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Minister to checkmate football officials after AFC vote

Nov 8 (ST) Following the decision of Football Federation of SL (FFSL) to vote in favour of the constitutional amendments tabled at the Annual Congress of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday, the Ministry of Sports has warned the local football administration that it could face repercussions for its decision. Ministry of Sports had made this serious statement based on the foreign policy of SL but not with regard to any move more..

Chandimal’s injury gives more headaches for SL management

Nov 8 (CT) SL skipper Dinesh Chandimal was hobbling even on day one, and yesterday when he came out to bat he was visibly in pain, suffering from his groin injury. He played a gutsy 33 batting at number six trying to rescue his team and did not take the field after that. Their batting coach Thilan Samaraweera said that Chandimal will continue to be monitored by the physiotherapist and will go on to have an MRI scan done before deciding about his involvement for the rest of the Test series. more..

How vibrant social media is undermining a politically biased media culture

Nov 8 (DM) Around 2 pm on the afternoon of Nov 2, actor turned politician Ranjan Ramanayake went live on Facebook. He is an artiste, a popular personality at that, and when Facebook launched live, it was celebrities like Ranjan that were the stars. In this case, however, Ranjan Ramanayake was wearing his other hat, that of the MP. He went live from within the corridors of parliament. He had just come out of a meeting where MP’s representing the UNP, JVP, TNA, SLMC and other parties more..

Dilan Perera

Edtorial: Cornermen as referees

Nov 8 (Island) The first step in treating a seriously ill patient is diagnosing his or her disease. He or she has to be rushed to hospital and nowhere else. Nothing is stupider than to consult anyone other than a qualified doctor on his or her condition. Likewise, a country’s political ills, caused by constitutional ambiguities, should be identified properly before remedies are adopted; the only institution which is qualified and empowered to handle this task is the apex court. more..

NATO’s concerns about Sri Lanka

Nov 8 (CT) The expression of deep concern and veiled threats of stopping development assistance and trade concessions by the international community, after the ouster of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new PM started with a bang. Now, it is gradually diminishing, proving once again it is rhetoric of NATO (no action, talk only). The undue pressure from the international community started to wane when President Sirisena called more..

Udarata Menike: Iron maiden of the mist

Nov 8 (SO) Travelling by train is a lovely experience that all Sri Lankans enjoy. The dazzling views of the upcountry Main Line will leave you with splendid memories lasting a lifetime. Endorsed by many travellers as one of the best railway journeys in Asia, is the trip from Colombo to Badulla on the magnificent Udarata Menike. This 10 hour journey is filled with spectacular scenes of tea plantations, valleys and ravines. more..

Dear Mr. Prez: Letter from a SL queer woman

Nov 8 (CT) Mr. President, As I was going home after lectures yesterday (5), I had to wait in Malabe from 12.45 PM to 8 PM, because of your rally at Diyatha. On social media, I noticed a couple of friends of mine being boldly and bravely vocal about remarks you made during your speech. When I browsed through a couple of articles, I just said to myself, “Wait, I’m just an 18 year old and I never had a thing for politics unless it affected my right to live, I mean I’m neither a fan of Ranil Wickremesinghe nor more..

When the crisis deepens

Nov 8 (GV) SL’s politico-constitutional crisis has begun to show signs of deteriorating into an open struggle for state power, ensuing extra-parliamentary causes of action for its resolution. This path to potential violence and total retreat from democracy needs to be prevented forthwith. Yet, at the moment there does not seem to be political space available or conditions conducive for such a peaceful end to the crisis. Only the enlightened self-interest dawned on the main protagonists to more..

The story of drug use in Sri Lankan schools

Nov 8 (Roar) Mr. President, As I was going home after lectures yesterday (5), I had to wait in Malabe from 12.45 PM to 8 PM, because of your rally at Diyatha. On social media, I noticed a couple of friends of mine being boldly and bravely vocal about remarks you made during your speech. When I browsed through a couple of articles, I just said to myself, “Wait, I’m just an 18 year old and I never had a thing for politics unless it affected my right more..

Problems in Sri Lanka’s constitution, laws and institutions

Nov 8 (GV) Citizens of SL should heed this warning to the framers of the US constitution. SL Presidency was, until recently, a fixed executive, not dependent or answerable to parliament and not removable except for limited reasons. Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Govt, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. With the power to appoint higher officials, SC judges, Police Commissioner, Elections Commissioner it was, essentially an elected monarch. more..

An appeal to Muslims of Sri Lanka: Save the dignity of parliament, country & community

Nov 8 (CT) Sri Lanka has reached a cross road. The parliament has been prorogued because president Maithripala Sirisena did not like an elected PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe. He has appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as interim prime minister in whose previous cabinet MS served before betraying MR. In between MS-MR re-marriage and divorcee RW, the third dignitary, the speaker of the parliament speaker, Karu Jayasuriya is facing a mutiny from his officials in support of the reunited couple. more..

