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TNA says its support was conditional

Dec 12 (DM) The TNA said today that its support for the vote of confidence on UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was conditional to the granting of power devolution to the north and the east, the release of political prisoners and the land. TNA MP for Jaffna district Dharmalingam Sidaththan told Daily Mirror that his party extended conditional support for Mr. Wickremesinghe to get the required majority to become the Prime Minister. more..

Railway strike on December 26th?

Dec 12 (AD) Railway Trade Unions have decided to launch a 48-hour token strike from midnight of 26th of December, says the Locomotive Engineering Operators’ Union (LEOU). LEOU Secretary Indika Dodangoda stated that they arrived at this decision as a proper solution was not provided for their issues regarding salaries. Railway Trade Unions accuse that even the committee appointed to fix the salary issues didn’t provide a proper solution. Dondangoda further stated that more..

Cut-off marks for Grade 5 scholarship exam released

Dec 12 (AD) The cut-off marks for schools, following the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination have been released. The lists of the cut-off marks were released by the the school affairs branch of Ministry of Education. The results of the 2018 Grade Five scholarship examination were released on the 5th of October. The 2018 Grade Five scholarship exam was held on the 6th of August with a total of 355,326 students sitting the exam at 3,050 centres island-wide. more..

Mannar mass grave: Skeletal remains of 21 children unearthed

Dec 12 (AD) Three skeletal remains uncovered at the mass grave found in Mannar appear to have been tied with some substance, according to the JMO in charge of the inspection Dr S. Rajapaksa stated. These skeletal remains have been submitted to the Mannar Magistrate and future inspections will be carried out to identify whether the substance that had been tied to the skeletal remains is a metal or part of jewelry item, he said. more..

US lawmaker says Sri Lanka was forced to surrender sovereignty

Dec 12 (PTI) Asserting that Sri Lanka was forced to surrender the sovereignty of its deep-water port, Hambantota, a powerful US lawmaker on Tuesday sought an end to the Chinese debt trap. China was defrauding small countries with nonviable infrastructure projects and was charging exorbitant rates that the poor countries could not afford, alleged Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats. more..

Commander inaugurated the New Cricket Ground in Dombagoda

Dec 12 (DN) Lt General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army turning a new chapter for promotion of Army Cricket on Monday ceremonially, opened the newly-constructed cricket ground at SL Army Ordinance Corps Headquarters premises in Dombagoda where the finals in the Army Inter Regiment T-20 Championship were played for the first time in the new turf. The day’s Chief Guest, Commander of the Army was welcomed by Major General Bimal Vidanage, Chairman of more..

Video: We don’t accept confidence motion: Keheliya

Dec 12 (DM) UPFA MP Keheliya Rambukwella said that they don’t accept the motion of confidence presented and passed in support of UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament today. He said they were not in a position to accept anything done and said in an illegal and undemocratic parliament. “Anything passed in this parliament becomes null and void. That is the very reason why we have been boycotting more..

CaFFE chief cites fate awaiting Ranil to warn local councillors

Dec 12 (Island) Executive Director of CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon warned Local Councilors of Badulla District to refrain from engaging in business dealings with their councils. Addressing Local Councilors during a workshop, he said that a case had been filed against ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for being involved in a company that did business with the govt. "Earlier MP Rajitha Senaratne lost his parliament seat because the court found that he had done business with govt. more..

Investigations into Sunil Shantha handed over to the CID

Dec 12 (NR) IGP Pujith Jayasundara has ordered further investigations into notorious drug racketeer Ajith Weerasinghe alias, Sunil Shantha, who was arrested in Meemure after escaping from the Colombo Remand Prison, to be handed over to the CID. The Police Special Investigations Unit arrested Sunil Shantha last night after he escaped from prison on the 17th of Nov. Two female suspects and a male suspect were arrested while a cab was seized on charges of aiding more..

Hold referendum, if dissolution case is lost: Dr. Amarasekara

Dec 12 (DN) Federation of National Organisations Convener Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara called on President Sirisena to hold a referendum if the Supreme Court rules against the dissolution of Parliament. He said referring the matter to the people would be wiser than referring it to the SC judges. He argued that the President has the powers to call for a referendum to seek public opinion on any matter which more..

Estate workers protest against Thondaman

Dec 12 (NR) Estate workers in several areas have launched protests in opposition to the Chairman of the CWC and Nuwara Eliya District MP Arumugan Thondaman. The protesters claimed that MP Thondaman had instructed estate workers to call off the strike and return to services, without providing a solution to the strike held over several days, demanding a daily wage of Rs. 1,000. The protestors said the strike will not be called off until the daily wage is increased to Rs.1,000. more..

Two youths attempt to stab girl

Dec 12 (CT) Two youngsters, who arrived on a motorbike had attempted to stab a girl who was sitting the General Certificate of Education O/L examination yesterday morning at the exam centre, located at the Moneragala Nakkala-Rajyananda Maha Vidyalaya. A group of parents had acted swiftly and disarmed them. This was confirmed by the chief invigilator of the examination centre. He said he has informed the Zonal Educational Director Sarath Gunasekara about the incident. more..

