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Govt-sponsored private schools: Don’t permit them to open branches: Bandula

Mar 16 (CT) Govt should not allow private schools to open branches as it would lead to a fee-levying system of education, UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday. Participating in the Committee Stage Debate of the Appropriation Bill 2019, he claimed that the move to allow several selected private schools to set up a maximum of five branches island-wide was unfair as far as State schools. more..

Man involved in shooting SAITM CEO arrested

Mar 16 (DM) Underworld criminal Cheena earlier accused of having shot at SAITM CEO Dr. Sameera Senaratna and three others were arrested today in connection with the hijacking of a van at Ranala in Kaduwela. They were arrested by the Police Organized Crime Preventive Unit personnel on a tip off. Police said investigations had revealed that the gangsters were on their way to carry out a robbery when they were taken into custody. Suspects were produced before Kaduwela Magistrate today. more..

I made no such statement: Karannagoda

Mar 16 (DN) Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda referring to the Daily News page one article published on March 12 under the headline Abduction and killing of 11 youth - Unit was under my command, said there was no questioning by the CID on the matters referred to in the news item for him to admit or deny that there was a unit under his command or under his direct supervision like the one alluded to in the news item. He said the information contained in the article is false more..

No PC polls this year: UNP

Mar 16 (Island) Deputy Minister Ashoka Abeysinghe said in Kandy, on Friday, that there would be no Provincial Councils elections this year and only a presidential election would be held. After calling on the prelate of Asgiriya most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratna Thera, he told the media, that the UNP would field a common candidate from the UNF at the next presidential election. UNP-led govt during the past four years had done sufficient work to more..

More incarcerated because unable to pay fines: 2017 statistics

Mar 16 (CT) According to the Prison statistics for the year 2017, 57.9 per cent of convicts are imprisoned due to their inability to pay the fine imposed by Courts, Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Community-Based Corrections Lionel Kulatilake said yesterday (15). He said thus at the inauguration function for the community-based correctional programme targeting substance users (drugs and alcohol) in the Western and Eastern Provinces held in Colombo. more..

TPA responds to TNA: No final decision on executive presidency

Mar 16 (Island) Responding to The Island front page story yesterday headlined "Sharp split in coalition against executive presidency, Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Vice President Arunachalam Aravindkumar said that the Central Committee of the alliance had yet not decided whether to support the abolishment of the Executive Presidency or not. Our report quoted Jafna District MP M. A. Sumanthiran as saying that the SLMC, ACMC and DPF had reneged on their promises to more..

Madush, Udayanga, Mahendran not on INTERPOL Red Notice

Mar 16 (CT) The International Police (INTERPOL) have placed 14 Sri Lankans on the Red Notice but, the country’s most wanted underworld operative, known as Makandure Madush, is not on that list. The SL authorities have repeatedly requested the INTERPOL to assist in the investigations towards the arrest of Madush, who is wanted in the country for high profile criminal activities, including drug trafficking, murder, more..

Prez poll 2019: GR steps up his drive with public meeting in Badulla

Mar 16 (Island) As the only person who has so far sought SLPP nomination to contest 2019 presidential election, wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa will address a public rally in Badulla tomorrow (17). Among those scheduled to address the gathering expected to commence at 3pm at the Badulla Postal Auditorium are senior attorney-at-law Razik Zarook, one-time UN staffer Mohan Samaranayake, lecturer Madhavi Herath, Dr. Seetha Arambepola & Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

No Lankans among Christchurch casualties

Mar 16 (DN) Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that there were no Sri Lankan casualties in the mass shooting incidents which took place at mosques in Christchurch ahead of Friday prayers yesterday. A gunman who opened fire at random killed 49 people, in what has been described as a terrorist attack. Whilst condemning the brazen attack, Foreign ministry officials said that no Sri Lankan casualties were reported from the incident. Four people were arrested by New Zealand Police, more..

