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Truth, Lies and Silence in 19th Amendment

Jan 24 (CT) From the terra firma of the 17th Amendment to the malfeasance and derangement of the 18th Amendment and thence again towards the terra incognita of the 19th Amendment, Sri Lanka seeks to map out the no man's lands of the 1978 Constitution. This week, the holy fool Agnus Dei transgresses the panacea of the 19th Amendment and its brave new world. The entire Maithripala Sirisena campaign for Presidency was ultimately based on the premise of abolishing Executive more..

Corruption galore

Jan 24 (CT) As the 100-day programme of President Maithripala Sirisena is getting off the ground, allegations of corruption and fraudulent deals, of former political hierarchies and bureaucrats, running into billions of rupees, have started to surface on an unprecedented level. While there are several civil organizations, too, involved in the process of voicing protests against corruption committed by the former administration, the JVP has vouched to bring more..

Editorial: Trying to shoo the Eagle away

Jan 24 (Island) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake MP has argued that but for help the LTTE got from the US-led West, Sri Lanka’s war would not have dragged on for nearly three decades. He has stressed the need for arresting and interrogating former LTTE arms procurer KP to expose the US which he blames for double standards and causing trouble all over the world while pretending to be a peacemaker. Why the JVP leader has, all of a sudden, fired a broadside more..

Mahinda on Mahinda

Jan 24 (NS) Post-mortems are for losers, and I have had to listen to hundreds of pundits explaining to me what went wrong. I am sick of it. I am the guy that lost. I died. I should know better than any mother’s son or daughter what did me in. So here goes, once and for all, the whole A-Z of it. It was not the end-result of some sophisticated conspiracy orchestrated by certain pernicious sections of the international community. I didn’t say any foreigners voting, and didn’t hear of such a thing either. more..

Karu J calls for private sector support for good governance

Jan 24 (FT) Public Administration, Democratic Rule and Buddha Sasana Minister Karu Jayasuriya early this week called for the support of the private sector to take part in the new wave of development efforts by the Govt to uplift the national economy. “We have come to clean up. We have a unique opportunity to do this and create a better, moreeffective and efficient system of governance but we cannot do it alone. more..

Will there be Maithree and Yahapalanaya for Navy occupied Mullikulam?

Jan 24 (GV) Last week, I went to Mullikulam, a beautiful and resourceful village in the Mannar district, which has been illegally occupied by the Navy for more than 7 years. It was my first visit for more than a year. The people didn’t seem to have any fresh hopes of reuniting as one community, regaining their lost lands, houses, fishing and agricultural activities and being close to the school and historical church they are devoted to. Access to the Catholic Church in Mullikulam is still more..

Review VIP security-ex-STF chief

Jan 24 (Island) Time has come for us to review the idea of providing military type backup in uniform for the VIPs. The backups were introduced during the insurgency period as there were attacks on the motorcades of VIPs by the insurgents / terrorists. With the eradication of terrorism in the country people are moving freely. One wonders under these circumstances, whether you need to have such backups, lead escorts vehicles etc., which have brought tremendous pressure to more..

Consolidating post-election gains in SL

Jan 24 (Hindu) Now that a peaceful and democratic regime change has occurred in Sri Lanka, a story that nearly played out can be told. Hours before voting, a senior diplomat in the Indian High Commission in Colombo, when asked whether President Rajapaksa would get an unprecedented third term, replied: “How can he lose?” But he added: “It will be very close and if he loses by a whisker, he may go to the Supreme Court or more..

Implementing the 13th amendment: The first step of a long journey

Jan 24 (GV) In his first trip abroad to India, the new Foreign Minister has stated that the new govt is committed to implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Similarly, in his first address to Parliament after the formation of the govt, the PM stressed the need to develop a solution to the ‘national problem’, adding that any such solution ‘would not be detrimental to the unitary status of the country.’ Like Phaedrus, the people of the North and East especially can be forgiven for more..

Manhattan FISH MARKET Sri Lanka wins ‘The Most Promising Franchisee 2014’ Award

Jan 24 (Island) Renowned restaurant chain the Manhattan FISH MARKET Sri Lanka begins 2015 on a stellar note as the local restaurant of the international chain the Manhattan FISH MARKET franchise was awarded as ‘The Most Promising Franchisee 2014’ at the Manhattan FISH MARKET Global Business Convention 2014 held recently in Pattaya, Thailand. Collecting the award for the second consecutive year, the restaurant celebrated an exceptional year in 2014 by becoming more..

