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Govt cancels regulations to monitor mining deals

June 8 (ST) Just six months after introducing them, the Govt has cancelled new regulations that governed the mining, trading in and export of minerals including graphite. The gazette — which had also introduced a committee to determine the market value of mine output and the percentage of royalty payable by those seeking such licences for these activities — was rescinded on Thursday. There was no explanation for the cancellation more..

Sri Lankan Lakmini Sewwandi re-elected to Newham Council in London

June 8 (Island) Sri Lankan Lakmini Dissanayake Shah has been re-elected a councillor for the Newham Council in London at the recently concluded election. Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of the council, has handpicked Lakmini to his cabinet and given her the responsibility of Children’s Safeguarding and Community Lead for East Ham borough. She was born in Hambantota in 1966 and completed her higher studies in Ladies College, Colombo. She pursued higher education at more..

The missing connection: Street protests and presidential politics

June 8 (Island) Apart from the necessary distraction of the watershed elections and govt change in India, Colombo’s parlour politics has maintained its obsession with the future of the presidency in Sri Lanka. However, the parlour discourse of presidential politics is rarefied from street level protest politics, and the Rajapaksa second term has spawned both the obsession with presidential politics as well as the disaffection of the working people towards the govt. more..

Highway to disaster

June 8 (CT) Monsoonal rains hit Sri Lanka hard earlier this week, causing flash floods and displacing thousands of people within the short span of time. The rains that hit the country late last Sunday caused landslides and floods, resulting in the closure of over one-hundred schools and leaving a rising death toll. The worst hit area was the Kalutara District, with Kelaniya and Ragama areas also going under water. more..

Bringing about honourable peace

June 8 (CT) It is interesting that after declining the invitation from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new Indian PM Narendra Modi, as part of the Sri Lankan team, on grounds of 'not wanting to facilitate tokenism', the TNA should seek a meeting with both Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, to ensure India continues to play a role in bringing about honourable peace to the island based on justice and equality. more..

India promised to free Lankan fishermen

June 8 (SL) In spite of the Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody being released last week on a directive by the President, the Indian authorities are yet to release the Sri Lankan fishermen in their custody. The media spokesman of the Fisheries Department said that the Indian authorities promised to release all Sri Lankan fishermen in Indian custody as well. “However since the Indian system is different and does not work according to a single directive even from the President, more..

Police hunt for fugitive LTTE bomb expert

June 8 (PTI) A manhunt is underway in Sri Lanka to arrest a runaway LTTE bomb-making expert who had been actively involved in the separatist campaign. SSP Ajith Rohana said that a man named Nilanga Jude Antony alias Cyril Nilangam is wanted. "This man who was born in 1986 had been known in the LTTE as 'Nilango'", Rohana said. Nilango was an active member of the LTTE in Mannar's Madu area, more..

Sri Lanka arrests 9 more fishermen

June 8 (Hindu) Nine Indian fishermen have been detained by the Sri Lankan Navy off Thalaimannar early Sunday, on charges of poaching. Two trawlers in their possession have also been seized, officials at the Indian Consulate in Jaffna said. With this, the total number of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody has come up to 82 as of Sunday morning. As many as 18 trawlers, including two seized on Sunday, are in the SL Navy’s possession. Sunday’s incident follows two separate arrests of more..

Shooting of ‘Chess’ tele-drama completed in London

June 8 (Island) Veteran tele-drama director, Ananda Abenayaka and his crew, comprising popular actress Chandani Seneviratne, actors Athula Pathirana, Wishvajith Gunasekera and cameraman Thisara Thulvan arrived in London last week to shoot his newest production ‘Chess’. Abenayaka said that his tele-drama was inspired by a true story in London. Therefore, he was eager to shoot a few scenes in England. He began by shooting some scenes at the Heathrow Airport. more..

Jayalalithaa writes to PM on fishermen issue, seeks permanent solution

June 8 (PTI) In the wake of arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday wrote to PM Narendra Modi seeking laying down a time-bound action plan to achieve a “long-term, permanent solution to the problem and also to put in place a strong and robust diplomatic response”. In her letter to Mr. Modi, Ms. Jayalalithaa cited the arrest of 82 fishermen by Lankan Navy in two separate incidents and more..

