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How Mahinda benefits from 19A

May 3 (Island) The 19th Amendment is now officially in force. Yet we have still not seen a complete copy of the Amendment. Not even the MPs who passed the Amendment really know what they passed into law. What happened last Tuesday was an example of how not to pass legislation. As the whole parliament sat as a committee to do the last minute changes to the 19th Amendment, we saw dozens of amendments being proposed and being approved by the assembled MPs. more..

Today is vesak full moon poya day

May 3 (DN) The unsatisfactoriness that we experience in life arises due to the way we live. Gautama Buddha saw this and showed the world how to live free from both unsatisfactoriness and its cause. None of us wants to experience unsatisfactoriness willingly, it comes to us owing to the way we live our life and while we engage in our day to day affairs. Therefore, meditation is not merely to sit at one place with closed eyes but to identify and more..

Mukhtar guides Pak A to consolation win

May 3 (CI) A 93-ball 96 from Mukhtar Ahmed and Fawad Alam's unbeaten 76 helped Pakistan A to a consolation win over Sri Lanka A in the third and final unofficial ODI at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Chasing 278, Israrullah was trapped leg before by Nisala Tharaka in the seventh over. Mukhtar was then involved in two 70-plus partnerships with Khurram Manzoor and captain Fawad Alam, where he struck 11 fours and two sixes before falling to Lakshan Sandakan more..

A right to know is a right for all

May 3 (NS) The 19th Amendment was passed. It remains this govt’s first real reform victory, ironic given that it was approved after the 100-day program ended. During these past few months we’ve seen promises made and unkept. That’s natural, given the state our politicians usually are in whenever they try to win the people’s mandate. For the moment though, one important aspect of their program has been covered. The govt is to be applauded for this. more..

'Player discipline vital for success'

May 3 (NS) Sri Lanka ‘A’ may have won the three-match one-day series against Pakistan ‘A’ when they took an unbeatable 2-0 lead with a win in the second game played at Hambantota on Wednesday, but their main aim to provide a steady flow of players to the senior team remains a major concern. “Winning is the key for me in any form of game but at the same time if we can produce a few players to the national side more..

Some depositors unhappy over F&G PDL & RECL appointments

May 3 (Island) The Depositors’ Society of F&G PDL and RECL has expressed displeasure over the appointment of, what it termed, "four persons without any professional qualifications" to manage the assets of these two former Ceylinco subsidiaries. "We need professionals with requisite skills and experience in their chosen fields to handle this enormous task", says retired Brigadier Ranjan de Silva, the president of the Society. Central Bank recommended appointment of 4 depositors, more..

Sirisena buoyed, Ranil foxed, Mahinda unaffected, with 19th amendment

May 3 (SL) The passing of the 19th Amendment to the constitution has been presented as a great achievement for President Sirisena and for Ranil Wickremesinghe. In reality whilst Sirisena may well claim some merit there is no gain in any shape of form for Ranil Wickremesinghe. Many of the proposals he put forward were abandoned because the SC interpreted the proposed amendments by saying that on a number of issues, there was a need for a referendum of the people. more..

Ravi K bows down to TU threat

May 3 (NS) The reinstatement of the General Manager Bank of Ceylon (BoC), D.M. Gunasekara on April 27, 2015 after being suspended on the orders of Minister Ravi Karunanayake April 6, 2015 raised many eyebrows within the business community this week. Finance Minister was forced to annul the suspension and reinstate the senior banker due to the tremendous pressure exerted by the 8,000 employee-strong trade unions (TU) more..

Ramanayake to replace Vaas

May 3 (NS) Former Sri Lanka cricketer and fast bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake is likely to succeed Chaminda Vaas as fast bowling coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team. Vaas’ two-year contract with Sri Lanka Cricket ended on April 30 and according to an SLC media release “on a mutual agreement it was decided not to go for an extension of the said contract.”During the recently concluded World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, there were issues that cropped up in relation to Vaas more..

