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Who wants to be President anyway, when real power resides with the PM?

Sep 9 (ST) In the event of Gotabaya being cleared of any disability to contest the forthcoming polls and does indeed contests it and wins it, the impression widely shared by many in the Pohottuwa gang that overnight brother Mahinda will be sworn in as PM, is – sorry to say and dash their high held hopes – grossly mistaken and their optimism widely misplaced. The election of a new candidate does not make the Articles in the Constitution quiver in the slightest. more..

People’s power movement is not simply an election front

Sep 9 (CT) Since it’s election season, presidential, provincial and mid-next-year parliamentary, every conversation invariably drifts that way. All are agog about Who will be the DNF candidate? What is the latest prediction? and so on. That’s natural but only a side-line for today’s column. Sure, the election later this year is important and every entity in PP will strive to strengthen Anura Kumara’s performance, but PP is not simply an electioneering machine; it is a long-term strategy. more..

'Candidate will be selected at correct time'

Sep 9 (TM) UNP stalwart Minister John Amaratunga said the selection of the party’s prez candidate will be made at the correct time following the correct process. Minister further noted that he did not see anything wrong with Sajith Premadasa campaigning and he did not expect the party to take any disciplinary action in this regard despite there being a suspension on campaign activities. Q: Why is the UNP taking so long to select & name more..

On politicians & the emperor with no clothes

Sep 9 (ST) Delusions of grandeur that Sri Lanka’s political class wraps around itself are much like that beloved children’s tale of old, where the ruler is cajoled by tricksters into believing that he is wearing garments of stupendous beauty visible only to clever minds, whereas in actual fact, he is wearing nothing at all. Unsurprisingly, this story by Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson has ventured far beyond the kindergarten to be adapted as biting political satire. more..

Three cheers for Lakshman Kiriella!

Sep 9 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe cannot burst out when he should burst oust. .…In leadership, one has to throw a fit now and again, to show or even simulate anger in the face… Lao Tzu’s leadership concept is no style for a leader in 21st century & living in the kind of cultural context that generates the kind of capricious politics we find prevalent in Third World countries like SL. In SL, rough elements and political conmen operate all the time & politics seems to be the prize for everyone. more..

On SLFP’s 68th convention

Sep 9 (ST) There were quite a few interesting asides at the SLFP’s 68th annual convention at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium last Tuesday. Other political parties were invited to attend not by individual names but the names of the party. When ACMC leader Rishad Bathiuddin arrived, a section of the crowd began heckling him. There were hoots and shouts of go back. However, he stayed put until the sessions were over. more..

Chaos …

Sep 9 (ST) Though it was a bright and sunny morning, the mood was anything but bright. “Balannako akki, traffic hinda hungak parakkuwuna (See Sister, because of the traffic, I am very late),” grumbled Mabel Rasthiyadu. She was complaining because it had taken several hours to get to a friend’s place off Galle Road. “Aei, mokakde wune (Why, what happened)?” asked Kussi Amma Sera. “Aei, danne nedda, loku meeting ekak thibuna hinda, hunga-denek parakku wuna vedata yanna more..

Hobson’s choice with Prez Candidates

Sep 9 (Island) Two recent articles published in The Island were eye-openers. The first was titled Presidential Elections and the Peoples Options by a group of eminent persons collectively known as Friday Forum. The other was titled Milinda reminds seven cold economic truths as politicians go into overdrive with promises by former politician and minister Milinda Moragoda. Friday Forum has highlighted several of the ills prevailing in the country and its governance. more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

A tale of three PMs: Narendra Modi, Boris Johnson and Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sep 9 (Island) The three Prime Ministers may not have much, even anything, in common. However, the extreme contrasts between them and their situations are quite revelatory of the equally extremely divergent ways in which the political systems of India, the UK and Sri Lanka are currently unfolding in spite of their common origins. PM Modi is at the pinnacle of power in India, even though the beginning of his second term in office is having rather rough starts in quite a few areas. more..

Editorial: Waiting for Mahendran

Sep 9 (Island) Prez Sirisena is in a mighty hurry to bring ex-CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran to justice, over the bond scams. One may recall that he went out of his way to help cover up the bond scams and take Mahendran off the hook, in 2015. He made a mockery of his commitment to good governance by dissolving Parliament before the first COPE report on the bond scam was presented, and, thereby, prevented it from having an adverse impact on UNP’s electoral performance. more..

