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UNP back-benchers tell Musthapa to resign

Nov 23 (DM) UNP back bench MPs today challenged Provincial Councils Minister Faizer Musthapa to resign from his portfolio before the gazette on delimitation was proved incorrect. UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardhane told a news conference that the minister should resign and sit at the back row as an ordinary MP. He said the UNP was ready to join any force to win the elections as claimed by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. more..

Fernando named new Bishop of Mannar

Nov 23 (VR) Pope Francis named Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando as the new bishop of the Diocese of Mannar (Sri Lanka). Bishop Fernando will transfer from the Archdiocese of Colombo to replace Retired Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai who was the Administrator of the diocese from Jan 2016.   Bishop Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando was born on May 20, 1948 in Jaffna. After completing his ordinaries Emmanuel entered St. Aloysius Minor Seminary. more..

Video: Two dead, one missing after car topples into Viyana Canal

Nov 23 (AD) Two persons including a woman died while another person has been reported missing after a car toppled into the Viyana Canal in Mahiyanganaya. A mother, father and their son were reportedly traveling in the vehicles at the time of the incident. Bodies of the mother and father have been recovered while a search is still being carried out by divers and residents in the area to recover the body of their 17-year-old son. He is believed to have drowned following the accident.  more..

Video: Split in NFF? - Piyasiri says party doesn’t need Wimal

Nov 23 (AD) Piyasiri Wijenayake says that the day the National Freedom Front (NFF) will be limited only to a name board is not very far away. NFF National Organizer stated that the quitting of individuals who actively worked for the party is a serious issue. He made these comments while expressing views on the recent resignation of the party’s General Secretary Priyanjith Vitharana. Wijenayake stated that he came to know about more..

President responsible for national flag: GL

Nov 23 (NR) The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Front Professor GL Peiris says action should be taken against any public representative who does not accept the national flag. He said the responsibility of protecting the country’s flag is vested with the country’s Executive President. He added the President has a responsibility to intervene and voice his opinion claiming if such incidents occurred in another country the Executive President would have been sacked. more..

Politicking makes SL disaster prone: Harsha

Nov 23 (CT) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that one of the reasons for the recent flooding in Colombo was due to politicisation. Speaking at a seminar on urban disaster preparedness held at a leading Colombo hotel, he said that the recent flooding of the Kelani Ganga (River) was because of unauthorized housing on the banks of the Kelani to which the stamp of approval had been given by local politicians, regardless of whether those politicians were men or women. more..

Electric-powered cranes commissioned in CICT port terminal

Nov 23 (EN) The Chinese-operated Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) in Colombo port said it has completed a project to convert 40 diesel-operated rubber-tyred gantry cranes to electric-powered ones or E-RTGs. The move, on which CICT invested over US$10 million, makes a major contribution to efforts by the Port of Colombo to go and lead the port’s efforts to minimise environmental impact, more..

Peradeniya University and NTU, Singapore, signs agreement

Nov 23 (Island) University of Peradeniya and the Nanyang Technology University (NTU) Singapore entered into an agreement on Tuesday (21) for jointly continuing the environment clean up project in the Hill Capital of Kandy and the precincts of the prestigious university of Peradeniya. The MoU is a continuing arrangement based on the success of previous joint project executed in the historic city of Kandy, mainly the cleanup of the Kandy Lake and Mid-land (Meda Ela). more..

JVP also to submit motion against Musthapa

Nov 23 (DM) The JVP said today they would hand over a no-confidence motion to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya against Minister Faizer Mustapha today. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told the media that the stay-order on the delimitation gazette had proved that the minister had not carried out his duties properly. He said the delimitation committee was appointed by the minister under the powers vested in him and added that if the committee had acted beyond its powers, more..

Prime Minister meets Narendra Modi

Nov 23 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has met with PM Narendra Modi this afternoon and took stock of bilateral ties between the two countries. The visiting Prime Minister, who is in India primarily to attend the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space, will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind as well. PM’s discussed wide ranging topics from strengthening bilateral ties including trade and security cooperation more..

SB says Wijeyadasa is a donkey

Nov 23 (DM) Minister S.B. Dissanayake described former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe as a donkey by saying that his absence had eased the procedures to resolve issues attached to the Samurdhi Vyaparaya. Minister said that the parties involved with the Samurdhi Vyaparaya hold two separate opinions over the issues related to the Samurdhi Vyaparaya. He said one party was completely against its proceedings. “This condition is advantageous in several ways. more..

Central Bank cancels license of CIFL

Nov 23 (AD) Central Bank has decided to cancel the finance license of Central Investments & Finance PLC (CIFL). CBSL’s Department of Supervision of Non-Bank Financial Institutions has written to the Chief Executive Officer of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) notifying of the action taken against Central Investment and Finance PLC under provision of the Finance Business Act No. 42 of 2011.  It said that the Monetary Board of the Central Bank at its meeting held on Nov 06, 2017 more..

