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SC petition challenging National Govt fixed for 29 July

June 4 (FT) Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed for support on 29 July for granting of leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition which is seeking a declaration from the Court that the Govt formed after the 17 August general election is not a National Govt within the meaning of Article 46(5) of the Constitution. The Bench comprised Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justices Upaly Abeyrathne and Anil Gooneratne. Court permitted the Respondents to file limited objections within more..

The public sector and lessons in patience

June 4 (GV) To me, the best thing about the Department of Motor Traffic at Werahera is the subsidized maalu paan. However, this article is not intended for street food connoisseurs and it is not about how the recent hike in VAT is going to affect maalu paan consumption patterns. This is about the seemingly minor inefficiencies across various departments in our public sector which are, in fact, systemic, deep-rooted and perpetual. This is about how chaos, disorder and unprofessionalism more..

Stronger economy via consistency!

June 4 (FT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake outlined the importance of having a strong National Govt with a consistent set of policies towards building a more resilient national economy. Delivering the first founders day oration of Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA) titled National Govt towards a national economy; he pointed out that the Govt was ironing out issues in national policies to open up more..

Editorial: All’s well that ends well?

June 4 (Island) So, the game of chicken between protesting doctors and the govt ended with the latter swallowing its pride and granting the former’s demand. A post-intern appointment list which some Health Ministry panjandrums had allegedly changed arbitrarily was revised following a token strike by the GMOA on Tuesday. The question is why the Health Ministry had not cared to settle the dispute earlier through negotiations without provoking doctors into trade union action and more..

Recognizing elephant paths and their rights

June 6 (NS) The govt last Tuesday has taken a vital decision towards resolving the long standing issue of human-elephant conflict. The cabinet has decided to leave the traditional elephant paths for the elephants and remove the unauthorized settlers from such paths giving them alternate land. This is the first time we have decided to change the changeable without sticking to the futile attempt of trying to change the behaviour of the animals still in the wild. What happened earlier was to take the side of more..

More money spent importing fish in 2015 as exports dive

June 6 (FT) For the first time in history the value of fish imported to Sri Lanka exceeded the value of fish exports in 2015 with Rs. 30.7 billion spent on shipping fish to the country while only Rs.24.7 billion was earned, largely due to the loss of GSP+ for the sector. According to the Finance Ministry Annual Report 120,046 MT of fish was imported to Sri Lanka in 2015 up from 78,712 MT in 2014 at a cost of Rs.18.8 billion. more..

‘Politicians should, stay away from complex policy-making: Leave that to the experts'

June 6 (ST) Sri Lankan technocrats -not govt ministers and politicians – should be authorised to decide on policy matters that need complex technical solutions. This was the view of Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva, during a summing-up session of National Summit on Innovation. “PM is serious about it and that is why he was here (at the event),” he told the audience. Deviating slightly from the topic, he said that 'all the time MPs use unparliamentarily language' more..

Beware Mega-frolic!

June 4 (Island) The Sirisena or Blue Wing of the so-called Govt of National Unity, or convenient and opportune coalition, keeps talking of yahapalanaya, which has little relevance as each day passes; with those on that side of the coalition obviously knowing little or nothing of what yaha or good means, in any form of governance. Just now it is enjoying the questionable glory of the leader, President Sirisena, participating in the outreach of the G7 Summit in Japan, with pictures of handshakes more..

Prasanna, wife indicted

June 6 (DN) Attorney General (AG) filed indictments against former Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, his wife Maureen Ranatunga and another person on the charge of threatening a businessman over the phone and demanding Rs.64 million. Colombo High Court Judge issued summons on Prasanna Ranatunga, Maureen Ranatunga and Naresh Kumar Fareek to appear before Court on June 17 more..

