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Gota says they do not do politics of hate and will not drag Ranil before courts

Oct 31 (Island) The present govt was an interim institution until a new administration got selected through elections, former defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. "I will not accept any position in this govt. The current Cabinet of ministers must provide much needed relief to the people and win over their trust. Then we must face a parliamentary election and form a govt." Rajapaksa said that a number of foreign nations were attempting to influence domestic affairs of SL. more..

Australian concern about Sri Lankan crisis

Oct 31 (AAP) Australia is concerned about the political situation in Sri Lanka after the president sacked the PM, sparking protests and deaths. Thousands of supporters of ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe protested in Colombo on Tuesday as political turmoil on the island entered its fifth day. On Friday the country's President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Mr Wickremesinghe and swore in ex-prez Rajapaksa to replace him, breaking up a fragile coalition governing the country. more..

'Make Temple Trees available for MR'

Oct 31 (CT) Notice has been issued to the Additional Secretary overlooking the administration of the Prime Minister’s official residence at Temple Trees to immediately take necessary steps to make available the residence for new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Secretary to the PM, Sirisena Amarasekara told the Media. Amarasekara however noted that legal action would not be taken against Wickremesinghe in this regard. more..

Speaker urges reconvening Parliament

Oct 31 (CT) In the wake of the ongoing political crisis, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya submitted a letter to President Sirisena and pointed out that 125 MPs from various political parties; that is the UNP, ITAK, JVP and SLMC had forwarded letters to him urging him to ensure their rights as public representatives are protected and to take measures to enable them to show their majority in Parliament. Speaker has noted that as the Head of Parliament it was his responsibility to listen to their grievances and more..

IRD CG job denied for CB Dy Governor

Oct 31 (CT) The first decision of the new Cabinet, which met for the first time yesterday, had been to cancel the previous Cabinet’s recommendation to appoint Deputy Governor of the CB, CJP Siriwardena as the Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). Coming fresh off the Cabinet meeting with President Sirisena and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, Govt Spokesmen, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and MP Keheliya Rambukwella noted that accordingly, more..

Thousands gather to protect democracy

Oct 31 (FT) Thousands of protestors yesterday thronged the Liberty Roundabout in an unexpectedly massive show of support for mounting calls on the Speaker to reconvene the House and end the constitutional deadlock, even as Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was controversially deposed as PM last week, stood his ground for a fifth straight day. Speaking to the large crowds gathered outside his official residence, more..

UNF to form new national Govt.: Rajitha

Oct 31 (DM) While stating that it will form a new national govt, the UNF yesterday invited all parties to join it. UNF seniors Rajitha Senaratne, Kabir Hashim and Champika Ranwaka who revealed this to the media at Temple Trees yesterday said any party interested could join the new govt. “We will invite all parties to join but we will specially invite SLFP initially to join the party,” Dr Senaratne said. Asked as to why they are trying to divide parties, Mr. Ranawaka said more..

Cricket: England told to stay vigilant amid Sri Lanka crisis

Oct 31 (Reuters) England will continue their tour of Sri Lanka as planned but the cricketers have been asked to be careful amid the political crisis prevailing in the island nation, a team spokesman said on Monday. Sri Lanka was plunged into the crisis on Friday when president Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and swore in ex-prez Rajapaksa to replace him, breaking up a fragile coalition governing the island. England, who have won both ODI and T20 series more..

Samarasinghe, Rambukwella deny Ranil’s ouster unconstitutional

Oct 31 (FT) The two newly-appointed govt spokesmen defended President Sirisena’s decision to unseat PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and appoint former President Rajapaksa to the post, calling the move legitimate and constitutional and quoting alleged legal opinion given by the acting Attorney General which the Speaker’s office denied hours later. Quoting an email sent to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya by more..

Media freedom at a time of crisis

Oct 31 (DM) While Sri Lanka faces a political crisis, the United Nations on Friday marks the Int'l Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists worldwide. The UN says that for the past twelve year, 2006-2017, close to 1010 journalists have been killed for reporting the news and bringing information to the people. In nine out of ten cases the killers go unpunished. Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and breakdown of law and judicial systems. more..

