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Mano Ganeshan

Keeping ethnic conflict from getting back to centre stage

July 27 (CT) The ethnic fault line in society was exposed in the clash between two groups of students at Jaffna University last week. The immediate cause of the dispute was a late request by Sinhalese students at the university to perform the traditional Sinhalese Kandyan dance at a ceremony to welcome incoming new students. This request was turned down by the organizers of the event. However, the following day when the event took place a Kandyan dancing troupe made more..

Clash at Jaffna University: Conversations on Culture and History

July 27 (Island) The recent clash at the University of Jaffna has triggered discussions on the university as a multicultural space and the role it ought to play in building bridges between the communities in SL. At one level, this clash mirrors the warring nationalisms in the country. Nationalisms in general hinge on an exclusivist logic where a particular territory despite its social, cultural and economic heterogeneities is identified exclusively with a particular community/nation, more..

RPCs eye signing productivity based Collective Agreement

July 27 (FT) Based on the undertaking that a productivity-based wage agreement will be signed by August for the remuneration of estate workers, Regional Plantations Companies (RPCs) signed a loan agreement with SL Tea Board to obtain the funds provided by Govt for the payment of an interim allowance to workers. Funds were provided through State Banks to the Tea Board in order to facilitate payment of Rs. 100 per day more..

SL's shortest innings after electing to bat

July 27 (CI) 34.2: Number of overs that Sri Lanka's first innings lasted, which is their shortest after electing to bat. Before this, they had lasted 38.4 overs, bowled for 95 against South Africa in Cape Town in 2000-01. 1: Number of lower totals for Sri Lanka against Australia at home, than the first-innings 117. They were bowled out for 105 in Galle in 2011. Tuesday's total is the lowest total by any team in Pallekele. SL themselves had previously made 174 against Australia in 2011. more..

Who monitors the monitors?

July 27 (Island) The UN system that operated during the genocide in Rwanda was the Human Rights Commission. UN system that operated in 2009 when the LTTE took Civilians hostage was the Human Rights Council. In 2009 the Human Rights Council did not realize that the provision in its mandate for protection included not only prevention but also to meet emergencies. Unlike in Rwanda the Council had not 100 days, but nearly 5 months to marshal combined influence of several democracies more..

Video: Moragahakanda-Kaluganga project was started by us: MR

July 27 (DM) The initial steps of the Moragahakanda-Kaluganga project was started under Mahinda Chinthanaya and it was under one of our main programmes, former president Rajapaksa said. “The project had already been initiated and the relevant funds from China had also been granted for the construction. Govt had nothing to do with the initiation of the project. Those are all our measures,” he said. However, we are looking forward to more..

Four things Australia got right, and one they got wrong

July 27 (CI) A dominant opening day for Australia at Pallekele ran more or less to the script the tourists were hoping to stick with. Features included an even bowling performance, alert fielding and the foundations of a batting platform set, before rain ended the day ahead of schedule. In rounding Sri Lanka up for a mere 117, they also avoided falling behind in the match as they did against Pakistan in the UAE in 2014. This means Steven Smith's side are in the position they are most comfortable more..

Tuk-tuks cause 172 fatal accidents in 6 mo

July 27 (Island) The National Council for Road Safety (NCRS) revealed that 172 fatal accidents involving three wheelers had been recorded from Jan. 1 till June 30 this year. The number of fatalities recorded in them were 183. The total number of fatal three wheeler accidents recorded last year was 327, while the number killed was 374. He said a majority of the fatalities were due to passengers being thrown out of the vehicle during accidents resulting in head injuries. more..

Petition in Court to unseat Geetha

July 27 (CT) J.C. Weliamuna, Counsel for the Petitioners of a writ application challenging the election of actress Geetha Samanmali Kumarasinghe to Parliament told Court that when she tendered her candidature application to contest a seat in Parliament at the last General Election she was not eligible to do so. Counsel submitted that it is a constitutional disqualification for anyone holding dual citizenship to contest a local election. more..

