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Hospital debacle was coming, says official

June 12 (ST) Officials suspected that a Korean-aided hospital reconstruction project was doomed to failure, an expert said in the wake of last week’s emergency evacuation of the main block of Negombo Hospital. An assessment by the Health Ministry revealed that the seven-storey building was unsafe and the evacuation was carried out hastily on Saturday last week, the authorities not waiting to repair the damage in stages while hospital business continued. more..

Catch 22: SL sports – same predicament

June 12 (ST) Amidst constant weight from the international sports governing bodies, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Sports assured that it would expedite the process of holding Annual General Meetings or elections of 18 local sports governing bodies. According to a paid advertisement of the Ministry of Sports published in local daily newspapers the deadline set for the AGMs or elections is the final week of July. Ministry of Sports, however, came under severe warning from more..

US State Department envoy meets CPC chief

June 12 (DM) Despite Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Kolonne denying any attempt to unload one million barrels of Iranian crude oil in the Colombo Port, a White House-nominated US State Department envoy met Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Chairman Ranjith Wickremasingha to discuss this matter. He told Daily Mirror that he had met a US embassy delegation to explain the alleged attempt at more..

Sajin moves court seeking Rs. 500M from police

June 12 (Island) UPFA MP Sajin Vaas Gunewardane filed a fundamental violation application, challenging his arrest and subsequent detention by the CID. He has claimed Rs. 500 million in damages. He is suspected of misappropriation of 22 vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat. Petition claims that he duly returned the vehicles and hence no offence was committed. Respondents are Inspector Dissanayake and the OIC of FCID, both of the CID. more..

UNP for electoral reforms sans any burden on public

June 12 (Island) Minister Niroshan Perera said that the UNP had taken cognisance of the urgent need for electoral reforms, though it strongly opposed proposal to increase the number of members to facilitate the process. "UNP has always recognised the need for electoral changes. Progressive electorate knows the party stand as well as its flexibility in this regard," he said. The people’s expectation wasn’t for a further expanded parliament; the UNPer said, adding that more..

SC: Petition against FCID fixed for support

June 12 (Island) The Writ Application filed in the Court of Appeal by Venerable Elle Gunawansa Thera, Rohan Weliwita and Professor Carlo Fonseka were called before the Court yesterday and fixed for support on June 17, 2015 subsequent to notifying the respondents about the petition. Petitioners had complained that the gazette notice which established the FCID was bad in law and should be quashed by the Court. more..

'SLFP, UPFA not involved in Matara meeting'

June 12 (Island) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha has said that the SLFP and the UPFA are not involved in organising a meeting at Matara today (12). MP Premjayanth, in a statement issued last night said that recently advertisements had been published in the newspapers without approval from the SLFP and the UPFA. However, a spokesperson for bring-back-Mahinda-campaign said that SLFPers wouldn’t be deterred by attempts to sabotage the meeting. more..

Sri Lankan in dock over inappropriate kiss

June 12 (KT) A 49-year-old unemployed man faced charges on Thursday for allegedly kissing a three-year-old boy on his lips. The Sri Lankan has been charged with molestation in the Court of First Instance. The boy’s nanny, a 40-year-old Filipina who witnessed the incident, that happened on April 1, reported it to the police. She said in the public prosecution investigation that she was with the boy around 6:20 pm on Jumeirah beach when the defendant approached them. more..

SL to raise up to $2 bn in foreign borrowings

June 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new govt plans to borrow up to $2 billion from overseas, finance minister said, just two weeks after raising a billion through its first international bond issue. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the govt was seeking at least $1 billion with a five-year tenure, but may increase the loan amount to $2 billion depending on the market response. "Tomorrow we will advertise and call for bids. more..

Full Text: No Confidence motion against PM included in Parliament addendum

June 12 (SLP) The No Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has been included in the addendum of Parliament that was issued today (10). No date has been fixed for it’s debate. Vote of No Confidence on the Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe, Prime Minister,— Whereas the Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe, Prime Minister performing the functions of the Office of Prime Minister without enquiring the consent of the majority in Parliament in contravention of the Constitution more..

