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'Brand new constitution not required'

Dec 13 (CT) Chairman of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Prof. G.L. Peiris, who also held the Cabinet portfolios of Justice, Constitutional Affairs, Ethnic Affairs and National Integration and also held the portfolios of Deputy Finance Minister and Acting Finance Minister in the Chandrika Kumaratunga Presidency, talks to Ceylon Today of the Constitutional Reforms that are currently in vogue in the political landscape more..

The missing moderate

Dec 13 (CT) The fifties was clearly a dark decade for the US. Loyalties shifted, betrayal became the order of the day, and telling on your neighbour for the sake of purging what was then referred to as the Red Scare became so normalized that it didn't matter who you were telling on. Communists had come, the nuclear bomb was being developed by both sides and in the rush to nip the Commie in the bud, the very idea of due process was rubbished to arrest and accuse. more..


Dec 13 (GV) In September 2013, I lost my mother. 8 months after that, in May 2014, I lost my brother. They were significant people, in more ways than one. There is no need for me to describe who they were to you; they were also yours in many ways. Sunila Abeysekera and Sanjaya Senanayake were people who touched and shaped the lives of many others. They were hardly ever only mine. But they were mine in some ways in which perhaps they were only mine. Having had them in my life more..

Ajith Madurapperuma

Lankan Muslims, extremist monks and a feverish govt

Dec 13 (GV) As Groundviews turns ten, Sri Lankan Muslims are at a crossroads. The last ten years were predominantly about tensions between Sinhalese and Tamils, Muslims seem to now be the new bogey. Despite having been inhabitants of the island for more than a millennium, and descending from Sinhalese and Tamil women who married Arab traders and with an ethnic history that predates Islam itself, Muslims are finding themselves increasingly referred to as outsiders. more..

Prophet Muhamad’s Legacy: Embodiment Of God’s Omnipotence

Dec 13 (Island) This month, Muslims all over the world will be remembering the birth of the prophet of Islam – Muhammad (on whom be peace and blessings of God). The exact date of his birth is unclear but from events that had taken place about that time, historians have fixed it as the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal. The month though has been fixed with certainty. Some Muslims celebrate it as a birthday of the Prophet, while most others remember it as a day of the greatest importance and joy for them. more..

Today is Unduwap Full moon Poya Day: Radiant factors of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi

Dec 13 (CT) Today is Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day. This is the last Poya Day for the outgoing year in the Gregorian Calendar year of 2016.  Unduwap Poya signifies several radiant factors that have a bearing on the Buddhist devotees.  In brief, during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa, it was on an Unduwap Poya Day that Maha Arahant Sangamitta Meheninwahanse, set foot on SL soil carrying the most sacred more..

Death of Discipline

Dec 13 (CT) The incident involving Navy Commander and Hambantota Harbour employees has become yet another scapegoat incident which has grabbed the masses' attention from the significant story and sidetracked towards the less significant but yet flamboyant story. During a protest organized by the unconfirmed employees of the Hambantota Magampura Harbour which saw the workers forcibly controlling two foreign merchant vessels at Port, being intervened by Navy. more..

Tajikistan President on state visit here

Dec 13 (DN) President of the Islamic Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday on a three-day state visit. He was received by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at the BIA. The Tajikistan President is scheduled to hold discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and will also sign several agreements during his visit. He is also scheduled to visit Kandy and meet the Sri Lankan business community. more..

Towards a corruption-free country

Dec 13 (CT) While the State sponsored Anti-Corruption Summit was being held in a star-class Colombo hotel last Friday, an alternative anti-corruption meeting was held at the Mahaweli Centre of Colombo, to mark the international day against corruption. Although both meetings aimed at the ultimate goal of reducing corruption and bribery, many differences were apparent between them. more..

Prez to sign MoUs during Malaysian visit

Dec 13 (DN) President Sirisena who is scheduled to visit Malaysia from Dec 15 to 17 is scheduled to sign several bilateral MoU with the Malaysian govt. The MoUs will be signed on cooperation in tourism, training, research, and public administration, between the Sri Lanka Agricultural Research Policy Council and Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute between the Sri Lankan Plantation Industries Ministry and the Malaysian Plantation Industries and more..

