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Present, Past Presidents & Care Taker PM

July 1 (CT) On 22-6-15 I listened to the Daily Politics program of “Sirasa” conducted by TV Presenter Chamika Roshan, political analysts interviewed were Kingsley Senanayake and Sanjeeva Ranatunge both are veterans in current political developments. It sounded very interesting to me the manner in which the Roshan handled it and how it was dissected and disseminated by the analysts. Topic they delved into was about the past and present Presidents based on media headlines. more..

Prime Minister de jure

July 1 (CT) President is empowered to appoint the PM under the terms of Article 43(3) of the Constitution. However, when there is a PM, the President cannot appoint another because there can be only one PM for a country at a time. Hence, President can appoint the PM only when the office is vacant. Similarly, President has the authority to appoint the Chief Justice and the Army Commander. Since there can be only one CJ, when there is one, President cannot appoint another. more..

Today is Adhi Esala Full Moon

July 1 (DM) Former Indian PM, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the architect of the modern Indian nation-state, also wrote in his autobiography, “No country or people who are slaves to dogma and dogmatic mentality can progress, and unhappily our country and people have become extraordinarily dogmatic and little-minded.” On being queried over Communism, prolific writer in English said, “Danger to India is not communism. more..

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution

July 1 (Island) Parliament passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in March this year making provision for the public’s right to Freedom of Information and the setting up of independent commissions including the Elections Commission. The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the Constitution) is hereby amended by the insertion immediately after Article 14 thereof of the following new Article: more..

Alliance Francaise de Kotte presents The Streets of Paris

July 1 (Island) Well-known media personality Kumar de Silva is back again, this time with the fifth edition of his annual series of black and white photographic exhibitions - Nostalgie05 which brings the streets of Paris to life in a trillion shades of gray as part of the current French Spring Festival 2015. Chief Guest at the gala opening on Friday 10 July will be Minister Ruwan Wijewardene while Guest of Honour will be cinema legend Irangani Serasinghe whose 1950 portrait by Ivan Alwis more..

Money under the table that has made a mockery of free education

July 1 (SO) The concept of a free and fair education in schools has been on a rocky path despite it being one of the prominent promises in the political agenda. Education not being free of charge is not a new story, and yet remains a burning issue mortifying parents and students. The free education system no longer serves the purpose it was created for, is an allegation raised by activists of trade unions in education sector as well as more..

Editorial: A daunting prospect

July 1 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to make a special announcement today at Medamulana amidst frantic efforts to reconcile warring factions of the SLFP. President Maithripala has said the UPFA will not field Rajapaksa as its PM candidate at the general election. Having defeated the SLFP last January the challenge before President Sirisena is to steer it to victory next month. The question is whether he can accomplish that uphill task without Rajapaksa. more..

Poll: Sajith plans a Like father, like son

July 1 (CT) When the then Elections Commissioner, Felix Dias Abeysinghe fixed 23 July 1977 as the date for the general elections, the then UNP Deputy Leader, R Premadasa announced that he would carry his leader J.R. Jayewardene on his shoulders round the country to ensure a landslide victory to the party. He also told Felix Dias Bandaranaike, the strongman in the then Sirima Bandaranaike Govt that the UNP would field a strong candidate in Dompe to defeat Felix and fielded more..

General election 2015: The Diaspora factor, foreign policy issues

July 1 (Island) President Sirisena has set the stage for an early general election, ahead of the next session of the Geneva-based UNHRC, in early September. UNHRC holds three regular sessions a year, for a total of ten weeks. Sessions take place in March (four weeks), June (three weeks) and September (three weeks). However, in case, one third of the 47-member nations requested for a special session to more..

Allocation of functions of departments to ministries

July 1 (CT) There is an interest among some political parties and civil society activists like the Ven. Maduluwawe Thero for a small Cabinet where the allocation of functions among the Ministers is based on rational principles. It is a salutary development and requires the support of those who value rationality in politics and governance. It will lead to a reduction in the present excessive cost of our political Establishment- a burden which increased unduly with the setting up of PCs. more..


