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NMCRP calls for Police protection for CAA teams

Dec 14 (CT) National Movement of Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP), called for Police protection for Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Inspection teams during raids. Chairman of the NMCRP, Ranjith Withanage said, there were large scale malpractices with the beginning of the festive season. Prez had issued instructions that people should be able to purchase goods and services without problems. However, CAA Inspection Teams have been unable to carry out their duties more..

UNF in dialogue with selected SLFP MPs to form Govt: Nalin Bandara

Dec 14 (DM) The UNF is currently engaged in a dialogue with a selected group of SLFP MPs for the purpose of forming a govt, MP Nalin Bandara Jaymaha said. He said that these discussions were being held in line with a decision taken by the UNF to secure the support of SLFP MPs with whom they could work in a future govt. “We decided on Thursday night that we will handpick SLFP MPs with whom we could work and our discussions are based with that objective in view,” the MP said. more..

SC grants leave to proceed with Mahinda’s appeal

Dec 14 (AD) The Supreme Court has decided to take up the appeal of Mahinda Rajapaksa against the interim order of the Court of Appeal on the premiership on the 16th, 17th and 18th of January 2019. However, the request of the petitioners for a stay order on the interim order restraining Mahinda Rajapaksa from holding office of PM and his Cabinet from functioning has been unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court. more..

ACMC says triumph for parliamentary democracy

Dec 14 (Island) Following yesterday’s historic verdict of the Supreme Court, the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) said that the decision was not just a victory against unconstitutional dissolution but a triumph for parliamentary democracy itself. "From the very beginning of the crisis ACMC said that what President Sirisena did was illegal, and in violation of the constitution. More importantly, it was a serious attack on the democratic principles that we always respected. more..

Pakistan awards scholarships to Sri Lankan students in Medicine

Dec 14 (PHC) The Govt of Pakistan through its High Commission in Sri Lanka has awarded higher education scholarships to nine Sri Lankan students in the field of Medicine in top Pakistani institutions under Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP) for Sri Lanka. The High Commissioner of Pakistan in SL Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat met the students at the High Commission of Pakistan and congratulated them on their selection for higher education in Pakistan. more..

Fast bowlers give Sri Lanka hope against upbeat New Zealand

Dec 14 (CI) This is a Test between a team ranked No. 6 that has just been walloped 3-0 at home, and a No. 4 side that has just returned from a 2-1 triumph overseas. That the series takes place in the the higher-ranked outfit's own conditions further underlines who the favourites here are. There is stability for NZ. There is a highly-rated captain who has been in the job for almost three years. There is a well-heeled and confident attack. more..

Justice Aluwihare announces the retirement of Justice Ewa Wanasundara

Dec 14 (DM) Before the proceedings of Mahinda Rajapakse’s appeal were initiated Justice Aluwihare pronouncing the retirement of Justice Ewa Wanasundara said that today was her last day as a presiding Supreme Court Justice. He and the Bar also wished and appreciated her service in the judiciary. Appeal filed against Interim Order given by Court of Appeal recently restraining Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cabinet from functioning is yet to be taken up for initial inquiry. more..

Video: UNP calls for UPFA to withdraw from govt

Dec 14 (AD) The UNP has called for the UPFA to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court and withdraw from the govt. UNP representatives have stated this during a press conference held at the Temple Trees this morning. Commenting further, MP Nalin Bandara said that the Constitution, considered the foremost document of the country, has regained its rightful supremacy. The situation could not have been reversed had the Supreme Court delivered a different verdict and more..

'Need our seamers to attack NZ batsmen'

Dec 14 (CI) Sri Lanka's best hope in New Zealand is for their seamers to attack the opposition batsmen. So said captain Dinesh Chandimal on the eve of the first Test, in Wellington. He didn't quite say that SL's batting was fragile (even though it is). He didn't make mention of the fact that his young quicks aren't really the bowl-dry-and-wait-for-the-mistake sort (even though they aren't). But he did acknowledge that going aggressively at more..

Drug lord uses satellite phones

Dec 14 (Island) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNBP), which searched the Beruwela residence of the trawler owner in whose vessel 239 kilos of heroin was smuggled to Sri Lanka, recovered two satellite phones and Rs.5.9 million in cash. The suspect had been running their business via satellite phones, the police said. The suspect is being interrogated by the PNB officers on a detention order. The police are looking for suspect Duleep Samantha de Silva’s wife and some others. more..