EDEX Expo 2015, Sri Lanka's largest education exhibition and job fair

Jan 24 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena opened EDEX Expo 2015, the 12th edition of Sri Lanka's Largest Education Exhibition and Job Fair at the BMICH yesterday. The event organized by the Royal College Union will be held at the BMICH from January 23 - 25 and in Kandy on January 30 and 31. However the job fair will be confined to Colombo and in Kandy only the education exhibition will be held. more..

Friday Forum on Independence Day and other urgent concerns

Jan 24 (FT) The Friday Forum, an informal group of concerned citizens pledged to uphold norms of democracy, good governance, the rule of law, human rights, media freedom and tolerance in our pluralist society yesterday issues a statement on the upcoming Independence Day as well as other concerns. Following is the full text. The presidential election of 8 January saw a resurgence of the democratic process in Sri Lanka, driven by an electorate which, in unprecedented numbers, more..

Over 1,000 Sri Lankans sought asylum in Switzerland last year

Jan 24 (AD) People from Sri Lanka made the third largest number of asylum requests to Switzerland in the year 2014. A total of 1,277 Sri Lankans requests for asylum in the “happiest country” in the world, up 87% from the previous year. The number of requests for asylum by refugees in Switzerland rose in 2014 by 11% to 23,765 from the previous year, the highest rate in more than a decade. The increase was the result of numerous crisis and conflict zones around the Mediterranean and more..

MTD Walkers says northern power unit not polluting wells

Jan 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's MTD Walkers rejected allegations its thermal power unit in northern Jaffna was releasing waste oil and polluting wells in the peninsula, calling for an independent probe into the contamination as well as a war-time oil spill. MTD Walkers CEO Lal Perera said the allegation against Northern Power Company was raised by parties with "vested interests" and that none had been so far accepted by courts or more..

Sri Lanka female entrepreneurship in focus

Jan 24 (EN) A Sri Lankan women's trade chamber has urged the new govt to give more emphasis to female entrepreneurship in its policy interventions to enhance female labour force participation in the economy. Rifa Musthapa, Chairperson of the Women's Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC), said female labour force participation in the island is rather low at just 34% of the economically active population. "This becomes particularly critical as the majority of SL’s population is female,” more..

Visitors not short of support

Jan 24 (ODT) Shammika Rodrigo went a long way to make sure Sri Lankan fans had a strong presence at the cricket yesterday. A clutch of about 30 fans kept up a constant cacophony of support at the one-day match at the University Oval in Dunedin, clapping, cheering and chanting for their team. They were backed by a 15m-long Sri Lankan flag Mr Rodrigo had brought back from a recent trip there. And his enthusiasm may have helped his compatriots on the field. more..

Three new Governors appointed

Jan 24 (GDI) Three new Governors for Western, Southern and North Western Provinces were sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday at the Presidential Secretariat. Three new Governors are K.C. Logeswaran, Governor-Western Province, Hemakumara Nanayakkara, Governor-Southern Province and Ms. Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake, Governor, - North Western Province. Appointments were made by the President more..

Peace between Tamils and Muslims

Jan 24 (CT) The Rajapaksa regime dug its grave by deliberately attacking the religious sentiments of the minorities. They attacked Mosques and other places of worship, said General Secretary of the ITAK K. Thurairajasingham. He was speaking at an event held at Amir Ali Vidiyalayam in Eravur last week. The event was presided over by the Principal of the school, Abdul Gafoor. He added that the mother tongue of Tamils and Muslims in the North and East was Tamil language. more..

Deputy Minister Gankanda discusses Urban Development activities

Jan 24 (GDI) Relief measures should be made immediately to the people who have been affected by Urban development activities carried out with the intention of obtaining political mileage, said the Deputy Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Dunesh Gankanda. He reiterated this at a meeting held on Wednesday to discuss the present situation and existing difficulties in the sectors of urban development and water supply throughout the island. more..

