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Managing the working class

May 1 (SO) In 1904, it was named by networks of industrial workers' unions and Leftist activists in the United States and Europe as the International Workers' Day. But long before that, for centuries, Western European rural communities had been celebrating the formal first day of summer on May 1. Likewise, parallelly, in much of South and South East Asia, rural communities have, for centuries, celebrated and continue to celebrate the onset of summer as well as the harvest of more..

A numbers game

May 1 (Island) May Day or International Workers’ Day will be celebrated today in this country mainly by the UNP and the two factions of the SLFP, one led by President Maithripala Sirisena and the other by his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa. The JVP is also having its show and given its organizational abilities and the commitment of its cadres – something the two major parties can’t boast very much about – will put up a respectable performance. These parties have expended more..

'We will attract a larger gathering than we witnessed at Hyde Park'

May 1 (SL) MP Prasanna Ranatunga says the govt is afraid of the joint opposition, so they try to prevent a large number of people from attending the joint opposition rally by threatening govt workers. He said the govt is fast becoming unpopular and the people are now rallying behind Mahinda Rajapaksa. The govt may take whatever means possible to prevent people from attending the JO rally at Kirulapone, but it will certainly attract more..

Freedom of the wild ass Vs. Freedom of ambitious bureaucrats

May 1 (SL) We need to find refuge in the words of such wise men, even 2000 years after they were made, to overcome the stupidity of our modern day rulers who try to fashion our lives through their directives and even legislation. A hitherto unknown bureaucrat, recently appointed the Parliamentary Reforms and Media Secretary, Nimal Bopage, issued an astounding press release on Thursday warning the media engaging in illegal and unethical use of the words to promote more..

Necessity for being security conscious

May 1 (NS) Several security related issues have surfaced in the north in the past few months including discovery of some arms and ammunition in several locations followed by the arrest of several ex-LTTE leaders. Though not connected to terrorism another controversial issue arising from the north has been the alleged unauthorized entry into an army camp by a team led by the Opposition Leader R Sampanthan. The incident, though technically was not a real security threat, caused much more..

'This May Day will guide SLFP on a new path'

May 1 (SL) General Secretary of the SLFP, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said that the SLFP will have only one May day rally and all constituent parties of the alliance will take part in this rally. He said that the forthcoming May Day will guide the SLFP on a new path. According to Dissanayake, many mistakes had been made during the previous regime and now the current govt is trying its best to rectify these mistakes and more..

May Day - May Day - May Day!

May 1 (CT) Our sister paper the Mawbima asked four pertinent questions in Friday's issue of the paper. Will Maithri showcase the SLFP's punch in Galle on May Day? – that's today. Will Ranil be able to rake in the crowds to Campbell Park? Will Mahinda use Kirulapone as his launch pad back to power? Will the JVP remain the third force? These questions are not merely rhetorical ones but are in essence the mirror-image of the uncertainties which beset the body politic in this country. more..

Basil on poaching spree for Kirulapone rally

May 1 (SO) When President Sirisena walked into a meeting with newspaper editors and media heads at the President’s House on Wednesday morning, he looked calm and confident. The timing of the meeting was crucial as it fell four ahead of May Day – a day exploited by SL political parties. This year, the traditional muscle-flexing event has drawn more media attention as the UPFA rebel group, which calls themselves the Joint Opposition, will have their own May Day event. more..

May Day should be celebrated under red flag

May 1 (SL) Politburo member of JVP, K.D. Lalkantha said that the JVP is the only party that truly represents the rights of the working masses or the labour force of this country. He said that the other political parties cannot commemorate May Day as they are the employers and the struggle to win the rights of the labour force is against these very employers. He said that this govt too has no right to commemorate May Day and talk on more..

Political pressure mounts on the media

May 1 (Island) Relations between the govt and a section of the media are obviously strained. For some time now the prime minister has been criticizing the media both in and outside parliament often naming names. President joined the PM soon afterwards speaking critically in an interview with the BBC about the web based media saying that these websites were kele paththara and that he does not look at websites anymore; this despite the fact that websites had done most of the spadework to more..

