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Face the Nation: Reconciliation & Constitution

Sunanda Deshapriya vs Mahinda Deshapriya

Oct 21 (Island) At the time of writing, five Provincial Councils have ceased to exist and after next Tuesday, the Northern PC will also cease to exist as it completes its five year term. It is now more than a year since the Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provinces ceased to exist but no election has been held. The last time a govt tried to dodge holding elections in this manner was back in 1998. At that time, it was not a long delay like the one that we have experienced over the past year. more..

Diplomatic damage control, after tensions flare in Cabinet

Oct 21 (SO) Each week on Tuesday, SL’s Cabinet of Ministers meets, with President Maithripala Sirisena presiding. With a fragile coalition primarily of arch political rivals in the governing seat, Cabinet meetings have been controversial and heated affairs for the better part of nearly four years. Yet last week’s fateful meeting was the first of its kind to cause major consternation away from these shores – and across the Palk Strait. As one senior presidential aide put it, more..

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but not when in Colombo

Oct 21 (CT) What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas or President Maithripala Sirisena appeared to have believed so when he made a comment to his Cabinet members of his belief that Indian intelligence service may have a link to the alleged assassination plot against him. While it was not immediately clear whether the President referred to Indian intelligence service being behind the assassination plot or the Indian national more..

It’s back to basics and drawing board for SL!

Oct 21 (CT) With three played and two to go, the Sri Lankans are in a very tough situation to salvage the ODI series against England. For the first time in many years of ODI cricket between England and Sri Lanka, the gap between the two sides has been clearly visible. For all the patriotism and bravado one can’t in any way deny the fact England are the better side and are streets ahead of Sri Lanka in the fifty over format! This fact has to be accepted with no arguments. more..

Dad’s Army to invade cricket field

Oct 21 (SO) They may no longer be the superstars of SL cricket but for too long have they put up with the super brats of the bat and ball game and will come out in their numbers to set the course for on-field decency with the creation of a new tournament for retired players who now see themselves as super dads. The tournament will officially get underway on Nov 3 at venues in Colombo with several former exponents and ex-World Cup stars of 1996 playing various roles in a bid to get off the ground. more..

England seal series with latest comfortable DLS victory

Oct 21 (CI) Sri Lanka overcame their-now traditional mini-collapse to post a respectable 273 for 7, but the efforts of the lower order, who had propelled them to that score, were not enough to deny England another comfortable victory. In yet another calm and proficient display of batting, England cruised to 132 for 2 at the end of 27 overs - captain Eoin Morgan and Joe Root hitting 56 in each other's company to hoist the team to safety. more..

Why Hathurusingha needs to back Sadeera Samarawickrama

Oct 21 (Island) As young Sadeera Samarawickrama stepped out to leg-spinner Adil Rashid and lofted an elegant inside out cover drive the commentators were quick to make comparisons the other night at Pallekele. This is one of the toughest shorts to play in cricket and used to be Mahela Jayawardene’s signature stroke. The word that has been often used to describe Sri Lanka’s batting in white ball cricket is boring and Sadeera with his audacious stroke play was a breath of fresh air. more..

Allegations before convictions: Is Marshalle shooting from the hip?

Oct 21 (Island) The General Manager of the anti-corruption unit of the ICC, Alex Marshall, is leveling serious charges against Sri Lanka. His goal being, he claims, is to "break the cycle of abuse and corruption that has seeped into Sri Lanka cricket and threatening young players." However the first player he has charged is a high-profile one who has retired from the game, and is pushing 40 years of age! In fact, this player denies any wrong doing. Of course that could be another story. more..

Dasun Shanaka rues the opportunities that slipped away for Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (CI) Sure it's another SL loss, and sure they are ruing their mistakes yet again, but at least this time it is specific moments that lost Sri Lanka the game, rather than overs upon overs of incompetence. Dasun Shanaka, whose run-a-ball 66 did the most to propel SL toward respectability, pinpointed two of the instances in which his team had let the match slip. The first of these was his own run-out, he said. more..

