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Lost leadership: Three Mahanayakes join the kolam dance of the GMOA

July 10 (CT) The days of Ven Narada, Kotahene Pragnakeerthi, Yakkaduwe Prajnaratne, Madihe Pannaseeha, are gone it seems forever. The great line of tradition begun by Ven Sariyuth Mugalan disappears before our eyes. The Sanga is fast become a mere trailer attached to the corrupt political brigade. Sri Lanka is full of political games these days than never before. It is Kolam theatre that we see because in the typical game the players hide under masks or pretences. more..

The art of coarse Yahapalanaya or, how not to govern

July 10 (ST) This is a Govt that does not speak in one voice. Be it on Constitutional reforms, the SAITM/GMOA muddle, investigations into corruption or human rights, contradictory views that get aired publicly by key players in the Govt, day after day, has only left the public confused, and eroded the confidence people had placed in the form of experimental governance the two main parties, SLFP and UNP have put together. This week saw more of the same, with some of it played out more..

Waste to energy plants in the pipeline

July 10 (SO) There is no viable short term solution to the garbage crisis which is a huge health hazard and an enormous cost to the country, according to waste management experts who attribute the problem to a lack of consistent and clear cut policies to find a permanent solution to the issue. Experts said, waste disposal issue has got out of hand due to the ad hoc measures adopted by successive govts that paid only lip service more..

The president vs his (impossible) ministers

July 10 (ST) An ongoing war of words between President Maithripala Sirisena and prominent Ministers in the UNP sums up in a nutshell what’s wrong with the seeming unity alliance. Perturbingly, the unity part is looking increasingly tattered as we go along. In one sense, President was both right and wrong in expressing his considerable annoyance this week. Conveying dissatisfaction with the work record of the Law and Order Ministry, as well as the Department of the Attorney General, more..

Yahapâlanaya suffers from lack of foresight

July 10 (CT) Of late Yahapalayaya has faced several embarrassments due to failure of foresight. It failed to clear the refuse dump at Meetotamulla, before it came crashing down on the neighbourhood killing many residents and causing heavy damage to property. It carried on with Uma Oya unadjusted to the topography, until it led to a public outcry and severe damage to the environment. The latest is the protest from the Maha Sangha regarding the proposed Constitution. more..

'Bay of Bengal deals, a cynosure for SL'

July 10 (CT) High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Riaz Hamidullah, speaks on various issues, common to both countries. A passionate person on development diplomacy, previously holding posts in the SAARC and the European Union (EU), engaging in economic and regional development, he tells Bangladeshis are self-designed and culturally don't compete with other countries. However, Bangladesh has identified the potentials that more..

Ruling Lee family of S’pore in crisis

July 10 (SL) The Seventh Heaven, the Nirvana of Asian Capitalism, the Land of Plenty where everything could be found from cures of skin blemishes to cardiac arrests and of course where there is no garbage on the roads, has been struck by a severe man-made earthquake. Singaporeans awoke one morning late June to realise that the impossible had happened. The ruling family of Lee Kwan Yew – the revered man who is synonymous with Singapore – was quarrelling in public, more..

Wigneswaran fronting for Ananthi?

July 10 (SL) In  hindsight, the question now arises if the entire NPC ministers-sack drama was enacted only to bring in the controversial and even more rebellious Ananthi Sasitharan into the Govt, that too over the head of the ruling TNA-ITAK’s moderate leadership? If that was not the case, still the fact remains, Ananthi is now the Minister for Women and Social Welfare, in charge of Rehabilitation and Food, other areas of common concern for all women in the North, though to varying degrees. more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Ratnapura

Ceylon tea party began in Canberra and covered the world in 24 hours

July 10 (Island) The world’s largest and longest tea party, held to celebrate 150 years of Ceylon tea, began in the chancery of the Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra at 5.00 pm today and ended two hours later. From Canberra, the revelling moved East with parties scheduled to begin at 17.00 hours GMT in each time zone. This global chain resulted in 24 hours of cumulative celebrations for Ceylon tea in many parts of the world and ending in the West coast of the Americas. more..

Is there a Sangha State behind the state?

