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Changing lives behind bars

Jan 16 (SO) A significant landmark along Baseline Road is the Welikada Prison. It is a building complex at which motorists and passersby don’t care to give a second glance. Yet within its vast confines are cell blocks that house men and women. They have entered the prison for an assortment of crimes from basic theft to rape and bloody murder. Entering through the main gate of the prison head quarters I sat in the lobby. more..

Illegal acts of a deceitful Albion

Jan 16 (Island) A key factor in the recent political events in Sri Lanka, now nearly forgotten, was the forceful intervention of foreign powers representing old empires and the new neo-colonialist global power structures. Britain, the US, Canada, Australia and Germany all sought to intervene in the local domestic political affairs giving the impression that they considered SL a dominion of theirs: they made public statements as to their expectations on how President Sirisena should act, more..

Untimely deaths at Chilaw Base Hospital: Negligence or natural?

Jan 16 (DN) In early November, a 35-year-old mother and her newborn died during delivery at the Chilaw Base Hospital. A month later, two more newborns died at the same hospital. The cause of death in all these cases remains a mystery to date. A special investigation has been launched over the suspicious nature of the deaths of the two infants at the Chilaw Base Hospital, Acting Director of the Chilaw Base Hospital Lalith Poddalgoda said. Though two infants passed away on Jan 2, more..

Dayasiri Jayasekara

Constitutional fraud and threat to democracy

Jan 16 (CT) Even as the Nation is talking about a new Constitution, forgetting the past weeks, future generations would scarce remember the former, but not forgive the latter. Rather, they would have been handed down a process of trivialisation of the Nation’s holiest of holy books, and thus a process that could deteriorate into something that the sworn democrats of today won’t know how to defend, if called to do so with retrospective effect. The sins of the present are going to visit the future, more..

Edtorial: PC elections and NATO

Jan 16 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has got hold of something to beat his rivals with. He has torn into them for being fixated on the next presidential election without taking up the issue of much-delayed Provincial Council polls. He has said they have a duty to uphold the 13th Amendment, under which power has been devolved. It is heartening that he has awakened, at long last, to the realisation that people’s franchise needs to be respected. Better late than never! more..

Constitutional coup costs billions

Jan 16 (SO) Govt lawmakers assert that the net result of the recent political coup is a huge loss of around Rs. 21 billion being only the interest costs while the cost to the tourism industry was far above of US$ 250 million. Apart from these, there are other economic and financial setbacks such as loss of confidence, investments and the associated delays in investment plans. However, the actual losses of this constitutional coup have more..


Jan 16 (CT) A phrase that does not have much meaning with the rest of the world yet an integral part of the American political way of life. A distinct dysfunction of a working democracy in that. A default mechanism that works wholly and totally against the people. If you are a federal worker you’ll find yourself working without being paid. How can this term be associated with a working democracy? Uncle Sam supposedly the champion for people’s rights depriving lawful wages for his people, more..

A lie is also a truth

Jan 16 (CT) Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a determined contender for the presidency. His trenchant lecture to activists of the Viyathmaga forum demonstrated the man’s spiritedness and impulse to act. He is a driven man. What drives him? Ancient Greeks developed the concept of thymus which they believed explained our unconscious impulses to act. It is the subconscious driving force that tells a warrior to fight. Thymus in a sense, is a synonym for passion. more..

'I am not afraid of mudslingers'

Jan 16 (CT) General Secretary of SLFP, MP Dayasiri Jayasekara says the UNP threatened the Media and the Police, because they are connected to CB Bond Scam. Q: Isn’t being the General Secretary of a powerful Party like the SLFP a challenge for you? A: It is not a challenge for me. I am someone who has already accepted challenges and continued with my work. I have worked without being shaken by those things. more..

More portfolios; a reward for protecting Govt during crisis?

Jan 16 (DM) Two more non-Cabinet ministers and a deputy minister were sworn in on Friday bringing the number of non-Cabinet ministers to five. Earlier, in the wake of Ranil Wickremesinghe being reappointed PM last month, 3 non-Cabinet ministers had been appointed. The new appointments must be a response to the grumbling by many ruling party MPs who had been sidelined when the UNF got was re-instituted last month due to the 30-member limit imposed on the Cabinet by 19th Amendment more..

From Pettah to Cotta: A brief history of a not-so-brief transformation

Jan 16 (DM) One of former Colombo Municipal Council Chief Medical Officers, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam’s policies in his manifesto as the Podu Jana Peramuna’s candidate for Mayor of Colombo was the extension of the city to the suburbs. This, he surmised, would ease the pressure on transport and sewer systems, infrastructure and healthcare, and would attract investments to Colombo beyond the city limits. Dr. Kariyawasam did not become the Mayor of Colombo more..

SL to repay $1 bln foreign debt from reserves

Jan 15 (Reuters) SL will repay a $1 billion 5-year sovereign bond due on Monday entirely from its reserves, CB governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said, after three of its state-run banks failed to raise funds from foreign sources. Govt is struggling to repay its foreign loans, with a record $5.9 billion due this year including $2.6 billion in first 3 months alone. Officials said a plan to raise funds through state banks for full repayment fell through more..

