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Opposition’s hypocrisy on Geneva and the debt crisis

Mar 12 (SL) Manifestly grim hypocrisy of the pro Rajapaksa Opposition is quite evident on the two grave crises faced by Sri Lanka: UNHRC resolutions on the country and the $ 15 billion debt crisis. When UN resolutions were adopted against SL on violation of human rights during the Rajapaksa regime there was much gung-ho with sarongs hitched-up and bellicose cries against colonial and neo-colonial forces interfering in our domestic affairs and violation of our sacred national sovereignty. more..

Dear man….

Mar 12 (NS) On March 8, women around the world were flooded with wishes and complementary messages. Facebook walls were filled with messages, poems and images dedicated to women. And then, things were back to where they were from the following day. Yes, March 8 belongs to women. But what about the other days? Does it mean that you treat a woman properly on this day? The woman would read the online wishes, smile to herself, and close the computer. But what happens once more..

'Put victims first when creating mechanisms'

Mar 12 (SL) Civil society wants the victims of the war to be given priority when creating mechanisms to address the accountability issue. Leading human rights activist and  Dr Nimalka Fernando said that there was complete faith in the new govt to establish a judicial process that will give them confidence. She also noted that the govet agreed to the participation of foreign judges in the resolution adopted in October 2015. more..

Dealing with anarchy

Mar 12 (CT) The govt has at long last decided to introduce legislation to ensure that the democratic right to assembly and peaceful protest demonstrations in public places will not be abused anymore by default. That these rights have been grossly abused has been exclusively the fault of the government whose pacifist approach to gross abuses of the law has been standing out like a sore thumb as a sign of weakness masquerading as yahapalanaya. more..

The rights and plight of women

Mar 12 (ST) On March 8, various events marked International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to recognise the role of women around the world and their contribution to home, society and country, indeed the world at large. To call them the fairer sex as they were once referred to as a compliment may not be politically correct in modern times, illustrating how the lexicon has also changed with changing mores. Equal rights are their fundamental theme – equal pay for equal work as the men; more..


Ramanathan Kannan affair remains unresolved

Mar 12 (Island) The still unresolved Ramanathan Kannan affair highlighted several important matters in relation to our judiciary which need to be considered. The Judicial Services Commission had retracted the letter they sent to the President recommending that Ramanathan Kannan be appointed a High Court judge. Thereafter we reported that the District Judge of Vavuniya D.L.A. Manaf who had earlier been overlooked for promotion had been promoted to the HC. more..

The good and bad of the son of Philip

Mar 12 (ST) My dear Dinesh, I thought of writing to you when I heard that you had been booted out of Parliament for one week just because you were arguing on behalf of your colleague Wimal sahodaraya, raising your voice when you were not supposed to do so and disobeying the orders of the boss in the House, good old Karu. To be honest, Dinesh, I was quite surprised that matters had to go this far. Why, the next thing I heard was that on the very next day, the Greens had walked out, more..

Are TN fishermen completely innocent?

Mar 12 (CT) President returned to the island after completing a successful State visit to Indonesia. Prior to the State visit, he attended the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Leaders' Summit at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widoda. Visit helped strengthening the foreign relations and bringing many developmental benefits to the country. This year's Leaders' Summit was held on a grand scale in parallel to celebrating more..

President revives ties with Jakarta while pandemonium reigns in Parliament

Mar 12 (SO) UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena was ordered out of Parliament on Wednesday after repeatedly disrupting proceedings. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya warned the senior politician several times to respect the order of the House, but was compelled to make the decision to evict the JO MP when he failed to comply. MEP Leader was also suspended from attending Parliament for a period of one week. The incident occurred after Speaker Karu Jayasuriya overruled NFF Leader Wimal more..

111th Battle of the North: St. John’s win by an innings

Mar 12 (CT) St. John's College beat Jaffna Central by an innings and 8 runs in the 111th Battle of the North annual cricket encounter concluded at the Jaffna Central grounds on Friday. Jaffna Central scored 163 runs in their first innings and managed only 82 runs in their second innings. St. John's who batted second, were 253 runs all out with Vasanthan Jathushan top scoring with an unbeaten 70 runs. Kapilraj of St. John's had a match bag of 12 wickets for 69 runs. more..

