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Power Ministry Secretary attempts to twist arm of PUCSL through President

Aug 14 (Island) Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy Suren Batagoda has written to the Secretary to the President, asking the National Economic Council (NEC) to intervene and obtain approval of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the independent regulator of the power sector, to extend the controversial power purchase agreements with three privately owned power stations for 3 years. more..

Financial Division approves payment for tender two months after its cancellation

Aug 14 (Island) Lack of coordination between various divisions of the national carrier was exposed at the PCoI probing irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka. It was revealed that the Financial Division had approved a tender almost two months after the Tender Board had cancelled it. Tender was to purchase X-ray machines for airport security. Testifying before the commission, Commercial Procurement Manager at SriLankan Airlines, more..

JO to take decision on going independent today

Aug 14 (Island) JO is expected to officially announce today whether it would become an independent group in parliament or not. UFPA MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena said that leaders of parties in the JO group would meet today at the residence of former Prez Rajapaksa at Wijerama Mawatha in Colombo and discuss the issue to make a final decision. He said that it was his personal opinion that the JO group in Parliament should become independent by shedding the UPFA shackles more..

illegal posts in the PCs: Auditor General urged to halt expenditure

Aug 14 (DN) The JVP requested the Auditor General to act against spending public money on various posts in the Provincial Councils which are not legitimately recognised. JVP group in the WPC made a written submission in this regard to Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe. JVP Councillor Lakshman Nipunaarachchi pointed out that the PC Act only recognises the posts of Chairman and Dy Chairman and five ministerial portfolios. more..

Govt to use drone technology for agriculture

Aug 14 (DN) A special discussion regarding the use of drone technology in agriculture took place recently at the Natural Resources Management Centre at Kandy, under the chairmanship of Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama. In many developed countries drone technology is extensively used in agriculture and by this means much expenditure is saved. Officers of the Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation attended the meeting. more..

Polls monitor accuses govt of bluffing

Aug 14 (Island) People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said that though the govt had stated the long overdue provincial council elections would be held next January, so far no discussion had been held thereon. Executive Director of PAFFEREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said the govt had no genuine intention of holding the PC polls. "None of the political parties aligned to the govt have come to an agreement on how the election should be held as they have no clear idea about it," he said. more..

Female Welikada prisoners protest

Aug 14 (DN) Around 25 female inmates of the Welikada Prison had got onto the prison roof and staged a protest yesterday morning against a decision taken by the prison authorities to limit the food items allowed to be brought from outside and demanding that their cases be taken up for hearing early. However, the prison authorities said that bringing food inside the prison was limited from last week as they had found that drugs were more..

Fresh bids to be called for BIA dev. project

Aug 14 (ST) Govt is to call for fresh bids for the construction of a new terminal at the BIA after the Cabinet decided to cancel the bid from Japan on grounds that it was too high. Airport and Aviation Service SL Chairman Saman Ediriweera said that the bid had a difference of 46 percent when compared to the engineer’s estimate. The Cabinet, which considered the proposal, had decided to cancel the bidding process and advised to obtain the concurrence from JICA for rebidding for more..

Prof. Najim reappointed VC of SE University

Aug 14 (CT) Prof. M.M.M. Najim has been reappointed as the Vice Chancellor of the South Eastern University by Prez Sirisena. The letter of appointment with immediate effect was sent by the UGC on Friday. Prof. M.M.M. Najim attached to the Dept of Zoology and Environmental Management was a recipient of President’s awards for scientific publication for the year 2013 at a function held at the Water’s Edge on 18 Nov 2015 at a function graced by the Prez Sirisena and more..

Indian clinical waste reaches Puttalam

Aug 14 (DM) The mounting clinical waste in coastal areas off Puttalam has washed ashore from India, the Maritime Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) confirmed. MEPA CEO Dr. Terney Pradeep Kumara said clinical waste could be found in Kanda Duwa, Cinna Padu, Periya Padu and Palliwatta Padu in Puttalam. “Residents in these areas complained to MEPA that 50-60 kg of clinical waste were found washed ashore. more..

Bus workers to strike against new road fines

Aug 14 (Island) All Ceylon Private Bus Workers Association will go on strike from midnight tomorrow (15) to protest against new fines imposed for violating road rules, Convenor of the Association, Kumara Rathna Renuka said. They will be aided by the bowser, container and three wheeler drivers of Colombo. However none of the private bus owners associations are taking part in this strike. Renuka said that the new scheme would greatly inconvenience bus drivers. more..

Houses for Ranaviru Real Star finalists

Aug 14 (DN) 35 members of the Security Forces who were selected to the final round of the Ranaviru Real Star-5th Mission received the ownership of new houses from President Sirisena at a ceremony held at Prabuddhagama in Madurawala, Horana. President had promised to provide houses to those who are selected to the final round of the competition.The winner of the competition, Artillery Gunner of the SL Army Sampath Sri Palansuriya received a 2-storied house worth Rs. 20 mil. more..

