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Surviving and increasing unpopularity

Apr 10 (CT) It was just over 14 years ago that Ranil’s last term as PM ended, with the General Election that Chandrika called prematurely. As I noted last week, Ranil refused to compromise after she had removed three of his ministers. He was strongly advised to do so by then Indian High Commissioner Nirupam Sen but, perhaps buoyed by the conviction of some of his supporters that Chandrika’s alliance with the JVP would alienate voters, he remained adamant that he wanted more..

Ranil: Will opportunity be squandered again?

Apr 10 (CT) From a realpolitik perspective although the defeat of the no confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is not electorally significant, it has the POTENTIAL to turn things around for the beleaguered UNP, its leader and the country if there is GENUINE course correction to implement what was promised in the run-up to the 8 January 2015 presidential election. Whether due to strategy unleashed by the Mahinda Rajapaksa led SLPP or fortuitously, the upshot is that more..

Contraception mandatory for Lankan migrant workers?

Apr 10 (SO) Agencies offer guarantee that women desperate to support families devastated by conflict will not become pregnant during employment in the Gulf, a Guardian report finds. SL women who take up domestic work in the Middle East to support families devastated by conflict are being targeted by recruitment agents who order them to take contraceptives before leaving. more..

Sirisena & Wickremesinghe should not betray the people who elected them to power

Apr 10 (CT) All’s Well that Ends Well is the title of a humorous play (written between 1601 and 1608) by William Shakespeare about the relationship between the two main characters, Helena and Bertram. These days the expression is used to say that a difficult situation has ended with a good result. The political turmoil and upheaval that gripped the Unity Govt during the past few months have come to end with the defeat of the No Confidence Motion (NCM) moved by the United Opposition against PM more..

Some Interesting Facts

Apr 10 (CT) “In development planning, if the realities have been ignored and instead theories and assumptions are given more prominence, it becomes unavoidable that we shall arrive at imaginary situations instead of the true pictures of situations that have to be given their due attention. This can be taken as the most possible answer to the disparities we may note when it comes to assessing achievements. This is exactly the position in our National Development Programmes more..

I want to be Chief Minister: Douglas

Apr 10 (CT) Leader of the EPDP, MP Douglas Devananda commenting on future Provincial Council elections said he is considering becoming the Chief Ministerial candidate of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on behalf of his party. “I do believe that problems of our people can be addressed through Provincial Councils. I also think why I cannot be the Chief Ministerial candidate of my party,” he said. more..

Geneva 2018 and its aftermath

Apr 10 (Island) Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana opened his address to the UNHRC at the 37th Secession by referring to a section from President Sirisena’s 100 Day Programme; he stress, inter alia: "… the govt’s firm commitment to the advancement of reconciliation, the rule of law, good governance, human rights, justice, equality, and dignity for all our citizens …" He concluded his address, stating: "Sri Lanka’s judiciary and law enforcement mechanisms are fully capable and committed to more..

Muslims in SL: New strategy for engagement

Apr 10 (GV) Scores of Muslim mosques, homes and businesses were destroyed as mobs ran amok for three days in Kandy. Thousands of Muslims are disillusioned and uncertain about their safety and security for the future. Well-meaning majority Buddhists have made fresh pledges and called on the government to investigate the violence. As this is being investigated and persons of interest apprehended, fresh revelations emerge every day. This article is not about what went wrong but more..

Face the Nation

Story of a man who built five Cinemas: Combating the culture of poverty

Apr 10 (GV) The story of Veerappa Alagoo and his family is also that of one the most disadvantaged and discriminated against among the major communities of this island. Alagoo’s story relates to a minor employee of upcountry Tamil Origin working under R. Copland, then Superintendent of Nichola Oya estate, Rattota. Veerappa Alagoo so impressed the Superintendent with his mechanical-cum-building contracting skills that he was provided with a small block of land near the estate factory more..

Editorial: Sinners beyond redemption?

Apr 10 (Island) The JO grandees don’t seem to repent their sins, much less learn from their blunders which relegated them to the political wilderness three years ago. JO MP Sisira Jayakody has condemned the arrest of a former military intelligence officer in connection with the abduction of The Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr in 2008. He thinks it is part of a deal the UNP allegedly struck with the TNA to defeat the no-faith motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe last week. more..

