TNA is trying to achieve what the LTTE failed to gain by firepower says Mahinda

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the Tamil National Alliance was trying to achieve what the LTTE failed to gain by firepower. He said that the government will not give into TNA demands to divide this country on ethnic lines and there will be no room for a separate State in Sri Lanka under his government. The Prime Minister was addressing an election meeting held at Narammala Community Development Foundation yesterday in support of Kurunegala district SLPP candidate Shantha Bandara. “Our government succeeded in eradicating the terrorism which plagued the…

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People should not support two-thirds majority

 Q  The ruling party is seeking a two-thirds majority to change the Constitution. How do you see this? The government in the guise of getting a two-thirds majority is trying to reintroduce something similar to the 18th Amendment. Successive governments under the 1978 Constitution came into power advocating a change of the Executive Presidency. Now I feel we have a balanced Constitution, and the President’s powers are controlled. But the ruling party is seeking two-thirds, and not telling the people what amendments they intend to bring. This is wrong. If they…

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The State should play a critical role in fostering inter-communal relations

When the month of July comes around there are many reflections on the incidents of July 1983 and the pogrom that targeted the Tamil community. The incidents of that month will always evoke a collective sense of shame for all Sri Lankans when a section of its citizens, the Tamil community, was targeted by organised mobs creating mayhem, resulting in the deaths of thousands and widespread destruction of property. What was even more harmful in the long run was the sense of alienation created in the minds of the Tamil…

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Sinhala the only Official Language of Sri Lanka

By Kalyananda TiranagamaExecutive DirectorLawyers for Human Rights and Development When I raise this question, one may wonder why I raise this question 64 years after Sinhala was made the Official Language of Sri Lanka by the Official Languages Act, No. 33 of 1956. The people in the country, including the people in the North and the East, the politicians and the political parties in the South may believe that Sinhala is the Official Language of Sri Lanka applicable throughout the country. But the Tamil political parties in the North and…

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TNA; the toast of opposition parties

The TNA has been successful in emerging as the prime political force in the north at every election in the past, despite a drastic erosion of its vote bank being evident at the last local government elections held in 2018. Yet, it is not clear whether people have been happy with their traditional demands and have been voting the party especially due to them. However, there are political parties and groups in the South that are jubilant when they make these demands, as those parties and groups feel they could make…

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A case against 2/3 majority

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the fellow travellers of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) are asking for a two-thirds majority in the general election. For what? They want to abolish the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, one of the few progressive constitutional provisions to be adopted in the independent history. (It moderated the excesses of the executive presidency). Mr. Rajapaksa also wants to introduce a new constitution. But, he has not said what would be in it. The sheer absence of detail is disturbing. The arbitrariness with which it…

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President Gotabaya’s Military Rule In North And East Of Sri Lanka

By Kumarathasan Rasingam – Kumarathasan Rasingam Tamils in Sri Lanka especially in the North and East are now living between the devil and deep sea. Heavy presence of the military [to the ratio of one soldier to every four civilians 1: 4] and on the other side they are scared of the Covid-19. The President is determined to hold the election on August 05, 2020 without taking into consideration the voices of the opposition parties requesting to postpone the elections. The government is now under financial crisis and the coast of living is increasing…

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Only Sinhala-Buddhist-Catholic Votes: Anatomy Of A Tribal Democracy

By Sarath de Alwis – Sarath de Alwis “He who can make an exception is sovereign” ~ Carl Schmitt in 1922  The pen was once mightier than the sword. In the age of the smart phone the tongue has taken over. The point of departure of this essay is digital electioneering amidst social distancing.    Thanks to the smartphone, behavior tends to leave behind digital footprints.   Covid-19 has substantially altered the cacophony of the electoral process. The main contenders have made a definite, meaning full switchover to digital campaigning, micro targeting and online mobilization.  About twelve…

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Mahinda’s SLPP party has most election law violations

ECONOMYNEXT – With a week of campaigning left in the Parliamentary General Elections watchdog groups have found that the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) has outspent everyone else while the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has violated election laws more than any other party. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) found that the parties had collectively spent Rs514mn with the SJB leading the way with Rs185mn. The breakaway party from the United National Party (UNP) has invested heavily in electronic media spending Rs168mn for advertising on TV and Radio. While…

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Hate speech could lead to election violence

by PRIYAN DE SILVA  National coordinator of the Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) Manjula Gajanayaka, addressing the media, yesterday, voiced his concern about the increase in hate speech within the past few days. He said incendiary words uttered by leaders of political parties or posed on social media could result in pre-election as well as post- election violence. Gajanayaka said the CMEV was more concerned about intra party battles over preferential votes. He said that the CMEV would be issuing a statement in that regard requesting party leaders and contestants to…

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