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10 reasons why you should celebrate Mahinda Rajapaksa’s victory

Jan 28 (GV) 1. Sarath Fonseka lost. We no longer need to stress ourselves to a level requiring medication worrying about what he might do if he wins. We can stop pretending to like him. 2. Mahinda Rajapaksa can never ever run for President again (unless of course he changes the constitution). 3. Stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, almost 75% of people still went out and voted. more..

Suppression at ‘Rupavahini’

Jan 28 (LT) It is reported that a massive suppression of employees is taking place at Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. According to these reports the Chairman and the Addl. Director General have threatened employees who harbour different political views and have assaulted some of them. The Chairman and the Addl. Director General have personally threatened Ravi Abeywickrema, Herbert Kumara alagiyawanna, Kanchana Marasinghe and Gamini Pushpakumara.

Defeating Fonseka: The final blow for the LTTE

Jan 28 (AT) My last article about Sri Lanka was entitled, “Is Sri Lanka Crazy Enough to Elect a Retired General as President?” Yesterday’s election answered that question with a resounding “No!” It actually answered a number of questions with a resounding “No!” Here are a few of those questions: “Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who was a convicted rapist, serial womanizer, and alleged wife beater?” more..

It's MAHINDA (Sixth Executive President of Sri Lanka)

Jan 28 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa (UPFA) was elected as the Sixth Executive President of Sri Lanka by a massive majority of over 1.8 million votes on Tuesday. He polled a total of 6,015,934 votes as against his closest rival Retired General Sarath Fonseka of the New Democratic Front who polled 4,173,185 votes. President Rajapaksa led in 17 out of 22 electoral districts gaining 57.88 percent of the votes polled. more..

'People have accepted President’s policies'

Jan 28 (DN) The people gave a resounding election verdict in favour of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. All allegations by the Opposition campaign were completely false and were intended to sully the image of the country. It was an attempt to detract from the victory of the President, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said yesterday. He said victory achieved by the President was not an easy one. more..

Expats tells international community : Sri Lankans have spoken

Jan 28 (DN) Sri Lanka should be provided with space to strengthen its economy and develop the country. The concerned aggrieved western nations, NGOs, and a section of the media should refrain from taking any action to undermine the resolve of the Sri Lankan people to stand together and march ahead, Sri Lankan Expatriates for National Integration said in a release. The Association have members in USA, Canada, UK, EU, UAE, Australia, New Zealand Singapore and Japan. more..

For Mahinda as he begins his second term

Jan 28 (DN) How does one dissect the results of an election? I could slice through the numbers and make cuts in terms of ‘province’, ‘district’ and ‘electorate’. I could set these pieces with equivalent slices from the 2005 election, side by side and check out how Sarath compares with Ranil. Who weighed more, I could ask and the numbers would answer. I could check out what’s happened to Mahinda in the past four years: Mahinda up or Mahinda down? more..

'Mandate to make country Asia's wonder'

Jan 28 (DN) The absolute mandate given by the people to President Mahinda Rajapaksa was to make Sri Lanka the wonder of Asia. Though NDF candidate Sarath Fonseka was defeated it was not a victory of a single person but a victory achieved for the country by all patriotic people. Defeat of Fonseka was also a defeat of the anti national conspirators, the Jatika Hela Urumaya said in a press release yesterday. more..

The Grand Consolidation

Jan 28 (DM) “There won’t be any minorities in this country after today. I want everybody to feel like one”. This was what President Mahinda Rajapaksa said addressing the nation on May 18, 2009 announcing the end of country’s civil war. Whether one may like it or not the terms, majority or minority, have become so ingrained in political vocabulary here that doing away with those is certainly not an easy task. And one of the reasons for that is President Rajapaksa himself. more..

Fight corruption, waste to deliver economic dividends

Jan 28 (Island) Despite the war being won, pushing Sri Lanka’s growth prospects upwards, and the unprecedented infrastructure development activities that are underway, economists warn that unless Sri Lanka’s political leaders fight corruption, uphold democracy and eliminate wasteful and reckless spending sustainable peace dividends would not filter down to the people, especially the poor and underprivileged. more..

Mahinda magic works

Jan 28 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa scored a historic victory over Opposition presidential candidate, General (retd) Sarath Fonseka at the first national poll since the collapse of the LTTE. The incumbent President polled a staggering 6,015,934 (57.88%) to set the stage for parliamentary elections before end of April. Fonseka polled 4,173,185 (40.15%) while the rest polled a total of 204,494 (1.9%). more..

