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Wimal Weerawansa

Reforms imperative to resolve structural and institutional bottlenecks

Apr 11 (ST) Among the conclusions of the New Thinkers’ Symposium were that economic reforms are urgent; that institutional misalignment, misidentified reforms, and data deficiencies are key structural and institutional bottlenecks hampering the successful implementation of Vision 2025; and that the most severe impediment to national economic policy implementation is the complex institutional framework within a bloated public sector that lacks coordination and capacity. more..

Will Harshana Godamanna quit Davis Cup?

Apr 11 (Island) Before the Davis Cup tennis Asia-Oceania Zone Group-II tie played against Indonesia over the last weekend, Sri Lanka’s veteran campaigner Harshana Godamanna was contemplating on retiring, it was reported. That was not basically from playing for the country, but from the Singles game only, some said. Godamanna, by far, the best player the country has produced in modern era tennis in Sri Lanka, said on Monday that he is, though, yet to make such a decision. more..

Getting away this Avurudu

Apr 11 (Roar) With most of us treated with some leave from work over the New Year period, it’s the ideal time to get away for an extended vacation. As Sri Lanka is blessed with so much natural beauty and diverse culture, escaping to a far corner of the island isn’t just an indulgent mini-break, but also an essential exploration of this enchanting island. Of course, beach hideaways down south get plenty of attention, more..

Video: Three dead after three-wheeler topples into canal

Apr 11 (AD) Three persons were killed while another was critically wounded after a three-wheeler veered off the road and toppled into a canal at Thundeniya in Gampola. The driver of the three-wheeler had lost control of the vehicle causing the accident at Thuldeniya Junction on the Kahawatta byroad off the Gampola-Doluwa main road. The driver of the three-wheeler and the three passengers were admitted to the Gampola Hospital with critical injuries, however the 3 passengers had succumbed to injuries. more..

Prez polls 2015 and beyond: The role of civil society

Apr 11 (Island) A Collective of Civil Society organizations played a significant role in the UNP-led campaign that brought an end to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s govt, in January 2015. In spite of some differences among those who had been involved in the high profile exercise, the grouping vigorously campaigned to thwart war-winning twice President Rajapaksa’s bid to secure a third term. Whatever the differences, they were united in ousting the Rajapaksas. more..

Anusha Legend awaiting redemption

Apr 11 (CT) Anusha Kodithuwakku, the icon of the Sri Lankan female boxing has already taken the country’s boxing to new heights, breaking the 68-year hoodoo, to win a Commonwealth Boxing medal. But, what’s coming today might be the rewriting of history for Sri Lankans as 39-year-old boxing veteran Anusha will take on a legend, five time world champion, five time Asian Champion and Olympic medallist more..

Lessons from a neighbour

Apr 11 (IE) Last Wednesday, MPs debated a no-confidence motion moved by Opposition MPs. The debate began at 9.30 am and by the time the vote was counted, it was 9.30 pm. All the govt’s shortcomings were discussed threadbare. Ruling party legislators gave as good as they got. After heated speeches both ways, and a division by name, the prime minister comfortably won the day. In Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is not the world’s biggest democracy, and has plenty of more..

Post-no-faith motion: SLFP in a quandary

Apr 11 (DM) SLFP has virtually split into two factions over the question of whether it should remain in the govt in the aftermath of the no-confidence motion against PM. The 16 SLFP ministers, deputy and state ministers who voted for the motion insisted, at Monday's SLFP Central Committee meeting, that they be allowed to quit the unity govt with the UNP. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa was the first to air his views on this matter and said the party should sever links with the govt. more..

Thiwanka boxers himself into semi-finals

Apr 11 (Island) Boxer Thiwanka Ranasinghe is assured of a medal after beating Berry Namri of Vanuatu in the quarter-finals as SL’s athletes produced impressive performances at the boxing ring, track and field disciplines, badminton and table tennis on day seven of the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast on Tuesday. Ranasinghe became the second pugilist from SL to be assured of a medal in these games and will become country’s first more..

