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Bitter Harvest And The Bitter Pill

Apr 9 (SL) Preachers both of the religious kind and in the media variety – editorialists and the like – tend to read in their own interpretations into national holidays. Religious preachers for millennia have been telling their audiences of what the national day is all about and how they should be celebrating it, etc. We leave the revered and respected preachers of religions to their time honoured tasks unless of course they stray into the minefields of politics which is common ground to all. more..

'Next three years crucial'

Apr 9 (SL) Duminda Dissanayake was a pioneer member of the group that initiated the formation of a National Govt and the Jan 8 and Aug 17 change. However, while there are many challenges that National Govt is currently facing with regard to decision making, given the policy differences of both parties, namely UNP and SLFP, Dissanayake is of the view that these are just minor obstacles that can be overcome and more..

Trump, chemical attacks, convoluted politics

Apr 9 (CT) The world took an about turn this week due to three significant events. The chemical assault within the Syrian border was allegedly carried out by the Syrian Govt but fingers were also pointed at the rebel coalition that is fighting against the Syrian Govt. The second event was in the fallout of that, where the Trump-led United States administration carried out retaliatory strikes in Syria. The third was the Stockholm terrorist beer truck incident that resulted in four deaths. more..

Ravi Jayewardene

Apr 9 (Island) Ravi Jayewardene, the only child of President J.R. Jayewardene, who passed away last week would have been 81-years old at the end of April had he lived. He was an exceptional human being who did not wear his virtues on his sleeves but was always self-effacing to a fault. Born to a wealthy and powerful family, the doors of privilege were wide open to him but he chose never to walk through them or make any kind of deal of the fact that he had not done so. more..

‘Govt has not agreed on hybrid court’

Apr 9 (SO) A section of the Opposition vehemently criticized the decision by the Govt to co-sponsor UNHRC follow up the resolution, binding itself once again to implement fully the recommendations in 30/1, which calls upon the Govt to implement a hybrid transitional justice mechanism. But, the Govt defended its decision saying, on the contrary, it was treading a path that will win the trust of the int'l community more..

Counter-terrorism draft: Handle with care

Apr 9 (ST) Last week we mentioned that the proposed Inland Revenue Act is being drafted abroad for consumption locally. Now, several versions of a new draft Counter-Terrorism Act (CTA) are floating around in the unreliable domain of cyberspace and do not lend credibility to the art of legislative drafting by this Govt. The Govt needs to put its stamp on the draft and publicly release that before presenting the Bill to Parliament so that there can be independent assessments. more..

Fielding the same candidate later

Apr 9 (ST) My dear SB, I thought I should write to you after hearing about how you had already declared that Maithri would be the candidate from the Blue party at the next election to choose the big boss. I was shocked and surprised to hear that because if it was so, I thought it should be Maithri telling us that- and not you! Now, most people say we shouldn’t be too bothered about what you said because you generally say what you want regardless of whether it is fact or fiction. more..


Lobby: JO haggling for time closes House early for New Year

Apr 9 (ST) What was to have been a day-long Parliamentary debate on the Resolution on SL, adopted by UNHRC came to an abrupt end on Thursday, with both Speaker and Govt. members losing patience with members of Joint Opposition Group (JOG) demanding they be allocated more time to speak in the debate. Speaker adjourned the day’s sessions just 55 minutes after commencements of sittings, much of which was wasted on heated exchanges between more..

UNP resolves to speak in one voice

Apr 9 (SO) United we stand, divided we fall, is a phrase attributed to teamwork and to promote and inspire unity and collaboration. It is no secret, the leaders of the island’s most successful industry- the apparel sector- often attribute their success to this phrase which signifies united effort. The stakeholders of the industry have one voice. All their conflicts are managed within their core premise, and they go out with credible and workable proposals, instead of promoting individual agendas. more..

'An unprecedented crisis in the High Court'

Apr 9 (Island) An interview with Prof. G.L. Peiris regarding the situation arising from the decisions made by the Judicial Services Association at their Special General meeting held on 1 April 2017 in relation to the appointment of Mr Ramanathan Kannan as a High Court judge. Q: You were one of the first to hold a press conference on the appointment of Mr Ramanathan Kannan to the High Court and you are familiar with the letter more..

