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Sri Lanka’s deepening political crisis

July 3 (CT) Is the Yahapalanaya regime slowly abandoning its political reform commitments made during the Presidential and Parliamentary elections of 2015? Are the govt leaders working towards their own political downfall, leaving the space for the return to illiberal and authoritarian politics? Are our President and the PM proving the point often being made by the cynics that SL leaders will hardly lose an opportunity to lose an opportunity for peace building and political reforms? more..

Dismantling elitism: A panacea for all ills

July 3 (CT) I was not more than 12 when one day I was going past the Philip Neris Church with my father at the wheel. Suddenly he exclaimed, look child there goes Lord Soulbury‘s son. Obviously I was looking out for sartorial elegance in that motley crowd. My father pretty well knew of the lounge suit clad personality that I was looking for and  observing my failure to spot the man said, look that’s him in white vetti. With his thick bronze curly hair knotted at the back & a brown file tucked under armpit, more..

Constitutional reforms reach journey’s end: Minority parties present candid opinion

July 3 (SO) Four minority parties, TPA led by Mano Ganeshan, SLMC led by Minister Rauf Hakeem, ACMC led by Rishad Badiudeen and EPDP led by Douglas Devananda submitted a common set of proposals to the Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee. TPA formed in 2015, consists of Democratic People’s Front, National Union of Workers and the Upcountry People’s Front. This Union largely represents the Tamils, mostly more..

Dangers of unseemly ministerial outbursts to free speech

July 3 (ST) However much they may genuflect to the concept of free speech, Sri Lanka’s politicians are quite unable to shake off a constitutional dislike of that theory in abrasive practice. Yahapalanaya Ministers appear not to be different to their predecessors in office in that sense, excepting of course the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime (in its second term) which stood in a distinct and crude category of its own. But if one takes those aberrant years out of the equation, current politicians are more..

Editorial: Messi’s belated bicycle kick

July 3 (Island) Surprisingly, it took Lionel Messi so long to score the best goal in his life with a spectacular bicycle kick. On June 30, the Argentine football superstar and five-time FIFA world player of the year married his childhood sweetheart, Antonella Roccuzzo, in his hometown, Rosario, a few days after turning 30, having lived together with her and produced two lovely sons. What makes Messi’s belated wedding so special? It is not the international media attention event received more..

Citizen memory and Demons in paradise

July 3 (Roar) Growing up in Sri Lankan school systems, we learn about great ancient kingdoms and brave struggles for independence. History stops abruptly, though, around 1948, with gaining independence. Alternative sources of information we are left with are the stories told to us by our elders, personal tales of violence experienced, brave attempts at solidarity and care, of fruitless searches of friendships lost with more..

Bias in the Dias affair: A reflection

July 3 (GV) The initial shock at the response of a high ranking minister to comments made by a citizen on a recent talk show, soon shifted to the realisation of its seriousness. During the show Lakshan Dias, an attorney at law, presented some data on violence against some Christians and their places of worship. He named the source that had documented these incidents; many of which were on record at police stations where complaints had been made. One would have expected persons in authority, more..

Bar Association (BASL) on Lakshan Dias

July 3 (GV) The reply sent by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka [BASL] to Lakshan Dias is embarrassing. Faced with a belligerent Ministerial threat to disenroll him Dias had emailed Amal Randeniya, Secretary – BASL seeking assistance. Randeniya’s reply was to ask Dias to forward an affidavit with all the facts pertaining to the matter. The first point of embarrassment is the wording of the response itself. Lawyers wrangle about the specifics for a living yet, Randeniya chooses to be vague. more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Matara

Nationalise SAITM, demands GMOA: But can Govt do it even if it wants to?

July 3 (ST) Not for the first time the intransigent GMOA has once again made a demand that no Govt can fulfil without bringing in fresh legislation. And the question must arise whether the GMOA, knowing full well the limitations of a govt’s summary power to rush new legislation through Parliament, has a hidden political agenda to create mischief and wreak discontent against the Sirisena administration to precipitate the downfall of the coalition govt. First instance occurred in February when more..

