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Call for banning Maggi noodles

June 10 (Island) Toxicologist Dr. Channa Jayasumana urged authorities to ban Maggi Instant noodles which has already been banned in India and Bahrain due to high percentage of Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) taste enhancer and lead, pending independent testing of the product for its safety. He said that the onus was on the Food Control Unit of Health Ministry and CAA to conduct quality control tests on consumer items more..

President to decide fate of 479 in death row

June 10 (CT) The fate of those in the death row will be decided by President Maithripala Sirisena after a committee appointed to make recommendations on commuting death sentences to life imprisonment submits its recommendation to the President. There were 479 prisoners, including five females, serving death sentences. There are also 22 female prisoners of a total of 265 prisoners serving life sentences. more..

CC: Can function with seven members

June 10 (DN) The Constitutional Council (CC) consists of 10 members including three civilians and even if Parliament fails to approve the three persons named to the CC the Council still has the power to operate. It is very likely that the CC will begin to work with the seven members, Dr. Jayampathy Wickremerathne said. He said the CC will commence work in terms of the 19th Amendment, which was adopted recently. more..

20A must have a referendum

June 10 (CT) After a long battle fought hard with his own men, President Maithripala Sirisena finally had 20A approved by the Cabinet on Monday 08 June. This incidentally was a special cabinet meeting convened by the President himself for the special purpose of forging consensus among quarrelling party leaders on 20th Amendment. The irony was, he only wanted 20A and did not have any serious stand on what electoral reforms should be in 20A. It now goes the 20A approved by more..

Amunugama laments paucity of research in the country

June 10 (Island) Paucity of research conducted by the Sri Lankan universities had caused the number of patents registered annually to drop drastically, Higher Education and Research Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama stressed on Monday. He was addressing the 2nd Annual Research Symposium organised by the NCAS at the UGC auditorium. The dwindling number of researchers had taken its toll on the state university system and created huge vacuum in research, he added. more..

Sri Lanka milk competition intense, investment inadequate

June 10 (EN) Demand for fresh milk is high in Sri Lanka but production is inadequate with intense competition to collect what’s available by many players including private firms. “There’s tremendous demand for fresh milk if it’s available at an affordable price,” said Waruna Madawanarachchi, Director of CIC Agribusiness. “Today consumers have to pay about Rs. 180 a litre or around US$ 1.30 – that’s quite expensive. more..

Shares end at 8-week low on political uncertainty

June 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock index fell for a third straight session on Wednesday to close at its lowest level in eight weeks, with turnover slumping to a near three-month low as concerns over political uncertainty dented demand for risky assets. President Sirisena's govt has said it would dissolve parliament once some crucial reforms including an electoral bill are passed, but has yet to fix a date for the election. The main stock index ended down 0.05% at 7,063.45, more..

Sri Lankan doc wins international award for inventing wound monitor

June 10 (Island) Sri Lankan doctor Thusitha Kahaduwa has won an International Award from the Geneva International Competition for inventing a Diabetic Wounds Monitor called Footie. He said that around 300,000 people were suffering from diabetes in Sri Lanka. About 15% of them were affected by foot wounds and about 2% had to undergo leg amputations. He pointed out that when a diabetic patient had a wound on a foot the condition of that patient could not be properly diagnosed more..

Four new Deputy Ministers sworn in

June 10 (AD) Four SLFP MPs today took oaths as Deputy Ministers before President Maithripala Sirisena. MPs Sanath Jaysuriya, Wijaya Dahanayake, Eric Weerawardena and Thilanga Sumathipala were sworn in as Deputy Ministers. Dahanayake has been appointed as the Deputy Minister of Public Order and Christian Affairs and Jayasuriya as Deputy Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Development. more..

Quick political death

June 10 (CT) There has been an impasse created in the functioning of the Constitutional Council (CC). How may the wheels of government turn, if there is no functional CC? Such an impasse conveys the message that the dissolution of Parliament is nigh, ipso facto by forcing the President's hand in this direction on this issue. It's the opposition created by a section of the Opposition in Parliament in approving the nominees to the CC that has created this imbroglio. more..

