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Ravi K should resign

Feb 2 (CT) UNP has decided to suspend Ravi Karunanayake (MP) from the post of Assistant Leader based on the Tilak Marapana Report. This is consequent to the findings of the Presidential Commission on Treasury Bonds issue of 27 Feb 2015 and 29 March 2016 and the events that soon followed thereafter, where Karunanayake was the then Finance Minister. Those findings revolve round a luxury flat, allegedly given free of charge for a certain period of time for Karunanayake and his family by more..

Is there LIFE in an old republic?

Feb 2 (FT) I feel something queer come over me, as the actress said to the bishop. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi in the air these days… a balmy in wonderland mixture of introspective nostalgia and prospective newness. Maybe it’s all those fumes from myriad aeroplanes flying overhead in preparation for a seventieth birthday celebration, intoxicating us all with a rich mix of high octane and high-jinks. Perhaps that’s what’s making me airy, light, aethery, and more ready than more..

Nalinda Jayatissa

Rajapaksa urges Tamils to have faith in him

Feb 2 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the Tamil community to have faith in him. Addressing a public rally in Jaffna in support of local govt candidates backed by the SLPP, the former President said development work had come to a grinding halt since the change of govt in Jan 2015. Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told the gathering that post-war reconciliation would never be a reality without former President Rajapaksa’s support. more..

Tamil Congress/TNPF raises the heat on EC member Professor Hoole

Feb 2 (CT) Several election violations by the All Ceylon Tamil Congress and its ally, the Tamil Equal Rights Movement, have been stopped by the Election Commission. Together these two parties are contesting as the Tamil National People’s Front and are perhaps responsible for most violations in Jaffna. Most of these complaints have been sent to Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole who lives in Jaffna and he in turn has passed them on to the Election Commission. more..

Sri Lanka pile on the runs and eye big lead

Feb 2 (CI) Three-hundred-and-seventeen runs, for the loss of two wickets. So passed another batting day in Chittagong - a day on which Sri Lanka moved to a position of true strength for the first time in the game, and a day in which a draw became a distinct possibility, such is the absence of wear on this surface. Batsmen prospered more or less relentlessly, and only when the ball was new did it pose them challenges. more..

Sri Lanka building asset registry ending violation of fiscal law: Harsha

Feb 2 (EN) Sri Lanka is building a state asset registry giving effect to fiscal responsibility law after the last administration violated its provisions for 10 years, Deputy Economic Policy Minister Harsha de Silva said, though questions remain about regularizing past accounting practices. "In the consolidated account in 2003, Ranil Wickremesinghe's govt under the fiscal management responsibility act mandated that an asset registry should be maintained," Deputy Minister told reporters. more..

Video: Ravi should leave politics completely: Gevindu

Feb 2 (AD) Gevindu Kumaratunga says that MP Ravi Karunanayake should completely leave politics over the Bond Scam and not just resign from the post of Assistant Leader of the UNP. Addressing a press conference in Colombo today (1), he said that presently Mr Karunanayake has no moral right to continue to engage in politics. He also said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should be held responsible for all that has happened because of the bond scam as he was in charge of it. more..

President never meant taking over any ministry: Harsha

Feb 2 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena never meant taking over any ministry when he recently said that he would take over the responsibility of controlling the economy, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said. He said that the President only meant taking control of the National Economic Council. “President spoke to me minutes after the statement he made on talking over economic affairs under his purview and told me that he never meant taking over any ministry," more..

DMT accused of attempt to cover up motorcycle racket

Feb 2 (Island) There were more than 10,000 locally assembled motorcycles in police custody across the country and their owners had been duped into buying them by organised racketeers, Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association (CMA) Secretary Chirantha Amarasinghe said. Amarasinghe said: "It is a big racket to import motorcycle parts from Japan and assemble them illegally here. The racketeers have political backing. They replace chassis and engine numbers with new ones. more..

Police can shoot if Penal Code is violated: Spokesman

Feb 2 (DN) Police personnel have been issued orders to shoot in instances where Clause 93 and 96 of the Penal Code is violated, Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. He said this does not suggest that Police can simply shoot a person. “But what it means is that Police can use force required even upto the point of killing a person in such instances. Shooting a person is also included in this clause. In one sentence it says during incidents of looting or such violations of the Penal Code,” more..