Sri Lanka taps former HSBC wealth manager to head Central Bank

Jan 24 (BN) Sri Lankan govt appointed an ally of the new prime minister who previously worked as a wealth manager with HSBC Holdings (HSBA) and Emirates NBD to run its central bank. Arjuna Mahendran was appointed by President Sirisena, on the recommendation of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the president’s media office said. Mahendran succeeds Ajith Nivard Cabraal, who resigned a day after more..

FLSP says govt will not introduce an interim budget

Jan 24 (NS) Frontline Socialist Party Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda stated that the govt was not going to introduce an interim budget on January 29. Instead, it has planned to reduce the prices of certain essential goods through a special announcement to the parliament by the Minister of Finance. Speaking at a press conference in Colombo today, Jayagoda said that this has been discussed at the recent party leaders’ meeting in parliament. more..

Govt and US Embassy discuss strengthening links

Jan 24 (FT) At a meeting with Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy, Andrew C. Mann, Deputy Minister of Policy Implementation and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva yesterday discussed the need to increase investment and technical assistance from the US in order to create high-paying jobs for Sri Lankan citizens. Dr. De Silva said Govt would also work to increase exports to the US, already the country’s largest export market. New Deputy Minister and Acting Head of Mission also more..

New Minister won’t remove cricket officials

Jan 24 (DM) Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake said that he cannot remove or change any of the officials of cricket board as all of them have been elected to office through a democratic process of an election. “The present Sri Lanka cricket board is an elected body. It’s not an interim committee. So, I cannot change any official. If there is to be a change, it has to happen through an election” he said after assuming duties more..

Europe unleashes new trade push on SL

Jan 24 (Island) As a new economic era dawned on Sri Lanka, the EU has lost no time and moved fast to enhance its engagement with the country’s global trade platform to advance it to the next levels-and Sri Lanka’s trade with EU, the country’s largest export market, crossed $3.2 Bn in 2014, as revealed on 21 January. "This latest initiative matches very well with our new government’s vision and a great start! Therefore on behalf of the President Maithripala Sirisena, I extend our thanks to more..

Water cuts in Colombo on Jan 24, 25

Jan 24 (DM) A 24-hour water cut would be imposed in several areas in the City of Colombo from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday due to pipe laying that was to take place in the area where the Maligakanda water tank was located and coming under the Greater Colombo Water Supply System Rehabilitation Project, National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB) said. It said water supply would be interrupted in Colombo 2, 8, 9 and 10 during the time this repair was taking place. more..

CJ quizzed by CID over coup plot

Jan 24 (FT) Chief Justice Mohan Peiris was yesterday grilled by the CID over a complaint filed about an alleged plot to hold power by force on election night by the defeated Rajapaksa regime. Peiris, appointed CJ by former President Rajapaksa in January 2013 following the impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake, was spotted at Temple Trees, the defeated president’s official residence in the early hours of 9 Jan. more..

Let justice prevail

Jan 24 (DM) Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, said the legendary Martin Luther King, Jr, with the latest film on his life being nominated for the Best Picture Academy Awards this year and breaking Box Office records on his commemoration day last Monday. From the traditional home of justice, Aristotle has told us that at our best, people are the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice we are the worst. It is in the enlightenment of such wisdom that more..

Beginning of a new era

Jan 24 (DM) January 9th was the beginning of a new era for Sri Lanka, domestically and significantly, also internationally. After my first week as the Foreign Minister and following my first diplomatic visit, I feel encouraged at the level of warmth, openness and goodwill shown to the new Govt of Sri Lanka by an overwhelming number of representatives of the international community. I thank the many nations who have reached out to congratulate us, to invite us on formal state more..

Mihin Lanka undertakes Pilot Training for International Airlines

Jan 24 (GDI) Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka’s leading low-cost carrier which is owned by the SL Govt has launched an international pilot training programme to meet the growing demands of the aviation industry in the region. The new venture will enable Mihin Lanka to train inexperienced A320 type rated pilots from other international airlines, and provide them with on-the-job training delivered by Mihin Lanka’s most senior flight instructors. more..

