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Begin public sector reforms soon

Apr 11 (CT) Experts have concluded what many Sri Lankans have guessed. Our Govt-run enterprises are expensive White Elephants that provide poor services and are a huge drain on the Public’s money. A seminar conducted by the National Human Resources Development Council in Colombo yesterday which discussed money put into these State-owned enterprises (SOEs) shone a light on the mess they are in. The World Bank’s (WB) Country Director in SL Idah Pswarayi- more..

Is the PM irremovable?

Apr 11 (FT) According to Mr. Shyamon Jayasinghe, an Australian citizen, there is no provision in the SL Constitution to remove or replace the Prime Minister once appointed. Whatever is spelled out by the interpreters of the Constitution, there cannot be a situation where there is no provision for the removal of a person from a position by the appointing authority. Before we examine the veracity of the selected constitutional aspects highlighted by Shyamon, let us for a moment consider more..

Dinesh Gunawardena

Opposition leader need not be changed even in an all-UNP govt: Rajitha

Apr 11 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that Opposition Leader’s post need not go to the SLFP in the event that the UNP forms a govt on its own. Responding to a question, Senaratne said it is good to have a Tamil person as the Leader of the Opposition. He added that doing such things (like having an SLFPer as Opposition Leader) was like JR Jayewardene removing Amirthalingam, which he claimed ended with Prabhakaran becoming the Leader of the Opposition. more..

Excise Dept to monitor liquor outlets during New Year period

Apr 11 (DM) Excise Department said a special programme is in place to prevent malpractices in licensed liquor outlets during the New Year season from April 9 to 15. Deputy Excise Commissioner Kapila Kumarasinghe in a statement said that this special investigation programme is in force across the country during this period. “According to this programme, the licensed liquor outlets will be regularly monitored. Raids will be conducted following public complaints & information. more..

SL discusses with UNESCO on enhancing Cultural and Tourism Cooperation with Africa

Apr 11 (IL) Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Sumith Dassanayake met with Dr. (Ms.) Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of the UNESCO for Africa at the UNESCO office in Addis Ababa on 09th April 2018. The discussion centered on enhancing cultural and tourism cooperation between SL and African countries. Ambassador Dassanayake discussed on the possibility of more..

Vehicle with Heroin found on Southern expressway

Apr 11 (NR) Police have seized a vehicle containing a stock of Heroin which was found abandoned on the Southern Expressway. Police stated the car was travelling towards Matara along Kaduwela stretch of the highway in violation of the expressway speed limit. However Police later found the vehicle abandoned on the highway near the 6.9 R post. A parcel containing 56 grams and 100 milligrams of Heroin was found concealed within the car. Vehicle has been handed over to Athurugiriya Police more..

Severe thunderstorm warning for next six hours: Met. Dep.

Apr 11 (DM) Meteorology Department warned of thunderstorms accompanied by severe lightning and thunder in Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern and North-western provinces during the next six hours starting from 3 pm today. It said temporarily strong gusty winds speeding up to 70-80 kmph were also expected during thundershowers. Meanwhile, the Department warned the public to seek shelter, preferably indoors and covered vehicles. “Never seek shelter under trees more..

Video: Anusha wins bronze medal in boxing

Apr 11 (DM) SL’s Anusha Koddithuwakku had to settle for the bronze medal after losing to India’s M C Mary Kom in the semi-finals of the women’s 48 kg boxing event in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Wednesday. It was a battle of veterans as 35-year-old Mary Kom took on the 39-year-old Dilrukshi. Mary Kom, also a sitting MP in India, prevailed 5-0 in a contest where clean punches were few and far. more..

It’s too precious to let go

Apr 11 (DM) The election to pick a new boss for the body looking after the country’s most popular game is due in May this year. Meanwhile, Number One has decided to place a taboo on politicos seeking this much coveted post. He seems to have accepted the general opinion that the gentleman’s game is destined to suffer setbacks whenever it is under the thumb of a politico, they say. Meanwhile, an active politico, the incumbent who is said to be on numerous missions on behalf of Number One more..

