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Controversy over move to arrest editor

Dec 4 (ST) An order by a local Magistrate asking Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant on the Editor of a London-based website reporting on SL figured for a second week in succession at Tuesday’s weekly ministerial meeting. Raising issue was Minister Harin Fernando. He said it took the FCID almost one and a half years to obtain a warrant on Udayanga Weeratunga, former SL Ambassador to Russia. more..

Corridors of Power

Dec 4 (Island) I do not recall the exact moment, but I do remember a time when I was so frustrated with Rajapaksa regime’s blatant disregard for the constitution that I wondered how best I could communicate a critique of power to even those who would vote for, and loved him. This was after 18th Amendment, late 2010. I was interested in a way to engage with what I hated to see come about, in full knowledge, at the time, that those opposed to what Mahinda Rajapaksa did were in a minority. more..

The bus strike

Dec 4 (Island) The vast majority of the people of this country condemned – we use the word deliberately – to use our public transport system would have surely heaved a massive sight of relief that Friday’s bus strike is over. It is ironical that strikers, be they doctors or bus drivers, hold to ransom ordinary people who depend on their services to win their various demands whether they are reasonable or not. There is no word other than abominable to describe country’s public transport system. more..

Delays in high-profile probes: Questions about nexus between VIPs of rival parties

Dec 4 (ST) In October, President Maithripala Sirisena warned he would take strong action if the state investigative arms were found to be working to a political agenda. He was referring to the CID and FCID, both coming under the IGP. In addition, he also made reference to CIABOC, an autonomous body. His words echoed in the hall of SL Foundation Institute where he addressed war heroes. His fears appear to have come true. more..

Security tightened in Batticaloa to prevent communal clashes

Dec 4 (ST) Security in and around Batticaloa town was tightened last night with the deployment of additional police and STF personnel to prevent a possible clash between two communities. Earlier in the day, a tense situation arose when police stopped a group led BBS Galagoda-atte Gnanasara Thera from proceeding to Batticaloa town. Group from Colombo was stopped at Riditenna in Welikanda but later allowed to proceed to Punani, 60km from Batticaloa town. more..

G.L. accused of busting Rs. 870 million

Dec 4 (SL) A controversial purchase of a property in Brazil by former govt has been revealed with the former Minister G.L. Peiris being accused of direct involvement. The purchase was made in order to establish the SL Embassy in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro spending a colossal sum of Rs. 870 million. “A formal complaint will be lodged with the FCID, CID, Bribery commission and Presidential Commission investigating allegations of serious fraud or corruption by a group of UNP Ministers,“ more..

PM to grill IGP and Sagala

Dec 4 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, said he would hold a meeting with both, IGP Pujith Jayasundara and Minister Sagala Ratnayake tomorrow, while assuring Parliament that no Police investigations have been halted. PM, responding to a question raised by MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said he would summon both the Minister of Law and Order and IGP for a meeting on Monday & would invite MP Dissanayake, more..

'LG elections: Old system, if all parties agree'

Dec 4 (SO) Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday that the forthcoming Local Government elections could be held under the old preferential voting system if all political parties give their consent for it. Responding to a query by Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Minister said that the preferential voting system thus could be used for one last time. MP Dissanayake said the new electoral system should be included in the new constitution. more..

Traffic fines under review

Dec 4 (SO) President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a six-member committee to look into revision of traffic fines and other issues faced by private bus operators bringing the strike by several transport unions against the new traffic fine to an end. Following the meeting with several representatives of private bus unions at the President’s official residence yesterday, President appointed the committee which will meet with private bus operators tomorrow more..

Govt considers bringing EPF, ETF under Treasury

Dec 4 (ST) With the objective of introducing a pension scheme for private sector employees, the Govt is considering a proposal to bring the EPF and ETF under the Treasury. Labour Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said the proposal to formulate a private sector pension scheme was under discussion after bringing the EPF and ETF under the Treasury. He said the proposal was to have a contributory pension scheme similar more..

Central Expressway: Chinese firm likely to get Stage four

Dec 4 (ST) Highways Ministry is seeking approval to hand over the construction of stage four of the Central Expressway between Kurunegala and Dambulla to a Chinese firm. The funding for the project will come as a loan from the China Exim Bank and the project is due to be completed within three and a half years. The expressway spanning 68.7 kilometres is to cost Rs. 2.5 billion per kilometre. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the project would begin next year and once completed more..

Gunaratnam to enter politics

Dec 4 (SL) Politburo member of the FSP, Kumar Gunaratnam, is to return to politics. Gunaratnam was released on Friday after completing his jail term. The govt had said earlier Gunaratnam will not be deported once he is set free. Minister S.B. Navinna told Parliament that Kumar Gunaratnam can apply for Sri Lankan citizenship once he is set free. Opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardena asked the Minister in Parliament if there is a move to deport Gunaratnam when his jail term ends. more..

PM cracks whip on CB, Ravi raises concerns

Dec 4 (SL) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had last week questioned the Governor of Central Bank Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy over his failure to control the depreciation of the Rupee against the US dollar which had reached Rs 150. At the monthly meeting of the Economic Affairs Committee held at the Parliament complex on 30th Nov, the PM and Finance Minister raised more..

