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Forward march

Sep 5 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena stuck to his forthright demeanour yesterday, telling the 42 ministers from the Parliament-approved 48 who were sworn into the Cabinet that they had to take forward good governance for the next five years. As a first step towards ensuring better governance and transparency, President Sirisena also announced the formation of an independent commission to appoint heads of more..

More Cabinet Ministers to be sworn in

Sep 5 (NS) Several more Cabinet Ministers are due to be sworn in early this week, along with State and Deputy Ministers, The Nation learns. Forty-two Ministers took oaths as Cabinet Ministers on Friday at the Presidential Secretariat. There are 44 Ministers in the Cabinet thus far, along with the Prime Minister and President. A motion approved by Parliament last week allowed a maximum of 48 Cabinet Ministers and 45 non-Cabinet Ministers. more..

President to participate in UNP's anniversary celebrations

Sep 5 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena will participate in the 69th anniversary celebrations of the UNP tomorrow. It is the first time that a President of the SLFP will participate at an event of the UNP. The anniversary celebrations will be held at the UNP headquarters Sirikotha under the patronage of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. PM Wickremesinghe will make a special announcement on the programme to be launched by the new govt to uplift the country's economy. more..

National Govt introduces new political culture: PM

Sep 5 (DN) The historic National Govt formulated with the joining of the country's two main political parties is capable of finding solutions to the issues faced by Sri Lanka at national and international level, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. He said that this is a historic day in Sri Lankan politics as a new political culture has been introduced to the country with the joining of the two main parties to serve the nation. more..

'Contaminant an organic solvent'

Sep 5 (NS) Test results of the contaminant from the Coca-Cola factory leak which was received by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NSWB) from India confirms that the leak was not of a diesel. NSWB Chairman K. Alahudeen Ansar confirmed that the test results samples, of the contaminant which was collected at Ambatale and various places on the day of the leak, showed a methylene content of 0.5mg per liter. “This is not diesel, neither is it kerosene,” he said. more..

Officials clueless on asbestos ban

Sep 5 (NS) Despite the announcement made by President Maithripala Sirisena that stern laws will be imposed on asbestos and a complete ban is to be enforced on the production and importation of asbestos by 2018, the relevant authorities seem to have not yet been given any directive as to how the govt intends to enforce the ban. When contacted by The Nation regarding specific details about steps being taken to reduce the importation of asbestos, the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) more..

4000+ companies also under scrutiny

Sep 5 (NS) The issuance and renewal of the Environment Protection License (EPL) of over 4000 industrial plants bordering the Kelani River will now be scrutinized and restructured by the Central Environment Authority (CEA) as the state agency attempts to clamp down on unauthorized waste disposal. Ajith Weerasundara, Director of Waste Management at the CEA conferred that even though the industries more..

ACJU felicitates Muslim Parliamentarians

Sep 5 (FT) A felicitation ceremony for the Muslim MPs elected for the eighth Parliament of Sri Lanka, hosted by the ACJU, was held on Tuesday, at the ACJU head office. The representatives of civil societies and Muslim organisations participated in this event, which was chaired by ACJU President Ash-Sheikh Mufti Rizwe. The session commenced with recitation of the Holy Quran by ACJU Youth Affairs Division Secretary Ash-Sheikh Arkam Nooramith and the compering of ACJU Fatwa more..

Taiwan authorities deport Sri Lankan man

Sep 5 (CG) A Sri Lankan national transiting at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on his way to Germany on a forged Schengen Area visa was picked up by the National Immigration Agency’s (NIA) special cross-unit task force and deported to Sri Lanka. According to the agency, the man had arrived in Taiwan on a China Airlines flight from Singapore bound for Frankfurt, Germany, purportedly on a business trip. NIA task force noticed a discrepancy in his Schengen visa, more..

