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Ranil and his game-plan

Apr 19 (SL) With the Supreme Court order now delivered and parliament set to debate the amendment minus the parts that the Court opined would need a referendum, it was very clear that the executive presidency remains largely intact. This augurs well for those harbouring hopes for presidential leadership in the future including Sajith Premadasa, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Champika Ranawaka, Duminda Dissanayake and of course Namal Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka bowled by its own doosra

Apr 19 (ST) It all began with someone shouting The leopard has come to the village to mislead the villagers and the game went on and on. Now it’s a case of the leopard really coming to the village and attacking the people. How true that narration is, even though it has trickled down the ages in folklore. Yes, there was a time when political authorities, especially in South Asia with the exception of India, took cricket — which they more..

Manipulators have the last laugh

Apr 19 (Island) The ICC has said Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) won’t get any money from it until the completion of the probe to be launched into govt interference with the latter’s affairs. The ICC has issued a media statement that Sri Lankan govt may have breached its constitution by appointing an interim committee without holding an annual general meeting. The ICC decision has raised many an eyebrow. This is not the first time the govt has interfered with cricket administration. more..

The Man Who Bowled Viv Richards

Apr 19 (Island) Kapila Wijegunawardene, the new Chairman of Selectors, was an unsung cricketer. None of the present team are aware of his record. He deserves fame not obscurity. The fast bowler played just two Tests and 26 ODIs during the dark era between 1987 to 1992 when nobody toured the island. His day in the sun was his role in Sri Lanka’s first victory over the West Indies, which took place in Rajkot, India in October 1989. It was an ODI in the league stage of the 6-nation Nehru Cup. more..

Lanka’s double trouble: ICC Ex-co seat and access to funds denied

Apr 19 (ST) The SLC Interim Committee is scheduled to urgently meet tomorrow to ascertain what steps it should take with regard to the ICC’s holding on to funds due to Sri Lanka on a charge of Political interference in matters with regard to cricket. CEO of Sri Lankan cricket Ashley de Silva told the Sunday Times that the Interim Committee Secretary Prakash Schaffter was down to call up the membership for this urgent meeting. more..

Agri-research should be conducted at farm-level: Experts

Apr 19 (SO) Sri Lanka’s export earnings from non-traditional agricultural products could be doubled from the current Rs. 4,000 million in the next two years by enhancing scientific and organised production, National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) Secretary Sarath de Silva said. Sri Lanka has a market for its agricultural products but the poor quality and inconsistent quantity are major hurdles to boost exports and bring in the much-needed foreign exchange. more..

Sri Lanka renegotiates crane deal with China

Apr 19 (EN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority is renegotiating the price of cranes to be supplied by a Chinese company for its new East Container Terminal under construction in the Colombo South Harbour. SLPA chairman Lakdas Panagoda said they hope to get a better deal on the price of four pier-side gantry cranes and 12 rubber-tired gantries to transfer containers in the yard. The cranes had been ordered by the previous management under the Rajapaksa regime when the SLPA more..

3-wheel taxis to be regulated

Apr 19 (ST) The Govt is embarking on the difficult task of regulating 3-wheeler taxis comprising around 900,000 vehicles which provide self-employment for over 3 million people both directly and indirectly. At present there is no law which regulates three-wheelers. Necessary regulations for this purpose are to be finalised by the Legal Draftsmen and the possibility of amending the Motor Traffic Act is also being explored, more..

'FTA not mutually beneficial'

Apr 19 (SO) There are serious issues in the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that India and Sri Lanka should iron out before phasing into other trade agreements. The FTA should be of mutual benefit to both countries which is not the case at present, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce, Past President Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and Past Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce, Tissa Jayaweera said. more..

CSE, safe to create cross border listings

Apr 19 (CT) A major breakthrough for cross border listings and capital market linkages will take place when the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). Lanka in collaboration with the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) will host the 'South Asian Investment Conference 2015' and SAFE Annual General Meeting at the Galadari Hotel on 26 and 27 April, 2015. The conference aims to accelerate the process of economic integration in South Asia by creating strong cross border more..

