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The dimensions of Protests & Politics

Oct 28 (CT) A friend of mine, having seen through last month’s spate of strikes rather cynically, had an interesting point to make: “The protests work for the protestors and their backers, whether they win or lose. On the other hand, even if they win, the protests rarely work for the people. Those behind them win whatever the outcome, while the people lose even if they are supposed to win.” Such an observation is of course crass when considering that not all protests have reneged on the public more..

Documenting ethnic minorities: Other 2%

Oct 28 (Roar) Sri Lanka is home to 21 million people, 19 ethnicities, and four officially recognized religions. For the longest time, however, there were no official records of most of the island’s ethno-religious minorities. The ones we know about are the Sinhalese, Tamils, and Moors, given that they are taught in school. Everyone else—who make up two percent of the population—is categorised as other. Who though, are the others? more..

Lies nailed to the counter

Oct 28 (DN) Proposed new Constitution has become a hot topic for public debate between the Govt and the Opposition. However, the Opposition criticism is limited to their attitudes and platitudes on one or two articles in the Constitutional draft presented to Parliament for discussion, which they consider to be non-negotiable. Even then they fail to substantiate their claim. Govt also merely repeats the same story that those non-negotiable articles would remain so and deny any attempts on its part to more..

Sri Lanka still obsolete for smart board

Oct 28 (DN) There are tremendous changes happening around the world to prepare the young generation for the modern world. The developed countries have already taken the necessary measures to update their education system because they are financially strong enough to invest a huge amount of money on education. But in Sri Lanka, we are comparatively behind schedule in introducing the latest technology of the education sector. We are not that much rich enough to introduce the more..

Yala under threat

Oct 28 (DN) The most frequently voiced complaint against Yala National Park on all international travel sites is that it is overcrowded. Lacontessa1 from USA wrote on Trip advisor in Sept 2017, that she would love to visit the Park but was worried that all reviews of the park were discouraging and complained about noisy tourists, crowds of vehicles, revving engines and a long wait to enter park. Unsurprisingly, she's not alone. more..

Agile leadership an answer for disruption

Oct 28 (FT) In a disruptive world constantly challenged by innovation, agile leadership is essential to thrive, Nepal’s only billionaire and CG Corp Global Chairman Binod K. Chaudhary said, calling on leaders to not just adapt to change but to be the change.  Delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of what has been announced as Sri Lanka’s largest business summit, the National Conference of Chartered Accountants, in the presence of the country’s corporate glitterati, more..

Power of insight and foresight for Sri Lanka

Oct 28 (FT) When Minister Susil Premajayanth and UNDP Sri Lanka Country Director Jorn Sorensen exchanged jointly signed documents at Waters Edge on Friday, 22 Sept, along with trading the associated pleasantries, the event heralded the birth of a regional first – the social innovation lab for Sri Lanka. The Social Innovation Lab – Sri Lanka was officially launched at a press conference, which was held on Monday (25) at the UN compound. The media was present and more..


Is grade five scholarship exam akin to a fool’s errand?

Oct 28 (IPS) The 2017 grade five scholarship exam results were released in early October, with 356,728 candidates sitting for the exam across Sri Lanka. As usual, details of the top scorers were highlighted in the media. But, apart from a handful of successful students, how many manage to score above the cut-off mark each year? Does the exam serve its intended objectives? Is it worth the time, money, and effort spent by young children and their parents? This blog seeks to answer these questions, more..

A great grandfather writes to medical students

Oct 28 (Island) It is 2.30 AM, and I just got up from my sleep after watching the Cricket match till 10.00 PM and decided to write this to the children of state medical faculties who are keeping out of their University lectures and clinical for almost a year. I know that all of you are not rich, but from middle class or poor families. Your parents during the 13 years of schooling provided you with food, clothing and shelter and education, holding your hand and walking to school, more..

