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'New mixed electoral system, best of both, FPP and PR'

Jan 29 (SO) Election Commission member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole says, despite fine efforts for a comprehensive Election Act, it has been observed that there was no deterrent punishment in the new laws for polls violators, and it is still a possibility for big fish to escape the legal net while the small fries are caught up in legal battles. Calling the new mixed electoral system the best of both the First Past Post & Prop Representation, more..

Mashrafe fined 20%, Gunathilaka receives official reprimand

Jan 29 (CI) Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has been fined 20% of his match fee while SL opener Danushka Gunathilaka has been officially reprimanded for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the tri-series final in Mirpur on Saturday. Both players breached Article 2.1.7 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction more..

Six takeaways from the Bangladesh tri-nation series

Jan 29 (CI) Sri Lanka saw the benefits of having Thisara Perera as their fifth bowler, with him bowling his quota of 10 overs. Apart from Suranga Lakmal, they rotated around the main bowlers a number of times but much of the time they stuck to their plans. Dushmantha Chameera and Nuwan Pradeep used the short ball as well as Perera before Shehan Madushanka took the hat-trick to give a glimpse of his ability. Surprisingly Sri Lanka looked unsure in the spin department but more..

Commission proposes specific procedure to appoint CBSL Governor

Jan 29 (ST) Commission of Inquiry that probed the country’s largest bond scam has recommended that relevant criteria and a specified procedure be adopted in the appointment of a Governor for the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). The move follows the previous Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s involvement in the scam together with his son-in-law Arjun Aloysious, a key player in his company Perpetual Treasuries more..

A president’s fireworks & a country’s misery

Jan 29 (ST) These days, it seems that President Maithripala Sirisena lights matches with relish, igniting political fireworks that go off virtually every day of the week in a dazzling display of verbal pyrotechnics. Mostly aimed at the UNP his squirming coalition partner in Sri Lanka’s governing unity alliance, these onslaughts send the media scurrying in delight and cause intense discomfiture to dwindling and demoralized yahapalanaya believers. more..

Editorial: Unuth ekai, munuth ekai …

Jan 29 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has admitted that his new-found allies are as bad as his erstwhile comrades. Speaking at a UPFA election rally, he declared, the other day, that he had left the Rajapaksa govt, which was corrupt, in a bid to usher in good governance, but those with whom he joined forces to achieve that lofty goal were no better; they had robbed the Central Bank within days of coming to power, he said. President Sirisena, faced with the uphill task of steering the SLFP to victory more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

Disunited Unity Govt’s validity questioned in the House

Jan 29 (ST) As President Sirisena steps into the third year of his presidency, that all is not well within the Govt of National Unity, is becoming ever more apparent. While the rumblings from the President are being heard loud and clear from one political stage to another, some UNP lawmakers too, have been voicing antagonistic views regarding the man they worked very hard to bring to power in 2015. It is this public display of disunity within the Govt of National Unity that prompted Opposition MPs more..

Of oaths taking and the Judiciary

Jan 29 (SO) So Siripala knows, once every three months there is some nonsense going on at the New Shop. Some joker is being garlanded for giving ass and a few for being good. This week was no different. Come Thursday, all the courts in New Shop were at a standstill, till 10.45. The Magistrates which must start at 9 to the Districts which start at 9.30 and the rest were all at a standstill. Why? because someone was taking oaths for something - the poor guy caught with some Ganja more..

Recommendations of PCoI on bond scams

Jan 29 (Island) I was much gratified to read the Recommendations of the Bond Commission, published in this Newspaper on 18th Jan. It pretty much confirmed what I wrote on The Island on Bond scams: …. It was so close that even the figure for losses to govt from the bond sale on 27th Feb 2105, which I showed for illustration, was in the same ballpark as the estimates of the Commission. They found, as I did, that the nub of the charges more..

President must consult the SC

Jan 29 (Island) When the members of the JO rushed to the President’s Office like a shoal of fish rushing to a fleshy bait (an apt simile from our classical literature) and when at the end of it Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that he had turned the entire parliament into a Constitutional Assembly I was so infuriated and disgusted that I condemned their action in no uncertain terms. My objection to their participation was not on legal grounds but on political and moral grounds-namely more..

