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President outlines policy priorities

Nov 19 (FT) Newly-sworn-in Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in his first address to the nation, outlined his policies, which centred on efficiency to drive economic growth, a non-aligned foreign policy, priority for national security and minority inclusivity to build a prosperous SL. Speaking at the historic Ruwanwelisaya under the shadow of King Dutugamunu’s statue, Rajapaksa held a brief swearing-in ceremony where he stressed the need for professionalism and efficiency. more..

India to keep a watch on Sri Lanka’s behaviour after Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s win

Nov 19 (TS) India will adopt a wait and watch approach on Sri Lanka following the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the prez election even as it is hopeful that the new dispensation will not allow any foreign military asset (read China) in the island nation which could have implications for New Delhi’s strategic interests. PM Narendra Modi was among the first foreign leaders who congratulated Gotabaya, a former Defence Secretary and the younger brother of controversial former Prez more..

New Prez says he will function as Defence Minister

Nov 19 (Island) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, addressing the nation from Anuradhapura, yesterday, declared that he would form a new govt. He said he had come before the people as the Executive President, Commander-in-chief and Defence Minister. "I am addressing you as the Executive President of Sri Lanka, Commander- in-Chief and the Defence Minister who is responsible for your and your children’s security," more..

Prez-PM need to put heads to gether

Nov 19 (DM) The country must thank, apart from the National Elections Commission (NEC), outgoing Prez Sirisena who handled the Defence and Law and Order portfolios for maintaining peace during the month-long Prez election campaign. And also it is pertinent to commend the leaders of the SLPP, especially Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa for ensuring the continuity of that peaceful environment after the election when the constituency had more..

The new president’s duty by the nation

Nov 19 (DM) In Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was sworn in as the 7th executive president of Sri Lanka yesterday, there is an efficient administrator of policy that the country had been lacking during the past five years. In his large election mandate that was embossed with over twenty per cent lead in the southern electorate, there is a vast reservoir of political capital, that the new president can put into good use to introduce necessary structural reforms and to revive large development projects more..

Maithripala Sirisena’s troubled Presidency Showed unsuitability of co-habitation

Nov 19 (DM) Maithripala Sirisena’s Presidency, which ended with the swearing-in of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President on Monday, will go down in history as one of the most controversial, unstable and nonfunctional in the history of Sri Lanka. The Sirisena Presidency showed the utter unsuitability of the system of cohabitation between disparate political forces in govt, given the type of constitution Sri Lanka has, and more..

Facebook holds its own law above national laws as critics slam inaction

Nov 19 (ST) In spite of the 48-hour ban on electioneering activity before polls opened yesterday, thousands of partisan political posts coupled with paid political advertisements were being shared by hundreds on social media, election watchdogs said. “As of now, we have recorded 556 complaints related to Facebook in addition to 112 active paid political advertisements in posts. Some of the reported contents were removed by more..

No decision yet to handover the govt to Gota: Ashok

Nov 19 (RN) Former Minister Ashok Abeysinghe is saying that there is no decision yet to handover the govt to the new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Speaking to the media yesterday after the UNF parliament group meeting, the former minister said that according to the 19th amendment the President can’t appoint a PM as he wants, and a new PM can only be appointed if the current PM resigns or if a No-Confidence more..

Ex-combatants under rehabilitation call for peace

Nov 19 (DM) The bloodied past of the thirty-year long conflict keeps reflecting in their memories. Having lived the greater part of their lives on battlefields, engaging in what were termed as humanitarian operations against deafening noises emanating from blasting mortars, claymore bombs and the frequent gunshots, the physical and psychological trauma were part and parcel of their lives. While many of them succumbed to more..

Kamal Gunaratne appointed new Defence Secretary

Nov 19 (AD) Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne has been appointed as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Defence. The new appointment has been made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who officially assumed duties at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo this morning. Delivering a speech after taking oath as President of Sri Lanka yesterday, Rajapaksa had stated that he will hold the portfolio of Minister of Defence more..

