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'Unity govt crucial for development'

June 17 (NR) State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe says the sustainability of the unity govt is crucial to the development of the country. Speaking to reporters in Kandy, the Minister said UNP supporters will benefit when another golden era dawns in the country. He said UNP members have made many sacrifices especially by supporting what he called a UPFA govt. He said, “but this marriage is crucial to ensure economic development and to solve social and ethnic conflicts. more..

Keith Noyahr abductors to be released

June 17 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge made order that the suspects who are alleged to have abducted Journalist Keith Noyahr and assaulted him, be released on bail with stringent conditions. When the proceedings started the CID informed Court that Keith Noyahr has finally responded by email stating that he never made a statement to Lanka Guardian. Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya stated that more..

SL’s quality mall space shortage to continue

June 17 (LBO) As SL’s tourist arrivals rise and the local consumer becomes more brand conscious along with demand for better quality goods and services, an existing shortage of quality mall space is likely to continue in the short to medium term, a new report said. Jones Lang LaSalle, a property consultancy in its new report titled Sri Lanka – Land of Real Estate Opportunities, said that the per capita mall stock in Colombo is relatively low compared to other Asian countries in the region. more..

2017 Global Voices summit in SL on Dec 2-3

June 17 (GV) We're excited to announce that the 2017 edition of the Global Voices Summit will take place on Dec 2-3 in Colombo, Sri Lanka! Our seventh Summit takes us for the second time to South Asia, where we'll convene two days of public conversations and workshops with bloggers, activists, technologists, journalists, policymakers, development experts and others from around the world and address the evolving state of citizen media, open Internet advocacy, more..

SL’s firebrand monk invokes Muslim menace

June 17 (JT) Trump is a good man and I pray for him every day, Galagoda Atte Gnanasara told me in late April, later bragging that he himself is even better than U.S. President Donald Trump. Gnanasara is SL’s notorious rabble- rousing monk and leader of BBS, or Buddhist Power Force, a radical nationalist religious organization. He draws crowds of tens of thousands and is known for inciting violence targeting Muslims. more..

Religions need leadership

June 18 (SO) Loudspeakers are heard across our island today arousing suspicion, mistrust, and fear between religious communities. Sadly, many of these exhortations are from voices ostensibly of the clergy of religious communities or, of people claiming to represent religions. Even more sadly and alarmingly, these exhortations are followed, soon after, by acts of violence by lay followers of these religions. Homes, shops, even religious institutions are attacked: burnt down, damaged, more..

Hate speeches and hate speeches

June 18 (SL) All round denunciation of disseminators in racial hatred and religious bigotry is welcome but not surprising because no person or organisation however despicable could justify such moves openly. Racial and religious violence is promoted openly by a fanatical few but they fall silent soon due to adverse reactions caused among their own kind. Silence though welcome is no cause for complacency. Racism and religious fanaticism is spread by a silent drum beat often not by more..

'UNP, ready to face any election'

June 18 (SO) UNP General Secretary and Minister Kabir Hashim says, the UNP gave an undertaking to the country that it would work on a National Govt, and it will definitely stand by that commitment. We will however, wait and see in August how the SLFP faction in the Govt will react to it. Minister said, the UNP is ready to face any election against any formidable Opposition. The party is being reorganized to face any future challenges. more..

Susie’s antics

June 18 (Island) The PTI reported from London a few days ago that a pair of white peep-toe shoes belonging to Princess Diana had been sold at an auction in Britain for 1,800 pounds sterling. That translates to a little less than Rs. 360,000 in terms of our money. But Susanthika Jayasinghe, the Olympic Silver Medalist (she was upgraded from bronze to silver following the gold medalists being found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs) thought, or thinks, that her silver medal which more..

Baghdadi and a world in turmoil

June 18 (CT) The world is in turmoil, even at the brink of a major, unprecedentedly catastrophic nuclear war that US Defence Secretary James Mattis made clear yesterday "would be a serious, a catastrophic war, especially for innocent people in some of our allied countries in the Asia/Pacific, to include Japan most likely". His message came just after two hugely important developments on the global political stage that will have immense negative as well as positive repercussions more..

