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The Tamil & Muslim parties & The no-confidence motion

Apr 3 (CT) It is not in the interests of the TNA and the other parties of the Tamil and Muslim minorities to be associated with an unpopular PM, on an indefensible issue. It is also not in the interests of ethnic and ethno-religious reconciliation that the minority parties be so precariously positioned. When an impeachment motion was brought against President Premadasa he obtained the support of the minorities but he also had the support of a larger slice of the majority, including Buddhist clergy more..

UNHRC cannot rely on Sri Lanka to prosecute its armed forces

Apr 3 (CT) The 37th session of the UNHRC ended with no firm action taken against Sri Lanka, despite its continued failure to establish a hybrid court – member states missing the opportunity yet again to apply the necessary pressure required on Sri Lanka including imposing strict benchmarks and time lines for implementing transitional justice commitments it signed up to in Oct 2015, among other, the establishment of a special domestic court with foreign participation. more..

'2012 LG electoral system will have to be restored'

Apr 3 (Island) The present local government elections system has resulted in complete chaos with unstable administrations formed in the majority of LG institutions. No political party has emerged unscathed. The two main political parties in the country the SLPP and the UNP, the biggest regional party the TNA and other minority parties like the SLMC have all been affected to a greater or lesser degree. more..

Power Sector in a shambles: 3 years of meddling

Apr 3 (Island) Three years ago, in April 2015, Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL), the seemingly independent watchdog, calculated and issued the six-month average electricity production costs to be Rs. 9.27 per unit of electricity produced. These costs are only for fuel and for payments to renewable energy (mini-hydro, wind and solar). Other costs are fixed, and the grand total worked out to be Rs 17.55 per unit of electricity sold. PUCSL also announced that electricity prices as of 2015 would more..

Oh dear, her slipper was showing

Apr 3 (ST) This is no joke, believe me. It is true of course that today is All fools day or April fool or whatever other appellation is attached to April 1. Today is the day when the media tries to get away by pulling the legs of their readers with fake news made to look 24-carat genuine. It all depends on how clever the writers are to concoct a story that is plausible enough to make readers believe it might well be true but is fake to its roots. It is also the time of leg-pulling in offices and elsewhere more..

'Unity Govt must continue'

Apr 3 (CT) Leader of the ITAK Party, MP, Mavai Senathirajah said that the National Govt should continue with the collaboration of the UNP and SLFP, for Tamil people to obtain a long lasting political solution. “We are considering to urge the UNP and SLFP to continuously work together as a National Govt. Our main concern is that the leadership of the UNP and Prez Sirisena should stand united and function collaboratively as a National Govt, more..

Ranil paying for his folly

Apr 3 (CT) Will this be the week the UNP finally rids Ranil Wickremesinghe from its helm? If this no-confidence motion against Wickremesinghe is a result of the dismal performance at the recently-concluded LG elections, then it is interesting how Maithripala Sirisena escaped the eviction notice. Under his leadership, the SLFP fared much worse. Yet somehow, it is Wickremesinghe who got trapped to face a no-confidence motion whilst Sirisena gets away; whereas he too must bear the brunt of more..

Sri Lanka’s RTI glass is slowly filling up

Apr 3 (CT) In June 2016, Sri Lanka became the 108th country in the world to pass a law, allowing citizens to demand information from the Govt. After a preparatory period of six months, citizens were allowed to exercise their newly-granted Right to Information (RTI) by filing information applications from Feb 2017 onward. Just over a year later, the results are a mixed bag of successes, challenges, and frustrations. There have been formidable teething problems – some sorted out by now, more..

Face the Nation

Economy at the crossroads as politics dictate priorities

Apr 3 (ST) The economic imperatives for stability and growth are well known and well recognised among those in charge of the economy and some in the political leadership. Even so, pursuing them are difficult for the govt that requires regaining its lost popularity. Furthermore the lack of any consensus on economic policies makes it difficult to pursue needed economic policies. Consequently, politics will surely dominate decision making in the remaining 1.5 years of this govt’s tenure more..

