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Delaying Sri Lanka parliament vote could deter investors, EU warns

Nov 9 (AD) Delaying a parliament vote on a new SL govt could damage the island's reputation and deter investors, European Union has said. “We consider it essential that Parliament be allowed to demonstrate its confidence by voting immediately when reconvened, in order to resolve the serious uncertainties currently facing the country,” a statement said. “Any further delay could damage SL’s int'l reputation and deter investors,” more..

UNP supporters clad in camouflage T-shirts protecting Temple Trees

Nov 9 (AM) UNP supporters clad in camouflage T-Shirts are currently guarding Temple Trees, official residence of the PM, expecting a showdown with the country's law enforcement bodies at any time. New govt continues to claim that Wickremesinghe, the ousted PM, is occupying Temple Trees illegally. Wickremesinghe, however, has refused to leave the official residence of PM until his successor Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Behind Sri Lanka's turmoil, an India-China struggle for investment, influence

Nov 9 (NDTV) Gleaming cranes stretch out on the waterfront in the SL capital Colombo as Chinese companies construct a $1.5 billion new commercial district, including hotels, marinas and a motor racing track. They have already built a giant container terminal nearby and a huge port in the south. Now India, the traditional power in the region, is muscling into port and other projects, pushing back hard against China. more..

Video: SLAF helicopter rescues 6 people trapped after dam breaks

Nov 9 (AD) A helicopter of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has rescued 6 people, who had been trapped as a result of a break in the dam of Alampil Niththakay Tank, Mullaittivu. Accordingly, the Air Force had deployed an MI 17 helicopter and six airmen, under the instructions of Air Force Commander, for the rescue mission this morning. They have also managed to rescue Air Force personnel, who had been deployed for more..

Used only 1 trump card, more in hand: Prez

Nov 9 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that he had used only one trump card and there were more trump cards still in his hand. While addressing the SLFP executive committee meeting last night he said he would not to roll back any decision that he had taken already. Also said that he would be going to make a request to the UNP to support the govt’s work plan when Parliament meets next Wednesday (14). more..

A cross section of society has this to say

Nov 9 (ST) With the country’s political situation in constant flux, the ST spoke to a cross section of the public to ascertain their views. Many were of the view that irrespective of who governs the country, what is required is a strong govt with a stable leadership that serves the public best. Ali Mohamad Kumaran (38), a resident of Maligawatte, said the people of the country are uncertain as to who is currently leading the country. more..

Sri Lanka may re-renegotiate Singapore free trade deal after study

Nov 9 (EN) Sri Lanka may re-negotiate a free trade with Singapore for mutual benefit, after looking at an expert report and a Supreme Court ruling, newly appointed International Trade Minister Bandula Gunewardene said. "Nothing will be stopped in a fit of hate without study," Gunewardene told reporters. "We saw the effects of stopping the port city project with China which sent a bad message to investors." more..

Ranil urges public to continue 13-day protest against corrupt dictatorship

Nov 9 (Island) Thanking all those who had resisted attempts by Prez Sirisena to subvert the democratic process over the last 13-days, Wickremesinghe who insists that he is still the legitimate PM, yesterday called on the people to join hands to prevent a corrupt dictatorship taking root in the country. He said that it was heartening to see the general public protesting on the streets, demanding that their constitutional and basic rights, more..

'6.2 million who gave the mandate were betrayed'

Nov 9 (DM) With the heat of the political situation rising daily, JVP Leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake expressed his views regarding this crisis. Q: What is the JVP’s opinion on the political situation that is unfolding at present? A: The political incidents that are taking place now are not related to the forward march of the country or its citizens. All these incidents have erupted as a result of the shameless, more..

MPs’ defections a sheer betrayal of the voters

Nov 9 (DM) The teacher asked a Montessori child what’s there in the drawing book drawn in large red, blue and green patches, smudged all over the page. The little one says The Sky. The teacher stands nonplussed. A sky? Why red and green for the sky? The kid points to another. He put red. So, I put green. And blue? the teacher asked. He gave that pastel. No contradictions and doubts here. It is the sky, as the little minds understood. more..

