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සුසන්තිකා ජයසිංහ

How did 19A back door clause get past JVP?

Aug 3 (Island) SLFP General Secretary and Minister Duminda Dissanayake said that he couldn’t confirm or deny JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s recent claim that as much as Rs 50 mn had been spent monthly on a single minister. Dissanayake said that he had never examined his expenses therefore couldn’t respond to the JVPer. JVP Leader alleged that the UNP and the SLFP included a clause in the much touted 19 Amendment to pave the way for appointment of a jumbo cabinet more..

Shares up; rate hike boosts sentiment

Aug 3 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares notched up a fifth session of gains to close at their highest in more than seven weeks on Wednesday, on hopes that economic fundamentals would improve after the central bank's rate hike last week, analysts said. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended up 0.13% at 6,511.58, its highest close since June 14. The turnover hit a 2-1/2-month high with top conglomerate John Keells Holdings accounting for 36% of traded volume. more..

Bowling injuries leave Sri Lanka vulnerable

Aug 3 (CI) With yet another seam bowler sustaining a hamstring injury, the elation following SL's victory in Pallekele has become mild trepidation ahead of the second Test in Galle. For Nuwan Pradeep to play the second Test, he will require an extraordinary recovery. Having won a match after collapsing for 117 already this series, Sri Lanka are not expecting a second miracle in the space of a week. If Pradeep is out, more..

Competition, conflicts of interest & control

Aug 3 (CT) When the National Unity Govt was elected just over a year and a half ago the SL economy was at the precipice with economic stagnation, international isolation and even a forcibly imposed international inquiry into allegations of war crimes around the corner. Together, these circumstances forced the then govt to call a snap presidential election when it still had two full years left in its term. This election was meant to send a strong signal to emerging pro-democracy more..

Trade Pacts with US, UK imminent

Aug 3 (CT) The Indo-Sri Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperative Agreement (ETCA) will be finalized by the end of this year allowing freer movement of goods and services, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said addressing the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. Wickremesinghe added that trade deals with the US and the UK will be considered next year. He added that South Asia was the place to be in the current economic climate of the world and more..

Video: JO protest march was an all time best

Aug 3 (AD) There is no doubt, the protest march of the Joint Opposition is the most massive of its kind, MP Dullas Alahapperuma says. “This is an all time best protest march in human history,” Alahapperuma said. He also accused the Govt of taking steps to sabotage the protest march which came to the financial capital on Monday afternoon. “Over two million people had joined the march, only one million of them participated more..

Indonesia to assist Sri Lanka in combating radicalism, extremism, terrorism

Aug 3 (JP) Indonesia is set to give assistance to Sri Lanka in counter-terrorism measures as the two countries have agreed to strengthen bilateral relations in the security and defense sectors following a meeting between President Joko Widodo and Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Jakarta on Wednesday. Jokowi and Wickremesinghe met at the State Palace to discuss several issues such as security and economic partnership, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi said. more..

Tamil for pre-interns hits snag as Ministries squabble

Aug 3 (DM) Tamil language training programme for pre-intern medical officers was halted this year as a result of a tug-of-war between the Health Ministry and Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration, the GMOA said yesterday. According to the GMOA, the Health Ministry officials had not settled the payments to the National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET) for the Tamil language fluency training programmes held in 2014 and 2015. more..

UN’s new country head meets Mangala and presents credentials

Aug 3 (CG) Una McCauley presented her credentials to Minister Mangala Samaraweera, as the new Resident Coordinator for the UN and the Resident Representative for UNDP in Sri Lanka today. As the most senior UN Official in the country, Ms. McCauley will lead the UN Country Team of 21 Resident and Non-Resident UN Agencies and act as the representative of the UN Secretary-General in SL. Prior to her appointment, she served as more..

In Sri Lanka, a govt in denial about the ramifications of a long history of violence

Aug 3 (Wire) Conflicting nationalist narratives – as adaptations of received history to explain the present and direct the future – have, for each community, its inner logic. This is evident in how the Sri Lankan media has treated the Jaffna University’s first clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students. In this regard, the university has the opportunity of playing a constructive role in winning over its Sinhalese students through mutual understanding and respect, and more..

