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Political tug-o-war in SL is cockeyed & absurd: Only Ranil talks of economic goals

Feb 1 (CT) The electorate has to crowd around these useless and headless blokes and swell their meetings in order to collect the morsels of food and drink and dole-outs from the ill-gotten money of the political class that rules. The discourse is: dooshanaya! dooshanaya! dooshanaya! What a bloody harangue! It bores me to anything short of death. Maitripala Sirisena has nothing to pronounce except cry, dooshanaya. He is the new swordsman against dooshanaya more..

Galle: Sneers for Ranil, Nirupama no balled, Trump prevails

Feb 1 (Island) I went back to Galle to attend the Literary Festival after an absence of a few years; a festival which made Galle even more popular in the world. The Literary Festival with interesting discussions, and fond memories. I met many of my friends from Comrade Mano Sekaram, Adrian and Chris Basnayakae, (Prof) Senerath Walter Perera all the way from Peradeniya, and of course my friend and his wife who made Ranil W famous with that dance with gracious Irangani Serasinghe, more..

PET Scanner to function from March

Feb 1 (SO) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner to be installed at Apeksha Cancer Hospital Maharagama which was purchased by public contribution arrived in SL on Jan 21. The President of the Kadijah Foundation and Founder Fight Cancer Team M S H Mohammed said, “PET Scanner has finally arrived in SL after a lot of effort put into it. We are very happy as it will benefit many patients suffering from cancer who cannot more..

Juggling Jobs and Overworked Doctors

Feb 1 (CT) In their over enthusiasm to prescribe medication and sometimes overload patients with unnecessary drugs, doctors the world over have been accused of having unholy partnerships with pharmaceutical companies - an accusation which is vehemently denied by both parties. A couple of years ago, the Govt and the Health Ministry tried to take measures to prevent medical practitioners from prescribing drugs with brand names. In fact there is this practice of prescribing more..

Abhidhamma: The Higher Doctrine

Feb 1 (CT) It would do well, on a day such as Navam Full Moon Poya Day, to draw attention to the fact that the Buddha explained fully the manner of the incidence of the complex natural phenomena of life and the universe, as set out by my teacher at my alma mater Ananda College, Colombo in the 1950s C.P. Ranasinghe in his magnum opus Buddha's Explanation of the Universe. Writing the Foreword to this invaluable work, Scholar Monk, Most Venerable Prof. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thera more..

'We do not have deals with anybody'

Feb 1 (CT) Minister Sagala Ratnayake says that the Govt does not have deals with anybody. "Our deal is with the people. That deal is to secure the law and peace, to ensure a good environment." Q: Do you believe that a clean group is contesting from the UNP at the LG polls? A: To a great extent but there were accusations against some. However, I do not know whether there are Court cases against them or not, as of now. more..

A poll like no other!

Feb 1 (DN) Local govt polls are now due in nine days and the cacophony of political rhetoric has reached unparalleled levels for an election that will not change a government or elect a President. The poll will however determine future political alliances and strategies for all major political parties, hence the scramble for the vote of the average citizen. Since President Sirisena’s emotive outburst at a Cabinet meeting two weeks ago, the UNP and its MPs have, for the most part, more..

Neoliberal elitism or patriotic populism

Feb 1 (CT) It was Marx who made the characteristically acerbic remark that the incredible flatness of present-day bourgeois society is best measured by the height of its greatest intellects. He was referring to Jeremy Bentham. The fact that the key ideologue and propagandist of the Yahapalana govt is Mangala Samaraweera speaks to the pathetic character of that govt. More pointedly, how Samaraweera could have been the Foreign Minister and now the Finance Minister of more..

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Trincomalee an example of multi-ethnic, multi-religious co-existence

Feb 1 (DN) Trincomalee is a unique city, rich in culture and religious places of worship. Most importantly, it is a crossroad where different ethnic groups have come to meet and live in relative peace. According to the 2012 Census of the Trincomalee District, it comprised 1,592,516 Muslims, 98,772 Buddhists, 98,133 Hindus and 21,893Christians. Thus Trincomalee is the ideal place to look at how reconciliation in this country would work and is practised. more..

