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Video: Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns as PM

Dec 15 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the change of govt that the people expected has now had to be put off, but pledged that the people will definitely get the change they desire as no one can prevent that from happening. He made these comments in a speech delivered at his Wijerama Mawatha residence this morning (15) where he signed his letter of resignation. Rajapaksa resigned from the post of PM, more..

UNF to form own administration, no coalition

Dec 15 (EN) UNF will form its own administration without getting into a coalition, senior party officials said with its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe expected to be appointed PM as early as Sunday. "We want to go for a UNF govt," former State Minister of Finance Eran Wickremeratne said. "It will be a financially disciplined administration." President Sirisena is expected to re-appoint Wickremesinghe as PM Sunday. more..

Rajapaksa presses for Sri Lanka elections, nationalism in farewell message

Dec 15 (EN) Mahinda Rajapaksa in a farewell message after stepping down from his disputed position as PM, pressed for elections and said the TNA will control any Wickremesinghe administration by remote control. Rajapaksa said any Wickremesinghe administration will not have a majority to enact a new constitution federal constitution. He said Sri Lanka's economy has been hit by taxes some of which he removed. more..

Video: We do not need flies that rest on garbage: Nalin Bandara

Dec 15 (AD) The UNP says it expects party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to be sworn in as the PM tomorrow and that the Prez will hereafter only exercise the powers vested in him. “We believe that the Prez will accept Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM and carryout the swearing in tomorrow,” UNP MP Nalin Bandara said. He said that they also believe that from here onwards the President will only exercise the power vested in him, more..

GMOA says no to Rajitha as Heath Minster

Dec 15 (DM) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said yesterday they had requested President Maithripala Sirisena not to appoint Rajitha Senaratne as the Heath Minster. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge said they had requested the president for the second time in the wake of the spreading speculation that the new cabinet would be appointed on Monday (17). more..

Dickwella leads Sri Lanka rearguard

Dec 15 (CI) Sri Lanka forced New Zealand into exploring a Plan B - full marks there - and then failed to trust their techniques to negotiate the barrage of short-pitched stuff they knew would come. This meant a succession of rash strokes nearly handed the advantage to New Zealand as Tim Southee walked away with a five-wicket haul on the opening day of New Zealand's home summer at Basin Reserve in Wellington. more..

The enigma of Niroshan Dickwella

Dec 15 (CI) People don't mind Dilruwan Perera, or could take or leave Colin de Grandhomme, but if you have ever watched Niroshan Dickwella play, chances are you have some pretty strong opinions. Of the XI Sri Lanka players in this match, Dickwella is the most unmissable. The screams from behind the stumps are what first strike the viewer. Long, unflinching, and dramatic, they are the Russian novel of cricketing appeals, more..

Sri Lanka wins Emerging Teams Asia Cup

Dec 15 (AD) The Sri Lanka Emerging Cricket Team has won the Emerging Teams Asia Cup Final by defeating India by 3 runs. After dominating the whole tournament, India fell just three runs short of the glory as Sri Lanka held nerve in the final to win the Emerging Teams Asia Cup. The Islanders have defended the title successfully after winning it in 2017 when the tournament was held in Bangladesh. Atit Sheth was the man for the Indian more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns making commonwealth history

Dec 15 (EN) SL's disputed PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has signed what was called a resignation letter at his residence in Colombo, ending an extraordinary saga in the country's parliamentary history where he clung on to power despite suffering no-confidence motions. Local TV stations interrupted normal programming in mid-morning Saturday, to bring visuals of what was said to be him signing a resignation letter. more..

'I want to go to Australia and India and win a match'

Dec 15 (CI) Having taken over the Sri Lanka Test captaincy at a difficult time in the team's development, Dinesh Chandimal talks about his time at the helm and outlines hopes for the future. Q: You took over the captaincy when the team was in a rough state. What were those first few months like? A: It was a big challenge. We had Zimbabwe first up, and we had to get through that with a win. After that there were some tough tours. more..

Neutrality promotes preventive diplomacy

Dec 15 (DM) Since 1956 and the social revolution of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka has played a leading role in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). After Mr. Banadaranaike’s assassination in 1959, his widow Sirimavo Bandaranaike as PM continued Sri Lanka’s important role in NAM along with other legendary leaders like Yugoslavia’s President Josip Broz Tito, India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Cuba’s Fidel Castro. more..

Power struggle marks 50 Days

Dec 15 (CT) Today marks the 50th day of SL’s power struggle begun on 26 October after President Sirisena sacked his then Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former President Rajapaksa in his place. But the Speaker and the Court of Appeal, the latter in an Interim Order, deemed Rajapaksa’s appointment and the new Cabinet that had also been appointed, as illegal, as he was unable to show a simple majority in Parliament. Rajapaksa in turn appealed to more..

Secret pow wow among President, UNP Leader and Speaker

Dec 15 (Island) A secret meeting had been held between President Maitripala Sirisena, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Thursday night, political party sources said. They said the meeting held at the residence of Jayasuriya lasted around one hour and it was very cordial. As per an agreement reached at the meeting, a UNF govt would be announced within a week, sources said. more..

