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President gives a deadline on 20th Amendment
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 - 11:12 PM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena has given time till tomorrow Wednesday 12 noon for all political party leaders to submit their suggestions and proposals over a formation of a new electoral system. President met all political party leaders yesterday at the President s office and had a lengthy discussion over the issue. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and Opposition Leader MP Nimal Siripala de Silva, ministers and parliamentarians including the previous UPFA regime and other minor parties participated in the discussion. They have to submit their proposals by writing before 12 noon tomorrow. The new electoral system is due to present in parliament as the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. An official from the Presidential Secretariat said that the main objective of the discussion was to obtain the consent of all political parties for proposed electoral reforms. The draft bill is to be presented to the Parliament on May 19. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 97 )

Sajin remanded till May 20
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 - 4:48 AM SL Time

UPFA Parliamentarian and one time External Affairs Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin De Vass Gunawardena was remanded untill May 20 by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. He was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department yesterday under provisions of the Offences Against of Public Property Act of 1982. Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said Parliamentarian Gunawardena was summoned to the CID for questioning last morning over the alleged misuse of vehicles at Presidential Secretariat. A team of CID officials questioned him for over five hours and recorded a lengthy statement. He was to be produced before court last evening. Sajin De Vass Gunawardena was allegedly responsible for the attack on former Sri Lankan High Commission in UK Dr. Chris Nonis in NewYork, following an argument and the Sri Lankan envoy tendered his resignation subsequently. A case was also filed against him at the Commission to Investigate the Allegations of Bribery or Corruption over the financial irregularities that he was allegedly involved in the purchase of Aircraft and helicopters to Sri Lankan government the Commission impounded his passport as parts of investigations into these complaints. Earlier, the CID sleuths questioned former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga over the missing vehicles at the Presidential Secretariat. ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said Weeratunga was also questioned for about four hours about the missing vehilces and a statement was also recorded, The CID commenced the investigations into the missing vehicles on a complaint made by an official of the Presidential Secretariat and the Police initially sought public assistance to recover the vehicles. A number of vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat were found abandoned in a number of places and few officers who were using vehicles, handed them over voluntarily to the Police. Mirihana Police found 53 vehicles abandoned by the Presidential Secretariat at a yard in Pitakotte on Januray 25. Police also arrested former Presidential Secretariat Transport Director Keerthi S. P. Samarasinghe in February. Police said 18 vehicles including two luxury vehicles are still missing and seek public assistance to trace them.
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Namal challenges Mangala
Sunday, 10 May 2015 - 2:52 PM SL Time

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.

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 Mangala Samarawera and tweeted `If Min. Mangala Samaraweera can prove that Prez. Rajapaksa, my Mother, brothers, or I amassed a fortune of US$ 18 billion, I will quit politics.`
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US Weans Lanka Away From China`s Maritime Security Net
Saturday, 9 May 2015 - 9:42 AM SL Time

COLOMBO: With the replacement of pro-Chinese Mahinda Rajapaksa by Maithripala Sirisena as President of Sri Lanka, the United States has begun weaning Lanka away from China s maritime security net.

The United States and Sri Lanka are working together to oppose intimidation or the use of force to assert territorial or maritime claims, the US State Department s Deputy Spokesman, Jeff Rathke, said in Washington on Tuesday.
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MR family deposited 18 bn USD in foreign banks: Mangala
Friday, 8 May 2015 - 5:13 AM SL Time

The objective of the demand made by some opposition parties to do away with the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) is something aimed at getting away from frauds, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today.

Mr. Samaraweera made this point with regard to a demand made by the delegation led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa when they met President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday.

