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'Ranil is a twisted democrat'

Feb 15 (CT) JVP Leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, says a candidate will be put forward for the Presidential Election, through a broad alliance that will be set up, with the intervention of the JVP. Q: For a considerable time, JVP has been preparing policy plans with a National Intellectual Council. This time too, it is being prepared with a difference. You are not successful because you do not have power, isn’t that so? more..

The Political Economy of Drugs

Feb 15 (CT) Almost all the newspapers carried banner headlines about the arrest of Makandure Madush by Dubai Police at a party held in a six-star hotel in Dubai. It was said that Makandure Madush has been the key figure behind many a crime executed in Sri Lanka in the last decade or so. As usual, all the politicians are trying hard to get the credit of the arrest of Madush. At the same time the politicians are trying to prove appearing on media that they have no links whatsoever with him. more..

Rather satisfied view of less chaotic SL

Feb 15 (Island) Cassandra endured shivers going down her spine and then bouts of relief when she watched Hard Talk on BBC, Saturday 9 February. She greatly admires Stephen Sakur, who interviews on most of this programme. In this particular interview he was conversing with an Ex-Supreme Court Judge of Venezuela who is in exile in Miami. Sakur pointedly asked him how he was to be believed when only a couple of months ago he was much with Nicolas Maduro & within his govt. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

How the Constitutional Council vets judges, IGPs, AGs and others

Feb 15 (SO) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, who also serves as Chairman of the Constitutional Council, on Friday tabled in Parliament a report of the Council setting out its duties, activities and the criteria by which the Council recommends and approves appointments to key positions under the terms of the Constitution. The Constitutional Council was set up in July 2015 through the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, which introduced Chapter VII A to the Constitution. Prior to the 19th Amendment, more..

Edtorial: The law is an ass

Feb 15 (Island) Sri Lankans, desirous of having the rule of law restored, must have said, the other day, a la Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist, The law is an ass. We argued, in this space, recently, that though the govt claimed that everyone was equal before the law, the ruling pigs, like the swine in Orwell’s Animal Farm, were more equal than others. Present-day leaders came to power, making a solemn pledge to create a utopia, but we are still living in the same old dystopia, where politicians in power are more..

What ails the BIA?

Feb 15 (SO) Often in our houses, the entrance and the living room are the cleanest and most visually pleasing areas in the entire house, simply because we believe beauty and cleanliness in the front says it all. The prime gateway to the country, the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is the entrance to not just another country but to the world’s best travel destination for 2019, as hailed by world famous travel magazine Lonely Planet. more..

Keshav Maharaj's progress stalls as South Africa settle for pace prowess

Feb 15 (CI) South Africa are ranked No. 2 in Tests, have the most fearsome phalanx of quicks on the planet, a serviceable top order, and are, in general, an outstanding fielding side. Despite a regular loss of wickets late on day two at Kingsmead, they have imposed themselves on Sri Lanka, and have achieved a strong position in the match. This is roughly how this Test was supposed to go, so no real surprises, right? Except maybe a minor one. South Africa's dominance has been achieved more..

Independence: Its meaning and a direction for the future

Feb 15 (Island) The seventy first anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence was celebrated on the fourth of February. Independence should mean that the Sri Lankan nation is free to self-determine who and what they want to be as a nation and charter their destiny. The question is whether Sri Lanka is free enough to make such a determination. Thus independence day becomes a day of retrospect for us to look back to consider whether we have used our independence wisely or not, more..

Steyn's for-four helps South Africa extend advantage

Feb 15 (CI) South Africa extended their lead to 170 by stumps on the second day of a fast-moving Test at Kingsmead, but lost four wickets in the process. This kept Sri Lanka just about in the game, their persistence with the ball making up a little for their brittleness with the bat as their top order offered flair, but little substance. Kusal Perera's 51 was the top score in their 191. Dale Steyn collected 4 for 48, moving ahead of more..

Video: MR could even nominate Shiranthi as presidential candidate

Feb 15 (DM) Minister Navin Dissanayaka said yesterday that opposition and SLPP de-facto leader Mahinda Rajapaksa could even nominate his wife Shiranthi as the presidential candidate of the joint opposition because he is the sole decision maker on this subject on behalf of the JO and the SLPP. He said that the UNF would take a collective decision on the UNF candidate after consulting all constituent parties of the UNF, minority parties, Pradeshi Sabha and Provincial Council members & UNF MPs. more..

