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August 31, 2014 at 1:41 am

The cat among the pigeons

August 30, 2014, 5:43 pm Few Lankans will disagree with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s  assessment that he will win the next presidential election widely expected to be  held early next year although his present term is due to end only on November  19, 2016. He exuded confidence that he’s going to be around for many more years  when he hosted the Foreign Correspondents Association at a breakfast meeting a  few days ago. Asked if he wanted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit  Sri Lanka before or after the widely predicted snap presidential election, he  blandly replied “it does not matter. After the elections also, I will be  here.’’

Broadlands power project will kill Kitulgala’s white water rafting

August 31, 2014 at 1:15 am

“You can’t turn a river on and off’’

August 30, 2014, 5:20 pm

by Amal Jayasinghe

Kitulgala (Sri Lanka) – Its detonation may have been a landmark  in movie history, but 57 years after the “Bridge over the River Kwai” was blown  to smithereens, Sri Lankan authorities are offering to rebuild it as a  peace-offering to dam-hit villagers.

‘Lean luxury’ at USD 80 a room

August 31, 2014 at 1:09 am

‘Lean luxury’ at USD 80 a room

August 30, 2014, 7:24 pm

Colombo’s newest `lean luxury hotel,’ the Cinnamon Red, built on  Green Path (Ananda Coomaraswamy Mw.) at a cost of Rs. 3.55 billion, which opens  its doors tomorrow plans to sell its luxury rooms at around USD 80 way below  prevailing five-star rates.

“Sarath Silva and MR’s third term”

August 31, 2014 at 1:04 am

August 30, 2014, 5:43 pm

by Sarath N. Silva

I write to you in response to the Article bearing the above  title published in the “Political Watch” Column of The Sunday Island of August  24, 2014. The Article claims to be a response to an interview of mine published  in the IridaLankadeepa of August 17. I raised a strictly legal issue whether the  incumbent President, who has been twice elected to office, is qualified in law  to be elected to office for another term. If he is not so qualified, whether he  is entitled in terms of Article 31(3(a)(i) of the Constitution to direct the  Commissioner of Elections to hold a premature Presidential election after the  expiration of four years in office, on the basis that he is eligible to hold  office for a further term.

India’s Modi-fied Populism

August 31, 2014 at 12:58 am

No sign of a neoliberal agenda

August 30, 2014, 5:44 pm

Modi on the ramparts

Kumar David

Nehru in his first broadcast to the people of India as Prime  Minister on 15 August 1947 began with the words: “Today I address you for the  first time officially as the First Servant of the Indian people, pledged to  their service and their betterment. I am here because you willed it so and I  remain here so long as you choose to honour me with your confidence”. It is  fitting that Narendra Modi echoed his illustrious predecessor and could find no  better term than First Servant to introduce himself on the occasion of his first  speech as Prime Minister. He did not seek to match the soaring eloquence of  Nehruesque rhetoric, his is a more homespun style as suits the man, but there  were common themes; most notably Nehru’s call to spurn divisiveness (“Our first  and immediate objective must be to put an end to all internal strife and  violence, which disfigure and degrade us and injure the cause of freedom”),  resonated with Modi.

Sarath Silva correct, 18A not retrospective

August 31, 2014 at 12:22 am

August 30, 2014, 5:48 pm

The political correspondent of the ‘Sunday Island’ has attempted  unsuccessfully to refute the legal argument raised by former Chief Justice  Sarath N. Silva , that the provisions of Section 31(2) are still in force in  respect of the incumbent President since the 18th amendment to the constitution  has not been passed with retrospective effect.


August 31, 2014 at 12:11 am

August 30, 2014, 5:48 pm

Two recent interesting news items caught my attention. One is  that of the cancellation by India on 18 August of bilateral discussions at  Foreign Secretary level between India and Pakistan. The reason attributed for  the cancellation was a move by Pakistan’s Ambassador in New Delhi to consult  with Kashmiri separatists prior to bilateral talks. India’s External Affairs  Ministry spokesman stated that Pakistan had a choice – “talk to the separatists  or talk to us”. The second news item was that of two separate meetings Tamil  National Alliance (TNA) delegation led by R. Sampanthan held with India’s  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  (NM hereafter) on 23 August.

Distinguished Persons Discuss Holistic Education at the Gandhi Centre

August 30, 2014 at 11:56 pm

August 30, 2014, 5:55 pm article_image Dr Mohammed Saleem, President, Gandhi Centre got the discussion  going by expressing salient ideas through a power-point presentation. His  contention was that the youth of the country need immediate focused attention  and success of reconciliation depends on the level of people’s education. He  believes that Sri Lanka does not provide sufficient space to youth; media sets  the agenda for youth; pressure from parents and teachers is oppressive and  counseling is barely available. The present education system is faulty and thus  creativity is denied. The irony is that youth are not consulted when laying down  policy for them. The answer to these problems is holistic education which  connotes integrated education where many facets come in with the gaining of  knowledge.

Manipulations ‘ad hominem’

August 30, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Retired Chief Justice Sarath N Silva elucidates  the mechanics of election timeline manipulation

August 30, 2014, 5:55 pm article_image  An interview By Maheen Senanayake Sarath N Silva, contrary to how most describe him, is not a  proponent of controversy, rather he is a master of ‘the argument’. He lives at  Evergreen Park (albeit devoid of green) in a house like most others in the  neigbourhood with no fortification of policemen on guard duty around.

The man with a Plan

August 30, 2014 at 10:58 pm

August 30, 2014, 5:58 pm

An interview with Karu Jayasuriya

By Maheen Senanayake

Third and Final installment Will the man and the hour meet? (Continued from the previous week)

I was born in a democratic Sri Lanka and I want to die in a  democratic Sri Lanka, said Karu Jayasuriya. There was conviction in his voice.  “That’s powerful,” I told him.

Well we are slowly but surely moving towards a despotic regime.  It is also my duty to see that the UNP unifies. When the chairmanship of the  leadership council was offered to me for the first time, I rejected it. First it  was the priests and then it was Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe and on both occasions I  said ‘No’.

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