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Mission Impossible: Invoking intelligence in the foreign ministry

Oct 23 (CT) The details of the SL triumph in the 2009 Geneva special session, as described in Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka’s Mission Impossible Geneva, should be essential reading for all those concerned about SL’s foreign relations. It is of particular importance that members of the Foreign Service – and those thrust upon it by different regimes, including envoys in vital positions now such as Ranil Wickremesinghe’s cousin Amari Wijewardena (Britain), Athauda Seneviratne’s son Buddhi, more..

Will the pale horse ride again?

Oct 23 (Island) Soon after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Nationalist leader Francisco Franco declared October 12th as the Day of Race. At the inaugural ceremony held in the University of Salamanca, General Franco’s mentor, General José Milán Astray, cried, Down with intelligence! Long live Death! That cry was no mere slogan, as indicated by the murder of poet/playwright Frederico Garcia Lorca by more..

New constitution, Muslim unity & SLMC  

Oct 23 (CT) The govt has released a document called Interim Report of The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly of SL. However, some political parties and groups with vested interests misinterpret this document as an Interim Constitution and mislead the innocent mass. There have been a number of debate sessions and seminars even among the academics and professionals from the time the govt released the interim report. It should be clear that what is released by the govt more..

Needed: National discourse on strategic policy and politics

Oct 23 (SL) Even as the nation is debating the contours and contents of a new Constitution, there is an urgent need to include in it the parameters of a new strategic thinking. If there is a paradigm-shift of any kind, Sri Lanka should not shy away from discoursing on the subject and take conscious-decision(s) on which way to go and how to go it – and, also confer on it constitutional confirmation lest changing political leadership(s) give it colours and shaded that more..

'Namal trying hard to become a political prisoner'

Oct 23 (CT) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna says that he received an invitation to attend a youth conference in Russia. "Since I am attending Parliamentary sessions I will not go. That conference is not that important. Patriot Namal obtained bail from the court and is going to Russia to party. Anyhow, it was not only Namal who was arrested but several others as well. Namal betrayed them and obtained bail to go and more..

The perils of an ostrich-like approach to polls and governance

Oct 23 (ST) The eruption of a fresh controversy this week regarding correction of technical mistakes in the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt’s LG Elections Bill has again raised the bogey of postponement of the upcoming punchi chande polls. Govt has reassured the public that the Bill will be rectified once party leaders meet in the coming days and that the local govt polls scheduled for January next year will not be delayed. But public confidence in such assurances is not high, more..

Bond Commission sends question paper to the PM whilst AG demands oral test

Oct 23 (ST) For the last forty years, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has been immersed in the murky waters of Lanka’s politics but each and every time he came up for air, it has been observed by all and sundry that he had surfaced unstained; and not a blob of mud clung to any part of his countenance. No wonder he had earned for himself the sobriquet Mr. Clean, the appellation granted willingly by the masses and grudgingly by his worst enemies. But even as he celebrated his 40th political b'day more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Hidden agenda behind push for changing Constitution?

Oct 23 (Island) When a pot of water heats up, small bubbles form, then bigger bubbles form, and convection currents begin to cause much agitation, increase of entropy and turbulence; the water is ready to undergo a dramatic phase transition. Water becomes steam. Social systems too, when highly stressed show increasing social turmoil, disruption and corruption. The normal course of justice is thwarted and those who control the purse begin to loot it. more..

Editorial: Media, politicians & misinformation

Oct 23 (Island) Yahapalana leaders are allergic to criticism. They seem to think independent journalists are a nuisance. The kept press tells them what they love to hear. They can depend on the govt-appointed Opposition to leap to their defence whenever they get into trouble. The JO flogs issues selectively and cautiously without provoking the govt too much lest its leaders and their family members should be arrested. Most civil society organisations are offering their services more..

'1990 Suva Sariya should remain'

Oct 23 (SO) WHO Representative to SL, Dr Jacob Kumaresan, highlighted the importance of emergency care as follows: “A well-functioning ambulance service is an essential part of an emergency care system, and should be accessible to all. Ambulance services save lives, by stabilizing a person at the scene and transferring them as quickly as possible to more advanced care.” Accordingly, 1990 Suva Sariya pre hospital more..

