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Opposition Leader fight, damp squib

Apr 10 (CT) With general elections only a year away, there is a squabble among the ranks of the opposition as to who the Opposition Leader is. The UPFA which is in the opposition also commands the largest number of votes in the 225-seat Parliament. The UNP leads a minority govt. There is an understanding between the Opposition UPFA and the UNP Govt on certain issues, but as Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva rightfully pointed out, their success in defeating the UNP's move to more..

Another piece of insurance from a familiar buyer!

Apr 10 (CT) I just had, from a friend who has a sterling record in the matter of ecological concern, an email informing me of the plans that are afoot to open a major highway into Kandy city through an irreplaceable little piece of truly beautiful forest – Udawattakelle Sanctuary. There aren’t too many urban settings that could boast of such as this wonderful little forest with its little lake surrounded by giants of the jungle. As someone who spent his entire youth in a school more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Regime Change in Sri Lanka

Apr 10 (HP) The defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Sri Lankan Presidential elections on January 8 is hailed internationally as a victory for the rule of law, democracy, freedom of expression and good governance. Rajapkasa govt (2005-2015) defeated the terrorist LTTE in 2009 ending the longest running conflict in Asia. It also contributed to substantial economic growth turning Sri Lanka into a middle-income country in a region with the greatest concentration of poor. more..

Bak Maha festival for intellectually disabled

Apr 10 (Island) There were over 650,000 intellectually disabled persons in Sri Lanka, Chairman of the Special Olympics Serendib (SOS- Sri Lanka), Dr. Nimal Kariyawasam said. He said that the number included adults and children. "The unfortunate truth is that even the minds of 40 year old adults are like those of ten year old children as they suffer from intellectual development disorder," he said pointing out that it was one of the reasons which made it difficult to more..

President hails reforms in Bhutan

Apr 10 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena today praised Bhutan for adopting a democratic constitution and added that Sri Lanka too could learn from the new Bhutanese Constitution, especially at a time when Sri Lanka is attempting to further improve democratic institutions and individual freedoms. Sirisena and visiting Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay pledged to enhance bilateral cooperation and establish air links between more..

TNA postpones party registration

Apr 10 (CT) Constituent parties in the TNA have agreed to postpone the registering of the TNA as a political party and to operate on a MoU. The constituent parties of the TNA – the People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam, the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front, the Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization led respectively by MPs, D. Siddharthan, Suresh Premachandran, Mavai Senathirajah, Selvam Adekkalanadan more..

JICA disrupt SL development projects

Apr 10 (AM) It is a well known fact that the Japanese Govt through JICA in Sri Lanka has forced to the Sri Lankan govt to accept their system for the digitalization of television, instead of European system (DVB-T2) which had been recommended by the all related technical parties. Also JICA has committed to supply funds for the drinking water project in Kandy area (Greater Kandy water project) and Kaluganga water supply project. But they are proceeding with these projects very slowly. more..

SL ranked 88 in Social Progress Index

Apr 10 (DM) Sri Lanka was ranked 88 out of 133 countries in the Social Progress Index conducted by the US-based Social Progress Imperative Organisation, ahead of the neighbouring countries including India and Pakistan. Sri Lanka ranked at 75 in the Basic Human Needs sub category, 81 at the Foundations of Wellbeing and 95 at the Opportunity sub category. “Sri Lanka performs best on Nutrition and Basic Medical Care and more..

Consortium makes Rs5.5bn bid for Ceylinco Insurance stock in Trust

Apr 10 (EN) A consortium of domestic and foreign investors have made a bid in excess of 5.5 billion rupees for 3.5 million Ceylinco Insurance shares held in a trust which is expected to be dissolved under stock exchange rules, sources familiar with the matter said. The Ceylinco Insurance Employee Share Ownership Trust (CIESOT) holds 4.57 million shares or a 22.8% stake in the insurer. The consortium has made a bid of around 1,600 rupees per share for 3.57 million shares more..

4,000 CEB workers summoned to Champika's speech

Apr 10 (CT) It has been reported that electricity consumers were thoroughly inconvenienced due to Minister Champika Ranawaka getting 4,000 former manpower employees of the CEB, who had been made permanent recently, to attend a speech given by him in Maharagama Wednesday. A large number of consumers, who had gone to the main office of the CEB and other offices to pay bills and engage in other tasks, were unable to do so because the employees were missing. more..

