April 2018

Sri Lankan Army’s Flouting of Vetting Agreement for UN

12th April 2018 // 0 Comments

His Excellency Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix Under Secretary General for UN Peacekeeping Operations Office of Peacekeeping Operations United Nations New York, NY 10017, USA Dear Mr. Lacroix, Re: Sri Lankan Army’s Flouting of Vetting Agreement for UN We write to draw your attention to allegations that the Sri Lankan Army has deployed UN peacekeepers in violation of the vetting agreement reached with the national Human Rights Commission. If the failure to abide by these commitments is true, it constitutes a mockery of the whole process. The complaint regarding the failure to vet comes from the country’s national Human Rights Commission (HRCSL), a body appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka. The complaint has been sent in a letter in Sinhala from the HRCSL to the President of Sri Lanka […]

Militarisation of pre-schools akin to child soldiering: NPC Education Minister

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

The militarisation of pre-schools is a form of child soldiering, Northern Provincial Council Minister of Education K. Sarwesvaran told TamilNet in an interview this week. Out of 12 educational zones coming under the NPC, there are SL army run pre-schools in 6 zones. There 294 schools with 553 teachers with 6,020 children. Sarwesvaran has once again demanded Colombo government to hand over the administration of the SL military-run preschools in Vanni to the civil administration under the NPC. The NPC Education Minister characterised the military operation of pre-schools as a serious crime on the part of the SL Defence Ministry and the SL Government. They are upbringing the [Tamil] children under their [Sinhala] military culture, discipline, philosophy and thoughts, he said. Full story >> Pre-school teachers ordered to […]

Tamil’s want Wigneswaran to continue as the Chief Minister.

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

By Ananth Palakidnar Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. has announced that the majority of the people in the North prefer him to continue as their Chief Minister, despite a recent statement made by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran to the effect that Wigneswaran was unlikely to be named as the Northern Chief Ministerial candidate at the next Provincial Council Election. Just prior to embarking on his first Indian tour yesterday (10), after becoming the Northern Chief Minister, a statement was …released by Wigneswaran in response to the announcement of Sumanthiran on not fielding Wigneswaran as the Northern Chief Ministerial candidate at the next Provincial Council Poll. Wigneswaran announcing his Indian tour pilgrimage to Tamil Nadu, responded to Sumanthiran saying that he was forced to […]

How And Why The TNA Helped Defeat The No Confidence Motion Against Premier Wickremesinghe

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj In the seven decade long history of Independent Sri Lanka’s legislature there have been two no confidence motions and related debates that are unprecedented and unparalleled. The first was in 1981 when members of the then United National Party (UNP) Govt brought and passed a no confidence motion against the former leader of opposition Appapillai Amirthalingam. The No Confidence Motion (NCM)brought against the late Tamil United Liberation front(TULF) leader was farcically unique in the sense that members of the ruling party were sponsoring a no faith motion against the leader of the opposition. The second such controversial no confidence motion was the recent NCM brought against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Govt by members of the opposition and sections of the same government […]

President for continuation of joint administration – UPFA Gen. Secy

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

UPFA General Secretary and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said the Ministers, Deputy Ministers and State Ministers who had voted in favour of the No Confidence Motion (NCM) moved by the Joint Opposition (JO) would not be stripped of their portfolios. Addressing the media, at his Ministry auditorium in Maligawatta, Minister Amaraweera, said President Sirisena was for the continuation of the UNP-SLFP government and a final decision in that regard would be taken before the next Cabinet meeting, scheduled for April 17. Parliament is scheduled to meet again on April 19 after Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays. Minister Amaraweera claimed the relationship between the President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe had not been affected by the no-faith motion at all. “If […]

IPL 2018: IPL matches moved out of Chennai due to Cauvery protests

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Indian Premier League matches of Chennai Super Kings are being moved out of Chennai owing to security concerns, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla confirmed on Wednesday.  As of now, four options are being explored for an alternate venue with Pune emerging as the front-runner. “We are moving all matches out of Chennai. A final decision will be announced soon. The most likely venue will be Pune,” Shukla told reporters in Jaipur, on the sidelines of the Rajasthan Royals-Delhi Daredevils game. Top officials of the Chennai-based franchise were earlier in a meeting with the local police to find out if adequate security can be provided for the six remaining home fixtures at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium. The decision to shift matches out of Chennai was reached after the […]

