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Anything Lanka can learn from Brexit?

July 10 (Island) World can be examined along different axes, that is, employing different dimensions. Three are well established. The terminology advanced countries and developing countries (or less polite versions of the latter) has a huge following and has crept into everyday use. Living standards, economic development, politics, power and trade are the cornerstones of this discourse. A second dimension is culture in the broad sense (language, ethnicity & religion), more..

Farnborough brothers return to Sri Lanka after losing parents in Boxing Day Tsunami

July 10 (GH) A pair of brothers have just returned from building a children’s home in the country where they tragically lost their parents nearly 12 years ago. Rob and Paul Forkan were on holiday in Sri Lanka in 2004 when the Boxing Day Tsunami hit, killing more than 30,000 people in the country – including their parents Kevin and Sandra. The brothers, who are originally from Croydon but moved to Farnborough after the tragedy to live with older sister Marie, now run the flip flop business Gandys more..

Ada Cartoon

Move to remove MR, 6 others

July 10 (SL) Attempts are underway in the SLFP to remove former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and six others. SLFP sources said that at a meeting held last week among senior SLFP members and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, it was proposed that opposition members of the SLFP who are working against the party should be removed. The closed door meeting was held at a hotel in Ahungalla and the main purpose of the meeting was to discuss the restructuring of the party. more..

OPA in the forefront for good governance

July 10 (SL) Although the term of good governance came in to light especially with the previous presidential election, yet there is no any clear sign of good governance in the country. In such a situation, the academics and the professionals of the country have a great responsibility in terms of taking steps to initiate good governance and acknowledge the public on the meaning of good governance. The above idea came in to light at a recent press conference announcing the forthcoming more..

Video: Batti airport opened

July 10 (DM) The renovated runway of the Batticaloa Domestic Airport was declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena today. An SLAF MA-60 aircraft carrying President Sirisena landed on the airstrip to mark the commissioning of the runway. Renovation of the airstrip was initiated in December 2012 by Ministry of Civil Aviation and the extension of the runway from 1070 meters to 1560 meters long was assigned to the RDA. more..

'Govt preparing to arrest 10 JO MPs'

July 10 (AD) Former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage claims that the govt is preparing to arrest and imprison 10 MPs who are part of the Joint Opposition before a protest march against the govt will commence on July 28. He also said that attempts are being made to sack several members of the SLFP who are siding with the Joint Opposition. He stated that in fear of the protest march, dubbed Jana Satana Pada Yatra, govt is preparing to oppress JO members. more..

Compromise on fishing dispute: Northern fishermen vow to overturn boats

July 10 (ST) Northern fishermen leaders have sought a meeting with President and PM to protest over proposals to grant fishing licences to a limited number of Indian fishermen to fish in Lankan waters. Sunday Times last week exclusively reported that a proposal to grant fishing licences to a limited number of Indian fishermen was under consideration. Jaffna Fishermen Association leader N Ponnambalam said this proposal came from the Indian side and SL’s fishermen would oppose it strongly. more..

Joint Opposition creates SL Justice League after Shadow Cabinet fails

July 10 (CT) Following the apparent failure of the Shadow Cabinet, high ranking senior members of the Joint Opposition (JO) has decided to resort to a timely decision, and has taken steps to create SL's very own Justice League. Sri Lankan Justice League (SLJL) will be headed by former President Rajapaksa as the Man of Steel and other members of the JO filling in for Dark Knight & Wonder Woman, popular heroes of younger more..

Rs 3B vanishes from CEB EPF

July 10 (CT) Investigations have revealed that a sum of Rs 3 Billion has gone missing, without a trace, from the EPF of the CEB. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya had ordered the officials to speed up the investigation to initiate further actions in this regard. Minister revealed that some important documents and files, containing sensitive information, regarding the incident, had gone missing. In addition to internal inquiry, FCID and CID are conducting separate inquiries. more..

Cosmetic consultations?

July 10 (Island) Ten years ago I set up a civic media initiative on the web called Groundviews. Since then, the majority of the content the initiative has published and produced online can be framed as victim centric – stories and perspectives around inconvenient truths mainstream media, throughout the war and even after it, could not or would not cover. Perhaps on account on this, Groundviews received an invitation to make a submission to the Consultation Task Force on more..

