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Navin Dissanayake

Unprecedented political dramas of the 1970s and 80s

Apr 4 (DN) JR Jayewardene, MP Colombo South who resigned on May 13, 1975, protesting against the extension of the period of Parliament by Sirimavo’s United Front govt which won the 1970 General Elections obtaining the two-thirds majority. (Her govt passed a new constitution in 1972. Bandaranaike who was in coalition with the two main leftist parties, the LSSP and CP, in the process, extended the life of parliament by 2 years, to continue in office till 1977). more..

Rugby 7s: Hirantha Perera not allowed to travel without valid Visa

Apr 4 (CT) SL centre Hirantha Perera, was unable to land in Australia along with the Sri Lanka national sevens team as he was not permitted to travel to Brisbane on Monday night. Hirantha was the last man to have joined the squad after he replaced Sithum Pieris who was withdrawn from the squad due to visa trouble. Now Hirantha has also been asked to wait due to a visa problem, but SL Rugby expressed that they are confident of sending the player by Wednesday to join the squad, more..

Looters as Rulers: Vote today on NCM against PM over treasury bond scams

Apr 4 (Island) The elite STF had to be deployed last Wednesday morning at Maskeliya in support of the local police, struggling to quell clashes following the appointment of CWC local heavyweight, G. Sembalawalli, as the chairperson of the Maskeliya PS. There had never been an instance of the police para-military arm being summoned to reign in political parties battling for control of local govt bodies. more..

Anusha: SL’s top medal hopeful in boxing

Apr 4 (Island) Four years after a horrific injury knocked her out of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Anusha Kodituwakku celebrated her second coming on April 1, when she left with the six-member boxing squad for the 2018 Gold Coast Games which commences today. It is almost a miracle, describes Ruwan Keragala, Finance Director at MAS Holdings, a company which is a staunch supporter of boxing and where Anusha works in the HR department. more..

Cutting through the Glyphosate smoke

Apr 4 (Island) There are signs that groups with vested interests are seeking to exploit the current virtual absence of govt in the country to scurry their nefarious agendas. Introduction of new tax legislation that looks suspiciously like an IMF structural adjustment programme is a case in point. There are other similarly sneaky attempts such as the renewed campaign to get the govt to lift the ban on the carcinogenic herbicide glyphosate, which has been linked with kidney disease among more..

Vidanage leads SL at Commonwealth Games

Apr 4 (Island) Weightlifters led by gold medalist Chinthana Vidanage will carry SL’s main medal hopes and athletics fraternity expects Janaka Wimalasiri to reinstate lost pride of the track and field sports when the 21st Commonwealth Games commences in Gold Coast, Australia today. Vidanage is the captain of the 80-member team which is set to compete in 13 sports from April 4 to 15. It is the 2nd time that Vidanage captains SL at multi sports event more..

All set for XXIst Commonwealth Games

Apr 4 (DN) XXIst Commonwealth Games is set to get off the mark today with the opening ceremony scheduled for 7 p.m. Australian time (2.30 pm SL time). Gold Coast Games will become the biggest ever Commonwealth Games as it has 6600 athletes and over 400 officials participating. Prince Charles will be the chief guest in the absence of the Head of the Commonwealth countries the Queen of England Elizabeth II. Seventy countries are competing in nine disciplines at the Games more..

AFC president Shaikh Salman pledges support for Sri Lanka football

Apr 4 (DN) AFC president Salman Al Khalifa visited SL on an official visit on Monday. The private jet carrying the AFC president and his entourage landed at BIA and was warmly welcomed by FFSL president Anura de Silva, FFSL secretary general Jaswar Umar along with members of the Executive Committee. AFC delegation included AFC general secretary Windsor John, AFC MA Int'l Relations Director Ravi Kumar, AFC president’s office officials, Hassan Yusuf & Abbas Marzook. more..

Purawesi Balaya chides SLFP over move to oust PM ahead of NCM

Apr 4 (Island) Purawesi Balaya co-convenor Gamini Viyangoda said that the SLFP request to PM Wickremesinghe to quit ahead of the No Confidence Motion (NCM) today clearly showed its inability to muster the required support. Addressing the media at the Center for Society and Religion (CSR), Maradana, Viyangoda pointed out that PM Wickremesinghe had rejected President Sirisena’s call for him to resign soon after more..

