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'We ask for federalism, not separation'

Oct 4 (SO) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran responding on their queries as to why he organised the demonstration in Jaffna, claimed, their action has been given distorted interpretations by vested interests. Q: Why do you believe the federal solution is the only viable solution for issues faced by the North and East Tamils? A: A federal system divides up power between a strong national govt and smaller local govts. more..

A glimmer of hope?

Oct 4 (SL) A plethora of reports on politically prominent individuals who are in the process of being investigated or even (God forbid!) prosecuted for robbing from the public purse could not but gladden the hearts of those hoping that Sri Lanka might yet be returned to the model democracy it gave promise of becoming in this old codger’s dim, distant youth! To say that some other pieces of positive news had this writer’s heart overflowing with gratitude would be overstating the case, more..

Editorial: SAARC caught in crossfire

Oct 4 (Island) The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has been a casualty of the Kashmir conflict. Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration has drawn heavy fire from the de facto Opposition for boycotting the Islamabad SAARC Summit. Its decision has come as no surprise, given its foreign policy clad in the Modi jacket, so to speak. Former Minister G.L. Peiris has asked it to attend the event when new dates are announced. One cannot but agree with him. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Children in Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s achievements and challenges

Oct 4 (Island) Sri Lanka has made major advances in ensuring the welfare of children in many fields, especially in health and education. Many challenges remain. Some of these challenges are long standing. Others have emerged recently. This article highlights some achievements that Sri Lanka has made for her children and draws attention to some challenges primarily based on recent national statistics. The children of today are the future of mankind. This powerful statement assumes special more..

Family Health Centre on verge of collapse

Oct 4 (Island) The family health services centre at Kinchigune in Weeraketiya is on the verge of collapse. The walls have developed cracks, the roof is dilapidated. About 2,500 babies and pregnant women obtain the services of this centre. The residents said that the other family health services centre was situated about eight miles away and as such this centre should be renovated urgently. Director of Health Services, Hambantota Jayamapath Senanayake, more..

Ranjan’s One Shot action condemned

Oct 4 (SL) A cross section of society including intellectuals, politicians, actors and ordinary citizens have condemned the conduct of actor turned politician Ranjan Ramanayake where he took on a journalist at a media briefing recently. Heated argument between the actor and the journalist ended up with the former hitting a video camera. Incident flared up when Dy Minister was about to leave after media briefing. more..

CaFFE slams TID, Govt over interrogation of activist Ruki Fernando at BIA

Oct 4 (FT) Corruption watchdog and election monitor Campaign for Free and Fair Elections and the Centre for Human Rights and Research have expressed deep regret over the detainment and interrogation of human rights activist Ruki Fernando at the BIA last Saturday. Fernando was briefly detained and questioned by officers of the TID when he arrived at the airport to fly to UK for speaking engagements on human rights and transitional justice at the University of York. more..

‘Lack of awareness of peace in Sri Lanka, getting in the way of Norwegian investments’

Oct 4 (Island) Norway's ambassador to Sri Lanka Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether said that the awareness level of Sri Lanka's current domestic peace is very minimal among Norwegian and other Scandinavian peoples. This is getting in the way of promoting Sri Lanka as an investment destination in the Nordic region. 'After three decades of war, Norway and other Scandinavian investors still believe that Sri Lanka has not got out of the war situation, and given the current situation, more..

Awesome foursome

Oct 4 (Island) The just concluded 42nd National Sports Festival witnessed some four national records being improved in track and field events, a noteworthy number against the back drop of a trouble plagued year in athletics. While Sri Lanka Air Force can claim the credit for nurturing three of the record breaking athletes, the coaches of the four athletes should be applauded for pushing their trainees to achieve the feats. more..

National sporting events a must in Provinces

Oct 4 (CT) A National Sports Festival is an event that should have been seen in Jaffna some years ago. If you take track and field, Jaffna produced some of the top athletes the country has seen. In cricket, hockey, football, basketball - and you name the game - the story is the same. It is unfortunate that Jaffna athletes like Ethirveerasingham had to come down to Colombo to showcase their talent. This only left a huge hollow in the games where these stars started off from. more..

