A family affair: Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa dynasty

Mahinda Rajapaksa, 74, is the patriarch of the family. First as prime minister in 2004 and then president from 2005 until January 2015. Known as a charismatic leader, he is adored by the Sinhala-Buddhist majority for crushing separatist Tamil rebels in May 2009 following a highly controversial military offensive. During his rule Sri Lanka also moved closer to China, borrowing almost $7 billion for infrastructure projects — many of which turned into white elephants mired in corruption that sent Sri Lanka’s debts soaring. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/family-affair-sri-lankas-rajapaksa-dynasty-154305803.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5pbmZvbGFua2EuY29tL25ld3Mv&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHZlCytRhbFtjbToZSWcLZh9vFXOiwHXiyNNGrehZC5cpfjjCCsY_7Xl3KGa0dZV_9rhtf1O6S4PK2qbMIsaCNhL4jLaxAjQHW4TYq668tKR8W2PM5OJPWu35AKDimnojjDPzFpjLtf4ILqDtQmTJncqllDBy_yeXwrH7vEhAk7h

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Prime Minister steps down

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to step down from his position as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka a short while ago. Reportedly, Premier Wickremesinghe will inform the President in writing regarding the decision. The decision has, reportedly, been taken in order to facilitate newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to form his own government. Earlier today (20), Leader of House of Parliament Minister Lakshman Kiriella stated that Prime Minister would resign from premiership and handover hand over the government to the new administration today. A Cabinet meeting was also called…

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Ministers set bad example by resigning – Mano

Leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance Mano Ganesan says that he will not support the dissolution of Parliament before the deadline. Speaking to Ada Derana, the Minister of National Integration, Official Languages, Social Progress and Hindu Religious Affairs said that the governing power should be handed over to the elected President’s party, respecting people’s mandate. Several decisions have arrived at on the matter so far, Ganesan said. However, the issue regarding the leadership of the United National Party (UNP) is an internal matter, he said. If the issue isn’t resolved…

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa tells pro-LTTE parties to talk sense or shut up

Most Tamils in Sri Lanka and also here in Tamil Nadu are apprehensive about Gotabaya’s future actions. TN parties termed as ‘unfortunate’ the election of Gotabaya as President-some of them even said it would be dangerous for the Tamils in the northern province as he would resume his state-sponsored violence against the minorities, particularly because they had voted against him and in favour of the rival Sajith Premadasa in a big way-Namal Rajapaksa, MP and the son of SLPP strongman and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a statement telling the…

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Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne is the new Defence Secretary

Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne today (20) assumed duties as the new Secretary to the Defence Ministry. He ceremoniously took office at the Ministry at 09.15 am this morning in the presence of Chief of Defence Staff, Tri-Service Commanders, acting Inspector General of Police, Director General Civil Defence Force and a representative gathering of all Defence Ministry establishments. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday appointed Major General (Rtd.) Gunaratne as the new Defence Secretary. Kamal Gunaratne is the former Commander Security Forces Headquarters – Wanni, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 53 Division, Colonel…

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President who promised so much and delivered so little

If there was one consistent factor in the Sirisena Presidency, it was its inconsistency. Unfortunately for Sirisena himself — and Sri Lanka — he will go down in history as the President who promised so much and delivered so little and, like Mahinda Rajapaksa before him, squandered a golden opportunity to steer the country in a different direction because he chose to be a politician rather than the statesman he was supposed to be — and not a good one at that. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/191117/news/the-rights-and-wrongs-of-sirisena-presidency-378473.html

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Tolerance is not indulgence but a commitment to unity in diversity

The presidential election’s most notable feature was the huge difference between the support base for the two main candidates. In the Northern and Eastern Provinces, more than 80 per cent of the people voted for the New Democratic Front candidate Sajith Premadasa and support for him was even more than what former President Maithripala Sirisena got when he contested as the common candidate of the Democratic People’s Alliance (DPA) in January 2015. But in the Southern and other provinces, Gotabaya Rajapaksa won by huge majorities and received more than 52…

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Kattankudy Muslim leaders: hold varied views on Muslim marriage law reforms Challenges are Daunting

The presence of gun-toting-soldiers, stationed at selected points, brings back wartime memories to the otherwise bustling township of Kattankudy in the south of Batticaloa. But, life moves on as usual in this densely populated town located on a strip of land between the lagoon on one side and the sea on the other. Kattankudy is the birthplace of Easter Sunday attack  mastermind Zahran Hashim. As such it has virtually become synonymous with Velvetithurai in Jaffna, where LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was born. After the April 21 attack targeting three high…

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Sibling Wins, Patriarch Celebrates & Minorities Stunned

By Ameer Ali – Dr. Ameer Ali Is there a more precious gift a family patriarch, who himself a former ruler, could expect to receive on his 74th birthday, than to see his own brother becoming the supreme head of the country he ruled? The victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) as the seventh president of Sri Lanka was an unforgettable birthday gift to his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR). On the 18th of November, while the new president took his Oath of Allegiance, not in front of members of the legislature, but in Ruwanwelisaya Stupa, a historic Buddhist…

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Racism Wins Elections

By Mohamed Faizal – Mohamed Faizal Presidential election 2019 is over. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won, and this has made some people happy, and others unhappy. Happy people believe that everything will be hunky dory from now on, and the Unhappy people believe that hell will break loose. Both parties are wrong: violence or peace, progress or decline, and development or poverty do not depend on individuals – no matter how powerful the individual leader is. Irrespective of how powerful a leader is, he always shares power with the clan that surrounds him. This may…

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