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Executive Presidency: Let the people decide!

Sep 22 (ST) National Election Commission (NEC) has rushed to announce dates for the presidential election amidst reports that the SLFP-UNF govt hierarchy was making a last-ditch attempt to abolish the executive presidency post-haste. In the unlikely event of the latter happening, the NEC’s almost indecent hurry to have a prez election, would have been defeated. The NEC was smarting over the fact that its straining of every sinew to have provincial elections held, yielded no result. more..

To those who've lost their lust for life

Sep 22 (CT) Although underlying mental issues are widely believed to be the reason for a majority of the suicides that occur today, it is actually a conglomerate of issues that ultimately lead to the regrettable decision to end one's life. A survey by the WHO conducted in 2018 placed Sri Lanka at the 29th position in the list of countries where most suicides were reported, with the suicide rate at 14.6% of the population. more..

The impending fall of the Blue party

Sep 22 (ST) My dear SWRD, I thought I must write to you because, in a few days’ time, it will be sixty years since you fell victim to an assassin’s bullet and left us suddenly for the Land of Never Return. I am also writing to let you know that in a few weeks, the Blue party which you founded is very likely to die a natural death. Your motive for founding the Blue party may not have been purely altruistic. Those days, DS was in charge of the Greens. With son Dudley and nephew John in the Cabinet more..

Waiting for Sirisena’s final hat trick

Sep 22 (Island) With nominations being called for the presidential elections, President Sirisena’s time as President is fast running out. At the past three elections in this country from the 2015 January presidential election onwards, Maithripala Sirisena has always sprung a surprise on his opponents. At the last presidential elections, he himself was the surprise leaping out jack-in-the-box style to become the common candidate. At the parliamentary elections that followed in 2015, more..


Unsportsmanlike gesture takes the gloss off Petes record

Sep 22 (Island) St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya prevented Ratnayake Central, Walala from making a clean sweep of golds in the four finals held on day two of the All Island Schools Relay Carnival but an unsportsmanlike gesture by the Petes’ anchor leg runner took the gloss off an otherwise remarkable record breaking feat at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Saturday. Ratnayake Central won both the Under-18 boys’ and girls’ 4x800 metres relays with new meet records and were also the winner of more..

Enterprise Sri Lanka & Arise Tamil in Jaffna

Sep 22 (CT) It was exactly a week after Ministry of Finance successfully conducted a mega exhibition titled Enterprise SL in Jaffna to encourage investments on new trade and industrial ventures in Northern Province, Tamil Peoples Council (TPC) led by former Northern Province CM C. V. Wigneswaran has come forward to organising a mega rally next Monday (16) titled Eluga Thamil (Arise Tamil). According to the organisers of the rally, creating awareness on unresolved post-war more..

'No payment whatsoever paid to ALIT'

Sep 22 (CT) Prez Sirisena summoned a special Cabinet meeting on Thursday keeping both SLPP led by Opp Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and the camp led by UNP Dy Leader Sajith Premadasa on their toes, as it was revealed that the special Cabinet meeting was for the purpose of abolishing Exe Presidency. A proposal to the special Cabinet meeting, in connection with the 20th Amendment, aimed at the abolishment of more..

Lakshitha to fly Down Under to attend training at Darren Lehman Cricket Academy

Sep 22 (ST) It’s a first and an opportunity of a life-time as Lakshitha Manasinghe–the newly crowned Dialog 4G-the Sunday Times Schoolboy Cricketer 2019 will undertake a three-week long training programme at the prestigious Darren Lehman Cricket Academy (DLCA) in Australia. Dialog Axiata, in collaboration with Wijeya Newspapers initiated this massive venture to further bolster their annual programme to discover the school cricket star, who will very soon reach the national stream. more..

World Weightlifting Championship: Indika finishes with three SL records

Sep 22 (CT) Indika Dissanayaka and Hansani Gomes excelled with new SL records while Isuru Kumara finished in overall 10th place as SL bowed out from the World Weightlifting C'ship 2019 which continued at Pattaya, Thailand yesterday. Commonwealth Games 2018 Silver medalist Dissanayaka, competing in Category C of the 71kg competition, set three SL records in Snatch, Clean and Jerk and in the total lift. He snatched 134kg and clean and jerked 164kg to lift a total of 298 kg more..

