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SLTB puts out 2,000 addl buses for New Year

Apr 6 (CT) Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has decided to deploy an additional 2,000 buses in order to facilitate those intending to travel to their hometowns for the 2018 Sinhala-Hindu New Year. This bus service will be in operation from the Central Bus Terminal in Colombo, with effect from today till 15 April, on a 24-hour basis. SLTB will also operate a similar bus service from its regional depots to aid those seeking to return to Colombo from the outstations with effect from 16 to 24 April. more..

Unions to defy May Day ban

Apr 6 (CT) The Public Resources and Human Rights Protection Centre, comprising 18 trade unions, including the Ceylon Mercantile, Industrial and General Workers Union (CMU), have decided to celebrate the May Day on 1 May in defiance of a Govt directive to postpone the Workers Day celebrations to 7 May to make way for Vesak Poya Day celebrations, which though falling on 29 and 30 April is to be celebrated, more..

Another Cabinet reshuffle to take place: Prez

Apr 6 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena today said a comprehensive Cabinet reshuffle would take place soon. Speaking to the heads of media institutions during a meeting held this morning, the President said a committee from both parties of the govt would be appointed to decide on the reshuffle. He also invited all members of Parliament to strengthen the govt. Meanwhile, the President said the Local Govt Elections Act needs to be amended because of the distortions in the new Act. more..

UNP-SLPP clash following defeat of NCM

Apr 6 (Island) Police are probing into a clash which occurred at Kiriyankalliya, Mundalam between UNP and SLPP supporters on Wednesday night. Supporters of a UNP local councillor for Arachchikattuwa were celebrating the defeat of the no-confidence motion moved against PM when a group of SLPP supporters confronted the UNPers. A heated exchange of words between the two sides soon took a violent turn and outnumbered UNP supporters were beaten up. more..

Only 51% passed English at 2017 O/Ls

Apr 6 (GDI) According to the result analysis of the O/L Exam held in Dec 2017, only 51.12% of candidates were able to pass the English subject. That is the lowest rate of pass percentage compared with the other core subjects. The result evaluation report states that of the 296,157 students who sat for the English subject, only 151,393 students were able to obtain a simple 'S' pass. Out of which 31,619 obtained 'A' passes, more..

We don't condone attacks on media: Prez

Apr 6 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said today he did not condone the attack on Sirasa TV on the day of the no-confidence motion. He told media heads that such incidents including those of harming journalists or media institutions were against the principle of media freedom. “Be it Sirasa or any other media organization, we as a govt upholding media freedom do not condone violence. We experienced how the previous Rajapaksa govt led an arson attack on Sirasa,” President said. more..

Bills to be presented in Parliament to assure female employees rights

Apr 6 (DN) The Labour Commissioner General informed that bills will be presented in Parliament to remove all discrimination in connection to maternity leave enjoyed by female employees in the private sector, Labour and Trade Union Relations Ministry spokesman said. This was said during a visit paid by the European Union delegation to Sri Lanka. The delegation paid special attention towards measures taken by the Sri Lankan Govt to protect labor rights, Ministry spokesman said. more..

ADB proposes Sri Lanka economic corridors to address regional imbalances

Apr 6 (EN) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has proposed an economic corridor to help correct regional imbalances in SL, linking Colombo on the west coast with Trincomalee in the east, covering 10 districts and half the total population. The economic corridor development plan has a potential to generate 1.2 million new jobs by 2030, according to a recent study of the ADB. In keeping with the SL govt’s development strategy, more..

Some thoughts on the post-NCM vote

Apr 7 (CT) My good friend, Prof Jayadeva Uyangoda’s recent article in Colombo Telegraph has shown the total bankruptcy of the liberal bourgeois reading of the current political situation in Sri Lanka. His reading and reasoning are instrumental in the sense that it aims at proving that the Jan 8, 2015 agenda is the best available option for Sri Lanka. Following the old adage, gilenna yana miniha piduru gaheth ellenawa (a person who is going to drown will hang even into a straw), more..

