Can Chandrika Kumaratunga Save the Maithripala-Ranil Govt From Destruction in 2018?

by Rajan Philips By all accounts the much delayed local government elections will likely be held in January 2018. It will be a couple of weeks after January 8, the day SWRD Bandaranaike was born and the day Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated – with the long century of Lanka’s modern history in between. In all …

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Defeated Rajapaksas Being Given New Lease Of Life By Sirisena, Wickremesighe and Govt Ministers

By Tisaranee Gunasekara “In any case the purpose is not really to indict the past, but to summon it to the attention of a suicidal, anachronistic present.” Wole Soyinka (Nobel Lecture – 1986) Soon after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Nationalist leader Francisco Franco declared October 12th as the ‘Day of Race’. At …

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United National Freedom Front Emerges as Offshoot of UNP While Support Wanes in Country for Parent Party.

by C.A.Chandraprema The offshoot of the UNP the United National Freedom Front which held its first press conference some days ago, after gaining recognition as a political party by the Elections Commission could have serious implications for the UNP at any elections held in the future. This new political party is a natural outgrowth of …

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Anika Wijesuriya Fleeing Abroad due To Threatening telephone Calls is a Canard say ravi Karunanayake’s Lawyers

Lawyers for former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake have communicated with the Presidential Commission on the Central Bank Bond Issues with regard to allegations made to it that a close relative of the former minister had made a phone call to the brother of Ms. Anika Wijesuriya on Oct. 14 threatening to cause her harm and/or …

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Legislative Trickery and Devices Are Resorted to By Govt in Order To Circumvent Democratic Process

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene The eruption of a fresh controversy this week regarding correction of technical mistakes in the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Government’s Local Government Elections Bill has again raised the bogey of postponement of the upcoming ‘punchi chande’ polls. The Government has reassured the public that the Bill will be rectified once party leaders meet in …

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No Local Govt Polls in Jan 2018 ; May Take Place Only In March Or Later.

Local Government elections, seen to be close on hand only just days earlier, have become yet so far now. The expected January 20, 2018 poll may now not happen. This time it is over another mundane issue – the creation of more Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Nuwara Eliya district. This is a long standing demand …

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Incomes Lower Than Rest of the Country in Poverty Stricken North and East.

By Namini Wijedasa Eight years after the war ended there is persistent poverty in the north and east while incomes remain far lower than in other parts of the country, the latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) shows. The median income in Sri Lanka is now Rs 43,511. In the estate sector, it is …

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Ex – Def Secy Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Wants UK and UNHRC Must Accept Assertion By Baron Naseby Of Civilian Casualty Toll Being 7000-8000 In Lanka’s War

by Shamindra Ferdinando Wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that the very basis of the controversial Geneva Resolution 30/1 had been strongly disputed by Michael Morris, Baron Naseby, PC, during a debate on Sri Lanka in the British parliament Thursday last week. Sri Lanka co-sponsored Resolution 30/1 in Oct 2015, in spite of the …

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Absconding “Sinha Le” Group National Cordinator Arambepola Ratnasara Thero Arrested While Travelling by Bus from Kandy to Colombo.

The police yesterday arrested a Buddhist monk who was wanted in connection with last month’s attack on a group of Rohingya refugees that were under the care of a UNHCR safe house in Mount Lavinia. Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that a special police team took into custody National Coordinator of the Sinha …

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Why Cant Highways Minister Kiriella Fund Part of Central Expressway With the 400 Million Rupees in His Bank Account?

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Bond, Bond – the Treasury Bond tragedy will not easily go away. We’ve heard so much about the dirty dealings involved in this highly manipulated Bond transaction, giving rise to major doubts about the entire financial management and related systems of government in the country. We will await the report of the …

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Special Police Security for Anika Wijesuriya and Family Members After Death Threats By Ravi Karunanayake’s Close relative

By Manopriya Gunesekara and Ranjan Katugampola Special police security is reported to have been provided to Anika Wijesuriya and her relatives in the wake of death threats levelled against her allegedly by a close relative of former finance minister Ravi Rarunanayake. It was carried out on the directions of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) …

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Moves to abolish Executive Presidency failed due to greed for power

By Veeragathy Thanabalasingham It was interesting to read the peculiar reason given by former President Mahinda Rajapkasa for his decision to hold the Presidential election in January 2015, two years ahead of schedule Talking to the media last Sunday outside the Tangalla Remand Prison where his eldest son and parliamentarian, Namal Rajapaksa, was being held …

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IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Stops Food Distribution to Low Income Families By Police Seva Vanitha Because His Photo was Not Put on Food Parcels

Sri Lanka’s Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara has scuttled a charity drive organised by women at the police headquarters in the latest in his growing list of controversial moves. Jayasundara stopped trucks transporting food and dry rations that were due to be distributed among low-income families at Ambanpola on Thursday. The Seva Vanitha (women) unit of the …

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Malwatte Mahanayake Tells Premier Wickremesinghe That he Had Not Opposed New Constitution as reported by Sections of Media

The Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter rejected media reports which mischievously suggested that he opposed any Constitutional reforms, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today at a media briefing. The Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera told the Prime Minister that privately-owned newspapers and TV networks misled the public into believing that he …

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Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Faults Editors For “Misreporting” Malwatte Mahanayake Opposed Constitution While Prelate was Out of the Country.

