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Weather calamity: Death toll rises to 146

May 28 (DM) The number of deaths reported in floods and landslides was increased to 146 while 112 people had gone missing, the DMC said on Sunday. In its latest situation report, the DMC said the adverse weather condition had left 52 people injured. In total, 442,299 people of 114,124 families had been affected by the weather calamity. The South-West monsoon unleashed torrential rains, which ravaged fourteen districts more..

Bodu Bala bogeyman bares bigotry’s evil breast again

May 29 (ST) It was, probably, the shortest sathyakriya – assertion of truth – ever undertaken by any man in search of martyrdom. But when injustice protests its innocence and demands its continuance in the outer precincts of the Sri Dalada, it’s no wonder the flaky timbre of resolve to wantonly assert the potency of truth soon disintegrates and turns unto dust. Last Sunday BBS tribal chieftain jauntily strode into Sri Dalada Maligawa to pay worship to sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. more..

Caught between grinning devils and incompetent imbeciles

May 29 (ST) Caught between the grinning devil of Rajapaksa racism and the incompetent (if not corrupt) deep blue sea of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe unity alliance, Sri Lankans are increasingly being left helpless. With the passing of each day, examples abound of this odious dilemma. It is the height of callousness for example, that the Govt could have justified asking for millions for luxury vehicles for ministers at the very same time that the country is facing a financial crisis. more..

'H’tota Port not sold, but for lease only'

May 29 (SO) The newly appointed Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe said that any eventual agreement on the Hambantota Port should result in a win-win situation that the Govt can market to the country as a good deal rather than a bad deal. He said, it is not only a question of money, Govt has to ensure that our national interest is safeguarded. He expressed optimism that the Govt can negotiate these more..

Occasional stories: Whose fowl is this?

May 29 (CT) This happened when I was studying for the university entrance examination or HSC (higher school certificate) somewhere in 1963. If I remember correct, that was the last year that the HSC was held before it was renamed as GCE (A/L). I had many friends who were doing the same examination, but Michael Pereira (Mike) perhaps was the closest with whom I liked to study together. We often used to ‘exchange our notes,’ so to say. Studying alone was boring. more..

Sri Lankans – Smiling or Sneering

May 29 (CT) Who remembers the speech made by Ravi Karunanayake the new Minister of Finance on 29th January 2015, presenting his 100-days Interim Budget? If you do, you will know what this all about. This is not about the non-event that was labelled a cabinet reshuffle. If the Prime Minister was serious about infusing new talent he could have drawn inspiration from his uncle JRJ. Except for himself and his Prime Minster, his entire cabinet was made of first timers. more..

Crow Island makes a comeback

May 29 (Roar) For an island, we have a surprising number of islands. Pigeon Island. Slave Island. Taprobane Island. And also, Crow Island. Except, Crow Island isn’t really an island. It is  connected to the mainland and is now arguably South Asia’s biggest coastal park spread over 7.8 hectares. Crow Island is located in Modara, Colombo 15—roughly 7 kilometres north of Colombo’s CBD in Fort. more..

Govt comes in for a lot of flak

May 29 (CT) The govt came under heavy criticism in Parliament this week for its lethargy in handling the escalating number of incidents of racial violence in various parts of the island, with the JVP going as far as to allege that certain elements of the govt were covertly protecting extremist groups. Leader of JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, "The govt should have acted fast and nipped this trend in the bud. Instead it is displaying a very impotent and ineffectual attitude to this very dangerous more..

Exploitation in state and private sectors

May 29 (CT) Private companies are owned by multiple of shareholders and overseen by a board of directors consisting of hired business managerial staff or those who have been promoted through the ranks to the board with share options. Private corporate businesses engaged in trading are sometimes known as unlisted companies. They are less detectable amidst public trading counterparts with fat profit margins that run into billions and take a major slice of the world economy. more..

Parliament Mafia: High cost of law-making

May 29 (CT) Last week, it was reported that in 2016, it had cost Rs 1,620 million to conduct 97 Parliament sessions. The average cost per session was Rs 16.69 million. It was further noted that Parliament functions under eight departments, in order to make administration process smoother and the average monthly cost of conducting Parliament sessions was Rs 134 million. In 2017 the total recurrent expenditure more..

