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Development Or Destruction

Oct 16 (CT) Since Vas go De Gama attacked and took over the peaceful international Spice market in Calicut , Asia embarked on five centuries of violence and subjugation that continues to this date. At the time 50% of the worlds GDP was of India and China. Today the joint percentage of GDP is about 20% after the recent increase in economic activity china vastly improving its status to 16% but with a greatly increased environmental damage that was not evident then. more..

TNA on wait-and-see mode

Oct 16 (SO) Although the TNA Leader, R.Sampanthan, who is also the Opposition Leader, had welcomed the UNHRC Resolution calling for the setting up of a hybrid court in the country to investigate alleged war crimes, leaders of TNA constituents had, from inception, been expressing reservations on the local mechanism and insisting on an international mechanism. However, the Resolution adopted with the consensus of more..

Reforms, my foot!

Oct 16 (NS) Power resists delegation. Whenever there’s concentration of authority in one person, there’s usually pandering to individuals, aid showered on whoever’s (more) willing to backbend before those same individuals, and of course nepotism based on family-and-friend structures which pile up one by one and never seem to go away. Particularly in Sri Lanka, this is a truism as persistent as it is timeless. Daham Sirisena came under a lot of flak. Rightly. more..

Tamil Eelam is not the solution

Oct 16 (NS) Unwarranted Indian meddling in internal affairs of Sri Lanka is not something novel. Election manifestos of the Southernmost Indian State of Tamil Nadu never forget to include something about the sovereign state of Sri Lanka. Perhaps it is utter ignorance of reality, that Sri Lanka is a sovereign independent nation and not another State of India or perhaps it is sheer pluck that Tamil Nadu politicians think that they can alter Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. Whatever the case maybe, more..

'Govt can change SL's political system'

Oct 16 (Island) Shaveen Bandaranaike on the other hand rose to fame as the son of the former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake with a biting remark on Namal Rajapaksa's Facebook page. His social media fame prompted him to contest the recent General Election. Having failed to secure a seat in Parliament, Bandaranayaka said that while there was much promise in riding on the Yahapalanaya bandwagon, the people were more..

A 180 degree turn in foreign policy

Oct 16 (SL) Sri Lanka’s foreign policy direction has undertaken a 180 degree turn under the Maithripala-Ranil administration. The recent trip by the PM to Japan has indicated that the UNP led government will be returning to the open arms of their former allies. During his recent visit, Wickremesinghe became only the third world leader, after Barack Obama and Narendra Modi, to address the Japanese Parliament. The impact he made on the Japanese politicos was evident through more..

The case for Private Medical Colleges

Oct 16 (Island) There have been several articles recently in the newspapers concerning the topic captioned above - the South Asian Institute of Technology & Medicine (SAITM) and the Malabe Private Medical College (MPMC). As one who was closely associated with the pioneer private medical college of this country, the North Colombo Medical College (NCMC), having been on its academic staff, for a period of eight years (1987-1995), I would like to make a few comments. more..

New power source needed by 2017

Oct 16 (CT) CEB Engineers' Union warns that all consumers will have to suffer unless a new power source of either coal or any other fuel is added to the national grid by 2017. They do not consider the polemics linked to the power projects. Secretary, Ministry of Power and Energy, Dr. Suren Batagoda, also shares the views of the Engineers' Union. Both parties highlight that power cuts will have to be applied by 2017 unless the construction of more..

Editorial: Curtain down on Wele Suda drama

Oct 16 (Island) A notorious drug dealer, Samantha Kumara, better known as Wele Suda, has been sentenced to death. If one goes by media reports one might get the impression that his execution is only a matter of time. But, the reality is otherwise. Judicial executions which have been suspended since the late 1970s will never be carried out in this country. Ironically, the pious political leaders who are wary of implementing judicial executions turn a blind eye to extrajudicial killings! more..

Sri Lanka's highest stand against West Indies

Oct 16 (CI) 152: Dimuth Karunaratne's highest score in Tests before this 186. His 152 came against New Zealand in Christchurch in 2014. This was Karunaratne's third century in Tests and all of them have been 130-plus scores. He now has 1457 runs in Tests at an average of 36.42. 372: Runs Dinesh Chandimal has made in his last three innings in Galle. This was Chandimal's second consecutive 150-plus score at this venue. He had made a match-winning 162 not out in the second innings of more..

