19th May 2015

Mayor of City of London enthusiastic over Sri Lanka’s prospects

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Calls for political, institutional reform to smooth way for British investments, PPP Welcomes opportunity to engage with Sri Lanka following result at last presidential elections Says SL has got more qualifications per capita than almost any other emerging economy Meets Finance Minister, CB, SEC chiefs and Colombo Mayor By Channa Fernandopulle Sri Lanka must unlock pent-up growth through concerted political and institutional reform with an emphasis on education and closing the skills gap, according to visiting Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow. Speaking exclusively with Daily FT, Yarrow expressed great optimism over the nation’s economic prospects given its well-educated population and encouraging post-war growth. However, he stressed that the effective resolution of human rights issues and a general election would be […]

Sirisena Manages To Put Mahinda Rajapaksa In Tight Spot: Alan Keenan

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka appeared to turn a new leaf with the election in January 2015 of President Maithripala Sirisena. This put an end to rule of this country of 21 million people by Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is closely associated with a brutal 2009 victory over the Tamil Tiger insurgency and authoritarian government. Alan Keenan, International Crisis Group’s senior analyst discusses how much President Sirisena, previously a minor figure in Rajapaksa’s government, has changed politics on the South Asian island. We publish be the interview done by the International Crisis Group. You recently returned from Sri Lanka. It’s now been four months since Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena came to office. Did the political atmosphere in the country feel different from before? Alan Keenan: Absolutely. The most striking change is that […]

Committee probing prison murders record statement from Gota

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

The three-member committee appointed by the Government to probe the alleged murder of 27 inmates at the Welikada Prison in 2012 yesterday met with former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The committee had recorded a statement over the matter from the former Defence Secretary. The committee had reportedly spent close to six hours with Rajapaksa, taking down his statement. Eye witnesses of the Welikada Prison riot have publicly claimed that they were executed by members of the security forces after the riot. The Welikada prison riot, which occurred on 9 November 2012, resulted in 27 deaths and injuries to over 40 people including law enforcement personnel as well as the loss of 250 rifles.

Paavai Stands Tall as Reminder of Eelam Martyrs

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

THANJAVUR:The imposing figure of Tamil Paavai (Tamil Woman) with a lamp in her hand, carved from a single stone of 60 tonnes and kept on a 15-foot high pedestal stands at the centre of Mullivaikal Memorial in Vilar near Thanjavur. The Tamil Paavai pays tributes to the 1.4 lakh ethnic Tamils killed in Mullivaikal in Sri Lanka on May 17, 2009 during the final phase of Eelam war. Scenes of the tragedy are etched on a 55-ft long, 10-ft high frieze on the left side of the Tamil Paavai. The 20 martyrs, including Muthukumar, who immolated themselves in Tamil Nadu are depicted in another frieze on the right side of the Paavai. In a casket on the pedestal stand glass pots, containing the blood-stained earth […]

Valalai (Jaffna): Re-militarisation of released villages with façade of resettlement

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Valalai[1] is a Tamil village of about 233 acres[2] that was occupied by the military for nearly 25 years and before it was handed back to villagers in March 2015 by President Sirisena. Yet, more than 50 days after that handover, villagers don’t see hope for resettlement as almost nothing has been provided for them to resettle into. I met a few villagers who had already decided to stay there in makeshift tents and huts and few others who had visited for the day. I was told that only about 10 out of 155 families[3] are staying there and that a few others visit for the day. A few people, including members of the Catholic Clergy, told me that they had seen several buildings that […]

Sinhalese say District Councils and no more. The Tamils says Regional Councils and no less. I say Provincial Councils

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dayan Jayatilleka – It’s out in the open now, the discrepancy in the views of the President and the Prime Minister about the timing of the elections. The Prime Minister hopes for July, while the President’s circle prefers September. I suspect it may be about astrology, but in Sri Lankan politics, the broad timing of the decision is not astrological –not even President Rajapaksa’s decision to go for an election two years ahead of schedule—but the fine tuning is. In other words, unlike in personal matters where the soothsayers’ word is law, Sri Lankan politicians make a political decision about the rough timing of the election on political grounds and from within your collective political unit (party, faction, family etc.) but your astrologer then […]

The Aim Today Is To Win The Peace

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

By Ranil Wickremesinghe Winning a war or revolution, only to lose the subsequent peace is one of the grim political truths of our time. In Iraq, a quick military victory over Saddam Hussein’s regime soon gave way to insurgency, civil war and the rise of the murderous ISIS. In Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, the hopes unleashed by the Arab Spring have similarly turned into an often violent despair. Today, a half-decade after the end of its 36-year civil war, Sri Lanka is at a crucial moment in its own efforts to consolidate peace and secure its long-term benefits. Newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena and I, as prime minister, are determined to win that peace, and to help our country become a prosperous Asian island […]

True Reconciliation Requires Compromise – V Anandasangaree

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Perhaps the most senior politician in active politics today, with of over fifty five years of service, V Anandasangaree is very patriotic and he loves the country and its people. However he feels that even under the present circumstances he is ignored and sidelined. Having won the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh award for tolerance and nonviolence in 2006, he believes that all Tamil parties should unite and work for the Tamil people who had suffered enough during the war. Anandasangaree feels that today none of the Tamil politicians are genuinely concerned about the people and they are all only interested in promoting themselves. He said that true reconciliation can only be achieved through compromise and peaceful dialog. As a senior politician in the country, his advice to […]

More Than Words: A Few Thoughts On The Challenges Facing The President

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

By Lionel Guruge President Maithripala Sirisena is quoted as having made a few statements at the events he attended in the past few weeks. Spanning three broad themes, these are all equally important for the citizens of Sri Lanka. The first statement, made at St. Johns College, Nugegoda in commemoration of their century centennial, was the need to conduct a large colloquium on the topic of education in Sri Lanka. The second statement, made during the opening ceremony of the Magampura museum, was that what Sri Lanka needs is political harmony. This comment was made focusing on the appearance of both Sajith Premadasa and Mahinda Amaraweera on the same political stage. Last but certainly not least, whilst addressing students at Law College President Sirisena proclaimed […]