25th January 2015

Ashok K. Mehta: Post-Poll scenario in Sri Lanka

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Now that a peaceful and democratic regime change has occurred in Sri Lanka, a story that nearly played out can be told. Hours before voting, a senior diplomat in the Indian High Commission in Colombo, when asked whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa would get an unprecedented third term, replied: “How can he lose?” But he added: “It will be very close and if he loses by a whisker, he may go to the Supreme Court or ask the military to intervene.” In a stunning verdict, Sri Lankans spoke: Rajapaksa must go. He was defeated by an unthinkable rainbow coalition of different religious and political groups. Rajapaksa’s astrologer, Sumanadasa Abeygunawardene, has no place to hide, as the presidential poll was called two years early at his bidding… […]

Sri Lanka probes alleged abuses by ex-president

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Colombo – From 68,000 campaign clocks and bulletproof limousines to billions believed stashed abroad, nothing is being overlooked as the new Sri Lankan government sets about investigating the administration of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Since his stunning defeat at the hands of Mr Maithripala Sirisena in the Jan 8 election, Mr Rajapaksa has faced growing accusations of abuse of power, including a failed coup attempt to deny Mr Sirisena victory. The media, once muzzled under his nine-year rule, has been writing about the lavish lifestyles of Mr Rajapaksa and his family members. His country home was recently searched by officials looking for an Italian sports car and a private plane the family is believed to own. “Our family has been in politics since 1931. But […]

Consensus on implementing 13th amendment: Ranil

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on Saturday said political parties have agreed to implement the thirteenth amendment as a solution to end the country’s over three-decade-old ethnic conflict involving the Tamil minority. “All parties have agreed to solve the ethnic problem within the framework of the thirteenth amendment. We are continuing our talks,” Mr. Wickramasinghe said while addressing a gathering at Deniyaya in the south. Power to Councils He further said that all Provincial Councils will have equal powers now that the Tamil National Alliance has said that they are for a solution within an undivided Sri Lanka. Provincial Councils became part of the Sri Lankan statute as a direct result of the landmark 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka accord, popularly known as the Rajiv-Jayawardane Accord, […]

Extremism led to Mahinda Rajapaksas defeat – Ex-Deputy Foreign  Minister

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Religious minorities feared BBS rampage, if Mahinda was re-elected President by Zacki Jabbar  Sinhala Buddhist extremism had led to the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential Election, one of his former Ministers said yesterday.  Former Deputy Foreign Minister Neomal Perera told The Sunday Island that the religious minorities feared that if  President Rajapaksa was re-elected for a third term the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and other extremists in the UPFA government, whom he had failed to   discipline, would have created further havoc in the country leading to another ethnic conflict.  “The religious minorities, just like other all other peace-loving citizens, who were expecting a better life with the end of the war, were shell-shocked when the BBS started attacking Hindu Kovils, Muslim Mosques […]

TNA, SLMC Fight For EPC

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Karunarathne The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) expects the President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to safeguard the democratic process with reference to the issue on taking control of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC). TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the TNA met the President and the Prime Minister recently to seek their support in favour of TNA to obtain the chief ministerial position of the Eastern Provincial Council and form the provincial government. “Right now the TNA is the single largest party in the Eastern Province and we have 11 seats whereas the SLMC has only 8 seats. Therefore even the President agreed that the TNA can claim to hold the chief ministerial position in the Eastern Provincial Council,” he added. […]

Weerawansa owner of a small telecommunication centre became a millionaire within of six years.

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Controversy surrounds over how an owner of a small telecommunication centre became a millionaire within a short span of six years. Complaints have been lodged recently with the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption against the leader of the National Freedom Front and former Minister of Housing and Construction Wimal Weerawansa. After the complaint was lodged, startling revelations have come out how Weerawansa is enjoying a super luxury life and questions have been raised as to how the former minister accumulated such a vast wealth within no time when his sole income was the ministerial salary and the other perks a government minister is entitled to. Weerawansa is accused of acquiring wealth to own one mansion and to construct the second in the same compound […]

Wimal Among the Accused

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Nirmala Kannangara   Among the list of names of Ministers and MPs in the former regime accused of bribery or corruption, former Housing and Construction Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s name is in the forefront. Weerawansa whose sole income when he was a member in the JVP was the earnings he got from running a communication center at Mawaramandiya in Kadawatha. However from the time he extended his support to the Rajapaksa administration in 2008, Weerawansa became a millionaire from unknown source of income claims Kaduwela Mayor G.H. Buddhadasa. Meanwhile Weerawansa is also accused of getting a diplomatic passport for his wife Shashi Weerawansa although ministerial spouses are not entitle to hold the prestigious red passport. It has come to the light how Shashi Weerawansa has […]

JVP starts its own probe

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

A Committee to gather information on allegations of corruption, misuse of funds and murders by members of the previous government would be set up by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a party source said. The JVP has been expressing disappointment over the delays in taking action on those in the previous regime that were alleged to have involved in corruption, misuse of funds and even murder. The party said that it would help provide redress to those affected as well. The committee comprises JVP Members of the Western Provincial Council Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa Lakshman Nipunarachchi and Member of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Hemantha Kumara. Dr. Jayatissa told a media briefing that the committee expected to gather information on corrupt deals including giving State contracts […]