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'Good governance deteriorating'

May 28 (CT) Inter University Alumni Federation said that although sovereignty was in the people, the norms of good governance, rule of law, social justice and civil rights have been systematically eroded over the past few decades. Hence, a better Sri Lanka had only become a distant goal. The Inter University Alumni Federation National Organizer, Ranjith Iddamalgoda, said this has been the constant socio-political more..

England chase response to Durham drubbing

May 28 (CI) Peter Moores' honeymoon period lasted all of one match and after Sunday's inexplicable annihilation at Chester-le-Street, England are back to square one in their quest to win back hearts and minds of the British public. Being slaughtered on a torrid tour in Australia or in alien conditions in Asia can be explained away but the Durham drubbing was a case of seeing is believing for England supporters. There was no Johnson, no Ajmal, no other mystical beast of terror, more..

JKH ups pre-tax profit by 9% to Rs. 15 b

May 28 (FT) John Keells Holdings (JKH) announced a commendable 9% increase in consolidated recurring profit before tax (PBT) and recurring attributable profits to equity holders for the financial year 2013/14. As per interim results released JKH Group recurring PBT for the financial year 2013/2014, excluding the fair value gains on investment property was Rs.14.93 billion, an increase of 9% over the recurring PBT of Rs.13.65 billion recorded in the previous year. more..

New chemical to combat dengue

May 28 (CT) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is planning to use a new chemical to combat dengue mosquitoes in time for the onset of the South-Western Monsoon. The chemical will only be used on the walls of homes belonging to low-income groups. Chief Medical Officer of the CMC, Dr. Ruwan Wijemuni, said the new chemical called ICON will be used to combat dengue, which has a tendency to spiral during the monsoons. more..

Leo Burnett creates history at The One Show

May 28 (Island) Leo Burnett Solutions, the local office of the global advertising network Leo Burnett Worldwide, created history once again, by being the first agency from Sri Lanka to be awarded a merit award in the Design category: Design for the Greater Good, For-Profit Initiated, for the ‘Unity Paper’. Commenting on the accolade at The One Show, Trevor Kennedy, Chief Creative Officer, LBSI, stated, "It is an absolute honour for us to have been recognized at The One Show, more..

PEOI: The confidence challenge continues

May 28 (FT) In April, the Perceived Economic Opportunity Index (PEOI) could not maintain its marginal rise in March, its compiler said. It said the Index fell to 1.64 from its previous value of 1.71. Even though there was no major reason to expect any significant movement in the PEOI either way, the dip, albeit marginal, could perhaps be due to the weak economic news, during the holiday month, inadequate to maintain a back-to-back increase in confidence. more..

Principals, teachers to march despite ministry assurance

May 28 (Island) A committee appointed by President Rajapaksa to find solutions to problems faced by principals and teachers would submit its report within three weeks, Secretary of the Education Ministry Anura Dissanayake said. He said outstanding issues including teachers’ promotions, salary anomalies, transfers, recruitments etc., would be addressed in the committee report. The committee headed by the Secretary of more..

Midwives to report to doctors, circumventing nurses

May 28 (CT) The GMOA extended its support to the move by the midwives to report direct to doctors instead of nurses. GMOA General Committee Member, Dr. Nalinda Herath said, as a result of step-motherly treatment received from nurses, midwives refused to report for duty, and in response to the action of doctors to support midwives, nurses had refused to report for duty. Herath said if nurses refrained from working under the supervision of doctors, that was not an issue to them. more..

Falling fire extinguisher brings death to hospital employee

May 28 (Island) A 39-year-old female employee of a private hospital at Narahenpita on Monday night succumbed to her injuries sustained in a freak accident where the safety pin of a fire extinguisher got dislodged in a fall causing the pressurised cylinder to spin violently. The deceased, Thushari Upalani of Paragasdeniya, Imbulgoda, had gone with another two employees to check the fire extinguishers that were kept in a store room. The other two employees, who sustained injuries more..

