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Lead by example or leave politics

Jan 12 (DM) At a special and controversial session at Parliament on Wednesday, the behaviour of some MPs was disgraceful if not disgusting. The turmoil erupted after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made a special statement on the lengthy report of the PCoI which probed the Central Bank bond issues from Feb 2015 to 2016. The special session was held at the request of some opposition and SLFP members who wanted to debate the report, annexures and recommendations running into 1,400 pages. more..

Victor and the I told you so hordes

Jan 12 (DM) The arrest of singer Victor Ratnayake’s wife for alleged misappropriation of jewellery from a state bank must be a terrible blow to him, and it hasn’t been made any easier by the way the news has been glorified by the media. Several newspapers, both Sinhala and English, made this page one news. While the arrest of Hashini Amendra could be valued as such in purely news terms, it’s manner of presentation, or highlighting, which leaves much to be desired. more..

Between Laundromats and a Clean house

Jan 12 (DM) The Bond Scam Report isn’t out in the public domain yet. It is supposed to be only in English too. The call for a parliamentary debate on it turned out a big farce. For now what is interpreted and played around is what media picked from President Sirisena’s pre-recorded Sinhala statement aired on TV channels. A carefully written Sinhala statement that tried to position him as a decent, non partisan national leader, yet more..

‘Be wary of Rauff Hakeem’

Jan 12 (CT) Leader of the ACMC and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, at a public meeting in Sammanthurai said, "SLMC Leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem has been misleading people by giving false promises and that his addresses to the public differs from place to place. He also talks something in the presence of the people and something different to politicians and educationists. Hence, general public should be very careful more..

Forcing principal to kneel: Uva CM denies allegations

Jan 12 (DM) Chief Minister Uva Province Chamara Dasanayake said that it was absolutely a false allegation that he threatened and forced a principal of a Tamil girls’ school in Badulla to kneel down before him. He said that he received complaints that the principal concerned being a Hindu had discriminated the students of other faiths and that he called her to his official residence to inquire into the complaint in the presence of more..

Sri Lanka Army completes its commitment to UN assignments in Mali

Jan 12 (SLA) The final 32-strong batch of the Mali-bound Combat Convoy Company (CCC) of the Sri Lanka Army, making a new landmark record as a recognized Troop Contributing Country, now to the African continent, too left Sri Lanka for Mali Wednesday, amidst greetings and best wishes. A few Senior Officers were at the airport to bid goodbye to those UN bound soldiers, together with several Senior Officers. more..

Nurses at NHSL and Eye hospital resort to sick-note campaign

Jan 12 (Island) A one-day sick note campaign was conducted by the nurses attached to the National and Eye Hospitals yesterday in support of the strike action launched by the nursing staff of Sri J'pura. Administrators said yesterday only about 50% of of the nurses on the morning shift had been present. Emergency services, Accident Service, Neurology & Orthopaedic Units were not affected by the protest. more..

Rape of Swiss woman in N’eliya: Suspect believed to have fled the area

Jan 12 (CT) A week after the rape of an 18-year-old Swiss woman at knifepoint at Single Tree, a lonely but scenic suburb of Nuwara Eliya on 4 January, the Police have still not been able to make a breakthrough, SSP - Nuwara Eliya, Mahinda Dissanayake said yesterday."We suspect that the criminal has fled the area," he said. "We have drawn a sketch of the suspect based on the evidence supplied by the victim. more..

Britisher’s death head injury or drug OD?

Jan 12 (CT) The death of a British national, whose body was found in Maligawatte early this month, could be due to a drug overdose or due to his head being struck by a three wheeler, OIC of the Tourist Police, Prabath Withanage, said. "Anyway, it is an open verdict and investigations are continuing," he said. Two persons have been arrested in connection with the death and the victim's body parts have been sent to Govt Analyst's Dept more..

'President can hold office only for 5 years'

Jan 12 (DM) Counsel Manohara de Silva PC appearing for the intervenient petitioner Prof. G.L.Peiris on the question of the term of office of incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena, countered the contention of the Attorney General and maintained that under Article 30 (2) of the 19th Amendment, the President can hold office for a terms of five years. He said it is not a question of prospectively or retrospectively on the term of more..

