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No symphonies, only constitutional cacophonies & forgotten legacy of Sobitha T.

July 23 (Island) Even the invocation of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy) in the opinion letters published in The Island last week was hardly going to moderate the shouting match that the constitutional reform process is turning out to be. There are no symphonies, only cacophonies of intemperate tone and temper that are beginning to fill up the media in opposition to the proposed constitutional changes. The unity govt itself is divided on scope of constitutional changes. more..

People not Sangha must choose Constitution

July 23 (Island) It is satisfying when ideas come to fruition; case in point, the Single-Issue Common-Candidate suggestion struck gold in January 2015. Two months ago, I asked Is this a Single Term Govt? and the phrase is now popular even in the Sinhala media. In 2015 when Jeremy Corbyn won leadership my prediction that support for Labour would surge has been spot-on and my post UK election forecast Jeremy Corbyn: Britain’s next prime minister is on track. more..

Rs. 600 mil to take GPO back to old address

July 23 (ST) Govt is to embark on a Rs. 600 million project to renovate General Post Office (GPO), a historic landmark located opposite the Janadipathi Mandirya. Thereafter, the GPO will function from this location as it did for over a century. At present it functions at Bristol Street in Fort. Behind the new project is Minister M.H.A. Haleem. Distances to different parts of SL have been measured with GPO premises more..

Animals to lose peace and quiet at night?

July 23 (CT) Environmentalists have voiced concerns about the animals at Dehiwala Zoo after Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera, announced that the zoo will be kept open to visitors at night. The much awaited night safari at the Dehiwala Zoo, situated on a 23-acre land, will commence on9 September 2017, despite protests by animal welfare activists who say the animals need some peace and quiet at night. more..

Police Sergeant dies in Jaffna shooting

July 23 (AD) The Police officer injured in the shooting incident in Nallur passed away at the Jaffna hospital today. An unidentified gunman had opened fire at the vehicle of Jaffna High Court Judge M. Illanchelian in Nallur, Jaffna yesterday. Justice Illanchelian was unharmed following the shooting and that, however one police officer had sustained injuries. The incident had reportedly occurred around 5.30pm yesterday more..

Drought devastates North & 6 other districts

July 23 (ST) The entire Northern Province and six other districts have been hit by a prolonged drought, the worst in recent times, causing an acute water shortage. In some areas, drinking water is being sold at a premium averaging Rs 300 for 500 litres. “We are taking steps to deploy district level disaster management units to liaise with the local authorities in the affected areas to cope with the shortage,” Disaster Management Min. said. more..

Castle Street Hospital accused of burning waste

July 23 (SL) The Castle Street Hospital for Women has been accused of burning hospital waste, posing a threat to the environment and area residents. Some area residents said that the hospital has been burning waste in the back garden of the hospital over a period of time. The burning of waste posed a threat to residents along Model Farm Road which is located behind the Castle Street Hospital for Women. more..

Tension in north following attack on Coast Guard patrol

July 23 (Island) Tension is high in the north in the wake of Tamil youth attacking a Coast Guard (CG) patrol at Thunnalai north, Vallipuram in the Point Pedro area on Friday (21) evening following the Coast Guard detaining a group of sand miners and one small lorry. Security sources said that a gang of persons had rescued the detained persons and took away the lorry after having attacked CG personnel with various objects. more..

Megapolis minister tells Police Chief to probe Horton Square directors’ dealings

July 23 (ST) Minister Champika Ranawaka has called on Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara to investigate the background and dealings of several directors of Horton Square (Pvt) Ltd, a company which proposes to build two 75-storey towers in Horton Place. Referring to the Sunday Times story last week, Minister Ranawaka said he called upon the IGP to check whether Ramasamy Muthusamy Manivannan, more..

'Attack on FTZ workers: Police behaved like hooligans'

July 23 (CT) The one-man commission appointed to probe the 2011 bloodletting and chaos at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone that left one worker dead and over 300 injured has proposed in its report that all those affected should be compensated and that the Police personnel on duty at the time of the incident must be dealt with by law, irrespective of rank and file. The Police, from the top-most official to the lower ranks, more..

Did Feltman make it felt?

