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Will usher in a golden era of development: Sajith

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New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa, who wound up his election campaign last night at Maradana, pledged to build an undivided nation and begin a golden era of development if he were elected president on November 16.

“My party will not harass rivalries if I win the election. If elected to office on November 16, I will commence work immediately and appoint a young team to run the country,” he said addressing a rally held earlier in Hambantota.

“I will appoint Ranjan Ramanayake as the minister in charge of the subject that deals with corrupted persons. We don’t need persons whose expiry date had lapsed. We will include the young and those who have a clean record to government positions,” he said.

Minutes later, he called Deputy Minister Ramanayake to call over near the podium only to announce that he would be given the task of dealing with corrupted people.

Also, he said no one should work towards pulling out anyone from the presidential fray over citizenship issues as he preferred to vie the SLPP contender. “I will win the election anyway. Therefore, no one should attempt removing anyone from the race,” he said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who attended the rally said he had nothing much to say now other than asking people to elect a UNP president in order to prevent a dictatorial government from capturing power.

“We only formed a minority government in 2015. The president was not from our party. However, an opportunity had arrived to have a UNP president elected and then to form UNP controlled provincial councils," he said.

He added that Colombo Central was a place where the UNP had begun its success stories. “It is from Colombo Central where the late presidents J.R. Jayewardene and R. Premadasa were elected as Heads of State. It is from Colombo Central where people will elect Sajith as president," he said. (Yohan Perera)

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Rajapaksas are playing the Racist card - TNA

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All the political parties affiliated to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) representing the Tamil community especially in the North and East, have pledged their full support to New Democratic Front Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa. Five days ahead of the election, the Daily Mirror interviewed TNA MP and leading lawyer M. A. Sumanthiran who explained the reasons for the decision to support Premadasa and why the Tamil community would resist the return of Rajapaksas to power. Excerpts;


Q The Gotabaya Rajapaksa camp alleged that there are translation differences among Sinhala, Tamil and English versions of Sajith Premadasa’s manifesto with regard to the solution on ethnic issue. What is your view?

There are no differences. Sajith has agreed for the same constitutional process that has now reached the draft stage. One cannot conclude without knowing the manifesto and the journey of its process. So in that process there are two interim reports and this is how the words have been used. In Sinhala the word ‘Ekeeya’ is being used. In Tamil and English the equivalent words for unitary is not used. So ‘Ekeeya’ is used in the sense where it is one country. And there is a definition is given. In the interim report also it is clearly explained and a definition has been given. So the definition is not unitary neither federal. It merely says it’s one undivided and indivisible country in which powers of governance are in the centre and province as laid down in the Constitution. You don’t have to give it a label of any sort. India is not described as a unitary or federal state. Many countries in the world don’t describe these terms. We in Sri Lanka did not describe it until 1972. Soulbury Constitution never mentioned about unitary neither did it say federal. So you can have your own terms. The word Ekeeya denotes one, and just in case it is misunderstood as unitary that has been defined in the draft. But that doesn’t conclude as federal. What we wanted to do was to resolve the issue rather than hanging on with empty labels. I agree on the content and that we managed to do. And if you were to have some consensus, we had to annul that label. But we agreed to used the word ‘Ekeeya’ in Sinhala as literary meaning of that word only means one, nothing else. And Mahinda Rajapaksa should know this as his representatives were in the steering committee. We had long discussions on this. And now to come up with this statement as if he has discovered something new, is  a move  to deliberately mislead the people.


"If Gotabaya wins, our worry is that the process might not only be stopped but the land that have been released might be taken again"


Q So do you mean that Mahinda Rajapaksa is not telling the truth...

He is playing a racist card and trying to excite the people by showing that deliberate misleading is taking place. In fact, over a period of three and-a-half to four years, these have been discussed and consensus was reached. And it was in writing and has been made public. So Mr. Rajapaksa is deliberately trying to whip up the Sinhala nationalistic feelings against the others.

Q You have decided to support NDF Presidential Candidate Sajith Premadasa. Do you think this is the view and the decision of the entire Tamil community you represent?

Yes. When the election results come, you would see it. It is both ways. We have listened carefully to the sentiments of our people in making that decision and our people also carefully heed our advice when they vote. So it is a two-way process.

Q What about the divisions in the Tamil political arena?