Sweet success for Lanka Sugar from bitter losses

July 27 (DN) Sri Lanka Sugar Company has earned a profit of Rs. 321 million within the first three months of 2016. In 2015 this company had suffered a loss of Rs1000 million and in 2014 it narrowed to Rs. 211 million. Even though the company was a loss making entity in the past by the first quarter of 2016 it has earned a profit of Rs 321 million. This achievement was mainly due to strictly adhering the guidelines given by the political hierarchy. Pelawatte & Sevanagala sugar factories operate under more..

Who is the VVIP to be arrested according to IGP’s prediction?

July 27 (CT) IGP Pujith Jayasundara made a most intriguing remark recently. He said, in the future those whom none would have even dreamt of are going to be taken into custody. The crucial question is: who are these culprits who cannot even be unimagined of and are beyond the dreams of any law abiding citizen? While this has evoked the curiosity of the people, it also appears that the pro- Mahinda group has been rattled by the IGP's announcement. more..

Video: MOD is in the process of introducing pension scheme

July 27 (DM) Ministry of Defence said that they were in the process of introducing a pension scheme for retired disabled tri-force members and police personnel but said an exact time frame cannot be revealed at this level. A group of retired disabled military and police personnel launched a protest on Monday urging President to intervene in proposed pension scheme. “Procedure to introduce the pension scheme could take some time. more..

‘Financial firms 300% more prone to hacking than businesses in other industries’

July 27 (Island) Hackers target financial service firms 300 percent more than businesses in other industries, Praveen Sasidharan-Director Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu said in Colombo on Monday. Sasidharan said this during his presentation at a workshop on Cybersecurity at the Taj Samudra Hotel. SJMS Associates, an independent correspondent firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, hosted this Cyber risk event in Colombo more..

World Construction Symposium on July 29

July 27 (DN) The Green Construction Awards - 2016 organized by The Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) was held on June 30, at the Ramada Hotel in Colombo. At this annual event, awards presented to the Best Green Constructions, Green Construction Products, Green Construction Services and Green Construction Training Managers. Parallel to this key awards ceremony, Ceylon Institute of Builders and the Building Economics and Management Research Unit, Department of Building Economics, more..

SLC is letting down Sri Lankan cricket

July 27 (CI) At Pallekele, following an embarrassing 48 hours for SL's cricket administrators, Dimuth Karunaratne misses and angled ball, Kusal Mendis misses a straight one, Kaushal Silva edges to slip, and the cricketers themselves are perhaps beginning to feel embarrassed. By lunch, the team is 84 for 5. Soon thereafter, they are 117 all out. SL team has very many faults, but dishonesty is not among them. more..

Sri Lanka seeks priority access for tea, apparel in India, China

July 27 (EN) SL’s govt is giving priority to getting duty free access to the Indian and Chinese markets for its main exports like tea and apparel in talks on free trade deals staring next week. K G Weerasinghe, a member of the negotiating team for trade deals and a former director-general of commerce, said talks starting next week will first work out the framework for agreements and then go into details. The requirements of export companies seeking greater access to overseas markets more..

CB pledges to consolidate macroeconomic policies to attract investment

July 27 (FT) Freshly-appointed Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy insisted that his institution would do its utmost to improve macroeconomic fundaments in Sri Lanka, thereby promoting the investment climate for foreign companies. Addressing the Japanese delegation at the Consultation on National Development Cooperation and Economic Policy Dialogue between Sri Lanka and Japan, Dr. Coomaraswamy recalled that Sri Lanka missed out on the chance to more..

Draft policy on protecting whistle blowers

July 27 (Island) The first national draft policy to protect whistle blowers in Sri Lanka was launched in Colombo yesterday to encourage individuals with knowledge of corruption to step forward. Transparency International SL Senior Manager- Communication Shan Wijetunga said draft Whistle Blower Protection Policy (WBPP) would be handed over to President, PM and all other Ministers as well as to all political parties soon. more..

Fury of a jilted lover

July 27 (DM) A film star is poised to make a sensational expose about a bigwig in the Blue party who is quite articulate about maintaining discipline in the party. The film star had been on intimate terms with the Blue party bigwig for a long time, they say. She is livid that her lover had gone back on a solemn promise made to her. The Blue man had jilted the film star when he fell under the charm of a much better catch, they say. On being told about her ex-lover’s new catch, the film star is more..