Big fat corrupt Parliment Mafia systematically bankrupting Sri Lanka

Oct 28 (Island) Rising cost of living would make it difficult to face elections – President. Does the govt really want to face elections? The record of the past two years would show the govt is, in fact, running away from elections, than wanting to face and contest them. This is true of both LG and PC polls. We will certainly have to wait and see if it wants to face another Presidential Poll and, more importantly, the next General Election. more..

Editorial: Low and odour

Oct 28 (Island) SP Ruwan Gunasekera, vehemently denied recent media reports that there had been political interference with the ongoing CID investigations into a complaint that a person, known to former Minister Ravi Karunanayake, threatened a key witness in the bond scam probe. He claimed IGP had not come under any political pressure. Sri Lankans usually don’t believe anything until the govt officially denies it! What this country lacks is only a Ministry of Truth in Orwellian sense. more..

The federalization plot: The proof

Oct 28 (Island) When the SL Govt keeps saying that the proposed Constitution will be unitary in character, why should we suspect and mistrust it? One reason is simple. Recall the phrase "would you buy a used car from this man?" Well, would you buy a new Constitution from the same folk who defrauded the entire country by pulling the CB bond scam? The less flippant answer is that extreme suspicion & vigilance is needed over the likelihood, nay, probability, of SL’s unitary status more..

Narrow T20 win for Pakistan over Sri Lanka

Oct 28 (CI) There was a hat-trick from Faheem Ashraf, and a SL collapse that saw them lose eight wickets for 14 runs. That might suggest another rout of the hapless visitors, but nothing could be further from reality. In the game of the entire tour, Pakistan edged home with one ball to spare, with only two wickets in hand when the winning runs were struck. They were struck by none other than golden boy Shadab Khan, who more..

Multiple hats destroying Sri Lanka cricket!

Oct 28 (DN) There is no gain in repeating the fact that every citizen in this country is lamenting the plight. Sri Lanka Cricket has plunged at present. The success of our cricket and cricketers was the pride of this nation which each and every citizen in this country held dear in their hearts. What is most worrying though is not the depths to which mismanagement by the current administration has decimated the game and our proud team, but the obvious inability of Minister of Sports to more..

40 member athletics pool formed for Commonwealth and Asian Games

Oct 28 (ST) An athletic pool of 40 members, which has been formed aiming the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games 2018, has been submitted for Sports Ministry approval. This has been done by the Athletics Association of SL. Commonwealth Games will be held from April 4 to 15, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. The Asian Games will be held from Aug 18 to Sept 2, next year in Jakarta, Indonesia. For the Commonwealth Games, Sri Lanka’s quota is eight men and six women competitors. more..

JVP Press Conference

Kimiko sets three new Sri Lanka records

Oct 28 (CT) Kimiko Raheem established three new Sri Lankan records when she won gold medals in the 400M Freestyle and 200M Medley and 100M Freestyle events at the National Short Course Swimming Championship at Loyola College yesterday. She won the 400M clocking 4:20.23 secs erasing the old mark of 4:30.46 secs while her timing in the 100M was 56:31 secs erasing the old mark set of 57:85 secs both records were by her sister Machiko Raheem in 2014 and more..

Lankapak 2017 packaging exhibition kicks off

Oct 28 (DM) Lankapak 2017, Sri Lanka’s only dedicated packaging exhibition, organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging, set to be a three-day event, was launched yesterday at the BMICH, with the exhibitors launching new products and services to the packaging industry. SL Institute of Packaging, established in 1975, is recognized as one of the oldest packaging industry associations in South and Southeast Asia, having a proven track record of over four decades more..

Did the NOC mislead the OCA and its membership on audit report?

Oct 28 (ST) The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) has misled International Olympic Committee, its regional member—OCA and its membership by claiming that the Auditor General’s Department (AG) had inordinately delayed inspecting its accounts—thereby holding up a crucial office bearers’ election—when it had only submitted these documents to the AG just weeks ago. more..

Continued training for those who excel at games

Oct 28 (ST) The Athletics Association of Sri Lanka will select the top performers at the recent All Island School Games Athletics Championships to put them on continuous training ahead of several international competitions next year. Accordingly athletes who reached required standards in the U-20 age group will be selected to the junior pool. Sri Lanka is expected to compete at the South Asian Junior Athletics Championships which will be held in Sri Lanka, more..