By Akitha Perera Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday took exception to media coverage given to a joint statement issued by Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters of the dominant Siyam Sect demanding an immediate halt to the ongoing constitution making process. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that some newspapers had misled the public by publishing reports …

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Asgiriya and Malwatte “Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha” Opposition May Result in Constitution Making Process Grinding to a Halt

The Sri Lankan constitution making process is likely to come to a grinding halt as the representatives of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters of the Buddhist Maha Sangha, have opposed any change in the constitution, whether piecemeal or wholesale. The Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha, of the Malwatu & Asgiriya Chapters which met in Kandy on …

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Asgiriya and Malwatte Maha Sagha Sabhas “Decide” That Lanka Does Not Need a New Constitution or Constitutional Amendments.

The chief prelates of two main of the Buddhist chapters yesterday issued a special announcement saying Sri Lanka did not need a new Constitution or amendments to the present Constitution of the country. The members of the Maha Sangha Sabhas of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters convened yesterday at the historic Temple of the Tooth …

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“Judwaa – 2” Hindi Film Starring Sri Lankan Beauty Queen Jacqueline Fernandez Makes Over Two Billion Indian Rupees in Three Weeks.

By S.Venkatnarayan Bollywood’s romcom ‘Judwaa 2’ starring Varun Dhawan with Sri Lankan beauty queen Jacqueline Fernandez and Tapsee Pannuas the female leads, has got a thumbs up from the audience not just in India but across the globe as well. In just a little over three weeks since its release on September 29, it has …

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President,PM&Speaker “Unhappy” Over IGP Pujitha Jayasundara Antagonizing Senior Minister in Govt

Sri Lanka’s controversial police chief Pujith Jayasundara, who is in trouble mandatory meditation for men and women in the service, is in deeper water this time after taking on a senior minister of the government. Jayasundara addressed staff of the Criminal Investigations Department and accused them of leaking a video of him roughing up staff …

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President Sirisena Warns Tamils In Jaffna That If They Dont Support Him the “Devil” (Mahinda Rajapaksa) Will Step Into His Shoes.

By P.K.Balachandran Elections to the Sri Lankan local bodies and Provincial Councils are due in 2018. But President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe heading the Yahapalanaya or Good Governance regime in Colombo, not prepared for it. The lack of preparedness is seen in the way they had been trying every trick in the …

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The UN Special Rapporteur and the Sri Lankan Government’s Duty

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka UN Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff, currently on a two week visit to Sri Lanka, announced before his visit that he intends to “review the progress made thus far, to identify obstacles and bottlenecks in the implementation of the transitional justice and reform process”. The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry for …

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Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia Who Exposed Corruption By High Level Politicians in Malta Killed in Car Bomb Explosion Near Valetta.

The journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her home. Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device which blew the vehicle into several pieces and threw the debris into …

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Anil Nettikumara Who Calls Ravi Karunanayake “Uncle Ravi” Has Made Death Threats Against Bond Commission Key Witness Anika Wijeysuriya

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda PC yesterday informed the presidential commission of Inquiry probing alleged bond scams that Anika Wijesuriya, a key witness who testified before the Commission, had left the country due to death threats from someone close to former Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s family. Anika divulged before …

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Inquiry Commission Sends Questions to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to Answer by Affidavit;may Summon PM as Witness if Necessary

BY Sarath Dharmasena and Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte Chairman of the presidential commission of inquiry probing alleged bonds scams Justice K.T.Chitrasiri yesterday said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would be summoned as a witness if necessary. Justice Chitrasiri said that already a list of questions had been sent to the Prime Minister, who had been requested to …

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Presidential Cpmmission of Inquiry on Bond Issues Concludes But May Hold Additional Hearings In The Future If Necessary.

By Himal Kotelawala The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance concluded its hearings yesterday, noting that additional hearings may be held if needed, and witnesses including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called in the event further testimony is required. Making a statement at the conclusion of yesterday’s proceedings, Chairman of the Commission Justice …

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Basil Rajapaksa Hallucinates About His Party Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna Winning Over 200 Pradeshiya Sabha Polls

By Vishwamithra 1984 “A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.” ~Bertrand Russell Pradesheeya Sabhas became a devolved subject under the Provincial Councils in the Local Government system of Sri Lanka. This mechanism of local government was introduced in 1987 through the 13th Amendment to the …

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Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga Returns to Active Politics as Attanagalla Organizer of Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

By Harim Peiris An election the opposition has been clamouring for, the local government elections are finally expected to be conducted on or around the 20thof January 2018. Preceding those elections was what some sections of the media described as a purge of SLFP dissidents from the all-important post of organizer of an electorate. JO …

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Many of Ex-Governor Nivard Cabraal’s Close Relatives Held Top Posts in Banks Coming Under Central Bank’s Purview

By Amali Mallawaarachchi It was revealed yesterday before the Treasury Bond Commission that former Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal, while holding office, had several of his close relatives appointed to top posts in banks coming under the purview of the Central Bank. This information transpired after a member of the Monetary Board …

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Anika Wijesuriya Who Testified Against Ravi Karunanayake At Treasury Bond Commission Leaves Sri Lanka After Getting Death Threats.

