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Hung LG bodies cause headache for political parties
Published Date: 14/02/2018 (Wednesday)
Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka Asoka Obesekere has warned of political turmoil for want of a particular party gaining absolute majority in about 160 local government bodies at just concluded local government polls. Countrywide elections were held for 340 local government bodies. Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha is the only exception due to a court directive. Obesekere asserted that those having the majority in hung local government bodies would find it difficult to secure required support to form an administration.
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Removal of PM: Experts warn President’s options limited by 19A
Published Date: 14/02/2018 (Wednesday)
The enactment of the historic 19th Amendment continues to have profound relevance on the options open to President Maithripala Sirisena as crisis deepens in the ruling coalition, with legal experts warning that a 2003 style take-over of ministries by the President or the unilateral sacking of the Prime Minister feared by many political observers is virtually impossible under the provisions of the Act. The incumbent President, who is subject to the provisions of the 19A, cannot force the removal of a sitting Prime Minister or the Cabinet of Ministers without triggering a major constitutional crisis, since the historic legislation has slashed presidential powers in this respect, legal experts told the Daily FT.
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President to make special statement on unity govt’s future
Published Date: 14/02/2018 (Wednesday)
President Maithripala Sirisena will make a special statement regarding the future actions of the government, before Friday (Feb. 16), Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He was speaking to reporters outside the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, a short while ago, following a discussion held with the President. Following the crushing defeat it suffered in the local authorities elections, Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition comprising the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Sirisena, and the United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, has been on the verge of a break up.
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CID arrests Former DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara
Published Date: 14/02/2018 (Wednesday)
Retired former Deputy Inspector General of Police, formerly in charge of Mount Lavinia Prasanna Nanayakkara has been arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department on charges of concealing evidence in the murder case of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge. The CID had arrested the former DIG last night. Retired former DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara is accordingly due to be produced before the Mount Lavinia Magistrates Court today.
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Not my job to issue final results: EC
Published Date: 14/02/2018 (Wednesday)
The Elections Commission was neither under obligation to issue final results of the LG polls nor was its job, Elections Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said today. He added however that a booklet would be issued on February 28 including all data, statistics and information related to the February 10 polls. He said the EC was Constitutionally mandated to issue final results only at a Referendum and Provincial Councils, Parliamentary and Presidential polls because results of any of these polls become legally valid after the declaration of the results by the EC.
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'I Would Rather Trust Ranil's One Word Over Seven Papers Signed By Sirisena:' MR Turns Down SLFP Offers
Published Date: 14/02/2018 (Wednesday)
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa last night had ridiculed a group of SLFP seniors who visited his residence to offer a 'truce' to work together in Local Government bodies. "I would rather trust Ranil's one word over seven papers signed by Sirisena. I won't trust his promises," ( Ranilge kata wachane mata wishwasayi, eth Sirisena kola hathaka liwwath mata wishwasa nehe) Rajapaksa had said, turning down the offer by the SLFP seniors who are now in a desperate situation following the defeat at the Local Government election.
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Sri Lanka President's party seeks shot at govt
Published Date: 14/02/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka President's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) which was decimated at recent local election has said it wants to topple Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and form a new administration. UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera told reporters Wednesday that he wrote Sirisena claiming that they had a majority in the 225-member assembly to form a new government. However, there is a major constitutional obstacle to removing Wickremesinghe. The 19th amendment to the constitution does not give the president the power to sack the prime minister unless parliament first through a resolution removes him with 113 MPs supporting it.
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As a US citizen, I can\'t accept PM’s post: Gota
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who returned yesterday to Sri Lanka from the US, said he could not accept the Prime Ministerial portfolio because he was an American citizen. He said this when asked by the journalists at the Airport whether he would accept the Post of Prime Minister if it was offered by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). “I can\'t. I am an American citizen. So I cannot accept that portfolio. Besides, who wants to become a Prime Minister in a scenario such as what exists today,” he said and added that he had still not decided to enter politics.