July 1 (NS) Dissolved: The Parliament. No tears over a bunch of people who didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory having to come begging to us for votes. Dissolved: The 20th Amendment. This is not only sad but it is a damning indictment of both President Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe. The two demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt that they were not interested in electoral reform. Sure, the Opposition didn’t exactly help, but the onus is on those who promised more..

Students embroiled over Law College exam

July 1 (CT) Sri Lanka Law College in the recent past has been embroiled in many controversies from its admission to releasing of results. Despite continuous protests of students regarding these irregularities another discrepancy has taken place affecting a number of students who sat for the final year exam in Oct 2014. The group of students who were affected due to the irregularities which took place in the final year exam have more..

Martin Wickramasinghe and modern Sinhala poetry

July 1 (Island) Martin Wickramasinghe’s immense contribution to Sri Lankan culture, in general, and Sinhala literature, in particular, gains increasing validity. His 125th Birth anniversary fell on May 28, 2015. Almost all newspapers, both Sinhala and English, paid respect to the savant evaluating positively his role in the Sri Lankan culture. There is practically no area he has not delved into in the sphere of human sciences be it literary history, literary criticism, religion, more..

Mathews readies to move on with future of Sri Lankan cricket

July 1 (Island) Captain Angelo Mathews is set to move on to a new era in SL cricket with a few young players forming the lynchpins of his side. Sri Lanka will be without Kumar Sangakkara for the third and final Test against Pakistan at Pallekele and although the star batsman will return to the first two Tests against India, the end is imminent to one of the glorious eras of Sri Lankan sport. Mathews will soon inherit a young side in which Rangana Herath will be the only player who is over 30. more..

More of the same says Kapila

July 1 (CT) Chairman of selectors Kapila Wijegunawardene says there is no reason why Sri Lanka cannot win the third Test against Pakistan and win the three-match Test series 2-1, in the aftermath of the hosts comprehensive seven-wicket win in the second Test in Colombo on Monday. "I think if we (Sri Lanka) continue in similar vein, there is no reason for us not to beat Pakistan and clinch the series," he said more..

FSP opens office in Jaffna

July 1 (NS) Front Line Socialist Party’s (FSP) Jaffna office was declared open today by Saranga, the daughter of disappearance victim and political activist Kugan Muruganandan. Speaking at the even General Secretary of the party Senadheera Gunathilaka said the location of the office is one of significance. “This office stands on the same location that once the office of Communist party comrade Shanmugadas was located” he said adding that it is therefore an important place more..

Softlogic positions for growth in Jaffna

July 1 (CT) Demonstrating its commitment to Jaffna and positioning itself to tap greater into the potential of the business boom in the area, Softlogic Finance PLC has considerably strengthened its presence in the Jaffna Peninsula. Softlogic Finance's Jaffna branch has been moved to a more convenient and spacious location at No. 62 & 64, Stanley Road, Jaffna while the new Chunnakam branch is located at No. 101 & 105, K.K.S Road, Chunnakam. The two fully-fledged branches will offer more..

Hyatt heist!

July 1 (FT) A forensic audit into the Hyatt hotels in Colpetty and Hambantota has uncovered mass fraud resulting in initial cost estimates more than doubling from Rs. 13 billion to Rs. 27 billion and the company facing a shortfall of nearly Rs. 9 billion to complete the project, its new director board said. Canwill Holdings Ltd. is a fully state-owned public enterprise that was initiated under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure. more..

3 names recommended for Pera VC post

July 1 (Island) The Council of the University of Peradeniya has recommended three senior professors of the university to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to succeed incumbent Vice Chancellor whose term of office ends by the end of this month (July). The nominees are the incumbent Vice Chancellor Prof. Athula Senaratne, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Science Prof. Upul Dissanayaka and former Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture Prof. Buddhi Marambe. more..

Cattle thieves stab man to death

July 1 (NS) Police are hunting for a group of individuals who had allegedly stabbed an individual to death at around 2.40am today at Seelawathenna watta, Veyangoda. According to police, the murder had occurred when the victim and his son attempted to stop the suspects from stealing two bulls belonging to the victim. The suspects, who had arrived in a van, had stabbed the 58-year-old victim when he and the son tried to stop the theft. The suspects had then fled with the two bulls. more..

