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Dilruwan survives after unusual review

Nov 20 (CI) Dilruwan Perera survived an lbw decision after an unusual route to taking the assistance of the Decision Review System (DRS). At the time of the incident, Dilruwan was batting on 0 off 7 balls. He went on to play out a further 27 balls, and add 43 for the eighth wicket with Rangana Herath. In the 57th over of Sri Lanka's innings, Nigel Llong upheld an lbw appeal from Mohammed Shami when an indipper beat more..

Will Britain do the right thing by Sri Lanka?

Nov 20 (Island) On Tuesday (14), Dinesh Gunawardena introduced a resolution in Parliament requesting that in view of Lord Naseby’s revelations in the House of Lords on the number of civilian deaths during the last stages of the war, "Sri Lanka should take action to pursue this matter with Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and with the UNHRC to change their unjust position in regard to Sri Lanka…and that the Govt should also report back to Parliament on this matter." more..

How cells spelt out the names of top scorers in COPE’s bond game

Nov 20 (ST) First a legal DISCLAIMER to alert the reading public that nothing in today’s SUNDAY PUNCH 1 is intended directly or indirectly, by innuendo or imagination howsoever farfetched to suggest or convey in any manner whatsoever or to create the impression in any wise or dumb mind that those named in the Presidential Bond Scam Commission proceedings on Thursday persons who had been in constant touch with Arjun Aloysius are guilty of any wrongdoing merely because more..

තලතාගේ නහය යට ඉදන් වහල් වෙළදාමේ යෙදෙන...

Of Bananas and Chimpanzees

Nov 20 (SO) Several Diyawanna members were caught in some crazy love entanglement no. I don’t know about you paradisians, but Siripala won’t be talking 277 times to some old Jhonny without a reason, ah. If it was  a woman Siripala would be singing love songs, and if it was a man- Sirpala would be making plans to party or plans to make some moola. Love- Siri however, seems to be the one playing it all cool and dandy though. Trying to act all statesman and be like “yes machang more..

A reply to Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapakse

Nov 20 (Island) The lengthy article by Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse PC on constitutional reform published in the newspapers recently appears to contain several errors of fact and of law. I have no wish to argue with the former Minister of Justice on his views on the legality of the current constitutional reform process in which he participated until his removal from office. However, any debate should proceed upon the basis of accurate information and correct statements of the law. more..

COPA expedites audit via computer network

Nov 20 (SO) For the first time in the annals of SL’s parliamentary history a comprehensive report of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) was presented having examined the performance of 831 state institutions during the financial year 2015. COPA has catagorized institutions with a special marking scheme and rewarded the institutions which have the highest performance in year 2015. more..

Sitting on an illegal committee

Nov 20 (SO) Former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe must be a very absent minded man. Or else, he must be suffering from a rare disorder that causes him to forget his ideas, views and everything else that he did for long periods of time, only to remember them years later. This week, Rajapakshe wrote a letter to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. In the letter, he argues that the creation of a Constitutional Assembly for the purpose of drafting a Constitution is illegal and wants it annulled. more..

Looking at cold, bare facts of state torture

Nov 19 (ST) A fracas has arisen over a recent investigative news report finding credible claims of Tamil torture victims that they had been raped and branded by SL’s security and policing agencies. Let me be unequivocal on this point. Take the issue away from the hysteria of international interventions and let us look at the cold, bare facts. The use of torture as an interrogation method in regard to ordinary criminals or terror suspects, (as well as those believed to be falling into each of these more..

The budget and the inequality crisis

Nov 20 (GV) Gintota is a grim warning. The abyss is still with us. We remain a country where a private dispute can be interpreted as a religious issue and used to ignite a violent conflict. Gintota didn’t become an Aluthgama not because society has changed but because the govt has. In Aluthgama, the Rajapaksas allowed the rioters free rein. In Gintota, Sirisena-Ranil administration intervened fast, & intervened decisively. more..

Curse of racism now raises its ugly head in Gintota

Nov 20 (CT) People, Sinhalese & Muslims, in around Gintota, a town close to Galle in the South of the island, wanted to live in peace and harmony as they have lived for generations in the area. However unfortunate for the country some suspected racist mercenaries including Buddhist monks think otherwise and oppose all peace moves. On Tuesday (14) a Sinhalese teenager riding a motor bike, some suspect without a valid license, knocked down around a 55 year old Muslim woman who more..

Devolution & The increase in the number of local representatives

Nov 20 (CT) It seems like, under the motherhood-and-apple-pie cover of devolution, additional incompetence and corruption is going to be visited upon the people of Sri Lanka. Political office, inclusive of being appointed as Organiser for one political agglomeration or another, has become a highway to accumulation of illgotten wealth. Ask anyone in the country, particularly rural folk, what their opinion is of politicians supposedly serving them and you’ll be told that more..

Stern action against those creating violence: PM

Nov 19 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the law will be enacted against individuals or groups creating violence and unrest in the island. Speaking to media during an observational visit to Gintota PM said the incident in Gintota involved a small group of people claiming as a result of various rumours the incident turned into unrest. PM noted police and STF personnel were deployed to the area in order to maintain law more..

