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Karu Jayasuriya to be Honoured with Sasana Keerthi Sri Deshabhimani Award

Mar 19 (Island) Today (19), the Malwatta Chapter of the Siam Nikaaya will bestow on Speaker Deshabandu Karu Jayasuriya (78) the Sasana Keerthi Sri Deshabhimani Award, the highest honour that it awards to a layperson for his or her services to the Buddha Saasana and more broadly to the nation as a patriot. Mr. Jayasuriya, who is the lay president of the Ramanna Nikaaya, is one of the tiny minority of political leaders in the country more..

Some lessons to fix Sri Lanka’s broken public education system

Mar 19 (CT) This is a long overdue article that sheds a grim truth in to our education system. There were many reasons that prompted me to write this story, a relative who was unable to fund an International school education for her child was pleading to find a local school, her child was refused entry by many Colombo schools despite maintaining the right distance to the school. These slots are most likely filled by political connections, fake addresses or high donation fees. more..

Political and economic implications of 2019 budget

Mar 19 (ST) The passing of the second reading of the budget by a comfortable majority is of political and economic significance. It ensures political stability for about a year till the next elections and is indicative of party positions. The economic impact of the budget would depend much on the effective implementation of the announced policies and programmes. However, its fiscal deficit – which is larger than the planned fiscal targets — would have an adverse bearing on economic stability and more..

Eranda Weliange: Chairman of The NYSC

Edtorial: It ain’t over till ...

Mar 19 (Island) What we see, on the political front, bears resemblance to scenes in some Wild West flicks, where trigger-happy cowboys join forces to get rid of their common enemies and, then, train their guns on one another. The SLPP and the SLFP made common cause to topple the UNF govt last October, but now they are at daggers drawn. Their much-advertised unity suffered a heavy blow when the second reading of the Budget 2019 was put to the vote last week; most SLFP MPs reneged more..

Fixing Sri Lanka’s ailing Agriculture Sector

Mar 19 (CT) There is truth to the popular catchphrase of politicians that Sri Lanka is an agricultural nation. Agriculture is an economic disaster but, politically, it is the most important sector. The agriculture sector in Sri Lanka directly employs more than a quarter of the workforce, uses nearly half of country’s total land area and swallows the largest portion of budgetary welfare package only to make a dismal contribution of 8 per cent to the national economy. more..

'Symbol of the new Alliance will be the Pohottuwa'

Mar 19 (CT) UPFA MP Ramesh Pathirana says that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya must be having a desire to become the Presidential Candidate. Q: Has a name and a symbol been proposed for the alliance due to be set up? A: Various names have been proposed. However, we say very clearly the symbol of that Alliance will be the Flower Bud referred to as the Pohottuwa. Reason is that, this is the Party that acquired 5 million votes more..

Political infighting and this mockery of diplomacy

Mar 19 (ST) There is an old story — apocryphal or not, I don’t know — that Roman Emperor Caligula found his representatives serving in distant parts of his realm so inefficient that he wanted to send his favourite horse as a consul believing that it would serve him better than some of his two-legged representatives. If Caligula found his faithful steed had more horse-sense than some of his envoys who might well pass off as diplomutts, as we termed them some five years or so ago, more..

Rule of law or the rising rule of power?

Mar 19 (CT) The approach of a presidential election and the reality of the UNHCR Sessions in Geneva are driving this country to the frightening fantasies of both govt and application of the law. While the Mangala Budget does little to face development and growth needs of the country and people, the patterns emerging in our courts are leading to new concerns about the genuine independence of the judiciary, which the Supreme Court displayed with pride on Constitutional Coup issue of Oct 26; more..

‘I hope Mangala breaks my record’

Mar 19 (SO) Former Minister of Finance and Planning Ronnie de Mel who championed the cause of economic liberalisation on the Open Economy and presented eleven national Budgets during his tenure, made his comments on Budget 2019 in an interview: Q : How do you spend your time? A: I am in retirement now. I watch cricket matches during my leisure and spend a lot of time reading books and managing my estates. more..

Multiplying types of ministers

Mar 19 (CT) Adding to the mess about Ministries and the colossal waste is the number of different types of Ministries that we have. Until 1977, we only had Ministers and Deputy Ministers, but with the new Presidential Constitution J.R. Jayewardene introduced the idea of Ministers not in the Cabinet. But he used the idea sparingly, and indeed Wikipedia suggests there were only five such Ministers, though I suspect there were a few more who are now lost to the record. more..

SLPP and the Gotabaya Chinthanaya

Mar 19 (Island) The press in Sri Lanka, especially the Sinhala press has been avidly following the progress of the proposed alliance between SLPP and SLFP quite closely. The center piece of this attraction has been the choice of its presidential candidate, seemingly a choice between incumbent President Sirisena and former Defense Secretary and Rajapaksa sibling, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Furthermore, the first-place finish of the SLPP in last year’s local govt election, more..

