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ICC hands over anti-corruption report to Sports Minister

Dec 28 (CT) Sports Minister Harin Fernando has been handed over the much-awaited ICC report on anti-corruption charges relating to Sri Lanka yesterday, when Fernando met with the ICC General Manager of the Anti-Corruption Unit, Alex Marshal at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai. The ICC had also agreed to send a senior Anti-corruption official to set up a reliable Anti-corruption Unit in Sri Lanka. “I had a very positive meeting with more..

'President opposes 20th Amendment'

Dec 28 (CT) Prez Sirisena is not in agreement with the proposed 20th Amendment, brought by the JVP, seeking the abolition of the Executive Presidency, WP Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara, said. He added that the JVP has very limited power in Parliament. “It was brought by the JVP, but the people at the grassroots level are disturbed by it. We know why they brought it, we know how many people went to have secret discussions with some of these so called NGOs. more..

Video: Police officer killed in assault

Dec 28 (AD) A police officer has been assaulted and killed over a dispute that took place in Niwandama South, Ja-Ela. The police officer in question was assaulted after a dispute over land between two persons had escalated, according to the office of Police Media Spokesperson. The attacker had, reportedly, forcibly entered the police officer’s house while he was celebrating his 24th wedding anniversary with his wife and several relatives and had attacked him with a sharp object. more..

Sri Lanka holds rates; credit up amid sterilized forex interventions

Dec 28 (EN) Central bank held rates in December at 9%, while credit to the state and private sector accelerated amid money printed to enforce fixed interest rates after intervening in forex markets to maintain a soft-pegged exchange rate. "In spite of the increased cost of funds and tight liquidity conditions, the year-on-year growth of credit to the private sector accelerated since Sept 2018, partly reflecting the private sector advancing more..

Western Provincial Councillor arrested over alleged financial fraud

Dec 28 (DM) Western Provincial Councillor S. Kuhawardhan was arrested by the CID for allegedly defrauding cheques amounting to Rs. 70 million, CID sources said. He was arrested following interrogation by the Commercial Crime Investigation Unit of the CID. A businessman had lodged a complaint with the CID’s Commercial Crime Investigation Unit saying that the councillor had defrauded Rs. 70 million by giving dud cheques for the purchase of three housing complexes. more..

Great delight brought rivalry to naught!

Dec 28 (DM) Greens, Blues, Buds and Reds were seen in small knots excitedly talking in hushed tones in the Aluthkade complex precincts during the last few weeks. All these political groups were present in larger numbers in the august complex precincts on the day the historic ruling on the dissolution was to be given by the seven-judge panel. Cheers broke out soon after the court ruling was announced and the exuberant Green and red groups coming out of the courtroom were celebrating more..

Agriculture Ministry relocation hits snag

Dec 28 (CT) Efforts to relocate the Ministry of Agriculture from the private building in Rajagiriya, where it is housed at a monthly rental of Rs 20 million, to its original place at Govijana House in Battaramulla, has hit a snag once again due to an issue regarding the agreement signed with the owner, informed sources said. They said that according to the agreement, Ministry had agreed to pay monthly rental till the end of next year. more..

Navy cleans up drinking water wells in flood-affected areas

Dec 28 (SLN) Navy relief teams are supporting to set up the day today life of the general public in the North whose lives were uncomforted by the adverse weather inclined in Kilinochchi and Mulativu districts. Accordingly, 15 Navy relief teams have been deployed to clean the drinking water wells spoiled by the floods over Thondamanaru, Mankulam and Kottaadi areas. As a result of hard work, 10 drinking wells have been cleaned by now and further Navy relief teams have provided about more..

Northern floods: Wiggy defends Tamil politicians

Dec 28 (Island) Former Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has denied accusations that Tamil politicians failed to respond swiftly in the wake of recent flood disaster in the north. Retired SC Justice Wigneswaran said that there was no basis for allegations that affected people of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu were denied the required attention. Wigneswaran said so on Wednesday (26) in the Vanni after having distributed four lorry loads of essential items among the needy. more..

'Govt to start talks on putting IMF program back on track'

Dec 28 (FT) Govt will kick-start discussions next week with several organisations, including the IMF and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), to put back on track key programs that were disrupted by recent political turmoil. State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said that officials had already reached out to different organisations and were awaiting the end of the holiday season to pursue discussions in earnest. more..

