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Jumping JHU PS members jump again

Jan 28 (Island) Seven Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) members of JHU, who defected to Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) led by Western Provincial Councillor Udaya Gammanpila on Dec 17, 2014 and supported Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential race on Jan 8, now claim that they were misled by Gammanpila. The seven members addressed the media yesterday in Colombo and they apologised to Ranpathwila Wimalaratana Thera for leaving the party due to their ignorance. more..

Plot to kill Wele Suda: JHU leader

Jan 28 (CT) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Leader, Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, said there is a plot to kill drug kingpin, Wele Suda, who has been divulging information about the drug trade in Sri Lanka. The Thera said they received information that Wele Suda has revealed a lot of information about the drug trade and those involved. In addition, he is to reveal much more information. Those who will be implicated by Wele Suda are attempting to kill him, the Thera warned. more..

Sanga takes aim at Nishantha & SLC again

Jan 28 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has once again taken aim at Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, as well as the country's former sports minister, labeling their actions in the approach to the 2013 Champions League "shameful and corrupt" in an email to the board that makes fresh allegations against it. Sangakkara and Ranatunga had clashed in August that year, when the batsman accused Ranatunga of publically more..

Docs present their case to President

Jan 28 (Island) GMOA General Committee has decided to write to President Maithripala Sirisena about the non-implementation of the provisions of the National Wage Policy as regards the doctors. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya stressed that their letter had brought to President’s notice that the salary increase promised by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his Budget 2015 for doctors in keeping with the National Wage Policy had not been implemented. more..

Lawyers demand justice for inmates killed in Welikada prison riot

Jan 28 (NS) Lawyers who identified themselves as Lawyers for Good Governance holding a press conference, today demanded immediate action to be taken against the persons responsible for the Welikada prison riot. The close relatives of the inmates who were killed on the day of the riot were also present at the media briefing. Attorney-at-Law, Senaka Perera mentioned that though committees are being appointed by every govt that comes to power, justice has not yet been done. more..

International audit firms tasked with probing Basil, Wimal

Jan 28 (Island) Minister Sajith Premadasa has engaged two internationally renowned auditing firms to probe Housing and Samurdhi portfolios previously held by former ministers Wimal Weerawansa and Basil Rajapaksa, respectively. Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers would probe Housing and Samurdhi portfolios, respectively. They had assured projects would be carried out free of charge. more..

Going in the right direction

Jan 28 (DM) The new govt seems to be going in the right direction. President Maithripala Sirisena slowly but steadily is showing that he is truly a man from Polonnaruwa, a villager, and not an actor who plays the role. He seems to be a true follower of core Buddhist principles of humility and indifference in contrast to those who organised Buddhist preachings every Poya Day but simply didn’t bother to follow what was there in the noble discourse. All the official events so far attended by more..

Sri Lanka has spoken learning from political misadventures

Jan 28 (DM) As the President Maithripala Sirisena reiterated in his maiden speech, the need to create a new political culture indeed is a imperative. The recently concluded election proved that we clearly need to establish standards on how an election should be conducted and what Good Governance should look like. But first, let’s take stock of what happened. Undoubtedly Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was a leader loved by the masses. During his time, he was able to end more..

19th amendment to empower independent commissions

Jan 28 (SL) The new govt has altered the plan to repeal the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and bring back the 17 the Amendment. Instead, they are to introduce the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which according to them would empower independent commissions, the judiciary and would establish the rule of law. New Minister of Justice Wijayadasa Rajapaksa said that the 19th Amendment is now being drafted and more..

Asylum seekers' sea detention ruled legal

Jan 28 (Reuters) Australia's highest court ruled on Wednesday that the detention of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka on the high seas for almost a month was lawful, a win for the govt's tough immigration policy. The High Court ruling means the group of 157 ethnic Tamils, who were picked up by an Australian customs boat last June after setting out from India, are not entitled to seek compensation. more..

