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Uninvited visitor tells President: They didn’t believe you

Oct 15 (CT) Last Friday an uninvited guest appeared at the Presidential Secretariat in Fort demanding an audience with the Head of State, President Maithripala Sirisena. Though not prepared to receive this guest, the staff, at the Secretariat, was too reluctant to let the guest leave empty handed. So, they sought President Sirisena's permission to send the guest in and the latter responded in the affirmative. more..

The most significant legal battle since independence

Oct 15 (Island) In the past few days, the govt has been conveying the impression to the public that they are going through the final motions necessary to hold the local govt elections. Amendments to the local govt laws were passed by Parliament recently and the Chairman of the Elections Commission was heard saying that all that needs to be done now is for the minister to gazette the number of representatives in each local govt area to be elected on the 40% proportional representation quota more..

Special Rapporteurs: More problems than solutions

Oct 15 (ST) Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken great pains to explain why a UN Special Rapporteur with the imposing title For the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence is in Sri Lanka these days. Appointed by the UNHRC, everyone is keen to say he is not on the UN staff and is an independent expert on a fact-finding mission. The rub is that in Sept 2018, he will make his recommendations to the UNHRC, where a resolution hangs like more..

Satana

Victory looms but doesn’t bloom

Oct 15 (ST) My dear Satellite, I haven’t written to you in a long time but I feel I must do so now, especially after hearing that you have been appointed as the Blue party organiser for Attanagalla, the electorate so dearly nursed by the ‘B’ family for generations. I am sure we will see you and hear of you more often in the days to come. I am told this is part of a reorganisation of the Blue party by Maithri who has to get ready for local govt elections which are now long overdue. more..

Namal & inside story of HelloCorp

Oct 15 (SO) Gowers Corporate Services, the controversial legal and consultancy firm linked to parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, is making headlines again with Ornella Iresha Silva, a Director of the Company and a former Private Secretary to Rajapaksa, being arrested by Police at the Airport, earlier this week. The money laundering case involving Namal Rajapaksa is significant as it is the most serious court case against a member of the former first family, at the moment. more..

'Federalism is the antithesis of separatism'

Oct 15 (CT) Descended from the family that produced Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, C.V. Wigneswaran is a celebrated Sri Lankan. Lawyer, Supreme Court Judge and now Chief Minister of the Northern Province, he is a man unafraid to voice his convictions. Recovering recently from minor surgery, Wigneswaran emailed answers to a series of questions around the debate over the proposed new Constitution. more..

Hartal a message to the Govt

Oct 15 (CT) After many years the capital of the Northern Province witnessed a hartal against the Govt. Shops were closed and the normally bustling, noisy city was quiet except for the slogans being chanted by protesters. Coming from a region that had voted overwhelmingly in favour of Maithripala Sirisena's presidency, it is important that we take note of the protest. The protest was in support of three men detained at the Vavuniya Prison, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, more..

The full serial continues

Oct 15 (Island) The proceedings of the Bond Scam Commission providing mind-blowing details of how big bucks have been made and how VIPs have behaved without even a semblance of probity is now drawing to a close with the recording of much of the testimony and cross-examination of witnesses by counsel from the AG’s Department. The performance of these lawyers, who pursued the eliciting of the truth with bulldog tenacity, if not ferocity, has evoked much public admiration. more..

Jammed!

Oct 15 (SO) Traffic congestion is an inescapable result of growing metropolitan cities such as Colombo. With over 510,000 vehicles and around 1.9 million passengers entering the city on a daily basis, the traffic within the city of Colombo has become unmanageable, despite attempts by the authorities to mitigate the issue. The causes for the ceaseless traffic congestions are numerous. more..

We are what we consume

Oct 15 (Island) Conversations over the past week, in person and over social media, were anchored to a bizarre news report published in a leading daily newspaper on the purported private life of a woman who had visited a doctor. This is putting it politely and mildly. The actual news report was deeply sexist and replete with lascivious gossip and unsubstantiated allegations. It beggared belief that an Editor of any serious newspaper thought it fit to print and newsworthy. more..

Ensuring food price stability

Oct 15 (SO) As far as we, consumers, are concerned, assurance is needed that our daily rice ‘n’ curry is available and affordable. Today, that reassurance is urgent and, hopefully, Govt’s timely actions will provide it. Even as prices of some basic food items have gone up in recent months, the Government has moved to curb the impact on the consumer, especially, the urban consumers who are most hit. As we all know, the volatile weather conditions throughout the year, more..

Court bans protests in Jaffna during President’s visit

Oct 14 (AD) A court order was issued by the Jaffna Magistrate, banning  protests in Jaffna during President Maithreepala Sirisena’s official visit to Jaffna today (14). The court order was issued by Jaffna Magistrate S. Sadeeshkaran upon a request made by Jaffna Police. Accordingly the order banned all protests in areas adjoining Jaffna Hindu College, Jaffna Court, Jaffna Governor’s office and areas visited by President. more..

