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Tamil political parties must meet with the Maha Sangha

July 8 (CT) The Maha Sangha had been right through out agitating for a reasonable solution for the ethnic problem. The sudden change in the attitude of the four Mahanayakas is very surprising. What made the Mahanayakas to come to this decision all of a sudden, will have to be considered seriously. I hope they will soon reconsider their decision in accordance with the high principles of Buddhism. I will only blame the Federal Party and not the TNA for the latest developments. more..

First Salvo fired towards intended new Constitution

July 8 (CT) It was a few weeks ago Leader of the Opposition and TNA R. Sampanthan addressing participants at an event at the Sarvodaya centre in Colombo emphasized the need of a new Constitution and pointed out that all citizens should support the new Constitution in the best interests to strengthen peace and reconciliation in the country. Unlike the Tamil leadership in the past, which had opposed vehemently the Constitutions stating that they were not drafted in the manner fulfilling more..

'A hit on reconciliation efforts'

July 8 (NS) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran says our party will hold discussions with the Mahanayakes to stress the importance of a Constitutional reform in order to solve major issues in the country. He made this comment following the decision by the Mahanayake Theras of three Nikayas that there was no need of a new Constitution. Q : What is the TNA’s position on the Mahanayakes’ decision with regard to constitutional reforms? more..

The clash of two histories in one nation

July 8 (CT) The two critical streams of  thought that flowed down the 20th century and bloodied the political landscape came from the North. These two streams swept aside all other Left-wing currents which were struggling to dominate the mainstream. Both streams of thought were identified and articulated by two Tamil leaders of the North. And both were Ponnambalams. Two Ponnambalams wrote two different histories. The politics of the 20th century turned out  to be a bitter battle more..

Editorial: Of that Kandy powwow

July 8 (Island) Outcome of Thursday’s talks between Mahanayake Theras and President Sirisena in Kandy on the former’s campaign against the govt’s proposed constitutional reforms etc has been described as fruitful in some quarters. President has, by rushing to Kandy, demonstrated his concern for the opinion of Buddhist monks. The powwow was cordial. But, as for the new Constitution, we believe, Nayake Theras have got a typical yanne-koheda-malle-pol irrelevant response. more..

No North-East merger: Mano

July 8 (NS) Cabinet Minister Mano Ganesan spoke to the Nation regarding the state of the proposed merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Uma Oya crisis, President Maithripala Sirisena’s comments about the FCID and whether any changes can be expected in this regard, future of Govt beyond September, the garbage problem, dengue epidemic, SAITM issue, and maligned Local Govt elections. more..

Act before you criticise

July 8 (NS) It has been a messy few weeks for SL. The garbage and the dengue epidemic have triggered health issues among the general public. Thankfully the doctors have postponed their trade union action which had given a bit of a breather to the people. Govt has been receiving heavy criticism for its failure to collect and dispose Colombo’s waste. This has resulted in an unprecedented amount of waste piled in every nook and corner of the country, and an unprecedented number more..

Hurdles on new constitution

July 8 (NS) Adoption of a new Constitution acceptable to all communities which will also resolve the northern issue, one of the main electoral promises of the Yahapalana govt has now come across a new stumbling block. Chief monks of three Nikayas have unanimously decided that there is no need for a new Constitution. The need for a new Constitution arose primarily because there is general consensus among the political parties that the current executive presidential system more..


For multi-storeyed building constructions : Fire safety procedures vital

July 8 (SO) The recent London inferno has stirred up the world to raise safety standards in high rises to ensure the protection of occupants. Following the London episode and the collapse of the multi-storey building in Colombo last month questions have been raised on how safe buildings are in Sri Lanka. Construction and fire safety experts said that most of the newly built structures in Colombo are well equipped and are maintained in high safety standards. more..

Today is Esala Full Moon Poya day

July 8 (DN) Brahmajala Sutta is the first of 34 suttas in the Dîgha Nikaya. The sutta starts with the Buddha travelling with his disciples between the cities of Rajagaha and Nalanda. At the same time, a Brahmin called Suppiya, with his young apprentice, Brahmadatta, was also travelling in the same direction, tailing the convoy of the sangha. Suppiya uttered some insulting words about the Buddha, his teachings, and his disciples. However, Brahmadatta praised & revered Buddha/Dhamma/Sangha. more..

