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What will be India’s next big step on SL?

Feb 26 (CT) Amidst continuous agitations over the continuity of SAITM, President Sirisena last week said he would take a decision on the issue regarding the private universities in the country, including the SAITM for the best interests and the productivity of the country. He said this during a meeting with SAITM Parents' Association and Dr. Neville Fernando, regarding the prevailing issues on private universities in the country more..

Good governance also means effective governance

Feb 26 (SL) The writ of any govt – good or bad – has to be effectively carried out. If these writs issued in the name of our sovereign power – the people – are not implemented, governing a country will not be possible. In this country today we have had a Good Governance govt – a Yahapalanaya Aanduwa – which is well and good. But being only good is not good enough. There must be governance as well with the effective implementation of its decisions as soon as possible. more..

Jaishankar reads pulse of Tamil polity precisely!

Feb 26 (CT) Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has requested the TNA to strengthen its unity before finding solutions for the Tamil political issues. TNA representatives led by R. Sampanthan met Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar who was on a two-day visit to Colombo at the Indian High Commission last Sunday. Jaishankar's meeting with the TNA took place in the backdrop of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran's return from Geneva where the UNHRC officials were urged by Sumanthiran more..

Face the nation

Win-win solution for migrant worker issues

Feb 26 (ST) Last Sunday’s front page lead story in this newspaper on the risk to foreign employment due to the 2017 Budget by raising the minimum wage for skilled labour seems to have caught the eye of Parliament. The Minister in charge of Foreign Employment confirmed the fact that her ministry was rather perturbed that it had not been consulted, and wanted the proposal reversed. Foreign remittances of workers and others overseas have become the single largest foreign exchange earner more..

War-ravaged house leased for a cause

Feb 26 (TT) "Happy to have helped an excellent cause. It has to be about Sri Lanka first, not Tamils or Sinhalese" That was a somewhat emotional Rajiv Radhakrishnan, a London-based financial consultant in his late 30s, who has leased his ancestral property in Jaffna to the Foundation of Goodness (FoG). FoG is the game-changing NGO set up by Muttiah Muralidharan and Kushil Gunasekera back in 1999. Rajiv's property, leased to FoG in 2016 for 10 years, is now a Village Heartbeat more..

'Attempt to topple govt this year'

Feb 26 (SL) Joint Opposition (JO) will face the next election under a new policy, JO member Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. Discussions are being held these days to draft a proper policy framework for the JO, said Nanayakkara and added that attempts are being made to topple the govt this year. Q: How do you see the situation in the country at present? A: In short, govt is currently unstable. They have gone from bad to worse. more..

Corruption and the courts

Feb 26 (Island) We have today run three of the concluding paragraphs of the Indian Supreme Court judgment on the Sasikala case on our front page today as we believe that there are many things for us in Sri Lanka to learn about how India tackles corruption among politicians. There is no need to labour the point that corruption among politicians is as bad here as in India. India being a huge country, the scale of corruption there must necessarily be much greater than in this small island of ours. more..

Apocalypse around the corner?

Feb 26 (CT) The nerve agent that was used to kill Kim Jong-nam, half brother of North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-un, who has summarily killed several of his relations and top military men on mere suspicion of betrayal, is among the most deadly chemical weapons of mass destruction ever developed. Identified only as VX, the nerve agent kills in a couple of minutes. It's banned by the UN as a chemical weapon of mass destruction. Needless to say the killing has sent shockwaves more..

FCID, completes 2 years of operations

Feb 26 (SO) Taking speedy action against those responsible for corruption, misuse, abuse of public assets and those who plundered public assets was the wish of the people of this country when they voted Maithripala Sirisena into power in Jan 2015 and subsequently, the present Yahapalana Govt in Aug 2015. The fulfilment of this pledge was the prime task entrusted on this Govt and establishment of FCID was the first step more..

Lady in blue: The Game changer

Feb 26 (ST) My Dear Satellite, I haven’t written to you for some time now but I thought I should do so now because you seem to be in the news again, talking about our armed forces, what they have done and how they should be dealt with. Naturally, everybody is sitting up and taking notice and eyebrows are being raised everywhere. Satellite, it seems that as long as we had ex-Presidents from the Greens, they were happy to spend retirement away from the public eye. more..

Public safety at sea

Feb 26 (SO) The boat tragedy that occurred in the seas off the Kalutara coast last Sunday draws attention to a number of aspects of public safety at sea. At a time when the country’s tourism industry is beginning to exploit the potentials of our coasts and seas, the tragedy must be seen as a powerful warning to get our acts together even as we seek to reap the benefits. Judicial proceedings are under way to ascertain the exact causes of death and injury and to pinpoint human culpability. more..

Bond Scam gets murkier, MR to sue

Feb 25 (EN) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa vowed to sue the central bank and the finance ministry as a gazette emerged showing he created a 10 billion rupee bond whose sale has become the subject of several investigations. Addressing reporters at a temple ceremony in Horana, the former leader said his name had been used to carry out a major fraud and he intends to take legal action against more..

