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ජනාධිපති මෛත්රිපාල සිරිසේන විශේෂ ප්රකාශය

Video: MPs who joined Mahinda won’t return to UNP: Basil

Dec 17 (AD) The UNP members who had joined with Mahinda Rajapaksa will not return to the UNP, says former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Addressing a public meeting, the former Minister said that he is making this comment as a respect to those members. Furthermore, the rumours which claim that certain members of SLFP would join the govt are unwarranted and that most of the MPs have already informed the President and Mahinda Rajapaksa in this regard, he noted. more..

MR claims Yahapalanaya regime borrowed $ 20.7 b in loans

Dec 17 (FT) MP Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday claimed that the Yahapalanaya Govt since assuming office in 2015 had borrowed $ 20.7 billion in foreign currency loans. “We have no idea as to how much more they will borrow in the coming months. The UNP brought our economy to the brink of collapse through such foreign currency borrowings. All that money was borrowed for consumption. We borrowed money to develop the country and that development is visible. more..

Sirisena lashes out at UNP after reappointing PM

Dec 17 (FT) Soon after restoring Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM, Prez Sirisena yesterday launched a fresh attack on the former and his party, exposing the continuing rift between the two. In a speech made at the closed door meeting with representatives of the UNF led by the UNP and later televised, the President said the reappointment of Wickremesinghe was against his personal political conscience and he still maintained the view more..

Rs 384 M Heroin Bust in Ratmalana

Dec 17 (CT) A 23-year-old Bangladeshi woman was arrested along with 32 kg of heroin, with a street value of Rs. 384 million, at a safe house in Ratmalana yesterday evening, a senior Policeman said. He said the suspect woman was initially picked up from a location in neighbouring Dehiwala by undercover sleuths from the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) who had operated on a tip-off. At the time of her arrest in Dehiwala, the suspect was in a possession of one kilogram of heroin and more..

Saman Ekanayake appointed Secretary to PM

Dec 17 (AD) Saman Ekanayake, a senior Special Grade officer of the SL Administrative Service, has been appointed as the Secretary to the PM. The appointment has been made by President Maithripala Sirisena, effective immediately. Ekanayake had also served as Secretary to the PM from 2015. He has served in the PM’s Office, Dept of Govt Information, Ministries of Housing, External Affairs, Finance, Youth Affairs and Industries, SL High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and more..

JVP vows not to allow Ranil to form another national govt

Dec 17 (Island) JVP says it will not let Ranil Wickremesinghe to form a national govt by making use of the loopholes existing in the 19th Amendment. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that newly appointed PM Wickremesinghe was planning to form a national govt with 21 SLFP MPs breaking ranks with their UPFA colleagues. "In order to accommodate those 21 MPs govt would have to offer ministerial more..

Bar Council head to write to President urging him to appoint judges to SC and CA

Dec 17 (ST) Bar Council of the Bar Association of SL (BASL) has resolved that the President of BASL should urgently write to Prez Sirisena urging him to immediately swear in judges whose names were approved to fill the vacancies at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. The decision was taken after the matter was taken up by Upul Jayasuriya, PC when the Bar Council met. He pointed out that the Constitutional Council had approved the names of two Appeal Court judges to be appointed more..

UPFA won’t joint UNP-led govt: Amaraweera

Dec 17 (Island) The UPFA will not join the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration, a senior UPFA MP said. UPFA General Secretary, Mahinda Amaraweera said that the party had taken that decision on Saturday. Amaraweera said: "However, it is up to the President as the head of the UPFA to decide but our current stance is that we won’t join the Wickremesinghe administration. We will meet again today to discuss what to do given the political climate under the President’s leadership." more..

DEW warns of continuing instability

Dec 17 (Island) General Secretary of the Communist Party D.E.W. Gunasekera warned of continuation of political instability for want of a stable parliament. Welcoming Mahinda Rajapaksa's decision to quit the premiership on Dec 15 in the wake of what the veteran politician called unfavourable Appeal Court ruling in respect of Quo Warranto petition filed by 122 lawmakers, Gunasekera said that political stability could more..

JVP prefers Welgama to MR as Opposition Leader

Dec 17 (Island) JVP says that Mahinda Rajapaksa has no moral right to accept the Opposition Leader post in parliament. JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said that Mahinda Rajapaksa had not voted against the past three budgets of the UNF govt and had not signed the no-confidence motion against UNF PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in April. "MP Rajapaksa was not present in the House to lead his party men whenever there was a crucial vote against the UNF govt. Instead, during the past three years, more..

Plantation firm wins, for the first time, top chamber award

Dec 17 (ST) Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC won the prestigious Gold Award of the National Business Excellence Awards 2018 conducted for 15th time by the National Chamber of Commerce (NCC) at the Awards Ceremony held last week. It is the first time in the history of the National Business Excellence Awards, that an agricultural enterprise, more so a plantation company has won this prestigious award. Roshan Rajadurai, Managing Director, Hayleys Plantations, speaking on behalf of the winner, more..

