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Wanted: A new leadership culture for public institutions

Sep 3 (NS) Political and civil society leaders campaigned for good governance in Sri Lanka and on January 8, the people agreed. We now have a new President. Then again the people spoke on August 17, and confirmed that the country needs to continue in its journey towards Yahapalanaya. We will soon have a new Parliament. But is this enough to achieve Yahapalanaya? Can the public rest now and await our new political leadership to deliver to us a better tomorrow? more..

President’s statement of govt policy: Questions that go a-begging

Sep 3 (Island) That the inaugural sitting of parliament went off without a hitch should be a cause for relief. At least the public was spared the unseemly sight of a riot in parliament over the election of a Speaker like what happened in April 2004. In that year, there was a significant gap between the UPFA which had 105 seats and the UNP which got only 82 seats, but the non-UPFA parties had a majority in parliament. In what was the hottest and most unseemly contest for more..

Treasury to bring delayed Acts to House soon

Sep 3 (CT) The govt is planning to re-submit long delayed amendments to Finance Act and Inland Revenue Act, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said. The Mini-Budget of the new govt was presented to the Parliament on 29 Jan and it introduced several controversial taxes such as super gain tax and mansion tax. he said that all those revenue amendments were still at Committee Stage more..

Sri Lanka's marks out of 10

Sep 3 (CI) 9: Angelo Mathews (339 runs at 56.50, 4 wickets at 18.75) Another series, another exceptional individual performance - it's getting to the point where it's not enough to say Mathews is just Sri Lanka's best cricketer; he's among the most valuable in the world. Mathews is more of a consistent run scorer than a stock-piler of hundreds, but even so, he was the only batsman to make two triple-figure scores in the series. He led better than he did against Pakistan, more..

India's marks out of 10

Sep 3 (CI) 9: Virat Kohli (233 runs at 38.83) India's highest run-getter of a series where largely the bowlers ruled. Started with a century in Galle, his scores reading: 103, 3, 78, 10, 18 and 21 and found his dismissal chasing a tempter on the fifth stump over and over. As captain, though, he learnt, and he grew, finding a way to pick up a team from the blue funk of its shock defeat in the first Test. Barring one harried, fretful session at the SSC, carried himself and the team with dignity and equanimity more..

Arjuna may bid for top post in SLC

Sep 3 (TT) Arjuna Ranatunga, who is set to keep the ministry of ports and shipping when the portfolios are announced, is likely to make a bid for the chairman's position in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Ranatunga is, of course, a former chairman of SLC. His first innings was cut short, in 2008-09, largely because he'd stepped on too many toes. "I've been approached by quite a few former players and I'll probably be a candidate when more..

Is IPL behind Malinga’s flop?

Sep 3 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket’s premier fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who during his formative years in the game, struck a purple patch with the cherry, with his deceptive sling action and his toe crushing yorkers, that baffled the cream of batsmen, in international cricket. His achievements are far to many to focus in this article. A minus point to Malinga is it, when it comes to crunch games, he appears to be groping in the dark. A case in point was in a must win match against India, more..

Commander of the Navy calls on PM

Sep 3 (SLN) Commander of SL Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, paid a courtesy call on PM Ranil Wickramasinghe at the PM's office on 2nd Sept. PM extended his best wishes to the Navy Commander on his new appointment and held a brief discussion bringing out the SLN's strategies and courses of action in reaching military and national objectives. A memento was presented to mark the Navy Commander’s first official call on PM after assuming duties as Navy Commander more..

SLC wanted grassy wicket for third Test

Sep 3 (Island) Despite repeated denials, it has now come to light that Sri Lanka’s team management requested a grassy wicket for the final Test against India that concluded on Tuesday. India won the final Test by 117 runs to win the series 2-1. It was India’s first series win in Sri Lanka in 22 years. India’s spinners Ashwin and Mishra had done considerable damage in the first two Tests claiming 29 wickets between the two of them. more..

Siriwardene to lead SL women in NZ

Sep 3 (CI) Shashikala Siriwardene will lead a 20-member Sri Lanka women squad for their limited-overs tour of New Zealand from November 3 to 22. Sri Lanka, who were last in New Zealand during the Women's World Cup in 2000, will play five ODIs and three T20s in Lincoln, Christchurch and Nelson. New Zealand coach Haidee Tiffen was thrilled with the prospect of a home summer comprising two home series, the second of which will feature Australia early next year. more..

