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2 Cabinet ministers and 5 State ministers

Dec 8 (AD) Another group of MPs were sworn in as Cabinet Ministers and State Ministers before President Maithripala Sirisena today at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo. Accordingly, two new ministers and 5 new state ministers were appointed. Bandula Gunawardena was appointed the Minister of International Trade and Investment Promotion while Susil Premajayantha received the ministerial portfolios of Public Administration, more..

Still willing to work with MS: Ranil

Dec 8 (Hindu) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he is willing to work with President Sirisena, who abruptly sacked him on Oct 26, if given a chance to prove his majority in Parliament. Caught in an unprecedented power struggle, Mr. Wickremesinghe is trying to claim legitimacy as the PM, after Mr. Sirisena appointed former Prez Rajapaksa in his place and subsequently prorogued Parliament until Nov 16. more..

President can dissolve Parliament under 33 (2) C of 19 A: Fmr. CJ

Dec 8 (DM) Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva said the President had been vested with powers to dissolve Parliament under 33 (2) C of the 19th Amendment. He said that this special provision was incorporated into the Constitution under duties, powers and functions of the President in accordance with the judgment of the Supreme Court. He said this special provision says that “in addition to the powers, duties & functions more..

Video: President’s decision is undemocratic: Hakeem

Dec 8 (AD) The Leader of the SLMC, Rauff Hakeem, states that they cannot accept President’s appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM. MP Hakeem said that they should somehow resolve the crisis that has occurred. He also stated that the action to be taken if they do not receive the vote of the majority, should be discussed as well. Stating that some attempt should be made to resolve issues with both parties, more..

Western Province haven for mosquitoes!

Dec 8 (CT) The National Dengue Control Programme (NDP) expressed concern regarding the increasing number of mosquito breeding sites – mainly in the Western Province. Consultant Community Physician of the NDP, Preshila Samaraweera responding to questions said the rains experienced since the end of last month were worrisome owing to the mounting number of mosquito breeding sites. more..

'India will always be Colombo's 1st choice'

Dec 8 (IT) Foreign Minister Sarath Amunugama dispelled concerns of China taking over a strategic port located on the southern part of the island nation and of Colombo drifting into Beijing's sphere of influence. India will always be SL's first choice, Amunugama said. Amunugama underlined that Sri Lanka does not want to be dragged into military and strategic interests of any country and that Sri Lanka will protect its sovereignty. more..

Behind Sri Lanka's turmoil, a China-India struggle for investments and influence

Dec 8 (Reuters) Gleaming cranes stretch out on the waterfront in the SL capital Colombo as Chinese companies construct a $1.5 billion new commercial district, including hotels, marinas and a motor racing track. They have already built a giant container terminal nearby and a huge port in the south. Now India, the traditional power in the region, is muscling into port and other projects, pushing back hard against China. more..

Agriculture production improves, paddy rebounds

Dec 8 (EN) Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector saw double-digit growth in the first half of 2018 from a year ago, with paddy output up sharply. The Agriculture Production Index (API), which measures the output of agriculture and fisheries sectors, grew by 13.3% to 133.8 in the first half of 2018, compared to the previous year. The paddy sub-index saw the most growth, up 62.5% to 128.2 in the first half, due to good weather and higher cultivation, more..

Samarasinghe says Mahinda will prove his majority at right moment

Dec 8 (Island) The UNP says that Ranil Wickremesinghe, who insists he is still the lawful PM, has the backing of 120 MPs, but the Sirisena-Rajapaksa govt said that it would prove its majority in the House, when necessary. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe responding to questions during the weekly cabinet press briefing said, "Various claims are being made, but we will establish our majority in Parliament at the right moment." more..

Democracy lovers join UNP demonstrators, JVP hits out at both leading parties

Dec 8 (ST) A large number of civil society members and people with no affiliation to any party, joined the UNP protest rally on Oct 30 following Prez Sirisena’s controversial decision to remove Ranil Wickremesinghe from the post of PM and replace him with Mahinda Rajapaksa. The protest rally saw a crowd of roughly 25,000 people take to the streets of Colombo, near the Kollupitiya roundabout. more..

Sovereignty is in the people

Dec 8 (DM) In the Republic of Sri Lanka, Sovereignty is in the people and it is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of govt, fundamental rights and the franchise. Vide. Article 3 of the Constitution. The manner in which these powers are to be exercised and enjoyed is given in Article 4 of the Constitution. Accordingly, legislative power is exercised by Parliament (Article 4(a)) while the Executive power is exercised by the President (Article 4(b)). more..

Science and innovations: Where does Sri Lanka stand?

Dec 8 (DM) Saturday (10) is the UN World Science Day for Peace and Development and the UN in a statement says the organization of a focused event related to the commitment to science and society was one of the positive outcomes of the 1999 Budapest World Conference on Science. It was considered an opportunity to reaffirm each year the commitment to attaining the goals proclaimed in the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge and to follow up more..

