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'Joint Opposition is hallucinating'

Apr 23 (SL) The govt hopes to address all the expectations of the people soon, Minister Gayantha Karunatillake said. Expressing hope the UNP will be able to make this year’s May Day a success, Minister said he was confident that the UNP will be able to win the elections in 2020.  Q: Has the New Year been good for the people? A: I think this year the people enjoyed the New Year free of any fear or intimidation. more..

Enter confusion into foreign policy

Apr 23 (CT) When national security is in the final essay at stake, one is constrained to sound a timely warning lest the govt gets encouraged by gentle criticism and hence runs away with the idea that, by some weird sense of imagination this country belongs to its members. It does not. Not even to the President and the PM and the entirety of the Cabinet or the whole of Parliament, lest some strange mental alchemy has persuaded them into a conviction that a public trust is de facto ownership. more..

M'mulla: Tragedy that was waiting to happen

Apr 23 (Island) Meetotamulla was a tragedy that was waiting to happen. With over 30 people, including children killed, millions of rupees worth of property damage caused, dozens whose houses were buried and at risk of further rubbish slides and methane gas explosions forced to evacuate their homes, the concerned authorities have been forced to open their eyes. The Rip Van Winkles who have now awakened are making what amends they can - not out of their own pockets or the millions more..

Govt seeks space for trash: Agony continues

Apr 23 (SO) Ajith 24, at the moment could simply be described only as depressed and miserable. He is among a few that lost every member of the family. Ajith had momentarily left home that afternoon last Friday when he heard the news that several houses have collapsed and were buried under the garbage. The event took place between 2.30 – 3 in the afternoon. Ajith who was frantically trying to locate his house and other more..

Ensuring a better MP for you

Apr 23 (SO) Sri Lankan politicians are the most reviled group in contemporary society but they continue to hang on to office for decades despite changes of govt. In an article elsewhere in this edition the bashing of politicians after the collapse of the Meetotamulla Garbage Mountain has been discussed and the prediction made that the same politicians or those of similar ilk are likely to surface much to the detriment of the country and people. The main challenge to Sri Lankan more..

Looking across the Palk Strait

Apr 23 (SO) When PM Ranil Wickremesinghe meets with his Indian counterpart, PM Narendra Modi, in Delhi this Wednesday, it will be to lay the groundwork for the political summit between Sri Lanka and India in mid-May when Mr. Modi makes a state visit to Colombo. Being our immediate neighbour on the Asian Continent, the world’s biggest, fastest-growing, economic region, relations with India naturally take precedence over all other bilateral ties. more..

EU Parliamentary group opposed to Sri Lanka tariff concession

Apr 22 (PTI) A European Parliamentary group has tabled a resolution in the EU Parliament against granting the GSP+ tariff concession to Sri Lanka for its exports to the 28- member bloc, citing concern over Colombo's worryingly slow progress on key issues like human rights. The motion if approved by 376 out of 751 members would see the non granting of the concession which would have made more..

Incentives for dugong hunters to abandon illegal killings 

Apr 22 (ST) Two people who were arrested while transporting 80 kilos of dugong flesh in a three-wheeler have been released on bail by a court. There were detained on Sunday, April 9, by the navy at Thavulpadu in Mannar and handed over to to regional officers of Department of Wildlife Conservation. They were then produced in court and released on surety bail of Rs.100,000 each. DWC unit in Mannar is investigating, according to Channa Suraweera who is overseeing its marine unit. more..

Min. of Finance meets IMF, WB officials

Apr 22 (NR) Minister Ravi Karunanayake says SL’s Economic Development Plan gained much praise during the Spring Meeting of the World Bank Group and the IMF currently underway in Washington DC. Minister said he held separate discussions with representatives from both the World Bank and the IMF. He also participated in the G24 Finance Minister’s Meeting held concurrently in the US capital. He was appointed the first Deputy Chairman of the Board of Finance Ministers of the IMF. more..

'SL keen to boost economic ties with India'

Apr 22 (PTI) Sri Lanka is looking forward to strengthening economic cooperation with India, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said, noting that development of the strategic port town of Trincomalee will be discussed during his visit to the country next week. Wickremesinghe will arrive in New Delhi on April 25 on a five-day visit during which he will hold talks with PM Narendra Modi to further expand ties in a range of areas. more..

Aussies out to increase Lankan pain

Apr 22 (Cau) The Under 19s have already secured the Youth ODI series ahead of Sunday's final match but want a big finish in Hobart Australia's Under 19s have already sealed their one-day series against Sri Lanka, but there will be no let-up in intensity says fast bowler Iain Carlisle. The hosts lead Sri Lanka's Under 19s 3-1 after four games of the Youth ODI Series, after a four-wicket win on Friday secured an unassailable advantage. But Carlisle, a 17-year-old quick who represented NSW Metro more..

