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Health Ministry threatens to blacklist contractors who delay projects

Nov 10 (Island) Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr. Palitha Mahipala has urged all contractors who have undertaken building projects at state-run hospitals in the Northern Province to complete work before end of Dec, 2015. Dr. Mahipala warned that the Health Ministry would blacklist those contractors if they failed to comply as many of the projects were behind time, according to the Health Ministry spokesman Nipun Ekanayake. DGHS conducted a review meeting at more..

Moratuwa Uni starts internal investigation

Nov 10 (CT) Vice-Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa Prof. Ananda Jayawardane said that the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture will be giving him a full report on how the information regarding a Senior Lecturer's alleged involvement in supervising and paper marking of a test/exam for which, the said Senior Lecturer's son had sat for was leaked to the press. Dean and Associate Professor of the Department of Building Economics Prof. M.L. De Silva will give the report to me following more..

'We had no hand in Gunaratnam’s abduction'

Nov 10 (Island) The JVP denied any involvement in the abduction of leader of its splinter group FSP Kumar Gunaratnam in 2012 contrary to a claim by then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to that effect. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake denied having provided information about where Gunaratnam’s hideout and his photographs to then Mahinda Rajapaksa govt to facilitate Gunaratnam’s abduction. more..

Gen Jayasuriya assumes duties as ambassador

Nov 10 (Island) General Jagath Jayasuriya presented his credentials to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the President’s Palace (Palace of Planalto) in Brasilia on Nov 4. Along with him, twenty one other Ambassadors too presented their credentials. The Ambassador, escorted in a motorcade by Brazilian Foreign Ministry Officials, was received by dignitaries of the palace followed by a guard of honour. Members of the President’s Palace and Officials of the Ministry of more..

Govt to publish biographical book on Sobitha Thero

Nov 10 (AD) The govt today said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to print a book which will include the biography of Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero and the services rendered by him to the country. The book will be distributed to all schools and libraries in the country next year, Minister Vajira Abeywardena said. He made this announcement following a special discussion held this morning with the participation of the IGP and other officials regarding preparations for more..

Govt accuses Maldives over recent moves

Nov 10 (CG) Govt today accused the Maldives of using Sri Lanka to initiate questionable action against political and social media activists. Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about recent developments in the Maldives and events that have impacted on Sri Lanka, including the recent arrest of two Sri Lankan nationals in the Maldives, the questionable removal of a Maldivian social media activist who was in possession more..

Nielsen five-for powers NZ to 4-0

Nov 10 (CI) Left-arm spinner Morna Nielsen's maiden five-for meant New Zealand Women handed Sri Lanka Women another hammering, by 10 wickets in the fourth ODI in Lincoln. Sri Lanka were first bowled out for 126, with the help of Nielsen's 5 for 21 before the hosts' openers whittled down the target in under 19 overs. It was NZ's second 10-wicket win of the series. Sri Lanka's top order started slow, after opting to bat, as the score read 23 when they lost opener Hasini Perera in 10th over. more..

47 Ministries to be monitored by joint Opposition

Nov 10 (CT) Leader of Joint Opposition Dinesh Gunawardane had instructed the MPs representing the Joint Opposition to inform him about which ministries each MP would like to monitor the progress and the conduct of Ministries. Apparently, 47 ministries are to be monitored by the Joint Opposition and MPs were asked to inform Gunawardane about their choice within a week. One MP is allowed to name three ministers they are willing to monitor and since there are nearly more..

Vaiko seeks release of Tamils on hunger strike in Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (PTI) MDMK chief Vaiko urged all countries in the world to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to release Tamil prisoners there who are on a hunger strike seeking their release. "I appeal to all countries in the world to do their duty of exerting pressure on Sri Lanka to release Eelam Tamils languishing in jails there for many years," he said in a statement. "The nations should realise that human rights are being trampled by SL by hoodwinking them", more..

Sobitha Thera wanted simple funeral

Nov 10 (AM) Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera wanted a simple funeral and was totally opposed to unnecessary expenses, a video released following his passing away reveals. In this video, Sobitha Thera states that since he was the Chief Adviser of the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society, the Society should be given the chance to obtain his eyes and other organs as required. There is no point in spending large amounts of money for a dead body, Sobhitha Thera states in the video statement. more..

