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'President should form a new govt'

Aug 1 (DM) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara elaborates about the formation of a new govt. under the leadership of President Sirisena leaving aside those facing corruption allegations. Q: President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have said that he would consider a new govt sans corrupt members. What do you think is the way forward? A: Actually, President quit the previous rule as he could not stand corruption as uttered by him. more..

Drought takes its toll in several areas

Aug 1 (SL) The drought was having a serious impact on several parts of the country, with the North the most affected. Politicians and civil society said that drinking water was a major concern in the North with little or no supply. Northern Province MP Douglas Devananda said that proposals have been made to the govt to transport water by train from the South to the North to address the serious issue. He said that a shortage of drinking water more..

Wilpattu open only five hours a day

Aug 1 (Island) The Wilpattu National Park will be open only for five hours in the morning from today, according to the Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD). As the drought continues, the WCD has taken steps to limit the visitors to the park. The department in consultation with the Minister Gamini Jayawickerme Perera has decided to allow visitors to the Wilpattu National Park between 6.00 am to 11.00 am. more..

Video: CPC strike called off following talks with President

Aug 1 (AD) The islandwide indefinite strike scheduled by the CPC Trade Union members had been temporarily called off following a discussion with the President at the Presidential Secretary this morning. CPC TU Collective Convener D.J. Rajakaruna said President Sirisena had concurred with the CPC trade unions’ stance on the handing over of China Bay Oil Tanks Farm in Trinco to India and H'tota Port to China. more..

Solar-power revolution will be spread island-wide: Siyambalapitiya

Aug 1 (AD) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya stated that the daily power demand of the country would be fulfilled regardless of whatever obstacles are met along the way. He explained that at present, there was only 36% of water bodies available to generate hydropower to the entire country, and that as such, the expensive and environmentally-unfriendly coal and diesel were our next solutions. more..

UK welcomes return of lands by armed forces

Aug 1 (AD) British High Commissioner to SL, James Dauris, has commended SL armed forces on the land releases that have taken place, and said that further releases would continue to contribute to building confidence between communities.  “Handing land back has required some tough decisions, I know.  Making it work is harder than it sounds and requires clear sighted and determined leadership.” more..

Corruption charges: Did they check the toilets of cricketers?

Aug 1 (BBC) There are various accusations against SLC and players. One such charge is that some players and authorities have even joined in the sale of local and international matches. Zimbabwe team was suddenly breaking into the lanterns of the restroom at the premises of the ICC in a competition held at the Mahinda Rajapakse Int'l Stadium, Hambantota. According to Sunday Times, two of the senior players more..

Academics seek quick end to SAITM saga

Aug 1 (ST) With the Higher Education Ministry ordering the SAITM to halt student enrolment, senior academics are hopeful that the SAITM saga would end shortly and state medical students would get back to their lecture halls. In the light of the latest developments, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Uni of Kelaniya, Prof. Nilanthi de Silva who wanted a clear understanding of what views her right-hand academics, faculty board, more..

Judicial Independence

Aug 1 (CT) Pakistan is a struggling democracy in South Asia. It has been mired by military coups and terrorism almost since its independence in 1947. But despite these vicissitudes that tested its democracy to the hilt, the hallmark of that country was the independence of its Judiciary in its (Pakistan's) 70 years of independence, despite a plethora of accusations in respect of the integrity of at least one Chief Justice (CJ) in particular, during this period. Latest was the unanimous verdict more..

Preaching good governance from a penthouse

Aug 1 (FT) In his famous polemic on morality and its place in human society, Trotsky said that morality is relative to each society, to each epoch, and is above all, relative to the interests of the different social classes.  So, the morals of our PM & Min. Foreign Affairs are different from the morals of this writer. We made a terrible mistake on 8 Jan 2015. We replaced a tyrannical autocracy with a shameless clique that delights in moral hypocrisy. With Mahinda we only had to keep our mouths shut. more..

