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Govt and opposition MPs clash

Sri Lanka Cricket CFO further remanded until Nov 21

Nov 15 (AD) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Sri Lanka Cricket, Piyal Dissanayake, who was arrested by the CID for alleged financial fraud, has been further remanded until Nov 21 by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. When the case was taken up today, the Colombo Magistrate stated that the verdict on the bail application of the defendant will be issued on Nov 21. CID had sought the further remand of the defendant as the investigations pertaining to the case are still ongoing. more..

Root handed one demerit point for dissent

Nov 15 (CB) England captain Joe Root has been reprimanded and handed one demerit point for showing dissent at an umpire's decision during the second day's play at the Pallekele in Kandy on Thursday (15). The incident occurred in the 76th over of Sri Lanka's innings when Dilruwan Perera had been given not out by umpire Marais Erasmus. Root shook his head and kicked the turf which led to the umpires laying the charge. Root pleaded not guilty in the hearing after the day's play but more..

Prez meets Speaker, UNF, TNA & JVP leaders

Nov 15 (AD) A special meeting is currently underway between Prez Sirisena, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and the leaders of the parties that supported the no-confidence motion brought against the PM and the govt in Parliament. Leaders of UNF, TNA and JVP are participating in the meeting with the President, which is taking place at the Presidential Secretariat. The issue over the no-confidence motion, against the PM and more..

GAJA move closer to northeast coast of SL

Nov 15 (AD) Severe Cyclonic storm GAJA over the Central Bay of Bengal is very likely to move west-southwestwards, stated the Department of Meteorology, issuing a special weather advisory. The Cyclonic storm is now located approximately 325km away from Kankesanturai to the northeast of SL, near latitude-11.3N, Longitude 82.6E at 8.30 a.m. on Nov 15. The system is expected to cross South Tamil Nadu coast and the center of the system is very likely to move more..

Artistes criticize Prez

Nov 15 (CT) A third force exists to rescue this country from current devastating political system, which can affect the current political forces. It exists even inside the Parliament, said actress Deepani Silva representing the Artistes for Political Ethics and Democracy. She expressed her views while addressing a media briefing. Member of Aluth Parapura, Jagath Manuwarna claimed that there’s a third force that exists and it doesn’t get publicity because of biased nature of the media. more..

CBK accuses SLFPers of betraying peoples’ demands

Nov 15 (CG) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said that she is watching with concern and regret the efforts by some SLFP members to betray the peoples’ demands for a better Sri Lanka which gained victory on Jan 8th, 2015. Kumaratunga said that the SLFP, together with most other parties and civil society, built a massive unprecedented movement to win the struggle for a decent, honest, prosperous SL. more..

Special HC begins daily hearing of Gamini Senarath’s case

Nov 15 (AD) Permanent High Court at Bar commenced the daily hearing of the case against the former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and three others today. The hearing of testimonies in the case commenced before the Special High Court judge-bench consisting of Justices Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Rajaratne. Accordingly, witness statements were recorded from President’s Counsel Kalinga Indrathissa, 4th witness of the case. more..

Bishop of Colombo expresses shock and dismay over Sirisena’s move

Nov 15 (FT) Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj R. Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo, in a statement said The Diocese of Colombo of the Church of Ceylon is shocked and greatly dismayed by the dissolution of Parliament by the President. Following is the full text of the statement: This arbitrary act appears to us to be a direct and blatant violation of the clear and express provisions of the Constitution, following the passage of the 19th Amendment. The actions of the dismissal of a sitting PM, the appointment of a new PM, more..

Come for a vote if you have a spine, Sajith challenges SLPP

Nov 15 (AD) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa says that, the current crisis is not an issue between political parties. This is an issue between democracy and dictatorship; between civility and incivility; between humanity and inhumanity; between truth and lie, he said. He stated this addressing the UNP rally this evening. “Some think there had been no big change happened in the past three and half years. more..

Ancient Shiva temple conservation lacks funds

Nov 15 (CT) Archeology Department expressed dismay at the Govt’s apathy regarding the state of dilapidation of the first Shiva Temple, an ancient Hindu Temple, built during the Chola Dynasty. A Professor in charge of the Department said documents to execute this project have been produced yet no funds have been allocated as yet. “Being the Department in charge, we requested several times from the Govt to allocate funds so we can proceed with the preservation for more..

Nurse shortage affecting Cardio Thoracic Ward at LRH

Nov 15 (CT) The shortage of nurses to function in a fully equipped Cardiology Thoracic ward, at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, has placed doctors of the Unit in a dilemma. Informed sources at the Hospital said yesterday (14) that the ward was fully furnished and equipped. There were 24 beds with technological facilities available for treating patients with heart disease. But the shortage of nurses for the ward to function had left it closed for over three years. more..

