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19A plans in Parliament today

Apr 27 (CT) The long awaited 19th Amendment to the Constitution which is aimed at reducing the executive powers of the President is to be presented to the Parliament today. Although the pledge of the govt was to pass the 19th Amendment before 23 April and dissolve the parliament soon thereafter, it got delayed due to various reasons, majorly due to the urge of the SLFP to bring electoral reforms along with the reduction of the executive powers of the President. more..

Sri Lankan woman writer stands up to moral police

Apr 27 (DC) “God gave women freedom. We don’t need the permission of men to live freely,” says Lankan Muslim writer-activist Sharmila Seyyid, on her Facebook account. Many men from her community, indulging in moral policing like many Hindu outfits in India, do not think so, and have constantly hounded her for her free views on the purdah system, prostitution and Talibanisation of the Muslim community. She now lives in TN after being forced to leave her native land. more..

19A: Numbers game begins!

Apr 27 (FT) The highest levels of Govt spent the weekend whipping up votes for legislation that will drastically alter Sri Lanka’s Constitution and restore independence to key arms of the State, with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution coming up for debate in Parliament today. Getting the crucial amendment through the House will be a litmus test of the Maithripala Sirisena administration, after constitutional reform formed the bedrock of more..

Who stifles Presidential Amnesty? - Sigiriya Frescoes: released girl yet in prison

Apr 27 (CT) The President's Secretariat has drawn the attention of the Justice Ministry to determine why Sinnethamby Sri Udaya, the young woman who was charged with defacing the Sigiriya mirror wall, is still languishing in prison despite a presidential pardon granted by President Maithripala Sirisena. Meanwhile, Prisons Commissioner General, Rohana Pushpakumara said, the documents pertaining to the release have still not been received by him. Mother of Udaya, S. Navamani more..

Conspiracies to bring back The Family into power: Arjuna warns

Apr 27 (CT) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has urged the President and the PM to ensure that the nominations are not granted to opportunistic and corrupt persons for the upcoming elections. “Honorable President, Honorable PM, remarkably for the first time in the Sri Lankan political history, today both of you are able to move all parties and people in the North and the South towards one destined objective. Even though both of you belong to two different political parties more..

Ven. Sobitha's satyagraha today - In support of 19 A

Apr 27 (CT) The Convener of the NMSJ, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera will commence a satyagraha today at the Independence Square demanding political parties to pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Thera and representatives of civil society groups will hold a press briefing opposite Dr. N.M. Perera statue at 9 a.m. today. Then they will leave to the Independent Square and commence a Satyagraha until the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is passed. more..

Four senior media men appointed to councils of four universities

Apr 27 (Island) Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama has appointed four senior journalists to the councils of four universities with immediate effect. Editor-in-Chief of Lankadeepa Siri Ranasinghe has been appointed to the Council of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Founder editor of The Island Vijitha Yapa to the Council of the Open University, Director Editorial Upali Newspapers Ltd. Gamini Sumanasekera to the Council of the Aesthetic University and more..

Speaker says he too felt heat of Rajapaksas

Apr 27 (DN) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said even he too was hurt on many occasions when former President Rajapaksa was in power. He requested President Maithripala Sirisena to take the leadership to unite all members of the SLFP. Addressing an SLFP meeting in Hambantota on Saturday, he noted that the SLFP should be strengthened and taken forward by securing the contribution of all, while promoting mutual understanding. “The President should take the leadership in more..

Interpol help sought to arrest ex-diplomat

Apr 27 (DN) Colombo Magistrate’s Court has allowed Police to seek Interpol assistance to arrest Sepala Rathnayaka, former Minister (Consular and Immigration) of the High Commissioner to the UK, in connection with a child abuse case. Rathnayaka has been charged with allegedly abducting a 14-year-old child and using him for a news item without his guardians’ consent. The Police started investigations into the case after the child’s mother lodged a complaint more..

