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It’s time to cast out the archaic, ring in the new… it’s time to go

June 12 (DM) On April 18, Theresa May called a snap general election because she was confident the Labour party under Jeremy Corbin (a left winger) would offer her little resistance and she would win a landslide. The May 8 election result proved how wrong she was. She misread the mind of the British public. In other words she was out of step with the voting public, who were tired of austerity, cuts in public spending and a fall in the purchasing power of incomes. more..

India eyes a stake in Colombo Port in addition to Trinco

June 12 (DM) Ravi Karunanayake’s first foreign trip as Foreign Minister, not surprisingly to India, comes at a time when much is in the balance in SL’s relations with key stakeholders in the development process. SL’s decisions relating to ports and their development have suddenly become a high-stakes game of balancing the interests of foreign powers engaged in a race to advance their own strategic interests in the region, on the one hand, with SL’s national interest, on the other.  more..

Qatar crisis: SL unlikely to be affected much

June 12 (ST) SL is unlikely to be affected in Qatar-Gulf spat unless the situation escalates into a protracted crisis that affects the sizeable migrant worker population there. Four Arab nations–Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt–cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, claiming the country supports terrorist groups. Qatar has denied the allegation. In SL, there was confusion on Tuesday over currency acceptance when more..

Unity govt: Imminent implosion?

June 12 (CT) Cabinet reshuffle was the talk of the town; before and after. Before, the previous night and late into the night ahead of the much hyped Cabinet reshuffle, PM Wickremesinghe told his UNP Ministers that there was the swapping of portfolios between Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Next was that Media Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke was going to lose Media. more..

Child abuse rampant in Kandy

June 12 (Island) Professor H.M.D.R. Herath of the Department of Sociology, University of Peradeniya urges teachers who conduct private tuition class and their managers that they should take measures to maintain a high standards and guild their students properly. Prof. Herath made this observation at a meeting of heads of private tuition institutions and teachers in Kandy convened by the Kandy police last Saturday (10). more..

Two new Lanka Sathosas launched in East

June 12 (CT) The Lanka Sathosa network is growing from strength to strength and there are no plans to privatise it, according to Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. “The Lanka Sathosa expansion program is to strengthen our largest State-owned supermarket system and not to privatise it as falsely claimed by certain individuals,” he said on 10 June in Kattankudi, Batticaloa. He was speaking at the opening of a 479th branch of Lanka Sathosa more..

Prefabricated housing project moves ahead despite concerns

June 12 (ST) The govt is going ahead with the project to construct prefabricated houses for war affected families in the North despite concerns raised by Tamil politicians and other groups. Govt says it has made all arrangements to provide houses for those displaced during the war in the North and East. Accordingly, the construction of these houses will commence by August. more..

'We decided the plan was to be more defensive than attacking'

June 12 (CI) Allan Donald gathered 330 Test wickets, 252 ODI and 886 first-class ones in a career that lasted two decades, but there's another collection he holds just as dear: five international blazers from five coaching jobs and a decade of experience in overseeing elite sportsmen. His latest is a short-term stint with Sri Lanka, the only subcontinental side he has worked with, after England, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, more..

Foreign phone call scam: SLT, TRC to get to the bottom of it

June 12 (DM) Two separate investigations are set to begin into a phone scam was reported which had many mobile phone users alarmed today. Minister Harin Fernando said that both the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) would conduct separate investigations into the reports. “I have issued instructions to both TRC & SLT to investigate these reports and send me there findings," more..

Natural disasters: Japanese team recommends early warning system

June 12 (SO) The Japanese disaster relief expert team which arrived in the country after the deadly floods and landslides, has highlighted the necessity for a regulated early warning system to avert loss of life due to similar natural disasters in the future. Team which was flown here on to work with local experts to unravel the causes of the recent disaster which killed over 200 and rendered another 70 missing, presented their final report more..

