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'Not Dilshan, someone from outside team wanted my removal as Lanka coach'

Feb 2 (PO) Sri Lanka’s former Australian coach Geoff Marsh believes that someone from outside the team had a hand in his sacking. Marsh, as a national coach for Sri Lankan team, was sacked from his job – just three months into a two-year contract in January 2012. Marsh was reacting to the recent media report which suggested that Dilshan, who was a national captain then, had written a letter to the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board to more..

PM slams key businessmen, says firms should gain wealth from competition

Feb 2 (EN) Sri Lanka wants businesses that can compete and grow and not those that amass profit from state patronage, with ordinary people taxed at high levels, PM Ranil Wickramasinghe has said. He charged that the Rajapaksa administration 'greedy spirit' (pretha) style economy that taxed ordinary people at high levels. The new administration brought down steep food taxes which were imposed by the last regime in a bid to more..

SL's new regime to cancel MILCO land deal

Feb 2 (EN) Sri Lanka will cancel a deal involving 15 acres of land from state run diary company in Colombo, that was given to a private firm, PM Ranil Wickramasinghe said. "The previous regime chased away ordinary people in the Colombo City who had deeds from the govt and other documents," he told a meeting in central Sri Lanka, Saturday. "Their houses were broken. The police and military was used to chase them away. more..

White Cobbler Breed and SL media freedom!

Feb 2 (CT) Joel Simon, Executive Director, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in an open letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, has said, the latter has an opportunity to write a new chapter in the country's history on media freedom, noting under Sirisena's leadership Sri Lanka can regain the confidence of its journalists by undertaking serious reforms that promote press freedom and an open and free press. While the media and journalists appreciate sentiments expressed by Simon, more..

LPBOA asks govt to appoint body to regulate three wheelers, school vans

Feb 2 (Island) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) urged the govt to establish a regulatory body to regulate three-wheelers and school vans. LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said that though the govt had requested the three-wheeler and school van associations to reduce their charges by 10% and 5% in accordance with sharp reduction of fuel prices recently, the request had fallen on deaf years as there was no regulatory body to reduce their charges. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks slump 2.5% led by JKH

Feb 2 (EN) Stock extended losses Monday, led by John Keells Holdings, dumped by foreign investors after the govt refused permission for its new casino project and slammed a slew of one-off taxes on big companies. JKH fell 13.30 rupees or 6.22% to 200.40 rupees, adding 561 million to the day's turnover of 1.3 billion rupees. The benchmark All Share Price Index fell 179.99 points or 2.51% to 7,000.06 while the S&P SL20 index, slumped 137.26 points or 3.46% to close at 3,824.98. more..

Problems of Eelam Tamils

Feb 2 (CT) The ethnic problems of Eelam Tamils which birthed in 1956 due to the political insane frenzy of S.W.R.D Bandaranaike who legislated the ‘Sinhala only’ act and inaugurated the subsequent turmoils in the Sri Lankan politics. The hidden agenda of Sinhalisation, Buddhisitation and militarisation proceeded unabatingly supported with state sponsored communal riots in 1958, 1977, 1981, 1983 and the genocide in 2009. With ‘Mahawamsa mindset’ deeply embedded, more..

Parliament brifed over judiciary

Feb 2 (CG) The Government today informed Parliament that it needs to convince the world that it has a judiciary that is competent, independent and impartial which can rank among the best anywhere in the world. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that it needs a good judiciary in order to convince the international community that Sri Lanka is quite capable of dealing with human rights concerns on its own, more..

Dengue leaps in January

Feb 2 (Island) Over 4,700 dengue cases along with seven deaths due to the disease had been reported during the last month, Health and Indigenous Medicine Ministry said. Highest number of cases had been reported from Western, Sabaragamuwa and Northern provinces. The ministry sources emphasised that there was a danger of disease spreading further this month if the people did not take special care to keep their environs clean to prevent breeding of mosquitoes. more..

Sri Lanka rupee forwards end steady

Feb 2 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards closed steady on Monday due to state bank dollar sales after moral suasion by the central bank capped a fall in the local currency in early trade, dealers said. Currency dealers said the rupee may depreciate because of an expected increase in consumption after a raft of tax reductions on key commodities in last week's supplementary budget. Fears of a depreciation in the rupee kept exporters away from the market, resulting in the currency's fall, more..

