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Hearing of petitions against parliament dissolution resumes

Dec 6 (AD) The seven-member Judge Bench of the Supreme Court commenced hearing of the petitions against the dissolution of the parliament for the third consecutive day. Hearing of the petitions, which commenced on the 4th of Dec, will be concluded today while the verdict is expected to be delivered tomorrow. Presenting submissions before the Supreme Court yesterday, the Attorney General had stated that in accordance with more..

President’s Office directed to disclose ousted PM’s assets and liabilities

Dec 6 (Island) The Right to Information Commission has directed Presidential Secretariat to disclose assets and liabilities of ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2015 and 2016. Asoka Obeyesekere, Executive Director, Transparency International SL, revealed the circumstances under which his organization had received a favourable ruling from the RTI Commission. Obeyesekere said that the TISL had sought the intervention of more..

'SL - one and only country with no govt'

Dec 6 (CT) Although over 48 hours have been passed after issuing an Interim Order preventing the functioning of the PM and the Cabinet of Ministers in the purported Govt, no action has been taken to establish a Govt, MP Mangala Samaraweera said. Issuing a Media statement yesterday, he alleged that, Sri Lanka has become the one and only country without a Government in the democratic world as well as our history. more..

Sri Lanka ranks 2nd in climate risk index

Dec 6 (AD) In a new global index, Sri Lanka has been ranked second among the countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2017. The Long-Term Climate Risk Index listed Puerto Rico and Sri Lanka as the top two affected countries. The index is part of a report, Global Climate Risk Index 2019, which was released at the annual climate summit in Poland’s Katowice city yesterday. more..

Video: Ranil stresses need to establish new Parliament

Dec 6 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday stressed the need to establish a new Parliament, scrapping the Executive Presidency through a referendum. Mr. Wickremesinghe made these proposals at a seminar organised by the Professionals for Democracy held at the Galle Face Hotel last morning. “The citizens of this country have spoken out against the childish behaviour of MPs in the House. more..

Keeragala replaces Amarasuriya as SLI Chair in the wake of revelation of secret payments

Dec 6 (Island) Dr. K.A.S. Keeragala has succeeded Hemaka Amarasuriya as the Executive Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance (SLI) in the wake of the disclosure of major SLI subsidiary Litro Gas Lanka Limited making secret payments to several dozen persons allegedly involved with the ousted UNP administration. These payments had been made since 2016. Among the recipients are civil society activist more..

UL aircraft repairs done overseas for want of additional hanger

Dec 6 (Island) SriLankan Airlines had not taken steps to construct an additional hangar to paint aircraft, as suggested by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which led to EASA instructing UL in 2014 not to carry out such activities in 2014, the PCoI was told. W. Nilantha, Manager-Engineering Contracts and Services of SriLankan said that EASA had not allowed base repairs to be carried out at BIA as well in 2015. more..

Economic crisis looms due to political instability: Prof. Abeyratne

Dec 6 (CT) Due to the political crisis, which was created at a moment when serious reforms had to be carried out, in connection with the SL economy, a very dangerous long-term deadlock has arisen where the economy of the country is concerned. This was stressed by Professor of Economics of the Colombo Uni, Sirimal Abeyratne. He warned that in the upcoming years, all the people in the country will have to face dire economic more..

Tackling the dengue danger rising from major construction sites

Dec 6 (ST) Drizzles or heavy downpours – the relentless rain is here. With the rains, comes the fear of dengue. “We are ready to face the onslaught of dengue,” assures the Head of the National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) and Consultant Epidemiologist Dr. Hasitha Tissera, reiterating that not only have they focused on homes and schools but they have also looked closely at construction sites which have invariably more..

'The form of the crisis is parliamentary, but the content is bourgeois rule'

Dec 6 (DM) This year marks the 50th anniversary of formation of the the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL) of Sri Lanka in 1968. The RCL functions as the Sri Lankan section of the Int'l Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), and was renamed the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in 1996. Daily Mirror spoke to Mr. Wije Dias, General Secretary of SEP, on a series of issues, including the foundations and principles of more..