'BASL President followed by two vehicles'

Nov 10 (CT) Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) informed Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court yesterday that further investigations were being conducted, to find the suspects, who had chased after the former President of Bar Association Upul Jayasuriya, in two vehicles, and harassed him, last year. On 15, July 2014, Jayasuriya had lodged a complaint stating that the vehicle he was travelling in was being followed by two vehicles, OIC of the CCD SSP Neville De Silva informed Court. more..

Female workers should decide on work hours: ITUA

Nov 10 (CT) Independent Trade Union Alliance (ITUA) explained that female workers should be the deciders of their working hours after normal working hours, at their will with adequate protection and facilities being provided to them. Present working hours enshrined in the Shop and Office Employees Act No. 15 of 1954, the EFC wants changed to the present market requirements, ITUA pointed out, adding that the law says more..

Condolence message of the JVP on the demise of Ven. Madhuluwawe Sobitha Thero

Nov 10 (LT) Our sincere condolences on the passing away of Ven. Madhuluwawe Sobitha Thero who fought for a just society. JVP expresses its sincere condolences on the death of Ven. Madhuluwawe Sobitha Thero, who carried out an unceasing struggle to establish a just society. Ven. Sobitha Thero is a prelate who gave leadership to various social movements and sacrificed his blood, tears and sweat not for privileges for himself but for the betterment of the society. more..

Tamil repatriates face uncertain future

Nov 10 (Hindu) Settled on tribal lands in Katchal Islands in Andaman and Nicobar and kept away from the outside world’s attention, 161 plantation workers of Tamil families face an uncertain future. They were unable to undertake any economic activities on the land as the tribal community had sought reclamation of the land and resources after tsunami wreaked havoc on the island in 2004. “Even though the Calcutta High Court had ordered the Andaman and Nicobar Island more..

Pakistan seeks to broaden ties with Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (CG) Pakistan today sought to broaden ties with Sri Lanka and deepen the bilateral FTA between both countries. Federal Minister for Commerce of Pakistan Khurram Dastgir Khan called on PM Ranil Wickramasinghe at Temple Trees today. Minister was accompanied by High Commissioner of Pakistan Maj Gen (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain and a high level official delegation. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, more..

Gammapila’s wife grilled at Police SIU

Nov 10 (AD) Special Investigation Unit (SIU) at Police Headquarters has recorded a statement from the wife of UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that she was questioned for around 4 hours yesterday in connection with a complaint regarding alleged securities fraud. However, Gammanpila says that his political activities cannot be halted through such actions. At a recent press briefing, MP had claimed that police is preparing to arrest him and lock him up in jail. more..

Govt should be headed by one leader: MR

Nov 10 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapakse said a govt should be headed by one leader not by two leaders. Two leaders trying to administer one govt was similar to using an ox and a buffalo to plough one field, he said. “This will never work out. There was a similar incident during the state ploughing ceremony in Polonnaruwa recently,” former President said. Commenting on the affairs of the current govt, Mr. Rajapakse said President Sirisena should control the govt completely or more..

I will continue as an MP: Marapana

Nov 10 (CT) Following his resignation as Minister of Prison Reforms and Law and Order, Tilak Marapana asserted that his dealings as the lawyer representing Avant Garde concluded in July. He added that he accepted the ministerial portfolio in September. Marapana said he was stepping down from his position as Govt Minister. Following his announcement, he hosted a question and answer session with the journalists present. more..

Gnanasara Thera indicted

Nov 10 (CT) Colombo Crime Division (CCD) yesterday filed a charge sheet against BBS General Secretary Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thera at the Fort Magistrate's Court, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. A charge sheet was filed for two reasons: unlawful entry into Hotel Nippon during a discussion, and for making an offensive statement on the Quran and Islam. He made an offensive comment on the Quran and Islam to media in front of the Slave Island Police in April 2014. more..

