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Where have we gone wrong?

Oct 10 (CT) Rape, murder, abuse and neglect have become such a normal part of human society, that we see it almost every day, everywhere. The entire country knows and sometimes even religiously follows cases like Seya Sadewmi's or Vithya's rape, mutilation and murders because they received the required amount of media coverage. Rape, murder, abuse and neglect have become such a normal part of human society, more..

Editorial: Haka vs Sipi Tau

Oct 10 (Island) A protest threw Parliament into turmoil on Thursday again with the government big guns and the UPFA rebels locking horns over a statement former Minister Dinesh Gunawardena sought to make on the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The protesters took exception to two terms, pimps and gypsies, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe used to describe some Opposition MPs. Interestingly, the ruckus occurred on the very day a live telecast of parliamentary proceedings began. more..

Clarifications on Geneva 2015

Oct 10 (Island) It seems to me that there are certain essentials on which we should focus in the aftermath of the recent UNHRC Resolution at Geneva. One, as I argued in my last article, is an incontrovertible fact about which there should be no argument at all: every civilized society has sanctions against crime, and in so far as we fail to apply them we have to be regarded as to that extent a quasi savage society. That fact is not altered one jot by the fact that there may be a hundred and one infirmities more..

Pimping and tribal issues shake Parliament

Oct 10 (Island) Whatever its record in legislative practice, our Parliament is certainly building a big reputation about the use or not of parliamentary language. It is interesting to see that the PM is at the centre of these controversies, which lead to major disturbances, chaos and even walkouts from the August Assembly. Another matter of interest is that it is P words – letters beginning with the letter, which is the initial letter of Parliament, too, more..

Biorobotics projects at Uni of Moratuwa

Oct 10 (ST) Robots, Robotics, Robotic Technology are well known terms to the modern society, but what is Biorobotics? In short it is the development of biologically inspired robots. In the world-wide context it has become a hot topic over the last decade among reseachers and engineers. As a country where do we stand in this technological saga? This column discusses about biorobotic related projects currently being conducted at University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. more..

Asian Seven Series: 3rd leg kicks off today Tuskers go for jugular

Oct 10 (CT) Sri Lanka will look to exploit the home advantage when the big boys from Asia scrum down for regional supremacy in the third leg of the Asian Seven Series which kicks off at the Race Course Rugby Stadium in Colombo today. Sri Lanka finished fourth in the two previous legs held in China and Thailand respectively. In fact they defeated one of the tournament favourites, China in the second leg. SL Sevens captain, Fazil Marija said win against China gives his team a lot of confidence. more..

Rumeshika stamps her class, hurdlers produce thrillers

Oct 10 (Island) Fierce competition in the Under-19 girls’ and boys’ hurdles finals and the record breaking solo sprint of Rumeshika Ratnayake topped second day’s performances of the All Island Schools Games Athletic Championships at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium on Friday. St. Joseph’s Balika, Kegalle sprinter Rumeshika was a cut above her rivals as she finished metres ahead of others to win gold more..

Rerturning Lakmal impresses on rain-hit day

Oct 10 (CI) The West Indians had slipped to 127 for 6 by stumps on a weather-curtailed first day at the SSC. Both seamers and spinners had substantial aid from the surface, and overcast conditions aided them further. Suranga Lakmal marked his return to competitive cricket after an injury layoff, with two wickets for 10 runs from his 11 disciplined overs. Suraj Randiv, however, was even more impressive, extracting very sharp turn to claim 3 for 33 from his 13 overs. more..

Is Sri Lanka ready for Digital Health?

Oct 10 (ST) My column last month on how Google Loons and a Cloud Based Health Record System can transform healthcare in Sri Lanka attracted much attention. I received emails from across the world, all positive. It was even posted on a LinkedIn group Healthcare Board with the caption “Is Sri Lanka ready for Digital Health?” My answer to that is, “Yes we are, but we need the political commitment to make it happen, it is too important to leave it in the hands of a few enthusiastic more..

SL v WI: Low ranked Test series sans Stars

Oct 10 (NS) A Test series between two teams Sri Lanka and West Indies devoid of superstars and both teams nearly at rock bottom in the ICC Test rankings will commence at the Galle International Stadium on Wednesday for the Sobers-Tissera trophy. The two teams have a lot in common going into the two-Test series. They find themselves in a transitional stage with two young captains at the helm – Angelo Mathews for SL aged 28 more..

