POLITICS

Election fever running high amidst viral infections

Politics
Vishvanath
All political parties and independent groups in the parliamentary election fray are calling for a mandate to control the next Parliament. The SLPP has gone a step ahead of others; it is seeking a two-thirds majority not only to form a strong government but also to amend the Constitution. The UPFA led by war-winning President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had scored an impressive win at the January 2010 presidential election with a majority of over 1.8 million votes, could not obtain 150 seats at the parliamentary ...Continued

Elephant, Telephone and coconut husk

Politics
Vishvanath
The constitutionally stipulated timeframe for finalising amendments to party constitutions, changing symbols and submitting them for the Election Commission (EC) approval came to an end, at midnight, on Monday. The Samagi Bala Janavegana (SJB) led by Sajith Premadasa has been compelled to adopt the telephone as its symbol because it failed to secure the New Democratic Front’s Swan or the UNP’s Elephant. There is still some room for the SJB and the UNP to contest under the Elephant symbol if their leaders iron out their ...Continued

Gota’s roar and Jumbos’ woes

Politics
Vishwanath
Caretaker Govt. as Flat Beer President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has his own way of doing things and sending messages across. He began his Independence Day address on 04 Feb by stating, ‘Sri Lanka is a unitary state.’ His message was clear; the unitary status of the country would not be compromised under any circumstances. The national anthem was sung only in Sinhala but by a group of students representing all ethnic communities in the country. He apparently wants that model adopted, but he had his speech ...Continued

Are SL political parties withering away?

Politics
VISHVANATH
The focus of everyone seems to be on the leaked voice clips containing telephone conversations between former State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, MP, and various other including high ranking police officers, judges, public officials, politicians and actresses. A new phone recording is released almost on a daily basis and it distracts the public from their problems, especially the soaring cost of living. While everyone is agog for the next voice clip, there has been a disturbing development on the political front. Fear is being expressed in ...Continued

Gota’s speech, Sajith’s new post and Cabraal’s Pomeranian

Politics
Vishvanath
The ceremonial opening of the fourth session of the eight Parliament went well, on Friday. It was a simple yet dignified event. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa made the statement of government policy, which received wide publicity in the media. He covered a number of key areas in his address to the House, but what political analysts found interesting was his focus on safeguarding national security, strengthening the executive presidency, introducing electoral reforms and changing the existing political culture. He also lamented the deterioration of the parliamentary ...Continued

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

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