Change is uncomfortable

Oct 31 (DM) For most of us, change is uncomfortable but more often than not inevitable!!! Change is uncomfortable but that does not mean it is not worth it, we find our President and Prime Minister both urging a change in almost every area of our lives! For a change, a senior and experienced SC Judge has been appointed Chief Justice and we pray the wheels of justice will NOT GRIND EXCEEDINGLY SMALL ANY MORE! Starting with school children, Ranil urges everyone to more..

Conservation Biologist says Sri Lanka is off-track

Oct 31 (DM) Dr. Eric Wikramanayake, Chair of the Environment Foundation Ltd, is a Conservation Biologist with over 25 years of experience throughout Asia working on ecosystem based approaches to reducing climate change vulnerabilities and assessing e-flows. He was a senior conservation scientist with the World Wildlife Fund. He was also a senior advisor with the Biodiversity and Wildlife Programme at RESOLVE and more..

Govt vows contractual action against CHEC on landfill project

Oct 31 (ST) The Govt has vowed to take contractual action against China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd (CHEC)–builders of the sanitary landfill in Aruwakkalu– for discharging excessive amounts of water, along with soil, into the Serakkuliya lagoon. The contractor has also been told to come up with a water management plan to ensure that water collecting on site is not discharged in a similar manner in future. more..

Sri Lanka hit with further travel advisories amid constitutional crisis

Oct 31 (EN) Australia and Canada have also issued travel advisories for Sri Lanka following a constitutional crisis, joining the US and UK which have given warnings for their citizens when visiting Sri Lanka. "There is an increased likelihood of large protests and demonstrations in Sri Lanka due to political instability following the President's dismissal of the Prime Minister on 26 October," the Australian govt said on Tuesday. more..

New Treasury chief hails Rajapaksa, wants priority for local businesses

Oct 31 (EN) Sri Lanka's new Treasury Secretary said the govt must prioritize domestic agriculture and entrepreneurship, and hoped PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to repeat his previous economic management endeavors. "Even through droughts, tsunamis, a boom in oil prices and global economic crisis, Sri Lanka was able to address these issues and the economy was uplifted through your (Rajapaksa's) direction and more..

UNP backbenchers pledge allegiance to Ranil

Oct 31 (CT) A group of UNP back-bench MPs emphasized that none of them would join the coalition of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena. Attending a Media briefing yesterday at Temple Trees, UNP back-bench MPs, Harshana Rajakaruna, Heshan Withanage and Chaminda Wijesiri added that no UNP backbencher would crossover to the Rajapaksa-Sirisena coalition as all were worrying about the President`s more..

AG signals illegal sacking of PM

Oct 31 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Attorney-General refusing to respond to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s query about the legality of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's sacking is seen by legal observers as the clearest sign that he does not consider it constitutional. Soon after President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Premier Wickremesinghe on Friday and followed it up a day later with a 20-day suspension of parliament, more..

Trishaw fares down by Rs.5 from midnight

Oct 31 (DM) Following PM Mahinda Rajapaksa’s assurance that he would consider a revision of fuel pricing methodology, the National Three-Wheeler Federation said they would reduce the fare of the second kilometer by Rs. 5 from midnight today. Federation Chairman Sunil Jayawardana said the decision was taken following the speech made by PM Rajapaksa when he assumed duties as the Finance Minister. more..

President wants peace in public institutions

Oct 31 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena requested the representatives of the trade unions to commit themselves to not to allow any room for conflicts within the state institutions. He made these request during a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday with the members of the trade unions of SLFP and UPFA. President Sirisena, pointing out certain unfortunate recent issues occurred more..

Speaker to convene Parliament under special circumstances

Oct 31 (CT) If President Maithripala Sirisena refuses to convene Parliament as requested by the majority of lawmakers, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will take measures to convene Parliament under special circumstances, Colombo Telegraph learns. A final discussion to reach a conclusion in this regard is likely to take place between the President and the Speaker today. This one-on-one meeting will follow Jayasuriya’s more..

