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#anticorruptlka: On combating corruption and complicity

Sep 2 (GV) On Aug 28th, Groundviews hosted a Twitter chat themed around corruption, using the hashtag #anticorruptlka. Participants included Executive Director of TI, Asoka Obeysekere, Research Director at Verité Research, Gehan Gunatilleke, Chilaw Urban Councillor Jeevanee Kariyawasam, youth group Hashtag Generation and activist Mohamed Hisham. Conversation generated over one hundred tweets and a number of interesting insights on corruption. more..

Freedom of religion in Sri Lanka

Sep 2 (Island) US State Department’s 2016 International Religious Freedom Report on Sri Lanka is replete with distortions of the factual situation in the country regarding religious freedom. This is my personal view as an ordinary Sri Lankan for what it is worth. Genuine reconciliation through religious harmony among other things cannot be created by suppressing the truth. I am writing in the hope that the truth about religious freedom in my country will ultimately emerge. more..

Kattadi Keliya: New privileges of Black Magic

Sep 2 (Island) There is a huge opening for kattadiyas or exorcists with Health and Yahapalanaya. Minister of Health, and none other, says PM himself ordered him to go abroad for surgery because there were rumours that someone has engaged in exorcism to curse him. What a wonderful PM this is. Not only showing such concern for the health of his ministers, but even considering the dangers of exorcism to Health Minister’s health, more..

Hajj: Demonstration of universal brotherhood

Sep 2 (Island) Once a year, millions of Muslims of every ethnic group, colour, social status, and culture gather together in Mecca and stand before the Kaaba praising Allah. The pilgrim population visiting Mecca during this period was surveyed in 1980 as being two million and as predicted by analysts has grown exponentially by over 10% per year since then. Despite restrictions, it is believed that a record crowd of nearly four million Muslim Faithful are expected to gather in mount Arafath, more..

Toddy tapper files FR against Police

Sep 2 (DN)  A person engaged in the lawful business of toddy tapping as his vocation yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court. He was challenging the activities of the Kitulgala Police to produce persons who refuse to comply with the wrongful demands to provide toddy free of charge, before Courts purportedly in relation to illicit liquor offenses. Siril Kumara of Kitulgala filed this petition along with two other relatives naming Inspector Chanaka Wijeratne, more..

Karunathilaka creates decathlon history

Sep 2 (Island) Athletics enthusiasts enjoyed a drama-filled second day as Ajith Karunathilaka, Lakshika Sugandhi and Jegatheeswaran Aniththa created new national records and several others, including Upamali Rathnakumari, excelled with personal best performances at the 95th National Athletics Championship on Friday. SL Army’s Ajith Karunathilaka became the first SL athlete to aggregate more than 7,000 points more..

Mixed fortunes for Sri Lanka 7s rugby team

Sep 2 (CT) Sri Lanka sevens team stuck to their task to notch up an impressive victory over Chinese Taipei and secure a berth in the Cup Championship quarterfinals in the Asian Ranking Sevens Rugby Tournament first leg which started here at the Kings Park sports ground, Kowloon, Hong Kong yesterday. Tuskers outplayed Taipei 52 points to 7 in their group second game after having lost to foreigner-rich Japan 33-05 and went down fighting to Korea (24-14) in the last group match. more..

New plan to protect children from drug racket

Sep 2 (NS) Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention will convene a meeting with all the stakeholders involved in drug eradications efforts including those who conduct narcotics related raids to formulate a plan and adopt an urgent programme of action to tackle the pressing issue of drug dealers peddling to school children. The move follows after a recent meeting held between President Sirisena and the intelligence services, the law enforcement authorities including the tri forces, more..

We need to talk about that e-NIC project

Sep 2 (GV) The national identity scheme represents the worst of govt  said Theresa May, the then UK Home Minister. introducing a bill to scrap the national biometric ID scheme in the UK.  It is intrusive and bullying, ineffective and expensive. It is an assault on individual liberty which does not promise a greater good.  Mrs May’s record on civil liberties may be mixed, but in 2010 when the conservative-led more..

