6th January 2015

Presidential Election 2015: Projection of Probable Results

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Further to the initial forecast I made in my previous article (Groundviews, 1st January 2015), in this article I make several projections about the possible result in the forthcoming presidential election based on previous election results. I primarily use percentages from the 2010 Presidential election result, 2005 Presidential election result and the 2014 Uva Provincial Council result, in particular the result of the Badulla district, for this purpose. As can be seen from the Table 1, MR received more than 50 percent of votes in all provinces except in the Northern province in 2010 elections. In the 2005 Presidential elections, he received more than 50 percent in 11 districts (see Column I, Table 2). Given the fact that 2010 Presidential election marks the pinnacle of […]

Opposition speak out ahead of crucial vote

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

I will personally ensure security of Mahinda Rajapaksa and family: Maithripala ‘On 9 Jan military will only follow our orders, their hearts with us’: Rathana Thero ‘We are not crazy to seek to divide Sri Lanka’: CBK ‘I have paid my debts to my motherland’: Sarath Fonseka ‘KP sent explosives for LTTE to bomb Dalada Maligawa’: Champika Govt.-Tamilnet-Ananthi plot to enforce 2005 style boycott of poll in North: Rajitha By Dharisha Bastians In a final show of strength on the last day of campaigning, common opposition leaders rallied together to counter ruling party claims that the alliance was in league with the LTTE. Opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena charged that while the Government was attempting to stick LTTE labels on the common alliance, it was the […]

No leave to vote Over 200,000 Tamil plantation youth affected

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

No leave to vote Over 200,000 plantation youth affected By Mirudhula Thambiah Most of the plantation youth, working in various parts of the country, are not allowed to exercise their voting rights at the upcoming Presidential Election, as their employers show reluctance to grant them leave. Savumia Youth Foundation Chairman, S. P. Anthony Muthu told Ceylon Today that the same problem erupted during past Uva Provincial Council Elections, as many youths working in Colombo and in various other places, were not granted leave thus, they were unable to vote. He said, more than 200,000 persons from the plantation sector are working in shops and hotels in Colombo, Dambulla, Matara, and in the North and East. They should be given a chance to cast their votes […]

Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa faces poll battle as war effect wanes

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa will face an unprecedented challenge from a newly galvanised opposition when he seeks re-election this week, five years after his crushing military victory over Tamil guerrillas. South Asia’s longest-serving leader had appeared politically invincible after his forces crushed the Tamil Tigers in 2009, ending a decades-long conflict and ushering in a new era of prosperity for the island nation. Rajapaksa won a landslide election victory in 2010, but critics say the 69-year-old has failed to bring about reconciliation with Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority in the years that followed. His second term has been dogged by accusations of corruption, including undermining the independence of the judiciary and lining the pockets of political cronies through lucrative contracts. The surprise decision of […]

TNA campaign crew attacked by Government ally

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) members involved in the election campaign of common candidate Maithripala Sirisena were threatened by an unidentified gang in Velanai-Jaffna. The gang had also pelted stones at the vehicle in which the TNA members were travelling. The vehicle was badly damaged. A group of TNA members, under the leadership of Northern Provincial Councillor Vinthan Kanagaratnam, were threatened by the gang when they were involved in campaign programmes for the common candidate Sirisena at the Nethaji Community Development Board in Cettipulam-Velanai. The four unknown persons, who came on motorbikes, threatened the TNA members in crude language. A complaint was lodged with the Kayts Police. The police proceeded to the scene and conducted investigations. It was mentioned in the complaint that the attack was […]

In Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, an anti-Rajapaksa wave

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Rajapaksa has failed in post-war reconciliation, Tamils feel. However, many of them don’t see this as ‘their election’ and can’t see how their lives will change after the polls  After Sri Lanka’s brutal war ended five years ago, President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave the Tamil majority North better roads, rail connections and electricity. However, people of the Northern Province believe he has not given anything by way of the much-awaited post-war reconciliation that will make them vote for him. Despite trying hard to recover from the trauma of the war, the island’s Northern Tamils are constantly weighed down by concerns over heavy militarisation, land grab by the army and the absence of livelihood opportunities that could potentially revitalise the economy in the former war zone. Over […]

