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Sirisena-Rajapaksa alliance forges ahead as RW stands his ground at Temple Trees

Oct 29 (Roar) The newly-formed alliance of Prez Sirisena and former Prez Rajapaksa has moved forward with plans to form a new govt, even as UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe continues to occupy office at Temple Trees. President Sirisena is expected to address the nation today (28), for the first time since Rajapaksa was appointed PM on Oct 26. He is also expected to appoint a new Cabinet tomorrow (29). more..

Edtorial: Three options

Oct 29 (Island) The UPFA and the UNP are engaged in a game of chicken with neither party willing to swerve to avoid a disastrous head-on collision. Both sides are led by men of mature years who pride themselves on having been in parliamentary politics for about five decades; it behoves them to act responsibly without placing democracy in peril and set an example to others. The peripeteia of the unfolding political drama has left warring parties with three options. more..

UNP mulls impeaching President

Oct 29 (DM) UNP yesterday said it is contemplating bringing in an impeachment on President Maithripala Sirisena but had not made any final decision on it. UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe said that an idea has been mooted to bring in an impeachment motion but no final decision has been made on it. “Some have proposed an impeachment motion on President but no decision has been made on it,” he said. At the same time he said his party is willing to hand over the reigns to a new PM if it manages to more..

Restrictions on MPs’ perks and privileges necessary: SLFP

Oct 29 (Island) SLFP-led UPFA said that a reappraisal of perks and privileges enjoyed by lawmakers was necessary though they couldn’t be deprived of such facilities altogether. UPFA National List MP Dilan Perera admitted the necessity to restrict excessive perks provided to lawmakers at the expense of taxpayers. Perera said so when asked whether the SLFP-led UPFA acknowledged that there were waste, massive corruption more..

'Parliament prorogued to present- Vote on Account in place of Budget 2019'

Oct 29 (DM) President Sirisena prorogued Parliament following the change of govt to present a Vote on Account in place of the budget 2019 and to reorganize the new Ministries, President of the Provincial Governors’ Collective, Southern Province Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara said. He said Prez was to appoint a new Cabinet and new Secretaries shortly and such a new budget was not possible. “New Cabinet of a single party govt could accommodate only a maximum of 30 or less more..

NPC wants SC to decide legality of Ranil’s dismissal

Oct 29 (Island) National Peace Council (NPC) stated that the dismissal of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe following the withdrawal of the SLFP headed by President Maithripala Sirisena from the govt alliance had plunged the country into a political crisis. "While changing of govts and leaders is part and parcel of democracy but due process needs to be followed, the constitution must not be violated and the Rule of Law must prevail when such changes take place, the NPC said. more..

Entered the complex to remove some personal files; They came to kill me: Arjuna

Oct 29 (FT) Freed from a hostage situation at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation head office building in Dematagoda, MP Arjuna Ranatunga claimed the mobs that attacked him were out to kill him. “They came to kill me. I state this responsibly; check the CCTV footage,” he said, speaking at a media briefing held in Temple Trees last evening. “For the first time I feared for my life. I thought of my children and family,” said Ranatunga. more..

Avoidable crisis: on SL's political crisis

Oct 29 (Hindu) Prez Sirisena’s decision to withdraw his faction from the ruling coalition and replace PM Ranil Wickremesinghe with former President Rajapaksa has plunged the country into a political crisis. This was further complicated, a day later, by the President’s move to suspend Parliament till Nov 16. Mr. Sirisena’s fast-deteriorating relationship with Mr. Wickremesinghe was an open secret, and there were indications that he could be negotiating a possible partnership with Mr. Rajapaksa. more..

'Chinese hand in current political crisis'

Oct 29 (FT) MP Ranjan Ramanayake yesterday claimed that the Constitutional crisis brewing in the country was Chinese-sponsored, appealing to the Chinese Government to not spend money on buying over MPs to support Mahinda Rajapaksa. “This is an international conspiracy. I’m not against China. They want to outright buy this country,” Ranjan Ramanayake said, speaking at a press briefing held in Temple Trees. He accused the global superpower of trying to buy over the nation. more..

