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Good medicine to revive patient-friendly health service

Apr 17 (DM) In one of the healthiest moves for the New Year, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena is this month expected to introduce in Parliament tough new legislation for the implementation of a National Medicinal Drugs Policy based on Professor Senaka Bibile’s Essential Medicines Concept which scores of countries have implemented successfully but his own home country has for various reasons delayed it for about four decades. In terms of the legislation, which is likely to be passed unanimously more..

A unique hub of governance

Apr 17 (DM) It is strange that many countries do not appear to emulate the example of Sri Lanka in its policies of governance. After all we have so many systems of governance from the single unit of authority at the apex, to a parliament, PCs, district administration, divisional administration, city, urban and village administrations that start from grassroots levels. You can name any unit of governance and Sri Lanka is bound to have it. In fact all these forms of political and bureaucratic administration more..

End of Bogambara prison Reviving debate about Capital punishment

Apr 17 (DM) The overwhelming endorsement to re-activate capital punishment by a large majority of visitors to the Bogambara prison after its shift to Pallekele has given food for thought to the Cabinet and President Rajapaksa. Bogambara Prison (BPK), one of the oldest prisons in the country located in Kandy has been shifted to a more spacious new location at Pallekele in Kandy at a cost of Rs. 4 billion. Nearly 140 years old prison was more..

Forest officers team up with STF to combat felling

Apr 17 (ST) The Forest Department and the Special Task Force have joined forces to combat illicit felling in Sri Lanka’s dwindling forest reserves, Environment Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said that in terms of a new proposal from his ministry, the STF and Forest Department officers would carry out joint raids to arrest persons involved in felling trees illegally. The minister said that the move followed complaints that forest officers more..

Customs and Navy combat drug traffic

Apr 17 (SL) Over the years, drugs dealers have been devising ways and means of smuggling drugs into the country undetected. Towards the latter part of last year, there were several large containers of drugs that were detected by Customs, which aroused much concern regarding the re-emergence of the drug menace which had been curtailed for a while. While Customs officials deserve all the credit for making these detections, more..

1,130 nabbed for drunk driving

Apr 17 (CT) Police have arrested a staggering 1,130 individuals for driving under the influence of liquor, over the past six days, from 10 to 16 April. Among the arrested, there were 11 bus drivers, 609 motorcyclists, 403 three-wheeler drivers and 107 drivers of other vehicles. On Tuesday, police arrested 253 drunk drivers, including 136 motorcyclists, 3 bus drivers, 95 three-wheeler drivers and 19 drivers of other vehicles. more..

'Extremism will alienate SL internationally'

Apr 17 (Island) If some people tried to incite religious hatred in the country, it could further isolate Sri Lanka in the International arena, said Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha. Mustapha was in London last week on a private visit. When asked for his views about Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera’s conduct, the deputy minister said he had confidence in the leadership of President Rajapaksa. more..

Army says 60 yet to be rehabilitated

Apr 17 (CG) The military says another 60 former LTTE cadres are still undergoing rehabilitation and are yet to be released into society. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that of the 12,000 former LTTE cadres who underwent rehabilitation following their arrest or surrender at the end of the war, three had been linked with being involved with terrorism related activities. He said however said that the 3 more..

Sri Lankan team studies housing schemes in India

Apr 17 (Hindu) For M. Haroon Cassiere, Senior Project Manager with the Habitat for Humanity in Sri Lanka, the city Corporation’s housing projects for the poor in Kalladimukham and Karimadom Colony came as a revelation. He works in the civil war-ravaged regions of Sri Lanka, providing housing facilities for the displaced, and keeping the costs down is a constant challenge for him. “Design ideas which can cut costs will more..

Indian Supreme Court dismisses plea to probe Indian Army's role in Sri Lankan war

Apr 17 (Xinhua) India's Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea for a probe by a Special Investigation Team into the alleged role of the Indian Army during the last phase of civil war between govt forces and the now-defunct Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka five years back. "There are issues which are absolutely beyond the domain of the court and this is one of them," a two-judge bench said, declining to entertain the plea by the more..

