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'Ethnic issue only a few are talking about a political solution'

Sep 15 (DM) Former Govt placed much focus on a political solution for the Tamils, fighting corruption and assuring justice for high profile murders and other incidents. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella asserted that the priorities of the new Govt are different. Q: Let me start off by asking you about the composition of this Govt. We have a group of ministers & state ministers; some with questionable pasts and some with questionable portfolios. more..

Row over murder convict-MP: Speaker takes cover behind court ruling as SJB fires salvo

Sep 15 (ST) Less than a month into its five-year term, the Ninth Parliament of SL achieved world-wide notoriety this week when a murder convict on death row was sworn in as a member of the august assembly, amid jeers and a walkout from Opposition SJB MPs. The swearing-in of SLPP MP-elect Premalal Jayasekara was the first item on the agenda when sittings began on Tuesday (8). He was sentenced to death by the Ratnapura HC on July 31 for the 2015 murder of an opposition activist, more..

Governance without accountability at the core of 20th Amendment

Sep 15 (ST) 19th Amendment has been criticised and demonised on the basis that it created two centres of power that prevented the smooth functioning of Parliament. As discussed in this column last week this is not substantiated by any evidence. The fact that there were conflicting opinions between the Prez and the PM during the Yahapalana Govt that impacted on the performance of that Govt is highlighted by the proponents of the 20th Amendment as a justification for more..

'Grassroots level contribution was recognised'

Sep 15 (TM) Given that the present Cabinet does not have a ministerial portfolio dedicated to Women and Child Affairs, and the State Ministry for Women and Child Development, Pre-School and Primary Education, School Infrastructure and School Services too is aligned under the Cabinet Ministry for Education, various groups have continuously asked whether Piyal Nishantha de Silva – MP who was assigned the portfolio – more..

MR’s role, 13A & The Constitutional Changes

Sep 15 (CT) If all power and decision-making are vested in one person, even if that person has originally been elected, then that political order is defined in classical (Aristotelian) terms as the rule of one man, a tyranny. In modern times this is defined as a dictatorship, especially if the ubiquity of the military is an aspect of that person’s rule, as in SL today. Other terms, also deriving from political thought and philosophy can be used: absolutism, autocracy, despotism. more..

Cattle, Muttonheads & Rajapaksa coup

Sep 15 (CT) Few days ago it was a time for many to rejoice when PM Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed his desire to legislate on a total ban on cattle slaughter. Even though further progress on the proposal got postponed for a month, it seemed to have endorsed an ecclesiastical appeasement on a certain bloc of society, who eternally opposed the practice of slaughter. Despite the presence of fake bona fides of Rajapaksas, if implemented the outcomes of the proposed legislation may drastically affect more..

President calls Viyathmaga intellectuals to support government’s forward journey

Sep 14 (PMD) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested the intellectuals of the Viyathmaga to participate in the govt’s journey to make a better and prosperous SL. The Viyathmaga organization comprised professionals, academics and entrepreneurs representing a number of fields. The Viyathmaga was launched in the April of 2017 and its activities made a deep impact in the political social perspective of the citizenry. more..

Tobacco and alcohol regulation gets new lease despite COVID

Sep 14 (DM) Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa took office as the third Chairman of National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) in January this year. The onset of COVID-19 posed significant challenges to regulatory bodies across, but for the tobacco and alcohol control body this event has proved to be a silver lining. “As I assumed duties, we faced the COVID-19 crisis and the entire world spoke of the dangers of Coronavirus and risks posed by smoking and alcohol. more..

UNDP and Brandix partner to promote Sustainable Biomass Energy

Sep 14 (UNDP) COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented health and economic crisis, deepening the existing poverty and climate crises. As Sri Lanka works to build forward better coming out of the pandemic, driving change in the people-environment nexus to protect the health of people and natural resources is key to a future that does not repeat the crisis we are in today. In this context, clean sustainable energy can provide affordable solutions that are in line with climate targets more..

