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10 Lankan fishermen arrested for fishing in Indian waters

Mar 8 (PTI) Coast Guard arrested 10 SL fishermen off Tamil Nadu coast for fishing in Indian waters, two days after an Indian fisherman was allegedly shot dead by the Lankan navy. During surveillance, Coast Guard ship Arnvesh last evening apprehended two SL boats Manoj and Kalanputha-03, found to be fishing four nautical miles inside Indian waters. "They were poaching in our waters. The boats, along with the 10 crew members, were escorted to Karaikal and handed over to more..

Afghanistan seeking air-trade corridor with Sri Lanka

Mar 8 (DN) President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani late on Tuesday (7), accepted credential of Sri Lankan new ambassador, Gagan Blatsinghala. During the ceremony, the Afghanistan President said his country wanted to tighten trade relations via an air-corridor with Sri Lanka like the one with India, said a statement from the presidential office the other day. The president said Sri Lanka has good entities to train nurses and more..

Separate lane for passenger buses

Mar 8 (DM) Introducing the pilot project - Priority lane for passenger buses, as a means of reducing the traffic congestion in Colombo and suburban areas, Minister Champika Ranawaka said more than ten million vehicle movements within the Western Province is reported per day. The recent census revealed that during the rush hour time from 6am - 9am, around 8,000 people had travelled in 180 passenger transport buses while more..

Only some COPE members answer summons

Mar 8 (Island) Supreme Court re-fixed for support on May 18, the fundamental rights violation petition filed by the Ven. Theeniyawela Palitha Thera against the validity of the COPE report on the Central Bank bond auctions of Feb. 27 and March 16, 2015. Shanki Parathalingam P.C., who appeared for the petitioner said that copies of the petition, along with the relevant documents had been submitted to all the members of the COPE committee at the Parliament Complex. more..

JVP tries to raise SAITM shooting drama through supplementary query

Mar 8 (Island) Money alone could not ensure producing capable doctors as well as successfully staging shooting dramas, parliament was told yesterday. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake asked whether the govt would agree with the fact that being rich and able to pump enough money to produce doctors and to foot the bill for staging shooting dramas could not assure that those projects would achieve desired results. He asked so as a supplementary question to a query he raised pertaining to more..

President holds bilateral discussions with several leaders during IORA Summit

Mar 8 (PSL) President Sirisena met with several heads of state and other leaders  during his participation at the Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit held today (7) in Jakarta. During these meetings the President drew his special attention to further strengthen the trade and economic relations between Sri Lanka and those countries, and the leaders  who met the President today assured their fullest support more..

Drugs have broken school barrier

Mar 8 (Island) The peddling of drugs like cannabis, and opium had spread to schools, Parliament was told. UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana said there were kiosks selling narcotics as a side business near schools in different parts of the country. "Many principals have informed me that students in the GCE A/L classes in their schools were addicted to cannabis and this has become a curse in many parts of the country," the MP said. He said the leading schools in urban areas and schools with more..

President’s Int'l Women's Day message

Mar 8 (DN) "We are in unanimous agreement that the sustainable existence of the humankind depends on the strength of the empowered women. That is why the sustainable development goals of the United Nations Organization prioritize the plan to empower all women and female children within the next 15 years," President Maithripala Sirisena in his message to mark the International Women's Day states. The message states, “Sri Lanka recognizes the motherhood as precious. more..

NFF MPs cannot act independently in Parliament: Speaker

Mar 8 (EN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ruled against Wimal Weerawansa separating from the UPFA under whose ticket he won the August 2015 parliamentary elections. Jayasuriya said he had recognised the rights of the so called JO led by Dinesh Gunawardena as their group was not smaller than the smallest minority group in parliament. If Weerawansa's group of five MPs were to be recognised as an independent party, more..

Laws to make life insurance compulsory for risky jobs

Mar 8 (DN) Laws will be introduced to make life insurance compulsory for all workers engaged in risky employments. The compensation paid to the family on behalf of a deceased worker will be doubled, Labour and Trade Union Relations Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne said. He said so at a discussion at his ministry with regard to recent deaths of workers attached to factories such as Bogala Mine, dhal factory etc. Last year, 246 factory workers died due to accidents. more..