Nuwara Eliya facing growing garbage mountains

Oct 14 (ST) Asst. Commissioner of Local Govt Nuwara Eliya District, Vidura Sampath speaking at the District Co-ordination Committee meeting, said though he requested the Ministry of Plantations to make an allotment of land for the disposal of garbage collected from Hatton, Dickoya and Kandapola areas, no action had been taken by the ministry or plantation companies to release land for this purpose. As such he said, a policy decision needed to be taken on the matter. more..

Little girl from Badulla thrilled to meet Prez

Oct 14 (PSL) A little girl, M.N. Amani Raidha, aged 07, came to Colombo with her parents from Badulla to meet the President. But, she didn’t believe that she will get a chance to meet the President until she met him. The President was informed that a little girl was waiting in front of the Presidential Secretariat with the expectation of meeting him. Amidst busy schedule, President was not reluctant to spend a minute to meet the little girl. President sent the officials to call more..

Sri Lanka's wretched run in ODIs in 2017

Oct 14 (CI) Sri Lanka sprung a surprise by defeating Pakistan 2-0 in the Test series in the UAE, but their loss in the first ODI in Dubai highlighted their struggles in the format. They have lost 17 of 22 ODIs this year and won just four, which is a win-loss ratio of 0.235. None of the top Test nations have had such a poor record, in terms of win-loss ratio, in any calendar year in which they have played 20 or more ODIs. more..

'Delay LG Elections Amendment gazette'

Oct 14 (NR) Minister Mano Ganesan has requested the govt to refrain from issuing the gazette notification pertaining to the Local Govt Elections Amendment Act until the issues surrounding the Ambagamuwa and Nuwara-Eliya Pradeshiya Sabha is addressed. Minister speaking at a function said more than 200,000 votes existed within the two Pradeshiya Sabha alone adding it could lead to a disadvantage for the people. He added a request has been made to introduce new PS across more..

Rajitha to attend two health conferences

Oct 14 (NR) Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne is due to take part in two key international health conferences in Germany and Uruguay with one getting underway tomorrow. Minister Senaratne will take part in the World Health Summit 2017 in Berlin, Germany from tomorrow till Tuesday and will deliver a lecture on the theme Controlling Non-Communicable Diseases – Examining Global Health Priorities. The summit will be inaugurated by German Chancellor Angela Markel. more..

Local Council Secretaries: Questions over tour to Japan

Oct 14 (DM) Some local council secretaries and some State officials are to visit Japan next week amid objections raised by some officials of the Central Provincial Council and the Department of Local Govt over the manner in which the secretaries were selected for this tour. Despite the announcement that half the cost of this tour will be met by a company in Japan handling garbage recycling it is now apparent that the cost of travelling would more..

ASL blames Police over the treatment of detainees

Oct 14 (NS) The private and unofficial bar criticized the Police and the Attorney General’s Department on the continued detention of prisoners arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and persons suspected of terrorism against whom no cases have yet been filed. A harthal was held in the North this week in support of the hunger strike in which certain prisoners are engaged in, expressing favour with regard to the demand for the transfer of their cases from the court more..

Both Sinhalese and Tamils came 2,500 years ago: Governor Cooray

Oct 14 (CT) Governor of the Northern Province Reginold Cooray, addressing a Forum attended by UN Special Rapporteur Pablo de Gerrif, said the Sinhalese and the Tamils came from India 2,500 years ago. He also said, the Sinhalese and the Tamils, unlike other communities in the country, worship almost the same Gods, but fight each other. "Buddhist worship places have Hindu Gods inside the temples and Tamil kovils too have Buddha statues but look at the way they fight," more..

Northern Province programme of National Food Production battle commenced

Oct 14 (PSL) The Northern Province programme of the Let’s get together and rise- Let’s fill the Granary, National Food Production battle was commenced under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, today. President distributed fruit saplings and food seeds among the farmers marking this programme held today morning at the Puttur, Neelawarei. President also observed how the food seeds planted and more..

Controversial Super Prison opens on Mon.

Oct 14 (DM) The country’s first prison facility built in line with international standards at Angunukolapelessa, Hambantota is to be declared open on Monday. The prison which is known as the Super Prison among the public due to its luxury features made headlines in view of its special features. The prison facility which was built at an estimated cost of Rupees 9.5 billion on a 65-hectare land was to be opened with the participation of President Sirisena on March 16 more..

Pepper farmers facing a dilemma

Oct 14 (SL) The farmers of this country have once again had to face difficulties. The pepper farmers are facing numerous difficulties while the poultry farmers and even the milk farmers are all in the same boat and both the farmers and farmer associations charge that nothing is being done to relieve them of this plight. This season the pepper farmers have harvested a bountiful harvest of pepper but their dilemma now is that they have no way of selling their harvest. more..