Malinga the missing piece to SL puzzle

Jan 28 (Stuff) Corey Anderson expects Sri Lanka to be a different team with Lasith Malinga back in their lineup for next month's Cricket World Cup opener in Christchurch. New Zealand allrounder timed his run well, imposing himself with bat and ball on the current series against Sri Lanka, which sits at 4-1 to the hosts with Thursday's final game in Wellington remaining. But the tourists badly missed Malinga's 177 ODIs of experience as more..

Tissa regrets his plunge at the deep end

Jan 28 (DM) Former General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake who crossed over to support President Rajapaksa at presidential elections said he regrets the decision he took. He said he took the decision within 48 hours because of internal conflicts of the party [UNP] and that he suffered its consequences. He also said that although he was not an ardent follower of astrology, some ‘star’ effects too may have contributed more..

'Plot being hatched to deport Gunaratnam'

Jan 28 (Island) Leader of JVP-splinter group Frontline Socialist Party Kumar Gunaratnam alias Noel Mudalige may not get an extension of his visa as immigration authorities have received a complaint against him for abusing tourist visa to engage in politics here. A team of officials of the Department of Immigration and Emigration had visited the FLSP office in Pannipitiya on Monday looking for Gunaratnam, party sources said. more..

Jaffna Diocese calls for the release of Tamil political prisoners

Jan 28 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has been urged by the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, to release all Tamil political prisoners and to resettle the IDPs in their original lands. In an open letter to new President, Catholic organization has also emphasized that under his 100-Day programme, to take into consideration the issues with regard to IDPs and Tamil political prisoners. more..

Independence Day celebrations: Former President not invited

Jan 28 (Island) The 67th Independence Day celebrations will include all govt bigwigs, officials, diplomatic corps accredited to Sri Lanka and others, but not former President Rajapaksa. Fielding questions, Minister Joseph Michael Perera said usually it was not the norm to invite a former President. The 67th Independence Day celebration would be held under the theme Piripun Maubimak,-Abiman Heta Dinak more..

Ex- CJ arrives at Hulftsdorp Court complex

Jan 28 (AD) Former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake has arrived at the Hulftsdorp Court complex, a short while ago. Attorney-at-Law J.C. Weliamuna told media the new Govt and the President have taken up the position that the impeachment of the former CJ was illegal and not proper, because there was no ‘impeachment motion’ presented before the Parliament, in terms of impeaching the ex-CJ under the terms of more..

Lawyers, activists demand CJ resign

Jan 28 (AP) Lawyers and rights activist today demanded chief justice resign because he is being investigated for involvement in an alleged coup plot soon after this month's presidential election. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court accused Mohan Peiris of undermining the judiciary's independence and integrity by being partial to former President Rajapaksa, who was voted out of office more..

UNP won’t take back Tissa, asks him to give up national list slot

Jan 28 (Island) Former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, MP has expressed his desire to return to the party, but the UNP won’t take him back. Responding to a query, a senior UNP politician pointed out that Attanayake had switched his allegiance to then President Rajapaksa at a crucial juncture and gone so far as to declare that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena more..

Winning the presidential and losing the parliamentary?

Jan 28 (CT) The Ancient Regime (Rajapaksa Govt) had become insufferable. An aggrieved populace incensed at mis-governance thirsted for change. In just nine years, antagonism was so strong that they threw it out with a vengeance. A well-knit opposition collective offered a credible alternative. Parties established for long, together with leaders having credentials thrust themselves forward. For once a well formed programme sought people’s endorsement. more..

Reining in budget deficit

Jan 28 (CT) Tomorrow's interim budget of the NNDF Govt is expected to give further relief to the masses. According to Minister Karu Jayasuriya, the prices of 10 essential food items would be reduced in this budget. Others say that the 10 prices to be reduced are not only that of food items, but price reductions of cooking gas and such like as well being included in that milieu. Nevertheless, such reductions may hit Govt of SL's revenue in the event those reduced prices are being made possible more..

Kidney disease killing farm workers in SL

Jan 28 (CT) Karunawathie isn't hungry for breakfast. She rarely is these days, but she forces herself to choke down a few bites of rice, dried fish and a simple coconut mix. Doctors say it's better to have something in her stomach before the 4-hour dialysis treatment. She's going for her second session of the week, dressed all in pink, right down to her flip-flops. Her fingers and toes are fat with fluid, and her spongy arms feel like soft water more..