'Accepted post at a time of deep crisis'

Oct 29 (DN) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said he accepted the invitation to take up the post of Prime Minister at a time when the country is in deep crisis because he is always prepared to perform his duties by the country and nation. He said he will confirm the confidence placed on him by saving the country from the crisis situation and steering it on the correct path. He gave the assurance before the Malwatte Chief Prelate more..

UN expresses concern

Oct 29 (FT) UN Secretary General António Guterres has expressed concern over the latest political developments in SL. Following is the statement issued by the spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric. The Secretary-General is following the latest developments in SL with great concern. He calls on the Govt to respect democratic values and constitutional provisions and process, uphold the rule of law and ensure the safety and security of all Sri Lankans. more..

Ousting Ranil unconstitutional: Jayampathy

Oct 29 (CT) Ousting PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from office is nothing but a political coup which is an outright breach of the provisions of the Constitution, MP and President’s Counsel Jayampathy Wickramaratne claimed. “Constitutionally there exists a Govt of which the President is the head and Wickremesinghe is the PM. The purported appointment of MP Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM is unconstitutional,” he said. He explained that PM Wickremesinghe’s appointment took place more..

We will take to the street: UNP

Oct 29 (DM) While highlighting that they will bring in an impeachment motion against President Sirisena, UNP senior Ministers and MPs said they will take to the streets and protest against what they called a constitutional coup and the proroguing in Parliament. They conveyed this information at media briefings held in Temple Trees from time to time. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said he had written to Speaker asking him to convene Parliament. more..

'Act wisely when taking orders'

Oct 29 (CT) Former Minister of Law and Order Ranjith Madduma Bandara announced that the law enforcement authorities and the armed forces have been advised to act wisely in taking orders from the fake Prime Minister. He noted, “We are still the governing body. Therefore, we have asked the Sri Lanka Police and the armed forces to act wisely when taking orders from the illegitimately appointed PM.” However, IGP Pujith Jayasundara was observed visiting Rajapaksa on Friday more..

'Bond scam, assassination plot led to the rift'

Oct 29 (Hindu) President Maithripala Sirisena claimed that there is no constitutional violation in his recent appointment of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in place of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. “I categorically state that the appointments were made totally in accordance with the Constitution and the on advice of legal experts,” he said, two days after his drastic move that set off a political storm in Sri Lanka. In a televised address to the nation on Sunday, his first since the crisis began, more..

Unions call for Arjuna’s arrest, threaten to suspend fuel distribution

Oct 29 (Island) A 34-year-old man, who was shot yesterday by a security guard of former Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, had succumbed to his injuries last night. Two others injured in the incident are being treated at the National Hospital, Colombo. A security guard opened fire on a crowd of protesters when Ranatunga visited the CPC Head Office, Colombo-08. Police Media Unit said: "Ranatunga went to the CPC office near more..

Opposition Leader Sampanthan requests Speaker to convene parliament forthwith

Oct 29 (CT) In a major development, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan has requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to convene Parliament with immediate effect and allow the legislature to perform its legitimate functions. In his letter, Sampanthan says the request has been made “recognizing the necessity of upholding the supremacy of the constitution of Sri Lanka and the supremacy of Parliament comprising of the democratically elected representatives of the people.” more..

President Sirisena’s actions reminiscent of constitutional coup: Lawyers for Democracy

Oct 29 (FT) Activist lawyers slammed the actions of President Maithripala Sirisena as reminiscent of a constitutional coup, and urged him to summon Parliament to end the political turmoil and resolve the issue. Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) said that having studied the legal position, they believed the removal of existing PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from Office and the purported appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new Premier was unconstitutional and undemocratic. more..

Rajitha says over 100 signatures urging Parliament to reconvene

Oct 29 (FT) The UNP claimed that over 100 MPs had signed on to lobby for Parliament to be reconvened. “We have signed the document urging the Speaker to convene Parliament as soon as possible,” MP Rajitha Senaratne said. The UNP strongman was confident of showing the numbers in support of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe when Parliament was reconvened. However, he was not able to reveal what the party would do more..

