Sri Lanka: Increasing suppression of dissent – HRW

The Sri Lankan government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is waging a campaign of fear and intimidation against human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, and others challenging government policy, Human Rights Watch said today.The crackdown on dissent under the Rajapaksa administration has intensified in recent months, facilitated by the government’s highly militarized response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and has included intimidation, death threats, physical assaults, and arbitrary arrests. President Rajapaksa’s party secured a parliamentary majority in elections on August 5, 2020. The results increased concerns that the government will exacerbate policies that…

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Will Rajapaksas’ third coming give national reconciliation a chance?

Ever since the ‘Sinhala Only’ policy was adapted by the Bandaranaike Government in the late fifties, the call from moderate Tamils for a just solution to their legitimate grievances has grown. The failure of successive governments to address the issue, no doubt spawned the rise of Tamil militancy in Lanka and spurred the resort to arms to win their demands, with the separate state of Tamil Eelam as their ultimate objective. Thirty years of a terrorist war almost bled Lanka to death, with thousands of her civilians–be they Sinhala, Tamil…

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Ministerial appointments: Loyalists rewarded

No portfolios for Maithripala Sirisena and his backers SJB duo hold talks with Ranil Wickremesinghe on new UNP leadership and a possible re-merger A 20th Amendment to replace some 18A and 19A provisions Measures to re-boot economy Swept by a landslide two-thirds majority at the August 5 parliamentary election, the empire hit back. That politically devastating onslaught for many came in the historic hill capital of Kandy where a new Cabinet of Ministers and State Ministers were sworn in on a cool but cloudy Wednesday. The message it gave a…

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LSSP unhappy over being cold shouldered on Cabinet portfolio

The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) expressed bitterness over the denial of a Cabinet portfolio to its leader in recognition of the role the Trotskyists played in the hustings to ensure the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) cantered home with an overwhelming majority. “We actively supported the SLPP’s hectic parliamentary polls campaign in anticipation of a Cabinet slot just as much as the other constituent parties”, LSSP sources said. “While the other partners in the alliance have been rewarded for their efforts, we have been left out in the cold”,…

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President orders northern shops to remain open till 10 pm daily

All shops, including grocery and textile shops, eateries and pharmacies in the Jaffna peninsula, have been requested to keep their establishments open until 10 p.m. daily on a directive by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This is aimed at reviving business in the region, officials said. Northern Province Governor P.S.M. Charles on Friday presided over a meeting with representatives from the District Secretariat, Police, the Sri Lanka Transport Board, private bus operators, hoteliers and traders to convey the decision. Jaffna District Secretary K. Mahesan told the Sunday Times the proposal’s aim was to increase…

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Chandrika doesn’t know “whether to laugh or cry” at the fate of the SLFP

ECONOMYNEXT – Chandrika Kumaratunga says she “doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry” when she sees what has happened to her beloved Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). “It is the party that I grew up with, it is the party that fed me and its supporters brought me to power for eleven years,” the former President said in her first official public reaction to the massive victory that the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna won in this month’s Parliamentary General Election. “I have been looking for the SLFP all over…

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The Rajapaksa Brothers’ Return is Not a Victory for All

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa however decided that he could still meet the challenges with the powers vested in him. True to his word, the infected clusters were quickly contained. Sri Lanka is yet to face the dreaded second wave that had engulfed most other countries. Though imports were severely controlled, his Administration ensured that there were no shortages of any essentials  by Shivanthi Ranasinghe  Sri Lanka is the first country to defeat “Regime Change”. The fact that this whole operation was reversed by the ballot makes this accomplishment irrefutable. It is…

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The Trial Of Three Tamil Nationalists

By Mahesan Niranjan – Prof. Mahesan Niranjan Sometime this week, three guests arrived at the cafeteria of the Sri Lankan parliament on the banks of the Diyawanna. They were from the past. Of that past, 1976 was a special year that needs mention. That was the year when political Tamil nationalism reached its peak in the form of a declaration, at the town of Vaddukkoddai, for the formation of a separate state by the name of Tamil Eelam. Our three guests were not really the architects of that declaration, nor did they…

