Not even by five cents, President slams proposal to raise MPs’ salaries View(s):President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday vowed that he would not allow salaries of MPs to be raised “even by five cents.” Speaking at a function at the Polonnaruwa new market complex last evening, he said he had read and watched the media coverage on the issue of raising salaries of parliamentarians. Pointing out that any such proposal would have to be submitted to the Cabinet, the President said he would not approve it. The controversy arose after a proposal was submitted to the Speaker, recommending a salary hike for ministers, deputy ministers and MPs in terms of a parliamentary resolution passed in 2006. The resolution recommends that ministers’ and MPs’ salaries should be given a salary increase whenever the salaries of higher judicial officers are increased. Minister Lakshman Kiriella addressing a function in Matale said that salaries of parliamentarians were increased according to a law passed in 2006 when Mahinda Rajapaksa was the president.
Faiszer looking to change regulations before cricket elections View(s):Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha wants to amend the regulations pertaining to the appointment of election committees of national sports bodies before calling for fresh elections to Sri Lanka Cricket. “I have identified certain clauses, primarily who should be in an Election Committee, whether we should have a pre-selection criteria for those elected to the election committee and etc. This resulted in the appointment of a Competent Authority to look after the cricket affairs until fresh elections are conducted. A month after the elections were postponed, the International Cricket Council (ICC) asked SLC to hold elections within six months or face suspension. “I am committed to hold election expeditiously, but there are certain issues I need to clear up before going for the election.
BoC celebrates 79 years of service to the nation View(s):Sri Lanka’s number one bank, the Bank of Ceylon, celebrated its 79th anniversary on Wednesday, August 1 with the main ceremony held at the head office premises in Colombo. BoC Chairman Ronald Perera addressing the gathering said: “As celebrations begin for the 79th anniversary, it necessarily calls us to look back at the bank’s journey as the No.1 bank in the country. It has been a strenuous path to travel with many success stories to share but a well paid off journey. I must say the benefits of all these achievements have been uncompromisingly shared with all Sri Lankans. I would like to take this as an opportunity to thank all our distinguished customers, the Government, the staff of BOC and all our stakeholders for support and well wishes.”
SLAF suspends civilian flights; incentives for other domestic operators View(s):The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has suspended civilian flights after the aviation regulator recalled the certificate of airworthiness (CofA) issued to its Xian MA60 aircraft, pending technical compliance. “The SLAF has not made any policy decision to refrain from transport of civilian passengers in duly approved and certified civilian transport aircraft and will continue working with the CAASL to improve its civilian passenger transport safety and standards,”Group Captain Seneviratne said. But the SLAF admitted it had stopped scheduled civilian passenger transport for the time being, including its Jaffna and Trincomalee flights. There are separate concerns that the SLAF’s involvement in civilian passenger transport is choking the domestic aviation sector by discouraging private operators who cannot compete on a level playing field. Ground-handling charges at BIA will be reduced for domestic air operators and aviation fuel supplied at all internal airports.
GMOA warns of wave of similar strikes while ending token strike yesterday View(s):The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has warned that while their 24-hour islandwide token strike came to an end at 8 a.m. yesterday, the Government should expect a wave of similar strikes if it failed to provide solutions to the issues they raised. Health services throughout the country were impacted on Friday due to the GMOA’s token strike, which started at 8 a.m.The strike crippled the Out Patient Department (OPD) treatment in most government hospitals, severely inconveniencing thousands of patients. The GMOA meanwhile, also instructed its members to refrain from engaging in private practice during the period of the strike. The organisation claimed that doctors who were not part of the government service also supported the strike by refraining from engaging in private practice. The strike did not affect paediatric hospitals, maternity hospitals, the Maharagama Cancer hospital and the renal units of state hospitals, the GMOA stressed.
People in search of justice View(s):When the UNP joined hands with some other parties and civil society organisations to propel Maithripala Sirisena as the “common candidate” to eject the incumbent president from his powerful perch, it was at a price. After all it would not be the first time that the AG’s department has been accused of legal inactivity. Even those who do not claim to be knowledgeable in the law are aware of the oft quoted saying that justice delayed is justice denied. Then at the tail end of December 2011 the then Justice Minister told parliament that the contempt law was being drafted and it would be presented to parliament very shortly. While in many countries in the world there is a code of conduct for judges, Sri Lanka’s dispensers of justice find that they do not need it.
Just days earlier, Special Assignments Minister Sarath Amunugama and Health Minister cum official government spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne, became the government’s trouble shooters. One such case is Health Minister Senaratne. Even Razia Pendsey, the WHO representative for Sri Lanka was in attendance. The 25th Health Minister, unexpectedly went on to become the Head of State. Other members were Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader Rajavarothaym Sampanthan, Sri Lanka Muslin Congress (SLMC) leader Rauff Hakeem and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Senior Vice President Nimal Siripala de Silva.
