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Relief Not Reshuffle

Apr 8 (CT) The Govt, at the two recent national elections held, beginning with the 8 January, 2015 Presidential Poll and ending with the 17 August, 2015 Parliamentary Poll, obtained the people’s mandate to end corruption, nepotism and cronyism and to bring in justice and reconciliation. Those were historic elections, because for the first time the country’s two major parties, the UNP and the SLFP, rallied round to fight and win against a common enemy. more..

Ranil home and dry

Apr 8 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is home and dry having weathered a do-or-die challenge to his leadership of both the govt and his party. Given the various claims and counter-claims running up to the ultimate test in Parliament last week, where Wickremesinghe triumphed by an unexpectedly wide margin indicating that even if those who absented themselves at voting time had participated and voted in favour of the motion, it would still have been defeated. more..

'EU has no reason to review, remove or recall GSP+ now'

Apr 8 (CT) Vice-Chair of the European Union Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) Jan Zahradil, who led a six-member delegation on a three-day visit to follow up on the country’s commitments made in exchange for access to the EU market, spoke about the progress SL has made on the GSP+ after it was reinstated in March 2017. While commending on SL’s progress towards being a vibrant democracy, more..

Local Houdini does it again

Apr 8 (ST) And so, Houdini did it again said a wise old lawyer referring to the Austro-Hungarian-born American illusionist and magician noted for his sensational escape acts, no sooner PM Ranil Wickremesinghe defeated a no-confidence motion against him in Parliament on Wednesday. Arguably, no SL politician has had to face so many challenges to his leadership, both of his party and the country – and surmounted them to be where he is today as this Premier has. more..

What lies ahead for the coalition?

Apr 8 (ST) My dear Green Man, I am writing to congratulate you on demonstrating that you have the confidence of Parliament, even when motions of no-confidence are moved against you. If anything, you have been a survivor all these years both within the Green party and outside it – and you have done it again, for the umpteenth time. Last week, there was speculation that you may lose your job, what with some Greens such as Rangay, Wasantha and Wije hinting they won’t support you and the Blues more..

Is Sri Lanka cursed with corrupt and incompetent leaders?

Apr 8 (CT) We are a people who descend into savagery at the slightest provocation, and as we have seen even a minor road accident can result in a mob attack. So it was quite unusual that the high-stakes power game that was played inside our Parliament on 4 April in the form of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe took place with relative decorum. Riot squads stationed along Parliament road more..

Ranil’s victory: Unique in democratic world

Apr 8 (Island) PM has always been good at brinksmanship and that is what enabled him to survive a quarter of a centrury of challenges to his leadership. He has been fighting off challenges to his leadership from 1994 i.e. from the very moment he became party leader and in that respect, there is probably no other leader in the democratic world who has the kind of experience that he has in fighting them off. That is his strength which enabled him to overcome the latest challenge as well. more..

Avurudu: The Great Shutdown

Apr 8 (ST) Or call it The Great Escape or like last year when we termed it That lonely feeling … again! I am referring to that time of the year when the delightful Koha’s (cuckoo’s) singing is our morning wake-up call, the days get hotter and, most of all, when Kussi Amma Sera and Co. prepare for their sojourn to the village for the traditional Avurudu or Sinhala and Tamil New Year. I was reminded of this, rather noisily, by the racket KAS was making in her room on Thursday morning more..


PM has to prove himself a statesman

Apr 8 (CT) Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan who had been a prominent lawyer in the Eastern Province before entering Parliament in 1977, presented his views in Parliament last Wednesday at the debate on the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in a way defending the PM by pointing at the measures taken to deal with those involved in the Central Bank Bond scam. Leader of the Opposition and TNA Sampanthan despite being faced with more..

Taxing or Robbing: What’s the difference?

Apr 8 (ST) Once I came across a case study that had been circulated among the economics students in a foreign university. The students were supposed to read the case and review it for their tutorial. I thought of repeating this tutorial for your benefit, reporting the case study as follows: “A robber stopped a man walking on the road at night and pointed a gun at his head, demanding his money. Frightened man gave his money to save his life, but after that went to police to report the incident. more..

Crises in Yahapalanaya to continue ...

