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Five including three impersonators arrested for cheating O/L maths paper

Dec 11 (DM) Three impersonators were arrested for sitting the GC.E O/L exam mathematics papers in Thihagoda, Thanamalivila and Kalmunai yesterday. Police said two candidates of the G.C.E. O/L exam were also arrested in connection with these incidents. They said an examination officer at an exam centre in Puhulwella school in Thihagoda had complained to the police stating that an impersonator was answering the paper. more..

Investigate President’s claims on bribing MPs: TISL

Dec 11 (NR) Transparency International Sri Lanka has called on the CIABOC to consider the statement by President Sirisena in the on-going investigation into allegations of attempts to bribe MPs. Issuing a statement Transparency International said the President’s acknowledgement in an interview last week that vast sums of money had been solicited and offered to MPs in exchange for their allegiance, underscores the importance of a comprehensive and investigations by the Commission. more..

Railway unions threaten union action on 26 Dec.

Dec 11 (NR) The Railway Locomotive Engine Drivers Union says trade union action will be launched from the 26th of December if the Cabinet paper that was passed under the good governance govt pertaining to addressing salary anomalies and the graded system of the railway service is not enforced. Secretary of the Union Indika Dodangoda said President Sirisena must intervene and solve the matter. Dodangoda noted if the President fails to address the matter before 26th of Dec more..

Police launch probe over Saman Ratnapriya’s comments

Dec 11 (AD) On the instructions of the IGP, Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has commenced an investigation into a complaint filed regarding the comments made by Saman Ratnapriya of the Purawesi Balaya organisation, during a recent press conference. The General Secretary of the PHU, Upul Nishantha, had lodged the complaint with the Police Headquarters on Dec 9. The complaint states that Saman Ratnapriya, more..

Video: Motion filed against Prez's request to expedite SC ruling

Dec 11 (DM) A motion has been filed in the Supreme Court today by a lawyer against the request made by Prez Sirisena asking the Chief Justice to expedite the court ruling on the dissolution of parliament. In his motion, the lawyer said such requests undermined the hearing of the case. Therefore, he requested the Supreme Court to issue a ruling after considering the motion. Prez said yesterday he would request the Chief Justice through the Attorney General to deliver more..

Specific proposition required to go for referendum: PAFFREL

Dec 11 (AD) Holding only a general election would not suffice in resolving the prevailing political and constitutional crisis in the country, according to a Sri Lankan election monitoring watchdog. The PAFFREL says this matter is clearly evident when analyzing the data from the previous general election. Ada Derana spoke to the Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi, regarding the talk in the country presently about holding a referendum. more..

Chanuka Ratwatte granted bail

Dec 11 (AD) Chanuka Ratwatte and five others, who have been charged for allegedly maintaining a financial institution without a primary dealer license from the Central Bank, have been released on bail. Colombo HC Judge Gihan Kulatunga issued the order to release the six defendants on bail under cash bails of Rs 50,000 and personal bonds of Rs 500,000 on each defendant. The verdict of the HC Judge also mentioned that one of more..

Met. Dept issues red alert on rough seas

Dec 11 (AD) The low pressure area in the South Bay of Bengal to the South-east of SL is likely to develop in to a depression during next 48 hours and move North-northwestwards towards Tamil-Nadu coast, stated the Met Department. Under the influence of the system, the possibility for heavy rainfall, sudden roughness associated with sudden increase of wind speed (up to 70-80 kmph) in the deep sea areas off the coast extending from Hambantota to Trinco via Batticaloa and Pottuvil is high. more..

DS, Dudley plaque in Iranamadu reinstalled

Dec 11 (NR) The ancient plaque in Iranamadu that was removed during renovations of the Iranamadu, Kilinochchi tank has been reinstalled. The plaque that carried the names of former Prime Ministers DS Senanayake and Dudley Senanayake was removed during renovations while President Maithripala Sirisena assured that the plaque would be reinstalled. Following the completion of renovations steps were taken to install a new plaque instead of the old plaque. more..

Video: SLSFTA’s effective date should be delayed: Bandula

Dec 11 (DM) The effective date of the SL-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) should be postponed to ensure the removal of any detrimental clauses, MP Bandula Gunawardana said. He said what they said about the SLSFTA had been proved correct by the experts committee in their report on the FTA. The report was handed over to Prez Sirisena on Monday. “The main problem with the FTA is as the President said, more..

Lankan babysitter who abused two boys sentenced in Australia

Dec 11 (AAP) A babysitter who sexually abused two seven-year-old boys in Perth has been sentenced to 5.5 years in prison and is likely to be deported to SL after serving his term. Dayanthan Mohanraj, 19, was convicted after a trial of four counts of sexually penetrating a child in 2016, when he was babysitting on a casual basis. Mohanraj showed one boy pornography and later sexually abused the child in a public toilet, then threatened to kill him if he told his parents what happened. more..