Ashwin on what he learned from Herath

Sep 3 (Island) India’s captain in waiting, Ravichandran Ashwin finished the three match Test series against Sri Lanka with a rich haul of 21 wickets and was named Man of the Series. Ashwin told journalists after India won the series 2-1 that he was closely monitoring Rangana Herath throughout the series and that helped him to make a huge impact. "Thankfully both at P Sara and here Sri Lanka bowled first. I had a close look at what Rangana Herath was doing. more..

KP wants end to speculation over Prabhakaran’s death

Sep 3 (FT) Former Leader of LTTE’s international wing Kumaran Padmanathan alias KP urged not to dig into the past to analyse how former LTTE Leader V Prabhakaran died in 2009 but to rally around the Govt to serve the people and develop the country. Pathmanathan, who had close connections with the LTTE as the LTTE’s chief international spokesman and arms procurer during the last months of the final battle in 2009, more..

India offers scholarships to children of Sri Lanka estate workers

Sep 3 (HCI) Applications are invited from the children of estate workers, who are residents of estates, for award of scholarships by the Ceylon Estate Workers Education Trust (CEWET). These scholarships are available for GCE A/L, Undergraduate courses and for students undergoing Vocational/ Technical education in any of the Govt Technical colleges in Sri Lanka. Students who have passed GCE O/L or A/L exam with either Mathematics or Arithmetic at the GCE O/L more..

South Korea mulls FTA with Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (DN) South Korea is in the process of preparing a feasibility study to explore various ways of enhancing bi-lateral economic ties including a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka. Korea’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka Chang Won Sam, addressing the 21st AGM of Sri Lanka –Korea Economic Cooperation Committee said that there is still untapped potential for win-win cooperation between the two countries. He said that SL govt has identified accelerating economic growth more..

SL may restrict visitors to its national parks

Sep 3 (IANS) Sri Lanka may restrict visitors to each of its national parks after a recent spate of vehicular accidents injured and killed wild animals, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said here on Wednesday. In a statement released on his Facebook page, Wickremesinghe said that the new govt was also looking at methods of implementing strict speed limits in order to create an environment that is safe and secure for the wildlife, more..

Chartered Accountants conferring to take national economy to new heights

Sep 3 (Island) International and local thought leaders will gather at the BMICH (Nov 4-6) for the 36th National Conference of the Chartered Accountants to take the lead in helping policy makers, regulators and Sri Lankan businesses to propel the national economy to new heights. The national conference on the theme, Catalyst 2015: Collaborate to Compete’ will help businesses to foster closer and sustainable partnerships with their service providers, employees and even more..

Terrorism never fails to take victim societies by surprise: Dr. Ajai Sahni

Sep 3 (DN) Terrorism in its modern form has been with us for decades and has continuously expanded its sphere of influence and operation, Dr. Ajai Sahni, founding member and executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi said. He was speaking at the international Defence Seminar on Tuesday. Dr. Sahni said it yet never fails to take its victim societies by surprise when it is applied in a new theatre, however gradual or deliberate its march. more..

Opposition Leader’s post heading for a vote?

Sep 3 (Island) With the TNA staking a claim for the Opposition leader’s post, a vote was bound to be taken when Parliament meets next. Front runner for the position is UPFA MP Kumara Welgama. 57 UPFA MPs have written to President Sirisena, requesting that Welgama be appointed the Oppositon Leader. Sources said that with the TNA insisting that an SLFP’er could not be Opposition Leader in view of MoU between more..

Sri Lanka at World Assembly for Women

Sep 3 (FT) Sri Lanka was represented by the Representative of PM and former Minister Rosy Senanayake at the World Assembly for Women (WAW) held in Tokyo last week. Tokyo held this mega Assembly for the second consecutive year and was attended by over 2,000 delegates including that of political leaders, activists, academics, INGOs, media personalities, senior international and UN civil servants and diplomatic corps, among others, from a large number of countries. more..

India, a key player in transformative world order: Dr. Uttam Sinha

Sep 3 (DN) India remains a key player in the transformative world order as a rising power and the world faces a shift in balance of power, India's former representative in the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific Dr. Uttam Sinha said. He made these comments presenting his views on the sub theme Emerging World Order - Indian Perspective at the Defence Seminar. He said it is always fascinating and perplexing analyzing current dynamics of the emerging world order. more..