New Navy media spokesman

Oct 28 (DM) Commander Dinesh Bandara has been appointed as the new Media Coordinator of the Sri Lanka Navy with effect from yesterday. Commander Bandara succeeds Commander Lankanatha Dissanayake in the post. Commander Bandara who studied at Mawathagama Central College, joined the Sri Lanka Navy in 1996 as an Officer Cadet of the 25th Intake. He is a gunnery specialist and underwent his long specialization course at the INS Dronacharya, Kochi, India. more..

Struggling port forces SL closer to China

Oct 28 (CD) China’s ambitious plan to transform Hambantota, a sleepy southern town in SL, into a major port and investment zone has been beset by problems, including sluggish activity at the port, Sri Lanka’s worsening debt problem, and protests from people living nearby against a proposal to expand an existing investment zone. Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port, as it’s officially known, involved turning town’s harbour into a deep-sea port. more..

Govt backs private tertiary education

Oct 28 (FT) Despite the Govt’s challenges with SAITM, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne believes private tertiary education has a vital role to play in educating Sri Lanka’s youth, as it provides a variety of qualifications that would otherwise be unavailable to many students. “Higher education is no longer optional for young people, and meeting its growing demand is a challenge,” he said, congratulating 270 young men and women conferred with qualifications from more..

FM on our headline

Oct 28 (Island) Apropos front-page news item headlined Govt won’t act on Lord Naseby’s statement in our Oct 27 edition, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne has sent us the following statement: "Statement by the Ministry was in response to a question raised by The Island. We regret that the title of the news report, Govt won’t act on Lord Naseby’s statement does not accurately reflect the spirit or the substance of statement/ response by the Ministry." more..

'Constitution making: MPs mustn't support SC report'

Oct 28 (DM) Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera asked the govt not to deceive the people with regard to Steering Committee report and urged the MPs to avoid supporting it when presented in Parliament. Interim report is to be debated in Parliament on Oct 30, 31 and Nov 1. The monk told a news conference organised by the Yuthukama Forum that MPs especially those from the two factions of the SLFP should not support the interim report. more..

PM congratulates Chinese President on re-election

Oct 28 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe joined other world leaders in congratulating Chinese President Xi Jingping on his re-election for a second term as the Secretary General of the Communist Party of China.  PM’s full message:  It is with great pleasure that I extend my warmest congratulations on your re-election for a second term as the General Secretary of the Communist Part of China and the Chairman of the Military Commission at the recently held 19th National Congress. more..

Deepavali program at Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

Oct 28 (FT) The Permanent Mission to the UN in New York hosted a Deepavali celebration on 21 Oct at the mission premises.  The event brought together members of SL’s Hindu community and those of different faiths in the tri-state area as well as representatives from other UN missions, including the Permanent Representative of Mauritius and the Deputy Permanent Representatives of India and Nepal. The event commenced with the traditional lighting of the lamp and included more..

Bond Scams behind closed doors; development in front of the people

Oct 28 (DN) An outward looking economy, that is integrated with the global economy, is necessary to turn around the country’s debt ridden economy, PM Ranil Wickremesing said. He also cautioned that the future is bleak if this was not done fast. Premier, addressing 32nd SL Economic Association Annual Sessions, at the Center for Banking Studies auditorium in Rajagiriya, presented his views on more..

Windies A 116-6 v Sri Lanka A

Oct 28 (JO) West Indies 'A' have limped their way to 116-6 at the end of the first session on day two of their third unofficial four-day Test match against Sri Lanka 'A' here at Sabina Park in Kingston. After winning the toss and taking first strike in the day/night encounter, the West Indians failed to efficiently navigate the Sri Lankans' bowling attack, and were at one point reeling at 71-6. However, first match century maker Sunil Ambris, unbeaten on 51 and Damion Jacobs, unbeaten on 10, more..

