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Abolition: A bluff of presidential proportions

Sep 19 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake has issued an interim order preventing protesting disabled soldiers from entering the Lotus Road and being anywhere close to the Prez’s and PM’s office. Obviously the judge had to make a determination based on a petition. I have no quarrel with judges. I have an issue when govts can’t sort out the issues of disabled protesters. I have an issue when governments are dismissive of men who sacrificed so much to rid country of terrorism. more..

UNP factions in a race against time Is Karu compromise candidate?

Sep 19 (DM) Further confusion added to the internecine feud of the UNP over presidential candidacy after its civil society allies floated the idea of fielding Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as the prez candidate this week- that is in place of either PM Ranil Wickremesinghe or Minister Sajith Premadasa. The activists of the National Movement for Social Justice which spearheaded the political campaign of Prez Sirisena in 2015 have parted ways today to work under different banners. more..

How politicians squander taxpayers’ money

Sep 19 (DM) A National Savings Bank (NSB) official admitted to the recruitment of 1,707 staff assistants and office assistants since 2015 of which 390 recruitments have taken place since 2017 based on name lists provided by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s private secretary. So much for recruitment based on meritocracy!. In the case of indirect taxes such as VAT, GST, etc., the tax is not so visible to the individual consumer. more..

Strikes galore: Demands centre on salary anomalies

Sep 19 (ST) A string of strikes affected the public sector this week, with some of them still continuing while several others mulling over trade union action and protest campaigns. The key demand of many of the striking unions centres on salary anomalies. The university non-academic employees’ strike launched on Tuesday is still continuing, with union leaders describing the trade union action as an indefinite strike. more..

Indian firms eye SL projects using buyer’s credit

Sep 19 (EN) Indian companies want to invest in Sri Lanka using buyer’s credit facilities from Indian Exim Bank where Sri Lankan firms can provide labour and up to a quarter of material, an official from a visiting business said. “Sri Lanka is becoming a preferred destination for Indian investors due to its similar climate and close proximity to India,” said Praful Kumar Mutha, director of Mohan Mutha Exports Ltd, Chennai, who was leading more..

Sri Lanka plans US$250mn tea-for-debt barter deal with Iran

Sep 19 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning a 250 million US dollar barter deal to revive tea export to Iran and settle a legacy oil credit dating back to 2012, which were blocked due to US sanctions imposed in 2016, ministers said. Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was unable to settle a US$ 250 million credit and the country also lost its market for tea in Iran after US sanctions, Plantations Minister Navin Dissanyake said. more..

Eyebrows raised over Dvora crew remanded on unsubstantiated allegation

Sep 19 (Island) Controversy surrounds the circumstances under which the entire crew of a Dvora Fast Attack Craft (FAC) P 439 was remanded recently pending investigations following unsubstantiated accusations regarding them firing at a suspicious craft off Kokilai in the East. Four persons on board the fishing craft powered by 40 hp OBM had alleged that they were assaulted by the Navy. They had been apprehended by Navy more..

Lotus Tower corruption saga: What we know so far

Sep 19 (RN) At the long-delayed opening ceremony of the Colombo Lotus Tower this Monday, President Sirisena made a shocking revelation. A Chinese company to which the Govt had made an advance payment of Rs. 2 billion in 2012 for construction of the tower, he said, had vanished without a trace. The disappearance of the company, he claimed, had led to China releasing only 75% of the promised loan supposed to more..

Sajith is ahead so far: Kabir Hashim

Sep 19 (AD) UNP Chairman and Minister Kabir Hashim says that he believes the party would most likely be able to reach a consensus with regard to selecting its Prez Candidate by tomorrow. Minister revealed that the party has called 3 or 4 discussions today with the party leader, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Hashim said he believes that through those party-level discussions between today and tomorrow they could reach more..

Video: SLFP ready to hold talks with JVP

Sep 19 (AD) The SLFP is ready to hold talks with the JVP with regard to the measure that will be taken at the upcoming presidential election, stated SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera. The MP mentioned this holding a press conference in Kurunegala, yesterday (18). According to him, some SLFP supporters in the village think that the SLFP should contest alone at the presidential election. more..

