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A brief history of political arrogance and Eastern Province CM’s place in it

May 30 (DM) Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed should now be every chief minister’s envy. They hardly make news even when they try their personal best, perhaps except C.V. Wigneshwaran, the Northern CM for his own antics. CM Ahamed overnight broke ranks with that obscure lot to place himself at the centre of the news cycle. He is now by far the chief minister with most YouTube views in his name after a video more..

Ghouls in the health sector

May 30 (DM) The transnational pharmamafia, some corrupt official in the Health Ministry and other vested interest are still trying to sabotage the implementation of the national medicinal drugs policy in line with Prof. Senaka Bibile’s essential medicines concept. After a delay of more than 10 years, President Maithripala Sirisena who was earlier the Health Minister, had personally ensured that legislation to implement the Senaka Bibile policy was approved by Parliament in May last year. more..

National unity for a just society

May 30 (DM) With the floods and landslides continuing into the third week yesterday, religious leaders have urged that we need to go beyond religious, racial, political or social and other differences in the mission for the provision of relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of more than half a million victims. Just as death is no respector of persons, so is a natural disaster. People of all races and religions were affected, though as usual the impoverished people were more vulnerable. more..

Fresh instructions issued in respect of PTA

May 30 (Island) In the wake of a spate of arrests of former senior members of LTTE, Human Rights Commission of SL has issued specific directives in respect of detaining persons under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). HRCSL spokesman Saliya Peiris said that directives had been issued following concerns expressed by some persons. He said their intervention wasn’t in any way meant to impede ongoing investigations. more..

La Nina to take over from El Nino

May 30 (DN) There is a strong probability of La Niña developing as the El Nino exits, but it would not adversely affect Sri Lanka, Met Department Director General Lalith Chandrapala said. He said the El Nino was at the tail end and it would come to a neutral level by June-July. “Then a La Niña may loom. This phenomenon has adverse effects similar to El Nino. However, it may not be a serious threat to Sri Lanka,” he said. Explaining on how the shift between El Nino and La Niña would occur, more..

Lakshapana a sluice gate opened

May 30 (CT) A sluice gate was opened in the Lakshapana Reservoir for the duration of an hour yesterday owing to the inclement weather experienced in the area and residents around were requested to be vigilant. Assistant Director of the Disaster Management Centre Pradeep Kodippili said the rising waters of the Kalu Ganga (Dark River) have affected over 4,000 people in the Kalutara District. Furthermore, the landslide warning issued for several district has been further extended. more..

Rajitha, GMOA at war

May 30 (DN) The battle between Health Minister and GMOA heated up as Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne refused to be deterred by threats to strike and calls for his removal. However, the doctors’ appointments which have stirred much controversy will come to effect from next week, as planned, he said. “GMOA cannot decide my appointment, but I can decide their appointments,” Minister said highlighting that as an elected more..

Gang in camouflage uniforms storm businessman’s house Child hit by two bullets

May 30 (Island) An 11-year-old girl was seriously injured and admitted to Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital on Saturday when unidentified gunmen dressed in camouflages uniforms stormed a businessman’s Walaswewa residence in Galnewa and opened fire with T-56 assault rifles. When the gunmen entered the premises of 25-year-old- businessman Raja Jayaratne‘s house, he had locked the door to the entrance and moved into a bed room with his wife and the two children more..

Govt mulls IT education access for all students in public schools

May 30 (Island) Minister Harin Fernando, chief guest at the recent Smart Metro press conference said that the govt aims to train the 3.5 million students in schools in IT skills. "Progress in IT development and the switch to digital technology have produced an interest locally in the IT field. Sri Lanka is now poised to be a contributor to technological progress, minister said. "SONY and Fujitsu with technology introduced by Smart Metro marked a step in progress and this augured well for more..

Sirisena defends return of land to SL Tamils

May 30 (Hindu) Amid continuing criticism of Sri Lanka’s approach to the implementation of the 2015 Geneva resolution, President Maithirpala Sirisena has defended his govt’s policy of returning land in the Northern Province to Tamils. Speaking to the SL diaspora in Japan, Mr. Sirisena pointed out that they had been longing for the return of their lands for 27 years. He also said that distrust persisted between people of the northern SL more..

Pakistan unlikely to host West Indies in SL

May 30 (PTI) Pakistan is unlikely to host their home series against West Indies in Sri Lanka and they might revert back to playing in UAE itself. A top official of the board confirmed that they had tried to relocate the series against the West Indies to either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh but it was unlikely to happen this year. "We have been facing issues with having our home series in the UAE as the expenses are very high and there are other matters as well but for this year it appears we will more..

Pulse imports rising fast: Bathiudeen

May 30 (DN) The country now annually imports pulses exceeding $70 mn, the bulk of it being the well-known staple red lentils, Industry and Commerce Minister said. “Pulses and grains were introduced to Sri Lanka historically and today pulses have become a staple in Sri Lankan households as a result. Their imports rising fast,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen in Turkey. He was addressing the Global Pulse Convention 2016 (GPC16) held in Cesme, Izmir, Turkey from May 19 to 22. more..

