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'Main battle is to ensure security and development'

Sep 11 (DM) Leader of MEP MP Dinesh Gunawardane speaks about the Prez Elections and the current status of the economy in the country. Gunawardane, who worked as the parliamentary group leader of the JO, said that the role of Parliament had diminished today, and it should be restored. Q: What is your general assessment of the current political situation? The present Govt has failed after being in power for past 4 years. more..

Where are the green candidates and green manifestos?

Sep 11 (DM) Elections call for manifestos. Manifestos are typically documents into which the wish lists of all conceivable political communities are inserted. It makes sense politically to promise every religious community, every ethnic group and even every caste, class, age, region, sexual-preference and professional community a piece of the future’s pie. Lip service is too often the order of the day. It is not that people really believe manifestos, but they certainly ought to. more..

Facebook increases engagement with Lankan journalists

Sep 11 (DM) So, we are looking at elections towards end November. The next two and-a-half months are going to be nothing short of full throttle. Already some candidates are on the campaign trail. Gotabaya Rajapaksa (SLPP) and Anura Kumara Dissanayake (JVP) both have launched their campaign. In the case of the former, he was already the benefactor of a well-oiled social media campaign. The nuts and bolts of that machinery date back to the second tenure as Prez of his more..

Video: Ranil-Sajith talks end without agreement

Sep 11 (AD) Discussions held between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe & UNP Dy Leader Sajith Premadasa ended without any final decision being reached. Minister Permadasa had arrived at Temple Trees at around 9.30 p.m. last night for discussions with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe which lasted until 11.30 p.m. The crucial meeting was expected to end with a final decision being reached on the prez candidate of the party. more..

PM, Sajith to meet UNF leaders to decide on the candidate

Sep 11 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa who met at Temple Trees last night had agreed to meet the constituent parties of the UNF and discuss the candidature of the UNP led alliance at the next prez elections. A meeting will be held in few days time between the UNP seniors and the constituent parties of UNF though a date is not fixed. Meanwhile, Mr. Premadasa told journalists after the meeting that the meeting with the party leader ended on more..

Video: Suspect who viciously assaulted two novice monks arrested

Sep 11 (AD) The suspect wanted in connection with assaulting two novice Buddhist monks has been arrested by Horowpathana Police. The arrested suspect has been identified as Chaminda Galaboda alias Utiya. Police had identified the suspect and arrested him after video footage of the incident, recorded via a mobile phone, had been widely circulated on social media. The video shows a man repeatedly slapping and hitting two novice monks over an apparent issue over some money. more..

Ruwan W says President’s move obstructs SLRC reforms

Sep 11 (FT) Minister Ruwan Wijewardene accused Prez Maitripala Sirisena of repeatedly obstructing his attempts to change the management of SL Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), leading to the impasse which resulted in the Corporation being brought under the Defence Ministry’s purview. “Since I took over the Ministry of Mass Media in Feb this year, I tried to appoint an efficient, talented, and suitable person as more..

Prez stops move to pay Rs.200,000 to 23 MPs heading DDCs

Sep 11 (DM) Prez Sirisena is reported to have stopped a Cabinet move to grant a monthly allowance of Rs.200,000 to 23 MPs who are working as the heads of the District Development Councils (DDC). Minister Vajira Abeywardane submitted the Cabinet memorandum after having made a similar attempt in May this year. However, the Prez had not activated the DDCs at the time. The DDCs became active after the govt started implementing the Gamperaliya and Enterprise SL programmes. more..

Non-academic staff on indefinite strike in 15 universities

Sep 11 (Island) Twenty trade unions representing non-academic staff commenced an indefinite strike in 15 universities, yesterday, demanding that Ministry of Higher Education implement the agreements reached in 2016. The strike has crippled the entire uni system,unions claim. They previously launched a 48-hour token strike, on Aug 28 and 29, and warned that they would launch an indefinite strike from 10 Sept. Unions say that the salary anomaly was created after the govt raised more..