Japan to assist CoI

Apr 19 (SL) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI), appointed to investigate into the cases of missing persons, is to meet the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka this week to discuss the funds required for counselling programmes in the North and East. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Secretary of the Commission H.W. Gunadasa said that the Japanese Embassy had agreed to provide funds for the counselling more..

TNA to sign MoU

Apr 19 (SL) The TNA is to call for a meeting to finalize a MoU between the TNA coalition parties prior to the next election. TNA PM Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader that the TNA was expected to hold a meeting last Friday to discuss the draft of the MOU but was postponed as Leader of the Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Mavai Senathirajah is out of the country. “We have already distributed the draft of the MOU but we have not made any decision related to that. more..

Golden Key probe getting nowhere despite promises

Apr 19 (ST) Why is the government taking so long and ignoring the plight of the Golden Key depositors? The previous regime did absolutely nothing to settle this long, outstanding issue. Many depositors have committed suicide and many were put into financial embarrassment and even thrown to the streets. It is a known fact that the Rajapaksa’s were benefited by (once powerful) Lalith Kotelawala, and as a result did nothing to settle this matter which has brought heartburn to more..

260 powerful Sri Lankans have secret Swiss accounts

Apr 19 (ST) Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is to ask a group of locally-based Sri Lankans with secret Swiss bank accounts to make a fresh assets’ declaration after a new complaint was filed seeking action on their undeclared foreign accounts. A senior IRD official said tracing black or unaccounted money overseas owned by Sri Lankans is not within their jurisdiction but noted that they will ask these account holders to make a more..

Citrus Kalpitiya seeks to clarify Prime Minister’s Parliamentary statement

Apr 19 (ST) The Kalpitiya Resort Beach project that made an Initial Public Offering (IPO) two years back would be now awaiting the new government plans, clarification on a possible probe on its company and “the feasibility of an alternative location”, a stock exchange filing stated. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe stated in Parliament on March 17 that the role of Mr. Dilith Jayaweera as joint owner of Reef Comber would have to be probed. He said, “Take for example Dilith Jayaweera. more..

SL Scientist paves way for integration of ultra-small antennas into an electronic chip

Apr 19 (Island) Research led by Professor Gehan Amaratunga from the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, have explained one of the ambiguities of electromagnetism. In new experimental data published in the April 2015 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers have propositioned that electromagnetic waves are generated from an occurrence known as symmetry breaking in addition the acceleration of electrons. This discovery will have, more..

Basil's journey from Minneapolis to Colombo

Apr 19 (CT) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa who made a dramatic exit to America in the immediate aftermath of the Presidential election on 8 January with his wife from Colombo via Dubai to New York is set to return to Colombo on Tuesday from Minneapolis International Airport on board a Sun Country domestic flight SY 247 to the John F.Kennedy Airport at 16:30 hours 19 April. Thereafter, he will board Emirates flight more..

President skips Bandung jubilee

Apr 19 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena will skip the 50th anniversary of the Asia-Africa Summit, better known as the Bandung Conference, which will be held in the Indonesian capital Jakarta next week. A President’s Office cited personal reasons for the decision by the President not to attend the conference, which Sri Lanka co-sponsored with Burma, India, Indonesia and Pakistan in 1955.Instead Sri Lanka will be represented at the conference by Minister Sarath Amunugama. more..

Ranil donates 77 kilograms of sandalwood

Apr 19 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe donated 77 kilograms of sandalwood, equivalent to his body weight at historic Guruvayurappan temple in Kerala yesterday. Speaking to reporters Wickremesinghe said he was not against China or India and was only performing his duties in accordance with the best interests of Sri Lanka. Wickremesinghe, accompanied by his wife Maithree and Minister D.M.Swaminathan, arrived at Cochin Airport in Kerala amidst high security last morning. more..

20A: SLFP finalises new electoral system

Apr 19 (ST) The 20th Constitutional Amendment presented by the SLFP proposes a mixed electoral system that returns 231 members directly elected to Parliament. This is in addition to 29 members who will continue to enter parliament through the National List. The total number of members will, therefore, be 260. The amendment was circulated among party leaders on Friday morning. more..