The Attorney General’s Department this morning informed the Presidential Commission investigating the Treasury bond issue that Annika Wijesuriya – who testified against former Minister Ravi Karunanayake – has left the country after receiving death threats. Annika Wijesuriya, on July 23, testified that Arjun Aloysius had paid a monthly lease of Rs. 4.1 million on behalf …

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How Namal Rajapaksa Made Millions Through Lucrative Deals Via Gowers Corporate Services

(Excerpts From the “Sunday Politics” Column in the “Sunday Observer” of October 15th 2017) Gowers Corporate Services, the controversial legal and consultancy firm linked to parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, is making headlines again with Ornella Iresha Silva, a Director of the Company and a former Private Secretary to Rajapaksa, being arrested by Police at the Airport, …

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How and Why Was Namal Rajapaksa Allowed To Use His Mobile Phone and Tweet to UNRC while in Police Custody?

(Excerpts From the “Sunday Politics” Column in the “Sunday Observer” of October 15th 2017) Namal Rajapaksa’s next ordeal this week was the Police investigation into a protest the Joint Opposition held in Hambantota against the government’s plans to develop the Mattala International Airport with the help of India. A day before the protest, ASP SanathAmarasinghe …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa Warns of a Kurdistan or Catalonia Type of Referendum in Sri Lanka If New Constitution Proposals are Implemented

Former Sri Lanka president and Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the government to abandon what he described as ‘the destructive proposal’ for a new constitution and to implement the Govt’s “original constitutional pledges”. In a statement issued on Monday October 16th 2017, the ex-president said ” My request to the government is that they …

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Evidence Given by Former Prisons Dept Head and STF Chief Implicate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in Welikade Jail Killings Despite Ex-Def Secy’s Denial.

By Chandani Kirinde The deployment of a staggering number of 798 armed STF personnel to conduct a search of two wards of the Welikada Prisons in November 2012, in violation of all laid down procedure to be followed when Prison premises are searched, led to the riot there which resulted in the death of 27 …

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President Sirisena Flouts Security Procedures by Getting Down from Official Vehicle and Engages With Black Flag Protesters in Jaffna.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan and T. Pratheepan President Maithripala Sirisena took his security detail by surprise after he threw caution to the wind and abruptly alighted from his official vehicle to confront a group of protesters in Jaffna yesterday. The President was in Jaffna to inaugurate the National Tamil Language Day celebrations at the Jaffna …

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Sanja’s Analytical Skills and Lyrical Passion Makes Her Book “Mission Impossible-Geneva “Both Instructive and Enjoyable

By Prof Rajiva Wijesinha Mission Impossible-Geneva is an inspiring account of developments at the Human Rights Council in Geneva when Dayan Jayatilleka was our Permanent Representative there. It is written by his wife Sanja, which provides for fascinating insights about the manner in which he planned how to overcome the threats from Western nations that …

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Aung San Suu Kyi and the Annihilation of Myanmar’s Rohingya

By Neve Gordon I recently met Penny Green to discuss the situation in Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi’s role in the perpetration of the horrific crimes carried out against the Rohingya. A professor of law and globalization and the founding director of the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) at Queen Mary University of London, …

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Cabinet Colleagues In Heated Argument With Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella Over Potuhera to Galagedara Construction in Central Expressway Project

At last week’s weekly ministerial meeting, Megapolis and Western Province Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka dropped a bombshell that triggered a lengthy discussion. It came after Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella sought approval “to pay the cost of environmental and social due diligence to be carried out by the lending agency from the local funds allocated” …

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Bodu Bala Sena Gen Secy Gnanasara Thero Admits in Court That He Had Said He Would not Accept “Suddhange Neethiya” (White Man’s Law)

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera said he didn’t intend to insult the judiciary with the remarks made inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court in January 2016. Gnanasara Thera made this remarks as a defense witness regarding the contempt of court case filed against him. “I had no …

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Govt to Tackle Sensitive “Milibiz” Issue By Gradually Scaling Down Businesses Run By Armed Forces -Eran Wickramaratne

Sri Lanka is mulling alternatives to scaling back military business, amid warnings that”milibiz” not only stifles private entrepreneurs but that it has been a slippery slope to authoritarianism in other countries. Sri Lanka’s military runs an airline, restaurants, and even a whale watching ship, following the expansion of armed forces into civilian space during the …

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How Moonesinghe and Nammuni Allegedly De-frauded US $1.1 Million From Taiwan Bank

A team from Taiwan’s Criminal Investigations Bureau arrived in Colombo this week as part of a probe into an international multi-million US dollar hacking scam of a Taipei-based bank where two businessmen with foreign passports have been taken into custody in Colombo. Litro Gas Chairman Shahlila Moonesinghe, a British passport holder of Sri Lankan descent, …

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Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe Ready to Clarify if Required About References Made to him at Treasury Bonds Inquiry Commission

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is prepared to offer clarifications to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Central Bank Bond auctions, his office said yesterday. The Premier is ready at any time should the commissioners require him to respond in view of references to him during the public proceedings, the office said in a brief statement. …

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Political Parties Face Challenge in Selecting Suitable Women Candidates to Meet 25 % Women Representation Rule.

