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MCC, SOFA first priority national interest: Sajith

Sep 29 (SO) Minister Sajith Premadasa, commenting on his stance on the int'l agreements said, his first priority would be national interest. Responding to a question by the media whether he would give the go ahead to the proposed MCC and SOFA agreements with the US if appointed, he said, “ As far as the int'l agreements are concerned as with any other policy decisions, the foremost priority would be national interest.” He promised to have a fresh look at all int'l political, economic, trade more..

President says will not retire amid talks with SLPP, Sajith

Sep 29 (EN) President Sirisena said he will was not ready to retire and a new step will be taken after December, as talks continued on possible support of his party at upcoming prez polls. Prez had said that he had no need to retire and he was in good health and able to take forward a program for the country. “Some people may be thinking that I will disappear since I haven’t said that I will contest for the Prez elections,” he said more..

Video: Nawinne pledges support to Sajith

Sep 29 (AD) Former Minister S.B. Nawinne pledged his support to the UNP’s prez candidate Sajith Premadasa. The UNP MP, who had backed former Prez Rajapaksa’s camp during the country’s political crisis in October last year, attended a press conference with Minister Premadasa on Saturday. Nawinne stated that he although he did not leave the UNP he had withdrawn from party activities around 6-7 months back. However, the MP said that he believes that if Minister Sajith Premadasa is more..

UN sends back Lankan troops from Lebanon

Sep 29 (ST) UN Dept of Peace Operations is sending back to SL Army personnel who were deployed in UNIFIL — UN Forces in Lebanon — on completion of their term. This team is to be replaced by a contingent from the Indonesian Army, according to military sources in Colombo. As a result, the mission of a SL Army contingent that was headed for Lebanon for a turnaround of troops, is to be cancelled. Last week, in New York, UN spokesperson declared that 25% of troops more..

Sajith seeks cosultation with SLFP, as SLFP-SLPP talks falter

Sep 29 (ST) Sajith Premadasa, just named the UNP’s candidate for the Prez election, has sought a meeting with SLFP to discuss recent political developments. His request has been channelled to Dayasiri Jayasekera, General Secretary of SLFP, by Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, the UNP counterpart. It has been done after UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe gave him the approval for the meeting after he was informed of the request. more..

Sri Lanka supports Maldives re-entry to Commonwealth

Sep 29 (EN) Sri Lanka supports a proposal to re-admit Maldives to the British Commonwealth, the island’s top foreign ministry official has said speaking at a meeting of the organization’s external affairs ministers in New York. “..[I]t is gratifying that one of the primary initiatives embarked upon by the new Maldivian administration last year was to convey its intention to re-join the Commonwealth,” Ravinatha Aryasinha, Secretary to the ministry of foreign affairs was quoted more..

Video: SLFP to reach final decision on proposed alliance by Monday

Sep 29 (AD) SLFP leader President Maithripala Sirisena and SLPP leader Mahinda Rajapaksa held a final discussion regarding the forming of a new alliance. SLPP Prez Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa and SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa also participated in the meeting which was held at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo. Opposition Leader Mainda Rajapaksa arrived for the discussion after attending the farmers’ conference organized by the SLPP today. more..

Sajith supremely confident: Sirisena stranded, Ranil passes the ball

Sep 29 (ST) SL’s two top-most leaders were forced to climb down from the pinnacle of their positions in dramatic political developments this week. For PM and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, the overwhelming pressure from within the party by a vociferous group forced him to agree to Sajith Premadasa, as his party’s candidate for prez election. The long festering crisis first saw Wickremesinghe placing a set of conditions more..

Party leaders and Prez candidates: Twists & turns in Sri Lankan politics

Sep 29 (Island) The UNP made even heavier weather than the inter-monsoonal rains pouring on the island, before settling on Sajith Premadasa as the Party’s prez candidate. Yet, the party leadership managed to end all the drama over the last three weeks without blood or casualty. The highly assorted UNP Working Committee decided unanimously on multiple resolutions to: nominate Sajith Premadasa as presidential candidate; retain Ranil Wickremesinghe as party leader, more..

UN Summit on climate change and activist Greta Thunberg

Sep 29 (Island) In the clamour of our forthcoming prez elections & announcement of Party candidates, a very important world happening passed by almost unnoticed in this country. We were more preoccupied with who mooted the summoning of an emergency Cabinet meeting to abolish the executive presidency; what happens to the Solicitor General after the exposure of her conversation with THE person of the floating armoury. So it’s who said what & passing the ball from one court to another more..

