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Latest News - Interview

NFTH to Facilitate Clinical Training for SAITM  👤2555

2017-07-25 05:34:22

By Panchamee Hewavissenti

Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne expressed his views to Ceylon Today in relation to the prevailing crisis in the healthcare sector. During the conversation, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne censured trade unions, especially the GMOA (Government Medical Officers' Association) and other politically motivated movements for exploiting students in order to achieve their selfish motives. "I highly disapprove the demeanour of the GMOA. Their behaviour is similar to unskilled labourer

Prioritize FTAs with China and India – Dr. Wignaraja  👤3565

2017-07-24 05:12:43

By Umesh Moramudali and Rathindra Kuruwita

The importance of commercial diplomacy has been highlighted in recent times. Ceylon Today spoke to Chair of the Global Economy Programme at Lakshman

Private medical education fraught with corruption – Prof. Carlo Fonseka  👤2757

2017-07-23 07:19:42


Former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), Prof. Carlo Fonseka, at the age of 84 continues to serve the country, despite being frail.


2017-07-21 07:17:58


The President of the All Island Trishaw Entrepreneurs Federation (AITEF) M.J. Dissanayake says there was a segment of society which was trying its utmost to stifle us by bringing in a Statutory Authority through the Provincial Council Administrations.

NFTH – a red herring exercise in deception  👤2665

2017-07-20 07:14:15


A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 17 July to transfer the ownership of the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) to the Government. Under terms of the agreement the NFTH will cease to retain its identity as a private hospital but will function as a State-owned health institution that will be administered by an independent Board of Directors with effect from 1 August 2017.

No reason to be afraid of draft Constitution– Lal Wijenayaka  👤3689

2017-07-19 05:55:05

By Rasika Hemamali

Lal Wijenayaka, Chairman of Public Consultation Committee on Constitutional Reforms says people voted against the past regime on 8 January 2015 to abolish the Executive Presidency and reinstate democracy. "That was the promise endorsed by the people of both the North and the South," he said in an interview.

Curse of the caste in North Issue should be addressed immediately – Nirmalanathan  👤3323

2017-07-18 08:19:31

By Mirudhula Thambiah

Vanni District Parliamentarian Charles Nirmalanathan commenting on the recent caste issues in the Northern Province said that during the period of the LTTE they did not allow any sort of caste related problems to affect the communities in the North and East. They were 100 per cent against it. The LTTE Leader vehemently opposed such caste dominance.

Lanka should look at nuke option More dangers in coal power – Prof. Guruswamy  👤3732

2017-07-17 08:16:54

By Umesh Moramudali,Rathindra Kuruwita and Kris Thomas

Sri Lanka should not rule out the possibility of using nuclear power in its energy mix, considering the recent advances made in nuclear technology, says Dr. Lakshman Guruswamy, Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law at the Law School of the University of Colorado in Boulder. Guruswamy was recently in Sri Lanka to attend a forum organized by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI.)

GSLF takes on Tamil Diaspora TNA responsible for LTTE atrocities – Premaratna  👤5004

2017-07-14 08:08:07


Global Sri Lankan Forum (GSLF) was formed in 2016 by Sri Lankan citizens living abroad, with the intention of representing the country in the international arena. Ajantha Premaratna, Project Coordinator for GSLF in an interview with Ceylon Today said that with the eradication of terrorism in 2009, many movements in support of the LTTE emerged in the international arena and they have been engaging in tarnishing the image of the country by producing false facts on Sri Lanka to the international community.

New Constitution will compromise our soldiers  👤3399

2017-07-13 11:05:21

By Prageeth Sampath

Joint Opposition and SLFP Member of Parliament Prasanna Ranatunga says that they have clearly set forth their stand that the Unitary State and the prominence accorded to Buddhism in the Constitution cannot be compromised in the new Constitution.

