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වැ.බ. පොලිස්පති සී.ඩී. වික්‍රමරත්න

The painful green erosion

Aug 9 (ST) My dear Ranil, I thought of writing to you because you must be relaxing these days after weeks of gruelling campaigning for the election, an election in which you achieved what no leader in this country has been able to achieve in almost 75 years – the demise of the United National Party (UNP). A party which has governed the nation for almost 40 years, a party which should have celebrated 75 years next year and a party which you led for the past 26 years is now almost dead. more..

Election 2020: An analysis and trends

Aug 9 (GV) The general election to parliament is concluded and the official results are out. The anticipated landslide victory to the ruling SLPP has materialised with the SLPP winning a grand total of 145 seats through garnering a total of approximately 6.8 million votes or 59% of the valid votes cast. Through its stated allies, SLFP (1 seat), EPDP (2 seats), TMVP (1 seat) and others in the pro-govt political space, it has effectively reached the two-thirds majority it craved, or 150 seats, more..

'SLFP to strengthen N&E voter base'

Aug 9 (SO) General Secretary of the SLFP Dayasiri Jayasekera says that the SLFP is focusing on strengthening their voter base in the North and the East following the considerable victory SLFP recorded in Jaffna in the General Election 2020. He discussed more plans to be rolled out in the future. Q: The General Election ended with a landslide victory for the SLPP and SLFP coalition. What is your reading about the election result more..

A magnificent victory

Aug 9 (SO) The victory of the SLPP at the Aug 5 General Election was a foregone conclusion, but its scale (just a few seats short of a two-thirds majority) once again confirmed that the SLPP has become the de facto choice of voters in just a short span of two years. Despite fewer votes being cast overall, the SLPP held on to its 2019 Nov vote base and percentage in many areas, even though it is unfair to compare that election and the General Election, where local and provincial issues also more..

The Best & The Worst: 2020 General Election

Aug 9 (GV) The general elections on 5 Aug had turned out to be an outstanding victory for the SLPP, Rajapaksa Family and the Sinhala Buddhist nationalists representing both the elite and ordinary members of the country’s majority community. Despite many allegations made about the corrupt and criminal acts of certain candidates put forward at the election by some of the political parties, the electorate elected most of them. Sadly, the candidates who are known for exposing more..

'Resounding mandate for a stable govt'

Aug 9 (SO) Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that the SLPP will form a Govt with a two-thirds majority with the help of other constituent parties who supported the SLPP led political alliance. Minister Pathirana said the people at the Aug 5 General Election have responded to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s request to give him a resounding mandate to form a stable Govt to carry forward his vision. more..

Absolute Power

Aug 9 (Island) John Dalberg-Acton, or Lord Acton, a British historian of the late 19th and early 20th century famously said that power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely… Absolute power is what the SLPP of Rajapaksas won last Wednesday and the biggest challenge for Prez and brother Mahinda, who will continue as PM, is to ensure that Acton’s words do not come true in SL. Theirs was a stunning victory belying even the wildest expectations of their most optimistic more..

Dawn of a new era or Back to the future?

Aug 9 (ST) Vox Populi – the Voice of the People, have spoken loud and clear. The message reverberates throughout the country. The Rajapaksa Brothers convincingly cantered home at Wednesday’s Parliamentary elections. The country not just endorsed their Presidential victory back in November last year, but the performance was improved upon to garner 59% of the total vote – up from 52%. The good, the bad and the rascals are all back in the long awaited Parliament now. more..

Gnanasara Thero likely to win Buddhist Monks’ tussle over National List seat

Aug 8 (EN) Ultra Right-Wing Buddhist Monk Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero will be nominated to be in Parliament by a small party called Our Power of People Party (OPPP) his Media spokesman said. The party which fielded numerous Buddhist Monks did not win enough seats in any electorate they contested but under Proportional Preferential system won enough votes to nominate a single member to Parliament on National List. more..

Lanka de Silva named Sri Lanka women interim head coach

Aug 8 (CI) Lanka de Silva, the former SL Test wicketkeeper, has been made interim head coach of SL women, replacing Harsha de Silva. He will be in charge until the end of the year while SLC searches for a long-term option. "Lanka de Silva is also free to apply for the role," SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said. Lanka has long been a coach within the Sri Lankan system, and recently worked with the men's Under-19 team. SL do not have any matches scheduled until the end of 2020, more..

'19th amendment should be abolished'

Aug 8 (DM) While expressing his heartfelt thanks to those who voted for him, Sarath Weerasekara, who topped in the Colombo District at General Election said the 19th amendment should be abolished soon. Addressing a news briefing, he said today that they were ready to abolish the 19th amendment when necessary. He asked whether independence had been ensured from those independent commissions, which were established under the 19th amendment. “These commissions only crippled more..