Is navel the education sector’s main concern: CTU

Nov 10 (DM) Ceylon Teachers Union today lashed out at Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya over a statement he is alleged to have made that he would be issuing a dress code for lady teachers making it mandatory to wear their sarees above the navel. According to the chief minister’s statement which was carried by the media, schoolgirls will not be allowed to wear their dancing costumes below the navel. Scoffing at the CM’s statement, CTU President Joseph Stalin said more..

Sumanthiran calls for removal of Wigneswaran from TNA

Nov 10 (AD) The TNA says that while a proposal has been made to ITAK calling for the removal of Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran from the TNA, it is not the opinion of the entire party. TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran says that MP M.A. Sumanthiran has proposed to the ITAK, the main coalition partner of the TNA, to remove Wigneswaran from the Tamil party. He, however, said that there is no general more..

The courageous role Sobitha Thero played should continue to the future!

Nov 11 (GV) We are deeply saddened by the demise of the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, the chief incumbent of the Kotte Naga Maha Vihara. He contributed immensely as the Convener and Chairperson of the National Movement for a Just Society in Sri Lanka. As far as I know, the Venerable Thero was one of those rare Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka’s post-independence history, who had the courage to stand up against the injustice of the powerful. more..

Reincarnation of Mahinda Rajapaksa & The travesty of good governance

Nov 11 (CT) Once good governance champion and current President Sirisena is becoming the reincarnation of despot Mahinda Rajapaksa. His 90 Million expenses bill for his New York visit and the entourage of 60 to Thailand are just the beginning of a planeload that would accompany the President in his next sojourn, fully paid by the taxpayers of SL. Sirisena’s infidelity of his pledges in the run up to the Jan 15 Presidential election is a reminder of the first days of the Rajapaksa presidency. more..

Fishermen's issue mired in TN politics

Nov 11 (SO) With the TN State Assembly elections due in April 2016, the billowing issue of TN trawlers poaching in North Sri Lankan waters and damaging the marine resources of the Northern Province is unlikely to be solved any time soon. Politicians on the Indian side of the Palk Strait know that the issue cannot be solved in a hurry given the fact that coastal fishermen are a huge and organized community, a vote bank more..

West Indies' last shot at silver lining

Nov 11 (CI) West Indies may not have expected to blow the hosts away but, five weeks in, many of their worst fears for the tour have been realised. Not only are they without an international win, they've also had two bowlers - one a crucial limited-overs player - reported for suspect actions. They have one final chance to yank a silver lining out of this cumulonimbus tour. Darren Sammy has spoken of his team's happy memories at Khettarama from the 2012 World T20, and perhaps nostalgia more..

PM’s economic vision to resuscitate the economy with a new wave of reforms

Nov 11 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe’s vision and economic strategy for development disclosed in parliament on November 5th is significant as it promises a new wave of reforms that are imperative at this critical juncture. To what extent the good intentions of these policies could be implemented is the decisive issue. The policy statement was opportune for many reasons. The various promises and different positions of the two main party manifestos, the statements at the elections more..

Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero (1942-2015): The monk who ended SL’s decade of darkness

Nov 11 (GV) For someone who never belonged to any political party in SL, Maduluwawe Sobitha thero led an extraordinarily political life. The fearless and politically engaged Buddhist monk stood up to every Lankan head of state beginning with President J R Jayewardene (in office: 1977-1988). He never hesitated or minced his words when he sensed that elected leaders were overstepping their mandate. more..

Towards a Police state

Nov 11 (CT) "We shoot to kill. Contrary to the common belief that we can only shoot at legs, we can also shoot at heads". This is not a statement made by a thug such as Choppe from Maradana, Soththi Upali from Gothami Road or Thatta Some from Wanathamulla. This was the Police Spokesperson of the Good Governance Govt in this Maithri Era. He made this statement to justify the brutal police attack on students studying for Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA). more..

Editorial: Marapana walks the plank

Nov 11 (Island) The Avant Garde floating armoury issue has taken a dramatic turn with ministers going for one another’s jugular savagely. Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana was made to walk the plank on Monday. Unable to defend himself against some of his vociferous Cabinet colleagues baying for his blood he threw in the towel. But, politically, Marapana’s resignation has inflicted more damage on the govt than his controversial defence of Avant Garde in Parliament. more..

