June 2015

To London For Reconciliation?

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

It’s anybody’s guess why London was chosen as the venue for the latest round of ‘secret parleys’ on the ethnic front, but like any other things in London, New York or most big cities of the world, when it rains, it pours. It’s not that discussions and negotiations of the kind should not be held in utter secrecy, for them to succeed, but it’s also necessary that those secrets are kept secret until secrecy had served its purpose. It’s also anybody’s guess why the Government had to be represented in the London parleys, or why it had to be represented at the level of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera? Does it mean that the Government leadership was hopeful of an early settlement to the ethnic issue, […]

“How can UPFA nominate MR as prime ministerial candidate?,” asks Maithri The people have rejected him for bad governance and corruption

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

by Zacki Jabbar President Maithripala Sirisena, breaking his silence for the first time, has told SLFP seniors that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot be nominated as the UPFA’s prime ministerial candidate because he had been rejected by the people for running  a lawless and corrupt government. “How do you expect me to nominate Mahinda as our prime ministerial candidate when the vast majority of people have voted against him for not adhering to good governance, rule of law and the unprecedented corruption that prevailed under his rule,” the president had asked Rajapaksa loyalists pushing the “Bring Back Mahinda” line, informed sources said yesterday. Sirisena had explained that he had been elected to office on a pledge to re-establish democratic governance, enforce the rule of law and eliminate the […]

MR shuffles pack for Premiership ?

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

MR shuffles pack for Premiership ? Several sources close to former President MahindaRajapaksa said he had decided to substitute front–runners Wimal Weerawansha, Dinesh Gunawardena, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Udaya Gammanpila with a powerful new frontline group drawn from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to secure the Prime Ministerial candidacy nomination for himself at the upcoming General Election. The sources added that Rajapaksa’s primary reason for this course correction was spurred by the attendance of many powerful figures of the SLFP at the rally held in Matara recently and the relevance of drafting them into this battle. Another group however said the main reason for this change was an issue regarding astrological predictions. It is said that the former President decided to take these steps on […]

MR shuffles pack for Premiership ?

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dilanka Gunatillaka Several sources close to former President MahindaRajapaksa said he had decided to substitute front–runners Wimal Weerawansha, Dinesh Gunawardena, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Udaya Gammanpila with a powerful new frontline group drawn from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to secure the Prime Ministerial candidacy nomination for himself at the upcoming General Election. The sources added that Rajapaksa’s primary reason for this course correction was spurred by the attendance of many powerful figures of the SLFP at the rally held in Matara recently and the relevance of drafting them into this battle. Another group however said the main reason for this change was an issue regarding astrological predictions. It is said that the former President decided to take these steps on the advice of […]

Rajapaksa rejects Sirisena’s ‘distinguished post’ offer

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rejected an offer by his successor Maithripala Sirisena to appoint him to a ‘distinguished office’ if he quits politics.The offer was made by President Sirisena to a six-member Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Friday. The committee, named at the SLFP’s National Executive Council meeting chaired by Mr Sirisena on Tuesday, was to evolve ways and means of bringing about unity in the party. The same night the six-member Committee met in Colombo and decided to ask Mr Sirisena to take Rajapaksa on board for the parliamentary election campaign among other matters. They conveyed their decision to Sirisena on Friday afternoon. The President said Rajapaksa would not be made the Prime Ministerial candidate nor appointed on the […]

During the polls campaign we went on stage and said we will chase out the Rajapaksa administration.

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

Political leaders swim in stormy seas… The political centre stage looked confused over the past week with signals going in many directions. President Maithripala Sirisena sent shock waves into the calm UNP Sea when Maithri announced at Dambadeniya that he had not entered into any agreement with the United National Party (UNP), and had not given any assurance that he would make Ranil Wickremesinghe the Prime Minister in the next Parliament. He told the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) organizers there that if the party stood divided the UNP would form a government at the next elections and cautioned them about their future plight. This statement fully confused the UNP, while the SLFPers too wondered as to what Maithri was going to do after the […]

Who’s Rattling Whom?