ICC looking to charge sheet more Lankan cricket corruptors

Oct 21 (ST) Since the ICC sent shockwaves with the charge sheeting of champion former national cricketer and selection committee chairman Sanath Jayasuriya, speculation is rife on further action by the ICC. While stating his innocence, Jayasuriya in a public statement said that he would file his answers before the ICC stipulated 14 days expired. If Jayasuriya fails to respond, the ICC will take a unilateral decision to suspend him for a period not less than 6 mos and not greater than 5 yrs. more..

Top Sri Lanka economist urges free trade amid soft-peg failure

Oct 21 (EN) A top Sri Lankan economist renewed calls for freer trade as the country slammed import controls as a soft-peg with the US dollar failed for the second time in 2018, sending the rupee sliding, and President Sirisena called for a report on new imports that can be controlled. "If you liberalise imports, it creates a real bang in the economy and it creates competition and people have to work very hard to survive," Sarath Rajapatirana, an economic advisor to Prez Sirisena said. more..

CBEU vows to paralyse banking sector over state banks divestiture

Oct 21 (ST) The Govt, ignoring opposition from trade unions, has permitted two state banks – Bank of Ceylon (BOC) and Peoples Bank (PB) – to sell 10% each of its stakes in the CSE with the aim of raising capital via the equity market, officials said. This move proposed in the 2018 budget is aimed at providing an option for bank employees to become shareholders but they would be prohibited from selling their shares. more..

Bilateral institutional mechanism for food exports to India

Oct 21 (SO) SL is working with Food Safety & Standard Authority, India to accredit SL labs so that the island’s food and beverage exports to India would not face difficulties any longer. Trade experts have recommended establishing a bilateral institutional mechanism between India and partner countries to smoothen food exports to India. “This initiative would help ensure that food imports to India are tested only on a random basis; it would also catalyze agricultural trade among countries more..

Sri Lanka shines at JATA Tourism Expo 2018 in Japan

Oct 21 (CT) SL’s pavilion was the highlight at Japan Tourism Expo, the biggest tourism event of Asia, which was held recently by Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) in Tokyo. The fair, said to be the world’s largest tourism trade fair, is held annually during the last week of September in Tokyo’s Permanent Fair Ground known as Tokyo BigSite. SL Tourism has always participated in the event with the main goal of promoting and introducing SL’s cultural and historical attractions to the world. more..

Yahaplana govt duped the youth by giving empty promises: JVP Youth Wing

Oct 21 (Island) It is now crystal clear that the Yahaplana govt duped the youth by giving them empty promises and is now trying again to trick them into working towards sending the govt home, says JVP’s youth wing Socialist Youth Union. National Organizer of the SYU, Eranga Gunasekera said that the Yahapalana team sold dreams to the country’s youth to solicit their votes. "The votes of the youth made a huge difference to ensure more..

Asia’s fastest Para athlete came by accident

Oct 21 (SO) Asia’s fastest Para (differently able) athlete Amila Prasad is shocked about his own self after reaching such a feat to win the gold medal in both the 100 and 200 metres at the recently concluded Asian Para Games in Indonesia. Amila is attached to the army’s Light Infantry Regiment at the Boosa Camp in Galle and in an exclusive interview said he had no knowledge of sports and joined the army only because his friends persuaded him to do so at a crucial stage during more..

UNP wants Anton Deshapriya investigated

Oct 21 (DM) Making counter allegations against investor Anton Deshapriya, who had recently accused a state minister of soliciting a bribe, the UNP called for a thorough investigation on the investor. Minister Harin Fernando said that there was an invisible hand behind this episode. “Some mischievous elements appear to have urged this investor to make allegations against the ministers. This is a move to sling mud at the govt and as such we call for investigations both locally and more..

Police probe whether terror accused set up by brother of Aussie Sportsman

Oct 21 (TD) The brother of Australian cricket star Usman Khawaja has been drawn in to a police counter-terrorism investigation. Ten Eyewitness News has learnt officers this week raided the Sydney home where Arsalan Khawaja lives with his parents, as part of their probe into a terrorism hit list found written in a notebook at the University of New South Wales. On Friday, a terrorism charge was dropped against the notebook's owner more..

Sri Lanka seeks to follow Indian path on Iran oil sanctions

Oct 21 (EN) Sri Lanka, which is dependent on Iranian light crude has sought advice from India on its strategy on purchasing oil from the country in the light of tightening US sanctions during bilateral talks. Sri Lanka's Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has sought information on how India will act in the case of tighter sanctions from Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, a statement from the office of the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who is leading a delegation said. more..