Central Bank rejects recent news articles on increased money printing

Nov 8 (LBO) The Central Bank rejected newspaper articles published about the increased money printing by the Central Bank in the past few days. CB says the concepts and facts in such articles remain grossly inaccurate and advised general public to refer to accurate technical articles that are published on the Central Bank website without being misguided by erroneous reporting by a handful of journalists. more..

Prez/PM discuss with Election Commissioner PC Polls under FPTP: Govt

Nov 8 (CT) As Prez Sirisena and PM Rajapaksa have discussed with the Chairman of the Elections Commission that the Provincial Councils Elections will be held soon under the first-past-the-post voting system and the next election will be held under the mixed electoral system, said Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. He further added that even though Prez would like to go for a mixed electoral system it would take time, therefore this time it would be first-past-the-post voting system. more..

We recognize states not govts: UK

Nov 8 (DM) Commenting on the current political developments in SL, UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field has said the position of the UK is that it recognises states and not govts. He has said this in response to a question asked by Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry on Monday whether the British Govt recognises Ranil Wickremesinghe or Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM. State Minister Field said they were deeply concerned by the political situation in SL. more..

Economy in peril: Kabir

Nov 8 (FT) The economic impact of the dragging Constitutional crisis could potentially hamper SL’s debt refinancing efforts in 2019, and delay critical development projects, warned UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim and UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne. The duo speaking to reporters insisted that the removal of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and proroguing of Parliament by Prez Sirisena was unconstitutional, and more..

Govt claims President Sirisena did not refer to LGBT community

Nov 8 (Island) Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe claimed yesterday that President Mathiripala Sirisena’s claim that a butterfly group had taken vital decisions under the Ranil Wickremesinghe government, was not in reference to the LGBT community. He told the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing, that Butterfly Group (Samanalaya Kandayama), was not a derogatory term and should not be construed as applying to a particular community. more..

Monetary Board not consulted on issuing treasury bonds to UL

Nov 8 (Island) Finance Ministry and the Treasury had violated the letter of the law, as stipulated in section 130 of the monetary law, when issuing treasury bonds to SriLankan Airlines between 2012 and 2014, Governor of CB, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy told the PCoI. "According to regulations, Central Bank Monetary Board should be consulted before issuing Treasury Bonds to finance any govt institution. He observed that the Treasury and the Finance Ministry however more..

Full Cabinet before 14: Samarasinghe

Nov 8 (DM) All members of the Cabinet of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Govt would be sworn in before the opening ceremony of the new Parliamentary session on the 14th after prorogation, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said the Govt would have to finish the job before the 14th to enable the Parliamentary staff to arrange new seating in the House and also to facilitate the smooth running of the Govt. more..

Only President’s speech on the 14th: Yapa

Nov 8 (DM) Prez Sirisena’s policy statement would be the only item on Parliamentary agenda on November 14 and a No-Confidence Motion against the PM would not be taken up on that day, the UPFA today said. UPFA MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that any move to show a majority by any party had to wait till party leaders decided the agenda of the next Parliamentary date. “Other than the policy statement of the President, no other item would be taken up in Parliament on Nov 14. more..

Lasantha firm, will support President, PM

Nov 8 (DN) UPFA MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna reiterated his unwavering support for Prez Sirisena and PM Rajapaksa in a public statement. In his statement he requested his fellow MPs not to be carried away by the false propaganda of the UNP about his political allegiance. He said that he was abroad for a very important personal matter, adding that he vehemently condemns the misinformation campaign about him by certain websites affiliated to the UNP. more..

Dr. Nesiah returns Deshamanya title & medal

Nov 8 (CT) In a show of defiance, former civil servant and former Jaffna Govt Agent Dr. Devanesan Nesiah has returned the country’s second highest National Award, the Deshamanya Award along with the medal and the citation certificate to Prez Sirisena saying that he was disappointed over the latter’s blatant flouting of country’s 70-year-old democracy in recent weeks. 85-year-old Dr. Nesiah is a civil servant more..

Dr. Coomaraswamy appeals to public to elect prudent MPs

Nov 8 (Island) Currently, the country was facing a non virtuous cycle of debt and it was a very fragile situation which could even lead to a debt crisis, CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomar-aswamy told the PCoI on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka yesterday. "Of course my colleagues in the debt department have plans and capability to manage it. But it’s the duty of every citizen to act responsibly as regards the govt policy," he told the PCoI. more..

Women's T20: Ireland upset Sri Lanka by eight wickets in WT20 warm-up

Nov 8 (RTE) Ireland Women have completed their warm-up matches for the ICC Women's World T20 with a convincing victory over Sri Lanka. After winning the toss, captain Laura Delany chose to bowl first. Sri Lanka started well, making their way to 40-1 from 7 overs. However, a wicket by Isobel Joyce with the first ball of the eighth over sparked a collapse, as the Irish bowlers ran through their opposition claiming nine wickets for just 45 runs over the next 11.1 overs. more..

