6th September 2015

National Government in place, but President Sirisena faces stiff dissent within the SLFP

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Half the number of SLFP MPs defy whip and stay away from voting for key resolution Conflict over appointment of Opposition leader continues; different moves and contradictory statements UPFA in a shambles; defeat after defeat and divisions within divisions Like the pithy Sinhala proverb, for the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), it was a case of being gored by a bull after a fall from a tree. It failed to win the August 17 parliamentary elections. It trailed by 11 seats against its main rival, the United National Party (UNP) which secured 106 seats. Thus the formation of a Government was not within the UPFA’s reach. So while for some, joining a National Government and continuing to be cabinet ministers was an attractive proposition, for others, […]

Mahinda-led SLFP dissident group to function as Opposition in Parliament?

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

 Mahinda-led SLFP dissident group to function as Opposition in Parliament? Neomal Perera accuses Mahinda of causing defeat of many SLFPers by Zacki Jabbar Despite the UNP and SLFP forming a National Government, some SLFP parliamentarians who are not happy with the arrangement are planning to function as the Opposition. An SLFP’er who was appointed a Minister on Friday told the “Sunday Island” that all was not well in the SLFP camp with the dissident group led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa canvassing support among disgruntled MP’s to stage a coup d’etat of sorts to function as the Opposition in direct violation of the SLFP Central Committee’s endorsement for the formation of a National Government with the UNP and like minded parties. Asked whether  the rebels would […]

UNP-SLFP common stand on Geneva issue

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Partners of the National Government are to reach common ground on issues before the UN Human Rights Council sessions later this month. That will include the formal response to the report on the Investigations on Sri Lanka (OISL) and matters relating to the domestic inquiry mechanism the Government wants to adopt. This will be one of the highlights of an extended Memorandum of Understanding which the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will agree upon, UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema told the Sunday Times yesterday. An advance copy of the OISL report is expected to be presented to President Maithripala Sirisena next week. Thereafter the report will be formally presented to the Council at its 29th sessions which begin on September 15. […]

Disappearances CHRD calls for Int’l probe

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas The Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) said a war crime probe conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is necessary as there has not been any credible mechanism from the Sri Lankan Government that had meted out justice for the families of the disappeared. Issuing a report on enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka, the director of CHRD K.S. Ratnavale said the interference of the international community in the investigations is of utmost importance. The CHRD report was launched to make an impact when the matter will be discussed at the 30th UNHRC session. “The international community should intervene in matters of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka, specifically the cases of white van abductions, abductions carried out by […]

Seeman to take LTTE struggle forward

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Sulochana Ramiah Mohan in Chennai, Tamil Nadu South Indian film director, actor and Leader of Naam Thamilar Katchi, Senthamilan Seeman, is on record fanning the LTTE, protesting and going to prison for the Sri Lankan Tamil cause. Seeman and wife Kayalvili welcomed Sulochana Ramiah Mohan of Ceylon Today to his Chennai residence in a warm manner. He is a welcoming host and his wife even goes to the extent of cooking a meal for his visitors who are interested in talking Tamil politics. Seeman who has learned several martial arts skills such as Karate and Silambadi (an oldest form of fighting using sticks) became emotional when he recalled the last days of the Eelam War and said he would set straight the ugly records […]

SLFP infighting continues, TNA faces dissent

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

SLFP infighting continues, TNA faces dissent Sunday Politics with Rasika Jayakody By taking part in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s 64th anniversary ceremony at President Maithripala Sirisena’s hometown, Polonnaruwa, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa showed that he is more thick-skinned than most politicians of his era. On the one hand, the anniversary ceremony was held in the hometown of President Sirisena. As if to drive a point home, the organisers invited as keynote speaker Professor Sarath Wijesuriya, a staunch critic of the Rajapaksa administration and a key member of the Puravesi Balaya (Citizens’ Power) organization which backed Sirisena at the last Presidential election. By inviting Prof. Wijesuriya to deliver the keynote address at the event, the SLFP wanted to indicate to its supporters that the party […]

TNA to talk to govt. on national question

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The main opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said yesterday it hoped to hold talks with the government on resolving the national question no sooner Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe returns from his upcoming visit to India, party officials said yesterday.   TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran told Daily Mirror that one of the stated objectives of the national unity government was the resolution of the national question.   “We will talk to the government straightaway with a view to resolving the long outstanding matter,” he said and added that the Tamil people were happy with the appointment of TNA leader R. Sampanthan as the Opposition Leader of Parliament.   According to reports several religious ceremonies have been organised at Hindu kovils in the North and East to […]

Sampanthan’s Appointment Helps Sirisena Checkmate Rajapaksa

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO:The appointment of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) chief R.Sampanthan as Leader of Opposition in the Sri Lankan parliament on Thursday, has helped President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe checkmate former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s efforts to come back to the political center-stage. Although 55 MPs of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and UPFA Chairman Maithripala Sirisena, a signed petition requesting them to appoint Kumara Welgama as Leader of Opposition, Sampanthan, heading only a 16-member group, was declared Leader of Opposition. This happened after Sirisena had  told UPFA MPs that they could sit in the opposition and fight for the post of Opposition Leader. When Sampanthan was declared elected, UPFA MPs were furious and gave vent to […]

Sri Lanka would have experienced massive killings if Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to power: Chandrika

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

 We are working towards handing over land back to Tamils, addressing the disappearance issue and devolution package. NEW DELHI: Mahinda Rajapaksa during his tenure as the President of Sri Lanka ran a police state and if he was successful in returning to power as Prime Minister in recent parliamentary polls the country would have experienced massive killings of innocents, according to Chandrika Kumaratunga, former President of the island nation. Kumarantunga, who played a key role in unseating Rajapaksa in last January’s Presidential polls, announced on Saturday that her visit to India would be followed by that of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremansinghe on Sep 15 as his maiden visit abroad since reelection. Talking to a select group of journalists here Kumaratunga, however, warned that Rajapaksa who muzzled […]

Roadmap to reconciliation: 4 post-election challenges for Sri Lanka

6th September 2015 // 0 Comments

These are critical times for Sri Lanka. This week the country completed its second round of elections this year. A coalition led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe scored a narrow victory. By contrast, presidential elections held in January ended in a surprise victory for Maithripala Sirisena, a veteran government minister who broke ranks with Mahinda Rajapaksa. A notable feature of the latest election was Sirisena’s decision effectively to back the opposition coalition running against his own party, while also refusing to countenance Rajapaksa’s return to power under any circumstances. In many ways the campaign was a referendum on continued Rajapaksa rule. He lost, however, and Sri Lanka can now look to its future rather than its past. While the Sirisena-Rajapaksa standoff may become less prominent, […]