SL now needs good men & women of society

Apr 7 (CT) In the emerging environment Sri Lanka needs: 100 Good Men and Women of the Younger generation ( ie below 50 years) with Integrity, Intellect and Commitment, and; 1000 Good Young Men and Women leaders representative of all local government and village level (ie below 35 years), selected with diversity and representation across the island Accepting: the Oneness and Commonality of all and bound together only as citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of individual Ethnicity, Religion, more..

Youthful, promising finale

Apr 7 (ST) There was a buzz of anticipation in the Colombo Hilton’s Grand Ballroom last Sunday as 12 young designers took the ramp with their collections in the grand finale to the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week. Chosen for this year’s Emerging Designer Showcase were Vathsala Gunasekara, Yathra Jayawardena, Anushika Perera, Dinushi Pamunuwa, Poorni Wijesinghe, Marlon Rae, Himashi Wijeweera, more..

Overwhelming, intimidating or scary?

Apr 7 (CT) The phenomenal increase of huge Chinese investments in the South Asian region especially SL appears to be worrying India, US and the West due to the fast growing influence of Beijing across the region. “China’s penetration of South Asia is the biggest game changer in 100 years,” says Constantino Xavier, a fellow at the think-tank Carnegie India. “The Russians tried, the Americans tried. This is the first time, since at least World War II, that there is a massive power contesting more..

Moving ahead with new confidence

Apr 7 (DN) How soon will it take for the county to move towards some stability in governance, after all the political diversions and digressions of the recent No-Confidence Motion? This is the substance of the political debate today, having moved away from the immediate dangers of a success for the Joint Opposition ((JO)) and its supporters within the SLFP, especially in govt. Now that a Prime Minister, challenged both by his political opponents and his own Cabinet colleagues, more..

Impact of no-confidence motion: A round-up

Apr 7 (GV) On April 4, the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister was defeated after a marathon 12 hour Parliamentary debate, with 122 MPs voting against the motion, and 76 voting in favour, while 26 MPs abstained from the vote. There was no shortage of volte-faces in the run-up to the vote. State Minister Palitha Range Bandara, who initially said he and 27 other UNP MPs would back the no-confidence motion, more..

The saga of battleship Emden's crew

Apr 7 (Island) Way back during my boyhood in the 1930s, urban Sinhalese workmen's slang had two strange words to describe their buddies - the tough thugs were amden and muscular chaps were sando. My scholarly father told me of their origins. Eugen Sandow was the pioneer German body builder of the early 20th century - who so impressed the world that all hefty musclemen were fondly labelled sando. Amden also came from Germany, named after the WW I German battleship Emden based in more..

Editorial: Learn from South Korea

Apr 7 (Island) SL politicians’ predilection for foreign models is legendary; the executive presidency is based on the French model and Parliament is modeled on the Westminster system. (The fusion of the two has landed the country in an unholy mess.) Our devolution model has come from India and the less said about it, the better. The govt has sought to base the management of state ventures on the Singaporean model. It is said that the newly unveiled tax system, more..


Ranil remains Champion: Unaffected, unchallenged, and confident

Apr 7 (DN) The no-faith motion, which proved to be nothing but a damp squib despite the media feeding frenzies for two full weeks, has however opened up the political space to bring in the much needed structural and policy reforms to the Govt, giving it yet another chance to stay the course. The need to grasp this opportunity from both the hands were expressed by many a members in the UNF for Good Governance during the debate of No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the PM. more..

Celebrating Neville Master, Sir today

Apr 7 (SO) As the clock strikes 7pm on April 7, the music of Neville Fernando will come to life at The Sooriya Village. Neville, the man who created a revolution in Sinhala pop music, the man who banded together with two others to form the first Sinhala pop group, the man who on his own, with Los Cabelleros and Rukmani Devi created many a hit in the calibre of Manike Obe Sinahawe, Gayana Gayum, Samudra Devi, Mal Bara Himidiriye, Sandak Nagee and Master Sir. more..

The Big Ifs in Sirisena politics

Apr 7 (Island) The Big NCM is over, and it looks like this is the time of the Big IF. SLFP Cabinet Ministers who voted for the NCM will resign their portfolios only IF the President tells them to do so. Now isn’t that really great? They await a presidential directive to do what is accepted as gentlemanly behavior. These are cabinet ministers who voted against, and to remove from office, PM of the same Cabinet. They don’t have any principles of more..

