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Empowerment, Enforcement

Nov 26 (CT) No person shall propagate war or advocate national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. (Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act, No. 56 of 2007.) Every person who— (a) attempts to commit; (b) aids or abets in the commission of; or (c) threatens to commit, an offence referred to in subsection (1), shall be guilty of an offence under this Act. more..

Scared of exposing corrupt deals: 'Disclosures to media breach MPs’ privileges'

Nov 26 (SO) Minister, Lakshman Kiriella said, they are not against the ongoing investigation by the PCoI probing the Bond Scam. Minister said, the commission has not done anything wrong and it can virtually investigate anything, anytime. However, the question is, the information gathered by the commission should have been kept private and confidential to be used by the commission when necessary. more..

Parliament’s honour at stake

Nov 26 (ST) PCoI on the Central Bank Bond scam concluded its public hearings earlier this week and as they say in legal circles, it unearthed some exhilarating evidence beyond a shadow of doubt. It will now be the onerous duty of the Commission to distil that evidence and pronounce its recommendations. A powerful Cabinet Minister has already lost his job on the sheer weight of some of the evidence that made it imperative for the Govt to ask for his resignation post-haste to save more..

Slipping out

Nov 26 (ST) My dear Robert Mugabe, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had resigned as President of Zimbabwe after thirty seven years in power. As you would expect, the news came as quite a shock to us, even though we in paradise are quite used to the habit of Presidents trying to stay in power for the rest of their lives. Why I thought of writing to you was because, even though we may be continents apart and the only thing in common between us appears to be the game more..

Govt shakes as bond scandal inquiry ends

Nov 26 (Nikkei) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made unwelcome political history on Nov. 20, appearing before a PCoI into a 10 billion-rupee ($65 million) bond scandal that is shaking his govt and damaging the country's economic prospects. "I have disclosed everything, as we have nothing to hide," PM told supporters as he emerged from the so-called Bond Commission hearing after becoming the first sitting PM to be questioned more..


Nov 26 (Island) The govt has been on a fire fighting mode for the past several months with its many critics, not only from the ranks of the Joint Opposition but also from within its own folds making numerous allegations against it. The Bond Commission had seen some astonishing revelations that have not redounded to the credit of the govt. But few pause to think who appointed the commission in the first place? It was President Sirisena. Many will be quick to say that was because more..


Nov 26 (ST) Conversation about last week’s commotion created by cart-puller Pedris in a drunken stupor continued this week with Kussi Amma Sera asking, Mahattaya, Lankawey hari kalabala mey dawas wala. Apey Sirimal Mahattaya honda, honda katha liyanawa apey viyadama gana? Eh kiyanne, I asked. Aie Mahattayo eda Sir kathakara neda, she replied, bringing in my morning’s elixir – a good, steaming cup of tea. Nothing like a cup of tea to energise brain, more..


PM bats for open and free internet for all amid raging global debate

Nov 26 (SO) After an eventful week in SL, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe left for India earlier this week for a four-day visit. The highlight of the visit was his meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi and his speech at the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space. The PM’s meeting with his Indian counterpart was held when the two countries have ambitious plans on several important economic development projects, including the plan for the development of the Mattala Int'l Airport. more..

Impending arrest of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Nov 26 (Island) Virtually everything said in this column about the local govt elections and the possibility of yahapalana govt postponing them with a Puthukudiirippu-Maritime Pattu style operation by petitioning courts came true last week with the Appeal Court issuing a stay order on the local govt delimitation gazette. Every political maneuver that this govt makes can be accurately predicted months ahead. Frantic talks are now being held by the SLFP with their estranged colleagues more..

Bigwigs to spend Christmas behind bars?

Nov 26 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena seems to have reached a decisive juncture since announcing his decision to become the common candidate in Nov 2014 by joining hands with UNP. While there were many hiccups since then, both President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe displayed a commitment towards continuing the political marriage they entered against all odds. Both leaders acknowledged the presence of more..

