National Government in place, but President Sirisena faces stiff dissent within the SLFP

Half the number of SLFP MPs defy whip and stay away from voting for key resolution Conflict over appointment of Opposition leader continues; different moves and contradictory statements UPFA in a shambles; defeat after defeat and divisions within divisions Like the pithy Sinhala proverb, for the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), it was a case of being gored by a bull after a fall from a tree. It failed to win the August 17 parliamentary elections. It trailed by 11 seats against its main rival, the United National Party (UNP) which…

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Mahinda-led SLFP dissident group to function as Opposition in Parliament?

 Mahinda-led SLFP dissident group to function as Opposition in Parliament? Neomal Perera accuses Mahinda of causing defeat of many SLFPers by Zacki Jabbar Despite the UNP and SLFP forming a National Government, some SLFP parliamentarians who are not happy with the arrangement are planning to function as the Opposition. An SLFP’er who was appointed a Minister on Friday told the “Sunday Island” that all was not well in the SLFP camp with the dissident group led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa canvassing support among disgruntled MP’s to stage a coup…

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UNP-SLFP common stand on Geneva issue

Partners of the National Government are to reach common ground on issues before the UN Human Rights Council sessions later this month. That will include the formal response to the report on the Investigations on Sri Lanka (OISL) and matters relating to the domestic inquiry mechanism the Government wants to adopt. This will be one of the highlights of an extended Memorandum of Understanding which the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will agree upon, UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema told the Sunday Times yesterday. An advance…

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Disappearances CHRD calls for Int’l probe

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas The Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) said a war crime probe conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is necessary as there has not been any credible mechanism from the Sri Lankan Government that had meted out justice for the families of the disappeared. Issuing a report on enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka, the director of CHRD K.S. Ratnavale said the interference of the international community in the investigations is of utmost importance. The CHRD report was launched to make an impact…

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Seeman to take LTTE struggle forward

BY Sulochana Ramiah Mohan in Chennai, Tamil Nadu South Indian film director, actor and Leader of Naam Thamilar Katchi, Senthamilan Seeman, is on record fanning the LTTE, protesting and going to prison for the Sri Lankan Tamil cause. Seeman and wife Kayalvili welcomed Sulochana Ramiah Mohan of Ceylon Today to his Chennai residence in a warm manner. He is a welcoming host and his wife even goes to the extent of cooking a meal for his visitors who are interested in talking Tamil politics. Seeman who has learned several martial…

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SLFP infighting continues, TNA faces dissent

SLFP infighting continues, TNA faces dissent Sunday Politics with Rasika Jayakody By taking part in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s 64th anniversary ceremony at President Maithripala Sirisena’s hometown, Polonnaruwa, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa showed that he is more thick-skinned than most politicians of his era. On the one hand, the anniversary ceremony was held in the hometown of President Sirisena. As if to drive a point home, the organisers invited as keynote speaker Professor Sarath Wijesuriya, a staunch critic of the Rajapaksa administration and a key member of the Puravesi…

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TNA to talk to govt. on national question

The main opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said yesterday it hoped to hold talks with the government on resolving the national question no sooner Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe returns from his upcoming visit to India, party officials said yesterday.   TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran told Daily Mirror that one of the stated objectives of the national unity government was the resolution of the national question.   “We will talk to the government straightaway with a view to resolving the long outstanding matter,” he said and added that the Tamil people…

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Sampanthan’s Appointment Helps Sirisena Checkmate Rajapaksa

COLOMBO:The appointment of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) chief R.Sampanthan as Leader of Opposition in the Sri Lankan parliament on Thursday, has helped President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe checkmate former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s efforts to come back to the political center-stage. Although 55 MPs of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and UPFA Chairman Maithripala Sirisena, a signed petition requesting them to appoint Kumara Welgama as Leader of Opposition, Sampanthan, heading only a 16-member group, was declared Leader of Opposition. This…

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Sri Lanka would have experienced massive killings if Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to power: Chandrika

 We are working towards handing over land back to Tamils, addressing the disappearance issue and devolution package. NEW DELHI: Mahinda Rajapaksa during his tenure as the President of Sri Lanka ran a police state and if he was successful in returning to power as Prime Minister in recent parliamentary polls the country would have experienced massive killings of innocents, according to Chandrika Kumaratunga, former President of the island nation. Kumarantunga, who played a key role in unseating Rajapaksa in last January’s Presidential polls, announced on Saturday that her visit to India…

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Roadmap to reconciliation: 4 post-election challenges for Sri Lanka

These are critical times for Sri Lanka. This week the country completed its second round of elections this year. A coalition led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe scored a narrow victory. By contrast, presidential elections held in January ended in a surprise victory for Maithripala Sirisena, a veteran government minister who broke ranks with Mahinda Rajapaksa. A notable feature of the latest election was Sirisena’s decision effectively to back the opposition coalition running against his own party, while also refusing to countenance Rajapaksa’s return to power under any circumstances. In…

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