Bodu Bala Sena’s Gnanasara Thero To Be Arrested Following President Sirisena’s Directive To Law And Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake

The General- Secretsry of the Ethno -Religious Fascist organization known as the “Bodu Bala Sena” (Buddhist Power Force) Ven Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero is to be arrested and charged for instigating and conducting a systematic campaign of attacks against Islamic places of worship and Muslim owned business establishments in Sri Lanka. The decision to take …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Nocturnal Rendezvous With Narendra Modi

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Vesak festivity in Sri Lanka acquired an international dimension this year with the Island nation hosting the United Nations International Vesak day. The icing on this Vesak event cake was the participation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as chief guest in the celebrations. Even though President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil …

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Nine Cabinet and One State Minister Sworn In By President Sirisena: Changed Portfolios for Mangala, SB, Ravi and Arjuna etc | Tilak Marapana Back in Cabinet; Mahinda Amaraweera – State Minister

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Nine Cabinet Ministers and one state minister were re-allocated fresh ministerial portfolios in the morning of Monday May 22nd what was the first major re-shuffle since the formation of the current coalition Government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took office in August 2015. President Sirisena himself was the …

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Decision to Re-Shuffle Ministers Was Jointly Taken by President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe

Contrary to speculative reports in sections of the media that President Sirisena is acting on his own withoit consulting Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in the envisaged cabinet re-shuffle scheduled for Monday May 22nd 2017, it is learnt reliably that the important decision to bring about changes in the allocation of certain portfolios as well as re- …

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Gunfire Targets Police Vehicle Between Pallai and Muhamaalai on A- 9 Road Some Hours Before Prime Minister and Senior Govt Ministers Arrive in Jaffna.

An operation was launched yesterday to apprehend those responsible for firing at a Police vehicle in Pallai, a senior police officer said. Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG) Eastern Province and Acting SDIG Northern Province (NP), Sumith Edirisinghe said officers investigating Friday’s shooting at police officers in Pallai, Kilinochchi, have uncovered several vital clues, …

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Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to be the New Foreign Affairs Minister While Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Will Take Over as Finance Minister.

By Kelum Bandara The United National Party (UNP), the key party of the government, has finally consented to the proposed Cabinet reshuffle to be scheduled for Monday. Initially, the UNP had opposed any changes to the portfolios assigned to its members. However, the party leadership had given the green light for a change in the …

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The White-Vanning Ordeal Of Journalist-Activist Poddala Jayantha

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Well-known Sri Lankan Journalist – activist Poddala Jayantha was in the news last week when he sent a letter to the Director-General of Information Dr. Ranga Kalansuriya who is also the Secretary to the Cabinet Sub Committee on granting measures of relief to media persons who were subjected to various types of harassment …

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From Ponnaalai To Mullivaaikkaal: Backfired Armed Struggle By LTTE Must Be Remembered Forever.

By Manekshaw On 27July 1975 the news of the assassination of former Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah had spread in the Peninsula like wildfire forecasting a darker era to unfold with untold misery. Late Alfred Duraiappah who gave Jaffna a facelift with new infrastructure facilities remained a popular Mayor despite him being considered a ‘traitor’ in …

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Will Tamil Cinema Superstar Rajnikanth Become Chief Minister of India’s Tamil Nadu State?

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Is Tamil superstar Rajinikanth toying with the idea of entering politics to fill the vacuum in Tamil Nadu politics caused by actress-turned-politician Jayaram Jayalalithaa’s death six months ago? Last Sunday (May 14), Rajinikanth met his fans after a gap of eight years. The biggest Tamil movie star since M G Ramachandran …

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Chief Minister Wigneswaran Says He Wont Let North Be Used as a “Vassal Province For The Benefit Of Wayward Investors”.

The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has said that his administration would not like industries coming up in the province to use locally available resources and would want them to deploy resources procured or purchased from outside the province. “In working out our industries we would prefer not to use our …

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Apart From Grandstanding Internationally, Sri Lankan Govt Must Deliver at Home By Expediting Re-settlement of War Displaced People

By Meera Srinivasan After 20 years in India, wearing a “refugee” tag that led her from one camp to another, it was only in December 2016 that Edward Selyn, 55, returned home. Until a few days ago, she was among a group of people seated under a tent in Mullikulam village in Mannar, in Sri …

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Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Asks Local Politicians and Civil Society to Join Govt Efforts to Promote Growth and Development In North.

In an effort to boost the development drive in the North, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called upon all local politicians and civil society activists to join the efforts of the Government to bring in investment to the Northern Province. “We would like to start infrastructure development now. Rebuilding, resettlement and reconciliation is going on. …

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Cruel Irony of Narendra Modi Quoting “Thirukkural” To Hard-working Yet Impoverished Plantation Tamils

By Meera Srinivasan Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public rally on May 12 with Sri Lanka’s hill-country Tamils, on the second day of his two-day visit to the country, was a success, if you went by conventional markers such as the crowd he drew or the cheers that arose from it. But its real outcome is …

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President Sirisena Plans to Re-shuffle Cabinet Extensively on May 22nd Without “Consulting” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe?

By “Sunday Times” Political Editor President Maithripala Sirisena, gave mixed signals, not unusually, when he vetoed his own demarche not to chair Cabinet meetings until he carries out a re-shuffle of Ministers. Last Monday morning, he directed the Cabinet Secretariat to summon the weekly ministerial meeting the next day, Tuesday. Officials hurriedly telephoned ministers to …

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Ranil Tells Maithripala and Chandrika Not to Re-shuffle Ministerial Portfolios held by United National Party Members.