SAITM crisis: A brief history

July 3 (Island) The GMOA has challenged Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s recent declaration that SAITM, Malabe, won’t be nationalized under any circumstances. Responding to Dr Senaratne, newly elected GMOA Secretary Harith Alutge emphasised that remedial measures taken to resolve SAITM crisis should lead to its nationalisation. While Dr. Senaratne has declared that the govt wouldn’t talk with the GMOA in this regard, GMOA reiterated its unwavering commitment to more..

Delay in east terminal cost SLPA Rs. 4 billion

July 3 (FT) Delaying the development of the much-discussed east container terminal of the Colombo Port has incurred the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) a loss of approximately Rs. 4 billion. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the development of the terminal would be crucial for the long-term sustainability of the SLPA. “The present Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) has only a 14-metre draft. more..

Women’s World Cup: England beat SL

July 3 (CI) Sometimes a lot changes without anything really changing at all. So it went at Taunton as Sarah Taylor, back in the England fold a little over a year on from taking a break from cricket due to mental health issues, reminded all those watching why she is regarded as one of the most naturally gifted female players in the women's game. In front of a boisterous crowd in excess of 3,000, boosted by a jubilant helping of schoolchildren brought in for the occasion, Taylor unfurled her classic more..

Emerging Buddhist-Muslim rivalry in SL?

July 3 (Island) This article consists of two parts the first of which is intended to contextualise, in the broader setting of recent political transformations witnessed in SL, proliferation of information on violence targeted allegedly by Sinhalese-Buddhists on the Muslims, which those responsible for disseminating such information often portray as a trend of intensifying rivalry between the two ethnic groups. The second part contains a critique of the thematic submissions in a similar portrayal more..

Tea Board serves a bitter cuppa

July 3 (FT) Levelling scathing criticism at the Govt’s policy performance, a plain-speaking Tea Board Chairman called on members of the industry to use their individual influence on political leadership to pressure the Govt to deliver the key needs of the sector.  Keynote speaker Tea Board Chairman Rohan Pethiyagoda used the opportunity presented by the institution’s AGM to outline the challenges it is up against due to more..

CICT wins best container terminal Asia award

July 3 (FT) Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) won Best Container Terminal Asia in the under four million TEUs category at the 2017 Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards in Singapore.  Leading companies in cargo, logistics and supply chain sectors took home 43 different awards at the AFLAS Awards held at the Singapore Marina Bay Cruise Centre last week.  The awards, hosted and organised annually by Asia Cargo News, recognise leading more..

Cremer rues absence of back-up plan against spin

July 3 (CI) Graeme Cremer conceded Zimbabwe's batsmen may have been too eager on the sweeps and reverse sweeps during the second ODI on Sunday, even though those strokes had proved productive during Friday's record chase. SL's best bowler Lakshan Sandakan, meanwhile, had come prepared for that tactic from Zimbabwe, which goes some way to explaining his match figures of 4 for 52. Zimbabwe had been 67 for 1 before the spinners came into operation in Galle, and prompted more..

Guarantee minimum wage to arrest skills shortage in construction

July 3 (ST) Construction industry professionals are urging the govt to guarantee a minimum wage for blue collar workers in a bid to beat the dearth of such talent in the industry. “Govt has approved recruitment of 2500 workers from Nepal and Myanmar and they’re already here,” Chartered Architect Surath Wickramasinghe. Unfortunately no one owns the problem. He said that SL is losing out to others in the region more..

Joes & Mahamaya Swimming Champions

July 3 (DN) Mahamaya College, Kandy (518) and St. Joseph’s College, Colombo (560) clinched the girls and boys overall championship respectively at the 44th SL Schools Swimming and Diving Championship concluded at Sugathadasa Stadium Swimming Pool yesterday. Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo secured the girls’ second place with 507.5 points while Sirimavo Bandaranayake Vidyalaya became third with 343 points. Royal College, Colombo (381) and Ananda College (349) more..

Natural disasters: Connecting the dots

July 3 (ST) An illuminating discussion organised by the Sunday Times Business Club in Colombo on Tuesday on managing disasters (natural or man-made) reminded us of that popular fable where a little Dutch boy plugged a leak in a small dam and thereby saved his town. While the moral of that 19th century tale is to put forward the simple theory that if people act quickly and even with limited resources disasters can be averted, in today’s context, merely plugging holes in leaks more..

