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Crooks must be chased away

Nov 6 (Island) It was very clear what we wanted in 2015. We wanted to get rid of a corrupt, lawless and an indecent culture and bring about the opposite: a clean, decent, civilized and a law-abiding governance and culture. But what went wrong in the whole magnificent political exercise was that we trusted the wrong people. A small part of the dream came true, but it was just not enough. We realized that the responsible people were as crooked more..

Awantha Artigala: Heart in art

Nov 6 (Island) He was just eight years old when he saw the cartoon. The devil with horns, a snake for a pen and a skull for an ink well. And the only thought that passed this impressionable kid’s mind was what the devil was Salman Rushdie doing. The cartoon was done by an Iranian extremist about Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. The cartoon germinated, in his young mind, an early enthusiasm for cartoons. Although 37 years old now, and is a renowned cartoonist in his own right more..

Hastily delivered midnight goodies will derail budget, despite assurances by Fin. Ministry

Nov 6 (FT) The sprawling official residence of the PM of Sri Lanka despite the incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe getting sacked continues to be occupied by him. However the Navy guards, the maintenance staff, the drivers, the cooks and gardeners and cleaners have all been removed on a directive of the President. The normal complement of 1,000 dedicated security personnel – police, watchmen, bodyguards – had all been withdrawn from Temple Trees. more..

Gomin Dayasri

Edtorial: Let people decide

Nov 6 (Island) The crisis situation has taken a turn for the worse with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya refusing to recognise the newly formed govt until it proves that it commands the confidence of Parliament. The President’s side insists that the Speaker is not constitutionally empowered to do so and he is overstepping his limits for political reasons. The Speaker having thus placed himself on a collision course with the President, how the latter will react remains to be seen. more..

The big fallout

Nov 6 (FT) The sprawling official residence of the PM of Sri Lanka despite the incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe getting sacked continues to be occupied by him. However the Navy guards, the maintenance staff, the drivers, the cooks and gardeners and cleaners have all been removed on a directive of the President. The normal complement of 1,000 dedicated security personnel – police, watchmen, bodyguards – had all been withdrawn from Temple Trees. more..

Deepavali the triumph of light over darkness

Nov 6 (SO) Diwali or Deepavali is the most popular and eagerly anticipated Hindu festival, celebrated on the 15th day of the Hindu month, Kartik or Karthigai (Oct/Nov). This year it falls on Tuesday (6). Hindus of Sri Lanka, India and many countries where they reside, either as permanent citizens or as expatriates are celebrating Deepavali, but in Tamil Nadu, the celebrations begin tomorrow (5). The festival is known as Deepavali more..

People versus Politics

Nov 6 (CT) Now we know why Sirisena the President landed us on the straight single-lane express way to un-freedom. He will not stay even one hour in the presidency if Ranil is made Prime Minister again. So, says the news reports. It is a damned good idea. ‘We, the people must redouble our efforts to make Ranil Wickremesinghe the prime minster just for one day. We will be spared the painful process of an impeachment and GROBR. We can then replace Ranil with a new PM. more..

President Sirisena needs to be reached sooner rather than later

Nov 6 (CT) Even as the political crisis continues to drag on the cost to the country is immense. This past weekend I was in Deniyaya to meet with civil society activists for an activity that had been arranged prior to the political crisis. This was to create awareness in the rural areas about the mechanisms that the govt set up during the past three years to enable people to protect their human rights. These are some of the fruits of the reconciliation process of the past 3 yrs since more..

Of oxen caravans and cultivator woes: Toiling in the Lamasooriya Valley

Nov 6 (SO) “Unlike cultivators in other areas we have to pay an additional one tenth share of our harvest to the ox caravans nsport our produce up to the road,” lamented 30-year-old Kumudini Nirosha while winnowing the last half bushel of this season’s paddy harvest from the two acre plot in the Lamasooriya Valley that they had cultivated on lease. Nirosha’s family is one of the three hundred or more farmer families that more..

As I see it, The future of Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (CT) Every one of the 6.2 million who voted Yahapalanaya, is in a quandary why PM Wikremesinghe nor Prez Sirisena, did not take to task the Rajapaksas for Murder and Fraud with an abundance of evidence displayed in the Media, for the last three and a half years. Majority is dismayed and is despondent, why the Rule of Law was not applied to any one of them, thus allowing them to go scot free. It is my belief, that some hand, very, very powerful, restrained them from more..

President made his own govt ungovernable

Nov 6 (CT) Currently, the forecasted GDP growth is less than four per cent which is well below expectation. The country is in a severe debt crisis which is leading to an unstable Rupee. What was required was to correct the matrix of macroeconomic fundamentals which would have justified the roll-over of foreign loans to get over with the imminent crisis. Its true Ranil Wickremesinghe did not do it, but careful intervention might have made him work towards that goal because he was the PM more..

