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The Middle Path to Social Justice

Nov 7 (DM) With extreme capitalism and socialism going into recession or depression all over the world, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday outlined the comprehensive and revolutionary socio-economic policy which would bring Sri Lanka to the hallowed middle path. He described it as a third generation policy, the first two being the Jayawardene era and the Premadasa Era. The regular crises in the United States, Western Europe and other countries have proved that the wholesale globalized, more..

Civic society, come out against govt corruption

Nov 7 (DM) If a substantial section of Sri Lanka’s people took the risk of being labelled as ungrateful to a political leadership that defeated terrorism and voted that political leadership out of power, not once but twice, it is for one reason: To bring good governance. But it is high time the people fired a salvo at the politicians, who, campaigning on a platform of good governance, came to power through the Jan 8 presidential election and the August 17 parliamentary elections. more..

Enjoying undue benefits

Nov 7 (SL) Nearly four months since dissolution of the previous parliament and two months since the resignation of the former Cabinet of Ministers, PMs and Ministers of previous regime are still enjoying undue benefits, as they continue to use the govt vehicles and residential quarters, and facilities that were given to them by the previous govt while they were in office. A recent Cabinet meeting revealed that of the 621 vehicles that more..

TNA trying to resolve all issues amicably

Nov 7 (SL) The TNA and its coalition partners including the TELO, EPRLF (Suresh wing) and the DPLF which is the political wing of the PLOTE, have been in disagreement recently over difference of opinions. The clash could escalate if the Central Committee of the moderate TNA entertains a discussion on the recent anti-party activities of the increasingly radical Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran. more..

International wildcat experts to meet in SL

Nov 7 (ST) An international summit on Asian wildcats begins tomorrow in Mount Lavinia as local concerns rise over the number of leopards – Sri Lanka’s most charismatic wild cat – killed in the span of a few weeks, some through reckless driving. Sri Lanka is home to four wild- cats: leopards, fishing cats, jungle cats and rusty spotted cats all of which are threatened species. According to National Red List on Threatened Fauna more..

Lankans high on road rage

Nov 7 (ST) There is high prevalence of road rage in Sri Lanka. This conclusion has not been arrived at from scenes beheld oft on the road — provocative gestures among road users, verbal abuse and sometimes even fisticuffs – but by a research study in three districts. This is the first-ever study on road rage in Sri Lanka and only the 3rd in Asia (the others were in India and China). It was conducted by a team from Kelaniya Uni more..

Govt seeks Rs. 90 mn for MS' New York visit

Nov 7 (DM) The Govt sought parliamentary approval for the allocation of Rs.90 million to meet the expenses in connection with the President’s attend the UN sessions in New York. A supplementary estimate was also submitted to parliament seeking Rs.1.3 billion for the purchase of vehicles by govt agencies. The supplementary estimate was submitted by Govt Chief Whip Gayantha Karunatilleke. more..

NFF calls for Kumar’s release despite policy differences

Nov 7 (Island) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) leader Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Noel Mudalige should be released forthwith considering the circumstances of his case, the NFF said on Thursday. "We do have policy differences with the FSP, but one has to consider the situation that existed in the country in 1988/89 and the reason for Gunaratnam to act the way he did," NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa told a press briefing. more..

'National govt needed to withstand meddling by international community'

Nov 7 (Island) It wouldn’t have been possible to address Sri Lanka’s problems including the ethnic issue and withstand foreign pressure without a national govt, Leader of the House University Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. He said that the international community would not be able to meddle with internal affairs of the country as long as the two main parties stayed together. more..

US$ 91 million loss due to halted port city project

Nov 7 (AD) The daily loss incurred due to the stoppage of the port city project is US$ 380,000 per day while for the last 8 months the loss is estimated to be over US$ 91 million. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s medium term economic forecast on Thursday in Parliament is a clear indication as to what Sri Lanka definitely needs. In simple words the country needs money. Money through large scale investment from foreign direct investment, more..

