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MR undecided on supporting SLFP at polls

Nov 19 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he is still undecided on if he will support the SLFP at next Local Govt (LG) elections. Rajapaksa said that while some in the SLFP want his support there are others who are demanding that he retire from politics. He said that the public, however, now realize that they need him to solve their problems and he hopes the govt will do just that. Rajapaksa said that as a MP he has more..

Penang forum on search for peace in SL

Nov 19 (MK) Last year around November, the Penang Society of Advancement of Tamils (PSAT) organised an international conference on Tamils with the sub-theme of in search for an identity. One of the topics that were discussed was the extent of human rights violations in Sri Lanka and why the international community was dragging its feet in terms of investigation and punishing those responsible for crimes against humanity. This year, on Nov 21, PSAT will be organising more..

Cabinet Subcommittee on Sri Lankan identity

Nov 19 (CG) A Cabinet Subcommittee is to be appointed to provide guidance to implement various programmes within the year 2016 to protect Sri Lanka’s identity. It has been observed that it is essential to implement suitable programmes to have long lasting peace and reconciliation among the various communities living in Sri Lanka. Govt said that although, each community has its own unique cultural and religious characteristics, they should be able to live in the country more..

PMK demands fuller probe into torture centre

Nov 19 (PTI) A day after discovery of an illegal detention centre by UN experts in a SL naval base where Tamils were allegedly tortured, PMK demanded Centre to take steps to send an international team there for a comprehensive probe. "Central govt should take steps to send an international team to Sri Lanka to carry out a comprehensive probe into past and continuing torture centres and for punishing more..

President scrutinizes 2016 budget proposals

Nov 19 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena scrutinized the budget proposals for 2016 at the Presidential Secretariat today. Senior govt leaders attended this meeting where the draft budget proposals were discussed in detail with the President. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers Ravi Karunanayake, Malik Samarawickrama, Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran, Secretary to Ministry of Finance Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga and other officers participated in this meeting. more..

SL makes arrest over Maldives man assault

Nov 19 (Haveeru) Sri Lankan authorities have arrested a three-wheel driver over the attack on a Maldivian man in Colombo on Wednesday. Usman Nooraddeen, 45 of Thaa Atoll Vilufushi island remains in critical condition as he had suffered severe head trauma in the mugging, his family said. The driver had stolen USD6,000 and Rs.50,000 from Usman after the assault. A family member told Haveeru that Usman was attacked while he was on his way home after shopping. more..

Govt to probe UN working Group claims

Nov 19 (DM) Govt will investigate claims made by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID) including claims of a secret detention centre operated in Trincomalee where detainees had been allegedly tortured. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said UNWGEID had briefed Ministry officials on the conclusions and findings of their investigation prior to making revelations to more..

Deputy PM of Thailand calls on President

Nov 19 (PMD) Deputy PM of Thailand, Wissanu Krea-Ngam, who is currently on an official visit to Sri Lanka, called on President Maithripala Sirisena at President’s Official Residence. The Deputy PM brought back the Sacred Buddha Relics of the Mahiyangana Rajamaha Viharaya that was taken to Thailand for an exposition at the Buddhamanthan Temple in Thailand in parallel to the President Sirisena’s state visit to Thailand earlier this month to participate in a ceremony more..

ITN controversy: PRECIFAC proceedings postponed

Nov 19 (DM) Proceedings of the PRECIFAC on the ITN controversy were postponed for tomorrow. Evidence was to be recorded from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today in connection with the non-payment of money owed to the ITN. However, proceedings had to be postponed after the lawyers appearing for former president Mahinda Rajapaksa requested a document filed by the complainant. Former president Rajapaksa had not reported to the commission today. more..

Yahapalanaya: Govt justifies political appointments in SL missions

Nov 19 (DM) Though the new govt recalled all politically appointed heads and senior officials of Sri Lankan missions overseas back to the country, the govt had not said it would not make political appointments in the future, Foreign Ministry said. Responding to a question that eight out of the new 13 SL heads of missions appointed by the Ministry were political appointments, Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said govt more..

