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Click, click for a new President

Click, click for a new President

A simple ceremony was held at Independence Square on Friday evening for the swearing in of the new President, Maithripala Sirisena. There was an open invitation for the people to attend and with little security, a large number of people with camera phones are seen crowding around the new President to click historic pictures. Pic [...]

Top SLFP ministers may join Sirisena Cabinet

Some ministers who served under former president Mahinda Rajapaksa are likely to be appointed to the new Cabinet being formed by President Maithripala Sirisena. The move, due anytime in the coming week is to form the basis of a National Government that would implement the 100 day programme — the new President’s manifesto for last Thursday’s [...]

Abeykoon new Presidential Secretary, Basnayake Defence Secretary

President Maithripala Sirisena appointed two senior Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) officers to the vital posts of Secretary to the President and Secretary to the Defence Ministry yesterday. The former Public Administration Ministry Secretary P.B. Abeykoon was appointed as the Secretary to the President and former Environment Ministry Secretary B.M.U.D. Basnayaka was appointed as Secretary to [...]

Sirisena’s first visit is to India

President Maithripala Sirisena’s first official foreign visit will to be India next month, spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday. “India’s Prime Minister Narerdra Modi who telephoned the President and congratulated him requested that he make the first visit to India,” he said. Dr. Senaratne said the visit to India would be followed by a visit to [...]

JHU wants corruption probe on MR and family

The Jathika Hela Urumaya will call upon the Government to probe allegations of corruption against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of his family and leading businessmen who aided and abetted, JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka said yesterday. He told the Sunday Times that once the Cabinet of ministers was formed, the JHU would urge President [...]

Detailed results of the 2015 Presidential election

Basil says Mahinda will lead SLFP

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa will provide leadership to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in its next campaign for parliamentary elections, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday. He said the party would meet soon for talks on the immediate plans of the party. Ex-minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the former president would remain as the [...]

One invites, the other greets

It was former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who invited Pope Francis to visit Sri Lanka and his government made most of the arrangements but it will be the new President who will greet the Pope at the airport. The former president may also be at the airport. Coincidentally, a similar situation arose when John Paul II [...]

Sirisena to welcome Pope at BIA Rajapaksa to be invited

Pope Francis will be greeted by the newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena when he arrives at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Catholic Church said. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday told former president Mahinda Rajapaksa that he also would be invited to greet the Pope at the airport since it [...]

JVP, TNA won’t accept Cabinet posts

The JVP and the TNA will not accept Cabinet portfolios in the Government of new President Maithripala Sirisena. The JVP which supported President Sirisena’s campaign yesterday said it had no intention of taking Cabinet portfolios, but would extend its cooperation in Parliament to implement the 100 day programme. JVP frontliner Vijitha Herath said the party would [...]

TNA meets new President tomorrow

TNA meets new President tomorrow

The Tamil National Alliance will have its first official meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena tomorrow, a spokesman said. Issues of immediate concerns to Tamils will be taken up with the new leaders, said TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran without revealing specifics. Tamils in the North voted in great numbers at the Presidential election on January 8. [...]

BASL Ex Co to discuss alleged ‘conduct unbecoming’ of CJ

An emergency meeting of the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has been summoned for today, to discuss a series of allegations against Chief Justice (CJ) Mohan Peiris and also call for his resignation, BASL President Upul Jayasuriya said last night. One allegation is that the CJ conspired with former President [...]

SLFP, UPFA say will support new President’s 100-day programme

SLFP, UPFA say will support new President’s 100-day programme

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) yesterday said they would extend their support to incumbent President Maitripala Sirisena to implement his 100-day programme and constitutional changes that would benefit the public and reduce executive powers. SLFP Deputy Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva while congratulating the new President requested [...]

Army says no violence in North

The Army yesterday denied reports, including on social media, that some military camps in the North had been stoned by unknown persons in the post-election period. Military Spokesman Brig. Ruwan Wanigasooriya also rejected reports that various explosions had been heard and that the flag of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had been hoisted [...]

In Kalutara, security carries different aspirations

In Kalutara, security carries different aspirations

Most voters in Kalutara voted for the man who gave them security but others felt that under the Rajapaksa government fear had entered their lives. People were keen to cast their vote, most casting their ballots in the early hours; in many of the polling stations across the coastal belt long, winding queues were seen [...]

Ranil directs Army Chief to provide necessary security to MR, Gota

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the military to provide the necessary security to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, proportionate to their threat level, Army Chief Daya Ratnayake said yesterday. He said this is standard procedure relating to ex VIP’s and hence, the security alotted to the former president and [...]