Send corrupt politicians home

Jan 29 (SO) The incident where the Chief Minister of Uva Province allegedly ordered the Principal of a school to kneel as a punishment has been generating much discussion over the past week and questions have been raised whether this is the new face of yahapaalanaya. At the time of writing, CM Chamara Sampath Dassanayake has resigned from his portfolio of Provincial Minister of Education. Prez Sirisena has ordered IGP Pujith Jayasundera to conduct an inquiry into the incident. more..

Ex-defence secretary; to arrest or not?

Jan 29 (EN) Our political correspondent examines how ex-defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has avoided arrest despite being implicated in the murder of Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga and several other crimes. Economynext's political correspondent says both President and PM may want Gotabhaya to remain a free man, but the two leaders have difference reasons for not making the high profile arrest. more..

German arrested for growing cannabis

Jan 29 (DM) A 47-year-old German national was arrested on charges of operating a cannabis cultivation project at a villa, in guise of a greenhouse, at Katukurunda in Habaraduwa yesterday. The German national was taken into custody and was due to be produced in the Galle Magistrate's Court. Police said the type of cannabis which was found during the raid has not been found in SL before. Cannabis seed plots, bottles of dried cannabis were found in rooms of the villa. more..

Whither now international community?

Jan 29 (Island) All those Sri Lankans – and the tipping-scale – who had voted Candidate Maithiripala Sirisena for President, on their own perceptions that the international community (IC) was there to see through at least the first five years of the unnatural coalition that too facilitated the same should be looking themselves in the mirror just now. Going beyond the post-war Tamil population, egged on as they were by the TNA – or, in the reverse – and the Muslims after a series of more..

SLC demands pound of flesh from KJP

Jan 29 (Island) Kusal Janith Perera has been made to pay back the money SLC spent to clear his name from the doping charges brought forward by the ICC two years ago. SLC had spent close to 17 million rupees to clear KJP’s name after he was charged by the ICC for the use of performance enhancing substance in Dec 2015. The player was forced to return home from a tour of NZ and missed six months of cricket before he was cleared. more..

Super blue moon lunar eclipse after 152 yrs

Jan 29 (DN) For the first time since 1866, three lunar events - a blood moon total lunar eclipse, a super moon and a blue moon will be visible to us on Jan 31, 2018 at moon rise in the eastern horizon after 6.15 p.m, Prof. Chandana Jayaratne said. He also said that there would be somewhat of a high tide on that day due to the closeness of the moon. He added that no earthquakes or other natural disasters have been reported in the past during similar occurrences, though there were rumours more..

Video: Bandula answers Prez’s statement

Jan 29 (AD) MP Bandula Gunawardana says that the statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena claiming that he is ready to form a SLFP headed govt if all 96 members of the UPFA pledge their support to his cause, to be only a statement made on political stage. He made this sentiment while addressing a media briefing of SLPP. “Forming govts is not like a game played by kids. You cannot join nor leave govts at your wish. The President should understand this gravity” he said. more..

Tourism industry No No’s John on CNN campaign

Jan 29 (ST) Amidst opposition from the tourism industry, Minister John Amaratunga is likely to forge ahead with an advertising campaign on CNN costing US$ 650,000. This will be an interim campaign as the digital campaign continues to be further delayed despite the sacking of the PSLTPB Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara who was cited as the reason for the process being held up. Industry leaders opine that what is required today is fast-tracking more..

Lanka Hospital Diagnostics (LHD) launches state-of-the-art medical laboratory in Kandy

Jan 29 (Island) With astounding success and highest quality of their medical laboratory services in Colombo and suburbs, Lanka Hospitals Diagnostics (LHD) recently launched their newest lab testing facility at No.74, Old Peradeniya Road, Kandy. The project commenced with the objective of meeting the medical laboratory requirements of the people in Kandy and the entire Central Province. City of Kandy was the selected location because of its accessibility and its expanding appeal for more..

