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AG to reject Finance Ministry report

June 25 (CT) Auditor General's Department is set to reject the 2016 Annual Report of the Ministry of Finance. They added that the 2016 annual report of the Ministry of Finance was a balance sheet which had nominal and false figures in terms of debit and credit. AG has declined to approve the report. AG had informed the Ministry that such a report will lead to the loss of people's trust in govt with regard to public finances. more..

Wijeyadasa’s hard hitting statement stuns diplomats

June 25 (SL) A statement made in Parliament last week by Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe stunned western diplomats based in Colombo. In his statement Rajapakshe accused the former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mónica Pinto, of falling prey to NGOs when compiling a report on Sri Lanka. Rajapakshe told Parliament Mónica Pinto could not have compiled a full report on Sri Lanka after spending just a few days in the country. more..

Drought prevails over coconut triangle where monsoon has failed

June 25 (Island) Coconut plantations in Chilaw, Kurunegala and Puttalam districts are under severe stress due to extreme dry weather that has not eased despite recent rains in some parts of the country. "There has been no rain worth talking about and although the estates don’t look parched due to some drizzles and light rain that’s not worth talking about, the peak Vesak crop has been a fraction of that a year earlier," the head of a plantation management agency with a large portfolio of more..

Public anger mounting over dengue management: Poll

June 25 (ST) Unsurprisingly, a new poll on the dengue crisis that has engulfed the country, reveals mounting public anger against the Govt and local authorities for failing to contain the epidemic. With both public and private hospitals overflowing with patients and public concern over dengue at its peak, poll (conducted on email and on the street) saw dozens of those polled venting their anger and frustration with comments flowing. more..

Combatting dengue: Control agent to be produced locally

June 25 (SO) National Dengue Control Unit, in partnership with a private institute, has stepped into produce locally, dengue vector control agent, Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), to cut down the heavy costs involved in importing the dengue control spray from China. “We have asked Bio Power Lanka Ltd, to give us a time-frame when it can start producing the Bti to meet our demands,” Community Specialist at National Dengue Eradication Unit, Dr. Priscilla Samaraweera said. more..

Talks collapse, postal unions to strike from Tuesday

June 25 (ST) Postal trade unions have resolved to go ahead with a strike from Tuesday after talks with Posts Minister M.H.A Haleem failed yesterday. United Postal Trade Unions Front Chief Chinthaka Bandara said the minister was unable to give an assurance with regard to their demands which included abandoning the move to convert several old post office buildings into hotels, restoration of the old General Post Office (GPO) opposite President’s House in Fort and workers’ problems. more..

Aloysius distillery: Finance Ministry asked to show cause

June 25 (ST) A Task Force, functioning under President Sirisena, has queried Finance Ministry on how approval was granted to establish an ethanol distillery in Batticaloa, contrary to govt policy. Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention (PTFDP) functions under the purview of President. PTFDP has asked Finance Ministry Secretary to explain how approval was granted to set up a new ethanol distillery in Kalkudah, Batticaloa, more..

New laws to check multiple voting by IDPs

June 25 (ST) Displaced people found to have registered to vote in several electorates by submitting false information and documents risk being fined, sentenced to a prison term or both, under new laws now being drafted. Under the new laws, IPDs have been allowed to register to vote in the electorate they resided in before being displaced. If, however, such persons are found to have registered to vote in several electorates, they risk a 2-yr jail term, Rs.100,000 fine or both. more..

Sri Lanka legends question Ford exit

June 25 (Cau) Sangakkara suggests there may not be any coaches left to employ for his former side after highly-rated mentor's departure As Sri Lanka begin their search for a ninth head coach in six years, Test champions Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena have questioned the circumstances that led to Graham Ford's departure from the role. Sri Lanka Cricket announced Saturday that Ford's 15-month stint at the helm of the national team would be cut short by mutual consent, more..

WB US$ 100 million loan facility in jeopardy

June 25 (CT) World Bank (WB) has warned the govt that US$ 100 million loan facility in the pipeline for release in September will be suspended unless the Audit Bill is tabled without further delay in Parliament and approved by it. Well-informed sources said that this had come up at talks between officials of the WB, Finance Ministry and officials of the Auditor General's Department on 16 June. However, an adviser to Cabinet Committee more..