Debate on constitutionality of dismissal of Ranil based on misconception: GL

Oct 31 (Island) Former Minister and Prof of Law G.L. Peiris said that a deliberate attempt was being made to mislead the public as regards the dismissal of PM Wickremesinghe. Following is the statement issued by him: There is extensive discussion in the media regarding the legality of the action taken by Prez Sirisena on Friday to remove Ranil Wickramasinghe from the position of PM and to appoint instead Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Restraint vital

Oct 31 (CT) The messages by the European Union (EU), the country’s largest export market and two external credit agencies, this week, in respect of the unfolding political developments in the island were restraint, stability and policy continuity. The EU said that the sudden deterioration of the situation in Sri Lanka over the weekend puts the country at risk of instability and unrest. ‘Along with other key international partners of SL, the EU Ambassador met Prez Maithripala Sirisena, more..

A failed Fanta Morgana

Oct 31 (FT) Fanta Morgana is the highbrow term for a rainbow. After the failed rainbow it sounds exquisitely exotic. We must not allow politics to provoke our moral outrage. Former Prez Rajapaksa is a magnificent political conjuror. After his re-election he jailed his failed opponent. The one who beat him on his third bid delivers the boodle to his doorstep. I undertake this essay to enlist your support to ensure that the Govt that was led by Ranil Wickremesinghe survives this challenge. more..

SL Army Para Olympic Winners Team

Cinnamon claims credit for Sri Lanka topping Lonely Planet travel list

Oct 31 (EN) Cinnamon Travel Bloggers' Conference & Awards (TBC Asia) has contributed to Lonely Planet naming Sri Lanka as the top country to visit in 2019. "This is to a large extent a result of our 2016 edition," John Keells Holdings Deputy Chairman Krishan Balendra said. John Keells' leisure brand Cinnamon holds the conference every two years for travel bloggers as well as for industry professionals interested in knowing how to market their products and services through bloggers & influencers. more..

Tension at Temple Trees

Oct 31 (DM) The Official Residence of the PM Temple Trees went into few minutes of tension today, when two men claimed to be from the office of newly appointed PM, came claiming to get an inventory of the items that were in the premises. People who were inside the Temple Trees were provoked and were heard shouting, sources said. However, the security officers removed the men to a safe spot. Meanwhile, a media release issued from the staff under UNP leader Ranil more..

FUTA seriously alarmed by political crisis

Oct 31 (CT) Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) requested President Maithripala Sirisena and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to convene Parliament immediately and allow the members to debate the issue and take decisions within the ambit of the constitutional govt. “FUTA is seriously alarmed by the current complication in the democratic political process of Sri Lanka and urges the political authority to more..

Deer hunter wounded in shootout with STF

Oct 31 (DM) One person was injured in a shootout between two suspected deer hunters and STF personnel at the Udawalawe sanctuary early this morning. Police said the duo had engaged in deer hunting at the sanctuary and had opened fire at the STF personnel when they tried to arrest them. A suspect was injured in return fire from the STF and was admitted to the Udawalawe Hospital and later transferred to the Karapitiya Hospital. Second suspect was arrested and the STF seized more..

Prez briefs UN envoy on political situation

Oct 31 (PSL) The UN Resident Coordinator in SL, Ms. Hanaa Singer called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, today. During this meeting, President apprised the UN representative regarding the prevailing political situation in Sri Lanka,and said assured her that the govt has taken all the steps in accordance with the constitution of the country. Also, President Sirisena further said that at present Sri Lanka is executing its functions within a democratic framework more..

Political crisis in SL a concern: Australia

Oct 31 (ABC) Australia has expressed alarm about the deepening political crisis in Sri Lanka, with Foreign Minister Marise Payne warning democratic principles must be upheld in the country. President Sirisena sent shockwaves through Sri Lanka on Friday when he sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, replacing him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr Sirisena claims he fired Mr Wickremesinghe because more..

Pathum Nissanka taken to hospital after blow to the head

Oct 31 (CI) Pathum Nissanka, the 20-year-old SL Board XI batsman, will be kept in hospital overnight for observation after sustaining a blow to the head during the second day of England's warm-up match in Colombo. Nissanka was standing at short leg when Jos Buttler pulled a delivery from offspinner Nishan Peiris. The ball appeared to strike Nissanka on the crown of the head as he ducked to avoid it. He was wearing a helmet but almost immediately fell to the ground clutching his head, more..