Disasters should reshape strategies

May 29 (Island) Man has always been at the mercy of weather gods and there is hardly anything that he can do when catastrophes happen. But, if disaster preparedness is sufficiently raised and precautions taken the loss of lives can be minimised. Unlike in days of yore, today man is better equipped to do so. It may be recalled that Jarawas, the bow-wielding primitive tribesmen of the Andaman Islands, did not lose a single life in the 2004 tsunami. They survived the killer waves which barrelled across more..

SL guard jailed for kissing asylum seeker

May 29 (Age) A former security guard is serving a one-month jail sentence for kissing an asylum seeker at a Melbourne immigration detention centre. Theivigan Panchalingham, 37, was previously a Serco guard at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation Centre. Panchalingham, a refugee, is understood to have called the asylum seeker into his office at the detention centre between July and August, 2015. The woman complied and closed the door as she entered. more..

SLC to incorporate under Company Act

May 29 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) passed a resolution to incorporate SLC as a Guarantee Company Limited under 2007 Companies Act and also to incorporate an Asset Management Company as a fully owned subsidiary of SLC Guarantee Company Limited at SLC Emergency General Meeting followed by AGM at SSC yesterday. EGM/AGM was attended by 76 of 84 stakeholders of SLC, where several more..

Serious Landslide Warnings Issued again

May 29 (ST) The landslide warning issued to seven districts – Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle, Kalutara, Matara, Hambantota and Nuwara Eliya - was further extended as effective from 1pm yesterday (28) until 1 pm today (29) with issuing a warning to residents in landslide prone areas to evacuate immediately. The landslide warnings, according to the National Building Research Organization (NBRO), cover the Divisional Secretariats of Ratnapura, Pelmadulla, Kuruvita, Kiriella, Imbulpe, more..

Mr. Sumathipala, keep Religion out of Cricket

May 29 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) boasts of a pompous slogan which reads: One nation, one team. Are we to believe that, very soon, this will be made to read: “One nation, one team, one religion? Early this week, SLC President, Thilanga Sumathipala, dabbled in a subject, that not only raised hairs and eyebrows, but also raised concerns on whether some of the country’s cricketers, if they cannot defend their religious faith or conviction, are made to go against their conscience, more..

Doomsday looming for AASL

May 29 (CT) Athletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) faces a possible doomsday as the Colombo District Court expects to take up the case filed by former athletes turned coaches, Priyantha Thanthirige and Chaminda Fonseka, seeking an injunction order against AASL holding their election. The AASL election is set to be held tomorrow. If the Court issues an injunction order, consequences will not be in favour of more..

Flt. Sgt killed in flood relief op promoted

May 29 (Island) Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy has posthumously promoted late Flight Sergeant Y. M.S. Yaparathna, the fire fighter who succumbed to his injuries at the Karapitiya hospital, where he was rushed after a fall from the helicopter during rescue operations in the Neluwa Area, to the rank of Warrant Officer. on January 19, 2001 and received his basic training at CTS Diyathalawa and advance training at SLAF TTS, Ekala.  more..

Flood and Droughts as blessings to meet future challenges

May 29 (Island) Flooding during heavy rains and water pollution in natural streams are common problems all over the world when human settlements are located near flood prone areas. For example about 7-10% land area in the US under human settlements are subjected to flooding. In ancient cultures flooding was perceived as a blessing in disguise because it was the main transportation method of fertilizers free of charge for agriculture activities in temporary submergence areas more..

SriLankan Airlines to establish presence in Australia

May 29 (FT) SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the prestigious oneworld alliance, said yesterday it will be establishing its presence in Australia with daily non-stop services to Melbourne commencing 29 October this year.  Australia is home to one of the largest Sri Lankan expatriate communities, many of whom reside in and around Melbourne, the capital of Australia’s Garden State, Victoria.  more..

Govt urged to opt for e-procurement and save public funds

May 29 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt should implement an e-procurement system that would save large amounts of money for the government. Further, it could be used for the betterment of the public, Verité Research analyst Rehana Mohammed, said. "E-procurement will provide major efficiency gains for both govt agencies and suppliers. It can significantly ease the administrative burden on govt agencies in managing the tender process. more..

