MR slams Constitutional Council

The entire state sector has been collapsed today due to arbitrary actions taken by the Constitutional Council, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.

He said this at the opposition leader's office in Colombo in response to a question about the law and order situation in the country.

"Criticising the Constitutional Council is not the same as criticising the judiciary or belittling it. Because of CC's arbitrary action, the entire state sector has collapsed today," he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

PM moots Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Ahead of the UNHRC session in March, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday presented a Cabinet memorandum seeking approval to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, similar to what was established in post-apartheid South Africa.

The commission will give the opportunity to those accused of war crimes to confess to their wrongdoings. According to the memorandum, no criminal liability will arise from the commission's findings.

Sunil Handunnetti: Quoted correctly, Interpreted wrong

On Oct 15, we reported the following claim made by MP Sunil Handunnetti: 74% of the population of Sri Lanka lives a rural lifestyle/in a rural setting.

According to the data from the Department of Census and Statistics (quoted in Central Bank Annual Report 2018), the percentage of the population classified as living in the rural sector is 77.4%. Handunnetti seems to have quoted this statistic (approximately) correctly.

Makandure Madush caught red-handed in Dubai

Notorious underworld drug kingpin Makandure Madush and several other Sri Lankans were among a group of 20 suspects reportedly arrested in Dubai during a joint raid carried out by the law enforcement authorities today.

Sources said popular Sri Lankan singer Amal Perera, his son Nadimal and underworld criminals identified as Keselwatte Dinuka and Kachcipani Imran were among those arrested.

Earlier, Interpol had issued notices for the arrest of Makandure Madush who was believed to be hiding in Dubai and directing underworld activities in Sri Lanka.

Hathurusingha's wings clipped: Won’t be involved in team selection

Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurusingha will have no longer have a role in choosing the national cricket team, either at home or on tour.

A directive has been issued by the Sports Minister Harin Fernando to the selection committee headed by Asantha De Mel that the team for the matches will now be selected by the captain, manager and selectors and that the majority opinions of the new management (selectors, captain and team manager) will prevail.

Heavy fines on drivers causing fatal accidents

Fines imposed on errant drivers who cause fatal road accidents would rise appreciably in order to dissuade motorists from driving recklessly, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said yesterday.

He emphasized that in addition to imposing steep fines, action would be taken to suspend the driving licenses of drivers those who commit serious offences.

Minister Ranatunga said that necessary steps would be taken to strictly implement rules and regulations dealing with traffic offences in the coming weeks.

Licences of all 9mm firearms suspended

Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando today said licences of all 9mm firearms had been suspended and new licences would be issued from January 23.

Mr. Fernando expressed these views at a ceremony held in Nalanda College, Colombo today.

The Secretary was felicitated by the President of the Ranaviru Association of the Nalanda College OBA, Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy and school officials upon his arrival at the school, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Won't allow PM, Sumanthiran to implement decisions taken on the sly: MR

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday vowed not to allow Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran to implement decisions taken by them surreptitiously that would harm the interests of the country.

He said this at the opening of the new 'Wahalkada’ at the Nakulugamuwa, Meddadeniya Sri Shailarama Purana Temple in Beliatta yesterday .