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Ministry secretaries: No change in extension policy

Sep 13 (ST) The practice of allowing ministry secretaries to continue over the retirement age of 60, on a recommendation of the President, will remain unchanged, officials said. Foreign Secretary Chithranganee Wagiswara is among those who have been given an opportunity to continue after reaching the retirement age. She turns 60 next week. An official explained that only the President could extend the term of service of an officer after the retirement age. more..

SLFP seeks to expand UPFA

Sep 13 (SL) The SLFP expects to expand the UPFA and contest the forthcoming local govt elections with the coalition parties of the UPFA. General Secretary of the SLFP Duminda Dissanayake said that the SLFP will contest the forthcoming local government elections under the UPFA. “UPFA will be expanded in the future. There are so many groups who have expressed their willingness to join with us. more..

JVP urges Appoint CM for Uva soon

Sep 13 (CT) The JVP warns that if a chief minister is not appointed to Uva Provincial Council (UPC) soon and steps are not taken to solve the problems of the public, the Council should be dissolved. If not, they will take to the streets with the people of the province. JVP member of the UPC Samantha Vidyaratne said that both the UNP and the UPFA are engaged in a struggle to obtain the post of chief minister of the UPC and as a result they are spending their days in Colombo more..

Code of rules for vehicles in wildlife parks

Sep 13 (CT) The govt's attention has been drawn towards preparing a code of rules and regulations for safari jeeps and other vehicles that take tourists to wildlife parks. Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife Gamini Jayawickrema Perera said a committee has been appointed under the former Director of Wildlife Prof. Sarath Kotagama to draft the rules. Recently a leopard died when it was knocked down by a vehicle at the Yala National Wildlife Park. more..

JVP urges Govt to get cracking!

Sep 13 (CT) JVP is preparing to present to the country in the upcoming two weeks, a set of proposals which include tasks that the new govt has to fulfill immediately. Member of the Politburo of the JVP K.D. Lal Kantha said, they are getting ready to force the govt to immediately carry out the tasks included in this set of proposals. He further said important issues such as prohibiting MPs from changing Political Parties, more..

Electrocuted construction worker falls to his death

Sep 13 (CT) An unsafe work environment at a construction site in Colombo cost the life of a construction worker on Tuesday. The deceased, 29-year-old Chaminda Lakmal from Rajagiriya was killed when he fell from the second floor of the construction site after he was electrocuted. It was found that two unprotected wires of the concrete mixing machine was the cause of electrocution. He was rushed to the National Hospital in Colombo where he died the same day. more..

Freshers, former Ministers, senior members made State/Deputy Ministers

Sep 13 (ST) Four first-time entrants to Parliament were elevated to Deputy Ministers this week, while several senior members who served as ministers under the previous regime were downgraded to State and Deputy ministers, as President made more appointments to the unity govt. First-time MPs appointed Deputy ministers are Anuradha Jayaratne, son of former PM D.M. Jayaratne, H.R.S. Dushmantha, son of former Minister H.R. Mitrapala, former Western PC member Nimal Lanza more..

Don't rush into CEPA: JVP

Sep 13 (DM) JVP warned that the local industrial sector would be adversely affected by granting more access to Indians via the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. JVP MP Vijitha Hearth said they had information that the CEPA would be a main focus during talks between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Indian counterpart. Herath said if the CEPA which was first mooted more..

Woman killed in revenge attack, 7 injured in gang war

Sep 13 (ST) A woman was shot dead and seven others injured in separate incidents of gang war in Colombo yesterday, police said. They said a lone rider on a motorcycle shot dead a 42-year-old woman in broad daylight outside her home in the busy Jampettah, Kotahena, area around 2.30 p.m. before escaping. Initial investigations revealed that the woman’s husband was in remand prison in connection with a murder, and was allegedly behind the drug trade in the area. more..

Missing girl’s body found

Sep 13 (CG) The child who went missing in Kotadeniyawa has been found dead this morning, the police media unit said. The body was found from a paddy field in close proximity to her house. The police were yesterday investigating the disappearance of a 4 1/2 year old child in Kotadeniyawa. According to the police a complaint was received that the child had gone missing early last morning while she was sleeping with her parents. more..

