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'Share powers with ethnic communities: It’s the only way to solve this problem'

Oct 9 (CT) MP and Constitutional Lawyer Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne says that some people think this country must belong to Sinhalese or rather the Sinhala-Buddhists only. Separatism brews in such countries. "In all such countries, mechanisms were developed to share powers with ethnic communities. That is the only way to solve this problem". Q: Former CJ, Sarath Silva accuses that the interim report produced by the Govt more..

When democracy gets slapped around

Oct 9 (Island) No sooner had the yahapalana govt given the apex court a thundering slap across the face by circumventing a judicial ruling to ratify the Provincial Council Election (Amendment) Bill than the guardians of the law physically assaulted a journalist in full view of the media. An ASP proved his mettle by slapping the victim during a JO-led protest in Hambantota against, among other things, a govt move to hand over the Mattala airport to an Indian company. more..

Refugees and Religion

Oct 9 (SL) Coming as does in the midst of the controversy over ensuring the existing exclusive prominence and predominance of Buddhism in the affairs of SL State under the new constitutional scheme, Rohingya refugee issue may have acquired a religious angle that may have otherwise gone unnoticed, whatever be the motive and consequence. Worse still, by attacking some refugees housed by the UNHCR in Mt Lavina, Sinhala-Buddhist hard-liners more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Vavuniya

Can more women politicos improve governance?

Oct 9 (SL) Women being granted 25% representation in provincial councils without being voted in, we thought would be a cause for celebrations, at least in a feminine way. Generally, when they win a skirmish in the Battle of the Sexes they don’t dance on the streets after wetting their throats with the stuff that cheers. They read long and boring papers at seminars, workshops or write equally unreadable articles to the papers claiming a historic achievement in the march for equality more..

More diesel generating capacity ordered to saboteurs’ delight

Oct 9 (Island) A power sector regulatory commission was established in 2003, called the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL). With the new Electricity Act of 2009, PUCSL was empowered to be the regulator of the electricity supply and use. More utility services are proposed to be added to PUCSL’s mandate: petroleum and water supply. The Electricity Act 2009 says, "The functions of the Commission shall be to act as the economic, technical and safety regulator for more..

Yahapalana Mafia: Expressways, corruption and flipside of development

Oct 9 (Island) We, Sri Lankans, never learn from our past mistakes. After all, it is popularly said that Sri Lankans don’t remember "anything" for more than one week. Not many moons ago the Southern Expressway wreaked havoc by worsening the flood situation in the South. It not only got inundated in several places, between Kaduwela and Matara, but also caused areas, on either side of it, to be submerged. more..

My Friend Foundation launches English for All programme

Oct 9 (Island) My Friend Foundation, an organization focused on improving the lives of children in underprivileged schools, launched an innovative programme named English for All on Sept 25, 2017. This programme aims to improve the English language skills of students in underprivileged schools where they have limited access to English language skills development. The English for All programme is a collaboration between My Friend Foundation, City and Guilds, more..

Football Competitions: More glamour than purpose!

Oct 9 (ST) The Football boss it was reported in the ST last weekend is ready to kick around. At least this is one area in which he excels having served as National Team captain before taking on the mantle of President, having dribbled past his mentor, Past President Rodrigo at whose goalmouth he now attempts to leave all the ills of the FFSL. But let us for a moment leave the gory details of frauds and skullduggery behind and focus on the subject at hand, Football Competitions. more..

Malinga refusing to pack his bags

Oct 9 (ST) Is it the end of international cricket for Lasith Malinga? SLC selectors announced a 15-man squad for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan starting Oct 13 but Malinga, a veteran of 204 ODI matches did not find a place. There’s all possibility that he will not be considered for selection for the 50-over game in the future as he is reportedly not in SL’s plan for the 2019 World Cup but the 34-year-old is likely to retain a place more..

Fresh laws for Reforming State institutes

Oct 9 (DM) Govt was in the process of evolving fresh legislation to provide for reforming and restructuring the State institutions, a State Minister said yesterday. State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said that the Govt studied models for it available in the countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. He said the Govt was in the preliminary stage of drafting the new legislation titled Public Enterprise Bill. “It is not a matter linked with the upcoming budget. Some institutions will be considered for more..

