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Amendment of LG Elections’ Act, the need of the hour
Published Date: 10/04/2018 (Tuesday)
Nobody would contest the view aired by President Maithripala Sirisena on the need to amend the Local Government Elections Act again in order to reduce the number of local government members from 8,000 to 4,000. Speaking to the Editors and heads of media institutions on Friday, the President had said that the present number of LG members is an unbearable burden for the country. True, but why didn’t the politicians who joined hands to double the number of LG members through an amendment to the same Act in 2012 understand that it would be a burden? The number of LG members was increased in the process of eliminating the flaws in the said Act,
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TNA’s key role in defeating no-confidence motion against Ranil
Published Date: 10/04/2018 (Tuesday)
In the seven-decade long history of Independent Sri Lanka’s legislature, there have been two no-confidence motions and related debates that are unprecedented and unparalleled. The first was in 1981 when members of the then United National Party (UNP) government brought and passed a no-confidence motion against the former leader of the opposition, Appapillai Amirthalingam. The no-confidence motion (NCM) brought against the late Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) leader was farcically unique in the sense that members of the ruling party were sponsoring a no-confidence motion against the leader of the opposition. The second such controversial no-confidence motion was the recent NCM brought against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his government by members of the opposition and sections of the same government headed by the PM. The tragicomic aspect of this NCM was the fact that ministers were supporting a NCM against Wickremesinghe and government
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India ready to assist Sri Lanka whenever needed – envoy
Published Date: 10/04/2018 (Tuesday)
India’s High Commissioner to Colombo Taranjit Singh Sandhu has expressed his government’s readiness to continue to assist Sri Lanka wherever possible and whenever needed while also offering to share expertise and technical assistance in the agricultural sector. In a special ceremony held on Monday (9) at Nonagama Cultural Centre in Ambalantota in Hambantota District, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera and High Commissioner of India Taranjit Singh Sandhu jointly launched a project to provide livelihood support to nearly 70,000 people from the farming and fishing communities in Hambantota District.
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3 aspects of democracy in the vote of No-Confidence
Published Date: 10/04/2018 (Tuesday)
The vote of No-Confidence against the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is both a success and a failure for democracy. Democracy is the rule of the people, by the people, for the people. The job of the Members of Parliament is simply to represent the people and the people’s choice. Nothing more; nothing less. The motion rightfully was against the Prime Minister, based primarily on his judgment and behaviour in the corruption case in the issuance of Treasury bonds in 2015 (commonly known as the Central Bank bond scam). It was not against the current Government necessarily, nor was it against him as the Leader of his political party (UNP). It was a mistake to conflate the motion with the UNP’s internal politics.
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Languages Call Center established
Published Date: 10/04/2018 (Tuesday)
The National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Ministry has established the ‘Languages Call Center,’ hotline (1956), for the public to inform the government of religious and ethnic violence.The Ministry will also establish village level reconciliation committees to identify potential conflicts and report them. National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganesan said the biggest issue was the lack of communication between the State and the grassroots. It results in the government not responding fast enough to quell such situations
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Sri Lanka wants to make Sunday schools compulsory
Published Date: 10/04/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka is awaiting cabinet approval of a proposal to make Sunday school education compulsory for students aged 6-19 of all religions after the Christian Affairs Ministry sought feedback from Catholic priests about the idea earlier. Father Piyal Janaka Fernando, institute director of the National Catechetical, Educational and Biblical Center, forwarded their feedback to the government. Officials reportedly approached the priests based on their experience but plan to make Sunday lessons mandatory for Buddhists, Catholics, Hindus and students of other faiths, too.
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UW-Baraboo/Sauk County professor brings teaching methods to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 10/04/2018 (Tuesday)
A University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County professor is bringing his expertise to Sri Lanka this summer in an effort to connect international college students with industry professionals. UW-Baraboo mathematics professor Kirthi Premadasa will serve as a United States Fulbright specialist at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura near the capital city of Colombo in June. Premadasa’s work overseas will focus on fostering classroom collaboration and connecting students with information technology and finance industry leaders before they graduate. While the caliber of student academics is high in Sri Lanka, Premadasa said cultural barriers sometimes prevent gifted people from reaching their full potential.
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Jointly building the Belt and Road
Published Date: 09/04/2018 (Monday)
In January 2018 I arrived in Colombo and assumed office as the 21st Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka. During the last two months I widely contacted friends from all sectors, deepened my understanding of Sri Lanka and bilateral relations, and consolidated my confidence in the future of pragmatic China-Sri Lanka cooperation. On the occasion of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, I sincerely convey the best wishes, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, to our Sri Lankan friends and would like to take this opportunity to share with you my opinions on our practical cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative in order to better benefit our two countries and peoples.
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NO CONFIDENCE MOTION: On whom should we place our confidence?