Tea exports down 18.7% YoY in March

Apr 27 (FT) Sri Lanka’s total quantity of tea exports – including re-exports of imported tea – plunged 18.7% year-on-year (YoY) down to 25.2 Mn/kgs during the month of March. Similarly, export earnings from tea exports also recorded a corresponding decline to Rs. 15.1 billion, amounting to a 25.7% YoY decline as a result of reduced quantities of sales in combination with a decline in the FOB price per kilogram from Rs. 655.5 down to Rs. 598.6 per kilogram. more..

SriLankan to turn profitable by 2017/18

Apr 27 (DN) SriLankan Airlines under a new business model will make a turn around and start earning profits from the 2017/18 financial year, said it’s Chairman, Ajith Dias. Speaking to Daily News at the Sancharaka Udawa exhibition at BMICH whe said that under their new financial plan they are looking at reducing costs during the 2015/16 financial year. “During 2016/17 we hope to break even and record profits the next year. “I only took over this debt ridden institution in Feb 12, more..

CICT facilitates weekly service of China’s national carrier CSCL to Port of Colombo

Apr 27 (FT) Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) has made a major breakthrough for the Port of Colombo by attracting China Shipping Container Line (CSCL) to launch a brand new regular weekly service to the Port of Colombo. CSCL is the national container carrier of China and the seventh largest container carrier in the world. The very first vessel on this new service MV CSCL Vancouver called at CICT on Sunday 19 April. more..

South Asian Investment Conference today

Apr 27 (FT) The South Asian Investment Conference (SAIC) organised by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in association with the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE), will take place today at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo. Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva, Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka Chairman Tilak Karunaratne and Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka will address the audience at the inaugural ceremony. more..

Govt to raise another Rs 21B Borrowings up 57% to Rs 482 B

Apr 27 (CT) The Govt's insatiable lust for rupees continued by borrowing Rs 25 billion from the market from the outright sale of Treasury (T)-Bills at Friday's trading, Central Bank (CBSL's) open market operations data showed. There was no such rupee borrowings by the previous regime in the commensurate period last year. Additionally, GoSL through CBSL plans to raise another Rs 21 billion by selling Treasury (T)-Bills to the market on Tuesday (28), more..

Sri Lanka persuades new global companies to tap oil and gas resources

Apr 27 (ST) With the withdrawal of Cairn India from oil and gas exploration in Mannar Basin after the discovery of hydrocarbons in two offshore wells, SL is persuading new global companies to tap these potential resources under the 3rd phase exploration programme, PRDS Director General Saliya Wickramasuriya said. Cairn India has pulled out of its offshore fuel and natural gas explorations within the Mannar Basin terminating its agreement more..

Sri Lanka ups import taxes on onions and potatoes

Apr 27 (EN) Sri Lanka has raised import taxes on by 20 and 25 rupees to push prices up and give bigger profits to farmers and landowners, expanding protection to keep prices high to consumers. The tax comes weeks after the Trade Ministry slapped price controls on hoppers, forcing producers to make them smaller or stop selling the popular food altogether, showing the contradictions in state intervention. Sri Lanka started to produce large onions and potatoes from the mid -980s with more..

Cooray breaks Rosa’s 40-year-old record to qualify for Rio Olympics Marathon

Apr 27 (Island) London based Sri Lankan athlete Anuradha Indrajith Cooray has qualified for the Rio Olympics Marathon when he broke the long standing Sri Lanka national marathon record at the London Marathon on Sunday, statistician of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka confirmed. 37-year old Cooray has shattered legendary marathoner S.L.B. Rosa’s 40 year old record when he clocked two hours 13 minutes and 47 seconds to finish 14th in the London Marathon. more..

Customer-centric Product Innovation Centre from Mobitel

Apr 27 (Island) Mobitel, the leading mobile service provider in Sri Lanka ceremonially opened its Innovation Centre at the TRACE Expert City on Friday to do product innovations focusing on the needs of the customer. The Innovation Centre's techno-centric platform will focus on customer-centric features when developing new mobile solutions. Coinciding with Mobitel's 22nd anniversary, TRACE Expert City Complex itself was declared open on the same day, more..