Recalling the mandate

Apr 10 (Hindu) Last week, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe survived a no-confidence motion against him, saving the country’s first national unity govt from a devastating fall. Now, with Prez Sirisena and Mr. Wickremesinghe agreeing to stay united and reshuffle the cabinet, the govt can, at least to some extent, deliver on the mandate it received in 2015. However, this is neither simple nor straightforward for the two leaders, more..

Want to make Lankan Premier League exciting: Arnold

Apr 10 (Island) Former cricketer Russel Arnold, who was last week appointed as Director of SL Premier League (SLPL) tournament is confident of making the event a success. SL is the only leading cricket playing nation in the Asian region not to have a franchise based tournament as India (IPL), Pakistan (PSL) and Bangladesh (BPL) have highly successful domestic T-20 competitions of their own. SLC had launched SLPL in 2011 but the tournament crashed a year later due to lack of sponsorship. more..

Sri Lanka postal service ecommerce platform for small business

Apr 10 (EN) State-run Department of Posts, known as Sri Lanka Post, aims to get 1,000 entrepreneurs on to its electronic commerce site to support small businesses in the next three months. It said the official e-business web application and the total trade facilitation software solution were developed of the department’s e-business and technology management centre. Sri Lanka Post has been able to register more than 200 entrepreneurs on the application more..

A sway to the side and Gold rush was over

Apr 10 (ST) It was a lion-hearted effort, but, lion-hearted efforts necessarily do not win medals. He thought like a champion and competed like one, but, at 77kgs the competition was far tougher than the ‘Gold’ winning 62kgs. Finally Chinthana Vidanage finished in the 5th place of that category at the Carrara Stadium arena, in the Gold Coast, yesterday. May be had he aimed only at a bronze he could have succeeded, but, more..

Largest business delegation off to London

Apr 10 (FT) This year Sri Lanka will despatch its largest-ever business and trade delegation targeting the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka is also scheduled to unveil its new country branding and slogan for its ICT sector in London next week. “Sri Lanka is one of the Strategic Partner Countries of 2018 CBF. Therefore the Department of Commerce is organising many informative country presentations, B2Bs and roundtables on Lankan sectors of investment for CBF in London,” said more..

Mary, Anusha not content with bronze

Apr 10 (Island) Semi finalists of the 45-48kg weight class India’s Mary Kom and Sri Lanka’s Anusha Koddithuwakku have both pledged that they were not ready to settle for bronze after the duo entered the last four stage of the boxing competition of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. Kom, a five time amateur world champion and Koddithuwakku are both guaranteed of a medal after their victories in the quarter-finals. Even if they lose their semi-final they are sure of a bronze. more..

Manjula Kumara sparks medal hope for SL

Apr 10 (DN) Manjula Kumara Wijesekara sparked medal hopes for Sri Lanka at the ongoing XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia when he qualified for the men's high jump final round with an impressive 2.21metres performance at the Carrara Stadium yesterday. Manjula recorded 2.15 meters height in his first jump and when going over the bar at 2.18m he could not clear it in his first attempt. more..

Little England comes alive to the thunder of hooves

Apr 10 (ST) Royal Turf Club (RTC) set off its April Holiday Season Horseracing calendar with the Easter Sunday Cup Raceday, in which, Santos, ridden by L. Dayalan, bagged the main trophy, at the Racecourse in Nuwara Eliya last Sunday. Dayalan guided Santos, owned by the Edwards, to edge out Charlemagne, owned by James Mathews, to claim the Wijeya Publications Challenge Trophy, in the Class 1 and 2 Handicap Race of 1,600 metres. With the win, Santos also claimed a prize money more..

New track at Sugathadasa ready for South Asian junior meet

Apr 10 (ST) The Sugathadasa Stadium track, which was renovated at a cost of Rs 275 million, will be declared open tomorrow, in time for Sri Lanka’s junior track and field athletes to prepare for the South Asian Junior Athletics meet to be held in Colombo in May. The laying of a new running track began in September last year nearly 18 months after the stadium was closed down due to the dilapidated state of the track. The track, which was currently in a very bad state, was laid in 2012 ahead of more..

