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Free market economy conditions & Freedom of living: High cost of housing in cities

Apr 13 (CT) The neoliberal economic doctrine that dominated the world in the last few decades and still doing so has created conditions in societies, especially their urban centres, that deserve further critical scrutiny by the alert and educated intelligentsia both in developed and developing countries. This is because these new conditions have not only generated highly competitive learning and working life for citizens and in some cases immigrants but also the drastic changes more..

Avurudu celebrations 60 years ago

Apr 13 (DN) When the sun moves from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries) in the celestial sphere, the Aluth Avurudda dawns for both, Sinhala and Tamils in SL. It is a time for rejoicing, family reunions and engaging in traditions and rituals carried out through generations. Aluth Avurudda demonstrates our national ethos with its characteristic emphasis of the renewal and reaffirmation of goodwill within families and among all other citizens of the country. more..

Arjuna versus

Apr 13 (CM) Memorable stoushes featuring the SL captain who was and remains a master of the art of the scrap. v Australia, 1995-96 SL have played in higher-octane, better contested and far more watchable series, but for pure watershed value none has left its mark on the island's cricket like this pre-World Cup thrashing in Australia. If Ranatunga had not been at the helm, things might have gone very differently; more..

Selling H’tota Port to ward off impending economic crash?

Apr 13 (FT) Sri Lanka’s public debt was Rs. 7,391 billion on 31 Dec 2014 (about 70% of GDP). It rose to Rs. 8,503 billion by 31 Dec 2015 (about 76% of GDP), and according to estimates it has risen to approximately Rs. 9,700 billion by 31 December 2016, (about 82% of GDP); an unprecedented increase of about Rs. 2,309 billion (or 31%) in just two years! In that scenario, the PM has repeatedly claimed that the Govt is facing a massive debt crisis which has made it imperative that more..

Stellar line-up as ICC announces Champions Trophy Ambassadors

Apr 13 (Island) The ICC on Wednesday announced eight stalwarts of the modern era as Champion Ambassadors for this summer’s ICC Champions Trophy which will be staged at three iconic venues of England and Wales from 1-18 June. Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, Bangladesh’s Habibul Bashar, Ian Bell of England, Shane Bond of New Zealand, Australia’s Mike Hussey, India’s Harbhajan Singh, Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and Graeme Smith of South Africa were unveiled as Ambassadors more..

Auspicious times for Sinhala/Hindu New Year

Apr 13 (GDI) The dawn of the New Year: Friday 14th at 02.04 a.m.  2. Punaya Kalaya (Nonagathaya): From Thursday 13th at 07.40 p.m. to Friday 14th 08.28 a.m. 3. Cooking Meals: Friday 14th at 05.41 a.m.  (Light the hearth clad in gold, facing north and prepare milk rice with ghee and jaggery.) 4. Commencing work, Transactions, and partaking of meals: Friday 14th at 07.05 a.m. (Clad in white and blue facing north)   more..

Avurudu: Wheeling on with time

Apr 13 (DN) Among all festive seasons of Sri Lanka, the Avurudu must be the one that is least capable of flying under the radar. Awash goes the country’s media apparatus with experts offering descriptions, mostly unoriginal, about the history and other aspects of the ceremony. Another school takes a different path to question and pass judgement on the ceremony for its increasing commercial façade. That school is a minority, constituted mostly by the youths. more..

Gurusinghe is now a selector too

Apr 13 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket has included Asanka Gurusinghe to the National Selection Committee with effect from yesterday. This is in addition to his position as manager of the cricket team in which he was first appointed to be brought down from Australia where he was residing. Gurusinghe will join the rest of the team with Sanath Jayasuriya as the chairman, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Ranjith Madurasinghe and Eric Upashantha. Gurusinghe was a member of SL World Cup winning more..

SL struggles to build up foreign reserves

Apr 13 (Nikkei) A South Korean ship unloads its cargo of cars at the Hambantota port, the only sign of life at Sri Lanka's newest harbor on its southern coast. The rest of this $1.4 billion port, built with a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China, sits idle. Weeds are spreading and visitors to the port's administrative offices must tiptoe around feral dogs. Emptiness has dogged the port since it opened in 2012. more..