Former DIG Nalaka de Silva further remanded

Dec 11 (AD) Former DIG Nalaka de Silva, who was arrested by the CID in connection with an alleged assassination plot targeting the President and former Defence Secretary, has been further remanded until December 19. The former Director of the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) was arrested by the CID on October 25 over a suspected plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He was arrested after a police informant, more..

Petition filed seeking Quo Warranto over Ranil’s MP seat

Dec 11 (AD) A petition has been filed with the Court of Appeal requesting the court to issue a Writ of Quo Warranto preventing Ranil Wickremesinghe from being a Member of Parliament. The petition has been filed by Sharmila Gonawala, the Co-President of Women for Justice. Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and the Secretary General of Parliament are among more..

Police to enforce law strictly to tackle drunk driving during festive period

Dec 11 (Island) Police Traffic Division will implement a countrywide operation to arrest drunk drivers and those who violate road rules during the festive period. Those apprehended will be prosecuted. The incidence of drunk driving has increased in 2018 compared to last year and police expect a further increase during the festive season. One thousand five hundred policemen and special motorcycle teams have been deployed in Colombo and suburbs alone. more..

Video: Case against Hirunika set to be heard in March

Dec 11 (AD) Colombo High Court has decided to hear the case against MP Hirunika Premachandra over the abduction a youth from Dematagoda, on the 12th and 13th of March, 2019. In Dec 2015, a 35-year-old man was abducted in the Baseline Road area in Dematagoda and assaulted by a group of individuals who had arrived in a Land Rover Defender which is allegedly owned by Premachandra. It was later revealed that a clandestine love affair between more..

Chandima Weerakkody

Sri Lanka needs its own leaders

Dec 11 (FT) We are in the era of chaos. Breaking news has now become very common because of some sections of media. People talk about corruption, discipline, and all the weaknesses of politicians. But how many among the general public in SL would like to reflect on their own behaviour? A country should be governed by people, not by politicians, but do we have people like that? Many of the so-called general public do not have any plan to contribute to the country and they simply more..

United we stand, divided we fall

Dec 11 (CT) Race, ethnicity and caste issues dominated the fabric of this island since time immemorial. From tribal warfare to warring kingdoms to ethnic riots, the land had been soaked by the blood of peoples of diverse dialects, customs and religions on occasions too many to count. The big question that lingers on: Who owns the land? with no real answer to be found, had been plunging the country into chaos over and over again. Recently, the Jaffna Hindu Religious Union (JHRU) more..

Railways launches SMS alerts to prevent elephant collisions

Dec 11 (DM) The Department of Railways today introduced an SMS hotline 070-4445454 to inform about locations of elephant herds on railway lines countrywide with the help of the Dept of Wildlife Conservation. General Manager of Railways (GMR) M.J. Dilantha Fernando said train-elephant collisions could not be stopped 100% but it could be controlled. “Therefore, the Railways Dept decided to introduce a hotline to minimise accidents” more..

Financial feasibility studies seen needed in Sri Lanka infrastructure projects

Dec 11 (EN) Financial feasibility studies are needed apart from technical feasibility assessments in some of the Public-Private Partnerships projects under consideration in Sri Lanka, an official said. Thilan Wijesinghe, chairman of the newly created National Agency for Public-Private Partnerships, attached to the Ministry of Finance, said financial planning was important from the outset of a project. more..

New site to report stolen & lost phones

Dec 11 (NR) Sri Lanka Police has launched a new web portal in order for the general public to lodge complaints over lost and stolen mobile devices. The website was launched following instructions issued by IGP Pujith Jayasundara. Accordingly the public can lodge their complaints through Around 800-1000 complaints are received daily regarding misplaced or stolen phones out of the 24 million registered more..

Bus fare reduction on Dec 21

Dec 11 (Island) National Transport Commission (NTC) was currently holding discussions with 3 bus owners’ associations in a bid to reduce bus fares and a final decision could be announced by Dec 21, NTC Chairman M.A.P. Hemachandra said. "Fuel prices have dropped but we can’t reduce prices at once. We are currently holding discussions with 3 bus owners’ associations. Discussions are going in a positive direction" more..

Attempt to intimidate Ministry Secretaries: Dayasiri lashes out at Patali

Dec 11 (DN) MP Dayasiri Jayasekera blamed UNF MP Champaka Ranawaka for attempting to cripple public service by intimidating Ministry Secretaries. Jayasekera added Ranawaka said that several Ministry Secretaries would be summoned before Parliamentary Committees for questioning on the basis of recent decisions taken by them. He asked Ranawaka as to how these officials can be summoned before Parliamentary more..

Indian workers face slave-like conditions in Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (wsws) World Socialist Web Site reporters recently spoke with about 30 young Indian workers currently employed on an electricity power-line project in rural Sri Lanka. The highly exploited workers are forced to live in overcrowded and squalid conditions and not paid for long periods of time. Most of the workers are from Kargalo village, Hazaribagh District in the northeastern Indian state of Jharkhand and were recruited by more..

