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Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena

Urgent need of an independent public service

July 19 (CT) National Human Resources Development Council has recently set up a Committee to look at new ways of working in the Public Sector. I have been appointed to chair this, which makes sense because I have been writing for some time now about the need for radical reform in this field, and suggesting ways in which things should change. This is essential if the country is not to continue to decline irrevocably. But I am obviously not the only person who senses a deep more..

The Lee Kuan Yew of Sri Lanka

July 19 (CT) I would like to take this opportunity to thank all readers for the overwhelming response both positive and negative for my last piece headlined Gotabaya Rajapaksa – The man and his vision. Not in my wildest dreams I envisioned such a response on the social media. A special mention of gratitude must go to Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka former Minister of the EPC and former Chief of Staff SL Navy Mohan Wijewickrama, and last but not least Gotabaya Rajapaksa for sharing more..

'Curse of the caste in North Issue should be addressed immediately'

July 19 (CT) Vanni District MP Charles Nirmalanathan commenting on the recent caste issues in the Northern Province said that during the period of the LTTE they did not allow any sort of caste related problems to affect the communities in the N&E. They were 100% against it. LTTE Leader vehemently opposed such caste dominance. "I will also not accept such caste dominance. Therefore, it should be immediately addressed," he said. more..

Emmerson’s hard hitting statement puts govt on back foot

July 19 (SL) A hard-hitting statement issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson, on Friday put the govt on the back foot. Speaking to reporters on Friday at the end of a visit to Sri Lanka, Emmerson said that two years on since the current govt took office and four months into a two-year extension granted to the Govt by the UNHRC, progress in achieving the key goals more..

Down the slippery slope to …where?

July 19 (SL) Led by that most reprehensible of politicians, the current Minister of Justice, there are assembling on the govt benches a motley crew of some of the most unprincipled characters to claim the garb of representatives of the Sri Lankan people. Goodness knows we’ve had our share of these types over the years and we certainly don’t need another edition of them at a time that Sri Lanka is inviting what is left of decency in this world to censure us. more..

Treasured stamps from colonial Ceylon

July 19 (Roar) When stamps were first introduced to Ceylon by the British, our ancestors probably never thought these little pieces of paper would one day become so valuable. Our stamps are unique and interesting in their own way; a glance  at a stamp—or better yet, a whole collection of them—can give one a glimpse into SL culture and history. The most valuable stamps issued in SL date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries. more..

Constitution-making process & Pressure from the Buddhist clergy

July 19 (CT) Venerable Mahanayake Theros of the Buddhist Chapters suddenly met in Kandy on 4.7.2017 under the leadership of the Mahanayake Thero of the Asgiriya Chapter, Most Venerable Warakagoda Gnanaratna Thero. The purpose is to stall the ongoing Constitution-making process which is already more or less half way through. First of all, the million dollar question is as to why such a concern on their part arose after nearly 1.5 years, and not at the beginning of the process. more..

Disunity occurred in 2004 caused the great destruction in 2009

July 19 (CT) The great leaders of the Federal Party and the All Ceylon Tamil Congress Hon. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam Q.C and Hon. G.G.Ponnambalam Q.C respectively, merged their parties to form the Tamil United Front, later change its name as Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). Of those who contested on the TULF ticket and won in 1977, M/s. Sampanthan, Soosaithasan and myself only are still alive. Till 2004 the TULF functioned like the sole representatives of the Tamil people. more..

Sri Lanka struggles to adapt as disasters become a new normal

July 18 (TRF) During Sri Lanka's May floods, rescue crews in Kiriella, a small town in Rathnapura District, spotted a remarkable sight. A middle-aged woman, trudging through waist-deep floodwater, clutched a rooster carefully above the torrent, while a small girl struggled to hold onto the woman's waist, at times barely able to keep her head above water. "Not just the public, but even policy makers are the same: more..

Child abuse in 2017 NCPA gets 3,785 complaints

July 18 (CT) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has received 3,785 child abuse complaints since the commencement of the Year 2017, officials said yesterday. According to the officials, these complaints were made on the NCPA's emergency hotline number 1929. They added that the emergency hotline is active 24 hours a day, and can be used to lodge any and all complaints regarding child abuse. The bulk of the complaints related to violence inflicted on children. more..

Water Board profits fall 50%

July 18 (EN) Profits of National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS&DB) fell by 50% in the first four months of 2017 from a year ago despite an increase in revenue, owing to higher operating costs with non-revenue water or leaks remaining significant. But the NWS&DB is expected to record a profit of Rs. 4,830 million in 2017, according to a Statements of Corporate Intent signed with the govt under which it is expected to improve its operations. Non-Revenue Water, created mostly due to more..

Video: 'NFTH never a Teaching Hospital'

July 18 (DM) The GMOA today charged that the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) set up to provide clinical training to SAITM students had never functioned as a Teaching Hospital and not even as a Base Hospital. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Samantha Ananda said the govt’s decision to direct SAITM students to State base hospitals shows that the NFTH had not fulfilled the minimum standards to function as more..