Sri Lanka's batsmen find their fight

May 30 (CI) Barring extraordinary events, Sri Lanka are still going to lose the second Test - and potentially by an innings - but they were not, to borrow one of Angelo Mathews' words, humiliated on the third day as they made England work hard for their rewards in the follow-on. The captain himself played a large part in that, Mathews striking a bristling 80, while there were also half-centuries for Kaushal Silva and Chandimal more..

Man who abducted schoolgirl posing off as intelligence officer identified

May 30 (Island) A suspect who masqueraded as a security forces intelligence officer and abducted a 15-year-old schoolgirl in Galle on April 23 was identified by the victim at an identification parade and he was remanded by Galle Additional Magistrate Kesara Samaradivakara till June 8. Suspect Wasantha Pushpakumara (35) of Magalkanda, Maggona North is a father of two children. The police said the suspect was in remand custody in Matara prison for a similar offence more..

10 acre area declared susceptible to landslide

May 30 (Island) A land area of about ten acres of Uduwelawatta Grama Niladari division has been declared susceptible to landslide. Many houses have also been identified as unfit for human habitation on the land as they are subjected to cracks and earth slips. The occupants of the houses have been warned to evacuate. Meanwhile, Kandy District Secretary H.M.T. Hitisekara, Patahewaheta Pradeshiay Secretary Ms. Madupani Piyasena and officials of Disaster Management Authority more..

Sri Lanka signs agreements with Malaysia and Israel for over 5000 job opportunities

May 30 (Island) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) entered into two employment agreements with Israel and Malaysia last week creating over 5000 job opportunities for Lankans in the two countries. The Sime Darby Plantation, one of the largest agriculture factories in Malaysia had agreed to offer 5000 job opportunities to Lankan workers and the MoU in this regard were signed by SL Foreign Employment Agency more..

Sri Lanka set to benefit from Maritime Silk Road port investment

May 30 (Xinhua) "If the Colombo South Harbor Terminal did not exist, I would probably still be seeking employment overseas to earn money to support my 5-member family," said Yuri Kannangara, assistant general manager of the operations department of the Colombo South Harbor Terminal in Colombo. In front of the container yard, the 49-year-old said that before his employment with South Harbor, he had been employed in South Africa, far away from his family. more..

Thilanga pledges Rs. 2.5 million for State Services Cricket

May 30 (ST) The 109th Sri Lanka State Services Cricket Association’s Annual Awards Night 2016 was held at the Solis Hotel, Kotte. Due to unavoidable circumstances the Awards Nights of 2012/13 and 2013/14 were not held but the organisers had done a commendable job in inviting the previous winners along with the teams to receive their awards which they won earlier. The chief guest Thilanga Sumathipala addressing the house first congratulated the State Services Cricket more..

‘Vigneswaran should play a responsible role in bringing two communities together’

May 30 (DN) Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha, Chief Sanghanayake Thera of the Southern Province welcomed Northern Province Chief Minister Vigneswarian’s appreciation of the singing of the National Anthem in Tamil at the Independence Day celebrations with the remark “if the Sinhala people took one step towards us, we Tamil people are ready to take 10 steps towards the Sinhala people”. more..

Sri Lanka’s Islamic finance sector grows

May 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s Islamic finance sector continues to grow steadily but lacks staff who are qualified and have technical knowledge, the recently launched Islamic Finance Country Report 2016 said. Since the amendment to the Banking Act in 2005, more than a dozen banks and financial institutions now offer Shariah compliant products. There are several large professional service firms that have specialist Islamic finance teams. Despite the growth in the number of players, more..

Mathews' third fifty in six follow-ons

May 30 (CI) 3: Number of fifty-plus scores by Angelo Mathews in six innings while following-on in Tests - the most by a Sri Lanka batsman. Before this innings, Mathews had got 63 in Cape Town in 2011-12 and 66 in Christchurch in 2014-15. Mathews has made 234 runs at an average of 46.80 in these innings. 68: Sri Lanka's previous highest sixth-wicket stand while following on in Tests, which was by Mahela Jayawardene and T Dilshan at Lord's in 2006. That match had ended in a draw more..

SL tourism targets to up earnings by 46% to $ 3.5 b this year: John

May 30 (FT) Minister John Amaratunga on Friday revealed that Sri Lanka tourism is targeting $ 3.5 billion in earnings this year on the strength of 2.5 million visitors. In this the Golden Jubilee year we hope to achieve tourism revenue of $ 3.5 billion by welcoming 2.5 million visitors. Our target is to raise the per capita spend of each visitor from the present US$ 165 per night to US$ 250 per night,” Tourism Minister Amaratunga said more..

Japanese assistance to improve capabilities of Sri Lanka Coast Guard

May 30 (SLN) During the recently concluded bilateral summit meeting held in Nagoya, Japan between the President Maithripala Sirisena and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, reconfirmed the importance of maintaining the freedom of the high seas and maritime order based on the rule of law. The joint media statement issued following the bilateral meeting between the two leaders stated that ‘as a part of strengthening maritime cooperation between the two countries, more..