Minister Samaraweera to Visit Japan

June 10 (GDI) Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs will visit Japan from 17 to 20 June as a Guest of Fumio Kishida, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. During the visit, Minister Samaraweera will hold bilateral discussions with Minister Kishida on issues of mutual interest including promoting cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres, in regional and multilateral fora, and in the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, Foreign Ministry said. more..

Video: President protecting Ranil: NFF

June 10 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena was attempting to protect PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from the no-confidence motion because the UNP votes were procured by Mr. Wickremesinghe for the victory of the President, NFF charged. NFF politburo member Nimal Piyathissa said that they had acknowledged President was compelled to protect PM Wickremesinghe since he had received a considerable support from the UNP more..

Sri Lanka tourism uncompetitive due to high building costs

June 10 (EN) Sri Lanka's tourism product is becoming uncompetitive due to high building costs, a top leisure operator has said while the construction industry has also raised red flags on over-priced material from protected domestic industries. "High cost of construction in Sri Lanka inhibits capacity expansion in the tourism industry and exerts pressure on Return On Investments," Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings Chairman Harry Jayewardena said in the annual report. more..

No ministers will be appointed to CC after next general election

June 10 (Island) Party leaders yesterday decided not to appoint ministers to the Constitutional Council after the next parliamentary election. The leaders who met at the parliament complex had decided that President’s nominee for the Council Ministers Champika Ranawaka and PM’s nominee Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe be permitted to become members of the first council but no ministers would be permitted to become members of the Constitutional Council thereafter, more..

'Suspected Iran sanction-busting vessel came Sri Lanka for bunkers'

June 10 (EN) A suspected sanctions busting crude carrier loaded with Iranian oil had not discharged any cargo in Sri Lanka but had come in for bunkers. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mahishini Colonnne said F Whale, a Pananmanian flagged vessel had entered Colombo Port to get bunkers. "The vessel had not been carrying any oil for CPC (Ceylon Petroleum Corporation) and no cargo had been unloaded from the said ship," more..

'BCCI should help Nepal the way it backed Sri Lanka'

June 10 (PTI) Nepal head coach Pubudu Dassanayake wants the BCCI to support the neigbouring Himalayan nation the way it supported Sri Lanka when it was striving to become a force in international cricket. Dassanayake, who played 11 Tests and 16 ODIs for Sri Lanka between 1993-1994, has sought more support from the powerful BCCI at a time when he is supervising Nepal's first official camp in India. "I would want to put this matter into perspective. more..

Nimal asks govt to honour promise to grant economic relief

June 10 (Island) Leader of the Opposition Nimal Siripala de Silva called upon the Govt to provide to the House an explanation as to its current financial position because it had failed to honour the promise to grant immediate economic relief to people under its 100-Day Programme. "The govt came to power with a 100-day programme which promised to increase the Samurdhi allowance by 200 per cent, to waive the interests on pawned gold jewellery to a sum below Rs. 250,000, to write off 50% of more..

'Visible achievements of my govt now coming to light'

June 10 (AD) Commenting on the recent report that Colombo has become the fastest growing destination city among 132 leading cities around the world, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has asserted that these improvements were among the most visible achievements of his govt and this has now gained formal international recognition. Issuing a statement, he said “I note with immense pride that the MasterCard Global more..

Rajitha lauds Loku Athula

June 10 (Island) Leader of the JVP Rohana Wijeweera betrayed his comrades who launched an unsuccessful rebellion against the then govt in 1971 and it was Athula Jayasinghe known as Loku Athula who rectified that mistake, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne told Parliament. Participating on the condolence vote on late MP Athula Jayasinghe, he said that when Wijeweera was accused of leading 1971 insurgency, the so-called leader of the JVP said he had nothing to do with it. more..

Army insists no security threat to Jaffna

June 10 (CG) The army today insisted that there was no security threat to the Jaffna peninsula following the January 8 Presidential elections. Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Nandana Udawatte also denied reports that additional troops had been deployed to Jaffna following the recent protests over the rape and murder of a girl in the area. The protest in the Jaffna town turned violent with stones being pelted towards the police and the Jaffna Courts Complex. more..

