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What the appointment of a new Chief Justice means for the country

Oct 17 (CT) The appointment of the new Chief Justice Nalin Perera, a career judge who has served in the judiciary for over 30 years, provides a snapshot of the dynamics within SL’s major political powers. It offers a glimpse into President Maithripala Sirisena’s thought process, amid vigorous calls by his allies to form a Caretaker Govt, replacing the current PM with former President Rajapaksa. The 64-year-old new Chief Justice has maintained a relatively low profile thus far. more..

Eelam war IV & Aftermath: Western complicity, deceit & revenge

Oct 17 (CT) This is a provocative piece on the last stages of Eelam War IV in 2008/09 and on its aftermath of Reports and You Tube cut-and-thrust. It makes specific claims in assertive style. These assertions are founded on lengthier articles with their supporting evidence. So, it is by assertion that I proceed. The essay is not a survey of the factors that enabled Sri Lanka to defeat the LTTE. The focus is on the pursuits of the US Secretary of State’s Department more..

Burden of the GCE O/L will reduce

Oct 17 (SO) The govt has taken a decision to lower the number of subjects that students have to offer at the GCE O/L Exam to six, for purposes of qualifying for the GCE A/L, while 4 other subjects are to be optional (these will not be required for qualifying). Currently the O/L candidates are required to sit for nine subjects. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says that the six core subjects are Religion & Value Edu, First Language, more..

Absence of productive strategies

Oct 17 (CT) When J.R. Jayewardene opened up the economy in 1977, a bright future was predicted for Sri Lanka. After the hostility evinced towards Mrs. Bandaranaike’s Govt, hostility which continued even after the LSSP had been thrust out and the Finance portfolio given to a right wing minister, we became with the UNP victory the darlings of the West. 38 years later, we once more became their darlings after yet another SLFP leader hated by the West was voted out of office. more..

Politics of Caretaker Govt

Oct 17 (DN) The internal conflicts between the two main partners of the current Yahapalana govt e.g. the UNP and the SLFP seem to be exacerbating day by day. As reported in the media, the ongoing overt discussions between the incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa about establishing a Caretaker Govt by expelling the present govt headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe shows the seriousness of the rift between two main coalition partners. more..

Reginald Cooray bares myths of the North

Oct 17 (DN) Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has focussed on developing the North on par with the rest of the country and resolving the social issues that plague the region. Recently, he visited London to meet the Sri Lankan community and convince them to invest in the region. He believes that there are a lot of opportunities for investment in the fields of solar power, wind power, fishing, salt more..

Rajapaksas all the way!

Oct 17 (CT) There used to be times in the history of a Nation and a people that historians describe a given condition of theirs as being in the crossroads. It is often related to cultural and civilisation-related aspects on the one hand, and economic policy and reforms on the other. Occasionally, situations appear where a Nation changes from the old to the new from a past to the present, on the way to a brighter future, on the political and/or politico-constitutional fronts. more..

Edtorial: Of that mega stench

Oct 17 (Island) Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka has torn into some politicians, without naming names, for hampering govt efforts to implement the Arawakkalu waste dump project in Puttalam. His desperation is understandable. The govt has painted itself into a corner in trying to tackle the garbage issue. It has now been left with no place to dump Colombo’s waste. Resistance to the Puttalam waste project stems mostly from within the govt ranks. more..

Basil Rajapaksa

Demons in Paradise: Capturing the Conversation

Oct 17 (GV) On Oct 2, Director of the documentary film Demons in Paradise Jude Ratnam issued a press release, noting that his documentary had been pulled from the programme of the Jaffna Int'l Cinema Festival. Ratnam wrote to the Festival Director requesting an explanation, having heard that the movie was removed upon request from the community. Demons in Paradise begins with the director’s personal memory of leaving Colombo by train in July 1983. Ratnam was 5. more..

Fifth standard examination receives third degree treatment

Oct 17 (Island) Many, including the President, the Minister of Education and others, are seemingly out on a mission to rubbish this examination. The President claimed that not all who scored high in that examination did well in life. Obviously, the President has in mind his colleagues in Parliament. The Minister of Education told us over television that the standard scholarship examination is a test of memory. What is the hard evidence that the President has to tell us so? more..

