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Lack of inclusiveness: Dinesh, Sampanthan in the same boat

Apr 23 (DM) One would agree with MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardane, who criticised R. Sampanthan for taking up only Tamil issues during his engagements with other politicians and the public instead of discussing national issues as the Opposition Leader of the country. Sampanthan, in response, had lashed out at the MEP leader and questioned as to whether Southern politicians had taken up issues that affected Tamil people in their engagements with the govt or the people. more..

The abortive Banda-Chelva pact of 1957

Apr 23 (DBS) Good Governance Govt of President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe has embarked upon a historic exercise to enact a new Constitution for Sri Lanka. The consensual approach being adopted will see Parliament convening as a Constitutional Assembly as and when required to engage in Constitution making. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will preside over the Constitutional Assembly sessions. more..

MR goes on overseas visit ahead of May Day

Apr 23 (Island) Amidst hectic preparations for the Joint Opposition rally at Kirulapone, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will leave today for Thailand. He will be accompanied by former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris. They’ll be back on April 26. Since his defeat at the Jan 2015 presidential polls, former President hasn’t been overseas. SLFP-led Joint Opposition was going ahead with a separate rally in spite of efforts being made more..

Say goodbye to smelly and sweaty shirts with new stain and water-resistant fabrics

Apr 23 (ST) Very soon the shirt you wear won’t need a wash for a long time while also serving as a protection against the transmission of diseases. Produced abroad? Not really. That technology, which has been around for a while globally , has been re-developed for industrial use by a local textiles firm involved in the production of textiles for export. Recently the University of Peradeniya and Textured Jersey Lanka, more..

Auspicious Avurudu present: A litha for your health and safety

Apr 23 (ST) A litha (almanac) with a difference is in circulation this year, containing not only important days and times for Avurudu and information on poya days but also health alerts. Dubbed the Visha Nivarana Litha, the almanac, while including usual details such as the sanwathsara pathraya and pala-pala, ritta, shuba davas, poya labana, gevana welavan, kaala horawa and raahu kaalaya, has also embedded more..

Ding-dong battle over post-internship vacancies list

Apr 23 (Island) Director (Medical Services) of the Health Ministry yesterday struck back at the Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), saying that it was the latter which had interfered with the post internship vacancies list released recently. The GMOA, however, continues to stand by its assertion that the list has been changed by the Director (Medical Services) and the Public Relations Secretary of the Health Minister. more..

SLFP in fresh bid to scuttle dissidents’ May Day rally

Apr 23 (Island) The SLFP announced plans to hold interviews next week to select electoral organisers in an obvious bid to discourage dissidents, particularly members of Provincial Councils from attending Joint Opposition May Day rally at Kirulapone. SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said that the first round of interviews would commence next Tuesday. He said that a committee comprising senior more..

JCTU boasts of 200,000 crowd for May Day

Apr 23 (DN) Joint Council of Trade Union Convener W.H. Piyadasa said they hope to bring a crowd of over 200,000 to the May Day rally in Kirulapone in a show of strength of the working class. He said they would not be deterred by the various challenges and obstacles before them. “May Day rally in Kirulapone is the biggest rally against this anti-people govt. It will be organized under the theme Joint working class May Day. more..

Govt. in final stage of formulating ECTA: PM

Apr 23 (DM) While assuring that the govt was planning to work towards regaining GSP Plus in the same manner as they did to lift the EU fish ban on Sri Lanka, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today the govt was in the final stage of formulating the ECTA Agreement with India. “We plan to work towards regaining GSP Plus in the same manner and are in the process of assuring the international community that Sri Lanka abides by norms more..

SAARC Cultural Center will enhance South Asian cultural ties: President

Apr 23 (PSL) President Mithripala Sirisena said the SAARC Cultural Centre proposed to be set up in Matara will help greatly to enhance strong cultural links between the people of South Asia. He inquired into the progress of the establishment of the SAARC Cultural Centre which is being constructed at an 8-acre land extent in Matara, when SAARC Secretary General Arjun Thapa called on him at Presidential more..

