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'Justice Minister should not wait for the No Confidence Motion, but resign'

Aug 20 (SO) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera says it is not a healthy practice to move a No Confidence Motion in Parliament against a Minister of his own party. UNP in its Parliamentary and Working Committee joint meeting held at Sirikotha on Thursday unanimously agreed to bring in a No Confidence Motion against Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. He said, the sentiments of the UNP Parliamentary Group and more..

Backtracking on re-examining Samurdhi

Aug 20 (Island) Govt’s swift backtracking on re-examining the Samurdhi poor relief scheme was easily predictable. It is common knowledge that many thousands of Samurdhi recipients are not eligible for the benefit and similar numbers who are eligible do not enjoy the relief. Politicians have long played a part in deciding/influencing who receives the benefit and who does not. It is anybody’s guess whether the proposed re-examination of the scheme would have resulted in fairer disbursement more..


Aug 20 (CT) Sri Lanka's drought like conditions, which have been more the norm than the exception, affecting the island since January of last year in the current context, show the helplessness of man against the vagaries of the weather, despite making vast technological strides in the past few decades. Technology may be able to send a man to the moon, but it cannot create rain. Sri Lanka faced similar drought like conditions in 1982 at the height of the Accelerated Mahaweli Dev Programme more..

'Referendum needed to postpone polls'

Aug 20 (CT) Political parties as well as the general public are raising questions about the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which would make it mandatory to hold elections to all the Provincial Councils on the same date. Govt says that to be fair to everyone, they have proposed to hold PC Elections in 2019, when the term of the Uva PC expires, while the Opposition claims govt is deliberately trying to postpone more..

NPC under fire

Aug 20 (CT) EPDP Leader, Douglas Devananda has come down hard on the administration of Northern Provincial Council, criticizing severely the ruling members in the democratically elected body as lame ducks. Devananda who also held various ministerial portfolios in the previous regimes was the first to take the bold step to join hands with the Govt following the withdrawal of the IPKF to look into the welfare of the Northerners as well as to revive the democratic system in the N&E Provinces more..

Neo-colonial powers exploit Indo-Pak rift

Aug 20 (ST) Both India and Pakistan celebrated their 70th anniversary of Independence from British rule, and with it marked the same number of years of hostility, suspicion, rage and arguments over the disputed territory of Kashmir, the departing rulers left behind after partitioning the sub-continent. Such is their animosity towards each other that both countries are armed with nuclear weapons to defend themselves. Without an amicable settlement of their differences, SAARC, more..


Don’t bet on it

Aug 20 (ST) My dear Thilanga, I thought I must write to you in desperation because you seem to be the rock that stands firm when everything about cricket in our paradise is falling apart and we have become the whipping boys of the game, where even teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh thrash us in our own backyard. I am told that, if (or rather, when) we lose the series starting tonight against the Indians, we are in danger of not playing in the next World Cup, if the West Indies play well more..

Wijayadasa makes waves, govt. on tricky wicket in NCP & Sabaragamuwa

Aug 20 (Island) It was evident from the time the present govt came into power that the UNP as a collective entity was not in its proper senses. In 2001, when much the same individuals in the UNP came into power, they were a stabilising force which doused the flames that had been ignited by Chandrika Kumaratunga in during her blighted seven years in power from 1994 to 2001. At that time, it was the UNP that put an end to the cycle of political reprisals and revenge taking between more..

President trapped between his commitment to Yahapalanaya and Maha Sangha

Aug 20 (CT) As the Unity Govt completed reaching its second milepost without much ado, accusation and resignation seem to be the only options left with the two leaders to keep the unity within. In the aftermath of forced resignation of Ravi Karunanayake from his post as Foreign Minister due to alleged links with the main suspect of CB Bonds Scam, Arjun Aloysius at the time Karunanayake functioned as Finance more..

Govt launches third year with positive action

Aug 20 (SO) The Govt last week declared an unexpected withdrawal of Telecommunication Levy on Internet data, and duty reductions on single cabs, mini trucks and motorcycles below the engine capacity of 150cc.bringing euphoria to a hard-pressed Sri Lankan community. Rounding off the Yahapalana Govt’s first two years of its reign Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the 10% Telecom Levy on Internet data would be completely removed from Sept 1. more..

