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Former Mayor blames Minister Ranawaka

June 17 (CT) Former Mayor of the Sri J'pura Urban Council Janaka Ranawaka held Minister of Megapolis Champika Ranawaka responsible for the spread of unauthorized illegal constructions in and around the city of Colombo. Ranawaka who is also the SLFP National Convener for Kotte, told Ceylon Today that many such illicit constructions will meet the similar fate of the building that collapsed in Wellawatte last month that killed two persons and injured many more. more..

Corrupt vs Corrupt: Minister berates corrupt officials for creating garbage disposal issue

June 17 (DN) Minister Faizer Mustapha said Commissioners and Secretaries of local govt bodies should resign from their posts if they cannot manage the garbage disposal issue. “These officers know exactly how corruption flourishes on garbage collection and disposal for a long time. This has become one of the main sources of income for corrupt officials. They do not want to solve the problem as they lose income. Corrupt officials should be responsible for Meethotamulla more..

Airbus agrees to change SriLankan’s A350 order

June 17 (Reuters) Airbus is willing to change the terms of an order for four A350-900s from SriLankan Airlines to different planes, the struggling state-run carrier said. The debt-laden national airline has already canceled four of the eight A350 aircraft it ordered from Airbus Group SE while it searches for a new int'l partner to revive its fortunes. “Airbus is willing to change the terms of contract for a different set of (aircraft)” more..

Crisis continues in Northern Council

June 17 (Hindu) Uncertainty continued in Northern Provincial Council on Friday after discussions between Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan and Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. Following the CM’s recent move, asking two of his ministers to resign over corruption charges proved by an inquiry, and two others to go on leave — despite insufficient evidence to prove them guilty — a large block of Council members withdrew their support. more..

Racket in sale of vehicle registration books

June 17 (NS) Colombo Fraud Investigation Division has commenced an investigation into a racket involving vehicle registration books being sold unbeknownst to the owners of vehicles with the aid of corrupt officials of Dept of Motor Traffic. This has come to light following investigations into complaints received regarding such books being prepared for vehicles in households without the knowledge of the owners of the vehicles and subsequently pawning said vehicles to leasing companies & lessors. more..

Mahendran’s lawyer pinpoints errors in AG’s analysis

June 17 (DN) There are certain data and mathematical errors in an analysis prepared by the Auditor General which he presented to the Presidential Commission that inquires into the Treasury bond issue, it was revealed yesterday. The AG’s analysis is on the Treasury bond issuance from February 2015 to the end of March 2016. It comes in as a power point presentation, and is partly based on data derived from audit report he provided more..

SLFP issues show cause letters to 15 rebels, including Mahinda Rajapaksa

June 17 (Island) The SLFP disciplinary committee had summoned 15 party members including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to show cause as to why they should not be expelled from the party for breach of discipline, General Secretary of the SLFP Duminda Dissanayake said. The charges against them are criticising the party and its leadership repeatedly, engaging in political work of the new political party Podu Jana Peramuna while being members of the SLFP, more..

Textbook issue: Rajitha accuses GMOA of causing panic

June 17 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne refuted the GMOA claim that school textbooks printed on synthetic paper were injurious to students’ health. He said  that the GMOA, which, of late, had been pursuing a political agenda, had got its wires crossed once again.  "GMOA obviously wants to create panic among parents leading to protests," the Minister noted, adding that the outfit was trying to maintain the momentum created by it, through a series of strikes in the recent past. more..

Cornered Wiggie says: Colombo hatched plot to oust him

June 17 (CT) NP Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran accused Colombo of a plot to oust him from office as the Chief Minister of the Northern Province. Standing on a podium set at the entrance of his residence in Jaffna yesterday, former SC Judge told a sea of supporters congregated there that when Minister Sarath Fonseka visited Jaffna two weeks ago he had said that very soon Wigneswaran will be ripped off his post. more..

Stop labouring children!

June 17 (DM) Monday June 12 was the world day against child labour and the International Labour Organization has said it has launched this day to focus attention on the global extent of child labour, the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.  Each year this day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, and the millions of people to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them. According to the ILO, more..

Wigneswaran 's anti-corruption drive eclipsed by sectarian politics

June 17 (DM) The Northern Provincial Council is a unique entity compared to the other eight Provincial Councils due to its actions independent of the Central Govt.  During their nearly three decade old history no other Provincial Council had acted so independently, as had been most of the time run by the political party that governed the Central Govt. Therefore they had been working according to the wishes of the leaders of the Govt in Colombo. more..

Need a Ginger Group to Gun for Inept and Corrupt Ministers!

June 17 (DM) Six Rooms only—Minister Constrained in Serving Masses? In 1967 June, exactly 50 years ago, PM Dudley Senanayake called upon the UNP front-liners who held Cabinet Portfolios to Temple Trees along with the back-benchers [Ginger Group] at the request of the latter for a face to face confrontation by the two factions. On June 1, 1967, entire Govt group was summoned by the PM, who had one agenda-the service more..

