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Edtorial: Wiggy’s counsel

Dec 4 (Island) Former Northern Province (NP) Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran has urged the political leaders embroiled in the current conflict—Maithripala Sirisena, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe—to sink their differences and form a national government. What prevents them from reaching middle ground to resolve the present crisis is their insatiable thirst for power. Wigneswaran’s proposition, we are afraid, has the trappings of a fool’s errand. more..

JVP press conference

Tri-Service WOs, SNCOs come together for one-day workshop

Dec 4 (DN) A monumentally unique assembly of a few more than 2,000 Tri-Service Warrant Officers (WOs) and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) under one roof on a conceptual notion of the Army Commander for the first time in military history took place at Attidiya Eagle’s Lakeside Convention Hall last Monday (26). The officers in a spirit of comradeship participated in a full-day seminar to receive updates on logistics and improved performance of their tasks, more..

Is Sri Lanka capable of a course correction?

Dec 4 (Island) The genesis of SL’s current political and economic problems can very well be traced back to several structural issues of the country, both politically and culturally. It is no secret that from the outset of the war in SL, the country lost a significant number of well-educated and high calibre individuals to greener pastures; mainly to developed Western nations. It is equally true that these people acquired some high-end skills while working in those countries, which they otherwise would not more..

Swan song of political parties in Sri Lanka?

Dec 4 (Island) Representative democratic systems were driven by the political parties symbolized under different icons. Symbols were chosen by various political parties to signifying the strength, social concerns and purpose of their existence to link up with the electorate as a brand. Lions, Tigers and Elephants have been political icons in Sri Lanka for quite some time, but buffaloes, cows, donkeys and horses were not chosen as symbols to more..

Only SLR has offered a seat to a woman in ex-co, says Asanga

Dec 4 (DN) Former Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) President and current vice president of National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (SLNOC) Asanga Seneviratne said only SLR has offered a seat on their Executive Committee to a woman out of 62 sports administration bodies in Sri Lanka. He made these remarks at the launching of the IOC Women and Sport trophies Press Conference held at NOC on Tuesday. He further said “Bridging the gender gap - for a country that produced the first more..

Deaf and Disabled cricket comes under aegis of SLC

Dec 4 (DN) SL Deaf and Disable Cricket were recognized by Minister Faiszer Mustapha who wanted both sports bodies to be affiliated to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). He made this remark at the press conference held at SLC premises yesterday. Minister further said that equal rights should be given to these sports not only in cricket but also other disabled sports to help them develop their skills. “Disabled and deaf athletes also look for equal opportunities and rights not sympathies. more..

The Hathurusingha conundrum

Dec 4 (ST) A few days after SL returned from their first-round Asia Cup exit, Coach Chandika Hathurusingha at a packed media conference in Colombo launched a scathing attack on Angelo Mathews, who had led the players, justifying his axing from the captaincy and team. Mathews was involved in run-outs, he maintained, and had particularly run his partner out multiple times. It was a serious allegation against more..

CCC says unfair play by SLC

Dec 4 (CT) In a letter dated 29 November to the Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha, the Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) has lodged a complaint stating: “Resting National cricketers from participating in the ongoing Premier League Tournament is very unfair by the governing body, Sri Lanka Cricket.” This year’s Premier League captain Kusal Mendis and all-rounder Malinda Pushpakumara, two of their key players, were asked to be rested by Sri Lanka Cricket at the eleventh hour. more..

Eminent Indian Artists to perform in Colombo

Dec 4 (Island) The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, High commission of India, Colombo will be presenting three well known Indian performing artistes. A Tabla recital by Prof Mukund Narayan Bhale will be held on 13th December and Andhra Natyam by Ms. Chinmayi Arukula and her Guru Kala Ratna Sri Perini Kumar on 14th December at 6 pm at SVCC auditorium located at 16/2, Gregory’s Road, and Colombo 07. Prof. Mukund Narayan Bhale born & brought-up in a musical family more..

'SL Apparel target of $5.5B unlikely this year'

Dec 4 (CT) Sri Lanka will not be able to reach its apparel target of US$ 5.5 billion, mainly due to the global economic slowdown and over-supply in the market, said Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) Chairman, Felix Fernando. He said Sri Lanka’s apparel exports will grow in the range of 6-8% by the end of this year. Apparel exports hit a high of US$ 4.81 billion in 2017, up 3% from 2016. more..