Keep Cricket clean: Sangakkara

Sep 9 (ST) SL cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara was critical in underlining the responsibility of domestic cricket clubs’ to keep the sport clean from corruption, as the country’s reputation hangs in the balance with the blend of occurrences in the recent past. Former SL skipper Sangakkara, was felicitated by his domestic side, the NCC, on his recent feat of being appointed President of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). more..

Sri Lanka U-19 to win over UAE

Sep 9 (Island) Fielding excellence against UAE helped Sri Lanka to book a berth in the semi-finals of the Under-19 Asia Cup in Katunayake yesterday. All-rounder Navod Paranavithana excelled for SL scoring 61 opening the innings and then he picked up four wickets with his left-arm spin to restrict UAE for 274 for nine in 50 overs chasing a target of 327. The 52 run win enabled SL to qualify for the semi-finals and now they will battle with Bangladesh in the remaining group game more..

Swimming: St. Joseph's, Visakha Champs

Sep 9 (CT) St. Joseph's College and Visakha Vidyalaya overcame closest challengers St. Peter's College and Mahamaya College, Kandy in the Boys' and Girls' categories respectively to emerge as champions in the 46th annual SL Schools Swimming Championship concluded at the Sugathadasa Swimming Complex. After 5 days of exciting competition with over 3000 participants taking to the waters, an unprecedented 41 new records were set in both the individual events & relays, more..

'Players are more relaxed when there is no head coach'

Sep 9 (DN) Chief selector and team manager Ashantha de Mel made a startling statement when he said that SL players were more relaxed and performed better without a head coach. De Mel’s stunning assessment comes following the conclusion of the Test and T20 International series against NZ where he was the team’s manager. Sri Lanka drew the two-Test series one-all and lost the 3-match T20I series 2-1 with a young side more..

Sailor Sisira Kumara wins selection trial for SA Games marathon

Sep 9 (Island) Little known Sisira Kumara clinched the National Youth Sports Festival men’s marathon title in a time of two hours, 32 minutes and 07 seconds at Gampaha on Sunday. Thus he became eligible to represent the country at the forthcoming South Asian Games ahead of veterans as the Youth event was considered as the final selection trial for the regional Games. Kumara was the only athletes to run the grueling distance under two hours and 40 minutes as 2nd placed R.D.N.S. Karunaratne more..

Sri Lanka Pro Surf League from Sept 25 to 29

Sep 9 (DN) The World Surf League (WSL) will be returning to the idyllic right-hand point breaks of Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka, in September for the So Sri Lanka Pro Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event. Approximately 100 surfers from more than 22 nations will take part in the five-day contest sponsored by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau will draw a massive international field of competitors all vying for important QS points as they look to qualify for elite Championship Tour. more..

Barter deal in the works for Sri Lanka, Iran

Sep 9 (FT) Proactive negotiations are underway towards finalising a crucial barter deal between SL & Iran to resolve impasse over tea exports and payment due on oil imports. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has a long outstanding payment liability worth $ 240 million on oil purchased from Iran. As a possible settlement midst US-led sanctions on Iran, a $ 10 million per month tea exports for 2 years is being worked out. more..

‘Enterprise Sri Lanka Exhibition, bridge of reconciliation to find new investors’

Sep 9 (DN) A separate fund will be created to assist in setting up businesses in Jaffna area said PM in Jaffna last week at a meeting held at the Jaffna Municipal Grounds after launching several development projects in the Jaffna area. He said that the fishing industry too will be improved so that fishermen can go fishing in the deep sea. “It should be mentioned that a new development plan has been prepared in consultation with the people’s representatives of the area to develop Jaffna. more..

Editors resolve 274 complaints under right of reply option

Sep 9 (FT) National newspaper Editors resolved 243 complaints made directly to them by aggrieved readers in 2018 and 31 complaints with the involvement of the Press Complaints Commission of SL (PCCSL). During the year under review, PCCSL received 79 complaints from the public, of which 19 were outside its scope. The complaints resolved by the Editors come under Clause 4: Opportunity to Reply (Right of Reply) procedure laid down by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka in their Code of more..

