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Rajitha, Champika and Arjuna ask IGP to probe bribery claims

Nov 24 (AD) Ministers Champika Ranawaka, Dr Rajitha Seenaratne and Arjuna Ranatunga today requested the IGP to investigate the allegations made against them by the Chairman of Avant Garde, Nissanka Senadhipathi. In a joint letter to the IGP, Cabinet ministers state that Major (Rtd) Nissanka Senadhipathi in an interview had accused the ministers of acting against Avant Garde due to him declining to pay them bribes. more..

Rupee falls to new historic low of 143 to the US dollar

Nov 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's rupee fell to a new historic low of 143 to the US dollar, dealers said as the monetary authority continued to print money and undermine the national currency. The rupee was quoted at 142.95/143.05 in late trading Tuesday after opening at 142.70/143.00 levels. Business was done as low as 143.00 to the US dollar. At least week Treasury bill auction 10 billion rupees were printed, driving excess liquidity up to 145 billion rupees from 138 billion a week earlier. more..

No barrier between Nagadeepa & Nainatheevu

Nov 24 (CT) I was posted to the Jaffna Kachcheri as a CCS cadet in 1957 and was happy to be invited to join a boat trip to attend the Ther (Chariot) Festival at the Nagapoosani Amman Kovil at Nainatheevu. As far as I remember, the GA, AGA and DJ of Jaffna were travelling together in our boat. Our party disembarked at the Nainatheevu jetty early in the morning and went through the rituals of the festival including pulling the chariot round the kovil. After the festivities were over, we were treated to more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Division leads to disaster

Nov 24 (CT) Intra-party feuds are nothing new in the Sri Lankan political history. It has been happening from the dawn of the Sri Lankan political era and has its origins laid out in the simple and minimalistic governing systems of the bygone days. There were Court Ministers who schemed to assassinate kings and knights who fed the flames of feuds against another knight who got better lands than he did. Regardless of the context, intra-party feuds, fuelled by green liquidus jealousy more..

GMOA concerned over CEPA with India

Nov 24 (Island) GMOA expressed serious concern over Sri Lanka entering into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India without having wide ranging discussions with relevant parties. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Nalinda Herath said that a group of Professionals had, in a recent letter to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, stressed the need to discusss the issue. Subsequently, Coordinating Secretary to the Premier had informed the Secretary to Ministry of Industry and more..

Trim and Slim Malinga in intense training ahead of World T20

Nov 24 (DM) T20 captain Lasith Malinga has shed his onceconspicuous pot-belly and looked for once like he seriously meant business ahead of next year’s ICC World T20 in India when he attended a media conference on Saturday to announce Sri Lanka’s new team sponsor for the tournament. SLC Interim Committee chief Sidath Wettimuny paid a glowing tribute to the national team’s newly acquired trainer Michael Main more..

SC: Petition against appointment of defeated candidates as MPs put off

Nov 24 (Island) A petition filed by Somaweera Chandrasiri of the MEP against the Commissioner of Elections and Secretaries of political parties, challenging the appointment of defeated candidates to the Parliament via the National List was put off for calling till Dec 7. The petitioner has said that the appointment of candidates rejected by the people at General Election of Aug 17, was a violation of the people’s franchise. Hence, it is arbitrary and should be annulled by the court. more..

JVP makes major discovery: subsidies are financed by taxes

Nov 24 (EN) Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a party that expands the public sector and state enterprise to increase the burdens on the rest of society, has discovered that elected ruling class use taxes on the public to finance subsidies. Taxes are the most transparent way of getting money from society to maintain the public service and politicians. Taking loans passes the burden to the next generation. Printing money generates inflation and currency depreciation. more..

BBS to prepare report on religious freedom in US

Nov 24 (DM) While condemning International Religious Freedom Report for 2014 issued by US Department of State (USDS), BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thera said that BBS would prepare a report on religious freedom in the US and hand it over to US Embassy in Colombo soon. “The report has condemned the local Buddhists and had praised Islamists and Christians. more..

