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322 drivers arrested during last 48-hour

Apr 13 (DM) A total of 322 drivers had been arrested by police across the country during the 48 hours between 6 am on Saturday and 6 am today, for driving under the influence of liquor. Police media unit said that of those arrested for driving while intoxicated, 125 were three-wheeler drivers while 150 were motorcycle uses. It also said that during last 24 hours ending 6 am today some 142 drivers were arrested by the police for driving under the influence of liquor. more..

Sri Lanka: China’s listening post in Indian Ocean

Apr 13 (EAR) When Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena recently visited China he was literally squeezed by the Chinese leaders not to review the Chinese investments and infrastructure projects in his country and secure Chinese interests. Sirisena had little room to manoeuere Sri Lanka is in a difficult financial situation. IMF rejected a request from SL govt for a US $ 4 billion loan to restructure debt payment on Chinese loans. Obviously, SL has been caught in a Chinese debt trap. more..

SLFP appoints new members to Central Committee

Apr 13 (AD) Replacing the sacked senior members, SLFP sources on Monday announced its bid to appoint five new members to the party’s Central Committee. A source close to the SLFP said that Western Provincial Councilors Hirunika Premachandra, Prasanna Solangaarachchi, Ediriweera Weerawardena, Ministers Arjuna Ranatunga, Nandimithra Ekanayake have been appointed to the Committee. more..

Drinking water contamination in Jaffna; reactions & responses

Apr 14 (CT) Hon’ Governor, Hon’ Ministers, Hon’ Members of the Provincial Council, Hon’ Chairmen of Piradesa Sabais, my dear officials and others! Due to the technical nature of this meeting let me converse with you in the English language. I am thankful to the Hon’ Governor for his preliminary address. As a prelude to mine let me state hear clearly that I believe drinking water is right to life. We must on our part find a solution to any problem which affects this right because more..

Weaknesses and vulnerability of external finances

Apr 14 (ST) Sri Lanka’s external finances are weak owing to the large foreign debt and persistent large trade deficits. The huge trade deficits are in turn due to weaknesses in the import and export structures. The character and composition of imports make it difficult to reduce imports, while the concentration of exports in a few commodities makes them susceptible to external shocks. These features render the external fortunes of the country vulnerable to vagaries of more..

Food safety: Be Warned!

Apr 14 (SO) Coloured sweetmeats somehow find their way into many Avurudu tables. It’s just two days more for Avurudu and mass scale sweetmeat producers are everywhere tempting customers to purchase these brightly coloured sweetmeats. ‘Beware’ is the keyword. The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) cautions the public against purchasing bright coloured, mass produced sweetmeats from wayside eateries, more..

New Year’s potencies for reconciliation

Apr 14 (NS) The hymns that go with the swing, onchili varam, they plead favour from Sun and Moon: Saranai saranai Irudevi saranaayi —Saranai saranai Sanda devi saranaayi Scholars believe that the indication for veneration of the ‘Sun God’ by the Sinhala/Buddhists is only a borrowing from Hinduism. Others recognize the homage paid by the Sinhala Buddhists to Sun and Moon from ancient times as uninspiring and weak. They trust that worship of Sun was prevalent then. more..

Do we know the real meaning of New Year?

Apr 14 (NS) It’s the time of seasonal offers and sales, and stores are packed to the brim with people. People await the koel’s arrival and the fragrance of sweetmeats fills the air. While litha are carefully read and followed, there are also the New Year festivals (Avurudu uthsava) that are organized in towns, schools, institutions and companies. However, is the meaning or the purpose of the New Year celebrations being forgotten by people? Is the youth of our country unaware of more..

Who stole the New Year?

Apr 14 (SO) Children, in some western cultures are at times troubled by a horrid nightmare: what if someone were to Steal Christmas? That kind of scare can grip the innocent child-mind, in proportion to the hopes and aspirations that keep on getting built up, from their earliest days on, about the promise of Christmas. They are made to believe, that Christmas arrives with all the good things a child can yearn for. more..