Surge in Aussie visitors following launch of SriLankan Airlines direct flights Down Under

Apr 11 (FT) The number of visitors to Sri Lanka from Australia and New Zealand has surged following SriLankan Airlines’ commencement of daily direct services between Melbourne and Colombo, the latest statistics compiled by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority show. Australia is now firmly among the top 10 source markets for visitors to Sri Lanka. SriLankan launched its services between Melbourne, one of Australia’s largest cities, and Sri Lanka’s capital in Oct 2017. more..

New Zealand businesses keen to invest in local healthcare

Apr 11 (Island) Three New Zealand medical technology companies in Colombo last week as part of the New Zealand business delegation met Deputy Minister Faizal Cassim and Janaka Sugathadasa, Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine. Present at the meeting were representatives from Medtech Global, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and ADInstruments, represented in Sri Lanka by Delmege Forsyth. "New Zealand's innovative and efficient product solutions, more..

Govt ready to launch Trade Information Portal in May

Apr 11 (FT) In a major boost to streamline trade, Sri Lanka expects to launch the proposed Trade Information Portal (TIP) in mid-May as 80% of the work has been completed, a senior official said. “Almost 80% of the TIP work has been completed with the support of 55 other agencies,” the Department of Commerce Director General and National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) Co-Chairperson Sonali Wijeratne said recently more..

Korea-funded community facilities in Nuwara Eliya commissioned to public

Apr 11 (FT) The opening ceremony of community facilities in six villages of Nuwara Eliya District took place at the Liddesdale Estate and Dunsinane Estate on 6 April. Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Lee Heon, Govt Agent of Nuwara Eliya District M.B.R. Pushpakumara, KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) Country Director Lee Dong Ku and UN Habitat Country Program Manager Dr. Chanaka Talpahewa attended the opening ceremony of the Multi-Purpose more..

Economic sentiment on the decline: Survey

Apr 11 (FT) Latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey reveals that economic optimism continued its downward trajectory in March with only 11% of corporate executives expecting an improvement over the next 12 months compared to 16% in the previous month. Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant observes that this is despite the improvement in inflation. The majority (45%) of those polled expect economic conditions to stay the same in 12 mo ahead more..

Karu urges public sector to stop bleeding

Apr 11 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya urged the public sector and state-owned business enterprises to improve good governance in order to ensure that the economy and society stopped bleeding in terms of losses and corruption. “Public enterprises play a vital role in the public delivery system and are major contributors to the national economy. Therefore I appeal to public enterprises to stop the bleeding more..

Do you have 25% stake in a company? Then be ready for a visit by CID

Apr 11 (DM) If you are a director or a shareholder having 25% or more shares in a company, it won’t be too long before an officer from the CID making a visit to your home or office to inquire how you mange to own that and what your other income earning streams are. The govt is planning to bring in reforms to the existing Companies Act, giving powers to the CID to extract any information from a director or a shareholder of a private company, if he or she has a 25% or more stake in an entity. more..

Japanese naval ship Akebono arrives at Port of Hambantota

Apr 11 (SLN) Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Destroyer JS Akebono arrived at the port of Hambantota on a goodwill visit yesterday (9). SL Navy welcomed the ship in accordance with naval tradition upon her arrival. Meanwhile, Commander Southern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Kapila Samaraweera, Director Naval Operations, Commodore Sanjeewa Dias along with a group of officers attached to the Southern Naval Command, Coast Guard & Air Force made an inspection more..

EU Parliament delegation visits BOI Katunayake zone

Apr 11 (DN) A delegation consisting of 6 members of the European Parliament visited the Katunayake Export Processing Zone following an invitation by the Management of Board of Investment (BOI). Delegation consisting of Jan Zahradil Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and Leader, Sajjad Karim(MEP), Paul Rubing(MEP), David Martin (MEP), David Bannerman (MEP), Ramon Tremosa-i-Balcells (MEP), more..

SOE sector reforms require holistic approach: WB

Apr 11 (CT) The World Bank urges Sri Lanka to adopt a holistic approach in reforming the country’s loss-making State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to establish good governance and also prioritize improving the quality of services of these SOEs, as essential services provided by them have failed to meet public expectation. According to a co-sponsored World Bank survey on public stratification of the services provided by SOEs, 38% of public viewed services received from SOEs more..