July 23 (CT) A sudden announcement by the govt that it has gazzetted the long awaited Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) came in without much ado and at a time when the UN under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffery Feltman was in town. It's obvious the high-powered official seemed to have held his last round of serious talks to remind the govt of its failure and lethargic attitude towards paying attention to more..

Police says Nallur shooting not pre-planned

July 23 (DM) Two suspects had been arrested by the Police in connection with the shooting incident in which a gunman opened fire at Jaffna High Court Judge M. Ilanchezhiyan and his security detail at Nallur in Jaffna on Saturday, killing a police sergeant. SP Ruwan Gunasekara said according to the initial investigation, it was revealed that the shooting was unexpected incident but not a pre-planned attacked. more..

Prospects for economy & policy ambiguities

July 24 (CT) There is some confidence in the economy as reflected in the sales or turnaround in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) during the first six months of this year, particularly the last three months. Dropping 200 marks within the first three months, ASPI (All Share Price Index) has gained 700 marks by the end of June, the overall ASPI to be around 6,700. The situation is still below the 2010-2011 level, when suddenly the CSE became the best stock market in the world in 2010, more..

The July 1983 Tamil Pogrom in Sri Lanka

July 24 (CT) It has been erroneously claimed that there has been an ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. There has been no ethnic conflict since 1915, and that was between the Sinhalese and the Muslims. What there has been for six decades, are a series of increasingly virulent pogroms against the Tamil people by a succession of Sinhalese-dominated govt, assisted by Sinhalese political opportunists and ethno-religious chauvinists, and conducted by Sinhalese Armed Forces (99% Sinhalese), more..

Wolbachia, to control the spread of dengue

July 24 (SO) Sri Lanka partnered with Monash Uni and Australian Govt last week to breed mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia, a low risk naturally occurring bacteria, to control the spread of dengue. Project will be part of a comprehensive program by Australia to assist Sri Lanka effectively to control the seasonal vector borne disease which has hit the country hard and gone out of control due to a combination of factors, more..

The United Nations’ bad parenting record

July 24 (ST) UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC’s warning to the Sri Lankan Govt following last week’s mission visit to the country was certainly the most irascible that we have seen from a UN mandate holder in a while. After more than two years of the United Nations’ uncritically accepting sunshiny rhetoric from an administration that excelled in the art, aided and abetted by Colombo’s enthusiastic cheerleaders, this was a dash of icy cold reality. more..

Moratuwa Uni VC gives dogs andcats the third degree

July 24 (ST) Anyone with an ounce of human compassion and respect for all life on earth would not have failed to be shocked, horrified and distressed when on Tuesday evening television news cameras showed scenes of dogs and cats in the throes of death at the Moratuwa University grounds after being darted with a deadly chemical by the university’s own security guards acting on the orders of the Vice Chancellor. He had put out the contract to eliminate the stray menace more..

'Private medical education fraught with corruption'

July 24 (CT) Former Chairman of SL Council, Prof. Carlo Fonseka, at the age of 84 continues to serve the country, despite being frail. But he chuckles with the observation that "the only thing that I haven't experienced in my life is boredom," a comment that underscores his depth of involvement in resolving issues pertaining to the health sector in the country. "Sri Lanka does not require privatization of medical education more..

Warped minds sway the country

July 24 (SL) The furious political debates now threatening to tear Sri Lanka apart fall into two categories: (a)Those that hold the Yahapalanaya govt responsible for all evil that has befallen Sri Lanka for the past two-and-a-half years and that for any good to happen the fallen Rajapaksa regime should be resurrected; and (b) All insurmountable problems faced by the Yahapalanaya govt are those leftover by the Rajapaksa regime that should never be permitted to return and more..

Winners who, losers who?

July 24 (SL) Looks as if President Sirisena may have succeeded in purchasing time till end-December for the coalition Govt running in his name, with his SLFP’s traditional UNP rival Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM. Success of his enterprise will depend entirely depend on the willingness of various stake-holders in this Govt to address basic concerns of the people at large than stop promoting personal, political and party-wise self-interests at the cost of those of others in the coalition – and more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Matale

What does UN Under-Secretary-General Feltman have to do with our constitution?