Either support Ranil or be in opposition: SLPP tells TNA

Dec 15 (DM) The TNA should decide either to ally with the UNP or to sit in the opposition, MP Kanchana Wijesekera said. He told a news briefing the recent conduct of the TNA had been quite partial to the UNP in Parliament. “We witnessed the TNA voting in favour of the confidence motion in support of Ranil Wickremesinghe. They cannot continue to be like this. If they are to play the role of the opposition they should work against the govt,” he said. more..

UNP in talks with SLFP MPs to form new govt

Dec 15 (Island) The UNP led UNF, was in discussion with some SLFP MPs to form a new govt, UNP MP Nalin Bandara said. He said that the proposed govt would be formed on principles and polices aimed at strengthening democracy and developing the country. "We will select only MPs who are committed to fulfilling the good governance mandate given to us by the people and not those looking to make a fast buck." Bandara said that due to unconstitutional actions of Prez Sirisena, more..

Mahinda’s cameo ends

Dec 15 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena-appointed PM Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday decided to quit, ending seven weeks of political turmoil in the country, as ousted Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe readies to retake his oaths yet again tomorrow. Rajapaksa, whose appointment for the post was disputed from the beginning, decided to resign as PM yesterday after an hour-long meeting with President Sirisena and more..

Welgama says it’s time for them to go to Opposition

Dec 15 (Island) Kalutara District MP Kumara Welgama yesterday said that they should now go to the Opposition and let those who have parliamentary majority to form a govt in accordance with the Supreme Court decision without letting the country slide into further anarchy. He said that since the Supreme Court decided that the President had acted in contravention of the Constitutional provisions and it would be detrimental for him to hold that post further. more..

Contempt of Court case filed against former CJ

Dec 15 (CT) A Contempt of Court case was filed in the Supreme Court, by three petitioners against former Chief Justice (CJ), President’s Counsel Sarath Nanda Silva over a statement he made recently. The case was filed by Professors Chandraguptha Thenuwara, Hewa Waduge Cyril and Prashantha Gunawardena. The petitioners have named Silva as the sole respondent in their petition. The petitioners in their petition have stated that Silva, making a statement at more..

Over 6,000 children between 10 and 17 begin smoking

Dec 15 (CT) Annually at least 6,000 children in the age group of 10 to 17 begin to smoke. However, students and parents should be reminded that the use of intoxicants and nicotine was the gateway to drug use, cautioned Director of Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention, Dr. Samantha Kithalawaarachchi said. Annually, 23,000 persons die of alcohol-related diseases and another 20,000 die of diseases related to tobacco & smoking, more..

Over 2,000 cops in Colombo for festive season

Dec 15 (DM) More than 2,000 police personnel in uniform and civies will be deployed in the Colombo City during the festive season, Police said. “Police personnel in civvies would be on alert for pickpockets and those engaged in other frauds and will take action against any miscreants. The IGP had directed them to pay special attention to ease traffic congestion in Colombo City and the suburbs,” Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said. He requested the people to be careful when more..

End Sri Lanka’s crisis

Dec 15 (Hindu) Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to resign as Prime Minister, an office to which he was controversially installed by President Maithripala Sirisena, is the first sign that the dragging constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka is heading slowly towards a resolution. He had also played a part in the unfolding of the crisis set off by Mr. Sirisena, who made ill-advised moves by invoking his executive powers repeatedly for political and partisan ends. more..

SC ruling not a UNP victory: Herath

Dec 15 (CT) The JVP will work on appointing a Commission to fulfil short-term commitments of the Govt, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said. Herath said a UNP Govt will not solve emerging public issues. There will be a public rally today at 3 p.m. at the Kirula grounds, Kirulapana and a door-to-door leaflet campaign will commence from 17 Dec to raise awareness of democracy, he said. He said the Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t a victory for more..

Rs 19 billion Chalmers Granary Development to kick off in June 2019

Dec 15 (DN) The ambitious Rs 19 billion Chalmers Granary Project will kick off in June 2019. “There are four consortia of investors, comprising two Singaporeans, a Korean and a Britisher who have expressed interest in the project and they have asked for an extension of time to submit their bids till end January due to the prevailing political impasse but the project is definitely on, Urban Development Authority Director General Sumedha Ratnayake said. more..

Ambassador Ganegama Arachchi presents letters of credence to King of Sweden

Dec 15 (FT) SL’s new Ambassador to Sweden Ganegama Arachchi presented Letters of Credence to King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a ceremony held on 12 Dec at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The King extended a warm welcome to the new Ambassador. While conveying warm greetings from President Sirisena to the King of Sweden, Ambassador Ganaegama Arachchi expressed his readiness to work closely with the Govt of Sweden to further strengthen the relations between more..

