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Treasury bond scams fallout lesson to all: JO

Feb 15 (Island) JO/SLPP spokesman Dallas Alahapperuma yesterday acknowledged the need to take remedial measures and examine corruption charges against the previous administration, He said so while referring to the fallout of the treasury bond scams involving Perpetual Treasuries Limited. The former minister said that any wrongdoing couldn’t be justified under any circumstances and treasury bond scams outcome was a lesson to all political parties and politicians. more..

PM’s blue-eyed boy gets the chop

Feb 15 (EN) SL's embattled coalition survived the most serious threat to its survival so far after a last ditch compromise that saw PM Wickremesinghe's authority reduced substantially. Coalition leaders blamed their downfall on Wickremesinghe's Royal College cabal, including PM's blue-eyed boy Sagala Ratnayaka, min. of Law, who is accused of failing to prosecute members of former regime. more..

Minimum age of criminal responsibility to be increased

Feb 15 (AD) SL is to amend the Criminal Procedure Code Act for increasing the minimum age of a child who is considered as responsible for a crime up to 12 years. The current minimum age of criminal responsibility in the country is 8 years. Minister Thalatha Athukorala had submitted a cabinet paper for Amendment of Criminal Procedure Code Act No – 15 of 1979 for the above purpose. It was decided to publish the prepared bill in gazette and present it in parliament for approval. more..

Over 2,200 Lankans sought refugee status in Japan last year

Feb 15 (Island) Over 2,200 Sri Lankans sought refugee status in Japan last year, the Ministry of Justice in Japan said. Japan approved only 20 out of a record 19,628 applicants for refugee status last year as authorities reject appeals they suspect come from job-seekers, Nikkei Asia reported. Last year saw an increase of 8,727 people applying for refugee status from 2016 levels, the Ministry of Justice reported. The total number set a record for the seventh year in the row. more..

Video: UNP to continue with unity govt and carry out party reforms - Kabir

Feb 15 (AD) Following a meeting with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP parliamentary group has decided to continue with the unity govt and carry out party reforms, UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said. MPs of the UNP met with PM for the second consecutive day at Temple Trees this morning to discuss the current political instability in the aftermath of the LG election. Minister Kabir Hashim, who was absent at more..

CB extends suspension of Pan Asia Bank primary dealer activities for 6 months

Feb 15 (LBO) Monetary Board of the Central Bank has decided to extend the suspension from carrying on primary dealer activities by Pan Asia Bank for a period of six months. Central Bank said the extension which will be effective from today will help them to continue with the investigations being conducted. CB emphasized that this regulatory action restricts bank’s access to the primary auctions for government securities but it does not affect any of the other activities of the bank. more..

Palitha Range Bandara resigns from electorate organizer post

Feb 15 (AM) UNP State Minister Palitha Range Bandara has resigned from his electorate organizer post in Anamaduwa. Range Bandara's letter of resignation had been set to UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim this morning. State minister's resignation from the electorate organizer post comes in the wake of the UPFA's plans to draw the support of a section of UNP MPs to form a govt. Rage Bandara's resignation suggests that he is dissatisfied with the current UNP leadership. more..

Sagala ready to give up his ministerial portfolio

Feb 15 (AD) Law and order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka says that he is ready to resign from his ministerial portfolio for the benefit of UNP. Minister made this statement on his official Facebook page today. Ratnayaka said that he informed the UNP Parliamentary Group that he has no intention of serving as the Law and order Minister. “I informed the PM this morning, that I will not hesitate to repatriate any position on behalf of UNP more..

SL to go ahead with sovereign bond sale

Feb 15 (EN) Sri Lanka will go ahead with an international sovereign bond as early in 2018 as possible Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the island's own bonds took a beating from market volatility. "We want to go early as possible," CB Governor said. "Clearly markets have become much more volatile." The yield on Sri Lanka's 6.2% 2027 US dollar sovereign bond which was trading around 5.4%, soared to about 6.1% amid int'l market volatility this month more..

Video: IUSF, IUBF conveners remanded

Feb 15 (DM) Inter-University Students' Federation (IUSF) Convener Lahiru Weerasekara and Inter University Bhikkhu’s Federation (IUBF) Convener Tempitiye Sugathananda Thera were remanded till Feb 28 by Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today on charges of disobeying previous court orders and causing a public nuisance by holding a protest at the Kollupitiya junction on Jan 25, during Local Govt elections. The Police said the protesters had forcibly attempted to enter the Temple Trees. more..

Horse-trading heats up

Feb 15 (CT) Political uncertainty is not showing any signs of abating in the midst of rumors regarding crossovers and horse-trading in the aftermath of the recently concluded local govt election, The uneasy political alliance between the SLFP and the UNP is all but torn apart following the February 10th electoral defeat of both parties at the hands of the SLPP. Colombo Telegraph learns that the leaders of the two parties, more..

