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'Laws to screen unsupervised contact with children soon'

Nov 15 (SO) Sri Lanka has a proven track record in taking care of children. The country earned accolades for having the child-friendliest Govt in South Asia last year according to research conducted by the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children - a SAARC apex body. The project was funded by Save the Children and a number of other child rights bodies. That placed Sri Lanka above the rest of SAARC more..

Sri Lankan foreign policy: Seeking friends in low places

Nov 15 (CT) Sri Lanka plays host to Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz today and is signing two bilateral agreements on “establishing a joint commission on cooperation and an agreement on political bilateral consultation. Sri Lanka established formal diplomatic relations with Mauritania on Dec. 21, 2012, following a Cabinet decision in 2012 to establish diplomatic relations with 15 African countries" Abdel Aziz, a former military officer was elected president in 2009. more..

Where does the power come from?

Nov 15 (FT) Leaders throughout the world exercise power; some were derived from authority and some were derived from personal capacity. Some exercise legitimate power and some exercise illegitimate power. In some societies when illegitimate power is exercised it is challenged and in some societies it is not. Those who challenge and those who do not challenge do not know what the real origin of power is. They think that it is derived from the top. However studies suggest that it is not. more..

Expropriation explosion!

Nov 15 (CT) Master Divers Ltd. Chairman Ariyaseela Wickremanayake, said that the govt's bid to take over Pelwatte Sugar Industries under the Expropriation Bill has exploded right in its face with dwindled production and cultivation. He also volunteered to revive the company and the operation without charging the govt a single cent. His Rs 560 Mn which was his investment in Pelwatte Sugar was stuck, without govt paying him compensation. more..

A.K. Premadasa, Lal Perera and the boarding house mistress

Nov 15 (CT) Pieter Keuneman as Housing Minister of the three-party alliance government (Thun Haula) in the distant days gone by, introduced a Rent Control Act in Parliament and got it passed. This new law did not help either the house owners, who had rented out their houses or the rent payers, who occupied them. This legislative enactment was responsible for producing a new breed of lawyers known as rent lawyers, who had gained specialized knowledge in handling rent cases. more..

The Asian Developmental State: ‘Getting the Interventions Right’

Nov 15 (Island) Throughout the major part of contemporary economic history, two dominant development paradigms prevailed. One took the view that markets would lead to efficient outcomes, whereas the other looked to governments to ensure resources were deployed in a way that promoted growth. The latter half of the 20th century, however, witnessed the strong emergence of a number of East Asian countries which followed neither of these two extremes. The policy orientation of these more..

'Govt is afraid of the truth'

Nov 15 (CT) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake, in an interview with our sister paper Mawbima said, there was a plot to assault him at the Hiru TV debate and he left in order to avoid an unpleasant incident. Q: What actually happened at that television debate? What happened behind the scene? A: I must thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about what happened. There was a scheme behind the incident. more..

Living with India: The port dilemma

Nov 15 (FT) India is not a country; it is the environment within which the rest of South Asia (perhaps with the partial exception of Pakistan) exists. Politicians and senior officials in India make decisions like those in any nation state, keeping the narrowly-defined interests of their country paramount. This is natural, especially among risk-averse officials whose prime directive is avoidance of blame. It takes great imagination and courage for senior decision makers in any country to more..

Editorial: Truckers vs bribe takers

Nov 15 (Island) Various international outfits which promote transparency and good governance in the world and put out corruption indices from time to time have named and shamed some state institutions like the police here. Corruption in these places has become noticeable to one and all because their workers solicit and obtain bribes from the ordinary people direct. But, their corruption pales into insignificance in comparison to that in other institutions. more..

When elephants jostle, grass is hurt!

Nov 15 (SL) These days for Sri Lanka, India and China there are two major issues in public domain. They are the Chinese submarines docking in Colombo and the Chinese initiation- 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR). Submarine issues are directly related to military actions. Military actions are not static and move even to other arenas. Both these issues have developed over time in China and are a consequence of a process. more..

Seminar on ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ concludes successfully

Nov 15 (FT) Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) played host to a seminar titled ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ on 7 Nov. The seminar provided a space for engagement of scholars, diplomats, economists and linguists on the Maritime Silk Road. LKIIRSS Executive Director Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao, more..

