Showing posts with label President Mahinda Rajapakse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label President Mahinda Rajapakse. Show all posts

Sunday, May 30, 2010

How Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa can stop war crime charges keep haunting

(May 30, Colombo - Lanka PolityIn a recent interview with Al Jazeera, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa displayed how weary he is over the allegations against his government regarding the war crimes during the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE).

The President perturbed by the repeated questioning by Al Jazeera correspondent Fouziah Ibrahim, lost his temper and asked why Al Jazeera repeatedly harassed Sri Lanka with war crimes charges just because the country defeated terrorism, while sparing countries like the USA and Britain.

On May 27, Sri Lanka's Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris, who was on a public relations tour through the United States, left a scheduled meeting with journalists at the National Press Club Thursday morning without speaking.

It is learnt that he was advised not to meet media at the National Press Club that recently awarded the organization's 2009 International Freedom of the Press Award to slain Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga, editor of the Sunday Leader.

Meanwhile, Amnesty international website says, "One year after Sri Lanka's civil war came to a bloody end, the evidence that both parties to the conflict committed serious human rights violations, including war crimes, continues to pile up. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group and the US State Department have compiled extensive reports on the human rights violations that were committed by both the Sri Lankan army and the armed Tamil Tigers. To date, not one single individual has been held accountable for the crimes committed."

During a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Minister Pieris stubbornly refused to answer a question of a representative of an Amnesty International that questioned about the human rights impact of the most recent presidential commission of inquiry (established in 2006) into several high level human rights cases, including the execution style murder of 17 aid workers of the French organization Action Contre la Faim (ACF). The question was on how many individuals were actually tried as a consequence of the work of the commission, or why the findings that were sent to the President have not been made public to this day.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has to understand that the pressure on his government over war crime charges will last until when or if he will change the sense of euphoria of his rule following war victory into a more down-to-earth policy especially towards Tamils.

Although he defeated the Tamil militancy in Sri Lankan soil, he is yet to apprehend the full potential of the powerful Tamil Diaspora which is far beyond his simplistic version of a people that want to extend their stay in green pastures of developed West as he suggested in the Al Jazeera interview.

The Tamil Diaspora is too well able to keep the fires of the campaigns on war crime charges against him burning within the framework of Western democracy subtly manipulating the numerous international human rights organizations and even the UN. No power has ever undermined the mandate of these organizations to appear for human rights and the Rajapaksa's are far inadequate to do so. The ability of the Tamil Diaspora to sustain the lobby is free from their internal divisions.

If he is unwilling to deal with the mighty Tamil Diaspora, what he can do to regain the due respect for his defeat of terrorism is to establish good relationship with at least the local Tamils whose lives are in complete disarray as a result of war. The President and his government are in the vision that rapid economic growth facilitated by infrastructure development and private sector engagement will demoralize the Tamil nationalist sentiments.

Even for this, he needs some kind of meaningful power sharing with the leaders of local Tamil community. The undeclared 'Give Nothing to Tamils' racist Sinhala chauvinist policy that is masterminded by the ultra nationalist elements in his government will not lead him anywhere.

Power sharing with Tamils is a taboo subject among many of the Sinhala nationalist elite. Rajapaksa is in a powerful position and he can break it, if the pragmatic leader, as identified by Velupillai Prabakaran in his Mahaviru speech in 2005, can see beyond his nose tip, the time is ripe for reforms since the Sinhala racists have lost to him.

Development plus power sharing will make him really closer with local Tamils, not in the superficialway of meeting and talking with them when he visits north and east, as he said to Al Jazeera.

This is the only way available for him to widen the gap between the local and Diaspora Tamils. Only then, he will be able to actually delegitimize the din of the war crime charges against him. Sheer rhetoric against Diaspora Tamils will lead him nowhere.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sri Lanka government begging for UN action against war crime charges agaisnt officials

(December 23, Colombo - Lanka Polity) In a very extraordinary move, Sri Lanka government is anticipating harsh action from the United Nations against the state heads. officials and Army even before the UN has considered such a move.