BT holds Skype discussion on new Govt’s programme

BT holds Skype discussion on new Govt’s programme

The Business Times, which has been progressive in conducting its own panel discussions on a wide range of topics, yesterday organised a panel discussion on Skype on the accession of a new President. The panellists – Ven. Prof. W. Wimalaratana Thera, Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Colombo; Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, [...]

House meets on Jan.20 with Speaker ‘expected’ to step down

Parliament will meet as scheduled on January 20, Chief Opposition Whip UNP MP John Amaratunga said. He said the agenda for the first meeting of the Legislature after the appointment of the new President, will be set after the visit to Sri Lanka by Pope Francis is concluded. Mr Amaratunga said the Government of new [...]

Lakhs of youth workers given voting leave

Private sector employees and estate workers were able to obtain leave of one to one-and-a-half days and vote in large numbers because of effective action taken by the Elections Commissioner, the Human Rights Commission and the Labour Department, officials said. Labour unions said the high voter turnout in the estate areas and other districts was [...]

All’s well that ends well: Monitors, police say most peaceful post polls

Nearly two days after the conclusion of the Presidential hustings on Thursday there has been one killing (see box story) while a few minor incidents were reported from throughout the country, with independent polls observers and the police describing the situation as one of the most peaceful post election situations in recent times. An estimated [...]

SLFP double-header puts Attanagalle in a spin

SLFP double-header puts Attanagalle in a spin

Diehard Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP) voters in Attanagalle, the Gampaha district town that gave the country three heads of state, were in a quandary over their vote with the party split by the two main candidates. Attanagalle is known as the heartland of the SLFP, producing two prime ministers, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, and [...]

China downplays election upset

China has downplayed the impact of the Presidential election upset, dismissing suggestions that the stunning win by Maithripala Sirisena could shake up Beijing’s plans in the Indian Ocean, a Beijing datelined AFP story said. Mr. Sirisena ousted President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has relied heavily on Chinese funding for major infrastructure work. Among the major projects [...]

Vegetable shortage to last till January end, traders warn

Vegetable shortage to last till January end, traders warn

The shortage of vegetables that has led to high prices even of the most common varieties, is expected to last till the end of the month, traders’ associations warned yesterday. They said the recent heavy rains in the vegetable growing areas had destroyed crops in the Central and North-Central Provinces and other neighbouring areas leading [...]

UPFA Deputy Minister arrested over Kahawatte killing

Power and Energy Deputy Minister Premalal Gunasekera was yesterday arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of an Opposition party supporter in Kahawatte, Ratnapura, on the eve of Thursday’s Presidential election, as newly appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe paid his last respects at the victim’s home yesterday evening. The suspect who was on the run [...]

New Govt. in choppy seas over fishery exports to Europe

With the proposed ban by the European Union (EU) on imports of fisheries products coming into effect next Wednesday, the new government will seek ways to tackle the ban in future, a spokesman for President Maithripala Sirisena said. Dr Rajitha Senaratne, former minister of fisheries, said that the new government will look into this issue [...]

Monitors give thumbs up for peaceful poll

The presidential election was held very peacefully and free from violence compared to past elections of Sri Lanka, if not in the South Asian region, international and local monitors said yesterday. Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Elections Commissioner of India, noted that the elections went extremely well and were conducted professionally, reflecting the maturing of [...]

Maithri assumes Presidency sans much ado

Maithri assumes Presidency sans much ado

The swearing in of Maithripala Sirisena as the country’s seventh Executive President, at a simple and rather chaotic ceremony at the historic Independence Hall in Colombo Friday evening, was befitting the man who, in a short span of six weeks, rose from near political obscurity to win the hearts and minds of millions of Sri [...]

Call for new political culture amidst congratulations

Call for new political culture amidst congratulations

Political leaders in the country welcomed new President Maithripala Sirisena and extended their support to roll out the proposed 100 day programme. Amidst the congratulations the political leaders also highlighted the need for a new political culture and the repeal of the 18th Amendment while trimming the executive powers of the President. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna [...]

World leaders hail President Sirisena’s victory, praise triumph of democracy

World leaders led by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena on his victory and praised the triumph of democracy in the country. Prime Minister Modi called President Sirisena on Friday and congratulated him and the people of Sri Lanka on the peaceful and democratic poll process. Prime Minister Modi noted [...]