Can Sri Lanka avoid another whitewash?

Oct 23 (CI) For the third time in a year, it has come to this: Sri Lanka must win to avoid a whitewash at the hands of an opposition they have barely pushed through the first four games. They did not manage to win the fifth match against South Africa in Feb, nor the fifth against India in Sept. As their bowlers continue to prove friendly, and their batting brittle, a third 0-5 whitewash beckons seductively from the corner. When mediocrity has called, SL's 2017 ODI team has rarely resisted. more..

Fletcher's five-fer propels WI to series win

Oct 23 (CI) Legspinner Afy Fletcher's career-best 5 for 12 clinched the series for West Indies women, as Sri Lanka women slumped to 107 and suffered a 47-run defeat in the second T20I in Coolidge. Fletcher's returns were the joint second-best for West Indies in women's T20Is, and all five wickets came during Sri Lanka's collapse from 85 for 3 to 107 all out. Before that batting implosion, Sri Lanka's openers, particularly Yasoda Mendis (22 off 20 balls), had given them a promising start more..

Malinda takes 12 to help SL A level series

Oct 23 (CI) Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara ripped through the West Indies A line-up, with six-fors in both innings, to seal a 280-run win for Sri Lanka A in the second unofficial Test in Jamaica. The win helped Sri Lanka A bounce back from an innings defeat in the first match to level the series, with the third match set to start from Oct 26. Set a fourth-innings target of 425 on the third day, West Indies A were bowled out for 144 more..

ICC investigates approach made on Sarfraz

Oct 23 (CI) Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was the target of an allegedly corrupt approach after the third ODI against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, multiple sources have confirmed. Sarfraz immediately reported the approach to Pakistan's management, who then passed it on to the ICC's Anti-Corruption unit (ACU). ACU will now take over the investigation. A player was approached, PCB chairman Najam Sethi tweeted. "As per rules he immediately reported to PCB who informed ICC. more..

Inter-monsoon starts tomorrow

Oct 23 (DM) The Inter-Monsoon conditions would develop gradually throughout the country from tomorrow onwards, Duty Meteorologist Nimal Bandara said. He said thundershowers would be experienced all over the island after 2 p.m. and a clear weather could be expected during the morning hours. During the season he said that there was a high possibility of lightning activities and therefore warned the general public to take adequate precautions to minimise the damage. more..

Iran, Sri Lanka sign extradition treaty

Oct 23 (FT) The agreement was signed by Iranian Justice Minister Seyyed Avaei and SL’s Ambassador to Teheran Anis Zaidi at the Ministry of Justice. Justice Minister Avaei expressed satisfaction at the level of good relations between the two countries during the visit of the SL Ambassador to the Ministry this morning and highlighted the presence of a high-level delegation from Sri Lanka for Iranian President’s more..

'It was a family decision not to tour Lahore'

Oct 23 (Island) Head Coach Nic Pothas has justified his decision to not to travel to Lahore for the one off T-20 against Pakistan later this month. Pothas along with seven other players and the team’s physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham pulled out of the Lahore leg of the tour. SLC named a new-look side under the leadership of all-rounder Thisara Perera for the entire series. "It was a family decision. My family is not very happy about me going. For me my family comes first," Pothas said. more..

SL vows to go ahead with Pakistan tour

Oct 23 (Island) SL’s cricket board Sunday vowed to press ahead with a controversial tour of Pakistan next week despite top players pulling out and speculation the coach may not join the squad. Twenty20 final in Lahore will be the first time a SL squad has played in Pakistan since gunmen staged a deadly assault on their team bus in March 2009. SLC is pushing ahead with its tour despite ongoing concerns about security and top players being left out of the squad for the 3-match series. more..

TEA brews urgent blend for industry’s survival

Oct 23 (FT) Renewing its call for liberalisation, Tea Exporters’ Association (TEA) last week highlighted multiple issues plaguing the sector and asked govt for swift assistance on an essential tweak to modernise and end the downfall of the 150-year-old industry. Terming the tea industry a national burden on the economy, TEA claimed that the sector was at present highly politicised and noted that more..

