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Govt to issue 1 million tuk tuk licenses

Sept 25 (DM) Govt is to issue more than a million licenses for three wheelers across the country in order to regulate the service, Deputy Minister Ashok Abesingha said. Licenses will be issued by the transport ministries of the relevant provincial councils. The provincial minister had already been consulted on the matter, he said. Abeysinghe stated that the number of three wheelers in the country has risen to over a million requiring regulation of the service. more..

Office of ethics & morality: For what purpose & whose benefit?

Sept 25 (CT) At best, the recent news item of a proposal by the PM to set up an office for Ethics and Morality to halt the erosion of ethics in our society, is reason for amusement. Why does our PM feel the common man needs the assistance of a special office to improve their ethics and morality? Is there any other group in this country requiring greater and more urgent assistance in improving their ethics and morality than our politicians starting with the 225 specimen in Parliament? more..

Govt serving the wealthy

Tamara asks Rs.500 million from Mangala

Sept 25 (LT) Former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland Tamara Kunanayakam has taken legal action against Minister Mangala Samaraweera stating his remarks humiliated her and claiming Rs.500 million from him. The case is scheduled to be heard in Colombo Magistrates Court on 2nd Nov. Ms. Kunanayakam has stated that Minister of Foreign Affairs had stated that she was a LTTE sympathizer. more..

Giving foremost place to buddhism

Sept 25 (CT) Cabinet of Ministers appointed a 19-member committee to obtain public opinion on constitutional reforms in 2015. It is known as the Wijenayake Committee as it was led by the leftist lawyer, Lal Wijenayake. The committee handed over its report to the govt in May 2016. It consists of a set of strange recommendations including the withdrawal of the foremost place given to Buddhism in the Constitution. Responding to public protests to the above recommendation, more..

Sri Lanka should rethink housing for urbanizing population

Sept 25 (LBO) Sustainable city development will need to entail alternative housing for urban poor as they are service providers for city dwellers, industrial hub and the ports while also looking at affordability for the middle income earner. “A paradigm shift is required. We need to rethink key areas of housing policy and be engaged and be guided by a set of common core principles,” Nayana Mawilmada, Western Region Megapolis more..

Pope names Special Envoy for conferences in Sri Lanka

Sept 25 (VR) Pope Francis has named Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, India, as his Special Envoy to the XI Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, taking place from 28 Nov – 4 Dec in Colombo. The theme for the Plenary Assembly is Joy of the Gospel and the Family in Asia in the Light of the Synod. The Plenary Assembly is the supreme body of the FABC, where all committees and officers are answerable to it. more..

Sir Richard Jolly to visit Sri Lanka

Sept 25 (SO) Sir Richard Jolly, former Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, and Special Adviser to the Administrator, UNDP (1996-2000), and Principal Coordinator of the widely-acclaimed Human Development Report will deliver a lecture on, Development: Can Sri Lanka be a model for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs)? on Sept 28 at 5 pm at the BMICH Committee Room D, on the invitation of the Gamani Corea Foundation. more..

Wide ball ends in death of bowler

Sept 25 (DM) A 15-year-old died today after being beaten by a 14-year-old during a cricket match they were playing in a field in Utumgama, Mathugama. Seven youths aged between 12 and 15 were playing cricket and a brawl between the batsman and the bowler arose following an argument on a wide ball. The 14-year-old, who assaulted the 15-year-old bowler with a wooden club has been arrested by Welipenna Police, more..

Vaccination will not be rushed through

Sept 25 (SO) The dengue vaccines currently on trial in Sri Lanka will not be introduced to the national immunization program, Director General Health Services, Dr. P.G. Mahipala said. “We have vaccines from three manufacturers which are being tested at present at the Epidemiology Unit. “All of them are going through an evaluation process. “They will not be released to the public until we are hundred percent certain there are no risks to those to whom they are administered,” more..

Sri Lankan Food Festival opens in Japan

Sept 25 (ITN) The 12th Sri Lanka Food Festival and Trade Fair in Japan opened at the Promnado Park in Tokyo North today. The event is being organized by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan on the instructions of Sri Lankan Ambassador Prof. Dhammika Ganganath Dissanayake. Our Special representative Udeshika Ravihari reporting from Japan said that the 12th Sri Lankan Food Festival opened at the Cromnado Park in Tokyo today. The Food Festival will continue until tomorrow. more..

