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Video: Promised Yahapalanaya: 'Increase in ministers essential to run National Govt'

Apr 8 (DM) The increase of ministers was essential to carry out the duties of a national govt, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said. He said even though ministerial appointments were given when the Rajapaksa regime was in power by dividing parties, the present govt offers ministerial portfolios within the party. “There is a limitation in offering ministerial portfolios in a national govt. Those limits are decided by Parliament,” he added. more..

Panama Papers: Some Sri Lankans also being probed: Govt

Apr 8 (Island) With the so-called Panama Papers taking the world by storm, the govt said that it was examining the dealings of some Sri Lankan politicians and companies with offshore financial dealings. Deputy Minister Eran Wickremeratne said, that investigations had led them to Seychelles, where 14,000 shell companies had been incorporated but only 204 real owners had been identified. Three companies linked to Sri Lanka with 22 shareholders had been discovered, more..

Embilipitiya killing: Twenty cops to be chargesheeted

Apr 8 (Island) National Police Commission (NPC) has decided to chargesheet at least twenty policemen involved in a clash with a group of civilians at a party in Embilipitiya around midnight on January 04, which resulted in the death of a person named Sumith Prasanna. Charge sheets have already been posted to ten policemen who served in Embilipitiya at the time of the incident. Policemen concerned, however, said the authorities should ensure justice when preparing charge sheets more..

Sri Lanka energy regulator accuses CEB of negligence

Apr 8 (EN) Sri Lanka’ energy utility has approved a request from the state power monopoly to buy emergency power from a private plant but accused it of maintenance negligence that caused a nationwide blackout last month. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) also accused the CEB of providing inaccurate and misleading information to it on the non-availability two high voltage transformers whose failure more..

'Decisions under Megapolis are ad-hoc'

Apr 8 (LBO) Decisions and actions under SL’s Megapolis have been ad-hoc and have not received sufficient debate and evaluation, a transport sector expert charged. Professor Amal Kumarage, a senior professor at Moratuwa University, speaking at a Verité Research seminar said Megapolis initiative is based on unsustainable high-cost and long-term solutions. Kumarage addressed the gathering on the topic Economics of shooting without aiming: Case of transport in the Megapolis. more..

Sri Lanka high grown teas gain in March

Apr 8 (EN) Sri Lankan tea prices in March 2016 remained below those of a year ago with the exception of high grown varieties but with crops down owing to drought the cost of production was much higher, brokers said. Total auction average for March 2016 at 412.02 rupees a kilo was 3.62 rupees than that of a year ago but high gown teas went up 18.08 rupees to 422.62 rupees. Despite the gains in local currency, in US dollar terms the auction average prices of all types of teas, more..

SriLankan Airlines flight in emergency landing at Bangkok

Apr 8 (CG) SriLankan Airlines flight UL 891 from Bangkok to Colombo returned to base at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport today, after a malfunction in the air conditioning system which resulted in smoke accumulation in the cabin. The aircraft landed safely. SriLankan Airlines says none of the 263 passengers or the crew were injured. Flight UL 891 departed Bangkok at 2209 hours (Bangkok time). more..

Chief Justice Sripavan Withdraws From National List Abuse Hearing

Apr 8 (CT) Chief Justice K. Sripavan who is charged for Judicial Corruption before the Corruption Commission and also before the Supreme Court (SC/Writs/03/2016) by the right activist and lawyer Nagananda Kodituwakku has withdrawn himself from the hearing of the National List abuse case (SC/Writs/05/2015). It is learnt that this case now drifting in the Supreme Court, without been listed for support, for a considerable period amidst stiff resistance from the Chief Justice. more..

Cabinet approves compensation for residents set to lose land

Apr 8 (CG) The cabinet has approved compensation to be paid to residents set to lose their land for development purposes to be carried out in Colombo. A project is to be launched to control flooding in the Colombo metropolitan area and the suburbs and also develop infrastructure. The project will cover fifty six sub projects and most of the construction and rehabilitation work proposed under this project will be implemented in main cities and in highly populated areas. more..

