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No debate or vote on Presidents policy statement: Experts

Apr 23 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to deliver the Policy Statement of the coalition govt at a ceremonial sitting when the second session of the Eighth Parliament commences on May 8. This statement however, will not be up for debate or a vote, contrary to unfounded claims. Based on Article 33 of the 1978 Constitution, President has the power to summon or prorogue Parliament at any time more..

'No lavish spending during new Parliamentary session'

Apr 23 (NR) Office of the Speaker of Parliament rejected media reports that claimed that an exorbitant amount will be spent to inaugurate the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament. It is due to commence on the 8th May after President issued a proclamation to prorogue the Parliamentary session. The sitting will commence after the lunch break on the 8th of May and noted that the office will not spend an excessive sum to hold the opening sitting of the new Parliamentary session. more..

SLFP will leave the Unity Govt. if President decides: SB

Apr 23 (DM) Former Minister S.B. Dissanayake said it would be easy to prevail upon the Central Committee of SLFP to leave the unity govt if President Sirisena decided for it. Mr. Dissanayake, along with 15 others, relinquished their ministerial responsibilities. He said that all the 16 members would join the Opposition in Parliament next time. He said this group was trying to prevail upon the entire Central Committee of the SLFP to take a common stand to leave the govt. more..

Let Sajith, Navin bat for party: Ranjan tells UNP hierarchy

Apr 23 (DM) UNPers such as Sajith Premadasa and Navin Dissanayake should be allowed to play a major role in running the party, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said today. “Members like Sajith and Navin should be allowed to bat now that Mr. Wickremesinghe had got several chances to bat for the party,” he said using cricketing jargon at a media briefing last morning. "Mr. Wickremesinghe batted in 2002 and more..

Designers of Sri Lanka’s Future: Episode I Nihal Ranasinghe

Apr 23 (FT) To sustain economic growth, Sri Lanka needs a critical pool of daring people who would see things differently and design a new future. The Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter identified four ground requirements for a country to attain sustained economic growth: Invention, innovation, diffusion and imitation. Sri Lanka has such people, but they are hidden from the limelight. In a new series, we bring out the innovations they have made so that, as Schumpeter expected, more..

Yahapalana marriage to continue in reduced circumstances

Apr 23 (CT) The unity arrangement between the SLFP and UNP will be rebooted once President Maithripala Sirisena returns to the island upon the conclusion of the CHOGM. Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera, who is currently in the UK speaking to a group of journalists at a private gathering in last 20th evening disclosed that the current impasse with respect to the reshuffling of the cabinet is likely to be resolved when the President returns. more..

අපේ ගීතයේ ගමන කොතැනද?

Six persons killed on two days

Apr 23 (Island) The police headquarters yesterday said that on 21 and 22 April six killings had been reported from Teldeniya, Ragama, Mahiyanganaya, Kurunegala and Nittambuwa. The victims was Mujil Mohamed Akram (35) of Rajawella, Kumukkandura in Teldeniya. He had been attacked with a sharp object, police said. The suspect had gone into hiding. In Nugegoda, Ragama two persons were attacked with and one person died. The deceased was Tuan Usman Rahim (35) of Nugegoda. more..

Exemplary Indian legal action

Apr 23 (CT) Indian Govt has approved the death penalty for child rapists, after the gang rape and murder of an eight year old girl child in Kashmir recently. Indian PM Narendra Modi soon after returning to the country from attending the Commonwealth summit in London a few days ago had convened a Cabinet Meeting and made the legal action effective to punish the child rapists in India with death sentence. Indian Govt’s action initiated by PM Narendra Modi is more..

Looters as Rulers: SL needs real ministers, a real cabinet and a PM to play monitor

Apr 23 (EN) Corruption in Sri Lanka's govts is partly due to the lack of an independent public service and permanent secretaries, but also due to the structure of administration where the PM of President holds key portfolios. Sri Lanka's current administration with PM Wickremesinghe under fire for corruption in the central bank which is part of his portfolio, and for the auctions of a dubious gatekeeping committee under him, more..

Capacity building to manage public debt and liability is need of the hour: Eran

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka as a developing nation needs to focus on building capacity for public debt and liability management as matter of priority, State Minister of Finance said. “We recognize the importance of putting in place policies to reduce debt vulnerabilities and also look forward to hearing the perspectives of the WB and the IMF on supportive multilateral responses,” State Minister of finance, Eran Wickramaratne said more..

No Chinese militarization of H’tota Port: PM

Apr 23 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has rejected the reports of Chinese militarization of the Hambantota Port. When Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan called on the PM on Friday, Premier said, “There is no issue of Chinese militarization of the Hambantota Port at all. Sri Lankan Navy is the sole military force responsible for the security of the Port,” he said. At the meeting, it has been noted that more..

Maha 2018 rice production rebounds 62%

Apr 23 (EN) SL's rough rice production in the main Maha cultivation season has been upped to 2.4 million metric tonnes, rebounding 62% from the drought stricken season last year, though output will be 14% below normal. The forecast by Dept of Agriculture is based on 643,161 hectares of paddy land sown up to Feb 2018, up from an earlier forecasts of 2.14 metric tonnes based on 601,000 hectares sown. more..

