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NE Education Ministry conducts meetings and seminars in Sinhala

Sep 29 (CT) Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) has expressed deep concern, about the Tamil language not being used and being continuously ignored in the administration of the Education Ministry in the North and East. CTU President Joseph Stalin said in a media release that meetings and seminars are held in the ministry only in Sinhala and not in Tamil. Even Tamil translations are not provided at such meetings and seminars; greatly inconveniencing Tamil officers and heads of schools more..

Defeated ex-minister attempting to grab my seat: Geetha

Sep 29 (DM) UPFA MP Geetha Kumarasinghe said the dual citizenship allegation was a conspiracy hatched by a former minister who was defeated at the general election in an effort to enter parliament. She said she contested the general election after relinquishing her Switzerland citizenship. “I say this with responsibility that I am not a dual citizen of SL and Switzerland. I cancelled my dual citizenship before the election,” more..

Special driving licenses for school vans

Sep 29 (DN) From Jan 1, 2016, a new special driving license will be issued to all public transport drivers. School van drivers, three wheel drivers (at a later stage) etc., will be included in this category, DIG Traffic, Amarasiri Senaratne said. He said that from Jan 1, 2016, this special driving license will be a must for all school bus/van drivers. The drivers who wish to obtain their driving license (new drivers) must have driven for a period of 3 years in order to obtain special public transport driving license. more..

Sri Lanka begins diplomatic ties with Togo

Sep 29 (NS) Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations with the Togolese Republic on Sept 27. These ties would strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries in the political, economic and cultural fields. Establishing diplomatic relations corresponds to the interests of both states, and will help to consolidate international peace and security and uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Togo situated in West Africa is bordered by Ghana to west, more..

SC Judges Abrew & Marasinghe to be impeached

Sep 29 (CT) The govt has decided to impeach two Supreme Court judges namely Rohini Marasinghe and Sarath De Abrew sources close to Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe said. The govt had concluded investigations into judge Rohini Marasinghe and especially her husband who was operating a legal consultancy that had direct links to the cases that was presided by his wife and her work concerned. more..

Sri Lanka offers Maldives assistance to probe explosion

Sep 29 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt has offered the Maldives assistance to investigate the explosion on the boat which was carrying Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom yesterday. Maldivian Minister Mohamed Hussain Shareef, said that Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva had spoken to him and offered assistance from Sri Lanka. Hussain Shareef said that the Maldives had accepted the offer and sough forensic assistance to investigate the incident. more..

Office chaired by CBK backs certificate of absence

Sep 29 (CG) The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation chaired by former President, Chandrika Kumaratunge, has hailed the move to issue a Certificate of Absence to the families of persons reported missing. “Repeated calls by families of the disappeared to the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation have been rewarded,” it said in a statement. A Cabinet decision of 11 Sept based upon a Memorandum by Ministry of Home Affairs makes provision for issuance of more..

Video: Everyone agrees that we should find out the truth: Ranil

Sep 29 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the only issue that cropped up during discussions on the UN resolution was whether Sri Lanka’s judiciary is sufficiently strong enough for a domestic mechanism and not about the country’s armed forces. He stated that the issue Sri Lanka has to face most of all is in regard to the judiciary. “Is Sri Lanka’s judiciary sufficiently strong? What is the body blow we suffered when more..

Do fish drink water: Does Nepotism matter?

Sep 30 (CT) Initially this writer could not comprehend the furor over young Mr. Daham Sirisena accompanying his father to New York. It was possible that his official role was that of a private secretary who also happened to be the son of the President. To all appearances it was much ado about nothing. Mr. Daham Sirisena expressed his anguish at what he felt to be unjust or unwarranted criticism with the plaintive words ‘My dear friends, ‘What is Nepotism? more..

A letter to the President

Sep 30 (CT) Dear Mr. President, An Independent, Representative, Professional and Visionary Finance Commission Discharging its Accountability with Efficiency, Economy and Effectiveness Is Key to Achieving a Balanced, Inclusive and Equitable Socio Economic Development of the Provinces and the Country. Your commitment to ensuring peace, harmonious co-existence, and embedding shared positive societal values and norms amongst all citizens, and associated commitments for more..