Briton tortured in Sri Lanka returns to UK

July 10 (TG) A British man who says he was tortured in SL and detained by authorities after travelling there to get married last month, has returned to the UK following a campaign to secure his release. V Renukaruban, 36, who lives in Ealing, west London, was freed from detention by the govt in the south Asian country after the Foreign Office, a top human rights lawyer in SL and a campaign by his family in London helped to more..

Can India stop SL’s drift towards China?

July 10 (SM) Here’s something Pakistan and China could learn from Sri Lanka. According to an AFP, Sri Lanka intends to become completely demilitarised by 2018. And no, this is not just a question of pulling back the army from areas it occupied during the long war with the LTTE, which ended in 2009 with the death of its founder leader V Prabhakaran. “We have also asked the military to disengage from all commercial activities they are engaged in,” FM Mangala Samaraweera told reporters. more..

Sunil Gavaskar not surprised by Sri Lanka's objection to two-tierTest system

July 10 (CC) One of cricket’s all-time great batsman Sunil Gavaskar believes SL’s opposition to the two-tier Test system is due to their fear of demotion to the lower division. SL cricket team has been a shadow of itself since the retirement of senior players like Dilshan, Sangakkara and Mahela. Since then, Angelo Mathews has led the inexperienced team, but results have been mediocre. SL have fallen down to No.7 in Test rankings, and have just two wins in their past 10 Tests. more..

Lankans helped Tagore when Shantiniketan was in financial difficulties

July 10 (ENS) Sri Lankans, Sinhalese as well as Tamils, helped Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore when his institution, Shantiniketan, was in financial difficulties in the early 1930s, according to A. Natarajan, the Indian Consul General in Jaffna. Introducing Vishwabharati University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Swapan Dutta, who spoke on Tagore at a function in Jaffna last Saturday to mark the iconic poet’s 155th birth anniversary, more..

Now Thomians protest

July 10 (CT) The controversial Milo Schools President's Trophy Knock-out Rugby Tournament took a dramatic turnaround when S. Thomas' College Mount Lavinia expressed their disappointment. In a statement to SL Schools Rugby Football Association Warden of S. Thomas' Marc Billimoria has strongly expressed disappointment that their request to change the venue for semi-final match between Royal and S. Thomas' was not considered by the schools body. more..

Int'l tenders for LNG plant in Kerawalapitiya

July 10 (SO) In a bid to circumvent an impending power crisis, the govt will call for international tenders to set up a 300 Megawatt Liquefied Natural Gas Plant (LNG) in Kerawalapitiya as early as July 15. The proposed plant is to be built on a 25 acre land in Kerawalapitiya, while the plant will be run on a dual fuel basis. Requests for proposals are to be called by July 15 while Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) would be the basis for the bidding, the Sunday Observer reliably learns. more..

Salawa disaster: Bailout package Rs. 1,200 m

July 10 (ST) The bailout package for the civilians who lost their property in the Salawa ammunition depot explosions will cost more than Rs. 1,200 million. Officials had completed the final damage assessment of the incident and had found 2,014 houses and business establishments had either been destroyed or damaged. “It has been estimated that Rs.1,209 million will be needed to pay compensation. We conveyed this to more..

Video: It's not a shadow cabinet: Namal

July 10 (DM) Hambantota district UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa today said the ministerial subjects had been assigned to joint opposition MPs to observe them and said it was not a shadow cabinet. Talking to media after attending a ceremony held in Kegalle today, he said the government was making the concept of shadow cabinet out of proportion. "This is not a cabinet as government claims. They are just afraid of us and keep attacking without fulfilling their duties," he said. more..

Meegahatenna students given alternative schools

July 10 (DM) The nine students who were not admitted to the Meegahatenna Primary School will be admitted to a school in Matugama or another school in the Educational Zone. Recently, the issue of admittance saw parents protesting outside the school. It also prompted Deputy Minister for North Western Development and Cultural Affairs, Palith Theruwapperuma to threaten suicide forcing the hand of school officials to admit the children. Thereafter, Minister and the mothers of more..

