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Cabinet Reshuffled: Now what?

May 25 (Roar) The much-hyped Cabinet reshuffle finally took place on Monday without much fanfare, though amidst heavy speculation that the event was a culmination of rising tensions between the two constituent parties of the National Unity Govt. Despite the UNP’s best efforts to hold on to the portfolios assigned to its members, party leader was forced to give in at the last minute, resulting in crucial changes that may make or break more..

Construction Expo 2017 on June 2-4

May 25 (Island) SL's largest and most focused constriction related exhibition, Construction Expo 2017, featuring all aspects related to the construction and building industry will be held on June 2-4 at the BMICH. "This event showcases products and services that help the participants to interact with all the stakeholders and key service providers within the building and construction industry," Chairman- Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) Dr. Rohan Karunaratne said. more..

Police, AG’s Dept. disinterested, Lalith’s murder unsolved: Dayanthe Athulathmudali

May 25 (DN) “When Prof. Fernando requested me to speak today, I declined saying that my utterances may be interpreted as being supportive of the contents of the book being launched this evening. As he repeatedly requested and then gave me the freedom to say anything of relevance I wished, I thought I will start by doing some checks on who Prof Ravindra Fernando is. I asked my Doctor friends who now have the word Emeritus, like Prof. Fernando has, in front of their more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Editorial: Gaddafi’s prediction

May 25 (Island) Having raised the threat level from severe to critical following the Manchester blast, Britain is bracing itself for another possible terror strike. Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has vowed that his city will not succumb to division and anger due to the terror strike. But, Monday’s attack is likely to stoke tensions over race and religion. PM Theresa May has reportedly decided to deploy the military to operate alongside police to ensure public safety. more..

Ravi Mangala Yoga in Cabinet

May 25 (DN) The much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle eventually took place on Monday and saw several key portfolios change hands. The objective of the reshuffle was to apparently stifle growing dissent within the National Unity govt - although critics have quick to point out that it only amounted to a round of musical chairs with ministers swapping subjects among each other. The reshuffle- almost two years into the tenure of this govt- was a long time in the making. more..

Garbage in the city still fights shy of media

May 25 (SO) Small mountains of uncollected garbage by the road side on Friday were conspicuous-exhibits that the authorities were still grappling to overcome a stinky issue created a month ago, with the collapse of the Meetotamulla trash dump. A full four weeks have elapsed since the Meetotamulla tragedy, but efforts to find a short term solution to dispose the tons of solid waste generated within the city of Colombo and more..

Eight years hence

May 25 (Island) There are 71 mentions of Army in the 491-page final report of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF), released earlier this year. One paragraph is worth flagging in full. "Army representatives also stated that although they had achieved the Govt’s objective under its political direction and in difficult and challenging circumstances, they felt a lack of solidarity and support at present. They stated their support for a truth-seeking process more..

The true human does not have a race

May 25 (CT) "Some people believe that this govt can be changed tomorrow, or day after. Certain people thought, with the count of heads seen at Galle Face, it will be possible to form a new govt the following day. If one can bring a number of heads to a stadium and by simply seeing the number of heads, one thinks that a new govt can be established, it is a big joke. As yet no answer has been given to the question why when there were two years remaining of the tenure, they held an election." more..

'Foreign powers destroyed MR'

May 25 (CT) If the law was implemented equally amongst all, the extremist elements will be contained and reconciliation can be achieved said UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. He noted that foreign elements control the extremists who have been responsible for the hate motivated attacks in the recent past. Abeywardene added that these extremists were trained and funded by these foreign elements more..

Lack of intellectual depth in our leaders

May 25 (CT) In all political theatres, when the lights are dim and the drumroll begins, the actors and actresses, veterans and rookies alike, take their respective cues and enter the main stage. The storylines are, if the purpose is to shatter box-office records, consistently shallow and distastefully bizarre; music loud and insufferably out of tune; dialogues lofty and cascading like rainwater from a spout; costumes tailored to suit the audience-acceptance, bright and garish and more..

The Modi-Wickremesinghe constitution

May 25 (CT) As confirmed by Dr. Jehan Perera’s latest column, the PM disclosed in Mannar that Indian PM Modi had urged him, President Sirisena and ex-Presidents Kumaratunga and Rajapaksa to solve the ethnic problem by bringing in a new Constitution without delay. The PM said that this will indeed be undertaken, and a draft document presented in a week or two, with a draft Constitution ready for adoption in two or three months. What the new Constitution really hopes to achieve more..

