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JHU supports 19A & 20A

Apr 26 (DM) The JHU which earlier opposed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution had decided to extend full support for the 19th and 20th Amendments to the Constitution, party General Secretary Champika Ranawaka said today. He said the current 19th Amendment that would amend the key powers vested with the Executive Presidency, was not the amendment presented to the Parliament on March 13. more..

UPFA splits for May Day: Two rallies

Apr 26 (ST) The UPFA for the first time, since its formation 11 years ago, is to hold two different May Day rallies after last minute appeals to hold a united rally failed. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said that former President Mahinda Rajapksa, a patron of the party had been invited for the rally on May 1, but he had not responded. The UPFA has planned to hold its main May Day meeting at Hyde Park in Colombo. more..

100 Days program change or short-changed?

Apr 26 (NS) The much talked of 100 days of the 100 Days Program that was part of President Maithripala Sirisena’s election campaign is now completed. The President himself has come out with a statement which can be read as observations on progress. The Govt claims that much was done. Others claim that it’s mostly talk and that nothing significant or lasting was achieved. There are two ways to assess performance here. more..

150 people to get dual citizenship on Thurs

Apr 26 (ST) The dual citizenship facility for people of Sri Lankan origin with foreign citizenship will be available from nest Thursday after a gap of three years, Minister John Amaratunga said. He said the first batch of 150 applicants from 400 applications would receive Sri Lanka citizenship on Thursday while interviews for the remaining applicants would be conducted in stages. The applications will be processed by more..

Sirisena pitches for early parliamentary elections

Apr 26 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena has apparently decided to order early Parliamentary elections in the hope that it will yield a Legislature which will enable him to fulfill his poll promises, informed sources said. This is after he found the current Parliament to be a hard nut to crack. Elections will be ordered whether or not Sirisena’s pet project, the 19th Constitutional Amendment to reduce the powers of Executive Presidency more..

Different groups responsible for Lanka disappearances: panel

Apr 26 (PTI) At least four different groups including Sri Lanka's security forces and the LTTE were responsible for the disappearances of hundreds of persons during the country's deadly civil war, an enquiry commission has found. The Presidential Commission to enquire into and report on the alleged abductions or disappearances that occurred between 1983 to 2009 has submitted its interim report last night to the country's more..

Sajin fears arrest imminent

Apr 26 (SO) Former Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena claimed that the Govt was planning to unlawfully arrest him over allegations of misuse of public funds. He said: "The two cases filed against me are civil actions. I cannot be charged under the Penal Code for criminal action based on civil matters." Gunawardane's claims were refuted by ASP Ruwan Gunasekera, who claimed that he did not know how the MP concluded more..

Love falls into waterfall

Apr 26 (CT) The calming rhythm of cascading waters of the Diyaluma waterfall could be heard in the background as the two woebegone lovers slowly made their way purposefully to a pre-planned destination. But, even the soothing sound of the water splashing off the rock face could in no way console Yogaraj and Udayangi and help them change their minds. Udayangi was on the verge of tears which gradually welled up more..

Wijeweera's ashes found after 25 years

Apr 26 (CT) Govt sleuths hunting down JVP activists that afternoon found the effort grueling. They had just taken into custody a man named Nimal Attanayake. Sporting a neatly trimmed beard, sleuths found him relaxing with a newspaper in the verandah of his residence in Ulapane. With no fuss or drama he was taken into custody and brought immediately to Colombo. It's up for conjecture whether it was or as not unfortunate that more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 26 (ST) The Kingdom of Kandy-or so it would seem-descended upon the Commission Investigating Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) on Thursday when former Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa went there in response to summons. Angry protesters, led by Buddhist monks and MPs from the UPFA, converged on the road alongside the Commission at Malalasekera Mawatha in Colombo. more..

Will President Sirisena dissolve parliament and call the Rajapaksa bluff?

Apr 26 (Island) If there is ever a time for political leadership to act in disregard of consensus, it is now. There was a time in Sri Lankan politics when that master rhetorician Colvin R. de Silva presaged the governing style of the SLFP-LSSP-CP United Front as one that would be "characterized not by consensus but by leadership." Dr. Colvin’s foretelling was in anticipation of the massive United Front election victory in 1970. It turned out to be ill-advised at that time. more..

Ban tomorrow's demo

Apr 26 (CT) In a seemingly preemptive move, Minister, Ravi Karunanayake told reporters that his party will be organizing an anti-traitors' protest near Parliament premises tomorrow. The protest coincides with the 19th Amendment (19A) Bill which is being debated tomorrow and on Tuesday, after which it would be presented for a vote. 19A seeks to clip the powers of the executive president. Meanwhile, tomorrow's protest has been endorsed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Vital week for Sirisena: Will he make or break the SLFP?

