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Minimum programme for local councils in SL

May 8 (DM) People in many parts of the world are increasingly critical of their govts and other elected political institutions at different levels including local councils. This is partly due to the increasing complexity of issues that these bodies are expected to address and the obvious shortcomings in their responses to such issues. On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine what alternative institutional arrangements are possible to cope with the persisting and emerging social, more..

Who is Rajitha to teach me politics? – John

May 8 (CT) Labour Minister John Seneviratne says that Minister Rajitha Senaratne acted irresponsibly as the media spokesman. Q: What led to the clash between you and Minister Rajitha Senaratne last week? A: Minister Senaratne said during the Cabinet media briefing that a special unit would be formed under the command of Field Martial Sarath Fonseka, to deal with issues such as trade union agitations. more..

CEB union, Ex-Chairman trade charges

May 8 (SL) The CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) and the former Chairman of the CEB Anura Wijayapala traded charges last week related to Wijayapala’s sudden resignation from his post recently. CEBEU, in a letter to Wijayapala noted with regret that he had taken a sudden decision to resign from the post of Chairman, CEB. “We do not believe that the ongoing discussions between CEB members, Management, more..

Elections to three PCs this year

May 8 (DM) The elections to the three provincial councils - Eastern, Sabaragamuwa and North Central - will be conducted this year in conformity with the law concerned as discussed at the chief ministers’ forum conducted recently, officials said yesterday. Western Province Chief Minister Isuru Devapriya told Daily Mirror yesterday that the elections to these three councils were due this year, and they would not be postponed. more..

'We’ll launch struggle to abolish executive presidency'

May 8 (LT) “The govt has entered a suppressive process. Suppression has been unleashed on the GMOA, students who struggle to protect free education and farmers who are fighting for fertilizer subsidy and a guaranteed price for their harvest. The govt, instead of learning lessons from the May Day is taking steps to suppress masses who struggle for their rights. A massive people’s wall should be built against govt’s threats. more..

Constitutional proposals contrary to promises given by Prez, PM-NJC

May 8 (Island) The National Joint Committee (NJC) has alleged that recently unveiled constitutional proposals are at variance with repeated assurances given by both President & PM regarding matters of crucial national importance, including the status of Buddhism. NJC alleges that controversial proposals are contained in an interim report of Steering Committee of Consti'l Assembly tasked with constitution making process. more..

SLFP ministers to seek Rajitha's removal today

May 8 (DM) A group of Cabinet Ministers representing the SLFP will meet President Sirisena today and request him to remove Minister Rajitha Senaratne from the post of co-Cabinet spokesman, it is learnt. These ministers met at the residence of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera the other day. In his place, they are going to propose that Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa be appointed to the post. Mr. Yapa held this post more..

Action against Customs officer for leaking info to media

May 8 (ST) A senior Customs investigation officer, who was investigating an alleged fraud involving used vehicle parts, has been sent on compulsory leave on allegations of leaking information to the media. The officer, Assistant Superintendent W.M.R.P. Wijekoon, is also the General Secretary of SL Independent Govt Trade Union Organisation. Mr Wijekoon and his team from the CIB recently raided more..

All involved in bond scam will be prosecuted: Additional Solicitor General

May 8 (DM) Additional Solicitor General President's Counsel Dappula De Livera informed the Bond Commission that all those responsible for CB bond scam would be prosecuted under civil and criminal charges. He said that action will be taken according to the available evidence. He said that he made every attempts to achieve the objective of the commission by working day and night as a holy task entrusted upon him. more..

CERN to assist Sri Lanka to develop Physics teaching and scientific collaboration

May 8 (IL) Minister Susil Premajaytha has announced that a Steering Committee will be established in Sri Lanka to develop physics education at the high school and university levels and to strengthen cooperation with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The Committee would comprise of a core group drawn from universities and relevant agencies, such as the Ministry of Science, more..

Sri Lanka shake up likely this week

May 8 (EN) The drastic changes promised by President Sirisena are likely to be effected this week with a cabinet reshuffle as well as the axing of several top officials and heads of state institutions. President announced on April 20 that he will carry out sweeping changes in the govt within two weeks, but despite the slight delay he was keen to go ahead with his plan which is said to be resisted by some members of cabinet. more..