Sri Lankan shares end up on budget hopes

Jan 28 (EN) Shares ended higher Wednesday for the third straight trading day on expectations about the govt's interim budget tomorrow with turnover hitting a two-week high, brokers said. The All Share Price Index gained 40.46 points (0.55%) to hit a high of 7,408.95 during the day before falling back to close at 7,395.29, up 27.64 points, (0.38%). S&P SL20 index gained 13.29 points (0.32%) to end at 4,143.72. Turnover reached a two-week high of almost 1.3 billion rupees more..

'SLMC not against TNA chairing the EPC'

Jan 28 (CT) The SLMC, while expressing support to the TNA to lead the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) by appointing one of its members as the Chief Minister, has pointed out that it was meaningless to say that the SLMC should give up its agitation for the Chief Minister post as the party has several Cabinet Members in the Central Govt. SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali has said the SLMC accepted the portfolios in the Central Govt to serve the Muslims in the country and more..

Video: Gunaratnam visits Immigration

Jan 28 (DM) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) leader Kumar Gunaratnam today visited at the Immigration and Emigration Department to record a statement on his political activities since his arrival in the country. Mr. Gunaratnam said he was told to report to the Immigration and Emigration Department today. “The Department questioned my political activities as a leader of the FSP at the Presidential election period. more..

Ronald Perera, PC, appointed BoC Chairman

Jan 28 (CT) Ronald Perera, President's Counsel, has been appointed as Chairman, Bank of Ceylon by Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Perera is an experienced lawyer with a wide practice in the original courts as well as in the Court of Appeal and SC. A long-standing Member of UNP Working Committee Perera has appeared in numerous cases on behalf of the UNP and its leadership as well as for Party members & JSS members who were subject to political victimization. more..

Parliamentary attendance, punctuality stressed by PM - Karu J

Jan 28 (Island) Minister Karu Jayasuriya said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had instructed all ministers to be present in Parliament to respond to questions from MPs. Premier had issued instructions at a meeting of the govt group soon after the conclusion of the presidential poll, he said. When asked whether the new ruling party would take tangible measures to ensure the members’ participation in parliamentary sessions, Minister said that President Maithripala Sirisena and PM more..

Graft complaint over expropriated Sri Lanka hotel tower deal

Jan 28 (EN) Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva asked the bribery commission to probe the expropriation and alleged sale at a knock down price of a high rise that was to house a Hyatt hotel. The building, whose construction was started by a collapsed Ceylinco group was expropriated by a controversial law by the recently ousted Rajapaksa regime. De Silva who visited the premises with reporters said there was more..

Senaratne accuses Opposition Leader of playing double game

Jan 28 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has alleged that the then Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva was also involved in a project to defeat then President Rajapaksa at the presidential poll. De Silva, however, had pulled out at the eleventh hour, Minister Senaratne told a live political programme on Monday night. Responding to the interviewer, Dr. Senaratne claimed that the original plan envisaged De Silva getting on the Opposition stage in November. more..

Moragakanda Reservoir : President calls for work to schedule

Jan 28 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena called on the Engineers and other personnel assigned to re-comence work on the Moragahakanda - Kalu Ganga Reservoir Project to stick to the deadlines that would be set out shortly. Prior to visiting the project site, he told a group of govt officials including Engineers gathered at the projects administrative office in Moragahakanda, that the Raja Rata people who had waited in hope for eight years since the foundation stone for Moragahakanda more..

SF’s ranks, civic rights restored

Jan 28 (CG) Ministry of Defence (MOD) says General Sarath Fonseka has given back all the ranks which were stripped from him, including his rank of Four Star General, medals, pension and other privileges. Fonseka was last week given full Presidential amnesty by President Maithripala Sirisena, in terms of the powers, vested in him under Section 34 of the Constitution. MOD said that accordingly Fonseka has been given back his more..

