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Video: Parliament debate on JVP’s no-confidence motion commences

Jul 10 (AD) The debate on the motion of no confidence presented by the JVP against the govt commenced in parliament, a short while ago. The debate commenced with JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s address to the House. The UNP has stated that they would work to defeat the no-confidence motion. The motion was brought by JVP MPs Anura Dissanayaka, Vijitha Herath, Nihal Galappaththi, Sunil Handunnetti, more..

Additional Rs.65 bn would not put a strain on Treasury: Kabir

Jul 10 (DN) Although we require a supplementary allocation of Rs.184 billion in order to complete the ongoing projects and those that are half completed, taking into consideration the Easter Sunday terror attacks and the situation the country is facing, we only requested for additional allocations of Rs. 65 billion, said Minister Kabir Hashim. “Over the past several years we have been able to spend the entire allocations made to more..

EU counter-terrorism expert to visit Sri Lanka

Jul 10 (EN) The European Union's (EU) Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, will visit Sri Lanka and the Maldives from July 11-16 to help improve security in the countries, a statement said. "The visits aim to support the two countries in their respective efforts to step up security and develop a better exchange of experience," a statement from the European Union Delegation in Sri Lanka said. more..

Teacher petitions right to wear Abaya, Hijab

Jul 10 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday allowed a Fundamental Rights petition by a female school teacher seeking an Interim Order staying the school authorities and State from preventing her from reporting to work at school wearing an Abaya and Hijab. The Supreme Court three-judge bench comprising Justices Sisira De Abrew, Murdu Fernando and S. Thurairaja fixed the case for support on Sept 4. more..

Death penalty: SLPP says Prez has no judicial power

Jul 10 (DM) The SLPP said yesterday President Maithripala Sirisena had no judicial power to pick out four convicts to be executed when there were many others on death row. SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said there were more than a hundred people serving life imprisonment for drug trafficking and asked how the President had picked out four convicts - one woman and three men to be singled out for execution. more..

Parliament committee slams abuse of discretionary budgeting

Jul 10 (EN) A parliament committee has highlighted what it called misuse of discretionary budgeting by the finance ministry and recommended restricting such spending to less than five percent of total expenditure. The increase in discretionary budgeting was one of the key concerns flagged by the parliament report in public finance. Finance ministry has said it has now restricted such discretionary budgeting to 2% of spending. more..

Kiriella insists Prez has to come before PSC if summoned

Jul 10 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament, that President Sirisena would have to come before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday terror attacks if he was summoned to testify. Minister Kiriella, during a crosstalk following an inquiry made by UPFA MP Nimal Lanza, on a letter sent by AG to the Speaker on the PSC, said that in accordance with a precedent set by a ruling more..

GTF, too, opposes resumption of judicial executions

Jul 10 (Island) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has urged President Maithripala Sirisena not to resume judicial executions. The following is the text of statement issued by the UK headquartered GTF: "The GTF is appalled at the reports that Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the execution of four drug offenders, claiming it would end increasing addiction problems in the country. more..

Dengue on the rampage

Jul 10 (ST) The dengue virus is once again rampaging through the country with the Western Province being the worst-hit. “We have had 25,200 dengue cases in the first six months of this year (January to June 2019) with 39 deaths. Twenty of these deaths were in the Western Province. In June alone, around 7,000 people have been affected by dengue in many areas,” Negombo Hospital’s Consultant Paediatrician, Dr. LakKumar Fernando said, more..

Free democracy or political inferno?

Jul 10 (DM) UNP has become muted. The political party that championed the cause of democracy has lost its voice; an increasing tendency for retail politics has made it an anachronism in modern-day politics. Its machinery has lost its skipper; the one who is pretending is making incoherent statement after incoherent statement and the backbenchers do not seem to have guts to challenge such a leadership though it has more..

Woe unto a country run by Dealers, not Leaders..

Jul 10 (DM) We are badly and desperately in need of leaders. No, not the dealers of the type of the top three men who stake claims for ruling this country at present. Real Leaders!! With the Easter Sunday bombings, the entire political landscape has been turned on its head. This is specially so with regard to the prospects for the upcoming elections, i.e. Presidential as well as General elections. While the country has been stalled economically due to the attacks, it is not a secret that more..

Start from Scratch

Jul 10 (DM) Brian Lara once said that if he had to put anyone to bat for his life, it would be Jacques Kallis or Rahul Dravid. Even Lara, who came from the land of legendary Vivian Richards, could not count his life on a player from his own country. Kallis and Dravid belonged to the rare breed of players who epitomized consistency. The only player in the game to score more than 10,000 runs, take over 250 wickets in both ODI and Test, and with 131 ODI catches under his name, more..

Daya Gamage questioned over propaganda monies

Jul 10 (CT) Minister Daya Gamage yesterday told Parliament that he did not take money from either Samurdhi beneficiaries or the Treasury to promote granting Samurdhi benefits to 600,000 new beneficiaries. However, Minister did not divulge to Parliament from where he got the money to carry out the propaganda campaign. Govt allocated Rs 10 billion through the Budget for the additional 600,000 persons who were more..