There are no divisions in the Tamil political circuit. The TNA represents the Tamil people and nobody else does. We have 16 MPs out of 18 Tamil members representing the North and East. Even the other two; namely Douglas Devananda and Vijayakala Maheswaran were not elected for one seat. They came in through the highest number of floating votes. Therefore no one can say that there is disunity and there are others outside. We represent the Tamil people and there are others who were not elected. You won’t see this kind of unity in any other community in the country. So we have been given the mandate by the Tamil people, not anybody else. But we do consult with the others and we never stand against unity. We discuss with other political formations all the time but responsibility of making decisions eventually rest in our hands.


"we must first settle the issues and do the Constitutional reforms. And if that is done then, we will certainly invite the diaspora to come and invest"


Q Before 2015 the Nothern people complained that their lands have not been returned and in 2015 the govt said most of the lands were returned to their original owners. Do you agree with this and are you satisfied with the government policy on this issue?

A lot of lands have been returned. Government claims that 90 percent of private lands have been returned. It may not be 90 percent but about 80 percent. That is a huge achievement. Because at the end of 2013, the then government had stopped the process of releasing lands. And it had issued notice to acquire the remaining lands. But that process was stalled and more lands were released and there are still more to be released. But large portions have been released to the people’s for occupation. And that is a big triumph for us.

Q Do you believe if Sajith Premadasa is elected, the process would be continued?

Yes, it should continue because the process is still underway now. But if Gotabaya wins, our worry is that the process might not only be stopped but the land that have been released might be taken again.

Q There were some complaints by the Nothern people that there were heavy military presence in the peninsula. How do you react to these complaints?

For the past four years to five years, we have not seen heavy military presence. They are in the barracks. They hardly come out. That is in Jaffna. But in Vanni and a few other places, there were more prominent military presence. However, over the period of time it has been downsized.

Q There are also fears circulated specially in the South with regard to the opening the Palali airport for international flights attributing political reasons for it. What is your view?

We used to have flights from Palai to India up to the early 1980s. They were stopped because of the hostilities. Now that the way is over the flights should have started long time ago. Infact Mahinda Rajapaksas time when the Indian consulate in Jaffna was opened Minster S. M. Krishna came and at the opening ceremony he mentioned this that we must start the flights again. So it is high time that we started it.


"There are no divisions in the Tamil political circuit. The TNA represents the Tamil people and nobody else does. We have 16 MPs out of 18 Tamil members representing the North and East"


Q What about the issue of disappearances in the North? This has not being solved?
The disappearances issue is one that has been dragged on most without any result. But the Office of Missing Person was established, moneys were allocated and work has started but the progress has been very very slow leading the relatives being disillusioned. But the disappearance issue itself is a difficult issue and ten years on when there is no signs of anybody, how does one resolve it. Of course there should be investigation in each case. The relatives must know what happened to that person, so that this office is supposed to do. They still don’t seemed to have got their act together for various reason.

Q It is not only in the North and East but we saw there were alleged abductions and disappearances took place in South even in Colombo as well. There is an ongoing case of 11 Tamil students who were abducted. There were allegations of the involvement of Navy as well. What is your view?

Yes that has been found out as some people in the Navy did it for ransom. And the CID investigated and provided reports to the Magistrate. And there again there is evidence of interference in the processes. I saw that seven person had been indicted for the disappearance  of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. But that is taking too much time because of kind of people who are involved in it.

Q But President promoted, a very senior Naval officer who is alleged to be involved in the incident?

Yes this happened when he comes under pressure to give into their side. But if it under Rajapaksa there won’t be that flip-flop and that all will be all in one direction that it will happen.


" In fact, over a period of three and-a-half to four years, these have been discussed and consensus was reached. And it was in writing and has been made public. So Mr. Rajapaksa is deliberately trying to whip up the Sinhala nationalistic feelings against the others"


Q There were hopes specially under last governments that the Tamils in the foreign countries would come back to Sri Lanka and invest and develop specially the North and East. What have you got to say about this?

That hasn’t happened to the levels we expected. But there seemed to be good reasons for that. People are still very apprehensive that the political situation here has not been estabilised. So if there is a political solution, a new constitution something like that, then I think that will give them adequate confidence to come back and invest.