Ill-fated migrant workers compensated

July 27 (DN) Family members of migrant workers who were injured or killed abroad, were presented wage dues and compensation by Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary Chitranganee Wagiswara and Consular Affairs Senior Director General Sudantha Ganegama Arachchi. At a ceremony at the Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday, 49 relatives of the affected migrant workers accepted Rs. 70 million. It was the third such ceremony this year. Most recipients hailed from rural areas. more..

CP splits over JO march

July 27 (CT) Communist Party (CP) is split over the Joint Opposition (JO) organized Paada Yathra from Kandy to Colombo tomorrow. CP Secretary D.E.W. Gunasekera said its politburo has decided not to officially support the protest march organized by the JO. He said that comments made by certain persons who are engaged in the protest march have been detrimental to country's efforts at promoting coexistence among different communities. more..

Kalansooriya admits offering resignation but says he will continue

July 27 (AM) Govt Information Director General Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya said he would continue in the same position, following requests made by President and PM. Earlier, there were speculations that Kalansooriya had tendered his letter of resignation due to some differences of opinion over a media report published by a newspaper, last weekend. However, Kalansooriya, issued a statement on his official Facebook profile, this afternoon, clearing the air on the matter. more..

Master plans for Hambantota, Trincomalee and Kandy to open up investment

July 27 (DN) There will be a slight shift in the Govt infrastructure development master plan, CB Governor, Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. Making the opening remarks at National Development Cooperation and Economic Policy Dialogue between SL and Japan, he said some of the old plans will be realigned. He said that Master Plans have been drawn up for Hambantota, Trincomalee and Kandy and these will open more investment opportunities for foreign investors and the private sector. more..

Media regulations in the pipeline: Mahinda

July 27 (Island) The govt would have to introduce new legislation to regulate the media, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said the govt could not allow journalists to enjoy the freedom of the wild ass and a new bill would be introduced soon. "PM, too, mentioned this at Cabinet meeting. It is not our intention to deprive the media of freedom, but we need journalists to exercise their rights in a more responsible manner". more..

Oncologists refuse to use Russian drugs

July 27 (DN) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne stated that he had received complaints in connection with some doctors attached to the Maharagama Cancer Hospital not using cancer drugs imported from Russia. Minister will look into the issue. Minister Senaratne also said that earlier, a single dose of this drug which cost Rs.250,000 now costs only Rs.65,000, but, the quality is 100 percent according to Prof. Asitha de Silva who did the test on the quality of the drug. more..

Struggle for unity, not separation: JVP

July 27 (CT) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake appealed to the people in the North to struggle for the unity in the country instead of voicing for separation. JVP Leader was addressing a literary festival, organized by a group of young socialists in Jaffna, at the Jaffna Trimmer Hall. He said: "The need of the hour in the country is to strengthen unity by bringing together all three communities. The struggle in the country should be against the capitalists and not for separation. more..

India & China to get special economic zones

July 27 (ENS) India and China will be allotted Special Economic Zones in Sri Lanka for them to set up industries, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said. “Indians will be setting up pharmaceutical and auto parts industries in their zone. The Chinese have asked for 15,000 acres of land in the Hambantota area in the Southern Province for their zone, and we are in the process of acquiring the land. more..

Special HC for cases of financial crimes

July 27 (DM) A multitude of civic action movements played a major role in mobilizing people power for the silent revolution on January 8 last year. Many of them are now complaining that the new national govt is moving too slowly in implementing its main pledge to bring to justice to the former regime’s VIPs who allegedly plundered billions of dollars in public money. Movement for a Just Society and its Convener Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya had been in the forefront of a campaign for the toppling more..

Is Free Education a boon or a bane?

July 27 (DM) Recently we witnessed a prominent civil society activist expressing views in favour of the privatisation of education at a meeting organised by Purawasi Balaya garnering displeasure from a large section of the audience. Who really are those in Purawasi Balaya? After campaigning against the Rajapaksa regime, they continue to support the current govt’s political, social and economic policies promoted especially by the ruling coterie who believe in neo-liberal fundamentalism. more..