Infectious fever following rains

June 6 (DM) A seasonal infectious fever with nausea and diarrhoea is now spreading throughout the country, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Paba Palihawadana said. She said a slight fever could be expected these days with the commencement of the rainy season. “This is not a critical condition and there are also enough medications to prevent this. It will be better for school children to be safe from this condition,” she added. Dr. Palihawadana also advised the children to use more..

New Power package for flood victims

June 6 (DM) The Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy has come up with a concessional package for those affected by the recent floods. Accordingly electricity tariffs due from those whose houses were destroyed by floods will not be charged while a two-month grace period will be given to those whose houses were damaged, to pay their tariffs for the months of May and June this year. In addition new connections will be given free of charge to those whose houses were destroyed and more..

Govt backing Ravi K to the hilt

June 6 (CT) Govt and the Joint Opposition are poised in pitched battle stances to win next Wednesday's debate on the six-point No Confidence Motion filed against Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Govt Parliamentary Group headed by President and PM will hold a special meeting to discuss the issue on Monday. This also marks the first occasion on which SLFP and UNP will be meeting jointly at a govt Parliamentary Group discussion. more..

Govt accused of sacrilege

June 6 (Island) Former UPFA Minister and Joint Opposition member Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena accused the govt of committing sacrilege in removing an ancient Buddha statue from National Museum in Colombo to Temple Trees and causing irreparable damage to its head. Abeywardena, one time Cultural Affairs Minister of the UPFA govt, said the government had breached the law of the country by removing an artifact from the National Museum without following the stipulated procedures. more..

ROTC Officer Cadets from US universities assist with flood relief

June 6 (FT) ROTC Officer Cadets from US universities are partnering with the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University to assist with flood relief activities in Wellampitiya and Kolonnawa – two of the most affected areas in Colombo. This is the first year the cadets travelled to Sri Lanka as part of a world-wide program in which over 1,200 US Cadets are participating in various activities in 49 countries to broaden their cultural and regional knowledge. more..

Office of Missing Persons to receive US, NGO support

June 6 (Island) The US will share information requested by the proposed Office of Missing Persons (OMP) to facilitate Sri Lanka's efforts to establish the whereabouts of those who had been categorized as missing during the conflict, particularly during the eelam war IV and post-conflict period. However, US cooperation will be subject to rights enjoyed by US citizens and lawful residents in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974. more..

'List of elephant thieves will shock country'

June 6 (Island) Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera said that the list of names of all those responsible for keeping illegally captured baby elephants was now ready. He said that the country would be shocked when that list was released. The one man commission headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Nimal Dissanayake had prepared the report, Minister said. All those responsible for the elephant robbery would be dealt with irrespective of their status, he said. more..

Land Ministry to digitise land bank

June 6 (ST) Land being the costliest asset in realty has often been at the epicentre of land fights, property crimes and frauds. Sri Lanka’s Land Ministry now is mulling to digitise its land bank in a bid to curb these issues, a top minister said. ”There’s a proposal to digitise all lands,” Minister John Amaratunga said. He said that he had a discussion with some parties recently on this and their proposal was interesting. The main reasons cited for this digitisation effort are to detect more..

Opposition hand behind in GMOA strike?

June 6 (DM) Reports on investigations carried out by intelligence agencies have revealed that a certain group in the opposition has had a hand in the recent strike action launched by the GMOA. These reports have already been handed over to President and PM by the intelligence units. The reports have revealed that there was also a plan to get others in the health services to join in the strike if it proved to be a success. more..

Wrong names in O/L, A/L applications

June 6 (CT) Examinations Commissioner W.N.J. Pushpakumara has said that School Principals should acknowledge responsibility for names of students being entered incorrectly in application forms before they are sent to sit examinations. Examinations Commissioner said students should also be extra careful to ensure that their names have been included correctly in the applications. He added that Examinations Department had received a complaint that sufficient time had not more..

PM outlines development policy framework

June 6 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, chief guest, and participating speaker at the UNDP’s Foresight for Innovation panel discussion recently posed a question: "Sri Lanka was economically ahead of most of its neighbours in 1947, can we catch up?'" He said we have been left behind. Financially and strategically. Continuous failure since independence had not been corrected. The daunting task of re-entering SL into the mainstream of economic development is now at hand. more..

