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SLMC rift yet to heal

Mar 10 (DN) The storm within the SLMC had not completely settled observed its former Secretary General Hassan Ali. He said that while there would not be a split within the SLMC, the people were not necessarily happy with its current leadership. Trouble has been brewing within the SLMC since 2015 when SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem introduced the new position of Secretary to the Command to the party Constitution apart from the existing post of General Secretary which Ali held. more..

November exports fell 3.4% to $809.7mn

Mar 10 (EN) Sri Lanka’s export earnings fell 3.4% to US$ 809.7 million in Nov 2016 from a year ago, dragged down by lower shipments of textiles and tea, reversing the year-on-year increasing trend in the previous three months. November trade deficit widened 47% to $922 million from $626 million in Nov 2015. November imports rose 18.2% to $1.73 billion with sharp increases seen in imports of coal, medicines, & textiles. more..

The false people in Viyath Maga

Mar 11 (CT) Oh My God! What a collection of intellectuals we saw at the Viyath Maga 2nd Annual conference Conference, on March 4th in Boralesgamuwa. The slogan of this movement is professionals for a better Sri Lanka. Or in Sinhala, it is Piripun Lankawak sandaha< (Towards a fully developed Lanka). The venue was Rose Garden Hotel Boralesgamuwa. Dayan Jayatilleka has claimed a 2000 crowd of professionals, entrepreneurs and educated people. more..

Viyath Maga: Reverting to the dictator state

Mar 11 (CT) Viyath Maga - Professionals for a better future is the latest spectacle or circus in town. The Rajapakse brothers Mahinda, Gotabaya and Basil occupying the front row at the Viyath Maga event explains the purpose of the well-choreographed spectacle. Also seen in the front row in rapt attention were, former CJ Sarath N Silva, former CB boss Niward Cabraal and Professor G.L Peris, proven trapeze artists in disciplines of Law and Finance. That makes it a circus. more..

Understanding Poverty in Sri Lanka

Mar 11 (NS) To understand poverty in Sri Lanka requires that we take into account both the successes and the challenges that remain. It also asks that we innovate, using tools—from high resolution satellite images to poverty maps—to create the in-depth analysis that can inform policy and spark conversations on how this vibrant island-nation can overcome poverty. In this two-part Q&A, David Newhouse, a senior economist with the WB, more..

Bandula Nanayakkarawasam’s lyrical journey

Mar 11 (SO) He is a popular lyricist, a script writer, a radio presenter, though his talents extend over many areas in the artistic sphere. Bandula Nanayakkarawasam has written nearly 2,000 songs over the last four decades that have frequented every household on TV and radio. The might of the pen can only be determined by what one does with it. When Bandula Nanayakkarawasam first wrote a poem against deforestation to the Mihira newspaper when he was just 10 years, more..

Editorial: Let’s learn from South Korea

Mar 11 (Island) Some French voters, fed up with their leaders, especially the candidates in the presidential race, recently chose to give vent to their pent-up anger in an unusual manner. They launched a campaign to invite former US President Barack Obama to run for President in their country! They have thus sent a very clear message to the French politicians who have failed to live up to public expectations. Sri Lankans are doubtlessly as resentful as the French where more..

The battle after the war

Mar 11 (NS) Life continues to be a struggle for 45-year-old Kathir, a former Tamil Tiger combatant, and his family. Kathir was one of the 12,000 Tiger cadres who underwent a rehabilitation process soon after the end of the war. Kathir was lucky to be released after a year of rehabilitation. “I was disabled due to the war and therefore my time at rehabilitation centres was just one year,” he said. However, getting back to normal life was not more..

Spiraling incidents of military intimidation

Mar 11 (GV) There have been increased incidents of military intimidation in the last couple of weeks in areas like Pilakudiyirippu (near Keppapulavu), Paravipaanchan in Kilinochchi, and Puthukkudiyiruppu – former military held lands which have been released to former residents after sustained protests, human rights activist Ruki Fernando said. This culminated in the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) questioning Fernando during a visit to Pilakudiyirippu on March 9, he added. more..

