Sri Lanka Brief
2013January
  • PCs won’t have land, police powers – President

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he had faced far more serious situations than the prospect of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) winning the forthcoming first Northern Provincial Council polls scheduled for late September.Addressing newspaper editors and electronic media heads at Temple Trees, President Rajapaksa said that the government was ready to cooperate with former […]

  • Maverick Mervyn shuts down Hayleys Group export factory with 600 workers

    Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva yesterday allegedly took the industrial law into his own hands when he walked into Hayleys Group’s Venigros Ltd. in the Gampaha District and ordered its closure, endangering 600 jobs and key supplies for exports, to the cheers of residents accusing the factory of a major pollution scandal.The factory which is […]

  • BBS seeks Sangha Order against 13A

    Maha Nayake of the Malwatte Chapter, Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Siddhartha Sri Sumangala Maha Nayaka Thera said, despite having two-thirds majority, the government does not use its powers to abolish the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.The Thera also said although the President has Executive powers, he does not use it when and where necessary, but that […]

  • TISL wants Polls Chief to prevent abuse of all types of State property

    Transparency Internat-ional Sri Lanka (TISL) has made an appeal from Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to prevent the use of all types of State property (including civil and military) in a wrongful manner for election purposes.  TISL Executive Director S. Ranugge in a letter to Election Commissioner also appealed for the guarantee that all candidates contesting […]

  • Holding centre for foreign detainees contravenes the law

    The Government has taken steps to construct a holding centre under the Department of Immigration and Emigration to detain the foreigners who are arrested for staying in the island contravening the provisions of the Immigration and Emigration Act, the Department of Immigration and Emigration sources said.According to the sources, this holding centre will construct in […]

  • State Secret Report no. 1: President has taken a 50% commission from the Norochcholai project

    Norochcolai exclusive eThe Government Servants Against Corruption organization says with great responsibility that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had taken a 50% commission from the Chinese company that was assigned the project to construct the Norochcholai coal power plant.Several senior government officials and some senior state officials who are now in retirement have formed a group that […]

  • CaFFE says councillors in dissolved councils using state vehicles

    The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has said that the governors of the dissolved provincial councils have not been able to take back state vehicles from the former councillors. CaFFE in a statement has said the official vehicles used by former provincial council Chief Ministers and Ministers are now being used for election […]

  • TNA rejects, Presidential Commission Draws Flak

    The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has declined to accept the proposed Presidential Commission to investigate into the disappearances that took place in the war torn areas during the conflict period. Last Thursday President Mahinda Rajapaksa has given instructions to Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunge to appoint a Presidential Commission to investigate into the disappearances in the […]

  • CPA delegation disappointed that President Rajapaksa nor Defence Secretary, Rajapaksa, could not meet them

    A six-member Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) delegation representing the UK Parliament visited Sri Lanka last week, on the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government. However, they were disappointed that neither President Mahinda Rajapaksa nor Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, could meet them.According the British High Commission, a meeting with the Defence Secretary was scheduled, but due […]

  • BASL “Shocked and appalled” over attacks on 43rd CJ

    The Bar Association of Sri Lanka reacted strongly to news that the Bribery Commission had filed legal action against deposed Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake and said all Members of Parliament and other elected officials who had not submitted their asset declarations must be charged under the same law. BASL President Attorney-at-Law Upul Jayasuriya told Daily FT […]

  • TNA candidates intimidated by Army

    Two candidates of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), had been intimidated by the Army, soon after they had filed their nominations yesterday, to contest the Northern Provincial Council polls.TNA Spokesperson and Jaffna District Parliamentarian, Suresh K. Premachandran told Ceylon Today, that Army personnel had gone to the residences of S. Sayanthan, a TNA candidate from […]

  • Minister Mervyn is ready take law onto himself , says he doesn’t nee police

    Public Relations Affairs Minister Mervyn Silva’s son, Malaka, has been hospitalized with serious injuries, after being attacked with a sharp instrument, at the Odel clothing store car park, in Town Hall, around 4.15 p.m. yesterday.He had been admitted to the Nawaloka Hospital, Police spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena said. Minister Silva told Hiru TV yesterday that […]

  • Spouse of ex-LTTE bigwig to contest for TNA Read more >

    Spouse of ex-LTTE bigwig to contest for TNA

    Ananthi Sasitharan, wife of the LTTE’s former head of the political wing in the Trincomalee District, Elilan, is one of the candidates along with three former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarians to contest the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) polls in September.The TNA is also seriously considering including a Muslim candidate for the Jaffna District, sources […]