S. R. Attygalle appointed Secretary to Treasury and Finance Ministry

Nov 19 (AD) Former Central Bank Deputy Governor S.R. Attygalle has been appointed to the position of Secretary to the Treasury and the Ministry of Finance. He was appointed to the post at the Presidential Secretariat this morning. S. R. Attygalle has served as the Deputy Governor of the CB prior to this appointment. He has previously held the same positions – Secretary of Treasury & Finance Ministry – back in 2008. more..

Video: JO party leaders to meet tonight

Nov 19 (AD) A special meeting of the leaders of the political parties representing the JO is scheduled to be held this afternoon. The discussion is set to take place at the residence of Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at 7 pm today. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is also scheduled to participate in the discussion. Political sources said that the Joint Opposition’s future endeavors will be discussed at length in this regard. more..

Three alternatives proposed on govt’s future

Nov 19 (AD) A meeting on the further action to be taken with regard to the parliament following the swearing-in of the new President was held between the Speaker of the Parliament and the PM, the Leader of the Opposition, and other party leaders. The opinion of the majority was to act according to the people’s mandate made clear at the Prez Election, stated the Media Unit of the Speaker issuing a statement. more..

Sri Lanka’s new president may struggle to form govt

Nov 19 (AP) Sri Lanka’s newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, may struggle to consolidate his victory. With many executive powers clipped and the opposition in control of a powerful Parliament, the former defense official who inspires respect but also fear may have difficulty assembling a govt. Rajapaksa, who is credited with helping end the country’s long civil war, comfortably won Saturday’s prez election more..

Video: Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumes duties as President

Nov 19 (AD) Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed duties as the 7th Executive President of Sri Lanka at the Presidential Secretariat a short while ago. Following religious observances and a pirith chanting ceremony, the newly elected President took office before the Commanders of the tri-forces. The former President Maithripala Sirisena was also present at the ceremony. Several political party leaders including Prof. G. L. Peiris, more..

Gotabaya and the Economy

Nov 19 (CT) Yesterday, SLPP Prez Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, SL's seventh Executive President, elected to power at Saturday's Prez Polls, started a precedent by taking oaths from Ruwanweliseya, Anuradhapura, a sacred place of worship to Sri Lanka's 70% Sinhala Buddhist majority who voted him to power. Ruwanweliseya was built by the Sinhala King Dutugemunu in 140 BC after defeating and killing the Chola Tamil king Elara in battle at Vijithapura in North Central more..

Victory over the oppressed

Nov 19 (FT) Prez Election is over and the new President has taken his oaths. Although there were opinions expressed that there can be a second count of preference votes of the candidates other than the first and second, it was an easy victory for Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Anura Kumara Dissanayake was blamed for contesting separately rather than joining Sajith Premadasa as the JVP did in 2015 since it was expected that there would be a division of votes in the pro-democratic block, more..

Malinda Seneviratne

Ambassador Asirwatham presents credentials as Amb. of SL to Luxembourg

Nov 19 (FT) Grace Asirwatham presented credentials to the Grand Duke of Luxembourg Henri at the Grand Ducal Palace as the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with concurrent accreditation from Brussels on 13 Nov. Following the official ceremony, Ambassador Asirwatham had a private audience with the Grand Duke. During the discussion, the possibilities for stronger economic cooperation taking into account that Luxembourg is a global financial and more..

Bakery Owners threaten to increase prices

Nov 19 (NR) The All Island Bakery Owners Association says the prices of all bakery products including bread will be increased if companies do not take steps to decrease the recently revised prices of wheat flour within the day. Chairman NK Jayawardene said the matter will be discussed with the Consumer Affairs Authority today. He said companies had increased the price of a kilogram of wheat flour by Rs.8 on the 15th of Nov and claimed that the prices will be reduced once again. more..

Russian baltic fleet training ship visits SL

Nov 19 (Tass) Baltic Fleet's training ship Perekop currently on its long-distance deployment with cadets on its board has made a business call at the port of Hambantota, Fleet’s press office reported. "The training ship Perekop accomplishing long-distance oceanic training deployment missions has made a business call at the port of Hambantota," the press office said in a statement. Perekop will stay at the port for three days, more..

