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Face the Nation

Editorial: Arrests and politics

July 18 (Island) Police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera did not sound convincing when he claimed, at a media briefing, that the findings of an investigation into some alleged abductions had led to former Navy Spokesman Commodore D.K.P. Dassanayake’s arrest. He only repeated what some govt politicians have been saying in a bid to have the public believe that the arrest at issue was not politically motivated or timed for UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson’s visit here. more..

Pants for pay: Running Cricket SL style

July 18 (ST) Hardly a day passes without more proof being added to that much touted advertising blurb which has misled thousands of tourists over the years. True, Sri Lanka is the Wonder of Asia but not for the reasons that brought them rushing to our shores. Time, they thought, was running out to savour them, most of which exist only in the world of make-believe conjured up by tourism promoters and others after foreign moola. The real wonders are often hidden from foreign eyes, more..

'Sri Lanka should look at nuke option More dangers in coal power'

July 18 (CT) Sri Lanka should not rule out the possibility of using nuclear power in its energy mix, considering the recent advances made in nuclear technology, says Dr. Lakshman Guruswamy, Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law at the Law School of University of Colorado in Boulder. Guruswamy was recently in Sri Lanka to attend a forum organized by Kadirgamar Institute. more..

De-Politicization: An alternative to privatization

July 18 (NS) Along with constitutional and social reforms promised by the national unity govt are all important economic reforms. They are necessary for the country to face the future successfully in the context of current global and regional developments. One important aspect of economic reforms is the need for converting the loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs) into either profitable or some sort of manageable institutions reducing the colossal burden on the state coffers. more..

Export growth must escalate for higher economic growth in 2017

July 18 (ST) There is widespread disappointment with the country’s economic performance. Economic growth declined since 2015 and grew by only 3.8% in the first quarter of this year. The economy is expected to perform better in the second half of the year, if export growth gains momentum to stimulate the economy. In contrast to growth of 5.3% in the first quarter of 2016, the economy grew by only 3.8% in the first quarter of this year. While Industry grew by 6.3% and services grew by 3.5%, more..

Research team makes breakthrough in fighting DHF

July 18 (SO) A team of researchers from the Centre has successfully tested a drug that can be used on dengue patients. If the rest of the clinical trials prove to be as promising as the first clinical trial conducted recently at Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Angoda, team says, the drug can be effectively used before long to control the spread of this deadly vector borne disease. SL has recorded 90,865 dengue patients so far more..

Make a start with reparations to deal with the past

July 18 (CT) The visit of UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson to Sri Lanka and his public comments indicate a visible toughening of the stance of the international community with regard to delivering on its promises on the reconciliation process to the UNHRC. He said Sri Lanka could face a range of measures, including a referral to the UN Security Council, if it fails to meet commitments it made under the UNHRC resolution of 2015. more..

Sinhala only Police summons: An open appeal to the Governor, Northern Province

July 18 (CT) Although belatedly, let me extend my sincere appreciation of your appointment as the Governor of the Northern Province, as I have known you for a long period, since your undergraduate days. It is also because of my confidence in you, that I make this appeal for your intervention on this matter. As the Colombo Telegraph has revealed yesterday (16), police summons has been issued to a Tamil Journalist based in Jaffna in Sinhala on the 12th July by the Achchuveli police. more..

Govt committed to pure & transparent financial management: President

July 17 (PSL) President Sirisena says the Govt is committed to strengthen the national economy by ensuring purity and transparency of financial management. President made these remarks addressing the inauguration ceremony of the 20th Annual Meeting of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, commenced in Colombo, today. 2017 APG annual meeting and technical assistance and training forum more..

Constitutional Reform Committee: JO members draw NUTA flak

July 17 (CT) A group of intellectuals affiliated to the Joint Opposition (JO) has issued an ultimatum demanding that participants in the Constitutional Reform Committees immediately leave their positions. But if the JO still wants to remain in the Constitutional Reform Council, there is no difference between them and the Govt; National University Teachers' Association (NUTA) General Secretary Dr. Channa Jayasumana lashed out. Jayasumana stressed the JO, in being a part of more..

Speaker: Children reluctant to say their parents are MPs

July 17 (Island) Some MPs have stooped so low that people detest them as a bunch of crooks living off the public without rendering any service, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya says. "We know there are some MPs’ children who hesitate to mention in public that their parents are MPs," Speaker said, addressing the opening ceremony of a capacity development programme for journalists covering parliament. He said some MPs’ failure to maintain decorum had tarnished the image of all lawmakers. more..

