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Govt dragging Lanka Under West: NFF

May 2 (CT) NFF member Piyasiri Wijenayeka addressing a fair gathering of workers at the Party's May Day rally stressed that the combination of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe was trying to draw Sri Lanka under Western and American imperialism. He said former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who finished the war against the LTTE always stood up against the West and American imperialism. more..

New govt run by Western lackeys: MR

May 2 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his May Day message, read out at the UPFA dissidents’ rally at Kirulapone, said that the country had entered an era of mega deals under the new govt which was run by the lackeys of western powers. The former President said that under the UPFA rule those forces had not been allowed to dictate terms to Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa urged the working class to rally round more..

This is time of opportunity in SL: Kerry

May 2 (DM) US Secretary of State John Kerry today made a pledge to the Foreign Minister and his delegation, of US's interest to work with Sri Lanka and to help in any way possible to shape the future of the Sri Lankans. While commending on the progress made in the country during the past few months with concern to restoring democratic institutions, increasing accountability and the passage of the 19th amendment, more..

Letter to Secretary Kerry on his visit to SL

May 2 (CT) Welcome to the Pearl of the Indian ocean. They used to call us the tear drop of the Indian Ocean, and rightly so, but we always preferred Pearl. Despite everything we’ve been through, we have always believed that a better day is possible. And today, we can say with much certainty that the better days are here and we are striving to sustain them. Your support in this time of transition is invaluable, and I believe, I speak for all the youth of our country when I thank you more..

Psychopathology anyone?

May 2 (CT) While there has been no dearth of analysis of one description or another of Sri Lanka’s progress towards an out-and-out dictatorship and of the hopeful signs since the 8th of January 2015 of at least a partial retreat from that headlong journey to perdition, at no point has the state of affairs from which I hope we escaped (at least temporarily) been subjected to a psychiatric/ psychological examination. Neither has there has there been, to my knowledge, any attempt to more..

Kerry says U.S. wants to renew ties with SL

May 2 (Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday the United States wanted to renew ties with Sri Lanka and announced the start of an annual bilateral dialogue after years of tensions with the island nation's former govt. Kerry arrived in the South Asian country earlier on Saturday, the first time in a decade that a U.S. secretary of state has visited Sri Lanka. Washington had years of tensions over human rights with more..

Kerry hints at Sri Lanka elections in months

May 2 (EN) The visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Saturday that Sri Lanka will face a parliamentary election in months, suggesting that the assembly could be dissolved shortly. "As the govt heads for parliament elections this summer, Sri Lankan will continue to rely on their tremendous leadership and their commitment," Kerry said after talks with his counterpart Mangala Samaraweera. He also heaped praise on the new administration and drew a comparison with more..

Mahindodaya with borrowed funds by another name

May 2 (ST) Former and present Education authorities wrangled over the name for the project to establish Technology Laboratories in underprivileged Secondary Schools islandwide to upgrade them to National Schools, to provide equal opportunities for rural students. Heated words were exchanged between Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane along with a few UPFA PC members, when Minister ordered removal of name Mahindodaya more..

FUTA demands investigation into Dons’ attack

May 2 (CT) The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) has today demanded an investigation into the yesterdays’ attack on Dr Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and Dr Kumudu Kusum Kumara and that those responsible be brought before the law. On the 1st of May a group of persons brutally attacked former FUTA President and current media spokesperson, Dr Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and Dr Kumudu Kusum Kumara, also more..

Weerasekera deplorable in Dehiattakandiya

May 2 (CT) Residents of Dehiattakandiya, carrying black flags Thursday, vented their anger against SLFP Digamadulla MP Sarath Weerasekera for having opposed the 19th Amendment. After pasting posters all over town and carrying black flags through the streets they said Weerasekera had insulted the nation by voting against the 19th Amendment. "We are staging these protests against Ampara people's representative Weerasekera because he voted against 19th Amendment more..