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‘‘An unstable Maldives will lead to an unstable Indian Ocean’’ President Yameen has to go - Nasheed
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Former President of Maldives, currently in exile and stationed in Colombo, Mohamed Nasheed in a candid interview with the Daily mirror insisted that the current President must step down in order to resolve the ongoing political turmoil the country is engulfed in. • On the night of my exile Sri Lankan Ministers were in Male • I have the ground support of my people • China seems to support autocratic Governments
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VIOLENCE AGAINST COLOMBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS BROUGHT BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Colombia is one of the most dangerous places to be a human rights defender or an activist in a social movement. 50 human rights defenders were killed in the first half of 2017 alone, as recorded by the NGO Somos Defensores. The state offers little protection and the judiciary rarely intervenes. On 30 November 2017 ECCHR and its partner organization Colectivo de Abogados Jose Alvear Restrepo (CCAJAR) submitted a dossier to the International Criminal Court in The Hague documenting emblematic cases of attacks on human rights defenders over the last fifteen years. ECCHR and CCAJAR is calling on prosecutors at the ICC to investigate those responsible.
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Sri Lanka keen to sign FTA with China: ambassador
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Since the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative was revealed to the world, Sri Lanka has been actively cooperating with China to ensure a win-win result. Global Times reporter Wang Bozun (GT) interviewed Sri Lankan Ambassador to China Karunasena Kodituwakku GT: Foreign media reported that Sri Lanka is hesitant about signing a free trade agreement [FTA] with China as it is concerned about the economic impact of a "rushed" deal. Do you agree that China and Sri Lanka have been hasty about FTA talks? How are the FTA talks going? How do you evaluate a future FTA between the two sides?
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Floating armoury case tomorrow
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Colombo High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe on 9 February set tomorrow (14) to hear the floating armoury case, filed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC). CIABOC has indicted Avant Garde Maritime Security Service Private Limited Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathy and Chairman of the Rakna Lanka, retired Major General Palitha Fernando on 47 counts, including having facilitated Maritime Security Service Private Limited to operate a floating armoury off the Southern seas at a cost of Rs 35.5 million to the
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Parliament cannot be dissolved before Four and half years - Jayampathy
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Parliament cannot be dissolved before four and half years unless a two thirds majority passes a resolution as per the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Constitutional Lawyer and UNP MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramarathne said. Speaking on the same lines JVP MP Vijitha Herath said not even President Maithripala Sirisena could dissolve Parliament before February 2020 without a two thirds majority support. They made this observation in response to the call made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to immediately dissolve Parliament and go for a snap election. “What was concluded was an election for Local Government Authorities. Parliament was elected for a term of 5 years.
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Subramanian Swamy wants Rajapaksa to return to power
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Indian politician, Subramanian Swamy who was associated with the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, has Tweeted yesterday hat he hopes that Rajapaksa would return to power soon, after the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) strong showing at the February 10 local government election. "It is good to hear that Rajapaksa is making a strong comeback to Sri lankan politics. He should become President soon," he Tweeted. However the 19th amendment to the constitution prevents Mahinda Rajapaksa from contesting again as President. Also commenting on Mahinda Rajapaksa’s close ties with China and his supposed anti India
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People’s decision against govt must be respected - Sampanthan
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan says that so far the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has not been contacted by any party with regard to forming a new government. He stated that because no one has approached them as of yet, they currently have no intention of discussing the matter right now. Responding to a query from Ada Derana regarding rumours doing the rounds on a possible UNP-TNA alliance to continue the government, he said that when and if a certain political party official contact them about this they will discuss the matter and take a decision.
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Australia issues deportation order for Tamil asylum seeker despite torture fears
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
A Sri Lankan asylum seeker has been ordered for deportation next week, despite the United Nations committee against torture requesting Australia not move him while it investigates whether he will be tortured if he is returned against his will. The deportation order issued for Tamil asylum seeker Shantaruban by the Australian Border Force says he will be deported on 22 February. He will not be permitted any visitors at the airport when he is removed and he will be escorted on his flight to Colombo. He has refused to sign the order.
