22nd January 2015

Mangala Samaraweera Reveals the Real Political Agenda of the new Government in India.

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

By DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Who and what do we take more seriously? Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s promise made to the Sri Lankan parliament of ‘the implementation of the 13th amendment within the unitary state’, or that which his Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has disclosed in New Delhi, India, while “talking to a select group of journalists”? I’d go with the latter, not only because of the venue, but also because Mr. Samaraweera is known to be the bridge between Mr. Wickremesinghe and his influential political ally and partner, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. The Foreign Minister has given us the first clear inkling of the real political agenda of the new Government: “Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps President […]

Change of govt. likely to affect bogus SL asylum seekers

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando  The Home Office closely monitored the situation in countries that generated asylum seekers to the UK, including Sri Lanka, and provided accurate, objective, sourced and up to date country information for the use of those officials involved in the asylum decision making process, a spokesperson for the British High Commission said yesterday.  She was responding to a query by The Island whether the Home Office would be reviewing its position consequent to the change of government in Colombo.  The spokesperson said: “All asylum and human rights applications from Sri Lankans are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with the UK’s obligations under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights […]

Nedumaran seeks a merged N-E

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

The new government in Sri Lanka should merge the Northern and Eastern provinces and accord the right to land and policing rights to the local government, if it wanted to win the faith of Tamils, founder of Tamil Desiya Munnani P. Nedumaran, said on Wednesday, according to The Hindu newspaper. Addressing reporters in Madurai, he said that he would take the promise of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on implementing the 13th Amendment with a pinch of salt. “Such a move should get Sri Lankan Parliament’s ratification to make it legal or else it will face the same fate as in the past,” he said. All the Sinhalese people, who were settled in Tamil areas, should be evacuated, he said. The present government too took […]

Weerawansa Blames Basil For Election Defeat

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Leader of National Freedom Front Wimal Weerawansa said that former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s conduct was a main reason for the defeat of his brother former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in the recent presidential election. He made this comment to BBC Sandeshaya when questioned about Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s comment in parliament that Wimal Weerawansa helped defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa. Weerawansa countered by stating that he actually helped increase the votes for Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has said that Basil Rajapaksa centralized the authority of many functions towards himself and therefore it was hard to break the opposition argument on family rule. He added that Mahinda Rajapaksa could not prevent his brother from doing this. Weerawansa has also added that Basil Rajapaksa prevented reforms and changes from […]

Sri Lankan Muslims call on investigation into religious killings

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) — A Sri Lankan minority party on Thursday called upon the newly elected president to reinvestigate religious killings which had occurred in the country under the previous regime. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Party (SLMC) said that while the government had a tight schedule under its 100-day policy program, it would request the president to reinvestigate Muslim killings and attacks led by Sinhala extremist monks last June, soon after the April general elections. “The government has a lot to do in its 100-day policy program. But we want a reinvestigation into the killings and attacks soon after the April polls,” SLMC General Secretary and newly appointed State Minister of Health, M. Hassen Ali told Xinhua. Hassen Ali further said that his […]

UK report says Lanka still short

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

There was no overall improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka during the last three months of last year, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in an update on Sri Lanka’s human rights situation, as the island continued to remain as a country of concern. The update notes that the UN Human Rights Committee examined Sri Lanka’s fifth periodic report from 7-8 October 2014. The committee’s observations covered a wide range of issues, including investigations into abuses during the conflict, counter-terrorism measures, unlawful use of force, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and persecution of journalists and human rights defenders. The update also noted that there had been reports of violence following the proclamation in November 2014 of presidential elections. […]

Dr. Wickremebahu to National executive council

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

(Lanka-e-News- 19.Jan.2015, 11.00PM) It has been decided to include Dr. Wickremebahu Karunaratne in the historic national executive council that was launched on the 15 th of this month for charting the course of the future of the country , according to reports. Dr. Wickremebahu who has a PhD degree from the University of Cambridge on a rare subject in Sri Lanka , is a staunch socialist and an intellectual. It is learnt that he will be participating in the next meeting of the council scheduled for 20 th of this month. Meanwhile , JVP leader Anura Dissanayake is getting ready to bring forward two proposals before the apex committee of the council that takes decisions , Dissanayake has disclosed. The two proposals are : To […]

