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Open letter to his lordship the Chief Justice

Dec 1 (CT) Your Lordship, Most of us law abiding citizens look up to the Judiciary as the last bastion which Yahapalanya restored after a severe battering prior to sort out the mess the country is in due to power hungry politicians. Your Lordships appointment was hailed as parochial issues which predominated in an earlier era where the saffron robed gentry intervened to plant a man unworthy depriving legitimate much respected Justice Mark Fernando has caused chaos in the country. more..

Sirsena Caving In?

Dec 1 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has shown that he is really indistinguishable from his pre-2015 gang of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s. The latter only needed to have waited till 2020 to gain power through elections. But the judicial nooses were tightening round their necks at Courts. Rajapaksa’s family and friends were in real danger of going to prison – and pretty soon too. So they threw caution to the winds and jumped the gun dissolving Parliament unconstitutionally. more..

SL legal literacy: Are we constitution-savvy?

Dec 1 (Roar) The SL Constitution is on everyone’s mind at present. Given the long Constitutional crisis the country is facing at present, one is left wondering: are we truly conversant of our Constitution? As citizens of this country, how fluent and aware are we of our own civil rights? The Constitution is arguably, the only physical manifestation of the social contract every citizen of a nation state enters into at the moment of birth. more..

Only tip of Iceberg

Dec 1 (CT) The first comment with regard to the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s order to remand Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne last Wednesday came from Jamaldeen Weerasinghe, who is one of the mothers of eleven young men who were abducted ten years back on Sept 2008 saying, “I am happy today and hopeful that those responsible for the abduction will be brought to justice”. CID sleuths have found certain Navy officers’ involvement in alleged more..

Transparency in Constitution making

Dec 1 (CT) Constitution making in SL appears to be under a veil of secrecy. Public knowledge of the proposed provisions of the draft Third Republican Constitution of SL appears to be very limited; this has led to the belief that the proposed new Constitution may finally contain provisions surreptitiously introduced to legitimize a federal state in the N&E of SL. Of course Prez Sirisena has assured the Nation that a division of our motherland would not be permitted at any cost. more..

Yal Devi: princess of the Northern line

Dec 1 (SO) Every railway journey is laden with beautiful scenery and a long line of railway stations. Seeing clusters of palmyrah trees rising into the skyline is only a snapshot of the long journey from Colombo to Jaffna. For decades the Yal Devi has been a cultural bridge, fostering ties between North and South. Even after enduring a terrorist attack that left her crippled and out of active duty for almost 25 yrs, this indomitable iron princess more..

Legal lacuna, thy name is 19th Amendment

Dec 1 (DN) The 19th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution was adopted on April 28, 2015 and it was hailed as a key policy achievements of Prez Sirisena as he took pains to ensure its passing in the Parliament with 212 ‘Aye’s and only a single member opposing it. Three and a half years later, the President, the Parliament as well as the entire nation is in utter confusion due to imprecise clauses in the 19th Amendment with regard to certain powers vested with the Executive President. more..

World AIDS Day 2018, get tested now

Dec 1 (DN) College of Community Physicians of SL is the professional association of the Public Health Practitioners in SL. The membership consists of specialists in Community Medicine and is the leading body in the country that provides advocacy and promote policy formulation to address public health issues in the country, through liaising with health systems, lawmakers, NGOs and community based / multisectoral organisations while influencing them to promote and adopt better practices in more..


Undiplomatic diplomats and unpatriotic politicians

Dec 1 (Island) All credit to Mr Mohan Samaranayake for a well-argued piece Diplomat or Viceroy highlighting the undiplomatic behaviour of the head of the British Mission. Well, the British High Commissioner is not in isolation as the American Ambassador seems to pop up to comment, ever so frequently, whenever their installed govt is in peril. Critics, especially of the foreign-funded NGO variety, will no doubt accuse me of insulting the voters by using the term installed. more..

Edtorial: A cowardly act

Dec 1 (Island) The execution-style killing of two policemen, on Friday, in the East has sent a chill down many a spine. Their hands had been tied behind. Some former LTTE cadres who have undergone rehabilitation are believed to have committed this heinous crime. However, it is not known whether they are operating as a well-organised group though a recent incident where disruptions were caused to a ceremony to commemorate dead LTTE leaders is more..

