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US urges responsible and quick end to Sri Lanka crisis

Dec 6 (FT) Stressing that it has no favourites in the contest, the US this week urged SL leaders to resolve the political crisis responsibly and promptly, as it has far reaching socio-economic consequences, apart from damaging global confidence and trust. “As a friend and partner, we have urged Sri Lanka and its leaders to move promptly to resolve the political crisis in a transparent and democratic way,” more..

Bumper red onion harvest in Jaffna

Dec 6 (CT) Traders in the North say that due to the heavy showers experienced in the region during the past few weeks, cultivators in Jaffna had a bumper red onion harvest but due to such stocks being received from the outstations, the price of red onions had come down drastically. These traders said due to the drastic reduction in the price of red onions, farmers are facing a severe struggle to market their produce. They said, during the recent drought a kilo of red onion had been sold at Rs 300-400 more..

Colombo’s perceptions

Dec 6 (Hindu) There are no winners in the political crisis in Sri Lanka. President Sirisena, whose actions triggered the crisis, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who as PM lost two confidence votes, and Ranil Wickremesinghe, former PM who enjoys majority support in Parliament, are locked in a draw. Against this backdrop, what are the perceptions among the main political actors, which impact SL-India relations? A delegation of eminent Indian scholars, former civil servants and a retired navy chief, more..

Civic rights could be stripped from Prez: JVP

Dec 6 (DM) Not only an impeachment brought against Prez Sirisena but his civic rights also could be stripped, as he had violated the Constitution on several occasions, JVP MP Vijitha Herath told Parliament. He said that the President had violated the Constitution by removing the PM, appointing a new PM and dissolving Parliament and added that he had acted against democratic principles by proroguing Parliament. more..

Will amend 19A: Lakshman Yapa

Dec 6 (DM) The 19th Amendment which was the initial cause for the prevailing political turmoil would be amended when they were elected to office, MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. He said the 19th Amendment had made the county unstable and chaotic. “When the 19th Amendment was brought in, we all voted for it thinking that it would deliver good things in the interest of the people. But what has transpired now consequent to this amendment is absolutely unacceptable,” he said. more..

Dr. Wickrema Weerasooriya passes away

Dec 6 (DN) Sri Lanka is the poorer due to the passing away last Tuesday of Dr Wickrema Sena Weerasooria. There were so many aspects to his life, and he was so many things to so many people, that it is difficult to know where to begin. Most Sri Lankans who can yet recall the J.R.Jayewardene presidency remember Wickrema as the all-powerful Secretary to the Ministry of Plan Implementation, one of the few ministries of which the President was the subject minister. Wholly trusted by JRJ, more..

Call UNP confab to decide a PM

Dec 6 (DN) Prez Sirisena has reportedly received a letter sent by several UNP public representatives requesting that if a PM were to be appointed from the UNP, that he (PM) shall be appointed on the basis of consensus and with approval from all UNP segments - the UNP MPs, Provincial Council members and Local Govt members. 3 UNP MPs, 24 UNP Provincial Council members and 43 UNP local govt members more..

We need volunteers as our politicians

Dec 6 (DM) How self-centred or other-centred are we? This being the principle virtue of our character, one of the main ways to measure or recognise it is our critical role as volunteers or first responders in emergencies and crises. Do we think of self-survival and run away from it or do we have the courage to take a risk and run into the situation with the intention of rescuing or helping someone or doing whatever possible? The Good Samaritan parable being one of the most powerful and more..

Minority parties are key players in equation

Dec 6 (DM) We see the predominant Sinhala-Buddhist community agitate more these days because they no longer have the power to elect the country leader of their choice. Wanni MP Shanthi Sriskandarajah making a comment recently saying that National parties must now kneel down before Tamil parties confirms this. She said that she was offered a sum between rupees 60-500 million to make a crossover to strengthen govt that Sirisena and Rajapaksa had formed after Oct 26. more..

'The form of the crisis is parliamentary, but the content is bourgeois rule'

Dec 6 (DM) This year marks the 50th anniversary of formation of the the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL) of Sri Lanka in 1968. The RCL functions as the Sri Lankan section of the Int'l Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), and was renamed the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in 1996. Daily Mirror spoke to Mr. Wije Dias, General Secretary of SEP, on a series of issues, including the foundations and principles of more..