UNP PC maiden meeting today

Apr 11 (CT) The newly appointed 12-Member UNP Political Committee (UNP PC) will meet for the first time today afternoon at the Temple Trees to discuss about the new posts and appointments to be made, Committee Member, MP Nalin Bandara said. He said that the Committee would discuss the reorganization of the Party and select potential members for the posts within the Party. The Committee members are: Navin Dissanayake, Harin Fernando, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, more..

Cabinet reshuffle to be further delayed

Apr 11 (Island) Cabinet reshuffle scheduled to take place before Sinhala and Tamil New Year on April 14 is likely to be put on hold until the SLFP decides whether to remain in the govt or not. Political sources said that Prez and PM were not in a position to reshuffle the Cabinet in spite of their promises to do so. Prez Sirisena, in consultation with PM Wickremesinghe effected some changes to portfolios held by the UNP on March 8. more..

PC election laws: Poll monitors to discuss concerns

Apr 11 (Island) Election monitors would hold a consultative meeting on April 25 to address the concerns about the new laws governing provincial council elections, Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director of PAFFREL said. Representatives of election monitoring organisations, political parties, academics and other concerned parties will take part in the meeting. Election Monitors hope to establish a committee to receive public and expert opinion on laws governing provincial council elections. more..

NMCRP leads protest against Quadricycle: Micro car

Apr 11 (DM) The National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP) and several civil society movement organizations today handed over a petition to the Indian High Commission against the attempt to import Quadricycle-micro car, which has been banned in India, into the country. NMCRP Chairman Ranjith Withanage pointed out that the government attempting to ban an Indian made vehicle that had been banned in India by misusing their power. more..

President’s men to cross over to JO: MR

Apr 11 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday, said that the SLFP MPS, including six ministers, who voted for the no-faith motion against PM last week, would cross over to the Opposition when Parliament met again. Rajapaksa said they would give up their portfolios and join the Opposition on April 19, when Parliament is scheduled to meet next. "Frantic efforts are being made to keep them within the govt ranks. more..

Assault on Dutch tourists: Probe underway

Apr 11 (CT) Based on a news report, the Police launched an investigation yesterday, into an alleged assault on Dutch tourists, which had taken place on 8 April, at a hotel in Mirissa. According to the news report, two Dutch females and a male were allegedly assaulted whilst they were at a restaurant on the Mirissa beach. It was further reported that the incident had begun when local men at the restaurant had allegedly sexually harassed the two Dutch female tourists, which had in turn escalated more..

President Sirisena says SLFP CC will decide on continuation of National Govt

Apr 11 (Island) President Sirisena had informed yesterday’s Cabinet Meeting, that a final decision on whether the SLFP would continue to be part of the National Unity Govt, would be taken at today’s SLFP Central Committee Meeting. Minister Champika Ranawaka told the President, in the presence of PM that there were three options; the SLFP could continue with the current arrangement, a UNP led administration formed with the SLFP Ministers who had abstained from voting for more..

Cabinet meets sans SLFP; New Cabinet before New Year

Apr 11 (DN) Prez had informed Cabinet of his intent to make a reshuffle before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. President had made an indication that the subjects of ministries would be re-organised in a scientific manner during the Cabinet reshuffle. A Cabinet minister, who took part at the meeting yesterday, said that there are proposals to merge several ministry subjects to bring all relevant institutions under one arm. more..

What the sun is to the solar system, the mother is to society

Apr 11 (DM) As we celebrate the National New Year which marks the new journey of the sun from Pisces to Aries, in many parts of the world there are also events to mark the National Safe Motherhood Week. What the sun is to the Solar System including our Planet Earth, so is what the mother is to society. In India National Safe-Motherhood Day is observed today to ensure that women have adequate access to care during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. At the request of more..