Education system should be changed to suit knowledge-based economy: President

July 1 (PRIU) President Maithripala Sirisena said educational system should be reformed to ensure that the students triumph in the world of competitive technology. He pointed out that our educational policies should be changed to suit the knowledge –based economy. President was speaking at the annual prize giving ceremony of Ibbagamuwa Madya Maha Vidyalaya today (30). President Sirisena, who arrived in more..

5 gold medals for Sri Lanka, placed among top teams

July 1 (Island) Sri Lanka schools athletes Ryan Wickramaratne, Uditha Chandrasena, Nipun Kaldera, Poornima Gunaratne and Subhani Abhayarathna won gold medals in their respective events at the Asian Schools Athletics Championship concluded in Wuhan, China on Tuesday. Sri Lanka Schools Athletics Association (SLSAA) said that the five athletes had won their respective events to place the boys’ and girls’ teams among top teams in Asia. Maris Stella College, Negombo duo more..

President, PM host Ifthar ceremony

July 1 (PRIU) “It is the responsibility of all of usis to eliminate the fear and mistrust among every community and to build trust between them”, said President Maithripala Sirisena participating in the Iftar Ceremony at Temple Trees yesterday. A large number of Islamic religious leaders and devotees were attended the ceremony. They commended the President’s commitment to reconciliation. The religious leaders also invoked blessings for national reconciliation in the country. more..

'Halt foreign borrowings till polls are over'

July 1 (Island) Opposition has called upon the govt to refrain from taking any further action with regard to foreign borrowings until the conclusion of the August 17 elections. UPFA MP Prof G.L. Peiris, in a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Governor of Central Bank, asked them to "act in the best public interest and ensure that the management of public finance, economy and external debt more..

No safety line for alcohol

July 1 (DN) There is no harmless or healthy limit for alcohol. It is only a myth in society. Alcohol and smoking should be totally avoided to live longer without falling sick with Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Organisation Development Director of Health and Indigenous Medicine Ministry Dr. Susie Perera said. Dr. Perera said around 350 persons die daily in Sri Lanka and 250 of them die due to NCDs. “Out of this, 100 die from heart diseases and 40 die from strokes. more..

Lands being sold to LTTE: BBS

July 1 (CT) BBS warned that the there were plans underway by the govt, to sell areas of strategic importance to national security in the North and East, to a pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora group for US$ 450 million. Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said that the govt, especially UNP Leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Mangala Samaraweera, the Tamil Diaspora and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, had already decided to go ahead with the deal for the establishment of more..

Video: JVP to go alone at the election

July 1 (DM) The JVP said yesterday it would contest the general elections on its own and work hard to garner more votes and a majority in the next parliament. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath told a media briefing that they were finalising nominations for the election and said JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Politburo Member K.D. Lal Kantha and Lakshman Nipunaarachchi will contest from Colombo District. more..

Premalal Jayasekara further remanded

July 1 (AD) Former Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara and the other suspects accused of involvement in the murder of a UNP supporter during the last Presidential election, have been further remanded until July 14. When the case was taken up before the Pelmadulla Magistrate’s Court, the attorneys representing the defendants requested that their client be released on bail as relevant investigations have concluded. However, the CID notified the court that more..

Sri Lanka keen on getting Dennis Lillee for coaching stint

July 1 (NS) Sri Lanka Cricket is exploring the possibility of getting down a top bowling coach to uplift the standard bowling in the national team. Following the success Sri Lanka had by inviting former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes for a ten-day fielding coaching stint, Sidath Wettimuny the SLC interim committee chairman said, “Once in a way we need to bring in some new blood like we brought Jonty Rhodes for fielding. We are looking at bringing a top bowling coach more..

UNP drops bombshell; expresses doubts over Sirisena’s agendas

July 1 (FT) A major strain in the relations between the UNP and President Maithripala Sirisena started to show yesterday when Uva Chief Minister Harin Fernando expressed doubts about the President’s bona fides and accused him of harbouring secret political agendas. Fernando asserted that UNP had obtained information about secret meetings held between President Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Scientist points out adverse weather changes already here

July 1 (Island) Sri Lanka National Institute of Fundamental Studies (SLNIFS) says Sri Lanka’s climate has changed drastically over the years with heavy rains, severely hot days, heavy droughts and strong thunderstorms being common. Senior Research Fellow SLNIFS Dr. M.C.M. Iqbal, said at a workshop on Impact of Climate Change on Water, Food and Environment recently that south-west monsoon wind patterns had changed and south-east coastal areas would get more rain from more..

