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SLFP equates NEC to a junta

Apr 7 (CT) Amendments made to the gazetted 19th Amendment should be sent as a final document for the Supreme Court to determine in accordance with Article 121, whether a referendum is required or a simple majority or a two thirds majority is needed, Opposition Leader, Nimal Siripala De Silva said. The constitutional reforms curtailing the powers of the Executive Presidency are important features which should be done carefully and correctly, he warned. Opposition and leaders of political parties more..

New Sri Lanka govt has not led to anticipated change says Wigneswaran

Apr 7 (TG) The chief minister of the Northern province, C V Wigneswaran, told the visiting Australian High Commissioner, Robyn Mudie on Monday that the change in govt in Sri Lanka had failed to produce the changes that the Tamils' had expected. "The ground situation post regime change and issues which were expected to take place after the change of govt, but have failed to take place were discussed," Mr Wigneswaran said speaking to journalists afterwards. more..

Govt to raise Rs. 400 b via T-Bills to pay wages

Apr 7 (FT) Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva revealed that aside from the Treasury Bond fiasco centring around present Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, Govt was seeking permission to sell Rs. 400 billion worth of Treasury Bills as it could not afford to pay salaries to Govt workers. Silva said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his govt, which he noted was filled with economic pundits who boasted that more..

SriLankan: Corruption gone sky high

Apr 7 (DM) The revelations made by the Board of Inquiry (BOI) appointed on the national carrier SriLankan airlines are startling. The BOI said they found gross abuse of power by the then Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe, who happened to be the brother-in-law of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. They also said there hadn’t been any kind of proper management culture within the airline. The corruption in SriLankan has run into billions following the re-fleeting exercise mooted more..

Empower women; build economy

Apr 7 (DM) The world is in a constant state of change and economies are growing faster than ever. If Sri Lanka fell behind this rapid change, we would never be able to get back up again. Let us take a moment to think about what we are missing. We once had the highest literacy rates in South Asia but our economic growth rate has dropped from 7.7 to 6.4 this year. Is this progress? One of the major issues we face is gender inequality. Many females in our country are subjected to more..

How do we solve a problem like the 19th A?

Apr 7 (ST) The Supreme Court this week heard arguments for and against the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution which is set to be taken up for debate in Parliament later next week. The three Judge Bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan, Justice Chandra Ekanayaka and Justice Priyasad Dep, took up 16 petitions and eight intervenient petitions for hearing on Wednesday and Thursday. more..

Police sub inspector’s throat slit in his sleep

Apr 7 (Island) A 51-year-old Sub Inspector (SI) cum Prosecution Officer (PO) of the Bandaragama Police Station had his throat slit in the early hours of yesterday while he was sleeping alone in a room of his house in the Panadura South police area while his wife and two sons were sleeping in another room. The incident had occurred between 11.00 pm Sunday and 4.30 am yesterday. The victim’s wife had alerted the police more..

Govt to go ahead with Uma Oya Project

Apr 7 (Island) The govt would proceed with the temporarily halted controversial Uma Oya Multipurpose Project. A ministry official said that they had taken all preventive measures to mitigate environmental impact. There was however no way the govt could stop the progress of the scheme because it was categorised as one of CEB’s long term projects. Official added that those projects could not be simply stopped due to more..

JVP wants answers from Maithri

Apr 7 (CG) The JVP wants President Maithripala Sirisena to publicly announce his stand on the 19th Amendment to the constitution. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that since the SLFP of which Sirisena is the chairman, has raised concerns over some clauses in the 19th Amendment, he must tell the Nation if he backs the reforms proposals in its current form. SLFP has raised concerns over some clauses in 19th more..

Sigirirya at risk

Apr 7 (SL) State Minister of Culture and Arts Nandimithra Ekanayake’s plan to introduce cable cars to the Sigiriya rock fortress has caused great concern amongst environmentalists and civil societies. With the proposed modernization of the Sigiriya rock fortress – one of the few places in the country that maintain an atmosphere of deep piety with a breathtaking architecture and art – the destruction of this splendid rock is inevitable, more..