Yaha Palanaya or (Subha) Yasa Palanaya

Apr 27 (ST) A friend of mine told me years ago that Sri Lankans always live in history. I was not old enough or matured enough to understand this then. Not that I am matured now but old enough to realise what my friend meant. True, we Sri Lankans love to read and repeat our history. Being yet another Sri Lankan, I am no different. I thought I would peep into our proud history to draw some parallels. Yes, I came across an incident and wondered whether History repeats. more..

Illegal fishing: Red and yellow cards

Apr 27 (Island) Thailand has expressed its disappointment at a European Union (EU) ultimatum over illegal fishing. Thai authorities have, fearing a colossal loss to the tune of billions of US dollars in the event of a ban on their fish exports to Europe, taken umbrage at what has come to be dubbed the flashing of the 'yellow' card. The EU insists that the Thai govt has not done enough all these years, in spite of repeated warnings, to address the issues which more..

Norochcholai coal controversy continues; Ratwatte claims Rs. 2m in damages

Apr 27 (FT) Legal proceedings in relation to a controversial supply of coal to the Norochcholai Power Plant took a fresh twist with former Chairman of Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSCL) Kanchana Ratwatte filing a claim for Rs. 2 million in damages. In a petition filed in the Supreme Court, Ratwatte alleged that he was unlawfully arrested in violation of his fundamental rights as set out in Articles 12 and 13 of the Constitution more..

When Parliament became a House of Comedy

Apr 26 (CT) The august assembly on more occasions than not gets heated up with verbal exchanges between opposition and govt ranks was turned into a house of comedy with UPFA members occupying the Well of Parliament to protest against summoning of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) last week. Over 50 opposition legislators on Monday (20) launched a continuous fast in the Well of Parliament more..

A week of political unrest in the city

Apr 26 (CT) While the drama over former President Rajapaksa being summoned to the Bribery Commission to obtain a statement over offering a Cabinet post to UNP defector Attanayake took an ugly turn with his supporters protesting within the high security zone in Parliament and the UPFA- SLFP MPs backing him protesting in the 'well' of Parliament with a night sleep over in the chamber, the next day the opposition was taken by storm when former Minister Basil Rajapaksa was arrested and remanded. more..

A lesser known Y a a l p a n a m

Apr 27 (CT) The sun had almost reached its zenith when we set forth on our journey to Jaffna, the land of palm trees, famous public library and of course, the mouthwatering cuisine. Originally it was only the three of us, but we met two other friends at the Colombo Fort Railway Station, from where we boarded the Uttara Devi Intercity Express to Jaffna. My friends and I had homemade sandwiches for the ride and lots of water. The journey was going to be long and more..

Dear Grand Impostor

Apr 27 (NS) Hello there Mr. Grand Impostor. I have been following your ascendancy to high office in recent times with great interest. Well, first it was interest, then it became a curiosity, then a bit of a concern and now it has become a full blown bloody consternation. Before I start venting my spleen on your sorry ass, let me commend you on your duplicity and total commitment to self-preservation and power aggrandizement at the expense of all but self. That takes some doing. more..

President urges support for constitutional amendments

Apr 27 (NS) There was drama aplenty in Parliament this week, but the govt’s efforts to enact the 19th Amendment to the Constitution are yet to become a reality. It has been thwarted by the SLFP which is determined to push through electoral reforms at the same time. Parliament is now scheduled to meet again tomorrow in what would be the final effort to push through the reforms. Despite many optimistic pronouncements from both the government and the opposition, their passage more..

'UNP delivered as promised'

Apr 27 (CT) The 100-Day Programme will officially come to an end tomorrow (23). Now, Parliament is in chaos, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is left hanging in the balance, but Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said the ball is in the SLFP court. He added the UNP has delivered as promised. The President has announced that Parliament would be dissolved once the 19A is passed. Do you think the UNP can get simple majority in Parliament? more..