Hidden motive of new bank tax is to weaken state banks: MR

Nov 23 (LBO) Ex-President Rajapaksa quoting experts said the hidden motive of the proposed debt repayment levy is to deliberately weaken the state banks. Speaking at the 2018 budget debate in Parliament, Rajapaksa said the govt will use that weakness later to condemn the management of these banks in order to propose the privatisation of such banks. “Given the past sordid conduct of this Govt, it is quite possible more..

Roofing sheet case against Basil, three others fixed for Nov. 28

Nov 23 (DN) Colombo High Court yesterday commenced testifying prosecution witnesses in a case filed against four accused including former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. This is for allegedly misappropriating Rs.2991 million belonging to the Divi Neguma Department, while distributing roofing sheets among Divi Neguma beneficiaries during the previous Presidential Election. When the case came up before High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe, the first witness Nadeeka Sanjeewani, more..

Seam-friendly tracks against SL the only way to prepare for SA: Kohli

Nov 23 (CI) A packed international calendar has left India with no choice but to get into a game situation for the upcoming South Africa tour by playing on seam-friendly pitches in the ongoing home Tests against SL, according to Virat Kohli. The series against Sri Lanka, which also includes three ODIs and three T20Is, ends on Dec 24, 12 days before the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town. This only gives India time to play one two-day warm-up match, on Dec 30 and 31 in Paarl. more..

Video: Sujeewa has made a serious mistake by blaming President: Amaraweera

Nov 23 (DM) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera today said State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe has made a serious mistake by blaming the President for appointing the PCoI on Bond issue. Minister Senasinghe recently said that he was badly disappointed about the President and called on President to appoint Commissions to inquire into ship deals, MiG deals, spectrum deals & advertising firms. more..

JO brings no confidence motion against Faiszer

Nov 23 (AD) The JO handed over a no-confidence motion against Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Govt Faiszer Musthapha, a short while ago. The no-confidence motion was submitted to the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, at the Speaker’s office by a group of JO members, it is reported. The motion has been singed by 12 MPs representing the Joint Opposition. Meanwhile, the JVP warned that a no confidence motion will be brought against Minister Faiszer Musthapha within next 2-3 days. more..

CID says AG advice on DV Upul case not received

Nov 23 (NR) The CID today informed Court that the advice of the Attorney General has not been received yet over the case filed against Former Southern Provincial Councillor DV Upul on charges of intimidating officers of the FCID. Case was taken up for hearing before the Colombo Chief Magistrate. Case was filed on a statement made by DV Upul during a rally held in Hambantota in 2015. DV Upul had stated that officers of the Police FCID should be stoned to death more..

Puberty rituals in Sri Lanka: A tale of blood, demons, and flower-baths

Nov 23 (Roar) In Sinhalese, the coming of age of a girl is known as kotahaluweema. While the term may be unfamiliar to some, the rituals it entails are all too familiar to a majority of Sri Lankan women. Our puberty rituals are ancient, and as such, their historical origins are hard to establish. However, there are a number of legends, which have, over the centuries, been woven around these rituals, that have helped to add a sense of more..

Budget 2018: Will it help realise goals and targets of Vision 2025?

Nov 23 (FT) Budget 2018, besides being a budget for the forthcoming year, is another declaration of policies and plans of the Govt in power. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) approved by the UN have been accepted as the goals of Budget 2018 (B18); the major SDG goals are no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being,  quality education, clean water, sanitation, decent work and economic growth. The medium term objectives of B18 as stated in the Vision 2015 as well are: more..

Udayanga’s FR against FCID officer re-fixed for support

Nov 23 (DN) A Fundamental Rights petition filed by former Russian Ambassador Udayanga Weeratunga seeking an Interim Order to recall the warrant issued for his arrest by Colombo Fort Magistrate was yesterday re-fixed for support on Dec 5. The matter was not taken up for support on the basis that bench was not properly constituted. On Oct 20 last year, the Colombo Fort Magistrate issued a warrant written in English through the Interpol for the arrest of Udayanga Weeratunga, more..

Foreign Exchange Act

SL's chance to shift India's focus from SA

Nov 23 (CI) Pride is an often-abused word in sports commentary. This, though, might be one justified case to evoke Sri Lanka's pride. They have travelled to India for a full Test series for the first time in eight years, and India are not concerned about them. They are concerned about South Africa. They rested their No. 1 allrounder because they want him ready for South Africa. Now it turns out the green itch at Kolkata wasn't a one-off; they have actually asked for similar surfaces through the tour, more..

MR’s shadow

Nov 23 (CT) HSBC CEO SL and Maldives Mark G. Prothero at a seminar organized by The Council for Business with Britain at Colombo Tuesday where BoI Head Dumindra Ratnayake was present, said that though the Govt targeted US$ five billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) by 2020, however, Vietnam enjoyed $ 12 billion worth of FDI and Cambodia and troubled Myanmar $2½-3 billion each, last year. Prothero's point was that though there is policy consistency as shown by more..