Change cricket voting system recommends SLC corruption investigators

Nov 7 (DM) The Board of Inquiry on allegations of corruption in Sri Lanka Cricket has strongly felt that the current voting system for SLC as the basic problem in SLC’s administration, especially as stake holders from outstation areas have the power to decide how the future of the game. They had also felt that SLC stakeholders would never agree to change the system as voting members would never want to forego the powers they have, and more..

Wijeyadasa hits back at Fonseka

Nov 7 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, alleged that the on-going onslaught on the Avant Garde Maritime Services was meant to pave the way for another local venture to take over the lucrative business. He alleged that the present govt was under heavy pressure to move against Avant Garde Maritime Services to enable a takeover. Justice Minister was responding to the spate of allegations directed at him by more..

Extortionists rule private bus services

Nov 7 (CT) Ransoms that amount to a staggering Rs 170 million per mensem is extorted from private bus owners on a monthly basis due to the negligence of the current Yahapalana Govt. President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association Gemunu Wijeratne making this jolting expose recently revealed that certain individuals extort money from bus owners on a daily basis and the private bus owners face a loss of more than Rs 170 million every month. His revelations exposed that these shady more..

Avant-Garde is buccaneering not racketeering

Nov 7 (CT) “The crime situation in the country has reached an all-time high. Police Service, burdened as is with numerous demands coupled with lack of adequate resources is greatly handicapped in meeting this problem effectively. Hence it is that the public would have to look for other alternative sources if it is to be ensured of the protection of its lives and property.” [Extract from the home page of Avant-garde Security Services (Pvt) Ltd] Two Ministers who are lawyers claimed infallibility. more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

Premier at launch of VisitBritain campaign

Nov 7 (Island) Bond is back in SPECTRE and VisitBritain and the GREAT Britain campaign is once again utilizing 007’s iconic international profile to show the world what makes Britain GREAT. The British High Commission (BHC) in Colombo hosted an event at Westminster House, with the attendance of PM Ranil Wickremasinghe, Ministers and MPs, the business community and members of the Colombo arts scene. The evening, which highlighted the breath and international success of more..

SL innovation outfit gets UNDP support

Nov 7 (EN) UN Development Programme has agreed to support Sri Lanka’s Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) to develop its National Innovations Dashboard. The web-based tool to track R&D Sri Lankan scientists have launched provides up-to-date information about the island’s science, technology and innovation work that policymakers and businesses can use. A UNDP statement said it has signed a moU with the COSTI for the more..

Ministry of Forign Affairs

Court grants final extension to IGP to file objections in FCID case

Nov 7 (Island) Court of Appeal gave the IGP an ultimatum till Dec 17 to file objections to the Writ Application filed by Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera and Prof. Carlo Fonseka. They have alleged that the appointment of FCID by IGP, on the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers is illegal. Hence the gazette making way for the establishment of the FCID, should be cancelled. Counsel Uditha Egalahewa, President’s Counsel, objected to the granting of further time to file objections. more..

Role of NPC in the economic development of the North

Nov 7 (CT) Before I delve into the subject matter given to me to address today i.e. “Role of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) in the Economic Development of the North”, let me first look into what is meant by Economic Development. Economic Growth is often misconstrued as Economic Development. Economic Growth is measured in terms of increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Gross National Product (GNP) and in terms of increase in GDP or GNP per capita, means more..

Politicians influenced tender decisions worth billions

Nov 7 (DM) The committee report has also revealed that political influence had forced SLC to award the contract worth more than a billion Rupees for the renovation of the R. Premadasa stadium for the 2011 World Cup to the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) without going for the best bid. “The major renovation/re-development of RPICS for the 2011 World Cup commenced in the latter part of 2009. We have been provided more..

