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Week of masqueraders

Oct 8 (SO) The JO, led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his close associates, often tries to project itself as the sole protector of all war heroes who fought during the final phase of the war. It often castigates the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt for agreeing to engage with global bodies, such as, the UNHRC, to ascertain the veracity of war crimes allegations. It is abundantly clear that the Rajapaksa group, which fell out of power in January 2015, attempts to base its comeback bid on more..

Lankan cricketers are still on the defensive

Oct 8 (ST) Even though Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has principally agreed to tour Pakistan towards the tail-end of the current series subject to security clearance, there’s a greater possibility of the match being shifted to Pakistan’s adopted home—UAE. SLC will send an independent security expert to assess the situation later this week before a final call but whether country’s cricketers would want to take the risk remains doubtful. more..

400 wickets taken

Oct 8 (ST) My dear Rangana ayya, I thought I must write to you to congratulate you, because you have reached the magic number of four hundred test wickets – far more than all other Sri Lankan except for the legendary Murali. This came as a pleasant surprise, as did Sri Lanka snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Pakistan. Nowadays, seeing a Sri Lankan team win a cricket match is as rare as holding a provincial council or local govt election, so I suppose when it does happen more..

Karunaratne's hunger for long innings

Oct 8 (CI) Sri Lanka have arguably found a new batting leader in Dimuth Karunaratne post the Mahela Jayawardene-Kumara Sangakkara era, and he has proved it with a few remarkably long innings recently. This was also the case during Sri Lanka's first day-night Test, against Pakistan in Dubai. He batted 405 deliveries for his 196 runs and was at the crease for 134 of Sri Lanka's 159.2 overs. He shared 50-plus partnerships with five of the first six wickets of the innings. more..

Sri Lanka in control after Karunaratne 196

Oct 8 (CI) Sri Lanka retained control of the Test, and by extension the series, thanks to Dimuth Karunaratne's 196 and a pair of sprightly fifties from Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera. Pakistan's small victories, however, ensured the dream of a squared series endures into day three. For them, Yasir Shah claimed 6 for 184, becoming the first spinner to take 5-wicket hauls in five successive Tests. more..

Milo soccer tourney commenced in Jaffna

Oct 8 (SO) Football Tournament organized by Jaffna Football Association in association with Jaffna District Secretariat for the Milo Cup commenced yesterday. Tournament is sponsored by Nestle Lanka Ltd. for the fifth consecutive year. Before the commencement of the tourney a media briefing was held on Thursday in Jaffna to hand over the Milo Cup to GA, N.Vethanayakan. It was disclosed that the tournament started in 2013 to promote the sport in the Northern Province more..

SL dancers enthral audience in Chandigarh

Oct 8 (TI) The city audience were treated to diverse forms of regional Sri Lankan folk dances and music by student artistes  and faculty members of the University of Visual and Performing Arts, Sri Lanka, during a programme  organized by the Indian Council for Cultural  Relations (ICCR), in collaboration with GGDSD College, Sector-32, here today. A dozen male and female dancers, led by programme director and choreographer Dr Mudiyanse Dissanayake, started more..

Developing Mattala Int’l Airport: Top Indian player keen to throw hat into the ring

Oct 8 (Island) GMR Group, a key player in the int'l infrastructure sphere, expressed optimism of participating in a global bidding process to develop Mattala Int'l Airport, but the proposition should be feasible in doing business, says S.G.K. Kishore, CEO, GMR Hyderabad Int'l Airport Limited. ‘We have always shown interest in developing airports globally, and if Mattala is feasible, we are keen to come into the picture more..

No such issue of piracy in Indian Ocean: Ex-Sri Lankan navy chief

Oct 8 (ANI) Former Sri Lankan navy chief Vice Admiral (Retd.) Jayantha Perera on Saturday expressed concern about incidents of piracy, but said there is no piracy taking place in the Indian Ocean. Vice Admiral (Retd.) Perera also said it is good that the LTTE had been neutralised, else there would have been piracy in the region by them. "Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Malacca Straits has been curtailed. In the Indian Ocean also, the situation has improved. more..

Bankrupting SL: Air Force to purchase 18 new aircraft

Oct 8 (SL) Sri Lanka Air Force is planning to purchase 18 new aircraft, including fighter jets, passenger planes and transport planes. Air Force spokesperson, Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne said the new aircraft will meet the requirements which existed over the past five years. He said that some of the existing aging aircraft had to be replaced to meet the modern day requirements. Seneviratne said that an open international tender has been called to purchase the new aircraft. more..