Sri Lanka joins global campaign to reduce use of plastic

June 12 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, during their meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, last week. A resolution was made at the first United Nations Ocean Conference, where 193 countries including Sri Lanka were represented, to implement a series of long-term and robust strategies to reduce the use of plastics and microplastics. more..

Lottery Boards can’t come under Foreign Ministry: Dayasiri

June 12 (DM) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera lashed out at the decision to Gazette SL Development Lotteries Board and National Development Lotteries Board under the purview of the Finance Ministry. Mr. Jayasekera, who is a member of SLFP headed by President Sirisena, did not mince his words about the decision by his leader. Prez assigned the institutions to 4 ministries changed in the recent Cabinet reshuffle. more..

Slavery in foreign job market

June 12 (CT) Revelation that Lankan maids are being secretly auctioned into modern slavery has tarnished the Island nation's image as well as the reputation of SL women at large. Apart from the large number of professionals and skilled workers gaining employment in Middle East countries in the past several decades, Lankan maids have also found jobs in Arab countries, in a big way, remitting home an estimated US$ 7,241.5 million, thus being the single largest foreign exchange earner. more..

When govts are installed deriving powers from the people

June 12 (FT) Perhaps even de Gaulle would not have fathomed, in his vision of creating a strong leader with the present Constitution (the 5th Republic – 1958) by splitting the powers of State and Govt between a President and PM (a dual executive system) as to what may transpire if the former was elected from beyond traditional party-politics, thus maintaining a strong independence towards the People (as opposed to party loyalties); which is exactly what has now transpired with more..

'අනුර යාපා ඔබ දැන් ගෙදර යන්න'

Over 200 soldiers donate blood at Jaffna Hospital

June 12 (Island) Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna has stepped in following an urgent appeal from Jaffna Teaching Hospital for blood. Having obtained clearance from Army Headquarters, Security Forces Commander, Jaffna Maj. Gen. Darshana Hettiarachchi took immediate steps to donate blood. A senior military official told The Island that the Army had immediately sent volunteers to enable hospital authorities to obtain required stock of blood. more..

Executed policemen honoured

June 12 (Island) Four hundred police officers who were executed by the LTTE at Rupaskulam in Ampara in 1990 after their surrender to the terrorists on the instructions of the then govt were commemorated yesterday at a special ceremony conducted near the memorial at the Ampara Police Superintendent’s Office attended by Deputy Inspector General of Police Nuwan Wedisinghe. Religious observances were conducted by Chief Incumbent of Ampara Vidyananda Pirivena more..

48-hour postal strike from midnight today

June 12 (DM) A 48-hour strike will be launched by employees of the Joint Front Postal Trade Union’s Front from midnight today. The trade union staged a protest outside the Postal Headquarters in Colombo today over a number of unresolved issues in the Postal Department. The protestors charged that the govt was trying to handover several buildings which house postal offices in Nuwara Eliya, Galle & Kandy to an Indian company more..

2095 sacks of permits have been handed over to the FCID: Nimal

June 12 (AD) Minister of Public Transport and Civil Aviation, Nimal Siripala De Silva stated that the regulation of the transport sector has become a pressing issue in the country. De Silva added that the question of whether or not the problem can be solved using morality, law or good governance (Yahapalanaya) has been raised, during a press conference held in Battaramulla, discussing the strengthening and regulation of the transport sector of Sri Lanka, earlier today (12).  more..

Estate Superintendent commits suicide in Marawila?

June 12 (AD) Body of a 61-year-old Estate Superintendent who is believed to have committed suicide was found from an estate bungalow in Mudukatuwa, Marawila, police said. The police believe that the person had shot himself using his official firearm.  The Marawila police have commenced an investigation in connection with the incident. The body of the Estate Superintendent was found following a tip-off received by the police on Monday (12) morning. more..

Providing jokes to the World

Delays in LG polls cost many lives from floods: JO

June 12 (DM) Govt’s delay in holding LG elections cost many lives and property damages during the recent disaster experienced due to the adverse weather conditions as the LG institutions were inactive during the period, joint opposition All Island Association of Heads of Local Govt Bodies charged. Association President Udeni Athukorala said the representatives in the local govt bodies were failed to support the affected as most of PCs and PSs were dissolved during the period. more..