Best time to pass 19th amendment is now

Apr 14 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has been making a unique contribution to political developments in Sri Lanka. He backed the passage of the 19th Amendment to the constitution to transfer a significant portion of the presidential powers he enjoys back to Parliament and to the Prime Minister. Since the presidential election of 1995 the winning candidate at all successive presidential elections has promised to abolish the executive presidency. But once they won, the winners deemed more..

19A: The good, the bad and the unknown

Apr 14 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday finally broke his silence on the subject of dissolution of parliament, indicating that it would take place after the anticipated passage of the 19th Amendment Bill, which is to be debated in Parliament on April 20 and 21. At an event in Polonnaruwa he remarked that the prevailing confusion in the political arena would be resolved with the general election. He gave no time frame. There is still some uncertainty amongst more..

Powerboat sport revs up in Sri Lanka

Apr 14 (ST) Lanka Powerboat Association (LPA) joined hands with the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) in introducing and promoting Powerboat sports in Sri Lanka. This was revealed at a press briefing at the Olympic House Auditorium last Wednesday. A team of foreign trainers are in Sri Lanka and had already staged a display race showing F2 powerboats in action on Beira Lake recently. more..

Mahinda: Still the hope of the country

Apr 14 (Island) With the January presidential election, we have been pushed, for good or bad, to the most decisive moment in the political history of this country since 1948. The end of British colonial rule in that year, the ‘revolution’ of 1956, the promulgation of the republican constitution of 1972, the establishment of the executive presidency and the introduction of the open market economic system in 1978, the unavoidable suppression of two armed attempts at a Marxist revolution more..

Police arrest suspects involved in JVP /FSP clash

Apr 14 (ST) The police arrested 19 suspects alleged to have been involved in a clash between the supporters of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) at Gannoruwa in Peradeniya. Police Spokesperson ASP Ruwan Gunasekara told local media that the clash which took place last night, had injured four persons who were admitted to the Peradeniya Teaching hospital. The arrested individuals are to be produced before the Kandy Magistrate today. more..

Sri Lanka police in Jaffna criticised for arrest and intimidation of journalists

Apr 14 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Free Media Movement (FMM) condemn the heavy-handed action of Sri Lankan police in charging a freelance journalist on April 8 in Jaffna. The IFJ said this attack on press freedom appeared to be aimed at intimidatintg the media. According Jaffna based Uthayan, journalist N Logathayalan who writes for the newspaper was arrested and charged following more..

Can Sirisena deliver on reforms?

Apr 14 (TD) In early January, Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa was thrown out of office. Rajapaksa, a two-term president who had ruled since 2005, allegedly abused state resources throughout the election campaign and few predicted he would lose. Though Rajapaksa still won a majority of Sinhalese votes (the overwhelming ethnic majority in a country whose population exceeds 20 million), Sri Lankans from all walks of life were simply fed up with a regime that had been plagued by corruption, more..

Who can dissolve local councils?

Apr 14 (CT) Bring Back Mahinda (BBM) campaign gains momentum day by day. Local councillors have become the engines of this movement. They have not been deceived by so called good governance, as they do not closely associate the govt's top brass. They exactly know the pulse of the people and immense popularity of President Rajapaksa. Hence, they are very active in the BBM organizing rallies and religious ceremonies. In other words, they have now become a big headache to the govt, more..

Video: Miliband will push for war probe

Apr 14 (CT) Ed Miliband has vowed to continue to push for a full, independent, international inquiry into the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka. In a video message for Tamil New Year, the leader of the Labour Party reiterated his support for accountability in Sri Lanka and promised that he would advocate for the Tamil cause – “we, in the Labour Party, know our responsibility to the more..

Death knell for the wild donkeys

Apr 14 (ST) The wild donkeys of Kalpitiya may soon become extinct with the area getting urbanized fast. With the sand dunes and the lagoon areas being taken over for industrial purposes, the favourite haunts of the wild donkeys are disappearing. Suddenly the animals which used to haul salt in the past are being seen as a hindrance to human development. Deprived of large plains they used to roam and fast expanding human habitat the animals have been left entrapped & confused. more..

