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Last ditch effort to resolve 19A crisis

Apr 28 (DN) A govt delegation comprising Minister Rauff Hakeem, Deputy Minister Ajith Perara and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran was to meet President Maithripala Sirisena last night to brief him on the govt’s position relating to the 19th Amendment. There were differences of opinion within the opposition over two contentious issues namely the composition of the Constutional Council and the President acting on the PM’s advice more..

Four UPFA Uva PC members sacked

Apr 28 (DM) Four UPFA Uva Provincial Council members were sacked today from the party for their involvement in the power transfer in the Uva Provincial Council from the UPFA to UNP. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha had informed the secretary of the provincial council to make preparations toremove the four members from their council seats. The four members are Anura Vidanagamage, Vadivel Suresh, Kithsiri Senarath Attanayake and Harindra Darmadasa. more..

Former Cricket Secretary under fire for television deal

Apr 28 (Island) A three member probe committee that looked into alleged corruption in the Sports Ministry has criticized the sale of television right of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to a private television channel dedicated to sports events. Carlton Sports Network (CSN) was the only company that bid for rights in 2012 to telecast cricket matches within Sri Lanka and the three member committee appointed by Minister of Sports Naveen Dissanayake criticized the deal. more..

Ranil agrees to remove 19A clauses inimical to press freedom

Apr 28 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament yesterday that the govt would withdraw nine clauses of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution as they were thought to have a negative impact on the freedom of the press. He said that the proprietors of media establishments had met him, the President, Justice Minister and Media Minister and requested the govt to remove a clause that envisaged taking punitive actions against more..

'TNA will be kingmaker in the new Parliament'

Apr 28 (CT) TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan said that his party will decide who to vote for the new govt at the forthcoming parliamentary election likewise the last Presidential Election. He further stated that TNA had come into existence amidst several ups and downs in the province. Media personnel had sacrificed for the formation of the TNA in the province. He added that Sinhalese politicians were now reluctant to give the post of the leader of the opposition to the TNA. more..

'Release info on Tamil political detainees'

Apr 28 (CT) EPDP General Secretary Douglas Devananda, urged the govt to release information regarding Tamil political detainees. Devananda pointed out that young men and women from the North and the East were directed to a negative path by Tamil Political Leaderships in the past. "Some Tamil politicians complain that there are secret detention camps. We sent a petition to the govt to release information regarding political detainees and details about these secret detention camps," more..

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry to travel to Sri Lanka, Kenya and Djibouti

Apr 28 (Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Sri Lanka on Saturday to meet with its new president, Maithripala Sirisena, following years of strained relations between Washington and the country's previous govt. Sirisena took power in January after defeating President Rajapaksa, Asia's longest-serving leader, at the polls. New president pledged to launch a 100-day plan to roll back a decade of increasingly more..

Lankan ambassador describes Sri Lankan relief effort in Kathmandu

Apr 28 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Nepal, W.M. Seneviratne said that Sri Lankan aid workers had erected a large tent and converted it to a temporary hospital close to Kathmandu to treat the earthquake victims. Among the Sri Lankan aid workers who arrived in the Nepali capital Kathmandu were doctors, paramedics, and military personnel and they worked round the clock to assist in relief operations. Sri Lanka govt also sent bottled water, medicine for the use of the distressed. more..

'Technological facilities accelerate Court procedures'

Apr 28 (DN) The prima factor for laws delays in the past was the delay in the submission of relevant govt analyst reports to court. Analyst Department faced this problem due to the lack of new technological facilities in keeping with international standards. But now the department has technological facilities in keeping with ISO 17025 quality specification which has contributed towards the acceleration of court procedures, Justice Minister Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapakshe said. more..

SLFP mounts 11th-hour blockade against 19A

Apr 28 (FT) An eleventh-hour bid to get consensus on the 19th Amendment ended in deadlock last night, with the SLFP demanding changes to two major provisions of the draft legislation that Presidential advocates say would completely negate the purpose of the reforms – to curb the powers of the presidency and depoliticise key State institutions. Negotiations came down to the wire last night, but ended in a stalemate, more..

CA Sri Lanka facilitates setting up professional accountancy body in Bhutan

Apr 28 (DN) In an effort aimed at developing the accounting profession further in the South Asian region, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), Arjuna Herath, in his capacity as the President of the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), the apex accounting body of SAARC, along with a team of experts from CA Sri Lanka visited Bhutan recently to facilitate the setting up of a professional accountancy body and to also introduce more..

Interview with founder of MOKSHINI, Nadeesha Godamunne

Apr 28 (HP) Nadeesha Godamunne is a full time in-house fashion illustrator/colorist from New Zealand now residing in Brooklyn, New York. Her voice needs to be heard. The creativity of her hands need to be seen. Say hello to Nadeesha. 1. Tell Me Your Story! My name is Nadeesha Godamunne, I'm a 27 year old illustrator originally from Sri Lanka. I grew up in New Zealand, and ever since I could remember, was surrounded by art supplies. My mother was a preschool teacher and more..