July 10 (Island) There is no need to exaggerate or be too alarmed, but there appears to be a state behind the State. Whether it is a shadow state or a parallel one is subject to argument. It has reappeared after a long slumber, and given Notice to the govt not to inaugurate a New Constitution. I am referring to the new statement by the Thri Nikaya Mahanayake Theras (chief monks of the three Buddhist sects) issued on the 5th July. The leading section of this shadow state, Asgiriya Nikaya, more..

Dengue: Situation Report

July 10 (Roar) Sri Lanka is currently facing a dengue crisis on an unprecedented scale. With the health sector overwhelmed by the crisis, fears that things can only get worse might come true. According to the Ministry of Health, as of July 7, this year has recorded 80,732 cases of dengue, with over 200 deaths. To put things into perspective, that’s over 25,000 cases more than what was recorded the whole of 2016. more..

Editorial: Dehiwala Prison nocturnal visits

July 10 (Island) Is there a prison at Dehiwala? This is the question one may ask oneself. The answer is an emphatic Yes. It is no ordinary prison; those behind bars there are all innocents and people have to pay to see them unlike the lawbreakers in other state pens. The govt has drawn heavy flak from some concerned citizens—and rightly so—for its decision to keep the animal prison aka the Dehiwala zoo open till 10 pm for the public. But, cash-starved, yahapalana regime is likely to go ahead more..

Zimbabwe hold the aces in series decider

July 10 (CI) To find the most-recent bilateral series in which Zimbabwe pushed Sri Lanka to a decider, you'd have to go back decades, to a time before Sri Lanka won the World Cup, to before the island's players were fully professional - all the way back to November 1994. Now, there is a chance the series that SL captain Angelo Mathews hoped could be won 5-0, may not be won at all. How did we get here? Largely, the state of the series is owed to the skill and poise of Zimbabwe's batsmen. more..

CEB loses almost treble in first four months

July 10 (EN) CEB has lost 16.59 billion rupees in the first four months of 2017 up 187%, despite the existence of a regulator to ensure cost-reflective prices as a drought reduced hydro generation. For the full-year 2016 the CEB lost only 14.49 billion rupees, helped by fuel prices in the first half of the year. The tax payer had given a subsidy of 6 billion rupees through a Treasury subsidy to cover losses of the state owned enterprise, so far in 2017. more..

Perpetual suspension won’t affect market

July 10 (ST) The Central Bank (CB) decision to suspend suspect dealer Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL) from trading activities won’t impact on the smooth functioning of the money market, dealers said on Friday. The CB’s suspension of PTL is for a six month period effective July 6 and comes more than a month after the Appeal Court dismissed a plea by the aggrieved company challenging an earlier directive by the CB restricting its activities. CB officials were tight-lipped when asked for more..

Govt throws cold water on Dhammika Perera’s Queensbury project

July 10 (ST) Sri Lanka govt has thrown cold water on the US$200 million mixed development Queensbury Leisure Ltd project of billionaire business tycoon and local casino owner Dhammika Perera. The project was for an integrated super luxury tourist resort, which consists of 500 rooms including high end shopping malls, high quality residencies and office spaces/service spaces with associated facilities at D. R. Wijewardena Mawatha, Colombo 10. more..

Nimali wins gold, Gayanthika, Rumeshika, Relay team win silvers

July 10 (Island) Sooriyawewa athletes Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Abeyratne won the gold and silver medals of the women’s 800 metres respectively, Rumeshika Ratnayake and men’s 4x400 metres relay team won a silver medal each on the final day as Sri Lanka bagged five medals at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship concluded inIndia on Sunday. In the women’s 800 metres, Liyanarachchi clocked 2:05.23 seconds more..

Minister urges sponsors to give him a stall at Construct 2017 Exhibition

July 10 (Island) Minister Chandima Weerakkody urged a group of sponsors to give him a stall at the Construct 2017 Exhibition. This exhibition is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors and 5,000 construction industry professionals. Minister, in fact, asked for this stall at an event where the 17th edition of the Construct 2017 Exhibition, which will take place through Aug 25-27 at the BMICH, was announced to the media. 142 construction industry related companies will be exhibiting more..

GMOA to decide on strike at Thursday’s ex-co meeting

July 10 (ST) GMOA says its executive committee will meet on Thursday to decide on further trade union action to force to Govt to nationlise the SAITM. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that ahead of the executive committee meeting, a Joint Trade Union Committee meeting had been scheduled for today to solicit the support of trade unions attached to health, petroleum, utility service and education sectors. Last week, GMOA threatened to launch an indefinite strike more..