Waters Edge breaks ground for extensive expansion project

June 17 (DM) The Waters Edge Hotel, Battaramulla broke ground for its extensive expansion project of the 4-floor banquet facility this week, with the objectuve of providing a unique ballroom experience along with the country’s largest banquet facility to visitors by the end of next year. Minister Champika Ranawaka, who broke the ground, said hotel was a precedent to all other govt institutions which aspired to become self-reliant. more..

No plans to change the school uniform: Prez

June 17 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says Govt has not taken any decision to make any changes to the school uniform. The education system centered on the Piriven and temples nourished the then SL society with human values and passionate, the President said that adding all the religious leaders should commit  themselves to build a society which closely associate with religious places. more..

'Nandikadal fish perished without oxygen'

June 17 (ST) Thousands of fish seen floating in the Nandikadal and another nearby lagoon in Mullativu this week died because of a lack of oxygen, experts say. Nandikadal is where a decisive battle against LTTE terrorism took place in May 2009. So the news of the dead fish triggered more curiosity. The Fisheries Ministry directed the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency to investigate. more..

Strict rules to ensure better bus service

June 17 (DM) Strict rules will be implemented to ensure that bus drivers and conductors provide a quality transport service to the commuters, National Transport Commission (NTC) said. NTC Chairman M.A.P. Hemachandra said they were thinking of banning the semi-luxury bus service and converting them to a luxury bus service and were seeking legal advice prior to undertaking such a move. He said the facilities provided by more..

President attends India organised Yoga Day

June 17 (PTI) President Maithripala Sirisena today performed a number of yoga asanas and joined thousands of yoga enthusiasts to celebrate the International Day of Yoga. Messages from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj were displayed at the venue. Sirisena performed a number of yoga asanas and encouraged yoga institutions in SL to continue their good work in the event more..

'NPC CM has stirred up hornets nest'

June 17 (DM) TNA leader R. Sampanthan said NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran had created an unnecessary crisis by opting to take action against two provincial ministers not found guilty of any allegation. He said this in reference to the no-confidence motion submitted against the CM by the members of the ITAK. Mr. Sampanthan said that the CM had appointed a committee comprising two retired judges and more..

SL improves on Global Peace Index

June 17 (NR) Sri Lanka has improved its position considerably in the global peace index for 2017 going up 17 places to number 80. The 2017 global peace index rates Iceland as the most peaceful country in the world. Vision of Humanity, the organisation that compiles the annual index notes that ongoing consolidation of power undertaken by the govt led by President Sirisena, has allowed the country to undertake structural political more..

While robbing people's money; Govt advt. calls for uni students to follow right path

June 17 (DM) The govt in a newspaper advertisement yesterday made an appeal to all university students to attend all lectures and focus on their studies by following the right path to success without wasting their time by protesting on the streets. The Presidential Secretariat, Higher Education Ministry and the Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Ministry had jointly made this appeal to university students. more..

Sampanthan writes to Vigneswaran over NPC crisis

June 17 (DM) TNA Leader R. Sampanthan today urged CM C.V. Vigneswaran to take early remedial action in regard to the two ministers who were not found guilty by the board of Inquire of the CM. In a letter to Mr. Vigneswaran, TNA Leader said the board of inquiry conducted investigations in respect of the four council ministers but only two ministers have been found guilty and two others have not been found guilty. more..

The darker side of athletics

June 17 (CT) The cause of the continuing standoff between the Sports Minister and Asia's only woman silver medalist, in an Olympics track and field short distance event: This shows the typical Sri Lankan mentality of those who accept what their eyes see. At a time when ministers are fighting over the size of their rooms, tables or whatever it might be, it shows that it has become the norm today for them to strut around like super stars. And people get carried away with their conduct on the streets, more..

Lankans in Jakarta observe Ifthar

June 17 (FT) Bringing Sri Lankans together in Jakarta, the Embassy and members of the community observed Ifthar on Sunday (11) at the Chancery at Jalan Diponegoro, Menteng, Jakarta. Evening began with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp and moments of silence in remembrance of those who died in the recent floods. Program included Islamic religious observances, an educative presentation on the meaning of fasting and zakat by a distinguished member of more..

The Nation Cartoon

Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome commemorates Vesak and Poson

June 17 (FT) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Rome organised a special event in commemoration of Vesak and Poson at the Embassy premises in Rome on Saturday, 10 June. The highlight of the event was the special Flood Relief Assistance Program which was organised to raise funds due to the serious flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka.  The event was organised in coordination with the Sri Lankan associations in Rome and well-wishers from the different communities and religions. more..

Ven. Gnanasara gets 5 weeks from Court of Appeal

June 17 (FT) On Thursday the Colombo Fort Magistrate issued an arrest warrant on Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero for failing to be present in Court when two cases against him were being heard.  The warrant was issued because of a blunder by the lawyers representing Ven. Gnanasara. One of them claimed that he did not attend Court as there was a death threat on him. Other claimed that four Police teams had been deployed to arrest the BBS monk, hence more..

Corruption with blessing of President & PM

Series of events in Toronto to mark Vesak

June 17 (FT) Followers of Lord Buddha’s philosophy marked the birth, attainment of enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha, by organising several events in the Greater Toronto Area, with the active participation of the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Toronto and staff. The West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre of Mississauga, together with other Buddhist temples in the GTA, representing Theravada, Mahayana and Vijirayana Sects organised an event on 28 May to mark more..