Apr 26 (ST) Weeks of political uncertainty that thrust Sri Lanka on the road to instability are to end for good or for the worse next week. The good is if the 19A is passed in Parliament after a two-day debate due to begin tomorrow. It is to be followed by electoral reforms through a 20A within weeks. The bad, firstly, is if measures to prune down powers of the Executive Presidency, a main pledge that thrust Maithripala Sirisena to Presidency, more..

Wimal’s multi-million rupee house transfers under scrutiny

Apr 26 (SO) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa had allegedly transferred houses worth millions built by a govt-owned company under the Housing Ministry, for his close relatives and aides. FCID of the police, following complaints received have initiated a probe into the case that involves public funds exceeding Rs.60 million. The illegal transfer of houses has been reported by the new chairman and the board of directors of the state-owned Ocean View Development Company (Pvt) Ltd, more..

Kerry here Saturday; will open Vesak pandal

Apr 26 (ST) US Secretary of State John Kerry is to arrive in Sri Lanka on Saturday for a 24-hour visit, Foreign Ministry officials said. It is the first official visit to Sri Lanka by a US Secretary of State since the visit of William Pierce Rogers in July 1972. Secretary Kerry will arrive in Sri Lanka on Saturday and depart the following day. He will meet President MSirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and hold a media conference after talks with Minister Mangala Samaraweera. more..

UPFA insists on dilution of 19A

Apr 26 (ST) The UPFA has proposed changes to the latest draft of the 19th Amendment and is demanding that they be included during the committee stage of the bill as a precondition for support. “I would like to kindly inform you that the central working committee of the SLFP agreed to support the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on the basis that the above-mentioned changes are accepted by the Govt,” more..

Impact of Euro depreciation on exports temporary

Apr 26 (NS) Economists state that the depreciation in euro would only have a temporary effect on Sri Lanka’s exports to the region but have urged the country to expand and diversify its exports to avoid setbacks. The World Bank recently stated that the depreciation in euro would have an impact on countries which export to the region. According to analysts, approximately 30 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports are to the European Union (EU). Therefore, the depreciation is expected to more..

Kelaniya University undergrads protest intake reduction

Apr 26 (ST) Kelaniya University Students Union protested on Thursday against reducing the student intake including monks at the University. The protest commenced near the Kandy Road with 500 students. The students protested for an hour on the main road, and had tried enter to the University’s administration building which was closed. The students chanted slogans against the administration and burned tires in front of the main University building. more..

Sri Lanka dispatches emergency relief assistance to Nepal, creates hotline

Apr 26 (AD) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kathmandu has established a hotline for any inquiries regarding Sri Lankan nationals residing Nepal, in wake of the powerful earthquake that shook the country and Northern India. Those seeking information regarding any Lankans living in Nepal are requested to contact the mission via the hotline – 009779851020057. Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that 120 SL students more..

Sri Lankans in Austria throng to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Apr 26 (Island) Reinforcing the theme of unity, reconciliation and peace, over 300 Sri Lankans in Austria came together in Vienna, joined by the Austrian community and friends of Sri Lanka, to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, recently. Addressing what was an eventful all-day program at the Embassy of Sri Lanka, organized together with Vienna Dhamma Zentrum and the Sri Lankan community, Ambassador Abdul Azeez, Sri Lanka’s envoy in Vienna, elaborated on the progress more..

T20 Deaf Asia Cup: SL beat Afghanistan

Apr 26 (Dawn) Half-centuries from openers H.V. Kumara and Udaya Lakmal steered Sri Lanka to an overwhelming 112-run victory over Afghanistan in their last league match of the inaugural T20 Deaf Asia Cup at the LCCA ground here on Saturday. The match, however, was inconsequential as Pakistan and India had already qualified for the final, to be held on Sunday at the LCCA ground. After electing to bat first, Sri Lanka registered the event’s biggest total, 204-8 in 20 overs. more..

SL frantic to win back billion-rupee EU catch

Apr 26 (ST) Sri Lanka is frantically fighting for time to get its house in order before the next visit of the European Commission scheduled in June to get back its share of fish exports to the European Union (EU) market. It is planning to fix 1,500 multi-duty boats with the vessel monitoring system (VMS), a requirement by the EU to lift the ban on export of fish to the Union. VMS is used to monitor a vessel on the high seas. more..

Johnston Fernando faces Court action

Apr 26 (CT) MP Johnston Fernando is likely to be summoned before Court in the coming week to answer allegations of having misused ministry funds amounting to Rs 5.2 million. Fernando was the former minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade in the Alliance Govt. Colombo Chief Magistrate meanwhile ordered the FCID on 22 April to conduct an extensive investigation into a complaint submitted by the Senior Accountant of the main office of Lanka Sathosa, Manoj Boteju, to this effect. more..

Sonali to the UN?

Apr 26 (NS) Sonali Samarasinghe, widow of slain journalist Lasantha WIckramatunga has been earmarked for the post of Sri Lanka’s Minister Counsellor at the UN Headquarters, New York, according to sources. The Ministry, which recalled all political appointments to the country’s missions abroad has remained tight-lipped about Samarasinghe’s credentials to warrant such a posting. During the UNP Govt of 2001-2004, she was politically appointed to to Sri Lanka’s more..