Sri Lanka’s worst drought since 2001

June 18 (Roar) In the past month alone, SL has battled through a cyclone, heavy monsoon rains, landslides, and some of the worst floods to hit the island in 14 years, leaving around 213 people dead and about 600,000 displaced. So it may come as a surprise to many that the country is currently experiencing the worst drought since 2001. This is not a recent development, as parts of the island have had little to no rainfall and more..

Drug menace: What is going wrong?

June 18 (ST) June 26 is International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking—as good an occasion as any to point out that Sri Lanka needs a multipronged approach to eradicate its growing narcotics problem. Flinging people in jail, where they continue to traffic and consume drugs, is no longer adequate or sustainable. Department of Prisons’ statistics show that in 2015, nearly half, or 46.4%, of prisoners convicted were drug offenders. This means that, of the 24,086 more..

A change in the order

June 18 (ST) My dear Angelo and the boys, I thought I should write to you, because most of the country is talking about you and describing your performance as a national disaster, especially after you gave the nation hope by beating favourites India, only to let a golden opportunity slip away by losing disastrously to Pakistan a few days later. I do think there are more important national disasters that we should be talking more about and doing more about- such as the recent floods and more..


Cleaning Augean stables: A herculean task at Srilankan Airlines?

June 18 (SO) As global events, especially in the US and UK, continued to grab headlines the past week, reminding us Sri Lankans that we are not alone when it comes to own goals and political shenanigans, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe returned to Colombo after receiving an all-clear over some nagging health concerns, ready to take on all-comers with some renewed vigour. In the US, President Donald Trump was calling the investigation launched by Special Prosecutor, more..

CT 2017 Finals: Resurgent Pakistan take on immense India

June 18 (CI) How is it that we have got here? It seems surreal. In the age of skirting around stereotypes and upending norms, here comes a contest almost as old as partition itself: Pakistani bowling v Indian batting, and still, though we have all tasted this masala and read some version of this script, it doesn't feel even slightly hackneyed, not even a little stale. How could it be? Australia might be the winningest outfit in the game, but are there two prouder cricket nations than India & Pak? more..

Yahapalana govt too planning on seeking military assistance to solve their matters

June 18 (CT) During the last six months of the year 2017, a total of 63,987 suspected dengue cases have been reported to the Epidemiology Unit from all over the island. Approximately 42.62% of dengue cases were reported from the Western Province. This situation warrants regular removal of possible mosquito breeding sites from the environment, authorities revealed. However, the intensity of dengue more..

Disappointing end to Sri Lanka cricket

June 18 (CT) Champions Trophy challenge as far as Sri Lanka is concerned is over. It's quite obvious that everyone including the cricketers are disappointed at the outcome and no doubt in hindsight Sri Lanka should have at least reached the semi-final. The truth is Sri Lanka lost two games they had a good chance of winning i.e. South Africa and Pakistan. The South Africans were absolutely ordinary in the tournament being thrashed by India and also losing to Pakistan. more..

Fishing in troubled waters

June 18 (ST) Remember the quote water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. This became a reality when Sri Lanka faced a peculiar situation recently in which the western and central areas had never-ending rain and heavy flooding, while the north faced an acute shortage of water for drinking and agriculture. These thoughts crossed my mind when the issue of fish was raised at a recent Colombo discussion on economic growth in an environmentally sustainable manner. more..

Has Coach Ford abandoned ship?

June 18 (ST) All points to a situation where former SL Test batsman Asanka Gurusinha, who at present is Cricket Manager and a selector of SL Cricket, will be taking over as the Chairman Selection Committee. A veteran of 41 Test matches with seven Test hundreds and eight Test fifties ended up scoring 2452 runs and with two hundreds and 22 fifties in 147 ODI outings is nevertheless remembered for his stubborn more..

Quality and quantity improvement of fielding

June 18 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa is moaning the present govt’s witch hunt on military personnel. However, he has conveniently forgotten that it was his govt that jailed the war winning Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka. President Rajapaksa’s political apprentice Thilanga Sumathipala earlier this week urged journalists not to direct their criticism towards one single player after the Champions Trophy campaign. However, he himself had singled out coach Graham Ford more..