Apr 8 (CT) When the House was debating the 47th No-Confidence Motion in the Parliament’s history and the third against a PM last Wednesday lots of other dramas were taking place on the corridors, in committee rooms and at the lobby. One such took place in a committee room in Parliament where the weekly Cabinet media briefing took place. Co-Cabinet spokesmen Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Minister Gayantha more..

The amazing story of Hasitha Boyagoda

Apr 8 (Island) On Friday, SL’s under-19 cricketer Hasitha Boyagoda was awarded the Ryde Gold Medal by Trinity College. The Ryde Gold Medal is the highest honour that Trinity can bestow and it is awarded to the best all-round student of the school. Some of the previous distinguished winners of the medal are; Kumar Sangakkara (1996), Lakshman Kadirgamar (1949) and T.B. Werapitiya (1943). The Ryde Gold Medal is named after Rev. R.W. Ryde, a former Principal of Trinity (1900-1902). more..

Winning Alliances for a dynamic nation!

Apr 8 (Island) In furtherance of its commitment to building a dynamic nation, Alliance Finance is sponsoring two promising young athletes who are representing Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth Games that is on right now. The sporting careers of 22-year-old badminton star Sachin Dias and 18-year-old swimming sensation Akalanka Peiris are being supported by this well respected finance company. They are now in Gold Coast, Australia for the 21st edition of Commonwealth Games. more..

Godamanne keeps Sri Lanka alive

Apr 8 (ST) Harshana Godamanna kept SL’s hopes alive against Indonesia on day one of the Davis Cup Group II relegation tie with a comfortable 2-0 win in the second singles encounter played at the SLTA tennis courts in Greenpath, Colombo yesterday. Harshana overcame Indonesian opponent David Agung Susanto with ease after Sharmal Dissanayake had to surrender his match to Christopher Rungkat. more..

Matthew Abeysinghe renews SL record

Apr 8 (ST) Matthew Abeysinghe established a new SL record in Men’s 100m Freestyle swimming to reach the semi-final in his favourite event, but could not find a place in the final at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast yesterday. Abeysinghe and fellow swimmer Akalanka Peiris impressed during the morning session in their respective heat events at the Optus Aquatic Centre, to reach the semi-final stage. But both were ranked overall 10th and were put on the reserve lists in the final events. more..

Harry refutes report on sale of excess HNB shares by his companies

Apr 8 (island) We have received a letter from Mr. DHS Jayawardena regarding our March 25 report on "Unregistered excess HNB shares of Harry companies disposed in toto." Mr. Jayawardena says that the matter set out in our report "is an invented story to create mischief and confusion and the said article is utterly false." He says that the three companies mentioned in the article "have not sold any shares as mentioned therein. Thus the said article under reference is misleading more..

Commonwealth Games 2018: Chinthana disappoints by finishing fifth

Apr 8 (CT) After three medals in weight lifting within the first two days of competition, all eyes were focused on the former Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist and SL team flag bearer Chinthana Vidanage yesterday but the competition ended up in heart break for the islanders as he finished fifth at Gold Coast, Australia yesterday. Competing in the 77kg weight category the two time Commonwealth medallist went more..

Arnold appointed SL Premier League director

Apr 8 (CT) Russel Arnold, the former Sri Lanka batsman and commentator, has been appointed tournament director for the Lankan Premier League, to be played in August and September. Having officially signed on several days ago, Arnold's work begins in earnest in May. Although planning remains in the early stages, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is also attempting to lure second-string India players to the tournament, with SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala having repeatedly stated that more..

Injured Chameera doubtful for WI Tests

Apr 8 (ST) Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera is set to miss the first Test against West Indies in June after he suffered a stress fracture during the first match of the ongoing Super Four Provincial Cricket team. Chameera, who represents Team Colombo in the four-team tournament, bowled 11 overs against Team Galle before returning to the dressing room with a sore back. He did not play again in the game which ended in a high-scoring draw at Hambantota. He has been ruled out for four to five weeks. more..

e-passport row heads for AG’s review on a Supreme Court directive

Apr 8 (ST) The legal tussle over the govt’s planned procurement of the e-passport from De La Rue Lanka Currency and Security Print Ltd takes a new turn with the Supreme Court’s recent directive to the Attorney General (AG) to examine the whole deal. When the fundamental rights case was taken up for hearing recently the court directed the AG to look into an attempt to accept an unsolicited proposal for Rs. 1.2 bil more..

