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SLFP headed for a split?
Published Date: 12/04/2018 (Thursday)
A section of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) backed the move to bring the no confidence motion in the hope of unseating Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Prime Minister survived the motion with the support of his party men and the main opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Be that as it may, the SLFP is now in disarray due to consequences of the motion.
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90 per cent coastal pollution from inland sources
Published Date: 12/04/2018 (Thursday)
The Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) revealed that 90 per cent of the coastal pollution in Sri Lanka comes from inland municipalities and the public. Commenting on Sri Lanka’s coastal pollution, General Manager, MEPA, Dr. P.B. Terney Pradeep Kumara added that only 10 per cent of the garbage in beaches and the sea around the island can be attributed to coastal communities, coastal municipalities, and marine pollution that drifted from the Bay of Bengal through ocean currents. “This is because we don’t have a proper way of managing garbage. We are having a coastal
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Sri Lanka and Vietnam to advance bilateral political cooperation
Published Date: 12/04/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka and Vietnam on Wednesday reaffirmed the commitment to further consolidate and advance bilateral political and economic cooperation. The Third Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Vietnam Political Consultations was held on Wednesday in Colombo at senior official level. The Sri Lanka delegation was led by Sumith Nakandala, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnam delegation was headed by Đặng Đình Quý, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam.
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Environmentalists up in arms against Whit Legged Shrimp farming
Published Date: 12/04/2018 (Thursday)
The government has given the go-ahead for Pacific White Legged Shrimp (Litopenaeus Vannamei) farming in Mannar, but environmentalists warn of the potential negative impacts of the new project and demand to know what methods will be used to ensure that the new activity is bio-secure. Environmentalist and Senior lawyer Jagath Gunawardana told The Island that risks had to be taken into consideration as the potential environmental impact of L. Vannamei shrimp farming was significant.
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Chinese firm to invest $800 million on Sri Lanka Port City underground road
Published Date: 12/04/2018 (Thursday)
China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) will invest $800 million to build an underground road network to Sri Lanka’s Port City, a $1.4 billion project built on reclaimed land, a government minister said. The plan, for which an agreement has already been signed, is expected to reduce traffic congestion on the existing route once the Port City - part of Beijing’s ambitious plan to create a modern-day “Silk Road” across Asia - starts operating.
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The sharp power of development diplomacy and China’s edge
Published Date: 11/04/2018 (Wednesday)
Military might and economic coercion have traditionally been the preferred tools for the pursuit of geopolitical ambitions with soft power playing a supporting role. For the first time in contemporary geopolitics, we witness this accepted norm turn on its head. The experience of China being a classic example — where, in several cases, we see development diplomacy assume a central role in reinforcing Beijing’s hegemonic ambitions. Beijing’s conduct calls into question not only established understanding of geopolitics, but also that of global development. The sphere of global development will increasingly be the arena where geostrategic tensions
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The last chance for the UNP
Published Date: 10/04/2018 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka is making another first in the world. This is the only government on the whole planet, of which the ministers and MPs who voted for a no confidence motion against its own prime minister, and by extension the government, can stick to their portfolios after the vote was defeated. Anywhere else they would have resigned, or got sacked, but not here. In that sense this is no longer a government, but a farce. Sixteen SLFP MPs including six ministers voted for the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. It is their right to exercise their constitutional mandate as they wished. But it is also their moral responsibility to get out of the government. Instead
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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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