Tackling the dengue danger rising from major construction sites

Dec 6 (ST) Drizzles or heavy downpours – the relentless rain is here. With the rains, comes the fear of dengue. “We are ready to face the onslaught of dengue,” assures the Head of the National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) and Consultant Epidemiologist Dr. Hasitha Tissera, reiterating that not only have they focused on homes and schools but they have also looked closely at construction sites which have invariably more..

Economic crisis looms due to political instability: Prof. Abeyratne

Dec 6 (CT) Due to the political crisis, which was created at a moment when serious reforms had to be carried out, in connection with the SL economy, a very dangerous long-term deadlock has arisen where the economy of the country is concerned. This was stressed by Professor of Economics of the Colombo Uni, Sirimal Abeyratne. He warned that in the upcoming years, all the people in the country will have to face dire economic more..

UL aircraft repairs done overseas for want of additional hanger

Dec 6 (Island) SriLankan Airlines had not taken steps to construct an additional hangar to paint aircraft, as suggested by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which led to EASA instructing UL in 2014 not to carry out such activities in 2014, the PCoI was told. W. Nilantha, Manager-Engineering Contracts and Services of SriLankan said that EASA had not allowed base repairs to be carried out at BIA as well in 2015. more..

Keeragala replaces Amarasuriya as SLI Chair in the wake of revelation of secret payments

Dec 6 (Island) Dr. K.A.S. Keeragala has succeeded Hemaka Amarasuriya as the Executive Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance (SLI) in the wake of the disclosure of major SLI subsidiary Litro Gas Lanka Limited making secret payments to several dozen persons allegedly involved with the ousted UNP administration. These payments had been made since 2016. Among the recipients are civil society activist more..

Video: Ranil stresses need to establish new Parliament

Dec 6 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday stressed the need to establish a new Parliament, scrapping the Executive Presidency through a referendum. Mr. Wickremesinghe made these proposals at a seminar organised by the Professionals for Democracy held at the Galle Face Hotel last morning. “The citizens of this country have spoken out against the childish behaviour of MPs in the House. more..

Sri Lanka ranks 2nd in climate risk index

Dec 6 (AD) In a new global index, Sri Lanka has been ranked second among the countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2017. The Long-Term Climate Risk Index listed Puerto Rico and Sri Lanka as the top two affected countries. The index is part of a report, Global Climate Risk Index 2019, which was released at the annual climate summit in Poland’s Katowice city yesterday. more..

'SL - one and only country with no govt'

Dec 6 (CT) Although over 48 hours have been passed after issuing an Interim Order preventing the functioning of the PM and the Cabinet of Ministers in the purported Govt, no action has been taken to establish a Govt, MP Mangala Samaraweera said. Issuing a Media statement yesterday, he alleged that, Sri Lanka has become the one and only country without a Government in the democratic world as well as our history. more..

President’s Office directed to disclose ousted PM’s assets and liabilities

Dec 6 (Island) The Right to Information Commission has directed Presidential Secretariat to disclose assets and liabilities of ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2015 and 2016. Asoka Obeyesekere, Executive Director, Transparency International SL, revealed the circumstances under which his organization had received a favourable ruling from the RTI Commission. Obeyesekere said that the TISL had sought the intervention of more..

Hearing of petitions against parliament dissolution resumes

Dec 6 (AD) The seven-member Judge Bench of the Supreme Court commenced hearing of the petitions against the dissolution of the parliament for the third consecutive day. Hearing of the petitions, which commenced on the 4th of Dec, will be concluded today while the verdict is expected to be delivered tomorrow. Presenting submissions before the Supreme Court yesterday, the Attorney General had stated that in accordance with more..

NCM: or, how one flew over the cuckoo’s nest!

Dec 6 (FT) I’m not a psychologist. Despite three years spent studying the subject and a diploma on my wall. Perhaps if I had invested the time, money, energy, effort, in a degree – I wouldn’t be at a loss these days. To understand the mentality and mindset of our mischief-making mandarins! Oh, well. There are still some consolations to being an armchair shrink and amateur psychoanalyst. But one must admit that some patients (I should really say clients, even if they look and act more like more..