AG says President Sirisena’s term is 6 years

Jan 12 (DM) Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya yesterday contended that incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena can continue his term of office as President for 6 years. Attorney General appearing with Additional Solicitor General Murdu Fernando and Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle submitted that the incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court whether more..

MR claims he is not the leader of the SLPP

Jan 12 (NR) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has claimed that he is not the leader of the SLPP. Former President remarked he had no intention of working alongside the SLFP to carry out the activities of Local Govt bodies, following the conclusion of the upcoming LG Election. He further stated the SLPP would not join the SLFP to form a coalition, in the event the SLPP secured a significant number of seats during elections. more..

Let’s not elect hooligans!

Jan 12 (CT) Politics, as we know is a contact sport, but when we say that we don't mean that politics should be like a game of Rugby in a physical sense. But in the hallowed halls of our Parliament on Wednesday the so-called Honourable Members of our Parliament brawled like teenagers. Members threw punches, hurled objects including what looked like a book, denigrating the House, which was supposed to be debating the controversial report of the PCoI into the alleged Bonds scam. more..

Chinese Flag has now risen in Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (FT) President Xi Jinping’s ‘Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ is now firmly enshrined as the North Star for Govt action as the 19th Communist Party Congress concluded late last year. His thought incorporated into the Constitution is the continued development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as part of the China Dream. The BRI was first introduced by Xi back in September 2013 as a One Belt and One Road (OBOR) strategy more..

Rusiripala Tennakoon

Ananda Sarath Kumara’s son assaults teenager

Jan 12 (DM) SLFP Anamaduwa organizer Ananda Sarath Kumara’s son Ayesh Shanaka Kumara and another youth were arrested on charges of assaulting a 19-year-old youth in Nawagaththegama yesterday and later released on bail with a surety of Rs.200, 000 each. Teenager got himself admitted to Anamaduwa Hospital and later to Kurunegala Teaching Hospital. Ananda Sarath Kumara was earlier found guilty on charges of having forced a female school teacher to kneel at more..

Indian nabbed with crystal meth worth Rs 9m

Jan 12 (AD) An Indian passenger who attempted to smuggle crystal methamphetamine or crystal meth, a dangerous drug popular in European countries, has been arrested at the BIA in Katunayake by officers of Police Narcotics Bureau. The suspect, a 50-year-old who reportedly owns a small shop in TN, had arrived in the country at 9.45pm last night. 220g of methamphetamine, with a estimated value of Rs 9 million, was found concealed inside a false bottom compartment of his luggage. more..

How malpractices have crippled Srilankan

Jan 12 (DM) Following Prez Sirisena’s announcement that he would appoint a Commission to investigate into allegations against SriLankan and Mihin Airlines, employees of the national carrier are now geared to testify before an impartial commission. Chairman Ajith Dias, CEO Suren Ratwatte and few members of the Director Board are also facing allegation similar to former Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe, more..

UNP campaign to kick-off on Jan. 18

Jan 12 (Island) The UNP will launch its LG polls campaign from Kandy on Jan 18, party’s Assistant Leader MP Ravi Karunayake says. The first public rally of the party would be held from 3 pm at the Central Market Ground with party leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe presiding, he said. PM Wickremesinghe would participate in all main rallies in every district and would address all 25 rallies, he said. In addition to the main district rallies there would be 25 main seminars covering more..

PM of Sri Lanka wants to watch Padmaavat?

Jan 12 (HT) According to the film’s distributor in Sri Lanka, the island country’s Prime Minister wants to watch Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, to see what the fuss is about. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat (erstwhile Padmavati) has been in news for the longest time now. It all started with Rajput Karni Sena vandalising the set of the film, alleging that the film distorting history leading to protest and even threatening physical harm to actor Deepika Padukone. more..

Central Bank suspends four officers over alleged bond irregularities

Jan 12 (Reuters) Central bank said it has suspended four officers and taken disciplinary action against several others following alleged irregularities in a 2015 govt bond auction. The monetary authority also said it has initiated several legislative changes aimed at preventing irregularities arising in connection with future bond issues. Last week, President Sirisena said a commission investigating the 2015 bond sales has more..

