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Video: 'Commission will be appointed to probe recent parliamentary proceedings'

Dec 6 (AD) UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says that a commission will be appointed to inquire into the proceedings of the Parliament during the past couple of days, when they establish a govt. He said that several undemocratic meetings which violated standing orders as well as parliamentary tradition have been held recently like never before in any country’s parliament history. The MP said that once this situation settles and a stable govt is established, everyone involved more..

We are only partners of Sri Lanka democracy, but not of UNP: ACMC

Dec 6 (LBO) All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) said that they are committed stakeholders of SL’s democracy but not striving to promote deposed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as an individual. “We do not have any personal passion for the individual, Ranil Wickremesinghe. There are no relationships between ACMC and the UNP either,” said the Leader of ACMC Rishad Bathiudeen. “We ACMC stand with UNP chiefly to safeguard democracy and to uphold our constitution that has been more..

Sri Lanka's political crisis spurs tourists to cancel in peak season

Dec 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s travel industry is starting to suffer the fallout of a political crisis in the middle of its peak tourist season, as uncertainty prompts cancellations by both business and leisure visitors. Tourism makes up about 5% of the Indian Ocean island’s $87-billion (68.27 billion pounds) economy, but the president’s sacking of the prime minister late in October triggered a crisis that credit rating agencies more..

Constitutional dictator: Thanks but no thanks

Dec 7 (CT) The Court of Appeal by its Interim Order issued on 3rd Dec stayed the de facto Govt from functioning. The very next morning, on some radio show called the talk of the town, a man claiming to be an expert on everything, with a deep voice and a heavy accent – ostensibly trying to imitate some foreign journalist, claimed that the Country can be run by the President with the support of the Secretaries of the Ministries. The same was echoed by him, that evening too warranting response. more..

De jure govt and de facto govt

Dec 7 (CT) Currently, we are going through some difficult times in the political sphere in this country, though the developments bring some interesting legal issues in relation to constitutionality of the Govt. Since a new govt was announced by the Executive on 26 Oct, matters have moved into various social and legal jargons, that affect the economy. One main issue is whether the Govt that was formed is legal. It is important to discuss the legality of it in line with concepts of de facto more..

Seven Virgin Hills: Cry of forgotten air crash victims

Dec 7 (SO) Forty four years after the Seven Virgin Hills (Sapta Kanya) airplane crash, the biggest air crash in SL’s aviation history, the crash site at Theberton Tea Estate, once a thriving tourist destination, is totally neglected. Last year, I wrote a story on The Bridge on the River Kwai a film which was shot at Kitulgala. Having read that story, a reader from Kurunegala sent me a letter reminding me about the tragic aircraft crash more..

The 19th amendment is not an alternative constitution

Dec 7 (CT) What is at stake in the battles in the courts is whether or not the Constitution has been up-ended by the 19th amendment, even though a two thirds majority and a referendum were not held in order to do so. Mr. Wickremesinghe had sent an ambitious draft which was challenged in the SC, which ruled that certain provisions either had to be removed or required a two thirds majority and the referendum. SC pointed out that these provisions as they stood, infringed upon more..

Dissolution of Parliament

Dec 7 (CT) An outline on the legal and other issues relating to the dissolution of Parliament is of value to the general public in order to understand the constitutional ramifications. Hence, I will proceed to provide the background, the nature of Constitutional Law, the rules relating to constitutional interpretation and finally deal with the interpretation of articles 70(1) and 33(2) which impinge on the dissolution of Parliament. Since getting Independence in 1948, Sri Lanka had three Constitutions, more..

'National List shouldn’t have defeated candidates'

Dec 7 (CT) Former Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media, and currently Peradeniya Uni Senior Lecturer, Dr. Charitha Herath says there shouldn’t be room for a defeated candidate to enter Parliament through the National list. Q: We have come to a halt at a very decisive juncture, an occurrence which has never happened in the history of SL politics. What is your view about it? A: What Sri Lanka is experiencing now, more..

Disruptions and democracy

Dec 7 (DN) The masterpiece The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy, clearly identifies the shift from the US imperial overstretch and its position to remain as the bastion of global democracy, and its decline. Kennedy explains, “It has been a common dilemma facing previous number one countries that even as their relative economic strength is ebbing, the growing foreign challenges to their position have compelled them to allocate more and more of their resources more..