Winners and losers

Jan 28 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has scored a magnificent victory giving the lie to claims made in some quarters that Tuesday's presidential election would have a photo finish. The President romped home winning 58 per cent of votes, the highest an incumbent has ever polled in this country and bagging 16 out of 22 electoral districts. He has surpassed himself in style! In 2005, he managed to get a meagre 50.29 per cent of votes to win the presidency. more..

CoL had no impact on outcome - Bandula

Jan 28 (Island) The cost of living did not have any impact on the final outcome on Presidential Elections where President Mahinda Rajapaksa was re-elected for a second term, Minister Bandula Gunawardene said yesterday. he said that though consumers complained of high prices of various consumer items, hoarding etc. the government reduced the prices of various items including rice, which was made freely available, from November 12. more..

Fonseka seeks legal action against election results

Jan 28 (DM) Gen. Sarath Fonseka said he was not prepared to accept the results declared by the Commissioner of Elections yesterday and would seek legal action to get the results annulled. He also said the government would have to take the responsibility for his life in case of any unfortunate eventuality. He said he had sought the support of the international community through more..

Gota threatens Somawansa!

Jan 28 (LT) “I will set your Lanka newspaper on fire – be warned” were the words of Defence Secretary and brother of the President, Gotabaya Rajapakse to Somawansa Amarasinghe, leader of the JVP. The Defence Secretary made this call this morning to Mr Amarasinghe’s mobile phone. The conversation was witnessed by the JVP leader’s driver and members of the staff. “ I received a call from the mobile no 077 – 3501626 which is the Defence Secretary’s number. more..

Opposition leaders fear arrest

Jan 28 (DM) Opposition party leaders who backed General Sarath Fonseka for the presidency yesterday charged that some of them might be arrested. UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya told journalists they had received information on being harmed and therefore decided to move out of their homes on the eve of the election. He said he could not divulge some of the details about these threats but revealed they were advised to gather at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo. more..

Govt. says General was not under arrest

Jan 28 (DM) The government yesterday denied speculation that it was holding common opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka under house arrest, and confirmed that he could move out of the hotel at any time he so desired. Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told a news conference there were news reports circulated by certain international media organizations that General Fonseka’s freedom of movement had been restricted. more..

Govt. invites opposition for constitution change

Jan 28 (AD) The government today called the opposition to help give them a 2/3 majoprity to change the constitution within a week, Media minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said at a press conference. He added that if not the government would dissolve parliament and go for a General election probably in April. Lakshman Yapa further commenting on the concluded election said that the TNA connection was evident by more..

Confusion over President Rajapaksa’s tenure

Jan 28 (DM) Much confusion has been created whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa with his victory at the January 26 Presidential election, was elected for a period of six years or more. While some constitutional lawyers argued that the President was elected for six years starting from this year and that he has to take oaths this year, some others argue that his second term starts at the end of the previous term of six years that ends in 2011. more..

Fonseka misled by seeing large crowds at rallies: Maithripala

Jan 28 (AD) The opposition Presidential candidate claims that Tuesday’s election was not free and fair. But the Elections Commissioner and even Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe have accepted that the poll was fair, said Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Sarath Fonseka must have been misled by the large crowds he had seen at his meetings. He should have understood that all those who attend meetings don’t cast their votes for the particular candidate. more..

'State media being used by one minister'

Jan 28 (AD) State Media has been given as dowry to some, Labour Minister Mervyn Silva said today at a gathering in Kiribathgoda. He also alleged that sources have told him that a certain minister is using State media as his own. Mervyn added that he will investigate into this. Minister Silva then went on to sing a song of the triumph of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Before the election he sang a song about Presidential candidate Rtd. Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

India happy over Lanka's electoral outcome

Jan 28 (IANS) Quietly happy over Sri Lanka's electoral outcome, India hopes that the victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa will lead to political stability in a country still seemingly ethnically divided. Indian officials who had long ago predicted that Rajapaksa would preside over the island nation for two terms say New Delhi knows him well and he too understands India's worries and concerns. more..

Sri Lanka inflation hits 11-month high in Jan

Jan 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's annual inflation hit a 11-month high in January due to a low base effect, rising consumer spending on the back of low interest rates, and high food prices, data showed on Thursday. The January consumer prices rose to 6.5 percent, its highest since February, edging up from last month's 4.8 percent. It hit a record high of 28.2 percent in June 2008 due to high oil prices. more..

Tory adviser masterminded Sri Lankan general's presidential bid

Jan 28 (Telegraph) James McGrath, who has worked for David Cameron, Boris Johnson, the London mayor, and George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, was in Gen Fonseka’s campaign war-room last night compiling reports of intimidation by supporters of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and advising on strategy in the run-up to today’s declaration. more..