Sri Lanka lacks GI Register: NCE President

Oct 4 (DN) Sri Lankan exporters have not received the desired support from successive govts in the past several decades, National Chamber of Exporters President, Sarada De Silva said. He said that particularly during the last 30 year period of the most destructive civil war, it is the Sri Lankan exporters who stood by the country to sustain the economy, in spite of the many challenges and obstacles faced by them locally as well as in the int'l market place. more..

Sri Lanka set for pink ball debut

Oct 4 (CI) Pink-ball cricket will mark its debut in SL when the first unofficial Test between Sri Lanka A and West Indies A commences at Premadasa Stadium today. "We have been lagging behind other countries in experimenting with the pink ball, but a start had to be made somewhere," SLC vice-president K Mathivanan said. "With the ICC planning to introduce day-night Test cricket in the near future we should be prepared to face more..

Lanka Hospitals receives MTQUA International Medical Tourism Certification

Oct 4 (Island) The multi award winning Lanka Hospitals has become Sri Lanka's first health care provider to achieve international medical tourism certification from the US-based Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA). Another prestigious addition to its host of international and local quality awards, MTQUA reinforces the service excellence and utmost patient care endorsed to Lanka Hospitals by the Joint Commission International Association (JCIA) of USA. more..

MR squandered by ordering airplanes when people needed more buses: Ravi K

Oct 4 (FT) At a time when the country needs more buses to streamline the services of Sri Lanka Transport Board; it has to pay a heavy cost instead for super luxury airbuses that had been ordered by the previous regime, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He pointed out that the country is compelled to face a heavy economic liability as it is bound to import these expensive airbuses. Minister further said that such heavy allocation of Govt money to import super luxury airbuses more..

CEB revenue hits Rs. 5.5 b shortfall

Oct 4 (FT) If drought conditions persist the CEB would have to deal with a revenue shortage of Rs. 5.5 b, which if the govt does not pass onto the consumer, could exacerbate already strained public finances. CEB has notified PUCSL it would experience a revenue gap of Rs. 5.5 billion from October to March 2017, largely due to higher coal and thermal power generation needed to fill the shortfall from hydro. more..

Lotteries board says fake tickets not ours

Oct 4 (ST) Not surprisingly, National Lotteries Board (NLB) showed its true colours taking umbrage to Business Times picture last week captioned Sweep ticket fraud about a fake ticket being sold in Pettah. In a letter to the newspaper, the NLB chairperson Shyamila Perera said “we wish to inform you that the lottery tickets appearing in the picture does not relate to any issued lottery ticket by the National Lotteries Board. Therefore your content is inaccurate and misleading.” more..

Tax experts prescribe new institutions for Sri Lanka’s ailing tax system

Oct 4 (ST) Sri Lankans are currently suffering from a confused mindset: the tax phobia has been widely spreading in the society as a result of the failure to create awareness on complex and complicated taxes by successive govts including the present Yahapalanya which made it worse and complex.  Under the status of confusion now, no one likes to pay taxes, myself included although I am one of the non taxpayers in the country (based on my income) with a tax department handling more..

Mixed signals on new pharmaceutical pricing formulae

Oct 4 (SL) Sri Lanka’s pharmaceutical industry which recorded an all-time high import value of US$ 459.8 million or a staggering Rs. 66.671 billion in 2015 is in for a big treat with the new pharmaceutical pricing formula introduced by the UNF govt this week. National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) announced this would be a fulfillment of Prof. Senaka Bibile’s National Medicinal Drugs Policy adding that more..

Hayleys opts for oil rig hub business

Oct 4 (ST) Hayleys Energy Services has begun to explore opportunities in diversifying within the oil and gas industry by locating an oil rig at the tax free Advantis Free Zone at Katunayake, first of two more in the pipeline.  Since the country is in a logistically viable position, Hayleys has provided the logistics for global company – EMAS Energy to bring down and obtain space at Advantis Free Zone that could eventually turn out to be a hub for more rigs in time to come serving, regional markets more..

