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FM condemns the Barcelona terrorist attack

Aug 18 (DM) Ministry of Foreign affairs condemned suspected terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain which left at least 13 people dead and nearly 100 injured. While posting a Twitter message Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne extended condolences to those affected on behalf of Sri Lanka. Her Twitter message said, Govt of #SriLanka condemns the terrorist attack in #Barcelona #Spain and extends condolences to those affected. A van ploughed into the people in Barcelona more..

Gazette the new Audit Act: Auditor General

Aug 18 (NR) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe has requested that the draft of the new Audit Act be gazetted promptly. Addressing a media briefing he said certain factions are attempting to delay the gazetting of the draft by creating misconceptions about the surcharge procedure specified in the Act. Auditor General noted the proceedings within the Audit Commission and the Auditor General’s Department are facing setbacks as a result of the delay in passing the Act. more..

International judges can’t operate in Sri Lanka: New Foreign Minister

Aug 18 (PTI) International judges cannot work in SL to hear cases of alleged war crimes blamed on the govt troops and the LTTE as the SL Constitution does not permit it, new Foreign Minister Thilak Marapona said. UNHRC resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in 2015 called for a hybrid int'l mechanism to hear alleged cases of war crimes blamed on the govt troops and the LTTE. “SL’s Constitution does not allow foreign judges to more..

Independent Commission bigwig abuses his official clout

Aug 18 (DM) There is an independent Commission set up under the Constitutional provisions to ensure that appointments, promotions, disciplinary action etc. of a department responsible for maintaining law and order in the country are done free from political or other interference.  So naturally the general public expect this Commission to be manned by persons of unquestionable integrity and moral rectitude. By the way, a certain bigwig of this Commission had entertained more..

SL vs India: Sunil Gavaskar predicts 4-1 series win for visitors

Aug 18 (NDTV) Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Friday predicted a 4-1 series win for the Indians against Sri Lanka. Speaking exclusively to NDTV, Gavaskar said, "My prediction is it will be 4-1 in favour of India." The red ball tends to swing more than the white ball and Gavaskar reckoned it will be easier for the home side to play with the white ball than with the red ball. "White ball will be easier for the Sri Lankan batsmen," added Gavaskar. While Upul Tharanga, more..

Video: Prez, PM or Justice Minister can’t intervene in judicial matters: Wijeyadasa

Aug 18 (DM) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, responding to remarks made by Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera, said that neither the President, PM nor the Justice Minister had powers to intervene in judicial matters. He said the possibility of appointing a special court had been discussed in the Cabinet and added that the Attorney General had also given written advice to the govt on the matter. “We are acting on the advice of AG” more..

A gaping trust deficit within the govt

Aug 19 (CT) Comparing the Yahapalana administration with the Rajapaksa one and concluding that the present administration is not yet as bad as the former but is on the wrong road or moving too slowly on the right one, is either moronic or knavish, not only because there was nothing of the magnitude of the bond scam and gigantic divestitures of strategic national assets under the previous regime, but also because Mahinda Rajapaksa did something positive of huge more..

Continuing torture & sexual violence in SL

Aug 19 (CT) “Every case results in a confession signed by the victim, which they are not able or allowed to read. The documents to be signed are either blank pages or are written in Sinhala, a language the victim does not know”. Here is a victim: “I signed six or seven pages of the Sinhala written documents. I do not know what they said as they were not translated to me and I did not ask, as I thought if I asked questions they would beat me up again” To say that the confessions are signed more..

Proposed crippling countrywide strike to save Economy, Assets, Natural resources

Aug 19 (CT) Convenor of Ceylon Petroleum Joint Union Alliance and General Secretary of Petroleum Common Workers' Alliance, Janaka Rajakaruna said their proposed countrywide strike in unison and combination with all the other unions of the essential services of the country, was to protect the essential services, the national economy and the country's natural resources as well. Rajakaruna functions as more..

Sri Lankan Winners and exciting news: #StoriesfromLKA photo contest!

Aug 19 (WB) World Bank Sri Lanka launched an online campaign titled #StoriesfromLKA during the month of June celebrating World Environment day Connecting People to Nature. The campaign included online interactions to learn about World Bank operations related to the environment and a photo competition to appreciate the natural beauty of Sri Lanka that needs to be preserved while Sri Lanka pursues a development drive. This competition began on the 21st of June more..

