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Dark clouds loom over unity govt

June 26 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena was the Chief Guest at an event, marking the 74th Birth Anniversary of the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, organized by the All-Island Youth Abstinence Organization at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on 21 June. Individuals who have contributed significantly to the effort to eradicate the narcotics menace in the country were especially felicitated at the event. more..

End of the Peace Secretariat

June 26 (CT) We had had officers from all branches of the services, and they had proved invaluable in providing information when questions came up, and also in making arrangements for my visits to North and East during the conflict period. I had set in place a system whereby I monitored Tamilnet every day, and immediately asked for explanations if there were any allegations of improprieties. Though I did not always get responses, by and large I was able to establish that more..

Govt faces economic Armageddon

June 26 (Island) In a landmark judgment delivered by Supreme Court last Friday, the country’s highest court shot down a disputed coal tender with it being said in open court that conscience of the court was shocked by the conduct displayed by certain individuals involved in the process. Norochcholai power plant requires 2.25 million tonnes of coal per annum and the practice is to award tenders for a three year’s supply - the biggest tender in the country worth over Rs. 60 billion. more..

Political assassins among war heroes

June 26 (SL) During the election, the Yahapalana govt vowed to take action against those who had been involved in assassinations and fraudulent activities during the previous regime. At that time there were many people who were accused of being involved in the assassination of veteran journalists such as Lasantha Wickrematunge and Prageeth Ekneligoda and many other crimes. more..

Of a two-dollar throat and billions plundered

June 26 (SO) MR promises to slit his throat if they find evidence that he pilfered even one dollar, leave alone the 18 billion that is said to be stashed away. On Thursday, June 23, this figure shot up to 20 billion when Minister Champika Ranawaka made a statement. And he, Ranawaka, does not shoot his mouth, clever man that he is. The finger is pointed at several members of a family. The threat of throat slitting, whether in a true spirit of hara-kiri or as a mere loud sound, more..

Govt calms furore over CB Governor

June 26 (SO) The COPE committee tug-of-war between Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and former minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage reached new heights last week with the two MPs exchanging blows inside the Parliamentary premises. Deputy Minister Ramanayaka was busy recently with his arduous mission against Aluthgamage, a politician with a dubious track record who recently got an appointment as a member of the COPE committee. more..

Face the Nation

What you could have done

June 26 (ST) My dear David Cameron, I thought I should write to you because this is a time when the whole world is talking about why your country voted to leave the European Union. You had campaigned long and hard to keep Britain in it and the verdict of the people must have come as a rude shock to you. What came as a shock to us was your announcement soon after that saying you would resign as Prime Minister and that you had already spoken to the Queen about it. more..

Give more powers to Auditor General

June 26 (ST) The first recorded evidence in SL’s history of an Auditor General (AG) dates back to 1779 when Cecil Smith was appointed just three years after British occupation of Maritime Provinces. The modern incarnation of the AG’s Department was shaped by the constitutions of 1931, 1947 and 1972. For more than 200 years, therefore, govt spending has been formally scrutinised by the office of the AG. Thousands of reports have been churned out, although their timing was not always ideal. more..

'Country progressing in the right direction'

June 26 (SL) The country is progressing and it is in the right direction. The govt will be able to fulfill all its promises as pledged. UNP Kalutara District MP and Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith P. Perera, who is a lawyer by profession, says that there are some economic issues – people have grievances – and the govt will take steps to fulfill the aspirations of the people as promised. more..

More Pros than Cons for Sri Lanka

June 26 (CT) The biggest laugh about Britain's exit from the EU and one that will make David Cameron grimace in disgust is the fact that even hours before polling ended, Google was inundated with millions of searches from within the UK, [after 80 per cent had already gone to the polls, in the dark as it were!], with questions such as What is the EU? and even Why should we Stay and why Leave? Abject ignorance cost David Cameron the Premiership of Britain at a time when subtle forces more..

Home gardening potential

June 26 (Island) It is common knowledge that the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC), predominantly owned by British American Tobacco (BAT), among the biggest players in the global tobacco industry, is in a controversial business. In fact, the company itself publicly admits this inescapable reality. We have time and again said in this space that given the information that is now widely disseminated in the public domain, anybody who smokes is plain stupid. more..

NMRA appointments draw mixed reactions

June 26 (SO) Last week’s appointment of Prof. Asitha de Silva and Dr Kamal Jayasinghe as the new Chairman and CEO of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) which replaced Prof. Lal Jayakody and Prof. Chrishantha Weerasuriya, has drawn both brickbats and bouquets, with at least one organisation threatening to challenge the appointments in court. The central figure of the controversial appointments, more..

