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Editorial: Hordes at courts

Mar 6 (Island) All it takes to destroy a democracy is a chronic erosion of public confidence in vital state institutions. Worryingly, not even the self-proclaimed messiahs on a mission to salvage the Sri Lankan democracy have cared to remove the canker of public distrust, which is eating into the vitals of the three branches of govt mercilessly. The less said about the legislature and the executive, the better. They are beyond redemption. Only the judiciary has shown some resilience more..

BIA part-closure leads to first post-war dip in tourist arrivals

Mar 6 (EN) SL's tourist arrivals dropped 0.1% in Feb 2017 to 197,517 as Chinese arrivals plunged 21.6% to 25,248, amid a daytime airport closure for runway repairs, but there was also growth in several markets. Sri Lanka's airport is closed from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm for four months until April 06, disrupting flights, particularly at national carrier SriLankan which uses Colombo as its hub. Indian arrivals also dropped 0.9% to 26,320. more..

Bambalapitiya Flats Redevelopment Project: NHDA consultant’s warnings ignored by govt

Mar 6 (Island) Over the past several weeks we have brought to the attention of the public the current situation in relation to a project to redevelop the 10-acre land on which the Bambalapitiya flats now stand. The idea is that the present residents would move out of their flats and give vacant position to National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) and after the project is completed the 300 residents and 12 shop owners would be allocated new flats and shops in new mixed development project more..

Can of worms

Mar 6 (ST) The (telephone) conversation went like this: Me – Hi, I’m trying to unravel the mystery of this mysterious gazette on bond issues that was raised before the Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bonds. Friendly economist (FE) – So, what about it? It’s clear as daylight that there has been a mess-up about the issuance of this gazette. Me – It seems so. However, even though the gazette is dated Jan 1, 2015 under the signature of then Finance Minister (Mahinda Rajapaksa), more..

Thilanga invites Arjuna to join SLC

Mar 6 (Island) In William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, two famous families – Montagues and Capulets are at dagger’s drawn. Similarly, in Sri Lankan cricket, Ranatungas and Sumathipalas are bitter rivals. But yesterday as yet another member of Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning squad – Asanka Gurusinha joined SLC, board President Thilanga Sumathipala extended an open invitation to his bete noire more..

Bangladesh aiming to stay competitive for longer periods

Mar 6 (CI) Bangladesh's players have often stressed on the need to do well in the first hour of a session. But they have understood, and justifiably so, that far too many times they have given it their all in the first hour only to fizzle out in the second. In their last three Tests in New Zealand and India, there have been examples of Bangladesh starting well in a game or a session, only to be unable to carry on for the rest of the day and press home the advantage. In Hyderabad against India, more..

MoU between AAT and OUSL designed to exchange expertise and resources

Mar 6 (Island) An MoU was signed between the OUSL and the AAT Sri Lanka recently to exchange expertise and resources to enhance the quality of the programs awarded by the both organizations. This would be an excellent opportunity for the students of AAT Business School which is the higher education wing operating under AAT Sri Lanka to study for the BMS degree with exemptions having complement the professional qualification with a degree. more..

Sri Lanka attempts to extend Defence pact with US: JVP

Mar 6 (DM) Govt attempts to extend the Acquisition and Cross-Services Agreement (ACSA) signed between the Defence Ministry’s of the United States and Sri Lanka in March, 2007 without Parliamentary approval would place the country at risk, JVP said. “The agreement that provides for among others, logistics, supplies and re-fuelling facilities, was signed for duration of ten years and expired today (Mar 5, 2017),” more..

Tamil Nadu CM's tone grows sharper as fishermen detention by Sri Lanka continues

Mar 6 (ENS) The rising number of detention of TN fishermen by the SL Navy is sharpening the response from TN govt, with the Chief Minister charging the Centre with not putting enough pressure on the island govt to stop the harassment. In the latest string of detentions, 32 fishermen and five boats were detained in three batches by the SL navy on Saturday and Sunday. “It is reported that a fisherman attempted to swallow a broken glass out of fear and mental stress [which] indicates more..