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

For the past five months plus several days the people of Sri Lanka have lived in a political abyss of despair. The 100-day government has delivered some price cut, achieved a very watered down version of the 19th Amendment, got itself embroiled in an epic battle of wits over “Bond gate” the infamous 30-year treasury bond and is struggling with the 20th Amendment to the constitution. The electoral reforms envisaged therein have led to acrimonious mini battles between the minority parties and the somewhat bigger mainstream parties. The people appear to be at sea whilst legislators too struggle to find a rational explanation to sell the idea to the people of Sri Lanka. One lot are in agreement with the 20th Amendment in principle but do […]

Ranil needs Maithripala right now.

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

The joke was that Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe, regardless of stated political differences, were totally dependent on each other.  In Mahinda’s case Ranil was the perfect Opposition Leader and he would have loved nothing better than having to go head-to-head with the man.  The fact that Ranil shied away from such a confrontation on two occasion, gives credence to this view. Ranil needed Mahinda.  The out-of-the-blue road work outside Sirikotha when Ranil was harangued by party detractors was just one of several moves made by the aiya to help the malli.  All that’s in the past, after the January 2015 results, one might think.  Is it true though? Right now Ranil Wickremesinghe is acting as though he’s the all powerful executive Prime Minister.  Many […]

No Come Back For Political Rejects

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

Despite Sri Lankan political rhetoric being rarely subtle and sophisticated in recent times we have noticed a tone of ambiguous subtlety and even obfuscation, particularly from the present opposition. An outstanding example is the call for the dissolution of parliament followed by a parliamentary election. Till last week every party and relevant politician was for the dissolution of parliament followed by an election, provided the 20th Amendment which would bring in a new electoral system was enacted before dissolution. President Maithripala Sirisena was for it and so were political parties, big and small. However there were doubts in some quarters that this amendment was a façade to delay dissolution and the proposed election itself. President Sirisena’s intentions were to bring the ideals of good governance […]

Befuddlement in Colombo; shenanigans in Jaffna

20th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Guest Column by Dr Kumar David After a crisp period of activity following the election of Maithripala Sirisena as president and the induction of Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister in January and culminating in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution (19A) in April, statecraft in Lanka entered a period of limbo and what will happen next is uncertain. The tasks that should be placed on the agenda are crystal clear but that’s another matter. One healthy feature of today’s political climate is that the working relationship between President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil (S&R) are good; the two are getting on well despite being from different and historically opposed political camps; the Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) versus the United National Party (UNP).  […]

All the Tamil Militants kept in Secret Camps after surrendering with ‘White Flag’ in Sri Lanka were killed by Mahinda Government

20th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil Militants who surrendered with White Flag after UN negotiated the surrender were taken to Secret Camps by Sri Lanka forces in May 2009- Are They Still Alive? NO says PM Ranil Were they killed in these camps by Mahinda’s Government forces? I cannot speak for the previous government says PM Ranil “After we took over the government, there are no secret camps. I cannot speak for the time before that,” PM Wickremesinghe (said in Jaffna on Friday March 27). In addition to thousands of Tamil militants More than 1000 LTTE Leaders and their family members who surrendered with white flag after UN negotiated the surrender were taken away to secret camps by the Sri Lankan forces in May 2009. It is believed that the Girls were […]

SLN occupies most of military-seized lands outside ‘HSZ’ in Jaffna

20th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Around 30 of 47 acres of lands seized together with residential houses outside the so-called High Security Zone (HSZ) in Jaffna district is occupied by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) in Neduntheevu (Delft), Maruthangkea’ni in Vadmaraadchi East and in Thellip-pazhai, according to the data collected by the District Secretariat in Jaffna in February 2015. Sri Lankan Police has occupied 88 houses, SL Navy has seized 57 properties and the SLA keeps 23 properties outside the ‘military zones’ in the district. The SL military has reiterated several times now that it has no plan of reducing the military deployment in the country of Eezham Tamils. The Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council, Justice CV Wigneswaran, who has been demanding de-militarisation of North recently characterised the density […]

GTF Has No Mandate To Speak On Behalf Of Tamil Diaspora: TGTE

19th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has no mandate to speak on behalf of the rest of the Diaspora, says the senate of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) Sending an advisory note to the TGTE parliament its senate made the remarks above on the recent London talks. We publish below the TGTE Senate Advisory in full; Following is a broad summary of suggestions and comments made by various members of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) Senate on the recent talks in London between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Global Tamil Forum (GTF), ostensibly for developing ‘confidence building measures between all communities within and outside Sri Lanka’: Action Points: 1. We can’t afford to shift from our goal – which […]