Sri Lanka household incomes up, inequality down in 2016

Oct 23 (EN) Sri Lanka's real household incomes rose 15.8% to 43,370 rupees per month between 2013 and 2016, while inequality fell with lower income groups earning a higher share of income, the state statistics office said. Nominal household incomes before adjusting for inflation rose from 45,787 rupees in a 2012/2013 to 62,237 rupees, Department of Census and Statistics said. In a typical household in Sri Lanka there were 3.8 persons and 1.8 income receivers. more..

Expressways or rurak roads: What does the country need?

Oct 23 (CI) It’s heartening to note that the subject of rural development has hit the center stage again. Not many moons ago President Maithripala Sirisena launched the Gramashakthi Peoples’ Movement aimed at strengthening the rural economy to alleviate poverty in the country. Ambitious enough, it envisages fulfilling the requirements of the people living in 15,000+ villages across the country. Further, it expects to boost rural agriculture and industry. Dr. Siri Gamage, writing to The Island more..

Delay in 2017 Budget move locks billions of capital in listed firms

Oct 23 (FT) A near year-long delay in gazetting a 2017 Budget-approved liberalisation move is locking up billions of capital in listed firms and discouraging a higher inflow of foreign investment into the country, according to property sector experts. In November last year, govt via the 2017 Budget promised to introduce laws which would enable Public Limited Companies even with 51% foreign ownership the freehold right to land. more..

Aloysius senior in alleged estate scam

Oct 23 (CT) Mahakudugala Estate in Kandapola, has been allegedly leased to Jeffry Joseph Aloysius, father of Arjun Aloysius, at a monthly rent of Rs 8,000 until 2045. The lease agreement was signed on 26 Sept 2016. Mahakudugala Estate was handed over to the State owned Maturata Plantations Limited in 1982 for a period of 50 years. Maturata Plantations Limited is alleged to have sub-leased the Mahakudugala Estate to Aloysius in violation of standard procedures. more..

CSE team at iconic NASDAQ market site

Oct 23 (DN) Representatives of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) were recently hosted by NASDAQ at NASDAQ market site – the commercial marketing presence of the NASDAQ stock market and the location for Market Bell Ceremonies at New York’s Times Square. The visit was conducted on the sidelines of the Invest Sri Lanka capital market promotion in New York and included a discussion between more..

Gota says further devolution won’t solve northerners’ problems

Oct 23 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said further devolution of power won’t solve the problems faced by the Tamil community. He said he wasn’t aware of any country where problems had been solved with the help of devolution of power. Those who had faulted the previous Rajapaksa administration for not addressing post-war issues had conveniently forgotten how practical measures were taken more..

Dismay over failed Indo-Lankan talks

Oct 23 (Hindu) Fishermen leaders have expressed dismay over the failure of the third meeting of the India-SL Joint Working Group (JWG) and the ministerial meeting that followed to work out a time frame for the release of fishermen and more than 130 trawlers detained in Sri Lanka and to end bottom trawling in the Palk Bay. The leaders regretted that the meetings held in New Delhi on October 13 and 14 to discuss fishermen issues and the release of the apprehended fishermen more..

Philippines Vice President warns of China debt trap, cites Sri Lanka

Oct 23 (NI) Duterte administration’s new source of financing for its ambitious infrastructure projects, China, could lead the Philippines into a debt trap as it did other countries that had borrowed heavily from the Asian giant, according to Vice President Leni Robredo. Robredo cited the project to build a new Bicol Express, a rail system connecting Manila and Bicol region, for P175 billion, which would come from a Chinese loan. Robredo said there should be a better way to finance the project more..

MPs comment on Constitution without knowing facts: PM

Oct 23 (DM) MPs were issuing statements and comments about the new Constitution without knowing exact details, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. PM made this statement during a ceremony held at Temple Trees to distribute compensation to flood victims. "We have decided to include the responses of political parties in the interim report so that MPs could study them before coming for the debate. more..

Buses found to be running on kerosene

Oct 23 (DM) A number of passenger transport buses were found to be using kerosene instead of diesel by an investigation team of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, sources said. The study has disclosed that there was a tendency among the bus owners to mix kerosene to reduce the running cost of their day to day business. The CPC is selling kerosene at the subsided price mainly to the fishermen and for use of people living in areas, where electricity is not available. more..

