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Notably northern

Aug 31 (DN) Some ancient indigenous dance forms performed in Sri Lanka are not at all practised in the present era. For instance, certain folk dances such as Nondi Nadakam, Pallu Nadakam and Thinnai Koothu were practised by the earlier generation of northern Sri Lanka. But these are not at all practised by the present generation. In other words, it could be said that the above Koothu forms are not at all in use. Some folk literature indicates that the Vada modi and Thenn modi Koothu forms more..

NPC fails to live up to its promise

Aug 31 (NS) Northern Provincial Council (NPC), which came into being in Sept 2013, after a landmark election, had raised much hopes among the people in the Tamil-majority province and well as in India and the international community. But four years† down the line, it has belied all the hopes generated by its establishment, writes, P.K. Balachandran. It was thought to be the panacea for the ills of the Tamils, with the moderate TNA securing 30 out of the 38 seats up for grabs more..

Desperate Times and Desperate Measures

Aug 31 (CT) Like the pot calling the kettle black, the government came to power pointing fingers at its predecessor, but the shades of a coloured past were revived and all was seen under the sun. Having had an under par performance since attaining power in 2015, the govt is now in a desperate situation. They are responding with desperate measures, and in the process, they appear to be fanning the flames that more..

Editorial: † Presidentís poser

Aug 31 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have asked at his meeting with media heads yesterday what would have happened to the country if the outcome of the 2015 presidential election had been different. Answering questions in the conditional perfect tense can be tricky in that it involves counterfactual thinking. However, we canít resist the urge to field the Presidentís poser. We believe that if there had been no regime change two and a half years ago, more..

Sri Lanka Going Green

Aug 31 (CT) Within our children's lifetimes, Sri Lanka will be powered entirely by green, renewable energy. This optimistic prediction appeared in a new report produced jointly by the UNDP and ADB. It also says that electricity production will increase almost ten-fold from the current 3,700 megawatts to about 34,000 megawatts. The report titled Assessment of Sri Lanka's Power Sectoró100% Electricity Generation through Renewable Energy by 2050, says that 15,000 megawatts more..

Ajith P. Perera

Bulldozer-happy RDA: Symptoms of impunity and violation of peopleís rights

Aug 31 (ST) The recent excitement over the Road Development Authorityís bulldozing of the rich manís pond in Colombo 3, the Colombo Swimming Club (CSC), received much coverage. The rich and poor are being treated alike. At least the RDA doesnít discriminate when it comes to bulldozing. The RDAís actions, whilst creating a stir in Colombo society, are symptomatic of a much deeper national issue that mostly affects poor and vulnerable citizens. Unfortunately, woes of poor are rarely heard. more..

Soft power deficit going unaddressed

Aug 31 (Island) Close on the heels of the Colombo Defence Seminar 2017 comes the Indian Ocean Conference 2017, also to be held in Colombo, indicating, among other things, that the security and defence of countries is uppermost in the minds of the states of South Asia and of those outside it. Needless to say, the theme of the Colombo defence seminar could not have been more relevant for current times: that is, Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends. more..

New IRA act draws heavy flak

Aug 31 (SO) The proposed new Inland Revenue Bill provides more certainty to the tax payer than the existing Inland Revenue Act (IRA) as it could be read and understood, said tax experts commenting on the Bill prior to it being taken up for debate in parliament last Friday. The benefits of the Bill seem to outweigh the shortcomings from a business perspective according to tax analysts. However, the proposed legislation drew heavy flak from within and more..

Stepping out of history in beautiful Mas Villa, Kotmale

Aug 31 (Island) After visiting several places of interest in Kotmale, Navodya, Faraz and Chris our host decided to stay in the beautiful Mas Villa instead of going anywhere else. It rained that day and it was beautiful. One could sit by the verandah like area and keep looking at the mountains and paddy field. Of course, there were people who had climbed down from the mountains too, among us. We met a British family who loved Mas Villa and stayed there for two nights. more..

Pandemonium in the PCs, fisticuffs and broken maces over 20th A

Aug 31 (Island) The TV news bulletins are full of footage of provincial council members exchanging fisticuffs, shouting, gesticulating, trading accusations and running away with the council maces. These unprecedented scenes are unfolding in the provincial councils over the 20th Amendment to the Constitution brought to extend the terms of all the provincial councils until the last quarter of 2019 and to hold all the PC elections together at the end of 2019. more..