Counting stars from the gutter

Nov 9 (DM) The teacher asked a Montessori child what’s there in the drawing book drawn in large red, blue and green patches, smudged all over the page. The little one says The Sky. The teacher stands nonplussed. A sky? Why red and green for the sky? The kid points to another. He put red. So, I put green. And blue? the teacher asked. He gave that pastel. No contradictions and doubts here. It is the sky, as the little minds understood. That seems what our Constitution is with 19 Amendments more..

As the world watches over us

Nov 9 (DM) The present political crisis that has engulfed this country sees many contrasting views being presented as to whether it is an issue that also connects with the outside world or is purely an internal matter which should be settled within us. Right now what is continuing to fuel the crisis is the refusal of ousted Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe to accept his removal which puts the newly appointed person to that post Mahinda Rajapaksa in quite a difficult position. more..

UNP now accuses IGP of becoming a turncoat

Nov 9 (Island) UNP alleged that IGP Pujith Jayasundera had given in to the Rajapaksas following Oct. 26 constitutional coup staged by Prez Sirisena. Former Dy Minister Nalin Bandara said that they weren’t really surprised at all by Jayasundera sudden turnabout. Jayasundera received his appointment in April 2016 from Prez Sirisena on the recommendation of the CC. When The Island pointed out that the UNP went out of its way more..

Officers of Parliament cannot block decisions of speaker: lawyers collective

Nov 9 (EN) Recent decisions by Sri Lanka's Speaker Karu Jayasuriya have been made according to constitutional interpretation backed by precedent, and it they cannot be blocked by officials of the Parliament, a collective of senior lawyers have said. "Since the commencement of the constitutional crisis on 26th October 2018, the Speaker has made several public statements on the need to reconvene Parliament," Lawyers for Democracy said in a statement. more..

'President says no to Ranil'

Nov 9 (DM) Prez Sirisena reportedly told the TNA parliamentary group yesterday that he would not reappoint UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM even if his party secured a majority in Parliament. He met with the TNA delegation on Wednesday and discussed the current political situation. He reportedly asked the TNA to abstain from the vote of no confidence if it were moved. However, TNA said it had taken a decision to vote against the appointment of former Prez more..

Yahapalanaya founder apologises to nation

Nov 9 (FT) Founding member of the National Movement for Social Justice Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya yesterday apologised to the nation for supporting the Presidency of Maithripala Sirisena and appealed to the MPs to uphold the rule of law when Parliament is reconvened on 14 November. Addressing the ceremony held to commemorate the third death anniversary of Sobitha Thero, Prof. Wijesuriya, delivering a blistering more..

SC dismisses Wiggy’s appeal petition

Nov 9 (CT) The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday (8), dismissed the appeal filed by former Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran praying the SC to deem that the Interim Injunction imposed against the expelling of former Northern Provincial Council Fisheries Minister B. Denishwaran as illegal. The appeal filed by Wigneswaran was considered before a three-Judge Bench of the SC comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardene, Vijith K. Malalgoda and Murdu Fernando. more..

Australia too joins Western chorus on SL

Nov 9 (Island) Australia is seriously concerned at reports that opportunity for a confidence vote will be denied when Sri Lanka’s Parliament reconvenes, Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Ambassador to the Maldives, Bryce Hutchesson said in a Tweet. Representatives for the govt state that only President’s statement will be given when Parliament convenes on November 14 and that as per convention nothing transpires after that speech. Earlier Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, more..

'President cannot dissolve Parliament'

Nov 9 (CT) MP, Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratna PC said the intention of ratifying the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was to reduce the powers vested in the Presidency having further strengthened Parliament, the Prez cannot dissolve Parliament according to his dictates without a two-thirds vote in the Legislature. He said the 19th Amendment has also empowered the dissolution of Parliament only after the completion of more..