Edtorial: The hopper saga

Dec 7 (Island) Supreme Court is expected to determine, shortly, whether the dissolution of Parliament is constitutional or not. The whole crisis the country is grappling to deal with boils down to a feud between two leaders, whose political marriage of convenience turned sour. Prez Sirisena and ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have made the public suffer the consequences of their strained relations. Sirisena is determined not to appoint Ranil PM again even if all 225 MPs make a request more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

General Elections will not resolve constitutional crisis

Dec 7 (ST) It is more than a month since the country has struggled with a Constitutional cum Political crisis that has created a sense of uncertainty within the country as well as inviting unfavourable attention worldwide. It is unfortunate that when a clear way out is available to resolve the issue, no attempt is being made to put the country back on track by adopting the solution that is staring one in the face. Leaving aside for the moment the question whether Prez was within his Constitutional rights to more..

A woman’s scornful look at the beloved country, or rather its politicians

Dec 7 (Island) Very many emotions beset Cassandra as she sits back (restlessly) and surveys (despairingly) the state of her country and reads newspapers and watches TV news (desultorily). Cass surmises this is the general mood of the ordinary people of this fair isle turned stinky rotten by some politicians. Of course we the ordinary people are boosted all the time by these political persons. Everything they do is for the Good of The People and every thought they think is for more..

Wildlife Forensics: Bringing the crime scene to the jungle

Dec 7 (Roar) Approximately 40,000 elephants are poached annually. With a global elephant population of less than 500,000, it is no surprise the numbers are dropping exponentially every day. It is believed that for every 15 minutes, an elephant is killed in Kenya for its ivory. Needless to say, the number of prosecuted poachers are nothing close to the number of casualties; reason being the difficulty in catching them in the act. more..

NOCSL calls for IOC women & sports awards

Dec 7 (ST) National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) Women’s Committee has called for nominations from Sri Lankans for the IOC Women and Sports Awards 2019 which is awarded to promote the advancement of gender equality in sport. The world has recognised the importance of bridging the gender gap by encouraging and strengthening the participation of women at all levels in sports. In keeping with this encouraging trend SL too has chosen for the very first time to more..

26 member SL U-19 Rugby squad announced

Dec 7 (Island) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) have finalized a strong 26-member team to participate in the upcoming Asia Rugby Under 19 Championship, which kicks off in Chinese Taipei next week. Asia Rugby U-19 Championship is Asia’s premier 15’s competition played to find the best in Asia. This year’s tournament will also be a qualifier for next year’s World Rugby U-20 Championship that will be held in Argentina. The junior Tuskers will be led by St. Joseph’s College and CR & FC center more..

Railway Associations voice support to shift museum to Maradana

Dec 7 (FT) Several railway trade unions on Wednesday expressed support to the decision to permanently house the Railway Museum in Colombo, shifting the locomotive museum in Kadugannawa to Maradana. Railway Operations Supervising Officers Union Convener Lal Ariyarathne said Colombo is the ideal location for a museum to showcase the department’s rich 154-year-old history, as the city serves as a hub more..

ComBank provides Mastercard online payment gateway to Daraz

Dec 7 (EN) Commercial Bank said it has been appointed the Internet Payment Gateway (IPG) service provider to South Asian online shopping platform Daraz. The online payment processing of Daraz will be facilitated by Commercial Bank through Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS). Daraz was acquired by the Alibaba Group in May 2018. It will provide the portal the convenience of a secure, cost-effective way to perform card on file transactions through more..

SLC to announce new fielding coach today

Dec 7 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is expected to announce a new fielding coach today having successfully negotiated with a reputed individual. SLC officials remained tight lipped yesterday about their pick and are expected to make an announcement once the coach signs his papers. The new fielding coach - believed to be an Australian - is said to have had several stints with int'l cricket teams over the years. SL’s fielding has been a massive concern for sometime now more..

President delivers financial blow to hotels

Dec 7 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena has decreed that private hotels should not be used for state functions amid speculation that tourist industry officials were planning to boycott and event he was to attend Friday. President Sirisena was expected to be chief guest at Sri Lanka Tourism Awards ceremony at Shangri-La hotel in Colombo organized by the SL tourism development agency which was being held after a break of 6 yrs. more..