Fresh UNP-SLFP deal disturbs UPFA

Mar 16 (Island) UNP and SLFP thwarted Prez Sirisena’s parliamentary group voting against 2nd reading of the budget 2019 and a division on the Prez’s Expenditure Heads on March 12, and 13, respectively. UNP-SLFP secret move deprived the UPFA of an opportunity to show its strength in parliament, UPFA MP Dilum Amunugama said. An irate Amunugama alleged that a section of SLFP group within UPFA, more..

Failure of all govts since independence to formulate a National Education Policy

Mar 16 (Island) Chief Opposition Whip and UPFA MP Mahinda Amaraweera, yesterday, said that all the governments which had ruled the country till now should be ashamed of the absence of a National Education Policy. Speaking during the committee stage debate on Appropriation Bill 2019 on Education and Higher Education Ministries, Amaraweera said the entire education system was in crisis at the moment because the country lacked a national policy on education. more..

Contempt allegation on Ramanayake: SC fixes to be mentioned on 12 June

Mar 16 (FT) Supreme Court on 7 March fixed to be mentioned on 12 June the contempt of Court on the alleged offence of Court against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justices Prasanna Jayawardena and Vijith Malalgoda. The Rules were already read to the Accused Respondent Ranjan Ramanayake. He had pleaded not guilty. Attorney General on 30 July 2018 furnished the draft Rule against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake more..

Sri Lanka to launch national action plan to combat bribery, corruption

Mar 16 (EN) Sri Lanka will launch a national action plan to combat bribery and corruption which will include changes in the law covering areas like asset declaration, election campaign finance and whistleblower provision. Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) was entrusted with the task of formulating the plan to be launched on 18th of March 2019 by President Maithripala Sirisena and other ministers. more..

Sri Lanka rated as one of the best mobile phone markets in South Asia

Mar 16 (Island) Sri Lanka is one of the best mobile markets in the region and an ideal place to introduce the latest innovative products, Chief Executive Officer, Vivo Mobile Lanka, Kevin Jiang said. "We have confidence in Sri Lanka because mobile phone penetration is greater than its population, and is quite an attractive market compared to other regional markets. SL's younger generation is technology savvy, which is the reason for mobile penetration to move up to that high level, more..

Recycling entrepreneur wins recognition as one of Asia’s greatest brands and leaders

Mar 16 (ST) Kalhari Enterprises and its Chairman/Managing Director – Kaushal Rajapaksa were recognised among Asia’s greatest brands and leaders at the Pride of Asia Series Awards and Business Summit, and Asia’s Greatest Brands and Leaders 2018 held at Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Singapore, recently. The award follows closely on the heels of the Gold Award for recycled products won by the Kalhari Group at the National Chamber of Exporters Awards 2018. more..

China-India tussle for Eastern Container Terminal

Mar 16 (ST) Colombo Port’s Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) development project has been stalled since 2016 due to inconsistent policy decisions taken by the govt from time to time amidst intervention of the President in awarding the contract to a suitable bidder among multiple consortiums who have made expressions of interest (EOI). Multiple consortiums representing India- Japan, China-Qatar -Iran along with more..

Festina Lente!

Mar 16 (Island) Of late, Mangala Samaraweera has been in the news. That is not strange given the colourful character he is. In a parliament that is progressively getting stuffed with those who are boringly similar, it is not surprising those who dare to be different from the herd hardly get any noteworthy mention. Mangala does not fear to be different. And he does not make any bones about it. In one of the best speeches I have heard him make, President Maithiripala Sirisena spoke of Mangala more..

Women’s football: SL off to winning start

Mar 16 (CT) Chalani Ekanayake’s double strike gave Sri Lanka Women a 2-0 victory over Maldives in the SAFF Women’s Football Championship 2019 at Shahid Rangasala Stadium in Nepal yesterday. SL Women controlled the game from the start and looked to attack with quick passing moves and the Maldivian defenders did well in the early stages to hold off any attacking threats which came their way. However, SL Women broke the deadlock in the 39th minute when a blunder by Maldivian goalie more..