Kalam to visit SL to discuss power & energy

June 10 (ENS) Former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will be the Chief Guest at a Sri Lankan govt - organized conference on issues relating to power and energy to be held here on June 26 and 27. Minister Champika Ranwaka, had met Kalam in New Delhi on June 8 and invited him to attend the conclave as the Chief Guest and that Kalam had accepted the invitation. President Sirisena would be visiting New York to attend more..

Includes explosive sole eyewitness account

June 10 (CT) The Report on the investigation into the Welikada Prison riots on November 9, 2012 was handed over to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by the Minister of Justice Dr. Wijedasa Rajapakshe yesterday. The report was the product of the three-man committee chaired by retired High Court Justice Wimal Nambuwasam. Ministry of Justice said in a media release that the report on the incident was handed over to the PM yesterday at the Prime Minister's Office. more..

DV Upul further remanded till June 15

June 10 (AD) SPC Minister D.V. Upul, who was arrested over controversial comments he made regarding the FCID, has been further remanded until June 15 by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. Upul was arrested on Monday after he was summoned by the CID to record a statement for allegedly asking people to stone to death officials of the FCID. CID today informed the court that inquiries are ongoing to locate the unedited raw footage containing the politician’s statement in question. more..

Govt to host Diaspora festival

June 10 (DM) Ministry of Foreign Affairs was planning to host a festival of Diaspora by the end of the year in a bid to facilitate meaningful interactions between the govt and the Diaspora communities to move forward reconciliation and development efforts. MFA Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said Ministry was also considering the possibility of making the festival an annual event in order to harness the tremendous capacity more..

Kolonnawa political abduction: Cops look for senior cop who released abductors

June 10 (CT) Police Special Investigations Division is trying to ascertain the identity of the senior policeman who is alleged to be behind the disappearance of Janaka Dodampegama, brother of the Kolonnawa Urban Council (UC) Chairman and the abduction attempt on the UC chairman Prabath Udayashantha in 2012. A senior police officer revealed that on 3 March 2012, when the UC Chairman was in the vicinity of the Kolonnawa play-ground, a group of over 25 alleged security more..

Woman laundering Wele Suda’s drug money remanded

June 10 (CT) Chief Magistrate of Colombo Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday ordered that Pelage Nisansala Sandakumari, a suspect alleged to be the girlfriend of drug kingpin Wele Suda, be remanded until 19 June. Large amounts of money 'Wele Suda' had earned through drug dealings are said to have been deposited in bank accounts by this woman. Sandakumari, a mother of three children, who lives in Makandana, Piliyandala, was arrested by the CID. Wele Suda who is connected to big time more..

Mubarak back in Test squad for Pak series

June 10 (CI) Jehan Mubarak has made a comeback to the Sri Lanka Test squad after nearly eight years, for the upcoming home series against Pakistan. Three younger players were also included in the 16-man squad: offspinner Tharindu Kaushal, uncapped fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera and left-handed batsman Kusal Perera. Fast bowler Shaminda Eranga was not considered because of a back injury while more..

Forceful evictions in Colombo suspended

June 10 (CG) Govt has decided to suspend the forceful eviction of people and forceful land acquisition in Colombo. A Govt statement said that the Chairman of the UDA has been instructed to immediately stop land acquisition activities in the guise of development in the Colombo District and to stop forceful evictions and acquisitions. The Chairman was further instructed to device a more humane mechanism in consultation with officials of the area and with involvement of civil society. more..

Video: PM’s no-confidence motion: President will not interfere, says Yapa

June 10 (AD) By any means, President Maithripala Sirisena will not interfere to take decisions in connection with the motion of no-confidence filed against the Prime Minister, General Secretary of UPFA Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. The observation was made at a press conference held at the SLFP headquarters, this afternoon (10). Yapa also dismissed claims made by Deputy Minister Ajith. P. Perera that there was a move to withdraw the motion against the PM. more..

