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Ugly face of HIV/AIDS stigma

Apr 3 (CT) Not long ago the Supreme Court ruled that every citizen over the age of five years has the right to education at any govt school in the country, emphasizing that HIV/AIDS cannot deprive a child of their right to education. Yet, a 10-year-old schoolgirl has today become the victim of ignorance and illusions surrounding sexually transmitted diseases (STD), so gullibly accepted by educated individuals. more..

Trade Union action closes roads to BIA

Apr 3 (DM) The tense situation reported at the BIA has escalated with employees reportedly blocking all entrances to the premises, leaving hundreds of travelers stranded, reporters said. The tense situation arose after discussions between the Airport & Aviation Services (SL) Limited and the Airport Sri Lanka Freedom Party Union (ASFPU) failed this morning. It is learnt that while the aviation sector is operational, ground staff more..

Sri Lanka targets pharmaceuticals self-sufficiency with new zone

Apr 3 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is almost certain to survive the ouster move which is backed by President Sirisena, but their coalition govt is headed for deeper turmoil after tomorrow’s parliamentary vote. Sirisena’s faction of the SLFP is making a last ditch attempt to pressure Wickremesinghe into stepping down, but the PM has made it clear he is no pushover, party officials said. Sirisena had also warned the UNP that more..

Usually late: 900 SriLankan flights delayed in a month

Apr 3 (ST) More than 900 SriLankan Airlines departures were delayed in February, with 280 of them leaving BIA and other airports more than one hour late, according to data obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. February on-time performance of the airline was even worse than its January record when 840 departures were more than 15 minutes late (it was 911 in Feb), with 121 of them being more than one hour behind. more..

PM expected to survive ouster move backed by President

Apr 3 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is almost certain to survive the ouster move which is backed by President Sirisena, but their coalition govt is headed for deeper turmoil after tomorrow’s parliamentary vote. Sirisena’s faction of the SLFP is making a last ditch attempt to pressure Wickremesinghe into stepping down, but the PM has made it clear he is no pushover, party officials said. Sirisena had also warned the UNP that more..

Judicature (Amendment) Bill needs two-thirds majority: SC

Apr 3 (AD) The Supreme Court has informed the Speaker of Parliament that the Judicature (Amendment) Bill needs to be passed with a two-thirds majority as certain clauses included in the bill require amendments to the Constitution. The determination of the Supreme Court on the Bill titled Judicature (Amendment) in respect of which petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court in terms of Article 121 (1) of the Constitution, more..

PM faces tight confidence vote as key ally plans to defect

Apr 3 (Reuters) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe faces a no- confidence motion on Wednesday that could go down to the wire and lead to political instability in the island nation, even if the govt manages to scrape a win. Wickremesinghe leads a national unity govt in alliance with President Sirisena’s party, which has said it would vote against the PM, blaming him for failing to prevent an alleged scam in the bond market. more..

PM refuses to resign; SLFP to meet President again

Apr 3 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused a request by SLFP to resign ahead of a no-confidence motion while his partymen called on SLFP minister with no confidence in the govt to resign. State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said following the refusal of the PM to resign, SLFP ministers will meet the President in the night to decide on their action tomorrow. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, more..

All disabled’s right to education must be ensured

Apr 3 (CT) There were quite a few of our readers who called in about the way we displayed our Masthead in yesterday edition of CeylonToday. Some thought we had got it wrong and inverted the artwork, but many appreciated the fact that we drew attention to the issue of autism in Sri Lanka. The special Masthead was printed to mark the 11th World Autism Awareness Day. We Sri Lankans value education but are also known for our aversion to dealing with handicapped persons, more..

Wandapethi, Digakalliya and the violence in Ampara

Apr 3 (FT) An article by columnist D.B.S. Jeyaraj was published 17 March in Weekend FT on the above title. In it, through his own analysis of the incident, Jeyaraj tells the reader in no uncertain terms that the Sinhalese Buddhist majority harass the minorities in the country. He further says that the present situation in Ampara poses a very difficult existential dilemma for the innocent Muslim residents in Ampara town, because they are being pressurised both tactfully and brazenly to more..