Minority parties are key players in equation

Dec 6 (DM) We see the predominant Sinhala-Buddhist community agitate more these days because they no longer have the power to elect the country leader of their choice. Wanni MP Shanthi Sriskandarajah making a comment recently saying that National parties must now kneel down before Tamil parties confirms this. She said that she was offered a sum between rupees 60-500 million to make a crossover to strengthen govt that Sirisena and Rajapaksa had formed after Oct 26. more..

We need volunteers as our politicians

Dec 6 (DM) How self-centred or other-centred are we? This being the principle virtue of our character, one of the main ways to measure or recognise it is our critical role as volunteers or first responders in emergencies and crises. Do we think of self-survival and run away from it or do we have the courage to take a risk and run into the situation with the intention of rescuing or helping someone or doing whatever possible? The Good Samaritan parable being one of the most powerful and more..

Call UNP confab to decide a PM

Dec 6 (DN) Prez Sirisena has reportedly received a letter sent by several UNP public representatives requesting that if a PM were to be appointed from the UNP, that he (PM) shall be appointed on the basis of consensus and with approval from all UNP segments - the UNP MPs, Provincial Council members and Local Govt members. 3 UNP MPs, 24 UNP Provincial Council members and 43 UNP local govt members more..

Dr. Wickrema Weerasooriya passes away

Dec 6 (DN) Sri Lanka is the poorer due to the passing away last Tuesday of Dr Wickrema Sena Weerasooria. There were so many aspects to his life, and he was so many things to so many people, that it is difficult to know where to begin. Most Sri Lankans who can yet recall the J.R.Jayewardene presidency remember Wickrema as the all-powerful Secretary to the Ministry of Plan Implementation, one of the few ministries of which the President was the subject minister. Wholly trusted by JRJ, more..

Will amend 19A: Lakshman Yapa

Dec 6 (DM) The 19th Amendment which was the initial cause for the prevailing political turmoil would be amended when they were elected to office, MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. He said the 19th Amendment had made the county unstable and chaotic. “When the 19th Amendment was brought in, we all voted for it thinking that it would deliver good things in the interest of the people. But what has transpired now consequent to this amendment is absolutely unacceptable,” he said. more..

Civic rights could be stripped from Prez: JVP

Dec 6 (DM) Not only an impeachment brought against Prez Sirisena but his civic rights also could be stripped, as he had violated the Constitution on several occasions, JVP MP Vijitha Herath told Parliament. He said that the President had violated the Constitution by removing the PM, appointing a new PM and dissolving Parliament and added that he had acted against democratic principles by proroguing Parliament. more..

Colombo’s perceptions

Dec 6 (Hindu) There are no winners in the political crisis in Sri Lanka. President Sirisena, whose actions triggered the crisis, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who as PM lost two confidence votes, and Ranil Wickremesinghe, former PM who enjoys majority support in Parliament, are locked in a draw. Against this backdrop, what are the perceptions among the main political actors, which impact SL-India relations? A delegation of eminent Indian scholars, former civil servants and a retired navy chief, more..

Bumper red onion harvest in Jaffna

Dec 6 (CT) Traders in the North say that due to the heavy showers experienced in the region during the past few weeks, cultivators in Jaffna had a bumper red onion harvest but due to such stocks being received from the outstations, the price of red onions had come down drastically. These traders said due to the drastic reduction in the price of red onions, farmers are facing a severe struggle to market their produce. They said, during the recent drought a kilo of red onion had been sold at Rs 300-400 more..

US urges responsible and quick end to Sri Lanka crisis

Dec 6 (FT) Stressing that it has no favourites in the contest, the US this week urged SL leaders to resolve the political crisis responsibly and promptly, as it has far reaching socio-economic consequences, apart from damaging global confidence and trust. “As a friend and partner, we have urged Sri Lanka and its leaders to move promptly to resolve the political crisis in a transparent and democratic way,” more..