Rare honour Sri Lankan to captain Harrow against Eton

Apr 13 (DN) Sri Lankan-born Rahul Wijeratne will be creating history when he leads Harrow this year in their traditional cricket match against Eton at the home of cricket - Lord’s Cricket Ground on June 24, a 55-overs-a-side contest. Rahul, son of SL business tycoon Ravi Wijeratne has been appointed captain of Harrow School for the current English school cricket season. Seldom has a Sri Lankan had the honour of leading such a prestigious institute which is over 400 years old and more..

George Steuart Health launches first ever Biosimilar in Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (Island) George Steuart Health recently launched the world’s first biosimilar known as Remsima (Infliximab), approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. The launch was held at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo recently and was attended by key opinion leaders representing vital segments of the medical industry including Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Dermatology. George Steuart Health, which prides itself more..

The journey home: Sri Lanka’s displaced try to rebuild their lives

Apr 13 (National) Eight years have passed since the end of Sri Lanka’s long war, which forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. Many are now returning and rebuilding what was lost but the road back is a long one. "We had a big house before, the biggest in the neighbourhood." R Kanthasamy and K Sivamalar stand on the foundations of what was once their home, in a small garden in the northern town of Kilinochchi. more..

Sri Lanka Naval Ships arrive home after successful visit to India

Apr 13 (SLN) SL Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels, SLNS Samudura and SLNS Suranimila which left for Cochin, India on a goodwill and and training mission on 4th of April, returned to the Colombo port today (11) after a successful completion of tour events. Upon arrival, the Commanding Officers of the ships, Captain Jagath Premarathna and Captain Rohitha Abeysinghe called on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle to discuss the progress of the visit. more..

Finance minister queries computerisation delay at tax department

Apr 13 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said he was mystified by the delay by the Inland Revenue Department to get new computers required to modernise the tax collection system. The requirement had arisen and approval given over one year ago, he said. “We told them to get computers on an operating lease as it is cheaper,” he said. “But for some reason this has dragged on.” Security concerns raised by the tax department over information leaks when maintenance on more..

Journalist Namal Perera identifies his would-be killers

Apr 13 (EN) Journalist Namal Perera has identified two men who caused him grievous injury and tried to abduct him as he travelled with a friend at Kirulapone nearly nine years ago. Perera, who was then a course coordinator at the Sri Lanka College of Journalism, was attacked weeks after deputy editor of the Nation newspaper, Keith Noyahr, was severely assaulted. Perera was summoned to Colombo Magistrate's Court more..

Shanaka, Madushanka provide the fireworks

Apr 13 (DN) Dasun Shanaka smashed a superb century – 121 not out off 95 balls with seven sixes and seven fours as Galle routed Colombo by 188 runs in their Super Provincial limited-over match played at CCC grounds yesterday. Shanaka’s brilliant knock coupled with Dimuth Karunaratne’s innings of 86 saw Galle winning the toss and batting first rattle off an impressive 302-4 in 49 overs. Colombo in their reply collapsed in a heap to be bowled out for 114 with left-arm spinner more..

Work on walking paths a normal renovation

Apr 13 (DM) The removal of the walking path of the Vihara Maha Devi Park situated in the heart of Colombo was only a periodical renovation, Municipality said rejecting reports that attempts were being made to remove the path altogether. Municipality’s Commissioner V.K. Anura said there was nothing strange in renovating the walking path which is worn out. “We repair buildings which need improvements. Other properties including roads are also being renovated on a regular basis. more..

GMOA refuses to budge from its stand on SAITM

Apr 13 (Island) Secretary of GMOA Dr Naveen D. Zoysa yesterday alleged that there was a shortage of essential drugs in several hospitals. Dr Zoysa, responding to Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne’s allegations made against the GMOA and its President, said the Minister’s ingenuity had led to a drug shortage especially in Tamiflu used to treat patients with seasonal flu (Influenza H1N1), which was fast spreading in the country. more..

Two hospitalized after being shot by police in Maha Oya

Apr 13 (AD) Two persons including a woman were wounded in a shooting carried out by several police officers, responding to a dispute in the Samagipura area in Maha Oya, when they were assaulted by certain individuals who also attempted to snatch a police firearm.    Following information received regarding the forceful detention of a person over a dispute, a team of officers from the Maha Oya Police Station were dispatched to investigate.  When the police officers arrived at the location, more..

