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We want to turn it around as much as the fans: Sadeera

Oct 20 (DN) Sadeera Samarawickrama one of SL’s talented young batsmen expressed the views of his team that they were keen to put a stop to their current losing trend and turn the corner in one-day international cricket where they have lost the formula to win consistently. Wins in the last two ODIs of the five-match series against South Africa followed by a win in the one-off T20I against the same opposition raised hopes that Sri Lanka had finally broken away more..

Confident England seek to close out rain-impacted ODI series

Oct 20 (CI) A fortnight into England's tour of Sri Lanka, and a pattern has settled over the cricket that has so far been possible. Invitingly clear skies in the mornings have invariably given way to torrential afternoon downpours and if, in between whiles, there's been enough opportunity to get a contest underway, then the players have slotted into whatever windows present themselves. It's not exactly ideal, but for England - 2-0 up after three truncated contests and more..

Is our democracy run by mindlessness and mediocrity?

Oct 20 (Island) The title of the editorial yesterday (18), Terminal fracas referred to the heated debate in the Cabinet over the sale of another state asset, the profit making eastern terminal at the Colombo port, but it subliminally suggested the terminal illness that has befallen our entire democracy. Any democratic society assumes two things: the existence of a public, the very seat of sovereignty, and responsive leaders. By extension, that public must be articulate and knowledgeable, more..


People will decide Wigneswaran’s fate

Oct 20 (CT) The term of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is to end on Tuesday (23) and the Council will be dissolved then. Correspondingly, the five-year-term of the Chief Minister of Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran ends on the same day. After bowing out of the portfolio as Chief Minister of Northern Province, subsequent to the ending of the term of the above Provincial Council, Wigneswaran is to declare his political future on 24 Oct, said the Tamil People’s Council (TPC). more..

Ending poverty; Not charity, but justice

Oct 20 (DM) The day after the UN World Food Day which we observed on Tuesday (16), the world body on Wednesday marked the Int'l Day for the Eradication of Poverty with the significant theme being “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.” In a statement, the UN’s Economic and Social Affairs Department said 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and more..

Raw, Raw, Raw - Dilliye

Oct 20 (Island) This seems a real raw situation. It now looks like the word RAW was never heard at the last Cabinet meeting. What on earth was the media doing? Surely it could have sought the information on the RAW facts from the Right to Information! Looks like President Sirisena had nothing to say there about RAW – the Research and Analysis Wing of the Indian Intelligence Institution. Why should he? Is it because Mahinda has said it earlier? more..

Early warning systems a must to achieve zero hunger

Oct 20 (DN) Sri Lanka is one of the signatories of the UN mandate on Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture is the second sustainable development goal. Working for zero hunger and achieving this goal was the theme of World Food Day 2018. Wasting less, eating better and adopting a sustainable lifestyle are key aspects in building a world free of hunger. Simple actions of achieving this goal are reducing food waste, more..

President strikes perfect balance

Oct 20 (DN) Striking the headlines repeatedly this week, President Maithripala Sirisena brought new emphasis to his political message at home, raised concerns from India, and punctuated the growing differences between the UNP and SLFP in the governing coalition. The big headline that bothered India on the involvement of RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) in an alleged assassination plot on him, saw a clarification from the President’s Media Office; but more..

President Sirisena’s Cabinet comments strike a RAW nerve in India

Oct 20 (DM) Maithripala Sirisena is a man of many surprises. SL’s sixth executive President has a penchant to make controversial remarks and startling revelations on more than one occasion. Most of these sensational disclosures explode in the public domain with a powerful bang and then fizzle out into pathetic whimpers. The latest in this series were some comments purportedly made by Prez Sirisena at the Cabinet ministers meeting last week concerning an alleged conspiracy more..

No Peace in Rest

Oct 20 (GV) The Sri Lankan State’s erasure of the complex history and experiences of the war manifest in varying ways across the country; military monuments that showcase a single victory narrative, the construction of Buddhist statues in Tamil-majority areas and the blatantly incorrect signboards at several of these locations. Then, there is the desecration of the LTTE maaveerar thuyilum illam, which loosely translates to great heroes’ resting places. more..

Trade liberalization or rationalization? What is more desirable?

Oct 20 (CT) Trade liberalization or free trade has come to a sharp controversy in the context of recent and ongoing rupee depreciation. However, it has been thoroughly a discussed topic internationally, both theoretically and empirically, although not conclusively. There is a school of thought closer to the economic decision making in Sri Lanka quite surprisingly argues that the country’s rupee depreciation and related economic ailments like the adverse balance of payment, sluggish export growth, more..

Heads of three State institutions refuse to resign

Oct 19 (DM) Despite a news item that went out from the Prez's office to the effect that the President had dissolved the Boards of Bank of Ceylon, Peoples Bank and Board of Investment, as of last night none of the heads of these institutions had resigned from their posts, it was reported. Unofficial sources revealed that the Chairmen and Directors of these institutions had taken a decision not to resign from their posts as ordered. more..

