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Potential risks & negative implications of the proposed Foreign Exchange Bill

Apr 24 (CT) From the Perspectives of the Govt, the following are the Key Components of a Check List for Assessment and Validation Prior to Enactment of the Bill; Does the Bill in its present form, post enactment; Advance the Delivery of Election Promises of the Govt? ie. Promote the delivery of sustainable and inclusive macro economic growth and monetary stability, attracting new foreign and local investments, creating new job opportunities, encourage technology transfers more..

පොලීසියට නඩු දැම්මො ත් දිනන්නෙ ජනතාව.....?

Cardinal warns govt trying to commit political suicide

Apr 24 (Island) Bishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has said it will be counterproductive for a govt to use police and military personnel to force the public to allow the dumping of garbage in their environs, he said. Cardinal said: "The govt once tried to dump garbage in Ja-Ela. That was prevented due to public protests. We, too, took part in those protests. Now, the govt tries to dump garbage at various places. People have taken to the roads protesting against the govt’s move. more..

Need for a new Constitution

Apr 24 (CT) LSSP Leader Tissa Vitharana has emphasized the need of going for a new Constitution with the abolition of the Executive Presidency. Being a reputed academic and always having sensible views acceptable to the right thinking citizens of the country, veteran Leftist politician making a brief press comment despite being a member of the Joint Opposition (JO) has pointed out the necessity of bringing out a new Constitution with the abolition of the Executive Presidency. more..

Jumbo killing Wildlife disaster

Apr 24 (CT) All eyes were on the rescue operation by wildlife officers when two baby elephants and two female elephants fell into a farm well at Kombuwaiththakulam in Omanthai, Vavuniya recently. But a happy ending turned into an unexpected tragedy when a wildlife officer shot one of the female elephants point blank in the head. While villagers watched in horror the helpless animal fell to the ground while bleeding from more..

Lingerie to lift spirits of motorists low on gas

Apr 24 (EN) A SL lingerie shop Monday stepped into help prospective buyers with a promise of door-to-door deliveries to beat the shortage of fuel and the frustrating wait at filling stations. Long queues were seen outside depots to buy gasoline and lubricants from Sunday night as word spread that a petroleum trade union was staging a work stoppage from midnight. sprang into action with an email campaign. It showed a  woman dressed in lingerie at a pumping station with more..

A 1,500 -year-old wall unearthed in A'pura

Apr 24 (Island) Archaeologists of the Central Cultural Fund’s Maha Vihara and Abhayagiri project have unearthed a section of an ancient wall which could be older than 1,500 years, from an excavation near the Eastern Gateway of the Ruwanweli Chetiya in Anuradhapura. The section of the wall was made of a mixture of ant-hill red clay, lime and brick powder, archaeologists said. Decorated with a light blue paint, the wall was lying about one metre below the surface. more..

CPC Trade Union Collective to strike indefinitely?

Apr 24 (NR) Trade Union Collective of the CPC says it will carry on striking indefinitely if the President does not provide a suitable solution to their issues. Media Spokesman for the collective Bandula Saman Kumara said the discussion with Subject Minister Chandima Weerakkody held this afternoon was temporarily halted. He said the union will take its future decisions based on the solutions provided by President Sirisena. more..

Govt won’t amend laws according to EU requests: Rajitha

Apr 24 (NR) Minister Rajitha Senaratne says the govt will not amend laws according to the whims and fancies of the European Union. The Minister said Sri Lanka’s culture opposed to that of the West is drastically different. European Union has submitted a proposal based on several factors stating Sri Lanka cannot be granted the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus or GSP+ tax concession. Accordingly the relevant debate and voting process will be conducted on Thursday. more..

Court orders police to file charges against Weerawansa and six NFF activists

Apr 24 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate ordered Cinnamon Garden police today to file charge sheets against NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa and six other party activists for allegedly steering a protest which blocked the main roads at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, causing disturbance to pedestrians and the normal flow of traffic.   On Feb 6, last year, the NFF staged a protest march against the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein. more..