PPP, higher education and the State

Aug 19 (DN) PPP or public – private partnership is a remedy recommended for many ills of the system of tertiary education. It is introduced as a new concept in lieu of privatization. For example, the Government vows that it will not privatize state owned enterprises but would establish public-private partnerships instead. First of all are PPPs that strange? Don’t we already have PPPs? The answer to the first question is negative while the second question has a positive answer. more..

An ancient martial art is brought to Colombo

Aug 19 (Roar) Traditional martial arts preserved by generations becomes a subject of pride for a nation. Angampora has been a key component of Sri Lankan culture and heritage since ancient times. The martial art form requires years to master and is a deeply spiritual form of combat that was long considered a lifestyle. Its rich history will tell you that it was used in many battlegrounds and as the years progressed, Angampora fighters more..

Climate calamity

Aug 19 (NS) SL has been going through numerous changes in weather patterns over past couple of years. The worrying factor being that the shifts in weather patterns have been quite extreme. This has been evident at least during these two years where severe drought was followed by incessant rains which resulted in floods and landslides in several parts of the country. Even today, many parts of Sri Lanka have been affected by severe drought which had resulted in reservoirs drying up more..

Unity gvot should fulfill its intended task

Aug 19 (NS) National govts are a rarity. The concept originated in the UK around the time of the Second World War as there was a great need for all to get together against a common enemy – the Axis forces led by Adolf Hitler. The concept often has been promoted or spoken about in the democratic world whenever there is a need to work together in the interest of the nation. In Sri Lanka the need for forming a national govt had been spoken about many times in the past prior to 2015, more..


Laksala becoming recognized brand among tourists visiting country

Aug 19 (DM) Laksala, Sri Lanka’s apex market facilitator that promotes the country’s historic arts and crafts, is becoming a recognized Sri Lankan brand among tourists visiting Sri Lanka, Minister of Industries and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen says. Addressing the launch of Sri Lankan Big Brands at Laksala last week, Minister said the Laksala, with 40,000 local arts and crafts product lines, has also returned to profits in 2016 after continued losses for four years.  more..

Military intelligence operative caught smuggling gold

Aug 19 (Island) An operative of the Directorate of Military Intelligence unit at the BIA was arrested while attempting to smuggle out gold worth Rs 9.1 million yesterday. The suspect had been caught with two kilos of gold jewellery concealed in his knee guard valued at Rs. 9,148,815 while attempting to leave the arrival area of BIA. The gold jewellery in question has been brought by a passenger who arrived from Singapore at 9.15 pm Thursday night and he had since gone missing, sources said. more..

Tillakaratne Dilshan: The outsider who became a batting elite

Aug 19 (IE) Commentator at MCA ground, in alliterative mischief, blared out through his creaking microphone: Dil Dil Dilscoop. The DJ, on cue, slipped in the retro hit, Smooth Operator. Lines No need to ask he’s a smooth operator lilted in the breeze. Motley but raucous gathering took over the acoustics. Tillakaratne Dilshan strode out of the congested pavilion, his bandana & swagger in tow, immune to build-up or theatrics around him. more..

Enthroned politics: Abdicate or dethrone?

Aug 19 (Island) To our country’s misfortune, politics and politicians have been elevated to a level, that is not only aberrant, but also highly damaging. Those who appeal and beg the votes of their electors, morph into proud, aloof and lofty monarchs with astonishing rapidity, upon election. This is possibly not surprising for those experiencing such ecstasy for the first time. Everything is designed to create the notion that politics and its practitioners are special, and entitled to the best more..

Editorial: Justice Minister terrorised

Aug 19 (Island) UNP & SLFP dislodged Rajapaksa govt, promising to usher in good governance or yahapalanaya. Atop that, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said a UNP-led govt would adopt the Licchavi method, which was in vogue during the Buddha’s time, to solve problems—assembling peacefully, deliberating peacefully and dispersing peacefully. But, the suppression of dissent has become the order of the day. Recent stormy session of the UNP’s Working Committee is a case in point. more..