SL logistics firms mull tie-ups with start-ups

Dec 14 (EN) SL logistics firms are adapting to changing customer behaviour and technology and could strike up partnerships with start-ups in extending their services. Ruwan Waidyaratne, managing director of Hayleys Advantis Ltd., logistics business of Hayleys group, said digital technology was changing the whole playing field and creating better efficiencies. “We seen changes in customer behaviour, in customer expectations and are responding by becoming more efficient and more..

The politics of a plot to kill SL's President

Dec 14 (Reuters) A plot to kill the president, links to foreign intelligence, a rogue police officer and a missing sniper: the snippets of news emerging from SL in recent weeks seem plucked from the pages of paperback fiction. But the allegations have had real enough consequences for the island nation, contributing to upending its politics, undermining its currency & credit rating, and affecting relations with giant neighbor India. more..

A Historic Judgment

Dec 15 (GV) On December 13, there was heightened police presence outside the Supreme Court as the public awaited news on petitions challenging the Presidential proclamation on the dissolution of Parliament. Sri Lanka has remained mired in political uncertainty since October 26, when President Sirisena withdrew his party, the SLFP, from the coalition government and appointed SLPP MP Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, a move many have called unconstitutional. more..

Congratulations JVP, TNA, SLMC & ACMC!

Dec 15 (CT) Supreme Court has given its unanimous judicial verdict (only verdict that counts) on the unconstitutionality of Prez Sirisena’s move to sack an elected PM and dissolve the parliament before its constitutionally allowed term of office. The fact that he is still not willing to concede defeat and even contemplating, according to some sources, on a possible referendum to call for general elections, not only shows his egoistic arrogance, but also indirectly, contempt of court. more..

For the greater good: What is the real cost of community tourism in Sri Lanka?

Dec 15 (Roar) Tourism is one of Sri Lanka’s fastest growing industries, and its upward trajectory seems set to only continue in the future. This rapid advancement seemed promising, with many predicting that it would significantly improve the country’s economy. However, when looking retrospectively at the economic benefits the industry has brought to the local economy, many researchers are finding that this is not completely true. more..

UNP and TNL: Spitting on the Judiciary while venerating it

Dec 15 (CT) The seven member bench has given their verdicts. The crackers have gone off shuttering the air. Ajith P Perera and Hirunika have opined reminding us of our political poverty. Signalling the rise of the new kleptocracy, Ravi Karunanayake The Innocent, UNP’s soft Baby Back Bencher who has no clue where the house he lived in materialized from has made a comeback. He was the first to emerge from the courts complex yesterday to hail the independent judiciary. more..

Resilience in Sri Lanka

Dec 15 (GV) The recent political crisis in Sri Lanka has gone largely unnoticed in the international press. Although it is a very serious matter for the 21.4 million Sri Lankans who currently have one, two or no govt, it rarely rates an update on BBC or CNN (unless chili powder is being thrown or a protest turns violent). This is partly due to the sad reality that if it bleeds it leads. Indeed, we contend that it is because resilience is boring – when institutions work the way they should, more..

Ananda Coomaraswamy and his legacy

Dec 15 (Roar) In November 1918, Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, a Sri Lankan art historian and philosopher, published The Dance of Shiva, a collection of 14 essays on varied subjects, united in its uniquely South Asian perspective. “Hundred years on, his wisdom still resonates with people, in Sri Lanka and abroad,” said anthropologist Hasini Haputhanthri, who moderated a recent event on Coomaraswamy’s life and work at more..

TNA, JVP front runners in saving democracy

Dec 15 (CT) Dignity of the judiciary in the country has been proved in an exemplary manner with a seven-judge Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Nalin Perera delivering a landmark judgment on Thursday unanimously quashing President Maithripala Sirisena’s proclamation of dissolving Parliament and declaring a General Election. From the time the political tsunami had hit Parliament on 26 Oct, the whole country was in a clueless state for the past one and half months with no proper more..

