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The long wait for help

Sept 12 (NS) The aftermath of the visit of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has evoked mixed responses from within the Northern political front. The Secretary General visited the country last week and had met with several political figures in the Northern Province, including TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan and Northern Province CM, C.V. Wigneswaran. Such visits by a diplomat or a UN high ranking official get mixed views from the Sri Lankan populace. more..

Udaya Gammanpila

Looking for the truth beyond Colombo’s comfort zone

Sept 12 (ST) If proposed legislation on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is to be soon thrust upon us as appears to be the case, Sri Lanka’s unity Govt would do well to employ the few shrewd minds in its midst to look strategically back at lessons learnt in regard to the turbulent passage of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) law. Similar mishaps must be avoided this time around. Once was bad enough. Twice would unbearably aggravate perturbed public opinion, more..

Death of Ranjith Mulleriyawa

Sept 12 (Island) People would have known him for his advocacy of simple farming and his work on Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD, thanks mostly to his work no longer regarded as of Unknown origin). He passed away without ceremony in his home town, Kandy, and his remains cremated yesterday. Royal in our time had a farm at Narahenpita to which we were taken once a week for hands on experience of farming. There was no paddy there but bananas and vegetables. more..

The rise and fall: A postmortem

Sept 12 (ST) 1960’s classic Puff the Magic Dragon is a song that was written about the friendship of little Jackie Paper with an ageless dragon called Puff which lived in a mythical place called Honalee by the sea. Yet, little Jackie Paper as he was human was subject to aging and he gradually grew out of that bondage, but the ageless Puff always remained the same. It was a direct sweet song sans any subtle meaning, more..

Lack of a knowledge of English seen as stalling local IT professionals

Sept 12 (Island) Lack of a knowledge of English and a paucity of basic soft skills are two major drawbacks for SL professionals/ graduates to rise in the IT profession, a specialist IT training manager said. "SL graduates/professionals have all other skills but they are not competent with the English knowledge and other soft skills to get into top global companies, where there are so many employment opportunities, Managing Partner of Sri Lanka's pioneer in Red Hat training & certification, more..

Scientific literacy: Intellectual Vaccine Sri Lanka badly needs

Sept 12 (FT) SL’s first Science and Technology for Society (STS) Forum will take place from 7 to 10 Sept in Colombo. Organised by the PM’s Office and Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, it is one of the largest gatherings of its kind to hosted by SL. Modelled on Japan’s well known annual STS forums, this event will be attended by over 750 participants coming from 24 countries – among them will be local and foreign scientists, inventors, science managers, science communicators, students. more..

Video: Disappearance of youth in custody: H'tota OIC transferred

Sept 12 (DM) Four police officers including the OIC of Hambantota police had been transferred pending an inquiry into the disappearance of a youth who was in police custody over a theft he allegedly involved in. 20-year-old youth had been arrested along with two more suspects in connection with a paddy theft in Bandagiriya, Hambantota a few days ago. He was reported missing since Sept 5, while being detained by police. more..

The day Nemesis kept rendezvous with UPFA regime’s blue-eyed boy

Sept 12 (ST) No prominent members of Rajapaksa regime, who had once affectionately called him Sudu Putha in his halcyon days of untrammeled power, were there to greet him and to wish him well when Duminda Silva arrived at the Colombo High Court on Thursday to hear the court’s verdict as to his innocence or guilt over the murder of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra on Oct 8, 2011. Only the gaunt spectre of Nemesis, Goddess of Retribution, bearing her scales, her sword and scourge, more..

Treasury support for soya and maize farmers

Sept 12 (ST) Treasury support has been assured to Sri Lankan farmers to create a sustainable purchasing system connecting them directly to relevant industries that require their produce. This promise was made by Minister Ravi Karunanayake when he recently met a group of maize and soya bean farmer representatives of Mahaweli H Zone in Huruluwewa in the Anuradhapura district. Ministers Duminda Dissanayaka and P. Harison were also present. more..

