Last Updated : 2019-11-23 12:41:00
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Sat, 23 Nov 2019 Today's Paper
4 hours ago
The 2019 presidential election is over and Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been elected as the seventh Executive President with a thumping majority. The result seems to have upset the calculations and predictions of many a commentator and analyst writing in English both in Sri Lanka and abroad. It has indeed been amusing to see some of them “blaming” the voters for going against the grain of their assessments. What they fail to realise is that
02 Nov 2019
This writer devoted several hours in the past fortnight to communicate with a cross-section of Sinhala media personnel in the Southern, Central, Sabaragamuwa, North Western and North Central Provinces of Sri Lanka. A few journalist colleagues in Colombohelped to put me in touch with them. Our discussions were focused on the upcoming presidential election and about how chief presidential candidates were likely to fare. I was very much interested i
19 Oct 2019
“Onna Babo Billo Enawaa” was a familiar threat often used by grown-ups to frighten children into obedience in those days. Fear would be instilled into children that the kidnapper with the sack (Goni Billa) would grab them if the kids did not do as they were told. Nowadays, a few people resort to such threats in dealing with children.
12 Oct 2019
The political spectacle“Ekwa Idiriyata” (Forward Together) that unfolded on October 10 at Galle Face Green has elevated the morale of the green party to ecstatic heights. A mammoth crowd -- estimated by some of being in the range of six digits – gathered on the shores of the Indian ocean to see, hear and cheer the United National Party (UNP) leaders. A festive mood was much in the air as the DNF’s presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa launched
28 Sep 2019
Sixty years ago on September 25, 1959, Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (SWRDB) the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon was shot and seriously wounded by a Buddhist monk named Ven.Talduwe Somarama Thera. Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike succumbed to his injuries the following day. The fourth Prime Minister of Independent Ceylon/Sri Lanka passed away on September 26, 1959 exactly twenty-two hours after he had been shot.
21 Sep 2019
“The Prime Minister is Dead” was the striking headline in extra-large, bold letters of a special edition published by the now defunct “Times of Ceylon” on the morning of Saturday, September 26, 1959.
09 Sep 2019
Ever since the name of Gotabaya Rajapaksa began to be bandied about as a potential candidate at the Sri Lankan presidential elections, doubts have been raised as to whether the former defence ministry secretary could win at the hustings.
03 Aug 2019
There is political excitement in the air in anticipation of the presidential election before year end. Although no dates have been specified, there is much speculation about prospective candidates and their prospects. Among those being spoken of as potential presidential election contenders is Hambantota District Parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa who is also the United National Party (UNP) deputy le
27 Jul 2019
The eighth Sri Lankan presidential election is expected to be held on or before December 7 this year. Although dates have not been announced yet, many names are being bandied about as potential candidates. Among them is Hambantota District Parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa who is also the United National Party (UNP) deputy leader.
20 Jul 2019
Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has been elected President of the European Union (EU) commission following a secret ballot among Members of the European Parliament. She is the first woman to be elected President of the EU commission and will replace incumbent President Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1 this year. With Ursula von der Leyen’s victory, another traditional male bastion has fallen.
13 Jul 2019
The cruelly tragic killing of five Tamil students by members of the security forces thirteen years ago in the Trincomalee town was revisited in these columns last week. This week’s column seeks to revive memories about a murder most foul perpetrated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Colombo exactly thirty years ago. It was on the fateful day of July 13, 1989 that foremost Sri Lankan Tamil political leader and former opposition lea
06 Jul 2019
Five Tamil students were killed near the beach in the Trincomalee town thirteen years ago on January 2, 2006. Two other students suffered injuries but survived. The names and dates of birth of the five victims were: Manoharan Rajiharan – 22.09.1985; Yogarajah Hemachandra – 04.03.1985; Logitharajah Rohan – 07.04.1985; Thangathurai Sivanantha – 06.04.1985 and Shanmugarajah Gajendran – 16.09.1985. The two injured youths were Yogarajah Poongulalon a
15 Jun 2019
The orchestrated political campaign by the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led opposition in association with sections of the Buddhist clergy and mainstream media against three prominent Muslim politicians has ostensibly succeeded. The said aim of the campaign was to secure the dismissal, resignation and/or arrest of two Provincial Governors and a Cabinet Minister. Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah and Western Province Governor Azath Salley have bo
08 Jun 2019
Sri Lanka once again hurtling towards another orgy of anti-Muslim violence. Buddhist monk Ven. Athureliya Rathana Thera who is also a Member of Parliament was on a ‘fast unto death’ in the vicinity of Dalada Maligawa(Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) hallowed by Buddhists in Sri Lanka and abroad.
04 May 2019
Mohammed Zahran the founder-leader of the National Thawheed Jama’at and suspected ring leader of the Islamic State (IS) inspired attacks on Easter Sunday has been officially reported dead by the Sri Lankan Police.
