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Why are we being enlisted in save the party projects?

Sept 1 (CT) I for one am not too unhappy that the new govt is taking its time naming its cabinet of ministers. Usual practice is, that after we all trek to the polling booths, cast our votes diligently and follow the election results, while we are still recovering from the exercise, a cabinet is thrust on us with barely 2 or 3 days of deliberation. Nor are many of us particularly averse to the idea of a national govt in which decision making would be slower than usual owing to the need for more..

Current issues in university education

Sept 1 (CT) Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak a few words today. I think this is an important topic which requires debate and discussion in our society and I am very appreciative of CEPA’s initiative in this regard. What I want to do today is to reflect on the current discourse on university education. I think this is important –because I have found that most of our discussions about university education start with many unexamined assumptions. more..

Opposition Leader’s post: TNA lays legitimate claim

Sept 1 (CT) Former NPC member and TNA Vanni District MP-elect Dr. Sivapragasam Sivamohan said the Opposition Leader's post must be offered to his party as it has secured the third place in the recent general election with highest number of votes polled from both the North and East. "This is definitely a negative move. Both majority parties have joined hands to form a National Govt. However, our party is in 3rd place, more..

Reforms difficult but essential; education for economic development

Sept 1 (ST) Good economics is bad politics in the short run. Good economics is good politics in the long run. Since the perspectives of politicians are short-term, govts are diffident in undertaking economic and social reforms. Furthermore, our political culture and social milieu are often opposed to change. At this economic and political juncture when macroeconomic conditions are weak and wide-ranging, reforms are essential preconditions for sustained economic and social development. more..

Yahapalanaya fails to make the national list

Sept 1 (ST) Sri Lanka’s voters did to Mahinda Rajapaksa what the British voters did to Winston Churchill 70 years ago. In fact SL voters went one better. They defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa twice — in Jan and Aug this year. Churchill was celebrated for leading a struggling Britain through its finest hour as he fought to protect the country from the Hitlerite juggernaut. When the war ended in 1945 Churchill’s popularity that stood in the high seventies since 1940 had soared to a little over 83%. more..

‘Innovate or Perish’

Sept 1 (Island) If Sri Lanka is to match the prosperity of the more dynamic economies of Asia, such as Singapore, it would need to get into product innovation in a big way and attach top priority to the stepped-up generation of Research and Development and knowledge services. An inability to do this could very well spell dire economic failure. Eastern Europe’s vast economic decline is explainable in these terms. more..

The future of Sinhala Nationalism

Sept 1 (NS) The Mahinda Movement had, beneath the rousing nationalist romanticism, a tough-minded realization that what was being waged was a resistance struggle; a peaceful people’s uprising, a rearguard action. The main reference point of the Mahinda Movement’s public discourse during the Presidential election campaign and more pronouncedly after January 8th was not the 5.8 lakhs of voters, but rather the marker year 1815, year of betrayal of Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe more..

Selection of Cabinet far from over

Sept 1 (NS) The dust is slowly settling on the general elections but the future trajectory of both the govt and opposition remains uncertain, two weeks later. It is a reflection of the polarity of politics in Sri Lanka and the difficulty in forging a consensus among parties which are traditional rivals. During the presidential election, UNP which endorsed President Sirisena’s candidacy was floating the concept of a national govt. Now, with only 105 seats in the new Parliament, it is forced to form a coalition more..

'This is a Joint Govt'

Sept 1 (CT) The SLFP and the UNP signed a MoU on working together in a National Govt on 21 August following the swearing in of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The MoU was signed between SLFP Acting General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake and UNP General Secretary, Kabir Hashim. The SLFP will be in the National Govt for two years and will work with other political parties in the govt to address key issues. more..

The Deconstruction of a Supremacist

Sept 1 (GV) Notwithstanding his rise to ultimate power as a politician in this country, Mahinda Rajapaksa retains the mindset of an uneducated peasant, in this instance from Giruwapattuwa. Despite being one of the most shrewd, and one of the most successful political manipulators in the short independent history of this country, he opts to place his faith in necromancy, soothsaying, the casting of bones and the reading of entrails, rather than in the intelligence of his political sense. more..

