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Ven. Rathana fails to broker deal among SLFP, SLPP and UNP

Apr 5 (Island) MP Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera said that his attempt to broker a deal with the SLFP, SLPP and UNP in a bid to come up with a national plan to develop the country within the next year failed. ‘On Tuesday morning everyone was unsure about the outcome of the NCM vote and I tried to use the opportunity to present a plan that all three parties can agree on. But by yesterday one party was certain that more..

UNF to bring no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker

Apr 5 (SL) UNF led by the UNP is considering submitting a no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala. UNP member and Minister Navin Dissanayake said that Sumathipala acted in an unfair manner on the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, “UNF will move a No faith motion against deputy speaker Thilanga Sumathipala who has acted in a capricious, arbitrary and unfair manner without acting independently in the current no faith motion… more..

Thilanga complains to Speaker over Navin’s unruly behaviour

Apr 5 (DM) Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala today complained to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that Minister Navin Dissanayake had threatened him following the no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament yesterday. In a statement, he said Minister Dissanayake blasted at him in a rowdy manner near the elevator at the second floor. “In front of police officers, Minister Dissanayake threatened to remove me from the post of Deputy Speaker. more..

SriLankan Airlines lose US$ 105mn in 2017, fresh turnaround effort

Apr 5 (EN) SriLankan Airlines has lost US$ 105 million (16 billion rupees) in the year to March 2018, and a fresh effort will be made to turn it around in three years and join with a strategic partner, officials said. Newly appointed Chairman Ranjith Fernando said the new board is vetting a re-structuring plan submitted by Nyras, an aviation consultancy. "We hope to turn around the airline in 2-3 years," Fernando said. more..

Four suspects in killing of lorry driver that sparked riots re-remanded

Apr 5 (Island) Four suspects held in remand custody for allegedly attacking a driver at Teldeniya who later succumbed to his injuries were further remanded till April 18 by the Teldeniya Magistrate yesterday. The victim M.G. Kumarasinghe, assaulted on Feb. 22 died in hospital on March 02. His death triggered communal violence, which erupted in Digana and spread to some other parts of the Kandy District. The deceased, a resident of Ambala in Medamahanuwara, was a 42-year-old more..

Four of Angoda Lokka's accomplices arrested

Apr 5 (DM) Four accomplices of underworld criminal Angoda Lokka were arrested by the Police Oraganised Crimes Division during raids in Athurugiriya and Hokandara yesterday. Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said a T-56 gun, 12 cartridges, one magazine, a motorcycle, full-face helmets, a trishaw, knives, 2kgs of kerala ganja and Rs.79,800 were seized during the raids. He said the suspects aged between 24 and 37 were residents of Athurugiriya, Thalpe and Hokandara. more..

No-confidence motion reflects vibrant democracy in SL: EU

Apr 5 (DM) The vote on the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe reflects the vibrant democracy in SL and the govt should seize the opportunity to further strengthen the team that wants to undertake reforms, a delegation of the European Parliament Committee on Int'l Trade (INTA) said. The six-member delegation of the INTA arrived in SL on Wednesday to follow up on SL's commitments made in exchange for access to the EU market through the GSP+ scheme. more..

Spot fines to be introduced for 33 traffic offences

Apr 5 (AD) Deputy Minister Ashoka Abeysinghe says that spot fines will be introduced for 33 selected traffic violations in order to reduce traffic accidents and create disciplined drivers. Speaking during the debate in Parliament today on three legislations under the Motor Traffic Act, he stated that the spot fines will range between Rs 500 and Rs 3,000. He stated that 33 specific fines will be introduced based on the recommendations of the committee appointed on the instruction of the President. more..

50 Schools commit to the UN SDG Actions

Apr 5 (GDI) Fifty schools in SL, which have been selected to receive funding to design and implement a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) project in their communities, will be recognized today at ceremony in Colombo. In an effort to reach out and mobilize youth to advocate for and work towards the SDGs, the UN in Sri Lanka together with the Ministry of Education in partnership with Hatton National Bank and the Presidential Secretariat launched the SDG Action Campaign in 2017. more..