Sri Lanka ready to repay US$1.5bn bonds maturing in 2019: Central Bank

Oct 31 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt has already made arrangements to repay international bonds worth 1.5 billion US dollars maturing in January and April 2019, th Public Debt Department of the Central Bank said. “The Govt of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has been issuing International Sovereign Bonds (ISBs) since 2007,” a statement said. “GOSL has maintained an unblemished record on servicing of its debt obligations timely, including ISBs, since independence.” more..

Nuwan Zoysa charged under ICC anti-corruption code

Oct 31 (CB) Former SL fast bowler and bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect after being charged with three counts of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, the parent body said on Wednesday (31). Without revealing the specifics of it, the ICC said Zoysa has been charged with three offences under Article 2.1.1, 2.1.4 and 2.4.4 of its code. The charges relate to 'being party to an effort to more..

Video: Criticizing Prez’s decision is a fall of political culture: Prof. Rohana Lakshman

Oct 31 (AD) Politicians’ criticism of appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister by the President shows the deterioration of the political culture, says SLFP General Secretary Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa. He mentioned this at a press conference held yesterday. Speaking on the UNP rally held yesterday, he stated that such protests should exist within the democratic structure. The way some opposition party politicians spoke against the President’s decision by misusing more..

Wasantha Senanayake assumes duties; says he is still a UNP MP

Oct 31 (AD) UNP MP Wasantha Senanayake today officially assumed duties as Sri Lanka’s new Minister of Tourism and Wildlife. The minister assumed duties at the Wildlife Ministry in a ceremony this morning following religious observations. Meanwhile, UNP MP Ananda Aluthgamage assumed duties as the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Wildlife. The two MPs, who represent the UNP in Parliament, recently agreed to render their support for the incumbent govt and new PM Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Lankan sniper detainee tortured and beaten in Maldives: Amnesty

Oct 31 (AI) A Sri Lankan driver who has languished in prison in the Maldives for three years accused of involvement in a dramatic plot to assassinate the island's president has been denied a fair trial and subjected to vicious police beatings that may amount to torture, Amnesty International revealed in a new briefing released today. Prisoner in Paradise tells the story of how Lahiru Madhushanka arrived in the Maldives to seek more..

Another committee to resolve land issues in North

Oct 31 (AD) The lands in the Northern Province which are under the control of security forces will be released to their rightful owners before December 31 and a committee has been appointed to resolve the issues with this regard, says the Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray. He stated this during the discussion held with the commanding officers of Vavuniya security forces and heads of state institutions at the Vavuniya District Secretariat yesterday (30). more..

Arrest warrant issued for Ramith Rambukwella

Oct 31 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate (Motor Traffic) Chandana Kalansuriya yesterday issued warrant for the arrest of Ramith Rambukwella in connection with a case where two university students were injured following a vehicle being driven by him under the influence of alcohol in Narahenpita, Nawala. Attorney Niranjan Irriyagolla appearing for the suspect told the Court that as his client was currently indisposed he would appear in Court at the next hearing. more..

Speaker urges foreign delegates not to take hasty action against Sri Lanka

Oct 31 (AD) Several delegates have called on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at the Parliamentary premises this evening, stated Office of the Speaker. Accordingly, UN Resident Coordinator in SL Hanaa Singer, Ambassador for the EU Tung-Lai Margue, British High Commissioner James Dauris, Canadian Ambassador David McKinnon and German Ambassador Jorn Rohde engaged in a special discussion with the Speaker more..

Unemployment rises in first half; CBSL praises fuel formula

Oct 31 (CT) An increase in the unemployment rate was observed during the first half of the year, Central Bank said. It however warned that the postponement of much-needed structural reforms will only lead to the economy lagging behind its regional peers, amidst increased vulnerability to internal and external disturbances. Therefore, it is essential that such reforms are expeditiously implemented within a transparent framework for SL to progress as an upper middle income more..