Crime and punishment — the ICC way

Apr 7 (ST) Who said that cricket is waning as a game, while every day, its authorities keep pulling their hair (or what is left of it) to make it more appealing to the public, especially, to the guys who watch the idiot box for cricket action. For the TV cricket pundit, it should be sharp and prompt, because the game that is captured is shown in minute detail, as far as the game is concerned. As a result, TV cricket analysts and commentators have become after-life heroes, even after shedding more..

NCM strengthened both PM & Govt: Sagala

Apr 7 (FT) Minister of Youth Affairs and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake says the Govt and the UNP were strengthened by the No-Confidence Motion against the PM and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and the party started a new journey through it. Minister made this comment while participating in an inspection tour to observe the progress of the construction work of the Weligama Police Station, for which the foundation stone was laid when he was Minister of Law and Order. more..

Davis Cup decider begins today

Apr 7 (Island) In spite of better track record, dominating history and impressive player profile of their opponents Indonesia, hosts Sri Lanka will have at least 60-40% chance over them, in this year’s Relegation Play-off of the Asia-Oceania Zone Group-II Davis Cup, sponsored by BNP Paribas, which will begin at SLTA clay courts, Colombo, today. Perera & Sons, Browns 100 Plus energy drinks and Dunlop Fort Elite are more..

Wildlife officers shoot bear

Apr 7 (DN) Three persons were seriously injured and another sustained minor injuries following a bear attack in Thambalagamuwa in Trincomalee yesterday. The bear had entered a colony and had caused injuries to four people and the wildlife officials had to be called. The bear had died when a firearm had gone off when wildlife officials grappled to control the animal. “We entered the village and searched for the bear. The bear then jumped onto the vehicle and began attacking windscreen. more..

SL Tourism deploys cyber tool to track accommodation providers sans valid license

Apr 7 (FT) In a bid to enforce registration of all tourism industry service providers in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has deployed a new cyber tool to track accommodation providers operating without valid licences from the SLTDA. This tool scans publicly available online data about tourism businesses and cross-checks them with the business licensing platform run by the State tourism authority. At the initial stage, SLTDA will send warning letters more..

'EU countries constitute a ready market for Sri Lankan products'

Apr 7 (Island) All 28 countries in the EU - Britain included, presuming Brexit-related issues would be resolved - would comprise a ready market for Sri Lankan products, the EU's Paul Rubig said. Rubig was part of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA), including the Standing Rapporteur for South Asia, that was in SL this week. The mission comprised, Standing Rapporteur, Sajjad Karim, more..

Govt to amend National Defence Fund

Apr 7 (FT) The Govt moved two bills to amend the National Defence Fund of Act No. 9 of 1985 and the Pradeshiya Sabhas Act No. 15 of 1987. National Defence Fund was established in 1985 with a view to further expand the services rendered by such a fund for the welfare of the families of soldiers who have died or become disabled and to streamline its administrative functions. According to the proposed amendment of Section 3 of the Act, the repeal of paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (2) more..

JO objects appointment to Chairman’s Panel

Apr 7 (FT) JO Parliamentary Group objected the appointment of UNP MP Dr. Thusitha Wijemanna to the Chairmen’s Panel for the first session of the eighth Parliament. Chairmen’s Panel is made up of MPs chosen by the Speaker at the start of each session to chair the Public Bill Committeeand other general committees in the Parliament following the tradition. Announcing her appointment, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said: “I wish to inform the Parliament that in terms of Standing Order more..

JVP irked by move to pay CMC for facilities provided to Shangri-La

Apr 7 (Island) JVP has challenged a move by the govt to make the outstanding contractual payments amounting to Rs. 342 mn to the CMC for the provision of infrastructure facilities to Shangri-La Hotel project. The planned payment came to light when the govt presented a supplementary allocation on Thursday seeking the approval of the House for Rs. 7,000 mn to cover expenses, in addition to the amounts obtained from more..

Country needs knowledge and discipline-based human resource base: President

Apr 7 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said the country needed a knowledge and discipline-based human resource foundation. Speaking at the prize giving ceremony of Trinity College in Kandy yesterday, he said everybody should be extremely concerned over the safety and protection of children in the current harmful social conditions. He said the Govt was fulfilling its responsibilities to the fullest in order to build a knowledge and discipline-based human resource base. more..

