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I will continue my political career with Joint Opp: Geetha
Saturday, 30 April 2016 - 11:13 AM SL Time

Former Benthara Elpitiya SLFP Organiser Geetha Kumarasinghe yesterday said she would continue her political career with the Joint Opposition and would take part in the May Day rally of the Joint Opposition at Kirulapone. Addressing a media briefing, Mrs. Kumarasinghe said she had decided to attend the rally, where the people of Benthara-Elpitiya Electorate would prefer to participate. I was the only woman, who represented Parliament from the Galle District at national level politics. There was no single Parliamentarian for 15 years in that electorate. This hit was not for me, but for all the women, she added. Mrs. Kumarasinghe said the Government had sent her home despite the Government s guarantee for increase the female representative percentage at Parliament. She said she did not need to work with the United National Party (UNP). I am not interested with the Organiser post. I would never leave the people of Benthara-Elpitiya Electorate for any reason, she added. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Statement shows Govt. helpless
Friday, 29 April 2016 - 9:52 AM SL Time

The statement made by Media Ministry Secretary on the Joint Opposition indicated the bankrupt status of the Government and how helpless the Government had become before the Joint Opposition, National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader and MP Wimal Weerawansa said today. While condemning the statement, the MP said there was no need to ask for permission from the Secretary of the Media Ministry on using a name and asked what his issue was over using the name Joint Opposition . Even the United National Party (UNP), when in the Opposition formed a Joint Opposition with several other parties. Then Government said nothing and no statement was issued by Ministry Secretaries, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Cabinet nod for media guidlines
Thursday, 28 April 2016 - 10:27 AM SL Time

The Cabinet has given green light to legalise criteria or guidelines issued by the Elections Commissioner during elections to be complied by the print and electronic media, Cabinet Spokesman Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today.

The proposal had been made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Accordingly, the criteria or the guidelines would be Gazetted and passed in Parliament as a resolution for compliance by electronic or print media and activists, to ensure free and fair referendum or an election.
Full Story     Post Reply To This

Danuna goes to HRC against Wijeyadasa
Thursday, 28 April 2016 - 10:25 AM SL Time

Danuna Thilakaratne, the son-in-law of Minister Sarath Fonseka, today lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) against Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, claiming that the minister had refused to release the monies that were contained in his bank accounts that were frozen as a result of him being named as a suspect in a case brought against Hi-Corp, even after he was acquitted. Mr. Thilakaratne said he had made a request from Minister Rajapakshe to release the funds that were contained in his personal bank accounts that were frozen as he had been acquitted from the case but the minister had not responded to his request so far. The case in question was filed against me by the previous regime on false charges and it went on for five years during the time the previous government was in power and went on for one year after that. I have been acquitted from the case now but my personal bank accounts are still frozen. I have requested the Justice Minister to release them on several occasions but he has not responded. As a result it is my position that my fundamental rights have been violated, he said. Danuna Tilakaratne was acquitted from the controversial Hi-Corp case last year. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Move to implement increased VAT, illegal: Dinesh
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 - 11:04 AM SL Time

Joint opposition Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena today said, the move to implement the increased Value-Added Tax (VAT) from May 2 was illegal since Parliament was yet to ratify the increment. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament in March said the government would increase the VAT to 15 percent. The government first announced the increment would be imposed from April 1 but postponed it to May 2. The Budget for this year was amended frequently and then the Prime Minister presented an interim budget with proposed tax increments. However, still, no documents were tabled in Parliament to seek its approval to impose the increased tax, despite the government s assurance to do so, MP Dinesh Gunawardena said. He said since the tax proposals were not taken up for discussion and debate in Parliament, the entity which is responsible for taking fiscal decisions of the country, all tax increments would be illegal. Implementation of such taxes is a violation of the Constitution, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

JVP to complain on new Rs. 80b bond issue
Monday, 25 April 2016 - 10:46 AM SL Time

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna today said it will lodged a complaint with the Secretariat for Committee on Eradication of Corruption and the Bribery Commission with regard to the new Rs 80 billion treasury bond scam on Wednesday. JVP Former MP and Politburo Member Wasantha Samarasinghe told a media briefing that his party will lodge a complaint and call for a quick investigation on the issue. We will lodge a complaint with the Secretariat for Committee on Eradication of Corruption and the Bribery Commission as the Central Bank had continued its corrupt deals through the Rs 40 billion bond issue which ended up with Rs 80 billion. The bond issue was to raise Rs 40 billion but the Central Bank had ended up raising Rs 80 billion at the end, Mr Samarasinghe said. The Central Bank had continued its corrupt deals through the governor s son-in-law s company and we have decided to lodged a complaint against the recent bond issue, he added. He said the working class had been directly affected by the bond issue this time. The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is made to purchase bonds from primary dealers at a discount rate of one percent. This means that the interest rate which the EPF secures will be reduced by one percent., he said while stating that the EPF will lose Rs 80 million for each Rupees one billion it invests on treasury bonds. Full Story     Post Reply To This

SLFP affirms disciplinary action against rebels
Saturday, 23 April 2016 - 10:10 AM SL Time

Disciplinary action would be taken against all MPs, provincial councilors and organisers of the SLFP if they attended the May Day rally organsied by the joint opposition in Kirulapone, SLFP General Secretary Minister Duminda Dissanayake today said. He said the party Central Committee (CC) has directed all members to attend the SLFP May Day rally which would be held in Galle. Meanwhile, the minister said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa s is damaging his image by making statements which are not suitable for him. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Joint Opp. rally: Shalika reservation cancelled
Saturday, 23 April 2016 - 10:06 AM SL Time

