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More of the same

Feb 20 (FT) Those of you who’ve read what I have written over the years could, justifiably, experience a sense of déjà vu as you read what follows. That said, I will make no apology for the burden of this piece because it will, again, state the eternal verities the mention of which have, hitherto, fallen on deaf ears and, perhaps, caused a certain glazing of some people’s eyes! Anyway, the recent LG electoral debacle that the Yahapalanaya Govt brought upon itself has given fresh political life to more..

Listen to the Religious leaders

Feb 20 (CT) Religious leaders, business leaders and the Governor of the Central Bank are among those who have made loud calls for Sri Lanka's fractious politicians to resolve the current crisis surrounding the Govt of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as soon as possible. The Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, of the Siam Nikaya Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera, has now added his voice to the chorus of calls by asking the parties to form a Govt. more..

Mahanamahewa & Rusirupala T.

Maithri blinks, Yahapâlana govt set for a second innings

Feb 20 (CT) With President Sirisena imploring the members of the SLFP not to quit the unity govt, there are signs that the crisis produced by the unprecedented defeat suffered by the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition is nearing its end. Sirisena is reported to have made this request to a set of SLFP ministers who met him today. While Sirisena was pushing for a UNP govt not led by Ranil Wickremesinghe or else a new govt formed with the support of the JO, it now appears that more..

Indian Pepper traders call for raising import duty of pepper from Sri Lanka

Feb 20 (ET) Spice traders have called for raising the duty of imported pepper from Sri Lanka as the dumping of the spice to Indian domestic market is continuing despite govt decision to impose minimum import price of Rs 500 per kg. India Pepper & Spice Traders, Growers and Planters Consortium has said that most of the pepper imports from SL coming via, Kochi, Chennai and Mundra ports and Bengaluru ICD have been cleared after calculating the lower duty as per south asia free trade agreement more..

Debate on Bond Commission and PRECIFAC reports postponed

Feb 20 (NR) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was today forced to postpone the long-awaited Parliamentary debate on the report compiled by the PCoI to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds and the 34 reports issued by PRECIFAC, following the unavailability of translation copies of the 34 PRECIFAC Reports. The second round of the Parliamentary debate on the Presidential Commission reports was more..

Gas cylinder prices to be increased?

Feb 20 (AD) Sri Lanka gas companies say that they expect to hold discussions with relevant authorities today with regard to increasing the prices of LG gas cylinders. Gas companies had repeatedly requested for approval to increase the prices on several previous occasions. However, the companies say that they have not received a favorable response so far. The companies say that if gas prices are not increased under the prevailing situation, the gas companies would have to shut down. more..

Local Govt. bodies likely to be exempted

Feb 20 (DM) Parliament was informed that the 25% representation of women in LG bodies would be implemented, other than in those where it was not practically possible. The matter was raised by JO MP Dallas Alahapperuma in the House today saying it was unfair to overlook the 25 per cent women representation in local bodies, because the SLPP had already ensured its implementation. However, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said no decision was made to by-pass the rule relating to more..

Education Minister suspends leadership programme

Feb 20 (DM) Education minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam today instructed the Education Ministry Secretary to suspend the leadership programme till the completion of the investigation of the death of the principal of the Ambalantota Suchi National School. He also instructed the Secretary of the Ministry to conduct the investigations under Ministry Level. The principal of the Ambalantota Suchi National School more..

Ven. Galagoda Atte’s contempt of court matter

Feb 20 (DN) Court of Appeal hearing the contempt of court action filed against BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera over his alleged offensive behaviour inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court fixed further trial for Feb 27. In a surprising turn of events, on Jan 25, 2016 Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera began to address Open Court after the court hearing pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was over. more..

India, Sri Lanka to play Nidahas Trophy curtain raiser

Feb 20 (CB) The start of the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy has been brought forward by two days and the event will now get underway on March 6 instead of March 8 as planned earlier. India and Sri Lanka will play the curtain raiser of the event, with Bangladesh being the third participant in the competition. All games including the final will be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium (RPS) and will start at 7 PM local time. SLC officials confirmed that by preponing the tournament by two days, more..