Sumi Shan to seek Ontario Liberal nomination

Apr 8 (LR) Entrepreneur and successful business woman Sumi Shan announced her intent to seek the nomination as Ontario Liberal candidate in Scarborough—Rouge Park. Sumi migrated to Canada with her family in the 1980s from SL and on seeing their example has dedicated her life to public service, a news release issued by the party today said. A serial entrepreneur, Sumi is currently a Partner & Managing Director at a cleantech startup and has founded a successful consulting firm more..

Young professionals add zing to Lanka’s public sector

Apr 8 (ST) After the triumph against the JO’s no-confidence motion, SL’s beleaguered govt has been advised to infuse young blood into the senior public bureaucratic segment with the aim of accelerating rural and urban development activities, top official said. The country’s second tier public bureaucratic workforce needs a fresh impetus to continue the govt’s development activities, carry out efficient service for the people, and engage in effective policy formulation activities; expeditiously, more..

Commission agents cash in on billion-rupee bid to supply medical gloves to hospitals

Apr 8 (Island) One billion rupee tender floated for the supply of surgical and examination gloves to govt hospitals has raised concern amongst industry players over allegations that commission agents acting as third parties have found favor despite a Cabinet decision that procurements should be made directly only from local manufacturers. "This is atrocious as a pair of gloves purchased from manufacturers at Rs. 28/50 is supplied to more..

Ugly scene mars Petes victory

Apr 8 (ST) An ugly scene marred the Under 19 inter-school rugby encounter after St. Peter’s came out victorious by 20 points to 14 against Isipathana when some spectators manhandled a touch judge and in the melee empty bottles were thrown bringing the game to disrepute. The match was played at Havelock Park last evening. However, the Peterites were the better team and they deserved to win having dominated the first session of proceedings to take the lead at the lemons 15-9. more..

Risotto from Sri Lanka is just as good

Apr 8 (NYT) If you’re tired of reading terrible things about immigrants — how they never integrate, how they rape and steal, how they deal drugs, how they create no-go zones in European cities — here’s a success story to ponder. I’d say there are millions of such stories across Europe. It concerns Ramesh Kumar Balakrishnan, whose first job in Italy was as a babysitter. His language tutor was 5 years old. The little boy would correct him when he made a mistake — Non dire cosí, or Don’t say it like that. more..

70th World Health Day celebrated

Apr 8 (PSL) 70th World Health Day of the World Health Organization (WHO) was celebrated under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at Nelum Pokuna Theatre in Colombo, today (7). The main objective of the World Health Organization established in 1948 is to enhance the health and wellbeing of the world’s population. For decades, the World Health Organization together with other world partners and donor agencies more..

Reserves bleed by Rs 95.76 Billion

Apr 8 (CT) The country’s foreign reserves hemorrhaged by Rs 95.761 billion (US$ 613.26 million) last month due to Sri Lanka’s foreign debt servicing commitments and the Central Bank’s swap settlements with domestic banks. As a result, the value of the country’s foreign reserves, last month, over February, fell from Rs 1,237.10 billion ($7,922.37 million) to Rs 1,141.33 billion ($7,309.17 million), a fall of 7.74 per cent, because of such obligations. more..

Automated tax collection system breaking down

Apr 8 (ST) The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will be forced to undertake a costly update or replacement of the automated tax collection system, with the introduction of the new Inland Revenue Act last week. IRD Commissioner General Ivan Dissanayake said that an assessment was underway on whether the system could be updated or needed replacement. Trade unions claimed that an upgrade could cost the Govt more than Rs 4 bil and replacement would cost even more. more..

Four companies shortlisted for finance bidding process

Apr 8 (CT) SL has shortlisted four local and foreign companies for the finance bidding process of the scheduled divestment process for the Hilton and Hyatt Colombo Hotels, Ministry of Public Enterprise Development official said. “We have received Requests for Proposals from 15 local and foreign companies to act as Transaction Advisor in the scheduled divestment process and among them, we have shortlisted four local and more..