Editorial: No-faith vote and gravy train

Apr 3 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe must be on pins and needles, thinking of the no-faith motion against him. But, many govt worthies, especially those who are straddling the fence, are reportedly on the gravy train with their palms being sufficiently greased. One’s pain can be another’s gain. This is the name of the game in politics. The present turn of events reminds us of the situation in the aftermath of an abortive attempt to impeach the late President R Premadasa in 1991. more..

Local council wars rock hill country

Apr 3 (SO) Maskeliya, a serene and picturesque plantation town, nestling in a valley at the base of the sacred Mount Sri Pada, turned into a mini battlefield last Wednesday (28), and lost its tranquil, when supporters of two major trade-union cum political parties, CWC & NUW, contending for the Chairmanship of Pradeshiya Sabha became belligerent, physically attacking and hurling stones at each other in and outside more..

Bank of Ceylon soars higher in 2017

Apr 3 (FT) The Bank of Ceylon has ended 2017 with another spearheading record of Rs. 30.3 billion Profit Before Tax (PBT), its highest-ever PBT. Bank has recorded an impressive 8% growth in PBT, when adjusted for the one-off gain recorded in 2016 (i.e. disposal of Mireka Capital Lanka Ltd.). With this, BoC continues to maintain its position as the highest profit earning single entity of the country. Profit after tax for the year stood at Rs. 21.3 billion, General Manager Senarath Bandara said. more..

Medal hopes lie on Janaka

Apr 3 (CT) Long jumper Janaka Wimalasiri who took the long jump crown in 2013-2014 to qualify for the Asian Games had quit the event as he was overwhelmed with injuries and disappointments until last year. Wimalasiri who came under the guidance of Cuban coach Luis Miranda broke his shackles since then as he set a new personal best of 7.91m to win the National Sports Festival in Matara last year and haven’t looked back since then. He qualified for the Commonwealth Games 2018 more..

AITP wants Malik stripped of development strategies, int’l trade portfolios

Apr 3 (Island) With just a day more to go for the no-confidence motion against UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to be taken up in Parliament, Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) has urged President Sirisena to strip Malik Samarawickrema of Development Strategies and International Trade portfolios. AITP Secretary Lasantha Wickremesinghe said that they felt that in the wake of President Sirisena more..

Speaker concludes a successful visit to Oman

Apr 3 (FT) A multi-party Parliamentary delegation, led by Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, undertook an official visit to the Sultanate of Oman from 11 to 16 March, at the invitation of State Council of Oman Chairman Dr. Yahya Al-Manthri. The visit was a significant milestone in SL-Oman bilateral relations, as it was the highest-level political visit to the Sultanate of Oman from SL following the establishment of of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1981. more..

Mano appointed Chairman of Insurance Regulatory Commission

Apr 3 (FT) Mano Tittawella has been appointed as the Chairman of the Insurance Regulatory Commission of SL and Board Member of SriLankan Airlines. Tittawella is the Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), which is entrusted with coordinating transitional justice mechanisms in Sri Lanka. He is also the Senior Adviser to the Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Tittawella was the Senior Presidential Advisor on Economic Affairs and more..

SL Air Force combat training school in Diyatalawa honoured with Prez’s Colours

Apr 3 (PSL) The award of the President’s Colours of the Sri Lanka Air Force Combat Training School in Diyatalawa (SLAF CTS) to appreciate the great service rendered by the SL Air Force over the past 67 years, was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena today (02). The Commanding Officer of the SLAF CTS Air Commodore WWPDF Fernando received the President when he arrived at more..

JO MP Balasuriya critical of active liability management bill

Apr 3 (LBO) In a recent speech in Parliament, JO MP Tharaka Balasuriya highlighted some problematic technicalities in the Active Liability Management Bill. The bill has encountered some controversy, with the Supreme Court finally having to weigh in through a verdict confirming that the bill is in fact constitutional. Balasuriya highlighted that this is indeed a very powerful bill. The bill allows the Minister in charge to raise up to 10% of country’s total outstanding debt through Parliament. more..

Request for streamlined standard ID for Mahasangha

Apr 3 (DN) Mahanayake Theras of the Three Nikayas in a memorandum addressed to President Sirisena have requested him to ensure that a streamlined standard identity card is issued to all members of the Mahasangha to prevent people on court warrants masquerading as Buddhist monks, acting in a manner causing disgrace to the true Buddhaputras. They have pointed our that Sri Lanka is a repository of Theravada Buddhism in its pristine pure form and all sections including the Govt more..