By Kelum Bandara Amid speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle, UNP sources said yesterday party leader and Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe had informed President Maithripala Sirisena and former president Chandrika Kumaratunga that the portfolios assigned to the UNP should not be changed. In such a scenario, any reshuffle, will only apply to portfolios held by Sri …

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“Go Back Army”,”Go Back Navy”,”Go Back Air Force”- Tamils Will Soon Demand Withdrawal of Army,Navy and Air Force From North Predicts Chief Minister Wigneswaran.

The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tami-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has said that the time is not far off when the Tamils will ask the Sri Lankan army, navy and air force, to quit the province. Addressing the public gathered in Mulliwaikkal in the Northern Province on Thursday to commemorate the “genocide” which took place …

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Bodu Bala Sena Chief Gnanasara Thero Walks “Impatiently” Into National Co-existence Minister’s Office but Mano Ganesan Says he Followed Lord Buddha’s Teachings

Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan has posted the following tweets on his twitter about his “Meeting” with Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Mano Ganesan has tweeted as follows about his meeting with Ven Gnanasara Thero- @BBS chief @gnanasaraven walked into my ministry impatiently & noisy …

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21 Hospitalised and 10 Arrestred as Police Clash with Inter-University Students Federation Protesters at Viharamahadevi Park.

Town Hall and Viharamahadevi Park turned into a mini-battlefield yesterday when the police attempted to prevent the Inter-University Students’ Federation protest approaching the University Grants Commission, with over 21 students admitted to hospital and another 10 arrested following the clash. The IUSF was protesting the Government’s inaction on their demand to take the controversial private …

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Writ of Quo Warranto Sought From Supreme Court to Unseat Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka From M.P. Post.

By S.S. Selvanayagam The Supreme Court yesterday (17) re-fixed for support on 12 July the petition filed by retired Army Officer and former Southern Provincial Councillor Ajith Prasanna challenging the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as a Member of Parliament. The bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasath Dep and Justices Sisira J. De Abrew and …

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Maithripala Retains Hold on North Central Provincial Council by Appointing Two Pro-Mahinda Men as Ministers.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Two rebel SLFP/UPFA North Central Provincial Councillors who switched their allegiance to President Maithripala Sirisena have been appointed ministers. Sarath Illangasinghe and Sampath Sri Nilantha have succeeded H. B. Semasinghe and R. M. P. B. Ratnayake. SLFP sources told The Island new appointments were meant to strengthen the group loyal to President …

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Ernest Corea – Editor, Diplomat par Excellence – A Humble Tribute

By Bandula Jayasekara (Ernest Corea, one of Sri Lanka’s most distinguished journalists and diplomats, died on May 11, 2017 after a long illness) On December 13, 2005 the highly respected former Editor in Chief of The Ceylon Daily News (1966- 1970) and a former High Commissioner to Ottawa and former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Washington …

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Sri Lanka’s Security Concerns and Interests are Different of that of India

By Shamindra Ferdinando Indian Premier Narendra Modi declared in Colombo on Friday (May 12) that the biggest challenge to sustainable world peace today might not be necessarily from conflict between the nation states. Addressing international Vesak Day celebrations, at the BMICH, Modi asserted: “It is from the mindsets, thought streams, entities and instruments rooted in …

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Indian Policy on Sri Lanka Will Shift From Emphasis on Sri Lankan Tamils to Focus More on Sinhalese and Indian Tamils

By P.K.Balachandran India appears to be in the process of re-shaping and re-orienting its policy on the Sri Lankan ethnic question once again. This was evident during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to Sri Lanka from May 11 to 12, Modi found time for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a group …

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President Sirisena Breaks Pro-Mahinda Group of North Central Provincial UPFA Councillors with Portfolio Offer.

by Shamindra Ferdinando One of the rebel SLFP North Central Provincial Councillors, Susil Gunaratne, has switched his allegiance to President Maithripala Sirisena within hours of signing an affidavit requesting the immediate removal of Chief Minister S. M. Peshala Jayaratne Bandara, a staunch Sirisena loyalist. The rebel group comprising 17 members loyal to former President Mahinda …

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CARDINAL SIN: A Critical Reaction to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s Call For Legislation Banning “Forcible Conversions”

By Professor Asoka N.I. Ekanayaka (Emeritus Professor ( University of Peradeniya ) It is to be hoped that the government will treat Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s recent call for retrogressive anti conversion legislation with the contempt it deserves. It is a foolish and dangerous attempt to revive a defunct proposal that was thankfully shelved some years …

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Narendra Modi’s Hill Country Visit Brings Joy to Tamils of Recent Indian Origin

By Ayesha Zuhair It was a rousing welcome befitting a celebrity. Tamils of recent Indian origin lined the streets of Dickoya in Sri Lanka’s central hills on Friday (12 May) to catch a glimpse of that Indian tea boy who rose to become the Prime Minister of ‘Mother India’ to almost all of them. ption, …

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India Isolates Itself From Rest of Asia By Staying Away From China’s OBOR Project

By P.K.Balachandran By spurning China’s invitation to be part of the multi-billion dollar, multi-continental One Belt One Road (OBOR) project on an issue of “sovereignty” India has completely isolated itself from Asia, and even its immediate neighborhood, South Asia, over which it claims exclusive influenceAll countries of South Asia, except India’s fiefdom of Bhutan, attended …

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Will India Attempt to Use Indian Origin Tamils to Counter – balance Chinese Influence in Sri Lanka?

