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Malwatu and Asgiri chapters sent 21 point letter to MS

Apr 5 (DM) On the advice and instructions of Mahanayake Theras of the Malwatta and Asgiri Chapters, Lekakadhikari Theras, Ven Dr. Medagama Sri Dhammananda Thera and Ven Dr. Pahamune Sri Sumangala Thera had presented a letter containing 21 points, in which the two chapters request for response. This document was presented to President at his official residence in Kandy during a visit made by him today. more..

Longest living filmmaker in the world: Nonpareil Nonagenarian

Apr 6 (DN) Globally renowned and prolific filmmaker, Dr. Lester James Peries, will turn 98 today. The celebrated movie director who had done yeoman service to the industry is undisputedly the biggest brand name amidst the country’s filmmakers. He will imprint his name in world history again by being the longest living filmmaker in the world. With a career spanning more than 50 years Lester had gifted the industry with so many memorable creations that he had been termed the doyen of SL cinema. more..

Sinhala poetry translated by Ranjini Obeyesekere

Apr 6 (CT) Ranjini Obeyesekere has brought together a wide-ranging translation of Sinhala poetry making it accessible to an English- speaking readership. This in itself is an admirable achievement. While the book includes a cluster of poems from the older folk tradition, the majority of poems span the 20th Century. The volume is attractive in that the layout, with its generous spacing of the stanzas, allows the poems to breathe with great amplitude. more..

Alluring delights of April

Apr 6 (SO) For the past few days, just about sunrise I was able to hear a familiar voice. It was the distinct call of the Koha- that beloved bird who joyfully heralds the advent of the New Year. Indeed, April is the month of many delightful memories. It is a month of reflections and future aspirations. My earliest memories of Aluth Avurudhu center around the succulent sweets I had as a child (three decades later they still entice me). more..

Politics of Sri Lanka’s UNHRC reprieve

Apr 6 (CT) President Sirisena must be a happy man after the UNHRC adopted a resolution to give two more years to SL, to fully implement all the commitments it made in 2015 resolution to deliver justice to thousands of people affected by the Eelam wars. By co-sponsoring the latest resolution with the US, SL had shown its readiness to positively engage with the int'l community on fulfilling its commitment to reconciliation and human rights, as pointed out by the US head of delegation at the UNHRC.  more..

Ravi J.: personification of simplicity

Apr 6 (DN) Ravi Jayawardene, the son of the country’s first Executive President J.R. Jayawardene, considered one of the best marksman Sri Lanka has ever produced and the person responsible for setting up the Police Special Task Force (STF) during J R’s regime, passed away on Monday at the age of 80. He was a humble man who he did not get around with armed-guards or drive around with security escort, unlike many of the offspring of today’s politicians. more..

Beauty and the beasts

AprApr 6 (NS) Yashodha Wimaladharma, one of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated actresses was chosen by Kelaniya University to be awarded a meritorious honorary award for Arts. However, on the day she was chosen for this award she spoke about her bitterest experiences in her life when she was subjected to ragging at the same university. Our sister paper Rivisarasi spoke to Yashodha about her traumatic experience. more..

The Dancing Queen of Meemure

Apr 6 (NS) Our ears became attuned to a roar increasing its crescendo as we progressed. It is the sound of falling columns upon columns of water in mighty swirls. The swirls in Sinhala kerali gave the name to the waterfall. Diyakerella Waterfall was in all its glory making silver bubbles as it fell. This majestic waterfall stands forty-five metres tall feeds the Heenganga tributary and finally the Mahaveli River. On deciding to spend the vacation in a rural, far-flung village surrounded by more..

Not-so-Smart IDs?

Apr 6 (FT) It was announced this week that Smart Identity Cards would replace ordinary ID cards by the end of June, a move seen as a precursor to a complete shift to electronic ID cards by the end of the year. The Smart ID will include a citizen’s photograph and biometric data, while the eventual electronic ID is expected to comprise security features against tampering, counterfeiting and forgery, and will include a person’s photograph, bio data, fingerprints and blood group.  more..

