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Tamil nationalist politics and the process of traitorization in Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (DBS) Octogenarian leader of the opposition Rajavarothayam Sampanthan in a hard hitting Parliamentary speech made four weeks ago drew attention to the prevailing practice of persons being condemned as Traitors (Drohi/Thurogi) within the sphere of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalist Politics. Trincomalee district MP who is also the TNA parliamentary group leader made specific reference to recent attacks on TNA MP Sumanthiran more..

Garbage collection dysfunctional, council handicapped, say officials

Apr 1 (ST) Despite lingering concerns over public health issues such as the uncontained spread of dengue and a dysfunctional waste management system in Colombo, officials say they are handicapped — no staff, not enough waste trucks, decades old fleet, no investment, no technical knowledge, and ageing, unproductive workers, and worse — more than 1,000 metric tons of garbage is not collected. more..

'Power sharing within a united, undivided, indivisible country'

Apr 1 (NS) TNA MP, Attorney-at-Law M.A. Sumanthiran spoke to the Nation regarding the state of affairs within the Party/Alliance, the UNHRC and the question of foreign judges in a hybrid court, issues faced by the Tamils, their dealings with the Govt, constitutional reforms, the postponement of the Local Govt election, devolution of power, legal reforms, the role of the Diaspora, TN relations, and the country’s economy. more..

Colombo hosts regional conference on countering terrorism

Apr 1 (GDI) The Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) in collaboration with the Centre for South Asian Studies, Nepal and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is organising a Regional Conference on Preventing Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism in South Asia. This is an event under the umbrella of the Consortium of South Asian Think Tanks (COSATT). Given the importance of the topic in current regional & global context, more..

Environmentalist accuses authorities of playing tricks

Apr 1 (Island) A leading environmentalist lashed out at President Sirisena for what he called misleading the public by changing the names of the forest reserves instead of fulfilling his promise to bring the threatened forest reserve under the Wilpattu National Park. Environment Conservation Trust (ECT) Director Sajeewa Chamikara said that five forest reserves encompassing 40,030.525 hectares at more..

USS Comstock participates in humanitarian assistance training in Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (USE) USS Comstock (LSD 45) departed Sri Lanka today following a week of exchanges with the SL Navy and Marine Corps.  These exercises focused on improving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts and coordination, the third such military-to-military exchange between U.S. Sailors and Marines and their Sri Lankan counterparts in the past 12 months. “We hope to build upon past successes and more..

'LG electoral reforms in House next week'

Apr 1 (DM) Attorney General's recommendations on sorting out the technical issues in the present Local Govt election laws will submitted to Parliament next week, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said. The gazette notice on delimitation was issued on Feb 17 however there was a delay in holding LG elections because of a question on women representation. “I have received the AG's recommendations & will submit amendments more..

Sri Lanka stops jumbo flying to New Zealand

Apr 1 (AFP) A SL baby elephant gifted to New Zealand has been prevented from leaving the island after animal activists said it was cruel to separate her from her family. Six-year-old Nandi was bequeathed to former New Zealand PM John Key by President Sirisena at a meeting in Colombo in Feb 2016 to mark excellent bilateral relations between the two countries. NZ vets had visited SL last year to prepare Nandi for the journey more..

Common regional energy grid

Apr 2 (SO) Wherever else our delicate foreign relations balancing act tilts us towards, hard facts on the ground prevent us from tilting too far away from our immediate geographical location in the Indian Ocean and, very specifically, just off-shore from the South Asian Sub-continent. One such hard fact is energy shortage. Last week, Sri Lanka decided to join its neighbours in the Bay of Bengal area in a new initiative to share energy resources. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved more..

Did Lanka have a choice in foreign policy?

Apr 2 (SL) Sri Lanka gained a much needed reprieve recently from the implementation of the resolution 30/1 of the UNHRC calling for Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka when the Council unanimously decided to grant a two-year period for its implementation. It was not a victory in that the resolution remains on the agenda and the responsibility for implementation rests with this country. But it is a significant concession considering the hostility faced in early years more..

