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Minister Dilan Perera

Dreamy path from decadence to transcendence

Jan 27 (DN) The people of Sri Lanka have a much hoped beautiful dream. Their dream is transcendence. They need transcendence, since, right now, they are locked in stagnation. They are fed up of 59 years inertia, with no chance to change. The fortunes, bestowed by God, to enjoy a delightful difference, were destroyed by egoistic party and minority politics. Now, the transcendence is the only alternative. To be transcended, one has to be ready, to be transformed. more..

Sinha-Ley, Muslims and fascism

Jan 27 (DM) I am not a Sinha-Ley Muslim. Won’t ever be. I had no problem with the concept of being a Sinhala-Muslim during my childhood. In-fact I often used to think Ven. Mahinda Thera included us -- the minorities, in his poems and Anagarika Dharmapala in his, what I assumed were, anti colonialist speeches. That was why, during many of the Sinhala speech contests I took part in as a teenager, I chose the topic Jaathiyata Diridun Lak Doo Puthun (Those who gave life to the nation) more..

The new wave of terror

Jan 27 (DN) Soon after President Sirisena came to power in January, last year, ultra-nationalist Sinhhala-Buddhist organizations, namely BBS and Ravana Balaya, went into a dormant phase of some sort. They were quite vociferous and had enormous influence when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in power. It was widely speculated that these organizations operated under the blessings of the top-notch members of more..

Colombo Commandos draw first blood

Jan 27 (DN) Colombo Commandos drew first blood in the SLC Super T20 Provincial tournament when they beat Galle Guardians by three wickets in the opening match played at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Colombo ran down Galle's total of 162/6 winning with four balls to spare. An opening stand of 89 in 9.4 overs between Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva who both made 51 apiece set them on the road to victory despite a fine spell of fast bowling by Dushmantha Chameera. more..

Delhi in danger of losing Sri Lanka T20

Jan 27 (CI) Delhi is in danger of losing the second T20I between India and SL on Feb 12 should it not produce requisite clearances from govt agencies soon. BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur confirmed that an email was sent to DDCA in this regard. "BCCI has given them time till tomorrow [to respond to the email]," Thakur said. "We can't wait for a very long time." He named Kanpur, Ranchi & Hyderabad as possible alternatives if Delhi failed to obtain the clearances in time. more..

UN urged to ensure foreign judges’ participation in war crimes investigation

Jan 27 (Island) Alleging that President Sirisena has recently undermined a US-led Geneva Resolution co-sponsored by Govt of SL, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has requested foreign govts to pressure the President to fully implement the proposals. In addition to western powers, EU, too, endorsed the Resolution. UK based GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran said that they expected all those who had backed more..

Six-year-old Tamil boy brutally raped and killed in Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (RF) Six years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Tamil lands, particularly in the north of the island, remain under military occupation. 26-year conflict, which claimed the lives of some 200,000 people, concluded in 2009 when Sri Lankan armed forces launched a bloody offensive to destroy the LTTE, which had led the Tamil national liberation movement for several decades. The final push claimed the lives of tens of thousands, and has been widely-condemned as an act of genocide more..

Iranian Cultural Center holds Quranic courses in Colombo

Jan 27 (ABNA) A series of educational courses on Quranic teachings was organized by the Iranian Cultural Center in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. According to the website of the center, the Holy Quran International Foundation of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) and Al-Mustafa Islamic College cooperated in holding the courses. The classes were held for 4 days from January 19 to 22 with the participation of 20 seminarians and students of the college. more..

'New ministry to restructure rather than run public enterprises'

Jan 27 (FT) The culture in Sri Lanka around public sector service delivery was one of several issues discussed in a recent interview that Minister Kabir Hashim gave to the global research, publishing and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG). Hashim also outlined the mandate of Sri Lanka’s new Public Enterprise Development ministry, explaining that it would be restructuring, rather than more..

