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UNP crisis at tipping point: Party to iron out critical issues soon

Nov 24 (CT) UNP, which once again has become the main Opposition Party, is to hold a special meeting within the next few days to iron out several critical issues, including that of the Party leadership, internal Party sources said. The long prevailing internal crisis, between two factions, those loyal to Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and those backing defeated Prez Candidate Sajith Premadasa, has now reached volcanic proportions more..

Video: No military rule, Defense Secretary affirms

Nov 24 (AD) The security forces will only be deployed if there is an unmanageable situation in the country, says Defense Secretary Retired Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne. Therefore, there is no need to fear that a military rule would be implemented in the country, the Defense Secretary said, commenting to media at Mihintale. He stated that the police have been advised to control the clash arising over political reasons. more..

Former Premier DM bids adieu

Nov 24 (SO) The funeral of former PM D.M. Jayaratne took place at the Haliyadda Stadium in Doluwa, Gampola with state honours yesterday. Former PM Jayaratne was the most senior member of the SLFP at the time of his demise. He held a number of ministerial portfolios such as Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Wildlife, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Co-operative, Minister of Posts and Telecommunication, more..

New govt suspends UNF’s programmes

Nov 24 (ST) The new Govt has put on hold a string of concessionary loan schemes, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects of state institutions and an estimated 7,000 jobs provided shortly ahead of the prez election by the former UNF govt, officials said. Newly appointed Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle has issued circulars and instructions to banks, ministries, departments and state owned enterprises more..

Mr President! Veer away from the previous Rajapaksa racist-corrupt legacy!

Nov 25 (CT) When Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) delivered his inaugural speech in Anuradhapura, he acknowledged that it was the Sinhala Buddhist people who brought him to power while making a reference to the Tamils and Muslims who did not respond before the elections, to his appeal to join in his victory march. However, he stressed that he will be Prez of all and not just the Sinhalese. If past is anything to go by, and judging by the people around him, how sincere GR is about this statement, more..

The November polls revenge of Sri Lanka’s enraged electorate

Nov 25 (ST) Foisting the blame for the catastrophic defeat of the UNP-led alliance at the Nov 16th polls to elect SL’s seventh Executive Prez, on Sinhala Buddhist nationalism and a panicked security mindset consequent to Easter Sunday’s jihadist attacks is a convenient fairy tale. Certainly these were factors enabling the defeat, as stoked to a hysterical level by prejudiced media. But that is only part of the truth. Rather, the disastrous seeds to Saturday’s disastrous defeat were sowed by more..

Keeping it free and fair

Nov 25 (CT) The 2019 Prez election concluded with the appointment of a leader promising a new era in political and cultural innovation for the Sri Lankan people. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa hopes to do his best to return the country to its former pride and glory, protecting the country's unique culture and resources. This election was monitored by both local and international monitoring parties, and their general opinion was that more..

@GotabayaR prevails against all odds

Nov 25 (CT) In the 2015 Prez Elections in Jan 2015, Maithripala Sirisena defeated Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa by a majority of just under a half a million votes. It was in no small measure due to ethnic Tamil and Muslim communities voting for him in large numbers. Statistics in Chart 1 says it all. 2019 was worse than in 2015. Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) received only 8% of Northern vote, 24% of Eastern ballot, and 18% of N&E vote. Mahinda Rajapaksa, in 2015, received 20% of Northern vote, more..

Gota wave takes Lanka by storm

Nov 25 (ST) With over 2000 years of Lanka’s history looking down at him from the stupa Sinhala king Dutugemunu built in Anuradhdapura as a fitting monument to commemorate the defeat of Chola King Elara’s fifty-year rule, and thus uniting the nation under one Sinhala banner, Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday midday took his oath of office as SL’s 7th Executive President. It was a remarkable climax to his meteoric rise that like a Californian wildfire on the rampage felled all obstacles more..

JVP leader disappointed with votes polled

Nov 25 (SO) As numerous Presidential candidates entered the fray in October, the leftist JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake along with the National People’s Power (NPP) was among the front runners of the alternative movement to enter the race. At rallies brimming with supporters, Dissanayake’s promises of tackling corruption, reconciliation and uplifting lives of citizenry were attractive & gaining widespread approval. more..