Ezhuga Tamizh rally seen as jockeying for power in Tamil nationalistic politics

Sept 25 (ENS) The Ezhuga Tamizh rally and general strike which were organized in Northern Province on Saturday, represent a jockeying for power and position in Tamil nationalist politics rather than a genuine attempt to find a realistic and sustainable solution to the Tamil question, say independent observers of the North Sri Lankan political scene. Scholarly and far sighted observers like writer Selvarasa Karunagaran and more..

Fate of wild animals entering villages due to the drought

Sept 25 (ITN) Food as well as water are vital for human beings as well as animals. The drought deprives these two essentials for the human being and the animal. It is usual that animals frequent areas where people live when they are deprived for food and water in forests due to the drought. But it is unfortunate that animals who come in search of food and water for living lose their lives. As a result of the severe drought experienced in Polonnaruwa the arrival of wild elephants and other animals more..

Kfir jet bomb found in Killinochchi

Sept 25 (DM) An unexploded bomb believed to be fired from a fighter jet during the war time has been found yesterday in Kilinochchi, police said. The bomb weighing around 300 kgs was found from a forest in Dharmapuram area following a tip-off received by the Dharmapuram police, an official said. The bomb has been defused with the assistant from the Special Task Force. The Dharmapuram police are conducting further investigations.    more..

Govt not afraid of uprising in North: Ruwan

Sept 25 (DM) State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said that the govt will not agree to remove Army camps in the Northern Province even though some people were holding demonstrations demanding to do so. While commenting on the Eluga Tamil (Let Tamils Rise!) demonstrations organized by the Tamil People’s Council (TPC) led by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, Defence State Minister said more..

Mahindananda’s son arrested for drunk driving

Sept 25 (CG) The son of former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was arrested today for drunk driving. He was arrested by the Kirulapone police last evening and later was released on police bail. Kanishka Aluthgamage has been ordered to appear at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court tomorrow. Last week Ramith Rambukwella, son of former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, was also arrested over a road accident. Rambukwella was arrested over an accident which more..

No request made by Rathana thera to leave party positions: JHU

Sept 25 (AM) Athuraliye Rathana Thera has not made any request to leave the positions he holds in the party, the JHU said. JHU Spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe made this revelation to the media. Rathana Thera was not present at the party national convention held yesterday. Meanwhile, Omalpe Sobitha Thera announced that he will relinquish his position as the leader of the party. Some see this as a consolidation of Minister Champika Ranawaka's position within the party. more..

Death by drowning: SL has more than 3 a day

Sept 25 (ST) Sri Lanka has one of the highest drowning rates in the world, with more than three deaths a day. It is estimated that 500,000 people drown each year globally, and 1.3 million people sustain injuries as a result of near-drowning experiences. Last year alone, 1,250 people died from drowning. Swimming or bathing under the influence of liquor has been one of the main causes leading to drowning, more..

HIV patients absconding

Sept 25 (CT) Only a very limited number of patients of the total of 2,436 who tested positive since 1985 for the HIV come for treatment, Director of STD/AIDS Control Programme of Ministry of Health Dr. Sisira Liyanage said. Official records show that 400 of the cases had died according to known statistics. Ministry of Health had begun free treatment for HIV infected patients. "Before 2016, Global Fund provided the medicines but the govt now provides the medicine free of charge." more..

Boy loses leg after fall from train

Sept 25 (ST) A schoolboy had to undergo amputation below the knee following a train accident. The boy, on his way to a tuition class, was travelling on the footboard when he fell off the train at Dematagoda. His leg hit an iron post on the side of the track at Mount Mary in Dematagoda. The student, Ashen Dilhara, 17, had gained admission to Ananda college, Colombo, from Gurukula Vidyalaya Kelaniya to follow A/L classes. Accident occurred on his first day at the new school. more..

