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Sri Lanka hire Sleep to conduct two-week spin bowling clinic

Apr 23 (CB) Sri Lanka Cricket have roped in former Australia leg-spinner Peter Sleep to conduct a two-week coaching clinic with the country's spin bowlers. Sleep, 60, is expected to arrive in Colombo later this month. An SLC official said that former leg-spinner was hired on the recommendations of the head coach Chandika Hahturusingha. Sleep is among the former spinners shortlisted to join SL side on a full-time basis. more..

May Day and Workers’ Rights

Apr 24 (CT) May Day was declared a holiday in SL in 1956 for the govt sector, bank and mercantile sectors. May Day celebrations have never clashed with the interests of or activities conducted during Vesak celebrations. Despite this situation and without consultation, Prez has unilaterally decided to postpone May Day on the pretext that there will be a Vesak Week this calendar year. Gazette notification issued by Home Affairs Minister cancelled the May Day holiday which is due on May 1. more..

An open letter to Muslim Parliamentarians

Apr 24 (CT) Dear Muslim Parliamentarians, This letter addresses you at a very critical moment of time, when the country’s democracy as well as the future of your community are facing existential crises. Ever since the executive presidency came into existence, all democratic values, traditions and freedom, cherished by the people of this nation, have progressively eroded with the consent of you and your predecessors. True, the constitutional provisions to safeguard the democratic rights more..

Life after Parliament prorogation

Apr 23 (SO) Shortly before President Maithripala Sirisena left for the CHOGM in London, on April 12 he issued an order proroguing Parliament, ensuring that the 225-member national legislature could not sit or conduct business until its new session recommences on May 8. Reasons for the order to suspend Parliament sittings were never provided by the Presidential Media Division, but aides said, move was aimed at preventing more..

All rubbish end at Sea

Apr 24 (CT) In a recent finding released in the UK, Sri Lanka was identified as one of the 5th largest polluter of marine plastic litter. Being a tiny island of 65,610 km2 with a population of approximately 21 million; could this statistic be right? According to the, China and Indonesia as forerunners with 8.8 tons and 3.22 tons respectively in the year 2010. Sri Lanka being the 5th, contributes at 1.59 tons out of a total of 513 million of which 80% is from 20 countries including our tiny island. more..

Why the Office on Missing Persons must think outside the box

Apr 24 (GV) One of the greatest challenges facing Sri Lanka today is to restore its image in the realm of human rights. There’s not a day that goes by without the media highlighting war crimes, the lament of families of missing persons, arbitrary land acquisition, impunity, police brutality, ethnic and racial abuse to name a few. It is true that rights are violated every day around the world and Sri Lanka is not alone in this respect. As reported in the Guardian, “Last year the UN said more..

'Jumbo transfusion imminent Restructuring is inevitable'

Apr 24 (CT) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna says that the UNP is still of the opinion that the Party should be completely restructured. “We presented proposals for that purpose to many meetings of the UNP which discussed party reorganization process. We are waiting until the 30 April to make all these decisions”, he said. Q: Even though there are smiles after the victory regarding the No-Confidence Motion, conflicts within UNP have increased. more..

The witches’ broth our politicians cook

Apr 24 (ST) April, wrote the poet T.S. Eliot, is the cruelest month. Some of our politicians are unlikely to know of Mr. Eliot and his writing even if they lived through several samsaras. Some others might have had a brief encounter with Eliot as they tried to grapple with his imagery while still others would have lain like a patient etherized upon a table totally impervious to what the poet wrote several decades ago. We have in our midst chief ministers who make female school principals kneel before them more..

Editorial: Avoid Band-Aid amendments

Apr 24 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) has chosen to back-pedal on the proposed 20th Amendment, the JVP has introduced, in a bid to have the executive presidency abolished. The JO, initially, pledged its support for the JVP’s move, purportedly on the condition that provision be made for Parliament to be dissolved upon its passage. Why the JO is supportive of the proposed amendment is not difficult to understand; the abolition of the presidency would not only spare it the trouble of finding more..

Face the Nation

The economy’s performance in a turbulent political environment

Apr 23 (ST) Recent months were a period of political confusion and chaos. What we may experience in the months ahead could be worse than political instability. It could be a continuation of the chaotic and confusing political environment. Hopefully the two main parties of the coalition have learnt the lessons of their folly and will make an effort to govern the rest of their term of office single-mindedly with a consensus on economic policies and be collectively responsible. more..

