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The credibility of the media

Jan 24 (CT) The total lack of credibility of all sources of media in this Country is a major concern. We have seen the most incredible stories circulating, wild accusation flying around and the whole thing resembling a particularly ridiculous, cheap Bollywood drama. Who do we believe? Or do we believe no body! Even the so called independent news papers that carried out an elaborate masquerade, during the dark days of the Rajapaksa regime have now been exposed. more..

Sirisena can take the cue from Obama

Jan 24 (CT) Mr Barak Obama is an epitome of modern democracy. In would have been a sheer impossibility for a person of a mixed race from African American to become the president of USA about a decade ago. But he did it in 20 January 2009. He won a second time on 20 January 2013 also showing that Americans really are a true democratic nation above race religion and all petty classification and groupings that appear in tick boxes in a census survey form. more..

The taste of an island nation

Jan 24 (Hindu) In the brightly lit kitchen at Foodology, Damayanthi Paul is ready with all the ingredients needed to cook up a typical Sri Lankan lunch. And there’s a lot of coconut involved. In fact, every single dish has some form of it. “That’s Sri Lankan cooking for you,” she says. Apparently, the cuisine shares several similarities with the Kerala cuisine, using ingredients like kokum (Malabar tamarind) and pandan leaves to more..

Teaching Cinderella in Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (HP) "Who here has ever met a fairy godmother?" Each shakes her head sadly back and forth. "I too have never met a fairy godmother!" I said. "So if Cinderella also never meets a fairy godmother -- how can she get to the dance?" "She can stitch her own clothes!" said one girl cheerfully. "And where could she get the fabric?" "She can buy it. She can clean houses and get some money." "Yes, Cinderella is good at cleaning!" I said. "And the shoes?" "She can buy, with money." more..

Sanath has still not returned official vehicles

Jan 24 (Island) Former Deputy Postal Services Minister Sanath Jayasuriya had not returned four of his official vehicles to date, a senior Ministry official said. The four vehicles include a brand new BMW purchased by the government and a Land Rover. When newly appointed Muslim Religious Affairs and Posts Minister Abdul Halim was contacted in this regard he confirmed that the vehicles had not been returned by the former deputy minister.

'SL reaches consensus to implement 13A'

Jan 24 (PTI) Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today said political parties have agreed to implement the thirteenth amendment as a solution to end the country's over three-decade-old ethnic conflict involving the Tamil minority. "All parties have agreed to solve the ethnic problem within the framework of the thirteenth amendment. We are continuing our talks," Wickremesinghe said while addressing a gathering at Deniyaya more..

Good money earned on Stamps and coin issued for Pope’s visit

Jan 24 (Island) The Central Bank and Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts achieved record sales amounting to nearly Rs. 6 mn within a week through the sale of a coin depicting Pope Frances and stamps. The presentation packs were almost over and first day covers and miniature sheets were selling like hot cakes, sources said. Central Bank issued a commemorative silver coin with a face value of Rs. 500 to mark the visit of Pope Francis to SL in recognition of the national importance more..

Rajitha’s talks with SAITM Chairman on PMC worry medical students

Jan 24 (Island) Convenor of the Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee Ryan Jayalath yesterday said that there were moves by the new government to revive the private medical college at Malabe run by the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management. Jayalath said Minister Rajitha Senaratne had had discussions with Dr. Neville Fernando the Chairman of the private college. Secretary, Colombo Medical Faculty Students Union, Nuwan Patabendige alleged more..

29 diplomats recalled

Jan 24 (DM) Some 29 diplomats who were political appointees have been recalled with immediate effect. A spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that the process for recalling political appointees in the diplomatic service has commenced. “This is a usual occurrence following a govt change,” official stated. He said among those who have been recalled are officials who have been appointed through political influences more..

