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  Interviews  


New amendment ‘makes President more humane’

The most hotly-debated topic in political circles today is the 18th Amendment to the Constitution which was passed in Parliament on Wednesday with 161 members voting for it. SLFP general secretary Maithripala Sirisena, who is also a senior cabinet minister, meets the criticism against the Amendment in an interview with The Nation.
Q: Two days ahead of the passage of the 18th Amendment you foretold that more than 160 MPs would vote for the amendment. How do you account for being able to make a correct prediction?
During the `operation’ we carried out to ensure the passage of the amendment, it became obvious to us that there were several UNP MPs set to cross over to the government. The voting on the amendment confirmed our belief that more than 160 members would vote for it. Full Story


Marcos-type ‘despotic family regime on way’

Q: On what basis you decided the 18th Amendment is dangerous to country’s democracy?
The 18th Amendment would build a Marcos-type of a despotic family regime and would annul independent commissions that would be a hindrance to the despotic path.
The progressive masses in the country need not be disappointed regarding the adoption of the 18th Amendment as it does not represent the true majority of the masses in the country and the two-third majority is made up of cowards who betrayed their conscious for their existence in the present government and those nincompoops who pawned their conscience for money and various perks. Full Story


Opposition cries foul over UPFA’s ‘undemocratic and unethical’ actions

Good governance is at stake: UNP

The controversial 18th Amendment to the 1978 constitution saw much resistance from civil rights organisations as well as opposition political parties from the day the talks of such amendments came to the limelight.  However, the 18th Amendment has now become part of Sri Lankan laws after being passed in parliament with a two-third majority in Parliament.  The main opposition UNP and the JVP both took to streets last week against the 18th Amendment.
The UNP staged a walkout from parliamentary sittings and also abstained from voting. The DNA of which the JVP is main constituent was however present in parliament and voted against the 18th Amendment. In the aftermath of all this political drama, The Nation spoke to UNP Kurunegala district Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara, who led a Satyagraha at the Parliamentary complex last Tuesday (7) against the government’s move, and to JVP general secretary Tilvin Silva to find out their views.  Full Story


People ‘will benefit if TNA joins govt’

Majority of easterners oppose merger, says ex-LTTE commander

By Arthur Wamanan
The majority of the people in the East would not support the North and East merger, former LTTE Eastern Commander, who is currently the Deputy Resettlement Minister and Sri Lanka Freedom Party vice-president Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan said. In an interview with The
Nation, he called upon Tamil parties to unite for the betterment of the people who had suffered during the war.
He said the people, who were being resettled, were being provided with basic facilities and development schemes were continuously being carried out in the region.  Full Story