All is not lost, hope is eternal even in defeat

Nov 25 (Island) Prez elections are over, successfully concluded without disruption to the peace of the nation. SL has a new president endorsed overwhelmingly by the Sinhala Buddhist constituency . His opponent, as seen, secured an insignificant proportion of the majority, Sinhala Buddhist vote. However the minorities both Tamils and Muslims placed their faith in the present prez, Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s opponent. True the nation divided on ethno-religious lines but more..

Gender gap in job market: Serious setback?

Nov 25 (DM) Women in SL constitute a formidable 52% of the estimated population of 21 million. It is a matter of great concern when out of the total economically-active population of 8.5 million, only 34% are women. Therefore, the balance 66% are deemed unemployed and dependent. Chathuri Ranasinghe, Chairperson of Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC), who shared these dismal statistics with us, discussed the importance of the need to address this disparity. more..

Authentic Sri Lankan breakfast for cheap

Gotabaya’s win: A triumph of principles over politics

Nov 25 (Island) With ceremonies redolent with symbolism, followed by administrative moves that sent clear messages to the public, Gotabaya Rajapaksa took office as President of Sri Lanka signaling a clarity of purpose and a no-nonsense approach to his duties that lay ahead. The indications are that his will be a leadership very different from that of presidents before him, including that of his brother Mahinda. Unlike previous presidents, Gotabaya is not a politician. more..

Editorial: Jumbos go wild

Nov 25 (Island) The blame game is on, in the UNP, with Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa factions holding each other responsible for the party’s crushing defeat at the recently concluded prez election. The Sajith loyalists are raking their rivals over the coals for not having gone the whole hog to ensure the party’s win. The other side insists that the then PM Wickremesinghe, entrusted with campaigning in the N&E, succeeded in having the people there vote for Sajith overwhelmingly, more..

SL U-19's disastrous tour to Bangladesh

Nov 25 (ST) The SL Under-19 cricket team has been under the spotlight in the recent past, especially after their disastrous tour of Bangladesh. They lost four out of five Youth ODIs. As the countdown begins for the U-19 Cricket World Cup, Hashan Tillakeratne and his team landed in Sri Lanka with a lot of questions to be answered before heading to South Africa for the showpiece event. Leading up to the Bangladesh tour they were knocked out more..

‘I will not be a showman’

Nov 25 (SO) Sports Minister Dallas Alahapperuma kicked off proceedings at his Ministry and cautioned that he will not be around to hug the limelight and take part in worthless activities that do not augur well for sports unlike some of his predecessors who were good at hoodwinking. Minister said that his first task will be to take stock of developments in the sports arena while seeking the advice of experts and admitted he was not an overwhelming sports follower before being cast into his new role. more..

Rain spoils LB Finance title hopes

Nov 25 (ST) LB Finance and MAS Unichela were declared joint champions of the 27th Singer-MCA Premier 50 Over Knock Out Tournament after heavy rains halted play at the MCA Grounds yesterday. Chasing a revised DL target of 279 in 37 overs MAS Unichela were 109 for the loss of six wickets in the 15th over when play was suspended due to bad weather. Reduced to a 42-over match due to wet out-field MAS Unichela won the toss and put LB Finance into bat. more..

Ceramics: Opportunity for niche product manufacturers

Nov 25 (SO) Sri Lanka has a rare raw material required for the manufacture of ceramic products, which is also in great demand in the global market. This should be exploited by the industry with niche products, enabling it to fetch high prices, Noritake Lanka Porcelain (Pvt) Ltd, Chairman Hidenori Tanaka told the 16th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council in Colombo last week. more..

Sri Lanka’s Olympic hopes dashed; Finish with Plate trophy

Nov 25 (Island) Sri Lanka sevens rugby team failed to qualify for the Olympic Games 2020 as they finished on the fifth position, winning the Plate trophy in the Olympic Qualifiers – Asian Region which ended in Incheon, South Korea yesterday. In the Cup quarter-finals against the Philippines on day two of the tournament, Sri Lanka commenced scoring through Reeza Rafaideen, who scored a brilliant 80-meter try. However, the Volcanos replied with two tries to lead the game 12-07 at half-time. more..