Joint Opposition rally: Shalika reservation cancelled

Apr 23 (DM) The joint opposition is in a dilemma after the cancellation of the reservation of Shalika Ground in Narahenpita for the commencement of its May Day procession. MEP’s Somaweera Chandrasiri, who spoke on behalf of the joint opposition and trade unions affiliated to it, said the ground was reserved on March 8 after making a payment of Rs.12,500 to Sri Lanka Transport Board to which it belongs. more..

What the majority Sinhalese must know

Apr 23 (CT) The majority Sinhalese (74% of the population) have been carefully and deliberately shielded from reality by manipulation of the media by Sinhalese politicians, and ethno-religious bigots, especially the Buddhist monks, playing to the chauvinist gallery.The Sinhalese have been fed with myths and legends (masquerading as facts), and downright lies or not told what they should have been told. more..

IGP Jayasundara must stand firm

Apr 23 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena recently appointed senior DIG Pujith Jayasundara as the new IGP. The Constitutional Council (CC) had this week nominated Pujith Jayasundara as the 34th IGP. Jayasundara, who is a very popular police officer, has been vested with a huge responsibility. He takes up the prestigious position at a time, in which there are many high profile criminal cases to be solved. Also, at a time in which there are many black marks on the police due to more..

Aluth Parlimantuwa

Road, rail deaths continue

Apr 23 (CT) Five persons including the three-wheeler driver were critically injured in a head-on collision with a jeep on 21 Thursday at the Rockland Junction near the Kalutara Hospital. The injured were admitted to the Kaluthara Nagoda Hospital. The Jeep driver was arrested and will be produced in Court today. Beruwala Police are conducting further investigations. Meanwhile, a jaywalker on the rail tracks between the Kaluthara-South Station and the Kadurukanda Station was mangled more..

Ten traditional jewellery villages

Apr 23 (DN) A large scale programme to open the international market for Sri Lanka’s gem studded gold jewellery to the traditional rural goldsmiths is being formulated by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) on the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena, NGJA Chairman Asanka Welagedara said. He said as part of this programme, 10 traditional jewellery villages will be set up in 10 areas in the country during its first stage as directed by the President. more..

Central bank denies bond auction manipulation as concerns rise

Apr 23 (EN) Central bank denied charges of bond auction rigging amid renewed concerns that manipulation of long bond yields were giving windfalls to primary dealers. A state-managed provident fund is also being used to 'pump and dump' gilts, causing massive losses to millions of private sector employees, according to market watchers. "There are usually charges like this," Deputy Governor P Samarasiri told reporters responding to a query more..

May Day procession: Joint Opp. to proceed as planned

Apr 23 (DM) The joint opposition said today it would commence its May Day procession from Shalika Grounds in Narahenpita as planned despite the cancellation of the reservation of the Ground. Joint opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardana said they had paid the due amount to Sri Lanka Transport Board to which the ground belongs and that the Police also had granted them permission to commence the procession there. Mr. Gunawardana said some officials of the SLTB who did not know more..

Sri Lanka’s envoy in Canada appointed as representative to ICAO

Apr 23 (CG) Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Canada, Ahmed Jawad, presented his letter of appointment as the representative of Sri Lanka to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, at a meeting with Secretary General Fang Liu. During the ensuing discussion the High Commissioner briefed the Secretary General on the active role played by Sri Lanka as a member state, including preparations been made to host the 53rd conference of Directors General of more..

Sri Lanka's historical error in choosing new IGP: activists

Apr 23 (EN) The Constitutional Council's selection of a new IGP through a secret ballot carried out in the absence of two of the three civil society representatives was slammed Saturday as a historic error. An activist group known as Decent Lanka 2015 which includes journalist Kusal Perera and lawyer Srinath Perera, accused the CC chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya of bluffing the people. Jayasuriya did not vote when the Council met on Monday more..

Transport reforms lack political will: Kumarage

Apr 23 (LBO) Politicians should lead from the front and drive much needed transport reforms which have evolved through changes in social and economic conditions, a senior official told LBO. “Vehicles gridlocked in Colombo traffic is something we are all familiar with by now. But what are we doing about it?” Amal Kumarage, senior professor of the Moratuwa University’s Dept of Transport & Logistics Management said. “It is the politicians who must be willing to give proper leadership more..