Incumbent and former education ministers make uneducated exchanges

June 12 (Island) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody warned former and incumbent education ministers not to behave like children in Parliament. He gave this warning following former education minister Bandula Guanwardena and incumbent education minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam locking horns during a debate on a fraud that is alleged to have taken place during the tenure of Gunawardena. A tensed situation prevailed following MP Gunawardena challenging more..

Mangala under fire over talks with GTF in UK

June 12 (Island) Opposition demanded to know from the govt whether Minister Mangala Samaraweera had obtained prior permission from the President, the PM or the Cabinet of Ministers to have talks with the members of Global Tamil Forum, a banned pro-LTTE terrorist group in London. Leader of the Opposition Nimal Siripala de Silva said there were reports that Minister had held talks with the GTF, which had been acting against national more..

NCPA to probe child abuse in Jaffna

June 12 (CT) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) will appoint a committee to investigate into the reports of child molestation in the Jaffna District. NCPA Chairperson Natasha Balendra said the NCPA's mandate focuses primarily on advising the government on legal and policy reform in relation to child abuse and monitoring the implementation of such laws and policies and monitoring the activities of all govt institutions involved in the investigation of child abuse cases. more..

No system in Grade One admissions: CTSU

June 12 (CT) Govt has not created a new system to regulate admission of students for Grade One in the coming years, said the Ceylon Teachers' Services Union (CTSU). Convener for the Teacher-Principal Trade Union Collective and the General Secretary of the CTSU, Joseph Stalin said that the circular that was previously released by Ministry of Education regarding the admission of students for Grade One for 2016 was not an original document, but one that was adopted in 2011. more..

FM welcomes 150 new dual citizens of Lanka

June 12 (FT) Reaffirming govt’s commitment to build bridges with the Diaspora communities, Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday handed over dual citizenship certificates to 150 Sri Lankans living overseas. At a ceremony to hand over the dual citizenship certificates, Minister issued a warm welcome to Sri Lankans who he said had chosen to renew ties with their country of origin. “President realises true value of the Diaspora more..

HC asks Centre for clarity on admissions for Lanka refugee kids

June 12 (TOI) Madras high court has asked the Centre to make it clear whether it proposed to make any provision for admission of Sri Lankan refugees' children in professional courses. The first bench put the question to the Centre on Wednesday while hearing a petition seeking MBBS admission for a Tamil refugee girl who had scored 1170 (out of 1200) in Class 12 last year. She was denied admission solely on the ground that she was a Lankan refugee. The bench pointed out that more..

Rs 6.6 M busted: Mattala, Magampura Project openings

June 12 (CT) The former govt busted up a mammoth Rs 6.6 million on the opening ceremonies commissioning the fuel storage complex of the Mattala Airport and the Magampura Port in 2014, the govt revealed in Parliament. Minister Gayantha Karunathilake told Parliament that the Ministry of Power and Energy during the former regime had spent Rs6.6 million for the opening ceremony of the fuel storage complex of Mattala Airport and Magampura Port held on 22 June 2014. more..

'Domestic mechanism alone not enough'

June 12 (FT) A domestic mechanism alone to deal with accountability for human rights in Sri Lanka is not likely to be sufficient, a senior US Senator said. Senator Patrick Leahy told the Senate on Tuesday that it was essential that the justice process was not only about truth telling, but was also a “credible, independent mechanism with authority to investigate, prosecute and appropriately punish those responsible for war crimes”. more..

Debate against Ravi K on July 4

June 12 (CT) No confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake will be taken on 4 July. This was revealed during a heated verbal exchange between MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena and Minister Karunanayake in Parliament. Gunawrdena asked Karunanayake whether he was ready to face no-faith motion against him, to which Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella responded saying that party leaders today agreed to take it up only on 4 July 2015. more..