Use of strategic considerations in elections

Sept 1 (GV) On what criteria should we vote in elections? Should it based on the issues closest to our own, irrespective of likely consequences? Or should it be strategic, designed to achieve the best possible results (long term and immediate)? I have been mostly Colombo based and voting since the parliamentary elections of 1956. Initially, there was no conflict because the candidates with election manifestos I liked were electable. Later, they changed to policies on ethnic issues that more..

'India happy with the regime change'

Sept 1 (SO) The Indian Govt and its political parties are happy about the regime change, even though former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his allies remain a strong political force in Sri Lanka, say Chairman and Publisher of The Hindu Group of newspapers and former Editor- in- Chief of The Hindu, N. Ram who was in Sri Lanka recently. He opines that the national govt was a worthwhile political experiment more..

Editorial: Bold move to tackle insidious killer

Sept 1 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has taken some bold steps to protect the environment and public health during the past several months. He has introduced tough anti-tobacco laws and a national drug policy the benefits of which, however, have not yet accrued to the people. His decision to ban asbestos roofing sheets with effect from Jan. 1, 2018 and impose restrictions on the use of polythene is to be highly commended. Such measures are long overdue. more..

Govt proposal for a domestic inquiry

Sept 1 (Island) It is reported that the US Assistant Secretary of State, Nisha Biswal, is so upbeat about the mechanism adopted by the Govt for a Domestic Inquiry Mechanism into accountability and reconciliation issues relating to the final phases of the conflict, that the US would sponsor a resolution supporting the Domestic Inquiry Mechanism at the next session of the UNHRC. The report also states that Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, more..

Sri Lanka blighted by batting disorder

Sept 1 (CI) So far in the series, Sri Lanka's batsmen have lost their top five for less than 110 in four of five completed innings so far. They have been perplexed by spin. They have been cut down by seam. Their bowlers, meanwhile, have not conceded more than 400 in an innings, and more than 350 only once. They have won one match defending a small score. They have kept India's top order in check. more..

Second chance to deal with the past

Sept 1 (Island) Within a week of former government’s second electoral defeat, this time at the general election, two senior representatives of the United States paid a rare joint visit to Sri Lanka. They were the first representatives of foreign powers to visit the country after the elections. They came even before parliament has met and the new govt has been formed. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was one of only three ministers to be appointed at the time of their visit. more..

India must renew focus with finish line in sight

Sept 1 (CI) And so here we are. After three whirlwind weeks of the bowlers having dictated play even as the batsmen have tried to tap into their inner technicians, India are seven wickets away from a series victory in Sri Lanka. Yes, yes, after 22 years. The last time India won a series in Sri Lanka, Amit Mishra was in primary school and KL Rahul still wore diapers. Never mind the time span, if the Indians pull it off at the SSC it could, keeping in mind the Colombo temperatures, more..

Central bank says rising credit a concern; policy rates kept low

Sept 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's Central Bank kept policy rates unchanged at a near historic low but said for the first time that rocketing credit has raised some concerns picking out motor vehicle imports in particular. "The expansion in private sector credit in the first half of the year was largely due to higher disbursements of credit to the Industry and Services sectors," the Central Bank said in its August monetary policy statement. more..

Kandy Perahera & garbage exposition

Sept 1 (CT) We are such a proud nation that we boast of our past kings and queens, their gallantry and the wars they fought and won. We speak of what our island nation had been and still is. We are proud of its greenery, its heritage and culture. We proudly say that Sri Lanka is a country with land marks of Buddhism; we speak of unity and multi ethnicity. We are lions, we claim. I can proudly boast, of the culture and practices of the hill country; I am proud to hail from last Kingdom of SL, more..

Deplorable behaviour stuns officials

Sept 1 (CT) The losing contestant Hemal Dias at the recently held elections at the 2015/2017 Sri Lanka Body Building and Fitness Federation for the post of Secretary, told at a press conference held at Otters Swimming Club Colombo by the Sri Lanka Veterans Body Building Officials & Athlete Committee, that he has challenged the authenticity of the Certificates of Qualifications submitted by the winner of that election Pulasththi Tharanga. The losing contestant Hemal Dias at the recently held elections more..

