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'SAITM no more, staff should request salaries from President'

Aug 8 (DM) SAITM founder Dr. Neville Fernando said that as the SAITM Institute was abolished by President Maithripala Sirisena the staff should ask him for their salaries. “There is no academic activity at SAITM since it was abolished. So, there isn’t any need for staff. As there is no income I’m unable to pay them. The staff should ask their salaries from the President, who took the decision to abolish the institution,” he said. more..

Selections in a state of flux – does not augur well for World Cup

Aug 8 (DN) Not only is the administration of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in total disarray but the disease has even spread to cricket selections where it has come to a stage where from the body language of the players it can be easily said that they have absolutely no faith in the system. It simply boils down to poor selection. Every player is playing to safeguard his place and as a result not playing as a team. It is very clear to see for any ordinary layman. The crux of the problem lies with more..

Some 100,000 tablets of Diazepam seized

Aug 8 (FT) An attempt to smuggle 8 kilos of Diazepam tablets, which is popularly abused as a substitute for narcotics was thwarted when Customs officials at the BIA Air Cargo Unit detected a suspicious parcel today. Customs Spokesman said, the parcel was delivered by an employee of a leading international courier service and the detection was made when the officials decided to carry a random check on the parcel the contents of which was declared as pharmaceuticals. more..

Messe Frankfurt bullish on SL’s prospects

Aug 8 (FT) Messe Frankfurt, the world’s largest trade show organiser, announced plans to open a sales office in Colombo in December, while reinforcing its commitment to make Sri Lanka a regional hub in South Asia given its strong growth potential. The bullish trade fair giant also announced plans to bring down its Board Member Stephan Kurzawski for a two-day visit to SL next month to illustrate Colombo’s great connectivity more..

We are playing for our pride: Mathews

Aug 8 (Island) Despite the series defeat in the ongoing bilateral series against South Africa, Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews has insisted on perseverance having identified what the team needs to do to be well prepared for next year’s World Cup. The hosts had prepared slow turners for the Test series against the Proteas and beat them comprehensively, but for the ODIs, instead of repeating the formula, the Sri Lankans have played the games on good surfaces. more..

Amma wins Open Doors grant at Locarno

Aug 8 (DM) Award-winning Filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara’s next film Amma (Mother) won the Open Doors Grant at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival 2018. Sanjeewa won the second highest film development award which also confers a grant of 15,000 Swiss Francs as production support. The first award was won by Myanmar director The Maw Naing for his film project Ma (The Women). Sanjeewa’s latest film Devena Vihagun, (Burning Birds) is now being screened at more..

50 million PM’s fund launched by the NOC

Aug 8 (ST) Sri Lankan sport is on its way to good times courtesy the PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. National Olympic Committee of SL has worked out deal where the ultimate benefactor would the athletic community of Sri Lanka. A special PM’s Sports Fund with an initial allocation of Rs. 50 million has been created and the funds will be presented to the National Olympic Committee of SL on Tuesday (7). It will target high-performance athletes more..

Can SL end losing streak against Proteas?

Aug 8 (Island) The national cricket team suffered three 5-0 whitewashes in ODIs last year and the downward trend is continuing. Sri Lanka have already conceded the five-match series to South Africa with two games to spare and today’s fourth ODI and the final game in Colombo are dead rubbers. Despite the heavy losses, you’ve got to respect the guts of the team management to accept the reality and not to play on spin-friendly conditions which proved to be South Africa’s undoing more..

Nervous de Kock gets opportunity to show he could be next

Aug 8 (CI) Quinton de Kock does not immediately come across as a leader or a deep thinker or anything other than incredibly instinctive. However, it is that natural cricketing nous that has seen him elevated to South Africa's stand-in captain for the remaining two ODIs against Sri Lanka. Broadly speaking, with the series already won and the opposition barely proving a challenge, it should not matter much who captains South Africa but it is significant that de Kock was chosen above more..

Sri Lanka seek best combination and continuity in ODIs

Aug 8 (CI) Sri Lanka are in a little bit of a muddle. So woeful have they been in ODIs lately, that it is difficult to say who exactly forms the core of their team, let alone what those individual players' roles are. So right now, they are trying to experiment, and yet are trying to strike a balance - they also want to give prospective players a good run in the team before they are cast off and new aspirants take their place. more..

Edtorial: Diyawanna slapstick

Aug 8 (Island) The UPFA has decided to allow R. Sampanthan to continue as the Opposition Leader. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, following a request from the JO that its parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena be appointed the Opposition Leader conveniently passed the buck to the UPFA. The office bearers of the UPFA are loyal to Prez Sirisena and nobody expected them to accede to the JO’s demand and score an own goal, in the process. That they would not change the status quo more..

Religion, authority and reason

Aug 8 (Island) Three recent pronouncements caught the attention of the media and have dominated conversations. Advisors to President Trump quoted the Bible in defence of the separation of children from parents; as if being refugees disqualify them from the joy and security of being family. In Sri Lanka a Buddhist Prelate all too hastily suggested that an authoritarian style of governance was necessary to save the dominant community; and President Sirisena, while asserting more..

