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The good and the bad: the former disproportionately minor, but hope kindling

2016-03-20 18:20 (Island)

The TV shots of the ordinary people who ambled to Hyde Park on Thursday, who shouted slogans and gathered there caused disgust in me for the reason that they looked so ferocious with hate written on their faces which was obviously their usual appearance and not produced by any injustice they were shouting about. They were evil parrots, most of them, paid probably with the usual bribe of a packet of rice, some cash and a tot or two, to swell the crowd at the Hyde Park rally

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Blurring the domestic and foreign

2016-03-20 18:20 (

Earlier this week I sent a compelling new report by the Mercator Capacity Building Centre for Leadership and Advocacy (LEAD) to SL’s Foreign Minister. I picked up an extra copy for him from a workshop in Berlin I attended in February, where the report was co-presented by someone from the German govt and LEAD. It captures an interesting change-management process at the German Federal Foreign Office,

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Eelam groups make plea for Lee

2016-03-20 18:19 (ST)

Sri Lanka is in the middle of a raging controversy at the UN over the world body’s suspension of the media credentials of a US journalist, Matthew Lee of Inner City Press (ICP). He has been advocating the rights of the Tamils in his daily blog. V. Rudrakumar, described as the PM of the transnational govt of Tamil Eelam

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LG election delay: JVP threatens legal action

2016-03-20 18:19 (SL)

The JVP has warned that it will take legal action if measures are not taken to call for Local Govt elections on schedule. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake issued the warning after the govt had said that the elections will not be held this year. He also said that the public will be urged to take to the streets and stage protests if the election is not held this year. Meanwhile, the Minister of Provincial Councils & Local Govt

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Hambantota, Mattala projects modified

2016-03-20 18:18 (CT)

Govt plans a strategic partnership agreement with Beijing to convert Ruhunu Magampura Port and Mattala Airport into commercially viable ventures. The nucleus of the deal will be signed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on behalf of govt during his forthcoming visit to China. Agreement will include a Sino-Lanka Private sector partnership role in making the commercial viability of these projects a reality.

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SLFP probes party rebels’ criticism

2016-03-20 18:18 (CT)

The SLFP is investigating whether Joint Opposition members criticized the SLFP leadership and the SLFP at their Jana Satana meeting at Hyde Park last Thursday. Top brass of the SLFP and UPFA indicated that disciplinary action against SLFP Parliamentarians who attended the Jana Satana rally would not seriously jeopardise their parliamentary seat despite speculations to the contrary

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Interpol help to be sought to probe Sri Lanka link to kidney racket

2016-03-20 18:17 (IE)

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed by Anand District Superintendent of Police Ashok Kumar Yadav to probe into the kidney racket of Pandoli village, has fanned across to Delhi and Mumbai to trace the timeline of the alleged organ extractions as well as big fish involved in the racket. Investigators have hinted that it could seek help from the Interpol to probe the link into the kidney extractions carried out in SL

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Power crisis heightens: Tough legislation to deal with errant officials, engineers

2016-03-20 18:17 (Island)

With sabotage not being ruled out in the unusual explosions at the Electricity Boards Biyagama and Kotugoda Grid Sub Stations last week, tough new legislation is to be introduced to ensure that officials and engineers are held accountable for the power outages which have increased in frequency over the last one year.

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Multi-ministerial effort to regain GSP plus

2016-03-20 18:16 (SO)

The Foreign Ministry is coordinating a multi-ministerial effort to fulfil criteria to reapply for the European Union’s GSP plus tariff concessions, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maheshini Kolonne said. In repsonse to a query she said, it was difficult to say when Sri Lanka will be ready to apply for the tariff concessions, since more needs to be done to become eligible to submit the application.

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Chamber staff issued gag orders over ETCA?

2016-03-20 18:16 (SL)

Employees of several top-notch business and trade chambers had been issued gag orders against criticizing the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), it is learnt. “We were strongly advised not to say anything against the adverse effects of ETCA. So we have no option but to toe the line with the current administration. What we are disappointed over is that this undue influence is triggered

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Power crisis: German experts coming; short-term solution in two weeks

2016-03-20 18:15 (ST)

German experts are due in Sri Lanka tomorrow to inspect some 30 electrical transformers and recommend ways to prevent countrywide power failures during sudden breakdowns. Their main task would be to inspect the transformers that exploded and caught fire at Biyagama and Kotugoda last Sunday and on Friday resulting in power cuts. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that the experts would

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Who will win the battle of the builders: Mittal or locals?

2016-03-20 18:15 (ST)

Cabinet has approved a proposal to build 65,000 houses for war-affected families in the North and East but stopped short of awarding the contract to ArcelorMittal, an international company run by Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. Further negotiations are to be conducted before a decision is made on the lucrative deal. ArcelorMittal, world’s largest steelmaker, was recommended for the project by a Cabinet

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Rift within the SLMC?

2016-03-20 10:10 (SO)

The unexplained absence of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Secretary, M.T. Hassan Ali, has led to speculation of an internal rift within the party, which may lead to the expulsion of the Secretary and Segu Dawood. Former Muslim Congress Colombo District MP Shafeek Rajabdeen said that an explanation would be called from party secretary for his noticeable absence at the SLMC 19th National Convention which was held in Ampara on yesterday, March 19.

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Power failures deal blackout blow to govt

2016-03-20 10:08 ()

It was a week of shocks and aftershocks that jolted the UNF Govt and shattered the high wave of popularity it enjoyed among the people. Main among the issues was last Sunday’s countrywide electricity blackout, the third in just six months. It exposed the govt’s inability to cope with the crisis situation that followed. The public anger against the eight-month old administration was unprecedented

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