18th January 2015

Rajapaksa Was No Indira, Gotabaya Was Sadistic

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

In yet another miracle of history, Sri Lanka has survived its Indira Gandhi phase. The Rajapaksa family twisted the Constitution to achieve what Indira did with the Emergency. A family dictatorship took over, ruthlessly supervised by President Mahinda’s brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Parliament was turned into a branch of the executive, the judiciary into a rubberstamp. The press was handcuffed; a prominent editor was shot dead, openly in daylight, as if to send a message. Critics were picked up in what became the country’s most infamous symbol of terror—the Police White Van. The fate of citizens who were taken away in “white van abductions” was known only to Gotabaya’s henchmen. Then, in the ultimate Indira-Gandhian irony, the President declared an election. There was no obligation for […]

Split in SLFP London Branch

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The newly-elected members of the SLFP (Maithri Group) By Sujeeva Nivunhella  in London With the conclusion of the Presidential Election in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Freedom Party London branch split it to two. One of the former committee members of SLFP London branch Lasantha Perera formed his own SLFP (Maithree Group). Perera who tendered his resignation to the President of the SLFP branch Methsiri Wijeratne before the election was held and supported Presidential candidate Maithreepala Sirisena. Maithree fraction of the SLFP branch gathered at the Lihiniya Restaurant in North London on Saturday, 10th January to form their own branch. Lasantha Perera was appointed as the President of the branch unanimously. Meepali Jothirathna and Amirthalingam Wimalthasan were elected as the Vice Presidents. Kolitha Mendis was elected […]

Rift In TNA Over Maithri Policy

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Karunarathne A rift has developed in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) over President Maithripala Sirisena’s 100 day policy. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that there is a difference of opinion among the leaders of the TNA over the 100 day programme presented by President Sirisena. According to him, even though all the members of the TNA support the reforms as suggested in the 100 day programme, there are some who cannot fully support the programme as it does not contain any provision to address the Tamil issue. “R. Sambanthan may be in support of the whole 100-day programme. However, even though we are in support of repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing back the 17th Amendment and other suggested changes in the 100 […]

Former President spent over Rs.2 bln in state funds on election ads

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Normally money talks loud and convincingly in influencing the masses to a great extent in deciding a winner in Sri Lanka’s previous elections, but this time at the 2015 Presidential election, the highest spending candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated by opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena who resorted to a low key campaign with a smaller advertising budget. Mr. Rajapaksa spent millions of rupees of public money on his advertising campaign during the presidential election period while his opponent spent less than 1/3rd of the Rajapaksa budget, a comprehensive report compiled by a group of senior officials from the Finance Ministry revealed. The former President spent over Rs 2 billion for advertising in electronic and print media while his rival spent Rs.676 million, the report, seen […]

Politicians and Civil Society Leaders On Coup Attempt

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

An allegation was made against the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for trying to stage a military coup following the election to remain in power. New Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has lodged a complaint with the DID regarding the matter and stated that the move was averted as some heads of the military refused to corporate with the plan. However, the members of the former government strongly refused of such an undemocratic move. Speaking to The Sunday Leader several politicians and civil society members expressed their views regarding this serious allegation made against the former government.   Suresh Premachandran – TNA MP This is a serious allegation against the former government. There were various reports on media and through other sources that there was such an attempt made […]

Jaffna Tamils Keep Fingers Crossed Over Civilian Governor

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: People in the Tamil-majority Northern Province of Sri Lanka are keeping their fingers crossed about the changes that may follow the removal of “military man”  Maj.Gen (Retd).G.A.Chandrasiri from the post of Governor, and his replacement by a civilian, H.M.G.S.Palihakkara. “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 Governor; declaration of an […]

The Guardian view on the end of the Rajapaksa era in Sri Lanka

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The Rajapaksas are out of power but Maithripala Sirisena’s new government faces fundamental problems The long reign of the Rajapaksa family, which had seemed until very recently to stretch dismally into the far future, is over in Sri Lanka. The country’s democratic system, though damaged and eroded by the increasingly authoritarian, unconstitutional and coercive practices of the Rajapaksa clan, was still capable of a mighty heave which has brought decisive change. Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, his brothers and the younger family members who may have hoped in time to inherit their power and privileges have not necessarily been entirely ejected from Sri Lankan politics. But, discredited and liable to investigation on a variety of charges, including a possible attempt to stage a coup to prevent […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa Played China Against India, Says Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO:  In his first television interview since the results of the elections, Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe told NDTV that his government will redress the pro-China tilt of the Rajapaksa regime “President Rajapaksa’s regime tried to play China against India and India against China but it came a cropper,” said Mr Wickramasinghe. During the Rajapaksa years, China invested an estimated $6 billion in Sri Lanka, some of it in strategic infrastructure projects like ports and airports, irking India. But Mr Wickremasinghe told NDTV, “We are looking into all foreign contracts and local ones, and where there is corruption we will certainly ensure we take action whether it be Chinese or any other country. RELATED Indian-Origin Envoys of US, Canada Take Charge in New […]

Video: Mervyn goes to CID against Gota and Basil

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Former Minister and MP Mervyn Silva today complained to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) against Former Minister and MP Basil Rajapaksa and former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over alleged frauds and crimes committed by them. Mr. Silva told media soon after making a complaint to the CID that he did not want to take revenge from anyone but it was them who took revenge from him. “I do not want to take revenge from anyone. They are the ones who took revenge from me. I was not given a proper ministry to work. I came to the CID to complain over all the murders such as Bharatha Laksman Premachandra, Lasantha Wikrametunge and the attacks on several private media institutions. It is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who was […]

Tamils Within The Circuit Of Power Or At The Habitual Barricade?

18th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By  S. Sivathasan The hour produced the man. The nation endorsed his credentials. The leader of choice Maithripala Sirisena, who scored a resounding victory, is now President by right. The nation has spoken loud and clear. The mandate is unmistakable. Cleanse the past and build anew. All join in the process, the Government would say. Respond positively, Tamils would urge of the TNA.   Change of tack The caption of the article is the critical question for the Tamil leadership. A response cannot be evaded after the common collective has scored a landmark victory. Tamils have made their contribution, setting aside their past disappointments. When a community, very much in a mellowed temper thrusts its tested leadership into the corridors of power, it certainly has […]