Leftists seek talks on abolishing Executive Presidency

May 28 (CT) The LSSP, CP, the NLF and other Left constituent parties of the govt have jointly sent a letter based on a number of proposals to the SLFP General Secretary, Maithripala Sirisena, requesting that discussions be held aimed at abolishing the Executive Presidency. Leader of the LSSP, Professor Tissa Vitarana said, the letter was sent three days ago with a copy to the President. Minister Vitarana said, they were expecting more..

Women conductors on expressway buses

May 28 (DN) A decision has been made to recruit women conductors for super luxury buses plying on expressways. "We will be able to see women conductors for the first time issuing tickets to commuters in super luxury buses from electronic ticketing machines, once the program is implemented," NTC Chairman Renuka Perera said. He said the recruitment of women conductors would boost women's empowerment while providing a solution to the harassment of women more..

Colombo University felicitates GL

May 28 (Island) Prof. G.L. Peiris, the Minister of External Affairs was felicitated at an occasion held at the New Arts Theatre of the University of Colombo on May 25 for yeomen service he has rendered to the University of Colombo and its students as a former lecturer, Dean and vice chancellor of the University of Colombo. The event was organized by the Alumni Association of the University of Colombo to celebrate the contribution the faculties have made to the university and to the nation. more..

SL to buy two bulk carrier ships from China

May 28 (SLN) Chairman of Ceylon Shipping Corporation, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage and General Manager of the People’s Bank, Vasantha Kumar signed the loan agreement for the purchase of two 63,600 MT DWT bulk carrier ships yesterday. The initiation of action to purchase the two vessels to the CSCL is a giant leap towards the realizing of the President’s vision of making SL to be the Maritime Hub in Asia and for the progress more..

Drastic drop in bribery complaints

May 28 (CT) There is a drastic reduction in the number of complaints received by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), sources revealed. Official attached to the Commission, said the reason for this is the erosion of confidence of the public in the Commission. "The Commission does not take expeditious action in regard to even the most trivial of complaints. This has led to the public to lose confidence in the Commission," the official said. more..

Expired pharmaceuticals worth Rs 500 M seized

May 28 (CT) A stock of expired pharmaceuticals, valued at Rs 500 million, was seized in a raid by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) on a warehouse in Attidiya, Ratmalana yesterday. The stock contained vitamins and fairness creams, which had passed their shelf life three years ago. CAA officers say the warehouse, which belonged to a highly reputed pharmaceutical importer, had been re-packaging the expired stocks and selling them to pharmacies around the country. more..

UNP will abolish Govt.-IMF pact to scrap free eduation – Ranil

May 28 (Island) An IMF delegation was currently in Sri Lanka to monitor the govt’s agreement with it to abolish free education but a future UNP administration would abrogate all such treaties with global organizations, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He told a group of retired educationists who had met him in Colombo to express concerns about Rajapaksa regime’s policy of gradually reducing education budget more..

'Lukewarm response affecting dengue control program'

May 28 (DN) President Rajapaksa has extended his maximum support towards the dengue control program. All required knowledge, resources and a mechanism are available since two years ago but what is lacking is implementation, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said all stakeholders in dengue control should do their part and work with dedication to control dengue. "It is impossible to control dengue without actively implementing the dengue control program. more..

Green University Town comes to fruition in 2015

May 28 (DN) South Asia's first 'Green University Town, NSBM will be open for both Sri Lankan and foreign students by the end of 2015, said Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. Participating in an inspection tour of the construction site in Pitipana, Homagama, he said the university town is a great investment as the country can save a large amount of money spent by students for their foreign university degrees. The university, being constructed in 26 acres at a cost of Rs. 10.2 billion, will have state-of-the-art more..

Human rights body hits out at Malaysia for repatriating 3 suspected Tamil Tigers

May 28 (MI) Global rights advocate Human Rights Watch has hit out at Malaysia for violating international laws in "forcibly" repatriating three men to SL, whom a top police official had claimed were suspected Tamil Tigers out to revive the separatist group. HRW claimed the trio, who were under the protection of UNHCR, were returned to Sri Lanka without any evidence being presented to substantiate the terrorism allegations. more..

