The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 1

Sunday, February 15, 2015
6 Sections Volume 9 No 37
LKR 40.00
Earthquakesmake
way for scenic
HagleyOval
SPORT
Gitassara Sutra
and insanity of
chanting
FINE
More clarity
by March
GAIN
Mahinda Rajapaksa is loved and ‘loved’
PAGE 4
100 Day Program
grinds to a halt
Tuesday January 20
Wednesday Jan
uary
2
1
Wednesday January 28
Mo
n
d
ay
Feb
r
uary
2
Friday February 6
Standing
orders will be
amended
Process of
abolishing exec
presidency
begins with 19th
Amendment
00.00%
100 Days
Graphics by Pushpika Karunaratne
(Tasks that were not completed in preceding weeks. There were no
tasks to be completed last week)
N
o
t
d
o
n
e
N
o
t
d
o
n
e
N
o
t
d
o
n
e
N
o
t
d
o
n
e
Appoint an all-party
committee on
Electoral Reform
N
o
t
d
o
n
e
An Ethical Code
of Conduct will
be introduced
legally for all
representatives
of the people
National
Drugs Policy
Bill will be
tabled
*
* Cabinet approval has been given and the bill is expected to be tabled in the near future.
A strong show of unity was
evidenced at a special meeting of the
Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP)
Executive Committee and National
Working Committees held yesterday
(Saturday) at ‘Ape Gama’ Battaramulla.
In addition to key appointments of
office bearers and the setting up of a
National Advisory Council (Anushasaka
Sabhawa), the party reaffirmed
support for newly elected President
Maithreepala Sirisena.
While the party unanimously elected
Anura Priyadarshana Yapa as General
Secretary, Kurunegala District MP S.B.
Nawinna was appointed party Treasurer.
Susil Premajayantha was appointed as
the party’s National Organizer, a post
that had been left vacant after the
resignation of Parliamentarian Basil
Rajapaksa.
Health Minister and Cabinet
Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne was
selected as the party’s new Vice
President.
The National Advisory Council
comprises of former Presidents Mahinda
Rajapaksa and Chandrika Bandaranaike
Kumaratunga, former Prime Ministers D.M.
Jayaratne and Ratnasiri Wickramanayake
and two others to be appointed by the
party’s leader.
President Sirisena, in his address said
that the political culture of violence that
is marked by hatred and violence needs
to change and pledged that the SLFP
will spare no efforts towards this.
See page 3
SLFP to shun upcoming
protest against govt.
Despite claims by the Government on putting the controversial China-funded Port City Project
on hold, work continues apace, as captured by our photographer
Chandana Wijesinghe.
Blues hold Special Meeting at ‘Ape Gama’
Govt lies low on Port City
Key policy reform elements of the new
government’s 100 Day program remain untouched
after the presidential election. These include the
Amendment of Standing Orders (Due January 20),
introduction of a Code of Conduct for People’s
Representatives (Due February 2) and Tabling
in Parliament of the National Drugs Policy (Due
February 6).
Most importantly, there is complete silence on the
appointment of an All-Party Committee on electoral
reform.
Although President Maithreepala Sirisena’s
manifesto clearly stated that the existing proportional
representation system will be changed before
the next general election, Prime Minister and
Leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ranil
Wickremesinghe has stated that Parliament will be
dissolved on April 23 or sooner with no mention of
electoral reform.
Sections of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)
which is led by the President, have opined that
reform is imperative even if it took more than 100
days to change the existing election laws. Meanwhile,
Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya insists
that there is still time to make all necessary changes
before the 100 days expire.
Disgruntled elements cause commotion
By Ashani Jayasundara
The benefits pledged in the
Appropriation Amendment Bill
widely called ‘Robin Hood Budget’
tabled by Finance Minister Ravi
Karunanayake are yet to reach the
consumer, a study by
The Nation
concludes.
The prices of some of the 13
essential commodities in major
super markets have not been
reduced as promised.
The price of sugar at major
super markets ranges between
Rs. 85 and Rs. 141 per kilogram
although it was determined to
be between Rs.70 and Rs. 90.
The price of a 400g packet of
milk powder was to drop to Rs
325 from the pre-budget price
of Rs 386, but a certain brand is
still being sold at Rs 386 in some
supermarkets, even though other
outlets sell at the ‘budget-price’.
The price of a kilo of wheat flour
was to be reduced to Rs 75-90
from Rs 90-105, but is now priced
at Rs 115-119, higher than the pre-
budget price. The price of canned
fish (425g) remains at the pre-
budget price of Rs.220- 230 at
major supermarkets although a Rs
15-25 reduction was promised.
Meanwhile,
The Nation
finds that
prices of other essential items
have been increased. It was noted
that in Sathosa outlets, the price
of dhal (yellow) has increased
from Rs. 159 to Rs. 169, while Dhal
(red) has gone up from Rs. 159 to
Rs. 164, onions from Rs. 65 to Rs.
80, rice (Red Nadu) from Rs. 77 to
Rs. 85 per kilo and chickpeas from
Rs. 134 to Rs. 155.
The benefits from reducing
fuel prices are yet to accrue to
the consumer in the form of
lower prices for vegetables, lower
taxicab fares and school and office
van charges.
Graphic on page 3
President Maithreepala Sirisena will
today commence an official visit to India.
This will be Sirisena’a first official visit
abroad as president. He is expected to be
in India until February 18.
India expects “substantial talks and
outcomes” during President Sirisena`s
visit, India’s External Affairs Ministry
spokesperson Syed Akbarudin told media
on February 13 (Friday).
Sirisena will arrive in India today in
the afternoon, and will visit Rajghat
tomorrow. There he will hold official
talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Later in the day, he will attend a banquet
hosted in his honor by his counterpart
Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
See page 3
By Kishani Samaraweera
A firestorm of controversy that
erupted with the resignation of former
Chairperson of the University Grants
Commission (UGC) Professor Kshanika
Hirimburegama, took another turn
yesterday with State Minister of Higher
Education Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha stating
that he had sent a letter to President
Maithripala Sirisena saying the situation
was ‘untenable’.
Speaking to The Nation, Prof. Wijesinha
said he had sent a letter to the President
describing the situation as untenable and
suggesting certain alternatives, ‘one of
which is resignation’.
The controversy arose due to the
resignation of the former chairperson and
four other members.
See page 3
‘Robin Hood Budget’
Promised benefits yet to
reach consumer
President visits
India to hold
substantial talks
Rajiva-Kabir Spat
SL’s education
in a storm!
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