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Wijeyadasa’s madman responds

July 4 (FT) I am compelled to respond as a signatory to the civil society statement defending Attorney at Law Lakshan Dias against the threats and intimidation of Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. He has branded all of us signatories to that statement mad women and men who should be in Angoda. Granville Perera, using alternate media, has responded to Rajapakshe’s claim about madness and I quote, “No mad man admits that he is mad. When you ask a patient at mental more..

Colombo’s Security

July 4 (CT) Among some of the key issues that cropped up at an Indian Ocean Foreign Policy Forum organized by the Kadirgamar Institute, were Indian fisher poaching and the roles played by the Asian giants India and China, and also of the perennial world's superpower, the USA. Russia, which is half its influence or less, compared to what it was in the form of the then Soviet Union before its disintegration in 1989, hardly figured or didn't figure at all at this policy forum. more..

ජාතික ආපදා අවස්ථාවකදී නාවික හමුදාවේ පෙර සූදානම

Japanese exporters in Sri Lanka ask for early warning of tax changes

July 4 (EN) Japanese investors in Sri Lanka have asked for advanced notice of tax changes so that their exports from the island, mostly under forward contracts, are not affected. The request came at a meeting of a delegation from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Sri Lanka with Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera, a statement said. Samaraweera responded with an assurance that forthcoming tax reforms would support exports, it said. more..

'Vidyaratna’s behavior was unacceptable'

July 4 (AD) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera stated that the efforts made to provide solutions to the people affected by the Uma Oya project in Bandarawela have been hindered by the actions of Samantha Vidyaratna.  Representatives of the committee appointed to investigate the issues locals faced due to the Uma Oya project visited the site out carry out investigations, including the Amaraweera, Wijayamuni Zoyza and Anuradha Jayaratne, earlier yesterday.  more..

GMOA postpones strike by a week

July 4 (NR) GMOA says it decided to postpone the indefinite strike planned for tomorrow. Secretary of the GMOA Dr. Haritha Aluthge speaking at a media briefing said the strike is being postponed by one week. He said the decision was reached following discussions held with members of the govt. Dr. Aluthge said the Executive Committee of the GMOA drew its attention today during a meeting this morning to the current level of more..

Attempt to assassinate Maithripala Sirisena: Suspect imprisoned for two years

July 4 (DN) A 62-year-old woman pleaded guilty of providing accommodation to a LTTE woman suicide bomber who detonated an explosive laden suicide jacket targeting the escort of President Maithripala Sirisena when he was serving as a Minister in 2008 was sentenced to two-year-suspended imprisonment by Colombo High Court, today. Accused Selvakumar Welamani, a mother of five children was sentenced to two-year-imprisonment suspended for ten years by more..

Video: Actress fined Rs. 5,000 for reckless driving

July 4 (DM) Actress Menaka Maduwanthi was fined Rs. 5,000 by the Bandaragama Magistrate Court today for reckless driving after a video of her taking her hands off the wheel while driving on the Southern Expressway went viral recently. Video shot while driving along Southern Expressway shows the actress taking her hands off the wheel to execute several dance moves while she drove. Police filed legal action after some viewers lodged complaints on the Tell President hot line more..

Govt prepared to face indefinite GMOA strike

July 4 (NR) The govt says it is prepared to face the indefinite strike by the GMOA scheduled for tomorrow. UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe said the GMOA is hoping to gain personal benefits by protesting against the SAITM. The MP noted it is unfair to engage in strikes when the govt has consented to gazetting minimum standards. MP Marasinghe said if the GMOA wants to adhere to world standards and hold strike actions, more..

Rajagiriya flyover work speeds up

July 4 (EN) Work on a flyover meant to ease traffic jams on the most congested corridor to Colombo, is proceeding apace with the first concrete beams being placed, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. The road surface will be placed on the beams, he said in a tweet on an update on the  flyover in the Rajagiriya suburb. “As undertaken we are racing to meet the new deadline of end of 2017; almost a year ahead of schedule after we decided to construct both lanes in parallel,” more..