Political crisis: A Muslim perspective

Dec 15 (DN) Muslims of SL with their composition of business-people through the educated and the peasants have one thing in common – that is their belief in the Oneness of God the Creator (Allah), seek help through supplication from Allah and Allah alone, and that everything happens – good or bad – from the Will of Allah, that is, one’s destiny is in Allah. This belief is fully ingrained in almost all Muslims (with some exceptions) irrespective of being a practising Muslim or not. more..


The President must bow to unanimous Supreme Court verdict

Dec 15 (DM) Supreme Court has spoken, justice has been delivered, and the President’s action of dissolving parliament has been declared illegal, unconstitutional and a violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners. But whether the crisis has ended is still a major question. We hope the President will bow to the unanimous verdict of the 7-member Supreme Court bench which upheld democracy and constitutional governance. This column, a fortnight ago, said that even if more..

Edtorial: Sovereignty and legerdemain

Dec 15 (Island) Thursday’s Supreme Court judgment preventing the dissolution of Parliament has brought the executive president down a peg or two and made him realise that the sky is not the limit in exercising his powers. But it cannot be expected to have, on the polity in turmoil, the same effect as oil on troubled waters. The crisis will assume a new form and continue to dog the country for a long time. The fact that the apex court has accepted, as tenable, some of the arguments against more..

Hulftsdorp strikes at Fauxtus reign

Dec 15 (Island) We are caught in the whirl of electoral democracy. There is a spreading interest in a general election. With the Supreme Court being clear about the four and half years after the last election for another general election, without a 2/3rds parliamentary approval, some are talking about a referendum to call for such an election. There are some lawyers too, making a case for this electoral hoodwink that Sirisena-Rajapaksa more..

Islam is a religion of peace and unity: Rishad

Dec 15 (FT) Even though Islam is a religion of peace, emphasising much on unity and reconciliation, this is not the view taken by many in the international community and Sri Lankan Muslims are united in the declaration of All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, according to ACMC Leader Rishad Bathiudeen. Bathiudeen was addressing the Int'l Conference on Islamic Unity organised by the Muslim World League (MWL) and themed Perils of Labelling and Exclusion. more..

Investors in luxury still bullish on Sri Lanka

Dec 15 (DM) With aspirations to invigorate and inspire luxury hospitality in the region, SL-based The Plantation Luxury Villas announced the launch of its newest development of luxury villas, at an event held at The Heritage Café in Galle on Thursday (13). Following an introduction and in-depth presentation of the visually and conceptually stunning project, members of the press, investors, and guests were invited to Meet the Developer, Architect, and Creative Director to further more..

Some development projects plunges country into debt trap: CEJ

Dec 15 (CT) Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) slammed some of the major projects undertaken by previous govts as burdening the country and plunging it into a debt trap. “Uma Oya diversion project is a case in point. It was launched during the previous regime without a feasibility study being done. By Dec 2014, the Iranian gift became a death trap as well as a debt trap for villagers in Bandarawela”, Executive Director of CEJ, more..

ACC emerging teams Asia Cup: Future stars of Sri Lanka on show today

Dec 15 (DN) The future of Sri Lanka will be on show when the home team takes on favourites India in the final of the Asia Cup Emerging Team Trophy championship at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo today. The Indians go into the final with a better record taking into account their showing in the qualifying round games, while Sri Lanka can take heart from the fact that they raised their game at the right moment to beat Bangladesh by four wickets in the semi final. more..

ComBank empowers micro entrepreneurs in Kuliyapitiya

Dec 15 (Island) A group of 100 farmers from the Kuliyapitiya area were the latest beneficiaries of a Financial Literacy Programme conducted by Commercial Bank of Ceylon in collaboration with Central Bank of Sri Lanka recently for micro entrepreneurs. This was the ninth such programme conducted by the Bank for micro and agriculture-related entrepreneurs this year to enhance the financial literacy levels of this important customer segment. more..

Weerasekera sole MP to vote against 19 A vindicated

Dec 15 (Island) The only lawmaker to vote against the 19th Amendment retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, said that those who hailed the new law as panacea owed an explanation to the country. Former Digamadulla District MP Weerasekera said so when The Island asked him as to why he voted against the 19th Amendment in spite of Prez Sirisena personally appealing for unanimous support to pass it from the SLFP-led UPFA more..