Asian Youth Athletics Championship: Ten SL athletes in action

Mar 16 (CT) Quarter-miler Navishka Sandesh and sprinter Milinda Perera won their respective heats with ease, while Sadeepa Henderson finished fourth in her heat to advance in the third Asian Youth Athletics Championship in Hong Kong, yesterday. Navishka was the most impressive of all, clocking a new personal best of 48.51 seconds to win the Boys’ 400m heat 02 and qualify for the finals as the second fastest runner in the heats. more..

International cricket could welcome concussion substitutes

Mar 16 (DM) Concussion substitutes in international cricket could come a step closer this week following concerns over Sri Lanka's handling of an incident in Australia last month. Batsman Kusal Perera retired hurt after being hit on the head by seamer Jhye Richardson during the second Test in Canberra, and was advised by the Australian team doctor not to bat in the second innings. But Sri Lanka, who did not have a doctor of their own, ignored the advice. He was out for a duck. more..

Sri J'pura takes on Kotte Thomians in 12th one-day encounter

Mar 16 (DN) The 12TH one-day cricket encounter between the two historical schools from the new capital of Sri J'pura, Kotte - Sri Jayawardenepura College (former Christian College, Kotte) and St. Thomas’ College Kotte for the late Dr. G N. Perera Memorial Trophy will be played tomorrow (Sunday) at St. Peter’s College grounds, Bambalapitiya with the match commencing at 9.30 am. This year Sri J'pura College are celebrating their Centenary in cricket having commenced in 1919. more..

Govt promising but underspending on education: JVP

Mar 16 (FT) In successive Budgets, Govt has consistently reduced public funding for education as a percentage of GDP and failed to disburse the pledged funds, the Opposition said, pointing out that the shortfall equalled billions of rupees. In 2015, the Budget allocation was Rs. 75 billion but spending was limited to only Rs. 36 billion. In 2016, the Govt spent Rs. 40 billion out of Rs. 83 billion allocated in the Budget, more..

Sri Lanka wheelchair tennis team qualify for World Team Cup

Mar 16 (ST) The SL Wheelchair Tennis team made Sri Lanka proud by winning the championships at the recently concluded BNP Paribas World Team Cup qualifying round held in Malaysia. The Sri Lankans were unbeaten during the course of the tournament. Lanka took an unassailable 2-0 lead against China, in the 1st stage. In the opening singles, current National champion of Sri Lanka Gamini Dissanayake had to recover from a set down to beat the Chinese player Chaodu. more..

Jubilant plus Intrigued View across the Oceans

Mar 16 (Island) Cassandra, as she sits at her computer ready to word process her comment on the past week, decided definitely to avoid writing about SL. She is too confused, lacks competence and is afraid to touch on the behaviour of SL in respect of the UNHRC, which is looking at how matters are proceeding in SL that was blacklisted for alleged crimes against civilians at the end of the civil war in 2009. There is a team in Geneva augmented by some govt sent dpls to speak for SL. more..

Fantasyland of the crooked

Mar 16 (Island) Columnist Kusal Perera of the Daily Mirror has today (15) described many of the latest Budget proposals, especially on education, as fantasies — imaginary or improbable things. He has got it right. But such fantasy is now the stuff of all aspects of governance and certainly goes beyond supposed scholarships abroad for Educational Excellence at the GCE A Level or toilets for unsanitary schools. more..

Edtorial: Holier-than-thou sinners

Mar 16 (Island) A lawyer has drawn heavy flak, in the social media, for seeking to prevent the SL law enforcement authorities from arresting notorious drug lord and killer, Makandure Madush, currently being detained in Dubai. The consternation of the netizens is understandable, given the heinous crimes Madush and his gangsters have committed all these years, but the fact remains that even savage criminals have a right to get their interests looked after by lawyers in the civilised world. more..