‘United action needed to make SLFP victorious’

Jan 27 (DN) United action is the need of the hour if the SLFP is to be made victorious, Minister and SLFP Assistant Secretary Mahinda Samarasinghe said. United action rather than division is the need of the hour if the SLFP which is the most powerful party in the national political movement is to be made victorious at the forthcoming local govt elections, Samarasinghe said. Minister was addressing a meeting of Kalutara district local govt delegates held at Kalutara on January 25. more..

Belarus, Sri Lanka to sign memorandum of cooperation in mass media

Jan 27 (BelTA) Belarus' Council of Ministers has approved the draft memorandum of cooperation between the governments of Belarus and Sri Lanka on cooperation in mass media as a basis for holding the relevant talks. The corresponding resolution No.42 signed by the Council of Ministers on 21 January 2016 was published on the National Legal Internet Portal on 26 January, BelTA informs. The Information Ministry has been authorized to hold the negotiations. more..

Mayhem as monks go on the rampage

Jan 27 (DN) Pandemonium reigned at the Homagama Magistrate's Court premises with three Buddhist monks threatening to self-immolate in protest against the arrest of BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. Gnanasara Thera arrested on the charges of contempt of court, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant was yesterday ordered to be remanded till Feb 9 more..

The agony of Sri Lanka’s carapace of peace

Jan 27 (C4) Our return to Sri Lanka’s killing fields has managed to coincide with two major developments – the first is the President’s announcement that there will be no international component in any investigation of the civil war, or the alleged war crimes committed therein, which seem to be evidenced by the multiple videos sent to this programme in the wake of the war’s aftermath. The second is that the PM chose a Hindu Festival in Jaffna last week to state bluntly that more..

Arrest warrant for Lakmal Cooray

Jan 27 (CT) CID informed Colombo Chief Magistrate in Court that the mastermind behind the Facebook racket in which lakhs of rupees have been collected after threatening exposure of nude photographs of young males has been led by a man who is abroad. Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered Director General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration to arrest the chief suspect in the case, Danuka Cooray, a 31-year-old resident of Kalutara on his return to the country. more..

'True change now being felt by the people'

Jan 27 (DN) A country where the entire administration was torn apart cannot be changed for the better in an instant. That change is now being systematically offered to the people by ensuring many victories and achievements to the country under a new President and a govt, Bureau for National Unity and Reconciliation chairperson and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said. She said the country today had a govt which more..

Housing project for plantation Tamils soon

Jan 27 (Hindu) The Indian govt’s housing project for hill country Tamils of Sri Lanka, envisaging the construction of 4,000 houses, will be launched very shortly. The houses would come up in Uva and Central Provinces. They form part of India’s project of building 50,000 houses, of which 44,000 have been completed. Stating this on Tuesday, India’s High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha, who hoisted the national flag at his India House residence on the occasion of 67th Republic Day, more..

Navy to acquire ten new vessels by 2025

Jan 27 (Island) Two brand new offshore petrol vessels (OPV) would be added to Sri Lanka Navy fleet next year strengthening post -war maritime activities, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne said. He said that 80% of the construction of the new vessels had been completed at the Goa Shipyard in India. "We expect to take delivery of one of them in Feb 2017," Vice Admiral Wijegunaratne said, adding that they would receive the other one at the end of next year. more..

Sri Lanka missing persons panel seeks an year’s extension

Jan 27 (ENS) SL Missing Persons’ Commission headed by retired Justice Maxwell Paranagama, has requested govt to extend its term by a year from Feb 15, 2016 as it still has thousands of cases to investigate. Justice Paranagama said that out of 14,000-odd representations from civilians before it, interviews have been conducted only in 5,000-odd cases so far. “And we haven’t even touched the 5600 representations from more..

Jetwing first Lankan firm to sign UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

Jan 27 (FT) Sri Lanka made history once again, with the signing of the UN World Tourism Organisation’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) by premier hospitality brand Jetwing. The ceremony took place in Paris, France and Jetwing is the first company in Sri Lanka to sign the Code of Ethics. Adopted in 1999 by the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organisations as a fundamental frame of reference for responsible and sustainable tourism, GCET is a comprehensive set of more..