Sri Lanka should emulate Singapore’s commercial side – Expert  👤2905

2017-07-12 05:03:35

By Rathindra Kuruwita and Umesh Moramudali

Since the late 1970s Singapore has been cited by many as a model that Sri Lanka can emulate for its development. But there has been little discussion on what particular aspects that we can draw inspiration from. Ceylon Today sat down with Mahdev Mohan, a nominated member of the Parliament of Singapore and Assistant Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University, to discuss the similarities and differences between the two countries.

ThurairaJasingam harps ON Police and Land powers for PCs  👤3102

2017-07-11 11:00:12

BY Mirudhula Thambiah

Eastern Province Agriculture Minister and General Secretary of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) KrISHnapillai ThurairaJasingam says that the Chief Ministers of all nine Provinces have continuously demanded for Police and Land powers. Therefore, now the importance of those powers have been understood by many. "All Chief Ministers are emphasizing on devolution of power. The only challenging situation we see is the North and East merger and the nature of the State – unitary or federal. We want to make sure that it is acceptable by all when it reaches the preamble of the repealed Constitution." Following are excerpts of the interview:

HVA Farms dismiss environmentalist claim Lands were acquired through SC – Chairman  👤4808

2017-07-10 05:10:09

By Umesh Moramudali and Rathindra Kuruwita

Chairman of HVA Farms Rohan Fernando asserted that lands belonging to the group were acquired through the Supreme Court, and permission was granted to conduct farming. He made this comment in response to an allegation made by environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara, who in an interview carried by Ceylon Today last week, claimed that the HVA farms procured lands through illegal means.

Bay of Bengal deals, a cynosure for SL – Riaz Hamidullah  👤4023

2017-07-09 13:05:12

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

High Commissioner of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Riaz Hamidullah, speaks to Ceylon Today on various issues, common to both countries. A passionate person on development diplomacy, previously holding posts in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the European Union (EU), engaging in economic and regional development, he tells Bangladeshis are self-designed and culturally don't compete with other countries. However, Bangladesh has identified the potentials that both countries could share like never before, and is geared to strike new 'Bay of Bengal' trade deals and MoUs when President Maithripala Sirisena visits Bangladesh on 13 July 2017. 'All is possible,' he says stressing that the island nation 'must' consider lowering its tariffs and enhancing the incentives offered to investors, and adds that compared to other regional players, Bangladesh is pushed to a corner with high tariffs and he is clueless as to why.

I won’t abuse my portfolio to console comrades– Mangala  👤6646

2017-07-09 13:02:20


In a tete-a-tete with Ceylon Today the Minister of Finance and Media, Mangala Samaraweera said despite his busy schedule he still can allocate time to listen to his favourite music and to read books while engaging in other activities that interest him. He also said President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have kept faith in him that he would execute the assigned responsibilities in an adroit manner and he is steadfast in achieving the goals.

Govt is vague and we are suspicious  👤3222

2017-07-09 08:52:08

Interviewed by Niranjala Ariyawansha

Registrar of Asgiri Chapter (SiyamNikaya) Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thera says that Sri Lanka must remain a unitary State and Buddhism must be assured its place of eminence. "We also demanded that police powers as proposed in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution be not granted to the provinces".

Minorities have lost faith in Govt – Gammanpila  👤5152

2017-07-07 12:42:23


In an interview with Ceylon Today, MP Udaya Gammanpila stated that their supporters who attended the recent rally at Trincomalee expressed their dissatisfaction with the government and pledged allegiance to the Joint Opposition. He added that the people in Trincomalee could clarify myths with regard to the Rajapaksa regime after the recent rally.


2017-07-06 05:39:40


Former Sri Lankan Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Palitha Kohona said yesterday that climate change was a global phenomenon involving complex changes in planetary biophysical systems. Now mainstream scientific opinion agrees that climate change is caused primarily by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuel combustion is undoubtedly the primary cause of green house gas (GHG) emissions and resulting climate change.

Education, health should remain under Govt control – Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa  👤4596

2017-07-05 05:37:25

By Methmalie Dissanayake

Two topics that occupy news these days are the dispute regarding the medical faculty of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) and the dengue epidemic. Both these issues involve the health and education sectors. In this backdrop, Ceylon Today decided to speak to Kalutara District JVP MP, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, who is a medical doctor, on these matters.