July 24 (Island) Jeffrey Feltman, the UN UnderSecretary-General for Political Affairs, heads the Department of Political Affairs at the United Nations in New York. The main role of the department according to its website is to prevent and resolve deadly conflict. It is also tasked with detecting potential crises and deploying mediators to the frontlines of conflicts. It contributes to UN efforts to promote peace and prevent conflict by coordinating UN electoral assistance. more..

Editorial: Trouble in Jaffna

July 24 (Island) Disturbing news comes from the North. On Friday, a group of youth set upon a navy patrol who had taken into custody some suspects and a lorry for transporting sand illegally. The attackers took away the suspects and the vehicle, leaving several naval personnel injured. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne rushed to the North to visit the victims. About a week back, police had opened fire on a truck, carrying sand when it ignored an order to stop. more..

Is the Sinhala Language haunted?

July 24 (Roar) The Sinhala language should be a goldmine for anyone looking at unearthing the jewels of the past. It is embedded with strata or layers from different times, showing how much the language has been overlaid by the influence of different peoples over the ages. In unearthing these layers, linguists become archaeologists, scouring lexicons instead of digging the earth. But why not go a step further and become a ghost hunter? more..

School cricket, Some of the best moments in my sports career

July 24 (SO) ICC Chief Match Referee, Ranjan Madugalle spoke and recalled his early days as a schoolboy cricketer as some the best moments in his cricketing life. First-ever winner of the prestigious Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year award in 1979, said that he had thoroughly enjoyed his school cricket career at Royal College, Colombo. Ex-SL captain the first Sri Lankan to be appointed as ICC’s Chief Match Referee said he had made some good and dear friends both on and off the field, more..

England beat India by nine runs to win Women's Cricket World Cup

July 24 (CI) A transformative World Cup for women's cricket ended with the final it deserved. A near full-house at Lord's, a tense finish, and every imaginable thrill and spill. In the end, of all the heroes of an overcast and occasionally drizzly day, it was Anya Shrubsole who stood tallest. With India needing 10 to win with their last pair at the crease, Shrubsole gestured to her team-mates to calm down when Jenny Gunn put down a sitter, off her bowling, at mid-off. more..

World Cup was a learning curve for us

July 24 (DN) Sri Lanka may have won only one match out of seven at the ICC Women’s World Cup in England, but coach Hemantha Devapriya believes the experience of playing against the top seven countries in the world was certainly a learning curve for the future. SL defeated Pakistan in their final league match to return home with a win, but according to Devapriya they came quite close to winning against West Indies & India if not for more..

Ransika’s day of glory: Evening to remember

July 24 (ST) What an evening it was. Indeed the gala ceremony held at Nelum Pokuna, on Wednesday, crowning Nipun Ransika of P. de S. Kularatne Maha Vidyalaya, the Dialog 4G-the Sunday Times Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017, was an truly awesome. Ransika, a genuine right-arm fast bowler from the southern hamlet of Ambalangoda, walked off stage that day with truck load of memories that will live within him forever. Sri Lanka prospect was given that fitting tribute more..

SL keen to extend India's Ramayana circuit

July 24 (DH) Sri Lanka is preparing to be part of the ambitious Ramayana circuit India is planning for tourists. The Indian govt is identifying places connected with the Ramayana, while Sri Lanka has already identified 71 locations across the island nation for inclusion in the circuit. The Ramayana describes how Sita, Rama’s wife, is kidnapped by Ravana and taken away to Sri Lanka. Hanuman then launches a grand operation, building a stone bridge across the sea, to rescue her. more..

Dhananjaya, Pradeep return to Test squad

July 24 (CI) Batting allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva, uncapped left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, and seamer Nuwan Pradeep returned to Sri Lanka's squad for the first Test against India, in Galle. De Silva, who had been left out of the squad for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe, effectively takes Dinesh Chandimal's place in the 15-man squad, while Pushpakumara displaces left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan, and more..

