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The govt’s Hobson’s Choice

Apr 25 (Island) The then opposition was campaigning to abolish the Executive Presidency, as most of the Govigama Buddhist majority and even the Christian minority could not accept the reality that Premadasa had been elected as the Executive President of Sri Lanka. Virtually, all powers of the Executive Presidency had been conferred upon Ranasingha Premadasa, the first Non-Govigama Head of State. The opposition could not stomach such an insult. more..

Significance of SC Judgment On 19A

Apr 25 (Island) The primary intent of the 19th Amendment is to reduce powers of the Executive President provided in the 1978 Constitution. This was to be achieved by: (1) Transferring most of the Executive powers of the President to a PM and a Cabinet of Ministers, and (2) Transferring the powers of the President to appoint the Chairman and members of Independent Commissions after seeking observations of the PM, Speaker, Leader of the Opposition (LO) and two nominees, more..

SL to partner with Kerala in tourism sector

Apr 25 (ENS) Sri Lanka has expressed interest in joining hands with Kerala Tourism for developing tourism circuits and joint promotions. This was announced by Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar. The Minister, along with Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao; Tourism Director P I Sheikh Pareeth; and KTDC MD Ali Asghar Pasha, had been to the island nation for a two-day visit to hold discussions with more..

Editorial: Basil and his cows

Apr 25 (Island) Former minister Basil Rajapaksa’s arrest came as no surprise. Whether he has abused his power as an influential minister of the previous govt to help himself to public funds or not will be determined by the judiciary and the burden of proof is on the govt. However, the judicial process is characterised by chronic tardiness and court cases usually drag on till the cows come home. Justice delayed is said to be justice denied. Similarly, justice hurried is justice buried. more..

SriLankan Airlines launches knowledge management system

Apr 25 (Island) SriLankan Airlines, in a ground breaking initiative has introduced a knowledge management system, one of the first in the corporate sector in Sri Lanka; branded as yoULink and themed— "connect, collaborate, share and learn." yoULink is a knowledge portal, a type of knowledge management system that strives to provide a ‘one-stop knowledge shop’, which is a single point of access to the knowledge available in an organization (or even beyond), more..

CPC stuck with Rs.2.5 billion stock of furnace oil

Apr 25 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) would have no choice but to re-export at a lower price, the existing stock of 50,000 MT of Low Sulphur Furnace Oil which is estimated to be worth Rs. 2.5 Billion. The stock had been for the generation of thermal power, but a senior engineer of CEB said that they no longer needed thermal power inputs from the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), especially with more..

Pak-Lanka 'A' tour to blood rookies

Apr 25 (CT) Pakistan 'A' will officially begin their tour itinerary 26 April. Pakistan 'A' team will play 3 ODIs followed by three 4-day unofficial Test matches in what will be a dress rehearsal for budding cricketers to claim their places in the national team in the official international series of 3 Tests, 3 ODIs and 2 T20s with Pakistan's national side in June this year. Both countries would want to ensure that their emerging players would go on and represent the respective national teams in the future. more..

CSR no image building tool: Prof. Visser

Apr 25 (DM) A global authority on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) recently articulated that businesses should not be using such practices for image building and winning awards. “The first thing to say is that, you shouldn’t be reporting for public relations, but companies unfortunately do it for that,” CSR International Founder Professor Wayne Visser said. He said that some companies still use CSR as a means to defend themselves for their unethical business practices, more..

Port City still in limbo

Apr 25 (FT) The final decision on whether the controversial Colombo Port City project will go ahead will only be made after the Cabinet appointed sub-committee delivers its final assessment reports, top Govt officials said yesterday. Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said that there were complex problems with the Colombo Port City project, including the question of land sovereignty over some areas of the property. more..

SL to have 50 vessel monitoring systems

Apr 25 (GDI) Sri Lanka is expecting to have 50 vessel monitoring systems for multi-day fishing vessels before May 15, which will provide up to date weather information to fishermen and reduce loss of life. At present about 1500 multi-day fishing vessels owned by Sri Lankan fishermen are being operated in the deep sea and in international waters in the Indian Ocean and it is expected to have vessel monitoring systems for all multi-day fishing vessels before the end of September 2015. more..