The scandal of the missing millions

Sep 13 (ST) Sri Lanka has paid out massive amounts to American lobbyists, legal and public relations companies between 2008 and 2014. The figures disclosed below are based only on records the Sunday Times was able to trace after extensive research. Numerous other payments were made without public oversight, on the instructions of a privileged clique that held itself above supervision. more..

Would Mandela be killed in Sri Lanka?

Sep 14 (CT) We may never forget, but we must forgive. The above words came from former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, when he was encouraging Miriam Makeba, a South African singer nicknamed Mama Africa, to return to South Africa from exile. When rebuilding South Africa, forgiveness was the ethos of Nelson Mandela. In Long Walk to Freedom, he wrote, To make peace with an enemy, one must work with that enemy and that enemy becomes your partner. more..

Bizarre composition puzzles voters

Sep 14 (SO) Whether the UPFA is the true Opposition in Parliament or a sheer constituent partner of the Yahapalana Govt remains a question to many. This is because a section of the UPFA MPs has been rewarded with ministerial portfolios while a substantial number of pro-Mahinda supporters have decided to be in the Opposition. In democracies, the line of separation between the Govt and the Opposition is clearly drawn with their ideologies remaining far apart. more..

'Both parties sacrificed to introduce a new political culture'

Sep 14 (SL) General Secretary of SLFP, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said that the SLFP and the UNP have made sacrifices as political parties to introduce a new political culture to the country. He requested people not to look at this move with suspicion but be open minded to welcome the national govt which is a new experience targeted for better social, political and economical reforms. more..

Buzz-leader is left out, royals resort to selfies and a TV channel goes a-begging

Sep 14 (SO) A certain Buzz-leader, who was at the heart of the country’s security establishment, was overlooked by the President when appointing ministry big-wigs last week. According to whispers behind closed doors, the new govt had received a number of complaints against the conduct of Buzz-nayake and his alleged association with top echelons of the former regime. He first came under criticism for his dubious role in the inquiry into a private security firm operating on high seas more..

Chandrika is right! The Nation is perplexed over ministerial choice

Sep 14 (ST) The SLFP’s patron saint, Chandrika Kumaratunga, was spot on when she assessed the mood of the nation and, posting a message on her Facebook account on Thursday, told her many faceless friends: “Some of you might feel perplexed over the appointment of some cabinet, state and deputy ministers. There was no alternative but to go for a national govt as no party obtained a clear majority to make single party govt.” She is right with regard to the first sentence. more..

'Dialogue between diverse sections a necessity'

Sep 14 (SL) Meader of Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Mano Ganesan was appointed recently as the Minister of National Dialogue – a new ministry that has been established to create a dialogue between diverse social segments towards meaningful reconciliation. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Minister Ganesan said that he is positive of achieving the targeted objectives of the govt within the period of two years of the national govt. more..

The President, Attorney General and the law

Sep 14 (ST) Start of SL’s new Govt this week could not have been more inauspicious by the stretch of even the most optimistic imagination. Speaking at the swearing in of a colossal and shamefully male dominated Cabinet a few days ago, President Sirisena promised that the guiding principles of his administration would be good governance, corruption free development and restoration of the Rule of Law. Yet this injunction was offensively contradicted by selection of pro-Rajapaksa more..

Indian elephant in Lankan room

Sep 14 (DC) On a visit to Islamabad when she was President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK), in a veiled reference to India, spoke of her island nation’s concerns over being dominated by a bigger neighbour. India, was the obvious, unnamed elephant in the room. That remark found huge resonance within Pakistan, eager as always to score points off India, and assiduously court Colombo by supplying arms and intelligence to SL Army, which was in the throes of battling the gritty LTTE. more..

'Wigneswaran acts against TNA'

Sep 14 (CT) TNA Jaffna District MP and ITAK Leader Mavai Senathirajah said he is unaware of the power sharing to 3-5 regions proposed by Opposition Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan. "I'm unaware of such a proposal. I have not heard of it. I can only remember his speech after the appointment of Opposition Leader. I don't remember a proposal as such. It is better you clarify it from Sampanthan himself," he said. more..

Editorial: Chariots of death

Sep 14 (Island) More than two dozen people have died in road accidents during the last few days, the worst disaster reported from Miriswatte, where five PSD personnel were killed and several others seriously injured last week. Statistics released by the Transport Ministry reveal that about 2,436 persons were killed in 2,261 road mishaps in 2014. Minor and critical accidents numbered 13,051 and 6,688 respectively. A shocking CCTV footage of the Miriswatte accident shows us more..