No such committee called Welcome Committee of British Royals: Govt

Feb 2 (AD) The Sri Lankan Govt and the British High Commission in Colombo today rubbished the false reports doing the rounds on social media and certain websites regarding alleged guidance issued by the so-called Welcome Committee of British Royals. There have been reports and Facebook posts, citing a certain document, claiming that a committee by the aforementioned named has issued 18 guidelines to be followed in the presence of British Royals. more..

Theft at Trinco Navy Holiday Bungalow

Feb 2 (DM) A group of 19 locals and Sri Lankan Canadians have been stolen of cash and jewellery while on holiday at the heavily fortified - Command Headquarters- Eastern Naval Area, Trincomalee, on Tuesday night, the Daily Mirror learns. The rogues had broken into the Bungalow located within the premises at which 19 persons including 11 females were staying. Initial observations of the group had revealed stolen cash and jewellery amounting to over 300,000 rupees. more..

Queen Elizabeth II conveys her congratulations for 70th Independence Day celebration

Feb 2 (DN) Queen Elizabeth II of England conveyed her well wishes to President Maithripala Sirisena for the 70th Independence Day celebration of Sri Lanka, today. Her Majesty said, ‘It gives me great pleasure to send to Your Excellency my congratulations on the occasion of the celebration by Sri Lanka of the seventieth anniversary of Independence. The relationship between our two countries has continued to grow, and it is my hope that the connections between our people continue to more..

'Want to give Kusal Mendis every opportunity'

Feb 2 (CI) SL's new coaching set-up believed that Kusal Mendis would benefit from opening the batting in Tests. He has responded by scoring 196 on return and Thilan Samaraweera, the batting coach, said that although he would be disappointed at missing out on a double-century for the second time in his career, the change in batting position would benefit him in the long-term. Mendis' career-best score, however, made him the second Sri Lankan more..

President signs gazette for commission on SriLankan & Mihin

Feb 2 (AD) President Sirisena says that he has signed the gazette to establish a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption in SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka. He stated that the Presidential Commission will be gazetted tonight. President made the announcement during the UPFA election rally in Hettipola today. In December last year, President Maithripala Sirisena announced plans to appoint a Presidential Commission to more..

Ola hits roadblock in Sri Lanka as rival alleges commercial espionage

Feb 2 (BS) Softbank funded ride-hailing firm Ola is facing a roadblock ahead of its entry into Sri Lanka after a local rival accused the Indian firm of commercial espionage when its team was researching the market opportunity in Colombo and other cities in the island nation. The Bengaluru-based Ola in a statement has dismissed the allegations as absolutely friviolous while not commenting further due to the matter being subjudice. The local rival, PickMe that runs more..

Heads to roll in foreign missions

Feb 2 (DM) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of restructuring its foreign missions and as a result several key positions in Sri Lanka’s vital and influential diplomatic hot spots would be changed, the Daily Mirror learns. A senior govt source said on condition of anonymity that our Head of the Mission in Geneva, Mr. Ravinath Aryasinghe would be called back to the Foreign Office (Colombo) and he would be replaced by Mr. A.L.A. Azis more..

Mahathir Mohamad or Putin instead Prince Edward: PHU

Feb 2 (DM) The PHU yesterday said the govt should have invited former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed or Russian President Vladimir Putin if it wanted to invite a foreigner to the Independence Day celebrations instead of an English Prince. Addressing a news conference, PHU Leader MP Udaya Gammanpila said inviting an English Prince sends the message that we are still a colony at heart of the British, though we gained independence 70 years ago. more..

SL’s inflation declines to 5.8% in January 2018

Feb 2 (NR) The Department of Census and Statistics reported, Sri Lanka’s inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index, declined to 5.8% in January 2018 from 7.1% in December 2017. The Index for all items for the month of January was 122.8 recording a marginal decrease of 0.1 index points or 0.05% compared to the month of December 2017. This was due to the decrease of food items by 0.61% and increase of non-food items by 0.55%. more..