Sri Lanka to host Under-19 Asia Cup in Dec

Sept 25 (CI) Sri Lanka will host the Under-19 Asia Cup between Dec 8 and 22, Sri Lanka Cricket has announced. After a meeting of the SLC's executive committee on Sept 24, Mahinda Rajapaksa Int'l Cricket Stadium in Hambantota, Galle Int'l Cricket Stadium and Matara Uyanwatte Stadium were approved as venues for the tournament. The tournament itinerary and other details will be decided in due course. more..

Australia complete 4-0 series whitewash

Sept 25 (CI) Opener Nicole Bolton's second ODI century set up Australia Women's 4-0 sweep of Sri Lanka Women in Colombo on Sunday. Bolton hit 113 off 146 balls, and added 140 runs with Ellyse Perry, who struck a run-a-ball 77, for the third wicket to form the bulwark of Australia's 268 for 3 after electing to bat at the Khettarama Stadium. Bolton had stitched together partnerships of 48 and 72 with Elyse Vilani and captain Meg Lanning respectively. Vilani chipped in with 22 off 31, more..

Yoga in Sri Lanka: From here to serenity

Sept 25 (TG) Stop! You can’t go any further! We were on our way to a small temple overlooking the lake at Ulpotha when Suzi, the manager, came rushing up, looking flustered. The elephants are closer now. It’s not safe. It was April, harvest time, and the smell of freshly threshed rice stored in giant clay pots was like catnip to the wild elephant population. A group of them had roamed into the expansive grounds of Ulpotha village, giving Suzi the jitters and sending a wave of more..

COPE calls for AG’s report

Sept 25 (CT) COPE has asked AG's Department to carry out an investigation into the controversial digitization project of People's Bank at ministerial level and submit a report within a fortnight. COPE had not been convinced with the replies given by the Directors of People's Bank when they were summoned to COPE regarding the incident. Board had stated they had not spent any money on the process to date. more..

Nick Lee appointed Sri Lanka's trainer

Sept 25 (CI) Nick Lee, the 32-year-old former right-hand batsman from Kent, has been appointed Sri Lanka's trainer, the SLC announced on Sunday. Lee will replace Michael Main, the former Hampshire strength and conditioning coach, who was initially appointed for a two-year term in May last year but quit from his post at the end of the home series against Australia. Lee will assume his role from October. Lee was part of the minor county side Suffolk, and was a presence in more..

Govt can amend existing Constitution: MR

Sept 25 (AD) There is no need to draft a new Constitution, Govt can amend the existing one instead, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says. The observation was made while speaking at an event held in Udadumbara. “I’m of the view that a new Constitution should not be drafted, instead they can add new clauses,” he added. He also went on to say the people should be aware of certain terms that have reportedly been proposed to include which would lead to improper results. more..

Dengue Control Week

Sept 25 (SO) To avert a possible dengue outbreak in the next three months, when the number of mosquito breeding sites are likely to surge with the monsoon rains, Dengue Control Unit of the Health Ministry will launch an island-wide Dengue Control Week starting on Tuesday, Sept 27 to Monday, Oct 3. If the usual weather patterns prevail, the number of breeding sites for the dengue carrying Aedes Aegypti mosquito would soar, more..

Amendment that defeats its entire purpose

Sept 26 (ST) It is unfortunate that a Bill purporting to amend Sri Lanka’s Code of Criminal Procedure Act made public this week takes away existing rights to suspects detained by the police through constitutional precedents. This is in relation to a suspect’s right to consult a lawyer of his or her choice at the earliest point after arrest. The amendment purports to give that right only after a suspect has been interrogated by the police and statements recorded. more..

This is not a performance!

Sept 26 (CT) Pala Pothupitiye is known for experiments with materials and ideas in his artworks. Over a decade, he has created a range of works in sculptors, paintings, handicrafts, costumes, and performances winning critical acclaims almost in every part of the world. His works have featured in reputed exhibitions in Sri Lanka, Japan, India, Hong Cong, Sweden, Austria, and London. His map-series was a source for inspiration to reimagine South Asia for scholars at South Asian University, more..