Tuition during school hours to be banned

Apr 5 (NR) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says he will present a Cabinet paper preventing the conduct of private tuition classes during school hours between 7.30am and 1.30pm on weekdays. He said the govt has promptly addressed the necessary concerns surrounding the education sector. Ministry of education has recruited teachers and 4,000 Principals have also been recruited claiming that the Ministry has addressed more..

Repeated arrests of fishermen has India concerned

Apr 5 (NR) An Indian Parliamentary panel has expressed concerns over the repeated arrests of Indian fishermen by SL authorities. Indian Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs also had voiced concerns over the growing proximity between SL and China. Times of India quoted one of the committee members as saying, “During the meeting, few members raised concerns over the repeated arrests of fishermen from TN and the harassment they are being subjected to more..

SriLankan Airlines in talks with Airbus to cancel 4 A350s

Apr 5 (EN) SriLankan Airlines is in talks with Airbus to cancel four A350 aircraft on order, which were overpriced and are not suitable for its routes, officials said. Chairman of SL's National Public Private Agency Thilan Wijesinghe said a team of laws and aviation specialists have been hired to conduct negotiations. Newly appointed Chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines Ranjith Fernando said the airline in the past had bought overpriced aircraft paying in excess of 30% of market prices, more..

Prez under attack from Oppn over no trust motion defeat

Apr 5 (PTI) JO has accused President Sirisena of betraying not only them but also his own party and allies, after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe comfortably won a no-trust motion. Wickremesinghe, 68, who leads a national unity govt in alliance with Sirisena's SLFP, received 122 votes against the motion while 76 favoured the motion to oust him. Banking on votes of legislators of Sirisena's SLFP, former President Mahinda more..

Keith Noyahr abduction: Rtd. Major General Karunasekara arrested

Apr 5 (DM) Former Military Intelligence Director and Chief of Staff of the Army, Major General (Retired) Amal Karunasekara has been arrested by the CID in connection with the abduction and assault of journalist Keith Noyahr in 2008. Major General Karunasekara who was also the Commandant at Defence Services Command and Staff College, was arrested on charges of aiding and abetting the Keith Noyahr abduction. He was an in-house patient at the Military Hospital when the arrest was made. more..

'President did not tell us how to vote'

Apr 5 (AD) Minister Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa says that although there were two opinions within the SLFP with regard to the no-confidence motion against the PM, they always respect the majority’s opinion. Speaking at a press briefing today, the minister said that he is saddened by the fact that his colleagues Minister S.B. Dissanayake and MP Thilanga Sumathipala were of the stance they would abstain from voting, but changed their mind in the last minute and voted in favour. more..

We will hang on: Dilan

Apr 5 (DM) Not a single SLFP minister who voted in support of the No Faith Motion on Wednesday was ready to leave the Yahapalana Govt as they were appointed by President Mithripala Sirisena and not by any one else, Highways State Minister Dilan Perera said. He added that the aftermath of the No Faith Motion has brought the country into a risky position as the motion was beaten with the help of TNA & SLMC by more..

Who Won?

Apr 6 (CT) Who won the battle of the no-confidence motion? There were at two winners, not one. One of them won tactically and the other strategically. There were also many losers. At the most obvious level, PM Wickremesinghe won. His party, or at least its parliamentary group and working committee rallied solidly behind him. The dissidents were silenced or fell silent. Ranil Wickremesinghe has homogenized his party at its upper levels. He is its undisputed leader for now, and no further challenge to more..

On the no-confidence saga

Apr 6 (CT) The question must be raised as to why the wording is so vague, lacking in any specific charge against the Prime Minister in regard to the fraud pertaining to the Bond scam per se. Why should this Motion be brought now, at this point of time, is another question that I would like to pose to the House. The wording is too loose and too general in nature. It could be that the Prime Minister is facing this situation because of the confidence he placed in someone who has betrayed him. more..

Rallying around technology for a robust Sri Lankan anti-money laundering regime

Apr 6 (FT) Few decades ago financial institutions worldwide enjoyed the security and protection offered by archaic systems that operated in isolation requiring only physical barriers to restrict access. This was primarily due to the fact that virtually all financial transactions were conducted offline and did not require the inter-operation between multiple systems across various geo-locations. Today, however, the world is digitally intertwined more..

