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PM urged to expose, move court against corrupt journalists

July 30 (Island) SL Working Journalists Association (SLWSJ) has urged PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to reveal the identities of corrupt journalists and whatever information he had pertaining to their activities. SLWJA President Lasantha Ruhunage said that their association hadn’t received an opportunity to discuss specific accusations made against the media though PM summoned representatives more..

IMF loan conditions will impact living standards: AED

July 30 (NS) The Alliance for Economic Democracy observed that the IMF loan of USD 1.5 billion obtained by the Govt would result in the standards of living of the people being adversely impacted. Convener of the Alliance, Amali Wedagedera said that it was primarily borrowings and also bad economic policies that had led to the current issue concerning the balance of payment, and therefore more borrowings would not help the country get out of the present crisis. more..

Complaint against Ratnapura High Court Judge dismissed

July 30 (Island) The Ratnapura Police who investigated the complaint of one Inoka Wijethilake the stenographer, attached to the High Court that she was assaulted by the High Court Judge Ratnapura, Anura Kumara which resulted in her suffering serious injuries to her collar bone found that there were neither medical evidence or eye witnesses account that the complainant was assaulted by the High Court Judge. In fact they did not find a single witness who would either more..

Pada Yathra on 2nd day draws massive crowds

July 30 (Island) Pada Yathra organised by the JO from Kandy to Colombo against govt entered the second day yesterday. It resumed from Mawanella at 10.30 am. Protesters avoided the Mawanella bazaar ordered out of bounds for the procession by court. Protestors carried banners with slogans such as Stop the political witch hunt, Don’t arrest soldiers, Hold the postponed LG elections, No foreign war crimes courts, more..

'Aim of Pada Yathra to make Gota President'

July 30 (Island) A collective of left parties said the Joint Opposition (JO) had launched a Pada Yathra with a view to making former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa President. The Convenor of the Left Circle, Chameera Perera said the Joint Opposition was moving towards its goal after grabbing the power of the SLFP. He said democracy would suffer a heavy blow in such an eventuality. He vowed that his organisation would do everything in its power to thwart the JO’s effort. more..

‘VAT Bill in parliament on Aug 11’

July 30 (Island) "The govt will present the VAT Bill in parliament on August 11 despite the court case pending against the proposed legislation. The delay in presenting the Bill in parliament has hampered the govt in reaching its revenue targets, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "This delay being a court case, after August 11 we will be able to catch up revenue targets when the VAT comes into force, Coomaraswamy told a media briefing yesterday. more..

Talks underway on controversial coal deal

July 30 (DN) Negotiations have started between the govt and Swiss Singapore Overseas Ltd. over the possibility of canceling the coal procurement tender that led to controversy, Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary B.M.S. Batagoda said. Secretary said the negotiations with the company started on Thursday. He said when the ministry consulted the AG over the SC order, the AG asked to negotiate with the supplier over more..

Female MPs allege discrimination

July 30 (NS) Female MPs complained of a litany of issues plaguing their productivity and effectiveness in law and policy making in legislative platforms. Their grievances included – inadequate time allocated for speaking; discriminatory party policies in relation to the allocation of speeches – both in terms of unfamiliar topics being assigned and insufficient time provided for preparation; having to outshout one’s male counterparts; little or no male participation in forums more..

All Certificates of Absence for war missing to be issued before year-end

July 30 (FT) The release of Certificates of Absence for people who went missing during the war years will be completed within this year, the Home Affairs Ministry assured. Minister Vajira Abeywardena said Ministry had already issued a considerable number of certificates for missing persons in the country and would complete the process before December. Abeywardena has also warned that if anyone provides false information about a missing person, they are liable to five years of more..

Selective Justice under Yahapalanaya: Robbing peoples' hard earned money

July 30 (CT) Ministry of Agriculture is yet to move into occupation to a building for which it has paid an aggregate rental of Rs 80 million for the past four months (since April this year), ministry sources said yesterday. The ministry on 8 April this year also paid the landlord of the property an advance security deposit of Rs. 500 million on it. It was not immediately known whether that deposit is refundable or not. AG on 6 May had asked more..