Massive fraud at Education Ministry - Purchase of computers

June 12 (CT) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told Parliament that he would order an investigation into the allegations of a massive fraud in the purchase of 60,000 personal computers by the Education Ministry during the previous regime. The computers were to be installed in science laboratories. He said that the 60,000 computers had been purchased at a price of Rs 110,000 per unit when they could have been bought at between Rs 40,000 to 50,000 each. more..

No arrests of political nature IGP directs FCID & CID

June 12 (DN) IGP has directed the heads of FCID and the CID to desist from making arrests of a political nature until further notice. IGP N.K. Illangakoon has given this instruction against a backdrop where certain politicians and former state officials have sought the judiciary's intervention to prevent possible arrests. However, IGP's instruction has put a damper on some key investigations carried out by the FCID and the CID, more..

Girls should be protected

June 12 (DM) Amid an increasing number of reports of sexual abuse and violence against women and children even in Sri Lanka, the world was shocked by a UN report from the devastated, poverty-stricken Haiti. Report said UN peacekeepers had been engaged in transactional sex with more than 225 women and girls, who engaged in the activities to get essentials like food and medicine in return. About 75 of the girls or women sexually abused by UN’s stabilization mission in Haiti involved more..

Challenge of reviving the public citizen

June 12 (DM) Market driven societies are prone to atomization. This is understandable. Given the fact that life chances of individuals are increasingly dependent on contractual relationships, i.e. employer-employee, political-patron and citizen-client, doctor-patient, private hospital-individual patient, tuition master-pupil, scientist and corporate sponsor, etc. most people do not see possibilities for finding collective solutions to their personal problems and miseries. more..

'They continue to rob our land'

June 12 (DM) The Palestinian ambassador Zuhair Mohammad Hamdallah Zaid in an interview with the refuted claims by his counterpart- the Ambassador of Israel regarding the Israel- Palestine issue. Excerpts from the interview. Q: Ambassador, who do you actually represent? Are you a representing the Palestinians in Gaza under Hamas or the ones in the West Bank under Palestinian Liberation Org (PLO)? more..

Electoral reforms: President resolves deadlock

June 12 (DM) The impasse over the electoral reforms seemed over on Monday night when President Maithripala Sirisena settled for the criterion proposed by the UNP for the election of MPs under a combination of the First Past the Post System and the District Proportional Representation System. In the original concept paper, presented by the President, it had been proposed to increase the number of seats to 255 from present 225. more..

Golden handshake for excess workers at Fisheries Corporation

June 12 (Island) The govt is planning to restructure the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation (CFC) by removing its excess workers through a compensation scheme to improve its operational efficiency and financial management. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that it should find a durable solution to control fish prices. The restructuring of the CFC involved removing its excess workers by paying them compensation, Minister said. more..

Looking for solutions on the Tamil issue

June 12 (SL) The Tamil national issue led the country down a terrible war path that lasted for nearly three decades but the real issue remains barely addressed. With the change of the regime, political analysts, activists and academia from the North of SL observed a positive political change in terms of freedom of speech and movement given to the people in the North and East. However even the new govt has yet to address more..

Cricket’s survival: Think out of the box

June 12 (ST) In the past few weeks we were looking at cricket’s crystal ball striving to visualiae as to what could bring about a solution to this prevailing impasse. This is not an ailment that afflicted cricket during the past few months, but a cancer that is gradually devouring all the fat cells in Lankan cricket since the game went big time in 1996. From what we learned during this traverse is that there are three main players, of whom more..

‘Treasury bond issue was done in fully transparent manner’

June 12 (DN) Q: Can you give us a brief explanation about yourself? I am the son of a Sri Lankan diplomat who served the country for more than 30 years. I studied at Royal College, Colombo. I did my A/Ls in 1977 and left for the UK for my tertiary education. I received my tertiary education at the Oxford University in the UK. I studied overseas for 3 years & joined Central Bank in 1983. I worked at Mahaweli Authority as an economist more..

$ 100 m annual loss due to EU ban on fish exports: Govt

June 12 (FT) Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday revealed that the country incurs a $ 100 m annual loss due to the ban on fish exports by the European Union. He said that the EU market used to buy 68% of Sri Lankan fish exports and Sri Lanka was still placed as the second largest tuna exporter to the region. “By the end of this year, hopefully we could get the ban lifted by the EU. EU has made some recommendations more..