Video: JHU assures support for 19A

Apr 10 (DM) The JHU today praised the Supreme Court determination and assured it would support the 19th Amendment to the Constitution after the necessary changes have been incorporated into it. JHU General Secretary and Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka also thanked the President and the Prime Minister for agreeing to remove the clauses that required approval at a referendum. more..

SLFP names committee to decide

Apr 10 (CG) The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) today appointed a committee to decide on the 19th Amendment to the constitution and the electoral reforms. The decision was taken at the SLFP Parliament group meeting held at the Parliament complex today, SLFP sources said. At the meeting attended by President Maithripala Sirisena, opposition was raised to the proposal to take a vote on the 19th Amendment to the constitution in two weeks time. more..

Kumar Sangakkara

Apr 10 (CI) Every sportsman has his equivalent of the bucket list - or for cricketers, perhaps, a coffin list. In 2014 Kumar Sangakkara ticked off the most important items remaining on his. It was his year of fulfilment; one which ensured, in sporting terms, he could die happy. By far the most important task was winning a major trophy with Sri Lanka ,which he personally took care of with a fine unbeaten 52 in the World Twenty20 final against India, when destiny was clay in his hands. more..

Pack your bags & leave: BBS tells President

Apr 10 (DM) The BBS said today President Maithripala Sirisena should pack his bags and leave so as to allow a leader with a backbone to administer the country which was fast heading towards anarchy. Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said that the people were confused about political situation which has become a mockery when considering the manner in which some of the politicians are behaving. more..

Consumers warned against making rush purchases of food for New Year

Apr 10 (Island) Public Health Department of CMC warned consumers to beware when purchasing fruits and other food items from Fort and Pettah areas during the Sinhala and Tamil shopping frenzy. Acting Food Inspector, M.B. Lal Kumara said that inspection teams comprising two MOH officers, two food inspectors and 15 PHI’s had carried out raids and detected butter cake and other confectioneries which had been exposed to rain at the Pettah bus stand, Bastian Mawatha. more..

Vajira Wijegunawardene appointed SEC Director General

Apr 10 (AD) Vajira Wijegunawardene has been appointed as the Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Sri Lanka with immediate effect. He is the brother of Kapila Wijegunawardene, who was recently named the chairman of Sri Lanka cricket’s new four-member selection committee. Ada Derana earlier reported that the names of SEC Deputy Director General Dhammika Perera and Director of the SEC’s Capital Market Development Vajira Gunawardene more..

80% pictorial warnings from June

Apr 10 (GDI) Govt has unanimously passed regulations to include pictorial warnings about the negative health effects of smoking on all cigarette products. The pictures will cover 80% of the packets, and feature images designed to shock smokers – such as cancer patients, children in intensive care and dead bodies. This will come into effect from June, JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said. more..

Susil to name Opp Leader after Avurudu

Apr 10 (CT) UPFA General Secretary MP Susil Premj-ayantha who was entrusted with the task of nominating a suitable contender for the post of opposition leader said that he would meet and discuss with all 14 parties of the UPFA separately and determine the name after the Sinhala and Hindu New Year. Premjayantha said that the Speaker had assigned him with the task of naming an MP for the post of opposition leader and that he had to speak to all party leaders of the UPFA. more..

Sri Lanka shares end flat ahead of holidays

Apr 10 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed nearly unchanged on Friday as investors stayed away ahead of a holiday-shortened week, with net buying by foreign investors boosting turnover, dealers said. The key Sri Lankan index ended up 0.03%, or 1.77 points higher, at 6,901.06 on Friday, hovering near its lowest close since March 31 hit on Thursday. "Most of the investors stayed away due to political uncertainty and ahead of the holidays," said Reshan Wediwardana, research analyst more..

ITAK wants top opposition post

Apr 10 (CG) The Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) has written to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa saying the opposition leader post should go to the Tamil party. ITAK member and TNA leader R. Sampanthan and General Secretary K Thurairajasingham said that the Government today is composed of both the UPFA and the UNP, disentitling both of those parties from occupying the seat of the Leader of the Opposition. more..

