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Editorial: Multiple whammies for democracy

May 17 (Island) A govt move to set up ad hoc community level advisory committees to handle election-oriented development work, etc., has run into stiff resistance. Its plan to appoint former SLPP and UNP local councillors to the outfits to be established has gone awry due to a legal snag. There is hardly anything that a sinking regime does not do to retain its hold on power and avoid disastrous electoral defeats. The incumbent SLPP-UNP dispensation may have thought that more..

Mercenary issue, need of updating laws?

May 17 (TM) As SL scrambles to address the issue of former armed forces personnel joining combat in foreign conflicts, the lack of regulations and legislative safeguards to prevent such issues from victimising vulnerable Sri Lankans, and potentially dragging the island nation into a foreign policy crisis. Yesterday, the Prez moved to dispatch a team of senior officials including the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, and a yet-unnamed former Ambassador to Russia, to look into the Sri Lankans more..

Overcoming environmental challenges: Committee emphasises data-driven...

May 17 (TM) Analysing critical issues and proposing practical solutions are crucial for safeguarding community wellbeing and fostering sustainable progress. The recent insights from the Parliamentary Committee on Ways and Means shed light on various environmental challenges affecting communities across SL. From tackling persistent leaks in the Samanalawewa Dam to addressing the intricate human-elephant conflict (HEC) more..

Corruption in Sri Lanka: The root of modern social instability

May 17 (CT) In this beautiful island nation of SL, a shadow looms large, shaping much of the turmoil and instability that grips its society. This shadow is corruption, a pervasive issue that seeps through the layers of governance, eroding the trust between the people and their leaders, and undermining the foundations of social and economic development. The claim that corruption is the root cause of the social instability in SL is not an exaggeration; rather, it is a reflection of a harsh reality. more..

Amend the laws, eradicate leprosy!

May 17 (CT) Leprosy, often referred to as Hansen’s disease, stands as one of humanity’s oldest and most stigmatised afflictions, evoking fear and misconception over many decades. This ancient malady, if left untreated, can exact a heavy toll, leading to debilitating deformities and disabilities that profoundly impact individuals’ lives. In Sri Lanka, despite significant strides in healthcare, the spectre of leprosy persists, with an average of 1,500 new cases detected annually. more..

How do you solve a problem like Diana?

May 17 (TM) The recent removal of former State Minister Diana Gamage from her Parliamentary seat due to her UK citizenship has reignited debates surrounding MPs holding dual citizenship or being devoid of SL citizenship. The latest incident, which was preceded by the removal of then-MP and incumbent State Minister Geetha Kumarasinghe's removal over her Switzerland citizenship several years ago, has shed light on the challenges more..

1998 Bharathipuram killings and accountability for wartime atrocities

May 17 (DM) The killing of civilians and other atrocities were widespread during the 3-decade war mostly in the North and the East. The SL armed forces, police and the LTTE are alleged to be responsible for many such massacres according to eye witnesses and circumstantial evidence. It’s rare that the Sri Lankan armed forces and police have been held accountable through domestic courts for such killings. Below are some observations and reflections on such a rare case, based on more..

Lawmakers must note that stars in galaxy are dead

May 17 (DM) SL is divided politically at present. Many years ago this country was divided in terms of race. Politics seems to be the cause of all this evil. Now we are told to prepare for a prez election which is expected this year. Exactly eight days ago (9) people of this country were reminded that two years had passed after the Aragalaya (Protest) took place. Largely these protests were held in and around Colombo; some protests took place in other places outside Western province, more..

වීසා අවුලට මම එයාර්පෝට් එකේ...

Meal programme boosts school attendance: Parliamentary Committee

May 16 (DM) School attendance has increased after the implementation of the meal programme, a Parliamentary Committee revealed. It was also disclosed that the criteria have been prepared regarding the quality of the meal and the follow-up regarding the meal programme will be done by the Provincial Dept of Education, Regional Educational Services officers and Public Health Inspectors. Committee on Ways and Means has revealed that 600,000 school students come to school more..

Sajith vows to scrap liquor licenses issued as inducements to politicos

May 16 (DM) SJB leader Sajith Premadasa vowed to scrap liquor permits issued recently as inducements under the current govt when he gets into power in the future. Making his remarks at a public meeting, he stressed the need to form a national movement to rid the country of the menace of alcoholism. He asserted that such a programme should be implemented targeting school children and parents should unite hands with him. However, he said he would take certain steps for promotion more..

SL to send delegation to Russia to help repatriate men duped into Ukraine fighting

May 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will dispatch a high-level delegation to Russia to investigate the fate of hundreds of nationals reportedly fighting in the war in Ukraine, a top official said. Social media campaigns via WhatsApp have targeted ex-military personnel with promises of lucrative salaries and promises of citizenship, Defence Ministry has said, warning its nationals not to be duped. more..