Mahanayakes must advise political leaders

Aug 3 (CT) The 12th March Movement emphasized that the Mahanayakes of the three sects have a great responsibility in advising and directing Party decision-makers in the right path on matters of national importance in the country. Therefore, the 12th March Movement has requested the Mahanayakes of the three sects to advise political leaders at every possible juncture to only grant nominations to suitable persons in the forthcoming Local Govt Elections. more..

Video: Countrywide WiFi facilities from Nov

Aug 3 (DM) Govt will set up WiFi hotspots at 400 locations by Nov 1, Minister Harin Fernando said. “A procedure has been introduced to provide this facility, which can be accessed from any part of the country on a concessionary rate,” he said. “Previously there were problems with 5 service providers but the issues have been sorted out to some extent." Govt had seized high tech equipment with capacity to tap any phone conversation. more..

Immigration lied to me, deported Sri Lankan man says in lawsuit

Aug 3 (AS) A Sri Lankan deported from Japan has accused immigration officials of lying and denying him a chance to contest the rejection of his refugee application in court. The man in his 30s filed a lawsuit at Nagoya District Court on Aug. 2. He is seeking 3.3 million yen ($32,000) in compensation from the central govt. According to his lawyers, the man was a supporter of an opposition party in his native SL and had received threats from people connected with the ruling party more..

Video: Moves of JO like of Alibaba and 40 thieves: Soysa

Aug 3 (AD) The efforts of the Joint Opposition are no more different then Alibaba and 40 thieves, Minister Vijith Vijithamuni Soysa says. The observation was made while he was speaking to reporters. He also went on to say that protest marches of this manner were organized in past demanding either good governance or democracy, but one of a main slogans of Monday’s march was to demand the presidency. “In a bid to make the father President again, son goes on protest marches,” more..

Sri Lanka to raise overflight fees

Aug 3 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to revise overflight fees for aircraft crossing the airspace of the country, which will boost annual revenues by about 50% to $10 million, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. At the moment, SL charges a fee based on the weight for aircraft using its airspace, but under the revised system, both weight and distance will be used to charge fees, he said. Director General of CAA H M C Nimalsiri said, more..

Don’t use children for political gain: NCPA

Aug 3 (CT) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has asked all political parties to refrain from using children for political agendas as this impacted very damagingly on a child's mental and spiritual growth. This message comes from the NCPA is following the incident in which a child participating in JO Pada Yatra was holding a banner that carried a questionable message on it. NCPA said "We received a letter via the Police from a non- govt organization regarding this incident. more..

PM meets Islamic county leaders

Aug 3 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday was engaged in bilateral discussions with the leaders of Islamic countries on the sidelines of the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) being held in Indonesia. Minister for Oceanic Affairs of Indonesia Luhut Panjaitan, Tajikistani President Emomali Rahmon, Jordani Deputy PM Dr. Jawad Al-Anani, Malaysian PM Dato’ Sri Abdul Razak, Chairman of Islamic Development Bank Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, and Chairman of WIEF more..

Disgraceful deal between MR and RW: JVP

Aug 3 (DM) JVP alleged today that the most disgraceful deal in the country was taking place between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that Shiranthi Rajapaksa, who had been summoned to FCID to record a statement over a financial misappropriation, went to Speaker’s official residence to give the statement as a result of the agreement between Mr. Rajapaksa and more..

Undergrads could mobilize a bigger crowd

Aug 3 (CT) JO's Jana Satana Pada Yathra became somewhat of a highlight among several govt ministers yesterday at the Cabinet press conference. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, when inquired regarding his thoughts about the JO's behaviour and the basis of the Pada Yathra, stated that it is apparent that there is a clash of ideals within the SLFP. "There is a clash of ideals within the party. Some are advocates of the tradition, while others are all for the changing with time, more..

Prez completes 10,000 days in Parliament

Aug 3 (PMD) An Ashirwada Pooja (Blessing Ceremony) was held at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara on August 2 to mark the President Maithripala Sirisena’s completion of 10,000 days in parliamentary political life as well as to invoke blessings on the country and the people. President, who arrived in the RajamahaViharaya participated in religious observances and later joined in the Ashirwada Pooja. The Ministry of Mass media organized this Blessing Ceremony more..

