5th November 2017

Local polls: SLFP going it alone despite risky prospects

5th November 2017 // 0 Comments

Reunion moves falter, Senaratne proposes UNP-SLFP joint  bid as ‘trial balloon’ but Sirisena faction not interested President softens stance in taking tough action against Rajapaksa  loyalists, while Ranil warns he won’t tolerate ginger groups Any prospects for immediate re-unity between feuding factions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) appeared dim on Friday but seemingly desperate behind- the-scenes moves continue. President Maithripala Sirisena chaired a meeting of SLFP MPs and ministers loyal to him at the Presidential Secretariat and it exuded a conciliatory mood. Those loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not turn up. He counts them as 55 MPs, more than the SLFP MPs loyal to Sirisena. Yet, Sirisena declared the SLFP will contest the local polls under its hand symbol. There would […]

TNA meets SLMC

5th November 2017 // 0 Comments

This month after budget The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress are likely to engage in crucial discussions pertaining to Constitutional reforms and Tamil-Muslim issues in the East mid November. General Secretary of TNA and Leader of the Ilankai Thamiz Arasu Katchi (ITAK), Mawai Senathirajah speaking to the Nation said the discussions would focus on their respective demands pertaining to power devolution and separate administrative unit in the East. He said they hoped to hold the discussions soon after the Budget presentations during which all Parliamentarians would be in Colombo. “We have been meaning to hold discussions but they have been continuously postponed continuously for various reasons,” he said. “We would also continue to discuss with representatives of political parties in […]

TNA doomed to split as others determined not to miss the last bus

5th November 2017 // 0 Comments

BY GAGANI WEERAKOON Maithiri and Mahinda group agrees not to contest against each other At a much hyped meeting, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena took a decision to contest forthcoming Local Government Elections sans its ruling partner, the UNP. The SLFP meeting, which was held at the Presidential Secretariat behind closed doors, keeping even the security at bay, was not attended by the SLFP members, led by Kurunegala District Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa, who are in the Joint Opposition. The Party is said to be in talks with all parties and factions with a view to forming a massive electoral alliance by way of entering into various electoral and no-contest pacts. Meanwhile, indicating that the forthcoming Local Government polls is to be […]

LG polls: President Sirisena and the 40+ SLFP parliamentarians & Mahinda Rajapaksha 50+ Parliamentarians

5th November 2017 // 0 Comments

by C.A Chandraprema The political futures of President Sirisena and the 40+ SLFP parliamentarians hangs in the balance as the LG elections process kicks off. The question that the Sirisena faction of the SLFP has to ask itself is which is worse, being labelled pro-UNP if they decide to cast in their lot with the UNF or risking what could be ignominious defeat. As we write this, the General Secretary of the SLFP Duminda Dissanayake and Mahinda Amaraweera the general secretary of the UPFA have announced that they will not be contesting the upcoming local government election in coalition with the UNP. However, Minister Rajitha Senaratne who is not in the SLFP but who is very much a part of the Sirisena camp has mooted […]

SC of Sri Lanka decided a dual citizen cannot be an M.P! What about Basil & Gotha?

5th November 2017 // 0 Comments

This is a country which has had a Foreign Secretary (Palitha Kohona) who was an Australian citizen, a Defence Secretary (Gothapaya Rajapaksha) who was an American citizen, a Central Bank Governor whose signature appears on currency notes in circulation, who was a Citizen of Singapore and ambassadors and high commissioners galore who were citizen of who knows where. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution now precludes citizen of any other country standing for President or for Parliament.  Many of our former leaders, from President J.R. Jayewardene who the Economist magazine once called “Junius Rex” made non-citizens our country’s ambassadors overseas, Mahinda used it to help his family members gain wealth and position. Under Mahinda Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona was an Australian citizen, the Defence Secretary  Gothapaya Rajapaksha […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Ex-Chief of Staff Gamini Sedara Senarath and 3 Others Evade Arrest While Police FCID Want Them for Alleged Fraud.

5th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) is on the lookout for Gamini Sedara Senarath, Chief of Staff of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and three others over a string of alleged fraudulent acts. The three others are Piyadasa Kudabalage, Neil Bandara Hapuwinne and Mohan de Alwis. FCID detectives said yesterday that the four were evading arrest and hence, they had obtained a court order impounding the passport of the main suspect, Gamini Senarath, to prevent him from leaving Sri Lanka. The four persons now sought after — together with another two nominated by the Treasury — have been on the board of directors of Sino-Lanka Hotel and Spa (Pvt.) Ltd. It is the owning company of the Hyatt Hotel now nearing completion at Kollupitiya. Detectives […]

Why we Need a New Constitution and What It Should Contain.

5th November 2017 // 0 Comments

By Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu The constitutional reform debate in Sri Lanka, currently exemplified by the debate on the much delayed Interim Report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly is in substantive terms and popularly perceived as such, about the interrelated issues of a) the structure of the State in terms of its unitary character, b) the retention, reform or abolition of the Executive Presidency, b) greater devolution of powers to the provinces and c) a new electoral system. Added to this is the gross distortion that the intention and outcome of the reform process will be that Article 9 giving Buddhism the foremost place will be repealed. Whilst these issues attract debate over the details of constitutional design, they are loaded with political […]