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Bond Scam Investigation Coverup

Who is a public intellectual?

Mar 16 (CT) Dr Siri Gamage has raised some important questions worthy of broader discussion: especially before Presidential or Parliamentary elections, some university academics affiliated with major political parties appear on stage or in press conferences as intellectuals. Does the media use this term correctly? Who are the intellectuals? What should be their defining features and role? Has this term been vulgarised in the Sri Lankan context to mislead the voting public? more..

Geneva, India & fisher poaching

Mar 16 (CT) The Hindu, on the seeming controversial death of an Indian fisherman by shooting on 6 March, in an article published on its issue of Friday under the heading TN fishermen hit SL Navy water scooter, claim officials, said, 'Officers investigating the gunning down of a TN fisherman allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy have claimed that the incident could have been triggered by the Rameswaram fishermen allegedly ramming against the Island Nation Navy's water more..

Probe against Perpetual Treasuries: Police on snooze mode

Mar 16 (CT) Police appear to be on snooze mode despite a formal complaint seeking an investigation into CB’s Primary Dealer Perpetual Treasuries for its alleged involvement in Treasury Bond scam, committed during the tenure of ex-Governor Arjuna Mahendran, a close associate of PM. Highly placed sources claimed that a formal complaint was lodged by incumbent Governor of CB Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, who in a more..

Dr. Johnpulle house fire suspects get 19 1/2 years

Mar 16 (NR) The two persons who set fire to the house of Anuradhapura District UNP Manager Dr. Raja Johnpulle, causing damages worth 50 million rupees, have been sentenced to a 19 and a half year rigorous prison term. The two found guilty are Former UPFA Mihinthale Pradeshiya Sabha member RAL Pushpananda and another. The North Central Provincial High Court judge Manjula Thilakaratne ordered the two to pay a fine of 10,000 rupees each. more..

Paddy Withana removed?

Mar 16 (DM) There was speculation yesterday that Sri Lanka Tourism Authority's chairman Paddy Withana had been suddenly relieved of his position. However, when contacted, Tourism Promotion and Christian Religious Affairs Ministry secretary Janaka Sugathadasa said no such thing had happened and Mr. Withana still functioned as the chairman of the authority. However, he said there had been discussions among the higher authorities about appointing a new chairman. more..

Internet speed rankings: Australia behind SL

Mar 16 (MO) Australia's internet speed has ranked as the 51st slowest out of 108 countries around the world, lagging behind underdeveloped nations such as Kenya and Sri Lanka. Internet connections Down Under are considered poorer and slower than 50 other countries, with South Korea topping the list as having the fastest connectivity. Australia's online bandwidth has pathetic internet speeds compared to the likes of South Korea, Norway, Sweden, more..

SL data protection laws seen inadequate

Mar 16 (EN) Digital commerce in Sri Lanka is growing along with greater internet penetration but data protection for consumers is still inadequate, a forum was told. “Sri Lanka does not have the legal regime to prevent information being shared wrongfully,” said Thishya Weragoda, an Attorney at Law of the Supreme Court. “I have right, when I give vendors data, to ask my data to be protected,” he told a forum held by the Institute of Policy Studies of SL to mark the World Consumer Rights Day more..

Sanitary labourers to be kitted up for the job

Mar 16 (Island) Provincial Councils and Local Govt Ministry will provide standard uniforms, gloves, face masks and other necessary paraphernalia to sanitary labourers within two weeks. During a meeting held at the Ministry following a special discussion under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena regarding the garbage issue on Tuesday, Minister Faizer Mustapha directed the officers to take immediate steps to solve the garbage issue. more..

Video: JO to file case with Bribery Commission against PM: Vidura

Mar 16 (DM) A complaint will be lodged against the PM today with the Anti-graft Commission, Joint Opposition announced. The announcement was made by MP Vidura Wickramanayaka said. “The govt has faced a loss of Rs.5000 million when purchasing coal for the Norochcholai coal power plant,” he added. Wickramanayaka said this will be the last complain to be made with the Bribery Commission, more..