Video: Work on Northern Expressway to begin soon

June 10 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said everything was in place to begin the construction of the first phase of the Northern Expressway within a couple of days. The minister said the construction was estimated to cost US$2.3 billion and that they had received the funds for the project. “We have received the funds to begin the construction of the Northern Expressway. We will start work by next week. more..

The impact of the 19A

June 11 (CT) “A prophet is not without honour save in his own country”. My many weaknesses are well known to CIMOGG. I therefore consider it as a signal honour to have been invited to prophesy as it were, about the possible impact of the 19th Amendment. Judge Learned Hand, a distinguished American Judge made these observations. I quote “What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, more..

UN & Northern provincial govt

June 11 (CT) It is with some trepidation that I read the news item Sri Lankan Govt committed to Resettlement in the Daily News. The news items contained the full text of speech made by Subinay Nandy, Resident Coordinator of the UN, Sri Lanka at the Donor Conference on the Comprehensive Policy Framework and Formulation of the Resettlement Action Plan held in Colombo on June 4. Mr Nandy has confirmed a Peace Building fund of USD 3 mil to “establish and operationalize processes more..

'Maithri - Mahinda combination will help a UPFA victory'

June 11 (SO) 'A Maithri- Mahinda combination will be the panacea to win the next General Election'- this is the contention expressed by SLFP National Organiser, MP Susil Premajayantha. Commenting on the UPFA's chances of winning the next General Election, he said if the UPFA unites and contests under one banner under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena with the support of former President, more..

Parliament and Cabinet need reliable economic analysis

June 11 (DM) A regular feature of Sri Lanka’s public debates and writing on economic issues is that they are infused with factual inaccuracies or claims that are quite misleading. This reflects poor political and public understanding on the real state of the economy and undermines sound economic decision-making in the country. This Insight shows how pronouncements on the cost of international borrowing have been subject to just this problem. The problem is aggravated by the fact that more..

One last bid for the 20th Amendment

June 11 (CT) An MP for each polling division, an MP you can hold accountable when things in your area are not working, said the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA), CEO, Asoka Abeygunawardana. He is the architect behind the proposed 20th Amendment, which will bring in a mixed electoral system of first past the post (FPP) and proportional representation (PR). "Right now we have an MP for the whole district and he has to not only spend a lot of money more..

'I’m a true Buddhist'

June 11 (CT) Controversial UPFA Provincial Councillor D.V. Upul says that he was a student of a Dhamma school and a true Buddhist. He said "I associate with Buddhist monks. But I am sad when I see injustice done against me." Q: Are you supporting the movement to bring former President Rajapaksa back to politics? What made you say that you wanted to stone police officers at the FCID to death ? more..

What Ban Ki-moon told Maithri...

June 11 (CT) The diplomatic circles in Colombo were buzzing last week as to why the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon, suddenly telephoned President Maithripala Sirisena. Though Ban Ki-moon had reportedly praised Maithri's Government over the phone, the UN Chief's main idea has been to confirm whether an election would be held before the UNHRC sessions in September. It was reported in the media that Maithri had told the UN Chief that he would attend the next UNHRC sessions more..

Breaking the deadlock

June 11 (DN) The special Cabinet meeting, convened by President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday, is likely to go down in history as one that changed the political landscape of Sri Lanka. The meeting was convened with the sole intention of breaking the deadlock over the 20th Amenment and arriving at a final settlement on its passage in Parliament. The Cabinet meeting came against a backdrop where the SLFP attempted hard to have the upper hand when it came to the 20th more..

Paving the way for Rajapaksa renaissance

June 11 (FT) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, arguably the previous regime’s most powerful man, may be under fire from a plethora of investigations into procurements and dealings during his tenure as chief accounting officer for the Ministry of Defence. But nearly six months after his brother’s stunning election defeat rendered him jobless and without immunity, some of the bravado appears to be returning. more..

Editorial: Cardinal’s lament

June 11 (Island) Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has recently lamented a fall in religious and moral values, widespread indiscipline, corruption and the high crime rate in SL. This sorry state of affairs is attributable to the politicisation of the school system, among other things, he says. Deploring the takeover of schools, he has noted that instead of pictures of religious significance there are photographs of politicians in schools today. more..