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Video: AG Dept. to probe if IGP & ex-Defence Secretary were on Zahranís payroll

Sep 7 (AD) Attorney General today (6) told the Colombo High Court that the State Intelligence Service had submitted 347 reports on Zahran Hashim and National Thowheed Jamaíath (NTJ) to IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando from 2016 to April 21st, 2019. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, representing the AG, stated this when the revision application filed by AG requesting the court more..

States parties commend Sri Lankaís leadership to Humanitarian Disarmament

Sep 7 (MFA) The 9th Meeting of States Parties (MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) concluded its deliberations in Geneva on 4 Sept 2019 under the Presidency of Sri Lanka. States parties, signatories, observer states and international and civil society organizations participated in the 3-day meeting which convened its first session on 2 Sept 2019. The MSP, chaired by SLís Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva A.L.A. Azeez marked more..

Death of MP Chandrasiri Gajadheera

Sep 7 (DN) Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of SL and UPFA Matara District MP and former minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera passed away at a private hospital in Colombo last evening (6). He was 73. Gajadheera entered politics through the Lanka National Studentsí Movement and became an outstanding character within the International Communist Movement and the World Federation of Democratic Youth. He was a MP till his demise since 1993. more..

I will contest for presidency: Ranil

Sep 7 (DM) At a meeting of party seniors, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is known to have expressed his desire to contest the prez elections. He had said this in the wake of a UNP faction loyal to Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa conducting another public rally at Kurunegala to urge the party hierarchy to nominate Mr. Premadasa as the party's prez candidate. In addition to the PM, ministers Kabir Hashim, Lakshman Kiriella, more..

Executive Presidency: used and abused?

Sep 8 (SO) With only weeks to go for the Prez election, there is again talk of abolishing the Executive Presidency. Reports say that Prez and PM had met to discuss the issue at the invitation of the Prez. Moves to abolish the Executive Presidency are nothing new in this country ever since the Prez system of Govt was introduced by J. R. Jayewardene some 41 years ago. In fact, promises to abolish the Executive Presidency are the most used and abused political weapon the nation more..

Let saner counsel prevail!

Sep 8 (CT) Crisis within the UNP reached cataclysmic proportions, when on Friday, its long-time leader Ranil Wickremesinghe finally expressed desire to contest the upcoming Prez Election. This is in spite of the fact that UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, backed by a sizeable proportion of party members, launching an islandwide campaign several weeks ago, announcing, himself, to be the Prez Candidate. Wickremesinghe made his intentions known when he met a group of more..

'NPPís journey will not end with an election'

Sep 8 (SO) On August 18, at a colossal rally held in Colombo, JVPís firebrand leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake was revealed as the chosen candidate of the National Peopleís Power (NPP) movement. It had been an obvious choice for the NPP consisting of 28 other groups and organizations in search of an uncorrupt and suitable candidate to champion their cause. Known as a gifted orator, Dissanayake took over more..

Ranil shows his hand

Sep 8 (Island) Virtually all news papers yesterday highlighted that PM Wickremesinghe had told party seniors that he will run for prez. This was self-evident for many weeks although the PM was shy about showing his hand. Mr. Sajith Premadasa has been pushing his own candidacy for the past many weeks with a series of well-attended meetings in various parts of the country. He also appears to command the confidence of many sitting UNP MPs. What will happen at todayís one-on-one more..

Lessons from UKís parliamentary turmoil

Sep 8 (ST) For those who want the Executive Presidency dumped and to revert to the old Parliamentary system, the shenanigans unfolding in the Mother of all Parliaments in the UK must be shocking to witness. There, Parliament has been turned into a political tool by a beleaguered PM who, having lost vital votes, is running a minority govt with back-stabbing by the hour and the Queen asked to prorogue the House of Commons, dangling a snap general election as only way out to impasse. more..

GL on effective govt

Sep 8 (Island) Former Chairman of the SLPP Prof. G.L. Peiris said that we have gone wrong somewhere along the line with regard to the issue of checks and balances. We have got into a mindset where we have become very afraid of political power and are falling over ourselves to impose all kinds of restrictions on the exercise of power. But in the law, like in everything else in life, there has to be a sense of balance. more..