Sri Lankan law draconian: TN fishermen

July 8 (Hindu) Expressing deep concern and anguish over the SL govt’s fisheries bill, banning bottom-trawling in its territorial waters and awarding two years imprisonment for violators besides levying a fine, fishermen leaders in Tamil Nadu alleged that the proposed legislation was aimed at intimidating and preventing them from fishing in the Palk Bay. After last year’s high level meeting between External Affairs Minister more..

Tragedy follows the Mahanamas: Grandson Dulanga takes his life

July 8 (DN) Following the death of Dr Upali Mahanama just over a week back tragedy followed the Mahanama family when the grandson Dulanga Mahanama committed suicide by hanging himself in his room on Thursday. He was 24. Dulanga 2nd son of Devaka Mahanama was found hanging in his room when his mother broke down the door. He was found hanging with a nylon cord around his neck and bleeding profusely when he was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. more..

Is the proposed new Constitution to be pushed into the political garbage?

July 8 (DN) Progress on the new Constitution is certainly the major issue the govt will have to face in the coming weeks and months, while the garbage issue remains an explosive social and political matter that transcends the attachments of party politics, posing a danger to peace in society. Govt has to now deal with a major opposition to the new Constitution that has come from a prominent section of the Buddhist clergy, reflecting the opposition to proposed constitutional changes more..

Poruwa: Tying the knot the SL Buddhist way

July 8 (Roar) Weddings in Sri Lanka often take place with much pomp and ceremony and are the height of many social calendars, with relatives and friends of the marrying couple eagerly awaiting the big day of celebration. But they are also more than mere social events; a lot of thought goes into observing and performing the traditions which occupy significant roles in the ceremonies. Traditional Buddhist wedding ceremonies, more..

Buddhist perspective of good governance

July 8 (DN) The Buddha delivered Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, his first discourse on the Esala Full Moon Poya Day to the five ascetics, Ven. Kondangna, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji, at the deer park of Isipathana in Benares. It consists of the central theme of the Dhamma. At the end of the preaching, the eldest of the five, Kondangna Thera attained the first stage of sainthood or Sovan. According to history, many other important events more..

Burl thanks Hambantota doctors

July 8 (Island) Zimbabwe cricketer Ryan Burl thanked Hambantota hospital staff after he was admitted to the hospital due to an allergic reaction to food. Burl is highly allergic to fish and was rushed to the hospital after consuming the food ahead of the third ODI at Suriyawewa. After being discharged from the hospital, the all-rounder thanked the hospital staff. "Thank you very much to the doctors and staff at Hambantota hospital for helping me recover! A terribly frightening experience," more..

Is the Maitland bridge really crumbling?

July 8 (ST) Longden Bridge is falling down they said. I wondered why? Isn’t it the proverbial London Bridge that stands very much alive in the heart of London. Then it dawned upon me, they must have been referring to Maitland Place – the road that leads to Longden Place in posh Colombo 7. This piece of wisdom helped me patch up the missing jigsaw. In fact, were they referring to the bridge that is swaying at Maitland Place? more..

Ministry orders fresh election for boxing

July 8 (DN) The Ministry of Sports has ordered the Boxing Association of Sri Lanka to hold fresh elections declaring the recently held election as null and void as the audited accounts had not been submitted at the AGM. The Ministry has decided to issue a special gazette notification to cancel the list of office bearers elected at the AGM. The director of sports has been appointed as the Competent Authority to carry out the functions of the Association. more..

MPs to come clean

July 8 (NS) A group of over 10 MPs have thus far agreed to publicly reveal their assets and liabilities declaration statements soon. Polls monitor, PAFFREL explained that they would also be writing to all 225 MPs requesting them to do so by end July or early August. Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that they were at present conducting certain consultations as to whether the MPs would have to provide the said information in a simple format or in the format more..