EC to probe all parties on citizenship

Oct 23 (DM) After the discovery that New Democratic Front’s Chairman Shalila Munasingne was a foreign national, the Elections Commission said it had decided to call for details regarding the citizenship status of office bearers of all other political parties in the country. The Commission met on October 19 to discuss the matter. Mr. Munsinghe is now in remand prison after being accused of money laundering he had allegedly committed as the Chairman of Litro Gas Company. more..

Devolution of power is not for benefit of politician but for the public: President

Oct 23 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the devolution of power should be used to fulfill the needs of the people while strengthening them, but not for the benefit of the politicians. President further said that the aim of the power devolution is to create an environment to provide equal development benefits to all and to create a just society for all to enjoy equal facilities. He made these remarks addressing more..

'Less than 5% of SL’s population investing in life insurance'

Oct 23 (Island) The insurance industry in Sri Lanka has immense potential for growth but at present less than 5% of the total population has invested in life insurance cover, CEO Softlogic Holdings Ashok Pathirage said. "We have to introduce unique and innovate insurance products to attract new customers, which is the need of the hour, Pathirage told The Island Financial Review at the collaborative launch of Softlogic Life's and Dialog's insurance scheme Pay Day Insurance more..

Coast Guard OPV commissioned as Suraksha

Oct 23 (MoD) Minister Ruwan Wijewardene commissioned the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), CG 60, as SL Coast Guard Ship Suraksha at a ceremony held at Colombo Harbour. Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Kapila Waidyaratne was also present at the Commissioning Ceremony. Commander of Navy, Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah and Director General of SL Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Samantha Wimalathunga received the guests upon their arrival at the venue. more..

Constitution making: Kotte Chapter says not at this junctiure

Oct 23 (DM) Kalyani Karaka Sabha of Kotte, Sri Kalyani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha unanimously decided that the proposals put forward by the steering committee on the drafting of the new Constitution should be temporarily withdrawn stating that the drafting of a new Constitution was not suitable at this juncture, Anunayake of Kotte Sri Kalyani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha Prof. Ven. Bellanwila more..

Russian election and the Octobr revolution

Oct 23 (DM) Month of October is of special significance world-wide. It commemorates the overthrow of the Tsar in Russia and the first attempt to install a worker controlled state in what was then imperial Russia, which was renamed the Soviet Union. Internal contradictions, the failure of a workers state to emerge from the ashes of imperial Russia and the imposition of a ferocious dictatorship were among the causes which ultimately led to the fall and break-up of the Soviet Union. more..

Deepavali again but promised devolution still eludes all Lankans….

OCt 23 (DM) After the Unity Govt was formed in 2015, the President and Prime Minister on realizing that the Tamil issue needs to be resolved first for the country is to go forward, had turned the parliament into a Constitutional Assembly. Together the legislators have produced an interim report to rewrite the constitution, in spite of the divisive mindset of the representatives of all communities painfully slowing down the progress with many issues such as the unitary state, giving prominence to Buddhism, more..

Singapore company gets huge coal contract

OCt 23 (ST) Govt has just approved a US$ 90 million deal to procure 2.5 million metric tonnes of coal for the troubled Chinese-built Lakvijaya power plant in Norochcholai. Decision came after President Sirisena had earlier put on hold the matter for further discussion. This quantity is required every year to operate the three 300 megawatts coal power plants which have been hit by regular breakdowns. more..

SAITM issue may see an end

OCt 23 (SL) The issue related to the Malabe SAITM Medical Faculty which was aggravating by the day, is likely to see a final solution this week. President Maithripala Sirisena said he will look to resolve the issue this week. Protests against SAITM has been festering for over two years and now even the trade unions have got involved in the issue. Initially it was the Medical Faculty Student Union & Inter University Student Federation. more..

Federalism made a dirty word by politicians: Wigneswaran

OCt 23 (CT) Descending from the family that produced Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, C.V. Wigneswaran is also a celebrated Sri Lankan. Lawyer, Supreme Court Judge and now Chief Minister of the Northern Province, he is also a man unafraid to voice his opinion. Recently recovering from minor surgery, Wigneswaran emailed answers to a series of questions around the debate over the proposed new Constitution. more..