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Internal democracy: A comparison of the two leading parties

May 26 (SL) At an SLFP district convention held in Polonnaruwa recently, President Maithripala Sirisena issued a statement with regard to strengthening the SLFP membership. The statement comes at a crucial time in Sri Lankan politics where the mechanisms of internal democracy are in dire need of reform. Political parties in Sri Lanka must pay attention to this fact and work towards developing their internal democracy, for it has been put off for far too long. more..

Judiciary under pressure

May 26 (SL) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe’s statement over the Supreme Court ruling on former Defence Secretary’s Fundamental Right (FR) application, it is now being questioned whether the politicians in the new govt too are trying to influence the country’s judiciary like how the previous regime is accused of interfering with the judiciary. It was one of the main election slogans of then opposition that they will not more..

Editorial: Pumpkins and bumpkins

May 26 (Island) Old habits die hard. Leftist firebrand Vasudeva Nanayakkara has incurred the wrath of many for hurling obscenities at PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament the other day. Time was when Vasu was young and strong enough to play with the mace. He used to run away with that decorative stick at the drop of a hat, disrupting as he did, parliamentary proceedings. Last week’s drama starring him came after a lapse of many years. Using abusive language in Parliament, more..

Aitken Spence ups net profit despite tourism sector drop

May 26 (DN) Aitken Spence PLC has reporting a profit before tax of Rs 5.7 billion and profit after tax of Rs. 4.9 billion, for FY 14/15 despite the decline in tourism sector bottom line. The diversified Group’s annual revenue rose a marginal 0.7% to Rs. 35.3 billion whilst earnings per share declined by 2.5% to Rs. 8.82 for the financial year. “Although this year has been a difficult year in terms of performance, it must be noted that while riding the wave of external challenges, more..

Expert reveals leadership archetypes of MR, Prabha, Maithri and Ranil

May 26 (FT) What are the probable archetypes of some of our political leaders? This was aptly explained by expert Michel Nugawela yesterday at a VIP CEO Forum over breakfast when he introduced Leadership Archetyping, the first of its kind in Asia. He revealed 12 archetypal dimensions of leadership transformation, each with its own motivational needs and perspective. The 12 archetypes are Innocent, Orphan, Warrior, more..

Access Engineering posts solid performance

May 26 (FT) Access Engineering PLC released its unaudited results for the financial year 2014/15 to the CSE on 22 May. Accordingly, turnover at the Company level for the year ended 31 March 2015 was recorded at Rs. 11.2 b with an after tax profit attributable to shareholders of Rs. 1.8 b. Top line for the fourth quarter of 2014/15 FY was recorded at Rs. 2.5 b with a corresponding profit of Rs. 316 m. During the quarter under review the Company further expanded more..

Jaffna unrest had political dimension too

May 26 (Island) The mob violence that suddenly burst forth in Jaffna has given rise to multiple interpretations, both in Jaffna and elsewhere. Opposition politicians have claimed that the displaced Sinhalese who have been resettled in parts of Jaffna were being targeted. Others claimed that national security had been jeopardized by the demilitarization taking place in the North and the entrusting of security measures to the police. They saw in the unrest the footprint of the Tiger more..

Rumeshika set to break Dharsha’s 100 metres record

May 26 (Island) Just two days after being included in the Sri Lanka team for the Asian Athletic Championship, St. Joseph’s Balika sprinter Rumeshika Ratnayake proved beyond doubt that she is a future prospect as she improved on Damayanthi Dharsha’s Junior National 200 metres record for the second time in the meet on the third day of the Junior National Athletic Championship at Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium on Monday. more..

High insurance premiums slowing down electric car sales

May 26 (DM) Insurance premiums on electric cars in Sri Lanka are significantly higher than those of traditional vehicles, owing to spare parts non availability and other technological issues. Sources said that premiums are around 40-50% higher for Nissan Leafs, which form 93% of the electric car market in Sri Lanka. The general unavailability of car batteries has caused the high premiums, and a fluctuation has been seen between different insurance service providers due to more..

