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MS optimistic of contesting 2020 presidential election

Apr 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena expressed optimism of contesting the presidential election in 2020 as the leader of the SLFP, which, he said, will be restructured with some significant changes. "There will be some tangible changes with reforms in the SLFP on the cards in June this year", President told members of the SLFP UK branch in London on Friday. President Sirisena, who was attending CHOGM in London, more..

Huge ali dung fraud at Pinnawala

Apr 22 (ST) Presidential probe may lead to charges against senior officials of National Zoological Gardens Dept. A massive Rs. 74 million fraud involving elephant dung has been going on at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage for the past three years and the National Zoological Gardens Dept’s senior officials are likely to face charges. The findings were made by the Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) which more..

14 unions to defy ban on May 1 rallies

Apr 22 (ST) Some local trade unions, backed by a global trade union body, are bracing for a confrontation with the authorities after deciding to go ahead with May 1 rallies and celebrations despite the Govt changing the date of May Day to May 7. Backing the local unions is the Geneva-based Industrial Global Union which on Friday fired letters to President and PM, urging them to remove restrictions on holding May 1 rallies. more..

DIG Latheef to be axed?

Apr 22 (CT) A powerful Govt politician and a high ranking Police officer are trying hard to have reputed Police Officer, the Head of the STF and Senior DIG M.R. Latheef removed from that post as he cannot be influenced by the political authority, a reliable source revealed. Discussions have been going on, in future, make available funds, hitherto allocated only with Cabinet approval, to the STF through the Police Department, more..

PC elections to be postponed further

Apr 22 (CT) The failure of the Govt to have a debate on holding of elections to the Provincial Councils (PC), based on the report of the delimitation committee and to have it passed with a 2/3rd majority in Parliament, has necessitated the further postponement of the elections. Delimitation committee report, which was prepared under the PC & LG Elections Act No. 16 of 2017, was scheduled to be debated in Parliament on 19 April. more..

Finance Ministry to review social protection programmes

Apr 22 (ST) The Finance Ministry is to recruit consultants to study Sri Lanka’s social protection programme–which includes pensions, employment, health and other welfare benefits–and to make recommendations for a new policy. Assignments include a US$ 40,000 (Rs 6.2mn) contract for a comprehensive assessment of existing social protection structures; a US$ 25,000 (Rs 4mn) commission for the development of a strategy more..

SLFP Minister and businessman brokered no-confidence motion

Apr 22 (SL) A SLFP Minister and a top businessman had brokered the recent no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, The Sunday Leader learns. Well informed sources said that the Minister, who later abstained from voting for the motion, had talks with the businessman, who is close to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to obtain support for the no-confidence motion in Parliament. more..

CID closes in on masterminds of Keith Noyahr abduction

Apr 22 (SO) The CID is nearing the end of its investigation into the May 2008 abduction and assault of former deputy editor of The Nation newspaper, Keith Noyahr, according to a detailed three-hour oral submission made to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court by Senior State Counsel (SSC) Lakmini Girihagama last Wednesday on behalf of the Attorney General. Objecting to bail being granted to former Director of more..

Central Expressway third stage: Experts question resettlement action plan

Apr 22 (ST) The Road Development Authority’s (RDA) resettlement action plan (RAP) to minimise effects of massive displacement from building the proposed third stage of the Central Expressway (CEP III) is riddled with holes and spells disaster for the affected parties, experts said. Thousands of people will be impacted by the project for which land acquisition is underway. 6,432 people from 1,742 families will be affected. more..

8 May: May-Day, May-Day

Apr 23 (CT) Parliament will commence its next session on 8 May, as political observers feel this could be a day similar to the internationally used distress call May Day May Day. Mayday got its start in 1923 as an international distress call for an impending disaster faced by a ship or an aeroplane. The word mayday was used as it sounded like the French word m’aider, which means help me. It is too early to say if this May Day (8 May) will help the beleaguered citizens of SL. more..

