In Sri Lanka, presidential election deepens religious divisions

Attacks targeting Muslims, widespread arrests following Easter bombings, and a divisive campaign deepen community fears. Negombo, Sri Lanka – Sitting in the tiled courtyard of a silver-domed mosque in the western Sri Lankan coastal town of Negombo, Aslam Ghafoor said he fears that his neighbours no longer trust him. “So many friends in my contacts,” the 54-year-old explained, gesturing to his mobile phone, “they are non-Muslims, and we have been living like brothers. [But] we can’t talk to them now, to ask how they are doing, because we have lost that…

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Northern Governor meets UK Lord

By Shamindra Ferdinando Lord Naseby who provided Sri Lanka with unimpeachable evidence to counter unsubstantiated war crimes allegations propagated by the UN, recently discussed the situation in Northern Sri Lanka with NP Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan.  In response to The Island query regarding him meeting Dr. Raghavan, Lord Naseby’s Office has sent The Island the following statement: Lord Naseby discussed the latest progress in the Jaffna peninsula with the Governor of the Northern Province, Dr. Suren Raghavan who was on a brief visit to UK. The British peer was encouraged…

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Gota’s citizenship, US silence and presidency

As soon as Gota’s dual citizenship became a debatable issue on the eve of his nomination by his brother’s party, the SLPP, US authorities must have realised that they have been presented with manna from heaven to help them achieve what they want from Sri Lanka, irrespective of who wins the tight  contest. In a single stroke of her pen, the US Ambassador in Colombo could have cleared the air immediately, but she must have been advised to allow the controversy continue, perhaps until the election is over. The Election…

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Sri Lanka weighs return to murky past in presidential poll

Sri Lanka holds presidential elections on Saturday with a possible comeback by the powerful Rajapaksa clan sparking fears of a return to murky disappearances, murders and Chinese submarines docking in Colombo. The frontrunners among the record 35 candidates — who include two monks but just one woman — are Sajith Premadasa, 52, son of assassinated president Ranasinghe Premadasa, and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Gotabhaya, 70, is the younger brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa, president from 2005-15 and adored among the majority Sinhalese community for ending in 2009 the 37-year civil war with Tamil…

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Hakeem predicts landslide victory for Sajith

… claims SLMC made Premadasa senior President It was indeed a remarkable achievement to bring all politicians of various political camps together under one umbrella to ensure a landslide victory of Sajith Premadasa, at the oncoming presidential elections, said Leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Minister Rauff Hakeem speaking at a meeting held at Kalkudah in the Batticaloa District, during the weekend, campaigning in support of presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa. He said, “We unanimously selected Sajith Premadasa as the conduit to unite all parties of different communities and groups…

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Sri Lanka author attacked ahead of key polls

Armed men stabbed and injured a writer in Sri Lanka on Thursday, a week after he published a book criticising the main opposition candidate at Saturday’s presidential polls, police said. The attackers stormed the home of Lasantha Wijeratne, who released his book “Wasteful Development and Corruption” last week and gave a copy to ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa. “Four men broke into the house and stabbed him in the arm after holding a pistol to his wife’s head,” Wijeratne’s lawyer Tharaka Nanayakkara told AFP by telephone. “They smashed furniture before…

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CPA, CMEV concerned over anomalies in Gota’s affidavit, renunciation of US citizenship

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) today expressed concerns over anomalies with Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s affidavit submitted to the Election Commission and whether Rajapaksa continues to be a citizen of the USA. CPA and the CMEV in a statement today said, they were deeply concerned with recent developments that may impact the Presidential Election due on 16th November. “These stem from recent media reports that highlight to several anomalies with the affidavit submitted by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, on…

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284 Sinhala Prisoners to be pardoned by President Srisena

284 Sinhala prisoners who had committed offences are to be pardoned by President Maithripala Sirisena. Interestingly non of them are Tamils from North. Maithiri who won the election 5 years ago promised equal rights to minority Tamils if he was elected has the president. But to date he has firmly refused to release the Tamil political prisoners in custody Once the President had given his approval to grant amnesty, these prisoners would be released.

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For their own survival, Tamil’s and Muslim voters must repeat their 2015 rescue operation by voting for Sajith Premadasa.

By Sachithanandam Sathananthan – Dr. Sachithanandam Sathananthan The Malaiyaha and Ceylon Tamils and Muslims have only one job to do: rescue the Sinhalese people from their self-destructive lunge towards authoritarianism.   They achieved this historic task in 2015; they pulled the country back from the political precipice with a little help from residual UNP’s Sinhalese voters. But the Sinhalese-Buddhist elite and its doting masses ignominiously failed to build on the foundation laid by the Malaiyaha and Ceylon Tamils and Muslims.[1] There is absolutely no need to compound the Sinhalese-Buddhist elite’s tragic errors. The 13-Point demand by Tamil…

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Appeal Filed in Supreme Court by Civil Society Activists to Overturn Court of Appeal Decision and have the dual citizenship certificate of Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a nullity and to nullify Rajapaksa’s ability to act as or represent himself as a citizen of Sri Lanka

By Nirmala Kannangara Two civil society activists today an appeal with the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the decision last month by the Court of Appeal to dismiss their writ application that sought to quash the dual citizenship certificate of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Prof. Chandragupta Thenuwara and Gamini Viyangoda, co-conveners of the Purawesi Balaya civil society group, had filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal challenging the authenticity of the dual citizenship certificate granted to the former Defence Secretary on 21 November…

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