DP appoints district organizers, plans launch of Uva campaign from Kataragama

June 8 (Island) Democratic Party lead by General Sarath Fonseka Thursday handed over letters appointing district organizers along with nominations to prospective candidates at a ceremony at their party headquarters in Kotte. "The 17 members now in the provincial councils makes our party a force to be reckoned with," said Fonseka who was about one and half hours delayed for the ceremony having visited those affected by the torrential rains in the Kalutara District. more..

Compensation and more relief to flood victims

June 8 (NS) Residents of flooded areas, who have currently moved to safe locations, are gradually returning to their homes as the floods are receding. “We will continue to offer them relief as needed, and compensation will be given to those whose houses were damaged due to floods,” DMC Assistant Director said. More than Rs.76 million has been spent so far. Of all the areas affected by the floods, Kalutara District is where the most number of people and families were affected. more..

‘It was like opening a mortuary and finding dead bodies’

June 8 (Island) The recent raids on two pharmaceutical companies allegedly selling expired drugs under fresh labeling triggered a media blitz, but notwithstanding all the resources mustered for the crackdowns, the maximum penalty that could be imposed under consumer protection laws on those found guilty is Rs. 100,000, health officials said. The company at Grandpass, Colombo 14, which figured in the first raid by the CAA some weeks ago, more..

Despite world prices taking a tumble Customs tax on milk powder up by Rs.25

June 8 (NS) Prices of milk powder and other dairy products dropped in the world market recently. However, in an announcement released by the Finance Ministry the customs tax for the imported milk powder has been increased by Rs.25. Earlier the importers were charged Rs.57 per kilogram which has now been increased to Rs.82. It is said that the duty was increased in order to encourage the local dairy industry. The Nation contacted several importers of milk powder in order to more..

Vasu urges President to scrutinize NGOs

June 8 (AM) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara has urged President Rajapaksa to scrutinize agreements signed by NGOs operating in Sri Lanka with foreign partners. He mas made this request on the grounds that some agreements signed by NGOs with foreign partners could result in unprecedented consequences in various sectors in the country. Minister, who is a veteran Leftist politician, is known to be close supporter of NGOs operating in Sri Lanka on various fronts. more..

Shirani’s issue to be raised at UNHRC

June 8 (CG) The impeachment of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake and the state of Sri Lanka’s judiciary is to be raised at the UNHRC at its 26th annual session which begins in Geneva this week. The Asian Legal Resource Centre, a NGO, is to raise the issue under Agenda Item 3 of the session. In a document titled ‘ASIA: Independence of judiciary, a mirage in South Asia’ which has already been circulated among more..

TNA receives over 5 proposals

June 8 (SL) TNA has received over five proposals from individuals and groups to help address the national issue in Sri Lanka. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that TNA launched the new initiative to obtain suggestions of Tamils as a step towards formulating a proposal to resolve the national issue in the country. “We publicized the request asking Tamils inside and outside the country to forward their suggestions only on last Thursday. By Friday we received over five proposals more..

Fonseka will not drop ‘General’ tag

June 8 (SL) Former army commander, Sarath Fonseka will continue using the ‘General’ tag despite the Govt insisting he cannot do so. DP MP Jayantha Ketagoda said that the public and party members have continued to call Fonseka ‘General’ despite his ranks being stripped when he was sentenced to prison. “They did not follow legal procedures when sentencing him to prison or removing his rank. Our party members and people of the country still recognise him as ‘General’ even though more..

Commission says witnesses are safe

June 8 (CG) Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons says witnesses giving evidence to the Commission have been assured protection. Secretary to the Presidential Commission H.W Gunadasa says so far the commission has not received any complaints over threats being faced by those giving evidence. “We record statements in public and the media as well as civil society more..

Dengue Battle reaches feverish heights

June 8 (NS) Hundreds of subtypes already in Sri Lanka? Health authorities of Sri Lanka have finally admitted that the spread of dengue, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives, has now become “uncontrollable”! Deputy Municipal Commissioner for Health Services Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said dengue was the only communicable disease that Sri Lanka had failed to control owing to the fact that the virus mutates thereby making it difficult to find a mechanism to control its spread. more..