Panama Papers: Reclaiming money more important than revealing names, says ACF

Apr 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Anti Corruption Front says re-claiming money from hidden offshore accounts is more important than revealing names. Speaking about Panama Papers, an advisor to Anti Corruption Front, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said that the ICIJ organization has already started processing data on Sri Lanka. He said investigations carried out by Sri Lanka on financial crimes have earlier found out that more..

Joint Opposition gets COPE, PAC slots

Apr 8 (DM) The Joint Opposition secured two slots in the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday. Accordingly, its MPs Prasanna Ranatunga has been nominated to COPE and Mahindananda Aluthgamage to the PAC. Earlier in the day, its parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardane said Speaker Karu Jayasuriya agreed to appoint them on an earlier occasion, but it was not announced to the House. more..

Ranatunga applauds WICB

Apr 8 (CT) Former Sri Lanka World Cup winning Captain Arjuna Ranatunga commended the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for the decision they took to uplift the West Indies Cricket despite the huge criticism from the World T20 winning captain Darren Sammy and his teammates. This was after players like Sammy and Dwayne Bravo had said that the WICB is the most unprofessional Cricket Board and had called them 'immature' while blaming its President Dave Cameron. more..

Politicians should be cautious about how to use the power vested with them: President

Apr 8 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says all the politicians should be cautious about how to use the power vested with them as leaders or members of a political party by the people in a democratic, free country and they should also know the place they are entitled to in that context. President also emphasized the power given by the people should not be used by the politicians to strengthen their own family and more..

Train services to North, East and Puttalam restricted

Apr 8 (DM) Train services to the North, East and Puttlam have been cancelled this morning after a container damaged the Kelaniya Railway Bridge. Container which was heading to Biyagama had attempted to travel under the bridge, which was too low, not taking into consideration the height of the cargo it carried. The accident had damaged the bridge causing the disruption in train services. Control room said the accident had pushed the railway track to the side by atleast five feet. more..

Power crisis stage managed: Expert

Apr 8 (Island) Adviser to Energy Minister and Executive Director of Energy Forum of Sri Lanka Asoka Abeygunawardene said the recent energy outages had been stagemanaged and there couldn’t have been a shortage of power. Addressing the Anti-Coal Coalition Media Workshop organised by the Sri Lanka Press Institute Abeygunawardene said, adding that there were certain elements with vested interests. He said the solution for the crisis was to depend on renewable energy. more..

Sri Lanka to sign the Paris Agreement

Apr 8 (DN) Sri Lanka is to sign the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on April 22 at the UN headquarters, New York. Minister Susil Premajayantha is to sign the agreement on behalf of Sri Lankan govt. Cabinet approval was granted last Wednesday for the ratification of this Agreement and to assign Minister Premajayantha to participate in the high level more..

Those who destroyed jogging track near Wattala police still at large

Apr 8 (Island) The Police have not yet identified the suspects responsible for destroying a public jogging track near the Wattala police station. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that police had recorded a statement from a security guard who was said to have been present at the time of incident. "Police suspect that there have been some of the officers of that board at the time and would seek court permission to trace where they had been with the help of their mobile phone data. more..

Aavishkaar forays into Sri Lanka by investing in MA's Foods

Apr 8 (PTI) Social venture capital firm Aavishkaar has forayed into Sri Lanka with an investment of 300 million SL Rupee in MA's Foods. South and South-east Asia focused Aavishkaar Frontier Fund has agreed to invest 300 million LKR (about Rs 13.80 crore) in Sri Lanka's premium food processing firm MA's Foods, the company said. This investment will enable MA's Foods to accelerate its new phase of growth, expand into the North of Sri Lanka and meet its strategic plan objectives. more..

Plan to systematically expel JVP: Lal Kantha

Apr 8 (DM) JVP Politburo member K.D. Lal Kantha claimed that there is a plan to systematically expel the JVP from national politics through an election system and the party already held discussions with President Sirisena in this regard. “We met the President to clarify about the election system as we felt that he is not aware of many things,” he said addressing a Farmers' Conference in Dambulla on Thursday. more..