Dumindra Ratnayaka new chairman of BOI

July 18 (LBO) Dumindra Ratnayaka has been appointed as the chairman of Board of Investment (BOI). He is the only member from the previous board that has been reappointed to the new board. Others in the previous board were Upul Jayasuriya, Buddhi Keerthi Athauda, Manoj Cooray and M.A. Neeth Udesh. Ratnayaka is the current Chairman of Martin & George limited and the former CEO of Etisalat SL. Media reports further said two new Directors have also been appointed to BOI. more..

Bowling action of Eranga found to be legal

July 18 (ICC) The fast bowler was initially reported after the second Test against England at Chester-le-Street on 31 May 2016 The ICC today confirmed that the bowling action of Sri Lanka’s Shaminda Eranga has been found to be legal, and the player can now resume bowling in international cricket. Eranga underwent a re-assessment of his bowling action at the ICC accredited testing centre in Chennai with the assessment concluding that the amount of elbow extension more..

'Dickwella asked me to keep talking to him'

July 18 (CI) Niroshan Dickwella has played more Tests, but during the 121-run stand that turned the match, it was Asela Gunaratne who found himself constantly pestered for advice. Sri Lanka had been five-down and 185 runs short of their target when the two came together. Dickwella played aggressively through the partnership, and helped ensure some of the pressure Zimbabwe had exerted, was reversed. more..

SL to import 100,000 MT of rice from Thailand

July 18 (EN) The govt has struck a deal with the Thai govt to import 100,000 metric tonnes of par boiled (Nadu) rice at US$ 425 a tonne but deferred another shipment of white raw rice owing to its high price. The total amount of rice to be imported from Thailand, Pakistan, Myanmar and India now stands at 255,000 MT, from deals with both foreign govts and private sector suppliers. Letters of Agreement for the 100000 MT of par boiled rice from Bangkok are to be issued by Colombo this week more..

Who permitted UN Rapporteur meet LTTE detainees: MS

July 18 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have asked at today’s Cabinet meeting as to who gave permission for UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson to meet LTTE suspects in prison. Mr. Emmerson who concluded his mission in Sri Lanka accused it of using torture against people detained under the Anti-terror Act and that its progress on human rights, reforms and justice remained woefully slow. more..

Bill on Provincial Council Election to be presented to Parliament: President

July 18 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the govt procedures to hold Provincial Council Election have been completed by now. He said the bill related to this will be presented to the Parliament next week to pass the relevant regulations. President was speaking at a workshop held today (17) at Foundation Institute. Workshop was organized to make plans at local govt institutes for waste management and dengue prevention. more..

SL pull off highest successful chase in Asia

July 18 (CI) Stats highlights from the one-off Test between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Colombo, where the hosts chased down 388. 4: Number of higher targets successfully chased in Tests. The 388 that Sri Lanka chased down in this match is the highest any team has successfully chased in Asia. The previous highest in Asia was India's chase of 387 against England in Chennai in 2008. The previous highest in Sri Lanka was Pakistan's chase of 377 against the hosts in Pallekele in 2015. more..

MP Gammanpila allowed to travel overseas

July 18 (NR) Colombo High Court today granted permission for MP Udaya Gammanpila to travel overseas for a period of three days. Accordingly the MP was granted permission to travel to Kuwait from the 27th to the 30th of July to attend a gathering of the Podujana Front. Colombo High Court Judge R Dunusinghe noted steps will be taken to notify the officers of the Immigration and Emigration Department in this regard. The passport of MP Udaya Gammanpila was impounded over more..

Singapore praises President’s efforts to strengthen reconciliation

July 18 (PMD) Singaporean Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said the efforts made by President Maithripala Sirisena to strengthen reconciliation in Sri Lanka are laudable. Stating this when he called on President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today, he said that he would visit Jaffna tomorrow to donate books to the Jaffna Library and to sign an agreement to provide training facilities to the library staff. more..

Video: Tense situation at North Central Provincial Council

July 18 (AD) A tense situation was reported within the chambers of North Central Provincial Council today following the tabling of a motion of no-confidence against the Chairman of the council, T.M.R. Siripala.  Motion had initially been rejected when it was presented previously by 11 UNP PC members. However, it had been included into the agenda today by the Secretary of the provincial council while this had led to arguments and unruly behavior by members from both sides. more..

Navy dispels rumour about Sea Tiger’s boat

July 18 (AD) Sri Lanka Navy today (18) rejected recent reports alleging that the boat said to have been used by sea tiger Susei, the former leader of the LTTE naval unit, was spotted sailing the seas. Several media reported recently that Susei’s boat had been seen frequenting the Mullativu Sea. After conducting an investigation into these claims, Navy Media Spokesperson, Lieutenant-Commander Chaminda Walakuluge confirmed that the rumours were in fact untrue. more..