SL condemns ISIS attacks outright: Mangala

Nov 24 (Island) Amidst the ongoing war of words between Russia and America over heightening violence in Middle East, Sri Lanka says it condemns outright the recent attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Paris, which had left 130 dead. Minister Managala Samaraweera, asked what the govt’s stand on the spill over effect of war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria was, said, "We totally condemn ISIS, which has killed innocent people to further its ideological beliefs." more..

Train engine drivers call off strike

Nov 24 (AD) Train engine drivers have called off their strike action which was launched against the alleged assault on an engine driver at Ragama station yesterday, Ministry of Transport said. All trains on the main line were disrupted last night as a result of the tense situation which had prevailed at Ragama railway station owing to the assault incident. Railway Control Room said that several scheduled office trains this morning were cancelled due to the strike action. more..

Ex-actress MP takes communal swipe

Nov 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's out of work film actress turned legislator Geetha Kumarasinghe was cut short in parliament for busting her time limit, but she took a parting communal shot before being forced to sit down. When repeatedly told that her allocated 10 minutes were up, Kumarasinghe nagged that she was being cut short while ethnic minority Tamil members from the north were being given more time. more..

Mystery kidney deaths continue in Sri Lanka

Nov 24 (SDN) Lack of a scientifically established cause, several risk factors and poor medical care are hampering efforts to thwart the spread of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Sri Lanka, experts say. Kamal Gammampila, a biomedical scientist affiliated to the Imperial College, London, says some 35,000 people are known to have died of CDK. “Presently there are 20,000 in end-stage kidney failure needing dialysis or a transplant, and 400,000 in various early stages of the disease.” more..

Confident Group signs Sri Lanka Cricket deal

Nov 24 (SP) Confident Group is to sponsor Sri Lanka's cricket teams at the ICC World Twenty20 2016. The Dubai and Bangalore-based multinational 'lifestyle firm', which operates in infrastructure, retail and leisure development as well as other services like education and healthcare, has agreed a deal with Sri Lanka Cricket's representative, sports marketing agency Baseline Ventures. The sponsorship covers both the men's and women's teams. more..

'More focus on renewable energy generation'

Nov 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the contribution of the state sector as well as private sector in the programs to achieve the progress in the field of renewable energy, is essential. He pointed out that Sri Lanka a great potential to generate renewable energy, given abundance of natural resources in the country. “It is essential to encourage and inspire the investors for this purpose”, the President said. more..

Fiji exclude ex-Sri Lanka international

Nov 24 (PR) Fiji have been forced to make a change to their squad ahead of the Dubai Sevens after it emerged Emori Waqa has played rugby for Sri Lanka. Waqa has represented Sri Lanka in the past at both fifteens and sevens level and he has subsequently been replaced by Alivereti Veitokani. He will now miss the first two legs of the new World Series, in Dubai and Cape Town, with Fiji releasing a statement to explain the problem. "It is with regret that we have removed Emori Waqavulagi more..

Exporters’ Association welcomes budget

Nov 24 (DN) Exporters’ Association of SL (EASL), which functions under the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce acknowledges the attention and encouragement accorded to exports as reflected in the 2016 Budget presented on Friday. Its Chairman Fazal Mushin, thanked the Finance Minister for the exporter friendly budget. EASL is pleased to observe that several of the matters proposed by the association which were submitted on the invitation of the Finance Ministry, has been addressed, more..

MR urges police not to allow LTTE flag hoisting

Nov 24 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today urged the police not to allow anyone to riase the LTTE flag in the North this week to mark the LTTE heroes’ week. Rajapaksa said that his Govt never allowed people in the North and East to commemorate LTTE cadres or raise the LTTE flag. However he claims there are reports some groups will raise LTTE flag in the North this week to mark birthday of slain LTTE leader Prabakaran more..

No irregularities in purchasing flag posts under previous govt: SB

Nov 24 (Island) Minister S.B. Dissanayake told Parliament that Divineguma funds had not been misused during the last presidential elections to purchase GI pipes (to be used as flag posts) worth Rs. 20.1 million. Responding to a question raised by JVP Kalutara District MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, the Minister said that there had been no misappropriation of funds as regards that transaction and Pradeshiya Sabhas had purchased the pipes following due procedures. more..