Battle for the minds of people can be won 

May 8 (CT) The Joint Opposition was successful in political and psychological terms when it succeeded in ensuring large scale participation of its supporters at its May Day event. Galle Face Green, which covers 18 acres of land, is perhaps the largest open air venue for public events in the country. In the past this has been the venue allocated to the Pope to conduct religious services as was last done in 2015. Members of the JO claimed that the crowd at the May Day rally the JO was even larger than more..

Collective call to make Provincial Councils meaningful

May 8 (CT) A collective call has been made to President Sirisena to devolve more power to Provincial Councils and make them meaningful by Chief Ministers of all nine Provinces at the 33rd Convention of Chief Ministers. Convention was held with the participation of the Chief Ministers of the nine provinces including CM of Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran at Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana last Saturday. It was interesting to note the unstinted unity of Chief Ministers voicing together more..

මහසෙන් රජුන් දේවත්වයට ළං කළ මින්නේරිය වැව

Sri Lanka to pay Rs36.20 per unit for Kandy waste-to-energy plant

May 8 (EN) The CEB is to pay 36.20 rupees a kilowatt hour for power generated from burning waste in the central hill city of Kandy. The cabinet had approved a proposal to for CEB to pay, Solventer Ltd and AC&RF Engineering Ltd and Recycle Energy Ltd which will set up a garbage processing facility in Gohagoda in Kandy. Similar tariffs have been awarded to Fairway Holdings and KCHT Lanka Jang Company, which are setting up garbage processing facilities in Karadiyana more..

'Govt not afraid of protests & strikes'

May 8 (NR) Minster Thalatha Athukorala says the govt is not afraid of threats posed by protests and strikes initiated by those who work according to a political agenda. she said the govt is prepared to face any situation. Minister added the Chairman of the GMOA Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya works according to the agenda of MP Mahinda Rajapaksa and called for the health industry to be respected. Minister urged officials to refrain from depriving the rights of the innocent. more..

Sri Lanka mulls more liberal visas for investors, professionals

May 8 (EN) The govt is looking at a more liberal visa entry system for investors and professionals connected to foreign investments, Minister Malik Samarawickrama has said. The move is aimed at bringing in skilled managers for investment projects, he was quoted as saying at the second EU-SL dialogue hosted by the minister and Board of Investment. The focus of the forum, with the European Union Embassy and more..

Karunakara Guru’s teachings can ensure world peace: Sri Lankan minister

May 8 (ENS) The teachings of Karunakara Guru can impart peace to the strife-torn world, said Sri Lankan Public Administration Minister Ranjit Madduma Bhandare while inaugurating the 18th Nava Oli Jyotirdinam celebrations at the Santhigiri Ashram on Saturday. The teachings of Karunakara Guru closely resemble Buddhist tenets. Buddha spoke about compassion and the guru of Santhigiri is also known by the name Karuna, which is compassion, said the minister. more..

Possibility of hail showers: Met Dept

May 8 (DM) Department of Meteorology today said there was a possibility of hail occurring during thundershowers in the afternoon in most of the Provinces across the country. Showers could be expected in the coastal area of Southern and Western Provinces during the morning as well. There is a possibility of ice rains during the thundershowers these days. Fairly heavy rain fall can be expected at some places particularly in the Western, S'gamuwa, Central, North-western, more..

4 new envoys present credentials to Prez

May 8 (PSL) Four High Commissioners and an Ambassador presented credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena today. Those who presented credentials were Malta High Commissioner, Stephen Borg, New Zealand High Commissioner, Joanna Kempkers, Indonesian Ambassador, Gusti Ardiyasa and Nepal Ambassador, Prof Bishwambher Pyakuryal. President Sirisena, referring to close bilateral more..

Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic renew bilateral cooperation

May 8 (MFA) The Junior Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Ivan Jancarek met with Additional Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Grace Asirwatham, on 5th May 2017, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo. During the meeting, the existing bilateral relations between the two counties were reviewed and the two sides discussed ways of meaningfully advancing engagements in the areas of trade, investment, tourism, cultural and education. more..

