February 2018

What do Sri Lanka’s local elections mean for the future of democracy?

18th February 2018 // 0 Comments

SRI LANKA’S recent local elections saw both the incumbent National Unity Government and main opposition party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), suffer serious setbacks. By offering vacuous rhetoric on reconciliation instead of addressing the roots of the country’s political conflict, the National Unity Government and TNA pushed both local Sinhalese and Tamils – the main contenders in the country’s national conflict – to distrust them as political actors. And the voters conveyed just this at the polls. Although a local election – where issues other than addressing the country’s national conflict were at stake – the polls were seen in Sinhala-majority southern Sri Lanka as a referendum on the performance of the National Unity Government. SEE ALSO: Is Sri Lanka’s Tamil party selling out the Tamil people? Formed […]

Mahinda can’t win at a straight election

18th February 2018 // 0 Comments

by Zacki Jabbar Results of the recent Local Government Election gave an indication as to how far the Leader of the Podujana Peramuna Mahinda Rajapaksa could go in a straight election , says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Asked if the UNP fancied it’s chances at a future election, in the event the SLFP and Podujana Peramuna formed an alliance, Wickremesinghe said on Friday “There was a lot of cross voting at the February 10. Mahinda would not be able to secure victory in a straight contest.” The votes obtained by the Podujana Peramuna gave an approximate estimate of Mahinda’s vote base. So even his proxy at the next Presidential Election would not be able to win, he added.

Reconfiguring Sri Lanka’s Tamil politics

18th February 2018 // 0 Comments

With a banner sporting a picture of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) founder S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in the background, senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan made a fervent appeal in an election rally in Jaffna. “Unity”, he said, “is the only weapon we have now.” Days ahead of Sri Lanka’s February 10 local government polls, the 85-year-old politician urged the northern Tamils to speak in one voice and support the ITAK. Whether it was the Northern Provincial Council elections in 2013, or the parliamentary elections of August 2015, the voters had done just that, giving the party and the Tamil National Alliance it helms an overwhelming mandate. “You placed your trust on us, and no one else, to be your representative. Give us a chance to continue […]

Maithripala Sirisena Tries To Talk To Mahinda Rajapaksa But Namal Rajapaksa Tells President That His Father Cant Come to the Telephone Because the Ex- President was Busy on an Important Matter.

18th February 2018 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena’s attempt to speak with Mahinda Rajapaksa on the telephone and discuss current political issues ended in failure as the Former President had not come to the phone to talk because he was engaged in an important matter. This had happened on Thursday February 15th 2018. However Mahinda Rajapaksa who was too busy to talk to Maithripala Sirisena had on the same Thursday night telephoned Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on his own When President Sirisena made the telephone call, Mahinda’s eldest son and Hambantota district MP Namal Rajapaksa had answered the phone and said his Father could not coome to the phone as he was “busy” over an imprtant matter. Instead of talking to Mahinda President sirisena had to be content with talking […]

“We Tamils Have Lost Many Opportunities In The Past, We Can’t Afford To Lose One More.” -Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

18th February 2018 // 0 Comments

By Meera Srinivasan With a banner sporting a picture of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) founder S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in the background, senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan made a fervent appeal in an election rally in Jaffna. “Unity”, he said, “is the only weapon we have now.” Days ahead of Sri Lanka’s February 10 local government polls, the 85-year-old politician urged the northern Tamils to speak in one voice and support the ITAK. Whether it was the Northern Provincial Council elections in 2013, or the parliamentary elections of August 2015, the voters had done just that, giving the party and the Tamil National Alliance it helms an overwhelming mandate. “You placed your trust on us, and no one else, to be your representative. Give us a chance […]

JUBILANT MOOD MARRED BY MAHINDA’S ERODING VOTE-BASE AND 160 HUNG LG BODIES

18th February 2018 // 0 Comments

The Local Government election – the first election in Sri Lanka after the Parliamentary election in August, 2015 – was a wake-up call for the incumbent government in more ways than one. The large majority of Local Government bodies – 249 out of 340 – was won by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the party supported by members of the Rajapaksa family. While the UNP won 42 Local Government bodies with a percentage of 32.61, the UPFA, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, managed to secure only 11 LG bodies, with a percentage over 13%. In the context of a Local Government election, the outcome of the polls was a significant victory for the Podujana Peramuna which was launched as a breakaway party, under a proxy […]

Until national question resolved TNA says no to joining Govt

18th February 2018 // 0 Comments

BY Arthur Wamanan The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has definitively said that they would not join the Government under any circumstance until a durable solution is reached for the national question. It was speculated that the TNA would join the Government after it had suffered defeat at the Local Government Polls held on 10 February. However, Parliamentarian President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran added that as a policy the TNA would not be a part of any Government under any circumstance. “There is no possibility of us joining the Government. We have consistently ruled out as a matter of policy that we will not participate in any Government until the national question is solved,” he said. However, he said, the TNA would give its support to a […]