Sri Lanka reiterates commitment to uphold ban on illegal Indian fishermen

Apr 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s is losing one billion rupees daily due to illegal fishing by Indian fishermen in Island's Northern waters, minister of fisheries said. The new regime also plans to strongly uphold its ban on foreigners fishing in the Indian Ocean Island's waters. “During recent discussions with Indian fishermen, they asked for 83 days per year for three years to fish in our territorial waters," "But we will not allow this," more..

Video: MR to return after elections are declared: Udaya

Apr 7 (DM) PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila said today they hoped to get former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to participate in the election campaign after the General Election was declared. Mr. Gammanpila said there was no need to invite Mr. Rajapaksa to take part in daily news conferences. “However, we hope to bring the former President to our stage no sooner the General Election was announced,” he said. more..

No decision on opposition post

Apr 7 (CG) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa informed Parliament today that he has not yet decided on who should be the opposition leader. Speaker was expected to announce his position on the opposition leader today after some political parties opposed SLFP member Nimal Siripala de Silva continuing to be in the post. However Rajapaksa informed Parliament that he is still studying the matter and will need more time. more..

SL cricket team to tour Pakistan soon

Apr 7 (ET) President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday assured that Sri Lankan cricket team will tour Pakistan soon. Sirisena, who is on his first state visit to Pakistan, announced this during a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart President Mamnoon Hussain. Condemning the tragic attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Lahore in 2009, President Mamnoon Hussain expressed hope that Sri Lankan cricket team will tour Pakistan. more..

Dinesh to get Opposition Leader post?

Apr 7 (AD) A proposal signed by some 60 MPs, requesting to appoint MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena as the Opposition Leader, has been handed over to the Speaker, former Minister T.B. Ekanayake said. He added up to now some 60 MPs have signed the proposal. Meanwhile, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is also about to make two key decisions at the Parliament today (7). Speaker will announce the Supreme Court determination more..

Pakistan stood by Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday embarked on a two day visit to Pakistan.This visit coincides with the Sixty-sixth Anniversary of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship Association, one of the oldest of such associations in the country. During the height of Tamil terrorism in the country, beginning with the J.R. Jayewardene era, Pakistan was one of two countries that sold defence stores to the island with no questions asked. The other was China. more..

Politics of correctness: The legacy of Lee Kuan Yew

Apr 7 (CT) Drawing open the curtains to what is the festive month of April in many parts of Asia and the world, on 02 April, 142 students were slaughtered in Garissa University College in Kenya by al Shabab: an al Qaeda-linked Somali terrorist outfit. A statement issued by al Shabab warned Kenyans that their cities will run red with blood. Such acts put to shame the broader human race. On the very day that this author was making a presentation on counter-radicalism and de-radicalisation more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

CBK, Mahinda invited to SLFP May Day rally

Apr 7 (Island) SLFP General Secretary MP Anura Priyadarashana Yapa yesterday said that the party’s May Day rally would be held at Hyde Park with the participation of incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena and former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa. On a decision of chairman of the party President Sirisena invitations would be extended to the two former presidents, Yapa told a press conference held at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo. more..

Kandy ties up with sister city in China

Apr 7 (Island) Kandy Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte and Deputy District Mayor of Shikingshan District People’s Govt of Beijing Municipality, China Ms. Sima Hong signed a memorandum of understanding (MOH) on Monday (6) for launching mutual development projects as two sister cities. The MOU was signed at the City Hall of Kandy in the presence of a delegation from Shikingshan District, China and the members and officials of the Kandy Municipal Council. more..

Sri Lanka uncovers shocking details of how road costs were inflated by billions

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lanka has inflated infrastructure contracts on deals valued at 151 billion rupees awarded by 'negotiation', where some firms flipped deals to subcontractors at a 25% instant profit. Highways Minister Kabir Hashim said road deals running into billions of rupees contracts were offered to a group of contractors, who were selected on an unknown basis. "They bring a group of contractors, we do not know more..

