2nd January 2015

Sri Lanka presidential poll must be peaceful to be credible: EU

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

EconomyNext – The European Union has called on Sri Lanka’s government to ensure a peaceful presidential election next week, saying the result would be credible only if citizens are free to choose their leaders without violence or fear. The call comes amid growing concern by opposition parties and election monitors over intimidation of and violence against opposition supporters and abuse of government workers and machinery to support the candidacy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The elections commissioner himself has warned he would cancel the poll in areas where people are not allowed to vote freely. A “Joint Local Statement” on Sri Lanka’s presidential election process issued by European Union Heads of Mission in Colombo noted the importance of Sri Lanka’s presidential election process being “peaceful, credible […]

Death sentence for Indian fishermen a Rajapaksa-BJP drama: Vaiko

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Terming the death sentence for five Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka as a drama enacted by the island nation and the BJP government, MDMK chief Vaiko said there was no capital punishment in Sri Lanka since 1986. The awarding of death sentence and their subsequent release after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention was planned to boost the image of the BJP government at the Centre and blunt the opposition to Rajapaksa in Tamil Nadu, he alleged. In his customary New Year press meet in Chennai, Vaiko denied allegations that the MDMK was involved in the stone-pelting incident before the Daily Thanthi office, against the telecast of an interview of the Sri Lankan President, and described such reports as “deliberate and planned lies”. Two persons who […]

Buddhist aggression against minorities in Sri Lanka rose sharply last year

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Pope Francis faces a big challenge when he heads to Sri Lanka this month – dealing with the bitter hostility of the island’s extremist Buddhist monks Last year the satirical news site The Onion published a story about Buddhist extremism. Its headline read: “Extremist cell vows to unleash tranquillity on the West.” It described a video posted online in which a monk threatened “an assault of profound inner stillness” and said “no city will be spared from spiritual harmony … We will bring the entire United States to its knees in deep meditation.” In Western culture the Buddhist monk is an unshakably serene and peaceful figure, unwilling to hurt a fly. Yet Christians and Muslims in Sri Lanka are likely to have a different picture. […]

Suicidal for the Tamil Voter to not vote and Engage in the Politics of Isolationism and Boycott Politics

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

by Sivamohan Sumathy Department of English,University of Peradeniya What is striking about the 2015 elections? It is the upsurge in the call for democracy and the call to put an end to aggression, arbitrary actions. Significantly, it has opened up spaces for the minority community, the minority voter, to once again find a voice within the politics of the state. My writing here concerns largely Tamil politics, political leadership and the north and east Tamil voter, particularly of the north. In this, I wish to state at the outset, I am not addressing the Malaiyaha Tamil voter or those who are ‘traditional’ residents of Southern Sri Lanka. I write this in the context of how one should see the possibilities that have arisen around the Presidential […]

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa regime losing its grip

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Delhi: Casino mogul James Packer must wish he could vote in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections next Thursday. Not only is the main challenger Maithripala Sirisena threatening incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid for an unprecedented third term – he is also promising to cancel Mr Packer’s plans to build a $400 million casino resort on the island if he wins. Since becoming president in 2005, and crushing Sri Lanka’s rebel Tamil separatists in a brutal 2009 military offensive that has prompted allegations of war crimes, Mr Rajapaksa has put a heavy emphasis on foreign investment, particularly in the tourism sector. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa with his party members at the launch of his election manifesto in Colombo, on Tuesday. Photo: AP International hotels and resorts have […]

Fonseka booed in Jaffna and Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike called the LTTE leader ‘Mr. Prabhakaran’, the people cheered at her.

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

The people who gathered at the common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s election rally booed former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka and shouted at him not to lie when he said the military operation in 2009 was carried out with only a few human causalities in the Vavuniya District. The bitter controversy surrounding the final stages of the Sri Lankan government’s operation to crush separatist rebels, after a former UN official claimed that up to 40,000 Tamil civilians may have been killed. The gathering shouted, “don’t lie, don’t lie” when Fonseka was describing the manner in which the war was carried out. Responding to the booing by the gathering, he said it was because of the manner he carried out the war that he had received the […]

Rajapaksa can no longer count on rural Sinhala vote bank

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Rajapaksa’s appeal among the rural Sinhalese population cannot be underestimated. However, with Maithripala Sirisena crossing over, there is a likely split in the rural vote base The joint opposition’s bid to give President Mahinda Rajapaksa a tough fight in the January 8 presidential polls has resulted in a rarely seen phenomenon in Sri Lanka — a contest between two candidates with their roots in the country’s rural heartlands. In the past, it has mostly been a competition between a candidate from the urban elite and one from the rural areas. Mr. Rajapaksa, whose roots lie in Hambantota, the rural Sinhala heartland in the south, entered the fray in 2005 against former Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, very much a member of the Colombo elite. Sirisena’s constituency […]

”We don’t want any Eelam but we want to live with self respect” Bishop of Mannar

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Bishop of Mannar discusses the need for unity with MS BY M. SASIKUMAR Bishop of Mannar, Rev. Rayappu Joseph told common presidential candidate, Maithripala Sirisena that all politicians in the country said they will provide all facilities to the Tamil people other than ‘Tamil Eelam’. But none of the promises have been fulfilled thus far. “We don’t want any Eelam but we want to live with self respect. We only expect that these people get all the promises given to them,” he said. Bishop of Mannar further said the common alliance including the common presidential candidate came to meet him to discuss about the current issues of the people in the North. “This country has many communities and religions. Politicians do not consider the problems […]

Muslim leaders who were with the government have gained wealth and Benefits says Karuna

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

147 Muslim was killed in Kattankudy mosque by Karuna’s team on the 3rd August 1990. Karuna is NOW the Deputy Resettlement Minister, called Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan working closely with the President Mahinda. Karuna who betrayed the Tamils and LTTE Leader Prabakaren who crossed over to government had contributed a lot in killing of the LTTE members and Muslim and Tamil Leaders and Civilians who opposed the Mahinda government. Karuna known as one of the most unpopular person among Tamils refused to stand for election as he was well aware that he will loose the election and Mahinda had to appoint him as government MP. He kept his mouth shut last year when Muslims were attacked and Mosques were set on fire by Sinhala Buddhist extremists with the help of the government forces. Karuna said, although […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s had failed in implementing a Reconciliation process after the war – Rathana Thera

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Unless steps are taken to immediately free the country from the forces of corruption that are governing it today, it is likely to face a youth uprising within the next two years, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Parliamentarian Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera warned today. Speaking at a media briefing held at the common candidate’s office, Ven. Rathana Thera said President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government had failed in implementing a reconciliation process after the war, instead preferring to completely bypass the people of the North and East when initiating development projects. “Those projects should have been initiated along with people from the North and East. Instead, the government opted to use those development projects as avenues to engage in corruption on a mass scale,” he alleged. Rathana Thera […]

I will be more of a statesman than a politician-MR

2nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

On the eve of 2015 and days before the crucial presidential polls, President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an email interview with Dailymirror spelt confidence of a victory at the January 8 polls while admitting that there still seems to be some areas such as foreign service and governance that needs improvement. Q Mr. President the last time we interviewed you, exactly a year ago, one of the questions asked was whether the SLFP old guard had been ignored. A year hence your General Secretary is contesting you and the SLFP old guard seems to be disillusioned. What have you got to say about this claim? I remember that interview and the question. As I said on that occasion, it is not in any way correct to […]