Thajudeen Murder: Defence, aggrieved party question delays

Mar 16 (DM) Delivering his own submission, from the defence dock, former SDIG Anura Senanayake today requested the prosecution to arrest, without any further delay, the true culprits who committed the murder of Wasim Thajudeen because the unjustifiable delay of the inquiry had violated his Fundamental Rights. He was of the view that in addition to fabricating false evidence, the prosecution had purposely included the conspiracy charges against him in order to keep him more..

Sarkar's rare three-in-a-row

Mar 16 (CI) 64 Test innings taken by Dinesh Chandimal to make eight Test hundreds - the second fastest by a Sri Lanka batsman. Mahela Jayawardene had taken ten fewer innings than Chandimal to get his first eight hundreds. Thilan Samaraweera is next on this list having made his eighth Test hundred in his 74th innings. 4: Number of hundreds by Chandimal against Bangladesh in just eight Test innings. Only three other batsmen - Sangakkara (7), Mahela (5) and more..

Late wickets hurt B'desh's reply to SL's 338

Mar 16 (CI) The two ends of the day were delicate and disastrous. Dinesh Chandimal took Sri Lanka out of a slippery slope, from an overnight 238 for 7 to a more comfortable footing of 338. Then, Bangladesh did what they have so regularly, giving away a good start and looking like a team hell-bent on self-destruction. Chandimal gave Sri Lanka the cushion with his proficiency, ensuring that they moved quickly on the 2nd morning. more..

Singaporean firms win big SL fuel contracts

Mar 16 (EN) Sri Lanka has awarded two Singaporean companies contracts to supply its state oil refiner and retailer, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), with two big shipments of gas oil and gasoline. The Cabinet of ministers this week gave two term tenders for eight months from 1 March to 31 Oct 2017 to Swiss Singapore Overseas  Enterprises Pte Ltd. and Gunvor Singapore Pte Ltd. Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises, lowest of eight bids, will supply 4.2 million barrels more..

MR no show at PRECIFAC

Mar 16 (NR) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was summoned before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry this morning has informed that he will not be present before the Commission today. Spokesperson said that, that the former President’s attorneys had notified the Commission. A request was made by MP Rajapaksa’s attorneys to allow the Former President to appear before the Commission on the 24th of March. Former President was summoned to record a statement over more..

Five army top brass named as running torture and rape camp in Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (JDS) An international rights watchdog has called upon SL govt to investigate five top generals including its army commander in the aftermath of the war for allegedly running an army camp where extremely brutal torture was routine. In a damning report released today exposing torture and sexual violence including rape in an army camp that illegally held Tamils detainees, Int'l Truth & Justice Project (ITJP) alleges more..

Agriculture sector records negative growth in Sri Lanka last year

Mar 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka economy's agricultural activities reported a negative growth rate of 4.2% in 2016, a statement from the Department of Census and Statistics said. Rice cultivation declined drastically by 31% during the period under review. Cultivation of tea, rubber and cereals declined by 11.2%, 10.7% and 10.5% respectively. However, statement released by the department said the industrial activities recorded a significant growth rate of 6.7% last year. more..

Sri Lanka appoints first honorary consul in Pennsylvania

Mar 16 (SLE) Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam today handed over the Commission of Appointment to David Bruce Sherman as SL’s Honorary Consul in the state of Pennsylvania. He is the first Honorary Consul of SL in that state. Ambassador observed that at a time when SL is expanding its bilateral partnership with the US, the long years of experience, professional calibre and commitment of the newly appointed Honorary Consul will serve to strengthen SL’s representation in the US.  more..

Sri Lanka needs more women in the workforce: What is keeping them away?

Mar 16 (WB) L. Kokilavani gives off an air of quiet competence. The 30-year old midwife is a member of a community youth group in Sri Lanka’s Central Province. Their goal is to improve nutrition using technology. Kokilavani has worked as a nurse and received training in sexual and reproductive health rights and so she brings her own unique perspective to this meeting at the Sarvodaya centre in Hatton. more..

Canada says visa requirements for Sri Lankan travellers the same

Mar 16 (CG) High Commission of Canada to SL and Embassy of Canada to Maldives says it is aware of recent erroneous media reporting on entry/visa requirements for Sri Lankan business and tourist travellers suggesting changes to Canada’s entry requirements for Sri Lankan travellers. High Commission insisted that the claims are false. “Sri Lankan citizens require visas for travel to Canada. There have been no recent changes to visa requirements for Sri Lankan travellers. more..