Annual season to visit Adam’s Peak today

Dec 13 (NR) The annual season to visit Sri Pada, the most sacred mountain in the island, begins tomorrow. The annual season starts on full moon in December and ends on Vesak Poya in May. All arrangements for the season have been made with a series of religious ceremonies being held at the Raja Maha Viharaya of Galpoththavela, Pelmadulla in Ratnapura. Facilities for devotees such as water, food and sanitation have also been organised. Authorities have requested devotees to more..

Prez unveils PM Dudley Senanayake's statue

Dec 13 (MoD) President Maithripala Sirisena unveiled the statue of late PM Dudley Senanayake during a ceremony at the Kanatte General Cemetery junction in Borella, Colombo today (11). PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene were also present at the occasion. During the ceremony, Kanatte Junction was renamed as Dudley Senanayake Junction by the PM. more..

A Buddhist perspective Being born as a human being

Dec 13 (DM) The Buddha has said that out of all forms of life, the human life is the most advanced. A human birth is very rare compared to all the other life forms on earth. To be born as a human being, one should have cultivated a lot of merit in past lives. Compared to other life forms, the human being is a very sophisticated and complex entity. In Buddhism, humans have a very special status: only a human can attain enlightenment as a fully enlightened Buddha. more..

FMM calls for special investigation on dock workers protest

Dec 13 (AD) Free Media Movement, condemning the alleged attack on journalists by the Navy, including Navy Commander on the Int'l Human Rights Day, urged the President to commence a special investigation and take legal actions.  Navy had launched a mission to rescue two foreign ships that were held by the protesting employees of Hambantota, Magampura port and Navy Commander has allegedly attacked the journalists who were reporting the incident, rebuking more..

Sri Lanka’s internal war cost US$ 200 billion

Dec 13 (ENS) Sri Lanka’s internal war which ended in May 2009, had cost the country around US$ 200 billion according to India’s former National Security Adviser and Foreign Secretary, Shivshankar Menon. In his book Choices: Inside the Making of India’s Foreign Policy, Menon says that this estimate does not include the opportunity cost to Sri Lanka which was once the fastest growing and the most open economy in South Asia. more..

General Amnesty receives good response

Dec 13 (MoD) A month long General Amnesty period came into effect from the 01st of this month (December). Tri forces personnel who are considered as Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) can produce themselves at their repective service Headquarters or Regimental Centers and obtain their legal discharge during thie period. During the period of 10 days (Till 10th Dec) 02 officers and 1492 other ranks of the army, 162 navy personnel and 2 officers and 67 other ranks more..

NHC in polythene crackdown Bid to control mounting solid waste in complex

Dec 13 (CT) National Hospital in Colombo (NHC) is to outlaw plastic disposable bottles, king coconut combs, lunch sheets and other polythene related material inside the hospital premises. Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe said the National Hospital handles some 5,000 kilograms of general solid waste and another 1,000 kilograms of clinical solid waste on a daily basis and this has caused grave concern. "It's an immense problem and difficult for more..

'TN leaders knew Prabhakaran would kill them to rule Eelam'

Dec 13 (ENS) Leaders of TN, across the political divide, privately but effectively supported Indian govt’s policy of opposing efforts by the US and Norway to rescue V Prabhakaran so that his LTTE lived to fight another day, says Shivshankar Menon, India’s former National Security Adviser (NSA) in his book; Choices: Inside the Making of India’s  Foreign Policy. “Political leaders across the political divide in TN knew that the only way more..

Executive Presidency has to be enacted for 13th Constitution: SB

Dec 13 (NR) Minister SB Dissanayake says the Executive Presidency should be implemented for the 13th Constitutional amendment to be enacted. Minister said he personally feels that the Executive Presidency should be kept at a certain level is the 13th Constitution is to be enacted. Minister also spoke of the importance of implementing the powers of the Executive Presidency. He said powers of the Executive Presidency were reduced when formulating the 19th amendment, more..