Sumanthiran regrets boycott by Northern Tamils

Sep 9 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who contested the prez election in 2005 was unfortunately defeated as a result of the Tamils in the North boycotting the elections, TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran said. He said it was essential to make another effort to fulfil the political aspirations of the people in the North without further delay. MP addressing Saturday's opening ceremony of the Enterprise SL Exhibition in Jaffna said the PM had pledged to implement more..

State banks to offer collateral-free soft loans up to Rs. 1.5 m under Enterprise Lanka

Sep 9 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced that the Govt has decided to offer interest subsidised loans up to Rs. 1.5 million under the Enterprise SL loan scheme without obtaining collateral. He said that there is no need for the women of the war widows association and the ex-combatants to look for two surety guarantees. Minister emphasised that the Govt was mindful of the hardships faced by the Northern people during the last 30 years and especially the hardships more..

B'desh Navy ship Somudra Avijan arrives

Sep 9 (SLN) Blangladesh Navy ship Somudra Avijan arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today (7). She was warmly welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. The Commanding Officer of the visiting Bangladesh ship, Commander Zahirul Haque called on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sumith Weerasinghe at the Western Naval Command Headquarters. They held cordial discussions on matters of mutual interest more..

Murali to spin for Gota

Sep 9 (Island) Former national cricketer Muththiah Muralitharan, yesterday, urged the electorate to pick a capable leader who could lead a team. Underscoring the importance of the leader consulting his team, Muralitharan said that it would be the responsibility of the leader to take decisions. The leader required right support, Muralitharan said, underscoring the importance of leading the team and not dictate terms. more..

Video: Two distressed elephants at Kotte Perahera injures 17

Sep 9 (AD) Two distressed elephants partaking the annual perahera of the Kotte Rajamaha Viharaya yesterday, had caused injuries to 17 persons. According to the police, there had been 12 females among the injured persons. 119th Randoli Perahera of the Kotte Rajamaha Viharaya paraded on the streets last night. Soon after the procession had commenced the festivities, one elephant had become restless and run forward disturbing the procession. This had resulted in another more..

ICC has issued criminal charges against individuals of SLC: Arjuna

Sep 9 (Island) Former Test captain Arjuna Ranatunga has stated that the ICC has notified Sri Lanka Cricket and Minister of Sports Harin Fernando about criminal charges against certain individuals. SLC has been under investigations for the last two years and Ranatunga, a former Director of the ICC, made the statement yesterday. "I got to know that the ICC has issued criminal charges against certain individuals of SLC and this has been notified to both the Sports Minister and SLC," he said. more..

Central Expressway: Chinese funds on hold

Sep 9 (TM) The state-owned Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) has refused to release funds promised for the Central Expressway Project until conditions attached to the loan agreement are fully met. Officials told The Sunday Morning that the Govt is yet to meet the preconditions agreed with EXIM Bank. The agreement between both parties is that the SL Govt will pay 15% of the agreed $ 1 billion loan more..

Malinga rises in T20I rankings

Sep 9 (ICC) SL quick Lasith Malinga, who picked up four wickets in four balls against NZ, has jumped 20 places to No.21 on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men's T20I Rankings for Bowlers. The updated rankings were released on Saturday, 7 Sep, after the end of the 3-match T20I series, which NZ won 2-1. Malinga, who became the first bowler to capture four wickets in four successive balls in both ODIs and T20Is, finished with figures of 4-1-6-5, as SL notched up a consolation 37-run win in Pallekele. more..

SL forex reserves up US$ 185mn in August

Sep 9 (EN) SL’s forex reserves grew US$ 185 million in the month of the August 2019 to US$ 8,532.6 million. SL’s gross official reserves are made up of balances of both the CB and Treasury. Fiscal balances, which are function of debt raising and settlement, can go down or up without affecting monetary stability. SL’s central bank reserves have also been growing steadily with inflows being mopped up with complementary monetary and exchange rate policies up to July 2019, more..

GR unveils blueprint for success

Sep 9 (FT) SLPP prez aspirant Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday gave a detailed outline of his blueprint to develop Sri Lanka and pledged to focus on building partnerships with the private sector, appointing technocrats to carry out national policies and strengthening local industries. Speaking at the Viyathmaga Annual Convention 2019 at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo under the title Actioning the Blueprint, more..