CBK asks Prez not to join rejects

Jan 15 (Island) Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike has asked President Maithripala Sirisena not to join political parties and groups that have been rejected by the people of the country. In a letter dated Jan 11, she has informed the President that she met a number of SLFP activists recently on their invitation. "As I informed you in my letter on January 04, I have always advised them to stay in the party and to work towards strengthening the SLFP," Bandaranaike has said in the letter. more..

BASL condemns Weerawansa for casting aspersions on judiciary

Jan 15 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has vehemently condemned MP Wimal Weerawansa for casting aspersions on the judiciary by hiding behind parliamentary privileges, which prevent him from being dealt with for contempt. "The Bar Association of Sri Lanka unequivocally and strongly condemns the speech made by MP Wimal Weerawansa in Parliament on 10th January 2019 wherein he made derogatory remarks about the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s first fully UAE-funded IDP resettlement city opens

Jan 15 (FT) The first ever re-settlement city for Sri Lankan displaced persons fully funded by the UAE was launched on 13 Jan in Mannar. The new facility goes beyond being a mere group of new houses to integrate many infrastructures of a small city. “UAE has been a longstanding friend of Sri Lanka. As the Minister of Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons I thank the ruler of UAE Emir Sheikh Khalifa more..

President’s Thaipongal Message

Jan 15 (DN) I am extremely happy to convey my greetings to all the Hindus across the world celebrating Thai Pongal, the festival that expresses gratitude to the Sun God, the supreme provider of light, warmth, water and wind essential for agriculture, the lifeline to human sustenance, states Prez Sirisena in in his Thai Pongal message. The release: “The prime status bestowed upon agriculture by the Tamil community denotes in the historic quote ‘We’ll worship agriculture’ of more..

Ravi gets Cabinet approval for immediate power purchases

Jan 15 (DM) Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake secured Cabinet approval today (14) to open tenders for immediate power purchases. Mr. Karunanayake told Daily Mirror that he took steps to open tenders in advance rather than waiting till an emergency occurred. “In the past, there was the last minute rush in getting tenders opened for power purchases in the event of an emergency. I want to avoid it,” he said. more..

Tripartite agreements for Port City investments

Jan 15 (FT) As dredging work in the Port City draws to a close the Govt is now looking at drawing up tripartite agreements with possible investors to develop the new addition to the country’s landmass. The legal framework for investments, still under discussion is likely to finalised by March, Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe said. The 269ha land added to the country’s landmass more..

Sri Lanka-Italy Business Council welcomes Rita Giuliana Mannella

Jan 15 (Island) The newly appointed Italian ambassador to Sri Lanka Ms. Rita Giuliana Mannella the ambassador for Republic of Italy in Sri Lanka was ushered by the SL Business community at the gala Members Annual Fellowship 2018 held on Dec 11 at the Hilton Colombo Residencies. The Members Annual Fellowship facilitated by the Sri Lanka Italy Business Council (SLITBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce enabled the Sri Lankan corporate executives to get to know more..

Lankan delegation to visit Pakistan for talks with civil service

Jan 15 (PHC) A 12-member delegation of Sri Lankan Govt officers is visiting Pakistan from Jan 14 to 21, organized by the High Commission of Pakistan, Colombo in collaboration with Pakistan’s prestigious National School of Public Policy. The delegation members paid a courtesy call on High Commissioner of Pakistan, Major General (R) Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat at High Commission’s premises. High Commissioner said that this visit will provide a great opportunity to SL officers to more..

SLPP rejects Steering Committee report on new Constitution

Jan 15 (FT) The SLPP said it rejects the Steering Committee report presented to the Constitutional Assembly (CA) and would work to defeat any vote on it in Parliament with the support of lawmakers loyal to Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. SLPP Chairman G.L Peiris argued that the reports, which were presented to Constitutional Assembly last Friday, were tantamount to a draft Constitution even though other political parties more..

PM's Thaipongal Message

Jan 15 (DN) Thanksgiving to the Sun God and expressing gratitude to the natural environment for the blessing of the harvest has been a religious practice of most of the farming communities, states PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his Thai Pongal message. The message: ”Thai Pongal is one of the most cherished cultural festivities which involves feasting, visiting relatives and giving gifts celebrated among all the Tamil communities in the world. “The celebration that reflects the deepening more..

Bugs at MC; Ceylon Theatres says...

Jan 15 (DM) Ceylon Theatres today said that it shut down the Superior cinema hall of the Majestic Cineplex (MC) pending an investigation into complaints by patrons of bugs being found in several seats inside. Issuing a statement, Executive Director of the C.T. Holdings PLC, Sanjay Niles stated: “We refer to an incident which took place on the evening of Saturday 12th January 2019 at one of our cinemas. Upon receipt of the information on Sunday morning, Ceylon Theatres took immediate more..

