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The Rohingya in our midst: Learning from the vulnerable

Oct 24 (GV) The Rohingya in our midst brought out the worst in some of us. The aggression of a mob that sought to intimidate and deny these vulnerable humans of compassion and security, shockingly incited by some who carry religious responsibility in the community, will go down as a sad and shameful moment in our national conscience. The swift intervention, of senior govt ministers, to clarify and affirm our stance, however welcome, came too late. By then the contempt with which more..

CIMA launch pad 2017: Applicants make their elevator pitch

Oct 24 (Roar) Held for the fourth consecutive year, Launch Pad aims at nurturing SL’s next generation of entrepreneurs. Held in the form of a competition, the incubator encourages startups to engage in a series of pitching events and workshops before competing for the grand prize. Even those who don’t win stand to benefit from the programme, which fine-tunes their pitching and marketing skills, builds confidence, and helps them learn from mentors and expand their networks. more..

Looters as Rulers: Is it time for a third force in Sri Lanka's polity?

Oct 24 (LMD) There are many ways to oppress an electorate. Our governors can sit on the heads of people they represent, and thus repress dissent and democracy. The previous regime succeeded abominably at it in its second term… but that’s now passé. But there is another way. Our governors can sit on their bottoms, making folks feel they were misrepresented. And the present administration has managed admirably to more..

Sri Lanka suffer 12th straight defeat

Oct 24 (CI) Playing just his second ODI, Usman Khan destroyed Sri Lanka's top-order, striking four times in 11 balls and then completing a five-for off his 21st delivery. Since 2001, only two bowlers have completed a five-wicket haul in fewer balls. Chaminda Vaas did it in 16 balls against Bangladesh in Pietermeritzburg in the 2003 WC, which included a hat-trick from the first three balls of the innings, and Netherlands' Timm van der Gugten completed a five-for in 20 balls against Canada in 2013. more..

Unitary state & state protection for Buddhism

Oct 24 (Island) President’s Counsel Jayampathi Wickramaratne and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have stated that the new Constitution will be formulated with unitary status of Sri Lanka and the foremost place for Buddhism being retained. President Maithripala Sirisena is a leader, respected by the majority of the minorities and a good percentage of the Sinhala Buddhists. They, the President and PM have met the Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter and given the latter an assurance that more..

I am not quitting: Tharanga

Oct 24 (Island) After suffering his third 5-0 whitewash in a year, Sri Lanka’s captain Upul Tharanga said that he had no intentions of stepping down as captain. Sri Lanka were shot out for 103 runs in the final ODI against Pakistan here in Sharjah after electing to bat first and were handsomely beaten by nine wickets. It was their 12th straight defeat in ODIs. "It’s the responsibility of the selectors and board to make that call more..

Pallekelle Stadium to be named after Murali

Oct 24 (DN) In recognition of Mutiiah Muralitharan’s record breaking bowling achievements, Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium will be named as Muttiah Muralitharan Cricket Stadium and this decision has been taken by the Kundasale Pradeshiya Sabha recently. This was stated by Erik Prasanna Weerawardena, the Private Secretary of the President, Maithripala Sirisena in a letter addressed to Dayasiri Jayasekera, the Minister of Sports on December 21, 2016. more..

Real interest rates in Sri Lanka swing without clear objective: economist

Oct 24 (Island) Real interest rates in Sri Lanka have often swung from negative to positive without any clear direction or objective, thereby hardly making any tangible positive impact on domestic savings, Dr. Amarakoon Bandara, senior economic advisor to UNDP in Zimbabwe said in Colombo recently. He said so while delivering a public lecture at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka last week, which was titled Growth dynamics: What can we learn from success stories?. more..

Govt widens international rice search, issues global call

Oct 24 (FT) Govt has launched an open international tender to import a fresh tranche of rice, which is the first such call in recent times to be issued to suppliers worldwide after a severe 50% shortfall in the rice harvest because of the ongoing drought in the country. “We are making every effort to ensure that there will be no shortages for our consumers,” Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was quoted as saying more..

