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Massive meeting to raise awareness

June 7 (CT) A massive meeting to raise awareness among the people in the Colombo District about the 20th Amendment and electoral reforms will be held on Monday at 3p.m. under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, on the theme, Let us abolish the Preferential Vote System – let us win 20A. This meeting, organized by the SLFP, will be attended by all political parties representing the UPFA and the chief organizer of the meeting Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said more..

Speed guns return to nab errant motorists

June 7 (ST) Police want to reintroduce speed guns to detect motorists exceeding speed limits, a senior Police official said. This comes after a Supreme Court ruling that signs giving speed limits should be placed on roads in a manner that motorists are aware of speed limits in that area. The Police are consulting the Attorney General on the use of speed guns. “We have arranged with the Road Development Authority (RDA) to instal these signs,” Police Traffic Chief Amarasiri Senaratne said. more..

Glyphosate ban mired in confusion

June 7 (ST) With most experts claiming that glyphosate is one of the root causes of the devastating kidney disease epidemic which has caused more than 20,000 deaths in recent years, two Cabinet ministers contradicted each other on the glyphosate ban. Ravi Karunanayake insisted that all imports were stopped forthwith while Duminda Dissanayake said herbicide would still be permitted in controlled amounts for tea estates. more..

Ananthi blames Kanimozhi

June 7 (SL) TNA NPC member Ananthi Saseetharan accused India’s DMK party chief M. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi Karunanidhi of failing to ensure the safety of her husband S. Elilan. Saseetharan said that Elilan had surrendered to the army during the final stages of the war after Kanimozhi had assured him of his safety. “She told him to leave his arms and surrender saying her father who was TN Chief Minister at the time, was working with Indian govt on the surrender. more..

No-confidence motion: 35 UPFA MPs threaten to withdraw signatures

June 7 (SL) A group of 35 UPFA MPs have threatened to withdraw their signatures from the no-confidence motion on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the 35 MPs have said they first want the 20th Amendment to the Constitution tabled in Parliament. In the event the no-confidence motion is given priority over the 20th Amendment, the 35 UPFA MPs may withdraw their signatures from the motion, Senaratne told a group of journalists at a private function on Friday. more..

President pledges dissolution if 20A not approved

June 7 (ST) A major blow to the Govt’s controversial anti-corruption drive came this week. A key mechanism of this drive, probes by the CIABOC, has ground to a virtual halt. It can only record complaints. It cannot act on tip offs and catch a bribe taker in the act red-handed. It cannot also carry out raids or file action in courts on investigations concluded since Commission is not fully constituted. A commissioner resigned last month creating a legal hiatus. more..

Govt. fights shy of transparency

June 7 (ST) Lawyers assigned to check documents related to mega projects undertaken in recent years by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) have stumbled upon a curious detail. They have found that the interest rate on a Chinese loan to build the first phase of the Hambantota Port was significantly increased, seemingly at the instigation of the previous Govt. Not only was the interest allegedly boosted from LIBOR (The London Interbank Offered Rate, which is a fluctuating index) more..

Fifty shades of Green

June 7 (ST) My dear Green Man, I thought I must write to you because you seem to be the target of a lot of people these days: There is Comrade Vasu scolding you in unparliamentary language in Parliament and now they say some of the Blues have submitted a motion of no-confidence against you. Anyway, Green Man, after many long years in the opposition, I think your luck has changed. After nearly eleven years, you were appointed Prime Minister once again. more..

Sri Lanka building costs higher than region due to protectionism

June 7 (EN) Tax protection given to powerful manufacturers in Sri Lanka by the state to make easy money at the expense of the public is making has pushed up building costs in the island above the region due to overpriced materials. "There are concerns among the Investors and Developers, that the Construction cost in Sri Lanka is higher than in some of the other Asian Countries," President of Chamber of Construction Industry has said. more..

European Union to restore GSP Plus facility before December - Govt

June 7 (Island) The govt expects the European Union to restore the GSP Plus facility which was withdrawn in 2010 over the previous regimes failure to comply with international labour regulations and its poor human rights record before the end of this year. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that the EU had responded positively to Sri Lanka’s re-application for GSP Plus facility and talks between the two sides were proceeding smoothly. more..