SC case against Treasury bond issue on Tuesday

May 3 (ST) The Supreme Court Fundamental Rights (FR) petition seeking an independent inquiry into the controversial Central Bank Treasury bond will be heard by court on May 5, according to Saliya Peiris, lawyer appearing on behalf of the petitioners. Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, embroiled in the case owing to his son-in-law’s family firm securing 50 per cent of the said Rs.10 billion bond, returned to work last week from self-imposed leave after a 3-member more..

Million dollar payments rushed for tourism media blitz

May 3 (ST) Sri Lanka Tourism, it has been revealed, has made colossal spends amounting to millions of dollars that were paid off in a rush the day before and after the Jan 8 Presidential elections for a purported international media blitz. According to confidential documents seen by BT show that former Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Bhashwara Gunaratne and its its former Managing Director Rumy Jauffer more..

WI tour of SL: SL women's team picked

May 3 (CT) The National selectors have announced a 14-member Sri Lankan women's squad for the upcoming bilateral series against West Indies which will get underway at the R. Premadasa International Stadium in Colombo on 13 May. The two teams will play a four-match ODI series and a three-match T20 series, and participate in a nine-day training camp before the start of the series. Nipuni Hansika, newly included for this series, will open the batting with Prasadini Weerakkody. more..

A tensed week for tired Maithri and Ranil

May 3 (CT) The Draft Bill of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in Parliament last Tuesday with a two-thirds majority. It is no secret that political dialogues, discussions, workshops and secretive discussions, lectures and various other programmes were held during the recent past to enable this amendment to be adopted. The debate on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was postponed twice, subsequent to it being presented in parliament, due to the practical problem of more..

June 1 deadline to meet 80% graphic pictorial warnings on cigarette packs

May 3 (Island) In keeping with the new regulations, the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) will have to adhere to the June 1, 2015 deadline to complete the process of ensuring 80% of the top surface area of both the front and back of every pack of cigarettes sold in Sri Lanka is covered by graphic pictorial warnings, senior trade officials said. "It will be a punishable offence to sell any locally manufactured brand of cigarettes sans more..

Project by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka wins prestigious National Productivity Award

May 3 (Island) Dompe e-hospital triumphs in delivering productivity and quality of health services at local hospitals through ICT. The President, Maitripala Sirisena recently presented the National Productivity Award to Dompe e-hospital as a result of using ICT to improve the productivity and quality of health services at hospitals in Sri Lanka. The e-hospital pilot project was launched at the Dompe Govt Hospital in 2011 with the Technological and Financial assistance of the ICTA. more..

Bahrain ambassador presents credentials

May 3 (BNA) Bahrain’s Ambassador to India Tariq bin Daina has conveyed greetings from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness PM Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy PM, to the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. He also conveyed to him their best wishes of further progress and prosperity to the Sri Lankan govt and people. more..

Annual partnership dialogue with US

May 3 (ST) United States and Sri Lanka agreed yesterday to establish an annual partnership dialogue. “I have asked teams from our govt to mobilise quickly to provide assistance (to Sri Lanka),” the visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry declared. He said officials of the US Treasury and Commerce Departments would come to Colombo soon to work with the SL Govt on economic measures that could be taken for more..

Ensure fair minority representation: Mano

May 3 (CT) Leader of the DPF Mano Ganesan urged the govt, to ensure fair representation of minorities in the electoral reforms. He said addressing a May Day rally that the govt should not only consider the representation of minorities, but small political parties too. "Minorities don't have opportunities to become the President of this country. Therefore, at least their representation in the legislature should be ensured in a fair manner. We should obtain our representation through more..

No free SLCTB buses for May Day

May 3 (SO) Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara said that SLCTB were provided to political parties to transport supporters for the respective May Day rallies, upon payments being made for the transport service. SLCTB buses were provided to political parties on the official requests made by the provincial leaders, only after levying the due payments. Several weeks ago, a schedule was formulated to release buses for May Day-related transport without incurring more..

20A: Cabinet to decide on May 13

May 3 (ST) Cabinet will take up the 20th Amendment to the Constitution with proposals for a new electoral system when it meets again on May 13. The amendment, which has now been compiled by the Legal Draftsman’s Department, was last taken up in the Cabinet on Wednesday. President Sirisena presented it to ministers, advised them to study it carefully, and to arrive at a consensus with all political parties before the next meeting. more..