Video: JVP complains against SLC

Feb 2 (DM) JVP today lodged a complaint with the Bribery Commission against former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga and the Cricket Board on 25 incidents of allegations including misuse of Board positions and other frauds. The party also charged the Cricket Executive Committee and Interim Managing Committee of the same allegations. more..

UNP politico to surrender elephant calf

Feb 2 (Island) Deputy Wildlife Minister Wasantha Senanayake accompanied by a team of Wildlife officers and police visited the residence of UNP WPC member Kithsiri Kahatapitiya at Pokunuwita, Horana on Saturday to inspect a sick baby elephant. Investigations revealed that there was no proper permit for keeping baby jumbo aged about four years and the animal had injuries. Mr. Kahatapitiya’s son Mahinda told the officials that their family had owned elephants for generations and more..

Softlogic says no deal on MILCO land

Feb 2 (EN) Softlogic Holdings, a listed company said it had not entered into a formal agreement over land belonging to a state dairy firm. The company said it expressed interest in land in Colombo's Narahenpita district belonging to state-run MILCO along with several others, but it had not been given further information about the application. The firm denied it had entered into any "formal agreement with Board of Investment over the land" despite media reports. On Saturday PM Ranil Wickramasinghe said more..

No-confidence motion against Amaratunga to be Litmus Test on govt’s workable majority

Feb 2 (AM) The no confidence motion which will be presented against Minister John Amaratunga is likely to be the litmus test on the Parliamentary strength of the government and the opposition. Leader of the Opposition Nimal Siripala de Silva said the opposition intended to present a no confidence motion against Amaratunga over his failure to prevent attacks on supporters of the opposition and local govt representatives. more..

Pharma companies concerned over certain clauses of medicinal drug policy

Feb 2 (AM) The Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industries (SLCPI) President, Chandra Jayaratne expressed concerns on some of the clauses that were mentioned with regard to the implementation of the National Drug Policy - a promise that comes under the 100 day programme of the newly elected govt. He relayed that the Chamber was fully supportive of the current policy of ensuring the reception of quality drugs at affordable drugs into the country although he highlighted more..

Special traffic plan for Independence Day

Feb 2 (AD) Traffic will be restricted on roads around the Parliament Grounds from 6 am to 11 a.m. on 4 February due to the Independence Day ceremony, police Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana said. Traffic will be restricted on Sri Lanka-Japan Friendship Road, the Road in front of the Parliament, the road from Polduwa Junction to the Parliament, road from the kimbulawala junction, Pelawatta junction and the road towards the Parliament from Palam Thuna Junction. more..

US pledges friendship to new Sri Lanka govt

Feb 2 (AFP) A top US diplomat promised Monday that Washington would be a friend and partner of Colombo as she made the first visit by a senior American official since the toppling of Sri Lanka's long-time strongman. In the build-up to last month's presidential elections, a top lieutenant to then president Rajapakse accused the United States of trying to bring about "regime change", marking a new low in bilateral relations. more..

'Removal of CJ impeachable offence'

Feb 2 (Island) Well-known author and intellectual Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, addressing a seminar at the Organisation of Professional Associations, yesterday alleged that President Maithripala Sirisena had removed Chief Justice Mohan Peiris in contravention of the Constitution and acted similarly on several occasions since his election at the Jan. 08 presidential election. The willful violation of the Constitution was an impeachable offence, Dr. Amarasekera said. more..

Thewarapperuma further remanded

Feb 2 (NS) UNP Kalutara District MP Palitha Thewarapperuma was further remanded for the third time on charges of assaulting an Agalawatta Pradeshiya Sabha member. On Jan 21, MP Thewarapprumwa was placed in remand custody over several charges including assaulting an Agalawatte Pradeshiya Sabha Member and forcing him to kneel on the ground. MP Palitha Thewarapperuma, was returned to remand custody until Feb 2, after being produced before more..