Musical Legend: Sunil Santha - Part 2

A fresh look at DMI affair against the backdrop of Marapana’s resignation

Nov 11 (Island) Avant Garde controversy couldn’t have re-erupted again at a worse time for Sri Lanka and the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition. Leader of the Democratic Party and war winning Army Chief, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake with axes to grind tore apart the govt over its failure to prosecute Avant Garde proprietor retired Army Commando Maj. Nissanka Senadhipathi. They directly accused Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, and more..

Passing: Is the caste system real or fiction among Tamils?

Nov 11 (CT) A very timely article by Thanges Paramsothy appeared in these columns very recently. There is now one more rare public admission that we have a serious problem. We all know that people in Jaffna are judged based on their caste but we refuse to admit it. Even the Christian Church, corrupted by its social surroundings and the religious antecedents of its members has now unofficially separate churches and graveyards for the different castes. more..

'Bowlers must have self-confidence, skill and fitness'

Nov 11 (CT) 33-year-old pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekera says self- confidence, skill and fitness are vital ingredients for a player aspiring to go places in international cricket. He says a bowler's bowling style, run up to the wicket and follow through will vary from one bowler to another. He says it is up to a bowler to figure out what suits best for him. Q: Your full name? A: Kulasekara Mudiyanselage Nuwan Dinesh Kulasekara. more..

Two Japanese naval ships arrive marking their 50th port call to Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (SLN) Two Japanese naval ships, JS Makinami (DD-112) and JS Suzunami (DD-114), which are en route for counter piracy operations off Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill visit on 10th Nov. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval customs and traditions on their arrival, which incidentally marks the 50th port call to Sri Lanka by the ships belonging to the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) since 2009. more..

National Chamber of Commerce welcomes economic policy outline of the government

Nov 11 (Island) National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka welcomes economic policy outline given by PM in a special address at the Parliament on Nov 5. National Chamber appreciates the measures taken by the govt on sustainable economic policies which would be beneficial for the country. Even with unfavorable global economic conditions the government's determination in strengthening the local economic growth and stability is much appreciated by the National Chamber. more..

President inspects construction work of Nagananda International Buddhist University

Nov 11 (PSL) President Sirisena visited the proposed site of the Manelwatte Nagananda International Buddhist University at Bollegala in Kelaniya to inspect the progress of the construction work. This international university is being built on the model of the ancient Nalanda University in India, which is considered to be the oldest Buddhist higher education centre. Nearly 50 acre land extent at Manelwatte Viharaya more..

Bathiudeen meets Qatari Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister

Nov 11 (DM) As year-on-year (YoY) bilateral trade surged and Sri Lanka’s exports to the world’s largest per capita economy hit a new high, both Qatar and Sri Lanka jointly stressed the need to boost trade further. The importance of pushing bilateral trade to new levels was jointly stressed when Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen paid a courtesy call on Qatari Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Abdullah Al Rumaihi at Qatar Foreign Ministry, Doha recently. more..

Sobitha Thero was a brave leader: MR

Nov 11 (FT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa issuing a statement on the demise of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero said the Thero was a brave leader who had gained huge respect from all Sri Lankans. Citing the Thero’s reputable service of serving people during the period of the war and post war, Rajapaksa said the Thero was the one of main characters behind the war victory. Commenting on the Thero’s political journey, Rajapaksa stated Sobitha Thero was a frontline revolutionary more..

No victory sans struggles: IUSF

Nov 11 (CT) The student politics in Sri Lanka seems to have turned from bad to worse after the events that took place on 29 Oct. The turning point came when Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) students marched to Colombo demanding that the diploma be converted to a degree. Student movements in Sri Lanka have a long history. The suppression of the movements too has an equally long history. more..

National Consumer Price Index in the offing

Nov 11 (Island) Govt plans to introduce a National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) to provide more accurate figures on inflation. "At present the current inflation level is between 2% to 3% due to the govt price reduction on essential items including the petroleum prices during the recent past, Central Bank Deputy Governor Ananda Silva said. Sri Lanka has experienced deflation since July 2015. Inflation as measured by the change in Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) declined marginally more..