DEW challenges UNP to seek SC opinion

Nov 9 (DM) Former Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara challenged the UNP to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court if they maintain that the President had violated the Constitution by sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe from the Prime Ministerial post and proroguing Parliament. He told the media at the party office that Prez Sirisena has acted according to the provisions of the Constitution and not violated a even a letter of the Constitution. “Who protested when former PM D.M. Jayaratne was sacked more..

'UPFA confident of proving majority on 14th'

Nov 9 (DM) Minister S.B. Dissanayake today admitted that the UPFA had only the support of 105 MPs at the moment but said they were ready to show 116 on the 14th, the day Parliament reconvenes after prorogation. He said he was in contact with a number of MPs of the TNA, SLMC and ACMC to woo them to the UPFA and added he was confident that UPFA would be in a position to show the support of 116 MPs. Minister pointed out that the TNA had disintegrated to four groups more..

Sri Lanka revives tax appeals commission

Nov 9 (LBO) Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) which has been inactive for some time has now been revived with the reappointment of Justice Hector Yapa as Chairman and Justice Sunil Rajapakse and S. Swarnajothi Former Auditor General as members. The TAC was established to facilitate a more expeditious resolution of disputes that may arise between the taxpayer and the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue (CGIR) or more..

All Ministers to be appointed by tomorrow

Nov 9 (CT) UPFA MP John Seneviratne said the Govt has decided to appoint the 30-Member Cabinet of Ministers and 40 Deputy and State Ministers portfolios tomorrow (10). Meanwhile, two Cabinet Ministers and five State Ministers were sworn in before Prez Sirisena yesterday (8). MP Susil Premajayantha was appointed Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs, and Justice. Bandula Gunawardane was appointed Minister of International Trade & Investment Promotion. more..

Mahendran will be extradited: Minister

Nov 9 (DN) The new govt will take measures to have former CB Governor Arjun Mahendran extradited to Sri Lanka and charged for the CB bond scam, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said the new govt intends to recur the loss the country suffered due to the Treasury Bond scam. “Yes definitely. This is a very simple thing. There are several others who are respondents in this issue and if the evidence recorded at the Bond Commission is to be used in courts, then we must pass the amendments more..

Wiggy sends his resignation to ITAK via post

Nov 9 (CT) Former Northern Province Chief Minister (CM) C.V. Wigneswaran on 7 Nov sent his resignation letter to the ITAK through registered post citing that the ITAK never treated him as part of the Party and politics even though they wanted him to be their candidate at the 2013 NPC Election. In the letter addressed to ITAK Leader Mavai Senathirajah, he stated that the ITAK sidelined him after making him the CM. more..

Sri Lanka tea prices to end down in 2018

Nov 9 (EN) Average prices at auctions in Colombo will end down 2018, continuing a trend seen so far in the year. Average prices at the Colombo Auction are projected to be 587.76 rupees per kilogramme for 2018, compared to 620.44 rupees in 2017 or down 5.3%. For the first six months of 2018, the average tea price had been 605.17 rupees, down 2.2% from a year earlier. "The highest decline was recorded for medium grown tea (5.5%), followed by high grown tea (2.9%) and low grown tea (1.7%), more..

Moves to oust manager Charith Senanayake?

Nov 9 (DN) Are there moves afoot to oust the manager of the Sri Lanka cricket team Charith Senanayake? The Daily News reliably learns that the Sri Lanka team management that is controlled by the head coach Chandika Hathurusingha is quite uncomfortable with the presence of Senanayake amongst their midst and are making moves to have him replaced ahead of the tour to New Zealand which is Sri Lanka’s next series after the present one against England. more..