No evidence to prove Hemasiri’s negligence caused Easter attacks, court told

Sep 19 (AD) The revision application filed by AG against the Colombo chief magistrate’s order granting bail to former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara was heard before the Colombo High Court today. Former Defence Secretary and IGP were arrested and remanded for allegedly failing to prevent the terror attacks on Easter Sunday even after adequate forewarnings were received on the blasts. more..

Video: Karannagoda & Gunathileke presented highest honorary ranks

Sep 19 (AD) Former Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and former Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunathileke have been conferred the topmost military ranks at an investiture ceremony held this morning (19). The event was held under the patronage of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Maithripala Sirisena at the Colombo Harbour premises. more..

Karu's polls promise

Sep 19 (CT) Yesterday it was reported in the media that UNP MP and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had said that in the event that he is the UNP's Presidential Candidate at the forthcoming Prez Poll, constitutionally due by 9 Dec of this year the latest, and if elected to power, he would abolish the Executive Presidency. He may be the 'most qualified' candidate to realise the ills of the Executive Presidency, when as Speaker, Prez Sirisena unconstitutionally sacked PM more..

Prisons Minister honours hawk-eyed officers

Sep 19 (Island) Efficient, honest Prison officials would be honoured, Justice and Prisons Reforms Minister, Attorney-at-Law Thalatha Atukorale said,on Tuesday. Special appreciation certificates were awarded to Assistant Superintendent of the Boossa Prison, L.P.M. Karunaratne, Prison guards T.O.K. Ratnayake, A.D.T.K. Ariyadasa, A.D.L.N. Mendis, A.G. Chaminda Jayasiri and Y.P.L. Sampath were awarded at a ceremony at the Ministry of Justice and Prison Reforms. more..

කෝප් විමර්ෂණයට නොපැමිණි ක්රිකට් ආයතන ...

The dark tower: A lighter loftier look after its initial illumination

Sep 19 (FT) Where were you when the lights came on at the Lotus Tower? Wait, what? Are you being serious? Do you mean in the midst of our sea of troubles – from addressing poverty to abolishing presidencies – a singular erection has stolen their thunder? (I promise not to make any more references to the laughable matter of phallic symbols adorning our skyline under the guise of a political emblem.) But seriously! There is little – if anything – to smile about, you might feel. more..

SL team briefed about Punjab Police system

Sep 19 (TN) A delegation of senior officers of Sri Lanka on tour to Pakistan paid a visit to Central Police Office. The delegation was briefed about the working of Punjab Police. Twenty senior officers of different departments of Sri Lanka along with officers from Executive Development Institute included the delegation. Additional IG operations briefed the delegation about working system of Punjab Police. In the end of the visit, honorary shields were exchanged between Punjab Police, more..

SL tour of Pakistan to go ahead as planned

Sep 19 (CI) Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan will go ahead after SLC confirmed that the Pakistan govt had reaffirmed its desire to provide the SL team with the same level of security afforded to visiting heads of state. "The Pakistan High Commissioner to SL, on behalf of the Pakistan Govt, has reaffirmed to the SL govt Pakistan's desire to provide the SL National Team with the same level of security as that provided to a head of state," more..

Defence Ministry says reports of possible attack are fake

Sep 19 (RN) Defence Ministry is calling reports of a possible attack similar to the Easter Sunday strikes now circulating on social media are incorrect. The fake story said that an attack was imminent and was to be launched with the assistance of some Army personnel. Defence Ministry firmly stated that this news is totally fabricated and published with malice to tarnish the image of the SL Army. Further, the ministry said that it could create unnecessary fear among the pubic disturbing their daily routine. more..

Cabinet decided not to discuss abolishing Executive Presidency now: Mano

Sep 19 (AD) Cabinet of Ministers today decided not to discuss the matter of abolishing the Executive Presidency at this moment as a Prez Election has already been called, Minister Mano Ganesan said. He said that heated arguments had taken place during the special Cabinet meeting held today to discuss the matter. However, he said that the Cabinet decided not to discuss the abolishing of the Executive Presidency right now when the Election Commission has already gazette Prez poll. more..

Video: Last ditch move to scrap executive presidency thwarted

Sep 19 (DM) A last ditch attempt to abolish executive presidency by Prez and PM was thwarted in the Cabinet today. Minister Mano Ganeshan said the govt has decided at the special cabinet meeting on the abolishment of the Executive Presidency not to discuss the matter at the moment. “Special cabinet meeting on abolishing executive presidency unanimously decided after heated arguments not to discuss this matter now more..