The Lankan ensemble

May 26 (DH) Sri Lankan singer and beatboxer Julius Mitchell had a penchant to experiment with sounds. But he was clueless on how to go about practising the art especially because he found a dearth of beatboxers in the country. This brought in a sense of frustration in the youngster. Yet, not wanting to subject himself to this limitation, Julius went on to pick up the nuances of beatboxing through YouTube tutorials while innovating with sounds on the mic on his own. more..

Pathfinder proposals presented to JVP

May 26 (FT) Pathfinder Foundation (PF), which has completed developing a comprehensive economic policy reform roadmap Charting the Way Forward: Prosperity for All commenced handing over its copies yesterday. PF Chairman Bernard Goonetilleke handed over this document to JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva. PF Director K.Balasundaram, Executive Director Luxman Siriwardena and Project Manager more..

65% children, 90% adults afflicted with gum disease

May 26 (Island) Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said around 65% of children in the ages of between 5 and 6 years and about 90% of adults between the ages of 34 and 44 were suffering from gingivitis (a type of gum disease) in Sri Lanka. Minister said gingivitis was a gum disease which caused complete decay of the gums and teeth. Health Ministry had launched the Oral Disease Review Survey from today and it would end in 2016. more..

Govt agrees to pay Rs. 1,000 monthly allowance to health sector employees

May 26 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake agreed to pay a monthly allowance of Rs. 1,000 to 40,000 health sector employees who work under 27 health grades. He approved this proposal during a trade union meeting held at the Finance Ministry yesterday under the patronage of Minister Rajitha Senaratne and Director General of Health Services Palitha Mahipala. Govt will allocate Rs. 480 million annually. He confirmed that this allowance would be implemented from next month. more..

Excise busted liquor racket by embassy driver

May 26 (DM) A major racket involving the selling of selling foreign liquor at Rosmead Place by the embassy of an Asian country was busted when the Excise Department seized 100 bottles of foreign liquor worth over Rs. 400,000 yesterday. The Excise Bureau of Special Operations had been informed that a driver attached to the particular diplomatic mission had been engaged in selling foreign liquor taking advantage of more..

Rupavahini set to win TV rights despite higher bid by CSN

May 26 (CT) The ministry of sports on recommendation by the SLC has decided to entertain the bid for television rights for international cricket in Sri Lanka forwarded by the SL Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) ahead of a much higher bid from rival station CSN. CSN had won television rights for a three-year period from 2012-2015. This was before Sri Lanka Cricket decided to call for fresh bids after the minister dissolved the previous committee of SLC and replaced it with more..

Diploma on Human Rights

May 26 (GDI) Institute of Human Rights, Colombo, has announced its latest Human Rights diploma programme which is 8 months in duration and is conducted in Sinhala, Tamil and English. Diploma programme caters to a wide audience which includes professionals from the public and private sector, students, teachers, media personnel, service personnel and NGO personnel. This programme is delivered by a panel of human rights academics, activists and professionals working with govt, more..

'Cannot allow Army to rule the Province'

May 26 (CT) Chief Minister, NPC C.V. Wigneswaran said he cannot accept to allow the Army which had committed war crimes to rule in the province. "No one requested the Army to provide security for us. If somebody did so, he or she must be some collaborator or one who is afraid of the Army or a spy of the Govt", he added. He further said the Security Forces should get out from the North. Resources in the North are being robbed and more..

Mother commits suicide unable to breast-fee

May 26 (CT) Lactation failure, or in other words, failing to breastfeed the new born child can, in fact, be a problem to a mother. Advancement in the medical field has solutions for these issues. An ignorant mother ended her life due to this. This is the story of a mother named Mallika Damayanthi who lived in Pollebadda a remote village where Adivasis or Veddahs also live. Mallika and her family led a penurious life. They hardly had food to fill their stomachs. more..

FR petitions by Alles & 2 others on May 27

May 26 (Island) Fundamental Rights Violation petition filed by Director General of Divineguma Kithisiri Ranawake, Area Co-ordinator of Divineguma Bandula Chandrasiri, and parliamentarian Tiran Alles will be called before the Supreme Court at 10 a.m. on May 27, 2015. Ranawake and Chandrsiri have complained of an illegal arrest by the FCID. Alles has complained of a likely illegal arrest by the FCID and requested the court to prevent his arrest. more..

