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Country at Cross Roads

Sep 2 (CT) Many things are happening and many things are scheduled to happen. More revelations of corruptions and deals follow in rapid sequence of concurrence. Startling as they are one wonders whether such things can happen in an environment of a firm commitment to eradicate corruption and ensure good governance. In the political front, within the govt there are developing uncertainties. Both the main coalition partners appear to be in trouble due to mounting pressure from within. more..

Of Yahapalanaya and corruption

Sep 2 (CT) COPE Chairman and JVP MP, Sunil Handunnetti, alleged recently the Govt has lost a massive Rs 36 billion due to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) granting approval to increase the length of flyovers on Matara-Hambantota Southern Expressway Project. Handunnetti added that this move had been taken without the approval of the Cabinet. Considering that this is not the first dodgy deal that the Govt or the CCEM has been accused of, this allegation more..

Dinesh Gunawardena

Land filling: SLLRDC Chairman explains why President’s order was not followed

Sep 2 (ST) The President’s Office has called for a report from the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC) over land filling close to a canal in Wattala, despite a presidential directive not to allow the filling of marshy lands in the Western Province in view of floods. Presidential Secretary Austin Fernando and Additional Secretary Sunanda Kariyapperuma had sent letters to the SLLRDC asking why the Presidential order issued on June 3, 2016 was not obeyed. more..

Former Governor Cabraal’s statement on Greek bonds – A comment

Sep 2 (FT) The statement of former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal in the Daily FT of 26 Aug, where he defends the investment of Central Bank in Greek bonds in 2011 as a wise move in risk management strategy of the foreign exchange reserves deserves comment.  Let us take risk management. As defined in Wikipedia, risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritisation of risks (defined in ISO 31000 as the effect of uncertainty on objectives) more..

Parliament Mafia

President’s message for Haj

Sep 2 (Island) President Sirisena has, in his the Id-Ul Alha Hadji message, said: "The vast gathering of people for performance of common religious activities is as old as the human history itself. Today, after the lapse of many eras, the followers of different religions join in large numbers to perform religious rituals with utmost devotion and piety. "Millions of Islam devotees in the world are gathered into a single area, with a same devoutness for the Id-Ul Alha Hadji festival more..

PM’s message for Haj

Sep 2 (Island) Muslims throughout the world celebrate Haj, a holy pilgrimage undertaken as a sacred religious rite that recalls the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a message to mark the occasion. "Haj Festival brings together the global community of Muslims, encouraging them to share a fellowship of compassion and love, empathy and co-existence, which are exemplary qualities that the world can learn much from. more..

Video: Gethsie Shanmugam honoured among at Ramon Magsaysay Awards

Sep 2 (Rappler) The 6 recipients of the prestigious 2017 Ramon Magsaysay Awards were officially recognized during their presentation ceremonies at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on Thursday, August 31. Among the awardees is Sri Lanka's Gethsie Shanmugam, who used psychosocial support in rehabilitating women and children scarred by war in her country. Here is the full text of her speech as provided by more..

Heated words over kite ends in death of father and son

Sep 2 (ST) A dispute over a kite resulted in a father and son being hacked to death in Minuwangoda yesterday (26). Police identified the victims as Lal Premasiri De Silva (45) and his son Suraj Dhananjaya (20). Incident at Gamangedara in Minuwangoda, occurred between two families in the area, with a longstanding dispute between them. A heated exchange of words had allegedly taken place, regarding a kite allegedly flown by members of one family over the other’s house. more..

Yahapalana backers back off

Sep 2 (CT) Strong supporters of the political coalition that ousted Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed dismay about the Yahapalana Govt during the popular TV show Face the Nation telecast by MTV. Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, a strident voice in the anti-Rajapaksa camp who was the Secretary of the Consultation Task Force of Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) appointed by this govt and Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, one of the first to break ranks with the Rajapaksa and more..