The Boycott Game at play

Dec 1 (Island) Prez Opinion Sirisena is obviously enjoying the new game that both he and so-called Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has introduced to SL. Boycott is the new political game in our threatened Democracy. It is the Boycott Keliya. Members of the so-called Govt are enjoying this game that ensures them of all the privileges of team play, without the actual game they were elected to or crookedly pulled into the team. more..

The unfading star of Sri Lankan music: Clarence Wijewardena

Dec 1 (Island) It has been 22 years since the brave pioneer of Sri Lankan music who rose above the storms of the musical seven seas to create his own identity left us forever but the memories of his melodies will forever be embedded in our hearts. The pioneer of Sri Lankan pop music has long left us. But years on one must often reminisce of the revolution he created through a new wave of music by the introduction of the Sinhala pop genre to the local industry in the 1970’s. more..

Sri Lanka hosts 3rd edition of Cambridge Schools Conference

Dec 1 (Island) Cambridge Assessment Int'l Education (Cambridge Int'l) hosted the 3rd Edition of Cambridge Schools Conference in Colombo. The conference theme was Creating the conditions for success in schools. Focused on creating a positive, successful learning environment within schools worldwide, over 200 educators from across South Asia attended the conference with the objective of sharing knowledge and fostering professional development among education professionals. more..

Through pass by FFSL brings Football to disrepute once again!

Dec 1 (ST) Recent press articles in multiple media drew attention to the FFSL disregard to ministerial advice by voting to save AFC blushes, adversely compromising our status as an independent nation, merely to cater to the panjandrums of the Asian body! Former President Ranjith Rodrigo who has been out of the dugout for some time now, virtually came off the bench to make the sublime pass, that Sri Lanka could have more..

INSSSL round table discussion on OBOR in South Asia: Trade, Culture and Security

Dec 1 (FT) A round table discussion under the theme OBOR in South Asia: Trade, Culture and Security concluded on 15 Nov at the INSSSL premises. Professor Swaran Singh from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, Dr. Priyanga Dunusinghe from Uni of Colombo, Commodore DMLA Dissanayake from SL Navy, Commodore Y.N. Jayaratne from Sri Lankan Navy, Ramla Wahab Salman from International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Dr. Ranga Jayasuriya, more..

Lanka IOC also reduces fuel prices

Dec 1 (AD) Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) has also decided to reduce the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 5 per litre with effect from midnight today (30). Accordingly, price of Lanka Auto Diesel (LAD) will be reduced by Rs 5 per litre, while Lanka Petrol 92 (LP92) is also to be slashed by Rs 5 per litre. Lanka IOC stated that it would reduce the price of Super Diesel (Euro 4) & Xtra Premium 95 Petrol (Euro 4) by Rs 5 per litre even though company is incurring huge losses on sale of Auto Fuels. more..

Sri Lanka win Deaf T20 Cricket World Cup

Dec 1 (DN) SL deaf cricketers created history when they beat India by 36 runs to win the Deaf ICC T-20 cricket world cup in the final played at the Teri Gram Cricket grounds in Gurgaon India yesterday. This is the first time Sri Lanka deaf cricketers won the T-20 world cup. Skipper Gimadu Malkam led the way with a superb all round performances to win this major championships. SL invited to bat first made 145 for 9 wickets in 20 overs while Indians managed more..

SL – Malaysia Business Council concludes trade and investment promotion mission

Dec 1 (Island) The Sri Lanka – Malaysia Business Council (SLMBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce successfully concluded a trade and investment promotion mission to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from November, 12th – 14th. The delegation consisted 08 organizations i.e. Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd, International Scholar Educational Service, Mechmar Cochran Lanka, Ilham Inspiration SL, Ranjan Nadesapillai Associates, Spillburg Holdings, Macksons, more..

‘Unstable political situation plays havoc with country’s economy’

Dec 1 (Island) A country badly needs political stability to establish a strong economy. On the other side, if there is a political tussle or crisis, then that will also make an impact on the socio-economic roots of the country. Political instability is not new to this country. Sri Lanka has gone through this type of lean period many times since independence. During the last few years the country has gone through such a lean period due to various factors. Some are man-made & rest are due to global changes, more..

