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Video: Sri Lanka's Chinese headache

Mar 22 (ABC) Sri Lanka's Parliament has been discussing a controversial 99-year lease of the Hambantota Port to a Chinese company. Violent protests erupted in January over the port plan, with those opposed worried about Chinese influence and loss of private land. Worth $1.8 billion, the lease allows for 80 per cent Chinese ownership. Niroshan Perera, Sri Lanka's State Minister for National Policies and Economic Affairs. more..

Warm welcome to Prez Sirisena in Moscow

Mar 22 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena received a warm welcome at the Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow today. He was received by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Morgulov, Chief of Protocol and other high officials of the Russian Federation. Sri Lankan Ambassador Dr. Saman Weerasinghe and embassy staff and family members were also present at the airport, where the brief ceremony was held. more..

JO questions PM’s honesty

Mar 22 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s assurance that Govt would only allow the participation of foreign observers and not foreign judges in an accountability mechanism to look into war crime charges was untrue and dishonest, the JO said today. It said Premier did not come up with a clear and a direct answer to MP Dinesh Gunawardane’s question in Parliament on Tuesday as to how SL agreed upon to a resolution which called for foreign judges in a local judicial mechanism, more..

Corruption: They haggled over percentage!

Mar 22 (DM) A local investor and his foreign partner of a construction firm, which was awarded the contract for an express project in upcountry, the other day called at the office of a purohita on invitation. Soon after their arrival, purohita too made his appearance. Coming down to business straightaway, purohita informed the investors that he expected a 5% commission but did not mind settling for 4%. Investors said what they could really afford was only 1% but prepared to go up to 2%. more..

Cabinet forms committee to go into deal with China on Hambantota port

Mar 22 (ENS) The cabinet has formed a six-man committee of ministers to go into the govt’s latest proposal on the distribution of shares in the Sino-Sri Lankan joint venture to be formed to run the deep water port at Hambantota. State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that the govt had circulated a proposal wherein the Chinese state owned company, China Merchants Holding Company, will get 80% of the stake (worth US$ 1.1 b) and more..

Colombo named one of the least expensive cities

Mar 22 (NR) Colombo has been named one of the least expensive cities in the latest 2016 Cost of Living Index. The Economist Intelligence Unit today rated the most and least expensive cities, based on 133 cities surveyed in Sept 2016. Sri Lanka has been ranked 26th in the index of least expensive cities. Singapore retained its title as the world’s most expensive city for a fourth consecutive year. Almaty in Kazakhstan was the least expensive, followed by Lagos in recession-hit Nigeria. more..

Lasantha’s murder: Sujeewa admits having a suspicion about SF

Mar 22 (AD) State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe says that he had a suspicion about Sarath Fonseka as well with regard to the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga during the previous govt.  Responding to question from journalists regarding reports alleging a connection between the then Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and the high profile murder, he said that Sarath Fonseka has clearly stated that he had no involvement in the murder.  more..

Ranjan appreciates JO's complaints against Top Ten

Mar 22 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said he appreciated the JO's move to lodge complaints with the Bribery Commission (BC) against govt politicians what they termed as Top Ten because it was easy to identify real thieves when the thieves attacked one another. Speaking at the debate to revise the limits of Bribery Raids Advance Account of the Bribery Commission, Mr. Ramanayake said it was not important more..

Was Gamini Dissanayake a racist?

Mar 23 (CT) In the annals of the civil war that raged between the Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil militants led by LTTE and other terrorist organizations, burning of Jaffna Public Library was a momentous event. It has been chronicled that an organized mob of Sinhalese origin went on a rampage on the night of June 1, 1981, burning the library. In the fair opinion of many independent observers, it was one of the most vicious examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the 20th century. more..

Viyath Maga: A morbid symptom

Mar 23 (CT) Bashing Viyathmaga: It is much easier to be critical than to be correct is the caption of an article that appears in the Daily FT issue of Monday 20th March. The writer notes that it is a response to my article Viyath Maga: Reverting to the dictator state that appeared in Colombo Telegraph. Yes. Disraeli said that it is easier to be critical than to be correct. He also said that ignorance never settles a question. We live in politically perplexing times. On 8th Jan 2015 we ousted a regime that more..