Unilever to acquire consumer healthcare nutrition products from GSK

Dec 4 (Island) Unilever announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the Health Food Drinks portfolio (GSK HFD) of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in India, Bangladesh and 20 other predominantly Asian markets. The transaction consists of three elements: all-Equity Merger of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) with the publicly listed GSK Consumer Healthcare India (GSK CH India), acquisition of 82% stake in GSK Bangladesh Limited (GSK Bangladesh), and acquisition of certain other commercial more..

World-class cancer center - Asiri AOI - to transform cancer care in Sri Lanka

Dec 4 (Island) The incidence of cancer has shown an alarming rise in Sri Lanka, with over 20,000 new patients recorded annually, according to National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) reports. With the intent to offer world class cancer care in Sri Lanka, Asiri Surgical Hospital, a member of the country’s largest private sector hospital chain, in collaboration with the American Oncology Institute (AOI), a leading provider of Oncology services based out of USA, has launched Asiri AOI, more..

8 Finance companies struggle to reach 1 Jan capital deadline

Dec 4 (CT) At least eight Licensed Finance Companies (LFCs) have to fulfil their Rs 1.5 billion minimum capital requirements by 1 Jan, a deadline imposed by the Central Bank, CB officials said. “Those companies whose core capital and total risk-weighted capital ratios were below the minimum-required levels due to weak financial positions were required to take measures to rectify these issues. more..

Nishantha Vs Thilanga: Further hearing on 22 Jan 2019

Dec 4 (CT) The Court of Appeal fixed the further hearing of the writ petition filed by Nishantha Ranatunga praying it to impose an interim injunction against former SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala contesting for the SLC AGM, to 22 Jan 2019. This order was given following the consideration of the writ petition by Appellant Court Justices Preethi Surasena and Arjun Obeysekara yesterday. Petitioner Ranatunga in his petition has stated that the post of Chairman SLC had fallen vacant more..

European Aviation Safety Agency approves SriLankan Engineering

Dec 4 (DN) The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved SriLankan Engineering to carry out Base Maintenance operations on Airbus A330 aircraft as per EASA Part-145 regulations. SriLankan Engineering is the aircraft Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul (MRO) arm of SriLankan Airlines. This certification completes the requirements for SriLankan Engineering to conduct base maintenance operations on the A320, A321 and A330 families of aircraft of all airlines more..

Petition against appointment of PM and ministers: The Court of Appeal decision

Dec 4 (Island) In the case at hand before this Court, the 122 Petitioner members of the 225 member Parliament state that a no-confidence motion was passed by a majority in the said Parliament. The Petitioners allege that the Respondents have usurped the public office namely the respective positions in the office of Prime Minister, Cabinet of Ministers and other Ministers. This Court has considered the submissions more..

Laksala records Rs 530 mn turnover in first 9 months

Dec 4 (DN) Sri Lanka’s state owned gift and souvenir shop, Laksala has recorded a net sales turnover of Rs. 530 million from January to September this year and reiterated that the country’s on- going political atmosphere has not affected its business activities. “we have observed that over 80% foreign tourists annually visits our outlets in Colombo, Galle, Colombo Fort, Air Port, Katunayaka, Kandy Pinnawala, Apegama, Battaramulla,” said Chairman Laksala, more..

Fraud and risk management solution for banks and financial institutions launched

Dec 4 (FT) Manipal Technologies, India launched their fraud detection solution CrossFraud in Sri Lanka yesterday. This event was part of the conference on Fraud and Risk Management, attended by over 120 senior Sri Lanka bankers who manage their bank’s risk and fraud portfolio. Central Bank Director – Payments and Settlement Dharmasri Kumaratunge was the Chief Guest for the event. CrossFraud is an enterprise fraud and risk management solution catering to changing more..

President hardens stand against sacked PM

Dec 4 (EN) Prez Sirisena on Monday insisted that he will not reinstate his sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe despite another setback to him in his bitter power struggle that has left the country without a govt. What was billed as crisis talks to end a five-week old constitutional crisis, Sirisena took up his hard-line stance against Wickremesinghe, three days after indicating that he had softened his stand. more..