Shantha Bandara

Anandasangari and Premachandran take on Sambanthan

Apr 6 (Island) In Sri Lanka’s ethnically polarized political society, the political discourse of both the Sinhala and Tamil polity is sadly limited and largely restricted to being within their own respective communities, with occasional broadsides against each other. There is insufficient dialogue and engagement between the different political views, especially on the issues of reconciliation. Within that context, it was interesting to note recently the call by two former MPs for the Jaffna District, more..

Editorial: Politics of corruption

Apr 6 (Island) Speculation is rife in political circles that the internal crisis of the govt will come to a head if President Maithripala Sirisena attempts a Cabinet reshuffle without the UNP’s concurrence. The SLFP faction of the govt is pressing for drastic changes in the Cabinet. Govt leaders are busy papering over the cracks in a bid to prevent the morale of its supporters sagging. Even the shadow of a doomed marriage is crooked, as a popular local saying goes. Same is true of the political marriage of more..

Runway resurfacing project of BIA

Apr 6 (CT) Airport and Aviation Services Limited embarked on a colossal task of resurfacing of the runway of the BIA, SL's key int'l Airport, which served its service life. Most conducive dry weather patterns for the resurfacing works were considered based on the review of historical weather data at BIA maintained by the Department of Meteorology. Contract for the Overlaying Works was awarded on 1 Sept 2016 more..

UTE - HNB partners to support SMEs

Apr 6 (DM) The country’s youth, especially the small and medium entrepreneurs, need reliable and efficient tools together with financial support to boost their businesses. In an initiative to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) remain competitive and meet an increased demand for energy-efficient machinery, United Tractor & Equipment (UTE) and Hatton National Bank (HNB) signed a MoU to provide entrepreneurs an easy payment scheme to finance Curtis air compressor range. more..

Labour Shortages in the Apparel Industry

Apr 6 (IPS) As a relatively new industry in SL, apparel industry has played an important role in the economy as a major income source and an avenue for creating employment opportunities, especially for women, over the last few decades. It has also created a global brand name for the country, positioning SL’s name at a prestigious level for high quality garment products. SL apparel industry which operates in a highly competitive global market, mostly occupies female workers. more..

Termination of foreign tennis coach: Sports Minister unhappy with SLTA decision

Apr 6 (DN) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera yesterday expressed concern that the bosses of the governing body of tennis in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) have been bringing in foreign tennis coaches to the country without informing the ministry. Having brought the coaches thus, they are in the habit of terminating high profile tennis coaches before fulfillment of respective coaching contracts, minister said. more..

NSSF conducts first ever Electronic Shooting Target Course

Apr 6 (ST) The National Shooting Sports Federation (NSSF) of Sri Lanka held its first ever Electronic Shooting Target (EST) Course with Aado Maranik, a qualified Course Instructor from Australia conducting the course. The 3-day Course was held at the Concord Hotel, Dehiwela, with the participation of 35 officials. The EST Course was made possible due to the untiring efforts of NSSF President, Shirantha Pieris, who ensured all arrangements were in place for a successful programme. more..

SLNS Samudura and SLNS Suranimila leave for Cochin India

Apr 6 (SLN) SL Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels, SLNS Samudura and SLNS Suranimila  left for Cochin India today (4) on a goodwill mission  in India. Captain Jagath Premarathna and Captain Rohitha Abeysinghe will be the commanding officers of the ships Samudura and Suranimila respectively. During the stay from 6th to 9th April, visiting SL naval personnel are scheduled to visit Indian Navigation School, ASW School, Signal School, SNOW & Gunnery School. more..

Bond Scams: Legal action depends on probe results, Wijayadasa tells Parliament

Apr 6 (Island) It was on the basis of the findings of the CID and Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigations into the alleged bond scams that the govt would have to decide whether to institute against Perpetual Treasuries, Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe told Parliament. He said so in response to a question raised by MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who demanded to know whether the minister was aware that more..

‘It’s time to act in Sri Lanka’

Apr 6 (Hindu) Acknowledging important improvements in the overall situation of human rights in Sri Lanka, Secretary General of Amnesty International Salil Shetty said it was now time for the govt to act, after it recently got a two-year extension at the UNHRC to fulfil its commitments. Drawing from a report that Amnesty released earlier this week on enforced disappearances, Mr. Shetty said: “Families of the disappeared have spent years, sometimes decades, waiting for answers. more..

