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Human - Leopard conflict

June 28 (SO) The Sri Lankan leopard, scientifically known as Panthera pardus kotiya has been listed as an endangered animal by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. While leopards are found across a large swathe of the island, they are mostly concentrated in the north west and the south east, areas corresponding to the Yala and Wilpattu National Parks. more..

Will fiscal reforms be implemented?

June 28 (ST) There are doubts that the IMF bailout package could be a turning point in the external finances of the country. In my June 12th column titled “Will IMF bailout be tipping point to external financial viability?” I suggested that the IMF bailout and the international confidence it inspires could increase capital inflows to relieve the balance of payments crisis. I said that this in tandem with the IMF’s mandatory reform program could be a turning point in the country’s economic fortunes. more..

BREXIT and Sinhala Only Limits of popular mandate

June 28 (DM) Commentators of South Asian politics tend to view the voting habits in the region with a degree of condescension. They indeed have a point. In every election, India, the world’s largest democracy, habitually sends a mindboggling number of remanded crooks, film stars, feudal heirs and many other worse salubrious individuals to their regional and central assemblies. In Bangladesh, two feuding widows have hijacked the destiny of the people, and that is being accomplished more..

'We must resolve ethnic issue without foreign interference'

June 28 (SL) JVP, Politburo Member, Wasantha Samarasinghe says that Sri Lanka should take measures to resolve the ethnic issue within the country without any foreign mediation. He said that there are military camps situated around the country, but the issue in the North and East is that the military is still occupying some of the lands of the people and these lands have not been returned to the rightful owners. more..

Sri Lanka's ongoing battle against torture

June 28 (GV) It all started when Malaka* and Rohan* (names changed) went to meet relations in Wattegama. Returning from the visit, they saw two policemen making off with their motorcycles, which they had parked on the main road. They confronted the officers, who began assaulting the two men with iron rods. Malaka and Rohan were taken to the Wattegama police station, where they were assaulted once again. When Rohan was admitted to hospital, his leg was broken in 5 places. more..

Controlling the Constabulary

June 28 (NS) The law governs human actions. It is our adherence to the law that keeps society in order. The Police being empowered to execute the law are also responsible to act without favour or prejudice. This year SL Police Service celebrates a glorious milestone of 150 years. Police played a pivotal role during the conflict era rising to confront violent threats. Many gallant officers died on duty, upholding the dignity and decorum of the uniform. As in any department the Police have had more..

Face the Nation

Coach urges another opportunity for impressive Suranjaya

June 28 (Island) Sprint coach Chaminda Perera urged that his trainee Suranjaya de Silva be given another opportunity to compete in Kazakhstan in a bid to qualify for the Rio Olympics after the South Asian Games gold medalist produced an impressive personal best on Saturday. Suranjaya de Silva who won gold in the South Asian Games 200 metres, produced a personal best of 20.93 seconds at Kazanov Memorial Meet in Kazakhstan on Saturday. It is the best timing produced in the 200 m more..

Sri Lanka: Analysing the China mirage!

June 28 (Island) In the late 2014, when the present coalition group was canvassing votes for the presidential election, a major plank of its election platform on foreign policy issues, focused on the financing and supportive role that China had played in extending loans to the last govt, amounting to a total of about eight billion dollars, denominated in various interest rates, as well as terms and conditions. This huge amount of bilateral aid from China was roundly criticised, more..

SL to seek Trade Pack with UK after Brexit

June 28 (DN) SL is eager for opportunities unfolding in the Brexit aftermath-has enlisted the WTO to unravel new global opportunities for Lanka’s growing service exports. “New changes from Brexit give an opening for SL to go for a one-to-one trade agreement with UK,” Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. “New changes bring opportunities for us. For example, it gives an opening for SL to go for a one-to-one trade agreement with UK. more..

Editorial: Drugs and politics

June 28 (Island) Jaffna chugalugs the highest amount of firewater, followed by Nuwara Eliya and Batticaloa, President Maithripala Sirisena has recently revealed at an event related to national drug prevention programme, in Nuwara Eliya. Why are the people of Jaffna bending their elbows so much? The health authorities should commission a scientific study and find out the reasons and adopt remedial measures. Usually, in post-conflict situations people, struggling to rebuild their lives more..