Prez betrayed people’s 2015 mandate: JVP

Oct 29 (CT) The JVP said that Prez Sirisena cannot prorogue Parliament as he desires and that he has to summon Parliament immediately and provide an opportunity for the people’s representatives to discuss the political chaos he has created. The JVP points out that the best solution to prevent certain destructive incidents from taking place in the country, at this moment, due to the political conspiracy carried out by the President and his discarding of the people’s opinion, more..

Gotabaya won’t be back as Defence Secy.

Oct 29 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that he wouldn’t accept any position in the new Sirisena-Rajapaksa administration though he was ready to back the new dispensation. Rajapaksa said so when The Island asked whether he was to soon receive appointment as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence. The Gajaba Regiment veteran said that during the fourth phase of the war from 2006 to 2009 and post-war period he had served as Defence Secretary. more..

‘Assassination plot prompted me to appoint MR PM’

Oct 29 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the nation on Sunday said a plot to assassinate him had prompted him to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM. He said he had to take that action after consulting legal experts and it was consistent with the Constitution. Text of the Prez’s address: "I have decided to address the nation today in the context of the recent political developments in the country, more..

Ranil’s security slashed to 10 on IGP’s orders

Oct 29 (FT) The UNP last night raised the alarm that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe – whose shock sacking on Friday threw the country into political turmoil – had been slashed to 10 officials, posing a threat to his life. IGP Pujith Jayasundara issued directives in writing to DIG Jayantha Wickremasinghe, who is in charge of the Prime Ministerial Security Division (PMSD), to take action to remove additional security for Wickremesinghe and slash his security to only 10 personnel. more..

UNFGG demands that constitutional crisis be resolved through Parliament

Oct 29 (Island) The National United Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) has called on President Maithripala Sirisena to respect the people’s wishes and summon Parliament immediately, to decide if Ranil Wickremesinghe or Mahinda Rajapaksa commands a majority in the House. The NUFGG comprising the UNP, JHU, Rajitha Senaratne considered a confidant of Sirisena, SLMC, ACMC, NUW, TPA and DPF made their demand at a press conference held at Temple Trees, more..

MR invites all political parties to join his administration

Oct 29 (DM) PM Rajapaksa, invited all the political parties represented in Parliament to join his administration. He said his govt would eschew the politics of hate and set up an interim govt that will protect the human rights of all citizens, that will protect the independence of the judiciary and establish law and order in the country. “I invite all political parties represented in Parliament to join us in this endeavour. more..

Let stability be restored

Oct 29 (DM) On late Oct 26, the SL polity was thrown into crisis when in the aftermath of the UPFA -- one of the parties within the governing UNF Govt -- withdrawing from the governing coalition, President Maithripala Sirisena unexpectedly appointed the de facto leader of the SLPP, former President Rajapaksa as PM. Accepting the premiership Rajapaksa claimed he was doing so in the interests of the country. New premier supporters emphasised that when Rajapaksa was voted out more..

PM appointment: It’s legal & constitutional

Oct 29 (DM) The US and EU have issued statements requesting the Govt to act according to the constitution. However, Ranil Wickremesinghe continues to pursue his claim as the PM and that his removal was unconstitutional. Both the removal and the new appointment are published in the Govt Gazette. Articles (sections/Art) herein are as amended by the 19th Amendment. There are two possible arguments establishing the correctness and the constitutionality of the act of the President more..

Two constitutional coups applauded by two different social segments

Oct 29 (DM) Weather would be stormy and rainy in the next few days to come, said a forecast last Saturday. It would not be much different in the political arena as well. Opening up more and better space in promoting the Crown Prince began with a Constitutional Coup on Friday last week in the night, that seeks to oust, sitting PM Wickremesinghe and his govt. Whole world was caught unawares when the de facto leader more..

BASL claims no impediment to President forming an Opinion

Oct 29 (CT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) pointed out that there was no Constitutional impediment to the President forming a personal opinion with regard to the MP who is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament. The BASL said this in relation to recent events where on 26 Oct, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed MP and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM, stating that more..