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Shiromala, first Adiwasi public representative
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
For the first time in the history of governance in Sri Lanka, an Adiwasi people’s representative, who contested at the Local Government election from Dehiattakandiya has been elected from a multi-member ward in Henanigala as a member of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). The 37-year-old W.M. Shiromala is a mother of three, who has passed G.C.E (O/L) examination. She has received 1,369 votes as the first Adiwasi people’s representative. She said there were many unresolved problems faced by the members of her community.
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Ranjan says result a blessing in disguise
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake says that the result of the local government elections would be a blessing in disguise as it would lead to the culprits in the previous and current Governments being punished.The United National Party Parliamentarian said, "The people gave a red alert to the Government regarding corruption issues. Instead of catching the thieves of the previous regime of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, these people in our Party started to rob the country. The bond scam is the cause of the big loss at the polls. There are some other issues like the increasing cost of living and climate change related natural disasters that have also played a role in this outcome."
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Never shied away from taking responsibility in UN system: Sri Lanka
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka has never shied away from taking its fair share of responsibility in the UN system, which has helped Sri Lanka build an image as a moderate and progressive partner, able to bridge differences and build consensus, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN Ravinatha Aryasinha said. He made these observations when he addressed representatives of the diplomatic community, UN and other international organizations at a ceremony held to celebrate Sri Lanka's 70th Anniversary of Independence at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on February 6. Ambassador Aryasinha also said Sri Lanka continues to give leadership on a wide range of issues such as disarmament, migration, human rights, health, intellectual property, science and technology and international trade policy in Geneva.
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Sri Lanka's PM: To go or not?
Published Date: 13/02/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is under intense pressure to step down after he led the United National Party (UNP) to a humiliating defeat at local elections, but will he go? Economynext Political Correspondent weighs Wickremesinghe's options and discusses whether he should go or remain.
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Rajapaksa calls for a general election, says Govt has lost mandate
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lanka's former President at a media briefing in Colombo today has called for a snap general elections after the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)’s victory at the 2018 Local Government elections. Rajapaksa said that the government had lost its mandate to govern and that the people must be given a chance to elect a new parliament. Further Rajapaksa said the SLPP has made a historic victory since not a single political party in Opposition, had defeated the governing party at a local government election.
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The hour for political maturity - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
The people have spoken, as they say. Local Government Elections, like any election, are a test of the regime’s popularity. Well, the people have delivered their verdict: Not up to mark by a big margin! A close look at the overall results and comparison with previous Local Government election as well as with the last Parliamentary and Presidential elections will no doubt lend towards a more nuanced reading of trends. As of now what is clear is that people have expressed a massive vote of no-confidence on the UNP-SLFP Coalition Government. It should be a sobering outcome even though it wasn’t possible to think that the coalition arrangement would be rosy, given the history of antagonism.
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Bid to introduce new Constitution suffers irrevocable setback - SLPP
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Chairman and top Joint Opposition spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday said that in the wake of the heavy defeat suffered by the ruling coalition at the first countrywide election since 2015 presidential and parliamentary polls, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe regime could no longer rush through with the controversial constitution making process as planned. The former External Affairs Minister said the government lacked the wherewithal to sustain that grandiose project. The SLPP Chairman said so in response to a query by The Island at a media conference at Battaramulla Nelum Mawatha Office of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
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PM to form UNP Govt.
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe obtained the consent of President Maithripala Sirisena to form a UNP government in place of the current unity government between the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), a source close to the UNP said today. The Prime Minister met the President in the wake of the February 10 local council elections which saw the defeat of both the UNP and the SLFP. Sources close to the Prime Minister told Daily Mirror that the President had informed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to form a government if he could muster a majority in the House.
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President Under Pressure To Give Up SLFP Leadership: But MR Doesn't Want It: President's Fate Uncertain
Published Date: 12/02/2018 (Monday)
President Maithripala Sirisena, who led a disastrous election campaign at the Local Government polls, has now come under pressure to step down from the SLFP leadership. While some of the SLFP ministers representing the Cabinet negotiating with the UNP, some are holding talks with the Joint Opposition to work together in Parliament. Some party seniors who threw their weight behind President Sirisena have suggested that the SLFP should leave the government and sit in the opposition. If that happens, political sources said, they would only form a small independent group in Parliament without any ability to influence important policy decisions
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