Coal Power – Myth and Truth – The Reality

Apr 24 (Island) I was quite amused to read the letter from S Weerasekera under the title Coal Power- Myth and Truth published in the Island. He has picked the correct heading for his letter, but unfortunately what is claimed as the truth is in reality the myth. The myth of cheap power from coal has been well and truly debunked all over the world. It is only in SL still there are people, including engineers who should know better, wearing the blinkers and refusing to accept the reality. more..

Going beyond books

Apr 24 (ST) Close to a two-hour drive from Anuradhapura, off the town of Kebithigollawa is the small school of Wahalkada D2. We reach there a little after the school day has finished, but for a group of 12 students, lessons are still not over. This is no ordinary lesson focused on geography or mathematics. Instead it focuses on an area the national school curriculum fails to look at – life skills and soft skills. more..

The politics of participation

Apr 24 (Island) Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2017 report has a particularly revealing quote from Edward Luce, who in his 2017 book ‘The retreat of Western liberalism’ observes that "our societies are split between the will of the people and the rule of the experts—the tyranny of the majority versus the club of self-serving insiders". Luce is focused on the West – Europe, the UK and US in particular – but his central thesis of democratic decline, because of a rise in populism more..

Former motor sports champ and veteran journalist Reggie Fernando dies at 90

Apr 24 (DN) Former Sri Lanka motor cycling champion and veteran journalist P Reginald Reggie Fernando passed away after a brief illness yesterday morning at Delmon Hospital, Wellawatte aged 90. Reggie as he was popularly known in the motor sports world raced with the champions and won many laurels in the field of motor sports during the fifties and sixties. One of his contemporary riders was the ever popular champion Rajah Sinnathuray who raced with him on many occasions. more..

Public unhappy over performance of state enterprises

Apr 24 (ST) A survey conducted by the World Bank and other counterparts have found that many Sri Lankans are not happy about the performance of state enterprises due to issues of political interference and has stressed the need for better governance. Revealing this data, Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank’s Country Director for SL, said that many state-owned enterprises had reported significant and persistent losses more..

Dambulla eye outright win, but Galle set for Championship

Apr 24 (Island) Dambulla are eying an outright win over Colombo in the ongoing Inter-Provincial tournament, but that will not prevent Galle from clinching the title after another dominating performance despite bad light ending play early in their fixture against Kandy at Suriyawewa yesterday. Roshen Silva was once again the star for Galle as he guided his team to 298 for seven with an unbeaten 88. Roshen, the prolific right-handed middle order batsman, had slammed 168 more..

Australian Psychologist here again

Apr 24 (CT) Dr. Phil Jauncey, the Australian based performance psychologist, who worked with the Sri Lankan team during January 2018 will hold another session with the national team during the month of May. During his first stint with the Lankan team, Jauncey worked on identifying the personality traits of each player, the best communication and learning method suited for each player and also of the coaching staff. Second stint of Dr. Jauncey with the national team will be held from 5 to 23 May, more..

Anitha vaults to New Sri Lanka record

Apr 24 (CT) Jaffna’s vaulting queen Anitha Jagatheshwaran stole the limelight in the very first meet of the newly laid Sugathadasa track leaping over 3.55m in the pole vault to set a new Sri Lanka record at the Junior National Athletics championship that started yesterday. Anitha who was waiting for hours until the under-20 girls finished their vaulting event as both the under-20 and 23 events started together, first vaulted 3.50m more..

Country can move forward only under a non-partisan President: Wijeyadasa

Apr 24 (DM) There is no point in forming national governments amidst a culture of levelling allegations against each other and it is more advantageous for the country to move forward under a non-partisan President, said former Minister MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in Kandy on Sunday. Mr. Rajapakshe expressed this view when he met the Mahanayake of Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera and the other Anunayakes of the Asgiriya Karaka Sabah. more..

Sri J'pura University trio to represent SL at Unilever Future Leaders’ League in London

Apr 24 (Island) Madusha de Silva, Nayomi Fernando and Umendra Abeynayake of team Innovints from the University of Sri J'pura were adjudged winners of Unilever Challenge 2017 held recently in Colombo. Emerging atop 3 teams from 10 universities post 3 intense rounds, they will be representing Sri Lanka at the Unilever’s Future Leaders’ League to be held in London in April. The event, which is powered by Rin Brightness Academy, saw team Innovints winning the judges over with their more..