Final Rallies End Without Crossovers: Maithri Stands Behind Bullet Proof Screen

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s final rally in Maradana ended without any crossover despite widespread speculations. It was widely believed that a senior-most Minister of the present Cabinet might cross over to the opposition during the final election rally of the Common Opposition. Maithripala Sirisena, who arrived at the rally at about 11.30 pm, made his speech standing beside a bullet proof screen, surrounded by security officers. He assured to the cheering crowds that the 10 year long rule of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has come to an end. The Common Candidate of the opposition concluded the final speech of his election campaign three minutes before the midnight. Meanwhile, multiple political sources from the opposition claimed that no national level leader in the Common Opposition – including […]

Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa, third time not so lucky?

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum Two years before an election was due, President Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka has called an early poll for 8 January, seeking an unprecedented third term in office made possible by his revision of the constitution. So far the Sri Lankan president has had a charmed political life, winning 58 per cent of the vote at the last poll in 2010 on the back of overwhelming support for ending nearly thirty years of civil war in the Tamil separatist north and east a year earlier. Talk of war crimes and the massacre of many thousands of Tamils was brushed aside as treacherous and damaging to the country and held no sway in the south or among ordinary Buddhists, who […]

Tensions Rise as Sri Lankans Prepare for Historic Polls

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, Jan 5 2015 (IPS) – These days, the national greeting in Sri Lanka is a simple question: “So, what do you think?” Everyone from van drivers waiting to pick kids up from school, to mechanics repairing vehicles, to barbers cutting your hair have only this question on their lips. Even government ministers, though appearing assured of their victory at the upcoming Jan. 8 presidential polls while addressing crowds of supporters on stage, ask this query of journalists during interviews. Businesses are carrying out mock polls to determine the outcome. A Twitter hashtag conceived for the election receives updates by the second. “In a tight election, if voters stay away, that could be decisive.” — Keerthi Tennakoon, head of the Campaign for Free and Fair […]

Severed heads of dogs sent to two human rights activists by Mahinda supporters

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Two severed heads of dogs have been sent to Brito Fernando and Prasanga Fernando, who are human rights activists, last night. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Brito Fernando said the severed dog head was hanging in his gate last night. “Last night, I along with my daughter and my wife went out for dinner around 7.00 pm and got back home at 10.30 pm. By the time we got back I saw three shopping bags hanging in the gate. At first I thought that it is a bag of garbage but when I inspected, I saw something similar to ears of a dog. Since both my wife and daughter were scared I let it be. In the morning when I looked, I found out it […]

Royal British horse a game changer in Sri Lankan presidential polls

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The supreme leader has changed the face of Sri Lanka. A war of 30 years has been put to an end, the world’s finest cars are speeding on newly built expressways, theeconomy is spurting at a handsome 7 per cent, tourism is booming at an unheard of 22 per cent — and yet the peasants of the country are obsessed with one silly horse. The horse imported from the royal stables of Buckingham for millions of rupees has become symbolic of the plunder and private excesses of incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa, as he gets battle-ready for a third term, when the island nation goes to polls on January 8. The horse was reportedly shipped in by MR’s youngest of the three ‘princes’ as a gift […]

China, India and the Sri Lanka Elections

6th January 2015 // 0 Comments

India has ceded influence in Sri Lanka to China. Could the upcoming election change that? In less than a week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka will be facing the toughest political battle of his life as the country votes in the presidential elections on January 8. The Sinhala strongman, credited with ending a 30-year war against the separatist Tamil Tigers in 2009 was expected to have a cakewalk until one of his closest colleagues Maithripala Sirisena walked out of the ruling combine and mounted a credible challenge after the fragmented opposition rallied around him. The outcome of the polls will be watched keenly in at least two foreign capitals – New Delhi and Beijing – since both have large stakes in the island nation. While […]