Salawa victims provided land to build new shops by Army

Dec 13 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army has allocated a valuable 500 m stretch of land along the Colombo - Awissawella main road for the construction of 35 new shop in place of the shops affected by the Salawa ammo dump fire. According to army media sources, the 1 SL Engineers (SLE) and 1 Corps of Engineer Services (CES) troops under the Security Force Headquarters - West (SFHQ-West), have undertaken the construction project on the direction of Commander of Army, Crishanthe De Silva. more..

CB Bond Scam: President to appoint Presidential Commission

Dec 13 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has informed the SLFP Committee appointed to look into the actions which could be taken regarding the Treasury Bond Scams, that he will appoint a Presidential Commission to inquire into the issue of Treasury Bonds, which was controversial. Member of the Committee Dilan Perera said that the report prepared by the SLFP Committee was handed over to President last week. more..

School administration and management will be brought under a Board

Dec 13 (ITN) Minister Akila Viraj has revealed of plans to establish a Board for the administration and management of schools. He made this disclosure joining in a function held in Colombo. The Minister said that through educational reforms they expect to strengthen the management which is operative within the school network. He said that within two years they expected to establish School Boards. Management in all schools will be diverted to this Board. more..

UNP and SLFP Stand on New Constitution Differences a serious problem: Dinesh

Dec 13 (CT) Although the UNP and SLFP are together in the Govt of Good Governance, their stances on the new Constitution, being totally different to each other, is a serious problem, Leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) Dinesh Gunawardena said. He also said that in such a background, the MEP submitting proposals regarding the new Constitution has also become a problem. He further said that other political parties are also facing this same situation. more..

Latest strike at Hambantota Port has eroded confidence of int'l maritime sector: Arjuna

Dec 13 (DN) The recent incidents at the Hambantota Port have eroded the confidence of the int'l maritime sector and some shipping lines have informed they may not use the port in the future, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. He warned that major shipping lines may abandon the Hambantota Port if worker unrest continues. “We are redirecting some of the ships coming to the Hambantota Port to Colombo. We are losing the rest. more..

Chennai bound flights cancelled

Dec 13 (DN) All SriLankan Airline flights leaving for Chennai from BIA, were cancelled yesterday as Cyclone Vardah hit Tamil Nadu. “Officials at Chennai Airport informed us that the airport was temporarily closed due to bad weather. We have canceled all flights to Chennai until Dec 13 morning,” a duty manager at BIA said. Emirates flight EK544 Dubai - Chennai was diverted to BIA yesterday due to bad weather. SriLankan Airlines official requested passengers to call 1917 for inquiries. more..

E01 records highest daily income

Dec 13 (CT) Southern Expressway (E01) earned its highest recorded daily toll income last Sunday. E01 Operations, Maintenance and Management Division Director S. Opanayaka said, that a toll income of Rs. 17.5 million was earned at the end of last weekend. The use of the Expressway has risen by 10% compared to last year. Over 70,000 vehicles had used the expressway last Sunday and a toll income of nearly Rs nine million was earned by the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway. more..

Sri Lanka bids for Xmas tree record despite church snub

Dec 13 (AFP) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga announced Monday he was reviving his bid to build a record-breaking 100-metre tall Christmas tree in Colombo despite opposition from the Catholic church. Ranatunga said the project was back on track after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke to the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Ranjith. "The work resumed this morning after the PM's intervention with the archbishop," he said. more..

Navy Commander in alleged assault incident Journalist says no need for probe

Dec 13 (CT) Journalist Roshan Gunasekera who was subject to an alleged assault by the Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne during a protest by employees of the Hambantota Port on Saturday said that a Police investigation into the matter was not required. He said that he has no private animosity towards the Navy Commander and that he had made the complaint to Police purely for future protection. However, he said that since this attack targeted the overall media, more..

