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Sri Lanka's nightmare to forget

Nov 15 (CI) Is it too late for Sri Lanka to abandon this tour? Can it all just end? Four matches in, the visitors are tumbling around in a washing machine of despair. The colours have bled into the whites. Water is leaking into the circuits. Everything that could have gone wrong, has gone wronger. Maybe the most frightening thing about this cricket purgatory is how stale the nightmare has already become. more..

COPE proposes Srilankan-Mihin marriage

Nov 15 (Island) SriLankan Airlines would purchase 10 new aircraft from France to be added to its fleet at a cost of Rs. 161.4 billion, Parliament was told yesterday. Minister of Civil Aviation, Priyankara Jayaratne responding to a question raised by UNP Colombo District MP Sujeewa Senasinghe said that 10 aircraft would be purchased, six of which would be A330-300 financed by the lessor and the airline had already entered into sale and leaseback arrangements. more..

Those joining Foreign Service should know karate - UNP

Nov 15 (Island) UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella lambasted the govt for what he called rapid deterioration of SL's Foreign Service which, he said, had hit the rock bottom. He was participating in the committee stage debate on Budget 2015 under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of External Affairs. He alleged that political interference had ruined the Foreign Service which had once received accolades from the international community for its efficiency and professionalism. more..

Landslide victims not provided promised housing

Nov 15 (CT) In the wake of the recent Koslanda landslide, a plantation trade union has written to President Rajapaksa, saying that those who were affected by a similar landslide at Matale two years ago, had not been provided alternative housing by the authorities, though promised. A number of people affected by the landslides that took place at Nickoloya, Pitakanda and Bandarapola estates, in Matale District, more..

Sri Lanka still studying case of fishermen

Nov 15 (CG) Sri Lankan govt said it was studying all aspects of the Indian fishermen’s case and that a final decision was yet to be taken. “We are very carefully looking at the case as it involves a court decision. There are legal issues and the process will need some time,” Presidential spokesperson Mohan Samaranayake said. “One step in this process is the withdrawal of the court appeal by the Indian High Commission,” he said. Asked if the message had been communicated to the Indian High more..

Allowances of local politicians increased

Nov 15 (DM) The allowances paid to members of all local govt bodies including Pradeshiya Sabhas and Urban Councils will be increased, Local Govt and Provincial Councils Minister A.L.M. Athaullah informed parliament. Accordingly, the allowance of Pradeshiya Sabha members would be increased from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 15,000 and the allowance paid to a Vice Chairman would be increased from Rs 6500 to Rs. 20,000. A Chairman’s allowance would be increased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25,000. more..

The heroes of Martin Wickramasinghe

Nov 15 (CT) This is the first in a series of sketches on certain elusive characters in the novels of Martin Wickramasinghe. A caveat: they are aimed at first-time readers of this unique and for me the greatest writer Sri Lanka produced. Nothing more. This article deals with Tissa from the Koggala trilogy. I was very young when I came across Martin Wickramasinghe. The book was Madol Duwa, which I suppose no childhood more..

'Shirkers going places in health sector'

Nov 15 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena said those who performed their duties with a sense of responsibility and dedication in the health sector as well as other fields were not recognised, but those who did not work were admired. Speaking at a ceremony at the BMICH to felicitate the MOHs who had performed their duties to reduce maternal mortality rate in Sri Lanka in 2013 the Health Minister said that in every sphere, including politics, hardworking people were being ignored. more..

Fiscal decentralisation: A stepping stone towards conflict resolution

Nov 15 (CT) For too long, the political processes in Sri Lanka to resolve minority grievances have been preoccupied with the nature of the state (unitary versus federal), unit of devolution of political and administrative power (village, district, or province), language, land, police, and other administrative issues. Very little discussions have taken place regarding the division of financial/fiscal powers between the centre and the peripheries. All the previous political processes have failed on more..

Ada Cartoon

Enemies of the President’s promise

Nov 14 (CT) The failure of politicians in the North who were close to govt to command any respect led in turn to the forces having to play a more dominant role, for they were the most efficient representatives of govt in the area. Had they instead taken leading citizens into partnership, and indeed given them the leading role, the situation would have been very different. The contrast with what might have been was apparent in the Islands, where I found that the local bodies had done nothing to more..

Opinions galore!: A dime for 3 dozen!

Nov 14 (CT) Since Independence in 1948, Constitution making and amendment, of same in Sri Lanka have de facto been the exclusive preserve of politicians. Invariably therefore, they were designed to suit the whims of scheming politicians to safeguard and further their own selfish interests. The only exception to this was perhaps the 17th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution. Civic minded professionals who placed country before self, laboured for 11 months to have this passed more..

Former presidents misused executive presidency: MR

Nov 14 (DM) A vociferous campaign is being carried out to abolish the executive presidency or to reduce its powers but no one said a word when the country was betrayed by using executive powers and when some 650 uniformed policemen were ordered to surrender to the LTTE at Kattanakudi, President Rajapaksa said. He expressed these views at the ground breaking ceremony to launch Colombo–Kandy Expressway (CKE) more..

