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Chaos in Sri Lanka as president flees

As SL’s ruling Rajapaksas flee, Pandora Papers reveal ties to UAE properties

Jul 14 (ICIJ) When embattled SL Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa attempted to flee his country in the face of economic and political crisis this week, he chose the UAE as his preferred destination, underscoring the ruling Rajapaksa family’s ties to the Persian Gulf financial hub. Rajapaksa and some of his relatives, including a former finance minister, were stopped from boarding flights to Dubai, the UAE’s commercial center, on Tuesday as protesters surrounded the airport, CNN reported. more..

SL President on private visit, not granted asylum: Singapore

Jul 14 (AFP) SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is on a private visit and has not been granted asylum, the Singapore government said today shortly before his flight was expected to land in the city state. "It is confirmed that Mr. Rajapaksa has been allowed entry into Singapore on a private visit," Singapore's foreign ministry said. "He has not asked for asylum and neither has he been granted any asylum. Singapore generally does not grant requests for asylum," the statement read. more..

President sends resignation letter via email, legality checked: sources

Jul 14 (EN) SL’s embattled Prez Rajapaksa, who has fled the country fearing for his life, has sent his resignation letter via email to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. Rajapaksa, who fled the country and flew to Male in an Air Force flight on Wednesday early morning was expected to send the letter later on the same day. However, it was delayed as Rajapaksa, was not able to reach his final destination, more..

The aragalaya must return to Galle Face

Jul 15 (DM) If SL was crying now she is bleeding. This is because the Aragalaya is now pushing the country’s peaceful protest to a human disaster. PM has urged the security forces to defeat a fascist movement which is setting foot in this people’s struggle. This editorial is in no way condemning the protest by the people. Sri Lankans protesting must understand one truth about their people. They are coming from all walks of life; hence what is wrong in the minds of someone can be acceptable more..

Tumult, tear gas & tourism

Jul 15 (CT) We are, as a nation, passing through challenging times. Social unrest, economic collapse and unreal hopes speak of a long period of restoration. Painful will be the regaining of even the present level of deprived existence of the many. Much is expected of a recovery of Tourism as a means of earning much needed dollars, to enable at least the importation of what we cannot produce. Fuel, basic foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals are in the forefront. If we are to achieve any progress, more..

'Without changing the situation in the country, nobody will help us'

Jul 15 (DM) Former MP Hirunika Premachandra has made headlines over the recent past as she has led several protests with the participation of women. A highlight in each of these protests were the hugs given to police officers, irrespective of whether they were male or female. She denies claims that these protests are being done with a political motive and reiterates the fact that she is staging a protest as a woman and a mother more..

Should we only pick educated leaders to lead our country?

Jul 15 (GV) When our president has jumped ship and we’re looking to the parliament to vote the right people into power, this seems like an apt time for Sri Lankans to think about leadership carefully. Specifically, what does leadership mean? What do we expect from a leader at this juncture? What qualities are must haves and what characteristics can be mere icing on the cake? Most Sri Lankans are of the opinion that we need to appoint educated leaders; in a country where thugs & crooks more..

Don’t cross the thin line between people-power and mob rule

Jul 15 (DM) People’s power is democracy and democracy is people’s power. Yet these notions which underscore that sovereignty lies in the people can be best realised only when they are exercised with restraint and responsibility. People’s power or democracy when unchecked could lead to mob rule. We saw the vulgar display of mobocracy in the supporters of former US Prez Donald Trump when they stormed Capitol Hill on Jan 6 last year in blatant defiance of constitutional governance. more..

Aragalaya divided between peaceful and violent factions

Jul 15 (TM) Confusion and disagreements, it is learnt, have emerged among the different groups of the aragalaya (struggle) where some support peaceful protests, while others advocate violence as a necessary form of protest, with both sides trading barbs on social media. This was highlighted on Wednesday (13) when a group of protestors at the Polduwa Junction in Battaramulla, near the entry road to Parliament, more..