Bandula Jayasekara & Faraz Shaukatali

Ravi before Commission tomorrow

Aug 1 (Island) Minister Ravi Karunayake has been summoned to testify before the Presidential Commission tomorrow. The Commission Chairman Supreme Court Justice K. T. Chithrasiri had told Karunanayake’s Counsel Rienzie Arsecularatne PC to inform his client to appear before the Commission tomorrow at 10.a.m. Although Karunanayake had been summoned to appear before the Commission twice, he excused himself through his Counsel that he was unable to appear before Commission more..

Govt schools will close on August 4

Aug 1 (AD) Ministry of education declared that the second term for all Govt and semi-govt schools will end on Aug 4.  It was further stated that the third term will commence on 6 Sept. The ministry has further reported that the GCE A/L examinations are scheduled to commence on Aug 8, and the Grade 5 Scholarship exam are to be held on Aug 20. Further, no private supplementary tuition classes in relation to the 2017 GCE A/L exam are to be scheduled from midnight tomorrow. more..

Home affairs ministry wants public to fund PM’s 40 years in politics celebrations

Aug 1 (CT) In a clear violation of the basic tenets of good governance and demonstrating absolute confusion over state, govt and party, Ministry of Home Affairs has demanded all District Secretaries organize programmes for the commemoration of a political event, i.e the completion of 40 years of public service by Hon PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Relevant instructions have been issued in a letter marked Extremely Urgent and signed by more..

Neville Fernando Hospital commences to offer free health services

Aug 1 (DN) Dr. Neville Fernando’s Hospital which was taken over by the Govt commenced to offer free health services to the public, today. Around 100 patients have obtained medical treatment from the Out Patients' Department (OPD) within the first six hours, Health Ministry sources said. Health Ministry sources said that currently, there are 600 beds available in the hospital. The Cabinet has approved to allocate Rs. 200 million for the hospital’s requirements. more..

2 arrested over Kopai police assault

Aug 1 (NR) Two suspects have been arrested on charges of assaulting two policemen with sharp objects in Kopai, Jaffna. The suspects, Thivarasa Madushan alias Madu and Vijayaratnam Shivaraj are aged 20 and 23 years respectively. The suspects are residents of Nallur and Mannippai. The duo was arrested by police officers attached to the Jaffna and Kopai Police Stations. They will be produced before the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court today. Joining an observational tour yesterday, more..

Avant Garde Captain collapses in Court

Aug 1 (DN) Ukrainian captain of the Avant Garde ship collapsed in Supreme Court today morning just after a Fundamental Rights petition filed by him was fixed for another date. Ukrainian Gennadiy Gavrylov, the captain of MV Avant Garde was subsequently taken to a private hospital in an ambulance belonging to Superior Courts. SC had earlier granted leave to proceed with a fundamental rights petition filed by the Ukrainian captain more..

Vietnam, Sri Lanka to facilitate bilateral business activities

Aug 1 (VNA) Vietnam and SL will provide favourable conditions for their enterprises to seek business and investment opportunities, senior diplomats have said. Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Dinh Quy had a meeting in Hanoi on Aug 1 with SL’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake, who was on an official visit to Vietnam from July 31 to Aug 1. They noted with satisfaction the progress in relations between the two countries, as well as between the two foreign ministries, more..

CID seeks AG's advice on astrologer Vijitha Rohana Wijayamuni

Aug 1 (DN) CID conducting investigations against the Astrologer Vijitha Rohana Wijayamuni for allegedly exciting feelings of disaffection for President Sirisena, after making a prediction that President would die on a particular day in January this year, informed Court that they have sought the Attorney General’s advice regarding future legal action against the suspect. He is currently out on bail and further magisterial inquiry into the case fixed for Nov 28 by Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara. more..

Exports up in May, trade deficit widens

Aug 1 (EN) Exports rose for the third straight month in May 2017, helped by higher earnings from tea, but increased spending on imports widened the trade deficit to $886 million. Export earnings rose 7.8% to $841.2 million in May 2017 from a year ago with exports of tea up by 45.9% to $132 million owing to both higher prices and increased volumes. “Reflecting high tea prices in the int'l market, average export price of tea more..