Dengue surge poses admission problems to hospitals

July 10 (SO) At least three hospitals in the highly congested Colombo district have said they had seen an unexpected rise in the number of suspected dengue cases visiting their OPD's and being admitted to their in - patient wards. Director, Kalubowila Hospital Dr Asela Gunawardane said the hospital which only has a bed strength of 1100 and three medical units was currently facing a serious problem of overcrowding. more..

Port worker’s death: Coroner summons Indian skipper

July 10 (ST) Colombo city coroner has ordered police to produce the captain of an Indian ship for an inquiry over the death of a Port worker who was assisting to dock the vessel. A co-worker who was also injured and is currently in hospital said he and the victim had boarded the ship on Monday to secure the hawser to the dock when the rope hit both of them. Victim fell on the deck of the ship hitting his head. Both were rushed to National Hospital, where victim passed away on Thur. more..

Increasing cost of living has affected Maha Sangha too

July 10 (DM) Senior member of the Asgiriya Chapter Karaka Sabha Ven. Gallellge Saddhatissa Thera said the spiralling cost of living had affected the public and the Maha Sangha as well. During a meeting with Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara who visited Asgiriya Chapter this morning, Ven. Thera pointed out that the Maha Sangha had been burdened with the increasing cost of living. He requested Minister to make representations in this regard to the govt to bring relief to the people more..

AASL attempts to cancel tender for BIA travel counters

July 10 (CT) The travel and tourism industry is up in arms and seriously mulling legal action against Airport and Aviation Services Ltd. for attempting to cancel a tender for the operation of travel counters at the BIA. The tenders were advertised in the media, on Dec 4, 2015, for the operation of the 6 travel counters, 8 Hotel Service counters and the operation of 5 mobile communication service counters. more..

Conditional promotion for absent war-time officers

July 10 (ST) Army Headquarters has adopted a new policy in respect of promotions for officers who had been absent without leave (AWOL) before May 20, 2009; the date coincides with the death of V Prabhakaran and the military defeat of the LTTE. The LTTE leader was killed on May 19. The war years, saw a spike in officers and other ranks being absent without leave, especially as the war intensified in May, 2009. In terms of instructions sent out by Major General N.J. Walgama, more..

Nisha Biswal to arrive in Sri Lanka

July 10 (AD) The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka this week. She will be accompanied by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asia Manpreet Singh Anand. Assistant Secretary Biswal is currently in Dhaka to meet with government officials to discuss issues of shared concern and offer U.S. assistance to the Bangladeshi govt’s efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism. more..

GSP Plus: EC shortens list of conditions

July 10 (ST) European Commission (EC) has imposed upon SL 15 conditions in return for granting the GSP Plus trade concession — considerably whittled down from the list of 58 strictures it had originally slapped on. Shorter list — which was first communicated to SL govt in June 2010 and to which the EC has now reverted — calls upon govt to carry out such reforms as reducing number of derogations to ICCPR. more..

An open letter to UNP members of COPE

July 11 (CT) Please note that the memories of all the young professionals, the youth, the intelligent voters and civil society activists, who so actively canvassed for the 8th Jan 2015 regime change and in General Elections that followed, are not short nor fading. They presume that your memories too are neither short nor fading, impacted by arrogance of power after you were installed in high seats of the legislature or dictatorial directions of some in party leadership. more..

M.S.H. Mohomed is our hero

July 11 (CT) It all began two years ago. A man called M. S. H. Mohomed wanted his son, diagnosed with a cancerous condition called osteosarcoma, cured. He took his son, Humaid, to a hospital in Chennai. The hospital had facilities and the latest technical expertise, but cost a lot. And so the father spent. Throughout 2014, he sold three of his properties, dug into his pockets, and tried a cure. Nothing worked. He thus brought his son back to SL. He was admitted to a private hospital more..

Customs: trade unions look askance at proposed Act

July 11 (SO) Attempts by the govt to replace the 1869 Customs Ordinance with a new Act are being met with stiff resistance by Customs Trade Unions. Trade unions refused to cooperate with the Finance Ministry, claiming that the process was taking place in an arbitrary and ah-hoc manner. They said, the unions have not been consulted in the drafting of the proposal at any point. They said, they were not opposing the change, but more..