Ekneligoda disappearance: EPDP denies accusation, ready to assist probe

Sep 3 (Island) The EPDP rebutted an alleged JVP attempt to implicate the party in the disappearance of cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda on the eve of the 2010 presidential polls. EPDP spokesperson Nelson Edirisinghe was responding to a report posted on a website affiliated to the JVP. Edirisinghe said that contrary to that claim, the police never even sought to record a statement from him regarding the disappearance. more..

Coca-Cola fiasco: GMOA says country lacks toxicologists

Sep 3 (DM) Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said that there were not enough specialists in the country to assist probes into hazardous incidents such as Coca-Cola factory’s oil leakage, which contaminated Kelani River. GMOA Spokesman Dr. Naveen Soysa said the country Health Service lacked specialists in toxicology and many other areas. Toxicology specialists were needed to successfully probe the incident, where water was contaminated by oil. more..

Citizens’ Power wants TNA to be given Opposition Leader’s post

Sep 3 (Island) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) should be given the Opposition Leader’s post in parliament today as a show of commitment to treating Tamil people as equal citizens of this country, Purawesi Balaya (Citizens’ Power), a civil society group said. The group including Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Saman Rathnapriya, Joseph Stalin, K.W. Janaranjana and Inoka Sathyangani was addressing a press conference at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in Maradana. more..

Cabinet awaits Parliment nod

Sep 3 (FT) Tough decisions will likely be made by Parliament today when PM Ranil Wickremesinghe seeks approval from members to appoint a large Cabinet, possibly composed of 48 Cabinet ministers and 45 non-Cabinet ministers including State ministers. House will also see appointment of an Opposition Leader after days of political wrangling. According to 19th Amd, number of ministers of Cabinet should not exceed 30 more..

MR’s good and bad: Prof. Wijesooriya

Sep 3 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who rendered a yeoman service by ending the war, did a serious damage to the party by extending the term of office, Colombo University’s Professor Sarath Wijesooriya said. Professor Wijesooriya making the guest speech at the SLFP convention in Polonnaruwa said that some good work had taken place during the tenure of Mahinda Rajapaksa but his move to extend the term of office had done a negative impact to the SLFP. more..

President turns 64

Sep 3 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena will mark his 64th birthday today. He was born on Sept 3, 1951 in Western Province and grew up in Polonnaruwa in the North Central Province. Buddhists, Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious ceremonies were held yesterday in the NCP to invoking blessing on the President. Jayapirith deshanaya was held at the Galviharaya, close to the Rankoth Viharaya which commenced on the night of Sept 1, with the offering of kapruk and milk more..

SLFP needs radical transformation: Prez

Sep 3 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena stressed that the SLFP should be subjected to radical transformation aiming at winning the next elections. "This is the right time for implementing the necessary and timely changes for the SLFP," President said. "LFP should be subjected to a complete and accurate transformation to create a disciplined and people friendly party, which will be embraced by all segments of the people," more..

Why Megalopolis Project must be debated in the Parliament?

Sep 4 (CT) Still we do not have a clear pronouncement of intended policy programs or work programs which are going to be implemented by the new National-Unity-Govt (NUG). Since there are significant differences between the UNFGG’s manifesto and UNFA’s manifesto, people do understand that the NUG cannot implement any one of the political factions manifesto in full. Hence, immediately, the principle challenge before the National-Unity-Govt is to redefine or spell out more..

Eastern University massacre: missing, missing, missing for 25 years

Sep 4 (CT) Many may not know that, when 5th Sept 2015 dawns, it will be 25 years of waiting for 158 families, who lost a member or two on that day of 5th Sept 1990 from the VANTHARUMOOLAI REFUGEE CAMP at EASTERN UNIVERSITY. They did not go missing as usual, where no one knew where they went. In this case these 158 were handed over/ taken over by the SL Military in front of a population of nearly 40,000 people. They were forced into buses and were driven away more..

Rebellious monks, lack of discipline: Is the Sangha society facing a crisis?

Sep 9 (SO) Bhikkhus have been accepted as social leaders in SL for centuries, with the lay community valuing their advice and guidance. However, with changing times, social perspectives of the modern day bhikkhus are also changing; with many of them growing rebellious and having no qualms about taking to the streets in vociferous protests, confronting aggression with aggression and not afraid to throw a few punches or more..

Parliamentary Election 2015: How did Social Media make a difference?