'Country needs radical change'

Apr 2 (SL) The country is in a dire need of a radical change in the existing political system that is capable of creating a new socio economic foundation in the country, General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said. Inviting the general public to give up traditional beliefs on political alliances and to join hands with the JVP for a new change of policies, Silva said that his party has successfully initiated the initial stage of more..

State Owned Enterprise

Apr 2 (Island) Minister Kabir Hashim last week disclosed some thought provoking numbers relating to State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) at a breakfast meeting of the Sri Lanka Malaysia Business Council which is linked to Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Most Lankans believe that SOEs are a huge drag on the national economy. That impression has been ballasted by frequent press reports on the losses amounting to many billions in entities like SriLankan Airlines which the govt is trying to turnaround more..

The abdication of leadership

Apr 2 (CT) GMOA's membership has apparently been extremely busy getting in touch with more than 100 trade unions including the Joint Trade Union Federation, to exert pressure on the govt to shut down SAITM's medical degree awarding programme. We've been having the JO, the JVP as well as the IUSF taking turns to turn the heat on the government to force it to cave into their demand to disqualify SAITM from its right to award a medical degree. more..

'We will set up our own domestic mechanism'

Apr 2 (SO) Rejecting allegations that the govt is dancing to the tune of pro-LTTE diaspora in Geneva and making blueprints to drag the country’s war heroes before a hybrid court, Foreign Affairs Minister, Mangala Samaraweera says, on the contrary, their expectation is to put the country in order so that the domestic call for a hybrid court which led to the UN High Commissioner’s recommendation, could be put to rest within more..

New tax law: Capitulating to the IMF

Apr 2 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told the Bar Association convocation last week that the Govt hoped to introduce new laws to replace archaic ones and that while Sri Lanka could be proud of having an old legal tradition in Asia, the country was behind others in the region when it came to enacting modern laws. Speaking further, the lawyer-premier named some of the laws in the pipeline as being, a new counter terrorism law to replace the PTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act), more..

Clever moves

Apr 2 (ST) My dear Wimal sahodaraya, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had begun a so-called ‘fast unto death’ at Welikada. On hearing the news, my first thoughts were to ask whether Lemon Puff had begun another advertising campaign but before I could say Ban Ki Moon, they say that you had called off the fast! I don’t agree with you on most issues, Wimal sahodaraya, but I do congratulate you on your brilliant thinking and clever tactics. more..


Sri Lanka’s Constitutional committee report to be out this month

Apr 2 (PTI) A key report to formulate SL’s new Constitution will be released this month, which could deliberate among other things on a political solution to the Tamil minority issue through devolution of power. TNA senior MA Sumanthiran while addressing a gathering in Jaffna said the political party leaders represented in Parliament have agreed to present the report this month. The decision was made at a meeting presided by President Sirisena, Sumanthiran said. more..

Nothing to worry about: Influenza virus a normal condition: DGHS

Apr 2 (Island) Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Jayasundara Bandara says the influenza virus that has surfaced in the country is a normal condition, which can be overcome by seeking medical treatment. "It’s a condition caused by the continuous climate changes which helps the spread of the virus", he said. There is nothing to worry about. With medication, the condition should ease and wear out, he assured. "It should be borne in mind that the nature of common viruses more..

Tharanga puts improved fielding down to fearlessness

Apr 2 (CI) SL captain Upul Tharanga said that fearlessness helped his team tighten up their fielding, after their athletic defence of 280 in the third ODI. Sri Lanka have been routinely woeful in the field over the past two years. The standards hit new lows in 2017, in series against South Africa and Australia, as well as Bangladesh's ongoing tour. The performance in the 3rd ODI was a sharp departure from what had been a worrying trend. more..

Kulasekara nearly throws it away

Apr 2 (CI) Mushfiqur Rahim played a memorable hand in Bangladesh's World T20 loss to India in Bangalore, and it was in that match that the opposition wicketkeeper - MS Dhoni - effected an excellent stumping, by snapping the bails off in the split seconds Sabbir Rahman's back foot hung in the air. Mushfiqur dusted off a version of that dismissal at the SSC, when, having collected a throw from deep point, he dislodged the bails as batsman Dinesh Chandimal sauntered into the crease. more..