Video: Stop trying to solve Neville Fernando’s personal problems: Gammanpila

July 17 (AD) Leader of the PHU, MP Udaya Gammanpila says that in the face of the country’s prevalent issues, the Govt’s priority must not be to solve Neville Fernando’s personal problems. He then proceeded to urge the govt to abandon their mission to solve random people’s personal problems, and instead focus their attention on prevailing issues such as dengue, waste management, cost of living, and tax burdens, more..

It would take 16 years to move the waste at Meethotamulla: Ranwela

July 17 (AD) Environmentalist Nayanaka Ranwela stated that if the waste generated by the people was left to be managed by the people as well, then a govt is not required. He further added that the govt does not fully understand the extent of the problem. He went onto say that the government is having trouble separating and disposing the waste, while the environmentally friendly waste containment plan proposed by Champika Ranawaka in fact is not environmentally friendly. more..

Controversial Uma Oya Project: 21 Buddhist temples damaged

July 17 (CT) At least 21 temples, some with great historic value, in Bandarawela, Ella and Welimada have been damaged owing to the construction of the controversial Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, Executive Director of CaFFE said. "However, neither the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, Department of Buddhist Affairs, nor the Department of Archeology has paid any attention to protect them," he said. Tennakoon added that among the temples more..

'Jobs at Neville Fernando Hospital safe'

July 17 (NR) The govt says the jobs of employees of the Neville Fernando Hospital will not be jeopardized by the govt taking over the hospital. Addressing the takeover event Minister Rajitha Senarathne said private medical universities are vital in the quest to provide the public an efficient healthcare service. Minister said the country needs more private medical universities in this country if it is are to provide an efficient more..

SAITM parents meet MFPU

July 17 (CT) In an interesting turn of events, a group of parents, of students studying at the SAITM, met the Medical Faculty Parents' Union (MFPU) yesterday and discussed issues concerning the medical facility. Ceylon Today learns that the meeting was fruitful and the discussions focused on the future of medical students as well as those who study at SAITM. "The discussions went well. We are hoping to meet again in another week," a parent who participated at the meeting said. more..

Sri Lanka fixing gaps in money laundering framework: Fin Min

July 17 (EN) Sri Lanka is fully committed to eradicating financial crimes, and is in the process of fixing gaps identified in its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing framework, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Cabinet had approved a national policy overseen by the cabinet and from President Sirisena downward to dedicated bureaucrats there was strong commitment to eradicate financial crimes, he told a meeting of Asia Pacific Group on money laundering in Colombo on Monday. more..

Video: GMOA says NFTH not acquired but leased to govt

July 17 (DM) GMOA said the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) was acquired by the govt on a lease agreement. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge told a news conference the GMOA would consider the acquisition as one carried out without any transparency. He said Dr. Fernando or Minister Rajitha Senaratne should brief the country about terms and conditions involved in the transaction. He said even though NFTH was acquired by more..

Singapore’s Foreign Minister to arrive today

July 17 (NR) Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan is due to arrive in Sri Lanka today for a 5 day official visit. He is expected to call on President, PM and Leader of the Opposition during his visit. He will also meet his counterpart Minister Ravi Karunanayake tomorrow for bilateral talks. He will have meetings with several other Ministers including Champika Ranawaka, Mangala Samaraweera, Malik Samarawickrama and Sagala Ratnayaka. more..

A whiff of fresh air from Sri Lanka

July 17 (MW) As the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt is short of a few months to roll on to its third year in office, Sri Lanka’s declining economy and unresolved political issues have served to erode much of the sheen that was generated in January 2015 with former President Rajapaksa’s surprise defeat and the ushering in of a new-look and promising govt. However, in this gathering gloom came a sudden and welcome whiff of fresh air with President Sirisena affirming in the clearest more..

Video: Unity govt vital for country's development: PM

July 17 (DM) PM stressed the need to continue the national govt with the participation of the UNP and the SLFP despite the difficulties. He said this at the foundation-stone-laying-ceremony for the Viyathpura Green Professional City in Pannipitiya last morning. “Development projects such as this are not being implemented to get political advantage for the UNP or SLFP. It is a difficult task for two political parties to work together. more..

‘Yahapalana leaders will be reborn in Dehiwala Zoo’

July 17 (Island) Members of the yahapalana govt will be reborn as animals in the Dehiwala Zoo because they are having their rivals kept behind bars unfairly, says Joint Opposition (JO) firebrand and UPFA MP Rohitha Abeygunaratne. Abeygunaratne said former Navy Spokesman Commodore D. K. P. Dassanayake’s wife and daughter had pleaded with the JO to intervene to secure the release of the senior naval officer who had fought for the country risking his life. more..