Ceremonial sitting of the 45th Chief Justice

Mar 23 (SO) On 10 March the ceremonial court, courthouse 501, of the Supreme Court witnessed the solemnity of the ceremonial sitting of the 45th Chief Justice of SL, His Lordship Priyasath Dep PC. The occasion of a ceremonial sitting of a Puisne Judge is one of great dignity and depth where both, the Bench and the Bar reaffirm with ceremoniousness their cooperation towards the common goal of delivering justice. more..

Oh, no O-Level

Mar 23 (FT) No GCE O/L certificate for a good portion of our high-flying MPs. This is no ordinary issue, neither is it a laughing one. It’s serious, very serious. Parliament is the supreme legislative body of Sri Lanka and if elected members lack a basic qualification then it’s a poor reflection on our democracy. It has now transpired that 142 out of the 225 members in the current Parliament have not passed the GCE A/L exam while 94 of the 142 MPs have not even passed the GCE O/L exam. more..

No Rajapaksa visions for the future?

Mar 23 (SL) The current reduction in the cacophony of pro Rajapaksa activists about their glorious past is probably caused by the truth surfacing about their past deeds in a comparatively short time. Of course we are taken back – occasionally – to the Historic Victory which the two brothers claimed for themselves, stripped their Army Commander of his rank and put him behind bars for making his impertinent claim of being the real winner. But all that was nearly eight years ago. more..

We await President’s response: Gemunu

Mar 23 (CT) The issues related to the SAITM are getting complicated by the day. It appears that the protests against SAITM are not going to end anytime soon. Amidst the heat of SAITM controversy, we interviewed SAITM Medical Faculty Parents Forum Convener Gemunu Wijeratne. He stressed that Higher Education Ministry shirked their responsibility and Minister Lakshman Kiriella did not show any interest in solving the issue. more..

'My Father was my inspiration'

Mar 23 (NS) In 1956, on a historical day Rekawa was being filmed in Hiriyala in the Kurunegala district. The scene was about some patients waiting in a queue to see the doctor. The director, Lester James Peries, felt that the crowd was not enough to fill the queue and thought of asking a dark-skinned technical assistant to the camera crew to join the queue. The young dark-skinned lad who joined the queue that day ended up as the doyen of the Local Silver Screen. more..

A friendship so near and far

Mar 23 (NS) Chandran Rutnam first met Gamini Fonseka in 1956. Rutnam was one of the first to be hired for production work on Bridge on the River Kwai. His only qualification at the time was the fact that he was a serious film buff, willing to work for little or no pay. Rutnam was hired as a substitute assistant to Eddie Fowlie, the Property Master of the film until the official assistant arrived from London. In Kitulgala, Rutnam was introduced to Dan Durairaj, Sesha Palihakkara, Vijay Abeydewa and more..

Harsha de Silva

D.S. Senanayake's 65th death anniversary : Statesman without equal

Mar 23 (DN) The first PM of Sri Lanka was Don Stephen Senanayake. He was born on Oct 20, 1883 at a remote village titled Botale, Meerigama. His father was Mudaliya Don Speter Senanayake. Mother's name was Dona Ketherina Elishabath Perera Gunasekara. D S Senanayake had two brothers and a sister. Parents adopted their children according to a Buddhist background. However, Senanayake was educated at St. Thomas Christian College in Colombo. more..

Sabbir 72, Mahmudullah 71* in Bangladesh's warm-up defeat

Mar 23 (CI) Mahmudullah hit an unbeaten 71 off 68 balls and strode into some form in Bangladesh's practice match against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI, but his half-century could not see the visitors through as they lost by two runs, chasing 355. Also making fifties in the high-scoring encounter were Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Kusal Perera, Sandun Weerakkody and Dhananjaya de Silva. In pursuit of the President's XI's 354 for 7, more..

Major General Mahesh Senanayake, 50th Chief of Staff in the Army

Mar 23 (SLA) Major General N.U.M.M.W Senanayake RWP RSP USP psc, more popularly known as Mahesh Senanayake, currently serving as the Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SFHQ-J), has been appointed as 50th Chief of Staff (CoS) of the Sri Lanka Army. Major General Senanayake who has been the Commander, Security Forces - Jaffna since 28 Jan 2016 is also the Colonel of the Regiment, Special Forces. more..

Editorial: Drought, drought, go away!

Mar 23 (Island) We have just celebrated this year’s World Water Day (March 22) during a severe drought, which has affected more than 1.2 million people including 365,232 children. If the weather gods show no mercy to the hapless public the situation is sure to take a turn for the worse; it is feared that a humanitarian emergency is on the horizon—absit omen! UNICEF has sent out an appeal internationally for funds to help the drought-hit Sri Lankans, according to media reports. more..