Debt-ridden Sri Lanka snuggles up to China again at India’s expense

May 1 (TOI) India is hoping to host SL President Maithripala Sirisena this month for a multi-religious event at Ujjain which will be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi. The visit by Sirisena, if it happens, will come at a time when India's strategic gains in the island nation over the past 15 months, or since the ouster of Sirisena's predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa, seem to be fast petering out. India was looking to sign an Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with SL, more..

'Working masses cannot win any rights without political backing'

May 1 (SL) Minister of Education and Chairman of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) Akila Viraj Kariyawasam opined that the upcoming May Day Rally is crucial to the UNP. This will be an ideal moment for the UNP to show the country their popularity and the level of support they still get from people, he stressed. Minister said he was confident that the UNP May Day rally will be the most successful. more..

What is the SLC selection policy?

May 1 (Island) Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it has got to be one of the most over-used and clichéd terms in casual writing. It has been so over-used that it rarely even registers a smirk from readers these days. Judging from the persistent team composition quagmire of SL’s national cricket team, it is quite obvious that SL’s national cricket selectors pay very little heed to history when they make their decisions. Or, they are true believers of Kurt Vonnegut’s take on the repetition more..

Where will you gather?

May 1 (ST) My Dear Blue MPs, I thought of writing to you as you prepare to celebrate May Day this year. It is the day that they say the workers of the world should unite but even though there is nothing united about your May Day celebrations, I guess that wouldn’t matter much because you are not real workers anyway. Most of you have a decision to make: whether you should attend the rally at Kirullapone with Mahinda maama or whether you should get on stage with Maithri in Galle. more..

Politicians hijacking day of Saadukin Pelenawun

May 1 (SL) May Day is traditionally the day of workers. But today it has become a day of politicians and their parties who exploit this important day to propagate narrow political ideologies. The Sunday Leader talked to several leaders of main labour unions to ascertain their views on the exploitation of May Day by politicians for their own advantage. Kesara Kottegoda, Executive Member, Ceylon Bank Employees Union: Display of Political Power more..

More drama at Entrust: Audit finds 8 new accounts

May 1 (ST) The scandal-hit primary dealer Entrust Securities (Entrust) has had a new twist in its saga with The Central Bank – ordered forensic audit conducted by the KPMG auditors, with the discovery of eight other accounts that Entrust monies have gone into, informed sources said. ”The Central Bank (CB) has contracted KPMG to carry out an extended forensic audit on the entire Entrust group after this new information,” a source said. He said that the CB had also requested two commercial banks to more..

SLFP factions see red on May Day

May 1 (ST) The rights of the working class on May Day today face being nudged offstage by political infighting within the SLFP. The lead-up to today’s celebrations have been filled with speculation about who would be attending the main SLFP rally, which would be held under President Maithripala Sirisena’s leadership at Galle, and who would be at the Joint Opposition rally to be held at Kirulapone, which former president Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to attend. more..

Will the President finally put his foot down?

May 1 (CT) Today will be the D-day. For the country and for many prominent figures in the political and administrative sphere as all political parties set to show their power as SL too celebrates May Day despite deviating far from its true spirit of commemorating Haymarket riots, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886 or the legal recognition of the 8-hour work day. There are issues like the NPC unanimously passing a resolution more..

Volleyball offcials to resign soon

May 1 (ST) It is learnt that several office bearers of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation are expected to tender their resignations soon. The reasons given for their resignations were the non-cooperation of top officials of the federation which prevents the smooth function of their duties. On the other side the top officials put the blame on the members of the federation for not attending the meetings regularly and the Federation intends to take action of these officials in the near future. more..

May Day hijacked by politicians

May 1 (ST) Workers of the world – or at least in Sri Lanka – Divide. The rallying call of the International Workers, from the barricades as they romantically say, for workers of the world to Unite is now a thing of the past. Interests of the working class have been submerged by the interests of the political class. May Day celebrations in SL are dominated by the politicians who have hijacked the occasion. They want to creep into every sphere of activity — be the centre of the universe. more..

Nagulan, Ram not rehabilitated

May 1 (CT) Excavation of arms and ammunition from the Northern and Eastern Provinces is normal but the recovery of a suicide kit and a cache of explosives from a house in Chavakachcheri was quite extraordinary. The recovery made in late March was based on information provided by the wife of the suspect. The woman informed Police that her husband was engaged in the sale of Kerala cannabis. Many people know the incident but more..

