17th January 2015

“I Urged Rajapaksa to Implement the 13th Amendment which Created Provincial Councils but met with no Success”.

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P. There were many firsts in the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka: An incumbent president was defeated; parties specifically representing different races and religious groups — the Jathika Hela Urumaya for the Sinhalese, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress along with the All Ceylon Muslim Congress — came together on a common political platform; corruption was a major issue in the pre-poll campaign; and now a specific timeframe has been set for reforms. However, the most important responsibility of the new government will be settling the national question. While the country owes him a debt of gratitude for eliminating terrorism from the country, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa did nothing about the commitments he made in […]

New civilian Governor for North a ‘progressive step’ – TNA

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have commended the new government’s decision to remove Maj. Gen. (Retd) G.A. Chandrasiri from the post of Northern Province Governor, and his replacement by a civilian, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, terming it as a “progressive step”. “On the one hand we are happy that one of our key demands, that the Governor should be a civilian and not one with a military background, has been met. But on the other, we are not very optimistic that the change will be for the better. We hope Palihakkara will cooperate with us,” said C.V.K. Sivagnanam, Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). However, Sivagnanam conceded that the Sirisena government has taken “some positive first steps” such as the appointment of a civilian […]

Rapp Stepping Down: US Accused Of Not Giving Sri Lanka’s “White Flag Killings” Info

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The US government has been accused of not giving access to information that is required to investigate the ‘white flag case‘. In an interview with the Foreign Policy magazine, Steven Ratner – a professor of law at the University of Michigan and ex-member of a UN Panel that examined the commission of mass atrocities that occurred in the final phase of the Sri Lankan war, made this remark as he commented on the issue of Stephen J Rapp -the US Ambassador at large for war crimes, stepping down after five and a half years of service. Rapp’s departure has not yet been announced, and the war crimes prosecutor did not respond to requests for confirmation. But several sources familiar with Rapp’s plans confirmed that he […]

Money & Jewelry Hoarded by Mahinda at Temple Trees is Exposed

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The Temple Trees Presidential Palace was in the control of the former Srilankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Now in these Temple Trees huge amount of money and jewelry is found yesterday. Apart from this new buildings were also constructed inside the Temple Trees. After taking over as the New Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe started his duties at the Temple Trees yesterday. Last evening the Prime Minister had a discussion with his party ministers, cabinet ministers and ministers without portfolios and yet to be appointed as ministers. In that meeting the media persons were also allowed. An opportunity was given to everyone to visit and see the entire Temple Trees complex towards the end of the meeting. At this point of time, huge amounts of jewelry, 500 […]

When democracy stood upon a razor’s edge

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By all accounts, Asia’s oldest democracy stood at grave risk one week ago. The courage of a few public servants and military chiefs, who decided at the eleventh hour that the time was right to speak truth to power, may have saved the day. Without their determination, Sri Lankans may well have woken up in a very different country on 9 January. From palace intrigue to the high stakes involved in victory and defeat, this was surely one of Sri Lanka’s landmark elections “They called us terrorists, traitors and thieves; we called ourselves citizens” – CPA statement on the presidential election 2015 Sometime around 8 p.m. on 8 January, the Rajapaksa twitter-sphere went deathly still. The next time we heard from them was at 6:30 […]

Rajitha promises health reforms

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Don Asoka Wijewardena New Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne on assuming duties yesterday revealed that he had been appointed as Health Minister in keeping with a decision taken following a comprehensive discussion held with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Dr. Senaratne said that immediately after Maithripala Sirisena had won the presidential election, the latter had asked him whether he was willing to be the Health Minister. The President had promised to be present at the Health Ministry on the day of the new minister assuming duties. He had never heard nor expected President of the country to do so. Dr. Senaratne said that President Sirisena and he had left their portfolios to lead the Opposition […]

Several commodities banned from North and East

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Several commodities banned from North and East The ban on foreign nationals visiting the former war zones have been lifted with immediate effect, the Ministry of Defence said. This decision has been taken at the inaugural meeting of the National Security Council which was held yesterday. The meeting which was held at the Presidential Secretariat was chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena. The list of items which were banned from being transported to North also has been shortlisted as follows. Northern Province Arms/ Ammunition Explosives Clothing similar to those used by security forces Telescopes Eastern Province Arms/ Ammunition Explosives

JVP accuses Sajin of corruption

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Niranjala Ariyawansha The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday handed over a petition, to the Bribery Commission, against former Monitoring MP for External Affairs, Sajin Vaas Gunawardane, alleging that he had purchased five aircraft, to the value of Rs 160 million, for his company Cosmos Aviation Services (Pvt) Ltd. Apart from that, Vaas Gunawardane is said to have defrauded students, ….who enrolled in his company, by charging Rs 1.325 million from each. There had been 120 students who had obliged thus far. As such, the Voice against Corruption alleged that funds amounting to Rs 162 million, in total, had been defrauded. They also alleged that Sajin Vaas Gunawardane had owed a total of Rs 170 million to a petrol filling station in Ambalangoda, which he […]

