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Minors’ safety under threat: Rapists on the prowl

June 17 (CT) When people find that the authorities cannot prevent crimes, they seek the assistance of unseen gods. The burning problem in the Northern Province today is the escalation of sexual offences against schoolgirls. The number of schoolgirls who become victims of sexual offences is increasing daily. Another sexual offence was committed on a 13-year-old girl in the Achchelu area of Achchuveli, Jaffna recently. The girl had been be-friended by a youngster in the same area by more..

Degeneration of parliament & potential of electoral reform/s

June 17 (CT) What we know from history is that electoral reforms can empower people and bring change for democracy, social welfare and even development. Take our own example of 1931. Before that only the educated with property could elect a limited number of representatives to the Legislative Council. However, when the universal franchise was introduced with equal voting rights for women, the whole scenario changed. People became empowered. more..

Sri Lanka's forgotten 4.2%

June 17 (SO) Sri Lanka has long been synonymous with fine tea. With a plantation history dating back to 1862 and an export value estimated to reach US$ 2,500 million this year, the humble beverage is the island's pride across the globe. Accounting for nearly 14% of the country's total export earnings, it is among the nation's most valuable and prized produce. However, history has and might continue to overlook the most more..

2014 mayhem at Aluthgama

June 17 (CT) The incident of riots in Aluthgama that claimed lives and caused immeasurable damage to property will have its first anniversary yesterday. For Hakeem whose motor-shop was burnt, the anniversary is stark reminder of horrors of that fatal night. "My neighbour begged the STF on duty to protect this shop. It was total mayhem. There was a loss of Rs 10m." Hakeem toiled hard to earn a decent amount of money in order to start his motorbike showroom in Aluthgama, more..

Cut out balderdash & get on with an election

June 17 (CT) Watching the extended teledrama that is being played out in my home Country, there is nothing to do but cringe. Cringe in disgust and abject incredulity, that this type of nonsense is being tolerated! I was delighted to see that the most venerable Mahanayake Thero of the Malwatte chapter had told Mr. Kiriella to get on with it and cut out the rubbish, or words to that effect. It is this type of no nonsense leadership and guidance that we must look to from our religious leaders. more..

Sarath Kongahage golden memories...

June 17 (CT) Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to South Africa, Sarath Kongahage spoke to Mawbima about the ups and downs of his expansive career in local politics, his extensive work as a lawyer handling controversial cases and his involvement in the major incidents of the day alongside movers and shakers of domestic governance. In him there's much left to be utilized for the benefit of the country. more..

Legitimizing Vasu’s P – letter word

June 17 (SL) Going by media reports it does appear that the Maggie Noodle Controversy now raging in the neighbouring sub-continent is bound to be stirred up here too. The thinking among those who want to express solidarity with their Indian brothers and sisters is that if it something happens in our ‘original motherland’, it should be followed here. We do not subscribe to this original motherland concept. Our motherland is Sri Lanka and only Sri Lanka. As students of biology, evolution and associated more..

Editorial: Ready for another Bush?

June 17 (Island) Dynasticism is usually thought to be a political blight endemic to the developing world, especially countries like Sri Lanka, where virtually anything goes in politics. But, it hasn’t spared some advanced democracies as well albeit to a lesser degree. The US has had its share of dynastic politics. Another Bush—Jeb, the former Florida Governor—has declared he will run for president. Jeb apparently wants to play a messianic role; he has pledged to ‘fix America’, no less! more..

'Solheim shared his experience'

June 17 (CT) In the backdrop of TNA Spokesperson Suresh Premachandran stating that he had no knowledge of a meeting between TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, GTF's Suren Surendiran, former Peace Envoy Erik Solheim and Minister Mangala Samaraweera in London on 6 May, Ceylon Today questioned TNA MP Sumanthiran. Q: Can you elaborate what was this informal meeting in London with FM Mangala, more..

Unraveling the mystery of missing Tamils

June 17 (Island) The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration faces the daunting task of unraveling the mystery of missing Tamils, in accordance with Sri Lanka’s overall strategy to disapprove accountability issue, pertaining to war-time disappearances, as well as cases after the conclusion of the conflict, in May 2009. Of course, the focus is on those who had disappeared during the eelam war IV (August 2006-May 2009) and the post-war period. more..

