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SLFP rules out a new national govt, ministerial portfolio for Fonseka

Apr 19 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena wouldn’t under any circumstances swore in those who had been elected on the UPFA ticket at the last parliamentary election as ministers in the UNP govt, a senior SLFP official said. The official who is also a lawmaker emphasized that there was absolutely no point in even discussing a national govt with two countrywide elections—presidential later this year and more..

Eight state institutes ordered to provide proper access to special needs people

Apr 19 (AD) Supreme Court has ordered eight state institutions including ministries to provide special access to persons with special needs. The Supreme Court trial at bar issued this order, today (18), considering a petition submitted by Dr. Ajith Perera. The Court has concluded that the fundamental rights of persons with special needs have been violated by denying them the opportunity to obtain proper access to institutions. The Court ordered the institutions to act in accordance with more..

Two female de-miners receive serious injuries in an explosion

Apr 19 (Island) Two female de-miners who received serious injuries during a demining operation due to an accidental explosion, in Muhamalai, Kilinochchi were admitted to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. They are being treated at the intensive care unit of the hospital. The women are residents of the north and attached to an international organisation engaged in humanitarian work in the area. The victims were Gunanendran Renuka (25) a mother of one and M. Mekala (26). more..

Solar power producers demand end to step motherly treatment

Apr 19 (Island) Sri Lanka could have saved up to Rs. 266 billion between 2019 and 2025 if it had met the electricity demand that increased by around 800 Gigawatt hours annually by using solar power, Solar Industries Association (SIA) announced at the launch of their Least cost long term solar PV generation plan 2019 – 2025 yesterday. Electricity demand for 2019 was estimated to be about 16,000 gigawatt hours more..

Chief opposition whip to get added facilities, perks

Apr 19 (DM) The govt has decided to strengthen the office of the Chief Whip of the opposition by providing an official residence, an office, a staff, official vehicle, added security and other facilities and perks, a govt source said. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office has already handed over the relevant cabinet memo to the cabinet office and it will be submitted for approval shortly, source said. All the facilities and perks approved for the Chief Opposition Whip will be channelled through more..

Canadian SC revives case of deported Sri Lankan accused of killing wife

Apr 19 (TS) Despite no longer being in Canada, a Sri Lankan national who had his murder charge stayed because of unreasonable delays in his trial isn’t done with the Quebec justice system just yet. Canada’s highest court ruled Wednesday the murder case of Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham should be sent back to the Quebec Court of Appeal. In 2017, Thanabalasingham avoided trial for the alleged murder of his wife when the Quebec Superior Court ruled nearly 60-month delay more..

Sri Lanka limbing 5 notches in World Press Freedom Index

Apr 19 (DM) Sri Lanka has further improved its press freedom, and ranked in between Uganda and Zimbabwe in the latest version of the World Press Freedom Index compiled by the Reporters Without Borders. In the 2019 index of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Sri Lanka ranked at 126 out of 180 countries going up five notches from last year’s rank. In 2018 index, SL ranked at 131 and ranked at 141 in 2017 index. more..

UNP backbenchers urge Ranil to resolve open warfare between Sajith and Ravi

Apr 19 (Island) UNP backbenchers have requested PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to resolve the dispute between Ministers Sajith Premadasa and Ravi Karunanayake which has gone public. The MPs made this request when they met Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees yesterday. They told the PM that the two senior ministers were leveling allegations against each other in public and it reflected badly on the govt. Wickremesinghe told the MPs that he would resolve the issue next week. more..

Leopard drags away labourer in Kumana

Apr 19 (DM) A person was killed and other sustained serious injuries when a leopard attacked a group of labourers working at the Kumana National Park and dragged a man away last afternoon, Panama Police said. The leopard had attacked the group of labourers who were attending to internal road development work in Okanda area at the Kumana National Park at around 3.30 p.m. yesterday and dragged one of the labourers into the jungle, police said. more..

Sri Lankan World Cup squad announced

Apr 19 (CI) Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne, spin-bowling allrounders Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis, and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay have all been picked in SL's World Cup squad, despite not having played an ODI since at least 2017. Not selected, meanwhile, are wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, offspinner Akila Dananjaya, openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga, as well as more..

Loan inflows to govt on the rise after end of constitutional crisis

Apr 19 (FT) Central Bank of Sri Lanka said loan inflows to the Govt have increased significantly, following the end of political uncertainty. “Loan inflows to the Govt increased significantly in Jan 2019, with loan inflows to major infrastructure projects resuming with the end of political uncertainty,” Bank said. Long-term loans to the Govt recorded a net inflow of $ 78 million in January. Gross inflows to the Govt amounted to $ 281 million, though down from $ 293 mil a year earlier. more..