Passengers removed from Qantas flight following asylum seeker protest

Feb 2 (SMH) A Qantas flight from Melbourne to Darwin was disrupted when passengers refused to buckle their seatbelts in protest at the attempted deportation of a Tamil asylum seeker by immigration authorities. Qantas confirmed a "number of passengers" on QF838 became disruptive when they refused to sit down and follow cabin crew instructions on the Monday morning flight. 25-year-old Tamil man, Puvaneethan, who was on more..

SLTB: JVP tells new govt. not to replace corrupt officials with equally bad UNPers

Feb 2 (Island) Pro-JVP All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union has written to new Transport Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara urging him not replace corrupt SLFP officials of the Sri Lanka Transport Board by equally bad UNPers and to appoint qualified persons who could realise the goal of good governance within the public bus service. "The SLTB is a property of neither the SLFP nor the UNP. But, the practice within the state-owned bus service hitherto has been that more..

Law evading suspect's house torched

Feb 2 (Island) A house belonging to a suspect at Thammanapura, Thambuttegama was set on fire by an unidentified group on Saturday. The gutted house belongs to Indika Senon alias Alaguduwa, one of the three suspects who allegedly attacked two policemen on patrol duty and snatched a pistol on Jan 26 near the Special Economic Centre at Thambuttegama around 1.15 am. The other two suspects were nabbed by police and remanded after producing them before court. more..

Dhammika, Ravi to close down their casinos

Feb 2 (AD) With the new govt’s interim budget deciding to impose a special tax of Rs. 1 billion from casino owners for each of their gaming centres, businessmen Dhammika Perera and Ravi Wijeratne who have established several casinos in SL have decided to close down their gaming centres. Dhammika Perera, considered the wealthiest person in SL who owns three casino licenses has decided to close down two more..

16,000 SL refugee kids born in India stateless

Feb 2 (TOI) About16,000 children born to Sri Lankan refugees in India are stateless since they do not have Sri Lankan citizenship and enjoy a mere refugee status. This piquant situation is being raised by activists at a time when Indian and Sri Lankan govts are seriously discussing repatriation of refugees from India. Organisation for Eelam Refugees' Rehabilitation (OfeRR) founder S C Chandrahasan said, "Children born in Indian camps should be registered with Sri Lankan more..

SLFP takes on post-poll violence

Feb 2 (CG) The SLFP has decided to take on those involved in post election violence against the party. SLFP member Namal Rajapaksa said that post-election violence and acts of political revenge continue to take place against members of the SLFP and the UPFA. As a result, he says a hotline has now been launched through which people in the Hambantota District can report such incidents. He said that people facing political revenge can call 0767058561 to report incidents of more..

Tissa arrested over forged signatures

Feb 2 (AM) Former General Secretary of the UNP and MP Tissa Attanayake was arrested by the police today. Police Media spokesman ASP Ajith Rohana said that Attanayake was arrested on the grounds that the former UNP General Secretary presented a false document to the media while claiming it was a ‘secret agreement’ between Presidnet Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Ranawaka rejects VAC claim

Feb 2 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka rejected an allegation, made by Wasantha Samarasinghe, of 'Voice Against Corruption' (VAC) that he submitted a Cabinet paper seeking approval for a 124% salary increase for CEB engineers only. Samarasinghe has alleged that the minister had forwarded the Cabinet paper without approval from the Finance Ministry to the Cabinet Meeting to be held on 28 January seeking approval to implement it with effect from 6 January. more..

Interim order sought to impound Mohan Peiris's passport

Feb 2 (AM) A customs official T.R. Ratnasiri and Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku today filed writ petition in Court of Appeal seeking an interim order to impound the passport of de-facto Chief Justice Mohan Peiris over Colombo Dockyard Ltd (CDL) corruption complaint filed against him at the Bribery and corruption commission. The Court of Appeal will take up this matter again on Friaday. The petitioners alleged that the seven respondents including D.J. De S. Balapatabendi, more..

Ranil and Maithri agree to form national govt after general election

Feb 2 (AM) President Maithripala Sirisena has arrived at an understanding with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to form a national govt after the forthcoming Parliamentary election, sources said. With this agreement, both parties will enter the electoral fray with the aim of forming a national govt at least for a period of two years. Therefore, election propaganda will be carried out by both parties with some understanding. more..