By Rathindra Kuruwita Last week has been eventful. And I was conflicted on whether to write about the Sri Lankan visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, more specifically his attitude and signalling during his visit to Dickoya, home to a large concentration of Indian origin Tamils or about China’s One Belt – One Road …

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Sri Lanka’s Failure to Exploit Her Strategic Location is Like the Virginity of Victorian -era Women

By Ranga Jayasuriya During the last weekend, President Xi Jinping unveiled his pet project, presented in a rather confusing jargon, ‘One Belt One Road’, in Beijing. The next door communist neighbour, North Korea in a quirky brotherly fashion greeted the guests with fireworks. Test firing a missile, which it boasted as capable of carrying a …

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North Central Governor Thwarts Move by Majority of Provincial Councillors to Replace Chief Minister Jayaratne Bandara With SM Ranjith.

By Shamindra Ferdinando North Central Governor P. B. Dissanayake yesterday declined a request by a group of provincial Councillors loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to replace Chief Minister of the North Central Province S.M. Peshala Jayaratne Bandara with S.M. Ranjith. Of the 22 member UPFA group, 17 have backed the rebel move. The UPFA-run …

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Supreme Court will Hear Geetha Kumarasinghe Appeal on Sep 25th: Suspension of Quo Warranto Writ Disqualifying Galle Dist MP Extended Further

By Chitra Weerarathne A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court yesterday by a majority decision granted leave to appeal with the Application of Appeal filed by Geetha Kumarasinghe against the Court of Appeal judgement of Jan. 31, 2017. The Supreme Court extended the interim relief granted earlier in favour of the appellant Kumarasinghe. The interim …

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Narendra Modi Wants to Change Sri Lanka From Sovereign Independent Country to a Federal State of the Indian Union.

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA As the Indian TV station WION’s program ‘Gravitas’ correctly reported, “Modi Reshapes Sri Lanka Policy”. What a reshaping it was and what a shape it has now taken! It has to be analyzed in all its dimensions and implications. Though my old teacher of international relations, Prof Shelton Kodikara, would surely …

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House Ownership for Plantation Workers in Sri Lanka

By Dr. A.S.Chandrabose (Dr. A. S. Chandrabose is a Senior Lecturer in Social Studies at the Open University of Sri Lanka) Introduction However, housing crisis (comprising backlogs, evictions, removals and inadequate housing, amongst others) is still a reality in the country. South Africa is still faced with a “critical nationwide housing backlog.” 5 In June …

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Presence at “Khalsa” Event In Toronto Is Troubling.

BY Suhasini Haidar For the past four decades, terrorism has been an important factor in India’s foreign policy. Long before the 9/11 attacks spurred the United States into announcing a “global war on terror”, India was fighting its own battles: in Kashmir and Punjab, and with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam both internally, as …

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President Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe Decide to Re-shuffle Cabinet to Avoid UNP -SLFP Crisis.

By the “Sunday Times ” Political Editor President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe decided on Friday night that the much-talked-of Cabinet reshuffle will take place upon the latter’s return from China. The meeting came just ahead of the Premier travelling to the airport to board a Singapore-bound flight en route to Beijing. President …

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Draft Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) Shows The “Middle Finger” Contemptuously to the Sri Lankan Constitution.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Only the naïve would believe the rosily repeated plea by the European Union (EU) that ‘the implementation of twenty seven international conventions is the only criterion for regaining’ the GSP Plus trade facility for Sri Lanka. Posing infinitely greater harm Repetition does not make what is false, true though this is …

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“Our Loyalty Is Not a Divided Loyalty. We are a Bridge Between our Two Nations” – Mano Ganeshan

In his speech welcoming the Indian Prime Minister, Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, Mano Ganeshan stated that the people assembled to hear him speak were the most recent segment of people to arrive from India in the 1800s. “But our loyalty to our Motherland Sri Lanka, is not a divided loyalty,” he …

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Over 30,000 Sri Lankans of Indian Origin at Norwood Cheer as Indian Prime Minister Modi says “India Beats In Your Hearts”.

By Namini Wijedasa “India beats in your hearts,” visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared to jubilant Sri Lankans at the Norwood grounds on Friday, moments after declaring open a multi-specialty hospital in Dickoya built with Indian funds. Alluding to them as “Indian-origin diaspora”, Mr Modi told the estimated 30,000-strong crowd that their progress was India’s …

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“Chaiwallah” (Tea Boy) Narendra Modi Uses “Teacup Diplomacy”to Reach out to Tamil Plantation Workers of Indian Origin

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of his humble beginnings as a tea boy (Chai Boy) when he addressed tens of thousands of tea plantation workers of recent Indian origin at Norwood in the Nuwara Eliya district Friday. Becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the tea growing central region of Sri Lanka, Modi …

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11 UPFA Southern MP’s From Galle (6) and Matara (5) Districts Face Risk Of Being Unseated Due to Effect of Appeal Court Ruling on Geetha Kumarasinghe

Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal unseating Geetha Kumarasinghe could lead to a major shift in the balance of power with the United People’s Freedom Alliance possibly losing at least 11 seats in the 225-member parliament. The May 3 decision of the court held that Kumarasinghe, a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Switzerland, was unqualified …

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Narendra Modi Plays the “Buddhist Link” as Winning Card to Make Sri Lanka Accept India as Reliable Development Partner.

By P.K.Balachandran The visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday played the “ancient Buddhist link” card with aplomb in a bid to give a firm historical and cultural foundation to his plea that Sri Lanka should accept India as a reliable development partner, Glorifying the teachings of the Buddha and pointing out their relevance …

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Modi Doctrine of “Indivisible Mutual Security” With India is Unacceptable for Sri Lanka’s National Interests.

By DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Prime Minister Modi’s two day visit to Sri Lanka was supposed to be non-political. Yet, in his address to the International Vesak Conference at the BMICH, he laid out the Modi doctrine for Indo-Lankan relations and more especially for Sri Lanka. His message was hardly non-political, or purely cultural and civilizational, …

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Modi Visit Indicates Indian Govt Focus is Shifting From North – Eastern Tamils to Tamils of Indian Origin in Up Country Areas.

By P.K.Balachandran After having run into difficulties with the Sri Lankan Tamils of the North and East over issues of devolution of power, alleged human rights violations during Eelam War IV, and post-war economic development, the government of India is now turning its attention away from the North-East Tamils to the Tamils of Indian Origin …

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Ex-Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa “Shapes Things” In Cordial and Friendly 30 Minute Meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi

In a “very friendly and cordial” half an hour’s meeting here late on Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa completely skipped politics and spoke about forging close economic relations between the two countries, a well-placed source said. Contrary expectations, Rajapaksa did not voice any concerns about the recent …

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Joint Opposition Calls For Protest Against Narendra Modi Visit but Mahinda Rajapaksa Has Cordial Meeting with Indian PM.

On May 1, while thousands gathered at Sri Lanka’s Galle Face Green, to attend the May Day rally organised by forces loyal to Mahinda Rajapakse, one of the former President’s closes aides made a controversial call. He took to the microphone and urged the public to raise black flags when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi …

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Be it Land or Water the Security of India and Sri Lanka is Indivisible says Indian PM Narendra Modi

Claiming India’s commitment to Sri Lanka’s economic prosperity, visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday stressed that whether it was on land or in the waters of the Indian Ocean, the security of India and Sri Lanka was indivisible. Modi declared that his conversations with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had reinforced India’s …

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If Geetha Kumarasinghe’s Unseating as MP is Upheld the Entire List of Galle District UPFA Candidates Including MP’s Could be Disqualified.

by A Special Correspondent Galle district parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe was recently declared to be disqualified from being a member of parliament by the Court of Appeal on the basis of a provision introduced to the Constitution via the 19th Amendment, disqualifying dual citizens from becoming MPs. This provision was tagged on to Article 91, which …

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Validity of Entire List of Galle District UPFA Candidates for Aug 2015 Parliament Elections to be Challenged Consequent to Geetha Kumarasinghe Being Disqualified as MP.

By Mahinda P. LiyanageGalle Southern Provincial Councilor Jayantha Jayaweera told the media that he was going to initiate legal action in the Court of Appeal challenging the legal validity of the entire list of candidates who contested the 2015 Parliamentary election under the United People’s Freedom Alliance ticket inconsideration of the legal postulations following the …

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No Action to Remove Geetha Kumarasinghe as MP until May 15th Orders Supreme Court

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda The Supreme Court today issued an Interim Order until May 15, staying the operation of the judgment made by Court of Appeal which declared that Geetha Kumarasinghe disqualified as Member of Parliament and thus not entitled to hold this office. However, President’s Counsel J.C. Weliamuna appearing on behalf of two Galle district …

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Geetha, Gotabhaya And The Political Implications of Dual Citizenship

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Kumara Vidugalage Dona Geetha Samanmalee Kumarasingha popularly known as Geetha Kumarasinghe is in the eye of a politico-legal storm. The glamorous actress turned politician who was elected to Parliament in August 2015 from the Galle district on the United Peoples Freedom Alliance(UPFA) ticket has been unseated by an Appeal court ruling. According to …

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Ernest Corea, Distinguished Editor and Esteemed Diplomat Passed Away

By Philip Fernando Ernest Corea, one of Sri Lanka’s distinguished newspaper editors and accomplished diplomats passed away yesterday in USA after a long bout with diabetes. He was editor of The Daily News and Sunday Observer and later headed the embassies in Canada and USA. He was awarded the Deshabandu Class 1 National Day honour …

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Vasantha Obeysekere, his House on Lauries Road and the Film “Dadayama”

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Versatile Film Director and Script Writer Vasantha Obeysekere breathed his last on 8 April. Vasantha, born on 29 December 1937, was 79 years of age when he passed away peacefully in Colombo. In a creative career that spanned nearly five decades, Vasantha made 13 feature films and several documentaries. He won many accolades …

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European Union Formally Restores GSP+ Concessions Denied to Sri Lanka 7 Years Ago During Rajapaksa Rule.

The European Union has formally restored the GSP+ concessions to Sri Lanka seven years after key beneficiary access to the country’s biggest export market was suspended. The Government’s Information Department said last night that the European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council had approved GSP plus for Sri Lanka. The Department said the EU approval completes …

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Sri Lanka Refuses to Let Chinese Submarine Dock in Colombo this Month Due to Indian Sensitivity Over China’s Influence.

Sri Lanka has rejected China’s request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month, given “India’s concerns,” said a government official. Sri Lanka last allowed a Chinese submarine to dock in the capital of Colombo in October 2014, a move that triggered fierce opposition from its northern neighbour India, which worries about growing …

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Narendra Modi Has Unscheduled Meeting in Colombo With Mahinda Rajapaksa at Ex-Sri Lankan President’s Request

In an unscheduled, late night meeting, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo on Thursday May 11th 2017 The meeting was at the ex-president’s request, Indian High Commisioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu told reporters here. The meeting comes ten days after a parliamentarian close to Mr. …

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Indian PM Narendra Modi Arrives in Sri Lanka on a “Religious Engagement” Visit; Wont sign Any Agreement

By Meera Srinivasan Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Colombo on Thursday evening on a two-day visit to participate in the UN Vesak Day celebrations, amid elaborate security arrangements. While New Delhi and Colombo have termed the visit as primarily a “religious” engagement, while emphasising that no agreements will be signed, Prime Minister Modi on …

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Why Did Joint Opposition MP’s Vote for 19th Amendment Knowing it Debars Basil and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa From Contesting Polls?