Women in Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka kicks off mentoring program

Nov 15 (FT) ‘Ignite,’ the Mentoring Program Launch of WiLAT (Women in Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka) was held on 3 Nov at the Kingsbury Hotel Colombo. WiLAT Chairperson Gayani De Alwis welcoming participants for the third WiLAT event for the year said: “The WiLAT forum in Sri Lanka was formed in 2013 by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Sri Lanka to encourage the representation of women in the transport and logistics industry and more..

Sri Lanka's Lighthouses

Nov 15 (CT) These are Sri Lanka's lodestars: picturesque and historically eminent. These magnificent edifices adorn Sri Lanka's littoral, guiding vessels sailing angry and treacherous seas right round the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka has 20 lighthouses in all, but has only 16 are currently functioning. There are as much as six now in the Port of Colombo, which are at the entrances and at the breakwater, at Galbokka and more..

Rumble at the Maaraka Hila

Nov 15 (NS) What follows is based on the assumption that the Cabinet of Sri Lanka, in spite of itself, does act in a manner that benefits the country sometimes. The following also assumes that at least a few members of the same Cabinet have a sense of humor. Takes a lot to have that kind of faith, but what the heck. This would be the first in a four-segment collection. The next one will deal with the contestants, the judges, team members and the referee. The third will be solely dedicated to more..

Mobile service to provide NICs in Trinco

Nov 14 (AM) Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE), Elections Department and Department of Registration of Persons have planned to launch a joint program to issue National Identity Cards and other documents to people in Trincomalee, so that their right to vote will be assured. In a recent meeting with the participation of CaFFE, Center for Human Rights (CHR), District Secretary and Divisional Secretaries it was revealed that around 15,200 registered voters in Trincomalee more..

A day in Sri Lanka’s biggest kitchen

Nov 15 (DM) Sri Lanka’s biggest kitchen isn’t as homely or aesthetically pleasing as one might expect. Formed in 1979, SriLankan Catering Limited’s lean, mean, production kitchen, nestled 2km away from passenger terminals within the BIA, can cater up to 25,000 mouth watering meals a day up to the highest quality and hygiene standards in the world. Food In average, the facility prepares 16,500 meals daily, more..

ASN-ASAD International Medical Conference 2014 kicks off in Colombo

Nov 15 (FT) The eighth Annual Academic Sessions of the Association of Sri Lankan Neurologists and eighth Annual Congress of the Asian Society Against Dementia kicked off yesterday at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest at the inauguration of the two-day joint conference. In his welcome address, ASN-ASAD 2014 Conference Co-Chair Professor Asita de Silva said: “We started planning for this in 2012; what you see today more..

Com Bank records 9-month operating profit of Rs 13.119 bn

Nov 15 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has reported profit before VAT and NBT of Rs 13.119 billion for the nine months ended September. ‘In spite of a healthy10.38% growth in Operating Income, Profit before tax grew by 7.77 % due to the imposition of Nation Building Tax (NBT) effective January this year, the Bank said in a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange. The release adds: ‘Profit after tax improved by 7.89% to Rs 7.805 billion despite lower margins during more..

From despair to devastation in landslide-hit Uva

Nov 14 (Hindu) “This is where the land slipped,” said Kiruba, a school teacher, pointing to a huge area of reddish soil that a bulldozer was trying to iron out. “All this soil must have slid from there,” he deduced, gazing at an empty patch that stands out from the surrounding green hills. Massive boulders rest where homes of over 60 families once stood. Soiled books, a crushed three-wheeler, ruins of a lone home and a dish antenna peep out more..

SLT Group clinches Rs. 5 bn profits, 29% up in 1st 9 months

Nov 15 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) released its company and group financial results for the 9 months ending Sept 2014. Group comprises holding company SLT and its subsidiaries including the mobile arm Mobitel (Pvt.) Ltd. Maintaining the growth momentum, the group recorded Rs. 48.0 Bn revenue during the nine months ending Sept 2014 with 8% year on year growth. All the revenue segments comprising Fixed, Mobile and Others have contributed to this growth. more..

