POLITICS

Jumbos in mire, Bud in overdrive

Politics
Vishvanath
The UNP has reverted to the situation it was in prior to the 2015 regime change; it is faction ridden and in total disarray with the Sajith and Ranil faction fighting an internecine battle, which is sure to weaken the Grand Old Party further. At attempt to bring about rapprochement between the two warring groups failed, on Tuesday (26), as defeated DNF presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa said he would not be able to attend a meeting to be held at Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s private residence ...Continued

Presidential election 2019: A post-mortem

Politics
Vishvanath
The well organised campaign that enabled Gotabaya Rajapaksa to win the coveted executive presidency did not kick off after the announcement of the presidential election, a couple of months ago. His victory was the culmination of a process that began a couple of weeks after the defeat of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 2015 presidential election. Immediately after that debacle, those close to him made an effort to help him make a comeback, and they called their campaign ‘Mahinda Sulanga’ (Mahinda Wind. They held their ...Continued

A court order that everyone should read

Politics
Vishvanath
The order of the Court of Appeal on the Writ Application (No. 425/19) filed by Gamini Viyangoda and Prof. Chandragupta Thenuwara, seeking the grant of mandates in the nature of Writs of Certiorari and Prohibition in respect SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s dual citizenship is sure to go down in the annals of legal history as a path-breaking one. The Court of Appeal bench comprised Yasantha Kodagoda, P.C., President of the Court of Appeal, Mahinda Samayawardhena, Judge of the Court of Appeal Arjuna Obeyesekere, Judge ...Continued

Gong Sounds, Bout Begins

Politics
Vishavanath
The presidential race proper has commenced with the handing over of the nominations, on Monday, October 7. There are 35 candidates in the fray, but the competition will finally be between Gotabaya Rajapaska and Sajith Premadasa, representing the SLPP and the UNP-led NDF, respectively. The contest is bound to get red in tooth and claw within the next couple of weeks. Never have been there so many candidates vying for the presidency, in this country. The Election Commission (EC) is faced with unforeseen problems. The ...Continued

Bud And Bell Ready For Battle, Jumbos Lag Behind

Politics
Vishvanath
The date of the next presidential election is now known—Nov. 16, 2019. There isn’t much time left for the political to prepare for the grand contest. The SLPP has already launched its presidential election campaign with former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as its candidate. So has the JVP-led alliance, which has named JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake as its contestant. The UNP is still dillydallying. Its Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa is in overdrive, campaigning hard, albeit without the consent of the party. There is no ...Continued

A Mini Presidential Election On The Cards

Politics
Vishvanath
So, it is now confirmed that the Provincial Council polls won’t precede the Presidential election. The Supreme Court has determined, in response to a reference from President Maithripala Sirisena, that he is not constitutionally empowered to order that the PC elections be conducted under the former electoral system or the new one because the delimitation review committee report is not yet ready. The review committee at issue is headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and it has not cared to review the delimitation report rejected ...Continued

Sajith Crosses The Rubicon; Ranil Makes Countermove; Gota Sprints In...

Politics
Vishvanath
Minister and Deputy UNP Leader Sajith Premadasa launched his presidential election campaign without the party’s official approval in a bid to make his candidacy a fait accompli. He and his loyalists including a considerable number of UNP MPs may have thought of checkmating Prime Minister and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had not been seen to be contemplating a counterattack, until recently. Sajith and his allies seem to have underestimated Wickremesinghe’s political acumen, resilience and remarkable ability to make countermoves. Premadasa is popular in the ...Continued

UNP’s Conflict Reaches Celestial Heights

Politics
Vishvanath
The country is poised on the threshold of a crucial phase in national politics, which is history in the making. The next presidential election is drawing near, and there is no way anyone can put it off. The National Election Commission will have to get ready for the grand contest, come Oct. 08; the election is likely to be held in early December. The party that secures the executive presidency will most probably be able to win both the parliamentary and Provincial Council elections, and ...Continued

Prez And PM In Cul-De-Sac

Politics
Vishvanath
The Jumbo party has finally decided to grapple with the elephant in the room. There are at least three presidential hopefuls within the UNP’s ranks including its leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. Ranil has not said anything officially about his desire to contest the presidential election though his loyalists insist that he is the party’s choice. The failed October constitutional coup may have a unifying effect on the UNP, but its unity seems to have dissipated. ...Continued

Has Sirisena Let The Genie Out Of The Bottle?

Politics
Vishvanath
The UNP has not decided on its presidential candidate yet though speculation is rife in political circles that it will be Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in keeping with the Sri Lankan tradition. Serving Prime Ministers have always contested presidential election in this country. UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya are also grooming themselves. Sajith makes no bones about his desire to run for President. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the launch of Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s biography, Khema’s Boy, in Matara, ...Continued

President Sirisena’s Latest Volte-Face And Presidential Hopefuls

Politics
Vishvanath
Policies of the yahapalana government with President Maithripala Sirisena at the helm lack consistency, just like the performance of Sri Lanka’s national cricket team. It came to power, promising a crusade against bribery and corruption and abuse of power among other things. But, today, it is tainted and unpopular thanks to the Treasury bond scams and various corrupt deals such as the importation of sick milch cows from Australia. It undertook to liberate the country from the clutches of China, which it accused of having ...Continued

Political Pugilism: Feints And Uppercuts

Politics
Vishvanath
Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe went overseas the other day, leaving a mega political issue unresolved at home. Their attitude to the serious problems the country is faced with can be considered cavalier. Their political differences which have spilled over into Parliament have rendered the Cabinet inoperative. The President has refused to summon Cabinet meetings in protest against the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on Easter attacks. His call for suspending the PSC on the grounds that the summoning of top military ...Continued

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