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Women human rights defenders in Sri Lanka

Nov 23 (CT) The word defender connotes agency and strength while the word victim connotes passivity and susceptibility to harm and violations in the physical as well as mental sphere. However, there is a subtle or no difference between these two categories when it comes to the real world. The roles can change, as a victim can become a defender in any moment and a defender can become a victim. The many human rights violations perpetrated against and suffered by women more..

A question of the arts

Nov 23 (CT) Artistes are a self-contradictory lot. They make us happy and they move us to whatever emotion their work beckons us to. They lend meaning to this world of ours and they help us retain whatever sanity that is left in us. We enjoy what they do, almost as much as they enjoy seeing us appreciate their output. Some of them are prodigious, some are not, but overall they help define this world through their eyes. And yet, despite that and despite the many other reasons that more..

Environment looms large : Colombo-Kandy Expressway hits new bumps

Nov 23 (SO) Section 3 of the CEP starts at Pothuhera, and ends at Galagedera (A10 Road) covering a length of 32.5km. The expressway will be a four lane carriageway with an operating speed of 100km/hr from Pothuhera to Galagedera. It consists of four interchanges, at Pothuhera, Polgahawela Interchange, Rambukkana and Galagedera. There are 12 main bridges, and 17 viaducts across floodplains of 3 major rivers, more..

Petition signed by over 5,000: Inaction of Police in face of extremism

Nov 23 (GV) Dear Mr. Jayasundara, Attached herewith, is a follow-up Complaint to you, signed by 5000+ people from Sri Lanka, regarding the inaction of the police against extremist groups, particularly those led by Buddhist monks. The petition is still online in all 3 languages, and is gaining momentum daily. We will continue to send you complaint after complaint until you take the necessary legal action against these extremist groups, as we reiterate that nobody should be considered above the law, more..

In awe of a bird’s world

Nov 23 (DN) Birds have always delighted people all over the world because of their beauty and their power of flight, but for members of the Field Ornithology Group of SL (FOGSL) birding is a quest that brings immense happiness. Many are groomed to be bird enthusiasts from an early age and birds in cages do not count anymore, having seen them master the wild. “I had an interest on nature and birds from my young age. But there was no proper environmental organization that I could get more..

'Power devolution must go beyond PCs'

Nov 23 (CT) MP Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne says the new Constitution will go beyond the 13th Amendment in terms of power devolution. Everybody has agreed to the 13 plus, he said. Q: Is there a proposal to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full? A: Yes. We have 28 years of experience when it comes to the 13th Amendment. We know where we erred. The amendment itself has intrinsic problems. more..

Land worth fighting for

Nov 23 (DN) Land is a finite resource. Hence down the ages it has been a repository of all human emotions. Land provides status, wealth and power. Looked at from the point of Western Economics, it is an important factor of production. Issue of land has occupied a place of centrality in State policy under all post – independent govts. The utilization and distribution of land and land settlement also became a factor even in the ethnic issues and figured in previous attempts at solving such issues. more..

Do MPs get fat salaries?

Nov 23 (CT) Sri Lanka is rather diverse when it comes to jobs and occupations and with the ever developing markets, all sorts of new vacancies springing up almost every day. According to an average Sri Lankan earns Rs. 87,367 per month. This is of course a general number that has been rounded up and generalized. A database of salary information gathered from requirement agencies, companies and employers to generate as accurate results more..

Bandula Gunawardane

Knowledge Economy: A political slogan far removed from reality

Nov 23 (Island) Knowledge economy, is a buzz word used more often on political platforms nowadays and it is doubtful whether those who do so know what it really means. Almost every new development project is launched in the name of knowledge economy! Success of the ongoing mega projects earmarked for the so-called transition towards the knowledge economy hinges on country’s ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Given the precarious macroeconomic instability, more..

Editorial: Old bats on Viagra

Nov 23 (Island) Monday’s parliamentary proceedings were so replete with risqué comments, double entendre and bawdy remarks that anyone who cared to watch them live on television may have wondered whether the debate was on the national budget or Kama Sutra. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, at the beginning of the session, exhorted the MPs to be on their best behaviour because a live telecast of the proceedings was on, but his plea fell on deaf ears as usual. His is a Sisyphean task, we reckon. more..