Eight female candidates gain access to Parliament

Aug 8 (DM) Eight female candidates have been successful in entering the upcoming parliament while there were nearly 59 female representatives who received nominations to contest the Parliamentary Election. Accordingly, Sudarshani Fernandopulle polled 89,329 votes while Kokila Harshani received 77,922 from the Gampaha District representing the SLPP. From Malate District Rohini Kumari Kaviratne polled 27,587 votes more..

Number of Sri Lankans wounded in Beirut blast rises to 14

Aug 8 (AD) The number of Sri Lankans who were injured due to the catastrophic blast in the Lebanese capital on August 04 has escalated to 14, says the Embassy of SL in Beirut. The injured are currently receiving treatment at hospitals, Embassy said, adding that none of them are in a critical condition. Despite the minor damages to the Chancery and residences of the Embassy officials, the Embassy continues to remain open for queries and serves the public between 0800 hrs to 1600 hrs daily, . more..

Commander of the Navy visits Navy General Hospital

Aug 8 (SLN) Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne made an inspection visit to the Navy General Hospital in Welisara on 06th Aug. This turned out to be his very first visit to the Navy General Hospital, upon assumption of duties as Commander of the Navy. The main focus of the tour of the Navy Chief centered on the special medical services launched by the Navy General Hospital to cater for the medical requirements of retired naval personnel, family members of retired and more..

Biz community hopeful of two-thirds majority delivering

Aug 8 (DM) The local business community sounded upbeat on their expectations from the new parliament that was elected with a landslide victory by the SLPP and its allies, securing two-thirds majority. Sharing their sentiments on the newly elected parliament and its ability to deliver a favourable operative environment, business chambers representing different business segments expressed confidence in the private sector more..

Sirisena vows to support Gotabaya leadership

Aug 8 (DM) Former Prez Maithripala Sirisena said he would dedicate himself towards developing the country and building a prosperous economy as part of the new govt under Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s leadership. While expressing his immense gratitude towards the people over his victory, at a media briefing he said that he would work towards creating a civilized society as part of the new govt. Furthermore, Mr. Sirisena said he was thankful towards all officials of Election Commission, more..

Forex reserves rise to US$7.1bn in July 2020 after India swap

Aug 8 (EN) Sri Lanka’s gross forex reserves grew by US$ 407 million to US$ 7,102 million US by the end of July 2020 up from US$ 6,694.6 million in June. In late July Sri Lanka’s central bank received US$ 500 million from the Reserve Bank of India through a swap arrangement. SL’s forex reserves started to hemorrhage after the central bank engaged in a monetary stimulus from late February injecting large volumes of money, despite having a pegged exchange rate to collect forex reserves. more..

Crossovers and party switching part of Sri Lanka politics

Aug 8 (ST) As the heat builds up for the Aug 5 general elections despite the Covid-19 pandemic, a glance at the candidates’ lists shows that party or alliance switching is part and parcel of Sri Lankan politics, with several candidates having a crossover history of varying length. In the fray are 172 candidates who are seeking reelection while contesting from a party or alliance other than the one they represented at 2015 gen. election. more..

Video: SJB to submit National List nominations before Aug 10

Aug 8 (AD) Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) says the party’s National List nominations will be handed over to the Election Commission before the 10th of Aug. Sajith Premadasa-led party, which became the main Opposition after securing 47 seats in the parliament at district level and 07 National List seats, secured over 2.77 million votes in the General Election 2020. The SJB says discussions pertaining to the party’s nominations for the National List seats are currently underway. more..

SLPP mammoth win creates a new paradigm in Sri Lanka’s politics

Aug 8 (EN) The results of Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election held on Wednesday show a seismic shift in the country’s electoral map as well as the balance of political power in the new legislature. The near two-thirds parliamentary majority, easily achieved by the SLPP by reducing all opposition parties into insignificance, has only one parallel from the past – the electoral victory with a 5/6th parliamentary majority in July 1977 scored by the UNP, then led by J. R. Jayewardene. more..

Many children will be left behind, teachers charge

Aug 8 (ST) Teachers have accused the govt of handicapping many children with its plan to limit attendance in larger schools when classes recommence on August 10. The plan to stagger school attendance for institutions with more than 200 pupils is unrealistic and discriminatory, the CTU said, saying the govt had failed to consult key stakeholders over its strategy to avert coronavirus infection in schools. more..

Video: Will not nominate defeated candidates as National List MPs: Sajith

Aug 8 (AD) The candidates who were defeated in the General Election 2020 will not be nominated as National List of MPs, says the Leader of SJB, Sajith Premadasa. Premadasa, who clinched the second-highest number of preferential votes from Colombo District in the recently-concluded parliamentary election, said the SJB succeeded in embarking on a compelling journey despite the obstacles that came its way. “This is the only political alternative in the country,” he said. more..

Video: Recoveries from COVID-19 move up to 2,576

Aug 8 (AD) Twelve more COVID-19 infected individuals have made complete recoveries today. One patient at the Colombo East Base Hospital, 5 at the Kattankudy Base Hospital, another one at the Minuwangoda Base Hospital and 5 at the Army Hospital in Panagoda were discharged upon recovery. COVID-19 recuperations confirmed in SL thereby reached 2,576. In the meantime, the total count of positive cases of novel coronavirus found in SL currently sits at 2,839. more..

