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National Archives opens documents to public Govt reports from 1932-1984

May 23 (CT) Department of National Archives took steps Thursday to grant access to the public a number of documents. Persons who are interested in the information contained in a number of reports of govt commissions belonging to the period 1932-1984 will have access to them. This was stated by Director of the Department of National Archives, Saroja Wettasinghe. She further said that this decision was taken to make the mission of the department more meaningful and effective. more..

Fonseka to contest Parliament polls

May 23 (CG) Democratic Party leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka says he will contest the next Parliament elections. Fonseka said that he will contest together with other members of his political party and will later decide who to support once the elections are over. He also said that his wife Anoma Fonseka will also contest the next Parliament elections. Fonseka lost his Parliament seat after his civic rights were removed by the former Govt. However President Sirisena restored all his more..

Sri Lanka to prosecute sex-bribe accused

May 23 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities Saturday said they would initiate criminal action against two men managing the women's cricket team following allegations they demanded sexual favours from team members to guarantee their positions. Sports ministry spokesman said a disciplinary inquiry initiated in November uncovered evidence of sexual harassment against women players & a report was submitted on Thur. more..

The SLFP's indigestion

May 24 (SO) Splits in political movements and in political parties are part and parcel of politics. It was with this in mind that the wily J.R. Jayewardene provided a constitutional loophole for Members of Parliament to jump sides. In his original Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka the Lokka, as his admiring party membership began to call him, had provided for tight control by political party leaderships over their respective parliamentary groups. more..

Stop racialism during election campaign

May 24 (SL) Parliamentary elections are round the corner despite vacillation on the date. This is a crucial election for the country, one reason being the fluidity and uncertainty of ensuing politics. President Maithripala Sirisena, who won the presidential election on January 8 with mainly the support of the UNP and minority parties, and became the leader of the SLFP, the party which opposed him tooth and nail at the last election, is expected to lead the election campaign for the UPFA, more..

Resignation of four SLFP MPs for party unity

May 24 (SL) The internal crisis within the UNP-led National Unity Govt took a new turn on Thursday, when four SLFP MPs, who were recently appointed as Ministers, resigned from their ministerial portfolios and rejoined the SLFP-led UPFA coalition. In a bid to form a strong national govt, President Maithripala Sirisena offered ministerial portfolios to 26 SLFP MPs on March 22. Four SLFP stalwarts who resigned from their more..

Editorial: Dual citizenship

May 24 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister G.L. Pieris has been bursting with righteous indignation about the Central Bank Governor, a citizen of Singapore, being raised to this exalted position back in the country of his original citizenship. In an interview with yesterday’s The Island, the learned law professor waxed eloquent about the appointment of a person who has repudiated his Sri Lankan nationality, as the Governor of the Central Bank. more..

Two wrongs don't make a right

May 24 (CT) Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe made a startling revelation that Rs 2.7 trillion worth of Govt Bonds had been sold by the previous regime, deviating from accepted tender procedures. Wickremesinghe has currently been caught on the wrong foot when his Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran's son-in-law Arjun Aloysius' company Perpetual Treasuries, a primary dealer, has been involved in a Rs 0.01 trillion Treasury (T) Bond scandal nearly three months ago. more..

'Our strategy is to build a strong opposition'

May 24 (SL) The JVP charges that the govt’s 100 day program expired on 23rd April and as such Ranil Wickremesinghe is tapping Oxygen illegally to remain as the Prime Minister. Propaganda Secretary of the JVP Vijitha Herath said that if the PM and the Leader of the Opposition have no right to remain in their positions then Parliament should be dissolved and an opportunity should be given to obtain a new mandate. more..

Victory and Remembrance

May 24 (ST) Amidst the high drama we saw this week in the august assembly called Parliament, with the minority Govt desperately trying to ward off a succession of no-confidence motions, the country was at pains trying to resolve how to commemorate the end of a brutal separatist insurgency this month six years ago. On May 19, 2009, the Armed Forces of this country, together with the Police and the Civil Defence Forces, militarily defeated a terrorist outfit that was ranked the most dangerous in the more..

