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What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but not when in Colombo

Oct 21 (CT) What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas or President Maithripala Sirisena appeared to have believed so when he made a comment to his Cabinet members of his belief that Indian intelligence service may have a link to the alleged assassination plot against him. While it was not immediately clear whether the President referred to Indian intelligence service being behind the assassination plot or the Indian national more..

Diplomatic damage control, after tensions flare in Cabinet

Oct 21 (SO) Each week on Tuesday, SL’s Cabinet of Ministers meets, with President Maithripala Sirisena presiding. With a fragile coalition primarily of arch political rivals in the governing seat, Cabinet meetings have been controversial and heated affairs for the better part of nearly four years. Yet last week’s fateful meeting was the first of its kind to cause major consternation away from these shores – and across the Palk Strait. As one senior presidential aide put it, more..

Sunanda Deshapriya vs Mahinda Deshapriya

Oct 21 (Island) At the time of writing, five Provincial Councils have ceased to exist and after next Tuesday, the Northern PC will also cease to exist as it completes its five year term. It is now more than a year since the Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provinces ceased to exist but no election has been held. The last time a govt tried to dodge holding elections in this manner was back in 1998. At that time, it was not a long delay like the one that we have experienced over the past year. more..

Face the Nation: Reconciliation & Constitution

Woes of migrant workers

Oct 21 (ST) Kussi Amma Sera was lamenting that a relative had gone to West Asia on work and had got into all sorts of difficulties. “Eyata godak karadara wuna (she got into a lot of difficulties),” she was telling Serapina during their usual Thursday morning conversation under the Margosa tree. I knew the case since Kussi Amma Sera had mentioned some weeks ago how a relative had gone abroad ostensibly on a visit visa, found a job and that was where things went wrong. more..

Mayhem in Paradise!

Oct 21 (ST) My dear Modi, I thought I should write to you because I assume you must be quite confused these days, what with our fellows here reportedly saying that Indian intelligence agencies want to assassinate them- and our PM turning up on your doorstep the very next day, saying namastey, how are you? Now, there was a time when assassination plots and assassinations were quite common in Paradise. That was when the Tigers quite literally called the shots. more..

SL Women: Bright stars in the int'l circuit

Oct 21 (CT) There is a crop of professional Sri Lankan career women scattered around the globe that we rarely hear about. They often work under the radar in fields such as Women’s Rights, Human Rights, Constitutional Rights, Media training, International Policy Development and other illustrious fields. Some of them live and work in conflict zones of the world. All of them bring tremendous credit to their country of origin. more..

Fear is the Key

Oct 21 (CT) India’s landlocked northern border is largely dominated by three seemingly hostile neighbours. While to her East and to her West she has only the Indian Ocean to run to. Under the circumstances she has developed a phobia about the security of her Southern Flank, separating her from SL by the tiny Palk Straits. Among India’s neigbours to her North is Pakistan, with which it has fought four border wars. Another is China, with which it fought a border war in 1962 and lost, more..

Govt. stuck in the port

Oct 21 (ST) The President got embroiled in an awkward diplomatic tangle this week by a statement he later officially retracted, or denied making. On the eve of his PM’s visit to India on state business, he reportedly attributed to the Indian external spy agency, RAW, imputations of trying to assassinate him. The story leaked from the Cabinet, where it was said he made the comment, to the media both local and foreign. The President was forced to act swiftly at damage-control by more..

Namal Kumara: The police informant who turned on his handler

Oct 21 (SO) Deep inside a rubber estate in a village near Alawwa a man clad in a shirt and sarong appears to be clearing a pathway with a mammoti. Just a few feet away out of sight an armed Police Constable keeps a constant watch, while another stands guard near his home accessible only by a steep, narrow footpath. The man going about his usual business under Police protection is Namal Kumara, former Police informant and more..

Cleaning up

Oct 21 (Island) Although conditions today are not what they were during the time the LTTE was waging war against the state and assassinating political leaders at will, and the JVP was doing likewise during its second adventure in 1988-89, political leaders in SL continue to be a tightly guarded lot. The police have various divisions called the Presidential Security Division, Prime Ministerial Security Division and Ministerial Security Division among others to ensure that the country’s more..

India: more than a good neighbour

Oct 21 (SO) All societies have neighbours whether in the immediate vicinity or further away. That is the nature of human society – interaction and inter-dependency being crucial for any long term survival and well-being. And, the closer the neighbouring society the greater the socio-cultural affinity and intimacy. Little Sri Lanka is lucky in that we have a large and well-resourced neighbouring state just 27 kilometres across the shallow Palk Strait. That neighbour, India, has been more..

UN asks Sri Lanka to repatriate commander in Mali

Oct 20 (AP) The United Nations asked the govt of Sri Lanka on Friday to immediately repatriate the commander of its 200-strong contingent assigned to the U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali following a review of his human rights background. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced Friday that the request for Lt. Col. Kalana Amunupure to leave the troubled West African nation was made “based on recently received information.” He gave no details. more..