'Slinging mud to take political revenge'

June 12 (CT) Deputy Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda yesterday informed the Supreme Court that MP Tiran Alles cannot be taken into custody as the Attorney General was yet to decide on the issue. Bench comprised Rohini Marasinghe, Buwaneka Aluwihare and Upali Abeyratne. Deputy Solicitor General Kodagoda made that submission to Court when the FR case filed by Alles was taken up for hearing. more..

JVP must end: Somawansa

June 12 (CT) Former JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said the JVP must come to an end because it is today a misguided political movement. He alleged that JVP has taken money from those who were behind the attempted coup on 9 Jan, and that is why they pretend ignorance of the attempted conspiracy. "JVP was created to protect democracy and social justice. We lost 100, 000 comrades fighting for those lofty goals. more..

Cabinet approves 20A with 237 Seats

June 12 (CG) The cabinet, which met for another special session today, has agreed on a new proposal for electoral reforms via the 20th Amendment to the constitution. Accordingly the cabinet, which on Monday agreed on a 225 member parliament, has now agreed to a proposal by President Sirisena for a 237 seat Parliament. 237 seats will be divided into 145 members elected via First-Past-The-Post system, more..

LTTE bogey

June 12 (CT) UPFA MP and NFF Leader, Wimal Weerawansa is a known demagogue. He reached his peak at the last general election (GE) held five years ago, when he obtained the second highest number of preferential votes (PV) in the island, i.e. a total number of 280,672 votes, contesting under the UPFA ticket from the Colombo District (CD). But now his star appears to be on the wane. Nevertheless, in the 2010 GE, Weerawansa got 47,715 votes more than UNP Leader and more..

Suggestions to end cruel punishment on women & girls

June 12 (CT) Today parents are concerned whether the freedom of movement of women & girls has become a burning issue. They have been the target of cruel punishment and torture. The recent rape and murder of Vidya from Pungudutivu sends the message that revenge is the emotion of anger coupled with the desire for destruction, in addition to many similar incidents earlier. Such heinous crimes are committed not only by barbaric citizens but also by the armed security forces more..

Arjuna Mahendran's ITN interview

Australian HC, Conservator General of Forests mark World Environment Day

June 12 (Island) Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie and the Sri Lankan Conservator General of Forests Anura Sathurusinghe marked World Environment Day with a ceremonial planting of two Sri Lankan trees, an Ebony and a Na, at the official Australian residence in Colombo on 10 June. High Commissioner commented that "adding the ebony and Na tree to the garden today is a symbolic gesture of the continuing process of renewal and growth here at the residence and more..

'Take advantage of technological progress while protecting Asian values'

June 12 (Island) "The West has made giant strides in the fields of science and technology. We in the SAARC region need to take advantage of this progress. We in Asia are also inheritors of centuries of rich Asian culture and traditions. It is therefore vital that while we embrace technological advancement we also ensure that our rich heritage, culture and traditions are not broken down. Asian culture has enriched and strengthened the family as a vital base of social cohesion and more..

Video: CID grills Namal on A'pelassa incident

June 12 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa was today questioned for nearly five hours by the CID on how one of his armed security officers came to be at President Maithripala Sirisena’s meeting in Angunukolapelassa. He was also questioned about Southern Provincial Council Minister D.V. Upul, who in his presence, had threatened to stone to death the police officers attached to the FCID. more..

Sri Lankan shares recover after four-day fall

June 12 (EN) Sri Lankan shares ended a four-day losing streak to close higher Friday with foreign investors on the selling side, brokers said. The All Share Price Index gained 9.76 points (0.14%) to close at 7061.28 while the S&P SL 20 index, rose 7.99 points (0.2%) to close at 3914.01. Turnover was 1,595 million rupees of which net foreign selling accounted for 865 million rupees with 12 crossings or off-the floor negotiated deals seen during the day, brokers said. more..