Rs. 2.5 billion train deal with India

May 3 (ST) Sri Lanka will buy diesel engines and compartments for the Railway from India at a cost of more than US$ 200 million (Rs. 2.5 billion), Transport Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. The deal would be under the Indian credit line offered during the recent visit of India’s PM Narendra Modi, he said. The minister said 160 compartments, 30 tanks for fuel transportation and six diesel engines would be bought with the delivery scheduled for next month. more..

Second rescue & relief contingent fly on SLAF C 130 to Nepal

May 3 (MoD) Second section of the emergency rescue and relief contingent aboard an SLAF flight, left BIA for the earthquake-stricken Nepal Today (2) to assist ongoing rescue and relief operations in Kathmandu. Captain of the Aircraft Sqn Ldr VGP Mahanama and Co-pilot Wg Cmdr DKM Krishantha that the SLAF C-130 aircraft will be landed at Katmandu around 1600 hrs. This two experienced pilots were piloted the first ever Air craft flown to Kathmandu and landed it on 27th April 2015. more..

President’s diplomacy brings about win-win solution to 19A

May 3 (ST) It was an epochal weekly meeting of ministers last Wednesday. There was table thumping and clapping amidst a heap of praise for President Sirisena. It was deservedly for ensuring the passage of the 19th Amendment in Parliament last Tuesday. Most eloquent were Ministers Rauff Hakeem and Rajitha Senaratna. “All praise to Your Excellency,” Hakeem said, adding jokingly that “even our PM, who also more..

Transformative 19A Experience

May 3 (Island) The transformative benefits of the 19th Amendment are arguably more in the experience of its passage – the whole business of its drafting, judicial preview, debate, enactment and adoption, than in the content of its provisions. First, the drafting itself was a very public and effectively contested process, easily without precedent, or parallel, in Sri Lanka’s chequered constitutional history. Second, the judges of the Supreme Court played their part with independence and more..

Heroes of the constitution

May 3 (SL) When both sides to a match claim victory and are satisfied with the result, it is a positive indication that the match was played in the best of spirits and that future encounters of the two sides are ensured. 19th Amendment was the culmination of a bitterly drawn out political struggle going back over three decades and ended to the satisfaction of both the govt and opposition as the voting indicates – 219 votes for, over and above the required two thirds majority and only one dissenting vote. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

May 3 (ST) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga turned up in Kandy for SLFP Bala Mandalaya (branch) meeting. It was addressed by President Sirisena. Thereafter, she joined him on a helicopter ride to Matale for a similar meeting also addressed by Sirisena. Her vehicle and security entourage went by road to Dambulla where Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekoon entertained the VIPs for lunch. more..

Uncensored report: 19 A parliament drama

May 3 (CT) 28 March 2015 will go down in the annals of Sri Lankan parliamentary history as the day on which , as midnight closed around Parliament, an unprecedented majority of MPs approved the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, after two days marked with debate, discussion, compromise and accommodation by both sides of the house. A tired Parliament had on another occasion also been in session from morning more..

TNA to urge US backing for ethnic solution

May 3 (CT) The TNA will at its meeting with visiting US State Secretary John Kerry today seek US support to strengthen the political process aimed at finding a political solution to the ethnic question, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. Sumanthiran said that Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran will be part of the TNA delegation which will be meeting the US Secretary of State today. more..

Lanka Sathosa HR Director on the mat

May 3 (Island) The shocking outcome of a probe by the Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) that a director of a state-run institution had allegedly concocted academic qualifications to secure the job and drawn an all-inclusive package of around Rs. 200,000 per month, was swept under the carpet during the tenure of the former govt, senior officials disclosed last week. The high-ranking officer concerned claimed he had the requisite more..

Port City: Ships could face obstacles

May 3 (SL) Sand from the Port City project which is being washed out to sea as a result of the suspension of the project by the new Govt could have an impact on ships entering the Colombo Port, an Engineer who was attached to the planning of the Port City project said. The huge amount of sand unloaded for constructing the project is now eroding and gathering around the coastal area around the Colombo harbour, he said, more..

