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President instructs ministry secretaries to fulfill their duties without disruption

Dec 4 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to all ministry secretaries to fulfill their duties and responsibilities according to the laws of the country without any disruption, Presidential Media Division (PMD) said today. It said in a statement that the instructions were given at a special discussion held with all the Secretaries to Ministries under the patronage of Prez Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat this morning. more..

Democracy: A tale of two strategies

Dec 4 (FT) The problem with democracy these days is that it tends to be defined not by the people, but by the politicians they elected to represent them. In both parliament and presidency, the players strut and fret their hours upon the stage. And expect us citizen spectators to applaud what they probably feel are star performances. These are not petty actors. But rather than discharge their roles according to constitutional scripts, they’ve opted to ham it up and lord it over their cast and crew. more..

Final arbiter

Dec 4 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper carried an advertisement justifying reasons behind President Maithripala Sirisena’s and his newly-appointed Premier, the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s calls for Parliamentary Polls, a matter now before the Supreme Court. To support their calls for General or Parliamentary Polls, it cited four incidents in history. They were the premature dissolutions of the Dudley Senanayake Govt which won the General Election of March 1960, more..

Vidura Wikramanayake

Passengers who complain of baggage pilfering intimidated

Dec 4 (Island) SriLankan Airlines Security Division has identified 57 airline employees, including security personnel, who are suspected to be involved in pilfering of baggage and the victims were mostly those returning from West Asia, the PCoI was informed. Head of the security division Titus Kannangara presented the PCoI with this watch list following Senior State Counsel, Fazly Razik’s request. Earlier Kannangara stated that compensation paid for pilfered baggage was more..

Case against Gotabaya to be heard on a daily basis

Dec 4 (AD) Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar has decided to hear the case against former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and 6 others over the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum on a daily basis starting from the 22nd of Jan 2019. The case was taken up before judges Sampath Abeykoon (President), Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Rajaratna this morning. Attorneys representing both the plaintiffs and defendants informed the court that they have received the relevant documents more..

Video: Sirisena hits out at Judiciary

Dec 4 (CT) Hitting out at the interim order issued by the Court of Appeal which prevented purported PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and his govt from functioning in office, President Maithripala Sirisena likened the decision to a head monk of a village temple dictating terms to the chief prelate of a chapter. (නිකායක මහානායක කෙනෙක් කරන්න ඕන වැඩක්, විහාරාධිපති කෙනෙක් දේශනා කරලා..) By making this statement, more..

Another suspect arrested over Batticaloa cop killings

Dec 4 (AD) A second suspect has reportedly been arrested by police over the killing of two policemen in Vavunathivu, Batticaloa. The suspect, who is said to be a former LTTE intelligence unit member, was reportedly arrested at Kannankuda in Batticaloa. Kadiramathambi Irajakumaran alias ‘Kannan’, 40, a resident of Karayakanthivu in Kannankuda has been arrested by Vavunathivu Police. He is to be handed over to the CID for further investigations. With this two arrests have been made so far more..

Tatenda Taibu set to return to competitive cricket in Sri Lanka

Dec 4 (CI) Tatenda Taibu, the former Zimbabwe captain and their convener of selectors until March this year, is set to return to competitive cricket, six years after retiring from international cricket. He has signed for Sri Lankan domestic side Baduraliya CC for the forthcoming first-class season, he confirmed to ESPNcricinfo, in response to an advertisement for an overseas player. Taibu, the youngest ever Test captain, played 28 Tests and 150 ODIs for Zimbabwe before calling time on more..

Central Bank disputes rating agencies’ latest rating decisions

Dec 4 (LBO) Central Bank says it is of the view that the decisions by Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s (S&P Global Ratings) to downgrade Sri Lanka’s Long-Term Rating to ‘B’ are based on uncorroborated facts on the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals. Full Statement: Central Bank of SL is of the view that the decisions by Fitch Ratings on 3 Dec and Standard and Poor’s (S&P Global Ratings) on 4 Dec to downgrade more..

Hearing of petitions against parliament dissolution concludes for the day

Dec 4 (AD) The hearing of the petitions filed against the dissolution of Parliament concluded for the day while the hearing will resume tomorrow at the Supreme Court. A 7-member judge bench of the Supreme Court commenced hearing on the petitions this morning. Thirteen fundamental rights petitions were filed at the Supreme Court asking it to declare that President’s order to dissolve the parliament is illegal. Petitions have been filed by political parties including UNP, JVP, TNA, TPA & ACPC. more..