SL neither pro-India nor pro-China: Ranil

Apr 19 (Hindu) Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickramasinghe has said Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China. Mr. Wickramasinghe was replying to questions from the media during his visit to the Sreekrishna temple here on Saturday. As about his controversial statement in an interview to a Tamil TV channel that Indian fishermen might be shot if they intruded into Sri Lankan waters, he said: “The Sri Lankan govt primarily represents the interests of Sri Lankans.” more..

PA may be revived to prop up Rajapaksa

Apr 19 (ENS) The Peoples’ Alliance (PA) which won all major elections in Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2001, is likely to be revived to prop up defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to media reports. Move to revive the PA stems from the conviction that the SLFP, which is Rajapaksa’s party, will not put him up as its Prime Ministerial candidate in the coming parliamentary elections. This is because there is no love lost between Maithripala Sirisena, current chairman of SLFP, more..

Crucial meetings ahead of 19A debate in the House

Apr 19 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena will today meet all party leaders at a meeting to be held at the Presidential Secretariat ahead of the presentation of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to Parliament in the midst of swirling controversy of how various political forces will play their hand in the days that are to follow. Other crucial meetings to be held today include a meeting of the SLFP Central Committee and a briefing more..

Chamila Fernando to contest Cambridge constituency in British parliamentary poll

Apr 19 (Island) Ms. Chamila Fernando who failed to secure the candidacy to contest for the slot of London Mayor from the Liberal Democratic Party, will now be contesting the Cambridge constituency from the Conservative Party at the British general election scheduled for May 7. A Barrister by profession, she shared her views on her mission and related issues. "I grew up in a politically and legally engaged family, where discussions around the dining table were heavily focused on more..

No clear reasons for Somawansa’s exit from the JVP

Apr 19 (Island) Despite a highly publicized exit from the JVP of Somawansa Amerasinghe, its former leader has to-date not clearly articulated reasons for his actions. "Comarade Somawansa Amerasinghe went ahead and acted in a personal capacity and had not even notified the party," said JVP MP Vijitha Herath. Asked whether he has clearly articulated reasons, the propaganda Secretary noted that "Comrade Amerasinghe had shared certain thoughts but that he had not yet given more..

Sirisena torn between his promise of 19A and SLFP’s 20A

Apr 19 (ST) The ruling coalition will cross a milestone on Wednesday when it ends 100 days in office with some promises and pledges remaining unfulfilled and triggering an erosion of its support base in such short a time. Nowhere is it reflected more than in the solemn pledge to deal with bribery, corruption and misrule. Though such a pledge was not in the 100-Day Programme of Work where a promise was made to even pass laws more..

Second-rate 19A better than no 19A

Apr 19 (Island) If one were to make a fair and sober evaluation of the Ranil-Sirisena (R&S; the order is intentional) administration, the judgement of history would be that it was not a failure but it achieved less than it could and should have. The big achievement of course was that it happened at all - it was a vehicle that by its mere happening ended the abominable Mahinda Rajapaksa proto-dictatorship. The credit goes to thousands, including Ranil and Sirisena, who stuck out their necks and more..

One Hundred Days

Apr 19 (Island) Today, Sunday 19 April, according to my calendar-counting is the 100th day after January 9 when a minor revolution occurred in this island of ours. A dictator was deposed and a maithri man voted in as our President, by us the people. Believe it or not, the indelible election ink liberally daubed on the nail of my little finger is still visible, a sliver of dimmed purple, but a constant reminder of the people’s victory against nepotism and the total disregard for the rule of law and niceties. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 19 (ST) Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), set up by the ruling coalition, is now probing a case where funds amounting to Rs. 600 million were transferred to the Presidential Secretariat from the TRC. The money has allegedly been used by three different contractors to buy “gifts” for pre-identified persons before the January 8 Presidential election. Co-ordinating the exercise and receiving the funds for this more..

Cracks in main opposition political parties

Apr 19 (CT) Major cracks in main opposition political parties take the centre stage in politics back to the pre-1977 era of late PM Sirima Bandaranaike tail end of a seven year rule. In that period the Communist Party and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, the main stakeholders in that government withdrew support and those parties too finally cracked on the eve of the July 1977 general election. President Maithripala Sirisena more..

