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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TNA Must Seek India’s Help To Protect 13th Amendment

The TNA may glibly say that everything is hunky-dory with India but this is not so. The reality is that of the Indian establishment being extremely disappointed with the TNA over the northern provincial council issue Nowadays, India is more interested in getting closer to the governments in power in Colombo. Therefore New Delhi would not let the “Tamil issue” spoil a potentially beneficial “new” relationship with Colombo. Sri Lanka was embroiled in a three decade long civil war that left the Tamils a battered and shattered people. Instead of…

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Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil festival: More devotees allowed than planned – Jayaseelan

By Naalir Jamaldeen  Commissioner of the Jaffna Municipal Council, R.T. Jayaseelan on 23 July said that he has come to know that during the forthcoming Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil festival, permission has been granted to allow an additional number of devotees to enter the Kovil premises than had been previously decided on. The chariot festival of the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil will be held on 17 August.  The devotees who are to take part in the festival have been asked to follow health guidelines accurately, especially maintaining social distancing, Jayaseelan said. He…

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Rajapakshe Rules again- Underworld Gangster’s Police Records Go Missing

By Shiran Ranasinghe The Police Department has initiated a detailed probe into a case where around 50 Police records concerning noted underworld gangster Samsunge Sampath Chamara alias Army Sampath going missing from the Grandpass Police Station. The missing records document acts of crime and illegal drug peddling of the noted underworld gangster which had been kept at the Police Station for over two decades. It had also been revealed that pages from 20 such Information Books (IBs) kept at the Police Station had also been removed. According to Police, the…

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UK lifts travel restrictions on Sri Lanka

The United Kingdom has lifted a travel advice imposed on Sri Lanka. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said that from 24 July, Sri Lanka is exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that the move was based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel to most countries. (Colombo Gazette)

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Karuna calls on Tamils to have more than two children

Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman has called on Tamils to have more than two children and multiply. Speaking at an election rally in Kalmunai in Ampara, Karuna Amman urged young Tamil couples not to stop with just two children. He urged the Tamils to have four children or more and strengthen the population in the country. The former LTTE commander said that the coronavirus lockdown had given Tamil couples a good opportunity to multiply. Karuna Amman said that he himself came from a large family before he joined the LTTE. He also praised…

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Tamil National Alliance Releases Election Manifesto Emphasising Mahinda Rajapaksas Repeated Assurances to the Indian Govt that it would “implement the 13th Amendment in full and build upon it so as to achieve meaningful devolution”.

By Meera Srinivasan Campaigning for Sri Lanka’s August 5 general elections, the country’s main Tamil party has foregrounded the promise Colombo made to New Delhi on power devolution, the need for greater connectivity to India from the northern Palaly airport, and the need to expedite the return of Sri Lankan refugees living in India. Releasing its poll manifesto in Jaffna on Saturday, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) — an amalgam of three parties with the largest representation from the Tamil-majority north-east in the last Parliament — said that during the…

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July 1983: Two Northern Attacks and One Island-wide Anti-Tamil Pogrom

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The fourth week of July revives bad memories among most Tamils who lived in Sri Lanka during the month of July in 1983. It was in that week in July that large-scale violence was let loose upon Tamils living in various parts of Sri Lanka including Colombo and suburbs. “Black July 1983” The week long spree of anti-Tamil violence saw over 4,000 Tamils and some Muslims – mistaken for Tamils – being killed. Thousands were injured. Some of the injured were killed in hospitals. There were close upon…

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13th Amendment was given to us by a foreign power by force and the entire Constitution has to be overhauled!

