Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA an illegitimate document – Rathana Thero

Parliamentarians Udaya Gammanpila and Ven Athuraliye Rathana Thero presented submissions before the independent committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to examine the Sri

Gota says he will join JO protest

Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who kept away from mainstream politics so far, said today that would not remain silent when the country was heading towards disaster and would join Wednesday's ‘Jana Balaya’ protest organised by the joint opposition (JO).

He said Sri Lanka has never before fallen into the political, social

Fort Magistrate Orders Police To Arrest Four Ultra-nationalist Buddhist Monks For Damaging Public Property

The Colombo Fort Magistrate has ordered to arrest four ultra-nationalist Buddhist monks and present them in court for damaging public property during a demonstration.

The court has ordered Police to arrest Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera, Iththakande Saddhatissa Thera, Medille Pragnaloka Thera and Magalkande Sudaththa Thera present them before the Magistrate.

All four of them are stalwarts of ultra-nationalist Buddhist organizations and have openly expressed support to former Defence Secteray Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's political campaign.

The Police had informed court that the Buddhist monks had damaged public property during a protest held by disabled soldiers last year.

There were allegations that these monks were behaving in a provocative manner during the protest.


Gnanasara Thero denied leave to appeal sentence

The Court of Appeal today rejected Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero’s application for leave to appeal his sentence.

Attorneys representing the Thero had filed an application for leave to appeal the six-year sentence given to the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization.

The application was taken up for consideration today (31) before a

Travel ban on former Deputy Minister lifted

Former Deputy Minister of Fisheries Sarath Kumara Gunaratne, who is charged over the alleged misappropriation of state funds amounting to nearly Rs 14 million, has been granted permission to travel abroad by the Colombo High Court.

Presenting submissions before Colombo High Court Judge Shashi

President appeals BIMSTEC to take collective steps against drug menace

President Maithripala Sirisena called upon the leaders of the states in the Bay of Bengal Region to take collective steps against drug menace narcotics smugglers use ocean routes for drug smuggling.

Addressing the 4th Summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

ICC support regulations change, extend grace period up to Feb. 9

The International Cricket Council has granted further six-week grace period to hold Sri Lanka Cricket election after a delegation headed by Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha beg for more time to sort out issues before going for election.

Accordingly the deadline has been extended till February 9, sources said.

The meeting took place on August 29 in Dubai between a Sri Lankan delegation and a delegation headed by ICC President Shashank Manohar. The Minister had briefed the ICC on the circumstances causing the delay notwithstanding the Court of Appeal clearing the way on July 3. Kamal Padmasiri, the Competent Authority running cricket, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva and Senior Deputy Solicitor General Sumathi Dharmawardena were present at the meeting.

Earlier ICC issued a stern warning to the SLC in July to ensure fair and democratic elections are carried out by the end of 2018 or risk suspension.

According to Article 2.9(B) of ICC’s Articles of Association, ICC prohibits any Government interference in cricket administration and requires free and fair elections. “Where a Government interferes in the administration of cricket by a Member, including but not limited to interference in operation matters, the selection and management of teams, the appointment of coaches or support personnel, the Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognise that member,” it reads.

Accordingly, SLC’s voting rights at the ICC remain suspended while a Government-appointed committee is in charge and, even though the ICC has not suspended its funding to SLC completely, it is being monitored. In the event of a suspension, it’s funding will be cut off completely.

SLC were to go for polls on May 31 to elect members of the Executive Committee but it was halted by a court order when SLC presidential candidate Nishantha Ranatunga challenged the election process and the legitimacy of then President Thilanga Sumathipala’s candidacy on the basis of latter’s family ties to the gaming industry.

The case on the election process was vacated two weeks later, clearing the way for fresh elections but too little has been done to ensure fresh polls before the stipulated time-frame.

Decisions  taken at the meeting:

1. To amend regulations to appoint an election committee by the general body of the SLC consisting of two retired judicial officials of the High Court and above, and a retired senior member of the Elections Department/Commission of Sri Lanka or any retired public official with experience in conducting elections. The proposed election committee shall have the authority to vet the voter list and to finalise the same in order to conduct the election process and to announce results.