Imminent energy shortage: PUCSL challenges CEB for solution

Sept 26 (SO) Energy supply sector regulator, the Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL), revealed that a deepening power crisis in the country was being exacerbated by sluggish reforms and a lethargic CEB. Damitha Kumarasinghe Director General at PUCSL is warning that even with the many planned power production plant additions, SL would yet have energy and capacity shortages in the years 2018, 2019 and beyond. more..

Ezhuka Thamil: A skewed vision of self-determination

Sept 26 (CT) When I was doing field research recently in Musali South, a Muslim majority DS division in Mannar district in the Northern Province, an elderly Muslim man posed to me a couple of questions that indicated to me why one should be wary of Tamil nationalist politics even if it represents the aspirations of an oppressed community: “The govt of Sri Lanka has banned us from using the forest resources in our village from which we have been benefitted over a long period of time. more..

Patients losing their patience- and people too

Sept 26 (ST) So much is being said in Sri Lanka these days about our medicine men, of their practice and practices, their haps and mishaps that the news has been carried by wind and wave, not to mention technology, to this part of the world too. It does remind one of a recent report in the local media of Asian hornets that are said to have invaded this pulsating heart of the old empire and are decimating the local bees that even Brexit might have to take a back seat until Scotland Yard more..

Healing the festering Cricket wound

Sept 26 (ST) Where are we headed? How are we going to bridge the gap between the International call and the prevailing domestic structure? These are some of the perennial topics besetting local cricket for the past decade or more, and no one seems to be bothered. Once, at a cricket presentation, it was revealed that, in general, in the local domestic season, a fast bowler is under-bowled. more..

The Road to Nandikadal and the struggle for the military history of the Ealam war

Sept 26 (GV) Sri Lanka’s separatist war was one of the longest insurgencies of modern times. It was also one of the most destructive insurgencies in the region, causing the deaths of tens of thousands of combatants and countless civilians and destroying property worth billions of rupees. A war of such duration and impact should have been a goldmine to military historians and researchers, yielding countless papers, scholarly articles and monographs. more..

Countering sexual harassment in the work place: Interview with Mihiri de Silva

Sept 26 (GV) A version of this article first appeared on the blog Cloud9onearth. We are publishing an edited version which preserves the victim’s own testimony, as sexual harassment in the workplace is an important issue which is often underreported. A 2014 report by the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs noted “sexual harassment in the workplace is… insidious and brings into play unequal patriarchal power relations that are not dealt with in any seriousness either in the public sector more..

Trading, Sacrifice and ETCA

Taxation, private consumption and social inequality

Sept 26 (DN) Taxation is a key public policy instrument that modern democratic states use to reduce social inequality and ensure equality of opportunity in diverse spheres such as food consumption, education, health and social protection. Though conventional Marxist analysis expected a steady increase in economic and social inequality under capitalism, social and political reforms in many capitalist societies in Europe and elsewhere under social democratic regimes more..

Legacy larger than life

Sept 26 (DN) Bandaranaike Samadhi Foundation has planned to organise the annual commemoration of Prime Ministers, SWRD Bandaranauike, Sirimavo Bandaranaike and the Speaker Anura Bandaranaike. The ceremony has been designed to be held on September 26, at the Bandaranaike Samadhi, in Nittambuwa, at 8.30 a.m. The present writer intends to devote current text in tribute of a family, the majority members of which won the hearts of the people of Sri Lanka, more..

'Govt trembling at mention of new party'

Sept 26 (DN) The govt gets cold feet and starts trembling whenever the Joint Opposition (JO) speaks about forming a new political force, MP Prasanna Ranatunga said. “The new political force will be definitely formed to send this govt home notwithstanding the oppressive tactics  adopted by the govt,” he said. Ranatunga was addressing a press conference to explain his position on investigations made against him more..

Benchmarks for Budget 2017

Sept 26 (FT) Great expectations await Budget 2017 with IMF recommending a stronger shift to direct taxes as well as greater transparency of revenue collection and expenditure to create the core of the Govt’s main policy document to be tabled in Parliament on 10 November. Head of the IMF staff team Jaewoo Lee told reporters, that the Budget should reduce the current emphasis on indirect taxes that makes up about 84% of the total tax levied in Sri Lanka. more..