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29 diplomats recalled

Jan 24 (DM) Some 29 diplomats who were political appointees have been recalled with immediate effect. A spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that the process for recalling political appointees in the diplomatic service has commenced. “This is a usual occurrence following a govt change,” official stated. He said among those who have been recalled are officials who have been appointed through political influences more..

Rajitha’s talks with SAITM Chairman on PMC worry medical students

Jan 24 (Island) Convenor of the Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee Ryan Jayalath yesterday said that there were moves by the new government to revive the private medical college at Malabe run by the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management. Jayalath said Minister Rajitha Senaratne had had discussions with Dr. Neville Fernando the Chairman of the private college. Secretary, Colombo Medical Faculty Students Union, Nuwan Patabendige alleged more..

Good money earned on Stamps and coin issued for Pope’s visit

Jan 24 (Island) The Central Bank and Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts achieved record sales amounting to nearly Rs. 6 mn within a week through the sale of a coin depicting Pope Frances and stamps. The presentation packs were almost over and first day covers and miniature sheets were selling like hot cakes, sources said. Central Bank issued a commemorative silver coin with a face value of Rs. 500 to mark the visit of Pope Francis to SL in recognition of the national importance more..

'SL reaches consensus to implement 13A'

Jan 24 (PTI) Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today said political parties have agreed to implement the thirteenth amendment as a solution to end the country's over three-decade-old ethnic conflict involving the Tamil minority. "All parties have agreed to solve the ethnic problem within the framework of the thirteenth amendment. We are continuing our talks," Wickremesinghe said while addressing a gathering at Deniyaya more..

Sanath has still not returned official vehicles

Jan 24 (Island) Former Deputy Postal Services Minister Sanath Jayasuriya had not returned four of his official vehicles to date, a senior Ministry official said. The four vehicles include a brand new BMW purchased by the government and a Land Rover. When newly appointed Muslim Religious Affairs and Posts Minister Abdul Halim was contacted in this regard he confirmed that the vehicles had not been returned by the former deputy minister.

Teaching Cinderella in Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (HP) "Who here has ever met a fairy godmother?" Each shakes her head sadly back and forth. "I too have never met a fairy godmother!" I said. "So if Cinderella also never meets a fairy godmother -- how can she get to the dance?" "She can stitch her own clothes!" said one girl cheerfully. "And where could she get the fabric?" "She can buy it. She can clean houses and get some money." "Yes, Cinderella is good at cleaning!" I said. "And the shoes?" "She can buy, with money." more..

The taste of an island nation

Jan 24 (Hindu) In the brightly lit kitchen at Foodology, Damayanthi Paul is ready with all the ingredients needed to cook up a typical Sri Lankan lunch. And there’s a lot of coconut involved. In fact, every single dish has some form of it. “That’s Sri Lankan cooking for you,” she says. Apparently, the cuisine shares several similarities with the Kerala cuisine, using ingredients like kokum (Malabar tamarind) and pandan leaves to more..

Sirisena can take the cue from Obama

Jan 24 (CT) Mr Barak Obama is an epitome of modern democracy. In would have been a sheer impossibility for a person of a mixed race from African American to become the president of USA about a decade ago. But he did it in 20 January 2009. He won a second time on 20 January 2013 also showing that Americans really are a true democratic nation above race religion and all petty classification and groupings that appear in tick boxes in a census survey form. more..

The credibility of the media

Jan 24 (CT) The total lack of credibility of all sources of media in this Country is a major concern. We have seen the most incredible stories circulating, wild accusation flying around and the whole thing resembling a particularly ridiculous, cheap Bollywood drama. Who do we believe? Or do we believe no body! Even the so called independent news papers that carried out an elaborate masquerade, during the dark days of the Rajapaksa regime have now been exposed. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

A kind request to the Minister of Buddha Sasana

Jan 24 (CT) I am fully aware that this letter can get drowned in the euphoria of defeating the Rajapaksa administration just a few days ago. However, I wanted to make this note specifically addressing the new Minister for Buddha Sasana. I was in Sri Lanka in the last two weeks of December 2014, with one week dedicated to Buddhist meditation practice in a Monastery and another day to visit a monastic monk I knew in England now doing solitary meditation in a rock cave in Sri Sumedha Monastery more..

Remove the canker at the top

Jan 24 (CT) This newspaper, on the front page of its yesterday's edition, carried a story of a drug peddler who had allegedly been funding a former IGP. If the head of the Police Department had been funded by, ostensibly a hitherto unknown drug baron, where then is the law in the country? How deep and how big then is the magnitude of the rot that has enveloped Sri Lanka? Is this merely the tip of the iceberg? The alleged involvement of a former IGP with a said to be drug baron is more..

