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Blame whom for what Sri Lanka is?

June 10 (DM) This is pretty interesting-and frustrating too-when we look back on what they keep philosophising with messages. Few days ago in his World Environment Day message President Sirisena says, “….at present, due to the frequent occurrences of natural disasters, we have to admit that humans cannot survive without a sustainable environment. Nature reminds us of its message through landslides, devastating floods.” PM issuing a similar message on World Environment Day more..

Theresa dismayed; Conservative Party seen as a casino

June 10 (DM) During the past year the Western world has been rocked if not split apart by extremist right wing populism and liberal democracy, with Russia allegedly playing some role.  In Britain yesterday, the new PM Theresa May was obviously dismayed when the Conservative Party suffered a stunning setback, though it won a shaky 318 seats in the 650-seats House of Commons or Westminster.   Many world news analysts described the Conservative Party as being like a casino. more..

Private thermal power plants to discontinue supplying power?

June 10 (SL) Last week, SL was hit by the worst flood disaster in the recent history, killing at least 202 people and leaving 600,000 people temporarily homeless. Energy experts pointed out that like always, it’s the people who came on board immediately with relief for those affected by the floods while the three forces continued their rescue mission in all the districts affected by the floods. Many were complaining that DMC was more..

The tricky issue of media and politicians during disasters

June 10 (DM) Out of the hundreds of pictures taken by journalists during the recent floods and landslide disasters and published in newspapers many would still specially remember pictures of four politicians helping disaster victims. In one picture former President Rajapaksa’s son, MP Namal Rajapaksa was seen carrying an old woman trapped in a house marooned in the flood water, and in another former PM D.M. Jayaratna’s son more..

Unsolved murder in broad daylight of Batticaloa journalist Aiyathurai Nadesan

June 10 (DM) Jaffna District MP, M.A. Sumanthiran waxed eloquent during the course of the adjournment debate in Parliament on June 6th. M. A. Sumanthiran who is also the official Spokesperson of the TNA and its premier constituent, the ITAK emphasised that they stood “for a country that is not divided, a country in which all the peoples will be proud of their equal status to live without discrimination or fear”. more..

Examination of fresh info: Commitment received from Geneva- Naval veteran

June 10 (Island) The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has assured that a report titled A factual appraisal of the OISL report: A rebuttal to the allegations against the armed forces, too, would be examined. Thomas Hunecke, human rights officer, Asia-Pacific section has informed retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera and Sunil Chandrakumara of their decision to accept the report. more..

PM giving into TNA demands: JNC

June 10 (Island) Spokesman for the Joint National Committee, Gevindu Kumaratunga charged that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had either fallen for TNA leader R. Sampanthan’s demand that the Sinhala term for Ekeeya (unitary) should be incorporated into the English version of the proposed draft constitution without using the English word unitary or the PM was feigning ignorance about its dangerous consequences. more..

SLFP at crossroads

June 10 (SAM) A cheerless domestic situation, both political and economic, has put the SLFP led by President Maithripala Sirisena at crossroads. Its members are wondering whether they should stick to Sirisena or respond to the call of former President and former party chief, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to rally round him and face the next parliamentary elections due in 2020. There are three more years to go for the next more..

Drones to detect who’s building it right and who’s not

June 10 (ST) Drones will take to the sky in Colombo city to detect illegal constructions within Colombo city, an official said. The three-month long survey would be jointly launched by The Urban Development Authority (UDA), Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) , Sri Lanka Land Reclamation Development Corporation (SLLRDC) and Department Of Census And Statistics, UDA Chairman, Jagath Munasinghe said. more..

Lankan refugee accused of killing wife in Canada to be deported

June 10 (CTV) Canada's Immigration Department says a murder suspect who was set free after his trial exceeded the legal length limit is expected to be sent back to Sri Lanka in the next two weeks. Ewa Staszewicz, a lawyer for the department, is confirming steps are being taken to obtain the necessary travel documents for Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingam (31). He told an Immigration & Refugee Board more..