60 more companies at Indian Trade Fair 2015

Apr 25 (Island) This time round the Indian Trade Fair will feature 50-60 fresh Indian companies at the event, Director of MP Events Sri Lanka Emile Gunasekara said while addressing the launch of the ninth edition of the Indian Trade Fair in Sri Lanka. The Indian Trade Fair is an exhibition-convention organized by MP Events Sri Lanka with the aim of further strengthening the ever-growing ties between Sri Lanka and India. Indian Trade Fair provides a platform for both business sectors, more..

Ajith Perera Slams Dullas et al for Racism

Apr 25 (CT) The govt criticized and called for an explanation from a group led by MP Dullas Alahapperuma, that on Thursday brandished in public atrocious and racist National Flags which had intentionally been printed sans the orange and green stripes which symbolize the Tamil and Muslim communities of the country. This happened at the illegal protest demonstration staged Thursday opposite the complex housing, more..

Crude oil slump: Cairn exits Lanka

Apr 25 (BS) A nearly 50 per cent drop in crude oil prices has forced Cairn India to exit its operations in Sri Lanka. Cairn has already slashed its capital expenditure to $500 million from $1.2 billion earlier. Also, a sharp rise in exploration costs, softening crude oil prices, and one-off charges led the company to report its first quarterly loss in over seven years at Rs 241 crore during January-March quarter against a net profit of Rs 1,350 crore in the previous quarter. more..

Rosy meets UN Under Secretary General

Apr 25 (Island) Rosy Senanayake, the State Minister of Child Affairs recently met with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women in New York. At the meeting, Rosy Senanayake and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka discussed the current status and development of Sri Lanka. Key points discussed included the large amount of female-headed households in the country and measures taken by the govt to appoint a committee to more..

Sports Ministry to ask CID to investigate 31 million-rupee fraud

Apr 25 (DM) Sports Ministry will request the CID to launch a full-scale investigation into an alleged misappropriation of over Rs. 31 million by the country’s football administrators during the 2006-2011 period. This was after an audit report by the AG’s Department found defrauding of millions of rupees received by Football Federation of SL for various football related activities. “We will hand over a copy of this report to the CID,” more..

Reduction in infant milk powder price in the offing

Apr 25 (DN) The Committee on the reducing of Cost of Living chaired by Minister Karu Jayasuriya has instructed the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to explore the possibilities of reducing the prices of infant milk powder as an urgent requirement. The Committee which was summoned on April 23 discussed the possibilities of reducing infant milk powder prices. Parents have been greatly inconvenienced by the steep rise in the prices of infant milk powder. more..

441 Australian cruise travellers visit Pinnawala

Apr 25 (Island) The new direction of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau is generating strong results with a strong working relationship with the private sector as 441 cruise travelers took a one day excursion to Pinnawala elephant orphanage last Sunday. The Pinnawala gate earnings netted in 3.6 million rupees in the back drop of cruise tourism doubling in number and beating the number 8 destination source for Sri Lanka in the US market said Sri Lanka tourism. more..

Defence and Justice Ministries fail to support Disappearances Commission

Apr 25 (FT) Ministries of Justice and Defence failed to comply with requests by the Presidential Commission on Disappearances to release a list of detainees in State custody, in displacement camps or rehabilitation centres, the three-man body complained in an interim report of its findings compiled this month. In a press statement regarding its Interim Report, handed over to the President on 10 April, more..

PAFFREL urges Parliament to pass 19A

Apr 25 (CT) The PAFFREL has called on Parliament to put aside differences and cooperate to approve the 19th Amendment to the Constitution as it was their responsibility as people's representatives to give the people what they want. PAFFREL, emphasizing the fact that several provisions in the 19th Amendment such as the establishment of independent commissions, recognition of the right to information, limiting the number of Cabinet Ministers, limiting presidential terms to two and more..

Wildlife Assistant Director remanded

Apr 25 (CT) Former Assistant Director of the Wildlife Conservation Department (DWLC) Upali Dharmasiri, who was arrested by the CID on charges of surreptitiously altering the Department's records to facilitate the illegal sale of elephants, was ordered on Thursday to be remanded by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya for further review. Though the lawyers for the suspect requested bail for their client, Chief Magistrate, taking into account the gravity of the crime refused. more..