Jaffna holds second A-PAD SL symposium

Oct 10 (FT) The international symposium Public-Private Partnership Towards Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development, organised by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD) was held in Jaffna on 5 Oct. Over 150 delegates participating from Korea, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines alongside participants from Sri Lanka’s private sector. Chief Guest at the event was Jaffna’s District Secretary V. Vethanyagam and more..

Sri Lanka Tourism launches Community Aid Tourism with Olympic Gold medallion

Oct 10 (DM) Tourism is one of the most important industries for a country not because one in eleven people are employed or because 1.8 billion people have travelled the to some part of the world. Why it is important is because Tourism is about new ideas, new themes and new dreams. This brings hope to a country and it's people. This is where Tourism becomes centre stage in today's Sri Lankan Economy said Dr Rohantha Athukorala Chairman of the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau when more..

Fiscal program for 2016 under zero-based budgeting

Oct 10 (Island) Sri Lanka’s 2016 fiscal program will be presented under the more effective zero-based budgeting system. It will be presented to parliament on Nov 20 by Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Finance Ministry sources said. "The new method and its benefits, along with the ills of previous practices, came under discussion at a Cabinet meeting, where preparations for the 2016 budget were approved, sources said. more..

Hashan wants to be SL batting coach

Oct 10 (CT) Former Test Captain, Hashan Thilakaratne said he applied for the post of batting coach with Sri Lanka Cricket. He feels they could use his experience and knowledge for the benefit of Sri Lankan cricket. Speaking to Ceylon Today, Hashan further said "I thought of applying for this coaching stint because I see it as a duty. I played for a long time and benefited from the game, and I think I can help take Sri Lanka cricket forward, I have a duty to do that." more..

SL Schools Karate Do Team third in Iran

Oct 10 (Island) The Sri Lanka Schools Karate Do team emerged third at the 2015 Euro-Asian Open Karate Championship Persian Gold Cup Tournament that was organised by the Iran Karate Do Federation. This was held in Teheran, Iran on Sep. 17th and 18th. Iran came first and Azerbaijan second respectively. Twenty boys and eight girls representing 17 schools participated in the Sri Lanka team. They also won three gold medals, 12 silver medals and 26 bronze medals. more..

'When freedom of press ensured it is responsibility of journalists to write the truth'

Oct 10 (PMD) When the new Govt work with the media ending the era of disappearances, white vans abductions and interferences of any kind, the responsibility of the media is to not to isolate the Govt politically, said President Maithripala Sirisena. He made these observations participating at the 60th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Press Association held at BMICH today (9). When the Govt ensures the freedom of the press more..

Berendina receives award from SL-UN friendship organization

Oct 10 (FT) Berendina Development Services (BDS) received an Institutional Excellence Service award from Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organization (SUNFO) recently. This award was presented to Berendina at a Special Workshop and Prize Giving ceremony organized by SUNFO to concur with Global Goals for Sustainable Development Action day which fell on 24 Sept. SUNFO selected five institutions from five provinces that has partnered with them in educating more..

Veteran coach Lionel Mendis passes away

Oct 10 (DN) Veteran cricket coach Lionel Mendis passed away at the age of 80 yesterday. He is considered as one of the most illustrious coaches in the country with a long list of students learning to play quality cricket under him, including the World Cup winning former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. Mendis had his formative education at Dharmashoka College, Ambalangoda and represented the school at all levels in cricket before joining Richmond College, Galle. more..

Plain packaging for cigarettes

Oct 10 (NS) After having successfully implemented the anti-tobacco legislation of mandatory 80% pictorial warning on cigarette packets, the Ministry of Health’s next objective is to remove all branding from tobacco products, and to enforce plain packaging of cigarettes. Dr. Thilak Siriwardana said that such legislation would allow only a small space for the brand name to be visible on tobacco packaging. more..

Spotlight on Sri Lanka: 10th annual Seattle South Asian film festival

Oct 10 (NWAW) The 10th Annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival (SSAFF), opening on October 15th, showcases Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), an island country near southeast India. The Tasveer organization, parent organization of the SSAFF, chose Sri Lanka to showcase for several reasons, according to Dr. Alka Kurian, co-director of the Festival. The Festival wanted to “acknowledge the strides that the country’s film industry has made over the years.” more..

