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We will form a broader and fresh alliance to save Sri Lanka: Ranil

Nov 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s ousted Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the political parties of UNF are expecting to form a new political alliance. Releasing a special statement Wickremesinghe said they are currently discussing about building a broader people’s organization to save the country from the current situation. Wickremesinghe criticized the President for dissolving the Parliament unconstitutionally. more..

U.S. MCC Grant to Sri Lanka could be in danger if rule of law is diluted

Nov 12 (AT) Since the constitutional upheaval emerged in Sri Lanka unilaterally replacing Ranil Wickremasinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa by the country’s President Sirisena followed by a political turmoil with the suspension of its Parliament, the Asian Tribune has been in contact and conversation with many U.S. lawmakers holding prime and influential positions, who directly combine US aid recipient nations’ governance and foreign economic assistance, expressed dismay of the manner more..

Lankan charged with double murder after acid attack on wife, boyfriend

Nov 12 (KT) A 30-year-old Sri Lankan man charged with two counts of murder after pouring acid on his 23-year-old wife and her boyfriend claimed he didn't mean to kill her. The man said that he acted on impulse and had been overcome with jealousy. His wife died after being transferred to hospital, while her boyfriend succumbed to his burn injuries after a few months.The case dates back to December 2017. The SL national - identified as Prishni - was arrested at the airport while more..

Western diplomats shun meeting with Sri Lanka minister on political crisis

Nov 12 (Reuters) Eight Western countries stayed away from a meeting with SL’s govt on Monday to register their protest against President Sirisena’s decision to dissolve parliament, diplomatic and govt sources said. Sri Lanka has been in political turmoil since Sirisena fired PM Ranil Wickremesinghe last month and appointed a pro-China former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his place. Western countries led by the US & EU more..

Legal action against all involved: Dinesh

Nov 12 (CT) Steps will be taken to institute legal action against all persons who were involved in selling the valuable lands in Colombo at low prices under the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, during the time of the previous govt, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said. A thorough investigation is already being conducted about the sale of two lands under the Urban Development Authority far below their worth, although having a high commercial value, he opined. more..

Hearing of 11 petitions adjourned for the day

Nov 12 (NR) The hearing of the 11 petitions filed before the Supreme Court challenging the dissolution of Parliament adjourned for the day with the SC due to convene once again tomorrow. The hearing was suspended for 10am tomorrow. Attorney General and a petitioner have been issued summons to appear before Court tomorrow when the SC convenes. Earlier in the day summons were issued for the AG, who has been named as one of the respondents in the case, more..

Sports ministry sets up a cricket advisory committee

Nov 12 (CI) SL's sports ministry has appointed a five-member advisory committee to assist in Sri Lanka Cricket's day-to-day operations, until yet-to-be-announced board elections are held. It is expected to share duties with the sports ministry-appointed Competent Authority, which has been heading up SLC since June 1. Comprising Dinal Philips, Samantha Rajapaksa, Hisham Jamaldeen, Ranil Pathirana more..

PAFFREL to go to court on legality of dissolving parliament

Nov 12 (AD) People’s Action for Free & Fair Elections (PAFFREL) issuing a statement on the Presidential proclamation dissolving the parliament, says that they will be filing a case at the Supreme Court to ascertain the correct legal position with regard to the dissolution. PAFFREL states that, as a civil organization, they are deeply concerned about the prevailing situation due to the present uncertain political environment following the dismissal of PM Wickremesinghe & dissolution of Parliament. more..

Transport Minister urges SLTB workers not to allow politics to ruin it again

Nov 12 (Island) Transport and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has urged the SLTB employees not to let politics ruin their institution again. Minister de Silva said so at an event on Saturday to mark salary increases given to employees after a lapse of six years. Reminding the SLTB trade unions that the financial position of the institution had improved during the past three years, De Silva urged them not to allow politics to ruin the state-owned bus service again. more..

Special HC rejects preliminary objections in Gamini Senarath’s case

Nov 12 (AD) Permanent High Court at Bar has granted permission to hear the case against four individuals including former Prez’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and rejected the preliminary objections filed by the defendants seeking to suspend the hearing of indictment papers filed by the Attorney General. The case was taken up before the Special High Court judge bench consisting of Justices Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Abeykoon and more..

What happened to VVIP assassination plot?

Nov 12 (NR) People’s Movement for a Just Society says the President can now carry out an extensive investigation over the alleged assassination plot of VVIPs revealed by Namal Kumara. Chairman of the Movement Professor Sarath Wijesuriya said the relevant investigations can be carried out promptly as the SL Police is now under the Prez. Wijesuriya questioned why the matter wasn’t been spoken of now, as the Prez now has the ability to carry out investigations that were neglected in the past. more..

President took correct decision: NJC

Nov 12 (CT) Justifiable disquiet and unrest have arisen amongst the citizens, beginning 26 Oct, over the appointment of a New PM and the dissolution of Parliament on 9 Nov and calling a Parliamentary election to allow the citizens to choose their leaders themselves, National Joint Committee said. Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera said that dissolving Parliament was the correct decision taken by Prez Sirisena. He said that if there are no suitable candidates for the forthcoming election, more..