Proteas Women seal Sri Lanka whitewash

Feb 15 (CI) South Africa sealed their series against Sri Lanka with a 30-run win in the second game in Potchefstroom. Captain Chamari Atapattu powered Sri Lanka's chase with a boundary-laden 94, but no other Sri Lanka batsman reached fifty and the visitors were bowled out for 231 in pursuit of a revised target of 262 in 47 overs. The visitors lost eight wickets for 63 runs, after a 110-run second-wicket stand. The hosts were without their captain, Dane van Niekerk, who was ruled out for more..

Speaker calls for polls on schedule

Feb 15 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya stressed the responsibility on the part of the govt to hold elections as scheduled. He said that elections should not only be held in a free and fair environment but on time. Speaker said so in his brief comments at an event organised by the PAFFREL at the BMICH to celebrate its 30th anniversary. He twice emphasised the need for scheduled elections to take place. more..

Four more banks obtain enjoining orders against MTD Walkers

Feb 15 (FT) Four leading Banks in SL, namely Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, Sampath Bank, and Nations Trust Bank, this week sought for Enjoining Orders against MTD Walkers, a listed company engaging in infrastructure-related businesses including civil engineering, heavy engineering, electrical engineering, pile construction, power generation, real estate development, marine engineering and trading of heavy equipment and in multidisciplinary engineering activities in SL more..

Tender for bags boomerangs: Lanka Phosphate incurs Rs. 20 mn loss

Feb 15 (DN) The Lanka Phosphate Limited in Eppawala has incurred a Rs. 20 million loss by purchasing high price bags to pack fertiliser. The Chief Internal Audit Unit of the ministry has revealed that the loss incurred in the tender process where low price bids were neglected to buy 120,000 bags for 2019. The bags were bought at Rs 47.74 each. However, tenders had been presented for low rates as much as Rs 39.30 by a company of the six companies that submitted bids. more..

Interim committee if stay order is given for SLC elections: Sports Minister

Feb 15 (DN) Sports Minister Harin Fernando stated that they would have no alternative but to appoint an interim committee if a stay order is given preventing the Sri Lanka Cricket elections from being held. The elections are scheduled for Feb 21. Two candidates contesting the forthcoming SLC elections Mohan de Silva and Ravin Wickremaratne had their nominations rejected by the Election Appeals Committee and more..

Bell Geospace wins Sri Lanka offshore oil airborne gravity survey deal

Feb 15 (EN) Govt has awarded U.S. firm Bell Geospace Ltd. a contract to explore for offshore oil and gas deposits using gravity and magnetic techniques that enable faster detection of deposits and give more precise locations for drilling. The Cabinet this week approved the contract on a proposal presented by Minister Kabeer Hashim. The contract for gravity, gravity sequential and magnetic surveys will cover Mannar Basin off west coast and Cauvery Basin off northern peninsula. more..

Sri Lanka has to reform soft-peg to avoid monetary instability, default: Bellwether

Feb 15 (EN) In 2018 instability generated by an inconsistent monetary policy framework not only killed a nascent economic recovery that began in the first quarter, but also brought the country into the brink of sovereign default. The liquidity shocks generated in the attempt to peruse independent monetary policy while operating a soft-pegged exchange rate with multiple convertibility undertakings has led to a collapse of the exchange rate, undermining free trade strategy of govt more..

CIABOC questions Ravi K: Karunanayake calls it routine inquiry

Feb 15 (Island) CIABOC, yesterday, recorded a statement from Minister Ravi Karunanayake regarding CB bond scams involving the Perpetual Treasuries (PTL). CIABOC questioned Minister close on the heels of investigators recording a statement from Arjun Aloysius, the owner of the PTL. However, Minister told The Island that though various matters were taken up, PTL issue wasn’t. He indicated that it was routine inquiry. more..

Policeman injured in shooting at Kadawatha

Feb 15 (AD) A policeman was reportedly injured and hospitalised following a shooting incident at Kadawatha today (14), during the arrest of a suspected drug dealer. The Kadawatha Police Station had received information that a person inside a three-wheeler near the Bo Tree in the Kadawatha Town was in possession of heroin. Based on this information, a raid was carried out at around 5.10 p.m. today resulting in the arrest of the suspect along with the three-wheeler. more..

