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Prez rejects NCM brought against PM, Govt

Nov 15 (DM) In a letter to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, President Maithripal Sirisena yesterday rejected the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) brought against his nominee for PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Govt. In his letter, the President said proper procedures were not followed as was required by the Constitution and with regard to Standing Orders when submitting the NCM against the PM to Parliament. more..

MR condemns Speaker’s act

Nov 15 (CT) Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa said that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has added a black mark to the supremacy of Parliament yesterday. He added that he condemns the act of the Speaker. He further said that no one who respects democracy would agree with the act of Speaker Jayasuriya, who is disregarding the Standing Orders. He alleged that Speaker Jayasuriya is not acting upon the Parliamentary agenda, but in accordance with the whims and fancies of the UNP. more..

Money Printing increases to Rs 172.35B

Nov 15 (CT) The benchmark spot continued to weaken in tandem with the country’s political impasse, falling by between 20-25 cents to close yesterday at Rs 176.30/50 to the US dollar in two-way quotes, market sources told this reporter. Since the start of this political imbroglio, led by Prez Sirisena sacking his Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe after markets closed on 26 Oct and appointing former Prez Rajapaksa in his stead, the spot has fallen by between Rs 3.40-3.50 (1.97-2.02%) more..

Ousted PM RW claims victory

Nov 15 (Island) Ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that he had mustered the support of 122 MPs to prove the purported govt did not have the required numbers in the House. "A no-confidence motion has been passed in Parliament. The Speaker officially announced the passage of the motion; 122 MPs have signed it, stating that they have no faith in this purported govt," Wickremesinghe said so, addressing media. more..

Mahinda to make special statement in Parliament today; UNP says it will oppose

Nov 15 (AM) A fresh controversy is brewing over UPFA MP Vasudewa Nanayakkara's remarks that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will make a special statement in Parliament tomorrow (15). Nanayakkara said Rajapaksa would make a statement on the current political situation and the govt's future plans. However, the UNP has asserted that it will not allow Rajapaksa to make a special statement in Parliament as the latter is now a mere MP in the House without any special portfolio. more..

Speaker criticised for breakneck NCM voice vote

Nov 15 (DN) Intellectuals, political analysts, former Speakers and deputy Speakers, senior politicians and civil society organizations and clergy yesterday, expressed their concern and questioned the ingenuity and proficiency of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya for taking and passing something as important as a motion of no confidence against a PM and a Cabinet of an incumbent govt in posthaste. “He carried out all this at a breakneck speed causing unprecedented chaos in the country,” more..

UPFA down to 92 as MS-MR project fails

Nov 15 (Island) Of the five UNP lawmakers, who had accepted portfolios from Prez Sirisena in the wake of the change of govt on Oct 26, two-Wasantha Senanayake (Polonnaruwa) and Suresh Vadivel (Badulla), switched their allegiance to the UNP again. Senanayake gave up tourism and wildlife cabinet portfolios. In addition to the two UNPers, three lawmakers elected and appointed on the UPFA, Manusha Nanayakkara (Galle), more..

'UNP to occupy govt benches in Parliament'

Nov 15 (DM) UNP claimed that it will occupy the benches meant for the govt when Parliament meets tomorrow. UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe revealed. “We will occupy the benches meant for the govt MPs when the House meets as we have emerged as the legitimate govt as a majority has rejected the administration led by the newly appointed PM Mahinda Rajapaksa,” he said. “We hope the Speaker and the staff in the House will provide seats for us on govt benches,” he added. more..

UNP to hold a massive rally today

Nov 15 (FT) The UNP will hold a mass protest rally at Lipton Circus in Colombo today at 3 p.m. Members of the Maha Sangha, civil organisations and professionals along with the United National Front supporters will take part in the rally to ensure democracy. “We will be taking to the streets once again tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Lipton Circus. The President is continuing to act in an unconstitutional manner, choosing to ignore today’s decision taken in Parliament,” the UNP said. more..

UPFA rejects MR No-Faith Motion

Nov 15 (CT) UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday, said the UPFA does not accept the No-Confidence Motion of the JVP, against newly-appointed PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the newly-appointed Cabinet as a valid one, because no Motion was moved when the Parliament sitting was in progress. Addressing a media briefing in Parliament, shortly after the adjournment of the Parliamentary sittings, Gunawardena said more..

Speaker to decide on new seating arrangement today

Nov 15 (FT) The new seating arrangement in Parliament will be decided by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya this morning in the wake of the no confidence motion passed against PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Govt yesterday. Speaker wrote to President Sirisena yesterday informing him that the NCM was duly passed in Parliament and annexed a copy of the letter signed by 122 MPs who supported it so that the President can take appropriate action according to the Constitution. more..

Speaker should have sought AG’s clarification

Nov 15 (CT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya should have asked for the Attorney General’s opinion on the Interim Injunction issued by the Supreme Court on 13 Nov, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said yesterday. He was speaking at the Cabinet media briefing yesterday. He added that the interim injunction should be applicable to both occasions of dissolving the Parliament as well as the convening of the Parliament. “The Supreme Court gave an interim injunction to all concerned parties. more..