P word from old politico: Clear gallery of kids

May 24 (ST) My Dear Vasu sahodaraya, I thought I must write to you because, after about forty five years in politics, you seem to have attracted national attention, making the headlines of newspapers and television news bulletins as you have never done before. Surely, it must be a special occasion! That it happened because you used foul and filthy language — the ‘P’ word, including — on the PM in Parliament is beside the point. What matters is that you got a lot of time on the airwaves. more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast: Episode 14

Govt shows it’s no different than its predecessor in only 100 days

May 24 (ST) When JVP MP Anura Dissanayake told Parliament this week, the new Government which rode to power with pledges to rid the country of bribery and corruption, is travelling down the same road the previous regime had taken, he was airing the growing frustration among Opposition members, brought on by the Government’s refusal to allow a debate on the Treasury Bond issue, which has led to calls for the dismissal of Central Bank the Governor Arjun Mahendran. more..

Royal regain Bradby Shield with rampaging 49-0 win

May 24 (SO) Royal college Colombo thrashed Trinity College Kandy by a record score of 49 points (4 Goals, 3 Tries, 2 Penalties) to Nil victory on their return leg 71st Bradby encounter worked off at Royal Complex in Colombo yesterday. At half time Royal led 18 points to nil. Incidentally this was a record created by the Royalist being the highest number of points scred against Trinity, surpassing their best achievement of 44 Nil victory under Zulki Hameed in 2002. more..

'Aim was to limit, not abolish Presidential powers'

May 24 (SL) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva who was openly supporting the selection of a common Presidential candidate to contest against then President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential elections, says the 19th Amendment to the constitution is a bundle of compromises. He also says when the proposals were being drafted there was no real intention to abolish Executive Presidential system since more..

MS-MR backchannel talks

May 24 (Island) Only thing surprising about the resignation of Ministers Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene, Dilan Perera, Pavithra Wanniarachchi and C.B. Ratnayake from the govt was that there weren’t more than just four. The dissolution of the largely SLFP controlled local govt institutions placed enormous stress on the SLFP ministers in the govt as this was a clear case of giving up an advantage held by the SLFP for which they had no explanation to give the rank & file members of the party. more..

Vithanage, Perera tons in drawn game

May 24 (CI) Kithuruwan Vithanage's 136 and Kusal Perera's unbeaten 102 helped Sri Lanka A draw the third unofficial Test at Dambulla. The three-match series also ended in a draw. Sri Lanka resumed play on the final day with an overnight score of 113 for 3. Ashan Priyanjan and Vithanage then put on 107 before Mir Hamza had Priyanjan edge one to the wicketkeeper, after making 54. Vithanage was involved in another 100-run stand - with Perera. The duo compiled 155 runs, more..

CA to incorporate whistle- blowing into Ethics Code

May 24 (ST) Institute of Chartered Accountants Sri Lanka (CA) plans to incorporate a whistle-blowing element into its Ethics Code, a follow up to the SEC saying recently that it wants audit firms to whistle blow as and when they come across anything unusual in listed firms they audit. “We want to look at fulfilling the expectations of the regulator by incorporating these elements in our Code of Ethics,” Arjuna Herath, President CA said. more..

Keells Food posts best ever operational result in 33-year history

May 24 (Island) Keells Food Products PLC, (KFP) the pioneer meat processor in the country founded over three decades ago, has posted the best ever operational results in its history during the year ended March 31, 2015. "It gives me great satisfaction to report that the company posted the best ever operating results in its history during the recently concluded financial year," KFP Chairman, Susantha Ratnayake, has said in the recently issued annual report. more..

Jaffna: Dancing on a razors’ edge

May 24 (SL) The recent case where a young lady was subject to a gang rape was to cause a whole lot of commotion leaving the authorities in Colombo puzzled. At least one minister of cabinet rank was very worried at the turn of events and warned that there would be far reaching consequences if all the stakeholders in the North failed to unite and bring order and understanding in the north immediately. As a mature proponent of peaceful coexistence Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was more..

China mulls bigger stake in Colombo port

May 24 (ST) Sri Lanka is looking at boosting China’s stake at the Colombo Port and in the process increase the Sri Lanka Ports Authority’s (SLPA) ownership in the new harbours. Currently, discussions are underway between the SLPA and the China Merchant Holdings (CHM) on getting the latter to come in as an investor for the East Terminal under construction, Ports Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said on Friday. more..