Editorial: Await Bond Farce II

Feb 1 (Island) The Tilak Marapana committee, appointed by the UNP to study the presidential bond probe commission report, has claimed there are no findings against UNP members including former Minister Ravi Karunanayake, UNP General Secretary and Minister Kabir Hashim tells us. No one with a modicum of intelligence expected a different outcome!Minister Hashim, however, says the Marapana committee has recommended that Karunanayake desist from functioning as more..

Alcohol Ban and Feminist Conundrums

Feb 1 (CT) The recent move to revoke Excise Notification No. 02/2018, under the Excise Ordinance, has sparked quite a conundrum in respect of the human rights law in the country. The strong human rights movement has been up in arms following the botch and has strongly criticised President Sirisena for it. However, there have been various angles to this debate each of which have emanated from the masses. more..

Prince Edward to visit SL tennis HQ today

Feb 1 (Island) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and the youngest of four children of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, will visit the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) today. The Prince’s brief SLTA stay will last from 3.10 to 3.50 p.m., marking possibly the grandest foreign-dignitary visit since Independence (1948), at this Colombo-7’s Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha venue, previously named Ceylon Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA). Prince Edward and wife Sophie are now here more..

'We don’t get to be in this position every day'

Feb 1 (Island) Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal said that the hosts were happy to end the opening day of the first Test against SL in Chittagong in a position of strength and having avoided a collapse on Wednesday. B'desh ended the first day at 374 for 4 on the back of a record third-wicket partnership between Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim, who added 236 runs. Lakmal brought some much-needed relief for SL by dismissing Rahim, with his persistence line outside-off paying off. more..

UoM Engineering whizzkids dazzle with balcony greenhouses and cricket boots

Feb 1 (ST) It is the final semester and there is an air of anticipation among the mechanical engineering Class of 2018 at the Uni of Moratuwa as they put the last few touches to their exhibits while waiting for the invitees from 35 companies in both the state and private sector. Impress anyone and you are assured of a lucrative job. The stakes are high for the 32 teams of fourth-year students, totalling 120, as MechX-2018, an exhibition of more..

Golf: Sisira holds on to win despite Indika’s valiant performance

Feb 1 (DN) Sisira Kumara just holds on to win the first edition of the UTE Engineering Pin Fernando Golf Grand Prix for 2018. The game of golf is not over until it’s over as proved by J.M.D. Indika who produced a scintillating round of 5under par 68 in near perfect conditions at the beautiful Victoria Golf and Country Resort in Kandy. He started perfectly with 2 birdies in the first 2 holes followed by 4 more birdies over the next 9 holes to be 6 under par without any blemishes up to that point. more..

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka on a mission to forge Partnerships with Purpose

Feb 1 (Island) Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s (HFHSL) president and chairman of the National Board of Directors – Lakshan Madurasinghe’s unique Habitat journey started with him volunteering at a Habitat Build event, and thereafter led to over a decade long partnership with HFHSL. Today, a key member of HFHSL’s leadership team, Lakshan not only continues to volunteer whilst encouraging hundreds of others to do so as well, he has applied his corporate, PR & management expertise to more..

රනිල් බැදුම්කරේ බිල්ලට රවී දෙන්න යන ලකුණු !!

Does Sri Lanka’s Look East strategy to court ASEAN make sense?

Feb 1 (TD) Two Southeast Asian leaders, Singapore’s PM Lee Hsieng Loong and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, visited Sri Lanka during the week ending Jan 26. During Lee’s visit (from Jan 22 to 24) Sri Lanka signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore, described as being the first ever Colombo has inked with a Southeast Asian country. The Sri Lanka’s govt further showcased the agreement as being part of a broader ‘Look East’ strategy. more..

Unlawful assembly PDWHA chairman and secy remanded

Feb 1 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate remanded the chairman of the Police Disabled War Heroes' Association (PDWHA), Asela Bandara and Secretary Jagath Wijesinghe till 6 Feb for the alleged obstruction of officers of the Department of Pensions in the conduct of their duties. The suspects have been remanded on four charges of being part of an unlawful assembly, when a large number of members of the Association had held the Department under siege, as part of more..