The most execrable sum of all villainies

July 30 (DM) Today is the World Day against Trafficking in Persons and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message calls on all countries to come together to overcome this transnational threat by supporting and protecting victims while pursuing and prosecuting the criminals. Urging the international community to resolve to act as one in the name of justice and dignity for all, the UN chief says that around the world, criminals are selling people for profit. more..

Brecht within a Tamil Chalk Circle

July 30 (DM) My first introduction to Bertolt Brecht was through the Sinhala adaptation of his play Caucasian Chalk Circle by renowned, respected and award winning Sinhala playwright and producer, late Henry Jayasena. That was way back in 1970. I was once again invited to sit in the audience to watch the same play when Janakaraliya a very versatile, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural young group of performing artistes led by reputed, award winning creative artiste Parakrama Niriella, reproduced more..

Reforms at snail’s pace

July 30 (SL) The proposed new constitution is being now widely discussed. Recently public opinion was sought on the subject and a report has been prepared by the committee appointed for the task. However, the process is moving at snail’s pace. Moreover, a committee is yet to be appointed to provide recommendations for the 20th amendment. Constitution is the highest law in a country. Because it affects the entire society, more..

The mother of all marches

July 30 (DBS) The marathon protest march Jana Satana Pada Yathra launched by loyalists of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is currently underway. The march organized by pro – Mahinda political stalwarts known as the -Joint Opposition-began in Kandy on July 28th 2016. The five day march is scheduled to conclude in Colombo on August 1st 2016. The Kandy to Colombo march has revived memories of another Opposition more..

CV’s suggestion unacceptable: JVP

July 30 (DM) The suggestion made by Northern Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran for an MoU between the NPC and the Central Govt to divide the ownership of Moragahakanda Project was unacceptable, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said on Thursday. Mr. Dissanayake who was speaking Sahodarathwaye sithama (Painting of brotherhood) organised by the JVP led socialist students union at more..

Video: Return students’ money, GMOA tells SAITM

July 30 (DM) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said the management of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) should return the money of students with interest for the years they had wasted seeking a degree. While claiming that SAITM had committed a serious financial crime against its students, GMOA said the continuous backing of politicians had added to the injustice suffered by students. more..

Points system for motorists to improve road discipline

July 30 (ST) A driver improvement points system where motorists would have their driving licences cancelled on points accumulated for traffic offences, will be in place before year end, officials said. The proposal initially made more than two years back, has obtained the approval of a committee of the Justice Ministry and the Attorney General’s Dept, and is due be placed before Cabinet within two months. more..

Govt proposes National Guidelines for Child Care Centers

July 30 (GDI) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and the PM’s Office have drafted a comprehensive National Guidelines for Child Day Care Centers aimed at ensuring ensures quality child day care throughout the country enabling more women enter the workforce. The aim of it is to Ensure quality assured standardized processes among centres nationwide, Promote quality, safe and caring child care more..

'Influential section of media accused of being party to destabilisation campaign'

July 30 (Island) Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana alleges that an influential section of the media is deliberately undermining the govt and its major projects including post-war national reconciliation efforts. He is of the view that the reportage of the recent incident at University of Jaffna has exposed the strategy followed by a section of the media. MP said so addressing a recent seminar held to brief the media on more..

Govt ambulance drivers not ready to embrace Indian funded service

July 30 (Island) Govt Health Service Ambulance and Transport Drivers Association (GHSATDA) said there was no need to establish an Indo -Lanka ambulance service in the country. Chairman of GHSATDA, said it would have been more feasible for govt to form a partnership with philanthropists in the private transport sector to establish a Pre- Hospital Care Ambulance Service as the hospitals in the peripheries of the country were badly more..