Sri Lanka seek end to cycle of losses

Jan 28 (CI) "Winning breeds confidence," New Zealand's batting coach Craig McMillan said ahead of the seventh match against Sri Lanka, and his team has now won eight of their nine most recent matches. Better even than the good results has been the nature of their wins. In the Test in Wellington, and in the ODIs in Christchurch, Nelson and the first match in Dunedin, the hosts have been in losing positions before a staggering comeback upended the run of play. more..

Cabinet ministers have exceeded 50: NFF

Jan 28 (CT) Spokesman for the NFF, Mohammed Muzammil, scoffed at the incumbent govt's campaign slogan of implementing good governance stating that the number of Cabinet ministers has exceeded 50 and that 40 of them are from the UNP. This is an indication that power is not properly distributed among all constituent parties of the govt, he charged. He also said there are 300 institutions in the country and 38 of them come under the purview of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Ratnayake to aid SL World Cup preparations

Jan 28 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed former fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake as a consultant coach for the early stages of the team's World Cup campaign. Ratnayake will be with the team from February 4 to February 20 and will assist the existing coaching set-up, led by Marvan Atapattu, with World Cup preparations. "SLC has made the inclusion taking into consideration the views of the chairman of selectors and the more..

Sri Lanka rupee forwards down on importer dlr demand; budget awaited

Jan 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended weaker on Wednesday on importer dollar demand but the central bank capped the fall, as exporters awaited direction from a supplementary budget, dealers said. Fears of depreciation kept exporters away from the market, resulting in the currency's fall and leading the central bank to cap four-day forwards at 133, dealers said. That forced dealers to trade one-week forwards. One-week forwards closed at 133.50/60 per dollar more..

Rainforest protectors conducts tree planting project in Atabade

Jan 28 (GDI) Rainforest Protectors successfully completed a native tree planting project in a four-acre tea estate in Atabage, Gampola recently. Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka is a group of volunteers and sponsors dedicated to protecting Sri Lanka's last remaining rainforests through conservation, education and restoration. A total of 70 native endemic trees such as Ginisapu, Nedun, Mee, Kumbuk, Ehela purchased from the Polgolla Forest Conservation Dept Plant Nursery more..

Sri Lanka's NGOs test limits of new freedoms

Jan 28 (IRIN) Less than three weeks since Sri Lanka voted in a new president, rights activists and other NGOs say there are already encouraging signs that they may have more freedom to work under the new administration, including in the former conflict zone in the north. Six days after the election, around 300 families of those still missing as a result of SL’s two and half decade long civil war attended a prayer service more..

Zuhair appointed as new TRC DG

Jan 28 (CG) Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Iran, M M Zuhair was today appointed as the new Director General of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka. Zuhair replaces Anusha Pelpita who served as the TRC Director General under the previous Government. The TRC of Sri Lanka was established under the Sri Lanka Telecommunication (Amendment) Act No. 27 of 1996 as the national regulatory agency for telecommunications in Sri Lanka. more..

NDB grants Rs 3.3b for North wind power projects

Jan 28 (DN) The NDB Bank granted two long term facilities aggregating to Rs.3.3 billion towards construction and commissioning of two wind power projects in Vallimunai and Puloppalai of the Killinochchi District. The two projects Joule Power and Beta Power were successfully commissioned in December 2014 and are the first ever wind power projects set up in the Northern region. Establishment of the two wind power projects is expected to support the economic development more..

'Time not right for repatriating Tamil refugees'

Jan 28 (IANS) TN Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said discussions on voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees should be deferred as it is premature to deliberate the matter now. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, Panneerselvam said: "The process of voluntary repatriation could be considered only after concrete and credible measures are taken by the SL govt and SL refugees in Tamil Nadu are given more..

Peshala sworn in as NCP Chief Minister

Jan 28 (DM) North Central Provincial Council UPFA member Peshala Jayaratne was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the Province, a short while ago. He was the former PC minister of Food, Cooperative, Industries and Rural Development. Mr. Jayaratne was earlier removed from his ministerial portfolios by former Chief Minister Ranjith Samarakoon. It was reported that Mr. Jayaratne had been sacked because of his close relationship with then common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. more..