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COPE members’ nexus with Aloysius: Speaker urged to take swift action

Nov 20 (Island) Dismissing UNP’s claims that parliamentary privileges of its COPE had been violated by the releasing of telephone data pertaining to ongoing treasury bond scam probe, JO urged Speaker not to drag his feet on dealing with those who had been in touch clandestinely with Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries under investigation. UNPers, Sujeewa Senasinghe, Harshana Rajakaruna, Hector Appuhamy, Ajith Perera more..

National Flag issue: Vigneswaran takes PC Minister to task

Nov 20 (DN) Northern Provincial Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran said the conduct of his Education Minister who refused to hoist the national flag at a public function as inappropriate. Northern Provincial Education Minister S. Sarveshwaran who recently attended a function held at Perakum Maha Vidyalaya in Irattaperiyakulam, refused to hoist the National Flag as the chief guest. Vigneswaran said a public display of disrespect to the National Flag is not appropriate. more..

Shangri-La Asia Chief says its growing investment reflects great faith in Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (FT) Shangri-La Asia Chairperson Hui Kwong Kuok said that the opening of the hotel in Colombo was a significant milestone and the company’s investment in Sri Lanka reflects its great faith in the country’s future potential. “We are delighted to unveil this beautiful hotel alongside the iconic Galle Face promenade. This marks a significant milestone for the Shangri-la Group,” said Kouk while speaking at the gala dinner to mark the opening of the Shangri-La Hotel, more..

Gintota clash masterminded by ex-PS member: Police

Nov 20 (CT) The clash between two factions at Gintota had been masterminded by a former member of the Bope, Poddala Pradeshiya Sabha (PS), Police investigations have revealed. "This PS member, who is aspiring to be Chairman of the Bope, Poddala PS had instigated the commotion through his supporters, using a motor accident as an excuse, a senior Police officer said. Police Officer also said that he had been directly involved in more..

Humanitarian appeal lodged for Sri Lankan family in Queenstown

Nov 20 (Stuff) A SL family in Queenstown that faced deportation this week has been given a short term reprieve. A humanitarian appeal has been lodged with the Immigration and Protection Tribunal on behalf of Dinesha Amarasinghe, her husband Sam, and their three sons. The family can not be served with a deportation order now until the tribunal makes a decision. Tribunal usually takes four to six months. If the tribunal decides against the family, they will have 28 days to leave. more..

School Monitoring Board to improve quality of education

Nov 20 (DN) The Education Ministry has planned to set up a School Monitoring Board aimed at improving the quality of school education in the country, said Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. ‘This board will be entrusted with the task of monitoring not only education, but also the material resources available in schools, Minister said. He was speaking as the Chief Guest at the annual Prize Day of Viharamadevi Balika Vidyalaya, Kandy on November 18. more..

CPC says no petrol shortage: Fake sms on petrol shortage again!

Nov 20 (CT) A malicious and scurrilous countrywide sms campaign over mobile phones, by unknown unruly elements, led to panic buying of both petrol and diesel and long queues in the Kandy District last night. There are enough petrol stocks countrywide. This is really malicious elements attempting to sabotage the CPC operation and embarrass the Govt, Convenor of CPC Trade Union Collective said. more..

Shangri-La in Serendipity is unique in the world and only found in SL: PM

Nov 20 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe last week declared that it was only in Sri Lanka that one could savour Shangri-La in Serendipity. He made this remark during his speech at the gala dinner to mark the opening of Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo with 500 guestrooms and suites and 41 serviced apartments on Thursday.  “There are many Shangri-Las in the world, many of them of luxurious standards, but none of them will have the spot that Colombo’s Shangri-la has,” he said. more..

Gnanasara threatens to box journalist’s ears

Nov 20 (Island) Island political correspondent, C.A. Chandraprema, was threatened by Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera while the former was at the funeral of Ven. Medagoda Abhayatissa Thera’s mother. He was speaking with a Nayake Thera when Gnansara Thera accosted him, demanding to know whether he was Chandraprema. When Chandraprema answered in the affirmative, Gnanasara Thera pitched into him, saying thamusege mama kana palanawa more..