Presidential smiles hide Sri Lanka woes

Jan 28 (Age) Mahinda Rajapaksa was all smiles when he strode into a meeting room to face a small band of foreign journalists a few hours after being declared an easy winner in an Sri Lanka's first national election since the end of the country's long ethnic civil war. There was a celebratory mood inside his fortified, colonial-era residence, Temple Trees, as Colombo's social and diplomatic elite gathered to congratulate him. more..

LTTE cadres in TN; alert sounded

Jan 28 (IANS) A security alert has been sounded following the seizure of ammunition on the Tamil Nadu coast and the arrest of four Indian men who allegedly helped former Tamil Tiger guerrillas fleeing Sri Lanka take shelter in India. Also unearthed from prime accused Selvakumar alias Jeeva's property in Rameshwaram were Rs.800,000 in Indian currency and half a kilo of heroin valued at 100,000 dollars in the global market, official sources here said. more..

Sri Lanka withdraws security detail for Fonseka

Jan 28 (IANS) The security measures provided to Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka have been withdrawn with immediate effect, a military spokesman said on Thursday. Brigardier Udaya Nanayakkara said four vehicles, including a bullet-proof car, and 20 army personnel had been withdrawn from Fonseka's security assignment. more..

'Fonseka was to assassinate MR'

Jan 28 (DM) In an explosive revelation the Defence Ministry claimed a short while ago that there was an attempt by General Sarath Fonseka to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family in Colombo. Director of the government Media Center for National Security (MCNS) Lakshman Hullugale told reporters that there was ample evidence to prove the General hatched the assassination attempt from two hotels in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka president to dissolve parliament, call poll

Jan 28 (Reuters) Re-elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa will dissolve parliament shortly and call a legislative election, his office said Thursday, in a move that would let him reshape the unwieldly coalition now backing him. Rajapaksa won a thumping victory on Tuesday over his former army commander, General Sarath Fonseka, in the Indian Ocean island's first nationwide election since the defeat of the separatist Tamil Tigers. more..

'Fonseka shouldn't leave Sri Lanka' - Basil

Jan 28 (IANS) Defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka should not leave Sri Lanka as he needs to answer 'a lot of allegations against him', President Mahinda Rajapaksa's brother said Thursday. 'He should remain in the country,' Basil Rajapaksa, who advises the president on political affairs, said in a telephonic interview, a day after incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa trounced former army chief Fonseka more..

Fonseka returns to his residence

Jan 28 (Hindu) The high drama staged by retired General Sarath Fonseka, main opponent of the incumbent President who was declared elected for a second time with a huge margin and the defeated candidate in the Sri Lanka Presidential election, ended on a tame note late on Wednesday night after the former chose to return to his residence from a local hotel where he had taken shelter. more..

Re-elected Sri Lanka leader pledges reconciliation

Jan 28 (AP) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged Thursday to seek reconciliation with minority Tamils after his sweeping re-election, but did not indicate how he plans to deal with their demands for greater rights. Critics said the balloting showed the country's ethnic divisions that fueled decades of war were again near a breaking point, with more..

Commonwealth Expert Team press release on 2010 Sri Lanka election

Jan 29 (CS) The Commonwealth was invited to observe the 26 January Presidential Elections by the Commissioner for Elections. The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth deployed a five-person Expert Team supported by a staff team from the Secretariat. Our team has been present in the country since 18 January, meeting with representatives of political parties, civil society, media and Commonwealth High Commissions more..

Sri Lanka Congratulated for Successful Presidential Election

Jan 29 (VoA) The United States and India are congratulating Sri Lanka for carrying out a successful presidential election this week. But there are also calls from the international community for the South Asian island nation to investigate the opposition's claim of vote-rigging and other election violations. The U.S. Embassy in Colombo issued a statement congratulating Sri Lanka for a mostly peaceful election with high voter turnout. more..

Focus on Sri Lanka's future

Australian asylum bid for Colombo general Sarath Fonseka

Jan 29 (TA) Former Sri Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka has said he will consider seeking temporary asylum in Australia following his election defeat this week in presidential polls he claims were rigged by the government. In an interview with The Australian at his home in Colombo yesterday, the former Sri Lankan army chief turned presidential challenger said he had spoken to the US and British embassies in Sri Lanka and more..

Hard questions for Sri Lanka's winner

Jan 29 (SMH) Mahinda Rajapaksa was all smiles when he strode into a meeting room just hours after being declared an easy winner in Sri Lanka's first national election since the end of its long ethnic civil war. There was a celebratory mood inside his fortified colonial-era residence, Temple Trees, as Colombo's social and diplomatic elite gathered to congratulate him. But the President's mood soured as a small band of foreign reporters quizzed him on the challenges he faces, more..