Sri Lankan developers on Google Launchpad Accelerator

Sep 2 (EN) Google opened its Launchpad Accelerator to Sri Lanka on 31 Aug with the aim of providing an opportunity to local developers to formulate solutions to local challenges. “Google Launchpad Accelerator gives us an opportunity to work with and empower amazing developers, who are solving major challenges all around the world - whether it’s streamlining digital commerce across Africa, providing access to multimedia tools that support special needs education, or using AI more..

Hirdaramani IT arm, H One launches RES.Q | QMS for apparel

Sep 2 (Island) Sri Lanka’s leading enterprise solution provider H One launched RES.Q | QMS, a quality management solution tailor made to minimise defects in apparel manufacturing. H One’s solution draws on the rich heritage of expertise provided by its parent company - Hirdaramani Group, a 120-year old apparel powerhouse in Sri Lanka. RES.Q | QMS is a cloud-based IT solution that provides decision-makers with a 360° view of factory floor production quality. more..

Schools will reopen next week only with mosquito clearance certificate?

Sep 2 (Island)  All schools would re-commence their academic activities for the third term, once they were cleared of mosquito breeding sites, Education Ministry said. During the last eight months, 146,710 suspected dengue cases have been reported to the Epidemiology Unit of Health Ministry from all over the country. 44.08% of dengue cases were reported from the Western province and the highest number of dengue cases more..

To conserve energy: 10 million LED bulbs to consumers

Sep 2 (CT) The distribution of 10 million LED light bulbs, for consumer use, could save the national grid 220 Megawatts of electricity a day. A discussion on energy conservation, by the Demand-based National Electricity Conservation Programme, found that the daily demand for electricity was highest from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30p.m. where, on average, 340MW was consumed. Thus, the programme to distribute 10 million LED light bulbs would save 220MW a day. Distribution of LED light bulbs to consumers more..

British HC visits North-Central Naval Command Headquarters

Sep 2 (MoD) British High Commissioner James Dauris met the Commander of North Central Naval Area, Rear Admiral Merril Wickramasinghe at the North Central Naval Command Headquarters on Wednesday. The British High Commissioner who had visited the Command Headquarters during his visit to Mannar was accorded a token guard upon his arrival there. During the meeting, High Commissioner and North Central Naval Area Commander had a cordial discussion and more..

Constitutional amendment required for Port city laws

Sep 2 (ST) Govt is preparing history-making laws governing the administration of the under-construction Colombo Port city but could face opposition if it, as pointed by legal experts, requires Constitutional amendments. The proposed draft bill creating the Colombo International Financial City (CIFC), formerly named Colombo Port city, and which in turn includes an International Financial Zone (IFZ) is intended more..

Catholic Bishops condemn desecration of holy picture

Sep 2 (Island) Catholic Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka has, in a message said the Catholic Community has been disturbed by the distorted image of Jesus Christ superimposed with the face of a politician now being circulated through the electronic media. The message said: "It is a cowardly act by whosoever is behind this disrespectful and insulting action against the founder of Christianity who is loved and worshiped by millions of people worldwide. more..

Lanka school in Doha denies Amb. Liyanage’s claims

Sep 2 (Island) Apropos Lanka school in Doha brought under purview of SL embassy published in the Aug 31 issue of The Island, Stafford Sri Lanka School has sent us the following statement: "There is absolutely no basis for the statement attributed to SL’s ambassador in Qatar businessman A.S.P. Liyanage. We have sought clarification from the Foreign Ministry and the FM has categorically denied Liyanage’s claim that he was given instructions to take charge of the school. more..

PAFFREL asserts: LG Polls only in 2018

Sep 2 (CT) People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) says because two more amendments to the Municipal Council Ordinance and the Urban Council Ordinance are pending, LG elections will be delayed until next year. Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi, said although the two amendments would be passed in Parliament without delay, procedure would take too long to conduct elections in 2017. more..

SL’s World Cup fate now in WI's hands

Sep 2 (Island) Sri Lanka have failed to seal a direct qualification for the World Cup in 2019 after losing four straight games in the ongoing bilateral series against India. SL required to win two games in the current series to automatically gain qualification for cricket’s showpiece event to be held in England and Wales next time, but their 168-run defeat in the fourth ODI, their heaviest at home, means now West Indies too are in a chance to gain automatic qualification for the World Cup. more..