Reconciliation through art

June 18 (NS) The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, will present a photographic exhibition titled Hope in September 2017. The initiative is a means for Sri Lankans to capture and share their ideas on what reconciliation means to them, in the context of reaching 70 years since Independence and the way forward towards a just and equitable society, the EU in Sri Lanka said in a release. more..

Losing Ceylon for a few pennies more? Nay!

June 18 (ST) Report on the blending of teas in SL has left committee members with a lack of consensus on the issue as a result of which no new policy has been formulated for the blending, packaging and re-export of orthodox teas from a country unique to Ceylon Tea. “It was clear from the outset of the committee’s deliberations that there are both risks and opportunities associated with a further liberalisation of existing policy, more..

As prices boom, tea veteran sounds cautionary note

June 18 (Island) Tea industry veteran Chrisantha Perera, former Chairman of Forbes and Walker where he had a 44-year career, and of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, has in the context of currently booming tea prices cautioned that if the availability of Sri Lankan tea continues to be limited, "at some point we may lose our market share in the more important importing countries due to lack of regular and adequate supply. He has made this comment in the Chairman’s Message of Ceylon Tea Brokers, more..

Lankans likely at full strength against weaklings Zimbabwe

June 18 (ST) Hosts Sri Lanka is likely to go full strength against lowly ranked Zimbabwe to bolster their limited over rankings, when the bilateral tour begins in a fortnight in Galle. Sri Lanka is ranked 8th with 93 points, their worst standing in many moons as they have gone through a difficult patch losing all but two in their last ten outings. SL is 16 points ahead of the 9th ranked The West Indies which has secured them an automatic selection to the 2019 ICC World Cup. more..

Swiss help sought to ferret out black money

June 18 (ST) SL is planning to enter into a MoU with Switzerland in a major step towards tackling black money stashed in Swiss banks by SL nationals and used for criminal activity. Proposed cooperation will include Swiss authorities providing information on Sri Lankans stashing illegal funds, official sources said. This week, Cabinet gave approval to an MoU between Switzerland and SL on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. more..

Sampath & Madurika Race Walking Champs

June 18 (ST) Sampath Appuhamy and Kalhari Madurika of the Western Province came up with encouraging performances to end-up winners of the Race Walking event of the 43rd National Sports Festival held at Thalawathugoda, yesterday. Appuhamy who finished the event with a timing of 1 hr 40:06mts beat last year’s winner Sandaruwan Dunukara of North Central Province as he clocked 1hr 42:12mts.  Incidentally at the last year’s event Appuhamy only managed to take 3rd place. more..

Traditional Hand Embroidery by Lakpahana

June 18 (Island) It was in the early 1960’s a young lady Mrs. Siva Obeyesekere who was passionate about all things handmade, started 15 sewing centers in the Attanagalle and Maligawa electorate. About 500 women attended these sewing centers. Her husband Senator James Peter Obeyesekere was the Member of Parliament for Attanagalle at the time. Women could help improve their family income by using their leisure time in sewing at home. This became a popular cottage industry. more..

Route permit scandal rocks NTC

June 18 (CT) Last week, Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that some 2,095 files of the National Transport Commission (NTC) were taken to the FCID to probe malpractices during the previous regime. The Minister while providing the NTC with a clean bill, stressed that the present government is not providing any route permits in an illegal manner adding that the standard tender procedures were being maintained. more..

Maternity hospital Helmut Kohl helped build to be named after him

June 18 (ST) As a mark of respect for his services to Sri Lanka, the Govt will name a maternity hospital under construction in Karapitiya in memory of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who passed away on Friday. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the hospital will be named the Helmut Kohl Maternity Hospital. Mr. Kohl was a long time friend of SL govt as chancellor and as a private citizen. The minister said he had helped Sri Lanka many times, both officially and unofficially. more..