ADB support for local Green Power development exceeding US$ 200 million

Apr 10 (Island) Country Director, Sri Lanka Resident Mission, ADB, Sri Widowati said the ADB would continue to support the SL energy sector, to, in turn, strengthen the industrial sector, and would further support six on going projects valued at over US$ 800 million. Green Power development would exceed US$ 200 million. Additionally, importance of gender development within context of the rural sector would more..

High profile Dubai investor group meets Minister Malik Samarawickrama

Apr 10 (Island) A group of high profile investors based in Dubai met Minister Malik Samarawickrama for a special Roundtable Investment Forum organized by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade and the BoI. The five-member delegation was here on the invitation of the minister to explore investment opportunities in the country. During their roundtable forum, they met with Governor of the Central Bank, officials from the Megapolis project, CHEC Port City Colombo, more..

Joyriding with Public money: Police should’ve provided another location to land

Apr 10 (DM) Responding to the reports of Speaker’s helicopter obstructing Avurudu Celebrations organised by the Matale International School at the Edward Silva Grounds, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s Media Division said the police should have provided another location to land the helicopter if the ground was already booked. In a statement, the Media Division said the Speaker arrived in Matale in Helicopter on Saturday to declare open the Weera Madugalle statute as the Chief Guest. more..

Jaffna students take part in familiarization visit to Colombo

Apr 10 (Island) The first batch of Jaffna students which completed its apprentice programme conducted by the SL Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) was in Colombo, last week, for a familiarization visit. During the three-day visit, they had a meeting with Minister John Amaratunga and exchanged their ideas with the minister. As part of this programme, they visited major hotels in Colombo to gather experience more..

South Asian ministers to meet in Islamabad at 7th South Asian Conference on Sanitation

Apr 10 (FT) Ministry of Climate Change of Pakistan has made arrangements to host the seventh South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) and it will be attended by govts of the SAARC regions along with donor community, development partners civil society, private sector community based organisations, researchers, professionals schools children and grassroots activists. SACOSAN is a govt led biennial convention held on a rotational basis in each SAARC country which provides more..

JVP to present amendment to abolish executive presidency

Apr 10 (LT) The draft of the 20th amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka will be presented to Parliament on the 19th as a private member’s bill states the JVP. The UNP and President Sirisena who came to power promising to abolish executive presidency have now no interest whatsoever to do so and as a result the JVP has decided to present the draft of the 20th amendment to the Constitution as a private member’s bill said the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka said recently. more..

Eran to discuss fuel pricing formula with IMF

Apr 10 (FT) State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne is to discuss the transparent price mechanism for fuel with the IMF on the side-lines of its Spring Meetings in Washington, after the Govt missed a previous deadline to implement it in March. He will be part of the SL delegation that will participate at the meetings in Washington, where they are also expected to meet with IMF officials to discuss how the proposed transparent more..

SL bank credit to govt surges in Jan 2018

Apr 10 (EN) SL's bank credit to govt surged in Jan 2018, though much less than in earlier years, while credit to private businesses were steady and state enterprises borrowings were negative, official data showed. Credit to private borrowers were 41.56 billion rupees, down from 59.88 billion rupees in December with the total rising to 14.68 percent from a year earlier to 4,863.4 billion rupees. Bank credit to the central govt to surged to Rs. 52.9 billion in Jan 2018, from Rs. 2.7 billion in Dec 2018. more..

Sri Lanka continue to struggle with injury woes ahead of Caribbean tour

Apr 10 (CB) SL's struggles with a list of injuries to leading players continue with seven probables, who could feature in the upcoming tour to the Caribbean, sidelined from the ongoing Inter-Provincial tournament. Several prominent players including Angelo Mathews and Suranga Lakmal, captains of Kandy and Galle respectively, have already missed two of the three games of the Inter-Provincial tournament. While Mathews is recovering from a calf injury that he picked up more..

Financial aid, vocational training for youths keen on self employment: PM

Apr 10 (DN) The govt will provide financial aid for youths along with vocational training who prefer self employment, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. Premier also said that the govt cannot revive the country and its economy without a major contribution on the part of the country’s youths. The PM was speaking at the Youth with Talent 2017-Gamata Kotiyak awards ceremony held at Temple Trees yesterday morning. more..