Hutch, BOI in supplementary agreement

Feb 15 (DN) Board of Investment signed a Supplementary Agreement with Hutchison Telecom Lanka (Pvt) Ltd on Feb 11, 2019. Thirukumar Nadarasa, CEO, Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka (Pvt) Ltd and Hemasiri Fernando, Chairman, BOI signed the Agreement. Champika Malalgoda, Director General was present at the signing ceremony at BOI Head Office, Colombo. Hutchison Telecom Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., has been operating in Sri Lanka for over two decades and more..

KKS commercial operations to begin with Indian assistance

Feb 15 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said steps would be taken to develop a vibrant economic hub around the Kankesanthurai Harbour that would be transformed into a commercial port with Indian assistance. He visited the KKS area yesterday to discuss the implementation of $ 45.27 million development project for KKS Harbour. PM instructed officials to work expeditiously to finalise land acquisition more..

Video: Kanaka Herath on why UNP wants a presidential election

Feb 15 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to put forward a candidate who is unable to win the Presidential Election and thereby safeguard his position as Leader of the UNP, claims UPFA MP Kanaka Herath. Speaking at a press conference, he said that although the UNP wants a presidential election next, what the country needs right now is a Provincial Council election. Herath charged that the UNP is asking for a presidential poll in order to resolve the internal crisis of the party. more..

Police find Rs 70M worth Kerala Ganja in crashed SUV

Feb 15 (CT) 70 kilos of Kerala Ganja (KG) was seized by the Maradana Police in the early hours of yesterday. At around 3.30 a.m., a SUV crashed into the middle isle of the pedestrian bridge near Maradana Railway Station causing severe damages to the SUV jeep-tearing of its right front wheel. Several persons in the SUV had fled when Police reached the crash site. Around 70 kg of KG-packed in 17 parcels, worth Rs 70 million was found inside the SUV. more..

Video: Law must be enforced properly irrespective of status & positions: President

Feb 15 (AD) Prea Sirisena emphasized that the law must be properly enforced against the persons who are engaged in drug smuggling and environmental damage irrespective of their status and positions in the society. Prez made these remarks addressing the Anuradhapura District Environmental Conference held at the Salgadu Grounds in Anuradhapura, today (14). He expressing his views further said that more..

Niroshan rejects allegations

Feb 15 (DM) UPFA MP Niroshan Premaratne rejected allegations levelled against him relating to his links with Makandure Madush and reports of financial assistance from him. “Several MPs are making false allegations that I have obtained a loan worth Rs. 80 million and further question, how could I manage to obtain such a loan?,” the MP said. “In the first place, I would like to say that I have not obtained a loan worth Rs. 80 million, but did obtain a loan worth Rs. 30 million,” the MP added. more..

Sand mining permits in Trinco suspended

Feb 15 (DM) Sand mining permits in the Trincomalee district would be suspended from tomorrow for two weeks, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Chairman W.M.A.S. Iddawela said. He said the decision was taken after considering the malpractices and irregularities involving sand mining in the district. “The issues related to the matter were raised by several public representatives at the Consultative Committee of the Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry more..

Sports Minister planning revolutionary changes to cricket

Feb 15 (DN) Sports Minister Harin Fernando said that he is looking forward to do some revolutionary changes in Sri Lanka Cricket together with the new board members who will be elected in the forthcoming election. Minister also said that he does not want to interfere with SLC’s responsibilities and assured that he neither has personal or political agendas when dealing with issues related to SLC. more..

Madush, Amal and Nadeemal remanded till Feb. 24: Lawyer

Feb 15 (DM) 31 suspects including drug kingpin Makandure Madush, singer Amal Perera and his son Nadeemal, who were arrested in Dubai, were remanded till Feb 24 after being produced in a Dubai Court, Counsel Shabdika Wellappili said. He told the Daily Mirror that he met singer Amal Perera and his son Nadeemal, who were in police custody today. Counsel Wellappili said Dubai authorities had informed him that bail applications could be filed to get Amal and Nadeemal released. more..

Govt jobs for A/L qualifiers: Prez objects to cabinet proposal

Feb 15 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have objected to a cabinet proposal to grant employment to 7,500 GCE A/L qualifiers in the state sector. The govt has submitted this proposal to the regular cabinet meeting conducted on Tuesday. The govt has decided to select these youths for jobs through the National Youth Services Council. However, the President said that it would not be appropriate when there were so many unemployed graduates in the country. more..