My removal is a matter for the Council Chairman NPC - Sivagnanam of majority ITAK  👤4581

2017-07-04 05:54:47


The Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) C.V.K. Sivagnanam of majority Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) stated that removing him from the post of Chairman is the matter of the Council. Only the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman are elected by the council itself. Therefore such removals have to be carried out by the council itself. If the council wishes they can bring a no confidence motion against me. It is open to the council.

Destruction of small scale farmers  👤4797

2017-07-03 05:58:35

By Rathindra Kuruwita and Umesh Moramudali

The United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) seems to be legitimizing the dubious projects which commenced under the Rajapaksas and which have adverse impacts on the environment. The continuation of the Uma Oya Project, which has drawn a great deal of attention recently, is one such instance. However, there are many other similar projects that evade detection. Ceylon Today spoke to leading environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara about one such project.

Lakshan Dias claims to have factual evidence  👤3237

2017-07-02 11:02:01

By Shaahidah Riza

Human rights lawyer Lakshan Dias asserted that he has factual evidence of churches being intimidated by hate groups and that he can, when necessary, produce evidence to support his claim. He went on to note that the mainstream media is biased and distorts facts, thus incidents of hate crimes are either under reported or distorted. Dias recently came under scrutiny when Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe accused him of concocting stories of attacks on places of worship and threatened to remove him from the legal profession. Since then Rajapakshe has come under fire from law makers and politicians alike for his statement which was deemed irresponsible and does not befit the position of a Justice Minister.

GMOA ready to fire next salvo Insists on nationalization of SAITM  👤4284

2017-06-30 09:20:31


The Government Medical Officers' Association's (GMOA) Central Committee meeting was held yesterday and it decided to embark on a stoppage of work in protest over the government's failure to provide an agreeable solution to their demands


2017-06-29 05:18:30

Moratuwa University Senior Professor of Transport and Logistics Prof. Amal Kumarage believes that successive governments have neglected investments into the road transport sector, which has led to the morass that the sector and the country are now in. Prof. Kumarage, who was also one time Chairman of the National Transport Commission, and also Chairman of the Transport Cluster of the National Commission for Economic Development appointed by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga herself, said that expressways were not a priority for Sri Lanka as they were too costly and slow.

Railway worries and TU action  👤5024

2017-06-26 09:15:00

By Umesh Moramudali and Rathindra Kuruwita

Recently, railway guards and drivers threatened to go on strike over several issues. Ceylon Today interviewed the convener of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) of railway employees, Janaka Fernando. During the interview he stressed that despite the good governance, there exists politicization within the Railway Department. Fernando said, even the current minister intervenes in recruiting and in many other activities. Following are the excerpts of the interview:

TNA jittery over TPC – C.V. Wigneswaran  👤4860

2017-06-25 08:12:00

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

Following the ruckus that took place in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) after 21 members brought in a No Faith Motion against NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran after he sent two ministers on compulsory leave on allegations of corruption, the matter was settled by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan with the help of a Hindu priest and the Bishop of Jaffna.

TPC with a hidden agendaSeeks to weaken ITAK – Senathirajah  👤4196

2017-06-25 05:08:38

By Ananth Palakidnar

Leader of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) Mavai Senathirajah says that the Tamil People's Council (TPC) has a hidden agenda to weaken the Party. "Their attempts are not at all going to do any damage to the ITAK. The people in the North and East have placed their confidence on the TNA leader R. Sampanthan."

NGO funded ‘traitors’ don’t want peace in Sri Lanka – Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe  👤3703

2017-06-22 09:05:43


Religious unrest in the country is one of the chief challenges that the good governance government, which promised equal rights to the followers of all religions, is faced with today. In a statement issued by the Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter of Siyam Nikaya recently, it is mentioned that Sinhala Buddhists have faced discrimination and the government should come forward to protect the Buddha Sasana and Buddhist monks, who are targeted by extremists.

