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No new Constitution without blessings of Sangha: Prez

July 7 (Island) President Sirisena assured Maha Sangha of the three Nikayas in Kandy on Thursday that there no draft constitution. If a new Constitution was to be drafted it would be done only in consultation with the Maha Sanga and other stakeholders, President told a group of Nayake Theras at the Kandy President’s House. The outcome of the discussion between the Sangha and the President was disclosed to the media by more..

Stent prices, heart patient medicine reduced by Rs 250,000

July 7 (DN) The govt will issue the gazette notification to reduce prices of stents for heart patients by Rs.200,000 and their medicine by Rs.50,000 next week, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said in Parliament. He said that as pledged by the good governance govt at the election, the high quality stents selected by the consultants are provided free to patients who undergo surgeries at govt hospitals. Rs. 640 million was spent in 2016 to provide free stents more..

'Health Ministry of hiding real dengue stats'

July 7 (DN) Health Ministry is hiding the real statistics of dengue. It says 80,000 dengue patients and 227 deaths had been reported from countrywide, but some other statistics say that the total number of dengue patients reported so far is over 86,000 with over 300 deaths. GMOA requested an appointment from the President for a discussion, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. At present 32 out every 10,000 dengue patients die. Dengue has become a real killer in Sri Lanka. more..

President asks UNP to deliver or depart

July 7 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena has virtually declared a three-month deadline for his coalition govt to prosecute those responsible for high profile murders and corruption or risk losing its hold on power. Sirisena told the cabinet meeting on Tuesday that he was extremely uneasy about alleged backroom dealings between two members of the UNP-led govt and key figures of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration. more..

Garbage: Together, let’s turn the crisis into a blessing

July 7 (DM) he garbage disaster, which exploded at Meethotamulla on the National New Year’s Day, is still contaminated with much controversy and criticism but the govt says it has a long-term plan to recycle polythene or organic waste.   On Wednesday, the crisis took a new turn with the Supreme Court issuing an order restraining the Colombo Municipality from dumping garbage at Muthurajawela. The order, valid till July 20, was based on a fundamental rights petition more..

War Within: Ceasefire breached

July 7 (DM) Tussle between the two factions within the TNA/ITAK is nothing but a crude power struggle. It has got nothing to do with the interests of the Tamil people, though both parties try to portray it to be. Despite Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran having been saved from being unseated by a no-faith motion by the members of his Provincial Council, through a ceasefire between the two factions of his party, the ITAK, the war between them is still continuing. more..

CEB is geared to build new coal power plants

July 7 (SL) Coal has become the talk of the town  as SL’s electricity utility provider. The CEB has proposed to build three coal power plants units producing more than 2600 MW of electricity in the 20 years from the year 2018. Public and environmentalists are opposed to coal while the govt is also having serious second thoughts. Govt has endorsed renewable energy even though its own electricity utility has selected a different path. more..

Exports up in April, trade gap widens

July 7 (EN) Sri Lanka’s earnings from exports rose 11.9% to US$ 795 million in April 2017 mainly driven by a low base effect the year before. Expenditure on imports increased by 9.8% to US$ 1,604 million in April 2017 fro the year before. Trade deficit expanded to US$ 809 million in April 2017 from US$ 751 million in April 2016. Cumulative trade deficit increased substantially during the first four months of 2017 to US$ 3,314 million from more..

Constitutional reforms: Explanation sought from govt as Hussein reconfirms Geneva role

July 7 (Island) Former Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera yesterday said that the UNP-SLFP coalition owed a speedy explanation to the country as regards the inclusion of constitutional reforms process in controversial Geneva Resolution 30/1 adopted in Oct 2015, unanimously by the Geneva based UNHRC. The resolution dealt with promotion of reconciliation, accountability and human rights. more..

Govt hobbling along on providing access for less-abled

July 7 (ST) For Ranjith Wijesinghe, every day is a challenge. He is visually impaired by birth and depends on public transport to go anywhere from his home in the suburbs of the city, Maharagama. Now retired from teaching, he said he had not experienced any significant improvement in access for people with disabilities, although many laws and regulations have been passed. “Every day I have to ask someone’s assistance to get into the bus. more..