3,650 houses for the families of war heroes: Cabinet allocates Rs 3.2 B

Apr 13 (CT) Cabinet has allocated Rs 3,192 million for the construction of 3,650 houses for the families of war heroes that do not possess houses, Minister Sajith Premadasa said. These houses will be constructed in the next 48 months. He said it is absurd for people to claim that the present administration does not care about the wellbeing of the security forces. "We conducted research to determine how many families of war heroes do not possess houses and we found that there are more..

'SAITM imbroglio: Govt won’t give in to GMOA'

Apr 13 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella, said that govt wouldn’t give in to what he called a despicable political project undertaken by GMOA on behalf of those who had been ousted at the January 2015 presidential poll. He emphasised that the ongoing GMOA spearheaded campaign against the SAITM was meant to undermine and humiliate the govt. GMOA leadership is working overtime for the JO loyal to former President Rajapaksa," more..

Second U-turn in vain

Apr 13 (DM) There is a former Diyawanna member who functioned as the de facto authority on foreign affairs in his hay day. Despite the past history of being a faithful lackey of the former strongman, the man made a political U-turn soon after the regime change in a bid to warm his way into the graces of the powers that be. However, this attempt failed and he had to languish for some time in the state-run lodge at Welikada. Finding himself in a pathetic situation disowned by both sides, more..

'Public aware of proposed new Constitution'

Apr 13 (NR) Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform has denied reports that the public is unaware that a new Constitution is in the making. Chairman of the Committee Lal Wijenayake said the public has been notified in a manner that covers all districts. However the Centre for Policy Alternatives issuing a statement said 55% of the public was unaware of the preparation of a new Constitution. Wijenayake questioned the percentage of the Centre for Policy Alternatives. more..

Sri Lankan UN peacekeepers accused of involvement in Haiti child-sex ring

Apr 13 (IBT) UN peacekeepers allegedly sexually exploited vulnerable people in Haiti they were sent to protect in a litany of horrific abuse. Associated Press reviewed UN data during a 12-year period from 2004, during which time there were nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse globally. These included 300 cases involving children by personnel from 23 countries. Among the most egregious cases involved 134 SL more..

SL crew aboard ship hijacked by Somali pirates arrive at BIA

Apr 13 (DM) Eight Sri Lankans, who were aboard the oil tanker captured by the Somali pirates recently, arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport a short while ago. They were welcomed by family members after disembarking the Qatar Airways QR 654 flight from Doha. The oil tanker they were working on was hijacked by Somali pirates while it was in the Indian Ocean on March 13, the first such successful hijack of a commercial ship by Somali pirates since 2012. more..

CMC to take legal action against three supermarkets

Apr 13 (DM) Colombo Municipality’s Public Health Department raided supermarkets in the vicinity of Hyde Park and decided to take legal action against three leading supermarkets which were found to be storing food items under unhygienic conditions. “Due to the festive season, supermarkets usually stock a large number of food items disregarding safety regulations. There was no outdated food items detected during the raid though most of it was stored under unhygienic conditions,” more..

Japan, Sri Lanka Prime Ministers vow further cooperation on maritime security

Apr 13 (Kyodo) Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe agreed Wednesday to further advance their cooperation in maritime security. According to a joint statement released after their talks in Tokyo, the leaders emphasized the "special importance of maintaining a maritime order based on the rule of law, including the freedom of navigation and overflight and unobstructed trade." more..

National New Year: Let us focus on sun power

Apr 13 (DM) One of history’s great lessons is that there is power in unity -- the power to face any personal crisis, social or national crisis. When religious or racial diversity also comes in, more power is manifested. It is with such insights and reflection that we tomorrow celebrate the National New Year where Sri Lanka’s two major communities and indeed others also come together in a spirit of unity to celebrate what is largely a cultural festival linked to the movement of the sun, more..

Whatever happened to the R2P cheerleaders?

Apr 13 (DM) There’s sabre-rattling in Washington. There’s sabre-rattling in Moscow. Tit-for-tat talk. Rattle-for-rattle. Neither the USA nor Russia is under attack. Neither country can claim that there is a threat to its security. It’s all about a country that is located almost 11,000km from the USA and about 5,500km from Russia. Syria. It all followed a chemical attack which Washington blamed on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and then proceeded to launch some 60 Tomahawk more..

Let the Avurudu games begin

Apr 13 (DM) Sri Lankans are indeed blessed with an assortment of traditional games during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Reaping the harvest of the Maha season, the rural folk joyfully engage in these games in the month of Bak. While the games are never cutthroat, the significance of them is that they are designed to meet the needs of the peasantry whose sole objective is achieving physical and mental satisfaction after more..