Against the new Constitution: 28 SLFP and UNP MPs to join JO

Dec 13 (CT) Leader of the PHU Udaya Gammanpila claimed that 28 MPs from SLFP and UNP have decided to join the Joint Opposition against the new Constitution. He said that in order to defeat the new Constitution, 76 MPs are required and as there are 51 in the Joint Opposition with the twenty-eight joining from the SLFP and the UNP, they have 79 and have thus decided to defeat the new Constitution. He added that hoped to increase the number of crossovers to 35. more..

Video: H'tota Port employees have no legal docs to validate employment: Minister

Dec 13 (DM) Some 90% of the port employees who were protesting at the Hambantota Port had been appointed by Nil Balakaya youth organisation headed by MP Namal Rajapaksa during the previous regime, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. He said the employees had never been made permanent during Rajapaksa govt. “These employees had no legal document issued to validate their employment. more..

Jayalalithaa: The ugly, yet unwritten story

Dec 14 (CT) I will not agree with what you say. But, I will defend to death, your right to say it. I will not agree with what you write, but, I will make every room for you to write– Voltaire. Voltaire was the nom de plume of Frenchman François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778) who was enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, more..

The Ranil dilemma

Dec 14 (CT) It is nearing two years since the Good Governance regime (Yahapalanaya) came into power. Through Sri Lanka’s civil intellectuals, civil organizations, the Muslim and Tamil communities, and the political movement build by the UNP, the present govt was built. In recent years, many Nations of the world which obtained their power through a political header, saw the country torn apart, crisis’ emerging and going from bad to worse. It didn’t take as much as 6 months for more..

Keppetipola Disawe, proclaimed national hero, posthumously

Dec 14 (SO) The 1818 Uva-Wellassa uprising was the third Kandyan uprising against the British during the period of Governor Robert Brownrigg. After the Northern Lords signed an agreement with the British colonials in Ceylon, on March 2, 1815, there were those who opposed British rule and organized a freedom movement. They were captured after their failed uprising in 1818, and consequently executed & declared more..

Duplicity of Mahinda Rajapaksa statement on Constitutional Reforms

Dec 14 (CT) Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a statement on Constitutional Reform Programme recently (4 Dec 2016) referring to the six Sub-Committee reports submitted to the Constitutional Assembly (Parliament), without enlightening the public of what was exactly wrong or what should be revised in respect of the recommendations that they have submitted. This was not worthy of a person who was the President of the country twice, elected in 2005 and 2010. more..

Electoral reforms in Sri Lanka

Dec 14 (CT) Electoral reforms in Sri Lanka have passed various milestones in its political history from the pre-independent era: from a first-past-the-post system to a proportionate representation to a mixed system. Democratic elections are widely recognized as a foundation of legitimate govt. By allowing citizens to choose the manner in which they are governed, elections form the starting point for all other democratic institutions and practices. This inevitably makes an electoral system more..

'We cannot stop Muslims taking up arms'

Dec 14 (CT) State Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, who represents the Eastern Province said, if the govt fails to settle the issue of hate speech in the East, it may even result in Muslim youths taking up arms. "I said in Parliament, if they do not take any action to stop such statements, if it continues at this rate, Muslim youth will not tolerate it. Unless the govt takes firm action, we cannot stop Muslims also taking up arms. more..

Women empowerment in Malaysia

Dec 14 (CT) President Sirisena is scheduled to fly to Malaysia on a three day official visit starting today. Malaysia was in the news recently, not only because of the mysterious disappearance of one of its passenger planes with a full load and the shooting down of another of its passenger airliners flying over Ukraine soon after, but due to the manhandling of SL's envoy to Malaysia by Tamil terrorist supporters, coinciding with the visit to that country by former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Human Rights in 2016: Aspiring for more

Dec 14 (GV) On January 8, 2015, President Maithripala Sirisena took office, making ambitious promises of good governance, transparency and openness. It was hoped his surprise victory would change the way Sri Lanka tackled rights issues, particularly as the country began its transitional justice process. Today, Sri Lankans have mixed feelings about this Govt. This is largely due to the fact that the Govt, almost inevitably, fell short of the ambitious promises made. more..

Piyal Nishantha