Opposition secures Buddhist backing for Sri Lanka vote

Agriculture minister Maithripala Sirisena, who defected Friday to challenge his former boss President Mahinda Rajapakse in the Jan 8 election, has received backing from influential monk, Maduliwawe Sobitha. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s main opposition candidate on Sunday (Nov 23) won important backing from a top Buddhist monk campaigning to scrap the executive presidency and return the country to a parliamentary democracy. Agriculture minister Maithripala Sirisena, who defected Friday to challenge his former boss President Mahinda Rajapakse in the January 8 election, visited monk Maduliwawe Sobitha to receive his blessings. “I applaud…

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UPFA’s slip is showing and coming apart at the seams

By Chandani Kirinde, Lobby Correspondent When President Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the United Peoples Freedom Alliance’s (UPFA) 10th consecutive Budget to Parliament on October 24, a month ahead of the usual Budget period, it was obvious it was intended to win favour with voters at an early Presidential poll. What was not so obvious were the rumblings within the President’s own Party, which would spill over just days before the Budget was set for final approval. The discontentment within the Ruling Party first came to light when two members of the…

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Will Defections from UPFA Govt Affect Rajapaksa Regime in Third Reading of Budget Vote?

By Chandani Kirinde When President Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the United Peoples Freedom Alliance’s (UPFA) 10th consecutive Budget to Parliament on October 24, a month ahead of the usual Budget period, it was obvious it was intended to win favour with voters at an early Presidential poll. What was not so obvious were the rumblings within the President’s own Party, which would spill over just days before the Budget was set for final approval. The discontentment within the Ruling Party first came to light when two members of the Jathika Hela Urumaya…

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President, After The Poll

Lanka – Land Of Election Promises » Some may call our country, the Land of the Lotus Eaters; others the Pearl of the Orient, it has always been the Resplendent Isle and to cynics the Enter Maithripala Sirisena » Common Candidate to contest under our national front with telephone as symbol – Mangala’s party   The chocs are off: President Rajapaksa asked the Elections Commissioner to set the date… By N Sathiya Moorthy By naming incumbent Health Minister and ruling SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena as the common Opposition candidate…

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LTTE Heroes’ Week Events Banned

The police and the military said it would not allow events glorifying the LTTE to be held this week to mark the LTTE heroes week. Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya also denied allegations that surveillance centres were being set up to prevent the university students and other activists from staging activities glorifying terrorism. “The LTTE is a terrorist organisation proscribed in Sri Lanka, in the name of heroes or otherwise we will not allow anyone to glorify terrorism, we will prevent it. However the alleged report that we have established…

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How Colombo released the fishermen

Actor Salman Khan appears to have, perhaps unknowingly, played an indirect role in the release of the five Indian fishermen on death row in Sri Lanka, The Hinduhas learnt. His friend, journalist Rajat Sharma, was in Colombo to invite President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his son Namal Rajapaksa for the wedding of Arpita Khan, the actor’s sister. During the visit Mr. Sharma is said to have raised the issue of the fishermen’s release. Sri Lanka released the fishermen on Wednesday and spared them of any further jail term in India, signalling…

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Sri Lanka Faces Isolation

The External Affairs Minister Professor G. L. Peiris at several occasions has accused the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein alleging that he maintains double standards when it comes to dealing with Sri Lanka. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, several civil society and human rights activists expressed their views on these remarks.  Being Offensive Not The Best Forward Defence Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu,  Executive Director, Centre for Policy Alternatives The High Commissioner for Human Rights has said very categorically that the Sri Lankan government is behaving in…

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Sirisena revolt: Presidential race gets on the road

By Our Political Editor Ranil and CBK playing crucial role in formulating strategy for the common opposition candidate; Sajith to handle grassroots campaign Mangala, Ven. Athureliya and Rajitha to spearhead campaign; Ven. Sobhitha attends meeting More crossovers soon; Chandrika says 31, Kiriella 60, but Temple Trees restricts it to 11 There are neither permanent friends nor permanent interests when it comes to politics in Sri Lanka. The players involved keep changing roles and shift their solemnly declared ideals from time to time. The search for a presidential candidate by the main…

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Govt. may consider dissolution if there is mass defection

Government seniors were this week considering the possible early dissolution of Parliament, the Sunday Times learns. Consultations at the highest levels were held on the pros and cons of dissolving Parliament. This comes against the backdrop of the revolt by a section of ruling UPFA Ministers and MPs who have opted to back the opposition’s common candidate, former SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8th presidential election against incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Sirisena’s party post was handed over to Petroleum Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa…

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MASS CROSSOVERS TOMORROW

MASS CROSSOVERS TOMORROW Mass scale crossovers are expected from both the government to the Opposition and vice versa on Monday, coinciding with the vote on the Third Reading of the 2015 Budget. A large number of Ministers and Members of Parliament will be crossing over, from the government, to the Opposition following Friday’s announcement that former SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister, Maithipala Sirisena would be the Opposition’s common presidential candidate, authoritative political sources told Ceylon Today. MASS CROSSOVERS TOMORROW By Ravi Ladduwahetty Mass scale crossovers are expected from both…

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First stage of struggle successful-Sobitha Thera

National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Head Ven Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera who campaigned for the abolishment of the Executive Presidency told The Nation yesterday that the first phase of their struggle has been successful, as the common opposition candidate has already agreed to abolish the executive presidency. Ven Sobhitha Thera said that the NMSJ wanted it to be repelled within a six months period after the new president takes office. “We have three main issues; abolishment of the Executive Presidency, reinstatement of the 17th amendment to the Constitution and changing…

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SLMC and ACMC likely crossovers

SLMC and ACMC likely crossovers The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) are likely to cross over to support the common candidate of the Opposition at the forthcoming Presidential Election. The SLMC is awaiting a call from the UNP to discuss their proposals. “If the Opposition welcomes the minority proposals, then of course we are ready,” said SLMC General Secretary, Hasan Ali. SLMC and ACMC likely crossovers By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC)…

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