Graduates demand suitable jobs

Jan 24 (CT) The Graduate Employees' Union (GEU) has written to the President on Wednesday requesting him to reverse the plight of the graduate-employees, who were given menial jobs by the previous govt and were denied jobs suitable to their qualifications. These graduates who have 20 years of experience in public service are employed in posts, which were unfit for their qualifications. This situation was caused by the previous govt, which completely disregarded the qualifications more..

Zeid’s March report notes Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (CG) The annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, which will be presented to the UNHRC in March, takes note of the investigations on Sri Lanka. The report notes that during the period under review, which is between January and December last year, the Council had requested the High Commissioner to undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations of human rights by both parties in Sri Lanka during more..

EPDP wants 13A

Jan 24 (CG) EPDP is of the stance that the problems of Tamils should be solved with the proper implementation of the 13th Amendment in the North and East, Leader of the Party Douglas Devananda said. "The new govt should implement absolute power sharing in the North and East. We have been emphasizing on absolute power sharing for the past 25 years," he said. "The TNA is misguiding people. more..

CID probes Shashi’s two IDs and passports

Jan 24 (Island) The CID has launched an investigation into an allegation that former minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife, had used forged documents to obtain a diplomatic passport while having another passport with the original date of birth, Police said. SSP Ajith Rohana said that a complaint in that regard had been made by a person named Hewa Pathiranage Chaminda Perera of N0. 233/16, Ratnayake Mawatha, South Talangama, Battaramulla on Thursday to CID. more..

Mathews doubt for must-win game

Jan 24 (CI) If it is true that you learn more in defeat than in victory, Sri Lanka must have now earned a doctorate in how not to win matches, in their time in New Zealand. The fielders have majored in shelling important catches. The bowlers have refined the science of making top-order breakthroughs, then allowing the lower-middle order to blow them away. And the batsmen have become adept at tumbling in a heap after Dilshan, Mahela and Sangakkara have played good innings. more..

Maithri for SB too: Interesting moves at first CC meeting

Jan 24 (AM) Former Minister S.B. Dissanayake, who even scolded the Common Candidate of the opposition in obscene language at a full-scale press conference, has been appointed as a Vice Chairman of the SLFP. The decision was made by the Central Committee of the SLFP when it met last evening with President Maithripala Sirisena at the chair. It was the first Central Committee meeting of the President after he was appointed as more..

EU assisted Housing Project in North and East

Jan 24 (AD) The European Union (EU) has initiated a programme for a housing project to resettle people displaced in the North and East and provide them with necessary facilities. Manger of the Infrastructure and Reconstruction programme of the delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Jaime Royo-Olid and Ms. Libuse Soukupova of International Cooperation and Development of EU disclosed the EU assistance during a meeting with the Minister of Resettlement, more..

Dalada Veediya reopening: Malwatte for and Asgiriya against

Jan 24 (Island) The Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya are divided on the issue of reopening Dalada Veediya which has been closed for the safety of Sri Dalada Maligawa. The Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera said yesterday that Dalada Veediya should be re-opened for vehicular traffic. The Mahanayake Thera said so when Deputy Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment Wasantha Aluwihare called on him yesterday (23). more..

Sri Lanka forex reserves down to US$8.3bn, BOP surplus shrinks

Jan 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's forex reserves fell to 8.3 billion US dollars in November 2014, down from 8.8 billion US dollars in October, amid stronger private and state credit growth, Central Bank data showed as the country looks at a new program with the International Monetary Fund. Sri Lanka's foreign reserves peaked in August at 9.2 billion US dollars amid weak or negative credit growth and has since been falling steadily more..

‘Palihakkara worse than retd. Maj. Gen.’

Jan 24 (Island) France-based head of Tamil Centre for Human Rights S.V. Kirubaharan has strongly opposed the appointment of one-time Foreign Secretary H.M.G.S. Palihakkara the Governor of the Northern Province. Kirubaharan in an article posted on his website under the caption, Future of Tamils under President Sirisena, Foreign Minister Samaraweera and Northern Governor Palihakkara, has alleged that the life under the former Foreign Secretary would be worse than that of more..

