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Thinkers and think tanks

May 1 (Island) It is essential that funds be made available to writers and their publications. Again no govt control, please. Similarly, when foreign funds come they must come as foundation money so donors are in no position to determine areas in which people write and what writers write about. I want to think aloud a little about Think Tanks which Professor Ranjith Senaratne of Ruhunu Uni wrote about on 22-23 of April. I have seen these tanks fill and empty and read some of their writings. more..

A right to know is a right for all

May 1 (CT) The 19th Amendment was passed. It remains this govt’s first real reform victory, ironic given that it was approved after the 100-day program ended. During these past few months we’ve seen promises made and unkept. That’s natural, given the state our politicians usually are in whenever they try to win the people’s mandate. For the moment though, one important aspect of their program has been covered. The govt is to be applauded for this. more..

Red, the colour of his childhood

May 1 (ST) As the colourful, slogan-shouting and flag-waving May Day processions take to the streets on Friday, in the minds of the older generation would be created the image of the Father of the Labour Movement in SL, Alexander Ekanayake (A.E.) Goonesinha. This is the man whose statue, depicted wielding an upraised hammer, adorns the entry to Goonesinhapura just beyond Pettah, straggling uphill towards the more..

Come September, Kerry or Maithri?

May 1 (CT) After voting concluded on 8 January at the presidential election, the same night American Secretary of State, John Kerry, telephoned President Rajapaksa. Kerry inquired from Mahinda whether the latter was prepared for a smooth transfer of power if he was defeated. Mahinda replied that the election process was continuing and he was confident of victory and added Mahinda would like to call on Kerry after his victory. He also reminded Kerry about the invitation extended more..

Many challenges to good governance

May 1 (SL) On April 23, President Maithripala Sirisena addressed the nation upon completion of his 100 day plan. In this address, he reflected upon his tenure as president and brought to light a few of his successes; namely the success of his international visits and the benefits they brings to the nation, the attainment of a freedom that was once lost to the media during the previous regime’s rule, and most importantly his diligent and relentless pursuit towards curbing executive presidential more..

Fighting for worker rights

May 1 (SL) Ahead of the May Day, trade unions are preparing their slogans to rally for the rights of the working community in the country and to remind the new govt there is still a lot to be done to ensure the rights of workers. Convener of the Joint Trade Union Alliance for Railway Employees, Janaka Fernando said that the new govt also has been reluctant in addressing many of their issues and it has been a constant and continuous more..

Measuring change in SL: Our yardstick

May 1 (NS) Today marks 100 days since that election and the culmination of President Sirisena’s 100 day plan. In the days to come there will doubtless be much analysis of the extent to which the hundred day plan has succeeded and failed. We are not going to comment on these issues; those in Sri Lanka would be much better able to do so. However, the time is right to revisit our yardstick and to use it to make some preliminary judgements as to how much has changed in Sri Lanka. more..

CEA backs out of own decision

May 1 (NS) Mounting pressure from both environmentalists and residents has prompted the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to overturn its approval to build a Hydro power plant at the scenic Sylvan Athwelthota waterfalls. Chairman of the CEA, Professor Dharmasiri said that in light of protests by residents and concerns that have been raised by environmentalists, the CEA has decided to temporarily overturn its decision. The Athwelthota waterfall in Palindanuwara more..

Boston Lanka: May 01, 2015

Sri Lanka’s foreign relations: 3 policies we can adopt

May 1 (CT) The Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute is the training ground for our future ambassadors to the world. Started twenty one years ago, its courses have rightly emphasized the importance of professional competence in our diplomatic corps – focussing on training in negotiations, public speaking, economic diplomacy and policy analysis. These are key tools that every diplomat aspires to perfect. It is with this in mind that I’d like to briefly outline more..

Editorial: Another May Day

May 1 (Island) The International Workers’ Day falls today. In this country it is mostly celebrated by politicians who have anything but workers’ interests at heart. We are treated to various circuses aimed at shoring up politicians’ images and furthering their interests. Workers may parade the streets, singing the left wing anthem with gusto all the way, make fiery speeches, condemning the capitalist class, put forth demands and call for an end to exploitation, but they do precious little to assert themselves more..

