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Corruption in our accounts is not a new story

Feb 9 (CT) Everyone is indebted to someone. Either with regard to societal norms where we are indebted to our parents for breathing life into us, or our schools and education system or our own country as a whole, each and everyone one of us owes something. Economically, every citizen of a state owes a certain amount of money indirectly to the state Govt, which has amassed debt from various sources; for the laymen out there, this is known as the net debt per capita, which is a measurement of more..

Polls: war by other means

Feb 9 (FT) By the time you read this heaven knows what other cat our political leadership would have let out of the diplomatic bag. After the Presidential Secretariat reversed the Foreign Ministry’s ruling to recall and discipline an errant ambassadorial official who made threatening gestures to a group of Tiger demonstrators outside Sri Lanka’s High Commission in London. But the damage to our once deteriorating and gradually being restored image is probably already done. more..

Bandula Jayasekera & Faraz Shauketaly

Ten Tamil diaspora organizations want UK to shoot down Maithripala Sirisena’s ...

Feb 9 (CT) Ten Tamil diaspora organizations have jointly petitioned Boris Johnson, MP and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ‘to declare the Sri Lankan military attache, Brigadier Priyanka Fernando a Persona Non Grata for committing serious offences under British Law, abusing diplomatic immunity in the UK and committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka and therefore to curtain his leave to remain in the UK.’ more..

Trade deficits caused by foreign borrowings; Harvard economist at Sri Lanka forum

Feb 9 (EN) Trade and current account deficits are a result of foreign borrowings, a US economist told a forum in Sri Lanka as US President Donald Trump mistakenly attacked trade deficit based on false Mercantilist doctrine. Exporting more will not reduce a trade deficit, Robert Lawrence, a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Business told an economic forum organized by Advocata Institute, a Colombo-based think tank. "Fundamentally a trade balance - basically the current account - more..

Roshen Silva's fifty puts SL in firm control

Feb 9 (CI) Debutant Akila Dananjaya ransacked Bangladesh's lower middle order in the morning, and Roshen Silva compiled a second high-quality fifty in the match, as Sri Lanka claimed a 312-run lead and took iron-grip of the Test. That the surface is a spinners' paradise is plain, but Bangladesh's meekness in the first innings has put them on the brink of a series loss. In the most dramatic period of play on day two, the hosts lost their last five wickets for five runs. more..

Conservative clerics obstructing female candidates will adversely affect Muslim community: CaFFE

Feb 9 (Island) Executive Director of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon yesterday called upon Muslim leaders to rein in some conservative clerics who were obstructing Muslim women in the local government election fray. Tennakoon said, the number of seats the Muslim community could win would decrease. 10% of the candidates contesting various wards were women and overall, women accounted for between 25%-35% of the candidates, Tennakoon said. more..

Web-based single window for biz registration from this April

Feb 9 (DM) A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Department of the Registrar of Companies and the Department of Labour to share information between the two departments for the establishment of a web-based single window for business registration. Registrar General of Companies D.N.R. Siriwardena and Commissioner General of Labour R.P.A. Wimalaweera signed the MoU. The single window for business registration is expected go live from this April. more..

SL says Udayanga was released, prevented leaving UAE

Feb 9 (DM) The govt today confirmed that former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga has been released by the UAE authorities but he has been prevented from leaving the territory of the UAE until investigations are concluded. In a joint statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Law and Order Ministry said Mr. Weeratunga was intercepted in the UAE on Sunday 4th of February 2018 when he attempted to leave to the United States. more..

Avant-Garde case against Nissanka Senadhipathi fixed for Feb 14

Feb 9 (DN) The case against two accused including Avant-Garde Maritime Services Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi for allegedly offering a bribe of Rs.35.5 million regarding the Avant-Garde floating armory transaction was fixed for Feb 14 by Colombo High Court, today. When the case came up before High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe, Court was informed that both defence and prosecution are to be expressed their stance regarding the documents pertaining to indictments on the next calling date. more..

Auditor General says Lanka’s per capita debt far higher than official figures

Feb 9 (Island) Sri Lanka’s per capita debt by Dec 31, 2016 was Rs. 417 913 and it could increase further once the government managed to account the Off Balance Sheet Items and unaccounted debt, Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said on Wednesday. Wijesinghe said that by Dec 31, 2005 per capita debt had been Rs. 108,908 and that it had risen to Rs 372,462 by Dec 31, 2015. In 2016, it had increased by 12% or Rs. 44,451."There are two main reasons for this increase. more..

Sri Lanka to release of 113 Indian fishermen

Feb 9 (PTI) The SL Govt today recommended release of 113 Indian fishermen arrested in recent months by its Navy on charges of fishing in its territorial waters, a fishermen association leader here said. A communication in this regard had been sent to the court in Jaffna, Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boats Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja said quoting information received from the Fisheries officials in Sri Lanka. more..

American Center in Colombo closed as US shuts down again

Feb 9 (SL) The American Center in Colombo has been closed as the US Govt shut down for the second time this year. US Embassy in Colombo said that scheduled passport and visa services at the US Embassy will continue during the lapse in appropriations as the situation permits. “The American Center in Colombo is closed until further notice,” the Embassy said. US Govt officially shut down for the second time this year because Congress failed to meet a deadline to vote on a new budget. more..

Blood shortage within next two months: NBTS

Feb 9 (NR) National Blood Transfusion Service says there could be a shortage of blood for urgent purposes within the next two months. Although the public was motivated to donate blood following a request made in January a decrease in tendency can be seen once again. Accordingly, the Director requested the general public to pay attention to the urgent need of patients in future. It is estimated that 450,000 pints of blood is needed annually for emergency needs of the country. more..