Non-academic workers threaten to step up trade union action

July 30 (Island) University non-academic and administrative staff threatened to stop water supply and withdraw from security services as the govt had ignored their strike which entered the third day yesterday. President of the Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee (IUTUJC) Edward Malwattage said that their executive committee would meet next week to decide on a future course of action. more..

Do not delay LG polls: EC

July 30 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya is reported to have emphasised at a meeting with Minister Faiszer Mustapha that the local authorities’ election should not be delayed any further. Minister held talks with Mr. Deshapriya and other key officials last Thursday. The terms of all 335 local bodies lapsed at the moment. Therefore, the election is overdue. However, the Elections Commission is facing more..

International adjudicators: Why not ?

July 30 (CT) There seems to be much unnecessary anxiety, muddled thinking and something fundamentally irrational about the prevailing revulsion in various quarters to foreign participation in any independent inquiry into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka. We must remember that at the 32nd sessions of the UNHRC last month its Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussain seemed adamant about the need for such participation stating “I remain convinced that international more..

Concerns of another UNHRC resolution endorser

July 30 (CT) It was a few days after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau released a statement expressing his country's solidarity with the Tamils of Sri Lankan origin who were commemorating an event in Toronto, Canada to mark the 33rd anniversary of 1983 Black July, Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion arrived in the island on Thursday (28) and his Sri Lankan visit is considered as a first visit of a Canadian Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka since 2003. more..

ආබාධිත රණවිරුවෙක්

Make sports administration independent

July 30 (CT) Minister of Sports made an announcement recently that 50,000 schoolchildren are to be mobilized for training for future Olympics. That is a very good move with the future of Sri Lanka's sports in mind. According to the minister, he has taken this decision taking into account what is already happening in other parts of the world, getting them motivated in sports while still at young ages. This, the minister says, is something that was already there in the schools in Sri Lanka, more..

Now, Prez envisages world ruled by women

July 30 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has said that if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wins the forthcoming US presidential polls, she will be able to rule the world along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and recently appointed British Premier Theresa May. President Maithripala Sirisena said that there was a close fight between former Secretary of State Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. President was addressing annual prize giving of St. Paul’s Milagiriya. more..

Court permits CID to obtain Sajin’s handwriting sample

July 30 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilaptiya permitted the CID to obtain a handwriting sample of former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena in connection with an investigation against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He made this order considering a request by CID that they want to obtain a handwriting sample of former MP in connection with investigation relating to business transaction more..

Death of Neelan Tiruchelvam: A grave loss to Tamil people

July 30 (CT) On July 29th 1999, Neelan Tiruchelvam was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber. Dr. Tiruchelvam’s death proved to be a grave loss for the Sri Lankan Tamils. Tiruchelvam, as a constitutional lawyer, was determined to settle the ethnic conflict in a peaceful manner. Even though Neelan Tiruchelvam did not agree with LTTE’s objectives of using violence to solve the ethnic conflict, he was very sympathetic to the young Tamils who were dying in the armed struggle, more..

Pada Yatra will only change their weight: Hirunika

July 30 (AD) UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra says that the incumbent govt has absolutely no reason to fear JO’s Pada Yatra as the only thing it will manage to change is the weight of the individuals taking part in the protest march. “Nothing will change when they come to Colombo from Kandy,” she said, responding to a question from journalists following an event in Kolonnawa. If the incumbent President changes or the PM changes or if the govt topples we should be afraid but no such thing will happen, she said. more..

WP minister wants extra grade 1 classroom in 21 schools: CTU

July 30 (DM) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) charged that Western Province Education Minister Ranjith Somawansa had ordered the Provincial Education Director to add another classroom to grade one in 21 schools located in Western Province to facilitate the whims of provincial council members. Provincial Minister Somawansa had reportedly instructed to add one more class room because of the congestion in grade one more..

