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US recognises Israel’s right to Palestinian lands

Nov 25 (DM) Today these words reflect crimes committed against the Palestinian people and cry to the heavens for justice. These crimes caused Nelson Mandela to say in December 1977 commemorating Palestinian Solidarity Day, ...we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians... On Nov. 29, 1947, the UNFG passed a resolution calling for Palestine to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews, permitting the formation of the Jewish state. more..

Why Sajith, Gota lost H’tota and Colombo Respectively?

Nov 25 (DM) A regular Daily Mirror reader, who often make useful critical comments on my contributions, wrote a few days back…, Hai KKS, My observation below may or may not have occurred to you. Sajith spent 20 years in Hambantota moving around with the peasants. During his tenure as Minister of Housing, he constructed a large number of houses for the poor who flocked in their numbers wherever he went. I was shocked that he was trounced in all electorates in the district. more..

Why did people vote in the way they did?

Nov 25 (DM) Many people of all walks of life have already expressed their opinions on the outcome of the Prez election concluded on last Saturday. It is important for political leaders to know why people voted in the way they did as they can not only learn useful lessons from it but also understand the motivations for their voting behaviour. Yet, do the opinions expressed by various commentators help the policy makers? more..

US and China spar over latter’s projects

Nov 25 (Island) Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells has said that Sri Lanka effectively ceded its sovereignty to China over the Hambantota Port. During an address to the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars think tank in Washington on Thursday, Alice Wells cited the example of Sri Lanka which ceded a part of its sovereign territory, formally handed over more..

President urged not to allocate state land for harmful agro projects

Nov 25 (Island) Environmentalists yesterday urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to end the allocation of land to harmful commercial agriculture projects including oil palm cultivations. Director, Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform’s (MONLAR) Sajeewa Chamikara said that it was among the main initiatives that the new President should take if he was serious about meeting the sustainable development goals. more..

Western Province drinking water heavily polluted by effluents and domestic waste

Nov 25 (ST) The Kelani River, which supplies drinking water to 80% of the Western Province’s population, is now a stew of pollutants including sewage and chemicals, causing the cost of purification to skyrocket. There are 10,511 factories near the river. Pollution has spiked as a result of effluents and domestic waste, an environmental audit shows. Seethawaka export processing zone (EPZ) has had no environmental protection more..

SriLankan and CPC Chairman resigns

Nov 25 (TM) Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), SriLankan Airlines, and its subsidiary SriLankan Catering G.S. Withanage resigned from these positions on Monday (18). Withanage was appointed as the Chairman of SriLankan Airlines on 14 Nov 2018 during the constitutional crisis and was also subsequently appointed as the Chairman of SriLankan Catering Ltd. The appointment of Withanage came more..

IT industry takes aim at artificial intelligence

Nov 25 (EN) Sri Lanka’s information technology industry is aiming to expand deeper into artificial intelligence and use its strengths to support a goal of becoming a knowledge hub. “It is important for us to expand the knowledge of AI and related technologies throughout the population of Sri Lanka, as the country is progressing rapidly, and it is a crucial contribution to SL’s ambitious target of becoming a hub for knowledge & innovation,” more..

'No practical issue in holding defence subject by President'

Nov 25 (DM) There won’t be any practical problem in holding defence ministerial portfolio by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa despite a grey area in the Constitution in terms of the 19th Amendment, Chairman of SLPP Prof. G.L. Peiris said. He said, Constitution stipulates that the executive power of people should be exercised by the Prez elected by them. However, he said the 19th Amendment stipulates that the Prez should appoint more..

Police HQ calls for CID inquiry on IP Nishantha Silva leaving country

Nov 25 (AD) Police Headquarters has ordered the Director of the CID to launch an inquiry into Inspector of Police (IP) Nishantha Silva’s departure overseas. The IP had left the country without obtaining approval of the Police Department. IP Nishantha Silva attached to the CID left the country with his family to Switzerland, last afternoon. SSP Ruwan Gunasekara stated that Silva had not been granted leave. more..