Asian Cricket Council to be dissolved or merged with ICC

Apr 14 (PO) The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will no longer be working as an independent organisation for running the game of cricket in Asian countries, it is reliably learnt here. According to the highly placed sources in Malaysia, the ACC’s Head Quarter office will no more be functioning after June this year. “Only the two departments of the ACC (a) Finance department and (b) Tournament & Event management will operate from Singapore”, the source added. more..

McMaster student’s short film thesis will screen at Cannes festival

Apr 14 (OW) A McMaster student's creative approach to a master's thesis will premičre at the Cannes International Film Festival this year. The emotional 15-minute docudrama, written and directed by 32-year-old French master's student Charmini Kankanamalage, plays as a message to the unborn son of a SL mother struggling to dissect her thoughts after leaving her war-torn country. "I did not want my thesis on a shelf in a library," more..

Over 600 arrested for drunk driving

Apr 14 (AD) Police have arrested 605 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol following special operations launched in view of the festive season. The arrested persons include 291 motorcyclists, 240 three-wheeler drivers, 24 car drivers, 20 lorry drivers and 8 van drivers. Police said that 4 private bus drivers and one Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) driver have also been arrested on DUI charges. A total of 283 motorists were arrested within the 24 hours from more..

Team bowled out for 31, still wins match

Apr 14 (CC) Most teams would consider a match to be in the bag after bowling the opposition out for 31. Incredibly, Galle Cricket Club recovered from the dismal first-innings total to win by four runs and save themselves from being relegated from Sri Lanka’s first class competition. Sent in to bat by Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club in a crucial match to decide which team would drop out of the Premier Championship at the weekend, Galle were toppled for 31 in 15.1 overs thanks largely to the bowling of more..

New Year will bring communities closer together: Cameron

Apr 14 (DM) British PM David Cameron has expressed hope that this Sinhala-Tamil New Year will bring communities closer together in helping to heal the wounds of the past in Sri Lanka. “I’m sure many people celebrating today will be thinking of loved ones overseas, especially in Sri Lanka. When I met with President Sirisena in Downing Street last month I offered my support for the steps his govt has begun to take to more..

Sri Lanka Today: Whither Bound?

Apr 15 (CT) I am not about to open this piece with a synopsis of progress within the first one hundred days that the current government set as the time-frame within which it would achieve a set number of goals. The reason? I didn’t think then and have no reason whatsoever to change my mind now about the fact that those kinds of timelines make absolutely no sense given the quagmire of corruption out of which it was necessary to extract this country. more..

Avurudu thoughts: An unprecedented situation

Apr 15 (CT) In a splendidly timed gift for Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Ed Miliband, the head of the British Labour Party, the Leader of the Opposition and a possible Prime Minister of the UK after the general election this year, pledged to push for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. He did so in what he chose to call a Tamil New Year message. “I want to wish everyone in the Tamil community a Happy New Year. The Labour Party has always been a friend of more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast: Episode 10

Frangipani : Opening ourselves to dialogue

Apr 15 (GV) Frangipani is a Sinhala film made in Sri Lanka in 2014 written, directed and produced by Visakesa Chandrasekaram, a Sydney-based lawyer and creative writer. While it is an important and welcome addition to the genre of queer film in South Asia, it would be doing it a disservice to label it just as a gay flick. Rather it is an exploration of complex sexual identities, desire, fate and the role that socio-cultural and economic factors and realities play in the lives of those who do not fit more..

New Year bonanza from India

Apr 15 (CT) Realizing a pledge by Indian PM Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the country, programme to provide on arrival visa for Sri Lankans travelling to India began today (14 April). Sri Lanka is the 44th country to obtain on arrival visa privileges from India. Sri Lankans who arrive in ports of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thrivendram, Cochin and Goa will be able to obtain a 30 Day visa on arrival. PM Modi noted during his visit to Sri Lanka that more..

Number Plate scam comes to light

Apr 15 (SL) Glaring evidences have surfaced to prove that the former Govt had awarded a tender to supply number plates and stickers to the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) in a manner which has cost the country millions of rupees. There are also allegations that the contracting company had links with a powerful politician of the former Govt. Bypassing the govt tender procedure, the cabinet appointed Procurement and more..