'MRIA warehouse rental undecided'

Sep 5 (NS) Chairman of the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB), M.B. Dissanayake denied reports that the board had decided to pay Rs. 800,000 as rental for the usage of the warehouse of the Mattala airport. Conflicting reports emerged on Wednesday with some reports indicating that the PMB had decided to pay Rs. 800,000 every month, while other reports said that the said amount would be paid every six months. more..

ILO to help train 400 youth in N&E

Sep 5 (FT) Under the European Union Support for District Development Program (EU-SDDP), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) entered into an agreement with the Vocational Training Authority to introduce labour market-oriented skills training and improve delivery capacity of selected vocational training centres in the north and east. These centres are located in the Vavuniya, Mannar, Batticaloa and Ampara Districts. Under the agreement, nearly 400 youth will receive skills training more..

Men and Women Tuskers In China

Sep 5 (CT) Sri Lanka men's rugby team will take on Kazakhstan today at 12.22 p.m. SL time and Singapore at 3.18 p.m. SL time in the Asia rugby seven's series first leg in Qingdao, China. Sri Lanka has won convincingly against both these teams in last year championship. The Tuskers finished third in the Asia region in 2013 and fourth in 2014. The second leg this year will be played in Bangkok, Thailand on 26th and 27th Sept and the final leg will be in Colombo on 10th and 11th Oct. more..

SAITM students left in the lurch

Sep 5 (NS) The issue of providing clinical training in govt hospitals for the students of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) still remains unresolved, parents of students complain. An agreement was reached in the Supreme Court following a Fundamental Rights petition filed by five students of the SAITM, requesting clinical training at the State hospitals which was taken up before a 2-judge bench more..

Revenue dilemma!

Sep 5 (NS) The comparatively slower growth in Sri Lanka’s consistently largest foreign exchange earner, worker remittances in 2015 till to-date is a major concern given the fact that other predominant revenue streams, such as exports, tourism and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) have also not performed to expectations, analysts cautioned last week. They say that if the current trend continued, Sri Lanka would be under severe fiscal pressure owing to the lack of proper revenue more..

The impact of current global financial turmoil on Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (DM) The financial crisis has already become a cliché but what happened on Black Monday, Aug 24, cannot be taken too lightly. Although the financial markets have somewhat recovered across the globe, hundreds of billions of dollars wiped off from the world’s financial markets as the Chinese rout sent shares tumbling in Europe, Asia and the US. Here is a short summary to what happened on sell-off on Monday: The US stock market has suffered its biggest sell-off in four years. more..

Hathurusingha and Ford in the mix as likely successors

Sep 5 (NS) The resignation of former captain Marvan Atapattu from his post as head coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team may come as a shock to many but for those in the know it is the best thing that has happened to Sri Lanka cricket. No suitable reason was given in the media release put out by SLC except for the fact that Atapattu’s resignation letter has been accepted. Interim Committee members were tight lipped to comment on more..

Fitch rates BOC’s subordinated debentures Final ‘AA(lka)’

Sep 5 (Island) Fitch Ratings has assigned Bank of Ceylon’s (BOC; AA+(lka)/Stable) proposed up to LKR 8bn of subordinated debentures a final National Long-Term Rating of ‘AA(lka)’. Assignment of the final rating follows the receipt of documents conforming to information already received, and the final rating is the same as the expected ratings assigned on July 17, 2015. Proposed subordinated debentures, which will have tenors of 5 and 8 years and carry fixed and floating coupons, more..

Windies seek maiden Test series win - On Sri Lanka soil

Sep 5 (CT) West Indies under wicket-keeper batsman Denesh Ramdin will be determined to take a leaf out of the books of South Africa, Pakistan and India and create history by winning their first Test series in this country, when they land here next month. The once mighty West Indies who are currently ranked eighth in the ICC Test table will play two Tests, three ODIs and two Twenty20s against seventh ranked Angelo Mathews' men in October-November this year. more..

