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Sri Lanka makes first arrest over hate crimes against Muslims

June 11 (AFP) Police have arrested a key figure from an extremist Buddhist organisation blamed for a series of hate crimes against Muslims that has drawn international censure. 32-year-old man from the BBS, or Buddhist Force, is the first suspect to be arrested in connection with arson attacks against Muslims that have stoked religious tensions. Investigations were continuing into 16 major incidents of arson since April more..

Ties with China not at the cost of relations with India: Sri Lankan envoy

June 11 (TT) Sri Lanka has denied the growing impression in New Delhi that China's influence in the island nation has been increasing at the cost of India, saying Colombo was desirous of enhancing ties with all friendly nations in the larger interest of its own economic development. Lankan High Commissioner to India Chitranganee Wagiswara also ruled out the possibility of LTTE raising its ugly head again more..

'SL to clear issues holding back MCC grant'

June 11 (EN) Sri Lanka will address issues that is holding back disbursement of a grant running into several hundred million dollars from USA's Millennium Challenge Corporation, Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Harsha de Silva said. De Silva, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the US Prasad Kariyawasam had met Fatema Sumar and Caroline Nguyen of the MCC along with Sri Lanka coordinator Nilan Fernando in Washington. more..

CIABOC to recruit 200 experts

June 11 (ST) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) is to recruit professionals with experience in different specialised fields to conduct investigations. In a departure from the existing practice of only using Police officers, the new move will include the recruitment of experts in accountancy, bond issues, engineering, information technology, banking, securities exchange and international trade, more..

Waste management needs holistic social intervention

June 12 (CT) In an environment where affluent families are dominant, garbage becomes waste though it may then become an important source of income for some of the poor people living in urban areas. It is said that in countries such as SL, one percent of the urban population, that is at least about 15 million people survive by separating what can be reused from the waste that others dispose of. In areas like Blumenthal and Meethotamulla where garbage has been piled up into mountains, more..

Jaundiced Jaffna jingoism ran all the way to Nandikadal

June 12 (CT) The flow of migrants to Sri Lanka never ceased throughout its history.  Each  migratory wave came with its own characteristics. Each found its own niche in the over-arching Sinhala-Buddhist society. Historical records do not indicate that the new migrants encountered any difficulties in settling down with the numerically preponderant Sinhala-Buddhists. Take the example  Robert Knox. He is noteworthy because he  has  left a record of his sojourn in Kandyan Kingdom. more..

MET Dept to overcome shortcomings for accurate forecasting

June 12 (SO) Role of several Govt agencies came under the spotlight in the aftermath of the recent devastating floods, with the harshest criticism reserved for the Meteorology (Met) Department. Met Dept is entrusted with amassing data from numerous collecting points situated around the island and forecasting weather based on such data. This collection of data is done manually at 35 centres and automatically at 25 centres. more..

Dealing with the shortage of suitably-qualified MPs

June 12 (Island) Until such time as the Elections Commission is empowered and obliged to demand more strict academic, professional and other relevant performance criteria to be met by those aspiring get on voting lists to contest for seats in Parliament and lesser elected bodies, we are going to be burdened with people’s representatives of whom the majority is unqualified to hold public office. It is embarrassing for Sri Lankans to have to admit to the world at large that 94 of our MPs more..

A continuing conversation on national reconciliation policy

June 12 (GV) Laksiri Fernando’s prompt response of 6th June to mine reveals that he has not read my article carefully. It is precisely to avoid needless finger pointing that I suggested that the Sinhalese should take the initiative in correcting caste prejudice within their ethnic group and that the Tamils should do the same in respect of caste prejudice within their ethnic group, and that they should jointly address issues common to both ethnic groups. more..

Ramadan for beginners: FAQ about the Islamic holy month

June 12 (Roar) It is that time of the year again, when samosas become a staple for Muslims all over SL, and the streets come alive at night with streams of men and women making their way to the mosque for worship. Ramadan is here, and with it, the questions that Muslims have to field every year about the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. Here, we have attempted to answer some of the frequently asked questions during Ramadan, more..

