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Make campaign finance reforms law

May 12 (CT) Elections monitoring body, the PAFFREL will be writing to Ministe Faiszer Musthapha on the 14, urging for the draft document pertaining to campaign finance reforms presented to him, be presented in Parliament as a Bill. Executive Director of the PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said that the expenditure of candidates at the LG Polls held this year, had amply demonstrated the dire and urgent requirement of a law governing campaign finance, which introduces expenditure caps more..

Temporary halt to filling paddy lands in WP

May 12 (Island) Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, in consultation with the Director General of Agrarian Services, ordered a temporary halt to the filling of paddy lands in the Western Province. Agrarian Services Department said that it had received about 3,000 applications seeking permission for filling of paddy lands in the Western Province. Minister Amaraweera said that a proper study should be conducted more..

Fuel price hike to affect prices of essentials: NFF

May 12 (DM) The prices of essential goods would also increase to the decision by the govt to increase fuel prices, the NFF warned. The govt on Thursday announced that the prices of Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene would be increased by Rs. 20, Rs. 14 and Rs. 57 respectively with effect from midnight. NFF Propaganda Secretary, Muhammad Muzammil said the price of essential goods would go up as result. “In recent times, Yahapalana govt has increased the prices of goods such as rice, coconuts more..

Case against Ven. Dhammaloka Thera: HC to call for defence evidence

May 12 (DN) The Colombo High Court yesterday decided to call for defence evidence in a case filed against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid licence. When the case came up before High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne, the court was informed that the prosecution witnesses had concluded their evidence regarding the case. Accordingly, recording of defence evidence was fixed for July 17. President’s Counsel Prasantha Lal Alwis more..

President left for Iran

May 12 (PMD) Prez Sirisena left for Iran today for a two day state visit at the invitation of the Iran President Hassan Rouhani. During his visit to Iran, the President is expected to obtain many economic and developmental benefits to SL. Iran, as the one of the largest oil and natural gas producing and exporting nations, has secured a significant place in the world. Iran also provides it’s assistance in many development activities more..

First there were three, then two & then none

May 12 (ST) A primary school in the Bibile education zone has shut down after the three students who attended it by end last year dropped to two at the beginning of this year and then none. The Illikkumbura Primary school in Ihawa had classes from Year 1 to 5 and excluding the principal four teachers taught in it. After the principal fell sick recently and the teachers had informed the parents of the two remaining students at the beginning of this year to find alternate schools. more..

Kataragama pilgrims harassed, abused by pooja watti touts

May 12 (ST) Pilgrims to Kataragama complain they are being harassed by touts when they go into town to buy pooja watti (basket of fruits offered at temples). They say it is particularly bad in a place called Kada Hatahliha (40 shops) where traders sell these pooja watti. The pilgrims say the touts engaged by these traders accost them as they enter the car park in front of the SLTB-run pilgrims’ rest. About 30 shops sell these pooja watti and others are newspaper agents. more..

An epoch meeting between Dr. Mahathir and President Sirisena

May 12 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena in his last official visit to Malaysia had an epoch meeting with PM elect Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who has been sworn as the world’s oldest elected leader. President Sirisena in his last official visit to Malaysia insisted on meeting with Dr. Mohamad despite diplomatic obstacles then. Mohamad under whose rule Malaysia experienced a period of rapid modernisation and economic growth, more..

Regulator tells illegal hoteliers: Beach is public property

May 12 (ST) Illegal structures and hotels on the coastal areas will be demolished after a grace period, the agency that acts as the custodian and administrator of Sri Lanka’s beaches says. Director General of the Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management, B K Prabath Chandarakeerthi said although hoteliers had agreed to remove the structures, there was not much progress. “We will not announce a date of removal since the hoteliers seek help from influential more..

Several Senior Police officers issued transfers

May 12 (NR) The Police Headquarters says Twenty Senior Police Officers including nine Deputy Inspector General of Police have been issued transfers. The Police Headquarters said in addition to the nine DIGs six Senior Superintendent of Police and Five Superintendents of Police were issued transferred. The transfers were made on the approval of the National Police Commission. Meanwhile another group of Policemen attached to the SL Police have been issued transfers. more..