Pro-SAITM Ads: GMOA to complain to FCID against Rajitha, Kiriella

Apr 24 (DM) The GMOA said today it would complain to the FCID on the use of state funds by Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne to publish advertisements on SAITM. GMOA Secretary Navin de Zoysa said the two ministers were publishing advertisements favourable to SAITM which was a private institution. He said it was unethical for the ministers to protect more..

Cultivation Fund: Rs 5.5 B goes missing

Apr 24 (CT) A sum of Rs 5,500 million from the cultivation fund, deposited in the fixed deposit on behalf of cultivators who face losses, has disappeared, Samastha Lanka Farmers' Federation (SLFF) alleged. According to national organizer of the Federation Namal Karunaratne, this fund comes within the purview of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Fund was launched in 2013 and was the outcome of the struggle staged by the SLFF as a result of losses caused to cultivation in 2012, he pointed out. more..

Brandix is SL's most valuable export brand

Apr 24 (F2F) Brandix, rated SL’s top exporter across all sectors, has emerged as the country’s most valuable export brand for the third consecutive year, according to the 2017 Brand Finance rankings of the country’s leading brands. Brandix leads a group of highly respected export brands in apparel, IT, tea, manufacturing, processed foods, services and printing. According to Brand Finance, the attributes taken into account for the rankings included a brand’s corporate vision, more..

Video: Hold referendum on Trinco Port: PHU

Apr 24 (DM) PHU urged the govt to hold a referendum and seek the people’s consent before signing any agreement to handover the Trincomalee Harbour to India. It said the handing over of the harbour to India, which is aspiring to become another superpower, was similar to getting the fox to guard the henhouse. “India is our traditional enemy. Mahavamsa says how India invaded SL and how SL fought for freedom more..

'More funds allocated for Malaria prevention'

Apr 24 (DN) Even though Sri Lanka was certified as a Malaria free country by the World Health Organization (WHO) in September last year, the Government has allocated Rs. 30 million this year in order to prevent Malaria from affecting the country again, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that usually the govt allocates Rs. 10 million for malaria control every year. But the Govt has allocated over Rs 83 million for malaria as recurrent expenditure. more..

Petroleum trade union says strike will boost economy

Apr 24 (EN) A trade union at Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on Sunday announced a strike and declared that their action will actually boost Sri Lanka's economy through the savings of money spent to import fuel. The convenor of the previously unknown Coalition of Petroleum Trade Unions, D.J. Rajakaruna said their work stoppage on Monday will be a blessing for the country's economy. "Each day, people in Sri Lanka burn about 1,400 million rupees of fuel. more..

Waste management duties forced onto my Ministry: Champika

Apr 24 (NR) Minister Champika Ranawaka says all obligations of the issue surrounding waste management has been forced onto his Ministry, as the parties responsible for the issue have chosen to refrain from being involved. He said waste management is not part of the responsibilities of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, claiming that it is under the purview of PSs, UCs and PCs. more..

Beggars, stray cattle and dogs will be removed from Colombo: Champika

Apr 24 (DM) Beggars, stray cattle and stray dogs will be evacuated from Colombo within the next three months to facilitate the development of the Colombo City, Minister Champika Ranawaka said yesterday. He said this at an event held in Kandy to educate journalists on the programme to develop Kandy City. Minister said in Colombo there were about 600 genuine beggars with some 3,000 beggars who engage in begging as an occupation. “Full time beggars will be removed this year while more..

Hordes of officials gone abroad to manage garbage

Apr 24 (LT) More than 150 officials from 4 state institutions have gone abroad from time to time to study garbage management but nothing useful for the garbage removal has been gained from such foreign tours say reports. Officials including officials from Solid Waste Management Authority, Central Environmental Authority, Urban Development Authority and officials of Western Provincial Council have toured Germany, UK, Ireland, South Korea etc. to study solid waste management. more..

Route permits scam on Expressway

Apr 24 (CT) The govt incurs a loss of Rs 700 million annually due to the improper methods of issuing route permits to operate buses on Southern Expressway. LPBOA president Gemunu Wijeratne said, most of the route permits, to operate buses on the Southern Expressway, were issued violating proper tender procedures to political henchmen and the fee charged per route permit was way below the stipulated sum. more..