FaceBook fans drug party: Police bust up 29 youths

July 3 (DM) Badulla Police has busted 29 youths who were engaging in illicit behaviour at a hotel in Hali-Ela area at a function organize by the Facebook fan community. On a tip-off received police officers attached to Badulla Police station had raided the hotel and arrested the youths between ages 18-30 years old with 1195mg heroin, 6,500mg cannabis, two tablets and intoxicated stamps in their possession. more..

We changed our lengths and pace to stop the sweeps: Sandakan

July 3 (DN) Sri Lanka had certainly learnt from their mistakes fast. They successfully managed to stop the Zimbabwean batsmen from using the sweep and reverse sweep shots that eventually led to them dismissing the opponents for a mediocre total of 155 and then going on to win the second ODI by seven wickets yesterday. Man of the Match Lakshan Sandakan who was the chief destroyer of the Zimbabwe innings finishing with career best figures of 4 for 52 explained, more..

Govt’s short term- ad-hoc policy changers badly hurt auto industry

July 3 (DN) It has once again been a troublesome period for the Auto Industry in Sri Lanka with the usual short term and ad-hoc policy changers hurting the industry very much, opined reelected Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) Chairman Reeza Rauf. Addressing 97th CMTA AGM on Friday Rauf said that they have been constantly lobbying with the government in that regard and would continue to do so from time to time until a fair policy is implemented. more..

GMOA, Prof. Carlo changed Sherifdeen Committee recommendations: SB

July 3 (DN) Prof. Sherifdeen committee appointed on the initiative of the SL Medical Council to go into the SAITM recommended that students passing out from the College should be registered in the SLMC and given the right to practice as doctors. But this recommendation made in the final page of the report was changed due to the pressure exerted by Prof. Carlo Fonseka and the GMOA, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. more..

CMA wants safety of motorcycles taken into police custody

July 3 (DM) While sending a letter to Chief Justice, Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association (CMA) has requested to implement a practical system to ensure the safety of the motorcycles that are temporally impounded by the Police Department. CMA Secretary Chirantha Amarasinghe said due to the negligence of the Police Department, motorcycles that are held in custody get dilapidated due to delays in the law enforcement. He also said the Association learnt that there is an ongoing malpractice more..

Tunisian investors can benefit from JV’s with Lankan firms exporting to EU

July 3 (DN) The enhanced market access that Sri Lanka gets from EU GSP+ is very significant, said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen after meeting New Delhi based Tunisian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Nejmeddine Lakhal who visited the Minister at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce recently. An unprecedented basket of exports from Sri Lanka is now smiling big as a result of the recent GSP plus eligibility-even more so is the promise of FDI. more..

'Faizer attempting to stall LG polls further'

July 3 (CT) Minister Faiszer Musthapha is attempting to delay LG Elections, which has already been postponed for over a year, for another 3 months, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, Exec Director of CaFFE said. "Minister has postponed the issuing of the Gazette, with the number of representatives and number of female candidates, which enables the holding of the elections for 3 months. Minister has no power to arbitrarily postpone the holding more..

Nomination for 3 LG polls on Oct 2

July 3 (DM) Elections Commission would issue the Gazette notification calling for nominations on Oct 2, 2017 for the elections to North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Council. Term of all these three PCs will lapse by Oct 1. Accordingly, Commission has authority to proceed with steps for calling for fresh elections. EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said that the pending elections could be postponed only with the Amendment of Article 154 E of Constitution. more..

Medical students’ parents’ Sathyagraha continues

July 3 (LT) Sathyagraha campaign carried out by the Collective of Parents of Medical Faculty Students against SAITM, the illegal medical degree selling institute at Malabe, continuous opposite Fort Railway Station. Fort Police had obtained a Court order yesterday (29) against putting up the temporary shed stating it was an obstacle for the public. However, parents of university students and members of organizations opposed to SAITM and privatization of education continue to occupy more..

New law to enable prosecution of armed forces in foreign countries: MR

July 3 (AD) All MPs should be mindful that passing a proposed new bill into law will be a clear case of betraying the country to the pro-LTTE Diaspora and the interested foreign parties backing them, former President Rajapaksa said. “A Bill has been gazetted to incorporate into the law of SL, provisions of the Int'l Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances which was hurriedly signed & ratified by present govt. more..