Four-member selection board to screen appointments to SOES

Nov 25 (DM) The govt has appointed a four-member selection board to screen the persons nominated by ministers to head state enterprises operating under them. The board consists of former presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga, former SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, former John Keells Holdings Chairman Susantha Ratnayake and Hela Clothing chief Dian Gomes. Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointing his new 15-member more..

Video: We won’t do anything that will harm India’s onterests: Gotabaya

Nov 25 (SNI) Seeking to allay India’s apprehensions ahead of his first scheduled trip abroad as Sri Lankan President—to New Delhi this week—Gotabaya Rajapaksa has a reassurance to offer. We will work with India as a friendly country and won’t do anything that will harm India’s interests, he told Nitin A. Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief of SNI, in his first interview after taking over the top political job in the island nation. more..

Beating the Unbeatable Foe

Nov 25 (CT) Can Gotabaya Rajapaksa in India successfully begin to deliver for Sri Lanka the evasive peace dividend that has been for the past five years the overall parliamentary opposition's whipping boy at the behest of the powerful pro-China influence in Colombo? Can he drum up the kind of professional political clout, militarist understanding of the IndoPacific tangles, the snapping between the US and China that can be demanded from the Prez of the country for more..

Sri Lanka cement production picks up

Nov 25 (EN) Sri Lanka’s domestic cement production has grown 26.6% from a year earlier to 2.31 million tonnes in the first seven months of the year, while imports have also started to pick up. The demand for cement is driven by both state infrastructure projects such as expressways and domestic construction. The Greater Colombo Housing Approvals Index plunged 7.8% in first quarter of 2019, central bank data shows. In the second quarter the index picked up 1%. more..

Tikiri Kobbekaduwa

Top economist Dr. Dushni Weerakoon to deliver CA SL’s 23rd Annual Tax Oration

Nov 25 (DM) Top economist and Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS), Dr. Dushni Weerakoon will deliver the 23rd Annual Oration on Taxation, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), on Dec 2, 2019, at the CA Sri Lanka auditorium. Dr. Weerakoon will deliver the oration on the topic Tax Policy, Fiscal Consolidation and Growth Challenges in Sri Lanka. At the IPS, Dr. Weerakoon also heads its macroeconomic policy research. more..

Gotanomics: Can it turn around the ailing Sri Lanka’s economy?

Nov 25 (FT) I have argued in this column repeatedly that SL’s economy was in a dire state, moving from bad to worse on each passing day. It was a warning to economic policy managers that they should take effective measures quickly to arrest the declining trend, turn it around and push it back to the long term potential growth path. Except the Central Bank which was successful in taming inflation at around 5%, the real sector economic policy makers appeared to be reluctant to hear bad news. more..

Video: PM Mahinda assumes duties as Finance Minister

Nov 25 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has assumed duties as the Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs, Policy Development, Buddha Sasana, Cultural, Water Supply & Urban Development, and Housing Facilities, earlier this morning Speaking at the occasion, PM stated that immediate steps will be taken to fulfill the promises made to the people. More Ministers of the new Cabinet also took office today. more..

Army displays only the State emblem and Army crest in offices

Nov 25 (GDI) In compliance with the Presidential directive, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva has directed all island-wide Army formations to display only the State emblem and the Army crest in all Army offices, instead of any other portraits. According to the President's directive, all military establishments in the country have been asked to display only the State Emblem and the respective insignia instead of portraits. more..

New President not at mercy of extremist elements: Amaraweera

Nov 25 (Island) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had an opportunity govern the country without considering the demands of extremist elements, who had been able to dictate terms to previous govts, minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. "Prez has the power to make decisions independently. Previous govts had to accommodate a number of extremists elements, who prevented the President from making key decisions. But they have no power over Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa." more..

Central Bank Governor tenders resignation

Nov 25 (AD) Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy has reportedly tendered his resignation and is planning to leave his position next month. The CBSL said that Governor had tendered his resignation on Nov 2, citing personal reasons. However, he is expected to officially end his term in office in December. Dr. Coomaraswamy had planned on resigning even before the Prez Election, more..