Railway Engine Drivers call off strike

Aug 1 (NR) Railway Locomotive Engine Drivers Union says they have called off the strike planned from midnight today. Secretary to the Union Indika Dodangoda said the decision was arrived at based on a written promise obtained from the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation. He noted the Minister had informed the Union that steps have been taken to suspend investigations to detain Locomotive Engine Drivers. Dodangoda said based on the promises made by the Minister more..

Drought could reduce paddy production by 50%: PM

Aug 1 (DM) The ongoing drought could affect the whole country especially if the paddy production goes down by 50%, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. He made this statement at the unveiling of the pinnacle at the Sri Mamgalarama Temple in Galnewa last evening. "There is a drought prevailing in the country at the moment. It has not affected this area alone as it could create a negative effect on the whole of SL. It could make the paddy production go down by 50%. more..

Aloysius logged into Apple account within the last 48 hours: ASG

Aug 1 (DN) Arjun Aloysius of the Perpetual Treasuries has logged into his Apple account within last 48 hours using the password he claims to have forgotten, it was revealed at Treasury Bond Commission today. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Yasantha Kodagoda raised concerns of a possible attempt to destroy evidence in Aloysius’ Apple account. ASG Kodagoda pointed out the evidence sought by the PCoI should be more..

Bond probe exposes condo bubble

Aug 1 (EN) The ongoing Presidential commission of inquiry into controversial bond sales may have unwittingly exposed an even more deadly property market bubble that could explode and undermine SL's financial markets. The investigation uncovered how the then finance minister Ravi Karunanayake rented a fifth floor flat at the Monarch building in Col 3 and how his company eventually ended up buying it. Evidence before the commission suggested that the seller, Anika Wijesuriya, more..

Sri Lanka invites more Chinese investors

Aug 1 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Monday called on more Chinese investors to invest in the island country, saying that China had invested more than US$ 52 million in the country in 2016 alone. Speaking at the China-SL Infrastructure Investment Cooperation Forum in Colombo, Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said that in 2016, Sri Lanka received foreign direct investment (FDI) of US$ 801 million. He said mega Chinese projects such as the recently signed US$ 1.1 billion Hambantota Port agreement more..

Video: Protecting the unity govt or protecting corrupt Politicians?

Aug 1 (DM) We will continue to support Unity Govt and protect it till 2020 even if the SLFP decides to leave the alliance, the TPA led by Minister Mano Ganesan said. TPA Deputy Leader Palani Thigambaram said that though some parties were keen on breaking up the present coalition the TPA would defend it to the end. He said due to the financial liabilities left behind by the Rajapaksa regime, present govt had been more..

Gnanasara Thera Case: Prosecution concludes giving evidence

Aug 1 (DN) Court of Appeal (CA) hearing the contempt of court action filed against BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera  over his alleged offensive behavior inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court today concluded recording evidence from prosecution witnesses. When the matter came up for inquiry before CA, Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Preethi Surasena, Attorney-at-law Upul Kumarapperuma & registrar of Homagama MC gave evidence. more..

Video: Resign without waiting for no-faith motion: JO to Ravi

Aug 1 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake should resign without waiting for the No-Confidence Motion which would be brought against him for allegedly indulging the funds obtained from the CB Bond Scam, Joint Opposition said. JO MP Bandula Gunawardena said they were currently collecting documents as evidence to include in the No-Confidante motion. “A previous No-Confidence motion has already been included in the Parliament agenda against Minister for presenting false more..

Sale of Hambantota port was just the beginning: MR

Aug 1 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa claims that the manner in which the govt privatised the Hambantota port has shocked the nation and that parliament was not allowed to even debate the agreement to privatise one of Sri Lanka’s most important strategic assets.  “No one knows who did the valuation of this asset. No one appears to have seen any technical/financial evaluation report,” he said. more..

Army officers to look into those affected by drought

Aug 1 (PMD) President Sirisena has given instructions to the relevant officials to deploy Army officials at the Divisional Secretariat level to look into the welfare of the  people affected by drought. He has given these instructions during a special meeting held at Presidential Secretariat, today. President has summoned this meeting to review the progress and the current situation of the post disaster management activities implemented in the districts affected by the floods and landslides. more..