Can vulgar, brawling gentlemen be halted?

June 26 (SL) Regular vulgar, rowdy, outbursts of disgusting abuse breaking out into brawls have been witnessed in our holy of holies on the Diyawanna Lake for quite some time. After such occurrences the prude, elitists and editorialists far removed from the scene call for various remedies to be implemented immediately, to stop the rot. Ironically, the honourable gentlemen themselves, who were active participants in hurling abuse and brawling, too make strident calls soon after more..

Re-exporting narcotics to the world

June 26 (SO) Even as the country comes to grips with the sheer enormity of the ruin that has beset this island in the recent decade, we wake up to a fresh horror: not only has the corrupting of institutions enabled narcotics smuggling, but the lack of controls has resulted, seemingly, in a booming narcotics re-export! For long, Sri Lankans have taken pride in the success of Colombo as the key transshipment port for the South Asian Sub-continent, especially to mighty India more..

Seven confirm places for Rio Games

June 25 (DN) Sri Lanka will field a contingent of around ten members for the forthcoming summer Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August. Already, three athletes have gained qualifying standards. They will be joined by two swimmers, a shooter and a badminton player. However the exact strength of the Sri Lankan contingent for the XXXIst Summer Olympic Games will be known after IOC deadline on July 4. more..

Video: MR visits Rohitha in hospital

June 25 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa today paid a visit to MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena, who is currently undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Colombo. MP Abeygunawardena was injured during yesterday's protest march organised by the joint opposition against the Central Bank Governor. A spokesman for the joint opposition said the injured MP was recovering well and out of danger. Several other MPs of the joint opposition had also visited the injured MP. more..

Lankan with Interpol notice arrested in US

June 25 (CG) A Sri Lankan is among 45 foreign fugitives – all subjects of active Interpol notices for individuals wanted in connection with criminal activity – who were arrested across the United States this week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and the U.S. Marshals Service. Arrests occurred nationwide during the three-day enforcement operation June 21 to 23, the US Department of Homeland Security said today. more..

SLFP lost due to Basil: Devapriya

June 25 (DN) Various conspiracies are being hatched to prevent the SLFP from winning the upcoming LG election, Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya said. He said former Minister Basil Rajapaksa is reportedly planning to join hands with a group of SLFP Provincial Councillors and contest as a separate group at the forthcoming local govt polls. The SLFP is aware that Rajapaksa was conducting meetings secretly more..

Activist monk accuses govt of surrendering to foreign machinations

June 25 (Island) Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera yesterday said that there India, the US and the UK were bent on undermining Sri Lanka’s sovereignty in a bid to grab the country’s natural resources as well as employment opportunities. The Thera addressing a symposium titled Federalism and Reconciliation organised by the Yuthukama Organisation at the Public Library, Colombo said the incumbent govt had simply given in to India supported by the US, the UK etc. more..

Video: BBS Gnanasara back in action, promises to repeat Aluthgama mayhem

June 25 (CT) As Sri Lanka marked the second anniversary of the Aluthgama carnage, BBS’s Galagoda Atte Gnanasara has threatened to repeat the Aluthgama mayhem in Mahiyanganaya if the govt and the IGP fail to take steps to ensure that the police in that area work without partiality. Addressing a Satyagraha mid this week (21), to protest against the arrest of two youth from the area, Gnanasara told the IGP to take action against the senior police officers in the area, more..

One man’s quest now a reality

June 25 (ST) A single-minded purpose is what has been obvious, cutting across all races and religions, whether it was a 50-rupee note that was handed over to the bank or a transfer instruction for a huge 35 million rupees. Everyone united to contribute their mite to make the quest for a PET (positron emission tomography) scan machine for the National Cancer Institute at Maharagama a reality. more..

Take action against lawbreakers: GMOA

June 25 (DN) The main concepts of good governance is safeguarding democracy, rule of law and justice. The govt is changing the vision and mission of the country and beating up those fighting for a just society, Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Chairman Dr. Nalinda Herath said. Addressing a media briefing in Colombo, he said law enforcement officers in the country should act against persons who break the country's rules by misusing power and money. more..

President invites private sector investments in power & energy sector

June 25 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena requested private sector investors to join with the Govt’s initiatives in making Sri Lanka an energy self-sufficient nation in the next ten years while fulfilling the energy requirement of the country. This invitation was extended by the President during a special discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat regarding the new investments on power and energy. President gave instructions to the officials to continuously conduct more..

National policy to be introduced on school admissions: President

June 25 (PSL) President says the govt is making arrangements to introduce a new national policy for the admissions of children to schools to prevent the parents going after politicians and govt officers for the purpose of school admissions of their children. President was speaking at the annual prize giving ceremony of Royal College. “Plans made by every govt so far regarding the school admissions of the children have failed so far. more..