Murali reviews Sri Lanka's World Cup squad

Jan 24 (IC) The Sri Lanka squad for the World Cup 2015 contained two big surprises for me: the absence of opener Upul Tharanga and the inclusion of Jeevan Mendis as a spin-bowling all-rounder. Tharanga’s omission shocked me. True, he had not been picked against England or New Zealand, but he has a decent ODI record, averaging just under 34, and he has the precious gift of experience, with 176 matches more..

Pope brings hope for Tamils

Jan 24 (SL) The visit of Pope Francis to the north last week brought hope for the Tamils who had long suffered as a result of a brutal war and an uncertain post war climate. Pope Francis visited the historic Madhu church for a mass, as part of his Sri Lanka visit, and was greeted by thousands of Tamils who lined the streets and also attended the mass at the church. Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph said that he was deeply grateful to former more..

India to promote investment, joint ventures in Jaffna

Jan 24 (Island) With around 50% of the companies participating in the ongoing Jaffna International Trade Fair(JITF), being Indian affiliated, India assured that more of its industrialists and entrepreneurs would participate at next year’s edition of the exhibition. Addressing the opening ceremony of the sixth edition of JITF at the Jaffna Library auditorium, India’s Consul General in Jaffna, A. Natarajan said that he would encourage more..

Somaratne bans all astrology programmes on Rupavahini

Jan 24 (AM) Chairman of SLRC Somaratne Dissanayake said that all astrology programmes were removed from programme line-up of the state TV station with immediate effect. High prominence was given to astrology programmes by Rupavahini Corporation under its previous administration. Most of them were designed in a manner that would benefit the political agenda of former President Rajapaksa and his family. more..

CMC to come down hard on Pettah rice dealers

Jan 24 (Island) Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council warned that it would come down hard on rice dealers in Pettah, who violated Label Regulations under the Food Act. PHD sources said more inspections would be carried out in the Pettah area next week and close attention paid to imported rice. The date of manufacture, the date of expiry, batch number etc should be mentioned on label, more..

'TNA on FM'S wavelegth'

Jan 24 (DN) Speaking on the TNA stance on President Maithripala Sirisena's 100-day programme, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said "the TNA will support the government and also extend its maximum cooperation to the government in finding a solution to the national problem." He said; "We are pleased that Minister Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps that the President Maithripala Sirisena-led govt will more..

Abolish PTA – MER

Jan 24 (CT) Calling for the immediate release of political prisoners stating that they had already served their sentences, the Movement for Equal Rights (MER) also demanded that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) be immediately abolished and the military be relegated to barracks. Convener of Movement for Equal Rights Ravindra Mudalige said that steps must be taken to resettle all remaining internally displaced persons. more..

Military training for principals to stop

Jan 24 (CG) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says his Ministry will cancel the post of colonels given to principals by the previous govt. Last week, it was revealed at a meeting held in the ministry premises between the trade unions in education sector and minister that about 200 colonel ranks had been given to the principals and that the education sector of the country will not benefit from such posts. Accordingly, the ministry has more..

Ex-UPFA allies break ranks with SLFP

Jan 24 (Island) A new opposition alliance is in the making with former constituents of the SLFP-led UPFA distancing themselves from the SLFP, the largest single party in parliament. With the new govt pledging to call for fresh parliamentary polls soon after 100 days in power, former UPFA constituents are now pushing for an understanding to pave the way for an electoral pact. They would function in parliament separately more..

Remove the canker at the top

Jan 24 (CT) This newspaper, on the front page of its yesterday's edition, carried a story of a drug peddler who had allegedly been funding a former IGP. If the head of the Police Department had been funded by, ostensibly a hitherto unknown drug baron, where then is the law in the country? How deep and how big then is the magnitude of the rot that has enveloped Sri Lanka? Is this merely the tip of the iceberg? The alleged involvement of a former IGP with a said to be drug baron is more..

A kind request to the Minister of Buddha Sasana

Jan 24 (CT) I am fully aware that this letter can get drowned in the euphoria of defeating the Rajapaksa administration just a few days ago. However, I wanted to make this note specifically addressing the new Minister for Buddha Sasana. I was in Sri Lanka in the last two weeks of December 2014, with one week dedicated to Buddhist meditation practice in a Monastery and another day to visit a monastic monk I knew in England now doing solitary meditation in a rock cave in Sri Sumedha Monastery more..