Rajapaksa dismissive of invitation to May Day rally

Apr 10 (AM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday spoke dismissively on the invitation by SLFP to participate in its May Day rally. SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa visited Abhayarama Temple in Narahenpita to hand over the invitation to Rajapaksa. Former president was at a meeting with Provincial Councilors and Local Govt Body members of the SLFP in Southern Province. Rajapaksa asked Yapa to wait until the meeting was over. more..

Chunnakam water contamination: Confusion caused by scaremongers

Apr 10 (CT) Minister of Agriculture and Environment, Ponnuthurai Aikaranesan and Minister of Health, Pathmanathan Sathiyalingam in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) have issued a joint statement requesting all experts to join hands with the NPC to resolve the water crisis in the Jaffna Peninsula. Ministers said the NPC has come under severe criticism following the release of the interim report by an expert committee investigating the Chunnakam water contamination issue. more..

Rajapakse regime used Rs375mn state lottery money for election campaign

Apr 10 (LBO) Rajapakse regime has used 375 million rupees from the state lottery board to fund the presidential election campaign. “We have started an audit at the National lottery board,” Shyamala Perera, newly appointed Chairperson of National Lottery Board said. “When we were investigating as per the request from the Ministry, we identified unusual expenditure stating from Nov 2014 to January 2015 the three months, more..

Sri Lanka’s bond investigation report handed over to PM: Committe Chair

Apr 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s committee appointed to probe controversial bond issue has handed over their report to the Prime Minister, yesterday, Chairman of the Committee said. “We have already handed over the report,” Attorney-At-Law Gamini Pitipana, Chairman of the Committee told LBO. “Yesterday, we gave this fact finding committee report to the Prime Minister as this matter comes under his purview,” "Now it will have to be presented in Parliament." more..

'Celebrate New Year without drugs & Alcohol'

Apr 10 (GDI) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero appealed to the public to celebrate this new year without drugs and Alcohol, during a media briefing held at Media Ministry today (10). Ven. Rathana Thero pointed out that the Government is planning to build up a social atmosphere to urge each and every drug user to get themselves free from drugs and to come for treatment voluntarily as the government wishes to reduce the drug demand in the community. more..

China, Sri Lanka hold drill to enhance anti-terror skills

Apr 10 (PTI) China and Sri Lanka have held joint drill at a comprehensive military training base in southern China to enhance their capabilities, specially in combating terror. The Chinese People's Armed Police Force (APF) and the Sri Lankan Army held the drill codenamed 'Silk Road Cooperation -2015' in Guangzhou. The joint drill was aimed at helping both sides to learn from each other, so as to improve their capabilities of more..

Descent into the selling of children

Apr 11 (CT) Last week, several news reports revealed the story of an 8-year-old child from Ambathenna, Katugastota. The mother made the initial report about her missing child to the Katugastota police. Initially, the police ignored the complaint and did nothing to begin searching for the child. It was only after a tip-off from a woman who witnessed the sale of the child that the police intervened. Police officers that arrived at the scene were able to recover Rs. 50,000 used to buy more..

Private broadcasters to skew elections!

Apr 11 (NS) The new clause 26 of the proposed constitutional amendment allows private broadcasters to ignore the Election Commission’s media guidelines if the broadcaster informs the EC in advance of its intention to support a particular political party of its choice. The first version of this text even allowed the State broadcaster to take a partisan position during the election, but now the new text has limited the partisan broadcasting only to private broadcasters. more..

Unravelling the web of mystery

Apr 11 (CT) The mention of the word spider or an encounter with one would cause panic attacks and fear in most people's minds. However scientist Ranil Nanayakkara who has studied these unusual creatures says spiders play a key role in manmade and natural eco systems as predators and they are highly important natural bio controllers of the environment. "Among the phobias that haunt minds of humans fear of spiders known as more..

National Govt: Why this hurry?

Apr 11 (NS) This was a sudden change. Nobody knew of this. Even some UNPers did not know anything about this Cabinet expansion. As a result, eight UNP ministers’ portfolios were divided and given to new SLFP Cabinet ministers. 26 SLFP MPs were absorbed into the Cabinet. Moderate citizen understand one thing very clearly is that this change is not going to bring any benefit to the mass, but it might benefit some individuals. Thereby, this move must have made more..