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Joint Opposition on Tuesday (May 9) strongly denied that it had purposely voted for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, knowing that the Rajapaksa brothers, Basil and Gotabhaya would be debarred from contesting future elections. The 19th Amendment debarred Sri Lankans holding dual citizenship from contesting polls. Parliament adopted the new …

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Sinhalese Anxious,Tamils Indifferent and Muslims Disdainful About Narendra Modi Visit to Sri Lanka

By P.K.Balachandran On his first visit to Sri Lanka in March 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a South Asian icon to be looked up to and emulated. His rise from being a humble tea boy to be the Prime Minister of a gigantic country like India, was the stuff of dreams and a …

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Joint Opposition Accuses Parliament For Hurried Ouster of Galle District MP Geetha Kumarainghe at the Behest of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt

by Shamindra Ferdinando The Joint Opposition yesterday accused Parliament of depriving actress turned UPFA MP Geetha Kumarasinghe of her Galle District parliamentary seat at the behest of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration. The JO flayed the government and the parliament for acting hurriedly to oust an elected MP loyal to former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda …

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India’s RSS Inspired “Arogya Bharati” Launches Project to Produce “Customized” Babies who are “Fairer,Smarter&Taller”.

By Annie Gowen Members of a Hindu far-right organization called Arogya Bharati say they are working with expectant couples in the country to produce “customized” babies, who, they hope, will be taller, fairer and smarter than other babies, according to a report in the Indian Express newspaper. The group’s health officials claimed that their program …

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Removal of Geetha Kumarasinghe From MP Seat Without Giving Time for Appeal is act of Political Revenge Charges Vasudeva Nanayakkara

By Thilanka Kanakarathna Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and the Secretary General of Parliament had been forced to annul the MP post of Geetha Kumarasinghe, the Joint Opposition yesterday alleged. Addressing a press briefing, MP Wasudeva Nanayakkara said the JO has no doubt that Ms. Kumarasinghe’s removal was a result of a political revenge and alleged that …

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Geetha Kumarasinghe Lodges Appeal in Supreme Court Against Writ of Quo Warranto Issued by Court of Appeal.

by Chitra Weerarathne UPFA Parliamentarian for Galle district Geetha Kumarasinghe, yesterday, filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against a recent Court of Appeal judgement, which disqualified her from holding office as a Member of Parliament on the grounds that she was a dual citizen at the time of handing over nominations. Some residents of …

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UPFA Will Nominate Ex-Minister Piyasena Gamage as Galle District MP to Fill Vacancy caused by Geetha Kumarasinghe’s Disqualification

By Chaturanga Pradeep UPFA General Secretary and Minister, Mahinda Amaraweera said today he would nominate former minister Piyasena Gamage to fill the vacancy created by former MP Geetha Kumarasinghe being disqualified. He said this while responding to a question asked by a journalist at the weekly Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) media briefing.

Parliament Secy -Gen Annuls Galle District MP Post of Geetha Kumarasinghe Even as she Files Supreme Court Appeal.

Secretary-General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake has informed the Chairman of the Election Commission that the MP post of UPFA Galle district Parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe has been annulled in line with the Court of Appeal verdict. The Court of Appeal on Wednesday (3) ruled that Ms. Kumarasinghe was disqualified to be a Member of Parliament on …

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Udaya Gammanpila Uses Right to Information Act to Seek Names of MP”s who are Dual Citizens from Controller of Immmigration and Emigration.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Following the Court of Appeal disqualifying UPFA MP Geetha Kumarasinghe to be a member of parliament due to her dual citizenship the Joint Opposition member Udaya Gammanpila has requested Controller of Immigration and Emigration to name all those MPs with dual citizenship. UPFA MP and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader Gammanpila has sought …

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Sri Lanka Port Authority Chairman Dammika Ranatunga Worried About Govt’s Hambantota Harbour Deal With Chinese Company

By Meera Srinivasan It is not just New Delhi or Washington that is worried about Colombo’s proposed deal to sell a deep-sea port in Hambantota to a Chinese company. Sri Lanka’s port authority has “fundamental concerns” over the proposed deal, its Chairman Dammika Ranatunga said. While the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) appreciates the importance …

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“Bigwigs In this Govt Offered to Take Care of my Case and Make me a Deputy Minister but I Refused”- Geetha Kumarasinghe

By Aruni Mallawaarachchi Joint Opposition MP Geetha Kumarasinghe says defeated politician Piyasena Gamage wants to pull her down. “He was behind all this. He is waiting eagerly to occupy my seat in Parliament,” she said. Excerpts: Q: What will happen next? A: I am waiting until I am delivered justice. I am a strong woman. …

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Major-General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne Under Investigation For Alleged Murder of Employee at Brazil Embassy Discloses Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

Former Army Major – General Kamal Gunaratne is under investigation over the murder of an employee at the Sri Lankan embassy in Brazil, foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament today.Gunaratne, who was sent to Brazil as deputy ambassador by then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, murdered an embassy employee Nimal Rupasinghe with the support of two …

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Shiranthi Rajapaksa and “Daisy Aunty” Spent 137,396 Euro(Rs 25,000,000) for 4 Days in May 2014 to Watch Vesak In France

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera revealed that the Island nations’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s spouse Shiranthi Rajapaksa, had spent Euros amounting to 25 million Sri Lankan rupees to watch Vesak from the Presidential Suite of the King George V hotel in Paris and for a quick luxury limousine ride to Lourdes for a Catholic …

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Court of Appeal Summons GMOA President Anuruddha Padeniya for Contempt of Court and Restrains Him From Scandalising Courts Further.