Parliament Mafia: House approval sought for Rs. 148 mn more to buy vehicles, repairs

July 7 (DM) Govt today sought Parliamentary approval for a supplementary estimate to cover Rs. 148.8 million for purchase of vehicles for a Minister, Deputy Minister, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Law and Order Ministry and a Provincial Governor. Among them, Rs. 43 million is for the purchase of a vehicle for Minister M.H.A. Haleem and another Rs.43 million for Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayarathna. more..

Video: Everyone including President talking about the Police: IGP

July 7 (DM) Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara has said that not only President Sirisena but everyone else was talking about the Police. He said this while responding to several questions asked by journalists during a news conference. The conversation was follows: Journalist: President has discussed about the Police at a Cabinet meeting saying the Police is ineffective. IGP: President can say anything. more..

Sri Lanka to develop 300 acres in Mannar for beach resorts

July 7 (EN) The Ministry of Tourism Development said it has identified Mannar as a hub for tourism in Sri Lanka’s north-western coastal region, with a beachfront area of around 300 acres to be developed as a resort area. Already over Rs. 40 million has been spent on making the beach areas tourist friendly and many other projects are being planned in order to make the district the main hub for tourism in the region, statement said. more..

GMOA fully backs dengue control programme

July 7 (Island) The GMOA extended its fullest support for the dengue control programme in the country. In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena signed by the Union’s President and Secretary Dr. Anurudddha Padeniya and Dr. Haritha Aluthge,GMOA pledged to assist the govt in its bid to control dengue. The letter also includes scientific proposals on the matter which had been submitted by the GMOA’s Dengue Working Committee. more..

Video: I don’t interfere with law enforcement: Sagala

July 7 (DM) Law enforcement authorities had been delegated full authority to act independently without any political interference, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake said. “I have delegated full authority to law enforcement authorities independently. I do not interfere,” he said. Responding a question he said he had dutifully done his part as the Minister of Law and Order. He said there was nothing for him to hide more..

Video: Presidency is used to shut down FCID: VAC

July 7 (DM) The Executive Presidency was used to put an end to the FCID and the CIABOC, Convener of the Voice against Corruption Movement (VAC) Wasantha Samarasinghe said. Addressing a news briefing, he pointed out that both the PM and the President were jointly attempting to put a stop to investigations carried out by the two agencies by weakening the FCID and the Bribery Commission. more..

ETCA: Ask for $ 800M Advantage

July 7 (CT) Sri Lanka's marine fishing catch in 2015 amounted to 452,890 metric tonnes (mt), Fisheries Ministry data showed. Marine fisheries comprised 1.8% of total export earnings in 2015, it said. According to Central Bank, the island's total exports in 2015 amounted to US$ 10,546 million. Therefore, 1.8% of that value is equivalent to $ 189.83 million of fishery exports. Data further said that Sri Lanka's marine fish catch in 2015 was equivalent to 1.3% of GDP. more..

Out of SAITM, out of mind…

July 7 (FT) Maybe the last thing we need is another pseudo-diagnostic comment on the vexed issue of private medical education. For no single piece – article, editorial, news feature – can hope to encompass the gamut of principles, values, passions, afloat in the flooded public square. And to expect that a single perspective on a frustratingly complex issue would emerge from such a singularity is perhaps asking for the moon: too much: a willing suspension of disbelief that a newspaper’s more..

මාධ්ය මට්ටු කරන පනත

Sri Lanka loan disbursements reach 440mn up to April

July 7 (EN) SL has drawn down $440.6 million from foreign loans in the first four months of 2017, up from $311.8 million a year earlier, with China leading. In new loans, World Bank and Europe provided the most funds. There were no major Chinese commitments during the first four months. Chinese projects saw $170.1 million being disbursed, followed by Japan with $27.8 million. France gave $10.8 million, India $10.5 million, the UK via Deutsche Bank gave $10.6 million more..