Sri Lanka policy rates unchanged

Feb 15 (EN) Sri Lanka's central bank said it is keeping policy rates unchanged in February, as the economy stabilized and there were signs of recovery from a drought and improvements were seen in trade. "Nevertheless, as per the available indicators, the economy is likely to recover from the effects of adverse weather conditions in the past two years and benefit from the expected boost in external demand and foreign direct investment inflows" the central bank said. more..

Judge’s wife seeks justice from HRC for their child

Feb 15 (Island) Judges of various courts have decided to seek the involvement of higher authorities in govt to sort out the problem of finding schools for their children. They are being transferred from their respective courts once every three years and they find their children too have to shift from school to school and when it comes to Grade One admission, they find it nearly impossible to find schools for their children. As judges are bound by ethics in their profession they are not entitled to more..

ඔබගේ ශරීර අවයවයන් දන්දීම සිදු කරන්නේ කෙසේ ද?

Accomplice to crime is our own indifference

Feb 15 (FT) Since the JRJ govt came into power, all successive political leaders concentrated excessive power to politicians particularly to the Executive President and deliberately turned a blind eye towards errant politicos and their thieving henchmen. The country has therefore deteriorated into amobocracy, ruled by an assemblage of malefactors, which could lead to serious underdevelopment, civil unrest, and even state failure. Why did Yahapalana leaders fail to more..

Streamline free healthcare services

Feb 15 (CT) The ongoing news reports about the lack of medicine at certain hospitals, especially the Apeksha Cancer treatment hospital in Maharagama, are a crucial matter that has been inundated by the usual political nonsense in the country. While the people of the country can distract themselves from the astonishing results of the last election and find solace in daily television dramas and things that go viral on the internet, it is truly sad the country's lack of hospital medicine becomes secondary more..

'Coalition govt to continue, Cabinet reshuffle soon'

Feb 15 (EN) Sri Lanka’s coalition govt, an alliance between the two main political parties, UNP and SLFP, will continue despite losing LG polls, a spokesman said. A Cabinet reshuffle will be decided upon this week itself, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. The coalition did badly at last week’s LG polls, where the SLPP, a proxy party of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, emerged as the single largest party. more..

JO alleges US, India seeking to save UNP, SLFP ‘marriage’

Feb 15 (Island) The JO/SLPP alleged US and Indian efforts to save the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration in the wake of latter’s Feb. 10 drubbing at LG polls. JO/SLPP spokesmen, MPs Dallas Alahapperuma, Shehan Semasinghe, Sisira Jayakody and Thenuka Vidanagamage alleged those who had spearheaded 2015 project to oust Prez Rajapaksa were busy trying to save the coalition. more..

Mahendran fails to report at CID yet

Feb 15 (CT) Activities at the Ministries of Law and Order and Foreign Affairs, with regard to the former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran's return to the country, have come to a standstill due to the current political crisis within the Govt. Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne issued notice to Mahendran, on 5 Feb, to make an appearance before the CID to give a statement on or before today. With the time allocated for more..

Video: Will intervene but won’t take part: JO

Feb 15 (DM) The JO would intervene to form a Govt against the UNP, JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma said. However, he said that the JO would not participate in it. JO National Organiser MP Dullas Alahapperuma said the UPFA had expressed that it would form one of its own Govt without the UNP in it. “We don’t know how they would do it. We are not aware of the mechanism. However, if this is possible, we will intervene more..

Back to the chessboard?

Feb 15 (Hindu) SL’s LG election held on Feb 10 has become more than a mid-term poll that usually helps the opposition. Rather, it has led to an immediate political crisis of sorts, threatening the stability of the present govt. While the disunited ruling coalition, jointly headed by Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe, has lost the election badly, the newly formed SLPP, unofficially backed by former President Rajapaksa, more..

New Constitution now a dream: Tilvin

Feb 15 (CT) The JVP has pointed out that one of the important reforms, that had been peddled by the Unity Govt – the introduction of a new Constitution – will continue to remain a dream given the current political instability in the country. The JVP has noted that the country is currently facing a political crisis due mainly to the failure of both, the President and the PM, to honour the pledges given by them. more..

SL family allowed to stay in New Zealand

Feb 15 (ODT) A Sri Lankan family which won the support of the Queenstown community in its fight against deportation has been given a reprieve and will be allowed to stay in New Zealand for another year. Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker, who has been supporting Sri Lankan family, Dinesha Amarasinghe, Sam Wijerathne and their three boys Senath, Subath, and Binath, said more..

Election results leave Govt in disarray

Feb 15 (DM) Bitterness between UNP and SLFP that raged in the run up to the local authorities’ elections has now taken a turn for the worse in the aftermath of the shocking electoral defeat at last Saturday’s polls. The electoral defeat, a blow to the national unity govt formed between the two, created further ripples in the govt. So to speak, President Sirisena, who criticized the UNP during the elections, took yet another major swipe at more..