1000 Chinese buses to ply on new priority lanes

Sep 2 (ST) 1000 Chinese buses are to ply initially on new priority lanes of several roads in Colombo and suburbs under a special peak hour, fully air conditioned private bus service to encourage better use of public transport and reduce worsening traffic congestion. President of LPBOA Gemunu Wijeratne said that they have ordered 1000 buses from China to operate the special luxury bus service soon on priority lanes from 6 am to 8 am, 4 pm to 6 pm and 8 pm to 12 midnight daily. more..

Concern in Colombo over delay in Indian projects

Sep 2 (Hindu) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday met President Maithripala Sirisena and discussed bilateral matters, including the perceived delay in implementing India-backed projects in the island. The meeting took place at President Sirisena’s residence. While Ms. Swaraj assured President Sirisena that New Delhi appreciated the domestic political challenges facing his govt, she urged Colombo to expedite more..

Navy apprehends eight TN fishermen

Sep 2 (ANI)  Sri Lankan Navy apprehended as many as eight Tamil Nadu fishermen, along with two boats, near the Delft Island. All the fishermen were taken to the Kankesanthurai Naval Camp for interrogation. Earlier on August 14, Sri Lankan Navy apprehended four TN fishermen along with a country boat near Punkudi Island. On August 10, 12 Indian fishermen, who were apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy, were sent to remand till August 23 by a Sri Lankan court. more..

CDs with text books for students

Sep 2 (CT) Ministry of Education is to issue Compact Discs (CD), along with selected text books, to schoolchildren at the beginning of next year. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, said video CDs will be produced as a form of support for the school syllabus. The CDs will go hand in hand with the text books. "They will be provided to the students at the beginning of 2018 academic year," he said. The CDs will be prepared only for selected subjects as it is a pilot project. more..

US presence at candle light vigil in Colombo against diplomatic norms: JO

Sep 2 (Island) The JO has expressed concern over US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alice Wells joining a candle light vigil at Vihaharamahadevi Park on Wednesday night to mark the UN Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. MP Udaya Gammanpila said that Wells and US Ambassador Atul Keshap more..

PTL submitting doctored evidence: AG’s Dept. to ask IGP to order separate probe

Sep 2 (Island) AG’s Department is scheduled to brief IGP Pujith Jayasundara on Monday on the need to commence a separate investigation into Perpetual Treasuries Ltd providing false information to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry and erasing vital data from its voice logger system. The AG’s Department sources said the Criminal Investigation Department would commence a separate investigation. They said the CID would take Chief Dealer of the Company, more..

Malinga uncertain about his future

Sep 2 (Island) A mere 24 hours after claiming that he intends to play till the 2023 World Cup, fast bowler Lasith Malinga conceded that he is uncertain about his future after a string of poor performance. Malinga, who turned 34 this week, became only the fourth Sri Lankan to take 300 ODI wickets when he dismissed Indian captain Virat Kohli in the fourth ODI, where he was stand-in captain. However, Malinga has been disappointing in this series having managed just two wickets in four games. more..

'SF released me from military ops'

Sep 2 (DM) Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Brazil, General (Retd.) Jagath Jayasuriya rejected the war crimes allegations levelled against him and said the then Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka in a written document had exempted him from responsibilities of all military operations. He said: “After all, General Fonseka was known to declare that it was he who did everything to bring the war to an end.” more..

Conserve water through dry land farming

Sep 2 (DM) In most countries, young people especially are being encouraged and given incentives to find creative, eco-friendly solutions to various dimensions of the climate change crisis. Though the US President Donald Trump is still insisting that climate change is a Chinese hoax, his ideas may have been drowned in the catestrophic floods, which have hit Houston and other Texas cities for the past weeks with weather experts describing it as the worst in US history.   more..

President Sirisena wishes to see an undivided SLFP

Sep 2 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena was candid and open minded during an interview with the Daily Mirror two days before the 66th Anniversary Celebration of the SLFP, scheduled for September 3  (tomorrow) at Campbell Park, Borella. President Sirisena discussed a range of issues from giving him the party leadership, the world’s view  on Sri Lanka after the establishment of the Yahapalana Govt and domestic issues faced by the SLFP and the Unity Govt. more..

