecting a better life with the end of the war, were shell-shocked when the BBS started attacking Hindu Kovils, Muslim Mosques […]

TNA, SLMC Fight For EPC

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Karunarathne The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) expects the President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to safeguard the democratic process with reference to the issue on taking control of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC). TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the TNA met the President and the Prime Minister recently to seek their support in favour of TNA to obtain the chief ministerial position of the Eastern Provincial Council and form the provincial government. “Right now the TNA is the single largest party in the Eastern Province and we have 11 seats whereas the SLMC has only 8 seats. Therefore even the President agreed that the TNA can claim to hold the chief ministerial position in the Eastern Provincial Council,” he added. […]

Weerawansa owner of a small telecommunication centre became a millionaire within of six years.

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Controversy surrounds over how an owner of a small telecommunication centre became a millionaire within a short span of six years. Complaints have been lodged recently with the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption against the leader of the National Freedom Front and former Minister of Housing and Construction Wimal Weerawansa. After the complaint was lodged, startling revelations have come out how Weerawansa is enjoying a super luxury life and questions have been raised as to how the former minister accumulated such a vast wealth within no time when his sole income was the ministerial salary and the other perks a government minister is entitled to. Weerawansa is accused of acquiring wealth to own one mansion and to construct the second in the same compound […]

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