02 May 2019
Sri Lanka’s security forces have engaged in many battles and armed confrontations during the long war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The military defeat of the LTTE in May 2009 brought an end to the conflict. Thereafter for ten years, the country has been experiencing peace and relative tranquillity. The armed forces too were confined to
27 Apr 2019
Easter Sunday is celebrated by Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, as the day on which the crucified Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It is a joyful day on which Christians sing jubilantly – Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? He’s alive, He’s alive, He is risen! In a cruel twist of fate, this year’s Easter on April 21 turned out to be a day of tragedy and sorrow. The destruction and carnage caused on Easter Sunday by
20 Apr 2019
‘Aadara Sevana’ (Abode of Love) in Anuradhapura is a social service cum prayer centre run by the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka. It is located a few kilometres away from the Anuradhapura town at a place called Kundichchaankulama in Sinhala and Kundichchaankulam in Tamil. The relatively-unknown Methodist Centre in the North Central Province has been in the news lately for extremely-troubling reasons.
30 Mar 2019
Lester James Peries is regarded by many including this writer as Sri Lanka’s greatest film director. The birth centenary of the master film maker born on April 5, 1919 will be commemorated this week.
23 Mar 2019
‘Is Mahinda playing fair by Gota in the presidential candidacy issue?’ was the title of an article by this writer that was published a fortnight ago in Daily Mirror. Let me begin this week’s article by excerpting five relevant paragraphs from the D.B.S. Jeyaraj column of March 9, 2019. Here are the first four paragraphs from the beginning of the article –
09 Mar 2019
Is former President Mahinda Rajapaksa playing fair by his younger brother Gotabaya as far as the presidential election candidate issue is concerned? This question has popped up in the minds of many observers of Sri Lanka’s political landscape in recent times. Although the Rajapaksa brothers present an outward image of monolithic unity, the political grapevine has hummed many times about strong political differences existing within the ‘Kurakkan
23 Feb 2019
The year was 1985. Junius Richard Jayawardene was the Sri Lankan President while Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister of India. The New Delhi facilitated talks between an official Sri Lankan Government delegation and six entities representing the Sri Lankan Tamils were going on in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu during the months of July and August. The Sri Lankan delegation was led by President Jayewardene’s brother H.W. Jayawardene. The Tamil side
16 Feb 2019
Journalists in the line of duty are required to write about different people from all walks of life but it is very rarely that they write about themselves or fellow journalists. It is accepted as part of a scribe’s lot in life. As far as the fourth estate is concerned, it goes with the territory. Sadly, if at all we do write about a journalist, it is only after he or she passes away. It is against this backdrop therefore that I write this w
09 Feb 2019
The Constitution reform or Constitution-making process appears to be at a standstill. Apart from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), all other political parties represented in the Constitutional Assembly do not seem keen on taking the process forward at this juncture. The chief reason for this lethargy seems to be real and imaginary concerns over impending elections in the near future. The presidential elections are definitely due this year. At th
26 Jan 2019
Sri Lanka approaching her seventy-first anniversary of gaining independence from the United Kingdom is presently in the midst of an interesting politico-legal phase. The island nation is engaged in formulating a new Constitution. The country from the time of Independence has had three Constitutions.
19 Jan 2019
The greatest political surprise or upset in Sri Lankan politics last year was the political realignment of President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In a bizarre political twist, Maithripala joined forces with his ex-leader to launch an unconstitutional and undemocratic attempt to remove Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replace him with Mahinda Rajapaksa as the purported Prime Minister. The backdoor bid to grab
22 Dec 2018
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s attempt to seize power through the backdoor with the support of President Maithripala Sirisena has been roundly defeated by a courageous display of united resistance by concerned citizens in combination with decisive votes in the legislature and unanimous rulings by the Judiciary. After clinging on stubbornly from October 26 for 51 days, former president and Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa termi
08 Dec 2018
Former President and current Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa was interviewed regarding the present political situation by Kelum Bandara of “Daily Mirror” last week. One of the questions posed to Mahinda in the interview was – “There is perception among some that you took over the government entering through the backdoor despite your ability to win elections in the future. What is your view?” Mahinda’s
24 Nov 2018
The Parliamentary proceedings of Sri Lanka, known formerly as Ceylon, have been the focus of my interest from a fairly early age. It began when I was in the Upper-fourth D class (Grade Seven) at S. Thomas’ College, Mt.Lavinia in 1966. Our English teacher Mrs. Fernando advised us at the beginning of the year to regularly read and comprehend the Parliamentary proceedings published in newspapers.
03 Nov 2018
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli known as Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian diplomat, writer, historian and political philosopher who is regarded by some as the father of modern political science. His most famous work was the political treatise “The Prince” which gained notoriety because it supposedly justified duplicity and a cynical disregard for morality as acceptable means to achieve the ends of gaining or m
22 Nov 2019