Dilhani wins silver in Bhubaneswar

July 8 (CT) It was almost like a fairy tale where Dilhani Lekamge matched her former training partner Nadeeka Lakmali's feet in 2013, as she won a Silver medal for Sri Lanka in the Javelin Throw at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship 2017 to seal the first Silver for SL, in Bhubaneswar. Dilhani was not among the favourites or at least expected to finish on the podium when she came to Bhubaneswar with personal best of 56.92m. more..

Find out why SL is a tea-lover's paradise

July 8 (KT) "In my next birth, I want to be born in India," I overhear Maheswari say in Tamil to her friend who is working silently, head bent over the tea bush, hands rapidly transferring the leaves to the basket slung over her back. While the friend ignores Maheswari and carries on with work, other women giggle and whisper among themselves. Now I am curious; what does Maheswari think about India? And what kind of promise does the country hold for her? I ask her in our common language. more..

SriLankan Airlines connects Visakhapatnam to the world

July 8 (Island) SriLankan Airlines, the largest foreign airline operating to India, is proud to commence operations to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh from today. Accordingly, the airline will be offering a four-times-a-week service to Visakhapatnam connecting the state’s largest city and financial capital to the world through its global route network. Known as the jewel of India’s east coast, Visakhapatnam is one of three cities in India that SriLankan is adding more..

Sri Lanka in second round of tapping offshore gas and oil reserves

July 8 (ST) As hopes grow in Sri Lanka that its off shore Mannar Basin has sedimentary deposits that are thick and old enough to yield high quality oil and gas sufficient for the next 60 years, at least 11 companies including highly reputed major international oil and gas firms have submitted expressions of interest to tap gas reserves there. These companies have expressed their interest on a call for bids by more..

'New Inland Revenue Act likely to expand local taxpayer base'

July 8 (Island) The new Inland Revenue Bill which is sought to be passed by the govt into law and implemented is likely to bring more Sri Lankans under the tax net and improve state revenue, Ernst and Young Partner Duminda Hulangamuwa said. 'The increasing, effective use of computer technology by the Inland Revenue Department coupled with clearer ascertaining of potential taxpayers by the institution is making it possible to bring more Lankans into tax payer category more..

Govt to address construction labour shortages

July 8 (FT) The Govt is looking to resolve the labour shortage issue faced by the construction industry, Minister Chandima Weerakkody revealed. Speaking at a media conference announcing the upcoming Construction Exhibition 2017 organised by the National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL), the Minister said that even though it is rarely acknowledged publicly, industry leaders have privately informed him that they import labour to meet the prevailing shortage. more..

Owners of poached elephants in Sri Lanka may escape sanction

July 8 (AP) A group of wealthy businessmen, a Buddhist priest and other social higher-ups on trial for allegedly keeping illegally captured elephants may get their animals back - legally. Govt says it is ready to forgive the owners of poached elephants and give them a chance to apply for license provided they can prove in court that they did not know the animals that were confiscated from them had been illegally captured from wild. more..

Sri Lanka keen on partnering with Nigeria on tea production

July 8 (TC) Sri Lanka has expressed interest in partnering with Nigeria in tea production to support the country’s agricultural development in line with the federal govt’s economic diversification plan. Thambirajah Raveenthiran, SL high commissioner to Nigeria, said this at the Global Ceylon Tea Party to mark the 150th anniversary of tea in SL. Raveenthiran said Sri Lanka was famous for its tea estates and was an industry that supported almost 10 per cent of its population. more..

Sri Lanka foreign reserves up 3% in June

July 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s official foreign reserves climbed three percent (USD193.9mn) to 6.9 billion dollars in June, official Central Bank data showed. Foreign currency reserves were US$ 5.99 billion and reserves in gold were US$ 0.89 billion. Central Bank’s Treasury bill holdings were down from US$ 214.35 billion in May to Rs. 144.38 billion in June. During the year, up to Friday, the Sri Lanka rupee has depreciated against the US dollar by 2.5%. Given the cross currency exchange rate more..

Is there any govt today?