BCB president Nazmul Hassan says no to SLC's 14-day quarantine requirement

Sep 14 (CI) Disagreements over Covid-19 protocols continue to dog Bangladesh's World Test Championship series in Sri Lanka, which is scheduled to begin in late October. Last week, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) that the Bangladesh players would need to be in quarantine for one week upon landing in the island, before being able to train. more..

Video: Suspect held in police cell commits suicide

Sep 14 (AD) A suspect arrested by the Kalutara North Police has allegedly committed suicide inside the police cell he was being held. He had been arrested over a drug-related charge, according to the Police. The deceased is a 32-year-old father of two from the Uggalbada area in Kalutara. Reportedly, the suspect had used a tape of cloth from the mat provided to him in the police cell to commit suicide. The magistrate’s inquest had been carried last morning, shortly after the incident. more..

19 new COVID-19 cases detected, tally moves to 3,253

Sep 14 (AD) 19 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected within the day (14) so far while the total number of positive cases in the country soared to 3,253. Among the latest cases one is an associate of the person who passed away while being infected with COVID-19 virus. In addition, 6 recent arrivals from the UAE, one each from Kuwait, Qatar, and Vietnam, 4 from Bahrain, and 5 Indian seamen have been tested positive for the virus. The active cases under medical care at hospitals more..

EDB Chief renews call for export diversification

Sep 14 (FT) EDB Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe is renewing his call for greater product and market diversification to enhance SL’s foreign exchange earnings amidst COVID-19 challenges. He made this appeal as the EDB released latest data which confirmed exports touched a near billion dollars for the third consecutive month in Aug. Exports in Aug were $947.7 mil, down by 19% from yr earlier. more..

Punchihewa concludes Mahi Pancha series, co-authors Jathaka Stories Retold

Sep 14 (Island) Retired Civil Servant and writer, PG Punchihewa has concluded his popular Mahi Pancha series of children’s stories with the seventh publication, Mahi Raja Retires illustrated like its predecessors by the late Sybil Wettasinghe, perhaps her last published sketches. A winner of the State Literary Award in 2002 for the best Children’s Book, the author, who retired from the Public Service as Secretary to the Ministry of Coconut Industries, and later served as the head of the Jakarta-based more..

Scientists to probe Kandy tremor

Sep 14 (CT) Following a third earth tremor recorded in Kandy at around 11:30 p.m. on Friday (11), the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) has decided to appoint a committee today (14) comprising scientists from the Universities of Peradeniya and Moratuwa, to conduct a probe. The minor earth tremor is said to have occurred due to the Limestone deposits and its cavities. However, the earth tremor 1.79 on the Richter scale was recorded at around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, more..

Army orientation for 50,000 graduates begins

Sep 14 (CT) Army orientation-training programme for 50,000 graduates, recruited to the public sector, in line with the President’s Saubhagayaye Dekma (Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour) policy statement and on directions of Prez Rajapaksa to the Army, begins in phases on Monday (14) in 51 islandwide Army Centres including, Security Forces HQs, Regimental HQs and Training Schools. more..

Ananda Thera wants ban expedited

Sep 14 (CT) Chief Incumbent of the Abhayarama Temple in Colombo, Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera called for a complete ban of cattle slaughtering including importation of beef while insisting the ban should be expedited. Thera urged the PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to find a way to ban consuming beef in the country since SL is a Buddhist country. He said that the only vision of late Anagarika Dharmapala Thera was to ban the consumption of beef and hoped it would be done by this Govt. more..

International Space Station to be visible in SL

Sep 14 (AD) NASA’s International Space Station will be visible to the naked eye above Sri Lanka this evening (14). Reportedly, it will be visible to the country at 6:44 pm local time if there is a cloudless sky. According to NASA, its International Space Station, is the third brightest object in the sky and easy to spot if you know when to look up. Visible to the naked eye, it looks like a fast-moving plane only much higher and traveling thousands of miles an hour faster, NASA says. more..