A conversation with five visually impaired Sri Lankans

Oct 17 (Roar) Grey skies. Green grass. Street signs, letters on a page, a traffic light turning red. All simple, everyday concepts we do not give a second thought to. We live in a world driven by visuals, with 80% of our perceptions formed by sight. Yet, about one million Sri Lankans are compelled to steer through life without their most dominant sense, living in a world of partial or complete darkness. more..

Munich betrayal, Moscow pact and Geneva sell-out

Oct 17 (Island) German Ambassador to SL Jorn Rohde recently contradicted his Russian counterpart in Colombo Juri Matery’s widely published statement in the local English print media that dealt with dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, close on the heels of the Munich Agreement, finalized on Sept 30, 1938. There had never been a previous instance of a Colombo-based diplomat, of a European power, sharply contradicting his counterpart, representing another great power. more..

World food day celebration under Presidents patronage

Oct 17 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that it is important to implement a state policy regarding the production, security, quality and standards of food. He stated this addressing the world food day ceremony held at BMICH today (16). The World Food Day is celebrated on 16th of October every year. This is to celebrate the establishment of the world food and agriculure organization by the UN. It is celebrated under the theme our actions-our future 2030. more..

Time at premium as Shanaka looks to settle in at No. 5

Oct 17 (CB) Angelo Mathews's loss is Dasun Shanaka's gain. With the No. 5 spot in the ODI line-up open, SL have recalled the services of Dasun Shanaka, who has not got a consistent run since making his debut in June 2016. The all-rounder, in the last two years, had featured in only 13 ODIs before this series. However, the selectors are now turning their attention on him as a specialist batsman as they prepare their best team more..

Moeen Ali ready to rush his bowling, but not his thinking, as more rain looms in third ODI

Oct 17 (CI) The northeast monsoon is in operation, more rain is on the way, and with further interruptions likely, spinners may again be asked to rush through the overs so that enough have been completed to constitute a game. This was what transpired in the second ODI in Dambulla. England's quicks had reduced Sri Lanka to 35 for 4 at the end of nine overs, and in doing so had got their team miles in front of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par score. more..

Joint naval forces detected US$ 1.8 bn worth narcotics

Oct 17 (DN) Narcotics worth US$ 1.8 billion had been taken into custody by joint naval forces from January to June this year from the Indian Ocean, Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva said. Silva said the countries in the Indian Ocean region had jointly conducted the raids to detect narcotics transportation and other illegal acts in the Indian Ocean. He said in the future these raids will be further intensified and talks were underway in this regard. more..

Sri Lanka’s wobbly batting suffers a setback - injured Kusal Perera ruled out

Oct 17 (DN) SL who are trying to sort out their batting woes that has contributed largely to their spate of losses in one-day internationals suffered a setback when one of their top order batters Kusal Perera was ruled out of today’s third ODI against England at the Pallekele Int'l Stadium here. Team manager Charith Senanayake said that Perera suffered a quadriceps injury to his right thigh during 2nd ODI at Dambulla on Saturday more..

1st Youth Test: Bangladesh reach 209 for three before bad light

Oct 17 (Island) Bangladesh Under-19s deciding to bat first posted 209 for three wickets before bad light forced an early end to first day’s play of the first Youth Test against SL Under-19s at the NCC grounds on Tuesday. Nalanda’s Chamindu Wijesinghe, Richmond’s Sandun Mendis and St. Joseph’s spinner Ashen Daniel took one wicket each before the match was halted before tea. Tawhidhridoy scored an unbeaten half century and put on an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 70 more..

Major Chinese wholesale association wants SL produce

Oct 17 (FT) A top Chinese delegation plans to increase SL agriculture exports to China giving the sector a chance to tap into the massive Chinese sector. “The visit of the China National Agriculture Wholesale Market Association (CAWA) delegation to Sri Lanka opens a huge export opportunity for the SL agriculture and fresh produce sector. We also warmly invite member associations of CAWA to invest as joint ventures in Sri Lanka, transfer the latest technology & partner our SL suppliers” more..