Bigger lenders also behaving like loan sharks in Sri Lanka: Finance Minister

Feb 15 (EN) Sri Lanka is bringing laws to regulate micro-finance which are behaving like loan sharks giving loans to people who cannot afford them, but some regulated lenders are also engaging in such practices, the finance minister said. The govt is providing 1.4 billion rupees to write of the capital and interest of 45,000 women borrowers, up to 100,000 rupees especially in the former war zones of the north. more..

Can Dubai teach SL lessons on drugs?

Feb 15 (DM) The drug issue in SL made everybody look beyond drug lord Makandure Madush because a leading musician and his son were also among those arrested in Dubai. Now the focus is on singer Amal Perera who is said to have been at a party where, according to Sri Lankan media, drugs had been used by some of the guests. Perera’s involvement blows the drug related issue out of proportion and we now even see that much money is spent to hire lawyers & get artiste released. more..

Madush a product of the system

Feb 15 (DM) Dy Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran, who was in hot water in July last year for praising the one-time administration by the LTTE before it was militarily decimated, told a few days ago that it was the southern politicians, who spread liquor and various drugs in the North after the end of the war, in order to demoralize the Tamil youth. Nobody contested her claim this time but comments made by many southern politicians have vindicated her stand that politicians were behind spread of drugs. more..

Madush Underworld and free market economy

Feb 15 (DM) The arrest in Dubai of Makandure Madush and a few others wanted here in SL for drug trafficking and murder, first made stories in media giving credit to different persons for the meticulously planned arrest. Since then, not only the mainstream media but social media too, worked overtime to churn out speculative, juicey stories. Making stories on bits and pieces of information picked from often unconfirmed sources and more..

Regulators suspect in Naiwala killer theme park failures

Feb 15 (ST) When 48-year old Janaki Gangodawila and her 13-year-old daughter Araliya Rasmi set off from their home in Kotugoda looking forward to a day of thrills at a theme park in Naiwala, Gampaha, they could not have foreseen deadly consequences. The mother and daughter were killed when the gondola of an attraction named the Octopus broke off and tossed them aside causing fatal injuries. more..

NPC urged to probe Kelaniya police

Feb 15 (Island) Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Kenya Sunil De Silva has requested the National Police Commission (NPC) to inquire into the conduct of the Kelaniya police following a series robberies there. The Ambassador said that he had no option but to seek the NPC intervention as the Kelaniya police had disregarded Police headquarters instructions. The following is the full text of High Commissioner’s letter titled more..

UPFA still hopeful of common candidate

Feb 15 (FT) UPFA still has not ruled out the possibility of a common candidate for the Presidential Election, despite SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa’s earlier statement that the Party will not support anyone outside the Party as a Presidential candidate under any circumstances. “The final decision on the common candidate will be taken after a lengthy discussion between Prez Sirisena & Opp Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

'US shouldn’t place too much emphasis on human rights'

Feb 15 (Island) Former Commander of the SL Navy Admiral Dr. Jayanath Colombage, told American officials including Assistant Secretary to the US Department of State Thomas L. Vajda that the US should not place too much emphasis on human rights and democracy when working in Sri Lanka. He said so at a roundtable discussion on the Indo-Pacific Region held at the Taj Samudra in Colombo. more..

EU reiterates need for Sri Lanka to repeal and replace PTA

Feb 15 (EU) The European Union (EU) and Sri Lanka held their 22nd meeting of the Joint Commission on Thursday (14), in Brussels. The meeting was held in an open and constructive spirit. Developments in both the EU and in SL were discussed. Bearing in mind the resilience of the democratic institutions which had prevailed during the political events in Sri Lanka late 2018, the EU reiterated its full support for the Govt's efforts more..

Challenge of extraditing Makandure Madush and other criminals in Dubai back to SL

Feb 15 (FT) The notorious underworld criminals and drug smugglers including Makandure Madush, who were arrested in Dubai, could not be brought back to the country as SL’s Parliament has not yet endorsed the Extradition Treaty signed by Sri Lanka and UAE, a top legal expert said. “Treaty was signed by the two nations in 2002 April 29 but it was not placed before the Parliament for the approval yet. more..