Mahindra, Ideal Motors invest Rs 2.5 bn for assembly plant

Apr 4 (DN) Ideal Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd in a joint venture will invest Rs. 2.5 billion for the assembly of automotive vehicles in Sri Lanka. The land for the project has already been obtained in Kalutara and the production would commence from September 25. The joint venture company hopes to assemble around 100 four wheelers monthly mainly targeting the rural markets in Sri Lanka. Mahindra will hold a 35% stake in the JV, while Ideal Motors will have a 65% stake. more..

Is foreign coach the answer for U19 and women’s cricket?

Apr 4 (DN) After much soul searching Sri Lanka Cricket eventually found a successor to Graham Ford when they appointed former Sri Lanka cricketer Chandika Hathurusingha to take charge of the men’s national cricket team in December last year, but the same cannot be said of the Sri Lanka under 19 team and the Sri Lanka Women’s team. These two sides badly lack a proper head coach for them to make any further progress in the sport and not only be a competitive unit but able to win titles. more..

Money talks for prisoners #967 and #968

Apr 4 (SL) They were accused of being involved in a major Treasury bond scam but putting them behind bars did not stop them from using the money they had to bribe officers at the Welikada prison to obtain the best facilities for a short while. Perpetual Treasuries head Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena have been in remand prison after being arrested over the treasury bond scam. Sources revealed that the two accused more..

It’s Sampath’s chance to shine

Apr 4 (CT) Being in the shadows of someone else even after continuous and consistent performing could be frustrating and disappointing. Javelin Thrower Sampath Ranasinghe knows it more than anyone. 29-year-old, father of twins who lived in the shadow of superior throwers for a decade is now in the limelight becoming the first male javelin thrower ever to represent Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth Games. It is surely something he could be proud of but he will want SL public to remember him more..

Scaffolding Sector gets boost with Malaysian MoU

Apr 4 (CT) Vocational Training Authority (VTA) of Sri Lanka entered into a strategic partnership last week with Smart Trends International Lanka (STIL), a Malaysian company, to upskill labour in the scaffolding sector of the construction industry. STIL will offer UK awarding body, Northern Council for Further Education’s (NCFE’s) globally recognized certified scaffolding courses. Chairman Vocational Training Authority of SL, Dr. Lionel Pinto, speaking at the event said, more..

Ranil urged to quit unity govt, bring in SF as law and order minister

Apr 4 (Island) An overtly anti-Joint Opposition civil society grouping that campaigned for 2015 change of govt said that the National Unity Govt would certainly cease to exist tomorrow (4) regardless of the outcome of the No- Confidence Motion (NCM) against UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Addressing the media, on the invitation of Purawesi Balaya, Ven. Dambara Amila said that the UNP had two options. more..

Sri Lanka, Pakistan ink MoU to expand bilateral cooperation in skills development

Apr 4 (PO) Skill Development Council Islamabad and Information and Communication Technology Industry Skill Council (ICTISC) Sri Lanka signed MoU to expand bilateral cooperation in skill development. Both the sides concluded the MoU the other day aimed at expanding bilateral cooperation in teaching and training programmes between the two countries. SDC Islamabad Board Members said that Pakistan’s policy makers can learn from the successful Education-cum-Training system more..

Time to drop Sethu Samudram idea and rebuild Ram Sethu

Apr 4 (TOI) Sethu Samudram Canal Project (SSCP) seems to be a one-of-its kind. No other project would have sustained the interest of policy makers, the public and other stakeholders for more than 150 years with nothing happening on the ground. It was first mooted in 1860 when the British were looking to dredge the shallow straits between India and SL to connect the Palk Strait with the Gulf of Mannar (now a marine bio-reserve). Canal which is proposed to stretch for some 84km was to cut through more..

National Audit Bill presented to Parliament

Apr 4 (FT) The long-awaited National Audit Bill was presented in Parliament yesterday by the Govt as it seeks to widen the powers of the Auditor General and establish an Audit Service Commission. Bill, which was presented Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka, was initially published as a gazette on 16 March 2018. Bill seeks to provide the powers, duties and functions of Audit Service Commission as well as for the establishment more..