Sri Lanka to revive oil exploration, bidding round in May 2018

Apr 11 (EN) Sri Lanka will call fresh bids for an oil exploration block off the island's Northwestern coast in May 2018, where traces of natural gas was discovered earlier, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Cairn India had discovered gas reserves in the deep sea Mannar Basin several years ago but pulled the plug after two-years of exploration and investment of $200 million as LNG prices fell. Sri Lanka's Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development will also enter into agreements with more..

Video: New Cabinet will be sworn in after SLFP’s decision: Rajitha

Apr 11 (AD) A new Cabinet of Ministers will be sworn in within the next two days after the Central Committee of the SLFP informs its decision today, says Co-cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne. Responding to question, he stated that it will not be a Cabinet reshuffle, and that a new Cabinet will be sworn in before April 14. He also stated that there will be no change in the number of members in Cabinet & it will remain as 45. more..

President for continuation of joint administration: UPFA Gen. Secy

Apr 11 (Island) UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said the Ministers, Deputy Ministers and State Ministers who had voted in favour of the No Confidence Motion (NCM) moved by the Joint Opposition (JO) would not be stripped of their portfolios. He said President Sirisena was for the continuation of the UNP-SLFP govt and a final decision in that regard would be taken before the next Cabinet meeting, scheduled for April 17. more..

‘PM must intervene in uni non-academic staff strike’

Apr 11 (NR) A group of university non-academic staff currently engaged in trade union action have requested PM to intervene in the stand-off between them and the Higher Education Ministry and resolve their concerns. University Trade Union Joint Committee Chairman Edward Malwattage said the matter has become a national issue. He said since solutions were not provided regarding the University non-academic staff strike, the strike has passed 42 days adding the strike will not be called off. more..

Sri Lanka assures no foreign military activity at Hambantota

Apr 11 (Island) Naval attaché of the SL Embassy in the US, Rear Admiral Dharmendra Wettewa, on Monday assured at the Sea-Air-Space Expo outside Washington, D.C. that there would be no foreign military activity at Hambantota, according to a news report published by US-based Defense news source. Rear Admiral Wettewa said that Lankan govt had given that assurance to India too. "We have to walk the talk," he said, more..

JVP to launch massive protest campaign for pay hike

Apr 11 (DM) JVP said today it would launch a massive work stoppage and protest campaign after the May Day to secure a salary increase for public and private sector employees and against the scrapping of the pension. JVP Politburo member K.D. Lal Kantha said that the cost of living of a family had risen by Rs.6,000 rupees a month after the present govt came into power. JVP general secretary Tilvin Silva said the JVP had planned to hold its May Day parade & the rally in Jaffna more..

Official packaging for cigarettes approved

Apr 11 (NR) Cabinet of Ministers has approved the introduction of officially certified packaging for tobacco products. Accordingly two colours or black and white can be used in the tobacco packaging. The new system will only allow the display of the brand name, product name, product quantity and information approved and made compulsory by the govt such as health risk warnings, on the packaging. The govt is introducing the amendments with the motive of reducing the usage of tobacco. more..

Wiggy hell-bent on contesting for CM

Apr 11 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has announced that the majority of the people in the North prefer him to continue as their Chief Minister, despite a recent statement made by TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran to the effect that Wigneswaran was unlikely to be named as the Northern Chief Ministerial candidate at the next Provincial Council Election. Just prior to embarking on his first Indian tour yesterday, more..

Three-wheeler taxis to be metered from May

Apr 11 (Xinhua) All three-wheeler taxis operating will be fitted with metres after April 30. Chairman of National Council for Road Safety Sisira Kodagoda said that some three-wheeler taxis had been metered, but many taxis had not yet been metered. The operators of three-wheeler taxi services should issue a printed bill to their passengers indicating the fare and the distance from April 30. A six-month grace period would be given to the operators to get adjusted to new requirements. more..

Form UNP Govt to end political crisis: CaFFE

Apr 11 (DM) As Sri Lanka was confronted with a huge political crisis, it should form a Govt comprising one party, UNP, CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said. He said as the SLFP did not have Parliamentary majority, the UNP had the potential to form a new Govt and find solutions independently. “Confrontations can be seen within the Govt due to the coalition Govt. It was evident from the recent No Confidence Motion against PM that it was impossible to run a Unity Govt. more..

