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Yahapalanaya and Sri Lanka’s prosperity

Sep 12 (CT) General elections have been concluded successfully proving that the population of Sri Lanka can be a disciplined society under correct guidance and leadership. Sirisena, Ranil combination proved it to the citizens and to the world. An independent Election Commission and Police is a must in Democracy. To take the country forward and to make the vision of Prime Minister a reality within the next sixty months, the following have to be given serious consideration. more..

UDA disregards Presidential directive

Sep 12 (NS) The Nation reliably learns that UDA may have breached a presidential directive and divested a piece of land near the Parliament without official sanction. Property in question had been taken over by previous regime. It had been returned to the original owner subject to the caveat that land be developed, and as such the acquisition had been dropped. However, it had been reacquired in 2013 due to a lack of development more..

It’s time to turn promises into action

Sep 12 (FP) The UNP recent parliamentary election victory has renewed the mandate for reform in Sri Lanka, although the policy changes that the post-war country still needs are complex and variegated. In order to help ensure that Colombo fully commits to reform, sustained engagement from the United States and other members of the international community is more important than ever. Politically speaking, the past year in Sri Lanka has been little short of incredible. more..

Modi's Lanka war crime fix

Sep 12 (TT) Sri Lanka's Tamil leadership has asked India to support an international probe into alleged war crimes on the island at a key UN meet this month, forcing the Narendra Modi govt into an uncomfortable choice between a traditional ally and a new friend. India has traditionally preferred only domestic investigations into human rights abuses, especially in its neighbourhood. It is also desperate to stand by the govt of President Maithripala Sirisena, elected in January, more..

Milco plant operator to face inquiry

Sep 12 (NS) Milco Private Limited stated it has initiated a disciplinary inquiry against the plant operator at its Gallella factory in Polonnaruwa over the contamination of 6000 liters of milk. Milco General Manager said the contamination had occurred after a caustic soda solution used as a cleaning agent had been mistakenly released into a tank containing the milk. “The solution is used to clean the empty storage tanks. more..

Sri Lanka women fail to win a single game

Sep 12 (NS) Sri Lanka’s women rugby team could not secure a single win out of the six games they played at the Asian Rugby Sevens tournament held in China last week. Sri Lanka women were drawn in to a tough group along with Hong Kong and China. Sri Lanka could not even beat Uzbekistan and Thailand in the latter part of the tournament. In the cup quarter-finals, Sri Lanka women were beaten by the Kazakhstan’s 5/40 and they went down to Thailand 14/24 in the plate semi-final. more..

SL Pakistan Trade & Investment Forum 2015

Sep 12 (LBO) At a panel discussion held during the Sri Lanka Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum organized by the Federation of Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (FCCSL) BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya briefed Pakistani entrepreneurs on the new attractive investment climate of Sri Lanka. Jayasuriya spoke of the very close relations between the two countries. Pakistan had assisted to Sri Lanka on many occasions in the history of the relations between two countries. more..

OCH second stage from Kaduwela to Kadawatha opens on Sept 17

Sep 12 (DN) The second stage of the Outer Circular Highway (OCH) from Kaduwela to Kadawatha will be ceremonially opened by Minister Lakshman Kiriella on Sept 17 at 3 pm. The 8.9 kilometre Kaduwela - Kadawatha stretch of the OCH was constructed to connect the Southern Expressway, the Katunayake-Colombo Expressway and Colombo-Kandy or Colombo-Northern Expressway, to enable motorists using these more..

T-56 used in MP Raviraj’s murder: Top Army Man lent weapon?

Sep 12 (CT) CID is carrying out investigations to ascertain whether a senior Army Officer had lent the T-56 weapon to the gunman who killed former MP Nadaraja Raviraj at Narahenpita in Colombo on 10 November 2006. A top Police Headquarters Official said that a senior security forces man had been already questioned regarding the information that has been surfaced so far regarding the incident. A security officer of Nadaraja Raviraj also lost his life in the incident. more..