JICA provides Rs42bn loan for Kalu Ganga water supply expansion

July 7 (LBO) A concessionary loan agreement for JPY 31,810 million (approx. Rs. 42,307 million) was signed on 7th of July 2017 between the Government of Sri Lanka and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Kalu Ganga Water Supply Expansion Project (I). The loan agreement for the project was signed by Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, and Mr. Fusato Tanaka, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office. more..

Arjun Aloysius asked witness' help at PCoI proceedings

July 7 (DM) Perpetual Treasuries owner Arjun Aloysius had interfered with the witness who was supposed to testify at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on behalf of Pan Asia Bank, it was revealed today . It was revealed when Pan Asia Bank Deputy General Manager Aruna Dias' evidence was led by Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunathilaka. Before calling for evidence, the witness was summoned to make statement more..

Politics, Politicians and Yasapalanaya

July 7 (Island) Disgusted A.S.P. Liayanage, it is reported to have tendered his resignation as ambassador to Qatar has said that he was promised a Provincial governor’s post by President Sirisena when such a post fell vacant. He has also expressed his disappointment at not being appointed to the post of Provincial Governor- Eastern Province which fell vacant and Rohitha Bogollagama, a former Minister for Foreign Affairs under Rajapaksa regime has been appointed instead. more..

Govt only keen on new Constitution: JO

July 7 (DM) The govt is keen on making amendments to the Constitution despite many other burning issues in the country including the dengue epidemic, garbage issues and the economic crisis, the joint opposition alleged. Joint opposition member Rohitha Abeygunawardana told a news conference that the govt attempting to fulfil promises made during the pre-election period to several parties by making amendments to the Constitution. “These amendments will lead the state to federalism. more..

Uma Oya Project: Drilling operations suspended

July 7 (DM) Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry announced the suspension of drilling operations in the Uma Oya Project for ten days until a solution was found for the water leakage that had taken place. Ministry Secretary Anura Dissanayake said the project was suspended and that all the drilling machines would be withdrawn from the lower level of the tunnel within ten days. The suspension came after President called more..

KKS cement factory: Army personnel notified to appear before PRECIFAC

July 7 (DN) Several Army personnel were notified today to appear before the PRECIFAC on July 13 to inquire into allegation on the removal of scrap metal from the Kankesanthurai cement factory. Former Army Commander General Daya Ratnayake, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, retired Major General Udeya Anasley Perera and retired former Defence Ministry Additional Defence Secretary Siripala Hettiaarachchi are the army personnel notified. more..

Samarasinghe contradicts Ekanayake

July 7 (Island) State Minister T.B Ekanayake has claimed that 18 SLFP MPs would pull out of the govt in September, but Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said President Sirisena had not taken any decision on the future of the SLFP-UNP coalition formed in 2015. Addressing SLFP media briefing, Minister Samarasinghe said SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake would decide whether the SLFP should remain or quit the govt on the instructions of President Sirisena in Dec. more..

SL wants to diversify trade with Turkey

July 7 (AA) Turkey and Sri Lanka are working to boost bilateral trade and diversify the business sectors between the two countries, SL Ambassador to Ankara P.M. Amza said. Speaking at the Global Tea Party in Ankara, Amza said Ceylon tea is the main item of trade between Turkey and SL. “Sri Lankan tea industry dominates the $230 million bilateral trade volume. 63% of our total exports to Turkey are tea,” he added. more..

JO to quit Constitution-making process

July 7 (DM) Joint Opposition is contemplating to quit the constitution-making process until the government declares elections due at the moment, officials said yesterday. SLPP Leader Prof. G.L. Peiris said that the leaders of the Joint Opposition took this decision on Tuesday evening. He said there was no point in participating in the process as long as there was no elections in the country. The local govt elections are delayed for more than two years at the moment. more..

Mano Sekeram appointed to BoC board

July 7 (DM) IT industry professional Mano Sekeram has been appointed to the board of state banking giant Bank of Ceylon. His appointment would be effective from July 6.  Mano Sekaram is the CEO of 99X Technology Ltd., an award-winning, high-quality software product engineering company which specializes in delivering software services to European markets. His company, under his stewardship, has been listed among the top 25 Best Companies To Work For in Sri Lanka for more..