Sri Lanka sets world record with highways and higher education

Sep 5 (EN) Sri Lanka’s new national govt may appear lacklustre with narcoleptic ministers, but combining universities and highways under one ministry appears to set a world record in cabinet construction. The subject of university education and highways went to Lakshman Kiriella, suggesting that crafting portfolios was a piece of pure genius. Given that undergraduates spend most of their time on the road protesting, only an Einstein would have more..

Gem dealers to get locally-issued standardisation reports

Sep 5 (FT) Gemstone dealers will soon have the convenient facility of obtaining internationally-recognised gemstone reports in Colombo with the launch of the new Take-in Window by the Gemmological Institute of Ceylon. The Gemmological Institute is a subsidiary of Ceylon Fine Gems together with the Asian Institute of Gemmological Sciences (AIGS) and Lotus Gemmology. “The new facility will make it feasible for the local gem dealers who wish to obtain more..

Editorial: Mega Cabinet & micro Opposition

Sep 5 (Island) The UNP has lived up to its symbol, Elephant, where the size of the new Cabinet is concerned. Ably assisted by the SLFP, which wished to relegate to the Opposition at the Aug 17 general election, it has formed a joint administration and appointed a mammoth Cabinet. We will now have 48 Cabinet members and 45 other ministers. It cannot be argued that the expansion of the Cabinet should be acceptable simply because it has been approved by Parliament. more..

Paddy price crisis: Farmers hit out at Mafia

Sep 5 (ST) Farmers in many parts of the country are angered and disappointed over the failure to set up an adequate mechanism to purchase their paddy, but authorities in turn blame them for disregarding instructions over the sale of their stock. This situation is widely prevalent in Matale, Ampara, Wilgamuwa, Anuradhapura and Eppawala and other areas, with long queues outside paddy purchasing points. more..

CID convinced Prageeth Ekneligoda was no journalist; abducted for other reasons

Sep 5 (CT) The CID currently investigating the abduction of Prageeth Ekneligoda, now firmly believe that journalism was not the key reason for his disappearance. An officer investigating the case told Colombo Telegraph that it is either the active role he played in forging of passports and his involvement in human smuggling, his involvement with military intelligence or perhaps his co-ordinated efforts with certain opposition members then, that were involved in mailing ash from all across more..

Next step: Identifying policy priorities and preparing for the challenge

Sep 5 (SL) With the last week’s The Sunday Leader Economy focusing on the immediate ‘bold reform process’ the country requires just coming out of a General Election, the focus will then be naturally shifted to the necessary policy changes and the challenges that the country’s economy currently faces. This time period has been recognised by many economists as a challenging time period for the Asian economy. With even more powerful economies in Asia-Pacific region undergoing more..

SLFP leader Maithripala makes a mockery of President Sirisena’s good governance

Sep 5 (DBS) Maithripala Yapa Sirisena was elected President of SL on Jan 8th 2015. The general secretary of the SLFP had broken away from his party and contested the Presidential elections as the common opposition candidate. Maithripala Sirisena defeated his former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. The victory was hailed as a silent revolution. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed PM of a Govt that promised to more..

President’s call for expatriate Sri Lankan intellectuals

Sep 5 (Island) At the opening of the 8th session of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the President said that Sri Lanka would lay a red carpet to welcome Sri Lankan intellectuals, if those presently working overseas decide to return to Sri Lanka. He further said that a special unit would be set up in the Presidential Secretariat to facilitate their return. This offer made by the President is certainly laudable, which no other President had done before. It is very encouraging to find that more..

Debaters to battle it out at Hulftsdorp this weekend

Sep 5 (FT) The fourth Hulftsdorp Debates will kick off at the Sri Lanka Law College today. The two-day event is organised annually by the English Literary Association of Sri Lanka Law College. Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, PC will grace the event as the Chief Guest. Debating is considered to be an important part of tertiary education as it develops important soft skills such as public speaking, language skills as well and argument generation. British Parliamentary style of debating more..