GMOA has a political agenda: Akila

July 4 (NR) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says GMOA has a political agenda behind their decisions to protest against SAITM. He said govt is in favour of establishing private universities in the island. Minister said SAITM was launched by the then govt, it was not the present govt which initiated SAITM adding now they are opposed to it. He said children in the country study at this institute adding the govt is attempting to protect its values and continue the operations of the institute. more..

SL selectors given six-month extension

July 4 (CI) The selection committee headed by Sanath Jayasuriya will remain in position for a further six months, SLC has confirmed. This means that by the end of 2017, Jayasuriya will have served as chief selector for more than three-and-a-half of the previous five years. Having originally assumed the roled in February 2013, Jayasuriya was replaced after Sri Lanka's poor World Cup outing in 2015, before reclaiming more..

Sri Lanka to move embassy in Seychelles to Madagascar

July 4 (DM) In an effort at rationalising our foreign missions, SL will relocate its embassy in Seychelles in Madagascar. Govt has decided to focus more on a foreign policy based on commercial diplomacy. Foreign Affairs Ministry has prepared plans for our new missions to attract more and more foreign investment to the country. Mission in Seychelles was opened during the tenure of former president Rajapaksa. A new mission will be set up to cover the countries in the West African region, more..

No reason for qualified hoteliers to look for jobs overseas: Amaratunga

July 4 (LBO) Minister John Amaratunga says that there is no longer any reason for our qualified hoteliers to look for jobs overseas as their income will be greater if they stay here. “Today we have a serious issue with regard to manpower in the tourism and hospitality sectors. The demand is more than the supply,” he said. “This is because of the continuing expansion of the hotel sector while the youth continue to focus on the more traditional career paths as opposed to more..

Top Saudi entrepreneurs explore investment possibilities in Sri Lanka

July 4 (PSL) One of the leading international entrepreneurs, Prince Alwaleed bin Abdulaziz al Saud called on President Sirisena today at the Presidential Secretariat. Prince, who is a leading Saudi businessman, investor and philanthropist and a member of the Saudi royal family, said that he was quite impressed with SL’s growing economy and said that he would explore the possibility of making heavy investments more..

CA Sri Lanka Students Society wins ACCA next gen challenge

July 4 (LBO) CA Students Society of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA SL) recently won the Next Gen Challenge powered by ACCA and TV1. The CA SL Students Society Team comprising of Mohamed Rifan, Jayashan Grero, Piyumi Dhananjana and Dihan Udugampola beat six other teams to win under the other professional bodies and institutes category at the competition. A total of 15 teams, representing schools, private educational institutes and ACCA students more..

Corruption case against Keheliya and two others fixed for trial

July 4 (DN) A corruption case filed against former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and two others for allegedly causing an unlawful loss to the govt after purchasing 600 of GI pipes using Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation’s (SLRC) funds during the previous Presidential Election was  fixed for trial by Colombo Chief Magistrate' Court today. When the case came up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Artigala, the case was fixed for trial on October 3. At a previous occasion, more..

Garbage crisis bursts into heated arguments in Parliament

July 4 (DM) Heated arguments broke out at the start of the parliamentary sessions today when the joint opposition raised a question on the garbage crisis. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardene who raised this matter said garbage was piling up on roadsides as a result of garbage disposal coming to a standstill. "Collecting and disposing of industrial waste and garbage is far from satisfactory because garbage was piling up on roadsides more..

SL refuse to tour Pakistan for cricket series

July 4 (DN) The efforts to revive international cricket in Pakistan have suffered yet another blow as Sri Lanka have refused to accept the proposed tour of Pakistan in October-November this year. Pakistan had offered Sri Lanka to play a series of limited-overs cricket which has been turned down. Now the Test, ODI and T20I series will be held in UAE between the Asian rivals. It is pertinent here to mention that Sri Lanka team were attacked by 12 militants on March, 3 2009 more..

Butterflies are free

July 4 (CT) National Zoological Gardens Dehiwala celebrated its 81st Anniversary by opening a spacious cage for the chimpanzees in the presence of Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera. He said plans are also underway to open the zoo to the public in the night. "On 9 Sept the zoo will be open to the public from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Facilities will also be provided for visitors to have their meals at the zoo. However, visitors have to make sure that the animals are not disturbed. more..

