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Archives

President defends FCID even though SLFP ministers call for its disbanding

Feb 7 (ST) Last Saturday’s arrest of Lieutenant Yoshitha, second son of former President Rajapaksa, continues to reverberate in many quarters. One such instance is the weekly ministerial meeting on Wednesday. Ministers representing the UNP were livid that one of their SLFP colleagues had, wanted the FCID, which made the arrest, disbanded. The previous day, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said what he more..

Mobile phone found in Yoshitha’s possession

Feb 7 (SL) A mobile phone was found in the possession of Yoshitha Rajapaksa at the Welikada Remand Prison. Mobile phone fell from his pocket when he was returning to his cell after he met his father, former President Rajapaksa at the remand prison. However, prison sources said that no action was taken by the officers who accompanied Yoshitha to his cell when the mobile phone fell out. A senior prison official however said he was not aware of such an incident taking place. more..

Eknaligoda’s disappearance: Four more arrests imminent

Feb 7 (SO) The CID investigating journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda’s disappearance, is set to arrest four more Army intelligence personnel connected to the incident in the coming days. Already six people of the Army intelligence unit have been arrested and four others will be arrested based on the analysis of mobile phone data used in the incident. CID has gathered evidence against Army intelligence personnel to charge them with illegal abduction, detention and disappearance of more..

Geneva issue: Govt earmarks 11-member Task Force

Feb 7 (ST) An eleven-member Consultation Task Force will enforce provisions of the US-backed resolution which was jointly sponsored by Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva last year. Its work will be carried out with the help of a UN expert who will arrive in Colombo next week. He is Pablo de Greiff, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. more..

Constitutional Reform Committee sittings: Where are the youth?

Feb 7 (SO) Over 1,500 proposals have been submitted to the Public Representation Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PRCCR), Chairman, Lal Wijenayake said. This was the total number submitted as far as written submissions via mail, email, fax, social media, personally handed over to Secretariat and at public sittings in four districts in 12 days. “There was a lack of youth representation at all the sittings. Committee would like to see an increased participation of youth,” more..

UK High Commission clarifies removal of Defence Attache

Feb 7 (SO) The withdrawal of the Defence Attache position from the High Commission of UK in Colombo was due to the review of the UK govt's defence adviser network in its diplomatic missions, UK High Commission in Colombo says in a statement clarifying the interview with High Commissioner James Dauris published in the Sunday Observer last week. High Commission statement says that in the interview, headlined Great expectations, High Commissioner Dauris more..

New CSN scam unveiled

Feb 7 (SO) A senior public official in the ports sector, under the previous govt is under investigation for a massive tax fraud, involving Carlton Sports Network (CSN) channel, police sources said. CSN reportedly bought television equipment worth Ł 14,0000 from Arena Television in Reddhill, Surrey. The value of the state-of-the art television equipment is Rs 30 million. However, when paying Customs duty, more..

SL’s Independence Day celebrated in London

Feb 7 (Island) Sri Lankan High Commission in London marked the country’s 68th anniversary of Independence at a solemn event attended by a large number of Sri Lankans belonging to all communities — Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers - representing the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society in Sri Lanka, along with many friends and well-wishers in the UK. The program started with the hoisting of the National Flag by Acting High Commissioner Sugeeshwara Gunaratna more..

Golden opportunity for Himasha and Rumeshika

Feb 7 (Island) Olympians Indrajith Cooray and Manjula Kumara, sprinter Himasha Eshan and men’s 4x100 metres relay team are the favourites for gold medals in the men’s category, while long jumper N.C.D. Priyadharshani, triple jumper Vidusha Lakshani and sprinter Rumeshika Ratnayake are the closest to golds when the Athletics Championship of the on going South Asian Games commences in two days time. According to reports from India, some of the leading Indian athletes had skipped more..

Gota slams British hypocricy on Julian Assange

Feb 7 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that the UK’s outright rejection of the UN ruling that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange be allowed to go free highlighted again British double standards vis-a-vis Sri Lanka. "Obviously, the British do not practice what they preach to us here as well as other international forums regularly," Rajapaksa sarcastically said. Referring to recent statements made in more..

Basil, Namal next in line

Feb 7 (SL) Former minister Basil Rajapaksa and MP Namal Rajapaksa are next in line to be arrested from the Rajapaksa family following the recent arrest of Yoshitha Rajapaksa. Both Basil Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa are expected to be arrested over the alleged misuse of public funds. The internal air travel fare of former minister Basil Rajapaksa and MP Namal Rajapaksa has reportedly cost Rs. 150 million. According to information received, there is a high probability that Basil Rajapaksa and more..

Estate workers see red over bogus rice

Feb 7 (ST) Upcountry estate workers are being enticed by traders to buy glossy polished red rice unaware that they are buying rice dyed red that is unfit for consumption. They are being cheated into paying more for this rice: normal red rice sells at Rs. 65 a kilo but they pay Rs. 70 for the so-called polished rice. “When we wash the rice at home the water turns red and our hands become stained,” Ganamoorthy Kandasamy, a Hatton resident, said. His experience is shared by several others more..