Government leaders campaigning for the re-election of the President Mahinda Rajapakse in the presidential scheduled to be held on January 26 is trying to seek political mileage from a detrimental statement made and later denied by the opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka at the cost of the future of the politicians, officials and soldiers. It is actually begging for action from UN even before replying to the letter of the UN seeking a clarification.

Former Sri Lankan Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, who is now the presidential adviser on national security, has warned that the recent allegations raised by presidential candidate and former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka could affect the opportunity for Sri Lankan troops to be selected for UN peace keeping operations in Haiti and for overseas training, reported Daily Mirror newspaper.

Speaking on State television Karannagoda, who was known to be at serious rift with Fonseka when both were serving as chiefs of their respective forces, said that the allegations raised by Fonseka, though false, could open the doors for a fresh bid by the international community to level war crimes charges against the Sri Lankan military.

Sri Lanka state-owned Sinhala daily Dinamina said today quoting government leaders that the Army 58 division of which the ex-commander was ordered by Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse to kill the leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) was also facing a 'risk'. However, the newspaper did not describe the risk factor.

Karannagoda said to Dinamina newspaper that Sri Lanka would have to face a war crime trial and cited that the leaders of Bosnia were punished similarly by international war crime tribunal.

Sri Lankan law professor and Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris told a news briefing at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday that UN special Rapporteur Philippe Alston’s letter to Sri Lanka’s ambassador Kshenuka Seneviratne seeking an explanation on the highly damaging charges against Sri Lanka put the nation on the level of a pariah state that has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity that should be meted out strict punishments.

“It is clear that the detractors of Sri Lanka want to take the country before an International Tribunal like the Nuremburg Trials that tried Nazi leader Adolph Hitler and his accomplices for their war crimes during World War II. This will result in any Army, Navy or Air Force personnel being arrested in Europe, US, Canada or even in Japan for war crimes,” Prof. Peiris stressed.

Prof. Peiris said the other danger was that any US or European court could pass an order against Sri Lankan leaders and armed forces personnel and issue a warrant for arrest on charges of ‘Crime against Humanity’ in a similar manner they arrested late Chili strongman Augusto Pinochet.

There was a warrant against General Pinochet by a Spanish Court on charges of extrajudicial killings committed during his regime as the President which had also been adopted by England. He was arrested when he arrived in England for medical treatment and languished in jail for more than 4 1/2 years.

There is a direct threat against President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Commander in Chief, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the then Brigade Commander of the 58th  Brigade Major General Shavendra Silva and all members of the 58th Brigade according to the charges levelled against them by General Fonseka, he said.

Responding to a question raised by a journalist as to what would happen if Sri Lanka refused to give an explanation to the UN special Rapporteur, Prof. Peiris said it was obligatory for Sri Lanka to explain as she is a member of the UN.

“We are bound to explain or they will accept it as an acceptance of the charges if not. Besides, the Security Council and the EU may pass resolutions against Sri Lanka if we did not respond positively. The government is doing its utmost to minimize the damage caused. A team of legal experts headed by Attorney General will look into the modalities in preparing the explanation,” he added.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tamil Diaspora urge to put Sri Lanka President on dock while Rajapakse says ready to go to gallows

(December 14, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Canadian Tamil Congress spokesman David Poopalapillai told IANS that the Tamil diaspora around the world is writing to the UN, the International Court of Justice and world leaders to put the Sri Lankan president on trial immediately.

"We are drafting our petition and will send it soon to the world leaders, including Canada and India, to put Mahinda Rajapaksa and his men in the dock for war crimes,'' he said.

"What more proof do world leaders and the international community now need to try the Sri Lankan president and his men for crimes against humanity?'' he asked commenting on Sri Lanka's ex-Army Commander Sarath Fonseka's statement to The Sunday Leader that Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, a brother of President Rajapakse, ordered to kill the Tamil rebel leaders that came with white flags to surrender. 