Hooligans, sports and schools violence

June 28 (ST) Someone once said that there are no cameras for the second place, because the second is deemed unimportant – that is the accepted norm. Only the winner is focused live or for the very next edition. May be this is common for any activity in the modern global village. In spite of the above, the situation is real and impacting; no one has the right or the moral right to reverse the decision of a contest by fraudulent means, & if this happens, sometimes consequences also may be grave. more..

Tourist hotels to see Stars

June 28 (FT) Tourism officials launched an ambitious set of regulations to give every hotel in SL a star rating in a sweeping effort to bring service levels to international standards and implement a policy that has been in the pipeline for over a decade. A new gazette on Classifications of Tourist Hotels with the aim of making Sri Lanka a quality destination and to streamline various aspects of the industry will be implemented more..

Far East, SL more popular with Eid travellers

June 28 (MD) Travel agencies and tour operators have said that countries in the Far East and Sri Lanka are the most sought-after international destinations among Eid travellers from Oman. Eid holidays have been declared in Oman from July 5 to 9. “We have destinations to fit all budgets and groups. We also have cruise packages to Far East and Mauritius,” said an official from Travel Point. Sri Lanka too is a hot spot among travellers from Oman said an official from Travel Point. more..

‘Visiting Sri Lanka will prove costly for British tourists in Brexit aftermath’

June 28 (Island) "Sri Lanka now is much more exposed to international markets than in 2008 and, therefore, would face impacts through this channel because the sterling pound has depreciated against the US dollar by 8 percent, after Brexit, and this would have a direct impact on the Sri Lanka tourism sector. Visting Sri Lanka would be more expensive for British tourists, top economist Dr Indrajith Coomaraswamy, said. Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said: more..

Lasantha Wickrematunge murder case: Court allows CID to obtain expert opinion

June 28 (CT) Mount Lavinia Magistrate Mohammad Sahabdeen allowed the CID to seek a report from a govt handwriting expert, to figure out whether the handwriting in certain books, related to initial inquiries in the Lasantha Wickrematunge murder case, had been changed. He also allowed the CID to seek a detailed report related to an account maintained, in a State bank at Nuwara Eliya, by a suspect in the case. more..

Amana Takaful Life announces Rs. 75 m IPO

June 28 (FT) Amana Takaful Life Limited (ATLL), a fully-owned subsidiary of Amana Takaful, has announced an IPO, via an Offer for Sale of Rs. 75 million, thereby becoming the first segregated life insurer in Sri Lanka to do so following the mandatory segregation of Life and General insurance companies on 1st February 2015. Listing on the Diri Savi Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the company is offering 50 million ordinary voting shares at a price of LKR 1.50 per share, more..

Brexit: The not-so-United Kingdom

June 28 (Island) On June 23rd Britain became the first country to vote to leave the EU, following a tense referendum and fierce campaigning on both sides. Final result saw the Leave campaign win by a small majority: 51.9% to 48.1% and hours later, UK PM David Cameron announced his resignation from office by Oct 2016. What follows will be significant political and economic upheaval. After 59 years of the bloc’s history, this is a watershed moment and much uncertainty remains more..

Constitution no bar to foreign judges in war crimes court: TNA

June 28 (Island) TNA has claimed to have reached a tripartite consensus in respect of foreign judges, defence attorneys, investigators etc., in a SL judicial mechanism to probe war crimes before the Geneva-based UNHRC unanimously adopted a resolution to pave the way for inquiry. On behalf of the TNA, MP M.A. Sumanthiran has told a recent Congressional Caucus for Ethnic and Religious Freedom in SL in Washington that more..

Western Province Graduate Collective protest causes traffic congestion

June 28 (ITN) Ceylon Teachers Services Union and the Western Province Graduate Collective joint organized a walk today. They were demanding the immediate recruitment graduates in the Western Province to fill the teacher vacancies. The group approached the Finance Ministry after staging a protest opposite the Colombo Fort Railway Station. They were demanding the immediate approval of the Ministry for the recruitment of the graduates in the Western Province to the teacher service. more..