Bradby Shield: Royal draws first blood

May 1 (ST) Royal may have lost territorially and as far as possession was concerned. However they made maximum use of their strengths — the forwards and the rolling maul on their way to a 22-17 win over Trinity in their first leg of the 72nd Bradby Shield at the Royal College Sports Complex yesterday. Royal had two goals, a try and a penalty as against the two goals and a penalty achieved by Trinity. The rain in the second half worked against Trinity in that they made things harder for more..

CB considers new authority for banking/finance supervision

May 1 (ST) Central Bank (CB), in a bid to strengthen monitoring of banks and finance companies, is considering removing its supervisory functions for and setting up a separate authority which will report to Monetary Board. ”This will be quite like the Financial Conduct Authority in UK,” CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. He said the CB, with assistance by CB’s former Deputy Governor, Joan de Silva (currently at CB as a consultant) is redrafting the rules pertaining to this move. more..

Port City - tough negotiations ahead: Reclamation to resume after monsoon

May 1 (SO) The sea reclamation of the Port City project in Colombo, will start in Sept-Oct, soon after the monsoon is over. It will cover an area of 269 hectares, when filled. “We are now restarting the project and the Chinese company has already begun repairing the partly constructed breakwater,” Deputy Director General, UDA, Nihal Fernando said. “The partly constructed breakwater cannot be kept as it is; it could get damaged more..

SLAF wants MoD action against former Director, Air Operations

May 1 (SO) SL Air Force has asked the Ministry of Defence to initiate action against Air Vice Marshal K.V.B. Jayampathy, former Director of Air Operations of the SLAF. The SLAF had asked for action against the officer for allegedly violating the Air Force disciplinary code, govt regulations, procurement procedures and service standards. Air Vice Marshal Jayampathy, one of the most senior officers in the service, was a front-runner for Air Force Commander’s position, last year. more..

Sri Lanka’s tourism revenue surges eightfold after end of civil war

May 1 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s revenue from tourism rose to $2.98 billion from $349 million over the last six years after the island nation’s 26-year-old civil war ended in 2009. In 2009, 4.48 lakh tourists arrived in Sri Lanka and the numbers rose to 17.98 lakhs in 2015, according to the 2015 Annual Report of Central Bank. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism ranked third, next to workers’ remittances and income from garment exports. “Tourism industry is blooming in Eastern & Northern provinces more..

Govt mulls international fighter Jet tender

May 1 (SL) In a bid to purchase eight state-of-the-art fighter jets for Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), the Cabinet last week opted for international competitive bidding (ICB) ensuring both transparency and best possible financing method for the govt. “The Cabinet gave green light to SLAF to go ahead with open tender or ICB process in order to gain the ideal aircraft at the best financial package. So China, India, Pakistan, UK or more..

Mahinda’s Media Secretary meets Maithri

May 1 (LT) It is revealed that the media Secretary of MP Mahinda Rajapaksa Rohan Weliwita with his wife met President Maithripala Sirisena at night on the 27th and had asked him to remove the risk of him being arrested regarding money laundering in connection with CSN channel. It is also revealed that Weliwita has promised to do anything the President asks him. There is a court order that all who have to make statements regarding the money laundering issue connected to CSN channel more..

Today is International Workers’ Day

May 1 (Island) May Day rallies of the two major political parties, SLFP & UNP will be held today at the Samanala Grounds in Galle and at Campbell Park, Borella, respectively. Party leaders, President Sirisena (SLFP) and PM Wickremesinghe. The Joint Opposition meeting attended by former President Rajapaksa will take place at Kirulapone. The SLFP has organized two processions, one coming from Kandy through Colombo & Ratgama and the other via Ratnapura through Matara & Akuressa. more..

Sri Lanka seeks credit line now from Russia

May 1 (ST) Sri Lanka is seeking a credit line of US$ 300 to 400 million from Russia to buy military equipment for the armed forces and the SL Police. The deal is to be finalised following ongoing discussions between Russian authorities and SL embassy officials in Moscow. Also included in the deal is sharing of combat experience, they said. Finance Ministry officials have confirmed the deal adding that this was brought to the notice of more..

