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Face the Nation

Fuel price: Commendable political courage to adopt rational economic decision

May 22 (ST) The decision to implement a cost reflective pricing policy for fuel was a rare instance of political courage in economic decision making. This unpopular decision to increase the price of petroleum products on May 9 was in the interests of the economy. It was an act of political courage at a time when the Govt is required to regain its popularity in the run-up to elections in 2019 and 2020. Had domestic prices not been increased, the Govt would have had to incur losses more..

Royal pageantry amid Britain’s political chicanery

May 22 (ST) By the time this column appears the much looked forward to Royal Wedding would be over. Britons are famous for switching on the pomp and pageantry which they have been doing for centuries. All that would have, by now, been wound down. Even the royals, these days, have to scale down their expensive ways. The hundreds of common people who attracted by their monarchy or still worshipping it, especially the loveable Prince Harry, found positions however more..

'UNP Office-bearers elected democratically'

May 22 (CT) New UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that the recent election of UNP office-bearers was held in the most democratic manner. He explained that no one wanted to contest key posts within the Party and they were elected unanimously and democratically. Here, the new UNP General Secretary, Party Spokesman and Education Minister is in conversation with Ceylon Today. more..

Gramashakthi to battle real poverty

May 22 (DN) The recent revelation of alarmingly high malnutrition rate among children of Sri Lanka is indeed an eye-opener for economic policy planners, some of whom were complacent with the achievement of impressive progress in extreme poverty reduction and the success of reducing the proportion of the population in poverty bracket to 6%. Although extreme poverty level was reduced successfully and even the poor are not in the starvation bracket, the fact remains that more..

Danger of space for dissent being captured by Nationalists

May 22 (CT) The rise in public manifestation of ethnic nationalism in the North was evident at this year’s commemoration ceremonies of the last phase of the war at Mullivaikkal of May 18, 2009. Several thousands of people attended the ceremony of remembrance held there at the monument erected in memory of the civilians killed in the war. This is the first time since the end of the war that a political event took place on May 18. Politicians from the moderate TNA who attended the event more..

'Army to be right-sized to meet present and future challenges'

May 22 (SO) As Sri Lanka marked the ninth year since the end of its long armed conflict this week, the SL Army opted for muted memorial ceremonies to honour its war heroes and all those who suffered during the three decades of devastation. According to the Commander of SL Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, instead of large victory parades and constant brouhaha which only led to the waste of public funds, more..

Remembering, Nine Years On

May 22 (GV) May 18, 2009 is a day that showcases division. To some, it is a day of mourning. To others, cause for celebration. Families in the North and East who commemorate their family members killed during the final stages of the war on May 18 call this day Remembrance Day. Conversely, May 19 is known as Ranaviru Day and is meant to remember soldiers whose lives were lost during the war. This year’s Ranaviru Day will be held at Parliament Grounds, attended by govt representatives. more..

Towards a non-political party

May 22 (CT) How our political parties have kept their promises is well known, as is the downward march of our political culture. Beginning with scattered incidence of bribery, corruption, nepotism and inefficiency in the early post-independence era, these have today become the very definition of govt. It was with fervent hope that the majority of the people voted the present govt into power, but deep disappointment with it and the system of parties within which it is embedded, more..

Video: GMOA blames Epidemiology Unit for its silence

May 21 (DM) GMOA said that the Epidemiology Unit is inactive and had not taken sufficient measures to mitigate the spreading viral flu in Southern Province. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said the unit’s inactiveness was due to appointing a person with lack of technical knowledge of the subject as Chief Epidemiologist. He said though the suspicious Influenza flu wreck havoc in Southern Province the Epidemiology Unit had more..

President appoints new secretaries to 10 ministries

May 21 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed secretaries to 10 ministries. They are Padmasiri Jayamanne (Ministry of Public Administration & Management and Law & Order), J.J. Rathnasiri (Ministry of Higher Education and Culture), D.K.R.A. Ekanayake (Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economy), P. Ranepura (Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training & Hill Country Heritage), more..

550 held during Eelam War memorial event in Chennai

May 21 (ENS) About 550 members of various Tamil outfits including the May 17 Movement, MDMK, Tamilaga Makkal Jananayaka Katchi (TMJK), Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and others were arrested on the Marina on Sunday when they defied the ban order and went ahead to stage a candlelight vigil for victims of the last phase of the Eelam War. With an intention of paying homage to the Sri Lankan Tamils killed during the last phase of Eelam War in the island nation in 2009, more..

Emissions from N'cholai Power Plant: No apparent effect on Sri Maha Bodhi

May 21 (DM) Emissions from the Norochcholai Power Plant do not appear to have caused any adverse effect to the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi in A'pura but a scientific test should be carried out to obtain a clearer picture, Energy expert Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya said. He said the govt should obtain the services of a foreign analyst to determine the correct situation. “An environment impact study should be carried out before constructing more..