Lalith: An Invincible Legacy

Apr 23 (CT) The 23rd of April, 1993 is among a handful of blots in our national hall of shame. It was the day on which a lone gunman, perhaps with conspirators yet unknown, acted to neutralize a political threat by depriving all Sri Lankans of the intellectual gifts, charisma, service and dedication of one our finest politicians, Lalith William Samarasekara Athulathmudali. Much like Gamini Dissanayake, slain on Oct 24, 1994, and President R Premadasa, killed on May 1, 1993, more..

Mahindananda in FCID net

Apr 23 (SO) Soon after the New Year, FCID got to work by arresting JO MP and former Minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage in connection with the misuse of public property worth about Rs. 39 million. For years, the shadow of corruption has followed the vociferous pro-Rajapaksa politician. A personal civil case revealed he was a billionaire politician, and questions have swirled since, about how the more..

Know your enemies in the guise of friends!

Apr 23 (SO) The 16 ministers, deputy ministers, state ministers and assorted others from the SLFP who voted for the motion of no-confidence against PM finally left the govt, but where have they gone? Initially, it appeared that some of them didn’t even want to leave the Cabinet. They were making statements to the effect that their vote was against PM but the Govt and the Cabinet was headed by Prez Sirisena, so they saw no reason to leave their Ministries, unless the Prez asked them to. more..

Mirissa and Midigama attacks reflect Sri Lanka’s brutal realities

Apr 23 (ST) At the height of the impunity that prevailed during the Rajapaksa Presidency, it was questioned in these column spaces as to whether one needed to be a foreigner in order to claim the protection of the law in SL? The ugliness that SL descended to This question was specifically raised at the time in relation to the assault and murder of British aid worker Khurram Shaikh and the rape of his female companion by politically connected thugs at a tourist resort in Tangalle. more..

'Vote for NCM was akin to backing a dead horse'

Apr 23 (CT) Ex-Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa says “Our idea is that we will sit in the Opposition with the SLFP group. By that, we do not mean that we will be an opposition which will be against everything. We would like to fulfil a very important role there. We will work towards supporting anything good that will be done as a Govt and to criticize something that is wrong as well as to engage in a far broader analysis than this more..

Dysfunctional economy and elitism

Apr 23 (ST) Much of the economic news I heard during the past few weeks was about the Sri Lankan state being dysfunctional. I am not referring to the standstill of normal activities due to the Sinhala and Tamil New Year vacation. But it is a similar thing extended for a much longer period, resulting in a state of being dysfunctional in terms of the economy or its parts and components. It is a worrying situation because a dysfunctional state will have far reaching economic and political consequences. more..

Editorial: Where’s the Prince of Denmark?

Apr 23 (Island) Some state media organs say a CID probe into the abduction of Keith Noyahr, in May 2008, while he was the Deputy Editor to The Nation, is nearing completion. The CID is closing in on the masterminds of that crime, we are told. They have mentioned several telephone calls, allegedly made and received by some big guns of the former regime, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa et al in the aftermath of the abduction. more..

නීතිඥ සුගන්ධිකාගේ රට හොල්ලපු කතාව!!

How many slaps must Ranil take before he walks alone to triumph?

Apr 23 (ST) Let’s face it. The curtain has fallen on the coalition road show. And no public encores echo in the mountains and resound in the valleys demanding it be raised again. That it be lifted to make the two main actors take their curtain calls and make repeated bows before an unappreciative and thoroughly disgusted audience, appalled with their pathetic performances. Ranil made a mess playing Hamlet, allowed the bond scam play to be used by his foes to be the thing to stain the character more..

Support now! Help SL torture victims!

Apr 23 (CT) Rohan Jayasekera‘s London Marathon run to raise funds for SL torture survivors. Money goes to Freedom from Torture – formerly the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture – is the only UK charity dedicated to provide the kind of specialist therapy that survivors of physical & mental abuse need. One ore day to go. You can still donate, make a small contribution!! Rohan Jayasekera is an English journalist and former deputy CEO of Index on Censorship more..

Five mountains for the casual hiker in SL

Apr 23 (Roar) Here are a few great mountains we recommend climbing. Some of them are like a walk in a park (an overgrown park), and a few others are slightly more complex. Hantane mountain range is a relatively short drive from Colombo. Consisting of seven peaks, the tallest is practically a rocky ridge, known as the uura kanda. Approximately a 20 minute drive from the Kandy city centre, mountain range forms a semi-circular more..