Water Lilies instead of glory Lilies

Jan 24 (CT) Opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena won the seventh Presidential election of Sri Lanka with 6,200,000 votes. The major focus of the opposition in the presidential election campaign was good governance, abolition or reduction of the powers of the executive presidency, constitutional reform, reinstating rule of law and establishing a mechanism to punish the corrupt people. However, before a week past the presidential election, people had suspicions more..

Foreigners barred from gem mining

Jan 24 (CT) Foreign companies will in future not be allowed to mine for gems in Sri Lanka. This follows an order issued yesterday, by President Maithripala Sirisena to the relevant officials. The President had said the govt is not ready to endow the local gem industry to foreign companies and instructed the officials to refuse requests for gem mining. Assuming duties as the Mahaweli Development and Environment Minister at more..

Major Parties split over symbols

Jan 24 (CT) Internal conflicts have arisen in two major political parties over the symbol under which they are going to contest the upcoming Parliamentary Election. Several UNP MPs and few minor parties had requested the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to contest under the symbol of swan, while majority of the UNP MPs along with the electoral organizers had urged the party leadership to contest under the elephant symbol. However, the party had not taken a final decision on more..

Wanduramba OIC reinstated

Jan 24 (NS) Former OIC of the Wanduramba Police, IP Panangala Liyanage Keerthisinghe, who had been given orders to vacate his post, was reinstated yesterday following an appeal made to the IGP. Accordingly, IP Keerthisinghe has been reinstated in his post with effect from yesterday. IP Keerthisinghe had been charge-sheeted for abetting former Deputy Minister Muthuhettigama to take away the suspects arrested for allegedly torching the stage erected for a meeting of common opposition candidate more..

Doctors to be fined Rs. 1 mn for prescribing drugs by brand name

Jan 24 (Island) Doctors who prescribed drugs under brand names would be fined Rs 1 mn after the ratification of the National Medicinal Drug Regulatory Authority Act (MDRA) scheduled to be presented to Parliament next month, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. Minister said he would submit the MDRAC with some amendments to the Cabinet for approval on Feb 6 and then to Parliament. In accordance with the provisions more..

A new era in foreign relations

Jan 25 (SO) Sri Lanka may be an island, but that does not mean that we can live in isolation, cut off from the rest of the world. As a member of the United Nations and the wider international community, we have to be on good terms with the rest of the world. In doing so, we need to engage constructively again with the members of the international community. The new Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has hit the right notes on this score, visiting India and meeting envoys more..

Justice must not be denied

Jan 25 (SL) The announcement made by Dr Rajitha Senaratne that immediate investigations will commence on the murders of the founder editor of this paper Lasantha Wickrematunge and legislators Joseph Pararajasingham, Navarajah Raviraj and former minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle is a challenge to the Sri Lanka Police, govt prosecutors as well as the judiciary to ensure that speedy justice is delivered. Speedy justice is something unheard of in Sri Lanka for a long time despite more..

'Govt's 100-day program: Panacea for all ills'

Jan 25 (SO) Justice and Labour Relations Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe(PC) said that the Govt’s 100- day program will accomplish what the people yearned for more than two to three decades. When the Govt completes the three- month program, we would obtain a huge majority at the general election. He said that with this change, people from every quarter of the country experienced the same feeling more..

How will the papadam crumble?

Jan 25 (Island) Even before the dust raised by the presidential election and the campaign which preceded it can settle, Sri Lanka will once again be on election mode. We have been promised a parliamentary election within three months and how this will play out must for the time being be an open question. Ordinary people will see the forthcoming election as an extraordinary one. How so? Will the forces that combined to make Maithripala Sirisena the president of this country stay together more..

Divided House unites for common good, at least for 100 days

Jan 25 (ST) When Parliament adjourned on Dec 12 last year, after fixing Jan 20, 2015, as the next sitting day, other than a murmur about the impeding presidential election, no one was expecting that, within the course of five weeks, the political fortunes of the UNP which had endured nearly 20 years in the Opposition, would rise so unexpectedly, while a formidable alliance led by political strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa would fall. So, when Parliament met on Tuesday, except for more..

