17th August 2015

What Does Sri Lanka’s Election Mean for Global Superpowers? Q&A

17th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka votes on Monday to pick a new parliament for the second time since the end of a bloody civil war that deterred investors and tourists. The country’s economy has grown an average of 7.4 percent per year in that time, fueled in part by visitors to its beach resorts. Sri Lanka welcomed more than 1.5 million tourists last year, triple what it drew in 2009 when the war ended. Polls are scheduled to open at 7 a.m. local time and close at 4 p.m., with results probably emerging early on Tuesday. The main fight is between the United National Party (UNP) backing President Maithripala Sirisena, and former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Here are answers to some frequently asked questions. […]

What you need to know about Sri Lankan election

17th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka holds a parliamentary election on Monday, seven months after Maithripala Sirisena won a landslide victory over his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa in a presidential election. What you need to know about Sri Lankan election By Pichayada Promchertchoo, Correspondent, Channel NewsAsia COLOMBO: On Monday (17 Aug), Sri Lanka holds a parliamentary election where its citizens vote to elect 225 members of the country’s 15th parliament. Of these, 195 members of parliament will be chosen by the public. Once elected, the winning parties will then nominate 30 more MPs to fill the remaining seats. Two main competitors in this year’s election are the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the United National Party (UNP). A Sri Lankan woman in Jaffna, north of Sri Lanka. (Photo: Pichayada Promchertchoo/CNA) […]

Official translation – Letter by President Maithripala Sirisena to Mahinda Rajapaksa

17th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Official translation, sent to us by the Presidential Secretariat, of the letter by President Maithripala Sirisena to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, penned on 13 August 2015. For Rajpaksa’s response to this letter (in Sinhala) see here. Image courtesy Indi.ca. Dear Mr. Mahinda Rajapasksa, I am writing to you today, in my capacity as the chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the leading single political party in the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), which having victoriously produced four Executive Presidents and won four Parliamentary elections over the past two decades, was defeated in the Presidential election on last January 08 under your leadership. Both of us entered national politics from this great party. The SLFP and the voters who kept their faith in it made […]

UNP With 95 to 105 Seats will be Single Largest Coalition in new Parliament!

17th August 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dharisha Bastians Sri Lankans will vote to elect legislators to sit in the country’s 15th Parliament today, in a poll that has become a rematch between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the coalition that defeated him in the January presidential contest. Over 15 million voters are registered to vote at 12,314 polling stations around the island in today’s Parliamentary election to choose the new 225-member Legislature. The Elections Department began the distribution of ballot boxes to polling stations islandwide at 7 a.m. yesterday, and the task was completed by mid-afternoon, election officials said. The department will deploy 125,000 officials for election duty today, with 70,000 officials ear-marked for vote-counting once polling concludes this evening. Polls Chief Mahinda Deshapriya said he expects the first results of […]

Even God Cannot Save Tamils if People Vote for Diaspora Backed TNPF – ACTC “Cycle”

17th August 2015 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) which is contesting the 2015 Parliamentary polls under the cycle symbol of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) unveiled its election manifesto in Valvettithurai on August 2nd 2015. The date coincided with the 26th anniversary of the VVT massacre of 1989 where over 30 civilians were killed by the Indian army after an LTTE attack was launched from the VVT hospital premises. The TNPF paid homage to the victims of the 1989 VVT massacre and the LTTE Great Heroes or “Maaveerargal” before commencing their rally at the VVT “Revady Sports Club” grounds. The manifesto was released at the TNPF rally. The ACTC/TNPF is contesting all five electoral districts in the Northern and Eastern provinces. The ACTC list for […]

Sri Lankan election offers hope for families of the disappeared

17th August 2015 // 0 Comments

by Amantha Perera JAFFNA AND BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka — For tens of thousands of people in Sri Lanka, photographs of the missing are treated as family treasures. In the north and east of the country, the former war zone for the 26-year-long civil war, they are everywhere. They grace the entrances of the mud-wall houses or are hung inside high on the wall next to pictures of deities, sometimes garlanded with strings of lights or flowers. Many families risked their lives for these photographs, salvaging them during the last desperate months of the war, by keeping them tucked inside clothes while dodging artillery shells or stray bullets. There are no official assessments of the missing in the Sri Lankan conflict, but some researchers believe that more than […]

Swiss politician wants Lankans sent back

17th August 2015 // 0 Comments

A leading Swiss politician has called for the return of Sri Lankan asylum seekers in Switzerland as the island is now at peace, the AFP news agency reported. He said people fleeing conflict should only receive temporary protection in Switzerland, calling for a rethinking of the country’s approach to asylum seekers in an interview published today. “People displaced by war should still be taken in but only with the aim of sending them back later when the situation in their country of origin allows it,” Philipp Mueller, leader of the influential center-right FDP party, told the Schweiz am Sonntag paper. “People attempting to enter for economic reasons must be rejected,” Mueller added. Noting “chaos” on the Greek island of Kos, where thousands of migrants mainly […]

Lankan Elections Put Future Of Top Leaders On The Line

17th August 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The future of Sri Lanka’s top most leaders, namely, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe; former President Mahinda Rajapaksa; and incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena; will be on the line on Monday as 15 million Lankans elect a 225-member parliament. If the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) wins, as predicted by most opinion polls, its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s political future is secure for the next five years. But if the UNFGG loses, powerful factions in his United National Party (UNP) will demand his scalp. Already 66, this is his last chance to bid for a top job. Rajapaksa For Rajapaksa too, this is the last chance to occupy a top office. He is already 69. And Premiership is all that he can aspire for, because […]

Sri Lanka heading for troubled waters

17th August 2015 // 0 Comments

BY M.K. BHADRAKUMAR on AUGUST 16, 2015 in <the_category(< p=””>ASIA TIMES NEWS & FEATURES, AT TOP WRITERS The parliamentary election in Sri Lanka on Monday has lost much of its geopolitical import because it is no more the ‘Chinese election’ it was meant to be. Actually, Reuters estimates, with a good measure of accuracy, that no matter which of the two electoral fronts wins the election – led respectively by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa – Sri Lanka will be “a non-aligned investment attraction”. That is to say, even if Beijing’s preferred candidate, Rajapaksa, is defeated, the fact remains that Wickremesinghe, despite being pro-Western in outlook, “is not about to slam the door on China”. Nonetheless, the outcome of Monday’s election still assumes importance. The heart of the […]