Is Karadiyana doomed to become another Meethotamulla?

Apr 23 (Island) Suffering of people, living in Karadiyana, increases with each passing day, as they have to live beside a mountain of garbage, which continues to grow daily. Living in the vicinity of the huge waste dump, we see an average of 400-500 tons of garbage, equivalent to approximately 120 truckloads dumped there. Obvious environment hazards of open dumping of such amounts of garbage are evident in the area––an unbearable stench coupled with upper respiratory tract more..

Sachin de Silva Overall Winner of RCGC Monthly Medal

Apr 23 (ST) Royal Colombo Golf Club embarked on its’ new calendar year, with the ushering-in of the new Committee for the 2018/2019 Term of Office with the generous sponsorship by Standard Chartered Bank of the April Monthly Medal. Avancka Herath was elected Captain of the RCGC, whilst former RCGC Captain and President of SL Golf Union Nimal Piyaratne was elected President. W.A.K. Fernando was elected as the Vice Captain along with a mix of senior and new faces more..

Testing times for junior athletes

Apr 23 (Island) Country’s junior athletes will bid to win places in teams for three junior international events at the Junior National Athletics Championships starting on Monday. The major junior competition which serves as a selection ground presents a golden opportunity for young athletes to go for their best, racing on a newly laid synthetic track. Apart from the competitions in various age categories, which are sure to more..

Asanga A. speaks at the Hudson Institute

Apr 23 (CT) Asanga Abeyagoonasekera Director General of Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) was invited to speak on the panel China's Growing Influence in the Indian Ocean: Implications for the US and Its Regional Allies at the prestigious think tank in Washington DC, Hudson Institute on 20th April 2018. At the panel Director General INSSSL emphasized the important role SL could play as the regional stabilizer in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) due to the Islands more..

Unfancied Galle close in on Inter-Provincial title

Apr 23 (Island) Table leaders Galle are on the brink of winning the Inter-Provincial title after a splendid performance in the last round of the tournament at Suriyawewa yesterday. Galle posted 425 all out in their first innings and bowled out a strong Kandy side for 185 runs to gain a first innings lead of 240 runs. Galle entered the final round leading the points table with 24 points and are set for an outright win. Troubled by injuries, Galle were without their captain Suranga Lakmal for the entire competition more..

IMF satisfied with Sri Lanka but urges greater progress

Apr 23 (FT) The IMF has signalled that it is satisfied with Sri Lanka’s stabilisation program though urging greater progress with reforms as the economy remains vulnerable. Assessment follows the IMF reaching a staff-level agreement last week on the fourth review of the economic reform program supported by a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement worth $ 1.45 billion. After constructive discussions with the authorities more..

'Never get carried away with NCM victory'

Apr 23 (DM) One should not get carried away with the defeat of the No-Confidence Motion but should co-concentrate on the Prez and General Elections in 2020, Minister Sajith Premadasa said. He made this sentiment at the opening of Siyanethugama village for the blind on Saturday. “We were able to win the No-Confidence Motion. However, we should all remember that we have only managed to win the confidence of the majority from 225 MPs. We should be able to win confidence of 20 million people more..

OPA differs with Malik on FTAs

Apr 23 (FT) The Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) has refuted the recent assertions of Minister Malik Samarawickrama on the benefits of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) pursued by the Govt. OPA, in a statement, said that having noted the contents of the press release by Minister Malik Samarawickrama refuting the claims by the professionals that FTAs signed by the Govt had not been preceded by stakeholder consultations, it wished to state that: more..

Fuel price formula to cabinet tomorrow

Apr 23 (CT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present a Cabinet Memorandum, on the new fuel pricing formula, at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet tomorrow. Treasury sources, while confirming that Minister Samaraweera was billed to present the Memorandum to the Cabinet tomorrow, also assured that the new prices will not scale up to the Rs 165 per litre of petrol and the Rs 115 per litre for diesel, more..