Telecommunications levy to be reduced?

July 18 (DN) Deputy Minister Dr Harsha de Silva implied today that Govt intends the relaxing of telecom levy on internet services shortly. “Govt came under heavy criticism in the recent past over increasing tax on internet data. However, you will hear good news with regard to data tax in the next couple of days from the higher political authorities in the Govt. It will be a positive step taken by the Govt to encourage active online more..

Akila ready to cooperate with temple authorities

July 18 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, who called on the Mahanayake Theras, yesterday agreed to cooperate with the Dambulla Rajamaha Vihara authorities when carrying out the conservation of murals and statutes at the historic site. Earlier, he was on a collision course with Ven. Godagama Mangala Thera on this issue. Asgiriya Chapter Chief Secretary the Ven. Medagama Dammananda Thera said it was also agreed at the meeting to speed up the conservation work. more..

Altair’s structural engineer Predrag Eror explains high-rise design principles

July 18 (Island) The complex correlation between reinforced concrete shear walls, steel frames and outriggers in modern skyscrapers was demystified by one of the world’s leading structural engineers at a professional forum in Colombo recently. Using case studies of some of most remarkable high rises under construction around the world, Predrag Eror, Principal of Derby Design Engineering and the Structural Engineer of Altair, explained how structural design principles enable tall more..

'People should change their not in my backyard attitude'

July 18 (DM) Swamped with the worst garbage crisis in Colombo, President Maithripala Sirisena ordered the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry to find an effective, long-lasting solution at a time when local govt authorities are defunct and Dengue epidemic in its deadliest shape. Daily Mirror interviewed subject Minister Champika Ranawaka to be acquainted with the ministry’s fresh initiatives more..

Sri Lankan cleared of charges in 19-year-old rape case in Korea

July 18 (Yonhap) A Sri Lankan national charged with raping a young South Korean woman nearly two decades ago was acquitted by the top court on Tuesday, in the final twist of a long-drawn-out investigation into the cold case. The Supreme Court upheld the not-guilty rulings by the lower courts on the 51-year-old foreigner, whose identity has been withheld, citing a lack of evidence. "It is difficult to believe the veracity of their testimonies in light of objectivity and details of the statements," more..

Dr. Palitha Abeykoon likely to be appointed SLMC Chairman

July 18 (DN) Dr. Palitha Abeykoon is likely to be appointed as the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) Chairman, reliable sources told the Daily News. “The GMOA has proposed three names to be considered for the post of SLMC Chairman and Dr.Abekoon is one of their nominees,” sources said. The GMOA had proposed Professor Carlo Fonseka, Professor Lalitha Mendis and Dr. Palitha Abeykoon to be considered for this position. Dr.Abeykoon was the 120th President of SL Medical Association. more..

පිටරටින් දුන් පොළිතීන් පාරිභෝගික අපිට ....

Why the 150-year party for Ceylon Tea?

July 18 (FT) The largest tea party that was staged last week to celebrate 150 years sure secured share of voice in Sri Lanka, in the backdrop of the garbage war and dengue epidemic that has hit all media in Sri Lanka and now moving to international media like BBC and CNN.  Then again the frank opinion expressed by the outspoken Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board the week before created a buzz in the country as to what was there to celebrate in the 150-year history of this great industry. more..

Job Growth

July 18 (CT) The economy has added jobs for the fourth successive quarter (Q) in the Q ended 31 March 2017, according to latest data. This is the longest sustained period of job growth, Q on Q, made at least since 2Q 2012, where such quarterly labour statistics on a contiguous quarterly basis has been made available on the CSD website. CSD's website doesn't give 1Q 2012 labour statistics. Data showed that the economy added 223,507 new jobs in the 1Q of the current year, more..

Record win for Sri Lanka over Zimbabwe

July 18 (CI) A lively 121-run stand for the sixth wicket between Asela Gunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella was the centerpiece of a great escape for the hosts, and a sapping defeat for a daring Zimbabwe side. Zimbabwe had never beaten Sri Lanka, of course, but also, the 388 they had set had also never been chased either by Sri Lanka, or by anyone on the island. In the end, Sri Lanka achieved the target with four wickets in hand more..

Website to track tobacco companies

July 18 (CT) The Govt is set to launch a website that tracks the activities of tobacco companies with the help of the University of Colombo and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Mathin Nidahas Ratak programme is set to expand further with the consent of President Maithripala Sirisena. An event has been organized for tomorrow to spread the awareness on abuse of drugs around the country. more..

IMF sees stability in Sri Lanka's macroeconomic, financial conditions

July 18 (Reuters) The IMF said Sri Lanka's macroeconomic and financial conditions have begun to stabilize and SL's performance under its $1.5 billion loan programme is satisfactory. Global lender, after completing the first review of SL’s economic performance, also said inflation has trended down and the balance of payments has improved, though international reserves remain below comfortable levels. more..

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