Survey Dept to be handed over to an American company?

June 12 (AD) The Govt Survey Association states that there is a possibility that the Survey Department may be handed over to an American company. Chairman of the Govt Survey Association, Duminda Udugoda stated that necessary measures had already been taken in order to get the relevant cabinet paper approved by the Ministry of Lands. During the tenure of the former Minister of Lands, John Amaratunga, a similar proposal had reportedly been submitted. more..

Video: Sarath Weerasekara to submit petition against Zeid

June 12 (DM) A delegation led by former Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara is to leave for Geneva on Wednesday to attend the 35th session of the UNHRC. He said they intend lobbying in favour of Sri Lanka and to handover a petition against UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein for interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign country. Petition is to be handed over to President of UNHRC, Joaquín Martelli. more..

Jewelry theft: another cop arrested

June 12 (AD) A sub inspector attached to the Kirulapone police has been arrested in connection with a jewelry theft, police confirmed on Monday. The cop was remanded until June 16 after being produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate.  So far, a police Traffic OIC and four others were too arrested based on charges of the alleged theft.  The suspects have been charged with stealing a stock of lightning conductors and gold jewelry worth Rs 550,000. It is reported that more..

Health Ministry to amend Food Act

June 12 (DN) Health Ministry sources said that a decision has been taken to amend the Food Act Number 26 of 1980. Since 1980 (during the past 37 years) several different changes have been taken place in the fields of food producing, food selling, food technology and food consuming patterns of the Sri Lankans, Health Ministry sources said. According to the sources, the Health Ministry accepts public views on amending the Food Act Number 26 of 1980. more..

Gnanasara Thera avoids court hearing citing death threats

June 12 (DN) Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera was absent in Court today for the hearing of the alleged offensive behaviour inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court case, citing that he has received death threats. Court of Appeal observed that Court will have to issue warrant against the accused if he failed to appear in Court on next inquiry date. President's Counsel Tirantha Walaliyadda with Counsel Sasika more..

Postal dept. cancels leaves of employees on strike

June 12 (DM) The Postal Department today issued a circular immediately cancelling the leaves of all its employees from June 13 to 14, soon after postal trade unions announced that they would launch a 48-hour countrywide token strike midnight today. Post Master General Rohana Abeyrathne told Daily Mirror that the circular was sent to all the offices across the country and that disciplinary action will be taken against those who neglect the administrative decision. more..

Govt given 5 days to solve issues: Farmers gearing for struggle

June 12 (LT) They would commence a massive struggle throughout the island if the issues that affect the farmer community are not solved within the next five days states All Ceylon Farmers Federation. This was stated by National Organizer of the All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation JVP North Central Provincial Councilor Namal Karunaratna at a press conference held yesterday (10). At the press conference participated by Mr. Karunaratna, General Secretary of the Federation T.B. Sarath and more..

'Champika is helping Gnanasara Thero remain in hiding'

June 12 (AD) The secretary of the LSSP, Prof. Tissa Vitharana stated that Patali Champika, who according to Vitharana has been identified as the leader of the JHU, is helping Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero remain in hiding.  He added that although the media have stated that Gnanasara Thero, the general secretary of the BBS is being kept in hiding by a influential politician, the exact details have not been revealed, more..

Sri Lankan ambassador pledges support for Lumbini development

June 12 (KP) SL Ambassador to Nepal WS Pereira has pledged his govt’s support for the development of Lumbini. At a Special Buddha Worship Ceremony held on Saturday at the SL Embassy in Maharajgunj, Ambassador stressed on the need to follow Buddha’s preaching for world peace.  He also underscored the importance of Buddhist philosophy and literature for social justice and co-existence. Function was organised in the memory of spiritual envoy Emperor Ashoka had sent to SL. more..