State bank boards remain in office; more talks soon

Oct 21 (ST) Public Enterprise Ministry this week said that the chairmen and directors of the two state banks would remain in office until the President’s memo seeking the reconstitution of the boards was further discussed with the President and the PM. The chairmen and boards of directors of the Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank remained in-situ despite the Presidential request that the boards be reconstituted. All the appointments to these boards were done by UNP ministers since Jan 2015. more..

PM Modi holds talks with Sri Lankan counterpart to boost ties

Oct 21 (PTI) PM Narendra Modi and his SL counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe held talks Saturday covering the entire gamut of bilateral relations and discussed ways to deepen the historically close relations between the two countries. Ministry of External Affairs, said the two leaders also exchanged views on regional and global issues during their meeting on the third and final day of the SL leader's visit here. more..

Govt to intervene in estate worker wage hike

Oct 21 (ST) The govt is likely to intervene in the discussions between the estate worker unions and the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) on a new collective agreement for a wage hike. The best the RPCs could afford is an all inclusive Rs.940 for its workers but unions representing the labour workforce have asked PM to intervene. CWC spokesman Arul Sami said that during the meeting with the RPCs on Monday the CWC leader A. Thondaman had called the PM and more..

Spot falls between by Rs 13.70 since May

Oct 21 (CT) Christmas seasonal import pressure on the rupee, compounded by continuous net foreign outflows (NFOs) from the Treasury Bond market (TBM), took such NFOs since May to Wednesday past the US$ 530 million mark, signifying that there is no end to the pressure on the rupee due to such continuous NFOs. In rupee terms such exits amounted to Rs 86.20 billion. In the week ended Wednesday alone such outflows totalled $31 mil (rs 5.3b), there by taking such exits since May, more..

Pussy cat, pussy cat, they’re coming for you!

Oct 21 (CT) Animal Welfare Activists have voiced their concerns over a request made by the Prez Secretariat to the CMC to have the stray cats removed from the President’s House. Denying allegations that officials from the Prez’s Secretariat wanted the stray cats removed from the President’s House, Chief Veterinary Surgeon CMC Dr. Vipula Dharmawardene said he had received a letter from the Prez Secretariat requesting more..

'Sri Lankans unhappy with infight in govt'

Oct 21 (PTI) The internal squabbling between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has left the SL public unhappy and dissatisfied, Minister Mano Ganesan said on Saturday. He asked the two leaders to sort out their issues to ensure the free democratic environment created by this yahapalana (good governance) govt. Sirisena, according to the media, had reportedly told former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that it was difficult to work with Wickremesinghe as PM. more..

Caretaker Govt is a one week story: Rajitha

Oct 21 (Island) Reports of a caretaker govt being formed was a one week story - meaning it lasted only for a week - as proved by the remarks of both the UPFA and SLFP General Secretaries, says Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Asked as to why Prez Sirisena had appointed a committee to discuss the formation of a caretaker govt with the Podujana Peramuna (PP) led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, he that it was because some in the UPFA had claimed that they could obtain the required support to form more..

Sri Lanka in a state of denial

Oct 21 (ST) President Sirisena accused India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), of involvement in the assassination plot against him but hurriedly withdrew the charge the next day amidst widespread media reports to avoid a potential diplomatic crisis. The disclosure at the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, vehemently denied by different official channels, highlighted a worrying situation more..

US ACSA and Chinese presence in Hambantota Port

Oct 21 (Island) US Vice President Mike Pence recently addressed a gathering of distinguished personalities at the Hudson Institute, a Washington based Think Tank. His remarks were related to the Trump administration’s policy toward China. Pence accused China of using debt diplomacy to expand its influence today. The example used to drive home his point was; "Just ask Sri Lanka, which took on massive debts to let Chinese state companies build a port with questionable commercial value. more..

Dreams of Change: Land Labour and Conflict in Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (Island) This book is a collection of essays written by Sarath Amunugama, over many years, on a variety of subjects relating to socio-economic change and political conflict in Sri Lanka. Jayadeva Uyangoda positions these essays in the following way. "In this collection of essays Sarath Amunugama deals with one of the central themes of SL’s socio-political transformation during the colonial and post-colonial phases; the land question. Land has provided the material basis for more..