"Rajapaksa is a war criminal. He should be taken to The Hague to face trial for war crimes. No nation has violated the Geneva Convention as flagrantly as Sri Lanka. No nation ever killed the surrendering enemy.''

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday (14) that he was ready to go to gallows on behalf of the 'war herpes'.

Fonseka named Sri Lanka Army Major General Shavendra Silva, a Brigadier who was leading operations under Fonseka, as the person of reception of the killing orders of the Defense Secretary.

Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse is a US citizen.

The majority Sinhala community respects the military and political leadership alike that crushed the violent armed struggle of Tamil nationalists. They vehemently oppose power sharing and want to maintain the Sinhala dominance in state apparatus. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), a rebel movement that had a de facto state in Northern and Eastern parts of the island was militarily defeated and almost all leaders were eliminated in the military operations that ended in May 2009 with the victory of the state Army. 

University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), an independent human rights organization in the Tamil polity in Sri Lanka stated in a recent report "for both parties, the key to military dominance lay not in brilliant strategies, but in an utter disregard for the lives of civilians and combatants alike, driven by their leaders’ single-minded pursuit of personal power."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Macho Rajapakse's metamorphosis to a mother; a definite failure in Sri Lanka polity

(December 12, Colombo - Lanka Polity) In 2005, when Mahinda Rajapakse was contesting the presidential for the first time, he was portrayed by his propaganda managers as a macho personality who can run up the ladders of a stage waving like a hero of a Kollywood film. His appearance was vis-a-vis United National Party (UNP) candidate Ranil Wickramasinghe who did not exhibit the macho outlook that is expected by most of the voters of Sri Lanka from a President.

People overlooked Wickramasinghe’s caliber as a seasoned neo liberal politician to the shallow patriotism of Rajapakse. One reason behind his victory was the macho personality.

In any case, as the President, Rajapakse flanked by his two younger brothers, was as hard as a rock before the Tamil nationalist rebellion. He led the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) and defeated the Tigers ultimately.

Just six months after the war victory he is currently facing a tooth and nail battle in the early presidential against his ex-Army chief retired General Sarath Fonseka who is the opposition common candidate.

Fonseka is considered a dominating character with all macho qualities among the Army ranks and now the pro-government media further decorate these characteristics with allegations regarding a charge against young lieutenant Sarath Fonseka over seducing a female domestic aide of an Army officer in early 70s.

Sri Lankan average voter who is not a sensible person in any sense usually respect these macho characteristics. For instance, famous actor Kamal Addaraarachchi was once charged with seducing a minor girl with whom he admitted had sex with consent but against law. In this case, there were more people that sympathized Addaraarachchi than the minor girl who was victimized by an elder.

Since the opponent Sarath Fonseka has more macho characteristics, the President Mahinda Rajapakse’s campaign managers now try to create an image of a motherly person that can cuddle the infants for Rajapakse.

It is a strategy that can fail in Sri Lanka where the polity loves the dictators, domineering rulers, swindles, rogues and the persons of that sort. In recent elections, Sri Lankans have elected all sorts of bad characters like mass murderers, thugs, thieves etc.

Our advise to the President and his campaigners is not to suspend marketing the conventional trademarks of the President, the moustache, the manly appearance and other such things not completely relevant to ruling the country.

Ruling and politics are different genres after all at least in this island.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sri Lanka media highlights President Mahinda Rajapakse must have given the Nobel Peace Prize

(October 12, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka that is in a new diplomatic brawl with world super power US is moving further ahead to mock Norwegian Nobel Committee for giving US President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize instead of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Sri Lanka government's major electronic propaganda organ Independent Television Network (ITN) highlighted Canadian National Post newspaper had stated that the Nobel Peace Prize should have been given to President Rajapaksa and not Barack Obama. The state television said that the Canadian Post had told that giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize was comical. (

ITN noted that the reason is that the Sri Lankan President ended terrorism definitively at one stroke. It is one of the only times in the history of modern warfare that a terrorist movement has been utterly destroyed in such a fashion.