‘No human body parts dumped with waste’

July 4 (DN) Minister Faiszer Musthapha denied the claim that human body parts have been mixed with the waste dumped at Muthurajawela. Minister replying to a question by MP Dinesh Gunawardena said that human body parts from hospitals and mortuaries are being incinerated by health authorities at incineration plants in Welisara. He also said that the Govt plans to construct a sanitary landfill and compost plant at Muthurajawela. more..

2 female graduates ditch fashion for Sasana

July 4 (CT) Two fashion designing and innovation development graduates, of the Moratuwa University, have entered the female Bhikku Sasana.Ven. Maharagama Dammathusitha Bhikkuni (31) and Ven, Athurugiriya Damma Sukitha Bhikkuni were ordained as Buddhist bhikkunis alongside six others at the Baddegama Ginimellagaha Aloka Udapadi Silmatha Meditation Aramaya. The spouse of one bhikkuni has also entered the Sasana. "We arrived at this decision together. more..

Facelift for State hospitals

July 4 (CT) All base and district hospitals in Puttalam, Katpitty, Mannar and Silapathurai would be reconstructed and necessary funds would be provided by the Health Ministry. A sum of Rs101 million has been set apart for the Puttalam District Hospital. A sum of Rs 30 million has already been released for essential requirements at the hospital and work is expected to be completed in six months, officials said. Minister Senaratna has also pledged to upgrade the Kalpitty Hospital more..

Either abolish or amend Vihara Act: JO

July 4 (NR) JO says the Vihara and Devalagam Act must either be abolished or amended appropriately. JO MP Udaya Gammanpila said the current Vihara and Devalagam Act is a threat to Buddhism. He said JO is making the request for the protection of Buddhism. Continued existence of the Act is a serious threat to Buddhism. He said accordingly it must either be revised or abolished in order to end govt’s influence over the matter. more..

Demons in paradise: Irreparable miscarriage

July 5 (CT) A peepal tree/Bodhi tree is shown being cut down in the last scenes of the documentary film Demons in Paradise. The Director of the film, Jude Ratnam seemed intent on making the audience feel that when the last branch of that peepal tree was cut down that similarly the Tamil people’s dream for a separate Eelam had also been completely cut down. To some extent he has succeeded in creating that feel. Although he does that, he goes past questions as to why did the dream of a more..

Sri Lanka’s current political impasse

July 5 (GV) Sri Lanka has entered another phase of political crisis. It is a three-fold crisis. The first is at the level of the regime. The second is a crisis of governance. The third level of crisis is visible in relation to the broad political process of transformation. In the first, yahapalanaya regime is finding itself unable to move forward as a govt. Its major initiatives for corruption free governance, political reform through constitutional change, and rebuilding ethnic relations more..

'My removal is a matter for the Council'

July 5 (CT) Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) C.V.K. Sivagnanam of majority ITAK stated that removing him from the post of Chairman is the matter of the Council. Only the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman are elected by the council itself. Therefore such removals have to be carried out by the council itself. If the council wishes they can bring a no confidence motion against me. It is open to the council. more..

Blue Sky Mining

July 5 (GV) We are moving into very dangerous times. The statement above, underscores the importance of differentiating between the biotic and non-biotic compounds that we add to the atmosphere. This is an observation that should have been incorporated into planning and costing responses to climate change. We should be informed of the emerging data and planning responses. We know that the mean temperature will rise, but the speed of that increase may be more..

Total privatization: Only solution for SriLankan Airlines

July 5 (CT) In terms of publicity, last Sunday was a bad day for the national carrier SriLankan Airlines, its Board of Directors and the major shareholder, state of SL. Articles were published in all major English language Sunday publications and Colombo Telegraph. They all contained the many negative aspects of the lossmaking airline besides condemnation of the Board of Directors and CEO. Wide publicity was given to the meeting between the Chairman, Directors and CEO of the airline more..