Anura Kumara claims Ranil is a thief

Oct 24 (CT) JVP Leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, on Sunday lashed out at PM Ranil Wickremesinghe saying that he has no intention of bringing thieves to book as he is also a thief. Addressing a public rally in Hambantota, Dissanayaka hit out that the PM is the one who should take full responsibility for the Treasury Bond scam. "Now, it has been revealed that Wickremesinghe is the one who spearheaded the Treasury Bond scam. more..

Twenty-one balls of deja vu

Oct 24 (CI) Usman Khan has been called a bowler with great potential for a number of years now. Ask people, though, what it is that started the hype about him in the first place, and you'll find them scratching their heads. Even most Pakistanis wouldn't know, but look deeper into the nooks and crannies and you'll eventually find a die-hard follower of the domestic circuit. Without any hesitation, they'd point you to a domestic T20 final where Usman, then virtually anonymous, burst through more..

Ambassador Keshap Inaugurates U.S. Garment Innovation Center

Oct 24 (USE) Ambassador Atul Keshap and PM Ranil Wickremasinghe attended the inauguration of an innovation center created by Star Garments, a division of the U.S.-based Komar company, last week.  “American companies bring the best and highest standards of ethics, of design, of innovation, of technology, of responsible management, and absolutely cutting edge environmental responsibility,” more..

Sustainable development goals for social development: What’s Sri Lanka’s score?

Oct 24 (IPS) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on 17 Oct 2017, under the theme Answering the call of Oct 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies. The Sustainable Development Goals Framework is a transformative agenda which affirms that poverty is the greatest global challenge which must be overcome in order to realize sustainable development. Hence, this article reviews the relevance of the SDG Agenda to SL’s more..

RMIT University partners with SAITM Engineering Faculty

Oct 24 (CT) Australia's RMIT University recently initiated a partnership with SAITM to make Australian degrees and internships available locally to engineering students at affordable rates, stated a press release. This strategic partnership comes at a time the Government is striving to position Sri Lanka as an education hub in the Asian region. The release added that RMIT Vietnam University President and General Director Professor Gael McDonald said, more..

Sri Lankan security delegation to visit Pakistan on Oct 25, before T20 match

Oct 24 (PTI) A delegation from Sri Lanka will visit Lahore on Wednesday to inspect the security arrangements for the lone Twenty20 match scheduled for October 29 before giving final clearance for the Island nation's tour to Pakistan. SLC president has insisted that his team will play in Lahore despite the pullout of some key players for the lone Twenty20 match. In response to the refusal by their key players to play the match in more..

NCE expresses dismay at adverse effect of street protests on economy

Oct 24 (FT) Strained under frequent protests that create massive traffic jams on key roads, the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) yesterday expressed dismay at the impact unceasing demonstrations are having on Sri Lanka’s overall economy and called on the Govt to address the bottleneck. The NCE said the frequent occurrence of street protests and demonstrations orchestrated by diverse groups is seen to have a telling adverse effect on the conduct of export business. more..

Bangladesh Naval Ship Somudra Avijan arrives on goodwill visit

Oct 24 (SLN) Bangladesh Naval Ship Somudra Avijan arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today (23). The ship was welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions upon her arrival. The Defence Attaché at the Bangladesh High Commission, Commodore S Aslam Parvez was also present on the occasion. Commanding Officer of the ship, Commander M Moniruzzaman called on the Commander Western Naval Area, Niraja Attygalle at the Western Naval Command Hq. more..

JVP leader asks what has happened to UNP’s wealthy friends overseas

Oct 24 (Island) The two main parties that governed the country for seven decades, since Independence, had reduced it to a mendicant nation, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He said the country found itself in an unprecedented financial crisis. "Hospitals experience drug shortages; schools lack teachers and facilities; farmers’ survival is threatened; fishers are in penury; business is slow and only the crime rate more..

Kohli likely to be rested during home series against Sri Lanka

Oct 24 (CI) The combination of a relentless schedule and the prize of winning a Test series in South Africa are factors that are likely to force the selectors to rest Virat Kohli for the second half of the home series against SL in December. Although he has been named in the squad for the first two Tests, Indian captain is likely to sit out of the final one and/or the ODIs that follow. "Virat has played the maximum cricket in the world in the last one year. So he needs some rest at some point," more..

