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President considers new gamble but it is likely to fail

Jun 16 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena wants to conduct a parliamentary general election first after seeking approval at a non-binding national referendum. Towards this end, sources close to the Presidency said, he has sought the opinion of the Attorney General Dappula de Livera. He has concurred that the move was possible but the President’s own legal advisers have differed in their view. more..

Video: No extremism in my blood: Kabir Hashim

Jun 16 (AD) Former Minister Kabir Hashim says that he has always acted while staying true to his heart and that every decision he takes is on behalf of the country. Asked why all Muslim ministers decided to resign despite only one of them being accused, the UNP Parliamentarian said that they had to take certain decisions by thinking about the country due to the instability in the country at the time and because there was a possibility of a huge fire spreading in the country. more..

Video: Pro-LTTE group protest during Sri Lanka-Australia WC match

Jun 16 (AD) A group of pro-LTTE activists staged a demonstration near The Oval in London, during Sri Lanka’s World Cup match against Australia on Saturday. The group held up placards, waved LTTE falgs and protested against Sri Lanka and the country’s cricket team while also calling for Sri Lanka to be referred to the Int'l Criminal Court for the alleged Genocide of Eelam Tamils. The protesters had also obstructed the Ada Derana reporter who attempted to cover the agitation. more..

Muslim MPs who resigned to reconsider accepting ministerial posts

Jun 16 (ST) Muslim MPs who stepped down from their Cabinet, State and Deputy Minister positions will hold a special meeting in the Parliament complex on Tuesday to consider whether to again accept ministerial posts in the Govt. Former Minister Abdul Haleem said that the meeting would take place once Parliament sessions resume on Tuesday. He said the MPs would hold the meeting to discuss an appeal made by Chief Prelates more..

It’s time to change UNP leadership: Ajith P.

Jun 16 (DM) The UNP leadership should be changed before the next presidential election, Non-Cabinet Minister Ajith P. Perera said. He said that it was high time for the party to choose its candidate and assign the party leadership to him. “We have a few leaders with the potential to win the presidential election. The party leadership should be handed over to one of them,” the minister said. “There is one whom I prefer but the party could elect anyone as it has been done in the past." more..

Ten-year PR visas for foreign investors

Jun 16 (ST) The govt will extend Permanent Resident visas for up to ten years to attract long-term foreign investors, a senior minister said. Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena said the move was intended to attract more foreign direct investments to the condominium industry. “At present, to secure a five-year PR visa, an investor has to deposit US$ 300,000. Under the new scheme, the deposit amount would be increased up to US$ 500,000 for a 10-year PR visa,” more..

Video: Hizbullah grilled for 8 hrs over meeting with two Saudis

Jun 16 (AD) Former Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah has left the Terrorism Investigations Division (TID) after giving a statement for over 8 hours. Police Spokesman’s Office confirmed that he left the TID at around 5.45 p.m. after recording a statement. Hizbullah arrived at the TID this morning to give a statement pertaining to ongoing investigations related to him. The former Governor was summoned to record more..

Indian military contingent, families arrive in Sri Lanka on goodwill visit

Jun 16 (Hindu) About 160 Indian military personnel with their families arrived in Colombo on Saturday on a three-day visit, as part of an exchange programme that seeks to promote military ties through reciprocal visits to key, mostly religious, sites in the two countries. The team will visit popular tourist attractions in SL, including the Temple of the Tooth in the central Kandy city and the beach town of Galle. Simultaneously, as many SL military officers and their families left for India more..

Thailand to promote tourism to Sri Lanka after Easter Sunday attack

Jun 16 (EN) The Tourism Authority of Thailand will stand in solidarity with Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday attack, and promote bilateral tourism with the local tourism promotions office. "Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand accompanied by a group of outbound travel agents and journalists is to visit Sri Lanka shortly," a statement from Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry said. "The visit is to express solidarity with Sri Lanka and help revive the country’s tourism industry," it said. more..

Video: President calls on Asian nations to unite in the battle against terrorism

Jun 16 (AD) Delivering a speech at the CICA summit in Tajikistan, Prez Sirisena called on Asian countries not to allow outside powers to suppress the power of Asia. The Asian region, as the forerunner of the next century, should be strong and powerful in every aspect especially in peace and economic strength is the Century of Asia, he said. Addressing the Fifth Summit of Heads of State of the Conference on Interaction and more..

Sri Lanka must get back to basics

Jun 16 (ST) The famously fickle British weather has dominated the past week of the Cricket World Cup, rain and cold winds interrupting the summer and ruining several games, halting the momentum of a tournament that had started so positively. Everyone hopes that the sunshine will return from this weekend, but the wet summer has clearly impacted the conditions and some teams have faced more challenges that others. It’s obvious that drainage efficiency in different venues varies greatly. more..

Dickwella blitz helps SL ‘A’ draw ODI series

Jun 16 (CI) Niroshan Dickwella's ninth List A century and his 165-run opening partnership with Sangeeth Cooray set Sri Lanka A on the track for a seven-wicket win against India A, helping them level the five-match series 2-2. Having been put in to bat in Hubli, India A were anchored by a half-century from in-form opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (74 off 73 balls), who also helped stitch together two half-century stands for the second and third wickets after the early loss of Prashant Chopra. more..