Fake news and real truths

June 12 (SO) This cat’s first bit of fake news was gleaned from a daily on Monday, June 5. The headline read: Reduced to penury, Susie plans to sell her Olympic medal meaning her silver medal won by default, the gold medalist being deprived of her medal. The first falsity that this feline sees in the heading is that she is reduced to penury and is hard pressed to bring up her two children, as the article said later. She was given a brand new vehicle on her return to Sri Lanka with the bronze medal more..

Squeaking mouse of disaster management

June 12 (ST) The profound disgust felt by citizens of this country towards elected representatives on both sides of the political divide is without a doubt. This week’s adjournment debate in Parliament on the deaths and misery caused by recent catastrophic floods in the country reinforces that disgust. What surfaced predominantly were cheap political shots aimed at each other with some national suit clad worthies evidently glorying in the discomfiture of their fellows. more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka

Trump crushes Paris bloom as he leads world to Armageddon

June 12 (ST) American President Donald Trump came to power against all odds. For a man who never held govt office, who didn’t have the vital support of his own Republican hierarchy, who had the media barking at every turn against his every word and exposing each indiscretion, it was indeed a modern day miracle that catapulted him to the zenith of global power as the President of a nation that had become the sole arbiter of the world’s destiny. more..

India crush South Africa to reach semi-finals

June 12 (CI) Faf du Plessis scored 36 in the quarter-final of the 2011 World Cup. He scored 36 again in the virtual quarter-final of the 2017 Champions Trophy. On both those occasions, he was involved in the run-out of AB de Villiers. On both occasions the run-out proved to be the moment the match went away from them. Du Plessis went on to run David Miller out as well, and South Africa contrived to lose eight wickets for 51 runs from 140 for 2 in the 29th over. more..

Mathews the glue in SL's rebuilding process

June 12 (CI) Amid Danushka Gunathilaka's blazing recall, Kusal Mendis' elegance, Kusal Perera's hamstring injury and Asela Gunaratne's match-clinching cameo, his went a little unnoticed. Mathews was steadfast in SL's superbly-paced chase against India, reassuring presence for an innings that could still have gone wrong despite the excellence around him. Without their captain, SL are a shadow of a team. more..

The vagaries of Pakistan and Sri Lanka

June 12 (CI) There is a disconnect between how Pakistan see themselves as a team and what reality is. When asked how you can go from being so bad to so good in the space of two games, Mohammad Hafeez said: As a team, we're always very aggressive. No, they're not. When it comes to batting, Pakistan are probably one of the least aggressive sides in this tournament, with only Bangladesh for company. They score at less then five runs an over in the first ten and more..

Five times Malinga stole the show

June 12 (CI) Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka's ace match-winner in global tournaments, may be about to bowl his final spells at an ICC event this week. ESPNcricinfo remembers five of his best big-tournament performances. Four in four in Guyana: Where Lasith Malinga had been something of a Sri Lankan secret until then, this was the moment his searing yorkers sneaked beneath the bat of world cricket's collective consciousness, and bowled it over. For the next 7 years, a multitude of toes more..

Hot-and-cold teams tussle for final semi-final spot

June 12 (CI) And so, it has transpired that two fundamentally flawed sides - seventh and eighth on the ODI rankings - now have the chance to scramble over the other into the semi-final of the most competitive one-day tournament around. How this came about deserves a brief recap. Pakistan, who barely strung together five overs of competence against India, choked South Africa's top order with spin, before the quicks more..

Credible CB Governor has brought macro-stability: Fitch

June 12 (ST) Emphasising clear signals pertaining to monetary policy, new management at the Central Bank (CB) has shown an unambiguous consolidation path as against earlier, says a top rating analyst. "Without this clear consolidation it wasn’t apparent whether the said policies will stabilise the economy,” Fitch Ratings’ Associate Director, Sagarika Chandra said. Fitch has had run-ins on monetary policy during the tenure of former Governor Arjuna Mahendran more..