Sep 4 (GV) What role (if any) did social media play in the recently concluded Parliamentary (General) Election on 17 August 2015? Many are asking this question – and coming up with different answers. That is characteristic of our new reality: there is no single right answer when it comes to multi-faceted and fast-evolving phenomena like social media. Shortly after the Presidential Election of 8 January 2015 ended, I called it Sri Lanka’s first cyber election. more..

Wealth of a New Nation

Sep 4 (NS) JVP: JVP should take ministerial posts. There was a time they were ready to sacrifice their lives for the motherland, but now they are terrified of even taking a single ministry. How they have changed! No alternative: As Wimal is with Mahinda, the JVP has no alternative other than working with Ranil. This is very simple and they should be able to understand. It has nothing to do with Lenin or Marx. Sanga: Maithree offered High Commissioner post to Sanga because NL has already been filled. more..

'FCID will continue'

Sep 4 (CT) Former Minister John Amaratunga says FCID will continue to function and it will continue to proceed with investigations into allegations against MPs and former MPs. Q: It is more than two weeks since the parliamentary election was held. What is the delay in appointing the Cabinet? A: As a National Govt is being established, we have to share the posts and responsibilities and work together. more..

Me, The People

Sep 4 (NS) Dear Reader, Today The Asipatha presents a modern day political skit instead of the usual political round-up, and since it beats any analysis, the Editor hopes you are braced for it: President Sirisena is interviewed by the television channel with the largest viewership in the world, YOY. YOY specializes in asking questions that should be asked and everyone is afraid to ask, but mostly these questions are of the variety of why oh why. So, without much further ado, more..

Waiting for a welcome change to governance

Sep 4 (SL) It nears the two weeks mark since Sri Lanka voted in its 15th parliament, however, the country remains without a full-fledged cabinet or govt in office. Following the conclusion of the elections, the UNP announced that they would be forming a national govt with the SLFP and other interested groups. At the time of the swearing in of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the General-Secretaries of both parties signed a MoU which highlighted the functions and time period of a national govt. more..

Illegal sand mining adversely affecting the clay tile industry

Sep 4 (ST) Sri Lanka is known to be a country with a rich civilization, culture and industrial development some with a strong element of nature. The clay industry is one of them. Since ancient times tiles – Sinhala Ulu (tiles) – were manufactured the traditional way until the 1950s. With the advent of the present new clay tile manufacturing process, Sinhala Ulu faded away. These industries that came down from more..

Sri Lanka gets US$ 1.1bn from India's RBI to boost forex reserves today

Sep 4 (EN) Sri Lanka is getting 1.1 billion US dollars from the Reserve Bank of India to boost foreign reserves, Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said, with the balance of a US$ 1.5 billion swap arrangment coming into effect. The funds will reach Sri Lanka overnight. The RBI had earlier given 400 million US dollars to Sri Lanka to boost reserves. In July Sri Lanka had US$ 6.8 billion of foreign reserves, and there has been some outflows in August. more..

Economic situation analysis and need for urgent policy actions

Sep 4 (Island) Pathfinder Foundation (PF) at the outset wishes to emphasise the need for the govt (President, PM, his Cabinet as well as heads of institutions dealing with key economic sectors) to operate in a well-coordinated and consistent manner. The new govt, which, has committed to operate in a consensual spirit (sammuthivaadi), needs to speak with one voice on necessary and urgent economic reforms. There have been some discordant and inconsistent voices more..

Ex-Cormorant Strike - VI with 53 foreign military personnel kicked off at Kokilai

Sep 4 (SLA) Sri Lanka Army’s novel Field Training Exercise (FTX), the Exercise - Cormorant Strike V1 - 2015ducted for the 6th consecutive year, started off this morning (3) in Kokilai in the East with the participation of Army, Navy, Air Force troops and a record 53 foreign participants and observers. 2500 infantrymen, including largely the Commandos and Special Forces of the Army, 245 sailors and 140 airmen, together with those more..

Tough talk for Tea

Sep 4 (FT) Sri Lanka’s tea industry needs to take lessons from its apparel counterpart to tap into international trends, including artisanal teas and ready to drink teas, and cater to trendy millennials, believes a top strategist. The Calamander Group Founder and Chairman Roman Scott hopes to deliver a tough message to the tea industry when he addresses their Annual General Meeting (AGM) today. His Singapore-based holding company, with interests in real estate, hotels, food and more..