Increased incidence of suicide in the North

Sep 2 (NS) Educationists and representatives of religions sounded the alarm on the rising trend of suicides among unemployed, unmarried females in the North, in particular in Jaffna. When queried about the abominable practice of casteism and its prevalence in the North and the despicable custom of the dowry to be given by the fiancée’s family being negotiated between the family of the bride to be and the fiancé’s family more..

Sri Lankan companies moot river bank strengthening to prevent floods

Sep 2 (EN) SL companies have offered to help strengthen the banks of the Kelani River running around Colombo to protect their businesses from floods that have disrupted production and caused losses in recent years. Several companies have reported their factories, warehouses and access roads went under water during floods caused by heavy rains this year and last. According to Eshantha Salgado, Head of Admin. of Lion Brewery, which was hit by floods in both years,. more..

Yahapalana changes to CDDA led to dangerous skin whiteners flooding market

Sep 2 (Island) Sri Lankan women’s craze for fair skin and loopholes in the laws governing cosmetic regulations have resulted in the proliferation of banned whitening creams with dangerously high contents of mercury flooding the market. President of Cosmetics Manufacturers’ Association of Sri Lanka (CMAS), Dr Nimal Punyasiri said that whitening creams for sale at beauty parlours and shops contained mercury amounts very harmful to the users and the environment. more..

'We need to work on mental aspect of game'

Sep 2 (PTI) Batting coach Avishka Gunawardene says the confidence level of the team is very low after being drubbed by India in the ODIs and emphasised that his players need to work on the mental aspect of the game. India have taken a commanding 4-0 lead in the series, denying the hosts a direct entry in the 2019 World Cup. "We don't have much time for preparation. It is only two days since the last game. more..

MR not participating in SLFP anniversary

Sep 2 (NR) Former President MP Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to refrain from participating in the 66th anniversary celebrations of the SLFP. Media Secretary of the former president Rohan Weliwita said MP Mahinda Rajapaksa will not participate in the celebrations according to a decision taken by the members of the Joint Opposition. However, Rohan Weliwita said Former President has received an invitation to attend 66th anniversary celebrations of SLFP. more..

Constitutional making process: TNA receives assurance from India

Sep 2 (Island) TNA has received an assurance from India that it will support the ongoing constitutional making process until it could be brought to a successful conclusion. Following is the full text of the statement issued following talks between top Indian delegation led by its FM Sushma Swaraj and TNA in Colombo on Friday: "TNA Leader and the Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan along with TNA MP M. Sumanthiran met with the Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.  more..

Alternative to polythene soon

Sep 2 (CT) An alternative to polythene will be introduced to the market soon, Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC) said. The ban on polythene, grocery bags, shopping bags, lunch sheets and polystyrene boxes, came into effect yesterday, and there is a cry for alternatives. "We are hoping to introduce an alternative using fibre from the banana trees soon. This can be used in the manufacture of bags and packaging and more..

Her dream turned into a nightmare for her helpers

Sep 2 (DM) An incident where a woman's dream woke up her neighbours as well as brought her relatives to her house at 4 in the morning was reported recently from Dankotuwa. Woman's husband had set off in his vehicle at 3 a.m to buy fish and after setting the alarm for the time she wanted to get up the woman in question had fallen into a deep sleep. In a dream she had seen her husband's vehicle crash into a bus and woke up screaming. Woman then took a call to her more..

Liquor addiction and malnutrition growing in N’Eliya district

Sep 2 (ST) The marked increase quoted for tenders to operate toddy taverns in the Nuwara Eliya district mirrors the growing liquor addiction of the population in the area. In the Kotmale DS area, prices offered for licensing of toddy taverns have increased between Rs. 5 – 10 million over the past year. The highest bid being for the tavern at Kasadorpitiya in Kotmale where the bid rose from Rs. 36, 100, 000 in 2017 to Rs.46, 625, 000 in 2018! An increase of Rs. 10 million within a year. more..

Two estate workers claim Minister has usurped their new homes

Sep 2 (ST) Two Hill Country Tamils have petitioned the Court of Appeal that they were maliciously deprived of new houses by Hill Country and New Villages Minister Palani Digambaram and others after their old line rooms were destroyed by fire. They state that the houses–built with their involvement in a joint effort led by the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT)–were meant to replace the rooms they lost. more..