Over 200 MPs attended only one sitting day of Parliament from Jan1-Oct. 1

Oct 29 (ST) More than 200 of the 224 MPs attended only one sitting day of Parliament during the 58 sitting days between January 1 to Oct 1, information obtained through a Right to Information (RTI) Application revealed. The only day there were more than 200 MPs in attendance was on April 4, 2018, the day when a no-confidence motion was debated and taken up for a vote in Parliament. That day all but nine MPs attended sittings. more..

Moody's says political crisis credit negative for Sri Lanka

Oct 29 (EN) Moody's Investors Service, a rating agency said Sri Lanka's political crisis is credit negative and the sudden appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM has increased uncertainty. "The current political crisis in Sri Lanka is credit negative for the sovereign," Matthew Circosta, Analyst, Sovereign Risk Group, Moody’s Investors Service said in a statement. "President’s sudden appointment of Mr Rajapaksa as PM more..

Taken by surprise: TNA

Oct 29 (CT) Leader of the Opposition and the TNA R. Sampanthan, as well as the ITAK Leader and TNA Jaffna District MP Mavai S. Senathiraja have said that the removal of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from his position and the appointing of former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa as new the PM by President Sirisena had come as a surprise. Both Sampanthan and Senathiraja pointed out that it was too early more..

Bonds plunge, stocks surge amid turmoil

Oct 29 (BN) Sri Lanka’s sovereign dollar bonds and the rupee plunged to record lows, while the nation’s stocks surged the most in five years, as the political turmoil sent equity and bonds investors to opposite ends of the risk spectrum. Moody’s Investors Service said the crisis would inflict lasting damage to investor confidence. Stock bulls, including Mark Mobius took a different view, namely that the upheaval may pave the way more..

Presidential coup that will send the country into darkness

Oct 29 (CT) So Sri Lanka, you are back to square one! In most countries when politicians fail, we see military coups; however in Sri Lanka, for the very first time, we are witnessing a presidential coup against the Legislature from a man who said to the people that he was not power hungry and was committed to reforms to build a more democratic nation. Friday (26) saw for the very first time the real dictatorial power of more..

Global pressure rises on Sri Lanka president to defuse political crisis

Oct 29 (Reuters) President Maithripala Sirisena is under increasing pressure to uphold the island nation’s constitution and reconvene parliament after his decision to replace the PM triggered political turmoil. Sri Lanka was plunged into the crisis on Friday when Sirisena sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and swore in ex-president Rajapaksa to replace him, breaking up a fragile coalition governing the island. more..

MR’s appointments illegal: Mangala

Oct 29 (AM) In a strongly-worded statement, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera denounced the Sirisena-Rajapaksa govt, saying it was illegal, and promised stern action against those legitimizing the coup. 'The so-called govt, headed by MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, is formed following a coup and not through a constitutionally accepted process. It has no legitimacy to operate in office, nor does it have any moral or ethical right to continue in office,' more..

MR assumes charge as new PM

Oct 29 (PTI) Former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday assumed charge as SL's new PM after the surprise sacking of his predecessor Ranil Wickremesinghe by President Sirisena which plunged the island nation into an unprecedented political crisis. Rajapaksa assumed the duties in the prime minister's secretariat which was not used by the ousted PM Wickremesinghe, officials from his SLPP said. more..

Lanka IOC back in profits after raising fuel prices

Oct 29 (EN) SL unit of India Oil Company, Lanka IOC Plc, returned to the black with a net profit of Rs. 207.3 million in the Sept 2018 quarter, up from a loss of Rs. 176.9 million a year earlier, after it was allowed to raise fuel prices, amidst sharp cost cuts. It reported earnings of 39 cents for the quarter in the quarter. Earnings for the first six months to end September were 85 cents a share on a profit of Rs. 453.2 million, up from a loss of Rs. 312.1 million a year earlier. more..

With this man-made Constitutional crisis, economy will be the casualty

Oct 29 (FT) The political change that took place in SL last week has driven the country to a constitutional crisis. President, while removing PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from office, has appointed former President Rajapaksa to the post. A crisis has been created because Ranil Wickremesinghe has maintained that he is still the PM in terms of the Constitution. This is being refuted by those supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa. Thus, SL now has 2 PMs appointed by Prez in 2 points of time. more..

JVP press conference