The last days of the Pompeii

Oct 28 (DM) Worse days are in the offing for the once high-flying Colombo-based Green politico who is now being roundly blamed for tainting the yahapalanaya, they say. The man now down and out seems to draw hardly any sympathy from any quarter for he had in his hay day rubbed most high-ups from both strands of the unity rule on the wrong side. By the way, reports say that a probe into his assets has already been launched on the instructions of the highest echelons and more..

'COPE findings never been dealt with'

Oct 28 (Island) Former UPFA MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha said current laws were sufficient to deal with waste and corruption. Unfortunately, successive govts lacked political will and courage to address those issues, hence the current crisis, he said, warning of dire consequences unless tangible measures weren’t taken to tackle corruption. He responding to a recent cabinet decision to adopt a National Action Plan to curb corruption. more..

Colombo High Court acquits PTA accused

Oct 28 (FT) A suspect charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), whose case was transferred from the Trinco HC to Colombo by the Attorney General, was acquitted by the Colombo HC on Thursday. The accused Kangaratnam Jeevaratnam was arrested on 29 June 2007 on suspicion of being in possession of a lorry laden with 1008 kilos of high powered explosives known as RDX. The said offence is punishable with death or life sentence in terms of Emergency Regulation more..

Russia and Sri Lanka begin efforts to end Ceylon Tea impasse

Oct 28 (FT) Following a marathon 3-day bilateral trade session in Colombo, both Russia and SL achieved a greater understanding on breaking the Ceylon Tea impasse dogging the trade. Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary D.N.R. Asoka, addressing the final session of Russia-SL Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, said he was confident both sides could work to strengthen trading ties between the two countries. more..

Explosive bond scam evidence: Tele-conference between PTL, CB & State Banks

Oct 28 (CT) An anti-corruption group is saying it has explosive new evidence about the Bonds scam which will reveal who gave instructions to release loans to Perpetual Treasuries, those who received those instructions and who else was involved. Voice Against Corruption (VAC) says they are in possession of a recording that contains evidence which they had received from overseas. Recording they say is of a tele-conference more..

Least-cost generation planning: A tale of two utilities

Oct 28 (DM) It was the age of reason, it was the age of ignorance/chaos, it was the era of tradition, it was the era of optimism, it was the season of arguments, it was the season of agreements.  The new generation expansion plan that determines the least cost electric power plant schedule for next 20 years has gone for public consultation. An avalanche of public comments has criticized the plan for favouring conventional technologies. The approval for the plan is withheld and a public discourse more..

Constitutional reforms in the eyes of Tamils and Muslims

Oct 28 (DM) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa is in a midst of a controversy over his remarks that Parliament should be bombed in case it approves a Constitution based on the interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly (CA). The report was submitted to the Parliament by the PM and Chairman of the Steering Committee Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sept 21.  Weerawansa’s statement gets more importance considering the fact that he was a leader of a political party that more..

'All set for a people-friendly budget'

Oct 28 (NS) State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena speaks on the upcoming Budget proposals next month. Q: Can you comment on the forthcoming budget? A: I am quite sure that the forthcoming budget will not burden the ordinary people. By now the national income has risen by two percent and it will further increase after this budget. There are many proposals to generate more revenue in the long term. more..

'We will continue to protect national assets'

Oct 28 (SL) The joint opposition says it will continue to protest against the selling of govt owned assets despite the recent crackdown on a protest in Hambantota. JO MP Prasanna Ranaweera said he would fight against the govt’s policy of selling off national assets, even at the expense of his life. Ranaweera, who was recently removed from his post as the SLFP Kelaniya electorate Organiser, is currently in remand custody over more..

Bill to ensure university standards

Oct 28 (DN) A Bill will be brought to Parliament to ensure the standard of State and private universities, Minister of Highways and Higher Education Lakshman Kiriella said. According to Minister Kiriella, the standard of State universities in Sri Lanka is low compared to international standards. Universities in countries in the same region such as India and Bangladesh, have higher standards than Sri Lankan universities. more..