'JVP will not associate with UNP'

Nov 15 (DM) The JVP said it would not associate with the UNP to form a Govt or for any other purpose although it brought the No Confidence Motion against the new administration of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake who expressed this sentiment during a media briefing held at the Parliamentary complex yesterday said their intention was to form a Govt of its own. more..

New EXCO for Gem & Jewellery industry

Nov 15 (ST) The apex body of the gem and jewellery industry of SL, the SL Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA), recently appointed the new governing body consisting of many stalwarts from the industry. The committee to handle the industry’s symbolic event, FACETS, was also announced simultaneously. Newly-appointed Chairman of the SLGJA, Ahsan Refai, said the main focus this year would be to further develop international links the association has had with other similar groups. more..

Women's World T20: All-round Siriwardene helps Sri Lanka pip Bangladesh

Nov 15 (CI) SL kept their semi-final prospects alive in Group A with a comprehensive win over Bangladesh that they would not have counted on at the halfway mark. Put into bat, they managed only 97 from their 20 overs, thanks mostly to former captain Shashikala Siriwardene's 31. The allrounder batted until the last over of an innings that never found momentum, and returned figures of 4-0-10-2 as Asia Cup winners Bangladesh surrendered early in the chase against their regional rivals. more..

SriLankan Airlines: Chair – Men play musical chairs

Nov 15 (CT) In a unique first, SriLankan Airlines the island’s national carrier had three different Chairmen occupying the airline’s hottest seat in three consecutive days, when G.S. Vithanage, Secretary to the Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation was appointed as the Chairman of the SriLankan Airlines on the 13th of Nov and announced yesterday. It is however still to be established if a fourth Chairman would be appointed more..

SLR’s 7s coach and trainer sent home

Nov 15 (ST) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) has decided not to renew the contracts of National Sevens Coach Peter Woods and Trainer Nicholas Groube. Woods and Groube were recruited by SLR on two-year contracts, which ended last month. SLR will not renew the contracts as Sri Lanka does not have any int'l or regional sevens assignments until Aug 2019. “With the Dialog Rugby League Championship kicking off this week, players will be engaged with fifteens Rugby for almost 16 weeks. more..

We let England off the hook: Pushpakumara

Nov 15 (Island) Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara making a comeback to the national side after more than a year admitted that SL let England off the hook with the last pair contributing 60 runs. The hosts had things under control at 225 for nine, but Sam Curran (64) along with James Anderson (7) pushed England’s total close to 300. "We thought we should restrict them to 200. But the last pair as you see added 60 runs and that’s a big bonus for them. It will be tough for us. more..

Sri Lanka stumped for answers as Sam Curran swings for the hills

Nov 15 (CI) Sam Curran is on his knees. He is a foot out of the crease, a tangle of limbs and protective equipment. The stumps are broken. The wicketkeeper has the ball. Grinning fielders have begun to converge. Curran had groped and guessed and scrapped his way through the first 16 deliveries of his innings. One ball, from offspinner Dilruwan Perera, had pitched on about middle and off, then bazooka-ed past his shoulder. more..

'Positive outcomes from adjustments on gold and motor vehicle import tariffs'

Nov 15 (Island) The adjustments on gold and motor vehicle import tariffs coupled with good rainfall in catchment areas, which has positive implications for local hydro power generation with less dependence on thermal power generation, created some relief for forex reserves, CB Governor Dr. Coomaraswamy said. "This year we adjusted the growth rate from 4% to 3.5% due to drought that prevailed early this year. This has increased thermal power generation with a higher consumption of oil, more..

Priyantha changes gear to promote Baseball

Nov 15 (CT) Starting off as an athlete in his youth, then switching over to basketball and cricket, and later turning out to be a prominent figure in rugger, both as a player cum official, Priyantha Ekanayake has now changed gears to promote the game of Baseball in the country. The 53- year-old legend hails from a sporting family, and it was his elder brother, the well known ‘LV’ Ekanayake, who was instrumental in turning him into a sportsman. Priyantha, an old boy of St. Anthony’s more..

Parliament proves its prowess

Nov 15 (FT) Amidst scenes of pandemonium, a no confidence motion against PM Rajapaksa and his Govt was rushed through Parliament last morning, with several political parties jointly supporting the motion. A motion was passed with a voice vote with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announcing that the vote carried in favour of the ayes as his voice became almost inaudible with members of UPFA hurling abuse at the Chair. more..

Kicking the deadly drug habit

Nov 15 (DN) Kandakadu and Senapura Drug Rehabilitation Centres in the Polonnaruwa District are an ambitious endeavour, not only as a solution to prison congestion and ridding addicts of the drug habit, but also to benefit the offender who will, at the end of the rehabilitation period, be equipped with life skills which could be productively used. It will also mitigate the risk of these petty offenders returning to society as hard-core criminals. Having gone through the first 6 months of their rehabilitation more..