Black flags to greet PM Modi

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Airport to see a sea of protesters; Guindy, Adyar also vulnerable Condemning the Central government for not forming the Cauvery Management Board as per the Supreme Court verdict, Opposition parties and activists in the State have decided to show black flags to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is visiting the city on Thursday. The DMK will stage demonstrations near the airport, the Guindy police station, Saidapet and at a few other places. But Mr. Stalin will miss the protests as he is completing his ‘Cauvery Urimai Meetpu Payanam’ in Cuddalore on Thursday. On Friday, he will return to Chennai along with a contingent of 1,000 vehicles and meet the Governor. He called upon the people of Tamil Nadu to greet Mr. Modi with black flags. […]

The Rajapaksa, JO vision is a Sinhala Eelam

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

The outcome of last week’s failed No Confidence Motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has established a few political ground realities. Firstly, it was a massive overreach by the Joint Opposition (JO), which failed to make the parliamentary vote even a relatively close one and in no uncertain terms took the gloss off their much better performance at the local government polls. It was in fact a point made by a JVP speaker in Parliament, who attributed the lackluster JO effort, to the division of opinion between the two rival sibling camps of Basil’s and Gotabhaya’s within the Rajapaksa comeback project. Rajapaksa camp divided The Joint Opposition’s failed No Confidence Mtion demonstrated a stark reality, which is that Mahinda Rajapaksa will never again be president […]

If anyone in the opposition had brought a no-confidence motion during the Rajapaksa era, his head would have been floating in the Nilwala River.

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

A sharply divided House debated the crucial no-faith motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for 12 full hours on Wednesday. As hectic backroom negotiations on the final numbers each side could muster to ensure the failure or success of the motion continued outside the chamber, parliamentarians locked horns and traded barbs in fiery speeches, taking turns to attack the current Government and the former Rajapaksa regime on corruption allegations. The following are out-takes of some of the best speeches of Wednesday’s heated debate in the House, before the JO motion was defeated 122 votes to 76 on the floor, securing Wickremesinghe’s hold on the second highest office of the land. Will not be party to moves to destabilize unity government – M.A. Sumanthiran (TNA) None […]

President betrayed us cries Dullas

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

By W. K. Prasad Manju Matara District, Member of Parliament of the Joint Opposition Dullas Alahapperuma says that the motion against the Prime Minister will not be the final no-confidence motion. “Due to this no-confidence motion, the two-thirds majority the government had boasted of, has been lost. That in itself is a big victory. Finally, the government could only muster 122 votes, after getting the main opposition to join as well. This is a government that spoke with pride about two months ago that they have a two-thirds majority in Parliament”. Excerpts: The no-confidence motion submitted in Parliament against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was defeated by a majority of 46 votes.  The Joint Opposition was just asking for that, weren’t they? A: Definitely not! Through […]

Minister Rajitha Senaratne refused to stab his leader in the back

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today there were several requests to accept the prime ministerial post after the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was tabled in Parliament, but had refused to stab his leader in the back for the sake of high positions. He said even LSSP leaders spoke to him secretly on this matter but refused to be enticed because he was used to obtaining positions up front and not through the back door. At a ceremony held, at the Aluthgama Town Hall grounds, to distribute essential commodities to low-income families for the National New Year, the minister revealed that even Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had suggested that he be the common opposition candidate when the discussions were being held in 2014 to […]

Post-no-faith motion: SLFP in a quandary

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has virtually split into two factions over the question of whether it should remain in the government in the aftermath of the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. The sixteen SLFP ministers, deputy and state ministers who voted for the motion insisted, at Monday’s SLFP Central Committee meeting, that they be allowed to quit the unity government with the United National Party (UNP). Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa was the first to air his views on this matter and said the party should sever links with the government. He was followed by Minister S.B. Dissanayake and Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara who also endorsed these views. However, according to reports the 25 SLFP ministers, deputy and state ministers who were absent during […]

President’s men to cross over to me says Mahinda

11th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday, said that the SLFP MPS, including six ministers, who voted for the no-faith motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week, would cross over to the Opposition when Parliament met again. Rajapaksa said they would give up their portfolios and join the Opposition on April 19, when Parliament is scheduled to meet next. “Frantic efforts are being made to keep them within the government ranks. While the UNP backbenchers are demanding the sacking of 16 SLFP ministers who voted against Wickremesinghe, some SLFP leaders try to keep them in the government. But, they will definitely join forces with us.” The Joint Opposition group has 52 seats in the 225-member parliament. SLFP Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Dilan Perera, John Seneviratne, Lakshman […]

Power hungry Mahinda Rajapakshe failing to become the PM now after ‘Opposition leadership’.