Trusts to come under CB intelligence

Nov 20 (DM) The Govt had sought to introduce fresh legislation that, if enacted, would provide for the submission of information of Trusts, upon request, to the Finance Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank. Additional Secretary (Legal) of the Justice Ministry Piyumanthi Peiris said that the new Bill would be brought as an amendment to the Trusts Ordinance. She said that an Asia Pacific Forum had come to the conclusion that more..

RTI Comm. receives 438 appeals in 2017

Nov 20 (DM) The Right to Information (RTI) Commission, which deals with non-compliance with regards the Right to Information Act by Government Institutions, had received 438 complains this year, the Annual Performance Report of the Commission revealed. As per the report, which was submitted to Parliament last week, the Commission had decided that 218 complaints could not be taken up for consideration due to shortcomings in the appeal/requests. more..

Ex-MPs get pension hike; Ranga objects

Nov 20 (Island) Former UNP MP J. Sri Ranga recently revealed that the govt had increased former MPs’ pensions by Rs. 10,000. Former Nuwara Eliya District MP Ranga said that he was surprised to receive a letter from parliament informing him of an increase in his pension. Pointing out that MPs were entitled to pension after completing one term, Ranga said that such privileges were unfair. Asked whether the JO was aware of former MPs being given a bigger pension, JO MP Bandula more..

PUCSL warns of power crisis

Nov 20 (DM) Implementation delays of the long term energy plan over next three year period could very likely trigger a power crisis that could seriously affect the national economy, Public Utilities Commission of SL revealed in its latest report. In the report which had been handed over to the CEB and to the Ministry of Power, it said a total financial loss of Rs 50.62 billion is expecting due to the implementation delays of power plants. more..

The Constitution conundrum

Nov 20 (Hindu) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his team’s attempts to change the Constitution have been facing a series of obstacles. President Sirisena and his SLFP are not enthusiastically backing the reforms initiative and almost all Buddhist monks are opposed to any constitutional change. Mr. Wickremesinghe’s constitutional reforms project envisages the abolition of the presidential system and return to a revised version of the Westminster model, replacement of proportional system more..

Bid to re-open Dalada Maligawa road: SC fixes petition for support on 26 Feb

Nov 20 (FT) Supreme Court fixed for support on 26 Feb 2018 to grant leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition filed in a bid to reopen a portion of the A26 road, part of which passes near Kandy’s Sri Dalada Maligawa. Matter came up before a bench comprising Justices Eva Wanasundera, Priyantha Jayawardane and Nalin Perera. Buddhist monks and laymen have intervened to protest the rights petition. Intervenient-Petitioners are Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep more..

CBEU protests against political pressure to reappoint ex-employees of LDB

Nov 20 (FT) Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBEU) on Friday staged a protest in front of Lankaputhra Development Bank head office, against a decision made by Ministers Kabir Hashim and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene requesting the State bank’s management to recruit two employees who were expelled for financial frauds.  CBEU said the Ministers are requesting to reappoint two officials namely Wasanthi Nanayakkara and more..

Reserves strengthened by $ 74M

Nov 20 (CT) The money market, strengthened by US dollar sales led by exporter conversions resulting in their intermediary banks selling the same to CB on Wednesday (15) which settlement took place on Friday (17), saw an uplift in net excess liquidity (NEL) by Rs 11,387 million (US$ 74.04 million), resulting in CB's reserves being strengthened by an equivalent amount. Conversions are based on the closing middle rate of the benchmark spot as at Wednesday which was Rs 153.80. more..