Mangala releases foreign service exam results buried by Rajapaksas

Apr 7 (CT) Reversing the former govt’s policy, the new govt has recalled political appointee ambassadors and has released the results of the long-delayed foreign service examinations. “This will enable the many vacancies currently in the foreign service to be filled through a transparent, professional and meritocratic process.” a foreign ministry official said. “The self-serving Rajapaksa regime not only posted political appointees to as ambassdors abroad, they also staffed more..

Sri Lankan bourse edges up; volumes thin due to holidays

Apr 7 (Reuters) Shares ended slightly higher on Tuesday on select buying, in stagnated market as many investors and brokers have stayed away ahead of holidays, dealers said. Index ended 0.14%, or 9.74 points, firmer at 6,927.25 on Tuesday. "Market is up on select buying, but nothing much is happening in the market even though the turnover was slightly better today but we have not seen retail activities," said Dimantha Mathew, research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. more..

Yoshitha’s motor spare parts business through SriLankan

Apr 7 (DM) Yoshitha Rajapaksa, one of Former President Rajapaksa’s sons, carried out a motor spare parts business through the State-run SriLankan Airlines abusing his father’s powers, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam alleged today. He levelled the accusations based on the recently issued Weliamuna Report, which highlighted many transactions, manipulations of service contracting, recruitment of unqualified staff more..

More opposition to reforms bill

Apr 7 (CG) Opposition is growing towards the 19th Amendment to the constitution with more members of the UPFA saying they will vote against it. DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara told reporters today that his party will request that the bill on the 19th Amendment be changed and re-submitted to Parliament instead of being taken for a vote this week. He said that even the SLFP, which is part of the Government, is not expected to back the 19th Amendment in its current form. more..

Husband hacked to death by her lover

Apr 7 (CT) The atrocious war in Sri Lanka made Kamalanathan deprived of his home and to seek shelter in a refugee camp in a foreign land. Kamalanathan and family had to leave the sweet memories of the motherland and to displace their identity as free citizens of Sri Lanka and to gain a status as refugees in Tamil Nadu when the flames of war raged on in the northern part of Sri Lanka. They were placed in refugee camps of TN where they initially were not granted the freedom to move more..

Jaffna University students launch hunger strike demanding clean water

Apr 7 (AM) Students of Jaffna University and members of several organizations launched a hunger strike on Tuesday demanding a satisfactory answer from authorities over the water contamination issue in Jaffna. They started the hunger strike in front of Nallur Kovil after holding a protest march in Jaffna Town this morning. NPC appointed an expert committee to study the water contamination issue in Jaffna. more..

Sri Lanka citizens group cautions over hasty law reform, urges public consultation

Apr 7 (EN) A citizen's group, the Friday Forum has cautioned the administration over rushing ahead with law reform without public consultation, due to a pre-election time table. The Friday said it appreciated efforts by the administration to keep to a 100 day program of work. "Speed in implementation however, must not be at the expense of consultation with the public which is of the essence of good governance," Friday Forum said in a statement. "It is important for us as citizens to ask more..

Bhutan PM to visit Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (AM) Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay will be on a 3-day visit to Sri Lanka on Thursday. He is scheduled to arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) at 10.45 am on Thursday. He is expected to hold discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and several other Sri Lankan govt heads. Tshering Tobgay, the leader of Bhutan's People's Democratic Party, came to power in July 2013 at the second General Election in the history of the country.

Port city statement not yet taken

Apr 7 (CG) CHEC Port City, a subsidiary of China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) and the Project Company of the Colombo Port City says the Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is yet to invite the Company for a discussion or issue a directive to the company regarding the project review process, which is currently underway. The Project Company has requested for an opportunity to express its concerns regarding more..

Winning Sri Lanka’s Peace

Apr 7 (PS) Winning a war or revolution, only to lose the subsequent peace, is one of the grim political truths of our time. In Iraq, a quick military victory over Saddam Hussein’s regime soon gave way to insurgency, civil war, and the rise of the murderous Islamic State. In Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere, the hopes unleashed by the Arab Spring have similarly turned into an often-violent despair. Today, a half-decade after the end of its 36-year civil war, Sri Lanka is at a crucial moment more..

