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BBS fighting for non-existing political space still

June 13 (SL) The Muslims of Sri Lanka may have only the recent visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi for the media and civil society to take note of the ethnic/racist attacks on the community, including its trade and business establishments. This was the second in three or four years, after the very same Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist (?)BBS had targeted the community in the fading months of the predecessor Rajapaksa regime, contributing to its electoral defeat in January 2015. more..

Hill Country Tamils face the butt of discrimination

June 13 (CT) One of the coordinators of the newly formed North-East Hill Country Tamil People's Forum, and Former Northern Provincial Councillor M.P. Natraj said the New Constitution must recognize Hill Country Tamils as a separate community equal to the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims of this country. We are Sri Lankan Hill Country Tamils, he said. Q: Why did you suddenly form an organization for Hill Country Tamils more..

Sri Lankans gets the feeling of Déjà Vu

June 13 (SL) Horrendous massacres of fun loving Westerners in European capitals would have caused much sorrow and sympathy among all fellow humans while Western leaders and journalists vented their impotent outrage against the terrorists. Barbarians, brutes, savages devoid of civilised traits, are some words expressed by our colleagues venting their anger on their keyboards. It brings to us a feeling of déjà vu – a feeling that we Sri Lankan felt for over two long decades – more..

Mayhem as May’s polls gamble backfires

June 13 (ST) There is an old saying that those who dare win. Some attribute the saying to Winston Churchill. Whether it was Britain’s wartime Conservative prime minister who originally said this or not, it matters not. Britain’s Theresa May put it to the test when she called a snap election and dared the nation to give her the parliamentary strength to negotiate the country’s exit from the European Union. Instead two days ago the British voters hung her out to dry. more..

Face the Nation

International logistics experts join Sri Lanka’s EFL to guide global expansion

June 13 (EN) EFL, part of Sri Lanka’s  Expolanka group, now owned by Japan’s SG Holdings, has added three logistics experts with international experience to its management team. Stephen Dearnley, Ram Menen and Mike Sherman have joined EFL, previously known as Expolanka Freight Ltd., as Independent Directors to the board led by its founder and President Hanif Yusoof, a statement said. Dearnley has more than 35 years’ experience in freight and logistics and prior to retiring more..

Qualifications of Rulers

June 13 (Island) It is reported that 94 members of the present parliament haven’t passed the GCE O/L exam. It is of course a debatable point whether there must be a minimum requirement in education for members of parliament. There have been excellent political leaders and statesmen who have done their country proud in Sri Lanka as well as other countries, whose educational qualifications do not amount to much. They would not have been so successful if education was more..

Trekking through the Knuckles Range

June 13 (Roar) When one thinks of travelling in Sri Lanka, the first thing that comes to mind is its beaches. And we do have good beaches. But what’s less well-known is SL’s amazing hill country. Mostly concentrated in the Central Province, the higher elevations of the island provide a very different environment to the rest of the country. We’re not referring to Kandy or Nuwara Eliya or the usual tourist hotspots that people run to, more..

Editorial: Zombie politics

June 13 (Island) Hung parliaments plunge countries into chaos. Britain has been no exception. Theresa May is in an unenviable position, struggling, as she does, to keep herself in power. She has drawn heavy flak for trying to strike a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Union Party (DUP) to secure a working majority in Parliament. Troubled by the unsettling election results as well as intra-party leadership jockeying, she, like any other politician, is desperate to consolidate her power. more..

Panicstan embrace the chaos

June 13 (CI) DON'T PANIC. For the love of everything that is good, KEEP CALM. Just don't be you. Do the right thing, the safe thing, no need to get worried, just please, oh please, just don't do it again, we can't take it. Enough. Boom, boom? I don't think so. That is how a heart beats in a regular cricket fan. A Pakistan heart goes boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and in a small chase, hell, there is no way to even write it down it's just a high-pitched squealing noise, more..

Hydropower reservoir capacity remains low

June 13 (Island) Recent rains which wreaked havoc in some parts of the country have had no effect on the hydro-power reservoirs. The water levels of three out of six main reservoirs are still below maximum capacity. Currently, the country’s hydro-power generation capacity has risen to 48% percent from 27% percent due to rains. The heavy rains that lashed the country last month had not been experienced in the catchment areas. more..

