14th February 2016

Sirisena Appoints Left-Liberal Reginald Cooray as Northern Province Governor

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: In a progressive step welcomed by Tamil leaders, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday appointed Reginald Cooray, an acclaimed leftist liberal and a veteran Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) politician, as Governor of the Tamil-majority Northern Province. The 1947-born Cooray succeeds former civil servant HMGS Palihakkara, who voluntarily demitted office last week on completion of his short term fixed by an  agreement between him and the Sirisena government. Cooray was Minister of Minor Crops Export Promotion during the Rajapaksa regime. The Kalutara district politician had also been Governor of the Western Province twice. He did not contest the parliamentary elections held in August 2015 saying that he lacked the financial resources to contest successfully. Cooray’s re-entry into political life as Governor of the […]

Maithripala Sirisena: Saved Mahinda Rajapaksa from war crimes court

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday claimed that his victory in the elections saved his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa from being hauled before an international war crimes court. “He (Mr Rajapaksa) was publicly lamenting that he was to be taken before a war crimes court and executed on an electric chair. The people who voted me against him have prevented that,” Mr Sirisena said, responding to Mr Rajapaksa’s statement on the UN human rights chief’s visit to the country. Mr Sirisena said his victory in elections in January 2015 over Mr Rajapaksa was the reason why the former President was prevented from answering a war crimes probe. Mr Rajapaksa, in a statement on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s visit to […]

War Crimes Probe: Sri Lankan Govt. looking at various options – Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Flexibility in implementing UNHRC resolution is acceptable by Zacki Jabbar The Sri Lankan government was looking at various options within the limits of what they have defined as their preference in the manner in which war crimes accusations against the previous Rajapaksa regime and the LTTE  should be investigated. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein revealed in Colombo last week that with regard to the call by his office for a Hybrid Court to inquire into alleged war crimes, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government had indicated that it did not want to appoint foreign judges to the Independent Domestic Court that it had pledged to establish prior to the next session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) scheduled for June this year. “Your government […]

Sinha Le Politics

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Tisaranee Gunasekara – “Cultural purity is an oxymoron.” – Kwame Anthony Appiah (Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers) The Independence Day celebrations commenced with the national anthem sung in Sinhala and concluded with the national anthem sung in Tamil. It was a first and a good first, a gesture of enormous symbolic significance, an unmistakable indication of the new government’s commitment to an inclusive, pluralist project of nation-building. Gotabaya Rajapaksa once derided the singing of the national anthem in Tamil as “a ridiculous and unpractical idea.”[i] But for those who accept the pluralist nature of Sri Lanka and look forward to a truly Lankan future, that moment felt not ridiculous or unpractical, but deeply moving. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government is not living up to expectation […]

Football Matches, Mutual Thai Pongal Celebrations Won’t Do The Trick – Suresh Premachandran

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Hasitha Ayeshmantha and Ashanthi Warunasuriya Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Media Spokesperson and former Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran states that holding football matches between Sinhala and Tamil schools will not pave the way for a proper reconciliation process.  He says that even though the people of North are breathing a huge sigh of relief after the ‘tyranny’ of the Rajapaksa regime, the new government too has not fallen into the right track yet. In an interview withThe Sunday Leader, the former Parliamentarian said the Tamil minority of the North are still suffering inside recreational camps, and that there are several other major issues the government has to resolve prior to embarking on reconciliation process. Premachandran maintained that before embarking upon reconciliation process, the new government will […]

Who is funding MAHINDA’s new party?

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Who is funding MR’s new party? The tug-of-war between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to get the reins of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has reached its penultimate stage with the latter opening a new political operations office with the alleged support of the majority of Provincial Councillors and Local Government members. Several senior and young members of the party seemed to have paid no heed to the indirect threat of having to face disciplinary action and were on the verge of being expelled from the party as they went for the opening of a new office for political operations by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa few days ago. The new office was opened by former President Rajapaksa at Jayanthipura, Battaramulla, while […]

Without A Proper Action Plan, Seeking Reconciliation Pointless – Vijitha Herath

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Hasitha Ayeshmantha and Ashanthi Warunasuriya Propaganda Secretary of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, parliamentarian Vijitha Herath states that continuing the reconciliation process without a proper action plan will be pointless. Speaking toThe Sunday Leader, the parliamentarian said that even though discussions have taken place over the matter, the government has failed to put any of them to action. He went on to stress that the JVP cannot agree to withdraw the troops from the Northern Province as it would be a concern about national security. However, he believes that the government could improve the living conditions of the people of the North by strengthening the civil administration framework. Commenting on the proposed ECTA agreement between India, the parliamentarian said the government is trying to propose […]

UNHRC: What’s MAHINDA’s Solution?

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Negotiations on the implementation of UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka that should be a diplomatic exercise to iron out the wrinkles are being subverted into a verbal political brawl by the defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his gang of supporters. The chest thumping, airport tarmac kissing, self-declared patriot is now equating the UNHRC resolutions co-sponsored by the Sri Lanka government and the United States as being tantamount to treason. Resolutions against Sri Lanka were moved at the UN body during the tenure of Mahinda Rajapaksa as president and the futile fumbling and prevarications to thwart it revealed the diplomatic impotence and the bankruptcy of the Rajapaksa regime. These resolutions are Rajapaksa’s baby. The alleged crimes and violation of human rights made are said to have […]

War Crimes and War Heroes: Horns of Sri Lanka’s dilemma

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Final stage of the war by Rajan Philips Even for those of us who are not (western) classists, it would makes sense to know that the resolution of a dilemma in logic and rhetoric involves either taking the left horn, the right horn, or going in between the two, not to mention (rhetorically) distracting the proverbial bull. Transcending from the ‘precocious’ world of ancient Greece to the pernicious world of contemporary Sri Lankan politics (where good things can still happen from time to time – as Professor Carlo Fonseka realized and reminded us last week), we could identify the vested interests hanging on to one or the other of the two horns of our country’s dilemma, as well as hanging on to both. The Rajapaksa […]

Now President Maithiri says ”I saved Mahinda from the electric chair”

14th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Now President Maithiri says ”I saved Mahinda from the electric chair” Today the 14th of February 2016 President Maithripala Sirisena said that he is the one who saved former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from being sent to the electric chair. He said that former President Rajapaksa claimed that if he (Maithripala) became the President of the country, he (Mahinda) would be send to the electric chair over alleged war crimes. “But my government was able to save him from being sent to the electric chair,” President Sirisena said addressing an event in Welikanda, Polonnaruwa today. Prime Minister Ranil says ”I saved Mahinda from the electric chair” On 2nd  October 2015 Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed to have saved former president Mahinda Rajapaksa from going to the […]