No MCC agreement under our regime: Wimal

Nov 25 (DM) The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement will not be signed with the US under our Govt, Minister Wimal Weerawans said. He said this after he assumed duties as the Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) & Enterprise Development, Industries & Supply Management Minister. Responding to a question raised by a journalist on the MCC, Minister said “We do not expect to sign the MCC agreement under our Govt and we have won this issue. more..

Three drown while fishing in Batticaloa

Nov 25 (AD) Three persons have been reported dead by drowning in a tank in Ariyampathi, Batticaloa, stated the Police. Reportedly, 5 youths had gone fishing in a newly built agrarian tank in Batticaloa at around 12 noon today (25) when they had drowned. Two of the youths had been rescued by the residents in the area. The bodies of the other 3 youths were recovered after breaking down the sluice of the tank. The deceased youth are 19 to 20-year-old males, stated Ada Derana reporter. more..

Prez to renegotiate Hambantota Port deal

Nov 25 (TM) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he will renegotiate the Hambantota Port deal with China. Rajapaksa expressed these views during an interview with Nitin A. Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief of SNI. “Even though China is a good friend of ours and we need their assistance to develop, I’m not afraid to say that the deal was a mistake. I will request them to renegotiate and come with a better (deal) to assist us,” he said. more..

2019 O/L exam: tuition classes banned from midnight tomorrow

Nov 25 (AD) Department of Examinations announced that all tuition classes and seminars related to the 2019 GCE O/L exam will be prohibited with effect from midnight tomorrow. The department said that organizing and holding tuition classes, lectures, seminars, workshops will be prohibited from midnight on Nov 26 to Dec 12, when the exams come to an end. Meanwhile the distribution and possession of model question papers related to the exam as well as the publicizing that more..

Case against Prasanna Ranatunga fixed for further trial

Nov 25 (DN) The case filed against Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife was today fixed for further trial on Dec 18 by the Colombo High Court. The case was taken up before the Colombo High Court Judge Manjula Thilakarathne. Prosecution witness, Women Police Inspector of FCID, Shyamali Dhammika was testified before the court. Third accused in the case, Naresh Fareek was not present in court yesterday and court was informed that he has fled abroad by more..

Need for safe places for women highlighted

Nov 25 (RN) The most predominant human rights violation in all places at all times is gender-based violence against women hence after the Tsunami, SL established the National Forum Against Gender-Based Violence in collaboration with UNFPA and OXFAM. Today, the Forum commemorated its 15th Anniversary at the UN Conference room. The theme of the event was United towards creating violence-free spaces for women and girls. more..

Eight new power sets to arrive next month

Nov 25 (DM) SL’s train service will be further boosted with the arrival of eight new train sets next month as SL is set to receive six new power sets from China and two from India. The first of these Chinese S-14 power sets were received this August and according to the Transport Ministry, each power set costs US $ 10.3 million. The state-of-the-art S-14 power set has two engines. It consists of two air-conditioned compartments, 2 second-class compartments & 3 third-class compartments. more..

Video: Victory has many fathers, defeat is an orphan: Akila

Nov 25 (AD) UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says that all members of the party from leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to the parliamentarians to regional leaders had worked to bring victory to the party’s candidate at the recent Prez Election. “Nobody can point the finger,” he said, addressing a press conference in Colombo. The former minister added that all officials and workers at Sirikotha – dedicated themselves for the election campaign and worked day and night for it. more..

Video: Was too soon to nominate Sajith for candidacy: Rajitha

Nov 25 (AD) Former Minister Rajitha Senaratne says that Sajith Premadasa is not yet suitable for the position of the Leader of Opposition. He stated that the crisis within the party was the main reason for the defeat at Prez Election. He also said that the institutes appointed to investigate corruption had become even more corrupt. Stating that the former PM was committed to the elections campaign with his soul, Senaratne said more..

