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Sirisena insists executive presidency should be abolished

June 26 (ST) Whether it would be electoral reforms or a new Constitution for SL first is becoming a contentious issue between the two main partners of the Govt – SLFP and UNP. SLFP wants a 20th Amendment that will incorporate the electoral reforms to be presented in Parliament first. Its finer parameters are yet to be worked out. On the other hand, the UNP is in favour of these reforms being incorporated in the new Constitution more..

AG's report on controversial bond issue will be submitted to COPE on 29 June

June 26 (CT) AG's report on the controversial Treasury Bond issue will be submitted to the COPE on 29 June. COPE members are to have a discussion to decide whether JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti should continue as Chairman of COPE or not. During the debate on the Right To Information (RTI) Bill, Minister Lakshman Kiriella brought into question MP Handunnetti's ability to function independently of influences in carrying out his duties as COPE Chairman. more..

CB Governor: PM to reveal behind-the-scene secrets

June 26 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is to make several disclosures on matters related to Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, sources close to him said yesterday. Sources said he would make a disclosure on a certain person who had been behind publishing several reports on the Central Bank Governor. They also said the Prime Minister was to call for explanation form a certain UNP MP who is alleged to have been behind the publishing of reports on the Governor. more..

‘I cannot host diplomats and foreign officials in a normal boutique’

June 26 (Island) Expressing optimism that the ongoing COPE investigation will help clear his name, CB Governor, Arjuna Mahendran said that he returned from overseas to serve his motherland, and the President would decide whether he should continue in his job or not. He confirmed that he has decided not to seek an extension of his term until COPE clears his name. "COPE is the best forum I could prove my innocence. more..


June 26 (SO) A senior Deputy Governor currently serving in the Central Bank is likely to be appointed to head the bank, as incumbent Governor Arjuna Mahendran has decided not to seek a re-appointment until the conclusion of investigations. Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri is currently the front-runner for the post, top Central Bank sources told the Sunday Observer, on Saturday. The appointment is to be announced by President Maithripala Sirisena, next week. more..

Singapore turns back Alles

June 26 (ST) Singapore last week refused entry to businessman Tiran Alles and its Immigration officials ensured he returned to Sri Lanka. Visas are stamped upon arrival and reasons for the refusal are not known. Mr Alles has been a regular visitor to Singapore. Mr Alles flew on SriLankan Airlines flight UL 308 on June 20 (Tuesday). He was forced to return to Colombo on UL 307 on June 21 (Wednesday), the State Intelligence Service (SIS) reported to Govt leaders. more..

Sri Lanka’s new ship to arrive from China

June 26 (CT) At a time the global freight market has collapsed, the second brand new Chinese made ship, a bulk carrier - MV Ceylon Princess - is arriving from China's AVIC Shipyard, in Weihai. It had been purchased by the Rajapaksa regime for an inflated price of almost US$ 7.5 million. While the first ship Ceylon Breeze that A last year from China is squeezing its way to make some profit, use of the second ship, more..

Ranatunga’s Yahapalana recruitment drive

June 26 (ST) Recruitments to the public sector to any post, even a driver or a peon, goes through a process but for some ministers, yahapalana means abusing the process. Either the ministers are unaware of the rules or due to sheer arrogance of their powers believe that handing out jobs is a prerogative they have earned. This came to light where Minister Arjuna Ranatunga exposed the manner in which applications could be submitted to join the security division of the SLPA. more..

Match fizzles out to a draw while the Lankans fight back

June 26 (ST) The first Youth Test match between host Sri Lanka U19 and South Africa U19’s fizzled out to a draw despite Proteas opener Jan van Heerden’s ton at the Sara Stadium yesterday. SL U19 set a target of 277 runs end the day on 158 for 3. Lankan under 19 skipper Avishka Fernando who remained unbeaten on 57 was involved in two fruitful partnerships. First was 91 runs for the third wicket with his deputy Sammu Ashan who made a 52 and then an unbroken 40 runs with more..

Chinese say no to almost expired weapons and ammunition?

June 26 (SL) A Chinese weapons and ammunition supplier has refused to take back weapons and ammunition which have almost lost its shelf life as they had not been stored in proper conditions. Sources said that the Chinese had inspected some of the arms and ammunition which are about to expire. However, the Chinese had found that the weapons and ammunition were stored in poor condition affecting its future usage and more..

Public debt and bonds out of CB control

June 26 (ST) Key functions of the Central Bank (CB) are to removed from the banking regulator under a proposal of the Ministry of Policy Development and Economic Affairs. The Department of Exchange Control, the Employees Provident Fund, the Staff Training College (based at Rajagiriya) and the Public Debt Department will come under independent agencies operating under the purview of the PM’s office, under a proposal presented to the Cabinet, about two weeks back. more..