Video: Basil at PRECIFAC

Apr 8 (DM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa arrived at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate and inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) a short while ago. Mr. Rajapaksa was summoned to the commission to record a statement over an allegation of misusing flights carried out by the Air Force. His wife Pushpa Rajapaksa had also been asked to report to the commission over the same matter yesterday more..

Murali made me feel like a schoolboy: Gilchrist

Apr 8 (PTI) One of the most intimidating batsmen in his heydays, former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist says he himself feared only Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan and Indian tweaker Harbhajan Singh during his international career. The former stumper-batsman, who served as Australia's stand-in captain on quite a few occasions, disclosed this at an interactive session with school kids here. Asked about the bowlers he feared the most, he said "It would be a combination of Murali & Bhajji. more..

Yahapalanaya gone wrong: Total ministers up to 92, can accommodate more: Govt

Apr 8 (DM) Govt formally informed Parliament that there were as many as 92 Ministers, deputy ministers and state ministers, and doors were open to accommodate further crossovers from the opposition to increase the number if necessary. In the aftermath of the appointment of two deputy ministers and a state minister, NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa asked on Wednesday how the number could be increased in this manner despite more..

Tamil racism & 13 A – part III

Apr 9 (CT) I must add a couple of details to show the extent to which I was pro-Tamil. I not only advocated that a mausoleum be built to honor the war dead on both sides but I also went to the extent of saying that it should bear the inscription May you be born among us in your next birth, which t he ancient Chinese used to honor the bravery of their fallen enemies. Another detail worth mentioning is that after 2009 I was consistently and outspokenly critical of the Rajapaksa Govt for more..

Countering Rajapaksa’s counter-culture

Apr 9 (SL) One of the greatest thinkers ever to born unto this world – Prof. Raymond Williams – was one of the most significant philosophers of the second half of the 20th century, and a major figure in socialist school of thought. He opined that Culture was one of the most complex and complicated concepts in the English languages. According to Stephen Heath, Prof. Raymond Williams’ many books and articles transformed understanding of culture and society, and made a decisive more..

Joint Opposition is just a joke

Apr 9 (CT) The working relationship between Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Mahinda Samarasinghe and me is not good because I have not been entrusted with responsibilities at the ministry. I have informed President Maithripala Sirisena regarding this matter and I am still waiting for a feedback from President Sirisena, State Minister Palitha Range Bandara said. more..

Perumal forms new party sans Eelam

Apr 9 (CT) The first Chief Minister of the merged North and East Province A. Varadaraja Perumal who is now moving around freely in Jaffna on a motorbike has taken a bold decision to change the name of his political party Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front ( Pathmanaba wing) as the Socialist Democratic Party of Tamils. Until the downfall of the LTTE, Varadaraja Perumal was one of the prime targets of the outfit and most of the time since he left the Island along with more..

Where is our right to information?

Apr 9 (NS) Mysteriously destroyed Wattala walking track is being rebuilt in the same mysterious manner. Despite much pressure from the affected parties, civil society organisations and the media, nobody has yet succeeded to uncover the people who were physically involved in removing the track or the secret hands behind it. Now, it has become clear that the walking track was located along the river bank which is state land and had been built with state funds and therefore, more..

Steeling the homes of IDPs

Apr 9 (NS) Over the past few weeks, Resettlement Ministry had been embroiled in a controversy over providing 65,000 permanent houses to the war affected people. The controversy was with regard to the tender procedure adopted. Apart from the tender procedure, there was another issue which displeased the people. The reason for their dissatisfaction or unhappiness is quite reasonable. These houses are not made by more..

Political dung spoils constitutional milk

Apr 9 (Island) The govt has, after much dilly-dallying, finally admitted in Parliament that there are 92 ministers including the President. Last Wednesday, there was a real hullabaloo in the House with some Opposition firebrands demanding to know how many ministers there were and the govt refusing to field the query. It was obvious that the Opposition MPs were posing a rhetorical question to embarrass the govt. All signs are that the number of ministers will increase further. more..