Budget blues and welcome showers

Aug 20 (ST) It was a welcome shower on Thursday evening in the city of Colombo, providing at least some coolness amidst dusty and warm evenings. Showers were also experienced in other parts of the country, in varying degrees and at various times. However, devastating drought still persists and affected populations across the island are complaining that cash (or in-kind) relief against loss of farming income has either not reached them or is insufficient. more..

Implement Justice Jayawardene’s recommendations

Aug 20 (Island) Recently giving verdict on a divorce case, a judge was rattled by the response given by a little girl. The judge had asked the girl, ‘Now that your parents are getting divorced do you want to live with your mummy? Little Girl - No, my mummy beats me. Judge - Well then, I guess you want to live with your daddy. Little Girl - No, my daddy beats me too. Judge - Well then, who do you want to live with? Little Girl - I want to live more..

Ready to lose a few games if we need to try out something: Kohli

Aug 20 (CI) It's almost nine years to the day that Virat Kohli, a sprightly teenager fresh out of a successful Under-19 World Cup campaign, made his ODI debut for India in Dambulla. Now, he returns to the same venue as India captain, looking to build on a series of impressive results in recent times, but with an eye on the 2019 World Cup, which is little under two years away. The five-match series that starts on Sunday is crucial for Sri Lanka, who need two wins to ensure direct qualification more..

Will Humpty-Dumpty’s fate be repeated?

Aug 20 (Island) At last – and thankfully – the three-Test series against India is over. Sri Lanka was outplayed, out-planned and out-distanced by many a mile as the visitors sauntered to a 3-0 series win seemingly without raising a sweat. Watching this massacre from a Sri Lankan point of view was excruciatingly painful to say the least. To think that not too long ago Sri Lanka humbled the mighty Australians 3-0 before this tumble. Hopefully, after this great fall, unlike the fate that more..

Uphill task for Upul and his men

Aug 20 (ST) Sri Lanka, after a crushing 3-0 hammering in the Test series, will look for a quick turn-around of fortunes when the 5-match ODI series against India begins today in Dambulla. Led by new ODI skipper Upul Tharanga, SL are under tremendous pressure going into the series as they must win at least two matches to secure a direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup. Failure to do so will force Sri Lanka to join more..

Sri Lankan cricket in doldrums

Aug 20 (Island) As Rex Clementine has indicated a few days ago, Sri lanka Cricket has hit rock bottom. It is not on the defeat in three Tests itself against India that one comes to this conclusion, but the unbelievable margins of defeat including two innings-defeats and one inside three days that makes one wonder as to how we could recover from this impasse. Sri Lanka administration must sit back and plan out the short-term and long-term strategy to regain the standards we were proud of more..

Record 5 titles for Anika

Aug 20 (ST) Top seeded Anika Seneviratne lived up to her expectations as she clinched the girls under 16 singles title with a comfortable two sets to nil against Anjalika Kurera in the three set final played at the SLTA tennis courts in Greenpath, Colombo yesterday. Later Anika continued her winning spree when partnered by her sister Alana went on to clinch the girls under 16 doubles title defeating the second seeded pair of Anjalika Kurera & Sathi Silva by 2-0 in the final which was played in the evening. more..

Central Bank takes umbrage over former ICTA CEO Canagey’s claims

Aug 20 (ST) Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) appears to have ignored a request from the Central Bank (CB) made more than a year ago – in mid-2016 – for details of the controversial National Payments Platform (NPP) even though the banking regulator is the authority under which such a mechanism must function. While ICTA CEO Muhunthan Canagey quit on Friday (11) more..

Biggest ever full day raid arrests 777 Army deserters

Aug 20 (SLA) An island-wide combined raid, conducted by the Police and SL Corps of Military Police (SLCMP) throughout Friday (18) arrested 777 Army personnel who are Absent Without Leave (AWOL) or having deserted their posts in respective formations around the country. The arrest, biggest ever conducted within a single day accordingly took 1 Officer and 776 Other Rankers in to custody during the full day raid. SL military last month said over 4,400 deserters have been arrested more..