Ansari takes up fisherman killing issue with Lankan president

Mar 8 (ENS) The issue of killing of an Indian fisherman allegedly by SL Navy was taken up by Vice President Hamid Ansari with its President Maithripala Sirisena who told him that he has ordered a thorough probe into the incident. Ansari raised the issue during a bilateral meeting with Srisena in Jakarta yesterday on the sidelines of the Summit of IORA. "Yes, it was discussed," Vice President had said when asked whether the killing of the Tamil fisherman allegedly by more..

Yahapalana Scam: Paying Rs.21 Mn a month for building still unoccupied

Mar 8 (DM) Sadly enough all these scams have the Cabinet (Financial Mafia) approval. Minister Duminda Dissanayake has admitted that his Ministry has been paying a monthly rental of Rs.21 million since April 2016 for the new building in Rajagiriya though still unoccupied. “Since April last year, we have been paying a monthly rental of Rs.21 million and have informed the Technical Committee to hand it over to anybody who more..

Women, International War Crimes & Impunity

Mar 9 (CT) 2017 appears to demonstrate all signs of a year of reckoning yet again for Sri Lanka. The Universal Periodic Review, the performance of Sri Lanka against specific treaty obligations specifically the conventions against all forms of discrimination against women, the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights are some of the important mechanisms that will monitor the human rights landscape of this country in the current year. more..

On Androgyny: Vicky Shahjahan

Mar 9 (GV) Vicky Shahjahan seems to naturally command attention. Tall 24-year-old doesn’t seem to notice this, chatting about art while walking through Kompannavidya. Yet suddenly Vicky stops and points to a curious lady watching us from her balcony. That lady saved me, Vicky says simply. “When I walked into a shop, a man said that I was not human. She stood up for me. She said that she knew me very well and he had no right to make such statements.” Vicky relates this story more..

Sky’s the limit for parachuting women

Mar 9 (SO) On a sunny afternoon I was seated at the hangar of SLAF Ratmalana. Aerodrome was super busy with planes and helicopters landing and taking off. Two smart young women radiating with confidence walked towards me. They introduced themselves as Flight Lieutenant Piyumi Jayasundera & Flying Officer Nadika Weerasuriya, members of the elite skydiving team. SLAF, celebrating 66 years of distinguished service more..

In the driver’s seat: Lakshi Halpage

Mar 9 (GV) Lakshi Halpage never thought she would become a bus driver. It remains an unusual career choice, given that it is a predominantly male-dominated profession in Sri Lanka. Lakshi was not unfamiliar with the mechanics of driving. In fact, she was exposed to it at quite an early age as her father ran a garage and was used to driving several different vehicles, from trishaws to motorcycles. After graduating, Lakshi drove a school transport service for several years, more..

The doomed king: A requiem for Sri Vikrama Rajasinha

Mar 9 (CT) This fascinating book opens with the anonymous quotation: In order to survive as a nation people have to truthfully invent falsehoods. This reminded me of my own article from April 2013 on Heritage Histories. We create false histories to define who we are in superior light – our caste, race, religion, language, schools etc. – and when these are questioned, it is soul wrenching. This is such a book. It is gratifying to have a Sinhalese Emeritus Princeton University Professor more..

'Implement the commitments made to international community'

Mar 9 (CT) UK Conservative MP for Kingston and Surbiton Constituency, James Berry, who is also a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee and Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT) the liasing body for which the British Tamil Forum (BTF) speaks on the Resolution Undertakings by the Govt of Sri Lanka. Berry said, that the UK's deputy head of mission told him, that Syria and Sri Lanka were the UK's more..

Trail of truth

Mar 9 (DN) It’s that time of the year again. The sessions of the UNHRC were being conducted in Geneva and Sri Lanka had to respond, having co-sponsored a resolution with the US pledging to rectify anomalies in its commitment to human rights issues, especially in relation to the events during the final phase of the war with the LTTE. It was Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was tasked with the difficult brief of convincing the international community that govt in Sri Lanka more..

UNHRC likely to give more time

Mar 9 (NS) UNHRC sessions that started in Geneva on Tuesday, though it came without much noise and trepidation in the local political arena, was a vital thing for the govt as well as for the country. This session comes up two years after Sri Lanka co-sponsored a resolution with the US in Sept 2015 in a historic move, surprising many third world countries that backed us at the UNHRC. It was a complete turnaround from the approach of the previous Rajapaksa administration more..