How Sri Lankans are resisting Rajapaksa's soft coup attempt

Dec 7 (TD) During former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 10-year rule in Sri Lanka, democracy was cosmetic, a veneer intended to make authoritarianism more palatable. Rajapaksa dismantled constitutional provisions that were meant to check his power. He allowed the military to commit rampant human rights violations with impunity. Freedom of speech was virtually nonexistent. Those trends reversed in Jan 2015 when current President Sirisena pulled of more..

Emerging Teams Asia Cup tournament starts today

Dec 7 (CT) Sri Lanka will take on Oman, while India will confront Afghanistan in the curtain-raiser cricket fixtures of the “Emerging Teams Asia Cup” group tier ‘A’ matches in Colombo today. The co-hosts Sri Lanka, led by Charith Asalanka, possess a well-balanced side and will take on the Oman team, which too has relatively experienced players and is coached by former Sri Lanka captain Dulip Mendis. As per their captain Zeeshan Maqsood they possess a well -balanced team. more..

Tourist arrivals up 16.8% in Nov with Barmy Army, Indians

Dec 7 (EN) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in November 2018 grew 16.8% from a year earlier to 195,582 despite an ongoing political crisis, with strong growth from India and the UK. Arrivals from the UK grew 61.1% to 21,971 tourists, overtaking the Chinese market, which fell 1.8% to 18,888 tourists, data from the SL tourism promotion office said. Sri Lanka had a cricket series with England, with the so-called Barmy Army more..

Sri Lanka Women to play 3-match T20I, ODI series in South Africa

Dec 7 (S24) Cricket South Africa (CSA) has confirmed the dates for the Proteas women’s inbound tour against Sri Lanka in Feb, 2019. The tour – which will be played across four venues – will begin with a three-match T20 International series, followed by a three-match ICC Women’s Championship ODI series. Following the team’s disappointing results at the recently concluded ICC Women’s World T20 where they were knocked out in the group stages, CSA is committed to more..

Dr. Asha de Vos wins LMD’s Sri Lankan Of The Year award

Dec 7 (FT) Pioneering business magazine LMD has announced that its Sri Lankan Of The Year for 2018 is marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of blue whale research in the northern Indian Ocean Dr. Asha de Vos, whom it says Dr. Asha de Vos “has gained traction for championing the cause of one of the most overlooked members of the natural environment – our ocean giants”. LMD points out that de Vos remains committed to giving back to her native land, having established more..

Political deadlock worries foreign companies in Sri Lanka

Dec 7 (FT) European Chamber of Commerce of SL (ECCSL), American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), and Delegation of German Industry & Commerce in SL (AHK SL), said they were gravely concerned about the present political uncertainty and upheaval in the country. “We are of the view that the current situation will result in many adverse economic and social consequences to the country if it remains more..

Brexit issues could have unsettling impact on Sri Lanka: NEC chief

Dec 7 (Island) Brexit issues may have significant impact on emerging and frontier financial markets like Sri Lanka, National Economic Council (NEC) Secretary General and Chief Economist Prof Lalith Samarakoon said. "The Bank of England had recently warned that a disorderly Brexit will have a significant down-turn in the British economy. Therefore, the sterling pound could also be expected to depreciate. To combat the situation Bank of England will increase its interest rates more..

Candidates can now take their IELTS on computer with The British Council

Dec 7 (DM) The British Council in Sri Lanka has announced that IELTS candidatesin the country, registered through the British Council, can take the globally recognised English proficiency test on a computer. At an event held at the British Council Colombo on Wednesday (5), guests and members of the press were introduced to the operations and benefits of this novel test-taking experience, one that is certain to bring greater ease and flexibility to test-takers in the country. more..

'Despite 19A Prez can dissolve parliament'

Dec 7 (Island) The President could dissolve Parliament under Article 62/2 despite the 19th Amendment, said Sanjeewa Jayawardena P.C., in the Supreme Court, when he supported an intervenient petition in support of the dissolution of Parliament by the President. President’s Counsel Jayawardena said that Article 62/2 referred to dissolution of Parliament by President before the prescribed period. Despite the 19th Amendment to more..