Maritime dispute between Maldives and Mauritius: Special chamber to decide

Sep 29 (ST) SL’s south western neighbour, Maldives is locked in a dispute with Mauritius over each other’s maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean. This week, the two countries have submitted a special agreement and notification to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It is for the purpose of the delimitation of the maritime boundary. The Tribunal has appointed a special chamber to deal with the dispute. more..

Probe on Easter Sunday attacks: All probes and no action

Sep 29 (TM) Committees and commissions and commissions and committees have been multiplying at a fast pace in the past few years or so in Sri Lanka on various issues, with the latest appointed to probe the 21 April Easter Sunday terror attacks which has already seen two presidential investigation bodies and a parliamentary select committee investigating it. But what can we expect from these investigative bodies? more..

Palm oil industry hit

Sep 29 (TM) With the Govt imposing a ban on regional plantation companies (RPC) on cultivating oil palm seeds for over 11 months, the companies are predicted to incur a loss of Rs. 400 million. According to the RPCs, oil palm plants are currently sitting in nurseries and any delay in planting these before the northeast monsoon rains commence would mean that the entire value of the plants will have to be written off. more..

Cold war still on between PM, Sajith

Sep 29 (CT) The cold war between the UNP Leader, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Deputy Leader, Minister Sajith Premadasa, still prevails even though the latter was named the Presidential candidate on Thursday (26). Friction between the two has escalated as several conditions had been put forward, by the faction supporting the PM to Premadasa, in order for the latter to be the Party's Presidential candidate. more..

Govt to take responsibility for Habarana elephant deaths: Minister

Sep 29 (DM) The Govt will take responsibility for the deaths of seven female elephants, those died in the Hiriwadunna Thunbakulam Reserve in Habarana, State Minister of Wildlife Ranjith Aluvihare said. Officers attached to the Department had recovered carcasses of four wild elephants on Friday, while three more female elephants were found dead yesterday. Minister went on an inspection tour in the Habarana Hiriwadunna more..

Karannagoda uncooperative with investigations: CID

Sep 29 (SO) Investigators of the CID probing into the Navy abduction for ransom case relating to 11 missing youth told the Fort Magistrate’s Court this week that it has reasons to believe that Former Navy Commander, Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda was willfully being uncooperative with the investigations being conducted. In the B-report submitted to courts this week, the CID noted that it had sought to more..

Gota’s citizenship challenged in Court of Appeal

Sep 29 (SO) A writ challenging the validity of SLPP presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Sri Lankan citizenship was filed in the Court of Appeal last Friday (27). Details of the litigation are yet to fully emerge, but it apparently raises questions about whether Sri Lankan citizenship was ever lawfully conferred on the former Defence Secretary who is tipped to be one of the main contenders in the Nov 16 presidential election, more..

Deshapriya confident all TU issues will be sorted out before nominations

Sep 29 (Island) Chairman of the Election Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya expressed confidence that all trade union issues will be sorted out before nominations for the presidential polls are called on Oct 7. Deshapriya was responding to a question raised by the audience after he delivered the Thusitha Samarasekera Memorial Lecture at the Lakshman Kadiragamar Center on Thursday. more..

CBSL order to hurt bank profitability

Sep 29 (TM) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) recent order to banks to bring down their interest rates on loans and advances will reduce the banking industry’s net interest margins (NIMs) and hurt their profitability, according to analysts and industry professionals. On 24 Sept, the CBSL ordered licensed commercial banks (LCB) to reduce interest rates on all loans and advances by at least 200 basis points by 15 Oct 2019, more..

Rs 40M in losses as rail strike continues

Sep 29 (CT) The Railway authorities were yesterday, gearing up to combat planned sabotage by trade union activists as the Department incurred around Rs 40 million in losses owing to the ongoing train strike. "We have reports to suggest that certain trade union elements, with a political agenda, are planning to sabotage at several levels and therefore, we are taking steps to combat such moves," General Manager, SL Railways more..

On rude political satires and the (possible) upending of an old order

Sep 29 (ST) Two manifestly glorious ironies occurred this week. A former President cautioned against a return to what he termed the Premadasa era and a former Chief Justice lamented that, during the yahapalanaya years, the independence of the Sri Lankan judiciary had been lost. Strange logic and stranger contradictions These claims may have been dismissed with nary a scornful sniff if it was not for the stunningly hypocritical context in which they were made. more..