OPA opposes ETCA affecting professionals

Jan 27 (FT) The Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) said it was deeply concerned about Sri Lanka’s intended bilateral agreement with India named Economic Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). OPA with 46 Associations of professionals of the country, having substantial professional resources in the country in any discipline, is of firm opinion that it is absolutely unnecessary for foreign professional services to be allowed liberally in the country by such a more..

Don’t label us as Indian Tamils: TPA

Jan 27 (DM) Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) urged govt to stop referring to the up-country Tamil community as Indian Tamils and in future to refer to them as Indian origin Malayaga Tamils in the New Constitution. This was just one of the proposals made by the TPA to the govt with several proposals and suggestions pertaining to Constitutional reforms. Minister Palani Digambaran said the devolution of powers vested in more..

MR says will commit suicide if proved he had even a single dollar in a US bank

Jan 27 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he would commit suicide if any one proved that he held even a single dollar in a US bank account. He said there were allegations saying that he had stuffed his money in US banks. The recent Budget introduced by the Good Governance Govt was a huge departure from the country’s entire budget history, Rajapaksa said. “Every proposal made in it had been subjected to amendments except the statement made by the Speaker,” he said. more..

SriLankan Airlines takes eco-conscious travellers under its wing

Jan 27 (Island) SriLankan airlines’ determined attempt to be recognized as a responsible airline that operates planet-friendly flights has proven successful and the Airline is prominently positioned now to attract ever-growing numbers of eco-conscious travellers to fly with us, Danushka De Silva, Environment Compliance and Planning Manager said at the BIA where a press briefing was held to announce the Airline’s earning of a worthy environmental accolade. more..

PM vows not to leave room to creating any more Somaramas and Buddharakkithas

Jan 27 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that his govt would not leave room for the making of any more Bhikkus like Talduwe Somarama or Mapitigama Buddharakkthitha. PM, participating in a debate on agreements Sri Lanka entered with several other nations at the time of adjournment, condemned the conduct of Ven Gnanasara Thera at Homagama Magistrate’s Court on Monday. more..

Over 50 ex- LG members in Kurunegala say will contest under new front

Jan 27 (DN) A group of over 50 former SLFP local govt members including former chairmen and vice chairmen of Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Kurunegala district said they would contest the forthcoming local govt elections under a new political front formed under the leadership of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ibbagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha former SLFP chairman Sumith Udukumbara said all former SLFP Pradeshiya Sabha members in Kurunegala district have decided to contest under more..

Joint Opp. slams Govt's stance on kidney transplantation

Jan 27 (DM) Joint Opposition said Govt was suppressing the professionals and that was why it has stopped kidney transplantation and also opted for the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperative Agreement (ETCA) with India. UPFA MP Ramesh Pathirana said govt should have initiated a probe to look into the media reports instead of stopping the doctors from performing kidney transplantations. “This is a blow to the reputation of our doctors and a move of more..

Yoshitha’s foreign naval training cost taxpayers Rs. 22 mn: Govt

Jan 27 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha’s overseas training had cost government coffers more than Rs. 22 mn Parliament was told. Minister Gayantha Karunathilake, responding to a question raised by JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, said. Lieutenant Y.K. (Yoshitha) Rajapaksa had participated in three courses of naval training in the UK and another in Ukraine between 2007 and 2010. more..

Simple food and plenty of exercise

Jan 27 (DM) A National Physical Health and Sports Week was launched on Monday by President Maithripala Sirisena to emphasize the need for good physical health so that the time-tested principle of a healthy mind in a healthy body will produce citizens who are physically fit and mentally creative or imaginative. Sri Lanka in recent decades has faced the crisis of a growing number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, heart ailments and strokes. more..

The Constitutional Imbroglio

Jan 27 (DM) Govt has promised a new Constitution in the New Year. It was only last year that the current Constitution was updated. Although the project was announced with much fanfare in the wake of victory, it fizzled out unceremoniously, leaving behind a makeshift document. Presumably, it is that fiasco that has prompted the rulers to usher in the New Year with a brand new Constitution. In doing so, it would be wise for them to reflect on the reasons that sabotaged last year’s effort. more..