  • Batti peace seminar disrupted by mob

    A seminar on national reconciliation organiseed by a non-governmental organisation in Batticaloa was disrupted by a group led by a Buddhist monk in the area on the grounds that an invitation had not been extended to him for the event, Police said.They said two participants of the seminar titled ‘National Reconciliation through the Lessons Learnt […]

  • Merry fiddling while the country burns Read more >

    Merry fiddling while the country burns

    Focus-Logo This week’s dire warning by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) that Sri Lanka’s public and state banking sector would collapse if loss-making public bodies are not made duly accountable deserves immediate and imperative public attention. Serious warnings and general despair COPE has called for the re-capitalization of the country’s national carrier as well […]

  • UK investors wary of coming to SL

    The impeachment of the former Chief Justice, the taking over of the underperforming companies by the government, matters dealing with land ownership and lackadaisical legal system are seen as ‘threats’ by the UK investors to doing business in Sri Lanka, Deputy British High Commissioner in Colombo, Robbie Buloch, said in an exclusive interview with Ceylon […]

  • Media in Sri Lanka not free – Freedom House

    Media freedom remained restricted in Sri Lanka in 2012, with journalists subject to myriad forms of legal harassment and physical intimidation, Freedom House,  an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world said in a report.The report said that although the government included several items related to media freedom in its […]

  • Gota cancels meet with UK MPs

    Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had cancelled a scheduled meeting with a British All Party Parliament delegation. Sources told the Colombo Gazette that the meeting had been pre-arranged but was cancelled at the last minute.  The British All Party Parliament delegation was in Sri Lanka for a week and wrapped up their visit today with meetings […]

  • CoPA opens Pandora’s box on public accounts

    ■Timely and effective audits missing ■Committee cites lack of coordination between auditors and State institutions ■Says funds allocated to institutions and ministries are being returned to the Treasury at end of year ■Wants running instead of performance audits for state institutions Two days after COPE tabled an explosive report pointing to the precarious financial positions of some State […]

  • Commission to probe missing Read more >

    Commission to probe missing

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga to appoint a commission to look into the incidents of disappearances that have taken place during the 30-year conflict.The decision with regard to the terms of reference and members of the commission will be taken soon, the Presidential media unit quoted Presidential Spokesman Mohan […]

  • No change in Centre’s stand on SL Tamil’s issue, PM tells Jaya

    Holding that there was no change in India’s stand on the issue of reconciliation and devolution of political powers to ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has informed Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa that New Delhi will work towards ensuring that Tamils are “masters of their own destiny within framework of a united […]

  • TISL urges prompt action on COPE report

    Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) yesterday called for prompt action on the findings and recommendations from the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) released on Tuesday. “TISL believes that by exposing the weaknesses of public enterprises in the COPE Report 2013 and making recommendations on how improvements can be effected, the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises has […]

  • COPE’s call on the deaf – Editorial, Ceylon Today

    The latest report released by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) is revealing. The changes that it recommends are sweeping and could be game-changing, yet the question whether the government would take this ‘report’ with the kind of seriousness it deserves, remains redundant given the scant attention paid to its predecessors.The ills of today’s public […]

  • Hambantota Port receives only 24 vessels during 2011-12 .

    Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (MMRP) in Hambantota has received only 24 vessels in total during the years 2011 and 2012, the latest Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Annual Report disclosed.The first phase of MMRP, built using Chinese funding, was opened for operations in November 2010. The port which was touted as a landmark project that […]

  • 65 UNP MPs with the Rajapaksha now

    With the crossover of Kurunegala District MP, Dayasiri Jayasekara, a total of 65 UNP MPs have left the party and joined the government while Ranil Wickremesinghe remained the Leader. In addition to the large number of MPs who left the UNP, hundreds of Provincial Council members and local body members who strongly oppose the leadership […]

  • TNA Chief Sampanthan Kills Two Birds with One Stone Through Selection of Justice Wigneswaran as Chief Ministerial Candidate

    ManekshawLeader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, has proved his political maturity and his able leadership in maintaining the integrity of the TNA by getting all five constituent parties in the Alliance to concur with his decision to nominate former Judge of the Supreme Court, C. V. Vigneswaran, as the chief ministerial candidate […]

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