After the NCM: Thinking about positive possibilities

Apr 6 (GV) The outcome of the voting at the conclusion of parliamentary debate yesterday on the No Confidence Motion in the PM has three immediate and readily visible political consequences. Firstly, it strengthened the position of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNP within the coalition govt. Secondly, the voting also both strengthened and weakened the JO. While managing to split the SLFP led by President Sirisena and thereby gaining political advantage over more..

The fall of the no-confidence motion against the PM

Apr 6 (GV) It was fairly clear even before yesterday’s debate that the Prime Minister would not easily be defeated on the no-confidence motion, given the configuration of party representation in the current Parliament. The motion relied on generalities instead of specific charges, on perceptions rather than concrete evidence, and it was given what life it had more by divisions within the Govt than any real capability of the Opposition to inflict defeat. All these factors contributed to the motion’s lack of more..

10 places in Colombo & origins of their names

Apr 6 (Roar) As Sri Lankan towns go, Colombo is relatively young—a mere five centuries from when the Portuguese established a fort and expelled the Muslim inhabitants. With the exception of Galle and Negombo, it is surely the city with the most colonial influence. The names of its streets and districts reflected its colonial heritage; at least until the authorities changed the names to more indigenous ones. more..

Parliament voted Intricacies of the result

Apr 6 (CT) Results of the no-confidence vote, in Parliament against PM, on Wednesday, show that it has been soundly defeated after a day of deliberations. 76 MPs voted for and 122 voted against. PM won the confidence of Parliament by a majority of 46 votes. Contrary to reports that a group of UNP MPs will vote for the NCM, members of the UNP stuck together in the vote displaying Party loyalty. Even Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe voted against the NCM. Minority parties except the JVP more..

Winning the trust and keeping it

Apr 6 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe could not have asked for more – from his political adversary in Mahinda Rajapaksa, and eternally self-doubting President Maithiripala Sirisena. The trust-vote that the former inflicted on his leadership, and in which the latter is not yet sure if he was complicit in – or not – has given him the kind of political boost that he could not have expected, especially at the end of the self-defeating LG polls that his UNP lost so very completely, in terms of seats & Councils won more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Editorial: Winners and losers

Apr 6 (Island) JO suffered a painful pratfall on Wednesday, when PM defeated its no-confidence motion. UNP, however, in spite of its rhetoric and braggadocio, did not expect a comfortable win with a majority of 46. Its desperation knew no bounds. Else, it wouldn’t have gone to the extent of securing the TNA’s support, which has come with strings attached. PM has proved that he commands the confidence of the majority of MPs and, therefore, he has a right to remain in his current post. more..

The Future of Colombo is here

Apr 6 (Island) In 1962 when Lee Kuan Yew visited Ceylon, he was coming from a war torn land. He immediately fell in love with the human scale and the large trees he saw as a landscaped back drop to two or three storied buildings located in deep gardens set far back from the street. The streets he saw were clean and the people friendly. He so wanted his new Singapore to be like Colombo. But he was in for a surprise, for when the debris was cleared he did not have as much space in his city. more..

JVP queries suppl. allocation to CMC

Apr 6 (CT) The JVP yesterday, in Parliament, asked the Govt on what basis it had provided a supplementary allocation of Rs 342 million to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to settle the outstanding contractual payments for providing infrastructure facilities to the Shangri-La Hotel project. A supplementary allocation of about Rs 7,000 million, for the period of 22 Jan to 28 Feb, 2018, was tabled in Parliament yesterday more..

Vinod & Taniya 2018 Junior Golf Champions

Apr 6 (DN) Vinod Weerasinghe cruised to a 6 & 5 victory over Sathsara Dilshan to win the Rukmini Kodagoda Challenge Trophy and the title of SL Junior Boys champion 2018. Vinod, winner in 2016 and runner-up in 2017, clinched the Junior champion title for the second time, playing excellent golf in the final. SL Junior Match-Play Golf Championship, sponsored by P&S Bakers for the fifth consecutive year, displayed beyond reasonable doubt the improvement & development of junior golf. more..

Dilhani stands strong despite recent tragedy

Apr 6 (CT) Women’s javelin thrower Dilhani Lekamge surprised many last year, winning the silver medal at the Asian Championship replicating the feat of her former training partner Nadeeka Lakmali, to emerge as one of country’s leading throwers and international medal hopes. But, tragedy followed soon after that leaving all leading SL throwers’ futures hanging in balance including Dilhani’s as renowned throwing coach A.J. Rodrigo suddenly passed away. more..