40% deliveries were no balls

Dec 1 (DN) The recently concluded third Test of the three-match Test series between England Sri Lanka came into headlines for a strange incident. Although England managed to bag the Test in their favor after defeating the home team by 42 runs, the game was in news because of the Sri Lankan spinner Lakshan Sandakan’s spell of bowling. Sandakan bowled many no balls in this particular spell but more..

4 SL Tamil refugees held for robbery in TN

Dec 1 (Hindu) Four SL Tamil refugees have been arrested in connection with robbery and housebreaking incidents in the district over the last two months. Eighty sovereigns of gold jewellery have been recovered from the quartet. The incidents were reported in Ramanathapuram, Paramakudi and Uchipuli areas and the modus operandi was similar. Special teams, led by Kenikarai Inspector of Police M. Kalai Arasan and Serious Crime Squad Sub-Inspector of Police Sivasami, launched more..

Hambantota International Port responds to fire in Tsunami Village

Dec 1 (Island) The occupants of a home located in a Tsunami Village in Hambantota escaped a tragedy last week, due to the timely intervention of the Hambantota International Port’s Emergency Response Team (ERT). The ERT responded to a distress call for assistance in dousing a fire that had erupted in the home which had occurred while the occupants of the house were in residence. Since the house was one of a row of similar homes constructed in the Tsunami Village, more..

Litro paid 40 others transport allowance: Payment of Rs.95,000 to Amila Thera

Dec 1 (Island) Forty persons, including Ven. Dambara Amila Thera, had received money from Litro Gas during the period 2016 and 2018 July, as a transport allowance, the Special High Court was told. Giving evidence before the three-judge bench of the Special High Court, Litro’s Financial Controller Muditha Harashajith Tamanagama said that Amila Thera had been paid a travelling allowance of Rs. 95,000 a month more..

Hemasiri clears air over BOI employee appointments

Dec 1 (FT) Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Hemasiri Fernando yesterday dismissed all allegations made with regards to employment appointments and said he had made no new appointments nor increased the number of permanent employees. Issuing a statement Fernando noted that no additional appointments or permanent positions had been made by him and reports to the contrary tarnished the goodwill of the BOI, as apex body for investment promotion more..

House ban on public gallery only: VIPs invited by Speaker

Dec 1 (Island) Sergeant-at-Arms Narendra Fernando said that the Speaker enjoyed the exclusive right to invite anyone to the VIP gallery. Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms had no oversight as regards visitors to the Speakers’ gallery, he said. Official said so when The Island sought an explanation as to why only foreigners were allowed in on Thursday. He said that there were visitors in the VIP gallery on Friday, too. According to him, the Speaker could invite anyone, including more..

Quo Warranto case put off for Monday

Dec 1 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday commenced hearing into the writ petition filed by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and 121 other Parliamentarians. They sought an order in the nature of Quo Warranto declaring that Mahinda Rajapaksa is not entitled to hold the office of PM and the matter was fixed for further support on Monday. When the petition came up before Court of Appeal President, Justice Preethi Surasena and more..

Bandula calls for Ravi’s arrest

Dec 1 (Island) Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that former Finance Minister of the UNF govt Ravi Karunanayake should be arrested for ordering Litro Gas Company to pay Ven Dmbara Amila Thera and 39 others a transport allowance. He said such payments amounted to the misappropriation of public funds and the relevant agencies should take action immediately. Gunawardena said a Manager of Litro Gas, giving evidence before a Special High Court, had said that Ven Amila had been paid more..

MPs complain Parliament website still refers to Mahinda as PM

Dec 1 (FT) Several MPs called on the Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya to take action to make changes to the official Parliament website, saying it still held that Mahinda Rajapaksa was Prime Minister since 26 October to date, despite the House having passed two no confidence motions against him. UNP MP S. M. Marikkar whipped out his phone to read from the official Parliament site, which even last afternoon held that Rajapaksa was PM. more..

TNA urges Sirisena to take a swift, considered decision

Dec 1 (Hindu) The mounting pressure of an impending Supreme Court verdict on his dissolution of Parliament, and the lack of majority support for his hand-picked PM might prompt President Maithripala Sirisena to end SL’s political crisis this weekend. Prez Sirisena held two high-level meetings on Friday evening — with the TNA parliamentary group and the leaders of the UNF led by ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP more..