I appointed MR as Premier after Karu and Sajith refused: MS

Nov 5 (DM) Prez Sirisena said today that he offered the premiership to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya first and then to UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa before considering former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the post of PM. Addressing a public rally named Rata Surakina Jana Mahimaya, he said the UNP MPs who met him during the past few days asked him why Mr. Rajapaksa was appointed the PM contrary to more..

Galle up for grabs as spinners prepare to take centre stage

Nov 5 (CI) It's Galle. It's going to spin. Given it is Rangana Herath's final Test and England are the opposition, it might spin like crazy. Unfortunately, it also looks as if it's going to rain, at least for parts of the Test. The weather forecast is for thunderstorms, generally in the afternoons. That doesn't mean we won't get a result, of course. None of the last 21 Tests in Sri Lanka have ended in draws. Many of those had had to contend with the weather as well. England cruised through ODI series, more..

Spinners to give Sri Lanka edge over England: Chandimal

Nov 5 (Reuters) Dilruwan Perera and Akila Dananjaya are likely to partner slow left-armer Rangana Herath, who will retire after the first test, and Chandimal said his team wanted to send the veteran into retirement with a win. “When you look at the Galle pitch, it’s always turning and helpful to spinners,” Chandimal said on Monday. “When we play in Sri Lanka, it’s spinners who take charge. Then again, it’s all about weather and the condition of the pitch.” more..

I wouldn’t have taken that decision had I been President: Mahinda

Nov 5 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the Jana Mahimaya rally, stated that he once again respects the decision taken by Prez Sirisena. Jana Mahimaya rally organized to support the newly established govt is currently ongoing at the Parliament roundabout. Rajapaksa says that this decision taken by the Prez after working with Ranil Wickremesinghe is very important. Prez and I worked separately for a long time and more..

Video: Anura Kumara meets Sampanthan

Nov 5 (DM) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake today met TNA Leader and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan at his office in Colombo and discussed how they could work in tandem to defeat the current political coup. He told the media, after the discussion, that they were prepared to come forward at any time when democracy was at stake. “We should not allow anyone to form a govt through a political coup. We discussed with TNA leader how we could work together to defeat this coup,’ more..

Rajitha conveys Prez’s message to Ranil

Nov 5 (DM) UNP MP Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today he met with President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday on an invitation extended by him. He told a media briefing that he carried a message from the President to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. “I met with President Sirisena on his invitation. Since I did not want to go alone, I invited MP John Amaratunga to accompany me. President explained to me as to what made him appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM. more..

Kumara dropped for breaching SL's code of conduct

Nov 5 (CB) Lahiru Kumara has been found guilty of breaching the team's code of conduct and will be replaced by Dushmantha Chameera in the 16 member Sri Lanka squad set to face England in first of three Tests starting Tuesday. Kumara, 21, was impressive during SL's recent tour of the West Indies, picking 17 wickets at an average of 19.88 across three Tests, and was the second-highest wicket-taker of the series more..

Video: Kamer who faced terrorism charges arrives

Nov 5 (DM) Kamer Nizamdeen, the Sydney uni student who faced terrorism charges over an alleged plot to kill several Australian Govt members arrived at the BIA this afternoon. The 25-year-old SL University student had been released on bail, after an expert found the sole piece of evidence couldn't be connected to him. Mr. Nizamdeen was arrested in August after a colleague found a notebook allegedly containing details of plans to kill Malcolm Turnbull and his former Deputy Julie Bishop. more..

JVP welcomes Speaker’s statement

Nov 5 (DM) The JVP today welcomed the statement made by the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that he would have to recognize the previous status quo in Parliament until a clear majority was shown and said it was a brave decision taken by Parliament to defeat the political coup. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the President prorogued Parliament to buy time to secure a majority in parliament by winning over opposition members to their side using black money. more..

Herath - as good as Muralitharan?

Nov 5 (CI) When Muttiah Muralitharan retired from Test cricket in July 2010, it was assumed that Sri Lanka would never be able to replace him. That assumption was reasonable back then. Muralitharan had retired with an astounding 800 wickets in 133 Tests, at an average of 22.72. At the time, the next-highest wickets tally for a specialist spinner from Sri Lanka was 71, by a bowler named Rangana Herath. more..

Sri Lanka complains to Russia over multi origin tea sold as Ceylon tea

Nov 5 (EN) Russian govt is allowing any product with 50% of Sri Lankan grown tea to be labelled as Ceylon tea, said Rohan Fernando, Chairman HVA Group. “This is a problem that we are currently taking up with Russian authorities,” he said. He said that this issue was seen in Kenya as well. “SL tea exporters should know how to best market Ceylon tea, by promoting the lion logo, and telling consumers that unless they see the lion log on the pack, they won’t get a pure Ceylon tea.” more..

Ten sluice gates of Parakrama Samudra opened

Nov 5 (AD) The water levels of many reservoirs have increased to a considerable levels owing to the heavy rainfall in Polonnaruwa area, stated the Irrigation Department of Polonnaruwa area. As the Parakrama Samudra has also reached spill levels, ten sluice gates of the reservoir have been opened, the department further stated. However, it was reported that more sluice gates will have to be opened if the downpours continue to fall on the area. Officers of the Irrigation Department are more..