Sri Lanka leave for Pakistan on Tuesday

Sep 22 (Island) The national cricket team will leave for Pakistan on Tuesday on a two week tour where they will play three ODIs and three T-20 Int'ls in Karachi and Lahore. Karachi will host the first leg of the tour consisting three ODIs and then the team will travel to Lahore for the T-20 leg. SL will take wings to Karachi on Emirates via Dubai. After ten senior players pulled out of the tour, SLC was forced to select a secondnd string team. more..

Plight of SOBs

Sep 22 (ST) A couple of weeks ago, state-owned retailer Laksala was infuriated with a story in the Business Times about the payment of commissions which violated govt rules and regulations. The company responding to the report said that these payments were made for promotional purposes and not as a commission, a claim that was challenged by the BT which stated, quoting Treasury sources, that there was no provision in the regulations governing Laksala to make such a payment. more..

Sri Lankans looking forward to meet old friend Imran

Sep 22 (Island) There will be very little for the national cricket team to do outside cricket in Pakistan when they arrive in that country next week but one thing the Sri Lankans are looking forward to do is meet their former Test captain Imran Khan. The man who inspired Pakistan to fight like cornered tigers in the 1992 World Cup, which they won against many odds beating England in the finals at MCG, took to politics after retiring and currently is Pakistan’s Prime Minister. more..

Sri Lanka to implement tough legislation against corruption in sports

Sep 22 (ST) For years, Sri Lanka’s lawmakers neglected passing laws to deal with sports corruption, making it impossible to try anyone in court. Now, the country is only a step away from introducing tough legislation to discourage the menace. The process was accelerated against the backdrop of match-fixing and corruption allegations which caused the ICC investigators to start inquiries. The probe is ongoing. more..

Future generation: Parents, teachers have a significant role: Aravinda

Sep 22 (SO) Aravinda de Silva is a name synonymous with cricket around the world and when a legend like him speaks everyone has to sit back and listen because what he says is what he has learnt through his own experience. The most pertinent message De Silva made as chief guest at the 41st Observer/Mobitel School Cricketer of the Year awards ceremony at the Colombo Hilton on Friday was the important role parents, teachers and cricket coaches have to play in producing more..

Allianz Global Wealth Report: Global financial assets fall; Sri Lankan economy slows

Sep 22 (Island) According to the tenth addition of Allianz’s Global Wealth Report, which puts the asset and debt situation of households in more than 50 countries/regions under the microscope, financial assets in 2018 across industrial and emerging countries/regions declined simultaneously for the first time. Savers worldwide have found themselves in a bind, due to the escalating trade conflict between the US and China, Brexit and increasing geopolitical tensions, more..

BOI gets six investors for Bingiriya EPZ

Sep 22 (TM) The BOI confirmed two investors to develop the Bingiriya Export Processing Zones (EPZ) while four other unnamed investors expressed their interest in developing the EPZ, according to BOI Chairman Mangala Yapa. The companies that entered into the agreement are Vofone Development Ltd. and Empire Feed Mill Ltd., and both the companies are expected to begin construction by Dec this year, more..

Namal demands explanation from Prez

Sep 22 (TM) Opposition MP Namal Rajapaksa has demanded an explanation from President Sirisena for false accusations levelled at the Rajapakse govt over the Lotus tower project. Rajapaksa taking to his twitter handle said the Prez owes the Sri Lankan public an explanation about his random, careless & completely false accusations regarding the Lotus Tower project. He further said, “Politics aside, I believe every Sri Lankan expects the country’s leader to be more responsible.” more..

Video: Fmr CJ responds to claims on running for president

Sep 22 (AD) Former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake says if she is to venture into politics, it would happen solely on the will of the general public. She stated this speaking to the media following the launch of her book Hold Me in Contempt and its Sinhala version Uththareethara at the Colombo Int'l Book Fair 2019 at the BMICH. The former Chief Justice stated that she always tried to do justice for the people all throughout her career while holding many positions that she stumbled upon. more..

Gota’s Sri Lanka citizenship in doubt, candidacy under cloud

Sep 22 (EN) Police have reported progress in their investigations into allegations Gotabaya Rajapaksa had failed to resume SL citizenship he renounced in 2003 and raised serious doubts about his ability to stand at prez polls. CID in a ‘B’ report informed Colombo Chief magistrate Lanka Jayaratne of the outcome of a near 6-week investigation into complaints that Rajapaksa had failed to obtain dual more..