Gurusinha move and the flip-side of the coin

Mar 12 (ST) Line of faded international flags atop cricket’s citadel in SL was akin to a row of tired soldiers at the end of their tether, waiting for the justification of their deeds. Though they were hoisted with all the honour, pomp and pageantry, at one point of time not so long ago, now, they are faded and nobody cares. Truly, the face of Sri Lanka Cricket now looks just that. It looks tired. On the one hand, it's understandable. more..

14 districts below poverty line

Mar 12 (CT) Department of Census and Statistics reported that in Feb 2016, 14 districts out of the 25 in the country were below the poverty line, while 11 were above it. The department outlined the national poverty line to be at Rs 4229 for the month of February. According to the statistics Monaragala, Badulla, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, and Jaffna recorded the 'minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill the basic needs' below Rs 4100, more..

Steadying the tourism ship

Mar 12 (ST) This week Sri Lanka, it appears, sent its largest private-public sector delegation for the ITB Berlin tourism fair, one of the biggest in the world. While this is a lot to crow about, the island’s tiny neighbour, the Maldives had in fact sent an equal number or even more representatives, mostly from private companies and resorts. Having more representatives at key trade fairs doesn’t mean anything. Policies, ground realities and dressing up the product to match market needs are what, more..

The Pereras: From friends to frenemies

Mar 12 (ST) In one of the most stunning developments in Colombo’s stock market and political circles, the seemingly, inseparable duo of Dhammika Perera and Nimal Perera parted company this week, bringing the curtain down on a 17-year partnership of hostile take-overs of large groups and, accumulating wealth on the way. While the market and even political circles were still grappling with news of split, more..

CSE raps sassy offenders on disclosure requirements

Mar 12 (ST) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is having little chats with certain cheeky offenders who flouted the rules. As per Section 7.8 of the Listing Rules of the CSE which provides for immediate disclosure pertaining to a firm’s dealings, CSE has found instances where there has been violations and has had one-to-ones with certain offenders in the recent past, officials said. In one instance while the transacted date was Nov 10, 2016, it was nearly 3 months later that CSE was notified. more..

138th Battle of the Blues : Royal resistance rewarded by rain

Mar 12 (ST) Royal who were struggling for survival in their second innings in the post lunch session on the final day of their 138th Battle of the Blues against traditional rivals S. Thomas’ at the SCC ground were saved by Thevindu Senaratne and Ahan Wickramasinghe who together came to their rescue with a valuable 68 runs stand for the sixth wicket. Royal left with the task of erasing a deficit of 102 runs found themselves in a spot of bother with five of their top batsmen back more..

COPE to SLIC: Reveal reasons for Maldives, Seychelles branch closures

Mar 12 (ST) Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) has been directed by the COPE to submit a detailed report on its abrupt closure of Maldives and Seychelles branches set up during the previous regime. COPE was of the view that the institution would incur unnecessary losses owing to the sudden closure of the branches recently. In its latest report presented in parliament, COPE has ordered the SLIC to furnish statement of more..

Three-months RI, Rs 495,000 fine for lab technicians

Mar 12 (ST) Three employees of two medical laboratories in the Akkaraipattu area in Ampara, have been sentenced to three months rigorous imprisonment each, suspended for five years, and fined Rs 495,000 in total, by Magistrate Court judge Peter Paul, recently. They were accused of possessing medical equipment not registered under the National Medicines Regulatory Authority and expired chemicals, and selling medical equipment without a licence. The raid was conducted by more..

JO not considering No Confidence motion

Mar 12 (NR) Joint Opposition (JO) says Parliament should recognize the numerical strength of its group in the house. MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara speaking to NewsRadio, regarding their grievance of being given inadequate floor time said the JO is not considering a No Confidence Motion against the Speaker. MP said the govt cannot conduct affairs in Parliament without recognizing the support in numbers to the JO adding that receiving enough floor time is the right of the JO. more..