Cigarette sales drop in 3Q after two quarters of volume growth

Nov 12 (DM) The sales dropped at SL’s monopoly cigarette player, Ceylon Tobacco (CTC), during its most recent quarter, after two quarters of volume growth, with the govt again hiking the taxes in August 2018, which led CTC to jack up the prices of some of its products. During the July-Sept quarter (3Q18), CTC said the cigarette sales fell 14.2% from a year ago and as a result, the gross revenue fell by almost Rs.3 bil to Rs.33 bil. more..

Australian football fan faces life ban over racist attack

Nov 12 (Island) A soccer fan who hurled racial abuse at a goalkeeper of Sri Lankan descent won’t be welcomed back by the team he supports. The newspaper added that, Western Sydney Wanderers fan was removed from Glen Willow Sports Stadium, Mudgee, on Saturday for allegedly calling Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young a monkey. Fox’s pitch-side microphone recorded Young respond to the attack, screaming: ‘don’t f***ing call me a monkey, you f***ing racist c***’. more..

Jaya Container Terminal's transshipment volume up 23.3%

Nov 12 (DN) The state owned Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), witnessed the highest growth of 23.3% in transshipment container throughput for the first nine months (from January to September) in 2018 as against the corresponding period in 2017. During the first nine months of 2018, the transshipment volume handled by Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) reached 1,445,424 TEUs compared to 1,172,542 TEUs handled for the same period in 2017. more..

Frontline Socialist Party ready to work with JVP

Nov 12 (DM) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) was ready to work with the JVP or any party who called themselves as leftists at this juncture where the county was embroiled in a devastating situation in terms of politics, the economy and the Constitution, FSP Education Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda said. He said they would work with anybody except with Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maithripala Sirisena and more..

Sri Lanka President’s undemocratic and unconstitutional moves – OpEd

Nov 12 (ER) Believing that he could win a third term as president, Mahinda Rajapaksa scheduled the presidential election for Jan 2015. After some time, it became clear that Ranil Wickremesinghe will not be contesting the election as he was perceived as a week candidate. Several alternative names were suggested. One of my friends who had a deep connection to UNP told me that Maithripala Sirisena would be the common opposition candidate. I laughed because I did not believe the theory. more..

The flash election: A political way out or an instance of one mistake leading to another?

Nov 12 (FT) In a flash move, Parliament was dissolved last Friday by President Maithripala Sirisena, claiming he had powers to do so under the Constitution. It was not a sudden executive action, but the culmination of a series of actions he had been taking during the previous 14-day period. It all started when he sacked the incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place on 26 October 2018. more..

'Sri Lanka's bilateral aid not at risk'

Nov 12 (EN) Foreign govts have not withdrawn grants, project loans and economic programmes with Sri Lanka, said Sarath Amunugama, who was controversially appointed as Foreign Minister amid a constitutional crisis. "Certain countries have stated that they're watching the situation in Sri Lanka. That's the maximum situation," he said. "That's a standard expression of concern. more..

Cabinet posts not bribes: Nimal

Nov 12 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that cabinet portfolios couldn’t be considered bribes. The SLFPer insisted that cabinet portfolios enabled lawmakers to serve the people. However, receiving money to switch sides wasn’t acceptable at all. The minister said so when The Island sought an explanation from him as to the difference between SLFP veteran C.P. de Silva along with 13 lawmakers switching sides in early Dec 1964 that led to the fall of the then govt headed by more..

Stolen cheque books and forged signatures used to defraud unsuspecting parties

Nov 12 (Island) A complaint of fraud made to the CID by a businessman dealing in tea is under investigation. Two cheque books belonging to the businessman had been stolen and cheques with forged signatures issued to unsuspecting parties, from whom sums of money ranging from Rs 2 mn to Rs 6 mn had been raised by asking them to keep the stolen cheques as security. Lenders had been allegedly told that the loans would be paid back with intetrest. more..

Rajiva Wijesinha

Forex reserves rise in Oct with China loan

Nov 12 (EN) Sri Lanka's forex reserves rose US$ 736 million to US$ 7,900 million in Oct 2018 from a month earlier, helped by a loan from China, official data shows. In September forex reserves fell US$ 1.4 billion to US$ 7,180 million. In October Sri Lanka received the proceeds of a billion US dollar loan from China, boosting forex reserves. Interventions have also continued in forex markets, with sales of stocks and bond by foreign investors amid a political crisis. more..

Inclement weather

Nov 12 (CT) Several thousand families have been internally displaced from their houses in the Eastern Province and various parts in the island due to inclement weather condition with the onset of the North East Monsoon. Met Department has also issued a cyclone warning, due to a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal, to the fisherfolk and to the people particularly living in the coastal areas of the island. As natural calamities occur very frequently in the island in the form of more..