Hambantota Port deal opens new era for China-Sri Lanka ties

Aug 19 (CO) On July 29, Chinese port operator China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort) and SL Ports Authority (SLPA) signed a 99-year lease agreement in Colombo to develop Hambantota Port in the presence of Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and China's Ambassador Yi Xianliang. CMPort, which also has a similar contract with Colombo Port, will take charge of all commercial & administrative management more..

Alleged threat to FCID official: Police have power to arrest Namal: Court

Aug 19 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate observed that Police have the power to arrest MP Namal Rajapaksa over a cognisable offence, for allegedly threatening and reprimanding an official attached to the FCID on Aug 15. Filing a facts report in Court, the FCID sought an order to issue notice on Namal Rajapaksa to appear in Court for allegedly threatening and reprimanding FCID Sub Inspector Shantha Lalith who was an investigative officer concerning a misappropriation of more..

Faiszer pledges to make floating market popular tourist destination

Aug 19 (FT) As Sri Lanka has exceeded around 1.2 million tourist arrivals during the last seven months, the Govt will work to improve the floating market in Pettah as the most popular tourist destination in Colombo, Minister Faiszer Musthapha has said.  “Tourism is one of the highest foreign exchange earner to the country. Hence, we should take every necessary action to uplift this industry. Colombo city will be made the best and the most popular tourism destination in South Asia and more..

Tug o’ war over Rs. 250 million school cricket fund

Aug 19 (ST) The Education Ministry has expressed its displeasure at the Finance Ministry over an allocation of Rs 250 million to the Sports Ministry to implement a project called School Cricket Promotion in 1,000 Outstation Schools, instead of giving the money to the Education Ministry. The allocation was made in the last Budget presented by former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Education Ministry’s Sports Consultant Sunil more..

No Justice for the Minister of Justice

Aug 19 (Island) The Working Committee of UNP disgracefully passed a unanimous vote of no-confidence against Minister Sasana Wijayadasa Rajapakshe. The real reason, or should I say, the main reason out of the set of real reasons, for the UNP-NGO lynch mob against Wijayadasa Rajapakshe is not the need to expedite justice and to catch crooks. The main reason that Rajapakshe is being targeted is to shoot through him and hit the real target. That real target is AG’s Dept. more..

Fast fading frescoes of Degaldoruwa

Aug 19 (ST) Tale of Prince Wessantara, whose utmost generosity led him to give away all his possessions including his two children, is one of the most popular Jataka stories. It takes pride of place in many temple paintings and considered finest among these are the frescoes of the Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Viharaya in the village of Amunugama in Kandy. Work on this rock temple had been initiated by King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747–1780), who was a great patron of Buddhist art. more..

Automatic fuel & power pricing likely in 2018

Aug 19 (FT) Technical assistance to complete report outlining non-commercial obligations by Sept. IMF, in its latest evaluation report, has said it is working to put back on track automatic fuel and electricity pricing mechanism measures with SL govt with the one for fuel to be rolled out by March 2018.  In its Second Review under the $1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with SL the Staff Report noted that commitments made earlier more..

Storysphere: Education at Risk

Aug 19 (GV) As part of a series marking 150 years of tea production in SL, Groundviews used StorySphere, an immersive storytelling platform created by Google to showcase 360 degree imagery. Here, Vice Principal Thiruchelvam describes the difficulties faced by Maymallay School, which is located in an area vulnerable to landslides. Govt has promised to relocate the school, but has taken no action yet. As a result, the school struggles to function with less than adequate facilities more..

Dr Aliyantha White: Miracle Man in our Midst

Aug 19 (ST) I had the good fortune or, merit, to meet with Dr Aliyantha White, thanks to the benevolence and kindness of Lasith Malinga, our cricket hero. I feel compelled to share my story with the Sri Lankans, who may benefit from similar consultations with Dr White in the future. Here is my story. I had knee surgery 18-years-ago, and have had recurring pains when playing sports, ever since. With use, and a natural deterioration in my knees, I was concerned that the pain would become unbearable, more..

New FM defends beleaguered police chief

Aug 19 (EN) New Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana assumed office Friday defending embattled IGP Pujith Jayasundara who was enraged after an employee failed to participate in a mandatory meditation session. Marapana dismissed the leaked video which showed police chief shaking a lift operator by the collar and making threatening gestures because he had not meditated for 15 minutes before starting work at HQ. more..