Sri Lankan shares near one-week closing low

Nov 24 (Reuters) Shares closed at their lowest in nearly one week on Tuesday on worries earnings of financial firms would fall after the new budget proposals announced last week were implemented. Foreign investment outflow also weighed on sentiment, while some investors waited for clues from the November monetary policy meeting scheduled at 1330 GMT, dealers said. The main stock index ended 0.65%, or 45.85 points, weaker at 7,009.99, its lowest close since Nov. 18. more..

‘No vice deals! Punish all fraudsters!!

Nov 24 (LT) A protest march and agitation organized by Voice Against Corruption demanding the govt to stop its vice deals and take immediate legal action against fraudsters was held in Colombo yesterday. A large number of organizations including that of university teachers, artistes, representatives of trade unions and political parties commenced protest march from Technical College, and marched to Colombo Fort. more..

Former NE CM calls for nation building

Nov 24 (Island) Former Chief Minister of the North-Eastern PC Varatharaja Perumal on Sunday called for unity among the Tamils, Muslims and the Sinhalese. Else, national progress would be an illusion, he added. First and only CM of North-East Province and one-time Jaffna University lecturer, Perumal, warned of dire consequences unless the country effected a course correction. Perumal was addressing the birth commemoration ceremony of EPRLF leader K. Ranjan Padmanabha more..

Ban on sale of Basil’s former election office

Nov 24 (AM) Gampaha Magistrate Tikiri Jayathilake today ordered a ban on the sale, transaction or alienation of a land and a building in Oruthota, previously used as an election office by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. The order was given on the Gampaha Lands Commissioner following a request made by the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID). The FCID informed the court that the land had been brought by the D.A. Rajapaksa Foundation. more..

Video: No order on Kodikara's motion to court

Nov 24 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate today made no order on a motion filed by WPC member Upali Kodikara for an explanation as to why he failed to be present before CID after a court order was given. When the motion filed by Mr, Kodikara’s Counsel, R.A.K. Ranawaka was taken up for inquiry, Counsel told Magistrate Pilapitiya that his client did not present himself before Cinnamon Gardens Police due to illness and submitted a medical more..

Concessionary vehicle permits suspended immediately

Nov 24 (DM) Finance Ministry announced that vehicle permits under the concessionary terms will be suspended immediately, effectively from Nov 21, 2015, Ministry of Finance said in a statement today. Those who have permits and have not yet opened letters of credit for importation of vehicles and those permit holders who intend to purchase locally assembled vehicles, should enter into agreement before the Dec 31 2015. The concessionary terms for issuing vehicle permits has become more..

Joint opposition raises concerns with President

Nov 24 (CG) The joint opposition today raised its concerns with President Sirisena about the budget presented to Parliament for the year 2016. UPFA MP and joint opposition member Bandula Gunawardena said that some of the joint opposition members who attended a meeting with the President today, noted that the budget was misleading the President. Gunawardena said that the President was told that for the first time in history, the budget was also misleading the public and Parliament. more..

Video: Joint Opposition to submit no-faith motion against Ravi

Nov 24 (DM) Joint Opposition said it would submit a no-confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake for misleading the President, parliament and people by manipulating figures to show that 6% had been allocated for education. MP Dullas Allahapperuma said the minister had for the first time brought the finance ministry and the parliament disrepute. “Finance Minister has told a big lie by saying 6% had been allocated for more..

Ven Sobitha in 1970’s

Nov 25 (CT) The politics of Sri Lanka in the 1970’s underpinned the three decades of war that ravaged the country to its near collapse. A cocktail of factors contributed towards the deterioration of the relationship between the Sinhala and Tamil communities. The unaccommodating visionless state actors were the major contributors for the decay. This has its origins even long before the independence of SL. There is cautious optimism that present govt will move some way to more..

Murugeysen Tiruchelvam: Great Hindu leader

Nov 25 (CT) Hindus of Sri Lanka suffered colonialism longer than any other Hindu society. After 450 years of Christian rule, the Hindus became victims of a vicious ethnic conflict. Many Hindus perished due to an ethnic schism contrived by the Christians on both sides of the divide. One should not ignore the Hindus who shone brightly in the darkness. Former Cabinet Minister Murugeysen Tiruchelvam QC was a selfless Hindu leader. He sacrificed much for the greater good of more..