Media battles continue with LTTE in Toronto

Sep 14 (Island) Media battle with LTTE continued in Toronto. We took them head on. There was no other choice for us. I responded to the mouthpiece, David Pooplapillai in the National Post under Rights as a weapon - David Poopalapillai, Spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress, is hurt when Tamil Tigers are accused of murder and horror. It is laughable when he talks of human rights in Sri Lanka. Terrorists in modern times have begun to use ‘human rights as a weapon. more..

Sri Lanka in hunt for its Rikishi

Sep 14 (ST) A contact sport, considered as modern martial arts in its originative country Japan, Sumo has now hit the Sri Lankan shores with as many as 250 athletes engaging in it. Last week a contingent of nine who represented Sri Lanka returned from Osaka, Japan after the World Championship held during the first week of Sept. Sri Lankan sumo wrestlers consisting of four male and two female athletes and three officials more..

The Death of Yahapalanaya

Sep 14 (Island) While several Third World nations have been on a political trajectory from banana republics to pluralist democracies, Sri Lanka has, in recent decades, been moving in the opposite direction. The Presidential Election of 8th January 2015 promised a reversal of this trend; however, political manoeuvres since the 17th August General Elections threaten to undermine even the incremental progress made in the first half of the year. Most of the incompetent, dishonest and more..

Schools Karate team to compete in Iran

Sep 14 (Island) Sri Lanka Schools Karate Do Team will leave to Iran on Tuesday to participate in the 2015 Euro – Asian open Karate Championship organised by the Iran Karate Do Federation. The Sri Lankan team comprises 20 boys and eight girls from 17 different schools. The team: Boys – Dulitha Udara (Captain), Tharushika Kumarashiri, Thiloka Vithana, M.R. Ishkullah, Chatura Dharsana, Salinda Weerakoon, Malisha Sathsara, Bhanuka Dissanayake, Samitha Dulanjana, more..

Loud exchanges and hooting at SLFP Kandy District meeting

Sep 14 (Island) A meeting of the SLFP members of the Kandy district Local bodies and MPs chaired by Party’s General Secretary Minister Duminda Dissanayake in Kandy was held amidst loud exchanges and hooting on Saturday. The media was kept out of the meeting. But the din was heard outside the hall where the SLFP members met. Meeting was summoned to discuss the ways and means of steering the SLFP to more..

Where is the rationality in the assignment of functions to ministers

Sep 14 (CT) A rational allocation of departments to Ministries and subsequently such Ministries to Ministers may not be possible owing to political expediency. But should there not be some modicum of rationality at least. How does the recent allocation of functions and departments to Ministries stand up to the standard of rationality? The recent allocation is more rational than in the past. But there are a few aberrations. For example Minister Lakshman Kiriella is put in charge of Uni Education & Highways. more..

'Open SLTPB Office in Thailand'

Sep 14 (CT) Sri Lanka-Greater Mekong Sub Region (GMS) Business Council had requested the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau to open a branch office in Thailand for MEKONG region to attract more tourists to Sri Lanka, council newly elected Chairman Andre Fernando said. He made these remarks on the sidelines of the Sri Lanka- GMS Business Council Annual General Meeting which was held on Friday. "GMS countries should explore the possibility of working in the areas of more..

Mulitiple redineries in Hambantota, Trinco

Sep 14 (CT) The govt will shortly call for Expressions of Interests (EOI) for the setting up of oil refineries in the two port cities of Hambantota and Trincomalee aimed at making Sri Lanka, South Asia's petroleum hub. "Singapore is a country which has around seven oil refineries and that is the strategy which we will aim to have in Sri Lanka where we will be inviting investors, new Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Gases, more..

Dayasiri on Buddhika Pathirana’s exclusion

Sep 14 (NF) Several new ministers and officials met with the chief prelates of the Malwathu and Asigiri chapters on Sunday (13). Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara answered several questions posed by the media after his meeting with the Chief Prelates of the Asgiri and Malwathu chapters of the Siam Sect on Sunday morning. Speaking to Media Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that its very clear that the people did not give absolute power to any party. He also said: more..