Video: Ten FR petitions filed against dissolution of parliament

Nov 12 (AD) Several parties have filed petitions at the Supreme Court today against the arbitrary dissolution of the Parliament. Accordingly, 10 fundamental rights petitions have been submitted to the Supreme Court calling to declare the Prez’s dissolution of the parliament illegal. Political parties including UNP, JVP, TNA, TPA and the ACPC, as well as other parties such as the CPA and Attorney Aruna Laksiri have filed these petitions. more..

President's Fund from 2015: Rs. 26.6 million paid to 16 MPs

Nov 12 (DM) Sixteen MPs have been paid a total of Rs. 26,617,357 as benefits by the president fund from 2015 to up to now. The highest payment has been paid to 3 MPs in the year 2016 amount to Rs. 11,700,000. Two MPs have been paid Rs. 3,917,406 in 2015 and four MPs have been paid Rs. 8,399,287 in 2017. In 2018, seven MPs have been paid Rs. 2,600,664 as benefits. These details were obtained under Right to Information Act, more..

Election Commissioner says sacking of parliament illegal

Nov 12 (EN) A member of the three-man independent Election Commission joined a dozen petitioners asking the Supreme Court to declare as illegal the actions of Prez Sirisena against parliament. Ratnajeevan Hoole filed a five-page petition seeking the quashing of the president’s decree sacking parliament and calling a snap election on January 5. Hoole argued that Sirisena’s actions were unconstitutional, illegal and more..

No congratulatory messages from foreign leaders

Nov 12 (ST) No heads of govt or state have so far sent congratulatory messages to new PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Foreign Ministry has confirmed. However, a spokesperson also said it was because the Cabinet of Ministers was only finalised on Friday and, therefore, a list had not been sent out to Sri Lanka’s missions abroad for dissemination to host nations. “Cabinet of Ministers was only finalised on Friday and more..

Marikkar says corrupt people given second chance

Nov 12 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena had given corrupt MPs a second chance to embezzle money by appointing them to the same ministerial positions they held during the Rajapaksa administration, UNP MP S.M. Marikkar told media yesterday at a press conference in Colombo. "President has renominated a man who had a case filed against him for providing state-built houses for his family members as Minister of Housing. more..

Largest but voiceless minority plead at Court of last resort

Nov 12 (FT) Fervent accessibility rights activist Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera, Chief Executive of IDIRIYA, has moved the Court to re-activate invocation of a Fundamental Rights Public Interest Litigation of utmost importance to Sri Lanka, nationally and internationally. Its main purpose is to seek redress for a most vulnerable and fast increasing, voiceless & underprivileged marginalised group of persons with limited mobility, more..

Dissolution better: Prelate

Nov 12 (CT) The dissolution of Parliament was better than the critical situation that prevailed, said the Mahanayake of Asgiri Ven. Warakagoda Gnanarathana Thera. He told Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, on 10 Nov that an agriculture policy is needed for each and every sector of the country. The Minister, who was in Kandy to inform the Prelates of the political situation, then met Malwatte Mahanayake more..

13 SL asylum seekers imprisoned in Israel

Nov 12 (JP) Thirteen Sri Lankan regime opponents have been imprisoned in Israel for two weeks and deprived of rights, according to a report by KAN Bet. The 13 reportedly fled to Israel on tourist visas after having received death threats following the October revolution in their country, and planned to apply for asylum in Israel. Following questioning at Ben-Gurion Airport, in the absence of a translator and with one member of group more..

Playing with the Constitution Continues

Nov 12 (DM) Last Friday President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament creating yet another twist in the unfolding political crisis. Despite the protests, a written request by a majority of MPs and requests made by the Speaker to convene parliament, the President went ahead with a clearly undemocratic and unconstitutional move to dissolve Parliament and call for elections. According to critics the last two weeks witnessed more..

Reigning in the Executive President

Nov 12 (DM) For the most part of the last few weeks we have been in a suspended state of disbelief. Yes, the 2015 govt had not lived up to its expectations, some people were plotting for the next election to teach them a lesson, and then lightning struck. PM was removed in the stealth of the night replaced by the arch-rival that the President was elected to depose, Parliament was prorogued & then dissolved & a huge cabinet more..

Assault on the Constitution

Nov 12 (DM) The changes that have happened in a dramatic manner at the helm of the state within the past two weeks or so have shaken our faith in the Constitution drastically. When I say our, I include all of us, those who occupy both the centers and the various peripheries of our polity. What we today describe as the constitutional crisis is an implosion of liberal democracy, one that is created by liberal democracy itself at the convergence of executive presidency, neoliberal policies and more..

Stop tinkering with the constitution

Nov 12 (DM) Constitution of a country is supposed to be the bedrock of the rule of law in a given country. Unfortunately for SL, the constitution had been tinkered with on many an occasion. Constitution of the country - the third since independence and the second Republican Constitution - has been tinkered with and trampled underfoot by the leaders of all governing political parties all of whom have vowed to protect and defend it. During its brief 40-year life span more..

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