Abdication of presidential powerNow, after having briefly explored the methods of execution, let us consider the Killing Committee. He is constitutionally required to sanction the death sentence or to commute it. One by one the ragged asses plucked up their courage and brayed their complaints with special reference to the Weeding Committee. As the Weeding Committee began weeding, a small breeze whispered across the town square and picked up a few of the complaints and scattered them round the town. The Weeding Committee stepped up activities and the wind grew into a gale and scattered the papers all over the country.
Mystery over Sigiriya cable car project By Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa Minister says he knows nothing and won't allow it, but CCF officials say it is to help disabled people View(s): View(s):Cultural Affairs Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe says he is in the dark about a feasibility study by a Chinese company to launch a cable car service to the Sigiriya rock fortress. The minister said he had ordered an inquiry into who authorised the company to conduct the feasibility study. Several CCF officials were later seen with Chinese officials who were said to be from the company conducting the study. The CCF officials, however, refused to divulge what they were doing with the Chinese officials and tried to avoid the media, even going to the extent of trying to hide inside a vehicle. The Chinese company officials who turned up at Sigiriya to survey the site for a cable car project
Impulsive, irrational, unscientific decision-making retards economic development View(s):A serious defect of the Government has been its impulsive, irrational and unscientific decision-making. Civilised countries have done away with the death sentence as it has not proven to be a deterrent to serious crimes. Furthermore, Sri Lanka has signed a UN resolution to not carry out the death sentence. The withdrawal of the GSP plus concession would be a serious threat to the economy. The withdrawal of the GSP Plus concession will be a serious setback to export growth.
Sri Lanka to benefit from ARF’s security assistance View(s):The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) yesterday announced it would make available nearly $300 million to improve security relationships across the Indo-Pacific region under which Sri Lanka too will benefit. The ARF draws together 27 members including Sri Lanka. The security assistance funding will cover projects in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam among others and it will cover areas of Maritime Security, Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) Assistance, Peacekeeping Operations, and Countering Transnational Crime. The ARF is a key forum for security dialogue in Asia, complementing the various bilateral alliances and dialogues. It provides a setting in which members can discuss current regional security issues and develop cooperative measures to enhance peace and security in the region.
The new human shields View(s):The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) strike action on Friday based on a host of trade union demands is best described by the pithy local saying; “viddey pandurata wadune haawata” – the arrow was aimed at the bush but it hit the rabbit (in the bush). This has attracted justifiable criticism from the Government that the GMOA is a trade union of the ‘Joint Opposition’. The GMOA’s use of hapless patients is no different to when the LTTE used civilians as human shields. The GMOA is not the only trade union to hold the public to ransom with strikes. That the GMOA has lent itself to accusations that it is a puppet trade union of the ‘Joint Opposition’ is to its own detriment.
Explosives from India Lanka bound View(s):The detection of a cache of explosives destined for Sri Lanka from the southern Indian coastal town of Ramshwaran was declared yesterday not to be a threat to the country’s national security, a top security official said. “These non-electric detonators are exploded with dynamite in illegal fishing activities,” the official said, adding that “there have been such detections on previous occasions too.” The official spoke to the SundayTimes on condition of anonymity. Indian media reports said that the Rameshwaram Police arrested seven suspects and found 5,000 explosives-filled detonators, reportedly to be smuggled into Sri Lanka.“Our reports,” the Sri Lankan official placed the quantity at 5,000 non-electric detonators “which could be packed in a small parcel since they are small.” Police had acted on prior information and made the detection. A Sri Lankan named Vasanth had secured the procurement through a person from Devipattinam in Rameswaram at a cost of Indian Rs 110,000, the reports said. The official said efforts were under way to track down Vasant who is believed to be a resident of the north of Sri Lanka.
Mongoose, sniff out explosives, instead of snakes View(s):Instead of tackling snakes, mongooses are now being trained to detect explosives. Sri Lanka Army engineers are seen with trainee mongooses at their regimental headquarters in Mattegoda. The Army’s engineers say they are successfully conducting this human-animal integrated system for explosives detection. Pic by Amila Gamage
SportIn today's News Cricket: Travel Trade Sixes on SundayTwelve teams have confirmed participation for the 35th Travel Trade Sports Club (TTSC) Hardball Sixes Cricket Tournament 2018, sponsored by Fun Holidays for the first time, to be held on Sunday (5), at Thurstan College ground, commencing 8.30am. The tournament is being revived after one year. This is the sixth event in the TTSC’s 2018 Sports Calendar, having completed Archery, Bowling, Carom, Soccer 7s and the Fun Motor Rally. SriLankan Airlines, the 2016 joint winner, will give the tournament a miss, as they will be playing in a MCA tournament match on the same day. There are five special awards on offer: Best Batsman, Best Bowler, Most 6s in the tournament, Man of the Final and Man of the Series.
August 04, 2018 18:56 UTC