Run to ruin

Sep 8 (ST) Aiyo Sirisena, I thought I must write to you again this week when I heard the latest announcement from your side, the Blue party, saying that they will nominate their own candidate for the big race that is due in a few months. We expect the unexpected from you, Aiyo Sirisena, but I must admit that I was still surprised. Being under your watch for four and a half years, we should now know that you will not be consistent in what you say or do. Still, even by your own standards, more..

Sajith faction makes its point

Sep 8 (Island) The three public rallies that the Sajith Premadasa faction has held up to now in Badulla, Matara and in Kurunegala have drawn massive crowds and the message seems to be only too clear Ė Sajith is by far the preferred prez candidate of the UNP rank and file. These meetings were held without the backing of the party and were private initiatives of individual UNP politicians. As such they are as significant as the 2015 JO gatherings vis a vis the UPFA/SLFP. more..


Nagananda interviewed by Kirana TV in London

Sep 8 (CT) A few days ago, July 2019, an open political discussion was held by Kirana TV, inside a crowded hall in the London Borough of Hounslow, Middlesex with a prospective candidate for the Prez Office in SL, a prominent lawyer and a vociferous personality on politics, Nagananda Kodituwakku. Kirana TV conducted this programme titled under Jana Vimasuma, in the presence of Londonbased journalists attached to Kirana TV, namely Roshan Yapa, Thushara Perera and Nishantha more..

Sanasa to give loan low interest farmer loans in IFAD-backed program

Sep 8 (EN) Sanasa Development Bank, has joined a program backed by a UN agency that seeks to transform subsistence farmers into commercial growers linked to distribution and export companies. UNís Int'l Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has given US$ 55 million to SLís Smallholder Agricultural Partnership Program (SAPP), as core funding. It is supplemented with co-funding from domestic private firms, domestic financial institutions and also savings of beneficiaries which more..

Ranil to meet Sajith tonight to take a final decision

Sep 8 (CT) On Tuesday (3) around 8:00 in the morning Prez Maithripala Sirisena's phone rang and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa who was on the other end wished the First Citizen of the Country a happy birthday. "My wishes for you as you celebrate your 68th birthday today- actually for you and for the Party as well," Rajapaksa said as the SLFP too completes 68 years since its formation in 1951 on the same day more..

Who is most likely to win?

Sep 8 (SO) It is a clear and unequivocal statement; a professional journalist and an astute political commentator could make. It is also a charged, charmless assertion inviting attention and comment. ď... based on my knowledge and experience as a professional journalist and political commentator in SL, Mr. Rajapaksa is currently the candidate most likely to win the presidency in the Dec 2019 election.Ē Consequential pronouncement appears in an affidavit in support of the motion filed by more..

AIDEX 2019 today

Sep 8 (Island) AIDEX 2019 the Annual Sports Festival for users of Jaipur Limbs, organized by the Colombo Friend-in-Need Society will be held at the SL Air Forceís Rifle Green Grounds today. Colombo Friend-in-Need Society celebrates its 188th anniversay this year and has organized the Aidex sports festival for the past 29 years. Over 400 participants comprising of members of the Armed Forces and civilians who have undergone amputation of Limbs due to civil war, more..

COPE exposes cricket corruptions

Sep 8 (Island) Parliament overseer COPE Ė Committee on Public Enterprises Ė has grilled Sri Lanka Cricket over several deals that lack transparency with a lot of focus being emphasized on the million dollar television deals and a separate entity that the board established called Cricket Aid, their charitable arm. Whilst finding fault with SLC for appointing members of the Executive Committee as Directors of Cricket Aid for life, more..

Former winners pay master tributes

Sep 8 (SO) SLís cricketing stalwarts paid glowing tributes to the countryís premier school cricket awards show with just 11 days to go for the 41st Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2019 show to be held at the Main Ballroom of the Colombo Hilton on Sept 20. These legendary cricketers said that the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year is a great concept that not only helped them to blossom in yesteryears but also continues to inspire next gen. cricketers. more..

Min. age for marriage should be 18 in SA

Sep 8 (DM) Parliamentarians who took part in the two-day summit on child rights in South Asia have principally agreed that the age of marriage for an individual should be a minimum of 18 years in the South Asian region and that the general law of the country should be supreme. The Colombo Declaration issued after the two-day summit also said that South Asia MPs pledge that their commitment to ensuring that every child in respective countries had every right fulfilled. more..