Tea plantation workers museum

Aug 8 (Roar) Nearly 200 ago, thousands of Indian Tamils embarked on an arduous journey from their homeland. Many were fleeing the oppressive caste system in search of a better life. They walked mile after weary mile from their villages to ports, where waiting boats and catamarans carried them across the Mannar Gulf to their new home in Ceylon. From Ceylon’s North, they journeyed once more – on foot, battling exhaustion, disease more..

Radical changes in the Judiciary

Aug 8 (Island) A completely new feature of the proposed draft constitution is the 55 member-second chamber of Parliament. Each of the nine Provincial Councils (PC) will nominate five of its members to sit in this second chamber. Other than the Chief Minister who will be an ex officio member of the second chamber, the other four nominees of the PC should not be members of the provincial board of ministers. These nominees of the PCs will hold office for the duration of their PC. more..

Near disintegration of a Commonwealth country

Aug 8 (Island) Close on the heels of DUP member Ian Paisley being suspended from the House of Commons for two undeclared free luxury family visits to SL, in 2013, courtesy the war, winning Rajapaksa govt, Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt received Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, who once provided costly legal advice to the Maldives, another Commonwealth country. Controversy surrounded Scotland’s involvement with the Maldivian govt. more..

Anuruddha Padeniya

Thinking beyond borders

Aug 8 (DN) Polonnaruwa is dazzling with Presidential blessings. Not one or two but 180 development projects were commissioned by Prez Sirisena within two days writing a glorious chapter in its history. We are happy. So is he. This would ease the lives of Polonnaruwa residents as well as visitors to the historic city. Almost all projects are infrastructure developments. The fact that none would generate new employment opportunities or increase production capacities should not be more..

20A: A Constitutional manipulation

Aug 8 (CT) The Bill for the 20th Amendment to the Constitution (20A) of the JVP has been published in the Gazette of 6 July 2018. In terms of Standing Order 52 (5), it can be presented to Parliament after lapse of two weeks. It completed two weeks on 20 July. The next Parliament sitting date is 7 August. Therefore, this bill can be placed in the Order Paper for the first reading on that date. After the first reading, it will be referred to the subject minister, in this case, Minister of Justice, more..

Draft report on Sustainable Development Projects to be launched this week

Aug 8 (SO) An interview with Prof. Rohan Samarajiva on the draft report by the Sustainable Development Committee on achieving sustainable development targets, Prof. Samarajiva is a member of the Committee. Q: What are Millennium Development Goals and its objectives? A: At the UN sessions held on Jan 1, 2016 world leaders agreed to formulate plans to achieve development targets in each country. more..

A forgotten community: Remembering Black July

Aug 8 (GV) Writer S Karunakaran reflects on Black July from the perspective of a marginalised and often forgotten community – the Malaiyagha Tamils – and specifically those who tried to resettle in the North of the country. The Malaiyagha Tamils settled upcountry and in Colombo. A section of this community was displaced from the South following violence in 1958, 1977 and 1983, Karunakaran explains. Those from the North returned to their ancestral homes in Jaffna, Vavuniya, more..

Ministerial response to micro-financed suicides

Aug 8 (CT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s inherent moral responsibility to assist struggling debtors, who are principally women, though commendable yet does not go far enough to tackle the main cause of indebtedness. His official observations need be elaborated to emphasise the gravity of the problem. Among the 75,000 women across 12 districts the vast majority are Tamils in the N&E. This is clear evidence that post war rebuilding of these districts has not really rehabilitated more..

Mullikulam: A step closer to regain Navy occupied lands and houses

Aug 8 (SO) On 17th July 2018 about 80 families, including children and elderly left behind the brick houses they have been living in, with water, toilets, furniture, kitchen and other household goods, and moved to live in tents in a forest like area. The move was to resettle in their beloved, traditional village, Mullikulam, after nearly 11 years of displacement due to Navy occupation of the village. more..

Trying to change Standing Orders

Aug 8 (CT) The biggest casualty of the Prez’s premature dissolution of Parliament in June 2015 was the promise in his manifesto that the electoral system would be changed. Though he promised not to dissolve Parliament until that happened, sadly there was no understanding that the best way of ensuring this was to include the relevant changes in the 19th Amendment. Thereafter, as the Elections Commissioner noted, the PM kept raising objections, which meant consensus was not achieved. more..

Reflections on the language of my birth

Aug 8 (CT) There are times when I lament my abysmal knowledge of Sinhala. It is a language of course, but even as a language it takes much more than memorising grammar rules and vocabulary to master it. Being a dilettante when it comes to these matters, I never really picked it up. Poetry eludes me, so does prose. I tried my hand at writing a few essays there and a few love poems here, but the experience was so overwhelming that I gave up. This was years ago. more..