Govt collects taxes to invest for the future

June 26 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe says that the Rajapaksha Govt collected taxes to strengthen the family. He said that the present Govt collects taxes to invest for the future of the country. The Prime Minister said that the youth wants to move forward. They want to get a good job to earn a better income. Those aspirations could be fulfilled only by taking the country forward. He said that it is the UNP that could take the country forward. He said that it is the UNP that could more..

'My resignation would have amounted to accepting guilt'

June 26 (Island) Central Bank (CB) Governor, Lakshman Arjuna Mahendran is in the center of a controversy with not only opposition politicians but some elements within the govt also demanding his resignation. He gave up a lucrative career in international banking when he was asked to take charge of the CB. After assuming duties on Jan 27, 2015 as the 13th Governor of Central Bank, he embarked on Herculean task of clearing more..

Major part of taxes is being spent on education: PM

June 26 (ITN) 2000 who had passed the A/L Exam in Science and Maths will be recruited as teachers after training. The revelation was made by PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. PM emphasized that the Govt will continue to grant relief to the people and its aim is also to bring down the cost of commodities. He said that a major part of taxes was being spent on education. The PM said that the number of Science and Maths teachers is less. Govt has a new programme to overcome the dearth. more..

Differently-abled children have a Dream day

June 26 (SO) The second phase of Dream Cricket 2016, was held at the Stanley Jansz Playground, Perahera Mawatha, Colombo 3 on Saturday. 89 differently-abled children from a number of schools and orphanages in Colombo and suburbs took part in the event, which was co-sponsored by the Rotaract Clubs of American National College, Colombo West National School of Business Management, University of Moratuwa and Alumni of University of Moratuwa. more..

Pressure mounting on skipper Angelo

June 26 (Island) Several prominent individuals within Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are losing their patience with national captain Angelo Mathews and they will have a word with the captain once he returns home from the current tour of England. Apart from two wins against lowly Ireland, SL have had a dismal outing in their tour so far. After drawing both their warm-up game, Sri Lanka lost the first Test at Leeds inside three days and more..

Nine records tumble on Day 3

June 26 (ST) St. Joseph’s Colombo and Mahamaya Girls School Kandy the defending champions of the boys’ and girls’ categories look set to retain the title for yet another year as they were in the lead when proceedings ended on day three of the 43rd Schools Age Group Aquatic Championship held at the Sugathadasa Stadium swimming pool. St. Joseph’s will look forward to clinch the title for the 13th successive time while Mahamaya the champs for the last 17 years will be aiming for more..

SLC suspends Kithruwan

June 26 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket has suspended Test cricketer Kithruwan Vithanage for a period of one year on the recommendations of the board's Disciplinary Committee, an official told The Island. SLC bosses sat down for an emergency meeting on Friday where the decision to suspend Vithanage from all forms of cricket was taken. The player who agreed with the sanctions recommended by SLC Disciplinary Committee can appeal. The sentence can be reduced on appeal. more..

Let me live again: Anusha Samaranayake

June 26 (ST) Kusal Janith is back on track. What transpired in the aftermath of that doping probe had historical value. The case already is becoming a benchmark in WADA history. The entire SLC machinery worked as one and as soon as the ICC probe results were out it became headline news in all media. But there are also instances where the sun sets in the east. What about the name of the fast bowling coach more..

SL needs to adjust trade arrangements

June 26 (SO) Sri Lanka will have to adjust to the new EU/UK trade environment and ensure the island’s exports keep moving favourably. “There are various issues Sri Lanka should seriously look at in the process of re-establishing its trade links with the UK and also with the EU,” biz leaders said. The Brexit transition process may take some time, “but we will call upon the government to take measures to look at trade arrangements and establishing new links,” they said. more..

England aim to ram home advantage

June 26 (CI) Eoin Morgan demanded improvement from his England side after they escaped with a last-ball tie in the opening ODI of the series. He got it in no uncertain terms at Edgbaston. Accurate bowling, and a lively fielding display, was followed by a dominant, free-wheeling opening stand as Alex Hales and Jason Roy plundered the record books in a 10-wicket victory. The turnaround is now swift to the third match; a chance for England to carry their surge forward in Bristol, more..

Dark clouds loom over unity govt

June 26 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena was the Chief Guest at an event, marking the 74th Birth Anniversary of the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, organized by the All-Island Youth Abstinence Organization at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on 21 June. Individuals who have contributed significantly to the effort to eradicate the narcotics menace in the country were especially felicitated at the event. more..

End of the Peace Secretariat

June 26 (CT) We had had officers from all branches of the services, and they had proved invaluable in providing information when questions came up, and also in making arrangements for my visits to North and East during the conflict period. I had set in place a system whereby I monitored Tamilnet every day, and immediately asked for explanations if there were any allegations of improprieties. Though I did not always get responses, by and large I was able to establish that more..