Dialog launches Sri Lanka’s first TIER III certified data centre and media hub

July 10 (FT) Dialog Axiata Group announced on Friday the commissioning of Sri Lanka’s first Tier III certified Data Centre and Media Hub.  Dialog, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider and a leader in the provision of world class Enterprise Solutions was recently awarded a TIER III Constructed Facility Certification (TCCF) from the UPTIME Institute for its state-of-the-art Data Centre infrastructure located at Malabe.  more..

Youth dies in police shooting: STF deployed in Jaffna

July 10 (DM) IGP Pujith Jayasundara had ordered a Special Investigation Unit (SIU) led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) to be sent to Jaffna from Police Headquarters, Colombo to investigate the shooting incident that took place in the Point Pedro area, where a person was shot dead and two others escaped. A lorry carrying sand was shot at in the Manalkaduwa area in Point Pedro after it drove through a police checkpoint disregarding police orders to stop. more..

New Constitutional reforms ensure prime place for Buddhism: Sajith

July 10 (DN) No threats of any kind would affect Buddhism under the proposed new constitution the contents of which are yet in deliberating stages. Instead, the foremost place of Buddhism would be lawfully well-preserved and precisely upheld, Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa said. He said so at the public gathering that followed the inauguration of Suramayagama, the 33rd housing project launched under the revived Village Awakening Model programme. more..

Mathews unsure about captaining in 2019 World Cup

July 10 (CI) Angelo Mathews is unsure whether he will be Sri Lanka's captain at the 2019 World Cup, after leading his side to a second loss against Zimbabwe in the ongoing five-match series. The defeat, Mathews conceded, put his captaincy under significant pressure. His comments came after Zimbabwe chased down a revised target of 219 - deduced via Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method - in 4th ODI, after SL had made 300. more..

Building solidarity beyond borders

July 10 (Hindu) Since 2013, Sri Lanka has been witnessing a spike in targeted attacks on the Muslim and Christian minorities by hard-line Sinhala-Buddhist groups. It began with a fringe organisation’s campaign against halal certification, forcing shops to stop selling meat labelled for Islamic guidelines. A series of attacks on mosques and shops owned by Muslims followed. Within a year, violent communal clashes erupted in the southern coastal town of Aluthgama, more..

Sri Lanka will release 42 boats, says BJP

July 10 (DC) BJP state president Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, who undertook a visit to Sri Lanka, claimed that Colombo had assured to release 42 boats of TN fishermen in two or three days’ time and also positively consider a plea (from her) to release the remaining 100 fishing vessels soon. Senior leader who had returned to the city following a 3-day visit to Sri Lanka upon the invitation of Tamil MPs in SL said Lankan authorities furnished her the list of 42 boats that would be released. more..

Constitution making process: To quit or not to quit: JO still dilly-dallying

July 10 (Island) NFF MP Wimal Weerawansa, acknowledged that the JO was divided over his demand to quit the UNP-led constitutional making process. He alleged that the JO, too, had contributed to the political project inimical to the country’s interests as part of the 20-member Steering Committee spearheading the operation. MP said so in response to query raised by The Island at a media briefing. more..

National maritime and logistics policy to be formulated: SLPA

July 10 (FT) The Minister of Ports and Shipping has greenlit a proposal to formulate a national policy document on maritime and logistics, to be prepared in three months’ time, after which it will be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake revealed this at the AGM of the Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders Association (SLFFA) held in Colombo last week. “Chairmen and ministers will come and go, but we don’t have a policy. more..

Investigation into pvt hospitals, laboratories

July 10 (DN) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has decided to initiate an investigation into private hospitals and laboratories for violating the Health Ministry instructions to reduce the charges for blood tests until the end of the dengue epidemic. Health Ministry recently informed private hospitals to reduce charges for blood tests to identify dengue Ministry informed private hospitals that charges for a Full Blood Count Test should be Rs.250 and a Dengue Antigen Test Rs.1,000. more..

GMOA to strike if Prof. Carlo not retained

July 10 (DN) GMOA will commence an indefinite strike if the Health Minister appoints someone else other than Prof. Carlo Fonseka to the position of Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) President, GMOA Secretray Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. Addressing a press conference in Colombo last evening, he said that if the Health Minister appoints someone else to the SLMC president’s position, it is a violation of Sri Lanka Medical Ordinance. more..