More domestic airports to promote tourism

Apr 10 (DN) Minister John Amaratunga expressed hope that Sri Lanka could get as much as three million tourist arrivals by the end of this year. By end of March, tourist arrivals grew by 25% despite the communal clashes, which took place in several places in the country. The Minister made these comments speaking at a ceremony to award certificates for 18 tourist friendly eating places in Galle. The event was held at Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, Colombo. more..

Two soldiers arrested over Kandy violence

Apr 10 (DM) Two Army Corporals had been arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) today in connection with violent incidents which broke out in Kandy recently. The suspects were taken into TID custody on charges of setting fire and damaging shops and religious places of worships in Poojapitiya and Ambatenna. Suspect Anura Bandara Wijesinghe (34) a resident of Kahawatte, Ambatenne is an Army Corporal (475030) attached to 143 Brigade Headquarters in Puttalam. more..

JO wants Sampanthan out as Opp. Leader

Apr 10 (CT) The JO announced that they would apply pressure on the Speaker to hand over the position of the Leader of the Opposition to them. They would also canvass heavily in this connection within the Parliament, and elsewhere, both locally and internationally. The JO is presently in discussions to embark on a series of protests calling for the removal of the Leader of the Opposition, R Sampanthan from the post more..

Non-academic strike likely to be over at last

Apr 10 (Island) They university non-academic staff strike, which has dragged on for nearly 40 days is likely to be over shortly, Inter-University National Trade Union Federation Joint Chairman Gayan Nimesh Peiris says. Peiris said the University Trade Union Joint Committee (UTUJC) would have ended the strike yesterday if not for a lapse on the part of the Ministry of Higher Education and UGC. "Minister of Higher Education Kabir Hashim promised us a 10% salary hike on April 02. more..

Sri Lanka's health service among world's best: WHO Director General

Apr 10 (DN) Sri Lanka’s health service is one of the best not only in Asia but in the world, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. Dr. Ghebreyesus had stated that the reason behind the high quality of Sri Lanka’s health service is because it is freely available. Sri Lanka’s political leadership gives a clear guidance to the Sri Lankan Health Service. The WHO Director-General was addressing the World Health Day celebration in Colombo recently. more..

Stormy CC meeting: SLFP ministers to boycott Cabinet meeting today

Apr 10 (Island) The SLFP Central Committee, following a stormy session last night, resolved that all SLFP ministers boycott today’s Cabinet meeting. It, however, didn’t take a final decision on whether to remain in the unity govt or not. Prez Maithripala chaired the meeting at the President’s House, Colombo 1. Minister Anura Priyadashana Yapa proposed that SLFP leave govt with Minister S.B. Dissanayake seconding more..

Amendment of LG Elections’ Act

Apr 10 (DM) Nobody would contest the view aired by President Sirisena on the need to amend the LG Elections Act again in order to reduce the number of local govt members from 8,000 to 4,000. Speaking to the Editors and heads of media institutions on Friday, President had said that the present number of LG members is an unbearable burden for the country. True, but why didn’t the politicians who joined hands to double the number of LG members through an amendment to same Act in 2012 more..

The last chance for the UNP

Apr 10 (DM) Sri Lanka is making another first in the world. This is the only govt on the whole planet, of which the ministers and MPs who voted for a no confidence motion against its own PM, and by extension the govt, can stick to their portfolios after the vote was defeated. Anywhere else they would have resigned, or got sacked, but not here. In that sense this is no longer a govt, but a farce. Sixteen SLFP MPs including six ministers voted for the no-confidence motion against PM. more..

'People want non-traditional politicians'

Apr 10 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, spoke about his future plans and the way forward for the country. Q: There is a lot of talk about you being chosen as the presidential candidate. Has anyone actually approached you to be the candidate for the presidency? A: No. But, there is talk. I think there is enough time- one and half years- to decide on that. It depends on former President Rajapaksa. more..

Salient features of Govt’s New Trade Policy

Apr 10 (CT) The long awaited and much needed New Trade Policy (NTP), the first such policy document in SL, came into force when it was approved by the Cabinet in Nov 2017. The full text of NTP is available on the website of the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade. NTP presents an integrated set of policies to guide Sri Lanka to use trade as a powerful driver of inclusive economic growth that would bring more..