Rishad and Basil issued notice over Wilpattu case

Feb 2 (AD) Court of Appeal has granted leave to proceed with the Writ Petition filed as public interest litigation on the alleged deforestation and illegal construction of housing project in the Wilpattu National Park. The decision was announced when the petition, filed by two rights activists including Attorney-at-Law Nagananda Kodituwakku, was taken up before a judge-bench comprising Appeals Court chairman Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Shiran Gunaratne. more..

Northants turn to legspin with Prasanna recall

Feb 2 (CI) Legspinners have never been more in demand when it comes to Twenty20 and Northamptonshire are among the enthusiasts, bringing Seekkuge Prasanna back to Wantage Road for a second season of T20 Blast. Prasanna last represented Northamptonshire in the 2016 campaign, where he played in 10 matches and took 12 wickets at an average of 24.00 with best bowling figures of 3-24 and an economy rate of 7.02. Although he might not quite attract the excitement given to Afghanistan's Rashid Khan, more..

Postal Votes: EC considers recovering costs from absentees: Deshapriya

Feb 2 (CT) The Election Commission (EC) yesterday (1), revealed that it is considering recovering the cost the EC had to incur for each postal vote, from those who did not cast their postal votes in the LG Election 2018. Chairman of the EC, Mahinda Deshapriya said that according to his estimates, approximately 4,000 individuals had not cast their postal votes this time. "We hope that 1,500 to 2,000 of them would have cast their votes yesterday or will do today (2). more..

Court bars transfer of Perpetual Treasuries’ properties

Feb 2 (AD) The Colombo Fort Magistrate has issued an interim order preventing movable and immovable properties of Perpetual Treasuries Limited from being transferred to a third party. Meanwhile a court order has also been issued to submit the revenue details of the controversial primary dealer, for the earning from bond transactions from February 2015. The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today named former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, more..

A National Day Reflection

Feb 3 (Island) A young man on a motorcycle: A little blue piece of something fell off a motorcycle. A young man on another motorcycle stopped and reversed while the traffic on a very busy road slowly ground to a halt. Two wheelers, three wheelers, four wheelers, ten wheelers; they all stopped and watched. No one horned as we usually do for the slightest reason. Something solemn was unfolding on the hot tarred road. After some skilful manoeuvring, the little blue piece of more..

The frilling of emptiness

Feb 3 (SO) On March 26, 1979, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka issued a new series of currency notes. It was called the fauna and flora series and looked prettier than the previously issued notes which were sombre, in comparison. Whereas the old notes felt heavier and seemed serious, these new notes were light and delightful in appearance. The notes featured fish, butterflies, lizards, birds, frogs, monkeys and reptiles in addition to trees, vines and flowers. more..

Make climate change your cause, Lord Puttnam tells younger generation

Feb 3 (ST) With 10 Oscars, 25 BAFTAs and the Palme d’Or at Cannes among his innumerable accolades (and these are only for film) Lord David Puttnam can cut an intimidating figure in one’s imagination. Then one could add classic films such as Chariots of Fire, Local Hero, The Killing Fields and Bugsy Malone to his resume in addition to the 45 honorary degrees he holds from universities around the world and the work he has championed in more..

Changing political culture from the bottom up: Role of the middle class

Feb 3 (CT) In recent weeks, there has been much talk again about the political culture and the need to reform it if the country is to move forward. A seminar organised recently by a group called Inception of Change (venasaka Arambuma) at Maharagama had this theme as a key point. Bond Commission report or at least excerpts are out in the public domain and there is considerable airtime and media attention drawn into it. Political stages are being erected throughout country for esteemed politicians more..

Fighting corruption 70 years after freedom

Feb 3 (DN) 70th anniversary of Independence celebrated tomorrow comes a week before a major test of the progress of democracy in the country, with the LG poll very much taking the image of a national referendum on the progress of the govt, and the battle against corruption in the country. It raises questions about success of the present unity govt in keeping on its pledge to effectively fight the corruption of the previous regime, and raises major questions on the ability of the govt more..