Sanity to Prevail

Jul 15 (CT) Yesterday was the 233rd anniversary of the French Revolution, heralded by the storming of the Bastille which led to the overthrow of King Louis XVI. It was hunger that heralded the French Revolution, an almost mirror image of Sri Lanka’s current Aragalaya (struggle) which led to the overthrow of a corrupt, asinine leader, representing a family also marked for their corruption and shortsighted policies that have made Sri Lanka bankrupt and its people hungry during their more..

Curbing the excesses of the aragalaya

Jul 15 (TM) The aragalaya (struggle), which drew commendation from people of diverse backgrounds due to the cause it represented, shows strong signs of getting out of hand. There are now doubts as to whether it is on the path to reverse the progress it achieved through months of effort. On Wednesday, protestors occupied the PM’s office, while a protest was also launched near Parliament. Later, uncorroborated media reports said that attempts by the law enforcement or Defense Forces more..

මී මැස්සාගේ කොළම

Yupun among top 15 as World Championship commences today

Jul 15 (Island) Olympic medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe’s 22.55 seconds feat to win her second World Championship medal, a bronze, in Osaka in 2007 was the 16th fastest performance in the world in the women’s 200 metres that season (2007). No SL sprinter, male or female had produced performances that could be ranked among the top 20 in the world since Jayasinghe’s medal winning feat, until Italy-based sprinter Yupun Abeykoon produced a stunning sub 10 seconds feat more..

History made; voice of people victorious but at an immeasurable price

Jul 15 (Island) Disgraceful – slinking away in fear Thoughts roiled and boiled within Cassandra’s mind ever since near two million people converged in Colombo on Saturday July 9, repeating the people’s call made about 100 days earlier for the immediate resignation of Prez Rajapaksa. And then the most disgraceful, deplorable, cowardly act of all was enacted. He hid and then disappeared WITHOUT resigning and leaving the Speaker to announce he would give in his resignation on July 13. more..

‘Remittances down in June after open account ban relaxed’

Jul 15 (TM) Remittances dropped to $ 274 million in June, as the black market premiums, which were down after the ban on open account transactions, shot up after govt relaxed ban for 10 essential food items despite CB recommendations against the move, said CBSL Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe. He said the Govt, fearing claims from traders of a huge food shortage, relaxed the ban to import 10 essential goods, more..

Editorial: Act wisely or perish

Jul 15 (Island) What is unfolding on the political front is baffling and unprecedented, and even legal experts have been left rereading the Constitution and racking their brains. Curiously, PM and Acting Prez, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Wednesday night, asked Speaker to nominate someone acceptable to both the govt and the Opposition for the post of PM so that an all-party govt could be formed. Speaker said yesterday morning that Prez Rajapaksa had not yet tendered his resignation. more..

Visa issue rocks World Athletics C'ship

Jul 15 (CT) SL athletes got their visa to compete at the World Athletics championship in Eugene, USA with just three days to go for the competition. They are not alone in the visa hassle as athletes from all over the world are now going through the same problem, which prompts the question about fair play, where one group of athletes have ample time to prepare in Oregon, while others have to race against the clock just to get there. To top that, legitimacy of the men’s 100m winner at the World C'ship more..

Army gets tough; empowers soldiers to use force to protect lives, State property

Jul 15 (FT) Army issued a tougher warning to unruly protestors saying that its soldiers have been empowered to use force to protect lives and State property from any harm. Army said members of the armed forces and the Police in terms of provisions, vested in them by the Constitution of SL have been empowered to enforce law and order of the country and maintain the same in order to protect her people, public property more..

Adhir Chowdhury calls for all-party meet on Sri Lankan crisis

Jul 15 (ANI) With Sri Lanka reeling from its worst economic crisis, senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked the Centre to convene an all-party meeting over the issue. Speaking to ANI, Chowdhury, "The ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka is a matter of concern. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should call for an all-party meeting for the national security interest." Chowdhury further said India should take proactive measures as India and SL have always shared a good relationship. more..