Saravanabawan to attend Canada event

Sep 14 (SL) TNA MP E. Saravanabawan takes part in the fundraising event held in Canada to support war widows to build houses in newly released land in Sampur. Sarawanabawan said that upon an invitation extended by Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), he visited Canada to take part in the Tamil Canadian Walk Walk-A-Thon for Sampur which is part of the humanitarian efforts of the CTC for the displaced people of Sampur. He added that the walk is organised to raise funds to support more..

JVP sees power having shifted from one family to cartel of cronies

Sep 14 (Island) The administration came to power promising good governance, but the reins of govt has shifted from a family to a cabal of cronies, JVP says. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said those who had obtained a mandate by promising a 35-member cabinet, among other things, were now striving to break the record of the previous regime, which had 106 ministers. "One of the main accusations against Rajapaksa govt was more..

Sri Lanka’s dairy imports up by 18%, exports drop by 8% in 2014

Sep 14 (Island) Sri Lanka’s expenditure on dairy and dairy products imports rose by 18% from a year earlier to Rs. 44 billion during 2014, according to a new report by the CCC. Imported volumes, however, had risen by only 3% to 71 million kilograms, and the increase in import values was due to the higher import prices of dairy and dairy products. The pickup in volumes in 2014 was on the back of a sharp decline in 2013, following issues regarding chemical contamination. more..

MR questions new stand on HR

Sep 14 (SL) Former President Rajapaksa has questioned the new position taken by some countries on the human rights issue in Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa’s spokesman Rohan Weliwitta said that the former President, feels that the new position clearly shows how political the human rights issue was. He said that the United States, which at one point called for an international investigation, is now backing a domestic investigation. Weliwitta said that if Rajapaksa was still the President, more..

PM returns substandard briefing note

Sep 14 (DN) The briefing note, prepared by the Foreign Ministry with regard to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s official visit to India, has been returned by the PM as it was not up to expected standards. Sources from the PM’s office said all senior officials of the ministry would be summoned for a meeting with the PM, in October, to brief them on the foreign policy direction of the present govt. “There seems to be a lack of understanding more..

Spiritual leader from UK visits Sri Lanka

Sep 14 (SL) To bring spiritual happiness into the lives of mankind and to eliminate hatred from human heart is the mission of His Holiness Younous AlGohar a spiritual leader from UK who is now in Sri Lanka on a brief stay. For him, achieving global peace is not a difficult task, if people can respect each other and spread love towards humanity there would be eternal peace in every heart and will love each other which results in global peace. A born Muslim in Pakistan, young Younous had more..

The CIABOC needs forensics: AHRC

Sep 14 (CT) Modern investigators are equipped with knowledge in many fields that are connected to the ways in which corruption is produced, yet the Sri Lankan one is built on an outdated model, Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) noted. Director of AHRC, Basil Fernando remarked that the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) should also be equipped in modern forensic science, which enables successful investigations and possess necessary more..

Tunnel road connecting Getambe to Thennakumbura soon

Sep 14 (DM) Malwatta Chapter Mahanayaka, Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera, stressed the need for the govt to think of underground roads as a solution to the frequent traffic congestion being experienced within the Kandy City limits and on the road circling the Kandy Lake. Thera, advised Minister Lakshman Kiriella, who visited the Malwatta Temple to seek the Thera’s blessing, not to risk destroying the more..

Rat killers, kerosene lead this year in household poisons

Sep 14 (ST) Rat-killers and kerosene topped the list for household poisoning so far this year, ousting mosquito coils and sprays and toilet cleaners from last year. Strong calls for the prevention of household poisoning were issued by the National Poisons Information Centre as the National Poison Prevention Week begins tomorrow. The top five causing household poisoning this year also included toilet cleaner, thinner and lysol, said Centre Head Dr. Waruna Gunathilake, quoting statistics more..

Megapolis to kick off right after Act enactment: Minister

Sep 14 (Island) A multi-dimensional approach to developing the proposed Megapolis in the western province will be put into action after the State frames a draft bill for the purpose and it is passed as an Act of parliament, Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Province Development said at a launch event held by Daniel's Tea at Cinnamon Grand. He was participating in this event as a special guest where Daniel's Golden BOPF and Rasata kahata tea was launched more..