We finally won the battle: GMOA

June 6 (DM) While the dispute between the Health Ministry and doctors of the GMOA was settled, the controversial Post Intern Doctors’ Appointment List has been newly prepared by the ministry with the consent of the GMOA. Health Services Director Dr. Palitha Mahipala made this announcement at a joint media briefing at the Health Ministry with the GMOA General Secretary and the Secretaries of the Health Ministry. more..

Born free, let them live free and stay free

June 4 (DM) Fifty years ago, when our eyes had still not been opened to the catastrophe of environmental pollution and global warming, the well-known singer Matt Monroe gave the world an immortal environmental song titled Born Free which was later turned into a film and won the Academy Award for the best original song. With the lyrics composed by Don Black, the song is considered as prophetic as we mark World Environment Day tomorrow. The song goes like this. more..

Torture of elephants

June 4 (DM) Thilina Gamage is a pleasant young non-controversial magistrate, who was charged under the Public Property Act for rearing a baby elephant valued at Rs.6.9 million allegedly without a valid licence. It is also alleged that he has been evading Courts awaiting the outcome of his application for anticipatory bail. His defence is said to be that the person from whom he bought the elephant calf is in possession of a valid receipt. Many other cases are pending more..

Vesak Celebrated in Turkey with International Participation

June 4 (IL) Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ankara celebrated 2560th Vesak which commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana of Lord Buddha on the 30th May 2016, with participation and collaboration of several countries, in Antalya, Turkey. Event was held at the Nepalese garden at EXPO-2016 in Antalya. The Nepalese garden was chosen as the venue given the fact that Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini more..

Back again duty free/duty slashed vehicle permit for MPs and officials

June 4 (ST) MPs, provincial people’s representatives and senior govt officials are in for a bonanza: They get duty free /duty slashed vehicle import permits once again following the govt’s recent decision to withdraw the 2016 budget proposal to scrap the permit system. The relevant circular to grant this facility again while increasing the permit value and reducing the tax of duty slashed permits for MPs and officials has been issued by the Treasury, more..

Red tape and relief efforts

June 4 (SL) After the catastrophic floods of 1989, the next major disaster to strike Sri Lanka was the 2004 Tsunami. Since then, the biggest natural disaster to hit our country was the recent floods that sent many areas of the country under water. Despite the inspirational stories of people helping each other in this time of need, serious accusations have been made regarding the inefficiency and the weak response of the more..

'Positive mindset made the difference'

June 4 (CI) Leaving, defending and patience are generally held up as necessary virtues for openers in early-season England. A little counter intuitively though, Kaushal Silva has said it was the adopting of a more assertive mindset that saw Sri Lanka make improvements to their batting in the second innings at Chester-le-Street. Silva hit 60 in a team total of 475, and though he stressed that leaving and defending more..

China to build Friendship Village

June 4 (Island) China has donated funds to build a friendship village in Sri Lanka, with houses for 100 families affected by the recent floods and landslides. This is in addition to humanitarian assistance it has provided, which included 1000 tents and 3000 folding beds worth a total of RMB 15 million (about US$ 2.3 million) that arrived on a chartered Air China plane at the BIA, at Katunayake on Tuesday. more..

7 years after war's end, Sri Lanka on cautious path to peace

June 4 (AP) For seven years, the ethnic Tamil housewife has waited for news of a son who vanished near the frenzied end of Sri Lanka's quarter-century-long civil war. After so much time, she has little faith that the Sinhalese-majority govt will help solve such mysteries and heal old wounds. "There is no place I haven't gone in search of him," said Shantha, who like many people in this tropical island nation goes by one name. more..