HR should be part of daily life: HRCSL Chair

Dec 11 (CT) People should learn to think of human rights as a part of their daily life, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), Dr. Deepika Udagama said yesterday. Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as a part of the International Human Rights Day in Colombo, Dr. Udagama observed that all people were equal despite religious, cultural, caste more..

'Sinharaja in need of clear legal buffer zone'

Dec 11 (CT) Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL), in a recent book, pointed out that tea cultivation, degradation of soil quality and erosion, deforestation, extraction of resources for commercial purposes, irregular waterways management, natural disasters, irregular waste management, fires, habitat alteration, land fragmentation, illegal gem mining and invasive alien species were threats to Sinharaja Forest more..

Nizamdeen’s friends reject allegation that he had any dispute with Khawaja

Dec 11 (ST) The brother of Australian Test star Usman Khawaja was this week charged over an alleged terror hitlist for which Sri Lankan Kamer Nizamdeen was wrongly blamed but Mr Nizamdeen’s friends rejected allegations that a dispute over a woman triggered the affair. Arsalan Khawaja, 39, appeared in court on Tuesday charged with perverting the course of justice and forgery making a document. more..

'Ready for elections under a legitimate govt only'

Dec 11 (DM) Former Minister Champika Ranawaka speaks about the current political crisis and its implications on the economy of the country. Q: How will the current political deadlock end in your view? A: The deadlock was created by President Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President can end this deadlock by giving the opportunity for the group commanding parliamentary majority in Parliament to form the govt. more..

Gamblers, Scribblers of the divide are responsible for D-Ropes, erratic 19 A

Dec 11 (DM) Was it on Oct 26, 2018 by Sirisena? - The conventional explosive, attached to a detonating mechanism ready to be used by any future administrator was set 41 years ago, on Sept 22, 1977 by JR Jayewardene. The creator ensured fabricating a sensational, improvised, destructive and harmful mechanism using deadly flammable ingredients and designed to destroy or incapacitate a nation. Punters in a gambling den need money for the game, they will steal and pawn wife’s more..

Distortion of Names

Dec 11 (DM) Our sister paper Lankadeepa on Thursday reported that 35 students of Paanama Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya had to submit affidavits to sit for the GCE O/L examinations, as their names in their national identity cards and examination admission cards had been distorted. It said that lack of knowledge in Sinhala among the officials in Batticaloa DS had caused the blunder and this had seriously affected the young minds of the concerned candidates of the exam. more..

President to appoint new govt if Parliament undissolved: SLFP

Dec 11 (FT) The SLFP made an appeal to the Judiciary to deliver the decision on the Fundamental Rights petitions filed against the dissolution of Parliament soon to save the country from anarchy. “We know the Supreme Court also has challenges, but we expect that the decision will come soon as it is essential to get the country back to normal,” senior SLFP member Nimal Siripala de Silva said. more..

Officials cannot be summoned before dissolved parliament: Vasu

Dec 11 (Island) A parliament that had been dissolved had no power to call secretaries to the ministries before it, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. "Champika Ranawaka, who has decided to live in Parliament, states that he will call secretaries to the ministries before Parliament. But no one cares about what he has to say. Ranawaka knows that he has no power to summon secretaries to the ministries and I believe that these state officials will give a proper answer to Ranawaka. more..

Colombo Bourse now a cheap frontier market

Dec 11 (CT) SL’s stock market, Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), has become the cheapest frontier market, according to a Swedish-based fund, which said that an early election would be a positive for the Colombo Bourse. Highlighting that the current political crisis is, of course, negative for the country’s economy in the short-term, Tundra Fund said that “an early election would be clearly positive for the stock market.” Over the last 5 years, SL has faced some criticism in terms of its economic policy, more..

Economy on life support: Harsha

Dec 11 (FT) Sri Lanka’s economy is currently on life support MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said calling on President Sirisena to resolve the opaque situation that has arisen over public finance by appointing a govt with Parliament’s support by Friday or risk being unable to finance over $ 1 billion in debt repayments due in the first two weeks of January. He insisted the Constitution is very clear on the point that the Executive President more..

Handicapped soldier sets off from Dondra to Point Pedro on wheelchair

Dec 11 (ST) The Sri Lanka Army’s top brass including its Commander, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayaka were at Dondra Point, the southern most tip of Sri Lanka, on Monday morning to cheer on disabled war hero Corporal P. K. G. G. Karunarathna who set off by wheelchair to traverse the length of Sri Lanka to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Corporal Karunarathna joined the Sri Lanka Army in September 2007 and served in the Gajaba Regiment. more..

PM, ministers not removed; only functions suspended: GL

Dec 11 (DM) The Court of Appeal's restraining order had only stopped the PM and the ministers from functioning in their offices and had not declared them unlawful, SLPP chairman G.L. Peiris said. He said there was a misconception that the posts of PM and those of the ministers had fallen vacant. “This is completely false. The court order has not removed the PM and the ministers from office but had stopped them from carrying out their duties and functioning in their posts,” he said. more..