JVP not concerned of whoever appointed to Premiership: Anura

Dec 12 (DM) The JVP was not concerned about whoever was appointed to the premiership, as the JVP was well aware of what both Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa did as Prime Ministers, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He told parliament that the JVP did everything possible to defeat the political coup and said whoever becomes the PM was not relevant to them. “If a new govt is appointed, more..

19A selling like hot cakes; outlets run out of stocks

Dec 12 (Island) Department of Govt Publication sales outlets are finding it difficult to meet the unprecedented demand for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and some of them have run out of stocks; they have placed orders for more copies. The sales outlet of the Govt Publication Department at Galle has sold all the copies of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution following the recent political turmoil. An employee of the sales outlet said that many persons including more..

Sri Lanka’s high ageing population, a cause for concern: WHO

Dec 12 (DN) WHO Representative Dr. Olivia Nieveras said the WHO selected Sri Lanka to hold the World Health Day this year in recognition of the significant health achievements in Sri Lanka. The social investments such as female education in Sri Lanka has helped the country to achieve good health outcome, she said. Sri Lanka has achieved a good progress in controlling Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), mother and child care, but need to be focused on rapidly aging population. more..

President informed on Ranil’s vote of confidence

Dec 12 (AD) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has informed the President in writing that the motion expressing confidence in Ranil Wickremesinghe to function as the PM has been passed at the parliament. Official Media Unit of the Speaker has confirmed that, the motion was debated according to the standing orders of the parliament and voted on via an electronic system as per the standing order 47(2) (b), to be passed more..

New system to obtain pictures for NICs

Dec 12 (NR) A new system has been introduced to obtain pictures for National Identity Cards according to international standards. The first phase of the programme is scheduled to get underway in the Western and Sabaragamuwa Provinces from next Thursday. According to the new system a hard copy of the picture will not be handed over to the applicant but instead an invoice containing a QR code that contains the number assigned to the picture will be issued. more..

Singer Upali Kannangara passes away

Dec 12 (DM) Veteran singer Upali Kannangara passed away this morning at the age of 67 at a private hospital, Sri Lanka Singers Association (SLASA) President Keerthi Pasquel said. He said Kannangara underwent a heart surgery after which he had been unconscious for four days. The remains would lie at his residence 19A, Fourth Lane, Jambugasmulla Mawatha, Nugegoda. The final rites are scheduled to be held on Saturday (15) at 4.00 p.m. at the Kohuwela Public Cemetery. more..

Sri Lanka’s crisis clouds fate of 20,000 missing people

Dec 12 (AT) After seven months of digging around the old Sathosa Building in Mannar, a city some 250 kilometers north of Colombo in Sri Lanka, the remains of some 266 people have been pulled from the clinging earth. While these bodies remain unidentified – and, in some cases, likely unidentifiable – few doubt that they are witnessing the exhumation of the first of 16,000 to 20,000 people who disappeared here more..

Complaint lodged at CID for twisting identity of Beruwala drug peddler

Dec 12 (DM) A compliant was lodged at the CID today against the false rumors that a close associate of Gotabaya Rajapaksa was allegedly involved in an incident where a large heroin haul weighing 231.5 kilogrammes was seized at Beruwala on Dec 5. The complaint was lodged by Attorney Gamini Ekanayake claiming that the false rumor had gone viral in the social media where a picture is being circulated in which Mr. Gotabaya and an individual named Mohammad Najmi appearing more..

Lawyer files motion claiming President insulted SC

Dec 12 (Island) Attorney-at-Law Anura Laksiri Unawatuna yesterday filed a motion in the Supreme Court claiming that President Sirisena had insulted the judiciary and interfered in the independence of the judiciary, by asking the Attorney General to request the SC to deliver speedily, the judgement in respect of the fundamental rights violation petitions filed against the dissolution of Parliament. The motion states the President’s action is in violation of Article 129 of the Constitution of SL, more..

Ranjith Aluwihare

We don’t want an executive presidency

Dec 12 (FT) The executive presidency was established in 1978. Since then there has never been as much hope for its abolishment as there is right now. It however still requires many actors to come together to work towards its abolishment. The 20th as brought to the house by the JVP is agreeable to all stakeholders. It will require a bipartisan movement within Parliament to pass. Civil society must now press for its legislative passing. If brought to current parliament it should pass. more..

Sooner the deadlock is over the better

Dec 12 (CT) The present state-of-affairs in SL is unwholesome where there is no operational Govt composed of a Cabinet of Ministers, State Ministers, Deputy Ministers and into the bargain, a PM. Executive Prez is the sole authority over the affairs of the country since the PM and the Ministers were sent on mandatory paid leave following the Court Order impeding them to function in their respective portfolios. This is an unprecedented situation which, if continued, can destabilize the country. more..

