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Editorial: Shock and Awe

June 23 (Island) People abhorring violence watched in horror as the riot police, backed by STF commandos, cracked down on a group of undergraduates who had forcibly entered the Health Ministry, on Wednesday, calling for the closure of the SAITM. Frustrated and blind to the consequences of their action, the young protesters found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Led by some extremist political elements advancing a hidden agenda, they turned aggressive, more..

SkyRim signifies the limitless possibilities

June 23 (CI) St Joseph's College, Colombo launched their New Sports Complex named SkyRim Arena on 20 June. Minister Harin Fernando, former Josephian, was the chief guest. Located on the banks of the Beira Lake, the new arena is a revamped, state-of-the-art version of the school's 20-year-old Indoor Sports Complex, with the latest addition of brand new basketball and tennis courts. more..

After Asgiriya: Orange is the new blue

June 23 (Island) The day before yesterday’s impassioned, strongly worded statement issued by the Asgiriya Chapter meant that the writing is on the wall. But there is more than one thing written on the wall, and there is also something written between the lines. What the writing on the wall clearly says is that we have reached a point similar to that of 1955 when the Buddhist Commission issued its report. Already the govt (effectively) of PM Wickremesinghe looks like that of Sir John Kotelawela more..

Ratana Thera and failed agriculture sutta

June 23 (Island) This refers to the news item in the Island of 19th June titled Ratana Thera vows move to defeat glyphosate ban. I was full of admiration for Ven. Ratana for the active role he played in Mavil Aru fiasco when the LTTE disrupted the water supply to the villages of Mutur, Seruvila and Ischachalampattu DSs by closing the sluice gates of the annicut. This deprived 15000 farming families water even for drinking and thousands of acres of paddy fields were also affected. more..

Afghanistan, Ireland get Test status

June 23 (CI) Afghanistan and Ireland have been approved as Full Members by the ICC, meaning they have become cricket's 11th and 12th Test-playing nations. This was signed off on by the ICC Board in London on Thursday, during the ICC's AGM. Afghanistan and Ireland's boards had applied to the ICC to have their status upgraded from Associates, and this was put to vote at the meeting on Thursday and unanimously supported. more..

Bens retain title, Lyceum win for the first time

June 23 (Island) St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena retained the boys’ title of the Western Province Schools Athletics Championship, while Lyceum International School, Wattala ousted former champions with a 69 points lead to win the girls’ title for the first time at the four-day meet concluded at Mahinda Rajapaksa Int'l Stadium, Diyagama on Thursday. St. Benedict’s dominated most of the sprint events to aggregate 200 points to beat Maris Stella, Negombo (163) to 2nd place. more..

Has coach Ford gone on vacation or quit?

June 23 (DN) Following the Sri Lanka cricket team’s return to the country on June 14 from the ICC Champions Trophy there has been a lot of speculation going around that head coach Graham Ford has quit his job and gone home to South Africa. With the Sri Lanka Cricket hierarchy in London attending the ICC meetings there is no way of confirming whether Ford has actually left or gone on vacation. However SLC vice president K Mathivanan who is looking after the affairs of SLC more..

Mahela pulls out of Lancashire T20 stint

June 23 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, has withdrawn from his planned stint with Lancashire during the NatWest T20 Blast campaign due to personal reasons. Jayawardene, 40, had qualified to play for the club as a non-overseas player by virtue of his Danish wife, Christina, and had been expected to join up with the squad later this month ahead of their opening game against Durham on July 7. "It's disappointing that Mahela won't be joining us more..

SL, Korea to expand economic cooperation

June 23 (MFA) Minister Mangala Samaraweera met with Minister of Strategy and Finance of the Republic of Korea Kim Dong-yeon on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) held in Jeju on 16-17 June.  Two Ministers discussed issues of mutual interest, and looked forward to the expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries as well as investment opportunities for Korean companies in Sri Lanka. more..

MAS laments 13-yr delay to get patent in SL

June 23 (DN) Sri Lanka should be ashamed about delays in the implementation process and in this regard Sri Lanka is ranked 169 out of 190 countries, said BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya. Speaking on the subject of combating counterfeits he said Sri Lanka has increased its rankings in most of the other areas but this still remains in gray. He said that today legal cases in courts takes an unwanted period of time and judges too have to be held responsible for this. more..

