A crucial meeting will take place tomorrow between the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) representatives and leaders of other opposition parties that will determine whether the SLMC would join the United National Alliance.
SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali told The Nation that the final decision will be announced on November 3, the day the official signing of the agreement is to take place. “We had a high command meeting and the members felt that there were still some issues that needed to be clarified. Since we are a minority party we must think about specific issues faced by the Muslims. Therefore, we will meet the leaders of the other parties in the alliance on Monday and take a final decision,” he said. “Definitely, the announcement will be made on 3,” he added. (Read More)
Responding to criticism of an alleged attempt to sideline Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka and to deny the war veteran the credit he deserves for spearheading the war against the LTTE, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says a group of bankrupt politicians are now working overtime to destabilise the country.
"This is nothing but a despicable plot being hatched at the expense of the entire country," Rajapaksa says.
Unlike the previous moves by the Opposition to weaken an elected government, this is an attempt to sow dissension among the country’s battle-hardened armed forces, the Defence Secretary alleges. (Read More)
Bankrupt politicians and their parties are in search of a common presidential candidate. But the People’s choice as the common presidential candidate is none other than the incumbent President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, said Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage at a media briefing in Kandy at the Kandy District Secretariat.
The leaders of some political parties rejected at consecutive elections were now trying to mislead people by shouting slogans and staging demonstrations to cover their electoral defeats, he said.
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna knowing well that it could never do better at any future election, was making a vicious attempt to disrupt the government’s development programme, Aluthgamage said....... (Read More)
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said yesterday that he was "helpless", when his guidelines aimed at ensuring the conduct of free and fair polls were not followed.
"What can I do when my directives are ignored. I am helpless and powerless", an exasperated Dissanayake, had told an Opposition delegation that met him, at his Rajagiriya office yesterday, to request that future elections are held on a level playing field and not under conditions heavily tilted in favour of the government, informed sources said.
The delegation, headed by UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, included parliamentarians Tissa Attanayake, Ravi Karunanayake, Hassan Ali and Attorney at Law Daya Pelpola. They had put forward a series of proposals to ensure that election laws are not violated............. (Read More)
UNP National Organizer S.B. Dissanayake said yesterday that his party would reach a decision regarding a common candidate for the presidential election in another week, in consultation with everyone concerned, adding that former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka was the man of the match of the war against terrorism.
“Gen. Fonseka is a person loved and admired by the people of this country due to his war victory. In fact, he is the real hero in the war against terrorism. He is the man of the match,” said Mr. Dissanayake.
He said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, Gen. Fonseka and former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva were being considered by various elements as possible nominees for the presidential election. (Read More)
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has informed the opposition that he would seek foreign monitors for the general and presidential elections that are likely to be held in the future.
The Commissioner had given this assurance when he met some opposition members, including the UNP and SLMC leaders, at the polls secretariat yesterday.
UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, who spoke to the journalists after the meeting with the polls chief, said he had assured them that foreign monitors would be sought to ensure a free and fair election. This assurance had been given consequent on a request made by the party leaders. (Read More)
The main opposition UNP yesterday charged that the President’s order to state banks to reduce interest rates was just an election gimmick to keep the populace happy and predicted that the rates would go up as soon as the election was over.
At a press conference yesterday, UNP National Organizer, S.B Dissanayake said that the reduction of bank rates will only offer short term relief but would be detrimental to them in the long run. He said the sudden reduction in interest rates will only increase the demand for loans to such an extent that the banks cannot satisfy the demand and will crumble under the strain.
“The government will not be able to satisfy the sudden increase in demand for loans and will eventually have to limit the number of the loans given, at which point these loans will only be given to government employees, conmen and persons with political affiliations,” ............... (Read More)
UPFA Local Government representatives who were summoned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Temple Trees on Tuesday unanimously voiced their approval to holding the Presidential election first.
President Rajapaksa summoned them to discuss the current political situation and posed the question which election they wanted first, the Presidential or Parliamentary. At this stage all representatives raised their hands and said that they wanted the former held first.
In reply Rajapaksa said that he would convey his decision on November 15 at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s annual convention.
Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath’s eldest son Kanaka will contest the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
Yatiyantota chief SLFP Organiser Srilal Wickremesinghe last Saturday (Oct 24) announced Kanaka’s entry into parliamentary politics. The announcement was made at the Kegalle District annual general meeting of the SLFP Youth Organisation presided by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son Namal.
Wickremesinghe said that Kanaka, who had played an important role in his father’s political campaigns, would contest the Kegalle District.
Chief Minister Herath and Ministers Athauda Seneviratne and Duminda Dissanayake participated at the meeting.
The latest entrant into parliamentary politics has obtained a Bachelor of Engineering (aerospace) degree from Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University.
Several UPFA politicians fielded their sons, relatives and personal staff at the recently concluded elections to provincial councils conducted on a staggered basis.
Galle District Southern Provincial Councillor Shan Wijayalal de Silva was yesterday sworn in as Chief Minister South by President Mahinda Rajapakasa at the Temple Trees for a second term.
He was also sworn in as Minister of Finance, Plan Implementation, Justice and Peace, Transport, Water Supply, Power, Engineering Services, Health, Indigenous Medicine and Provincial Councils.
Councillor Hemal Gunasekera was sworn in as Lands, Land Development, Irrigation, Highways, Media, Rural and Estate Infrastructure.
V. K. Indika was appointed Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, Food Production and Distribution, Trade and Cooperative Development.
U. G. D. Ariyatilleke was given the portfolios of Youth Affairs, Rural Industries, Rural Development, Tourism, Economic Development, Social Welfare, Probation and Childcare Services, Women’s Affairs, Housing and Construction, Human Resources and Employment.