Uva PC polls - turning point for UNP:
Ranil goes back for A/L tuition
Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has tried almost everything
under the sun to become the country’s Head of State.
Despite serving as the county’s Prime Minister on two occasions, it
seems that advancing beyond that is a distant dream for Ranil.
He changed his customary national top and trouser to formal European
dress when he unsuccessfully contested the 2005 Presidential elections.
It was said that Ranil had hired a top public relations firm from
He evaded the hassle of contesting another Presidential election by
endorsing Sarath Fonseka’s candidacy at the 2010 Presidential election.
Yet, only Ranil could tell whether the UNP had thrown its full weight
behind Fonseka who eventually cut a sorry figure as President Mahinda
Rajapaksa won his second successive Presidential election with a
Taking a leaf of President Rajapaksa’s book of becoming closer to the
masses, Ranil who made another unsuccessful bid at the 2010 general
elections. He has made it a habit to visit Sunday fairs to share a word
or two with vendors and customers which appeared to be artificial.
With the speculation of an early Presidential election, Ranil would
have already consulted a top notch international PR company to become
third time lucky. Perhaps, on the instructions of his new advisers,
Ranil embarked on another drama last week, this time visiting a tuition
This is the time most Advanced Level tutors are busy, trying to cover
the syllabuses and doing revision papers with their students.
But the tutor of a popular Advanced Level tuition class for Sinhala
language got a chance to ‘exhibit’ the political leader he worships the
most. But he kept it a secret until Ranil arrived at his full house
class on Monday.
Initially, the tutor had told students that the winner of Derana
Dream Star M.G. Dhanushka will visit them and the students were armed
with their autographs and cameras. But must to their disappointment, it
was not the Dream Star but a losing political star who ultimately made
the guest appearance at the class.
It appeared to be the blind leading the blind, when Ranil, under
whose leadership the UNP has suffered 30 elections, advised the
students. “Study well, master your patience. Use your brains, that would
help you to progress,” he told the students. Their tutor too made a
political speech in an obvious attempt to brainwash the students. Ranil
urged students and their tuition masters to join in efforts to change
Sri Lankan society.
“Let all of you together with your master sir, change society and
secure a bright future for yourselves,” he said.
JVP leader in hospital
Janatha Vimukthi Peramua (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake was
admitted to the Ratnapura Hospital on Monday following a motor accident
The JVP leader’s vehicle had collided with a tipper coming in the
opposite direction when the driver had attempted to overtake the vehicle
in front on the Ratnapura-Panadura Main Road.
Anura Kumara was later transferred to the Colombo National Hospital.
The driver was also injured and admitted to the hospital.
They were heading to Badulla to participate in the election campaign.
Party sources said Anura Kumara would be back in the election campaign
within a few days. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti had confirmed that Anura
Kumara's health condition was stable since leaving hospital on Tuesday
and that his injuries were of a minor nature.
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was among the first who
visited the JVP leader at the National Hospital. Anura Kumara had a
cordial chat with Ranil, explaining the ordeal he had in Ratnapura on
Monday evening. Democratic Party leader Sarath Fonseka also visited the
JVP leader who spent an overnight stay at the Merchant Ward of the
National Hospital in Colombo. Anura Kumara’s driver was arrested on
charges of reckless driving, following the accident.
The driver was produced in the Ratnapura Magistrate’s Court and was
released on a surety bail of Rs.50,000 by the Ratnapura Magistrate
Court. The next date of the hearing will be on August 4.
Uva PC polls, decisive for UNP
Political activities of all major parties in the Badulla and
Moneragala districts are gradually catching up as interest on the
upcoming Uva Provincial Council (UPC) elections is increasing.
Both major parties, the SLFP-led UPFA and the UNP have already named
their chief ministerial candidates. But political observers said that
UNP's Badulla district parliamentarian Harin Fernando would be a no
match to former Chief Minister Shashendra Rajapaksa. They were of the
view that the UPC polls are more important to UNP as it could be a
turning point in the main Opposition's history.
Making a desperate attempt to avert the party's 30th successive
election defeat, the UNP said that it would abide with the request made
by the election monitoring body People’s Action for Free and Fair
Election (PAFFREL) and put forward a set of candidates with clean hands.