Student Exchange Program between India and Sri Lanka

May 12 (HCI) The High Commission of India facilitated a Youth Exchange Programme for the students of The Lawrence School, Sanawar – India (established in 1847) and The Royal College - Colombo( established in 1835) The delegation from Sanawar, led by Headmaster Vinay Pande, comprising two teachers and four students from Class 12, visited Sri Lanka from 26-30 April 2018. In Colombo, the delegation called on more..

Pt. Pedro centre cries for alms to heal 30 years of grief

May 12 (ST) The hot air sweeping through the palmyrah trees, over the red soil mixed with the sweat of the toiling farmers, speaks of the suffering the people of Jaffna are still going through following 30 years of war. Point Pedro, situated at the northernmost point of the island, formed with sand dunes, is famous for producing cotton. In Tamil, its name, Paruthithurei, means cotton harbor. Cotton was exported to South India from here for centuries. Point Pedro fort, built by the Dutch, more..

Sri Lanka welcomes US-North Korea summit

May 12 (MFA) Sri Lanka welcomes the Inter-Korea Summit between the leaders of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 27 April and the adoption of the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula. We look forward to the implementation of the important commitments and agreed actions outlined in the Declaration aimed at progressing through dialogue, diplomacy and trust-building towards more..

Table Marsoof’s MMDA Report in Parliament

May 12 (CT) Women rights groups seeking progressive reforms to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) have urged Minister of Justice Thalatha Atukorale and the Minister of Women’s Affairs Chandrani Bandara to jointly table the Marsoof Report, prepared by the committee appointed to consider amendments to the MMDA, in Parliament. The said 18-member committee (appointed in 2009) Report more..

Weathering anti-Iran sanctions

May 13 (SO) The growing disarray in world markets following the United States’ decision to unilaterally renew sanctions against Iran sets the backdrop for the Govt’s new energy policy. Last week’s fuel price increase and the new flexible pricing protocol introduced by the energy authorities are a timely step by the Government as we suddenly enter a period of some global economic uncertainty, with serious impacts on smaller economies. The signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action more..

Mirissa & Beyond

May 13 (CT) If the Govt is serious about regaining the confidence of the lost voter it must enforce the law without fear or favour. An example of the Govt operating the law in a skewed manner is where they allowed UNP leader, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s CB Governor appointee Arjuna Mahendran, wanted in connection with recent multibillion rupee Treasury (T) Bonds scam to leave the island, whereas a lesser mortal without any political connections would have had his passport impounded, more..

A partnership for community resurgence

May 13 (SO) They build and they fight. The fatigue in their bodies, being subject to strain under the harsh rays of the sun, over 32 degrees Celcius, they hide with smiles on their faces. It is a busy site. The sound of drilling, cutting, polishing and fixing, fill the air. Two sift sand quietly, on a side. Some fix the roof. Others are busy securing the perimeter fence. More are engaged inside, making everything ready to be more..

RTI: One step forward, two backwards

May 13 (ST) Few would quarrel with President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement on Tuesday as he inaugurated the second session of the 8th Parliament, that his National Unity Govt had enacted several people friendly laws, including the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The President praised the RTI Act as the strongest such act to empower citizens of any country in Asia. Coincidentally these remarks were made at the very same time that RTI commissioners, experts, advocates and more..


May 13 (Island) Clean suit, empty pocket was once upon a time a popular saying in this country of ours where successive govts certainly have champagne tastes despite toddy revenues. Last week’s long delayed fuel price hike, which will certainly hurt those who have to pay for their own petrol, is a case in point. A very large proportion of those swanking around in high-end vehicles that are fuel guzzlers don’t pay for their petrol or diesel. Where the state sector is concerned, more..

Tug-of-war over mourning the dead

May 13 (CT) The declaration of 18 May, as Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day by Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Thursday, has further fuelled the tug-of-war between Jaffna University Students’ Union (JUSU) and the Council. Following last year’s unpleasant events, the Union stated that the NPC should be held responsible for any similar situations that may take place during this year’s memorial event which is scheduled for more..