විශ්වාසභංගයත් සමග උණුසුම් වූ වත්මන් දේශපාලනය

Vass gets bail in firearms case, but death sentence stands for murder

Apr 3 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Lalith Ekanayake yesterday granted bail to former DIG Vass Gunewardena and four others in respect of the indictment for the possession of firearms and dangerous weapons. Bail was in Rs. 10,000 cash and a surety of Rs. 100,000. He was released on the condition he would report to the CID on Sunday every month. Counsel Vishara de Livera Tennekoon appeared for the accused persons. Meanwhile, Gunewardene and the other accused have more..

Ranil at the Kurukshetra, Do not cry !

Apr 3 (CT) Mahabharat is the epic saga capturing the interconnected and intercalated conditions of the world, power, greed, right (dharma), wrong (adharma) in breathtakingly philosophical language. The Bhagavat Gita, a component of the Mahabharat is a heart to heart conversation between Arjuna, the Pandava warrior and his soul mate Krishna touching topics spanning from power politics, art of war and half-heartedness to kill the enemy bound by blood. The above quote is the immortal advice given to Arjuna by Krishna more..

Police seize night racing motorcycle gang in Colombo 7

Apr 3 (DM) A gang of young riders who rode high powered racing motorcycles with engines beyond the legal capacity with altered chassis numbers on the main roads in Colombo 7 early on Friday night was seized by the Cinnamon Gardens Police. A team of officials from the police traffic control branch armed with information based on several public complaints launched a special operation past midnight to nab the gang more..

State Minister Senanayake visits Australia

Apr 3 (GDI) State Minister Vasantha Senanayake recently visited Australia and met Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on the invitation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The two Ministers discussed bilateral issues ranging from the strong people to people links and growing economic relations, to cooperation in countering transnational crimes. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop conveyed Australia’s appreciation to SL for its cooperation in combatting people smuggling. more..

Udayanga to be brought back to SL

Apr 3 (NR) Attorney General today informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court that steps are underway to bring former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga arrested in Dubai back to SL. State Counsel representing the AG informed Court that Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate General of SL to Dubai are engaged in measures to bring Udayanga Weeratunga back. Weeratunga was arrested after a red warrant was issued for his arrest over investigations into more..

CTU hands over letter to ILO against postponing May Day celebrations

Apr 3 (DM) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) today handed over a letter to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Office for Sri Lanka against the Cabinet decision to postpone the May Day celebrations to May 7. Responding to a request made by the Tri-party Maha Nayaka Theras, it was decided to declare May 7 as a public and mercantile holiday this year, instead of May 1, following a Cabinet decision, as Vesak Poya falls on more..

CSE and the National Stock Exchange of India sign MoU

Apr 3 (AD) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) focused on exploring opportunities to work together and co-operate with each other to foster a deeper and more strategic relationship. MoU was signed at the CSE today by CSE Chairman Mr. Ray Abeywardena and Mr. Vikram Limaye, Managing Director and CEO, NSE. The MoU calls for cooperation on the exchange of information more..

SLMC to support PM

Apr 3 (DN) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress will support PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and vote against the No Confidence Motion submitted by the Joint Opposition, SLMC Secretary Shafeek Rajabdeen said, yesterday. Responding to the Daily News, Rajabdeen said several parties have approached them seeking the SLMC’s support. However, he said the party will stand for the continuation of the unity govt. “As a partner of the unity govt, we will continue to support it,” he said. more..

Gangsters Sara Malli and Cheeti arrested

Apr 3 (DM) Close associates of notorious criminal Angoda Lokka- Alawalage Sarath Kumara alias Cheeti and Sarath Panditharatne alias Sara Malli, had been arrested in two separate raids in Angoda and Boralesgamuwa last night, SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. “The 41-year-old Cheeti was arrested by the STF at his residence at Kotikawatte, Angoda along with a hand grenade,” he said. He said the suspect had also been more..