Gota’s war heroes off to Geneva

Mar 12 (CT) Rtd. Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara will leave for Geneva tomorrow leading a three-man delegation to meet UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Al-Hussein to mount an offensive against the case, now argued before the UNHRC, that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes, especially during the closing stages of the war against the LTTE. This allegation is the centerpiece of UNHRC resolution that is more..

Central banker gives contradictory statements

Mar 12 (SL) A certain top official of the Central Bank has attempted to misdirect the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds by giving two contradictory statements. It is reported that Central Bank’s Statistics Director Dr. M Z M Aazim has reportedly stated before CoI that in the event all bids were accepted as instructed by former Governor Arjuna Mahendran, it would have been adverse for the economy. more..

Aedas Architect, Simon Griffiths visits Abans’ mixed development project

Mar 12 (SO) Simon Griffiths, Executive Principal of Aedas Singapore, a global architecture and design practice considered to be within the Top 10 in the world, recently visited Colombo City Centre and met with the promoters of the development. He also attended the 34th National Conference on Architecture at BMICH Colombo to share his views on the concept of mixed-use developments and why these cities in the sky are becoming more prevalent throughout the Asian region. more..

Political influence threatens to derail Lasantha murder probe

Mar 12 (SL) Political influence is threatening to derail the investigations into the murder of The Sunday Leader Founder Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Investigators revealed that while there was considerable progress in the investigations, interference by the highest political and military echelons of the country may force the investigations to face a deadlock. more..

Plenty of paddy in stores, but Govt goes for foreign donations and imports

Mar 12 (ST) Sri Lanka continues to receive donations of rice from the international community while the govt and private traders are holding on to millions of kilos of paddy and rice in their stores, a investigation has revealed. In the main paddy production areas of the Eastern, North-central and Northern provinces, Govt officials confirmed that despite the adverse weather conditions, paddy stocks were available in Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) stores and with private traders. more..

Public procurement process needs complete overhaul

Mar 12 (ST) Public procurement in Sri Lanka needs a complete overhaul primarily with the transition from the manual administration of procurement to electronic procurement (e-procurement) to create an efficient and accountable public procurement service in the country. Public procurement experts who have been advocating transition from manual to e-procurement said the transition is long overdue. However, the change will bring about transparency, accountability, and better use of public funds more..

NIA chargesheet asks Keralite to leave religious school in Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (DNA) Alleged Islamic State (IS) recruiter from Kerala, Abdul Rashid Abdulla, accused of instigating 22 youths from Kerala to join the terror outfit, was sternly asked to leave a religious school in Sri Lanka on account of his radical views, according to a chargesheet filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA). According to the chargesheet against Abdulla and Islamic Research Foundation's guest relations manager Arshi more..

PM suggests govt to follow ancient king's path to develop a competitive economy

Mar 12 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has pointed out that it was King Parakramabahu who imparted to us the concept of competitiveness in the export economy. He said that the country should follow suit and embark on a journey to become a great nation. PM was speaking at the 18th Anniversary celebration of Young Lankan Enterprise Board. Further expressing his views on the occasion, PM said that previous administration staged Presidential election to overcome the heavy debt. more..

In just 10 weeks dengue infections rocket past 19,400

Mar 12 (ST) Dengue infections in the Western Province has risen sharply in the first 10 weeks of the year. Cases have soared by 43% compared with the same period of last year. There were 19,419 cases of dengue since the beginning of the year. Highest numbers of cases was reported during the third week of the year. Most of the cases were reported from Colombo (4,846) Jaffna (1,172) and Gampaha (2,502). There have been 1,203 cases in Colombo Municipal Council areas and more..

H'tota Port deal prohibits military activity

Mar 12 (ST) An agreement to be signed between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and China Merchant Port Holdings Company (CMPort) for the privatisation of Hambantota Port expressly forbids military activity and envisages the setting up of an oversight committee to oversee national security of port property. Port property shall be strictly dedicated for port-related commercial activities, says the final working draft of more..