Series lost, SL chase assured WC spot

Aug 31 (CI) Riot police, bottle-throwing, selector resignations, heated debates over cricket in cabinet meetings, and an ever-growing list of injuries - the past few days in Sri Lankan cricket have been as acrimonious as any in recent memory. Every time the situation seems to have reached rock bottom, new depths, somehow, are plumbed. There remain two ODIs, however, and though series has been decided, more..

BoC conferred Master Brand Status

Aug 31 (Island) Bank of Ceylon (BoC) was conferred Master Brand status for the year 2017- 2018 by the CMO Council Asia at ceremony held recently. Being named as the No.1 brand in the country for over nine consecutive years by the Brand Finance Sri Lanka, BoC currently holds the highest brand value in the country which is Rs.40 Billion. Since its inception, BoCís motive has been the same Ėthat is promoting social and economic development of the country and its people. more..

SLC presents state-of-the art ground maintenance equipment

Aug 31 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket handed over equipment including Hand Tractors, Pitch Cutters, Manual Spike Rollers, Outfield Rollers, Hand Rollers, Gang Movers, Pitch Covers, Boundary Ropes and other equipment, to the following clubs: Singhalese SC, Bloomfield C&AC, Colombo CC, Nondescripts CC, Tamil Union C & AC, Chilaw Marians CC, Moors CC, Colombo Colts CC, Army SC, Burgher RC, Navy SC, Police SC, Air Force SC and Panadura SC. more..

Standard Chartered says Sri Lanka is hot for foreign investors

Aug 31 (FT) Standard Chartered Bankís Global Research economists said Sri Lanka is quite hot to attract foreign investors due to its extremely high yields followed by the Govtís recent policy reforms where it expressed confidence that 2017 would see the economy doing well. Bank's Chief Economist Asia Global Research David Mann said foreign investor confidence in Sri Lanka has seen a notable increase, especially in more..

I am ready to play till 2023: Malinga

Aug 31 (Island) Lasith Malinga, who has been appointed as the captain for todayís fourth ODI against India has dismissed suggestions that he will quit international cricket the moment he completes 300 ODI wickets. Malinga needs one more wicket to become the fourth Sri Lankan to take 300 ODI wickets. His form has been patchy as he has taken only one wicket in this series. This year, in 11 matches he has taken 8 wickets and despite strong speculation that retirement is imminent, more..

Can Malinga inspire Sri Lankan revival?

Aug 31 (Island) With steady decline in discipline and performance in all sports, the govt of good governance has nothing much to boast about in the last two years. However, the fact that Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara approved Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriyaís recommendation of Lasith Malinga as the captain for the 4th ODI speaks well for the current govt. In President Rajapaksaís govt, had a cricketer called the Sports Minister a monkey; he would have had hell to pay. more..

Leading athletes missing from Nationals

Aug 31 (CT) Several leading National Athletes will not be competing at the National Athletics Championship starting today at Diyagama. Despite AASL making it compulsory for all National Athletes to participate, many of them opted out giving various reasons, such as injuries and participation in other competitions. South Asian 100m record holder Himasha Eashan is set to skip the Nationals due to a knee injury which more..

Petition against Parliament-approved LG bill

Aug 31 (FT) A former member of the Kaduwela Municipal Council yesterday filed an application in the Supreme Court for its special determination on the bill titled Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) which has already been passed by Parliament and is pending certification by the Speaker. G.A. Neel Shantha, filing his petition through his attorney Dharshana Weraduwage, cited the Attorney General, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, members of the EC and more..

'Free drugs for MPs: All prescriptions of private doctors cannot be met in Parliament'

Aug 31 (Island) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday that there were no grounds for MPs to complain about the quality of medicinal drugs provided to them free of charge at the parliamentary complex since the pharmaceuticals were of excellent quality. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said complaints received from some MPs that medicines issued to them were substandard, were not correct, because they had been proved to be safe and effective. more..