Kiriella wants Prez made accountable to legislature

Dec 6 (Island) President Sirisena’s statement that he would not appoint MP Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM even if all 225 MPs made a request that effect was a humiliation of Parliament, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, the MP pointed out that the Executive should be accountable to the legislature. He said that the judiciary with its interim order on December 3 had justified Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s ruling that there was no PM or Cabinet in the country. more..

SLTDA insists no move by tourism industry to boycott awards

Dec 6 (CG) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has strongly rejected claims that tourism industry leaders have decided to boycott the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards tomorrow as President Maithripala Sirisena has been invited as the Chief Guest. SLTDA, as the governing body of Sri Lanka Tourism, believes that the duties vested in the institution should be carried forward under any circumstances and as a collective decision, hosting SL Tourism Awards 2018 was decided to more..

No-Confidence Motions against MR: UNP postpones debate

Dec 6 (CT) The UNP yesterday, decided not to proceed with a Motion to ask President Sirisena to take action, in connection with the No-Confidence Motions passed in Parliament against former President Rajapaksa and his purported Cabinet in terms of Article 48 (2) of the Constitution. It was scheduled to be taken for a vote on the same day. The Motion was signed by MPs Wijepala Hettiarachchi, Harshana Rajakaruna, more..

Pathfinder Foundation Participate in Dialogue of BIMSTEC Think Tanks

Dec 6 (DN) Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) jointly organized by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) of India and Vivekananda International Foundation was conducted in new Delhi with the participation of all BIMSTEC member countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, SL and Thailand. Scholars representing each of member countries presented their views on enhancing land as well as maritime security more..

People seem pretty comfortable without a govt: SLIA president

Dec 6 (Island) No-one seems to be spooked by the ongoing political crisis, and in a way, people seem pretty happy, comfortable and more relieved without a govt, D.H. Wijewardene, president of SL Institute of Architects (SLIA) said. However, when asked him whether he seriously thought that investors also won't be spooked when there is no govt, he said, "The current crisis and the way the businesses and the people react to it shows that a govt is not needed to a certain extent. more..

Plantation worker strike over higher wages continues

Dec 6 (FT) Trade union action demanding Rs. 1,000 daily wage in the plantation sector continued for the second day, dimming hopes for a breakthrough, with Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) insisting on an alternative productivity-based wage model, and politicians calling for fair reasoning. UNF-linked MPs, NUW Leader MP Palany Thigambaram, UCPF Leader V.S. Radhakrishnan, and UNP MP Vadivel Suresh more..

Doctor hospitalized after brawl: Clash over parking space

Dec 6 (CT) A doctor attached to Karapitiya Teaching Hospital was admitted to the emergency care unit of the same hospital for treatment to injuries he sustained in a fierce brawl with another doctor. Police Unit attached to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle said this incident had taken place last afternoon at the hospital’s vehicle parking lot. Police suspect the reason for the argument and the subsequent brawl had been a dispute between them regarding parking of vehicles at parking lot. more..

Dealing with indiscipline in cricket: The Pramodaya factor

Dec 6 (ST) Indiscipline in international sports is not a rare phenomenon. Just to recollect some talked about instances, especially in cricket, we could picture well-known figures like Andrew Symonds – the Australian legend who bat, bowl or field a side to victory almost singlehandedly. However his off the field escapades started getting bigger than the game and pop went the whistle. Then English allrounder Andrew Flintoff and his infamous pedalo incident in the Caribbean: more..

Bond Commission report cleared UNP and Ranil of wrongdoing: Wajira

Dec 6 (Island) UNP MP Wajira Abeywardena said that Sri Lanka was in a deep political crisis because of the unconstitutional removal of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his govt by President Sirisena, who appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as new PM. "In a bid to justify his unconstitutional and unethical act, Prez informed foreign media correspondents of SL that PM Wickremasinghe and his govt had been corrupt. more..