Sri Lanka air passenger handling up 3.3%

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka main international airport has handled 7.3 million passengers, including transit travellers, up 3.3% from a year earlier, while aircraft movements rose 5% to 50,802. Cargo handling also rose 3.9%, Central Bank report said. Newly opened 2nd airport in Mattala had handled 36,137 passengers and 1,362 aircraft. It has an annual capacity of one million passengers and 50,000 metric tonnes of cargo. more..

US puts conditions to resume ties

Apr 17 (CG) Unites States says it will resume a more comprehensive military relationship with Sri Lanka once the Govt makes better progress toward reconciliation and accountability. US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal expressed this view while speaking at Harvard University. Biswal noted that while Sri Lanka has fortunately ended its civil war, reconciliation has proved to be challenging. more..

Stranded in the winter of despair

Apr 17 (CT) “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, and it was the epoch of incredulity…” We are witness to what could easily be called the manifestation of Charles Dickens’ most quoted extract, as the nation rides a roller coaster of high expectations and abject disappointments amidst New Year festivities and increasing concerns about where the country is heading, a world cup victory notwithstanding. more..

Bringing a nation into line

Apr 17 (CT) Karim Nabbach is a fortunate man. He will suffer no ill consequences, even though he has incurred the wrath of Kim Jong Un. Mr. Nabbach, a barber by profession, advertised discounted haircuts in a poster, adorned with a picture of the North Korean leader and titled, ‘Bad Hair Day?’ But Mr. Nabbach is safe. He lives in London. All North Korea can do is to formerly request the British to take “necessary action to stop the provocation”. Poking fun at their leaders is more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close at 2-1/2-month high; banks in focus

Apr 17 (Reuters) The share index rose to a near 2-1/2-month peak on Thursday and posted its biggest gain in almost seven weeks with high networth investors buying banking shares on hopes of high profits due to an expected rise in private sector credit in the second half of the year. The main stock index ended up 1.01 percent at 6,180.76, its highest close since Feb. 5 and the biggest daily gain since Feb. 28. "There was a lot of interest in banks," a stockbroker said more..

Defeat extremism, SLMC tells govt.

Apr 17 (Island) General Secretary of the SLMC M.T. Hassan Ali said that the minority communities were demanding that the govt act fast to put an end to all illegal acts by the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) and all other extremists groups that had got out of hand. He said that unless the govt acted immediately there would be chaos as the BBS was trying to engineer communal violence. The rule of law must be preserved for the benefit of all Sri Lankans the BBS and other extremists had more..

On Youth, Sri Lanka leads the way

Apr 17 (IPS) Sri Lanka will be hosting the World Conference on Youth in Colombo May 6-10. Conference will be a platform for expanding youth participation and strengthening the voice of youth in matters that concern them the most. This is especially so when the attention of the international community remains riveted on a new post-2015 Agenda for Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). more..

Sri Lanka rupee ends steady in dull trade

Apr 17 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee ended steady on Thursday as dollars from a selling bank were bought by a state bank ahead of a long weekend, dealers said. The spot rupee ended at 130.60/65 per dollar. "There was dollar supply from banks' sales. But a state bank bought them at 130.60, while trading volume was very thin because of the holidays," a currency dealer said. Both the currency and the stock market will be shut on Friday for a holiday. more..

700 rat fever cases so far this year

Apr 17 (Island) Epidemiology Unit revealed that over 700 cases of leptospirosis better known as rat fever had been reported in the country from Jan 1 till the end of 2nd week of April. 280 cases had been reported in January this year, while 221 were reported in March. However, there was a slight reduction in the incidence of the disease in February (189). Most of the cases were reported from Kalutara (95), Ratnapura (86), Gampaha (73) and Galle (63). However, death toll has not been more..

Video: 40 Red Notices against LTTE operatives abroad

Apr 17 (DM) Interpol is reported to have issued 40 ‘Red Notices’ against LTTE operatives living abroad. SSP Ajith Rohana said several LTTE leaders are known to be living abroad. “We obtain a warrant against anyone who has not served his or her jail sentence for more than two years. We also inform Interpol with the relevant details,” he said. “Red Notices have also been issued to 56 non-LTTE operatives as well,” more..