Fuel prices further slashed

Nov 15 (AD) Minister of Labour, Foreign Employment and Petroleum, Gamini Lokuge says that the fuel prices of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will be reduced with effect from midnight today (15). He stated that the prices of Octane 92 Petrol, Octane 95 Petrol, Auto Diesel and Super Diesel will be reduced by Rs 5 per litre from midnight today. He made this announcement during a press conference in Colombo today. more..

We are ready to show majority again: Ranil

Nov 15 (AD) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says that they are prepared to show the majority once again if Prez Sirisena refuses to accept the Speaker’s letter. Speaking at the UNP rally held this evening, says that the majority voted for the no confidence motion against Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cabinet and that the Prez cannot refuse accepting Speaker’s letter on this matter. “Some speak of establishing a minority govt. However, a minority govt can only be established if more..

President has powers to move to people’s referendum: Professionals for Sri Lanka

Nov 15 (FT) As sovereignty remains with the people, Professionals for Sri Lanka pointed out that if the current political instability could not be solved through the Parliament, the Executive President had all the powers to present it to the people at a referendum. Noting that the root cause for all the current political instability was due to the hybrid Constitution of SL – which includes a mix of models from the US, France and the UK – Professionals for Sri Lanka Chairman Dr. W.D. Rodrigo more..

Roshen Silva guides Sri Lanka to precious 46-run lead

Nov 15 (CI) A graceful Dhananjaya de Silva 59, and a watchful 63 from Dimuth Karunaratne gave the SL innings some early substance, but both those turns were outshone by what was arguably the innings of the series so far - a resolute 85 from Roshen Silva that carried Sri Lanka 46 runs into the lead. Almost as impressive as his score, and the 174 balls he batted, was the fact that he forged such fruitful partnerships with the tail, more..

Sri Lanka chambers call for urgent action to avoid economic downfall

Nov 15 (EN) Several business chambers in Sri Lanka have called for urgent action to avoid an economic downfall as a political crisis dragged on leading to chaos in parliament. "We call upon all those responsible to accord the highest priority to national interest and refrain from pursuing any path that will result in an economic downfall which will have an adverse impact on the country and the people," the statement said. "We call for urgent and sensible action." more..

Joe Root pens letters of sympathy after fans are caught up in Kandy hotel fiasco

Nov 15 (CI) Joe Root has written to England spectators inconvenienced by the booking fiasco in Kandy's hotels expressing his sympathy for their trouble and his gratitude for their support. Around 100 England supporters, some of whom had booked and paid many months ago, were told a week or so ahead of the second Test that their rooms at the Earls Regency Hotel on the outskirts of the city were no longer available. Due to a remarkable oversight, the bookings of the teams and officials at more..

Sri Lanka hit with five penalty runs

Nov 15 (CI) Sri Lanka were docked five penalty runs in the third session of the second day at Pallekele, following a strange interpretation of the law governing deliberate short runs by the umpires. Here's what happened: Roshen Silva was batting alongside Akila Dananjaya, when Roshen cut Jack Leach fine of Moeen Ali at short third man. Although there was an easy two for the taking, both batsmen assumed that more..

Turn the page: on Sri Lanka crisis

Nov 15 (Hindu) After three weeks of political turmoil, SL’s controversially dismissed PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe, appears to have gained the upper hand. A majority of lawmakers backed a no-confidence motion in Parliament against Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former Prez who was sworn in PM on Oct 26. Speaker declared the motion to have been passed by voice vote, as Mr. Rajapaksa’s loyalists sought to block the motion being taken up. Mr. Rajapaksa himself walked out of chamber more..

Sri Lankan business groups call for rule of law, condemn parliament violence

Nov 15 (EN) Sri Lanka’s top business groups have called on the island's political rulers to ensure due process and the Rule of Law and condemned violence by lawmakers in parliament. “We are deeply concerned about the current political situation in the country,” said a joint statement by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), International Chamber of Commerce SL (ICCSL), Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) and Women’s Chamber of Industry & Commerce (WCCI). more..

JVP Press conference

Courting democracy; Housing disaster?

Nov 15 (FT) A small step was taken by a sovereign court the day before yesterday. It was a giant leap for the supremacy of the Constitution over all three arms of govt in a recently benighted Sri Lanka. As well as being the tangible proof of intra-governmental checks and balances being in place. These were signed, sealed and delivered to a closed House by an open-minded Court so that a muddle-headed Executive might be reined in. And the often embattled Fourth Estate or arm of more..

Law is Supreme

Nov 15 (CT) A three-member Supreme Court (SC) Bench, in a landmark, unanimous ruling, on Tuesday, issued an Interim Stay Order till the seventh of next month, nullifying President Maithripala Sirisena’s Gazette Notification of dissolving Parliament and ipso facto calling for fresh polls on 5 Jan. The masses, whose voice is the Parliament, needs to respect the interim verdict of the SC, until a final, binding verdict is delivered on the seventh of next month by the SC. more..

