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Much criticism on proroguing Parliament

Apr 22 (CT) Much has been said about President Sirisena’s decision to prorogue Parliament through a Gazette Extraordinary before undertaking his London tour to attend the CHOGM. The next Parliament session would commence on 8 May as per the Gazette Notification. However, now it is said that Parliament cannot be summoned on the day unless a new Gazette Notification was issued, mentioning the time. more..

Enemy of the state

Apr 22 (ST) Any faithful reader of Kussi Amma Sera’s exploits in the kitchen – lunu miris, kochci miris and katta sambol included and her fiery explanation of economies – would be perturbed about this headline. ‘Enemy of the state? What! Who! Why! Hold your horses; it’s a definition that arose during a tele-conversation with my jolly-mood economist friend, Sammiya (short for Samson). Both our households are still reeling with the Avurudu absence of the domestic aides and more..

The SLFP in 2018: Vicissitudes and risks

Apr 22 (SO) The SLFP has been at a crucial turning point in its political career for some time. Its unending crisis has consequences for Sri Lankan democracy as well. As a political party, and with all its shortcomings and failures, the SLFP has contributed to institutionalizing SL’s parliamentary democracy and consolidating the country’s political party system. But, it is now facing an existential crisis. If the outcome of the recent No Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM more..

Satana

Voting to opt out

Apr 22 (ST) My dear Gang of Sixteen, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you have all quit the govt and will sit with the opposition, after voting for the no confidence motion against the Green Man. I am not sure whether I should congratulate you or sympathise with you, because we don’t know what will happen next. Of course, I am quite certain it must have been very difficult for those among you who were holding ministerial jobs. After all, how could you say goodbye easily to all the perks, more..

Keith Noyahr case: Gota as Fonny’s nanny

Apr 22 (Island) Amidst the political confusion that engulfed the country after the recent LG elections and just before the New Year holidays, the former Director of Military Intelligence Major General Amal Karunasekera was arrested in relation to the abduction and torture of Keith Noyahr, the Defence Correspondent of the now defunct newspaper The Nation, back in 2008. After this arrest, state owned Sunday Observer explained how Maj. Gen. Karunasekera came to be implicated more..

SLFP breathing its last?

Apr 22 (CT) Giving the general public a tremendous shock of a political coup that SL has ever witnessed in the recent past, Maithripala Sirisena, who was Minister of Health during the Rajapaksa regime, announced on 21 Nov 2014 that he had agreed to contest 2015 Prez Election as the common candidate. It was on that day SLFP began to crack from within. Now that crack has become wide open destabilizing the entire govt machinery. more..

New Year mayhem on the roads

Apr 22 (ST) Either road users do not bother to read news alerts or they just do not care – or both. Despite early warnings of the Avurudhu season being the most dangerous for road accidents, the past week saw a spike recorded with an astounding 59 deaths between April 12 and 16 – an all-time high for this period. There were 450 serious accidents reported to the Police and countless numbers went unreported. Most of these involved motorcyclists. Buses and tuk-tuks came not far behind. more..

Mirissa just one straw in dangerous wind

Apr 22 (Island) Sri Lanka is not the only country in the world that responds reactively rather that proactively or preemptively to major incidents. This is exemplified by the moving and shaking that we have seen after the recent incidents in Weligama following, first the sexual harassment and rowdyism at Mirissa where some Dutch tourists were the victims, and then at Midigama nearby when some Israelis were harassed. Given Sri Lanka’s recent massive investments in tourism & hospitality more..

Stolen paradise

Apr 22 (ST) It has been a long wait for five villages in Panama, Ampara. With over 1,220 acres of their land occupied by SL Navy and Air Force, the villagers have been fighting a long drawn battle since 2010 to reclaim the land they once lived and farmed on. The people of Panama were overjoyed when a Cabinet decision in Feb 2015 ordered the release of land occupied by the forces in Panama back to the original inhabitants of the area. more..

Energy Pricing

Apr 22 (CT) International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a statement on Friday urged the Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to adopt market based pricing for energy. Market based pricing of energy encompasses both fuel at the pump and electricity. Electricity is a force which is not only used to illumine places, but is also a power needed to manufacture goods processed in industries and factories generally for commercial purposes. GoSL has almost a monopoly in electricity supply. more..

Horana: challenge of industrial safety

Apr 22 (SO) Made in Sri Lanka is a tag that must assure us of safe consumption along with our pride as a productive nation, of affordable prices and ultimately, a strong economy. It also must assure us that what we consume has not been produced at the cost of people’s lives. Last Thursday’s tragedy in Horana sharply raises that question of industrial safety in the country. Five people died last Thursday and many others are yet recovering from the effects of toxic waste after a horrific industrial more..