Tourism earnings up 13.8% in Jan-Feb

Apr 4 (CT) Tourism earnings during the first two months of this year, as well as in the month of February this year reflected almost the same growth trend in arrivals to the country. Total earnings during the first two months stood at US$ 880.05 million, up 13.8% compared to US$ 773.11 million a year ago. Tourist earnings in Feb this year increased 19% to US$ 436.96 million from US$ 366.3 million a year ago, while earnings for Jan surged 8.9% to US$ 443 million from US$ 406.8 million. more..

Mano, Rishad to vote against NCM

Apr 4 (DM) ACMC led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and TPA led by Minister Mano Ganeshan have decided to vote against the no-confidence motion on PM. Last evening (3), Working Committee of TPA has decided to vote against the No-Confidence Motion and our six MPs will vote to defeat the motion, TPA Leader Mano Ganeshan said. Meanwhile, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and his five MPs have decided to vote against the motion and to extend their support to PM. more..

JO rules out last minute moves to block NCM

Apr 4 (Island) JO ruled out the possibility of UNP trying to postpone the debate on the no-confidence motion against PM. MP Bandula Gunawardena said that the no-faith motion had already been accepted by the Speaker and tabled in parliament at a party leaders’ meeting. All of them had accepted the motion and decided that it was in order. Therefore, there was no reason to highlight any legal matters at the last minute. more..

JVP wants line drawn between superstitious beliefs and teachings of Buddha

Apr 4 (CT) JVP, requested the Ministry of Buddha Sasana to submit a detailed report to Parliament on whether Buddhism relates to soothsaying and magic as certain persons imply. JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake said that many people use Buddhism to justify soothsaying activities. “Today, some people claim that they are involved in soothsaying activities with the blessings of Buddhism. Some say that women who do not have children could be given babies by using Buddhism. more..

SLFP delegation led by Nimal Siripala fails to convince Ranil

Apr 4 (Island) UNP MPs vowed to defeat the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, after an SLFP delegation met PM and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday, requesting him to resign from his post before the motion of no confidence against him was taken up in Parliament. A SLFP delegation led by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva met the PM. On Monday night the SLFP parliamentary group, at a meeting with Prez Sirisena, unanimously resolved to call upon more..

UNP stays firm with PM

Apr 4 (FT) The UNP stood steadfastly behind PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as the hours ticked down to the crucial No-Confidence motion in Parliament today, insisting that they would await the final vote before deciding the way forward for the Govt. Despite the request by the SLFP Parliamentary group for PM to resign, the UNP representatives yesterday said there was no need for the PM to step down ahead of more..

Prez allows conscience vote for SLFP MPs

Apr 4 (DM) Deepening the political crisis, President Sirisena has told the UNP yesterday that he would permit the SLFP MPs to vote according to how they feel about the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said this when he chaired a meeting of party representatives ahead of the no-confidence motion and vowed to reconstitute the Cabinet tomorrow no matter what the outcome of the vote would be. At this meeting Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said it more..

NCM: TNA’s final decision this morning

Apr 4 (Island) TNA has postponed till 10 am today in making a final decision on the no-confidence against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The SLMC was likely to vote against the no-confidence motion against PM. The TNA MPs after meeting President Sirisena yesterday afternoon held a special group meeting with TNA leader R Sampanthan presiding at the Parliamentary complex. Sampanthan said PM should resign so that there would be no need for taking up the motion for debate or vote. more..

Nation nervy over No-confidence today!

Apr 4 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will face a crucial no-confidence motion in Parliament today that could go down to the wire, with some political parties still undecided on their vote at the eleventh hour, while the UNP and its allies are backing their leader to the hilt and are confident they have the necessary numbers to carry the day. The much anticipated debate on the no-confidence motion is scheduled to be held more..

Let stability be restored

Apr 4 (DM) Amid confusion and conflicting reports with different parties having different agendas and vested interests, Parliament will today take up the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The JO which presented the motion last month says it is based on the PM’s role in the CB Bond scam. But UNP leaders say the motion is against the govt, meaning the UNP & SLFP, PM & President. On the other hand, the President and the SLFP have shown that more..

Crisis in the UNP: Whence it came, whither it goes?