Sugathadasa Complex to cut Rs2.5mn bill with new solar system

June 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s foremost institute for the development of sports, the Sugathadasa National Sports Complex Authority, is to install a new solar system to reduce its electricity bills. Currently, monthly electricity bills of the authority as a whole is around two to 2.5 million rupees. It has been suggested that it is possible to generate electricity units of 70,000 Kilowatts through the establishment of a solar power generation system as a remedial measure to the issue. more..

SL ranks as top island economy of the future

June 12 (NR) Sri Lanka has ranked first in fDi’s inaugural study of island economies. According to Greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets, the south Asian country attracted 172 inward investment projects between 2012 and 2016, the highest of all countries included in the analysis. Data shows that 2016 was a bumper year for Sri Lanka’s FDI, which increased nearly 147% from 2015, to reach more than $2.8bn in estimated totals for more..

Two big heroin busts amounting to Rs 20 mn

June 12 (Island) Police have detected heroin with a street value of Rs. 20 million in two drug busts. In the first detection a male drug dealer was nabbed at Armour Street, Colombo with one kilo and 272 grams of heroin. According to police the 34-year-old suspect, a resident of Grandpass, had been dealing in heroin for quite sometime. In the second detection, police arrested a female drug dealer at Kesbewa with 567 grams and 230 milligrams of heroin. more..

Elephant rampage in perahera, monk killed

June 12 (DM) A 25-year-old Buddhist monk of the Katana Sri Wardhanarama Temple passed away after an elephant who went on rampage had attacked the monk during a Perahera in Katana last night. The monk was admitted to the Negombo Hospital and succumbed to his injuries early this morning. The monk, Kulasendawe Rahula Thera who graduated from the Kelaniya University had been teaching at a Pirivena school in Eppawala, A'pura. Police is looking into the mahout more..

There was no need for 30-year bonds: AG

June 12 (DM) Testifying at the Presidential Commission, Auditor General (AG) Gamini Wijeysinghe said the decision to opt for 30-year bonds at high interests rates could not be rationalized because according to the Finance Ministry the Govt wanted to borrow to settle interest payments on previous bonds sales. Initially, the Govt needed to borrow Rs.13.5 billion by March 2, 2015 with the CB originally intending to sell 30-year more..

Jayatilleka’s Alt-Left project

June 13 (CT) I applaud Dayan Jayatilleka’s plea for an international Alt-Left project—a descriptor that seems immediately obvious but nevertheless brilliant. Since the end of the Soviet Union and the ideological triumph of neoliberal thought in the 1980s there has really been no Left left, at least not of any economic variety (though plenty of Leftist cultural warriors, as Jayatilleka notes). But re-establishing a viable economic Left is a hard ask, despite the failure of the neoliberal project more..

Occasional stories: The Tassel & The Coat

June 13 (CT) We all have cultural inhibitions especially when we encounter distant cultures. Because of cultural differences, we encounter what can be called cultural mishaps. This is about one or rather two of those mishaps to be exact. By nature, some people are culturally shy and some are bold. I rate myself to be somebody in between, or towards the latter. These are not some thoughts but some experiences. My first trip abroad was to Canada to read for my masters at U of New Brunswick. more..

'Priority for country’s burning issues, not office space'

June 13 (SO) State Minister of Public Enterprise Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena is optimistic that his Ministry Secretary will intervene to sort out the controversial problem of allocating office space to him, as early as possible. Minister Abeywardena said, the major problem is to resolve the country’s burning issues, and not providing room accommodation, and therefore, he doesn’t take this issue seriously. more..

Economic consequences of drought and floods

June 13 (ST) The human tragedies of this year’s floods, landslides and other natural disasters are immeasurable. This year’s floods that destroyed more than 200 lives and thousands of dwellings and last year’s prolonged drought had economic costs and severe economic repercussions. These natural disasters had adverse consequences on the economy much beyond their direct impact on agricultural production. The trade balance was adversely affected owing to decreased more..