Boru Show: National Action Plan for Combating Bribery and Corruption launched

Mar 18 (DN) A five-year National Action Plan for Combating Bribery and Corruption initiated by the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) was launched under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena in the presence of over 1200 civil servants and heads of govt institutions at the Shangri-la Hotel in Colombo today. Speaking at the event, Director General of the Commission Sarath Jayamanne more..

Ratgama businessmen killing: Eight suspects arrested

Mar 18 (DM) The CID had arrested eight suspects this evening over the abduction and killing of two businessmen from Rathgama, Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. He said the suspects were arrested after recording statements today by the CID. "Two sub-inspectors, two sergeants, two police constables, police driver and a forest officer were among the arrested suspects," the spokesman said. The suspect would be produced before the Galle Magistrate’s Court today, he said. more..

SLMC leader explains country’s situation to Swiss ambassador

Mar 18 (Island) The country still lacked adequate legal provisions to curtail hate speech, Minister Rauff Hakeem told the Swiss Ambassador Hanspeter Mock, when the envoy met him recently, at the Ministry of Higher Education. Minister pointed out that there was no way of checking the contents of social media, which affect communal harmony in SL. First Secretary (Political) Damiano Angelo Sguaitamatti was also present. During the meeting, Ambassador Mock expressed his interest in more..

Sri Lanka open to probe war crimes allegations: Army

Mar 18 (PTI) Sri Lanka is open to any investigation into alleged human rights violations in northeastern SL during the civil war, country’s top army brass has said. SL army and the Jaffna-based LTTE are accused of war crimes during the closing stages of the military conflict in 2009 when Tamil Tigers leader V. Prabhakaran was killed, ending years of secessionist insurgency in northern SL where ethnic Tamils dominate the area. more..

England women seal Sri Lanka ODI series

Mar 18 (CI) England women eased to another comfortable victory in the second ODI against SL in Hambantota, chasing down a moderate target of 188 with six wickets and 16.3 overs to spare to secure an unassailable 2-0 series lead. After winning the toss for the second match running, SL this time chose to bat first, perhaps mindful of the daunting score that England had put on the board in the first fixture after being asked to bat. And though each of the top eight reached double figures more..

Act against tainted politicians: Observers

Mar 18 (NR) Centre for Monitoring Election Violence has stressed on the need to take action against politicians accused of engaging in illegal and unethical practices. National Coordinator of the Centre Manjula Gajanayake said the country has the necessary laws and regulations to take action against such political figures. Gajanayake however said he is of the stance that leaders of certain political parties are hesitant to take action against members accused of various offences. more..

Video: Using school children for politicking not approvable: Akila

Mar 18 (AD) All the necessary steps will be taken to remove the existing salary anomalies in teaching service, says Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. He said making use of school children to achieve the political agendas of certain people cannot be approved. Stating that anomalies in teachers’ salaries are not a recent issue, Minister stated that they intend to appoint a committee and receive its recommendations in this regard more..

Sajith urges opposition not to make a bogey out of new Constitution

Mar 18 (Island) Minister Sajith Premadasa, on Saturday, called on the opposition not to make a bogey out of the new Constitution being made. "We will endorse a Constitution which brings about reconciliation. Reconciliation is not federalism. Reconciliation is not depriving Buddhism of its foremost place in the constitution and we are not against a new Constitution which will ensure reconciliation," he said, during the third reading debate on budget proposals under more..

Power interruptions in several areas

Mar 18 (AD) There is a possibility of power interruption in some parts of the country due to a breakdown of a generator, stated the Ministry of Power. The second generator at the Norochcholai (Lakvijaya) coal power plant has broken down this afternoon, stated Ministry Spokesman Sulakshana Jayawardena. Preliminary investigations have revealed that this has been a result of a technical malfunction and as a measure to secure the balance of the system, power supply to several areas more..

3-year restraining order on Nagananda

Mar 18 (AD) Supreme Court has today issued a restraining order preventing Attorney-at-Law Nagananda Kodituwakku from practising as a lawyer for three years. The order was issued by the SC Justice Prasanna Jayewardene in agreement with Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Justice Sisira de Abrew. A case filed against a statement made by Attorney Nagananda during a case heard in 2015 before Court of Appeal more..

Sanken eyes mega projects with foreign partners after 2019 budget

Mar 18 (EN) Sanken Construction (Pvt) Ltd said it is now eyeing an 18 billion rupee govt office complex contract, after the 2019 budget forced foreign competitors to form joint ventures with local firms. "After the latest budget, two to three Chinese companies have already contacted us saying they would like to do joint ventures," Sanken Group Managing Director Ranjith Gunatilleke said. "This is for the new 18 billion rupee project in Battaramulla for govt offices," he said. more..

Primary education in English medium: Bandula considering legal recourse

Mar 18 (DM) Former Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said he would take legal action against the in the English medium, disregarding the mother tongue of the student. Asserting that children should be educated from Grade one to five in their mother tongue, he said that English education could be gradually introduced thereafter. He said several other subjects could also be taught in the English medium after Grade 5, but mother tongue should be the medium of instruction in primary grades. more..

