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SAITM crisis: IUSF chief remanded as doctors’ strike enters second day

June 24 (Island) Police investigating Wednesday’s IUSF raid on the health ministry arrested three key student leaders yesterday as the GMOA strike against the heavy handed use of the police to oust the protesters, entered its second day. Among the suspects taken into custody are Ven Thampitiye Sugathananda, Convenor of Inter-Uni Bhikku Balamandalaya and IUSF convenor Lahiru Weerasekara. more..

Establish Office on Missing Persons (OMP) immediately: AI

June 24 (AI) Amnesty International calls on SL authorities to immediately implement the much delayed Office on Missing Persons. “The people of SL cannot wait any longer. Tens of thousands of families, from all communities, have waited far too long already. The Office on Missing Persons must be established as soon as possible,” said Biraj Patnaik, AI’s South Asia Director. “It is encouraging that both President PM have reached out to families of the disappeared over recent days. more..

Ravi K credits Ronnie’s insights for Best Finance Minister award

June 24 (FT) Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake credited insights received from ex-veteran Ronnie De Mel for the recent award of Best Finance Minister of Asia Pacific. Minister Karunanayake who met de Mel said his discussion with the veteran politician centered on the Govt’s program to take the country forward.  “During my tenure as the previous Minister of Finance, I amply employed the advice and guidelines given by former Finance Minister Ronnie de Mel. more..

Corruption galore causing massive losses, latest PAC report reveals

June 24 (Island) The latest report of Public Accounts Committee (PAC), released yesterday, reveals many instances of corruption and irregularities which have caused staggering losses to the state coffers. PAC Chairman Lasantha Alagiyawanna, tabling the report, said it contained the findings of 33 probes in respect of 32 institutions and 3 key issues which had attracted the attention of the committee, during May-Oct 2016. more..

Police report mandatory for graduates?

June 24 (NS) The govt is currently looking at making police reports, attesting to their behaviour compulsory for graduates applying for jobs in the govt and public sector. A senior official in the Govt said that the move was to ensure that those with prior convictions of vandalism or are accused of such will not be incorporated into the govt work force. Accordiingly, those who apply for administrative, accounting, management, medical, engineering, and teaching professions, more..

CB governor lowers growth forecast

June 24 (CT) Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy cut down the country's growth forecast from the initial 5% to end up the year at between 4½-5% this year. Speaking to reporters yesterday he said, when the country's growth projections were made at the beginning of the year, the drought was discounted. But now with the drought playing an integral role in the economy, such a projection may have to be revised downwards to 4½-5%, he said. more..

Undocumented bond sales: Rs.1,043 bln up to 2015: COPA

June 24 (CT) The report of COPA revealed that undocumented bonds carrying an aggregate value of Rs 1,043 billion had been issued, by succeeding Govts and semi-govt institutions, since 2015. A special investigation was carried out by the PAC on June 7, 2016 concerning controversial Bond issues in Jan 2015. Report said: When asked whether there is any possibility of the existence of hidden loans within loans raised by the govt, more..

Schoolchildren affected by dengue up by 20%

June 24 (DN) Health Ministry yesterday said that there is a significant 20% rise in schoolchildren infected by the current dengue epidemic. Health Ministry requests all parents of schoolchildren to apply mosquito repellants on the skin of their children before sending them to the school or tuition classes. The Health Ministry said that the surge in the increase of schoolchildren infected by dengue is due to the dengue mosquitoes being active from 6 am and 9 am during the day. more..

Ravi K behind stink in alcohol industry: JVP

June 24 (CT) JVP Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake says the failure of the Govt to issue a licence to the sugar factory at Hingurana raises the question as to whether the Govt is determined to ensure that the liquor production plant owned by Arjun Aloysius in Ampara benefits by it. He said it was Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake who has held back issuing a licence to the State–owned Hingurana Sugar Factory to produce ethanol, even 8 months after it began production. more..

Graham Ford steps down as head coach

June 24 (CB) Sri Lanka's head coach Graham Ford has stepped down after the team's poor outing during the Champions Trophy in England. Nic Pothas, the fielding coach, is set to take over the duties for the upcoming five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, starting June 30. Sri Lanka will also play a one-off Test, starting July 14. Ford took over as SL's coach in February last year and was in the job for 15 months. more..

We are stronger than before: Wigneswaran

June 24 (NS) Northern Province Chief Minister, CV Wigneswaran in a brief email interview stated that the tense situation which prevailed within the Northern Provincial Council is somewhat settled. The no-confidence motion against Wigneswaran was also withdrawn by 21 members of the Council after he agreed to revoke the decision of sending two provincial ministers on leave till investigations were complete. Wigneswaran refuted claims that the TNA was split over the issue and added that more..