Sri Lanka forex reserves rise to US$6.4bn by July: CB Official

July 30 (EN) SL's forex reserves rose to US$ 6.4 billion by the last week of July up from US$ 5.3 billion at the end of June 2016, an official said. Sri Lanka sold a US$ 1.5 billion sovereign bond and the proceeds are being kept in a fiscal reserve to repay debt. SL's foreign reserves are made up of both monetary reserves in the Central Bank and also the Treasury. Foreign investors have also resumed purchases of rupee bonds. In the stock market portfolio outflows were continuing. more..

Jaffna Science Faculty remains closed due to lack of undergrads

July 30 (Island) Jaffna University re-opened a few days but its Science Faculty remains closed due to lack of students. More than 50% of the Jaffna Science Faculty comprised Sinhala students and they had not returned so far after a violent incident on July 16. The entire university was closed indefinitely following a clash in the Science Faculty during a welcoming ceremony. Meanwhile, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Highways and Higher Education P.G. Jayasinghe said more..

Sri Lanka's ex-greats humiliated after Aussie cricket debacle

July 30 (EN) Australia's latest spin bowling mentor, former SL great Muttiah Muralitharan, was sulking Saturday after accusing local cricket authorities of trying to make him the fall guy in case the hosts lost. Murali was wiping egg off his face after Australia, the world’s number one Test team, lost by 106 to underdog Sri Lanka after 17 years. During his 10-day stint coaching Australian spinners, Murali also had a spat with more..

PM gives jumbled history lesson on King Parakramabahu

July 30 (AM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an attempt to discredit the 'Joint Opposition' gave a jumbled history lesson on King Parakramabahu. Speaking at an event in Polonnaruwa, he said that the 'Joint Opposition' is trying to undermine all the good work done by the govt. Even king Parakramabhu had to face similar challenges, the Prime Minister said. "He sent troops to India and to Ramagngna (in Burma). He created a strong nation in the Bay of Bengal area. more..

Iranian master forger helped LTTE cadres escape during war

July 30 (CG) Investigations have revealed that an Iranian master forger now in a Thai jail had helped LTTE cadres escape during the war. For a few thousand dollars The Doctor opened doors to the world, supplying pristine fake passports to gangsters and rebels, refugees and migrant workers — all from an unassuming, scruffy house in the Bangkok suburbs. Hamid Reza Jafary, 48, evaded arrest, cocooned from the law by a network of five trusted Pakistani lieutenants and a low-key lifestyle more..

Good ties vital to development, says Sri Lankan diplomat

July 30 (TOI) Neighbouring countries are bound to have issues, but these can be overcome by fostering friendship and understanding, V Krishnamoorthy, deputy high commissioner of Sri Lanka for Southern India, has said. A delegation of Sri Lankan students is in Vellore as part of the India Sri Lanka Youth Exchange 2016. This is the consecutive year, the students from Sri Lanka visiting Tamil Nadu. more..

Sandakan creates history as left-arm spinners take stage

July 30 (CI) 1: Tests won by Sri Lanka against Australia before this, in Kandy in 1999. Since then, they had played 15 Tests against Australia without registering a win, losing ten. This is only the second time SL have beaten Australia in 27 Tests. 1999: Only other occasion of Australia losing a Test in SL, in Kandy. This is SL's second win against Australia in 14 Tests at home and their first in nine Tests. SL had lost six of those 14 Tests. 7: Consecutive losses for Australia in Tests in Asia. more..

Bar expresses concern over Ranil’s media lashing

July 30 (CT) The Rule of Law Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has expressed its concern over the recent media lashing by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for supporting the Opposition. “The committee firmly believes that, media freedom which is known as the fifth protocol, in any country, is a quintessential pillar in any democracy, and there should not be any attempt to unduly curtail that fundamental freedom in any way,” the Committee said in a statement today. more..

Sinhalese students yet to return to Jaffna Uni

July 30 (ENS) Hundreds of Sinhalese students of Jaffna University, who had fled to their homes in South Sri Lanka after a violent clash with their Tamil counterparts on July 16, are yet to come back to the campus despite assurances from the University Vice Chancellor that peace prevails and that their security is assured. Sources in Jaffna campus said that out of about 800 Sinhalese students, only a handful more..