An unforgettable afternoon spent with Uncle Nihal, the Off-Road Dog Feeder

Sep 5 (GV) This is a story about a dog lover called Uncle Nihal. He puts all his time into feeding the street dogs who live just outside Colombo. He wakes up at 4 am each morning and makes huge amounts of food for the dogs. He cooks them red rice and meat because it contains vitamins, his favourite dogs get special treats like liver. Uncle Nihal feeds over 120 street doggies as well as a few cats and lots of crows. He also takes care of more..

Kite-flying at Galle Face

Sep 5 (FT) Even on an average Sunday afternoon the crowd out at the Galle Face Green taking in the fresh air seems too large relative to the famous promenade. In 1856, when the five-hectare green was developed, Colombo was a small port town with a population less than 50,000. Now, one and half centuries later it is simply overwhelmed by the throng, with just enough space to manoeuvre yourself forward, the grass simply beaten into dust by shuffling feet. more..

Coke is a Drug

Sep 5 (NS) Coca-Cola shares an also known as with the narcotic cocaine: Coke. It’s not an accident. Coca-Cola once contained cocaine and is still flavored with a non-narcotic extract from the coca, the plant from which cocaine is obtained. Perhaps the popularity of the drink is also explained by the presence of some addictive element of the ingredient. But we are talking here about a different kind of addiction, a different inducement that has the intoxicating power of a drug. more..

Former COPE chairman denies clearing Dilan

Sep 5 (SL) The appointment of defeated candidates through the national list and the election of some candidates who are accused of large scale frauds and malpractices during the previous Rajapaksa regime to the parliament have raised fear among the public that they may be appointed to key ministerial portfolios in the national govt. One such prospective ministerial candidate is UPFA national list MP Dilan Perera. more..

Celebrating Sampanthan

Sep 5 (CT) After many political volcanic eruptions and bitter contentious battles over the past four decades, and a wave of ethnic intolerance that led to communal clashes resulting in arson and terrorism, Sri Lanka seems to head towards sanity to understand that this is one country and one people. Tamils and Muslims are not second class citizens. They are equal. In my view, Tamils and Muslims are not minorities. Just because one community happens to be large population-wise, more..

National govt & new political culture: Two steps forward, one step back?

Sep 5 (CT) Forming a national govt as the bedrock of a just political culture is a welcome move indeed. While I appreciate the current govt’s many efforts toward good governance, I also see that some of those efforts have compromised President Sirisena’s desire to “formulate and implement rational, evidence-based national policies to address this country’s critical issues.” The way the so-called national govt is evolving is sowing the seeds of its own demise and paving more..

Sri Lankans star in Hollywood epic: Where humans failed, our rilawas succeeded

Sep 5 (SO) Although human Sri Lankans have failed to take leading roles in Hollywood a film composed entirely of Sri Lankans has now entered the history books and the actors are our closest cousins, our own rilawas, the endemic toque macaques (Macaca sinica). The epic story of a monkey troop living in Polonnaruwa, captured in the Disney film Monkey Kingdom, was released in Sri Lanka on August 21. more..

Sampanthan stands tall

Sep 5 (CT) Rajavarothayam Sampanthan has become the second Tamil Opposition Leader in 32 years after late Appapillai Amirthalingam who was instrumental in making Sampanthan enter Parliament with the TULF landslide victory in the 1977 general election. Though Sampanthan had joined the ITAK led by late S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in 1952, he didn't show any interest in entering big time politics and remained as one of the prominent criminal lawyers in Trincomalee. more..

The TNA Challenge

Sep 5 (CT) TNA as expected has got the mandate of Tamils for what they pledged in the manifesto so also Ranil. Ranil will find it easier to run the government with the support of SLEP members backed by a President Maithri who is accommodative. As a result the bargaining power which Sampanthan relied has not materialized unless and until Ranil faces a successful no confidence motion with the backing of entire opposition members. more..

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