Civil Aviation Authority takes steps to manage pilots

June 7 (SL) Considering many grave aviation incidents and airports malfunctions that are being reported at present throughout the world, proper management of aviation related activities and conduct of pilots are a must. Therefore the Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority has taken immediate steps to administer all the sections of Sri Lankan Aviation, especially air travel administration. Accordingly, steps will be taken by Flight Safety Division more..

Local mechanism to probe war crimes to begin this month?

June 7 (CT) The clock is ticking for the Maithri Govt to keep to its promises, made to the UNHRC, especially on the implementation of the Local Mechanism (LM). which the UN body is waiting to see some detailed and vital steps that the GoSL has taken towards a credible LM which they undertook to implement with regard to the alleged war crimes issue. However, several parties, mainly the civil society and the Tamil politicians who more..

'President won’t interfere with no-faith motion'

June 7 (CT) President Sirisena will not interfere with the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena said. "President will not interfere with parliamentary affairs. President has said that he will allow Parliament to maintain its supremacy and will transfer some of his powers to Parliament" he said adding "we do not need the assistance of anyone to bring in a no-confidence motion, more..

High risk groups are advised to watch out for influenza symptoms

June 7 (Island) "If a person is experiencing difficulties in breathing accompanied by fever, headache, cough, cold, sore throat and general body aches, he/she should seek immediate medical help against a possible attack of A H1N1 Influenza viral which is spreading these days," advises the Head of National Influenza Centre, Department of Virology, Medical Research Institute, Consultant Virologist, Dr. Jude Jayamaha. more..

Stamp out drug menace in North, President tells relevant officials

June 7 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena ordered the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) to take immediate measures and stamp out the drug menace in the North. The President has directed the NDDCB to work in coordination with the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), a senior official of the Board Dr.Chamira Nilanga Samarasingha, NDDCB Chairman told the Sunday Times. more..

Rajapaksa loyalists oppose dissolution, ready to form regime

June 7 (Island) Loyalists of former President Rajapaksa have warned that a premature dissolution of parliament will be against Commonwealth principles and insisted that they had a majority to form a new govt. Former Minister G.L. Peiris said the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was unavoidable and should be put to a vote soon so that a new administration could be formed at the earliest ending more..

LTTE leader’s wife asks Karunanidhi to break silence on surrender issue

June 7 (Hindu) Ananthy Sasistharan, wife of a senior functionary of the LTTE, urged DMK president M. Karunanidhi and his daughter and MP, Kanimozhi, to break their silence on their role on the issue of surrender of LTTE members to SL security forces in May 2009. Ms. Sasitharan, now a member of the NPC, claimed that “it was after his conversation with Ms. Kanimozhi in Mullivaikkal at about 8 p.m. on May 16, 2009, my husband more..

Present govt’s corruption led to the no-confidence motion: MR

June 7 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says it is the ‘blatant falsehoods, corruption and persecution of the opponents’ by the incumbent govt that resulted in the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickramasinghe. In a statement, MR has noted that it is probably for the first time in the history of the Westminster parliamentary tradition that such a large number of MPs have signed a no-confidence motion but more..

MS walks tightrope for Yahapalanaya within a House divided

June (ST) It’s now obvious that the Govt installed by President Maithripala Sirisena to take forward his yahapalana programme is going off the track. On Wednesday, a special session of Parliament called to confirm nominees to the Constitutional Council (CC) ended abruptly with discussion on the matter put off for another day, a clear illustration that the minority govt of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is a lame duck one, subject to the whims and fancies of an Opposition that has a majority in the House, more..

Ranil Jayawardena meets Karu in London

June 7 (Island) Newly-elected British MP, Ranil Jayawardena met Karu Jayasuriya, Minister of Buddha Sasana, Public Administration and Democratic Governance in London last week. They had a cordial meeting over lunch at Royal Overseas League Club. The lunch was hosted by acting Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London, Dr. Chanaka Talpahewa. Jayawardena attended the meeting with his wife Alison, daughter Daisy, father Nalin and mother Indira. more..