Budget 2016: Finance Ministry invites proposals from the public

Sep 12 (NS) The Finance Ministry calls upon all concerned citizen to send in their strategic proposals to be included in the new govt’s budget proposals to be presented for the year 2016. The public sector institutions such as ministries, departments, public enterprises and semi-govt institutions and the trade chambers and professionals are invited to forward their proposals aimed at increasing productivity and economic development in varied fields aimed at providing dividends to the masses for more..

Will Vigneswaran survive NPC power struggle ?

Sep 12 (DN) TNA is making plans to oust C.V. Vigneswaran as the Chief Minister of Northern Province, the party’s own nominee for the post. Justice C.V. Vigneswaran, PC who assumed duties as the first Chief Minister of the NPC on Oct 7, 2013 was a surprise nominee for the post by the TNA as until then he was an outsider to the realm of politics. Disputes between the TNA and Vigneswaran has come to such a state that more..

Estate sector TU-employers talks deadlocked

Sep 12 (NS) Talks between estate sector trade unions and the employers for the renewal of the Collective Agreement regarding the wage revision of workers continue to be at a deadlock with the parties yet to decide on a date for the fifth round of talks. Talks for the renewal of the Collective Agreement were halted in May after four rounds of discussions with no decision being arrived at. The Collective Agreement expired on March 31 this year and talks commenced based on fresh demands more..

Arjuna says UPFA destroyed SLFP

Sep 12 (FT) Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga claimed that the SLFP was destroyed by the UPFA behaviour. Ranatunga further alleged that former President Rajapaksa was the main reason for the defeat of some respectable SLFP candidates at the last General Election. “Ex-President Rajapaksa urged some professional SLFP ministers to support him. He tried to remove the ministers who did not follow his rules. I believe the UPFA was defeated because of him,” Ranatunga said. more..

'47 UPFA MPs sit in Opposition'

Sep 12 (CT) UPFA MP Kumara Welgama said that, it has been decided that 47 MPs representing the UPFA will definitely sit in the Opposition in Parliament and maintain the role of the Opposition correctly. He pointed out further that, once Ministerial, State Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial posts in the National Govt as well as positions of Chairmen on District & Regional Development Committees were appointed, there remained 36 MPs of SLFP more..

Army denies blocking probe on Ekneligoda

Sep 12 (CG) The army has denied reports that it was blocking investigations into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. Army media unit said that it has been reported in some media that the army is blocking the probe and that army lawyers had objected to inspecting the Girithale camp. The army, while reiterating its compliance with any CID request and full cooperation to the CID for any investigation on the conduct of army personnel, underlined that once the police arrest any more..

Tourism Police Force to be streamlined

Sep 12 (CT) Minister John Amaratunga said that the Tourist Police Force will be overhauled to streamline the system for the maximum protection of tourists who come to this country. Even Beach Boys will be registered and a series of special programmes to raise awareness amongst them relating to tourism matters will be speedily implemented. He said, certain problems have arisen about the protection of tourists who arrive in this country and that he has been approached by several more..

Legal Officers stand by AG’s decisions

Sep 12 (DN) Legal Officers of the Attorney General’s Department in a statement said, that they unequivocally stand by the decisions of the Attorney General. Statement also said the decisions taken by the Attorney General are in full compliance with the law and procedure. It has also offered clarifications to the recent decisions made by the AG’s Department in respect of the KP and Avant Garde cases which created a controversy more..

Prison reforms, is poverty a crime

Sep 12 (DM) The new National Govt has pledged to give priority to the restoration and streamlining of the Judicial system which virtually broke down with its politicization some 15 years ago. One of the areas where the injustice of the judicial system is seen most starkly is behind bars—in the prisons. Today, as we conclude the Annual Prisoners’ Week, some facts given by the widely respected human rights lawyer Kalyananda Thiranagama would, we hope, open prison doors and make the blind see. more..

Queen, Sri Lanka, and the Commonwealth

Sep 12 (DM) This week we celebrate a once in a lifetime occasion in the UK and across the Commonwealth. On Wednesday, 9th September, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in more than a thousand years of British history. She overtakes the record held until now by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Her Majesty came to the throne on 6 Feb 1952, 63 years and seven months ago. Queen’s relationship with SL is, for her, an especially personal one. more..