Sri Lankan Cricket has grown healthier

Oct 9 (CT) In my last column dwelling on the first Test match and at a very early stage of the game my poser was, has Sri Lanka turned the corner? Writing after just one day's play in the second Test, it appears that way. True Pakistan is the sixth ranked team in the world of Test cricket which is one place above the Lankans, but it's about the penetration of the fortress of their cricket and that's the UAE. Pakistan has been untouched in these parts of the world and Sri Lanka's efforts so far more..

Sri Lanka take control after 15-wicket day

Oct 9 (CI) Ever the entertainers, Pakistan first made a lavish surrender with the bat, then came hurtling back into the game with the ball, during an extraordinary 15-wicket day in Dubai. Though they ceded a 220-run first-innings lead to Sri Lanka, so total was their dominance in the last 14.3 overs of the day, that their hopes of squaring the series live for another day. Wahab Riaz, in one of his wonderfully intense bursts, uprooted 3 more..

17th LSR Colombo Marathon: Kenyans maintain their supremacy

Oct 9 (CT) Kenyans took top honours, and maintained their splendid record when they won the men's and women's full marathon at the 17th LSR Colombo Marathon. James Tallam won the men's event in a time of 2 hrs 23 mins and 37 seconds while fellow Kenyan athletes Peter Keter (2:24.28) and Amos Maindi (2:25.43) were placed second and third respectively. The best finisher among the SL competitors was soldier Suranga Gunasekara who finished fourth in a time of 2:28:58. more..

‘Urgent steps needed to curb sharp decrease in tea production’

Oct 9 (DN) There is a sharp decrease in tea production and urgent steps should be taken to correct this, said Ajanta Moonemalle, former President of the Ceylon Planters’ Society. “If tangible steps are not taken, it will only result in our valuable tea industry withering away,” he said Speaking at their AGM at Hotel Galadari on Saturday he said that they have been continuously complaining about not undertaking adequate replanting and most necessary agriculture practices in time. more..

HRC probes assault on journalist in custody

Oct 9 (Island) Human Rights Commission has launched an inquiry into a senior police officer assaulting a journalist taken into custody while he was covering the protest at Hambantota on Friday. Media spokesperson of the HRCSL Saliya Peiris said they had launched an investigation into the assault by an Assistant Superintendent of Police on a detained protester. Peiris said that so far no one had lodged more..

SL owe a part of their revival to Tillakaratne

Oct 9 (KT) After being aced and bested by India in their own backyard, Sri Lanka seem to have turned the tide, miles away from the island nation. The UAE has become the stage for redemption after those chastening experiences against the Indians, in the three-Test series. The Lankans have found their mojo, racking two 400 plus scores in the two Tests against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and Dubai thus far. Dinesh Chandimal's side piled up 419 in their first innings in Abu Dhabi and more..

Independence of NPC questioned

Oct 9 (Island) National Police Commission’s claim that it is waiting for a report from IGP Pujith Jayasundara on an incident where an ASP slapped a journalist under police custody during a protest at Hambantota on Friday is ludicrous, says former commissioner of SL Human Rights Commission Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa. "NPC is considered an independent commission and, therefore, it should have deployed its own investigators and probed what happened at Hambantota", more..

Use of nuclear weapons on SL soil banned

Oct 9 (DN) Govt has issued a Gazette Extraordinary banning the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons in Sri Lanka in accordance with the UN Regulations of 2017. Regulations have been issued by Minister Tilak Marapana under UN Act. According to the regulations, anyone who manufactures, acquires, possesses, develops, transports, transfers or uses nuclear, chemical or biological weapons is liable to more..

'Social market economy helps people to become prosperous nation'

Oct 9 (DN) Sri Lanka cannot become a hub of the Indian ocean unless it establishes a social market economy for trade and investment by removing obstacles. Switzerland Ambassador to SL and the Maldives, Heinz Walker Nederkoorn made these remarks at the 51st AGM and anniversary celebrations of the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) held in Colombo. He said a new social contract in the form of a new constitution should also be initiated to more..