Gambling with political volcano

June 17 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena is resting on the crest of a volcano nearly two months after the end of his 100 day programme. The main stakeholder of his ruling coalition, the UNP, has exerted pressure on the President to dissolve Parliament immediately to seek a fresh mandate for a govt. The UNP is likely to write a letter to the President requesting him to make a quick decision in this regard. The letter comes as a result of the UNP’s Working Committee meeting more..

LTTE and Narcotics

June 17 (Island) According to a report published in the 10 June 2015 issue of The Island, the Hon. C. V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister (CM) of the Northern Province, has asserted that the presence of Sri Lanka’s Army in Jaffna (peninsula) has contributed to a rapid spread of narcotics in the area, and that narcotics was never a problem during the war when the LTTE was around. The Chairman of National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, more..

Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan: From 1-6 to 5-0

June 17 (CI) 16 Tests between Sri Lanka and Pakistan since the beginning of 2009. Only Australia and England (20 Tests) have played each other more often during this period. Sri Lanka have the upper hand with a 6-2 win-loss record in these 16 Tests. 5-0 Sri Lanka's win-loss record against Pakistan in home Tests since the beginning of 2009. In eight Tests they've won five and drawn three; before 2009, they had a 1-6 win-loss record against them at home. more..

BOI responds to The Nation article

June 17 (NS) Board of Investment (BOI) has written a lengthy response to a news article titled Abans takes BOI to court and a comment titled Land grabbing yahapaalana style published in The Nation of May 31. The BOI sent this response late on June 5, and moreover the response was of a length that could not be accommodated. However, in response to these difficulties, the BOI has now sent us a shortened version of the reply to be published in this week’s print edition. more..

'Sri Lanka has potential to become e-chanelling hub in South Asia'

June 17 (Island) Sri Lanka has all the ingredients and potential to become an e-channeling hub in the region says a top authority. E channeling Director Gulmire Ablat said on the sidelines of their partnership with a premier travel firm in the country, Traveller Global, however, stressed that country needs to improve its infrastructure to tap more international clients. On their part they had covered 80 hospitals here, more..

Rs 10b capital requirement will squeeze banks

June 17 (CT) Upcoming banking regulations will pressure sector profitability, experts have warned. Central Bank is in the process of issuing new regulations, which will lead to a stricter credit approval process, which will result in slower credit growth, an equity research report said. Amongst these regulations is requirement to raise the minimum capital to Rs 10 billion rupees an Asia Securities Research report said. Asia securities' findings also indicate that more..

Indo – Lanka economic relations: Potential for a transformative leap

June 17 (AT) Pathfinder Foundation and Vivekananda International Foundation in India jointly made a statement based on recent visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi to Colombo. It says that Indo – Lanka economic relations: Potential for a transformative leap forward for both countries. The full text of the statement given bellow: Indo – Lanka economic relations are on the cusp of a transformative leap forward. Mr. Modi’s bilateral visit to SL, the first by an Indian PM in 28 years, more..

Sri Lanka will not default on off-budget borrowings from banks

June 17 (EN) Sri Lanka will not default on off-budget borrowings from banks by the last regime, though they did not appear to have parliamentary approval, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva has said. The Rajapaksa regime borrowed large volumes of money from state and private banks for state agencies including the RDA which does not generate revenue on its own. The borrowings did not have parliament approval. more..

Sri Lanka: A drop in the ocean

June 17 (TNT) Tucked away at the bottom of India and surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the island of Sri Lanka is a haven for wildlife, filled with solitary beaches and snorkelling opportunities, plates of spicy curries, bustling cities and temples galore. The usual mentality of people visiting Sri Lanka is to choose either the greenery and wildlife of the hill country and the north, or the relaxing vibe of the south, where all those beautiful beaches are. However, there’s no reason why a trip to SL more..

Lanka Lions Doha elects new office-bearers

June 17 (TP) 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Lanka Lions Doha was held on Friday. The programme began with the observation of a minute of silence in remembrance of a long standing member of the club K S Prasad who passed away recently. In his address the outgoing President Roshan Lokubalasuriya highlighted the activities of the club during his tenure and thanked the executive committee and membership for the support extended. more..