Army commander calls on Pakistan PM

Apr 24 (TN) Commander of Sri Lankan Army has appreciated the huge sacrifices of Pakistani nation and its valiant Armed Forces in fight against menace of terrorism. Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake who called on PM Shahid Abbasi at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) here on Monday, was expressing his views in the meeting. The SL commander also held meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa more..

Major shipping lines hesitant over H’tota Port

Apr 24 (CT) Major shipping lines routing through Colombo Port seems little or no reason to divert their operations to the China-led Hambantota Port in the southern part of the country, though the harbour is in close proximity to one of the busiest shipping routes. SL Govt last year leased the Hambantota Port to the China Merchant Port Holdings Company for US$ 974 million and gave the company a 25-year sweeping tax break for the development and operation of the what has been classified as more..

Unity govt to form pact to identify weaknesses, says Minister

Apr 24 (PTI) Sri Lanka’s unity govt will come up with a new plan to identify its weaknesses and find suitable remedies for them, a senior minister has said, amid the ongoing tussle between the country’s president and the prime minister. A new programme and pact is being prepared by President Maithripala Sirisena’s SLFP and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP. The two parties and arch political foes have been in the govt sharing cabinet positions since mid-2015. more..

Minister Ramanayake takes Sumathipala and SLC to task

Apr 24 (DN) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake held a press conference to expose corruption and waste that has taken place during the two-year period in office by the Thilanga Sumathipala administration at Sri Lanka Cricket. “Cricket is a very profitable and popular game in the world and earning profit from it like in the recent Nidhas Trophy tournament is not because of the president of SLC Thilanga Sumathipala. more..

200 C’Wealth entrepreneurs at London’s Sri Lanka breakfast meeting

Apr 24 (DN) Over 200 Commonwealth entrepreneurs converged to discuss trade and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka in London last week. According to the Department of Commerce of SL, commonwealth entrepreneurs converged at Sri Lanka breakfast networking session of Commonwealth Enterprise and Economic Council held on the sides of CHOGM18. Session was jointly facilitated by the Department of Commerce, EDB and London’s SL High Commission. more..

President’s office squashes media reports on CHOGM delegation

Apr 24 (GDI) False information are circulating regarding the official delegation accompanying President Sirisena on the CHOGM, President's Media Division (PMD) said. President was accompanied by the President’s wife, President’s official doctor, Minister Tilak Marapana and his wife, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Language Interpreter and two officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Apart from them, print and electronic media personnel of the PMD and more..

Foreign Docs get temporary registration

Apr 24 (CT) Sri Lanka Medical Council said that annually it provided an average of 1,500 to 1,600 provisional registrations to local and foreign qualified medical graduates. SLMC sources explained that the Council also awarded temporary registration to foreign doctors who arrived in Sri Lanka to work for a short period in the country. “Most of them either came to train our doctors, receive training at faculty levels or serve more..

Sri Lanka’s tourism to be showcased globally

Apr 24 (CT) Sri Lanka’s diversified tourism product will be bolstered with the launch of the China Int'l Tourism Industry Expo (CITIC) in the Chinese city and Province of Guandeong from 7 to 9 July 2018. “SL will get free exposure at this exhibition at which there will be 25 countries which will tap China’s outbound tourism market”, President of Int'l Business Council, Kosala Wickramanayake said. “So far, we have confirmed more than 25 countries /regions which would participate in CITIE, more..

Japanese alliance adds Sri Lanka’s SAGT to new container shipping service

Apr 24 (EN) Ocean Network Express, a new global container carrier alliance of three Japanese liner companies, has included Sri Lanka’s Colombo port in one of its loops with a maiden call at the private South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT). Ocean Network Express (ONE), the mega carrier born out of the merger between NYK, MOL & K Line, launched the EC5 service in Colombo on 23rd April, 2018. The EC5 service loop is jointly operated by member carriers Yang Ming, Hapag-Lloyd, more..