Locally manufactured illegal fire arms seized

Nov 14 (Island) Kalutara Division Crime Investigation Unit recently took into custody three illegal fire arms manufactured at a foundry in Atakalapanna, Madampe. The police said so far it had detected 21 illegal firearms from the place during the last few months. Eight suspects were taken into custody. On information elicited from the suspects the last three firearms had been taken into custody, investigators said. The police used a decoy to arrest two suspects more..

Sri Lanka: Expedition to the Island of Jewels

Nov 14 (GIA) In Feb 2014, the authors explored Sri Lanka’s entire mine-to-market gemstone and jewelry industry. The team visited numerous mining, cutting, trading, jewelry manufacturing, and retail centers representing each sector and witnessed a dynamic blend of traditional and increasingly modern practices. Centuries of tradition as a colored gemstone mining, trading, and cutting source now converge with more..

Amended cut off marks out on Monday

Nov 14 (CT) Amended cut off marks, for the Grade Five Scholarship Exam, would be released on Monday, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament. Making a ministerial statement, he said the scholarship exam cut off marks needed to be amended in response to a proposal by President Rajapaksa, in the Budget 2015 to increase the number of scholarships that pass out from 15,000 to 25,000. Accordingly, Sinhala medium cutoff marks had been brought down from 163 to 157 more..

Crossovers in the offing

Nov 14 (CT) It has been predicted that as soon as President Mahinda Rajapaksa officially announces the holding of a Presidential Election, several members of various political parties will crossover to the other side. While the government has declared that many UNPers as well as members of other Opposition Parties have decided to join the government soon, the Opposition too has announced that many government members lay in wait to crossover to their side. more..

'Nonis should have complained to NYPD'

Nov 14 (DM) UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella, who commented on the assault on Dr. Chris Nonis, the former Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London, said a complaint should have been lodged with New York Police Department instead of waiting for redress from the Sri Lankan authorities. Mr. Kiriella made these remarks during the committee stage of the budget debate on the vote of the External Affairs Ministry. more..

Sri Lanka can reduce disaster casualties

Nov 14 (SDN) By establishing a uniform early warning and response mechanism and building national awareness on how to react to natural disasters, Sri Lanka can avoid needless loss of life, experts say. On 29 Oct, a landslide killed 12 people with 25 still listed as missing in the village of Meeriyabedda in Badulla district. Early alerts by the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) that the area had become landslide-prone, following incessant rains during the third week of Oct, more..

Ranatunga bats for CBK or Karu in common candidate game

Nov 14 (AM) DNA MP Arjuna Ranatunga, has pledged to offer his support to former President Chandrika Kunaratunga or to UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, sources from the opposition said. Ranatunga, who has now distanced himself from his erstwhile leader former Army commander Sarath Fonseka, took part in the common opposition rally which took place in Colombo on Wednesday. However, Ranatunga's first choice is former President Chandrika more..

Container truck workers’ strike: Export revenue loss Rs 5 B

Nov 14 (CT) The 32-hour-strike, by the private container truck drivers and their assistants, at the Colombo Port on Thursday, caused a staggering export loss of Rs 5 billion. Importers and exporters of refrigerated meat, crabs and jumbo prawns suffered, mainly due to the current supply to containers being left unplugged for 18 hours, claimed President of Eksath Lanka Container Transportation Owners' Association (SLPA) more..

England hope grass is greener in Sri Lanka after Kevin Pietersen era

Nov 14 (Telegraph) Alastair Cook insists England have moved on from Kevin Pietersen but the only real way to show this is a new era is for his team to start winning. There can be no harder challenge for an England one-day team than to try to win a series in Sri Lanka for only the second time ever - the first was in 2007-08 - but that is the quest which begins on Sunday when the team fly to Colombo. The tour is the first leg of a winter when the diary has been cleared of Tests and more..

PS deputy chief arrested for assaulting principal

Nov 14 (Island) Deputy Chairman of Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha, Sampath Bandara Herath was arrested yesterday for assaulting the Principal of Thibatuwawe Maha Vidyalaya, Lalith Madusanka. Police arrested the suspect after the teachers of the school held a protest in the Kekirawa town, urging the police to take him into custody immediately. The principal is being treated at the Dambulla hospital. District Secretary of the Ceylon Teacher’s Services Union, Aruna Dissanayake more..