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

The Joint Opposition (JO) announced that they would apply pressure on the Speaker to hand over the position of the Leader of the Opposition to them. They would also canvass heavily in this connection within the Parliament, and elsewhere, both locally and internationally. The JO is presently in discussions to …embark on a series of protests calling for the removal of the Leader of the Opposition, Rajavarothiam Sampanthan from the post owing to the JO’s lack of confidence in him, United People’s Freedom Alliance Matara District Parliamentarian Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena told Ceylon Today. He added that the Leader of the Tamil National Alliance was a part of the Government due to the fact that he voted in favour of the Budget and also sided with […]

Two soldiers arrested over Kandy violence but MP’s involved walk free

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

The Sinhale MP’s who support Mahinda Rajapakshe and who were involved in the riots were identified and statements were issued by the government MP’s to press soon after the riots, it is believed no action will be taken against them and the cases will be wiped under the carpet due to orders from President and PM. President Maithiri and PM Ranil as usual protected Rajapakshe family members and their ministers who were accused of frauds and abuse of powers, although they came to power promising to take action against them to date no actions were taken against them. “Young people will not vote for Mahinda due to the big wrongs you committed during his period, his feudal behaviour and nepotism,” Sirisena said referring to allegations that Rajapaksa […]

SLFP ministers to boycott Cabinet meeting today

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Stormy CC meeting: SLFP ministers to boycott Cabinet meeting today * Amaraweera, Duminda, CBK want unity govt. to continue * Those seeking end to joint administration in majority * Some MPs demand ouster of UPFA, SLFP General Secretaries By Rathindra Kuruwita The SLFP Central Committee, following a stormy session last night, resolved that all SLFP ministers boycott today’s Cabinet meeting. It, however, didn’t take a final decision on whether to remain in the unity government or not. President Maithripala chaired the meeting at the President’s House, Colombo 01. Minister Anura Priyadashana Yapa proposed that the SLFP leave the government with Minister S. B. Dissanayake seconding his proposal. Ministers Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene and Chandima Weerakkody also spoke in favour of the proposal. However, Minister and UPFA […]

Largest business delegation off to London

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

This year Sri Lanka will despatch its largest-ever business and trade delegation targeting the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka is also scheduled to unveil its new country branding and slogan for its ICT sector in London next week. “Sri Lanka is one of the Strategic Partner Countries of 2018 CBF. Therefore the Department of Commerce is organising many informative country presentations, B2Bs and roundtables on Lankan sectors of investment for CBF in London,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 9 April. Bathiudeen was addressing a preparatory meeting organised by the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka (DoCSL) with Lankan business and Government representatives on the forthcoming CBF. Also present were DG Commerce Sonali Wijeratne and Kosala Wickramanayake who leads the International Business Council (IBC) […]

Muslims In Sri Lanka: A new strategy for engagement

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Scores of Muslim mosques, homes and businesses were destroyed as mobs ran amok for three days in Kandy. Thousands of Muslims are disillusioned and uncertain about their safety and security for the future. Well-meaning majority Buddhists have made fresh pledges and called on the government to investigate the violence. As this is being investigated and persons of interest apprehended, fresh revelations emerge every day. This article is not about what went wrong but about what needs to be done. I was in Sri Lanka when the news of the racial riots in the district of Kandy broke. The magnitude of the attacks came as a shock. Needless to say that this shattered my sense of safety and security. I was in Kandy, miles from Digana […]

Geneva 2018 and its aftermath

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

By Neville Ladduwahetty Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana opened his address to the UN Human Rights Council at the 37th Secession by referring to a section from President Sirisena’s 100 Day Programme; he stress, inter alia: “… the government’s firm commitment to the advancement of reconciliation, the rule of law, good governance, human rights, justice, equality, and dignity for all our citizens …” He concluded his address, stating: “Sri Lanka’s judiciary and law enforcement mechanisms are fully capable and committed to the processes of advancing justice to all concerned. It has a long history of integrity and professionalism and since January 2015, steps have been taken to further strengthen its independence. And may I add, Mr. President that all reconciliation mechanisms will be implemented […]

SLFP Party Is Heading For Split With One Faction Wanting To Quit Govt And Another Opposing it

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Stormy Session of SLFP Central Committee Meeting Shows Party Is Heading For Split With One Faction Wanting To Quit Govt And Another Opposing it By Rathindra Kuruwita The SLFP Central Committee, following a stormy session last night, resolved that all SLFP ministers boycott today’s Cabinet meeting. It, however, didn’t take a final decision on whether to remain in the unity government or not. President Maithripala chaired the meeting at the President’s House, Colombo 01. Minister Anura Priyadashana Yapa proposed that the SLFP leave the government with Minister S. B. Dissanayake seconding his proposal. Ministers Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene and Chandima Weerakkody also spoke in favour of the proposal. Continue reading ‘Stormy Session of SLFP Central Committee Meeting Shows Party Is Heading For Split With One Faction […]

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