NCM will be defeated: Mangala

Apr 3 (DN) No room should be given to the ghosts of the previous regime to defeat the mandate of the coalition govt using a strategy in the guise of a no-confidence motion, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Minister Samaraweera pointed out that the No-Confidence Motion is not a move against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, but a ploy against the Yahapalana govt that succeeded the previous regime more..

Sadeera scores 77 as batsmen dominate

Apr 3 (Island) The first round matches of the SLC conducted Inter-Provincial tournament ended in draws yesterday at Katunayake and Suriyawewa. Batsmen enjoyed the conditions on good batting tracks. The notable contribution at Suriyawewa yesterday, where the game ended early due to bad light, was a fine 77 by young wicketkeeper batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama. 22-year-old toured India last year with the national side and played as a specialsit batsman. more..

Love & Peace: UNFPA at Yowunpuraya 2018

Apr 3 (UNFPA) UN Population Fund (UNFPA) together with the United Nations in SL, participated in Yowunpuraya – a 5 day residential youth festival organized by Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, National Youth Services Council, and SL Youth. This year, Yowunpuraya was held in Kurunegala, and reached out to more than 5,000 young people. Highlighting the importance of love and peace, UNFPA conducted sessions focusing on comprehensive sexuality education. more..

All’s well with IRA

Apr 3 (FT) Barely a day after the new Inland Revenue Act (IRA) came into force, Minister Mangala Samaraweera and his deputy Eran Wickramaratne stepped out to fight anew on an old battlefield, insisting the regulations promoted social justice by raising an estimated Rs.30 billion in additional revenue, and slammed detractors for misleading the public. IRA, which was passed last year, came into effect on 1 April 2017, more..

Govt launches e-registration for Companies

Apr 3 (CT) The first phase of the Rs 57 million e-platform for the registration of companies (e-ROC) was launched yesterday to provide an efficient service to businesses, support revenue collection and improve the country’s overall Ease of Doing Business Index. However, Ministry of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Secretary, Wasantha Deshapriya said the Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF) system and the Inland Revenue system were not ready for integration with more..

Sri Lanka: A clarifying vote

Apr 3 (Hindu) Nearly two months after its drubbing in the LG polls, SL’s ruling alliance continues to be under enormous uncertainty, and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe now faces a no-confidence motion. Initiated by the JO, a loose coalition of legislators supporting former President Rajapaksa, it has been scheduled for a marathon 12-hour session in Parliament on April 4, to be followed by a vote. Tensions in the national unity govt of Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe bubbled over soon more..

SLMC Chairman writes top secret letter to Health Min: GMOA

Apr 3 (DM) GMOA revealed that Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) Chairman Professor Colvin Gunaratne had sent a top secret letter to Health Minister. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge said that the letter was sent following the first coup to stop the election of members to the council had failed. He said according to informed sources the letter was also copied to the Minister’s public relations officer. more..

TNA to decide on No-Confidence motion today, JVP to reveal UNP–MR deal

Apr 3 (FT) TNA are to come to a final decision on their stance regarding the No-Confidence motion today at a meeting to be held at the Parliamentary complex, while the JVP is set to submit evidence proving that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was complicit in protecting corrupt politicians allied to the Rajapaksas during the No-Confidence motion debate. TNA spokesman MP M A Sumanthiran said that the party was yet to decide on a position regarding No-Confidence motion against PM. more..

MR vows to repeal new Inland Revenue Act

Apr 3 (Island) The JO will set up a committee consisting of MPs to organise a series of protests against the new Inland Revenue Act, which took effect on Sunday, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says. He said the committee would be appointed once the no-confidence motion issue was over. He vowed to repeal that Act which, he said, was based on a foreign model. The ex-President said the withholding tax on interest earned from fixed deposits and other savings had been more..

Uni non-academic strike likely to end today

Apr 3 (Island) Strike of the university non-academic staff, which had dragged on for 35 days was likely to end today, after a meeting among the members of the University Trade Union Joint Committee (UTUJC), its secretary Dhammika Priyantha said. Representatives of UTUJC met Minister Kabir Hashim yesterday when the latter promised to give a 10% salary increment to the non-academic staff members. Priyantha said, more..