Four Sri Lankans arrested in India with forged passports

Mar 16 (TOI) Sahar police arrested eight foreign nationals, four each from Sri Lanka and the UK, on Wednesday for passport forgery and impersonation. Immigration officials caught the eight, including two women, from boarding gates at the international and domestic sections of Terminal 2 last Friday (10). After questioning them for four days, immigration officials learnt that the UK nationals, aged 27-56, had joined the human trafficking ring to help the Lankans reach London. more..

GMOA appoints committee to determine standards in medical education

Mar 16 (Island) The GMOA formed a committee to introduce guidelines on maintaining standards in medical education in Sri Lanka. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen Zoysa said the committee had been appointed following an Executive Committee meeting of the GMOA. Co-Chaired by Dr. Sanjeewa Tennakoon and Sarada Kannangara Dr Haritha Aluthge was appointed Secretary. The ten-member committee will comprise medical professors more..

Full Face helmet ban: CMA complains to HRCSL

Mar 16 (DM) Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association (CMA) today complained to the SL Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) stating that the gazette notice 2007/39 was a violation of human rights restricting a motorcyclist's right to safety. As such it requested the HRC to nullify the gazette notice issued by Transport and Highways Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. In the complaint, CMA cited the minister, Department of the Registration of Motor Vehicles (RMV) Assistant Commissioner more..

Effective program to cultivate vacant lands: President

Mar 16 (PSL) “An effective program with strong objective will be implemented for the process to develop productions through cultivating vacant lands that are cultivable”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. The President was speaking at a ceremony to present Ranbimaka Urumaya (Right for a Golden Land) deeds and grant documents by ensuring the land rights of the people in Hambantota District. The ceremony was held today at the new conference hall in Hambantota. more..

Somali coastguard in gunfight near hijacked ship

Mar 16 (AFP) Coastguards in northern Somalia exchanged gunfire Thursday with armed men aboard a boat heading towards a hijacked oil tanker where pirates are holding eight hostages, an official said. Armed attackers seized the Aris 13 tanker on Monday as it made its way from Djibouti to Mogadishu, the first hijacking of a large merchant vessel by Somali pirates since 2012. The tanker was forced to change course and head toward more..

Public Intellectuals: Some private thoughts

Mar 17 (CT) The term Public intellectual is a title, a designation, a label and an honorific, given to men and women battling with ideas in the public domain writing, speaking and by just plain thinking aloud. In essence the expression public intellectual is an opinion arrived at by the general public. In ancient Greece public intellectuals lectured in the agora- a place of public assembly which also served as a market. In his famous essay The Hedgehog and the Fox, Isiah Berlin said that more..

My SAITM Story

Mar 17 (CT) I’m not one to share my personal stories, but it’s time to break the silence and clear up the misconceptions about SAITM where I’ve been studying for the past four years. My family moved to Seychelles when I was 6, so I had my primary education at The Int'l School Seychelles. When it was time to come back I was 14 and had to start my O/L course here in SL. Since I had never learnt Sinhala (having only gone to Montessori in SL) I had no option but to enter an international school. more..

'Voters must exercise caution when electing MPs'

Mar 17 (CT) UNP MP, Harshana Rajakaruna, says If people's aspirations are not fulfilled we will have to face defeat at the next elections. Q: Did you join active politics on your father's influence? A: Initially I got actively involved in politics by helping my father during his election work. Then I completed my degree and my post graduate degree and while I was working as a Senior Investment Advisor in the private sector, PM requested more..

Manpower plunder: Plight of SLT’s contract workers

Mar 17 (GV) The giant hand gripping a telephone has become a landmark on Lotus Road. Just beyond it loom the offices of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT). Look closer, though, and you will see banners. Enough talking! one reads. No to Manpower plunder, another says. A makeshift tent has been set up. Nearby, clusters of people are gathered. These are the manpower workers of SLT – those hired using a manpower agency called Human Capital Solutions (HCS) – more..