ICC agrees to release USD 300,000

Apr 28 (CT) ICC has agreed to release USD 300,000 to SLC, which was payment due to the national players for their participation in the World Cup, Minister Navin Dissanayake revealed. "After my reply to ICC they sent me a letter last Thursday, where they have written in a very friendly manner. After they said they suspended the World Cup payment for SLC, they have agreed to release the amount, which should be paid for players, more..

Why no IOC scholarship for Cooray?

Apr 28 (CT) National Marathon sensation Anuradha Indrajith Cooray lamented about the omission from the list of athletes who get aid from IOC for their training towards next year's RIO Olympics. "Last year they (NOC) asked me to fill some forms to apply for this scholarship of monthly 1,000 USD till the Olympics, but later I saw that they have decided to give it to sprinter Chandrika Rasnayake, who hasn't even achieved Olympic qualification" said a disappointed Cooray over the phone more..

Sri Lanka bank credit to state top Rs100bn for second month in Feb 2015

Apr 28 (EN) Sri Lanka's bank credit to the central govt and state enterprises topped 100 billion rupees for the second month in a row in Feb 2015, while private credit also grew 24.5 billion rupees. The Central govt borrowed 87.90 billion rupees from the banking system, including 4.9 billion rupees in central bank credit. In January govt borrowings from the banking system rose to a historic high of 121.6 billion rupees, as foreign reserves were appropriated to repay a US$ 500 million bond. more..

Sapugaskanda refinery upgrade to cost $ 1.3b

Apr 28 (FT) Minister Champika Ranawaka confirmed that Ministry expects to implement a refinery upgrading and modernisation project at an estimated cost of $ 1,300 million. The Sapugaskanda refinery upgrading and modernisation project is estimated to be completed within 4 years and once the project is completed, refinery would be able to produce country’s total requirement of refined products. more..

Specialist doctors resurrect their own association at the expense of GMOA

Apr 28 (Island) An Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) was formed at its AGM held in the Narahenpita Blood Centre on April 26. AMS spokesman Consultant Anaesthetist Dr. Asoka Gunawardena said that AMS had been established many years back in Sri Lanka and registered in 2007 as a trade union. Since then it had not been functioning properly, he added. Dr. Gunawardena pointed out that many Consultants who were affiliated to the GMOA had joined the AMS. more..

Chairmen unite to power brand Sri Lanka on a ROI model

Apr 28 (FT) For the first time in the recent history of Sri Lanka top four Chairman of the public sector driving brand Sri Lanka in the global arena met in unison to power the country at World Expo 2015. The overall objective set by the team was to identify a monthly focus sector wise and send a powerful message to the world so that it supports the overall proposition of brand Sri Lanka, which is currently valued at $ 61 billion and targeting $ 80 billion within the next two years. more..

Another committee to probe cricket

Apr 28 (DM) Minister Navin Dissanayake felt confident that Sri Lanka’s present issues with ICC could easily be resolved through dialogue and reiterated that ICC must understand and accept the real situation in Sri Lanka. “The devil is not as much black as some people try to portray. Sri Lanka is a senior member of the ICC and have been a top member for 35 years. We are not an ordinary member. It is our right to be there and I hope more..

Leaky pipelines raise costs for oil refinery

Apr 28 (EN) Sri Lanka’s sole oil refinery operated by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is forced to incur high demurrage charges on imported shipments owing to leaking pipelines which reduce unloading rates. “Some of the existing pipeline systems are over 80 years old and maintenance of these has been neglected leading to frequent leaks during operation causing large losses to the state,” Minister of Power and Energy Champika Ranawaka said. more..

Sri Lanka to get quality standards for petroleum products

Apr 28 (EN) Sri Lanka will soon have legally enforceable quality standards for petroleum products enabling consumers take action against being sold substandard products, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. A new energy policy is being prepared covering supply, quality, pricing and regulatory issues in the petroleum industry. Lack of proper standards and corruption had meant high costs for both the petroleum utility, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and consumers, more..

South Asia Capital Market Network brainstorms futuristic alliance

Apr 28 (Island) To accelerate economic integration within the South Asia region, we need to look for ways to establish strong cross border Capital Market linkages, keeping pace with rapid changes in global financial markets, Tilak Karunaratne, chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said. He made this observation during the South Asian Investment Conference (SAIC) hosted by Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) more..

Netball World C'ship 2015: 30 member squad announced

Apr 28 (CT) SL Netball Federation has selected 30 members to the pool for the Netball World Championships to be held later this year in Sydney, Australia. The trials were preceded by talent identification programmes held during the course of last month or so in Kandy, Galle, Jaffna, Polonnaruwa and Badulla. Colombo District camp was concluded on 25-26 April. Interim Committee of SLNF Secretary, Jayanthi de Silva stated that the National Selection Committee comprising of more..

President’s commitment to give up his powers is his political strength

Apr 28 (Island) With the debate over the 19th Amendment to the constitution entering its final phase this week, the country is entering a decisive phase. The passage of this constitutional amendment will set in motion a process whereby Sri Lanka will become subject to the Rule of Law and not the rule of men as was advocated by the LLRC in its report after having consulted a wide swath of the country’s intellectuals, decision makers and community leaders. more..

