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Archives

Peoples’ Alliance may be revived to prop up Rajapaksa

Apr 19 (ENS) The Peoples’ Alliance (PA) which won all major elections in Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2001, is likely to be revived to prop up defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to media reports. The move to revive the PA stems from the conviction that the SLFP, which is Rajapaksa’s party, will not put him up as its Prime Ministerial candidate in the coming parliamentary elections. This is because there is no love lost between Maithripala Sirisena, more..

Basil's journey from Minneapolis to Colombo

Apr 19 (CT) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa who made a dramatic exit to America in the immediate aftermath of the Presidential election on 8 January with his wife from Colombo via Dubai to New York is set to return to Colombo on Tuesday from Minneapolis International Airport on board a Sun Country domestic flight SY 247 to the John F.Kennedy Airport at 16:30 hours 19 April. Thereafter, he will board Emirates flight EK 202, a luxurious flight from John F. Kennedy Airport to Dubai, more..

TNA to sign MoU

Apr 19 (SL) The TNA is to call for a meeting to finalize a MoU between the TNA coalition parties prior to the next election. TNA PM Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader that the TNA was expected to hold a meeting last Friday to discuss the draft of the MOU but was postponed as Leader of the Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Mavai Senathirajah is out of the country. “We have already distributed the draft of the MOU but we have not made any decision related to that. more..

Chamila Fernando to contest Cambridge constituency in British parliamentary poll

Apr 19 (Island) Ms. Chamila Fernando who failed to secure the candidacy to contest for the slot of London Mayor from the Liberal Democratic Party, will now be contesting the Cambridge constituency from the Conservative Party at the British general election scheduled for May 7. A Barrister by profession, she shared her views on her mission and related issues. "I grew up in a politically and legally engaged family, where discussions around the dining table were heavily focused on more..

20A: SLFP finalises new electoral system

Apr 19 (ST) The 20th Constitutional Amendment presented by the SLFP proposes a mixed electoral system that returns 231 members directly elected to Parliament. This is in addition to 29 members who will continue to enter parliament through the National List. The total number of members will, therefore, be 260. The amendment was circulated among party leaders on Friday morning. The Sunday Times is in receipt of a copy in the English language. more..

No clear reasons for Somawansa’s exit from the JVP

Apr 19 (Island) Despite a highly publicized exit from the JVP of Somawansa Amerasinghe, its former leader has to-date not clearly articulated reasons for his actions. "Comarade Somawansa Amerasinghe went ahead and acted in a personal capacity and had not even notified the party," said JVP MP Vijitha Herath. Asked whether he has clearly articulated reasons, the propaganda Secretary noted that "Comrade Amerasinghe had shared certain thoughts but that he had not yet given more..

President skips Bandung jubilee

Apr 19 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena will skip the 50th anniversary of the Asia-Africa Summit, better known as the Bandung Conference, which will be held in the Indonesian capital Jakarta next week. A President’s Office cited personal reasons for the decision by the President not to attend the conference, which Sri Lanka co-sponsored with Burma, India, Indonesia and Pakistan in 1955.Instead Sri Lanka will be represented at the conference by Minister Sarath Amunugama. more..

Crucial meetings ahead of 19A debate in the House

Apr 19 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena will today meet all party leaders at a meeting to be held at the Presidential Secretariat ahead of the presentation of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to Parliament in the midst of swirling controversy of how various political forces will play their hand in the days that are to follow. Other crucial meetings to be held today include a meeting of the SLFP Central Committee and a briefing by Prof. G.L Pieris to more..

SL Scientist paves way for integration of ultra-small antennas into an electronic chip

Apr 19 (Island) Research led by Professor Gehan Amaratunga from the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, have explained one of the ambiguities of electromagnetism. In new experimental data published in the April 2015 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers have propositioned that electromagnetic waves are generated from an occurrence known as symmetry breaking in addition the acceleration of electrons. This discovery will have, on the one hand, more..

Sri Lanka neither pro-India nor pro-China: Ranil

Apr 19 (Hindu) Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickramasinghe has said Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China. Mr. Wickramasinghe was replying to questions from the media during his visit to the Sreekrishna temple here on Saturday. As about his controversial statement in an interview to a Tamil TV channel that Indian fishermen might be shot if they intruded into Sri Lankan waters, he said: “The Sri Lankan govt primarily represents the interests of Sri Lankans.” more..

Japan to assist CoI

Apr 19 (SL) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI), appointed to investigate into the cases of missing persons, is to meet the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka this week to discuss the funds required for counselling programmes in the North and East. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Secretary of the Commission H.W. Gunadasa said that the Japanese Embassy had agreed to provide funds for the counselling programme proposed to be carried out in the North and East. more..

Golden Key probe getting nowhere despite promises

Apr 19 (ST) Why is the government taking so long and ignoring the plight of the Golden Key depositors? The previous regime did absolutely nothing to settle this long, outstanding issue. Many depositors have committed suicide and many were put into financial embarrassment and even thrown to the streets. It is a known fact that the Rajapaksa’s were benefited by (once powerful) Lalith Kotelawala, and as a result did nothing to settle this matter which has brought heartburn to more..