This Govt rescued SL from Chinese debt trap: Mangala

Oct 20 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said it was the present govt that rescued Sri Lanka from the Chinese debt trap and thus ended the era in which not only our land but also its airspace of was entrusted to China. However, China announced earlier that Chinese loans only accounted to ten per cent of SL’s total debt burden. The minister said this at a function to mark the opening of a grain storage facility in Embilipitiya. He said though some elements accused the present govt of ensnaring more..

Special HC gives Gotabaya time to file objections

Oct 20 (Island) The Colombo High Court at Bar gave Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Secretary Defence, time till Nov 9 to file written submissions pertaining to the indictment in respect of the abuse of state funds to build the D. A. Rajapaksa Memorial at Hambantota. The amount allegedly abused is around Rs. 39.9 million. Rajapaksa has contended that all the money due to the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation has been duly paid back. There is no abuse of public funds. more..

Sajith exposes Opposition plot

Oct 20 (DN) Minister Sajith Premadasa accused the JO of trying to undermine the flow of foreign aid to the country fearing that it could erode their vote base ahead of the up-coming elections. As India poured over 1,200 million rupees to build houses for the poor and pledged more cash for construction, members of the former Rajapaksa regime feared they would have to remain in the Opposition. “If the country returns to them, they will stop releasing land to the landless and keep it for themselves. more..

MP Vijayakala’s case to be taken up on 7 Dec.

Oct 20 (FT) Colombo Magistrate’s Court yesterday ordered to take up the case filed against former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran over her controversial statements regarding the LTTE on 7 Dec. When the case was taken up before Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, the CID informed the Court that the investigations had been completed and the reports had been sent to the Attorney General. Accordingly, the Chief Magistrate ordered to take up the case again on 7 December more..

PM meets Congress leaders

Oct 20 (FT) Kicking off his visit to India, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday met Indian National Congress President Rahul Gandhi for discussions on the political and economic situation of the region, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. The discussions also centred on how to safeguard navigation in the Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka’s welfare system. Several Congress officials, including Sonia Gandhi, Anand Sharma, and Dr. Manmohan Singh, were also present at the meeting. more..

CID tells court it will arrest CDS next week

Oct 20 (CT) The CID yesterday (19), informed Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne that currently there was sufficient evidence to apprehend Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijeguneratne, on charges of facilitating the departure from the country of former Navy Lieutenant Commander Prasad Hettiarachchi alias Navy Sampath, who is the main suspect in the case involving the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009 from the Kotahena area. more..

Video: Fmr DIG Nalaka de Silva grilled for 9 hours by CID for 2nd day

Oct 20 (AD) CID has concluded the 2nd day of recording statement from the former DIG Nalaka de Silva on VIP assassination allegations and he would be informed to appear again, the police said. DIG Nalaka de Silva, former Director of the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID), is currently under investigation in connection with an alleged conspiracy to assassinate the President and the former Defense Secretary. He was questioned by the CIDfor nearly 9 hours yesterday and more..

Pakistan HC called on Minister for Science, Technology & Research

Oct 20 (PHC) High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat called on Minister Sarath Amunugama at the Ministry recently. During the meeting, the matters of mutual cooperation in varying levels and bilateral relations between the two countries were discussed. The High Commissioner apprised the Minister about the forthcoming visit of Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)’s delegation to Sri Lanka. more..

FUTA takes Wijeyadasa to task

Oct 20 (CT) The FUTA yesterday, criticized Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe for allegedly insulting University lecturers and the State University system by publishing a list containing the names of signatories who have taken loans to study abroad. Dr. Rajapakshe this week announced that the Govt would file legal action against approximately 483 academics in State Universities, the majority of whom, according to him, are working or domiciled overseas, more..

Video: Govt. attempting to cover up allegations against Sujeewa: JO

Oct 20 (AD) As the Board of Investment (BOI), People’s Bank and the Bank of Ceylon are facing corruption allegations, the arrival of the foreign investors into the country will crumble completely, the JO claims. Several representatives of the Joint Opposition stated this addressing a press conference. Meanwhile, MP D.V. Chanaka claims that the govt is trying to cover up the corruption allegations against the State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe over the alleged demand of commission to more..

Video: Fuel pricing formula not suitable for Sri Lanka: Ravi

Oct 20 (AD) The fuel pricing formula is not suitable for Sri Lanka, says the former Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake. He stated this responding to the queries raised by the media today (19). According to him, it is sufficient to formulate a method of determining the prices without being counterproductive to the CPC, while providing concessions to the public. Meanwhile, JO MP Shehan Semasinghe says that the fuel pricing formula has been introduced to hoax the public. more..

President’s RAW claim: The Hindu stands by its report

Oct 20 (Island) The Hindu newspaper stood by its report on President Sirisena’s remark at the last Cabinet meeting on an alleged RAW’s plot to assassinate him. The SL govt has so far issued three denials of the story and President Sirisena, in a telephone conversation, with Indian PM Narendra Modi also assured that he never made such a remark. N. Ram, the Chairman of Kasturi and Sons Limited, the publisher of The Hindu and the former Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper more..

