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Sri Lanka must insist on nuclear safeguards from India: Experts, diplomats

Apr 11 (ST) India’s nuclear reactor population is rising. So is its use of nuclear technology in other spheres. This poses a threat to countries like Sri Lanka, particularly in the event of an accident across the Palk Strait. Why, then, is New Delhi blocking bilateral negotiations on liabilities and compensation? International Atomic Energy Agency has just completed a review of India’s regulatory framework for safety of nuclear power plants. more..

KKS cement factory machinery ripped up for scrap

Apr 11 (ST) For several years there have been proposals to resurrect what remained of the wrecked Kankesanthurai cement factory, but now it has been revealed that some of its machinery have been stripped and sold for scrap. Chunks of the massive kiln have been removed and some parts remain ready to be hauled off the site, according to a team of govt officials which visited the site. The destruction of the 65-year-old factory located in a high security zone, is believed to have more..

Additional bus, train services for Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Apr 11 (DN) Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) have deployed extra fleets of buses and additional trains during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year season. SLTB Chairman said that special bus services will operate around the clock from April 8 to 15 for passengers travelling to their villages for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Buses will operate from the Central Bus Stand in Pettah and the Southern Highway bustands in Maharagama and Kaduwela. more..

Nishantha Wickremasinghe responds to Weliamuna’s allegations

Apr 11 (Island) Former Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe yesterday alleged that the govt had launched a campaign against him on the basis of a inquiry conducteed by a prominent NGO activist J.C. Weliamuna. Claiming that Weliamuna’s allegations hadn’t been proved so far, Wickremasinghe said that an impartial inquiry couldn’t be expected from a politically partisan person. Following is the statement more..

John Kerry here in May

Apr 11 (CT) Parliament will be dissolved only after American Secretary of State, John Kerry's State visit to Sri Lanka, reliable govt sources revealed. American Secretary of State is expected in this country in response to an invitation from Minister Mangala Samaraweera while he was on a trip to the USA. Although US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to arrive in this country in the first week of May, the US State Department has not announced the actual dates as yet. more..

Final batch of Sri Lankans arrive from Yemen

Apr 11 (DM) The final batch of Sri Lankans who were evacuated from Yemen arrived in Sri Lanka last night to which included a group of 15 individuals and a one-and-a-half year old. The operation to evacuate Sri Lankans commenced on April 6, through which a total of 44 were evacuated from the conflict affected zones in Yemen. The first batch of 29 Sri Lankans arrived in the island on April 8. The evacuated group was transported to the Hodeidah Port city which is located about 222km away more..

Canadian court halts deportation of former LTTE tax collector

Apr 11 (NP) A federal judge has stopped the govt from deporting a Sri Lankan war criminal, ruling the former member of the Tamil Tigers could be at risk if forced to return to his home country. In a ruling released on the Federal Court website Friday, Justice Sean Harrington set aside Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s assessment that the man did not face any risk in Sri Lanka. The case concerns Puvanesan Thurairaja, more..

HRC helps Lankan maid to return home after accident

Apr 11 (AN) A Sri Lankan maid who was in hospital for three years following an accident has flown back home with a smile, thanks to the Human Rights Commission. The maid, Cinty Maria, had been admitted to the civil hospital in Khamis Mushayt soon after the road accident, due to which she suffered from paraplegia. The HRC in Asir region intervened in the matter and launched efforts to grant her compensation and other assistance before being repatriated. more..

The European Union partners with UNOPS and UNICEF to celebrate World Water Day

Apr 11 (Island) Supported by the European Union, the World Water Day 2015 was marked by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and UNICEF by conducting a series of awareness raising and community participation activities in Mannar and Vavuniya townships. These activities form an integral part of the financial assistance that is provided through the EU Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP) with a total financial envelope of EUR 60 million. more..

Legal action against those responsible for SLTB losses

Apr 11 (DN) Prompt legal action will be taken against those responsible for the loss suffered by the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), providing buses to transport people for the rallies of UPFA Presidential election candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that the SLTB had suffered a loss of around Rs. 192 million by providing buses for these election rallies. The total cost for the use of CTB buses was more..