Month of Gloriosa Superba

Nov 26 (CT) Gloriosa Superba a red and yellow coloured wild flower is found blooming in a big way in the jungles of Wanni in the Northern Province in the month of November and because the colour of the flower is that of the LTTE flag, it became significant even for the outfit. As November is known as Karthikai in Tamil, the wild flower with its botanical name Gloriosa Superba is known among the Northerners as Karthikaipookal (flowers of November). more..

Govt’s Balance Sheet

Nov 26 (ST) A balance sheet of any organisation such as a firm or even a family shows either income and expenditure, or receipts and payments, or credits and debits, or assets and liabilities. The balance sheet projects the financial position and financial progress. If the balance sheet does not look healthy, then there should be changes and reforms, which are painful sometimes. Govt also has a balance sheet, which is presented annually to the Parliament and to the people of the country more..

Fresh controversy over NOC’s Athletes Commission

Nov 26 (ST) A large section of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) are urging the association’s top-rankers to respect the International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines when forming the Athletes’ Commission, after reports emerged that the NOC Secretary-General (SG) had handpicked a few members to constitute the Commission without following due procedure. In an email written to more..

Sashank Manohar: Saving cricket from N. Srinivasan and building India’s best ground

Nov 26 (Island) At a time when none dared take on Indian cricket heavyweight N. Srinivasan, one Nagpur lawyer took him head on. Sashank Manohar, the current ICC Chairman was Srinivasan’s predecessor at Board of Control for Cricket in India and had a graceful exit. As the head of world’s richest cricket board, Srinivasan silenced other boards with his bullying tactics and his antics became increasingly intolerable during his controversial tenure as ICC Chairman. more..

JVP should apologize to people: NFF

Nov 26 (DM) The JVP should apologize to the people for extending their support in bringing the incumbent govt into power and casting their vote in favour of the Local Govt (LG) Elections Amendment Bill, National Freedom Front (NFF) deputy leader and MP, Jayantha Samaraweera said. He said the JVP, having known the repercussions of bringing a UNP govt into power, gave its fullest support to the UNP to form a unity govt in 2015 resulting in chaos in the country. more..

'Inability to play spin is a major concern'

Nov 26 (SO) Batting coach Thilan Samaraweera didn’t paint a rosy picture of his team’s ability to tackle spin when he said that the batsmen faced a big challenge over the next three days against Jadeja and Ashwin who not so long ago were ranked the world’s number one and two bowlers. “When you are behind against world’s number one and two bowlers you have to play your A game. That is the big challenge over more..

Sri Lanka should show tenacity

Nov 26 (CT) After a mixed effort in the first Test, what Sri Lanka seriously needs is a better effort or lift in their game. In the second innings the Sri Lanka's looked edgy and panicky most unlike an experienced team that had just won an away series against a top team in the world. Did India remember the SL batting debacle of Cardiff in 2011 when England made a casual declaration in the game when a draw was the only possible result? Sri Lanka led by Dilshan and including more..

Test discard Kaushal Silva shows ‘em how

Nov 26 (ST) Two fine performances by Janith Liyanage and Sahan Nanayakkara helped Ragama CC record a first inning win over Lankan CC in the Premier Emerging League cricket tournament encounter played at Thurstan ground. Janith cracked a 79 with nine boundaries and two sixes on day one for Ragama CC taking first lease of the wicket to make a modest score of 216 and the second day’s proceedings saw left arm spinner Sahan Nanayakkara grab four scalps more..

Dasun Shanaka penalised for changing condition of ball

Nov 26 (CI) Sri Lanka allrounder Dasun Shanaka has been handed three demerit points, and a fine worth 75% of his match fees, after being caught on television "picking up an area on the ball next to the seam several times." So said an ICC release, which also mentioned that Shanaka did not contest the charges laid on him by the match officials in the Nagpur Test. Incident took place on Saturday, during 50th over of India's innings. more..

Ashan, Pramuka Best driver and Rider at Katukurunda

Nov 26 (SO) Ashan Silva and Pramuka Sesath stole the limelight at the Race meet held at the Rotherham Circuit, Katukurunda last Sunday. The meet was organised by the Sri Lanka Motor Cycle Club as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations. Ashan Silva drove his Mitsubishi Evo in the Group SL-GT 3500cc class with most of the highly renowned drivers starting off from pole position. He was off to a flyer with Missaka Naveen and Young Kushan Peiris challenging Ashan. more..