US urges Sri Lanka to probe charges of vote fraud

Jan 29 (AFP) The United States Thursday congratulated Sri Lanka's president on his re-election but urged authorities to probe allegations of vote fraud and ensure the safety of defeated candidates. "The United States congratulates Sri Lanka for the first nationwide election in decades and President (Mahinda) Rajapakse on his victory," the US embassy said in a statement. more..

China Hopes for Social Stability in Sri Lanka

Jan 29 (Xinhua) China hopes Sri Lanka will maintain social stability, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu, commenting Sri Lanka's presidential election. Ma made the remarks at a regular press conference Thursday. "China and Sri Lanka have friendly ties. We believe the government and people of Sri Lanka can handle their domestic affairs and realize long-lasting peace and stability in the country," Ma said. more..

Has Sri Lanka stumbled on path to democracy?

Jan 29 (SMH) The victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa in presidential elections on Tuesday was to be expected, based on the wave of Sinhalese chauvinism that has swept the island state since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May last year. Also to be expected is the spate of issues that now face the country under his continued leadership. Once held up as one of the developing world's most successful democracies, Sri Lanka is now on the verge of entering the ranks of the world's pariah states. more..

Election Campaigning: At whose cost?

Sri Lanka's Continuing Woes

Jan 29 (HP) Sri Lanka's problems may have just multiplied. An ugly electoral competition, shorn of elementary standards that would have made it free or fair, marred by violence, intimidation and repression of the media by the State, has just concluded. Indeed, Sri Lanka again joins the ranks of countries that conduct elections, but have dubious status as real democracies. President Mahinda Rajapakse's win is not something to celebrate. more..

Sri Lanka policy certainty higher after polls: CB Governor

Jan 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's policy direction is clearer after a President Rajapaksa was returned to power with a bigger majority allowing investors to emerge from any 'wait and see' attitude, a top official said. "The mandate means we have a clear path chartered for the next six years," Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We have eliminated the war. We have obtained a mandate from the people. more..

Colombo archbishop calls for rapprochement

Jan 29 (UCAN) Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has called on the victors in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections to reach their hand to the other side. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was swept back to power in Sri Lanka’s first post-war national election held on Tuesday but his rival, former army commander General Sarath Fonseka, alleged there had been vote-rigging. more..

Govt. comes down hard on SMS conspirators

Jan 29 (GDI) Three persons who were engaged in a futile attempt to disgrace the Government and the President through Mobile Short Message Service were taken into custody by the defence authorities, said Lakshman Hugulla, Director General of the Media Center for National Security. Investigations have been initiated into this incident and it has been revealed that these persons are supporters of the main opposition- United National Party. more..

'Country is safe due to re-election of President'

Jan 29 (GDI) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, stated at a media briefing today at his Ministry that “As anticipated by surveys projecting a 58%-60% of votes, we have gained a massive victory and I thank the people who re - elected the president”. He further stated “although there were false allegations spread against the government during the election, the accurate choice of the people was President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

An election that demonstrated monstrousness of the executive presidency - JVP

Jan 29 (LT) The just concluded presidential election is one that substantiated the slogan ‘Executive presidency should be abolished’ put forward by the JVP said its Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. Speaking at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP today (28th) morning Mr. Amarasinghe said the presidential election was an essential module of Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse’s campaign for power. more..

Sri Lankan election marred by propaganda

Jan 29 (IC) A day after Sri Lanka’s presidential elections an army spokesman was quoted claiming that the military had been deployed to provide security for media organisations, ostensibly because their resources were under threat. This was rich, coming from a regime which has fuelled the deterioration of the freedom of expression. A year ago, the president’s brother and Secretary of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, laughed on BBC television when more..

FM briefs diplomatic community following the Presidential election

Jan 29 (ISRIA) Briefing the Colombo based diplomatic community following the completion of the Presidential Election, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollgama said there were several reasons why the poll could be described as ‘momentous’: it was the “first electoral process to have been held on a nationwide basis after our country was liberated from the menace of the terrorism that threatened for over 2 1/2 decades our territorial integrity and more..

New twist in Lankan tale as Fonseka readies for general election

Jan 29 (HT) Former army chief Sarath Fonseka on Thursday announced that he would contest the upcoming general election in Sri Lanka. He said that if he did not contest the election, it would let down the people who voted for him. Fonseka said he was yet to decide the place and political party he would contest from. "Yes, otherwise, I will let down the people," he said when asked about his candidature. more..