David Boon to boost trade ties with Tasmania

Sept 12 (DN) Former Australian cricketer turned ICC Match Referee David Boon has been a frequent visitor to SL since he first stepped into the country as a 16-year-old with the Australian U-19 team in 1977. But last week he was in SL for a different purpose other than cricket. He was part of a delegation that came on a trade mission playing the role of an ambassador for Tasmanian govt. “I am very pleased to be here as always this time more..

Sampath CEO to accept NDB CEO slot?

Sept 12 (ST) A new CEO – possibly one who is currently heading a private bank – has been approached by National Development Bank (NDB) board to steer the bank, following Rajendra Theagarajah’s impending exit, and that may be Aravinda Perera, Managing Director at Sampath Bank. This came after Sampath Bank announced the appointment of Nanda Fernando as its new Managing Director. “NDB board is discussing with bankers and the frontrunner is a successful more..

BMS Colombo wins Red Bull Campus final

Sept 12 (DN) All-rounder Ranitha Liyanarrachchi plucked BMS Colombo from a mid-innings funk and propelled them to an imposing 191 for 9, and then made the first dent in University of Liberal Arts’ chase, putting the Sri Lankan students on track for their first Red Bull Campus Cricket title in Galle. Liyanarachchi’s 52 from 27 balls had come just as the ULAB’s spin bowlers appeared to be seizing control of the middle-overs, as they had done in the semi-final against the team from Pakistan more..

Church opposes CMC plan to dump garbage at Ja-Ela

Sept 12 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court last week to utilise a 35-acre land at Ja-Ela for dumping of city’s garbage hereafter, but Head of Catholic Church Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith expressed opposition to polluting the northern suburb of Colombo. The authorities, responsible for garbage disposal, should take action to dump garbage at a location uninhabited by people, more..

International Programmer’s Day, digital capabilities and economic growth

Sept 12 (Island) 12 Sept is not just the 256th day of the year – it is also International Programmer’s Day, a time for us to celebrate the architects behind our increasingly digital world. In case you’re wondering- the number 256 symbolizes the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte, minister Harin Fernando says. "Today, we take for granted how simple it is to stay in touch with our loved ones, shop online, or even read this article on our mobile devices. more..

New lease of life for developing countries

Sept 12 (DN) The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) along with the recent ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change has heralded a new era of development policy discourse. Rather than concentrate on a purely economic measurement of growth and development, the international community has now embraced a more holistic approach that better represents the economic, social, and environmental challenges faced by countries. more..

Not suitable to publish such: Eran

Sept 12 (CT) The People's Bank had published an advertisement in the newspapers. Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne said in Parliament on Friday that in his opinion it was not suitable to publish such an advertisement. He made this comment in reply to a statement made by MP Dinesh Gunawardena, under Standing Orders 23(2) regarding publishing of advertisements by the People's Bank in some newspapers more..

Cornal who shot his estranged wife further remanded

Sept 12 (Island) Lt Col Pradeep Kumara Nettasinghe, who was charged with shooting his estranged wife Nayana Fernando and seriously injuring her at her Malabe residence was further remanded till Sept. 23 by Kaduwela Magistrate when the suspect was produced before him on Friday. The victim received injuries on her shoulder and abdomen. The incident took place on August 30 and the victim is still being treated at the National Hospital. Suspect threw two pistols into more..

Dilshan belongs among Sri Lanka cricket greats with Mahela, Sangakkara

Sept 12 (National) Mahela Jayawardene was the kind of captain you wanted leading your side. He was on the right side of restless on the field, dexterously moulding himself to each situation, or to the mind of every opponent. Not often could you say of him that he got a move wrong and on the rare occasions that you could, still his intent could not be questioned. Off it he managed to retain the hard edge that Arjuna Ranatunga instilled in Sri Lankan cricket but without quite the abrasiveness. more..

Women ASPs not appointed yet

Sept 12 (CT) A Police Commission (PC) decision to appoint nine Women Assistant Superintendants of Police has still not been implemented. The Police Commission, several weeks ago, decided to appoint nine Women as ASPs, to whom complaints could be made regarding the injustices Women Police officers face when carrying out their duties. When an inquiry was made from Secretary to the Police Commission, more..