Beach volleyball storm intensifies

Nov 23 (CT) In a shocking state of events, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara lambasted National Olympic Committee (NOC) Secretary Maxwell de Silva over the phone. De Silva had failed to carry out Minister's advice over mishaps regarding sending a beach volleyball team for a training workshop targeting the next Commonwealth Games to be held in Australia. Minister had further warned he would carry out a disciplinary hearing more..

FM proposes textile cluster in budget 2017

Nov 23 (F2F) Budget 2017 that focuses on strengthening country's economy lists out multiple benefits for the apparel and textile sector. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that govt has proposed the formation of a textile cluster to include sizing, dyeing and finishing units by the private sector. Govt will support the formation of a textile cluster by providing investment relief to businesses that will invest in this venture and will also provide adequate space to save close to $2,000 million per annum. more..

Wigneswaran calls for north-south dialogue

Nov 23 (Hindu) Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran ocalled for greater dialogue between people of SL’s north and south. Urging the southern Sinhala majority to leave aside emotional politics and unfair suspicion, he assured them that Tamil minority’s demand for federalism sought to unite, not divide, the country. CM was speaking on behalf of Tamil People’s Council (TPC), a civil society group with professionals, academics and political activists based in the north and east. more..

Since 8 Jan 2015, 95 warships called at Colombo Port

Nov 23 (CT) 95 foreign warships have docked in the Colombo Port after 8 Jan 2015, which is a testament to SL's growing importance as a strategic centre in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, Navy Commander Ravindra Wijegunaratne said. He said, "95 foreign warships have docked in Colombo alone. Six have docked in Trinco. The reason why there were only six ships to Trinco is because there are no adequate more..

Govt revenue from fags halves after price hike

Nov 23 (FT) Ceylon Tobacco Company has contributed Rs. 75 b in Govt revenue during the first nine months of 2016 at an average of Rs. 8.3 b per month but prospects for State coffers look bleak going forward according to industry analysts. Consequent to the excise hike on 4 Oct 2016, the price of the most popular brand of cigarettes sharply increased to Rs. 42, a 20% increase.  Cigarette prices once again increased on 1 Nov with the imposition of 15% VAT taking the price more..

Sri Lanka gets Korean vocational training support to meet skilled labour demand

Nov 23 (EN) South Korea’s Eximbank is supporting the setting up of two vocational training institutes in Sri Lanka to help the island bridge the gap between industry skills demand and labour supply. Two vocational training institutes are to be set up in Colombo Central and College of Technology in Gampaha, Korean embassy said. “As Sri Lanka aspires to become an upper middle-income country, it will need to bridge the gap between the industry skills demand and the labour supply,” it said. more..

Wigneswaran’s view on basic structure of SL constitution runs counter to that of panel

Nov 23 (ENS) The view of C.V.Wigneswaran, CM of Northern Province, on the basic structure of the proposed SL constitution, runs counter to that of the Constitutional Assembly’s sub-committee on Center-Provincial relations. While the sub-committee has refrained from branding the proposed devolution system as either federal or unitary, Wigneswaran said, that the constitution should not only be federal in nature more..

SL’s demonetisation pinched only the Rich

Nov 23 (Hindu) As India grapples with the implications of demonetisation, many Sri Lankans are watching it keenly. Not just those planning a trip across the Palk Bay but also others who remember a similar exercise undertaken by SL govt in the early 1970s to declare 50 and 100 rupee notes illegal tender. It was the initiative of N.M. Perera, a renowned Left politician who was then Finance Minister. Trotskyist LSSP he led was in the coalition govt, led by Sirimavo Bandaranaike of SLFP. more..

WI eye final berth, surge in ODI rankings

Nov 23 (CI) Despite West Indies' big win in Harare, on paper, these are two well-matched teams with plenty to play for: the winner will be guaranteed their place in the tri-series final. The relative inexperience in both squads makes it hard to pick an out-and-out favourite, and conditions in Bulawayo should also be a leveller. WI tied game against Zimbabwe will at least have acclimatised them a little more to the pitch and conditions at Queens, as Sri Lanka's first match was rained off. more..