Govt spokesman confirms Chairman Dias’ appointment was big mistake

Jan 12 (CT) Whilst addressing the media Govt Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne confirmed that CEO Suren Ratwatte will no longer be serving the airline after the 25th of Jan 2018. He also criticized the national carrier‘s outgoing Chairman Ajith Dias by saying that his entry was one big mistake. Minister provided these answers when a journalist posed the question as confusion still mounted if the existing Chairman Dias and his Board of Directors had officially resigned. more..

Omalpe Sobitha Thero condemns Finance Minister’s decision on liquor

Jan 12 (AD) Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero condemns the decision taken by the Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on liquor. Sobitha Thero said that firm actions will be taken against the decision. Finance Ministry revoked the ban on selling liquor to females and employing females in places where liquor is manufactured or sold on January 10. Minister Samaraweera signed the Excise notification Gazette Extraordinary in this regard under the Excise Ordinance. more..

Nurses’ strike at J’pura Hospital ends after talks

Jan 12 (AD) The strike action carried out by nurses of the Sri J'pura General Hospital for the past 10 days has been suspended following discussion held between hospital authorities and trade unions today (12). The strike was launched against the biometric fingerprint system introduced to record hospital employees’ IN & OUT timing for attendance and overtime calculation. Hospital authorities had stated that fingerprint system more..

High-level SL delegation visits Goa shipyard

Jan 12 (TOI) A high-level SL defence delegation headed by secretary of defence, Kapila Waidyaratane, recently visited Goa Shipyard ltd (GSL) and held discussions with Shekhar Mital, RAdm. (retd), chairman & managing director of GSL, and other senior officers for a review of the off-shore patrol vessels being consturcted at the shipyard. The defence secretary was accompanied by the commander of SL Army, DG of SL Navy, DG SL coast guard and other senior officials of more..

Postal voting begins in nine districts

Jan 12 (DN) Postal voting for local government bodies began in nine districts today. Commissioner General of Elections, Director General Elections, R.M.A.L. Rathnayake speaking to Daily News explained that they had sent ballot papers for postal voting in the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa. In addition to those, they had also sent ballot papers to few of the local bodies in Gampaha, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura districts. more..

Caffe warns: President may take over portfolios of Justice and Law and Order

Jan 12 (CT) Executive Director of CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon stated that if President Maithripala Sirisena were to take over either, Ministries of Justice, Law and Order or the Attorney General's Department, the public should not be unduly surprised by such a move. He further stated that more than anyone else it would be Sirisena himself who would be fully aware of when his official term as the Prez would expire. more..

Ready to oversee polls: Over 7,000 officials, 341 mobile teams: PAFFREL

Jan 12 (CT) Election monitoring watchdog PAFFREL stated that they are ready to oversee the conduct of the 2018 LG polls slated to be held on 10 February. PAFFREL added that the forthcoming election will be held to appoint some 8,346 members to 341 LG bodies countrywide. They further stated that some 7,000 officials will be deployed to monitor various polling booths and that 341 mobile units, consisting of four officers per vehicle will also be deployed to oversee all aspects of election. more..

Sri Lanka renews membership of global tax transparency initiative

Jan 12 (EN) Sri Lanka has renewed its membership of the global tax transparency initiative of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to fight tax dodging. The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal by Minister Mangala Samaraweera to pay 30,000 Euro as membership payment for the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. A govt statement said SL joined the BEPS initiative in 2016 and continuing membership would prove advantageous. more..

Video: Gang-raped teen girl attempts suicide after writing a letter

Jan 12 (AD) A fourteen-year-old girl in Tissamaharama, Hambantota was allegedly gang raped by three men. The two 20-year old suspects and 22-year-old suspect were identified as residents of the same area, reports claim. The victimized girl had reportedly tried to commit suicide by hanging herself on a tree at the backyard of her residence after writing a letter. However, she was rescued by the residents and was rushed to more..

