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NUSS: Ensuring safety & welfare of Seafarers

Nov 19 (CT) Tucked away inside a moderate office in down-town Colombo two men maintain a lone vigil over thousands of Sri Lankan Seafarers who sail the high seas sometimes in hostile conditions while facing other threats including that from the notorious sea pirates. National Union of Seafarers (NUSS) was created in 2007 with some 25 members – the main task was to provide a certain degree of security and welfare benefits to the Lankan Seafarers and their immediate families. more..

Paracheriweli and the Jaffna Muslims’ struggle to return

Nov 19 (FT) In July this year, a conference on social justice was held at the Jaffna Public Library.  Amongst the many topics discussed in the conference were the social and economic challenges faced by the Jaffna Muslims amidst an incomplete and flawed process of resettlement. Badusha Rameez, an activist and a returnee Muslim, spoke at the conference. She spoke of her struggles to resettle in Jaffna and secure a safe environment to live in. more..

New Constitution: Centre-periphery relations sub-committee report: Full texts

Nov 19 (FT) The Report of the sub-committee on Centre-Periphery Relations has been submitted to the Constitutional Assembly for its consideration with the other five sub-committees reports. Six sub-committees were appointed by the Constitutional Assembly to make recommendations on the areas of Fundamental Rights, Judiciary, Finance, Law & Order, Public Service and Centre-Periphery Relations. more..

Malik tells JVP to refer question to previous govt

Nov 19 (Island) Minister of Development Strategy and Int'l Trade Malik Samarawickrema told Parliament that he was not aware whether the communications satellite that was reportedly launched by Supreme SAT on behalf of Sri Lanka in 2012 had ever been launched. "I don’t think such a satellite was sent into space. These questions should have been asked from the previous govt," Minister said in answer to a question raised in Parliament by JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa. more..

National Planning Deparment calls for inclusive,visionary approach

Nov 19 (Island) There was a need for more inclusive and innovative development planning which  would contribute to enhancing development practices and policies that  were visionary and aimed at  creating the world that was needed by 2030, says the Department of National Planning. In this regard  a two-day training on Results Based Management for Planning organized by the  National Planning Department of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs with more..

Lankan doctor wins £335,000 compensation from a UK hospital

Nov 19 (MO) A brilliant doctor whose husband died after medics at her hospital failed to spot the signs of heart failure has won £335,000 compensation from the NHS.  Rohan Rupasinghe died from a massive heart attack at the age of just 33 when staff at Watford General Hospital did not detect his life was in danger in 2010.  His wife Kumudu, 38, worked as an A&E locum at the hospital while she trained as a consultant, more..

Fmr. AG elaborates on delay in proposed National Audit Act

Nov 19 (NF) Former Auditor General S.C. Mayadunne elaborated on the reasons for the delay in the proposed National Audit Act. Mayadunne was speaking at a conference named COPE : Responsibility to Parliament in Colombo organised by the National Intellectual Professionals Collective. Former Auditor General S.C. Mayadunne said that while the corrupt benefit from this, the administration takes this over for their needs, and this was evident in the past. more..

No gifts for school teachers: Akila Viraj

Nov 19 (NR) Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam today said a special circular has been issued to prevent school teachers from accepting gifts from students. Speaking during an event in Kuliyapitiya today, he said, numerous complaints have been lodged by parents about the issue especially in state schools in the country. The Education Minister added it has become a trend to collect funds from parents of school students to distribute gifts among teachers. more..

It’s not Superwoman, just Indani on a tuk-tuk

Nov 19 (ST) She cooks all three meals for her family and takes care of the daily chores. She is also the breadwinner. Is this Superwoman, or a fairy godmother whose wave of the wand makes good things happen in a jiffy? No, it is only Indani Gunasinghe, a 53-year-old grandmother, who drives a tuk-tuk to earn a living. We were seduced by her story – the timeless Mars versus Venus metaphor – and felt it deserved the ink on more..