The Tamils and India’s foreign policy games

May 1 (Island) Talking of the international dimension, back in the 1980s, the reason why India started supporting the Tamil militants was because India didn’t like Sri Lanka’s foreign policy under the J.R. Jayewardene govt. Had Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike been in power at that time, the Tamil militatnts would not have got any help from India. Today once again, the Indians are interfering in the internal affairs of SL in order to impose their more..

Lankan netballers should give of their best at World Cup, says Yasa

May 1 (DN) Our aim is to go as far as possible in the forth coming World Netball Championship in Australia, said the newly elected president of Sri Lanka Netball Association Yasa Ramachandra. Now we have very little time to get ready, just 99 days, and I believe the world championship is a huge target, but we must try to get even closer, at least to defeat our Asian rivals Singapore, she added. The Netball World Championship will be held in Sydney, Australia from August 7 to 16. more..

Boteju and Fazil qualify for Asian Snooker Champ 2015

May 1 (CT) Reigning national snooker champion Susantha Boteju of YMCA won the final match of Asian Snooker selection tournament for the forthcoming Asian Snooker Championship which concluded at Automobile Association Colombo. The eleventh frame of the final encounter saw Susantha Boteju of MICH recording a convincing 3-2 win over 20-year-old M.F.M. Fazil. The duo qualified to the final, having won their semi final encounter played at Sri Lanka Billiards and Snooker Association more..

Vaas parts ways with SLC

May 1 (DM) Former Sri Lankan fast bowler Chaminda Vaas has quit his role as the team’s fast-bowling coach after he and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) mutually agreed not to renew his contract which ran out yesterday. SLC Interim Committee Secretary Prakash Schaffter said, “We had discussions with him, and we mutually agreed not to extend the contract.” Vaas, who was appointed to position in Feb 2013, came under heavy fire more..

Today is May Day

May 1 (DN) Today is yet another May Day, a day dedicated to the workpeople, who are expected to use this day to demonstrate their unity and strength with the resolve to fight inequity and exploitation of the working class. A little over 130 years back, when the landowners and the industrialists were reigning supreme, with the politicians in their pockets and armed with wealth acquired political power, any kind of rights of workers was unheard of. Terms and conditions of work were imposed on more..

Sri Lanka’s May Day ‘87 claimed two lives

May 1 (FT) The place was SLFP Headquarters, Colombo. The date was April 21, 1987. The time was around 5.30 p.m. I had come to SLFP headquarters to do a report on the coming May Day. SLFP trade union leader Alavi Moulana was standing in front of me. SLFP Administrative Secretary Anuruddha Ratwatte too was nearby. Suddenly there was a sound like a thunderclap. Immediately I jumped into Ratwatte’s jeep and rushed to the scene of the explosion near more..

Sri Lanka parliament saved by Kerry?

May 1 (EN) Parliament that was due to have been dissolved last week may have won a reprieve thanks to the upcoming visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry, sources said. President Sirisena was originally committed to sacking the legislature on April 23, but delays in presenting the 19th amendment and the weekend visit of Kerry had complicated matters. "It is likely that any dissolution will be after Kerry's visit (on May 2)," more..

eDoctor app for all your health care needs

May 1 (CT) The latest advantages offered to the health conscious community of Sri Lanka is the eDoctor app, was launched by Hirunika Premachandra Western Provincial Councillor during the Medicare-Annual National Healthcare Exhibition held at BMICH recently. The app can be downloaded to any smart phone. However, the full service can only be enjoyed by registered members of Its primary aim is to enable quick access and editing of one's health records. more..

Minor Hotel group chief meets Ranil

May 1 (DN) Sri Lanka must try to increase earning yields from the tourism sector PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He was speaking at function organized by Hemas Holdings and Minor International at Cinnamon Grand on Wednesday. PM said the govt is taking tourism as a major thrust industry. He said that he feels that Sri Lanka is being sold cheaply and the country should try and get more high spending tourists to come. "Try to woo more up market clientele," he advised more..