CBK, Mangala say national reconciliation key to development and democracy

Apr 6 (FT) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga and Minister Mangala Samaraweera emphasised that national reconciliation was a vital pillar in the development and democracy of Sri Lanka. Speaking at marketing communication firm Bates Strategic Alliance’s Leadership session to mark its 25th anniversary, National Unity and Reconciliation Office Chairperson, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike, said: more..

Trade committee moves forward with electronic portal

Apr 6 (DN) The International Trade Centre held its first public-private consultation on the new national single trade window on Thursday. The trade window is an initiative, coordinated between multiple international agencies and domestic ministries, to create a single electronic portal to facilitate trade in Sri Lanka. It is a part of a World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement that the govt ratified in hopes of becoming South Asia’s logistics hub. Currently, many important records of more..

SL women find it difficult to get jobs

Apr 6 (CT) Highlighting the importance of increased female labour force participation for economic development, the World Bank said that the SL female labour force participation rate was as low as 34% due to several bottlenecks existing in the country. According to the 2018 Women, Business and Law Report, women in SL found it difficult to find employment, as well as maintain a work and personal life balance, due to several restrictions. Report pointed out those females did not get more..

'Sirisena has no control over SLFP/UPFA'

Apr 6 (CT) The No-Confidence Motion, moved against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, has confirmed that President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the Chairman of the SLFP and the Leader of the UPFA, had failed to bring the parties or his group of Parliamentarians to one mindset, the JVP said. “Can a Leader who cannot control his own party run a country? Following the No-Confidence Motion, it has become clear that Sirisena and more..

No flying by night to Batticaloa

Apr 6 (ST) Sri Lanka’s civilian flights to the East coast opened with the Batticaloa airport being fully commissioned at the weekend however air services are restricted to only day-time operations. There won’t be any night operations for civilian aircraft unless special permission has been granted by the Sri Lanka Air Force, that continues to operate the airport, alongside the Airport and Aviation Authority (AASL), the authority’s Executive Director Johanne Jayaratne said this week. more..

On Sri Lanka surviving the no-trust vote

Apr 6 (Hindu) The resounding defeat of a no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Sri Lanka’s parliament provides an opportunity for its bickering leaders to reassess their priorities. However, it may not end the prevailing political uncertainty as the three-way competition among President Sirisena, Mr. Wickremesinghe and their common rival, former president Rajapaksa, is likely to continue. The confidence of parliament has been more..

Mobs surrounds Sirasa head office, throw firecrackers

Apr 6 (Island) Slave Island Police are investigating some incidents where a group of persons threw firecrackers and stones at the MTV/MBC Head Office in Braybrook Street, following the defeat of the no-faith motion against PM on Wednesday night. PMU said: "We have received a complaint regarding the alleged incidents. There is no evidence that an attack was carried out. We have only found out that firecrackers were thrown into the premises." more..

Johann Peries’s confident steps on Mount Everest, a giant leap for Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (FT) Months of physical and mental preparation have culminated in the departure of a brave son of SL, Johann Peries, on his second attempt to scale Mount Everest. Setting off for the two-month expedition, Johann hopes to be successful on this attempt to scale Mount Everest and make his country proud. Johann Peries and Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala were the first Sri Lankans to attempt to summit the peak of 8,848m above sea level in April 2016. more..

BSS to hold special blessing for all Sri Lankan lives lost in war

Apr 6 (FT) In a bid to bestow merit upon those who lost lives for Sri Lanka in the war and due to riots, natural disasters and accidents, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is organising a massive ceremony to offer 60,000 robes to Buddhist priests in Anuradhapura in May. Issuing a missive signed by BBS Leader Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, the BBS said it would gather 60,000 youth to offer the robes at a ceremony scheduled to be held on 19 May at Ruwanwelisaya, Anuradhapura. more..

EU’s Committee on International Trade says Not satisfied over Kandy riots

Apr 6 (CT) The visiting European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) said that they are not satisfied with the Kandy riots that erupted recently even when there was adequate Police protection being provided to those attacked. They thus urged the Govt to ensure that there is no impunity from prosecution of the perpetrators, whoever they may be. At the press conference held yesterday at EU Colombo more..