Educating public on condom use should begin with MPs: Dr.Mahanamahewa

Nov 19 (DN) The introduction on the use of condoms which prevents HIV infection should commence with the PMPs, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University Dr. Prathibha Mahanamahewa said. The number of new HIV infections in Sri Lanka has gone up and it was time to amend the laws related to HIV/AIDS, STD etc. He was addressing a press briefing recently in connection with with the launching of three books on use of condoms. more..

US' ties with Russia under Trump will solve problems: MR

Nov 19 (PTI) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said a closer relationship between the US and Russia under Donald Trump's presidency would help solve most of the world's problems. "I believe their (Trump-Russia) relationship would result in solving most of the problems", Rajapaksa told reporters marking his 71st birthday. Talking about an impact of Trump's presidency on Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa said, "We hope US interference in our country would decrease (under Trump)." more..

Minister Sagala Ratnayake says many evidence destroyed

Nov 19 (ITN) Minister Sagala Ratnayake says that many evidence related to the killings, disappearances, assaults and arrests of journalists during the past, has been destroyed. He mentioned this as a reply to a question raised in parliament by MP Nalinda Jayathissa. MP said that there is a delay in cases related to killings, disappearences and assaults of journalists. Minister said that there are 13 in the list of killings, 87 in the list of assaults and 20 journalists have been arrested. more..

Sea and airmail packages rise amidst shrinking postal service

Nov 19 (ST) Don’t be surprised: While it’s no secret that SL’s postal service is shrinking with the rise of electronic communications like e-mails, sms, etc, demand for another segment of the service is rising – packages by air and sea. This is even though the volume of sea and air mail letters has fallen sharply. Thousands of Sri Lankans live and work in other countries including India and Pakistan, West Asia, East Australia, NZ, UK and US while many others regularly travel overseas for various reasons. more..

Bribing for Bond Scam cover up?: PM seeks pay rise for MPs

Nov 19 (EN) PM made an impassioned plea for substantially higher salaries for legislators in a bid to reduce corruption and attract better talent to parliament. He said the current salary of an MP was grossly inadequate for the amount of work they are required to carry out in their constituencies and he was proposing substantially higher wages. "I know it is unpopular to say it, and I will be criticised for saying this," more..

A look back st election violence

Nov 20 (SL) In a recent discussion with a friend, it dawned on me that a lot of the political theorizing and justification for what transpired in the Rajapaksa years has been attributed to the climate of violence that Junius Richard Jayewardene established after he ascended to power in 1977. Let me open by saying that I missed the 1977 General Election and the horrendous violence that apparently followed it. However, despite the fact that I have never been a fan of JRJ, even when he was deputy in more..

Rabble rousers in robes

Nov 20 (Island) Over 350 citizens including several university academics and other respected personalities wrote to IGP Pujith Jayasundera last week complaining about police inaction against some Buddhist monks who have been making hate speeches inciting violence against minorities. Many of these speeches have been carried on various websites and created alarm in senior political and other circles who suspect with good reason that there is an organized and well funded more..

'SLPP Will Fill Long Felt Need'

Nov 20 (SL) Chairman of the newly formed political party, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Professor G. L. Peiris claims that the new party will fill a long felt need of the country. Subsequent to becoming the Chairman of the new party, Professor Peiris was suspended from his membership of the SLFP. He said SLFP supporters can no longer identify themselves with the group that is representing as the SLFP. more..

Road terrorism and the corruption ring

Nov 20 (ST) Private buses are a classic example of capitalism gone wrong in this country. In the pre-nationalisation era of yesteryear, private bus operators made a lot of money and provided a useful service to the people. With the advent of socialism, these companies were nationalised and the state began to have a monopoly in public transport with the railways already under it. The load of enabling the people to commute by road fell upon the CTB (Central Transport Board) more..

Leading the new party

Nov 20 (ST) My dear GL, I thought of writing to you after some time when I heard that you are now the leader of a political party. Well, congratulations, who would have thought that you would be still in the news, forming new political parties a few months after your 70th birthday! They call you ‘chairman’ of the new party and not the ‘leader’. Is there more to this than meets the eye? And, we all know this will be Mahinda maama’s outfit but he is yet to become a member of this party more..