New endorsement to driving licenses

June 8 (SL) Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) has decided to add an endorsement to the licences of the drivers engaged in passenger transportation. Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S.H. Harischandra said that the endorsement would be added to the driving licences of drivers who undergo a special training on technical aspects of vehicles, first aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as well as participate in special awareness programme on ethical backgrounds. more..

'Films are my means of keeping sanity'

June 8 (IANS) Acclaimed Sri Lankan auteur Prasanna Vithanage, who is awaiting the release of "With You, Without You", the third film in his war trilogy after "Death On A Full Moon Day" and "August Sun", says he made these films because of his helplessness during the Sri Lankan war and to stay sane. "With You, Without You", which is about two characters who accidentally collide in the post-war SL, releases in select cities in India more..

President instructs to ensure a guaranteed price for fish

June 8 (GDI) Many of the issues faced by the fisher community could be addressed by ensuring a guaranteed price for fish said President Rajapaksa. President instructed the Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne that a method in this regard should be taken collectively by the fisher community, the Ministry and the Treasury. President made these suggestions at a meeting held at the Temple Trees on Friday to discuss problems faced by the fisher community The President said that more..

Politicians make mistakes due to gov. servants: Kumari

June 8 (DM) It was mostly due to the ignorance of the State officials that the politicians erred, the Governess of the Southern Province Kumari Balasooriya said in a sudden state of enlightenment yesterday. “We can observe the loopholes of good governance and the govt officials, who are unaware of these things, should be responsible for them. Perhaps, they make mistakes, according to the requests made by the politicians,” she said. She also said that good governance had more..

Academics to decide next step

June 8 (SL) Following the successful one-day token strike by the university academics last week, the FUTA is to decide the next course of trade union action soon, Assistant Secretary of FUTA Dr Harini Amarasuriya said. Amarasuriya alleged that the Higher Education Ministry had failed to stick to their word and it continues to give the Research and Development allowance as part of the university academic’s salary. more..

GL briefs SL envoys in Gulf

June 8 (DM) Minister G.L. Peiris met Sri Lankan ambassadors in the Gulf region in order to provide an opportunity for intense interaction with Heads of Mission in these countries on objectives and priorities with regard to their work. The regional workshop for Sri Lanka Missions in Middle Eastern countries was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Saturday. “The Minister referred to the importance of the region to Sri Lanka in terms of international collaboration and economic issues more..

Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekara ready to prove his innocence

June 8 (HN) Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekara stated that he will reveal to the country the truth regarding the allegations levelled at him for assaulting and setting ablaze the vehicle of a constable attached to the Expressway Police Division. He made this statement participating at a ceremony held in Mathara today. Attacking a police constable and burning his vehicle in a rubber estate close to the Southern Expressway at Bombuwala in Dodamgoda in Kalutara more..

Korean Job scam through the internet uncovered

June 8 (DM) Two men and a woman were arrested by the CID for allegedly swindling over Rs. 16 million by maintaining a fake website offering jobs to Korea. Husband and wife team were arrested in Kollupitiya while an accomplice was taken into custody in Ratmalana. Another accomplice, a woman had evaded arrest by fleeing to Italy with Rs. 10 million, police said. The CID halted maintenance of the fake web site, more..

End of Up Country Lions was coming

June 9 (SL) FOR now at least the pullout of Nawalapitiya Lions from the 2014/15 domestic rugby competitions has to be taken as rumour, notwithstanding indications that the club’s departure appears to be more factual than fictional. It is said Sport Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, in whose electorate the club resides and is its chief benefactor, has already made known to players and officials of an intention to dismantle the club; in effect, served notice. more..

Clear policy will assure Tamil dignity

June 9 (SL) “I met the entire SL Cabinet in the Cabinet Room at Defence Ministry. Premadasa, however, boycotted the meeting. I gave a detailed report on the discussions in Delhi, adding that the Govt of India was determined to go through with the Agreement, if Sri Lanka was agreeable. I was again subjected to questioning about the advisability of the Agreement by various Ministers. After a 40-minute meeting, the President told the Cabinet members that he would meet them again, more..