SL improves on global Democracy Index

Feb 25 (NR) Sri Lanka has been placed 66th among recognised countries by The Economist magazine’s Democracy Index. Index takes into consideration the country’s election process, govt-funded facilities, political participation, political culture and civil freedom. Sri Lanka has scored 6.48 points in the 2016 Democracy Index which is an imprvement comparing scores of 6.42 in 2015 and 5.69 in 2014. Amongst countries in the Asia Pacific region, Sri Lanka is placed 12th. more..

Earnest request to terminate the unlawful court vacation system

Feb 25 (Island) In a letter sent by senior customs officer turned attorney at law Nagananda Kodituwakku to Chief Justice K. Sripavan recently he has made an earnest appeal to the CJ to reform the long court vacations that contribute to law’s delays. The letter sent to the CJ on February 20 is as follows: ‘Further to a fact-finding study undertaken on the Court Vacation System presently in force in Sri Lanka, I consider it is proper and right to make this request on behalf of more..

Southern Expressway sinks into political hole

Feb 25 (NS) Work on the fourth stage of the construction of the Southern Expressway has hit a major snag due to a massive 100-foot crater spreading over two acres of land is blocking the road trace  earmarked for the project. According to engineers, the crater is part of a rock quarry operated by an individual with political backing. The feasibility reports were already completed for the said location under more..

Jaffna University unions voice indignation against bar on Thiagalingam for VC

Feb 25 (CT) Colombo Telegraph has published two reports (Report 1 and Report 2) on the developments in the election of the new Vice Chancellor at the University of Jaffna. After many bitter years of stagnation, many people have come to see the University as the obstacle to openness and progressive change. This is evident in the fear of the mere the candidacy for VC of Prof. Sam Thiagalingam, who has had a successful academic career in the USA. more..

Prevailing dry weather affects 16 districts: steps to compensate affected

Feb 25 (GDI) Prevailing Dry Weather has affected people in 16 districts while a number of acres of agricultural lands is being destroyed and that extent of land is being assessed at the Divisional Secretariat level. Accordingly, govt has decided to continuously provide compensations for the owners of these agricultural lands for four months from March. Rs. 10,000 will be granted for a destroyed acre of paddy field while other crop plantations are also compensated, more..

Wearing protective helmets made mandatory

Feb 25 (DM) Minsiter Nimal Siripla De Silva issued a gazette notice making it mandatory all motorcyclists including pillion riders to wear a protective helmet which does not conceal any part of the wearer's face. According to the new regulations the helmet should fit the wearer’s head and secured with a chin strap. Helmet would be fitted with a visor not made of a tinted or coloured material with the face exposed & unobstructed peripheral vision. more..

Two H1N1 patients at Anuradhapura Hospital

Feb 25 (DN) Two patients admitted to the Anuradhapura Hospital have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. This is the first time the hospital has admitted patients with H1N1 and the doctors report that the patients were residents of Kilinochchi who came to the hospital for treatment. Young children and pregnant mothers arriving at the hospital have been warned to be cautious and alerted on the any spread of infection. Two patients have been transferred to the ICU for treatment more..

They weighed their worth in gold

Feb 25 (DM) During the debate sessions in the august assembly, some members would meet in a quiet corner to enjoy a chit-chat. What they usually talked about are matters pertaining to their private life. The other day a young state purohita from the central hills and a fair and lovely member were seen engaged in an intimate conversation in the chamber while a debate was on in full steam. Despite being from opposite sides of the divide the duo are said to be thick chums & would often meet for a chat, more..

Karuna opts for cooperative politics

Feb 25 (Roar) While Tamil people of the North and the East engage in hunger strikes or turn to newly enacted laws to resolve long-standing problems, a former deputy Minister feels the Tamil community deserves the option of a fresh political approach. LTTE Special Commander turned Sri Lankan politician, V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, recently announced the launch of a new political party in the East. more..

Bar Association election rescheduled on 15 Match

Feb 25 (AD) Election to choose a President to the Bar Association has been rescheduled to be held on 15 March, the Secretary of the association said. The election to decide a President to association which was scheduled to be held last week was postponed until further notice on 20 February. Lawyers U.R. de Silva, Anura Medagoda and R.R.S. Thangarajah are contesting for the presidency post, its President Geoffrey Alagaratnam said. more..

1500 students denied Uni education

Feb 25 (CT) Some 1,500 students are deprived of a university education each year owing to the irresponsibility of those who had been selected earlier, Minister Dayaysiri Jayasekera said. He said a large number of students who have been registered for entry at universities fail to show up since they obtain employment and in some instances opt for other education courses such as in the Dental Faculty, accountancy etc. As a result some 1,500-plus students from next batch more..