More supplementary estimates to cover expenses of President, others

Nov 7 (Island) The govt yesterday submitted a supplementary estimate seeking parliamentary approval for Rs 346,141,000 to cover various expenses incurred under the expenditure heading of the President including the expenses of President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to the US to address the 70th United Nations General Assembly in September this year with a delegation, which included his son Daham Sirisena. The cost of the President’s UN visit was Rs. 90,000,000, more..

CEB suffers 12,750 mn loss due to contracted coal supplier defaulting

Nov 7 (Island) CEB had suffered a loss of Rs. 12,750 million as the contracted supplier failed to supply 300,000 tonnes of coal to the Puttlam coal power plant last year, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told Parliament. He said that since 2009, five tenders had been called to register suppliers to the Puttlam Coal power plant and none of those tenders could be granted as the bidders had not submitted tenders conforming to the standards specified by Cabinet Procurement more..

Opposition plans no-confidence motion against Marapana

Nov 7 (CT) JVP today said that it will bring a no-confidence motion against Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana in Parliament over the Avant Garde issue. The JVP called on both President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to expel Marapana before such a happening. The JVP also urged the govt to probe Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena’s links more..

Sri Lanka to get USD25.7mn for smallholder tea, rubber revival

Nov 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to get US$ 25.7 million of financial assistant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the implementation of the smallholder tea and rubber revitalization programme. The programme intends to assist in improving the tea yields in 5,500 hectares in Matara, Galle, Ratnapura, Badulla and Kandy districts. Moreover, it will assist in improving the rubber yields in 3,000 hectares in Monaragala and Ampara districts. more..

Harrison threatens to reveal supply of MILCO products to Temple Trees’ dansals

Nov 7 (Island) Minister P Harrison told Parliament that the MILCO Company was still to receive about Rs 15-20 million for yoghurt, liquid and powdered milk it had provided to Temple Trees to treat people who attended the political meetings in the run-up to the Jan. 08 presidential election. "We are now taking necessary steps to recover the money from those who are responsible for that. We will take action against the officials who had given approval for those spending." more..

Kiriella holds previous regime responsible for deterioration of universities

Nov 7 (Island) Universities standards had plummeted to the Maha Vidyala level today, University Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. Addressing a press conference at the Parliament complex the minister attributed the deterioration of university standards to political interference under the previous govt. "It is the political leadership that should be held responsible for the sorry state in our universities. more..

Dr. Samarasinghe reinstated as Chairman NDDCB

Nov 7 (CT) Dr. Chamira Nilanga Samarasinghe, who was removed from the Chairmanship of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB), was reinstated in his post yesterday. Dr. Samarasinghe said that the Prime Minister called him and informed him that his removal from the NDDCB Chairmanship was a mistake and requested him to continue duties as the NDDCB Chairman. "The PM assured me of his fullest support for me to carry out my duties. I have been performing my duties well, more..

Sri Lanka business to pay one-off and retrospective taxes this year: Eran

Nov 7 (EN) Sri Lankan firms hit by a retrospective and one-off taxes will have to pay the levies this year and PM Wickremesinghe has set out the future intentions in a speech to the parliament, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Wickremesinghe told parliament Thursday that one-off and retrospective taxes will be suspended using the Sinhala word athhitoowanawar creating a confusion whether companies would not have to pay the balance due on the taxes. more..

Maduluwawe Sobitha in critical condition

Nov 7 (CG) Chairman of the NMJS, the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha thero is in critical condition. Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that Maduluwawe Sobhitha thero is in critical condition but is receiving the best medical care. “The factual position at the moment is that Ven Maduluwawe Sobhitha thero is in a critical condition but under the best care in the world,” Dr. Harsha de Silva tweeted. more..

Sri Lanka's three vice men?

Nov 7 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena's loyalists have identifid three men who have the potential to split the national unity govt with their conduct over the Avant Garde armns scandal. None of them have been proved guilty, but lawmakers and politicians both inside and outside parliament have accused them of wrong doing. Tilak Janaka Marapana: Appointed to parliament as a national list MP from the UNP. Currently the minister of Law and Order and Prison Reforms. more..

