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Doublespeak the order of the day as allegations boomerang

Apr 10 (ST) The No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was taken up for debate in Parliament on April 4. During the 12-hour-long debate, MPs expressed their views, for and against the NCM. The NCM signed by 55 UPFA MPs, was handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on March 21. Most of the charges against the PM relate to the CB Bond issue. NCM was defeated with 122 voting against more..

TNA’s key role in defeating no-confidence motion against Ranil

Apr 10 (DM) In the 7-decade long history of Independent SL’s legislature, there have been two no-confidence motions and related debates that are unprecedented and unparalleled. The first was in 1981 when members of the then UNP govt brought and passed a no-confidence motion against the former leader of the opposition, Appapillai Amirthalingam. The no-confidence motion (NCM) brought against the late TULF leader more..

Online exams to obtain driving license from May 1

Apr 10 (DM) The Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) will introduce online test papers from May 1 for those who are applying to obtain the driving license. Its Commissioner-General said all preparations are underway to introduce the newest online examination. He said that the online exam process was introduced following a request made by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva when he made a visit to the DMT Werahera branch recently." more..

'Political climate, external shocks killing investor interest; not overpriced IPOs'

Apr 10 (DM) A top investment banker said the capital market experts pointing fingers at investment banks, for killing investor interest with improperly priced initial public offerings (IPOs), must have done so for fun, in order to create controversy. “Just for the fun of doing it they are saying, to create controversy,” NDB Capital Holdings Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka, who heads the investment banking and stockbrokerage activities more..

Sri Lanka opens door for return of divisive former president

Apr 10 (TG) A familiar face is back on walls across Sri Lanka. The country’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has been grinning from thousands of posters and billboards recently, palms pressed together in gratitude. Voters delivered a shock repudiation of Rajapaksa’s govt three years ago, as the UN investigated war crimes against Tamil civilians, dissidents disappeared in unmarked white vans and warnings were issued that more..

Sri Lanka warned against LNG take-or-pay deal; call for competitive bidding

Apr 10 (EN) Sri Lanka govt has been warned by power engineers against striking a long-term liquefied natural gas procurement deal in the guise of a setting up a free terminal on a govt-to-govt basis to circumvent competitive bidding. Cabinet has already approved a controversial unsolicited proposal brought forward by the Ministry of Development Strategies and Int'l Trade for Indian and Japanese companies to set up an LNG terminal more..

'India ready to assist SL whenever needed'

Apr 10 (AD) India’s High Commissioner to Colombo Taranjit Singh Sandhu has expressed his govt’s readiness to continue to assist Sri Lanka wherever possible and whenever needed while also offering to share expertise and technical assistance in the agricultural sector. In a special ceremony held on Monday at Nonagama Cultural Centre in Ambalantota in Hambantota District, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and more..

Dutch tourists brutally assaulted

Apr 10 (DM) Some tourists including a Dutch male and two other women tourists were reported to have been brutally assaulted in Mirissa on Sunday morning when they resisted attempts to sexually assault the women. The group had gone to a Surf Bar and Restaurant on the Mirissa beach where the assault had occurred. According to eyewitnesses, the group had been enjoying dinner and drinks at the Surf Bar and Restaurant more..

Have pricing formula for petroleum

Apr 10 (CT) Political expediency has made successive SL Govts take decisions that have impacted on the economy of the country in different ways. One of the most important such decisions have been to subsidize fuel and control pricing. Economists have long advocated that SL implement a fuel pricing formula like the other countries in our region. India for instance has a pricing formula that includes cost of crude, freight charges both for ships and rail transport and refining. more..

Bloated Cabinet on the cards

Apr 10 (CT) The much-awaited and many times promised cabinet reshuffle is set to inflate the already bloated cabinet of ministers, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. Presidential Secretariat has drawn up a list of 48 cabinet ministries as well as those warranting deputy and state ministers. A total of 45 ministries which require state ministers have also been identified. Colombo Telegraph also learns that some ministries that have been amalgamated without any logic more..