Sarath Weerasekara

Katchatheevu festival: Navy building bridges of friendship

Mar 9 (Island) I always wanted to visit the uninhabited island of Katchatheevu, encompassing about 1.15 sq. km, located 10 km away from the Delft Island. Unfortunately, it has been an island of contention for some of our comrades in Tamil Nadu. However, I see the island as a land of Indo-Lanka friendship; both Sri Lankans and Indians (mainly fisher folk) gather there to pray for the patron of the sea Saint Anthony. Katchatheevu has been used by the fishing community over many years, more..

Editorial: Rumpus in the House

Mar 9 (Island) Parliament was thrown into turmoil once again yesterday following Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s order that JO Leader and UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena be removed from the chamber. Tempers flared when the Speaker ruled that NFF could not leave the UPFA and act independently in Parliament. That ruling caused NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa to let out a stream of invective and Gunawardena to launch into a diatribe against the Chair. Police were called in more..

Female firsts: Sri Lanka’s women pioneers

Mar 9 (Roar) 2017 theme for Int'l Women’s Day (IWD) is Be Bold for Change – and with good reason. Although many may argue that SL is far ahead of its regional counterparts and close to achieving gender parity, there is proof to the contrary. By 2015, SL’s population had grown to be 20.96 million, of which 51.8% was female. In 2014, female life expectancy stood at 78.2 yrs; 6.7 yrs longer than that of males more..

Competition for opening spots bodes well for Bangladesh

Mar 9 (CI) Soumya Sarkar bending his left knee right down to the pitch to resolutely defend a ball told you he didn't want to give his wicket away. His unbeaten 66 had many of his trademark shots too, but it was evident Sarkar was trying to bat like a Test opener on a good batting track in Galle. He reined himself in and did not play the attractive shots for a while. Perhaps there is not much connection between his effort in Galle and the news of Imrul Kayes being passed fit to join the squad more..

138th Battle of the Blues: Team batting first should dominate on SSC pitch

Mar 9 (DN) The Thomians with only three seasoned players in their ranks will have the backing of former national coach Dav Whatmore and regular coach Dinesh Kumarasinghe to complete their strategy, and Royal without a single win this season still has the ingredients strong enough to stir up the game in their favour. The Royalists are coached by former Cambrian and Sri Lanka under 19 player Suranga Wijenaike with Sri Lanka cap Thilina Kandamby as batting coach. more..

'Pitch has slowed down considerably'

Mar 9 (CI) Niroshan Dickwella, who scored his second Test half-century and spent 46 overs keeping wicket, said that the Galle surface had slowed down since the first day, but was not yet the raging turner it can often become. There appeared to be little assistance for bowlers of any description in the four sessions between lunch on day one and tea on day two. Though there was some turn for left-arm wristspinner Lakshan more..

Largest-ever delegation from SL at ITB 2017

Mar 9 (FT) The curtain rose on the International Tourismus Börse, popularly known as ITB, the biggest global event for the travel and tourism industry, in Berlin, Germany yesterday. The Lankan delegation is its largest-ever at ITB since it started to participate in the event five decades ago in 1966. Sri Lankan Tourism, along with an over 150-strong Sri Lankan delegation from more than 60 Sri Lankan hospitality and leisure sector companies including SriLankan Airlines, is expected to more..

German chambers to assist Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (GDI) During his meeting with SL Ambassador Amunugama, the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Bremen, Harald Emigholz, has assured that the German Chambers will work with their SL counterparts to enhance economic relations between Sri Lanka and Germany. Joining the meeting, the Director General of Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune), Bernhard Steinruecke, said that 136 Bremen-based companies more..

SLC beats the odds to return a surplus

Mar 9 (EN) Sri Lanka Cricket which was expected to record a deficit of over 800 million rupees in calendar 2016 has ended the year with a cash surplus of over 200 million, financial data showed Wednesday. The former Interim Committee had budgeted a revenue shortfall of 829 million rupees for 2016, sharply down from a surplus of 711 million in the previous year, but the new board had managed to cut costs and increase revenues. more..