Rapp says Govt delays could be attempt to avoid justice for alleged war crimes

Nov 23 (FT) Delaying the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms, including a special court to prosecute alleged war crimes, could be viewed as an attempt by the Govt of SL to avoid delivering on truth and justice for thousands of victims of the country’s civil war, a former top official in US Govt’s Office of Criminal Justice said. Former US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Stephen J. Rapp said more..

Nationwide search for Sri Lanka’s most secure coder begins Friday

Nov 23 (FT) Supporting the country’s target of earning $ 5 b through software exports and related services, a nationwide hunt to find Sri Lanka’s Most Secure Coder will be launched on Friday at Colombo Hilton at 7 p.m. Titled CodeCraft, the hunt is a nationwide competition for university students, professionals, colleges, and corporates engaged in software development. The competition will be jointly launched by Ministers Harin Fernando and Lakshman Kiriella. more..

Car plunges into Parliament Pond

Nov 23 (DM) A car belonging to a Director of the Department of National Museums driven towards the entrance to the Parliamentary Complex yesterday evening in a torrential downpour lost traction and plunged into the pond located opposite the approach driveway. The driver, the sole occupant of the vehicle, escaped unhurt, Parliament Police said. None the worse after his unexpected swim the driver was pulled out of the swollen pond waters while the third reading debate on Budget 2017 more..

MR slams India over China ties

Nov 23 (EN) Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa launched an attack on India Tuesday, ahead of his visit to China, a country which strongly backed the island politically and financially during his decade in power. The former leader told a group of local newspaper editors that India had been furious when Chinese submarines docked at the Colombo harbour in 2014 towards the end of his presidency. more..

Five year project for electric train service

Nov 23 (ITN) Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe has said that plans are afoot to launch an electric train service. He mentioned in Parliament today that it will be a five year project. He said that the Colombo Suburban Train Project was launched on 07th July this year with the aim of embarking on an electric train service in the island. It will be a project to be carried out in five years under five stages. Initial plans for the launch of the Project had been formulated. more..

Chinese products exhibition gets under way

Nov 23 (DN) The second edition of China Products (Colombo Sri Lanka) Exhibition 2016 was yesterday inaugurated by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. The opening was graced by Li Yiwei (Deputy Secretary General of People’s Govt of Guangdong Province), Lin Tao (President of China Council Promotion of International Trade Guangdong Committee) and other invitees. Minister with the invitees at a stall.  Sri Lanka, China bilateral trade crossed $4 billion threshold for the first time, more..

High-powered ministerial group to diffuse religious tensions

Nov 23 (DN) Govt has appointed a high-powered ministerial group to diffuse religious tensions in the country. Ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, John Amaratunga, D.M. Swaminathan and Abdul Haleem are to join hands to make necessary interventions. Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said 4 ministers would offer leadership to meaningful and constructive dialogue towards ending communal and religious mistrust. more..

Sri Lanka condo developers say budget prevents catastrophic oversupply situation

Nov 23 (EN) Sri Lankan condominium developers have welcomed proposals in the govt 2017 budget relaxing restrictions on foreigners buying property, saying it would help prevent a catastrophic oversupply situation. Condominium Developers Association of SL, an affiliated trade body of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, said the budget contained a number of progressive proposals to stimulate demand from a new market segment to help absorb the increasing supply pipeline. more..

Expert calls on Govt to streamline tax administration

Nov 23 (FT) Although Govt’s revenue collection efforts are challenging and controversial, a top tax expert opined that it would be feasible only with improved administration.  Speaking at the post-Budget seminar organised by National Chamber of Commerce (NCCSL), Gajma and Co., Tax Consultant N.R. Gajendran said that there is a lot of expectation from policy makers about this Budget, but a major factor deciding its success would be a streamlined tax administration by the Govt. more..

Health Minister opposes FM’s proposal to take money from Tobacco

Nov 23 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne took exception to the budget proposal to accept donations from Ceylon Tobacco (CTC) to the tune of Rs. 500 million for the anti-smoking campaign of the Presidential Task Force (PTF). He said that it was unethical and unacceptable for the PTF to accept money from CTC. Govt had signed and ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of WHO. more..