Rajitha defends decision to take money from Presidentís fund

Aug 31 (FT) Irate Minister Rajitha Senaratne defended his decision to take Rs. 10 million from the Presidentís fund for his medical treatment in Singapore stressing that he was not the only one to do so.†He insisted that the funding assistance given was at the discretion of the President and special people such as artists and intellectuals had been given special consideration in awarding money such as he was given. more..

Video: SLFP to reorganise after 66th anniversary: Gen. Sec.

Aug 31 (DM) The SLFP would be re-organised after the 66th Anniversary celebration, SLFP General Secretary Minister Duminda Dissanayake said. While addressing the media at the Campbell Park, where the 66th SLFP anniversary is scheduled to be held, he said that the re-organising of the party would be done according to the party constitution. ďIf there are any incidents or personnel, who had violated party constitution, we will pay attention to rectify them during re-organising processes more..

US Acting Assistant Secretary of State meets President

Aug 31 (FT) US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alice Wells met with President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday in Colombo. U.S. official arrived in Sri Lanka to participate in the second Indian Ocean Conference scheduled to open today at the Temple Trees. On Friday, Ms. Wells will speak at the Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo, which will bring together high-level officials more..

20 A: Loss in Uva makes a 2/3rd approval mandatory, PC polls now likely by year end

Aug 31 (Island) An attempt by the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition to put off the scheduled Provincial Councils elections in Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provinces is bound to fail due to SLFP-controlled Uva and Southern PCs overwhelmingly rejecting the proposed draft of the 20 Amendment. Uva CM Chamara Dassanayake said that in the wake of Uva PC rejection of the draft he had got an opportunity more..

ĎLankan hotel industry to provide over 150,000 new jobs by 2020í

Aug 31 (DN) Sri Lankan hotel industry would provide over 150, 000 new employment opportunities by 2020 said Sunil Dissanayake, Chairman SL Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management. He said that these opportunities have been mostly created by openings coming up in new star class hotels that would be opening in the next two years including Shangri La, Hyatt and several other hotels. The demand is huge and we need more international hotel schools to open in Sri Lanka and more..

Ranjan to make statement in Parliament

Aug 31 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said he would make statement in Parliament next week regarding the statement made by the Bar Association of SL that it will take legal action against him. Deputy minister said he would request the Speaker to summon BASL officials to Parliament. ďI will also raise a privilege issue in the House and will request the Speaker to summon the officials of BASL,Ē he said. He said he had received plenty of information on various malpractices more..

US military delegates salute SL war heroes

Aug 31 (DN) In a rare gesture of solidarity and understanding, perhaps for the first time in the most recent past of Sri Lankaís military history, a five member delegation of US military officers, this morning (30) saluted the memory of SLís War Heroes during a solemn ceremony at the tri-service National War Heroes monument at Battaramulla. Five member US military delegates, headed by Major General Roger J. Noble more..

Free medicines at State hospitals: Osu Sala sales drop

Aug 31 (CT) Sales at Osu Sala outlets have dropped by 33% as almost all medicines are given free to patients at State hospitals, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "Thus they asked me to increase Sri Lanka is doing well as patients now take the recommended dosage after we have reduced the prices of essential drugs," he said. He added that before he took over as Minister of Health, most of the patients did not take the full prescription issued by doctors because of high price of medicine. more..

Govt releases 76 Indian fishermen as goodwill gesture

Aug 31 (ANI) Govt on Wednesday released 76 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture. On Aug 10, SL Navy had apprehended four TN fishermen along with a country boat near Punkudi Island. Meanwhile, also on Aug 10, 12 Indian fishermen had been sent to remand till August 23 by a SL court. Earlier, TN Chief Minister Edapady K. Palanisamy, in a letter, urged PM Narendra Modi to intervene and secure the release of 64 fishermen from TN lodged in a SL jail and 125 detained mechanised boats. more..

PTL technical officer admits he lied to CID

Aug 31 (Island) Presidential Commission on bond scams resumed sittings yesterday with Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda, PC informing the commission that two desktop computers belonging to Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL) had been taken into custody. Data had been removed from the machine which had been connected to the PTL voice logger system provided by Metropolitan Communications. more..

