In October, this year, Mahinda Rajapaksa became arguably the most powerful President under the republican constitution. Indeed, he is the most powerful in Sri Lanka today. Through the 18th Amendment, he removed the restriction on a two-term incumbency and empowered the President to appoint what were previously dubbed as "independent commissions," senior judges and the Auditor General among others......
“Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what is all this fuss about a new Cabinet?”
“Well,” Bindu’s father Percy said, “Mahinda maama has assumed office for a second term, so he has sworn in a new Cabinet…”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu pointed out, “isn’t it the same old Cabinet?”
Budget debates in recent years have not been very enlightening of the financial and economic issues raised by the budget. This is indeed unfortunate as the budget is the centrepiece of the government’s economic policy. Members of Parliament, especially the ministers of the government owe a responsibility to the people of the country to justify and explain the expenditures of their respective ministries and lay out the policies they expect to follow.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa invited opposition members to tea after he had presented the 2011 Budget in Parliament last Monday afternoon. Asked if tea was being served “with or without sugar” by UNP member Dayasiri Jayasekera, the President replied, “with sugar.”
Trincomalee, November 25 2010 - When a faded woman in a tattered saree looks at you with hope still in her eyes and asks if you can find out what happened to her husband who had gone with his cousin to buy some masonry items and had disappeared after being stopped at a checkpoint in a junction in Trincomalee on April 4 2007, there is a sense of deep frustration and hopelessness at the inability to respond.
External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris received a devastating snub from the Government of Nepal this week.
It was over his remarks in no less a hallowed precinctthan in Parliament that Nepal's President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav had asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa to mediate in the internal political crisis in the Himalayan nation. The claim was that the request was made when the two Presidents met in Shanghai recently. The Government of Nepal has flatly denied it.
The cordial tenor that has characterized India–Sri Lanka relations in recent years seems to have been reaffirmed during the three-day state visit of Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna that ends today (Sunday). The importance of the developments in this external relationship so vital to Sri Lanka seems to be somewhat understated in the media.
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