Sri Lanka tightens exchange controls, forcing exporters to repatriate forex

Apr 23 (EN) Sri Lanka has slapped new controls on exporters forcing them to bring back any proceeds of goods exported till April 01, before the end of this month, reviving controls not seen in the country for over two decades. Proceeds of exports after April 01 has to be brought back within three months. Sri Lanka had required exporters to bring back dollars within four months up to 1993 but the controls were relaxed. The central bank however said the money could be more..

'Don't see any goals after 300 Test wickets'

Apr 23 (CI) While Rangana Herath may have retired from limited-overs cricket to extend his Test career, there may still be doubts over how much he could put his 38-year old body and those surgically repaired knees through. The Sri Lanka left-arm spinner, though, wanted to secure 300 Test wickets and be part of his team's next 10 Tests before taking a call on his future. "I have not set any goals for myself. Whenever I have played for my country, more..

Sri Lanka business chamber, regulator to discuss electricity crisis

Apr 23 (EN) Sri Lanka’s top business chamber and the power regulator are to hold a forum to discuss solutions to the electricity crisis after three islandwide blackouts revealed weaknesses in the systems control and generation and transmission networks. The forum, by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), is to be held on Monday, 25th April. “The discussion will cover the current electricity crisis in Sri Lanka, the historical perspectives, more..

Govt attempts to wriggle out of people’s indignation through lies: Lal Kantha

Apr 23 (LT) When people oppose the decisions taken collectively by the govt the President and the PM blame each other to indicate they are free from the guilt says the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP K.D. Lal Kantha. Responding to a question posed by a journalist regarding the increases in VAT, Lal Kantha said, “President on many occasions has said he becomes aware of many things only from newspapers. He has learnt about the increase in VAT too from newspapers. more..

PM appoints high powered committee

Apr 23 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a four member high powered Committee of public officials headed by Presidential advisor W.J.S. Karunarathna to recommend criteria to be used as guidelines when appointments for the posts of Chairman, Board of Directors and CEOs of state owned enterprises are made. PM has pointed out the dismal performance of Public Enterprises in SL as reasons for this measure and added no tangible steps had been more..

Prasanna requests SLFPers in govt. to join Common Opposition’s May Day rally

Apr 23 (DN) MP Prasanna Ranatunga yesterday requested SLFP MPs holding ministerial portfolios in the govt to quit their ministerial posts and join the Common Opposition to make the working masses victorious on May 1. He said they should leave their ministerial portfolios and join the Common Opposition’s May Day rally in Kirulapone, if they truly love the SLFP and the people’s forces around it. Ranatunga added that these SLFP ministers should strive for the formation of a SLFP led govt more..

Sri Lanka to host UN Vesak Day in 2017

Apr 23 (DM) A high level committee has been appointed to work towards securing the main UN Vesak Day event to be conducted in Sri Lanka in 2017, a statement says. The Justice Ministry announced in a press release that the Committee comprising Ministry Secretary Wasantha Ekanayake and Prime Minister’s Additional Secretary J.N. Mangala Tissa had been appointed on the instructions of Buddha Sasana, Justice and Labour Relations Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. more..

Resettlement Ministry rebuts criticism on new housing project

Apr 23 (Hindu) One cannot compare apple with oranges. This is how the govt’s Resettlement Ministry has reacted to the criticism over the unit cost of houses to be built under the latest project of 65,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. TNA chief R. Sampanthan and Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran argued that at least two houses, if not three, could be constructed under the given unit cost of over Rs. two million. more..

Vehicles permits for public servants soon

Apr 23 (DM) The Public Administration Ministry is to secure Cabinet approval soon for giving duty free vehicle permits to public servants entitled for the benefit, Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. Already, the Finance Ministry has submitted the Cabinet memorandum in this regard. Minister Bandara said his Ministry also made its observations in this regard. “We hope we will be able to issue duty free vehicle permits to the entitled public servants very soon. more..