British HC James Dauris visits Kandy

May 1 (AT) The newly-appointed British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris, yesterday made his first official visit to Kandy. He paid his respects at the Sacred Temple of the Tooth, and called on the Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thero of the Malwatte Chapter. They spoke about the importance of inter-faith dialogue in Sri Lanka and around the world. more..

Hemas Hospitals launches home care service

May 1 (CT) Hemas Hospitals launched a home care service, that will emigrate hospital facilities and services to the patient's home, on Thursday the 30th at their Thalawathugoda premises. It offers Out Patient Department (OPD), lab testing, physiotherapy, and emergency care and can be engaged via a hotline. Hemas Hospitals Thalawathugoda Director Dr. Chamila Ariyananda said that the objective of the programme was to, "minimize the customer interaction more..

A first in country's history: Gayantha

May 1 (DN) This is the first time in the country's history that a minority govt succeeded in getting a Constitutional Amendment adopted in Parliament with a two thirds majority, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. "We could have told the people that this amendment would be brought to Parliament after the next general election. However, we did not resort to such moves," he said. The minister said the Constitutional Amendment was brought in Parliament with a good intention. more..

Dual citizenship certificates issued

May 1 (DM) 187 Sri Lankans living in abroad received their dual citizenship certificates today from the Immigration and Emigration Department as a result of the new govt’s decision to reintroduce the dual citizenship system. A ceremony was held at the Department to issue the first set of certificates online. Minister John Amaratunga said the department had received about 500 applications requesting for dual citizenship. more..

May Day Message of the Prime Minister

May 1 (GDI) We must line-up to build our country, through a sustainable development process and to make the lives of our people prosperous. Workers are the pioneers of that process. We all are well aware of the truth that, their labour is decisive in making the future of a country, said PM Ranil Wickremasinghe issuing May Day message. "Today, we celebrate the International Workers' Day. The day of the courageous people who ensure the existence of the world through their labour. more..

May Day Message of the President

May 1 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena issuing a May Day message expressed the solidarity of the working people of Sri Lanka with workers throughout the world. The President’s message said: This occasion is celebrated by the workers of the world being the anniversary of a great struggle for the rights of the working people which took place in the United States of America, and has been since recognized as the day of working class solidarity through the world. more..

Ex-Ministry Secy wants barrier removed to return to Sri Lanka

May 1 (DM) A former ministry secretary who had been named as a suspect in the controversial Norochcholai Lakvijaya coal case, has requested Court to lift the travel restrictions imposed on him so that he could return to the country. CID Special Investigations Unit had named former Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando who left SL on the night of Presidential Elections, over the investigations into the import of coal more..

The Annasi & Kadalagotu Literature Festival: A tasty treat

May 1 (DM) Walking in through the gates of the Aesthetic Resort on Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha on 25th April 2015, the literature lover of Colombo was met with carts of annasi, kadala, veralu, and a whole host of street food. Walking up the staircase, one was greeted by booksellers Vijitha Yapa, M.D. Gunasena, Sarasavi and Deen the bookman, along with the AK Lit Festival Bookshop with books autographed by the panelists featured in the day’s programme. more..

Operation to salvage fishing boats confiscated by Lankan navy ends

May 1 (Hindu) The salvage operation launched on March 22 to bring back the confiscated boats in Sri Lanka, drew to a close on Thursday with a 75-member team salvaging 14 boats anchored in Karainagar since June last. The team, which had left on Tuesday, reached the fishing jetty here on Thursday evening. The remaining 16 boats anchored in Karainagar and Talaimannar could not be salvaged as they had suffered extensive damage, the sources said. more..

Sri Lanka constitutional expert says largely satisfied with reforms

May 1 (EN) Jayampathy Wickramaratne, a constitutional lawyer who advises the Sri Lankan govt, said he was largely satisfied with reforms approved by parliament this week which an opposition faction watered down at the last moment. 19th amendment to the constitution passed on Tuesday succeeded in prunning the powers of the executive president and shifting them to parliament, said Wickramaratne more..

MR to avoid May Day rallies

May 1 (FT) Contrary to high expectations, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to avoid key May Day rallies to which he has been invited, though some are still hopeful he will. Senior member of the SLFP and Parliamentarian John Seneviratne told the Daily FT that the party and the UPFA have invited the ex-President to join them in the May Day rallies but he has decided to remain silence. “He would not participate in either of their May Day rallies,” Seneviratne said. more..