Terrorism charge against SL student dropped

Oct 19 (ABC) Police are dropping terrorism charges against a NSW University student who was accused of plotting to assassinate Australian politicians, with the lawyer for the Sri Lankan national threatening legal action against the police. Kamer Nizamdeen, 25, was arrested in August and accused of writing in a notebook about plans to kill former PM Malcolm Turnbull and his former deputy Julie Bishop. more..

Sri Lanka reverses $300-mln China housing deal ahead of PM's India visit

Oct 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has reversed a decision to award a $300-million housing deal to China in favour of a joint venture with an Indian company, the govt said, ahead of a visit by the PM to its South Asian neighbour. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will meet his counterpart Narendra Modi on Saturday in New Delhi, for talks. The two countries have long-standing ties, partly because of cultural and ethnic links with Tamils, more..

Councillor Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe charge sheeted in Colombo High Court

Oct 19 (CT) A charge sheet was handed over to the Colombo High Court yesterday against Western Provincial Councillor and a member of JHU Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe on the allegation of giving false evidences in relation to the RADA case. The charge sheet was handed over to the Court by President’s Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty, who appeared for first defendant, former Chairman of RADA, more..

Halt Building New Hotels in Colombo

Oct 19 (CT) The Hotels’ Association of SL President Sanath Ukwatte asked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to consider halting the building of new hotels in Colombo because of falling prices. He said that the occupancy at the city hotels averaged at 60 per cent and during off-season, 40%. He said that this low occupancy was not due to too little tourists visiting Colombo, but due to too many hotels and hotel rooms. more..

Ministerial Consultative Committees restored

Oct 19 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has restored ministerial Consultative Committee system following representations made by some MPs. Parliament abolished the ministerial Consultative Committee system in Dec 2015 to pave the way for the Sectoral Oversight Committees. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe explained the restoration of the Consultative Committee system about a month ago to address grievances which couldn’t more..

Sri Lanka could consider capital controls for rupee slide: economist

Oct 19 (EN) SL could consider temporary controls on capital outflows to halt a slide of the island's soft-pegged rupee following in the example of Malaysia, though they are not popular, an economist said. The Central Bank has faced two runs on its reserves in 2018, as a soft-peg with the US dollar weakened amid unsterilized excess liquidity. "One policy tool which we haven’t discussed or considered is temporary more..

MR’s confirms judicial independence under this Govt: Ajith P

Oct 19 (DM) Responding to former president Rajapaksa’s remarks on the Court acquitting former MP Johnston Fernando, State Minister Ajith P. Perera said it showed Mr.Rajapaksa had admitted to the fact that the judiciary independent under this govt. He said that Mr.Rajapaksa and his supporters repeatedly claimed that the judiciary was not independent today and was unduly influenced by the govt and therefore they did not trust it. more..

Homeless ask why no land for housing but plenty for business

Oct 19 (DM) Last Monday, on World Habitat Day a demonstration organised by Janawabodaya Kendraya, which opposes economic globalisation, was held from Negombo Municipal Council up to the Rukmani Devi Arts Gallery at Negombo, where they held a meeting demanding houses for the homeless, under the banner where shall we dine tonight? Headed by Rev. Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda, other religious leaders and more..

GMOA’s shenanigans

Oct 19 (DM) The GMOA, under the signatures of their President Anuruddha Padeniya and Secretary Haritha Aluthge had sent a two page letter in Sinhala to President, with copies to the PM, to the Speaker of Parliament, to all Cabinet Ministers, to all MPs, to the Attorney General and many others except the media, with the long title “To keep you informed of damage caused to the SL Medical Council and to whole health system more..

Trysts of the TNA

Oct 19 (DM) It is natural for one to recall the leaders of the constituent parties of the TNA crowning of the LTTE some time ago as the sole representatives of the Tamil people, when the TNA leader Rajavarothyam Sampanthan said last week that Tamils could have won their rights through a nonviolent struggle, rather than resorting to an armed struggle. Yet, he seems to be sincere when he confessed on behalf of his community about the armed struggle that went on for over 30 yrs. more..

Keeping ends warm with India

Oct 19 (DM) This is a country which is harping on solving its ‘national question’; how to find a viable solution to the grievances of the minority Tamils. But despite this question being spoken about in the open, there is a question that seems to be addressed behind closed doors. That question is; how to unite the president and the prime minister? The relationship between Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesignhe was deteriorating over the past several months & reached boiling point more..

UNP meets President to discuss decision to dissolve director boards

Oct 19 (FT) Senior UNP Ministers yesterday held discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena in an attempt to persuade the latter to reverse the decision to dissolve the boards of directors of several state institutions. The President on Wednesday issued instructions to dissolve the director boards of Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank and the Board of Investment, deepening the rift between the coalition partners. more..