Diwali In The Hill Country

Nov 20 (Roar) Hindu festival of lights, also known as Deepawali or Diwali, usually takes place late Oct or early Nov. It falls on the month of Karthikai (which, according to the Hindu calendar, is somewhere between Oct and Nov). We headed to the city of Nawalapitiya in the hill country to find out how the festival was celebrated away from Colombo. Brahmin – Siva Sri Sudaharan Dayalan Kurukkal: I am the chief priest of the kovil. I joined when I was 17, and have been here for 20 years. more..

Menik Farm refugee village gets apparel factory

Nov 20 (CT) A press release issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce stated that Menik Farm, the Sri Lankan refugee displacement village that entered the global limelight as the world's largest refugee camp at one time, has been brought back to life as part of a US$ 1.8 million national apparel initiative at village levels. "Reconciliation would be a distant dream without proper livelihood for IDPs and the war-affected," said Minister more..

Stats: Examining why Sri Lanka will struggle to replace Rangana Herath

Nov 20 (SK) Rangana Herath has been the unsung hero for Sri Lanka over the years in Test cricket. The legendary cricketer is the only left-arm spinner to pick up more than 400 wickets in the premier format of the game. In recent times, no bowler has exemplified the saying, Age is just a number. With the iconic spinner in the final phase of his stellar career, let us take a look at what makes this man special for Sri Lanka and why they will find it difficult to replace him when he eventually retires more..

PPPs seen as the way out of govt’s money-borrowing crisis

Nov 20 (Island) Govt’s capacity to borrow money is about to be exhausted and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are the only way forward to achieve our development goals, Director General, Dept of Public Finance P. Algama said. 'Since 1998 the SL govt has not issued any guidelines for PPPs and Department of Public Finance of the Ministry of Finance conducted the final stakeholder consultation workshop on Nov 15, 2017 to discuss the finalization of draft PPP guidelines, more..

Mangala stands firm as locals step up lobby against shipping liberalisation

Nov 20 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has stood his ground on the full liberalisation of the shipping and freight forwarding sectors despite the local industry stepping up its lobbying against the move. When industry representatives met Finance Minister on Friday, the latter had paid patient attention to their views. However, he had indicated that the original 2018 Budget proposal allowing foreign lines to more..

Herath explains Dilruwan review

Nov 20 (Island) ­Veteran Rangana Herath yesterday clarified what prompted team-mate Dilruwan Perera to opt for a late review after being given out leg before wicket to Mohammad Shami on the fourth day’s play of the first Test against India here in Calcutta. Perera courted controversy after being ruled out for a duck when he shouldered arms in the 57th over to a delivery that cut back in and hit him on the pads. The batsman walked back, then turned around and opted for more..

Editorial: Match at Hulftsdorp

Nov 20 (Island) The govt is left with egg on its face, having done its damnedest to cover up the bond scams, but in vain. It, initially, ordered a sham probe in an abortive bid to hoodwink the public and unleashed its propaganda hounds on its critics who flagged the issue. Today, everybody knows that some yahapalana cronies have made huge profits through fraudulent Treasury bond transactions. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to appear before the PCoI probing bond scams, today. more..

Dilruwan survives after unusual review

Nov 20 (CI) Dilruwan Perera survived an lbw decision after an unusual route to taking the assistance of the Decision Review System (DRS). At the time of the incident, Dilruwan was batting on 0 off 7 balls. He went on to play out a further 27 balls, and add 43 for the eighth wicket with Rangana Herath. In the 57th over of Sri Lanka's innings, Nigel Llong upheld an lbw appeal from Mohammed Shami when an indipper beat more..

Will Britain do the right thing by Sri Lanka?

Nov 20 (Island) On Tuesday (14), Dinesh Gunawardena introduced a resolution in Parliament requesting that in view of Lord Naseby’s revelations in the House of Lords on the number of civilian deaths during the last stages of the war, "Sri Lanka should take action to pursue this matter with Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and with the UNHRC to change their unjust position in regard to Sri Lanka…and that the Govt should also report back to Parliament on this matter." more..