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Dec 6 (CT) Sri Lankan public believe our politicians and politics to be corrupt, yet, politicians do not believe it, or rather pretend as if they do not believe it. It is commonplace that politicians often preoccupied with feathering their own nests with the use of public funds, which they have gained by unwarranted, unwholesome and unethical means. Although, people elect their representatives on behalf of them to Parliament to be served by them and to have peoples’ issues attended and more..

Nalinda Jayatissa

NTC lethargic in reducing bus fares: Passenger Union

Dec 6 (DN) The All Island Bus Passengers’ Association urges the National Transport Commission (NTC) and authorities to decrease the minimum fare to Rs.10 before Dec 21. Issuing a press release, the Association claimed that the NTC has had a special discussion with the All Island Bus Owners’ Association yesterday and agreed to postpone the revision of the bus fares till December 21. According to the release, although the price of a diesel litre was reduced by Rs. 19 on more..

UNP to move Confidence Motion on RW

Dec 6 (DM) The UNP would move a confidence motion pledging solidarity with its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to become the PM on Dec 12, it is learnt. The decision has been taken by the UNP in the wake of President Sirisena’s avowal that he would not reappoint Mr Wickremesinghe as PM no matter what. A confidence motion has never been moved in Parliament. If it happened, it will be the first time. Earlier, the UNP, with the backing of the TNA & JVP, moved 2 No Confidence Motion more..

Chathurika Sirisena in Frequency Scam

Dec 6 (CT) Whilst the country is in a political turmoil, Chathurika Sirisena, the elder daughter of President Maithripala Sirisena has been colluding with the Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of SL (TRCSL) to illegally allocate frequencies already allocated to other broadcasters and frequencies that have been reserved for the Digital Television Project, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. more..

SL accords priority to BWC implementation

Dec 6 (NR) SL’s Permanent Representative in Geneva ALA Azeez says Sri Lanka has accorded high priority to the effective implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention, the first multilateral treaty to ban an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. Addressing the Meeting of State Parties to the Convention, Ambassador Azeez said continuing the drive towards universalization of the Convention, would strengthen efforts of the international community against more..

‘Economic crisis worse than political crisis’

Dec 6 (NR) Former Minister DEW Gunesekera says the country’s economic crisis is far greater that the political crisis. Gunasekera said the country’s debt burden is overwhelming. The former Minister said two other concerns have arisen amidst the President’s decisions. The former Minister said a grave economic crisis is prevalent which was created through the political crisis, adding wherever there’s a political crisis it begins to impact social and cultural sectors as well. more..

Interim order suspending dissolution of Parliament extended

Dec 6 (AD) Supreme Court has extended the interim order issued suspending the Gazette notification issued by the Prez on the dissolution of Parliament, until the 8th of Dec. Meanwhile further hearing of the petitions filed against the dissolution of Parliament will resume tomorrow morning after hearings concluded for the day. Hearing of the petitions, which commenced on the 4th of Dec, was initially scheduled to conclude today while more..

EU Chamber of Commerce concerned over political uncertainty in Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (DM) The European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL), the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in SL (AHK SL) said yesterday they were gravely concerned about the present political uncertainty and upheaval in the country. Issuing a statement, they said,” We are of the view that the current situation will result in many adverse economic and social consequences to the country, if it remains unresolved. more..

Will make necessary changes if 19A has disputed clauses: President

Dec 6 (DM) If the 19th Amendment to the Constitution has any disputed clauses in relation of its procedures, the President would commit himself to make necessary amendments to the areas which are politically muddled, following parliamentary procedures, President's Media Division (PMD) said today. PMD said Prez Sirisena would make sure these changes would ensure that the 19th Amendment's core and democratic values are preserved & it would be further strengthened. more..

Skeletal remains of 266 people found at Mannar mass grave

Dec 6 (AD) The excavations at the mass grave, which was discovered near the old CWE (Sathosa) building in Mannar, have unearthed skeletal remains belonging to 266 individuals as of today (06), according to the Judicial Medical Officer in charge of the inspection Dr S. Rajapaksa. Out of this total, skeletal remains belonging to 258 individuals have been systematically removed through excavations and currently placed at more..

