Survey finds public divided on key issues

According to the latest ‘Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka’ survey conducted by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, divisions between people’s opinions on key issues still persist.On the topic of a credible mechanism look into accountability for what happened during the last stages of the war, 42.6% of Sri Lankans stated that there should be such a mechanism, while 36.3% said no. Among the 32.2% from the Sinhala community who are in favour of such a mechanism, majority (57.8%) said that it should be a mechanism that was exclusively domestic while 34% said that it should be a combination of both domestic and international. Conducted in the 25 districts of the country, the 2015 survey captured the opinion of 1987 Sri Lankans from the four main ethnic groups. The selection of respondents was random across the country except in a few areas in the Northern Province where access was difficult. Fieldwork was conducted in March 2015. (Colombo Gazette) There has been an increase in the trust that Sri Lankans have for the Army, as 44.2% in 2015 stated that they have a great deal of trust in comparison to the 33.7% in 2014. The Tamil community has the least amount trust in the Army with 52% stating that they have no trust, followed by the Up Country Tamil with 47%.There has been a notable change in opinion among Sri Lankans when it comes to the Election Commission. 17.2% said that they have a great deal of trust and 45.1% said some trust in the Election Commission, an increase when compared to 2014, where only 7.6% had a great deal of trust and 31% said some trust.When comes to the media landscape under President Sirisena’s administration, 51.7% of Sri Lankans agree (with 12.7% strongly agreeing) that the media is completely free to criticise the Government as they wish. This is a noteworthy increase when compared to the previous years – 42% in 2011, 42.5% in 2013 and 39.2% in 2014. Sri Lankans are divided on whether the National anthem should be sung in Sinhala and Tamil. 29.3% of Sri Lankans strongly agree that it should be sung in both languages while 32.1% strongly disagree. Majority from the Tamil, Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities say that it should be sung in both languages, while only 13.4% from the Sinhalese community state the same. The Tamil community has the least amount of faith in an exclusively domestic mechanism with only 7% in favour of one. 44.9% said it should be an exclusively international one and 35.5% said a combination of the two. With regard to the 2015 Presidential Election, around 55% of Sri Lankans agree with the submission that President Sirisena owes his victory to the minority vote, whilst 31.8% do not. From an ethnic perspective, 90.6% from the Tamil community, 85.5% from the Up Country Tamil community, 85.2% from the Muslim community and 44.9% from the Sinhalese community are of the opinion that President Sirisena owes his victory to the minority vote.Majority of Sri Lankans (73.8%) believe that their vote has an impact on the outcome of an election, a notable increase from 2014 (59.5%). When asked of how free people feel in expressing their opinion on politics, irrespective of where they are and who they are with, 46.6% believe that they are completely free. This is an increase in comparison to 2013 (35.4%) and 2014 (31.2%). Almost 80% of Sri Lankans believe that they have the freedom to choose who to vote for without feeling pressured, a slight increase from 74.4% in 2013. ‘Democracy in post-war Sri Lanka’ sought to record public perspectives on democracy in Sri Lanka today and the findings are presented under four key sections – The New Government, Security and Freedom, Trust in Institutions and Media in Sri Lanka. The first wave was conducted in 2011 and the second wave in 2013 and the third in 2014. read more

Jet owned by Elvis auctioned after sitting 35 years

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years.The plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday at an Agoura Hills, California, event featuring celebrity memorabilia, GWS Auctions Inc. said.The buyer was not disclosed in the sold note posted on the firm’s website, and auctioneer Brigitte Kruse said she could not immediate release information about the buyer or the buyer’s plans for the plane.The auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone woodwork, red velvet seats and red shag carpet. But the red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar has no engine and needs a restoration of its cockpit.The 1962 red Lockheed JetStar was owned by Elvis and his father, Vernon Presley, says.It has been privately owned for 35 years and sitting on a tarmac in Roswell, New Mexico.Photos of the plane show the exterior in need of restoration and seats of the cockpit torn.A previous owner of the private jet disputed the auction house’s claim the king of rock ‘n’ roll designed its red velvet interior.Roy McKay told KOB-TV in Albuquerque ( on Tuesday he designed the interior himself. McKay said that when he purchased the red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar, it had a two-toned grey interior and “kind of looked like a casket.”But then-GWS spokesman Carl Carter told The Associated Press the auction house is confident Elvis designed the interior, which photos show has red velvet seats and red shag carpet.Federal Aviation Administration records show no interior changes were ever made to the jet, Carter said.Presley was born in Tupelo on Jan. 8, 1935, and moved to Memphis with his parents at age 13. He became a leading figure in the fledgling rockabilly scene by covering songs originally performed by African-American artists like Big Mama Thornton (“Hound Dog”) and Arthur Crudup (“That’s All Right”).His provocative dancing and hit records turned him into one of the 20th century’s most recognizable icons. Historians say his music also helped usher in the fall of racial segregation.Elvis was 42 when he died on Aug. 16, 1977, in Memphis. Jet owned by Elvis auctioned after sitting 35 years by The Associated Press Posted May 27, 2017 2:07 pm MDT Last Updated May 27, 2017 at 11:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this 1973 file photo, Elvis Presley sings during a concert. A private jet once owned by Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years. The plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday, May 27, 2017, at an Agoura Hills, Calif., event featuring celebrity memorabilia, GWS Auctions Inc. said. (AP Photo, File) read more