SL & Aus conclude first maritime dialogue

Sep 22 (AD) Third Round of Senior Officials’ Talks between Sri Lanka and Australia was successfully held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo. The SL delegation was led by Additional Secretary, Bilateral Affairs (East) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. Selvaraj, while the Australian Delegation was headed by First Assistant Secretary, South West Asia Division of the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia Dr. Lachlan Strahan. At the third round of Senior Officials’ Talks held last Tues, more..

Didn’t receive prior intel warning: Prez

Sep 22 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena who testified before the parliamentary select committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday bombings said he did not receive prior intelligence warning on the attacks. He testified before the PSC from 10.20 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. at the Prez Secretariat. He said neither Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando nor former IGP Pujith Jayasundara nor Head of State Intelligence Service SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena informed him of the imminent bloodbath. more..

Amid threat of strikes, Finance Ministry proposes pay hikes

Sep 22 (ST) Finance Ministry will submit proposals to increase salaries of a range of sectors including the administrative sector in view of multiple strikes and work-to-rule campaigns, but the proposals, if implemented, will cost the Govt an additional Rs 200 billion annually. A senior Treasury official said the proposals will be submitted to the Cabinet next week to decide on the increases which also apply to doctors, engineers, teachers more..

Sri Lanka can request to drop land deed reform from MCC grant: Official

Sep 22 (EN) Sri Lanka may request to remove a land deed modernization project using grant aid from America’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the agency’ SL country chief said, as conspiracy theories swirled around the project. “Right now the govt has proposed to us a 480 million dollar grant: 350mn for transport and 67 million dollars for land,” Jenner Edelman, SL country director for the MCC said. “We have not received a request from the govt to modify that in any way. more..

UNF against UNP working committee deciding on Prez candidate

Sep 22 (SO) Several party leaders of the UNP led United National Front (UNF) have stressed that the Prez candidate of the coalition must be decided with the consensus of the govt parliamentary group. As a result, UNF party leader representing the JHU Minister Champika Ranawaka said he opposed the decision to select the Prez hopeful with the consensus of the UNP working committee alone. Minister said that UNP working committee has taken too much time to determine on the candidate. more..

Video: Ex-Bribery Commission chief alleges Senadhipathi distorted conversation

Sep 22 (AD) Attorney General is set to request the Public Service Commission to conduct a disciplinary inquiry into the telephone conversation between the former Director General of the Bribery Commission and the Avant-Garde Chairman. Coordinating Officer of the AG said the relevant request will be directed in writing to the Public Service Commission this Monday (23). Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi, more..

Video: AG’s Dept sets historic record

Sep 22 (AD) The Attorney General’s Department says it has concluded a total number of 10,093 lawsuits over the course of this year. The Coordinating Officer of the Attorney General, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne stated this at a media briefing. She said 6,695 indictments were directed to high courts across the country during the past eight months, adding that the Attorney General has instructed the police stations pertaining to filing 1,778 cases at magistrate’s courts. more..

Railway work-to-rule action called off

Sep 22 (AD) Railway trade unions have called off their ongoing work-to-rule campaign following the discussions held with the authorities. Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union commenced a work-to-rule trade union action from midnight on Thursday (19) while warning to resort to indefinite strike from this Tuesday (24). A massive number of passengers were inconvenienced as a result of the work-to-rule campaign of the railway service. Despite the work-to-rule action, many trains were also delayed more..

Video: Prez calls on Dilrukshi Dias to reveal corrupt politicians she referred to

Sep 22 (AD) Prez Maithripala Sirisena said it was his consistent policy that the Executive Presidency should be abolished and attempts to abolish it at a time when an election has been declared is a hoax. Prez made these comments addressing the Matale District Convention of SLFP today (21). Commenting on the erroneous claims made by PM that the recent Cabinet meeting was called on a requirement by him, more..

Four-judge commission appointed to probe Easter Sunday attacks

Sep 22 (ST) President Sirisena last night appointed a 4-member commission to probe the Easter Sunday attacks. The Extraordinary Gazette notification was issued at midnight yesterday. The commission will be headed by Court of Appeal Judge Janak de Silva. The Other members are Court of Appeal judge Nissanka Karunarathna and retired Court of Appeal judges Nihal Rajapaksa and Bandula Atapattu. The commission has been entrusted to carry out an impartial and more..