New native freshwater fish found in Suriyakanda stream

Sep 2 (ST) A SL researcher has revealed a new species of loach, a freshwater fish, found in a stream in Suriyakanda. Loaches are bottom-dwelling freshwater fish that live in natural streams as well as rivers, the researcher notes. During a fish survey in Suriyakanda two years back, researcher Hiranya Sudasinghe found a fish that looked different from other known loaches. He has proved it is a fish species new to science. The findings were published this week in scientific journal ZooTaxa, more..

Front-facing images for NICs from yesterday

Sep 2 (DM) All National Identity cards were being issued from yesterday with front-facing images prior to converting them to Electronic Identity (E-ID) Cards. Department would issue the Smart IDs from next month and this step was initiated because of several concerns and complications over the National Identity Cards now in circulation. However, the photos for Smart IDs, which would be issued from October onward, will be engraved on special polycarbonate plastic using laser technology. more..

'MR’s reasons to skip SLFP event petty'

Sep 2 (NR) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says the reasons provided by Former President Rajapaksa pertaining to him not attending the 66th anniversary celebrations of the SLFP are unacceptable. He said attending party celebrations was the duty of all party members. Minister said MP Rajapaksa earlier stated that he did not receive an invite for the party celebrations adding according to more..

Whom does govt fear?

Sep 3 (CT) The first person to postpone local govt (LG) elections post independence in Sri Lanka was Sirimavo Bandaranaike, when she was the PM of the country from 1970 to 1977. Citing emergency laws, she indefinitely postponed local govt polls which were due in 1972. Consequently, her party, the SLFP suffered a record drubbing at the parliamentary election held five years later in July 1977, where her party was reduced to eight seats, while the UNP won a record 5/6th majority, more..

No more a waiting game

Sep 3 (ST) My dear SL cricket fans, It is with great regret that we inform you that Sri Lankan Cricket died on Thursday night. The last rites are expected to be performed tonight in Colombo, at the venue which was the scene of some of its greatest triumphs. However, there are still some who are hoping for a miraculous resurrection. As you are very well aware, Sri Lanka Cricket had been ailing for some time. Many people were called in to treat this ailment, but they all left after awhile. more..

'I didn’t know what was happening on the war front'

Sep 3 (CT) Tall and well-built, retired Army General, Jagath Jayasuriya, who was posted in Brazil as the Sri Lankan Ambassador, is back in town with mounted allegations against him related to his posts as a military man and an ambassador. He said that although he was the Vanni Commander, he was not on the frontlines and it was Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka who conducted the operations. more..

Indian Ocean not another South China Sea, please

Sep 3 (ST) There was a hive of activity this week in Colombo with a variety of international think tanks, strategists, analysts and senior military officers, Foreign Ministers and Ministers exchanging views and taking up positions – the focus being on the Indian Ocean and its surroundings. Starting with the Defence Conference on Monday, the week concluded with the Indian Ocean conference. SL Navy, US Embassy & India Foundation took the lead in these brain storming talkathons. more..

Is infrastructure in step with urban development?

Sep 13(Island) A committee from a neighborhood in what was once a green and quiet residential area where a high rise condominium was under construction went some months ago to interview the then Mayor of Colombo to seek redress for their woes. These included noise, dust, the cutting off of light and air to their premises and a variety of other problems. In the course of the discussion, one of the delegates remarked that the problem all boiled down to a question of money. more..

Excavating Thabbowa reservoir: Wheeler- dealers at work

Sep 3 (CT) SL boasts of an exemplary hydraulic civilization that dates back 3,000 years. Technology they used in the construction of irrigation tanks has marvelled hydraulic engineers of the West. The ancient kings of SL were assiduous in constructing reservoirs to provide water required for paddy cultivation and for drinking. King Parakramabahu had said, "Let not a single drop of water of rain be allowed to flow into the sea more..