CBSL bond scam forensic audit: COPE Chair to present report to Parliament

Nov 25 (CT) Chairman of the COPE, MP Sunil Handunnetti, is scheduled to present the Forensic Audit report on the CB Bonds scam to Parliament within the next few days. He revealed that the CB had responded to his request that he be provided with the Forensic Audit report pertaining to the Bonds transaction. The report will be presented after Parliament convenes on 3 Dec, he said, adding that he is confident that Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa will take appropriate action in this connection. more..

Swearing in of State Ministers postponed till Wednesday

Nov 25 (DN) The swearing in of state ministers of the caretaker govt has been postponed until Wednesday, according to Prez Secretariat sources. It was previously stated that the state ministers would be sworn today. It was reported that the decision to move the date to Wednesday was based on the grounds that it is an auspicious day and also the state ministers list was not finalized by today. 15 Cabinet Ministers of the caretaker govt took oath before Prez Rajapaksa last Friday. more..

Dr. Padeniya tipped to be appointed Health Ministry Secy.

Nov 25 (DN) GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya is tipped to be appointed as Secretary to the Health Ministry. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that a proposal had come from the govt that Dr. Padeniya was to be appointed Secretary to the Health Ministry. He said this was conveyed to the GMOA over the weekend. “Dr. Padeniya has been proposed both by Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa. more..

Ranil apprised top brass he won’t cling to leadership: UNP

Nov 25 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe informed party seniors that he did not intend to hold leadership for long, its General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. He told a press conference that Mr. Wickremesinghe had already told party seniors he would ensure party unity. “A new political party will not be formed since Mr. Wickremesinghe expressed he would not cling to leadership for a long time. However, he stressed that the unity of the party should be preserved,” he said. more..

Video: Police launches special program to protect environment

Nov 25 (AD) Sri Lanka Police has launched a special program to protect the environment under the vision of creating a safer country. The project implemented from today (24) onwards is being carried out on the directions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, stated SSP Ruwan Gunasekara. Through this program, police officers will be deployed to each area and they will look into activities and areas that cause damage to the areas that cause harm to the environment. more..

Public transport: 90% of women face harassment but less than 4% complain

Nov 25 (EN) While over 90% of Sri Lankan women are victims of gender-based violence (GBV) in public transport, fewer than 4% seek legal recourse, a gender equality advocacy group said. Forum Against Gender-based Violence, a collective of both govt and non-governmental organisations working towards facilitating gender equality in Sri Lanka shared this finding in Colombo today. more..

President cannot hold the defence portfolio

Nov 26 (CT) Prez has appointed a new Cabinet of Ministers and there is a confusion over the defence portfolio. Daily FT reported on Saturday (23) that soon after the swearing-in-ceremony, the list of names and portfolios given to each minister were released in which PM Mahinda Rajapaksa was named Defence Minister. However, this was retracted shortly, and it was announced that the PM has been given the portfolios other than Defence. We will examine the constitutional provisions more..

Changing of the Guard

Nov 26 (ST) The radio was on full blast under the margosa tree where the trio sat this morning. With the radio on, I could hardly hear what was being said, except that the conversation was loud enough to get an idea of what the topic of discussion was. The chit-chat, like with everyone else on this Thursday morning, was all about politics and the new Prez’s thumping victory at the Nov 16 poll. Reading from a local newspaper, Kussi Amma Sera paused to ask: Nava janadhipathi apata more..

Digitalising land registration under the MCC: A timely gift, or a Trojan horse?

Nov 26 (CT) The Millennium Challenge Corporation has drawn much attention after gaining Cabinet approval, and the land project has been the most divisive area, with the registration of land in Sri Lanka becoming a hot topic of discussion. Deeds are legal documents that record the transfer of ownership from one individual/entity to another. A deed is a formal document to transfer property, while a title reflects the actual ownership. more..

Economic reconstruction and development imperative

Nov 26 (ST) The reconstruction of the economy and achieving the country’s potential economic growth is a formidable and challenging task for Prez Gotabaya Rajapakse. A number of economic and non-economic conditions have to be fulfilled for a robust economic performance. These include peaceful conditions among the plural ethnic and religious communities, reduction of corruption, enhancing administrative efficiency, pursuing pragmatic economic policies, strengthening more..