Parliament Mafia: Deals discussed as SLFP members look to switch

Aug 20 (SL) SLFP members in the govt and JO are discussing deals as attempts are being made to drag members on both sides. Sources said that between 11-14 members of the SLFP in the govt have more or less confirmed they will join the JO. Meanwhile seven members of the JO have shown interest to join the SLFP in the govt. The deal making is heating up as both SLFP leader, President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa look to get the upper hand over each other. more..

'I regret we could not spend more time with Prabhakaran'

Aug 20 (WION) Erik Solheim, the Norwegian peace mediator in the SL civil war, breaks his silence on his controversial role in a conversation with WION's Padma Rao Sundarji. Sundarji: How and when did the govt of Norway decide to mediate in Sri Lanka and why did they pick you? Erik Solheim: We were invited in absolute secrecy by the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga. At the time, only two people in Colombo knew, more..

Bodi Liyanage makes his last journey today

Aug 20 (SO) Kandy sports lovers pay tribute to the one time President of the Kandy Association Football League and SL Football Federation Bodi Liyanage, who passed away on Friday in Kandy. He was 69 years at the time of his death. It is a great loss to all communities throughout the country as Bodhi as he was affectionately known dedicated a good part of his life to serve the country and sports. He had a dream to see Sri Lanka compete with the best on the sports field and in public life. more..

How SL balances serendipity & sultry charms

Aug 20 (SMH) Throwing open the curtains of my room in the Slightly Chilled Guest House, I am greeted by the morning view of Adam's Peak, where Adam first set foot on earth when he was chucked out of the Garden of Eden. Or call it Sri Pada, the mountain of the sacred footprint. But then again, it's Samanala Kande, Butterfly Mountain. And Hinduism's Sivan Adi Padham. Giant footprint at the top? That might have been left by the Buddha, St Thomas the Apostle of India, or Lord Shiva. more..

Wijeyadasa to resign tomorrow

Aug 20 (SL) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is expected to announce his resignation tomorrow. He is expected to announce his resignation at a media conference. “The Minister is to make a special statement tomorrow morning and he is likely to resign after that,” a source close to Rajapakshe said. The govt has lost confidence in Rajapakshe after he made comments critical of the Hambantota port agreement with China. more..

Coping with the worst drought in 40 years

Aug 20 (Hindu) Sri Lankan rice and curry is a thing of legend. With steamed rice, often of the red variety, served at the centre of their plate, locals serve yellow dal and curries made of vegetables, greens, fish and meat around it, virtually covering the entire colour palette within that small radius. Rice is cultivated locally, mostly from the island’s North Western, North Central and Northern Provinces. This year, though, SL is in a spot. From meeting the domestic requirement for rice more..

'Duty waiver will hit BOP, drain forex'

Aug 20 (CT) A Senior Economist yesterday slammed the Government's decision to reduce the duty imposed on certain vehicles and claimed that the decision would affect the Balance of Payment (BOP) of the country. Senior Lecturer of the University of Colombo, Department of Economics, Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said that by reducing the import duty on vehicles, Govt was causing a drain in foreign exchange, which subsequently could lead to an exchange rate crisis. more..

August will be historic month says Rajitha

Aug 20 (Island) With less than two weeks to go for the end of August, Minister Rajitha Senaratne says that this month would prove to be historic. Decisive decisions would be taken on behalf of the people, with regard to mega corruption cases and murders involving high profile persons before the end of August, he said on Friday. "History will be created this month. The process has just begun." more..

Examinations dept complains to police over alleged leak of A/L Chemistry paper

Aug 20 (HN) The examinations department has commenced investigations into an incident where a tuition master has allegedly distributed leaflets stating that he had already discussed several questions which were included in the second part of this year's A/L chemistry paper. He had said it was discussed at one of his seminars. The examinations commissioner general, W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara noted that a complain had been lodged at the police headquarters on this matter. more..

Conduct of Lankan diplomats : Marapana to probe allegations

Aug 20 (SO) The Development Assignment Minister who was given the additional portfolio of the Foreign Ministry by President Maithripala Sirisena, said he was here to ensure that Sri Lanka received the recognition it deserves by the international community. He said Sri Lanka’s missions have a tough job to fulfill this task and those who fail will have to face the music. Minister Marapana was appointed to fill the position of former Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanyake after more..