India, Sri Lanka agree to find permanent solution to fishermen issue

Oct 14 (ANI) India and Sri Lanka on Saturday agreed to find a permanent solution to the fishermen issue existing between the two countries. The two sides held ministerial-level talks on the fishermen issue in New Delhi and agreed that a permanent solution to the fishermen issues should be found at the earliest. The ministerial-level talks were attended by India's Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh and more..

Finally greater emphasis on palliative care for those with life threatening diseases

Oct 14 (Island) National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) has announced laying greater emphasis on palliative care not only for patients suffering from cancer but also others afflicted with life limiting diseases. Dr Thushari Hapuarachchi, addressing the media in view of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day – 2017 commemorated today, said that it addressed the physical, psychological, social, financial and spiritual needs of not only patients but also their families. more..

LG elections: Minister to issue Gazette notice on numbers

Oct 14 (DM) Minister Faizer Mustapha said he would issue the gazette notice stating the number of members to be elected to each of the local authorities under the new electoral law. According to the new law, 60% of candidates will be elected under the first-past-the-post system and 40% under the proportional representation system at elections to the Pradeshiya Sabhas, Urban Councils and Municipal Council. “I hope to sign the gazette notice on Monday or Tuesday,” minister said more..

People affected by Uma Oya project could face landslide threats with onset of rain

Oct 14 (ST) The DMC and NBRO are closely monitoring landslide prone areas in 40 GramaNiladhari divisions in Bandarawela, Divisional Secretary Nihal Gunaratne said. He said they were also monitoring areas where cracks had occurred due to the Uma Oya Multi purpose project. “With the start of the rains, warnings were given to areas which are earmarked as high risk areas and people were advised to vacate their houses if more..

IGP’s Videogate: Police spokesman ducks 8 consecutive weekly press briefings

Oct 14 (CT) Ever since he lied to journalists at the last Cabinet Press Briefing he attended on the 16th of Aug 2017, Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara has now refrained from attending eight consecutive weekly Press Briefings. During his last appearance Police Spokesman denied all accusations made against IGP Pujith Jayasundara‘s widely publicized video footage seen by millions in the country and also globally of his assault of a fellow police staffer and lift operator. more..

'SL can slash corruption, with economic freedom, reducing bureaucratic discretion'

Oct 14 (EN) Sri Lanka can slash corruption, boost economic activity and prosperity by expanding economic freedoms for the people making clear just rules without giving discretion to bureaucrats, an economist said. The 1970 to 1977 period was a time where people had very little economic freedom and corruption rocketed due to controls and permits, Rohan Samarajiva, head of LirneAsia, a policy research body said. "To understand what economic freedom is we can remember what more..

Sri Lanka's players reluctant to visit Pakistan

Oct 14 (CI) SL's players have indicated strong reluctance to travel to Lahore for the third T20I against Pakistan, by signing a letter that requests match be moved to a neutral venue. SLC officials, however, are likely to attempt to convince the players to tour. Board will discuss the issue further at its executive committee meeting on Monday. Though the players have not definitively ruled out traveling to Lahore, the mood in the dressing room is one of firm objection. more..

Finance Minister chair of G-24; calls for freer trade, investment

Oct 14 (EN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera assumed the Chairmanship of the Group of Twenty-Four (G-24) has called for freer trade and private sector investment. "Experience has shown that growth in output alone is not enough to improve the welfare of the people," Minister Samaraweera said at the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development (G-24), was held in Washington, D.C. on Oct 12. "It is widely agreed that transformation of more..

Will act against doctors who work to inconvenience patients: Thalatha

Oct 14 (DM) The govt will act in a responsible manner in future with regard to State doctors who are engaged in strikes that inconvenience patients, Minister Thalatha Atukorale said recently. Minister said that several people were acting as if the SAITM was established as a result of an initiative of President Maithripala Sirisena. “A huge issue has been made out of the SAITM by several parties which has greatly inconvenienced the people. The main issue that has been more..

Who wants a new constitution

The future that is coming – but we are unaware of!

Oct 14 (FT) You walk into a public institution and wait for service and you notice the use of meticulously managed cardboard files with corners taped to prevent tearing. There are significant number of staff who would be responsible for a single file and you may wonder why. The usual paper size for those files are legal and not to the standard size and you may also wonder why. Then you also notice that some furious writing that takes place on all sorts of corners and sides of more..

Review retirement age

Oct 14 (CT) UN Fund For Population Activities (UNFPA) now renamed UN Population Fund, said the elderly or those who are above 60 years of age who may even be referred to as the aged, will outnumber the country's working population in another 20 years' time. While the retirement age in the country is 55 years, in the public service, a worker can go up to 60 years on extensions. SL's unemployment rate is 4.1%, according to the latest data, culled up to the first quarter of the year. more..

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