'Some Ministers of former regime destroying Yahapalnaya'

July 1 (DN) Former MP Hunais Farook called upon President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe to ensure that Yahapalanaya is in operation as some ministers of the previous regime, who have joined Yahapalanaya form of governance from the other camp, are destroying it. He said former Minister Rishard Badurdeen is distributing sewing machines and money among his supporters in Vanni District. "This is not the right way to distribute Divi Neguma funds under Yahapalanaya," he stressed. more..

Contesting election: If MR can, so can I: CBK

July 1 (DN) If former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was given nomination to contest the next general election, former president Chandrika Kumaratunga would also contest the election, said her private secretary P. Dissanayake in a statement. Statement added that Chandrika Kumaratunga had a right to contest the election if Mahinda Rajapaksa contested. She is to enter the election fray from Gampaha district, more..

MR to make special statement today

July 1 (CT) Former President Rajapaksa is due to make a special statement from Carlton House at Tangalle today regarding the political stance he will adopt at the forthcoming election. He will make this statement subsequent to the Dhamma Sermon that is to be delivered today at the Carlton House on behalf of Esala Full Moon Poya Day. Prior to the former President making the statement, committee of party leaders of the Alliance are due to offer Mahinda Rajapaksa a sheaf of betel more..

MR’s camp confirms MS refused to give PM post

July 1 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s camp has confirmed that President Maithripala Sirisena has refused to name Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the SLFP. A UPFA politician who is supporting Rajapaksa, said that Sirisena’s stand had been communicated to Rajapaksa by opposition leader and SLFP member Nimal Siripala de Silva in Kandy. Sirisena had agreed to give nominations to Rajapaksa from the UPFA or SLFP but not the PM post. more..

Statement issued by President’s Media Unit: Creates confusion within MR Camp

July 1 (DN) A strong sense of uncertainty looms large over the SLFP with conflicting statements coming from different parties over former President Mahinda Rajapaksa getting nominations from the SLFP to contest the Parliamentary election. During the discussion held between President Maithripala Sirisena, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha, President has agreed more..

Qualities more important than qualifications

July 1 (DM) Most of Sri Lanka’s people would probably agree with President Sirisena’s vision and goal of ushering in a national Govt with national policies on key issues when the new Parliament meets on September 1st. As the country prepares for general elections on August 17 with nominations received from July 6th to 17th, we hope the two main parties - the UNP and the SLFP - will also work towards this vision to build a new Sri Lanka with lasting peace and sustainable development. more..

Wake up with March 12 Declaration for a sound Parliament

July 1 (DM) On January 8th 2015, citizens of Sri Lanka were able to change the strong political family centric network of President Rajapaksa to a person without any political family background namely Maithripala Sirisena. President Sirisena was able to get the support from many civil society organizations and in particular from two leading Buddhist monks, who led the political campaign, from Tamil and Muslim minority communities and from large numbers of Sinhalese voters more..

More than 100,000 persons jobless in Eastern Province

July 1 (Island) More than 100,000 people of the Eastern Province, of some 600,000 persons categorized as the working class, do nothing for a living, which is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the development of the area, a senior politician said. However, Eastern Province Chief Minister Naseer Ahamed praised the timely initiative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and National Geographic Society to develop a more..

Comedy of errors: Govt muddles its own figures

July 1 (ST) Finance Ministry has taken umbrage at last week’s Sunday Times story headlined Borrowing for four months nears the whole year limit which reported that the Govt had exhausted 96% (Rs.1.71 trillion) of its total borrowing limit for 2015 of Rs.1.78 trillion, in the first four months of the year (Jan to Apr 2015). A day after the newspaper hit the streets, the Finance Ministry’s Deputy Secretary S.R. Attygalle more..