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SLPP ready with evidence to expel Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe from party

Jun 23 (ST) The SLPP wants to expel Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe from party membership. The move will see him lose his parliamentary seat. However, it is the Prez who will have to determine whether he can remain a cabinet minister. Here again, to continue as one, being a MP, either elected or appointed, is a requirement. The matter will come up for discussion when the SLPP’s All Island Working Committee meets tomorrow. more..

Regulator refuses approval for Adani wind power project

Jun 23 (ST) Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) has refused approval to award procurement of the 484 MW wind power plant in Mannar and Pooneryn to Adani Green Energy SL (AGESL), saying the information submitted to it by the CEB was not adequate to assess least cost and technical compatibility. A letter from the power sector regulator to the CEB’s Acting General Manager, shows that even basic information—such as the full draft power purchase agreement (PPA) more..

People smuggling: Long jail terms and fines for offenders

Jun 23 (ST) Any person found guilty of having engaged in human smuggling faces prison terms ranging from five to ten years and a fine of up to two million rupees under a new Immigration Bill gazetted by the govt. The bill imposes tough penalties for those smuggling people, both into and from Sri Lanka. Penalties apply to those who smuggle non-citizens into SL for financial or material gain, those who knowingly harbour, conceal, or transport any person who has been brought to SL illegally, more..

UK ban on LTTE stays; pro-Eelam group’s appeal fails

Jun 23 (ST) UK Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission on Friday rejected an appeal by the TGTE (Transitional Govt of Tamil Eelam) to lift the proscription on the LTTE in Britain as a terrorist organisation. Commission gave its ruling on Friday in an appeal by Arumugam and Others vs. the Secretary of State for the Home Department. TGTE argued it is not proscribed in the UK as it seeks to pursue its political and more..

'Sri Lanka mulls CEPA with the UK'

Jun 23 (SO) Sri Lanka has initiated the process of entering into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UK, High Commissioner of SL to the UK Rohitha Bogollagama said on the sidelines of the Sourced – Sri Lanka apparel roadshow at the Royal Horticulture Hall, London on Wednesday. He said that this will be similar to the UK trade agreement with Kenya. The UK is the first country outside of Africa to enter into a trade agreement with Kenya, more..

NPP lawyers mull Contempt of Court case

Jun 23 (CT) The lawyers representing the National People’s Power (NPP) are considering the possibility of filing a Contempt of Court case against Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe over his recent statement regarding the Supreme Court verdict on the Gender Equality Bill. Attorney Sunil Watagala stated that in addition to the President’s attempt to criticise the SC’s decision in Parliament under the cover of parliamentary privilege, he expressed similar sentiments at an external event. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Large percentage of allocated funds unutilised: COPA

Jun 23 (CT) The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) highlighted that a staggering percentage of allocated funds for the development of a digital data bank that will allow institutions such as the Dept of Labour and the Central Bank to jointly access information on EPF and ETF payments, remained unutilised over the past three years. Over 84% of the funds allocated in 2021, 53% allocated in 2022 and 91% allocated in 2023 for the development of a digital data bank weren’t utilised, more..

Sri Lanka again rejects UN evidence mechanism, citing globallegal impact

Jun 23 (DM) Sri Lanka has once again declined to accept the external evidence-gathering mechanism established by UNHRC resolutions 46/1 and 51/1, emphasizing significant legal and political implications for all nations involved. “It is unhelpful and only serves to divide and further polarize communities in SL, with no tangible benefits. It also prejudges the commitment of domestic legal processes. It is a drain on scarce resources of member states,” Permanent Representative more..

Petroleum market liberalisation: Ministry questions Shell’s role in RM Parks’ entry

Jun 23 (TM) Power and Energy Ministry has sought clarification from RM Parks, a US-based company entering the nation’s fuel market, to reveal the nature of the involvement of Shell PLC, a British multinational oil and gas company hq in London, UK. An inside source attached to the ministry alleged last week that RM Parks’ misleading use of the Shell brand to secure a contract, despite Shell’s lack of direct involvement in the imports, had resulted more..

Prez to resend AG extension proposal to CC

Jun 23 (CT) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe will resend his recommendation, to extend Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam’s term of office, by another six months, a senior official at the President’s Office confirmed. The Prez is planning to do this, as per powers entrusted to him by the Constitution, the official clarified. The Constitutional Council (CC), on Tuesday (18), rejected Prez Wickremesinghe’s recommendation to extend Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam’s term of office. more..

SL to declare end to bankruptcy next week

Jun 23 (ST) Sri Lanka is to declare end to bankruptcy next week following an agreement reached with bilateral creditors and private bond holders on external debt restructuring at the end of second round of talks with them, highly informed official sources confirmed. The govt will sign a MoU with the official creditor committee of the Paris Club of Nations and an agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China and Ad Hoc Private Bondholder’s group will be reached on Wednesday (26), more..