ITN further said quoting unnamed analysts that the Nobel Committee handled by Norway that helpeda Tamil Tiger terrorists of Sri Lanka could not be expected to offer President mahinda Rajapakse the Nobel Peace Prize.

The United States has already lodged a “strong protest” to Sri Lanka over remarks by Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, on state radio that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has forgotten the “Monica Lewinsky episode” and should “put her house in order.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, addressing the UN Security Council, on September 30, noted that rape has been used as a weapon of war in the Balkans, Burma, Sri Lanka and elsewhere and that in too many countries and in too many cases, the perpetrators of this violence are not punished, and so this impunity encourages further attacks.

The rulers of Sri Lanka whose human rights record under President Mahinda Rajapakse is being questioned by the West are pushing away the island nation from its traditional allies like US and Europe to new found bossom friends like China, Russia, Iran and Libya etc.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Is Sri Lanka's Rajapakse regime losing the ground?

(October 11, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Although Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) came into power in the home province of President Mahinda Rajapakse recording a massive victory at Southern Provincial Council election, the ruling alliance seems losing the firm hold five months after it defeated the Tamil's violent struggle for a homeland in the north and eastern parts of the island. 

Voter turnout was average 69.24% despite massive propaganda campaign of the ruling alliance in Southern Province. The state media propagated exaggerated statistics on voter turnout that sharply contrasted with the data issued by independent monitors right in the mid-day news bulletins in an attempt to attract more voters to the polling centers.

The government used almost all public property from the powers of the executive presidency and state-owned media to public roads for the ambitious propaganda campaign that targeted to achieve 80% votes for the ruling alliance. Mud slinging on opposition politicians were carried out by state media even on the election day. However, the UPFA could record 67.88% only while the major opposition was voted 25.09% and the Marxist nationalist People's Liberation Front (JVP) gained 6.11% from the province. 

UPFA amassed 72.39% votes at Uva Provincial Council election held immediately after the military victory over the Tamil rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE). Southern Province UPFA result was lower than the February 14th North Western Provincial Council result that gave 69.43% votes to UPFA even before the military defeat of the LTTE. 

Four Rajapakse brothers that run the country might not be happy with the result they achieved from their home district Hambanthota from where they expected gratitude for the rapid development conducted there. The government has promised a service harbor, an international airport, an international cricket stadium, rail road and many other developments to this district which is one of Sri Lanka's poorest in many terms. They could achieve 66.95% only in Hambanthota and it was the lowest percentage out of the three districts. 

Ruling alliance's former ally JVP gained 11.01% votes from Hambanthota district. JVP was the main force that ushered Mahinda Rajapakse to presidency in 2005 but they did not assume cabinet portfolios and quit the alliance soon after.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sri Lanka President challenges the western nations to produce the corruption charges against the forces in writing

(October 05, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse challenged the western nations to produce the corruption charges against the state security forces in written format.
Addressing a election rally in Southern Province Matara town, the President said that there was an attempt to take the government to international war tribunal ignoring the noble task they performed.
The President also said that the terrorism had not been eliminated despite it was defeated. The country should be freed from the international conspiracies of the elements that sympathize the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE). 
Sri Lanka government led by the President Mahinda Rajapakse and his brothers defeated the Tamil rebel LTTE that fought a three decade struggle for a homeland in northern and eastern Tamil dominated parts of the island.International Community led by Western nations urge the government to conduct investigations on the violation of human rights during the last phase of the war.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A man trampled to death at Sri Lanka President's ancestral home

(October 03, Colombo - Lanka Polity) An 85-year old Sri Lankan man was trampled to death recently by the crowds that thronged to grab free food served by President Mahinda Rajapakse at his ancestral home in deep south Hambanthota district, reported the latest edition of Sinhala weekend newspaper 'Lanka.' 

G. Arnolis that lived 12, Akuressa, Amboda was trampled on September at Medamulana Walawwa, the ancestral mansion of Rajapakses that rule Sri Lanka today, said the newspaper although the incident was not news for other media.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse is in a practice of having large meetings of voters of the Provinces where elections are held, at the Prime Minister's official residence Temple Trees in which he resides now. Free food is served from the President's budget for these crowds after the meetings. Occasionally, such meetings are held in Kandy Presidential Palace and some other places as well during election campaigns.