US Naval ships Millinocket and Spruance arrive in Hambantota

Apr 19 (SLN) US Naval ships USNS Millinocket and USS Spruance arrived at the port of Hambanthota, today (18), for participating in the annual naval exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Exercise (CARAT)-2019. Upon their arrival, the two ships were welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions. Director Naval Operations Commodore Sanjeewa Dias and Naval Advisor to US embassy in SL Lieutenant Commander Brian Padge were also present on this occasion. more..

SLC justify Malinga axing

Apr 19 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket big wigs justified the axing of Lasith Malinga as the captain of the national cricket team for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 during a media briefing yesterday. The fast bowler was named captain in December 2018 but after the team failed to win a single game under his charge, the national selection panel promoted Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne as the ODI skipper for cricket’s showpiece event more..

Why Dimuth is the best among the rest

Apr 19 (DN) To lead your country in a World Cup cricket tournament is the dream of every cricketer. For Dimuth Karunaratne primarily a Test batsman the honour has come when he least expected it. Karunaratne would never have dreamt of leading his country to a World Cup let alone being selected as a member of the one-day side because after the 2015 World Cup he was never considered for selection in the one-day side by succeeding selection committees. more..

Suspect who attacked Thomian captain remanded

Apr 19 (DN) Galle Additional Magistrate yesterday remanded a suspect until April 30 for allegedly assaulting the captain of the U19 cricket squad of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia at Galle International Cricket Stadium following their victory over Richmond College, Galle in the final of the All Island U 19 School Cricket tournament. The suspect is an old boy aged 41 of Richmond College, Galle. In prosecution, the Galle police told the court that as S. Thomas’ College registered more..

Procurement guidelines before Cabinet next week

Apr 19 (FT) The long delayed National Procurement Guidelines are expected to be presented to Cabinet next week, an official said yesterday, possibly ending nearly a year-long wait. The guidelines have already been sent to the Cabinet Office and are expected to be tabled by Prez Sirisena before the end of April. The guidelines were gazetted on 9 May 2018. They were subsequently presented to Prez Secretariat last year. more..

Honouring tradition during New Year

Apr 19 (DM) Sinhala and Tamil New Year has much to offer in terms of traditions which the dominant majority of this country boast of. Some practise these traditions with awareness while a good number of them merely go through the motions. Recently there was a Facebook post regarding New Year traditions by a reputed statesman, author and writer who said that traditions are practices that are followed by a community without checking whether such rituals are right or wrong. more..

Female Magistrates for female victims

Apr 19 (CT) The procedure of criminal justice, on a national and even international level has long been focused on retributive justice. That is, primarily to punish victims for their wrongdoings as opposed to alleviating victims of their suffering. Recently, the Bangladesh SC issued a circular stating that henceforward, only female Magistrates will record statements of women and children who have been victims of rape or sexual violence. This landmark move signifies a shift in perspective; more..

Sri Lanka calls for increased protection for endemic lizards

Apr 19 (MB) Sri Lanka will push for international protection of its endemic lizards threatened by smuggling when it hosts a global biodiversity trade summit next month. When the 18th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP18) of the Convention on Int'l Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convenes in Colombo from May 23, the host nation will be seeking to get several lizard species included in Appendix I, more..

Service providers' outlook on business slows down despite increased consumer spending

Apr 19 (Island) Consumer spending had increased ahead of April New Year holidays with increased demand for finished goods in retail and bulk sales, according to the Sri Lanka Purchasing Managers' Index – March 2019, released by the Central Bank. According to the report, the expansion in business activities was mainly seen across wholesale and retail trade and transportation sub sectors due to festive season. Although the services sector had expanded at a higher rate in March 2019, more..

Eashan dazzled by Doha’s freely available training facilities

Apr 19 (CT) Following a stellar junior career where he won the Asian Junior Silver Medal in the 100m, Himasha Eashan has been struggling to make a name for himself in the Asian arena. Eashan had his moments, such as winning the South Asian Games 100m Gold Medal with a new record in 2016, but he has been struggling to convert that success to Asian standards. The 23-year-old sprinter has previously represented Sri Lanka in two Asian Championships – 2015 & 2017 – bowing out from the semis more..

Methodist prayer centre faces Palm Sunday attack

Apr 19 (DM) While many Christians, non-Christians, politicians and govt leaders in Sri Lanka were gripped by the fire that engulfed the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last Monday, little attention was given to a mob attack on a small Christian congregation in the remote hamlet of Kumbichchikulama, near Anuradhapura. A Methodist congregation comprising some 12 to 15 persons were subject to death threats, more..

Reviving full ordination for Buddhist Nuns

Apr 19 (DN) While monastic ordination has never been an absolute requirement for spiritual practice and attainment in Buddhism, through the centuries the lifeblood of the Buddhist tradition has flowed through its monasteries and hermitages. Even today, in this age of electronic commerce and high technology, the call to the simple monastic life still inspires many, women as well as men. Yet in most countries that follow the Theravada tradition women are allowed to enter only upon more..