Hayleys crowned winner at Annual Report Awards

Dec 7 (DN) Leading conglomerate, Hayleys triumphed at the 54th Annual Report Awards winning the coveted Cyril Gardiner Memorial Trophy Gold Award for Overall Excellence in Annual Financial Reporting. John Keells Holdings won the silver award, while Commercial Bank of Ceylon came in third with the bronze award under the same category. Under the Management Commentary Award Hayleys PLC won gold, while Diesel & Motor Engineering came in 2nd to win silver award more..

Sirpada road being widened before season begins

Dec 7 (Island) The RDA is currently widening the Hatton Road to Sirpada before the pilgrimage season commences this month. Thus the stretch from Mohini Ella to Nallatanniya is being widened. "Earlier the width of the road was around eight feet so only one vehicle could travel on it. Now the road will be widened to have two lanes," RDA - Norwood Branch’s KDBR Devapriya said. This decision was taken after frequent complaints that pilgrims face great difficulties when travelling between more..

Import of Russian cancer drugs: Govt incurred RS.3.8 billion loss

Dec 7 (DN) Govt has incurred a loss of Rs.3.8 billion in the past two and half years in purchasing two clinically untested cancer drugs from Russia. They are of low quality in comparison to other less costly brands, Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs Association president Sanjaya Perera said. He said that the loss is in addition to Rs.8.1 billion losses incurred through the imports of other drugs by Health Ministry & SPC in the past. more..

South Asia Human Rights Festival in Colombo

Dec 7 (AI) Amnesty International is proud to announce that the Art for Rights: South Asia Human Rights Festival will take place at the National Film Corporation in Colombo, from 5 to 9 Dec. Featuring films, dancers, music performances, art installations, talks, graffiti, photography exhibitions and many other events. Art for Rights celebrates the work of South Asian artists and human rights defenders as the world marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. more..

President Sirisena conspicuous absentee at tourism awards

Dec 7 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena last night was a conspicuous absentee from the crucial Sri Lanka Tourism Awards held after a six-year break. Sirisena was declared the Chief Guest in the invitation and his absence comes amidst rumours that tourism industry leaders were contemplating a boycott given his pre-announced presence at a time when the country is in the grip of an unprecedented political crisis. Though reason for President’s absence wasn’t revealed his Chief of Staff more..

Sri Lanka’s 2nd biggest heroin bust

Dec 7 (CT) SL’s second largest heroin haul and the two suspects, who attempted to smuggle the heroin into SL via boat, were apprehended by the Police Narcotic Bureau at the Beruwala-Balapitiya coastline. The 231.54 kg of Heroin worth more than Rs 2,778 million was seized and taken into custody with the boat. The two suspects will be produced in High Court and they will seek detention orders for further investigations. more..

UNP to decide on next move after SC verdict

Dec 7 (DM) The UNP will decide on its next course of action including the likelihood of a secret ballot to select a candidate for the premiership after the Supreme Court delivers its Judgment today, with regard to the petition filed against the dissolution of Parliament, Party Spokesman Harin Fernando said yesterday. Mr. Fernando was responding to reports that the UNF was preparing to have a secret ballot to decide on a suitable person to take over the Premiership. more..

I was not invited to SLFP special convention: Chandrika

Dec 7 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has claimed that she had not been invited for the special convention of the SLFP, which was held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium last Tuesday (4). In a letter to SLFP General Secretary Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, the former President had said that the Gampaha District Secretaries were informed and posters had been distributed among them. “All SLFP members have been invited except me and SLFP Kelaniya more..

Finance Ministry & Deputy Leader post to Ravi K

Dec 7 (CT) Leader of UNP and former PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has in writing informed UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake that he will be appointed as the Deputy Leader of the Party and the Minister of Finance in a future Govt. Earlier too, Ravi Karunanayake served as a Deputy Leader of UNP and the Minister of Finance as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He resigned from his Cabinet Minister portfolio and was away from active more..

TELO’s demands and the national question

Dec 7 (DM) he support of Tamil minority parties to elect a govt has never received such importance as of now. UNP is hellbent on obtaining the support of the TNA in its bid to form a Govt which will have a nominee from the Green Party for the prime ministerial post. But one party of the alliance, TELO maintains quite staunchly that its support would only be offered if several demands are met. Some of these demands are rather sensitive, but TELO finds itself in a position to make a key player more..