President’s Gazette Violates Rights: CRPS

Apr 22 (CT) The Chairman of the Consumer Rights Protection Society (CRPS) Ranjith Vithanage said that the Gazette Extraordinary issued by the President on 20 April, related to the disposal of garbage, has infringed upon the rights of the Sri Lankan citizens. He said the Gazette issued by the President blatantly violated the rights of the citizens of this country enshrined in the 1978 Constitution has been blatantly violated. Vithanage has said in a media release that through more..

A day in the life of a stilt fisherman

19 sailors barred from leaving Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (CT) 19 multi-national seafarers are being prevented from leaving the country after the Captain of their vessel, Liberia registered Marito, apparently died under questionable circumstances, official said. The group made up of 15 Filipinos, 2 Russians and two Slovenians are currently accommodated at a hotel in the city and not allowed to leave the country until investigations are completed, International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) Inspector Ranjan Perera said. more..

Hitting the road on his cycle for senior citizens

Apr 22 (ST) A 38-year-old man from Vavuniya has set out on a cycle tour covering a distance of 1,515 km with the aim of raising awareness about the plight of senior citizens in the country. Tharmalingam Prathapan, a teacher and artist began his initial lap of the journey last Saturday to Jaffna via Kilionochchi from the Kandaswamy temple in Vavuniya. Before he set off, Mr. Prathapan told the media he was appealing to President and PM to look into the welfare of senior citizens more..

Key suspect in Sri Lanka editor killing given diplomatic post by Gotabhaya

Apr 22 (EN) The chief suspect in Lasantha Wickrematunga's assassination was given a diplomatic post by the then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa but it was withdrawn soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa won the January 2010 election, fresh evidence has revealed. Rajapaksa has denied any involvement in the January 2009 assassination of Sunday Leader editor Wickrematunga and a string of other attacks more..

Legislation to enforce garbage recycling

Apr 22 (DM) The Govt will, within two months, introduce legislation to enforce the recycling of garbage, informed sources said yesterday. They said the PM was monitoring the progress of the new Bill, which is now under preparation. “Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in Asia that does not have specific laws pertaining to recycling of garbage and therefore the govt has decided to introduce laws pertaining to this issue,” a source said adding that this matter was being expedited more..

Pre-polls boost for JSS

Apr 22 (CT) UNP has decided to further strengthen the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) ahead of the 2017 LG polls, sources said. Chairman of the JSS Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has decided to increase its membership to around 500,000 while staging youth and women's conventions as the first step of this project. Minister has decided to enlist persons aged below 35 in the youth front while appointing separate executive committees to each of those unions, sources said. more..

'Police not the answer to people's protests'

Apr 22 (DM) Police force is not an answer to the protests being held against the dumping of garbage in the suburbs of Colombo, the JO said while referring to the gazette notice issued by President Sirisena. The gazette notice made garbage disposal by LG authorities an essential service, warning that anyone found to be involved in disruptive activities related to garbage disposal, transport and segregation could be arrested more..

The amazing food that we underrate

Apr 22 (DM) Latest medical research is showing that our health is closely linked to the food we eat while the preventive or curative measures for various ailments could also be connected to our diet. For instance, in the case of cancer many western hospitals are no longer giving radiotherapy or chemotherapy for cancer patients because the curative level is low and the side effects are many and painful. Instead DNA tests are being done for cancer patients and in many instances more..

Anti-garbage mafia exposed

Apr 22 (CT) Kesbewa Chief Magistrate has issued notice on JVP Western Provincial Councillor Lakshman Nipunaarachchi and six other persons to appear in Court on 24 April, for having allegedly staged a demonstration against the dumping of garbage at the Karadiyana garbage recycling centre recently. Those noticed to appear in Court are former Chairman of Boralesgamuwa Urban Council C.A. Priyashantha, former Chairmen of Kesbewa UC, S. Ranaweera and L. Perera, more..

'Dumping garbage in Dompe halted'

Apr 22 (AD) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna says that the Municipal Commissioner of Colombo has agreed to halt the disposal of garbage collected from Colombo at the waste site in Dompe. Following the recent collapse of a section of the garbage dump in Meethotamulla, a decision had been taken to dispose of the garbage from Colombo at sites in Dompe, Wattala and Piliyanda. However, the residents of these areas had resorted to more..

Docs strike in Polonnaruwa acalled off after several hours

Apr 22 (Island) Patients were turned away at hospitals in the Polonnaruwa district as doctors there staged a one day token strike. There were over 3,000 patients visiting the clinics, while 1,500 came to the OPD of the Polonnaruwa hospital alone. The GMOA said the strike staged in Medirigiriya, Hingurakgoda, Bakamuna, Attanakadawala, Galamuna, Pulasthigama, Aralaganwila and Welikande was successful. President of the Polonnaruwa branch of the GMOA more..

Amunugama highlights Japan-funded projects in Kandy in wake of visit

Apr 22 (FT) Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama this week highlighted a range of benefits the Kandy district received following the recent visit to Japan along with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said during the visit matters concerning economic, social, political and religious relations were discussed with Japanese leaders. Following are excerpts: “For a long time Japan has been assisting in development projects in the Kandy district. They have financed such projects. more..

