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The chronicle of a farce

Apr 1 (Island) There is another chapter in this Wansa Kathava. You mean the Weerawansa chronicle? It is not about Weera or bravery at all, but about the theatrics of fasting. It could be titled the Upavaasa Rangana Kathava – the story of Fasting Performance. What is so special about these fasting theatricals? They are stopped without achieving the goals of the fast … gives the impression more of a farce than a fast. The first fast-farce, if I may say so, was against Ban Ki-Moon and the UN more..

Editorial: Puppygate & Bondgate

Apr 1 (Island) Govts go to the dogs as we have seen in this country. That may also be true of the rest of the Global South. But, can a dog, much less a puppy, be the cause of the downfall of a head of state? The recently ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye (65) has been thrown behind bars following her arrest on charges of bribery and corruption. She will be held in detention while prosecutors are busy preparing criminal charges she is to be arraigned on. more..

'South Korean aid to develop fish industry'

Apr 1 (CT) A USD 2.5 million from the Korean Govt will enable further expediting the development of the island's Fisheries Sector, said the State Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Dilip Wedaarachchi, speaking to Ceylon Today. He also stated that the former regime's carelessness in carrying out development projects, especially the maritime and fisheries projects had resulted in a waste of resources and opportunities. more..

Tamil Casteist Racism – Implications

Apr 1 (CT) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera deserves at least some credit, surely, for the outcome at Geneva: a two years reprieve to fully implement the 2015 UNHRC Resolution instead of peremptory orders to get going with it or face sanctions by the US or the EU. The expectation is that at the end of the two years it will be found that the Govt has still been able to implement only part of the Resolution, but no dire consequences are predicted. more..

MMDA reform is an issue for the govt not clergy, and action is needed now

Apr 1 (GV) Thanks largely to conservative Muslim clergy and the failure of successive governments to uphold the rights of its people, the reform of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) has become a public circus. For months now, and much to the embarrassment of Muslims, this issue has been debated in the public realm making a mockery of both Islam and human rights. This has to end now and doing so is largely in the hands of this govt. The reform of the MMDA, more..

Feeling the heat: No need for a Cabinet reshuffle: Ravi

Apr 1 (NS) Minister Ravi Karunanayake opens out over the speculated Cabinet reshuffle, changes in the posts within th UNP and the state of political affairs of the nation. Q: There is talk of a Cabinet reshuffle. Is there any truth in this? A: This story is being asked for nearly a year now. There is a group that suffers from jealousy. On the other side, there is a group that doesn’t work. There is also the side of former President more..

The search for the missing answers

Apr 1 (NS) Families of the disappeared have gathered in at least two locations along the A9 Highway and have been protesting for over a month demanding to know the whereabouts of their loved ones. Most of those who are at these protests are mothers and wives of those who have gone missing during, and soon after the final stages of the war. Their demands are simple. ‘Tell us what happened to our loved ones. If they are alive, then allow us to go see them, or release them.’ more..

Unity of minori-ties in the quest for Peace

Apr 1 (NS) Muslims form a crucial part of the SL minority segment, and often, their demands or aspirations are buried in the demands of the Tamils. 30-year-old war did as much harm to the Muslims as much as they affected the Tamils. It is therefore important that the Muslim factor too is given equal prominence and importance in the process towards creating a durable solution to the ethnic problem. Tamils and Muslims are completely different from each other in their ideologies and lifestyle. more..


Rajini’s film Thee (Fire) a premonition of darker period in N&E

Apr 1 (CT) Indian Tamil cinema's super star Rajinikanth, was the hero in the Tamil film Thee (Fire), which was filmed in Sri Lanka, and it was released simultaneously in India and Sri Lanka in January 1981. The film was a box office hit in Jaffna for two reasons. Firstly it was filmed in Jaffna and secondly Rajinikanth became the action hero of Tamil cinema with millions of fans, after film idol and late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) who was born in Sri Lanka. more..