Southern Provincial Council of his home province is having elections on October 10 and a massive gathering place was prepared in a reclaimed paddy field close to Medamulana Walawwa for meetings and to serve free food to voters.

All these actions are against the election law of the state but no Sri Lankan is worried about laws furthermore now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Peep into the democracy of Sri Lanka through Southern Provincial Council election

(September 22, 2009 - Lanka Polity) The Southern Provincial Council election is providing the world a panoramic window to peep into the state of the democracy in Sri Lanka. These days, a candidate of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Mahinda Rajapakse is hitting headlines. The candidate, Nishantha Muthuhettigama is seeking representation from Galle district vowing to be the next Chief Minister of the Provincial Council by hook or by crook.

Talking about his qualifications for the post, he says that he will be the second Chief Minister who can fire guns with both hands. The first, he says, is Eastern Provincial Council Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan who was a child soldier in Tamil rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE).

Muthuhettigama is now in remand following publicly blaming police at a press conference last week and Criminal Investigation Department is to grill him over his statements. This man's brawls are not with opposition. He clashes with two candidates of his own party prominently. One is former Miss Sri Lankan 22-year-old Anarkali Akarsha, who has obtained the SLFP ticket reportedly with the backing of the President Mahinda Rajapakse's eldest son Namal Rajapakse. The other candidate is the ex-CEO of the state-owned budget airline Mihin named after the President, Sajin Vaas Gunawardhana who uses even a helicopter for his campaign although he should be responsible for massive loss of public money due to the losses of the airline. He is directly supported by the President and poised to win with huge majority. Muthuhettigama is accusing that Presidential Security Division personnel are in his campaign.

The ruling alliance has not named a Chief Minister candidate and the person that achieves the highest percentage of preferential votes is likely to be given the post. There are Galle, Mathara and  Hambanthota districts in the Southern Province and a close relative of Rajapakse family is contesting for Mathara district with the widest possibility of becoming the next Chief Minister.

President Mahinda Rajapakse's favorites can easily be elected to the Provincial Councils and they immediately be given portfolios to start a fast growing career. They are to be the handpicked candidates of the Rajapakse regime at the upcoming general election. They pose a severe threat to the political  existence of the old political stalwarts of the SLFP.

During the past years, the ruling party that started with a single vote majority in the parliament has bought MPs from major opposition United National Party (UNP) and almost all the other political parties representing the parliament. The majority of the MPs in many districts are now government ministers and they will have to fight tooth and nail among themselves to be elected for another term.

Government uses all public property including state-owned media for its election campaigns and the opposition cannot match with it. People normally like to vote to a winning party and the UNP lacks luster to build up confidence among the voters. However, there is a possibility of drastic crossovers from the government ranks to the opposition at a future election since many a seniors of the SLFP are disgruntled with the party leader President Mahinda Rajapakse's policy of favoring a few handpicked and letting loose the rest to kill each other for preferential votes.

Meanwhile, reliable sources say that the President is considering to hold the Presidential before the parliamentary election to seek election for the second time after clearing that he may not lose years from his first term due to premature election for the second term. There are talks among the opposition parties to field a viable opposition common candidate to give a fight to the President Mahinda Rajapakse who is selling the war victory over Tamil rebels to the Sinhala majority voters. No wonder if the opposition common candidate will be another war hero.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Execution video of Channel-4 causes chaos in political circles related to Sri Lanka

(September 15, 2009 - Lanka Polity) A video aired by UK's Channel-4 has caused lots of chaos in Sri Lanka's local and international political arenas.

The relevant video, said to be recorded in January this year was given to Channel-4 by a new media group called Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS). JDS was formed in July this year by a group of media persons exiled in various countries. The group said in a press release that more than 50 Sri Lankan journalists are in exile. A large number of them are the majority Sinhalese journalists that were sympathetic towards the right of self-determination of the Tamils. The group did not declare the names of the leaders but the government says that a Sinhalese newspaper editor that is in exile in Germany is the leader of this organization. The government also links JDS to the Tamil rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) international wing.