Karuna slams attempts to link him to Batti killings

Dec 1 (Island) One-time LTTE field commander Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman yesterday denied his involvement in Batticaloa killings. The former Deputy Minister alleged that a section of UNP MPs was propagating lies as regards his involvement. Karuna said that he would take legal action against those spreading lies about him. He said that a fake twitter account created under his name had been used by interested parties to cause problems for him. more..

Video: Karu wants to be next common candidate: SB

Dec 1 (AD) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has expectations to be the common candidate at the next Presidential election, says Minister S.B. Dissanayake. He stated this addressing the press conference today (30). There will be no changes made to the current Cabinet of Ministers including the PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and there are no vacancies either for premiership or ministerial positions, he said. The parliamentary session today was against the standing orders and more..

Ex-Tigers believed to be behind cop killings

Dec 1 (Island) IGP Pujith Jayasundera, yesterday, flew to Batticaloa, where a major police investigation is underway into the killing of two police personnel in Vavunativu, a one-time LTTE stronghold. He was accompanied by Senior DIG in charge of the CID. Immediately after the killings were brought to the notice of the govt, police headquarters authorised the deployment of the elite STF in support of the police. more..

ACMC slams sudden Muslim IDP budget cuts

Dec 1 (FT) All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) slammed the purported PM and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to slash budget allocations for Northern IDPs. “The funds allocated for long-term IDPs in the last budget has been drastically slashed,” said ACMC leader MP Rishad Bathiudeen immediately after leaving the House on 30 Nov. “These long-term IDPs – most of which are Muslims in the Northern Province – are the group to suffer the longest since war times. more..

TNA suspects Karuna’s involvement

Dec 1 (FT) TNA echoed sentiments of UNP MP Nalin Bandara, raising suspicions about the alleged involvement of SLFP Vice President and former LTTE Eastern Commander V. Muralitharan alias Col. Karuna in the Batticaloa shooting that resulted in the death of two policemen on Thursday. TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran said that after the events of 26 October, Karuna Amman had come out of the cold and started making statements. “Four policemen have been shot in Batticaloa and more..

Dialogue deadlock

Dec 1 (FT) Prez Sirisena is now considering rescinding the order to dissolve Parliament, showing signs of loosening the deadlock between the Executive and Legislature while talks with political parties opposing his decision to appoint new a PM ended inconclusive. Two meetings Sirisena had with TNA and UNF leaders ended with no clear decision. There are plans in place to hold yet another discussion between UNF and more..

Need for negotiations and compromise

Dec 2 (SO) The rivalry between the main coalition partners in the former National Unity Government may have reached a climax on Oct 26, when the SLFP-UPFA withdrew from the coalition, but the country yet awaits an end to the current instability caused by the continuing jockeying for power. Those engaged in the tussle must bear some responsibility for the increasing weakness in the national economic fundamentals caused by the political uncertainty. more..

Eternal vigilance…

Dec 2 (CT) When Colombo is in turmoil, terror strikes. An example is what took place in the island more than a quarter of a century ago. Two renegade UNP MPs, Lalith Athulathmudali, a Cabinet Minister of the Ranasinghe Premadasa Govt and Gamini Dissanayake, together with the SLFP, moved to impeach Premadasa unsuccessfully in August 1990. They were then sacked from the party and formed a new party called the DUNF and contested the May 1993 Provincial Council (PC) Polls. more..

'Parliament can’t resolve present crisis'

Dec 2 (SO) Former Permanent Representative and Ambassador of SL to the UN, Tamara Kunanayakam speaks on democracy, the current political situation in Sri Lanka and how it will effect the lives of the citizenry. Q: Some say democracy is in danger and must be defended. This is also the position of Western Embassies in Colombo. What do you think? A: Democracy as used by the West and parroted by their local backers more..

What next?

Dec 2 (Island) The JVP was spot on when it said that the present political mess that the country is shouldering was of the president’s creation and he is responsible for clearing it up. Housekeeping efforts are ongoing and there is some hope of light at the end of the tunnel; or so UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa said over national television on Friday night. There has been a softening of the stances of many of the contending parties with a cordial meeting between Messrs. more..