Leading florist caught selling foreign liquor

Apr 7 (DM) A leading florist reputed for its flowers, chocolates and gift packs was raided by sleuths of the Excise Department City Office today for selling seasonal gift hampers which included bottles foreign liquor. This company is not licenced to sell alcoholic beverages. Excise sleuths acting on a complaint received by Excise Commissioner General L.K.G. Gunawardena placed an order through the award-winning florist’s website which displayed various gift hampers for New Year festive season. more..

Vimukthi Kumaratunga helps to rescue five-foot boa constrictor

Apr 7 (AD) The amusing story is reported today of how a five-foot boa constrictor became trapped behind a steering wheel after it slithered behind the dashboard and was rescued by Vimukthi Kumaratunga son of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Bristol, UK. The five-foot boa constrictor became trapped behind a steering wheel after it slithered behind the dashboard on the way to an appointment with the vet. more..

Fuel station robbed in Elpitiya Over Rs 800,000 stolen

Apr 7 (CT) A group of robbers who broke into a private filling station at Elpitiya Sunday night had stolen the cash that was in the possession of the two fuel station workers after tying their hands and putting them in a room. They had also taken the cash that was in one safe while also carrying away with them the other safe. About six robbers had arrived in a van and there was over Rs 800,000 in cash in the two safes, according to a high ranking police officer conducting the investigations. more..

Sri Lanka wants strong Pakistan ties

Apr 7 (CG) Govt says the visit of President Maithripala Sirisena to Pakistan has generated a new momentum towards charting a more dynamic course in the relations between two countries. A statement by the Foreign Ministry said that the President, during his visit, had extended an invitation to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to undertake a visit to Sri Lanka with a view to continuing bilateral dialogue and to further cement the strong friendship shared by the two countries. more..

Tiran Alles barred from leaving country

Apr 7 (DM) MP Tiran Alles along with five other Directors of the Radha Company were barred from leaving the country by the Fort Magistrate’s Court in connection with alleged fraud in companies purportedly set up to reconstruct houses for tsunami-affected people, Police said. They said Shanthi Kumar, Gajan Kumar and their mother Anandi Kumar, said to be directors of a fake company named Oomps textiles Ltd., were more..

Pakistan plays Buddhism card to woo SL

Apr 7 (ENS) Following India, Pakistan is using its ancient Buddhist heritage to establish a special relationship with Sri Lanka. "There is a rich ancient Buddhist heritage in Pakistan which has immense value for developing tourism between Pakistan and Sri Lanka," said Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the visiting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. Sirisena concluded his three visit to Pakistan on Tuesday during which six agreements were signed. more..

No connections to killings: Deva

Apr 7 (CT) EPDP Leader, Douglas Devananda said his party has no connection to the assassinations of TNA Former MP Nadaraja Raviraj and UNP MP Thiyagarajah Maheswaran. He said the truth behind the assassination of Kapilnath in Chavakachcheri will be soon revealed to the people. Therefore, people will very soon know that the EPDP has no connection to any of the murders. Meanwhile, he said it is his attempts and hard work that has resulted in releasing of lands in Valikamam more..

Govt proposal to borrow Rs. 400 billion locally defeated in Parliament

Apr 7 (AD) The proposal by the govt to issue an additional Rs. 400 billion worth of Treasury Bills in a bid to increase its local borrowings has been defeated in Parliament today. 31 members voted in favour of the proposal while 52 voted against. Govt was keen on issuing Treasury Bills and Bonds locally and raising local borrowings to meet its expenditure since its spending has increased and revenue has decreased due to more..

Transport Minister chummy with extortioners?

Apr 7 (CT) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) has come out against Transport Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara for not taking meaningful action to stop criminal elements from extorting bribes from bus owners. LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne claimed that an aggregate Rs 150 million is extorted from them every month by kappan gangs but despite representation the minister has to date taken no action to stem this threat. more..