Govt suspends ICTA’s NPP

Aug 20 (ST) Controversial National Payment Platform (NPP) developed by Information & Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) has been suspended. This follows allegations against the agency that it took arbitrary action in handing over its operations to private companies without Central Bank regulation. Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said that he has directed ICTA chairperson to suspend all activities relating to NPP. more..

CBSL to resume talks with PayPal & Stripe

Aug 20 (CT) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) plans to refresh its talks with popular worldwide online payments system PayPal on its inward access to Sri Lanka, as early as possible, CBSL officials on Friday told Ceylon FT. At the moment, Sri Lankans can send money to any PayPal user, but Sri Lankans can't receive money from anyone through PayPal. "We are fully committed to promote the digital economy. Unfortunately Sri Lankan market is too small for them. more..

Another Bond Scam team member falls: CB Deputy Governor Samarasiri retires

Aug 20 (ST) Deputy Governor Central Bank P. Samarasiri on Friday retired from the banking regulator in a career that was plagued by allegations of complicity in CB bond scam under former Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s watch. Earlier attempts by former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, to extend his term (from Aug 18 when he reaches 60 years) were unsuccessful. The retiring banker is represented by his own lawyer at the ongoing sessions of bond Commission more..

Major corruption cases: Wheels of justice begin to grind following President’s outburst

Aug 20 (ST) SLFP ministers launched their own drive last Wednesday to woo the business community as they moved for an increased role in economic development. It came just 24 hours after the Cabinet of Ministers approved a recommendation by President Sirisena to establish a National Economic Council (NEC). For more than two weeks, Sirisena’s Cabinet Note had been on hold until PM, who chairs Cabinet Committee more..

August Ruling: Advocating a federal form of government is not advocating separatism

Aug 20 (Island) On August 4, Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking a court order that the ITAK, (historically called the Federal Party, in English) is in violation of the Constitution insofar as one of its aims and objectives in advocating a federal form of govt is the establishment of a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka. Three Judges who heard the petition disagreed. In what some newspapers have described as a landmark ruling, Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, more..

Exec. Presidency, Constitution, Supremacy of Parliament and Separation of Powers

Aug 20 (Island) Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) has always been against the concept of having an Executive Presidency because the concentration of state power in a single person is a sure formula for destroying good governance. An Executive President is invariably a politician with partisan views and would place his own and his party’s interests before those of the country. Deeds of J.R. Jayewardene, R. Premadasa, Chandrika Kumaratunge, Mahinda more..

Daya’s title change request irks Premier

Aug 20 (ST) Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage thought the name of his Ministry was not stylish enough, or perhaps lacked sufficient lustre to get things going. So he appealed to President Sirisena to change the title of his portfolio and the Ministry to that of Eastern Regional Development. Other than the name change, Mr Gamage told the President that he was not seeking any extra pay or perks. more..

NPC hands tied, cannot act on IGP

Aug 20 (SL) The National Police Commission (NPC) will not act against IGP Pujith Jayasundara over a recent incident, as it is legally unable to. NPC Secretary Ariyadasa Cooray said that the NPC can investigate and take action only on the Police service but not the IGP. The NPC was responding to a question posed by Sunday Leader on a recent incident where IGP had verbally abused an employee at Police hq. more..

SL receives GSP+ facility for 7 years

Aug 20 (SO) The GSP Plus facility is being implemented at present and exporters are making full use of the facility, National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) Chief Ramal Jasinghe said. “Right now the facility is implemented and it is available to all exporters to Europe and they are making use of the facility,” he said. The fisheries and the sea food industry too enjoy the benefit, Jasinghe said. “We have sent a strong message to more..

Morning safaris permitted into Wilpattu

Aug 20 (SO) The decision to ban safaris into Wilpattu National Park on account of the ongoing drought was reversed by the Minister of Wildlife after extensive consultations with the Minister of Tourism and The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO). The outcome is a favourable one for all stakeholders wherein morning safaris will now be permitted into the national park. This informed and decision reached through more..