WI caught in Galle's sweaty embrace

Oct 16 (CI) It's the humidity that gets opposition sides in SL. Airport doors open and it hits visitors like a tidal wave. They cannot be free from it, day or night. For those who call SL home, it is the motherland's glorious, unceasing, sweaty embrace. You know you're home when the pores in your skin swell to the size of grapefruits and weep profusely for joy. For others, of course, it can seem like nationwide oppression -a human rights abuse more..

Upswing in education employment

Oct 16 (Island) The path to tackling the nation’s skills shortage, which has become a social problem, is to strategically review the country’s educational system to accommodate the diffusion and exchange of ideas. It is important for Sri Lanka to invest in education employment and structure the educational system to support the economic growth it desires. New data from career report reveals that education employment in Sri Lanka has taken an upswing recently, along with more..

‘Japanese FDI stagnated over past decade’

Oct 16 (Island) Japanese foreign direct investments will flow into Sri Lanka due to the current peaceful environment and good governance in the country. For more than a decade Japanese foreign direct investments were stagnant owing to Sri Lanka’s internal issues, Japanese ambassador to Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma said. "Sri Lanka needs a clear, consistent and transparent economic policy to promote foreign direct investment into the country. Therefore, several top end high tech more..

Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital to get a new two-storey building for cancer patients

Oct 16 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena instructed officials to take immediate action to construct a new two-storey building to accommodate cancer patients at Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital. President further said that he will take steps to allocate funds in this regard within next two weeks. President made these comments during the Anuradhapura District Development Committee meeting today (15). more..

Challenges before the truth and reconciliation commission in Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (SL) Sept 30th is indeed an important day for SL. Reason being that the probe on Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity at the UNHRC have now metamorphosed into an amicable settlement. In all previous instances a majority of UNHRC members were seen voting against Sri Lanka at such resolutions. It was an indeed a Hobson’s choice for SL. This was a very tough situation for Sri Lanka as the Indian Ocean Island was seen as a rogue state which more..

Lionel Mendis devoted his entire life for cause of cricket

Oct 16 (ST) Lionel Mendis, a renowned cricket coach of Sri Lanka passed away at the ripe age of 80 on Friday. A cricketer and a coach of the highest caliber Lionel Mendis was described as a man ‘with a great cricketing brain. Lionel learnt the basics of the game at Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda under Tom Fernando, an old Thomian and SSC cricketer. He joined Richmond College, Galle where he represented the First XI for three consecutive years in the mid fifties. more..

Some families affected by 1983 riots to be compensated

Oct 16 (Island) Some families affected by the 1983 communal riots are to be provided redress by the govt. 134 families which were displaced from Digana, Rajawella due to the 1983 communal riots were settled in the Ambalote estate by NGOs, but over the last 30 years successive govts had failed to give them legal ownership, which had prevented those persons from obtaining basic facilities such as water and electricity, more..

Pelwatte butter to India

Oct 16 (CT) Pelwatte Dairies is negotiating with an Indian buyer to export its butter to island's neighbour, Chairman Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said. Under the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ILFTA), butter is exempt from import duties. A kilo of butter fetches an FoB price of US$ 10, he said. "Sri Lanka's annual requirement is 700 metric tons (mts), but our annual production capacity is 1,800 mts a year, he said. "Right now I have 1,000 mts of unsold butter in my go downs," he said. more..

Homework with new coach paid off: Dimuth

Oct 16 (NS) Dimuth Karunaratne said the hours he spent improving his batting with interim coach Jerome Jayaratne paid off when he carved out an unbeaten 135 not out on the first day of the first Test against West Indies at the Galle International Stadium. “I was not doing well in the last series and I did lot of homework. This century is a clear result of it,” said Karunaratne at the end of the day. “The new coach showed me a few things to change and I made those changes. Not only me. more..