Revitalising a war-battered economy

Mar 12 (Hindu) SL govt will implement a new programme for the development of Northern Province, President Sirisena announced last week. From the time the island’s civil war ended in May 2009, claiming over 1,00,000 lives, there has been considerable talk about developing the war-battered north, home for over 10 lakh people, about 90% of them Tamils. Former President Rajapaksa invested considerably in roads and electricity, gradually changing the landscape of the region more..

EDB to groom 2,000 entrepreneurs

Mar 12 (SO) Export Development Board (EDB), the apex body for exports in the country, has embarked on a program to groom 2,000 entrepreneurs to enter the global export market which will result in many trickle down benefits to the economy. EDB targets an export income of USD 15 billion this year from the marginally high growth recorded last year. Exports which had been on a decline since mid 2015 picked up marginally to record USD 11.78 billion at the end of last year. more..

Talks with IMF on moves to raise billions

Mar 12 (ST) An IMF mission that spent two weeks in Colombo returned to Washington DC last week carrying with it new pledges from Govt leaders on how the debt crisis will be tackled. Among the measures is one to raise a billion US dollars through the immediate sale of non-strategic assets. Six state concerns have already been earmarked. Among them are the Hyatt Hotel now nearing completion, Water’s Edge, more..

Govt keeps chickening out of elections, critics keep looking for electoral cockfights

Mar 12 (Island) There is no democracy without elections, but there is more to democracy than elections. Elections are necessarily important, but what happens between elections is even more important for democracy. If the frequency of elections is the prime measure of democracy, Rajapaksa govt would have deserved an Asian award for keeping the Lankan flames of democracy leaping with election after election for local bodies, provinces, parliament, head of state himself. more..

The UNHRC process; the blind leading the blinder

Mar 12 (Island) President Sirisena is no Lincoln or Lenin; not even an NM. You need a backbone to stand up and defy racists, not to capitulate to them. Does a Sinhala politician need a backbone to cringe and do the bidding of chauvinists? SWRD would have required a backbone to persist with the B-C Pact, but not to surrender to saffron bigots and shred it. If Dudley had a spine he would have stood with Dudley-Chelva Agreement; instead he proved another invertebrate. more..

Disaster Politics and Political Disasters

Mar 12 (Island) Close to one million – that is the number of drought-affected Lankans in immediate need of food assistance, according to an assessment carried out jointly by the govt and the UN. Of these, 80,000 men, women and children are in need urgent life-saving support. The numbers of drought-affected Lankans are likely to increase in the coming months, especially if the monsoons fail to become active (as was the case last year) more..

Girls edge into boys’ domain

Mar 12 (CT) Cricket, a unifying factor for all communities, plays a pivotal role in the lives of each and every Sri Lankan. Even those who do not share the passion for the sport, tend to have a keen interest with regard to the game both here and abroad. Whilst the game is celebrated by all, it also remains a very male dominated sport. Boys' schools all over the country, host an annual big match season where a series of cricketing more..

Sri Lanka’s links to North Korea guestioned

Mar 12 (SL) A report submitted to the UN Security Council has questioned links established between Sri Lanka and North Korea, led by Kim Jong-un. The report by a Panel of Experts appointed by the UN has found that a North Korean diplomat had talks with the SL Defence Ministry in Nov 2015. The Panel established that a representative from Angola, a diplomat from Korea named Kim Hyok Chan, and another more..

Sri Lanka busts international cyber scam

Mar 12 (EN) Sri Lanka has busted an online Nigerian scam involving corporate identity theft where international trading companies have been duped to send large volume of money to bank accounts of look-alike fake firm set up in the island. Anti-money laundering sleuths at the central bank and Sri Lanka's police have arrested a Nigerian national and his Sri Lankan accomplices over the racket. more..

'Torture, sexual violence continues in Sri Lanka’s former conflict areas'

Mar 12 (Wire) Yasmin Sooka spoke about Sri Lanka’s transitional justice process, the sequencing of judicial mechanisms for the same and the role other countries can play. Yasmin Sooka is the executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa, and the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP). She is regarded as a leading human rights lawyer, activist and an int'l expert in the fields of transitional justice, more..