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Four senior media men appointed to councils of four universities

Apr 27 (Island) Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama has appointed four senior journalists to the councils of four universities with immediate effect. Editor-in-Chief of Lankadeepa Siri Ranasinghe has been appointed to the Council of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Founder editor of The Island Vijitha Yapa to Council of Open University, Director Editorial Upali Newspapers Ltd. Gamini Sumanasekera to the Council of Aesthetic University and DB Nilhasinghe to University of Kelaniya, more..

Satyagraha urging the enactment of 19A

Apr 27 (CT) The Convener of the NMSJ, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera will commence a satyagraha today at the Independence Square demanding political parties to pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Thera and representatives of civil society groups will hold a press briefing opposite Dr. N.M. Perera statue at 9 a.m. today. Then they will leave to the Independent Square and commence a Satyagraha until more..

SL ups import taxes on onions & potatoes

Apr 27 (EN) Sri Lanka has raised import taxes on by 20 and 25 rupees to push prices up and give bigger profits to farmers and landowners, expanding protection to keep prices high to consumers. The tax comes weeks after the Trade Ministry slapped price controls on hoppers, forcing producers to make them smaller or stop selling the popular food altogether, showing the contradictions in state intervention. Sri Lanka started to produce large onions and potatoes from the mid -980s with more..

'Tamil widows are not neglected'

Apr 27 (CT) Minister of Women's Affairs, Chandrani Bandara, refuted the allegations that the Tamil women in the war torn areas were not taken care of. Minister Bandara was speaking to Al Jazeera's 101 East programme which had focused recently on the plight of thousands of widows mainly in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The programme highlighted the lack of support received by the them in the North and the East. When questioned by Al Jazeera Correspondent Drew Ambrose about more..

BASL opposes attempts to dilute 19A

Apr 27 (Island) Bar Association of Sri Lanka brought to the notice of President Sirisena that there were moves to dilute the provisions of the proposed 19th amendment to the Constitution bill by changing the composition of the Constitution Council and expressed their vehement opposition to any such move. "Such a move will seriously affect the independent nature of the appointment of judges & will effectively make more..

SL woman writer stands up to moral police

Apr 27 (DC) “God gave women freedom. We don’t need the permission of men to live freely,” says Lankan Muslim writer-activist Sharmila Seyyid, on her Facebook account. Many men from her community, indulging in moral policing like many Hindu outfits in India, do not think so, and have constantly hounded her for her free views on the purdah system, prostitution and Talibanisation of the Muslim community. She now lives in TN after being forced to leave her native land. more..

Kuragala mosque to be relocated

Apr 27 (NS) Minister Nandimitra Ekanayake said that a decision has been taken to remove the mosque built in Kuragala archaeological site and to re- establish it in another location. However, he failed to give a straight answer to the question when will begin the removal process and said in due course. Minister said that the PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe had appointed a committee to investigate the location since there were protests demanding to remove the mosque from more..

'Presidential powers now used by others'

Apr 27 (Island) Power that the people had given go to President Maithripala Sirisena was being used by others, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Saturday. He said: "I was told by one of the participants at this ceremony short while ago that during my tenure the number of members in the cabinet was high but now the number of executive presidents in the country was high. There is some truth in that saying. more..

Speaker says he too felt heat of Rajapaksas

Apr 27 (DN) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said even he too was hurt on many occasions when former President Rajapaksa was in power. He requested President Maithripala Sirisena to take the leadership to unite all members of the SLFP. Addressing an SLFP meeting in Hambantota, he noted that the SLFP should be strengthened and taken forward by securing the contribution of all, while promoting mutual understanding. “President should take the leadership in taking the party forward more..

19A plans in Parliament today

Apr 27 (CT) The long awaited 19th Amendment to the Constitution which is aimed at reducing the executive powers of the President is to be presented to the Parliament today. Although the pledge of the govt was to pass the 19th Amendment before 23 April and dissolve the parliament soon thereafter, it got delayed due to various reasons, majorly due to the urge of the SLFP to bring electoral reforms along with the reduction of the executive powers of the President. more..