The Court of Appeal yesterday issued summons on the President of the Government Medical Officers’ Association Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya to appear before the court on May 22 and show cause as to why he should not be punished for contempt of the Court of Appeal for having caused an affront to the dignity of the …

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GMOA President Dr.Padeniya Engaged in Private Practice On Friday While Govt Hospitals Were Affected Due to Doctors Strike

The president of Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya while leading an Island wide Govt doctors strike that affected the treatment of patients in the Island has been minting money by engaging in channelled practice seeing patients at a private hospital while the strike was on. While numerous people from the poorer sections …

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TNA Concerned Over Provisions of Proposed Counter Terrorism Act as an “Attempt to Enlarge Scope of Unchecked Executive Power Over the Citizen”.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is “deeply concerned over Cabinet approval for a policy and legal framework relating to the proposed Counter-Terrorism Act”. The TNA says “We have not been consulted on the terms of the draft framework, which has recently appeared in the press and appears to be a Cabinet memorandum approved on 25th …

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Geetha Kumarasinghe Unseated by Appeal Court Through Quo Warranto Writ as Galle District MP on Dual Citizenship Issue : Actress Turned Politico to go to Supreme Court

Popular actress and Galle district MP Geetha Kumarasinghe said yesterday that she would file a case in the Supreme Court against the Appeal Court’s ruling which deprived her from her seat in Parliament. The Court of Appeal yesterday (May 3 2017) ruled that Galle District UPFA Parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe was not entitled to hold the …

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Rehabilitated Ex- LTTE Cadres to be Given Membership in ITAK the Chief Constituent Party of the TNA

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi(ITAK) known also as the Federal Party has resolved to formally induct into party folds former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) who have undergone a process of rehabilitation. The path breaking party decision was taken unanimously at the ITAK central Committee sessions held in Batticaloa on …

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How The Attempt by The JVP in April 1971 To Rescue Rohana Wijeweera From Prison in Jaffna Ended in Failure

By B. Anton Jeyanathan (The writer is a retired Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Police.) The 5th of April dawned and passed without much concern or notice by the majority of the present generation who were born after the 1970′s and 1980′s, as they never experienced the atrocities committed by members of the JVP …

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Vinu Chakravarthy With His Vibrant Voice and Emphatic Delivery Played Comedian,Villain and Character Actor Roles in Over 1000 Films

Veteran Tamil film actor Vinu Chakravarthy, who regaled fans with his commanding screen presence in over 1,000 films, including Annamalai and Guru Sishyan, breathed his last on April 27th 2017 evening around 7 pm. He was 71. He was ailing for the past few years. Besides being diabetic, he had high blood pressure. Vinu Chakravarthy …

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C.V.Wigneswaran Hurts Christian Sentiments By Comparing Jesus Christ With Swami Premananda

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Northern province chief minister Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran who possesses a remarkable flair for getting embroiled in controversial issues is in the eye of a storm again. This time it is over some remarks made by him during the course of a media interview on April 14th 2017.Mr. Wigneswaran was interviewed by a Tamil …

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Trade Unions Mount Pressure on President Sirisena in the Same Way as What Happened to Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike in 1956-59.

BY GAGANI WEERAKOON President Maithripala Sirisena appeared to have stirred the hornets’ nest by suggesting a top military post to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who is also a Cabinet minister in Maithri-Ranil Unity Government of Yahalapanaya. While factual clarity of this ‘suggestion’ remain unconfirmed with various members of the same Cabinet issuing contradictory remarks, it …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe Plays Politico-economic Chess With the Chinese Dragon,Indian Tiger and Trade Union Hyenas.

By Paneetha Ameresekere Three things came out of Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India last week. Those were India’s concerns over the leasing out of the Hambantota Port to the Chinese in a debt swap, India’s interest in the Trincomalee oil tank farm to counter the Chinese threat and Wickremesinghe’s keenness in getting Indian aid …

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Ranil Assured Trade Unions he Wont Sign MOU with India Without Consulting them and Got Malik Samarawickrama to do so in New Delhi

By “Sunday Times”Diplomatic Editor Some say India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi neatly cajoled his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe into swinging by New Delhi, making what was to be a private visit to attend a wedding into a one-day ‘working visit’– and then got him entrapped to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Others rubbish …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Act of Treachery is Comparable to that of Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam.

BY DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA While the Ramayana narrative makes clear that a land link between India and Lanka was of decisive and devastating strategic consequence for the island of Lanka, the Romans and the British made it clear that the building of roadways was an essential part of annexation and empire building. What is true …

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New Delhi Assures Colombothat Measures are being taken to Wean Tamil Nadu Fishermen Away from Poaching in the Territorial Waters of Sri Lanka

In what seemed an otherwise bhai-bhai friendship between the two countries, the sour point was the nagging, continuing issue of poaching in Sri Lankan waters by southern Indian fishermen. The crisis is causing an estimated Rs. Five billion loss annually to Sri Lanka. Premier Modi said on March 13, 2015, addressing Sri Lanka’s Parliament: “The …

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Anti-Lanka Resolution on GSP Plus Defeated in the European Parliament but Hurdles Still Ahead for Full Restoration