Why all this agitation for an AGM?

May 24 (NS) In the past week the media has been inundated with emails under the title Stakeholders of SLC trying to get Sri Lanka Cricket membership to agree and bring pressure on the Minister Navin Dissanayake to hold an early election despite the fact that he had promised he would do so by January next year. Why the Minister has wanted to buy time is because he wants to make certain amendments to the existing Sports Law where specific areas can be described as flawed or more..

Cops to nab speed hogs

May 24 (CT) Police will with immediate effect impose strict road rules against vehicular speeding where speed limit warning signs have been displayed on roadsides. An order issued by the Supreme Court during the tenure of Chief Justice Sarath N. De Silva has hitherto not been imposed by Police but on the instructions of the Attorney General the Police have taken steps to file legal action against careless driving and not necessarily against speeding. more..

Lalith Kotelawala in comeback bid?

May 24 (NS) Observers of share market activity claim that buying behaviour of Ceylinco Insurance shares indicates that Lalith Kotelawala, the troubled tycoon whose name is inextricably linked with the Ceylinco Group, is set for a remarkable come-back. Speculation regarding a Kotelawala return began when Minister Ravi Karunanayake on May 13 urged Golden Key defrauded depositors to withdraw their case. more..

Did Pakistan 'A' tamper with ball?

May 24 (CT) Umpires halted play for six minutes during the fourth day of the Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan, when their 'A' teams met at Dambulla and found the ball heavily damaged. There was concern about ball tampering. Incident occurred just before Mir Hamza started the fifth over of the day, when umpires, Prageeth Rambukwella and Deepal Gunawardane intervened and changed the ball after they found that it was heavily damaged. Even though the ball seemed to have been tampered with more..

Can Gota be arrested for other offences?: AG seeks SC advice on stay order

May 24 (SO) The Attorney General (AG) will seek clarification from the Supreme Court on the scope of the interim order issued by the court preventing the arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The AG will make this application to the Court following a request by IGP N.K. Illangakoon for a clarification from the Supreme Court whether the police could arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for an offence not coming under the Police FCID. more..

Govt & Opposition agree on 10-member Constitutional Council

May 24 (Island) In spite of heavy confrontations both in and outside parliament over allegedly fraudulent Treasury bond issues, the UNP-led govt and the Opposition have reached agreement on the formation of a 10-member Constitutional Council paving the way to the setting up of 11 Independent Commissions. Of the 10-member Constitutional Council, three are ex-officio members - namely PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Chamal more..

Candlelight vigil for Jaffna girl today: Rosy

May 24 (DM) State Minister of Child Affairs Rosy Senanayake said some people were attempting to gain political advantage from the incident where an 18-year-old girl was raped and killed at Punguditivu in Jaffna recently. She highlighted the fact that steps must be taken to put a stop to such incidents and said perpetrators should be severely punished so that such cruelties would not happen in the future. She said the ministry together with Child Protection Authority had organized a candlellight vigil at more..

Exploring the architecture of Sri Lanka

May 24 (ST) For fans of Geoffrey Bawa, there is an excellent tour that visits buildings he designed, his homes and the places that inspired him. A highlight of the tour is that you get to stay in properties designed by him. Your tour starts off in Sigiriya, where you stay at the beautiful Kandalama Hotel designed by Bawa. During your stay, you get to explore Anuradhapura and Avukana in the Cultural Triangle, as well as the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Then you head for historical city of Kandy, more..

Police slammed over ex-war zone gang rape

May 24 (PTI) Sri Lankan police came under fire Saturday for their failure to act after the gang rape and murder of a teenage girl in the district of Jaffna, as tensions heightened in the former war zone following angry protests over the incident. Children's Affairs Minister Rosy Senanayake slammed police for their response to a complaint after the 17-year-old student -- identified as Vidya -- went missing in Jaffna last week. more..