සරත් වීරසේකර

The post-election saga

Aug 8 (FT) After the election, it is likely that the political system of SL in its entirety including the President, the PM, the ruling party and the opposition will end up in a severe deadlock. If the govt fails to achieve a favourable result conducive to enhancing the trust of the people at the parliamentary election, it might lead to weaken the dominance the govt has established at ideological level. Although the govt has a big dream to abolish the 19th Amendment and restore the powers more..

Ranil Wickremesinghe and the depths of our despair

Aug 8 (FT) An old timer, a person who had moved closely with the leading politicians of his times, once told me about the renowned speechmaking of a historically decisive political leader of the era; the sound, the fury and the literal flood of the speeches, was a sight to behold he said. Assuming the role of a visionary, the man orated with a convert’s passion, an air of drama, portentous words flowing from a wide-open mouth, uncontrolled, everyone and everything within reach left wet, sprayed with more..

Video: Victory is not only ours, but of entire country: Mahinda Rajapaksa

Aug 8 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa extended his gratitude to all voters who placed their faith on the SLPP, which gained a landslide victory in the 2020 General Election. He said elections were conducted in a safe and responsible manner, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “We had faith in the public and this was reflected by the over 70% of the total registered voters who fulfilled their national duty.” more..

Jayasekera sentenced to death can take oaths as MP, pending appeal

Aug 8 (Island) Former UPFA Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekera, recently sentenced to death over a killing at Kahawatte, Ratnapura, in early Jan 2015, would be gazetted as an SLPP MP, Election Commission and Parliament officials said. Jayasekera polled 142,037, the second highest number of preferential votes in the Ratnapura district. Pavitra Wanniarachchi topped the list with 200,977 preferential ballots. The Election Commission corrected the number of more..

Comrades take drubbing on the bump, signal readiness to struggle on

Aug 8 (Island) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that in politics change and dynamism are natural factors and nothing will stand final so the need of the hour is to adapt to the change to continue their struggle. He said: “In politics we face defeats that come in the form of storms, gale force winds as well as tsunamis. But nothing lasts forever. We have to continue our struggle.” He said that though the JVP-led NPP polled votes totalling closer to 445,000 more..

Video: UNP blames Sajith for election loss; Ranil not taking National List seat

Aug 8 (AD) Following the UNP’s unprecedented defeat at the 2020 parliamentary election, the senior leaders of the grand old party convened a meeting at Sirikotha on Friday evening to discuss the election result and future course of action. Speaking to reporters following the meeting, UNP National Organiser Daya Gamage stated that the party decided to carry out reforms and move forward. Asked about the election result, more..

Gnanasara Thera appointed to Parliament

Aug 8 (AFP) A radical Buddhist monk accused of instigating hate crimes against Muslims has won a seat in SL's parliament, results showed Friday. The Our Power of People party led by Galagodaatte Gnanasara, who has vowed to fight Islamic extremism, won one seat in Wednesday's election which was decided by proportional representation. The party central committee nominated Gnanasara, who was standing for the first time, to take a seat in the 225-member assembly, more..

PM to be sworn in tomorrow

Aug 8 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who created an electoral record at the 2020 General Election by obtaining the highest number of preference votes ever (527,364) will be sworn in as the country’s 14th Prime Minister before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya tomorrow (09) morning. The Prime Minister-elect completed 50 years of Parliamentary politics in July this year, having entered Parliament at the young age of 24 in 1970. more..

'Disunity caused ITAK’s downfall'

Aug 8 (CT) Jaffna District ITAK MP Elect, M.A. Sumanthiran claimed the disunity within the ITAK was the main reason for the big drawback of the Party at the 5 Aug Parliamentary Polls. Sumanthiran, who is one of the three Members elected from the ITAK to the Parliament from the Jaffna District, said there were several issues which remained within the ITAK and the disunity in this Party, which is the flagship of the TNA, also led to the downfall of the ITAK, more..

World Leaders, diplomats congratulate PM

Aug 8 (CT) A number of world leaders and diplomats have congratulated PM Mahinda Rajapaksa on the historic win at the 5 Aug 2020 Parliamentary Polls. The Embassy of the United States, in their official statement on the Election, said they congratulate Sri Lanka on conducting the Election in a peaceful and orderly manner, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “As the new Parliament convenes, we hope that the Government will renew its commitments to building more..

SJB ready for main Opposition role

Aug 8 (FT) The SJB said the party was ready to fulfil the role of the main Opposition in the 9th Parliament, which will meet on 20 August, and would prioritise protecting democracy. SJB National Campaign Organiser and former State Minister for Finance Eran Wickramaratne said that the party was ready to represent the public, and uphold the mandate they have given the party at the polls. "We are a party that is a few months old, and we have emerged as the main Opposition. more..