'TNA hopes the govt would be genuine'

Sep 30 (SL) Northern Provincial Council (NPC), which in the recent past has been pushing for an international investigation on the war in SL, says it is also ready to accept a hybrid mechanism. NPC has opposed a domestic process and had even adopted a resolution recently to that effect stating that past domestic processes have failed to meet expectations. Chairman of NPC C.V.K. Sivagnanam said he hopes the govt would be more..

A liar, liar, pants on fire!

Sep 30 (NS) Maybe that the likes of Ajith Perera can run away with the idea that UNP is God’s gift to mankind, but do spare us the sanctimonious hectoring about how his party is going to course-correct SL’s foreign policy. Appearing in a recent talk show, Perera said his govt has begun to address the issue of impunity, and the assaults on the independence of the judiciary, that prevented the UN from accepting internal judicial processes to hold SL forces to account for so-called war crimes. more..

Crashing VW shares and Loon balloons

Sep 30 (NS) It is no secret that the new govt formed after a Jan 8 revolution heavily exploited names of two of the world’s largest multinational firms to gain political advantage at the now concluded General Election of Aug 17. One of them was Google Inc. and its Project Loon and the other was the hype over the German car manufacturer, Volkswagen planning on setting up an assembly plant in Kuliyapitiya. On the Loon project, some Sri Lankan govt representatives went berserk on more..

Domestic inquiry: TNA cries foul

Sep 30 (CT) PLOTE leader and TNA MP Dharmalingam Sidhadthan said all domestic inquiries on war crimes will not be impartial or satisfy the expectations of the Tamil people. The international community has downplayed on us, he said. Q: TNA has continuously demanded an international inquiry on war crimes through the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Later it changed the stand to a mixed inquiry where both more..

A message of hope tempered with reality

Sep 30 (SL) The recent goings-on in Geneva where a skilled and suave diplomat of Jordanian origin, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has given Sri Lanka the opportunity to dig itself out of a moral grave of its own excavation is going to produce interesting fall-out. Prior to the Jordanian presenting his report to the UNHRC a few days ago, Mangala Samaraweera, our own Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA) who has been a pleasant contrast to the buffoonery of some of his predecessors, more..

Fate of a turquoise blue

Sep 30 (SL) Bumper Perera – Bum to his college friends – was looking despondent and sipping a strong DD at the Waterhole. We knew Bum’s cause for misery. Anybody who was in Colombo while the UN General Assembly Sessions were on and not in New York was just nobody. He should have by now been in the Waldorf Astoria sipping a French wine and watching porno at state expense before going in for other festivities. What to do Bum? Bad miscalculation, no? more..

Playing ducks and drakes with ministries

Sep 30 (SO) Gazette notification released on Sept 22, a month after the formation of National Unity Govt has made far-reaching changes in the allocation of subjects to a number of ministries. According to the gazette notification, 20 key institutions including Central Bank, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Youth Services Council, Department of Census and Statistics, ETF and National Youth Brigade will come under more..

Blackout, Who’s Accountable?

Sep 30 (CT) It's the mandate of utility services providers, particularly providers of such services pertaining to transportation and related ancillaries such as road and rail, peace, health, education, garbage collection, postal services and telecoms, water supply and drainage and electricity services to provide uninterrupted services to the public. These services are either wholly in the public sector domain or a hybrid comprising both the public and private sectors competing to provide such more..

The favourite pulse

Sep 30 (CT) Green gram or mung eta is a pulse which we are very familiar with and is close to our lives. Green gram is very suitable for a curry to add to make a meal tasty. Even small children like to eat boiled green gram with lunu miris and coconut. Similarly mung kiribath or milk rice made with green gram is a very tasty dish in the food choices of people in our villages. Kevum made of green gram or mung eta kevum is one of the sweet meats that are essential for the Sinhala New Year more..

Why Daham Sirisena at UN is a big deal

Sep 30 (CT) When the first signs appeared of the new Yahapalana (=well-ruled) govt going astray some months ago, I tweeted: Good governance must not only be done, but also be SEEN as done. Optics or appearances do matter. They are especially important in this social media age when every action of the govt and its top leadership is closely monitored and commented upon by many citizens. more..