Roofing sheet leaders rally against proposed asbestos ban

Sept 1 (FT) Following President Sirisena’s announcement of a possible asbestos ban by 2018, roofing sheet industry leaders called for stakeholder engagement to reduce the potential fallout faced by the construction industry. Blue asbestos was banned in 1997; however white asbestos has been in use since, mainly for the production of fibre cement sheets, more commonly known as roofing sheets, in Sri Lanka. more..

EDEX signs MOU with ANCL to market education, career guidance magazine

Sept 1 (DN) The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) and EDEX, a social enterprise of the Royal College Union, signed a MOU to position the EDEX Magazine in the market and to attract more youth to benefit from reading its information-rich contents. The EDEX Magazine, which has been endorsed by the Ministry of Education in 2010 is the only education and careers magazine available to an islandwide audience, as a tri-lingual, quarterly. The ANCL and Royal College Tertiary Education more..

Govt makes biggest ever allocation to purchase paddy

Sept 1 (DN) The govt has allocated Rs. 6,000 million to the PMB through the two state banks, Bank of Ceylon and People's Bank, for the purchase of the yala paddy harvest from farmers this year. This is the biggest allocation made so far for a single season by any govt in the country's history. The release signed by information officer W.M.D. Wanninayake said that the govt on the direct intervention of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken all measures to purchase produce of farmers. more..

President addresses issues in implementing national program to eradicate drug menace

Sept 1 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena has stated that all the ministries and institutions must commit themselves to fulfill the responsibilities and duties bestow upon them in a perfectly satisfactory manner when engaged in the programs implemented by the Govt to eradicate the drug menace from the country. He made these observations participating in a special discussion with the authorities on the problems faced by more..

India may not like it, but Sri Lanka can’t move completely away from China

Sept 1 (Wire) The two cannons on the famous Galle Face promenade in Sri Lanka’s capital once overlooked the lapping waves of the Indian Ocean. Now they stare at sand and rubble, as a Chinese-funded project aimed at creating a new $1.4 billion city is gobbling up the sea and adding acres of new land to erect high-rise buildings. Earlier this month, SL voters gave a final thumbs down to the man who introduced his country to a raft of such expensive, ambitious projects ostensibly aimed more..

CEA temporarily revokes suspension on Coca Cola’s EPL

Sept 1 (DM) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) temporarily revoked the suspension imposed on the Environmental Protection Licence (EPL) of the Coca-Cola beverage factory. The factory’s EPL was suspended by the Authority on Tuesday after oil from the factory was leaked into the Kelani River. CEA Chairman Prof. Lal Mervin Dharmasiri said the beverage company had taken measures to prevent further leakage and had also flushed away oil patches down the river. more..

Wimal apologises to President

Sept 1 (DN) In what is called a dramatic turn of events in the local political arena NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa had tendered an apology to President Maithripala Sirisena when a UPFA delegation met the President yesterday. Weerawansa had tendered the apology to the President for using abusive language during the Presidential election campaign against him (the President). more..

SL Tourism focus on Indian IAS officers

Sept 1 (CT) Indian Administrative Service the premier administrative civil service of Govt of India which has the option of selecting a global awareness programme during one tenure has been targeted by Sri Lanka Tourism as potential tourist and brand Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Chairman Dr. Rohantha Athukorala said. We first profile the country and there after city tour or country tour in partnership with SLIDA he said. As at end July 2015, India is yet number one source market with 145,453 more..

SL, Pakistan trade to increase to US$ 1bn

Sept 1 (DN) The export and import trade volume between Sri Lanka and Pakistan could be increased from US$ 400 million US$ one billion within the next two years, if the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) efficiently harness, Pakistan High Commissioner Major General (Retired), Syed Shakeel Hussain said. "Sri Lanka is a right place to do business for Pakistan investors but unfortunately we have not open and posed to do business by both countries, since both countries have immense more..