CID to investigate SLC-CSN broadcasting deal

Apr 25 (DM) Former Sri Lanka Cricket Officials are facing a CID investigation regarding the awarding of broadcasting rights to Carlton Sports Network (CSN) as irregularities had been proved by the three-member investigation committee appointed by Minister Navin Dissanayake. It had been proved that there had been a violation of tender procedure in the awarding of the rights to CSN, which did not allow for competitive bidding, more..

Mahinda cancels one-on-one with Maithripala to protest harassment of Rajapaksas

Apr 25 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided against having one-on-one with President Maithripala Sirisena to protest against what he called continuing harassment of the Rajapaksas as well as senior officials of the previous administation. Dissident SLFPers yesterday said that former President Rajapaksa felt that there was no purpose in meeting the incumbent president. The former President’s position was revealed by MP Kumara Welgama said on Friday. more..

Wigneswaran defends raising convicts’ issue

Apr 25 (Hindu) NP Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran strongly defended his action of forwarding to Indian PM Narendra Modi a representation, seeking the release of four convicts of a case of rape and murder, popularly called the Premananda case. Addressed to Mr. Modi, the petition was signed by five persons, including K. Sivathy and Chandradevi, daughter and wife of Premananda’s secretary Kamalananda, who was given double life term that had to run consecutively. more..

'Bribery DG won’t be replaced'

Apr 25 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, said that Mrs Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) wouldn’t be removed. He was responding to a group of 116 Opposition members recently seeking Speaker’s intervention to get rid of the top official. MP Rajapakshe emphasized that the Speaker couldn’t interfere with the DG or more..

A new era for Lanka

Apr 25 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena, in what many analysts saw as a landmark speech to mark the 100th day of the new Yahapalanaya govt, underlined some important facets of wisdom that we need to learn from world history. In a 30-minute speech broadcast to millions of people live on television and radio, the President referred to one of world history’s greatest events -- the legendary Abraham Lincoln’s liberation of millions of Afro-American people from slavery. more..

19A, all ayes?

Apr 25 (CT) Yesterday, President Maithripala Sirisena, in his address to the nation, made a plea to the MPs to support the 19th Amendment (19A) which seeks to clip the powers of the Executive President. As reported by our sister paper the Mawbima, the SLFP Central Committee (SLFPCC) at a meeting on Thursday had also decided to lend their support to 19A. The UNP, TNA, SLMC and some of the other smaller parties in Parliament are also pro-19A. more..

Siri Aiya who revived the JVP

Apr 25 (SL) In the late 1980s the JVP was active only in 19 out of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts. It was not present in the five districts of the North and Batticaloa District in the East. Accordingly there were 19 JVP District Secretaries. Central Committee comprised of politburo members, district secretaries and secretaries of the military wing. In 1986 to 1989 the party’s politburo members were Rohana Wijeweera, Upatissa Gamanayake, more..

Health Minister minimises drug shortages

Apr 25 (Island) Serious drug shortages in state hospitals, which was almost a perennial problem earlier had now been minimised, Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said on Thursday. Citing examples, the Minister said a shortage of 79 kinds of drugs existed in January 2015 and they had reduced it to forty nine by March. At present it had been further reduced to 29 kinds of drugs. more..

Taraki Sivaram: From gun toting militant to pen wielding journalist

Apr 25 (DBS) The tenth death anniversary of well-known columnist D.P. Sivaram who wrote under the pseudonym of Taraki falls this week. Dharmaretnam Puvirajakeerthi Sivaram who wrote in English and Tamil was abducted on April 28th 2005 at Bambalapitiya around 10.30 pm. His body was found about four hours later by the Police on the banks of Diyawanna Oya about 500 metres away from the Parliament Complex. more..

Fears of breakaway rebel cricket league sparks ICC investigation

Apr 25 (Stuff) New Zealand Cricket has been drawn into an ICC-led investigation targeting a possible breakaway rebel cricket league. It has been revealed that Ten Sports, a subsidiary of Indian-based Essel Group, has registered domains with similar names to national bodies, sparking widespread controversy and speculation about its motives. The ICC has moved to focus its investigation on Essel, the company behind more..