19A: Numbers game begins!

Apr 27 (FT) The highest levels of Govt spent the weekend whipping up votes for legislation that will drastically alter Sri Lanka’s Constitution and restore independence to key arms of the State, with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution coming up for debate in Parliament today. Getting the crucial amendment through the House will be a litmus test of Maithripala Sirisena administration, after constitutional reform more..

Climate change; It is our turn to lead

Apr 27 (DM) In the aftermath of Nepal’s Himalayan earthquake, which has left up to 2,500 people dead with millions displaced or injured, we need to deeply reflect and take effective steps – collectively and individually to curb the self-destructive climate change. Nepal had been warned about such a catastrophe but no one expected it to be so devastating with more than 30 aftershocks and another major earthquake occurring even yesterday. SL has joined the international community more..

Defending offenders: Nationalism; a convenient pretext

Apr 27 (DM) The present political crisis in the country has risen as a result of the failure of the two main political parties to work together to bring about political reforms that the leaders of the present govt promised to the people in the run up to the January 8 Presidential Election. But the Leaders also promised to stamp out corruption, in particular, to prosecute people who have been responsible for corrupt activities under the previous regime. It is obvious that these two objectives cannot be more..

Are Rajapaksas more than equal ?

Apr 27 (DM) Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his two term tenure as the President thought he was above the law. Now, his acolytes are trying to perpetuate that fallacy. They brought the proceedings at the House of Parliament to a halt, orchestrated protests before the Bribery Commission and laid a virtual siege at the airport (BIA) to welcome Basil Rajapaksa, who was returning from his sojourn in the US and more..

Murder in school sends shockwaves

Apr 27 (SL) Almost a week after a body was found in a school last Sunday around 6.00 p.m. by police, later identified as Chandrika Sumathipala (45) of Kirulapone, no breakthrough has yet been made in the investigation into the murder. However two suspects have been arrested – the security guard who was on duty on the day and another suspected to be the victim’s lover. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that investigations more..

Former Coast man fears imprisonment in SL

Apr 27 (SCD) A former Sunshine Coast man trapped in a legal minefield in Sri Lanka has sent desperate pleas for help to political leaders on both sides of the Indian Ocean. But Dusan Jacenko fears his case is hopeless and he could this week end up in a Sri Lankan prison. Mr Jacenko's battle with the Sri Lankan legal system was recently highlighted by the Daily and has since been picked up by Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror newspaper. more..

Electoral reforms: Minor, minority parties major stumbling block to consensus

Apr 27 (ST) Political parties were struggling yesterday to reach consensus on the proposed Electoral Reforms with diverse opinions presented to the Cabinet for consideration. All main political party representatives, barring the MEP, CWC and UPF, met with Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya and representatives of Legal Draftsman’s Dept at the Temple Trees for an agreement on the proposals. more..

Sajith lists Basil’s irregularities, lashes out at Namal

Apr 27 (Island) Minister Sajith Premadasa alleged that those who had misappropriated public funds during the previous administration were now protesting against the new govt. He declared that he had the strength to go ahead with projects meant to help the poor regardless of the UPFA working overtime to sabotage the programme. Premadasa claimed that a person who had gone to play rugger matches more..

Sports minister Navin breaks own rules for Nuski

Apr 27 (CT) Representatives of 68 Clubs and Associates of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) met at the SSC yesterday (25), and agreed to discuss with minister Navin Dissanayake, measures to resolve the crisis that prevails at its cricket headquarters. Prior to this, Minister had officially given his blessings for the AGM of SLC to be convened on the 30th of April but had a change of heart, after a booking fee of Rs 120,000 was more..