JVP tells masses ill effects of new tax bill

Aug 31 (LT) JVP launched a leaflet campaign yesterday (29) demanding the govt to withdraw the new tax bill that has been presented to parliament as it oppresses the masses. The campaign planned to be carried out throughout the island to make the masses aware of the ill effects of the bill was launched from Colombo Fort Railway station. JVP states through this bill any person employed in any vocation and earn more than Rs.50,000 a month will have to pay a tax for the govt. more..

Man held for posing as Lankan diplomat

Aug 31 (Hindu) The Shahdara district police have arrested a 40-year-old man for allegedly posing as a Sri Lankan diplomat and driving a car with a special number plate. The accused has been identified as Krishna Nagar resident Nitin Malhotra. Mr. Malhotra had bought the vehicle from a Sri Lankan Minister and continued to use the same number plate despite the High Commission number getting de-registered last year, said the police on Wednesday. ďAs per documents recovered from him, more..

Prez regrets holding up National Audit Bill

Aug 31 (Island) President Sirisena regretted the failure on the part of his administration to introduce National Audit Bill in spite of repeated promises in the run-up to Jan 2015 presidential poll and thereafter to make it a reality. When The Island reminded President of his pledge to expedite the process at the previous meeting also in response to the same newspaper, President acknowledged that there had been a lapse on the part of govt. more..

A Candle in the Wind

Aug 31 (DM) Today (31), the world commemorates the 20th death anniversary of Diana Princess of Wales. Princess Diana appeared on the British socio-political landscape when news of her romance with Britainís heir to the throne Prince Charles broke and her fairy-tale wedding which was watched by millions across the globe in real time. †† It was also a time when Britain was going through a period of depression with its economy in tatters and austerity measures taking their toll on the public. more..

Dumbing-down to corruption-inevitability

Aug 31 (DM) Deputy Minister Dr Harsha De Silva, has come out strong on the subject of corruption. He has observed that the entire country is corrupt. The implication of course is that his govt is also corrupt. He has said that heís sick of it all. ††The deputy minister should be applauded for having the courage to say it as it is. One hopes that he will soon disassociate himself from the corrupt regime he is a part of and not give it any further legitimacy. One hopes, also, that he will more..

'Current govt worsened debt crisis'

Aug 31 (DM) Joint Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardane, in an interview with Daily Mirror, spoke about the current economic situation in the country.†Q: The govt always says that it inherited a huge debt burden from the previous govt, you represented. The govt. maintains that the country canít move forward as a result. What is your response? A: This is falsehood created with a petty political vendetta in mind. It has no rationale. more..

Buyer in for uncertain ride on motorbike duty removal

Aug 31 (ST) The removal of the 90% excise duty for imported motorbikes of less than 150cc, seen as a gift to the motor vehicle importers, in particular the Japanese made by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, may not necessarily benefit potential buyers. One leading motor vehicle importer when contacted Saturday, tried to draw a distinction between Indian-made Japanese bikes and Japanese-made bikes. more..

'The govt makes disproportionate investments on infrastructure'

Aug 31 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka, in an interview with Daily Mirror, spoke about the current status of the economy and politics in the country. Following are excerpts of the interview:† Q: Recently, you made critical remarks about the housing requirements of Colombo slum dwellers and added that the issue remained unaddressed compared to the provision of houses in the north and the east and the estate sector. more..

Rathupaswala: Brigadier & Sergeant out on bail

Aug 31 (NR) Two army soldiers arrested and remanded over the murder of three persons in Rathupaswala have been released on bail by the Gampaha High Court. Bail was granted to former Brigadier Aruna Deshapriya Gunewardene and Sergeant Lalith Jayawardene. The order was issued by Gampaha HC judge Priyantha Fernando this morning. Brigadier was released on a 100,000 rupee cash bail and more..

IMF warns Sri Lanka's forex policy conflicts with inflation targeting

Aug 31 (EN) The IMF, has warned that Sri Lanka's exchange policy is inconsistent with inflation targeting and it has to stop interventions if it wants to move to a successful inflation targeting regime. "While the CBSL can retain a role for smoothing excessive exchange rate volatility, it should adopt FX intervention policies consistent with greater exchange rate flexibility under flexible inflation targeting," an IMF report said. more..

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