SLFP MPs attend two rallies

May 2 (Island) Several SLFP MPs had participated in both May Day rallies organised by the SLFP at Hyde Park and UPFA rebel group in Kirulapone. MPs Kumara Welgama, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Salinda Dissanayake and Prabha Ganeshan had participated in both rallies. Arundika Fernando, Ranjith Zoysa, Dilum Amunugama and Udith Lokubandara participated at the Kirulapone rally ignoring the SLFP one at Hyde Park. more..

State Wesak Festival in Mahiyangana

May 2 (GDI) The annual state Vesak festival will be held at the Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya on May 3 and 4. The main ceremony will be held under the patronage of President Sirisena on May 4. Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya chief incumbent Ven Urulawatte Dammarakkitha Thero said over 10,000 devotees are expected to observe Sil which will include around 2,000 shoolchildren. more..

9% of new born babies have hearing defects

May 2 (Island) Around 9% of new born babies are detected to be suffering from hearing deficiencies at birth in Sri Lanka. If timely medical attention is not paid, they will become dumb in later life, the health ministry said. Highly sophisticated medical devices which were capable of diagnosing hearing complications of new born babies at birth were donated to De Soysa Maternity hospital and the Lady Ridgeway Children Hospital for the first time recently. more..

Rules to govern sale of Buddhist flags and atapirikara

May 2 (ST) The govt will issued standards for Buddhist flags sold in the open market and impose strict conditions on the quality of atapirikara sold in the market, Minister Karu Jayasuriya said. “There is a standardised version of the Buddhist flag but some people have begun to modify it and sell it,” the Minister said. The sale of atapirikara too will be standardised as it has been found that people were being hoodwinked by unscrupulous traders, he added. more..

First robotic assisted key hole kidney surgery performed at SJGH

May 2 (Island) Director of the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH), Dr. Susitha Senaratne said they would introduce the robotic assisted surgery to operate on gynaecological patients from next week following the success the hospital had with the second kidney transplant using the same technology. Dr. Senaratne said that a team from SJGH performed the first ever Robotic assisted key hole surgery in removing more..

Is sports minister Navin on a Rajapaksa witch hunt ?

May 2 (CT) K.D.S. Ruwanchandra the Deputy General of the Ministry of Sports has officially served a letters to the Executive Committee of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) headed by Asanga Seneviratne informing almost all of them that they cannot contest the scheduled ‘Annual General Meeting’ which is due to be held shortly. “Surprisingly no reason has been given for the disqualification!” Seneviratne told ‘Colombo Telegraph”. more..

New ambassador of France to present credentials to President Sirisena

May 2 (Island) On the 29thof April 2015, the newly designated Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka, Mr Jean-Marin Schuh, officialised his nomination by presenting his credentials to the President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena during a formal ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat. A career diplomat, he last served as Deputy Director for the Asia and Oceania Department at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development from 2012 to 2015. more..

Coastal Conservation Dept. claims coral, beach defence plans in hand

May 2 (ST) Plans to protect threatened beaches and corals have been drawn up by the Coastal Conservation and Coastal Resources Management Department. The department’s new Director-General, Prabath Chandrakeerthi, said officials had already completed a project to prevent beach erosion at Unawatuna and plans to apply the same technique to Marawila area after finding massive coastal erosion more..

PAFFREL wants equal enthusiasm to bring in electoral reforms

May 2 (Island) People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has called on the govt to bring in the 20th Amendment to the Constitution to reform the electoral system. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said it was the onerous duty of the govt to display the very same enthusiasm it had to get the 19th Amendment passed by Parliament to bring in electoral reforms. While expressing their gratitude to President, PM, Govt, Opposition, intellectuals, civil organisations more..

Bill to include fingerprints in passport

May 2 (ST) Govt will on Monday present a Bill in Parliament to amend the Immigrants and Emigrants Act, to include fingerprints in passports. These amendments will empower the Department of Immigration and Emigration to “for the inclusion of fingerprints in the passport, of a person applying for or renewal of a passport.” Under the new regulations, new passports or renewed passports will also include the fingerprint data. The information would be saved in a designated more..