Another ‘files’ operation at Sethsiripaya

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

An attempt to destroy a large stock of files containing information on former President and Minister of Finance Mahinda Rajapaksa, former ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Wimal Weerawansa, Rohitha Abeygunawardene and former prime minister D.M. Jayaratna’s Ministry of Buddha Sasana has been prevented by JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi and the stock of files was handed over to the police say reports. Mr. Handunneththi has rushed to Sethsiripaya today (15th) on getting information regarding the attempt to destroy the files. Among the files that were to be destroyed were application forms for employment for various ministries, appointments, plans for the 2015 presidential election, information regarding Maga Neguma, Divi Neguma and on several projects. There were also books that had been printed to promote various ministers and individuals. Mr. […]

US wants to work with Sri Lanka

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal said that the United States wants to work together with Sri Lanka for shared prosperity and to forge stronger bonds between the two countries She says with the transition that the election had ushered in Sri Lanka, the season had brought hope for an inclusive future for all Sri Lankans. She also recalled the rich diversity of Sri Lanka, which had impressed her during her visit to the country a year ago. Biswal was speaking at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC at a Thai Pongal celebration. A large gathering of guests from the Sri Lankan expatriate Tamil community, high level representatives from the US Department of State led by Biswal, and community leaders attended the event. Welcoming a full […]

UK is ready to work with Maithri

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The British Government says it is ready to work with President Maithripala Sirisena and welcomed his early commitment to good governance and to working with all international partners. Lord Wallace of Saltaire, the spokesperson in the Lords for the Cabinet Office and Whip responsible for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, told the House of Lords, that he hopes the new Government, as they get under way, will take a more generous approach to the UN investigations on Sri Lanka. Lord Wallace of Saltaire was responding to a question posed by Lord Naseby and follow up questions, on the British Government’s assessment of the conduct and result of the presidential election in Sri Lanka, and of the policy statement made by Maithripala Sirisena, the newly elected […]

President Kumaratunga and President Sirisena – winning the battle for the SLFP

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Harim Peiris President Maithripala Sirisena‘s election victory at the head of the National Democratic Front (NDF), was an amazing democratic exercise of a beleaguered Opposition which only a few weeks before the elections, no one would have believed would ever be a politically viable alternative to the mighty Rajapaksa regime, came from behind to topple a deeply entrenched and authoritarian regime. The credit for the victory and this amazing turn of events has to largely go to the political foresight and adroit hard work of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who quite early on realised that the simple but near impossible formula to defeat the Rajapakse regime, was a united opposition, a divided regime and a high turnout. It was President Kumaratunga who had […]

Pope’s visit hoodoo in power politics

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The third visit of a Pope to Sri Lanka is certainly important to Catholics here, and is also an event of historical importance in the relations between Sri Lanka and the Holy See. Apart from its religious and historical importance, this Papal visit also underscored an important political lesson to future national leaders of Sri Lanka. It is the reality that if one wishes to continue in office as the national leader, it is best not to invite the Pope to this country or support such an invitation. The proof of this is that the visit of Pope Francis is the third time the leader who invited the Pope was not the leader who received him in the country. It is strange and almost funny, […]

Sri Lanka isn’t the same island that MIA left behind many moons ago

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

MIA is an incredible artist, but she is not the spokesperson that Sri Lanka needs right now Sri Lanka isn’t the same island that MIA left behind many moons ago I’ve just re-watched MIA’s interview on Channel 4 News about the recent Sri Lankan elections. I love her music, and being a British Sri Lankan myself, I think it’s great that she’s been so successful. But I’m cringing. Why? MIA (real name Mathangi Arulpragasam) has a lot of valid concerns over the make up of Sri Lanka’s newly elected administration. But she refers to “the Tamils” as a unified minority race, and claims that there’s an “ethnic conflict” that still needs to be resolved. According to her, it’s a conflict that dominates the future of […]

Sri Lanka new govt lifts travel ban on foreigners to Tamil Area

17th January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO (AFP) Sri Lanka’s new government Friday announced lifting a ban on foreign nationals visiting to the island’s former war zones and scrapped an economic embargo on minority Tamil regions. President Maithripala Sirisena, just a week after taking office, removed the travel ban introduced by his predecessor three months ago, the defence ministry said. “Since there is no war situation in the country and the life of the community is normal, it was decided to remove restrictions imposed on foreigners,” the ministry said in a statement. It said a ban on transporting unspecified goods to the minority Tamil- dominated Northern province, of which Jaffna is the capital, was also lifted with immediate effect. An economic embargo on the Eastern province too was remove, said the […]