CB holds rates unchanged, reserves climb

June 23 (LBO) The Central bank held key interest rates unchanged on Friday after a monthly monetary policy meeting with inflation moderating in April and May, and the economy expected to recover in the second half. “Growth in the first quarter was weighed down by the impact of unfavourable weather conditions, particularly on agriculture related activities,” the monetary policy statement said. more..

Cuppa leaves GMOA doctor in hospital

June 23 (DM) A doctor of the GMOA was admitted to the National Hospital last evening with injuries to his nose after being hit on the face by a cup thrown at him by a fellow doctor during a forum held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) over the SAITM issue. The National Hospital Police said a complaint had been lodged by the injured doctor to that effect. The injured doctor was attached to the National Hospital. Police is carrying out investigations into the incident. more..

‘Judiciary should be named and shamed over law’s delays’

June 23 (Island) The judiciary should be named and shamed when court matters are unnecessarily delayed by court houses, Chairman of the Board of Investment, President's Counsel Upul Jayasuriya said. "It is quite discouraging to hear that a certain intellectual property matter is pending before the Supreme Court for an appeal for more than ten years. Sri Lanka's Intellectual Property Act is one of the main instruments to attract and promote foreign direct investments in the country, more..

SriLankan airlines: Crucial meet seen as a non-event

June 23 (Island) Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines which was called for a meeting last Tuesday had been apparently told that the meeting would be about the cancellation of A350 Airbus Aircraft, but sources familiar with the matter said nothing of the sort was discussed and the meeting eventually focused on matters relating to terms of employment and human resources. The meeting which was expected to be a crucial more..

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka constructs 80 homes in Kegalle district

June 23 (Island) In celebration of National Housing Day, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka (HFHSL) ceremonially handed over 80 houses constructed for families affected by landslides in the Kegalle district in Aranayake, Sri Lanka. This project was launched by Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka in partnership with Alwaleed Philanthropies in January 2017, as part of a disaster response initiative to assist families affected by Cyclone Roanu which struck Sri Lanka in May 2016. more..

Nepal billionaire Binod Chaudhary Chief Guest at CCC AGM

June 23 (FT) Businessman Binod Chaudhary, who is regarded as Nepal’s first billionaire and the only person from the Himalayan republic to be listed on Forbes Magazine’s billionaire’s list, will be the Chief Guest at the 178th AGM of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The Chaudhary-led CG Corp|Global Chaudhary Group is a conglomerate comprising over 80 businesses spread across five continents and 30 countries including the US, Africa, Dubai, Maldives, SL, Thailand, India and China. more..

President defers blame from students

June 23 (PMD) President says some politically indecent groups are trying to show the country that govt is acting to emasculate the free education by depriving the opportunities of the students of the medical faculties in govt universities. “They are misleading the university students. I don’t blame any university student for the actions of those who conspire to use students as tools. These are done by undisciplined political groups”, more..

GMOA strike to continue indefinitely

June 23 (DM) The GMOA said today that they would continue the countrywide strike started today until the Govt addressed their demands over the SAITM. GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soyza said that all its members would refrain from private practices during the period of strike. The GMOA strike commenced at 8 a.m. today. GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Samantha Ananda told a news briefing that they had taken this decision with the unanimous approval of its central committee. more..

Pak-Sri Lanka relations key to promote cooperation in region: Nisar

June 23 (PO) Pakistan Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that stronger Pak-SL partnership was key to promoting greater cooperation in the region and strengthening regional platforms. During a meeting with former president of SL, Rajapaksa Mahinda and his delegation here, he said Pak-Sri Lankan partnership was also a bulwark against the challenges facing the region including, terrorism and poverty besides warding off any self-assumed notion of hegemony, a press release said. more..

Perpetual Treasuries, two other primary dealers evade tax on bond profits

June 23 (Island) Additional Director of Supervisory Department of CB, Suresh Sedera, revealed that three primary dealers had not paid taxes on profits from bond transactions during 2015/16 financial year. Sedera said that according to the audit statements, Perpetual Treasuries, Netwealth Securities and First Capital for 2015-2016 had not paid taxes after making profits though there had been provision for tax payment. more..