Reality check in Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (Hindu) SL’s local govt elections, scheduled to be held on Feb 10, have elicited the interest of a national election, and with good reason. This is the first time the country will go to the polls in about three years since the President Sirisena–PM Wickremesinghe combine rose to power promising good governance, giving voters a chance to say what they think of the performance of the govt they elected to office. more..

Remembering Upali Wijewardene

Feb 1 (Island) The 35th anniversary of the disappearance of Mr. Upali Wijewardene, the Founder Chairman of Upali Group of Companies, and the party that accompanied him, falls Tuesday (13). The Upali Group, its employees and sales agents countrywide have made elaborate arrangements to commemorate the anniversary with religious ceremonies such as Bodhi Poojas, Alms Givings, Pahan Poojas and Blood Donation Campaigns. Special Bodhi Pooja will be held more..

'Doubts as to who is ruling the country'

Feb 1 (DM) Though both SLFP and UNP are urging the people to cast their vote for the ruling party, it is doubtful as to which party was ruling the country, National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) Chairman K.D. Lal Kantha said. He said that the country had a unity govt but neither President nor PM were able to say that it belonged to any one of them. “Members elected to Local Govt bodies should be aware that they will directly receive the funds allocated for development work,” he added. more..

India wary of China’s Sri Lanka plans

Feb 1 (Hindu) Hinting at security concerns over Sri Lanka handing over its strategic southern port of Hambantota to China, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has raised doubts whether that country would confine itself only to port activities. “Whether China will confine itself to only port activities in Hambantota port is a question and I do not want to say anything further,” she told reporters after a meeting on more..

Tampa teen pens book to help orphans in SL

Feb 1 (WFLA) DNA kits and learning about our ancestry is all the rage right now, but when one Tampa teenager found out from her parents about their homeland and culture, she took her passion to a whole new level. Anuksha Wickramasinghe traveled to Sri Lanka to learn more about the island nation, and while there visited an orphanage named Grace. There she met young girls that she describes as wonderful and inspirational and knew right then and there she had to find a way to help them more..

SL records highest-ever apparel exports

Feb 1 (CT) Sri Lanka recorded its highest-ever level of apparel exports during the year ended 31 Dec 2017, courtesy of the restoration of the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) facility, a Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) spokesman said. According to JAAF, Sri Lanka's total apparel export figure last year was over US$ 4.8 billion, which is an increase of 3.06 per cent over 2016. However, Sri Lanka is yet to announce its official full-year (2017) total textile export figures. more..

Countrywide postal voting generally peaceful: PAFFREL

Feb 1 (DN) PAFFREL observed that postal voting all around the country was generally peaceful and added that they have assigned 7,000 volunteers to observe the upcoming election process. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said even though the postal voting was generally peaceful compared to the previous elections, a few instances of canvassing for votes, campaigning close to booths, photographing more..

SLPP warns 75% crop loss due to lack of fertiliser

Feb 1 (Island) SLPP lashed out at the govt for the anticipated massive crop loss at the forthcoming Maha harvest due to the failure of authorities to make available fertiliser on time. Former Chief Minister and A'pura District MP S. M. Chandrasena said that the anticipated crop loss would be as much as 75%. Govt had not taken any action since 2015 to strengthen the agriculture sector. Even though there was a fertilizer shortage, Agriculture Minister did not own up to the govt’s failure, more..

Combating Somali piracy: CGPCS Secretariat to be established in Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (CT) The Secretariat of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) will be established in Sri Lanka, following recent Cabinet approval. The proposal put forward by President Maithripala Sirisena, as the Minister of Defence, to formally request the New York office of CGPCS to give Sri Lanka the opportunity to establish its Secretariat in the country, was approved by Cabinet. The Secretariat will be complimented by the Navy as per the proposal. more..

Amendment to Bribery Act: Cabinet gives go ahead

Feb 1 (CT) Cabinet has given the go ahead to amend a Section of the Bribery Act, which will allow High Courts to hear bribery and corruption cases. The proposal presented by President Sirisena to amend Section 70 of the Bribery Act No. 11 of 1954 was approved by Cabinet when it convened on 30 Jan. The amendment to the legislation, if enacted, would empower the High Courts of the country to hear cases of fraud more..

