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A family affair: SL's Rajapaksa dynasty

Nov 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka is set to have its first ever govt run by siblings when Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa appoints older brother Mahinda as PM, giving the powerful clan its second taste of power. Mahinda was prez for a decade until 2015, during which time the family controlled more than two thirds of the national budget. Gotabaya effectively ran the security forces. Many family members were appointed to key state more..

President on reformist path: Wimal

Nov 20 (DM) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is on a reformist path and has already taken a number of measures to change the system, Opposition MP Wimal Weerwansa said. MP said the Galle Road in front of the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo was closed for the ceremony of the Prez’s assumption of duties but it was reopened on the Prez’s instructions. “The President ordered to open the road and also to remove a fire truck which was blocking the road saying that there was no threat of fire. more..

Prosecute Good Governance miscreants: Monks

Nov 20 (CT) A section of the Buddhist clergy announced that they would demand that Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to strictly enforce the law against those Ministers and MPs of the Good Governance (Yahapalanaya) Govt who abused their political power to engage in acts of fraud, corruption and the like. They added that all those who engaged in such malpractices as fraud and corruption under the guise of Good Governance should be brought before justice and more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed his brother Mahinda as PM

Nov 20 (OI) SL's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa named his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM after incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation from the post following the election debacle. Mahinda, the current main opposition leader, will assume duties soon after incumbent Wickremesinghe steps down formally on Thursday. Mahinda was appointed the PM on Oct 26, 2018 by the then Prez more..

Tornado damages 17 homes in Galle

Nov 20 (RN) Some 17 houses were partially damaged after a small tornado hit Medakimbiya area in Wanduramba, Galle, last afternoon (19), Galle District Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. DMC Galle District Assistant Director said that a total of 74 people from 20 families have been affected by the situation. The tornado has caused damages to several agricultural lands and has also uprooted trees in the area. DMC is taking steps to pay compensation to the victims. more..

Prison dept. denies social media report

Nov 20 (DM) Prisons Department today categorically denied the post which was circulating in social media platform claiming that former Army Staff Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake who was sentenced to death was granted Presidential pardon, a senior official of the Prisons Department said. The former Staff Sergeant attached to SL Army who was found guilty for the murder of eight Tamil civilians in Mirusuvil, Jaffna in 2000 was sentenced to death on June 25 by Colombo HC after a 13-year-trial. more..

More discoveries, more threats for Sri Lanka’s dragonflies and damselflies

Nov 20 (MB) In late October, swarms of dragonflies began darkening the skies along Sri Lanka’s western coast, sparking speculation about a possible dragonfly movement. Among the most charismatic of insects, dragonflies and damselflies, from the same Odonata order of insects, are a sight to behold, whether static or in motion. The end of the northern hemisphere summer brings countless birds and insects through this biodiverse island more..

Indian External Affairs Minister calls on Opposition Leader

Nov 20 (AD) Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar has paid a courtesy visit to Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. The meeting took place last evening at the official residence of the Opposition Leader. Opposition Leader said they had discussed strengthening the already existing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and India, at length. It was reported that the chairman of SLPP, Prof. G.L. Peiris and MP Namal Rajapaksa were also present at this cordial meeting. more..

Power failure causes 12-hour water cut

Nov 20 (AD) The water supply to several areas was interrupted due to a sudden disruption of power supply to the Biyagama Water Purification Plant, stated the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB). Therefore, several areas have experienced water cut for 12 hours from 9 am this morning. Accordingly, Peliyagoda, Wattala, Mabola Ja-Ela, Katunayake, and Seeduwa Municipal Council areas and Kelaniya, Wattala, Biyagama, Mahara, Dompe, and Ja-Ela PS areas more..

Video: Sajith blamed for govt’s shortcomings: Harin

Nov 20 (AD) The blame for the shortcomings of the govt were laid on Sajith Premadasa, says UNP MP Harin Fernando. Speaking further, MP Fernando said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is attempting to go on a different political journey and it is a good sign. He also stated that Sajith Premadasa is scheduled to hold a special media briefing tomorrow. Premadasa expects to meet media persons and the public more..

Youth held with 52kgs of explosives in Mullaitivu

Nov 20 (NR) An individual has been arrested for being in possession of 52 kilograms of explosives without a valid permit in Puthukudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu. The 21-year old suspect will be produced before the Mullaitivu Magistrates Court today. The suspect has reportedly amassed the stock by collecting explosive materials found in discarded grenades and others weapons in the North. Police said the seized stock will be presented to the Govt Analyst in order to identify the explosives. more..