Make or break the law: Dilrukshi’s indiscretion

Sep 30 (ST) If the ex-Bribery Commissioner, presently Lanka’s Solicitor General, Dilrukshi Dias Wickremesinghe, who was interdicted overnight by the Public Services Commission this Monday over a secretly recorded conversation with Avante Garde Chairman Senadhipathi which exposed her shocking lack of professional conduct and ethics, is still bent on maintaining her top post as the nation’s No2 Law Marshal in the belief that, if she resigns now, she will be unable to clear her name; more..

'TNA’s support will be conditional'

Sep 29 (TM) TNA stalwart MP Eswarapatham Saravanapavan admitted that the minorities would have no choice but to support United National Front (UNF) candidate Sajith Premadasa if SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa was to be defeated at the upcoming presidential election. Q: How do you see Sajith Premadasa as the UNP prez candidate? A: I think they have chosen the right candidate. more..

All set for two-horse race

Sep 30 (TM) With less than two weeks to go for nomination day, the disunited UNP managed to show a united face at least superficially and nominate Party’s Dy Leader Sajith Premadasa as its prez nominee. No doubt the manner in which the UNP hierarchy closed ranks and agreed on Premadasa at the eleventh hour with little or no fuss has raised more than a few eyebrows as to whether the whole thing was a well orchestrated drama by bigwigs at Sirikotha to hog media limelight. more..

Battle lines drawn political posturing begins

Sep 30 (TM) The last week brought with it a tectonic shift in the political calculus of the upcoming prez election. On Thursday, a fever-pitched and months-long debate in the UNP culminated in the party lining up unanimously and unconditionally behind prez candidacy of Dy Leader Minister Sajith Premadasa. Premadasa, who began his push for the candidacy last month, was widely expected to be shunned by Party Leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who controls the all-powerful Working Committee more..

'Sajith backed by whole party'

Sep 30 (TM) UNP MP Mayantha Dissanayake asserted that Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was in no way pressured into nominating Dy Leader Minister Sajith Premadasa as Party’s prez candidate and assured that the entire Party supported the candidate. Q: There was much rejoicing when Sajith Premadasa was officially announced the UNP prez candidate, but is everyone on board? A: Entire Party is in a very joyful more..

Incident at Neeraviady Pillayar temple

Sep 29 (CT) Your Excellency, I write to you in regard to the incident that took place on 23rd Sept 2019 at the premises of the Neeraviyady Pillayar Temple at Chemmalai, Mullaitivu. The facts briefly are as follows, 1. The Neeraviyady Pillayar Temple at Chemmalai Mullaitivu is an ancient Hindu temple which has existed for several centuries. 2. The people living in this area are exclusively Tamil people mostly Hindus. 3. After the War a Buddhist Monk attempted to take possession and more..

May Tikiri Rest in Peace!

Sep 30 (Island) Don't use Tikiri’s carcass now again to whip up hate against Sri Lanka and to fulfill hidden agendas, which the Sri Lankan authorities are already aware of, or indeed if not, they will be made aware of. There is one-sided global reporting on Tikiri's death showing only the pictures of the emaciated Tikiri going in the Perahera and fallen in Kandy taken for a foreigner through a proxy on the 13th and 14th of August and passed on to the foreigner. more..

Satana: 2020 ජනපති කවුද ?

Sajith should realise Sri Lanka does not belong to the Sinhala-Buddhists

Sep 30 (CT) I am happy personally that Sajith Premadasa has been picked upon. He is young and had a liberal early education at Royal College. During his time the classes were divided linguistically unlike in our time where all communities were in the same class with one language binding us (English). But I am sure basically he has an attitude of Live and Let Live nurtured by Royal College Education and Buddhism and may be also his London School of Economics’ Education more..

Editorial: Left turns right?

Sep 30 (Island) Sri Lankan politics is not only topsy-turvy but also full of contradictions. As for its political parties, the UNP makes no bones about the fact that it is capitalist to the core. The SLFP claims to be a progressive political force with left leanings, but it has evolved in such a way that, at present, there is hardly any difference between it and the UNP, where their economic policies are concerned. The SLPP is similar to the SLFP, in most respects. Traditional left remains committed to socialism, more..