Money printing moves closer to Rs 100 Bil

Apr 8 (CT) The country’s money printing (MP) in the four market days to yesterday (6), moved closer to the Rs 100 billion mark, while the country’s foreign reserves were bludgeoned by US$ 111.96 million, as the Central Bank moved to reduce its swap outstanding with domestic banks, in order to fulfil a promise made to the IMF, ahead of a meeting due with the IMF later this month in Washington DC.As a result, MP in the four market days to yesterday increased by 469.77% (Rs 77,254.05 million) more..

Sri Lanka: Base for the Asian great game?

Apr 8 (Hindu) A recent talk by the Indian High Commissioner to SL, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, received wide media coverage in Colombo, with almost all newspapers picking up one point. Our aid is not to raid or invade, he had said. The Indian envoy made the reference to India’s development assistance while delivering a talk on India-Sri Lanka relations in the light of New Delhi’s neighbourhood-first policy. In an address that elaborately traced the close historic and cultural ties between more..

Serious safety lapses in SriLankan’s new planes

Apr 8 (ST) SriLankan Airlines lost certification to operate its new A320neo and A321neo aircraft for more than an hour outside the range of airports suitable for emergency landings after its Maintenance Department released one of the planes (registration 4R-ANE) for use despite having detected debris in the oil monitoring system of an engine. As a result, the A321neo aircraft flying as UL 898 to Hong Kong on Jan 21, 2018, more..

Afghanistan to open air cargo corridor to Sri Lanka this year

Apr 8 (CT) Afghanistan plans to open air cargo corridors to Sri Lanka and four other countries this year aiming to boost bilateral trade, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries announced last Wednesday. “We are planning to open air corridors to Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, UAE, Indonesia and Turkey this year,” said spokesman to the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Afghanistan, Mosafer Qoqandi. Qoqandi noted the air corridors were important for economic growth. more..

Farmers spend fertiliser money on liquor, Govt to provide bags again

Apr 8 (ST) Money provided by the state to farmers to buy fertiliser had been spent on household expenses and liquor, prompting the Govt to revert to the previous system of providing farmers with fertiliser instead of cash, an official said. National Fertiliser Secretariat Director said the decision was taken by the President and was approved by the cabinet. At the cabinet meeting, some ministers pointed out that after the Govt decided to provide cash for farmers to buy fertiliser, more..

PM now unassailable; national unity govt to continue

Apr 8 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe convincingly won Wednesday’s battle; the motion of no-confidence against him, but the internecine war between the two coalition partners – SLFP and UNP – has worsened in its wake. For a second time, Wickremesinghe, at least for the moment, is in an unassailable position. This is by his UNF winning 122 votes against the motion. Only 76 voted in favour and there were 26 absentees more..

A woman’s eye: View of the event

Apr 8 (Island) I hear crackers; I know UNPers are jubilant; I am glad UNP Ministers, Deputy and State Ministers and MPs united and voted unanimously against the no confidence motion against Ranil W who has been a politician for forty plus years. He has his faults like all else but he is clever, well read, has a vision for the country and is a person of personality. I am not an avid political person. Then why the jubilation at the defeat of the NCM? Because I detest backbiting, disloyalty, more..

Sirisena: Headless-chicken or back-stabber?

Apr 8 (Island) The dramatist personae for this column are a fainthearted, past his use-by-date, snob, a conspiratorial, deranged grama sevaka, and behind them the looming shadow of a resurgent ogre of despotism. A line-up worthy of Macbeth; the foolish Thane of Glamis, his wicked soul-mate and witches stirring a pot; Fair is foul and foul is fair; hover through fog and filthy air. A no-confidence resolution has been carried in parliament against President Maithripala Sirisena. more..

After the No-confidence Motion: Regeneration or Death by Suicide?

Apr 8 (Island) A stable and safe democracy requires a democratic govt and a democratic opposition. Sans either, a democracy is never stable, never safe. Before the Presidential election of 2015, SL had a strong anti-democratic govt and a weak democratic opposition. After the electoral upheaval of Jan 2015, Sri Lanka got a weak democratic govt but its oppositional space fell under the thrall of anti-democratic forces, more..

Scrapping of CCEM: Mangala apologises to President

Apr 8 (ST) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has apologised to President Maithripala Sirisena for announcing at a news conference that the UNP-controlled Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) headed by the PM has not been scrapped. Full text of the minutes of the Cabinet decision of March 20 which was later endorsed by the ministers at their weekly meeting on March 27. more..