SL snub media duties after Australia defeat

Jun 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka are likely to be hit with an ICC sanction after failing to fulfil their media duties following Saturday's damaging Cricket World Cup defeat against Australia. Dimuth Karunaratne's side were beaten by 87 runs at the Oval, leaving their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals hanging by a slender thread. SL skipper Karunaratne and other players from his team were due to face the press after the match in a more..

'IS sympathisers were already radicalised'

Jun 16 (Hindu) The three IS-sympathisers arrested by the Coimbatore City Police for alleged conspiracy to stage terror attacks in Coimbatore were radicalised much before the Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka, said the police. Preliminary investigations showed that the three, Mohammed Hussain, 25, from Ukkdam; A. Shajahan, 25, from Anbu Nagar; and Sheik Safiullah, 36, from Karumbukkadai, were actively propagating pro-IS ideologies on social media platforms for over a year. more..

SriLankan Airlines defaults on some state-backed loans

Jun 16 (EN) State-run SriLankan Airlines has defaulted on loans which have been backed by govt, a Finance Ministry report has said. "The Govt bears contingent liabilities over the provision of guarantees for loans obtained from People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon as well as Sovereign Guarantee issued for the Int'l Bond," report said. "These have become obvious liabilities for the govt…" The report said SriLankan was unable to repay some installments with internally generated funds. more..

Sri Lanka’s Rs.1 trillion revenue collection target, a distant dream

Jun 16 (ST) Sri Lanka’s revenue collection target of Rs.1 trillion by 2019/2020 through the expansion of the tax payer base in the country, while adjusting indirect and direct tax has become a distant dream owing to weak tax administration at present, official forecast revealed. In a damning exposure, Auditor General’s Department disclosed that as a result of non-issuance of assessment reports on a timely requirement, more..

Sri Lanka's services sector continues fall in May, production shows recovery

Jun 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's service sector continued its fall seen in April following the Easter Sunday attack, while the manufacturing sector showed some recovery. The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the services sector for May fell 0.6 points to 44.7 points. An index value below 50 records a decline from a month earlier, and over 50 denotes a growth. The services sector PMI in Sri Lanka had not fallen in Sri Lanka since it began in 2015, until the Easter Sunday attack took place in April. more..

President’s Poson message: Co-existence, the cornerstone of the Dhamma

Jun 16 (SO) Prez Sirisena wishes that all Sri Lankans embody in their lives compassion and peaceful co-existence, the cornerstone of Arahant Mahinda’s Message of the Dhamma. Poson Poya signifies the advent of Buddhism in SL. The arrival of Arahant Mahinda laid the foundation for the Tripitaka followed by the dawn of disciplines such as architecture, writing, sculpting and constructing stupas. A new epoch in the annals of the country, an education system under the patronage of more..

Australia beat Sri Lanka in World Cup

Jun 16 (CI) Australia's best stuff, personified by Aaron Finch, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc, looked world-beating against Sri Lanka at The Oval. Yet there were still signs that Finch's team have plenty of kinks to iron out, not least problems in an unbalanced batting order but also the continued reliance of the bowling attack on Starc and Pat Cummins, currently first and second on the tournament wickets table. more..

Trinity win hearts and game, but lose Bradby

Jun 16 (ST) A totally unexpected, and uninhibited performance by a 15-man Trinity team saw them get cold comfort by winning the second leg of the Bradby Shield at the Royal Complex last evening. Yet, the Shield eluded them as Royal, by virtue of their lead in the first game, clung on to win the Bradby Shield by 47 points to 41. The potential in the Trinity team was always there, but earlier they seemed to be, in a sense, morally deflated. Not yesterday, as Trinity took the Royalists more..

18 Indian fishermen caught poaching Sri Lankan waters released

Jun 16 (PTI) Sri Lanka has released 18 Indian fishermen arrested for illegally fishing in the SL waters, an official said. The fishermen, who were held off the coast of Point Pedro two months ago by the SL Navy, were freed by a court here on Friday. "They are now to be handed over to the immigration officials for repatriation to India," official said. Illegal fishing by Indians in the SL waters have been a recurring problem and has figured at high level talks between the two neighbours. more..

Dysfunction, hope, more dysfunction; Sri Lanka's World Cup rolls on

Jun 16 (CI) The wife of Sri Lanka's once-captain has accused - on Facebook - one of their players of being a political appointment made by the sports minister of the country. That captain - one of the seven ODI captains tried by Sri Lanka since the last World Cup - is not the captain anymore. He has been accused of picking and choosing games, and has been forced to switch between IPL and domestic cricket in SL, more..

WC 2019: South Africa beat Afghanistan

Jun 16 (CI) South Africa have finally won one. So far have the Proteas' stocks fallen in this tournament after three defeats and an unconvincing outing against West Indies, that an Afghan victory in this match was not unthinkable. But this was a make-or-break encounter for both teams, and it was Afghanistan who blinked - and broke - first, collapsing in a heap after they were unnerved by repeated rain breaks in the afternoon. Having been 39 for 0, Afghanistan's disintegration began more..