Ramazan Messages

June 25 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe: Ramazan Festival is celebrated by Muslims with a deep sense of fellowship and co-existance in countries throughout the world. Ramazan ends a time of fasting undertaken as a period of reflection and religious observances, marked with almsgiving and sharing with others. Fasting associated with Ramazan encourages mental and physical commitment to the faith and also enables families and communities to connect with one another more..

TNA agrees unitary state will be clearly defined

June 25 (CT) SLFP, UNP and TNA have had discussions on the advisability of clearly defining the meaning of the word Ekeeya in defining the quintessential indivisible nature of the word State wherever it is used in the draft of the new Constitution. Sinhala word Ekeeya means unitary in English. Discussions are underway to include the same word in the Tamil version too, a senior Govt official said. "That means the exact corresponding word in Tamil for the word Ekeeya more..

More details emerge on SriLankan’s state of affairs

June 25 (ST) Hitherto unknown details of financially wrecked SriLankan Airlines unravelled this week. A highlight is a CID probe on how four Airbus A-350 900 aircraft came to be purchased during the previous regime. As a result, Minister Kabir Hashim told his ministerial colleagues in a memorandum that Airbus S.A.S. had declined to continue further discussion on the purchase agreement until it received confirmation from more..

NPC is TNA’s chronic headache, whose bothersome baby is BBS?

June 25 (Island) In politics, all may not be well even when things seem to end well. The vicars of gods in Jaffna and diplomats in Colombo may have helped avert the spectacle of a No Confidence motion in the NPC. But Jaffna’s political circus is by no means over. The TNA’s relief will not last longer than the effect of its last migraine pill. There are media reports implicating the CM and his adviser from down under about funds received from expatriate Tamils and gone unaccounted so far. more..

A new play

June 25 (Island) The theatre of racism does not entertain coincidence. When the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, following a meeting of the Karaka Sangha Sabha, issues a statement and the very next day, Gnanasara Thero of the BBS, after over a month in hiding and with two arrest warrants against him, surrenders to the courts, one sees a plan, process, purpose and indeed, peril. Despite official statements around coexistence, diversity and religious tolerance by the PM and Cabinet, more..

President’s Fund drying up, Sirisena wants one billion rupees urgently

June 25 (ST) From providing financial assistance for medical treatment to granting relief to low-income groups over the years, President’s Fund is now, literally broke. President Sirisena, under whom the Fund functions, wants at least a billion rupees immediately as a temporary measure to fund the Fund. Towards this end, he has come up with three different proposals to ensure that the flow of funds is not curbed and there is a steady flow of more..

Departments under law and order ministry ignore request under RTI

June 25 (SL) It is now proved how incompetent the country’s Law and Order Ministry and the institutions that comes under it are, following the offices of the IGP, CID, Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) and Special Investigation Unit’s (SIU) failed to provide information this newspaper requested under the Right to Information (RTI) Act on April 22. Several reminders via e-mails were followed more..

Beaten but not defeated

June 25 (CT) Breaking eight years of prolonged quiescence, Poddala Jayantha has made his presence in the country to lodge a complaint with the CID against his abduction and persecution in 2009. After making several complaints to the police verbally and in writing prior to and after fleeing to the USA as a political asylum seeker, Jayantha says no satisfactory decision was taken by the authorities. "I feel relieved today since authorities at least more..

Rohingya refugee alleges rape by Cop

June 25 (CT) The Department of Immigration and Emigration said they have received information about a complaint made by a 21-year-old Rohingya Muslim girl that she has been raped by a Police officer attached to the Mirihana Detention Camp. The Department of Immigration and Emigration, the Police Crime Branch and the Kohuwala Police are conducting inquiries following a complaint lodged by the victim's brother. more..

How offshore fish farming can help combat dwindling marine resources

June 25 (Roar) With sustainable means of farming and agriculture becoming a need of the hour and more than just a trend, as an island, and a people who love our seafood, we can’t afford to ignore the potential dwindling of our marine resources. Sri Lankans have, for as long as we know, depended on these resources for human consumption. Dedicated seafood restaurants, hotels, and cafés mushrooming around Colombo more..