Sri Lanka to monitor ship emissions to improve air quality

Apr 25 (EN) Sri Lanka is to monitor emissions from ships calling at Colombo port, extending an effort to improve air quality in the capital that introduced cleaner fuel and hybrid and electric vehicles. However, no mandatory emission controls are envisaged yet as in north American and Europe, an official said. "We'll decided what controls are needed once the emissions study is done," said Suren Batagoda, Secretary to the Ministry of more..

Landslide mitigation projects launched in 18 vulnerable schools in Kandy

Apr 25 (Island) The landslide mitigation programme in 18 schools in the Kandy District identified as being situated in landslide risk areas, had been launched with funding support from the World Bank, the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) said. Most of the 18 schools which had been identified as being situated in landslide risk areas were located in Kandy town, and were near leading schools with thousands of more..

Sri Lanka Navy delegation visits US Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson

Apr 25 (SLN) A Sri Lankan delegation, which included the Commander of Navy, Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera and senior SLN officers, visited the USS Carl Vinson (CVN90), which is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, on 19th April. The ship was returning to her home port after deployment in the Gulf. The delegation flew from BIA, Colombo in a C 2 transport/ rescue aircraft and landed on more..

Candidates will spend Rs 100M on election campaign

Apr 25 (CT) News of candidate gunning for the post of Basnayake Nilame of the Kataragama Dewale throwing an aggregate of around Rs 100 million into the campaign has rocked candidates on their feet. It is learnt that one candidate has spoken of spending upto Rs. 7.5 million for the campaign. The right to vote in an election to appoint a Basnayake Nilame of the Dewala rests with eleven Divisional Secretaries of the area, more..

'Pope admires President's simple lifestyle'

Apr 25 (DN) Colombo Archbishop, His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, told the President that His Holiness Pope Francis I, had told him that the "Pope admires the simple lifestyle and the law abiding traits of the Sri Lanka President, more than in any other leader." The Archbishop said His Holiness told him: "Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena is a leader who has the same traits and temperament as I do. more..

Basil claimed parliamentary immunity: Govt

Apr 25 (Island) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa had claimed parliamentary immunity while shifting the blame on officials when he was questioned by police on Wednesday night over allegedly siphoning off Divineguma funds running into billions of rupees. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said "When Basil was questioned by the Financial Crimes Investigation Unit (FCIU) of the Police for allegedly using billions of rupees in more..

Gota’s Flag: Desecrating the national flag

Apr 25 (CT) The racist discards of the Rajapaksa era have opened a new front in their chauvinistic march to create further ethnic turmoil in our nation by desecrating the National Flag. The protesters against the Sirisena govt are now carrying a new National Flag that does not have the Orange and Green stripes that denote the minorities in the country. This was witnessed at the protests held both on Parliament Drive on 21st April 2015 when Mahinda Rajapaksa was summoned by more..

Ranil's sandal-wood offering in Kerala

Apr 25 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's pilgrimage to the Kerala State last week (19 April) could be seen as more of a thanksgiving pilgrimage to Guruvayurappan deity in the State for completing his hundred days in office and also seeking the blessings of the deity to face the intended parliamentary polls which is expected to be held in a couple of months. Hindu God Krishna in Thirupathi Shrine in Andhra Pradesh is known as Sri Venkateshwara Perumal and in Sri Rangam Temple in more..

Sri Lankan hospitality to Pope Francis

Apr 25 (Island) When the College of Cardinals gathered at the Sistine Chapel in March 2013 to choose the successor of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Jose Bergogilo was a total outsider. No Jesuit had become the Pope in the history of The Catholic Church, but yet, it was the Argentine who emerged on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica as the 264th successor of St. Peter. Since then Pope Francis has revived the Catholic Church and both believers and non-believers more..

President's credibility hinges on 19A: Eran

Apr 25 (CT) UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne warned that if electoral reforms were not carefully thought out and if all significant opinions are not considered in their formulation before they are tabled in Parliament, there will be another terrorist threat in 10-15 years time. He added that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is not something that the UNP wanted, but was a commendable proposal that can be passed by a two-thirds majority in Parliament. more..