Fashion design teacher arrested for rape

May 16 (Island) Mawathamagama police have arrested a private fashion design teacher for raping a teenage student of his class. The teacher, a 40-year-old father of two, and the 19-year-old victim, were both tested positive for alcohol consumption at the time of the arrest, according to the police. The suspect had been running a fashion design class in a building in the Mawathagama town. On the day of the incident the victim and several others attended his class. It had been raining at the time more..

2 Pvt. Member Bills to enhance female rep

May 16 (TM) Opposition MP Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle has presented two Private Member Bills including a 22nd Amendment to the Constitution Bill to increase female representation in political parties and the Parliament. With regard to better female representation in politics, one Bill, titled Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) which seeks to amend the Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 01 of 1981 as amended, has sought to ensure that every recognised political party should include more..

Video: State Minister Prasanna Ranaweera assaults Porter at BIA

May 16 (AD) State Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Prasanna Ranaweera has reportedly assaulted a Porter at the BIA in Katunayake. Meanwhile, the State Minister has also threatened several security officers at the airport. Ranaweera had visited the airport with his wife accompanied by his ministerial security personnel in the early hours of Tuesday (May 14) as his spouse was to travel overseas. more..

Charitha highlights importance of timely Prez poll

May 16 (FT) FPC member MP Prof. Charitha Herath emphasised the importance of prioritising the Prez Election over Parliamentary Polls, urging the Election Commission to focus on this goal. Herath highlighted the constitutional mandate to hold the Prez Election in a timely manner. He noted that while dissolving parliament and conducting a general election are separate processes, there have been instances of delays in convening parliament after dissolution, leading to delayed gen. elections. more..

Missing girls found in Kaduwela searching for jobs

May 16 (DM) The two girls who went missing from Nawalapitiya on Tuesday (14), as soon as they had completed their GCE (O/L) exam have been found at one of their relatives' home in Kaduwela, police said. According to the police, the girls have gone to Colombo in the hope of finding jobs. The two students had stayed in the relative's house in Kaduwela on the night of 15. A complaint was lodged by the guardians of the two girls, who had come to the examination centre at Ambagamuwa more..

විජිත හේරත්

SJB’s CPC unions oppose jet fuel divestiture

May 16 (TM) SJB unions attached to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC), denounced the Govt's decision to divest the jet fuel supply in light of national security concerns and its impact on the country’s foreign reserves. Recently, several MPs alleged that the CPC has granted permits to two Companies – Cannel Private Limited and Fits Aviation Pvt. Ltd. – to supply jet fuel for aircraft, which will have a negative impact on the CPC’s monopoly on the same and the country’s more..

Fonterra to exit or sell down Sri Lanka unit

May 16 (EN) NZ’s Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd said it was planning to fully or partially sell down its SL assets as part of a strategy to exit its retail businesses worldwide. “We have conducted a strategic review which has reinforced the role of our core business,” Chairman Peter McBride said. “This is working alongside farmers to collect a sustainable supply of milk and efficiently manufacture products valued by customers, to deliver strong returns to farmer shareholders and unit holders.” more..

Lankan mercenaries in Russo-Ukraine war: Udayanga to assist repatriation if GoSL...

May 16 (TM) Former SL Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga, stated that he is ready to repatriate the retired SL armed forces personnel sent to Russia and Ukraine as mercenaries if the Govt of SL (GoSL) invites him to get involved in the matter. He noted that the GoSL can repatriate those soldiers after having diplomatic discussions with the Russian Govt, even though certain individuals in the Govt claim that it has no way to intervene more..

President to attend 10th World Water Forum in Indonesia

May 16 (PMD) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, has confirmed his participation in the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting, to be held from May 18th to 20th, in Bali, Indonesia. This significant gathering, themed Water for Shared Prosperity, will convene global leaders to address pressing issues related to water management and sustainability. Prez Wickremesinghe will leave for Indonesia on the 18th, following an invitation from Indonesian Prez Joko Widodo, underscoring more..

Alleged drug lord’s illegal seaside hotel in Dehiwala allegedly built on Govt land

May 16 (DM) The hotel Soul Beach, which was located in Dehiwala and later demolished, is suspected to have belonged to Shiran Basik, an alleged major drug smuggler currently operating from abroad, was alleged to have been built on government land, it was revealed. The hotel’s structures were removed in January this year by the Coast Guard and Police after it was found to be an illegal construction. However, a group of individuals who were carrying out construction work more..

Agency owner, manager arrested for illegally recruiting Sri Lankans for Russian army

May 16 (AD) Owner and the manager of a licensed foreign employment agency have been arrested for allegedly sending Sri Lankans for employment in the Russian army. SLBFE stated that the two suspects were arrested yesterday by officials of the bureau’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU). It said that the agency had obtained a sum of Rs. 1.5 million from each individual after promising that they would be sent to Russia on tourist visas more..