Cabinet to be limited to 30

Dec 17 (FT) Representing the majority view of the UNP, Eran Wickramaratne said that the party membership wants the Cabinet to be limited to 30 members only, including crossovers. Speaking at a press briefing immediately after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed the crowd, Wickremeratne said that although discussions for crossovers are ongoing, the majority view of the party is to limit the Cabinet to 30 members, more..

Cyclonic storm moves away from Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (DN) The cyclonic storm Phethai over the southwest Bay of Bengal was located approximately 460 km northeast of Trincomalee at 08.30am yesterday. The system is very likely to move north-northwestwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours, while moving away from the island. The influence of this system is expected to gradually decrease from tomorrow. Mainly fair weather can be expected over the island and fairly cold weather more..

Asia Rugby U-19 Championship: Hong Kong thrash Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (Island) Sri Lanka were thrashed by the more dominant Hong Kong outfit by 48-15 in their Asia Rugby U19 Championship 2018 match played in Chinese Taipei yesterday. It was one-way traffic as Hong Kong put out a bulldozing performance scoring seven tries, while Sri Lanka also known as the Junior Tuskers scored only two tries. The much-bigger forwards of Hong Kong, scored their first try within the first four minutes of the match. SL however, found themselves inside more..

'We need someone like Malinga to lead the pack'

Dec 17 (ST) Since Angelo Mathews resigned from his captaincy in June last year, SL had a multitude of captains doing the job. But none of them including Mathews who returned as captain on Chandika Hathurusingha’s request in January could change the fortunes of the limited over side. However, the new cricket selectors hope the appointment of Lasith Malinga as ODI skipper could turn things around for struggling team. more..

New office, auditorium complex aided by China handed over to SL Military Academy

Dec 17 (FT) A China-aided office and auditorium complex were handed over to the SL Military Academy in Diyatalawa on Saturday. The handing over ceremony was inaugurated by President Maithripala Sirisena and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan in the presence of Commander of SL Army Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake, a Chinese military delegation led by Major General Shen Jun, as well as other senior army officers from both Sri Lanka and China. more..

BOC wins Gold in state bank category at CA Sri Lanka annual report awards

Dec 17 (Island) 54th Annual Report Awards Ceremony organized by Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka once again recognized Bank of Ceylon as the Gold Award winner in the State Bank Category for its 2017 Annual Report ABC of BOC. Moreover, it is the second time for this year that the 2017 ABC of BOC Annual Report has been accorded recognition. Initially in September this year, MERCOMM INC. USA too recognized it with three Gold Awards at its 32nd annual celebration of the World’s best more..

Public procurement committees reconstituted to streamline tender process

Dec 17 (ST) The new govt installed by the President is grappling with a number of key issues from the economy to financial allocations for ministries and state institutions. It is unable to formulate and carry out public services, procurement process as well as development projects following an interim injunction issued by the Appeal Court on the new administration. With no sign of ending the political impasse in sight, more..

Niroshan: First shuttler to represent Sri Lanka at the Olympics

Dec 17 (CT) Born on 10 Feb 1964, Niroshan goes into history as the first badminton player to represent Sri Lanka in the Olympics. Badminton was included as a sport in 1992, and with his remarkable performances in the Asian and Commonwealth Games, Niroshan represented the island nation in the same year. As a proud son of St. Thomas’ College, Bandarawela, Ananda College and Royal College, Colombo, this gentleman was able to win 28 titles in total: 9 singles, 12 doubles and more..

Marionettes and iron-men and the cricket soup is churning

Dec 17 (ST) What’s so common between the SL President’s decisions, which have effected so many ingenious changes in our day-to-day life — or to be precise, governance — and the cricket board elections? I do not think you need the three wise-men or any other sages to premise every common man with a wee-bit of commonsense would know that both are in total disarray. Yet, let the bigwigs of the govt, parliament and the judiciary solve controversies over matter governance and more..

Hayleys Energy Services commences Sri Lanka’s first oil and gas drillship lay-up

Dec 17 (DN) Hayleys Energy Services (HES), the pioneer in Oil and Gas support services in Sri Lanka, announced the arrival of the oil and gas drillship Aban Abraham for a warm lay-up to the Hambantota International Port. Aban Offshore Limited, the company that own the vessel, is India’s largest offshore drilling services provider to oil companies, providing drilling operations, production and exploratory work worldwide. more..

Namal congratulates Ranil

Dec 17 (Island) SLPP MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday congratulated UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on his appointment as PM. Rajapaksa said via Twitter that he hoped that Wickremesinghe ensure his government would make a course correction and safeguard the country’s sovereignty. UNP MP Navin Dissanayake told media that the party must immediately start preparing for future elections. "Ranil Wickremesinghe has been appointed the PM more..

Two different Basin Reserve classics

Dec 17 (Island) The Basin Reserve where the current Test match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand is in progress remains a special place for Sri Lankans in many ways. Generally the Sri Lankans have done well at this picturesque venue. The Basin as they call it is literally one of Wellington’s busiest roundabouts. It is the two mountains – Mount Cook and Mount Victoria in the backdrop that add to the beauty of this ground in New Zealand’s north island. more..