Yahapalanaya deals a blow to Child Protection: NCPA Deputy Chairman sacked

June 23 (Island) Shivers were sent down the spines of the good governance aspirants when President Sirisena, in most unwelcome manner, removed Sajeeva Samaranayake, Deputy Chairman National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). It is understood that no reason has been cited for his removal in the letter of expulsion. The NCPA comes under the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, whose minister is Ms. Chandrani Bandara. (To put the record straight, good governance aspirants, more..

Learning tricks from Parliament Mafia: Pera Uni assistant bursar missing with Rs 32 mn

June 23 (Island) A senior Assistant Bursar of the Postgraduate Institute of the Uni of Peradeniya has gone missing after allegedly misappropriating Rs. 32 million out of university funds. Peradeniya VC Prof. Upul Dissanayaka said the incident had been reported to the CID for investigation while a separate internal probe was underway. Bursar had withdrawn the money from an account with a bank saying that the money would be deposited with another bank, which offered a higher interest rate, more..

Health Minister threatens to deliver bitter medicine to striking docs

June 23 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne warned that govt was prepared to take drastic action against the continuous strike launched by the GMOA. Addressing media following Wednesday’s incident, where undergraduates walked into Health Ministry premises, Dr Senaratne flayed the GMOA for having resorted to a strike in protest against police action. It was wrong for doctors to strike at a time the country was faced more..

Parliament Mafia: What they discuss behind closed doors

June 23 (DM) A powerful purohita the other day openly vented his spleen on a colleague for the being the villain responsible for the loss of his much cherished portfolio. He also said that this colleague who undercut him would never be able to win at an election. He vowed, “I am going to expose all misdeeds the man has committed since entering the council through the charity list.” What is significant is that both these purohitas belong to the Green party. By the way, a group of purohitas more..

Cabinet Paper on SAITM to Ministers next week: Rajitha

June 23 (CT) Cabinet Paper on govt's proposed action, regarding the SAITM, will be presented for the perusal of the Ministers next week, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "This will also contain standards for medical education. I will present the Bill and I expect that it will be approved," he said. Minister added that he was to meet the head of SL Medical Council (SLMC) Professor Carlo Fonseka on Wednesday. Fonseka was to present him with a report on standards for medical education. more..

Please make us drunk, so that we can forget: Mangala cheers rethink of alcohol policy

June 23 (LBO) Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament that the country needs to relax issuing liquor licenses for beer & wine as it may reduce illegal liquor consumption. He said the ministry is now collecting information and is having discussions with the relevant parties with regard to the issue of licenses. “When we keep increasing fees and duties, people tend to consume more illegal liquor affecting health. more..

Precious lives should not end on roads

June 23 (DM) In Colombo and other cities, peak-time traffic snarls have led to the calamity of eight road deaths a day in addition to costing hundreds of millions of dollars on wasted fuel, more air pollution and a waste of precious time for hundreds of thousands of people including schoolchildren. Super highways and other road projects have to some extent eased the congestion. But in recent months especially peak time demonstrations by university students and others are flashing red lights more..

On political lone wolves

June 23 (DM) In politics there are degrees of expedience, of imperative, of loyalty, of friendships that sour and enmities that are forgotten. Nothing is cast in stone, which is why no one can be counted on as a permanent ally or foe. Picking on parties and individuals has naturally become a political necessity. Not just a necessity, but a necessary frill.  Truth is that Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, whose critique of Gotabaya while he was in power years ago has resurfaced on social media, has changed. more..

Mervyn gives undertaking to SC on compensation payment

June 23 (DN) Former Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court to pay compensation of Rs.400,000 as damages to a resident of Kiribathgoda by June 27 this year. President's Counsel Anil de Silva appearing on behalf of the former minister gave this undertaking to the Supreme Court three-judge-bench headed by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep. On Nov 28, last year, SC ordered Mervyn Silva to pay Rs.400,000 more..