TN asserts fishing rights in Palk Bay, opposes Sri Lankan restriction

July 7 (Hindu) Strongly opposing the recent legislation on fishing restriction by SL, TN Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami asserted the fishing rights of the State in the Palk Bay and further urged PM Narendra Modi to protest the legislation and take steps to exempt the Bay from its purview. Recalling efforts from both sides to resolve the fishermen issue, CM said that the recent legislation was a harsh step to undermine more..

Prof. Samarasekara could be arrested for loss of Thajudeen’s body parts: AG

July 7 (DN) The Attorney General informed the Colombo High Court today that there is a possibility of arresting former Colombo Chief Medical Officer Prof. Ananda Samarasekara over the alleged loss of body parts of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake appearing for the Attorney General made this observation when a revision application filed by Prof. Samarasekara was taken up before High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe. more..

National Health Insurance Scheme in the pipeline

July 7 (Island) The govt would introduce a national health insurance scheme for citizens in the future, Minister Rajitha Senaratne told Parliament. He said so in answer to a question raised by UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana why the govt had not thought of introducing such a scheme in order to save funds. "We will talk to all stakeholders before introducing a national health insurance scheme to dismiss claims in some quarters that the free health care system would be abolished," the minister said. more..

Super LARC compensation system for those affected by Uma Oya project

July 7 (DN) Govt will introduce the Super LARC system of compensation to those affected by the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project, said State Minster Mahinda Amaraweera today. The Land Acquisition and Re-settlement Committees (LARCs) were introduced in 2013 to decide on compensation for those who were to lose property during road development and railway development projects. more..

Petition calls for 2012 Welikada clash inquiry

July 7 (NR) A petition filed requesting a stringent investigation into the death of 27 inmates at the Welikada Prison in 2012 will be taken up for hearing today. The petition will be heard before the Court of Appeals. The petition was filed by Sudesh Nandimal a resident of Tissamaharama who was an eye witness to the clash between the inmates and security forces. The petition calls for a writ order to be issued against IGP and Director of CID calling for the conduct of a stringent investigation. more..

Drought puts Maha crop at risk

July 7 (CT) The success of Maha season at stake as the current and future weather conditions are not conducive to agriculture, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He was speaking at a progress review meeting held at the Welikanda residential project management office in the Mahaweli B Zone. Minister said that insufficient rainfall during the past 3 years indicates an unfavourable paddy output. He added that there has been a continuous reduction of the paddy cultivation in more..

India, SL to play full first series in 8 years

July 7 (CI) India's full tour of Sri Lanka, which features 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and a T20I, will begin in Galle on July 26. No practice matches have been announced so far, but the internationals themselves go until Sept 6, when the T20I is scheduled to be played at Khettarama. After the first Test in Galle, action moves to the SSC in Colombo, before the final Test is set for Pallekele - a venue that has never hosted an India Test. more..

Privately treated dengue patients evade radar

July 7 (Island) Consultant Epidemiologist, Dr Hasitha Tissera yesterday said that clinicians in the private sector treating patients with dengue were bound to inform the nearest MOH. Responding to a question as to whether the statistics taken from the private sector too were included in the Epidemiology Units Dengue trends, he said that all private sector health institutions were compelled to provide information to the govt MOH of the respective area. Secretary of GMOA, Dr Haritha Aluthge said more..

Zimbabwe need bowling revival to keep series alive

July 7 (CI) Who would want to be a limited-overs bowler? For so long, Sri Lanka had been the home of the lower-scoring ODI, but in the past week, two totals of more than 300 have been mowed down, which suggests the island's tracks are also beginning to conform to a global trend. As with so many of the pitches during the recent Champions Trophy, two of the three pitches in this series have afforded virtually no seam movement, and no menacing turn. more..

Norway gives further assistance for clean energy in Sri Lanka

July 7 (CG) The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences today signed a collaboration agreement with the University of Jaffna on capacity building and establishing of a research consortium in nanomaterials for clean energy in the presence of the Norwegian Ambassador, Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther. This collaboration which is 6.2 million Norwegian Kroners (112 mn LKR) over a period of three years, more..