Malinga: Mercurial maker of records

Sep 8 (ST) MalingaĀfs brilliance as a bowler (at his peak, especially) is undoubted. No SL pacie has induced such awe, commanded so much respect and set so many tongues wagging as this curly haired Yorker specialist. He is not the common or garden speedster who delivers from the classic 120ĀĆ clock position. His arm is much lower, almost round arm, but when his Yorker is on target, he is well-high unplayable. more..

Sri Lanka Cricketís face revved up by Asian teenagers

Sep 8 (SO) Teenage cricketers from eight Asian nations including powerhouses India and Pakistan have come to the rescue of SLís image as a host country for the first time in nearly ten years as Colombo and its suburbs were declared as venues for the Asian Under-19 championships which got underway on Thursday. Hosting of Youth Asia Cup breaks the isolation of SL as a savoury destination for international tournaments since the country was picked as the venue for the World T20 more..

India calls for collaboration in the construction sector

Sep 8 (TM) India calls for greater collaboration in the construction industry highlighting that a growth of $ 1 trillion is expected in its market by 2025. These sentiments were expressed by the High Commissioner of India Taranjit Singh at the inauguration of 8th SL Buildcon Int'l Expo & 7th Wood Int'l Expo 2019 held in Colombo. Minister Champika Ranawaka while appreciating the role of construction sector toward the economy said such exhibitions facilitate greater int'l collaboration more..

New population count in 2021

Sep 8 (ST) While Sri Lankans are preparing for polls this year and in mid-2020, Dept of Census and Statistics (DCS) is preparing for another, island-wide exercise: Counting the population. The DCS is to conduct its next population and housing census in 2021 which would cost Rs.3.2 billion, according to DCS Director General Indu Bandara. The census will use the latest technology with about 26,000 enumerators fanning more..

Northern Star checkmates for Silver

Sep 8 (ST) The sole competitor from the Jaffna peninsula, a lad with an engaging smile and a pleasant disposition was found to be the easiest to make friends with, at the Junior Chess Nationals conducted last weekend at the Sanhida Reception Hall, Delkanda, Nugegoda. Sivananthan Sivathanujan of Kokuvil Hindu College, with 1,669 rating points, won Silver and was ranked No.2 in the Boysí Under-20 category. Speaking to the Sunday Times, he didnít feel he was hundreds of km more..

Visakha swimmers set to dethrone Mahamaya girls

Sep 8 (ST) Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo created a major upset in the ongoing Schools Swimming Championships, leading the table with 348 points and toppling the reigning champions Mahamaya College Kandy on the third day at the Sugathadasa Stadium Swimming Complex yesterday. Mahamaya College, who have won the championships continuously for 20 years accumulated only 294 points to finish in second spot at the 46th edition of the four-day meet. more..

Sri Lanka to set up export single window only in 2030

Sep 8 (TM) Govt has committed itself to establishing a National Single Window (NSW) to facilitate trade and boost exports by 2030. The definitive date of 31 Dec 2030 which was recently confirmed by the Govt to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is eight years later than the indicative date of 31 Dec 2022 initially provided by the Govt. However, it is understood that the private sector, particularly the export sector, more..

PM only said he likes the candidacy: Harin

Sep 8 (AD) Minister Harin Fernando says the reports claiming PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will contest in the presidential election are false, as the party leader only expressed his liking towards the presidential candidacy. Minister said the party leader would discuss the matter with his deputy counterpart, Minister Sajith Premadasa, and reach a solution. However, the public prefers the deputy leader, the sports minister added, emphasizing that the step taken forward will not be taken back. more..

Dialog files action against TRC

Sep 8 (ST) The countryís largest mobile operator, Dialog Axiata PLC has filed action in courts against the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) over propagating unfair practices in giving out certain spectrums. They allege that a 1800 4G band used mainly for broadband services to provide Internet which is a much sought after spectrum telecom frequency had been allocated to Mobitel (headed by Prezís brother, Kumarasinghe Sirisena) by the TRC without open competitive bidding. more..