Rajapaksa’s brother-in-law used three houses for other purposes

Apr 11 (CT) The Board of Inquiry into the misappropriations of Sri Lankan Airlines has revealed the former President’s brother-in-law Nishantha Wickramasinghe in his capacity as the Chairman of SLA, misappropriated funds of the institution to lease three houses which he had used for other purposes. BoI report notes that Wickramasinsghe first appointed as a Director who was then appointed as the Chairman by PB Jayasundara, had been paid a monthly more..

Book review: Sri Lanka, a nation that underwent a remarkable bloodbath

Apr 11 (HT) Sri Lanka's A-9 highway connects Kandy in the deep south, site of the holiest Buddhist shrine of the country, with Jaffna, the main urban centre of the north. The A-9 serves as a template for Padma Rao Sundarji in her important attempt to explain what is happening in SL with the end of its bloody 30 year long civil war. For three decades, the highway, connecting Sinhala south & Tamil north, was an elongated battlefield. Its traffic was battle tanks and armoured vehicles and palm trees more..

Monkey Kingdom hangs out with primates in Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (BG) In the new Disneynature film Monkey Kingdom, which opens Friday, the protagonists, a group of jungle-dwelling toque macaque monkeys, make their screen debut to the theme song from the 1960s sitcom The Monkees. “Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees/ And people say we monkey around.” Yes, they certainly do monkey around. They groom each other. They dangle from vines. They cannonball into a river. more..

Devotees in large numbers pay last respects to Mahanayake

Apr 11 (GDI) The remains of the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddhrakkitha Thera are now lying at the Udugama Vihare in the premises of the Asgiriya Maha Vihare. Devotees in large numbers are arriving at the Vihare to pay their last respects to the Mahanayake Thera. The remains of the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera, the Asgiriya Mahanayake Thera, were brought in motorcade from Colombo to Kandy on April 9. more..

NIE DG for dialogue to fast track National Education Policy

Apr 11 (ST) The newly appointed National Institute of Education (NIE) Director General, Prof Gunapala Nanayakkara said he intends initiating a dialogue among Education System stakeholders to accelerate implementation of a National Education Policy, to curb wastage of resources and inefficiency within the Education sector, as top priority. “It has been discussed for years, but nothing has been accomplished. From covering the nature of the syllabuses, to system of governance, more..

Indian origin Tamils seek multi-member constituencies

Apr 11 (ENS) Since Sri Lanka is seriously thinking of going in for major electoral reforms to replace the present District-wise Proportional Representation System (DPRS) with a mix of the DPRS and the First Past the Post System (FPPS), Indian Origin Tamils (IOTs) have submitted proposals to safeguard their interest. The problems of the IOTs, who number 1.2 million in Lanka’s total population of 20.7 million, are different from more..

The world arrives in SL for a 3-day stop over

Apr 11 (Island) The largest privately owned residential yacht docked at the ports of Colombo and Galle recently, with 165 residents on board. The world is a private residential cruise ship serving as a residential community owned by its residents, together they own the ship.  Residents from 19 different countries live on board while the ship travels the earth staying in most ports for about three days. Some live on board full time others visit periodically, throughout the year. more..

Mom jumps into well with baby

Apr 11 (E24|7) A 22-year-old woman in Mihintale, Sri Lanka, committed suicide by jumping into a well along with her infant child. According to police reports, the woman never got along with her mother-in-law and the two women fought frequently. It is alleged that the woman was unhappy as her husband reprimanded her. On that fateful day, as she was preparing to attend a function, an argument ensued with her husband and she threatened him that she would jump into the well. more..

Bandula sacked from SLFP central committee

Apr 11 (AD) Former Minister Bandula Gunawardena says that he has been removed from the Central Committee of the SLFP. The UPFA MP said he has received a letter notifying him of this decision. The former Minister of Education has been a vociferous opponent of the SLFP hierarchy’s decision to accept Ministerial portfolios and form a National Govt with the UNP. He has also openly supported the move, more..