Not easy to overcome WT20 final disappointment: Yuvraj

Apr 17 (PTI) Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh Thursday said it was difficult to cope with the World Twenty20 final defeat against Sri Lanka but he was learning to take disappointments in his stride. India had reached the summit clash of the tournament unbeaten but failed cap the brilliant campaign with a win. "A match like the finals always left feelings of 'so near yet so far', but as sportsmen they need to overcome these emotions quickly and face next challenge," he said in an interview more..

The experience of Tamil refugees

Apr 17 (Anarkismo) Aran Mylvaganam is a member of the Tamil Refugee Council. The Tamil Refugee Council was formed in 2011 to give a voice to Tamil refugees seeking asylum in Australia and has since played a key role in organising protests against mandatory detention and in supporting refugees living in Australia. Anarchist Affinity caught up with Aran to talk about his views on the Australian state’s refugee policy and the contemporary refugee movement. Q: The Australian govt insists more..

Human rights in countries of concern: SL

Apr 17 (FCO) The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) supports human rights, democracy and good governance around the world. Our work is based on the principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other human rights that comprise the international human rights framework. The FCO produces Report on Human Rights and Democracy, annually. Report comprehensively assesses the global human more..

PSC contradicts GMOA’s claim

Apr 17 (Island) Apropos a front-page news item in The Island of April 11, 2014, under the headline, Delay in Implementing Service Minute, Docs give notice of indefinite strike, the Public service Commission (PSC) has issued the following statement contradicting a claim by the Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA). "It is observed that the information contained therein is incorrect. "The correct information with regard to the approval of the Service Minute is as follows: more..

Rubber growers hit by plunging prices

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's rubber growers are being hit by falling world prices with production volumes also dropping due to a drought within the country, an industry association said. Deputy Chairman Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) and CRTA Vice Chairman S.S. Poholiyadde said that rubber prices have halved over the past three years. Colombo Rubber Traders’ Association (CRTA) Chairman, M S Rahim said that latex crepe reached record highs of 600 rupees a kilo in 2011 but more..

CID probes complaint on BBS monk

Apr 17 (CG) The CID is investigating the complaint lodged against the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena the Venerable Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara thero. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the CID will look into concerns raised in the complaint that disrepute and harm was brought to Islam and the Holy Quran by the monk. “Legal action will be taken if the investigations find that the complaint is true,” more..

Mahinda saddened by ferry accident

Apr 17 (CG) President Rajapaksa has sent a message of condolence to South Korean President Park Geun-hye on the passenger ferry accident that took place off the southern island of Jeju. President Rajapaksa, while conveying the heartfelt and profound condolences of the Govt and the people of Sri Lanka to his South Korean counterpart, has expressed confidence that with the characteristic courage and fortitude of the Korean people, they will be able to overcome their sorrow. more..

Three of the President's macaws found

Apr 17 (CT) Three out of the four macaws which escaped their cage at the President's House have been found. One has been found in the Modara area and the other two were found perched on a tree near the Defence School in Colombo. The four macaws at President's House had broken open their cages and escaped yesterday, official sources told Ceylon Today. An official at the President's House said that any information regarding the birds should be given to Mayura Perera on 0777 535 377.

Former Maldives president visits Sri Lanka

Apr 17 (Xinhua) Former Maldives President Abdul Gayoom is in Sri Lanka for a visit that will see him attend the Commonwealth Day as the Guest of Honor, the External Affairs Ministry said. Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of Maldives and his wife Nasreena Gayoom were welcomed on arrival by Minister G.L. Peiris. "Former President Gayoom will be the Guest of Honour at the Commonwealth Day event which will be more..

'The catch I dropped cost us the game'

Apr 17 (PTI) He shone with the ball with a four-wicket haul but Mumbai Indians' pacer Lasith Malinga feels responsible for the team's IPL loss to Kolkata Knight Riders, saying that a dropped catch by him cost the defending champions dearly. Mumbai lost by 41 runs in the IPL opener last night after Manish Pandey and Jacques Kallis' 50s helped KKR post a fine total of 163 on the board. "We bowled really well in the first 10 overs, but let them off the hook after that. more..