වීරයෝ හමුවෙති

Cricket selectors pressured to pick youngsters, ditch elders

Jun 23 (TM) Following Sri Lanka’s dismal performance in the ninth ICC Men’s T20 World Cup where they were ousted in the very first round, the national cricket selectors headed by Upul Tharanga are now being pressured by various parties to infuse young blood into the side. That too whilst dropping veterans such as Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka, Maheesh Theekshana, et al. “For the next limited-over home series [against India, more..

Sri Lanka’s ICC T20 exit: A purge the panacea for all ills

Jun 23 (TM) Amidst the fallout from the SL team’s ignominious exit from the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the country’s cricketing public are waiting with bated breath to see whether the game’s keepers will purge the shorter format teams along with the managements to signal the dawn of a new era. SL are currently ranked seventh in Tests and ODIs respectively, while being placed eighth in T20 cricket, as they strive hard to ward off a fierce social media backlash over their limp showing more..

Medical brain drain worsens in Sri Lanka as 25% of doctors ready to migrate

Jun 23 (AN) The biggest trade union of government doctors in Sri Lanka warned on Friday about a wave of economic crisis-driven brain drain among medical professionals, as 25% of them have already taken the necessary exams to find employment abroad. Before the worst economic crisis pummeled Sri Lanka in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, on average 200 doctors would migrate to work in another more..

Comments by President, Justice Minister, intimidates judiciary: Lawyers collective

Jun 23 (EN) A recent statement by Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe over a Supreme Court decision against a planned gender equality law and comments by Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakse also in parliament amounts to intimidation of the judiciary, a lawyer’s grouping has said. “The Prez, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education are representatives of the entire Executive,” SL’s Lawyers Collective said. “Prez also exercises a critically important Constitutional power more..

SLC President breaks silence on team’s T20 World Cup decisions

Jun 23 (DM) SLC President Shammi Silva expressed his disappointment over the decisions made by the SL team during the T20 World Cup, following their early exit from the tournament held in the United States. “Our team didn’t qualify for the Super Eight, but we have provided them with facilities that match those of the best teams in the world,” he said. Silva at an event in Colombo addressed the severe criticisms directed at the team and Cricket Board after the team failed to more..

Cardinal clarifies financial support to Easter attack victims; ready to provide verification

Jun 23 (AD) The Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith states that he has all the documents on how the funds received for victims of Easter Sunday terror attack was spent. Responding to the allegations levelled by former Prez Maithripala Sirisena, Cardinal Ranjith emphasized that the statement made by the former Prez regarding the relevant funds is completely baseless. “Statement made by former Prez Sirisena more..

President Ranil awards freehold land deeds in Batticaloa

Jun 23 (PMD) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that his primary focus is on providing rights to the people of the country. He made this statement during a ceremony held today (22) at the Batticaloa District Secretariat, where Urumaya freehold land deeds were awarded to 192 families across 14 DS divisions in the Batticaloa district, as part of govt’s initiative to distribute 2 million freehold land deeds. 27,595 landless families in Batticaloa district are to receive freehold deeds, more..

Water Board makes profits, tax-payers inject Rs. 28 billion

Jun 23 (EN) National Water Supply and Drainage Board has made a profit of 5.2 billion rupees in the year to Dec 2023, after a tariff increase despite not getting money for 25% of its water it pumps out. Total revenues went up to 61.8 billion rupees in 2023 from 35.4 billion rupees. Water revenue surged to 58.5 billion rupees from 33.1 billion rupees, cost of sales also went up to 32.8 billion rupees from 23.14 billion rupees, helping boost gross profits from 12.3 billion rupees to 29.0 billion rupees. more..

S.M. Marikkar and Nalinda Jayatissa

Sri Lanka will expedite Indian projects: Prez

Jun 23 (EN) Sri Lanka will expedite Indian-backed projects in the island, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe told Indian business people after a visit by Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar this week. “I discussed with PM Modi the need to accelerate the joint program that we have decided, agreed on. So the major ones are identified, and Foreign Minister Jaishankar came down today [20] to have a discussion. Now this will show the new path we are taking,” Prez Wickremesinghe said. more..

Pillayan to also back Ranil at Prez Poll

Jun 23 (AD) Leader of the TMVP, State Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan has stated that both he and his party will support Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe during the upcoming Presidential Election. Prez has held a discussion with Pillayan and his party members this evening (22) at their party’s headquarters in the Batticaloa area. During the meeting, the former LTTE paramilitary leader turned politician has assured that he and his party will support more..