The joint opposition is in a dilemma after the cancellation of the reservation of Shalika Ground in Narahenpita for the commencement of its May Day procession. Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) s Somaweera Chandrasiri, who spoke on behalf of the joint opposition and trade unions affiliated to it, said the ground was reserved on March 8 after making a payment of Rs.12,500 to Sri Lanka Transport Board to which it belongs. However, he said the SLFP authorities notified the organizers of the joint opposition that the reservation had been cancelled.
Full Story     Post Reply To This

No new recruitments to CEB: Minister
Friday, 22 April 2016 - 11:08 AM SL Time

There would be no new recruitment of employees to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) through recruitment agencies in the future, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said today. Currently jobs like meter reading are out sourced by the CEB. There are very efficient employees attached to the outsourced agencies and they would be absorbed into the CEB cadre. Relevant procedures have been taken to make them permanent through a Cabinet decision within next two months, he said. Permanent employment would be granted for the meter readers as well, he said. Most of the recent problems at the CEB were results of recruiting employees through agencies, he said. Considerable training for a certain period would be given to employees and later they can be enrolled as permanent employees, the Minister said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Centre to share intelligence on drug trafficking: Minister
Friday, 22 April 2016 - 11:05 AM SL Time

The government will set up a centre for sharing intelligence on Drug Trafficking, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake said yesterday. The Government has taken initial steps to establish A Centre for Sharing Intelligence on Drug Trafficking to empower national institutions for accurate information dissemination in South Asian and South East Asian regions, the Minister had told the UN Special Session on World Drug problem held in New York . Further, he had told the sessions that Sri Lanka stood committed to extend its fullest cooperation to all international efforts to combat the world drug problem, a problem which has no boarders, which threatens to destabilize all our societies. Further, the government is fully conscious of its international obligations, particularly those stemming from the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs 1961, Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971, and United Nations Convention Against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988 ratified by the government. Sri Lanka also steered the negotiations on the SAARC Regional Convention on narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Drugs and Substances and is a party to the SAARC Convention, the Minister said. The Government reaffirms its political will and determination to tackle the drug problem locally and assist in this cause internationally by reviewing the existing National Policy, which was formulated more than a decade ago, he added. Mr. Ratnayake said the government is conscious of the illicit production, trafficking and abuse of drugs in the country adverse effects of drug use on health of drug dependents the upsurge in drug related crime the draining of human, natural and financial resources and the destruction of individuals, families and communities due to drug use. All institutions that come under government purview will be required to adhere to this national policy. The concerned non-governmental agencies are expected to be active partners in the implementation of the government policy. Fulfillment of the social responsibilities of private sector institutions within the framework of this policy is also critical in drug prevention and control, he added. He said the overall goal of the government in relation to the drug problem was an ambitious one, to reduce the drug supply and drug use to minimum levels by 2020.This goal will be pursued relentlessly by all drug law enforcement agencies, the government agencies directly involved in drug demand reduction, including provincial and local administrations and other agencies, which have a potential for contributing to the end objective and NGOs and private sector agencies. Full Story     Post Reply To This

DV Upul sues Ranjan Ramanayake for Rs. 500m
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 11:03 AM SL Time

Southern Provincial Council Minister D.V. Upul filed a defamation suit yesterday against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake in the Colombo District Court claiming Rs. 500 million as damages. The minister, in his plaint, has claimed that Mr. Ramanayake had defamed him during a media briefing held on February 16, 2016 by accusing him of fraudulently withdrawing a sum of Rs. 76 million from Lankaputhra Bank. The plaintiff claims the remarks had besmirched his reputation. Full Story     Post Reply To This

MR invited to SLFP May Day Rally:Amaraweera
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 10:53 AM SL Time

UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said today he had sent the official invitation to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the SLFP May Day Rally to be held in Galle. Mr. Amaraweera said they hoped to meet Mr. Rajapaksa shortly to discuss his attendance at the rally. Some people are trying to separate us and divide the party. We need to begin the victorious trend with the May Day rally, he said. When said that Mr. Rajapaksa had earlier said he would not join SLFP May Day rally, Mr. Amaraweera said they were trying to get his support even at the last minute. He said this to the media after meeting the members of the Delimitation Committee headed by its Chairman to discuss about the Local Government elections today. Mr. Amaraweera said they had discussions with other parties to get their support at the elections. He said 14 political parties would join their alliance in the coming days to contest the upcoming elections. Full Story     Post Reply To This

The country was a piece of cake then: MR
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 - 10:49 AM SL Time

Former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa today said the country was like a piece of cake as everything was in order and in shape, when his Government handed it over to the new Government. However, he said the Government had failed to gain benefits from the given opportunity. We put an end to the war, developed the country and increased foreign reserves before the Government took control of the country. It was handed over like a piece of cake and everything was in order. But once the Government took over, the economy collapsed rapidly, he said at a New Year function at his public relations office. Mr. Rajapaksa said if the Government continued with development process without abruptly halting them, people would have benefitted well today. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Dematagoda abduction: CCD awaits AG`s opinion
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 - 10:45 AM SL Time

Colombo additional Magistrate Mohammad Mihar today postponed the inquiry relating to the incident of abducting a 34-year-old man in Dematagoda, where MP Hirunika Premachandra and eight others were found suspects, for August 8 since the Attorney General s opinion was pending on the matter. The CCD submitting a further report told Court that it had sent extracts of the investigation to the Attorney General for his consideration. The Police also informed Court that the report on the CCTV footage, sent to the Colombo Computer School for clarification, had not been received. On December 21, a 34-year-old man was abducted and assaulted by a group of individuals, who had arrived in a Defender vehicle, which was alleged to have belonged to MP Premachandra. The suspects were released on bail and the Defender was released to the owner by Court. Full Story     Post Reply To This

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