TNA, Wigneswaran rift deepens

Jan 27 (SL) The rift between the TNA and Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran deepened last week after Wigneswaran refused to resign as chairman of the newly formed Tamil People’s Council (TPC). TNA NPC members had urged Wigneswaran to step down as chairman of the TPC as there is a conflict of interest between TPC and TNA. Some TNA Provincial councillors reminded Wigneswaran that he came to power more..

'A new party is not a threat to us'

Jan 27 (DM) Minister Kabir Hashim says [the govt] is facing difficulties triggered by the global economic situation. But, he remains optimistic that new opportunities would emerge amidst them. He says the govt’s plan to create one million jobs would be a realistic one. Hashim who is also the general secretary of the UNP, says the party is working on new reforms to its constitution. He says the plan to form a new party by Opposition more..

Basil speaks of a new political party

Jan 27 (DM) After a long spell of silence, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, says the country is in need of a new political party. He expresses that there were both positives and negatives during the past year. Q: After quite a long interval in politics, you have started speaking about a new political front. What is your true political intention? A: More than my political intention, I believe people cutting across every segment more..

‘Need safeguards against majoritarianism’

Jan 27 (Hindu) Jayampathy Wickramaratne, 67, is one of the most keenly watched persons in Sri Lanka at the moment. He chairs the committee appointed by PM to provide technical support to the Constitution-making process currently underway. A constitutional expert and MP, he had served as a member of the team that drafted the Constitution Bill of 2000, which emphasised country’s pluralistic character. more..

SL Industry zone master plan coming in April

Jan 27 (GDI) Strengthening unity govt’s industry reform plans significantly, a special advisory task-force appointed by Minister of Industry and Commerce has begun work on country’s first industry masterplan under the unity govt, starting 16 Jan. The expected blueprint would encourage Public Private Partnership model, and also integrate top private and public consultants to work in forthcoming industry reforms. more..

Sri Lanka to sack defiant Hilton board

Jan 27 (EN) The govt is set to sack the board of the state-acquired enterprise which owns Colombo Hilton building after they defied calls to step down. The Cabinet is expected to discuss the removal of the board headed by Sagarica Delgoda who has refused to resign despite repeated calls by PM. "Board insisted that they were appointed by the Secretary to the treasury and as such they could not be removed by anyone else," more..

KP focuses on future of war orphans

Jan 27 (CT) The former LTTE strongman Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) celebrating the third anniversary of Sencholai (Red orchard) – the orphanage, said that bringing up the children, orphaned by war, to be good citizens was his foremost intention. Sencholai managed by Pathmanathan celebrated its third anniversary at the orphanage premises on Sunday. Children cared for at the orphanage displayed their more..

Astrology keeps Sri Lanka leaders away from ivory crush?

Jan 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's president and prime minister were both slated as honoured guests at the public crushing of 1.5 tonnes of blood ivory seized by local customs, but neither turned up possibly fearing an astrological backlash. The red-carpet podium was all set with President Maithripala Sirisena's flag and other guests had been told to be there a few hours ahead of the ceremony to clear security, but head of state was a no show. more..

'Sri Lanka investment agreements to reassure foreign investors'

Jan 27 (EN) Sri Lanka must ratify investment protection agreements to give confidence to foreign investors whose money is needed to create more jobs and boost exports, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. “One quick and important way of demonstrating our good faith and signaling that Sri Lanka is open for business is by signing investment promotion and protection agreements,” he told parliament. more..

Tougher law could be used against poachers

Jan 27 (ST) The govt will look into prosecuting foreign fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters through a law that would subject them to heavy penalties, heeding the petition of local fishermen who argue the law currently used lacks teeth. Supreme Court was that the cabinet has appointed a committee to review legal procedures. When the petition filed by three District Fishermen’s Cooperative Societies representing more..