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Mylvaganam could not raise millions, therefore he could not buy ticket from party

It is a well known secret that if you want to win an election in Sri Lanka, be it from Presidential to Local Councils, you might need millions to carry out a high-spending campaign, even if you are well educated and qualified to represent the people.   Mylvaganam Thilakarajah Those who cannot raise millions had to be sidelined as it happened in the recently concluded polls. The Nuwara Eliya district’s Former Parliamentarian Mylvaganam Thilakarajah was among those who could not secure a party ticket to contest due to financial difficulties. He…

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Gotabaya Autocracy: Inducements And Impediments

By Kumar David – Prof. Kumar David It has been a constant if annoying refrain of this column that there are powerful class, political, military, cultural and racial-religious forces pushing Lanka in the direction of an autocratic state. Up to now I have taken pains to delineate the factors encouraging autocracy while neglecting those impeding it. This was for reasons of electoral exigency – the country has had two elections on its hands and theoretical nuances needed to be set aside so as not to cloud practical urgencies. I will now depart…

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MP Wigneswaren makes vow in Mullivaikal where thousands of Tamil civilians were killed

Newly elected TMTK (Thamil Makkal Thesiya Kuttani) MP C.V. Wigneswaran, on Thursday (13), vowed before the LTTE memorial at Mullivaikkal where more than 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by Sri Lankan forces, that he would fulfil the aspirations of the Tamil people. He was a Tamil professional man living a luxury live with his Sinhale friends in Colombo before he was asked by TNA to be the Chief Minister candidate of Northern province. But he was accused of being a Sinhale’s friend who did not understand the difficulties faced by…

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Tamil’s are afraid to invest in Sri Lanka due to the fear of extortionists

Minister of Fisheries Douglas Devananda having assumed duties yesterday at his ministerial premises made a sincere request to the Tamil Diaspora to invest in Sri Lanka. He noted that the current government is well aware that some of the businessmen constituting the Tamil Diaspora are victims of self-centered politicians and others who have deceived the Tamil speaking people. Consequently, they are afraid to invest in Sri Lanka due to the fear of extortionists.  In the event any member of the Diaspora is interested in investing in Sri Lanka, Devananda said…

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UK firm secures GBP 700,000 Sri Lanka Railways order

UK: Lincoln-based diesel engine servicing and component specialist IMPS was assisted by UK Export Finance when it secured a GBP 750,000 order to supply parts for the refurbishment of Rolls Royce engines used by Sri Lanka Railways. IMPS is an experienced exporter, selling 75% of its products overseas and having customers in more than 50 countries. However, the size of the Sri Lanka Railways contract meant it would need to spend significant sums on hardware and supplies while awaiting payment, and so it needed a way to address the financing…

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Did Sumanthiran Win In Jaffna By “Stealing” Sashikala’s Votes?

The Jaffna poll incidents are still being distortedly falsified,  maliciously misrepresented and disproportionately blown up by vested  interests in a propaganda blitz to vilify and undermine the wrongly  accused Sumanthiran  http://static.dailymirror.lk/assets/uploads/image_b01c955fee.jpg A well-endowed TNA candidate had engaged a team of 10 to 15  propagandists for election canvassing earlier. Their duties were to send  messages via telephone and also create content on the internet in  favour of the candidate concerned As is well-known the ballots are counted and verified at different  locations in each electoral division. These results are finalised only …

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Investigation opened into alleged war crimes by British mercenaries in Sri Lanka

THE Metropolitan Police have opened an investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by British mercenaries in Sri Lanka during the 1980s. The force’s War Crime Team has begun a scoping exercise under Crown Prosecution Service guidelines, the Foreign Office has told the UN Working Group on Mercenaries (UNWGM). The probe follows the publication earlier this year of Keenie Meenie: the British Mercenaries Who Got Away with War Crimes, by former Morning Star journalist Phil Miller. Mr Miller exposed how British military veterans from a company called Keenie Meenie Services (KMS)…

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