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TNA could be the saviour

Dec 7 (DM) The essence of the special statement made on Sunday by Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was prevented from acting as PM by the Appeal Court on Monday, was nothing new. While attempting to find parallels between the dissolution of Parliament by Prez Sirisena on Nov 9 and dissolution of Parliaments of several other countries under various circumstances, he stressed the need to go for a General Election in order to bring in a stable Govt through a fresh composition of Parliament. more..

The Rajapaksas, the SLPP and the unfolding Indo-Pacific Great Game

Dec 7 (DM) The current political impasse in SL marks an important opportunity for Mahinda and Gotabaya Rajapaksa to think about the consequences of their current actions for future support from the US and others for a govt a Rajapaksa could be elected to lead next year. Despite two no-confidence motions against PM Rajapaksa’s Govt and two motions to halt funding for govt ministries, Mr. Rajapaksa has refused to step down. more..

Laparoscopic repair brings relief for humiliating ailment

Dec 7 (ST) It had been a living hell for them – unable to do their daily chores or their jobs and even unable to go out of their homes, terrified that others would get an inkling of what was ailing them. Suffering in silence and shame, these women, along with their families, had hit rock-bottom physically, mentally and emotionally. They had also scraped bare the precious family budget not only going from this hospital to that hoping more..

Where are the PEOPLE ?

Dec 7 (DM) Sri Lanka now lives with two temporary Stay Orders from the Judiciary; the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court. Sri Lanka now lives with a Parliament that is dysfunctional and in chaos every time it meets. It is now without a proper elected Govt with a cabinet of Ministers. This would drag on for a few more days at least, with speculations as to what the outcome of the presently deliberated FR petitions more..

Sri Lanka passport ranked 84th in the world

Dec 7 (FT) Recognition of the Sri Lankan passport has increased by nine notches to 84th in the latest world rankings released this week. Sri Lanka has visa-free access to 16 countries and visa on arrival to 29 countries, while 153 countries still requires visa. Sri Lanka shares the 84th position with Lebanon and Libya. The UAE has overtaken Singapore and Germany as the country with the world’s most powerful passport. more..

Sri Lanka mulls water rationing, savings as shortages loom

Dec 7 (EN) Sri Lanka may have to use financial instruments to encourage water saving and even resort to rationing as climate change-induced disruption of rainfall patterns lead to water scarcity in future, an expert warned. Water shortages are promoting migration to urban areas from rural areas the world over, said Herath Manthrithilake, senior researcher and head of the International Water Management Institute’s more..

Female teacher arrested for texting O/L exam answers

Dec 7 (AD) A female teacher has been arrested for allegedly texting answers for the English question paper of the GCE O/L Exam to a candidate at Balangoda. Police have also arrested the examinee in question, a private candidate from Kotuwalpola who was sitting for the O/Ls at a school in Balangoda. They were both arrested yesterday and have been produced before the Balangoda Magistrate’s Court today. more..

Not yet decided on contesting: Dilshan

Dec 7 (DM) Former SL Cricket Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said he has not yet made a decision to contest any election though he obtained the membership of the SLPP. Speaking at a news conference under the banner Voice for Justice, the former skipper explained that the programme was a social welfare programme which helps thousands of poor and homeless people and that was what he was happy to be doing at the moment. more..

Hold General, presidential polls on same day

Dec 7 (DM) The only solution to the ongoing constitutional and political crisis was to conduct a Presidential and General election simultaneously on a single day as early as possible, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said. CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakone told the media that President Sirisena was constitutionally empowered to declare a Presidential poll after the completion of 4 yrs in office on Jan 8, 2019. more..

Motion to be tabled calling for RW’s appointment as PM

Dec 7 (NR) UNP MP Ajith P Perera says a motion will be tabled in Parliament next Wednesday calling for the appointment of party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to be appointed PM. He said the motion will be present by Deputy Leader of UNP MP Sajith Premadasa and 7 other MPs. He said the group will table a motion in Parliament on the 12th of Dec calling for Ranil Wickremesinghe to be appointed PM, more..