The Battle of the Blasé

Mar 11 (FT) IT’S NOT THE ECONOMY, STUPID – As dismal and discouraging as recent commentary in certain quarters might make Sri Lanka’s past and present financial and fiduciary showing to be, it’s stress and tension in other spheres that’s buckling the Big Tent of our stability among the global power-shifters. Despite a solid showing in Geneva, the goodwill and generosity of our international sponsors may not be sufficient in the long run – nor significant enough on the ground back home more..


Judiciary displays independence: 45th Chief Justice, not a political appointee

Mar 11 (SO) The 45th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Justice Priyashath Dep was sworn in before the President, last Thursday. It was the first time since the establishment of the 19th Amendment and the Constitutional Council, that a nominee of such prominence and power was selected through an independent body, after considering many aspects. The Judiciary is considered an arm of the governance of a country, that is in place most importantly, for checks and balances. more..

A draw is very possible: Shakib

Mar 11 (CI) Shakib Al Hasan has said that a draw is the most realistic target for Bangladesh as they look to bat out the fifth day in Galle. He also said Bangladesh's approach shouldn't just be about defending balls, but also scoring runs to stay confident. Bangladesh have failed to survive the last day on two occasions since January already. In Wellington and Hyderabad, they made critical mistakes which enabled the opposition, New Zealand & India respectively, to dictate terms more..

Bankrupting Sri Lanka just to stay in power

Mar 11 (Island) Haven’t you heard enough of these bonds? Depends on what bonds, you are talking about; there could be some bonds one may like. I mean the bonds we hear and read about every day – these big money bonds. You mean the Central Bank and Treasury bond stuff? That is not all, but thinking of those, it looks as if each time a new Treasury Bond is announced, there will also have to be a Presidential Commission of Inquiry. more..

138th Battle of the Blues: Kodituwakku misses a century for the second time

Mar 11 (Island) S. Thomas’ held a slight edge over arch rivals Royal as they built on a strong first wicket stand to reach 255 for four wickets in reply to latter’s 255 runs before bad light curtailed the penultimate day’s play of the 138th Battle of the Blues at the SSC on Friday. Ravindu Kodituwakku’s sensible innings and his soft dismissal on 98 were the highlights on the second day where Royal had meager returns for hard work done by their bowlers. Kodituwakku received a life on 51 when more..

Facebook responses on me are often hilarious: Asela Gunaratne

Mar 11 (NS) SL cricket enthusiasts are ardent fans of Asela Gunaratne. Following is the interview the Nation had with Asela. Q: You are professionally an army officer. You got promotions due to your cricketing talents? A: Certainly, yes. Sri Lanka Army gave me a promotion and I am very happy about it. That is the highest accolade I received. That is a great encouragement for me to show my cricket talents in the future. But I never expect any rewards for my good performances. more..

Tharanga unperturbed by rain forecast

Mar 11 (CI) Sri Lanka did not take the likelihood of rain into account when they chose the timing of their declaration, Upul Tharanga has said. Rain had washed out almost all of the third session on day three, and would wipe out 12 overs on day four as well, with more afternoon showers forecast on day five. Though SL had batted aggressively to take their lead past 400, they let their innings continue after tea. more..

Mother Sri Lanka salutes talented ladies

Mar 11 (FT) Mother Sri Lanka’s patriot collection holds a unique story in each of its items; the lust for creativity and the talent revealed by small and medium entrepreneurs have resulted in the creation of beautiful hand crafted items. Mother Sri Lanka’s collection of Sri Lankan souvenirs has been able to tap into the passion of the Sri Lankan female entrepreneur and has inspired them to create colourful tales and assists them in creating their own dreams. more..

Germany pledges support for Sri Lanka’s tourism development

Mar 11 (LBO) German govt is ready to support tourism development in Sri Lanka with the island is targeting 150,000 German tourists this year, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said. This was revealed during a meeting between Minister Amaratunga and the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Brigitte Zypries, on the sidelines of the ongoing ITB in Berlin. Zypries is also the Tourism Minister in Germany. The ITB Berlin is the world’s largest tourism trade fair. more..

President presides over a discussion on waste management

Mar 11 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says all relevant institutions should initiate a proper method to formalize the disposal of garbage in Colombo and suburbs. “The main matter for the weakening of waste management is that there is no proper cooperation among the main institutions which are responsible for waste management. Each institution should fulfill its responsibility in this regard”, he pointed out. more..