Maldives granted diplomatic clearance for transit visit to aircraft carrying GR: MFA

Jul 15 (ANI) After Gotabaya Rajapaksa's visit to the Maldives triggered protests in the nation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives clarified that the aircraft carrying SL President was granted diplomatic clearance for a transit visit. "Govt of Maldives, at the official request of the Govt of SL, granted diplomatic clearance for a SL Air Force aircraft carrying His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prez of Sri Lanka and spouse, on a transit visit, to land at the Velana Int'l Airport on 13 July 2022. more..

'පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට එන්න වත් ජනවරමක් නැති...'

SL Masters Hockey Tournament on July 17

Jul 15 (DN) SL National Masters Hockey Association will hold its second 9-a-side Masters Hockey league (MHL) on Sunday (17) at the Astro Turf Colombo-7. Titled as Nippon Masters Hockey league, the one day tournament will see the participation of 10 Masters Hockey teams comprising mostly former National players across the Country. SL Masters Gold, Old Ben’s Sports Club, Badulla HA, BRC, and Matale HA, will play in “A” group, while Colombo Malay Cricket Club, CH&FC, more..

BCCI President monitoring situation in SL

Jul 15 (CT) Ahead of Asia Cup scheduled to be held in August in SL, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly said that the board will keep monitoring the situation in the island nation amid the ongoing political and economic crisis there. “I cannot comment at the moment (about the possibility of India hosting the event). We will keep monitoring (the situation in SL). Australia is playing there. SL team is also doing well. I cannot comment at the moment. Let us wait for a month.” more..

British MPs moot global arrest warrant on Gotabaya

Jul 15 (FT) Two British MPs Ed Davey and Alyn Smith this week called for an international arrest warrant for Gotabaya Rajapaksa and hold him accountable for humanitarian abuses among other charges. Liberal Democrats Chief Ed Davey speaking during UK House of Commons discussions on SL said the “horrible, appalling situation” for the people of SL has been brought about by the corruption of Rajapaksa Govt, more..

Sri Lanka local currency rating under observation: Fitch

Jul 15 (EN) Fitch Ratings has placed SL’s local currency rating ‘Under Criteria Observation’ (UCO) following shift in policy to apply + and – modifiers to the agency’s CCC ratings. SL’s long term foreign currency rating has been downgraded to RD but its long term rupee rating is at ‘CCC’. “The UCO assignment indicates that ratings may change as a direct result of the final criteria,” Fitch said. “It does not indicate a change in the underlying credit profile, nor does it affect existing Outlooks. more..

Shares down after violent clashes amid political unrest

Jul 15 (EN) Stocks slipped on Thursday (14), reverting from a three-session gaining streak as political unrest and clashes between protesters and security forces weighed on sentiment, brokers said. The main ASPI closed 0.64% or 47.43 points down at 7,318.24. “The political unrest from the last evening dipped the market. However it stabilised with the news of the protesters handing back the state buildings as it was seen as an indication that protest was easing,” market analyst said. more..

Exporters, importers shift Rs 13.2 trillion overseas via dodgy invoicing

Jul 15 (ST) SL’s businesses involved in the exports and imports trade have plundered US$ 36.833 billion (Rs 13.246 T) over nine years through intentional, dodgy invoicing, and stashing the foreign exchange earnings offshore. Importers and exporters intentionally falsify the declared value of goods on invoices filed with SL Customs, to make an average of US$ 4.093 bil (Rs 1.471 T) evaporate every year, an extensive investigation by more..

22A: BASL seeks changes in process of appointment, composition of CC

Jul 15 (ST) 22nd Amendment to the Constitution Bill will not meet the aspirations of the people unless the process of appointment to and the composition of the Constitutional Council are changed, the Bar Association of SL (BASL) said this week. If the country wants to bring about political and economic changes, the relevant authorities have to make changes to the current draft, BASL President Saliya Peris said. “According to the Constitutional Council’s composition, seven MPs and more..