Video: SC resumes hearing petitions challenging dissolution of Parliament

Dec 7 (AD) The 7-judge bench of the Supreme Court has commenced hearing of the petitions challenging the dissolution of Parliament for the fourth consecutive day. Supreme Court yesterday extended the interim order issued suspending the Gazette Notification issued by the President on the dissolution of Parliament, until tomorrow. Presenting submissions before the Supreme Court on the 5th of Dec, AG had stated that in accordance with more..

Judgment Day

Dec 7 (CT) Today was to be Judgment Day for SL, when a seven member Supreme Court (SC) Bench headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Nalin Perera was expected to deliver its verdict of its 13 Nov stay order which, on appeal, temporarily halted, President Sirisena’s Parliamentary dissolution order of 9 Nov and the call for fresh Parliamentary Polls, on 5 Jan. However, now, the stay order has been extended to Saturday (8). Earlier, on 13 Nov, a three member SC Bench chaired by Perera more..

JVP won’t back Ranil

Dec 7 (Island) The JVP has decided not to vote for the vote of confidence sponsored by UNF in support of ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. A motion, signed by eight UNF members including UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, has been handed over to the Secretary General of Parliament. The motion is likely be taken up for debate on Dec 12. The motion has been signed by MPs Sajith Premadasa, Ravi Karunanayake, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Lakshman Kiriella, more..

Captain Elmo Jayawardena

Matters to mind (while you wait for Justice to toll the knell)

Dec 7 (FT) Some people can handle pressure. They positively blossom under the spotlight. From celebrities to sports stars, many if not most Sri Lankans in the spotlight have panache and pizzazz. This, it seems sadly, does not include certain leading lights among our island-nation’s political leaders. First there was that litany of faux-savvy utterances which indicated that a certain (shall we say) personality disorder was troubling the high and mighty – so much so that some stoned more..

Three foreigners held with cigarettes worth Rs 3.4 mn

Dec 7 (AD) Three foreign passengers including one female, who had arrived from Hong Kong, have been detained at the BIA for attempting to smuggle in 318 cartons of foreign cigarettes. The three passengers were held by the Customs officers attached to the BIA at around 11.55 p.m. last night (06). Accordingly, the Customs officers have seized 63,000 sticks of foreign cigarettes contained in 318 cartons. The contraband is estimated to be worth over Rs 3.4 million. more..

A little fireworks at the seemingly calm Supreme Court

Dec 7 (CT) Today saw the third day of argument on the 11 cases regarding the dissolution of Parliament. A judgment was scheduled for tomorrow 7 Dec. The first two days were most interesting as the lawyers for the Petitioners made their arguments. Their arguments were principally that Article 33(2)(c) gave the President the right to dissolve Parliament and Article 70 listed the conditions for such dissolution. more..

Vijayakala’s case postponed to February

Dec 7 (AD) The case filed against MP Vijayakala Maheswaran over her controversial statement regarding the LTTE organization has been postponed as the Attorney General’s advice on the case have not been received yet. When the case was taken up before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today, the Organized Crime Prevention Division (OCPD) which is investigating the incident informed the court that it has not yet received the AG’s advice on the case although more..

Gamini Senarath allowed to travel overseas

Dec 7 (NR) The Permanent High Court at Bar today granted approval for former President Rajapaksa’s former Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath to travel overseas. The three member bench therefore granted approval for him to travel to Singapore and Thailand from the 15th to the 30th of December for medical purposes. The case is due to be heard once again on the 10th of Dec. A case was filed against Gamini Senarath, Piyadasa Kudabalage, Neil Bandara Hapuhinna and Lasantha Bandara more..

A conversation on coin collecting with Dr. Kavan Ratnatunga

Dec 7 (Roar) Coins are part of our everyday life and they have been for thousands of years. Sri Lanka has seen an influx of a few new coins and lost a few coins as well in the last few years as the rupee has gone on its downward spiral. So, most people have casually held on to some for the sake of nostalgia. But, besides this casual collection, there is also the serious pursuit of coin collecting, where coins that are centuries or millennia old more..