Polls likely in August

May 24 (SL) There is strong speculation that Parliament elections will be held on August 27 and not before that. The SLFP sources said that President Sirisena will dissolve Parliament in time to hold the election in August. Last week President had said that a new Parliament will be in place by September this year. Speaking to media heads, President had said that Parliament will be dissolved after an agreement is reached on the 20th Amendment and the Constitutional Council. more..

GK depositors shocked by new payment plan

May 24 (ST) Depositors of the Golden Key (GK) Company have expressed shock and dismay over a govt pronouncement that only 41% of their dues would be paid within a year, accusing the authorities of misleading them. At a meeting with depositors last week, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said all depositors will be settled in full within one year. He said details will be worked out by the Central Bank (CB) but said the new plan will be implemented only once depositors withdraw cases more..

CID in Jaffna for full probe on protests

May 24 (ST) A 15-strong group of CID detectives arrived in Jaffna last night to conduct an urgent probe into a string of incidents that culminated in Wednesday’s attack on the Magistrate’s Court. Probe will centre on the causes that led to the incidents and whether any anti national groups were attempting to destabilise the peninsula. One of the first tasks of the detectives yesterday was to obtain from Police identities more..

Dhammika’s MGM Casino at Bambalapitiya closed

May 24 (ST) Businessman Dhammika Perera, who owns a successful Casino empire, has shut down one of his casinos. “He has closed down the MGM Grand at Bambalapitiya Junction (on Galle Road),” a source said, adding that it was shut about two months ago. Some 550 employees were laid off, according to him. The source also added that he wants to convert the building to a Glass Art Gallery which displays artwork done through glass medium by upcoming artists. more..

JSS boss’s son for Geneva conference; seniors protest

May 24 (ST) Senior members of the Jathika Sevaka Sangama (JSS), the trade union wing of the UNP, are questioning the selection of a junior member to represent the union at the International Labour Oraganisation (ILO) conference in Geneva later this month. They said the selection of Gayan de Mel, son of JSS General Secretary Sirilal de Mel, was a bad choice since the youngster was not an active member of the union and also lacked the experience to participate at an international forum. more..

Central Bank rocked by Rs 2,710 B worth T-Bond scandals: Economy in danger

May 24 (CT) The Central Bank is facing a crisis due to the sale of Treasury Bonds worth Rs 2,710 billion disregarding the accepted and tried and tested methodologies. Rs 2,700 billion worth T-Bonds were sold during the time of the previous regime allegedly by not following tender procedures, and then another Rs 10 billion worth Bonds were sold by the new regime, though by auction, but at higher interest rates over the more..

Kadawunu Poronduwa: Krrish breaks its promise, again!

May 24 (ST) Board of Investment (BOI), with Krrish failing to fulfil its latest promise of completing the full payment by March on leasing the 4-acre Transworks Square land in Colombo Fort, is considering several options including legal avenues to recover the payment or end the project. BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya said that “we are looking into one of these options as the Krrish Group is holding onto one of Colombo’s most valuable lands located in Fort, without settling final lease payment”. more..

MR faction seeks nominations for remanded members

May 24 (ST) The pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa faction in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is seeking nomination even for its members currently in custody, a spokesman said yesterday. Former minister T.B. Ekanayake said their group would take the position that none of the members in custody had been proven guilty and therefore nominations should be given to them. He said most of the SLFP members in custody were also electoral organisers and would be able to attract votes for the party. more..

Sirisena wavers amid raging waters of SLFP split

May 24 (ST) A nation waits in suspense as the on-off guessing game continues over dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for general elections. Menu on this week’s political agenda is for a different course. “I can assure that a new Govt will be installed by Sept,” declared President Sirisena during a breakfast meeting with heads of state-run and private media. After dissolution, he noted, that it would take two weeks to call for nominations. more..

The politics, economics and fundamental rights of grand corruption in Sri Lanka

May 24 (Island) Truisms are an easy way to start an essay. I will try a few today. Corruption has always been a fact of life in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. In the pyramid of society, corruption is not uncommon in the creation of wealth by a few, in the accumulation of the niceties of life by those in the middle, as well as in the struggle for survival among the majority of bottom feeders. Cross-country studies on corruption in the context of globalization differentiate between low-level opportunistic payoffs and grand more..