Cultural invasion: In the wake of the Abaya

Nov 20 (CT) Man in Buddhism is analysed into five aggregates or existences known as pañcupadānakkhandhā. One of which is the aggregate of perception (saññā). Perception arises from form (rūpa). The path leading to the cessation of wrong perception is the noble eightfold path i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. In several fora on multi-culturalism and co-existence even recently, more..

Why adults don’t see the children’s world

Nov 20 (CT) No one plays in doll houses that were made from sticks of bamboo and our mama's saree and linen, why? Because we have doll houses available in the super markets and toy shops. Parents don't help their child build a doll house or cook a meal with their toy cutlery and crookery. Why? Because, mom and dad are busy. We don't sit together and paint any more. Why? Because we adults are too busy trying to get along with life. We forgot to colour our children's lives. more..

'Professional police force, the aim'

Nov 20 (SO) National Police Commission (NPC) set up under 19th Amendment is a firm undertaking given to the electorate by National Unity Govt. NPC Chairman, Prof. Siri Hettige said they were looking at the entire Police service from a holistic perspective and addressing issues from a whole range of angles. He said a police service which is professional, high quality and receptive to public needs was the need of the hour. more..

Growing up alone

Nov 20 (CT) Growing up alone is hard; we can only imagine the hardships and the challenges a child has to face growing up as either orphans or with only one parent. Those challenges are somewhat lessened if you have siblings. But then there are other things to worry about like the responsibilities and the expectations that you have to live up to. Travelling Chaos interviewed several individuals who grew up with single parents or without both parents living with them more..

Nagadeepa & Nainathivu: Upholding all parts of the cultural mosaic

Nov 20 (CT) It has been reported that some Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members have initiated moves to change the name of Nagadeepa to Nainathivu, triggering polarization of opinion back to the feverish days of the TNA rallies in Vaddukkoddai (a town known even up to 1900 as Batakotte, marked as such in Dutch maps). That was a time when the gory verses of Kasi Ananthan calling for the blood of traitors were hailed as liberating poetry. more..

From slums to flats: The housing settlements in Colombo

Nov 20 (CT) Colombo, commercial capital of SL, is home to over 2M people with various classes of income. The population rate of Colombo is ever increasing as many people move into the city in search of better education and career opportunities. At present, the severe congestion on roads, increased pollution, and the scarcity of space for new constructions are some of the dire consequences of overpopulation in Colombo. more..

Prospects for good governance and national reconciliation post the August 17th elections

Nov 20 (GV) The genesis of this paper was a recent trip we took to Lanka as election observers for the August parliamentary elections. During the elections and after we had the opportunity not only to visit many cities in the north, east and the south but to speak to a cross-section of its inhabitants. What follows is the result of our observations, our reading and our discussions about Lanka, not just during our recent trip but also in the course of the past decade. Elections have given rise to optimism in some more..

A tribute to Rex de Silva: The gentleman journalist we all knew

Nov 20 (DN) It was with deep sadness and a sense of irreparable loss, that I learned about Rex’s illness and his death. He, together with the late D.B. Dhanapala, were my mentors in journalism. I first met Rex when Mano Muthukrishna Candappa, took me to the office of The Independent Newspapers to introduce me to the late Mr Dhanapala. She wanted me to take over her column as she was leaving on a long trip abroad. Mr Dhanapala took me on as a columnist without any hesitation and more..

Should private sector employees trust govt?

Nov 20 (CT) Millions of private sector employees will not permit the govt to waste EPF and ETF funds, President of Inter Company Employees Union and JVP Provincial Councillor, Wasantha Samarasinghe said, commenting on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's declaration that govt will amalgamate the EPF and ETF funds into a new national pension fund? In his economic policy statement, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe more..

Editorial: Sleeping with terrorists

Nov 20 (Island) The City of Light has been plunged into an abyss of darkness and despair. There seems to be no end in sight to its predicament with terrorists all out to carry out more strikes as if to recreate the sights and sounds of wartime Europe. Last week’s attacks in Paris have sent shock waves throughout not only Europe but also other parts of the world. They have jolted the British cities, especially London, into adopting unprecedented security measures. more..

Relevance of int'l laws in Geneva process

Nov 20 (Island) Evidence of derogation of Human Rights prevails in most countries because of threats from terrorism. For instance, the introduction of the Patriot Act of the US following the 2001 terrorist attack in New York curtails many civil liberties through invasive surveillance by the NSA. With the recent terrorist attack in Paris, security measures are bound to be strengthened in many countries resulting in the derogation of Human Rights. Attempts to dismantle PTA appear foolish more..