PM says that if MR returns to power he will legalise rape

May 26 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that if former President Rajapaksa returned to power he would alter the Constitution to allow women to be raped and sexually abused. Wickremesinghe said this at a meeting organised for social media activists at Temple Trees. Speaking about the recent rape of a schoolgirl in Jaffna, he pointed out that Rajapaksa’s supporters were trying to incite racism in more..

State-owned Litro Gas leaks in its tender procedure, selection process

May 26 (ST) A tender to supply lp gas to state-owned Litro Gas Co. has run into controversy, with allegations of irregularities in the tender procedure and selection process. Tenders to supply 190,000 Mt LPG closed last month with the tenders initially due to be opened on a Sunday. Following objections from the bidders, the tender opening was postponed for a working day. The tender document too contained conditions which did not comply with standard procedures which discouraged more..

Super gain tax, Mansion Tax still at Committee stage

May 26 (CT) Ministry of Finance may face a revenue target crisis due to non-passing of Finance Act and Inland Revenue Act amendments which deal with Super Gain Tax and Mansion Tax. Secretary to Ministry of Finance Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said that all those revenue amendments were still at the Committee Stage of Parliament and if they are not passed within the lifetime of this Parliament, they become null and void, which would impact revenue targets for 2015. more..

Maithri wants drug dealers et al ousted from Parliament

May 26 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena says he is committed to eliminating drug dealers and other social undesirables from Parliament and the proposed new electoral system will help achieve that goal. Informed sources said when some UPFA MPs asked the President during their group meeting held in Colombo if the next general election would be held under the current electoral system or the proposed First Past more..

PM orders comprehensive report on CB transactions under previous regime

May 26 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday directed the Central Bank and the Monetary Board to furnish a comprehensive report on transactions that had been carried out by the Central Bank during the previous administration to the Policy Planning Ministry. An aide to the Prime Minister told The Island last night that the report would be submitted to the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and a special committee inquiring into stock market transactions. more..

Ravi says MR regime handed Govt an unpinned grenade

May 26 (FT) Despite several allegations by the Opposition, the Govt was trying its best to take the economy forward with transparency despite being equipped with limited resources, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. “If the economy was damaged, it only happened during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime. We were just handed an unpinned grenade,” he said. The Minister said that this Govt faced no financial crisis but that the only crisis was created by the previous administration. more..

Film on slain SL TV journalist banned in India

May 26 (Hindu) Central Board of Film Certification has refused to certify Porkalathil Oru Poo, a film based on real life story of television journalist, Isaipriya, who was allegedly killed in captivity by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the final stages of the civil war in 2009, on the grounds that the film could strain friendly relations with foreign States. Film director, K. Ganeshan, who is yet to get a formal letter of rejection, protested decision. more..

'Sri Lanka rich in foreign reserves'

May 26 (DN) Sri Lanka’s official foreign reserves which stood at US$ 7.6 billion has not eroded at any cost despite opposition allegations. The rupee has also been at a stable position and has added no pressure against the US dollar due to prudential govt policies, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. “We are rich in foreign reserves,” he said. “The govt does not face an economic crisis and has not stopped any economic development activities at any cost. more..

2 Anunayake Theras appointed after 162 yrs

May 26 (DM) After a lapse of 162 years, two Anunayake Theras were appointed to the Asgiriya Chapter by the Karaka Sangha Sabha led by Asgiriya Mahanayake Most Ven. Galagama Attadassi Thera. Election was held at the Asgiri Historic Poyage, presided over by the Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake Thera. The 18-member Karaka Sangha Sabha elected uncontested Ven. Panditha Wendurawe Upali Thera- Trustee of the Historic Polonnaruwa Solosmastana and more..

New security plan before year-end

May 26 (DM) State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene said that a new National Security Plan would be in place before the end of this year and that it was being prepared by the three service commanders and the police chief. When asked whether SL would obtain strategic inputs from foreign powers like the US and India and other friendly countries who have closely cooperated in defence-related matters, more..