Gotabhaya, Karannagoda complain to NPC

Apr 3 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former Navy Commander, Wasantha Karannagoda lodged two complaints with the National Police Commission (NPC) yesterday against a senior officer of the CID for referring their names to the UNHRC. The two men lodged the complaints saying that a young woman, Jeyathi Thyagarajah had stated that a senior CID officer, who visited her house, informed her that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa more..

SLPP wins J’pura Kotte MC

Apr 3 (CT) The SLPP yesterday lost the Dimbulagala PS which it won in the LG Elections, to the SLFP, when the SLFP elect Jayantha Marasinghe received a majority of the votes of the PS members. The Deputy Chairperson’s seat of the PS went to the UNP. Elsewhere, the SLPP secured the Mayoral seat of the Sri J'pura Kotte MC yesterday. SLPP elect Madura Vithanage received 23 votes, while Chandima Nayanajeewa of the UNP received 11 votes. more..

Reforms within UNP following the NCM debate

Apr 3 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed the UNP Parliamentary group that reforms within the UNP will be carried out immediately after the No-Confidence Motion against the govt and himself. Issuing a statement the UNP said, Premier vowed to ensure necessary reforms within the party are carried out stating that a new group will be vested with responsibilities within the party. more..

SriLankan Airlines' new board to re-structure, seek strategic partner

Apr 3 (EN) Loss-making state-run SriLankan Airline will seek a strategic partner under a new chairman and board, while re-structuring it under a plan devised by Nyras, an aviation consultancy, the finance ministry said. Ranjit Fernando, former chief of National Development Bank will be chairman. The other directors will be Mano Tittawella (ministry of finance), Roshan Perera (central bank), Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathi (Air Force Commander) and Susantha Katugampala (Lawyer/Barrister). more..

UoC researchers find new drug delivery system

Apr 3 (CT) A group of researchers affiliated to the Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo were able to find a new drug delivery system for cancer patients. One of the members of the research team, Danushika Manatunga, a Post Doctoral Research Fellow of the University, said that the drug delivery system had been developed by them using Nano technology. “The drugs are not new. It is the drug carrier system that we developed that is new. more..

Video: UNP moves to sabotage Parliamentary debate on NCM: Udaya

Apr 3 (DM) General Secretary of PHU Udaya Gammanpila said that he had learnt that some UNP members wanted to delay the debate on the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe by taking away the Mace and sabotaging the Parliamentary session. He said Premier Wickremesinghe had reportedly requested Prez Sirisena to delay the Parliamentary debate on NCM during his discussions with the Prez. more..

Sajith pledges to build 2500 new villages before next presidential polls

Apr 3 (Island) United National Front would face the next presidential or general elections after setting up 2,500 new villages, Minister Sajith Premadasa said at the opening of the Yasa Isurugama village in Matara. "We have already completed 601 villages and within the next three years we will establish 650 new villages a year. By 2025. Everyone in the country would have a roof over their heads." He said Sirimavo Bandaranaike administration had built only 700 houses in 7 years. more..

ADB approves $100 million additional funding to enhance skills for jobs in SL

Apr 3 (AD) The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $100 million results-based loan as additional financing for the Govt of Sri Lanka’s efforts to develop skills to meet labor demands, support economic diversification, and enhance productivity in the country. “Sri Lanka has achieved universal primary and high secondary enrollment rates, a high adult literacy rate, and gender parity in access to all levels of education. However, there remains a clear mismatch more..

'All forces behind Jan 8 change support PM'

Apr 3 (DM) Those involved in bringing about a change on Jan 8, 2015 are behind PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the no-confidence motion will be defeated State Minister Harsha de Silva said. He said and there are other options available to deal with the motion in case it was passed. He said that there were sufficient numbers to defeat the no-confidence motion. “We have sufficient numbers to defeat it but more..

Five disease screening programmes affected

Apr 3 (CT) Society for Medical Laboratory Science (SMLS), said that several national programmes to be carried out by Ministry of Health, on disease detection and prevention are being held up due to a delay in providing internship training for graduates of medical laboratory science. President of SMLS Ravi Kumudesh said, there were 200 Medical Laboratory Science Graduates (MLSGs) awaiting internship appointments for the past two years, despite the Ministry having already conducted interviews. more..