Pains of labour in the Post-Civil War Development in Jaffna

May 30 (ST) The welfare of working people is sine qua non for economic and social development of societies. More than a quarter century of civil war in Jaffna (1983-2009) has destroyed several institutions that are the lifeblood of economic and social well-being of democratic societies. The vanguard institutions of labour such as collective bargaining through labour associations/unions, labour departments (govt regulator), and indeed labour standards have been dissipated in more..

Sri Lanka’s Agency for Development gets off the ground soon

May 30 (ST) The much-awaited Sri Lanka’s Agency for Development is to be established within the next two months to fast-track, streamline and attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). Development Special Provisions Bill which provides provisions to set up this agency will be presented in parliament soon. This agency has a specific task of attracting more FDIs to the country without delay and all arrangements have been made to more..

Editorial: Barmecide feast

May 30 (Island) Pro-govt propagandists have been excessively amped up and hyper about the recent opportunity President Maithripala Sirisena was given to press flesh with the G-7 leaders in Japan. It was no doubt a pleasant sight to see President Sirisena with world leaders exchanging pleasantries. His presence among those heavyweights is being hailed as a major diplomatic victory for Sri Lanka. But, what benefits has accrued to the country from his mingling with G-7 leaders? more..

An angry call for a selective deluge

May 30 (ST) Exasperated by the peccadilloes of the yahapalanaya (good governance) administration in pulling back on its promises to punish the corrupt in the South and bring justice to those who had suffered in the North, a colleague of mine advocated this week in an angry communication that Colombo’s flood waters should have advanced further than merely retreating at the entrance of the Parliament. ‘If it rained only on Parliament and if the House was in session, this would have solved more..

Persistent questions over the pumping and dumping of Treasury Bonds

May 30 (Island) Chandra Jayaratne, a Chartered Accountant and former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce turned public interest activist, has been at the forefront of those demanding an investigation into certain Treasury bond issues made by the govt. In this interview, he discusses why he thinks a full scale investigation is warranted. Q: You had written to the Secretary of Monetary Board asking for more..

Immigration consultant appointed as Tourism Ambassador to Canada: A joke

May 30 (Island) It is the duty of the foreign office, the presidential secretariat and other ministries to stay connected with the embassies and its diplomats to see that the right thing is done and the country’s interest is always protected. However, some ministers and officials contacted the missions only when they wanted personal favours and when they wanted protocol assistance even for personal visits. My experience is that official matters came second. Some blunders they made became difficult more..

Schoolchildren’s sports tours to be regularised soon

May 30 (ST) Education Ministry is looking to regularise all foreign tours made by organisations using school children. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has advised the new Special Consultant of Sports in the Education Ministry Sunil Jayaweera to look into this matter. He said “There are many spurious foreign tours taking place at the moment, but, at the moment we are not in a position analyse them. There are instances that organisers download applications for more..

A top bureaucrat preventing action against crooks

May 30 (CT) With flood waters receding gradually after affecting more than 300,000 persons, the political arena is once again heating up with allegations mounting against Yahapalana Govt by the factions who supported it into power. Interestingly, the week ended with President, PM and several key ministers including the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs being away from the country. more..

Messy urbanization since Independence

May 30 (CT) The recent torrential rains (El Nino) wrought havoc and caused one of the worst destructions after the hellish tsunami of 2004. Many leaders and dignitaries the world over sent condolence messages on the deaths and destructions that occurred due to horrific weather conditions. Funds and relief items are still reaching the island nation. Above all, it was overwhelming and highly commendable to see Sri Lankans and NGOs actively taking part in helping more..

A godsend for flood protection

May 30 (CT) Torrential rains have been beating down on Sri Lanka for the last two weeks causing landslides and leaving many areas in and around Colombo inundated with water. Fortunately, the people living in the outer area of the Kelani River, far beyond the river bank, escaped the floods which left many houses and property damaged rendering their inhabitants displaced for more than a week. The saving grace for the greater part of the city of Colombo from the major floods was a bund more..

'Flood damage escalated due to weak disaster management'

May 30 (SL) Disaster Management mechanism of the present govt is at a weak state and as a result of its failure to heed to previous warnings made by the JVP as to how to act in these situations, the damage has escalated, says JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti. Pointing out that the government should play a more active role in a crisis situation such as this, MP Handunnetti says that in the future a proper mechanism must be set up to more..

Money down the babbling brook by the banks of the Diyawanna

May 30 (ST) It’s the sacred temple where a people’s sovereignty lies enshrined. The supreme edifice of a secular democratic state. The gilded pagoda from whence the people’s power emanates. The fountain from which all legal enactments spring. The podium where national issues are debated discussed and distilled. The law factory and the talking shop, packed into a one stop complex. And, as far as talking shops go these days, it does so admirably. The only problem is that instead of delving more..

Attracting FDI to Sri Lanka: The need for investment promotion measures

May 30 (IPS) Today almost all countries around the world, in their bid to create jobs and sustain economic growth, compete fiercely to attract foreign investment. In addition to liberalizing trade and investment policies, opening up sectors to foreign investors and undertaking reforms to create a more business friendly environment, countries are also seen to be undertaking proactive investment promotion measures. Investment promotion and facilitation are also considered to more..