Sumathipala willing to appear before COPE

Sep 11 (CT) Ex-President of SLC and current MP Thilanga Sumathipala admitted no corruption took place during his stint with the Sri Lanka Cricket. At the outset he stated: "SLC authorities didn't respond properly to any of the questions put to them by COPE. When the Committee summoned them they should have discussed and prepared answers to the questions posed and given proper answers," said Sumathipala. more..

Govt disregarding Prez’s views: Bandula

Sep 11 (DM) Govt is attempting to amend the Monetary Law Act (MLA) of 1949 in an arbitrary manner, disregarding the recommendations made by Prez Sirisena, MP Bandula Gunawardana said. He said Prez had instructed the Cabinet to obtain the opinion of an experts committee of economists prior to amending the MLA but instead a cabinet paper to amend MLA, which is of great importance, was submitted to the Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance for recommendations. more..

SLPP refuses to budge on symbol

Sep 11 (FT) The simmering debate on the symbol for the proposed coalition between the SLFP and SLPP continued yesterday, with Opposition MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena saying they will not change their stance on the flower bud symbol under any circumstances. Speaking to media, Abeywardena said the party’s stance would not change, as the flower bud was the symbol popular among the public, and enabled the SLPP to win the Local Govt Election. more..

PM kicks off $ 702 m port access highway

Sep 11 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday argued that unlike previous governments, many projects had been implemented since 2015, but the Govt had not spoken about their accomplishments as much as previous administrations, leading to the public being less aware of the work accomplished. PM Wickremesinghe made these remarks at the foundation-laying ceremony of the proposed more..

SLFP backs neutral symbol for coalition with SLPP

Sep 11 (FT) The war of words over which symbol is to be used to represent the coalition between SLFP and SLPP continued yesterday, with the former backing a neutral symbol, warning that it was the best option to bring a range of party members together. SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara argued the neutral symbol would be a common umbrella. However, the SLPP has insisted they want to stick to the flower bud symbol, as it is more popular among their vote base. more..

Arugam Bay World Surf League event shows Sri Lanka a safe destination: Officials

Sep 11 (EN) Sri Lanka will host a men’s qualifying series competition of the World Surf League at Arugam Bay with over a 125 surfers from 30 countries will take part, boosting the island’s positioning as a safe destination for surfers and tourists, officials said. It is the second time the global body of professional golfers is holding the event in Sri Lanka. The surfing completion is one of several events Sri Lanka is holding to mark World Tourism Day, as the country looks to boost its image more..

Certain parties do not tolerate diverse opinions: Sajith

Sep 11 (AD) UNP Deputy Leader and Minister Sajith Premadasa says that although some internal crisis are seen inside the UNP to those who are not well-versed in democracy, it is really the party exercising true democracy. He said that the freedom to have different opinions is a symbol of democracy and, points out that such opinions are shunned down only in an authoritarian regime. Minister Premadasa who participated in more..

British Council inaugurates Digital Wall at University of Jaffna

Sep 11 (DN) Creating history in the Jaffna peninsula, British Council launched a new Digital Wall at the Library of the Uni of Jaffna, Thirunelveli on Sept 2. Chief Librarian of the Uni, Arulanantham warmly welcomed Gill Caldicott, Country Director British Council and the team together with the Competent Authority Emeritus Prof. Kathirkamanathan Kandasamy. Other distinguished invitees attending the event included Deans of the Faculties of Jaffna Uni, Assistant Librarians of all faculties, more..

Corporate leaders outline way forward for disruption age

Sep 11 (DN) SL interest rates are one of the highest in the world and steps should be taken to lower them. This in turn would help to create more business opportunities, said Dilshan Wirasekara, CEO, First Capital Holdings Plc at the Oxford Business Group organized How can SL enhance competitiveness in the age of disruption? round table discussion event in Colombo yesterday. “Without lowering interest rates govt cannot blame business community for not reinvesting.” more..