'Sri Lanka to introduce Public Enterprise Act next month'

Aug 3 (LBO) The govt is to introduce the Public Enterprise Act which facilitates the setting up of a Public Enterprise Development Board, a senior government minister said. This Public Enterprise Development Board will be chaired by a private sector individual. “This board consists of leading private sector CEOs and managers and we have also invited trade unions to participate,” Minister Malik Samarawickrama said. more..

Sri Lanka success whets international appetite for mangrove conservation

Aug 3 (Reuters) SL's pioneering nationwide program to save its damaged mangrove forests is bearing fruit a year on, prompting the U.S. conservation group backing it to look for another island country to launch a similar effort. Duane Silverstein, executive director at California-based Seacology, a non-profit that protects island habitats, said he was planning to visit a candidate island state in the Caribbean in the next month. “This project, if it happens, is most definitely inspired by the success (in) SL,” more..

New Sri Lankan envoy vows to take ties with KSA to greater heights

Aug 3 (AN) The incoming consul general of Sri Lanka has pledged to take the Saudi Arabia-SL relations to greater heights and is upbeat about taking charge at a time when the Haj season is around the corner. Faizer Mackeen performed the umrah with his family as soon as he arrived in the Kingdom on Sunday, before taking over office in Jeddah the following day. Mackeen succeeds former diplomat Adam Uthumalebbe, who left the Kingdom a year ago on completion of his tenure. more..

Video: Thajudeen murder: CID says calls were from Presidential Secretariat

Aug 3 (DM) Senior State Counsel Dilan Rathnayake today told Court that according to the information revealed from the phone details of Former OIC of the Narahenpita Police Damian Perera, in connection with the murder of the killing of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen, the CID had recovered that the phone calls were received from the Presidential Secretariat on the day the incident happened. more..

The Tamil question is it among leaders or people?

Aug 4 (DM) Let us not constrain ourselves to the arguments and debates bandied about by so-called pundits. Most of these self-proclaimed pundits, university academics, professionals and leadership groups usually are almost always wrong or late in understanding the real reasons behind a knotty issue that has been irking our nation- Sri Lanka- for quite a long time. The Tamil question and its multiple facets, ranging from a Tamil homeland, discrimination at all levels of civil life, more..

Bury them right now

Aug 4 (GV) The modern political discourse on conflict resolution becomes a banality when it invariably tends to get stuck with a buzz word or phrase. Then, the intellectual circus begins. The experts coin them or rush to appropriate or even misappropriate this word or that phrase, resulting in a plethora of analyses, expositions, theorising, discourses & counter-discourses and speculations; information sessions, seminar series and costly production of reports & monographs. more..

Child Protection: Action Plan to focus on abuse prevention

Aug 4 (SO) In a set up where children are not taken care of is and left to their own devices is when they fall victim to abuse. This is the contention expressed by parents, the police and other stakeholders. "What we want is for parents to look after their children. Children are attacked when they go home after school, or while staying at home alone when parents are at work. We want parents to be more aware," more..

Embittered tamilness on display: Case of Robert Perinpanayagam

Aug 4 (CT) Robert Sidharthan Perinbanayagam was a senior at Ramanathan Hall when I walked through its portals at Peradeniya Campus in 1957. He pursued an Honours Degree in Sociology and went on to secure his Ph.D. in Anthropology and Sociology at Uni of Minnesota. He taught at Hunter College in New York and has a clutch of books with respected publishers on symbolic interaction and the sociology of knowledge, with The Karmic Theater: Self, Society & Astrology in Jaffna, more..

China escapes Ranil’s trap

Aug 4 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe recently went to China similar to when Gamini Dissanayake was sent by JR to India during the period 1983-1987 when India was growling at SL. JR sent Gamini to India to see whether, LTTE India made could be given back to India and put an end to the conflict here. Rajiv jumped at that suggestion and put the Indo-Lanka Agreement on to JR's shoulders. JR also accepted it. Rajiv took on the burden of the LTTE. At the end Rajiv had to pay compensation with his life. more..