About 55,000 hectare of paddy to be cultivated in Ampara

Apr 23 (DN) About 55,000 hectares of paddy will be cultivated during the Yala season 2016 in the Ampara district, Ampara Agriculture Deputy Director M.S.M. Kalees said. He said about 23,074 acres of paddy and sugarcane cultivation of 18,630 acres and subsidiary food crops in 120 acres will be cultivated on the right bank of the Gal-Oya river and Akkaraipattu areas. This was revealed at the cultivation meeting held at the Akkaraipattu Divisional Secretariat recently. more..

Police take aim at gang warfare

Apr 23 (ST) A month after authorities implemented a range of new measures aimed at cracking down on rising incidents of underworld crime in the Western Province, attention is starting to shift to the country’s south, where as many as 10 criminal gangs are believed to be operating. Police claim that their operations in the Western Province have met with significant success. Western Province Senior DIG Pujith Jayasundara, who is in overall charge said that more..

VAT '16

Apr 24 (SO) How much will the intended raise in the VAT hit our purse? As we approach the May 2 date of implementation of the increased VAT, we naturally anticipate a certain increase in the costs of many, if not most, items of consumer products and services except for medical drugs and power and water supplies. As the higher VAT - raised from 12% to 15% - begins to be levied from next week, the test will be to see how much a burden of higher living costs Sri lankans can bear. more..

Police Dept politicised over past few decades

Apr 24 (SO) Pujith Jayasundara, now a household name, made history last week as the first Sri Lakan Police Chief appointed by the Constitutional Council set up under the provisions of the 19th Amendment. The Police Department, an efficient and a well-respected body at the time Sri Lanka received Independence from British rule, was systematically politicised over the past few decades and the Rajapaksa administration, in its ten-year rule, took this issue to a whole new level. more..

Kidneys for quick cash

Apr 24 (SO) For Vivekan (not his real name), the request for a kidney came when he was just 22 years of age. At that time, some five years ago, he did not fully understand the gravity of the request. Having moved from the central hills to work in Puttalam as a cleaner at a prawn farm, his meager salary was all he had to support a family of seven, comprising an alcoholic father, tea plucking mother and four schooling siblings. more..

Buck stops where?

Apr 24 (Island) Readers’ comments on the breaking news that the former OIC Crimes of the Narahenpita police had been arrested in connection with the Wasim Thajudeen case, now being investigated as a murder, brought into sharp focus the perennial problem not only policemen but also other officials face in our hierarchical system of governance. An early public comment on the arrest of the policeman raised the query, What about the DIG who gave him the order? more..

Stupidity called Federalism

Apr 24 (CT) From demands to empower Provincial Council or Councils (N&E) in relation to matters of land and police powers, post-war Tamil demands have by and large morphed and crystallized into concrete demands for a North-East merger and a Federal form of self-governance. There have been efforts to find a middle-path resolution to this vexed question ever since S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and Chelvanayakam mooted federalist solutions to this problem back in 1949. more..

'Govt has gone back on their promises'

Apr 24 (SL) The FSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jagoda says that the current good governance regime made a lot of promises to the people during the election campaign but has failed to honour their pledges so far. He said that this govt is using a system that benefits only the rich, where the poor are being burdened further. He criticised the govt’s tax policies and said that they have gone back on their promises to more..

Putting the houses in order

Apr 24 (ST) Our Political Editor deals on this page with the state of confusion within the National Govt on the issue of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and like the VAT itself, the confusion has been passed on to the people. Such confusion has become the hallmark of the UNP-SLFP coalition Govt. It also betrays the competitive spirit among the equal partners within the coalition eager to score brownie points with the voter. One-upmanship, it seems, is the flavour of the month. more..

The joy of victory

Apr 24 (ST) My Dear new IGP, I am writing to congratulate you on your new appointment. You must be a relieved man after getting the top job in the Police after weeks and weeks of speculation and media reports about three contenders, all with roughly the same qualifications, vying for the post. You have already made history becoming the first person to be appointed as IGP by the Constitutional Council because previous IGPs were appointed by the President. more..