Defeating Pakistan in UAE best moment of my stint: Pothas

Apr 21 (CB) United Arab Emirates had been a fortress of sorts for Pakistan who were unbeaten there since the gulf region became their adopted home in 2010. Pakistan had never lost a Test series there when an unfancied Sri Lankan side beat them in a two-match series. Nic Pothas, who quit his Sri Lankan job last week, was the Head Coach at that point and he pointed out the series win was the highest point during his tenure. more..

'Public inconvenienced due to political instability'

Apr 21 (NR) JO says the public is inconvenienced on a daily basis due to the ineffectiveness of the present govt. UPFA MP Keheliya Rambukwella said the solution to all concerns could be reached through by calling a general election. MP stressed the govt is incomplete since 16 Ministers, Dy Minister and State Ministers recently left the govt. He noted several Ministries lost their relevant subject Ministers as a result adding it has led the country to political instability. more..

UNP changes must be discussed: Navin

Apr 21 (NR) Minister Navin Dissanayake says the opinion that the leadership of the UNP should undergo changes should be discussed cordially within the party. Speaking to media in Kandy the Minister said several members are being considered for leadership posts especially among grass root level supporters. Minister said even in the past there have been clashes between the leadership adding no good comes out of such conflicts. He said it is the responsibility of the party leader more..

Wattala drug raid documents to the CID

Apr 21 (NR) The Police is due to hand over the passports and other documents that were found at a residence in Hekitta, Wattala where the Police Special Task Force seized narcotics amounting to 10.5 million rupees earlier today, to the CID. Police Media Unit said two passports that were seized belonged to the tenant's brother in law. The two suspects who rented the house have fled the area. more..

CBSL buys $146.46M from Treasury

Apr 21 (CT) Central Bank bought US$ 146.46 million (Rs 22,903 million) from the Treasury yesterday, which helped it to retire Rs 18,442 million of its face value money printing (FVMP) holdings, thereby helping to defray inflationary pressure by keeping demand on check. This $ 146.46 million is part of the $ 2.5 billion the Govt raised last week, by issuing sovereign bonds to the international market. Conversions are based on the middle rate of the closing value of the benchmark spot as more..

By 2020, a massive 24-hour market complex

Apr 21 (ST) The Manning Market relocation programme is now underway with the awarding of the contract for the Rs. 5 billion-plus project. Land-filling and sitework had commenced earlier. The contract was awarded for the construction of the buildings, set to be completed by 2020. The new market complex, at Peliyagoda, will be convenient for both traders and consumers, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development Additional Secretary Anjalie Devaraja said. more..

Construction projects approved only if headed by qualified persons

Apr 21 (ST) Under a new regulation introduced by Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA), all local authorities have been directed not to grant approvals for new construction projects, unless qualified persons are employed to implement the project. New law comes in view of the increasing number of new constructions collapsing even before completion. Act will provide for many provisions more..

More trees in Sri Lanka will help the beleaguered macaques

Apr 21 (Island) Since the middle of last century, SL has lost more than half of its forest cover to family farms, firewood collection, and tea plantations, reports bioGraphic – which has been bad news for the macaques, as well as all the other arboreal creatures that call the trees their home. With such devastation to their canopy habitat, the fruit-eating primates have taken to hunting on the forest floor, raiding crops, digging in garbage piles, and even sifting through fire pits looking for food. more..

The Senior Laboratory Assistant of Horana rubber factory arrested

Apr 21 (AD) Senior Laboratory Assistant of the rubber factory in Horana has been arrested over the death of five persons in the ammonia tank incident. The female suspect, a resident of Horana, Dikhenapura who was arrested today evening will be produced before Horana Magistrate Court. Meanwhile, the manager of the rubber factory in Horana, who was arrested over the death of five persons in the ammonia tank incident, was remanded until April 25 by the Horana MC. more..

Assault on tourists: IGP asks victims to return to Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (Island) IGP Pujith Jayasundera, requested the foreign tourists who were attacked in Mirissa and Midigama to return and help identify the assailants. He said: "We can't force them to come back but if they can come and give evidence at an identification parade, it will be much easy for the police to identify the culprits." According to the police, the first identification parade would be held on April 26 in respect of the alleged assault more..

4 murders reported within 24 hours

Apr 21 (NR) Police say four murders have been reported within the past 24 hours including the hacking of a mother and daughter. A 59 year old woman and her 40 year old daughter were found murdered at their residence last night. A sharp weapon had been used to commit the murder. Police investigations have been launched following a complaint lodged by an individual claiming his sister and mother had been murdered. Meanwhile two murders were also reported in Teldeniya & Kurunegala. more..

Brother and sister’s fatal visit to Beruwala Lighthouse

Apr 21 (AD) Two persons, a brother (27) & sister (24) from Colombo have drowned in seas off Beruwala while visiting the Beruwala Lighthouse, Police spokesman said. The two siblings, residing in Slave Island along with their family members have gone on a family trip to visit Beruwala Lighthouse today morning. Four of them have remained in a nearby rock cliff when the two siblings have been swept away by the high tide, reports claim. The bodies of the two siblings were later more..