Entrepreneurs oppose FTA with China

Apr 9 (Island) The People’s Commission to formulate a National Policy on International Trade and Treaties headed by Professor W.D. Lakshman and Palitha Fernando PC, commenced receiving oral submissions at the OPA last Thursday. The other members of the People’s Commission are Messers. P.D. Fernando, R.P.L. Weerasinghe, Dr Bandula Weerasekera, Dr Anula Wijesundera and Lakshman Perera. People’s Commission to formulate a National Policy on Int'l Trade more..

A missed opportunity for Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (CT) So it's a drawn series across all formats. That's the final result in the series between Bangladesh and SL. Whilst it's a massive achievement for the visitors, the hosts will have much to look at to understand the major flaws in their game. We have attempted to analyze the Test series and ODI series in our past columns though we hadn't taken a closer look at the T20 games which was the last leg of the series. As for the series itself & speaking to some of senior players more..

SL’s budget undergoes complete overhaul

Apr 9 (ST) Sri Lanka’s budget preparation for the next financial year 2018 is set for a complete overhaul, doing away with ad hoc taxes following the govt’s failure to implement a large chunk of previous budget proposals and new tax revisions owing to legal procedural issues in the past two years. At least 22 proposals in the 2016 budget are yet to be implemented and almost all budget proposals have been amended during more..

Defending champ Fazil gets closer

Apr 9 (ST) Defending champion M.F.M. Fazil of 8BPP got closer to retain the Junior National Snooker title as he along with last year runner-up M. Shamil of Sea Endless won their pre-quarter encounters with ease played at the Otters AC billiards table to qualify to the quarter-finals. Apart from Shamil five other cueists from the Sea Endless succeeded to qualify to the quarter-finals with the other sole winner being Hussain Ashiq of MICH. Fazil who is also reigning national snooker more..

SLC Super Provincial 50 overs commences

Apr 9 (SO) Sri Lanka Cricket’s Super Provincial 50-over tournament will commence today with 60 top players from four provinces showcasing their talent. With teams from Galle, Dambulla Colombo and Kandy captained by Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera respectively, upcoming young players will face the ultimate performance test as they play to grab a spot in the 15-member SL squad for the ICC Champions trophy to be held in England in June. more..

He came, he saw and he conquered

Apr 9 (Island) Sri Lanka’s ‘A’ team made a huge impact when they toured South Africa in 2009. No Sri Lankan team has done so well in South Africa. The fast and bouncy wickets in that country has always proved to be the undoing of batsmen who had been brought up on low and slow surfaces. The man who guided Sri Lanka to that unprecedented success was Chandika Hathurusinghe. That team was captained by Thilina Kandamby and more..

Using the contracts

Apr 9 (ST) It was said that the profit making Citadel does not have sufficient monies to pay bonus for its staff, in spite of them making a hollow show with a huge thamasha and a full page add. Then a section of the crowd who also has contacts same as the second chatterer went to the top one and complained.  Hey! Presto, the bonus was released for payment. Then the second chatterer tried to cut off tickets for the popular match. The same contact was used and the result was the same. more..

Plantations bleed to brew new models

Apr 9 (ST) State policy to change the existing structure on Sri Lankan tea plantations has caused a stir among the regional plantation companies (RPCs) complaining that they have been unjustifiably dealt with by a team of experts from a bygone era who have landed here after nearly 25 years since privatisation took place. In this respect the RPCs have come down hard on the new team of experts who opine that the problems brewing on the estates is mainly driven by the companies more..

The National Aluth Sahal Mangalya held

Apr 9 (PSL) The National Aluth Sahal Mangalya which is known to be most venerated agricultural ritual of Sinhalese was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the historical Jaya SrI Maha Bodhiya in Anuradhapura this morning (08). The event had been organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Services for the 50th time under the guidance of Chief Incumbent more..

Daily flights between Oman, SL launched

Apr 9 (TOO) SriLankan Airlines has launched a daily flight between Muscat and Colombo, a senior official from the airline said. “We are thrilled to launch daily operations between Oman and Sri Lanka. This will give our customers increased connectivity. SriLankan Airlines will also increase frequencies to India this summer by starting flights to Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Gaya and Varanasi from July 17,” Deepal Pallegangoda, country manager of SriLankan Airlines said. more..