Customs seize foreign currency worth Rs 2.4m from Thai businessman

July 10 (CT) A local businessman was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) yesterday while attempting to smuggle out of the country foreign currency valued at nearly Rs. 2.5 million, a senior Customs official said. The businessman was bound to Bangkok when he was intercepted by officials. Some US$ 15,600 and 200 Swiss Francs were recovered from the businessman. The businessman was warned and released and the currency forfeited. more..

Sex toys, drones among hundreds of parcels detained by customs

July 10 (Island) From drones and remote controlled helicopters to sex toys and porn, a bewildering variety of objects being illegally brought into the country from abroad are detained regularly by the customs department. It has put on hold the delivery of at least 1,000 such parcels, some of them containing restricted and prohibited items, at the Foreign Post Office (FPO) in Delhi alone, according to official data, according to online The Times of India report dated July 7, 2017. more..

Mangala slams Mahinda on Enforced Disappearances Bill

July 10 (FT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday criticised former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and backed the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances Bill, pointing out it would not be implemented with retrospective powers and would secure the rights of all Sri Lankan citizens in the future.  Recapping Sri Lanka becoming a signatory to the UN International Convention for more..

Forest rapist appointed to give relief to Uma Oya victims

July 10 (CT) Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) has alleged that P.B. Amarasekere, appointed as the Secretary to the Office of Assistance, to look into those affected by the Uma Oya Project, had been previously convicted to six months hard labour. Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said that Amarasekere had been previously convicted of deforestation of the Nilgala Forest Reserve. Accordingly, Tennakoon alleged that the relevant official had been convicted to six months of hard labour in jail. more..

Stalin dubs Sri Lanka’s fisheries bill black legislation

July 10 (Hindu) Terming Sri Lanka’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Amendment) Bill black legislation, DMK working president M. K. Stalin on Sunday said it aimed at completely finishing off the traditional livelihood of Tamil Nadu fishermen. “Sri Lanka keeps saying India is its friendly nation, but has brought in a legislation with the harshest of punishments, such as a fine of 50,000 Lankan rupees, two years imprisonment and confiscation of their boats,” Mr. Stalin said. more..

'New Constitution: New clause to safeguard Buddhism'

July 10 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he would come up with a new proposal shortly to include provisions in the Constitution that would prohibit Govts from interfering with internal matters of three main Buddhist Chapters. PM said this at the opening of Weli Maluwa at Ruwan Weliseya in Anuradhapura over the weekend. “I will come up with proposal to include a clause in the Constitution that govt cannot get involved in more..

Unity vital for a new Sri Lanka

July 10 (DM) Two and-a-half years after the spectacular election victory of Jan 8, 2015, President Sirisena appears to be facing one of his biggest conflicts in the National Unity govt which was formed after the parliamentary elections in August 2015.   The conflict erupted in an unprecedented way at the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday. According to media reports, the main issue was the alleged delays in probing allegations of multimillion rupee frauds and corruption by more..

LGBTIQ visibility through Colombo PRIDE

July 10 (DM) For 13 years, Colombo PRIDE has been an exercise in increasing the visibility of the LGBTIQ community and thereby bringing to the attention of the public, the issues faced by the Community throughout Sri Lanka. Colombo PRIDE therefore, has been about forming a collective LGBTIQ identity, emphasising the existence of the community and providing the LGBTIQ persons, their family and friends a safe space to proudly be themselves, without fear of persecution or more..

'Showing truth as truth would have ironed out concerns'

July 10 (DM) Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, who assumed duties as the 22nd Army Commander, believes that the country would not face a difficult situation at the international level if we spoke the truth and work accordingly.  During an interaction with the media, among other matters, he pointed out the manner in which the Army as an institution should respond to the war crimes allegations made against it and the reason more..

Renewed calls for GPS tracking collars for endangered tuskers

July 10 (DN) Environmentalists have renewed their call for GPS tracking collars to protect the endangered elephant population in the country with the wild the number of jumbo deaths on the rise. The latest call comes in the wake of Deega Danthu, the famous tusker being injured and found lying by the bank of Kala Wewa after several days. Highlighting the importance for a proper monitoring system to protect these tuskers, more..