Video: Take immediate steps to resolve the political crisis: Archbishop

Feb 20 (AD) Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith says that all leaders should act swiftly to resolve the prevailing political crisis. The Archbishop points out those leaders should resolve their political issues considering the public. “Every citizen of the country is of the view that the political groups should stop bickering with each other for power,” Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said while addressing a media briefing. more..

Academics come out in support of Ranil

Feb 20 (CT) UNP University Professionals Society National Organizer Professor, M.O.A. De Soysa, a former Political Science Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya, explained that the 1978 Constitution does not contain any provisions with regard to the removal of the PM. Speaking at a media briefing, he said that the only permissible way was that the Parliament could bring a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister and request the President the removal of his post. more..

SL receives South Asia Innovation Award

Feb 20 (GDI) A case story on the path breaking reform submitted by the Department of Public Finance of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media felicitated for the Best Country Case Story at the South Asia The Fifth South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference was held under the theme of Public Procurement and Service Delivery from Feb 5¨C8, in New Delhi. Conference hosted by Ministry of Finance of India and co-sponsored by World Bank, Asian Development Bank, more..

New economic programme by next week

Feb 20 (PMD) The new economic programme of the government will be finalized by the National economic Council (NEC) by next week. This was decided at a meeting, chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential secretariat today. During the meeting, detailed discussions were held on the rapid changes required in the country and short term and long term programmes needed to be implemented and more..

Ven. Girambe Ananda Thera passes away

Feb 20 (DM) Anunayake of the Sri Lanka Ramanya Nikaya Venerable Girambe Ananda Thera passed away this morning at the age of 80. Ven. Thera passed away while receiving treatment at the ICU for the past nine days at the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital. decisions regarding the cremation ceremony and final rites of the Anunayaka Thera would be finalised today. Ven. Thera was the adviser of the United Bhikku Front (UBF). more..

No show in Court: Warrant re-issued on Jaliya W.

Feb 20 (CT) Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne on 16 February re-issued a warrant for the arrest of former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya, for failing to appear before Court. The warrant was re-issued as the suspect failed to appear in Court when the case was taken up for hearing. The Magistrate also issued notices on Wickramasuriya's wife and a cousin sister, who stood as sureties when he was granted bail. more..

Video: Will challenge Active Liability Management Bill in SC: JO

Feb 20 (DM) JO said it would file legal action in the Supreme Court challenging the Active Liability Management Bill, which was presented to Parliament on Monday. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said the Bill violated the Constitution and basic human rights. “The Bill permits the PM, who is in charge of the CB, to obtain a foreign or a domestic loan not exceeding 10% of the unsettled loans of the previous fiscal year. more..

Wimal’s corruption case fixed for May 16

Feb 20 (DN) A corruption case filed against former Minister and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa was yesterday fixed for May 16 by Colombo High Court. High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi made this order regarding an indictment filed against Wimal Weerawansa for the alleged unlawful acquisition of money and assets, estimated at Rs.75 million within a period of six years while serving as a Minister, during the former regime. This case is to be taken up on the next date as a calling date, more..

Prez, PM urged to implement 2015 mandate

Feb 20 (Island) National Peace Council (NPC) has called for early measures to end post-LG polls uncertainty. The following is the full text of statement issued by the NPC: "The recently concluded local govt elections and the reaction to it by the main political parties, has led to political uncertainty as they maneuver for their own advantage. The National Peace Council is concerned about the outcome of a prolonged period of uncertainty that will hinder effective governance and more..

Programme to provide tabs for A/L students suspended

Feb 20 (NR) Cabinet has decided to temporarily suspend the programme to provide laptops and tabs to A/L teachers and students. Ministry of Education said the decision was arrived at following directives issued by President Sirisena. Ministry said govt was expected to spend 4 billion rupees under the program to distribute laptops and tabs. Prez informed the Cabinet that the relevant provision should be allocated to more..