Sri Lanka's IOC unit keeps economy oiled

Apr 24 (EN) Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corporation is maintaining deliveries to its network of fuel stations, a top official said as pumps ran dry in distributors of state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation amid a strike. Lanka IOC owns operates about a third of the retail fuel market in the country, after a monopoly of the CPC was broken in a privatization drive, vastly improving the quality of fuel and fuel stations. A common user facility Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals, more..

PM & CPC Trade Union Collective holds urgent meeting

Apr 24 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe called an urgent meeting with the Ceylon Petroleum Trade Union Collective a short while ago over a strike launched by CPC employees. The meeting is currently underway at Temple Trees. Media Spokesman for the collective said the collective hopes to express its concerns before the PM during the meeting. The Collective demanded that the govt refrain from handing over Chinese oil tankers to the Indian Oil Cooperation and also demanded more..

Dengue control: Legal action against principals

Apr 24 (DN) Health Ministry will take legal action against principals who breed dengue mosquitoes in their schools, Ministry sources said. They will be given one month to clean up and legal action will be taken against those who do not follow the rule. Permits of all construction sites with dengue mosquitoes will be cancelled for a period of one month. Health Minister had instructed to destroy all abandoned boats kept at fisheries harbours. more..

Must not wait until problem comes crashing down again

Apr 25 (CT) The tragedy at Meethotamulla, in the outskirts of Colombo, where a massive garbage dump came crashing down on people living on its perimeter, has generated an outpouring of support for the victims and frustration about the failure of successive govts to deal with the problem. About 40 persons are confirmed dead and several more remain unaccounted for giving rise to speculation that the actual death toll may be even higher. Unfortunately, this was a tragedy that could be seen to be coming. more..

Annihilation of caste is now available for the Sinhala readers

Apr 25 (CT) A Sinhala Translation of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s book Annihilation of Caste is now available in Sinhala translation entitled Kulaya Mulin Uputa Demeema The book has been translated into an easy, readable language by Osadhi Gunasekera and published by the Asian Human Rights Commission. The book is now available in bookshops in Sri Lanka. Annihilation of Caste is one of the finest political works produced in Indian political literature. more..

Trash mountain vs humans: Survival of the fittest

Apr 25 (SO) The tragedy on New Year’s day at Meetotamulla made us understand the gravity of Colombo’s human-garbage conflict. Like a monster in prey, the giant mound of garbage collapsed when the whole country was in a festive mood, and the families gathered in their homes to celebrate. The families in the foot of the trash dump too gathered home to celebrate one of the country’s prominent calendar events – Sinhala and Tamil New Year. more..

Sri Lanka’s massive foreign debt generates a debt trap

Apr 25 (ST) Sri Lanka’s foreign debt has reached proportions when its servicing is a serious problem. It has to borrow to service the massive foreign debt of around US$47 billion that has accumulated mostly over the last decade. Undoubtedly the country is in a foreign debt trap as the govt must borrow to meet annual debt repayments and interest obligations. The debt servicing cost (interest payments and debt repayment) that was US$1.8 billion in 2015 increased to US$2.4 billion last year. more..

May does a Mahinda but without astrology

Apr 25 (ST) So it is May’s day. PM Theresa May who pledged that she will run her course as Prime Minister and dismissed the idea of an early election did a rather sudden u-turn. Those who remember the Margaret Thatcher era would recall her October 1980 conference speech when she told those waiting with bated breath for a Thatcher u-turn You turn if you want to. The Lady’s not for turning. She was punning on the title of the Christopher Fry play The Lady’s Not for Burning. more..

'Garbage crisis has reached epic proportions'

Apr 25 (CT) Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that new legislation would be formulated to solve the garbage issues which left 32 people dead in last week's tragedy at Meethotamulla. He said all stakeholders, govt, private sector and the public should take equal responsibility for this much vexed problem which he said had reached epic proportions. He also said that Colombo city produces 900 tonnes of garbage per day and the entire Western Province 2000 tonnes. more..