PM requests Election Commission Chairman not to resign

Jul 10 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested the Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya not to resign since elections are due in the coming months. Informed sources said that Deshapriya had met the PM in his office in Parliament yesterday, to discuss national issues, including the holding of Provincial and presidential elections. Deshapriya told the media in January this year, that he would quit his position if the govt failed to hold the PC polls before Nov 10. more..

I’ve been asked to testify before the PSC: PM

Jul 10 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he had been called to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks. He said this in Parliament during arguments on the PSC. “I like to discuss the PSC as one who has been called to testify before it. However we need to carry on with the business in the House,” PM said. He said the ruling given by the Speaker on the PSC and on the letter sent to the Prez by the AG should be accepted by the MPs. more..

Police bust plot to assassinate Prez: Dayasiri

Jul 10 (DM) SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said police intelligence has busted a plot to assassinate Prez Sirisena by convicted drug kingpins now on death row. “The law enforcement authorities have launched an inquiry into the alleged attempt to assassinate the President,” he said. MP said that the Easter Sunday attacks, Parliamentary Select Committee and the dozens of fundamental rights petitions filed in the Supreme Court more..

Lands Bill will allow foreigners to buy lands in Sri Lanka: Dayasiri

Jul 10 (DM) Although it appears that the State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill is progressive and people-friendly, in reality it is attempt by the govt to allow foreigners to buy lands in Sri Lanka, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said. He said that the proposed Bill would allow people to trade in any state land after title deeds were issued to them and added that giving ownership of state lands to squatters is a good move but in reality may result in negative repercussions. more..

CAA sets record straight on landing of civilian aircraft at BIA

Jul 10 (FT) The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) yesterday issued a statement setting the record straight on the landing of a civilian aircraft at the Bandaranaike International Airport. It said the attention of this Authority is drawn to a few recent media reports raising some speculations on the arrival of a private aircraft at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA); hence the following clarification for information of members of the public. The aircraft of type HC-47 Skytrain bearing more..

Video: AG to file revision application against granting bail to Pujith & Hemasiri

Jul 10 (AD) The Attorney General will file revision application before the High Court over granting bail to the IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, says the AG’s Department. Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today (9) released the two defendants on bail imposing a surety bail of Rs 500,000 on each of them. They were informed to appear before the CID on July 2nd. more..

Macroeconomic fundamentals in good shape; 4Q growth to be favourable: CB

Jul 10 (DN) CB Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy told a group of exporters yesterday the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals are in pretty good shape and the fourth quarter growth would be favourable. “We have also raised sufficient funds to meet our obligations pretty much to the middle of next year,” he said. “I am not saying they are wonderful; but the fundamentals are in pretty good shape,” he said at the National Exporters’ CEO Forum in Colombo last morning. more..

New Land Bill would make farmers aliens, warns Counsel

Jul 10 (Island) An ordinary farmer who owned about a quarter acre of land, after selling it to a multinational company would be destitute, said President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva in the SC when he supported a petition against the Lands (Special Provision) Bill. Petitioner was MP Udaya Gammanpila. Manohara de Silva told the Court that the new Bill pertaining to agricultural land would enable a poor farmer to sell his land to a multinational company, invest the money and more..

JVP’s no-faith motion: Wijeyadasa alleges bid to deceive electorate

Jul 10 (Island) In case the JVP managed to secure required support for its no-confidence Motion (NCM) against the govt in the wake of Easter Sunday attacks, the Cabinet would be automatically dissolved, Janakantha Silva, Assistant Director (Administration), Table Office said yesterday. The official was responding to The Island query whether a successful JVP move could result in an early general election ahead of 2019 prez poll. more..

Parliament Oversight Committee to formulate Code of Conduct on breaking news

Jul 10 (FT) Sectoral Oversight Committee on Women and Gender met yesterday in the Parliament complex and decided to bring in a code of conduct for breaking news, which is harmful to female victims and their immediate family members. During the discussion headed by United National Party MP Dr. Thusitha Wijemanna, the committee agreed to evaluate all media and classify the advertisements, news, dramas, shows, and movies according to the level of damage and violations. more..

‘200 MW power from sustainable sources in two weeks’

Jul 10 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake promised Parliament that the govt would add 200 MW to the national grid generated from sustainable energy sources within the next two weeks. Minister added that PM had already given recommendations to CEB on working with an Indian company that is willing to provide infrastructure facilities for a sustainable energy project in Northern Province. Power generated from sustainable energy sources now contribute 693 MW to national grid. more..

Govt to implement visa-on-arrival scheme for 39 countries from 1 August

Jul 10 (FT) In a bid to boost tourism, Govt yesterday announced that the visa-on-arrival scheme for citizens of 39 countries will be implemented from 1 Aug, after the move, which was to be effective from 1 May, was suspended soon after the Easter Sunday attacks. “Earlier we had the Cabinet approval for a number of countries other than India and China. Due to the Easter Sunday terror attacks, we had to temporary suspend it until more..