A corruptive influence

May 13 (ST) My dear Maithri, I didn’t think I would be writing to you again so soon but I think I must, after hearing what happened this week, what with your Chief of Staff being arrested for bribery and even more importantly, your declaration at your May Day rally that you wouldn’t be retiring in two years’ time. I am told you were as shocked as everyone else when you heard that your Chief of Staff had allegedly been soliciting millions of rupees as a bribe from an Indian businessman. more..

Heavy burden placed on CJ’s shoulders

May 13 (Island) The controversial Bill to amend the Judicature Act which was brought by yahapalana govt with a view to holding expeditious trials for the alleged financial crimes of the previous regime was passed with certain amendments on Wednesday. When this Bill was first presented in Parliament, its constitutionality was challenged in the Supreme Court and the latter ruled that certain provisions were in fact inconsistent with the Constitution and that it would need a 2/3rd majority more..


Sanga on light at the end of the tunnel for Sri Lankan cricket

May 13 (Island) Former great Kumar Sangakkara delivering a lecture on cricket organized by the Colombo Club on Friday has come up with some interesting observations. A much-respected speaker on a whole range of subject not just cricket, the 40-year-old elaborated eloquently on the rich history of Sri Lankan cricket and the high esteem Sri Lankans involved in the sport are held globally. Asked whether there is light at the end of the tunnel for SL cricket, former Test captain came up with more..

On music

May 13 (Island) The trip with my father to a building that still exists, but a business which does not, took place in the early 90s. I could sense the excitement, masked as only my father can in a language of dispassionate, factual conversation, around what we were to expect and going to purchase. The owner of the company he worked for at the time had discovered an importer of high-end audio equipment, a rare discovery in the early 90s. The proposed purchase was of a Carver vacuum more..

Who will be SLPP’s 2020 Prez candidate?

May 13 (CT) President Sirisena admitted that the Govt has yet to reach the social and political maturity which is essential to sustain a National Govt. President, reading out the Govt’s Policy Statement, at the inaugural sitting of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament, said that National Govt concept is new to SL. “Although, many countries in the world follow consensual democracy and have achieved many goals more..

Rights and Responsibilities

May 13 (ST) Often we speak of rights with the rights discourse dominating the newspapers, day-in, day-out; that our rights cannot be denied by govts, dictatorships, etc. However, what about the other side of the coin: Responsibility of the citizen to society, govt and the state? I was reminded of this when Kussi Amma Sera (now in full swing after a few weeks of R&R in the village during the Avurudu holidays … I wish her master had the same privilege of taking a few weeks of paid R&R leave!) more..

We are ready to reveal the best of the best

May 13 (ST) Now that the nitty-gritties of agreeing upon as who the best schoolboy/girl cricketers for the year 2018 are over, we are now ready to announce as who they are shortly. Besides; this time the venue would be the BMICH and the date will be, Wednesday, June 20 The selection process of the Dialog 4G-the Sunday Times Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2018 was held at Hotel Galadari in Colombo on April 25 by a eighteen strong selection panel headed by cricket doyen Jayantha more..

Lankans looking for sparring partners with injuries on board

May 13 (ST) Veteran spinner Rangana Herath will only feature in two games of the three-match Tesa series starting later this month while selectors will also look to manage the workload of injury-prone Angelo Mathews and Suranga Lakmal during the series. Selectors on Friday announced a 17-man squad for the series which sees the inclusion of four uncapped players (including two fast bowlers)–Asitha Fernando, Kasun more..

EXPOSED: Sri Lanka wanted rugby team out of Games

May 13 (SO) Sri Lanka wanted its rugby team out of the Commonwealth Games, but for reasons known only to a Committee that was empowered to submit recommendations, the players were sent to compete at the event in Gold Coast, Australia and returned humiliated and thrashed like lever before. Sri Lanka finished 15th out of 16 nations to field teams at the Games that raised several eyebrows over their participation against the heavyweights of rugby who mostly belong to Commonwealth fraternity. more..

Herath and Lakmal will only play two Tests

May 13 (Island) Veteran Rangana Herath will only be available for two of the three Test matches that Sri Lanka play in the Caribbean later next month. It’s a trend that Sri Lanka Cricket has followed since last year with their former captain in a bid to help the 40-year-old to extend his career. The final Test in Barbados, which will be a pink ball day-night game, looks likely to be the contest the experienced spinner will be left out from. "Rangana will play only two Test matches. more..