Memorable day for Abeysinghe

Feb 7 (Hindu) Under-rated Sri Lankans sprung a few surprises on their fancied Indian rivals on the opening day of the swimming competitions of 12th South Asian Games at Dr. Zakir Hussain pool here on Saturday. Of the eight gold medals decided during the final session, India finished with four. However, the confidence expressed by the home camp that it would win a lion’s share of the titles stood more..

Yoshitha’s arrest, not unfair: Duminda D.

Feb 7 (SO) Minister Duminda Dissanayake said those who had no idea about the law were saying the arrest of Yoshitha Rajapaksa was a gross injustice but the issue of Carlton Sports Network (CSN) was discussed since Jan 8 last year. ”There was a complaint that there was fraud and malpractices at CSN and we being investigated at present. Earlier, we hailed CSN as being owned by the Rajapaksa family and were happy that MP Namal Rajapaksa and his brother Yoshitha more..

Sri Lankans leave for India after T20 bluff?

Feb 7 (SO) Sri Lanka’s cricketers left yesterday for India to contest three T20 matches but questions were raised on the quality of cricket that was dished out at the so-called Super T20 Provincial tournament played in the city of Colombo where the boundary line was said to have been shortened. The tournament was won by a team called the Colombo Commandos who beat a side known as the Galle Guardians and was a preparation for the Indian series. But with a boundary that measured more..

A violation of the constitution?

Feb 7 (ST) The move to appoint Democratic Party Leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to Parliament to fill the vacancy created by the demise of Lands Minister M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardana, is a violation of the Constitution as deemed by legal experts. A senior lawyer explained that Article 91 of the Constitution clearly stipulates that a member of the armed forces cannot be appointed to Parliament. more..

Apparel industry to draw up 5-year plan

Feb 7 (ST) The apparel industry is currently in the process of drawing up its third five year plan that is being discussed among key stakeholders. With preparations underway to draft the next five year plan the industry is carrying out discussions on a number of issues particularly the trade concessions with the European Union (EU), a new US backed trade partnership with 12 countries, and the bilatral trade agreement with the Chinese authorities. The industry is awaiting the regaining of more..

Sending the wrong signals

Feb 7 (Island) Rising fast bowling sensation Dushmantha Chameera’s performance in the recent tour of New Zealand has got many excited. Chameera emerged as the standout performer from either side among the bowlers in the bilateral series and the 24-year-old with more experience could turn out to be a match winner. Dhammika Prasad too came up with some steady performances throughout last year and when he returns from injury the team’s new ball pair looks formidable. more..

Lyca offers $123M for Hutch

Feb 7 (CT) UK-based mobile virtual network operator Lycamobile has offered US$ 123 million to buy Hutchison Telecom Lanka, sources close to negotiations said on Friday. "We were having a MoU with Hutchison parent company to buy its Sri Lankan operations for US$ 123 million. Our MoU is still valid and our request for approval from TRCSL-Telecommunications Regulatory Commission in this regard is still pending more..

Colombo beat Galle to win domestic T-20 title

Feb 7 (Island) Fat bowler Shaminda Eranga finished with match winning figures of four wickets for 27 runs while Shehan Jayasuriya struck an unbeaten 62 as Colombo Commandos led by Milianda Siriwardana cruised to an eight wicket victory over Galle Guardians in the final of Super T-20 Provincial Tournament played under lights at Premadasa Stadium on Friday. Dinesh Chandimal’s Galle side put into bat posted a below par total of 143 and in reply Colombo chased down the target easily more..

Thisara only Sri Lankan player picked up at IPL auction

Feb 7 (CI) On a day when 94 players were sold for a total of Rs 136 crore* at the IPL 2016 auction in Bangalore, it was a bunch of Indian uncapped players who drew the most attraction and a good chunk of the cash too. Top among them - and one of four men who walked away with a contract worth a million dollars or more - was Pawan Negi, a left-arm spinner who can tonk the ball down the order, who was sold for Rs 8.5 crore to Delhi Daredevils. South African allrounder Chris Morris was the other more..

Revenue Bills delay and Tax Revision trigger a cash flow problem

Feb 7 (ST) The Govt is facing an immediate cashflow problem owing to suspension of VAT and NBT revision and the delay in the passing of revenue bills in Parliament and issuing necessary circulars, gazette notification relating to amendments made in 2016 budget in an unprecedented manner. Just two months into the 2016 budget, it has been revealed at a recent Treasury meeting that the govt is facing a cashflow problem. more..

Will Sonny come home?

Feb 7 (ST) My dear Mahinda maama, I am writing to you because I know this is a difficult time for you and despite leading the nation for ten years and winning a war against the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world, I know you must be struggling to come to terms with the idea of a son being arrested and sent to prison. These days you must be confused because it is as if Yoshitha’s arrest is the most important issue in the country — not celebrating our independence, not the rising cost of living more..