2. On the appointment of the election committee as stated above nominations shall be called within a period not less than one month from the said date of appointment of the election committee.

3. Any party dissatisfied with any decision taken by the election committee shall appeal within a period of one week to the appellate body consisting of three retired judges of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. Any appeal is to be finalised within one week of submission to the said appellate body.

4. To appoint a Management committee which will consist of four independent members together with the Competent Authority, to manage the affairs of SLC until the elections are conducted.

5. To make necessary arrangements to conduct elections to elect office Bearers to SLC on or before 9th Feb 2019.


Sajin Vass arrives at Presidential Commission over SriLankan-Mihin inquiry

Former parliamentarian Sajin de Vass Gunawardena has arrived at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry at around 9.30 am today (30).

This was regarding the alleged irregularities in connection with

Gnanasara Thera transferred to Prisons Hospital

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, who was treated at the Sri Jayawardanepura Hospital, was transferred to the Prisons Hospital today, Hospital sources said.

The Thera was discharged today after a surgery at the Hospital.

He was sentenced to 19-years imprisonment to be served in six

Bond scam happened within the existing law – Chaminda Wijesiri

Despite the allegations against the Central Bank Bond Scam, failure to penalize the responsible persons suggests that it has taken place within the existing law of the country, says UNP Parliamentarian

JO attempts to swindle people: UNP

The Joint Opposition was attempting to create false ideologies on the matters pertaining to the affairs of the country especially on the Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Singapore, UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna said.

Addressing a news briefing, he said the JO members were taking

CID tells Court CDS will be arrested

Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday told the CID to take steps to arrest former Navy Commander and current Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, if CID had adequate evidence to prove that he had helped suspect, retired Navy officer Prasad Hettiarachchi, to abscond the investigation.

Organised Crimes Investigation Unit OIC Nishantha Silva of the

Family background report to be scrapped

Deputy minister Manusha Nanayakkara says a proposal will be submitted to the cabinet to scrap the requirement for female workers to submit a family background report before leaving for employment overseas.

He made the announcement during a health camp and mobile

Gnanasara Thero’s request to appeal to be considered on Friday

The request for filing an appeal challenging the six-year sentence given to the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero will be taken up for consideration by the Court of Appeal on August 31.

The request for appeal was taken up before the two-judge bench

Gota arrives at commission on SriLankan and Mihin

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa arrived at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) unit at the Presidential Commission appointed to investigate financial irregularities that had taken place at SriLankan airlines, SriLankan Catering (Pvt.)

Hidden agenda in appointing commission on salary issue: Gammanpila

The decision to appoint a commission, supposedly for the purpose of solving the salary issues of railway employees, was a tactic to kill time until military personnel sent to India to be trained as train drivers, get back to fill in the void that is created when railway

SF devoid of STF security

Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Minister Sarath Fonseka is reported to have been denied security by the Special Task Force (STF) triggering concerns whether it was linked to his criticism of the elite police force in Parliament last Friday.

He had launched a scathing attack on the STF last Friday and

MS does not wish fmr. President to become PM: Rahman

President Maithripala Sirisena does not want, neither does he support former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to return become the Prime Minister of this country, United National Party MP Mujibur Rahman said.

Addressing a news briefing, he said President Sirisena would not

Graduates expelled from job appointment letter handover

Around 2,000 graduates had been dropped from a list of 6,000 recruits as trainee development officers, for whom an appointment letter handover took place at Temple Trees, says the national centre of graduates.

It says only around 4,000 over given the appointments, while the

Sangakkara comments on claims on his entry to politics

Former Sri Lankan Cricket Captain Kumar Sangakkara says that he has no intention of entering politics under any circumstances.

He denied the reports by certain media on his alleged candidacy at the upcoming Presidential Election.

Former Captain Kumar Sangakkara stated this responding to

Five-member Delimitation Review Committee headed by PM

A Delimitation Review Committee has been appointed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to look into Provincial Council Elections.

Reportedly, the five member committee will be headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The rest of the members are

Speaker appoints Review Committee on delimitation report

A Five-member Committee, headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had been appointed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to review the Delimitation Commission Report on Provincial Councils today.