Sri Lanka’s political crisis sees work travellers bypass tourism

Dec 15 (SCMP) Pamuditha Fernando, owner of Colombo-based tour company Ceylon Trails, has seen his takings for the last two weeks drop by 1 million rupees (US$5,564) – or 90% – compared to the previous fortnight. He blames SL’s protracted political crisis for his customers – people attending meetings and conferences with spare time for a daily excursion to cities of Galle or Kandy – slowing to a trickle. more..

Making high-quality and inclusive computer science education a reality for everyone

Dec 15 (Island) As part of its ongoing efforts to close the digital skills gap, Microsoft has kicked off Future Ready, a program run in partnership with nonprofits and schools to generate interest amongst students to learn computer science and empower teachers with skills to teach computer science. The company is committed to helping students learn computer science to unlock future economic opportunities. By embracing computational thinking, students acquire fundamental skills for more..

UNP true colours shown after SC verdict

Dec 15 (Island) Gampaha District UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga said that the UNP had shown its true colours by attacking the house of Attanagalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and acting aggressively opposite Lake House in Colombo soon after the verdict on the dissolving of parliament was delivered by the Supreme Court on Thursday. "They acted violently only after a judgment and one could imagine how their behaviour would have been had they had wielded power," he said. more..

Economic sentiment continues to improve

Dec 15 (FT) The latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence (BCI) poll reveals that sentiment surrounding the economy improved for the second consecutive month. According to the only survey of its kind in this country – which was conducted in the first week of November – 19% of respondents expect the economy to improve over the next 12 months compared to 8% percent in October. more..

Thurunu Diriya empowers rural youth

Dec 15 (FT) The Thurunu Diriya loan scheme of the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has opened up new opportunities for young entrepreneurs to develop their businesses by providing loans without collateral. The Thurunu Diriya loan scheme provides loans without a guarantor and collateral, or with lenient guarantor conditions, for entrepreneurs below the age of 40 years who possess a degree or a recognised vocational certificate and who have been in the business for a minimum of 3 yrs. more..

JVP wants hunt for culprits

Dec 15 (Island) JVP demands that a special parliamentary select committee be appointed to investigate the recent political coup to ascertain the persons who responsible for the crisis and to recommend punishments to them. JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said that they would submit a motion to Parliament seeking its approval to appoint a PSC. "Following coups commissions are appointed to ascertain causes and to punish the culprits. What we had witnessed on Oct 26 more..

Weerasekera sole MP to vote against 19 A vindicated

Dec 15 (Island) The only lawmaker to vote against the 19th Amendment retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, said that those who hailed the new law as panacea owed an explanation to the country. Former Digamadulla District MP Weerasekera said so when The Island asked him as to why he voted against the 19th Amendment in spite of Prez Sirisena personally appealing for unanimous support to pass it from the SLFP-led UPFA more..

ComBank empowers micro entrepreneurs in Kuliyapitiya

Dec 15 (Island) A group of 100 farmers from the Kuliyapitiya area were the latest beneficiaries of a Financial Literacy Programme conducted by Commercial Bank of Ceylon in collaboration with Central Bank of Sri Lanka recently for micro entrepreneurs. This was the ninth such programme conducted by the Bank for micro and agriculture-related entrepreneurs this year to enhance the financial literacy levels of this important customer segment. more..

ACC emerging teams Asia Cup: Future stars of Sri Lanka on show today

Dec 15 (DN) The future of Sri Lanka will be on show when the home team takes on favourites India in the final of the Asia Cup Emerging Team Trophy championship at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo today. The Indians go into the final with a better record taking into account their showing in the qualifying round games, while Sri Lanka can take heart from the fact that they raised their game at the right moment to beat Bangladesh by four wickets in the semi final. more..

Some development projects plunges country into debt trap: CEJ

Dec 15 (CT) Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) slammed some of the major projects undertaken by previous govts as burdening the country and plunging it into a debt trap. “Uma Oya diversion project is a case in point. It was launched during the previous regime without a feasibility study being done. By Dec 2014, the Iranian gift became a death trap as well as a debt trap for villagers in Bandarawela”, Executive Director of CEJ, more..

Investors in luxury still bullish on Sri Lanka

Dec 15 (DM) With aspirations to invigorate and inspire luxury hospitality in the region, SL-based The Plantation Luxury Villas announced the launch of its newest development of luxury villas, at an event held at The Heritage Café in Galle on Thursday (13). Following an introduction and in-depth presentation of the visually and conceptually stunning project, members of the press, investors, and guests were invited to Meet the Developer, Architect, and Creative Director to further more..

Islam is a religion of peace and unity: Rishad

Dec 15 (FT) Even though Islam is a religion of peace, emphasising much on unity and reconciliation, this is not the view taken by many in the international community and Sri Lankan Muslims are united in the declaration of All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, according to ACMC Leader Rishad Bathiudeen. Bathiudeen was addressing the Int'l Conference on Islamic Unity organised by the Muslim World League (MWL) and themed Perils of Labelling and Exclusion. more..

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