Foreign aid must end: Dy. Minister

June 13 (CT) Deputy Minister Manusha Nanayakkara vowed to end the culture of depending on foreign aid following a natural disaster and instead promised to work towards replacing it with self dependency. "I will do by best towards that change", Nanayakkara told a gathering of flood victims at Galle and Neluwa. "A number of districts were devastated by the floods and a large number of people were affected. As a govt we provided whatever relief that was possible. more..

Pakistan fined for slow over-rate in Cardiff

June 13 (ICC) Sarfraz Ahmed’s side was ruled to be one over short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. Pakistan has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate against Sri Lanka during its last Group B fixture in the Champions Trophy 2017 in Cardiff on Monday. Chris Broad of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fine after Sarfraz Ahmed’s side was ruled to be one over short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. more..

SL let it slip despite Malinga's best efforts

June 13 (CI) Lasith Malinga was stretching between almost every delivery of his final over. His body can't do what it used to. And there would be no miracle. Sarfraz Ahmed angled a short-of-a-length delivery, at not much above medium pace, fine of third man and started sprinting off in a random direction with a celebratory run to rival Imran Tahir. We might not see Malinga in a global competition again. more..

'Sri Lanka the only country to tax electric vehicle imports'

June 13 (Island) Sri Lanka is the only country that imposes taxes on electric vehicle imports, while the rest of the world does nothing of the kind. These vehicles should be considered environment friendly as they do not consume fossil fuel, well known academic Dr Ravi Fernando said. "At a time when other countries are eliminating duty on electric vehicle imports, Sri Lanka is the only country that imposes a 75% duty on such vehicles, a condition stemming from the last budget, more..

Teaching methodology of Devnar School for blind impresses Sri Lanka  

June 13 (ENS) Teaching methods followed at the Hyderabad-based Devnar School for the Blind might make way into classrooms of schools for visually challenged located in Sri Lanka. The neighbouring country’s Social Empowerment and Welfare minister SB Dissanayake and his team would visit the school June 24, which coincides with the silver jubilee celebrations of the school, to study the teaching methods, said founder of Devnar School for the Blind Dr A Saibaba Goud.  more..

Sri Lanka introduces new international residency scheme

June 13 (ST) Govt is planning to introduce a scheme somewhat akin to the Malaysia My Second Home via introduction of a new law in SL. For this purpose a Bill dated May 29, 2017 has been specifically published and is yet to be enacted in to Law. Preamble reads an “Act to provide for a special deposit account for foreign nationals to remit foreign exchange in to SL and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.” more..

Dengue fever epidemic in Sri Lanka Vs. State Responsibility

June 13 (AHRC) The population of Sri Lanka is 20.97 million (2015) people. Some 1.84 million are migrant workers. The number of Dengue Fever affected individuals in 2015 was 29, 777. In 2016 it was 55, 154. Statistics for the first 5 months of 2017 show affected individuals to be 56,887! And the total number of dengue affected individuals is expected to rise to more than 136, 528. Following the above mentioned statistics, the simple mathematical calculation gives an alarming figure more..

Tax revenues up in 1Q; spending keeps pace

June 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's tax revenues rose 26% in the first quarter of 2017 from a year earlier to 436 billion rupees, but capital spending also rose, keeping the budget deficit up, data released from the finance ministry shows. Revenues improved from 2.7% of gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2016 to 3.1% of estimated GDP for 2017 with a higher value added taxes kicking in. Current spending rose 13.5% from a year earlier to 484 billion rupees, or 3.6% of GDP in both years. more..

Call for foreign judges renewed

June 13 (Island) Against the backdrop of yahapalana govt repeatedly ruling out foreign judges and other international experts, including prosecutors, in a judicial mechanism to probe accountability issues, the UNHRC would take up a report during the ongoing sessions reiterating the call for foreign judges in accordance with Oct 1, 2015 resolution co-sponsored by SL, former UPFA MP Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera said. more..