Published Date: 09/04/2018 (Monday)
The 3rd no confidence motion in the Sri Lankan legislature ended up with the Prime Minister winning , perhaps the most difficult obstacle in his political life. In that sense it was a numbing defeat for the Joint Opposition, an embarrassing situation for the President and a temporary respite for the UNP leadership. The political fall out of the whole episode is yet to be seen and it is doubtless that the repercussions will be felt across the divide.
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Power hungry politicians still betraying country for money: Speaker
Published Date: 09/04/2018 (Monday)
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that just as in the past when there were certain individuals that betrayed the nation for money, it was a matter for concern to see that even today there are power-hungry politicians who are willing to betray the country in their quest for power. He also said, “That is why now more than ever we are calling for national unity. When we gained independence in 1948, Sri Lanka and Japan were on an equal footing economy wise. Today, however, Japan is so advanced while we are lagging behind. This is because they are united as a nation,” the Speaker emphasised.
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Govt. provides every possible facility to war heroes
Published Date: 09/04/2018 (Monday)
President Maithripala Sirisena says the government will take every possible action to provide facilities for the brave war heroes who fulfill their duties towards Motherland. He made these remarks participating as the Commander in Chief at the passing out parade of Maduraoya Special Forces Training School (SFTS), today (09). Seven officers and 189 other rankers who had successfully completed the Special Forces (SF) Basic Training Course at SFTS passed out today.
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TNA won’t field Wiggy again
Published Date: 09/04/2018 (Monday)
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna District MP and party spokesman M. A. Sumanthiran yesterday announced in Jaffna that current Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswarn wouldn't be fielded again on the TNA ticket at the next provincial council polls scheduled for the latter part of this year. The announcement was made amidst continuing differences between the top TNA leadership and Wigneswaran.
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NPC member to protest illegal settlements
Published Date: 09/04/2018 (Monday)
Provincial Councillors in the North are set to stage a mass protest, outside the Mullaitivu District Secretariat tomorrow (10), against creating new settlements by bringing outsiders in the Mahaweli development area of the Mullaitivu District. The protest, to create awareness on illegal settlements in the district will commence at 3p.m. tomorrow according to Northern Provincial Councillor T. Raviharan. The Provincial Councillor also said that memorandums urging to stop the illegal settlements in the district would also be handed over to the Mullaitivu District Secretary to be sent to the President and the Prime Minister.
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Rs 16M to restore 72 Hindu temples
Published Date: 09/04/2018 (Monday)
Hindu places of worship, in the Eastern Province, that were damaged during the separatist war are to be restored. Funds for the renovation of damaged Hindu temples, in the Batticaloa and Ampara Districts, were distributed to the trustees of the temples at the Navatkuda Cultural Hall in Batticaloa on Saturday (07). Rupees 12 million has been set apart for the renovation of 55 temples in the Batticaloa District, while Rs 2 million has been earmarked for the reconstruction of 16 temples in the Ampara District. At the same time, the Swami Vipulananda Memorial Hall at Karaitivu
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PM made deal with TNA to defeat no-faith motion: SLPP
Published Date: 09/04/2018 (Monday)
The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) today claimed that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had made a deal with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to get its support to defeat the no-confidence motion against him. It said TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan has revealed that the two factions had agreed to 10 conditions if the TNA was to vote against the no-confidence motion. SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said according to the agreement 650 acres of land occupied by the armed forces in the North was to be released to their owners.
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Risotto From Sri Lanka Is Just as Good
Published Date: 08/04/2018 (Sunday)
If you’re tired of reading terrible things about immigrants — how they never integrate, how they rape and steal, how they deal drugs, how they create “no-go zones” in European cities — here’s a success story to ponder. I’d say there are millions of such stories across Europe. It concerns Ramesh Kumar Balakrishnan, whose first job in Italy was as a babysitter. His language tutor was 5 years old. The little boy would correct him when he made a mistake — “Non dire cosí,” or “Don’t say it like that.” That was back in 1997. Balakrishnan, still a teenager, had just arrived from Sri Lanka — where a longstanding civil war was raging — with a high school degree and little else. His
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New Year gift to North: Army to free 650
Published Date: 08/04/2018 (Sunday)
As a “New Year Gift” to the people in the North, the Army is releasing 650 acres of privately owned lands in the High Security Zone (HSZ), including lands in Palali in the Valikamam North Divisional Secretariat Division in Jaffna. The lands had been occupied by the security forces since 1990. The 20 km road leading from Point Pedro to Kankesanthurai (KKS), along the coastal area will also be opened to the public from April 16 from 6 am to 6 pm.