An individual in pursuit of a porcupine found dead in a burrow

Nov 20 (DM) Police said that the body of an individual who got stuck in a burrow while in pursuit of a porcupine at Kossinna in Ganemulla was taken out with much effort. The deceased, Ajith Warnakulasooriya is a 36-year-old resident of Kadawatha. The deceased, a worker at a site in Kossinna, had gone in pursuit of a porcupine with two other workers while they were walking along the road last night. The workers informed the owner of the site after it was revealed that more..

Video: Prime Minister steps down

Nov 20 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to step down from his position as the PM of Sri Lanka a short while ago. Reportedly, Premier Wickremesinghe will inform the President in writing regarding the decision. The decision has, reportedly, been taken in order to facilitate newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to form his own govt. Earlier today, Minister Lakshman Kiriella stated more..

Annual career fair Are you ready? 2019

Nov 20 (AD) John Keells Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest conglomerate, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Moratuwa on the 23rd of August, as the Platinum Sponsor of the University’s annual career fair Are you ready? 2019. Staying true to its core values, the Group collaborated with the University with the aim of enriching the country’s youth with employability skills that are essential to be successfully employed within the corporate world. more..

Business Chamber pledges support to new President to uplift the economy

Nov 20 (Island) Business Chamber of Commerce in a congratulatory message to newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assured him all their support in his endeavor to take the country to an era of economic growth. In their message headlined Hopeful of an Economic Upturn, the BCC states: The Business Chamber of Commerce offers the newly elected President of SL, Gotabaya Rajapaksa its sincere congratulations and good wishes. We wish to also express our faith more..

Tissa Attanayake

Best if UNP Splits

Nov 20 (CT) A hallmark of leadership is that the leader takes the blame for the defeat of his team, leading to his resignation. This has to be especially marked in politics, to ensure the sustenance of a political party. A political leader, who takes responsibility for his party's defeat by resigning, enables his party to start anew. The UNP, a key political party in the country, in its 73-year history has had eight leaders. They were D.S. Senanayake, his son Dudley, Sir John Kotelawala, more..

New cabinet of ministers: How to make?

Nov 20 (FT) A new cabinet of ministers being appointed after the Prez Election is inevitable. It is not only fair but also constitutional. However, it must be done intelligently and with understanding. Otherwise, the citizens’ decision on 16 Nov could be devalued. There are two main phases when appointing the cabinet. Firstly, different ministries must be scientifically identified. Secondly, process by which the ministers are appointed to those institutions must be scientifically designed. more..

'Sajith to leave politics until UNP changes’

Nov 20 (NR) MP Harin Fernando says Minister Sajith Premadasa has decided to distance himself from politics until several changes occur within the UNP. Speaking at a media briefing today MP Fernando said they would not allow the mandate that Minister Sajith Premadasa obtained from the public to be destroyed. MP Harin Fernando added that the time is right for new ideas and reformation to be initiated within the UNP. more..

'Ministers set bad example by resigning'

Nov 20 (AD) Leader of the TPA Mano Ganesan says that he will not support the dissolution of Parliament before the deadline. Minister said that the governing power should be handed over to the elected President’s party, respecting people’s mandate. Several decisions have arrived at on the matter so far, he said. However, the issue regarding the leadership of the UNP is an internal matter, he said. more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa tells pro-LTTE parties to talk sense or shut up

Nov 20 (DC) Within hours of Gotabaya Rajapaksa got sworn in as the President of Sri Lanka, the Rajapaksas have got down to serious business in dealing with Big Brother up north by telling the pro-LTTE parties in Tamil Nadu to talk sense or just shut up. While these TN parties termed as unfortunate the election of Gotabaya as President-some of them even said it would be dangerous for the Tamils in the northern more..

Lasith Malinga shelves retirement plan, to continue for 2 years

Nov 20 (CI) Lasith Malinga has his sights set on captaining his country at the T20 World Cup in Australia next year, and possibly beyond, firm in the belief that his body has two more years of cricket left in the tank. It is somewhat of a change in tune from the 36-year-old, who previously stated that he would retire after next year's tournament. Malinga, who stepped into the role for a second time when Sri Lanka left more..

SLPP considering interim govt if PM steps down

Nov 20 (DM) SLPP and its alliance partners are reportedly considering an interim govt to be formed under Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa should PM Ranil Wickremesinghe step down from office. The political alliance which backed Prez Rajapaksa are said to be considering such a move on the basis that the dissolution of parliament on a resolution with a two-thirds majority looks impossible because several UNP MPs are opposed to more..

Creating the right policies for entrepreneurs to thrive

Nov 20 (FT) To identify the role of Govt in supporting entrepreneurship, council members of the Global Entrepreneurship Network Sri Lanka chapter engaged in a roundtable discussion, marking Global Entrepreneurship Week 2019. Daily FT recap their thoughts on where Govt must get in to support the way and where Govt must get out of the way, to take Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurship ecosystem to greater heights: more..

