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'Our strategy is to build a strong opposition'

May 24 (SL) The JVP charges that the govt’s 100 day program expired on 23rd April and as such Ranil Wickremesinghe is tapping Oxygen illegally to remain as the Prime Minister. Propaganda Secretary of the JVP Vijitha Herath said that if the PM and the Leader of the Opposition have no right to remain in their positions then Parliament should be dissolved and an opportunity should be given to obtain a new mandate. more..

Two wrongs don't make a right

May 24 (CT) Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe made a startling revelation that Rs 2.7 trillion worth of Govt Bonds had been sold by the previous regime, deviating from accepted tender procedures. Wickremesinghe has currently been caught on the wrong foot when his Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran's son-in-law Arjun Aloysius' company Perpetual Treasuries, a primary dealer, has been involved in a Rs 0.01 trillion Treasury (T) Bond scandal nearly three months ago. more..

Editorial: Dual citizenship

May 24 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister G.L. Pieris has been bursting with righteous indignation about the Central Bank Governor, a citizen of Singapore, being raised to this exalted position back in the country of his original citizenship. In an interview with yesterday’s The Island, the learned law professor waxed eloquent about the appointment of a person who has repudiated his Sri Lankan nationality, as the Governor of the Central Bank. more..

Resignation of four SLFP MPs for party unity

May 24 (SL) The internal crisis within the UNP-led National Unity Govt took a new turn on Thursday, when four SLFP MPs, who were recently appointed as Ministers, resigned from their ministerial portfolios and rejoined the SLFP-led UPFA coalition. In a bid to form a strong national govt, President Maithripala Sirisena offered ministerial portfolios to 26 SLFP MPs on March 22. Four SLFP stalwarts who resigned from their more..

Stop racialism during election campaign

May 24 (SL) Parliamentary elections are round the corner despite vacillation on the date. This is a crucial election for the country, one reason being the fluidity and uncertainty of ensuing politics. President Maithripala Sirisena, who won the presidential election on January 8 with mainly the support of the UNP and minority parties, and became the leader of the SLFP, the party which opposed him tooth and nail at the last election, is expected to lead the election campaign for the UPFA, more..

The SLFP's indigestion

May 24 (SO) Splits in political movements and in political parties are part and parcel of politics. It was with this in mind that the wily J.R. Jayewardene provided a constitutional loophole for Members of Parliament to jump sides. In his original Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka the Lokka, as his admiring party membership began to call him, had provided for tight control by political party leaderships over their respective parliamentary groups. more..

Sri Lanka to prosecute sex-bribe accused

May 23 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities Saturday said they would initiate criminal action against two men managing the women's cricket team following allegations they demanded sexual favours from team members to guarantee their positions. Sports ministry spokesman said a disciplinary inquiry initiated in November uncovered evidence of sexual harassment against women players & a report was submitted on Thur. more..

Fonseka to contest Parliament polls

May 23 (CG) Democratic Party leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka says he will contest the next Parliament elections. Fonseka said that he will contest together with other members of his political party and will later decide who to support once the elections are over. He also said that his wife Anoma Fonseka will also contest the next Parliament elections. Fonseka lost his Parliament seat after his civic rights were removed by the former Govt. However President Sirisena restored all his more..

National Archives opens documents to public Govt reports from 1932-1984

May 23 (CT) Department of National Archives took steps Thursday to grant access to the public a number of documents. Persons who are interested in the information contained in a number of reports of govt commissions belonging to the period 1932-1984 will have access to them. This was stated by Director of the Department of National Archives, Saroja Wettasinghe. She further said that this decision was taken to make the mission of the department more meaningful and effective. more..

Cabraal denies PM's claims; challenges to TV debate over bond deals

May 23 (EN) Former Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal has denied claims by PM Ranil Wickremasinghe that gilts were directly placed at higher than auction rates in the past and challenged him to a television debate. PM has pointed fingers at private placements made during the last regime as the new administration has come under fire over a 30-year bond sale where rates soared and brought the entire gilt market to more..

No laws to govern child transport

May 23 (ST) Lack of authority and law are hampering the provision of safe school transport, the Chairman of All-Island Inter-District Schoolchildren Transport Association, Harishchandra Padmasiri, said. He said school van drivers have been urging the govt to set up a monitoring system with laws administered by a govt authority. There was no proper method for registration of school van drivers, Mr. Padmasiri said. There were guidelines for drivers to register with local police more..

'Politicians trying to tarnish my image'

May 23 (CT) Dean of the Colombo Law Faculty, Dr. V.T. Tamilmaran regretted that certain politicians were trying to tarnish his image by unnecessarily dragging him into the schoolgirl S. Vithya's brutal murder in Punkuduthivu. Tamilmaran said that since Punkuduthivu being his home town he had gone there to assess the situation over the brutal killing of Vithya. "I am very much aware about the misconduct of one of the 10 suspects who returned from Switzerland. more..