NCM: Decision should benefit the people: CM

Apr 3 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has called on the TNA to take a stand on the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, which would be beneficial for the Tamil people. Speaking on the NCM, Wigneswaran said that the TNA’s decisions pertaining to the no-confidence motion should be focused on getting some benefits to the Tamil people. He pointed out that so far the Govt had failed on most of its promises pertaining to several aspects more..

SLFP reads riot act to UNP

Apr 3 (CT) Minister Susil Premajayantha criticized the UNP for saying that the SLFP Cabinet Ministers who support the No-Confidence Motion, against PM, need to be removed from the Govt. He added that the SLFP Ministers who supported the No-Faith Motion had no intention of remaining in the Cabinet. Premajayantha, responding to the warning issued by the UNP, that SLFP Cabinet Ministers who supported the no confidence motion would be chased away from the Govt, said that more..

UNP sure of defeating NCM: Akila

Apr 3 (DN) UNP vowed to defeat the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM securing more than 120 votes. With less than 48 hours remaining for the Parliamentary debate on the NCM submitted by the JO, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam predicted that unexpected forces would join hands for a sure defeat of the motion. UNP MP Nalin Bandara speaking to the media along with Minister Kariyawasam implied that more..

No-faith motion will destroy RW's govt: JO

Apr 3 (DM) The joint opposition (JO) said it was optimistic of winning the no-faith motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe with the objective of neutralizing his power over the government. JO leader and MP Dinesh Gunawardane said the the govt led by Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe would be defeated in parliament on Wednesday. MP Wimal Weerawansa said the PM would have to leave the govt on Wednesday evening and a new govt would be formed on Thursday morning. more..

Ranil’s Economic Management Committee not abolished: Mangala

Apr 3 (Island) Finance Minister Mangala Samarawera yesterday said that Prime Minister’s Economic Management Commitee (EMC) had not been abolished. He said if the EMC had been abolished he would have been aware of it. A Cabinet paper seeking approval for the continuation of the Committee two weeks for had been given, Minister said. Media has reported that the EMC, headed by the PM was abolsihed following a Cabinet paper submitted by President Sirisena. more..

SLFP Parliamentary group to tell PM to resign

Apr 3 (Island) SLFP parliamentary group, at a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena, last night, at his official residence in Colombo 7, unanimously resolved to call upon PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to resign before the no-faith motion against him is taken up in Parliament tomorrow. Prior to his meeting with the SLFP MPs, President Sirisena held two separate discussions with PM Wickremesinghe and the UNP parliamentary more..

GCE exams - O/L or A/L are not the end of the world

Apr 3 (DM) The story about a student in Mullaitivu who had committed suicide after having failed in the last year’s GCE O/L exam was overshadowed by the success stories of many students in various other parts of the country and the obsession of the media with the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The story also might have not drawn the attention of the media as it was heard from a relatively remote area. However, it is in a way good that the imprudent act by more..

Tomorrow: New beginning or beginning of an end

Apr 3 (DM) No-Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister is not just against him. In its practical implication it is about the govt as a whole. This is not about how it is interpreted constitutionally, but how it would work out, practically, if it wins. It states, “This Parliament resolves that it has no confidence in Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ability to function as PM and as a Minister of the Cabinet, and as well as the Govt in which he holds the office of PM, any longer.” In purely constitutional terms, more..

'No Confidence Motion: Trying to save Unity Govt'

Apr 3 (DM) The Daily mirror sat with Minister Susil Premajayantha, to discuss the No-Confidence Motion and current politics in the country. Excerpts: Q: Are you confident that the JO could win the No Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM on Wednesday? A: This No Confidence Motion has been signed by the JO members and a few other members of the Unity Govt. Therefore, it is the duty of the SLFP members in the Unity Govt to more..

Kin of Sri Lanka's war missing demand roadmap, answers

Apr 3 (UCAN) Rights organizations and the families of people considered forcibly disappeared, such as those who have been missing since the end of SL's long civil war, are pressing UN for answers to unresolved war crimes. Many have been waiting three years since the U.N. adopted a resolution calling on Colombo to investigate allegations of war crimes. Now patience is running thin and they are demanding a roadmap more..