Posts Tagged ‘president’
Friday, December 26th, 2008
ASIA’S longest civil war is building to a violent crescendo. In the island nation of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese-majority government should be pressed to accept a cease-fire, to permit a political settlement. Government forces are besieging the rebel Tamil Tigers in the north of the country. Since abandoning a ceasefire in 2006 and a Norwegian-sponsored peace process earlier this year, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, Defense Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, have been vaunting their intention to crush the Tigers once and for all. There is little chance the brothers’ military campaign will produce anything other than a new phase of protracted guerrilla warfare. Meanwhile, over 200,000 civilians have been uprooted from their homes.
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
A former minister of the government and a well-known lawyer, Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha, is quoted in Lankadissent (December 22), in an interview given earlier to Lakbima as saying: “I relinquished my ministerial position because I was not allowed to exercise my powers. I was the only minister without a secretary. Then, how could the work be done? The appointment of ministers is a hoax”. He also said, “Not only for me, it is also the same for the 109 ministers who are still there. The President has the powers. In short, most ministers do not have any say in the appointment of chairmen and directors to institutions. The situation is like that at 99 per cent of ministries…
Friday, December 19th, 2008
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, in a judgement that is considered controversial this week (December 17) ordered that petrol prices should be reduced to Rs 100/= per litre to be effective from midnight the same day. The prevalent price for petrol with a octane count of 90, was Rs 122/= and petrol with an octane count of 95 was Rs 137/= per litre. The government, on the other hand, has declared that it will not implement the Supreme Court ruling and has even referred to it as contrary to the government’s war effort against the LTTE. Furthermore, according to the reports of a Cabinet meeting, the president has called on the government to oppose the court.
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
The Sri Lankan government has overwhelming public support for its war against the Tamil Tigers, and most people believe the rebels will soon be defeated, an opinion poll published Wednesday shows. The privately run research group TNS Lanka questioned 500 people living outside the northern conflict zone between October and November. The result will be greeted by the government as an endorsement of its decision in January to pull out of a Norwegian-brokered truce with the LTTE and escalate its offensive. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has said he will not accept anything short of the rebels’ total surrender.
Monday, December 8th, 2008
Sri Lanka’s parliament approved a budget on Monday pledging record spending next year on the war with the Tamil Tigers, while troops resumed attacks on the edge of the rebels’ headquarters town of Kilinochchi.
And in a sign President Mahinda Rajapaksa will use the greatest military success by any government so far in the 25-year war to test the electoral waters, the government said it would dissolve provincial councils shortly to clear the way for polls.
Thursday, March 6th, 2008
The Sri Lankan government is responsible for widespread abductions and ‘disappearances’ that are a national crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Human Rights Watch urged the government to reveal the whereabouts of the ‘disappeared,’ immediately end the practice, and hold the perpetrators accountable. “President Mahinda Rajapaksa, once a rights advocate, has now led his government to become one of the world’s worst perpetrators of enforced disappearances,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The end of the ceasefire means this crisis will continue until the government starts taking serious measures.”