By Chrishanthi Christopher The Local Authority Elections Amendment Act (LAEAA) passed in Parliament in August, requires 25% of women representation in the 335 Councils at the forthcoming elections in January 2018. The Parties said they are frantically searching for the right women candidates to represent their Parties. Under the LAEAA, it is mandatory that Nomination …

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Tamil National Alliance Boycotts State Festivals in Jaffna and Kilinochchi With President Sirisena as Chief Guest

By Chris Kamalendran The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday boycotted a state festival presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena in Jaffna in protest over the failure to resolve an going issue over Tamil prisoners in custody. The boycott came after Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan wrote to President Sirisena on Thursday seeking the release of prisoners …

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Controversial Provincial Councils (Amendment) Act: The procedure and the challenges

By Nihal Seneviratne, former Secretary General of Parliament The Provincial Councils (Amend) Act No. 17 of 2017 was passed in Parliament on Sept. 20 and certified by the Speaker on Sept. 22. There has arisen a great deal of controversy and debate regarding the passage of the Bill and its enactment. The Bill was presented …

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Treasury Bond Inquiry Commission Proceedings akin to “Bread and Circus” Sideshows of Ancient Rome.

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene Juvenal’s beautifully scornful castigation of the people being diverted by ‘bread and circuses’ (panem et circenses), has a specific application in the present day. That cynical tactic served the Roman emperors well in turning the attention of bored plebians away from pressing national issues and civic duties. Catching the gleeful imagination …

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Once Thriving Co-operative Movement in Jaffna Requires Urgent Shot in the arm for Renaissance.

By Namini Wijedasa in Jaffna Off the road from Jaffna to Karainagar, in the sleepy village of Moolai, stands a distinctive cream-coloured edifice that the World Health Organisation says is the first non-profit co-operative hospital in all of Southeast Asia. In its heyday, the Co-operative Hospital Moolai was bustling. Today, it is far quieter. With …

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Is Govt “Move” Of Holding Local Authority Polls in Jan 2018 a “Ruse” To Hoodwink the Supreme Court?

by C.A.Chandraprema In the past few days, the government has been conveying the impression to the public that they are going through the final motions necessary to hold the local government elections. Amendments to the local government laws were passed by Parliament recently and the Chairman of the Elections Commission was heard saying that all …

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SLFP Leader Maithripala Sirisena Purges Party of Organizers Loyal to Mahinda Rajapaksa and Replaces Them With More Than 50 New Organizers .

By Norman Palihawadane, Kushan Subasinghe and Ajith Alahakoon As purging of dissident SLFP leaders from the party is in full swing, incumbent and former Presidents of the party have expressed divergent opinions on the future of the SLFP. President Maithripala Sirisena, on Thursday, called on his new electoral organisers to reorganise and prepare the party …

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Feelings of Hopelessness and Helplessness Enveloping Sri Lankans is a National Tragedy.

By Goolbai Gunasekara If ever there was an emotion shared by everyone in this country it is that of an energy- sapping hopelessness. Every citizen eventually realizes that despite strikes, despite vociferous public protests, despite angry articles by journalists, despite a literacy rate that is among the highest in the world, despite a beautiful and …

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Crooked “Bondscam” Dealers Turn Employees Provident Fund Into Employees PICKPOCKET Fund

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake From its outset, the Treasury Bond Scam was seen as a massive fraud carried on public funds or people’s assets managed by the Central Bank. As the probe on the Bond Scams that took place shortly after the election of the present government in 2015, what the public saw was the crooked …

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India in Advanced Stage of Talks With Lanka to Operate Mattala Airport Discloses Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva

India is in advanced talks with Sri Lanka to operate an airport on the southern tip of the island, where China has invested heavily as part of its Belt and Road initiative, a Minister said. Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala said the country had been looking for alternative investors in the Hambantota area, where China …

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Remanded LTTE Suspects Wont be Released Without Judicial Process Despite Hartal in North by TNA says Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene

Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene yesterday, reiterated that the remanded LTTE suspects, who had allegedly committed serious crimes,will not be freed without a judicial process despite the hartal campaigns in the North. The State Minister observed that the hartal campaign in the North is politically motivated and a group seeking political mileage is behind it. …

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Only One Member of a Family Should Be Allowed to Contest Elections Says Local Govt Minister Faizer Mustapha

Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faizer Mustapha said yesterday that there should be a system to ensure that only one member from one family can contest at the forthcoming and Provincial Council Local Government elections. Under the present system, most of the candidates are from political families. This deprives so many others in the …

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Ravi Karunanayake’s Brother -in -law TMR Bangsa Jayah Sacked From Sri Lanka Insurance Joint Managing Director Post By State Enterprises Development Minister Kabir Hashim

Sri Lanka’s state-run insurance giant has sacked its Joint Managing Director T. M. R. Bangsa Jayah, the brother-in-law of former finance minister Ravi Karunanayake, officials said today. Bangsa Jayah, an appointee of Karunanayake, refused to step down to allow the ministry of State Enterprise Development carry out a restructuring of Sri Lanka Insurance (SLC) forcing …

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UNP Did Not Get Funds From Arjun Aloysius, His Family Members or Perpetual Treasuries State Ministers Samarawickrama and Hashim.