Coast Conservation Dept. firm on demolishing illegal structures in Mirissa

Apr 24 (FT) Coast Conservation Department confirmed that it will go ahead with the demolition of the 17 identified unauthorised buildings on 1 May at Mirissa coastal area, insisting that decisions were made years ago according to the Act. “We will definitely demolish the 17 identified unauthorised structures on Mirissa beach on 1 May. This was not an arbitrary decision taken by the department, but a legal ruling for such constructions,” more..

SL Tamil desperate to reunite with his father

Apr 24 (Hindu) After landing clandestinely on Rameswaram coast three years ago to seek medical assistance, 46-year-old S. Samuel alias Rajendran (name changed as he is a HIV-affected person), a Sri Lankan Tamil, has been wandering here and Tirunelveli, desperately trying to return home and join his aged father. When Sri Lankan Tamils made influx to Tamil Nadu as refugees in 1985, Rajendiran, then 13, flew to Tiruchi with his mother and two sisters and later settled in Chennai. more..

Title deeds for 666 Uva residents

Apr 24 (GDI) A title deed distribution ceremony for residents of the Moneragala, Medagama, Badelkumbura and Bibile Divisional Secretariat divisions of the Uva Province, was held under the patronage of Minister Gayantha Karunatileka at the Moneragala Librarary Auditorium on Saturday. Six hundred and sixty-six such deeds were distributed during the event. Addressing the ceremony Minister said the govt had planned to provide deeds to those who would utilise state-owned lands more..

20-A won’t help promote federalism: JVP

Apr 24 (Island) None should harbour any unfounded fears on the JVP’s proposed amendments to the Constitution as they would not strip the President of his powers on matters related to Provincial Councils, says the JVP. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that some sections of society had sought to view his party’s proposals to amend the constitution as an attempt to weaken the executive presidency to enable a federal solution to national problem. more..

Over 300 jail guards recruited

Apr 24 (CT) Over 300 prison guards have been recruited by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, with another 1,200 vacancies expected to be filled this year. It is reported that interviews, for the recruitment of 1,200 guards, are currently underway, while the subject Minister, D. M. Swaminathan has stated that following proper training, those 1,200 officers can be given positions by the end of August 2018. He added, steps have been taken to install CCTV cameras and mobile phone jammer more..

Celebrating Vesak in April, a joke: Prelate

Apr 24 (Island) All other Buddhist nations, the world over, are making grand preperations to celebrate Vesak Poya Day, on May 29, and it is absurd for SL to celebrate Vesak on April 29, Malwatte Anunayake Ven. Niyangoda Sri Vijithasiri Thera says. Even the int'l Vesak Day was celebrated, on May 29, Thera said. "According to tradition, Sri Lankans celebrate Vesak in May. However, the govt has decided to celebrate Vesak in April. No one has the right to change the Vesak Poya Day." more..

President to deliver policy statement

Apr 24 (DN) A Party Leaders’ Meeting will be held on May 2 to discuss arrangements for the inaugural ceremony of Parliament on May 8 and Parliamentary business thereafter, Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Dassanayake said. It will be an informal meeting of the Party Leaders convened by the Speaker as the Parliamentary Business Committee stands dissolved following the prorogation of Parliament. more..

Will this Cabinet reshuffle be on a scientific basis?

Apr 24 (DM) Another Cabinet reshuffle is the talking point these days. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that there would be a Cabinet reshuffle before May 1 with the portfolios assigned in a scientific manner. This is not the govt’s first Cabinet reshuffle and also not the first time that Dr. Senaratne assured the country on behalf of the govt that the portfolios would be assigned in a scientific manner. It was during the 2015 presidential election campaign that the leaders of the incumbent govt promised more..

What MR got right and this govt could not!

Apr 24 (DM) Reading the Sunday newspapers, I stumbled upon two stories. One was about resettlement experts making a hue and cry that the third phase of Central Expressway would cause mass displacement. From a people’s point of view, we are heading for disaster, one complains. According to the statistics cited, 6,432 people from 1,742 families would be affected. There are 624 people living in the road corridor; 2,098 agricultural landowners; and 25 entrepreneurs. more..

'We will try to get control of SLFP'

Apr 24 (DM) Former Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, spells as to how the No Confidence Motion [NCM] got defeated in Parliament. He shared the following: Q: The President once said the NCM against PM was mooted by the JO, a section of SLFP and a faction of the UNP. He tried to absolve himself of any responsibility. What happened actually? A: Actually, the idea to bring such a motion originated primarily from the UNP itself. more..