Chamal, S.B., Pavithra get ministerial portfolios

Nov 7 (AD) Several new Cabinet Ministers have been sworn in before Prez Sirisena today at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo. Accordingly, former Speaker and UPFA MP Chamal Rajapaksa has been appointed as the Health Minister while Pavithra Wanniarachchi is the new Petroleum Minister. UPFA MP S.B. Dissanayake has been sworn in as the Minister of Highways and Road Development. more..

Give opportunity to show majority on Nov 14: Speaker

Nov 7 (CT) Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya has decided to go ahead and put the No Confidence Motion against illegal PM Mahinda Rajapaksa when Parliament reconvenes on 14 November in spite of strong objections raised by UPFA representatives at the Party Representatives meeting on Wednesday evening. The UPFA insisted at the meeting that on the 14th of November Parliament will only hold a ceremonial sitting and adjourn for the day as per parliamentary tradition. more..

UNP warns against dissolving Parliament

Nov 7 (CG) UNP today warned Prez Sirisena against dissolving Parliament. There is speculation the Prez may dissolve Parliament and go for snap elections. Former Minister, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said that if Parliament is dissolved it will be an undemocratic act and the public will rise up against it. “This is not just an issue involving politicians. It is an issue involving the country. If the Prez puts the Constitution aside and dissolves Parliament the public will protest against it,” more..

Got threatening call to join Govt: Hirunika

Nov 7 (DM) UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra today alleged that a person had called her aunt, who was residing abroad and had threatened to put an end to her political career if she failed to accept a Ministerial portfolio. Ms Premachnadra told a media briefing that her aunt had told the caller that she would not accept any portfolio. “My aunt had told the caller that her niece cannot be bought over. more..

Our decisions cannot be reversed, TNA tells President

Nov 7 (NR) A delegation of the TNA comprising of Leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan, MP Selvam Adaikkalanathan, MP D. Siddaarthan, MP M.A.Sumanthiran, on the invitation of Prez Sirisena met with him at the Prez Secretariat, today. The said meeting lasted one and half hours. Situation currently prevailing in the country had been discussed at length, at the meeting. Prez had explained to the TNA delegation the circumstances under which certain decisions were made. more..

Tamil living in Switzerland sends Mangala Rs. 10 bn letter of demand

Nov 7 (Island) A Tamil living in Switzerland has sent a letter of demand to MP Mangala Samaraweera seeking Rs. 10 billion for falsely accusing him of being a member of the LTTE. He has alleged that Samaraweera displayed his photo at a media briefing stating that he was a LTTE cadre. Logeswaran Dharmalingam has sent this letter to Samaraweera via a local law firm. Logeswaran has been living in Italy for a long time and when PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, then MP, visited Italy more..

Rajapaksa loyalist fires first shots at Prez

Nov 7 (EN) Former prez Mahinda Rajapakse’s Party fired the first salvo against Prez Sirisena, saying his move had crippled the country and demanded that parliament be summoned immediately. Kumar Welgama, a former minister in Rajapaksa’s cabinet, said Sirisena had made SL the butt-end of jokes around the world and the issue of the PM should be resolved through the legislature. "Our country is going down the precipice. more..

Suresh Wadiwel stays put in MS/MR govt

Nov 7 (CT) State Minister of Plantation Industries Suresh Wadiwel yesterday said that contrary to the slanders on Facebook he had taken the decision to pledge his allegiance to the newly appointed Premier to help work for the betterment of his people in Badulla and all plantation workers. Addressing the Media at the PM’s Office in Colombo, Vadivel observed that one could work towards the betterment of the people only if he or she represented the ruling party. more..

Manusha naive to resign based on Speaker’s statement: MP

Nov 7 (DN) “President has acted in compliance with the Constitution and he has exclusive authority to prorogue parliament,” former Minister and MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Yapa said that Galle district MP Manusha Nanayakkara seems to have forgotten about presidential powers on proroguing parliament, when he was sworn in as Deputy Labour and Foreign Employment Minister. He said Prez Sirisena appointed former President Rajapaksa as the PM and the entire country endorsed more..

Prez should apologize, says LGBTQ+ community

Nov 7 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena should apologize to the LGBTQI+ community over his remark made at Govt’s rally on Monday in Colombo where he said he was promoting homophobia and public incitement of homophobic hatred. Members of the Sri Lankan LGBTQI+ community categorically condemned President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement made at Govt’s rally in Colombo saying he was promoting more..

Video: Dense fog disrupts traffic in Central Hills

Nov 7 (AD) Dense fog that was spurred by prevailing rainfall in the western slopes of central hills is reported to be causing disruption to traffic on the road. Accordingly, vehicular movement from Kitulgala to Nuwara Eliya on the Hatton-Colombo main road had been hindered since 3.00 pm last evening up until this morning. The police have advised the motorists to drive cautiously at a low speed, with headlights turned on, as the dense fog reduces the visibility along the road. more..