Downfall of the Toddy industry

Dec 17 (CT) Toddy is an alcoholic beverage produced from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra (Borassus), date palms (Phoenix dactylifera), kithul (Caryotaurens), and coconut palms (Cocosnucifera). Indian subcontinent is famous for coconut, kithul, and palmyra toddy. However, toddy has become a dying industry. Jayasinghe, a tapper from Wadduwa, said it is necessary to climb trees early in the morning more..

Edtorial: Grimaces, smiles and hurdles

Dec 17 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has had to swallow his pride and make a volte-face once again. Having pulled out of the UNP-led yahapalana coalition and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa PM on 26 Oct, he declared that he had done so because there was a plot to kill him and some UNPers were involved in it. Yesterday, he had to bite the bullet and appoint UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe PM again. Why the event was not open to the media defies comprehension. more..

Judiciary’s message: Constitution and democracy first

Dec 17 (GV) In two judgments delivered in two consecutive days, Sri Lanka’s supreme court has sent out a firm message to the country’s quarrelling political leaders: constitution and democracy first. The judges have also assured SL citizens that in their fight to defend SL’s endangered democracy, the judiciary is now a reliable arbiter. The SC has also said a firm ‘no’ to a narrow and personal agenda of President Sirisena who has, by a series of bizarre words and deeds, more..

Rajiva Wijesinha & Malinda Seneviratne

Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria

Dec 17 (Island) It was a great shock to me when I learned that my superior and guru Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria had passed away. I would, therefore, offer my sincere and heart-felt condolences to his wife, children and his siblings. I had the privilege of working under him for almost a decade, 1977 to 1984 at the Ministry of Plan Implementation and then from 1984 to 1986 at the Ministry of National Security of which the Minister was late Mr. Lalith Athulathmudali. more..

SL’s deep divisions: A Burgher’s insights

Dec 17 (CT) Thank you, Michael for your amazing collection of articles on the Eelam War and its aftermath as well as the present political impasse. Alas, they will not convince people who have already made up their mind based on emotion, ethnicity or with a hatred for Rajapaksa. Meeting Bill in 1998 … and Then …. Bill Deutrom lives and works in Brisbane, Queensland, but happened to be in Sri Lanka on a work-related visit for several months when he penned these incisive lines to me. more..

'I met the President thrice to find a solution'

Dec 17 (CT) UNP MP Ashok Abeysinghe says, the Supreme Court judgment is a victory, for the just and law abiding citizens of the country. Q: The Supreme Court has issued a judgment, annulling the Extraordinary Gazette Notification, issued by the Prez on 8 Nov dissolving Parliament. How does the UNP see the present political situation? A: This unanimous judgment by all seven judges, is a historical judgment which will go down more..

Vision & mission on water management

Dec 17 (Island) A recent study on SL has identified it as one of the six countries that share one half of the 0.3% drinkable water this planet has. What is even more important and surprising is that ours has been identified as the only country in the world that will have drinking water even if there is going to be a shortage of drinking water in the whole world. This news has made water the biggest asset and the most valuable commodity of Sri Lanka that has put it on the top of the world. more..

Court that stood tall above political frenzy

Dec 17 (ST) As former President Rajapaksa ignominiously retreated following the SC and the CA delivering a richly deserved lesson on constitutional propriety to Prez Sirisena, the nation faces sobering questions close to the dawn of a new year. Euphoria in preventing the President from tossing the Constitution into the waters of the Indian Ocean in front of his Secretariat on the advice of legal experts who should be hanging their heads in shame, is understandable. more..

Do you CARE enough?

Dec 17 (SO) Hold on for a moment. Dear reader, you would have heard numerous stories and read articles about sexual harassment on public transport. This is another such article, but we encourage you to take a few minutes to read on especially because sexual harassment in SL’s public transportation system is still prevalent, and experts say that reporting mechanisms are still very weak. more..

Damocles Sword of Judgment falls on the Presidential head

Dec 17 (ST) Supreme Court’s Damocles Sword of Judgment, which had stood dangling for a month over Prez Sirisena’s head ever since their Lordships issued a stay order on his gazette fiat dissolving Parliament in November, finally snapped from its lofty mooring and fell crashing on the presidential pate this Thursday when Seven Supreme Sentinels of the SL Constitution delivered their verdict in the dying hours of the setting sun; and found Sirisena guilty of violating the Mother of all SL’s laws. more..

The delights of a rural existence: Awful similarities to Venezuela

Dec 17 (CT) The recent reading of a piece on Venezuela, beginning with the emergence of Hugo Chavez and the truly desperate straits that nation is in today under the rule of Nicholas Maduro and his supporters, brought distinct discomfort to anyone observing the SL scene. While Hugo Chavez, despite his attempts to perform an unsuccessful military coup when he belonged to the Venezuelan armed forces, landing in jail for his pains, does not have a clearly identifiable counterpart in SL, more..

 Sri Lanka in New Zealand