PickMe to list on CSE next year

Nov 25 (FT) Given the future growth trajectory of the company and improved prospects for the Colombo Bourse, the popular ride hailing app PickMe is firming up plans to go public next year. “We are working towards a listing on the CSE within the next six to 12 months,” PickMe Founder Chairman Ajit Gunewardene said. He noted that the implementation of amended listing rules will help fast-track the listing of the company on the CSE. Plans for a 2020 listing is supported by more..

SEC Chief says ready to hand over baton

Nov 25 (FT) Against the backdrop of the recent Prez Election and the reconstitution of the Cabinet, SEC Chairman Chartered Accountant Ranel Wijesinha last night said he is ready to hand over the baton. “A smooth transition from the present Chairman and Members of the Securities and Exchange Commission to a newly reconstituted 10-member Chair and Commission is an urgent and vital step and all my Commissioners and more..

Ceylinco Life unfazed by conditions, posts impressive 9-month results

Nov 25 (Island) Ceylinco Life has posted robust income and profit growth for the nine months ending 30th Sept 2019, continuing the Company’s sector-leading performance into the third quarter of the year. The life insurance leader has reported net income of Rs 22.8 billion for the period, an improvement of 10.4% over the first nine months of 2018, with net premium income growing by 5.5% to Rs 13.3 billion and investment income up by a noteworthy 18% to Rs 9.1 billion. more..

Dairy training centre to be set up with Dutch support

Nov 25 (SO) The Dutch govt which has in the past strongly supported the development of the dairy sector in Sri Lanka, took an initiative to set up a dairy training centre in the island last week. A cluster of private companies and vocational education institutions in the Netherlands have joined to facilitate the training centre in collaboration with the Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya and the SL Association of Animal Production (SLAAP). more..

CB Chief to step down on 20 Dec

Nov 25 (FT) Highly respected CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy has notified his resignation from the post from 20 December. The notification had been prior to the conduct of the Prez Election. The Monetary Policy Review for November is expected to be announced on Friday. Coomaraswamy was appointed Governor in July 2016, replacing Arjuna Mahendran whose tenure was mired by allegations of corruption. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism holds Taste of Abu Dhabi

Nov 25 (CT) SL Tourism Bureau (SLTPB) in collaboration with the SL Embassy in Abu Dhabi organized a SL tourism promotion event titled The Taste of Abu Dhabi at the du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 7th to 9th Nov. The festival was officially opened by Ravinath aAryasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Majintha Jayesinghe, Ambassador of of SL in Abu Dhabi, Ms. Dilani Weerakoon, Director/ Ocean Affairs, Environment and Climate Change of more..

Video: Sea lion roaming in Unawatuna seas sighted in Weligama

Nov 25 (AD) The sea lion recently sighted roaming in Unawatuna seas, has been spotted on the beach near the 87th-milepost in Meedigama, Weligama, last evening (23). Following Mirissa residents’ notification of the Mirissa Wildlife Office, Weligama Police and SL Navy, the officer had launched a mission to catch the relevant sea lion. However, the efforts had been futile as they were unable to control the animal. Several wounds could be observed on the sea lion’s body, more..

19-A caused instability continuing-civil society

Nov 25 (Island) Civil society group Yuthukama urged political parties represented in Parliament to take immediate remedial measures to restore political stability. Yuthukama leader Gevindu Cumaratunga told its first post-presidential poll media briefing that the inability of newly elected Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to assume the defence portfolio due to the controversial 19th Amendment to Constitution was detrimental more..

Accept collective responsibility instead of pointing fingers: Tissa

Nov 25 (DM) One should accept responsibility for the electoral defeat of NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa collectively without pointing fingers at each other, former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. Mr Attanayake, who actively backed Mr Premadasa, said in a statement that pointing fingers at each other would destroy the efforts made by those who supported Mr Premadasa to come up once again. “Efforts made by us to come up once again will be destroyed if we more..

Harsha calls for implementing of recommendations of...

Nov 25 (Island) The UNP had to implement the recommendations of the Ruwan Wijewardene committee report successfully in time for the upcoming general election, MP Harsha de Silva said. The party should strengthen its internal democracy and encourage meritocracy to allow the talented to come up. Commenting on the defeat of NDF prez candidate, Sajith Premadasa, Dr. de Silva said: "We suffered a huge loss at the 2018 local council election. more..