Govt merely taking steps to consolidate power: FSP

May 2 (AM) Instead of making the citizens empowered, the good governance govt is taking steps to consolidate the power they gained, Frontline Socialist Party Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda said on Friday. Addressing the May Day Rally, Jayagoda further said that even the two words good governance were not making any sense when it came to the working class. “Those two words were originally invented by World Bank for more..

No follow-up action on BoC

May 2 (NS) The Nation learns that although the committee appointed to probe the controversial Bond Issue by the Central Bank recommended an inquiry into the involvement of the Bank of Ceylon (BoC), no action has been taken so far. The Committee found that there was no direct involvement of Governor Arjun Mahendran but clearly implied the possibility of complicity indirectly. It further questioned strange behavior of Perpetual Treasuries, owned by Arjun Aloysius, more..

'An opportunity to declare country’s revival'

May 2 (NF) Minister Sajith Premadasa says that the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Sri Lanka is an opportunity to declare to the world, the country’s revival. The minister, speaking at an event, said that in the past all the western nations led by the United States of America were angry with our country adding that various activities in our country were criticised. He went onto say that human rights resolutions were brought forward against our country. more..

Rishad calls for Presidential Commission

May 2 (NS) Minister and Vanni District MP Rishad Bathiudeen has called for the appointment of a Presidential Commission to probe allegations of unauthorized settlements inside forest reserves. The minister made this revelation in response to a query regarding allegations that under the minister’s blessings, people were continuing to be illegally resettled in the North after clearing away of protected forest lands. more..

'Two major issues nearly derailed 19A'

May 2 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, said that two major issues had threatened to derail negotiations meant to reach consensus on the 19 Amendment to the Constitution last Tuesday. Minister Rajapakshe, who played a vital role on behalf of the UNP during marathon negotiations with the SLFP in the run-up to the passage of the 19 Amendment, asserted that the appointment of the Cabinet of Ministers by the President on PM’s advice as well as more..

President thanks Maharajas for helping objectively

May 2 (CT) President Mathiripala Sirisena extended his gratitude to the Capital Maharaja Organization for the support they extended to ensure his victory at the Presidential Election. "At a time when I left my party, at a time when I left my friends to contest the Presidency I thought I would get isolated politically. However, there were different sections of people who accepted me and helped me in the election campaign. As a renowned media institution I am happy to say that Maharaja was in forefront more..

Kerry warns Sri Lanka that Tamil reconciliation will take time

May 2 (AFP) US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Sri Lanka on Saturday that true reconciliation with Tamils after the island's devastating ethnic conflict will take time as he praised the new reformist govt. Kerry hailed President Sirisena's administration for reaching out to the Tamil minority after the end of a 37-year ethnic conflict that claimed more than 100,000 lives, saying SL was at a pivotal moment. more..

19A: Moment in History

May 3 (SO) The Buddha told his foremost Disciple, the Venerable Ananda, that "... as long as the Vajjis call frequent public assemblies of the tribe; as long as they meet in concord, conclude their meetings in concord and carry out their policies in concord, so long they may be expected not to decline but to flourish...". That was with reference to the early republicanism of the Vajji confederacy. The Tathagatha will surely approve of the legislative concord so long they may be expected not to more..

19th Amendment: Where to from here?

May 3 (SL) With the passing of the 19th Amendment, the nation witnessed a turning point for Sri Lankan politics. The journey, started by pioneering thinker N.M. Perera in 1978 as envisioned in his speeches, has now reached its pinnacle with the passing of this bill. There are many stakeholders both great and small that should be shown gratitude and respect for making this herculean task a success. The passing of this Amendment must be seen as a success for more..

External powers, Indian Ocean & our security

May 3 (SO) Indian Ocean, the third largest ocean in the world, has now surpassed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as the world's busiest and most critical trade corridor. Over 50% of the world's container traffic and 70% of global energy trade transits the Indian Ocean passing Sri Lanka. These numbers will grow over the next decade, fuelled by the Asian economic expansion and the growing need for raw materials and energy resources more..