Liquor sticker return angers industry

Sep 30 (TM) As exclusively reported by The Sunday Morning Business on 25 Aug, owing to the threats of a closure of operations by local alcohol manufacturers, particularly the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL) and Lion Brewery, the two biggest hard liquor and beer manufacturers respectively, the Govt was forced to postpone the implementation of the law which was initially scheduled to come into effect from 22 Aug. more..

SAP & UNICEF partner to give young people job skills training to power future workforce

Sep 30 (Island) SAP SE and UNICEF announced a new global partnership to provide quality education, life skills and job skills training to young people in disadvantaged communities, preparing them for decent work and active citizenship. Announced at an event taking place at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the three-year partnership will bring together businesses, govts and nongovernmental organizations to build sustainable education models. more..

Country’s longest cycle race marks finish line in Dambulla

Sep 30 (Island) Sri Lanka’s longest cross-country cycle race organized by the Sri Lanka Telecom came to a successful end on Saturday (28) in Dambulla. The final day men race started from Trincomalee and travelled through Kantale, Habarana, Inamaluwa and marked the end point at Dambulla. The 5th Day winner was Jeewan Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka Air Force. The 1st runners-up was Pasindu Lakshan of Sri Lanka Navy. The 2nd runners-up was Madhushanka Fernando of SL Air Force. more..

Revenue loss of $60 million in 2019/20 at Srilankan Airlines

Sep 30 (ST) SriLankan Airlines, snowed under a mountain of debt, is estimated to end the current financial year – Apr 1, 2019 to Mar 31, 2020 – with a loss of US$60 million largely due to the hit the national carrier took in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings. “Since the April Easter Sunday attacks, our loss in the past five months – April to Aug 2019 – was $37 million due to lower load factors while we will end the year with more..

Hatch hosts Sri Lanka’s first international start-up accelerator Good Life X

Sep 30 (FT) Sri Lanka’s start-up culture is thriving at Hatch. Opened just over a year ago, Hatch’s seven-story colonial building in the heart of Colombo is weaving a unique culture and breath of fresh air to the entrepreneurial landscape of the country. A partnership with iAccelerate signed this month and the Good Life Accelerator (GLX) Program kicked off in August 2019 are the latest stories of the unique start-up culture nurtured at Hatch. iAccelerate and Hatch will assist each other’s start-ups with more..

Sri Lankan team pumped up for 2nd ODI

Sep 30 (CT) Lahiru Thirimanne will lead the new look SL side against the fancied Pakistan outfit in the second ODI for the Jubilee Insurance Cup at the National Stadium in Karachi beginning at 3.30 p.m. Lankan time today. After a complete washout without a single ball being bowled in the first ODI, weather in the last two days has been placid with lots of sunshine, which is conducive for a good game of cricket. Thirimanne's boys are well pumped up for this all important series, more..

Enter Major Chandimal

Sep 30 (ST) It is inconceivable that a batsman who has a First Class average of 45.80 and a Test average of 41.46 continues on the scrap-heap when some players whose averages don’t resemble his have been given the nod. The batsman in question is Dinesh Chandimal, a vital cog in the NCC wheel. Chandimal will long be remembered for two brilliant knocks. His 164 against India at New Delhi was full of audacious stroke play. more..

Mitch Parkinson dazzles at So Sri Lanka Pro QS3,000

Sep 30 (DN) Australia’s Mitch Parkinson (AUS) put on an outstanding performance to win the 2019 So Sri Lanka Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 event in clean three-to-four foot surf at Arugam Bay. In the biggest win of his career, Parkinson dominated every heat he surfed with an amazing display of aerial surfing. Gold Coast local Parkinson made it to the final with clutch performances all event, posting perfect and excellent scores in final minutes of his heats more..

Lankan women qualify for 2020 World Table Tennis Championship

Sep 30 (ST) SL women qualified for the 2020 World Table Tennis (TT) Championship to be held in March in Busan, Korea. The women paddlers were ranked 15 out of 24 countries at recent the Asian TT Championship in Yogyakartha, Indonesia. SL men’s team was ranked 23 from 33 countries, at the same tournament. Playing for the 13 to 18 positions, the SL women’s team lost 1-3 to Philippines. Isara Madurangi won one game and lost one. In the second game, SL defeated Mongolia 3-1 more..