Govt faces economic Armageddon

June 26 (Island) In a landmark judgment delivered by Supreme Court last Friday, the country’s highest court shot down a disputed coal tender with it being said in open court that conscience of the court was shocked by the conduct displayed by certain individuals involved in the process. Norochcholai power plant requires 2.25 million tonnes of coal per annum and the practice is to award tenders for a three year’s supply - the biggest tender in the country worth over Rs. 60 billion. more..

Political assassins among war heroes

June 26 (SL) During the election, the Yahapalana govt vowed to take action against those who had been involved in assassinations and fraudulent activities during the previous regime. At that time there were many people who were accused of being involved in the assassination of veteran journalists such as Lasantha Wickrematunge and Prageeth Ekneligoda and many other crimes. more..

Of a two-dollar throat and billions plundered

June 26 (SO) MR promises to slit his throat if they find evidence that he pilfered even one dollar, leave alone the 18 billion that is said to be stashed away. On Thursday, June 23, this figure shot up to 20 billion when Minister Champika Ranawaka made a statement. And he, Ranawaka, does not shoot his mouth, clever man that he is. The finger is pointed at several members of a family. The threat of throat slitting, whether in a true spirit of hara-kiri or as a mere loud sound, more..

Govt calms furore over CB Governor

June 26 (SO) The COPE committee tug-of-war between Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and former minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage reached new heights last week with the two MPs exchanging blows inside the Parliamentary premises. Deputy Minister Ramanayaka was busy recently with his arduous mission against Aluthgamage, a politician with a dubious track record who recently got an appointment as a member of the COPE committee. more..

Face the Nation

What you could have done

June 26 (ST) My dear David Cameron, I thought I should write to you because this is a time when the whole world is talking about why your country voted to leave the European Union. You had campaigned long and hard to keep Britain in it and the verdict of the people must have come as a rude shock to you. What came as a shock to us was your announcement soon after that saying you would resign as Prime Minister and that you had already spoken to the Queen about it. more..

Give more powers to Auditor General

June 26 (ST) The first recorded evidence in SL’s history of an Auditor General (AG) dates back to 1779 when Cecil Smith was appointed just three years after British occupation of Maritime Provinces. The modern incarnation of the AG’s Department was shaped by the constitutions of 1931, 1947 and 1972. For more than 200 years, therefore, govt spending has been formally scrutinised by the office of the AG. Thousands of reports have been churned out, although their timing was not always ideal. more..

'Country progressing in the right direction'

June 26 (SL) The country is progressing and it is in the right direction. The govt will be able to fulfill all its promises as pledged. UNP Kalutara District MP and Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith P. Perera, who is a lawyer by profession, says that there are some economic issues – people have grievances – and the govt will take steps to fulfill the aspirations of the people as promised. more..

More Pros than Cons for Sri Lanka

June 26 (CT) The biggest laugh about Britain's exit from the EU and one that will make David Cameron grimace in disgust is the fact that even hours before polling ended, Google was inundated with millions of searches from within the UK, [after 80 per cent had already gone to the polls, in the dark as it were!], with questions such as What is the EU? and even Why should we Stay and why Leave? Abject ignorance cost David Cameron the Premiership of Britain at a time when subtle forces more..

Home gardening potential

June 26 (Island) It is common knowledge that the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC), predominantly owned by British American Tobacco (BAT), among the biggest players in the global tobacco industry, is in a controversial business. In fact, the company itself publicly admits this inescapable reality. We have time and again said in this space that given the information that is now widely disseminated in the public domain, anybody who smokes is plain stupid. more..

NMRA appointments draw mixed reactions

June 26 (SO) Last week’s appointment of Prof. Asitha de Silva and Dr Kamal Jayasinghe as the new Chairman and CEO of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) which replaced Prof. Lal Jayakody and Prof. Chrishantha Weerasuriya, has drawn both brickbats and bouquets, with at least one organisation threatening to challenge the appointments in court. The central figure of the controversial appointments, more..

Can vulgar, brawling gentlemen be halted?

June 26 (SL) Regular vulgar, rowdy, outbursts of disgusting abuse breaking out into brawls have been witnessed in our holy of holies on the Diyawanna Lake for quite some time. After such occurrences the prude, elitists and editorialists far removed from the scene call for various remedies to be implemented immediately, to stop the rot. Ironically, the honourable gentlemen themselves, who were active participants in hurling abuse and brawling, too make strident calls soon after more..

Re-exporting narcotics to the world

June 26 (SO) Even as the country comes to grips with the sheer enormity of the ruin that has beset this island in the recent decade, we wake up to a fresh horror: not only has the corrupting of institutions enabled narcotics smuggling, but the lack of controls has resulted, seemingly, in a booming narcotics re-export! For long, Sri Lankans have taken pride in the success of Colombo as the key transshipment port for the South Asian Sub-continent, especially to mighty India more..