How cells spelt out the names of top scorers in COPE’s bond game

Nov 20 (ST) First a legal DISCLAIMER to alert the reading public that nothing in today’s SUNDAY PUNCH 1 is intended directly or indirectly, by innuendo or imagination howsoever farfetched to suggest or convey in any manner whatsoever or to create the impression in any wise or dumb mind that those named in the Presidential Bond Scam Commission proceedings on Thursday persons who had been in constant touch with Arjun Aloysius are guilty of any wrongdoing merely because more..

තලතාගේ නහය යට ඉදන් වහල් වෙළදාමේ යෙදෙන...

Of Bananas and Chimpanzees

Nov 20 (SO) Several Diyawanna members were caught in some crazy love entanglement no. I don’t know about you paradisians, but Siripala won’t be talking 277 times to some old Jhonny without a reason, ah. If it was  a woman Siripala would be singing love songs, and if it was a man- Sirpala would be making plans to party or plans to make some moola. Love- Siri however, seems to be the one playing it all cool and dandy though. Trying to act all statesman and be like “yes machang more..

A reply to Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapakse

Nov 20 (Island) The lengthy article by Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse PC on constitutional reform published in the newspapers recently appears to contain several errors of fact and of law. I have no wish to argue with the former Minister of Justice on his views on the legality of the current constitutional reform process in which he participated until his removal from office. However, any debate should proceed upon the basis of accurate information and correct statements of the law. more..

COPA expedites audit via computer network

Nov 20 (SO) For the first time in the annals of SL’s parliamentary history a comprehensive report of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) was presented having examined the performance of 831 state institutions during the financial year 2015. COPA has catagorized institutions with a special marking scheme and rewarded the institutions which have the highest performance in year 2015. more..

Sitting on an illegal committee

Nov 20 (SO) Former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe must be a very absent minded man. Or else, he must be suffering from a rare disorder that causes him to forget his ideas, views and everything else that he did for long periods of time, only to remember them years later. This week, Rajapakshe wrote a letter to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. In the letter, he argues that the creation of a Constitutional Assembly for the purpose of drafting a Constitution is illegal and wants it annulled. more..

Looking at cold, bare facts of state torture

Nov 19 (ST) A fracas has arisen over a recent investigative news report finding credible claims of Tamil torture victims that they had been raped and branded by SL’s security and policing agencies. Let me be unequivocal on this point. Take the issue away from the hysteria of international interventions and let us look at the cold, bare facts. The use of torture as an interrogation method in regard to ordinary criminals or terror suspects, (as well as those believed to be falling into each of these more..

The budget and the inequality crisis

Nov 20 (GV) Gintota is a grim warning. The abyss is still with us. We remain a country where a private dispute can be interpreted as a religious issue and used to ignite a violent conflict. Gintota didn’t become an Aluthgama not because society has changed but because the govt has. In Aluthgama, the Rajapaksas allowed the rioters free rein. In Gintota, Sirisena-Ranil administration intervened fast, & intervened decisively. more..

Curse of racism now raises its ugly head in Gintota

Nov 20 (CT) People, Sinhalese & Muslims, in around Gintota, a town close to Galle in the South of the island, wanted to live in peace and harmony as they have lived for generations in the area. However unfortunate for the country some suspected racist mercenaries including Buddhist monks think otherwise and oppose all peace moves. On Tuesday (14) a Sinhalese teenager riding a motor bike, some suspect without a valid license, knocked down around a 55 year old Muslim woman who more..

Devolution & The increase in the number of local representatives

Nov 20 (CT) It seems like, under the motherhood-and-apple-pie cover of devolution, additional incompetence and corruption is going to be visited upon the people of Sri Lanka. Political office, inclusive of being appointed as Organiser for one political agglomeration or another, has become a highway to accumulation of illgotten wealth. Ask anyone in the country, particularly rural folk, what their opinion is of politicians supposedly serving them and you’ll be told that more..