Leap in US-Lanka naval ties

May 3 (ST) Just days before US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Sri Lanka, an encounter that signalled renewed military co-operation between Washington and Colombo played out in the Indian Ocean. The US Navy top brass rolled out the red carpet for a top level Sri Lanka Navy delegation. They landed on board their Nimitz class aircraft super carrier Carl Vinson in the high seas 225 miles off the coast of Sri Lanka. more..

Gun totting soldier at MS meeting arrested

May 3 (DM) The soldier who had allegedly had a weapon to the President’s meeting last month had been remanded till May 12. The soldier, Corporal Senaka Kumara, attached to the Commando Unit was arrested by the CID last night and produced before the Agunukola Palassa Magistrate. A special investigation was launched by the CID into an incident where the soldier said to be a security officer of MP Namal Rajapaksa more..

Rajapaksa faction wants MR to lead campaign; Nimal says CC must decide

May 3 (ST) Permitting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to lead the UPFA’s election campaign and the inclusion of him in the nomination board are among the conditions to be put forward to President Maithripala Sirisena for the unification of the alliance, some party members said yesterday. However, Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, reacting to the conditions of the pro-Rajapaksa faction, said more..

‘Rajapaksas no longer have horses to ride or helicopters to gallivant in’

May 3 (Island) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said that the biggest obstacle to save this country earlier was LTTE leader Prabakaran. After him, it was President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Now, he has also been sent home for the greater good of this country. Addressing the May Day rally of DP, he said he felt sorry when he saw a photograph in a newspaper of Rajapaksa wearing a sarong and T-shirt, seated behind a table in his village. more..

Former SL diplomat missing in London

May 3 (Island) A former diplomat in the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, has gone missing and the Colombo Magistrate’s Court has allowed the police to seek Interpol assistance to trace him. High Commission sources said that Sepala Ratnayake’s services had been terminated on March 4, 2015 and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London has been informed that he is no longer a diplomat. more..

The Changing Significance of May Day

May 3 (Island) What is the significance of May 1st in Sri Lanka? Although it is a seemingly broad question, the connection between May Day and the larger workers’ struggle provides a useful opportunity to reflect on the successes and losses of the country’s labour movement. Toward this end, the authors of this article sat down and discussed with veteran unionists and organizers regarding both the history of May Day and contemporary challenges. The goal was to use May Day as a platform more..

Sirikotha stands on JVP land?

May 3 (CT) It was 1977. J.R. Jayawardhana moved the govt institutions in Colombo to Kotte and named that area Sri J'pura Kotte. It was reported that the buildings were to be constructed for the Parliament and several other govt institutions. Back then the office of JVP was in a small room at the Divul Gas Junction. In order to finance the party activities, a fund was started and a campaign was launched to collect money. After 7 days of that campaign the party fund was enriched by 2,35,000. more..

Let’s be mindful this Vesak

May 3 (NS) Of the 12 Full Moon Days of each year, Vesak, or the Full Moon of May, is of great significance to the Buddhists. It is believed that the Gautama Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death (Parinirvana) took place on Vesak Full Moon days. While poya is a day when we get to relax, for many it is also a day of attending to religious activities like going to temple, observing sil, minding one’s behavior or giving alms. more..

A Vesak Story

May 3 (Island) A few miles away from Kandy town there is a village called Halloluwa. A long low ridge runs along the margin of this village and down below is a valley by the name of Springdale. It is a quiet place remote from human habitation. Along the slopes of the valley and stretching to the crest of the ridge is a deep forest. Trees and shrubs grew in abundance here. There were trees that were enormous and old with age, and there were young and slender ones struggling upwards more..

US to help SL recover stolen assets: Kerry

May 3 (EN) The United States will help Sri Lanka tackle corruption and recover stolen assets, by working helping with investigations and prosecution, visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry said. "Our investigators are prepared to work with your investigators," Kerry said in a speech in Colombo. "Our prosecutors are prepared to work with your prosecutors. And we commit that any stolen assets in the United States will be returned to their rightful owners." more..