War-affected women with disabilities cry for recognition

Aug 14 (FT) LTTE cadres were at their doorstep that night, to recruit one member from the family to fight against the on-going military thrust that was progressing rapidly towards Mullaitivu in 2008. They were eyeing to drag Devi Selvaraja’s elder sister’s husband, the sole breadwinner of the family, for combat training. Single and wanting to save the family with two young children, she had no option other than joining the LTTE. more..

Lankan among 999 terror suspects detained in Saudi

Aug 14 (CT) Some 999 terror suspects from 40 nationalities, including one from Sri Lanka, are detained in Saudi Arabia’s intelligence prisons, according to Nafidha, the Interior Ministry’s window for communications between the suspects and their relatives. New list of suspects, who were arrested for their involvement in terrorist activities and national security issues, included three Canadians as well as a number of nationals from countries that had not been on the list previously, more..

Sri Lankan reunited with family after 9 years

Aug 14 (Hindu) Six years after he lost contact with his son, a 73-year-old man was able to take him back to his country, Sri Lanka, thanks to the efforts of the local All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) unit in Gudalur and the former district superintendent of police, Murali Rambha. Sathyaban from Pathulai in Sri Lanka, in a press release, said that his son, S Sudarshan, 29, had come to India as a tourist around nine years ago without informing his family. At the Bengaluru airport, more..

Tourism bets big with Alibaba

Aug 14 (FT) A tie-up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to attract 1,000 travellers weekly, launching the long delayed $ 3.5 million digital campaign, extending the CNN promotion and launching special offers to fatten the off-peak season are part of a bouquet of new policies planned for the industry. Minister John Amaratunga said the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will ink an agreement with Alibaba’s travel arm, more..

Ceylinco announces Rs. 1 mn cover for serious illness for all its policy holders

Aug 14 (Island) Announcing yet another benefit for all its policy holders, Ceylinco General Insurance is offering a cover of up to Rs. one million that will reimburse medical costs incurred in the treatment of serious illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, kidney failure, stroke/heart attack and open heart surgery, major organ transplants, chronic lung and liver diseases, deafness, blindness, multiple sclerosis, paralysis etc. Introduced as an exclusive benefit for all its non motor policy holders, more..

Peace Corps and Education Ministry sign agreement marking Peace Corps return to SL

Aug 14 (FT) On 9 Aug, Sri Lankan Education Ministry Secretary Sunil Hettiarachchi and Peace Corps Sri Lanka Country Director Kris Besch signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, to formalise support for English education by bringing US Peace Corps volunteers back to Sri Lanka. Peace Corps volunteers were present in Sri Lanka from 1962 to 1998. The Peace Corps Crisis Corps, now Peace Corps Response, also assisted in recovery efforts following the 2004 tsunami. more..

SLTDA removes minimum room rate

Aug 14 (DN) Sri Lanka Tourism has decided to remove the minimum room rate (MRR) imposed on Colombo City Hotels, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Kavan Ratnayaka said. He said that they have allowed the market forces to decide the room rates rather than the SLTDA dictating terms to them. Ratnayaka addressing a gathering in Colombo yesterday said that it was a temporary move more..

Chair play of corruption

Aug 14 (Island) Leaders of people must occupy seats of power no doubt. These seats literally and metaphorically have to be simple, inexpensive, strong, humble, modest, and endowed with humility. These seats need not be grand, exorbitant, exotic, egoistic and corrupting. The chairs that our politicians like seem to be of the latter variety. The Western Provincial Council has ordered from a foreign country hundred-odd chairs for its members, each costing Rs. 650,000/-. more..

Mahinda Samarasinghe appointed as SLFGTUF Vice Chairman

Aug 14 (FT) Minister and SLFP Vice Chairman and Media spokesmen Mahinda Samarasinghe has been appointed as the vice chairman of the SL Freedom Govt Trade Union Federation (SLFGTUF), affiliated to the SLFP. This appointment has been made during the executive board meeting held recently by President Sirisena in his capacity as the chairman of the SL Freedom Govt Trade Union. Accordingly, a special meeting of trade union representatives of the SLFGTUF was held recently at more..

Dananjaya to unleash deadly carrom ball soon

Aug 14 (Island) The carrom ball that proved to be the undoing of India’s famous batting line-up in the Asia Cup final in 2008 was the talk at RPS Sunday night as off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, who claimed career best figures of six for 29, warned the opposition that he is working on the deadly delivery. First used by Australian leg-spinner Jack Iverson in 1950s, the delivery had gone out of use until 2008 when Ajantha Mendis more..

Cisco scores a six with Daily FT-CICRA Cyber Security Summit 2018

Aug 14 (FT) For the sixth consecutive year, Cisco – the worldwide leader in IT – has announced its Principal Sponsorship for SL’s premier annual Cyber Security Summit 2018 edition. The summit on 19 and 20 September at Cinnamon Grand consists of three key events: CEOs’ Forum on Cyber Security on 19 Sept and Cyber Security Day Conference and the Night Hack on 20 Sept. The CEOs’ Forum discussed why cyber security should be a board room discussion, whilst the Night Hack is more..