Felicitation scroll presented to President by students of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya

June 28 (PSL) A felicitation scroll was presented to President Maithripala Sirisena by the students from the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya in parallel to the national drug prevention programme, at the President’s Official Residence, today (27). The President of the school’s Amadyapa Sangamaya, Taniya Kavindi handed over this scroll to the President. Students from the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya have organized a Walk with the aim of supporting the national programme more..

I will not let any war hero to become helpless: President

June 28 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says he would not let any war hero who are retired or in the service, to become helpless. “The current govt is dedicated to improve the quality and the strength of the security forces”, he said. President was speaking at the second phase of the program to present the Virusara Privilege card for War Heroes, held today (27) at the Rajarata Vidyalaya, Hingurakgoda. more..

Have to renegotiate GSP plus terms: Eran

June 28 (CT) The terms of GSP plus will have to be renegotiated, since the United Kingdom has pulled out from the European Union (EU), said Deputy Minister for State Enterprise Development Eran Wickremeratne. Last Friday, the EU referendum in the UK revealed that 51.9 per cent chose to leave the EU whilst 48.1% chose to remain. He said there will be no other long-term repercussions to Sri Lanka caused by Brexit and that it was too early to comment on the current situation. more..

Kahatagaha Mine workers stage protest

June 28 (ITN) Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne has instructed the Labour Commissioner General to look into the demands of the workers of the Kahatagaha mines in Dodamgaslanda and take appropriate measures. Kurunegala Provincial Assistant Labour Commissioner A.D.S.R. Wijesinghe has already been deployed to the location on the instructions of the Minister to look into the issues encountered by the workers of the Kahatagaha Graphite mines. In the meantime the administrative authority more..

Counsel for Gammanpila argues that his arrest purely political

June 28 (Island) The fundamental rights violation application filed by PM Udaya Gammanpila, Attorney-at-law was supported in the Supreme Court by Romesh de Silva. He said the arrest of Gamanpila was unreasonable. The allegation against Gammanpila could have been inquired into by the Magistrate without remanding the petitioner, as he could not have interfered with witnesses who were in Australia. more..

First green pre-school constructed by Holcim Lanka

June 28 (DN) Holcim Lanka handed over the first green pre-school to the people of Dikkumbura in Ahangama. The opening ceremony of the pre-school coincided with Ceylon Institute of Builders endorsing the building with their Green Label certification. Minister Chandima Weerakkody, President of Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) Dr. Rohan Karunaratne and the Holcim Lanka management attended the opening ceremony. “We are proud to have participated in the construction of more..

Dayasiri claims JO behind hooting incident

June 28 (DN) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that recent incident of hooting at him was a planned job of the Joint Opposition (JO). He refuted media reports which claimed that the people hooted at him while he was participating at a meeting of former President Rajapaksa. “The drunken supporters of JO suddenly started hooting during the function and the group who planned this act is now attempting to sling mud at me by spreading false information through their gossip websites,” he said. more..

Brexit makes Sri Lanka move faster towards economic tie up with India

June 28 (ENS) Britain’s decision to leave the EU, much to the disappointment of Sri Lanka, has forced the Lankan govt to seek closer economic ties with India, China and the rest of Asia. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced in Galle on Sunday, that the Minister Malik Samarawickrama, would be going to New Delhi next week for talks on the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). more..

Veddhas Vs Media Ministry battle next month

June 28 (Island) The much awaited cricket fixture between Dambana Veddhas and Media Ministry team is scheduled to be played at the Dambana Vidyalaya grounds on July 15. Minister Gayantha Karunatillake will lead Colombo team while indigenous people’s team will be led by Heen Banda. Prior to the match Ministry will distribute text books, stationery & clothes among the students of Dambana. A few months ago Heen Banda challenged MPs to play a cricket match more..

UK jobs for Sri Lankan nurses

June 28 (DN) Sri Lankan nurses will be provided training at the British Council and found jobs in the UK, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said arrangements have also been made to provide jobs for nurses in UKthrough a private nursing faculty. A nursing faculty will be established in Sri Lanka at a cost of Rs. 12,500 million, the minister said after laying the foundation stone for a new medical and surgical ward complex to be built at Nagoda Hospital at a cost of Rs. 3,500 million. more..