President can do without a PM

Dec 4 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena could either appoint a new PM and a Cabinet or carry on without them, former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said yesterday. "The Court of Appeal has given the interim order based on the idea that the Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cabinet lost a no- confidence motion in parliament. But the order does not mean that the Cabinet stands dissolved, only an interim order has been given," he said. "Prez can’t appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa the PM again. more..

Dual power-set, locomotive added to railway service: Minister

Dec 4 (DM) Speaking to the media at the ceremony to add the new trains to the service, the minister said ten locomotives and two dual power-sets had been ordered from India. "This is the first stock of the order that arrived at the Colombo Port. Each engine costs Rs.77.8 billion and the cost of each dual power-set is Rs.1.8 billion. No improvements have been made to the railway service for the last five years. The new locomotive and power-set will be put into use after testing it on local tracks. more..

President agrees to uphold court decision to suspend PM Rajapaksa: Sampanthan

Dec 4 (Island) President Sirisena had agreed to take necessary action regarding the Court of Appeal decision to suspend Mahinda Rajapaksa from holding the position of PM within the next 24 hours, TNA leader R. Sampanthan said yesterday after a meeting with the President. "Following the order by Court of Appeal, Prez met TNA leadership. Prez stated that in terms of Court order, there was no PM or a govt at present. more..

Political impasse causes revenue slippage of over Rs.72 bn

Dec 4 (ST) SL’s prevailing public administrative dysfunction has sent ripples through the country’s economy causing a massive loss of billions of rupees, economic experts observed. According to a recent, independent interim assessment made by a group of economic experts and senior officials as a prelude to the preparation of the Vote on Account, the economic loss and financial slippage caused to the country during the over, one-month-long political impasse has exceeded Rs.72 billion. more..

Sri Lanka promotes apparel at ATF fair in South Africa

Dec 4 (FT) Sri Lanka, for the first time showcased apparel products at International Apparel, Textile & Footwear Trade Exhibition (ATF Trade Exhibition) held on 20-22 November at the Cape Town International Conference Centre in South Africa. ATF trade exhibition is the largest trade fair for apparel in the African continent, which has become the premier sourcing event bringing together international suppliers, manufacturers, service providers and buyers all under one roof. more..

Palayaw Palayaw Sathara Waram Deviyange Namayen Palayaw: Ranil

Dec 4 (DM) The status quo that existed before October 26 can be restored now following the interim order given by the Appeal Court as it is given against an individual and not against a post, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He expressed this sentiment during a public rally in Galle last evening. “The decision of the Appeal Court is given against an individual and not against the post and against a govt. more..

Police seek help to locate Koombiyo scriptwriter

Dec 4 (DM) Police released a photograph of 40-year-old Damitha Chandrasiri, the missing editor and scriptwriter of the Koombiyo teledrama and sought public assistance to locate him. They said a friend of his had complained to the Police on Oct 29 saying that Mr. Chandrasiri, who was a resident of Senanayaka Mawatha, Vanniyankulama in A'pura has been missing since Oct 24 from his boarding house in Nawala. Police said police stations had been notified about the disappearance. more..

Vijayakala gets her wish

Dec 4 (DN) Some time ago the TNA MP Vijayakala Maheswaran said that the LTTE should re-emerge and now the violence has returned as she wished. The best example is the murders of the two police officers at Vavunathivu, MP Rohitha Abeygunawardana said. He said that until Jan 9, 2015, even a firecracker did not go off in the North and the East because there was law and order and the people did not like to hear the sound. But, after January 9, 2015 many armed groups such as more..

MS-MR muddle gets murkier

Dec 4 (FT) Court of Appeal yesterday issued an interim order restraining Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed to the post of PM by Prez Sirisena, and his Cabinet of Ministers from functioning in office. The stay order is in force until the final hearing and determination is given. The order, latest in a series of setbacks for the Govt appointed by Sirisena after removing Ranil Wickremesinghe from the post of PM, more..

A Sri Lanka accessible to all

Dec 4 (DM) The United Nations yesterday marked the International Day of Persons with disabilities (IDPD) with this year’s theme being Empowering disabled or differently-abled persons and ensuring inclusiveness and equality. According to the UN, this theme focuses on empowering people with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda, pledging to leave no one behind, more..