'Govt will take every possible step to provide a quality health service to all its citizens'

Oct 16 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the Govt will take every possible step to provide a quality health service to all its citizens by overcoming the challenges in the field of health. He made this observation participating in ceremony to declare open the new 7-storey ward complex at the Kandy General Hospital, today (15). President said that as a Govt what they can do is to provide required more..

Chandimal shoulders responsibility batting at no. 4

Oct 16 (NS) Dinesh Chandimal said that he has accepted his responsibilities as a number four batsman although it was a very big void to fill after scoring a stroke-filled 151 for Sri Lanka on the second day of the first Test against West Indies at the Galle International Stadium. “My role has changed over the last 12 months. You have to play with a lot of responsibility. Kumar and Mahela are huge players of our team. They have left a big void that’s hard to fill,” said Chandimal. more..

Cabinet approves 3-year National Program to boost food production

Oct 16 (FT) Ahead of World Food Day, which is today, the Cabinet on Wednesday has approved a three-year national program to boost food production. The proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena to commence the program from the Maha season of 2015 and to implement within the period of 2016-2018 was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. The Govt said the country was currently spending Rs. 200 billion annually for importing major foodstuff. more..

'Fisheries issue: Sri Lanka won't complain to EU against India'

Oct 16 (DN) Govt has taken a policy decision not to lodge complains before the European Union against India in connection with the fisheries issue at international waters, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He said due to the bilateral agreements between the two countries and as Sri Lanka considers India a friendly neighbour, the govt has taken this policy decision. He also stated that this matter could be complained to more..

Anura Kumara left for Beijing

Oct 16 (HN) Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka has left for China to attend the Asian Political Parties’ Special Conference on the Silk Road, hosted by the Communist Party of China in Beijing. Themed New Vision for the Silk Road: New Action for Common Development, the conference aims to create a platform for political parties from Asian nations that straddle China’s Belt and Road initiative, to exchange ideas and enhance policy coordination to realize the concept. more..

Chief Ministers to attend Cabinet meetings

Oct 16 (NS) Chief Ministers of the provinces will be summoned for Cabinet meetings once every two months in order to discuss matters relating to provincial councils. President submitted the proposal at last night’s Cabinet meeting. Proposal was approved by Cabinet. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has also proposed that MPs appointed as chairpersons of various Parliamentary Committees should also be given opportunity to attend Cabinet meetings at least once every two months. more..

'Colombo Port City project will resume if report satisfactory'

Oct 16 (CT) Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said if the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the Colombo Port City Project is satisfactory, the project will resume without any issue. The project was suspended by the new govt in March this year over the dubious EIA conducted during Rajapaksa regime. Report will be sent to Dept of Coast Conservation before tabling at Cabinet meeting next week for approval. more..

Sri Lanka sells US$ 330mn of one, three and five year development bonds

Oct 16 (LBO) The issue of Sri Lanka development bonds amounting to US$ 75 million have been oversubscribed with US$ 407.25 million of bids received from investors. Central bank has accepted US$ 277.50 million in one year bond at a floating rate of weighted average margin (bps) over six month LIBOR of 335.95. The Public Debt Department of the Central Bank has also accepted just US$ 2.50 million of the three years and three months bond at a rate of 370.00. more..

Environmentalists win landmark case against biofuel project in Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (MB) Yala National Park, home to dense populations of both Asian elephants and leopards, as well as nearly 100 types of waterbirds and thousands of other species. Park, one of the oldest on the island, is also now the site of what could become a landmark case in protecting Sri Lanka’s dwindling wildlife habitat. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of three local environmental groups that had taken on a biofuel company establishing a monoculture plantation more..

China's MCC rejects slashed price of Sri Lanka highway contract

Oct 16 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt said it would only achieve less than half the anticipated cost reduction by reducing the scope of work of an expressway around the capital Colombo after Chinese contractors refused to comply with all the changes asked for. The project in dispute is phase three of the Outer Circular Highway (OCH) covering 9.32 km from Kerawalapitiya to Kadawatha meant to divert traffic away from the city centre. more..

Female doctor dies after consuming food

Oct 16 (DM) A young female doctor (25), serving at the Chilaw District Hospital, had suddenly fallen ill while on duty and had passed away after admission to the same hospital on Wednesday night. The deceased had been temporarily residing in Chilaw. Her parents were said to be living in Saudi Arabia and she was living with a relative living in Mt Lavinia at present. It is revealed that she had reported for duty Wednesday morning and had eaten her lunch at the hospital canteen. more..