Chandima Weerakkody

3 aspects of democracy in the vote of No-Confidence

Apr 10 (FT) The vote of No-Confidence against the PM of Sri Lanka is both a success and a failure for democracy. Democracy is the rule of the people, by the people, for the people. The job of the MPs is simply to represent the people and the people’s choice. Nothing more; nothing less. The motion rightfully was against the Prime Minister, based primarily on his judgment and behaviour in the corruption case in the issuance of Treasury bonds in 2015 (commonly known as CB bond scam). more..

Maskeliya clash: Police file B report against 36 suspects

Apr 10 (DN) Police had reportedly filed a B report in courts against 36 suspects who were found to be involved in last week's clashes between the Ceylon Workers Congress and Jathika Kamkaru Sangamaya at Maskeliya, following a dispute about electing office bearers to the Maskeliya Pradeshiya Sabha. Police said that the said 36 individuals had been identified through CCTV camera footage of the clashes. They were to be issued with a notice to appear in court in the near future. more..

Kataragama Devalaya Basnayake Nilame removed

Apr 10 (DM) Basnayake Nilame of Ruhuna Kataragama Devalaya, D. P. Kumarage had been suspended from his post, Minister of Buddha Sasana Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said today. Mr Kumarage was elected as the Basnayake Nilame of the Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya in 2015. Mr Kumarage, a businessman from Kandy, was elected as the 11th Basnayake Nilame of the Temple uncontested at the election held at more..

All liquor outlets closed on Fri & Sat

Apr 10 (NR) Department of Excise says all liquor stores in the island will be closed on the 13th and 14th of April in view of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Meanwhile, all liquor outlets will also be closed on the 29th and 30th of this month in view of the National Vesak festival. The Excise Department said the order was issued by the Excise Commissioner. The Department in a statement said action will be taken against all licensed liquor outlets that are found to violate this regulation. more..

Emil & Rangajeewa remanded

Apr 10 (NR) Welikada Prisons Superintendent and current Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa and Inspector of Police Niyomal Rangajeewa attached to the Police Narcotics Bureau, arrested over the 2012 Welikada prison riot have been further remanded till the 24th of April. The order was issued by Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake. Attorneys representing the witnesses have informed court that defendants in the case have threatened them more..

President calls for proposals to solve problems in construction field

Apr 10 (PSL) President Sirisena advised the Secretary for Ministry of Skills Development & Vocational Training to prepare a proposal for finding solutions to fill the shortage of workmen in construction field. Prez further advised to form a special committee jointly headed by the Secretaries of Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training and Ministry of Housing and Construction to prepare the above stated proposal. more..

Sri Lanka targets US$ 2.5 Bn FDI this year

Apr 10 (GDI) The highest foreign direct investment in the history of Sri Lanka has been recorded during the year 2017, according to the Finance Ministry. The foreign direct investments received by the country during 2017 is around US$ 1.9 billion (Rs. 290 billion), a four-fold increase from 2016. The first tranche of US$ 300 million granted for the lease of the Hambantota harbor is also included in 2017 figure. The previous highest FDI received was US$ 1.7 billion in 2014. more..

Languages Call Center established

Apr 10 (GDI) The National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Ministry has established the Languages Call Center, hotline (1956), for the public to inform the govt of religious and ethnic violence. The Ministry will also establish village level reconciliation committees to identify potential conflicts and report them. Minister Mano Ganesan said the biggest issue was the lack of communication between the State and the grassroots. more..

What’s your Foodie Heaven?

Apr 10 (Roar) Undoubtedly, the weekend of Avurudu is the time for delicious home cooked Sri Lankan food with your nearest and dearest. That said, Colombo’s burgeoning foodie scene means there’s plenty of temptation to eat out too. And there always comes a time when you’ve had one serving of kiribath too many! Not long ago, a meal out was a trip to the local Indian or Chinese restaurant. Today we’re treated to a whole more..

Sri Lanka to lose half a million tax payers from new law

Apr 10 (EN) SL will lose 500,000 employed who were pay as you earn (PAYE) tax payers under a new law that came into effect in on April 01, the finance ministry said. The current administration lifted a tax free slab to 1.2 million rupees a year but removed 50,000 allowance for transport and also telephone allowances. The finance ministry said as a result 500,000 out of 1.2 million PAYE tax payers will be out of the tax system. The balance will now have to pay a higher rate of tax. more..