Supplementary estimate seeks Rs.2.7 billion

Aug 7 (DM) Govt today presented a supplementary estimate in Parliament seeking approval for Rs.2.7 billion for several programmes including the relocation of army camps in the North and East and for the implementation of Suwaseriya pre-hospital care ambulance service. Rs.1 billion was sought to relocate the army camps in N&E. This item was among other expenses made by the govt from May 1 to May 30. more..

27 refugees who fled during war return to SL

Aug 7 (AD) Twenty-seven Sri Lankan refugees, who fled the country during the war and lived in refugee camps in India, have returned to the island today (07). They have arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in three flights belonging to the Sri Lankan Airlines; UL- 122 departed from Chennai at 10.55 a.m. with 07 refugees, UL-138 departed from Madurai at 11 a.m. with 07 refugees and UL-132 departed from Trichy (Tiruchirappalli) with 13 others. more..

Video: Woman shot in Kadawatha succumbs to injuries

Aug 7 (AD) The woman who was injured and hospitalised following a shooting incident in Kadawatha, has succumbed to injuries. Shooting had occurred at around 1pm today at Armstrong Junction in Gonahena, Kadawatha. 34-year-old woman was admitted to the Ragama Hospital in critical condition. However, she had died from the gunshot wounds. The woman in question was only released on bail last month after being arrested and remanded in connection with a murder. more..

Unhealthy for Sri Lanka to raise funds through Panda bonds: JO

Aug 7 (DM) The Central Bank’s move to raise US$250 million through China’s Panda bonds is not healthy and clearly shows that the CB’s authority to obtain loans has been handed over to the People's Bank of China, JO said today. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said that the People's Bank of China would issue Panda bonds to Chinese citizens on a request made by Central Bank of SL. “Panda bonds are issued to Chinese citizens more..

A new political alignment to jack up Pohottuwa!

Aug 7 (DM) One or two members of the Group 16 nursing high political ambitions are reportedly planning a new political alignment. They have already planned to revive a political party now in doldrums to use it as the core of the proposed new alignment and then invite a section of Group 16 to join forces with them. A Group 16 member from the Colombo district, who is known to be eying a very high-office is expected to lead this new alignment. Founder of the political party they propose more..

Govt shouldn't steer commercial banks to bankruptcy: Gammanpila

Aug 7 (DM) The govt should not influence commercial banks for political projects leading them to bankruptcy, MP Udaya Gammanpila said. He said the Central Bank (CB) had requested the heads of commercial banks to join the national Gamperaliya programme by granting loans up to Rs.100,000 without any collateral. “CB officials including its governor have made this proposal to several commercial banks on July 26. However, bank high-ups have refused the request more..

Monkeys drive nut prices: President

Aug 7 (EN) Sri Lanka’s primate population was responsible for destroying crops and contribted to a recent shortage of coconuts that resulted in dizzy prices, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday. About 35% of Sri Lankan crops were destroyed by animals, the president said adding that moneys were the leading predators ahead of elephants, wild boar and peacocks. Addressing the launch of a draft of more..

M Karunanidhi passes away at 94

Aug 7 (PTI) DMK chief M Karunanidhi, one of the foremost Dravidian politicians in modern times, died here today, after waging a grim battle for life aged 94, the hospital where he was admitted for the last 11 days said. One of the most charismatic figures of Tamil Nadu politics whose public life spanned over seven decades, is survived by two wives and six children, including DMK working president and heir apparent M K Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP. more..

Sri Lanka defence conference to discuss Pakistan political changes

Aug 7 (EN) Sri Lanka will host an international defence conference which will discuss, among others issues, how Pakistan's powerful military will interact with the new political leadership of Imran Khan. Army chief Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said the two-day Colombo Defence Seminar at the end of this month will be attended by top military brass from India, China, Pakistan and US in addition to many more. "We can discuss how Pakistan's military - a very powerful military - more..

Four-storey ayurveda drug stores complex opened

Aug 7 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena opened the newly built four-storey storage facility building of the SL Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation, today (6). Sri Lanka Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation, which was incorporated in 1969 by the govt extraordinary gazette notification No. 14853/1 dated 11May 1969 under the provision of the State Industrial Corporation Act. No. 49 of 1957 as the pioneer of manufacturing and marketing more..

CEB a gravy train for its employees

Aug 7 (Island) CEB has paid a whopping Rs 3.3 billion as PAYE tax owed by its employees between 2010 and 2017 ignoring several directives including a circular by the Ministry of Finance in April 2016. Finance Ministry circular states that the Board of Directors and the senior management of state institutions must ensure that PAYE tax is deducted from the salaries of the employees and be sent to the Inland Revenue Department. This decision was taken by the Cabinet on 13 Dec 2007 to shift more..

Wimal’s corruption case fixed for Nov 2

Aug 7 (DN) A corruption case filed against former Minister and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa was yesterday fixed for Nov 2 by the Colombo High Court. HC Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi made this order regarding an indictment filed against Wimal Weerawansa for the alleged unlawful acquisition of money and assets, estimated at Rs.75 million within a period of six years while serving as a Minister, during the former regime. President’s Counsel Jayantha Weerasinghe appearing for more..