Video: Motion expressing confidence in Ranil presented

Dec 12 (AD) A motion expressing confidence in the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to function as the PM has been presented to the parliament. The motion was presented to the parliament by UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa. The motion reads, “that this House resolves that Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Member of Parliament commands the confidence of Parliament to function as the Prime Minister.” more..

Quo Warranto petition against Mahinda postponed to January

Dec 12 (AD) The Court has decided to hear the Writ of Quo Warranto on Mahinda Rajapaksa holding office as the PM on the 16th, 7th and 18th of January, 2019. This was decided when the case was taken up today. The Writ of Quo Warranto was filed by 122 MPs against Rajapaksa and his govt’s continuation in office after two no-confidence motions had been passed against it. Application was also taken up for consideration on Nov 30 more..

Estate workers’ strike concludes

Dec 12 (AD) The strike action launched by the estate workers demanding a basic daily wage of Rs 1000, which lasted for 08 days, has been concluded this morning. The leader of the CWC and Nuwara Eliya District MP Arumugan Thondaman stated that the strike came to an end following the discussion held with Prez Sirisena in this regard. During the discussion held at Presidential Secretariat last evening, the President had more..

Prez approves Akila’s mug shot

Dec 12 (Island) Prez Sirisena has instructed the Education Ministry to resume the process of distributing school uniform vouchers suspended on Nov 2 because they carry the picture of former Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. The incumbent govt found that the school uniform vouchers for the next year had already been printed and suspended the distribution thereof because Kariyawasam was referred to as the Minister of Education. more..

Govt expenses to be met through special provision: Yapa

Dec 12 (DN) Due to the absence of an Appropriation Bill, the govt may decide to raise loans in Sri Lanka or from overseas to meet the country’s operational expenditures through a special provision for loans under an Act of Parliament. UPFA MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that the country would have to face a crisis if it does not raise enough funds before the new financial year. “We have no desire to either burden the public, more..

'Norway, Canada, Germany continues to violate Vienna Convention'

Dec 12 (DN) The heads of the Canadian High Commission, the Norwegian and German embassies in Colombo are directly violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a former judicial officer of the European Court of Law pointed out,judicial officer and Law Professor Dinesh Gunasekera said. “The heads of missions from these sending States have acted in a manner ignoring their obligations under the Vienna more..

US envoy called upon to exercise diligence: Cabraal

Dec 12 (DN) The comments made by new American Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz that SL’s economy is in bad shape after Oct 26, is erroneous and damaging, said former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. He hoped that the foreign mission will be magnanimous enough to correct their statements. “I don’t think it’s a fair comment to make. The new ambassador does not know much. They should have had the care and foresight more..

Forum in Jaffna calls for people-centred democracy

Dec 12 (FT) A forum on democracy held in memory of late Somesasunthary Krishnakumar, Uni of Jaffna Senior Lecturer in History, was held in Jaffna on 9 Dec. Activists, students, academics, journalists, artists and others from different parts of the country, including Akkaraipattu, Kilinochchi, Kandy, and Colombo, discussed the ongoing political crisis, its historical origins, and what democracy should look like in the future. more..

Tradition in danger of dying out

Dec 12 (CT) The Traditional String Puppet Drama of Ambalangoda has been recommended by the UNESCO to be inscribed in the UNESCO representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). Speaking to Ceylon Today, Consultant in preparing nominations seeking the UNESCO status, Professor Emeritus of the Kelaniya University, Prof. B. D. Nandadeva, said that every two years the UNESCO requests for nominations from more..

Fear of the future freezes festive sales

Dec 12 (ST) Sharp rises in the prices of many goods and the unprecedented political crisis are affecting businesses at this critical sales time of Christmas and the New Year. Shoppers say the rising cost of living and political instability have made them cautious about how they spend their money. “I have worked here for 32 years and I have never seen a period as bad as this,” lamented K.P. Upatissa, an employee at a retail clothes more..

Mr. Executive, your office is bigger than yourself

Dec 12 (DM) When an electorate gets carried away with the candidate’s veneer of simplicity that concealed all the oozing that was rotting away within the presumed common man, consequences are seldom concealed. When he couldn’t match his flowing rhetoric with actual accomplishments on and off the field of politics, his acquired purity fades into nightmarish shadows. When the Executive does not realise that the office he holds is bigger than the person, the scope and expanse of office more..

The lad who set the paddy field ablaze….

Dec 12 (DM) What cost Bill Clinton a second term in office was not his affair with Monica Levinsky, per se. It was his sworn deposition and the public affirmation by him that he had nothing to do with the latter, which later was proved and he admitted, as false. He admitted the affair and that it was wrong and apologised. Yet as the Prez he had lost the confidence of the public, not only those who voted him to power. Prez Clinton himself, in the eyes of the American citizen, had become persona non more..