By Himal Kotelawala Two senior Cabinet Ministers yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance that at a meeting held on 26 February 2015, a fund requirement of Rs. 18 billion had been discussed for stalled road development work initiated by the previous administration. Ministers Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama, testifying …

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Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga Appointed as SLFP Organizer for Attanagalle By President Maithripala Sirisena

By Ajantha Kumara Agalakada Ps Kumara Welgama and Mahindananda Aluthgamage had been removed from their Posts of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Organisers for Matugama and Nawalapitiya respectively, informed sources said. Meanwhile, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga had been appointed as the SLFP organiser for Attanagalla by President Maithripala Sirisena at a meeting held with …

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People Are Convinced That “Yahapalanaya” and “Rajapaksapalanaya” Are Only Tweedledum and Tweedledee -“The Island”

(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Island ” of October 13th 2017 Under the heading “Eloquent silence”) Today is Friday the 13th. Not all of us are troubled by triskaidekaphobia, but its association with Satan reminds us of the proverbial man who sold his soul to the devil. The day is of significance to …

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Police Commission Transfers ASP Thushara Daluwatte of ” Hambantota Protest Assault Fame ” From Tangalle to Matara

By Darshana Sanjeewa Tangalle Division ASP Thushara Daluwatta, who allegedly assaulted a youth during a protest held in Hambantota last week, was transferred to the Matara Division by the National Police Commission (NPC) today . Commission Secretary Ariyadasa Cooray said the decision was taken during the commission meeting held today.

Opposition Leader Sampanthan Urges President Sirisena to Immediately Release All Tamil Prisoners Detained Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Tamil National Leader and Leader of the Opposition Rajavarothayam Sampanthan has in a letter written to President Maithripala Sirisena urged the immediate release of Tamil prisoners being detained under the prevention of terrorism act(PTA), The full text of the letter is reproduced below- 12th October 2017 His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena President of the Democratic …

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Maithripala-Ranil Govt Deceives People Through Constitutional Trickery

By C. A. Chandraprema Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne has been trying to allay anxieties of concerned citizens about the new constitution that he is involved in drafting. He claims that there will be a special constitutional provision against secession. What he is referring to is the following provision in the recently released interim report of the …

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Namal Rajapaksa “Tweets” Complaint to UN Human Rights Council About Being Arrested For Hambantota Protest.

Sri Lanka’s opposition legislator Namal Rajapaksa turned to the United Nations Human Rights Council soon after he was arrested along with two other members of parliament over their recent anti-India protest. Rajapaksa, a leading member of the Joint Opposition which is highly critical of the UN Rights Council, complained to the world body as well …

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Is Govt Cracking Down Hard On Those Who Stormed Hambantota Indian Consulate Due To Quiet Indian Pressure?

In order not to alienate India, the Sri Lankan government is taking stern action against those who tried to storm the Indian Consulate in Hambantota last Friday in protest against the government’s bid to go for a Joint Venture (JV) with India to run the non-functioning Mattala International Airport. Twenty-eight persons were arrested during the …

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SASG Dappula De Livera Has “No Questions” For Ministers Samarawickrama and Hashim at Presidential Inquiry Commission

Ministers Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama, testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the bond scams, yesterday said that to make payments to the contractors engaged in road development projects and to continue with the ongoing projects the government had needed funds to the tune of Rs.15 billion. A meeting had been held at …

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Cabinet Ministers Malik Samarawickrama and Kabir Hashim Grilled by Commissioners at Inquiry On Treasury Bonds

By Himal Kotelawala Two senior Cabinet Ministers yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance that at a meeting held on 26 February 2015, a fund requirement of Rs. 18 billion had been discussed for stalled road development work initiated by the previous administration. Ministers Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama, testifying …

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Solution is a Unitary State With Power Devolved To Autonomous Provinces.

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Machiavelli said that the enterprise entailing the deadliest risk in politics is to try to institute a new order, and to be a new ruler while doing so (“a new prince in a new principality”). To be a relatively new government trying to introduce a new political system in a polarized, poly-ethnic …

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Gowers Money Laundering Case Against Namal Rajapaksa, Senani, Sujani and Iresha Fixed For Trial on Feb 16th 2018

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda A case filed against Hambantota district Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa and five others for their alleged involvement in laundering money amounting to Rs.30 million through Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited was yesterday fixed for trial by the Colombo High Court. Iresha Silva, one of the directors of Gowers Corporate Services, was present in …

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Questions Over Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Statements Should Be Posed to Prime Minister and Not To Him Says Ex – CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendra, testifying before the presidential commission of inquiry probing alleged bond scams, yesterday, said he could not speak for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said so when Senior Additional Solicitor General (SASG) Dappula de Livera, PC asked him some questions, based on a statement the Prime …

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Parliamentarians Namal Rajapaksa,DV Chanaka and Prasanna Ranaweera Arrested and Remanded Till Oct 16th Over Hambantota Protest.