Hilton, Melwa in historic deal

Apr 6 (FT) Global giant Hilton and Sri Lanka’s steel industry leader Melwa yesterday announced a historic deal heralding six star class hotels in the country with 800 rooms collectively with an investment of $ 100 million (over Rs. 15 billion). The strategic partnership is by far the largest expansion plan for a global hospitality company in Sri Lanka and will strengthen Hilton’s Asia Pacific portfolio, which stands at 180 at present with 300 hotels in the pipeline over the next 3-5 years. more..

Chinese presence in SL worries Tharoor

Apr 6 (Hindu) Congress MP and former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday flagged India’s concerns over China’s presence in Sri Lanka, pointing to military intervention in the guise of trade even in the earlier avatar of China’s Silk Road initiative. He was speaking at the launch of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s political biography. Referring to Chinese admiral Zheng He’s explorations in the 15th century, more..

Seven Sri Lankan fishermen detained

Apr 6 (Hindu) Seven Sri Lankan fishermen on board a vessel were apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) personnel off Thoothukudi station on Tuesday on charge of illegal fishing in Indian waters under the Maritime Zones of India Act. Sources told The Hindu here on Wednesday that the apprehended fishermen would be brought to the shore here around 12.30 a.m. on Thursday. They were alleged to have strayed into the Indian waters after crossing the IMBL. more..

Govt denies salary increase to Ministers/MPs

Apr 6 (DM) The govt denied any move to increase the salaries of ministers and MPs in the guise of increasing salaries of Supreme Court and Appeal Court judges. Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and State Minister of Highways Dilan Perera informed the House last evening. Mr. Rajapaka said the salaries of judges are increased under Section 108(1) of the Constitution whereas salaries of MPs have to be increased under Section 68(1) of the Constitution. more..

Video: 110 Acts in conflict with RTI

Apr 6 (DM) A total of 110 Acts had been found to be contradicting with the Right to Information Act when the RTI was implemented, Govt Information Department's Director General Ranga Kalansooriya said today. He said the identified 110 Acts should have to be amended to some extend to be compatible with the RTI Act. “Following the instructions of the Minister Rajitha Senaratne, we conducted an investigation regarding the RTI more..

CA Sri Lanka recognizes 13 accredited learning partners

Apr 6 (DM) The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently recognized 13 professional education providers as Accredited Learning Partners. The 13 Accredited Learning Partners will help produce versatile chartered accountants by strengthening the knowledge delivery process, while also enabling learning partners to improve the education standards in line with international standards, as per the guidelines issued by Int'l Federation of Accountants more..

Bangladesh look to give Mashrafe victorious send-off

Apr 6 (CI) The second T20 against Sri Lanka will be Mashrafe Mortaza's last, and Bangladesh will be keen to farewell their captain with a victory. If Bangladesh come back from Tuesday's thrashing and win, the T20I series will end in a draw, like the ODI and Test series did. Sri Lanka, who were clinical in the first game, will look to stretch Bangladesh's losing streak in T20Is to nine. It was the returning Kusal Perera who led Sri Lanka's charge in the first match with a 53-ball 77. more..

Sri Lanka vehicle assembly with used spares violates Customs rule: CMTA

Apr 6 (EN) Sri Lankan agents representing global automobile manufacturers have slammed a govt decision to allow assembly of vehicles with imported used spare parts, saying it raises safety concerns and breaks Customs rules. The Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association said it is concerned over the recent decision by the govt, where it allowed the assembling of motor vehicles locally by using imported used spare parts. more..

Video: JO to boycott media owned by persons behind controversial bond sale

Apr 6 (AD) The Joint Opposition (JO) has unanimously adopted a decision to boycott the media organizations that are said to be funded by the persons behind the controversial bond sale, MP Dullas Alahapperuma says. “The JO will not support these media organizations,” he added. Alahapperuma also invited the people to join hands with them to express disapproval against the govt by taking part in their May Day rally which is scheduled to be held at the Galle Face Green. more..

First phase of livelihood support for war widows begins

Apr 6 (FT) Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, under the direction of President, will provide livelihood support for war widows as a first phase initiative in the conflict-affected Northern Province under a project titled Healing mind for dignified life covering the Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. Under this program livelihood support of Rs. 100,000 is provided to women-headed families covering war widows, women who have lost their household’s breadwinners, more..