Wigneswaran welcomes Govt. initiative towards self-sufficiency

Sep 14 (FT) TMTK MP C.V. Wigneswaran told Parliament that the journey towards self-sufficiency would help the war-affected people in the north and the country faced with innumerable economic setbacks. Speaking during the debate on Nine Orders under the Excise (Special Provisions) Act and 10 Notifications under the Excise Ordinance (Chapter 52), Wigneswaran said the Govt was proposing to give fillip to inland production more..

Fabric and apparel accessory manufacturers want furnace oil price reduced

Sep 14 (FT) Fabric and Apparel Accessory Manufacturers Association (FAAMA) is urging the Government to reduce prices of furnace oil as it impacts competitiveness and deprives the country from saving valuable foreign exchange. FAAMA made this request at a recently held forum on SL’s Export Development and Way Forward, chaired by Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena at NSBM Green Uni in Homagama. FAAMA pointed out that SL needs at least $3.3 billion worth of fabric more..

Dialog Axiata deploys LANKAQR to enable a cashless Sri Lanka

Sep 14 (FT) Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider in partnership with Dialog Finance PLC and Lanka Clear, announced the launch of LANKAQR – the National Quick Response (QR) Code Standard for local currency payments introduced by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, enabling a cashless Sri Lanka. Dialog aims to enable over 50,000 of its partner merchants with access to LANKAQR platform for digital financial transactions by end of the year. more..

SDIG recalls how extremists rose above law in East due to political expediency

Sep 14 (Island) Some Islamic groups in the East had armed themselves on the pretext of fighting the LTTE, but had not been involved in extremist activities, former SDIG Eastern Province Edison Gunathilaka informed the PCoI. Zahran was also a member of one of the 18 extremist groups that had emerged during that time. The retired SDIG said that those groups also engaged in criminal activities but people were afraid of lodging complaints because more..

Video: Army Kamal arrested in Welipenna

Sep 14 (AD) Kamal Arunashantha alias Army Kamal, who has been charged with various crimes, has been arrested by the Welipenna Police. The arrest has been made yesterday at the Henpita area in Welipenna, based on a tip-off received by Police Special Investigation Unit. Reportedly, he had been using heroin with his son at the time of arrest. However, the son had managed to flee and evade arrest and Army Kamal has been taken into police custody. Police has recovered 10 gr of heroin, more..

Twelve new judges appointed

Sep 14 (EN) Twelve new high court judges were appointed today. A statement from the president’s office said letters of appointment were handed to the new judges by Prez Rajapaksa earlier today. Among the appointments were six district judges, a chief magistrate and two magistrates. The appointments are as follows: District judges: W A Perera, Ms C Meegoda, Ms A I K Ranaweera, W A M Thalagodapitiya, Ms D W W M R C P Kumari Dela and H S Ponnamperuma more..

Video: SL’s 13th COVID-19 death reported

Sep 14 (AD) The person who passed away at the Chilaw Hospital earlier this evening has been identified to have been infected with COVID-19. The deceased is a 60-year-old seaman who had been undergoing quarantine after returning from abroad, according to Dr. Sudath Samaraweera of the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry. He had arrived in Sri Lanka from Bahrain on the 02nd of Sept; however, he had not been identified more..

Maritime TUs appeal to President

Sep 14 (CT) Maritime trade unions appealed to Prez Rajapaksa and the Foreign Office in Colombo to intervene in seeking the early release of a senior SL Seafarer currently jailed in Mauritius. “We have already handed over a letter to the President’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Relations seeking their assistance to release the SL Seafarer,” Palitha Atukorale with the National Union of Seafarers SL (NUSS) said. He said that NUSS was in touch with the Seafarer’s family and more..