The politics of Tobacco control policy-making in Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (CT) The harms associated with tobacco use are well documented in the scientific literature and articles published in national newspapers. However, less information is available on the politics inherent in tobacco control policy-making and the factors that explain tobacco control policy outcomes. This article will concentrate on this information gap, focusing on the key stakeholders, ideologies, power and politics inherent in tobacco control policy-making in Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka’s first ECMO baby wins battle between life and death

Apr 1 (ST) Sehandu Suhasvin — it was just this Wednesday that Tharindu Dhanushka and Nayomi Ishanka named their firstborn son. Sudu sanda (white moon) and mana usas bava (sublime) is what the baby’s name means, the couple says smilingly, but what is left unsaid for a moment is more poignant. Yes, the family did check the auspicious letters with which his names should begin according to the time of his birth on more..

Richardson hints at ICC Olympic approval

Apr 1 (CI) David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, has indicated that the governing body has come around to the idea of cricket becoming an Olympic sport, and that it is close to making a decision on whether to apply to the IOC for involvement in the 2024 Games. The question of cricket's inclusion at the Olympics has long been fraught with difficulties but, speaking at the SportPro conference in London, Richardson reportedly gave his backing to the move, more..

Video: I don't know whether I'll be FM: Mahinda Samarasinghe

Apr 1 (DM) Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said today he did not know whether he would be appointed as the minister of foreign affairs and pointed out that he was confident enough of handling any ministry. He said this at a news conference when asked whether he was expecting the foreign affairs portfolio and told journalists that he was not sure of a cabinet reshuffle. more..

Govt to introduce regulations for electric vehicle charging stations

Apr 1 (FT) Govt this week introduced fresh rules to regulate the electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) around the country. Consequently, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has been empowered to monitor the sector until said rules are formally put in place. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, sought the approval of the Cabinet to introduce amendments to more..

Petitions against ITAK and TNA: SC fixes to mention on 6 Sept

Apr 1 (FT) Supreme Court this week fixed to be mentioned on 6 Sept the Special Petitions filed against the ITAK and TNA. The Bench comprised Justices B.P. Aluvihara, Priyantha Jayawardane and Anil Gooneratne. Altogether, five petitions are filed against the ITAK and TNA seeking declarations from the Court that the aim and/or object of the ITAK, also known as Federal Party, as well as the organisation and/or association TNA is the establishment of a separate state within the territory of SL. more..

SLC expects Malinga for Champions trophy

Apr 1 (CT) Manager Cricket at SLC, Asanka Gurusinha, said they are seriously considering the inclusion of the country's premier fast bowling spearhead Lasith Malinga for the Champions Trophy squad, as they have to finalize the team by 25 April. "We are hoping things will work out with Lasith Malinga. But he hasn't played too much cricket. He is going to play the T20s and we will be monitoring him in the IPL as well. He will be a great asset for us. We have to work with certain players," more..

Compelled to take major TU action: GMOA

Apr 1 (DM) GMOA said it was reluctantly compelled to go in for a major trade union action next week as the govt had failed to offer a reasonable solution to the SAITM issue. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that they had waited nearly two months by giving necessary time to the related authorities to arrive to a decision on the issue. “GMOA’s Exec Committee will announce an exact day on Monday more..

Dr. Tharoor to speak at PM’s book launch

Apr 1 (FT) A compelling and eloquent speaker and award-winning author, Shashi Tharoor, a former UN under-secretary-general and India’s nominee for the UN top job, will be in Colombo next week.  It was a veto by the UN that ended Shashi Tharoor’s run for the top job at the UN. The former Indian Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs will be in Colombo next week to speak at the launch of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s biography - more..

Moratuwa MC gets pro-active with RTI

Apr 1 (ST) In a pro-active approach to the Right to Information (RTI) Act the Moratuwa Municipal Council will be posting information of public interest on a dedicated website. Municipal Commissioner, C.C.K. Mannapperuma said the website that is currently being designed, will carry information on the projects undertaken by the Municipality. On Feb 27, the MC also published notices comprising a list of 40 projects for which millions of rupees had been allocated, in three newspapers, more..