The SLPP is demanding a two-thirds majority at the August Poll, to introduce new amendments to the Constitution. What are these new amendments that you propose to introduce? A: The Constitution that was formed in 1972 did not last that long. The 1976 Constitution that was changed by JR also became a radical one. That Constitution was created based on the Executive Presidency. That constantly underwent changes during various Governments. The biggest such change was the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. That was not established by even the politicians. That…

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Arrival from UK tests positive for COVID-19

nother person has tested positive for COVID-19 this evening (24), taking the confirmed positive cases tally to 2,764, the Ministry of Health said. According to the Department of Government Information, this latest coronavirus case is an arrival from the United Kingdom. As per the Epidemiology Unit’s statistics, a total of 659 patients infected with the virus are currently under medical care at hospitals. In the meantime, the number of recoveries reported from the disease in the country moved up to 2,094 earlier today. Sri Lanka has thus far witnessed 11…

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Tensions among three ethnicities increased rapidly by late 2016 due to extremist groups’

By Rathindra Kuruwita Tensions among the Muslim, Sinhala and Tamil communities in the East were growing rapidly by late 2016 due to activities of extremist groups, the State Intelligence Service had warned, an SIS officer stationed in the East, on Wednesday, told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks. The witness, whose name will not be divulged due to a request made by the PCoI, said that the most dangerous of those groups was the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ.) “I said this at a combined intelligence…

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Women’s activists demand Mahinda apologise to Jalani over remark over childless women

ECONOMYNEXT – A group of activists staged a demonstration against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today protesting remarks made by him allegedly insulting childless women, particularly Jalani Premadasa. The protest was held outside the PM’s office in Colombo. In a campaign speech Rajapaksa said “he (the Samagi Jana Balavegaya leader Sajith Premadasa) talks about pressing a button to summon the Midwife, of course he won’t need it…” in the audience someone says “he does not have children,” and the PM responds saying “hush, don’t say that.” Women’s groups were outraged that…

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FOREIGN MINISTER GUNAWARDENA AND UK’S INTERNATIONAL TRADE MINISTER DISCUSS STEPPING UP BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT TIES WITH THE UK

Foreign Relations Minister Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena and the Minister for International Trade of the UK Hon. Ranil Jayawardena discussed stepping up bilateral trade and investment and expanding the areas of cooperation during a teleconference yesterday, 23 July 2020. It was the first official interaction between the two Ministers.Both Ministers welcomed further consolidating the longstanding bilateral engagement through increased trade, security, research and training, in science and technology, including people-to -people contacts.  In particular, Ministers Gunawardena and Jayawardena agreed on the need for close cooperation to address the challenges facing bilateral trade…

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Tamils and their representatives in Parliament

The heavy weights of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna have given Jeevan, Thondaman’s son, the greenlight to contest from the Pohottuwa Party at the upcoming parliamentary elections. The national question is being looked upon from two angles. One if the solving of woes related to the estate workers; chief among which is granting them a daily wage of Rs 1000. But from a larger mainstream politics perspective the national question revolves around demands made by the TNA which is the main constituent party of the ITAK. The TNA in its election manifesto, released…

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After the military defeat of the LTTE the Tamil polity no longer has the bargaining strength it had during the war.

By Jehan Perera – Jehan Perera The TNA’s political manifesto for the forthcoming general elections, which was released last week, calls for a fresh mandate from Tamil people for a federal-based solution in the form of a merged Northern and Eastern province where Tamil speaking people live in majority numbers. It stated this could ensure a lasting peace in an undivided country in the future. This is consistent with the issues of community equality that have been uppermost in the Tamil polity from the early days of Independence and later from the…

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Dinesh and Ranil discuss SL-UK investment ties

Ministers Gunawardena and Jayawardena have agreed on the need for close  cooperation to address the challenges facing bilateral trade and  investment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Britain’s International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena have discussed stepping up bilateral trade and investment and expanding the areas of cooperation, during a teleconference on Thursday.    The Foreign Relations Ministry in a statement said yesterday it was the first official meeting between the two ministers.    The statement said both Ministers have welcomed further consolidating the longstanding…

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Workers still live under colonial standards.

Jeevan Thondaman (25) was nominated to be the Nuwara Eliya District candidate at the upcoming General Election after his father, Arumugan Thondaman, leader of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC), suddenly passed away at the age of 56.  Q Your educational and professional qualifications?   Bachelor of Laws – University of Northumbria, UK Q Why should people vote for you other than for being the son of Arumugam Thondaman?    I may be the son of whoever. But, at the end of the day, people need to accept me for who I am. I am…

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