Ritigala: Nature lost between history and mystery

July 5 (Roar) SL’s ancient cities of A'pura, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy form what most tourism brochures refer to as the Cultural Triangle. And rightfully so—five out of SL’s six Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites (and one of two Natural sites) are found within these three corners. Most visitors are drawn to these sites for the prospect of travelling back in time. Attractions such as Sigiriya also showcase how SL was once ahead of curve more..

Physician, heal thyself

July 5 (DN) The strikes, in general, are considered as a legitimate form of collective protest in a democratic country. They are an important weapon that workers possess and use to increase their bargaining power as well as facilitating the process of negotiation towards an agreeable result. The latest wave of strikes was by medical doctors. It has now become a common regular phenomenon. Citizens become aware of a doctors’ strike only in the morning when they read or listen to news. more..

Mending broken relationships

July 5 (DN) There is no convenient roadmap for reconciliation. There is no short cut or simple prescription for healing the wounds of people in the aftermath of sustained conflict. Creating a trust and understanding between two or more communities that were divided is an extremely difficult challenge. Yet, reconciliation is an essential part of building a lasting peace. Examining the painful memories of the past, acknowledging them, understanding and above all, transcending it together more..

SAITM issue

Accountability issues: Justice Minister strikes a discordant note

July 5 (Island) Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC last week flayed the UN system for propagating lies in respect of the post-war situation in the country. Rajapakse dealt with the report produced by the Office of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers following a visit undertaken by Ms Monica Pinto in April-May 2016. Rajapakse didn’t mince his words when he declared Pinto’s report presented by her successor Diego Garcia-Sayan at the recently concluded more..

Emerging Buddhist-Muslim rivalry in SL?

July 5 (Island) The events that led to this unexpected attack by a mob of Muslim youth, and the massive conflagration it ignited to last over several days, constitute a tragic story which must be looked at in detail because it illustrates several features of thematic relevance to the main objective of the present study. My reconstruction of this story is presented as an addendum to this essay (Annexure 1). The overall impressions conveyed by that story could be summed up as follows: more..

A 7-point plan to fix Sri Lanka cricket

July 5 (Fox) transfixing the cricket world from Marylebone to Melbourne, Cricket Australia’s pay dispute has dominated headlines for the past fortnight, but flying under the radar, another cricketing nation finds itself in a similarly complicated spot of bother: Sri Lanka. Rebuild of the island nations’ once mighty cricket side has been a point of contention since 2015, when they simultaneously lost two of their all time greats in Sangakkara more..

Hambantota authorities ensure safe distance between elephants and fans

July 5 (CI) Elephants have been known to invade the Hambantota stadium pitch in the dead of night, but it is spectators who are likely to stray into elephant territory when the venue hosts three ODIs in the coming week, a forest warden has warned. Hambantota's Widlife Department office confirmed they will deploy staff between the stadium and the nearby jungle, to ensure no cricket fans stray into the range of an elephant herd known to forage in the area. more..

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka hold Foreign Office Consultations

July 5 (DT) Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was held on Monday. Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque and his SL counterpart Esala Weerakoo discussed bilateral issues during the secretary level meeting held at state guest house Padma around 3pm. A total of 30 issues, including bilateral trade and connectivity, were discussed in the meeting. Issues related to establishing relations between Bangladesh Standards & Testing Institution more..

Govt gets serious on new proposal for UL

July 5 (FT) Govt is seriously evaluating the proposal for the revitalisation of SriLankan Airlines with high level visits by foreign parties likely for formal discussions. Daily FT reported that a consortium involving senior business leader Harry Jayawardena and Japan’s ANA and JAL had expressed interest to own 49% and manage SriLankan Airlines following the Govt’s decision to make national carrier viable via more..

Editorial: When gots fear elections

July 5 (Island) Country had polls diarrhoea, as it were, for ten long years under Rajapaksa govt, which staggered provincial council and local govt elections, unnecessarily, to exaggerate its strength and the UNP’s weakness. Finally, the worm turned and an unexpected regime change occurred. Rest is history. Under the present yahapalana dispensation, country has suffered from polls constipation for nearly two years. Yahapalana govt exhausted all its excuses for postponing LG elections. more..