Sri Lanka imports from India mostly outside free trade deal

Apr 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's exports to India has grown through a free trade deal with 70% of export coming from it, while Indian imports are mostly outside the agreement, a top trade chamber has said. On the other hand only 20% of imports from India have come though the free trade deal, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. Sri Lanka has a trade deficit with the rest of the world, mostly because Sri Lanka exports labour, tourism, more..

Video: Don’t bypass historic opportunity: President on 19A

Apr 27 (AD) With the much awaited enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the people of Sri Lanka will experience the true meaning of democracy and peace, President Maithripala Sirisena said today. President made the observation after he began the second reading of the 19th Amendment at the Parliament. Sirisena went on to say the people of the island nation are of the view that the arbitrary powers of the more..

Opposition resists bid to rush RI Bill through Parliament: GL

Apr 27 (Island) The proposed 19 Amendment to the Constitution is facing a fresh hurdle with a section of the Opposition strongly objecting to the Right to Information Bill which is part of the Amendment being presented as an urgent bill. UPFA MP Prof. G.L. Peiris accused the govt of acting contrary to its much touted public pronouncements as regards right to information. He told The Island in the wake of President more..

New Parliament will meet in September: Ranil

Apr 27 (DM) Indicating the general election would be delayed, PM Ranil Wickremesinge said the new Parliament will meet for the first time in September this year. He said this to his chief of staff Sagala Ratnayake and State Minister for Youth Niroshan Perera while enjoying sweetmeats at a Gami Gedara at a New Year festival in Deniyaya last morning. Making an official speech at the festival, the PM said he has had a dialogue with more..

What is national security for Rajapaksa(s)?

Apr 27 (CT) I am one of those who believed that bringing back Mahinda Rajapaksa as President was the only way forward for the people in the North and East to find a durable political solution – with the support of the International Community, especially the help of India. I wrote extensively on this subject during the last Presidential election. It is crystal clear that President Maithripala Sirisena won the Presidential election with the overwhelming support of Tamils in the North, East and upcountry more..

Attorney General’s recommendations on Gota arrest: Full text

Apr 27 (CT) A leaked report from the Attorney General’s Department on the case against Avant Garde Maritime Services, confirms the Colombo Telegraph report which exposed the AG’s recommendations on the possible arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. According the report AG did recommend that the former Secretary to Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa and four others would be arrested for committing offences pertaining to the Unauthorized Importation of Fire Arms to SL more..

Sri Lanka: Widows of War

Sri Lanka stocks close flat

Apr 27 (LBO) Stocks closed lower, 0.07% with activity seen in the finance sector stocks and a net foreign inflow. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 04.66 points lower at 7,125.12 down 0.07%. The S&P SL20 closed 0.82 points lower at 4,022.44 down 0.02%. “There was a net foreign in flow of 149 million rupees with foreign participation accounting for 26%,” Lanka Securities said. Foreigners bought 248 million rupees worth of shares while they sold 99 million rupees. more..

19A: Building strong institutions

Apr 27 (CT) Today may be the beginning of a momentous chapter being written in the annals of Sri Lanka's history. This is because the 19 Amendment (19A), which seeks to clip the powers of the executive presidency is to be debated. The debate will be held over two days and thereafter will be submitted for a vote tomorrow. If such a Bill obtains the approval by getting the required two thirds vote in the House, it will then become law. Some of the salient points in the 19A Bill are the removal more..

Sri Lanka to appoint committee to probe into cricket corruption

Apr 27 (PTI) Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake is all set to appoint a probe committee on corruption in Sri Lankan cricket administration. "An investigation is to be launched next week to probe all corruption issues in cricket administration," Dissanayake told reporters here today. The Sports Minister's comments came after a month since he dissolved the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) administration and appointed an interim committee. more..

Sri Lanka chamber starts disaster relief fund for Nepal victims

Apr 27 (EN) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said it seeking the support of business and public to help victims of the earthquake in Nepal. The Chamber said relief will be distributed through the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (APADM) of which it was a member. The APADM had already sent a rescue team to Nepal and set up a hospital. "Nepal being a least developed neighbor with limited resources, the people affected by the earthquake need our humanitarian assistance more..