Aloysius and Palisena further remanded

Dec 4 (NR) Owner of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena, arrested over the controversial CB Bond issuance, have been further remanded until the 18th of Dec. The order was issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne this afternoon. PTL Owner Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena were arrested on 4th of Feb at their residences. CID named former CB Governor Arjun Mahendran, Owner of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius & CEO Kasun more..

Lawyers Collective hail CoA

Dec 4 (CT) Following yesterday’s injunction order, the Lawyers Collective expressed their admiration and appreciation of the Court of Appeal. “Now there is no PM in the country and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa suffered yet another humiliating defeat yesterday after the interim orders issued by the Court,” said President’s Counsel J.C. Weliamuna. 19th Amendment was passed by the Parliament with 215 voting in favour and more..

Visaka Dharmadasa wins UN Peace Award

Dec 4 (CT) Visaka Dharmadasa won the UN N-Peace Award from the Island this year, the UN website said. In their citation, the UN said that ‘Dharmadasa was awarded it for engaging women from different ethnicities in SL to have dialogues around peace building, and working with women so that they become more active and confident participants in peacebuilding efforts.’ It further said that Dharmadasa is one of the numerous women who were affected by the SL war. more..

Tear gas fired in university students’ protest

Dec 4 (AD) Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesting university students near the Lotus Roundabout, a short while ago. Riot police had proceeded to disperse the protesting students as they attempted to push through a road blockade set up near the Lotus Roundabout to prevent them from reaching the Presidential Secretariat. The protest march organised by the IUSF commenced from near the Uni of the Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo at around 1.30 p.m. more..

SriLankan paid Rs. 430 million as baggage compensation: PCoI

Dec 4 (DM) SriLankan airlines has paid passengers Rs.430 million as compensation for badly-handled baggage between 2008 and 2018, this was revealed at the PCoI. SriLankan Security Division Senior Manager gave the following breakdown of the compensation paid -- Rs.33.8 million in 2008 to 2009; Rs.17.4 million in 2009 to 2010; Rs.49.4 million in 2010 to 2011; Rs.20 million 2011-2012; Rs.42.5 million in 2012 to 2013; more..

Rs 249,000 worth Speaker’s microphone damaged

Dec 4 (CT) It has been revealed that the Rs 249,000 worth Speaker’s microphone has been damaged due to the recent incidents in the Parliament. Parliament’s Financial Director Mervin Jayashanthya said that this is the figure which has been estimated by the company which provided the microphone. Police is conducting a separate inquiry on the damage and in addition the Valuation Department is also conducting an inquiry, he said. It has been confirmed by the inquiries that the Parliament more..

SLPMP sees threat to Muslims from TNA backed UNP govt

Dec 4 (Island) Secretary SL Podujana Muslim Peramuna (SLPMP) Abdul Sathar said that the govt to be formed jointly with the UNP and the TNA would be a threat to the Muslim community in SL. The TNA was an appendage of the LTTE, which was hostile to the Muslim community, he said, recalling the grave harm the Tigers did to their community during the 30-year war and even afterwards. Sathar told the media that Tigers had attacked Muslims in the East, not sparing even pregnant mothers, more..

Video: President vows to resolve political crisis within a week

Dec 4 (AD) President Maitripala Sirisena today assured that the prevailing political unrest in the country would come to an end within one week. He said this while delivering a special statement, while addressing the convention of the SLFP. The SLFP convention is currently underway at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo, with the participation of MPs, members of the party and special invited guests. more..

The right to franchise & To vote is from the constitution: No constitution, no franchise

Dec 5 (CT) Who is against motherhood? No one. I owe my existence to my mother who bore me. I can never be against motherhood. However, that does not mean we make every girl a mother through forced marriage, artificial insemination, or whatever other means we have. There are broader systemic rules to consider – is she willing, is she of child-bearing age, if she is a minor does she have parental consent, etc.. Likewise elections. Elections, like motherhood, are great. more..