7 lives saved, thanks to AIA’s Poson safety programme

Jul 10 (Island) Seven lives were saved this year, thanks to AIA’s Poson Safety Programme. Now in its 26th consecutive year, the programme aims at protecting the lives of the throngs of pilgrims travelling to Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla for Poson. Every year, AIA Insurance joins hands with the SL Police, SL Lifesaving, the Civil Security Division and the SL Navy in deploying lifeguards to watch over the reservoirs in the area, which are popular bathing & swimming spots. more..

Dayasiri advised to attend PSC by Speaker

Jul 10 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya recommended UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekara appear before the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to look into the Easter Sunday attacks. According to the Speaker, avoiding the summons will be cited as a contempt of Parliament. “The Select Committee was appointed by the Parliament and was approved by Party Leaders. The first court case came up after the Select Committee commenced its work and we are unable to discontinue. more..

Airlines welcome reduction in charges

Jul 10 (FT) The airline industry yesterday welcomed the reduction in charges, noting that the move will boost business climate and tourist arrivals. Cabinet on Sunday gave approval for a slew of charges, including ground handling, aviation fuel and embarkation levy, to be reduced for six months, to assist the tourism industry to recover after the Easter Sunday attacks. Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) and more..

ADB-funded iRoads worth US$ 1.7 billion: Who will look after them in 3 years?

Jul 10 (Island) ADB-funded pilot iRoad Network in the Southern Province – built by the RDA costing Rs. 21-26 million per km- will be maintained by the contractors for three years, and then they are to be handed over to local govt and provincial council authorities in the Province. However, people in these remote areas fear that their local and provincial councils won't be the best trustees to leave the responsibility with, for maintaining these new roads made to highest standards. more..

Sri Lanka slips into next round of Football World Cup qualifiers

Jul 10 (ST) Macau’s refusal to play the return match of the first-round qualification games in Sri Lanka having earlier got the better of the local lads in Macau, has given the SL National Team ranked # 200, a rare opportunity of advancing to the next round. With participation fully funded by FIFA, this is a fabulous opportunity for Sri Lanka Football to see how far they can progress among better teams, most of them ranked above our countrymen. So, it is high time that the FFSL President and more..

Israel offers technical knowhow to modernise agriculture

Jul 10 (ST) Israel is eager to assist SL to explore immense potential in tourism, agriculture and water management adopting modern innovative techniques, visiting Israeli Ambassador to India/SL, Dr. Ron Malka said. Delhi-based Dr. Malka, on 3-day fact-finding visit to the island, noted that his country stands ready to provide technical knowhow in improving the resilience and productivity of agriculture in the paradise island. more..

It's been the World Cup of the yorker, and we love it

Jul 10 (CI) They know it's coming, you know it's coming, the commentators know, as do thousands in the stands. A deep drumbeat resounds in collective minds, going faster and faster and faster. A bowler on a warpath to the crease, wind rushing by. A vortex of limbs, a slightly angled arm and a diagonal seam. In response, a raised bat, late on the shot, despite prior knowledge. It dips. Then it tails. Bails still in mid-air, bat dropped in despair. An eruption. A firework. A howl of joy. The yorker. more..

WC 2019: Rain disrupts semi-final as New Zealand struggle for runs

Jul 10 (CI) Rain pushed the Old Trafford semi-final between India and New Zealand into its reserve day. When the players went off the field at the start of the 47th over, New Zealand had struggled to 211 for 5 on a distinctly two-paced surface. Under the tournament playing conditions, the match officials tried their best to complete the match on Tuesday, even if it meant a reduction in overs, but the rain didn't let up. This means that the match will resume on Wednesday - weather permitting - more..

After a lengthy delay, still no green light for Sri Lanka’s red list

Jul 10 (MB) When a team of herpetologists led by Mendis Wickramasinghe found a group of webless shrub frogs in a remote montane ecosystem in SL in 2010, it was an encounter with a species not seen since it was first described in 1876. In fact, both SL’s national red list and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list the webless shrub frog (Pseudophilautus hypomelas), found nowhere else on Earth, more..

A captain’s plea to SLC

Jul 10 (DN) Following SL’s poor showing at the 2019 Cricket World Cup two perspectives have emerged one from the captain Dimuth Karunaratne and the other from the chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel and they both point to one thing - the deficiencies of Sri Lanka Cricket and for what it stands for. A country’s cricket board is expected to give the players the best platform for them to perform at top level and when that has not been met or for that matter what was already been more..

A bigger Navy for post-war Sri Lanka!

Jul 10 (Island) Sri Lanka is in the process of building a 20-ship Navy by 2025—a highly ambitious project crucial to ensure the nation’s maritime rights and interests. The navy is confident of achieving the daunting task though it seems beyond SL’s reach. A decade after the successful conclusion of the war, SL is pursuing SLN’s maritime strategy 2025 a task gravely undermined by the unprecedented current turmoil. The project was launched during then Vice Admiral R.C. Wijegunaratne’s tenure more..