ONUR promotes unity via Sahodara Pasal/Padasalai

Mar 11 (FT) In a unique endeavour to encourage unity among school children to bring the diverse communities in Sri Lanka closer and help them to understand and respect diversity, the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) recently joined hands with several Provincial Education Departments to launch a training programme to strengthen reconciliation in schools across the island. The first in this series of experiential programmes was held in A'pura in late 2016 more..

First local IPO for this year to be launched by RIL Property

Mar 11 (Island) RIL Property Limited will go for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on April 4 and its application was approved by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), market sources said. The company being a leading office space provider in Colombo, will issue 120 million ordinary voting shares at Rs 8 per share for the public. This would be the first IPO announced for this year and due to non conducive market conditions several companies withdrew from going for IPOs. more..

On her own two feet, after SL’s crippling war

Mar 11 (Hindu) Few students in Vadamarachchi, part of Sri Lanka’s northern peninsula, had heard of Visual Basic until Sebastian Selvanayagi started offering a course in it at her modest computer centre. “Even basic programming languages haven’t come to our village in a big way,” she said, entering a small room in her home, in Vetrilaikeni in Vadamarachchi East, where five desktop computers are kept. more..

Sign boards in wildlife areas

Mar 11 (CT) Prior approval should be sought from the relevant authorities prior to changing sign boards and other markings in areas that are known to be populated with wild animals, Deputy Minister Sumedha. Jayasena said. She was speaking at an event in Wellawaya. While expressing her gratitude to public institutes for their support and interest in wildlife, the minister however stressed that the changing and beautification of sign boards and other markings should be done more..

New laws to curb organized crime

Mar 11 (GDI) Govt is to bring in new laws to curb organized crime, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said. He said govt will introduce an Organized Crime Prevention Act to control drug trafficking as well. Minister said the Police have already established an Organized Crime Division. He was speaking at the launch of the Annual report 2016 of the Int'l Narcotic Control Board (INCB). “Govt is determined to initiate a national drug prevention program to eradicate distribution and use of drugs”, more..

Sri Lanka's defence secy to be replaced

Mar 11 (EN) SL's defence secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi is tipped to be replaced by an officer from the attorney general's office shortly, official sources said Friday. Hettiarachchi, who turns 67 on March 20, has just returned from Singapore where he had undergone heart surgery, official sources said adding that he was being eased out. Senior Additional Solicitor General Kapila Waidyaratne, President's Counsel, is tipped more..

Farmers advised to grow short maturing rice, other crops in 2017

Mar 11 (EN) Sri Lanka is forecasted to get normal rain in 2017, but farmers outside the wet zone have been advised to grow short maturing rice, alternative crops with tanks starting the next cropping season with low water levels, the Department of Agriculture said. In the next Yala minor season, there is expected to be normal rainfall in the Wet zone in the Dry and Intermediate zones rainfall will be low as usual, Agro-climatology & Climate Change Division of Department of Agriculture said.   more..

Birth control at Dambulla hospital investigated

Mar 11 (NS) The medical community often claims that when doctors advise patients with regard to the use of birth control methods it was for the purpose of proper spacing and risk management. The Dambulla Base Hospital recently received a written complaint with regard to a patient in the maternity ward being advised to use birth control devices. Director of the Dambulla Base Hospital  Dr. Charles Nugawela said that a routine investigation has been launched into the matter. more..

CID digs skeletons

Mar 11 (NS) CID is actively investigating several violent crimes and other serious offences that were not pursued by the police under the former regime. While public attention has been focused on the investigations into attacks on media personnel following the surprise arrests of five army spies last month for the abduction and torture of former Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr, court records reveal that the investigations include more..

Foreign reserves up by US$ 165mn in Feb

Mar 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s official reserves rose US$ 165 million to 5.62 billion dollars in February, up from US$ 5.45 billion at the end of January. Foreign currency reserves were US$ 4.66 billion and reserves in Gold were US$ 0.89 billion. Central Bank has purchased US$ 145.09 million of foreign exchange from commercial banks at market rates in February while selling US$ 297.25 million in the month. During the year to date, SL rupee has depreciated against the US dollar by 1%. more..