Thamankaduwa PS Chairman, two arrested over assaulting Policemen

Apr 10 (DM) Thamankaduwa SLFP Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Premasiri Munasinghe and two others had been arrested for allegedly assaulting two Police Constables at the Saw Mill Junction in Kaduruwela last night. Police said the two constables attached to Polonnaruwa Police Station, who were on patrol near the Saw Mill Junction had informed a driver of a cab, who had parked the cab on a zebra crossing, to move the vehicle. The PS Chairman and two individuals who were more..

SL wants to make Sunday schools compulsory

Apr 10 (UCAN) Sri Lanka is awaiting cabinet approval of a proposal to make Sunday school education compulsory for students aged 6-19 of all religions after the Christian Affairs Ministry sought feedback from Catholic priests about the idea earlier. Father Piyal Fernando, institute director of the National Catechetical, Educational and Biblical Center, forwarded their feedback to the govt. Officials reportedly approached the priests more..

Video: Father, daughter and son found dead inside home gutted by fire

Apr 10 (AD) The charred remains of three persons from the same family – a father and his two children, have been found inside a house gutted by fire at Rajawella, Kandy. Remains of a 37-year-old man, his daughter (13) and son (5) who are believed to have died due to the fire were discovered inside their home with burn injuries. Fire had reportedly broken out at a room of the house located in Rambadawatta, Rajawella 02 while it is believed that all three of them were in the room at the time. more..

Decision not made to increase CEYPETCO fuel prices

Apr 10 (NR) The govt says it has not made any decision to increase the prices of fuel of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. When inquired, Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum Upali Marasinghe said the govt has not taken any policy decision pertaining to the matter. A report was published in the media today quoting the Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum that the CPC is ready to increase the prices of fuel. In response to the media report, Secretary Upali Marasinghe said more..

Signal Corps ready to step up to next generation of cyber security

Apr 10 (FT) Sri Lanka Signal Corps (SLSC) last week launched a new website and logo to mark its 75th anniversary which falls this year, with elaborate celebrations planned for October and November. The launch highlighted the role of the Signal Corps in the present day context, which mainly includes preventing cybercrime. “With the rapid advancement of technology and globalisation, the risk of exposure of confidential more..

Sale of loose cigarettes: Cabinet discussion today

Apr 10 (CT) Ministry of Health said that Cabinet Papers seeking the prohibition of the sale of loose cigarettes would be taken up today during the Cabinet meeting. Ministry Spokesman Prasanna Adhikari said that a decision regarding the matter had been postponed last week as the Ministry of Finance had requested for a period of one week to study the document and make recommendations. “There were issues which needed to be addressed at that level and sorted out. more..

UW-Baraboo/Sauk County professor brings teaching methods to Sri Lanka

Apr 10 (WN) A University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County professor is bringing his expertise to Sri Lanka this summer in an effort to connect international college students with industry professionals. UW-Baraboo mathematics professor Kirthi Premadasa will serve as a United States Fulbright specialist at the University of Sri J'pura near the capital city of Colombo in June. Premadasa’s work overseas will focus on fostering classroom collaboration and connecting more..

Who decides when ministers go on strike?

Apr 10 (DM) The SLPP today asked who would resolve the plight of people, when some of the ministers boycott Cabinet meetings. Referring to the decision by SLFP ministers to boycott Cabinet meetings, SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said this was similar to the month-long strike launched by the university non-academic staff. “The administration of the country is in ruins. Who will resolve people’s issues when ministers more..

Sri Lanka targets Saudi tourism market

Apr 10 (TA) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has successfully concluded a two-day promotional mission to Saudi Arabia as part of its on-going efforts to develop new markets and increase the number of visitors and spend from the region to Sri Lanka. Headed by Anjantha Ratnayake, assistant director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, a delegation of 20 partners from Sri Lanka’s tourism and hospitality industries visited Dammam and Riyadh and held the roadshow at Holiday Inn more..

New chairperson appointed for National Child Protection Authority (NCPA)

Apr 10 (Island) H.M Abeyratne yesterday assumed duties as the new Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). He succeeded Marini de Livera. Abeyratne, a lawyer by profession, served as the Deputy Chairman of the NCPA prior to his elevation. He also chaired the last NCPA executive committee meeting on February 7, which his Livera refused to attend. Upon assuming duties, Abeyratne told the media that the NCPA would be focusing on introducing a national programme to more..