NZ Minister in town with business delegation

Mar 6 (FT) New Zealand Minister of Food Safety and Veterans’ Affairs and Associate Minister for Immigration and Transport David Bennett is leading a business delegation of 14 New Zealand companies to further strengthen business links between the two countries. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, with support from The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, is hosting the NZ business delegation from a range of industries such as aviation, technology, healthcare & construction. more..

Kalutara shooting: Army deserters involved

Mar 6 (DM) Investigation into the killing of underworld kingpin Samayan and six others including two prison guards, has revealed that about six well-trained gunmen believed to be army deserters had ambushed the bus and shot at the Kalutara prison inmates. Investigations have also revealed that there was sufficient evidence to indicate that rival underworld leader Angoda Loku was among the assailants and had led attack. more..

Alleged death threats to Ranjan: Police seek Speaker’s permission to question UPFA MP

Mar 6 (Island) Police have sought permission from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to question Gampaha District UPFA MP Indika Anuruddha following a complaint lodged by Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake that Anuruddha made death threats to him at a meeting at the Divulapitiya Divisional Secretariat premises recently. Complaint has been lodged with Divulapitiya police. MP Anuradha has denied the allegation. Police said it had recorded statements of several eyewitnesses. more..

Video: NFF accuses govt. of double standards over Mangala’s remarks

Mar 6 (AD) The NFF accused the govt of double standards on Sunday after the Foreign Minister sought more time to meet the goals at the U.N. human rights session began in Geneva earlier this week. NFF spokesperson MP Mohamed Muzammil expressed this view while speaking during a press conference. “Isn’t it questionable, as to why the Foreign Minister had to request for more time since both the President and the Prime Minister have not agreed to a hybrid court,” he asked. more..

Shangrila-La investment a case in point: GR

Mar 6 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that the country is suffering for want of what he calls workable formula to achieve post-war development objectives. Comparing the period in the aftermath of successful conclusion of the war in May 2009 with that under the current yahapalana administration, Rajapaksa stressed the pivotal importance of swift and bold decision taking. more..

SEC approves utomated trading system rules

Mar 6 (Island) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the Automated Trading System (ATS) rules and the corresponding amendments to the Central Depository Systems (CDS) Rules developed by Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to facilitate trading of All or None Blocks. In the wake of Govt's programme to restructure State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), AON method can be a medium through which strategic stakes in the SOEs can be transacted in a transparent manner more..

Gura, perfect room-mate: Jayasuriya

Mar 6 (Island) Most young cricketers have identified Asanka Gurusinha as a no-nonsense, straight talking, ruthless individual, but former captain Sanath Jayasuriya shed some light into the gentle side of SL’s legendary number three batsman, when he was introduced to the media as the national cricket team’s Cricket Manager. While Gurusinha was one of the senior-most players when SL triumphed in WC in 1996, Jayasuriya, 7 years his junior, was still finding his feet in int'l cricket. more..

MR pricks Govt over plight of public servants

Mar 6 (FT) Calling on all professionals and academics to take an active interest in the country’s affairs, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed that Sri Lanka’s future was bleak with no govt officials making effective and prompt decisions due to the fear of being produced before various commissions such as FCID. Addressing a packed audience at the Annual Convention of the Viyath Maga, – Professionals for a better future, more..

President expected in Jakarta today

Mar 6 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to arrive in Jakarta today (06) to attend the 2017 Indian Ocean Rim Countries Association (IORA) summit. The Summit commenced yesterday with a series of high officials’ meetings. On the first day of IORA summit, high-level officials from 21 IORA member countries were present at the Jakarta Convention Centre (JCC) to discuss a number of issues to be taken up at a ministerial meeting today (06). more..

Weapons connected to underworld warfare

Mar 6 (DM) The investigations into the detection of weapons at the Mount Lavinia Courts had revealed that the pistol and revolver had been smuggled into the premises by an underworld gangster known as Vidanagamage Rangana allias Maiya to kill underworld gangster Gona Kovile Roha. Police arrested Maiya in Wellawatta a couple of days after the detection of the weapons. They said he was connected to the main drug smuggling network. The gangster was detained for questioning more..