A common Tamil candidate: Jaishankar tells Tamil parties he has nothing to say

Jun 23 (ST) Compulsions at home prompted India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to keep to a tight schedule during his day-long visit to Sri Lanka last Thursday. His schedule allowed only 30 minutes for a meeting at the India House with representatives of Tamil political parties. TNA leader Rajavarothiyam Sampanthan had to seek medical attention and was unable to attend. Shanakiyan Rasamanickam more..

A campaign that promised much but delivered so little

Jun 23 (Island) Since winning the ICC T-20 World Cup in 2014, SL had blown hot and cold in ICC events over the last ten years. But heading into this year’s T-20 showdown in WI and US, there was lot of hope. But it was all back to square one after a first round exit not able to make it to the Super Eight stage. Along with Sri Lanka, former champions Pakistan and title contenders NZ were thrown out of the competition as Bangladesh, US and Afghanistan progressed to the second round instead. more..

Stagnant cricket holed up in Colombo’s boardrooms

Jun 23 (SO) A can of worms has been opened following the SL cricket team’s ouster from the T20 World Cup with a revelation that what is being touted as the nation’s top sporting passion has not being able to progress 40 miles north of Colombo while its keepers race about in the latest model cars. In the aftermath of the team’s early exit from one of its worst showings at a World Cup in recent years, the lid has now been blown open by none other than the beleaguered Sports Minister Harin Fernando more..

මී මැස්සාගේ කොළම

Editorial: Judicial cannibalism

Jun 23 (Island) Deliberately or otherwise, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing parliament last week, used two loaded word, judicial cannibalism, to describe the supreme court determination on the proposed Gender Equality Bill. Given his wide experience both in executive and parliamentary affairs, he could not have been unaware of the likely, nay inevitable, outcome of his words setting the cat among the canaries. Predictably, a twin outcome ensued with the Bar Association expressing more..

UNHRC ventures into human rights economy

Jun 23 (ST) Last Wednesday was a busy day at the UNHRC in Geneva. SL was not on the agenda but figured anyway, seemingly in passing and in a significant new framework. Separately, yet another report on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories was released the same day. This time the UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s reference to SL was not in the familiar tune of accountability, reconciliation and disappearances, but in a new framework of human rights economy. more..

Renewable energy: Double standards in prices create chaos

Jun 23 (TM) SL’s Renewable Energy (RE) sector is teetering on the brink of chaos as investors scramble for prices that match the exorbitant figures of the 480 MW Adani wind power project in Mannar and Pooneryn. Experts are sounding the alarm, claiming that the Govt’s flawed approach has plunged the sector into volatility. They are calling for an immediate halt to price negotiations in favour of competitive bidding, accusing authorities of more..

The last frontier

Jun 23 (TM) With barely 25 days to go for the Election Commission to be empowered to announce the much-anticipated Prez Election 2024, it appears that time is running out for those harbouring alternate plans, and, therefore, attempt after attempt – some subtle and some blatantly obvious – are being made to stall that process. What is cause for concern is that these attempts appear to be emanating from the highest branches of Govt, seemingly intoxicated by unbridled power more..

NPP: A reformed & mature political movement – Part II

Jun 23 (CT) PART I of this article delved into the historical perspective of the JVP, tracing its path from violence in 1971 and 1988/1989 to its political evolution to the parliamentary democracy in 1994. Following the above and gradually increasing the number of seats in the parliament, JVP emerged as the main opposition party with 34 parliamentary seats. This was a significant turning point for the JVP, marking its transition towards the expectation of the masses. more..

RW and Co. plan campaign from 27th after end of bankruptcy announcement as...

Jun 23 (TM) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Govt seem to be in preparation mode for celebrations, with the anticipation of the announcement of the finalising of the country’s debt restructuring programme with bilateral creditors expected on Wednesday. The official announcement of the finalisation of the debt restructuring programme with the members of the OCC of the Paris Club and the Chinese creditors is more..

A motley crew

Jun 23 (ST) My dear Wimal and Udaya, I thought I will write to you together, after seeing you launch yet another political alliance last week. After all, you have always been seen and heard together, like Bhathiya and Santhush, Mahela and Sanga or even Harin and Manusha. I am not sure who among you are the better entertainers. You launched an outfit called the Sarva Jana Balaya at Nugegoda, claiming you are the rightful heirs of the so-called 69 lakhs. I am not sure whether you are aware, more..

New security challenges

Jun 23 (SO) There has been a lot of debate in recent times over the size of Sri Lanka’s military, which was expanded to fight a war with one of the world’s most ruthless terrorist groups. Having achieved that objective over 15 years ago, Sri Lanka’s Security Forces now find themselves in peacetime, in a world that is somewhat, if not vastly, different from that of 2009. Our defence budget is still very high partly because we are having an expanded military and partly because more..

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