Mobile phone connections must be registered

May 28 (DM) Mobile Service Providers have asked mobile phone users to get their connections registered in their names. This was done at the behest of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC). The TRC had informed Mobile Service Providers that the mobile phone connections they had provided must be registered in the names of their users. Mobile Service Providers said that the users could ascertain whether their mobile phone connections were registered by dialing #132# more..

Archbishop's House not aware

May 28 (CT) While the international media said yesterday that Pope Francis had confirmed his visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in mid January 2015, the Archbishop's House in Colombo denied any knowledge of the Pope confirming his visit. A spokesman for the Archbishop, Fr. Benedict Joseph said, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith had so far not received any affirmation from the Vatican of the Pope's visit to Sri Lanka. "Cardinal Ranjith has to receive confirmation of the Pope's visit more..

Modi takes up 13A, TN fishermen issue

May 28 (ENS) Expediting reconciliation process, full implementation of the 13th Amendment and a solution to the fishermen issues were stressed by PM Narendra Modi in his first meeting with SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The two met for the formal discussion at Hyderabad House, which lasted for about 30 minutes. “Modi requested the govt of Sri Lanka to expedite the process of national reconciliation more..

Govt must Modi-fy policy on news websites

May 28 (DM) While media freedom—historically seen as one of the pillars of democracy—is crumbling in Sri Lanka, the Rajapaksa govt is also muscling the social media, including news websites. Professional Web Journalists’ Association last week filed a petition before the Human Rights Commission of SL protesting over the blocking of two more news websites, apparently because of their sharp criticism of rampant corruption, fraud and dictatorial trends in the govt. more..

Secularist parties need to rethink strategy

May 28 (DM) The Indian National Elections that concluded on May 16, 2014 were, in more than one sense a landmark victory for democracy. The largest democracy in the world, both in terms of number of voters and complexity of the process, India held its National Elections over five weeks, from April 7 to May 12, 2014 but the count was concluded in just a few hours, of course via electronic devices. A new govt and a new PM were declared winners, much to the joy of the supporters of the winning BJP more..

Clown in the govt circus

May 28 (DM) If ever there was a contest to determine the best comedian amongst the members of the Cabinet, the accolade would undoubtedly be conferred on Wimal Weerawansa. Even though many of the Cabinet members are all comedians, Weerawansa is a clear cut winner in comic acting; so much so that he can be placed on par with veteran comedians such as Rowan Atkinson and Robin Williams. His comedy is so supreme that local veterans more..

Norway, main venue for LTTE terror revival

May 28 (SL) After a hiatus of four years, an attempt to revive the LTTE was spearheaded by the group of Nediyawan-Irumporai. From its safe haven in Norway, a traditional base for LTTE operations, the Nediyawan-Irumporai Group is determined to plunge Sri Lanka back to conflict. Although enabled by two other factions – the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in the UK and the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) in the US more..

Over 1,000 minor tanks in NCP, NP to be fed by canal project

May 28 (DN) The Irrigation and Water Resources Ministry has planned to bring water to the North Central and Northern Province under the NCP Canal Project which is to be implemented in two stages. This project designed 40 years ago could not be implemented due to the terrorist conflict that engulfed the Northern Province. More than 1,000 minor tanks in North Central and Northern Province are to be fed by this project. more..

Powwow to solve Colombo Uni teacher shortage due today

May 28 (Island) The Dean of the Colombo University Arts Faculty and all department heads will meet Vice Chancellor Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama this morning to take up the issue of the shortage of lecturers. Head of the History Department of the Colombo Arts Faculty Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri staged a sit-in last Thursday near the office of Vice Chancellor to protest against the shortage of lecturers in his department. more..

'Sri Lanka's aging population growing'

May 28 (DN) Minister D.E.W Gunasekera said that the country is facing the challenge of a fast aging population with those above 60 years constituting 14% of the population as at present and this figure is increasing daily. "An average man lives upto 80, 90 or even 100 years. The challenge before us is to ask how a person ekes out a living if he retires at the age of 60," he said. Issue of an aging population is so serious more..

'Sri Lanka happy to rely on senior service'

May 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is banking on his side's core of vastly experienced players to continue the tourists' recovery in their one-day international series with England. Having lost a rain-affected opener at The Oval, Sri Lanka hit back in stunning style at Chester-le-Street to dismiss England for 99, with seamer Nuwan Kulasekara starring, on the way to a crushing 157-run victory that saw more..