DV Upul released on bail over assault charge

June 25 (AD) SPC Minister D.V. Upul, who was arrested after he surrendered to police over an assault incident, has been released on bail by the Hambantota Magistrate’s Court. He was ordered released on two personal bails of Rs 500,000 each after being produced at court today. A complaint had been lodged with police accusing a group of individuals including the provincial minister of assaulting an individual identified as T.M. Premadasa of Pallemalla on June 15. more..

JVP members ready to quit COPE at anytime

June 25 (DM) JVP leader and Chief opposition whip Anura Kumara Dissanayke told Parliament that JVP members representing the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) are ready to resign from it if anyone thinks the stand taken by his party on certain issues affect the investigations carried out by the said committee. He was responding to a statement made by Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella that COPE members should not divulge information on its investigations . more..

Jayalalithaa urges Modi to get fishermen released from Sri Lanka

June 25 (PTI) Terming the recent arrest of five TN fishermen in mid-sea by SL Navy as an inhumane act, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa urged the Centre to take up the matter with the highest authorities of the island nation. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, Jayalalithaa said the boat which carried five fishermen from Tamil Nadu last week drifted ashore due to an engine snag following which they were arrested by SL govt. more..

CMC order to halt and destroy seven storey apartment complex ignored

June 25 (Island) An order by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) not to proceed with the construction of a seven storeyed housing complex at Frankfurt Place, Colombo-04 and to demolish what has already been constructed has been ignored by its owners, who continue with the construction. The CMC said the construction of the building on a 17-perch block of land was illegal and it had ordered the owners to demolish it within 14 days of receipt of the notice to demolish. more..

Drug racket operating around nightclubs busted

June 25 (DM) The police has busted a drug racket operating in and around several nightclubs in Colombo and seized drugs worth Rs. 600,000. Police said a manager of a garment factory, a close friend of a defeated MP who had close connection with nightclubs and another man were arrested in connection with the drug racket. Six people including two female employees of nightclubs and a basketball coach of a leading school had been arrested and released after being revealed more..

Lankan Tamil Press loses faith in UNHRC's commitment to rendering justice

June 25 (ENS) Tamil press in Sri Lanka, which was very hopeful that the UNHRC would render justice to Tamil victims of Eelam War IV, has now lost faith in the international body’s commitment to the goals it had set for itself in the resolution it passed in Sept-Oct 2015. Despite strong and continued interest in securing international support for SL Tamil cause, Tamil press showed little optimism that on-going session of UNHRC more..

Testing time for govt and TNA relations

June 25 (CT) Prior to 2015 TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran and Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was then in the Opposition had joined hands and met several Tamil diaspora organizations abroad to seek their support to overthrow the Rajapakse regime. They even succeeded significantly in gaining the support of some of the prominent Tamil diapsora organizations such as the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and British Tamil Forum (BTF) in torpedoing Rajapaksa regime. more..

Schools must promote clean sport

June 25 (CT) We must be thankful to the Principal of Dharmaraja College for the action taken to remove half the members of the school Rugby team, for their involvement in last week's ugly brawl. Let this be a lesson for other principals to be more aware of the goings on with rugby teams in their schools. President of the SL Rugby Referees' Society, Nizam Jamaldeen's expression to an online sport programme 'A player punching an opponent and the Dharmaraja bench reacting more..

White elephant projects of former govt to be revived

June 25 (CG) The projects launched by former Govt which were termed as white elephant projects are to be revived by the current Govt. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Hambantota port and airport will be made fully operational to receive higher traffic than it currently does. “We promised to fill the Hambantota port with ships. We are ready for that. Only one plane arrives at the Mattala international airport. more..

Govt proved the numbers has to prove it has the will

June 25 (SL) By defeating the Joint Opposition- sponsored no-trust vote against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, 145-51 in the 225-member Parliament, the ruling Maithiri-Ranil duo has proved that they have the numbers. The last time Minister Karunanayake faced a similar threat was in the previous Parliament. President Maithripala Sirisena averted a possible embarrassment to the Government by keeping up the delayed promise to dissolve the House and order fresh polls. more..

British Council runs Rivers of the world programme in Sri Lanka

June 25 (Island) Rivers of the world, which is part of the Connecting Classrooms programme and the flagship arts and education project of the Thames Festival Trust delivered in partnership with the British Council. Sri Lanka has been involved in this project for two years and six schools taking part. The project enables young people to explore, celebrate and share their local environment, learn about other cultures and engage with global issues. It also provides fantastic opportunities for more..