The colors of Avurudu

Apr 15 (NS) April is a time of festivities, celebrations, the coming together of people, following of tradition, and as of late, the favorite time of the year for profit-seekers. While in the past, people of a neighborhood or village came together to play many games like Kanamutti or tug o’ war, today, these Avurudu kreeda are held by organizations that raise awareness about Sri Lankan culture and tradition, but also seem to commercialize it. However, as much as the New Year has more..

What is politics?

Apr 15 (NS) Dr. Amarasekara is turning politics into a novel or short story. For MR politics is a teledrama. For Champika politics is a fairy tale. For Wimal politics is a folk tale. For RW politics is an absurd drama. For Nimal Siripala politics is a court case. For Prof Nalin politics is an equation where unlike in mathematics he can obtain any answer he wants and where he can use his chathuskotika too. Champika is now acting as an opposition leader to RM. Chandrika now is now more..

The drones of Moratuwa

Apr 15 (RM) Drones play a pretty important role in the world we see today – although few of us have ever actually seen one in the flesh, almost everyone on the Internet knows they exist. From UAVs like the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator (a product of the United States Air Force) to science fiction from Interstellar, drones are pretty much a part of the modern public consciousness. But what’s Sri Lanka been doing in this field? more..

Flaming hell....what a neck!

Apr 15 (WP) A traditional fire dance was one of many highlights as the South East Sri Lankan Irish Association celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil New Year last Wednesday at Gorey Civic Square. Members of the local Sri Lankan community were welcomed to the civic offices by Wexford County Council chairman Malcolm Byrne and vice chairman of the Gorey Municipal District Joe Sullivan. The event began with a traditional procession and ceremony during which children placed more..

More showers today as well-Met Dept.

Apr 15 (DM) The Met Department has warned that showers or thundershowers will occur at several places over the island during the afternoon or evening today and requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity. “Showers will occur in the coastal areas from Kankasanturai to Pottuvil via Trincomalee and Batticaloa during the morning too. There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers. more..

Ban on playing in Chennai hurts Punjab's Panda

Apr 15 (ENS) It’s been two years since a Sri Lankan played at Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai in the IPL, because of political reasons. There have been changes in leadership at the top, diplomatic talks have taken place and the fishermen problem across Palk Strait seems to have been solved, without anything on Sri Lankans not playing in Chennai. Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera and Lasith Malinga are the only Sri Lankans more..

Confounding the confusion or confronting the same?

Apr 15 (SL) It’s anybody’s guess why PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his UNP did not press home the tactical advantage provided by the Govt’s parliamentary defeat on a finance bill, and call the Opposition bluff (?) on facing/not facing early polls, which have anyway been promised to be ordered on 23 April. They could have then asked the people for a mandate for the UNP and its committed allies from the past to give the nation a stable and functional govt, unlike the circus that the present one more..

Sports minister slams former SLC officials, calls them traitors

Apr 15 (IC) Minister Navin Dissanayake has claimed that officials from the previous Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) administration are colluding with the ICC to move against Sri Lanka's recently-appointed interim committee. Dissanayake took to social media to lash out at two former officials, whom he did not name but referred to as devious and unscrupulous. "These traitors would do anything to safeguard their position," he wrote on Facebook. "We are being vigilant but I intend to expose these two more..

'Sending IPKF to Sri Lanka was high level policy failure'

Apr 15 (PTI) Union Minister General (retd) V K Singh said that the decision to send the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka in 1987 was "a high level policy failure". "The decision to deploy the IPKF in Sri Lanka was a high-level policy failure," the former Army chief said at an event to discuss his autobiography titled 'Courage and Conviction' here. "It was a policy failure that Govt of India and SL had entered into an agreement, more..

Sri Lanka: The more things change...

Apr 15 (FL) There may be a nostalgic colouring to this, but well into the 1980s it seemed that there was a vibrant public intellectualism in force in Sri Lanka that engaged with the ethnic question in a reasoned, bold and fair-minded manner. Scholars like Kumari Jayawardena, Karthigesu Sivathamby, Charles Abeysekara, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Sunil Bastian or V. Nithiyanandan and politicians of the calibre of Colin De Silva or Neelan Tiruchelvam sought to understand and bridge or transcend more..