Sins of the past Govt cannot be forgotten

18th February 2018 // 0 Comments

By Anuradha Herath Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader, Chief Opposition Whip and Member of Parliament Anura Kumara Dissanayake says, “Our strongest objections are against the present corrupt Government. The battle against the present administration’s crimes, corruption and frauds should not permit the corrupt persons who were involved in previous frauds to come to power. We will not allow the previous corrupt administration to gain power, by criticising the misdemeanours of the present administration, as a means to power. We are attacking both factions at the same time.” Excerpts: The JVP has entered the election battle with a group of educated intellectuals and artistes who are not connected to politics. However, with the public being used to a conventional election system, will this method be fail? […]

POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY TO PREVAIL

18th February 2018 // 0 Comments

BY GAGANI WEERAKOON A week after the releasing of the results of the Local Government Elections held on 10 February 2018 under new mixed electoral system, the governance of the country has come to a deadlock with President Maithripala Sirisena looking for a replacement for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the latter being determined to continue in office. In less than 24 hours of issuing of the results of the Local Government Elections indicating a sweeping victory for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the life of the Unity Government of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe came under threat with Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Ministers in the Cabinet demanding the removal of Wickremesinghe from office. The SLPP in their pre-election […]

Keep Cool UNP – Just Don’t Over-React! UNP+UPFA secures 46.01% & Mahinda 44.69%

15th February 2018 // 0 Comments

This was after all only a Local Government Election, primarily to pick who will look after and nurture each Ward, under watchful eye of the local PS, UC or MC, although pre/post elections generated much political heat. Newspapers have concentrated mostly on victories of Pradeshiya Sabhas, mostly ignoring MCs. Municipality Areas [MCs] are pivotal in view of their extents, location and of course the populace they serve – mostly the more educated and discerning public who have unanimously voted with the UNP – examples being Hambantotte, Galle, Kandy, Negombo, Wattala, Panadura, Dehiwela/Mt. Lavinia etc and the plum of Colombo. Reverting to yesterday’s results, no doubt Mahinda Rajapakse and his JO would be elated with the strong showing at yesterday’s LG Elections with his hastily patched […]

Cordial Late Night Talks Between Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe Result in Agreement Being Reached Over Future of Coalition Govt Unity and Re-shuffle of Cabinet Ministers

15th February 2018 // 0 Comments

By Dharisha Bastians Even as both the UNP and SLFP engaged in major political grandstanding that cast serious doubt on the fate of the Unity Government, President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met again for late night talks yesterday. The two leaders discussed the future of the ruling coalition and basic agreement had been reached on the continuation of the unity Government and a cabinet reshuffle in the near future, highly placed sources told Daily FT. No further details were immediately available, but the meeting between the two leaders had been cordial, the sources said, even as rumbles within the UNP-SLFP coalition grew and a split seemed imminent last evening. Courtesy:Daily FT Angered By UNP Threat to Govern Independently,President Sirisena Orders SLFP Ministers To […]

Instead of calling for more elections, Power hungry Mahinda should formulate an action plan to run the LG bodies – Can he?

15th February 2018 // 0 Comments

Election monitors say there have been a significant number of incidents of post-election violence in different parts of the country. Some members of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), which emerged victorious at Saturday’s local government polls, are alleged to have been involved therein. The SLPP must take serious notice of these complaints. True, thankfully, there have been no large-scale, organised attacks, but it is unfortunate that at least some of the SLPP candidates and their backers have got involved in untoward incidents. The problem with power is that it goes to one’s head in next to no time and makes one’s bestial traits to manifest themselves. One of the main reasons for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s crushing defeat at the last presidential election (2015) and […]

”Government thinks Tamil people can be bought over by making them powerless” Northern CM rejects economic assistance from Govt

15th February 2018 // 0 Comments

Northern CM rejects economic assistance from Govt Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran recently said, “The Government thinks Tamil people can be bought over by making them powerless. Even we are behaving in such a way. We should refrain from such behaviour and become powerful. We should change ourselves and they will stop grabbing from us,” he said. The Chief Minister further said, “Sinhala Political Leaders are very clear about their demands. But we are unclear of the ways to execute our demands. Some have even questioned the reasons for our reluctance to gain economic benefits and collaboratively work with the Government. Obtaining economic benefits is equal to vesting our rights with the Central Government. They will claim that economic development is given and then plunder […]

Did Mahinda lose a Presidential Election and Pohottuwa, a General Election, on Feb. 10?