'Drift toward shared prosperity has begun'

Jan 29 (Island) Over the past two and a half years, Sri Lanka switched from economic instability to stability on the strength of correct economic policies and reforms, and now the country has entered a growth phase where all Sri Lankans – not just a select few – would be able to enjoy a fair share of the prosperity, Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister of Finance said. "Central Bank of SL, whose independence has been reinstated is pursuing an inflation-target based monetary policy more..

U19 Cricket World Cup: Sri Lanka win Plate

Jan 29 (DN) Something must have been in the Gatorade. It's the only explanation for what happened following the final drinks break of the day, when Sri Lanka almost lost the unlosable, only to finally reach victory in the last over in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup Plate final played at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch on unday. If the water bottles were tampered with, there was something in the mix for both teams. more..

Dharmasena Pathiraja passes away

Jan 29 (DN) Award-winning veteran SL Film Director and Screenwriter Dharmasena Pathiraja passed away after a prolonged illness yesterday, while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Kandy. Pathiraja was 74-years-old at the time of his death. Born on March 28, 1947, in Peradeniya to a family of six, Pathiraja received his formal education at the Peradeniya Maha Vidyalaya. Then moving on to Dharmaraja College, Kandy, Pathiraja went on to graduate from the University of Peradeniya more..

'Prez will have to hold group meeting in hell'

Jan 29 (DM) UNP Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said in case President Maithripala Sirisena intended to form a govt with 96 MPs of UPFA, he would have to conduct the govt’s group meeting only in the Buddhist realm of hell known as Avici. He made these comments in reply to a point made by the President that those who engaged in corruption and fraud would be condemned to Avici, which is the lowest level of Naraka or the hell realm, according to Buddhist canons. more..

560,000+ pensioners to be covered by NITF with Rs 500 M in State funds

Jan 29 (CT) The National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) will add over 560,000 retired and retiring state employees to its Agrahara insurance policy scheme by the end of this year with Rs 500 million in State funding. NITF CEO Sanath C De Silva said that the Govt had allocated Rs 50 million in the 2018 Budget to include all pensioners under the scheme. However, a total of Rs 500 million was needed to fund the programme, more..

Galle Face 70th Independence Day celebrations’ rehearsals on

Jan 29 (ST) Rehearsals for the 70th Independence Day celebrations to be held at Galle Face, began this week. This year’s celebrations will be held under the theme One nation. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and The Countess of Wessex, will represent Her Majesty the Queen at the 70th anniversary celebration as Chief Guests. An Army spokesman said 24 Regiments comprising 150 Officers and 3,500 Soldiers, will participate in the Independence Day parade this year. more..

Forming an SLFP-led govt: MR rejects President’s offer

Jan 29 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that his successor President Maithripala Sirisena’s proposal for combining the SLPP and SLFP to form a govt was only a trick. Asked to comment on President Sirisena’s invitation for the SLPP to join forces with the SLFP to form a govt, former President said: "It is a trick. If we agree to join the SLFP under his leadership we will certainly lose a lot of votes as people are fed up with the SLFP under his leadership. more..

Money laundering: Sri Lanka listed among high risk countries

Jan 29 (ST) The inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has listed Sri Lanka among eleven high risk and monitored jurisdictions that have taken insufficient measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the international financial system. The other countries are Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu and Yemen. more..

JO to boycott today's meeting

Jan 29 (Island) The Joint Opposition had decided to boycott today’s meeting convened by the President, PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila said last night. The political leaders in the JO had arrived at that decision following a discussion among themselves, he added. Gammanpila was quoted by Hiru TV as saying that President Sirisena was trying to gain some political mileage out of today’s meeting, having done nothing to bring bond racketeers to justice for the past three years. more..

President bans re-export of tea, pepper

Jan 29 (FT) Prez Maithripala Sirisena said that re-export of imported tea and pepper would be stopped from 10 Feb. He made this announcement while speaking at a UPFA election rally in Badulla. President said farmers were losing money and the country’s image was getting tarnished with exporters importing substandard tea and pepper and mixing the same with local produce and re-exporting it. President also said that the 100% duty on the import of potato seeds would be removed. more..