‘Govt committed to even relations with major powers’

June 4 (Island) Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said President Maithripala Sirisena would undertake another visit to Beijing later this year to further consolidate Sri Lanka's relationship with the People's Republic of China. He emphasized that Sri Lanka's growing relationship with the West wouldn't be at the expense of longstanding friend China. President Sirisena visited Beijing in late March 2015. more..

President to visit China again on invitation from Chinese President

June 4 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena is to visit China soon, his second official visit to China since taking office as President in January last year. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said President Sirisena will be visiting China on an invitation extended by Chinese President Yi Xianliang. He said the visit will help further boost the relationship between both countries. Visit follows PM Wickremesinghe’s visit to China this year more..

CPJ want probe on attack on editor

June 4 (CPJ) Sri Lankan authorities should ensure a thorough investigation into an attack on the editor of the Sinhala-language Meepura newspaper Thursday and hold the perpetrators responsible, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Freddy Gamage was walking to his vehicle after covering a local govt council meeting in the town of Negombo, when two men wearing helmets with full face masks assaulted the editor, more..

Six leopards killed in 36 days

June 4 (CT) Six mountain leopards living close to estates in the hill country have mysteriously died within the past 36 days with four of them being victims of man-laid traps between 4 to 9 May. Two leopards had died by ingesting poison. Of the leopards which died as victims to traps, one was from Digasirigama, Norwood on 4 April, another in Hydree in Watawala on 20 April, one in Wewatenne, Gampola on 28 April and another in Norwood more..

Sri Lanka should learn from this suffering

June 4 (CT) Sri Lanka did what they should have done in the first innings a tad too late in the second. With that performance they showed that they have the talent in them to give any bowling side a good hiding. But one wonders whether all this huffing and puffing in the first innings was all due to that transition period stuck in their mind. Yes, a transition period in the eyes of a player is an alarming thing that goes off when faced with situational circumstances. more..

Rethinking A Political Solution

June 4 (CT) I believe that in recent articles I have established certain positions about Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic problem: 1) Problems have a protean character, they keep changing in the course of time, so that our ability to handle them depends on whether or not we perceive and conceptualize them accurately at a given time. 2) The core problem is the Tamil Nadu factor, not a purely indigenous Tamil ethnic problem. 3) The solution has to be through democracy, not devolution. more..

Ada Cartoon

Mechanics flooded with motor cycles that had gone under

June 4 (ST) Motor mechanics are kept busy with a large number of motor cycles affected by the recent flooding being brought in for servicing. We witnessed over 75 motor cycles at a garage in the city that have been brought in for servicing after their engines had been affected by the flooding. Nalaka, a mechanic said this was the first time such a large number of vehicles had been brought in at the same time. Most of the bikes were covered in mud while their engines were filled with water. more..

Top Sea Tigress discharged on AG’s instructions

June 4 (Island) The Attorney General has cleared a former commander of Women’s wing of Sea Tigers Murugesu Jayaganesh Pakeerathy (42) arrested in early March, 2015 and charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), govt sources said. The police arrested her at the BIA as she was about to leave for France. Sources said on the instructions of the AG, one-time Sea Tiger leader had been discharged. She had been given bail after a brief period in remand prison. more..

Arjuna Mahendran hunts for CB whistleblower

June 4 (CT) Governor of the Central Bank, Arjuna Mahendran is on the hunt for the Central Bank whistleblower who disclosed his credit card details to NFF Leader, Wimal Weerawansa. CT reliably learns that ever since yesterday’s revelation by Weerawansa about the high spending lifestyle of Mahendran, the Central Bank Governor has launched a hunt to find out who leaked the confidential information from more..

Multi-faceted media culture

June 4 (CT) Media is the creation of just about anything in an organized society which encompasses experiences and sensations at different social levels where discrepancies and dissimilarities create or expose of media institutions, media industries or individuals. Its ultimate character is influenced by the interaction of the media organisation with other social and governmental institutions. Finally the culture in which it is produced influences the media. more..