CID links Army spies to several high–profile Rajapaksa era murders

July 27 (SL) The unexpected arrest and detention last Friday of one of the Army’s high ranking non-commissioned intelligence officers- Prema Ananda Udalagama, has drawn much attention to the CID inquiry into the assassination of The Sunday Leader founding editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Warrant Officer Udalagama is the first person to be arrested by the CID task force that took over the inquiry in September 2015. more..

SAITM: Govt agrees to halt admission of new students to Medical Faculty

July 27 (ST) Govt has agreed to immediately suspend new admissions at the medical faculty of SAITM, based on a series of proposals by a high-powered committee of professors. The group, Deans of the Medical Faculties of SL’s eight state universities, had recommended that “… recruitment of students to MBBS programme and admission of new students should be halted with immediate effect. more..

Inland Revenue, Excise, Customs unions join forces against threat to their Depts

July 27 (Island) Organisation for Protecting the Inland Revenue, Excise and Customs Departments, a collective of 18 unions, signed a MOU to join forces against what they termed efforts by the anti-national govt and Minister Ravi Karunanayake to destroy country’s main revenue generating institutions at the risk of plunging the economy into chaos. Unions warned the govt that they would not give up their struggle until more..

JO asks govt what has happened to its commitment to media freedom

July 27 (Island) The Joint Opposition reminded the govt that having been elected on a platform of commitment to democratic values and media freedom it was today resorting to intimidation on a scale which had brought about "an environment of the most repulsive inhibition which makes it not merely difficult but virtually impossible for conscientious journalists to perform their functions without fear". more..

GMOA extends support for govt move to prevent tobacco, alcohol use

July 27 (Island) The GMOA has expressed unconditional support for any positive step the govt would take to prevent the use of alcohol and tobacco, a media statement issued by the GMOA said. The statement signed by Secretary of the GMOA, Dr Navin de Zoysa has said that the increasing of taxes on alcohol and tobacco is a positive move. "In the meantime, the Minister of Health has stated that packets of cigarettes more..

Foreign judges: My decision will prevail: MS

July 27 (DM) Amid different shades of opinion being expressed on the involvement of foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism to inquire into allegations of human rights and accountability issues, President Sirisena is reported to have said his decision would prevail at the end. At a meeting with SLFP MPs in the joint opposition, MP Keheliya Rambukwella pointed out that though President was opposed to foreign judges, more..

Sri Lanka’s pact with IMF faces flak

July 27 (Hindu) A recently-formed coalition of trade unions, student unions, progressive intellectuals, social organisations and activists has criticised the govt for its agreement with the IMF. The coalition, Alliance for Economic Democracy, has said the IMF's Extended Fund Facility, providing an assistance of $1.5 billion over 3 years, comes with a “number of conditions that will adversely impact the economic and social life of the people.” more..

Murali first Sri Lankan in ICC Hall of Fame

July 27 (CI) Former Sri Lanka offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan has become the first player from his country to be voted into the ICC Hall of Fame. He will be formally inducted into it later this year, along with the late England fast bowler George Lohmann, the late Australia opener Arthur Morris and former Australia Women captain Karen Rolton. Murali is the leading wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs, and one of only two players to tally more..

Misgivings on VAT and diehard loyalists

July 27 (CT) Without a govt, there would be no taxes and in turn without taxes there would be no govt. No govt can survive without the revenue received from taxation. However, the people are of the opinion that the govt has to be careful when imposing taxes. After taking into consideration some of the factors brought forward by the general public, the major complaint that arose from those who viewed their opinions was more..

Professionals misleading public on India trade deal, govt says

July 27 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt said professional and business lobbies opposing efforts to enter into an economic pact with India were misleading the public, since free movement of people was not even on the agenda. Minister of International Trade Malik Samarawickrama said the aim of the proposed free trade deals with India, China and Singapore is to get duty free access and expand markets for Sri Lankan businesses. more..