Report on Sri Lanka’s missing almost ready

Sept 1 (Hindu) The Presidential Commission on Missing Persons has almost completed its task, according to Justice Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama, chairman of the panel. In a chat with The Hindu on Monday, Justice Paranagama said the Commission had virtually finalised its findings. However, he refused to say when he would submit the final report to President Maithripala Sirisena. “The President is busy these days,” he said. more..

UNP - SLFP conclude final round of talks on national govt

Sept 1 (DN) The UNP and the SLFP held the final round of discussions last evening with regard to the formation of a national govt. The meeting, held at the President’s official residence, was chaired by President Sirisena. UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrama, Lakshman Kiriella and John Amaratunga participated representing the UNP while SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake, former Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, W.D.J. Seneviratne, Anura Priyadarshana more..

U.S. Embassy building 8 schools in East for $3.3 Million

Sept 1 (AT) On Aug 28, U.S. Embassy signed a MoU to build 8 schools for the different communities throughout the Eastern Province, with Governor Austin Fernando and the support of the Eastern Provincial Council. These schools will be an investment of $3.3 million to build education facilities that can also be used as shelters during natural disasters. “The US remains dedicated to partnering with the Govt to help provide schools and hospitals throughout Sri Lanka,” more..

Initial evidence unfolds KP not a terrorist

Sept 1 (CT) Senior State Counsel Priyantha Nawana informed President of the Court of Appeal Wijith Malalgoda yesterday that nothing had come to light with regard to Kumaran Pathmanathan, a LTTE leader's involvement in terrorist activities. Nawana informed thus when a petition filed by MP Vijitha Herath was taken up before Court. IGP, Defence Secretary, Controller General of Immigration & Emigration, more..

Post-election challenges for Sri Lanka

Sept 1 (OD) These are critical times for Sri Lanka. This week the country completed its second round of elections this year. A coalition led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe scored a narrow victory. By contrast, presidential elections ended in a surprise victory for Maithripala Sirisena, a veteran govt minister who broke ranks with Mahinda Rajapaksa. A notable feature of the latest election was Sirisena’s decision effectively to back the opposition coalition running against his own party, more..

Ranil states criteria for portfolio

Sept 1 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to have told his party seniors that in assigning Cabinet portfolios he would consider those who had either won their respective electoral districts or improved their performance when compared with previous elections. Even prior to elections, he had mentioned this as a criteria when selecting members for Cabinet portfolios. Cabinet will be sworn in tomorrow at 10 a.m. It is learnt that 33 Cabinet portfolios have been reserved for those who more..

Inaugural sitting of 8th parliament today

Sept 1 (Island) The inaugural sitting of the eighth parliament will commence at 9.30 a.m. today and Members of Parliament have been asked to be present by 9 am. President Maithripala Sirisena is due to present the Statement of Govt Policy at the Ceremonial sitting of the First Session at 3 pm. It will be his first presentation of Statement of Govt Policy. He will deliver the statement from the Chair of the Speaker. more..

Another promise-making season is over

Sept 1 (DM) At last, the racket–albeit a muted one in the run up to the general election was over with the winner taking a little less than half the spoils. The country went green; not with envy but with a huge sigh of relief. In a if we don’t make it this time; we never will approach, voters ganged up together with hitherto subjugated politicos to prevent a former colossus and his band of roguish parasites who had their fill in a pariah democracy taking the country to Satan land. more..

Identify Colombo’s heritage sites

Sept 1 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper reported that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had ordered State controlled UDA to halt modifications to colonial buildings, ostensibly in Colombo. It's unclear whether this order is applicable to colonial or heritage type buildings located outside of Colombo as well. Wickremesinghe had apparently made this order while on an inspection tour of Colombo on Sunday. He is further alleged to have had said that legal action would be taken against those more..

‘Poverty is not passivity’

Sept 1 (DM) The execution of Rizana Nafeek was an incident that shook the world with horror and grief. The unfortunate incident of an infant passing away while in her care was the cause of her death. The unfair practices exercised by the Saudi govt were heavily looked down upon by the international community. Yet nothing could stop her from being executed and taking this matter in to consideration Zainab Iftkhar, a courageous more..