Ex-Ministry Secy. says last govt. lost sight of Muslim extremists in trying to please world

Sep 14 (Island) The former govt had been concerned that addressing rising Islamic extremism by arresting Muslims in the East would draw the ire of the international community, especially Middle Eastern leaders, former Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order, Jagath Wijeweera, told PCoI. He said that Islamic extremism had been discussed frequently at the National Security Council (NSC). but former govt had lacked the strength to take appropriate decisions to counter extremism. more..

UNP elects Ruwan Wijewardene Deputy Leader – due to replace Ranil next year

Sep 14 (EN) Former State Minister for Defense Ruwan Wijewardene has been elected the Deputy Leader of the UNP secret ballot at a meeting of the Party Working Committee today. He will now take over as the Party Leader from his cousin former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in January next year. Wijewardene was anointed as the future leader a few weeks ago. Assistant Leader of the Party Ravi Karunanayake also more..

Boossa Prison inmates call off hunger strike

Sep 14 (AD) The remaining inmates at the Boossa Prison have called off the hunger strike they had been engaged in since Sept 10, confirmed Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya. The hunger strike, launched by 43 inmates including notorious underworld figures and drug traffickers such as Kanjipani Imran, Wele Suda, Kewuma, Jausan and Soose, lasted 4 consecutive days. As of yesterday (13) 20 inmates had withdrawn and only 14 inmates had been more..

COVID-19 recoveries crosses 3,000 mark

Sep 14 (AD) Nine more patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 have been discharged from hospital after recovering and testing negative for the virus. Two Sri Lankans and one foreign national receiving treatment from the IDH in Angoda and 06 patients from the Iranawila Hospital have been discharged, as per the Health Ministry. Accordingly this brings the number of COVID-19 recoveries to 3,005. Number of COVID-19 patients currently being treated at hospitals has dropped to 217. more..

The fuss about money printing: How far is this charge valid?

Sep 14 (FT) One of the charges framed against the present govt by opposition leaders is that it has printed a lot of money through the CB and made available to people. They believe that such a high volume of money released to people will cause inflation in the future. If inflation is set in the economy, people, especially those in the low-income groups, would suffer. These people would feel that they have become poorer because more..

Sino-Lanka ties go beyond economic relations: Chinese Envoy

Sep 14 (DM) Acting Chinese Ambassador Hu Wei said SL and China should not limit its bilateral relations only to economic cooperation. He said bilateral relationship is based on strategic partnership cooperation, not economic development only. “As you know, we supported each other even during the past few months in the fight against the pandemic. Numerous amounts of urgent medical supplies including more than 73,000 testing kits, 4.5 mil face masks, 54,000 Personal Protective more..

Rear Admiral Kapila Samaraweera appointed as Chief of Staff of the Navy

Sep 14 (SLN) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa the President and Commander-in- Chief of Armed Forces, appointed Rear Admiral Kapila Samaraweera as the Chief of Staff of the SL Navy with effect from 12th Sept. Accordingly, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, officially handed over the letter of appointment to Rear Admiral Kapila Samaraweera today and expressed his best wishes to carry out entrusted duties in the new appointment. more..

Ms. Nadishani Perera, ED Elect, TISL

A coordinated response will aid global and Sri Lankan maritime post-COVID recovery

Sep 14 (FT) The oceans, particularly maritime trade, have been the lifeblood of the modern global economy from the mid-20th century to the early 21st century. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the outlook for global maritime trade and the global economy. However, uncertainties remain on when global maritime trade might recover and what it means for Sri Lanka’s maritime industry. There are different ways to study the oceans economy. The blue economy concept is popular in more..

Rural sector transformation

Sep 14 (FT) Income of the G7 economies has swelled marginally after the Great Recession in 2007, which accounted for 1% per annum of growth. Expansion of emerging economies continued rapidly even after the Great Recession and stagnated from mid-2013. As average growth of potential regions has stalled during post-recession era, many policy makers have feared the state of secular stagnation over global GDP. There are two controversial arguments have been formed by more..