Many told me to accept PM's post, but I refused: Rajitha

Apr 10 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today there were several requests to accept the prime ministerial post after the no-confidence motion against PM was tabled in Parliament, but had refused to stab his leader in the back for the sake of high positions. He said even LSSP leaders spoke to him secretly on this matter but refused to be enticed because he was used to obtaining positions up front and not through the back door. more..

Insatiable craving for ministerial office

Apr 11 (CT) Of all the lunatic contradictions, absurdities, and incongruities that mark politics and public life in Sri Lanka the most outrageous in recent times must surely be the shameless way in which the rebels who actively opposed the PM in the recent abortive no-confidence motion, continue to cling to their cabinet portfolios like leeches. Likening their tenacious hold on public office to the parasitic depredations of a blood sucking species of segmented worm is indeed apt. more..

Royal wins but the game is hardly over

Apr 11 (ST) Whatever happened to those political pundits who battered Ranil Wickremesinghe day in and day out in the media backed no doubt by some media moghuls with their own crafted agendas? Some of them were so gung-ho and chirpy as the birds outside at the prospect of driving the prime minister out of his cabalistic battlements in Royal College — Colombo not Polonnaruwa. Those who have studied the nature of practical politics – and we have tried to follow its convoluted trajectories more..

Sizzling No-Confidence debate rocks Parliament for 12 hours

Apr 11 (SO) A sharply divided House debated the crucial no-faith motion against PM for 12 full hours on Wednesday. As hectic backroom negotiations on the final numbers each side could muster to ensure the failure or success of the motion continued outside the chamber, MPs locked horns and traded barbs in fiery speeches, taking turns to attack the current Govt and the former Rajapaksa regime on corruption allegations. more..

Acquiescence to oppression: Caste, Sangha & Govt office

Apr 11 (CT) We are supposedly living in a secular country, notwithstanding Buddhism being the foremost religion sponsored by the state. And yet, when my friend and senior schoolmate, Mr. K.C. Nithiananthan was to come as Governor of the Northern Province, effective 6 April, it did not seem to happen and his old posting as Governor of the Western Province is still on the relevant website. On enquiry I am told that our former Governor, Reginald Cooray, who had been posted to Kandy, more..

Ballot gone ballistic

Apr 11 (DN) Last week we discussed Rigging at Referendum & Wayamba PC polls, where mass scale stuffing of ballot boxes by governing party of supporters of SLFP had been witnessed and recorded by election monitors that included SAARC representatives who covered the polls at the invitation of Elections Commissioner. As for British, during in its heydays, (Empire sun never sets) they were so enthusiastic over our picturesque beauty and referred to Ceylon as, Pearl of the Orient. more..

President betrayed us: Dullas

Apr 11 (CT) Matara District, MP of JO Dullas Alahapperuma says that the motion against the PM will not be the final no-confidence motion. “Due to this no-confidence motion, the two-thirds majority the govt had boasted of, has been lost. That in itself is a big victory. Finally, the govt could only muster 122 votes, after getting the main opposition to join as well. This is a govt that spoke with pride about two months ago that more..

Editorial: A perfect storm

Apr 11 (Island) JO is bragging that it has caused extensive damage to yahapalana govt with its no-faith motion against PM. Its ill-conceived move to oust the PM was born out of pure political adventurism. The abortive attempt has, however, yielded some results the JO did not bargain for. PM, out of sheer desperation to defeat the no-confidence motion, enlisted the backing of the TNA on ten conditions, some of which he must be regretting now. He also undertook to restructure party. more..

Insufficient appetite for Rajapaksa return

Apr 11 (DN) The outcome of last week’s failed No Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickramasinghe has established a few political ground realities. Firstly, it was a massive overreach by the Joint Opposition (JO), which failed to make the parliamentary vote even a relatively close one and in no uncertain terms took the gloss off their much better performance at the LG polls. It was in fact a point made by a JVP speaker in Parliament, who attributed the lackluster JO effort, more..