‘Sri Lanka can act as logistic hub to re-export Russian goods’

Jul 15 (DN) SL can act as a logistic hub to re-export Russian fuel, fertilizers, wheat as well as much other merchandise to neighboring countries, said Attaché of the Russian Embassy Alexey Tseleshchev. “SL can become a part of this process of restructuring Russian exports and also obtain these much needed products like fuel and fertilizer and the island may serve as a maritime hub for Russian export commodities.” He disclosed that today Russia is witnessing a record harvest of wheat. more..

Hiru TV Balaya Live

Rabies claims lives of 12 people in last six months

Jul 15 (Island) Twelve people had died from rabies during the last six months. Director-Public Health Veterinary Service Dr. L.D. Kithsiri said, “95% of the infections happen due to dog bites. Puppies carry the highest risk of infection. In the last six months, we have vaccinated 500,000 dogs free of charge. We will also sterilise 30,000 street dogs to control their population,” he said. There are between 20 and 30 million dogs in the country and only around 1.1 million dogs are vaccinated annually, more..

Mahinda and Basil won’t leave Sri Lanka until SC hears petition, their lawyers say

Jul 15 (Island) Lawyers appearing for former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Finance Secretary S.R. Attygalle yesterday told the Supreme Court that they would not leave the country until the Fundamental Rights petition filed against them was heard on Friday. Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal has also said he will be present when the case is taken up.A fundamental rights petition has been filed by former Chairman of CCC Chandra more..

Pressure mounts on PM to quit as Prez reneges on promise to resign on 13 July

Jul 15 (Island) Speaker’s Office announced last night that it had received Prez Rajapaksa’s letter of resignation. Speaker’s Office has said that at a party leaders’ meeting held on Thursday evening members called for the immediate resignation of PM Wickremesinghe, who is now Acting for Prez Rajapaksa. Speaker Abeywardena chaired the meeting at the parliamentary complex, where the military top brass & IGP briefed more..

State workers will get their July salary despite rumours

Jul 15 (Island) The govt could pay the salaries of state employees for the month of July, finance ministry official said. He said that state employees did not have to worry about their salaries for July. Govt was trying to pay state employees without asking the CB to print money, he said. “There are people who are spreading a rumour that state employees will not be paid in July. This is an attempt to create unrest,” he said. SL had increased the number of state workers by 11% between more..

Special party leaders’ meeting convened today

Jul 15 (AD) A special meeting of political party leaders, chaired by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena is scheduled to be convened at 10.00 a.m. today (15). The meeting will be attended by the members of the Committee of Parliamentary Business as well. The focus of the discussion is likely to fall on the consensus reached by the political party leaders on nominations for prime ministerial portfolio. A final decision is expected to reach about MP to be appointed as new PM. more..

Gota quits on the run

Jul 15 (FT) Prez Rajapaksa, who was forced out of office by waves of public protests, sent in his registration letter from Singapore yesterday bringing to an end nearly three years of rudderless and chaotic rule. Prez, who fled the country on Wednesday, emailed his resignation letter via SL High Commission in Singapore last night to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. Rajapaksa did so after arriving in Singapore more..

Ranil to take oaths as Acting President today

Jul 15 (AD) Following the official confirmation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation from the presidency, Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to swear in as the Acting Prez today (15) to fill in the vacated position. Meanwhile, the Office of the Speaker of Parliament announced last night that a letter of resignation from Prez Rajapaksa was received through the SL High Commission in Singapore. However, an official statement in this regard will be made by the Speaker today more..

War winning army chief says ready to take presidency

Jul 15 (EN) SL’s war winning army chief Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said if the majority in the parliament accepts, he is ready to take up presidency and he wants a change in the current political system. Fonseka, who oversaw the island nation militarily defeating LTTE, made a foiled attempt in 2010 for the presidency against his commander-in-chief and then president Mahinda Rajapaksa, elder brother of resigned leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa, fled SL early this week. more..

7 parties and SLPP faction agree on common PM candidate

Jul 15 (TM) The party leaders’ meeting held yesterday had seen a consensus reached between seven parties and one faction of the SLPP on the common candidate for the post of PM, whose name is to be announced today. Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday requested the party leaders to propose a candidate for the post of Premier. Accordingly, sources present at the party leaders’ meeting yesterday said that more..