15th October 2017

If you stage protests against me and I am weakened, the devil (Mahinda) will get an opportunity

15th October 2017 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan in Jaffna “If you stage protests against me and I am weakened, the devil will get an opportunity,” President Maithripala Sirisena told a gathering in Jaffna yesterday. The cryptic unscripted comment, which led to speculation as to who he referred to as the devil, was made by the President when he addressed the National Tamil Language celebrations held at the Jaffna Hindu College yesterday. Jaffna was in lockdown on Friday, after many local Tamil groups staged a hartal, calling for the release of PTA detainees and the protests continued yesterday despite a Court order banning them. On his way to the Hindu College the President stopped his motorcade near a group of protesters and waded into them. He was seen talking […]

Lessons from the United Kingdom on Unitary State and Devolution CONSTITUTION MAKING IN SRI LANKA

15th October 2017 // 0 Comments

The Interim Report of the Steering Committee (IRSC) offers a selection of options on some Articles of the Constitution and provides a view of plausible future directions that the Sri Lankan constitution drafters hope to take. This article is an attempt to analyze a few of the key contents of the Report for purposes of enhancing public discussion. The English language version of the IRSC surprisingly uses ‘aekiya rajya/ orumiththa nadu’ to describe the nature of the State of Sri Lanka under the section titled ‘Articles 1 and 2’. The key word ‘unitary’ used as the opposite of ‘federal’ in constitutional terminology has been dropped in the English version. This is a clear departure from 1972 and 1978 Constitutions. Both contained the term unitary state.” […]

President Maithripala Sirisena at Jaffna Hindu College

15th October 2017 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw President Maithripala Sirisena will be the first high profile dignitary to visit Jaffna Hindu College after late Indian President and renowned nuclear scientist A. P. J. Abdul Kalam visited the prestigious educational institution in January 2012. Jaffna Hindu College, the Alma Mater of two Chief Justices the late Justice S.Sharvananda and of Justice K.Sripavan, the school will be the venue for the National Tamil Day festival to be held today (14) with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena. Jaffna Hindu College is proud of having hosted three international dignitaries in the past. In the 19th century, Swami Vivekananda on his return from Chicago, while visiting Sri Lanka, had travelled to Jaffna and delivered a speech at Jaffna Hindu College. In the early part […]

Opportunities emerge from SL nurses in the UK

15th October 2017 // 0 Comments

After the Brexit vote, there are fears that the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain could suffer a shortage of nurses of up to 42,000 by 2026. NHS has now turned to Asian countries to fill the nursing vacancies created by the European Union nurses, who cannot be recruited to work in Britain after 2019. Nurses from India, Nepal and the Philippines have already started seeking nursing jobs in the UK. Now the door is open for both Sri Lankan male and female nurses to apply for jobs in the UK. Qualified nurses in Sri Lanka familiar conversant in the English language can now apply for jobs. They must also gain 6.5 or above for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) conducted by the […]

Dispute over prisoners: TNA boycotts President’s functions in the north

15th October 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday boycotted a state festival presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena in Jaffna in protest over the failure to resolve an going issue over Tamil prisoners in custody. The boycott came after Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan wrote to President Sirisena on Thursday seeking the release of prisoners held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The President was in the North to take part in state functions in Jaffna and Kilinochchi. In Jaffna, he took part in the Tamil Language Day events to which the Opposition Leader Sampanthan was also invited. The TNA’s Jaffna district Parliamentarian S. Shritharan said they decided to boycott the function as they had not received a response to their plea to release “political prisoners’. “We are […]

Britisher as Leader of political party

15th October 2017 // 0 Comments

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday sought an explanation from the National Election Commission (NEC) regarding the registration of the New Democratic Front (NDF) as a political party in spite of its leader Shalila Moonasinge being a British national. National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP posed the question to the NEC at a media briefing called by the JO at Dr N.M. Perera Centre. Weerawansa said the NEC certainly owed an explanation to the public in the wake of Moonasinghe being arrested over his alleged involvement in stealing money from Taiwan’s Far Eastern International Bank. JO parliamentary group leader and MP Dinesh Gunawardena, UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Prof. G.L. Peiris and Prof. Tissa Vitharana backed Weerawansa’s call for full disclosure of the circumstances under […]

Two-faced Rajapaksa sibling?

15th October 2017 // 0 Comments

There may be no elections for local government institutions or provincial councils this year but that hasn’t deterred the major political parties from getting into elections gear in anticipation of these polls being held early next year. The two partners in the National Unity government, the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) find themselves in an unusual and unprecedented situation. They are allies in the government, but they will be competing for votes with each other at the elections. It will be recalled that, at the time of the August 2015 general election, the SLFP was not a coalition partner in the government although President Maithripala Sirisena was President; it was a minority UNP government that was in office. Also, […]

Highest Military To Civilian Ratio In Mullative: 1:2

15th October 2017 // 0 Comments

A new report challenges government’s demilitarisation process and reveals, Mullative district, with a population of 130,000 has an estimated 60,000 security forces, giving it an extremely high (1:2) force to population ratio. The report released last week, authored by Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) and People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) says; “From a quantitative perspective, the military has an extremely inflated presence in Mullaitivu District. Based on the number of brigades and their constituent troops, this report estimates that at least 60,000 Sri Lankan Army troops are currently stationed in Mullaitivu District; 25% of the approximately 243,000 active military personnel in the whole country. To put this figure in perspective, according to the Mullaitivu District Statistical Handbook in 2014, Mullaitivu District has 130,322, or approximately […]