Public/private : Stakeholders discuss export strategies

Apr 9 (SO) The Govt’s vision is for Sri Lanka to be the next economic success story in Asia. Thus, exports play a vital role, if not the only option available for the country. Although the fundamental aspects have been discussed at almost all forums and throughout the past decades, Sri Lanka has been unable to reap the benefit of exports due to a number of limitations, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said in a message to mark SL’s first National Export Strategy symposium. more..

Board of Inquiry recommends criminal prosecution

Apr 9 (CT) A Board of Inquiry, which probed the allegations of corruption by the former Chairman of SriLankan Airlines Nishantha Wickremasinghe and CEO Kapila Chandrasena, has recommended that the duo be criminally prosecuted. The Board of Inquiry, which probed the affairs of the national carrier, has found shocking details of corruption running into billions of dollars, manipulations of service contracting, recruitment of unqualified more..

'Centre trying to resolve fishermen issue'

Apr 9 (Hindu) Asserting that the BJP-led govt at the Centre was taking serious steps to bring a lasting solution to the fishermen issue, Rajya Sabha member and senior party leader L. Ganesan said efforts were made to secure the release of the trawlers impounded by SL, ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to SL. Mr. Ganesan said PM was scheduled to visit SL very soon and talks were held with Sri Lankan govt to secure the release of more than 140 boats, ahead of his visit. more..

Vasantha Obeysekara passes away

Apr 9 (DM) Award-winning film director Vasantha Obeysekara passed away this morning (8) in colombo following a brief illness. Vasantha who has clinched several award in the best director category, started his film career as a co-scriptwriter and assistant director in Sath Samudura in 1967. His first film direction Wes Gaththo in 1970 was based on the 1955 movie We are No Angels. Then he studied filmmaking in France and returned to make his second film Walmath Woowo in 1976. more..

China demands control of Hambantota Port

Apr 9 (CT) Govt appears to be in hot water these days as the Chinese have demanded the complete handover of the Hambantota Port to the China Merchants Port Holdings Company, without SLPA having any stake in it. Chinese, on seeing the new amendments put forward by the SLPA urging them to reduce the 99-year lease plan to a 33-year lease, are also in a quandary as to whether they should release US$ 1.2 b loan, more..

SL, India to develop Trinco oil tank farm

Apr 9 (Hindu) India and Sri Lanka have, in principle, agreed to jointly operate the World War-era oil storage facility in Trincomalee, the strategically advantaged port town located on the island’s east coast. “We are currently negotiating the specifics of the joint venture,” SL’s Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. Both the nations are hoping to firm up the deal before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled second official visit to the island in early May. more..

CTC pitches its annual report on Beyond the Smoke

Apr 9 (Island) Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) with a 111-year presence in Sri Lanka has pitched its just released annual report on the theme Beyond the Smoke to highlight its contribution to the national economy through what is now universally accepted as a highly controversial industry. CTC has stressed in the report that as the country’s only legal cigarette manufacturer, it is the second larges market capitalized company quoted on the CSE and is the country’s largest individual tax contributor more..

Perpetual Treasuries:Sujeewa  Senasinghe calls for investigations  from 2008

Apr 9 (Island) If Perpetual Treasuries Limited had done any wrong, inquiries should cover its dealings with the Central Bank (CB) commencing from 2008, Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. He said that  Perpetual Treasuries (PT) had been making profits even before Arjuna Mahendran became Governor of CB. "Any inquiry should be comprehensive and begin from 2008. If PT had continuous inside information, more..

The issue is SAITM, not NFTH says GMOA

Apr 9 (Island) The govt’s decision to place the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) under the Health Ministry’s purview has not appeased the GMOA, which pledged to continue to demand a solution to the controversial SAITM issue, and not the NFTH. GMOA says it has still not been officially informed about the decision of the Higher Education Ministry on SAITM. The position of the trade union would be announced only after there is official intimation of the ministry’s stand on SAITM. more..

