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Contempt of Parliament in practice

Dec 8 (Island) There are many who would not like to be reminded today of Westminster traditions in the parliamentary process. Yet, amidst the crisis faced by Theresa May’s govt, over Brexit, the House of Commons has certainly given us a very good example. Earlier this week, Theresa May’s Conservative Govt was found to have acted in contempt of Parliament – in a historic rebuke from lawmakers on the govt’s refusal to present more..

On the ball

Dec 8 (Island) Ashantha De Mel has already made his presence felt. After assuming office as Chief Selector, he has plainly stated his piece. De Mel being De Mel, no one expects him to be otherwise. There are many statements attributed to him which resonate favourably with us. Firstly, about presenting dust bowls as Test pitches. That our urgings to prepare sporting wickets which offered a fair deal to everyone (including fast bowlers) fell on deaf ears was regrettable but understandable more..

SL on judicial cliffhanger: Lesson from Pak

Dec 8 (GJ) Sri Lanka’s constitutional coup or crisis, as the case may be, has an eerie similarity to a constitutional coup that took place in Pakistan in 1953 – and the evolution of that country’s judiciary – from servility to supremacy – stresses the importance of judicial activism. The Pakistan coup, that country’s first in a series of coups, teaches us an important lesson: It tells us that generations to come will suffer if any one of the govt’s arms is to make a mistake, when more..

Vavunathivu shooting incident

Dec 8 (CT) The funerals of young Police Constables Ganesh Dinesh from Kalmunai and Niroshan Prasanna from Galle who were shot dead by unidentified gunmen at a checkpoint at Vavunathivu in the Eastern Province had sent shock waves over the overall security of the country. The gunmen had used an AK-47 rifle to gun down the two young Policemen, according to the preliminary investigation launched soon after the incident more..

Cinnamon sweeps National Tourism Awards

Dec 8 (DM) Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts swept away six awards at the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018 held recently where they were recognized for the unique initiatives that contributed to the hospitality industry. Cinnamon was the only brand to win more than two awards in all categories which were intensely fought by all leading leisure brands in the country. Sri Lanka Tourism Award 2018 honoured organizations and individuals for their contribution towards SL’s tourism industry more..

Sri Lanka participates at International Volunteer Forum in Russia

Dec 8 (FT) Nine members of the delegation from Sri Lanka visited Russia to participate at the International Volunteer Forum, which was held on 2-5 Dec, in Moscow. Sergey Kiriyenko, the First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia, addressed around 15,000 participants from over 120 countries, gathered at the Forum’s venue, with his welcome speech on 3 Dec, after they had spent the first day visiting charity foundations, social & non-profit organisations. more..

President Maithripala Sirisena

Sarvodaya to educate students and parents on modern day ICT tools

Dec 8 (Island) A MOU was signed by Sarvodaya-Fusion and LK Domain registry to educate and create awareness among student communities, teachers and parents on using modern day ICT tools to create a positive social impact in the country. The signing of the MOU on Securing a Smart Generation was held at Sarvodaya Hq, Moratuwa under the patronage of its founder A.T. Ariyaratne. IT Yahamaga securing a SMART generation is an initiation by Sarvodaya-Fusion to educate more..

Private sector vital for country's development: Speaker

Dec 8 (Island) 'The private sector is of vital importance for the economic growth of the country, Chief Guest at the recently held Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2018, Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya said. Amid laughter Jayasuriya said he was particularly pleased to be present at the awards presentation because he experienced a peaceful situation in the hall, quite in contrast to his recent experiences in parliament. more..

John claims tourism boom busted by political crisis

Dec 8 (FT) Former Minister John Seneviratne yesterday warned that the political crisis had crippled the prior boom experienced by the tourism industry and called for a swift end to the current impasse. He made this assertion yesterday a day after November arrivals saw a healthy 17% growth thanks to the flood of the cricket-loving Barmy Army from UK which recorded a hefty 61% increase in tourists. more..