Fishermen didn’t hand over GPS set immediately: Officials

Mar 11 (Hindu) Officers investigating the case of the gunning down of a fisherman from Tamil Nadu, allegedly by the SL Navy, have claimed that the fishermen concerned did not immediately hand over the Global Positioning System (GPS) set to the Marine Police of the Coastal Security Group (CSG). They handed over the device only after the police exerted pressure through the Fisheries department. While the fishermen claimed that they were fishing near the Sethu Kalvai more..

Hashim explains how aircraft order was cancelled

Mar 11 (Island) Minister Kabir Hashim told Parliament that the govt decision to cancel three A-350 aircraft ordered for SriLankan Airlines had been taken by the Economic Management Committee after discussions with all stakeholders. In answer to a question by UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, the minister said the govt had been left with no alternative but to cancel three aircraft to avoid a loss of Rs. 32 billion.  more..

JO vows to struggle for recognition as main opposition

Mar 11 (DM) Joint opposition said it would continue its struggle inside and outside Parliament to secure the status of the main opposition in Parliament. JO MP Dallas Alahapperuma said the exercise they were engaged in Parliament yesterday was the beginning of this struggle. “Our request ot the Speaker was the first step of this struggle," he said and added that the former speaker had acceded to their invitation to assist their cause. MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said recognition given to JVP more..

Katchatheevu fest: HC not for travel in country boats

Mar 11 (Hindu) Madras High Court Bench here on Friday refused to pass an order permitting a section of fishermen from Rameswaram to travel in country boats fitted with motors to attend the annual two-day St. Antony’s church festival in Katchatheevu scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Justices A. Selvam and N. Authinathan, however, directed the Commissioner of Fisheries to consider the fishermen’s plea to attend the festival if they were willing to travel in mechanised boats. more..

Now, govt MPs walk out, blaming Speaker

Mar 11 (Island) Parliament sittings came to an abrupt end around 11.50 am yesterday when the Leader of the House and govt MPs walked out, protesting against what they called Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s failure to take action against Opposition MPs who disrupted proceedings. It was the first time in parliamentary history of Sri Lanka that govt members had boycotted the sessions in protest against the Speaker. more..

MR summoned to Prez Commission

Mar 11 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa has been summoned by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing Serious Acts of Fraud over an outstanding due of Rs. 165.2 million to state-owned television for advertising during the 2015 presidential election campaign. The commission has informed former President to give his statement on March 16. Several officials of SL Rupavahini Corporation have already been questioned regarding the same issue several times in the recent past. more..

Prison bus attack: Kalutara North OIC transferred

Mar 11 (DN) Kalutara North Police OIC Ananda De Silva was transferred to Colombo North Division on disciplinary grounds after the prison bus carrying underworld figures including Aruna Shantha alias Samayan came under attack in Kalutara on Feb 27. Seven people were killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire at the bus carrying these prisoners to the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Courts from Kalutara. They also attacked a van with prison officials who were providing security, killing two. more..

Sri Lanka risks censure as president falters on war legacy

Mar 11 (AFP) President Maithripala Sirisena came to power promising justice for war crimes, breaking from his hawkish predecessor and presenting the island with its first real shot at a lasting peace. But that optimism has been sorely tested as Sirisena, having missed a two-year deadline to investigate war-era abuses, declared he would never prosecute his soldiers, rejecting outright fresh UN calls for an international trial. more..

M12M: Speak out and act for clean politics

Mar 11 (DM) The March 12 Movement was set up two years ago for clean politics, good governance, more checks and balances to consolidate democracy and to eventually move towards a just society. The Movement is seeking the support of civic-conscious citizens, the State and private media groups for the 25-day countrywide campaign starting on March 13 to achieve the vision and goals which the people voted for at the presidential election on January 8, 2015. more..

Oh dear! These FUTA Academics

Mar 11 (DM) On Monday March 6, (2017) the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) announced a two-day strike action on the eighth and ninth of March, at a media briefing in Colombo. As its President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said in answer to a question from a journalist, no strike action can be taken without disrupting the normal working of an organisation or institute. He is perfect with that answer though not in the haughty language and tone used. more..