Modi assures protection from Lanka

Apr 17 (CG) BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday wooed the fisherfolk in the Ramanathapruam district of Tamil Nadu with a promise that he would do everything for their welfare and to protect them from attacks by the Sri Lankan navy, the Times of India reported. Addressing a public meeting, Modi said fishermen in his state (Gujarat) faced attacks by the Pakistani navy, just like the fisher folk in Tamil Nadu came under the attack of the Sri Lankan navy. more..

Harvard twin sisters honored as two of Glamour's top ten college women

Apr 17 (TC) Every year, Glamour Magazine honors a group of women ranging from future astronauts to fencers on its list of Top Ten College Women. This year, Harvard’s very own Inesha Premaratne ’15 and Ishani Premaratne ’15 were recipients of the award. Aside from their obvious genetic inclination to success, the two were recognized for their project “GrowLanka,” an SMS system that alerts unemployed workers in more..

Tender procedures waived for local drug producers

Apr 17 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the purchase of drugs produced locally directly without any tender procedures. He said that previously the local drug manufacturers had been compelled to compete with their international counterparts to supply drugs to the govt. As the local manufacturers produced only 52 kinds of drugs, they could not win bids in competition with the international bidders. As a result local manufacturers had been placed at a disadvantage, more..

Eastern and South-Eastern Universities get facelifts

Apr 17 (DN) The new building complexes of the Eastern and Southern universities will be declared open by the President this weekend. The Eastern University will now have a new Arts and Cultural faculty building which were constructed at the cost of Rs. 120 million. The President will also declare open the library building which was constructed at a cost of Rs. 171 million. Meanwhile the Commerce and Management faculty building was constructed at the cost of Rs. 230 million. more..

Mob attack on UNP MPs visiting the Magampura Port

Apr 17 (SM) Mobs threatened the group of UNP MPs that undertook an observation tour of Mattala international airport today, said MP Ajith P. Perera. Group of MPs is to make submissions to parliament regarding the expenses for the Hambantota port and Mattala international airport. MP Perera said they had to abandon the inspection when around 100 pesons threatened his group at the airport. more..

Migrant Labour: Foreign service challenge

Apr 18 (LMD) The rapid pace of globalisation has led to the creation of more migrant workers than witnessed in the past, with unemployment and poverty in developing countries prompting people to seek employment in other parts of the world. At the same time, developed nations have displayed a higher demand for unskilled labour, inducing large numbers who leave their native countries behind in search of better opportunities – or at least, better remuneration – elsewhere. more..

A bottle of wine throws a premier out!

Apr 18 (CT) This is a case of ‘accountability and responsibility’ that all Prime Ministers, Chief Ministers, Ministers and all MPs or members of any such representative institution in a functioning democracy should abide by. The Premier of the New South Wales (State) of Australia, Barry O’Farrell, announced his resignation yesterday morning (16) over the issue of receiving a bottle wine as a gift that he failed to declare in 2011 in the ‘Pecuniary Interest Register.’ more..

'LTTE overseas network should be dismantled'

Apr 18 (NS) Terrorism expert, Prof. Rohan Gunaratna says that there has been over half a dozen threats plots by the LTTE's international network targeting Sri Lanka since 2009. He said it was important that the overseas infrastructure of the LTTE was dismantled. He also expressed his views on the recent reports of LTTE revival in Sri Lanka. Q: Govt had said the LTTE had been militarily defeated. But, if they are regrouping more..

Does India’s abstention at UNHRC open up the middle ground?

Apr 18 (ST) The reasons for India’s decision to abstain during the vote on the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC have been articulated by Indian officials and diplomats on different occasions and in different forums, both in India and in Sri Lanka, since the resolution was adopted last month. A day after the initial ‘explanation of the vote’ in the Council by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Dilip Sinha where he described the resolution as ‘intrusive,’ Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh more..