ICC Women’s World Cup: Spin oriented Sri Lanka looking for helpful pitches

June 13 (DN) “At the moment its cold 17 degrees hopefully if the sun comes out it will be helpful. Those are things we can’t control. Our success will depend on getting a good score on the board and our key is spin. We select batters upto 6 and we have two spinners coming in Ama (Kanchana) and Shashikala (Siriwardene),” said Devapriya. “You can swing the ball in the first 10 overs or so and once the swing goes our bowlers are not going to be that effective to get the batsmen out. more..

Sri Lanka thanks Pakistan Navy for support in flood relief operations

June 13 (DT) Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka, Monday called on Sri Lanka Armed Forces Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunathilake and commanders of Sri Lankan Army, Navy and Air Force. A ceremonial guard of honour was also presented to the naval chief. According to a statement, the naval chief dilated upon matters of mutual interest and bilateral naval collaboration. more..

SAITM quality to be investigated

June 13 (CT) The Ministry of Higher Education is in the process of reviewing whether the quality assurance of the SAITM is on par with the private higher education institutes registered with the Higher Education Ministry. Secretary to the Ministry Higher Education, D.C. Dissanayake said due to the current controversy, there was a difficulty in finding experts who have the knowledge to review the medical education provided by SAITM. more..

Red Cross volunteers help flood-hit SL

June 13 (TNP) When the floods hit Sri Lanka last month, 212 people were killed and 717,600 affected, with 80 listed as missing. Mr Karunanithi Letchumanan, who has been a Singapore Red Cross (SRC) volunteer for five years, was one of two people in a disaster response team sent there on May 31. According to an update from the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka that was released on June 4, more than 2,300 houses were destroyed and around 12,500 houses were damaged. more..

CB won’t defend exchange rate with reserves: Governor

June 13 (DN) Central Bank would not use reserves to defend the exchange rate in the future, said Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. “We want to make sure that we do it gradually and to ensure that the economy remains competitive and the exchange rate contributes to it,” he said. Central Bank intends to manage the exchange rate flexibility and the framework is over time - gradually - to get to the point where the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) is 100. more..

Shocking dropped catch costs Sri Lanka semi-final spot

June 13 (CI) Champions Trophy might have been damp and lifeless on the English shores this year, but it was on a Welsh detour that it finally roared to life. In the game which had the most riding on it all tournament, Pakistan and Sri Lanka provided a spectacle befitting the magnitude of the occasion, and Pakistan sneaked across the line with a thrilling three-wicket win. But that's only half the story. The rest centered around how madly more..

Rs 5 Million bonanza for Lankan maid

June 13 (CT) A Sri Lankan female overseas domestic worker is set to gather the single largest ever salary arrears payment of nearly Rs 5 million from her Saudi employer, officials with the SLFEB said yesterday. The maid Gnanaprakshmi Nishanthini, a resident of Eravur will be paid 123,400 Saudi Riyals (Rs 4.936 million) as back wages for 15 years of her services since 2000. They added that the Saudi employer had refused to pay her wages for a period of 15 years and more..

Five drops that cost Sri Lanka

June 13 (CI) Fielding errors at crucial times were one of the major reasons Sri Lanka failed to make the knockout stage of the 2017 Champions Trophy. Seekkuge Prasanna drops Sarfraz Khan off Lasith Malinga: Pakistan needing 39 to win with three wickets in hand in a knockout game. Malinga to Sarfraz Ahmed, 1 run, dropped! Again! Sri Lanka are getting half-chances at the moment, and they're getting easy ones, but they're not holding on to any of them. This is a slower bouncer. more..

Video: 15 Applications to establish Private Medical Institutions

June 13 (DM) GMOA revealed that 15 applications have been received by the Health Ministry and SL Medical Council to establish private medical institutions in the country. GMOA's Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said in 1980 there were around 100 State owned medical institutions in India with no private institutions however 30 years later its has exceeded 200 private medical institutions while govt owned only 183. more..

