Tag Archive | "SRI LANKA NEWS"

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US Under Secretary calls on Sri Lanka’s PM

Posted on 17 December 2015 by admin

Dec 16, Colombo: The United States Under Secretary of State for Political affairs (designate) Thomas Shannon has called on Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Wednesday morning. The U.S. official and the Prime Minister discussed matters pertaining to bilateral relations, the Prime Minister's office said in a statement.

 

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Manpreet Singh Anand, Special Assistant Anupama Prattipati and Southern Development, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake also attended the meeting.

 

Ambassador Shannon is due to call on President Maithripala Sirisena today at the Presidential Secretariat.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said defense and economic relations between the two countries will be on the agenda at the discussion.

The top U.S. official arrived in Sri Lanka Monday on a two day official visit and met with the Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera. He visited the Eastern Province yesterday to observe USAID funded projects.

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Sri Lanka parliament votes to curb president’s power

Posted on 28 April 2015 by admin

Sri Lanka's parliament voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to curb the power of the presidency, restoring a two-term limit and reviving independent bodies to manage key institutions such as the police and the judiciary.

A total of 215 out of the 225 lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment which restores presidential term limits, reversing a change by former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse who scrapped them after being re-elected in 2010.

The amendment was in line with a pledge by President Maithripala Sirisena. His election victory in January ended Rajapakse's decade in power, during which he granted himself greater powers over the police, judiciary and civil servants.

Tuesday's bill also removed the president's power to dissolve parliament, until it has completed four and a half years of its five-year term.

Previously the president had the power to sack parliament after one year, a threat Rajapakse had used to keep lawmakers in line.

The amendment was watered down, however, to ensure that the minority government secured the support of the opposition, whose votes were crucial to gain a mandatory two-thirds majority. Sirisena's government does not enjoy a majority in parliament.

The government agreed to accommodate four more legislators in a Constitutional Council which will make key appointments to run 11 public institutions such as the police, the judiciary, the elections office and the civil service.

"This is not ideal. We had to compromise because we don't have a two-thirds majority on our own," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament.

He said the government hoped to reduce the number of politicians in the Constitutional Council, which aims to depoliticise state institutions and ensure their independence.

Wickremesinghe described the statute amendment as an interim measure ahead of more democratic reforms.

"After the next election, we can have more reforms. We can turn the next parliament into a constituent assembly and adopt a (brand new) constitution," the prime minister said.

The government did not say if parliament would be dissolved soon after passing the bill, in line with a pledge by Sirisena earlier this month.

The current parliament can run until April 2016, but Sirisena had said he would call fresh elections on April 23. He delayed the dissolution to give the opposition more time to pass the bill.

The government had initially planned to transfer many of the president's executive powers to parliament and return the country to the Westminster-style parliamentary democracy that existed till 1978, but the Supreme Court shot it down.

The court ruled earlier this month that power can be transferred from the executive, who is elected directly by the people, to parliament only if approved by a referendum, which the government said was too expensive.

Instead, leaders agreed to clip the president's powers and limit his immunity from prosecution.

By Amal Jayasinghe – Courtesy AFP

In a rare address to the assembly on Monday at the start of a two-day debate on the reforms, Sirisena said the bill was a "meritorious act".

He is expected to dissolve parliament soon and legislative elections could be held as early as June.

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CID arrests gang who sold lands using forged deeds

Posted on 18 April 2015 by admin

CID catches up with master swindler and his gang.

article_image
 

Vidura Samal

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) after an extensive probe had arrested alleged mastermind (52) and four others who had sold land across the country using forged deeds to unsuspecting people, including drug dealers and taken vehicles on lease from leasing companies and sold those vehicles too on forged vehicle registration books, Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said yesterday.

Five suspects arrested by the CID on April 09 had been remanded till April 20 by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. According to sources the suspect had been a racing car driver earlier and had escaped arrest on several occasions by attempting to run over police personnel.

CID now seeks the support of people, who had been victimised by the main suspect identified as Vidura Samal Gunaratne of No. 99/04, Subadrarama Road, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, and know him to trace the places he lived and people he associated with. The suspects had even swindled drug dealers of their money earned from heroin and illegal means and leasing companies by making forged vehicle registration books, the ASP said.

Any information regarding the ring leader could be given to CID on 0112328043, 0112320141-5, 0112422176.


 

 

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Businessman arrested for raping German visitor

Posted on 29 March 2014 by admin

 

The Bambalapitiya police on Thursday arrested a 32-year-old married businessman, who abducted an intoxicated 23-year-old German woman from a hotel night club and raped her in a house at Bambalapitya on March 21.

Police media unit told The Island that the alleged victim had gone to a five star hotel in Colombo with her local and foreign friends for cocktails and dance. However, the following day she got up to find herself naked in bed with the suspect at a house at Bambalapitiya she has claimed. Then she lodged a complaint with the Bambalapitiya police that she had been abducted and raped by the suspect after she was taken to that house by him when she was fully drunk.

The suspect admitted that he had had sex with the woman that night when the police questioned him after he was arrested a week later.

The suspect was to be produced in the Colombo Magistrate (5) yesterday evening, police said.

 By Madura Ranwala – Courtesy: The Island

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