‘Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora members want to return’

19th June 2015 // 0 Comments

While there might be some pro-LTTE elements among the diaspora, there are many persons who are very moderate, says SLFP leader Rajitha Senaratne. A “very big majority” of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora has been against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The community is eager to return to the country “as early as possible,” Rajitha Senaratne, Cabinet spokesperson and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)’s senior leader, said on Thursday. Responding to questions on the recent dialogue between the Global Tamil Forum and the Tamil National Alliance in London in which Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was also present, Dr. Senaratne said that while there might be some pro-LTTE elements among the diaspora, he knew from his interactions that there were many persons “who […]

Sri Lanka: A painful lesson abroad

19th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Carroll du Chateau’s enjoyable tour of Sri Lanka takes an unexpected medical detour. With a bit of help, the writer got to see the tea plantations of Sri Lanka despite injuring her leg on holiday. Photo / Alex Robertson It was the cobweb that worried me. Grey, dusty and long, it floated in the air-conditioned breeze of my private hospital room. Half an hour earlier I’d assured Visa’s crisp-sounding travel insurance assessor, and their medical expert, that yes, Kandy Hospital, in deepest Sri Lanka, was an excellent medical provider, eminently capable of delivering a general anaesthetic and stitching up my gashed leg. “It’s your decision, Ms du Chateau,” she had said. “Kandy Hospital’s not on our list of preferred medical providers, but if you’re satisfied […]

FM: Sri Lanka to dilute dependence on China

19th June 2015 // 0 Comments

China-Pak friendship cozier… US not amused Chinese President Xi Jinping who paid a two day visit to Pakistan, certifying his hosts’ commitment to fight terrorism, particularly by the ‘non-state actors’, could not have bargained for the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announcing during his visit the successful test firing of its first indigenously developed missile named ‘Omar-1’………….READ ALL Iran sanctions likely to be lifted end June – US Embassy tells tea exporters Ceylon Finance Today: The US Embassy in Colombo has assured the Tea Exporters Association (TEA) that US government was hopeful that an agreement would be reached on the Iran nuclear issue by the end of June and that sanctions could be relaxed. This would allow Sri Lanka to overcome current problems with tea exports […]

NO Nomination for MR

19th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Maithri rejects concessions to MR at polls: Rajitha President Maithripala Sirisena has flatly rejected to grant any concession to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming election campaign, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today. Minister Senaratne told the weekly cabinet news briefing that President Sirisena categorically told the six-member committee appointed to mend fences among the two worrying factions that Mr. Rajapaksa did not qualify to be nominated as the Prime Ministerial candidate, in the national list or get nominations from the SLFP to contest the poll. – See more  NO Nomination for MR – Rajitha Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said at the weekly Cabinet briefing yesterday (18) that President Maithripala Sirisena will not give former President Mahinda Rajapaksa nomination from […]

Ghosts in Rajapaksa village

19th June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mahesh Wijesuriya – Anuradhapura There is great fear among the people of the Rajapaksa village, Thambuttegama, due to unnatural images of a woman, a man and a girl of about 14 years of age, dressed in white, appearing in the village. Several people who have got scared subsequent to seeing these ghostly, unnatural images, have been treated with rituals. Grama Niladhari Ashoka Dharmakeerthi in charge of Thulana said that the residents of the village had summoned ‘spiritualists’ (Huniyam kaarayao) to the stretch of fields in the Rajapaksa village where these images appear, and have arranged to have rituals conducted to exorcise them. A 50-year-old woman named M. G. Indrawathie of Rajapaksa village who does not consume any meat or ever believed in ghosts, and was […]

The spirit of the Magna Carta needs revival

19th June 2015 // 0 Comments

When was the Magna Carta signed? A Brit asked this question from an American friend during a business lunch at a New York restaurant. When the American shook his head in ignorance, displaying the average American’s trouble with history, the Brit, with his nose in the air, said twelve fifteen. The American looked at his watch and said, “Oh, I missed it by 15 minutes.” If this is a quotable joke, what happened in 2012 was a public embarrassment for British Prime Minister David Cameron.  When US talk show host David Letterman asked Cameron when the Magna Carta was signed, a confident Cameron replied: “1215, on an island in the Thames.”  Well, it was pointed out to him that Runnymede where it was signed was […]

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