Customs seize Rs.11.5m worth Gems with returning French national

July 24 (DM) A French national who tried to smuggle in several precious stones worth at Rs.11.5 million on his return trip to Sri Lanka from Dubai was apprehended by the Customs officials at the BIA this morning (23). The 65-year-old foreigner had been intercepted when he had attempted to pass the Customs checking through Green Channel and found 61 cartons of Dubai made Gold Leaf cigarettes and nine bottles of whiskey in his possession. more..

Kris Canekeratne recognised with Lifetime Award at SLT Zero One Awards

July 24 (Island) Virtusa Corporation announced that the company’s CEO, Kris Canekeratne, has been recognized with a Lifetime Award at the inaugural SLT Zero One Awards held in Colombo recently. The event was organized by Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), with the objective of recognizing, honoring and encouraging excellence in digital initiatives in SL, with the Lifetime Awards being presented to professionals who have made significant contributions to the country’s digital industry. more..

Dialog Broadband takes SLT to court over alleged industrial espionage

July 24 (FT) The Commercial High Court has ordered Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to disclose the source from which it had acquired the confidential information of Dialog Broadband Networks. Court last week also instructed SLT to appear and show cause as to why the interim injunction restraining SLT from using or disclosing the confidential information contained in the Request for Proposals pending the hearing and more..

EU boost not enough to revive Sri Lanka garment industry

July 24 (Nikkei) Despite a recent move by the European Union to restore Sri Lanka to its highly favorable Generalized System of Preferences Plus program, the country will find it hard to catch up with Bangladesh, which has powered ahead in textile and apparel production in the last few years. Production and labor costs remain high compared to competitors, and analysts are skeptical that the government will be able to meet its goal of doubling exports by 2020. more..

TNA condemns attack on Jaffna judge; urges IGP for prompt action

July 24 (DM) All the persons responsible for the attack on Jaffna High Court Judge Ilanchezhiyan should be immediately arrested, the Tamil National Alliance said yesterday. In a statement the TNA yesterday condemned the attack on Jaffna High Court Judge Ilanchezhiyan and urged IGP Pujith Jayasundara to investigate the incident promptly. “The general public to cooperate to bring an end to all violent actions,” TNA Spokesman MP M.A. Sumanthiran said in a media statement. more..

AG responds in SC to hostile contention over Inland Revenue Bill

July 24 (FT) The Attorney General, replying to the hostile contention of the petitioners of the proposed Inland Revenue Bill, on Friday contended that the Minister’s power was restricted and in fact the Minister could call for information from the Inland Revenue Department only in the course and for the purpose of carrying out supervision of the Inland Revenue Department in terms of Article 42 of the Constitution. more..

Dy Minister lobbying Health Ministry to pay one particular supplier

July 24 (Island) Secretary to Ministry of Health Janaka Sugathadasa has instructed Director of the Medical Supplies Division Lal Panapitiya not to give priority to any supplier when settling their dues amounting to millions of rupees but to adhere to the usual payment procedure. He said that he had issued the instruction as there had been several letters from a deputy minister to Director Medical Supplies Division to give priority to a certain private pharmaceutical company. more..

President condemns attack on High Court Judge M. Illanchelian

July 24 (PSL) President Sirisena condemns the shooting attack aimed at the High Court Judge M. Illanchelian yesterday in Nallur. He expressed his condolence over the death of police Sergeant Sarath Premachandra during this shooting incident. President who paid his attention over the security of judges, directed the IGP to initiate a special program to strengthen the security of judges. He also directed the IGP and other security sections to carry out an investigation into this incident. more..

Video: GMOA threatens strike on Tuesday

July 24 (DM) GMOA warned that it would launch a major countrywide strike tomorrow if the Govt failed to take prompt action over the allege Police attempt to abduct Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee (MFSAC) convener Ryan Jayalath recently. However, GMOA assured that the trade union action would not be take place at the maternity hospitals, cancer hospitals, Children hospital and other emergency services. more..

Parliamentary staff to be felicitated today

July 24 (GDI) Parliament has made necessary arrangements to organise a colorful felicitation ceremony on 24 July at the Grand Ballroom of Waters Edge, Battaramulla from 2.00 p.m. onwards to honour the members of the staff of the Secretary General of Parliament who have rendered commendable service to the parliament for more than two and a half decades. This function will be the third such event and has been organised under the guidance of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. more..