A/L script marking First phase completed

Sept 12 (CT) The first phase of the GCE A/L exam paper marking ended yesterday. The second phase, which began on 5 Sept, will conclude on the 18th. The third phase of the paper marking process will take place from 19 Sept to 10 Oct. While 27 schools will be used for evaluation purposes, only six schools will be completely closed. The rest will be partially closed. The Department of Examinations stated that a total of 6,876 teachers will engage in the exam evaluations. more..

Tasmania keen to invest here: PM

Sept 12 (DN) In a bid to further strengthen trade and investment ties with SL, Tasmanian Premier, Will Hodgman, and Minister for State Growth, Matthew Groom led a business delegation from the education, energy, tourism, hospitality and food and beverage sectors to SL last week. Speaking at a business networking event held in Colombo, PM Hodgman said that Tasmania is well placed to offer new opportunities to Sri Lanka with a world- class international education and tourism sector, more..

Yahapalana Deal: Chandima calls for report

Sept 12 (DN) Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody said that he would immediately call for a report on the decision by the Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee to reinstate Singapore-based Vitol Company as a registered supplier of fuel to Sri Lanka. The minister said the report would be ordered from the CPC Chairman and the other authorities today to ascertain whether there had been any fault in the process. more..

Bharathiar Uni to ink pact with Eastern Uni

Sept 12 (Hindu) Bharathiar University will soon start working with the Eastern University, Sri Lanka in biotechnology, human genetics, commerce, management and a few other areas, said a release from the University. The process for initiating the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding will begin in the next few days when its delegates visit the Trincomalee Campus to participate in an international conference on environment challenges for sustainable regional development. more..

More offers for card payments in next budget

Sept 12 (ST) SL’s 2017 budget due in November is likely to spell out more concessions for the card payment industry with the banking regulator asking consumers to use less cash. Referring to the concessions made to card payments in last year’s budget, Central Bank Director Payments and Settlements Department Director Dharmasiri Kumaratunga said they were expecting to do something for this time’s budget as well. However, he didn’t provide details of likely concessions. more..

TEC appointments violated Bank’s conditions

Sept 12 (CT) These sources pointed out that when a Technical Evaluation Committee was appointed in connection with Tender No. 1574/2016 for the hardware digital project, the appointing of five officials of the bank, as members of committee, had been a violation of the specified instructions in the Tender Procedure. They also said that, when goods exceeding Rs 2 million are being purchased, a representative of more..

Sri Lanka shortlisted for Outsourcing destination of 2016

Sept 12 (DN) Sri Lanka has been shortlisted for the Outsourcing destination of the year by the European Outsourcing Association (EOA) with Belarus, Fiji and Egypt. European Outsourcing Association is the centre of excellence for outsourcing in Europe. It is a membership organisation, representing the interests of companies and individuals which span the breadth of the outsourcing industry: buyers, suppliers and advisors. The EOA is committed to advancing the outsourcing profession and more..

CERT finds vulnerabilities

Sept 12 (CT) Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) states that the technical analysis of the President's official website hack has been finalized. Senior Information Security Engineer of CERT, Roshan Chandragupta told Ceylon Today that CERT's findings have been communicated to the relevant parties. "We discovered vulnerabilities in the website which we have submitted in a report to the relevant parties. There are more steps to be taken and discussed. more..

Cardinal against secular State

Sept 12 (CT) Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith claims that he believes that the 9th clause in the 19th Amendment must remain unchanged, in the drafting of the new Constitution. He made this statement with regard to the proposal to create a secular state in SL. "A group of individual have presented a proposal for the new Constitution to make the country secular. They have voiced their opinion to include it in the Constitution. more..

Are people happy about leadership that handles governance?

Sept 12 (DM) In Executive Director, UN, in his keynote address on the Rule of Law organised by the Institute of Justice, Thailand, sometime back had stated “Weak rule of law and lack of good governance pose a major threat to social and economic development the world over and they have hindered attaining Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”. He had added that “investments in justice systems and the rule of law were pre-requisites for long term prosperity”. more..