Lalith Weeratunga questioned again by FCID

Apr 27 (AM) Former President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga was summoned to the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division on Monday. Weeratunga is being questioned over a financial transaction at the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission. Weeratunga was earlier questioned by FCID on April 22. Meanwhile, he was also questioned by CID over the case of missing vehicles from the Presidential Secretariat. Meanwhile, Former President of Tourist Development more..

SL journalists in exile in Nepal to return

Apr 27 (PTI) Sri Lankan journalists who fled the country for safety reasons and now living in exile in Nepal will be allowed to return, foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera told the parliament. He was responding to a query from opposition legislator Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Mr. Dissanayake said Sri Lankan Ambassador in Nepal had refused to facilitate the evacuation of Lankan journalists in the country. more..

Maduluwawe Sobitha thera calls off sathyagraha campaign

Apr 27 (AM) National Movement for Social Justice Chairman Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera decided to call of the planned Sathyagraha campaign after he was given assurance that the 19th Amendment will be passed. The decision to launch the Sathyagrahaya was taken on Sunday after a meeting of the NMSJ. The debate on the 19th Amendment began this morning with President Sirisena opening the debate. Sobitha Thera was a leading campaigner for the total abolition of more..

Over 1000 cervical cancer cases detected each year in Sri Lanka

Apr 27 (Island) The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) yesterday said that 1,000 to 1,200 new cervical cancer patients were detected in the country annually. Sources attached to the Programme said that in 2008 there had been over 855 cervical cancers recorded under the cancer surveillance system. However, the number of cases could be much more as cancer patients went to private hospitals as well state-run hospitals without specialised cancer treatment units. more..

SL's former leader Rajapaksa remains defiant

Four killed in jeep-train collision in Kilinochchi

Apr 27 (CG) Four people were killed following an accident involving a train and a jeep in Kilinochchi this afternoon. The police said that the accident took place at Ariviyalnagar. At least two others were also injured in the accident. The train, which was on route from Vavuniya to Jaffna, collided with the jeep at a railway intersection killing four people and injuring two others. “The deceased and the injured were all passengers from the jeep who were residents of the south,” the spokesperson said. more..

President says it’s his duty to steer SLFP to victory

Apr 27 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena said that it was his duty to steer the SLFP to victory at the forthcoming election. "The SLFP which lost the Jan. 08 election should be geared to win elections again and it is my duty to see to it to ensure that the party will be able to do so. I have already commenced this work and worked hard since the day I assumed duties of the office of the President. He was addressing an SLFP District Representatives’ meeting held in Galle on Saturday. more..

'Sri Lanka’s new rulers look at game theory to pass 19th & 20th amendment'

Apr 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s new administration said, it has to use the theory of games, a study of strategic decision making to pass the 19th and 20th amendments to the constitution. Game theory is a strategic decision making process that is mainly used in economics, political science and psychology as well as logic, computer science and biology. “There is something called corporative competition in this theory, that can be more..

Interim Order on full-face helmet ban extended

Apr 27 (NS) Court of Appeal extended the interim order issued suspending the Police circular to ban full-face helmets until May 19. Earlier, the Court of Appeal on April 2 initially issued an interim order suspending the operation of police advisory circular banning the use of full face helmets until April 28. This took place when the Court of Appeal heard two writ petitions by a Chartered Accountant and Rtd. Major who sought an order prohibiting the authorities from taking any steps towards imposing more..

Earthquake due to mankind’s destructive nature: Champika

Apr 27 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka said the Nepal earthquake was not an isolated incident but a result of destructive nature of mankind. Addressing the Workshop on Downstream Petroleum Industry, he said that developed countries were mostly responsible for the environmental consequences. “However, it is interesting to note that the developed world had no regard for the environmental consequences when they were developing since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. more..