MR invited to SLFP conference

Oct 24 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been invited to the special SLFP conference scheduled to be held at the Presidential Secretariat with incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena presiding on Nov. 3, party sources said yesterday. A senior SLFP minister told The Island that it was mandatory for all SLFP MPs to attend the conference and each would be informed of it in writing. The invitation letters would be posted to all SLFP MPs today, he said. more..

Weerawansa's case: FCID seeks AG’s advice

Oct 24 (DN) FCID has sought the AG’s advice regarding two suspects, including NFF leader MP Wimal Weerawansa for allegedly misusing 40 vehicles belonging to the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) incurring a loss of Rs. 91 million to the govt. When the case came up before Colombo Fort Magistrate Ms Lanka Jayaratne, Court was informed that the FCID was yet to receive the AG’s advice regarding the two suspects. more..

Gold smuggling: Lankan put on database

Oct 24 (Hindu) For the Customs officials in Coimbatore, it was an unusual and one of the rare instances when a passenger from Sri Lanka came to Coimbatore on October 20 with gold concealed in his body. On inquiry, the passenger Sathiyaseelan admitted that he had swallowed 20 pellets of gold. “It is a rare case. Usually, passengers use this method of concealment (swallowing the goods) for drugs or precious stone. They don’t do it for gold as it is risky and is not of high value,” more..

SLAF to venture into aircraft production

Oct 24 (DN) Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) will venture into aircraft production for the first time, Air Force Commander Kapila Jayampathy said. He said technical assessment studies were now underway towards this end. The Air Force Chief was speaking to the media after attending a two day pinkama at Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy on Oct 22 and 23 to commemorate Air Force personnel who sacrificed their lives in the defence of the motherland and to bless members of their families. more..

Unitary State should remain unchanged: BASL

Oct 24 (CT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday emphasized that Sri Lanka should continue to remain as a Unitary State as is presently worded in Article 2 of the Constitution. The BASL yesterday (23) submitted a questionnaire, drafted by President's Counsel Romesh de Silva, to the Govt seeking clarifications on several aspects pertaining to the interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly. more..

Debate on new Constitution: JVP challenges MR

Oct 24 (CT) The JVP on Sunday challenged former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to a face to face debate on the new Constitution. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, speaking at a rally in Hambantota, recalled that NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa had challenged the JVP to a debate on the new Constitution. The JVP is prepared to take up the challenge, Dissanayake said. "However, Weerawansa should send his leader, former President Rajapaksa for that debate. more..

Constitutional reform: Minority participation for the first time: Kiriella

Oct 24 (DN) Since the co-operation of the minority communities have been received for the Constitutional reform process for the first time in the country’s history, the govt’s objective is to bring in a new Constitution which will enable people of all communities to think as Sri Lankans,” Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. He said the minority communities were not involved when late PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike and late President J.R. Jayewardene introduced 2 new Constitutions. more..

Underworld kingpin killed in gun battle with STF commandoes

Oct 24 (Island) One underworld leader was killed in a shootout between a group of supporters of Minister John Amaratunga and STF commandos near the Ballapana Junction at Henpitagedera in Divulapitiya yesterday. The deceased had been identified as Aluthapola Cooray, an underworld figure wanted for various crimes including extortion, police said. Seven underworld characters, including a former member of more..

Gross violation of Human rights

Oct 24 (DM) The latest issue of Sunday Times carried a news item which quoted the AG’s Department as saying that the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment was still holding on to a balance of more than Rs.3.2 billion from money remitted by UN Compensation Commission to pay Sri Lankans who were employed in Kuwait during that country’s invasion by Iraq in 1990.  Story further says, “the amount in US dollars at the prevailing exchange rate is more than US$20 mn. more..

Constitutional obstructionism

Oct 24 (DM) Recently Buddhist High Priests have been showing a rather unholy penchant to torment the govt, perhaps making use of the opportunity that no one is now calling from the President’s House to threaten with Sanga Bedaya (division among Sanga) unless Maha Nayakas toe the line.  However, it is still a lopsided approach on the part of monks who have resolutely kept mum when they ought to have spoken up in the past. Any self-respecting religious leader should have condemned more..

'We fear Muslim representation will be reduced'

Oct 24 (DM) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem spoke about the current political situation in the country and added that he was cautiously optimistic about the status of the constitution making process. Following are excerpts of the interview done with Hakeem, who is also the Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage.  Q: Actually, the Govt is facing serious allegations over the CB bond scam. more..