Brandix supports national initiative in occupational safety and health

Oct 10 (FT) Sri Lanka’s efforts to promote occupational safety and health at workplaces across the island are to be supported by the country’s single largest apparel exporter Brandix as principal sponsor of the 2015 National Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) week. Organised by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Ministry of Labour, this year’s National Occupational Safety and Health week is scheduled to be held from 12 to 16 Oct, more..

Video: Ekneligoda case: Four police officers re-noticed

Oct 10 (DM) Court of Appeal directed four police officers to show cause as to why they were not present in court despite being noticed on Sept 28. Justice Vijith Malalgoda (President) directed that notice be re-issued on the four police officers returnable on Oct 16 in respect of the Habeas Corpus applications filed on behalf of four army personnel who were arrested and detained in connection with disappearance more..

Too much TV interviews results in disqualification

Oct 10 (CT) Too much TV Interviews has resulted in disqualification of promising sprinter Pramod Piyumika of Kirillawala Central School after he established a new meet record of 23.27 seconds in the under 15 boys 200M of the ongoing All Island School Games. Piyumika was interviewed by two state-run and one leading private TV channel just a few minutes before his semi-finals. Piyumika seemed to have enjoyed too much attention and had not been able to focus on the event. more..

MS reply on CC is humorous: Gammanpila

Oct 10 (FT) PHU Leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila said that the reply letter sent by President Sirisena regarding the Constitutional Council (CC) appointments was amusing. Gammanpila had sent a letter to President Sirisena on Monday asking for his reasons behind the appointment of the JVP Propaganda Secretary and MP Vijitha Herath for the CC as the representative of other parties. Issuing a reply letter President Sirisena has said that Herath was nominated more..

Arjuna rejects nepotism charge on SLPA

Oct 10 (NS) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga stated if his brother had enough qualifications to be Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), then family connections should not be a barrier to him being appointed to the post. Ranatunga was speaking in response to a query on reports that his elder brother Dammika was on the list of names that he had submitted to President Sirisena regarding the appointment. more..

UNP, SLFP to meet President on electoral method

Oct 10 (CT) The UNP and the SLFP are planning to hold talks with President Maithripala Sirisena, subsequent to making a final decision at party level, on the electoral method under which the forthcoming local government elections should be conducted. Both factions in the SLFP, those who have joined the national government and those representing the opposition, have declared that the local government elections should be held under the divisional system. However, as the UNP has declared that more..

Smuggled biscuits, chocolates from UAE detected during raid

Oct 10 (Island) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) detected a stock of biscuits and chocolates imported from the UAE and Saudi Arabia in violation of the CAA Act during a raid conducted at Dehiwela. According to the CAA Act, maximum retail price, date of manufacture, supplier’s, importer’s and distributor’s names and addresses should be printed on the packs of sweets (HS code 1704), biscuits (HS 1905), Chocolates (HS 1806), toilet soap (HS 3401) and cake (HS 1905). more..

Vehicle imports to drop by about 90% after govt regulations: Official

Oct 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's vehicle imports will drop by at least 90% after the govt changes the way it calculates the value of certain motor vehicles. Indian Ocean island nation is trying to discourage unnecessary imports in a move to prevent dollar outflows and further weakening of the rupee currency. Pressure on the currency has intensified after the central bank effectively floated it on Sept 4. It has fallen 4.6% since then. more..

Permission sought to obtain Seya's blood sample

Oct 10 (DN) Genetech Molecular Diagnostics Research Institute (GMDRI) yesterday requested the Minuwangoda Magistrate to grant permission to obtain a blood sample of Seya Sadewmi, 5, who was abducted, raped and killed last month, from the JMO who conducted Seya's post-mortem. The request was made through the CID. Minuwangoda Chief Magistrate on Thursday granted permission to perform a DNA test on Seya's father, responding to request by the GMDRI. more..

Sumanthiran calls for ban on bottom trawling

Oct 10 (CG) TNA MP M A Sumanthiran urged the Govt to ban bottom trawling. He made the request when the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters was discussed in Parliament today. He said that while there are regulations on bottom trawling that will not solve the problem faced by Sri Lankan fishermen. Sumanthiran said that bottom trawling has led to marine resources in South Indian waters being affected and so Indian fishermen are now poaching in Sri Lankan waters. more..