Rs 800 m out-of-pocket on CHOGM preparations: CMC

Nov 14 (DM) Even though a year has passed since CHOGM was held in Colombo, Colombo Municipality is yet to receive Rs. 800 million it spent on beautification and development projects across the city from the Treasury. The External Affairs Ministry promised to intervene on behalf of the municipality to obtain the funds, which at the time were an additional expense to the development projects conducted by the CMC. more..

TNA: ‘Is govt. distancing itself from India?’

Nov 14 (CT) TNA Leader R. Sampanthan questioned as to why the govt was aligning itself so heavily on the side of China when the island had a foreign policy history of non-alignment. He said that since the govt had changed to the Rajapaksa regime, Chinese influence on Sri Lanka had grown exponentially. "SL has followed a foreign policy of non-alignment for decades. However, Rajapaksa Govt has changed all that more..

SriLankan Airlines upgrades aircraft fleet

Nov 14 (AI) SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier for Sri Lanka, has announced there will be an investment of US$500m in a modernisation of the airline through a fleet renewal programme. The renewal project will result in the replacement of the older, wide-bodied aircraft with the more fuel-efficient models from Airbus, each of which has 269 Economy Class seats and 28 Business Class seats. more..

'Karu J’s role compared with that of Fonseka in Jan 2005'

Nov 14 (Island) North Western Province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera asked how one-time UNP Deputy Leader and MP Karu Jayasuriya could provide leadership to a coalition which may include those who had been supportive of the eelam project. He alleged that the much touted Opposition vow to restore parliamentary democracy by doing away with JRJ’s Constitution within six months after winning the next presidential more..

'Parliament didn’t unanimously approve SC opinion on President’s third term bid'

Nov 14 (Island) Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe has challenged the govts contention that Parliament had unanimously approved the Supreme Court opinion, stating that there was no legal impediment to President Rajapaksa seeking a third term. Addressing Wednesday’s Janaralle at Muttiah Park, organized by the Movement For Social Justice and National Council for a Clean Tomorrow calling for more..

Sajith backs down: Says ready to support Common Candidate

Nov 14 (AM) UNP Deputy Leader, who earlier strongly backed Ranil Wickremesinghe’s candidature to Executive Presidency, has now taken a step back, indicating he will support UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya or Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga if one of them contests as the common candidate at the upcoming Presidential Election. This statement comes just a few days after Premadasa attended the protest rally against more..

JVP leader and revolutionary Rohana Wijeweera’s demise 25 years ago

Nov 14 (DBS) Patabandi Don Nandasiri Wijeweera known to the world at large as Rohana Wijeweera was killed 25 years ago on Nov 13th 1989. The revolutionary leader of the JVP was 49 years old at the time of his death. The mastermind behind two bloody insurrections – in 1971 and from 1987 to 89 – was taken into custody on November 12th in the Kandy district and brought to Colombo. more..

A father’s fight for justice

Nov 14 (SL) January 2, 2006 is a day which will continue to haunt Dr Kasippillai Manoharan. On that day, his son Ragihar was among the five youth killed under controversial circumstances in Trincomalee. Eight years on Dr Kasippillai Manoharan is still seeking justice over his son’s death and he has vowed to continue to fight till justice is served. Dr Manoharan said he had taken a firm decision to challenge the authorities, more..

Malefic pattern in skies bringing disasters

Nov 14 (ST) Take out your umbrellas, raincoats and arks – the coming weeks will see deluges that could lead to flooding and other natural disasters, climate experts warn. The rains ending the prolonged drought will come in full intensity and result in flash floods and more landslides, said climate expert S.A. Norbert, Professor in Geography at University of Colombo. He said the continued drought in parts of more..

Administratively low deposit rates

Nov 14 (CT) President Rajapaksa in Budget 2015 presented in Parliament last month, raised State bank deposit rates for senior citizens to 12% in order to give them a better deal. Whether this is being implemented is a matter for conjecture as official data, as provided by Central Bank of Sri Lanka's (CBSL's) weekly economic indicators is more focused on giving an update on lending rates, rather than on deposit rates. Sri Lanka's savings rates, according to CBSL's data, more..

It’s time for verdict of Court of the People?

Nov 14 (DM) In these days when the focus is on major constitutional and legal issues, Lady Justice also is watching and giving her own verdict, opinion or interpretation. Tradition tells us that the statue of Lady Justice, blindfolded and carrying the scales evenly, symbolises the fair and equal administration of the law, without corruption, avarice, prejudice, or favour. Lady Justice wears a blindfold to indicate that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favour, regardless of more..

More corrupt deals revealed

Nov 14 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), the National Paper Company Limited (NPCL) and SriLankan Airlines had suffered a loss of Rs. 40 billion last year, according to the Second Interim Report released to Parliament by the COPE yesterday. The CPC loss amounted to Rs. 7,732,818,000 while the NPCL and Sri Lankan Airlines incurred losses to the tune of Rs 109,684,000 Rs32,357,980,000 respectively, more..