May Day events: From Jaffna to Galle

May 1 (SO) The Day of the Worker, as it is celebrated the world over, will be observed in SL today with even more political intensity than ever as two factions of the same major party, SLFP, attempt to rival each other in creating the bigger show of mobilising power. May Day was originally celebrated to mark the sacrifices made by a group of trade unionists in the USA to win their rights in 1886. In SL, May Day events have become giant shows of strength by various political parties, more..

Report on state sector heads shirking duties

May 1 (SL) President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe have received a report on officials in the state sector who have failed to carry out their duties as well as implement the govt’s policies. President and PM, have decided to act against the officials who have been identified in the report as having failed in carrying out their duties. It is learnt that the report includes names of some officials who have even failed in their duties during the former Rajapaksa regime as well. more..

Some media groups pose threat to media freedom: Ranil

May 1 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said threats to media freedom in the country are coming from media organisations themselves and there should be no room for extremism in the country. Muslim Media Forum honours PCCSL: SL Muslim Media Forum honoured the Press Complaints Commission of SL and its CEO Sukumar Rockwood yesterday for upholding the principles of Self Regulation in Sri Lanka more..

3 bodies with gunshot wounds found inside car

May 1 (NF) Police said that three persons travelling in a car in the Thirappanae area in Anuradhapura were shot dead on Saturday afternoon. A group had opened fire at the three persons who were inside a vehicle in the Thrippane area in Anuradhapura. Senior OIC of the area said that a group of police officers had been dispatched to the area to investigate the shooting. The shooting had taken place on the Hindhogama road in Anuradhapura and that the shooting is being investigated. more..

Sumathipala says no dinner dance with Sri Lankan cricket team this summer

May 1 (Island) There will be no dinner dance with the SL cricket team this summer, President of SLC, Thilanga Sumathipala said. On the sidelines of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Mid-Year Executive Committee Meetings in London, he said that instead of a dinner dance, there will be a dinner organized at Lords Long Room for a charity event. He said that for the first time in SL cricket’s history, he was able to secure the Long Room at Lords for this charity event. more..

Rajapaksa meets Udayanga in Thailand while FCID hunts for wanted Lankan in Ukraine

May 1 (ST) When Captain Kolitha Ekanayake took off on a SriLankan Airlines Airbus A 330-200 the previous Saturday morning to Bangkok, no one realised that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was on board, was flying into a serious controversy. From a front row seat in the Business Class he watched television and sipped tea throughout the three hour flight. Seated next to him was former Minister G.L. Peiris. more..

The new, old gatekeepers

May 1 (Island) Two stories cropped up in the last week that merited disquiet, albeit in different ways. One local, the other international and both to do with the way we frame and consume news. The local story was a news report on a press briefing called by President Sirisena for the heads and owners of leading mainstream media, print and electronic. The nature of the news report, in a leading daily English newspaper, basically reported on what the President had told the participants. more..

Traversed new paths making History

May 1 (Island) Alexander Ekanayake Goonesinha was born on 1st May 1891 in Kandy. This day was celebrated in Paris, France as Labour Day by the Second Socialist International. It was merely a hidden coincidence then but later events gave it great significance. Goonesinha was educated at Dharmaraja College, Kandy and later at St. Joseph's College and Wesley College, Colombo. In 1913 he became infused with the ideals of social service and formed the Servants of Lanka Society which more..

Conservation to consternation!

May 1 (CT) The fortress of Sigiriya built by King Kasyapa is a very important monument in the country's history. Each part of the rock fortress is very important. The frescoes are evidence of a proud history of the country. But stories about the disasters caused to Sigiriya are reported too often. This is yet another. Reportedly a cello tape stuck on a fresco during conservation work has damaged it. Conservation project is handled by CCF. more..

Foreign buyers after Sri Lankan dirt

May 1 (SL) With a number of well known companies particularly from the US, Japan, China, Singapore and Korea coming forward to tackle the garbage menace in SL, authorities expressed confidence that the govt is on the right track to put an end to the growing problem in the city. Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe expressed confidence that country would not have any garbage issues more..