Eran resigns as State Minister of Finance

Nov 19 (AD) UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne says that he has resigned from his position as State Minister of Finance. In a Twitter message, he also wished President Gotabaya Rajapaksa “discernment and wisdom in uniting the people and leading forward together.” “I wish to thank every voter across SL who supported our candidate Sajith Premadasa during the Prez campaign,” he said. “I wish Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa discernment and wisdom in uniting our people and leading forward together, more..

Hemasiri & Pujith re-remanded

Nov 19 (NR) Former Secretary of Defence Hemasiri Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara who was sent on compulsory leave, have been further remanded until the 3 of December. The order was issued by Colombo Fort Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage. The duo is charged with alleged failure to take measures to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks in April, and or minimize the destruction caused, despite receiving prior intelligence information. more..

The whole govt should resign immediately and let Rajapaksas takeover: Nalin

Nov 19 (RN) Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara insisted today that the Yahapalana Govt should resign collectively and let the Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led camp take over immediately, until parliamentary elections are held in due course. Addressing a press conference in Colombo this morning, Bandara said that the UNP will gain a political advantage only if they allow the Rajapaksa camp to take over and more..

UNP requests supporters to report incidents of post-election violence

Nov 19 (RN) The UNP called on its supporters who have allegedly become victims of post-election violence to report such incidents to the Sirikotha party Headquarters immediately. Issuing a statement this morning, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam noted that its supporters have experienced certain incidents of post-election violence as the new President was sworn-in. “It is sad to hear about the unfortunate incidents of post-election violence reported from some areas. more..

Singaporean Prez and PM congratulate Gotabaya Rajapaksa on election win

Nov 19 (ST) Prez Halimah Yacob and PM Lee Hsien Loong have written congratulatory messages to SL's new President, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, after his election victory over the weekend. In her letter, Madam Halimah said Mr Rajapaksa's electoral victory demonstrates the trust and confidence that Sri Lankans have in him to steer the country forward. Madam Halimah noted that Singapore and SL enjoy warm and longstanding ties, underpinned by ever-growing economic and more..

Sri Lanka constitution should be changed, 19 amendment abolished: Basil

Nov 19 (EN) Sri Lanka constitution has to be changed and a 19th amendment should be abolished, Basil Rajapaksa, brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a television interview. “It is my view that the 19th amendment should be completely abolished,” Rajapaksa, who formed the SLPP of the new President said. “There is a similar view in our party. The 19th has some good parts. It has more bad parts. more..

Maithripala to function as SLFP chairman

Nov 19 (DM) Former prez Maithripala Sirisena will resume his duties as the chairman of the SLFP, party's senior vice president Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa said. The former prez, who was SLFP chairman, decided to remain neutral and not participate in the then SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa's propaganda campaign after the SLFP officially announced its support to Mr Rajapaksa. Subsequently, Prof. Piyadasa was appointed as the Acting Chairman of SLFP more..

Former cricketers congratulate President

Nov 19 (DM) A number of former star cricketers including Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena extended their wishes to newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Kumar Sangakkara congratulated President Rajapaksa and wished him the strength of vision to rise above petty party and familial politics and loyalties and truly unite all peoples of SL. Mahela Jayawardena wished the new Prez strength to bring all Sri Lankans together and implement his vision for a working nation. more..

Harsha de Silva resigns as Non-Cabinet Minister

Nov 19 (NR) Non-Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Dr. Harsha de Silva has resigned from his Ministerial portfolio. Letter of resignation directed to the President: Excellency, Please accept my congratulations on your victory at the Presidential Election. I wish you the wisdom and strength to unite our beloved nation that has become deeply divided on ethnic lines. more..

EU urges Sri Lanka to uphold human rights obligations

Nov 19 (NR) The European Union says the election campaign and process in Sri Lanka have unfolded in an overall peaceful environment, despite reports of a few violent incidents. In a statement the Spokesman of the EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations said this confirms the stability of the democratic institutions and attachment of the Lankan people to their fundamental rights and freedoms after more..