JVP’s Asoka Ranwala granted bail

Jan 12 (AD) JVP Western Provincial Council member Asoka Ranwala, who was arrested and remanded over the incident at the Sapugaskanda police station, has been released on bail. He was arrested on January 04 over charges of allegedly threatening the Sapusgaskanda Crimes OIC. However, Councilor alleged that he was assaulted by the Sapusgaskanda Crimes OIC when he was questioned regarding a youth in the area. Minister Sagala Ratnayaka had ordered CCD to more..

'Will accept SC’s verdict on Executive’s term'

Jan 12 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena says he is prepared to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court pronounced over the Executive’s term, based on the Article 32 of the Constitution. Issuing a statement on his Twitter, the Head of State said he is willing to resign from his post as the President at any given time. President also claimed true democracy will prevail under his rule. Earlier this week, President Sirisena sought the SC’s opinion if he could remain Prez for six years till 2021. more..

Sri Lanka seeks to modify performance criteria; EFF broadly on track: IMF

Jan 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s performance under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program has remained broadly on track despite a series of weather-related supply shocks, the IMF said. Following the Executive Board’s discussion of the third EFF review, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Acting Chair and Deputy Managing Director of IMF, said country’s fiscal performance has been satisfactory and all targets until September were met. more..

Sri Lanka farmers cautioned on water use in 2018 despite La Niña

Jan 12 (EN) Sri Lanka is expected to receive normal rains in the first three months of 2018, but the period is the driest in the year, and farmers should use water sparingly, the island's agricultural authorities have said in a weather update. Meteorologists have forecasted a few days of rain after Jan 9, including in the dry and intermediate zones of the island. "Meanwhile, prevailing ocean-atmospheric conditions in the Central Eastern Pacific Ocean favors a La Nina type circulation while more..

President urges to elect disciplined political representatives

Jan 12 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that decent people’s representatives should be elected to the local govt institutions to achieve the development plans of the country in a speedy manner. The President stated this addressing a public rally at Hingurakgoda, yesterday. The rally was organized to ensure the victory of SLFP candidates contesting in the election for the Hingurakgoda Pradesheeya Sabha. Furthermore, Prez said that people should fulfill their duty more..

President inaugurates Pakistan Single Country Exhibition – 2018 in Colombo

Jan 12 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena, along with Pakistan Minister for Commerce, Mohammad Pervaiz Malik and High Commissioner of Pakistan in SL, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat, inaugurated the 3rd Edition of Pakistan Single Country Exhibition at BMICH, Colombo today. The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), in association with the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, organized the 3rd edition of more..

Inflating the critics, inflating the critiqued

Jan 13 (CT) I am amused by the tactics certain critics in this country resort to. They claim in opinion piece after opinion piece that they are free from the dominant ideological hegemonies that are supposed to exist in the country (Sinhala Buddhism) but then pay obeisance to other more dominant ideologies that hold sway elsewhere (postmodernism). This is as true for political commentators as it is for film and literary critics, after all there’s nothing much to separate the one from the other more..

So is everyone clean now?

Jan 13 (CT) Dulles Alahapperuma, having first entered Parliament in 1994 and having retained his seat in the General Election in 2000 surprising decided not to contest in 2001. He had his reasons. His argument was that he was too white to be in Parliament. ‘Most people in Parliament are brown, but no one realizes this because there’s no contrast to make the brown stand out. When there’s white, it shows. This makes brown people uncomfortable. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable more..

First ever open heart surgery in Jaffna

Jan 13 (CT) Jaffna Teaching Hospital which suffered greatly during the war has now proved itself to be one of the premier medical institutions in the Island with a successful open heart surgery performed at the hospital a few days before Christmas on 20 Dec last year. In the mid eighties, there were plans to shift the hospital from its present location, due to clashes between the Armed Forces and Tamil militants. more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka’s infallible friend

Jan 13 (CT) The West would like us to believe that Pakistan is a land of rogues. Almost daily, we hear of a country beleaguered by terrorism, religious extremism and political instability. Last week Trump lamented that the Pakistanis have taken American leaders for fools. He insinuated that Pakistan had somehow tricked US into giving USD 33 billion over the last 15 years, while giving safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help, and giving nothing in return more..