Candidate asks MS for compensation

Feb 1 (DM) A candidate contesting for the elections to the Kattankudi Urban Council has claimed compensation from President Maithripala Sirisena for putting up posters on his wall by supporters of the SLFP led by the President. National Front for Good Governance (NFGG) candidate A.L.M. Sabeel said in a letter to the President that SLFP members had pasted posters on his wall besmearing it and requested that he be paid Rs.7,500 as the cost of colour-washing the wall. more..

Sri Lanka FTA a boon for Singapore firms

Feb 1 (ST) Singapore's newly signed free trade agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka will bring significant benefits to Singapore companies that want to export to and invest in Sri Lanka. Under the FTA, Singapore enjoys lower tariffs, more access to services markets, a green light to bid on large govt procurement deals and better protection for investments, among other things. While Sri Lanka is not a huge economy - its GDP is just over a quarter of Singapore's - it has potential for growth. more..

Corrupt probing Corrupt: Rajitha announces arrest of GR soon after Feb. 10 polls

Feb 1 (Island) Health Minister aDr. Rajitha Senaratne alleges that SLPP candidate for the next presidential election, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has fled the country fearing arrest in the wake of ongoing judicial investigations into acquisition of MiGs from Ukraine under controversial circumstances. Dr. Senaratne said so at a public rally in Mahara yesterday in support of the UNP candidates contesting the Feb. 10 LG polls. more..

Marapana Committee: Report to be submitted to UNP working committee

Feb 1 (DM) UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said in a statement yesterday that the Tilak Marapana headed Committee report on the PCoI findings will be handed over to the Working Committee in February. The statement said: "In the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the issuance of Treasury Bonds, there are no findings against any member of the UNP including MP Ravi Karunanayake in regard to the issuance of Treasury Bonds. But, however, Commission of Inquiry more..

Video: Move to arrest Ravi and released after polls: SLPP

Feb 1 (DM) The SLPP today said there was an attempt to arrest MP Ravi Karunanayake prior to the parliamentary debate on the Bond Commission report and then release him after the LG elections were over. Former provincial councillor Ajith Prasanna claimed at a news conference that the MP’s consent had been obtained to arrest him. “Both the President and the Prime Minister are playing to the gallery by calling for a debate on the Bond report prior to the elections. more..

Debate on bond, PRECIFAC reports a gimmick: President

Feb 1 (DM) The one-day Parliamentary debate on the Bond Commission’s report and the PRECIFAC report scheduled on Feb 6, is simply a gimmick instead of a fruitful one, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday. President said this was a debate which should have taken place days ago and continued for days without a disruption. “The debate was arranged even for a day prior to the LG election on Feb 10 because of the challenge I threw” more..

Let’s make Independence Day resolutions

Feb 1 (DM) As we begin February today, what we remember most is Independence Day on Feb 4 and it is more significant this year because it is the 70th anniversary. In addition we are amid an intensified campaign for the February 10 elections to 341 Municipal, Urban councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas. We hope the results will help bring about more political freedom and democracy and sustainable development to carry us towards a peaceful, just and all-inclusive society. more..

Why my vote is for Ranil’s host?

Feb 1 (DM) With another election on the cards, the daggers are drawn with accusations going to and fro, hither and thither. The former ruler who suffers from selective amnesia about his past record is at it again, playing to the gallery, waving both arms and shouting himself hoarse. Attempts are also being made to blame the PM for the recent disgraceful behaviour in Parliament. This is, as is usual with the JO and others who do this, just another slanderous fabrication. more..

Unlicensed driving instructors face makeover

Feb 1 (ST) On the heels of discovering that most driving instructors lack driving licences, National Council for Road Safety is introducing a new regime next month. Council Chairman Sisira Kodagoda said all instructors at the 400 driving schools around the country would receive training and be issued with handbooks detailing guidelines that they must follow. “It is important that a new driver learns from a practically experienced more..

'The way the council is run needs a facelift'

Feb 1 (DM) The new system adopted for the Local Govt Elections has provided opportunities for new faces to make a change. Contesting under the UNP ticket from the National List is Jerusha Crossette- Thambiah, an Attorney-At-Law currently in private practice and also a lecturer at the University of London – External Programme. Jerusha shared her views regarding the upcoming polls and what areas need to be focused on: more..