Seating to be rearranged if 16 SLFPers sit with opposition

Apr 21 (DM) Parliament Secretary General Dammika Dassanayaka said the seating in Parliament would have to be rearranged if the 16 former SLFP ministers, state and deputy ministers opt to sit in the opposition on May 8 when the Parliament reconvenes after the prorogation. He said this in the wake of media reports that they were likely to sit in the Opposition after officially informing Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. more..

Govt to deploy Navy to protect tourists if necessary: John

Apr 21 (Island) Minister John Amaratunga blamed the increasing use of synthetic drugs in tourist hot spots in Sri Lanka for violent incidents. He said dangerous drugs such as hashish and synthetic drugs such as Ecstasy, Crystal Meth, Ice, Ketamine and LSD were now available in tourist destinations in SL. About eleven foreigners had been arrested with narcotics in their possession and 18 cases were pending against Sri Lankans in High Courts in the coastal areas, police said. more..

Sri Lanka's central bank among top inflators in Asia in 2017

Apr 21 (EN) SL's central bank is among top three emerging and developing Asia in 2017 just after Tonga and Mongolia, both countries also suffered currency collapses in 2015/2016 data from the International Monetary Fund shows. Sri Lanka generated 7.1% inflation in the year to Dec 2017 after a currency collapse in 2015 and 2016 and continued to depreciate in 2017, while well-managed Asian nations appreciated their currencies as oil prices rose and the dollar weakened. more..

Tainted medicinal drugs: Urgent need for quality assurance labs

Apr 21 (ST) Lack of quality assurance labs to evaluate imported medicinal drugs has led to dozens of product recalls, adverse reactions among patients and also rejected or outdated stocks piling up in the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation stores, awaiting destruction. There are more than 8,000 registered pharmaceutical drugs and not every one of them is tested for quality. There is also no known drug formulary in Sri Lanka. more..

Matale drying up

Apr 21 (ST) Climate change, accelerated by man-made degradation of the environment, is drying up the Matale District, which once had annual rainfall of 2500mm. Now trees such as teak and halmilla, which like drier conditions, are growing well in areas of Matale that used to be considered wet zone areas – areas such as Raththota, Ukuwela, Yalawatta and Pallethota, which now also host different forms of wildlife. “Wildlife such as peacocks and weavers birds are coming to this area in great more..

Dengue clean-up before schools reopen

Apr 21 (Island) The Ministry of Education has instructed all principals to carry out dengue eradication programmes at their schools prior to the commencement of the new school term on April 23. The principals had been instructed to implement the cleaning programmes on Sunday with the assistance of teachers and parents. The South-Western monsoon rains are expected to increase mosquito breeding. 15703 suspected dengue cases had been reported this year and 15 deaths more..

Bang goes the future of small-time cracker makers

Apr 21 (ST) Traditional small-time firecracker manufacturers, who have exploded in numbers and mostly work in small, highly dangerous premises, face being snuffed out by tightened licencing procedures that favour the bigger manufacturers. Govt has restricted the issuing of chemical components needed to manufacture firecrackers to only 176 makers who have licences for the trade while thousands of makers more..

Sri Lanka to remove unauthorized constructions on coastal belt

Apr 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan Coast Conservation Department have decided to remove all unauthorized constructions on the coastal belt, an official here on Saturday. Director General of the Department Prabath Chandrakeerthi said that his office has identified 1,500 such unauthorized constructions along the coastal belt to be removed. He said these unauthorized structures included tourist hotels. "We will remove all of them step by step," Chandrakeerthi said. more..

National policy on injury prevention and management

Apr 21 (ST) A national policy and strategic framework on injury prevention and management has been prepared by the Health Ministry as the country faces an alarming increase in the number of persons suffering from debilitating injuries mainly due to road accidents. Ministry said the policy was a long-felt need and would provide policy guidance to the national, and provincial authorities and other stakeholders in the effective implementation of the National Injury Prevention Programme. more..

What is the role of the public trustee in SL?

President is powerless to remove the PM

Apr 21 (FT) Some commentators have persistently advanced the proposition that, notwithstanding the 19th Amendment, the President’s power to remove the PM is intact. It is a view that relies on a literal reading of the Sinhala text of Article 48(1) in which the phrase removal from office appears. I have, in my previous intervention on this subject, analysed the provisions of the Constitution as amended by the 19th Amendment and expressed the view that the President no longer more..

Reversing the political tide

Apr 21 (CT) Due to inefficiencies in the wholesale market system, food prices in the Colombo District are high, our yesterday’s lead story, quoting a recently released Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, said. Food inflation is a major driver of overall inflation in the country, despite it being classified as a middle income country by the IMF. According to the FAO, what drives high food inflation in Colombo, are not demand pull causes led primarily by money printing. more..

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