BIA targets Rs 15 b revenue this year

June 17 (DN) Bandaranaike Intentional Airport (BIA) is targeting a record revenue of Rs.15 billion for the 2015 year end. The Colombo airport earned Rs. 13 billion last year which saw 7.7 million passenger movements, Airport Aviation Services Chairman, Ananda Wimalasena said. The airport enjoys a monopoly and this was a big advantage. "We also paid Rs. 500 million to the Treasury as a dividend." more..

Chinese men with forged e-tickets deported

June 17 (DM) A dozen Chinese men who had obtained tourist visas to enter the country by producing forged return electronic tickets were nabbed by officers of the Department of Immigration and Emigration on Monday. The men who were staying at a lodge on the Marine Drive in Kollupitiya were taken into custody by the Intelligence and Investigation Unit of the Department. They had arrived in Colombo on June 3rd and 6th and stayed at the lodge in a discreet manner. more..

Sri Lanka international maritime forum to draw investors

June 17 (EN) Sri Lanka’s maritime industry aims to promote its new ports and position the island as a logistics hub for the rapidly growing Indian subcontinent by holding an international conference later this year. The Colombo International Maritime Conference (CIMC-2015) will be held during 24-26 Sept 2015 to coincide with the United Nations International Maritime Organisation International Maritime Day. “Our aim is to put Sri Lanka back on the world map,” said Rohan Masakorala, more..

China wants Sri Lanka's Science, Technology sector to progress

June 17 (CT) China and Sri Lanka are working together for a better future. Their partnership aims to boost the latter's science and technology sector, equipping it with the right resources for progress and development. China's move to help Sri Lanka comes amid the latter's attempts at fully nurturing its science and technology sector. Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama announced that China is providing assistance more..

Nestle to destroy noodles worth $50m

June 17 (BBC) Nestle says it will destroy more than $50m (£32m) worth of its hugely popular Maggi noodles, following a ban imposed by India's food safety regulator. India's food safety regulator says tests have found the instant noodles "unsafe and hazardous" and has accused Nestle of failing to comply with food safety laws. The company insists that the noodles are safe and is challenging the ban. Nestle has 80% of India's instant noodles market. The company said in a statement that more..

'Hambantota port needs to made viable'

June 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port should be transformed to a level of making profits as in the case of the Colombo Port, Ports and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. “We must make Hambantota a viable port and get it on the right track and develop it. This is the issue that is facing the Chairman and the directors,” Ranatunga said. “The unfortunate thing is that at the moment we have to pump the money earned from Colombo port to the Hambantota port,” he said. more..

Video: MS should have cracked down on pro-MR rallies: Hirunika

June 17 (DM) WPC Member Hirunika Premachandra said that if President Mithripala Sirisena had taken disciplinary action against those who had participated in the Nugegoda Rally which was held to promote former president Rajapaksa’s PM candidature, similar rallies would not have been held elsewhere later. Ms. Premachandra said that senior politicians in the party were setting a bad example to junior politicians like her by promoting more..

Daily FT partners UNDP Sri Lanka to empower young voices

June 17 (FT) United Nations Development Program [UNDP] Country Director Joern Soerensen and Daily FT Editor Nisthar Cassim signed a partnership agreement last week to enable space for young Sri Lankans to express their views and opinions on development issues related to youth. The Unlocked project, an initiative by UNDP Sri Lanka following the launch of the National Human Development Report [NHDR] 2014, is a youth and development-themed online platform exclusively for young voices. more..

Diyawadana Nilame announces Kandy Perahera programme

June 17 (Island) Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa Pradeep Nilanga Dela announced that the annual Esala Perahera of Kandy would be held from August 15 to August 30 in keeping with the custom. Kap planting at the Devales would take place on August 15 and the Perhera rituals would be held within the Devales till August 19. Annual historic pageant will be parading the streets from August 20 to August 24, followed by the Randoli Perahera on August 25. more..