Sri Lanka's Colombo to see second fastest growth in super rich: study

Mar 6 (EN) Colombo is likely to see a 160% growth in the super rich with more than US$ 30 million (Rs45bn) in personal wealth to 182 individuals over the next decade, the fastest after Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City. 2016 Wealth Report by Knight Frank, UK based property consultancy said SL had 3,400 dollar millionaires, 170 multi-millionaires (more than US$ 10 million) and 70 ultra high net worth individuals with more than 30 million dollars. more..

UK Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary wants pressure exerted on Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (Island) Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has written to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson asking the British govt to exert pressure on SL govt during the ongoing UNHRC meeting in Geneva. The letter to Johnson follows a meeting held in Committee Room 12 of the British Parliament last week by some Labour Party MPs and Tamil activists in London. It was organised by Tamils for Labour to discuss what action could be taken against SL at the UNHRC meeting. more..

Pacific partnership to operate from Hambanthota this year

Mar 6 (FT) Pacific Partnership 2017 will be kicked off with the arrival of US Navy Ship Fall River (EPF- Expeditionary Fast Transport Ship) at the Port of Hambantota on Tuesday. The ship is expected to make ports of call in Myanmar, Malaysia and making the end of the programme after reaching Vietnam on in June this year. The Pacific Partnership, which was launched after 2004 Tsunami has been implemented in regional countries aimed at the underprivileged communities with focusing on more..

Suspect in Keith Noyahr abduction once nominated for diplomatic post

Mar 6 (FT) Major Prabath Bulathwatte from military intelligence, who was arrested last month by the CID for his alleged role in the abduction and torture of senior journalist Keith Noyahr, was once nominated for a high-profile diplomatic post by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Chief of National Intelligence Kapila Hendawitharana. The nomination was made in January 2010, shortly before more..

Sri Lanka in a catch-22 situation

Mar 6 (DM) Officially SL today is in a situation best described by the Sinhala idiom Girayata ahuwechcha puwak gediya wage –a Catch-22 situation- a paradoxical situation from which there is hardly any chance of escape. The country faces an almost insurmountable foreign exchange and external debt repayment crisis; a problem of finding backers to help extricate itself from this situation. The External Debt in Sri Lanka averaged 42,142.63 USD Million from 2012 until 2016, more..

Competing ideologies in education

Mar 6 (DM) One of the most polarising issues being debated in relation to education currently is that of the virtues of State vs Non-State education. Dr. Saman Kelegama’s speech at the J.E Jayasuriya Memorial Lecture this year, proposes that Sri Lanka needs to move beyond this debate and accept the need for non-state education as a viable alternative to the crisis in the state education sector. Dr. Panduka Karunanayake’s response to my earlier article, also touches on this issue. more..

Global turmoil International tutelage and adherence in a time of crisis

Mar 6 (DM) A decade ago, Kethesh Loganathan, one of my mentors and comrades, wrote a column in this newspaper, until he was silenced by an LTTE assassin. Kethesh’s writings under his pen name Sathya strove to be committed to the truth, and such honesty is rare today. Intellectual honesty inevitably requires swimming against the current. In this fortnightly column, I will draw on the left tradition and more..

Gurusinha aware of tough task

Mar 6 (DM) Asanka Gurusinha in his first interaction with the media since assuming duties as the manager of the national cricket team yesterday said that he is ready to take up the challenge in taking Sri Lanka cricket to the next level. “It’s a big challenge and I know,” he said. “But with a structure in place and the support from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), I believe we can achieve the objectives SLC have got right now. more..

SLC may scrap club tournament

Mar 6 (CT) After spending millions on the launch of SLC Major Tournament on 15 Feb 2016, the tournament is yet to commence. A Court decision put the tournament on hold, with time which was allocated for the 23 teams to play One day and T20 tournaments also quickly running out. According to SLC the future of the tournament will be decided on the outcome of the Court hearing today, as presently the Court has halted more..

SriLankan wastes millions on lease aircraft seats

Mar 6 (DN) SriLankan Airlines is spending millions of dollars in refurbishing the seats of its leased aircraft and the airline engineers claim that this is an unwanted expense. An official from the SriLankan Engineers Union said that over 600 seats were imported to be installed in the leased aircraft for what is said to improve, cabin appearance However when Thai Airways and several other airlines had engaged in more..