Apr 4 (DM) From the time he entered the chambers of State Council of Ceylon in 1943, J.R. Jayewardene (JR) had been branded as a Reactionary Capitalist. He had to withstand a vituperative onslaught of political attacks from the then Left Wing political leadership that mainly consisted of Philip Gunawardena, Dr. N.M. Perera, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva and Pieter Keuneman. JR’s political and economic viewpoint that promulgated a philosophical allegiance to the then more..

'No Confidence motion brought in to weaken govt'

Apr 4 (DM) Puravesi Balaya Co-convener Gamini Viyangoda said that if this no confidence motion has been brought in because of the alleged Bond Scam there is no justification for it. “Already two people are in jail and all accounts of Perpetual Treasuries have been frozen. No transactions can be made and certain ministers had to resign as well. “Therefore already this Govt has taken a lot of action regarding this incident. more..

'After the motion we can clearly see the way forward'

Apr 4 (DM) PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila spoke about the no confidence motion and the plans to win it. Q: How confident are you of mustering enough numbers to win the no confidence motion against the PM? A: Of course, yes. As you know, three PMs tendered their resignations in the world for different reasons. On Feb 15, 2018, Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn tendered his resignation due to his failure in more..

CEB union backs LNG for power, but warns of pitfalls in unsolicited contracts

Apr 4 (ST) CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) has urged the Govt to draw up a strategic plan to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) in meeting the country’s energy demand instead of adopting ad hoc measures from time to time. In a letter to the President, PM, Ministers and MPs, the union says that it is high time to choose LNG as a source of energy in the electricity general mix of the country. They point out that the CEB’s Least Cost more..

Development Strategies and Int’l trade ministry responds

Apr 4 (Island) Apropos news story headlined Wickremesinghe wants Malik stripped of development strategies, int’l trade portfolios in yesterday’s The Island, Development Strategies & Int'l Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema has sent us the following statement: "This Ministry wishes to refer to the news item appeared in the media, based on a letter sent to the President by the Chairman of Association of Technology Professionals. more..

Education Ministry sitting on disciplinary inquiries, charges union

Apr 4 (Island) The govt officials held responsible for the death of the Principal of Sochi National School in Hambantota, who succumbed to injuries following an accident during a physical training session last February, had not been made to face any disciplinary inquiries by the Education Ministry, Joseph Stalin the Chief Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) complained yesterday. more..

'Foreign remittances, pensioners exempted from tax'

Apr 4 (DN) Foreign remittances of persons working abroad are not taxable. Only those who earn above a certain amount will be taxed, Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament. “Upto Rs 15 million from services rendered to persons outside SL is tax exempted. Further, pensioners have been totally exempted from taxes, but if their interest is over Rs. 1.5 million per year (over Rs. 125,000 per month) it will be subject to a withholding tax. more..

Uni. non-academic staff to continue strike

Apr 4 (DM) University Trade Union Joint Committee (UTUJC) today decided to continue its strike action because the authorities had failed to issue a circular on the agreement reached with Minister Kabir Hashim on Monday. It had earlier decided to suspend the work stoppage after the higher education authorities agreed to grant a 10% increment to the lieu leave allowance of University non-academic staff. more..

'No-confidence motion lacks credibility'

Apr 4 (AD) Opposition Leader R Sampanthan says that the wording and timing of the no-confidence motion, which seeks to implicate the PM with the bond scam, are indicative of the pursuit of a political agenda through the motion rather than fixing responsibility in regard to the bond scam. “The question must be raised as to why the wording is so vague and lacking in any specific charge against the PM in regard to the fraud more..

Video: SLFP MPs divided on NCM

Apr 4 (AD) Denying Minister A.H.M. Fowzie’s statement, State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says that SLFP MPs have decided to vote in favour of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM). He stated that the decision was taken during an urgent meeting held at Minister Mahinda Amaraweera’s residence, a short while ago. Abeywardena said that more than 25 MPs representing the SLFP participated more..

PM ouster move fizzles out as debate begins

Apr 4 (EN) A faction within President Maithripala Sirisena’s SLFP announced it will abstain from the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as the opposition failed to muster the numbers required to topple him. After failing in their attempts to pressure Wickremesinghe to step down, the Sirisena-faction was in two pieces – one supporting the no-confidence resolution and other opposing it. more..