20th March 2016

Matthew Lee of Inner City Press (ICP) & TGTE

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka is in the middle of a raging controversy at the UN over the world body’s suspension of the media credentials of a US journalist, He has been advocating the rights of the Tamils in his daily blog. V. Rudrakumar, described as the prime minister of the transnational government of Tamil Eelam, has signed a letter, along with six Tamil expatriate organisations asking the UN to restore Lee’s credentials. Following an incident where he tried to record a closed-door meeting of the UN Correspondents’ Association, Lee’s credentials as a resident correspondent were withdrawn and he was told to vacate his office in the UN building. But he has been issued a restricted non-resident media pass. The letter, which is also signed by the US […]

Wimal W spent Rs 70m on 68 vehicles

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Former Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa had 68 rented vehicles, during his ministerial tenure, brazenly violating the government’s circular and causing a loss of millions of rupees to the then government, Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) sources said. FCID inquiries have revealed that the large fleet of vehicles used by him and his private staff had cost the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) and Presidential Secretariat a whopping Rs. 70 million as rent for two years. “The amount did not cover the expenses for fuel and drivers’ salaries”, a source at the FCID said. The government circular which spelt out the criteria and the number of vehicles permitted for the use of a Minister’s private staff, issued by the President’s Secretary, stated that eight vehicles could be […]

Dinesh hits out at USAID seminar on constitutionalism

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Joint opposition MPs are irked over an invitation to attend a USAID-assisted seminar on constitutionalism. Invitations to attend the seminar on March 29 at Water’s Edge Hotel in Battaramulla have been sent to all legislators, but Joint Opposition leader Dinesh Gunawardena said such moves did little to increase public confidence in the constitution making process. Speaking to the Sunday Times he asked, “Why is the US getting involved in constitution making in Sri Lanka? It’s a domestic process which should be undertaken by Sri Lankans.” The Constitutionalism seminar follows a USAID-sponsored conference for MPs on the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) and the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) on March 5. Officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Auditor General’s Department also attended this […]

No one can topple this govt: PM

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

No one will be able to topple this government prematurely and do not get deceived by false statements made by conspirators, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said on Saturday. Both the President and the Prime Minister were present at the 19th national convention of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) in Ampara where they responded to the rally held by the Joint Opposition on March 17, 2016. Prime Minister Wickremasinghe who took the opposition on said no one will be able to stop the development programs of this government. He said countries such as Singapore and India will assist the development of East while China will assist the development of Hambantota. The premier said the government is faced with the task of paying the loans taken by […]

What Can Mahinda Rajapaksa Offer?

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has finally declared in the open his burning obsession: He wants to be the president again. Addressing an opposition rally in Hyde Park Colombo, the defeated president had said that he would show the UNP led government how to run the country. “If you can’t run the country, give it to me. I will show you how to run the country”. Of course most people were aware of Rajapaksa’s burning desire although since his defeat he did not lay it down in such clear terms. However, in fairness to the people, he should tell the people why a third term in office should be given to him since he had been rejected twice – at the presidential as well as the parliamentary […]

Stealing was main policy and philosophy of Mahinda’s govt – Chandrika

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga says that stealing was the main policy and philosophy of the previous government under Mahinda Rajapaksa and conceded that corrupt individuals still occupy certain sections of the incumbent administration. “There are still thieves in certain sections of even this government. I won’t say no.” However, unlike the previous government stealing is not the main policy and philosophy of this government and we will not allow that to happen, she said. Addressing an event in Kelaniya today, she said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa prohibited all MPs, Provincial Councillors and Pradeshiya Sabha members from speaking to her and all the media were banned from even saying her name during his reign. Kumaratunga said that she refused to give interviews Sri Lankan […]

SLFP probes party rebels’ criticism

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

SLFP probes party rebels’ criticism The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is investigating whether Joint Opposition members criticized the SLFP leadership and the SLFP at their ‘Jana Satana’ meeting at Hyde Park last Thursday. Top brass of the SLFP and UPFA indicated that disciplinary action against SLFP Parliamentarians who attended the ‘Jana Satana’ rally would not seriously jeopardise their parliamentary seat despite speculations to the contrary. UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera who continue to be hopeful of bringing all factions together under the UPFA umbrella said, according to reports reaching the SLFP leadership to date, there was still no indication of any of the speakers at the rally having specifically named the SLFP leadership in their criticism, although they had been critical of the […]

MAHINDA’s do or die game to take reins of SLFP

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

MR’s do or die game to take reins of SLFP Last week was important because of two historic events. First was when Sri Lanka completed 20 years of becoming World Champions in One Day International (ODI) Cricket by beating Australia at Lahore in 1996. Second was, the general public experiencing the worst ever countrywide power failure in 20 years, since 1996. Either of these did not stop the United National Party (UNP) and the Joint Opposition of which the majority comprises Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members from taking the masses to Colombo to protest against each other. Probably for the first time in history a government took to the streets against its Opposition. Irrespective what motivated both UNP and Joint Opposition to storm Colombo […]

POWER AND HAPPINESS

20th March 2016 // 0 Comments

According to the 2016 World Happiness Report, Sri Lankans have become happier in the past year compared with the previous year. The latest Report, which covers 2015, places Sri Lanka 117th in a list of 157 countries assessed, with Denmark as No.1, the happiest nation and, Burundi as the most unhappy, at 157th. Sri Lankans can take little solace from being just ahead of India, at 118th and war-torn Afghanistan at 154th, because most of South Asia is ahead of us although all are below the mid-level of the Index, with Bhutan, the happiest South Asian nation, ranked only at 84th despite being the nation that invented the ‘gross national happiness’ index. Nevertheless, compared with life in 2014, for Sri Lankans, life in 2015 seems […]