'It isn’t impossible to free SL of corruption'

Nov 20 (FT) Sri Lanka can be a country free of bribery and corruption, vouched Director General of the CIABOC Dilrukshi Dias Wickremesinghe. “I don’t know why I have so much of hope. I don’t know why I have this very strong conviction. But I know it is possible. We need to wake up the people. We need to get the people to believe that it isn’t impossible to make Sri Lanka a corrupt free country,” she emphasised. more..

Sri Lanka rugby community mourns Lomu

Nov 20 (CT) Sri Lankan rugby community also joined their world counterparts in mourning the death of late All Black great Jonah Lomu who died aged 40 on Wednesday in Auckland. Some of past greats of Sri Lanka rugby such as Dr. Maiya Gunasekera, distinguished referee Dilroy Fernando and former Sri Lanka winger turned rugby pundit Chandrishan Perera were unanimous in their praise of the once hulking New Zealand wing. They were all united in their appraisal of the former All Black flyer more..

15 years of Milinda on Sirasa/MTV

Nov 20 (FT) A special documentary entitled Abhimana – A 15-year journey with Sirasa will be broadcast on Sirasa TV on Saturday (21) at 10:30 p.m. This hour-long program will provide a retrospective of the wide array of public affairs programs created and presented by Milinda Moragoda over his 15-year association with Sirasa/MTV. Documentary was filmed on location on Kelani River and Kelaniya Raja Viharaya and will feature clips from his programs. more..

New club rugby season kicks off today

Nov 20 (Island) The 2015/16 Inter Club rugby season, which gets underway today, Friday, has a slightly open look. As the reigning champions, Kandy SC has got to be numero uno. Yet, looking at the composition of four other teams, a hard fought first round in the offing. One striking factor is that many players have changed clubs. The old fashioned club loyalty no longer exists. Services are provided to the highest bidder. more..

Plans to revive roof tile, clay industry

Nov 20 (DN) Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council plans to take immediate measures to resurrect the local red clay ceramic products (building bricks and roof tile) industry. Speaking at 12th AGM of SL Ceramics and Glass Council President Mahendra Jayasekera said the council has already taken measures to re-open all the closed down factories across the island. There were over 500 brick and roof tile manufacturing factories in the country using red clay for manufacturing in Sri Lanka. more..

No show by Karaliyadda, Ekanayake at MR's B' day ceremonies

Nov 20 (DN) Anuradhapura District MPs Tissa Karaliyadde and W B Ekanayake were conspicuous by their absence at the religious ceremony held at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura on Wednesday to mark the 70th birthday former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Karaliyadda and Ekanayake who are SLFP chief organisers for Medawachchiya & Anuradhapura West respectively were considered supporters of the Rajapaksa group of SLFP when they contested more..

Over 1,800 HIV positive people in hiding but spreading the virus

Nov 20 (FT) The National STD/AIDS Control Program of the Ministry of Health is requesting the public and private sectors to encourage their employees to do HIV tests, which are offered by Govt hospitals free of charge. Dr. Sisira Liyanage said that HIV screening through a simple blood test was important to save the lives of those who were living with HIV as early detection could prolong their lives. more..

Sri Lankan maestro on track for Kings clash

Nov 20 (NZH) Scores of cricket fans in Nelson will probably be thoroughly disappointed that Mahela Jayawardene will not make his debut for the Central Districts Stags today at Saxton Oval. But a Sri Lankan from Napier is somewhat reservedly chuffed his revered countryman's flight complications will see him now make his debut in Saturday's televised Georgie Pie Super Smash Twenty20 match at Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth, against the Canterbury Kings. more..

Bangladesh High Commissioner meets PM

Nov 20 (FT) Bangladesh High Commissioner Tarik Ahsan paid a courtesy call on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees yesterday. During the meeting, High Commissioner conveyed the greetings of Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He lauded the vision and commitment of the PM for reforms in the political and economic domains of Sri Lanka. He sought the support of the PM in the ongoing efforts for advancing bilateral cooperation cooperation more..