New trend in flu pattern

Apr 9 (ST) A new and unexpected trend in the disease pattern of the common flu, which is sweeping across Sri Lanka, has been found at the Polonnaruwa Hospital. Patients who contract influenza could also fall victim to a secondary infection. This secondary infection is normally caused by bacteria, but at Polonnaruwa it has been ascertained that some are being hit by a fungal infection. Fungus or mould has been identified as aspergillus, commonly found in tropical more..

No upgrade for BIA despite US$ 50m renovation

Apr 9 (ST) Despite three months’ renovation work which disrupted airline schedules, CAA will not upgrade the BIA’s runway in accordance with Int'l Civil Aviation Organisation -accepted classification for runways capable of accommodating new large aircraft such as A380s. Notwithstanding its recent widening at a cost of US$ 50 million, BIA runway will remain Code E or one that can facilitate aircraft with a wingspan of more..

Sri Lankan community in Qatar celebrates Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Apr 9 (GT) Sri Lankan community in Qatar turned out in large numbers to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year at Al Sadd Sports Club on Friday. The programme was organised by the Embassy of SL in collaboration with the SL Co-ordinating Committee Qatar. SL ambassador P.D.P.S.A Liyanage was the chief guest. Also present were the embassy staff members, sponsors and invitees. The organising committee had lined up many traditional & sporting activities for community members. more..

Collapse of school roof not our responsibility: Akila

Apr 9 (DM) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said ythe ministry was not responsible for the collapse of the roof of a school in Kandy. He said it was the result of the provincial councils not adhering to the criteria set by the ministry. He said his ministry had decided to develop 7,000 schools out of the 10,161 schools under the concept of nearest is the best school on the recommendations of responsible authorities, but the stipulated criteria in selecting schools under more..

After New Year, Govt to tackle crucial economic issues

Apr 9 (ST) Apita Indiyawath oney, oi. Apita Indiyawa tharaha karaganna behe oi, exclaimed an angry PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at last Tuesday’s weekly meeting of Cabinet ministers. The retort, mildly derogatory, made clear the message; We need India. We cannot antagonise them. Word oi akin to hey could be used in different contexts, friendly or otherwise. Outburst came when PM placed for approval a Cabinet paper more..

Political Biographies: JR Jayewardene in 1977 and Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2017

Apr 9 (Island) China and India: Their partaking of the world and of Sri Lanka is the topic I was planning to write on for today, but I could not resist the subject of political biographies after seeing news reports on the ceremonial launch of a new biography of PM Wickremesinghe. Interestingly, India and China figured quite prominently in the ceremony insofar as the main guest speaker, Shashi Tharoor, from Kerala, blended his accolades for the PM with some venting on behalf of Indian businessmen more..

Yahapalanaya: Lunacy, Idiocy or Plain Hubris?

Apr 9 (Island) there is no way but down thereafter and that has been the sad story of the Yahapalanaya regime from its laboured birth. Yahapalanaya is a collage of intrinsically incompatible points of view and an uneasy cohabitation between groups and individuals who would not, normally, bed with each other. Given its current state of incompetence and paucity of achievement, the union between a mare and a donkey, which produces sterile mule seems more..

Who prevents the arrest of Rajapaksas?

Apr 9 (CT) A group of SLFP and UNP MPs who came to meet President Maithripala Sirisena at his official chamber in Parliament had to wait in anticipation for almost half an hour as the latter was engaged in a discussion with a group of JO members led by Dinesh Gunawardena. Dinesh Gunawardena was flanked by MPs Bandula Gunawardene and Wimalaweera Dissanayake and the three MPs had apparently pointed out more..

High-powered Boards to be amalgamated

Apr 9 (SO) Board of Investment, Export Development Board, Tourism Development Authority and several other high-powered boards and authorities may soon be amalgamated under the Agency for International Trade, which is now taking shape at the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade. While Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe would not indicate a definite time frame for this agency to start functioning, more..

Heated exchange at cabinet meet on Hambantota port

Apr 9 (SL) A heated exchange of words ensued at the cabinet meeting last week on the Hambantota port deal. Issue arose between members of the SLFP and the UNP. Some members of the SLFP had opposed the deal to be signed between the govt and the Chinese company which will operate the port. The much publicised deal is yet to be signed as a result of the disagreements in govt & this has irked China. more..