Police seek public cooperation to save children from road accidents

May 28 (Island) The Negombo Magistrate yesterday remanded till June 10, Benedict Perera (69), a retired principal cum driver of the van that pinned five students of De Mazenod College, Kandana between two vehicles on Monday killing one of them. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the police alone could not stop such tragedies and parents, teachers, van owners/drivers, principals and students themselves had to cooperate more..

Indians, Bangladeshis top list of deportees from Lanka

May 28 (ST) Immigration authorities have deported 708 Indians between January 2012 and April 2014, a majority of them for working or trading illegally and for overstaying their visas. Of these, 82 were deported in the first four months of this year alone. This includes a small percentage of fishermen who were caught by Navy as they poached in SL waters. But the figure does not reflect all of Indian fishermen repatriated in 2014. more..

'Govt indulging in an orgy of corruption'

May 28 (AD) Hiding behind the facade of ‘development’, the governing circles are indulging in an orgy of corruption, waste and nepotism, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said today in a statement. All sectors that directly impact on the day-to-day life of the average Sri Lankan such as transport, health, education, law and order, peaceful existence and general economic conditions are crumbling under the Mahinda Rajapaksa rule, he added. more..

Sri Lanka monks occupy ministry building

May 28 (AJ) Protesters led by Buddhist monks from the right-wing Ravana Balaya group have occupied the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. The Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist group protested on Wednesday against the creation of a new religious police unit, which was created in April this year in the wake of rising number of religious conflicts in recent years. more..

India to free 85 Lankan fishermen

May 28 (CG) India has agreed to release 85 Sri Lankan fishermen who are lodged in different jails in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. This was conveyed to Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa when he met PM Narendra Modi yesterday. In a good will gesture, the Sri Lankan govt had released all the Indian fishermen in their custody before Rajapaksa’s visit. The key issues of rehabilitation and reconstruction and more..

Sushma gets thumbs up from Sri Lanka

May 28 (ENS) Cutting across ethnic and party divisions, Sri Lankan leaders have welcomed the appointment of Sushma Swaraj as India’s External Affairs Minister. Deputy Minister Neomal Perera said that having interacted with Swaraj when she came here as head of an all-party parliamentary delegation in April 2012, he could say that she has a “vast knowledge” of international relations and will do a “fantastic job” as more..

CMC has caught the wrong end of the stick

May 28 (CT) It has been reported that the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will enforce a ban on vehicles blowing their horns in the city on Thursday, 5 June, to mark World Environment Day. It has also been said this is the first step taken by the Municipal authorities to reduce noise pollution in Colombo. CMC Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni, is quoted as having said that this was the initial awareness programme in the city to alert drivers about sound pollution. more..

Letter to our President

May 28 (CT) Dear President Rajapaksa, During the early 60s, barely two decades after the birth of the University of Ceylon at Peradeniya based on the Cambridge model, it was the custom to send young local academic recruits to Britain for their post-graduate education. Those recruits to the Faculty of Arts, in particular, were sent to The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London. I joined the Department of Sinhala after graduation. more..

Media not allowed to cover Sumanthiran cross-examining Gotabaya

May 28 (CT) Sri Lanka Tuesday prevented media from covering the court proceedings when the President’s brother, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapakasa was cross-examined by Lawyer MA Sumanthiran. The defamation case filed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa against Lasantha Wickrematunge and the Sunday Leader on its reporting on MiG 27 purchase by the Defence Ministry was taken up at the more..

Public auction of gems mined from Seethawaka River tomorrow

May 28 (Island) A large stock of gems valued at over a hundred million rupees would be put up for public auction at Jilani Hall in Eheliyagoda tomorrow, Director Lands, Mining and Environment of the Gems and Jewelry Authority G. W. Amarasiri announced. He said among the precious stones were blue, pink, yellow, purple sapphires and geudas. All the valuable stones had been mined from the Seethawaka Ganga which flows past Dehiowita in the Ratnapura District. more..