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No strings attached to no-faith vote - TNA
Published Date: 08/04/2018 (Sunday)
Debunking the conspiracy theory that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) support for the Prime Minister at last week’s No Confidence vote had hinged on 10 tough conditions, the country’s main Tamil party said their primary objective in voting against the Joint Opposition motion was to ensure the continuity of the Government of National Unity, so that it can meet its 2015 pledges of reform and democratisation. Speaking to the Sunday Observer, TNA Spokesman and Jaffna District Lawmaker, M.A. Sumanthiran said the TNA had merely pointed out three areas where the Government’s attention needed to be focused immediately. These included the return of lands, answers for families of the disappeared, the release of political prisoners and employment issues in the North and the East.
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President, PM in late night talks on coalition future
Published Date: 08/04/2018 (Sunday)
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe led a UNP delegation for late night talks with President Sirisena at the latter’s Paget Road residence yesterday, to reach a consensus on how to work together in the aftermath of the divisive no-faith vote last week. Accompanying the Premier to the meeting were UNP Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Malik Samarawickrema, Vajira Abeywardane and Kabir Hashim. The two leaders decided that a cabinet reshuffle would take place next week. The talks ended positively with both leaders keen to find a way to work together again to fulfill outstanding promises of their 2015 mandate, highly placed sources told Sunday Observer. It was the second meeting between President Sirisena and the Prime Minister on the future of the coalition since last week’s no-confidence vote.
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Sri Lanka: base for the Asian great game?
Published Date: 07/04/2018 (Saturday)
A recent talk by the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, received wide media coverage in Colombo, with almost all newspapers picking up one point. “Our aid is not to raid or invade,” he had said. The Indian envoy made the reference to India’s development assistance while delivering a talk on India-Sri Lanka relations in the light of New Delhi’s “neighbourhood-first” policy. In an address that elaborately traced the close historic and cultural ties between the people of the two countries, there was a clear articulation of how India sees itself and its foreign policy, particularly in the neighbourhood, where New Delhi’s preoccupation with China’s growing presence is no secret.
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Plastic crisis: divert foreign aid to dumpsites in developing countries
Published Date: 07/04/2018 (Saturday)
Plastic pollution in the oceans is a major problem that is finally getting the attention it deserves, thanks to Blue Planet II. It makes headline news almost every week – and famous figures such as the Pope, Prince Charles, Dame Ellen MacArthur and Sir David Attenborough have all joined the debate. Regular people without such platforms can at least urge governments across the globe to take action. And one idea would be to use the budget for foreign aid.
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Alibaba May Acquire Pakistani Rocket Internet Ecommerce Startup Daraz Is it coincidence that Alibaba’s interest in Pakistan comes when Beijing has financed Pakistani infrastructure projects worth about $60 billion as part of Chinese Belt and Road trade initiative?
Published Date: 06/04/2018 (Friday)
Alibaba Group may just end up acquiring Rocket Internet’s online retail company in Pakistan. Analysts keeping an eye on the development opine that the move were it to come to fruition, would aid China’s and one of the world’s largest companies, to increase its influence in Pakistan. Daraz.pk is an ecommerce platform launched in 2012 by Farees Shah and Muneeb Maayr that provides branded products for men and women across clothing, footwear, apparel, jewelry and accessories. PakWired says the value of the deal were it to take place could be $100 to $150 million.
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Let the youth not be provoked again
Published Date: 05/04/2018 (Thursday)
Tomorrow April 5 is the 47th anniversary of the 1971 youth insurrection by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and it came in the aftermath or afterglow of the tumultuous parliamentary debate yesterday on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Many analysts believe the JVP insurrection was crushed and the youth prophets crucified possibly because it came too early. In 1970 the socialist Sirimavo Bandaranaike government along with the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the Communist Party (CP) and other socialist groups swept to power defeating even the United National Party leader, Dudley Senanayake who had been the Prime Minister for three terms. Analysts believe
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Social Media is only a Tool
Published Date: 05/04/2018 (Thursday)
In an interview with the Daily Mirror Ambika Satkunanathan, one of the Commissioners at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka said that social media is only a tool that is used to incite hatred or violence and that it isn’t the cause of hatred or violence. She said that when impunity isn’t addressed perpetrators are emboldened as a result of which they continue to commit such offences. Therefore, she stressed that in order to prevent the recurrence of such acts perpetrators should be held accountable.
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JO mentioned Kandy clashes - Hakeem
Published Date: 05/04/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem yesterday (4) said, the Joint Opposition (JO) has added a clause about the recent communal clashes in Kandy and Ampara to the No-Confidence Motion, against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an ad hoc manner,in a bid to garner the votes of Muslim Parliamentarians in favour of the motion. “Just after the communal riots erupted in those areas, some SLMC MPs made emotional speeches over the incident. One of the MPs said that if the Government cannot ensure the safety of the minorities, then the Muslim MPs would support the No-Faith Motion. The JO using such emotional speeches shamelessly tried to manipulate the SLMC and the Tamil National Alliance,” he added.
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