Video: MR to sue Finance Ministry, CBSL

Feb 25 (AD) I’m seeking legal assistance to sue the Finance Ministry and Central Bank, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says. “After 9 Jan, I am no longer the Minister of Finance of this country,” Rajapaksa said. He also went on to say his successors at the Finance Ministry have allegedly siphoned off state money by using his name. “I’m taking legal actions,” he added. Rajapaksa made the observations while more..

'We want the UPFA to be rid of racism and corruption'

Feb 25 (NR) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says he wants the UPFA coalition to be free of racism and corruption. He made this statement, referring to the request made by MP Wimal Weerawansa to have the NFF act independently in Parliament. He said, “there is no agreement between the NFF and the UPFA. It is just a political party. There are several others. MP Wimal Weerawansa made this statement. We prefer the UPFA coalition be clean and free of racism and corruption”. more..

Kula says Lena Hendry conviction makes no sense

Feb 25 (FMT) Kula Segaran of the DAP says the conviction of activist Lena Hendry does not make sense especially at a time when information is easily accessible. Hendry, the programme manager for Pusat Komas was found guilty by the Magistrate’s Court earlier this week for screening a documentary on the atrocities committed during the Sri Lankan civil war, without the approval of the Censorship Board. In a statement, DAP’s national vice-chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat said, more..

Special corp. to handle development in South: PM

Feb 25 (DM) A special corporation will be set up to take care of development activities in the southern province and all lands will be handed over to it, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He made these remarks at the opening of UNP office in Akmeemana. "There was a southern region development authority in the past. However it was dissolved later. We would have handed over these lands to this authority if it existed today," more..

GMOA explains stretching of token strikes to 24 hours

Feb 25 (Island) The GMOA said that its constitution sanctioned 24 hour token strikes which had resulted in the members of the branch unions in the Eastern and North Central provinces opting to strike for one entire day on Thursday. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen D. Zoysa said that although the mother union had instructed its provincial branches to strike for four hours they had given them the option of convening a meeting before launching the strike to decide on the time span. more..

SLFPers keen on amendments not new constitution: Dilan

Feb 25 (DM) The SLFP said yesterday the country needed only constitutional amendments but not a change of the Constitution. Party Spokesman and State Minister Dilan Perera said this was the opinion of a majority of SLFP members. He said if the country opted for a change of the Constitution, it would not be able to introduce even amendments to the current constitution. “We will submit our proposals on those lines to the Steering Committee,” he said. more..

SL once embraced Chinese investment are now wary of Chinese domination

Feb 25 (LAT) A highway built by China threads almost all the way from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, to this scruffy fishing town on the country’s southern tip, where Buddhist chants mark the time of day and wild elephants occasionally lumber through. On the way, drivers pass a quiet international airport, a cricket stadium that holds wedding receptions more often than sporting matches, and a foundering deep-sea port more..

NGO pounces on JVP, FSP for creating environment for govt to suppress students

Feb 25 (Island) Civil society grouping, the Left Centre that campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena at the January 2015 presidential poll has accused the JVP and breakaway JVP faction, the Front-line Socialist Party (FSP) of creating an environment conducive for the government to suppress undergraduates. Chameera Perera, Co Convenor of the Left Centre on Thursday alleged that the Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF) was pursuing destructive campaign in universities. more..

Prison officer declines to be involved in probe after death threat

Feb 25 (Island) A senior Prison official appointed to a committee to probe into an incident where a high ranking prison officer attached to Pallekele Prison had allegedly obtained a bribe of two million rupees to extend favours to a prisoner convicted on a drug related offence, has declined to serve in the committee after he received death threats from the suspect. A highly placed prison officer said that now the investigation was handled by a team of officers from the Colombo Crime Division. more..

UK Labour Party to extend support for Lankan Tamils: report

Feb 25 (PTI) UK's main opposition Labour Party will reaffirm its strongest possible support for the Sri Lankan Tamils to express their solidarity with the minority community in both the countries, a media report said on Saturday. Leading figures from the party, including leader, Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, and the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry will be attending the Tamils for Labour event more..

India's misadventure in Sri Lanka

Feb 25 (NST) Indian magazine The Week caricatured the 1987 India-Sri Lanka Agreement in mythological terms: Ravana need not kidnap Seeta to get Rama to invade Lanka — a mere pact is enough! For almost three decades, India has been accused of conducting a misadventure in Sri Lanka, sending thousands of soldiers for peace-keeping, where it got thrashed diplomatically, and at home, politically. Worse — it had to leave the island nation with 1,138 soldiers killed and 2,762 wounded more..

Protesting disabled veterans calls for talks

Feb 25 (NR) The disabled war veterans protesting opposite the Colombo Fort Railway station claim, they will continue their protest until they are granted an opportunity to discuss their concerns with President Sirisena. The protesters claimed they are yet to receive a favourable response to their grievances. A spokesman of Ministry of Defence said the group of protesters should meet with officials of Defence Ministry to inform of their concerns. more..