“No one would be able to point his or her finger at our candidates as
we will put forward a clean team of candidates for the two districts in
the Uva Province,” party spokesman Gayantha Karunatilleke told a media
briefing last week.
Nominations for Elections to the Uva provincial council elections
will closed on August 6 at the nomination centres in the respective
District Secretariats, the Election Department said. Uva Provincial
Council was dissolved with effect from midnight July 11. A total of
600,966 voters from the Badulla district and 332,764 voters from the
Moneragala district will form the voting strength of the Uva Province,
which will elect 32 members plus two bonus seats.
UNP to move Nadeesha to Ambalangoda
Popular actress Nadeesha Hemamali who unsuccessfully contested the
Southern Provincial Council elections on the UNP ticket earlier this
year is set to be appointed the party's co-orgniser for the Ambalangoda
Though Nadeesha contested the last Southern Provincial Council
elections from the Matara District, the UNP plans to move her to the
Galle district, giving her a better chance of resurrecting her political
The UNP already has a chief organiser for Ambalangoda in Janith
Wickrematillake. However, Nadeesha is tipped to be appointed a co-organiser
to share the UNP's responsibilities in the electorate with Janith.
It was reported that the UNP leadership is keen to give Nadeesha
another chance to strengthen her vote base by the next parliamentary
general election likely to be held next year. Actresses Nadeesha (UNP)
and Anarkali Aakarsha (UPFA) contested the SPC elections from Matara
district and failed to secure seats.
But veteran actress Geetha Kumarasinghe, after failing to secure a
seat at the 2010 general elections, entered the Southern PC earlier this
Bandula plans to report don to CID
Education Minister Bandula Gunawardene said last week that he would
complain to the CID over a false allegation made by a Ruhunu University
Professor that he had provided an answer to a question in the Economic
Administration paper at the GCE Advanced Level examination held in 2012.
When questioned whether he had sent a facsimile message to the
Examinations Department giving the answer to a question in the A/L
Economic Administration Paper and whether a department official had
taken the fax message to a leading Colombo school as alleged by the
Ruhunu University Professor, the minister said he had not sent any fax
messages during the past four years. “It is a false allegation. There is
no truth whatsoever. I have never sent a fax in the past four years. I
will complain to the CID if the professor does not prove his allegation.
"There should be some hidden force behind this because he is making
the allegation after several years. I will ask the CID and the IGP to
conduct a full-scale investigation,” he said.
JHU questions Pillay's double standards
Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said that the UNHRC chief Navi Pillay
should reveal her stance regarding the violation of international
military law and international human rights in Palestine.
“We ask Navi Pillay what her stance is on the genocide in Palestine.
She should declare her stance to the world regarding that.
But she seems to be silent when the international military law and
international human rights were being violated in Palestine,” JHU
national organiser and Western Provincial Council member Nishantha Sri
Warnasinghe accused the UN Human Rights Commissioner of pursuing
double standards and added that her silence on the Palestine genocide
implies that her approach had been different in some countries of the
“She termed it a war crime when a Malaysian Airlines plane was shot
down in Ukraine.
"But she keeps mum on the Palatine genocide and regarding the
abduction of 200 students by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria.”
Warnasinghe told a news conference in Colombo.
Dr. Seshadri rejects agency report
National Convener of Foreign Policy Cell of the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP), Dr. Seshadri Chari has rejected the news item carried in
the Indian news Agency – PTI quoting him as saying that Sri Lanka should
resolve the Tamil issue if trade ties between the two countries are to
Dr. Chari who rejected the contents that appeared in the PTI news
item that has quoted him as saying, ‘We have told them (Sri Lanka) that
you should resolve the Tamil issue if you want trade and commerce
between Colombo and New Delhi (to progress),’ has pointed out in his
letter to the PTI News Editor that the news item is ‘wrong and
malicious’ and has caused great damage to his reputation besides causing
damage to Indo-Sri Lanka relations.
“I never spoke these words in the seminar in Singapore as has been
"Besides me there were other dignitaries from India and surprisingly
your report does not mention any of them,” he has written.
Furthermore, he has pointed out that during his participation in the
seminar in Colombo on ‘India under Modi’ organised by the Bandaranaike
Center for International Studies (BCIS) and in the interviews he gave,
he has clearly suggested that the Tamil issue is an internal matter of
Sri Lanka and should not be internationalised.