Mininster Mustapha responsible for election delay: GL

Nov 23 (NR) The SLPF says subject Minister Faiszer Mustapha must bear responsibility for the delay in the conduct of the LG Election. Chairman of the Podujana Front GL Peiris said the govt is working meticulously to delay the election. He said a petition was filed over faults in the gazette pertaining to delimitation issued by Minister Faiszer Musthapha. He noted due to Minister’s inability to handle the situation the country is facing more..

Proposed LRT line: MoU for feasibility study signed

Nov 23 (DN) The first stage towards the proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) line was initiated yesterday with the signing of the MoU between Sen Young Company in Korea and the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry for consultancy services for the feasibility study in Colombo yesterday. Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe and SenYoung Company Vice President more..

Govt moots automatic voter registration

Nov 23 (CT) Provisions will be made to prepare a supplementary voter registry to ensure that those who attain the age of 18 are immediately included in the list of persons eligible to vote. Cabinet approved a proposal by Prez Sirisena, who submitted a Cabinet memorandum after the Elections Commission recommended that the creation of such a supplementary voter registry is vital to ensure that all those who are eligible more..

Ship carrying substandard fuel still at Trinco

Nov 23 (DM) The ship, which was rejected by the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) for carrying a stock of substandard fuel, is still docked at the Trincomalee Port, the Petroleum Resources Development Ministry said recently. Commenting on this, Ports and Shipping Ministry Media Secretary M.P. Thameera Manju said, “The ship, still docked at the port, has no intention of taking the stock back. more..

JO urges Speaker to probe PM’s secret loan claim

Nov 23 (Island) The JO said it had handed over a letter to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, asking him to launch an investigation into PM’s claim that the former govt had obtained secret loans, and keep Parliament informed. JO MP Bandula Gunawardena said that 12 MPs had signed the letter. "PM Ranil Wickremsinghe on Nov 20 at the PCoI into the Treasury Bond scams, said the former govt had obtained secret loans. more..

SLFP draws fire with President in House for move to postpone polls

Nov 23 (Island) Several political parties raised their concern about the possibility of local govt elections being further delayed as the news of Court of Appeal stay order reached Parliament. The JO, UNP, JVP and TNA opposed further delay in conducting LG polls.  Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa brought to the attention of the House the Court of Appeal interim injunction preventing the implementation of more..

Govt trying to privatize Pelwatte and Sewanagala sugar?

Nov 23 (CT) About 4,000 employees of the Pelwatte Sugar Factory engaged in a massive protest yesterday obstructing the Wellawaya-Moneragala main road in opposition to an alleged arrangement to privatize through the 2018 Govt Budget proposals, the profitable Pelwatte and Sewanagala Sugar Companies. Moneragala District Representative of Inter-Company Employees Union and employee of Pelwatte Sugar Company, more..

Lead smelting factory in Bingiriya chokes employees

Nov 23 (DM) Controversy surrounds how approvals have been granted to a lead smelting factory in Bingiriya by the North Western Provincial Environment Authority bypassing the National Environment Act. North Western Provincial Environment Authority (NWPEA) has come under severe criticism for granting Environment Protection License (which is given to confirm that any hazardous emission isn’t discharged to more..

Concern over VAT addition on some consumer items

Nov 23 (ST) Concern has been expressed over the re-imposition of a 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on selected items including fabrics, spectacles and electronic goods — but a reduction in prices of some essential items has brought relief to the people. An optical company spokesperson said that from April 1, there would be an increase in the prices of lenses, contact lenses, sunglasses and frames. more..

Who is commissioned to do what, with SAITM?

Nov 23 (DM) A so-called Commission on The SAITM Crisis, and Deriving Solutions, is in session these days at the OPA (Organization of Professionals Association) auditorium.  What is this Commission, and how legitimate is it?  Legitimacy is an aspect that would very likely never get into the final Report of the above named Commission, and if it does, would very probably be included in such a more..

SL Politics: genetically it is so !

Nov 23 (DM) Events in the public realm make politics bizarre. President Sirisena suggests Ranil Wickremesinghe should step down as PrM before he gave evidence at the Bond Commission. So some newspapers report. Phenomenon changes. In with Ranil Wickremesinghe [RW] or Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga [CBK] - good gracious me – he is made out to be the whiz kid on the bloc! By picking him to herald a new constitution, RW has failed to learn a lesson from CBK’s failure. more..

Without a vision, TV will lose its credibility

Nov 23 (DM) Tuesday (21), was World Television Day and the United Nations says this day was proclaimed in recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues.    World Television Day is not so much a celebration of the tool, but rather the philosophy which it represents. more..

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