CBK takes JO to task

Apr 23 (DN) Former President Rajapaksa has been conspiring to break up the govt and cause division between the President and PM for the last three years, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said. The group of 16 SLFP MPs who voted in favour of the No Confidence Motion (NCM) was part of that conspiracy launched by Rajapaksa’s agents, Kumaratunga said. Attending a New Year festival held in Attanagalla, she said the SLFP had still not discussed the 20th Amendment more..

ADB receives $12.6 million grant from We-Fi to promote SL women entrepreneurs

Apr 23 (ADB) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has received $12.6 million of funding for 2018 to 2020 from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) to generate more resources for Sri Lankan women-led businesses. The grant—one of three awarded under the inaugural call for proposals—enhances ADB’s support for women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), vital for economic growth and job creation in Sri Lanka. “The We-Fi financing supports ADB’s more..

Lakdanavi wins Kerawalapitiya 300MW LNG power plant tender

Apr 23 (ST) After a string of bureaucratic hullabaloo in tender procedure, the much delayed Kerawalapitiya 300MW Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) power plant bid was recently awarded to Lakdanavi Ltd, the largest independent power producer in the country. The 18 month impasse in selecting a suitable bidder to build the 300MW Kerewalapitiya LNG Power Plant has ended marking a significant step forward for more..

JVP has ulterior motives to abolish Executive Presidency: NFF

Apr 23 (NR) The National Freedom Front has alleged that the JVP is attempting to table a proposal in Parliament to abolish the Executive Presidency in order to divide the Joint Opposition. NFF Media Spokesman Mohammad Muzammil said the JVP is keen on abolishing the Executive Presidency when the country is facing economic and political instability. He said the JVP is attempting to destroy the JO through the govt by directing attention to a single weakness of the JO. more..

Launch of new interface of Foreign Ministry website

Apr 23 (Island) A new interface of the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been launched. URL for the website remains the same, at:- The new interface has been designed to be mobile responsive and accessible across different devices, platforms and browsers; to provide a more user-friendly interface for the web-user and public Comprehensive updated information in important sections such as key profiles, contact details of ministry officials and divisions; more..

'New Cabinet to be sworn in this week'

Apr 23 (DN) The full set of new Cabinet Ministers will take their oaths this week, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He disclosed this at a meeting held at Panadura DS on Jan 21. Meeting was held to mark the distribution of furniture and other equipment among 14 social organisations in the division. He said the new Cabinet has been formulated on a scientific basis. It would be a full Cabinet. Ministers would take oaths once more..

SLFP CC in favour of unity govt: Fowzie

Apr 23 (NR) State Minister AHM Fowzie says the Central Committee of the SLFP will most likely consent to the party remaining part of the unity govt till 2020. He said the group of SLFPers who resigned from their Ministerial posts recently have tabled proposals to the Central Committee citing reasons to leave the unity govt. State Ministersaid 23 members of the SLFP including him will remain with the government till 2020. He added the term of the unity govt comes to an end in 2020 more..

Video: Main suspect of Attanagalla shooting incident identified

Apr 23 (AD) The main suspect involved in the Attanagalla shooting incident has been identified, the police said. He has been identified as Chamara Jayasundara alias Udammita Samare who was released on bail with regard to a previous murder reportedly taken place in Veyangoda. One person was killed and four including a pregnant woman sustained injuries during a shooting incident reported near Attanagalla temple last night (21) according to Police Media Office. more..

Minister Musthapha against removing unauthorized buildings in Mirissa

Apr 23 (DM) Minister Faiszer Musthapha today opposed the Coastal Conservation Department’s decision to remove unauthorized constructions along the coastal belt in Mirissa by May 1. He explained that the decision made by the Coastal Conservation Department Director Prabath Chandrakeerthi was an arbitrary one. He said the Department could remove any illegal construction in coastal belt, however, if the motive is hamper more..

Subjects readied for new Ministers

Apr 23 (CT) The scientific preparation of the different subjects coming under the purviews of different ministers, was completed last Wednesday, in view of the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle, Secretary to the President, Austin Fernando revealed. Report on the new subjects, coming under the various ministers, was faxed on the same day to Prez Sirisena, who is attending the CHOGM in London, Fernando said. He added that a copy of the report had been handed over by Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to PM. more..