The Minister said half of the opposition members who made this demand were those who faced serious corruption charges.
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10-year National Plan of Action for Plantation Infrastructure Development.
Tuesday, 5 May 2015 - 12:47 PM SL Time

The Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development has initiated an action to formulate a 10-year National Plan of Action 2015-2025 for social development of the plantation community with the technical assistance of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The key objectives of the National Plan of Action (NPA) are to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the plantation areas, especially in the estate sector. The comprehensive 10-year NPA is expected to be finalised by end of July 2015.
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Petrol dansala in Kotikawatte - For the 1st time in Lankan history
Saturday, 2 May 2015 - 1:21 PM SL Time

A petrol dansala is to be held for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka at the Honda showroom in Kotikawatte on 3 May Vesak Poya day. This petrol dansala is being organized by the Stunt Mania Group and an organization named Destiny DJ.
The dansala will be held in two stages on Vesak poya day: from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. and from 9.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. Only motorcycles will be provided with petrol and the organizers expect to give a litre of petrol for each motorbike. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 177 )

Historic victory - President
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 - 1:33 PM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena in a message yesterday hailed the approval of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in parliament, by a two thirds majority as a historic victory achieved by the Sri Lankan society as a whole. The President thanked the Maha Sangha, other religious leaders, political parties and civil society organisations who supported the struggle for constitutional reforms during the last 37 years. While mentioning that main candidates who contested five past Presidential elections had pledged to reduce powers of the Executive Presidency, President Sirisena said that, however, this was the first time it had been achieved practically. Achieving this endeavour in accordance with the Constitution, inline with the Supreme Court determination and with the consent of all political parties in parliament, is a giant step towards ensuring democracy, the President said. The President in his message went on to say that since implemented in 1978, all amendments brought to the Constitution other than the 13th and 17th Amendments were to enhance the powers of the Executive Presidency. He said that the 18th Amendment to the Constitution brought as an Urgent Bill had diluted the progressive steps taken through the 17th Amendment while further bolstering powers of the Executive President. The President said that he believed the safe passage of the 19th Amendment was not only a victory of the contemporary Sri Lankan society but was a victory for generations to come.
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Last ditch effort to resolve 19A crisis
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 - 11:45 AM SL Time

A government delegation comprising Minister Rauff Hakeem, Deputy Minister Ajith Perara and TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran was to meet President Maithripala Sirisena last night to brief him on the government s position relating to the 19th Amendment to the constitution.

There were differences of opinion within the opposition over two contentious issues namely the composition of the Constutional Council and the President acting on the Prime Minister s advice when appointing the cabinet of Ministers.
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19A: Numbers game begins!.
Monday, 27 April 2015 - 7:56 PM SL Time

The highest levels of Government spent the weekend whipping up votes for legislation that will drastically alter Sri Lanka s Constitution and restore independence to key arms of the State, with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution coming up for debate in Parliament today.

Getting the crucial amendment through the House will be a litmus test of the Maithripala Sirisena administration, after constitutional reform formed the bedrock of his election platform for change in the January presidential poll.
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Mahinda cancels one-on-one with Maithripala to protest harassment of Rajapaksas
Saturday, 25 April 2015 - 4:18 PM SL Time

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided against having one-on-one with President Maithripala Sirisena to protest against what he called continuing harassment of the Rajapaksas as well as senior officials of the previous administation.

Dissident SLFPers yesterday said that former President Rajapaksa felt that there was no purpose in meeting the incumbent president.

The former President s position was revealed by former Minister and Kalutara District MP Kumara Welgama at a special press conference held at the parliamentary complex on Friday. Although SLFP General Secretary and MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa facilitated the proposed one-on-one between the two leaders, the meeting wouldn t take place on Saturday (April 25) as scheduled, MP Welgama said.
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Sri Lanka ex-leader`s brother Basil Rajapaksa arrested
Thursday, 23 April 2015 - 11:03 AM SL Time

The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) yesterday evening arrested former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa over alleged misappropriation of Divineguma funds.