On a slippery slope

Feb 3 (CT) National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has warned recently that close to 95,000 people in the Badulla District are living in landslides-prone areas. According to research conducted by them, around 6,000 settlements in Badulla, including houses, religious places and other buildings are situated in high risk zones for landslides. Badulla has become a hotspot for many geographical surveys and research more..

Independence: An unfulfilled dream

Feb 3 (CT) The British created the first Constitution for British-Ceylon and crafted the Donoughmore Commission in 1927. It being unsuccessful, Ceylonese demanded Constitutional reform. Consequently the State Council of Ceylon, consisting 58 members was formed in 1932, with A.F. Molamure as the first Speaker. The State Council granted universal franchise to the Ceylonese for the first time. The Ceylon (Constitution) Order in Council 1946, more..

Role of Catholics in Independence struggle

Feb 3 (DN) On Feb 4, Sri Lanka celebrates the 70th anniversary of Independence. This year also marks the 200 years of Uva - Wellassa Rebellion of 1818 which paved the way for future struggles to free Ceylon from the clutches of the British Empire. Hence, to say that no blood was shed to win independence from the British Raj is far from the truth. Perusing the pages of Ceylon’s struggle to win independence from being a British colony, one could see well that we have failed to give credit more..


Religious Doctrine & Religion: Sharing some thoughts

Feb 3 (CT) The following is consequent to reading ‘What the Qur’an Meant and Why It Matters’ by Garry Wills, New York, 2017. (The touch of ambiguity in the title’s anaphoric pronoun is surely deliberate.) Page reference, unless otherwise stated, is to this book. Professor Wills, now retired, once studied for the Roman-Catholic priesthood; later, he taught Greek and History. Thirty-one percent of the world’s population is Christian; twenty-three is Muslim (p. 4) and growing. more..

Editorial: All bark and no bite

Feb 3 (Island) Minister Dilan Perera seems to have taken the masses for asses. He has called upon the people to strengthen President Maithripala Sirisena’s hand by voting for the SLFP-led UPFA at the forthcoming LG polls so that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe could be ousted. The UNP has 107 seats in Parliament and needs only six more to secure a working majority; the UPFA has only 95 MPs, out of whom more than 50 have sided with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Impeaching the President

Feb 3 (CT) Elections are only a few days away and the politicians are at it again trying to tear each other apart. The political rivalries have stood the challenge of time, continuing to appeal to summon the inner hopes of the people despite their anticlimactic approach. Two weeks ago, a fresh saga unveiled when Prez Sirisena marched out from a Cabinet meeting in disgust that Members of the UNP were slinging mud at him regularly. more..

Delays, Dilution and Deal-making

Feb 3 (Island) The Office on Missing Persons is one of the four mechanisms that the govt promised in its comprehensive approach to dealing with the past. Whilst OMP is the only mechanism on which any formal progress has been made in the 28 months that have passed since the government announced its plan, even this has not yet been formally constituted and operationalised. Each step of the process thus far to establish the OMP has been marked by slow progress, a regrettable more..

Where have all the flowers gone?

Feb 3 (Island) What’s in a name? Someone asks me: "Where were all the flower gardens the river flowed through?" and gets me thinking. The very name conjures up colourful gardens, the fragrance of flowers, the hum of busy bees and honey combs. One assumes that, like "Alf, the sacred river" which "ran through caverns measureless to Man, Down to a sunless sea", this river, too, ran – through flower gardens measureless to Man – down to a sun-drenched sea. But that is sheer fantasy. more..

St. Anthony’s goes global under the reins of the third generation

Feb 3 (ST) Running a family business for 87 years is no mean feat and a great achievement in a country like Sri Lanka. Turning it over from one generation to the next is another feat altogether. Each generation of a family business has different visions, priorities when handing over the ownership, governance and adopting future strategy. Three generations of Gnanam family have managed and nurtured the hardware, plastics, PVC more..

Speaker urges all citizens to unite in Independence message

Feb 3 (FT) Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya issuing an Independence Day message called on all Sri Lankans to stand united to build a prosperous nation for future generation. A translation of the full text is as follows: Sri Lanka’s path to independence is adorned with the brave sacrifices made by the noble men and women who fought for the freedom of the motherland. At the 70th anniversary of Independence, we celebrate and commemorate the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim leaders more..