Video: UNPís top brass did not discuss nominating PM as prez candidate: Kabir

Sep 8 (AD) Chairman of the UNP Minister Kabir Hashim says the meeting of the partyís senior members held yesterday (6) did not at any time talk through the nomination of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe their prez candidate. He said the meeting focused on nominating an apt candidate to run for the presidency. He added that PM Wickremesinghe and Minister Sajith Premadasa will hold a special discussion tomorrow more..

Tourism service providers will be issued annual licenses within a day ó Minister

Sep 8 (Island) Minister John Amaratunga, announced that Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has expedited issuing annual licenses to tourism providers and the process could be completed within a day if the relevant documentation was in order. Minister conceded that there were many complaints from allied service providers, who had to travel to Colombo to submit their applications for the annual license, which took many days to process. more..

UN peacekeeping duties HRCSL clears 632 military officers

Sep 8 (CT) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) states that it has currently issued clearance certificates to 632 SL military officers, out of six teams chosen to be sent for UN peacekeeping duties, from a priority list of nine teams. Issuing a media release in this connection, the HRCSL has stated that various allegations had been made in the Press that it has not meted out justice when issuing clearance certificates for local military officers selected for UN peacekeeping duties. more..

Nine countries under close watch Extreme vetting prior to visa approval

Sep 8 (CT) Immigration and Emigration Dept has placed nine countries under close watch, prior to issuing visas to their citizens, a senior official said yesterday. He said the countries from Africa, South Asia and elsewhere have not been blacklisted, but an extreme vetting process is carried out on every single application prior to issuing visas to their citizens. "A large number of visitors from these countries have been already more..

Around 20 candidates likely for prez poll

Sep 8 (ST) At least 15 registered political parties have informed the Elections Commission that they would be contesting the upcoming prez election, senior official said. He said 12 of them had officially informed the Commission of their plans to contest the poll while three others had verbally conveyed their decision. ďWe believe there will be around 20 candidates for the election,Ē he said. The official said the Commission had requested political parties to convey their intention more..

Bond scam forensic audits not final

Sep 8 (SO) Forensic audit reports of the bond scandal has still not been finalised and the first report is expected only by the end of Sept, CB Governor Dr Indrajith Coomaraswamy said. According to him two reports are expected in Oct and the final two are to be finalised in Nov. ďBetween the end of Sept and Nov of this year we can expect all audit reports to be finalised and sent to us,Ē he said. Prez Commission inquiring into the Bond scam recommended a forensic audit to be more..

LCC makes spot tender for 2.7mn metric tonnes of coal

Sep 8 (ST) Long-term tender floated by Lanka Coal Company (LCC) for the supply of 2.7mn metric tonnes of coal for the Lakvijaya power plant had no takers at all. Officials opened the bid on July 26 to find that nobody had bid for it. Just three days before the closing date for the term tender, however, LCC also floated a spot tender for 300,000 metric tonnes of coal. It was opened on Aug 16. It remains unclear why a spot tender was called more..

Video: Cannot please foreign countries just to do away with their influence: Gotabaya

Sep 8 (AD) The administration of former Prez Rajapaksa never yielded up the economically important locations of Sri Lanka to foreign countries, says the presidential hopeful of SLPP Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Addressing the convention of MEP held at Awissawella today (7), the former defence secretary said such places of economical importance are now in the hands of foreign influence. The presidential hopeful stressed that Sri Lanka at present has been subjected to more..

Sajith vows he would not give up presidential candidacy fight

Sep 8 (AD) Deputy Leader of the UNP, Minister Sajith Premadasa says he would not give up the fight for presidential candidacy. He stated this addressing an event held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium last evening with the participation of the UNPís Provincial Council poll candidates who contested in the previous election. Ministers Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Kabir Hashim, Harin Fernando and Chandrani Bandara were also present at this event. more..

New alliance with Premadasa not working out: Sirisena shifts bets back with SLPP

Sep 8 (ST) Just weeks before nominations for this yearís prez election, Prez Sirisena, painted a self-portrait of himself at last Tuesdayís 68th annual convention of the SLFP. That was an epitaph of sorts on his dual role, wearing two most coveted political mantles since 2015. One is the Executive Presidency, which he has held till today for 4 years, 7 months and 30 days. The other is the SLFP leadership which was bestowed more..