Tourist arrivals struggle in October

Nov 9 (FT) Trouble for the tourism industry has been reinforced with arrivals in October barely managing a 0.5% growth though year-to-date figures reflect a 10.6% improvement. Tourist arrivals in October was 153,123, up 0.5% from a year earlier and enhanced the first 10 months figure to 1.8 million, up by 10.6%. According to SLTDA, in October, largest source market for tourists was India, followed by China and the UK. more..

'Sri Lanka's architects overlooked for major, local construction projects'

Nov 9 (Island) 'SL architects are capable, effective and knowledgeable and are in demand for foreign assignments. For instance, a SL architect was assigned the task of building the Indian High Commission in China. They have many similar projects to their credit. But the construction industry here has not assigned on- going projects to locals, president, SL Institute of Architects (SLIA) D.H. Wijewardene said. Wijewardne was speaking recently at Architecture Xtudio's more..

Professionals say Colombo risks becoming a ghost city if their advice not sought

Nov 9 (DM) Colombo’s booming real estate market risks turning SL’s capital city into a ghost town as there may not be an effective demand to satisfy the increase in supply as many developers and policymakers are reluctant to utilise professional services. “Today, we see a lot of half-completed buildings. We have to make sure that these are marketable. As chartered surveyors, we should be able to advise the policymakers how to create effective demand to satisfy current supply, more..

Prez lauds N/E Dev. Task Force progress

Nov 9 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday lauded the progress achieved by the Presidential Task Force on Northern and Eastern Province Development during the last two months. This Presidential Task Force was established last August with the objective of expediting development activities which were deterred by the protracted conflict in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in the country more..

Daunting task for SL to save Galle Test

Nov 9 (Island) SL’s batsmen will do well to borrow a leaf out of England batsman Keaton Jennings’s book as the their unblemished record in Galle against England is in danger. South African born opener and the son of former Proteas Head Coach Ray Jennings batted for over six hours in compiling his second Test hundred yesterday. Set an improbable target of 461, SL openers saw off the seven overs without losing their wickets. They trail England by 447 runs and no team has chased that many more..

‘Trade corridors vital for business growth overseas’

Nov 9 (DN) Trade corridors play an important role for Sri Lankan corporates looking to expand their businesses beyond Sri Lanka and push for exponential growth. Knowledge of these markets is essential for businesses to thrive, said Stuart Rogers, Head of Wholesale Banking, HSBC SL and Maldives. He made these views to a new HSBC global report finds and added that the Navigator offers bank’s corporate customers up-to-date information and invaluable insights into more..

Sugar tax hurts over 90 small and medium fruit drink businesses

Nov 9 (ST) SL’s fruit juice and nectar industry is about to be hit badly with the extension of the sugar tax on all sugary drinks on a new directive issued by the Finance Ministry on a Presidential order. Prez Sirisena has directed the ministry to extend the tax on soft drinks to all forms of sweetened beverages recently alleging that Nestlé had increased the sugar content in Milo to 16.5% from 15% in 2012. more..

Patient Keaton Jennings finds his subcontinental stride once again

Nov 9 (CI) These are the rewards for patience and persistence. Not just the patience and persistence of Keaton Jennings, who took 76 overs - and almost two years - to reach the second century of his Test career, but patience and persistence in him. By the end of the English summer, it seemed unthinkable that Jennings could be selected for this tour. He had, after all, gone 10 Tests in succession without a half-century - a record for an England opener - and averaged just 19.20 in six matches since more..

State capture by the corrupt and drugs lords in Pagalanthaya

Nov 9 (Island) Over millennia, this land has been known by many names: Tambapanni, Taprobane, Sihaladvipa, Serendib, Ceilao and Ceylon and now Sri Lanka. I propose that we call it, more appropriately now, Pagalanthaya or Briberyland. (In Sinhala grammar such names are classified as anvarthanama, a name to denote the nature of what is named.) You have Thailand, the land of Thais, Finland, the land of Finns, Azerbaijan, the land of Azeris and Briberyland, more..