The Way of the World

Oct 21 (Island) A political heat wave is sweeping across the world. National-populism is on the march across the globe, threatening hard-won democratic gains. In country after country, people, fearful, disillusioned or enraged, are voting against their enlightened self-interests, electing leaders who would turn them from citizens to subjects. The last time a similar situation prevailed was in the 1920’s and 1930’s. more..

Malnutrition kills more pachyderms

Oct 21 (CT) In a startling revelation, it has been found that in addition to the large number of elephants being killed in train tragedies, more baby elephants were dying in the Yala National Park due to malnutrition. Environmental Scientist and Elephant Ethologist, Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya was delivering a lecture when he made the startling revelation. 54% of elephant calves below the age of two were dying in the Yala National Park, more..

Scout Movement should move forward with new technology & knowledge: President

Oct 21 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says, the policies and objectives of the Scout movement founded by Lord Baden-Powell was prepared according to the economic, social and cultural features of the then society and amendments should be made to in par with the modern world based on knowledge and technology while protecting the original values of the movement. He made these remarks participating in more..

Parami: Fisherman’s daughter who conquered the World

Oct 21 (CT) It’s not that long ago 17-year-old Parami Wasanthi Marisstella won the Asian U-20 Gold medal in Japan, after which she was promised the sun and the moon by authorities and politicians, but with little support - parents even had to pawn their small property to support her - she did not disappoint as she ended up producing Sri Lanka’s first and only Bronze Medal in the youth Olympic Games. more..

Legal glitch could throw 75% of Bribery Commission cases out

Oct 21 (SO) Over 75% of cases filed by the Bribery Commission are at grave risk of being thrown out of court, purely on the basis of a technical error in the law, senior prosecutors said, as another case was scrapped based on this anomaly last week. Last Friday, the case filed by the CIABOC against former Monitoring MP of the Foreign Ministry Sajin Vass Gunewardena was taken up for trial before the Colombo Chief Magistrate, more..

Mangala briefs SLFP leaders on budget reliefs

Oct 21 (ST) Other issues notwithstanding, the ruling SLFP and UNP leaders met to discuss matters over the November 4 budget proposals last Thursday night. Minister Mangala Samaraweera gave the SLFPers, for the first time, a general idea of how his budget proposals would be. The meeting was chaired by President Sirisena. An area of broad agreement came when Minister Samaraweera assured, at the request of SLFP ministers, more..

Submachine gun found in SLFPer’s house smuggled from Dubai

Oct 21 (ST) The MP-5K found in Mawanella SLFP Organiser Imtiaz Cader Mohamed’s home was allegedly smuggled into the country from Dubai, concealed in a TV set, a senior police source said. The smuggled MP-5K is said to have cost the accused Rs 600,000. Mr Mohamed was arrested Thursday morning, by the STF, for the possession of 3 unregistered firearms and ammunition at his Kegalle residence. more..

Will finish infra projects before your polls: India to Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (IE) India has assured Sri Lanka of completing development projects on time, some of them preferably before the January 2020 elections in the island nation. Both sides also decided to sensitively handle the issue of fishermen, especially in the coming months, without use of force, as has been the practice in recent years, sources said. Visiting SL PM Ranil Wickremesinghe Saturday met PM Narendra Modi and more..

AG’s Dept yet to decide on appeal against Johnston Fernando’s acquittal

Oct 21 (ST) The AG Dept has so far not taken a decision on whether to appeal the acquittal of former Minister Johnston Fernando and two others, in the case involving the misappropriation of Rs 52.02 million of Lanka Sathosa funds, AG’s Dept sources said. The AG’s Dept had to first study the judgement delivered by the Kurunegala High Court acquitting the three accused, before taking a decision. more..

Army rejects UN charges against Lt. Col. Amunupure; but says comply written request

Oct 21 (DM) SL Army said that it would prove that Commander of its 200-strong contingent assigned to the UN peacekeeping force in Mali Lt. Col. Kalana Amunupure, was not guilty of any Human Rights abuses in the last stages of the war. Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said however that it would comply with the UN request and take steps to recall Lt. Col. Amunupure, when an official request was received. more..