May Day rallies in Colombo

May 1 (CT) Political parties and trade unions of the govt as well as of the Opposition will stage seventeen May Day rallies and marches today within the City of Colombo. The SLFP rally led by President Maithripala Sirisena will commence at the Hyde Park at 2:00 p.m, while the UNP rally led by PM and Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will be held at the Campbell Park, commencing 1:00 p.m. JVP rally will be held at the BRC Playgrounds in Havelock Town starting 3.30 p.m. more..

Sushma’s stand on fishermen issue draws flak from TN parties

May 1 (TOI) A day after Union minister Sushma Swaraj advised fishermen not to trespass into Sri Lankan waters, political parties in TN reacted strongly, indicating it is likely to become a political issue in the days to come. NDA partner PMK said that when Sri Lankan PM and other leaders had been threatening to shoot TN fishermen straying into their waters, Swaraj's statement that the fishermen had to face consequences if more..

Mangala receives bone relics from Myanmar for Vesak viewing

May 1 (FT) Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera received the bone relics of the Buddha late last night at the airport. The relics, which will remain in Sri Lanka over the Vesak period, are usually housed at the Mandalay Museum in Myanmar. This is the second time in history that the relics have been exhibited abroad, offering a rare opportunity for the Buddhists of Sri Lanka to view the relics. The relics were accompanied by a delegation of monks headed by Ven. U Nayana Wun Tha more..

Tamils for Obama to Kerry: When you're in Sri Lanka, pay attention to Tamils

May 1 (PRW) John Kerry concerning his trip to Sri Lanka. Tamils for Obama urged him to meet the widows and orphans of the Tamil dead. Tamils for Obama also asked Kerry to reaffirm US support for an international investigation of crimes committed during the ethnic civil war and for a referendum to determine the wishes of the Tamil population of Sri Lanka. "We know that Kerry will be brought to meet the military widows of govt soldiers," said the press spokesman for Tamils for Obama. more..

Presidential Task Force to recover illegal assets

May 1 (DN) The govt established the Special Presidential Task Force for the recovery of illegally acquired state assets. President Maithripala Sirisena handed over the appointment letters to the members of the Task Force at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. The Task Force comprises 13 members. They are: former Solicitor General Bimba Tillakaratne, H.M.L.T. Mudalige, H. Amaratunga, C.A.H.M. Wijeratna, A.K.D.D. Arandara, more..

May Day amid 19A and a new political culture

May 1 (DM) Workers worldwide will celebrate May Day today. For many of us the relevance of the massacre of workers at Haymarket in Chicago giving birth to May Day or Workers Day remains remote. Like everything else, May Day has also evolved. May Day is not just a workers day, where the factory workers demand their rights from their employers. It now embodies a wider spectrum of ideas including political freedom, social justice, accountability, rule of law and good governance and more..

The unique dansals of Vesak

May 1 (DM) The Vesak season brings in its slip-stream, an enthralling spiritual joy. Decorations - pandals occupying centre stage- punctuate the celebrations. At night, illuminations and lanterns brighten the Vesak landscape. Some of these, massive in size and intriguing in concept, attract milling throngs of devotees and pilgrims. Mobile groups, singing devotional songs, sweeten the Vesak air with their alluring and cadenced rhythms. But, among this vast host of items, that spell more..

Reforms no one can oppose

May 1 (DM) The last minute compromise by the two main parties enabled the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution after a marathon session, which lasted from 9.30 am till 11.00 p.m. in Parliament on Tuesday. It was probably the busiest day in contemporary history of politics in Sri Lanka because the political party leaders and their representatives, including President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil more..

Classroom comes to disabled student: Viva Visakha!

May 1 (ST) A disabled child who was deprived of attending classes in a leading Colombo school due to an issue over accessibility, was this week granted relief with the intervention of the authorities, officials said. Prasansa Lakmini of Grade 8, whose disability from birth compelled her to use a wheelchair, was unable to attend classes at Visakha Vidyalaya, as her class shifted from the ground floor to the upper floor. more..