After overheads assessed: LPBOA

Dec 6 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) said they would only be able to decide on the possibilities of reducing bus fares after assessing the overhead costs incurred by owners. LPBOA chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said the union had met officials of the National Transport Commission to discuss possibilities of reducing bus fares. Fuel prices amount to only 1/3rd of the overhead cost. Remaining 70% includes the finance and interest rate, cost for tyres & tubes, more..

Public debate on political impasse

Dec 6 (DM) A public debate on whether a presidential or parliamentary election is the best solution to the current political crisis was held last evening at the Viharamahadevi Open Air Theatre. The two teams in the debate were: #LetMeVote and #PresidentialFirst. #LetMeVote, the affirmative team for the debate, included Manoj Gamage, Jehan Hameed, Arun Tambimuttu and Eranda Ginige. They proposed that current political crisis can only be resolved through a parliamentary election. more..

Video: Second largest heroin haul found in SL intercepted

Dec 6 (AD) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) has arrested two persons in Beruwala-Balapitiya beach last night (05), with the second largest haul of heroin. PNB has found 231 kg 54 g of heroin, parceled in to 214 packets and hidden inside large sugar bags, on the arrested suspects. Two Beruwala residents have been arrested in connection with this smuggle. Dilip Prasanna (38) and Mohamed Farzan (34) have been arrested in this manner. more..

Sri Lanka economic slowdown trims company profits, bank earnings grow

Dec 6 (EN) SL listed company profits fell 10% in the September 2018 quarter from a year ago on lower consumer spending as the economy lost steam but banks and insurers maintained growth momentum, a brokerage said. Despite the drop in overall earnings there was continued growth in banks and insurance sectors, First Capital Holdings said in an equities research report on the performance of 267 listed firms. Sept 2018 quarter earnings dipped by 10% to 54.3 billion rupees from a year ago. more..

JVP slams President for constitutional coup and deadlock

Dec 6 (FT) Calling for public action to defeat the constitutional standoff that has dragged on for over five weeks, tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka before the world and incurring heavy losses to the economy, JVP lawmakers yesterday moved a motion in Parliament, calling for its key actors to be held responsible. Proposing the motion on Political crisis in the country, JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa took some historical examples – both local and overseas – to explain the constitutional coup more..

Sri Lankan plantations reject demand to double daily wage despite costly strike

Dec 6 (EN) Sri Lanka’s plantations industry said they would not give in to demands by labour unions to double daily wage to 1,000 rupees, despite a strike causing a 240 million rupees collective loss each day. The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA), which represents listed regional plantations companies, said in a statement workers could easily achieve daily earnings of 1,000 rupees with just a one kilo productivity increase. more..

TELO wants written commitments from UNP

Dec 6 (DM) The TELO, which is one of the parties aligned with the TNA, asked a written commitment from the UNP to implement the 13th Amendment in full, along with land and Police powers and to merge the North and the East as a condition for support it to form a Govt, it is learnt. The TNA allies- ITAK, TELO and PLOTE – held a meeting on Tuesday evening and discussed its preliminary decision to support the appointment of a UNP nominee as the Prime Minister. more..

MS rejected many UNP proposals: Akila

Dec 6 (NR) UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam charged that Prez Sirisena on several occasions rejected many Cabinet papers over the past three years on development projects which were due to be implemented by UNP Ministers. The MP made these remarks during a discussion with civil activists at Sirikotha. He said it is clear to the public as to who is not keen on probing cases of bribery and corruption, alleged to have taken place during the previous UPFA led govt’s tenure. more..

SLPP challenges UNP to file Impeachment Motion

Dec 6 (NR) The SLPP has challenged the United National Party and other parties to file an Impeachment Motion against the President, if they believe his actions are unconstitutional. MP WDJ Seneviratne said the 19th Amendment to the Constitution has created a sense of leniency in the country. He said if one is against the actions of the executive President then they can bring in an Impeachment Motion, more..