President assigns some of PM’s functions to new minister

June 10 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena has taken away some of the functions of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and assigned them to Tilak Marapona, the new minister of Development Assignment. The cash-rich Employees Trust Fund (ETF) which was under the PM was also taken away and given to Marapona who will now be responsible, among other things, for the  implementation of the ETF Act of 1980. more..

Ravi and Mangala given key institutions by the President

June 10 (CG) Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera were given key govt institutions, as per an Extraordinary Gazette notice issued today. The Extraordinary Gazette signed by President allocates the govt institutions which will operate under the new cabinet Ministers appointed recently. Accordingly, the new Foreign Minister has been given Diplomatic Missions Abroad, more..

Heroes will stay with proper management

June 10 (CT) The recent tragedy that took place while the Nuwara Eliya Road Races were being held was not the first such catastrophe that had hit this event. There had been two deaths reported and other accidents ended up riders, spectators and those from the Police that had been there on duty, being maimed. Although, there had been two lives already lost due to such accidents nothing had been done to avoid these calamities. All persons involved in motor sports, the authorities, more..

Rs 400 M lost in CHOGM vehicle saga

June 10 (CT) The Auditor General's Department has pointed out to the govt that a sum of Rs 400 million had been lost to the State following the decision taken by the former regime to import 82 new vehicles ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Heads of State Summit meeting held in Colombo. The AG's Department said those vehicles had been brought down to providing state-of-the-art transport facilities to the visiting Heads of States and government personnel. more..

දේශබන්දු වෛද්ය වික්ටර් හෙට්ටිගොඩ - Part 1

Plan for 50-less-students schools facing closure: WP Education Ministry

June 10 (ST) Western Provincial (WP) Ministry of Education has developed a plan to protect schools vulnerable to closure due to lack of students. The latest survey reveals the WP has 75 schools with 50 or less students, of which 38 are in the Kalutara District, 19 in the Gampaha District and 18 in the Colombo District. There are also 368 schools in the WP having between 50 to 200 students. Kalutara with 143 is the highest, followed by Gampaha with 142 and 83 in Colombo. more..

Country to obtain Bangladesh help to increase seed production

June 10 (Island) Sri Lanka will obtain the help of Bangladesh to increase the vegetable seed production in the country, according to the Agriculture Department. Department together with a Bangladesh seed Company will implement a joint project to increase the vegetable seed production as SL is heavily dependent on imported seeds at present. Although the country produced vegetable seeds it was not sufficient to meet the demand and therefore it had to import a large portion of more..

Canada provides Rs. 67.1 m humanitarian support to ongoing relief efforts in Sri Lanka

June 10 (FT) In a meeting with the Minister Ravi Karunanayake, High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka Shelley Whiting expressed condolences ýto the Govt and people of Sri Lanka on behalf of the Govt of Canada and announced a contribution of CAD 594,000 (Rs. 67.1 mil) in support of the humanitarian relief efforts in response to the May 2017 natural disaster. This funding will support those most affected by the flooding more..

Good Governance: Failure of a five-pillared process?

June 10 (FT) When troubles come, they come not single spies but in battalions. And these days, the woes of the State as well as those of the Govt are legion. Two months ago, the tragic collapse of that colossal trash-heap let loose a stink about the way this and successive previous administrations have mismanaged garbage disposal – much to the dismay of petty politicos who’d rather not have their electorates know how laws are made, or domestic dirt-bags disposed of. more..

NCPA urges public to blow whistle on employers of child labour

June 10 (Island) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) asked the public to blow the whistle on employers of child labour, so that it could bring them to Justice. NCPA Chairperson Marini de Livera said the public could complain to police against those employing children. They could also call 1929 and lodge their complaint with the NCPA. World Day against Child Labour is commemorated next Monday. In conflicts and disasters, protect children from child labour, is this year’s theme. more..

A shop a day continues: Muslim-owned shop torched in Mahiyanganaya

June 10 (CT) Even as two weeks passed since police claimed they had deployed several units to arrest BBS Galagoda Atte Gnanasara who reportedly continues to be in hiding to evade arrest, yet another Muslim-owned shop Rich Shoe Palace was torched on Friday night in Mahiyangana. This is at least the fourth Muslim owned business to be torched within this week alone. Shop was owned by a Muslim businessman more..