Presidential powers and the craving to be slaves

Apr 27 (ST) It appears that the President of Sri Lanka likes vivid imagery. Not so long ago, he compared the members of his party to crabs dancing in a boiling pot of water. This prediction came uncannily true this week when some of these members discarded even the stipulated parliamentary dress and slept in running shorts on the floor of the House. The frolicking MPs cast themselves and the House into ridicule in protest over former President Rajapaksa being summoned to more..

Mayday! Mayday! For 19A as MS rallies the UPFA

Apr 27 (ST) One final attempt will be made by Parliament, in the coming two days, to pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, after two previous attempts failed due to disagreements within the UPFA, as well as the fracas caused over the decision to summon former President Rajapaksa to the Bribery Commission. The 19th Amendment will be taken up for debate tomorrow and put to a vote on Tuesday evening, but whether it will get the final nod from two-thirds of the members, more..

Cleaning up the dansalas

Apr 27 (SO) It's Vesak once again - celebrating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha. This is also a time for giving. According to Buddhist precepts giving of alms is a meritorious act. Many Buddhists observe sil during the two days of Vesak and refrain from consuming food, except at specified times, while others indulge in visiting dansalas (No English equivalent is found. It is the hall or area where food is more..

Winning the war is not establishing peace

Apr 27 (CT) It is difficult to envisage delivering a lecture to commemorate Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam without reflecting upon the one issue that concerned him most – the minorities question in Sri Lanka. Mr. Chevanayakam and his Party, the Federal Party, engaged in a long and difficult struggle to win the Tamil peoples’ rights. I would like to present to you some thoughts about the ethnic and religious problems we have faced since Independence. I do not intend to go into the history of more..

Is Mahinda Rajapaksa suffering from the complex of excessive self-love?

Apr 27 (CT) George Orwell said in his famous novel, Animal Farm “that all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’’, this is relevant not only during the Stalin’s period in Russia, but to any person who tries to control others by political or any other means. In the human kingdom, some have leadership qualities in their personality. Others feel comfortable, to be guided by a leader. Politicians as a group, usually have strong desire for leadership. more..

Sri Lanka probe biggest VVIP security breach in 16 years

Apr 26 (EN) Sri Lankan authorities have begun probing what top sleuths are calling the biggest VVIP security breach since the assassination bid against former president Chandrika Kumaratunga in 1999. The police top brass were shocked to learn that an armed soldier in civilian clothing made it to what was thought to be a sterile area at a meeting addressed by President Maithripala Sirisena at Angunakolapelessa on Saturday. more..

President presents copy of 19A Draft Bill to Malwatta Chief Prelate

Apr 26 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena who called on Chief Prelate of the Malwatta chapter Most Venerable Tibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera presented a copy of the Draft Bill on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to the Chief Prelate. Thereafter, after a brief discussion, the Mahanayake Thera chanted Seth Pirith and invoked blessings on the President. President also called on the Anunayake of the Malwatta Chapter Ven. Niyangoda Vijithasiri Thera and presented a copy of more..

I am unaware about such an incident: Namal

Apr 26 (DM) MP Namal Rajapaksa said that he was unaware about an incident where a man said to be a security officer of his was caught bearing a gun in the vicinity of President Maithripala Sirisena in Angunukolapelassa on Saturday (25). "I have seen some reports in social media about such an incident, but what I have to say is, I am unaware about such a thing at all and no one informed me about it as yet," Mr Rajapaksa said when the Daily Mirror inquired about the Police claim. more..

Foster mothers found for two lion cubs

Apr 26 (CT) National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala has found two foster mother dogs to nurse two of the lion cubs who were abandoned by their mother recently. "The three lion cubs were born on 22 April 2015 at Dehiwala Zoo. But, soon after they were born, they were abandoned by their mother Sakina," a Zoo official said. "One of the cubs was sent to a foster mother dog on 23 April and another cub was sent to his foster-mother more..

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