Some UNPers not in favour of general elections

Dec 28 (DM) A faction of the UNP is said to be opposed to a snap parliamentary election next year. This comes in the wake of UNP National Organizer and Minister, Navin Dissanayake having said he had proposed to the party leadership to prepare for a snap general election after April next year. However, some UNP MPs are not in favour of this proposal and instead are demanding a snap presidential election. According to the Constitution, Prez Sirisena can declare a snap president more..

Sri Lanka to stop issuing passports valid only for Middle East

Dec 28 (DM) In view of Sri Lanka introducing the e-passport service to its citizen, the issuance of passports valid Only For Middle East Countries would no longer be issued from Dec 31 this year, the Immigration and Emigration Controller General M.N. Ranasinghe said. He said only passports valid for All Countries will be issued from Jan 1, 2019. He said the department was hoping to implement the e-passport project soon with an electronic chip that carries the owner's biodata. more..

Money Politics: Will take tough decision if Cabinet post not given: Range

Dec 28 (DM) MP Palitha Range Bandara warned that he would be forced to take a tough decision if he was not given a Cabinet portfolio by next month. He pointed out that he was the catalyst behind the rise of the UNP following the recent Constitutional impasse. He made these comments at a ceremony organised to hand over equipment to the people in Siyambalawewa in line with Gamperaliya programme. more..

Colombo’s Condominium Conundrum

Dec 29 (ST) As Colombo’s condominium market evolves, new dilemmas emerge. Colombo’s condominium market has reached an inflection point. In 2010, fueled by prospects of future demand for high rise living, developers scrambled to invest in real estate on an unprecedented scale. Today, the initial exuberance has dried and the infant stage has passed whilst the market awaits a new set of enticing possibilities and challenges. We observe three big changes happening in more..

20A: A red herring

Dec 29 (CT) The proposed 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution had its genesis soon after Prez Sirisena won the 8 Jan, 2015 Presidential Poll (PP). 19A, unlike the proposed 20A, was passed in Parliament in April 2015. It diluted the powers of the Executive Presidency (EP). The efficacy of 19A was manifest when a full Bench Supreme Court, comprising seven Judges and chaired by the Chief Justice, unanimously decreed on 13 Dec, that Prez’s directive of 9 Nov of dissolving Parliament more..

Roar's top twelve picks for 2018

Dec 29 (Roar) We have had an incredible year for stories here at Roar, covering many unexplored facets of SL. Our culture, identity, and historical pieces were particularly popular, along with a touch of humour — before the Constitutional crisis put a dampener on everyone’s mood towards the end of the year. Here are a few of our best pieces, based on what our readers enjoyed, and what Roar editorial team loved working on. more..

Stable community: A Christmas reflection

Dec 29 (GV) The birth of Christ ushers a promise of peace for the world. In the fullest teaching of the Bible, peace is the ethos of stable, just and reconciled relationships among all living beings. Peace happens here and now in history, and remains a paradox. It is a gift of God enhanced by human endeavour. The entry of wise persons from other religious cultures, demonstrate goodwill at the birth of a Jewish baby. Their presence endorses cross-cultural harmony as a distinct impetus more..

Defiling of Buddha statue & Question of why

Dec 29 (CT) Nearly 30 km away two youths who are not even remotely connected to my life launch a spree of attacks on several Buddha statues damaging and defiling them, and my WhatsApp is suddenly barraged with messages calling all Muslims to take caution and remain safe. The fact that those two youths share my faith is the only reason why I have to be vigilant. As illogical and insane it may sound this is the capricious reality that I have been living through since I can more..

The 19A as the UNP’s plaything

Dec 29 (DM) It is reported that the Govt has decided to seek the opinion of the Attorney General on the possibility of increasing the size of the Cabinet of Ministers to 32. The argument is that the Prez and PM should not be included in the 30 member cabinet, as limited by the 19th Amendment. Govt is therefore seeking a green light considering the legal ambiguity. Interestingly, one of the main figures in the making of the 19th Amendment, more..

What the Professionals forget

Dec 29 (DM) Different people have different ideas regarding what’s ailing Sri Lanka. For some it is the education system. For others it is the cost of living. For still others it is the balance of payments deficit. Regardless of the problem, all of them are agreed on the reason behind it. The political system. That is why editors, commentators, and activists tend to single out politicians. They are, as they always were, responsible for this country’s downfall. Without them, so the saying goes, we would prosper. more..