UNP: What’s the use of exposing corruption if govt. doesn’t punish culprits?

Nov 14 (Island) UNP  said in Parliament that there was no point in exposing corruption if no action was taken against those responsible for it. Responding to Chairman of COPE DEW Gunasekera, who shed light on corruption in some govt institutions, UNP MP John Amaratunga said COPE had failed to take follow-up action. "We commend Minister for efficient compilation of the report. Minister keeps filing reports more..

Envoys summoned over ‘unsatisfactory development’

Nov 14 (DM) The heads of diplomatic missions in Colombo have been called for a meeting on Wednesday to brief them on what the External Affairs Ministry describes as 'unsatisfactory development' regarding the Investigations on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Minister G.L. Peiris told Parliament when he took part in the committee stage of the budget debate on the vote of his ministry. He referred to an incident where more..

Ill-advised land grabs aggravate

Nov 14 (CT) Multinational companies and political elites have taken close to 100,000 acres of land used by smallholder farmers, pastoralists and other vulnerable groups in Sri Lanka in the last five years, Environmental Conservation Trust (ECT) Director, Sajeewa Chamikara, said. These lands have been used for extensive export crops and tourism projects, but in the process has destroyed the lives of thousands of farmers. In addition this has had a negative impact on food security. more..

More corrupt deals revealed

Nov 14 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), the National Paper Company Limited (NPCL) and SriLankan Airlines had suffered a loss of Rs. 40 billion last year, according to the Second Interim Report released to Parliament by the COPE yesterday. The CPC loss amounted to Rs. 7,732,818,000 while the NPCL and Sri Lankan Airlines incurred losses to the tune of Rs 109,684,000 Rs32,357,980,000 respectively, more..

It’s time for verdict of Court of the People?

Nov 14 (DM) In these days when the focus is on major constitutional and legal issues, Lady Justice also is watching and giving her own verdict, opinion or interpretation. Tradition tells us that the statue of Lady Justice, blindfolded and carrying the scales evenly, symbolises the fair and equal administration of the law, without corruption, avarice, prejudice, or favour. Lady Justice wears a blindfold to indicate that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favour, regardless of more..

Administratively low deposit rates

Nov 14 (CT) President Rajapaksa in Budget 2015 presented in Parliament last month, raised State bank deposit rates for senior citizens to 12% in order to give them a better deal. Whether this is being implemented is a matter for conjecture as official data, as provided by Central Bank of Sri Lanka's (CBSL's) weekly economic indicators is more focused on giving an update on lending rates, rather than on deposit rates. Sri Lanka's savings rates, according to CBSL's data, more..

Malefic pattern in skies bringing disasters

Nov 14 (ST) Take out your umbrellas, raincoats and arks – the coming weeks will see deluges that could lead to flooding and other natural disasters, climate experts warn. The rains ending the prolonged drought will come in full intensity and result in flash floods and more landslides, said climate expert S.A. Norbert, Professor in Geography at University of Colombo. He said the continued drought in parts of more..

A father’s fight for justice

Nov 14 (SL) January 2, 2006 is a day which will continue to haunt Dr Kasippillai Manoharan. On that day, his son Ragihar was among the five youth killed under controversial circumstances in Trincomalee. Eight years on Dr Kasippillai Manoharan is still seeking justice over his son’s death and he has vowed to continue to fight till justice is served. Dr Manoharan said he had taken a firm decision to challenge the authorities, more..

JVP leader and revolutionary Rohana Wijeweera’s demise 25 years ago

Nov 14 (DBS) Patabandi Don Nandasiri Wijeweera known to the world at large as Rohana Wijeweera was killed 25 years ago on Nov 13th 1989. The revolutionary leader of the JVP was 49 years old at the time of his death. The mastermind behind two bloody insurrections – in 1971 and from 1987 to 89 – was taken into custody on November 12th in the Kandy district and brought to Colombo. more..

Sajith backs down: Says ready to support Common Candidate

Nov 14 (AM) UNP Deputy Leader, who earlier strongly backed Ranil Wickremesinghe’s candidature to Executive Presidency, has now taken a step back, indicating he will support UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya or Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga if one of them contests as the common candidate at the upcoming Presidential Election. This statement comes just a few days after Premadasa attended the protest rally against more..