Chandima warns country will come to standstill

Dec 7 (Island) The country would come to a standstill if the President could not appoint a PM that he could work with, MP Chandima Weerakkody said. "It is obvious that the President and the PM should be able to work with each other. If they can’t see eye to eye on anything, it will be impossible to get anything done. The two men will just keep on opposing each other," he pointed out. "President has reiterated over and over again that he won’t appoint UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM. more..

Video: Beruwala heroin haul: Boat owner arrested

Dec 7 (DM) The owner of the boat, which was allegedly used to transfer 231 kgs of heroin off the coast of Beruwala, was arrested in Yatiyanthota today. The 44-year-old suspect Dulip Samantha, a resident of Beruwala, had Rs.1.5 million in cash in his possession. The suspect had jumped into the Kelani River when police personnel had attempted to arrest him. However, he was arrested later on after a great effort. Suspect is a brother of one of the two suspects who were arrested with more..

Ranjan ordered to appear before SC on Feb 26

Dec 7 (AD) The SC has ordered MP Ranjan Rmanayake to appear before the court again on the 26th of Feb 2019 over contempt of court charges. The case was taken up before a judge bench comprising Supreme Court Justices Eva Wanasundara and T.B. Dehideniya this morning. Representing the defendant Ramanayake, President’s Counsel Faisz Musthapha, informed the court that his client has not received more..

Constitution is not bad, man is vile, Sri Lanka counsel quotes Ambedkar

Dec 7 (EN) A senior counsel challenging a contested dissolution of parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena quoted jurist B R Ambedkar, who was a key architect of the Indian constitution who warned that there will be attempts to mis-use it in the future. Kanag-Ivaran President Counsel recalled the Ambedkar's words "….if things go wrong under the new Constitution the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile." more..

CCTV: Three-wheeler hits pedestrians crossing road

Dec 7 (AD) A woman died while another person was critically wounded after being hit by a three-wheeler while crossing the road near the Bandarawela town. Ada Derana reporter said that the woman and the male were attempting to cross the road at a pedestrian crossing when a speeding three-wheeler had hit them last night (6). They were both rushed to the Bandarawela Hospital following the accident, however the woman had succumbed to injuries while receiving treatment. more..

FAO-China Project to strengthen fruit value chain in Sri Lanka

Dec 7 (GDI) The signing ceremony of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Tripartite Agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the People’s Republic of China, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka took place at FAO headquarters on 6 Dec 2018. The aim of this South-South Cooperation project is to help Sri Lanka boost the production and commercialization of more..

Book on Sajith Premadasa to launch in Jan 2019

Dec 7 (FT) The book, Sajith Premadasa: The People’s Leader/The Legacy of Ranasinghe Premadasa, is scheduled to be launched in Jan 2019 (ISBN 978-955-51312-6-1). The book consists of 12 chapters, 300 pages, a hard cover and jacket of the same artwork in full colour. The book illustrates Sajith Premadasa’s career and vision and includes the housing programs, his speeches in Parliament, and press conferences which depicts his wisdom, maturity and understanding of more..

Committee probing damages caused to parliament property set to meet

Dec 7 (AD) The committee appointed to inquire into the damages caused to the Parliamentary property during the tense situation that emerged during the sessions held last month is scheduled to assemble on December 12. The report on the estimation of the damages caused to the parliamentary property will also be submitted to the committee on the same day. The committee, headed by the Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri, consists of former Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa, MPs more..

SLPP blasts RW for meeting envoys at Temple Trees

Dec 7 (DM) SLPP criticized UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for meeting foreign ambassadors and high commissioners at Temple Trees on Wednesday. MP Shehan Semasinghe said entertaining foreign envoys at Temple Trees was a misuse of public property. “The UNP still continues to venerate foreign embassies and high commissions. How can a PM who was removed from post entertain envoys at Temple Trees? more..