MPs Namal Rajapaksa, DV Chanaka, Prasanna Ranaweera and three provincial councillors were arrested by Hambantota police late last evening over the Joint Opposition protest at Hambantota last Friday. They were taken into custody when they had arrived at the Hambantoa Police station to make their statements.

UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrama and Party Gen -Secy Kabir Hashim Summoned To Give Evidence Before Bondscam Inquiry

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta and Sarath Dharmasena The presidential commission of inquiry probing the treasury bond scams has summoned Public Enterprises Development Minister Kabir Hashim and Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama to give evidence before it today. Minister Samarawickrama is the UNP Chairman, Hashim the party’s General Secretary.

Namal Rajapaksa and Five Others Including Two MP’s Arrested Over Anti-Indian Protest at Hambantota.

– Sri Lanka’s police arrested Namal Rajapaksa and two of his legislator colleagues Tuesday for their role in leading a violent anti-India demonstration last week. Police said in a statement that Rajapaksa was taken into custody after he gave a statement to the Hambantota police over his role in Friday’s demonstration that was broke up …

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Ex – CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran Aggressively Cross Examined By A- G Dept Counsel at Bondscam Inquiry Commission.

By Himal Kotelawala Proceedings at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance heated up yesterday as former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran was cross-examined aggressively by the Attorney General’s Department. Mahendran denied any knowledge of meetings said to have been called by former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake where the latter had allegedly …

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Immigration Authorities Detain Ornella Iresha Silva at Katunayake Airport Upon Arrival From Abu Dhabi and Hand Her Over to Police.

Sri Lanka’s police Tuesday arrested a key business partner of Namal Rajapaksa who is facing several charges relating to money laundering through several companies set up when his father was president. Ornella Iresha Silva, a director of companies established by Rajapaksa, was wanted since August last year in connection with money laundering allegations, but she …

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Colombo High Court Issues Warrant Through Interpol for Arrest Of Iresha Silva Over Money Laundering Connected to Firm Owned By Namal Rajapaksa.

The Colombo High Court has issued a warrant through Interpol for the arrest of Batapola Arachchige Oranella Iresha Silva for her alleged involvement in laundering money amounting to Rs.30 million through Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited allegedly owned by Hambantota district Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa. High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe had made this order taking into …

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Litro Gas Company Head Shalila Moonesinghe Arrested Over Computer Hacked Robbery Of Taiwan Bank Funds

The head of the state-owned Litro gas company, Shalila Moonesinghe, is among two people arrested in connection with millions of rupees wired to a state bank, believed to be from a computer hacking and robbery of a Taiwan bank, officials said Monday. Moonesinghe, who is also the leader of the New Democratic Front under whose …

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Sarath N Silva as “Citizen” is Going Against Ruling Given By Him as Chief Justice Points Out MA Sumanthiran PC in Court.

By S.S.Selvanayagam Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva today told the Supreme Court that the Attorney General was guilty of misleading Parliament through his opinion on the amendments introduced to the Provincial Councils Amendment Bill during the committee stage of its passage. Making submissions as a citizen of the country in support of his fundamental …

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Allocations For President Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe to be Increased by 50% and 41% Respectively in New Budget.

By Saman Indrajith The government yesterday presented to Parliament its estimated expenditure for the next year in which the expenses of the President’s office has been increased by more than 50 percent. The expenditure of the Prime Minister is expected to increase by 29%. The appropriation bill presented to Parliament by Acting Finance Minister Eran …

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Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva Appears In Court Personally To Seek Leave From SC to Proceed With His FR Petition

By Chitra Weerarathne Former Chief Justice, Sarath Nanda Silva, yesterday, appeared in person to obtain leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation petition he had filed, citing the Attorney General, as the first respondent. The petitioner has informed the Supreme Court, that amendments were added to the Provincial Councils Election (Amendment) Act, at the …

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President Sirisena Being Kept In The Dark About Steering Committee Interim Report Is a Bizarre Situation

By Janaki Chandrararatna Sri Lanka is at the crossroads once again. This time it is with the introduction of a new constitution. Constitution making is no easy task and that is the reason that countries generally adopt the amendment process to make changes to a constitution. Since Sri Lanka is like no other country in …

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Critical Engagement With Pablo de Greiff Essential During UN “Transitional Justice” Expert’s Long Visit to Sri Lanka

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence is due to visit Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka, on rather a long visit, from 10th to 23rd October 2017. Almost two whole weeks. According to the Office of the …

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Ex – President Mahinda Rajapaksa Given Shabby Treatment in Japan By Lankan Ambassador Dhammika Ganganath “On President Sirisena’s Orders”.

By Gagani Weerakoon Former President Rajapaksa who is on a 10-day private visit to Japan, this time has not even been offered a protocol officer upon his arrival at the Airport. When his Private Secretary Uditha Lokubandara inquired from Ambassador Dhammika Ganganath as to why such shabby treatment was given to the former President, the …

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Human Rights Commission Inquires Into Assault by ASP Roshan Daluwatte on Freelance Journalist Susantha Bandara Karunaratne Covering Hambantota Protest.