Urban excitement over barn owls

Apr 22 (ST) Barn owl is a rare bird in SL categorized as near threatened in 2012 National Red List, but it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke that one was seen in Kirulapona on April 1. It had been attacked by crows and had fallen from the roof of a four-storey building, where it had taken refuge. It was handed over to wildlife expert Jayaweera who later released it. “Even through it had been attacked by crows, there were no external injuries.” more..

M'thotamulla: Two children without parents

Apr 22 (DM) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said they had identified two children who had lost both parents in the Meethotamulla catastrophe while two other children had lost one of their parents. NCPA Deputy Chairman Sajeeva Samaranayake said they had submitted a report to the Department of Probation and Child Care Services on the plight faced by the four children. Probation and Child Care Services Officer of the Kolonnawa Divisional Secretariat said more..

Students to participate in the 18th Asia Physics Olympiad meet the President

Apr 22 (PSL) SL group of students who are leaving for Russia to participate in the 18th Asia Physics Olympiad Competition met President Maithripala Sirisena today (20). The group of students comprised of Amaya Dharmasiri from Maliyadewa Girls’ School, Kurunegala, Nisal Punsara from Rahula College, Matara, Chathura Jayasanka from Richmond College, Galle, Dimal Thanuka from Royal College, Colombo, Muhammad Aflal Afam from St Joseph’s College, Trinco, more..

ඉන්දීය රංගන ශිල්පිනී අර්චනා ගුප්තා

Tip of the dump: A national govt sans one voice

Apr 22 (DM) As in any other case no politician in the country had the courage and the integrity to take the responsibility for the Meethotamulla garbage dump disaster that had claimed more than thirty lives. The death toll is feared to rise as a similar number of people are said to have gone missing after the collapse of the dump on the Sinhala and Hindu New Year day.   The incident is a clear indication of lack of planning and disunity among the constituent parties in govt activities. more..

Sweetmeats much in demand now; but sweet makers say future bleak

Apr 22 (ST) Traditional New Year sweetmeat makers in Kevumgama, Kiribathgoda were busy with their orders last week as usual, but they are doubtful that the younger generation would continue with the traditional food industry. With the busy schedules of people living mostly in the city, and who still follow traditional practices associated with the National New Year, the sweetmeat industry is flourishing. But the traditional sweetmeat makers worry that the industry may soon more..

Govt calls for strengthening UN Peace building Fund

Apr 22 (NR) The govt has called for strengthening the United Nations Secretary General’s Peace building Fund which was positioned to support countries emerging from conflict or at risk of descending into violence. Sri Lanka, a beneficiary of the UN Peace Building Fund after the conclusion of the three-decade long conflict said it is imperative that the UN Peace building Support Office should be further strengthened more..

'Garbage mafia on the decline : 3Rs to the rescue'

Apr 22 (DN) It is time we shelve Not in my backyard, but somewhere else attitude on garbage and support the efforts to deal with the issue in a scientific manner, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Maintaining that sanitary landfills are the best cost-effective and scientific solution for garbage issue in Sri Lanka, the minister pointed out the Colombo District alone needs three landfills with a capacity of 2,000 tons per day. more..

MS on Erdogan receiving mandate to rule till 2029

Apr 22 (Island) Declaring his readiness to either abolish or further dilute executive powers as pledged in the run-up to January 2015 presidential poll, President Maithripala Sirisena has referred to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receiving an unprecedented mandate to continue till 2029. President Maithripala Sirisena was addressing proprietors and the top management of private and state-run media on Thursday (20). more..

Garbage disposal-Missed opportunities end in M'mulla tragedy

Apr 22 (DM) The tragedy at Meetotamulla could have been avoided had one of the several offers made by some private companies and foreign organizations were accepted by the previous governments, former chief ministers, mayors and Colombo municipal councillors said yesterday. They said the first such offer was from the World Bank to the CMC in 1997, when Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was the Mayor of Colombo. more..

‘Colombo needs at least three landfills to overcome garbage problem’

Apr 22 (DN) Colombo District needs at least three landfills each with a capacity of 2,000 tons per day to manage the garbage problem, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Minister, observing that sanitary landfills are the best cost-effective and scientific solution to the garbage issue, said Gampaha needs at least two landfills each with a capacity of 1,500 tons per day Kalutara needs at least one with capacity of 1,000 tons per day. more..

Salley suggests charging special tax from outsiders coming to Colombo

Apr 22 (Island) Tax payers in the commercial Capital must lodge a strong protest against the dumping of garbage of non-Colombo residents in the metropolis, Western Province Organizer of Minister Rishad Bathiudin’s ACMC said. "If it is fair for residents of different parts of the country to protest against the dumping of garbage at sites identified by the govt, isn’t it fair for municipal authorities in Colombo to impose some sort more..