Deutsche Post DHL Group partners with SOS Children's Villages SL to empower youths

Dec 8 (Island) Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL), the world’s leading postal and logistics group, recently partnered with the SOS Children's Villages Sri Lanka to support youth from challenged backgrounds to gain employability and foster empowerment. SOS Children's Villages Sri Lanka is an umbrella organization under SOS Children's Villages International. As part of a global partnership initiated by DPDHL Group in 2011 to uplift the personal and professional skills of youth more..

Productivity policy vital for economic growth, says expert

Dec 8 (SO) Sri Lanka is the only Asian Productivity Organisation (APO) member country which does not have a National Productivity Organisation. Setting up a full-fledged, stand alone, National Productivity Organisation is the way forward for industrial and overall economic growth in SL, Company Director and Consultant Sunil Wijesinghe said. He said the National Productivity Secretariat (NPS) is still a unit under a Ministry while in Singapore and Malaysia they are powerful Statutory Bodies. more..

Truth behind Karunaratne’s appointment as vice captain

Dec 8 (SO) In a shocking revelation new chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel said the move to appoint Dimuth Karunaratne as vice-captain for the 2-Test tour to NZ and groom him as a future captain was that he found both Dinesh Chandimal and his stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal both incapable of taking decisions of their own on the field. “If you are really watching these matches the captains are all the time looking at more..

Non-CWC workers back at work at plantations

Dec 8 (FT) CWC-linked employees strike demanding Rs. 1,000 daily wage in the plantation sector continued for the fourth day, while those of other trade unions have resumed work. CWC Leader and MP Arumugam Thondaman on 3 Dec requested all plantation workers to join in an indefinite strike, until plantation companies agreed to increase their daily wages to Rs. 1,000. “We will continue the strike until the plantation companies agrees to increase our daily wage to Rs1000. more..

Academia, Economists, Trade Chambers mum on opportunity costs

Dec 8 (DN) In a strange quirk of fate, no university pedagogue, member of the academia or private sector trade chamber, has yet undertaken an in depth investigation of the economic opportunity cost of the ongoing constitutional, political imbroglio, which has engulfed the nation for well over the last five weeks. None of the frontline university pedagogues, trade chambers or for that matter any economic virtuoso were able to comment following Daily News venturing out to determine more..

Iranamadu reservoir vested in people

Dec 8 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena vested the reconstructed Iranamadu reservoir in the people today (7), fulfilling another aspiration of the President, as the leader of the State and the farming community of the country. Under the complete guidance of the President, who has given prominence in his agenda to provide solutions for the water issue of the farmers of the country, reconstruction works of Iranamadu reservoir more..

ACC Asia Cup: SL off to winning start

Dec 8 (CT) The former U-19 opener Hasitha Boyagoda (80) and Kamindu Mendis (75) shone with the bat and together with Sammu Ashan’s all round performance Sri Lanka Emerging Team beat Oman Emerging Team by 109 runs in their AAC Emerging Teams’ Asia Cup 2018 match played at R.Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Batting first Sri Lanka made 324 for five with Boyagoda top scoring on 80 while Oman was restricted to 215 for 8. SL got in to a flier with Sandun Weerakkody (29) more..

Biz confidence spikes despite political turmoil

Dec 8 (FT) The latest edition of LMD reports that the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) shot up by 25 basis points to 110 in November, from 85 in October. According to the leading business magazine, this is the highest jump since the formation of the now abandoned coalition govt back in August 2015. In the December issue of LMD, Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant notes that while political instability remains one of the chief national and business concerns, more..

Highest ranking military officer hid in Black Maria fearing shutterbugs

Dec 8 (Island) Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijeguneratne yesterday said that he had been hiding in the prison bus for four hours to escape from journalists’ cameras at the Fort Magistrate court premises on Wednesday. Fort Magistrate court on Wednesday granted bail to Admiral Wijegunaratne, who was arrested by the CID last month for allegedly assisting the main suspect in an abduction more..

Video: Possession of toxic drugs: 96 sentenced to death, 275 imprisoned for life

Dec 8 (DM) Ninety-six suspects including eight women had been sentenced to death by Magistrate’s Courts across the country during the period of 2008 to 2018 after being found guilty of possession of toxic drugs, SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. He said 275 suspects including 34 women were handed life imprisonment between 2008 to Nov 2018 for the same charge. SP Gunasekera said the convicts were charged for possessing drugs such as heroin, cocaine, morphine or opium. more..