Selection Committee faces dilemma

June 24 (NS) The unexpected astounding victory of the Pakistan team for the first time in the Champions Trophy tournament played in England was the topic of many cricket enthusiasts. The final result of the tournament shattered the predictions of many critics. An overwhelming number of cricket fans believed that India, Australia, South Africa and the host country England would be the likely semi-finalists. The tables turned when World Champions, Australia, and ICC top ranker more..

'NFTH will be a dengue treatment centre'

June 24 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) would be taken over by the govt and turned it into a dengue treatment centre. Speaking at the debate on the attack on protesting uni students, he thanked Dinesh Gunawardane for giving legal cover to SAITM through a Gazette notice. He said 3 judges and 15 attorneys had in court accepted the fact that SAITM had the legal right to function. more..

Red Bull Campus Cricket returns

June 24 (CT) Search for a team to defend the island's global Red Bull Campus Cricket title is set to begin, when Red Bull Campus Cricket – National Finals (SL's) takes off on 3 July. Stakes for Sri Lanka's Red Bull Campus Cricket tournament are higher than ever this year. Not only are twenty College sides set to take part, the winning outfit will progress to the World Finals, also to be held in the island in Sept – where expectations will be high for another rousing Sri Lankan show. more..

Pakistan’s prestigious Jinnah scholarships for Sri Lankan Youth

June 24 (PHC) Govt of Pakistan through its High Commission in SL has awarded scholarships to 170 bright Sri Lankan students of O/L & A/L under prestigious Jinnah Scholarship programme worth SL Rs. 4.225 million. The scholarships are named after the great statesman, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who is the founder of Pakistan. The award ceremony was held in a local hotel in Colombo. The occasion was graced by VC Buddhist & Pali University Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero more..

Proposal to promote liquor industry bared real face of yahapalanaya: docs

June 24 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) has decried what it called disgraceful move to promote alcohol, beer and wine consumption at the expense of much touted yahapalana pledge to curtail alcohol consumption. President of GMOF Dr Rukshan Bellana said that govt move couldn’t be condoned under any circumstances and, therefore, it should be strongly opposed both in/outside Parliament. more..

A380 flights expected in BIA from July

June 24 (NS) Govt following successful negotiations with Emirates is expecting by July that at least one Airbus A380 plane will come per week to the BIA. An average of four to five such flights is expected per month. Emirates subsequent to discussions with the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation had visited the country and inspected the runway at Katunayake which had been overlaid and currently has a total width of 75 m, with the track being 45m wide and shoulders (7.5m into two into two) more..

Wiggie to meet Mavai: Crisis! What Crisis?

June 24 (NS) CM C.V. Wigneswaran has denied reports of a rift within the TNA following tensed situations in the council the previous week. Accordingly, CM is to meet Leader of ITAK, Mavai Senathirajah today to discuss the future course of the party and NPC. He added that the people need not be worried about the developments the previous week, adding that they were being solved. “No. There is no split. We have come up more strong. Our people are backing us 100%,” more..

කන්ටේනර් 19 ක් අතුරුදහන්

Asian Athletics Championships: Perera optimistic Vinoj & Himasha would beat odds

June 24 (Island) History is against them. Sri Lanka has never won a medal in men’s sprint events of 100 metres and 200 metres at the Asian Athletics Championships but Chaminda Perera, the coach of country’s leading sprinters Himasha Eshan and Vinoj Suranjaya is optimistic that his charges would be among the medal winners when they compete in 22nd edition of the event in a fortnight’s time in India. Himasha and Vinoj are reigning South Asian Games champions in 100 & 200 metres more..

Govt doctor flees without slippers

June 24 (EN) A govt doctor who was engaging in private practice charging fees during a strike organized by GMOA was caught on camera running away without shoes. GMOA is trying to close down SAITM, in a bid to deny education freedoms of parents and students. GMOA doctors have earned their degrees at tax payer expense. State-run Rupavahini television in its facebook page showed footage of a doctor in a private clinic running away barefoot from a cameraman. more..

Sri Lanka to gear up for IRONMAN triathlon

June 24 (CT) Pro-Am Serendib, official licensee of the World Triathlon Corporation and owner of the IRONMAN global triathlon brand, is gearing up to hold a prestigious international sporting event in Sri Lanka on 25 Feb 2018, which is the only IRONMAN event in the South Asian region. Company will hold The IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo, which is a qualifying event for triathletes to qualify to participate in IRONMAN 70.3 World C'ships more..

CAB to shine at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

June 24 (DN) The Colombo Art Biennale (CAB) which was co-founded in 2009 by Annoushka Hempel, will have its most prominent showcasing yet this August at the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and also very much in the planning stages for an ever strengthening and larger showing at its fifth edition set for 2018. This showing at Fringe will be CAB’s most prominent international showing to date, preceded by Serendipity Revealed at the Brunei Gallery SOAS in London in 2014, and more..

