10th May 2015

Ranil invites Kanchi Sankaracharya to visit SL

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

(Telegraph.lk): Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has invited the Sankaracharya of Kanchi, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, to visit Lanka to advice the government on Hindu religious affairs and the training of Hindu priests. The invitation was conveyed to the Sankaracharya by Saman Athaudahetti, Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister, when he met the Seer at the Kanchi mutt earlier in the week, the New Indian Express reported. “At the meeting we sought his advice on ways and means of protecting Hindu religious customs and places of worship in  Sri Lanka, especially the training of priests in the correct agama  tradition,“ Athaudahetti told Express here on Sunday. Asked if the Sankaracharya had accepted the PM’s invitation to visit Lanka, Athaudahetti said: “He told us that he […]

Sanga hassled by UK immigration officer

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka cricket star Kumar Sangakkara, currently in England turning out for the English county Surrey, had to taste the bitter side of the United Kingdom Immigration Department in London. Sangakkara, who was in London during the final week of April to play Surrey’s Division II match against Essex at the Kennington Oval, is believed to have been questioned by an immigration officer when he returned to London yesterday. But it is unclear at which airport he was taken to questioning in London. “I understand the need for vigilance completely but common courtesy and manners is not too much to ask for,” the second tweet said. But Sangakkara had finally gained solace, despite the officer who had stopped for questioning, as other officers on duty had […]

Maithripala Hails Cameron’s Win

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena termed as ‘splendid’ the victory at the UK elections by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Sirisena also said that Sri Lanka looks forward to deeper ties and cooperation with Britain following Cameron’s re-election as Prime Minister. “Congratulations on your splendid victory. Sri Lanka looks forward to deeper ties and cooperation with the UK. – Maithri,” the President tweeted. Following his re-election, Cameron announced his new cabinet but most Ministers who were in his former cabinet were appointed to the same posts.

Smaller parties unhappy with Sri Lanka electoral reform plan

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s smaller political parties representing minority communities have expressed opposition to the proposed 20th amendment to the constitution which incorporates reforms to the electoral system. “We are opposed to the move of bringing electoral reforms as an urgent bill. We are for reforming the system but we want the next election to be held under the existing system of proportional representation,” said Mano Ganesan, a leader of a Tamil political party. Tamil and Muslim minority political parties and the third largest majority Sinhala party, JVP or the People’s Liberation Front, have held talks on the proposed 20th amendment which is likely to be presented in parliament on May 19. Under the new system, there would be more seats in parliament than the current 225. […]

UN Group on missing confirms visit

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has confirmed the dates of its visit to Sri Lanka this year. The Working Group, which is currently meeting to review almost 400 cases of enforced disappearance from 30 countries, said it will visit Sri Lanka from 3 – 12 August 2015. The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances had sought approval from the former Government to visit Sri Lanka but the visit was never approved. However the new Government approved the visit for August this year. Meanwhile the expert body, which is now meeting in Geneva, is to exchange information on individual cases and other relevant issues with State delegations, relatives of those who have disappeared, civil society representatives and national human rights […]

SL now ready to overcome EU fish export ban

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

SFEASL-Spokesman Colonel Channa Weeratunga by Randima Attygalle The task force appointed by the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe in early January this year to work towards the lifting of the European Union’s (EU) ban on the local fisheries export to the region which was imposed in mid January this year has completed its work and listed all legislative requirements in line with EU’s requirements. Speaking to Sunday Island, Spokesman for Sea Food Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka (SFEASL) and Executive Director, Global Fisheries (Pvt) Ltd, Colonel Channa Weeratunga said that the task force has also completed drafting regulations in line with the EU requirements and procedures have been documented. “This task force was appointed early this year by the Prime Minister after a discussion with all […]

‘Questions Unanswered’ from Mahinda to Maithri

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Families of those reported missing visited the Welikada and Boosa prisons last week with the hope of obtaining answers to their questions, but it was to no avail. Following a request made by the families of the disappeared, the Minister of Public Order John Amaratunga said that he instructed the authorities at Boosa and Welikada to let the families visit the prisons to confirm if those who claimed to be missing are in custody. The Chairman of the Presidential Commission appointed to inquire into incidents of missing persons, Maxwell Paranagama, said that the commission made arrangements to take a set of family members of the missing persons to the Welikada prison last week. “A Civil Rights movement which is working on this issue of the […]

Namal challenges Mangala

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

WikiLeaks: “Mr. Ten Percent”  Basil Is Corrupt $4.5-Million Dollar Home for Basil in California Many voters saw the Rajapaksa family as corrupt (85 percent) and the president himself as corrupt (80 percent) Basil charging 10% and Namal competing with 12 ½ % ”There was a time (under President Mahinda) when any large house or hotel being built in Colombo or anywhere else in the country was supposed to belong to the members of my (Rajapaksha) family” says Namal Rajapaksa BY GAGANI WEERAKOON Responding to allegations levelled against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family of possessing a wealth of US$ 18 billion, Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa vowed to quit politics if charges were proven. MP Rajapaksa took to social media last morning to respond to Foreign Minister […]

It was the family cabinet that governed the country using the presidential system – Sirisena

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Attempts made by a substantial section of SLFP parliamentarians to make former president Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime ministerial candidate of the party at the forthcoming parliamentary elections under the leadership of President Sirisena could be seen as an endeavour to wipe out the country’s political developments during the past six months and ignore the momentous event of January 8. No doubt the SLFP which ruled the country for a near decade with utmost confidence and appeared to be steaming ahead for many more years has within a very brief period of time been reduced to shambles. The man who had done it is Maithripala Sirisena. It is equally true that the only person who can make the party rise from the debris scattered around is […]

Ball In Maithri’s Court

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

The meeting between the defeated president and the winning president was given as much hype as was possible for a team that has very little access to media institutions. Yet what the meeting has achieved is give a few column centimeters to newspapers and several seconds of news coverage. Essentially it was, as a regular observer said, “nothing but a damp squib.” The fact remains that for all the exhortations by Mahinda Rajapaksa supporters, Mahinda knows that there is absolutely no chance of Maithripala Sirisena giving him the Prime Ministerial candidacy. In any event even under Rajapaksa the Prime Minister was only announced after the election result was known. This enabled Rajapaksa at the time to keep his Ministers in tow. Indeed to such an […]

BUILDING GENUINE PEACE

10th May 2015 // 0 Comments

  The military came under mention a second time when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed former and current senior military personnel on the future orientation of the country’s armed forces and urged them to be open to broad international co-operation so that global and national security are complementary and not contradictory. On the one hand, the Prime Minister argued that the armed forces must be appreciated and nurtured in their role as protectors of the security and integrity of the country. At the same time, the Premier held out the prospects of an international role for the Sri Lankan military in serving in humanitarian relief operations and also in multi-lateral initiatives for regional security such as the on-going battle against piracy and terrorism in different […]