Dual citizenship: Udaya asks Immigration Dept. for MPs details

May 8 (DM) PHU General Secretary and MP, Udaya Gammanpila today requested the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to furnish the details of the MPs who held dual citizenship. He had attached a list of MPs in his letter to the Controller asking whether any of them were dual citizens as at August 17, 2015. “When applying for a passport, the applicant has to mention whether he is a dual citizen. The MPs' passport and identity card numbers could be obtained from Parliament,” more..

CWC accuses Digambaram of attempting to block Modi meet

May 8 (PTI) A Sri Lankan political party representing Indian-origin plantation workers has accused a minister of attempting to prevent its supporters from meeting PM Narendra Modi during his visit to the country this week. The Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC), the largest trade union-cum political party, said that Minister Palani Digambaran prevented its workers from inspecting a site where Modi would hold a public meeting. more..

Mumbai: British woman helped 6 Sri Lankans reach UK with fake Indian passports

May 8 (IE) Before she was caught in March for allegedly aiding four Sri Lankan nationals to illegally travel to the UK with forged Indian passports, a British woman also helped six other Sri Lankans make the journey. The Sahar police have identified British national Julie Ann Warner and Sri Lankan agent Rayappen Thevakumaran (52), who was arrested at Chennai airport on May 4, as the main conspirators in the racket to send Sri Lankans to UK using forged Indian passports. more..

How can John remove me?: Rajitha

May 8 (DM) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne maintained that it was he and a few others that had helped form this government and therefore asked how Labour and Trade Union Relations Minister John Seneviratne could call for his removal from the post of Cabinet spokesman. Dr. Senaratne said that he did not believe in double standards. “I do not have double standards. I am loyal to the govt,” he said making his remarks to the media in Anuradhapura. more..

Lancashire sign Mahela for T20 Blast

May 8 (CI) Lancashire have signed Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene for this year's NatWest T20 Blast as a non-overseas player. Jayawardene qualifies by virtue of his Danish wife, Christina. He is available for the whole competition, including the knockout stages, and will join up with the squad in July. After retiring from international cricket in 2015, Mahela has featured in T20 leagues around the world as a player and mentor. more..

Sri Lanka foreign reserves down by US$ 74 million in April

May 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s official foreign reserves further dropped by US$ 74 million to US$ 5.04 billion in April, official Central Bank data showed. Foreign currency reserves were US$ 4.07 billion and reserves in Gold were US$ 0.91 billion. Central Bank’s Treasury bill holdings were up from 233.32 billion rupees in March to 295.34 billion rupees in April. During the year up to 05 May 2017 the Sri Lanka rupee has depreciated against the US dollar by 1.5%. more..

No decision yet on future of Anti-Corruption Secretariat

May 8 (CG) The PM’s office says there is no decision yet on the future of the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat. A statement by the PM’s office said that the future of Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat will be based on the recommendations of a committee tasked with submitting proposals on the future operations of the Secretariat. PM’s office said that a committee comprising of officials from the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat, Bribery & Corruption more..

GMOA complains to John Seneviratne against Rajitha

May 8 (DM) GMOA said it would file an intervenient petition in the court case filed by SLMC against the Appeal Court ruling in favour of the SAITM. GMOA Assistant Secretary Haritha Aluthge said that the GMOA would resort to further legal action against SAITM if their agitation campaign did not succeed. He said GMOA had sent a letter to Labour Minister John Seneviratne drawing his attention to Minister Rajitha Senaratne's threats more..

Customs whistle-blower: TISL flags protection clause in RTI act

May 8 (AD) Reports that a senior Customs investigation officer W.M.R.P. Wijekoon has been sent on compulsory leave on allegations of leaking information to the media, have raised concerns over the protection of whistleblowers, Transparency International SL said. TISL is concerned that the provision within the Right to Information (RTI) Act which seeks to protect whistleblowers, has not been considered prior to disciplinary action being taken under the Establishments Code, more..