'Govt did not give UNHRC a timeframe'

June 7 (CT) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that investigating any alleged human rights violation or violations of any other specific areas pertaining to humanitarian law in Sri Lanka at any point in time, does not arise out of any obligation or pledge made to any international organization/s or partners but from the govt's own conviction to uphold the rule of law and protect human rights of all the citizens of the country. more..

Why Oppose the Glyphosate Ban?

June 7 (Island) Two Sri Lankan professors have strongly attacked the move to ban glyphosate. The ban has been declared from around April 2014, withdrawn in around July 2014 and firmly declared on May 22, 2015. It has been reported that the ban was initiated on the basis of new research in SL, in effect the hypothesis presented by Dr. Channa Jayasumana of Ruhuna University that CKDu must be caused by toxic chelate compounds produced by glyphosate reacting with minerals. more..

TPA to register as a political party

June 7 (SL) DPF leader Mano Ganesan says registering their newly formed alliance, the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) as a political party, will be their next step. DPF led by Mano Ganesan, National Union of Workers led by Minister Palani Digambaran and Up-country People’s Front led by V. Radhakrishnan joined forces to form the TPA last week. The official launch of the new alliance was held in Colombo last week with the participation of many members representing more..

Bogus online visa website rips off visitors to Sri Lanka

June 7 (SL) Visitors to the country are being ripped off by at least one and possibly more foreign based websites offering online entry visas and immigration services for a fee that is some 200% more than the stipulated govt fee, and the authorities can do nothing to stop it. “These sites are in operation and nothing can be done to eliminate them,” Immigration & Emigration Chief, M.N. Ranasinghe said. “Stipulated fee is US$35 more..

Protect Yahapalanaya from runaway Ranil and manipulating Mahinda

June (Island) Yahapalanaya initiative is facing two different dangers and needs protection from both. First is from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his style of administration. He is one of the prominent champions of the good governance movement and played a uniquely important role in its victory in the presidential election. But by his actions as interim PM since Jan 8, Mr. Wickremesinghe has been damaging the cause of good govt and provoking public cynicism against it. more..

Mahinda rubbishes Ranjan’s claims

June 7 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has denied allegations made by Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, who has quoted President Maithripala Sirisena as saying that Rajapaksa was a suspect in a murder incident. Rajapaksa’s spokesman Rohan Weliwita said allegations are baseless and is part of an attempt to tarnish the image of former President. Ramanayake had said that President Sirisena had accused former President Rajapaksa of being involved in more..

Russian Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka

June 7 (CG) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka, the Foreign Ministry said. Deputy Foreign Minister, Ajith P. Perera, who was in Russia last week for a conference, said that the Russian Foreign Minister had accepted an invitation to visit Sri lanka. Perera represented Sri Lanka at the High Level Conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Security and Stability more..

Southwest monsoon to bring relief from heat and humidity

June 7 (ST) Met officials say that temperatures should decrease but humidity will remain fairly high at 70%-90% in the forthcoming weeks. Met Dept Director General L. Chandrapala said Anuradhapura would experience a daytime low humidity of 60% during the southwest monsoon season, while Kandy’s daytime humidity would usually range from 70%-79%. “Southwest monsoon rains are expected at any time of the day and night in the southwestern part of the country,” he said. more..

GMOF calls for reevaluation of Colombo National Hospital Square (NHS) traffic plan

June 7 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) called for a reevaluation of the Colombo National Hospital Square (NHS) traffic plan as vehicles continue to choke this designated zone hindering the free movement of patients to Sri Lanka’s biggest govt hospital. Motorists cut across the NHS to adjacent destinations causing traffic snarls, which are detrimental to the interests of patients, many of whom are critical and fighting a life-and-death battle, more..

'Did not suggest LTTE leader to surrender'

June 7 (Hindu) DMK MP Kanimozhi dismissed as completely baseless the claim of the LTTE leader Sasitharan’s wife Ananthy that her husband surrendered to the Sri Lankan forces on her advice. “I am not an authority to ask someone to surrender either on behalf of the Indian govt or the Sri Lankan govt. I do not know who is behind this story,” Ms Kanimozhi said when asked about the claim made by Ms Ananthy, more..