Sudharshani disagrees with Maithripla's wish
SLFP general secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena, addressing
the Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka Freedom Party Women’s Federation meeting at
the Mahaweli Prathibha Hall in Manampitiya made a strange wish last
week. “May all women reborn as men in their next incarnation,” said SLFP
general secretary much to the surprise of those present at the meeting.
“The dominance of women is visible everywhere today, women constitute
53% of the country’s population and 80 percent of government servants.
The village society and the whole country depends on a mother’s
strength, and her strength is immense and of great importance. Whenever
I leave home my wife kneels and bows, and as Buddhist I wish her to be
reborn as a man,” he said.
But when he noticed the shock on the faces of most of those who were
present, he request them to raise their hands of they don't like his
wish. Four of them, including Gampaha District MP Sudharshini
The minister said that, as a representative elected by the people he
had done his part for the benefit of the people.
“From the beginning of next year cigarettes packets will carry a
pictorial health warning which would compel smokers to rethink their
smoking habit,” he said.
He said he would take steps to use similar methods to discourage
liquor consumption next year. He said that as a responsible minister he
would work to create a society free of arrack, cigarettes and drugs.
At the team party which followed the event, Maithripala casually
asked Dr. Sudharshini why she did not agree with her wish. “I am proud
with the role that I play as a mother. Motherhood is the most important
thing one could ever dream of and I wish to remain as a responsible
mother,” she explained.
Australia closes doors to Tamil migrants
Australia was working with India for the return of Tamil migrants
among 157 asylum seekers are being held at a detention centre in the
country, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has said.
The group of Tamil asylum-seekers, including at least 37 children,
are held in the Curtin Detention Centre after being on sea for several
The group was said to be from Puducherry. “People who are Tamils in
India are not subject to persecution as a result of their Tamil
ethnicity, and that is, I think, widely understood,” said Morrison.
“People have left India and the suggestion was that people were being
persecuted in India, and my simple statement was is that's obviously a
nonsense,” Morrison told a radio interview on Thursday. He was
responding to a criticism by a Green Senator on the return of the
detained group to India.
“And that's why I have been working with the Indian Government to
come to an arrangement where many of them who have been resident in
India for a very long time could be considered for return,” he said.
“Now, they may well have wished to return to India rather than the
other options that are on the table here, which is obviously offshore
processing,” the minister said.
Morrison said negotiations were underway with Indian officials to
deal with the issue and the first step was to allow the consular
officials to meet the group.
“Now, if they choose not to do that, then that's a matter for them,
and it could be possible that all of them may choose not to speak to
Indian consular officials, and in so doing, they will pass up an
opportunity to potentially to be reunited with their families in India.”
Morrison said three options were being currently worked out with
“One was that they could be taken to India where that process which I
have talked about, their identity and so on, could be assessed,” he said
adding that the option was not accepted by India.
“They will never, ever be resettled in Australia and that will be the
outcome and nor will they ever be able to probably ever go back to India
again,” Morrison said adding that there was no discussion with the Sri
Lanka government about taking back the people on the boat.
President discusses arrangements for ICAPP
President Mahinda Rajapaksa met a high-profile team of officials at
Temple Trees on Friday to discuss arrangements for the next meeting of
the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).
ICAPP will take place in Colombo from September 18 to 21, 2014, under
the theme 'Building an Asian Community'. The eighth General Assembly of
ICAPP will be co-hosted by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the
United National Party (UNP).
Thus far, participants from 33 countries have confirmed participation
at the meeting, which will bring together numerous political parties
from the Asian region. President Rajapaksa also addressed a special
conference of ICAPP in Shaanxi Province during his state visit to China
in May 2013. At that meeting as well, there was a focus placed on the
need to strengthen the relationships between and among Asian nations.
ICAPP was launched in Manila in September 2000 to promote exchanges
and cooperation between political parties from different Asian countries
and with various ideologies. Since its inception, ICAPP has grown
steadily in both membership and influence. Minister of Health and the
Secretary General of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Maithreepala
Sirisena, Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of
Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma, Deputy Speaker
Chandima Weerakkody, Deputy Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera,
Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and secretaries of several
ministries were also present at the discussion.