'1.7% Sri Lankans have no access to toilets'

Aug 4 (CT) Minister Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle is one of the few MPs in Sri Lankan politics who can boast of an extensive political career. A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Fernandopulle is also an ardent women's rights activist. Albeit the fact that Sri Lanka produced the first women PM, she conceded that the metaphorical glass ceiling with regard to women aspiring to reach the zenith in politics is very much prevalent. more..

Port City: Terminological inexactitudes

Aug 4 (Island) A group of ministers, on Tuesday, making a statement on the Colombo Port City Project, strove to have the public believe that the aggrieved Chinese company had agreed to forgo damages (amounting to USD 125 mn). They declared that the economic diplomacy of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt had paid dividends! The naïve among us may have fallen for that claim hook, line and sinker––and, perhaps, rod as well. The govt spokesmen, however, had to admit more..

Response to Kill the bill OR the man

Aug 4 (DM) A recent letter from the well known and respected ENT Surgeon Dr. Cynthia Jayasuriya in the Daily Mirror of July 25 under the interesting caption Kill the bill OR the man has provoked me into writing this to thank her for drawing attention to an important issue of drugs being sold to us by pharmacists, and another issue which I personally wish to draw attention to; the fleecing of unfortunate patients by private hospitals. As a senior citizen who served the country for almost four decades more..

JVP press conference

Port City: Indian pressure forced SL to suspend & revisit project

Aug 4 (CT) The recent statement from the cabinet spokesman on the Port City project is a slap in the face of the many Sri Lankans, who lobbied and protested this project on legal as well as health and safety grounds. According to him, it was not Sri Lankans who pointed out the vexing issues behind the land ownership questions under the original agreement, it was Indians ! He is reported to have stated that: “the Chinese funded Port City Project (PCP) initiated by the Rajapaksa govt more..

SL U-19 v ENG U-19: Holden holds England together after Kumara blitz

Aug 4 (CI) Max Holden carried his bat for an unbeaten century on an otherwise poor day for England's Under-19s against Sri Lanka in Northampton. Holden, a left-handed opener from Cambridge who signed a three-year contract with Middlesex last winter, marked his second game as captain with a fine innings on a lively Wantage Road pitch. He ended with 111 from 229 balls with 13 fours and became the first opener to carry his bat for the Under-19s since Surrey's Dominic Sibley more..

Lankan-born Google India Chief tells SL to go for tech gold!

Aug 4 (FT) Google India Managing Director, SL-born Rajan Anandan, urged SL to harness both local and international talent to successfully tap the boom in the global technology business. “Next generation of technology and computing will open up unprecedented business opportunities. SL has talent but the issue is where do you focus? Sri Lanka must also look at attracting global talent, top companies and a favourable regulatory more..

The transition from Buddhism to Beggism

Aug 4 (Island) The new Buddhism of Buddhaghosa has two principal constituents, Vandana and Puja both of which are ritualized forms of entreating or supplicating. Vandana as a constituent of the new religion is the most popular means of acquisition of merit through worship. It must be emphasized here that it is not a merit generating action according to the Buddha’s teaching. As we have seen above, I is through a dishonest manoeuvre that it has been appropriated to the Buddha. more..

SL should be wary of past performances

Aug 4 (DN) Winning the first Test of a series does not guarantee a team like Sri Lanka that they can have a hold on it even if it is played at home. Past records show that Sri Lanka are susceptible to losing the Test match that immediately follows the first on home soil. It has happened to them on no less than eight occasions this century – 4 times against India, twice against England, and once each against New Zealand and South Africa. The last occasion was against India in 2015 when more..

SC requests written submissions in BC contempt charge against Namal

Aug 4 (FT) The Supreme Court directed the Bribery Commission and counsel for MP Namal Rajapaksa to submit written submissions on or before 29 August on the alleged offence of contempt of the Bribery Commission. President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana, appearing for Rajapaksa, raised a preliminary objection that the Bribery Commission before its determination for contempt should have issued a show cause notice to Rajapaksa. more..