Water problem in North to be resolved

June 7 (SO) Irrigation Minister Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa will visit Jaffna soon to hold discussions with Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, PC Ministers and senior govt officials to work out measures on resolving the water problem of the Northerners. He said that while focusing on immediate measures to address their water problem, both for irrigation and drinking, Govt would also ensure the accelerated implementation of the multi-billion dollar Moragahakanda-Kaluganga project more..

Govt accuses opposition of placing barricades

June 7 (CG) Govt accused the opposition of blocking attempts to establish independent commissions. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the country has the opportunity to establish the independent commissions through the constitutional council. However he said that the opposition has refused to agree on the civil society members nominate to the constitutional council. If approved, constitutional council will have the powers to appoint the independent commissions. more..

Lanka Sathosa saddled with 45,000 MT of imported rice worth Rs. 3 bn

June 7 (Island) A stock of 45,000 metric tons of white rice, commonly known as Sudu hal, and par boiled rice (Nadu) worth around Rs. 3 billion imported by Lanka Sathosa during the previous govt remain stagnant in warehouses for the past five months as there is no demand for these two varieties. It was shocking that these imports had been procured at tremendous cost during the former administration in 2014 when Lanka Sathosa more..

Public and private sector coordination for disaster management possibilities remote

June 7 (Island) The implementation for any project within bilateral interest areas would not be fully effective unless there was some unification between the public and private sectors. It was so as witnessed in humanitarian aid extended to Nepal, says Jeevan Thiagarajah, Executive Director, of the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies and the National representative for Asia Pacific Alliance (A-PAD), Sri Lanka. Director General Disaster Management Center, (DMC) more..

Govt claims motion against PM contains forged signatures

June 7 (AM) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake accused that the no-confidence motion filed against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe contains forged signatures. Speaking at an event yesterday, Karunanayake said that although the opposition said that more than a hundred MPs had signed the motion, there were only around 80 authentic signatories who actually signed. Around 15 MPs informed that they had not signed the document, he further stated. more..

Day after unveiling, Prabhakaran's statue vanishes

June 7 (ENS) Public attention garnered by the remote South Poigainallur village near here following the installation of erstwhile LTTE chief Prabhakaran’s statue was short-lived, after the statue was found removed under mysterious circumstances from the Sevugaraya Ayyanar temple during the wee hours of Saturday. Even as some villagers and political outfits claimed that a team of police personnel had more..

Girls’ Home, Child Development Center opened with Japanese assistance

June 7 (Island) Japan provided US$ 111,113 grant aid for the Project to Upgrade a Girls Home in Kurunegala District, which included the renovation of a two storied building, as well as construct a new building for a pre-school and vocational training center with necessary equipment aimed at improving the security, health and educational environment at Wariyapola Girls’ home run by Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society. The home accommodates 43 girls at present. more..

Nine OICs transferred

June 7 (DM) The Police Department announced today that nine Officers-In-Charge of the Police (OIC) had been transferred with immediate effect. Police Chief N.K Ilangakoon had order the transfer due to service requirements under the recommendation of the committee. The transferred Police OICs were: Wlikada OIC K.N. Gunawardana transferred as OIC of the Supply Division at Police HQ, M.A.C.N. Francis from FCID as Acting OIC of Welikada, Y.S.H.I.T. Silva from Panadura more..

JVP calls for setting up of CC

June 7 (DM) JVP today called for the setting up of the Constitutional Council (CC) without the three civil society members stating that there is provision for such a situation in the 19th Amendment. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said parties should discuss this situation as it is an essential move. He said it is essential that the Constitutional Council is set up before going for the elections. more..

'Army dismantled militants’ infrastructure'

June 7 (DP) A reception was hosted in Colombo for Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif by Quetta Alumni association, an effective body of a large group of Sri Lankan military students trained in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion the COAS said that relationship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is special, and defence and security cooperation has been central to this relationship. “We would always stand with our brothers on their way to greater security and prosperity,” said General Sharif. more..