JVP wants hunt for culprits

Dec 15 (Island) JVP demands that a special parliamentary select committee be appointed to investigate the recent political coup to ascertain the persons who responsible for the crisis and to recommend punishments to them. JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said that they would submit a motion to Parliament seeking its approval to appoint a PSC. "Following coups commissions are appointed to ascertain causes and to punish the culprits. What we had witnessed on Oct 26 more..

Thurunu Diriya empowers rural youth

Dec 15 (FT) The Thurunu Diriya loan scheme of the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has opened up new opportunities for young entrepreneurs to develop their businesses by providing loans without collateral. The Thurunu Diriya loan scheme provides loans without a guarantor and collateral, or with lenient guarantor conditions, for entrepreneurs below the age of 40 years who possess a degree or a recognised vocational certificate and who have been in the business for a minimum of 3 yrs. more..

Economic sentiment continues to improve

Dec 15 (FT) The latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence (BCI) poll reveals that sentiment surrounding the economy improved for the second consecutive month. According to the only survey of its kind in this country – which was conducted in the first week of November – 19% of respondents expect the economy to improve over the next 12 months compared to 8% percent in October. more..

UNP true colours shown after SC verdict

Dec 15 (Island) Gampaha District UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga said that the UNP had shown its true colours by attacking the house of Attanagalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and acting aggressively opposite Lake House in Colombo soon after the verdict on the dissolving of parliament was delivered by the Supreme Court on Thursday. "They acted violently only after a judgment and one could imagine how their behaviour would have been had they had wielded power," he said. more..

Making high-quality and inclusive computer science education a reality for everyone

Dec 15 (Island) As part of its ongoing efforts to close the digital skills gap, Microsoft has kicked off Future Ready, a program run in partnership with nonprofits and schools to generate interest amongst students to learn computer science and empower teachers with skills to teach computer science. The company is committed to helping students learn computer science to unlock future economic opportunities. By embracing computational thinking, students acquire fundamental skills for more..

Sri Lanka’s political crisis sees work travellers bypass tourism

Dec 15 (SCMP) Pamuditha Fernando, owner of Colombo-based tour company Ceylon Trails, has seen his takings for the last two weeks drop by 1 million rupees (US$5,564) – or 90% – compared to the previous fortnight. He blames SL’s protracted political crisis for his customers – people attending meetings and conferences with spare time for a daily excursion to cities of Galle or Kandy – slowing to a trickle. more..

Ambassador Ganegama Arachchi presents letters of credence to King of Sweden

Dec 15 (FT) SL’s new Ambassador to Sweden Ganegama Arachchi presented Letters of Credence to King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a ceremony held on 12 Dec at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The King extended a warm welcome to the new Ambassador. While conveying warm greetings from President Sirisena to the King of Sweden, Ambassador Ganaegama Arachchi expressed his readiness to work closely with the Govt of Sweden to further strengthen the relations between more..

Rs 19 billion Chalmers Granary Development to kick off in June 2019

Dec 15 (DN) The ambitious Rs 19 billion Chalmers Granary Project will kick off in June 2019. “There are four consortia of investors, comprising two Singaporeans, a Korean and a Britisher who have expressed interest in the project and they have asked for an extension of time to submit their bids till end January due to the prevailing political impasse but the project is definitely on, Urban Development Authority Director General Sumedha Ratnayake said. more..

SC ruling not a UNP victory: Herath

Dec 15 (CT) The JVP will work on appointing a Commission to fulfil short-term commitments of the Govt, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said. Herath said a UNP Govt will not solve emerging public issues. There will be a public rally today at 3 p.m. at the Kirula grounds, Kirulapana and a door-to-door leaflet campaign will commence from 17 Dec to raise awareness of democracy, he said. He said the Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t a victory for more..

End Sri Lanka’s crisis

Dec 15 (Hindu) Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to resign as Prime Minister, an office to which he was controversially installed by President Maithripala Sirisena, is the first sign that the dragging constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka is heading slowly towards a resolution. He had also played a part in the unfolding of the crisis set off by Mr. Sirisena, who made ill-advised moves by invoking his executive powers repeatedly for political and partisan ends. more..