Wake up Sri Lanka

Sept 12 (DM) Last week the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was in Colombo -- on his second visit to SL since the end of the civil war seven years ago and his second trip to the country. His first was in May 2009, shortly after the bloody end of the civil war. The UN Chief over-flew the war zone on that occasion and saw some of the devastating effects of the war from the air then. A fact-finding committee appointed by the UN Chief estimated over 40,000 civilian Tamils may have been killed more..

'Mahinda should not seek office, but support SLFP to gain power'

Sept 12 (DM) General Secretary of SLFP, Minister Duminda Dissanayake, says, the party will be reorganised further in the event of its Convention. He says the SLFP expects former President Rajapaksa will cooperate with the party rather than seeking office at future elections. Q: In the aftermath of the party convention, what is the way forward for SLFP? A: We are in the process of reorganising and restructuring the party to more..

Experience, rigour, determination: How Sri Lanka eradicated malaria

Sept 12 (IE) The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Sri Lanka malaria-free last week. Victory over the disease came after more than seven decades, during which the country also went through a crippling civil war. The long years of accumulated technical experience was bolstered by a solid public health system that provided an efficient network of reporting, information-gathering and surveillance, and almost full literacy, more..

Exorcism kills painter

Sept 12 (CT) Police said that a painter had died after a concoction, administered by an exorcist to exorcise a spirit, that had entered the man's body, had become toxic. Victim was a 53-year-old painter identified Sunil Wimalasiri, a resident of Wewala in Piliyandala. An exorcist, from Kaduwela, had administered the concoction on 24 August to the painter in order to get rid of the spirit that had taken control over his body. more..

Basil’s architect in the eye of a storm

Sept 12 (SL) An ally of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been accused of attempting to bypass paying the Inland Revenue Department huge taxes for property purchased in Biyagama. Muditha Jayakody of the Muditha Jayakody Associates (Pvt) Ltd (MJAPL) was offered many large scale architectural contracts by the former govt. He has purchased a property at Malwana in Biyagama to construct a palatial residence. more..

Rude shock in the mornings as vendors turn up volume

Sept 12 (ST) Kalaieswary Shanmuganathan, 55, is jolted out of sleep every morning by the din of the musical horns sounded by vendors passing by her house selling bakery products. There has been no action by local authorities or the police against the vendors making a noise from as early as 5am around her home in Weliamuna, Wattala. “The noises awaken the whole neighbourhood including the elderly, the sick, more..

Behavioural modification in school syllabus from next year

Sept 12 (NS) The Ministry of Education is presently holding discussions with the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Alliance Lanka, an advocacy group to the Ministry of Health to formulate guidelines to change school curricula to include the prevention of NCDs among early teens. An official attached to the Ministry said that such a move was initiated after realizing the necessity of creating awareness of NCD more..

SriLankan piloting sobriety

Sept 12 (FT) SriLankan Airlines yesterday described the work to rule campaign by pilots as irresponsible and hinted there could be delays as the national carrier ensures sobriety during duty. It said subsequent to the recent incident in Frankfurt, SriLankan Airlines in coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL), re-commenced random breathalyzer tests on flight and cabin crew. more..

UN to discuss disappearances in Sri Lanka

Sept 12 (CG) The UNHRC will discuss disappearances in Sri Lanka this week when it begins meeting for its 33rd session. The report of the Working Group on Enforced of Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) on its mission to Sri Lanka will be discussed on Thursday during the session in Geneva. The Government has told the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances that it is studying more..

Security forces: No more releasing of lands from Palaly cantonment

Sept 12 (NIsland) The army would not return even an inch of the 4,419 acre land belonging to the Jaffna camp and Palaly Military cantonment, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj Gen Mahesh Senanayake said. He said that the Palaly High Security Zone had encompassed around 11,269 acres until 2010 and 7,210 acres had been given back to their original owners on govt instructions and now the army was not in a more..