Govt withdrew 150 warrants on LTTE terrorists: Udayanga

Feb 20 (DM) Although the yahapalana govt is attempting to obtain an Interpol Red Warrant on him it had withdrawn some 150 some such warrants including those issued on former LTTE terrorists because of the influence by Tamil politicians, former envoy Udayanga Weeratunga said today. He said in a statement that he was informed by several media reports that Red Warrants issued on terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals had been withdrawn based on requests made by the SL Police. more..

Cry Sis! Women insist on 25% quota

Feb 20 (CT) Following the confusion and issues related to the 25% quota for women in LG authorities in the country, 163 women and 44 leading women organizations have sent a strong letter to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, leaders of political parties and the Speaker, urging them not to back-track on their promises and the Act that ensures the participation of women in local govt. Women from all walks of life have signed this letter urging political parties more..

Govt to initiate artificial rain generation

Feb 20 (CT) Govt is to implement a project to generate artificial rains in areas close to hydropower plants. With technical support from the Thai Govt, SL Govt is going to generate artificial rains to areas close to reservoirs which are used to generate hydropower. As a stepping stone to the project, the work which was organized by CEB with the collaboration of their Thailand partner, Department of Royal Rainmaking and more..

The President cannot remove the PM

Feb 21 (CT) Following the large gains made at the LG elections at the expense of the UNP and SLFP by the Mahinda Rajapaksa led SLPP, the pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa opposition has been calling for the resignation of the PM on the basis of the spurious claim that the govt has lost its mandate to govern. Rajan Philips has stated quite rightly that SLPP’s success at the local elections cannot directly enable Mahinda Rajapaksa to replace the govt at the national level. more..

MMDA: Groping in the dark?

Feb 21 (GV) Long-awaited report by Justice Saleem Marsoof committee that was set up to consider and propose reforms to the Muslim personal law and Quazi Courts System delivered its report to the appointing authority Minister of Justice, on 22nd Jan 2018. This labour on reforms to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) has taken nine long years. It is somewhat akin to a complicated and arduous delivery of a baby. There are claims that what has in fact been delivered are twins. more..

Gota is Lankan Putin: Gammanpila

Feb 21 (CT) Leader of PHU Udaya Gammanpila says that when the JO told the President that they would not accept ministerial posts in the new govt, he had asked them to at least take over the post of Speaker. "We agreed to have an internal discussion and arrive at a verdict soon," he stated. Q: So all of you were saved because of Mahinda? A: Most definitely, yes! The leader should be a blessing to the team. more..

Mental Health and Stigma in Sri Lanka

Feb 21 (GV) Sri Lanka as a nation has come a long way from the days of Veerapuran Appu and Gongaale Godabanda. Wars have been fought, peace has been achieved, at least theoretically and we continue to be the resilient island we always were. However there are still issues that are pushed under the carpet, and mental health is one of them. The dictionary definition of mental health does not fully take into account the impact of societal norms, cultural concepts, personal biases and . more..

Politicians please step aside & let the civilians untainted by rackets & racism ....

Feb 21 (CT) Sadly, our island has in the recent past slid into a flat spin space, wallowing in hatred and revenge, and fear and greed, and a lot of negative energy is dragging our island’s spirit and potential down. It is a real shame that our elected national leaders cannot see the wood from the trees. The people of this country wants goodness to return to our island and for us all to live peacefully and respectfully of each other, and mindful of the sensitivities of each culture, more..

Latin mass: A rare musical and devotional experience

Feb 21 (SO) Schubert’s Mass in G major D 167 is one of the most popular of the three short Masses he composed. He started composing this Mass on March 2,1815 and within a few days, by March 7, he had completed it. However, it was first scored for string orchestra and organ continuo and was not published till 1846, well after his death. A later discovery of the score shows a few changes as well as an expansion of more..