Petitions against dissolution of parliament: Order reserved

Dec 8 (Island) Supreme Court yesterday evening reserved order in respect of 10 petitions filed against the dissolution of parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena on Nov 09. The interim order which suspended the presidential gazette being implemented is also reserved indefinitely. Earlier in the day, Counsel Krishmal Warnasuriya yesterday submitted to the Supreme Court, that the current situation in the country should be referred to the people at a referendum. more..

Immunity not to President's actions: Kanag Iswaran PC

Dec 8 (DM) President’s Counsel K. Kanag Iswaran yesterday countering the arguments of the respondents and the intervenient petitioners underlined the fact that the immunity conferred on the Executive President was only on his person and not on his acts or actions. Kanag Iswaran PC appearing for TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said this before the 7-judge bench of the SC which took up for hearing the fundamental rights petitions more..

Video: SLPP claims Arjuna Mahendran to be given top post under UNP govt

Dec 8 (AD) UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe claims that the UNP is preparing to appoint Arjuna Mahendran as the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance under the governance of Ranil Wickremesinghe. The existing political turmoil was created by the UNP, however, the party has no intention of resolving the issue, he further commented. Meanwhile, MP D.V. Chanaka, said that reportedly MP Sajith Premadasa had expended a large amount of money on propaganda more..

October tea crop up 15%

Dec 8 (FT) Tea production in October gained by 3.9 million kilos or 15% to 29.6 million though the first 10 months figure was down marginally by 2% to 253 million kilos. Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said all elevations have shown a growth year-on-year (YOY) growth with High Growns and Medium Growns in particular showing a substantial gain over the corresponding period of 2017. On a cumulative basis, High Growns remained static YOY, whilst Medium Growns have shown a growth. more..

Nation awaits judgment day

Dec 8 (FT) Supreme Court yesterday concluded the hearing of multiple Fundamental Rights petitions against the move to dissolve the Parliament by Prez Sirisena as well as several intervening petitions, and extended the Interim Order against the Executive action till the judgment is delivered. 7-member SC Bench, over the past four days, listened to submissions connected to the 10 FR petitions more..

How many are ready to die for democracy?

Dec 8 (DM) At a time of unprecedented political turmoil when Sri Lanka’s political leadership and people’s mainline representatives are in a crisis where for most of them their reputation has been shattered, the world on Wednesday marked the fifth anniversary of the death of South Africa’s legendary President Nelson Mandela. Much is the inspiration, the encouragement and ideals that Nelson Mandela could give to world leaders and politicians. We hoped that in overcoming the current crisis more..

Beware of climate change!

Dec 8 (CT) Climate change, which is a widely spoken of topic in today’s world, is an inevitable phenomenon. Increased frequency of extreme weather events such as high variability of precipitation that causes severe drought and intense floods has resulted in lethal devastation across Sri Lanka over the past years. It has been found that the geographical location of this island nation makes the country more susceptible to impacts of climate change. Adverse effects of climate change more..

Mahinda’s hurried backdoor power grab and the Gotabhaya factor

Dec 8 (DM) Former President and current Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa was interviewed regarding the present political situation by Kelum Bandara of Daily Mirror last week. One of the questions posed to Mahinda in the interview was – “There is perception among some that you took over the govt entering through the backdoor despite your ability to win elections in the future. What is your view?” more..

CBK not invited to SLFP convention: Due to absence at vital meetings: Piyadasa

Dec 8 (CT) Responding to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s allegation that she had not been invited for the SLFP Convention, despite being a patron, Party General Secretary Professor Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa said Kumaratunga had not been invited to the 4 Dec Party Convention, because she had not attended any of the SLFP activities lately. He said that though the former Leader continues to be a patron more..

Eighty SAITM students not qualified to register with SLMC: GMOA

Dec 8 (DN) The GMOA said that about 80 SAITM students seemed to have not obtained minimum qualifications to register with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). “About 80 SAITM students who say that they have completed their study course, have shown reluctance to register with the SLMC by submitting applications,” GMOA Editor Dr. Nalinda Herath said. “SAITM degree is not recognised by any Medical more..