Army to release 54 acres in Jaffna to public

July 3 (NR) Security Force Headquarters in Jaffna is scheduled to a land area of 54 acres where the Myladi Fisheries Harbour is situated, during a formal ceremony at Jaffna. Army said with the release of this patch of land, displaced families mostly living with their next of kin will be able to return to their original places of residence in Myladi. A similar release of 35 acres of land in Urani, used by the Security Forces in Jaffna took place on 7th of April in response to humanitarian concerns of IDPs. more..

GMOA in damage control

July 3 (DM) Additional doctors would be deployed on a temporary basis to minimise doctor shortages at hospitals where dengue epidemic situation existed, GMOA said. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said following a discussion held with the Acting Health Director General the Association had decided to initiate an immediate health relief programme with the support of volunteering doctors to the task. Health Services Deputy Director General Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva has been appointed to more..

Former chief JMO suspended

July 3 (FT) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has found Prof. Ananda Samarasekara guilty of three out of the five charges filed against him following a formal inquiry over the removal of certain body parts and bones of slain rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, leading to a suspension of his license to practise medico-legal work for six months. Prof. Samarasekara was the former Colombo Chief JMO who performed the first postmortem on more..

ASP Liyanage tipped to be Eastern Governor

July 3 (DM) Businessman and Qatar Ambassador A.S.P. Liyanage was tipped to be appointed as the Governor of the Eastern Province, sources said. He would be appointed as the Eastern Governor after the post fell vacant following Governor Austin Fernando's appointment as the Secretary to the President last week. A.S.P. Liyanage, who was in Qatar, reported to have arrived in SL, to meet the President. He was appointed as the SL Ambassador to Qatar in March by President Sirisena. more..

Chief Minister Isura calls on Sinhala mothers to produce more children

July 3 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya called on Sinhala mothers to produce more children and ensure the protection of Buddhism and the Sinhala race. He said that time had come for every Sinhala mother to bear five to six children. "Each and every Sinhala mother should deliver at least five children. CM said "Our Sinhala mothers, fooled by a concept called little family was golden, produced one or two children. Without producing more children they blame other more..

Yaha-palanana or Hora-palanaya: Corruption Secretariat discontinued

July 3 (Island) Anti Corruption Front (ACF) has alleged Secretariat tasked with examining public complaints and direct them to relevant institutions, including CIABOC & FCID was closed down on June 30. ACF said closure of outfit manned by professionals should be viewed against the backdrop of 30 complaints it received pertaining to corrupt activities of ministers and secretaries to various ministries of the present govt. more..

Uma Oya project, a catch-22 situation

July 3 (DM) We Sri Lankans appear to be a bunch of lotus eaters - living dreamy lives and indifferent to important issues which challenge us on an almost daily basis. The country faces a huge problem of a shortage of doctors to patient’s ratio. The state universities cannot produce the number of doctors needed to meet the backlog.   Yet we watch with indifference as doctors and university students attempt to hold the country to ransom, demanding a private university granting medical degrees more..

SAITM and the Privatisation Push

July 3 (DM) The protests calling to close SAITM and their violent repression raise several questions. Is the Govt’s insistence on legitimising SAITM merely a move about one private medical college? Is it the first move towards increasing privatisation of education and healthcare? Or is it about a larger agenda of privatising the many public services that the state was historically responsible for?  Privatisation in its creeping form and in bursts and spurts has been on the agenda now for four more..

Govt must assure democratic space and freedom

July 3 (DM) Freedom of expression, right to a religion and attacks on minority religions have been in discussion within the last couple of days. It has raised a heated public debate, unending discussions among academics of various fields. Following the interviews with Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe and Attorney-at-law Lakshan Dias, Daily Mirror contacted different professionals and leaders in religions and of the civil society seeking their points of view more..

Overcoming dengue, but hit by deadly super-bug: MRSA

July 3 (ST) Watch out for a secondary infection after dengue, especially a dangerous hospital-acquired ‘super-bug’ which can cause death. This is the red alert being sent out by Consultant Microbiologist Dr. Muditha Abeykoon of the Polonnaruwa Hospital who has confirmed eight such cases, of whom tragically one had died. All these patients had been treated for dengue, had recovered and been discharged. more..