Citrus Kalpitiya seeks to clarify Prime Minister’s Parliamentary statement

Apr 19 (ST) The Kalpitiya Resort Beach project that made an Initial Public Offering (IPO) two years back would be now awaiting the new government plans, clarification on a possible probe on its company and “the feasibility of an alternative location”, a stock exchange filing stated. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe stated in Parliament on March 17 that the role of Mr. Dilith Jayaweera as joint owner of Reef Comber would have to be probed. He said, “Take for example Dilith Jayaweera. more..

260 powerful Sri Lankans have secret Swiss accounts

Apr 19 (ST) Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is to ask a group of locally-based Sri Lankans with secret Swiss bank accounts to make a fresh assets’ declaration after a new complaint was filed seeking action on their undeclared foreign accounts. A senior IRD official said tracing black or unaccounted money overseas owned by Sri Lankans is not within their jurisdiction but noted that they will ask these account holders to make a fresh declaration of their assets, more..

Agri-research should be conducted at farm-level: Experts

Apr 19 (SO) Sri Lanka’s export earnings from non-traditional agricultural products could be doubled from the current Rs. 4,000 million in the next two years by enhancing scientific and organised production, National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) Secretary Sarath de Silva said. Sri Lanka has a market for its agricultural products but the poor quality and inconsistent quantity are major hurdles to boost exports and bring in the much-needed foreign exchange. more..

'FTA not mutually beneficial'

Apr 19 (SO) There are serious issues in the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that India and Sri Lanka should iron out before phasing into other trade agreements. The FTA should be of mutual benefit to both countries which is not the case at present, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce, Past President Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and Past Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce, Tissa Jayaweera said. more..

3-wheel taxis to be regulated

Apr 19 (ST) The Govt is embarking on the difficult task of regulating 3-wheeler taxis comprising around 900,000 vehicles which provide self-employment for over 3 million people both directly and indirectly. At present there is no law which regulates three-wheelers. Necessary regulations for this purpose are to be finalised by the Legal Draftsmen and the possibility of amending the Motor Traffic Act is also being explored, Secretary to the Ministry of Transport more..

Sri Lanka renegotiates crane deal with China

Apr 19 (EN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority is renegotiating the price of cranes to be supplied by a Chinese company for its new East Container Terminal under construction in the Colombo South Harbour. SLPA chairman Lakdas Panagoda said they hope to get a better deal on the price of four pier-side gantry cranes and 12 rubber-tired gantries to transfer containers in the yard. The cranes had been ordered by the previous management under the Rajapaksa regime when the SLPA began building more..

CSE, safe to create cross border listings

Apr 19 (CT) A major breakthrough for cross border listings and capital market linkages will take place when the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). Lanka in collaboration with the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) will host the 'South Asian Investment Conference 2015' and SAFE Annual General Meeting at the Galadari Hotel on 26 and 27 April, 2015. The conference aims to accelerate the process of economic integration in South Asia by creating strong cross border more..

Lanka’s double trouble: ICC Ex-co seat and access to funds denied

Apr 19 (ST) The SLC Interim Committee is scheduled to urgently meet tomorrow to ascertain what steps it should take with regard to the ICC’s holding on to funds due to Sri Lanka on a charge of Political interference in matters with regard to cricket. CEO of Sri Lankan cricket Ashley de Silva told the Sunday Times that the Interim Committee Secretary Prakash Schaffter was down to call up the membership for this urgent meeting. more..

The Man Who Bowled Viv Richards

Apr 19 (Island) Kapila Wijegunawardene, the new Chairman of Selectors, was an unsung cricketer. None of the present team are aware of his record. He deserves fame not obscurity. The fast bowler played just two Tests and 26 ODIs during the dark era between 1987 to 1992 when nobody toured the island. His day in the sun was his role in Sri Lanka’s first victory over the West Indies, which took place in Rajkot, India in October 1989. It was an ODI in the league stage of the more..

Manipulators have the last laugh

Apr 19 (Island) The ICC has said Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) won’t get any money from it until the completion of the probe to be launched into govt interference with the latter’s affairs. The ICC has issued a media statement that Sri Lankan govt may have breached its constitution by appointing an interim committee without holding an annual general meeting. The ICC decision has raised many an eyebrow. This is not the first time the govt has interfered with cricket administration. more..

Sri Lanka bowled by its own doosra

Apr 19 (ST) It all began with someone shouting The leopard has come to the village to mislead the villagers and the game went on and on. Now it’s a case of the leopard really coming to the village and attacking the people. How true that narration is, even though it has trickled down the ages in folklore. Yes, there was a time when political authorities, especially in South Asia with the exception of India, took cricket — which they saw as their countries’ more..

Ranil and his game-plan

Apr 19 (SL) With the Supreme Court order now delivered and parliament set to debate the amendment minus the parts that the Court opined would need a referendum, it was very clear that the executive presidency remains largely intact. This augurs well for those harbouring hopes for presidential leadership in the future including Sajith Premadasa, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Champika Ranawaka, Duminda Dissanayake and of course Namal Rajapaksa. For those in Sri Lanka who have quietly hoped that more..