Commercial HC refuses to accept information submitted through USB drive

Oct 9 (FT) In a landmark ruling delivered by Judge Mahinda Samayawardena, the Commercial High Court recently refused to consider purported confidential information submitted for the inspection of court without the same being served on the opposing party. In an application filed under Section 160(6) of the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003, Sirocco Air Technologies Ltd. alleged that a former employee had obtained confidential information from it and submitted more..

Arjuna playing with fuel?

Oct 9 (FT) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga’s remarks last week that he is opposed to a hike in fuel prices despite the CPC losing money by not making revisions has caused serious concern over good governance and public enterprise reforms. According to Lanka IOC, which mooted the idea of a hike in October, at the currently prevailing international prices the company and CPC are losing Rs. 17 per litre on the sale of petrol and more..

SL Navy arrests 10 Tamil Nadu fishermen

Oct 9 (DC) SL Navy arrested Puthucheri state Karaikal -based ten Indian fishermen and seized one trawler for poaching in SL territorial waters on Saturday night. The arrest was made by the naval personnel onboard SLNS Prathapa and Fast Attack Craft on routine patrol at the IMBL The arrested fishermen, trawler and fishing gear were brought to the naval base SLNS Elara in Karainagar and the fishermen were handed over to Assistant Fisheries Director in Jaffna for onward legal action, more..

TNA MP cries foul at ex-Chief Justice; says he violates P’ment privileges

Oct 9 (FT) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran has filed an intervenient petition against the fundamental rights petition filed by former Chief Justice challenging the enactment of the Provincial Council Elections Amendment Bill. He is crying foul at  former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva’s fundamental rights petition saying that if it is heard by the Supreme Court, it would violate his rights as a Member of Parliament and those under and in terms of the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act. more..

Lankan suspect arrested over Taiwanese bank hack

Oct 9 (DM) The CID launched investigation into the incident where an individual received Rs. 110 million to a local bank account, from a bank in Taiwan, which was hacked last week. Sources at the CID said the suspect had withdrawn Rs. 30 million from the local bank on Wednesday and he was arrested on Friday, when he attempted to withdraw another Rs. 80 million. He was produced in court and was remanded till Wednesday. more..

SL’s GDP growth to reach 5% in 2018: ADB

Oct 9 (DN) The Asian Development Asian outlook for 2017 (update) predicts that the GDP growth for Sri Lanka at the end 2017 would be 4.5 and it would increase to 5% in end 2018. According to this report GDP grew by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2017 and 4% in the second to hold growth in the first half of 2017 to 3.9% year on year, unchanged from the 2016 outcome. The industry grew by 6.3% in the first quarter and 5.2% in the second to bring first-half expansion to 5.8%. more..

Two dogs at the same bone?

Oct 9 (DM) The former strongman was taking his lunch at the council canteen last week. There were only a few council members in the canteen at this time. In fact, the former strongman was alone at the table. On seeing the former boss taking his lunch, a purohita in yahapalanaya headed in that direction. A typical turncoat, who had switched from one party to another from time to time, this worthy, hailing from a legal family, has now hitched his political wagon to the Maitri star.  more..

Govt parties split over Foreign Policy

Oct 9 (CT) Two main constituents of the govt, UNP and SLFP, seem to be at loggerheads over the country's foreign policy decision making. Commenting on the govt's decision to impose sanctions on North Korea, Minister Dilan Perera maintained that he doesn't see any difference between some of the actions of the USA and that of North Korea. "As you know North Korea has been one country that has been violating some more..

Bullet proof prisoner bus passes firing test

Oct 9 (DN) The bullet proof bus to transport prisoners designed by Kegalle Prison officers has passed the firing test successfully. It has been revealed that the standard of the bullet proof bus is high, when the bus was subject to a quality check at the Katukurunda firing range by security forces. Prison Department sources said the bus can be used to transport prisoners, specifically those in high profile cases or needing high security. Since of late, several incidents have been reported more..

Medical students' parents threaten fast unto death protest

Oct 9 (DM) Parents' Union of Medical Students (PUMS) threatened that it would resort to fast unto death protest if a solution for the SAITM issue was further delayed. In a joint press briefing held with the Malabe Medical College Parents Forum, it said the forthcoming month would be critical to the Govt with the PUMS’ strong actions to be launched forcing the Govt towards a legitimate solution. PUMS Media Spokesman said that over 250 parents would join in the fast unto death protest more..