Economic liberty missing in Sri Lanka's policy mix: Sally

May 23 (EN) Sri Lanka has seen a reduction in ethnic chauvinism, political repression, a re-balanced foreign policy since elections in January but economic liberties have to improve to allow the country to progress, a top economist has said. The last 10 years saw a renewed illiberalism in economics, politics, ethnic chauvinism and another bias towards China in foreign policy, Razeen Sally, Associate Professor at National Uni of S'pore. more..

'China-Lanka Buddhist links to flourish under Maithripala leadership'

May 23 (FT) Sangha Nayake Thero of Guangzhou, China said that is fully confident that under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, the Buddhist links between Sri Lanka and China would become stronger. This was stated when a 30-member Buddhist delegation from China headed by Most Ven. Ming Sheng, the Sangha Nayake of Guangzhou in China and Ven. Piao Yang Head of the Hong Kong World Buddhist Peace and Development Association met President more..

15 UPFA party leaders to unite Maithri, Mahinda

May 23 (CT) Leaders of 15 political parties in the UPFA are due to launch a special programme to bring President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa on to the same stage, according to a statement made by former PM D.M. Jayaratne. He also said that the party leaders have already been informed in writing about this endeavour. Jayaratne pointed out that Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa have to get on to the same stage in order to defeat UNP in forthcoming general election more..

MR accuses US, EU of backing regime change

May 23 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa accused United States (US) and European Union (EU) of backing regime change in Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa said that the US, EU and Britain had often accused his Govt of human rights abuses but are blind to the abuses being conducted by the new Govt. “They wanted regime change. Once they put us aside they are very happy,” the former President said at an event in Ampara. more..

UNP continues with distribution of motorcycles among state employees

May 23 (Island) Govt is continuing with the programme initiated by its predecessor to provide motorcycles to public employees. Motorcycles will be handed over to policemen in the Anuradhapura District shortly. 1651 policemen in the Anuradhapura District would be given motorcycles at a ceremony to be held at the Salgadu Grounds at 9 am on Tuesday. The programme was launched by Mahinda Rajapaksa's govt to help the state sector employees with transport. more..

Sri Lankan van driver jailed for killing a jogger in UK

May 23 (SM) A van driver has today been jailed for four years after admitting knocking down and killing a jogger. Shamugarasa Vinayagasivampillai had worked a 12-hour night shift when his Nissan Primastar van left the road and struck 39-year-old Louisa Gammie, who died in hospital the following day. Vinayagasivampillai appeared at Guildford Crown Court today having earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of causing death by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to four years in prison, more..

Arjuna Ranatunga: Large and in charge

May 23 (CM) Truth be known, I love to hate the Australians more than anyone else. And therefore the man who got under their skin the most is my hero. Appearances can be deceiving, and when it comes to Arjuna Ranatunga, the rotund Sri Lankan mastermind, there was nothing soft in his underbelly. He is as tough a cricketer as I have ever come across. We represented our countries at the same time, both very young, more..

SAPRI in effort to build religious harmony

May 23 (FT) The South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI) chaired by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, has embarked on a program to build sustainable religious harmony in Ratnapura, Kurunegala and Gampaha districts. SAPRI, a regional organisation focusing on the formulation of policies on subjects of importance to South Asia to facilitate the evolving of inclusive societies, is greatly concerned by the increasing acts occurring in the region, in SL particularly, more..

Drunken soldier rams army truck into car killing husband and wife

May 23 (Island) A husband and wife, both aged 54, were killed as their car was rammed by an army truck driven by a drunken soldier on Thursday night on the Maradankadawala-Batticaloa main road in the Pollonnaruwa police area. The victims had been on their way home with their two sons and a nephew after attending a religious ceremony. The victims’ son, who had driven the car at the time of the accident has told the police that the army truck had been driven recklessly. more..

Video: Ministers who quit also follow wrong astrologers: Harin

May 23 (AD) Uva Province Chief Minister Harin Fernando says that the recent resignation of four SLFP Ministers was a planned game and that he expects more will follow suit. He stated that on the very same day UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara had used foul language against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament, in an attempt to tarnish latter’s image and show to the people that no one respects him as Prime Minister. more..

CMC begins stray dog survey

May 23 (Island) Veterinary Department of the Colombo Municipal Council said it had commissioned a survey on stray dogs in the city. Chief of the Veterinary Department, Dr I. Dharmawardane said that there was some confusion over the number of strays in the city and the survey would help ascertain the exact figure. The last survey was carried out in 2006 – and that too was done by an NGO while more unorganised surveys were carried out in various parts of the city more..

Colombo-Matara bus gutted in fire

May 23 (ST) A private passenger bus was completely destroyed after a fire broke out in front of the vehicle as it was moving along from Colombo to Matara in the Deep South earlier today. The incident took place at a location in the Galle area and that there were some 60 passengers inside the vehicle when the fire engulfed the bus. There were no reports of casualties and the blaze was brought under control by fire fighters from the Galle Municipal Council and the navy. more..