Fake suicides, demonstrations and threats to democracy

July 11 (SL) Veteran journalist the late Gamini Windsor, who hailed from a family in Galle involved in the gem business, regaled many tales of Galle’s gem salesmen attempting to palm off gems to foreigners on ships anchored in the Galle harbour. Gem salesmen in their dinghies went alongside ships with foreigners on decks. The assurance given by a salesman who was questioned by suspecting customers about the genuineness of his gems was: If this not good gem, I cut your throat. more..

A pseudo-hanging from a fan!

July 11 (SO) Things are getting worser and worser. This feline doesn’t mean the yahapalanaya. There are enough loud mouths to shout about that - from Mahinda Rajapaksa’s followers to GMOA (who should be unbiased and keep the Hippocratic Oath to the letter and spirit and not threaten strikes for reasons they need not strike for such as the yet unknown ECTA with India and, for school reservations for their children). The latter can so easily be negotiated. more..

Hobnobbing with political giants

July 11 (CT) General Secretary of Communist Party (CP) DEW Gunesekara says Dr. N.M.Perera stood on his head and performed Yoga exercises everyday. Q: What is your name? A: Don Edwin Weerasinghe Gunasekara. Q: Who are your parents? A: My mother's name is Don Catherina Palihakkara Amarasekara. Father's name is Don Siyadoris Weerasinghe Gunasekara. Q: Your hometown? A: Kivula-Hungama of H'tota. more..

Media’s duty of protecting victims of child abuse

July 11 (Island) Imagine yourself as a parent, sibling or a loved one of an abused child for a moment. What is it to see the photo of your young child, the prey of a perpetrator of sexual abuse, splashed in a newspaper? What will reading sordid details of a heinous crime perpetrated on a child grabbing the headlines of the day do to you? Does the disclosure of a child victim’s name, his/her school and the photograph serve the public interest? The secondary victimization of the child more..

The return of the prodigious son to brave Central Bank challenge

July 11 (ST) The confounding fog that had descended on Central Bank and turned it into Bleak House was dispelled on Monday morn when a welcome ray of English summer sunshine streamed through its portals to illumine the dark interior with sterling integrity and spirited professionalism, not forgetting a touch of old world charm and class. While Britain’s Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, the Bank of England, was rocked with the nose diving pound following the nation’s decision to exit more..

Charges Yonex had been taken for a ride

July 11 (ST) SL Badminton Association (SLBA) is at the receiving end of the court, according to the latest development. They are accused of not being transparent and acting in an ethical manner, by stealing what is meant for the players. According to a group of individuals who are former SLBA officials, and some known figures in Badminton, present set of authorities have resorted to an unethical act by entering 36 non-entitle more..

War crimes, duplicity and rhetoric

July 11 (Island) British Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire, in his address to Parliament on Sri Lanka’s Human Rights situation on Thursday, reiterated there had to be an international element in the domestic mechanism for accountability. That was necessary, he said, to reassure the communities in Sri Lanka and to show the international community that it was a credible process. Doesn’t Swire think there should be an international probe into the more..

Sri Lanka’s extended fund facility arrangement with the IMF: It’s mostly fiscal

July 11 (IPS) The often repeated pun on the IMF’s acronym satirically suggests that it prescribes a tighter fiscal policy, whatever an economy’s problem might be. Indeed, lower budget deficits and higher govt revenues are central to Sri Lanka’s latest US$ 1.5 billion loan from the IMF. But, the economy’s booms and busts of recent years – including the current economic distress – go beyond merely the fiscal; much of it has manifested in the monetary and exchange rate policy spheres. more..

Sri Lanka power engineers in bid to block back-door LNG plants entry

July 11 (EN) Engineers of CEB have warned that they are withdrawing from procurement committee in a bid to block attempts to bring liquefied natural gas plants after scuttling cheap coal plants on which years of work has already been done. SL's politicians and a powerful committee of officials have indicated that coal plants would be stopped and LNG would be substituted, without going through any evidenced based policy formulation. more..

Notes on things seen and heard

July 11 (FT) However insignificant, everything around us tells a story; the temper of our times, the nature of the people, their abilities, attitudes, tastes and many other things. A speeding vehicle knocks down a pedestrian, a politician enters a public place, a man goes to a foreign embassy to apply for a visa, a citizen reports to court that there is a squatter on his land; in all these and other such situations there is a predictability, likely scenario; unique, very culture specific. more..