Hambantota port gets new gear for heavy load handling

Nov 7 (EN) Chinese-run Hambantota port on the south coast has got new equipment designed to haul heavy cargo that will improve efficiencies. The Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG), which operates the port, made an investment of over 600,000 US dollars to further develop the operations of the Hambantota port. The new equipment includes the purchase of 40-foot Ro-Ro (roll on-roll off) trailers designed to allow efficient maneuverability and break-bulk lifting gear. more..

Sampanthan spills his woes to new US ambassador

Nov 7 (Island) TNA and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday told new US Ambassador to SL Alaina B. Teplitz that the previous govt had not sufficiently addressed the issues faced by the Tamil people. He made those remarks when Ambassador Teplitz met Sampanthan at his residence. Sampanthan highlighted issues pertaining to political prisoners, resettlement, and rehabilitation, lands held by armed forces, more..

SL has suffered a coup without guns: Speaker

Nov 7 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has called President Maithripala Sirisena’s sacking of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to bring former president Mahinda Rajapaksa back to power a non-violent coup, Reuters reported on Wednesday. “The entire series of events can only be described as a coup, albeit one without the use of tanks and guns,” Speaker Jayasuriya has said in a letter dated November 5 to diplomats and foreign missions, adding the entire matter was pre-planned. more..

Vehicle carrying Gota, wife in accident at Hakmana

Nov 7 (DM) The vehicle in which former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and his wife were travelling met with an accident at Denagama in Hakmana this morning, the Police said. They said the vehicle, which collided with a land-master hand-tractor, veered off the road and crashed into a wayside tree. Police said Mr Rajapaksa and his wife escaped unhurt and the land-master driver, who was injured, was admitted to the Walasmulla Hospital. The driver of the jeep was taken into custody. more..

Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali underpin dominant day for England

Nov 7 (CI) England have never won a Test in Galle - they haven't won a Test away from home anywhere for two years - but, two days into this game, they have an excellent opportunity to put both those issues right. It would be simplistic to suggest that Ben Foakes has earned them their dominant position over Sri Lanka. Simplistic but not untrue. For at the heart of almost everything good about this England performance to date has been more..

Police acts only under Prez’s orders: IGP

Nov 7 (AD) IGP Pujith Jayasundara issuing a statement stated that he cannot provide earlier numbers of security for former Prime Minister and Ministers as requested by the former Minister of Law and Order. He stated that the written request of the former minster calling for Ministerial security for former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and former ministers is invalid. Police Department operates only under the orders of the President of the country, he points out. more..

Power failure disrupts operations at BIA

Nov 7 (AD) A sudden power failure has occurred at the immigration emigration premises at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). Reportedly, the power has not returned since its failure at around 11.30 am this morning (07). Although electricity generators have been utilized provide power, the computers systems have not been restored yet. As a result, operations of the immigration and emigration have been disrupted, a BIA spokesperson told Ada Derana. more..

Sajith reiterates he won’t accept premiership

Nov 7 (DM) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, who confirmed that Prez Sirisena had invited him to take over the PM Post, said that he would not accept it even if Prez made another request, but would work towards settling the present crisis. “The President asked me to take over the Premiership but I declined as my sole objective was to see the Yahapalana Govt continued with the leadership of Mr Sirisena and Ranil more..

Fmr DIG Nalaka de Silva further remanded

Nov 7 (AD) Former DIG Nalaka de Silva, who was arrested by CID over VIP assassination allegations, has been further remanded till Nov 21. DIG Nalaka de Silva, former Director of the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID), is currently under investigation in connection with an alleged conspiracy to assassinate the President and the former Defense Secretary. He was previously summoned to the CID on 18th, 19th, 22nd and 23rd Oct to record statements with regard to more..

Of hype, hypocrisy, hysteria, homophobia – and, hope?

Nov 7 (FT) It is ironic that the rally to guard a glory of the land gathered in plain sight of the empty grandeur of Parliament. For days before that, and since the presidential coup which undemocratically replaced one prime minister with another, irate protestors had demanded that their Chief Executive summon Parliament to demonstrate his case. But rather than prove his point with relative ease, by convening the House – a simple expedient that could easily canvass more..

Dr. Harsha de Silva

Speaker’s statement unconstitutional: BASL

Nov 7 (DN) The appointment of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa by President Maithripala Sirisena complies fully with the Constitution, Bar Association of SL President U. R. De Silva, PC, said. The BASL President while stressing that the statement made by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is unconstitutional said the President enjoys the exclusive power with regard to the prorogation and reconvening of Parliament. It can also be dissolved after four and a half years under the Constitution. more..

Post-14 November

Nov 7 (CT) Prez Sirisena after first sacking his PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on 26 October and appointing former President and UPFA MP Mahinda Rajapaksa in his stead, prorogued Parliament till next Thursday (15), calling for its new session to start next Friday (16). But due to protests, on Sunday he issued a new proclamation, reconvening Parliament two days earlier over the previous date set, next Wednesday (14). Meanwhile, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Monday said that more..