More than 132,000 smuggled fags found in two boxes

Oct 19 (Island) Customs officials recovered 662 cartons of foreign cigarettes from two baggage boxes shipped from Dubai yesterday. The contraband was found at an unaccompanied personal baggage warehouse situated in the Wattala area. Cigarettes were concealed under two false bottoms of boxes and 277 cartoons containing 55,400 sticks valued at Rs. 2,770,000 were found in one box while the other one had 385 cartoons containing 77,000 foreign cigarettes valued more..

Warning sign boards removed following social media protests

Oct 19 (DM) The sign boards which were displayed in the premises of the Koggala Martin Wickremesinghe Museum and Children Park by the Community Police Unit in Habaraduwa restricting tourists with swim-wear, were removed by the police following objections by the people on social media, police said. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) yesterday said the Authority was concerned about the displayed notice by the Community Police Unit in Habaraduwa. more..

Govt takes safeguards to face economic challenges: Mangala

Oct 19 (DN) Sri Lanka’s potential remains as bright as ever despite some of the dark clouds gathering in the horizon globally, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. “While the country is facing a couple of challenging years, the govt has managed to build the necessary safeguards to face these challenges in a successive manner,” he told the SL Retail Forum 2018 under the theme Towards a Dynamic and Evolving Retail Sector more..

BOI director general not resigned

Oct 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency, said its director general Duminda Ariyasinghe had not resigned. "There have been some media reports that the Director General of the BOI, Mr Duminda Ariyasinghe has tendered his resignation," the statement said. "The BOI wishes to communicate that these reports are untrue." The statement came amid reports that President Maithripala Sirisena had asked the Board of Directors of BOI and state banks to resign. more..

MPs allowances cost Rs.652 million last year

Oct 19 (DN) Parliament had spent Rs.652 million to pay the allowances of MPs last year, a senior Parliament official said. He told the Daily News that Parliament had spent Rs.118 million to pay the MPs’ salaries and sittings allowance, Rs. 115 million to pay for the MPs’ fuel allowance, Rs.135 million to pay for the MPs’ postal and telecommunication allowance, Rs.259 million to pay for MPs’ rental and Rs 25 million to pay for the MPs’ transport allowance. more..

US Embassy & PM inaugurate US- funded monastery restoration in Rajagala

Oct 19 (USE) A stupa restored under a project funded by the U.S. Department of State through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation was inaugurated by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Funding for the project, initiated in 2013, totals nearly Rs. 43 million ($250,000). Counselor for Public Affairs David McGuire represented the Embassy at the event. The project includes the conservation and restoration of more..

President tightens security after assassination plot

Oct 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka's President has heightened his security following reports of an assassination plot involving an alleged Indian intelligence operative, his advisor said on Thursday. Maithripala Sirisena took the undisclosed security measures after a police informant claimed that a senior officer discussed with him plans to kill the president, advisor Shiral Lakthilaka said. “The president has taken the threat very seriously,” Mr. Lakthilaka told reporters in Colombo. more..

UNP appoints its first CEO

Oct 19 (DM) UNP appointed Chamal Senarath as its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Mr. Senarath obtained his letter of appointment from UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam last morning. The proposal for the appointment of a CEO was approved by the working committee on Wednesday. Mr. Senarath was a one time Leader of Opposition in the North Western PC. This is the first time that a political party in SL has appointed a CEO, though it's a common practice in the Western world. more..

Johnston threatens to sue FCID

Oct 19 (Island) Kurunegala District UPFA MP Johnston Fernando said yesterday that he would sue the FCID, for getting him remanded on what he termed a false allegation. Johnston Fernando along with his private secretary Sakeer Mohamed and former SATHOSA Chairman Nalin Fernando, were acquitted by the Kurunegala High Court on Wednesday of a charge of misappropriating SATHOSA funds worth Rs. 5.2 mil in 2013. more..

Vap Magul 2018 on October 29

Oct 19 (DN) The national Vap Magul 2018 will be held in Tissamaharama under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena on Oct 29. He was addressing a media briefing held yesterday, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said measures were taken to cultivate more lands in parallel to the festival as the area received sufficient rainfall in the recent past. Abandoned paddy lands will be cultivated from this year. “We have planned to cultivate them again with the support of CSD personnel,” he said. more..

Shirani B.’s removal was lawful: MR

Oct 19 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa said the removal of former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake took place in a lawful manner during their rule as per the Constitutional provisions, and added however the removal of Mohan Peiris as Chief Justice by this govt was unlawful. Mr. Rajapaksa said that they had followed the procedure provided in the Constitution while removing former Chief Justice Bandaranayake by appointing a Parliamentary committee and calling for evidence. more..