In defence of Capitalism: A response to Sumanasiri

Apr 11 (CT) I refer to Mr. Sumanasiri Liyanage’s comment on Dr. Wijewardena’s article which he says is to offer “legitimacy to Capitalism and its latest phase, neoliberalism, including the undefined economic policies and strategies of the present govt”. Yes indeed it is a defense of Capitalism against the attacks of those like Mr. Sumanasiri Liyanage who keep on harping on how immoral the Capitalist system is. He refers to what he calls the new neo-liberal version of Capitalism more..

'Failure to bring in 19A will be a complete reversal of people’s mandate'

Apr 11 (FT) If the present Parliament fails to bring in the 19th Amendment, President Sirisena has a duty to dissolve it immediately and seek a mandate from the people to elect one which can change the Constitution, noted J.C. Weliamuna, leading human rights lawyer and former Director of Transparency International SL. Implementing 19A is everybody’s responsibility but now it is a matter that is in the hands of the 285 MPs. more..

Kevun, Kokis and the Koha

Apr 11 (CT) Thank goodness, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year is not commercialized to the extent that Christmas and Valentine's Day are. Is it because the latter two occasions have strong affiliation to western countries, even though Jesus Christ was born and lived and preached in a West Asian country? Kumari surmises that commercialization is more evident in the two celebrations of December 25 and Feb 14 because of economics. It's the affluent that celebrate Christmas more..

Pepe Jeans opens first store in Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (DM) Pepe Jeans London, the iconic brand loved by discerning fashion enthusiasts worldwide for its effortlessly cool approach to style is set to open its first exclusive store in Colombo today at the 2nd floor of the new wing of Liberty Plaza. Inclined towards relaxed casual wear, season after season Pepe Jeans introduces an array of trendy and fashionable silhouettes typical of a British born brand. Pepe Jeans have entered into an exclusive agreement with Softlogic Brands more..

අලුත් අවුරුද්ද: The big celebration

Apr 11 (FT) Just three days more for Aluth Avurudda, the much-awaited Sinhalese and Tamil New Year. Time to down tools is at 7.13 in the morning on Tuesday, 14 April. The auspicious time to light the hearth and start cooking the first meal for the New Year is at 2.05 in the afternoon. The time to start work and enjoy the first meal is at 2.42 p.m. Looking back on my childhood days, things have changed so much. more..

Editorial: The real problem

Apr 11 (Island) The govt is all out to have the 19th Amendment to the Constitution passed. The executive presidency is vested with draconian powers and they must be done away with urgently and constitutional safeguards introduced to restore democracy, we are told. However let’s not dupe ourselves into believing that the abolition of the executive presidency or the curtailment of powers vested therein will be a kind of panacea. Most of the problems that warranted amendments to more..

Corruption rides high in New Year festivity

Apr 11 (Island) Although the louder call is for the expression of unity in diversity in the celebration of the Aluth Avurudu or New Year celebrations, there are increasing signs of our seeing a period of Rival Festivity. The celebrations by some, of a key aspect of parliamentary courtesy being given the boot by the Opposition benches last week, was a clear indication of this rivalry, even extending to enmity, that will be very much evident in the Avurudu Festivities that have already more..

Alarm bells over rising debt in N&E

Apr 11 (NS) People in war ravaged regions in the North and East are increasingly becoming indebted compared to those outside the region as financing needs especially for rebuilding basic amenities like houses have escalated post-war, a recent study showed. Average debt as a proportion of income in the three districts of the North and East, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Jaffna compared from year 2010 level to year 2013, more..

Lewke proposes national long distance academy

Apr 11 (DN) New chairman of National Sports Council (NSC), Senior DIG Nimal Lewke has recommended launch a national long distance academy in Nuwara Eliya to groom prospective medal winners at future international events. "If you take all previous medal winners at world level meet, including Asian Games, all those who had excelled at that level had been from the central hills. If we consider all those top ex-SL athletes, including S.L.B. Rosa, they have hailed from this area. more..