'President assures JVP 19A will be approved'

Apr 26 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena assured the JVP that the Draft 19th Amendment to the Constitution will definitely be approved by Parliament irrespective of any protest demonstration that will be staged on the two days, 27 and 28 April, which have been set apart for the debate on the draft legislation. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the President had given them this assurance at a decisive more..

Probe on railway project

Apr 26 (SL) Govt is to launch a separate investigation into a project worth USD 149 million, which was carried out by the previous govt to construct a railway track from Palai to Kankesanthurai. Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Transport Dr Lalithasiri Gunaruwan says a separate committee will be appointed to investigate the project. He added that on this track only a small train with a few compartments can travel. The reason for this is due to the completion of more..

'Transition should be given a chance'

Apr 26 (SO) Professionals and corporate personalities stressed the need to give a chance to the transition from autocratic governance to parliamentary democratic form of governance that is taking place in the country. They were vehemently opposed executive presidency which has ruined the country for over 35 years. Gajma and Co. Partner N.R. Gajendran said that the country must put an end to dictatorial governance under the executive presidency which is absolutely corrupt. more..

Eight Ex-ministers to be arrested

Apr 26 (SL) Eight former Ministers will be arrested over the next two weeks over alleged involvement in bribery and corruption. Sources said that the former Ministers are among 25 people, including members of parliament, expected to be arrested during this period. Preliminary investigations into some members of the former govt have now been completed and they will be arrested over the next two weeks. more..

Global tea promo gets cabinet nod

Apr 26 (ST) The govt has approved the long awaited global promotional campaign aimed at boosting the tea industry, officials at the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) stated. The global promotional campaign set to be carried out in 25 identified markets would cost a total of US$9 million (Rs.3.8 billion). The cabinet approval was obtained last week for the global campaign and that they were awaiting the official letter of award to the agency from the ministry. The creative work related campaign has been more..

Adopting Pakistan’s policies

Apr 26 (Island) Pakistan cricket, it seems, has hit rock bottom. Earlier this week, they suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat against minnows Bangladesh. As criticism mounted on the Pakistan team, a stern voice in the form of their former captain Misbah-ul-Haq spoke in support of the team. In recent times, some men heading Pakistan cricket have shown little sense. Misbah is quite the contrast. And he reads the game differently from others. After Pakistan’s thrashing, Misbah who still leads more..

Pricing formula for bread also soon

Apr 26 (NS) The Consumer Affair Authority (CAA) has commenced discussions on a fresh pricing formula for bread based on its weight instead of the prevailing system, a senior official said. Director General, CAA, J.M.A. Douglas stated that according to the current pricing regulations, it was mandatory for bakers to maintain the weight of bread at 450 grams. “That is the standard weight according to the current pricing regulations,” more..

Stop this wanton destruction of animals

Apr 26 (CT) In his address to the public of Sri Lanka recently, the President expressed his displeasure with Lankan's slavish attitudes. In a country where anything coming down from the top is taken without complaint Ceylon Today recently brought to light the lone struggle of one young lass who was harassed by a wannabe tough man using his position in the Turf Club. The young lass using her background and knowledge screwed up his intentions taking her troubles to the authorities showing more..

Sri Lanka's 100 day reform period bows out with weak results for media freedom

Apr 26 (IPI) Today (23) officially marks the end of an ambitious 100-day reform period announced by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena shortly after snatching a surprise victory over former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa in the country’s Jan. 8 presidential vote. Rajapaksa was once hailed both at home and abroad for bringing Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war to a close in 2009. But he is now widely viewed as having failed to turn a military victory into a political one. more..

Fresh Interpol alert to arrest former CIFL chairman

Apr 26 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena’s intervention in the crisis at the battered CIFL (Central Investment and Finance Ltd) where depositors are struggling to get their money back has led to a renewed Interpol alert to arrest the company’s former chairman Deepthi Perera said to be hiding in Thailand. K.W. Gunawardena, President, CIFL Depositors’ Association (CIFLDA), said that on April 17 at the request of more..

Duplicity and blatant cover up at its best

Apr 26 (SL) Over several years in politics Ranil Wickremesinghe has built up a following some admire him for the way in which he has managed to deflect his opponents from within his party even if has meant that Wickremesinghe has been somewhat dictatorial in his behaviour. As party leader he has filled the Working Committee with his faithful so that when it came to amending the party constitution he was on a planet all on his own. He tried the same stunt when it came to more..

Govt crosses the thin red line

Apr 26 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena addressed the nation last Thursday to mark the conclusion of the new govt’s 100 day programme. At the end of it, many people were left wondering why he addressed the nation all. In contrast to Sirisena’s confused meanderings, the interview that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had on ITN with Upul Shantha Sannasgala on the same day certainly sounded more like an address to the nation than Sirisena’s speech even though Sannasgala’s full tosses more..

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