Sri Lanka finds more pump and dump stock losses at National Savings Bank

Apr 11 (EN) The losses to National Savings Bank from being used to dump pumped up stocks during a bubble that broke in 2011 and 2012 was greater than previously imagined Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said NSB had so far lost 1,071 billion rupees from stock in 10 companies bought for 2,645 million rupees, mainly in 2011 and 2012, he said. National Savings Bank hit the headlines during the last regime when it bought stock of The Finance Company, more..

Hambantota Harbour incurred a loss Rs.678 Million in 2012

Apr 11 (GDI) Minister Arjuna Ranatunge has said that the loss incurred by the Hambantota Harbour in 2012 was 678 million rupees. Addressing the progress review meeting of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, minister said that he is not ready to maintain the Hambantota Harbour out of funds of the Colombo Harbour. Minister pointed out that the Hambantota Harbour should be transformed to level of profits earning as in the case of the Colombo Port. Noting that the Colombo Port had a profit and more..

Salinda and Chandrasena also removed from SLFP CC

Apr 11 (DM) Former Ministers SM Chandrasena and Salinda Dissanayake have been removed from the SLFP Central Committee. MP Dissanayake said no explanation has been done as to why he was removed from the Central Committee and added that he is shocked at the decision as he was engaged in politics representing the SLFP for over 40 years. He is among the SLFP MPs who are backing the call for former more..

Competitive politics vs National Govt

Apr 12 (SO) Competition between political parties is the hallmark of capitalist democracy. Sometimes there are moments of history when spontaneous political movements have emerged that have transcended the normal protocols and practices of the prevailing political system in response to perceived severe threats to the very system itself. Such a new tendency emerged in Sri Lanka last year. It began with the growth of the National Movement for Social Justice founded by more..

Lost animals in a political jungle

Apr 12 (SL) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe claimed in parliament last week that his government within 88 days had achieved much more than what the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime did during ten years. Indeed the 100-Day Programme set the pace and kept ministers on their toes to achieve substantial progress. But all is not well with the progress of the new government and this could be attributed to the strong pressures it has brought upon itself with the time table of 100 days. more..

'Govt saddled with Rs 572b in bills'

Apr 12 (SO) Minister Ravi Karunanayake says the govt still intended to offer more benefits to the people, in addition to the promised public sector salary increase and other welfare measures, all of which adds to govt expenditure. “It is the people who lost that extra support,” he says pointing out that the US$ one billion Chinese grant to Sri Lanka recently includes US$ 600 million for the health and justice sectors. more..

How about some avurudu in Parliament?

Apr 12 (NS) Three years ago, The Nation observed the following editorially: ‘Common and commonality are an integral part of who we are. Tolerance and accommodation are integral to our world view. This is true of all communities living in this island. Whatever hardships we face, we find time for one another, find ways of giving and sharing. That is what the Aluth Avurudda is about. We rejoice together and mourn together. We understand times of need. more..

Four cheers for judicial independence

Apr 12 (Island) The big news last week was the Supreme Court decision that two sections of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution affects the franchise of the people and requires for adoption, in addition to a two thirds majority in Parliament, the people’s consent at a Referendum. This determination deserves unreserved applause of all our people regardless of political affiliations. We have for too long had Chief Justices and Judges in our highest court who had cozy relationships more..

Champika stands his ground

Apr 12 (SL) With the Supreme Court determining that the 19th Amendment is consistent with the Constitution but certain sections of the amendment require a referendum, JHU General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka said that this was what he argued and the Supreme Court has vindicated his argument. He said that it was clearly stated in the 1972 Constitution, head of state, head of executive and head of armed forces more..

Implement promises; not elections now

Apr 12 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has long felt that the 1978 Constitution has run its course. Quoting the third US President Thomas Jefferson, he wrote in a UNP publication Vision and Reality on the 35th anniversary of the 2nd Republican Constitution that all Constitutions must be revised every 19 years. Why 19 years was not clear but the theory that Constitutions are not written in stone was the underlying message. In that article, the PM referred to how in the early days of more..

Do you want to be remembered?

Apr 12 (ST) My dear Satellite, I thought I must write to you because you are in the news once again, be it lecturing Mahinda maama on what he should do if he wants to return to active politics or being hooted while attending public meetings. Ah, there is no such thing as bad publicity, is there? Satellite, I heard that you were instrumental in having more ministers sworn in, so that Maithri will have some degree of support from the Blues. As you know, some of them still want to follow Mahinda maama more..