Today is Poson Full Moon Poya Day

Jun 16 (SO) Spiritual pageant is the most eloquently befitting definition that can effectively capture the inner essence of the Poson presence of Arahant Mahinda at the Mango Grove that has now acquired a sacred aura. The whole island was in the midst of a royally-decreed National Festival. The King had set aside this day for a Deer Hunt in the Mango Grove. By this time Arahant Mahinda had already arrived at that site by air with a saintly retinue of six, & had alighted on the Rock at Mango Grove. more..

Prez likely to resume Cabinet meetings

Jun 16 (CT) The doors of Kochchikade St. Anthony’s Shrine where 54 persons were killed in the suicide bomb attack on the Easter Sunday were opened for the public after restoration work carried out by Sri Lanka Navy personnel. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith gracing the occasion said that the country needs strong political leaders who work courageously for the good of the country and its people and those who love the country more..

Theatrics in the Kussiya

Jun 16 (ST) In the past two to three years, various characters have sprung to life in this column, discussing the vagaries of the weather, gossip in the village, political happenings to – last but not least – the health of the economy and business developments. Through conversations with these individuals, the column has brought to the fore the issues confronting the nation, its economic health and the way forward. Many readers have called and commented with laughter over the phone on more..

A uniquely unprecedented situation: Is there a way out?

Jun 16 (Island) Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith may have been elaborating the obvious when he said, in the course of his sermon at the re-consecration of St. Anthony’s Church at Kochichikade, that the people were confused and that "they are doubtful whether the country will come out of the prevailing uncertain situation … (and) whether our political leadership is capable of taking this country out of the mess it is in." As a description of the country’s current state of mind, Cardinal’s words are unexceptionable. more..


The EU and Sri Lanka’s media freedom

Jun 16 (Island) On Wednesday last week, the Embassy of the European Union issued the following statement to the media in concurrence with the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Norway, Switzerland and the UK High Commission. "We are deeply concerned by political and religious pressure being directed at Sri Lanka’s Muslim community which is undermining peace and reconciliation in the country. Prejudiced and unsubstantiated allegations more..

All around us chaos and madness

Jun 16 (ST) Aiyo Sirisena, It has been a while since I wrote to you last, but I thought I must write to you again, especially when we heard that you were quite annoyed about what was happening around you, with everyone trying to blame you for what happened on Easter Sunday – and apparently for what did not happen before that. This is all because a committee in Parliament is conducting its own inquiry into what happened on Easter Sunday. From what we have seen and heard at that more..

Did PM have a hand in UNP Muslim Ministers’ resignations?

Jun 16 (CT) UPFA Ampara District MP, National Congress Leader, A.L.M. Athaullah says that barely two weeks after Ranil Wickremesinghe took over the Ministry of Law and Order in early 2018, several mosques in Ampara were vandalised. He also reminds the public that it was during Wickremesinghe’s time as the Minister in charge of Police that anti-Muslim violence took place in Digana, Kandy. more..

Fiat justitia!

Jun 16 (ST) If the sound of the koha heralds the coming of the National New Year, the resurrection of the Wasim Thajudeen and Lasatha Wickrematunge murders usually heralds the coming of an election. So sneers a meme now circulating on social media, on the heels of a report that the Attorney General (AG) has ordered police to speed up investigations into four criminal cases, all of which occurred during the former administration. These are the Thajudeen and Wickrematunge killings, more..

Poson: Glorious heritage of spiritual geopolitics

Jun 16 (SO) When the legendary King Devanampiyatissa accepted the Lord Buddha’s teaching as the official dharma of his royal clan, would he have known that over two thousand years later, a modern state on this same dveepaya would be upholding the Dhamma as a constitutional principle of political community? Would he have imagined that politicians and political parties and entire religious communities and castes would engage in tussles of religious exclusivism more..

The media has killed us: Kurunegala doctor’s wife speaks out

Jun 16 (SO) For Dr. Imara Shafi, a nephrologist at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, May 23, 2019 started like any other day. She and her husband woke up early, discussed their day and their children. At 5am, her husband, Dr. Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi left for prayers at the neighbourhood mosque as he always did. The couple, both doctors had first met as students at Uni of Sri J'pura. Little did Dr Imara they imagine more..

Follow your own advice, EU!

Jun 16 (CT) The classical didactic Sinhala poetry volume Lokopakaraya, written in the 18th century CE, offers timeless advice to the humankind. One such gem is Owa denu parahata, thama sammathaye pihita sita (Advise others only after abiding by the principles). When the European Union (EU), a collection of European nation states, including a number of former colonisers who still stand unapologetic about the havoc they wreaked in Asia and Africa for centuries, destroying our more..

Spirit of Poson

Jun 16 (Island) The Easter carnage spoilt this year’s Vesak celebrations. The govt has made elaborate arrangements to celebrate Poson, which falls today, on a grand scale. What really matters is not the scale of celebrations as such but the significance as well as the spirit of the occasion; the advent of Buddhism changed the course of the country’s history. It was from an ethos fashioned by Buddhism that a great civilisation sprang on this land and flourished. more..

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