SL-Turkey trade crosses US$ 300m barrier

Sep 30 (DN) Lanka-Turkey bilateral trade crossed the US$300 Mn barrier for the first time, a pioneering mechanism that establishes the much needed B2B linkage between both countries was unveiled in Colombo on 23 Sept. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the inaugural event of Turkey Ceylon Business Council in Colombo on Sept 23. Joining the event were visiting international businessmen from Turkey, Australia, France, and SL as well as members of Confederation of Businessmen more..

Two jumbos fight over a female

Sep 30 (CT) Wildlife officers have chased away two male elephants who were fighting over a female in Welikanda, Suriyawewa, Polonnaruwa to the Thrikona Maduwa sanctuary Monday. An elephant expert said, that if two male elephants get into a fight it is always over a female as male elephants are not territorial. "When two male elephants get into a fight, it is in the presence of a female. But while the fight between the two male animals continue the female moves away," Dr. Atapattu said. more..

ADB ready to ramp up Sri Lanka lending

Sep 30 (EN) Sri Lanka can tap up to a billion US dollars a year from the Asian Development Bank doubling its current drawdown and also request budgetary support with a strong reform program, Vice President Wencai Zhang said. "We are happy to support the new governments priorities and reforms to help make Sri Lanka a more competitive economy with a high inclusive and sustainable growth," Zhang told reporters. more..

'Maithri acts like a junior JR'

Sep 30 (LT) “Some think being able to bear up being assaulted and attacked is good governance. Some think that the govt could be wrapped around their fingers as President Maithripala Sirisena looks very innocent. Some say he is not a stern character as he doesn’t have a moustache. However, the way he hits is severe. He acts like a junior JR. He looks innocent. He’d agree to anything. However, he acts resolutely," says the Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratna. more..

CBL ranked among most respected entities in Sri Lanka

Sep 30 (CT) Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL) has been adjudged as one of the top 20 most respected entities in Sri Lanka in a study carried out the LMD, the leading business magazine in Sri Lanka. The results were published in the annual Most Respected Entities in Sri Lanka magazine published by the group. The survey was commissioned and conceptualized by LMD magazine, and conducted by Nielsen Company with the intention of ranking the Most Respected entities in Sri Lanka. more..

Harin to create digital democracy with cyber security protection

Sep 30 (FT) Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando committed to creating a society of digital democracy with cyber security protection for which all stakeholders must unite. “I believe that regulators, operators, academics, vendors in communication and IT industries need to work together towards common goal of creating a society of digital democracy that is protected by cyber security,” he said, more..

Simmons suspended as West Indies coach

Sep 30 (CI) Phil Simmons has been suspended with immediate effect as West Indies coach, two days after he expressed his unhappiness with the ODI squad selected for the Sri Lanka tour. Simmons was caught unawares by the decision, which was communicated to him in an email from WICB chief executive Michael Muirhead, as he was in the UK preparing to join the squad in London on their way to Sri Lanka. Simmons will now not travel with the team, and former West Indies fast bowler more..

BoC launches new Treasury System

Sep 30 (CT) Bank of Ceylon (BoC) has launched its new Treasury System Finacle in conjunction with Infosys and their business alliance partner Millennium IT. BoC deployed the New Age Infosys Finacle Treasury Solution Version 11.2.1 to provide its customers with a new paradigm in service excellence and convenience with this state-of-the-art platform. The new system enables the Treasury activities of BoC to strengthen its Risk Management and provide a speedy and modern service to more..

‘Escaping the grip of big business a challenge for media’

Sep 30 (Hindu) The real challenge for the Indian news media now is to find economically sustainable and politically astute ways and means to loosen and eventually to break the stranglehold being established by big business to the detriment of free and independent journalism in a seemingly irreversible historical process, N. Ram, Chairman of Kasturi and Sons Limited and former Editor in Chief of The Hindu group of publications, said. more..

Sri Lanka is one of the fastest growing markets in South Asia says Huawei

Sep 30 (LBO) As Sri Lanka is one of the fastest growing market in South Asia in smart phone segment of Chinese mobile maker, Huawei, says it plans to expand the market share though increasing distribution network targeting a revenue of 10 billion rupees by 2016. “Sri Lanka has grown to be one of the key geographies in the South East Asia Regions for Huawei. We remain committed and will continue to invest further in the country, offering our valued customers and all out stakeholders more..

