Much controversy has been caused by the claim made by India’s Tripura Chief Minister this week suggesting that India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning to establish ‘an imperial style’ government in Sri Lanka and Nepal despite both nations being sovereign countries. This caught the attention of the local media in the wake of [...]


BJP’s claim relating to Lanka and Nepal; Kathmandu speaks out, Colombo silent


Much controversy has been caused by the claim made by India’s Tripura Chief Minister this week suggesting that India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning to establish ‘an imperial style’ government in Sri Lanka and Nepal despite both nations being sovereign countries.

This caught the attention of the local media in the wake of recent political developments in Sri Lanka.

Even though India-Nepal diplomatic ties are a bit complicated as the two countries share the border, its Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali announced that Nepal has conveyed “formal objection” over the Tripura CM’s comments on the previous day.

However, back at home senior government leaders played it down saying it is not an official claim and it was just based on media reports to justify not to take up the matter diplomatically.

Then there are certain new Hindu fundamentalist elements in the North who saw the report and immediately jumped into the fray to score some points and sell their ideas to the people.

One of them is Shiv Senai, led by Maravanpulavu Satchithanantham, who keeps close tabs on BJP circles.He said there is a need to form BJP in Sri Lanka to protect the rights of the Hindus and stressed it has been their long standing goal ever since they inaugurated the party.


Hakeem demands public apology from four SLMC MPs

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem is contemplating a pressing issue these days, as the party faced criticism from its supporters for not taking action against its MPs who supported the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

Earlier, the party asked four MPs — H. M. M. Harees, Faizal Cassim, M. S. M. Thowfeek and Nazeer Ahamed — to give explanations for their conduct in writing to the SLMC High Command.

During the recent party meeting, the MPs apologised to the party for their conduct and regretted the damage they had caused. One of them said they voted in favour of the Government, based on the assurance given by Government leaders to allow the burial of COVID-19 victims of the Islamic faith as a mandatory cremation policy was adopted by the Government soon after the pandemic hit the country.

SLMC leader Hakeem said the MPs have to apologise in public for their conduct as the party finds it difficult to take legal action against them. He said the respective electorates of the MPs will take note of their conduct.

How much of that excuse the rest of the country will buy, is of course, another matter.


It’s the name of the game

Even though the Jaffna Municipal Council is cash strapped these days without adequate revenue due to the lack of a proper-revised tax generating model in place, the Council decided to provide tax relief for traders who give foremost place for Tamil name boards.

Proposed by a TNA Councillor this week, the Council granted permission to give fifty percent off from taxes to be paid to the Council if name boards are put up in Tamil.

The new local tax cut will be applicable to new business start-ups coming up within the municipality area and existing business entities if they are to put up a new name board.

A JMC taxpayer noted that as the Council is struggling to meet the cash balance sheet to pay salaries to its casual staff, this would be another blow to income sources of the Council.


Jaffna Mayor refuses to sign Sinhala statement

In the North and Eastern provinces police stations have run into difficulties while recording statements from Tamil politicians and locals who took part in a protest rally from Pottuvil to Polikandi, despite Court orders being issued against certain individuals.

In Batticaloa, Police officials from eight Police stations in the two provinces recorded a statement from TNA Parliamentarian Shanakiyan Rasamanickam at his office on Friday. It went on for about six hours.

In Jaffna, the Police faced difficulty in recording a statement from Jaffna Mayor V. Manivannan, who refused to sign the statement written in Sinhala.

Thereafter, the Police had to organise Tamil speaking police personnel to translate the original statement into Tamil to get the Mayor’s signature. The Mayor is a Lawyer.

They say one thing, and jump the queue

As the Members of Parliament were invited this week to be vaccinated against COVID-19 some of the members had already taken the opportunity to get themselves vaccinated.

In the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), some members had questioned why the Government decided to give the vaccine to MPs when there were other front line health workers themselves awaiting to be vaccinated.

But ironically some of the SJB MPs themselves were seen at the Army Hospital in Narahenpita awaiting their turn to be vaccinated. It seems the party was divided on that.

AITC MPs refuse to step in to Army Hospital for COVID-19 jab

Among those Parliamentarians who refused to get the COVID-19 jab, citing many reasons, two MPs from a party stand out for their unique reason for refusal.

Ahila Ilankai Thamil Congress (AITC) Parliamentarians Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and S. Kajendran refused to get the vaccination for the reason that it is being administered at the Army Hospital, and not in any civilian hospitals.

The duo who regularly complain about the militarisation in former post-war regions justified their decision during a media briefing for Jaffna journalists.

Meanwhile, Parliament’s Serjeant-at-Arms announced on Friday there would be another opportunity for the MPs to get vaccinated voluntarily from February 23 – 25 at the Army Hospital at Narahenpita in Colombo. They can receive the vaccine between 8.30 am and 12.30 pm on all three days, he said.

Maharagama UC tries to mask COVID-19 figures

As health authorities were stressing on the importance of sharing information regarding the pandemic, the Maharagama Urban Council did exactly the opposite by not allowing one of its members to share her concerns about handling the COVID-19 crisis.

At a council meeting, member Chandrika De Zoysa said that in the UC area 106 residents had been given the PCR test and according to the results 20 people were found to be COVID-19 positive.

She said that Ekamuthu Mawatha in Thalawatugoda alone 38 COVID-19 affected people were found. The member said that in the lane, residents in 64 houses were not subjected to PCR tests, until she intervened and got it done.

While she was explaining the situation, both the UC Chairman Tiraj Lakruwan Piyaratne and Health Committee Chairman Nishantha Wimalanachandra stopped her from speaking.

She also claimed that the council chairman had ordered Maharagama’s Chief Public Health Officer not to provide information to her.

Even when Ms De Zoysa asked for the future COVID-19 management plan and PCR testing, the UC Chairman said she did not need to talk about those matters.



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