Love and Tragedy: Political romances of ancient Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (Roar) Sri Lanka’s first recorded love story is that of Vijaya and Kuveni—the former who is also recognised as the island’s first king. We say recorded, because the only source we have to draw information from is the Mahavamsa, a highly romanticised Pali epic chronicling the history of ancient SL dynasties, interspersed with myths, legends, and fantastical elements. It is almost impossible to know which bits are fictional, more..

Leprosy patients vote for first time; special booth in hospital

Feb 15 (ST) Once shunned by society with limited opportunities, leprosy patients were thrilled to have been given the chance to vote for a party of their choice at yesterday’s elections. At Hendala’s Leprosy hospital, in-house patients were among those who were keen on voting at yesterday’s elections. Candidates had visited the hospital to canvas support. “We were thrilled to be a part of the elections,” said K.A Leelawathie, more..

Mandate lost; No two words about it

Feb 15 (DM) Mahinda Rajapaksa, after losing the presidential election, making his now infamous from-the-window speech blamed it on the Tamils. It was a crass, knee-jerk conclusion which was racist and a complete disavowal of his own and significant flaws. He has since sobered up. Maybe the UNP will also sober up soon. It’s to their advantage to do so. Right now, it is apparent that the UNP is punch-drunk and even more incoherent than usual. Even more because lack of clarity on multiple issues more..

Workers on the move; quest for social justice

Feb 15 (DM) While the country awaits the decision of the high-level special committee appointed on Tuesday, to determine the future course of the national unity or consensus govt, responsible citizens should also focus attention on the creation of a just and fair society which the current administration pledged to do but has shown little progress. This may have been one of the other major reasons for the huge protest vote against the national govt’s two major parties at more..

President to make special statement today

Feb 15 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena is set to make a special statement today, regarding the future actions of the Govt. Sources said the President had held separate talks with MPs of both the SLFP and the UPFA on the current political climate and what future measures should be undertaken in the aftermath of the 2018 LG polls at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. A 10-member committee has already been formed to study more..

SLFP, UNP avert split, plan reshuffle

Feb 15 (Hindu) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have agreed to reshuffle the Cabinet, ending days of uncertainty over their coalition govt’s future after a recent local poll debacle. The two leaders met late on Wednesday night. The discussions were positive, according to a top source present at the meeting. The source refused to share further details. Neither of the leaders has made known his position after the meeting. more..

John confident Unity Govt won’t collapse

Feb 15 (Island) The concept of National Govt cannot be abandoned, since the people had given both the UNP and SLFP a mandate for that purpose, Minister John Ameratunga said last night, while talks on the issue, between the two sides were in progress in Colombo. President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe, many Ministers and MPs were in discussion, at the time this edition went to press, to decide on the best arrangement to govern the country, until the next Gen Election, which was due in Aug 2020. more..

Stalemate in Sri Lanka!

Feb 15 (FT) In a tit-for-tat move, the SLFP-led UPFA threatened to oust PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and form its own Govt, under the premiership of senior party man and current Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva yesterday, as the ruling coalition plunged deeper into crisis and disarray. The new political moves were set in motion after UNP Cabinet ministers, who convened at the official residence of the President with PM more..

Commission on Srilakan Air lines, Sri Lankan catering and Mihin Air named

Feb 15 (PMD) The members of commission to inquire and report the malpractices in Sri Lankan airlines, Mihin Air, Sri Lankan catering, during the period of 6th of Jan 2016 to 31 of Jan 2018 were given appointments at the presidential secretariat by President Maithripala Sirisena. Retired Supreme Court Judge Anil Gunarathna has been appointed as the President of the commission, and Court of Appeal Judge Gamini Amarasekara, Retired HC Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe, more..

Northern CM rejects economic assistance from Govt

Feb 15 (CT) Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran recently said, "the govt thinks Tamil people can be bought over by making them powerless. Even we are behaving in such a way. We should refrain from such behaviour and become powerful. We should change ourselves and they will stop grabbing from us," he said. Chief Minister further said, "Sinhala Political Leaders are very clear about their demands. But we are unclear of the ways to execute our demands. more..

Amendments to Local Authorities act needed: Elections Commission

Feb 15 (FT) Fresh amendments for the Local Authorities Elections Act would be essential to allow local governing bodies to establish councils, even without the mandatory 25% quota for women, under unique conditions. Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, addressing a media briefing, said that several LG bodies were faced with issues regarding establishment due to the lack of required female representation. more..

Counsel for Gota pleads not to file Certificate in Public Property Act

Feb 15 (FT) Court of Appeal yesterday further extended the Interim Order till 28 February, preventing the FCID from acting on the Certificate (B Report) under the offences against the Public Property Act in the Magistrate’s Court against former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya. The Bench was comprised of Justices P. Padman Surasena (President/CA) and Shiran Gooneratne and the matter of extending the Interim Order is to be resumed on 17 February. more..

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