LAUGFS Terminals to receive first commercial cargo from Dec. 15

Dec 6 (DN) LAUGFS Terminals Limited, a unit of the LAUGFS Gas Plc, has commissioned the LPG Transshipment Terminal at Hambantota port and will receive its first commercial cargo from Dec 15. This is adding to a growing list of companies building LPG terminals in Asia. LAUGFS Gas Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya said that discussions are ongoing between the company and suppliers for LPG term supply contracts. “Fruitful discussions are also ongoing with prospective partners, more..

CB to compensate Standard Credit Finance depositors

Dec 6 (CT) Central Bank (CB), SL’s banking regulator, said it would pay compensation to depositors of The Standard Credit Finance Limited, a failed finance company, and asked depositors to be ready to make claims when an announcement is made. CB said that depositors of The Standard Credit Finance Ltd. should submit duly completed claim forms along with required documentation to its Resolution and Enforcement Dept. An announcement would be made in the press more..

CB Chief warns against fiscal slippage

Dec 6 (FT) Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy voiced concerns over politicians resorting to populist policies with SL anticipating possible elections, warning it would undermine fiscal consolidation essential to ensure debt repayment. He said progress towards achieving sustainable external debt dynamics has slowed down, but assured the situation is still manageable provided the govt continues on the trajectory of more..

National Tea Sales average static

Dec 6 (FT) National Tea Sales average for the month of November 2018 totalled Rs. 584.58 vis-à-vis Rs. 586.19 of October 2018, showing a marginal decrease of Rs. 01.61 month on month. However, in comparison to the November 2017 average of Rs. 626.85, it shows a decrease of Rs. 42.27, Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers revealed yesterday. It said High Growns totalling Rs. 547.64, lowest since July this year, has recorded a sharp decrease of Rs. 64.40 vis-à-vis Rs. 612.04 of October 2018. more..

Money printing passes Rs 150 billion

Dec 6 (CT) Central Bank lent Rs 15,339 million to the Govt yesterday to fill in a revenue gap, thereby increasing Govt’s money printing liabilities by 11.37% to Rs 150,275.95 million. Since the advent of the political crisis on 26 Oct, Govt’s Money Printing liabilities have increased by 71.84% (Rs 62,826.35 million) thereby fuelling inflationary pressure and increasing Govt debt. In related developments, stock market net foreign outflows (NFOs) due to this crisis more..

New smaller coins into circulation

Dec 6 (ST) A new series of smaller circulation coins released by the Central Bank (CB) will be issued to the public, on Dec 3 after a presentation box was given to PM Mahinda Rajapaksa on Nov 27. The Rs. 10 and Rs. 5 coins have been made thinner and the Rs. 2 coin has been made 30% smaller. Seven notches have been cut into the side of the Rs. 2 coin to make it more easily identified by visually impaired people. more..

At the apex of decision making

Dec 6 (DN) The hallowed halls of Hulftsdorp will be where the fate of SL’s most complex constitutional crisis is decided in the coming weeks, if not days, as major political parties map out strategies and counter strategies in their bid to gain control of govt. The battleground has now decisively shifted from unruly scenes in Parliament, the home of the legislature, to the courts of law, the home of the judiciary. Meanwhile, the executive continues to engage with different political parties more..

House of Horrors

Dec 6 (ST) With the political cum constitutional crisis deadlocked between the country’s two main political entities – the UNP (and its allies) and the SLPP/SLFP combine, the focus shifts next week to a resolution through the Supreme Court. However, whether a decision by the court on Dec 7 after hearing submissions by pro– and anti-dissolution of Parliament protagonists on Dec 4-6 would be adhered to or parties would continue to stick to their guns in Parliament, remains to be seen. more..