PS members who bet their council seats on presidential election

Nov 19 (AD) A UNP Pradeshiya Sabha member who had lost a bet on the result of the Prez Election has submitted his resignation as a Pradeshiya Sabha member today. A SLPP member and a UNP member of the Ambalangoda Pradeshiya Sabha had placed a bet on the result of the Prez Election using their Pradeshiya Sabha memberships as stakes. However, following the Prez Election, the SLPP PS member had requested the UNP PS member not resign from his post despite losing the bet. more..

BBS to be dissolved after general elections: Gnanasara Thera

Nov 19 (DM) A decision has been taken to dissolve the BBS organisation after the general election, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said. He said the spiritual power of the robes had finally defeated the extremist and anti-religious forces. "After the General election, there will be nothing for us to struggle for. We can get involved in our other work and help to work for the betterment of this Sinhala Buddhist country. more..

Bangladesh U-19 clean sweep SL U-19

Nov 19 (BDC) Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by 50 runs on the world record day of Tawhid Hridoy. With this win, Bnagladesh Under-19 Cricket Team clinched the series by 4-0. The first match was abandoned due to bad weather. Tawhid Hridoy has become the first-ever batsman to score three consecutive hundred in the history of U19 cricket. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka faced each other in the fifth and last ODI on Tuesday, Nov 19. Bangladesh, who batted first at Zahur Ahmed more..

Is Sri Lanka the next Argentina?

Nov 19 (PS) As Sri Lanka makes another crucial political transition, it faces a major risk of macroeconomic instability. Minimizing that risk will depend, above all, on whether the country’s newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, can defy his reputation and embrace inclusive politics. This idyllic island in the Indian Ocean was once a star performer. In the years following independence in 1948, progress on leading social indicators such as poverty, infant mortality, & primary education more..

Ranil is staying put; postpones decision to quit

Nov 19 (RN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who was expected to resign after he met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today has not done so and has deferred the decision to quit to a series of meetings scheduled for tomorrow and the day after. The new Prez and the PM met at the Prez Secretariat and discussed “the way ahead for the govt and Parliament,” a senior official in the PM’s office said. After the heavy electoral defeat more..

Sri Lankan bombings: British victims unlawfully killed says coroner

Nov 19 (BBC) A mother and her two children were among six British nationals killed in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, an inquest heard. Anita Nicholson, 42, and her children, Alexander, 14 and Annabel, 11, died instantly in an explosion at the Shangri-la Hotel in Colombo. Lorraine Campbell, Bill Harrop and Sally Bradley also died in the blast at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. All six were unlawfully killed, the coroner recorded. Mr Harrop, a retired firefighter and his wife, Dr Bradley, had been on holiday more..

Former Prime Minister DM Jayaratne passes away

Nov 19 (NR) Former Prime Minister DM Jayaratne has passed away at a private hospital in Kandy at the age of 88. The Director of the private hospital in Kandy said he passed away after a prolonged illness. Born on the 4 of June 1931, DM Jayaratne was a veteran politician who served as Prime Minister between 2010 and 2015. He was also a founding member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, and was first elected to Parliament in 1970. more..

Prez to visit India on November 29

Nov 19 (PTI) Newly-elected SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will travel to India on Nov 29 at the invitation of PM Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday. Jaishankar made the announcement after meeting Rajapaksa, who was sworn in as the country's new President on Monday. "A warm meeting with Sri Lanka President @GotabayaR. Conveyed PM @narendramodi's message of more..

Racism wins elections

Nov 20 (CT) Prez election 2019 is over. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won, and this has made some people happy, and others unhappy. Happy people believe that everything will be hunky dory from now on, and the Unhappy people believe that hell will break loose. Both parties are wrong: violence or peace, progress or decline, and development or poverty do not depend on individuals – no matter how powerful the individual leader is. Irrespective of how powerful a leader is, he always shares more..