'UNP trying to influence AG'

June 28 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Peiris decried what the Joint Opposition alleged were on-going attempts to influence Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe in respect of audit standards as well as investigations into two major bond scams under CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s watch. Minister Ravi Karunanayake decision to call AG to Finance Ministry last Friday was meant to exert pressure on the official. more..

Govt to ban new Glyphosate substitute

June 28 (FT) Govt expects to ban a new harmful gluphosiate agrochemical which has been imported instead of the typical glyphosate chemical, said MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero, who is on the frontline of lobbying against risky chemicals and pesticides, which are suspected of causing chronic kidney disease. The Thero stated he had discussed the issue with Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake who had pledged to ban the chemical this week. more..

Mano wants details of all land in Colombo North and Central

June 28 (DN) Minister Mano Ganeshan asked the Colombo Divisional Secretariat to collect accurate details of the lands that belong to the UDA, National Housing Developmental Authority (NHDA), Ports Authority, Colombo Municipal Council and Provincial Council and the lands that are not being used in Colombo North and Colombo Central electorates. He said there is a need to identify the lands that are not being used as there are many local and foreign entities willing to invest in housing projects, more..

UNHRC Chief releases mixed report on Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts

June 28 (FT) The full promise of governance reform, transitional justice and economic revival is yet to be delivered by the Govt in Sri Lanka, and risks stalling or dissipating., the UN’s top envoy for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein will tell the 47-member UNHRC in Geneva tomorrow (29). According to an advance copy released late last night by the OHCHR of Zeid’s first report to the UNHRC since the adoption of Sept 2015 more..

Don’t make Sri Lanka the drug hub of Asia

June 28 (DM) Sunday June 26 was the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking with the highly published event being held in many countries including Sri Lanka which has become a notorious transit point for international heroin smuggling. The theme for this year is listen first. This is an initiative to increase support for the prevention of drug use. It is based on science and is thus an effective investment for the well-being of children and youth, their families & their communities. more..

Excessive protection damages Sri Lankan exports and undermines FTAs

June 28 (DM) The export sector experienced growth since the opening up of the Sri Lankan economy. By 1990, Sri Lanka’s export share in GDP amounted to 25%. In 1990, Sri Lanka was on par with Vietnam, exporting US$ 2 billion worth of exports per annum. By 2014, Sri Lanka’s annual exports amounted to nearly US$ 12 billion, but Vietnam had overtaken Sri Lanka and was exporting thirteen times that of Sri Lanka with annual exports amounting to nearly US$ 158 billion. more..

To be An Officer and A Gentleman

June 28 (SL) A newly established code of ethics for the SL Police will be launched in all police stations in the near future to ensure that all police officers uphold the interests of the govt when dealing with the public and the media. The recent incident of a STF commander using offensive language at a media conference highlighted the necessity for police officers to be regulated under a code of ethics which had, to date, not been properly more..

Lions, Wolves & Lambs of Yahapalanaya

June 28 (DM) The public elected the common candidate as President with huge practical expectations. But support for Good Governance has been dwindling with allegations of corruption, unethical political biases and promises that have not yet been met. In a seminar conducted on Good Governance organised by the Puravesi Balaya and National Movement for Just Society, the speakers voiced their thoughts on more..

Dengue epidemic looms with spiralling costs

June 28 (ST) The deadly dengue fever is raising its head again with experts warning that it may reach epidemic proportions in the coming months, claiming more lives and claiming a high economic toll with each dengue patient costing Rs. 50,000-60,000 a day to treat in intensive care. So far for this year, 24 deaths have been reported and more than 19,000 people made ill by the virus. Despite numerous anti-dengue drives, more..

U.N. urges Sri Lanka to rein in military, prosecute war crimes

June 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka must rein in its military forces, prosecute war crimes committed during the long civil war with Tamil rebels and win the confidence of the Tamil minority, the United Nations said on Tuesday. Witnesses must be protected under an effective transitional justice mechanism that should include international judges, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in an annual report. more..