Mattala offered all freedoms to attract airlines

Jan 15 (Island) The govt had, in a desperate bid to attract airlines to Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport, granted airlines all nine Freedoms of the Air to those who operated to Mattala via Colombo, the PCoI was told. Usually, airports across the world grant only the first four or five Freedoms of the Air to airlines. This made Mattala the most liberal airport in the world. Int'l Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that codifies the principles and more..

Kandy fire turns focus on Colombo

Jan 15 (ST) The dramatic rescue of a woman and three children from a burning building in Kandy highlighted several glaring shortcomings regarding fire safety. Main among them was the difficulty the Kandy Fire Brigade’s vehicles had in reaching the site. The situation is just as bad, if not worse, in Colombo. Senior officials at the Colombo Fire Brigade lamented that they face severe difficulties on a daily basis in reaching locations in the city in the event of a fire. more..

NMRA raids errant pharmacies

Jan 15 (CT) National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) took legal action against two pharmacies in Kadawatha and Eldeniya, for retailing a drug used to treat neuropathic pain without a prescription. NMRA Chief Food and Drug Inspector, Amith Perera said that the raid had been carried out on the two pharmacies based on a tipoff, under the guidance of the Chief Executive Officer of the NMRA, Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe. He explained that a 150 milligram capsule of the drug cost Rs 24. more..

All candidates given green light to contest

Jan 15 (CT) Four prominent figures in cricketing circles - Mohan de Silva, Kangadaran Mathivanan, Shammi Silva and Jayantha Dharmadasa - were given the green light to contest for the Presidency of Sri Lanka Cricket, which is scheduled for next month. This was disclosed by the three- member committee which was appointed to handle the nominations for the SLC elections by the Sports Minister, headed by the former AC Judge more..

Special forum for police to air grievances

Jan 15 (FT) A special meeting will be held by Chief of Staff of the Presidential Secretariat to find solutions for grievances of members of the police force in Suhurupaya. Prez Sirisena has instructed Chief of Staff M.M.P. Hitisekara to preside over the meeting scheduled for 24 January which is held once a month. The meeting held once a month gives the opportunity for members of the police to find solutions to their issues regarding promotions, transfers, disciplinary action and other more..

New Medical Faculty for Sabaragamuwa Uni

Jan 15 (GDI) The Medical Faculty of the Kuruwita Batuhera Foundation will be declared open by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne on the 17th, affiliated to the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. Rathnapura General Hospital Director Sampath Ranaweera said, that the Ratnapura General Hospital will be converted into a Teaching Hospital with the aim of improving the quality of free health services in line with the opening of the Medical faculty. more..

SL turn down First Class game in Hobart

Jan 15 (Island) Having flown to Australia direct from New Zealand on Sunday, the national cricket team has settled in Hobart ahead of the two match Test series that gets underway next week. The Sri Lankans were supposed to play a three day warm-up game starting Thursday at the Bellerive Oval, the venue that witnessed Kumar Sangakkara’s epic 192 in 2007. The warm-up was converted into a day-night fixture in a bid to more..

Ireland A on top after scoring 508-8 declared

Jan 15 (DN) Ireland A beaten in the first 4-day unofficial test by Sri Lanka A came back strongly in the second to post an imposing first innings total of 508-8 declared on the second day of the second unofficial test at Hambantota yesterday. They finished the day on a high capturing the wicket of SL A skipper Ashan Priyanjan off the last ball of the day for 27 to have SL A struggling at 99 for three wickets by the close. SL A lost openers Pathum Nissanka and Avishka Fernando cheaply more..

Economics of double standards

Jan 15 (ST) As I reached the university one morning, I saw a student who had climbed on a chair placed on another table close to a tree in the compound, hammering a nail on the tree. He climbed down after finishing what he was doing and smiled with me too. I started a chat with him, while walking towards the building in front of us. During our chat, I asked him about his studies, home and parents too. Apparently, my next question not only shocked him, but also confused him. more..

HARTI tasked with formulating national plan

Jan 15 (CT) Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute (HARTI) said that it had been tasked with coordinating the formulation of a National Plan to Manage the Human-Wild Animal Conflict. HARTI Research Officer, Amal Dissanayaka, said that there was a dire need for a specific and well organized authority to ensure the security of people who were victims of the ongoing battle between humans and more..

Our aim is to be among top ten: Coach Thilaka Jinadasa

Jan 15 (DN) “Actually we have more than 25 players in our present pool and few of them are new comers. However finally it would prune down to 12 for the World Cup. However all players are under observation of the coach and she already provided with good training including Gymnasium sessions. “I think we have to maintain good physical fitness especially to play against top teams at the World Cup”. Our main target is to improve our world ranking said Thilaka Jinadasa our coach. more..

Rajarata Chronic kidney disease, fluoride & Mahaweli project: All possibly connected?

Jan 15 (Island) By now, it is common knowledge that a significant number of people from farming communities living in the North Central Province (herein referred to as Rajarata) suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Over the past three decades, a number of investigations on the causes of CKD have been conducted, but no conclusion has been drawn yet on what exactly is causing CKD in the Rajarata context. Although a number of theories have been proposed, none has been more..