No to Federal System Setback for Tamils

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: In a move which may disappoint the minority Tamils, Sri Lanka’s new government has categorically ruled out adoption of a federal constitution for the country. In his maiden speech in Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe disregarded the Tamil National Alliance’s long-standing demand for a federal constitution and made it clear that Lanka will remain a unitary state in which power will be devolved to the provinces without disturbing the country’s unitary constitutional framework. Wickremesinghe said that the (India-inspired) 13th Amendment of the constitution, which devolves a modicum of powers to the country’s nine provinces, will be implemented within the framework of the existing unitary constitution. Thus, the government of President Maithripala Sirisena has allayed one of the entrenched fears among the country’s […]

India’s new Lanka agenda

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

The smallest of diplomatic gestures are sought to be analysed from the prism of China-India rivalry on the island nation of Sri Lanka. The fact that India’s high commissioner in Colombo could meet the new President, Maithripala Sirisena, within hours of his victory and the Chinese envoy could not for more than six days, has been much commented upon. Then there was a report that the Colombo station chief of India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing, played a crucial part in forging anti-Rajapaksa coalition, leading to his expulsion just ahead of the voting, which led to much speculation and vehement denials from both India and Sri Lanka. That Sri Lanka’s new foreign minister but old hand in diplomacy, Mangala Samaraweera, made New Delhi […]

Sirisena Government Probing Defense Ministry’s Shady Deals

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government has ordered investigations into the shady deals of the Ministry of Defense under the stewardship of the former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, one of the brothers of defeated Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Stating this at a media briefing here on Wednesday, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that the discovery of huge caches of sophisticated arms and ammo from a vessel in Galle and at a conference center in Colombo, has revealed that the Ministry of Defense under Gotabaya Rajapaksa may have been involved in unlawful and questionable dealings with a political dimension. The Military Spokesman said that the vessel and the arms belong to a Lankan Defense Ministry-owned sea security firm Rakna Lanka Ltf (RALL) involved in anti-piracy operations on […]

Sirisena-Ranil Govt. scores half a century

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Three-month term only but six  More ministerial types appointed bringing total to 51 Their term may be limited to three months but there has been more clamour for ministerial posts judging by six new appointments made yesterday. The Government announced the appointment of a new Cabinet Minister, a State Minister and four Deputy Ministers. Abdul Halim Mohammed Hazim was named Muslim Religious Affairs Minister, Mohamed Thumbi Hassan Ali State Minister of Health and Ranjan Ramanayake Deputy Minister of Social Services Welfare and Livestock Development. Other deputy ministers were Wasantha Aluwihare as Deputy Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Amir Ali Sahabdeen as Deputy Minister of Housing and Samurdhi Development and Mohammad Shariff Thoufeek as Deputy Minister of Internal Transport. Following is the full updated list […]

Sri Lanka’s foreign policy: introducing balance and proportion

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

In this handout photograph received from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) on January 19, 2015, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera (L) shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Sri Lanka’s new foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera met his Indian counterpart in New Delhi January 18 during a visit to improve strained ties after elections in the island toppled longtime strongman Mahinda Rajapakse. AFP It need hardly be said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa years were characterized by lopsidedness and imbalance in this country’s foreign policy conceptualization and implementation. Needless to say, not many dared openly criticize these ‘trajectories’ in Lankan foreign policy for fear of reprisals of one kind or another. It ought to come as a huge relief to knowledgeable sections […]

Election Results And Executive Presidency

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

N Sathiya Moorthy The none-too-unanticipated situation in which the smooth power-transfer in government is being followed by a similar leadership-change in President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has a message for the parliamentary polls, due anytime before March 2016. Considering that the re-united SLFP has decided to sit in the Opposition could mean that the nation may have returned to the days of the cohabitation era of 2004-05, when SLFP’s President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK) and UNP’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe wrecked the boat from within. The SLFP merger has ensured that at least in name the party has a longer stint at the presidency, since CBK came to power first in 1994, to be followed by Rajapaksa and now Sirisena. President Sirisena […]