Soaring temperatures raise risk of illnesses

Apr 13 (ST) Sri Lankans will experience uncomfortable afternoons and nights, throughout the remainder of the month. Temperatures will reach 41 degrees Celsius in certain areas, the Department of Meteorology predicted. Until the 15 of this month, the sun will be directly above the island. Today, the sun will be directly above Kochchikade, Ambepussa, Peradeniya, Dunuwila, Maduru-Oya, Bulupitiya, and Addalachenai at about 12 minutes past noon. more..

'IPL 2017: Sri Lankan players not capable enough to play in IPL'

Apr 13 (SK) “Are you saying we don’t have the talent back home?” One of the greatest spinners of all time, Muttiah Muralitharan believes that talented cricketers do exist in Sri Lanka, but they need to polish their skills a lot more to play in the IPL. Unlike previous seasons, the number of cricketers from India’s neighbouring nation, plying their trade in the cash rich league, is far from impressive. more..

Colombo envoy wants assault trial transferred from Sepang to KL

Apr 13 (TS) Sri Lanka High Commissioner Ibrahim Sahib Ansar fears for his safety if he has to testify in the Sepang Sessions Court in an assault trial, High Court here heard. The court was told Thursday that the case needs to be transferred to the Sessions Court here for the envoy's safety and convenience. DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim argued that the diplomat fears for his safety in attending the trial in Sepang on the assault case where more..

Forex Bill deprives parliamentary powers: JO

Apr 13 (DM) JO MP Bandula Gunawardane laments that the Bill titled Foreign Exchange deprives and abrogates the power of parliament to have full control over public finance. He filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the impugned Bill which is an Act to provide for the promotion and regulation of foreign exchange; to vest the responsibility for providing and regulating foreign exchange in Central Bank; more..

Rs 141 M for President’s Mercedes-Maybachs

Apr 13 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake asserted that the cost of both personal security vehicles for President Sirisena would amount to Rs 141 million and not Rs 600 million as some reports have claimed. He said that a total of Rs 141,819,800 would be spent on both vehicles being brought down exclusively for President's personal security. He rubbished reports which claimed that one of the vehicles would cost Rs 600 million. more..

Women in parliament: Sri Lanka the lowest in South Asia

Apr 13 (Island) Among the South Asian countries, Sri Lanka is in the lowest position in the index of women in national parliaments with Nepal obtaining the first slot, according to data released by Inter-Parliamentary Union. Afghanistan ranks second, Pakistan third, India fifth, Bhutan sixth, Maldives seventh and Sri Lanka obtains eighth position.  Globally Nepal ranks 48 while Afghanistan 54, Pakistan 70, Bangladesh 91, India 148, more..

JICA funded digital broadcasting project to be expedited

Apr 13 (Island) Japan and Sri Lanka have discussed ways and means of accelerating long-delayed Japanese funded project to introduce digital broadcasting to Sri Lanka. The project has been taken up during PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s talks with Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan Yoshihide Suga yesterday. A spokesperson for PM’s Office said that there had been an exchange of views on the project and measures to expedite it. more..

Colombo’s seafront makes way for China-backed financial city

Apr 13 (Hindu) It is hard to miss the blue-lettered boards lining the northern end of Galle Face, Colombo’s iconic seafront. A new Central Park in Colombo, A new world class city in South Asia — they declare in bold font. In the background, a few cranes spray sand into the sea in big arches, filling up narrow strips of sandy land — inroads that emerged after work on the port-city project commenced. more..

NEC proposes School education be truncated at Grade 12

Apr 13 (DM) The National Education Commission appointed to make policy proposals on education has proposed that the school education be truncated at Grade 12 and admit children to school at the age of 4+ as a move to minimise unruly behaviour among adult students. Commission Chairman Prof. Lakshman Jayathilake said in Grade 13, children were adults of 18 years which was not good for maintaining discipline in school. more..

Ranil: The man & his era

Apr 15 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe’s political narrative begins in 1977 with his election to Parliament at the age 28. His political path runs parallel to SL’s triple lane highway to the Executive Presidency, Market Liberalization and the ethnic firestorm that engulfed and nearly consumed it. A study of his political biography is a discovery of the compelling complexities of our era. It is a vicarious witnessing of our descent in to a cruel ethnic inferno, suppression of a Sothern insurrection more..