Deranged thinking has led to killing of schoolboy

June 17 (Island) The Udawala police have arrested two suspects aged 18 and 21 in connection with the killing of a schoolboy (16), who was found lying with his throat slit in a shrub jungle adjacent to his school in that police area. One of the suspects taken into custody with trishaw is alleged to have killed the schoolboy as he wanted to become the boyfriend of the victim’s girlfriend. The victim, Hasitha Lakshan, a Grade Eleven student more..

SriLankan marks World Environment Day with flygreen

June 17 (Island) National Carrier, SriLankan Airlines launched its Voluntary Carbon Offset programme, flygreen coinciding with the World Environment day, recently. The official Environment Day event was held at Airline Centre, Katunayake with the participation of the staff members and students from nearby schools. Implemented under the Planet-friendly SriLankan initiative in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), this allows SriLankan passengers to neutralize more..

EU launches postcard campaign to promote gender equality

June 17 (FT) The delegation of European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland and Agenda 14 launched a postcard campaign on the Woman yesterday. This activity is one of many such initiatives the Delegation of the European Union has embarked upon to protect and promote gender equality. The campaign was launched by Ambassador to the EU David Daly and the representative from the Embassy of Switzerland by posting the first postcard. more..

Hambantota Hub under review

June 17 (NS) The CB Governor, Arjuna Mahendran last week said the govt is evaluating whether to continue or scrap some of the concepts such as the Hambantota Hub introduced by the previous govt. Under the previous regime’s five plus one hub concept to develop Sri Lanka, the district of Hambantota received special attention as it was to be transformed as the second major urban strategic hub of Sri Lanka. more..

India-Sri Lanka road link in the works

June 17 (DNA) Following the inauguration of Agartala-Dhaka bus service and signing of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal motor vehicle agreement, the Centre is also looking at connecting India and Sri-Lanka, Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday. The road connectivity, built across Palk Strait, could possibly a combination of a sea-bridge and underwater tunnel. The underwater tunnel will also allow movement of ships through it. more..

Aluthgamage seeks Parliamentary debate

June 17 (CT) Ex Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has asked for a debate in Parliament regarding the present situation that has arisen between International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Sports Ministry, where Sri Lanka is in danger of facing a ban from IOC. Aluthgamage has submitted a written request to the General Secretary of the Parliament asking for debate, where he explained that if the Sports Ministry failed to present the new amendments to sports law before Parliament more..

'Domestic inquiry will be credible'

June 17 (DM) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe vowed that the domestic inquiry, SL govt would launch to investigate the excesses allegedly took place at the final phase of the war, would for surely be a credible mechanism for the global as well as the local community. Commenting on the statement that has been made by the New York based INGO, Human Rights Watch (HRW) in Geneva that Sri Lanka should include more..

Who is working on separatist agenda?

June 17 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa while on his temple rounds has been claiming that terrorism was raising its ugly head again and the country was fast moving towards secessionism. But on most occasions he has not pointed to any indications of this so-called threat. However, he was specific as to on what grounds he has been instilling fear in the minds of the people on this threat in a letter he had sent to be read out to the crowd that had attended the 4th Bring back Mahinda meeting more..

Food waste and hunger

June 17 (DM) All over the world, tons of good food are thrown away while millions go hungry. But at least a few countries have taken steps to curb the waste, and there are several NGOs and other organizations worldwide fighting food waste and hunger in their own ways. France has passed a new law which makes it illegal for supermarkets to throw away food. They will also be prohibited from deliberately destroying unsold food so that the needy can’t eat it. more..

'SLFP will be defeat if Mahinda is fielded as the PM candidate'

June 17 (DM) Minister S.B. Dissanayake expressed his views on topical political issues and developments as well as the SLFP’s plans for the future. Here are some excerpts from the interview. Q: How is it that you have started writing kele pattara (scurrilous booklets)? A: What you are referring to is not a kele pattaraya. It is a publication brought out through the collective effort of several ministers. more..

'Sirisena will not prorogue Parliament'

June 17 (CT) SLFP believes that President Maithripala Sirisena will not contemplate proroguing the Parliament as it would constitute a total negation of the values underpinning the 19th Amendment, former Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said. We believe that the other reason is that Sirisena who is incidentally the Leader of the SLFP would not resort to the capricious use of the power of dissolution, in order to protect Leader of UNP more..