Gota clarifies ID number confusion in Electoral Register

Sep 22 (DM) With reference to the Daily Mirror news story on the appearance of the invalidated national identity card number of Gotabhaya Rajapksa in the electoral registers of 2017, 2018 and 2019, Mr. Rajapaksa said that although he filled the form with the new ID number and the Dept of Registration of Persons had informed the Elections Department of the new identity card number what appears in the electoral list is the old ID number. 'I filled the form stating the new ID number and more..

SLPP to go it alone: No partnership with the SLFP

Sep 22 (ST) In what seemed revealing by itself, President Maithripala Sirisena, began an emergency Cabinet meeting on Thursday afternoon with the remarks Ogollo hadissi cabinet resveemak illuva. Onna mang dunna. Kiyanna kiyana thiyana deval or "You asked for an emergency Cabinet meeting. Here, I have now given it. Hence, say what you have to say now.” PM and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, then proposed that more..

Sri Lanka forgetting old friends

Sep 22 (Island) The national cricket team is due to visit Pakistan between Sept 27 and Oct 9 and is scheduled to play three ODI games and three T20 matches. A four-member Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) security team led by Secretary Mohan de Silva and accompanied by Marshall of the Air Force Roshan Goonetileke (chief security advisor), Chandima Mapatuna (head of international cricket) and Palitha Seneviratne (assistant manager anti-corruption and security) visited Pakistan between Aug 6 & 9. more..

A new cast of prez candidates and the long shadow of 2015

Sep 22 (Island) In what may well be their final act that led to Thursday’s emergency cabinet meeting, Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe took their abolishment promise to a comical end. The two men received a rude rebuke from their own ministers for their attempt to abolish the presidency when the date for the next prez election has already been announced. This was not a fulfilment of their 2015 promise, but a last minute act of desperation to serve distinctly different purposes. more..

Sirisena angry over Pohottuwa symbol as rift widens with SLPP

Sep 22 (ST) Prez Sirisena, leader of the SLFP, was livid yesterday that the SLPP had effectively shut the door on a political partnership. This came after SLPP Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam called at the National Election Commission (NEC) on Friday and paid the deposit of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as the party’s candidate for the prez election on Nov 16. In doing so, he has formally acknowledged that Mr. Rajapaksa more..

Presidential winner should be exemplary citizen, uphold rule of law

Sep 22 (ST) With the date for presidential elections announced as Nov 16, what are the attributes that people are looking for in a presidential poll winner? To gauge public opinion, the Business Times (BT) ran an email poll this week to ascertain the views of the public on the key attributes they are looking for in a president. To five questions posed in the poll, the majority of the 300 + respondents agreed that the winning candidate more..

Prices of imported goods to rise with new shipping law?

Sep 22 (TM) Sri Lanka may see a rise in the prices of imported goods in 2020 due to a new environmental standard that will come into effect in January for the shipping sector. The International Maritime Organisation (IMF) 2020 Global Sulphur Cap is an international requirement laid for the global shipping industry and it will come into effect from 1 January next year. Under the requirement, all sizes of ships have to use more..

Scribes charged for treason and dishonouring MR released

Sep 22 (SO) A group of journalists attached to news websites Sri Lanka Mirror and Sri Lanka X News were released by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court on Friday (20) due to insufficient evidence to prosecute them. Eight journalists, namely Kelum Shivantha, Subhash Jayawardena, Ajith Seneviratne, Himashi Karunaratne, Tharindu Rajapaksa, Shiranthani Manawadu, Asanka Nivantha, Siddique Kariyappar were released more..

Drought races with rains

Sep 22 (TM) Since 11 September, the weather drastically changed with thunder storms and heavy rains sweeping across 10 districts, causing damage to 4,730 persons in total. While heavy rains affected 3,185 persons, another 1,152 experienced flash floods. Gusty winds affected 266 persons, with a cyclone reported in Pannala in the Kurunegala District which caused partial damage to 50 houses and 65 commercial properties. more..

Keith Noyahr case: FBI support sought

Sep 22 (TM) The CID is to seek the assistance of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the probe over the abduction and assault of former Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr. Well-informed sources attached to the Sri Lanka Police told The Sunday Morning that the technology required to reproduce and analyse the tape recordings of phone calls was not available in the country at present and therefore, more..