In the name of the mother tongue

Feb 21 (DN) We are celebrating the International Mother Language Day, on February 21st. Our Mother Language creates and identity for us, giving us a sense of belonging, but at the same time it erects a barrier around us, keeping those who are using their own Mother Tongue away from us. The language identity alienates others living in the same geographically or politically identified region, where International Mother Language Day has to be celebrated separately by each group. more..

Way forward for January 8

Feb 21 (DN) The local govt elections being over, the focus has shifted to Parliament where moves have been underway to reconstitute the govt. Now a govt makeover, reconstitution or reformation is a desirable exercise, given the public dissatisfaction overall, regarding the govt’s performance at present. The main Sinhala opposition and its political vehicle the SLPP had a higher than expected public response as the election results demonstrate, providing a wake-up call to the coalition govt more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Bid to bring in New Constitution in the balance

Feb 21 (Island) Yahapalana leaders as well as those who had furiously campaigned to thwart war-winning president Mahinda Rajapaksa securing a third term at the Jan. 2015 presidential polls, attributed the humiliating defeat suffered by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition at Feb. 10, 2018 countrywide LG polls, to its failure to honour pledges made at the 2015 presidential and parliamentary polls. Co-convenor of the Purawesi Balaya, Gamini Viyangoda, asserted that the ruling coalition more..

Editorial: A strange creature - II

Feb 21 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) has claimed President Maithripala Sirisena is helping Ranil Wickremesinghe remain as the Prime Minister. Sirisena and Wickremesinghe have a symbiotic relationship; their unity govt is like a blind man carrying a cripple on his shoulders. As for the President, between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is worn out. He is known for unsaying what he says, in next to no time, without batting an eyelid. This is true of most politicians. more..

From Palmyrah to Paper: Art of Ola leaf book

Feb 21 (Roar) Written records were always considered a good method of preserving knowledge for the benefit of future generations. The earliest historical records could be found inscribed on material such as clay, metal tablets, and stone. With languages becoming more developed and complex as time went on, our ancestors realised that a more convenient medium was needed for written records. more..

Injured Shehan Madushanka in doubt for Nidahas Trophy

Feb 21 (CI) Fast bowler Shehan Madushanka is in doubt for the forthcoming Nidahas Trophy, after sustaining a hamstring injury during Sunday night's T20 win over Bangladesh. Madushanka is yet to undergo an MRI scan, after which the severity of the injury may be determined. As the Nidahas trophy - a T20I tri-series involving India and Bangladesh - begins on March 6, there is no guarantee he will be fit in time even if it turns out to be a minor strain. Madushanka has played only 3 ODI matches more..

SL e-waste management company partners Belgian hybrid-battery recycling company

Feb 21 (Island) Green Links Lanka, Sri Lanka’s electronic waste management company was appointed by the Umicore Battery Recycling Company in Belgium as the authorized supplier in Sri Lanka of used Hybrid/EV vehicle batteries to Umicore Company. An MOU was signed to this effect between Nalin Gunaratne, Managing Director Green Links Lanka and Ghislain Van Damme Global Commercial & Sourcing Manager, Umicore Battery Recycling Company in Hoboken, Belgium. more..

Seats for NOCSL hots up

Feb 21 (DN) The three-day sprint for the National Olympic Committee election heated up with the two main parties headed by the respective presidential candidates Anthony Rohan Harsha Fernando and Suresh Subramaniam seeking a majority power from the affiliated members at the February 23 election to govern the NOCSL for the next four years. The number of member votes (33) included two votes by more..

Dilruwan: living his father’s dream

Feb 21 (ST) When his father met with a tragic death at a dinner organized to mark Panadura SC’s promotion to division I, Dilruwan Perera, then a 15-year-old cricketer, felt his world crashing down on him. Dilruwan had just helped the team win the Division II title and also attended the celebratory function organized by the club. But jubilation quickly turned into a family tragedy when his father drowned in the swimming pool. While it was heartbreaking, the boy vowed to live his father’s dream more..