Dearth of anaesthetists causes closure of Kantale hospital ICU

June 10 (DN) Hundreds of patients seeking treatment at the Kantale Base Hospital face many inconveniences as the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has been closed for over two months due to the dearth of anaesthetists. The equipment at the ICU are facing the threat of decay. Hospital Director D.G.M. Costa said that patients in serious condition are being transferred to a nearby hospital. Three doctors serving at the ICU have left the hospital for to pursue higher studies. more..

123-year-old N' Eliya Post Office for sale ?

June 10 (DM) Postal Trade Union Federation yesterday staged a protest against the proposed sale of the 123 year-old Nuwara Eliya post office building to an Indian businessman to run a restaurant. More than 500 representatives of the postal department trade unions, civil society organizations, and people of the area participated. They accused the authorities of planning to hand over the buildings of Nuwara Eliya Post Office, Colombo Fort Post Office & Galle Fort PO more..

'Sri Lankan rebuild taking too long'

June 10 (Cau) Legendary batsman says talents of Chandimal have been mishandled as nation continues to struggle with retirement of greats SL may have upset the apple cart in the Champions Trophy with their victory against India, but rejuvenation of the Sri Lankan team has taken too long, says Kumar Sangakkara. He said the upheaval in the side had adversely impacted on the career of rising star Dinesh Chandimal. more..

Hashim - Lakshman Yapa dispute resolved

June 10 (DM) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the dispute between Minister Kabir Hashim and State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane over office space had been resolved. He said Minister Abeywardane would be able to assume duties next week and that the President would Gazette the institutions coming under the purview of the recently sworn-in ministers by next week. He said the subjects would not be assigned to the ministers and state ministers on an ad hoc basis. more..

Tear up agreement with UNP: SLFP MPs

June 10 (CT) A group of SLFP Ministers has held a round of secret talks fine-honing a plan to object to any moves made by the govt to enact a new Constitution, although this move is in contravention of the policies of the SLFP. It is learnt that they have also decided to line up with JO MPs. Sources said this group of SLFP Ministers led by Nimal Siripala de Silva had vehemently objected to moves made by the UNP to retain the word Unitary in the English language version of the Constitution, more..

Appreciate move by Health Minister to import Dextran 40: GMOA

June 10 (DM) The GMOA said that it appreciated Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s immediate and positive response to their reports of a shortage of Dextron 40, a drug used to treat dengue patients. GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Samantha Ananda said that Minister Senaratne had immediately agreed to import more Dextron 40 after the revelation made by the GMOA about the shortage of the drug in the country. more..

US firm in 1968 recommended construction of 6 dams to prevent floods and landslides

June 10 (Island) A US engineering company had warned 49 years ago that Sri Lanka would continue to suffer from floods and landslides till it constructed six dams across three main rivers, Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena said yesterday. He said that he had requested the government to implement the proposal by the US company to erect six dams at several places of the rivers Kalu, Gin and Nilvala, so that the country would be free from floods threat. more..

Gotabaya summoned for questioning at PRECIFAC

June 10 (AD) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been summoned for questioning by the PRECIFAC. He has been informed to appear before the Commission of Inquiry on Thursday (15) for questioning regarding the dismantling of old machines at the Cement Factory at Kankesanthurai and selling them as scrap iron. Former Defence Secretary confirmed that he has been asked to appear before the commission for questioning with regard to the orders given by him more..

Sri Lanka UN process enhances sovereignty, economic progress: Eran

June 10 (EN) A reconciliation process agreed with the United Nations has enhanced the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and its people, compared to 2014 when the international community brought a resolution against the country, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. He said lies were being spread that the attorney general or judges will be replaced by foreigners but even the last administration had accommodated foreigners more..