Edtorial: Boundless greed

Dec 29 (Island) UNP MP Range Bandara is demanding a Cabinet post, of all things. He has promised tough action unless his demand is met within one month. The govt’s reaction to his threat is not known. The reason why he considers himself eligible to be in the Cabinet is interesting. He says that he rejected an offer of Rs. 500 mn and a Cabinet post from the UPFA and refrained from switching his allegiance to the Rajapaksa camp, in the wake of the 26 Oct. govt change. more..


Season’s Greeting for another New Year in Crisis

Dec 29 (DM) Three more days and another new year; 2019 would dawn with sky rockets, firecrackers and 31st Night bashes in Colombo. For the fun loving urban middle class, the Constitutional crisis, the threat on democracy there was a month ago, is no more. For them, it’s yet another New Year with grand expectations; joy, good health, peace and prosperity. No different to the sky rockets, firecrackers, barbecues, beverages, music and dancing of yesteryears and more..

Govt using underworld for its survival

Dec 29 (DM) The govt is using the underworld for its survival, the SLPP said. MP Shehan Semasinghe said it was the duty of the govt to ensure the safety of all citizens. “Instead, the govt is using the underworld for its own survival. Firearms are being used in broad daylight illegally. This year alone, 54 people have been shot dead. Six unidentified bodies had been found in five districts on Thursday. How can one say the security of the country has been ensured,” he said. more..

Latham, Nicholls tons give NZ firm grip

Dec 29 (CI) New Zealand took giant strides toward wrapping up the Christchurch Test, and by extension the series, on day three, after racking up a gargantuan lead of 659. Then they removed Sri Lanka's openers in the 14 overs before stumps. Before Trent Boult and Tim Southee claimed a wicket apiece, though, it was a day of personal accolades for NZ's batsmen. Tom Latham made his 2nd mammoth score of the series, more..

Youth Athlete Parami gifted house

Dec 29 (CT) Youth athlete Parami Wasanthi, 17, who won a Bronze medal at the Youth Olympic Games held in Argentina last Oct, was gifted with a house worth Rs. 3 million by Minister Sajith Premadasa. Minister said it is the duty of any govt to provide solid support to all sportsmen and women who bring honour and glory to the country, irrespective of their party or colour differences and added that a sportswoman such as Parami has to be considered a national treasure. more..

New Minister, old strategy

Dec 29 (ST) Despite dates being fixed for the long-overdue cricket election, the new sports minister wants to go for an interim arrangement instead of a poll. However, he will be hard pressed to convince the International Cricket Council (ICC) to agree. The ICC in August extended a Dec 31 deadline to hold fresh elections, agreeing to have them on Feb 9 next year after former Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha and his entourage begged for time to sort out issues. But now Harin Fernando, more..

Clearing up the mess: Minister Harin, let’s begin with the new SLC constitution

Dec 29 (ST) It is no secret that politics plays a huge role in SL’s sports and what occurred towards the end of the Sidath Wettimuny Interim Committee must be in scrutiny even at this time of age. What they looked at that time was to effect a change in the constitution of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and infuse a fresh lease of life to cricket in the country. Yet, politics and other paraphernalia got in the way, and more..

Year in review: Sirisena’s decisive fall & Ranll’s last chance

Dec 29 (CT) SL, one of the oldest parliamentary democracies in Asia, faced its worst political crisis in 2018. The legislature, which survived a three-decade-long civil war and two insurgencies, was on the brink of being superseded by a delusional and erratic Executive President. It was the judiciary that stepped up at a critical moment and saved the country from entering into a seemingly inescapable political abyss. The year also marked the lowest ebb of Prez Sirisena’s political journey, more..

Sri Lanka to host Adventure Racing World Championship – 2019

Dec 29 (DN) Sri Lanka will be the venue for the Adventure Racing World Championship - 2019 (ARWC-2019). The High Commission of SL in Canberra initiated this world event that is scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka from Dec 3-13, 2019. This would be the first time that such an event will be staged in Asia, having being held annually in other parts of the world since 2001. The SL Tourism Promotion Bureau is the focal govt agency that will work with the main organizer, Geocentric Ltd, more..