Sri Lanka HC in London celebrates Ifthar

June 17 (FT) The annual Ifthar was celebrated at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London on 2 June with the participation of a large gathering of Sri Lankan Muslim community living in London.  Moulawi Mousoon led the Ifthar prayers and blessed the country and the people of Sri Lanka while recalling the significance of Ramazan.   Welcoming the guests, High Commissioner Amari Wijewardene said, “Ramazan reminds us to appreciate the many blessings we often more..

Political crisis in Northern Province will lead to realignment of Tamil parties

June 17 (FT) The ongoing political crisis in SL’s Tamil-majority Northern Province will lead to a realignment of Tamil political parties. Among other things, the present crisis shows that the existing political alignments are extremely weak and shaky and are as good as broken. Looking at the current trend, it is likely that the ruling TNA will break into two groups by the time the next NPC elections are held 15 months from now. more..

5000 students lost chance of Uni entrance annually: FUTA

June 17 (DM) The annual intake of the College of Education has been limited to 15,000 since 2010, though the university is capable of recruiting 20,700 students annually, the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) said. FUTA acting President Aruna Kumara said that about 5,000 students had been deprived of university entrance annually for six years from 2010 to 2015 as a result.“There is a huge requirement for science teachers at present. more..

Lands in landslide prone areas will be taken over: Thalatha

June 17 (DM) Lands in which landslides have occurred and which are at the risk of experiencing landslides will be acquired by the government, Minister Thalatha Atukorale said. Addressing a function in Ratnapura, Minister Atukorale said that the govt would provide these people with lands after acquiring their lands. “The govt has decided to offer a housing allowance of Rs. 7 500 per month to people who had lost their homes until they get new homes,” she said. more..

'Country lacks top political leadership to overcome challenges'

June 17 (Island) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma alleges that the yahapalana administration has failed to achieve its much touted objectives. He asserts that post-war Sri Lanka lacks proper political leadership to meet challenges it is faced with. In spite of the change of govt in Jan 2015 the present-day rulers haven’t been able to bring about an change, MP says. Waste, corruption, irregularities & theft were rampant more..

Teachers accuse Education Ministry of arbitrary action

June 17 (Island) The Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) accused the Education Ministry of taking arbitrary decisions without consulting stakeholders involved in the country’s primary and secondary education. CTU Secretary, Joseph Stalin, said the govt’s latest move to introduce books printed on synthetic paper for the Grade Seven had been made without other stakeholders being consulted. Every few years changes were effected to syllabi and textbooks had to be revised. more..

Relief package for students severely affected by the devastation: Education Min.

June 17 (ST) Ministry of Education (MoE) will provide a relief package next week for students who were severely affected by the recent floods and landslides. The Education Minister has directed Principals and the Zonal Directors of Education (ZDE) to submit a report, this week, on such students. Accordingly, a special application form has been sent to Principals, ZDEs and Provincial Directors of Education to gather information about the affected students. more..

Ministry defends printing textbooks on synthetic paper

June 17 (Island) Ministry of Education accused the GMOA of making baseless accusations to instill fear in parents and schoolchildren. Responding to GMOA’s claim that toxic paper had been used for printing school textbooks, Media Secretary Ministry of Education, Kalpa Gunaratne said that such allegations only made one wonder whether the GMOA’s agenda was politically motivated or it was trying to settle more..

Health Minister finally awakes to dengue crisis

June 17 (Island) Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne instructed Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr Jayasundara Bandara to transfer dengue patients to other hospitals from the National Infectious Diseases Hospital, which has experienced an influx of patients. The National Hospital, the Teaching Hospitals of Colombo North and South, Talangama, Wetara, and Piliyandala would be used to accommodate patients from the IDH under the proposed scheme, while urgent steps more..

Big losses for exporters from defunct Sri Lanka quarantine service email

June 17 (EN) A defunct email of Sri Lanka’s National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS) caused big losses for fruit and vegetable exporters after European Union warnings of interceptions of shipments were not received in time, a new study has revealed. Failure of govt agencies to provide accurate contact details can have far reaching consequences, according to a study by Verité Research, a private think-tank, of difficulties faced by Sri Lankan agriculture exporters. more..

Police use IT to nab suspects, BBS chief remains elusive

June 17 (EN) Thousands of police backed by Information Technology carried out a major search operation across the country today and arrested over 650 wanted persons, but the high profile fugitive BBS leader, Galagodaatte Gnanasara, was not among them. Police said that they completed the four-hour operation at 3 a.m. on Saturday and executed warrants for the arrest of 595 people wanted by courts while another 70 evading more..

Try crab curry from Sri Lanka

June 17 (WP) As any fan of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain knows, food is more than raw ingredients. To understand a bowl of noodles or a perfectly formed dumpling, a foodie must understand the people who make it, the place where it is made, and the deeply rooted history of both. Halfway across the world, in the small-yet-mighty city-state of Singapore, students are embarking on the journey of a lifetime at The Culinary Institute of America’s first international location. more..