MoE initiates relief plan for schools and students affected by the disaster

June 10 (ST) Ministry of Education (MoE) has drawn up a relief programme for schools and children affected by floods and landslides since last week, with the number of dead students increasing to 45 and at least 8 others listed as missing. Under the scheme, students who have lost their textbooks, uniforms and shoes will be provided with same by the MoE, while buildings and furniture of schools damaged/destroyed will be replaced. Initial estimates indicate that Ratnapura District more..

Minister demands action against instigators of racism

June 10 (NR) Minister Rauff Hakeem has requested the govt to take prompt and stern action against groups threatening religious harmony in the country. Minister said actions against reported acts of sabotage are continuously being delayed. Minister said finding a lasting solution to the problem was essential because without it, all other endeavours of the govt are futile. Minister said discussions with members of the govt will be held tonight on this matter. more..

850,000 affected by drought in N&E: DMC

June 10 (DM) While some 600,000 people had been hit by the recent floods and landslides in the South, a total of 849,752 individuals belonging to 243,683 families in eight districts in the north and east had been affected by the severe drought condition across the country. DMC situation report issued last evening showed Northern Province as the most affected area with 452,907 people of 130,931 families affected by the drought. more..

LG elections: EC hopes govt will act soon

June 10 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said he hoped the govt would act swiftly and in earnest to enact legislation to clear the bottlenecks which are delaying the local government elections. He said the draft Bill had been gazetted ahead of presenting it in Parliament and the gazette notice, specifying the number of candidates to be elected to each body, would become effective from July 1, clearing one of the hurdles for conducting the polls. more..

Two ministers call on police to hold impartial probe

June 10 (Island) Ministers Mano Ganesan and Wijayakala Maheshwaran have called on police to conduct an impartial inquiry into an allegation of abusing three children attending a Sunday school in Trincomalee District. The children had allegedly been abused by labourers constructing a building for the school. In a letter requesting the involvement of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and provision of legal support for the court hearing on Monday (12),  more..

Vaiko says Sri Lanka behind his detention at Kuala Lumpur airport

June 10 (BM) MDMK General Secretary Vaiko said SL govt is behind his detention at Kuala Lumpur Int'l Airport on Friday. Vaiko, who has raised Sri Lankan Tamils issue at the European Parliament in Brussels, felt that SL govt does not want issues relating to killing of innocent Tamils during its war against the LTTE to be raised in int'l forums. Vaiko said he was shocked when immigration officials stopped him from entering Malaysia. more..

Tensions in the Persian Gulf

June 11 (SO) Many Sri Lankans with kin and friends in employment in the Persian Gulf region are watching the on-going crisis between Persian Gulf states with much concern. Even as the crisis between states in the region broke out last week, the Foreign Affairs Ministry made pronouncements that our missions in the region are closely monitoring the situation. The issues raised between those contending govts are matters of their foreign and domestic policy and is best discussed by more..

Mediocrities and National treasures

June 11 (SL) Susanthika Jayasinghe, Golden Girl of SL Athletics, has the tendency to lock horns with incumbent ministers of sports. She had a flaming row about a decade ago when S.B. Dissanayake was the Minister of Sports and now it’s the turn of the incumbent minister Dayasiri Jayasekera. It has been a tremendous saga of tears, toil, sweat and guts for this girl from the little known village in Uduwara in Kegalle District to podiums of Olympic, Asian and World Championship games more..

Expatriates remain unruffled

June 11 (SO) Despite the deepening diplomatic row in the Gulf region, the Foreign Ministry maintained there is no imminent danger compelling an evacuation of Sri Lankan expatriate workers in Qatar. The consular division confirmed, so far no SL expatriate worker, out of the 150,000 employed in the gas rich state, has expressed a desire to return home due to the current crisis. “Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world. more..

Some home truths from Harry

June 11 (Island) Business tycoon Harry Jayawardena’s fortune is rooted in tea. He started life in the tea department of Consolexpo, the state trading exports corporation, and when life became hard for him there following the change of government in 1977, ventured into founding a tea export company, Stassen Exports, along with two Consolexpo tea department colleagues, Rajpal Obeyesekere and Zaki Alif, with former civil servant V.P. (Totsy) Vitachi, who was chairman more..