According to Speaker's Media Unit, the other members of the

JO abandons struggle for opposition leader position!

The joint opposition says it has abandoned a struggle to secure the opposition leader position and resumed another to make Mahinda Rajapaksa the president again.

JO MP Kumar Welgama has told Neth FM that it was pointless to

No more corruption in election system: President

President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday that the present government has taken steps to establish a strong foundation for the free and fair elections in the country through the 19th amendment to the Constitution by ending the corruption that prevailed in the election system before January 8, 2015.

He made these remarks while addressing the inauguration

Open warrant on Jaliya Wickramasuriya re-issued

The open warrant to arrest former Ambassador to United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya has been re-issued by the order of the Fort Magistrate.

Fort Magistrate’s Court has also issued open warrants on

Members for Committee of election recommendations named

Members of the Committee appointed to present the recommendations needed to hold the Provincial Council election have been named by the Speaker.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been named an official

State banks give Rs. 230 b road construction loans

State banks have granted loans to the tune of Rs. 230 billion for 64 projects by the Road Development Authority, including for sub-contracts to construct highways and other roads.

For highways alone, the credit obtained by the RDA is Rs. 80

Special High Court issues notice on Gota

The Special High Court today issued notice on former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and six others to appear before the court on September 10 over the alleged misappropriation of public funds for the construction of the D. A. Rajapaksa memorial

TNA to join Presidential Task Force against C.V's wishes

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has ignored a request by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to boycott the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the development of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and would participate in a meeting of the task force scheduled for today (27).

The Northern Chief Minister had made the above request claiming

Driving Trishaw: NTC to study ban on age limit

The Transport Ministry would appoint National Transport Security Commission to study and analyze the ban imposed on three-wheeler passenger transport, sources said.

The Government earlier considered banning the issuing of trishaw

AL results could be delayed due to teacher shortage: ACUTU

The results of 2018 Advanced Level Examination could be delayed due to a shortage of teachers to serve at answer script evaluation supervisory board, the Chairman of the All Ceylon United Teachers Union (ACUTU) Ven. Yalwela Pagnasekera Thera said.

“This year there are only eight teachers in each supervisory board,

SIU to probe STF Chief Lathif: Dy. Min.

The State Intelligence Unit is to be asked to probe the allegations made by Wildlife and Regional Development Minister Sarath Fonseka against some police officers including STF Chief DIG Lathif, Deputy Minister of Law and Order, Nalin Bandara

Ranil Wickremesinghe congratulates new Australian PM

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today congratulated Scott Morrison on his election as Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia and becoming the 30th Prime Minister of Australia.

Treasurer Scott Morrison as sworn in yesterday as Australia’s prime

SLFP dissidents: CC to decide on necessary action

If the 16 SLFP disidents continue to sabotage the SLFP, the party’s central committee decide on the steps to be taken about them before the SLFP’s annual convention to be held in October, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

He told reporters that he did not know how many members still

Police acting similar to 'bulls in the China shop': SF

The Police are playing the fool using the freedom given by the yahapalana government, Wildlife and Regional Development Minister Sarath Foinseka told Parliament yesterday.

He said this during the debate on the provincial delimitation commission report and pointed out that some senior police officers

UNP, PA tried to abolish the PMB: President

The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) established in 1971 to save the paddy farmer from ‘Mudalalies’ was later neglected by the UNP and the Peoples Alliance governments and the real culprits to create, promote the rice mafia were those who attempted to wind up

Sarath Fonseka wants ‘Common Candidate’ concept abolished

Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka says that the United National Party (UNP) should field its own candidate for the Presidential Election in 2020 and that the ‘Common Candidate’ system should be discarded.

Responding to questions from journalists in Gampaha, the former

Case filed with Special High Court against Gotabaya & 6 others

The Attorney General’s Department today filed a case with the newly set-up Permanent High Court at Bar against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and 6 others, over the misappropriation of state funds when building the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum.