Election Commission in dilemma over holding bond debate before LG polls

Jan 29 (DN) Elections Commission has raised its concerns with Speaker and PM over the convening of Parliament on Feb 8 to debate the Bond Commission report and PRECIFAC report. EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya expressed these concerns to the Speaker and the PM on Saturday. EC member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole pointed out that the period of silence, that is a cessation of all electioneering during the two days preceding more..

President: Ready to form SLFP Govt if all UPFA MPs join

Jan 29 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said that he was willing to establish a govt led by SLFP, if all 96 UPFA MPs joined hands with him. “I am ready to create an SLFP-led Govt if the 96 UPFA members were ready to stand with me,” the President said speaking at an election rally. Meanwhile, the President said the Gazette notification would be issued next week to appoint a Presidential Commission to investigate frauds that had taken place in SriLankan and Mihin Lanka airlines. more..

PRECIFAC recommends stripping MR of his civic right: PM

Jan 29 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the final report of the PRECIFAC has recommended that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa be stripped of his civic rights. Addressing a UNP rally in Morawaka, PM said two commission reports had been submitted by presidential commissions of inquiry. "One of the reports is on treasury bonds. There is nothing in the bond commission report against the UNP or us. Therefore, I am not going to talk about the bond commission report. more..

Missing sections of bond report: President to meet party leaders

Jan 29 (Island) President Sirisena has invited leaders of all political parties represented in parliament today to Presidential Secretariat to anwer quries being raised in some quarters about the missing sections of the Bond Commission report. Prez Secretary Austin Fernando said that on the instructions of Prez Sirisena, leaders of political parties or their representatives had been invited for a discussion. more..

Sri Lanka’s eye crisis on this ice

Jan 29 (DM) While a balanced and country-first insight is vital for the people to make the correct verdict at the Feb 10th Elections to Local Councils, physical eye sight is also essential for an active and healthy lifestyle and the situation relating to it appears to be in a blind corner. According to a survey, SL urgently needs more eye surgeons and there are questions as to who is blocking it and whether there is some sort of mafia behind it. SL’s population today is more than 21 million more..

Who plays to the gallery?

Jan 29 (DM) No sooner than later there will be a Sri Lankan version to the book Fire and Fury which has sold millions of copies in USA. When you read and hear the comments made by the President Maithripala Sirisena during the last few days there is no doubt that someone who was instrumental in making him President may pen the paper against the philosophy of what the President stood for before being elected and until recently. To the surprise of all, President went on rampage more..

Iconic Tamil Pop singer A.E. Manoharan helped bridge the ethnic divide

Jan 29 (DM) Ithaya Oasai (Sound of the Heart) was a drama put on the boards by the students of St. John’s College, Jaffna in 1963/64. The play proved so popular that it was staged to members of the public in Jaffna, Kandy, Trinco, Batticaloa and Colombo. Chief actor in the play was a handsome curly-haired student in the then Higher School Certificate (HSC) class. He was a hosteller as his family was living in central highlands. more..

Making principal kneel puts Uva CM in a soup

Jan 29 (CT) Incidence of politicians interfering in the schools admission process is not so uncommon in Sri Lanka. No matter how shameful it may seem, if you have a letter from a politician and bundle of currency notes you can gain many things in this country. Political interference came to a climax when a provincial politician forced a lady teacher to kneel during school hours in 2013, after illegally entering the school premises. more..

LG bodies’ limitations put PCs in a squeeze

Jan 29 (ST) Authorities acknowledge serious challenges lie ahead in accommodating more than 8,300 Councillors set to be elected at the forthcoming Local Government (LG) polls, with some openly stating that the number needs to be reduced at the next election in another four years. Under the new electoral system at this year’s election on Feb.10, 8,356 Councillors will be elected to 341 LG bodies. more..

FDI doubles in 2017 to record $ 1.63 b

Jan 29 (FT) Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Sri Lanka doubled to an all-time high of $1.63 billion in 2017 from the previous mark as well as beat the previous best of $ 1.61 billion achieved in 2014. The Board of Investment (BOI), the agency tasked with promoting and facilitating FDI, said FDIs saw solid growth across key sectors. The strong growth is a direct consequence of the Govt’s reorientation of more..