Bankrupting SL: SriLankan Airlines gets lifeline from Treasury

Oct 8 (ST) In a last ditch attempt to maintain SriLankan Airlines till a foreign partner is found, the government has decided to infuse Rs.13.2 billion as a loan from two state banks, Bank of Ceylon (BOC) and the People’s Bank (PB). This came after a directive from the President to the airline’s board of directors to turn it around or depart at a meeting in June in which the management was heavily criticised on management issues. more..

IIT continues winning streak

Oct 8 (SO) Continuing the winning streak in international and local competitions, the Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) has again emerged triumphant as the institute’s students and alumni bagged several prominent accolades this year. Isuru Kariyawasam, a Software Engineering undergraduate at IIT, won them the Billionth Award for his latest innovation ‘Orasi 2.0 World’. His award winning product is a efficient and accurate mobile device that helps visually impaired people to more..

'India always stood for united, sovereign SL'

Oct 8 (IANS) India has always stood for a united and sovereign Sri Lanka, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Friday, as her counterpart from the island nation’s parliament assured her that the proposed new constitution would take care of all ethnic groups. After the conclusion of the 8th Conference of the Association of Saarc Speakers and Parliamentarians, the Indian Parliamentary Delegation led by Mahajan met the SL delegation led by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya more..

Aus govt to shut Manus Island detention centre: SL asylum seekers in doldrums

Oct 8 (CT) Australian and Papua New Guinea (PNG) Govts have decided to shut down the only detention centre on Manus Island of the Manus Province of PNG, on 31 Oct, in an attempt to seek closure on 750 odd asylum seekers of which 21 are Sri Lankan Tamils. The centre, which has four compounds, has gradually had its water supply cut off as well as a reduction of other facilities, encouraging inmates to relocate to more..

Four Bangladeshi nationals seeking asylum deported

Oct 8 (SL) Four Bangladeshi nationals who had arrived in SL and sought political asylum were deported on arrival at the BIA on Thursday. Immigration officials said that Bangladeshi nationals had sought to enter SL and seek refuge with UN refugee agency. However the Bangladeshi nationals were refused entry into SL and were deported. Minister John Amaratunga said, Immigration officials must ensure foreigners do not enter SL as tourists but with the intention of seeking asylum. more..

SriLankan to acquire more planes – but not right now

Oct 8 (Island) SriLankan Airlines plans to acquire more planes, but not right now. Asked why SriLankan had disposed of some of its aircraft, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that it was because the airline had under its debt restructuring program scrapped some of its long haul destinations. "Once the huge debt burden that we inherited from the Rajapaksa govt is reduced, SriLankan would have more planes at its disposal since the long term plan is to develop SriLankan into a viable venture", more..

Discredited Aussie firm paid Rs. 1.4 billion by former regime

Oct 8 (ST) SMEC International–the Australian consultancy firm debarred by the World Bank last week over inappropriate payments for projects in Bangladesh and SL–received more than Rs 1.4 billion for an expressway feasibility study which has still not been approved by the RDA. Not only was the paid sum nearly Rs 450mn over the original fee, SMEC claimed an additional Rs 113.4 million as a 2nd cost variation that RDA is yet to meet. more..

President Sirisena visits Tirumala in India

Oct 8 (DC) District collector P.S. Pradyumna and S.V. Rajasekhar Babu, Chittoor SP, welcomed president Maithripala Sirisena at Palamaneru of Chittoor district on Saturday upon his arrival by road from Bengaluru.   Mr Sirisena, his wife Jayanthi and family members arrived later at the Sri Padmavathi Rest House in Tirumala where they were accorded another warm welcome by Tirumala Joint Executive Officer. CVSO Ake Ravi Krishna, Urban SP Abhishek Mohanty and more..

Land filling for Port City suspended

Oct 8 (SL) Land filling for the Colombo Port City has been temporarily suspended owing to rough seas, officials said. Engineers at the Port City said on the condition of anonymity that land filling near the breakwater had to be temporarily suspended. The official said that ships used for land filling had to be sent back till the weather is more conducive to resume work. The official said that they expect the work on land filling to be on hold for approximately two months. more..