By Norman Palihawadane and Saman Indrajith The Human Rights Commission has launched an inquiry into a senior police officer assaulting a journalist taken into custody while he was covering the protest at Hambantota on Friday. Media spokesperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Saliya Peiris said they had launched an investigation into the …

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Dinesh Gunawardena Receives “Enlightenment” on New Constitution from Malwatte Mahanayake Who Gives JO Leader an “Earful”.

By Gagani Weerakoon Following repeated assurance by President Maithripala Sirisena, the perspective of Mahanayake Theras’- at least, that of Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter- on the proposed constitutional reforms seems to have changed drastically. This was evident, when Leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna and Joint Opposition Dinesh Gunawardena – who his colleagues identify …

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Policemen at H’Tota Hold Journalist Firmly While Asst Supdt of Police Delivers a Savage Slap Causing Bleeding Injuries to his ear

( Text of Editorial Appearing in “The Island” of October 9th 2017 Under the Heading ” When democracy gets slapped around”) No sooner had the yahapalana government given the apex court a thundering slap across the face by circumventing a judicial ruling to ratify the Provincial Council Election (Amendment) Bill than the guardians of the …

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Sri Lanka Podujana Party Supports the Return to Owners of All Military Occupied Private Lands in Jaffna says Basil Rajapaksa

By Gagani Weerakoon With impending Local Government Elections, all major parties have started selecting candidates and if there was any political leader that stunned the entire country with his campaign, that is non-other than Basil Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa was extensively blamed and criticized for the embarrassing defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential elections …

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Namal Rajapaksa MP Accuses Police of Unleashing “Terror” On Peaceful Protest Conducted by Joint Opposition in Hambantota.

By Dileepa N. Jayasekera Hambantota District UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that police personnel had unleashed what he called terror against protest staged by the Joint Opposition at Hambantota on Friday also taken into custody even some patients waiting in the queues at hospitals. “Police not only tear gassed and used water cannon to …

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MA Sumanthiran MP Files Intervenient Petition Against Fundamental Rights Filed By Ex – Chief Justice Sarath Silva

By S.S. Selvanayagam A parliamentarian of the Tamil National Alliance has filed an intervenient petition against the fundamental rights petition filed by former Chief Justice challenging the enactment of the Provincial Council Elections Amendment Bill. TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran PC is crying foul at former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva’s fundamental rights petition saying that …

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How Can Credible Constitutional Reform Take Place When The Legislative Mandate Is Being Flouted?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena Sneaky strategies adopted by the Government to smuggle hasty amendments to the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act at the committee stage so as to transform that Amendment into an entirely strange creature altogether must be condemned, strongly and categorically. A nightmare becomes real Such wily tricks on the part of those …

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President Sirisena Not Ready to be a “Sirisangabo” and Abolish the Executive Presidency

by C. A. Chandraprema The interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly is now on the table and there seems to be a stand off developing between the UNP and the pro-Sirisena SLFP over its contents. President Sirisena is being furiously assailed in pro-UNP websites like Lanka e News. Simultaneously we see …

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Che Guevara – Unique Personality who Imprinted His Visage On The Shroud Of Time.

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka 50th Death Anniversary of Che Guevara [This essay was originally published in English and in Spanish translation in Granma, the official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, in 2007, on the 40th anniversary of Che Guevara’s death.] The literary imagination of genius is often more intuitive about …

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Ex-President’s Son Namal Rajapaksa Leads Anti-India Protest in Hambantota Shouting Over Hailer ” Indo Colony Apita Epa”(We Dont Want Indian Colony)

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s legislator son Namal beat a hasty retreat yesterday after leading an anti-India protest outside the Indian Consulate and clashing with police at Hambantota. The young Member of Parliament used a loud hailer to work the crowd to a frenzy as the Joint Opposition rally marched from the Hambantota beach to the …

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Playing With Words In Constitution is an Insult to the Intelligence of the Sri Lankan People

By Veeragathy Thanabalasingham Two weeks have passed since the presentation of the Interim Report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly to the parliament of Sri Lanka by Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe. As in the case of the release of the reports of the six sub- committees, this report also has created a furor …

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Rosy Senanayake Has “Rosy” plans For City If and When Elected Mayor of Colombo

By Marianne David In the running for the position of Colombo Mayor, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister’s Office Rosy Senanayake is confident of victory and armed with comprehensive plans to turn Colombo into a “safe, smart, economically viable, and corruption-free city”. Having announced her candidature recently, Senanayake is now preparing for the …

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Joint Opposition Demonstrates Outside Indian Consulate in Hambantota In Protest Against Mattala Airport Agreement With India.

By Shamindra Ferdinando Joint Opposition (JO) activists protesting against government move to hand over the Mattala airport to an Indian company were attcked by the police yesterday outside the Consulate in Hambantota. Police used water cannon and fired tear gas to disperse crowds gathered outside the Indian mission. Police arrested 26 persons during the crackdown. …

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How Can Federalism Be Anathema to Any Political Party or Party Leader in Sri Lanka?

By M.S.M.Ayub Whenever the discourse on Constitution-making came to fore during the past two decades, the bone of contention was the nature of the state with the Tamils wanting a federal mode of governance and the Sinhalese insisting on a unitary state. However, even after more than thirty years since the ethnic problem took a …

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Steering Committee Interim Report Indicates Game Plan of the “Yahapalana” Coalition.