National democracy or Neo-colonial democracy?

Feb 3 (CT) What kind of democracy do we want: A National Democracy or an anti-national or non-national, Neocolonial Democracy? What Sri Lanka will be like by Independence Day 2016, depends on which of two contending projects succeed. One is a hegemonic project, that of hegemony over the majority of people, of the citizenry, who happen demographically, to be Sinhalese. This is the UNP-TNA-CBK-Western project of recreating the Ceylon of the colonial and semi-colonial times; more..

Challenging opportunity for sustainable economic development

Feb 3 (ST) On the eve of the 67th anniversary of independence there is an air of hope and much expectation of economic development within a democratic polity. The country has regained its democratic freedoms and the first steps have been taken by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe towards good governance. Good governance is a strong foundation to achieve economic growth. Law and order, the rule of law and national integration are prerequisites for more..

'Income re-distributed among people'

Feb 3 (SO) A cross section of the Govt and Opposition MPs interviewed described the interim Budget presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake as people- friendly and easing the burden of the high cost of living with concessions on a number of essential food items. Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva: This is the best budget presented after a long time. Significance is that we gave to the people everything we promised more..

Political principles and their practice in SL

Feb 3 (CT) Some years back Cambridge University Press in Delhi published a slim volume I wrote entitled 'Political Principles and their Practice in Sri Lanka'. I prepared this because I had been horrified at the lack of awareness even in students of political science of basic political principles. When we were revising syllabuses at Sabaragamuwa, I realized that the political science syllabus was moribund, with nothing that had been published in the seventies or later on the reading lists. more..

Why revolts at PCs came to a sudden stop?

Feb 3 (CT) Provincial Councils were at the centre of attention once the presidential election concluded. Leaders of the UNP warned that administration of several Provincial Councils would change. Making the prediction come true, Harin Fernando was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Uva Province on 14 Jan. In several other Provincial Councils also affidavits of the councillors were being collected to change the governance. However, those moves were suddenly stopped. more..

We want our old shops back!

Feb 3 (CT) Conceptually designed to reflect the working class, the floating market in Pettah, constructed adjacent to the Beira Lake, was launched in August 2014 amidst much pomp and splendour with rafts and boats bearing goods floating majestically in a manner akin to the gondolas in Venice. However, six months later, the market looks desolate with only a few people visiting the market. Market, built in a 6.5 acre area more..

A democratic revolution in the making?

Feb 3 (GV) Two disasters were recently averted in Sri Lanka. The first would have been the re-election of the corrupt and brutal Rajapaksa regime in the presidential election of 8 Jan 2015. For this we must be grateful, first and foremost, to democracy acitivists across the spectrum – Sobitha Thera, trade unionists, students, teachers, women’s groups, political parties, social activists, artists, lawyers, civil society organisations (CSOs) and people’s movements, social media activists, more..

Why Muslims voted for Maithiripala

Feb 3 (CT) Muslims who voted for President Maithripala Sirisena as a whole seems to be a disturbed lot today. They voted in the hope of solutions to their burning problems and not reward their discredited politicians with ministerial portfolios. Their spontaneous decision to vote for President Maithripala was the result of their losing confidence on their politicians who, true to their past record, once again failed to raise issues concerning the community. more..

'Central Bank looks at risk management structures and investment policy guidelines'

Feb 3 (ST) Arjuna Mahendran, new Central Bank Governor, was a senior economist at the bank before moving to the private sector and charting a successful career as a global investment banker and fund manager. Having served once as chairman of the BoI under Ranil Wickremesinghe’s stewardship as PM in 2002-2004, the experienced economist is undaunted by the challenges ahead. more..

EPF contemplates divesting some capital market investments

Feb 3 (DM) Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), the largest state-run private sector pension fund may divest its holdings in commercial banks and certain other companies trading in the Colombo Stock Exchange, newly appointed Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran told a recent forum. “I wouldn’t want to jump the gun and divest these immediately, though it is desirable, because we have to have more liquidity in the public markets for these bank shares, and indeed all the other shares which more..