Move to send mass grave specimens for carbon dating in US hit by a hitch

Dec 8 (Island) Plans to send the skeletal remains recovered from the Mannar mass grave for radiocarbon dating at the Beta Analytic lab in Florida now have been hit by a financial glitch. The team of forensic experts who had exhumed the skeletal remains sought the permission of the court to send them to the US to decide their dates and the court duly granted permission. However, now a financial problem had sprung up and more..

Foreign Secy to do honours in place of PM, ministers

Dec 8 (Island) Foreign Secretary Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha represented Sri Lanka at the Thailand National Day celebrations at the Shangri-La and a reception at the Japanese Ambassador Akira Sugiyama’s residence, on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, in wake of the Court of Appeal on Dec 03 restraining PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and cabinet of ministers from performing their duties pending the final more..

Yuthukama flays UNP, JVP for being puppets of West

Dec 8 (Island) Convenor of Yuthukama organisation and political activist Gevindu Cumaratunga said UNF had not shown that it had a majority in Parliament to form a govt. He said certain elements were making untenable arguments to mislead the public and none of the parties to the dispute had a clear majority in Parliament. He said the claim that there was a conspiracy by the UPFA to remove Ranil Wickremesinghe was baseless and more..

Sri Lanka hire Steve Rixon as fielding coach

Dec 8 (CI) Steve Rixon has been appointed Sri Lanka's fielding coach in their lead-up to the 2019 World Cup, SLC has confirmed. He will link up with the Sri Lanka squad on Dec 24, ahead of their second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch. The move for a new fielding coach has long been mooted, with SL head coach Chandika Hathurusingha having grown visibly frustrated at his team's propensity to squander more..

We're opposed to amending 19A: UNP

Dec 8 (DM) The UNP said it was opposed to the proposal made by President Sirisena to amend 19th Amendment to the constitution. UNP MP Ajith P Perera said that it was likely that the President had wanted the 19th Amendment to the Constitution changed so as to have the authority to dissolve Parliament at anytime he wished and and to have the authority to appoint, transfer or remove any public officer including police officers. more..

UK closely following developments in Sri Lanka: Minister

Dec 8 (AD) The UK says it is following developments in Sri Lanka closely and is aware of the concern felt by many about the potential impact on human rights defenders. “We have spoken to all parties about the need to protect and promote human rights, the rule of law and good governance,” UK’s Minister of State for Human Rights, Lord Ahmad said. “We are in close touch with civil society representatives and international partners to more..

Mahinda failed due to high price of defectors: President

Dec 8 (EN) Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to secure a majority in parliament because MPs demanded over 500 million rupees each to defect, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday acknowledging that his power grab had backfired. President Sirisena in a video interview admitted that the man he controversially installed as PM on Oct 26 did not have a majority in the 225-member assembly despite confident claims at the time. more..

Faulty drug import loss: who takes the rap?

Dec 9 (SO) Even as the country is watching closely for guidance from the Supreme Court to take us out of the current political imbroglio, governance must go on and corruption rooted out. And, the uncovering of a massive loss of public funds due to the import of sub-standard pharmaceuticals over the past two years and more, is a reminder to the citizenry that despite distractions, the administration’s sharp eye does not miss such financial muck-ups. more..

No Chiristmas for SC

Dec 9 (CT) The 7-Member Supreme Court (SC) Bench chaired by Chief Justice Nalin Perera, virtually to everyone’s surprise, deferred its judgment to an unknown date, in respect of Prez Sirisena’s controversial Gazette Notification of 9 Nov which sought to prematurely dissolve the present Parliament and call for fresh Polls on 5 Jan. But such a move is not surprising, in hindsight, considering the gravity of the situation, unfolded, after the wild moves made on the political more..

'LTTE remains a threat to Sri Lanka'

Dec 9 (SO) In an alleged statement, issued last week, the LTTE has claimed that they had no link in the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991. The letter signed by an alleged LTTE Political Wing representative Kurburan Guruswami and Legal Wing representative Lathan Chandralingam, was given wide coverage in the Indian media. Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, a world authority on terrorism and insurgency is not convinced that more..