Queen’s Young Leader Award winners called on President

Aug 1 (PSL) Sri lankan youths, Rakitha Malewana and Senel Wanniarachchi who received an exceptional honour to win the Queen’s Young Leader Award and to collect their Awards from Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth, under the Queen’s Young Leaders programme called on President Maithripala Sirisena today. President commended the honour and glory brought to the motherland by winning this award and extended his best wishes for their future endeavors. more..

Lahiru Thirimanne returns for SSC Test

Aug 1 (CI) Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne has been recalled to the squad for the 2nd Test against India, 13 months after he last played for SL. Left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan has also been added, while seamer Suranga Lakmal has been ruled out by a back complaint. While Thirimanne is effectively a replacement for the injured Asela Gunaratne, Sandakan's inclusion is a sign SL are considering a stronger spin-bowling attack more..

Russian and US Ambassadors meet FM

Aug 1 (GDI) Ambassador of Russia Alexander A. Karchava and, Ambassador of the US, Atul Keshap met Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday at the Foreign Ministry. The Russian Ambassador said that the friendly ties between Russia and Sri Lanka have been strengthened. The ambassador also said that Russia continues to assist Sri Lanka in her future development activities. In response, Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that Sri Lanka always treats Russia as a friend and more..

Conspiracy to tarnish govt’s image: Rajitha

Aug 1 (Island) The manner in which the police had attempted to arrest medical student Ryan Jayalath outside Organisation of Professional Associations’ headquarters on July 20, smacked of a conspiracy to tarnish the govt’s image, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He emphasised that there was nothing illegal about the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) trying to apprehend Jayalath, who was wanted by Court in connection with a charge of trespassing and destroying public property more..

Relief pack of Rs. 5,000 for drought- affected

Aug 1 (DN) Cabinet today made the decision to provide people affected by the drought a relief pack with essential items worth Rs. 5,000 per month, for the next two months, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. Addressing the media at the end of the meeting with the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Cost of Living (CSCL) at the Ministry of Finance he said the beneficiaries would receive Rs 2,500 worth of good every two weeks. more..

Improving quality of legislation

Aug 2 (CT) I wrote last week about how we need to improve the quality of our representatives in Parliament. I concentrated there on ensuring individuals who are accountable to particular areas, and therefore need the planning capacity to work for those they represent. But I also noted their wider responsibilities, and that indeed was what the OPA was primarily concerned with, in organizing a seminar on Suggestions for improving the quality of our legislators. more..

Pakistan’s hour of glory; SL’s hour of shame

Aug 2 (CT) A five-member bench of supreme court judges in Pakistan, in a landmark decision, has disqualified Nawaz Sharif from the office of Prime Minister. Sharif’s disqualification is on grounds he lied of his assets during a corruption probe.  The court has referred Sharif and his Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, his former accountant, to the Corruption Court. Accusations against Sharif revolves around ownership of four apartments in Park Lane, a neighborhood of the wealthy, in London. more..

'Sri Lanka has strong potential to be an education exporter'

Aug 2 (CT) Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) of the Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK, Professor Mohamed Loutfi, during a recent visit to Sri Lanka, met a number of govt officials to discuss several important matters pertaining to education. The possibility of transforming Sri Lanka into an education hub was also discussed at these meetings, he said in an interview. Q: What exactly is an education hub? more..

Ward system: A step towards reducing corruption

Aug 2 (NS) Ward system based on the first-past-the-post (FPP) voting will certainly do some good towards cleansing Sri Lankan politics as it is now the time for the much maligned PR system to go out. If PR system cannot be completely discarded with, at least a mixed system could be a good starting point. There are strong signs that much postponed Local govt elections are to be held at last. Both President and PM have indicated that these elections could be held by December or January. more..

Trade Unions cannot grab mandate to govern

Aug 2 (NS) People who have been sick of student protests and GMOA strikes over SAITM issue were forced to witness another series of trade union excesses this week at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). The sudden stoppage of work by the petroleum workers caused immense hardships to people and was about to bring the whole economic machinery to a standstill when the security forces intervened under an essential services order and brought the situation under control. more..