Ill-advised land grabs aggravate

Nov 14 (CT) Multinational companies and political elites have taken close to 100,000 acres of land used by smallholder farmers, pastoralists and other vulnerable groups in Sri Lanka in the last five years, Environmental Conservation Trust (ECT) Director, Sajeewa Chamikara, said. These lands have been used for extensive export crops and tourism projects, but in the process has destroyed the lives of thousands of farmers. In addition this has had a negative impact on food security. more..

Envoys summoned over ‘unsatisfactory development’

Nov 14 (DM) The heads of diplomatic missions in Colombo have been called for a meeting on Wednesday to brief them on what the External Affairs Ministry describes as 'unsatisfactory development' regarding the Investigations on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Minister G.L. Peiris told Parliament when he took part in the committee stage of the budget debate on the vote of his ministry. He referred to an incident where more..

UNP: What’s the use of exposing corruption if govt. doesn’t punish culprits?

Nov 14 (Island) UNP  said in Parliament that there was no point in exposing corruption if no action was taken against those responsible for it. Responding to Chairman of COPE DEW Gunasekera, who shed light on corruption in some govt institutions, UNP MP John Amaratunga said COPE had failed to take follow-up action. "We commend Minister for efficient compilation of the report. Minister keeps filing reports more..

PS deputy chief arrested for assaulting principal

Nov 14 (Island) Deputy Chairman of Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha, Sampath Bandara Herath was arrested yesterday for assaulting the Principal of Thibatuwawe Maha Vidyalaya, Lalith Madusanka. Police arrested the suspect after the teachers of the school held a protest in the Kekirawa town, urging the police to take him into custody immediately. The principal is being treated at the Dambulla hospital. District Secretary of the Ceylon Teacher’s Services Union, Aruna Dissanayake more..

England hope grass is greener in Sri Lanka after Kevin Pietersen era

Nov 14 (Telegraph) Alastair Cook insists England have moved on from Kevin Pietersen but the only real way to show this is a new era is for his team to start winning. There can be no harder challenge for an England one-day team than to try to win a series in Sri Lanka for only the second time ever - the first was in 2007-08 - but that is the quest which begins on Sunday when the team fly to Colombo. The tour is the first leg of a winter when the diary has been cleared of Tests and more..

Container truck workers’ strike: Export revenue loss Rs 5 B

Nov 14 (CT) The 32-hour-strike, by the private container truck drivers and their assistants, at the Colombo Port on Thursday, caused a staggering export loss of Rs 5 billion. Importers and exporters of refrigerated meat, crabs and jumbo prawns suffered, mainly due to the current supply to containers being left unplugged for 18 hours, claimed President of Eksath Lanka Container Transportation Owners' Association (SLPA) more..

Ranatunga bats for CBK or Karu in common candidate game

Nov 14 (AM) DNA MP Arjuna Ranatunga, has pledged to offer his support to former President Chandrika Kunaratunga or to UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, sources from the opposition said. Ranatunga, who has now distanced himself from his erstwhile leader former Army commander Sarath Fonseka, took part in the common opposition rally which took place in Colombo on Wednesday. However, Ranatunga's first choice is former President Chandrika more..

Sri Lanka can reduce disaster casualties

Nov 14 (SDN) By establishing a uniform early warning and response mechanism and building national awareness on how to react to natural disasters, Sri Lanka can avoid needless loss of life, experts say. On 29 Oct, a landslide killed 12 people with 25 still listed as missing in the village of Meeriyabedda in Badulla district. Early alerts by the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) that the area had become landslide-prone, following incessant rains during the third week of Oct, more..

'Nonis should have complained to NYPD'

Nov 14 (DM) UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella, who commented on the assault on Dr. Chris Nonis, the former Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London, said a complaint should have been lodged with New York Police Department instead of waiting for redress from the Sri Lankan authorities. Mr. Kiriella made these remarks during the committee stage of the budget debate on the vote of the External Affairs Ministry. more..

Crossovers in the offing

Nov 14 (CT) It has been predicted that as soon as President Mahinda Rajapaksa officially announces the holding of a Presidential Election, several members of various political parties will crossover to the other side. While the government has declared that many UNPers as well as members of other Opposition Parties have decided to join the government soon, the Opposition too has announced that many government members lay in wait to crossover to their side. more..

Amended cut off marks out on Monday

Nov 14 (CT) Amended cut off marks, for the Grade Five Scholarship Exam, would be released on Monday, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament. Making a ministerial statement, he said the scholarship exam cut off marks needed to be amended in response to a proposal by President Rajapaksa, in the Budget 2015 to increase the number of scholarships that pass out from 15,000 to 25,000. Accordingly, Sinhala medium cutoff marks had been brought down from 163 to 157 more..