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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..

A brief history of English language films made in Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (Roar) SL cinema is overwhelmingly Sinhalese—the language of its majority, but that doesn’t mean that only Sinhala films were made here. Tamil cinema had some humble beginnings but was nipped in the bud by the unrest in the country. It’s only recently that it’s shown signs of a comeback, with the stellar Komaali Kings. As far as English films go, Chandran Rutnam’s According to Mathew is gaining traction. more..

The constitutional crisis and need for general election

Dec 6 (Island) The present constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka that originated with the dissolution of Parliament by the President on 9th Nov 2018 has aroused unprecedented interest of the people. This is a good omen as the Constitution imposes a fundamental duty on every Sri Lankan to uphold and defend the Constitution and the law. Several fundamental rights applications had been filed in the Supreme Court on 12th of November 2018 seeking inter alia- a. To quash the orders contained in more..

Appointment of PM: President now found contempt of parliament

Dec 6 (CT) Oct 26th 2018 will be recorded as an important date in the political history of Sri Lanka. It was the beginning of series of events that unfolded when the President of Sri Lanka acted unconstitutionally to sack a sitting PM, appointing a new PM (who even to date does not have command of the majority) and issuing a gazette to dissolve the Parliament. For any laymen the constitution is very clear and his actions could be termed as a well planned constitutional coup. more..

Dayasiri Jayasekara

Edtorial: Rating downgrades

Dec 6 (Island) Political instability invariably takes a heavy toll on a country’s economy with the passage of time. It is only natural that economists and members of the business community, here, have been appealing to the parties to the present political crisis to be mindful of the consequences of their actions and find a solution without further delay. The Supreme Court determination on the petitions against the dissolution of parliament is expected shortly. But court decisions alone will not help more..

Independence of the judiciary

Dec 6 (DM) Citizens have the highest expectations of the judiciary, and Judges’ rights are guaranteed by the Supreme Law of the country (Constitution) international conventions and Charter of the United Nations. Therefore States give special emphasis and protection for the judicial independence, Judges and the system of Justice. Independence of the Judges and judiciary should be real and not merely apparent safeguards in which guarantees is jealously guarded by all. more..

'Today there is no govt in the country'

Dec 6 (CT) UNP MP Gayantha Karunatileka says what is required, at this moment, is not a General Election but a Prez Election. Q: When the vote was held to suspend the Expenditure Head of the PM it was passed with 123 votes. With this, it will not be possible to continue with this govt. If so, is the UNP prepared to take over the Govt and run the country? A: Today there is no govt in the country. more..

Hashtag battles

Dec 6 (DM) There are political moments – like when President Sirisena addressed the media after his defection in November 2014 or Speaker Karu Jayasuriya surrounded by police officers without badges conducting parliament seated on the side next to a wall, an act of defiance as powerful as that of Sirisena, four years back. These moments, sometimes choreographed, have been catalysts for political movements in SL. The campaigns then get coated with catchphrases, slogans & visuals. more..

We want a home and country free of violence

Dec 6 (GV) The 16 days of Activism Against Violence Against Women, begins on the 25th of Nov and ends on the 10th of Dec, on International Human Rights Day. These 16 days of activism was created to raise our voices to end violence against women and human rights violations. For more than 20 years women activists have been speaking out to end violence against women. Nov 30th is South Asian Women’s Day dedicated for peace, justice, human rights and democracy. more..

Youth violence

Dec 6 (SO) We often come across violence in different forms. Murder, drug trafficking, thefts and sexual assault top the list. It would be tragic if the future of a nation is destroyed by violence. But, violence seems to be the new-trend among the youth of our country. The country is still reeling from the shock of two recent homicides, involving youth. The first incident was the murder of a student in Matara allegedly by another student and more..

No to disintegration, Yes to real harmony

Dec 6 (DM) We had a semblance of unity and peace at Independence in 1948. At that time we were materially on the way to growth, prosperity and mutual acceptance of equal dignity of human persons. The solidarity that was there could have been and should have been built upon with patience, insight and wisdom. Yet we seemed to neglect attending to the three qualities of mind, heart and spirit we needed most. While the prospects of material, temporal and worldly prosperity and more..

A truth truer than truth

Dec 6 (CT) We must not trust a man willing to die in glory but unwilling to live with truth and pride. Politicians who succeed in convincing themselves that the truth is identical with their self-interest turn out to be exceptionally good at being good liars. The best political liars are those who do not see reason and hence lie convincingly. Even when it becomes obvious that they are lying they insist that they are telling the truth and other party is guilty of untruth. When my son asked me if more..

Fitch downgrades SL financial institutions

Dec 5 (EN) Fitch Ratings said it has downgraded the ratings of National Savings Bank, Bank of Ceylon, DFCC Bank and People's Leasing & Finance, all with stables outlooks, after the sovereign rating was downgraded. The Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) downgrades were, National Savings Bank (NSB) to 'B' from 'B+', Bank of Ceylon (BOC) to 'B' from 'B+'; DFCC Bank to 'B' from 'B+'; more..

‘Solution to crisis exists only in Parliament’

Dec 5 (NR) UNP MP Harsha de Silva meanwhile believes that the solution to the present political deadlock exists only within Parliament. He said the executive has no authority to enforce decisions that led to this crisis. MP de Silva said the President’s power is that he can appoint a PM who has a majority in Parliament. He noted the President thought that Mahinda Rajapaksa has a majority adding however that the former Prez couldn’t claim a majority although he tried various ways. more..

Dinesh asks if Ranil is ready for polls why he opposes dissolution

Dec 5 (Island) If former PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe was ready for an election, there was no point in the UNP going to courts against the dissolution of Parliament, MP Dinesh Gunawardena said yesterday. "The current political crisis can only be solved through a general election. Mahinda Rajapaksa said Monday night that the SLPP would move the Supreme Court against the interim order issued by the Court of Appeal temporarily preventing him functioning as the Prime Minister. more..