Govt refuses to allow power price hike

Oct 4 (SL) The Govt has taken a strong stance not to increase the price of electricity units despite recommendations from the CEB. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayaka has instructed that tariff hike of CEB should not be allowed and in the view that CEB should improve its efficiency to reduce the gap between revenue and expenditure. CEB officials said that an immediate tariff hike is necessary to meet the gap between current revenue and the actual cost of electricity supply. more..

Indonesian, Sri Lankan police chiefs discuss human smuggling issue

Oct 4 (AN) Indonesian IGP Tito Karnavian met with his SL counterpart, IGP Pujith Jayasundara, to discuss the issue of human smuggling. "The discussion especially focused on possible threats from ex-LTTE members who may have entered Indonesia as refugees or asylum seekers," General Tito said. General Tito Karnavian visited SL Police Headquarters in a first working visit to pursue bilateral cooperation more..

PwC and SLASSCOM join hands to empower startups in Sri Lanka

Oct 4 (Island) In a joint effort to empower startups in the country, PwC Sri Lanka has joined hands with SLASSCOM (SL Association for Software and Services Companies) to introduce Sri Lanka to Europe's largest and leading annual startup and technology event, SLUSH, while also giving local startups a unique opportunity to help solve pressing challenges the world is facing today. For the first time in the country’s history, PwC and SLASSCOM organised SLUSH Global impact accelerator more..

Suspicions raised following Moulana’s death

Oct 4 (SL) We live in a world where freedom is destroyed by the govt, knowledge is destroyed by universities, justice is destroyed by lawyers and, the worst of all is health is destroyed by the doctors who save them. Many incidents have been reported in the country where private hospitals are only concerned about the money and not the patient or their medical and clinical needs. One such recent incident was the demise of former minister Alavi Moulana that occurred at a private hospital. more..

Wigneswaran is not a racist, says Mahinda

Oct 4 (FT) Former President Rajapaksa took a moderate stance on issues pertaining to controversial CM C.V. Wigneswaran and the release of Tamil political prisoners that were at odds with his usual rhetoric, in discussions with journalists from the Tamil media.  Wigneswaran, former President said, was not a racist. “CM I know I don’t believe is a racist. He is a politician. He cannot show results. Just like this govt can’t show results,” more..

PM calls for Commonwealth economic arrangement after Brexit

Oct 4 (EN) PM Ranil Wickramamsinghe has called for greater economic and trade links among Commonwealth nations after the Britain's decision to exit the European Union. The time has now come to think of a new arrangement to strengthen economic and trade link among members of the British Commonwealth, he had told a forum in New Zealand. He had said Kotte declaration, made in Sri Lanka following a summit meeting in 2013, can be used as a basis for economic integration. more..

Sinhale lodges police complaint against Wigneswaran

Oct 4 (FT) Sinhale National Front lodged a complaint against Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran, yesterday, at the Police Hq alleging that his statements are evoking racial tension among communities. The organisation highlighted that his recent remarks regarding the removal of army camps from the Northern Province could be a push towards a separatist agenda. Sinhale President Agulugalle SiriJinananda Thero claimed Wigneswaran is behaving in a manner more..

Supreme Court rejects FR petition challenging national govt

Oct 4 (Island) Supreme Court yesterday refused leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation petition filed by retired rear admiral Sarath Weerasekera and Professor Wimaladharma Abeywickrame, challenging that the present administration was not a national govt and could not exceed the number of Cabinet Ministers beyond 38. The SC said that Article 67 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka and Section (3) of Parliamentary more..

Air Traffic Controllers on work to rule campaign

Oct 4 (DN) Air Traffic Controllers yesterday launched a work to rule campaign urging the govt to meet their demands. According to Sasanka Wijeratne of the Air Traffic Controllers Association, air traffic controllers at Bandaranaike International Airport, Ratmalana and Mattala airports started the work to rule campaign from 4 p.m. yesterday. He said the Airport and Aviation Services Limited has been taking steps which are leading to undermine their service as Air Traffic Controllers. more..

Price reductions: GMOA wants generic names of drugs gazetted

Oct 4 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) urged the Health Ministry to gazette the generic names of the 47 essential drugs whose prices are to be regulated in accordance with the Senaka Bibile Drug policy. Assistant Secretary of the GMOA Dr Haritha Aluthge yesterday said that under the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) Act a Pricing Committee should be appointed to review the market situation before regulating drug prices. more..