Tourism accepted as Export industry: PM

Oct 20 (DN) PM said that the Govt cannot be pumping Rs. 200 to 300 million regularly to up keep the SriLankan Airlines. “It would have been more productive to have given this to the travel sector for their destination promotions,” he said. PM said that to develop tourism in Sri Lanka, they need to fly in tourists for lower airfare and also have more domestic airports. “We have now developed Batticalore, Trincomalee and Palali.” Premier said that the Mattala Airport would be once again made more..

‘No lack of consensus between President and PM on economic policies’

Oct 20 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe categorically denied that there is a lack of consensus between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickramasinghe on the govt's economic policies. When The Island Financial Review enquired from the minister about the wide perception among the people of the country that there is a cold war between the two leaders and that there is no constructive engagement between the two leaders on far-reaching economic issues and reforms, more..

Video: Sri Lankan Cricket is going backwards: Mahela

Oct 20 (SKY) Mahela Jayawardene hopes there is a swift and decisive resolution to the Sanath Jayasuriya saga to allow struggling Sri Lanka to move forward. Jayasuriya has been charged by the ICC with two breaches of its anti-corruption code, with the former opening batsman accused of failing to co-operate with an investigation and "concealing, tampering with or destroying evidence". Jayawardene feels SL have gone backwards on the field and are now "right at the bottom", more..

Lens on Mahinda Rajapaksa for rumours on Sirisena's assassination plot

Oct 20 (TOI) Rumours surrounding an alleged India-backed plot to assassinate SL President M R Sirisena might have entirely to do with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa's comeback bid, the success of which largely hinges on creating fissures in the cordial ties between the current regime in Colombo and New Delhi. Top Colombo-based sources in the Lankan govt told ET over the telephone that Rajapaksa, who is aiming to make a comeback in the next presidential polls in the island nation, more..

Merchandise export made little contribution to Sri Lanka’s growth: World Bank

Oct 20 (EN) Sri Lanka’s industrial production barely grew in the second quarter of 2018 with exports contributing little to growth and recent import tariff hikes counter-productive to increasing competitiveness, a new World Bank report said. Growth is strong in South Asia, but not driven by exports or manufacturing, the bank said in its South Asia Economic Focus. "Domestic consumption has been the main contributor to economic growth across the region, with exports or investment more..

Giving false evidence: Ravi can be a suspect: Magistrate

Oct 20 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake today clarified his order on Ravi Karunanayake being named as a suspect, observing that the order does not say he cannot be a suspect in the inquiry but questions the process by which he was named a suspect. He said this when a motion was taken into consideration in the magisterial inquiry on former minister Mr. Karunanayake in connection with giving false testimony at the PCoI on August 2 last year. more..

100 MW wind power plant to be installed by Denmark’s Vesta

Oct 20 (FT) Govt has received Cabinet approval to award a contract to construct a 100 MW wind power plant in Mannar with financial assistance from Asia Development Bank (ADB). The contract for the construction of the 100 MW plant on the southern beach of Mannar island will be awarded to Denmark’s Vesta Asia Pacific, a global leader in installing wind power plants as recommended by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved more..

Bangladesh win first Youth Test by 13 runs

Oct 20 (Island) Top order batting failures and run outs cost the hosts dearly as SL Under-19s conceded 13 runs defeat to their Bangladesh counterparts in the first Youth Test of the series at NCC ground on Friday. The match came to life when the hosts did well to skittle out Bangladesh for 115 runs in the second essay. But they failed to capitalise on the situation as the top order collapsed. The first innings hero Sonal Dinusha provided hope together with Chamindu Wijesinghe. more..

Govt. to revive Paranthan site as industrial zone

Oct 20 (FT) The land once occupied by the Paranthan Chemicals Company (PCC) has been earmarked for a large industry development site, which will also include Sri Lanka’s first heavy chemical industry zone, the Industry and Commerce Ministry said in a statement yesterday. “The factories of PCC that were discontinued in 1985 will be revived. The site will also expand to include a heavy chemical industry zone,” Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was quoted as saying more..

President has authority to dissolve boards: Harin

Oct 20 (FT) Minister Harin Fernando yesterday said President Maithripala Sirisena possessed the authority to dissolve Director Boards of State entities. Under the Govt regulations, Boards of Directors of Govt organisations need to be dissolved after completing their terms, he told reporters. Fernando stated that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had told him the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) Board of Directors would be changed, and that the need to change the Director Board of key Gove more..

Chamari leads Sri Lanka team to Women’s World T20 in Caribbean

Oct 20 (DN) Chamari Atapattu will lead a 15-member SL team to the sixth Women’s T20 World Cup to be held in the Caribbean from Nov 9-24. SL are drawn in Group A in the ten-nation tournament with England, South Africa, host West Indies and Bangladesh and play their opening match against England on Nov 10 at Gros Islet. In the past five World Cups, SL has not gone beyond the first round. West Indies are the current holders of the Women’s T20World Cup having won it in India in 2016. more..

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