Appropriation Bill to Parliament Today: Two trillion budget deficit for 2018

Oct 9 (DN) The Appropriation Bill approved by the Cabinet which is to be tabled in Parliament today records an allocation of Rs. 260,711,375,000 as recurrent expenditure for the Ministry of Defence and a capital expenditure of Rs. 30 billion. Finance Ministry estimates a total expenditure of Rs. 3,982 billion for 2018. Amount includes Rs.1,308 billion for recurrent expenditure & Rs. 668 billion for capital expenditure. more..

Corruption: Causes, consequences and remedies

Oct 9 (DM) s is well known, corruption has become a pervasive social issue in the country in recent years, cutting across all segments of the country’s elite:  political, business, professional,  bureaucratic, military, judicial, civil society, intellectual, media, etc. While liberally minded politicians and civil society activists continue to emphasize the need to enforce the law as the only remedy to deal with this problem, in this article, I argue that law enforcement alone is not going to stamp out corruption more..

National Budget, People's expectations and elections

Oct 9 (DM) Next month our Finance Minister will present this country’s budget to parliament. It is the country’s financial plan for the next year. A family budget as most citizens understand is our own localised plan to distribute income toward expenses, debt repayment and savings if possible. We take into consideration past month’s expenditure, anticipated income the causes that may have led us into situations of debt, our plan for debt repayment,  attempts to come up with plans to overcome more..

Double blow for radical monks

Oct 9 (SL) A group of radical monks faced a double blow last week just hours after the venerable Akmeemana Dayarathana Thera was arrested for threatening Rohingya refugees in Mount Lavinia. Following several complaints filed with Facebook over a video posted on the Facebook page of the Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa, social media website decided to act on it last week. The video was a live recording of a mob, more..

Sri Lanka’s baby farms re-visited

Oct 9 (CT) It was in the mid 1980s that Lanka's shame trade was exposed and became notoriously known as the Baby Farms. The sordid racket was uncovered following a Police raid on a sea-side resort at Waduwa. Journalist Leon Berenger was there on hand to record the incident. They called it the Stamford Cabana--situated inside a coconut plantation bordering the seashore in down-town Wadduwa. more..

Port City company offers to extend Marine Drive in US $ 150mn project

Oct 9 (DM) China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), the developers and the owners of the Colombo Port City project, has proposed to extend the Marine Drive via an underground tunnel, that will ultimately connect the country’s South with the Northern region.  The US $ 150 million project is likely to be on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis, but the govt is likely to make an annuity payment to project owner more..

Sri Lanka looks to offload world’s emptiest airport

Oct 9 (EFE) A visitor arriving at SL’s massive Mahinda Rajapaksa airfield airport on Sunday would find a whole lot of emptiness and visible decay, after mounting debt and lack of cash have put a brake on the country’s once-grand aviation ambitions. Unable to cope with the losses and cost of maintenance, SL is now trying to form joint ventures to run its second int'l airport and cancel an agreement signed by former Prez Rajapaksa more..

Govt has exceeded limits in borrowing, lying to people: Bandula

Oct 9 (Island) The govt, which has violated the provisions of the Financial Management (Responsibility) Act No 3 of 2003 by taking an excess of loans, is lying to the people by claiming that it is under the debt burden inherited from the previous regime, Joint Opposition says. JO MP Bandula Gunawardena said that Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe had pointed out in his report included in the latest Finance Ministry Annual Report more..

Hackers and how to protect your organisation

Oct 9 (FT) In Stieg Larsson’s bestselling Millennium trilogy protagonist Lisbeth Salander manoeuvres her way into someone’s computer by simply hacking their WiFi router. While Salander’s character is described as one of the world’s finest hackers, in this particular instance her task is made rather less taxing by the fact that her target’s WiFi router still uses the default password. If you’re seated there thinking, more..

Brakes on bid to hike fuel prices, minister pushes for price formula

Oct 9 (ST) Continued delay in implementing an independent fuel pricing formula threatens to plunge Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) into further crisis, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has warned. His remarks came against the backdrop of an announcement by Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) that it intends to effect a price hike this month. He said CPC hoped to sell fuel at subsidised prices even if the LIOC raised its prices. more..