Prez orders establishment of Ashraf Memorial Museum in Kalmunai

May 16 (FT) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed the prompt commencement of construction of the Ashraf Memorial Museum in Kalmunai, honoring the late M.H.M. Ashraf, founder of the SLMC and former Minister. A distinguished politician known for his dedicated service to the Muslim community, the late M.H.M. Ashraf is to be memorialized through this museum. In recognition of his contributions, Prez has directed the establishment of an Ashraf Memorial more..

HRCSL calls for criminal investigation into 2024 alleged enforced disappearance

May 16 (FT) Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) in a letter to the Attorney General this week has stressed that it is imperative that an independent and impartial criminal investigation be launched into the alleged enforced disappearance of Kapila Kumara De Silva, a resident of Horowpathana, Anuradhapura in March 2024. The HRCSL urged the Attorney General to review the evidence and allegations and decide whether a separate criminal inquiry should be initiated more..

යකා නැටූ ඇමති කවුද?

Schoolgirl injured in Fox Hill tragedy succumbs to injuries

May 16 (AD) The schoolgirl, who was critically injured in the tragic accident during the recent Fox Hill Super Cross 2024 motorsport racing championship at Diyatalawa, has succumbed to injuries while receiving treatment in hospital last night, increasing the death toll from the fatal crash to 8. She had been receiving treatment in the ICU of Badulla General Hospital. The body of the 16-year-old girl, Sathdarani Kavishka, who was a resident of Galedanda area in Diyatalawa police area, more..

Court refuses injunction against Wijeyadasa

May 16 (AD) The Colombo District Court today rejected the petition filed by Duminda Dissanayake seeking an interim injunction preventing Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe from functioning as the Chairman and Keerthi Udawatta as Acting General Secretary of the SLFP. Accordingly, the Colombo District Court refused to issue an injunction restraining the party, its organizations and officials from acting on the decision taken to appoint Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe as the Chairman and more..

‘Tell Prez & PM about the right to remember’

May 16 (TM) SL Young Journalists' Association (SLYJA) urged the Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) to initiate an urgent investigation into the actions of the Police and its officers for disrupting and arresting a group of people who allegedly distributed kanji (porridge) in memory of their deceased relatives in Sampur. Writing a letter to the HRCSL Chairperson L.T.B. Dehideniya, the SLYJA President Tharindu Jayawardhana more..

SL’s first-ever Sports Ombudsman appointed

May 16 (AD) Retired Special Grade officer of the SL Administrative Service (SLAS), Chulananda Perera has been appointed as the first-ever Sports Ombudsman of SL by the Minister of Sports Harin Fernando. In his new role, Mr. Perera is tasked with conducting independent and impartial inquiries into complaints from individuals aggrieved by any decision or action of any registered national sports association or federation. Issuing a statement, Sports Ministry stated that aggrieved parties more..

Asian Netball Tourney put off by a few weeks

May 16 (DM) 13th Asian Senior Netball Championship 2024 has been postponed by a few weeks, Netball Asia (NA) President, Lakshmi Victoria said today. The 16-nation tournament, conducted by NA and the Saudi Arabian Netball Association (SANA) was set to be held in Saudi Arabia from Sept 28 to Oct 6. Victoria further said that the tournament will be put off by at least three weeks following a request by the SANA. She said that they cannot put off the event for more than three weeks more..

Sri Lanka to shrink Army over 50% by 2030, to strengthen Navy

May 16 (EN) SL will see more than 50% reduction in army cadres by 2030 and will strengthen the navy to safeguard the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Indian Ocean, State Defence Minister Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon said. SL is in the process of reducing a bloated state sector which is estimated at around 1.5 million in a country with 22 million population. Tri forces and police account for nearly 30% of the total more..

Sri Lanka Women to host West Indies for three ODIs and three T20Is in June

May 16 (CI) Fresh off qualification for the Women's T20 World Cup, Sri Lanka will host West Indies for three ODIs and three T20Is from June 15-28. For SL, the tour will primarily serve as preparation for the T20 Asia Cup, also to be hosted in SL, starting July 20. It will be their second bilateral T20I series this year, following their successful tour of South Africa across March and April. They are also set to tour Ireland in August. As for West Indies, they just concluded a month-long tour of Pakistan more..

Sajith bars Daily Mirror over liquor controversy

May 16 (DM) SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa has announced a ban on the Daily Mirror from covering any press briefings held by the SJB. The decision comes in the wake of accusations made by Premadasa, who criticized the publication for what he deemed as a mockery of journalism. Accusing the Daily Mirror of deliberately misquoting a statement made by him on banning liqour licenses in the country, Premadasa expressed his frustration at the handling of his statements. more..