Surcharge Certificate is not the devil: AG

Aug 19 (FT) Attempting to dispel any scepticism and fears against Surcharge Certificates blocking the Audit bill being passed in Parliament, Auditor General (AG) Gamini Wijesinghe said officials who work within regulations will have nothing to fear. New bill gives AG the power to issue Surcharge Certificates to recover losses to the Govt in the event of a malpractice by any govt employee. However, this has caused concerns among many high ranking officials causing over 2-yr delay more..

Saparamadu wins gold medal in Taiwan

Aug 19 (CT) National boxer Dinindu Saparamadu won the gold medal in the 64Kg weight class at the Tai City Cup International Boxing Championships which was held recently in Taiwan. He downed Korean boxer Jang Byeong Hee in the final. During the second round, in the face of a knock-out punch by Saparamadu, the Korean was unable to continue boxing further. Thus, Saparamadu achieved an excellent victory. It is significant that this was the second int'l boxing gold medal more..

AG's latest salvo to save Audit Bill

Aug 19 (FT) As the proposed Audit Bll continues to shuttle between offices for repeated amendments, Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe complained his department is unable to function at full capacity without the legislation being passed by Parliament. “We are here nor there. 19th Amendment made the older legislations redundant. We cannot move forward as the new act has yet to be passed. We are in a difficult situation now” more..

JO forms broad alliance to contest polls

Aug 19 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) would form an alliance of all anti-govt political parties to contest forthcoming local govt elections on the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) under common symbol of Flower Bud, a senior JO MP said yesterday. The leaders of parties supporting the JO met recently and agreed to contest under the common symbol of Flower Bud. They have also agreed to conduct the campaign against the govt under the name SL Podujana Peramuna. more..

Death of 7-feet leopard being probed

Aug 19 (DM) Wild Life Conservation Department is probing the death of a 7-feet male leopard in the Deltota, Lulakanda area. Assistant Forest Range officer G R Dharmarathna said that the leopard was found dead on Monday evening following information provided by resident to the area wild life office. An official from the Wild Life Conservation Department said the carcass of the leopard was handed over to the Peradeniya veterinary surgeon for a postmortem. more..

Sampanthan writes to UN Secy General

Aug 19 (NS) Leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan  has written to the Secretary General of UN, Antonio Guterres raising concerns about land related issues pertaining to the Govt of SL’s ongoing resettlement process and the current state of affairs with regard to reconciliation. Copies of the said letter have also been sent to the UNHRC in Geneva, UN office in Colombo and to all the foreign diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka more..

Priority lane for school vans and 3-wheelers

Aug 19 (NS) The Govt will be expanding the priority lane from buses to also include school vans and three-wheelers within the course of this month. The National Council for Road Safety (NCRS) informed that the gazette pertaining to making it compulsory for all three-wheelers to have a meter would be brought by the end of the month. The Sri Lanka Standards Institution has handed over the report in this regard to the NCRS which has in turn handed it over to the Minister of Transport. more..

More Floodlights for Dambulla

Aug 19 (CT) Floodlights at the Dambulla Stadium have been upgraded once again and 12 bulbs each have been added to the four towers on either side of the ground, temporally ahead of first ODI between Sri Lanka and India to be played on Sunday. Bulbs had been added close to the floodlight towers separately on a stand where it does not affect the strength of the incumbent towers, which is already holding bulbs to its maximum capacities. New lights have been added following a request from more..

Waking up from deep sleep: Flood relief work: Why are funds underutilized: PM

Aug 19 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe asked govt officials why they had failed to spend the funds released by the Treasury for the reconstruction of flood-hit areas in the South and to provide relief to the affected people. He raised this matter when he met some public servants during a visit to Morawaka. “SL has lost Rs.108 billion from recent floods and Treasury has released Rs. 60 bil for reconstruction & relief work. more..

Australian Advocate and UN Adviser for Gender Equality visits Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (FT) Australian gender equality advocate Elizabeth Broderick (AO) is currently in SL to engage business and public leaders on promoting gender equality. Broderick met with business leaders, including members of PM’s taskforce on female workforce participation, to discuss the business case for gender equality. Broderick also met with senior members of SL Police and Defence Forces to share experiences of building cultural change within Australia’s Police and more..