'Govt must act regardless of political affiliations'

Jan 25 (SL) With the new developments of political environment where the former members of the govt have been crossing over to the new govt conveniently for political protection or advantages, the JVP as observed by many has taken over role of the opposition. General Secretary of JVP Tilvin Silva said they would bring out facts on corruption and those who have been involved in corruption regardless of their political affiliations. more..

Corruption probes, Sift wheat from chaff

Jan 25 (ST) Among the many comments circulating on social media is one where they say there are two types of people on Facebook nowadays; one set who while walking on the street, trip on a stone and ask, “is this the Yahapalanaya they talk of”, and the other set who find a rupee on the road and say, “here is our money that the Rajapaksas stole from us”. In the immediate aftermath of the defeat of the nine-year Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and the 20 years of UPFA rule, an avalanche of protests more..

Make them say 'Yes he can'

Jan 25 (ST) My dear Green Man, Please pardon me for not writing to you earlier because I know I should have — to congratulate you on becoming the PM once again. You are making a habit of this, aren’t you: being the PM when someone else is the Bog Boss? This is now that third time you are doing this! This time though, I hope you last longer in the job. At first, you had to do it with Dearly Beloved after that horrible assassination and it was only a caretaker role. Then you did it while more..

Ridee Reyak in USA

Maithripala’s Watery battle for good governance

Jan 25 (NS) “Where is yahapalanaya (good governance) in the new govt?” Now this seems to be the million dollar question, at this juncture. Two and a half weeks after its election, the new govt, led by President Mathripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, has already shown some ominous signs where the idea of good governance is concerned. It is now becoming clear that those who were really instrumental in forming a Common Opposition Alliance and bringing opposition more..

Depressing memories of a battered minority

Jan 25 (NS) I am getting a little tired of all the hype of Mahinda Rajapaksa being the worst and most autocratic President of this country. Everyone else has conveniently forgotten J.R Jayewardene the architect of the 1978 Executive Presidency. The all powerful Executive President who could overrule Parliament was created to ensure that the elite UNP could always remain in power. Until then, the UNP had always consistently got over 50% of the votes even though they lost seats in more..

'We do not encourage privatisation'

Jan 25 (SL) University students have been protesting against privatisation of the education and selling of the university degree and according to them the change of the govt has not helped in revising these educational policies. However, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam assured that the new govt does not encourage privatisation as such but would make private universities more responsible institutions while protecting more..

Reliving November 2003

Jan 25 (Island) In the first two weeks of the new govt, Ravi Karunanayake has managed to deliver at least part of what was promised by reducing the taxes on fuel. This was a very tough call to take. From what we hear, Ravi K had pointedly asked for the finance minister’s post which means that he will not be a finance minister for just 100 days but hopes to continue in the position even after the next parliamentary election. That certainly ups the ante as he fully expects to more..

Stick to the mandate!

Jan 25 (NS) With the 100-Day program of the Maithripala Sirisena govt now in effect, it has become all about promises -- the ones kept, the ones that need to be kept and the ones that have already been broken. Some pledges, such as the one to limit the Cabinet of Ministers to 25, have already been quietly pushed aside for the sake of ‘convenience’. Meanwhile, after all the rhetoric of ‘Right to Information’ and ‘Media Freedom’ that the Maithri era was supposed to usher in, more..

'Executive presidency will remain'

Jan 25 (CT) Chairman of JHU, Athuraliye Rathana Thera, says that Parties must come to a consensus regarding the abolition of the executive President's powers and amending the election system. "Therefore, our priority is constitutional amendment and the establishment of independent commissions". Q: You were a pioneer in the struggle to defeat Rajapaksa regime. You vowed to topple previous regime and did it. What do you think now? more..