Sports Ministry audit report sheds light on fraud

Nov 20 (DM) An audit examination of the utilization of the provisions made for Ministry of Sports has uncovered several fraudulent activities running into millions of rupees in the Ministry. It has also found several financial irregularities at SL Cricket and the Football Federation of SL for the year 2014. According to the Annual Audit report for 2014, Sports Ministry has fraudulently purchased carom and draughts boards at Rs. 39 million more..

Samantha Power must recalibrate Washington’s Sri Lanka rhetoric

Nov 20 (TD) Samantha Power, America’s Ambassador to UN, is in India and Sri Lanka from Nov 18–23. In India, she’s set to meet human rights activists, members of civil society and senior government officials. On Nov 20, she’ll give a speech about UN peacekeeping. While far less significant on the geopolitical front, Power’s visit to Sri Lanka could be a tricky balancing act. Regarding the Sri Lanka portion of her trip, the U.S. mission to the UN has stated the following: more..

Electronic documentation can prevent corruption: Eran

Nov 20 (EN) SL customs and ports should urgently adopt a long-delayed electronic document processing which will not only help speed up commerce but combat corruption as well. “Keeping it electronic helps us to also deal with corruption problems that are endemic in this sector,” Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. “The customs and ports in Sri Lanka need to fully adopt, as a matter of urgency, electronic document processing to increase accuracy, speed and integrity of more..

Google makes traffic congestion maps available for Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (LBO) Google Maps has activated traffic information for Sri Lanka with useful congestion data for Colombo and other locations. Maps are available for any location where there is mobile data and slow-moving traffic, Malinthe Samarakoon, a developer for said. Available on Google maps for both mobiles and desktops, users have to click the menu option on the top left-hand corner of Google maps to select the traffic option. more..


Nov 20 (DN) SL Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) signed an MoU with the Japan Information Technology Service Industry Association (JISA). SLASSCOM CEO, Mano Sekaram said this is an historic occasion for Sri Lanka's ICT sector whose software now powers even global high-end solutions, including Microsoft's Live Search Engine. Sekaram said the ICT sector growth is continuous, even the workforce which is expected to be 200,000 strong by 2022. more..

Private sector told not to expect protection

Nov 20 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt will remove impediments to doing business to make companies more competitive but cannot continue to provide protection for local industry, a senior Industry and Commerce Ministry official said. “You can’t expect protection from the government all the time,” said T.M.K.B. Tennakoon, Secretary to the Ministry of Industry & Commerce. The govt was working on measures to remove bottlenecks faced by the private sector and reduce red tape, more..

New taxes on the cards warning by top biz persons

Nov 20 (Island) The govt will present its 2016 budget proposals today in parliament and the business community's expectation is that the budget would help their businesses while contributing to the development of the country in the medium and long terms. But some top businessmen raised the possibility of new taxes being slapped on the public. Minister Ravi Karunanayake will present the budget today which would be giving relief more..

Broadband subscriptions to reach 3.2 mn by 2019

Nov 20 (DN) Broadband subscriptions are forecast to reach 3.2m by 2019 in Sri Lanka, according to SL Telecommunications Report Q1 2016 Published by Business Monitor International. BMI report stated that over 74% of mobile phone subscriptions remain prepaid which limits the market for premium services, and average ARPU has declined steadily as operators compete aggressively on price. Further consolidation is likely in the mobile market will with telecoms tax eroding operator revenues. more..

Sujeewa says Sri Lankans expect too much too fast

Nov 20 (Island) Minister Sujeewa Senasinhe said that lawmakers and policymakers have got their act together with the backing of the active national govt to put all fronts on the right track to achieve substantial economic growth, but some citizens of the country are growing impatient to see the results far too quickly. "It’s going to be a meticulous process. It won’t yield results overnight. We have been able to address the hard part of the issues and are moving onto the next phase slowly more..

Video: I don’t think govt will scrap Exec. Presidency: MR

Nov 20 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday, in Kandy, that the executive presidential system would not be changed by this govt. “What I feel is that the Executive Presidency will not be changed by this govt,” he said. Former president told the media so after paying homage to Tooth Relic at Dalada Maligawa on the occasion of his birthday. He then had a discussion with Diyawadana Nilame more..