Abolishing Executive Presidency should happen after prez poll: Harin

Sep 19 (AD) Minister Harin Fernando taking to his Twitter account stated that 5 ministers of the UNP have confirmed the party’s parliamentary group that they will support Sajith Premadasa as the Prez Candidate. Accordingly, Ministers Champika Ranawaka, Mano Ganesan, Palany Thigambaram, Rishad Bathiudeen and Rauff Hakeem have confirmed their support to the UNP’s deputy leader, according to Minister. In another tweet, he said they have objected to any move to abolish more..

Resources for Tamil medium schools in estates inadequate: Minister

Sep 19 (RN) Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana said that many students who pursue studies in the Tamil Medium especially in estates, do not have enough facilities or schools to follow the science stream in their mother tongue for A/L. He noted that although it is a major problem in the SL education system, it is barely noticed and goes unaddressed. “Although there are few schools that teach in Tamil medium in Nuwara Eliya and Hatton districts, in several other districts such as more..

Video: Restoring ties with China becomes Gota’s task: Keheliya

Sep 19 (DM) One of the main tasks of SLPP presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa would be restoring the relationship with China, spokesman for the SLPP prez candidate, Keheliya Rambukwella said today. He said the relationship with China had been tarnished on numerous occasions during this govt. “For instance, PM categorically said in 2015 that they would stop and abandon the port city project more..

Court orders arrest of former Customs DG and Addtl. DG

Sep 19 (AD) Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today ordered the arrest of former Director General of SL Customs Jagath P. Wijeweera and its former Additional Director General Tharaka Seneviratne. The two officials have been accused of releasing 8 kilograms of confiscated gold from the custody of Customs Dept, for the enshrinement of treasure in the base ring of the Sandahiru Maha Seya. Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake ordered FCID to arrest and produce them before the court. more..

Navy apprehends 5 Indian fishers for poaching in northern waters

Sep 19 (SLN) SL Navy apprehended 5 Indian fishermen along with a fishing trawler belonging to them for poaching in SL territorial waters today (18). The apprehension was made by the Northern Naval Command, during a patrol conducted in the sea area northwest of the Kovilam Point. The group of Indian fishermen were poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters by the time the apprehension was made. Subsequently, the apprehended fishermen were escorted to SLNS Uththara and the seized more..

Akila Dananjaya banned from bowling for one year

Sep 19 (CI) SL spinner Akila Dananjaya has been banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months due to an illegal bowling action. Dananjaya's suspension is a result of the ICC's automatic penalty for bowlers who have twice failed an assessment inside a two-year period. Dananjaya was assessed after he was reported for a suspect action for the second time in 10 months, following Galle Test against NZ last month. more..

If building 300MW LNG power plant is not awarded to lowest bidder ...

Sep 19 (Island) PCoI investigating told Somasiri Gunasekera, Head of the procurement appeals board that Sri Lanka might lose Rs. 50 billion in 20 years if the tender for the construction of a 300 MW LNG power plant at Kerawalapitiya was not awarded to the lowest bidder. Commissioner retired DIG Wijaya Amarasinghe said that the quoted price of a unit of power by Lanka Transformers Ltd. (LTL) was Rs. 14.98. The second best price by WindForce was Rs. 15.97. more..

Thajudeen murder: Case against ex-Chief JMO postponed

Sep 19 (AD) Hearing of the case filed by the Attorney General against former Chief Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) of Colombo Ananda Samarasekara for allegedly concealing evidence in the Wasim Thajudeen murder case was postponed until Oct 3. The case was taken up before Judge Manjula Thilakaratne, at the Colombo High Court, today. However, when the case was taken up the Defense attorney Shavindra Fernando, who supposed to present preliminary objections more..

Video: Railway work-to-rule campaign from tonight

Sep 19 (DM) The Locomotive Engine Operators' Union (LEOU) has decided to launch a work-to-rule campaign from tonight over allegations that they are not adhering to speed limits set out by the railway department. Union Secretary Indika Dodangoda said that the sudden decision was taken following a meeting held with the Railway General Manager (GMR). He said GMR discussed the matter with locomotive operators, more..