July 8 (Island) Anyone watching TV feels there is no Govt. in the country: President. Does one have to watch TV to feel this?  President says the media reveals the opposite of what is really happening in the country. Development activities, people’s welfare, the peaceful situation in the country are all turned upside down to attract people’s attention, says the President. Let’s begin with just one matter – building to house the Ministry of Agriculture. more..

Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa shares reconciliation experiences

July 8 (FT) Former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa Dikgang Moseneke, Commonwealth Secretariat Head of Human Rights Advocate Karen McKenzie and Political Counsellor of South Africa Johannes Van Niekerk visited the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation and shared South African experiences on reconciliation. “In our system everybody has a right to be a Buddhist, be a Muslim, to belong to a Hindu religion or even no religion,” said Moseneke. more..

Sajith to name model villages after war veterans

July 8 (Island) Minister Sajith Premadasa has, recently in Anamaduwa, announced plans to establish model villages in honour of those who spearheaded the country’s war against the LTTE. He said that model villages would be named after Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and Majors General Shavendra Silva, Chagi Gallage, Prasanna Silva, Kamal Gunaratne, Jagath Dias and retired Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya. He said that he intended to set up model villagers more..

Rajapaksas didn’t pilfer country, only saved it: Gotabaya

July 8 (AD) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that if eradicating the LTTE terrorist organization is a crime which needs punishing, then he has no problems with going to prison. Responding to questions from journalists after worshiping at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy and meeting with the Maha Nayaka of Asgiri Sect Most Ven. Varakagoka Sri Gnanarathana Thero on Friday, he said that the war was more..

Piyasena Gamage allowed to intervene in Geetha’s appeal

July 8 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday allowed former Minister Piyasena Gamage to intervene into the appeal filed by MP Geetha Kumarasinghe. Supreme Court three-judge-bench headed by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep also decided to name Piyasena Gamage as the fifth respondent in the Appeal. Piyasena Gamage who received seventh highest preferential votes on the UPFA list in the Galle District further sought an order to dismiss the appeal filed by Geetha Kumarasinghe. more..

Petroleum strike postponed

July 8 (CT) Petroleum trade unions have decided to postpone their strike to 14 July, Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga said yesterday after a discussion with unionists. The unions had decided to strike in protest against the breach of the written promise made by the President and the Prime Minister. The promise was to have a discussion about their demands before transferring the Trincomalee petroleum complex to an Indian company. more..

AG to take action against Aloysius

July 8 (CT) Presidential Commission, probing controversial Treasury Bond issue, ordered Acting AG to file action against Perpetual Treasuries Director, Arjun Aloysius, if there is provision to charge him with influencing the witnesses who appeared before the Commission. Commission gave this order when a witness told the Commission that Arjun Aloysius had given him a phone call and enquired about his evidence. more..

Rising populations and decreasing resources

July 8 (DM) Tuesday (11) is the UN World Population Day which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. The day was officially proclaimed by the then-Governing Council of the UNDP in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest when the world population reached five billion, on July 11, 1987.  Around 225 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods, for reasons ranging from lack of access to more..

Nationalizing SAITM be the way forward?

July 8 (DM) Is SAITM a problem? Though there are several alternative solutions already in place, the authorities have shown little competence in solving it. Sometimes it may be due to the intentional reluctance of corrupt elements who have ulterior motives to manipulate this issue and gain undue political or financial benefits. Authorities always focus on momentary suppression of the effect without treating the cause. SAITM has become a deteriorating menace. more..

'I can’t satisfy everybody when taking decisions'

July 8 (DM) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne denied President Maithripala Sirisena having had an official discussion with officials of the GMOA with regard to the SAITM issue. Dr. Senaratne in an interview with our sister paper Lankadeepa goes on to state that the discussion held was of a secret nature and such a discussion has only aggravated the complex nature of the SAITM issue. more..

'Govt has no mandate to enact new constitution'

July 8 (DM) Constitutional Lawyer Kalyana Thiranagama spoke to the Daily Mirror on the implications of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. In his interview, Thiranagama, who also compiled a book in this regard, calls it an utterly undemocratic piece of legislation. Q: You compiled a book on the implications of the 19th Amendment. How do you analyze it in terms of democratic rights? more..