Political turmoil could test Sri Lanka's ties with international community

Nov 5 (CNBC) International concerns about Sri Lanka's ongoing political crisis are growing, pushing major powers to take action. Nearly $500 million in U.S. aid and a Japanese loan of $1.4 billion have both been put on hold amid fears about the state of democracy in Sri Lanka, the country's ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said over the weekend. That came after the European Union said last week that it may revoke Colombo's trade more..

Heavy rains expected due to low pressure area

Nov 5 (DM) Heavy showers exceeding 100mm are forecasted in the coming days as a result of a low pressure area which is likely to develop over Bay of Bengal, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said today. DMC which quoted Dept of Meteorology said the depression is likely to move west-northwestwards across southwest Bay of Bengal, SL and Gulf of Mannar area during the coming days. “Due to this situation the showery condition is expected to enhance over the island, more..

PM halts Rs 200,000 transport allowance given to some lawmakers

Nov 5 (Island) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has suspended the payment of Rs 200,000 each to a select group of lawmakers of the previous administration as a transport allowance. UPFA MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena said that PM Rajapaksa had issued instructions in this regard following some UPFA MPs taking up the issue at a meeting chaired by Rajapaksa. He said so in response to a query raised by The Island at a media conference held at the PM’s Office yesterday morning. more..

Cardinal claims UNP failed to win over people

Nov 5 (CT) The present political situation, failure to win the people’s hearts, and the Govt’s inability to provide economic relief to the masses, are the causes which precipitated this political crisis, said Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith during a discussion with a group of UNPers and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, on Saturday. Cardinal pointed out that earlier too he said that the UNP should become more people-oriented. more..

5 more Northern MPs to join Rajapaksa govt

Nov 5 (Island) Former TNA and now Independent Wanni District MP Shivashakthi Anandan said that four TNA MPs would join PM Mahinda Rajapaksa within the next few days. Anandan said that though he had earlier decided to remain independent, he had now decided to support Mahinda Rajapaksa on the request of his constituents as he was capable of developing the area. He said once he crossed over to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s side he would be made a minister and that would help him more..

118 MPs still oppose new PM: Harin

Nov 5 (DM) A majority of 118 MPs still oppose the appointment of former President Rajapaksa as the new PM despite the crossing over of UNP MP Asoka Priyantha, UNP Spokesman Harin Fernando said yesterday. Mr. Fernando said that crossing over of Asoka Priyantha was not significant as 118 MPs still oppose the appointment of Mr. Rajapaksa as the PM. “A majority of MPs may not support UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe but they oppose the appointment of Mr. Rajapaksa,” he said. more..

SriLankan Airlines traffic falls as newcomer steals market share

Nov 5 (EN) SriLankan Airlines brought 641,634 tourists to the country in 2017, down 2.1% from a year earlier, with market share lost to other Asian carriers. Total arrivals to Sri Lanka from flights, charter flights and ships had increased 3.2% from a year earlier to 2.1 million tourists in 2017. SriLankan's market share in bringing tourists to SL either directly, or through connecting flights fell to 30.3% from 32 percent in 2016. more..

Lankans should decide on PM: Indian Foreign Secretary

Nov 5 (DN) Days after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the PM of Sri Lanka, India a strong ally of Sri Lanka in its first official statement said they are willing to work with any PM in the best interest of both countries. In response to queries regarding the recent developments in Sri Lanka, the official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that “India is closely following the recent political developments in SL. As a democracy and a close friendly neighbour, more..

UNP cries foul over removal of medical equipment, drugs from Temple Trees

Nov 5 (Island) The Sirisena- Rajapaksa administration has removed all medical equipment and medicine from Temple Trees and this has placed the life of Ranil Wickremesinghe and thousands gathered at Temple Trees in jeopardy, the UNP says in its official Twitter account. "All who value democracy regret the latest inhuman act carried out by the illegal govt. All medical equipment and medicine have been removed from Temple Trees in hope that it will force the PM more..

JVP press conference

Democracy under House arrest

Nov 5 (FT) At a recent launch of another of its public interest initiatives, Verité Research asked the provocative question: “Who owns the audience?” It was in relation to the media, and the Colombo-based think tank was seeking to keep the reading and viewing public informed about press ownership. In its exercise in educating a surprisingly naïve consumer in this internet-savvy age, the Media Ownership Monitor (MOM) sought to show the nexus between who owns the media houses. more..

Horse Trading

Nov 5 (CT) The present problematic political situation with accusations surfacing on horse trading with monetary transactions and Cabinet portfolios to face the floor test to be held to prove the majority of newly appointed PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament has highlighted how far politics in the country has come down to a low level. A couple of days ago ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe pointed out that he was aware that some of the MPs supporting him more..