Time to stop selling our mothers

May 26 (DM) In Dambadeniya yesterday, a desperate young father carrying his five-year-old child and a bottle of petrol protested on a tree requesting the Govt to bring his wife back from Saudi Arabia, where she had been working as a domestic for the past two and a half years. Man came down from the tree after Foreign Employment Bureau officials promised they would act fast to bring the young mother back. This incident spotlights tragedy of more than one million SL women, more..

Was corruption under the Rajapaksa regime Efficient?

May 26 (DM) Some of the most influential members of the former regime are now behind bars over allegations of bribery and corruption. Formert Minister Basil Rajapaksa was re-remanded last week. Gotabaya Rajapaksa obtained a restraining order against his imminent arrest. Johnston Fernando is in remand custody. So is Mahinda Rajapaksa acolyte, Sajin Vas who reportedly suffered red patches on his skin due to prison conditions. Latter is better known as parasite more..

A whale of a time in Sri Lanka

May 26 (WA) “This not an aquarium,” says Raja, our wiry, vest- wearing skipper, as our boat edges out into the serene Indian Ocean under luscious, pinky-blue skies speckled with squawking gulls. “Remember, it’s nature. So please don’t ask every five minutes ‘Where are the whales?’” It’s almost word for word what I was told yesterday, by another crew member, when I signed up for this whale- watching tour in an office plastered more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest in parliamentary polls

May 26 (Xinhua) Former President Mahinda Rajapakse had informed his close aides that he will contest in the parliamentary elections which are expected to be held in the country in July, a senior opposition member said. He said that Rajapakse had already begun to conduct meetings on a weekly basis with the opposition MPs who were publicly supporting him and Rajapakse's future in politics was being discussed. more..

'Non-tariff barriers largest road block to ties with India'

May 26 (BS) A banker turned politician, SL’s deputy minister for highways and investment promotion Eran Wickramaratne says trade and investment with can grow exponentially but makes a strong case for reduction in non-tariff barriers by India. Wickramaratne explains how both the countries can prosper and help the region. Q: Both the heads of India and SL have said economic ties are pillar of relationship between the two. more..

'I didn’t handle the campaign for the last election'

May 26 (DM) Dilith Jayaweera, Managing Director of Triad Advertising, and an individual who has been at the centre of controversy during the past decade or so from time to time, spoke to the Dailymirror on many issues relating to him and his relationship with the former regime. Q: Mr. Jayaweera how badly do you miss the Rajapaksas? A: Yes. But in a different context and not the same context under which many do. more..

Nets within nets: Untangling the problem of illegal fishing in the North

May 26 (ST) Early this month three fishermen from Jaffna were selling their catch along the main road when a couple of Navy officers stopped to buy some. One of the fishermen thought he would be honest with the officers and had apparently told them that the fish was not good for cooking as they were caught by means of an explosion, in other words, dynamite fishing. The fishermen were arrested immediately by the two officers and more..

IUSF now finds present regime worse than the previous

May 26 (Island) The present govt was worse than the previous regime as it had launched a hunt for student leaders who campaigned against privatisation of education and private universities, the IUSF said yesterday. Convener of the IUSF, Najith Indika, said the govt was harassing not only student leaders but also their relatives. "My brother, too, was summoned to the Colombo Crimes Division to make a statement on Monday," more..

Farmers face double whammy: Cancer in addition to CKD

May 26 (Island) Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Research Scientist Dr. Channa Jayasumana warned farmers in CKD endemic areas were stricken with cancer. He pointed out that the research team headed by him would conduct a comprehensive survey on how and why those farmers had been affected by cancer above the national average. Many CKD researchers had shown scientifically that the constant use of more..

New twist in Wilpattu issue

May 26 (SL) The former Govt has been accused of distributing forest lands in Wilpattu to settle Muslims in order to show the Human Rights Council in Geneva that the Sri Lankan govt was implementing the recommendations of the LLRC. Accusing the former regime of the present situation in Wilpattu, a source at the Forest Conservation Department who wished to remain anonymous said that he was surprised why the environmental more..

Counter revolution using social media: Ranil

May 26 (DM) A counter revolution is being mooted over social media to rob the hard-won freedom of the people and these attempts should be defeated, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. He made these comments when he met several social media groups at Temple Trees and said these elements were using the killing of 18-year old Vidiya in Jaffna to fuel their attempts. more..