Bathiya and Santhush: The awakening of a new sensibility

Apr 11 (DM) If there’s really nothing new to be discerned in the recent popular culture here, it’s not because the artistes don’t want to try out something new, but because audiences are so easily captivated by the familiar details and the technical veneers of their work. In SL, for the most that is, once you come up with something that directly or otherwise swerves away from the old, you have a horde of other artistes who would imitate you, thinking that’s the only way by more..

The inside story of Welikada jail riot

Apr 11 (DM) The CID last week took into custody the Commissioner of Prisons Department Emil Lamahewa and Police Anti Narcotics Bureau inspector Newamal Rangajeewa on suspicion over the alleged shooting incident within Welikada Prison which occurred on the 9th of Nov 2012. This is almost five years after the incident. The current revelation under Truthful Investigations is about this incident. This report is based on the findings more..

'None of us wants to cling to our posts'

Apr 11 (DM) In the aftermath of the unsuccessful No-Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe by the JO, Daily Mirror spoke to Minister Chandima Weerakkody, who supported the motion, on the repercussions of the NCM in the Unity Govt, in the JO and in the breakaway group of the SLFP. Q The UNP says that the JO suffered a major setback with the defeat of the No-Confidence Motion against PM. more..

Sri Lanka’s healthcare system: Everyone, everywhere?

Apr 11 (Roar) For a small, lower middle income country which is still in its developing stages, Sri Lanka boasts a truly impressive healthcare system. Rubbing shoulders with many upper middle income countries in terms of life expectancy and indicators for maternal, neonatal and under-five mortality rates, SL seems ideally positioned to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), one of the UNs' key Sustainable Development Goals. more..

Storm over Indian doctor’s costly stem cell therapy for Lankan autistic children

Apr 11 (ST) Are Sri Lankan children with autism allegedly becoming guinea pigs in unproven stem cell therapy research in neighbouring India? This is the strong concern which has created a storm among medical professionals from many specialties here, following a visit by Neurosurgeon Dr. Alok Sharma from NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute in Mumbai to Colombo last Saturday. Following the agitation of these medical more..

Fuel price hike in the pipeline, warns unionist

Apr 11 (Island) Head of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya branch at the Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Ananda Palitha said an increase in petroleum prices could be averted only by reducing current taxes on petroleum imports. Palitha said that in view of the increasing world crude oil prices, the government had to either increase market prices here or reduce heavy taxes currently levied on petroleum products. more..

Sri Lanka’s land registration goes online

Apr 11 (CT) Sri Lankans will soon see an online land registration and registry search facility through the newly-created online property registry portal, said the Surveyor General of the Survey Department, P.M.P. Udayakantha. “This portal will be a one-stop shop for all land registration and search activities in Sri Lanka,” he said. This Rs 450 million State-funded project was initially launched in Colombo Municipal Council area. more..

Building rules ready to sell Chinese Port City project land

Apr 11 (EN) A Chinese firm doing a US$1.4 billion reclamation project in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo has prepared building rules that now enables the new real estate to be sold to investors, an official said. CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd., part of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) which is a unit of China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC), said it has presented Development Control Regulations more..

JSS urges President to end political marriage with SLFP

Apr 11 (DN) The Jathika Sewaka Sangamaya urged President Maithripala Sirisena to end the political marriage he is having with SLFP and become independent. “President Sirisena received 6.2 million votes on Jan 8 which went down to a 1.3 – 1.5 million in the recent election. He should understand that people have distanced themselves from him. Why has the general public distanced themselves from the President? more..

President takes a swipe at CBK

Apr 11 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have been critical of former president Chandrika Kumaratunga over some remarks she made on the people's mandate at the presidential election on January 8, 2015. At the SLFP Central Committee meeting on Monday night, Ms. Kumaratunga had insisted that the party should remain in the govt because that was in line with the people's mandate on Jan 8, 2015. more..

Question vetting process of SL peacekeepers

Apr 11 (CT) Nine Tamil organizations, representing the Tamil Diaspora worldwide, have written to the UN Under Secretary General (USG) for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix to find out whether the 49 peacekeepers from Sri Lanka, deployed on 18 Feb, were in fact and indeed deployed without being vetted. British Tamil Forum, Canadian Tamil Congress, People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), more..