Hidden agendas in constitutional reforms

Mar 16 (DM) Constitutional reforms to whose benefit? Will it provide any consolation to the national economic crisis? Was there a demand from the masses for a new Constitution? You may find answers to these questions once you peruse this article. Article 3 of Chapter 1 of the Constitution states that “in the Republic of Sri Lanka, sovereignty is in the people and it is inalienable.” Article 4 of same chapter states that “sovereignty of people shall be exercised and enjoyed in the manner more..

Balaya

World focus on Tripitaka

Mar 16 (DN) The Tripikatabhivandana Week from March 16 to 23 will culminate with the grandiose event at Mahamaluwa of the sacred Daladamaligawa in Kandy on March 23, where the official announcement of submission of an application to the UNESCO would be made. SL, together with several other Theravada Buddhist countries would urge in a joint application to recognize Theravada Tripitaka as a World Heritage under the category of Memory of the World. more..

Could SL have ignored resolution 30/1?

Mar 16 (DN) The commitments made by the Govt of SL four years ago at the UNHRC session in Geneva have had lasting impressions on its citizens. While some perceive the commitments of Resolution 30/1 (Res 30/1) as an international obligation that threatens our sovereignty or a political tool and a box ticking process, others even view the resolution as an unpatriotic mechanism that will result in the prosecution of our war heroes due to international intervention in our domestic affairs. more..

Youth of South Asia works together for sustainable and inclusive change

Mar 16 (Roar) South Asia is yet to practice sustainable living and equal rights with conviction, for all its inhabitants. It is imperative that South Asia collectively and persistently strives to design transformative frameworks that are grounded on egalitarianism, human rights and social consciousness within their respective nations. Riddled with numerous ongoing issues ranging from poverty, and political instability, to religious more..

Revisit history before launching national action plan for combating bribery/corruption

Mar 16 (CT) Dear Mr. President Maithripala Sirsena, An Important Note of Caution: To be Aware of the Historical Outcomes: Prior to the Launch of the National Action Plan for Combating Bribery and Corruption I note that you will be the Chief Guest at the Warrant of Integrity: The Launch of the National Action Plan for Combating Bribery and Corruption, scheduled to be held on the 18th of March 2019, at the Shangr-La Ball Room. I believe it is my duty as citizen activist committed to more..

Northern Governor in Geneva!

Mar 16 (CT) A memorandum was handed over by the representatives of the aggrieved families of the disappeared persons two days ago to Northern Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan who is one of the five members of the delegation sent by President Sirisena to attend the UNHRC session in Geneva. It was on the request made by Governor Dr. Raghavan, soon after he was handpicked by Prez Sirisena to be present at the 40th UNHRC session, a delegation of eight persons including more..

IPKF role in Sri Lanka yet to see closure

Mar 16 (CT) March 24 will mark the 29th anniversary of the departure of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) from Sri Lanka. Was the role of a portion of the Indian Army in that Island-Nation one of intervention or one of peacekeeping? Those involved from the Indian side still say this issue continues to be a subject of debate and deliberation, and is yet to see closure. The immediate fact to be noted is Indian Army, more..

Budget of hopes amidst achievement deficits

Mar 16 (CT) Every budget introduced in the parliament ushers in with plenty of hopes and promises but the record of achievements had always fallen short of initial promises. This had been the sad history of SL govt budgets at least until the demise of the most successful finance minister and budget critique, Dr. N.M. Perera. Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s 2019-20 budget will not be an exception to this historic reality. No one in the parliament keeps tracking the record of more..

They deserve a living wage!

Mar 16 (CT) The plight of the estate workers has become one of the most burning issues in recent years. With grossly low wages and even more appalling living conditions, the tea plantations have been compared to nothing more than modern slavery. Tea estate labourers are reduced to a desperate and forgotten section in society, forever turning the gears of industries in misery while the owners reap enormous profits. The whole picture is reminiscent of a propaganda piece written more..

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