Sri Lanka prohibited from engaging in any activity with North Korea

Oct 8 (CT) Govt on Friday issued a Gazette notification based on the 2017 Regulation of the UN Sanctions, on North Korea, citing that Sri Lankans are prohibited from engaging in any activities with the NK. The regulations were framed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs under Section 2 of the UN Act No. 45 of 1968. Foreign Ministry said, that all Security Council member countries are bound to implement the SC's resolutions and more..

Mullaitivu polls: Nominees get back deposits with interest

Oct 8 (ST) Candidates who filed nomination papers to contest local polls in Mullaitivu six years ago are to be given back their deposits with interest as the nominations papers have been revoked. A gazette notification was issued this week revoking the nomination papers. It notes that some of the candidates have died or have been displaced or have changed their parties, while the youth nominees have grown above the stipulated age of 35. Some of the candidates have left SL. more..

Hi-tech number plates to keep tabs on vehicles

Oct 8 (ST) A Radio Frequency Identification system to be introduced to new number plates will help police to keep close tabs on vehicle movements. The new number plates will be introduced next year, Motor Traffic Commissioner General Jagath Chandrasiri said. The vehicles with the new number plates could be tracked by the nearest tower to be installed soon. These towers will be similar to the mobile phone towers that help track the location of mobile phones. more..

One more hurdle next week to clear path for local council elections in 2018

Oct 8 (ST) State machinery has begun to grind slowly but surely for local govt elections in January next year but a Provincial Council poll is shrouded by more uncertainty over new procedural and legal issues. Blueprints are ready with the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Govt to ensure nominations next month for polls in 3rd week of January next year. There are 335 local bodies – 271 PSs, 41 UCs & 23 MCs. more..

Art in and as activism

Oct 8 (Island) The Wendt, the National Art Gallery, Sapumal Foundation, Barefoot, JDA Perera, Red Dot, Theertha and other spaces associated with the visual and performing arts today didn’t exist or were entirely alien to me growing up, in the 80s and early 90s. Colombo at the time was a city of checkpoints, high-walls, barbed-wire and armed, stentorian sentries. In addition, a lower middle-class family couldn’t afford an engagement with the arts. My parents, who meticulously planned our more..

Intellectual poverty and Its historical context

Oct 8 (Island) Victor Ivan’s article titled Historical Context of the Culture of Intellectual Poverty published in the Sunday Island raises several controversial issues in terms of scholarly enquiry, analysis, knowledge production and dissemination, interpretation as well as intellectual contributions by Sri Lankans to the repertoire of world knowledge. Ivan believes that ‘The interest in learning from other advanced cultures and civilizations has a greater role to play in the progress of a nation more..

'Devanampiya Tissa was a Tamil king'

Oct 8 (CT) Descending from the family that produced Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, C.V. Wigneswaran is a celebrated Sri Lankan. Lawyer, SC Justice and now Chief Minister of the Northern Province, he is also a man unafraid to voice his convictions. Recovering recently from minor surgery, Wigneswaran responded, via email, to some questions from Ceylon Today over the debate on the proposed new Constitution. more..

Sri Lankan office opens in Visakhapatnam

Oct 8 (DC) Chief Commercial Officer, Sri Lankan Airlines, Siva Ramachandran on Saturday inaugurated the Sri Lankan Airlines Office (City Sales Office), located at Siripuram area in Vizag city. Talking to the media, Mr Ramachandran said that focusing on India as a special market, Sri Lankan Airlines has starter services to Vizag city a few months back and the response was so good. more..

Elephants at pageants: Activists push for change

Oct 8 (SL) Animal rights activists are making a push to stop the practice of elephants being used at pageants, including school parades. A case related to the illegal capture of elephants is also to be heard at the Hulftsdorf court on Tuesday. Recently, a request from several animal rights activists saw a leading school in Colombo suspending the use of elephants at their school street parade. more..

SriLankan pilots warn again of safety issue on Colombo-Delhi night flights

Oct 8 (ST) SriLankan Airlines Pilots have warned the country’s civil aviation chief that a late night flight to New Delhi with a return next morning could cause them fatigue and endanger flight safety. Though within prescriptive limits, the flight pattern as a roundtrip is technically called, they have said would not be acceptable without a layover (an overnight stay) or re-schedule of flight hours. more..