Sri Lanka police failing to stop anti-Muslim attacks

May 24 (AFP) Rights groups accused Sri Lankan police Wednesday of failing to stop a wave of hate crimes against Muslim businesses and mosques in the Buddhist-majority country. Police are yet to make any arrests in connection with more than a dozen arson attacks against Muslims shops, mosques and a burial ground in the past month. Prominent rights activist Victor Ivan said the inaction risked a repeat of more..

People to people links promote friendship between nations: Pak Envoy

May 24 (PHC) An eight member student delegation along with their teachers from The City School, Lahore led by Mrs. Shazia Zahid, is visiting Sri Lanka from May 24 to 28, 2017 under a Student Exchange Programme with Harcourts International School, Sri Lanka. The students visited the High Commission of Pakistan today, for a briefing. The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra, while briefing the students, highlighted that more..

Sri Lanka workers seek Korean jobs amid currency depreciation

May 24 (EN) In 2016, 6,629 Sri Lankans had officially gone to work in South Korea, a country with a stable exchange rate and better monetary policy than Sri Lanka, and 26,000 are in higher-paying jobs in the country. On May 9, SL's Foreign Employment Bureau said it had abandoned plans to charge a 500,000 rupee deposit from workers going to Korea from this month. SL's rupee has collapsed from 131 to about 154 in mid-2015. Sri Lankans are going to work in the Middle East and Korea in droves, more..

India, Japan Joint Venture To Build Gas Import Terminal In Sri Lanka

May 24 (NDTV) India and Japan will jointly set up a $250 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Sri Lanka, the first collaboration between the two nations to counter China's growing influence in the Island nation. Petronet LNG Limited, India's biggest gas importer, last year proposed to set up a 2-million-tonne (MT) liquefied natural gas import facility on the coast of Sri Lanka to meet its energy needs. more..

SL, Aus to discuss human smuggling issue

May 24 (DM) President Sirisena’s visit to Australia would be an opportunity to advance key areas of bilateral co-operation including action against human smuggling, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said. Australian Premier said that education, defence, science and technology, economic development and medical research were among the topics which would be discussed. President Sirisena arrived in Canberra and he is scheduled to visit Sydney during the three-day official visit. more..

PM proposes meeting of party leaders on delayed LG polls

May 24 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that he would discuss the proposed election reforms with all party leaders and inform the Cabinet of their position within one week. PM said so in response to a query raised by MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena. Latter also asked the govt to issue a notice calling upon the Election Commission to hold the LG polls without further delay. MP: Around 15 million people in all provinces have been deprived of their franchise. more..

Video: Protesting medical students, parents tear-gassed

May 24 (AD) The participants of a protest walk against SAITM have been dispersed using tear gas and high-pressure water cannons near the flyover in the proximity of the Lotus Roundabout. The protest walk that began in the morning today was organized as a joint effort by medical students and their parents. A heavy traffic congestion is said to have been created on account of the protest. An assembly of disabled soldiers has also more..

Prez visits Mount Majura solar farm in Canberra

May 24 (PSL) President Sirisena who is on a three-day state visit to Australia made an observation tour of the Mount Majura Solar Farm in Canberra, today. SL delegation, including Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga, Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith P. Perera, Deputy Foreign Minister, Harsha de Silva, Harshana Rajakaruna,MP, President’s Director General Public Relations, Shantha Bandara participated more..

Pakistani duo with 4kg heroin under questioning

May 24 (NR) Court today granted the Customs approval to detain and question the Pakistani couple arrested at the Katunayake International Airport with the possession of four kilograms of heroin. The heroin has been valued at 40 million rupees. The couple was produced before the Negombo Magistrate’s Court today. The couple was arrested early this morning upon arriving from Pakistan. They duo had concealed the heroin the 4 kilos and 218 grams of heroin in their luggage. more..

President visits National Arboretum in Canberra

May 24 (PSL) Prez Maithripala Sirisena visited National Arboretum in Canberra this morning. He was received by the Attorney General of Canberra Gordon Ramsay who represented the Chief Minister of Canberra. Mr. Scott Saddler, Acting Executive Manager of the Arboretum ýwas also present on this occasion. President planted a Mahogany sapling in the Arboretum to mark his visit to Australia. more..

52 women abused in Kuwait to return home

May 24 (NR) The govt has facilitated the repatriation of 52 Sri Lankan workers who were subject to abuse while employed in Kuwait. The 52 women arrived in the island at 10 this morning. Meanwhile 68 women who were also subject to abuse while employed in Saudi Arabia are scheduled to return home this evening. The women who arrived from Saudi Arabia suffered abuse such as, violation of labour rights, not receiving payments on time and being treated in inhumanely. more..