Geneva: Ambiguity continues

Feb 7 (ST) The address by the Head of State on Independence Day is a much looked forward to occasion, for it outlines the Govt’s road-map for the ensuing year. Our Political Editor gives some detail of the diplomatic and political activity that took place as President Maithripala Sirisena prepared the text of his speech. Such activity on the eve of February 4 was necessitated due to the power play that unfolded in the fortnight before Independence Day. President and the PM seemingly took up more..

Maithri-Ranil prevent Shiranthi being arrested

Feb 7 (CT) At the end of an eventful week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein arrived in the country last morning to begin his four-day official visit to assess the human rights situation in the country and the progress of reconciliation efforts. Unlike his predecessor Navanethem Pillay who arrived in Sri Lanka in August 2013 using her mandate, Hussein arrived in the country on an invitation by more..

Corruption probes push Rajapaksas to the wall

Feb 7 (SO) While the group led by former President Rajapaksa continues to pander to the most chauvinistic sentiments of the Sinhala-Buddhist community in their bid to regain power, President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a bold political move, allowed the Tamil version of the Sri Lankan national anthem to be sung at the state Independence Day ceremony. President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe and former President Kumaratunga, three leaders who initiated more..

Independence Day celebrations and hopes for the future

Feb 7 (SO) You must be knowing by now that this feline, though nursing streaks of cattiness in her nature, is a softie at heart and optimistic, bordering on naďvety. She sees the glass always half or more full; she places trust in humanity and even has faith in politicians, of course of those she considers sincere and that means a fair number in the present firmament. She’s bold enough to say she places faith and trust to do good by the country on the President, the PM and such as more..

'Reconciliation is the most important factor in finding a solution'

Feb 7 (SL) UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardena says that reconciliation is the most important factor in the whole process of finding a lasting solution to the national problem. “There is no point in implementing resettlement and all these changes without knowing why we are doing it,” he said. He said the country went through a 30 year terrifying war and right after the war the govt had to implement many reconciliatory measures more..

Zeid Al Hussein’s supervisory role in SL

Feb 7 (Island) UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Al Hussein arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday. In the days prior to his arrival, it appeared as if a divergence of opinion had emerged between the President and the PM about the implementation of last September’s UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka. One of the key demands in that resolution was the institution of a war crimes tribunal in Sri Lanka with the participation of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators. more..

Rocky honeymoon for RW And SF

Feb 7 (SL) The recent arrest of former President Rajapaksa’s second son, Navy Lt. Yoshitha Rajapaksa, was cast to the shadows last week by the latest move in the country’s political scene – the signing of a MoU between UNP Leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and DP Leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. The signing of MoU was perhaps confirmation of the recent rumor that Fonseka will be appointed to parliament to fill the vacancy created by demise of Minister M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardena more..

'Rajapaksa regime gave room for thugs to rule the country'

Feb 7 (SL) JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa says that for true reconciliation to take place, the minorities should be made to feel that they are also given the opportunity to engage in the decision making process and activities related to the country. “This is the way to creating a peaceful country where everyone are made to feel included and no one is left out,” he said. He said that the govt needs to follow a moderate approach more..

Reconciliation in practice at independence day parade

Feb 7 (SL) Perhaps the most poignant moment of Independence Day parades for a long time was at the tail end of the 68th Independence Day Parade when a bevy of beautiful girls clad in white saree sang serenely in Tamil, the National Anthem as the country’s leaders – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims – stood still. It was a moving moment not only to hear the National Anthem sung in a national language, Tamil, a language which had been conveniently ignored for long years although more..

Independence and beyond

Feb 7 (Island) Minister Sarath Amunugama, delivering the welcome address at the Independence reception hosted by President Maithripala Sirisena at President’s House in Colombo last Friday, noted that at the time then Ceylon won Independence from the British on Feb. 4, 1948, this island of ours had a population of 6.1 million people (some estimates place it slightly higher). This had grown nearly fourfold today and challenges today’s youth face are far different more..

Yoshitha’s Waterloo

Feb 7 (SO) A week ago, it was curtain fall of sorts for Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa, when the Kaduwela Magistrate remanded him till February 11, in connection with serious financial fraud. Though there had been many allegations floated about, until the Court decision, everything appeared to be mere hearsay with no evidence to demonstrate actual complicity of any Rajapaksa family member. more..

Hussein and Swaraj arrive a day apart

Feb 7 (CT) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Sri Lanka, a day apart. Both visitors are to discuss with officials of the government about steps taken towards reconciliation and the progress made regarding the resolution adopted at the UNHRC last year, a resolution Sri Lanka co-sponsored. Farhan Haq, the Deputy UN Spokesman said that "during his visit, the High Commissioner will discuss more..

History made at Galle Face

Feb 7 (SO) The Galle Face Green, as it has been known since late British colonial times, was once the battleground of Sri Lankan forces that laid siege to the early European colonial fortress of Colombo. That was in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when Colombo and much of coastal Sri Lanka groaned under the exploitative burden of colonialism. Later, military units of successive occupying European colonial powers used this area as a cavalry exercise ground. more..

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