A way out of the crisis to save Sri Lanka’s democracy

Dec 8 (CT) Sri Lanka’s democracy is at a crossroads. Its future is now primarily in the hands of the Supreme Court, President Maithripala Sirisena, Mahinda Rajapaksa and his SLPP, and Ranil Wickremesinghe and his UNP. The Supreme Court verdict due to be given on Saturday (8) has to either confirm the constitutionality and legitimacy of President Sirisena’s decision to dissolve parliament or reject the decision as an illegitimate decision that violates the constitution. more..

Interference of certain Western countries and UN, illegal

Dec 8 (DN) The UN has through the actions of its Resident Coordinator in SL, Hanaa Singer, and in violation of the Charter of the UN, int'l law and practice and UN Staff Rules and Regulations, without sustainable justification become involved in an essentially domestic political process, and interfered in the host country’s internal affairs. Worryingly, the UN appears to be aligning itself with the political objectives of certain Western countries supportive of the former PM, more..

'President should be impeached'

Dec 8 (CT) Former Minister, MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara said, there is a serious threat to the national security of the country and the incident that happened in Vavunathivu, recently, was not an isolated one. He stressed that criminals tend to emerge in the absence of a PM, Ministers and a Govt. He held President Maithripala Sirisena accountable for the present stalemate and anarchy in the country. more..

The possible different scenarios

Dec 8 (CT) There are two decisions currently pending in the Courts. Firstly, the petition challenging the validity of the gazette notification in relation to the dissolution of Parliament and, secondly, the action instituted by way of a Writ of Quo Warranto. This column will explore the implications based on the possible outcome of the different scenarios. An understanding of the outcomes is considered important because as citizens, we are duty bound to ensure more..

What can citizens do to make a difference?

Dec 8 (Island) Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) started out in 2002 with the idea that the anti-constitutional acts of elected representatives should be widely exposed through the Media and in the Courts. It was hoped that, by supplementing the efforts of those who were already contributing in a similar manner, the people of SL would soon begin to put things right. The basic objective was to help the public to identify the miscreants in our elected assemblies, more..

How I work: Tuan Rahim

Dec 8 (Roar) How I Work is a new series where we ask a diverse variety of individuals about the tech choices shaping how they get their work done. Meet Tuan Rahim. He is a designer, photographer, and creative strategist who works with us as the Head of Production for Roar Studios. Tuan started out as a Production Assistant at Sirasa TV, where he worked on the production of some of SL’s earliest reality TV shows, such as Sirasa more..

Politicians playing tug-of-war

Dec 8 (CT) The present political chaos in SL is akin to ‘Nero playing the fiddle while Rome was burning’, because none of the 225 representatives appointed by the people, through universal franchise, don’t seem to be thinking of the country and the suffering masses, but expose themselves as being egocentric and are hell-bent on a power struggle. The UK is a good example to emulate as politicians of all parties in unison dispelled their political ideologies and supported the country as one nation, more..

Transparency in governance

Dec 8 (CT) Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Act, No. 12 of 2016 came into effect on 3 Feb, 2017, bringing with it a promise of open govt, citizens’ active participation in governance, and accountability to the people of the country. Ministry of Mass Media and Parliamentary Reform stated that it has been laying the foundation for the operation of RTI, with training programmes conducted for public officials and also the key information officers and designated officers have been appointed. more..


Balancing overlapping powers of executive, legislature and judiciary

Dec 8 (DN) Democracy, which is described as the best out of the available inadequate systems of governance, could survive when the three branches, the executive, legislature and judiciary consensually enjoy the assigned authority vested under the system of separation of powers, while zealously safeguarding their own power centres. There is no denying that the judiciary, as the conflict resolution mechanism in a democratic polity, needs to be upright and unfettered. more..

Edtorial: Retain the baby

Dec 8 (Island) President Sirisena has become a villain to his erstwhile yahpalana allies who hailed him a hero when he helped further their interests. He is now a patriot to those who had condemned him as traitor until last October. He is apparently busy undoing what he has done during the last three years. He has said he wants to amend the 19th Amendment, which he once flaunted as the jewel in his yahapalana crown. All it takes to spoil a pudding is only a single rotten egg. more..