Commission summons AG, RoC

June 12 (CT) Auditor General (AG) and the Registrar of Companies (RoC) have been summoned by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, probing the controversial Treasury Bond issues. Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe and the Registrar of Companies are to testify today on several sensitive matters regarding the controversial auctions and the company allegedly involved. Commission appointed earlier this year comprises SC Judges K.T. Chitrasiri, and more..

Killer bureaucracy impedes tea exports

June 12 (ST) Govt sector is steeped in bureaucracy so much so that its repercussions on the economy spell delays and setbacks, particularly for tea exporters who have been adversely impacted. President Sirisena’s own admission that the bureaucratic machinery that causes delay should be overlooked at a time of crisis clearly highlights the problems encountered in the current structure of the govt service, SL Tea Board Chairman said. more..

USS Lake Erie joins flood assistance efforts

June 12 (DVID) Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) arrived in Colombo, June 11 to support humanitarian assistance operations in the wake of severe flooding and landslides that devastated many regions of the country. United States Pacific Command will also deploy military aircraft and other specialists who will join in the humanitarian efforts. “We share in the sorrow of the Sri Lankan people at the loss of life and devastation brought on by this disaster,” more..

Thisara Perera hit on head but in no danger

June 12 (SLC) All-rounder Thisara Perera was hit by a ball on the head during practice at Cardiff yesterday (10) ahead of the all important CT17 game against Pakistan tomorrow (12). In a most fortunate turn of events, there has been no serious injury and although under careful observation there is currently no complaint related to head injury, with only reports of tenderness in the area of impact. Sri Lanka Cricket will continue to keep him under strict medical observation. more..

Two brothers die while taking selfie on railway track

June 12 (DM) Two youths from the same family killed after they being hit by a train while attempting to take a selfie while standing on the railway track located between the Kollupitiya and Bambalapitiya Stations this evening. Two brothers, who were 24 and 12 years of age respectively, were residents of Anuradhapura. Accident had occurred at around 6.30 pm. It was reported that the brothers were so busy taking selfies more..

Crucial game for Sri Lanka against unpredictable Pakistan

June 12 (Island) Away from the hustle and bustle of London, the Sri Lankans have moved to the countryside of Wales and have nicely settled here in Cardiff ahead of today’s last group game of Champions Trophy against Pakistan here at Sophia Gardens. Today’s game is a virtual quarter-final and whoever wins the encounter will be going through for the semi-finals. Sophia Gardens, however, is not a place where the Sri Lankans have many happy memories. more..

Sri Lanka hosts CGF Asian Region meeting

June 12 (DN) This is the second occasion the meeting was held in Sri Lanka where the financial situation of the Commonwealth Games Federation, the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas in July, the Commonwealth Games Sports Festival in Gold Coast, Australia next year and the selection of Sports Committee representatives were discussed with decisions to be taken. Mrs. Louise Martin said that she is happy that the meeting was held in Sri Lanka for the second time more..

6.5% bus fare hike from 1 July

June 12 (FT) Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe said that bus fares will increase by 6.5% from 1 July. Accordingly, minimum Rs. 9 bus fare will be increase to Rs. 10, while other fares will be altered by Rs. 1 and Rs. 2 respectively. While confirming the price hike, LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said that the authorities must do away with the annual price revision and get a new pricing formula where buses will be paid according to more..

Net foreign inflows top Rs. 20 b mark; shift towards 3-year high

June 12 (FT) Further exposing locals’ lack of confidence, foreign net inflows into the Colombo Stock Exchange have topped the Rs. 20 billion mark as of Friday, prompting analysts to forecast that if the trend continues 2017 may end with a record or even challenge the all-time high levels. Total net foreign inflows into both the primary and secondary market amounted to Rs. 20.3 billion year to date compared to Rs. 2.28 billion for the entirety of 2016 and Rs. 383.5 million (in secondary market). more..

‘Tourist arrivals steady despite extreme weather’

June 12 (Island) Minister John Amaratunga said that tourist arrivals were not affected by the extreme weather experienced locally. He paid a glowing tribute to all hoteliers in and around affected areas for their magnanimous gesture in initiating relief assistance to affected areas along with supplying essential equipment and personal necessities. 'Although most coastal areas and inland resorts were not affected, hotels were united in extending their assistance to alleviate more..