Video: SL lawmakers punch-up in parliament

Nov 15 (AFP) SL's parliament descended into chaos on Thursday with MPs swinging punches and throwing projectiles a day after legislators voted the purported PM out of office. "It was difficult to make out immediately who was hitting whom, but several were hurt, but not seriously," an official in parliament said. "The speaker adjourned the House." An MP from toppled PM Rajapakse's party injured himself more..

Video: Speaker is misusing powers: MR

Nov 15 (AD) Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the Prime Minister is appointed by the President and not the Speaker and accused Speaker Karu Jayasuriya of misusing his powers and acting in a baised manner. He also said that he does not care about the premiership and that he accepted the position to save the country from the brink of disaster. “PM or not, I am still Mahinda Rajapaksa. I don’t care about the Prime Ministership,” more..

Speaker responds to President’s letter

Nov 15 (AD) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has sent a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena as a response to the President’s letter from last night. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, yesterday, sent a letter, along with related documents, to President Sirisena, with regard to the motion of no-confidence passed during the parliament session last morning, against PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and the newly appointed Cabinet of Ministers. more..

Parliament to reconvene tomorrow at 1.30pm

Nov 15 (NR) Parliament will reconvene tomorrow at 1.30pm reverting from an earlier decision to convene on the 21st. Speaker’s Media Unit said the decision was reached at a party leaders meeting that concluded this afternoon. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya adjourned Parliament till the 21st of Nov following the tense situation in the House this morning. A tense situation broke out in Parliament this morning when more..

Video: Will not recognize any PM or Cabinet hereafter: Speaker

Nov 15 (AD) Speaker says hereafter he will not accept any PM or Cabinet of Ministers in the parliament since a No Confidence motion had been passed yesterday (15). Speaker Karu Jayasuriya mentioned this at the parliamentary session held today (15). He says that he will not recognize all current ministers, state ministers, deputy ministers as well as the current Leader of the House and the Chief Government Whip. more..

Ministries and state institutions in a state of utter confusion

Nov 15 (ST) As the country’s constitutional crisis dragged into its third week, a picture of confusion and disorganisation continued to prevail at many govt ministries and state institutions. Cabinet Ministers were being appointed even as of Friday, just prior to Parliament being dissolved. Up until Friday evening, ministers had been appointed on 11 different occasions. The delay in finalising a Cabinet, coupled with uncertainty over the legitimacy more..

Longer-term loans could reduce Sri Lanka repayment risk: Moody’s

Nov 15 (EN) SL’s govt could reduce risks associated with repaying forein loans by going for longer term borrowings, Moody’s rating agency has said. SL's large external financing needs and substantial foreign currency govt debt raise its vulnerability, Moody’s Investors Service said. External payments due over the next year are materially higher than foreign exchange reserves, the rating agency said in its 2019 Global more..

Several clauses in Counter Terrorism Bill inconsistent with Constitution

Nov 15 (Island) The Supreme Court had ruled that several Clauses of the Counter Terrorism Bill were inconsistent with the Constitution and needed to be passed with a two-thirds majority in Parliament and be approved by the people at a referendum. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya read out the Supreme Court determination in Parliament yesterday at the commencement of sittings. As per the SC ruling, the Sections 4(a), 4(b) & 68 (5) more..

Sri Lanka IMF program on hold in final lap

Nov 15 (EN) A deal with the IMF is in limbo until the any new administration confirms that it wants to go ahead with a deal hammered out recently or make changes, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. SL had agreed on a staff level agreement for the final phase of a three year deal which ends next year by Oct 26 when Prez Sirisena suddenly appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM, triggering a political crisis. more..

Constitutional Crisis set to deepen

Nov 15 (DM) Some people assume the constitutional impasse, triggered by the sacking of UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe from premiership, would end after Parliament was reconvened yesterday after prorogation. Instead, the exact opposite would happen as the crisis is poised to be compounded. Speaker declared that the no confidence motion against the new Govt passed by voice vote. more..

Judiciary and Legislature, the supreme pillars of Sri Lanka

Nov 15 (DM) At the time this column is being penned, the Supreme Court of the land has already issued a stay order on the now infamous decree to dissolve Parliament. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to revert the President’s, Chief Executive’s, order calls for enormous amount of inner strength on the part of all Justices of the Supreme Court on the one hand while on the other, delivers an unequivocal message to the world that SL is still a land where the rule of law is at the core of her makeup. more..

Sri Lanka’s Democracy Deficit

Nov 15 (DM) A cartoon that did the rounds during and after the heady days of the Arab Spring, so-called, had Uncle Sam declaring, Beware! We will give you democracy! It’s a bit like someone grabbing a fish out of water and saying I want to save it from drowning! Much of the democracy angst we’ve seen over the past few days is like that. On Tuesday (13), the Supreme Courtgranted leave to proceed on the matter of several Fundamental Rights applications contesting the gazette notification more..