Sri Lanka foreign reserves fall to US$ 7.3 billion in March

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s official reserves have dropped to US$ 7,309.11 million in March from US$ 7,914.33 million in February. Foreign currency reserves were US$ 6,343.17 million and reserves in gold were US$ 894.73 million in March. Reserve position in the IMF was US$ 69.57 million. CB’s Treasury bill holdings were down from 13,262.03 million rupees by end February to 12,916.56 million rupees by end March. more..

Immediately screen 49 peacekeepers deployed in Lebanon, UN tells Lanka

Apr 23 (ST) SL Govt must immediately prioritise the completion of the screening of 49 soldiers deployed to Lebanon in February, a spokesman for UN Peacekeeping has told Inter Press Service (IPS). The UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has also notified Sri Lanka that, if concerns arise regarding the 49 personnel already deployed to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), it may request that more..

Committee appointed to look into Education Sector political victimisation

Apr 23 (DM) A three-member investigation committee had been appointed by the Ministry of Public Administration and Management to look into the possibilities of providing relief to about 1,000 education sector employees, who faced political victimisation during the recent past. Following a meeting held on Friday, the committee headed by the PM’s Coordinating Advisor for Public & Trade Unions Jinasena Dadallage and two officials more..

Post-NCM developments: Yuthukama questions rationale behind SLFP-UNP pact

Apr 23 (Island) Civil society group Yuthukama convenor Gevundu Cumaratunga questioned the rationale behind the UNP’s readiness to continue with the controversial yahapalana arrangement with Prez Maithripala Sirisena as the SLFP leader had personally requested PM Wickremesinghe to resign immediately after the humiliating defeat the coalition partners suffered at the Feb. 10 LG polls. more..

20th Amendment in Parliament next month

Apr 23 (NR) JVP today said the 20th Constitutional Amendment to abolish the Executive Presidency will be presented in Parliament next month. MP Nalinda Jayatissa said the 20th Constitutional Amendment has been drafted and will be presented as a private member bill. MP said no political party can oppose the bill in principle. He noted all major parties have proposed to abolish the Executive Presidency during several elections more..

The lesser known museums of Colombo

Apr 23 (roar) Colombo’s National Museum is definitely one of our capital city’s biggest—and oldest—landmarks, which should be visited at least once in a lifetime. This elegant structure, with its white walls and wide lawns, dates back to late 19th century Ceylon, and with its central location in Colombo 07, it is a place quite hard to miss. The museum was the brainchild of Sir William Henry Gregory—British Governor of Ceylon more..

16 squad promoting SLFP-SLPP alliance?

Apr 23 (DM) The 16 squad is extremely busy, in fact three of them flew to London in the wake of latest developments, to convince the boss on the importance of patching up with former strong man, the most popular politician of the day; did they carry a message from the former boss? In today’s context there is just one thing that interests our politicians; that is their own survival. The mission of the three beleaguered MPs, Dilan Perera, Chandima Weerakkody and Lakshman Perera more..

The end of an era in Cuba

Apr 23 (DM) On April 19, President Raul Castro stepped down from his position as President of Cuba. National Assembly swore in Diaz-Canel, the 57-year-old vice president as President of Cuba. It marked a generational shift. For the first time since Marxist revolutionaries seized power in the island nation, the country will be led by a person who did not participate in the 1959 revolution and whose name is not Castro. On Jan 1, 1959 Fidel Castro together with his brother Raul, Che Guevara more..

Beach Boy menace: Industry slams govt

Apr 23 (CT) The travel and hotel industry slammed the authorities for failing to stem the Beach Boy menace in the country’s tourist hot spots, adding that it was one attributing factor to the recent assault on foreigners at a location in Mirissa. “The Govt is locking the door after the horses have bolted and this should never have been the case”, Trevor Rajaratnam, President of the Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) said. more..

Three persons to be in charge of Sirikotha

Apr 23 (DM) UNP Headquarters is to be handed over to three persons who will be holding three major positions in the party as per the reorganization of the party. The party headquarters will be divided into three sections in accordance with the responsibilities which will be given to General Secretary, National Organizer and the Propaganda Secretary which is going to be a newly created position. General Secretary will be in charge of administration of Sirikotha while more..

New cabinet: Prez wants numbers reduced

Apr 23 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena had told the UNP to reduce the number of Cabinet ministers to 43 from the proposed 49. Sources said that several ministers would retain the same ministerial portfolios, though the UNP and the SLFP were yet to agree on the number of ministers. In accordance with the 19th Amendment, two political groups could decide on the number of ministers in case they formed a coalition. Otherwise, 19-A restricts the number of ministers to 30. more..