CB Chief tells lending institutions to fund country’s IT sector

Nov 7 (Island) Information Technology (IT) education in Sri Lanka was fast expanding. It was an area that the money lending institutions could take an interest in to provide assistance, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran told a meeting attended by political leadership, money lending organisations including banks, finance companies, leasing agencies etc. in the Central Province. The meeting was held at the Central Province Governor’s Secretariat on Thursday (05). more..

Stiff opposition to TN Muslim preacher’s visit to Lanka

Nov 7 (ENS) The Sri Lankan govt is likely to deny entry to Moulvi P. Jainul Abideen, better known as PJ, the founder and star speaker of the fundamentalist Tamil Nadu Thawheed Jamaath (TNTJ). A powerful section of Lankan Muslims who fear that PJ’s presence in the island will disturb intra-Muslim and inter-religious harmony are putting pressure on the govt to cancel his visa. Earlier in 2005, PJ was deported on the same grounds. more..

HRC complaint on alleged police torture camp

Nov 7 (DM) A complaint has been lodged with the Human Rights Commission to launch a thorough investigation into an alleged torture camp called Wedibehethwatta that had been used by the Kotadeniyawa police to detain those suspected of the rape and killing of Seya Sandewmi. The Sri Lanka Young Journalists Association lodged the complaint with the HRC following grievances of residents in the Kotadeniyawa area. According to the compliant, around 12 people more..

'Govt hogging 95% of the COPE membership and its Chairmanship'

Nov 7 (Island) Former State Minister Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha said that the Chairmanship of Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) should go to a Parliamentarian representing the Opposition, but the government was planning to give it to a Minister. He said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was trying to appoint a govt minister as the COPE Chairman. Admitting that the previous govt had also appointed a government minister as the chairman of the COPE, he said that more..

Presidential Commission of Inquiry to submit interim report

Nov 7 (AD) Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into serious acts of fraud, corruption and abuse of power, also known as PRECIFAC, will be submitting an interim report regarding the progress of ongoing investigations to President Sirisena next week. Secretary to the commission, Lesil de Silva, said that a report on one completed investigation will also be presented to the President. He stated that out of over 1,200 complaints more..

Buddhist tourism: Odisha mulls Air route to Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (ENS) While Odisha has world class Buddhist heritage sites, it is yet to find a significant place in world tourism map. The State Govt would soon propose to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for starting direct flights from Bhubaneswar to Colombo in Sri Lanka, Governor SC Jamir said here on Friday. Addressing a seminar on Kalinga-Lanka - Reviving old linkages and exploring new opportunities at Utkal University here on Friday, Jamir said Buddhism became internationally more..

Tropical threat to Increase flood risk in SL

Nov 7 (DM) While Tropical Cyclone Megh is moving away from India, a new tropical concern threatens to cause flooding in southeastern India and Sri Lanka later this weekend and early next week. The AccuWeather Tropical Cyclone Center is keeping a close eye on a developing area of low pressure in the southern Bay of Bengal. The low is expected to track westward toward southeastern India and Sri Lanka this weekend before moving onshore early next week. The combination of warm waters more..

Cross talk over highway expenditure

Nov 7 (DM) A gamut of accusations were witnessed between members of present govt and an Opposition MP who happened to be a minister in the previous regime, over high costs incurred over a development project in Parliament. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella were on one side while opposition MP Dallas Alahapperuma who was a former Minister was on the other side blaming each other over more..

Prosecuting corruption

Nov 8 (SO) One of the biggest complaints that Sri Lankans had about the previous government - no matter its veneer of patriotism - was its perception of unfettered corrupt practices by politicians of the regime. Thus, good governance became the vote-winning slogan of the 'common opposition' alliance. The alliance first won the presidency and, a few months later, the parliamentary elections, as the majority of Sri Lankans, across ethnic lines, voted in its favour. more..