Opposition makes fun of PM over bond deal

Apr 28 (EN) If there were independent commissions overseeing the public sector, PM Ranil Wickremasinghe would not be able act as he has done over an inquiry into an alleged Treasury bond scam, a senior opposition politician taunted in parliament. Parliament is debating a 19th amendment to make the public service independent again through a series of independent commissions. Legislator Susil Premajayantha, who is also more..

Ilford optometrist offers her expertise to SL

Apr 28 (IR) Jagruti Godhaniya, of Ingleby Road, Ilford, will offer her services as an optometrist in hospitals across Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. She will travel to the sub-continent on May 23. She said: “I have never been to Sri Lanka before, so I am excited – it is something different. “I will be helping out in hospitals, doing what I can. “The locals are not as privileged as we in terms of having eye tests so there are probably more people who have more serious eye conditions.” more..

Editorial: A monk’s mission

Apr 28 (Island) Sri Lanka has, for millennia, earned notoriety for political clashes. History is full of instances of patricidal, fratricidal, amicicidal and filicidal violence many ambitious elements unflinchingly resorted to capture and/or retain power. It was, in some cases, their internecine warfare that facilitated foreign invasions which inflicted untold suffering on the natives. Not even the Buddha had peace of mind because of some kings in this country. more..

On electoral reforms and democracy

Apr 28 (CT) This week's Trade Union Talk focuses on a very current topic which is electoral reforms. The Head of Research and Executive Director of Verite Research Dr. Nishan de Mel in an interview with Ceylon Today spoke about the electoral reforms. During the interview Dr. de Mel stressed that electoral reforms are not needed at this time and all the arguments put forward by those who support electoral reforms are misconceptions. more..

No comeback for Mahinda as all roads lead to dead ends

Apr 28 (ST) If it was the closest Ranil Wickremesinghe would get to be President all but in name, it was the nearest Mahinda Rajapaksa could have reached to enjoy executive powers again in a new role as prime minister and act as de facto president. But with the Supreme Court dictated dilution that redefined the 19th Amendment, both men’s hopes to ascend higher ground lie dashed in the dust; and both men’s executive ambitions remain the stuff of vain political pipe dreams. more..

Inadequate export performance with undiversified export structure

Apr 28 (ST) Despite high economic growth, the country’s export performance has been inadequate in recent decades. Although the structure of exports changed from one of exporting primary agricultural commodities to a more diversified one in which manufactured exports are significant, manufactured exports are highly concentrated on garments. The country’s export performance and export structure are discussed today as a backdrop to next week’s discussion on needed policies to more..

'CM has the powers to govern'

Apr 28 (CT) The first Chief Minister of the then merged North and East Province, Varatharaja Perumal met the Northern Province's first Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran in Jaffna, last week, and discussed various issues with regard to the successful function of the Northern Provincial Council. Regretting that the situation didn't allow him to form a constructive Provincial Council Administration in the North and East, more..

Living with memories of unfulfilled promises

Apr 28 (NS) The new regime which planned a 100 day program had penned down 100 tasks in its agenda. It also had a 100 Day Diary for certain identified events. The 100 Day Diary or the 100 Day Calendar has around 25 events; 9 events for the months of January, seven for February, six for March and two for April. Most were eying only these events which the govt promised under this plan. The program began with the promise of “appointing a Cabinet of Ministers not exceeding 25. more..

Those that fell by the wayside

Apr 28 (NS) Then Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena arrived in New Town Hall, Colombo flanked by former President Chandrika Kumaranathunga, MPs Rajiva Wijesinha, Arjuna Ranathunga, MDKS Gunawardene and Duminda Dissanayake on December pledged that he is ready to take the challenge of being the common candidate of the Opposition at the Presidential Election against then President Rajapaksa. The campaign began and main highlight was the Good Governance. more..

Haj Quota conundrum

Apr 28 (SO) Though the Haj season is several months away, the clamour to make the pilgrimage affordable to all Muslims is reaching a crescendo, with CPC Member Azath Salley, demanding that the Govt set up a special committee to deal with the issue. Haj, a pilgrimage to Mecca during Dhu'l Hijja, considered obligatory for every Muslim who is capable of undertaking it at least once in his or her life, has become too expensive more..

Science, politics & manipulations of water pollution in Jaffna

Apr 28 (CT) Water shortage has become an escalating problem globally because of the increasing demands from agriculture, expanding population, energy production and climate change. It was estimated that in 2007 around 1.2 billion people, or almost one in five people on the planet lived in areas of water scarcity. It is further predicted that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and 2/3rds of the world population would live under more..

Rt hon Sir Desmond de Silva QC & fishing in troubled waters

Apr 28 (CT) “The Rt Hon Sir Desmond de Silva QC is head of Argent’s International Law team and is one of this country’s leading criminal Queen’s Counsel. He has particular expertise in Fraud (both national and international), Business Crime, Extradition, Human Rights, Kidnap & Blackmail, Large Scale Importation of Drugs, Money Laundering, Murder, Tax & VAT Fraud and Terrorism. The high standing in which he is held as a lawyer has been underlined by the honour more..

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