Fuel pricing formula, an IMF condition: JO

Apr 23 (Island) JO spokesman Bandula Gunawardena, MP, alleged that the govt was about to introduce a fuel pricing formula at the behest of the IMF. He accused the govt of having given in to IMF dictates. The JO strongly opposed the pricing formula, as the people were struggling to make ends meet, Gunawardena said. Predicting that the pricing formula would be introduced on May Day, he said that JO May Day rally would more..

Army to erect Vesak pandal in Malaysia

Apr 23 (SLA) Arrangements are underway to put up the first-ever Vesak pandol erected by Army in Malaysia on account of the forthcoming Vesak season, in an attempt to show the glamour and significance of Vesak spirits to Malaysians.Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army who paid a visit to the Brickfield Buddhist temple in Kuala Lumpur while he was in Malaysia to attend the 16th edition of Defence Services Asia Exhibition more..

Subjects readied for new Ministers

Apr 23 (CT) The scientific preparation of the different subjects coming under the purviews of different ministers, was completed last Wednesday, in view of the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle, Secretary to the President, Austin Fernando revealed. Report on the new subjects, coming under the various ministers, was faxed on the same day to Prez Sirisena, who is attending the CHOGM in London, Fernando said. He added that a copy of the report had been handed over by Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to PM. more..

Minister Musthapha against removing unauthorized buildings in Mirissa

Apr 23 (DM) Minister Faiszer Musthapha today opposed the Coastal Conservation Department’s decision to remove unauthorized constructions along the coastal belt in Mirissa by May 1. He explained that the decision made by the Coastal Conservation Department Director Prabath Chandrakeerthi was an arbitrary one. He said the Department could remove any illegal construction in coastal belt, however, if the motive is hamper more..

Video: Main suspect of Attanagalla shooting incident identified

Apr 23 (AD) The main suspect involved in the Attanagalla shooting incident has been identified, the police said. He has been identified as Chamara Jayasundara alias Udammita Samare who was released on bail with regard to a previous murder reportedly taken place in Veyangoda. One person was killed and four including a pregnant woman sustained injuries during a shooting incident reported near Attanagalla temple last night (21) according to Police Media Office. more..

SLFP CC in favour of unity govt: Fowzie

Apr 23 (NR) State Minister AHM Fowzie says the Central Committee of the SLFP will most likely consent to the party remaining part of the unity govt till 2020. He said the group of SLFPers who resigned from their Ministerial posts recently have tabled proposals to the Central Committee citing reasons to leave the unity govt. State Ministersaid 23 members of the SLFP including him will remain with the government till 2020. He added the term of the unity govt comes to an end in 2020 more..

'New Cabinet to be sworn in this week'

Apr 23 (DN) The full set of new Cabinet Ministers will take their oaths this week, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He disclosed this at a meeting held at Panadura DS on Jan 21. Meeting was held to mark the distribution of furniture and other equipment among 14 social organisations in the division. He said the new Cabinet has been formulated on a scientific basis. It would be a full Cabinet. Ministers would take oaths once more..

Launch of new interface of Foreign Ministry website

Apr 23 (Island) A new interface of the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been launched. URL for the website remains the same, at:- The new interface has been designed to be mobile responsive and accessible across different devices, platforms and browsers; to provide a more user-friendly interface for the web-user and public Comprehensive updated information in important sections such as key profiles, contact details of ministry officials and divisions; more..

JVP has ulterior motives to abolish Executive Presidency: NFF

Apr 23 (NR) The National Freedom Front has alleged that the JVP is attempting to table a proposal in Parliament to abolish the Executive Presidency in order to divide the Joint Opposition. NFF Media Spokesman Mohammad Muzammil said the JVP is keen on abolishing the Executive Presidency when the country is facing economic and political instability. He said the JVP is attempting to destroy the JO through the govt by directing attention to a single weakness of the JO. more..

Lakdanavi wins Kerawalapitiya 300MW LNG power plant tender

Apr 23 (ST) After a string of bureaucratic hullabaloo in tender procedure, the much delayed Kerawalapitiya 300MW Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) power plant bid was recently awarded to Lakdanavi Ltd, the largest independent power producer in the country. The 18 month impasse in selecting a suitable bidder to build the 300MW Kerewalapitiya LNG Power Plant has ended marking a significant step forward for more..

ADB receives $12.6 million grant from We-Fi to promote SL women entrepreneurs

Apr 23 (ADB) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has received $12.6 million of funding for 2018 to 2020 from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) to generate more resources for Sri Lankan women-led businesses. The grant—one of three awarded under the inaugural call for proposals—enhances ADB’s support for women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), vital for economic growth and job creation in Sri Lanka. “The We-Fi financing supports ADB’s more..

CBK takes JO to task

Apr 23 (DN) Former President Rajapaksa has been conspiring to break up the govt and cause division between the President and PM for the last three years, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said. The group of 16 SLFP MPs who voted in favour of the No Confidence Motion (NCM) was part of that conspiracy launched by Rajapaksa’s agents, Kumaratunga said. Attending a New Year festival held in Attanagalla, she said the SLFP had still not discussed the 20th Amendment more..