Sri Lanka to adopt electoral system of New Zealand with improvements

Oct 4 (Island) Sri Lanka, having rejected the German electoral model, is looking at improving on New Zealand’s electoral system, says PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. PM  said that a combination of the first-past-the-post and the proportional representation systems on a 60 to 40% basis would be introduced, making it better than the one being used in New Zealand through the allocation of six bonus seats to the winning party. more..

President’s move for reconciliation

Oct 4 (DM) In what could be a turning point in Sri Lanka’s history, President Sirisena last week sought cabinet approval for an eleven-page draft of a comprehensive national reconciliation policy based on the principle of power-sharing as the means of reaching a political settlement, which would address the grievances and aspirations of all communities.  The draft, published in Sunday Times, was worked out by Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation and Office of National Unity more..

Do we have good leaders?

Oct 4 (DM) The defenders of the 18th Amendment argued that in order to achieve economic development and to eradicate poverty, a stronger executive as facilitated by the 18th Amendment was a necessity to ensure political stability. Nevertheless, it is my firm belief that the strong Executive Presidency contributed to tendencies towards authoritarianism, lawlessness and bad governance. All those factors thereafter led to destruction of the country’s economy, culture, administrative more..

TN professor Jayanthasri Balakrishnan brings back Gandhiji to Jaffna

Oct 4 (ENS) Even as ethnic relations in North and South Sri Lanka were getting vitiated again due to a growing culture of intolerance fomented by certain politically ambitious groups both in the Tamil majority North and the Sinhalese majority South, a noted public speaker and academic from TN brought Gandhiji’s message of non-violence, tolerance and constructive social work to the people of Jaffna. On Gandhi Jayanti this year, more..

Left-arm lovable: The Rangana Herath story

Oct 4 (CM) It was perfect that Rangana Herath's parents bought the family their first television shortly before Aravinda de Silva's 1984 debut, because soon de Silva was Herath's favourite player. When Aravinda is smashing sixes and fours, Herath remembers, who doesn't want to watch? There was sometimes a crowd in the house. In the lush village of Waduwawa, on the southeastern tip of the Northwestern Province, more..

Electricity price hike in the offing?

Oct 4 (SL) With Rs. 200 billion additional costs on the Kerawalapitiya LNG Plant and Hambantota diesel plant, consumers will be forced to foot the bill in fututre, CEB engineers have warned. The CEBEU warned there was a possibility of a power price hike shortly especially due to the fact the country is sidelining coal, the cheapest source. Some quarters claiming that the recent move by the engineers is more..

Leftist parties too oppose amending Criminal Procedure Code

Oct 4 (Island) The leftist parties opposed the proposed amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code as it would violate rights of suspects. General Secretary of the Socialist Alliance Raja Collure said according to the proposed amendments a suspect could not retain a lawyer before giving a statement to the police. Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakse recently announced that the govt would go ahead with the proposed more..

President, PM give framework for Budget 2017

Oct 4 (DN) Budget 2017 will mainly be based on the President’s plan for poverty alleviation and the PM’s three-year economic development programme, highly placed Finance Ministry sources said. “This will be the main framework of the budget. Within the framework, Finance Minister will present budget proposals raise funds for the next financial year” a senior official at the Finance Ministry, who wished to remain anonymous, said. more..

'No Federal System through new Constitution'

Oct 4 (DN) Govt will not allow any Federal System to be created through the new constitution, Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. CM Vigneswaran asks for the solutions beyond the 13th Amendment which was promised by Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said. "We will not allow any Federal System be created through the new Constitution. Place that has been given to Buddhism will be preserved. more..

Navy recovers LTTE destroyed passenger ferry Valampuri

Oct 4 (SLN) On information received from a civilian diver, a fresh underwater search was carried out by the SLN divers yesterday and the wrecked passenger ferry Valampuri was located 8 nautical miles North of Point Pedro at a depth of 15 meters. Valampuri was destroyed by a suicide boat of LTTE on 23rd Feb 1998 off Point Pedro when she was returning from Trincomalee. 20 naval personal sacrificed their lives during the confrontation more..