'We Should Think Of The Country'

Nov 20 (SL) UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana believes in working for the party irrespective of whether he receives positions or not. In an interview with The Sunday Leader Pathirana said the country under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has adopted an open and cordial foreign policy where all countries have now come forward to assist Sri Lanka in its development. more..

Govt tightens screws on media

Nov 20 (Island) Last week was a good week for the Joint Opposition’s political party the Sri Lanka People’s Front. Even before it had enrolled its first member, LSSP Leader Tissa Vitarana LSSP made the offhand remark at a press conference that the Socialist Alliance made up of five left-wing political parties will be looking at working with the SLPF. Though the old left is now but a shadow of its former self and confined to pockets of support in the country, they still have a presence. more..

ICPL T20 will be in Colombo

Nov 20 (ST) All plans have been made afoot to hold the second edition of International Cricket Premier League (ICPL) Twenty20 Championship in Colombo, Sri Lanka in January, 2017. According to the Organising Committee of ICPL eight teams run by Cricket Academies from different countries are expected to compete in the seven-day event scheduled to be held at the P. Sara Oval and R. Premadasa stadiums — both international venues. Each team will feature six Under-19 players more..

Anura Disanayake

Budget: Unity Govt in show of strong united front, JO and JVP united in criticism

Nov 20 (ST) Despite severe criticism of the Govt’s budget by both lawmakers of the Joint Opposition (JO) as well as the JVP, the Govt breezed through the vote on the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill-2017 in Parliament on Friday, securing 162 votes in its favour and 55 voting against it. The Govt drew support from the main opposition party, the TNA as well as EPDP MP Douglas Devananda and UPFA/CWC MP Arumugam Thondaman while the JVP voted against it. more..

Tea estate developments on hold

Nov 20 (ST) Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) have put on hold new clearing and other development work on the estates in the wake of the recent budgetary proposal to limit the acreage owned by the companies. “A lot of companies have stopped new clearings and other development work on the estates,” former Planters Association Chairman and Hayleys Plantations MD Roshan Rajadurai said on Tuesday. He noted that due to the confusion that prevailed within the industry more..

Let’s have a peek into the world of WADA

Nov 20 (ST) This is relatively a new concept, never the less, Anti Doping has come to stay. The aim of this perception is to keep sport and its stakeholders clean and keep it above board. In the recent past there have been some high profile individuals who have been brought down to earth after the authorities discovered that they used banned substances to enhance their performances. Though, sport itself more..

Rugby’s forbidden ground blooms a promise

Nov 20 (NS) Drop the name of the laid-back suburb of downtown Ratmalana and only a handful of sporting fans even if they are supporters of Air Force rugby would want to patronize it for matches. The logic is understandable. Ratmalana has no recognized rugby playing school or club to make it synonymous with the robust game and above all it’s an out-of-the-way venue and the home of the country’s most subdued entity contesting the Premier domestic League. more..

Sri Lankan captivates world opera stage

Nov 20 (NS) She actually got into singing by accident. She was supposed to be a lawyer, and she was studying commercial Law in the UK. “Then I met this teacher, Pamela Cook, who suggested that I should try singing. One thing led to another, and I won a scholarship at the Royal Academy to get into music school. After four years of study, I went into the Royal Opera House as the only female to get in that year. It was a really exciting time,” says Kishani Jayasinghe. more..

Doubts over take-over of key CB functions

Nov 20 (ST) Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s budget proposal  to take away some key functions of the Central Bank (CB) including public debt management has come under strong criticism from various quarters including the bank’s own officials. It is said to be the worst  incidence in the history of the banking regulator where its work has been undermined by a Finance Minister, according to one source. more..

Sri Lanka’s first female sinna dorai

Nov 20 (ST) Possibly the first female planter in Sri Lanka, 26 year old Ms. Chaturika Rajapakse (third from left) will assume duties as the first ever Junior Assistant Superintendent of the Queens Town estate in Hali Ella under the Malwatte Valley Plantations from December 1.    A student of Vihara Maha Devi Girls’ College, Badulla, she dreamed big to join a predominantly male portfolio taking after her father’s footsteps who was a field officer in another estate. more..