World Sight Day brings much-needed eye care to underprivileged

Dec 5 (DN) The Brian Holden Vision Institute Foundation, a social enterprise based in Australia developing new solutions for vision care, marked World Sight Day 2018 by organising a symposium, a walk and several eye care programmes on October 11. Brian Holden Vision Institute Chief Executive Officer and International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), Western Pacific, Amanda Davies and Brian Holden Vision Institute Foundation Regional Director, SEAEM – Public Health, more..

'Now people see holes in the 19A'

Dec 5 (CT) UPFA MP, Dulles Alahapperuma says, UPFA is still not in a mighty hurry to bring an impeachment motion against the Speaker. Q: Although it is being said that the crisis in Parliament was solved and it is meeting now, appointment of Select Committees has become a problem, isn’t it so? What is this political chaos that cannot be resolved? A: Historically Select Committees were elected, so that more..

Judiciary and remedies in public law

Dec 5 (DN) The system of administration of justice that we have now commenced with the Charter of Justice introduced by the British in the year 1801, which established the Supreme Court. This brought about for the first time a separation between the Governor who exercised Executive and Legislative power and the Courts which exercised Judicial power. Thus, a firm tradition of separation of power was established which forms the bedrock of the Rule of Law. more..

Sri Lanka after The 26th of October 2018

Dec 5 (CT) We all know how on the 26th of Oct 2018, the President in an unprecedented act of indecency, acted in a high handed manner to remove the incumbent PM (Ranil Wickremesinghe) and appoint another MP (Mahinda Rajapaksa) as the PM. In doing so, the President neither sought the consent of the Parliament nor followed the constitutional provisions, which makes his actions no different from those of a wayside thug. Thereafter, he went on to prorogue Parliament until more..

'I blame Prez Sirisena for contriving the plot'

Dec 5 (FT) Public servants, especially those who hold top posts in the present Govt, should follow the law of the country and their conscience in taking decisions under the present Govt which has no mandate, former civil servant and diplomat Lionel Fernando said. “Sri Lanka’s total number of public servants account for 1.3 -1.4 million and they all have to be conscious about what they do,” he said. In a hard-hitting interview, more..

Bleeding a country by constitutional surgery

Dec 5 (CT) Earlier in this series I discussed the perversity of the first three amendments to the SL Constitution that J.R. Jayewardene introduced in 1978, or rather four since the first Third Amendment was so ridiculous that the Supreme Court demanded a referendum, which the Govt knew it would lose. But perhaps the worst of the sins the Jayewardene Govt committed was the Fourth Amendment, whereby he extended the life of the Parliament elected in 1977 up to 1989. more..

In the name of the law

Dec 5 (CT) By instituting a 7-Judge Bench to hear the Parliament dissolution case, up from the existing 3-member Bench, Chief Justice Nalin Perera may have helped avoid the need for a possible future appeal, whatever the verdict is. By the same token, either the 121 MPs challenging Mahinda Rajapaksa’s appointment as PM should have moved the Supreme Court, instead of the Court of Appeal, as that alone could help avoid appeals-based delays in the future, if they were serious about it. more..

Face the Nation

The practical effect of imposing restrictions on dissolution of Parliament

Dec 5 (Island) The rallying cry of the UNP, the JVP TNA and their allied political parties is that after the introduction of the 19th Amendment, Parliament cannot be dissolved under any circumstances until the lapse of four and a half years, and the only way it can be dissolved before that is for Parliament itself to pass a resolution by a two-thirds majority, making a request to that effect to the President. We have to bear in mind that the UNP-JVP-TNA argument is that Parliament cannot be dissolved under more..

Netball nationals conducted without proper medical facilities

Dec 5 (DN) Second round of the National Netball Championship commenced at Ratnawaliya College Indoor Stadium in Gampaha without proper safety facilities to the players. SL Netball Federation (SLNF) conducted the tournament without proper medical team and an ambulance at the venue. Usually in a game of netball a medical team and an ambulance is a must according to international rules. “When the championships commenced the president of SLNF said they were conducting more..

Sri Lankan coconut industry: performance and challenges for the future

Dec 5 (SO) Sri Lanka is one of the leading countries in coconut production. It has a significant share in the world coconut market mainly through the supply of Desiccated Coconut (DC). The SL coconut industry is governed by the Coconut Development Act No 46 of 1971 and is monitored by the Coconut Research Board, Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) and Coconut Development Authority (CDA). In addition, the coconut industry is more..

