Whether or not Sri Lanka will play host to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November this year will be known after the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meets in London on Friday.
Although the question of the venue is not on the formal agenda of the CMAG, it could be raised under the provision for “any other business.” The most recent plea against holding the summit in Lanka came from the Commonwealth Law Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, between April 14-18. The meeting, attended by 27 Chief Justices, unanimously passed a resolution asking CMAG “to place Sri Lanka on the agenda of the next meeting on April 26, and suspend it from the Councils of the Commonwealth for serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values.” The resolution also called upon Commonwealth countries to “reconsider” holding CHOGM in Lanka, and blamed the SL government for its role in impeaching Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake “in defiance of the judgments of the highest courts in Sri Lanka.”
Former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, a member of the Global Leadership Foundation (GLF) is in London. Kumaratunga attended its AGM held on 25 April 2013 held at London’s Savill Court Hotel.
The current Chairman of the GLF is Nobel Laureate, President F. W. de Klerk, whom together with President Nelson Mandela was responsible for the abolition of apartheid in South Africa The GLF makes available, discreetly and in confidence, the experience of former leaders to today’s national leaders. It does so through its network of members – former Presidents, Prime Ministers, senior ministers and other distinguished leaders, drawn together by a desire to give something back to the world.
TNA Parliamentarian, Mavai Senathirajah, had a blackout while he was addressing the May Day rally in Kilinochchi, yesterday.
The parliamentarian had been addressing the rally while standing on the podium under the scorching heat for more than 45 minutes, when he had collapsed.
He was immediately helped by his bodyguards who gave him first aid, after which he had recovered. The MP had revealed later that he had felt uneasy while standing in scorching heat to address the gathering.
The hallmark of the Rajapaksa economy was that it had the ability to empty people’s pockets, in comparison to UNP governments which filled them, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.
He told a UNP May Day meeting, organised by the Colombo and Kalutara branches of the JSS, at Srikotha, that the UPFA government, despite pontificating to the Opposition and the global community, did not know the basics of how to manage the economy.
Leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF) and Minister of Construction, Engineering Services and Housing and Common Amenities, Wimal Weerawansa, yesterday urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to amend the Constitution, to remove land and police powers from the Provincial Councils (PCs). Addressing the May Day rally of the NFF held at the P.D. Sirisena Stadium in Maligawatte, he vowed to break away from the government, if the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election held in September 2013, without removing police and land powers from the PCs.
Breakaway JVP group, the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), yesterday alleged that those masquerading as leftist had not performed their duties and thereby paved the way for capitalist political parties to celebrate the May Day.
Addressing the FSP May Day rally, at the Ratnam Playground in Kotahena, the party’s organizing secretary Chameera Koswatta said that today, the international labour day celebration had become a show of strength and some political parties celebrated it in a carnival atmosphere.
UK Parliamentarian, Simon Danczuk, described Sri Lanka as a 'romantic paradise unsafe for tourists' and said British tourists should keep away from the island and Danczuk who was in Sri Lanka recently, in a bid to seek justice for the murdered Red Cross worker, Khuram Shaikh, and his girlfriend, Vcitoria Tkacheve, who was gang raped in a tourist resort in Tangalle in December 2011 said yesterday, that no matter how much the tourism authorities speak of the country being a great destination or issue colourful brochures to visitors, Sri Lanka is not a safe destination for foreign visitors.
“The leader of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EDPD), Douglas Devananda, has a long history of enmity with the recently defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He has been a favorite of successive Sri Lankan governments in Colombo. But Devananda has a violent and even criminal history, and shows few signs of reforming. While close ties continue between the top levels of the GSL and Devananda, we may be seeing an adjustment to that relationship as “Colonel Karuna” continues to strengthen his position with President Rajapaksa and his powerful brother, Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, possibly at Devananda’s expense. The GSL may attempt to install Devananda as the leader of a new provincial government in the North through early elections there, or as the head of an interim administration.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.
After President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement of electricity tariff reductions, the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said their concerted efforts against the tariff hike had eventually borne fruit.
UNP National List MP Harsha de Silva said the government had eventually given in to what he called the ‘well-articulated, fact based, logical ‘arguments against the tariff increase.
“This is yet another example of the effectiveness of the UNP as the main Opposition party to force the government to reverse a decision taken arrogantly. Those who criticised the UNP have to admit what we said was correct,” he said.