Q If Sajith Premadasa, the candidate you support wins would you invite the Tamil community to come back to Sri Lanka?

No, we must first settle the issues and do the Constitutional reforms. And if that is done then, we will certainly invite the diaspora to come and invest.



ඡන්දය ප්‍රකාශ කිරීමේදී 1 ඉලක්කම හෝ x සළකුණ යොදන්න

ජනාධිපතිවරණයේදී ඡන්දය ප්‍රකාශ කිරීම සඳහා 1 ඉලක්කම හෝ x සළකුණ හෝ සටහන් කරන්නැයි මැතිවරණ කොමිසමේ සභාපති මහින්ද දේශප්‍රිය මහතා පැවසීය.

ඡන්ද පත්‍රිකාවක 1 සහ x යන දෙකම සලකුණු කර තිබුණහොත් එම ඡන්ද පත්‍රිකාව අවලංගු කරන බවද ඔහු කීය.

කිසියම් ඡන්ද දායකයෙකුට මනාප සළකුණු කිරීමට අවශ්‍යනම් අංක 1 යොදා ඡන්දය ප්‍රකාශ කළ හැකි අතර 2 සහ 3 යොදා මනාප සළකුණු කළ හැකි බවද මහින්ද දේශප්‍රිය මහතා පවසයි.

X සළකුණ සහ ඉලක්කම් වර්ග දෙකම සළකුණු කර ඇති ඡන්ද පත්‍රිකා අවලංගු බවද ඔහු කියයි.


Sri Lankan author attacked ahead of key presidential polls

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Attack comes a week after Lasantha Wijeratne published a book criticising the main opposition candidate.

Armed men have stabbed and injured a Sri Lankan writer in the southern Galle district, a week after he published a book criticising the main opposition candidate in Saturday's presidential polls, police said.

The attackers stormed the home of Lasantha Wijeratne on Thursday, who released his book Wasteful Development and Corruption last week and gave a copy to the ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa."Four men broke into the house and stabbed him in the arm after holding a pistol to his wife's head," Wijeratne's lawyer Tharaka Nanayakkara told AFP news agency by telephone. "They smashed furniture before escaping."
Local media published a photo appearing to show Wijeratne in hospital with a bandaged arm, while Sri Lanka's Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said on Twitter that the writer had been injured in the hand.

Nanayakkara said the attackers accused Wijeratne of harming the campaign of Gotabaya Rajapaksa who is believed to be in a close race with Premadasa for the presidency.Gotabaya is the brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during whose decade in power until 2015 at least 14 journalists were killed, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Police said they have launched an investigation into the incident in the south of the island nation, but were yet to arrest any suspects.
It came even as Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said the campaign had been relatively peaceful compared with previous polls.
However, he said the behaviour of both private and state-controlled television networks had been highly biased and he hoped to prosecute offenders after the election.

Tense election
No media organisation has yet been prosecuted for violating election laws, but last week, Deshapriya banned a state TV network from broadcasting any political content after accusing it of partisan coverage.
However, the Commission reversed the move the next day following protests that it was not being even-handed with all media outlets violating campaign rules governing broadcasts.
"The run-up to the election was relatively peaceful, but the campaign in the media is the worst we have ever seen," Deshapriya said.

Campaign rallies ended on Wednesday night leaving a two-day cooling period before Saturday's poll in which 16 million people are eligible to elect a leader from a record 35 candidates - including two Buddhist monks and just one woman.  Frontrunners Premadasa and Rajapaksa wrapped up their final rallies amid tight security involving hundreds of elite police and paramilitary units.  Premadasa, 52, is the son of assassinated President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was killed in a suicide bombing in 1993 carried out by Tamil separatists, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  Gotabya Rajapaksa narrowly escaped a suicide bomb attack in 2006 blamed on the LTTE.  While ethnic tensions have eased, this year the country was rocked by coordinated bombings on Easter Sunday that killed at least 269 people.   The European Union on Wednesday despatched 30 additional election observers around the country, joining 50 who have been in Sri Lanka for a month following the campaign.



Voting For 2019 Presidential Election

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Assalamu Alaykum W W,

Please Note that 2018 Voters List is been used to Issue Polling Cards for 16th November Presidential Election and if you have not received your Polling Card please verify your details with below link :

Jazakallah Khair



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