Edtorial: Antho jata, bahi jata

Nov 15 (Island) The country finds itself in a perfect mess. It has two Prime Ministers and two govts. The Speaker and the President are acting like two private bus drivers disputing the lead; they have already brought the institutions they represent—the legislature and the executive—on a collision course besides creating some bad precedents which will not just go away after the dust settles on the political arena sooner or later. There’s the rub. As for the current situation, one may say, more..

Down memory lane with Nishanthini

Nov 15 (SO) Feeling a stranger in her homeland she treads lightly on life undecided, even confused at times. Young and exuberant, her heart pines for the place she grew up in, where she spent most of her life. This is her story, as well as of many other youth like her. We met her at Uthayapuram, a small village in Pesalai, Mannar. Neighbours say that she has a strange way of speaking Tamil, she tells us. more..

An unfolding Third World tragedy

Nov 15 (Island) Sri Lanka is a Third World country after all. A proof of this is the constitutional quagmire it is in today. In developed democracies, how political parties and personalities could come to power is laid out in their Constitutions and these rules and norms are generally respected by all concerned. This, apparently, is not the case at present in Sri Lanka. All this and more is happening in this country decades into political independence. Here’s where the rub is. more..

Prof. Torsten Henry Fransson to receive honorary degree from Open University

Nov 15 (ST) Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) has decided to confer the Degree of Doctor of Science Honoris causa to Prof. Torsten Henry Fransson from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden for his contribution to the OUSL. He will receive this honour at the OUSL convocation on Nov 14 at the BMICH. KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden is one of the best universities in the world, ranked among the first 100 Universities in the world today. more..

JVP Press conference

See Sri Lanka’s national crisis for what it is

Nov 15 (Hindu) Over the past fortnight, Sri Lanka has witnessed an escalating political crisis, with a standoff between President Maithripala Sirisena and the Parliament. After the shocking and undemocratic appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, the suspension of Parliament, and then its dissolution on November 9, Mr. Sirisena announced snap elections. Significantly, the Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the dissolution of Parliament until Dec 7. more..

Will the sinners own up now?

Nov 15 (CT) Now that the fortnight-long constitutional crisis has taken a more manageable legal and/or electoral turn, the stakeholders may do well to look back to the past four plus years to fix the real culpability and responsibility for the continuing conundrum, which is nothing less than a fraud on the Nation and a moral and political sin of unpardonable kind. For, the seeds of the current crisis were sown into the fertile land of Sri Lanka polity, that has since sprouted out into more..

Cenotaph once stood tall on galle face green

Nov 15 (ST) They shall grow not old; As we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them; Nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun; And in the morning; We will remember them. When you go home; Tell them of us and say; We gave our tomorrow; For your today. British poet Lawrence Binyon’s poignant ode can be found engraved as the epitaph on the War Memorial or the cenotaph (empty tomb or a monument more..

Bulldozer mentality of the Western Powers

Nov 15 (DN) On May 27, 1991 when the British High Commissioner David Gladstone was declared persona non grata by President Ranasinghe Premadasa for interfering with the country’s internal affairs, many international watchers such as this columnist felt, though the meddling Toms should be told where to get off, Premadasa should not have taken that extreme step. Nearly 10 years ago when President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave a patient hearing to British Secretary of State more..

Constitutional gridlock and petitions against a Parliamentary election

Nov 15 (Island) With the suspension of the gazette notification dissolving Parliament till the 7th Dec, the political uncertainty in the country is set to continue for three more weeks. When one looks at the petitioners who went to the Supreme Court against the Prez’s decision to dissolve Parliament and hold fresh elections, we cannot help but notice that they were the same political parties that colluded with one another to change the local govt elections system in August 2017 more..

'When there is no democracy how can we work'

Nov 15 (CT) Former Minister and Deputy Leader of the TPA Palani Digambran speaking on the current political situation in the country said, “When there is no democracy we cannot think of working with any govt. How could we serve our people if we do not have the freedom to think of our people’s betterment?” Commenting on plantation workers’ Deepavali allowance he said, “We wanted to obtain an advance of Rs.10,000 more..

Supreme Court verdict & its implications

Nov 15 (CT) Yesterday, Nov 13 evening, the third branch of govt, the Judiciary in the form of the Supreme Court, dealt a blow for Sri Lanka’s fragile democracy when it issued a stay order on dissolving parliament effective until Dec 7. The Election Commission will suspend all action to hold parliamentary elections on January 5. In doing so the Supreme Court put the country first, as it should. In effect this allows the Speaker to recall parliament. In sharp contrast, the president, more..

Sri Lanka’s judiciary in its finest hour

Nov 15 (CT) What a delight to see our judiciary having come so far away from the days of Mahinda Rajapaksa rule; cleansed from the appalling spell and smell of Sarath N de Silva and Mohan Peiris! The nation feels relieved that a dangerously developing nightmare has been put to an end. Sure, the decision isn’t complete and we have to wait for December. Yet, the command to suspend the dissolution is itself something considerable to celebrate. more..