රංගේගේ ඉතුරු හඬ පට (ඩීල් දේශපාලනය)

Lankan junior shuttlers win over Kenya, Faroe Islands

Nov 8 (DN) Sri Lanka’s junior badminton players performed well during the World Badminton Championships which is in progress at Markham Pan Am Centre Toronto in Canada. Sri Lanka comprising 13 players entered the main draw by defeating Kenya and Faroe Islands and received a walk over from Algeria in the round robin matches. They began with a 5-0 loss to India but came back strongly to beat Kenya 5-0, and Faroe Islands 5-0 to finish second in Group "E" to India. more..

Ranil defends Sajith on meeting with Prez

Nov 8 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says he had been aware that the party’s Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa had talks with President Maithripala Sirisena early this year. Wickremesinghe issued the following statement on a letterhead of the Prime Minister’s Office: "It has been brought to the notice of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe a section of the media reported that UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa had met President Sirisena without the UNP leader’s knowledge. more..

TNA won’t support MS-MR combine

Nov 8 (Island) TNA has ruled out support to Sirisena-Rajapaksa govt in parliament under any circumstances. A 4-member TNA delegation led by its leader R. Sampanthan made its position clear to Prez Sirisena. Prez met the delegation, close on the heels of TNA MP S. Viyalendiran being sworn in as Dy Minister of Regional Development (Eastern Dev). TNA delegation comprised R. Sampanthan, more..

Airport passenger throughput surge 24% up to June 2018

Nov 8 (EN) Passenger movements at BIA in Katunayake had surged 24.3% from a year earlier to 6.4 million in the first half of 2018, while cargo handling has also recovered from a slump in last year. In the first half 2017 total passenger movements only grew 0.5% to 6.4 million with the airport closed for half day due to runaway repairs. Some aircraft were diverted to Mattala during the period. Aircraft movements at Mattala had fallen to 281 in first half of 2018 from 980 a yr earlier. more..

Weathering the Storm: Improving disaster resilience of rural workers in Sri Lanka

Nov 8 (IPS) Droughts, floods, landslides, and cyclones have frequented the SL newspapers in 2018. From Feb to March this year, nearly one million people in six provinces in the country were affected by a severe drought, according to Disaster Management Centre (DMC). In May 2018, floods and landslides, triggered by the Southwest monsoon rains, adversely affected 1,537,122 people in 19 districts. The ongoing heavy rains are again causing floods and disrupting livelihoods. more..

Kamer says arrest cannot be justified

Nov 8 (ABC) A NSW university student who spent four weeks in solitary confinement after being falsely accused of terror offences has described the police investigation into his case as embarrassing and biased. Kamer Nizamdeen, 25, was arrested in August after being accused of writing in a notebook about plans to kill former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his then-deputy Julie Bishop. more..

President Sirisena takes over Media Ministry

Nov 8 (Island) The govt said yesterday that since Prez Sirisena had taken over the Media portfolio, it had been decided to appoint State Minister Keheliya Rambukwella as Co-Cabinet spokesman. This was said in response to a question on how Rambukwalle could be a Co-Cabinet spokesman, when he was only a State Minister. Co-Cabinet Spokesman Mahinda Samarasinghe explained that since the President was also in charge of the Media portfolio, Rambukwella would function as a Co-Cabinet more..

John Keells Group revenue up 10%, profit to equity holders up 37%

Nov 8 (Island) John Keells Group revenue at Rs.32.57 billion for the period under review is an increase of 10 per cent over the Rs.29.62 billion recorded in the previous financial year, Susantha Ratnayake, chairman of John Keells Group informed its shareholders. Some excerpts from his message to the shareholders are reproduced below. The cumulative revenue for the first half of the financial year 2018/19 at Rs.62.74 billion is an increase of 11% over the revenue of Rs.56.45 billion more..

Home discomforts hurt Sri Lanka as England storm the fort

Nov 8 (CI) You know you are at a Sri Lanka match when you see the flags. You need not know whose flags they are. You could be colour blind. Your eyes could even be failing you in general. But if can see there is a flag for almost every person in at a cricket ground, it is likely to be Sri Lankans waving them. When the team plays overseas, for example, SL fans are often vastly outnumbered, but on the brandishing of more..

CB appoints new Deputy Governors

Nov 8 (FT) The Monetary Board, with the concurrence of the Finance Minister, has promoted Assistant Governors S.R. Attygalle and H.A. Karunaratne to the post of Deputy Governor of the Central Bank with effect from 31 Oct. S.R. Attygalle has over 27 years of service in the Central Bank and prior to the appointment as a Deputy Governor, Attygalle held the position of Assistant Governor of CB and has been released to the Ministry of Finance to serve as the Dy Secretary to the Treasury. more..

Sovereignty resides in people

Nov 8 (Island) In the Republic of Sri Lanka, sovereignty is in the people and inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise. Vide. Article 3 of the Constitution. The manner in which these powers are to be exercised and enjoyed is given in Article 4 of the Constitution. Accordingly, legislative power is exercised by Parliament (Article 4(a)) while the Executive power is exercised by the President (Article 4 (b)). more..