Ex-UPFA allies break ranks with SLFP

Jan 24 (Island) A new opposition alliance is in the making with former constituents of the SLFP-led UPFA distancing themselves from the SLFP, the largest single party in parliament. With the new govt pledging to call for fresh parliamentary polls soon after 100 days in power, former UPFA constituents are now pushing for an understanding to pave the way for an electoral pact. They would function in parliament separately more..

Military training for principals to stop

Jan 24 (CG) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says his Ministry will cancel the post of colonels given to principals by the previous govt. Last week, it was revealed at a meeting held in the ministry premises between the trade unions in education sector and minister that about 200 colonel ranks had been given to the principals and that the education sector of the country will not benefit from such posts. Accordingly, the ministry has more..

Abolish PTA – MER

Jan 24 (CT) Calling for the immediate release of political prisoners stating that they had already served their sentences, the Movement for Equal Rights (MER) also demanded that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) be immediately abolished and the military be relegated to barracks. Convener of Movement for Equal Rights Ravindra Mudalige said that steps must be taken to resettle all remaining internally displaced persons. more..

'TNA on FM'S wavelegth'

Jan 24 (DN) Speaking on the TNA stance on President Maithripala Sirisena's 100-day programme, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said "the TNA will support the government and also extend its maximum cooperation to the government in finding a solution to the national problem." He said; "We are pleased that Minister Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps that the President Maithripala Sirisena-led govt will more..

CMC to come down hard on Pettah rice dealers

Jan 24 (Island) Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council warned that it would come down hard on rice dealers in Pettah, who violated Label Regulations under the Food Act. PHD sources said more inspections would be carried out in the Pettah area next week and close attention paid to imported rice. The date of manufacture, the date of expiry, batch number etc should be mentioned on label, more..

Somaratne bans all astrology programmes on Rupavahini

Jan 24 (AM) Chairman of SLRC Somaratne Dissanayake said that all astrology programmes were removed from programme line-up of the state TV station with immediate effect. High prominence was given to astrology programmes by Rupavahini Corporation under its previous administration. Most of them were designed in a manner that would benefit the political agenda of former President Rajapaksa and his family. more..

India to promote investment, joint ventures in Jaffna

Jan 24 (Island) With around 50% of the companies participating in the ongoing Jaffna International Trade Fair(JITF), being Indian affiliated, India assured that more of its industrialists and entrepreneurs would participate at next year’s edition of the exhibition. Addressing the opening ceremony of the sixth edition of JITF at the Jaffna Library auditorium, India’s Consul General in Jaffna, A. Natarajan said that he would encourage more..

Pope brings hope for Tamils

Jan 24 (SL) The visit of Pope Francis to the north last week brought hope for the Tamils who had long suffered as a result of a brutal war and an uncertain post war climate. Pope Francis visited the historic Madhu church for a mass, as part of his Sri Lanka visit, and was greeted by thousands of Tamils who lined the streets and also attended the mass at the church. Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph said that he was deeply grateful to former more..

Murali reviews Sri Lanka's World Cup squad

Jan 24 (IC) The Sri Lanka squad for the World Cup 2015 contained two big surprises for me: the absence of opener Upul Tharanga and the inclusion of Jeevan Mendis as a spin-bowling all-rounder. Tharanga’s omission shocked me. True, he had not been picked against England or New Zealand, but he has a decent ODI record, averaging just under 34, and he has the precious gift of experience, with 176 matches more..

Mihin Lanka undertakes Pilot Training for International Airlines

Jan 24 (GDI) Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka’s leading low-cost carrier which is owned by the SL Govt has launched an international pilot training programme to meet the growing demands of the aviation industry in the region. The new venture will enable Mihin Lanka to train inexperienced A320 type rated pilots from other international airlines, and provide them with on-the-job training delivered by Mihin Lanka’s most senior flight instructors. more..

Beginning of a new era

Jan 24 (DM) January 9th was the beginning of a new era for Sri Lanka, domestically and significantly, also internationally. After my first week as the Foreign Minister and following my first diplomatic visit, I feel encouraged at the level of warmth, openness and goodwill shown to the new Govt of Sri Lanka by an overwhelming number of representatives of the international community. I thank the many nations who have reached out to congratulate us, to invite us on formal state more..

Let justice prevail

Jan 24 (DM) Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, said the legendary Martin Luther King, Jr, with the latest film on his life being nominated for the Best Picture Academy Awards this year and breaking Box Office records on his commemoration day last Monday. From the traditional home of justice, Aristotle has told us that at our best, people are the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice we are the worst. It is in the enlightenment of such wisdom that more..

CJ quizzed by CID over coup plot

Jan 24 (FT) Chief Justice Mohan Peiris was yesterday grilled by the CID over a complaint filed about an alleged plot to hold power by force on election night by the defeated Rajapaksa regime. Peiris, appointed CJ by former President Rajapaksa in January 2013 following the impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake, was spotted at Temple Trees, the defeated president’s official residence in the early hours of 9 Jan. more..