'Pregnant mothers given food items not fit for consumption'

May 23 (Island) Food items not fit for human consumption had been included in the basket of goods worth Rs. 2,000 given to each pregnant mother on a monthly basis, Parliament was told. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Child Affairs. Responding to a query, Minister Rosy Senanayake admitted that there had been several instances of pregnant mothers receiving such food items in certain districts. more..

Navy assists in the repatriation of 16 Sri Lankan fishermen

May 23 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the repatriation of Sixteen Sri Lankan fishermen, who were released from the Indian custody. The fishermen were handed over to Sri Lanka Coast Guard officials by the Indian Coast Guard Ship Rajtarang at the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the seas north of Kankasanthurai today. The released fishermen were safely brought to the Kankasanthurai harbour by CG 42 belongs to Sri Lanka Coast Guard and more..

We are Telugu

May 23 (ST) The Sri Lankan gypsies -a branch of the Romani people- have entranced the public with the sinuous cobra dance and with their skill as soothsayers. According to Wikipedia genetic evidence connects the Romani people to the descendants of groups which emigrated from South Asia towards Central Asia during the medieval period. Sadly these people have always struggled against racial prejudice in our country. They are emphatic that they do not appreciate more..

Trinco govt docs on indefinite strike

May 23 (Island) More than 250 doctors serving in the Trincomalee District launched a district-wise strike yesterday following an attack on the on-call Medical Officer at the Thopur Divisional Hospital Dr. Shiyam Mohammed by a group of unknown people at 1 am yesterday. Consultant Paediatrician Dr. Samantha Chandraratne said that around 1 a.m. a group of people had come to the Thopur Divisional hospital. more..

Bar condemns Jaffna court attack

May 23 (CT) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has today called upon the Attorney General and the other law enforcement authorities to bring the perpetrators who attacked the Jaffna Court premises to justice. We publish below the statement in full; The BASL expresses its strong condemnation and abhorrence of the incident which took place in Jaffna where the Court premises came under attack. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka is of the view that this conduct amounts to a serious more..

Sri Lanka Women take lead with D/L win

May 23 (CI) Sri Lanka Women beat West Indies Women by five runs in a rain-affected game in Colombo to lead the 3-match T20 series 1-0. West Indies, after being inserted to bat, put up 109 for 6 in 20 overs. They lost two wickets in the first over, as Sripali Weerakkody picked up Kycia Knight and Deandra Dottin. Stafanie Taylor top-scored with 40, sharing partnerships of 32 with Britney Cooper and 45 with Merissa Aguilleira (28). Other than Maduri Samuddika, all bowlers took at least 1 wicket. more..

Wild Sri Lanka: Ocean of Giants

Awoth Atha Thamai: Cabraal is no excuse for Mahendran

May 23 (CT) The above is what, unfortunately, Ranil Wickremesinghe has said about the “Report of the Bond Issues of the Central Bank 2015” in Parliament, the day before. I quote from the Daily FT, 22 May 2015. It is ‘unfortunate,’ because when people actively supported the ousting of the former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and appointing of Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister, the hope was for a clean and transparent government or Yahapalanaya. more..

Vasu & Ranil: Fire & Ice

May 23 (CT) Vasudeva Nanayakkara simply shouldn’t have said what he did about PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. It was un-parliamentary and unfair. Why then did it happen? What triggered it? What does it all mean and portend? At one level what it means is that the delay in holding the parliamentary election is utterly unconscionable and unwise. The confrontations in the Northern streets and in the parliament simply mean that the safety valves have to be opened and the head of steam that more..

President bans harmful herbicide, glyphosate

May 23 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has banned glyphosate widely used as a herbicide. Speaking at the Hotel School Scholarships Presenting Ceremony President Sirisena said he had been requested to reconsider the ban or to allow the existing stocks of glyphosate to be disposed of. "But, I turned them down." Harmful agrochemicals had been causing kidney failure most often among farmers, more..

Sri Lanka lacks officers to investigate large scale corruptions: PM

May 23 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe Friday said that the country lacks officers to investigate large-scale corruption, fraud and irregularities and the professionals who have the knowledge are not keen to do so. “As the new govt, we are in the process of exposing large-scale corruption, fraud and irregularities which have taken place in the public sector, semi govt and private sector,” PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. more..

‘Can a person who has renounced SL nationality be appointed CB Governor’

May 23 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister Prof G.L. Peiris said yesterday that the govt owed an explanation to the people regarding the appointment of a person who had repudiated his Sri Lankan nationality, as the Governor of the Central Bank. Prof. Peiris said Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s foreign nationality wasn’t the only issue but the circumstances under which he had obtained that status. more..