US navy moves quickly to stem China’s monopoly over Hambantota port

Mar 9 (SAM) The US navy’s move to quickly establish its presence in the controversy-ridden Chinese-built Hambantota port in South Sri Lanka, in collaboration with allies Japan and Australia, stems from the West’s anxiety over China’s current and potential moves in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Region. The US Pacific Fleet on Monday started conducting a humanitarian disaster relief and response exercise at the Hambantota port and its environs in collaboration with more..

Dayasiri to seek FCID inquiry: Wants school rugby to follow rules of WR

Mar 9 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera stated he will give written instructions to the Secretaries at the Sports and Education Ministry's to hold investigations into the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) rejecting the sponsorship of the larger amount and accepting the sponsorship of a lesser amount, while also wanting to go to FCID regarding the issue. He said, "While a sponsorship of Rs 85 million had been received for overall schools rugger competition more..

Pereras part ways

Mar 9 (FT) Together they moved markets, unsettled many traditional Boards and corporates and built a booming business empire. Near two decades later, the once believed inseparable duo, have sent a fresh round of shockwaves by parting ways. Some who sensed the inside out however knew it coming or it was a matter of time.  After a protracted Board Meeting of Royal Ceramics on Monday evening, a decision was arrived at more..

‘Fishermen could’ve strayed’

Mar 9 (Hindu) Mandapam Station of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was alerted about the shooting incident a few minutes past 10 p.m. on Monday by the Fisheries department, but could not despatch its vessel for a rescue operation for want of position details of the victims. Deputy Director, Fisheries, had called the Mandapam station of the Coast Guard soon after the shooting incident and requested assistance, but tICG could not rush its patrolling vessel near the IMBL more..

NZ keen to broaden investment in Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (LBO) Govt of New Zealand expects to broaden existing investment in Sri Lanka and is ready to assist in economic development activities in the island. New Zealand wants to provide technical support in infrastructure development and assist in developing the agricultural sector of the island, David Benette, New Zealand transport minister who is currently visiting Sri Lanka said. “The decision was taken after taking the current favorable economy of the island into consideration. more..

The Geneva disconnect

Mar 9 (FT) On 1 March, inside Room XXI of the Palais des Nations, the SL delegation was winding up a four-day mission in Geneva on a high note. Govt had organised a public discussion on Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts on the sidelines of the UNHRC session. In a room filled with Tamil lobby groups, hardline Tamil diaspora representatives, int'l activists and Geneva-based diplomats, Minister Mangala Samaraweera more..

International Women’s Day reminds our hypocrisy: SLID

Mar 9 (Island) Slow progress achieved so far in creating gender parity in politics, business and society despite our lofty claims to be gender-equality champions on each International Women's Day reminds our hypocrisy and lip service, Preethi Jayawardene, vice chairman of Sri Lanka Institute of Directors said in Colombo yesterday. "Every year on this official international day we discuss women’s rights and focus on what needs to be to be done to tap the capacity and talent of women to drive more..

CA defers proceeds for 10 March in Perpetual vs. Monetary Board case

Mar 9 (FT) The Court of Appeal yesterday deferred for 10 March the resumption of supporting the Writ Petition filed by Perpetual Treasuries as the Counsel for the Central Bank was indisposed. When the matter came up before the Bench comprising Justices Vijith K. Malalgoda (President/CA) and S. Thurairaja, Junior Counsel Faiza Markar made application that Senior Counsel Faisz Musthapha PC who is appearing for the Central Bank is indisposed and moved for the postponement. more..

Sri Lanka gets more time for UN resolution; no new conditions: Harsha

Mar 9 (EN) Sri Lanka has got two more years to implement a UN resolutions, following March sessions of the human rights council but no new conditions have been added, Deputy Finance Minister Harsha de Silva said. De Silva said Sri Lanka co-sponsored a technical roll-over of the original resolution. He said countries in the human rights council noted the progress made so far, and wanted the rest of the work to be done. more..

Protests in Tamil Nadu for prosecution of Sri Lanka personnel after killing

Mar 9 (ENS) While the protest against Sri Lankan Navy for shooting down a state fisherman entered the second day at Rameswaram, one of the major demands placed before the Central government was to prosecute the Lankan Navy personnel under the Indian Law. Citing the case of two Italian marines accused of killing two Kerala fishermen in 2012, many protestors including Ramanathapuram MP A Anwar Raja appealed to the Centre to prosecute the Lankan navy personnel for the crime. more..