Budget 2018 mired on implementation

Oct 17 (FT) Budget 2018 has failed to deliver on transparency and implementation with only 8% of 38 major proposals worth Rs. 149 billion on target, with 33% categorised as either broken, neglected or undisclosed, think tank Verité Research said yesterday. Releasing the latest Budget Promises: Beyond Parliament update, Verité Research tracked 38 proposals, which were allocated above Rs. 1 billion in Budget 2018, more..

Can Sri Lanka get out of their rut?

Oct 17 (CI) The rain in Dambulla could not prevent a result this time, and it could not rescue SL from yet another defeat in ODIs (a record that now reads 31 of their last 41 completed matches). Dhananjaya de Silva and Thisara Perera did at least threaten to give England a Duckworth-Lewis-Stern headache - though in truth, the early damage at 31 for 4 and 74 for 5 was too great - while Lasith Malinga shook out his curls in a vintage display of death bowling, but England held the edge more..

Airbus deal deserves special attention: TISL

Oct 17 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has alerted the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into Allegations of Large Scale Fraud and Malpractice in SriLankan Airlines to alleged corruption surrounding the controversial procurement of Airbus A350 aircraft by the national carrier. The German publication Der Spiegel has on repeated occasions flagged the allegations of bribery and corruption in the procurement of Airbus aircraft. In a letter to CoI in August this year, more..

President orders study to reduce imports

Oct 17 (PMD) Considering the challenges that Sri Lanka is currently faced with due to global uncertainty, President instructs the Ministry of Finance to study the current imports and submit a report on goods of which the imports can be temporarily restricted. President made these remarks at the 20th session of the National Economic Council, which was held at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (16). more..

Student, parents assaulted inside Thurstan Principal’s office

Oct 17 (DN) A father, mother and their son have been severely beaten inside the principal’s office at Thurstan College by a group of students including prefects last Monday morning. The student’s parents had arrived at the school to meet the principal to complain about the continuous harassment their son had to face for the last few months from several students including school prefects. The principal had been out of the office at that moment and they had waited in his office when more..

Diplomats from 23 countries attend Foreign Policy & Economic Diplomacy Dialogue

Oct 17 (FT) The SL Foreign Policy and Economic Diplomacy Dialogue, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commenced on 15 October with the participation of mid-career diplomats from 23 countries from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Australasia. The two-week-long program is being held as part of the Economic Diplomacy Program (EDP) of the Foreign Ministry and will primarily focus on Sri Lanka’s economy with special emphasis on its emergence as more..

Mystery oil pricing formula: Bandula contradicts himself

Oct 17 (Island) The secret fuel pricing formula controversy took a new turn yesterday when head of the Economic Research Unit of the JO MP Bandula Gunawardena alleged that Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was implementing a formula introduced by the UNP-led UNF govt way back in 2002. On Sunday, Gunawardena displayed half a page advertisement carried in an English daily in its July 29, 2002 edition to back his claim. more..

Media briefed on Galle Dialogue International Maritime Conference - 2018

Oct 17 (SLN) A media briefing on the Galle Dialogue International Maritime Conference - 2018 was held at the Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake Auditorium at SLNS Parakrama today (16). This media briefing organized to disclose the arrangements of the upcoming flagship event of the Navy was presided over by the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva. This year’s conference is scheduled to be held on Oct 22-23 at Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, more..

Nothing certain about PC polls: EC

Oct 17 (DM) Even after PM submits the delimitation review report to Prez Sirisena by Oct 28, PC polls cannot be held until amendments if any are approved by Parliament, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. He said however, the Prez was required to gazette the report no sooner he receives it. Mr. Deshapriya said the term of office of the five-member review committee headed by the PM ends on Oct 28 two months after it was appointed by Speaker Jayasuriya. more..

'Coalition politics hurt SL liberalization drive'

Oct 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's liberalization drive has been hit by policy conflicts due to clashing ideologies of the two main coalition partners, a minister representing PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's UNP said. "Coalition politics is not easy. It’s difficult," State Minister Harsha de Silva told forum at the Institute of Policy Studies, a Colombo-based think tank. "We’re more liberal in our approach to economics. UNP is and the UNP has always been more liberal," more..