If Sri Lankans are wondering how many times Sri Lanka has won approval for a renewed duty concession to the markets of the European Union (EU) under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus, they may be excused. This week, there was another huge hurrah for having defeated the EU parliamentary vote on a resolution …

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Secrecy and Skulduggery By Devious Drafters to Confound Scrutiny of Proposed Counter Terror Act

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene In the chaotic merry-go-round characterizing the drafting of Sri Lanka’s proposed Counter-Terror Act (CTA), the periodic surfacing of one version followed by another has given rise to unexpected horrors. Each time that a new draft emerges or should I rather say, is ‘extracted’ with great pain out of a process gripped …

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New Counter Terrorism Law Undermines Right To Information Law

By Namini Wijedasa The Counter Terrorism Act policy framework approved by the Cabinet this week has reintroduced offences originally listed under “espionage”– whilst merely removing the word “espionage” from the document. As such, the draft makes it an offence to voluntarily engage in any illegal, unlawful or unauthorised act for the purpose of gathering any …

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Over 200,000 Foreign Workers From China, India, Bangladesh and Maldives in Sri Lanka With and Without Visas

By Kasun Warakapitiya Foreign workers, both with and without work visas, are arriving in Sri Lanka with the country facing an acute labour shortage, a cabinet minister said yesterday. Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told the Sunday Times that an estimated 200,000 strong foreign labour force was in Sri Lanka. He said …

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President Sirisena seeks Further Clarification on Resettlement Ministry’s 6,000 Prefabricated Houses Project for N-E

By Namini Wijedasa Cabinet approval on a Resettlement Ministry paper to award 6,000 prefabricated houses to the war-affected of the North and East, was held up this week, after President Maithripala Sirisena sought further clarification. Resettlement Minister D.M. Swaminathan has been promoting the initiative of steel giant ArcelorMittal since 2015. Its logistics partner is Kumarca …

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Celebrating the life of a Socialist Jesuit Priest: Fr Paul Caspersz, SJ (1925-2017)

by Rajan Philips “My legs have carried me for 90 years. Now they have earned their well-deserved rest”, he would tell his visitors at the Jesuit House in Akkara Panaha, Negombo, where he spent the last years of his life confined to his bed and a wheel chair. Now his entire mortal coil has earned …

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India and Sri Lanka Reach Mutually Beneficial Compromise on Problematic Issue of Trincomalee Oil Tanks

By P.K.Balachandran India and Sri Lanka have arrived at a compromise on the sensitive and problematic issue of the Trincomalee oil tanks, with both sides climbing down from their earlier positions but gaining some ground at the same time. As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation of Economic Projects signed in New Delhi …

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What Has Happened to Ceylon and to the Ceylonese?

By Gerard D.Muttucumaru What though the spicy breezesBlow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle; Though every prospect pleases, And only man is vile – Anglican Bishop Reginald Heber The British gave us a nation that was respected regionally and globally. In an earlier article, I stated that the leading companies in Sri Lanka today bear British names …

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US First Daughter Ivanka Trump’s First Official Visit to Germany Was a Success Until She Began Defending Her Father.

by Emily Jane Fox A group of young boys on bicycles stopped in their tracks outside of a pizza shop as Ivanka Trump drove by in a tan S.U.V., in the middle of a flashing motorcade on her trip to Germany in her new role. Throngs of police officers and Secret Service officers wove through …

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India Involved Projects in Sri Lanka Will Be Developed As Joint Ventures to Allay Fears in Island of Indian Expansion.

By P.K.Balachandran To make up for lost time and avoid delays in the execution of joint projects, India and Sri Lanka have agreed on a tight time table in respect of each of the projects mentioned in the MoU signed in New Delhi on April 25 in the presence of Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and …

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Sirisena’s Proposal to Fonseka is a Warning that Govt is Planning an Escalating Assault Against Workers, Young Persons and the Poor.

By K. Ratnayake Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has called upon Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to resign from the government’s ministry and return to the position of army commander. In a bid to “discipline the country,” Fonseka would be head of the country’s three armed forces for two years. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne announced the …

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Govt is Confident Sri Lanka will Regain the GSP Plus Trade Concession From EU by May 15th.

By Charumini de Silva The Government yesterday expressed confidence that the country will regain the GSP plus trade concession by 15 May and called on the business community to make this a ‘turning point’ in the economy to increase the country’s exports to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio over 100%. “Sri Lanka overcame the biggest …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Provides List of Wrongs Committed by Maithripala Sirisena against SLFP

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday listed a litany of wrongs that President Maithripala Sirisena had committed against the party since becoming its leader and vowed to give leadership to the opposition forces to defeat the ineffective government. He also openly defied the threats made by the SLFP’s current leadership and urged everyone to attend the …

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Jonathan Demme Who Directed Films Like “The Silence Of The Lambs” and “Philadelphia” Dies at 73 of Cancer Complications

By Ryan Gilbey Robert Jonathan Demme, film director, born 22 February 1944; died 26 April 2017 Jonathan Demme, who has died aged 73 from complications from cancer, rose from his colourful if tawdry beginnings under the aegis of the exploitation maestro Roger Corman to become one of the most eclectic, delightful and original film-makers in …

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Vinod Khanna The Villain Turned Hero Actor With Muscles and Good Looks Passes Away at 70

By Sudha G Tilak. Vinod Khanna, who has died aged 70, belonged to the second wave of Punjabi heroes who ruled Bollywood – known as “Partition Punjabis”. His family hailed from Peshawar in Pakistan and had moved to India in 1947 when the country was divided. The heroes on screen then were all swashbuckling heroes …