Garbage crisis: Seoul searched and found a solution

Sep 2 (ST) Perched atop a hillock in Seoul, Korea, is the picturesque Sunset Park. It is resplendent in spring, with glorious bursts of flowers and foliage. Winter brings with it a peaceful serenity while families with children teem there in summer to camp on its grassy plains, play rounds of golf or catch butterflies. There is even an orchard, a vegetable plot and an herb garden. It defies belief that this was once a landfill into which more..

Rice-growing period in peril without seasonal rains

Sep 2 (ST) Water reservoirs in the country have nearly dried up and this will mean cultivation in the next rice-planting season will be a challenge, barring rains in the next few months. In the 2015-2016 Maha season only 756,000 hectares were sown, less than in the same growing season in 2014-2015. Out of this, only 743,000 hectares were harvested in the 2015-2016 Maha season. But the agriculture director expects to cultivate more..

PC elections put off to enable electoral experiments: PM

Sep 2 (DM) The govt will have to postpone the provincial council elections by one year to enable electoral experiments, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. He said this at the distribution of certificates by State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe in Malabe to women trained under the Diriya Kathun programme. “We have started experimenting with the 25% women representation in local bodies. more..

Kapu Mahattayas complain to President, PM, IGP against Basnayake Nilame

Sep 2 (Island) A group of kapu mahattayas (lay priests) led by the Chief kapu mahattaya of the Kataragama Devale have made representations to President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, IGP Pujith Jayasundera and the Buddhist Affairs Commissioner against the incumbent Basnayake Nilame of the Devale, D.P. Kumarage. They have complained of financial misappropriation at the holy shrine. more..

Infected dog trips up rabies-free campaign

Sep 2 (ST) Sri Lanka will not be able to declare it is a rabies free country by 2020 because a stray dog has tested positive this year. A country needs to be free from reports of dogs infected with the deadly virus for three consecutive years to claim it is rabies free, according to the WHO. The MRI has reported that the head of a stray dog tested positive, the Colombo Municipal Council’s veterinary department said last week. more..

Prez’s hands tied by vested interests: GMOA

Sep 2 (Island) The GMOA said the President would have been unable to issue a statement on the SAITM because there were sinister forces within the govt, preventing him from doing so. GMOA Secretary, Dr Haritha Aluthge said, the statement which the President was to make on the issue would have definitely revealed the govt’s stand on SAITM. Such a statement could not be made without revealing the stand taken by the govt. more..

SAITM issue: Carlo vows to topple govt. if its the only option left

Sep 2 (DM) "If the struggle against the SAITM continues in the same manner, the only option left is to topple the govt. I have decided to commit my last phase of life to win this battle", former Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) chairman Prof. Carlo Fonseka said. He said that he had confidentially referred a letter to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was in power forewarning the current crisis over SAITM. more..

Lifetime ban on student who leaked A/L paper

Sep 2 (NR) Department of Examinations has decided to impose a lifetime ban on the student who is suspected of leaking questions of this year’s GCE A/L Chemistry paper. Commissioner General of Examinations WMNJ Pushpakumara said further action regarding the matter will be taken after the conclusion of this year’s A/L Exam scheduled for Monday (4). A candidate who is usually convicted of an exam fraud is subject to a 5 year ban. more..

SLC: A fresh innings on a bad wicket

Sep 2 (NS) Sri Lanka’s national cricket team failed to obtain direct entry to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. SL Cricket Team will now have to battle it out in a qualifying round in order to be eligible to stand a chance at winning international cricket’s biggest prize. With the view of resurrecting Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) from the doldrums, Govt has initiated a number of moves including summoning former national cricket captains more..

Geetha Kumarasinghe suffers severe burns

Sep 2 (EN) Former actress and legislator Geetha Kumarasinghe was being treated at a private hospital in Colombo Saturday following severe burns, police said. Kumarasinghe, 62, was rushed to hospital on Friday night in what appeared to have be been an accident involving a gas stove at her home, police said. "She has suffered extensive burns and her condition is serious, but she is getting all the medical attention she needs," more..