By C. A. Chandraprema When looking at the interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, the game plan of the yahapalana coalition becomes immediately apparent. For over one and a half years, we have been intermittently receiving various documents from the Steering Committee which made it only too clear what the yahapalana …

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Rising Tide of Sinhala Fundamentalism Will Play Into The Hands Of The Govt

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Philosophy, said Kautilya (Chanakya) in the Arthashathra, deals primarily with the right and wrong use of force. At least from that time, it was recognized that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing even what is necessary or unavoidable. This was of course the very premise of the …

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If New Constitution is not Framed to Resolve National Question There Could be Recurrence of Violence Warns Opposition Leader Sampanthan.

(Text Of Press Release issued by the Tamil National Alliance Media Office on October 5th 2017) The visiting UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Rt. Hon. Mark Field met with the Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance Hon.R. Sampanthan today (04.10.2017) at Westminster House in Colombo. Detailing the current …

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Ravi Karunanayake Misused His Powers as Finance Minister to Manipulate Treasury Bond Auctions For Perpetual to Make More Money

Sri Lanka’s large state banks have been asked to bid at low rates at volumes given by then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, at two controversial bond auctions alleged to have been rigged, a commission of inquiry had been told. A meeting of state bank officials of National Savings Bank, People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon …

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Ravi Karunanayake Ordered Three State Run Banks to Make Lower Bids at Two Treasury Bond Auctions While Higher Bids From Other Dealers was Accepted.

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena Chairmen and senior officials of three major state banks––the Bank of Ceylon, the People’s Bank and the National Savings Bank–– testifying before the presidential commission of inquiry probing the bond scams yesterday said that on two occasions in 2016, the then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had instructed them …

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“Betrayal” of State Owned Banks at Treasury Bonds Auction by Ex- Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake ?

By Himal Kotelawala Chairmen, CEOs/General Managers and other senior officials of the three state-owned banks yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance that former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had on two occasions instructed them to bid at lower-than-market yield rates, assuring them that bids at higher rates would not be …

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Police Summoned to Control Crowds in Fort as Chilaw Plantations Company Sells Coconuts at 50% Discount for Finance Ministry Employees.

Sri Lanka’s finance ministry employees went nuts when a mini forutune was offered to them by Chilaw Plantations company in the form of precious coconuts at a near 50 percent discount. Some 1,200 employees at the General Treasury Building in Colombo Fort had the good fortune to double their money buying coconuts at 65 rupees …

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Shabby Treatment Given to Sagala Ratnayake by Traffic Police Over Vehicle Convoy Incident Despite the Law and Order Minister Being in Charge of Police.

Sri Lanka’s minister in charge of law and order has become a victim of a hit-and-run attack on the Southern Expressway, but the police department which is under him has failed to track the offending motorist. Adding insult to injury, the traffic police has given the run around to Minister Sagala Ratnayaka’s personal security officer …

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Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva’s FR Petition Seeking Judicial Review of PC Elections Bill is Doomed to Fail.

By Faizer Shaheid Former Chief Justice, Sarath N. Silva has grown more and more politically inclined over the years, but his take on the Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Act raises a little more than a few eyebrows. While the enactment itself is largely positive, the manner in which the Bill was passed has definitely shocked …

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Sri Lankan Govt Linking Country With US Led War Drive Against China Will Have Catastrophic Consequences

By Nanda Wickremasinghe While rapidly strengthening its military ties with Sri Lanka, the Trump administration is voicing concerns over Colombo’s “unsustainable debts” with China. These views were outlined last month by Alice Wells, the US acting assistant secretary for South and Central Asia, in a report to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Entitled, “Maintaining US …

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Did Perpetual Treasuries(Pvt)Ltd have Two “Things – to – do” Files for Arjuna Mahendran and Ravi Karunanayake Marked “AM’ And “RK” ?

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, PC yesterday told the presidential commission of inquiry probing bond scams that Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt.) Ltd (PTL) had maintained two ‘things-to-do’ files for RK and AM. PC de Livera mentioned this while former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran was …

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Buddha Sasana Ministry and Mahanayakes Appear to do Little to Curb Rowdy Behavious of Monks.

By Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda Discussions on a possible new Constitution seem to be dominated by two important issues. One is the organization of the country as “united or unitary”. The other is regarding the status of Buddhism. The leadership keeps assuring the populace that the current status of pre-eminence of Buddhism will not only be …

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Galle District MP Geetha Kumarasinghe’s Lawyer Romesh de Silva PC tells Court that her Election to Parliament Could Not be Set Aside by Quo warranto writ in Appeal Court.

By Chitra Weerarathne President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva told the Supreme Court yesterday that Geetha Kumarasinghe had been elected to Parliament on August 17, 2015 and her nominations accepted without protests. There had been no election petition against her. She took the oaths as a Member of Parliament, before the Speaker, sat and voted in …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe Instructed him to Issue Treasury Bonds Only Through Public Auction Says Arjuna Mahendran Before Inquiry Commission.

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta and Sarath Dharmasena Former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran, testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the bond scams, yesterday, said it was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who had instructed him to issue Treasury bonds only through public auctions. Mehendran was answering a query raised by Commission member …

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