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'Students won’t give up till demands met'

Aug 21 (CT) Gaunt, he seems to be, albeit resonating with zeal, Lahiru walked into Ceylon Today office a couple of days after obtaining bail after a 47-day spell in prison. I am back in the campaign he uttered blithely. Lahiru Weerasekera, Convener of the IUSF was arrested and remanded on charges of causing damage to public property when IUSF members attempted to enter the Ministry of Health (MoH) for a discussion with more..

The great Cabinet free-for-all

Aug 21 (ST) It has been a long tradition of parliamentary democracy stemming from the Westminster system that while ministers in the Cabinet can express their views freely and without fear within the Cabinet room and even take pot shots at those gathered round the cabinet table, they must hold their peace and speak in one unified voice once a Cabinet decision has been taken. The cardinal rule being that they shall not take the coarse linen of their disagreements and more..

Barbaric behaviour cannot be dismissed as not quite torture

Aug 21 (ST) That new Minister of Foreign Affairs has chosen to flippantly wave aside the stupefying conduct of the IGP in grabbing an employee by the collar, threateningly raising a hand and berating him, is unfortunate to say the least. IGP’s fury had been occasioned by the failure of a hapless lift operator to participate in compulsory meditation sessions ordered by him. Judging from the video footage, it is the IGP who seems to need supervised and strictly enforced intensive meditation, more..

Call for swift legal action against identified offenders

Aug 21 (SO) Although one of the slogans the govt carried in their election campaign was to bring criminals and offenders of the previous regime to book, with longer time periods spent on the ongoing investigations and in gathering statements from relevant persons, the fear is that even more time could be taken to initiate legal proceedings and prove the innocence or guilt of the parties. This has inspired many parties, more..

Diminishing returns from Ministerial position

Aug 21 (Island) Since 1956 the political and social systems in SL had undergone major convolutions in governance practices. The 1956 people’s movement pushed to the forefront the entirety of the people as a wholesome entity regardless of their capacity individually and or collectively to make impartial assessments. In the euphoria of ushering a social revolution to level off combinations of equality vis-a-vis societal relationships, the major considerations of the power of knowledge, more..

A solution to Sri Lanka’s fast bowler injuries

Aug 21 (DN) A solution to Sri Lanka’s constant injuries to their fast bowlers could be at hand if the authorities who control cricket at school and national levels take the views expressed by Senarath Alwis seriously. “The real problem originates from the under 13 and under 15 age group players,” said Alwis, a former junior coach of Bangladesh, junior cricket coach of Royal College (under 13, 15 and 17) for 12 years, a Level 4 cricket coach and ex-director Physical Education, Uni of Colombo. more..

Unity govt a failure: Justice Minister

Aug 20 (Island) Embattled Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe criticised the coalition govt yesterday saying it had failed the nation and urged Buddhists monks to lead a campaign for political change. Rajapakshe, who faces possible expulsion from the cabinet, took Minister Rajitha Senaratne head on accusing him of interfering in the affairs of the justice ministry and took thinly veiled swipes at PM too. more..

50,000 brick houses for North, East

Aug 20 (ST) Govt will construct 50,000 brick and mortar type houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces under a new project. “The prospective owners will decide the kind of housing they prefer. Tenders will be called for construction work that would accommodate local participation,” V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary to the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, said. His Ministry will oversee the implementation. more..

CID busts racket in videos of women lured into sexual trysts

Aug 20 (ST) The CID's Cybercrime Division has launched an investigation into an alleged racket to produce videos of sexual encounters with young women, and selling them to pornographic websites. The main suspect was taken into custody after a woman complained to the CID of an individual luring her to a 5-star hotel in Colombo and recording sexual encounters, which are sold to pornographic websites. more..

Implementation of sticker proposal on Liquor Delay costs Govt Rs 40B

Aug 20 (CT) Govt coffers have been deprived of approximately Rs 40 billion, due to procedural delays of over a year, in implementing the proposed fool-proof sticker label on each legal bottle of liquor. This was revealed when PM Ranil Wickremesinghe recently addressed a group of flood victims in Matara, where he explained why the Treasury finds it difficult to immediately release funds for relief measures. more..

Doha visa waiver for 80 countries: Lankan job market under threat

Aug 20 (CT) Employment prospects for Sri Lankans in Doha-Qatar have come under serious threat after a visa waiver facility to enter that country was extended to India, Indonesia and Maldives, industry warned. Doha-Qatar's decision to include India, Indonesia and The Maldives, among a list of 80 others, for visa free entry will have an effect on Lankan job hopefuls, simply because there will be a flood of workers more..

Report on mayhem at FTZ: President’s Office opts to remain silent

Aug 20 (CT) The President's Office has opted to remain silent over a report related to the bloody mayhem at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone in May 2011 that left a worker dead and some 300 hundred others wounded when Armed Police launched an unprovoked attack on protesting factory hands, top most trade unionists said. They said the report based on findings of a one-man Commission to probe incident was handed over more..