China-backed port sparks Sri Lanka sovereignty fears

Oct 24 (FT) The only vessels at Sri Lanka’s $1.3bn Hambantota port, opened with fanfare seven years ago, are a handful of idle tugs and a small, half-sunken wreck. At a $209m international airport 20km to the north, two women attend the information desk 10 hours after the day’s second and final flight. Nearby lies a 34,000-seat cricket stadium that has hosted one professional encounter in the past two years. more..

September inflation hits 8.6%

Oct 24 (FT) Sri Lanka’s national consumer price inflation in September rose 8.6% from a year earlier, Department of Census and Statistics said yesterday. On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices rose 0.8% in Sept, after dropping 0.1% in the previous month. The 12-month moving average of inflation, for which data is available since Dec 2015, accelerated to an all-time high of 6.8% in Sept, from 6.5% a month ago. more..

The unfair serving dished out to pensioners

Oct 24 (SL) Pensioners in Sri Lanka, despite having served the country their whole life, are forced to take to the streets in protest against the unfair treatment they are dished out and their meagre pension payments. Adding insult to injury by receiving meagre pensions, some pensioners lament that they do not even receive their pensions. However, the govt seems to be least interested in helping them out. more..

Billions lost by unabated official mismanagement of public finances

Oct 24 (ST) The COPE in its latest report tabled in Parliament this week found, after scrutiny of 15 Govt institutions, that serious lapses continue to take place on the part of officials who handle public finances, resulting in losses running into billions of rupees. The Report tabled by COPE Chairman JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti dealt with the 15 State institutions that were summoned before the COPE during the period Sept.1, 2016-Feb.28, 2017. more..

Ex-cadres seek acceptance to mend shattered lives

Oct 24 (DM) Eight years after the 30-year ethnic conflict, Sri Lanka is now treading a path to reconciliation. While various attempts have been made to establish physical offices to serve justice to those affected, they still seem to be in limbo. Rehabilitation programmes took centre stage when the war concluded, but to what extent they have been successful still remains a question. Upon completion of their rehabilitation courses, more..

State medical students’ parents to take up fight with death fast

Oct 24 (Island) The students of all state Medical Faculties have been boycotting lectures for the past nine months, demanding the abolition of the country’s only private medical faculty but without success. Their parents are now ready to launch a fast on Nov 06. Medical Faculty Action Committee (MFAC) Media Spokesman said that they wouldn’t be deceived by the govt’s temporary solutions anymore and more..

Auckland council approves new $1.6m elephant despite Sri Lankan court hold up

Oct 24 (Stuff) The only thing stopping Auckland from getting a third elephant is a court case in SL. In May 2011 Auckland Council approved $3.2m to transport two gifted elephants from Sri Lanka to New Zealand. Anjalee joined veteran elephant Burma at Auckland Zoo in 2015. But protests from animal rights activists and cultural and religious groups in SL stopped second elephant Nandi from leaving SL for New Zealand. more..

Constitutional furore: Mahanayakes to summon President and PM

Oct 24 (CT) Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters of the Siam Sect have decided to ask President and PM to visit them in order to discuss the proposed constitutional reforms. The Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Sect recently reiterated their objection to the proposed constitutional reforms. Chief Secretary of Asgiriya Chapter, Dr. Medagama Dhammananda, said that the entire Buddhist clergy would be represented at the proposed meeting more..

GMOA urges President to heed prelates’ advice

Oct 24 (Island) The GMOA yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to consider the suggestions made by the Maha Nayake Theras when arriving at a final decision on the SAITM this week. In a letter to President Sirisena, GMOA President, Dr Anuruddha Padeniya and Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge have said the latest proposals made by Deans of the eight state medical faculties to halt further enrolment of students at SAITM should be considered. more..

Danger of Income Disparities

Oct 24 (CT) A key measurement of income disparities in a country is the Gini Coefficient of per capita income. A score of '0' in this regard is a reflection of perfect equality in income, a score which Socialist countries strive to achieve. However, a score of '1' translates to perfect inequality of per capita income in a country. It's a reflection that all of a country's income is 'earned' by one, single person, while the rest of the population of that country earns nothing. more..