Stick to your lane, Police caution motorists

June 12 (DN) The lane laws stipulated in the Motor Traffic Act will be strictly implemented in and around Colombo from today. City Traffic Director SP Sumith Nissanka said the drivers who break the lane laws will either be fined or produced before courts or directed to attend awareness raising classes conducted by the Police. Special operation will be launched from today in Colombo and main roads that leads to more..

Use electricity sparingly: Minister

June 12 (DM) Consumers should use electricity sparingly as water levels had gone down considerably in power generating reservoirs, Power and Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. "Despite the rainfall in the last few days, the water levels had not gone up considerably in reservoirs. Therefore we would have to produce electricity using alternative energy sources. That is for continuous producing of electricity. Therefore people have to use electricity sparingly," Minister stated. more..

Business confidence at virtual standstill

June 12 (FT) LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) nudged up by a mere two basis points (to 119) in May.  In contrast, the barometer of biz confidence stood at a much healthier 141 points in May last year, leading business magazine notes. Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant states in LMD that while GSP+ has been a welcome development, business leaders feel the economy is still at a standstill. He adds that the short-term outlook for business is still weak more..

'PC elections cannot be postponed'

June 12 (DN) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said when the official term of a provincial council ends; the date of election to appoint new members must be announced by the Commission within a week. “A PC election could be postponed only in the case of a tragedy like the one which occurred recently or by a popular mandate or court decision. Minister or any other has no powers to postpone a PC election more..

Protect rights of SL Tamils: Stalin to UNHRC

June 12 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Opposition Leader M K Stalin on Sunday sought the intervention of a UNHRC to protect the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils living in the island nation. In his letter to UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Katy Gilmore, Stalin alleged serious human rights violations by the SL armed forces during the peaking of hostilities in 2009. “Lakhs of Tamils are still missing (since then) and the SL govt has not come up with any constructive mechanism to more..

Ranil to visit flood-hit areas

June 12 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is to go on an inspection tour to areas hit by floods and landslides, sources said. PM who arrived from the USA on Saturday had informed Ministers and MPs who gathered at the BIA to welcome him, he intended going on an inspection tour to disaster-hit areas shortly to see what could be done to avoid such disasters in the future and to check on the reconstruction process. This comes in the wake of suggestions that new reservoirs and dams more..

Yahapalana Corruption: More political henchmen to get on diplomatic gravy train

June 12 (Island) Having lambasted the Rajapaksa administration for giving plum diplomatic posts to political appointees at the expense of career diplomats, present govt is catapulting its backers to the top notches of the foreign service. Close on the heels of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake succeeding Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Parliament has announced a move to offer coveted diplomatic appointments to more..

DLB & NLB under Ravi K due to high expenditure: JVP

June 12 (CT) National and Development Lotteries Boards were brought under the purview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, which had been entrusted to Ravi Karunanayke, because those two Institutions are where there is a lot of propaganda expenditure, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake pointed out. Change of ministries and the institutions brought under them have not been done for the development of the country or to suit the people's needs, rather, these reshuffles more..

Yahapalana giving in to Corruption: Ravi mum on SEC being placed under him

June 12 (CT) Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake was mum yesterday on whether the Securities and Exchange Commission was to be placed under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Responding to a question from Ceylon FT about media reports which speculated that the SEC would be placed under him, he said that he did not want to discuss with the media whatever he had discussed with President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe confidentially. more..

Editorial: Incompetent & corrupt learders making deals abandoning Yahapalanaya

June 12 (Island) Cats seem to have got the tongues of the otherwise vociferous yahapalana apologists including local NGO activists who never miss an opportunity to wax eloquent on the virtues of good governance. Their silence on the present regime’s despicable practices which are antithetical to good governance is deafening. They did not make a whimper of protest when defeated candidates were brought into Parliament through the backdoor more..