Indika wins silver as weightlifters keep Sri Lankan flag flying high

Apr 7 (Island) Indika Chathuranga Dissanayake won a silver medal for Sri Lanka when he lifted a total weight of 297 kgs in the 69 kgs weight class as weightlifters increased the country’s total number of medals to three at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Friday. Never-say-die weightlifter whom the former champion and medalist Chinthana Vidanage had long hinted as a future medalist won his first Commonwealth Games medal after missing medals in the last two editions. more..

Army violates agreement on UN Peacekeeping missions: HRCSL

Apr 7 (DM) SL Army has sent its troops for UN Peacekeeping missions in Lebanon without obtaining clearance from the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) violating the agreement with the United Nations, HRCSL said in response to several media reports. In a letter sent to President Sirisena on Wednesday, HRCSL Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama had explained that HRCSL was the only body in the country more..

Docs to strike in East against Governor

Apr 7 (Island) Medical officers affiliated to all govt hospitals and medical centres in the Eastern Province would launch a strike on April 11, if the Eastern Province Governor Rohitha Bogollagama continues to turn down their requests for talks on their problems, GMOA said. GMOA secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that many medical officers, serving in the Eastern Province, had been facing death threats, physical harassment and interference while on duty, mainly from politicians more..

Aluthgamage’s writ petition dismissed

Apr 7 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed a writ petition filed by former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage who sought an order preventing the FCID from arresting him for allegedly committing offences under the Penal Code and Public Property Act while importing sports equipment during the last Presidential Election. Filing a writ petition in Court of Appeal, former Minister Aluthgamage sought an order in the nature of writ of prohibition preventing FCID from more..

President issues warning over UNP No-Confidence Motions against SLFPers

Apr 7 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena has warned that the UNP MPs move to press no confidence motions against select SLFPers could push the coalition partner towards the Joint Opposition members. Sources said the warning from the President when a group of UNP MPs called on him to raise their concerns over how six SLFP Cabinet Ministers and an MP (former Deputy Speaker) had voted in favour of JO-led more..

'PM agrees to TNA conditions to please Tamil Diaspora'

Apr 7 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremsinghe has given his consent to ten conditions proposed by the TNA, to apparently please the Tamil Diaspora, former MP and retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera alleged yesterday. He said that one of the main conditions was to draft a new constitution which would make Sri Lanka a federal State. “The tactics of the PM would divide the country and Mr. Wickremesinghe is betraying the country by giving priority to condition put forward by the TNA. more..

Sagala for mending fences with SLFP

Apr 7 (Island) Striking a conciliatory note after the defeat of the no-confidence motion against the PM, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said that the party expected to work closely with President Sirisena and to renew their bond with him. Speaking at an event in Weligama, Ratnayaka spoke of the importance of preserving the govt’s unity though over 30 UNP MPs had handed over a letter to the PM asking him to remove from cabinet the SLFP ministers who voted against him at the no-confidence motion. more..

'Cabinet reshuffle on scientific basis'

Apr 7 (CT) President Sirisena said that he and PM had met on 5 April night and resolved to iron out their differences and continue with the Unity Govt. He said that he and Wickremesinghe had agreed that there would be a comprehensive Cabinet reshuffle next week. Reshuffle will be on a scientific basis, he said as there were Ministries that had subjects grouped together that made no sense. “There are three sugar-producing plants more..

'MR/SLPP split the SLFP not the NCM vote'

Apr 7 (CT) General Secretary of the SLFP, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said that he does not believe that the SLFP should divide over the vote, at the recent debate of the No-Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister. He also said, “Had the SLFP split it was not because of the No-Faith Motion but because former President and incumbent Parliamentarian and advisor to the SLFP, Mahinda Rajapaksa, contested from another political party at the recent Local Govt Elections.” more..

President - UNP meeting heats up

Apr 7 (DM) A meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and a UNP delegation led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday turned tense with heated arguments, after the UNP insisted that SLFP ministers who voted for the no-confidence motion against the PM should quit the govt. However, the President is reported to have refused to accede to the request. Meanwhile, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, who voted for the motion, said he had no intention of remaining in the govt, more..