Govt condemns terrorist attack in Egypt

Nov 26 (GDI) Govt, in the strongest terms condemned yesterday's terrorist attack on worshippers at a mosque in the Sinai region of Egypt. Issuing a statement, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that attacking those at prayer is an act of inexplicable brutality. “The Govt and people of SL offer deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and wish those who are injured, a speedy recovery.” While expressing solidarity with the Govt of Egypt at this time of national mourning, more..

World Bank says: Don’t wait till 2019

Nov 26 (CT) The World Bank (WB) has urged Sri Lanka to start settling its bunched-up debt repayments prior to the maturity period which commences in 2019, as it will help retain international market confidence in the country. This was stated by WB, Senior Country Economist for SL, Ralph van Doorn at a public dialogue organized by the WB in collaboration with Dept of Economics and Economics Students' Association. more..

UTSAV, a colorful cultural festival to celebrate 70 years of independence

Nov 26 (Island) Punjabi dancers – the men resplendent in blue and yellow turbans, the women alluring in orange and green shawls – leapt, whirled and sang to the delight of an audience including politicians and foreign dignitaries at the Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo. Folk dance was not the only attraction at UTSAV: Glimpses of India, a three-day festival celebrating 70 years of Indian independence. The festival, held between Nov 17 and 19, also offered yoga sessions, more..

Strict implementation of laws to deal with filth being published: Govt

Nov 26 (Island) The law would be applied strictly to deal with some of the "raw filth and distorted reports" that were being published and broadcast, says Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne.  Minister said on Friday that some journalists were abusing their new found freedom to slander govt leaders in "raw filth and in the most atrocious manner. I have never seen such low journalism, even in the most underdeveloped countries." more..

Nominations for 93 councils to be called

Nov 26 (SO) The district returning officers will issue notice calling for nominations for 93 undisputed local govt bodies on Monday, the Elections Commission Chairman said yesterday, following the conclusion of a crucial internal meeting. All three members, Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, President’s Counsel Nalin J. Abeysekera and the Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya were present at the meeting at the Elections Secretariat. more..

Trade deficit with India no big deal: Dr. Sally

Nov 26 (GDI) Despite the hue and cry made by the public and a certain section of the business community on Sri Lanka’s trade deficit with its neighboring giant, a top economist asserted such arguments do not show the real picture of the situation at hand and said one should not pay much attention to it. While acknowledging the concern arises due to India being Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner, Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Chairman Dr. Razeen Sally said, more..

Maithri-Mahinda faction in talks

Nov 26 (NR) Minister Chandima Weerakkody says a special SLFP discussion will be held tonight (25) pertaining to the forthcoming LG Election. Minister said factions representing the govt and the opposition will participate during tonight’s talks. He said Ministers Nimal Siripala De Silva, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna will represent the govt faction while the Opposition group will be represented by MPs Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Mahinda Yapa more..

Musthapa blames MR Govt for LG polls delay

Nov 26 (DM) Minister Faizer Musthapha said JO and JVP submit no-confidence motions against the previous govt and the former subject minister and not against him. The entire controversy surrounding the conduct of LG polls and all this delay was caused by them. He said the two parties must first realize who was responsible for the delay and as to who attempted to use the delimitation process to their advantage by hoodwinking more..

The moment when Che Guevara’s daughter met Wijeweera’s son

Nov 26 (CT) History lines up many events in a profound as well as amazing manner. Those incidents are random unexpected events. The photograph published herewith shows such a destined meeting. This youth here is the son of revolutionary leader of the JVP, whom many people of this country were fond of, Rohana Wijeweera's son. In the close up photograph with him is the daughter of supreme revolutionary leader of the twentieth century the entire world loved, more..

‘I don’t want to win elections by setting up mobile taverns’

Nov 26 (Island) Housing and Construction Minister, Sajith Premadasa said that after the yahapalana govt was elected to power, 490 uda gammana (model villages) were established in the country. Addressing a public meeting after inaugurating Sithujayagama at Meegahajadura in Suriyawewa, he said that construction work on another 500 such model villages will begin before the end of the year, with the long-term objective of achieving a target 2,000 by 2020. more..