Dayan calls for smart patriotism amidst attacks on federal solution

Mar 6 (Island) Former Ambassador Dr Dayan Jayatilleke has urged those propagating patriotic and nationalist sentiments in the face of what they see as various forms of foreign interventions to be also aware of external factors. Calling for what he called smart patriotism Dr Jayatilleke asserted that it would be a grave mistake on Sri Lanka’s part to offer purely a domestic solutions to issues with international dimensions. more..

'Apparels no longer viable export industry'

Mar 6 (DM) Sri Lanka cannot depend on apparel exports any-more and the time is ripe for the production of electronic items such as mobile phone accessories and even parts for robotic machines, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. He made this remark at a ceremony to mark the 150th anniversary of St Mary’s College, Kegalle. “We asked the University of Harvard to carry out a study on SL’s economy. more..

SL joins South Asian partners for child rights

Mar 6 (Xinhua) SL legislators have joined fellow lawmakers from across South Asia to prioritize and safeguard children's rights in the region, UN children's agency UNICEF said. UNICEF said that despite economic growth and consequent improvements in realizing the rights of children, massive disparities still exist preventing children from living in dignity, reaching their full potential and making choices about their futures. more..

Union action threatens quality of drinking water

Mar 6 (SL) Water is considered one of the basic needs for human survival. However, finding drinking water that is suitable for human consumption is rapidly becoming a severe problem in the whole world. According to experts, by 2025, there is a danger that over half of the population on earth would be unable to find enough drinking water to fulfil their needs. SL has always been an island where drinking water is in abundance. more..

SAITM Issue: UGC report to shed light on procedure

Mar 6 (DN) Former UGC Chairman Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama and former Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Navaratne have been summoned before the COPE on Thursday for questioning over the procedure taken to grant the degree awarding status to the SAITM. UGC was asked by the COPE to submit a report on Wednesday giving details as to how the degree awarding status was granted to SAITM. more..

Hambantota project: Stinging protest by Ports Minister

Mar 6 (ST) The draft privatisation agreement for Hambantota Port lets a private entity unilaterally decide port fees, disregards the value of the land to be transferred under the deal and grants sole discretion to the company or its nominees to carry out development within a 50km radius of the port. Details were revealed in a stinging letter of protest sent this week by Minister Arjuna Ranatunga to Minister Sarath Amunugama, more..

Smart Patriotism: Outlining a doctrine for Sri Lanka in the world

Mar 6 (CT) As the Daily FT reported, the annual convention of the Voice of Professionals, better known by its Sinhala brand-name Viyath Maga, was an unprecedentedly successful event: “…a packed audience at the Annual Convention of the Viyath Maga… a network of academics, professionals and entrepreneurs, was held on Saturday with the participation of 2,000 members.” These 2,000 delegates, almost all of whom were well-educated and credentialed professionals who explicitly more..

SriLankan Airlines: Arrogant Chairman Dias made to eat humble pie

Mar 6 (CT) Airline Pilots Guild of SL has won a ruling in their favour when the Labour Department endorsed that access to the Colombo Airport Business Class Lounge be provided to the Pilots of SriLankan Airlines when using staff rebated tickets and travelling as passengers. This was after the management of the airline headed by Chairman Ajith Dias ruled that this privilege be taken away from all staff which included the pilots, barring the luxury to be afforded only to his management team more..

බැඳුම්කරය අන්දරයක්ද? නැත්නම් මගඩියක්ද? 

Dignity of Judiciary

Mar 6 (CT) Chief Justice Priyasath Dep has succeeded former Chief Justice K Sripavan as 45th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. Former Chief Justice K. Sripavan's tenure commenced with President Sirisena swearing in as the sixth Executive President of SL in Jan 2015. Sri Lanka has a long history of following British tradition with regard to the Bench and Bar making immense contribution to maintain the independence and integrity of the legal fraternity in the island. more..

Wimal Weerawansa further remanded

Mar 6 (NR) UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa, arrested on charges of misusing 40 state vehicles during the previous tenure of the UPFA led govt, has been further remanded till the 20th of March. The case was taken up before Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. MP Weerawansa made an extensive statement in court today pertaining to the difficulties he faces in prison. It is also significant that MP Wimal Weerawansa arrived in court without the representation of an Attorney. more..