Today is Bak full moon poya day

Apr 19 (DN) The significance of Bak Poya is historical since it marks Buddha’s second visit to Sri Lanka. This is noteworthy, as Bak is a month of national importance as well. According to Mahavamsa, Buddha could foresee an imminent war between two Naga Kings Culodara and Mahodara, uncle and nephew, over a jewel-studded throne that made Him think of visiting Lanka for the second time. Professor Wilhelm Geiger explains the conflict in the translation of Mahavamsa: more..

Good Friday: Triumph through agony on cross

Apr 19 (DN) The cross is the most famous symbol of Christianity. Most Christians have crosses in their homes. Many wear a cross around their necks. Some of these are made of precious metal and embellished with jewels. The beauty of these devotional objects may emphasize the glory and the victory over death Christ won on the cross but too often representations of this central symbol of faith are regarded primarily as decorative, more..

The campaign to abolish the Executive Presidential system

Apr 19 (Island) Although the campaign to abolish the Executive Presidential system was first initiated by late Ven. Sobitha Thera, the present campaign is being spearheaded by the JVP. According to media reports, the reason for the JVP to take up the campaign is to fulfill pledges made by past and present Presidents; a reason that appears to be too far etched to be taken seriously because no one knows whether such pledges were made to benefit the Presidents or the People. more..

Degradation the concept of national govt to coalition govt in 2015 &it’s repercussions

Apr 19 (CT) Concept of national govt was mentioned in the election manifesto of Maithripala Sirisena in 2015 presidential election. “For that purpose a National Unity Alliance Govt will be established for a hundred day interim period. This programme will be implemented through a National govt comprising the SLFP, the UNP, JHU and people’s representatives all other political parties that are represented in the present Parliament who are willing to join this programme.” more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Edtorial: A lesson from Peru

Apr 19 (Island) Political power and ill-gotten wealth are joined at the hip. Those in power crave for more wealth and the wealthy more power. Their insatiable greed for riches and power is the bane of many developing nations; it promotes corruption and stymies democracy, as has been the experience of the people in the so-called Global South. But corrupt political leaders and their kith and kin, living high on the hog, at the expense of the ordinary public, go scot free, in most cases, more..

Conserving wetlands in Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (DN) In the past, wetlands were considered wastelands that could be reclaimed or changed for use by mankind. Development initiatives have regarded these areas suited only for such purposes and as a consequence, many wetlands have been drained or used as dump sites for refuse and urban waste. With increasing knowledge, however, we have understood that wetlands are amongst the world’s most valuable and vulnerable environments on which a variety of plants, animals and more..

Gratis visas: Solution for tourism?

Apr 19 (CT) According to news sources, Minister of Tourism has submitted a Cabinet Paper for approval of a pilot project to allow visitors from 29 countries to enter Sri Lanka without having to pay any visa fee. It is supposed to be implemented for a period of six months, during the off-peak period, from 1 May 2019. The continuation of the new scheme will depend on progress in the tourism industry. more..

Presidential term limit: When does it end?

Apr 19 (CT) The purpose of the neoliberal economic invasion of Sri Lanka, led by the USA, which was outlined in this column last week, is the transformation of SL into a semi-colonial State under the hegemony of the USA and its rich allies. The process began in 1977, soon after the formation of the UNP Govt, led by J.R. Jayewardene, with the opening of the country to capitalist globalisation. The framework for the retrogressive changes that are occurring today more..

UNF came to office by fooling voters

Apr 19 (CT) Presidential election is coming and opposition campaign has started. None of the main parties has come out with who its presidential candidate would be. Election calculators are already busy projecting out winning probabilities of prominent candidates. Ruling party leader is already empowered with the 19th Amendment; hence, he can relax and wait. He may not contest and allocate that for Sajith Premadasa. Some believe mistakenly that the ruling party carries heaviest burden more..

Presidential term limit: When does it end?

Apr 19 (SO) On April 9, SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara revealed the possibility of seeking a Supreme Court (SC) decision on the term of Office of President Maithripala Sirisena. MP Jayasekara, an Attorney-at-Law said that President Sirisena’s term would end in May 2020 subject to the interpretation of the SC. This opinion has arisen despite the verdict given by the SC in January 2018, more..

The dilemma that faces our media

Apr 19 (CT) It has been said that poor minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas. Sadly, our print media and TV fall mainly into classes One or Two, or a mixture of the two, but seldom makes it into class Three. Many opportunities for change are available, but missed. Consequently, (the much maligned Social Media) are made aware of their power and responsibility. Predictably, Governments that should blush in embarrassment, choose to adopt more..

Where art thou the most awaited candidate?

Apr 19 (DN) Politics may have taken a backseat during the nonagathaya (period of inactivity) during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year but will return with a vengeance as the next major political event, May Day celebrations, looms ahead. New Year saw Prez Sirisena take wing to India for a brief private visit a few days after the New Year festivities. The opposition’s potential prez candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in contrast, returned to the country from the US a few days before the New Year. more..

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