Morning safaris permitted into Wilpattu

Aug 20 (SO) The decision to ban safaris into Wilpattu National Park on account of the ongoing drought was reversed by the Minister of Wildlife after extensive consultations with the Minister of Tourism and The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO). The outcome is a favourable one for all stakeholders wherein morning safaris will now be permitted into the national park. This informed and decision reached through more..

SL receives GSP+ facility for 7 years

Aug 20 (SO) The GSP Plus facility is being implemented at present and exporters are making full use of the facility, National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) Chief Ramal Jasinghe said. “Right now the facility is implemented and it is available to all exporters to Europe and they are making use of the facility,” he said. The fisheries and the sea food industry too enjoy the benefit, Jasinghe said. “We have sent a strong message to more..

NPC hands tied, cannot act on IGP

Aug 20 (SL) The National Police Commission (NPC) will not act against IGP Pujith Jayasundara over a recent incident, as it is legally unable to. NPC Secretary Ariyadasa Cooray said that the NPC can investigate and take action only on the Police service but not the IGP. The NPC was responding to a question posed by Sunday Leader on a recent incident where IGP had verbally abused an employee at Police hq. more..

Daya’s title change request irks Premier

Aug 20 (ST) Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage thought the name of his Ministry was not stylish enough, or perhaps lacked sufficient lustre to get things going. So he appealed to President Sirisena to change the title of his portfolio and the Ministry to that of Eastern Regional Development. Other than the name change, Mr Gamage told the President that he was not seeking any extra pay or perks. more..

Exec. Presidency, Constitution, Supremacy of Parliament and Separation of Powers

Aug 20 (Island) Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) has always been against the concept of having an Executive Presidency because the concentration of state power in a single person is a sure formula for destroying good governance. An Executive President is invariably a politician with partisan views and would place his own and his party’s interests before those of the country. Deeds of J.R. Jayewardene, R. Premadasa, Chandrika Kumaratunge, Mahinda more..

August Ruling: Advocating a federal form of government is not advocating separatism

Aug 20 (Island) On August 4, Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking a court order that the ITAK, (historically called the Federal Party, in English) is in violation of the Constitution insofar as one of its aims and objectives in advocating a federal form of govt is the establishment of a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka. Three Judges who heard the petition disagreed. In what some newspapers have described as a landmark ruling, Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, more..

Major corruption cases: Wheels of justice begin to grind following President’s outburst

Aug 20 (ST) SLFP ministers launched their own drive last Wednesday to woo the business community as they moved for an increased role in economic development. It came just 24 hours after the Cabinet of Ministers approved a recommendation by President Sirisena to establish a National Economic Council (NEC). For more than two weeks, Sirisena’s Cabinet Note had been on hold until PM, who chairs Cabinet Committee more..

Another Bond Scam team member falls: CB Deputy Governor Samarasiri retires

Aug 20 (ST) Deputy Governor Central Bank P. Samarasiri on Friday retired from the banking regulator in a career that was plagued by allegations of complicity in CB bond scam under former Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s watch. Earlier attempts by former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, to extend his term (from Aug 18 when he reaches 60 years) were unsuccessful. The retiring banker is represented by his own lawyer at the ongoing sessions of bond Commission more..

CBSL to resume talks with PayPal & Stripe

Aug 20 (CT) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) plans to refresh its talks with popular worldwide online payments system PayPal on its inward access to Sri Lanka, as early as possible, CBSL officials on Friday told Ceylon FT. At the moment, Sri Lankans can send money to any PayPal user, but Sri Lankans can't receive money from anyone through PayPal. "We are fully committed to promote the digital economy. Unfortunately Sri Lankan market is too small for them. more..

Govt suspends ICTA’s NPP

Aug 20 (ST) Controversial National Payment Platform (NPP) developed by Information & Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) has been suspended. This follows allegations against the agency that it took arbitrary action in handing over its operations to private companies without Central Bank regulation. Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said that he has directed ICTA chairperson to suspend all activities relating to NPP. more..

Conduct of Lankan diplomats : Marapana to probe allegations

Aug 20 (SO) The Development Assignment Minister who was given the additional portfolio of the Foreign Ministry by President Maithripala Sirisena, said he was here to ensure that Sri Lanka received the recognition it deserves by the international community. He said Sri Lanka’s missions have a tough job to fulfill this task and those who fail will have to face the music. Minister Marapana was appointed to fill the position of former Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanyake after more..

Examinations dept complains to police over alleged leak of A/L Chemistry paper

Aug 20 (HN) The examinations department has commenced investigations into an incident where a tuition master has allegedly distributed leaflets stating that he had already discussed several questions which were included in the second part of this year's A/L chemistry paper. He had said it was discussed at one of his seminars. The examinations commissioner general, W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara noted that a complain had been lodged at the police headquarters on this matter. more..

August will be historic month says Rajitha

Aug 20 (Island) With less than two weeks to go for the end of August, Minister Rajitha Senaratne says that this month would prove to be historic. Decisive decisions would be taken on behalf of the people, with regard to mega corruption cases and murders involving high profile persons before the end of August, he said on Friday. "History will be created this month. The process has just begun." more..