Inform power failures to 1987, refrain from touching downed lines

May 21 (GDI) The supply of electricity to many parts of the island has been hampered due to the adverse weather conditions that prevailed in the island. Accordingly, power supply in Agalawatta, Mathugama and Horana areas have been interrupted. Ministry of Power says that power lines have been snapped due to the heavy rains and warned the public not to touch downed power lines. If any downed lines are observed, the Ministry requests the public to immediately call 1987 more..

Pune students deciphering prehistoric Sri Lankan ruins, piece by piece

May 21 (HT) A team of archaeological experts from the Deccan college postgraduate and research institute will visit Sri Lanka for a special excavation. The visit is in association with the archaeology department of the university of Sri J'pura. The team, which includes experts from Deccan as well as other Indian institutes, will be excavating ancient Buddhist stupas and monasteries along with a number of prehistoric caves across 1,600 acres in Rassagala, commonly known as Rajagala. more..

MR takes another swipe at Govt on fuel price hike

May 21 (SL) Former President Rajapaksa today took another swipe at the Govt on the fuel price hike. Rajapaksa said that members of the public would have noticed that the Finance and Media Ministry has been publishing advertisements stating that in 2014, the world price of crude oil was USD 60 and that petrol was being sold at that time at Rs. 157 per litre whereas today in 2018, the price of crude oil is USD 78, and the local price of more..

Nominations submitted for chairmanship of Sri Lanka Cricket

May 21 (AD) Thilanga Sumathipala, Jayantha Dharmadasa, Nishantha Ranatunga and Mohan de Silva have submitted nominations for the chairmanship of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). SLC Elections Committee says that their names have been sent to the country’s cricket clubs in order to file objections, if any, before May 22. SLC elections to appoint new office bearers will be held on May 31. A 5-member Elections Committee was appointed at the SLC’s Extraordinary General Meeting more..

Six accidents in Expressways

May 21 (DM) At least six road accidents have been reported by this evening on the Southern and Katunayake expressways, SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. He said four accidents on Southern Expressway and another two on Katunayake Expressway had been reported. Meanwhile, four individuals including a child had been admitted to the Nagoda Hospital after a jeep veered off the road and crashed into the safety barrier of the Southern Expressway around 11.50 am today. more..

Archiving SL’s history with stamps

May 21 (Roar) Looking small and rather faded underneath the transparent protective covering, the stamp appears pretty unremarkable. A dull pink in colour, with the profile of the Queen Victoria’s head standing in the center, it even lacks the perforations which we are so used to seeing in stamps. However, there is nothing ordinary about this little piece of paper at all: it is nearly 159 years old, costs thousands of pounds, and more..

Kalu River reaching Major Flood level

May 21 (AD) Dept of Irrigation says that the water level of the Kalu River has exceeded Minor Flood level and is reaching Major Flood level due to the heavy rainfall received by the Kalu River catchment area. Water level in the Ratnapura area has exceeded Minor Flood level is currently gradually rising, it said, issuing a flood warning. Therefore if the rainfall currently experienced in the upper catchment area persists, it could develop in a major flood situation within next couple of hours. more..

Irregular school admissions galore: Union

May 21 (Island) Around 75 children of senior and mid-level education officers had been admitted to some leading Colombo schools in violation of procedure, Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) said yesterday. "Recently, two children were admitted to a leading girl school, but subsequently they were removed due to protests. There are many others. We call upon the govt to conduct a probe into these irregular admissions." more..

Island-wide Army troops ready to provide flood emergencies

May 21 (SLA) Hundreds of Army troops on the directions of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake have rushed to island-wide vulnerable areas to provide relief and engage in rescue operations, if necessary in the wake of worsening weather conditions due to heavy rains in the past 48 hours. By Monday morning, troops of the Security Force Headquarters – West (SFHQ-West) have been mobilized to more..

President instructs authorities to provide relief swiftly

May 21 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena instructed relevant authorities to take swift action to provide relief for individuals affected by the prevailing adverse weather condition. He further instructed them to disregard funding issues and act immediately to look into and provide all the aid that should be given by the govt, the President’s Media Division said. President issued these instructions after looking into the relief activities for the people affected by the adverse weather condition more..

OMP to set up 12 regional offices to inquire into missing persons

May 21 (FT) Office of Missing Persons (OMP) in Sri Lanka will set up 12 regional offices covering the entire country to receive information and complaints from families and other individuals of the missing persons, the OMP Chairman President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris told the media after the OMP held its second meeting in Matara. The newly-created OMP, which began public consultations on 12 May in Mannar, held its second public meeting at the Matara District Secretariat on Saturday (19). more..