'We have no hidden agenda in Sri Lanka'

Apr 12 (SL) From the day the new Govt took office, China’s dominance in Sri Lanka has been slowly pushed to the back seat. The suspension of the mega Port City project was the biggest blow the Chinese faced. The Deputy Head of Mission at the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, Ren Faqiang, expressed regret over the manner in which China has come under fire over several development projects and said that more..

The mother of all political crises in Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (Island) At long last, president Sirisena himself has spoken of a possible dissolution of parliament by the end of this month after the 19th Amendment is presented to parliament. President Sirisena has not mentioned the word dissolution since he took power in January. It was always a case of the UNP demanding dissolution on the 23rd of April and either Champika or someone in the Sirisena faction of the SLFP saying that there is no need for an early dissolution of parliament. more..

13A After 19A & Wigneswaran Vs. Wickremesinghe

Apr 12 (NS) What is the future of the 13th amendment if the 19th amendment is passed into law? The 13th amendment was possible only because of the executive presidency. The system of provincial councils which was mooted by the Donoughmore Commission was never implemented under the Westminster model. Every time anything came even close, it was rolled back or shut down. That was because of the ethnic outbidding which the first-past the post electoral system and more..

Horses to be dope tested during N’Eliya races

Apr 12 (ST) For the first time in history, Sri Lanka Anti Doping Agency (SLADA) will go beyond its boundaries and conduct doping tests on horses running at the prestigious Governor’s Cup meet at the Race Course in Nuwara Eliya on April 15. The unit will go ahead with this test on horses consequent to receiving complaints from certain members of the Sri Lanka Turf Club (SLTC), which conducts Governor’s Cup horserace more..

Trying to stop the third force

Apr 12 (SL) The Supreme Court has made its observations on the proposed 19th Amendment and noted that on the whole the proposal is acceptable constitutionally. The Court also noted that several questions needed a referendum of the people if they were to go ahead. Many of the points for which a referendum is envisaged relate directly to the PM’s role in the future in terms of the transfer of certain powers of the President to the Prime Minister via parliament. more..

Govt to seek AG’s advice on SriLankan probe

Apr 12 (ST) While the Govt is to refer the SriLankan Airlines probe report on malpractices to the Attorney General for advice on how to proceed, several heads of departments against whom strong strictures were made in the report continue in their respective posts. Deputy Aviation Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the report would be referred to the Attorney General (AG) for his opinion on the matter following which necessary action would be taken. more..

Memories with Significance of New Years Past

Apr 12 (Island) There was a time I was blasé about both the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and January 1. I thought they were just like other days but I never gave up on following the ritual of lighting the hearth at the correct time and having the first meal for the New Year which was indigenous to us. No longer. The significance of the mid-April New Year grows more in my reckoning as I get older and have true values imbued in me. more..

Health ministry, CEA nab factory dumping hazardous waste

Apr 12 (ST) The Ministry of Health and the Central Environmental Authority uncovered a factory in Bingiriya involved in the extraction of lead from old batteries and unscrupulously dumping the hazardous waste which is a by-product of the extraction process. Plant has been operating out of the premises of a now defunct company which had earlier produced batteries. Factory had for some time been extracting lead from used batteries and in the process, producing harmful waste more..

National Govt on the rocks as 19A hangs over dissolution of House

Apr 12 (ST) It now seems inevitable that the present Parliament’s term will come to an end by April 23, one year ahead of the end of its six-year term, but its likely to end with a bang, rather than a whimper, given the landmark legislation that the House is set to approve before dissolution, by way of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. April 20 and 21 have been set aside for the debate on the 19th Amendment and, while there is still some doubt it will garner the 2/3 majority in the House, more..

Sweeping changes on future CB governor and Monetary Board appointments

Apr 12 (ST) The Governor of the Central Bank (CB) and members of the Monetary Board will, in future, be appointed via the Constitutional Council process under the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution. “In the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution, we have included a proposal to appoint the Monetary Board including the CB Governor with the concurrence of the Constitutional Council,” Deputy Minister more..