3rd May 2016

Sri Lanka sets up panel to investigate ‘Panama Papers’

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka announced on Sunday (May 1) it was setting up a special panel to chase after nationals likely to figure in the “Panama Papers,” a trove of leaked documents on global tax evasion. The government, which came to power in January last year on a promise to clean up corruption, has accused former president Mahinda Rajapakse and his family of siphoning off billions of dollars during his decade in power, a charge he has denied.  The new administration has also been weighed down by huge foreign loans taken out by the Rajapakse regime. Colombo last week secured an IMF bailout of US$1.5 billion to head off a balance of payments crisis. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said Colombo would investigate “each and every Sri […]

Mammoth crowds attend May day rallies.! Largest crowd at UNP rally ; SLFP rogues’ challenge to Maithri a damp squib.! (photos and videos)

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

The view hitherto that SLFP majority is with Rajapakses crashes headlong..! (Lanka-e-News- 01.May.2016, 11.45PM) The May day rallies this year which also served to search the popularity and strength of the main political parties concluded this evening. Based on reports of the intelligence divisions , the largest crowd around 60,000 to 75,000 people attended the UNP May day rally at Campbell park . This was in excess of the crowd present at any of the rallies of the other parties. Even when the UNP leader was concluding his address at the rally , the UNP processions heading for the venue had not ended. The most decisive contest was between the May day rallies of the officially acknowledged  SLFP led by president Maithripala Sirisena at Galle […]

May Day: A Litmus Test For Maithri And SLFP

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Message from SLFP to UNP on MR’s move Wimal takes battle against Basil to the public Joint opposition members try to attend both rallies Many heads to roll in the SLFP May Day today will mark a political milestone for the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the country’s ever changing political scenario. While all political parties in the country have made grand plans to show their strength in numbers today, the International Workers’ Day celebrated globally will become a political battle in Sri Lanka. The United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has planned to make a grand show at Campbell Park in Borella today while the SLFP led by President Maithripala Sirisena has also planned to bring out numbers in […]

Remembering Sivaram (Taraki)

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Today’s event focuses on one man. Today morning, there was a protest in Colombo, organized by a coalition of media freedom groups and others, demanding accountability for Sivaram’s murder. It is fitting that events to remember Sivaram are held in both North and South, as he had also worked and lived in South and had many friends in the South. Although the events today focuses on one man, we can also reflect on broader issues related to free expression, democracy and human rights. I will share brief thoughts on some of these. The man Much has been said and written about Sivaram. I have never met him or his family, and have read only few of his writings. So I have little to share about […]

‘MS-Ranil govt. on firm ground: time to focus on getting things done’

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

‘MS-Ranil govt. on firm ground: time to focus on getting things done’ By Dinesh Weerakkody To those public servants, businessman and politicians sitting on the fence waiting for the unexpected, President Maithripala Sirisena at the breakfast meeting with the editors on Wednesday fired on all cylinders at certain MPs and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, exposing the latter’s intentions and warned any comeback bid would be a pipe-dream and strongly thwarted. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has expressed similar views publicly many times that the government is here to stay and would complete the full term. President had further observed that there is no room for a parliamentary coup and even if Rajapaksa conspires and secures 50 MPs out of 95, he cannot get the 113 […]

Of taxation, Inland Revenue and Panama Papers

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Court vacation always permits that little bit of extra time to pen something down and the occasion arose when former Dep. Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Wijewardene, Island Editor Shamindra Ferdinando and I were invited by Sirasa TV last Monday for a dialogue on this general theme. Immediately the following evening (Tuesday) our good friend Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. De Silva, an expert in the area of fiscal policy was heard to complain, during a debate on the same channel, of the appallingly low rate of registered tax payers as opposed to our income earning population; thus this discussion is too much of a temptation to just leave it there, hence these thoughts accompany my (belated) wishes to you for a peaceful and relatively […]

”13th amendment should be fully implemented to reach a suitable political solution” says Douglas Devananda

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

BY Mirudhula Thambiah General Secretary of Eelam People’s Democratic Party(EPDP) K.N. Douglas Devananda commenting on the new political stand taken by one of his party hierarchy members Murugesu Chandrakumar said, political decisions in the EPDP were reached with the contribution and involvement of Chandrakumar until recently, thus there cannot be any divergence between the party and Chandrakumar in political stands. “I would say that all decisions and political stands so far have been reached with the consent of Chandrakumar. He had jointly taken decisions with us and we have travelled in that path until today,” he said. Following are excerpts: ? Recently one of the founder leaders of your party, Murugesu Chandrakumar stepped down from the EPDP. As you are the General Secretary of the […]

Which Party had the most numbers on May Day? – Sri Lanka’s political numbers game at May Day

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT, Sri Lanka’s political parties used this year’s May Day rallies to demonstrate their strength in a spirited contest to woo audiences, but the real winner appears to be the state Transport Board (SLTB). Unlike in previous years, the state-run bus giant chartered some 3,800 busses for political rallies and all had to pay up front at commercial rates. “If May Day is celebrated on the first of every month, the SLTB will return to profit within a year,” a news editor who was monitoring all May Day rallies across the country told Economynext. There are no reliable estimates for the number of people at the respective rallies of the rival parties and factions, but unofficial police estimates are about the closest, yet with a […]