UNP stresses need for one voice on crucial matters

Apr 6 (DN) UNP Working Committee members stressed that the members of the national unity govt should have one voice on crucial economic and political matters. Strongly criticising Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s recent statement in Parliament over the Hambantota Port deal with China, UNP Working Committee members said such statements were detrimental to the govt and its economic development agenda. more..

Govt to pay compensation to farmers affected by drought

Apr 6 (FT) Cabinet this week approved a proposal to pay financial assistance and compensation to farmers affected by the severe drought conditions for the next four months amounting to Rs. 4 billion.  A proposal to introduce a new farmer insurance scheme to confront such situations in the future was also granted approval. Close to 750,000 farmer families whose harvest has been damaged due to drought or who were not able to cultivate will be given paid an allowance of Rs. 40,000. more..

Handing over Trinco Oil tank farm to India: Petroleum Ministry opposes move

Apr 6 (DM) The Petroleum and Petroleum Gas Ministry is opposed to the move to hand over the Trincomalee Oil tank farm in total to the Indian authorities for development under a joint venture, Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. The Minister said that at least 15 tanks should remain with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, and the rest could be considered for joint development with Lanka Indian Oil Company. He said the issue would be discussed with the Indian authorities. more..

Govt has got better terms from China: PM

Apr 6 (Island) Those who built the Hambantota Port had expected all ships going past SL to stop there for refuelling, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament. "They thought that ships would come there the way the vehicles come to the petrol shed at Alexandra Place in Colombo for refuelling. Agreements they entered into with China over the Hambantota port were not favourable to our country, he said. more..

3 main unions pull out of CEB token strike

Apr 6 (Island) Three main trade unions of the Ceylon Electricity Board have withdrawn from the 24-hour token strike by a group of CEB unions scheduled to commence at midnight yesterday. The unions which pulled out of the scheduled strike are the CEB Billing Officers’ Association, CEB Electricity Superintendents’ Association and Ceylon Electricity General Union. The three unions made the announcement at a media conference held at Jayanthipura in Kotte yesterday. more..

Nayake Thera’s funeral with full state honours today

Apr 6 (DN) Cremation of Mahanayake Thera of Amarapura Nikaya Most Ven Dauldena Gnanissara Thera who rendered an unparalleled service to the Buddha Sasana and the nation will be held at Independence Square with full state honours. Thera passed away on Monday at the age of 102. Govt requested the public to hoist a yellow flag at their houses and workplaces as a mark of respcet to the erudite monk who guided the Sasana by leading a virtuous life in keeping with the Dhamma. more..

Now, AI says credible investigation needed to ascertain numbers

Apr 6 (Island) Amnesty International (AI) yesterday admitted that a credible investigation was required to ascertain the number of civilians killed as well as enforced disappearances during the conflict in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan military brought the war against the LTTE to a successful conclusion in May 2009. A credible inquiry was necessary due to varying unsubstantiated estimates in respect of dead and the disappeared, AI acknowledged. more..

We are great worriers, not warriors

Apr 6 (DM) Although our own medical officers have threatened to go strike again, tomorrow (7), is World Health Day with this year’s theme being, Depression: let’s talk. In this stress-filled era some globalization dimensions, which are of highly competitive if not throat-cutting, depression has risen to the top as one of the main causes of ill health. World Health Organisation (WHO) gives us much to deeply think about when it says that depression is the leading cause of more..

Repeating the Ginger for Chillies error

Apr 6 (DM) There was a time when victory over enemies was about bashing heads, seizing their women and enslaving their children. It still happens of course. The cost-effective way is for the powerful to dictate, the weak to submit, hands to be shaken with the key representatives of the respective parties facing the camera, a show of bonhomie and crisp statements about long-standing historical friendships. Heads don’t get bashed, but enslavement is what it is all about. more..

'SAITM should be nationalized'

Apr 6 (DM) Ahead of a planned strike by doctors countrywide, the GMOA vowed that it would not relent until the SAITM issue was addressed. In an interview with Daily Mirror, GMOA Secretary Dr. Navin de Zoysa said that ample time was given to the govt, but nothing was done. Q: You are planning on trade union action on Friday over the SAITM issue? How justifiable is it to inconvenience patients? A: We had given enough time to more..