20th January 2016

When Rajapaksa was the SLFP leader, he created splits in the UNP and the JVP and now within SLFP for his survival.

20th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Repetition is the soul of politics, at least in Sri Lanka. At various points in the country’s recent political history, political parties have used the same strategies and tactics over and over again, to outsmart their opponents and grab power. The UPFA dissidents and the SLFP group supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, believe they can regain control of the party by repeating the same old fear-tactics which they adopted to get nomination for Rajapaksa to contest the Parliamentary election on the UPFA ticket. They assume the local government election – which will take place six months behind the scheduled date – will provide the ideal platform for their ‘take-over’ mission. At this point, they are trying to create a fear psychosis among the rank and […]

The fabrications of Yahapalanaya: 65,000 metal houses for the North & East

20th January 2016 // 0 Comments

In late December 2015, the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs opened bids from various contractors to build 65,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces over the next four years.  A statement (available here in English, and inSinhala or Tamil) issued by a group of civil society organisations raises important concerns about this project but there are some additional ones to consider. There are unconfirmed reports that the project, about which not much is known either by the provincial or district officials, is set to be awarded to Arcelor Mittal. The global steel-manufacturing giant is reportedly vying to supply and install pre-fabricated metal houses to which it appears the Minister has taken a strong liking. Curiously, it is also reported that […]

Wigneswaran Calls For Shared Sovereignty Within A United Lanka

20th January 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’ Tamil-majority Northern Province has called for a new constitution which will be based on the principle of shared sovereignty between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority within a united Lanka. Giving the keynote address at a seminar on constitution making in multi-ethnic societies in Jaffna on Monday, Wigneswaran said: “The principles and specific constitutional provisions that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) considers to be paramount to the resolution of the national question relates mainly to the sharing of the powers of governance through a shared sovereignty amongst the peoples who inhabit this island.” “ And devolution of power on the basis of shared sovereignty shall necessarily be over land, law and order, socio-economic development including health and […]

13th Amendment is the basis for solution – Kiriella

20th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Constitution process meaningless without TNA Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella, in an interview with Daily Mirror, says the 13th Amendment to the present Constitution, should be the basis for finding a solution to the national question. He said the words ‘Federal or unitary’ did not matter as long as there was agreement among the parties concerned. He shared the following with us:   As for the resolution to appoint a ‘Constitution Assembly ‘, the government is under fire that attempts are made to bypass the lawful procedure. How do you respond?     Those critics are unfamiliar with the Constitution of Sri Lanka.  Under Section 75 of the present Constitution, you can initiate the constitutional changes either through Parliamentary Standing Orders or through a […]

Though changes may be slow, no need to compromise demands – MA Sumanthiran

20th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Tamil Guardian caught up with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian after his parliamentary speech on Sri Lanka’s constitutional assembly speech last week. See parliamentary speech here: Majoritarian governance in Sri Lanka must end to continue as one country says TNA (12 Jan 2015) Reflecting on a year of working with the Sirisena governance, MA Sumanthiran said that though affirmation and acknowledgement of positive intentions and steps of the Sirisena government were important, there is “still disappointment with the in the Tamil community as the changes are not as swift as they thought they would be.” Stressing that though changes may be slow, a compromise on demands were not necessary, he said, “Even if the progress is slow, one needs to acknowledge the progress for the […]

Good Governance Checkmates MR And Joint Opposition

20th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Mangala speaks out against troublemakers Maithri-Ranil duo put China on the balance As the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) enters its second year in office, the challenges before the new system have increased in several fronts. Among them the key challenges are in the political and the economic fronts. President Maithripala Sirisena with his oratory skills and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with his economic vision will now have to put their years of experience to good use in order to meet the expectations of the general public. The high expectations placed on the yahapalana government by the majority of the country that voted in favour of it will undoubtedly convert to frustration in the event the good governance administration delays or in the […]

Non-stop attempts to use ethnic nationalism as a political strategy

20th January 2016 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera Norhern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran welcoming Prime Minister Ranil Wickreme singhe in Jaffna, where the National Thai Pongal festival was held recently. (File phto) The participation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and visiting British Minister Hugo Swire at the Thai Pongal celebration in Jaffna is an indication of the special attention that is being given to the northern polity by the government. The top leaders of the government have been making frequent visits to the north in a way that is unprecedented. During the years of the war it was dangerous for government leaders to visit the north as they were vulnerable to being attacked by the LTTE and other militant groups. But even prior to […]

Britain rules out Defence Pact with Sri Lanka

20th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Premature says Hugo Swire, willing to engage across the board by Zacki Jabbar Britain has ruled out entering into a Defence Pact with Sri Lanka for the moment, saying it is premature . British  Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hugo Swire said in Colombo on Saturday, that his country would engage across the board in training the Sri Lankan army to evolve into a modern 21st century unit, but it was ‘premature’ to take that giant leap towards a fully fledged defence agreement. “In terms of defence, we are re-engaging with our non resident Defence Attache based in New Delhi, establishing contacts with the Sri Lankan military right across the board. It is all part of what we are doing in other countries such […]