Pillaiyan languishes in lengthy remand sans access to documentation: Counsel to SC

June 13 (FT) Senior Counsel brought to the notice of the Supreme Court that Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan is being kept in remand custody for more than one and a half years and that his client has little or no access to relevant documentation. Counsel also brought to the notice of the Court that the State has filed Objection minus important documents and pleaded that he be given further time to file Counter Objection. more..

BBS says Police lied about youth accused of hate crimes

June 13 (FT) Issuing a chilling warning about the power the BBS holds to mobilise the Buddhist community to resort to extremes if needed, BBS spokesperson Dilanthe Liyanage accused the Police of lying about the BBS connection to a youth who was recently arrested. “We strongly deny that the youth arrested by the Police is a member of the BBS. If a person is a member of any organisation, they should have a membership card, a membership identity card and fill up a form. more..

AG reveals how CB held back documents claiming confidentiality

June 13 (Island) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe, said that although the Auditor General had the power to scrutinise any document, Central Bank had withheld documents pertaining to bond scams. The Auditor General told the Commission that the Central Bank had refused to provide information of the secondary market pertaining to the questionable bond issues, claiming that it didn’t have such information. more..

This is not good governance

June 13 (DM) Minister John Amaratunga was caught in camera scolding and apparently attempting to assault a journalist at his party office in Kandana last week. Although Sri Lankans are used to seeing this kind of behaviour by politicians and high ranking officials, as if they had the right to behave in such a manner, this particular incident has not created an uproar in society. Political parties, trade unions, human rights organizations and most importantly the major media organisations more..

Govt might be pathetic: But why the alternative is worse?

June 13 (DM) There is a groundswell of public discontent at the govt, partly due to its own inability to deliver on high expectations it set during the election, as well as due to its own misdemeanours, which at times mirror its predecessor. The former is understandable for governing requires a different set of skills (as well as luck) than those required to oppose a govt. Thus it is easier to criticize the Rajapaksas’ economic model than delivering a sustainable growth. more..

'Illegal migrants mainly face issues'

June 13 (DM) The foreign employment sector is still the largest foreign exchange earner of the country. On an average, 250,000 persons annually migrate to foreign countries seeking better employment. Of the total number of Sri Lankans working abroad over 90% are employed in Middle Eastern countries, according to the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment. Commenting on the current situation of the foreign employment, more..

North in dire need of neurosurgeons

June 13 (CT) After a protracted civil war, the Northern Province of Sri Lanka is in dire need of strategic development and this was discovered some years ago. But, the astounding revelation is that there is not a single neurosurgeon for the whole of Northern Province, from the time the war ended. "Health care has always been a priority at the government policy level, and govt-provided health care services are free for the entire country," more..

Continuous rain increases the risk of landslides in several districts

June 13 (SL) The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) with its major stakeholders  the Irrigation Department, the  NBRO and others are in the process of submitting a detailed report to the Cabinet tomorrow. The report will focus on the immediate action and future action that will be taken to save those areas vulnerable to floods and landslides. An Early warning system and lands for affected areas are the other areas more..

Kumar Sangakkara’s beloved Oval closes the circle on a great career

June 13 (ICC) On a grey and ominous afternoon at The Oval in south London, Kumar Sangakkara is keeping an eye on two things that he loves. One is the Sri Lankan cricket team, which is in the first innings of what will become a famous victory. Later this afternoon they would chase 321 against India’s powerful bowling. The other is the venue for the match, the home of his own Surrey County Cricket Club. more..

CMC blessed the collapsed Wellawatte building twice, inquiry finds

June 13 (ST) The authorities did not monitor or inspect the work on the Wellawatte building that collapsed, and there was no mechanism for checking the construction work, the industry regulator has found. The Colombo Municipal Council had also given blanket approval for the building — twice in the span of three years. Apart from that, qualified people were not involved in The Excellency project, there were no proper designs, more..

Govt has taken steps to ensure independence of legal system: Ravinatha

June 13 (AD) Sri Lanka’s legal representative in Geneva, Ravinath Ariyasinghe stated that the govt has taken many measures to ensure independence of the Judiciary and the Legislative systems.  He further added that many measures have been taken by the govt that was elected into power in 2015 to ensure independence of the legal system, during the 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).  more..