Change of wheels for road rules

Nov 20 (NS) The government has proposed several amendments to the existing Motor Traffic Act, one of which is the registration of a new type of four-wheeler vehicles cheaper and as an alternative to the auto rickshaw or what is commonly called the three-wheeler. Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, Nihal Somaweera said a governmental Parliamentary Ministerial  Committee has proposed three main amendments to the Motor Traffic Act. Accordingly, govt has proposed more..

Central Bank fast becoming a rubber stamp

Nov 20 (ST) Removing the Central Bank from the ambit of the Finance Ministry, whatever the reason, and bringing it under the ambit of the Prime Minister’s office last year was bad enough. At the time, the Business Times was off the blocks suggesting that such a precedent was fraught with danger and could lead to other issues. So it is. Now the banking regulator is being stripped of its primary role of managing the country’s debt – more..

Emerging Controversy

Nov 20 (CT) Govt and intelligence authorities are learnt to be on high alert with every passing week crystallizing speculation about what we editorially addressed last week as a culture of political conspiracy that's inexorably gaining weight, with incidents pointing to evidence of such a conspiracy. This editorial exclusively warned the govt to be mindful of subtle and not-so-subtle moves by supremacist/extremist nationalist elements emerging in tangible form. more..

Double the tax on imported fish: Ministry

Nov 20 (ST) The Fisheries Ministry has recommended that tax on imported fish products be doubled to keep local fish markets steady and minimise low-quality re-exports. The move came as Sri Lanka’s leading seafood exporters started to import fish from the Maldives and send it to the local market causing a significant reduction in prices. They also re- export the processed fish to European Union (EU) countries, the United States (US) and Japan. more..

Citizens’ group asks IGP to adopt uniform response to religious violence, hate speech

Nov 20 (Island) A group of 367 ‘concerned citizens’ representing all three major communities have made written representations to IGP Pujith Jayasundara on what they called "Police inaction in relation to Buddhist monk-led violent attacks on numerical minority ethnic and religious communities". "We are outraged by the blatant Police inaction and the complacency of the State towards the culture of impunity which more..

Over 317 participants expected at Junior Squash C’ship

Nov 20 (ST) The 27th edition of the Sri Lanka Junior Squash Championship conducted by SL Squash Federation and sponsored by Ritzbury, will be worked off from Nov 26 to Dec 3 at Tamil Union Squash Courts Complex. Then the  Under-19 final matches followed by the awards ceremony will be held at Air Force Courts Complex at Ratmalana on Dec 3. The national tournament will see all top-ranked junior players in the country in six age categories (Under-9, Under-11, Under-13, more..

Golfer Perera hopes to secure Asian Tour card at Panasonic Open

Nov 20 (IANS) After an underwhelming season, Sri Lankas golfer Mithun Perera hopes to win the $400,000 Panasonic Open India which gets underway from December 1 to 4 to secure his Asian Tour card. The 29-year-old Perera has endured a lacklustre season, making only six cuts in 17 starts on the region's premier Tour, where he sits in 112th position on the Order of Merit. Perera needs a victory at the Panasonic Open India to secure his playing rights for the 2017 season. more..

New Constitution needs 2/3rd majority plus Referendum

Nov 20 (Island) The PM, opposition leader and all party leaders in parliament stated yesterday that the draft for a new constitution needed not only two-third majority of the House, but also the approval of the people in a referendum. Party leaders said so when the Constitutional Assembly met in the Parliament chamber yesterday. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional more..

11 TN fishermen arrested in Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan navy on Saturday arrested 11 Rameswaram fishermen on charges of poaching and seized their two boats. They were fishing on the high seas when the navy from Kankesanthurai arrested them, reports received here said. The fishermen were taken to the Kankesanthurai harbour and handed over to the Department of Fisheries, Jaffna, for further action, U. Arulanandham, president of the Alliance for the Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF), said. more..

Govt takes action to avert street protests

Nov 20 (ST) Govt has decided to establish a new unit to take advance action, as a means of preventing unauthorised street protests by trade unionists, and other organisations. The unit headed by a DIG of Police and will comprise a Senior Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Order whose main task will be the gathering of information on protests and trying to address the issues at the inception, officials said. Directive to establish the unit was given by President Sirisena last week, more..