Our team is well educated says Rodrigo

June 24 (CT) The former president of Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) Ranjith Rodrigo is contesting for the post of president of FFSL for the last time and vowed he will not contest in the future FFSL elections. He made these remarks at a press conference on Wednesday. He further stressed that neither he nor any of his family members will not contest in the future. "I and my team have a proper plan which we established when I took over office in 2013 and if we are elected I won't more..

Saman Kelegama: Top Sri Lankan economist with a mission

June 24 (EN) The writer’s first encounter with Dr Saman Kelegama was at an international conference held in Sri Lanka in early 1990s. He was one of the local resource persons who presented a paper at the conference. When the bearded young research officer from the fledgling Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), took the podium to talk on Sri Lanka’s trade liberalisation issues, audience consisting of both local & foreign researchers more..

Arrogant, foolish attempt to deny persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka

June 24 (Island) I was shocked and outraged to see a video news clip in which you sought to deny the numerous incidents involving the harassment of Christians in this country in recent times while crudely condemning a reputable lawyer who had brought the relevant facts to light threatening to have him removed from the bar. Your arrogant and emotive reaction reflects a deplorable ignorance about the facts pertaining to Christian persecution in the country if not a deliberate attempt to more..

Let not SAITM, Garbage and Dengue issues get out of hand

June 24 (NS) Collapse of Meethotamulla garbage mount two months ago was not only a disaster by itself, but also a harbinger of many more misfortunes to come. Two months down the line as the clamour over it subsided, a new issue of garbage has begun sending shock waves across the political spectrum – this time it’s over the inability of the authorities to ensure efficient garbage collection in Colombo and some parts of its suburbs. While the govt is trying hard to resolve the issue, more..


Editorial: First things first

June 24 (Island) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has the knack for setting the cat among the pigeons. He has apparently got it down to a fine art. He questioned the wisdom of banning liquor sales on Poya Days. Alcoholics, he said, either bought liquor in advance or settled for illicit brew on Poya Days and the ban, therefore, had not yielded the desired results. Govts have no qualms about raking in revenue by way of taxes on many trades which are antithetical to the core tenets of Buddhism. more..

Dear youth…

June 24 (NS) Sri Lanka is a country with great potential. This country has gone through many obstacles before everything fell into place eight years ago with the end of the brutal war. We lost thousands of youngsters on both sides. Youngsters whose lives would have changed the course of the country for the better if guided properly. They were lost for a reason, but the country is still trying to get back on its feet after their sacrifices. At one point SL faced a problem due to brain drain more..

'SL ranked global 5th in marine pollution'

June 24 (CT) General Manager of Marine Environment Protection Authority, Dr. Terney Pradeep Kumara, says that Sri Lanka is ranked number five in the Global Pollution Rankings Index and is behind only China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Dr. Pradeep Kumara, a Doctorate Holder from Sweden's Kalmar University on Marine Ecology and Head of the Ruhuna University's Department/Faculty of Oceanography and more..

A SL perspective: Right to self determination

June 24 (CT) At the present time, when Sri Lanka is engaged in formulating a new Constitution, the concept of self-determination of Tamil people has become the subject of much discussion in political circles, civil society organizations and generally among the people. Some people appear to prefer a federal system in a united Sri Lanka while the majority supports a unitary state of govt with the sovereignty enshrined in the people of Sri Lanka. The right of the people to self-determination more..

Blessed are the PeaceMakers

June 24 (CT) The turbulence which prevailed in the NPC has been brought to an end with Jaffna's two most venerable clergy men of two different faiths getting into action to see the main characters in the NPC crisis giving up their tug-of-war which had emerged following CM C.V. Wigneswaran's action against four NPC Ministers who were accused of corruption and malpractices. Catholic Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Dr. Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam and Chief Incumbent of Nallur Atheenam more..

Where does SL stand in global innovation?

June 24 (Roar) Global Innovation Index recently released their 2017 report—its tenth edition. The result of a collaboration between Cornell Uni, INSEAD, & WIPO, detailed report reviews 127 economies and their standings in various areas linked to innovation. Report measures economies through 7 categories—or pillars—of analysis. 5 Input Pillars: Institutions; Human Capital & Research; Infrastructure; Market Sophistication; more..

A conspiracy theory: Tread with extreme caution Sri Lanka

June 24 (CT) The first lessons taught to any student of the science of politics almost invariably includes a reference to the 16th century Florentine philosopher Machiavelli and his celebrated thesis, the Prince; where his principle line of argument revolves on the attainment of “power” as the means of securing all other political ends. In later years the French scientist Jean Bodin attributes a name to this, identifying it as sovereign power upon which all political authority vests, more..

Is the Sinhalese community rising up against racism & violence?

June 24 (CT) There has always been this uneasy feeling among the average Buddhist clergy and the Sinhala people in relation to racism and religious extremism. This embarrassment is not surprising because it reflects the teachings of the Buddha himself – metta (loving kindness). Therefore, the general assumption that anything to do with racism is confined only to an insignificant number of people is very correct. However, the havoc they can wreak can be devastating. more..