15th February 2018 // 0 Comments

by Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka I am sorry, but I just don’t get it. I thought what we had was a local government election, specifically for the purpose of deciding which parties assumed control of those local, grassroots, area-based institutions depending on the number of members elected. The electoral results shown on the map of Sri Lanka by the media indicating the administrative areas gained (which is what it was all about), was awash in deep maroon, the designated colour of the new SLPP covering most of its territory, pushing other colours representing other older parties to the margins and a couple of small blobs in the centre. It was quickly described as a ‘landslide’. How that victory could be interpreted as anything but phenomenal […]

Britain’s love for the LTTE and fales Promises by Sri Lankan Gov.

15th February 2018 // 0 Comments

By Shivanthi Ranasinghe When a foreign delegate lands in Sri Lanka, the Tamil National Alliance wastes no time in lamenting to them about the delay in installing the new Constitution. When Prince Edward, the Earl of Essex, came on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II for the 70th Independence celebrations, it was no different. TNA spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran whined about the snail’s pace at which the “problems of our people” are being sorted by the “lethargic” Government. Prince Edward listened very patiently before responding that the Royal Family would support the British Government’s stand. Hence, it would be pertinent to understand the British Government’s stand. The former British High Commissioner liked to call Britain, Sri Lanka’s traditional friend. Queen Elizabeth’s message, too, articulated her hope that […]

SLFP, UNP avert split, plan reshuffle

15th February 2018 // 0 Comments

Both parties trying to garner numbers Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have agreed to reshuffle the Cabinet, ending days of uncertainty over their coalition government’s future after a recent local poll debacle. The two leaders met late on Wednesday night. The discussions were “positive”, according to a top source present at the meeting. The source refused to share further details. Neither of the leaders has made known his position after the meeting. Party sources said they were not aware of the specifics of the said Cabinet reshuffle, but saw the late-night talks as an attempt to save the unity government that, earlier in the evening, seemed to be on the verge of a split. The development came on a day […]

No Agreement Reached So far But Maithripala and Ranil Will Continue Talks to Reach Agreement as the UNP and SLFP Votes Together are More Than Votes Got by SLPP.

13th February 2018 // 0 Comments

By Dharsisha Bastians Confusion reigned yesterday after reports surfaced that the United National Party, the main stakeholder in the ruling coalition was exploring options to govern independently and show a majority in Parliament, drawing a swift denial from President Maithripala Sirisena that agreements to this effect had been reached with his Prime Minister. Reports about the UNP moves to go solo following the local government election results, claimed that President Sirisena had approved the party’s plan and asked the Prime Minister to show a majority in Parliament, and even agreed to tell SLFP ministers willing to stay on in the Government to extend support to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. “There have been no agreements reached with the Prime Minister on governing local councils or future […]

UNP & SLFP/UPFA Votes Together Are More Than Votes Garnered By Mahinda’s SLPP.

13th February 2018 // 0 Comments

Govt Must Not Panic Due To LG Poll Result and Over React in Gloom and Doom Because UNP & SLFP/UPFA Votes Together Are More Than Votes Garnered By Mahinda’s SLPP. By Outsider This was after all only a local government election, primarily to pick who will look after and nurture each ward, under the watchful eye of the local PS, UC, or MC, although pre/post-elections generated much political heat. Newspapers have concentrated mostly on victories of Pradeshiya Sabhas, mostly ignoring MCs. Municipality Areas (MCs) are pivotal in view of their extents, location and of course the populace they serve – mostly the more educated and discerning public who have unanimously voted with the UNP – examples being Hambantota, Galle, Kandy, Negombo, Wattala, Panadura, Dehiwela/Mt. Lavinia […]

The Nine Provincial Flags Of Sri Lanka

13th February 2018 // 0 Comments

 Shannine Daniel At the recent celebrations of Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day, the national flag was, in all its vibrant colour, hoisted once again. By now, most of us would be familiar with the colours and motifs on the flag, each representing the different religious and ethnic groups in the country. What we’re probably less familiar with, however, are the flags representing each Sri Lankan province. Here’s a look at the nine flags of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, their histories, symbols and motifs. Western Province The flag of the Western Province. Image courtesy dailyceylon.com The design on the flag of the Western Province is made up of concentric rectangles. The rectangle at the centre has four white sacred fig (bo) leaves on all four […]

Tamils throats were slit by Sri Lankan Army – Exposed

11th February 2018 // 0 Comments

In the wake of a “slit-throat” gesture at a protest by Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, the Defence Attaché of the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, on Sunday 4 February outside photographic evidence has surfaced indicating that Sri Lankan security forces did just that to captured and therefore unarmed LTTE suspects. Killing prisoners of war is considered a war crime according to Human Rights Law. The photographs indicate that an LTTE combatant was killed by throat-slitting after being questioned. This extra-judicial killing was most likely to have been perpetrated during the last stages of the battle. To view Photos – https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/photographic-evidence-shows-throat-slitting-gesture-by-patriot-mimics-gruesome-habit/

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