Wigneswaran and Copose no threat to the State  👤5043

2017-06-21 05:51:02

By Rathindra Kuruwita

When provincial council elections were held in the North, for the first time, in 2013 there was a lot of optimism about the council's ability to have a positive impact on the lives of the citizens. However, since its inception, the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has become better known for constant bickering between Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and the ITAK leadership and a number of resolutions on the last phase of the war, which has had no impact. Ceylon Today sat down with researcher and activist based in Jaffna, Ahilan Kadirgamar, to discuss the most recent spat between Chief Minister Wigneswaran and the ITAK leadership, the role of the Northern Provincial Council and the crippling economic crisis in the province.

Move to oust Wigneswaran  👤4668

2017-06-20 09:47:56

By Mirudhula Thambiah

Eelam People's Revolutionary Left Front (EPRLF) Leader and former Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran said some of the ITAK leaders may have joined hands with the government members specifically the UNPers and they want to destabilize the Northern Provincial Council, because it had always raised its voice for the aspirations of the Tamil people.

ETCA is being played very badly politically – Prof. Razeen sally  👤2902

2017-06-19 08:44:59

By Umesh Moramudali and Rathindra Kuruwita

In recent past there has been a lot of discussion about the National Trade Policy. In the light of trade policy discussion, Ceylon Today interviewed Prof Razeen Sally who is Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Prof. Sally is also the Chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), the main economic-policy think tank in his native Sri Lanka.

Wiggy Out ! if he can’t prove majority NPC support  👤3195

2017-06-18 10:42:15


The Northern Provincial Council faces turmoil following the submission of a 'No Faith' motion to the Northern Governor signed by 21 councilors in the NPC against Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. This comes in a sequel to his decision to strip two ministers in the NPC of their portfolios.

You can’t suppress majority to make minority happy – Namal Rajapaksa  👤5678

2017-06-18 05:31:14

By Shaahidah Riza

The militant movement Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is fully backed by the incumbent government, said United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa, who is the son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, conceded that certain government elements instigated extremist violence against minorities during his father's governance. However, the same elements left Rajapaksa to join President Maithripala Sirisena, which is the cause for the revival of the BBS, he added.

New laws for mandatory school education– Akila Viraj Kariyawasam  👤3484

2017-06-16 10:26:58


Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the government will soon bring in new legislation which makes it mandatory for all children to attend school.

Govt sends 40 students to Russia onscholarships – Ambassador  👤4106

2017-06-15 06:25:05

By Panchamee Hewavissenti

Sri Lanka and the Federation of Russia relish six decades of bilateral relationship, which commenced in 1956 and the two countries celebrated the 60 years of cordiality recently. Over the past 60 years, the two countries have bolstered the relationship and the Federation of Russia, which was formerly the Soviet Union, has extended its support for the development of Sri Lanka in numerous ways and stood up for Sri Lanka in international platform when the country was challenged in the international arena.

Hill Country Tamils face the butt of discrimination  👤3221

2017-06-13 10:19:42


One of the coordinators of the newly formed North-East Hill Country Tamil People's Forum, and Former Northern Provincial Councillor M.P. Natraj said the New Constitution must recognize Hill Country Tamils as a separate community equal to the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims of this country.


2017-06-12 10:16:04

By Rathindra Kuruwita and Umesh Moramudali

The recent floods that affected over 600,000 people had a devastating impact on Sri Lanka. What is more startling is that despite the increasing risk of disasters, data shows that the money allocated for the Disaster Management Ministry had been reduced. Moreover no concrete action seems to be taken to prevent the recurrence of these disasters. Ceylon Today interviewed, senior storm water specialist in Auckland Council, Engineer Sam Nandasena, who was a senior government servant in Sri Lanka. He shared his thoughts on managing floods.


2017-06-09 10:13:42

Human Rights Commissioner and Media Spokesman for the Human Rights Commission, President's Counsel Saliya Peiris said yesterday that the advocacy of hatred based on race and religion, and incitement to violence, are an affront to the essence of the freedom of expression.