The video shows Sinhala speaking personnel clad in Sri Lanka Army uniforms execute persons suspected to be ethnic Tamils. Channel-4 said that it could not verify the authenticity of the video while the JDS later said that it was given to them by an Army official.

The government says the video is doctored and the state troops has never engaged in executing people. The Foreign Ministry summoned the Colombo diplomats to clarify that the video is fake. Indicating the reports of the volunteer and hired experts the officials said that the video was not recorded in a mobile phone. It further said that the sound track in which Sinhala utterances can be heard was dubbed to the video separately. The gunshot was heard extraordinarily late and the way the deceased fall, the blood marks and a number of other movements are not genuine, they pointed out.

Several childish arguments set forth by the state officials were proved false by JDS in a later programme of Channel-4. They showed pictures of Army officials wearing white T-shirts under their uniforms although the government said the soldiers wore only the green color T-shirts. The government also said that the Army officers did not sport grown hair but the JDS pointed to the pictures the President Mahinda Rajapakse himself was flanked by Special Forces personnel sporting grown hair and beard. Another comic argument of the government is that the victims shown in the video were fairer than the Tamils in north. Sinhalese and Tamils are mostly alike in physical appearance although the Sinhalese are in an illusion that they are fairer than the Tamils. Fair skin is venerated in this former colony of white Britishes.

However, JDS remained silent without attempting to counter the government that was going the extra mile to prove that the video is fake. Sri Lanka government has vowed to sue Channel-4 for discrediting the image of the country.

The video came in a bad time as the European Union was considering whether they would extend the GSP Plus tariff concessions for Sri Lanka's exports. The island's industries including the biggest income generator garment industry will affect if the tariff concession is revoked. The exports from Sri Lanka will be bare to severe competition from China despite the communist world power is the new ally of the Indian Ocean island which is rapidly drifting away from its traditional allies in West.

JDS is also campaigning for the release of Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam who was jailed for a sentence of 20 years rigorous imprisonment by a Sri Lankan High Court on terrorism charges framed under draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act based on his writings in a pro-Tamil English magazine namely North Eastern Monthly. However, they released the controversial video to Channel-4 a week before the judgment was delivered in August. It is not clear why they released the video that was said to be recorded in January in a time the judgment of Tissainayagam case was to be delivered in few days. However, we cannot find any direct link between the incident and sentence given to the Tamil journalist.

Meanwhile, the same video is now circulated in Facebook with faked Tamil sound track with the title LTTE torturing & killing Sinhala Prisoners of War.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sri Lanka's biggest drug dealer is a minister, says former Foreign Minister

(September 11, 2009 - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka's former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, a dissident of the ruling party, says that that the Police Narcotics Bureau has informed him that the country’s biggest drug dealer is a minister.

He pointed out that racketeers are spending millions of rupees of black money in their polls campaigns in recent Provincial Council polls aiming to obtain ruling party ticket in the upcoming general election.  

He said the Parliament of Sri Lanka would soon become a center for the racketeers to launder black monies. Samaraweera pointed out that some close associates of President Mahinda Rajapakse that are contesting to the Southern Provincial Council election are spending massive amounts of money and one person even uses a helicopter. He also said that President Rajapakse's nephew Shashindra Rajapakse that contested for the Uva Provincial Council election spent a colossal amount of money well over Rs. 75 million (over US $ 650,000) for his campaign.

Samaraweera was the campaign manager of current President Mahinda Rajapakse at the 2005 Presidential. He was a senior cabinet Minister since 1994 sans a brief period from 2001 to 2004. He defected from the ruling regime in 2007 and appeared with the opposition since then. 

White handkerchief marks protest against forcible cremation by the government of Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan civil society is silently but strongly marking their protest against the government's inhuman  forcible  cremation of a 20-da...