Former Carey and Sri Lanka boxer H.D.R. Jayaweera passes away

Dec 5 (Island) I am extremely sad to note the death of H.D.R. Jayaweera, former Carey College boxer and National Champion and one of the most stylish boxers that Carey College had ever produced during the late 60s and early 70s. His funeral will take place today at Kanatta at 2.00p.m. Jayaweera brought colour and glamour to the boxing arena during that period and won many Best Boxer Trophies and he was famous for wearing world famous Ever Last boxing shorts. He was a classic boxer more..

Badminton faces big financial problems finding sponsors: SLB president

Dec 5 (DN) “We are very happy to see our young shuttlers perform at the recently concluded South Asian under 21 badminton championships in Nepal,” said SL Badminton president Nishantha Jayasinghe at the Katunayake Airport yesterday. Junior shuttlers who returned with three bronze medals and two silver medals yesterday morning and were welcomed by the Badminton chief and the other officials at the airport. Jayasinghe further said, “We have selected 8 shuttlers for this Nepal tour more..

Lankan cricketers leave for New Zealand

Dec 5 (CT) Sri Lanka, led by Dinesh Chandimal, left for New Zealand on Monday night with the hope of producing some good performances against the Kiwis in the two Test matches, three ODIs and a T-20. Sri Lanka who were thrashed by England recently in all three formats are looking to make amends for that on this tour. But they will have to perform in some tough conditions in New Zealand. Still, their captain Dinesh Chandimal more..

Editorial: Hidden dangers

Dec 5 (Island) We are without a govt! The Court of Appeal has restrained the newly appointed PM and ministers from functioning pending a final determination on the petitions before it. Paradoxically, the country has come to be dependent on the Executive President, who is mainly responsible for this unfortunate situation, to ward off anarchy. He is now running a one-man show to all intents and purposes. The SLPP, yesterday, moved the SC against more..

American Chamber expresses concern over political impasse

Dec 5 (FT) American Chamber of Commerce in SL expressed concern over the impasse reached in light of the current political developments in the country. While stating that this sends a worrying signal to the business community locally as well as internationally, AMCHAM Sri Lanka also raised the concerns highlighted by potential investors. Chamber called on all those concerned to collaborate towards the national interest and for a swift settlement to be reached in the best more..

Listed companies earnings drop by 10% in Sept. quarter

Dec 5 (FT) Listed companies earnings in the 2018 September quarter have declined by 10% to Rs. 54.3 billion from an year earlier. The broking firm had researched interim results of 267 companies and the September quarter performance matched the 10% decline suffered in the June quarter as well. It said the decline was primarily due to the sluggish performance in the Food, Beverage & Tobacco (-31% YoY), Telecom (-36% YoY) more..

Pak HC delivers lecture on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

Dec 5 (PHC) High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Shahid Hashmat delivered a lecture on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): A New Vision for Regional and Global Connectivity and Economic Cooperation in a distinguished event on the invitation by the Association of Retired Flag Rank Officers (ARFRO), SL, held at Naval Headquarters on Nov 29. The event was attended by Commander of SL Army, Lt. Gen. N.U.M.M.W. Senanayake, Commander of SL Navy, Vice Admiral more..

Embassy in Bahrain boosts made in Sri Lanka produce and food

Dec 5 (FT) Embassy of SL in Bahrain, in close coordination and cooperation with Lulu Hypermarket, conducted and showcased a 4-day mega scale event last week titled Sri Lankan Produce & Food Mart. The event was held with the objectives of promoting and profiling of goods and services, products and produces and tourism and culture of SL as well as to enhance and aggrandise the image of the country, primarily amongst the nationals of Bahrain, foreign expatriates and more..

Sri Lanka liquidity short expands in November final week

Dec 5 (EN) A liquidity short in Sri Lanka's credit system coming mainly from interventions in the forex market by the central bank had expanded over the past week, after falling due to a reserve ratio cut, amid a political crisis and capital flight. The central bank had sterilized a short of about 135.9 billion rupees (about US$ 750 million) by Nov 30, up from 109.0 billion rupees (about US$ 600 million) a week earlier mostly through more..