Bond scam: SLFP probe clears PM

Nov 23 (CT) SLFP committee appointed by President Sirisena to probe the CB Bonds scam will handover its report, which includes six recommendations to the President today, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said. The Committee had not in its probe discovered any indication of PM being in anyway involved in the scam. Nine-man Committee had come across instances of financial mismanagement, leaking of insider information, miscalculations and conflict of interests. more..

Malik to be named in Rs 1.5B Fraud

Nov 23 (CT) The Joint Opposition said they will be lodging a complaint with the FCID today against Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrema, for having allegedly committed a fraud involving a sum of Rs 1.5 billion. JO and SLFP Kandy District MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said already two similar complaints had been lodged against the PM and the Finance Minister and that such complaints will also be lodged against 14 ministers. more..

Watch dog committee finds discrepancies in 2017 Budget figures

Nov 23 (Island) COPF had found that the draft Budget Estimates 2017 presented to Parliament do not tally with the actual figures used by Finance Ministry, Committee Chairman and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. Presenting the COPF report on Assessment of the Fiscal, Financial and Economic Assumptions of the Budget 2017 to Parliament TNA MP said: "We were given a set of figures on Nov. 2 which, we later found, more..

Basil asks three months’ leave to go to US for medical treatment

Nov 23 (Island) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa sought permission from Colombo High Court to go to America for medical treatment for a period of 3 months. President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana, who appeared for Rajapaksa told the court that the client is a Green Card holder. There are three cases against him in the High Court. High Court Judge said that the case pending hearing in that court would be considered on Nov 25, for the purpose of granting travel permission to Rajapaksa. more..

SriLankan official charged for corruption given service extension

Nov 23 (DN) A senior official of SriLankan Airlines who was charged for corruption has been given a service extension as of Nov 21. The official was found to be guilty of corruption by the Committee headed by J.C. Weliamuna and their report recommended disciplinary action to be taken against him. This service extension however has disappointed many employees at the airline. JSS had made a written complaint to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Kabir Hashim more..

SLFP vows to recover money lost due to bond scams

Nov 23 (Island) SLFP says it will push for the recovery of ill-gotten money from those involved in the Central Bank bond scams. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the recovery of losses and punitive action against those responsible for the scams would constitute the basis of the SLFP recommendations in respect of the bond scam to be submitted to President Sirisena. According to a leaked Central Bank report that exclusively more..

Traffic fines: Let us turn to the High Road

Nov 23 (DM) After Monday’s discussions held by the Finance and Transport Ministers with private bus owners, operators and other stakeholders, it was announced they had agreed that a thumping fine of more than Rs. 25,000 would be imposed on those found guilty of seven traffic offences. The offences are driving under the influence of liquor, driving without a valid license in possession, allowing a person who does not possess a valid license to drive a vehicle, speeding, overtaking more..

Health Promotion; the way forward for a healthy nation

Nov 23 (DM) Sri Lanka is in a better footing compared to most countries in South Asia in the context of child healthcare; especially in terms of health indicators such as infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and life expectancy in the country. Nevertheless, one of the biggest challenges we have been facing is the stagnating indicators of child nutrition and the nutrition of children particularly under the age of five. In a candid interview with the Daily Mirror, National Health Advisor for more..

Budget 2017 A Boon or Bane?

Nov 23 (DM) Accelerating Growth with Social Inclusion creating the broader theme for the Budget 2017, marks the 71st Budget of Sri Lanka. As the second Budget presented by Good Governance, Budget 2017 aims at delivering relief for Sri Lankans through paving the path for sustainable development. Amidst mixed opinions, the second reading of the Budget proposals for 2017 was passed in Parliament last Friday more..

'Land, police powers to be devolved'

Nov 23 (Island) The govt said that the Parliamentary Sub Committee on Devolution had proposed that land and police powers be devolved to the provinces in keeping with the provisions of the 13th Amendment. Senior Constitutional lawyer Jayampathi Wickremeratne MP, said that proposals made by the six parliamentary sub committees appointed to submit proposals on various subjects including the national question, human rights more..