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sister passes away

May 8 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s younger sister Gandini Rajapaksa Ranawaka passed earlier today while being treated at a private hospital. She was fifty-eight at the time. Her remains will be at her residence in Ebuldeniya, Nugegoda. Final rites will be performed at the Udahamulla burial ground, tomorrow evening. Gandini Rajapaksa is the youngest of the Rajapaksa family of nine. more..

Foreign investments safe in SL: BoI Chief

May 8 (DM) While providing a better understating of Board of Investment (BOI) policies for foreign investments, BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya assured that all foreign investments were safe in Sri Lanka, and that BoI was always prepared to facilitate  any shortcomings faced by  the investors.  He said that in Sri Lanka there was no requirement with regard to a particular equity ratio to be held by the foreigners and  the locals.  more..

Modi’s visit: Wasp nests in estate sector to be removed

May 8 (DM) Ahead of Indian PM Narendra Modi's visit to the upcountry areas, action has been taken to remove hornets and wasps nests found in certain parts of the estates to avoid any possible attack on the visiting dignitary. The security units assigned with the provision of security to the Indian Premier had coordinated with the Hatton SPs office and obtained the assistance of the Organization for the Protection of such bees. Premier Narendra Modi is scheduled to declare open more..

Sri Lanka looks to boost ties with France under Macron

May 8 (CG) SL is looking to boost ties with France under French President-elect Emmanuel Macron. President Sirisena congratulated Macron on his election win saying it provides a platform to boost relations between both countries. “Congratulations to @EmmanuelMacron on your remarkable victory. It provides a great platform for relations between our nations to prosper,” president tweeted. Minister Mangala Samaraweera also tweeted saying win by Macron was a victory for liberal democracy. more..

Diyawanna Vesak Zone from May 10

May 8 (DN) The Diyawanna Vesak Zone jointly organized by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and the Speaker’s Office this year will portray Buddhist customs and traditions of 10 Asian countries. It will be held from May 10 to 14 encompassing the Diyatha Uyana, the area surrounding the Parliamentary Complex, Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Road and Diyawanna Oya, said a press release. more..

MR says did not file Motion on CBK security

May 8 (DM) The motion filed in Supreme Court seeking an order to reduce the security of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, was not filed by former President Rajapaksa but by an NGO, Mr. Rajapaksa’s Media Secretary Rohan Welivita said. He said statements made by certain govt politicians to the effect that it was Mr. Rajapaksa who filed the motion were false. “We unreservedly reject that statement. Neither President Rajapaksa nor Presidential Secretariat nor more..

Break-in at Puttalam Court evidence room

May 8 (AD) The evidence room of the Puttalam District Court has reportedly been broken into, Puttalam police say. Preliminary investigations reveal that the perpetrators had entered the evidence room by removing the roof tiles of the building. The stolen items have not yet been determined. Our reporters stated that all external personnel have been banned from entering the district court premises on account of the ongoing investigations into the incident. more..

JVP says SLFP cannot distort public views

May 8 (NR) JVP says the SLFP has no right to distort the views of the general public. JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa said SLFP lost the 2015 Presidential Election because they stood by Executive Presidency. He added the JVP is in the process of holding discussions with the public pertaining to the proposed new Constitution. MP said discussions were held with CP, SLMC and TNA while they hope to hold talks with more more..


May 9 (CT) Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has been considered a draconian piece of legislation by many international commentators and human rights advocates. It allowed, among other abuses, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention, torture, confiscation of property, and the use of confessions made in detention as evidence. Although the PTA was used against all communities in SL, its main target was Tamil people. It terrorized Tamil people, especially those who lived in the North-East regions. more..

Standing up for the gay politician

May 9 (CT) At a parliamentary debate on 5 May 2017, a less than pleasant verbal exchange occurred between Minister Mangala Samaraweera, and the opposition benches, especially with MP Wimal Weerawansa. The former was accusing the latter of corrupt practices during the Rajapaksa administration, providing evidence of specific cases. One such case included financial malpractice (and diplomatic misdemeanour) in relation to a foreign trip on state business. more..