Water cuts in Colombo on Jan 24, 25

Jan 24 (DM) A 24-hour water cut would be imposed in several areas in the City of Colombo from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday due to pipe laying that was to take place in the area where the Maligakanda water tank was located and coming under the Greater Colombo Water Supply System Rehabilitation Project, National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB) said. It said water supply would be interrupted in Colombo 2, 8, 9 and 10 during the time this repair was taking place. more..

Europe unleashes new trade push on SL

Jan 24 (Island) As a new economic era dawned on Sri Lanka, the EU has lost no time and moved fast to enhance its engagement with the country’s global trade platform to advance it to the next levels-and Sri Lanka’s trade with EU, the country’s largest export market, crossed $3.2 Bn in 2014, as revealed on 21 January. "This latest initiative matches very well with our new government’s vision and a great start! Therefore on behalf of the President Maithripala Sirisena, I extend our thanks to more..

New Minister won’t remove cricket officials

Jan 24 (DM) Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake said that he cannot remove or change any of the officials of cricket board as all of them have been elected to office through a democratic process of an election. “The present Sri Lanka cricket board is an elected body. It’s not an interim committee. So, I cannot change any official. If there is to be a change, it has to happen through an election” he said after assuming duties more..

Govt and US Embassy discuss strengthening links

Jan 24 (FT) At a meeting with Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy, Andrew C. Mann, Deputy Minister of Policy Implementation and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva yesterday discussed the need to increase investment and technical assistance from the US in order to create high-paying jobs for Sri Lankan citizens. Dr. De Silva said Govt would also work to increase exports to the US, already the country’s largest export market. New Deputy Minister and Acting Head of Mission also more..

FLSP says govt will not introduce an interim budget

Jan 24 (NS) Frontline Socialist Party Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda stated that the govt was not going to introduce an interim budget on January 29. Instead, it has planned to reduce the prices of certain essential goods through a special announcement to the parliament by the Minister of Finance. Speaking at a press conference in Colombo today, Jayagoda said that this has been discussed at the recent party leaders’ meeting in parliament. more..

Sri Lanka taps former HSBC wealth manager to head Central Bank

Jan 24 (BN) Sri Lankan govt appointed an ally of the new prime minister who previously worked as a wealth manager with HSBC Holdings (HSBA) and Emirates NBD to run its central bank. Arjuna Mahendran was appointed by President Sirisena, on the recommendation of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the president’s media office said. Mahendran succeeds Ajith Nivard Cabraal, who resigned a day after more..

Deputy Minister Gankanda discusses Urban Development activities

Jan 24 (GDI) Relief measures should be made immediately to the people who have been affected by Urban development activities carried out with the intention of obtaining political mileage, said the Deputy Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Dunesh Gankanda. He reiterated this at a meeting held on Wednesday to discuss the present situation and existing difficulties in the sectors of urban development and water supply throughout the island. more..

Peace between Tamils and Muslims

Jan 24 (CT) The Rajapaksa regime dug its grave by deliberately attacking the religious sentiments of the minorities. They attacked Mosques and other places of worship, said General Secretary of the ITAK K. Thurairajasingham. He was speaking at an event held at Amir Ali Vidiyalayam in Eravur last week. The event was presided over by the Principal of the school, Abdul Gafoor. He added that the mother tongue of Tamils and Muslims in the North and East was Tamil language. more..

Three new Governors appointed

Jan 24 (GDI) Three new Governors for Western, Southern and North Western Provinces were sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday at the Presidential Secretariat. Three new Governors are K.C. Logeswaran, Governor-Western Province, Hemakumara Nanayakkara, Governor-Southern Province and Ms. Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake, Governor, - North Western Province. Appointments were made by the President more..

Visitors not short of support

Jan 24 (ODT) Shammika Rodrigo went a long way to make sure Sri Lankan fans had a strong presence at the cricket yesterday. A clutch of about 30 fans kept up a constant cacophony of support at the one-day match at the University Oval in Dunedin, clapping, cheering and chanting for their team. They were backed by a 15m-long Sri Lankan flag Mr Rodrigo had brought back from a recent trip there. And his enthusiasm may have helped his compatriots on the field. more..

Sri Lanka female entrepreneurship in focus

Jan 24 (EN) A Sri Lankan women's trade chamber has urged the new govt to give more emphasis to female entrepreneurship in its policy interventions to enhance female labour force participation in the economy. Rifa Musthapa, Chairperson of the Women's Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC), said female labour force participation in the island is rather low at just 34% of the economically active population. "This becomes particularly critical as the majority of SL’s population is female,” more..