Sri Lanka shelves changes to NGO bill as activists see red

Apr 11 (UCAN) Sri Lanka's govt withdrew a draft amendment to its controversial NGO bill on March 28 after civic groups rose up in arms against the suggested changes. The bill was designed to monitor NGOs in the country. The proposed amendment to the Voluntary Social Service Organizations Act No.31 of 1980 received cabinet approval on Feb. 20 but has since been shelved after it invited a fierce backlash. more..

Increase in brain drain under present govt: GMOA

Apr 11 (Island) The number of Sri Lankans medical specialists and health-care workers migrating for better prospects had drastically increased under the current govt, GMOA said. Secretary of GMOA, Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that the govt's lack of interest in the welfare of medical officers, and the chaos in the medical education sector had made many specialist doctors and general physicians leave the country, and a considerable number of specialist doctors who went abroad for training did not return. more..

Non-academic strike: Report to duty by April 17: Ministry

Apr 11 (DM) The non-academic workers of Universities who fail to report to duty on or before April 17 would be considered as vacated from their service, Higher Education Ministry said today. “Accordingly those who fail to report on or before April 17, including those who on probation, casual, temporary, substitute, training and contact, will be considered as vacated their post,” it said. It said according to the circular issued on June 07, 2017, that staff on permanent cardre, more..

GMOA wants fresh laws to curb import of Glyphosate

Apr 11 (DM) While urging the Govt to continue with the ban on Glyphosate, GMOA said fresh laws should be introduced to take stern action against people involved in smuggling in such harmful chemicals. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr Nalinda Herath said that Customs had today apprehended a consignment of illegally imported Glyphosate which was a banned weedicide in the country. He said today’s incident was reported to be more..

NCM victory & The end of Yahapâlanaya?

Apr 12 (CT) Although the no-confidence motion (NCM) brought against the PM, Ranil Wickremesighe, has been decisively defeated largely because of those who brought it were more culpable of corruption and misuse of public funds, the moral authority and legitimacy of both the PM and the Govt are largely tarnished. Perhaps this pyrrhic victory of the PM would mark the end of Yahapalanaya in various meanings and for various reasons. more..

Looming issues in the aftermath of NCM

Apr 12 (CT) With a sigh of great relief and at a huge cost the UNP surmounted the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) in Parliament. It is public knowledge that the conditions, attached to the support extended against the motion are many both from inside the UNP and outside now emerging as liabilities. Those in the party, the rebels who were vociferous as well as the silent mediocre elements gave clear signals of a need for a radical change. There was a significant emphasis on the word radical in their claim. more..

'Our leader is strengthened'

Apr 12 (CT) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam questions how can SLFP Ministers who supported no-confidence motion sit with PM at Cabinet sittings and work with him; the PM in whom they have no-confidence? He said “They are still hanging on because of the desire for the privileges that are given to them.” Q: With the defeat of the no-confidence motion, brought by JO, there is a new re-awakening to be seen in UNP. more..

The Muslim – Sinhala divide: A dilemma

Apr 12 (DN) Research tells us that if high population growth is coupled with low economic activity, resource scarcity becomes a prime concern and it becomes an ideal breeding ground for political and ethnic conflict. Sri Lanka has been no exception to the rule. There have been close to 50 incidents of racially motivated clashes between the Muslim and Sinhalese community since Independence, said Prof. M.A. Nuhman, a retired professor in Tamil at the University of Peradeniya. more..

Mockery of democracy

Apr 12 (CT) The hastily adopted LG Elections Act placed a heavy burden on the country. On the one hand it has resulted in corrupt practices and paving the way for election of candidates in an undemocratic manner and on the other, it has also placed a heavy financial burden due to the doubling of the membership. Election of chairpersons to Local Govt bodies took nearly eight weeks, a period longer than the number of weeks between the filing of nominations and the polling. more..

Pride and tears of Uva Wellassa

Apr 12 (ST) The awe-inspiring cloud covered mountains, lush forests, formidable waterfalls and clear streams of Uva Wellassa bear little testimony today to the darkest and bloodiest chapter in the country’s history under British rule. There is little sign of the burnt hamlets, scorched paddy fields, broken tank bunds, felled trees and the skeletons of the thousands of men, women and children killed or starved to death when more..