Attygalle assumes duties as Treasury Secy.

Nov 20 (RN) Sajith Attygalle, a Deputy Governor at central bank who is also veteran at the finance ministry has assumed duties as Secretary to the Treasury. He has been a Deputy Treasury Secretary for more than a decade. Attygalle holds a MSc in Quantitative Development Economics from the University of Warwick, UK and a BSc Degree in Physical Science from the University of Colombo. more..

Video: Price of bread hiked from midnight

Nov 20 (AD) It has been decided to temporarily hike the price of a 450 g loaf of bread by Rs 5 from midnight today, stated the Chairman of All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association N.K. Jayawardena. The decision has been taken reluctantly as bakery owners are in a difficult position due to the increase in wheat flour prices. However, the price hike will be only for bread and other wheat flour prices will not be affected by price hike, more..

New Defence Secretary takes office

Nov 20 (AD) Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne today assumed duties as the new Secretary to the Defence Ministry. He ceremoniously took office at the Ministry at 09.15 am this morning in the presence of Chief of Defence Staff, Tri-Service Commanders, acting IGP, Director General Civil Defence Force and a representative gathering of all Defence Ministry establishments. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday appointed more..

The rights and wrongs of Sirisena presidency

Nov 20 (ST) Swearing in ceremonies of presidents are stately occasions. J.R. Jayewardene had his at Galle Face amidst much pomp and pageantry and Ranasinghe Premadasa’s was at the Paththirippuwa at the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. Both Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa were sworn in at the Presidential Secretariat in elaborate events that ran with clockwork precision. more..

Toxic sludge opens after election

Nov 20 (DM) The election is over; done with. At least for the time being that is. In the run-up to the election, so much attention was paid on the threat posed by fake news and disinformation. Even within these columns, I have written, on several occasions, on the threat and fact-checking measures. A positive impact was that the attention, national and international, organically created a set of amateur fact-checkers and also imbued a cautionary attitude among others. more..

Tolerance is not indulgence but a commitment to unity in diversity

Nov 20 (DM) With the resounding victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the presidential election conducted on Nov 16, much attention is now focused on what will happen or what should happen in Parliament. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s office in a statement says it has been holding consultations with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and other party political leaders about what course of action should be taken. According to the Speaker’s statement, more..

PM resigns today; President to appoint 15 member Cabinet

Nov 20 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will step down today making the way for Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to appoint a new Cabinet. PM called on Prez Rajapaksa yesterday and discussed it. He will have a special Cabinet meeting at 4 p.m. today. Afterwards, he will make a public statement announcing his resignation from office. Later, Prez is slated to appoint a small Cabinet to govern country for a brief period more..

Madduma Bandara opposes dissolution of Parliament

Nov 20 (DM) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara, known to be a Sajith Premadasa loyalist was critical of a move by the UNP to support a resolution to dissolve Parliament saying the govt should step down as soon as possible to pave the way for Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to form a new administration. He said a snap general election would be advantageous only to the SLPP. He said only the deal makers in his party were interested in getting Parliament dissolved at this time. more..

Oshada Senanayake to be new TRC Chief

Nov 20 (FT) Entrepreneur and business and technology specialist Oshada Senanayake is to be appointed as the Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRCSL). His LinkedIn profile says Senanayake is a visionary business and information technology professional with over 15+ years of experience in corporate management, strategy implementation, business analysis, process optimisation, software development and delivery management with exposure in working more..

To go or not to go: Ranil ’s dilemma

Nov 20 (FT) Speculation was rife last night that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will step down today, along with members of the Cabinet, to pave the way for Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to make new appointments, whilst others claimed the former will hold on for a little longer. Sources in the PM’s Office said that he will hold several discussions today, including with ruling party MPs, before stepping down. more..

Imran Khan congratulates President, invites him to visit Pakistan

Nov 20 (PT) Pakistan PM Imran Khan extended a cordial invitation to Gotabaya Rajapaksa – the newly-elected President of Sri Lanka – to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience, which the latter duly accepted on Tuesday. The premier telephoned Rajapaksa to felicitate him on his election as the 7th President of SL, according to an official statement issued in Islamabad. The election win reflected the trust reposed by the Sri Lankan people in the leadership and vision of Prez Rajapaksa, more..

Chopper rides to Anuradhapura: Air Force says they were paid for

Nov 20 (Island) Airforce headquarters said that helicopters and fixed wing aircraft had been deployed on Monday (18) on commercial terms to airlift guests for president elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s oaths taking ceremony at the Ruwanweliseya, Anuradhapura. The passengers included Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family. The Air Force said that the full payment had been made for the deployment of the chopper. The Island raised the issue with Air Force more..

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