The police took him into custody after having recorded his statement at FCID, Kollupitiya. The former minister returned to the country on Tuesday afternoon from the US after FCID sought a statement from him. Rajapaksa reported to FCID yesterday morning.
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Parliament: Opposition MPs stage fast in defence of Mahinda
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 - 10:30 AM SL Time

Opposition MPs and some ministers of the UPFA commenced a continuous fast in the Well of Parliament yesterday demanding that the government immediately put an end to what they called a political witch hunt against Opposition politicians including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ex-defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The hunger strike commenced in protest against summoning former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption for appointing former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, MP the Minister of Health prior to the last presidential election.
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19 A: Debate deferred
Monday, 20 April 2015 - 12:53 PM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition political parties led by the SLFP yesterday agreed to defer the debate on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution by a day to enable them to reach an agreement on both constitutional and electoral reforms, political sources told The Island.

The decision was taken at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat in the morning.
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Bribery Commission prohibits CB Governor from going overseas
Saturday, 18 April 2015 - 2:59 AM SL Time

The Commission to Investigate Allegations on Bribery or Corruption has reportedly prohibited Sri Lanka s Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran from travelling overseas.

Mahendran was summoned and questioned by the Commission yesterday (16 April) for over six hours from 9.00 am over allegations of irregularities in the recent Treasury Bond issue and his statement recorded, said his lawyers.
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322 New year drunk drivers arrested in Sri Lanka
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 - 2:04 AM SL Time

A total of 322 drivers had been arrested by police across the country during the 48 hours between 6 am on Saturday and 6 am today (13), for driving under the influence of liquor, Police said. The Police media unit said that of those arrested for driving while intoxicated, 125 were three-wheeler drivers while 150 were motorcycle uses. It also said that during last 24 hours ending 6 am today (13) some 142 drivers were arrested by the police for driving under the influence of liquor. The police had launched the special operation on Saturday (11) covering the entire island and it would go on until the end of the Sinhala and Hindu New Year celebrations.
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Electoral reforms ready by Apr 22
Monday, 13 April 2015 - 10:20 PM SL Time

The Cabinet on the proposed electoral reforms will be taken up for discussion by the Ministers at the meeting scheduled for April 22, the first after the April New Year vacation, informed sources said.

The electoral reforms will be evolved for implementation along with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution as an initiative by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
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Hambantota Harbour incurred a loss Rs.678 Million in 2012
Sunday, 12 April 2015 - 4:17 AM SL Time

Minister Arjuna Ranatunge has said that the loss incurred by the Hambantota Harbour in 2012 was 678 million rupees. Addressing the progress review meeting of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, the Minister said that he is not ready to maintain the Hambantota Harbour oout of funds of the Colombo Harbour.

The Minister pointed out that the Hambantota Harbour should be transformed to level of profits earning as in the case of the Colombo Port.

Noting that the Colombo Port had a profit and loss account, the Minister said it was not so with the Hambantota Harbour. The Hambantota Harbour has so far been maintained under the Colombo Port s profit and loss account. Accordingly, the loss of the Hambantota Harbour had been covered from the profits of the Colombo Port.
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MR Finds Indian Astrologer To Replace Sumanadasa: Interesting Changes To `Peacock Mansion`
Friday, 10 April 2015 - 2:39 AM SL Time

Significant changes are taking place at the Peacock Mansion in Rajagiriya, before its new occupant, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa is to move in. These changes were said to be carried out at the recommendation of an Indian astrologer.

The swimming pool of the mansion was filled up with sand, apparently because the astrologer said that it was inauspicious to have water to the western direction of the house. The direction of the main door was also changed
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Ranil hatching a `Constitutional Conspiracy` - Ranawaka.
Tuesday, 7 April 2015 - 12:20 PM SL Time

JHU General Secretary and Minister for Power and Energy, Champika Ranawaka said the 19th Amendment will only come into effect under a new Parliament and Prime Minster.
Ranwake addressing a media briefing held at JHU Headquarters yesterday (6) said the JHU would only support the 19th Amendment if electoral reforms are passed along the other constitutional changes. The JHU also asked that the constitutional changes be passed through a referendum, thus bringing it legitimacy from the people. Ranawaka also criticized Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for what he called a `constitutional conspiracy` aimed at transferring powers from the Executive President to an `Executive Prime Minister`.
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