China cautiously optimistic about Port City

Oct 10 (FT) Visiting Chinese Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin warned that further suspension of the Port City project could indicate an unhealthy investment environment in Sri Lanka. Liu said SL had to honour the contract signed by both parties. “Port City project is a sign of the investment environment here in SL. SL side has already signed the contract. They have to do the needful to fulfil investor interests. more..

Death to death penalty

Oct 10 (DM) Amid growing calls and even a private member’s motion in Parliament for the reimplementation of the death penalty in the aftermath of the brutal rape and killing of a five-year-old girl in Kotadeniyawa, we mark today the International Day against the Death Penalty. In these modern and hopefully enlightened times, the death penalty is a complex issue with religious, moral and emotional aspects with lots of grey areas. Issuing a statement to mark the day, more..

A vociferous leader turned silent

Oct 10 (DM) There is increasingly vocal criticism internationally and here in Sri Lanka of Burma’s (Myanmar) opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for not doing enough for the country’s democracy, and for not intervening on behalf of the country’s persecuted minorities, in particular the Rohingya Muslims. Her silence, it has been suggested, is highly unbecoming of a Nobel Peace Prize winner and champion of human rights. But Suu Kyi isn’t silent on these issues due to lack of concern. more..

Gamage refusing to vacate

Oct 10 (SL) Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, J Dadellage, in a letter dated August 26, to former UPFA MP, Piyasena Gamage, has urged him to return his official bungalow at B-63, Keppettipola Mawatha, Colombo 5 by August 26. However, the former MP said that it is illegal to ask any govt official to vacate the official residence for three months after relinquishing office but added that he has not received any such more..

RTI bill: Right to publication a must

Oct 10 (SL) Sri Lanka’s govt is expected to present its Right to Information (RTI) bill to Parliament in the coming weeks. Having promised to introduce the bill back in January this year, the delay over its presentation raised a few questions as to whether or not the new regime was genuine in ensuring transparency. As such, the announcement that the bill is to be presented will be welcome by many section of Sri Lanka’s civil society. more..

Biodiversity conservation gets a big boost

Oct 10 (ST) Business and conservation, inextricably linked to each other, will be taken to a higher level with the launch on Tuesday of Biodiversity Sri Lanka with a clear focus on national priorities. It would also see the metamorphosis of the Sri Lanka Business and Biodiversity Platform (SL B&B Platform) set up under the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) with no legal status to Biodiversity Sri Lanka, an autonomous body more..

Sri Lanka Army turns 66 years today

Oct 10 (SLA) Sri Lanka Army, the country’s most sought service provider and the pride of the Nation that boasts unmatched achievements turns 66 years of age on Saturday (10) which is also regarded as the Army Day. With its humble beginnings as then Ceylon Army in the year 1949, and later changed to be called the Sri Lanka Army since 1972 after the country became a Republic, its life-span of 66 years records more..

Grade one classes to be limited to 35

Oct 10 (DM) Education Ministry stated that Supreme Court order to limit Grade One classrooms to a maximum of 35 students will be enforced in govt schools from 2017 by reducing the number of admissions annually. Additional Secretary of Education Ministry H.U. Prematilake said though the court order was obtained to cut the number of grade one students to 35, they had identified several problems that had arisen when the rule was more..

'Sri Lanka to raise charges for aircraft using its air space'

Oct 10 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the govt would soon increase the charges for aircraft using the country’s air space. He said at present a flight entering the Sri Lankan air space was charged USD 250, but it should be increased in line with charges in other countries. "I have advised the officials of the Civil Aviation Authority to prepare a new charge structure for flights at a meeting with officials yesterday," more..

Five years after the end of civil war, Tamils in Jaffna still struggling

Oct 10 (ABC) As Sri Lanka's govt begins a path towards reconciliation and addressing the atrocities of the past, Tamils in the war-torn Jaffna province are still struggling to rebuild their lives. The predominantly-Hindu region was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting between government forces and the LTTE, a rebel group commonly known as the Tamil Tigers. Up to 100,000 people died in the country's decades-long civil war, more..