Most natural disasters today are man-made  👤3692

2017-06-08 10:10:49


In an interview with Ceylon Today, Professor Deepthi Wickremesinghe, Director, Career Guidance Unit Department of Zoology and Environment Science, University of Colombo, stated that irregular development practices can lead to many natural disasters that can be categorized as man-made ones. She added that any development that indirectly causes the destruction of property and human lives cannot be permitted.

Cabinet reshuffle: UNP has taken a big hit –Kabir  👤3335

2017-06-07 10:08:05


UNP General Secretary and Minister of State Enterprise Development, Kabir Hashim, said the Party has taken a 'big hit' by the recent Cabinet reshuffle where UNP Ministers who worked hard for the Party have been overlooked.

Turf war at Excise Department  👤3960

2017-06-06 05:16:46

By Leon Berenger

The Excise Department is currently rocked with dissent that has led to a turf war between rival groups from the uniform sector and those in the civil administration and at the end of the day it has dwarfed performance resulting in losses of vital revenue to the government.

Precautions needed to curb epidemics –GMOA Gen Secy  👤3558

2017-06-05 08:13:20

By Umesh Moramudali
and Rathindra Kuruwita

Adverse weather conditions affected the country and left many in misery. While the disaster took more than 200 lives, there is a great risk of disease spreading in the aftermath of the floods.


2017-06-04 06:11:25


Convenor of the Anti Corruption Front and President of the Inter-Company Employees' Union Wasantha Samarasinghe said yesterday the government was totally impotent at a time of natural disasters and it was virtually the civil society which was running the country.

SLFP is weakened –Prasanna  👤5115

2017-06-02 05:50:56

By Denagama Dhammika Ranaweera

Convener of the Joint Opposition, MP Prasanna Ranatunge, in an interview with Ceylon Today says as a member of the SLFP, he sent a letter to the President regarding how he should prepare himself to strengthen the SLFP.

Perhaps Mossad manipulates BBS– Mujibur Rahman  👤4357

2017-05-31 05:27:24

By Shaahidah Riza and Umesh Moramudali

Buddhist movement Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is being manipulated by a foreign power, United National Front (UNF) Parliamentarian, Mujibur Rahman said. In an interview with Ceylon Today he said the Sri Lankan intelligence should investigate this extremist movement and ascertain who is funding and manipulating them to conduct hate crimes and violence. He reiterated that this movement represents less than one per cent of the peace-loving Sinhalese community.


2017-05-30 05:17:23


Professor of Chemical and Process Engineering at the Moratuwa University Ajith De Alwis said that Sri Lankan politics and science is like oil and water. They never mix. "It is also sad that we look at all things from a political perspective and it is high time that we bring engineering and science together towards helping the economic development of the country which is sadly lacking at present.

China’s long-term plan in Lanka – Carl Zha  👤5142

2017-05-29 05:42:36

By Rathindra Kuruwita and Umesh Moramudali

The One Belt One Road initiative is one of the key topics discussed in Sri Lankan political circles. However, most of those commenting on it have very little understanding of the project or how the Chinese State operates. Ceylon Today got US based China Watcher, Carl Zha to explain the One Belt One Road initiative, the economical and geopolitical reasons that drive China and the importance of Sri Lanka to China.

Deal opposition and tame opposition silent  👤5868

2017-05-26 05:36:08

By Ishara Silva

Joint Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardane warns that countries far more developed than us collapsed by relaxing foreign exchange controls.

Forefathers of this country were Tamils – Sangaree  👤4518

2017-05-25 05:46:28


Former MP of Jaffna District and Leader of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Veerasingham Anandasangaree, said the TNA is not the sole representative of the Tamil community and that it acts according to the whims and fancies of the government, in an interview with Ceylon Today.

Nationalizing SAITM would be a mistake  👤4560

2017-05-22 05:59:58


Former State Minister of Higher Education, Rajiva Wijesinha spoke to Ceylon Today about the current controversy regarding SAITM. During the interview he stressed that SAITM was started in good faith, and the then government was at fault in not smoothing out any contentious issues immediately. But the questions with regard to quality are specious, because similar standards are not applied to government universities.



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