Memoirs of a Christian and a Socialist

Apr 25 (GV) This fascinating autobiography of Vijaya Vidyasagara edited by Skantha Kumar and Marshal Fernando and published by the Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue is excellent reading. Priced at Rs. 500/- and covering 300 pages this book is a very good buy for any reader interested in SL society and politics. Having known Vijaya and associated with him and the Christian Workers Fellowship (CWF) for over half a century, I found the book difficult to put down. more..

Govt on a new mission for the missing

Apr 25 (NS) President Sirisena during a recent interaction with the editors and heads of media institutions said that a special programme would be implemented to probe into the disappearances in the North. President’s remarks come in the wake of continuous protests in Kilinochchi and Vavuniya where mothers and wives of the disappeared have protested for over a month. While the President’s observations and remarks could be welcomed, the question which arises from his statements more..

President's Film Awards

CPC employees’ struggle is totally justifiable

Apr 25 (LT) The JVP totally supports the trade union action launched by the employees of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and states it is a struggle carried out to get solutions for their just demands states the Political Bureau of the JVP in a press release. The employees of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation have launched a trade union action against the decision of the government to hand over, to IOC of India, several oil tanks at Trincomalee which is a valuable resource owned by more..

Doctors’ strikes an epidemic no less

Apr 25 (NS) Doctors’ strikes of late have become a part of normal existence in Sri Lanka. Indeed industrial action by the powerful GMOA could be justifiably described as an epidemic, in the midst of a dangerously raging flu epidemic. For quite some time now the state medical fraternity has been downing its scalpels, scrubs and stethoscopes for several unfair demands. Late last year for instance the GMOA demanded duty-free vehicle permits for senior state officers more..

John and Rose clash over ATDA

Apr 25 (CT) UNP Chief Organizer for the Katana electorate, Rose Fernando resigned from her post in the party charging that Minister John Amaratunga was corrupt and that she couldn't carry out her duties under such circumstances. Western Provincial Councillor explained that she had struggled to rid the Airport Tourist Drivers' Association (ATDA) of corruption that had taken place during the Rajapaksa regime only to find the same issue with present administration. more..

Editorial: A rudderless bark

Apr 25 (Island) The country has been moving from crisis to crisis like a rudderless bark with govt leaders being all at sea. People have had to contend with a double whammy. Close on the heels of the Meethotamulla garbage disaster, which snuffed out 32 lives and caused rubbish to pile up in Colombo, came a Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) strike. There were long queues at fuel refilling stations all over the country. The warring oil unions warned that if their trade union action more..

The succession stakes and opposition strategy

Apr 25 (Island) The victory in Round One of the French elections and his highly probable election as the new President of France on May 7th, of Emmanuel Macron, the young outsider with a neo-Centrist or Alt-Centrist stance, underscores that the global trend goes against conventional, traditional, established Govts and Oppositions, and favors unorthodox, out of the box, alternative personalities, outside the established party structures and system, with new political fusions/mixes, more..

Involvement of Minister is to exercise powers answerable to Parliament in forex: AG

Apr 24 (FT) The Attorney General yesterday presented to Supreme Court that the proposed Foreign Exchange Bill for liberalisation was a matter between the Govt and the Central Bank wherein the Government was the principal and the Monetary Board functions as agent whereas the involvement of the Finance Minister is to exercise some powers accountable to Parliament. Four petitions challenging the Bill titled Foreign Exchange, 2017 were taken up more..

Cab of Range Bandara’s son injures family of four

Apr 25 (DM) Four members of a family were rushed to the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital after the motor cycle they were traveling in collided with the cab allegedly owned by the son of State Minister Palitha Range Bandara in Anamaduwa this evening, Police said. They said the Minister’s son and a few others were in the cab at the time of the accident. The accident occurred on the Inginimitiya-Palugolla road near the first kilometre post at Maha Usa Wewa in Anamaduwa. more..

Reduce price of special arrack: Labour minister

Apr 25 (DM) Labour Minister W.D. J. Seneviratne today proposed a price reduction on a bottle of special arrack despite a decrease in govt revenue by way of taxes. He said this at Ratnapura District Coordinating Committee meeting which was held today. This proposal was supported by Ratanapura District UNP MP A. A. Wijetunga and UNP Provincial Councillor Siripala Kiriella. Minister said a large number of people engaged in manual labour consume this brand of arrack. more..