Some thoughts for Vesak

May 3 (Island) On this thrice blessed Vesak day commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka who take pride in the fact that it is this small island that has been the repository of Theravada Buddhism over the centuries, join 500 million Buddhists the world over in celebrating an annual festival marked by spiritual fervor and visible manifestation of joy for the gift of the Buddha. People throughout the country will today more..

Kerry brings FDI

May 3 (CT) In the backdrop of US Secretary of State John Kerry's promise of bringing in US investments to Sri Lanka after the general elections, when he spoke to reporters in Colombo yesterday, it may be moot to recall that Ceylon FT in an article published three months ago, ie on its issue of 5 Feb, predicted of such a development. That article published under the heading " BoI Chief's appointment, 'too little, too late' Investors willing to wait till June," said, "The govt's recent appointment of Upul Jayasuriya more..

'Mahinda can contest'

May 3 (SL) Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva is being talked about in the political arena very much these days and the newspaper cartoons too depict him very often. Sunday Leader spoke to de Silva on the 19th Amendment and the role of the opposition in the present political context in the country. Q: Let us start with your role today, what is it like? A: I have to act an extraordinary role which was not experienced in entire political more..

Game Changers at Campbell Park and Hyde Park

May 3 (Island) The May Day rallies organised in Colombo were a political game changer. The most impressive rally by far was that of the UNP at Campbell Park in Borella. The arrangements and attention to detail were above anything seen even in the heyday of the UNP and the crowds were phenomenal. For the first time since the 1980s we had a glimpse of what the UNP once was under J.R.Jayewardene. Had the UNP put on such a show of strength just a few days earlier, they would more..

President’s finest hour as he honours pledge restoring people’s dignity

May 3 (ST) When President Sirisena stood up to speak in Parliament on Monday morning, he was on the threshold of fulfilling the most important pledge he made to the people during his election campaign. He was also fulfilling a promise two of his predecessors had pledged to keep but reneged, once elected to the almost unassailable office of the executive president of the country. It may have been a twist of fate, but nearly 40 years after the enactment of the 1978 Constitution, more..

'19-A: Threat to national security'

May 3 (SL) During the vote on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the only MP who voted against it is Sarath Weerasekara – former Rear Admiral, former Director General of the Civil Defence Force, former Deputy Minister and current MP of Digamadulla. Weerasekera says he opposed the Amendment in Parliament as he felt there was a hidden agenda behind the entire process. He said that the Draft Bill was more..

JR’s legacy suffers a sea change

May 3 (ST) My dear JR, Even though you are in the Land of Never Return, I thought I must write to you to let you know that one of your legacies to the nation was changed forever this week after 37 long years: your all powerful Executive Presidency was modified and no longer looks like what you wanted it to be. One of the people responsible for the change is your nephew who you introduced to politics 40 years ago. The other is a simple farmer from Polonnaruwa who now leads the country. more..

Kerry visit marks revival of US-SL ties

May 3 (ST) US Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Sri Lanka today after an overnighter. It is the first official -dedicated – visit by so senior a US diplomat since William P. Rodgers came, back in 1974. Colin Powell visited along with two ex-US Presidents in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, mostly to inspect the damage. The significance of the Kerry visit, however, is a diplomatic and political signal that US-SL relations are back on track after the previous administration sank ties to an all-time low. more..

Yearning for the true spirit of vesak

May 3 (CT) The swishing of Vesak lanterns dangling in pavement shops is the messenger that conveys the arrival of the holy day to city dwellers. Unfortunately, in today's world, most people have no time in their packed schedules to cut a bamboo stick into 24 equal pieces, tie them and make an atapattama or vesak kuduwa on their own. Gone are the days when children gathered around their parents and more..

Buddha's wisdom and a universal law

May 3 (Island) Around twenty six centuries ago on a day as today a most remarkable event in the history of the world took place when wisdom dawned on earth with the Great Enlightenment of Gautama Buddha. A world lost in abysmal darkness for countless aeons was swathed in the benign glow of an astounding discovery made by the Great Sage. The abstruse mentality - materiality nexus of life and the solitary path to the extinction of existential desire, lay bare. more..