21 May 2018
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Who really controls the UPFA nominations?

election 2015The looming nomination deadline on 13 July has drawn attention to the power struggle within the UPFA coalition. On reading the UPFA constitution, I will show that President Sirisena’s power to singularly drive nominations is limited and that his control rests on his ability to negotiate with the executive committee of the UPFA. Read more...

The Man Who's Disrupting Politics As Usual in Sri Lanka - Sean Braswell

m3 jayasrima bodhi

For much of the past decade, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was more or less a family business — one that happened to be run on an island just 22 miles off the coast of the second-largest country in the world and astride a key shipping lane to the largest. By one estimate, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his two high-ranking brothers controlled up to 70 percent of the nation’s budget, while 29 members of their extended family held senior positions in the government, civil service or industry.

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Protect Maithri, the Democrat and Statesman

ranil m3 arjunaDid Maithripala Sirisena disappoint the 6.2 million voters by letting MR contest under the SLFP tag? Some call it a great betrayal; while others think it a democratic option or burying the hatchet for mutual survival. Read more...

Preparing Ourselves for a Test of the Peoples’ Will - Kishali pinto jayawardena

electionFrom an objective viewpoint, it did not take much foresight very early on this year to predict the fracturing of the January 2015 winning coalition even as it hurriedly groups itself anew against upcoming Rajapaksa forces. Read more...

Rajapaksa redux

mr walking 11 07 2015Give credit to Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former president of Sri Lanka (pictured), for his fighting spirit. In early January voters unexpectedly and narrowly denied him a third successive term in office. An opposition alliance of Tamil, Muslim and disaffected Sinhalese had tired of his authoritarian rule and the presence of several of his brothers in government. Despite steady economic growth, voters disliked inflation, rising debt and blatant corruption. His overly powerful presidency also appeared to threaten democracy. Read more...

Seize this opportunity for true reform - Justice C.V. Wigneswaran

vigneshwaran 10 07 2015Come September, the United Nations Human Rights Council will assemble in Geneva for its 30th session. This session marks an important date for Sri Lanka, the United States and the international community: the long-awaited release of the UN report on war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war. Read more...

Who should be nominated as party candidates for the forthcoming elections?

eleThese are crucial days for the selection and submission of party candidates for the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections to be held on 17th August 2015. This is a moment at which the nation has the right to expect from leaders of all the political parties the exercise of utmost responsibility in making these selections. A simple criteria would suffice to sum up the nature of this responsibility. Anyone who may harm the nation should be excluded from the party nomination list; those candidates with only the highest potential for carrying out their obligation as the legislators of the country should be selected for such nominations.

Here are some of the subjects for such exclusion:

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Deciding As to Which Roguery is Less Harmful to Sri Lanka - Kishali pinto jayawardena

mr publicThat pithy village idiom, long beloved of those who view politics and politicians with a bitterly jaundiced eye, ‘unuthekai, munuthekai’, is greatly apt for Sri Lanka’s current political environment.  Read more...

The choice for a nation: A return to tyranny or true Yahapālanaya - Hilmy Ahamed

m3 4Sri Lankans in January 2015 delivered what was believed to be an impossible task, A REGIME CHANGE! This was possible because a common opposition formed a broad coalition to ensure that Sri Lanka returned to the rule of law and democracy. It consisted of parties and people, who believed that Sri Lanka needed to rid it of unprecedented corruption, nepotism; abuse of the judiciary for political expediency, politicization of the police force and those who believed that rule of law and justice had been compromised. Read more...

Come again?

mr speakUNTIL this year Mahinda Rajapaksa had seemed invincible: a war-winning president who had changed the constitution to give himself the right to stand for unlimited terms. Then in January, to almost universal surprise, he was beaten at the polls by a renegade member of his own party. It was a stunning defeat for Mr Rajapaksa, who was expected to take it as his cue to retire. Instead, in the six months since Maithripala Sirisena took office as president, Mr Rajapaksa has emerged as his principal headache.

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The last king of Lanka - Thisuri Wanniarachchi

mr 2e5I first met President Rajapaksa when I was 11 years old. I had won a national short story competition and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs had taken me and several other winners to Temple Trees to see the President. He was a rare and skilled politician. He knew the game and he played it very well.   He had a clever way of making people feel comfortable around him.   He patted our heads spoke to us for a long time; asked us about school and home. We were infatuated. He had us hooked. The other kids and I would go home and tell our friends and family what a great man he was. He was simple, loving, almost god-like. “He’s like a father, not a President,” the kid from Mahiyangana who was the winner of the Sinhala short story category  said on our way out. Little did we know, that was all politics. Politics was all PR and propaganda; and Rajapaksa knew this very well. Read more...

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