Troops restoring violence affected areas in Kandy

Apr 3 (Island) More than 150 army personnel from Division Eleven under Security Force Headquarters - Central (SFHQ-Cen) were engaged in two separate programmes to clean up debris in areas affected by communal violence in the Kandy District recently on the directions of Major General Rukmal Dias, Commander, SF-Cen. Maj. Gen. Nissanka Ranawana, General Officer Commanding, 11 Division earmarked damaged properties along the road patch between Katugasthota town more..

Will radically modify IRA when we come to power: JO

Apr 3 (DM) JO today said it would radically modify the new Inland Revenue Act (IRA) and other such Acts when it comes to power, to provide benefits to the people instead of suppressing them. SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said the new IRA would result in grave repercussions as those who depend on the interest of their deposits would be affected drastically by it. Meanwhile, he said the govt’s inefficiency has created an more..

What’s wrong with Ranil?

Apr 4 (CT) This article was first published in the Sunday Leader and Colombo Telegraph on December 25, 2011. It is reproduced here given the political context of the no-confidence motion and internal strife within the United National Party in the call for Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down as party leader. The arguments are very similar to the ones made at the time. This article considered the objections raised then to Wickremesinghe and therefore is still relevant. more..

D-Day in Parliament

Apr 4 (CT) It is a simple matter of ethics. If PM Wickremesinghe hasn’t resigned, it is quite simply because, firstly, he doesn’t know right from wrong and secondly, he doesn’t know how to conduct himself in public affairs in accordance with international norms, including those in Asia and the global South. He doesn’t think it was wrong to import and implant Arjuna Mahendran, a non-citizen, as Governor of CB despite the advice of the President and a clear issue of a conflict of interest. more..

Greener pasture for estate workers: Abandoned tea lands turn a new leaf

Apr 4 (SO) The concept of resident workers being tied to a minimum daily wage formula which has remained the bonded lifestyle of the plantation workers over the last 150 years of the industry would change for the better for the workers, with the profit share model now being introduced in some of the estates, by one of Regional Management Companies (RPCs), the Kelani Valley Plantations PLC. more..

A question of confidence in Yahapaalanaya: The unfinished mandate

Apr 4 (GV) Hard on the heels of the LG elections, the JO emboldened by the unexpectedly robust performance of their nascent political party, the SLPP, popularly known as the Pohottuwa has sought to leverage that result into destabilising the ruling coalition at the center. The chosen battle ground has been Parliament and the modus operandi is a motion of no confidence against the PM. Now Parliament reflects the electoral verdict of Aug 2015 and especially the subsequent more..

How Ranil was got rid of in 2004

Apr 4 (CT) Chandrika however, at her best in adversity, did not worry overmuch about the Interim Self Governing Authority, but decided to fight on a different front. The opportunity arose, when she was asked by Marapana to sign certain regulations, relating to Defence as President. Having studied them she refused, but then saw those regulations gazetted and published under the name of the Minister of Defence. She then sought an opinion from the Supreme Court, more..

Genesis of the debt trap

Apr 4 (CT) Foreign commercial loans led by the issuance of Sovereign Bonds and aided and abetted by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s investments in mega multimillion US dollar white elephant infrastructure development projects, such as the Hambantota Port, Mattala Airport and Sooriyawewa Cricket Stadium, after obtaining commercial loans from China, are the major reasons for the country’s current debt crisis. more..

Editorial: A Right Royal battle

Apr 4 (Island) What started off as an ill-conceived no-confidence motion, initiated by a bunch of cocky Joint Opposition (JO) MPs following their impressive win at the Feb. 10 mini polls, has led to a right royal battle between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The showdown is right Royal because the President and the Prime Minister are both Royalists—the former from Royal College, Polonnaruwa and the latter from Royal College, Colombo 07. more..

Britain funds SL’s mine clearance effort

Apr 4 (DN) It’s over 20 years since Princess Diana walked through a heavily mined field in Angola and changed the way the int'l community thought about this appalling and indiscriminate weapon of war. Shortly after that historic visit, Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their destruction was signed, creating an established framework through which the world could work towards eradicating these barbaric weapons. more..