JO offers unconditional support to President to bring bond scam fraudsters to book

Nov 26 (Island) The JO pledged its unconditional support to President Sirisena in his endeavor to hunt down those responsible for the treasury bond scam. MP Bandula Gunawardena said that his group would stand in defence of President Sirisena against those who had launched a scathing attack when he (President) spoke against the bond fraudsters. He said the President has become the victim of a mudslinging campaign more..

Perpetual Treasuries profits slump after suspension

Nov 26 (ST) Perpetual Treasuries, accused of insider trading in controversial bond trades in February 2015 and since July 2017 and suspended from business, saw its profits slide to Rs. 316 million in the six-month period ending Sept 2017 against a phenomenal Rs. 6.8 billion in the same 2016 months. In unaudited 6-month accounts published, PTL reported net capital gain (from trading financial assets) at a mere Rs. 6.8 million compared to Rs. 5.6 billion in 6-months ending Sept 2016. more..

CID chief rings alarm; top officers’ phones monitored by IGP

Nov 26 (ST) The head of the CID, Senior DIG Ravi Samaraweera, dropped a bombshell at a meeting of senior Police officers with members of the Police Commission on Friday. He said that the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), an investigative arm functioning directly under IGP Pujith Jayasundera, had provided him a list of telephone numbers to obtain details from the service providers. Upon perusal, Senior DIG Smaraweera said, he found his own phone number on the list. more..

SLFP, JO talks intensify; Sirisena asked to sever links with UNP

Nov 26 (ST) With a new thaw in relations, feuding factions of the SLFP are inching their way towards reconciliation. This is notwithstanding the main cause for that need for unity – winning the local govt elections in January next year, almost fading away. Hopes have been raised again after the EC announced yesterday that nominations for 93 local bodies will be held likely on Dec 12, just 14 days afar tomorrow. more..

PM at the Commission: Questions that may or may never be answered

Nov 26 (Island) The reactions to the PM's testimony and answers last week at the Commission of Inquiry have been as mixed as the varying opinions about the man himself and his politics. "Ranil resolute before Bond Commission" exulted one admiring headline in a financial daily. Being resolute means: admirably purposeful; determined; unwavering. The senior Ministers of his Party were all at the Commission to show solidarity. Commission put the PM in his place as a witness but more..

A Finance Minister on steroids

Nov 26 (Island) The Budget is remarkable for three reasons; it is ambitious and looks into the future, it cannot function without public-private partnerships (PPP) in new industrial zones, and thirdly if the long-term objectives that embellish the Finance Minister’s vision are to bear fruit the govt has to be an active agent and driver. The third consideration is in conflict with what the FM has pronounced at seminars with business organisations and I will deal with this at the end. more..

Sri Lanka clarifies it has no personal rift with North Korea

Nov 26 (SL) Sri Lanka on Saturday clarified it has no personal rift with North Korea and that it only supported a recent UN resolution on the country as part of its commitments to the UN. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera told Parliament that when sanctions were imposed by the UN on North Korea recently, Sri Lanka implemented the resolution as a UN member state. He said that Sri Lanka had to comply with the UN resolution and it had no personal rift with North Korea. more..

Axe falls on historic banyan tree at President’s House

Nov 26 (ST) Most Sri Lankans are unaware of the disappearance of the banyan tree, which was a historic landmark at the Janadipathi Mandiraya or the former Queen’s House in Fort. It was planted by then-Governor Sir Joseph West Ridgeway to honour the 25th anniversary of the ascension of Queen Victoria to the throne. She ascended at the age of 18 in June 1837. Now, only pictures of this magnificent tree — admired the world over as one that had withstood time — remain. more..

‘Minister Musthapha gone abroad even without informing the PM’

Nov 26 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the govt was not aware of the whereabouts of Minister Mustapaha. "PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed all MPs and Ministers not to leave the country during the budget debate. While that was so, it seems Minister Mustapaha has gone abroad. "He has not informed us of his visit. He should have informed the govt of his visit. The minister has acted in contravention of the instructions given by the PM", more..