Integrating National Politics above Sectarian Fault-Lines

Sep 12 (DM) The first few days of Sri Lanka’s 8th Parliament has seen a series of significantly less-probable events unfolding in Sri Lankan politics. They reached a climax with the election of ITAK Leader R. Sampanthan, as the Opposition Leader. While some quarters were hailing the event from different political perspectives, it also appears to have sent shock-waves within a significant cross-section of Sri Lanka’s body politics. more..

Geneva battle TNA heads to UNHRC

Sep 12 (SL) As the United States and the Govt move ahead with diplomatic efforts to gather support for a domestic mechanism to investigate alleged war crimes, attempts are being made by other groups to ensure that the UNHRC in Geneva refuses to back anything short of an international action. A delegation from the TNA is expected to leave for Geneva this month to hold discussions with UN Human Rights officials more..

How to tackle the sting in the sea

Sep 12 (ST) They lurk beneath the waters hugging the coast of Sri Lanka and over the years no one has looked at the impact they have on humans. This scenario has changed this year, for the Toxicology & National Poisons Information Centre based at the National Hospital in Colombo is now looking deep into hospital statistics to create a separate national database on Sea animal envenomation. more..

'Democracy, justice and equality, lawful rights of people'

Sep 12 (DN) Former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena was appointed the President of Sri Lanka and I became Health Minister to push Sri Lanka from the status of an undeveloped country to a developed country. Only leaders of undeveloped countries try to hold on to power, said Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. He said so addressing the gathering after he assumed duties more..

Italian police shut down illegally run Sri Lankan school

Sep 12 (AD) Italian authorities have reportedly shut down a school illegally run in Naples and frequented by 60 children, between 5 and 11 years of age, of Sri Lankan origin and whose immigrant parents paid a fee of about 50 euro per month. The school St. Francesco’s College was discovered by officers of the child protection unit of the Police Station of Naples during an inspection in an old building on Via Broggia, more..

TNA in turmoil as Vanni protest gathers steam

Sep 12 (Island) The EPDP alleged that the on-going protest campaign in the Vanni demanding an international war crimes probe was aimed at undermining the national reconciliation process. EPDP spokesperson Nelson Edirisinghe said that an influential section of the four-party TNA was behind the campaign. The grouping comprises the ITAK and three former militant groups namely the TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF. more..

Film about Isaipriya unlikely to hit the screens

Sep 12 (Hindu) The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal has refused to certify Porkalathil Oru Poo, a film based on the life of a Sri Lankan Tamil journalist Isaipriya, who was allegedly killed by Sri Lankan armed forces during the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka. The decision will effectively end any hopes of getting it released in India. The film director, K. Ganesan, claims that objections were raised over several scenes, more..

Civil society wages war on three ministers

Sep 12 (CT) A number of socially active civil organizations have expressed their opposition to the National Govt awarding deputy ministerial portfolios to several persons including Nishantha Muthuhettigama, Lakshman Vasantha Perera and Nimal Lansa of the SLFP who had been strongly criticized on Good Governance Stages in connection with serious accusations. These organizations point out that individuals who had been subject to more..

Govt procurement streamlined

Sep 12 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a five-member committee chaired by Daya Liyanage, to make recommendations for a new procurement mechanism with a view to rationalising the govt's procurement process. Mr. Liyanage was formerly deputy secretary to the Treasury and former chairman of the National Procurement Agency. National Procurement Commission (NPC) to be set up under 19th more..

Govt gets UN probe report

Sep 12 (FT) The Govt has received an official copy of the UN probe report on alleged war crimes, scheduled for public release during the 30th Session of the UNHRC which kicks off next Monday. Authoritative sources said that the GoSL received the report by the end of this week. The report is likely to have reached the Govt by Friday, Daily FT learns. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will see the contents of more..

Editorial: When letters stink

Sep 12 (Island) Postal Department has once again proved its ability to turn any letter into a stinker in next to no time. Thousands of letters have been found recently in a toilet pit at a post office in a Colombo suburb. Postal workers are accused of swallowing letters and cynics say this may be the reason why so many letters have found their way into toilet pits. It is said that most of these letters had been sent by politicians in the run-up to last month’s election. more..