Asian Youth Games 2017 on track in H'tota

June 9 (SO) Until such time Sri Lanka made a strong bid to host the South Asian Federation Games in 1991, constructing huge stadiums (other than the Sugathadasa Stadium) were not considered a necessity. After the successful bid the Sugathadasa Stadium was virtually rebuilt with an indoor facility and a swimming pool. Several other sports infrastructure too was added and since then until the past five years no major stadiums more..

Are we facing a Nahinda chinthanaya?

June 9 (ST) Even the most stubborn among us would concede that the complete subordination of Sri Lanka’s police establishment to political command is now uncontestable. A Law and Order Ministry and a wearingly unctuous Secretary who can only wax eloquent on public service by the police are just cosmetic trappings. Presidential promises of advisory committees looking into reform of the Police Ordinance also do not serve any purpose. What we face is the practical reality more..

Sri Lanka’s governance scorecard

June 9 (CT) All countries aspire to attain high economic growth in the belief that high growth will improve the welfare of the people. For instance, Sri Lanka’s avowed economic goal has been to double the per capita income or PCI from $ 2,000 six years ago to $ 4,000 by 2015 and increase the size of its economy from $ 67 billion in 2013 to $ 100 billion by 2016. These are noble goals since they make available a bigger volume of material goods and services to people on average if more..

'I am self sufficient'

June 9 (SL) Presidential nephew and chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming UPC, Shasheendra Rajapaksa maintains he is merely an elected official with no political patronage. “I have no intention of using state resources in my campaign! I’m self sufficient,” he adds. Q: So how important is ‘The Name’? A: The name was very important when I was establishing myself in Uva. However, the name as you put it is not the more..

Time to discipline unruly politicians

June 9 (NS) Just when the dust settles on one govt politician being involved in an unsavory incident, it appears as if another quickly moves in to fill that void. This is what happened last week when a police officer serving on the southern expressway was brutally assaulted and his vehicle was set on fire. The antecedent to the incident occurred several days earlier when the driver of the vehicle in which Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera was traveling was issued with a speeding fine by more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

June 9 (NS) LemonPuff Wansa lost two more stalwarts this week when Dodangoda PS member K.H. Wickremasinghe and former Western Provincial Councilor Sugath Mathugamage decided to step down from the Lemon Puff party and join the SLFP. This came just days after two Provincial Councilors of the same party joined the SLFP and the UNP. What is more embarrassing for Weerawansa is the fact that the two Lemon Puff stalwarts who jumped over to the SLFP are from the Kalutara more..

උපත් පාලනය ගැන දැනුවත්වෙමු - අවදානමෙන් මිදෙමු

Lessons from India: Good governance, reforms and business confidence

June 9 (ST) New directions in policy of the Indian Govt provide valuable lessons for Sri Lanka. The declared policies and initial initiatives of the new Indian govt offer useful lessons for Sri Lanka. Minimum govt and maximum governance, a climate of business confidence, economic reforms, fiscal consolidation and cutting down wasteful govt expenditure are as much needed to revive India’s economy as SL’s. PM Narendra Modi has stressed on “Min. Govt and Max. Governance”. more..

Mahinda’s appeal to the world must be understood!

June 9 (CT) A fine toothcomb is not needed to understand President Rajapaksa‘s psyche on the resolution to the historical conflict with the Tamils. His two prong strategy to the issue gives a very clear message. Some say it is his split approach to respond to the two distinct audiences dissimilarly. The first is his belligerent portrayal to the local audience and then the much desperate appeal to the outside world. The million dollar question is, is it really a cat and mouse game or more..

'President must be made answerable to Supreme Court'

June 9 (CT) JHU MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera, said Sri Lanka successfully overcame the foremost social and political challenge a nation had to face for three decades, with the eradication of terrorism in 2009. However, even after five years since that achievement, Sri Lanka has been unable to reach true development goals due to the failure to resolve social, political and economic crises that the country is facing, he said more..