Jagath Jayasuriya joins Sonia–Modi club

Sep 3 (Island) Former Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya completed his stint as SL’s Ambassador to Brazil and arrived in Sri Lanka last week. It would appear that just as he was leaving Brazil, some international human rights groups had filed war crimes lawsuits against him in Brazil and Colombia. According to int'l news reports on the matter, the petitioners had alleged that Jayasuriya oversaw military units that attacked hospitals and killed and tortured thousands of civilians. more..

Mourning over zoning

Sep 3 (ST) To any visitor driving into Colombo from the BIA, the view is not only fascinating but virtually breathtaking. I am not talking of a picturesque city. Yes, green patches with tree-lined streets – now thankfully much of the heaps of earlier uncollected garbage have been removed – make it more pleasant than some capitals in South Asia. However, what you also see is the number of new buildings and high-rises that have sprung up over the past few years, with more under construction to more..


Internal party democracy: A key to future political reforms

Sep 3 (NS) Political parties are an essential component in a democracy. As such, political parties themselves often claim to be democratic in all their party activities. But, in reality they are not so, because political parties generally have various internal rules and constitutional provisions which enable the party leaders to act dictatorially or to manipulate the direction of the party in all important matters. As a result, it is usually those closer to the party leadership who get the lion’s share more..

Double deaths, long-sought-for comebacks, and the imperturbable sleeper

Sep 3 (CI) As West Indies celebrate their incredible victory over England at Headingley, and Bangladesh enjoy their unprecedented win over Australia, spare a thought for the hand-wringing editorials and despondent lamentations about the long, slow demise of Test cricket, which now will largely fail to be published for at least a month. Reasons for the decline of the Test elegy over the next few weeks are many, but to name a few: they will lack context, they will struggle to gain an audience, more..

Crossfire between military top brass over war crimes

Sep 3 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena is to spell-out his plans on the continuity of the alliance with the UNP today at the 66th Convention of the SLFP at the Campbell Park in Colombo. 66th Convention today will be crucial, as the party is already facing a challenge of deciding its path to future elections with the majority of its stalwarts threatening to either quit the govt if it continues to be a UNP-SLFP joint govt. more..

Gallant Sri Lanka take Plate honours

Sep 3 (ST) A lionhearted display by the young SL side saw them script an inspiring 32 points (1 goal and 5 tries) to 19 (2 goals and a try) win over Philippines. Result gave Sri Lanka Plate honours (5th position) in the Asian Sevens Series 2017 – round 1 tournament concluded here at the Kings Park Sports Ground in Hong Kong last evening. It was Philippines who opened scoring with a breakaway unconverted try. Sri Lanka replied almost immediately in the fast paced game more..

SL’s gross disregard for public opinion

Sep 3 (Island) They say that Nero was fiddling when Rome was burning. Some 2000 years later, Lasith Malinga was found partying when cricket was in total shambles. As pictures of the party thrown by Lasith Malinga to fellow cricketers at his posh Dickman’s Road residence on Friday went viral, local fans began to wonder whether cricketers actually cared about the current status of the national cricket team. We are not here to point mistakes at anyone who is organising a party, but more..

Is it the end of the inning for Sumathipala at SLC?

Sep 3 (ST) Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala may go for an early election to hand administration over to a capable leader but a court ruling last week suggests he has no legal right to hold office even now. During cross-examination in his defamation case against former World Cup winning skipper turned politician Arjuna Ranatunga, Mr Sumathipala admitted to his family’s direct involvement in the business of gaming. more..

India eye series whitewash, Dhawan to miss final match

Sep 3 (CI) By this stage, this seems more like a benefit function for India's cricketers than a competitive series. Rohit Sharma has emphatically broken his poor run on the island, Virat Kohli has padded his stats with a couple of good scores, Jasprit Bumrah has secured a maiden five-wicket haul, and most recently, Manish Pandey has made a strong return to the ODI team. Elsewhere through the tour, India's players have been taking in the sights, planting trees, and enjoying meals more..