'Duty waiver will hit BOP, drain forex'

Aug 20 (CT) A Senior Economist yesterday slammed the Government's decision to reduce the duty imposed on certain vehicles and claimed that the decision would affect the Balance of Payment (BOP) of the country. Senior Lecturer of the University of Colombo, Department of Economics, Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said that by reducing the import duty on vehicles, Govt was causing a drain in foreign exchange, which subsequently could lead to an exchange rate crisis. more..

Coping with the worst drought in 40 years

Aug 20 (Hindu) Sri Lankan rice and curry is a thing of legend. With steamed rice, often of the red variety, served at the centre of their plate, locals serve yellow dal and curries made of vegetables, greens, fish and meat around it, virtually covering the entire colour palette within that small radius. Rice is cultivated locally, mostly from the island’s North Western, North Central and Northern Provinces. This year, though, SL is in a spot. From meeting the domestic requirement for rice more..

Wijeyadasa to resign tomorrow

Aug 20 (SL) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is expected to announce his resignation tomorrow. He is expected to announce his resignation at a media conference. “The Minister is to make a special statement tomorrow morning and he is likely to resign after that,” a source close to Rajapakshe said. The govt has lost confidence in Rajapakshe after he made comments critical of the Hambantota port agreement with China. more..

How SL balances serendipity & sultry charms

Aug 20 (SMH) Throwing open the curtains of my room in the Slightly Chilled Guest House, I am greeted by the morning view of Adam's Peak, where Adam first set foot on earth when he was chucked out of the Garden of Eden. Or call it Sri Pada, the mountain of the sacred footprint. But then again, it's Samanala Kande, Butterfly Mountain. And Hinduism's Sivan Adi Padham. Giant footprint at the top? That might have been left by the Buddha, St Thomas the Apostle of India, or Lord Shiva. more..

Bodi Liyanage makes his last journey today

Aug 20 (SO) Kandy sports lovers pay tribute to the one time President of the Kandy Association Football League and SL Football Federation Bodi Liyanage, who passed away on Friday in Kandy. He was 69 years at the time of his death. It is a great loss to all communities throughout the country as Bodhi as he was affectionately known dedicated a good part of his life to serve the country and sports. He had a dream to see Sri Lanka compete with the best on the sports field and in public life. more..

'I regret we could not spend more time with Prabhakaran'

Aug 20 (WION) Erik Solheim, the Norwegian peace mediator in the SL civil war, breaks his silence on his controversial role in a conversation with WION's Padma Rao Sundarji. Sundarji: How and when did the govt of Norway decide to mediate in Sri Lanka and why did they pick you? Erik Solheim: We were invited in absolute secrecy by the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga. At the time, only two people in Colombo knew, more..

Parliament Mafia: Deals discussed as SLFP members look to switch

Aug 20 (SL) SLFP members in the govt and JO are discussing deals as attempts are being made to drag members on both sides. Sources said that between 11-14 members of the SLFP in the govt have more or less confirmed they will join the JO. Meanwhile seven members of the JO have shown interest to join the SLFP in the govt. The deal making is heating up as both SLFP leader, President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa look to get the upper hand over each other. more..

Biggest ever full day raid arrests 777 Army deserters

Aug 20 (SLA) An island-wide combined raid, conducted by the Police and SL Corps of Military Police (SLCMP) throughout Friday (18) arrested 777 Army personnel who are Absent Without Leave (AWOL) or having deserted their posts in respective formations around the country. The arrest, biggest ever conducted within a single day accordingly took 1 Officer and 776 Other Rankers in to custody during the full day raid. SL military last month said over 4,400 deserters have been arrested more..

Central Bank takes umbrage over former ICTA CEO Canagey’s claims

Aug 20 (ST) Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) appears to have ignored a request from the Central Bank (CB) made more than a year ago – in mid-2016 – for details of the controversial National Payments Platform (NPP) even though the banking regulator is the authority under which such a mechanism must function. While ICTA CEO Muhunthan Canagey quit on Friday (11) more..

Record 5 titles for Anika

Aug 20 (ST) Top seeded Anika Seneviratne lived up to her expectations as she clinched the girls under 16 singles title with a comfortable two sets to nil against Anjalika Kurera in the three set final played at the SLTA tennis courts in Greenpath, Colombo yesterday. Later Anika continued her winning spree when partnered by her sister Alana went on to clinch the girls under 16 doubles title defeating the second seeded pair of Anjalika Kurera & Sathi Silva by 2-0 in the final which was played in the evening. more..

Sri Lankan cricket in doldrums

Aug 20 (Island) As Rex Clementine has indicated a few days ago, Sri lanka Cricket has hit rock bottom. It is not on the defeat in three Tests itself against India that one comes to this conclusion, but the unbelievable margins of defeat including two innings-defeats and one inside three days that makes one wonder as to how we could recover from this impasse. Sri Lanka administration must sit back and plan out the short-term and long-term strategy to regain the standards we were proud of more..