Editorial: A prelude to polls postponement

Apr 12 (Island) It looks as if the government were all out to put off the Provincial Council (PC) polls again owing to its seemingly intractable problems, both internal and external. The unfolding drama in the yahapalana camp is like the political version of the Night of the Long Knives. The UNP is all out to purge what is known as the unity govt of the SLFP ministers who voted for the no-faith motion against PM the other day. Prez Sirisena, who made a determined bid to remove the PM, more..

How the TNA and foreign powers saved PM

Apr 12 (Island) So now we know. We know the truth about the no-confidence motion and what happened behind the scenes. We know that the no-faith move could have succeeded. We know who decided to save Ranil. We know why. We know which foreign powers encouraged and backed that operation to rescue him. We know what Ranil signed—yes, actually SIGNED in reciprocity. We know the role Mangala played. We know what to expect in the coming weeks and months. more..

Eran Wickramaratne

Serasinghe’s hundred highlight in Inter-Provincial cricket

Apr 12 (Island) Middle order batsman Sachithra Serasinghe’s century was the highlight of the second round of Inter-Provincial games that were affected by rain and inclement weather at Dambulla and Suriyawewa. Dambulla declared their second innings at 325 for seven and the mainstay of their effort was a 141 run partnership for the third wicket between Serasinghe and Ashan Priyanjan. While Serasinghe went onto post 112 off 208 deliveries with 13 fours, Priyanjan missed out on more..

SL Journalists for Global Justice condemns Israeli killing of Palestine journalist

Apr 12 (FT) Sri Lanka Journalists for Global Justice (SLJGJ) in a statement yesterday called upon journalists and peace-loving people worldwide to unite in condemning the killing of Palestinian journalist Vasser Murtaja while on duty. In the statement SLJGJ also condemned comments by Israel’s Defence Minister justifying the killing, and called upon the Israeli authorities to hold to account those who shot and killed Murtaja and those who gave the orders. more..

7 traditional outdoor games you can play this Avurudu season

Apr 12 (Roar) If you are lucky enough to be living on this little tropical island of ours, there is a good chance that you generally look forward to the month of April. Spring is in the air, holidays are around the corner, little wayside boutiques selling crackers seem to sprout everywhere, and there is all that milk rice, kevum, and kokis to anticipate (and it does not matter what ethnicity you belong to either!). more..

A taste of Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (NGT) There are many smells of Sri Lankan food: cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, coconut, papaya, mango, pineapple, pungent dried maldive fish and tea. But if there was one fragrance that was ubiquitous across the island once known as Serendip, it’s that of curry leaves. The aroma wafts at you from a bush of it growing wild; erupts from leaves popping and sputtering in hot oil; rises from almost every savoury dish. Each time I pass the plants growing in the garden beside more..

Dilhani, Janaka finish within best eight

Apr 12 (CT) Javelin Thrower Dilhani Lekamge and Long jumper Janaka Wimalasiri finished within the top eight in the finals, but SL track and field athletes had a disappointing day as none of them could achieve their personal best or medal at the Commonwealth Games continued in Australia, yesterday. Lekamge, Asian Silver medalist was first to take the field from the country’s athletes, and she finished with the fifth best throw of 56.02m where Australian Kathryn Mitchell won more..

Boxer Bandara assures SL of another medal

Apr 12 (CT) Boxers continued their impressive show for Sri Lanka at Gold Coast as another boxer, Ishan Bandara got into medal position at the Common-wealth Games 2018 continued in Australia yesterday. The 26-year- old soldier showed guts during the fight and Bandara despite a bloodied face, kept landing punches to beat Thabo Molefe of Lesotho (4-1) in the quarter finals of the men’s 52kg weight category. more..

5 new envoys present accreditation to Prez

Apr 12 (PSL) Newly appointed five envoys presented their Letters of Accreditation to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, today (11). New ambassadors and high commissioners represent Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Austria, and Tanzania. The newly appointed envoys are as follows: 1.​ Mr. Mohamed Maliki – Ambassador – of the Kingdom of Morocco; 2. ​Mrs. Brigitte Oppinger Walchshofer – Ambassador – of the Republic of Austria more..