Confusing Big Match Camaraderie with corruption

Mar 17 (DN) A picture of Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva with his arm around Hambantota MP Namal Rajapaksa has made the circuitous rounds on social media. The Deputy Minister’s integrity has been called to question, and still others have laughed it off – it is Big Match season, after all. Big Match season is a uniquely Colombo event. Come the first week of March, flags of two prominent hues adorn everyday objects: The dusty school van coughing its way to and fro is decked in blue and gold, more..

'Forced family planning is happening countywide'

Mar 17 (CT) General Secretary of BBS, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera slams the authorities for not taking actions to abrogate illegal abortion and birth control centres, operating in the country, which has led to making many women in the country infertile, even if they wish to have more children. "Incident which took place at the Dambulla Hospital is not an isolated occurrence and is an aftermath of the disregard of authorities, more..

Media pivotal in forging national unity

Mar 17 (DN) A decade has passed since the Weligama Declaration on the Role of media for national unity was adopted by media personnel, scholars and concerned activists at a Conference hosted by the Bakeer Markar Centre for National Unity. Hence it is an appropriate moment for reflecting on its content and review how far its ideals have been put into practice and its relevance today. As the declaration pointed out “The media plays a significant role in nurturing more..

Sri Lanka’s broken promises

Mar 17 (TS) It has now become clear that Sri Lanka, by co-sponsoring with the USA the consensus Resolution 30/1 of the UNHRC in Geneva in 2015 hailed as an example of goodwill and cooperation and adopted unan mously, has compromised the credibility of the international organisation. Contrary to promises made in Geneva that in the name of peace & reconciliation SL govt would dismantle High Security Zones, close army cantonments and return lands seized from the people, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Golden Key Hospital acquires latest technology in surgical microscopy

Mar 17 (CT) The Golden Key Hospital has enhanced its capabilities in retinal and cataract surgery with the acquisition of sophisticated new equipment from Zeiss, a world leader in optical systems and medical devices. Described as a new dimension in visualization, the Opmi Lumera 700 from Zeiss gives the surgeon more information in its eyepiece with real-time Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) views during retinal or cornea surgery. Equipped with Zeiss Rescan 700, more..

Fighting Sri Lanka corruption key to retaining $700mn MCC investments

Mar 17 (EN) Sri Lanka has begun preparations to use US$700 million in grants under the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) aid agency program to qualify for which it must maintain high standards of good governance like fighting corruption. The Cabinet of ministers this week approved the setting up of a project unit in the prime minister’s office as it prepares for a study to identify growth constraints that MCC investments are expected to overcome. more..

When Colombo hosted a clinic in incompetence

Mar 17 (CI) Sunil Gavaskar whips a ball past midwicket in a second-innings 221 at the Oval in 1979, defying Ian Botham and Bob Willis like a foreign pathogen beating off white blood cells. Muralitharan connives his way through the great Indian top order at the SSC in 2008, claiming match figures of 11 for 110, having dismissed Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly twice. There are days of Test cricket that are transcendental. more..

Will FTAs lead to a powerful Sri Lanka ?

Mar 17 (Island) In the global context of rising nationalism, populism, and near economic stagnation, a worldwide trend has started from the western industrialized economies, towards increasing protectionist measures being adopted by their governments. Their objective is to safeguard the profitability of local industries, against progressively strong import competition from other countries, and also to safeguard domestic labour from losing their conventional role in local more..

Editorial: Anarchists ahoy!

Mar 17 (Island) The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration calls itself National Unity Govt. But, the much-touted unity is conspicuous by its absence. The yahapalana leaders don’t see eye to eye on virtually anything save the postponement of elections, holding the Joint Opposition at bay and feathering their nests. UNP and SLFP members of the Cabinet are always at daggers drawn. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has declared that there has been no bond scam. more..

Measures to placate Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority are stalling

Mar 17 (Economist) We are like dogs in the street, while your men occupy our homes, read one of the banners strung up by Tamil protesters, mostly women in saris and ragged children. They had been camping for more than a month in a jumble of makeshift tents on a baking, dusty roadside near a SL air-force base in the country’s remote north-east. They said that the armed forces, consisting almost entirely of Sinhalese from more..