National Govt not the answer for Sri Lanka

Sep 12 (CT) Elections are generally problematic in Sri Lanka. More often than not, they are marred by violence, malpractices and abuses. Thanks to the signals sent out by the new govt that came to power in Jan 2015, and the assertiveness of the Election Commissioner, the country managed to conclude a free, fair and largely peaceful election for parliament on 17 Aug. The election was closely contested, the primary contest was between UNF and UPFA led by former president Rajapaksa. more..

The leaps of joy in dirty politics

Sep 12 (Island) Swearings in are yet going on, and the taking office time has now arrived. I’m not sure of the public interest in the now frequent photos and TV spots of new and old ministers taking up office – signing a first paper not of any known importance - in the company of one’s spouse, party colleague/s, blessings by the clergy and lamp lighting, too. In fact, it’s really old hack, and the only media interest I can see is in the long line of more..

A case for meliorist politics

Sep 12 (Island) I have had an interesting exchange of views with Hermes in the The Island, as a consequence of which I feel that an article expounding the basic case for meliorist politics would be useful. The exchange of views arose out of my use of Bismarck’s famous aphorism "Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best". I combined that with the principle that in politics the choice usually is not between the good and the bad, but between the bad and the more..

The inevitability of the banana republic

Sep 12 (FT) Sri Lanka has been a banana republic, for quite some time, and clearly so throughout the oligarchy of the Rajapaksas. Formally, a banana republic is a small country that is economically dependent on a single export commodity, such as bananas, and is typically governed by a dictator or the armed forces. But in our case, the fate of the citizenry is far worse than in most other banana republics. In Sri Lanka, all wisdom, action, dreams, hallucinations and more..

Human-elephant conflict: Park rule violations aggravate the issue

Sep 12 (CT) At a time when the human-elephant conflict is at its peak with elephants and people losing their lives, one would think that people would take precautions when going to see elephants in national parks. But, the incident that took place at the Minneriya National Park a few days ago was just the opposite. A visitor who went to the national park on 7 Sept to his utter shock witnessed a man walking in front of the elephants at more..

‘Graduates and undergraduates throng Rajarata University seeking jobs’

Sep 12 (Island) Over 2000 graduates and final year undergraduates thronged the Rajarata University on Sept 10 to take part in the Careerlead career and entrepreneurship fair, which was organized by the Young Members Forum of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The two day event, which is conducted in collaboration with the career guidance unit of the Rajarata University commenced with 45 companies taking part as potential recruiters. Those firms represents, sectors such as more..

Ranil may ink SAARC satellite deal during Delhi visit

Sep 12 (ENS) The Sri Lankan cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal made by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to sign a bilateral agreement with India on the use of the SAARC satellite proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Lanka expects the agreement to be signed during the bilateral talks to be held during the visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to New Delhi next week. Wickremesinghe will be in the Indian capital from September 14 to 16. more..

Prisoners’ rights group protests inhumane conditions

Sep 12 (CT) Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners Thursday conducted a protest in front of the Welikada Prison prior to handing over an epistle to the Commissioner General of Prisons and President Sirisena's Coordinating Secretary, Rajika Kodithuwakku. The letter by the Committee's General Secretary, former political prisoner Sudesh Nandimal and Co-Conveners, lawyers Senaka Perera and more..

Planetarium re-opened

Sep 12 (GDI) Planetarium which was closed temporarily for renovations was re-opened on Sept 5, the Ministry of Technology, Technical Education and Employment said. It can now accommodate 510 persons in one sitting. Ministry said that the Planetarium which is designed to promote science and technology including planetary science will hold school shows between 10 am and 2 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays while public shows will be held between 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. more..

Five Sri Lankan refugees begin indefinite fast

Sep 12 (PTI) Five Sri Lankan refugees at the special camp in the Central Prison complex here began an indefinite fast today to press for their charter of demands, jail officials said. They said the refugees had been arrested over the past few years for landing in India without proper documents and cases registered against them under various provisions of Indian Penal Code. Though they were earlier lodged in the refugee camp at Chennai, they were shifted here in 2012. more..