Pakistan tour withdrawal: CPL NOC trouble for Dickwella, Thisara

Sep 11 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has denied Niroshan Dickwella a no-objection certificate (NOC) to play in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and will also prevent Thisara Perera from playing in the majority of the T20 league, after the two players - and eight others - refused to tour Pakistan in Sept and Oct. According to SLC CEO Ashley de Silva, it is the board's policy that if there is a national tour for which a player might more..

Sri Lanka constitutional crisis strengthened democracy, investor confidence

Sep 11 (EN) SL’s constitutional crisis last year demonstrated the people’s commitment to democracy and bolstered investor confidence, said Ruwindhu Peiris, managing director of Stax a US-based global strategy consulting firm. “I see the 2018 fiasco as a phenomenal celebration – it put us to the test,” he said. “It has given investors confidence on the strength of democracy in SL.” Peiris said SL holds tremendous potential despite political uncertainty generated by the crisis. more..

HNB partners with Toyota Lanka to launch co-branded credit card

Sep 11 (Island) HNB PLC, has announced a new partnership with Toyota Lanka, to launch a unique co-branded credit card packed with a host of special benefits to reward their sizeable base of mutual customers. All of HNB’s Toyota co-branded cardholders will gain lifetime annual fee waiver based on a monthly spend of more than Rs.25,000 or Rs.300,000 annually. In addition, cardholders will also be eligible for a 10% discount on all genuine Toyota spare parts and motor oils in services more..

Saudi Arabia and SL to increase cooperation

Sep 11 (PMD) The Speaker of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council (Parliament), Dr. Abdullah Al- Asheikh said effective steps would be taken to establish a strong cooperation between Saudi Arabia and SL parliaments. He said this when he called on President Sirisena at the Prez’s Office today (10). Prez thanked the Saudi Speaker for long-term assistance provided to development activities in SL through the Saudi Fund. more..

Gallant Sri Lanka lose 0-1 to Korea

Sep 11 (DN) Sri Lanka put up a close fight with football heavyweights Peoples’ Republic of Korea before going down by one goal to nil in a 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign played at the Racecourse International Stadium in yesterday. Both teams played a very competitive game throughout but the contest but the Lankan players left a lot of gaps which the visitors capitalized on. The visitors used the spaces well by their defensive passes. However the first half ended scoreless. more..

Mawella beach: Site for tourism, fisheries or coal power plant?

Sep 11 (Island) I refer to the feature article written by a Concerned Citizen under the caption Tourism or Fisheries appearing in The Island of 09.09.2019. The correspondent fears that building a fisheries harbuor at Mawella will destroy the pristine beach which is a tourist attraction not found in many places in the country. However, a more damaging proposal is the CEB’s plan to build a coal power plant at this site as described in its Long-Term Generation Expansion Plan 2020-2039 (May 2019), more..

89th Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics C'ship: Four new meet records on opening day

Sep 11 (Island) A tight competition in the Under-20 boys’ long jump and record breaking performances in the lower age categry competitions highlighted day one of the Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics C'ship which commenced at the Sugathadas Stadium on Tuesday. Probably the closest contest in yesterday’s field events was between Chamod Yodasinghe and Elroy Kamalraj who were seperated by a mere centimetre more..

Why SriLankan hasn’t aged well

Sep 11 (TM) A 2019 poll commissioned by the Advocata Institute found that 81% of surveyed Sri Lankans did not believe that the services provided by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were worth the financial losses incurred by them. Spanning eight provinces and 18 districts, the poll revealed an overwhelming dissatisfaction amongst citizens of all ages and income demographics about the continued use of state funds to bail out loss-making SOEs. SOEs such as SriLankan Airlines continue to more..