Youth vote for stability, education and health

Nearly a million newly registered voters exercised their franchise at the presidential election. Young voters concerned about the country’s future want the new leader to maintain stability as well as boost education and health. Some youngsters voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa but said they would support the new leader in his programme for the country. Nineteen-year-old [...]

Parliamentarians who failed to deliver

A number of parliamentarians from both the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and United National Party (UNP) failed to secure victory in their respective electorates on behalf of the presidential candidates they supported at the recently concluded Presidential Election. Several top ministers in the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration were defeated in their own areas even though [...]

With prayers for peaceful poll answered, Pope Francis will arrive to bless Lanka

With prayers for peaceful poll answered, Pope Francis will arrive to bless Lanka

With more than half a million Catholics expected to pack Galle Face Green for Pope Francis’ Holy Mass next Thursday, authorities have decided to admit devotees from the previous evening. Fifty workers from the navy were yesterday completing the main structures for the Mass at Galle Face, built in the style of Kandyan-era architecture, where [...]

They came, they voted, others monitored…

They came, they voted, others monitored…

Pix by Palitha Ariyawansa, Sarath Siriwardana, Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk, Dewa Achuthan, Sanath Gamage,Karunarathna Gamage, Indika Handuwala, Karuwalagaswewa Jayarthna, S. Athiran, Pradeep Pathirana, Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa, Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe, Shelton Hettiarachchi and Mahesh Keerthirathne

Undergrads served substandard meals as prices soar forcing canteens to cut corners

Canteen operators in the country’s universities were this week complaining that they were unable to provide clean and hygienic meals to students at the stipulated subsidised rate, owing to the high cost of vegetables, rice, fish and other essential commodities, and have urged the authorities to do a re-think on the issue. A spokesman for [...]

SL Distant Education Best Prog. in S.Asia & Asia Pacific

SL Distant Education Best Prog. in S.Asia & Asia Pacific

An Education Ministry project on Distant Education was awarded the Best Programme in South Asia & Asia Pacific region. Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, along with officials, participate in an event at the Education ministry recently, to mark the achievement.

Opposition, unions protests suspends opening of Mahindodaya labs, awarding and AL schols.-BG

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said the opening of Mahindodaya laboratories in over 100 schools, especially in the north and east, had to be delayed due to protests from Opposition political parties and trade unions in the sector. He said, as a result of this, it is the students who have suffered. The Minister also said [...]

Teachers threaten TU action over parents’ assault on principal

Rajarata Maha Vidyalaya teachers, along with their Unions are threatening trade union action if police and Education authorities fail to act against the parents who assaulted the school’s principal recently. The Principal, Ven. Girithale Sujatha Thera was assaulted by parents as he had punished some students for misbehaviour. They had then lodged a complaint against [...]

Teachers’ unions end hunger strike on Basil R’s assurances

The 20 independent teachers’ unions whose members were on a hunger strike against proposals regarding Education in presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s manifesto, ended their strike on Jan.6, following the visit there of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Minister Rajapaksa assured the members of the trade unions headed by Sri Lanka Independent Teachers’ Association (SLITA) president [...]

Census reveals female graduates smarter than male counterparts

Engineering, Information Technology (IT), Medical graduates top the employment discipline while female graduates top the list of 1st Class Degrees holders, a census conducted by the Higher Education Ministry has revealed. The ‘Graduand Employment Census 2012’ was conducted by the Higher Education Ministry project, ‘Higher Education for 21st Century’, assisted by a World Bank team [...]

Lankan student tops world list in Cambridge OL Chemistry

Lankan student tops world list in Cambridge OL Chemistry

Sandun Chandima Bambarandage topped the world list for Ordinary Level (OL) Chemistry at the Cambridge International Examinations award ceremony held at Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo. The awards ceremony was for outstanding achievers on their November 13 and June 14 Cambridge examination results. Sandun was also Sri Lanka’s best in Physics, English, English Literature, French and [...]

Schools close to house military for Papal visit

The undermentioned schools in the Western Province will be closed from January 11 to 15, to accommodate members of the armed forces who will be on duty during the State visit of his holiness the Pope. They will reopen on January 16. 1. Jayanthi Vidyalaya Negombo, 2. St. Mary’s Ja- Ela, 3. G.B. Senanayake Maha [...]

School van owners up in arms over Sisusariya programme

All Ceylon Inter District School Children Transport Services Association President, N.M.K. Harischandra Padmasiri said they would rally against the ‘Sisusariya’ project to provide transport for schoolchildren, initiated by the Ministry of Private Transport Services and the National Transport Board. Criticising their action, he said they were supportive of the cause earlier as the project was [...]

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