Gnanasara thera ordered to be in Court

May 24 (NR) The Court of Appeal today ordered General Secretary of the BBS Galagodathe Gnanasara thera to appear before Court on the 31st of May along with his medical records. A case is filed against Galagodathe Gnanasara thera on charges of contempt of court. The thera was ordered to appear before court on the 31st as he failed to appear before court today. The order was issued by Chairman of the Appeals Court Judge Rohini Welgama and Judge S Thurairajah. more..

'18-20 extremist activities reported recently'

May 24 (NR) JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said around 18- 20 incidents of extremist activities have taken place in the recent past. He said 18-20 of these incidents have taken place adding that however from these the govt has disregarded 8 incidents where lamps overturned or there were shortages. MP said there are 10 left from which govt can surmise that a pattern of incidents is taking place following which he then asked more..

'Finance Minister post too big for my boots'

May 24 (DM) I was thinking that the pair of shoes I was offered was too big for me when I was given the Finance Minister post, new Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Making his maiden speech in the Parliament as the Finance Minister Mr. Samaraweera stated the Finance Minister post is a serious post which had been held in the past by political giants like J.R. Jayawardene and Dr. N.M. Perera. "That was why I felt this pair of shoes is too big for me" he said. more..

Reshuffling to take place among officials in state institutions: Lakshman Yapa

May 24 (AD) During the course of the next few days, ministry secretaries and other officials will be reshuffled amongst the state institutions with the intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena, State Minister of Finance, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says. The Minister stated this today (24), upon addressing a media gathering. He elaborated that the President had paid attention towards the potential reshuffling as a means to strengthen the govt. more..

President given grand welcome in Canberra

May 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in Canberra this morning commencing a 3-day state visit on the invitation of the Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull. He was received by Official Secretary to the Governor General, Mark Fraser, Minister of Education, Senator Simon Birmingham and ýDeputy Secretary at Department of the Cabinet, Elizabeth Kelly, Australian High Commissioner of SL Bryce Hutchisson and more..

Govt has ensured full freedom to stage protests: Amaraweera

May 24 (DN) "The govt has ensured full freedom to stage protests but the people at large blame the govt for inaction when the protests cause hindrance to their daily lives," Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. "The medical profession is so important it has no alternatives. I request members of the medical profession not to tarnish their image by demonstrating at every turn for minor issues that can be resolved through discussion and negotiation," he said. more..

If Muslims lose patience country will face dire consequences: EPC member

May 24 (DM) If the Muslims of this country are to lose their patience the country will face dire consequences, Eastern Provincial Council member, Shibly Farooq said. He said so at the monthly sitting of the of the Eastern Provincial Council. "The racial activities taking place in the country will pave the way for another blood bath. The majority of the Sinhala community do not approve racism. The proof of this mind set could be seen in the defeat of former President Rajapaksa. more..

10 ministries in 1: More choices for deal making than before

Govt to prevent mosquito breeding in abandoned boats

May 24 (Island) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry has taken steps to destroy or cover old and discarded boats and canoes and fishing gear so that water will not collect in them facilitating mosquito breeding. In addition, abandoned fishing boats at fisheries harbours would also be destroyed or appropriate precautionary action taken to prevent them from being breeding sites of mosquitoes. Ministry had identified 176 boats left abandoned in fisheries harbours. more..

Attacks on Muslim mosques and businesses a conspiracy against govt: Minister

May 24 (FT) The attacks on Muslim places of worship and businesses are a conspiracy against the Govt, a Minister says. Muslims in SL say that there have been intensified attacks in recent days in various parts of the country aimed at mosques and places of business. They say that since last April there have been at least 15 such attacks in various parts of the country. Minister Mano Ganesan says a conspiracy against the Govt is being launched with the backing of a number of organisations more..

Lacille de Silva

TNA’s activities are not acceptable to the international community

May 24 (CT) It is high time now for the people of Sri Lanka to challenge the authority of the TNA, to act and speak on their behalf, on various matters be they political or otherwise. International Community that includes the UN agencies, European Union, Commonwealth, UNHRC and such others too should come out openly to back the people’s demand, to stop the TNA from functioning further. During these 13 years from 2004 TNA was shrewd enough, in not missing a single chance, more..

Promotions, Demotions

May 24 (CT) Monday's Cabinet reshuffle centred round four key portfolios, though there was double that number involved. Those were Ports, going under the expanded version of Ports and Shipping, Media, Finance and the creation of a new portfolio called Development Assignments. In these aspects, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga was demoted to be Petroleum Resources Development Minister, Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka to more..