SL lose to Bangladesh in U-19 Asia Cup

Sep 11 (Island) Sri Lanka suffered a 42 run loss at the hands of Bangladesh in the Under-19 Asia Cup to finish second in Group ‘B’ at Moratuwa yesterday. Sri Lanka needed to win their last group game to avoid meeting India in the semi-finals but after their poor show, the hosts will meet the defending champions at P. Sara Oval on Thursday. Bangladesh posted 273 for seven batting first and then bowled out SL for 231 with 14 deliveries to spare. It could have been lot worse for SL as more..

SL needs national conversation: Fr Lapsley

Sep 11 (CT) A living testimony of horrendous hate and crime against humanity during Apartheid South Africa is an Anglican Priest, Rev. Fr. Michael Lapsley and he is in town. Fr. Lapsley, who was in the apartheid struggle, survived when a bomb, sent to him inserted in a magazine three months after Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in 1998, went off. Till now he does not know who caused him that pain and more..

Editorial: Suicide

Sep 11 (Island) Good news has come from the WHO, in these depressing times, fraught with ennui and despair. A WHO report, which received wide publicity on the World Suicide Prevention Day (10 Sep), reveals that there has been a 70% drop in suicides in SL and 93,000 precious lives were saved between 1995 and 2015 due to the regulation of the use of hazardous pesticides. It is no mean achievement. Suicides in SL average eight or nine a day, if one goes by police statistics. more..

Did Lord Naseby deserve country’s highest honour, Sri Lanka Ratna?

Sep 11 (Island) At the time the govt conferred Sri Lanka Ratna, its highest national honour bestowed on foreigners for exceptional and outstanding service to the country, on Michael Wolfgang Laurence Morris (Rt. Hon. the Lord Naseby PC), in mid Nov 2005, who could have imagined the Britisher would defend the war-winning armed forces of the Commonwealth nation, over a decade later. Lord Naseby would never have anticipated such an eventuality for obvious reasons. more..

Face the Nation

Inter religious dialogue; Well-being of nations

Sep 11 (DN) The large majority of people who adhere to most religion are lay people. Some religious denominations do not have clergy. Their leaders are also lay people. Yet they gather together in places of worship and are directed by lay leaders. In any case the lay people of all religions today are reasoning and more educated than in former times. They are influenced by various media of world-wide communication. Today people come to know what is happening and what people are thinking more..

Blurred vision

Sep 11 (ST) Iceland’s most active volcano erupted on May 21, 2011. The next day on May 22, Iceland had to close down its international and domestic airports, because the air space was a blackout with ash clouds fumes from the volcano. Ash clouds began to spread across Europe, and covered the skies so that during May 22-25, most of the airports in the Northern and Western Europe were also closed; thousands of flights were cancelled, and planes were grounded. more..

'Ranil is a democratic leader'

Sep 11 (CT) Minister Vajira Abeywardana says PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has given UNPers the freedom to act in a democratic manner and also to question any decision. Q: It was reported that an attempt to appoint 30 individuals loyal to PM Wickremesinghe to Working Committee was foiled. Isn't such move unconstitutional? A: It was a fabricated story. Q: But reality is that UNP Leader Wickremesinghe is hated by many isn't it? more..

Right to security and accountability

Sep 11 (CT) Now that a seven-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, has begun the hearing on what could be described as the Easter Blasts Case, there will be no dearth of fireworks, even if some of them may be a repeat of what the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has heard. Unlike the PSC & Prez's Commission, which also went into it all, SC can decide on a fundamental question that has been thrown before the Nation for adjudication. more..

Chasing after cross-overs only a waste of time

Sep 11 (SO) It is ironic that the two general secretaries of the two major political parties in the country, the UNP and the SLFP, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Dayasiri Jayasekara respectively, are like peas in a pod in their political journeys. They both hail from the Kurunegala district. Both of them studied law. As youngsters knocking on the door of national politics, both contested the general elections in 2001 from the UNP but did not get elected to Parliament. more..

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