TNPF welcomes Wiggy's change of heart

Nov 25 (CT) Former MP and Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) General Secretary Selvarasa Kajendren said, Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran does not have any links with his party and he has never supported the TNPF. "It is very clear that we were against CM. However, when his stand changed for the betterment of the Tamil people we began to support him. more..

Four women Mahinda most disliked

Nov 25 (CT) A glance to the past of Mahinda Rajapaksa's Presidency that spanned nearly a decade would reveal that there were four female names he mostly disliked. The first of that four was Chandrika Kumaratunga. The second was United States Ambassador to UN Samantha Power. The third was UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay. The fourth was former US Ambassador to Colombo Michele J. Sisson. Of the four, Mahinda mostly hated or disliked Samantha Power. more..

No Budget for common man’s pocket!

Nov 25 (CT) On 5 Nov, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe presented the economic policy of the govt for the coming years. 70th budget of SL by the 20th Finance Minister on Friday was in line with Wickremesinghe's proposals and an attempt to realize that vision. Thus, budget brings with it the strengths and weaknesses of Wickremesinghe's proposals and much like the PM's statement there is a lot of vagueness in the budget speech. For example, Finance Minister provided very little more..

'PM told me not to talk too much'

Nov 25 (CT) Although Parliament is debating Budget 2016 these days, the main focus is still on the Avant Garde issue. In this regard, CT spoke to Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, who said two ministers in his own party had approached him and asked him not to say anything against the controversial Maritime Company Avant Garde, in Parliament. Q: How well are you working with Minister S.B. Dissanayake? more..

Editorial: Pop and police

Nov 25 (Island) Philippine police have unveiled a secret weapon capable of controlling slogan chanting, aggressive mobs, as we reported on Monday. They successfully tested it, as a last resort while the recent Asia-Pacific Leaders’ Summit was on in their country. Having failed to control the mob trying to force its way into the conference venue they played Katy Perry’s pop songs on loudspeakers to drown protesters’ chanting! Perhaps, the Sri Lanka police who are now up the creek without more..

The SL regime change: A Caesarian analogy

Nov 25 (Island) The memory of the key event that led to the 2015 regime change––the defection of Maithripala Sirisena from the SLFP a year ago last week––appears to have sunk without trace in the humdrum, moral-free politics of Sri Lanka. The defection that marked the pinnacle of the project to assassinate former president Mahinda Rajapaksa politically is yet to see its completion. Notwithstanding that, the event that was made spicier by revelations that Sirisena had more..

Today is Il Full Moon Poya Day

Nov 25 (DM) Time for the offering of Katina cheevara – a thick robe for the rainy season to Buddhist priests who observed Vas or the rainy season sojourn ends on Il Full Moon Poya Day. Hence a series of meritorious activities come to an end. Apart from this Il Full Moon Poya Day is of special significance for Buddhists due to numerous religious events taken place on this day and during the month of November. more..

The original suicide bombers of the world

Nov 25 (Island) The French response to Nov. 13 Paris massacre should be examined against the backdrop of Sri Lanka having to address accountability issues during eelam war IV (Aug 2006-May 2009). In accordance with overall Western strategy, France, a current member of the Geneva-based UNHRC, pushed for war crimes probe, targeting Sri Lanka. The Western project was meant to undermine the previous government of war - winning President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

The saga of six children

Nov 25 (CT) On 17 Nov, six children below the age of eleven were rescued by the officers of the Ukuwela Child Protection Authority after they were found living alone without any adult supervision. The children aged 4, 6, 7 and 11 were reportedly living in a small wooden hut on a hill in the Ellawela area in Ukuwela, Matale with an old woman who was called Aachchi. However, the children lived alone, with only each other for their company until the grandmother returned home during the night. more..

Rights assured and rights distorted

Nov 25 (SO) The actual worth of Sri Lanka's RTI (Right to Information) law will be in its implementation, mechanism and how the media and citizens would use it after it is enacted. Sri Lanka had for too long good laws that lie inactive in the statute book. Sri Lanka will probably be the last country in the Asian bloc to enact the Right to Information Act and the first to have an Act so distorted that it virtually leaves room for govt more..