Commercial High Court has over 5,000 pending cases

Oct 8 (Island) The Justice Minister recently revealed that country’s Commercial High Court alone had over 5,000 cases pending by March this year. The Commercial High Court has jurisdiction to hear civil actions arisen out of commercial transactions in which the damage exceeds 5 million rupees. By March this year, the number of cases pending in the Commercial High Court was 5,580 while the total number of more..

Swiss police kill Sri Lankan asylum seeker brandishing knives

Oct 8 (AFP) Swiss police said on Saturday that an officer had shot and killed a Sri Lankan man after the man lunged at other asylum seekers wielding two knives. The 38-year-old asylum seeker was mortally wounded at around 2:00am (0000 GMT) Saturday after he tried to stab two other asylum seekers who were in the company of police officers in the southern Italian-speaking region of Ticino, police said. more..

Labour Minister urges SLPA to absorb H’tota port workers

Oct 8 (ST) Labour Minister has urged the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to absorb Magampura Port Management Company’s 466 employees who are set to lose their jobs once the new Chinese management takes over. There have been three rounds of meetings between Labour Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne and the Magampura Port Workers’ Union. The next discussion is due to take place on Oct 17. more..

Over Rs 5 billion allocation to battle natural disasters

Oct 8 (ST) The govt will set a budgetary allocation of over Rs. 5 billion from next year as an immediate measure to mitigate the damage caused by natural disasters, a highly placed Govt source said. Accordingly, the govt will allocate over Rs. 5.8 billion to the Ministry of Disaster Management to battle and reduce risks of such disasters. Measures to mitigate damage and risk of natural disasters would be an important part more..

Presidential Commission on Bond scam: Text messages take centre stage

Oct 8 (CT) Following a week-long intermission, former Governor of Central Bank of Arjuna Mahendran, this week faced the next round in the cross-examination ring with acting Solicitor General Dappula de Livera. Thus began another eventful week at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Treasury Bond issuance by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), which churned out new and shocking information. more..

Legal battle over award of huge tender for medical air

Oct 8 (ST) Action has been filed in the Supreme Court against a large Health Ministry tender to supply medical air, which is used in ventilators, incubators and for administering anaesthesia in public hospitals. It is the latest Govt tender to run into controversy over allegations of bid-rigging. Contract is to supply, deliver and unload medical air as well as provide maintenance services for storage of gas & gases in liquefied form. more..

Che’s visage on the shroud of time

Oct 9 (CT) The literary imagination of genius is often more intuitive about the movement of History than that of the historian, philosopher or social scientist. In 1842, six years before the publication of the Communist Manifesto, Heinrich Heine foresaw the role and fate of Communism in these dramatic terms: “Communism is the secret name of the dread antagonist setting proletarian rule with all its consequences against the present bourgeois rule. How it will end no one knows but more..

English: Our way or their way?

Oct 9 (CT) Because of the colonial baggage it’s associated with, English as a language is both a hiramanaye and kaduwa. It allures us and distances us. We love it and are afraid of it. We want it but can’t have it. At the same time. Concurrently. English Our Way is the official policy regarding the teaching of the language in our schools, and I believe in our universities too. The concept as such is easy: Sri Lanka must get rid of its colonial baggage and that by being empowered to more..

Former CJ damns new Constitution

Oct 9 (CT) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva believes that the govt's bid to redraft the Constitution is unnecessary. In an interview with Ceylon Today he went on to note that the existing Constitution has numerous provisions to accommodate new amendments to it. He added that the recently revealed interim report is misleading and will cause confusion amongst the public. Q: The govt recently released an interim report of the Constitution. more..

Adding insult to a deep constitutional injury

Oct 9 (ST) Sneaky strategies adopted by the Govt to smuggle hasty amendments to the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act at the committee stage so as to transform that Amendment into an entirely strange creature altogether must be condemned, strongly and categorically. Such wily tricks on the part of those in political power are not unknown to us. Previous Govts also attempted to twist Bills employing this device. Anxious care was taken when Bills were constitutionally more..

Guess who didn’t come for Diyawanna Lakeside party?

Oct 9 (ST) Compared to the 200-year-old mother of all parliaments, Britain’s Westminster, which blushes to be reminded of her age like any old Grande Dame would blush crimson to be told the candles will cost more than the cake, Lanka’s 70-year-old parliament looks like a teeny bopper still to come of age. And, going by the recent wild antics enacted there in public glare, a delinquent kid at that. But can you really blame it if it sometimes acts punk and goes off its rocker, given the sort who more..