How Sri Lanka won the malaria war

Dec 4 (Hindu) On Sept 5 this year, Sri Lanka was declared malaria-free at the 69th Session of World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for South-East Asia held in Colombo. This is another milestone in SL’s outstanding achievements in public health. The only other country to have achieved malaria eradication in the WHO’s South-East Asian region consisting of 11 countries is the Maldives. While these malaria-free countries do provide an important breakthrough for more..

WB provides $70m to upgrade plantations

Dec 4 (SO) Minister Navin Dissanayake with World Bank officials Ulrich Shmitt, Seenithambi Manoharan, Emannuel Salinas and Agricultural Consultant Jeevaka Atapattu at the meeting. World Bank will provide Sri Lanka US$ 70 million to modernize the estates and factories of Regional Plantations Companies (RPCs) with the funds to be used mainly for replanting, improving roads and tea factories, and water management to deal with climate change impact. more..

Treatment of Indian Tamil issue set the tone for post-independence SL political culture

Dec 4 (ENS) The way Ceylonese politicians handled the Indian Tamil issue in the two decades prior to Ceylon’s independence, set the tone for the country’s post-independence political history marked by majoritarianism, says human rights activist, Dr. Rajan Hoole. In a paper read out at a function to mark the 85th anniversary of the Donoughmore constitution here late last month, Dr. Hoole said Sinhalese members more..

Allow TN fisherfolk to take part in Katchatheevu Church fest: Ramadoss

Dec 4 (Hindu) The founder of PMK, Dr. S. Ramadoss, has demanded that fisherfolk from TN be allowed to participate in a function to be organised at the St. Antony’s Church in Katchatheevu on Dec 7. “The St. Antony’s Church was built by Cheenikuppan Padaiyachi in the early 20th century. In 1974, the island was ceded to Sri Lanka without the consent of the Tamil people. Despite the TN Chief Secretary writing to the Minister of External Affairs in this regard, more..

Don't do that, do this: dodging the crowds in Sri Lanka

Dec 4 (TG) Kandy is home to one of Sri Lanka’s greatest and most-visited Buddhist sites, the Temple of the Tooth, and is busy with tourists and devotees from across the island. For a quieter cultural buzz, head to Jaffna, in the far north. Identifying more with southern India, this vibrant Tamil city, now seeing a resurgence in visitors after years of civil war, is fascinating, and still off the radar for most tourists. Must-sees include the sacred Nallur Kandaswamy Hindu temple, more..

Cigarette sales drop cuts tobacco tax revenue by half

Dec 4 (ST) The tobacco tax revenue for govt coffers has declined significantly due to a drop in sales of cigarettes manufactured in Sri Lanka by Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) during the months of Oct and Nov this year due to consecutive tax hikes that led to price increases twice. CTC’s contribution to the Govt through its value chain during the nine months ended 30th Sept 2016, in the form of Excise Tax, Corporate Tax & levies, increased by 20% more..

Whatever the govt, they have all the luck!

Dec 4 (SO) Totally disappointed, abjectly depressed, irreparably hopeless. That’s this cat for you. And why pray, you may well ask. Why the crestfallen negativity? At least if this column-writing cat is not purring with happiness, she does not groan with disillusionment. She sees the glass half full always. Not this time dearie. She sees an empty glass. That is one drained of all anticipation and hope. She who was so full of hope with Yahapalana setting in and Medamulana crowd sent back to more..

SL clinches Veterans Over 40 football title

Dec 4 (SO) Sri Lanka over 40 Veterans football team won the International Veterans Football tournament held in Dubai yesterday. South Africa, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius Islands were amongst the teams that participated in the tournament. In the finals Sri Lanka beat Mauritius by three goals to nil. Sri Lanka managed to beat all teams except Dubai in the initial rounds. Dubai scored a 1-0 win over Sri Lanka. Ex-Vice President of Sri Lanka Football Federation more..

Hashan & Chandana given SLC assignments

Dec 4 (ST) Former national cricket stars Hashan Tillekeratne and Upul Chandana are to given with coaching assignments of SLC soon. Tillekeratne is to be given the job of batting coach while Chandana would have the task of handling fielding. However the significance of these two appointments is that both former cricketers will not be handling the national teams. Like the appointment of Chaminda Vaas who more..

Worm turns for cricket – big guns ditched

Dec 4 (ST) The pre-quarter final encounters which concluded saw four centuries being scored by Mithira Thenuwara of Tissa MMV Kalutara, Pawan Sandesh of Devapathiraja MMV Rathgama, Tharindu Amarasinghe of Prince of Wales and Sineth Jayawardena of Royal helped their respective sides to win their matches and to advance to the quarter-finals in Singer Trophy under thirteen all island cricket tournament. Mithira slammed his fourth ton when he made an unbeaten 118 more..