'Clock is ticking for SLPP-SLFP alliance'

Sep 19 (RN) Media Spokesman of UPFA Weerakumara Dissanayake says that time is running out for the SLFP and the SLPP to form an alliance and select a common candidate. He said that although the parties have come to a certain agreement on the mandate of the alliance they are yet to come together under a common sign for the election. Further, he said that the SLFP has been making many sacrifices to ensure victory in the election and had not objected to anything more..

Sri Lanka dips in peacefulness scale

Sep 19 (CT) Sri Lanka dips in the global peacefulness scale. SL is ranked 72 in comparison to last year's 67th place. This is stated in the latest report of the 2019 Global Peace Index (GPI), issued by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). Although in this year's GPI, SL received a score of 1.986, SL has descended by five places compared with last year's GPI, in which it was ranked 67. GPI - recognised as the world's leading measure of global peacefulness covering 99.7% of the world's more..

Video: Teachers, principals sick two days next week

Sep 19 (DM) Ceylon Teachers and Principals’ Services Union today said that they would hold a two-day token strike next Thursday over several demands including salary anomalies. Speaking to the media the General Secretary of the TU Mahinda Jayasinghe said they would refrain from all educational activities in schools while applying for medical leave. During the strike, we would refrain from scrutinizing of GCE A/L answer scripts more..

Govt providing jobs: Speaker to seek EC advice

Sep 19 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today told Parliament that he would seek advice from the elections commission whether it was in violation of election laws to provide jobs in the govt sector after an election is announced. He said this in response to a matter brought up by the opposition that Minister Rauff Hakeem had called for over 1000 applicants for interviews in violation of election laws. Opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardane said Trade Unions of the Water Board had given a letter more..

People’s Bank (Amendment) Bill passed in Parliament

Sep 19 (AD) The Parliament today passed the People’s Bank (Amendment) Bill with amendments. Adjourned Committee-Stage Debate on the bill took place at the House this morning. The bill was presented by the Minister of Finance on 24 May and Published as Bill No. 282 in the Gazette. The purpose of this amendment was to replace Sections 4 and 5 of the Act dealing with the Objectives and the Powers of the bank. Parliament was initially scheduled to debate the bill on Sept 4. more..

Chinese Communist Party member calls on Prez

Sep 19 (RN) Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chen Min-Er and Prez Sirisena held a detailed discussion on a wide range of subjects on bilateral relations, economic cooperation and regional stability. Mr Chen Min-Er and a CPC delegation called on Prez at the President’s Office yesterday. President thanked China for the support extended to Sri Lanka for more than 60 years more..

The impending fall of Ranil into oblivion

Sep 20 (CT) A common snide remark in the days gone by used to say derisively that if there is a traffic jam somewhere there is a cop in the middle of it. It means that an incompetent cop without any sense of direction had caused an unwanted and avoidable problem to the public. In contemporary times it can be said, without fear of being contradicted, that if there is a political jam you can be sure that Ranil Wickremesinghe is in the middle of it. You can also be sure that Ranil has been the cause of more..

CMC moves facing stiff resistance

Sep 20 (TM) Moves by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to introduce a new flying squad to increase efficiency and combat corruption at construction sites are facing stiff resistance. Municipal Commissioner Palitha Nanayakkara, whom the squad will be functioning under, said that the appointments will be finalised next month and the interviews for positions in the squad were still in progress. “The motion was presented to the council members and we are awaiting approval,” more..

Ruling requirements: What does it take to be President of Sri Lanka?

Sep 20 (Roar) Prez elections have been announced in SL, and with November 16 fast approaching, the competition for the top office in the country is heating up. Although Sri Lanka has a multi-party system, politics has been dominated by the UNP that was founded prior to independence, in 1946, and SLFP, founded in 1951. Minor parties have typically formed coalitions or entered into alliances to safeguard their interests, but more..

Ready to run but only on platform to abolish Presidency: Karu Jayasuriya

Sep 20 (CT) Speaker of Parliament and UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya seemed to officially throw his hat into the ring for the upcoming presidential election, saying he would only contest if all political forces united around the primary issue of abolishing the executive presidency. Those political forces would also have to be committed to strengthening the democratic reforms enacted in the 17th amendment to the constitution and later reinforced through the 19th Amendment to the constitution, more..