Sugathadasa’s newly laid track seeping

May 13 (ST) Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB) has demanded answers from contractor Access-CONICA JV after water started seeping out from the multi-million-rupee synthetic track at Sugathadasa Stadium, just four weeks after it was unveiled. In addition to the seepage, the project supervisor has also observed unusual wearing of high stress synthetic area of South side ‘D’ corner. more..

Healthy competition a good sign moving forward

May 13 (Island) There are about 197 international cricket grounds in the world and it is not very often that you see a player making both his Test and ODI debut at the same venue. Mahela Udawatte, the former Ananda College cricketer, will achieve something unique as he is set to make his Test debut at Port of Spain in Trinidad. He had made his ODI debut too at the same venue and that was more than ten years ago. It has been a long wait for the 31-year-old, who finished the recent more..

CWC May Day rally turns N’Eliya into a garbage dump

May 13 (ST) Supporters of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) left a trail of destruction and garbage in Nuwara Eliya following the party’s May Day rally held on May 7. CWC’s May Day Rally was held at the open-air theatre bordering Lawson Street. The venue was changed after law enforcement officials rejected a request by CWC leaders to hold the rally in the middle of the Nuwara Eliya town itself. A massive crowd of CWC supporters congregated along Lawson Street more..

TUs, RPCs brace for stormy weather

May 13 (ST) Trade unions and Sri Lankan plantation companies are bracing for a tough round of negotiations, starting later this month, on the once-in-two years wage hike amidst the controversial state takeover of hundreds of acres of plantation land which has resulted in lost jobs for workers. While the takeover of land to set up an industrial complex is becoming a thorny issue, both sides – unions and regional plantations more..

Banks to execute IRD tax deductions

May 13 (ST) In the absence of an official communication from the Treasury or Inland Revenue Department (IRD) on taxes on public accounts, banks have decided to deduct these taxes and remit them to the IRD tomorrow, officials say. They said that banks have already deducted the taxes such as the 5 per cent withholding tax on interest income for children’s’ savings accounts for April and they will remit these to the IRD tomorrow. “This is the law. We didn’t get any instructions from Treasury more..

SL celebrates International Day of Football

May 13 (CT) Sri Lanka, one of the participating countries of the Gazprom Football for Friendship (F4F) Programme, joined over 200 cities of the world in celebrating the International Day of Football and Friendship. The celebration was conducted in Sri Lanka for the first time, along with Dinuka Bandara and Mohamed Sadath the young ambassadors selected to represent the country at the F4F Programme in Russia. Celebration was conducted at Colombo Race Course Stadium. more..

Yupun, Janaka, Ushan excel

May 13 (CT) It was day to remember for three youngsters, Yupun, Janaka and Ushan as they shone with impressive personal bests at the Second national trials, for the Asian Games, held at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Italian based sprinter Yupun Priyadarshana Abeykoon clocked his personal best of 10.31 seconds to win the 100m beating Shehan Ambepitiya to second place. Yupun who returned to the country just for the trials will be off to Italy more..

Galduwa monk urges cancellation of project

May 13 (CT) Galduwa Buddhist Monastery has requested that the Govt shelve the proposed tourist city project in the Akurala Wetland area. Chief Incumbent of the Monastery, Kahagolle Somawansa Thera, requested the Govt to cancel its plan to establish a tourist city in the Wetland, which is located near the Galduwa Buddhist Meditation Monastery, coming under the Hikkaduwa Divisional Secretariat in the Galle District. Somawansa Thera said that establishing a tourist city near more..

Midnight raids net over 2000

May 13 (CT) At least 2051 persons, including 1329 with pending open warrants and another 151 for various other crimes were arrested, police said yesterday. They said the group was arrested during a four-hour island-wide swoop on known crime areas throughout the country. The operation that involved 15,444 Police officers, including personnel from the Special Task Force (STF), started at 11p.m. on Friday and ended at 3 a.m. the following day, Police added. more..