Five things Bangladesh got right in Colombo

Mar 23 (CI) Mehedi Hasan made two telling contributions to Bangladesh's effort in the Colombo Test. His superb offbreak bowling removed Upul Tharanga and gave Bangladesh an important breakthrough on the fourth day. But it was on the fifth day when his presence of mind made an even bigger difference: Dilruwan Perera was becoming a hard proposition. When he had a misunderstanding with Suranga Lakmal, Subashis Roy threw poorly to the bowler's end, where Mehedi collected more..

Country ruled by politicians not by law: GMOA

Mar 23 (DM) GMOA on Wednesday wrote to IGP Pujith Jayasundara requesting for his immediate intervention to punish the wrongdoers in connection with the issues of the SAITM in Malabe. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that at present authorities related to the SAITM were attempting to go above the law. “The Police has still not taken any action against SAITM CEO Dr. Sameera Senaratne, even though more..

Sri Lanka’s poor fielding: is it due to surplus of wicket-keepers?

Mar 23 (DN) Is Sri Lanka’s key fielding problem due to the surplus of wicket-keepers in the team? This was a moot point that was raised the Daily News reliably learns at a meeting of the Sri Lanka hierarchy with the national team cricketers and key support staff that took place on Tuesday night at the end of the two-Test series against Bangladesh. The series was drawn one-all with Bangladesh securing their maiden Test win over Sri Lanka in 18 Tests at the P Sara Oval, more..

New Securities Exchange Act gets Cabinet nod

Mar 23 (FT) Securities Exchange Act, Economic Service Charge, Immigrants and Emigrants Bill and Foreign Exchange Bill all received Cabinet approval to be revamped yesterday as the Govt worked to strengthen and update regulations within the country’s legal system.  Securities Exchange Act, containing seven parts, includes giving wider powers to the Securities and Exchange Commission to better regulate capital markets and intervene in markets to instill greater credibility, more..

Sri Lanka to investigate crooked judicial medical officers

Mar 23 (EN) Two judicial medical officers who provided false autopsy reports in high profile murders will face criminal investigations and they will also be reported for professional misconduct, govt said.  Doctor Sunil Kumara who conducted the post-mortem examination on Lasantha Wickrematunga in Jan 2009 ruled he had been shot dead, but a fresh autopsy in Sept showed that he had been stabbed to death. more..

Ruhuna Uni organizes symposium on civil and environmental engineering practices

Mar 23 (DM) The 5th International Symposium on advances in civil and environmental engineering practices for sustainable development (ACEPS-2017) is the annual international symposium organized by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DCEE) of Faculty of Engineering, University of Ruhuna. This year’s event was successfully held in 16th Marchat the Faculty of Engineering, University of Ruhuna, Galle. This int'l symposium was jointly organized by more..

German Embassy brings mobile school lab teutolab to Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (DM) Learning by doing was the motto of three German scientists who conducted workshops with school children in Maliyadewa Kurunegala, St. Patrick’s College Jaffna and Musaeus College in Colombo. “We never had science lessons like this before,” said an excited student after the workshops. “Although the scientists explained things to us, we were allowed to do everything ourselves. We measured the exhaust fumes of a three-wheeler. We cleaned dirty water and more..

Chagie denied Australian visa over war crimes allegations

Mar 23 (Island) Australia has deprived Maj. Gen. Chagie Gallage of an opportunity to visit his brother, an Australian citizen on the basis of unsubstantiated war crimes allegations against SL Army. Australia has found fault with Gallage for being in command of 59 Division from May 7, 2009 to July 20, 2009. In response to inquiries made by Gallage, Australian HC has stated that troops under his command certainly committed war crimes more..

JO accuses govt of plotting to sabotage Habaraduwa rally

Mar 23 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) accused the government of plotting to sabotage its Habaraduwa rally on Saturday. Galle District MP Ramesh Pathirana said the relevant authorities had given permission for the rally, but the Habaraduwa police had informed them on Tuesday that the event could not be held. He said the SLFP had removed him and Galle District MP Mohan Priyadarshana de Silva as organisers of Akmeemana and Ratgama electorates respectively in view of the rally. more..