Second Indian Ship arrives in Sri Lanka to assist in flood relief efforts

May 29 (HCI) As part of India's continued commitment to assist in flood relief efforts in Sri Lanka in response to a request from the Govt of SL, INS Shardul arrived at Colombo Port on May 28. It has nearly 200 personnel on board, including specialized rescue, diving and medical teams, as well as a large amount of relief material and Gemini inflatable boats. This was the second Indian Naval ship to reach Colombo to provide assistance, after INS Kirch reached Colombo on May 27. more..

Chinese, Russian Presidents condole

May 29 (DN) Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday sent messages of condolences to President Sirisena over the devastating floods and landslides in the country in which 151 people have been killed. In the message, Xi expressed deep condolences over the victims and showed sincere sympathy to those stricken by the disasters and the families of the victims. China and Sri Lanka are traditional friendly neighbors, and more..

GMOA requests members to cancel leave

May 29 (DM) GMOA requested their members to cancel their leave during the disaster situation and to offer their assistance as best they could. Following a discussion held with Health Ministry, GMOA said that they had requested their members to collaborate with the Health Ministry officials in the relief effort to provide assistance to the victims of this disaster. GMOA Assistant Secretary said that they had agreed to conduct health camps in all the flood affected areas of the country. more..

Floods, a curse on govt: Ven. Gnanasara

May 29 (CT) Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera stated that disasters prevail in the country when the rulers attempt to destroy the Buddha Sasana by disgracing and abasing the order of the Sangha. "According to Buddhism, disasters occur in a country when the rulers are unrighteous and wicked and do not revere the words of the Buddha" Thera said. He said casting aside racial and ethnic discrimination, objective minded people should be steadfast in assisting the flood victims. more..

Closed roads due to floods

May 29 (CT) Several roads around the country have been inundated and made inaccessible due to sustained heavy rains across the country. Inundated roads, by their respective districts include: Ratnapura: Ratnapura- Kalawana, Ratnapura – Panadura, Ratnapura – Palawella, Kuruwita – Gokaralla, Kalawana – Ratnapura, Kalawana – Pothupitiya, Kalawana- Mathugama, Ehaliyagoda – Ellawala, Pottupitiya - Rakwana, more..

China pledges $ 2.2 m disaster relief support

May 29 (FT) Chinese Embassy in a statement said Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang sent messages of condolence to President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe respectively over the tragic loss of life and property following the heavy rains that led to severe floods and landslides recently. On behalf of the Govt and people of China, Chinese leaders extended their sympathy and condolences to the leaders, Govt and people of Sri Lanka.  more..

Navy removes Wakwella bottleneck

May 29 (SLN) A team of naval personnel is currently engaging in a mission for the removal of debris clogged in Wakwella bridge at Baddegama, Galle District. The bridge which joins Poddala and Thelikada has been congested with debris including wooden logs as a result of the flash floods and hampered the downstream of water. Consequently, the Baddegama area was further vulnerable to a flood situation due to the rising water level of Gin Ganga last night (27). more..

Education Directors, Principals can decide on school closures

May 29 (DN) Provincial Education Directors, Zonal Education Directors and Principals in the areas affected by the bad weather have been granted permission to take decisions in closing or opening schools in their Education Zones, by the Education Ministry. Meanwhile, the principals have also been granted the power to decide on the functioning or closing of schools during the present inclement weather. more..

Exam certificates destroyed in the floods to be reissued free-of-charge

May 29 (AD) Steps will be taken to issue new certificates of examinations destroyed in the floods, Commissioner-General of Examinations, D.B.M.N. Pushpakumara said. The Commissioner-General stated that certificates for examinations including the GCE Advanced Level and Ordinary Level examinations would be reissued as per the recommendation of the Grama Niladhari who is responsible for verifying that the certificate was in fact damaged/lost in the floods. more..

Sri Lanka floods leave at least 151 dead

May 29 (ABC) Deadly mudslides and heavy rain have now claimed 151 lives in Sri Lanka and displaced half a million people, but Oxfam warns the situation is likely to get worse, with heavy rain forecast for the next two days. Sri Lankan rescuers yesterday continued the grim task of retrieving more bodies, buried beneath deadly mudslides triggered by monsoonal downpours which dumped a month's rain in single day. The confirmed death toll now stands at 151. more..