Ali Roshan, others summoned to Permanent High Court

Oct 17 (DN) The Colombo Permanent High Court issued summons directing Samarappulige Niraj Roshan alias Ali Roshan and six others to appear before court on Oct 26. This is in connection with indictments filed against them for allegedly keeping four elephants in their possession without valid permits. Attorney General filed indictments against Niraj Roshan. Wildlife Department officers Upali Padmasiri and Priyanka Sanjeewani, Gihan Dhammika, Chandana Kumara, S. Gamlath more..

President grants Rs 1 million to Sergeant interdicted over Thebuwana incident

Oct 17 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has granted Rs 1 million to the Police Sergeant who was interdicted following the incident in Thebuwana. President provided the grant following a meeting held with the police officer today (16). The Police Sergeant was interdicted after he had displayed ‘unruly behavior’ at the Thebuwana Junction while armed with an assault rifle on Oct 3. A lorry transporting sand had been taken into custody by the Sergeant on Sept 29, more..

President grants Rs.14 Customs Tax to release sugar stock at Port

Oct 17 (DM) Following discussions held with Prez Sirisena at the President Secretariat yesterday, he had agreed to release the sugar stocks already at the harbour under Rs.14 customs tax concession, Sugar Importers' Association member Priyantha Senavirathne said. He said 5,000 tonnes of sugar was already stuck at the Colombo Port after imposing an extra control price. “A sugar importer has to pay Rs. 44.50 as customs tax more..

CID charges into SLC premises for investigation

Oct 17 (CT) An Investigative Unit of the CID had charged into the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) headquarters in Maitland place yesterday, to carry out an investigation into the fraudulent attempt to transfer funds from Sony Pictures Network to an offshore account. Minister Faiszer Musthapha had made a request to IGP Pujitha Jayasundara to expedite the inquiry, and he had then ordered the CID to carry out an investigation into the matter. The investigation centres around an attempt to more..

Former TID DIG Nalaka failed to appear before CID

Oct 17 (DM) Former Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) DIG Kaushal Nalaka de Silva failed to appear before the CID over the inquiry into the alleged assassination plot on President Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Therefore, the CID officials had sent summons via Cinnamon Gardens Police to Mr. Silva to re-appear on Oct 18. According to sources, Mr. Nalaka de Silva had informed that he was unable to appear due to sudden illness of his child. more..

President, PM in heated argument over East Terminal

Oct 17 (Island) President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe had a heated argument, at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, over the East Terminal of the Colombo port to India, according to well informed sources. Responding to a query, sources said that the PM had brought to the notice of the President that India was interested in the terminals, but the latter had said the East Terminal would be given to SL Ports Authority (SLPA). more..

Three Chief Justices in 45 months!

Oct 18 (CT) Let me begin by stating, I neither know nor have I met Hon. Nalin Perera who was sworn in as the country’s 46th Chief Justice last Friday. He was nominated by President Sirisena and unanimously recommended by the five members of the Constitutional Council present, the remaining five being absent. My congratulations to the newly appointed CJ. Perera is the longest-serving career judge and fifth most senior among the ten Supreme Court judges. more..

The conundrum of culture & morality

Oct 18 (CT) Recently, much resentment has been shown by the public towards the unethical conduct of a journalist in reporting an accident involving a drunk driver. Although the public seem to be outraged by the incident, the style of the report is not an accident. It merely mirrors the culmination of the attitudinal degeneration of this society. There is a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt: Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. more..

'Yes, I met President Maithri'

Oct 18 (CT) Former Minister, Basil Rajapaksa says that neither the country nor the nation will be betrayed by the Rajapaksas. Q: MPs Wimal Weerawansa and Vasudeva Nanayakkara spoke of a caretaker govt, with Maithri as President and Mahinda as PM. What is your stance on this? A: I will not reply to their statements. They are in two parties which are important to us and hold independent views. more..

War heroes and failed administrators

Oct 18 (DM) The economy and minority Tamils are the key issues that the islanders have to address if they need to prosper and make this country a real paradise. Of the two, the latter being resolved could happen sooner if genuine efforts are made by the Govt to understand the psyche of this minority community and grant some of their demands, if not all. But progress in most fronts has stopped largely due to a lack of leadership within the Govt and the Tamil community. more..