PM not summoned to PCoI; making voluntary appearance: Kiriella

Nov 19 (Island) There is an attempt to portray that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has been summoned before the Presidential Commission into the Treasury bond scam. The truth is otherwise as the premier has volunteered to appear before the Commission, Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament. He was responding to JO MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, who said that for the first time in the history, more..

Looters as Rulers: Officials who sabotage govt programs will be removed: Ranil

Nov 19 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that there would be purge of govt officials who derail and sabotage govt programs. Responding to a question raised by UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, he said there were some officials put in various places by the previous govt now sabotaging the govt’s progressive projects. "There are some we have identified. We would remove them from their posts soon more..

AirAsia offers to build special terminal at BIA for budget carriers

Nov 19 (ST) AirAsia has offered to build a special terminal at BIA for low-cost carriers under a five-year investment of US$ 70-100 million. Malaysian carrier’s proposal to set up a budget carrier based out of BIA was put forward more than one year ago. Cabinet Committee on Economic Management has now approved the bid and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe & Minister John Amaratunga have submitted a joint Cabinet paper. more..

Mumbai Indians likely to release Lasith Malinga for IPL auction

Nov 19 (SK) In what would have seemed an unthinkable move a few years ago, IPL side Mumbai Indians are set to release their premier fast bowler in history, Lasith Malinga, for the IPL auctions. With the teams likely to be allowed to retain a maximum of three players, the IPL 2017 winners are unwilling to keep hold of Malinga, considering the fact that the SL speedster has looked out of form and also faced issues more..

SL seeks help of foreign governments to arrest underworld godfathers living overseas

Nov 19 (Island) The govt has sought the intervention of foreign countries to arrest notorious underworld kingpins, who continue to operate with impunity from beyond the shores of Sri Lanka, Minister, Sagala Ratnayake, said. "We are now discussing the matter with the governments of countries, where these underworld godfathers are living, to ensure that they are arrested and brought before the law", he said last week. more..

Rahul and Dhawan carry India into lead with ease

Nov 19 (CI) Openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan capitalised on vastly improved batting conditions, both overhead and underfoot, to lead India's recovery on the fourth day in Kolkata. After Rangana Herath's third Test fifty had propped up Sri Lanka's lead to 122, there was only one likely winner. But after Dhawan struck a 116-ball 94 and Rahul hit an unbeaten 73, there were none it seemed. Mohammed Shami, on his home more..

ADB pledges 1b sovereign assistance package for Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (SO) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will double its sovereign assistance during 2018-2022 in an effort to support Sri Lanka’s transition to upper middle-income country (UMIC) status. “ADB proposes to double its sovereign assistance to $ 800 million-$1 billion per year during 2018-2022,” Vice-President (Operations 1) of ADB, Wencai Zhang told the Sunday Observer from Manila. more..

Massive drugs pile set for incinerator

Nov 19 (ST) Nearly a tonne of narcotics worth Rs 16.7 billion seized over the past three years, is set to be incinerated. The STF said 928 kilograms of illegal drugs will be destroyed next month. A senior STF official said approval is being sought from the Attorney General’s Department. Related cases have been completed. There are talks to incinerate the drugs in the kilns of the Holcim cement factory in Puttalam. more..

Yala safaris: PM roars at Minister’s decision

Nov 19 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued an ultimatum to Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera to immediately revert to an earlier decision to allow only 300 vehicles a day to the Ruhuna (Yala) National Park. In the alternative, he told Minister Perera at last Wednesday’s meeting of the CCEM that the Wildlife Department would be removed from his Ministry. PM said it would then be placed more..

Political Gimmicks and Quirky Political Leaders

Nov 19 (Island) The latest gimmick from some of our legislators was taking alternate transport - the poor man’s means of conveyance – to get to the August House by the Diyawanne on Budget Speech Day. Of course it must be said that with no showy fanfare, the Finance Minister stole the limelight and the day. Our plaudits go to him. Except for those who just have to carp and criticize, most Sri Lankans judging from TV discussion panels, newspaper comments and our own chats over lunches and dinners, more..

PM at COI tomorrow: The end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?

Nov 19 (Island) PM is expected to appear tomorrow at the inquiry to answer direct questions from the Commissioners, after submitting an affidavit of answers to their questions in writing. The revelations this week about phone calls between UNP MPs, serving on the COPE, and Arjun Aloysius, the young principal of Perpetual Treasuries, has led to wildly contrasting reactions. Second tier JO MPs are calling for an inquiry into the alleged contacts between UNP MPs and the PTL chief. more..

UNP-SLFP coalition to continue despite bumpy road ahead

Nov 19 (ST) For a second week in succession, the dialogue between the UNP and President Sirisena, leader of the SLFP, the two main coalition partners continued. This time, representing the UNP were Chairman Malik Samarawickrema and General Secretary Kabir Hashim. The former had returned to Colombo only hours earlier from Singapore together with PM Wickremesinghe. Meeting had been sought by Samarawickrema in a phone call more..