Wijedasa Rajapakshe’s existential questions

Apr 2 (Island) While Sri Lanka remained mired in problems and woes, grand events were taking place in the outside world - events that represents tectonic shifts in ways of thinking - which will of course have an impact on Sri Lanka as well. The old world was slowly but surely giving way to a new world albeit amidst resistance. Last week British PM Theresa May triggered Article 50 with a formal letter to the President of EU, informing him of Britain’s intent to leave the European Union.  more..

SL break ODI drought to level series

Apr 2 (CI) Sri Lanka rode a fast start and a fast finish to a competitive score, bowled with discipline, and found some spirit in the field to defeat Bangladesh by 70 runs and snap a six-match losing streak that stretched back to January. Perhaps encouragingly for the hosts, the architects of the victory were many. Upul Tharanga and Danushka Gunathilaka cracked 76 runs in the Powerplay, Kusal Mendis contributed more..

A hunger strike that falls flat on the face

Apr 2 (SO) Hunger strike is the ultimate political weapon for any activist in the democratic political stream. There are many activists across the world who have used this weapon quite effectively to resist oppression and achieve their desired goals, from time to time. In the context of international politics, Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Nelson Mandela made use of this weapon quite effectively, in their freedom struggles. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of India’s freedom fight, more..

Pakistan to face Sri Lanka in Emerging Teams Asia Cup final

Apr 2 (TN) Pakistan booked their place in the final of Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2017 on April 3 against Sri Lanka after they overwhelmed Afghanistan by 124 runs in the second semi-final at the MA Aziz Stadium, Chittagong Saturday. Chasing 268, Afghanistan were never in the contest as they lost early wickets, and afterwards in regular intervals as Pakistan bowlers denied them any substantial partnerships. Afghans were all out for 144 inside 32 overs. more..

If not Maithri or Ranil, who wants foreign judges?

Apr 2 (CT) President Sirisena clearly states that he, as the Head of the State, does not want foreign judges or would not allow the setting up of a Hybrid Court in the accountability process where SL is under international scrutiny for alleged war crimes committed by govt's very own military forces in the final stages of 4th Eelam War. PM Wickremesinghe, irrespective of his longstanding image of being a non-patriot or a non-nationalist more..

Japanese Naval Ship at Port of Colombo

Apr 2 (SLN) Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) Ship, Teruzuki, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill and training visit today (1). The ship was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. Subsequently, the Commander Escort Division VI, Captain Masashi Kondou and Commanding Officer of ‘Teruzuki’ Commander Seiichi Hashimoto called on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle more..

Run out rule change in focus, again

Apr 2 (CI) For the second time in three days, a batsman has been given out despite the bulk of his body having crossed the plane of the crease. Dinesh Chandimal did initially ground his bat behind the crease as he sauntered in to complete a second run, in the 26th over, but he briefly raised it again as his body passed the line. His feet, however, did not touch the ground before the bails were dislodged. Collecting a good throw from deep point, wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim snapped more..

Saving a lone tree, in memory of Che

Apr 2 (Hindu) When a lawmaker from leftist JVP, recently urged the govt to protect a mahogany tree in Kalutara district, he, perhaps inadvertently, evoked memories of his party’s roots. Famous for its wooden furniture, the mahogany is one of the most popular trees in the southern part of the island. Except that this one, which the MP is trying to save, has rare history. It was planted by Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara on a visit to more..

John Keells supermarket chain to expand

Apr 2 (SO) John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) will continue to expand its supermarket chain and look for new opportunities to invest in the leisure industry, JKH Executive Director Krishan Balendra said. The company operates 64 supermarkets which is primarily concentrated in the Western province. “We hope to have a substantial increase in the number of supermarkets in the country this year. There is still lot of potential for growth in the supermarket sector,” he said. more..