'I could have survived unharmed if I toed the govt line'

June 23 (DM) Former General Secretary of SL Working Journalists’ Association Poddala Jayantha recently lodged a complaint with the CID, requesting an investigation into his abduction and torture in June, 2009. He began his journalism career in 1989 as a freelance journalist at Ravaya. Later, he joined Lake House and was working as an investigative journalist at the time when he was abducted and tortured. more..

The truth about school admissions

June 23 (DM) Instead of quotas for security forces MPs list becomes the order of the day as  regulations are openly flouted by politicians in the admission of children to schools? Two little ones cling on to their mother and father happy as ever on their way to school to begin their new lives, while two other little ones remain in their homes yearningly looking at the former, after their hopes of attending a new school almost shattered.  more..

Authorities mum on garbage problem

June 23 (SL) Despite strong objection by the masses in most parts of the Western Province and in some parts of Wattala, the authorities were mum, simply saying they are yet to find a concrete solution to the growing garbage problem in the country. Minister Faizer Mustapha was not available for comment despite numerous attempts to contact him. National Solid Waste Management Support Centre (NSWMSC) more..

It’s business as usual in Qatar, say returnees

June 23 (ST) Fowzil Ameer (40) is excited to be home and reunited with his wife and three children after his return from Qatar. He is eager to make the most of his two-and-a-half month vacation from his job and spend quality time with his family during the final weeks of Ramadan. However, he is unfazed by the prospect of returning to Qatar, even if the current diplomatic crisis engulfing the country drags on for months. more..

Police Media Spokesman resigns

June 23 (DM) Police Media Spokesman DIG Priyantha Jayakody in a Facebook post said he had decided to resign from his post due to his prevailing medical condition. He also stated that SP Ruwan Gunasekara would be appointed as the new Media Spokesman for the Police Department.  “I take this opportunity to convey my sincere gratitude towards all media colleagues and all my FB friends for the untainted support and more..

AG flayed for sending Bill inconsistent with Constitution for approval

June 23 (Island) Attorney General’s notification to the Supreme Court that Ministry of Justice wanted to withdraw the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) (Amendment) Bill after two petitioners had challenged it had an adverse effect on the national legislature, MP Dinesh Gunawardena said in Parliament. "If the two petitioners had not questioned the constitutionality of the bill before the Supreme Court, more..

Kiriella adamant Dinesh should have been present

June 23 (DM) Govt cannot be expected to go out of their way all the time to allow the joint opposition to move adjournment motions as and when they want, Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said. He was referring to the statement made by JO MP Dinesh Gunawardane that they will request the govt allow the adjournment debate on Health Ministry incident today. Mr. Gunawardene was not present to move the debate yesterday more..

Many ill-effects of Uma Oya project revealed in House

June 23 (Island) A disaster was on the horizon as the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project had resulted in unexpected ill-effects, Parliament was told. Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayaratne said that there was a leak which released about 1,070 litres of water per second and there was a threat of houses and other buildings in the Bandarawela town caving in. He said so responding to a series of questions more..

Serial garbage dumpers warned: You are being watched!

June 23 (DM) Street cameras will be set up to identify persons who dump garbage on the roadside and in public places, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said. At a meeting held to formally establish a National Task Force which was established by the Ministry in order to find solutions to prevailing garbage crisis with a view to curbing the spread of dengue, he warned that stern action would be taken against such individual. more..

Do protesters want to lose public support?

June 23 (CT) Yesterday, thousands of patients who came to receive treatment at govt hospitals were waiting helplessly, bearing the pain, as doctors were engaged in a strike action condemning the attack carried out by Police and STF against university students who invaded the Health Ministry demanding govt to take over SAITM. The decision of the GMOA to go on strike was a sudden move which was announced only around 10 p.m. the day before yesterday, after 95 student- protesters more..

Our tryst with mosquitoes!

June 23 (FT) This small specie – small in size but quite big in impact – is creating havoc among us these days. Govt has a serious emergency at hand consequent to mosquito bites and specifically the bites of one species – Aedes aegypti – making a significant impact on public health and our economy too.  Aedes aegypti is the vector that carries the dengue virus and the whole reason for today’s emergency situation. We are the primary host of the virus and we appear to be playing the perfect more..