President miffed over Singapore's silence on wanted ex-CB Governor

Mar 18 (EN) Prez Sirisena says he is disappointed that Singapore had not responded to a request to find ex-CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran who is wanted in connection with the biggest securities scam in Sri Lanka's history. SL-born Mahendran is a Singapore citizen and an Interpol Red Notice had been issued for his arrest. Prez said he had apprised PM Lee Hsien Loong on the need for Mahendran to be brought back to Sri Lanka more..

SAPPTA welcomes govt decision to reduce ESC

Mar 18 (Island) Spices and Allied Products Producers’ and Traders Association (SAPPTA), Acting Chairman G.S. Chatoor, welcomed a decision by the govt to reduce the Economic Service Charge, which was at 0.5% of the turnover, to 0.25%. ESC Amendment Act was certified by the Speaker, on 17 May 2017, and the charge levied on ‘every person or partnership at the rate 0.5% (previously 0.25%), regardless of their income tax liability.’ "This was a big problem for us because more..

Illegal press forging officials documents raided

Mar 18 (AD) An individual has been arrested at a raid conducted at an illegal press forging fake documents at Ja-Ela area, stated the Police Media Spokesperson. The arrest has been made during a raid by the STF, this evening (17). The STF officers had discovered over 50 fake rubber stamps and a stock of forged official documents at the press. Police stated that among the seized rubber stamps there had been fake rubber stamps bearing the marks of state institutions as well. more..

Sri Lanka stock market boss wants pump & dump scammers dealt with

Mar 18 (EN) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) chairman Ray Abeywardena has called for action against those behind a pump and dump scam where share prices were artificially inflated and then dumped on unsuspecting investors. Abeywardena was quoted as saying in a CSE statement that it was a miracle that the market had survived the last four years without a single local captive fund investing in shares. more..

Jananath Warakagoda released on bail

Mar 18 (AD) Musician Jananath Warakagoda who was under remand over a fatal accident at Kadawatha has been released on bail, stated the Police. On 12th March, the car driven by the popular musician and composer Jananath Warakagoda hit a woman on the pedestrian crossing in front of the Kirillawala divisional secretariat who died on admission to the Hospital. Warakagoda was arrested and remanded on the same day as per the order of the Mahara Magistrate. more..

Rs.2,500 salary increment for private sector?

Mar 18 (NR) The Opposition today demanded the govt to recommend a 2,500-rupee salary increment for private sector workers in line with the proposed salary increase for state employees through the 2019 Budget. Speaking during the Committee Stage debate, UPFA Gamini Lokuge said the present govt continues to deceive the public through bogus pledges. He said although the govt had presented four Budget proposals, the present administration had failed to materialize any major reforms. more..

Ministers galore for film industry, but it is in dumps: JVP

Mar 18 (Island) Sri Lanka’s film industry was in its death throes while those responsible for the situation took no cognisance of it, the JVP said, on Saturday. JVP Kalutara District MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, participating in the Budget 2019 third reading stage debate on the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, said that the incumbent govt had had four ministers for the film industry during its 3.5 yrs in office. more..

Dr. Kapila Ranasinghe appointed Chairman Skills Development Fund

Mar 18 (FT) Academic Dr. Kapila Ranasinghe has been appointed as the Chairman of the Skills Development Fund Ltd. (SDFL) by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. SDFL was established as a pilot project in 1998 on the recommendation of Presidential Task Force on Technical Education and Vocational Training. Initially, the Int'l Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNDP sponsored towards establishing SDFL. The SDFL was registered under the Reg. number N (PBS) 832 as more..

Dissecting the 52-day saga: A forensic analysis by a forensic expert

Mar 18 (FT) It was 7:30 in the evening on 26 Oct 2018. The day being a typical Friday, Sri Lankans had been settled for yet another uneventful weekend. Many had sat in front of TV sets watching their favourite teledramas. Suddenly, viewers got alerted by a news flash that started blinking on their TV screens. Later, when the full details were out, it was shocking news. It said that Prez Sirisena had appointed his arch rival, former Prez Rajapaksa, as PM sacking his partner in politics for 4 years, more..

Malinda Seneviratne

Christchurch Calamity

Mar 18 (CT) The death toll at the two mosques in Christchurch where a lone gunman had ruthlessly slaughtered Muslim devotees while they engaged in prayers last Friday has gone up to fifty. Christchurch in New Zealand is one of the beautiful scenic places in the peace loving country which has prioritised maintaining good rapport with nature. The country of Green Peace movement is even vehemently opposed to the nuclear tests carried out by the superpowers in the Oceania region. more..

IUSF Convenor granted bail

Mar 18 (AD) IUSF Convenor Maheel Bandara Dehideniya who was remanded following a protest at the Parliament Road has been granted bail by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. Dehideniya was arrested over unruly behavior during the protest at the Parliament Road on March 13th. As per the orders of the Colombo Magistrate, he was then remanded, on the 14th of March. The protest launched by the IUSF over several demands including the defeat of the proposed more..