Govt mulling 90% pictorial warnings

Sep 30 (CT) Ministry of Health is currently having discussions on introducing laws to cover 90-95% of the packaging of tobacco products with pictorial warnings, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Govt will take every possible action to reduce the tobacco consumption, thereby reducing the number of diseases that occur due to tobacco consumption. "We were able to introduce laws to make it compulsory to display pictorial warnings covering 80% of the packaging of tobacco products. more..

Tamil groups insist on hybrid mechanism

Sep 30 (PTI) Sri Lanka’s Tamil political parties on Tuesday demanded that the investigation into the alleged rights abuses during the conflict with the LTTE be carried out under a hybrid mechanism as a domestic probe will not address their concerns. At least four Tamil political parties and several other civil society groups called for the return to the original hybrid judicial mechanism proposed in the UNHRC report. more..

Local authority elections in March: PM

Sep 30 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the local authority elections will be held in March next year. “In Nov we will be announcing the economic policy and the budget debate and by Jan to Feb we will prepare to implement our plans and apparently we will have elections in March as planned,” he said. He urged to reduce the party rivalries and then see where the country is headed for but said that it doesn’t mean that party rivalry to be absent parties will contest separately. more..

Susanthika to shoulder future of SL athletics

Sep 30 (DN) President’s Counsel Kalinga Indathissa said that if they had not fought for Susanthika and saved her from baseless allegations over doping, Sri Lanka would have not won an Olympic Silver medal in 2000. Revealing a 15 year old secret, Indathissa further said that she was subjected to doping tests due to interferences by unauthorized persons out of the proper procedures in an attempt to keep her out of athletics two years before she could win the Olympic silver medal. more..

Obama praises President’s commitment for democracy and good governance

Sep 30 (PMD) President of US Barack Obama praises President Maithripala Sirisena’s commitment and actions taken for strengthening of democracy and good governance in Sri Lanka. He made these remarks yesterday (28) at a meeting with President Sirisena while participating in the 70th session of the UNGA. President Obama expressed his appreciation about the changes occurred in Sri Lanka under the new govt. more..

What’s holding Sri Lankan women back from participating in the labor force?

Sep 30 (BI) Sri Lanka has a reputation for being a trailblazer when it comes to women and human development. At the primary education level, almost all girls and boys are enrolled in school, and in secondary school more girls are enrolled than boys—and have been for several decades. Girls now also outnumber boys in tertiary education. These achievements have a long history, with roots in the colonial period, when the establishment of single-sex missionary schools promoted more..

Nawaloka shelves Jaffna plan

Sep 30 (DN) Nawaloka Hospitals have abandoned the idea of building and managing one of their hospitals in Jaffna. Nawaloka Group Chairman Jayantha Dharmadasa said they had planned to build a 300 bed hospital under their brand name in Jaffna. “However we have now decided to cancel this project due to human resource issues. It’s difficult to find qualified staff and also doctors to serve in Jaffna.” Nawaloka Hospital was established in 1985 by H. K. Dharmadasa. more..

TNA hails US-backed resolution on Sri Lanka

Sep 30 (Hindu) The draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the UNHRC by the U.S. and other countries has addressed the main issues of accountability and reconciliation, according to the TNA leader, R. Sampanthan. The involvement of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence counsel, prosecutors and investigators would give the judicial process much greater degree of credibility, the TNA chief said. more..

'SLMC’s Muttur defeat must be accepted'

Sep 30 (CT) Leader of the SLMC and the Minister Rauff Hakeem, has stated that at the appropriate time the question of appointing a person to the National List would be finalized. He made this comment at a meeting held at the Muttur Thanrul Jinnah Maha Vidyalayam recently. He added a place for the SLMC in the National List from Trincomalee District was given once; the leadership of the SLMC has not been hiding anything from the rank and file of the party. more..

India to support Sri Lanka in UN

Sep 30 (ET) India is likely to back Sri Lanka on the UNHRC resolution over alleged war crimes if it is put to vote in Geneva on Thursday, officials said, attributing the decision to measures taken by the new govt in Colombo to empower Tamil minorities. The resolution, co-sponsored by the USA and Sri Lanka and supported by a few European nations including the UK, Macedonia and Montenegro, was tabled last week. India is backing Sri Lanka in its opposition to the inclusion of foreign judges, more..