No ban on visas to any visitor to Sri Lanka

July 17 (DM) Dismissing claims that visas were not being issued to foreigners arriving from some countries, Immigration and Emigration Chief Nihal Ranasinghe said today that all foreigners would be issued visas without any special test or delay irrespective of their country of origin. It was reported that visas for citizens of some countries including Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan were only being issued after a special test. Mr. Ranasinghe said according to the current procedure, more..

Mendis solid, Sri Lanka need 218 on final day

July 17 (CI) Graeme Cremer stuck himself into SL's flesh on the fourth day, first making a stubborn 48 from No. 9, then claiming two wickets in the third session, as Zimbabwe dismissed three SL batsmen in their defense of 388. Thanks to Cremer, Zimbabwe's dreams of a historic win against SL are alive, but even if they are chasing a target that has never successfully been pursued in SL, hosts are not quite out of the game yet. more..

Video: Allegations against ex-navy spokesman are false: Gammanpila

July 17 (DM) Allegations against ex-navy spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake are baseless, PHU General Secretary, Udaya Gammanpila said. He said that Commodore Dassanayake was not involved in the abduction and disappearance of 11 youth and the statements made by Police Media Spokesman with regard to the allegations were false and baseless. "I challenge the police media spokesman to an open debate so that I could prove who should be arrested over the allegations more..

Privately funded education vs. publicly funded education

July 17 (FT) Several readers of the last week’s article in this series on the SAITM impasse had raised two issues with this writer.  One is how monopolies and oligopolies, grouping themselves into two warring factions bent on safeguarding their own interests, could be controlled in a democracy without compromising the democratic rights of the people. The other is, though it is obvious that those who receive publicly funded education are debtors of the community, more..

Sri Lanka to get US$100mn for science education, innovation

July 17 (EN) World Bank Group is considering lending Sri Lanka $100 million to expand higher education including increasing enrollment in priority areas for economic development like science, engineering and mathematics, and promoting innovation. Loans will be from International Development Association (IDA), and International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (IBRD) of the World Bank more..

Video: Agreement signed handing over NF hospital to Govt

July 17 (AD) An agreement has been signed, handing over the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital to the govt under the patronage of the President, Sirisena today. Minister Rajitha Senaratne, stated that the hospital had all necessary facilities a teaching hospital should contain, including the latest pieces of medical technology.  Senaratne added that the hospital will provide a quality health service free of charge, which will be monitored by a group of board members. more..

Laugfs to make cylinders in Bangladesh, expand gas business

July 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's Laugfs Gas said it will will set up a cylinder manufacturing plant, and expand distribution and storage in Bangladesh. "As an energy conglomerate with a strong footprint within the region, we plan to invest significantly in Bangladesh over the next three years for capacity enhancement, expanding storage volume, setting up a cylinder manufacturing plant and expanding our distribution centres,” Laugfs Gas chief W K H Wagapitiya has said. more..

Corruption: ICTA CEO Muhunthan Canagey

Julie Bishop to arrive in the island tomorrow

July 17 (NR) Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop is scheduled to arrive in the island tomorrow. Australia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Julie Bishop will be in the island from tomorrow till the 20th of July. Bishop will meet President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ravi Karunanayake and other Ministers to discuss security cooperation and explore new economic opportunities in science, resources and energy. more..

Arrest of a Senior DIG

July 17 (CT) The Trial-at-Bar hearing of the brutal murder of school girl Vithya Sivaloganathan in Punkuduthivu, Jaffna has led to the arrest of Senior DIG, Lalith Jayasinghe who was serving in Jaffna when the terrifying incident took place in May 2015. Police sleuths have found the Senior DIG's alleged involvement in paving the way for the prime suspect Mahalingam Sasikumar alias Swiss Kumar to leave Jaffna soon after he was placed under Police custody in connection with murder of Vithya. more..

GTF conducts medical relief camps in flood-affected south

July 17 (Island) The UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has for the first time organized a medical relief operation in the south with the participation of Sarvodaya. GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran said that they had been really encouraged by the southerners response to their initiative. Under their auspices, 17 doctors from eight countries had joined local counterparts to conduct medical camps more..

Gota says he never approved dismantling of KKS cement factory

July 17 (DN) Former Defence Secretary Gotabahya Rajapaksa has stated that he never approved the dismantling of the Kankesanturai (KKS) Cement Factory and cement company and sale of its machinery and equipment as scrap iron. He had also not seen any document granting approval for it signed by him either. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had stated this in an affidavit submitted to the PRECIFAC. more..

Colombo High Court re-issues summons to President and PM

July 17 (AD) The Colombo High Court has once again issued summons ordering President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s appearance before the Court. The case filed against the General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake who has been accused of allegedly fabricating documents was once again taken up for consideration by the Court today. Maithripala Sirisena who ran for President more..