Floating armoury report to AG

Apr 19 (SO) The probe report on the suspected illegal arms deal racket of Avant Garde and Rakna Araksha Lanka security firms has been handed over to the Attorney General, but govt officials were tightlipped on who were being lined up for further investigations and possible criminal prosecution. Investigations were conducted to ascertain the manner in which the business was established - whether illegal means were used and more..

Miliband under fire for wishing only Tamils

Apr 19 (Island) British opposition leader Ed Miliband singling out only Tamils to extend his good wishes for Sinhala and Tamil New Year has run into criticism from Sinhalese domiciled in the UK. "Miliband showed political immaturity by wishing one community when it’s national festival celebrated by both Sinhalese and Tamils", says Douglas Wickremaratne, President of the Sinhala Association in the United Kingdom. more..

Get fit policy planned for office workers

Apr 19 (ST) Office workers will be urged to engage in physical fitness exercises during the working day to combat alarming levels of bad health in those aged 35 years and above. Health Ministry’s workforce screening programmes have found that most employees aged 35-60 suffer from diabetes, cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and chronic respiratory diseases. The Ministry’s workforce screening programme more..

PSC to look at all aspects to avert creating unhealthy precedent

Apr 19 (Island) Amidst allegations that a senior govt medical officer cum trade unionist was interdicted by the Health Ministry based on an anonymous petition, which health officials insisted was against the norm, the Public Service Commission (PSC) is expected to take up the matter for determination shortly. Described as politically motivated, the interdiction of Dr. Rukshan Bellana in the run-up to the January 8 presidential poll more..

Grounded CB Governor’s lawyer says he’s being singeld out

Apr 19 (ST) Beleaguered Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran will write to the Bribery or Corruption Commission tomorrow through his lawyers requesting an appointment to make submissions on his own behalf following the impounding of his passport on the orders of the Commission on Friday. Mr. Mahendran is on leave from the Central Bank now for over a month, pending a three-member investigation ordered by PM Ranil more..

Top-level team going to Ukraine for full probe on Weeratunga’s activities

Apr 19 (ST) A top-level team including Police and Govt officials will visit Ukraine to probe the activities of Udayanga Weeratunga, Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to Russia. The team’s main thrust will be to obtain more details of the Ukrainian Govt complaint that Mr. Weeratunga supplied weapons to pro-Russian rebels who were fighting in that country though a ceasefire is now in place. more..

Sarath N.Silva hails SC's Jurisprudence - 19th Amendment rulings

Apr 19 (CT) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva says powers vested by law in any specific position held by an individual cannot be exercised by an individual holding some other office. According to the provisions of the constitution, position-specific powers can only be exercised by the individual holding that particular office. Given below are excerpts of an interview: The political ambience has once heated- up with the debate on 19th more..

Return of the denied land: Vasavilan villagers back in action

Apr 19 (CT) The village of Vasavilan in the Jaffna peninsula is finally being resurrected after it virtually disappeared nigh 27 years ago caught up in the disastrous ravages of war. Its ruddy, sandy road would soon be traversed once more by the returning villagers. About 14km from Jaffna, through Achchuveli, on the dilapidated sandy roads, passing the Ottagapulam Army camp, one would reach Vasavilan which is being cleared more..

JVP to lose funding

Apr 19 (SL) With former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe leaving the party, the funding that the party has been receiving from its supporters in foreign countries will decline, JVP sources said. The former JVP leader has been the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the party and in this capacity he enjoyed the full power to oversee the revenue the party received from their foreign supporters. Therefore, the sources said that there is a high possibility that foreign funding for more..

No VMS on 1,500 fishing vessels

Apr 19 (SL) The Fisheries Ministry says it is yet to install Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) on 1,500 multi-day fishing vessels in order to meet the requirements of the European Union (EU). The EU imposed a ban on importing fisheries products from Sri Lanka in January this year after Sri Lanka failed to meet conditions stipulated by the EU on equipment and methods used when fishing. Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Dayasritha Tissera said that the ministry has taken steps to address more..