Govt defends decision to issue controversial gazette on Mawillu forest reserves

Apr 1 (FT) Govt defended its decision to issue a gazette notification declaring four forest areas bordering Wilpattu as a forest reserve claiming it was an attempt to increase the country’s forest cover. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara emphasised that President signed the gazette in the interest of the environment and appealed to the public not to make this a communal issue. Earlier this week, Prez signed a gazette notification more..

Unemployed grads' protest in Batticaloa continues

Apr 1 (DN) The parliamentary select committee appointed to find solutions for the issues of the unemployed graduates who are in protest over a month at the Gandhi Park in Batticaloa, met the protesters yesterday and discussed the issues with them. The committee comprises Prof. Arshu Marasinghe, Asoka Priyantha, K. Kodeeswaran, and G. Srinesan. The issues of the unemployed graduates were raised in parliament recently by TNA Ampara district MP K. Kodeeswaran. more..

Sri Lanka to sign MoU with BIMSTEC

Apr 1 (DN) Cabinet this week granted approval for Sri Lanka to enter into a MoU with members of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) to build a common power grid interconnection to facilitate energy trade among the member countries. BIMSTEC formed in 1997 in Bangkok to boost economic and technical cooperation among member states consists of; Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. more..

Over 1000 school dropouts peddling drugs

Apr 1 (NS) Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention claims that around 1300 children in the city of Colombo alone who were not attending school are involved in some form of abuse, especially drug dealing and smuggling. Recently, Minister of Labour John Seneviratne had also stated that they had received reports pertaining to children between the ages of 15 and 17 being used for drug smuggling. more..

ILO-backed National Co-Operative policy in May

Apr 1 (FT) The finalisation of Sri Lanka’s much-awaited and ILO-backed National Cooperatives Policy draft has been called for 29 May. “I believe that we need to take a collaborative approach to the Cooperatives National Policy,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen at an event held recently. Bathiudeen, addressing the Cooperatives Provincial Ministers’ Summit by the Industry and Commerce Ministry and joined by many provincial cooperative ministers, also stressed that more..

All facilities to be provided for JO May Day rally: PM

Apr 1 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed that all facilities be provide for the Joint Opposition’s May Day rally scheduled to be held at the Galle Face Green under the patronage of former President Rajapaksa. PM also instructed that main roads and necessary facilities be provided to the participants of the May Day rally. PM notified the relevant ministries to provide Police officers to ensure the safety of former President Rajapaksa and other higher ups attending the rally. more..

'Sri Lanka not subservient to any country'

Apr 1 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena’s official visit to Russia shows that Sri Lanka is not subservient to any country, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He also said that President Sirisena had been officially invited by a number of Western countries as well, including Russia President Vladimir Putin is considered to be one of the most powerful leaders in the World. more..

EC getting ready for PC polls

Apr 1 (Island) Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya has informed the general secretaries of registered political parties that his commission staff members are making preparations to hold elections to three provincial councils whose terms end in September this year. They are the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provincial councils. Election Commission is expected to call for nominations within one week of the dissolution of provincial councils and more..

Visakhapatnam-Sri Lanka flight to start operations from July 8

Apr 1 (ENS) The Sri Lankan Airlines will operate direct flights from Visakhapatnam to Colombo, at least four days a week, from July 8. The flight will take off Colombo at 7.15 am and land at Visakhapatnam at 9 am. Again it will start from Vizag at 10 am to reach Colombo at 12.15 pm. “We have been following up with the representatives of SriLankan Airlines for the last six months and they have visited Vizag thrice for the preliminary feasibility study. more..

Corruption wins: Cabinet reshuffle shelved: Govt parties fail to agree

Apr 1 (CT) Much talked about Cabinet reshuffle has been postponed indefinitely, due to the two major parties in the govt, UNP and SLFP, failing to come to an agreement. Sources said good governance regime had been established under an agreement, where the UNP has been provided with 30 Ministerial posts while the SLFP has been given 15 such portfolios. However, UNP has insisted that the agreement cannot more..

UNP: Party for friends of Ranil W.