Indecent proposal

Apr 9 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has made an unprecedented request recently asking the present govt to hand over the country back to him as the govt has failed to fulfill the promises they have made to the nation. The main argument that Rajapaksa has placed before his crowd was that the govt has failed to take positive measures for the economic crisis that the country is facing at present. To further strengthen his argument he has added that the Western Front is now quiet more..


Politics of Promise: Between Sirisena and Rajapaksa

Apr 9 (IPCS) On Easter Day, a day of rejoicing and celebration for Christians, shrapnel and ball bearings pierced through innocent civilians in a children's park in Lahore, where a majority of the victims were children. This disgraceful suicide attack, which killed 69 and injured nearly 400, was a sad day for Pakistan and the region. Days before, another terrorist attack, in Brussels, targeted innocent civilians. The world has become unstable due to terrorism across the globe and more..

US seeks to develop close military ties with Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (wsws) US Navy’s 7th Fleet Flagship, USS Blue Ridge, arrived in Colombo on March 26 for a five-day visit, with 900 sailors on board. This is the first time in five years that a US navy vessel has docked in Colombo. Marking the event, the 7th Fleet command said the visit aimed to “build new ties and promote peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.” Part of the US Pacific command, the Seventh Fleet is the largest of the US Navy and conducts “forward deployed naval operations more..

Sri Lanka sets criteria to select chairmen, directors for SOEs

Apr 9 (EN) Sri Lanka is setting criteria for selecting appointees to state owned enterprises (SOEs) in a bid to improve governance and performance, with a high powered committee has already starting to vet appointees. The cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs of PM Wickremesinghe for the committee to follow guidelines when recommending directors for SOEs. more..

Working towards power devolution

Apr 9 (ER) On March 9, 2016, Sri Lankan Parliament, without a vote, approved to change the Parliament to a Constitutional Assembly (CA) to draft a new constitution for the island nation, declaring “Parliament resolved this day to appoint a Committee of Parliament hereinafter referred to as the Constitutional Assembly which shall consist of all MPs, for the purpose of deliberating, and seeking the views and advice of the People on a new constitution for SL and preparing a draft of more..

The Golden Voice silenced by a broken heart

Apr 9 (Island) There are many lives I wish I could have saved in my 47 years long medical career but none more so than that of Sunil Santha, one of our greatest musicians; one of the triumvirate that created the genre of our own Sinhala Music, dissociating it from North Indian music. While writing about one other, Ananda Samarakoon (The Island, April 6: The Forgotten Genius), my mind went back 35 years, to April 1981, the first time I was fortunate enough to meet Sunil Santha though more..

'I have stopped supporting JO activites'

Apr 9 (DN) The newly appointed Deputy Minister Manusha Nanayakkara said he had stopped supporting the activities of the Joint Opposition as of Aug 17, 2015. He stressed: I have always supported the SLFP. Nanayakkara left the ranks of the Joint Opposition (JO) to become a Deputy Minister of the national govt. "At the Jan 8 elections, I supported the SLFP and worked towards the victory of its leader at the time, Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

From emoluments to Devolution of power

Apr 9 (DN) The practice of enticing MPs by dishing out various favours, may it be Ministerial posts or other similar offers, is no strange phenomenon in our political culture. There is little argument that we need a change to this deep rooted political culture that invites political somersaults. Then again in the face of recent developments, there is little hope for such a change, despite how ugly and unreasonable this practice is. With the three new appointments, Parliament was told last Thursday that more..

Five tours in two months

Apr 9 (ST) Who is this coach of a popular sport who is supposed to have made five tours in two months? Is he trying to break a record? The whole set up wants to know where he has gone and what he has done. A Japanese businessman has filed a court case against a leading Sri Lankan racing driver claiming 80 Million Sri Lankan Rupees which the Japanese man says that he had given to this racing driver to put up a housing scheme. When the racing driver concerned was summoned to court, more..

Wigneswaran wants two States

Apr 9 (DN) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran presenting a Resolution on the Constitutional Reforms to the NPC has proposed the set up of two States in the country, one by merging the Northern and Eastern Provinces and the other by merging the seven other Provinces. Resolution which was presented to the Council was taken up for debate yesterday presided by its Chairman more..