Operations Room to monitor city and suburbs of Colombo

June 25 (ST) A wide-ranging garbage collection and disposal programme covering the whole country is being floated immediately with a special Operations Room being set up to monitor the situation in the city and suburbs of Colombo, a top official disclosed. The programme will come under the high-level Task Force based at the Provincial Councils and Local Govt Ministry with many relevant stakeholders being part of it, more..

Revolting episode in law enforcement, SC slams police in FR case ruling

June 25 (ST) Supreme Court has ordered the State to pay Rs 1 million each to the parents of two men who disappeared in 2008 while in custody of Batticaloa police. Court also ordered Shantha Wickramasinghe, OIC of Batti police, to pay Rs 50,000 each to petitioners Selvarajah Pushparani & Annamalai Selvarajah and to petitioners Thevapody Kandasamy & Kandasamy Palathai for having failed to provide equal protection of law more..

CID action against those provoking religious or ethnic tension

June 25 (ST) Individuals or groups trying to provoke religious or ethnic hatred on social media are to be monitored and action taken against them by the CID. Law and Order Ministry Secretary Jagath Wijeweera said the decision was taken following a meeting with the police and other agencies. He said the CID’s cyber crimes division would also closely monitor blogs, photographs and videos uploaded & take action against those more..

No approval for unfit Lankan cricketers

June 25 (ST) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has delayed approving the 15-man squad for the forthcoming series against Zimbabwe following reports of poor player fitness. The test results of the national squad were unsatisfactory only meeting the minimum requirement. Law requires the Minister’s approval for any team competing at international level. Minister is awaiting the arrival of SLC bigwigs more..

Govt to issue gazette citing stance to SAITM

June 25 (NR) Govt says a special gazette notification citing the govt’s stance pertaining to SAITM will be issued. Special gazette is being issued taking into consideration the recent controversy surrounding SAITM. Statement pertaining to the decision was issued by Secretary to President on the directives of Prez. Accordingly govt has decided to refrain from awarding degrees or enrolling students to SAITM until more..

Saman Kelegama (1959-2017): A thinker of a think tank

June 26 (CT) The totally unexpected and devastating news of the untimely demise of Dr. Saman Kelegama on Friday 23rd June has left many people shocked and sad. I have not seen such an outpouring of messages of condolences from a wide spectrum of people on the death of an Economist. Indeed, Saman was a very gentle and amiable person who earned respect and admiration as a humble and modest human being. While saddened by realisation of the fact that he is no more, more..

Cricket, the law and the importance of being Lasith Malinga

June 26 (ST) In a country where people seldom challenge the political leadership of the day preferring instead to pay homage to blatant sycophancy, a refreshing contrast emerges from the boy from Rathgama (as he identifies himself), one of SL’s leading cricketers, Lasith Malinga. As someone entirely and quite unashamedly ignorant about the intricacies of the game per se, what gripped my attention was the manner in which Lasith Malinga took on Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera. more..

Outcry! Doctors strike while dengue spreads

June 26 (SO) The deadly dengue menace, spreading like wildfire in SL in epidemic proportions, does not seem to release its grip anytime soon. Now, with an indefinite doctors’ strike called by GMOA, apparently to settle a score with Minister Rajitha Senaratne over SAITM, there are fears that its consequences would cause a death spiral. This is despite assurances by GMOA big wigs that they will not let dengue units in hospitals go defunct more..

Venerable Rabble

June 26 (CT) Asgiriya statement is a straightforward manifesto of Sinhala Buddhist Clerical Fascism. It is an ecclesiastical indenture of priestly cunning packed with parochial hubris. What it demands, contradicts the ethical requirements of a modern democratic society. A priestly class that considers itself privileged and above the law is irreconcilable with moral and social imperatives of contemporary times. It's the duty & responsibility of us, Buddhists, to stop these bullies in their tracks. more..

