10th July 2015

Rajapaksa knows that inciting racism and religious conflict is the best weapon to win the hearts and minds of the majority Sinhalese.

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

By Nagananda Kodituwakku – In 1999, Chandrika promised vibrant democracy On the eve of the Presidential Election in 1999, the PA manifesto promised the people that its future political programme would be based on their inalienable sovereign rights; a vibrant democracy based on law; and a society where human values would be upheld. The promises further included the introduction of a ‘new Constitution’ ensuring social justice, abolishing the Executive Presidency, and the establishment of a Constitutional Council. The fulfilment of these promises would have removed the President’s powers to interfere with important public offices, which include appointment of judges to Apex Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the members of the Judicial Services Commission, the Attorney General, the Auditor General, the IGP, the Ombudsman and […]

Sixteen percent of children in rural and estate sectors not attending school – CCC chief

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

by Sanath Nanayakkare Samantha Ranatunga In spite of our free education system, nearly 50% of children in the rural areas drop out on the threshold of G.C.E (O/L) while a total of 16% of the children of both rural and estate communities do not attend school at all, Samantha Ranatunga, chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said in Colombo recently. “In such circumstances, we in the private sector who pressurise the government to spend more on education should also play an active role in monitoring and upgrading the quality of educational institutions in the country, the CCC chairman noted. Ranatunga who is also the Managing Director/CEO of CIC Company/Group said so addressing the 176th AGM of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently as he took over […]

Tamil women Unprotected against abuse

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

The Nation’s tour of north reveals the crimes committed against women and children is on the rise, but victims are more willing to lodge complaints and highlight this social ill During a time when feminism, women’s rights and violence against women is spoken about at great length, it seems the authorities and relevant government bodies do not consider women’s issues to be a priority. When contacted by The Nation with regard to sexual violence against women, especially in the Northern Province, Women’s Affairs Minister Chandrani Bandara said she was unable to comment due to being busy with election campaigns. Despite multiple attempts, State Minister of Children’s Affairs Rosy Senanayake was also unavailable for comment. Contacting the Police Media Unit was also futile as although willing […]

UNHRC session: Govt-in-waiting ponders response

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha on Wednesday  (July 8) acknowledged that the government-in-waiting would have to gear up to face the next Geneva session in September. Premjayantha said that the previous government had made known its position as regards the accountability issues to the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) several years ago. Consequent to the January 8, 2015, presidential  election, the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration had reached an understanding with Geneva rights body to delay the presentation of war crimes report until September, Premjayantha said, while referring to Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s intervention in that regard. Earlier the report was to be presented last March, the former minister said, adding that the caretaker administration should be prepared to defend the country. Sri […]

Tea workers issue fresh warning over new wage formula

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Paranagamage The All Island Estate Workers Association (AIEWA) yesterday threatened to continue island-wide work slow-downs if the Planters Association (PA) fails to revise its wage formula within 14 days. In response to the ‘go-slow’ campaign that was commenced from 6 July, the PA has ordered the closure of factories belonging to 23 tea companies until such time that disagreements with regard to wages are straightened out. AIEWA President Ramalingam Chandrasekaran confirmed that discussions between the planters association and estate worker unions had failed to produce any kind of compromise since negotiations commenced in March 2015. The unions have demanded a Rs. 400 increase while the PA maintains the position that any further wage increases must be linked to productivity in order to ensure […]

Mahinda’s White Van’s ready for President Sirisena’s supporters.

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

 President Sirisena put his supporters ‘six feet under’, he had lost control over Mahinda’s fraudsters.  I had No control over nominations: President tells civil society reps  Former Sri Lankan leader Mahinda Rajapakse (R) signs nomination papers as party general secretary Susil Premajayantha (L) and his wife Shiranthi Rajapakse (C) look on at his home in a suburb of Colombo on July 9, 2015 – AFP Sobitha Thero snubs Sirisena, refuses to attend Wednesday night meeting President Maithripala Sirisena who met civil society leaders that strongly backed his presidential bid in January at his residence on Wednesday night, said the final decision on granting nominations to his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa was not in his hands. Leaders of civil society movements and trade union collectives were invited […]

MPs who faced various FRAUDULENT charge s in MAHINDA regime are in UPFA nominations.

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

President’s turnaround on UPFA nominations Civil Society dejected Sobhitha Thera turns down President’s request President to explain his position on July 13 Rasika Jayakody Key civil society members, who were instrumental in the election victory of President Maithripala Sirisena in January, have expressed disappointment over the nomination process of the UPFA during a meeting held with the President on Wednesday night. They informed the President that the civil society felt “betrayed” and “cheated” after the UPFA agreed to give nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the Parliamentary election from the UPFA. National Movement for Social Justice Convener Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera turned down the request to take part in the meeting on the grounds that there was no room for any discussion as […]

Prof. Nalin pulls out of UPFA national list

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

Prof. Nalin pulls out of UPFA national list By Sirimantha Ratnasekera Prof Nalin de Silva has turned down an offer from the UPFA to place his name on the coalition’s National List. When contacted for comment, Prof. De Silva confirmed that he had asked alliance officials to strike his name off the list. He said that he would have welcomed being on  national list had former President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to contest separately. He alleged that the decision to give nominations to former President Rajapaksa was a political trap laid by incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena with the blessings of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.  

Rajapaksa redux

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

GIVE credit to Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former president of Sri Lanka (pictured), for his fighting spirit. In early January voters unexpectedly and narrowly denied him a third successive term in office. An opposition alliance of Tamil, Muslim and disaffected Sinhalese had tired of his authoritarian rule and the presence of several of his brothers in government. Despite steady economic growth, voters disliked inflation, rising debt and blatant corruption. His overly powerful presidency also appeared to threaten democracy. Rather than accept the end of his political career, however, Mr Rajapaksa has since been plotting his return. After his defeat he gave up both the presidency and his leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the dominant party of the ruling coalition. His successor in both […]

Half of the number of elected MPs had failed the Advance Level.

10th July 2015 // 0 Comments

Nominations, a betrayal The editorial of The Island of Saturday the 4th instant made some revelations about the educational qualifications of MPs. We were informed that of the 225 members (less the 20-25 nominated on the National List) 95 had failed the Ordinary Level examination and 145 or nearly half of the number of elected MPs had failed the Advance Level. It is assumed that the other half consists of graduates, professionals and those with post graduate qualifications. I don’t know to which category the former President belonged though by all accounts he was a lawyer who had a privileged entry to the Law School. There was a series of articles in the newspapers recently by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha about the role of the MP. […]