Apr 1 (NS) Competition to the post of the General Secretary of the UNP intensified last week with three contenders vigorously vying for the top slot. With the news breaking out of the impending possibility of Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam being appointed as the new General Secretary of the UNP, the advent of two other ministers into the fray has created a hot competition. Amidst this competitive environment created due to keen interest displayed by ministers Sagala Ratnayake & Harin Fernando more..

Tamils await their day: Sumanthiran

Apr 1 (NS) TNA confirmed that they would guarantee a significant contribution from the Diaspora in terms of investments in the country’s economy, if the new Constitution solved the Tamil issue and restored confidence in SL. TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran said. He further added that the Diaspora was keen in doing so. Meanwhile, on the question of the sale of national assets, MP further noted that it had to be resorted as there was no other conceivable way around addressing more..

Contradictions, more questions feature in bond inquiry

Apr 1 (NS) The special Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the issuance of Treasury Bonds had its sittings on four consecutive says during this week too. Monday’s session began with the Central Bank’s Deputy Governor and ex-officio Chairman of the Tender Board, P. Samarasiri giving evidence. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) President’s Counsel (PC) Yasantha Kodagoda assisted more..

SLNS Sayura returns home after attending LIMA - 2017

Apr 1 (SLN) SL Navy’s Flagship Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), SLNS Sayura which left for Malaysia on 14thMarch to take part in the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2017, returned to the Colombo port today (31) on successful completion of tour events. The ship was received by SL Navy in accordance with naval customs and traditions on arrival at the port. Upon her arrival, Commanding Officer of the ship Commodore Prasanna Amaradasa more..

NML and Sri Lankan research team file patent for novel energy storage material

Apr 1 (AM) The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) CSIR- National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML), Burmamines along with Sri Lankan research team has filed patent on novel energy storage material. According to officials of NML, there is a growing interest in energy storage materials. Emphasis has been given for Research & Development in critical areas to create new solutions that can have a lasting impact on energy storage devices. Based on a e-poster which more..

Minister claims he offered MOD Rs. 5 mn to release land

Apr 1 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised by a senior UNP minister’s claim that he had offered money to the tune of Rs. 5 mn to secure the release of private land held by the military in the Mullaitivu district. Minister D M Swaminathan said that he had received an assurance from the MoD that 189 acres of land would be released within one month after receiving Rs. 5 mn payment. A senior spokesperson for the ministry said that more..

Sustain Lanka: Let Us Go Green

Apr 1 (DM) Though the US President Donald Trump has cast a dark cloud over the world by cancelling his predecessor Barack Obama’s executive orders to restrict climate change and go green, Sri Lanka has set a proud example to the world with the five-day Sustain Lanka National Festival which started yesterday at the BMICH. President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the Minister of Environmental Affairs and is playing the key role in making Lanka green, yesterday declared open the exhibition more..

Grave injustice to rural children

Apr 1 (DM) The watched pot never boils. Yet, the department of examination has released the much awaited G.C.E. (O/L) results in double quick time to the utter surprise of the parents, teachers and the students. In my ramblings, I came upon some children who were on cloud nine. Even though they were in rural areas, they were busy communicating among friends about their results over their smart phones and their general mood was that they had earned good results commensurately to more..

Garbage polluting Maussakele Reservoir

Apr 1 (CT) Environmental organizations claim that the Maussakele Reservoir, which supplies water to main hydropower stations in the upcountry, is polluted by the dumping of solid waste, which does not perish. This, they say, is severely affecting the surrounding environment and the fish in the reservoir. According to the CEB, Maussakele Reservoir supplies water to the New Laxapana and Canyon Hydro Power Stations. more..

Land Ordinance to be amended

Apr 1 (CT) The govt has decided to amend the Land Ordinance, which is 82 years old, in order to provide concessions to the people, under easy conditions. Secretary to the Ministry of Land I.H.K. Mahanama said, discussions have already commenced with the Attorney General's Department and the Legal Draftsman's Department in order to amend the Land Ordinance. Secretary to the Ministry of Lands said that they hope that more..