Is there a difference between Ranil and Mahinda?

Dec 4 (DM) Sri Lanka has become the centre of attraction in the Asian political scene with the island’s govt struggling to survive sans the majority in parliament. The latest we hear of is the attempt planned by President Sirisena to take a vote on Wednesday (5) to oust PM Mahinda Rajapaksa because he doesn’t have the support of the majority in parliament. If one thing is clear about the present set of SL politicians, who are in the news, except Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

'UNF is ready for a Presidential Election'

Dec 4 (DM) Sri Lankan politics has made headlines locally and across the globe since Oct 26. With the struggle to prove a majority in Parliament, it turned into a battle ground followed by continuous boycotting by members of the purported Govt. While this continues, civil societies and activists have taken to the streets demanding their democratic rights. In such a backdrop, the Opposition is demanding for a Prez Election more..

President defers decision on LTTE suspects

Dec 4 (DM) Consequent to the Appeal Court restraining the PM and the Cabinet from functioning, President Sirisena, who met the TNA said yesterday he would defer taking a decision on the LTTE suspects held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) until the current impasse was resolved. According to informed sources, the President has said, "He was the only one remaining in the govt now.” more..

Constitutional crisis heading to a solution: But on whose terms ?

Dec 4 (DM) The constitutional crisis that had plagued the country for over six weeks appeared to be heading to a closure. That prospect however is subject to the next earthy temptation in an unruly mind of the executive president, and chaos he sowed by his arbitrary sacking of the govt of Ranil Wickremesinghe. However, as of the weekend, it appeared, President Sirisena has finally decided to call it a day. more..

Prices rise and profits dip as rupee continues to fall

Dec 4 (ST) The depreciation of the rupee against the the dollar, amid the political crisis, has affected businesses and resulted in prices increases. Central Bank statistics show that the US dollar which was selling at Rs. 174.44 on Oct 26 – the day on which the political crisis erupted — was being sold at Rs. 181.45 as of Friday. Dhananath Fernando, Chief Operating Officer of the Advocata Institute, said more..

Questions on the legality of ministry secretaries

Dec 4 (EN) Questions are being raised whether secretaries of ministries have legal power to run the ministries after the cabinet of ministers was effectively dissolved following a no confidence motion amid a political crisis. Article 52 (3) of the constitution says: The Secretary to a Ministry shall cease to hold office upon the dissolution of the Cabinet of Ministers under the provisions of the Constitution or upon a determination by more..

Fitch downgrades Sri Lanka to ‘B’ amidst political crisis; outlook stable

Dec 4 (EN) Fitch Ratings has downgraded Sri Lanka to 'B' from 'B+ saying the sudden appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister may worsen budgets, with policy becoming more uncertain and investor confidence falling. The outlook is stable at the lower level. Moody's had already downgraded Sri Lanka to B2 from B1. "The downgrade reflects heightened external refinancing risks, an uncertain policy outlook, more..

Australian cricket star Usman Khawaja's brother arrested over terror hit list

Dec 4 (SBS) The brother of Australian cricket star Usman Khawaja has been granted bail amid accusations he framed a colleague with a fake terror hit list targeting senior politicians. Arsalan Tariq Khawaja was arrested in Sydney's west on Tuesday morning following an investigation into the document which was allegedly found at the University of NSW in August. The 39-year-old, who's charged with attempting to pervert justice more..

Video: UFPA decides to skip Parliament session tomorrow

Dec 4 (AD) UPFA has decided not to attend the parliamentary session scheduled for tomorrow, MP Dinesh Gunawardena said. He claimed that the Speaker has decided to convene the Parliament in this manner by preparing an agenda as per his will. UPFA MPs had boycotted parliament proceeding on four separate days while accusing the Speaker of bias. On Nov 30, Speaker had adjourned the parliament until 10.30 a.m. on Wed (5). more..

Video: Supreme Court begins hearing petitions on parliament dissolution

Dec 4 (AD) A seven-member judge bench of the Supreme Court today commenced hearing on the petitions filed against the dissolution of Parliament. Thirteen fundamental rights petitions were filed at the Supreme Court asking it to declare that the President’s order to dissolve the parliament is illegal. The petitions have been filed by political parties including UNP, JVP, TNA, TPA and the ACPC. Organisations and activists such as more..