21st June 2015

UNHRC has donated $3.2 million to hold a Diaspora festival: JHU

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Media Spokesperson Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe on Sunday (21) severely condemned the new government’s decision to hold a ‘Diaspora Festival’ in Colombo. “There were reports that the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has already donated over USD 3.2 million to hold this festival. It is highly questionable as to why they needed to allocate money in this regard,” he added. In order to encourage Diaspora members to engage and contribute to efforts in Sri Lanka, the Foreign Ministry is keen to organize a Diaspora festival later this year, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in parliament last week. The Minister said that such an event, depending on how it progresses, could even take the form of a regular annual event, to […]

Prosecute or release LTTE suspects, deputy minister demands

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Percy Kuruneru, Anuradhapura Corr. Women’s Affairs Deputy Minister Vijayakala Maheshwaran on Saturday demanded that the government take immediate action with regard to Tamil detainees in remand custody in Anuradhapura jail without further violating their human rights. “Produce them before courts and punish them if found guilty or release them if there are no charges, but do not keep them just as LTTE suspects,” the Deputy Minister said addressing media soon after visiting the detainees on Saturday. The suspects had been kept for more than two years without any charge against them, she said. “As a member of the incumbent government, I condemn this despicable act and the government should take immediate action without letting them rot behind bars,” she said. “They have been in […]

Govt. invitation is for all Diaspora groups – Foreign Ministry

21st June 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government of Sri Lanka has invited all members of the Sri Lankan Diaspora to contribute to the reconciliation process and the country’s wider development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated. Speaking to The Nation, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mahishini Colonne said the invitation was extended to all members of the Sri Lankan Diaspora and it should not be misconstrued as being confined to engagement with pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora groups. She said the government was keen on having regular interactions with all the Diaspora, meaning anyone of Sri Lankan origin resident overseas. The Diaspora was welcome to contribute in whatever way it could to Sri Lanka, whether it is through sharing of knowledge, skills, or any other form, she added. Colonne said the ministry was encouraged […]

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 […]