Plantation sector hampered by poor admin decisions says Navin

June 18 (SO) The govt has had discussions with the IFFAD, a funding institution, to arrange a US $65 million funding program to support tea smallholders. The funds will be available for re-planting, fertilizer and technical support. Plantation Industries Ministry is seeking Treasury support to the tune of Rs. 140 million to cover the loss of income for the adverse weather affected members in the plantation sector in the districts of Galle, Matara, Ratnapura and Kalutara. more..

Emergency evacuation plans for 150,000 Lankans in Qatar

June 18 (ST) The Govt has begun preparing emergency travel documents for thousands of Sri Lankan workers in Qatar to facilitate their evacuation if the latest Gulf crisis worsens. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador A.S.P. Liyanage said that while chances of the diplomatic spat escalating into a conflict was highly unlikely, the Govt had a responsibility to take all measures necessary to ensure the safety of Sri Lankan in Qatar. more..

Protests stepped up after elephant attacks vehicle

June 18 (SO) Anoma Wickremesinghe, a teacher attached to Galnewa Central College, would have perhaps never imagined that last Monday (12) would have been an ill-fated day for her and her little daughter since she had been driving safely along the Talawa-Moragoda road as usual during the past five years. The area is however notorious for rampaging wild jumbos which she herself had witnessed very often. “Normally I take care when I am driving the vehicle. more..

The Outlet Store launched in Colombo

June 18 (CT) Joining the fastest growing retail fashion sector in Sri Lanka to bring the latest trends for an exclusive family shopping experience at affordable prices, The Outlet Store was recently launched in the heart of Colombo. Located at 142 Bauddhaloka Mawatha- Colombo 4, the departmental store offers a complete range of local and international fashion wardrobe for men, women and kids along with an exhaustive collection of household and gift items, accessories, more..

Glyphosate ban to be relaxed

June 18 (SO) Cabinet-appointed committee to review the import ban on glyphosate, a widely-used herbicide, has recommended that the plantations industry should be allowed to import the weed killer under carefully controlled and supervised conditions. Following their investigations, committee has recommended a six-step scheme and has requested the Ministers of Plantation Industries and Agriculture to report to Cabinet more..

‘Release boats, fishermen’

June 18 (Hindu) National Fisherfolk Forum chairperson M. Ilango has asked the Ministry of External Affairs to ensure the release of 42 fishing boats confiscated by the Sri Lankan govt. He said the Sri Lankan Navy had seized 145 fishing boats belonging to Tamil Nadu fishermen. Of the seized boats, the Island nation had promised to release 45 boats. “But, nothing has happened so far. Eleven fishermen are languishing in Sri Lankan prison,” he said. more..

Govt take steps to counter Dengue

June 18 (NR) Govt says it is prepared to utilise the help of armed forces inspect potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Minister Rajitha Senarathne said a special program will be launched next week to counter the spread of dengue through proper management of waste. He laid blame on poor waste management for the spread of the disease. Govt is also considering hiring special officers solely for the purpose of inspecting household and other premises for potential mosquito breeding grounds. more..

Wiggy to go soft on two ministers

June 18 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has assured Northern Provincial Ministers P. Deneeswaran and Dr. Sathyalingam that they can remain in office provided they submit written assurances to him that they will not interfere in the probe into corruption allegations against them. On receipt of such letters he has said he would rescind his earlier order sending them on compulsory leave, more..

Money printing down 10% to Rs 139.1B

June 18 (CT) The face value (FV) of Central Bank's money printing (MP) stock declined by Rs 15,306.87 million (9.91%) to Rs 139,104.95 million, Friday (16) over the previous day's, (15), MP values, as CBSL retired this stock (Rs 15,306.87 million) from its Thursday's overall MP stock, an interpretation of CBSL's open market operations (OMO) press releases showed. FV of CBSL MP stock includes the borrowing costs incurred by the Govt due to CB's MP on behalf of Govt, more..

Legal problem over Lotteries Board being assigned to Ravi?

June 18 (Island) Will the allocation of the National Lotteries Board to Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake create a legal problem? Or has it already? Some sources believe it would citing the National Lotteries Board Act No. 11 of 1963. They say that the Interpretation Section of that Act is Section 22 which specifically states: The Minister means the Minister to whom the subject or function of Finance is assigned by the President. "Thus, under the statute, minister who more..