Sri Lankan woman held for trying to smuggle drugs in India

Mar 23 (TOI) In the biggest ever haul of amphetamine by Bengaluru Customs at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), sleuths have recovered 1.64 kg of the contraband worth over Rs 64 lakh from a Sri Lankan woman who was smuggling it in the guise of manure. Fathima Azeeka Junaideen, 39, was intercepted in the early hours of Saturday when she was to take a connecting flight to Colombo after landing at KIA on Friday on a Jet Airways flight from Chennai. more..

Asst Gov reveals how MB minutes were altered at behest of Dy. Governor

Mar 23 (Island) Testifying before the Special Presidential Commission, Assistant Governor of the Bank and Secretary to its Monetary Board H. S. Karunaratne yesterday said the minutes of the Monetary Board meeting held on March 6, 2015 had been altered on the instructions of Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri. Karunaratne said he had altered the minutes according to the directives of Samarasiri and sent them to him. more..

Cherantha sets new swim record in Malaysia

Mar 23 (DN) Sri Lankan national swimmer and FINA Scholarship holder Cherantha de Silva set up a new Sri Lankan National Record in the 200 meter Butterfly event with a time of 02:05.10 seconds at the 53rd MILO/PRAM Malaysia Open Swimming Championship 2017 held in Pusatakuatik Hang Jebat, Melaka from March 9 to 12. Cherantha bettered his own 200m butterfly Sri Lankan record of 2:07.74 secs which he established at the South Asian Games selection trial in Dec, 2015. more..

AA to send 12 Athletes for Asian Grand Prix

Mar 23 (CT) Athletics Association (AASL) will send 12 athletes to the forthcoming Asian Grand Prix series to be held in China and Chinese Taipei in April. Team will consist of 7 male and 5 female athletes together with Badra Gunawardana and Pradeep Nishantha as Manager and Coach. South Asian record holder of 100m, Himasha Eashan who is currently training in Jamaica will return for the three leg series as competition season in Jamaica only starts in mid June targeting IAAF WC. more..

UNHRC final week gets dramatic as pro-MR ex-military officer makes appearance

Mar 23 (FT) Final week of UNHRC session got off to a dramatic start, after former UPFA MP Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera made an appearance in Geneva and locked horns with Tamil hardline groups at a side event at the Palais des Nations on Monday. He made an intervention during the event, claiming that SL troops had not committed war crimes & alleging that many LTTE perpetrators in crimes had also been acquitted in court. more..

Sri Lanka should develop timetable for full implementation of its UN commitments: HRW

Mar 23 (HRW) Human Rights Watch acknowledges the SL govt’s engagement with the international community, including with the UN’s special procedures, over the last two years. We share however the concerns expressed by High Commissioner Zeid at the slow pace of progress in implementation of UNHRC resolution 30/1. The promised office on enforced disappearances has yet to be established, although enabling legislation was passed in June 2016. more..

World Water Day: U.S. embassy helps provide clean drinking water in rural SL

Mar 23 (USE) Students and teachers from Keselpotha Maha Vidyalaya in Uva Province joined representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to inaugurate a rainwater harvesting system at their school, providing clean drinking water year-round.  Since 2012, USAID has partnered with local organizations to build more than 1,000 such systems in rural schools, and households in drought & flood-prone districts of North, East & Uva Provinces. more..

Sri Lankan opposition to foreign judges worries US; UK stresses devolution

Mar 23 (ENS) At the on-going session of the UNHRC at Geneva on Wednesday, US expressed concern over the SL govt’s statements against having foreign judges in the judicial mechanism it is to set up to try war crimes cases. But the UK laid stress on the importance of devolving power to the Tamils to bring about post-war reconciliation. William Mozdzierz, US representative said that govt’s statements more..

Rajinikanth to unveil housing scheme in Jaffna

Mar 23 (Hindu) Actor Rajinikanth will hand over to Tamils keys to 150 homes built for them by Gnanam Foundation on April 9 in Jaffna. While the rehabilitation of displaced Tamils is still a contentious issue, actor Rajinikanth’s visit to Jaffna is likely to attract a huge crowd as he is also expected to speak at a public meeting organised in Jaffna. Foundation, which has been named after Lyca Group chairman S. Allirajah’s mother, has constructed at a cost of Rs. 22 crore. more..

London attack: Five dead in Westminster terror attack

Mar 23 (BBC) Five people have died and at least 40 were injured after an attacker drove a car along a pavement in Westminster, stabbed a policeman and was shot dead by police in the grounds of Parliament. The dead officer has been named as PC Keith Palmer, 48, a husband and father. PM Theresa May said the attack was sick and depraved and struck at values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech. The attacker has not been named by police. more..