Ceiling on election expenditure: Legal framework yet to be passed

Nov 19 (SO) Laws to impose a ceiling on election campaign expenditure will not come into effect before the upcoming LG polls, which is likely to be held early next year, the Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said. He said that the legal framework for the new regulations has to be passed in Parliament before a campaign ceiling can be affected at elections and that it is yet to happen. The Election Commission Chairman announced on Friday that notice of intent to hold election, more..

Govt to compensate affected families after clashes

Nov 19 (SL) The Govt says it will compensate the affected families in Gintota in Galle. Minister Vajira Abeywardena said that the President and the PM have given instructions to asses the damage following the clashes and compensate the affected families. He also said that the situation in Gintota will be further assessed today and appropriate security measures will be taken. Minister Sagala Ratnayake said that Muslims and Sinhalese communities in the area are now living in fear. more..

Speaker to seek legal opinion on conduct of four COPE members

Nov 19 (ST) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will seek legal opinion on the cases of four MPs who were named before the Commission of Inquiry for making telephone calls to Arjun Aloysius, who is at the centre of the Central Bank bond inquiry, an official source said. MPs were serving members of the COPE which was, at the time, inquiring into the alleged bond scam. Speaker wants to ascertain whether disclosures warranted action since more..

Treasury Bonds Probe: AG to question PM

Nov 19 (CT) The PCoI, probing the controversial CB Treasury Bonds issue, has summoned Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya to question PM Ranil Wickremesinghe when the Commission meets tomorrow. Attorney General Jayasuriya, said that a communiqué had been sent, asking him to lead the PM's evidence. "The reason they have summoned me is due to the respect of protocol for the PM, who is the second citizen of the country. I will be leading the evidence on behalf of the Commission," more..

More inter-monsoonal rains from next week

Nov 19 (ST) Second phase of inter monsoonal rains is expected to begin from next week, according to Meteorology Department. Duty meteorologist said that evening thunder showers which were expected for a period of two months were disrupted due to the low pressure in the Bay of Bengal. “During the inter monsoon the winds should be slow or variable; if the wind speed increases it disrupts the rains,” he said explaining the prevailing weather pattern in some parts of the country. more..

Exposing corrupt dealing of Parliament Mafia? : UNP furious over phone tapping CID

Nov 19 (CT) As the controversies surrounding the Treasury Bonds scam increase each day, UNP charged that the release of telephone conversation records of COPE members by the PCoI probing the Bonds scam amounted to a breach of privilege of MPs. UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe and his UNP colleagues demanded to know on what basis the information pertaining to these telephone conversations were divulged to the media. more..

Sri Lanka alarmed over increased smuggling of Kerala ganja

Nov 19 (CT) Govt is alarmed over the increase in the movement of cannabis and other drugs from India, especially Kerala into the country. The authorities have seized sizeable consignments of Kerala ganja over the last few years. In the last couple of months alone more than 300 kg of ganja, labeled as Kerala ganja, was seized from various parts of the country, the reports added. On 10 Nov, an Excise Department officer in Vavuniya was arrested along with a quantity Kerala ganja. more..

Gintota situation under control, night curfew continues

Nov 19 (ST) Additional Police and security personnel were deployed yesterday in Gintota, close to Galle, to prevent further clashes between two groups. At a meeting held at the Galle District Secretary’s office and attended by senior security forces personnel and Police, a decision was taken to maintain heavy security in the area until the situation returns to normalcy. No incidents were reported during the day yesterday. Meanwhile, 19 people were arrested over the clashes more..

BBS’s Gnanasara Thera plays peacemaker in Gintota

Nov 19 (SL) General Secretary of BBS, Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera on Saturday attempted to play the role of peacemaker by calling for calm in Gintota, Galle. Gnanasara Thera said he visited Gintota following the violence between two communities and sought to mediate and bring the situation to a peaceful end. He said that some groups were falsely accusing the BBS of being involved in the violence. more..

Aviation sector to be liberalized

Nov 19 (CT) SL's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) plans to sign open skies bilateral air service agreements with 20 strategically important nations and review existing airport taxes, with the twin aim of liberalizing the aviation industry and boosting tourism arrivals. CAA CEO, H.M.C. Nimalsiri said that CAA plans to sign open skies agreements with 20 new countries including Singapore, India, UAE, UK, Turkey and The Netherlands during the upcoming International Civil Aviation Org more..

Why is SriLankan losing money?

Nov 19 (Island) SriLankan Airlines – the national airline of Sri Lanka – has been in the news lately, mostly for the wrong reasons. And the criticism is justified. SriLankan last made a profit in FY2008 and has been unprofitable since. That was also the last year of a strategic relationship between Emirates and SriLankan – before it was scrapped by the former President of Sri Lanka in a much publicised incident. Hence, critics are quick to point out that there is certainly something wrong more..

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