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Shops Closed and Transport Curtailed as Hartal is Observed Successfully in Sri Lanka’s North and East

By Meera Srinivasan Sri Lanka’s north and east shut down on Thursday following a hartal call by protesters demanding an answer from the government to questions about their missing relatives. Shops remained closed all day and transport services were minimal, media reports said. Over the last few months, families have been protesting in different places …

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Communist Party Unhappy With Joint Opposition Political Agenda Will Hold Separate May Day Rally at Viharamahadevi Open air Theatre

The main left front of the Joint Opposition (JO), the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL), indicated a break with the JO and that they will conduct a separate May Day rally and meeting at the Viharamahadevi Open Air theater on May Day instead of participating in the May Day rally of the JO, which …

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SJV Chelvanayagam Was Fortunate He Did Not Live to See the Agony of the Tamil People in Sri Lanka.

By Dr.Rajitha Senaratne (POWER SHARING IN SRI LANKA -S.J.V. Chelvanayagam Memorial lecture– delivered by Dr.Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine on 26thApril 2017) When we were political cubs, we knew of Chelvanayagam as one who was the “father” figure of Tamil Nationalism.He was one Tamil political leader who was affectionately called “Thanthai” …

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25 Senior Lawyers Including JC Weliamuna,MA Sumanthiran and Nizam Kariapper Appointed as President’s Counsel by President Sirisena

President Maithripala Sirisena today appointed 25 senior lawyers including TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, J. C. Weliamuna, Upul Jayasuriya and Nizam Kariapper as President’s Counsel. A statement from the President’s office said these lawyers were appointed in recognition of their professional integrity and diligence.

Public Outcry Against Govt Proposal to Impose 28% Tax on Employees Provident Fund(EPF)

By Shamindra Ferdinando Former Ceylon Bank Employees Union President and civil society activist Rusiripala Tennakoon yesterday urged the ruling Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition and the Joint Opposition to state their position on alleged moves to impose a staggering 28 per cent tax on Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Pointing out that the JVP, which had worked overtime to …

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Sarath Fonseka Ready to Take Over Responsibility of “Disciplining”The Country if He is Given the Necessary Powers.

In the wake of a crippling petroleum strike and a wave of protests against the Government, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne made a shock announcement yesterday that President Maithripala Sirisena had requested wartime army chief Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka to take over the military as commander or Chief of Defence Staff in order to bring …

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Indian Prime Minister Raises Concerns Over China and Hambantota Port in Direct Talks With the Sri Lankan Premier

By Paneetha Ameresekere reporting from New Delhi China ranked high in Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’s meeting with Indian Premier Narendra Modi, at Hyderabad House, New Delhi yesterday, official sources who didn’t want to be named told this reporter. Reporters were not allowed to cover these meetings, with opportunities provided only for the taking of photographs and …

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Why is Prime Minister Wickremesinghe About to Give Away Trincomalee to India?

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka “New Silk Road or New Great Game? India Developing New Sri Lanka Port to Combat China” (Wayne Shepard, Forbes, April 21, 2017) “Will they leave?” was the urgent question President Premadasa posed to me after having kept me behind as Varadarajah Perumal and the others left the meeting at Sucharitha in January …

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Sarath Fonseka to Be Given Top Post in Defence Establishment With Powers to “Discipline” People Engaging in Protests.

Cabinet Co-spokesperson Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today there was the possibility that Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka would be appointed to a post that would allow him to oversee all of the defense establishments in the country. While the Cabinet Co-spokesperson declined to offer more details on the powers the post would be vested with, he …

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India and Sri Lanka Sign Memorandum of Understanding in New Delhi For “Cooperation in Economic Projects”Including Trinco.

By P.K.Balachandran India and Sri Lanka on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “Cooperation in Economic Projects” during the on-going visit of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to India. The MoU envisages joint ventures in several areas of development. Wickremesinghe and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, welcomed the signing of the …

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“Excess” Elephants from Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage to be Handed Over to Private Individuals and Religious Institutions.

Sri Lanka’s cabinet, on Wednesday granted approval to hand over some elephants from an elephant orphanage in the Central Hills of Pinnawala, to individuals and religious places under definite conditions. The Government Information Department said the maintenance of the present number of 88 elephants in a restricted land area of 30 acres at Pinnawala had …

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President Sirisena wants Sarath Fonseka to Resign as Cabinet Minister and Take Up Top Defence Post to Discipline the Country.

By Ajith Siriwardana Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today the President Maithripala Sirisena requested Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to quit the ministerial portfolio and take up the post of army commander or overall commander for two years to discipline the country. He told the weekly Cabinet briefing that Field Marshal Fonseka was known …

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Rehabilitated EX-LTTE Cadres Protest Against Army managed Farms Providing Jobs to Them Being Transferred to Northern Provincial Council

By Ananth Palakidnar Several hundred rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres, both men and women, presently serving in the Civil Security Department (CSD), staged a demonstration yesterday against the handing over of Army-managed agricultural farms and pre-schools to the Northern Provincial Council. The procession of ex-LTTE cadres, which commenced at the Kilinochchi Depot junction, on the A-9 highway, …

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India Gets to Develop Trinco Tank Farm in China Bay To Balance China Constructing Port City in Colombo

by Nirupama Subramanian When the visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a working lunch on Wednesday, an agreement for the development of the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm will be the hottest dish on the table. Sri Lankan and Indian government sources said the two sides will finalise an …

Continue reading ‘India Gets to Develop Trinco Tank Farm in China Bay To Balance China Constructing Port City in Colombo’ »