Attempt to kill underworld figure near courts fails

Dec 29 (Island) A daring chase helped police nab an underworld killer, who attempted to shoot his rival at the Hulftsdorp court premises. The suspect tried to shoot his rival twice but failed and then ran from the court premises towards Keselwatte brandishing his pistol, but police chased and nabbed him. The police recovered 3.8 MM pistol and six bullets in the possession of the suspect who was later identified as Prasanna Thushara, more..

Saffron Air succeeds where SriLankan fails

Dec 29 (Island) Saffron Air, a subsidiary of John Keells Holdings, now uses the infrastructure created to operate an air taxi service by SriLankan Airlines, Pulasthi Wanasundara, Flights Operations Manager of the airline told the PCoI. The decision to start a code share agreement with Saffron Air was taken in 2014, when Susantha Rathnayake, the head of JKH, was also on the Board of Directors of SriLankan. "However, Rathnayake declared a conflict of interest and excused himself when more..

Rs. 1.7 mn Ice detected by Vadukkodai police

Dec 29 (Island) The Vadukkodai Police nabbed a person who was transporting a stock of Crystal Methamphetamine, the drug also known as ‘Ice’, for distribution in Madagal in Jaffna on Thursday. Police said that they had recovered 86 grams and 410 milligrams of ‘Ice’ with a street value of over Rs 1,720,000 from the suspect. The raid was carried out based on a tip-off received by police. The 21-year-old suspect is a resident of the same area, according to police. more..

‘Geetha’s fate should befall dual citizens in parliament’

Dec 29 (Island) National Election Commission (NEC) Assistant Commissioner (Parliamentary Elections) Shreen Boralessa said that the lawmakers having dual citizenship could be verified with the Department of Immigration and Emigration. Asked whether the NEC would do so in the wake of the revelation three TNA lawmakers would relinquish their foreign citizenship ahead of parliamentary polls in 2020, more..

Harin clarifies confusion regarding resignation

Dec 29 (FT) Harin Fernando resigned from the post of Minister for Digital Infrastructure, effective from 26 Dec. Fernando was appointed as the Minister of Telecom, Digital Infrastructure, Sports and Foreign Employment on 21 Dec. However, Minister clarified that on the same day (26 Dec), non-Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers and State Ministers were appointed, Prez had handed over the new letter of appointment, appointing Fernando as Minister for Telecom, Sports & Foreign Employment, more..

AG to decide whether statements of all 225 MPs were necessary for fracas probe

Dec 29 (Island) Attorney General’s Department is to decide whether the statements of all 225 MPs and Parliamentary staff members would be needed to take action against the MPs who caused damage to public property during the disorderly conduct in parliament during last month’s political crisis. The decision would be conveyed by the Dept on a future date to the Parliamentary Committee appointed to conduct an investigation in to the unrest in the floor of the House on 14th, 15th and 16th Nov. more..

Ill-planned air taxi service became a costly failure for SriLankan

Dec 29 (Island) The air taxi service the SriLankan, initiated in December 2010, had failed within nine months, Pulasthi Wanasundara, Flights Operations Manager of the airline, told the PCoI. Environmentalists and local communities had opposed the move from the outset. A number of tanks and lagoons, which were used by fishermen, were used as airdromes. "We believed that the product was popular and when we offered more..

MP’s party membership is for Court to decide: Speaker

Dec 29 (CT) The position of Leader of the Opposition in the legislature is appointed as per the Standing Orders of the Parliament and the question of whether a MP holds the membership of a certain political party or not is a matter for the Court to decide, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said. These views were aired by Jayasuriya when he met the chief representatives of the multi-religious summit at the Speaker’s official residence on 26 Dec. Explaining further about the post of Opposition Leader, more..

'School uniforms vouchers : Action against principals who promote businesses'

Dec 29 (DM) The Education Ministry said disciplinary action would be taken against principals who were trying to promote certain businesses when giving out free vouchers to purchase school uniforms. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the ministry had received complaints that certain principals were engaged in this unethical practice when distributing free vouchers to students for uniforms for the new year. The minister instructed all the principals to adhere more..

OMP finances carbon testing of samples from Mannar mass grave

Dec 29 (Island) The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) has come forward to provide financial assistance to carry out carbon dating on the samples of skeletal remains found from the Mannar mass grave. A statement by the OMP said that the OMP has been observing the process of selecting six bone samples for radio carbon dating at the Mannar mass grave, located at the Sathosa Building in Mannar town. more..