The mother of all political betrayals

Apr 19 (Island) Immediately after the New Year holidays, events are once again moving faster than they can be written about. The Avurudu festivities would have shown the entire country which way the cookie is crumbling. The only public appearance that President Maithripala Sirisena made during the festivities was at the oil anointing ceremony. He was accompanied on that occasion by ministers, Rajitha Senaratne, Duminda Dissanayake and M.K.D.S. Gunawardene. more..

'I tried to control Mervyn'

Apr 19 (SL) He was considered a powerful Defence Secretary during his term in office but Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the media portrayed the wrong image about him. In an interview to an independent organization, Rajapaksa said that when he was in office he did everything in good faith. He also said that allegations raised against him, particularly by people like former Minister Mervyn Silva, should not be taken seriously. more..

Out of the red and into the wilderness

Apr 19 (ST) My dear Somawansa sahodaraya, I thought I must write to you when I heard you announcing that you were resigning from the party of the rathu sahodarayas. Having not heard from you for many months and believing that you had retired when Anura sahodaraya took over the leadership of your party, this came as quite a shock! While we were at first taken by surprise by your sudden decision, sahodaraya, we are now confused. You say you have no disputes with the rathu sahodarayas but more..

19A defeats Govt’s well meaning RTI Law

Apr 19 (ST) On Tuesday, the new Govt is optimistic that those parts of the 19th Amendment (19A) — cleared by the SC — would be passed by a two-thirds majority in Parliament, notwithstanding undercurrents of a spoiler by lawmakers unhappy with the outcome of the Jan 8 Presidential election. While there is general acceptance to whittling down the powers of the Executive Presidency, the contentious issue is that electoral reforms must also be passed at the same time. more..

'TNA has no loyalty towards LTTE'

Apr 19 (SL) With the debate continuing on who should be the opposition leader in Parliament, the TNA, which had recently told the Speaker that the post should go to its leader R. Sampanthan, insisted that there is no reason why the Tamil party should not get the post. TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran said that the TNA had not run after Ministerial posts and had declined positions even when they were offered, and that they will always stand up for more..

Cost of 100-day promise

Apr 19 (CT) The then Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena made a host of promises to the electorate which he said he would implement in the event he was elected to power at 8 Jan 2015 poll. His subsequent victory is now history. Let us examine in a nutshell what his win and the promises he made to the masses by way of doling handouts has cost the taxpayer in the little over three months (100 days) that have had lapsed thus far. Among two of his plethora of election promises more..

SLC, the Miracle of Asia

Apr 19 (NS) ‘SLC’ stands for Sri Lanka Cricket. That’s not what the headline refers to. The headline refers to Sri Lanka cricket (note the lower case ‘c’) or cricket in Sri Lanka. Our cricketers, individually and collectively, have brought more glory to the country than most politicians and officials, including, and especially those who run Sri Lanka Cricket (note the upper case ‘C’). They secured two World Cups (ODI and T-20) and made it to the finals of several top international championships more..

'Confident 19A will be passed on Tuesday'

Apr 19 (SO) April 20 and 21 have been set for the much-awaited Parliamentary debate on the 19th Amendment. Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that the Govt is confident of obtaining a two-thirds majority in Parliament to pass the landmark legislation. It's coalition partner, the JHU which earlier opposed the amendment has also confirmed that it will vote for it after the Govt decided to remove sections in 19th Amendment draft more..

British democracy and the Tamil Diaspora

Apr 19 (SL) Statements made by British political leaders on Sri Lanka are necessarily directed at the British electorate though it will indirectly impact on the Sri Lankan political situation too. Britain is now going through a hectic election campaign and the Sri Lankan diaspora of Tamils have cleverly organised themselves in a number of electorates where they could influence the numbers of seats won by contending parties. Thus, statements made by British leaders such as Ed Miliband of more..

Cheques and (bank) balances

Apr 19 (SO) The Citizens' Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG), which made a name for itself through sheer consistency and painstaking - if low key - campaigning for good governance in the country for over a decade, must be in transports now. A decade and more of steadily worsening bad governance was scrupulously criticised by CIMOGG even as its members refused to be disheartened by the persistent popularity of those in bad govt. more..

Sri Lanka bars central bank chief from foreign travel for three months

Apr 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has imposed a three-month ban on overseas travel by its central bank governor, Arjuna Mahendran, who faces an investigation over alleged insider dealing, an official said on Saturday. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe set up a three-member panel to investigate the alleged insider dealing at a Feb 27 bond auction after opposition accused Mahendran of involvement and demanded an independent inquiry. more..

Senior SLFPers oppose dissolution of Parliament on April 20

Apr 18 (Island) With President Maithripala Sirisena stating that Parliament would be dissolved after the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a crucial SLFP parliamentary group has been scheduled for Sunday. Senior SLFP sources said that the people had given a mandate to serve them for six years and they did not want an election any time soon. "We will not support piecemeal constitutional amendments. There is no problem with shedding the draconian powers vested in Executive Presidency, but more..