Fresh warnings for floods and landslides

May 29 (FT) As the country is still struggling to come to terms with the destruction and tragedy that unfolded last week, the Disaster Management Centre yesterday issued fresh landslide and flood warnings, as weather patterns changed due to a depression in the Bay of Bengal while conflicting reports and instructions issued by different organisations regarding the flood retention wall of Bolgoda lake dam led to confusion. more..

Set aside Poson Amisa pooja funds for flood victims: Mahanayake Theras

May 29 (DN) It is most opportune for Buddhists to consider setting off a part of funds earmarked for Amisa Pooja on Poson Poya day to help people affected by floods opined the Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte & Asgiriya Chapters. They said all people should display the traits of love and sympathy towards fellow men and rally round to help those affected by the recent disaster. “Teachers off all religions had upheld assistance towards the destitute as a great act of merit. more..

How Sri Lanka is coping with the worst flooding in a decade

May 29 (GV) Sri Lanka is currently facing the worst flooding and landslide disaster in a decade. Triggered by the southwest monsoon that typically arrives in late May, heavy rains caused the rivers Kalu, Kelani, Gin, Nilwala, and Attanagalu Oya to spill over their banks in 15 districts, located in the country's southern and western regions. According to May 28, advisory of DMC, 126 people were killed and almost a hundred people went missing because of the floods and mudslides. more..

Deadly deluge despair

May 29 (FT) The nationwide despair over the deadly deluge grew yesterday as the death toll from the monsoonal floods and landslides topped the 150 mark, making it the worst natural disaster in the country since the 2004 tsunami. Officials last night put the number of dead at 151 with 111 missing or unaccounted for following torrential rain which led to earth slips in 15 districts covering mainly three provinces. more..

Police kept alert on Parliament flooding

May 29 (DN) Parliament Police were kept alert on the water level of the Diyawanna lake and the Navy has been placing sand bags at the entrance to Parliament and adjoining areas, a Parliament Police officer said. A disaster management committee of 20 officers was appointed to handle any emergency situation. The water level of Diyawanna did not rise over the past two days as the rains had temporarily ceased. They are on alert as rains are expected today and tomorrow, he said. more..

Power supply takes hit: 300,000 in the dark

May 29 (AD) Over 250,000 have been deprived of electricity due to power failures and disconnections caused by the torrential rains. 136,000 people have been deprived of electricity owing to the submerging of Matara sub transmission grid alone. About 50,000 of them have been supplied with power from Tangalle instead. The power distribution network had suffered significant damage from heavy rain, and added that the rain also posed as an obstacle in the repairing of said damages. more..

Video: Floods in SL displace half a million

May 29 (NYT) The govt of Sri Lanka assessed the damage on Sunday from widespread flooding and devastating mudslides, as the death toll from the twin disasters rose and nearly half a million people were displaced from their homes. The state-run DMC on Sunday announced that 151 people had been killed and 112 others were missing. It said the flooding was the worst since torrential rains soaked the island nation in 2003. more..

Floods and landslides: To manage disaster we need a plan

May 30 (DM) The drought is over, the rains are back and so are the disasters which seemingly follow every monsoon as day follows night. The latest excuse for the disasters touted out by responsible Cabinet Ministers, who follow the monsoonal rains and every so-called depression in the Bay of Bengal is changing global weather patterns. We cannot agree. We have known of this problem for years. Senior citizens remember during the 1950s and early 60s, whenever there was a threat of more..

Cabinet reshuffle must reunify govt if it is to be meaningful

May 30 (CT) The cabinet reshuffle that took place last week saw important portfolios switch hands within the govt. Smooth transfer of ministries, and the grace of those were subjected to the change in accepting their new portfolios, offers hope that the tension that had dogged UNP-SLFP relations will now subside and pave the way for more effective governance.  The past several months had seen many expressions of dissatisfaction from members of the two main political parties that more..

'SL Politics and Science like Oil and Water'

May 30 (CT) Professor of Chemical and Process Engineering at Moratuwa University Ajith De Alwis said that SL politics and science is like oil and water. They never mix. "It is also sad that we look at all things from a political perspective and it is high time that we bring engineering and science together towards helping the economic development of the country which is sadly lacking at present. more..