Sellout crowd awaits postscript match of the tour

Aug 14 (CI) It could not be more obvious that this game is the hasty post-script to to the tour. The two Tests came first and were always going to be taken very seriously. The 5-match ODI series took 17 days to complete, because at least one of the teams wanted to have three days in between matches, to recover and prepare. This game is shoehorned in at the back-end, set to begin less than 48 hours after the last ODI was completed. SL had a light training attended by only five players on match eve, more..

Minister to change Sports Law regulations to accommodate proper Elections

Aug 14 (ST) National sports regulations, which were amended several times during the last 5 years, are to be further changed with the Sports Minister intending to take over the power of appointing Elections Committees of national sports bodies. This is particularly because the Minister thinks the independence of members selected is in question under the prevailing system where appointments are made by incumbent administrators. more..

In search of an alternative economic development mode

Aug 14 (Island) One of the objectives of the open economic policy as articulated by President J.R Jayewardene in 1977 was to have an export led growth strategy and to accelerate international trade and investments. This would enable the country to eventually have a positive trade balance (exports to exceed imports) and a surplus in the current account of the Balance of Payments. According to Central Bank reports, since 1977 there has been not a single year with a positive trade balance. more..

Redundancy of Sectoral Oversight Committees

Aug 14 (CT) The most obvious area in which Standing Orders required adjustment was with regard to impeachment procedures. When the controversy arose over Shirani Bandaranayake, Ranil explained to me why there was a lacuna. He said the procedures had been introduced to frighten the then Chief Justice, Neville Samarakoon, who had delivered in public a speech that was bitterly critical of the then Govt. But, said Ranil, Neville then backed off, so the Govt, having introduced more..

Profit vs loss with Wasantha and Faraz

Chasing illusions futile

Aug 14 (DN) Encarta Dictionary defines an illusion as “a false idea, deception or belief about somebody or something”. Often the result of chasing illusions is negative. Or the desired result cannot be achieved. By the time it is realized much damage has been done. Take for instance various pyramid schemes which promise huge dividends. This is true of individuals, as well as of groups or communities. Illusion leads to despair. This may also result in chasing a different illusion. more..

Edtorial: Expensive derrieres

Aug 14 (Island) There seems to be no end in sight to the criminal waste of public funds. JVP has taken exception to a move by the Western Provincial Council (WPC) to purchase more than 100 imported chairs, of all things, costing around Rs. 650,000 each, for its councillors. The WPC wants to match what it calls parliamentary standards, we are told. (It is already there, we suppose, going by frequent brawls, exchanges of filth, absenteeism, etc.) The person who came up with the idea of more..

SLMC non-functional: Prof. Jayasinghe

Aug 14 (CT) Lankan born academic, researcher and scientist, presently domiciled in the UK, Prof. J.A.P. Jayasinghe called for the amendment of the Medical Ordinance, which instituted the apex medical regulatory body, the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). A call to allow for the latter to be independent, represent the rights of the patients, be accountable to the Parliament, and fulfil its primary mandate, duties, obligations more..

Making jokers of us all

Aug 14 (ST) Two weeks ago a news website ran a story of a ministerial faux pas that had also escaped the notice of the rest of the cabinet. The story called the cabinet ministers a pack of jokers for letting this error in a cabinet paper from the Sports Minister (among other portfolios) go by without a squeak of protest or even a complaint. The story claimed that Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha had sought cabinet approval to appoint his ministry secretary as the competent authority to oversee more..

Achieving US$ 28 billion National Export Strategy target is challenging

Aug 14 (ST) The exhortation Export or Perish has never been more relevant to Sri Lanka than today. Achieving the ambitious targets of the National Export Strategy (NES) of SL 2018-2022 is, therefore, imperative. However, transforming this strategy into performance is challenging. Massive trade deficits of recent years make a substantial increase in exports essential for the country’s economic stability & development. Imports exceeded exports by nearly US$ 10 b last yr. more..

Human-leopard conflict: Tragic twist as straying leopards face cattle farmers’ wrath

Aug 14 (SO) On July 31, yet another three endemic leopards fell victim to the increasing animal and human conflict in the country. The remains of two young leopards and an adult female of the species believed to be their mother were found in the Nilgala Forest Reserve, suspected to have died after eating the remains of a dead cow laced with lethal poison. These killings are reportedly the most number of leopards killed in one particular more..

Seventy years after independence: A modest balance heet

Aug 14 (CT) 70 years into Independence from British rule, it is apt to draw up a modest balance sheet, having regard to the different dispensations comprising the two ruling parties, viz., the UNP and the SLFP and their respective allies. Well, one of the first acts of the DS Senanayake-led UNP Govt, was the decitizenising/disenfranchisement of the Plantation sector workers, ironically as Independence dawned. It was an anti-Tamil and anti-working class step, and was thus 2 birds more..

The story of an imagined exodus & A terminated political career

Aug 14 (CT) We start this story with an unusual analogy, from an island far away from the Bidgetown pub where my drinking partner, the SL Tamil fellow Sivapuranam Thevaram and I meet regularly. On this island lived two tribes whom we shall refer to by the letters S and T, forming some 80% and 20% of the population respectively. They were a colony for some 500 years, and, when the last colonial masters, the Brits – known locally as Suddhas (white man) – left, chose to forget their genetic more..

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