Tourism optimistic of revival under Gota but wants urgent action

Nov 25 (FT) The private sector is optimistic of a proper revival of the tourism industry under new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, while looking forward to urgent action on key issues that have dented more robust growth, especially post the Easter Sunday setback. The industry is united in its call for urgent aggressive destination marketing globally, a dire need that the previous regime failed to execute on time. more..

Drug dealer arrested in Navy-Police anti-drug operation

Nov 25 (SLN) During a special counterdrug operation carried out by the Navy and Police on 23rd Nov, two persons were apprehended for possession and sale of drugs. Eastern Naval Command and Trinco Division Vice Squad, during a joint raid carried out in Trincomalee area, found 506 modhaka pills to be sold by illegal means in a retail store and apprehended the shop owner who is a resident in the same area, aged 31. Further investigation also revealed that he's a drug dealer in the region. more..

SLGA congratulates President Gotabaya

Nov 25 (CT) SL Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) congratulated President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on his success at the Presidential election held recently, thus becoming SL's 7th Executive President. SLGJA said it is confident that Prez Rajapaksa will ensure the security, wellbeing and economic prosperity of the people and the country. The SLGJA, issuing a press release, added, "As the apex body representing the gem and jewellery industry which encompasses more..

Heavy rains, high winds claim two lives

Nov 25 (CT) Two people have died with over 2,000 reportedly affected due to the persistent weather conditions around the island, DMC stated. In its situation report issued yesterday, the DMC noted that 2,996 individuals from 752 families have been affected due to heavy rains, floods, high winds, lightning and earthslips. Among the affected areas were Puttalam, Galle, Hambantota, Kegalle, Moneragala, Mullaitivu, Batticaloa and Kandy. more..

Rishad’s vehicle pelted with stones near Puttalam

Nov 25 (FT) The vehicle belonging to All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) Leader MP Rishad Bathiudeen was allegedly damaged yesterday when a group of unidentified persons pelted it with stones close to Kadaymottai, Puttalam last evening. Police said that the vehicle in which the former Minister was travelling suffered minor damages while his backup vehicle was also damaged. There were no reports of injuries to anyone. Mundalama Police are investigating the incident. more..

Vandalizing Tamil name boards might be to tarnish new govt

Nov 25 (Island) Minister Douglas Devananda says that some anti-government forces were vandalizing Tamil sign boards at multiple locations in the country to discredit the govt. Minister Devananda told The Island that the objective of the campaign was to discredit the govt. "There are social media reports to the effect that Tamil street name boards have been vandalized at several places by unidentified persons after the Presidential election in Panadura and in Kerawalapitiya. more..

Stalin opposes militarisation of Lankan Tamil areas, urges PM Modi to raise issue

Nov 25 (HT) DMK president M K Stalin has opposed deployment of additional armed forces in the Tamil areas of SL and requested PM Narendra Modi to take up the issue with the island nation’s newly elected Prez. “After swearing-in as the new prez, Gotabaya has passed orders to increase armed forces in Tamil areas of the island nation. Rajapaksa brothers have also started to change Tamil names of streets in the N&E. more..

PM intervenes to stop vandalising of road signs

Nov 25 (FT) In the wake of a spate of acts of vandalism targeting road signs in the Tamil language, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa had directed the Police to act immediately to stop such incidents. PM has also instructed the reinstallation of all the damaged road sings. Police have also been asked to take into custody those involved in vandalising the street signs. Several Tamil name boards have been damaged or removed in areas such as Panadura and Kerawalapitiya after the Prez election. more..

Chinese state councilor congratulates Sri Lanka's new FM

Nov 25 (Xinhua) Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday congratulated Dinesh Gunawardena on assuming office as SL's foreign minister. In his congratulatory message, Wang said China and SL have always been treating each other with respect and equality since the establishment of their diplomatic relationship 62 years ago, and have formed a strategic cooperative partnership that features sincerity, mutual assistance and generations of friendship. more..

Video: CID’s IP Nishantha Silva leaves country

Nov 25 (AD) Chief Inspector Nishantha Silva attached to the CID has reportedly left the country this afternoon (24). Silva has been involved in several controversial investigation cases within the CID. Reportedly, the Chief Inspector has left the country to Switzerland with his family at around 12.50 pm this afternoon. When inquired on the matter, SSP Ruwan Gunasekara stated that Silva had not been granted leave. more..