Wele Suda feels lonely, seeks company in jail

Oct 16 (Island) Wele Suda who was sentenced to death by Colombo High Court Judge on Wednesday and kept at Welikade prison would be moved to another prison as the authorities suspected that the drug baron wielded considerable influence there, sources said. A request by Wele Suda to the prison administration to transfer at least two more prisoners to share his cell as he was alone had been turned down. There are 347 condemned prisoners at Welikade including two women. more..

VVIP dollar account holders: Govt to name names soon

Oct 16 (DM) The govt has gathered information on eight Dollar Accounts held in foreign banks by members of a VVIP family of the previous regime and the names of account holders will be disclosed after the ongoing investigations are over, Minister Rajitha Senarathe said today. He told the media that in one account they had deposited US$ 1.86 billion, US$ 1.8 billion in another and US$ 500 million in yet another account. more..

Boarding and searching demonstration for Drug Enforcement Officials

Oct 16 (SLN) Indian Ocean Region's Senior Drug Enforcement Officials' Meeting which was jointly organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Ministry of Defence got underway at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo on 13th Oct. High ranking delegates representing 21 countries and 07 organizations were in attendance with a view to enhance regional cooperation among drug enforcement agencies involved in countering drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean. more..

President takes charge of Avant Garde probe

Oct 16 (CT) President Sirisena has decided to take charge of investigations into the floating armoury that belongs to Avant Garde Security Services, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "During the Cabinet meeting President said legal action must be taken against Avant Garde and decided to take control of the investigations regarding this matter," he said. Senaratne added that President was unhappy about the manner in which investigation was taking place & has decided to press further investigations more..

MR throws the ball back at UPFA

Oct 16 (FT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa threw back allegations against him to the UPFA, saying it was not him but the alliance which should be held responsible for the financial loss caused to the State-run television channel – ITN – for carrying out propaganda advertisements during the presidential election campaign 2015. Rajapaksa, who appeared at the public hearing of the PRECIFAC, told the media that the UPFA more..

Saving our girls from modern slavery

Oct 16 (DM) The world’s major religions have come together in a sacred mission to curb or end modern human slavery which Pope Francis has described as a crime against humanity. Up to 100 million, mainly girls and young women including mothers have been lured into this international crime and shame. The females, mainly from middle-class or poverty stricken families are attracted by so-called job agents who offer them productive employment where the innocent girls believe they could more..

Still in Amber

Oct 16 (DM) University education or higher education is a dream for every student during his/her schooldays because it is widely regarded as a jewel in the crown for every aspiring individual to become a distinguished academic – a graduate and pursue their career towards a bright future. Some grab the golden opportunity to attain the highly successful positions while some fade out due to their own fate and some are misled by others, especially by people with political influence and become rebels. more..

Grade V Scholarship Exam: A passable pass mark

Oct 16 (CT) Last week, the marks of Grade Five Scholarship exam were released. According to the Department of Examinations, the pass mark for Galle, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Matale, Galle, Matara, Kurunegala and Kegalle was 160 in the Sinhala Medium and 154 in the Tamil Medium. The pass mark for Sinhala medium in Hambantota and Ratnapura Districts were 158; for A'pura & Polonnaruwa Districts it was 156; more..

President talks on key issues fail: NTUC

Oct 16 (CT) The National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) noted that a discussion held with President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss several key issues faced by govt servants, the private sector and those in the estate sector, had failed to arrive at a satisfactory solution. NTUC convenor, Samantha Koralearachchi said President Sirisena had however paid attention to their sevenfold demands. At the talks also attended by NTUC President, more..

Workers and TUs eyeing Budget 2016

Oct 16 (SL) With the much awaited foreign trade agreements coming to the picture, the next leap the new govt will have to take is the announcement of the Budget for the year 2016. After first coming to power in January alongside President Sirisena’s ascension, the new govt introduced the Interim Budget 2015, which announced the price reduction of certain essential goods and commodities. Emphasising on the expected more..