Munchee sponsor one million signature campaign in support of volleyball

Dec 4 (Island) An island-wide campaign to get 1,000,000 signatures in support of Volleyball was launched recently under the patronage of Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera at the National Youth Services Council Complex. It was conducted in conjunction with the Munchee National Volleyball Championships. The sponsorship by Munchee, flagship brand of Ceylon Biscuits-of the National Volleyball Championship conducted by the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation is now in its ninth year. more..

Wasim on how England changed ball tampering into reverse swing

Dec 4 (Island) Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram was in town to conduct a workshop for Sri Lanka’s fast bowlers and coaches earlier this week. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always had cordial relationships as nations and particularly in cricket. It was one of Wasim’s predecessors – Abdul Hafeez Kardar – Pakistan’s first Test captain, who promoted SL’s bid as a Full Member of the ICC during his time as the Chairman of PCB. more..

CEO Sri Lanka

Dec 4 (ST) My dear Maithri, I thought I must write to you, not because I have taken you off my Christmas card list but because most of us are quite confused about what has been going on in this Paradise in recent times and we thought we should ask you why, especially since you have now been the boss for nearly two years. These days, Maithri, it seems as if everyone wants to go on strike. First there was a train strike, then there was a doctors’ strike and now we have strike by private bus operators. more..

Ghost of Big Three & Zimbabwean lesson

Dec 4 (ST) During the Zimbabwe-SL-WI tri-nations ODI series, someone queried what Zimbabwe’s next international assignment was. Commentator rather reluctantly replied that their next assignment was once again against Sri Lanka and that too, in June 2017.  Isn’t Zimbabwe a fully fledged Test playing nation? Why this apathy against a fledgling cricketing nation that is trying to make its presence felt in the international calendar. Even the Sri Lanka calendar is chock-a-block during that time. more..

Will IGP bring down the curtain on Yahapalanaya?

Dec 4 (CT) Back to back protests that rocked Colombo made last week tearful, with Police using tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesters who blocked predominantly the Parliament Road, at the beginning of the week followed by university students and labour officers. That was before Police using tear gas on Joint Opposition members who blocked Parliament Road at Polduwa Junction yesterday demanding more..

Sri Lanka women end Asia Cup campaign with consolation

Dec 4 (DT) Bangladesh suffered a crushing seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in their final round-robin match of the 2016 Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup in Thailand on Saturday. The loss ended any hopes Bangladesh harboured of qualifying for the grand finale. The women in red and green previously lost to India and Pakistan and won against Nepal and Thailand. With four points, Bangladesh ended their campaign at fourth position in the six-team standings. more..

Lady jockey N Rupa to participate at RTC races

Dec 4 (SO) Lady Jockey N Rupa will join the races for the first time in SL history at the Royal Turf Club’s races on 11th Dec. “This goes to prove that the RTC shows no discrimination and even the fairer sex can race alongside her more stalwart colleagues”, said Acting CEO and Stipendiary Steward / Jockey Coach, RTC, Mr. Sinclair Marshall. That’s not all up and coming racing commentator and voice of the Royal Calcutta Turf Club Mr. Anit Casyab would be making his first appearance more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Controversy over a phone call rocks House

Dec 4 (SO) IGP Pujith Jayasundara found himself at the centre of a major controversy this week, after receiving a controversial phone call while addressing a Police event in Ratnapura. Instead of waiting until he was finished with his speech, IGP stopped midway to answer the phone and failed to move away from the microphones placed by local news correspondents, making the media, and by extension the public, thereby privy to what could only be a private telephone conversation, more..

Transport strike:How could it ever happen?

Dec 4 (Island) Watching the unfolding events last week, one could not help but be amazed. To the best of this writer’s knowledge, there has never been a road transport stoppage in this country over a matter like a traffic fine. That the President intervened at least on Friday night to talk to the strikers on Saturday morning and to get the transport stoppage lifted was providential because the O/L examinations were due to begin early next week.  more..

'Most protests have a hidden agenda'

Dec 4 (SL) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna is of the view that the unity govt is on track and running the country smoothly despite efforts to destabilise it. He said that within the next two years all these efforts of the govt will materialise and the people will begin to feel it. He also said that the families of ex LTTE cadres should be allowed to commemorate their loved ones privately, but it should not be turned into a political event. more..

MPs must lead by example

Dec 4 (ST) Come hell or high water, MPs have served themselves yet another allowance and Govt has found the money for it by raising the price of diesel sending food prices of common folk still higher. It is a widespread belief that MPs no longer live in a pecuniary state and that they don’t live by their salaries and allowances alone; not surprising when one sees their lifestyle – and those of their brood. To say that MPs need more cash in hand to pay for wedding gifts and funerals of more..

Constitution: What are Rajapaksa’s proposals?

Dec 4 (SO) A constitution, good or bad, can be wrecked by its own makers. Most constitutions in countries around the world have been made with good intentions and their provisions are held as being democratic and for the good of the people but in many countries distorted and perverted to the gain of those responsible for their implementation. Sri Lanka’s first constitution, known as the Soulbury Constitution drafted by SL leaders with the outgoing British rulers, had the well intentioned more..

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