The return of the prodigal monk

June 26 (ST) Ah, just when one had wondered whether the absconding monk, that fugitive of justice, had renounced the pleasures of the world and sought refuge in some quiet corner of some dense thicket to meditate upon the wise counsel of the Buddha and seek alone his own path to redemption and not lead others down the garden path to incite racial hatred, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara emerged this Wednesday from his unknown kuti and surrendered to court and more..

The ugly truth behind Ah Nangi!

June 26 (Roar) Venturing out into the streets of SL’s metropolises has become an ordeal that many women dread. While navigating the increasingly crowded public spaces is stressful enough, it only becomes all the more tiresome when one has to simultaneously field a volley of catcalls, hoots, whistles and lecherous advances. Worse yet, such harassment is not a one-off occurrence in SL. It is an inevitable eventuality every single more..

It’s how you played the game, Mr. Minister

June 26 (SL) A common feature of parliamentary democracies around the world is that cabinet ministers and those of lesser ranks need not be qualified or even knowledgeable about the subjects that are assigned to them often vital to the need for good governance. Nonetheless such governments with many ministers unqualified or even ignorant of the subjects under them carry on with varying degrees of success and failure for their entire term of office or until they are kicked out. more..

Editorial: The holy Vs the unholy

June 26 (Island) There are instances of woodpeckers getting into trouble because of their restless beaks which they recklessly plunge into fibrous banana trunks. Politicians, because of their tongues, find themselves in the same predicament as the hapless woodpeckers, which struggle to extricate their beaks. Asgiriya Chapter prelates have taken on the govt on several key issues and sounded a dire warning. They are of the view that govt has placed itself on a collision course more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Galle

Will TNA field Wigneswaran as Chief Minister in NPC polls-2018?

June 26 (SL) All is well that ends well – or, so goes the old adage. For the ruling TNA in the Tamil-majority Northern Province, it could well be just that and nothing more. The current truce between TNA leadership of R Sampanthan and Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran has the potential to blow up all over again as the NPC polls, due by September 2018, approaches. The question is would the TNA re-nominate Wigneswaran as their lead candidate for Elections-2018, more..

'Social media used to slander Maha Sangha'

June 26 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena said social media should not be misused and it should only be used for the betterment of the country and society. “It can be observed that certain persons are slandering the Maha Sangha levelling baseless allegations through the social media. “Levelling fabricated allegations and slinging mud on the Maha Sangha through social media mainly through facebook, cannot be accepted,” President said at the Amarapura Nikaya’s Upasampada ceremony more..

I am no communalist : Wigneswaran

June 26 (DN) CM C.V. Vigneswaran's comments on the NPC issue, TNA manifesto and allegations made against him by some sections of the TNA. Q: The attention of the whole country was drawn towards the NPC during the past few weeks. This situation which cropped up after the report of the anti-corruption committee appointed by you was released had created a suspicion that the problem had not reached more..

New Zealand model for Lanka’s primary industries development

June 26 (DN) Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage plans to emulate New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries which contributes the most towards economic development of that country. Addressing the Inco exhibition on Friday at BMICH in Colombo the minister said he would aim to adopt that particular model applied in New Zealand. Gamage said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe created the primary industries ministry with a view towards increasing Sri Lanka’s value added products. more..

Japan - SL parliamentary friendship offers flood relief assistance

June 26 (GDI) Japan - Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship League donated a package of drinking bottles for the victims affected by the recent floods and landslides in Sri Lanka. The goods were handed over to Prof. Dammika Ganganath Disanayake, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan on 19th June at the House of Representative Building in Tokyo with the participation of Wataru Takeshita, President, Mme. Yuko Obuchi, Secretary General Japan-SL Parliamentary Friendship League and more..

Video: Sri Lanka tea farmers struggle after devastating floods

June 26 (AJ) Tea farmers in Sri Lanka are struggling to make ends meet after their land was destroyed by heavy floods and mudslides last month. The floods, described by authorities as the worst to hit the country in more than a decade, killed more than 200 people and displaced more than 600,000 people from their homes. For many of the 400,000 small farmers who grow more than 70% of the country's tea, floods covered their tea more..