Joyriding with people's money: Prez reduces Rajitha's delegation to 14 from 20

May 21 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has pruned Minister Rajitha Senaratne's delegation to attend the 70th summit of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 20 to 14. President is reported to have struck off six names because such a big number of delegates had not been sent to this event during the period when he served as the Health Minister. It is said that a delegation of deputy directors of health had been included in this list. more..

Mangala’s Gam Peraliya: Good move but essential requirement a village level database

May 21 (FT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, announcing the Govt’s decision to move for a flexible fuel price system based on international prices built into a pricing formula, made a side announcement as well. That was to give back the entirety of the money saved from the adjustment of fuel prices to reflect their costs amounting to about Rs. 56 billion in this year to a new development programme titled Gam Peraliya. This catchy title has been borrowed by him from more..

Viral disease in South: Pre and primary schools closed

May 21 (DM) All preschools in the Southern Province will remain closed this week while the primary section of other schools situated in the areas where the disease is spreading will be closed for two-days from tomorrow because of an unidentified disease spreading in the Province, Provincial Education Ministry said. Provincial Education Secretary Y. Wickramasiri said all preschools would be close from May 22 to May 27 while the primary section of schools will be more..

Fertilizer to be declared an essential item

May 21 (AD) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has declared fertilizer as an essential item and the relevant Gazette notification will be released within the week, said Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera. He said that currently the fertilizer is issued to paddy farmers at a rate of Rs 500 per bag and Rs 1500 per bag to other farmers. This decision was taken due to the complaints received from the farmers stating that more..

Lankan stabbed to death in South London

May 21 (DM) A fatal stabbing on the streets of London has brought the capital's 2018 murder toll to 65 people. The victim, named by police as 28-year-old Arunesh Thangarajah, was stabbed to death in a senseless and frenzied attack in the early hours of Sunday in Mitcham, south-west London. Police arrested a 44-year-old man on suspicion of murder at the scene and he remains in custody. Police launched a murder investigation after officers were called at 3.29am to Upper Green East area. more..

Sri Lanka state oil refiner recovering dues from airline, power utility

May 21 (EN) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), SL’s state-run refiner, has begun recovering money owed by the state airline and power utility to which it supplied fuel, its chairman Dammika Ranatunga said. The CEB owes the CPC Rs 67.7 billion and SriLankan Airlines Rs12.75 billion, he said. The power utility and airline together with the govt ministries under which they operate had held talks on ways to pay the CPC for fuel already supplied but which had not been paid for, he said. more..

කොළඹ මහ නගර සභාවේ කඩා වැටීම

Ban Sunday tuition: Asgiri Chief Prelate

May 21 (NR) Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera has urged the govt to ban the operation of private tuition centres on Sunday. Speaking during an event in Kandy, Thera said the conduct of private tuition classes on Sundays have prevented children from attending Dhamma schools. Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera said several previous govts have been urged to enact new laws pertaining to the matter. more..

Most welcome measure

May 21 (CT) Govt has decided to get rid of the menace of narcotics from schools by setting up drug counselling units in all the schools in the country. A month ago in the Eastern Province a student was caught at a road checkpoint by Police carrying narcotic pills in a three-wheeler to be distributed at his school. The investigation into the arrest of the student and the seizure of narcotic pills from his possession had revealed how the innocence of the school-goers has been exploited by drug more..

Video: DMC issues flood warning as major rivers reach spill levels

May 21 (AD) The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) states that the water levels of the main rivers have reached spill levels in certain areas due to the heavy rainfall. Nilwala River, Ging River, Kalu River, Kelani River, Attanagaluwa Oya and Ma-Oya have been overflowing from some places. As a result, the DMC has warned residents of lower catchment areas of these rivers to be on alert for flood conditions. more..

Video: Mangala knows I can, that’s why false propaganda: Gota

May 21 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Sunday said Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was spreading false propaganda against him because the minister was aware of his ability. He recalled how Minister Samaraweera posted posters against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during the time of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. “Recently, Minister Samaraweera said he knew more..

Sri Lanka railways loses Rs7.5bn in 2017, exceeds revenues

May 21 (EN) Sri Lanka Railways, a heavily unionised state-run agency had lost 7.6 billion rupees in 2017, which is more than the total revenue earned during the year, which also fell due to strikes, official data showed. Operating loss of 7,604 million rupees exceeded total revenues of 6,477 million rupees, which fell 2.2%. Revenues had fallen amid two strikes, central bank said. Operating expenditure had risen 5.1% 14.1 billion rupees. more..