The Attorney General’s Department filed the indictments today

UNF, JO to oppose delimitation report

The Provincial Delimitation Commission Report is likely to be rejected by Parliament in the wake of the ruling UNF and the joint opposition deciding to vote against it, Parliament sources said.

UNF sources said its parliamentary group had decided to vote

Price of 12.5 kg gas cylinder increased by Rs.158

A decision was taken by the Cost of Living Committee to increase the price of a 12.5kg gas cylinder by Rs.158 with effect from

Rethink ban on ONUR radio dramas: Mangala

Media and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday urged the Cultural Affairs Minister to reconsider the ban imposed on radio dramas produced by the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR).

He told Parliament the notion that these dramas insulted Buddhism

Will make Colombo ECT the largest in South Asia: Minister

The government will develop the Colombo Port's East Container Terminal (ECT) to be the largest and deepest container terminal in South Asia without any foreign funding, Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said yesterday.

He said he would submit the proposal and blueprint of the

Enough books of spot-fine sheets distributed: SP Hapugoda

Traffic police personnel can in no way refuse to issue spot-fines because sufficient books of spot-fine sheets have been distributed to all police stations in the country, Traffic Administration and Road Safety Director SP Indika Hapugoda said.

He said they had received several complaints about a video footage that had gone viral on social media, where a traffic police officer

Mahindananda’s case postponed to October 31

The case against former Minister, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, filed for the alleged misappropriation of Rs 3.9 million, has been postponed to October 31 by the Colombo High Court.

When the case was taken up before the Colombo High Court Judge Smapath Wijeratne today (23), the defense counsel informed the

Sajith calls for an open economy with a human face

United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader and Minister of Housing Sajith Premadasa recently called for an open economy with a human face saying it is the right way to establish a just society.

Mr. Premadasa expressed this sentiment while speaking at the Sri

Special HC: First case to be taken up tomorrow

The first ever case of the Special High Court would be taken up for hearing tomorrow (24), legal sources said yesterday.

The Special High Courts were set up to hear financial fraud and corruption cases.

The first case has been filed against former President Mahinda

PHU wants Govt. to declare holiday over JO protest

It would be convenient for people if the Government announced September 5 as a public holiday in order to reduce the congestion that could be caused by the protest campaign organised by the Joint Opposition (JO), the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) said.

The Janabalaya Kolambata, Anti-Government protest campaign

Can’t elect a president if there are too many candidates – Duminda

If all parties put forward their own candidate to contest at the upcoming Presidential election, electing a Present could impossible, says Minister Duminda Dissanayake.

He expressed these views at a public rally held in Anuradhapura.

If candidates from every party contests at the election, the winner

Udayanga recommended company as GSA for Russia

Former Sri Lankan ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga had recommended a company named Sri Lanka Limited to be appointed as General Sales Agent (GSA) for SriLankan airlines in Russia, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka was told yesterday.

Shiromi Cooray, Manager Industrial Relations, SriLankan Airlines notified the commission that writing to the SriLankan country manager in Russia in 2011, Weeratunga has said that Sri Lanka Limited could help the country forge closer relationships with Russia and Ukraine and the company should be selected for this reason. “This is the first time that we have appointed a GSA to Russia,” she said. She also said that there had been no advertisement announcing the decision.

It was also revealed that this was a direct violation of rules formulated in 2009 which stipulates that prior to selecting a GSA, SriLankan should conduct a market survey of a new territory and call for applications through advertisements in newspapers and SriLankan websites and also hold a legal and financial review.

"There had been no interview process to select a suitable company and there has been no legal or financial review during this process," she said.

She also informed the Commission that although the then CEO, Kapila Chandrasena had recommended Sri Lanka Limited, according to the 2009 rule manual the CEO does not have the authority to appoint a GSA.

"Chandrasena had also extended the agreement in 2015, again violating the rules appearing in the 2009 manual, for another three years, however the GSA terminated the agreement in 2015 after SriLankan stopped direct flights to Russia," she said. (Yoshitha Perera)


Committee on SL-S'pore FTA: JO wants Prez to hold sittings

The joint opposition (JO) yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to immediately convene the committee of experts appointed to study the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA).

The President had in August appointed a committee of experts to