PCB chairman leaves for unexpected SL visit

Apr 2 (DT) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shahryar Khan unexpectedly left for Sri Lanka on Saturday. It is very much likely that Shahryar might meet with the officials of the Indian and Bangladeshi cricket boards. When contacted officials from the PCB, they said that even the executive committee of the PCB was unaware about the chairman’s sudden visit to SL. Shahryar Khan will discuss issues pertaining to Pakistan-India cricket with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials. more..

Govt moves fast with new Inland Revenue bill

Apr 2 (ST) The Sri Lankan govt is rushing to enact a new Inland Revenue Bill prepared with IMF expertise without adequate consultation with public and private sector stakeholders, tax officials and experts warned. The Finance Ministry is planning to finalise this bill shortly and if it is unable to enact in parliament soon, then it will be introduced as an amendment to the existing law, a senior Finance Ministry official said. more..

Aitken Spence teams up with DPD Group

Apr 2 (ST) Aitken Spence Group following its representation of a leading global international express network for over 35 years in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, has entered a partnership with the second largest international parcel delivery network in Europe, the DPD Group. The DPD Group is the international delivery network of Geopost SA, a subsidiary of Le Groupe La Poste in France and delivers to 230 countries globally. DPD Group has a strategic alliance with India’s largest and more..

Mathews unlikely for B'desh T20s, IPL's start

Apr 2 (CI) Angelo Mathews will almost certainly miss the T20s against Bangladesh next week, and is also unlikely to be fit for the start of the IPL, SLC cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha has confirmed. Mathews has been sidelined since sustaining a hamstring injury during the T20 series in South Africa, and though he was expected to have recovered by now, his return has been further delayed by a mild calf strain. He had also missed the Zimbabwe tour late last year through injury. more..

Lankan flag on List of Shame

Apr 2 (CT) Sri Lanka is among 35 countries that have been included in a maritime shame list after the country loaned out the National Flag to several foreign vessels in exchange for a substantial fee, it was revealed. International Transport Federation (ITF) has included Sri Lanka in the Flags of Convenience or Flags of Shame list along with the other 34 countries, ITF Inspector Ranjan Perera said. more..

Sri Lankan killed in fatal head-on crash in NZ

Apr 2 (Stuff) It was Gamini Vithanage​'s last day in the Waikato. The Hamilton man was planning to follow his family to Dunedin, where his youngest daughter had got into university, but he was killed in a crash not far from Putaruru, at the start of his trip south. Minutes earlier, he had been saying goodbye to a Putaruru mate. And it would be that same mate, a volunteer firefighter, who would be one of the first on the scene. "It's a really unbelievable thing that has happened," said family spokeswoman more..

Rising death toll from dengue and H1N1

Apr 2 (ST) The prevailing unusual weather conditions are contributing towards rising deaths due to dengue and H1N1 influenza, health officials warned yesterday. With the death toll due to dengue rising to 53 in three months and the number of cases increasing to 27,898 the Dengue Control Unit has issued health warnings to 11 districts. They are Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Ratnapura and Kegalle. more..

Navy Chief fails to produce key suspect

Apr 2 (SL) Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne has been accused of protecting a Navy officer who is alleged to have been involved in the abduction of two Tamil civilians in Kotahena during the height of the war. The CID had unearthed details of an abduction carried out by Navy officials which had been swept under the carpet by former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake who is now in remand custody more..

Lifetime ban on three SLBA ex-officials

Apr 2 (ST) “Former President of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA), Suraj Dandeniya, Secretary- Wing Commander Amal Dias and Treasurer- Ruwan Gallege, cannot represent the SLBA in future,” said Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera. This is in consequence to the Sports Law and the advice of the Director General of the Ministry of Sports regarding SLBA 2017 elections, being enforced. “The Sports Ministry instructed all Sports bodies must hold their AGM and more..

S.B. may get higher education post

Apr 2 (ST) Social Services Minister S. B. Dissanayake is likely to be appointed Higher Education Minister at the proposed cabinet reshuffle, sources said. The proposal was discussed when President and Prime Minister met recently. When contacted Dissanayake he said he was not aware of the move to make him the Higher Education Minister. Dissanayake was Higher Education Minister in the Rajapaksa govt and was often at crossroads with university students’ unions. more..