President before PSC on Sept 20

Sep 9 (DN) Parliament Select Committee investigating the Easter Sunday attacks is scheduled to meet Prez Sirisena on Sept 20, 2019. Prez gave the date in a letter to the PSC yesterday, and the Select Committee will visit the Prez Secretariat at 10 a.m. on the 20th morning to obtain the Prez’s statement, Committee chairman Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri said. He also said that a request for an extension of time for the PSC to submit its final report would be presented to Parliament more..

DPJ Tower: PM to be summoned

Sep 9 (CT) Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) expects to summon PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to testify before it in connection with the inquiry launched into the complaint on DPJ Tower, which had been taken on rent for Ministry of Agriculture. Sources added that based on the evidence given by PM's Secretary Saman Ekanayake, on 6 Sept, Commission expects to seek the PM's testimony. Chairman of the PCoI, while recording statements, had asked PM's Secy more..

Spiritual healing horror in Horowpothana: Two die, 16 hospitalised

Sep 9 (DN) A so-called religious spiritual healing camp being held over the weekend in Horowpothana, near Anuradhapura, ended in tragedy when two people died and at least sixteen others were hospitalised after an estimated 25,000 invalids and accompanying persons crowded into a rural school grounds with the hope of a miraculous healing of their diseases and afflictions. Police are busy investigating circumstances more..

Video: Gotabaya re-elected as SLPP presidential candidate

Sep 9 (AD) Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was re-elected as the Prez candidate of the SLPP today (8). This was at the national convention of the NFF. The 3rd National Convention of the NFF was held this evening at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. The function was attended by the Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa and SLPP Prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. At the event, the National Organizer of the NFF launched a proposal to resolve more..

Over 4,200 specialist school teachers get appointments

Sep 9 (GDI) With a view to meeting the subject-specialist teacher shortage in national and provincial schools, 4,286 diploma holders of Colleges of Education, were recruited to the teacher service yesterday at a ceremony held under the patronage of PM at Temple Trees. Addressing the new teachers, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the National Colleges of Education were established according to his concept since he believed that only trained teachers should be in school system. more..

Make-or-break talks between Ranil and Sajith tomorrow

Sep 9 (Island) The much-awaited discussion between PM and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP Dy Leader Sajith Premadasa to decide on UNP prez candidate has been delayed till tomorrow. The decision to have this meeting was taken, last Friday, after PM had declared that he was desirous of running for Prez as the candidate of proposed DNF. MP also told some UNP seniors that he would launch his campaign, soon. more..

US flip-flops and Iran’s rejection of talks

Sep 9 (DM) At the Group of Seven summit in the French resort town of Biarritz (from Aug 24 to Aug 26) US President Trump raised the prospect of meeting Iran’s President Rouhani, whom he called a great negotiator. His comments followed diplomatic efforts by French Prez Emmanuel Macron, who sought to mediate between Iran and the United States after Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran Nuclear deal on May 7, 2018. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement while more..

President’s Bond Drama

Sep 9 (DM) Addressing the 68th party Convention /Anniversary on his 68th Birthday at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, President Maithripala Sirisena stated that a person larger than Arjuna Mahendran, the former Central Bank Governor, would face trial in courts for the unprecedented CB bond scam. The files are ready he claimed. Psychologists have conceptualized Machiavelianism in a short and sweet statement as, callousness, manipulativeness, and an indifference to morality. more..

Trapped in a debt cycle

Sep 9 (FT) Entrapment of rural communities, especially rural women, in a vicious debt cycle generated by thousands of unregulated microfinance organizations has reached epidemic proportions, affecting almost 3 million people. Once seen as an instrument of rural upliftment, microfinance loans have now gained notoriety for encouraging multiple borrowings and charging exorbitant interest rates from 40 to 220%. more..

We will bring Bonds thieves to Court: MR

Sep 9 (CT) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged to file charges against the true culprits of Central Bank Treasury Bonds scam and definitely produce them before Court under their governance. Speaking at the 3rd National Convention of NFF yesterday, at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, Rajapaksa said that incumbent Govt had robbed the Central Bank soon after establishing its good governance. more..