Sangakkara says no connection to any political party

Feb 9 (SL) Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara insisted that he has no connection to any political party in the country. Sangakkara had tweeted urging Sri Lankans to vote at the Local Govt Elections on the 10th of February. “Remember at the Local Govt Elections on the 10th of February no matter where you live in Sri Lanka bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. Stop, Think, Vote,” he tweeted. more..

National Complaints Investigation Center for LG Polls

Feb 9 (NR) Elections Secretariat has established a National Complaints Investigation Center to deal with any complaints or observations regarding the Local Govt election that will be tomorrow. The Center will function from 6.00 am tomorrow onwards and complaints or observations can be placed via the telephone and fax numbers mentioned below. Western Province Telephone: 011-2866448 Fax: 011-2866387 Eastern Province Telephone: 011-2866470 Fax: 011-2866396 more..

Parents of medicos threaten fresh hunger strike

Feb 9 (Island) Parents’ Union of Medical Students (PUMS), on wednesday, threatened to launch another hunger strike in protest against the govt’s alleged attempts to establish several new private medical schools in Sri Lanka. The spokesperson for PUMS Wasantha Alwis accused the govt of lowering the minimum entrance qualification for a medical degree course to two Cs and one S at the GCE A/L exam through a gazette notification. The gazette had been issued without consulting more..

Sri Lankan banks overshoot SME lending targets

Feb 9 (EN) SL banks have overshot lending targets under an Asian Development Bank (ADB) small business credit program to avoid penalties and falling behind competitors, prompting the lender to increasing funding and raise thresholds. ADB credit line is to encourage banks to target the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) segment whose main challenge is access to finance, with the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey finding that 30% of SL firms identified it as a major constraint. more..

Campaigning freeze ignored by some candidates, their supporters

Feb 9 (Island) Although the Elections Commission has declared that all campaign activities for the Feb 10 LG election must cease after Feb 7 midnight, election monitors have observed that certain candidates and their supporters are acting in contravention of that directive. Manjula Gajanayake, National Co-ordinator of the election monitor, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said they had received several such complaints from Medirigiriya, Kadawatha and Dehiwala yesterday. more..

SLPP contests through proxies at Maharagama, Thirappane

Feb 9 (Island) The SLPP Secretary General Sagara Kariyawasam told The Island that the outfit backed independent groups contesting Maharagama Municipal Council and Thirappane Pradeshiya Sabha at Feb. 10 local govt polls. Kariyawasam said that the SLPP nominations for Maharagama MC and Thirapane PS were rejected along with ten other local government authorities, Panadura UC, Agalawatte PS, Badulla UC, Mahiyanganaya PS, Weligama PS and five LG bodies in the Northern Province. more..

Aloysius’s request for hospital denied

Feb 9 (DM) Prisons Dept has turned down a request made by Arjun Aloysius to be admitted to the Prison Hospital citing he was suffering from a back pain. Department sources today said the request made on Wednesday was denied after medical officers examined Mr. Aloysius. Though his request has been denied, medical officers had provided him with basic treatments. Meanwhile, another request made by Mr. Aloysius to more..

Transportation of ballot boxes in N’Eliya delayed

Feb 9 (NR) Nuwara Eliya district Returning Officer Rohana Pushpakumara says the transportation of ballot boxes for the upcoming LG Election in the district was delayed. Returning Officer said the delay occurred due to certain govt officers refusing to provide vehicles to transport ballot boxes. The Returning Officer of the Nuwara Eliya District said a request was made to the Elections Commission to take necessary legal action against the heads of the relevant institutions. more..

Disappearance of 11 youth: Defence wants CID out of probe

Feb 9 (DN) The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court yesterday fixed for Feb 22 to deliver its order regarding a request by the defence party requesting that investigations pertaining to former Navy Spokesman Commodore D.K.P Dassanayake and nine others be transferred from the CID to any other police station. In this case, former Navy Spokesman Commodore D.K.P. Dassanayake and nine others are accused of aiding and abetting the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths in 2008 & 2009. more..

Video: Police allowed to shoot over violent behavior near polling stations: Spokesman

Feb 9 (AD) The police officers station for duty at polling centers are permitted to shoot any individuals engaging in violent behavior in any manner near or at the polling centers, according to Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara. He said that as of this morning 640 complaints have been received with regard to the LG election and these include complaints against incidents of assault, verbal abuse and threats. more..

Empower local community to improve Jumbo conservation

Feb 10 (DN) Sustainable Development and Wildlife Ministry has launched several programmes to minimise the human-elephant conflict to preserve the wild elephants. Minister Gamini Jayawikcrama Perera recently presented a Cabinet paper in consultation with the President proposing to launch an integrated wild elephant protection and preservation programme. This article will briefly study Thailand’s experience in minimising the human elephant conflict with empowerment more..

The Circus is back in town – But you can change the act!

Feb 10 (CT) Every few years, the politicians around us have been successful in getting us all excited to participate in a circus they put up on our behalf. And this February’s lowly Local Govt polls is no exception – in fact it maybe even more of a success! They’d have us believe that the rest of our lives absolutely depended on it. In case this sounds frivolous and appearing to be discouraging voters, let me be clear and say at the outset that as citizens of this country, more..

Dharmasena Pathiraja: Master movie maker

Feb 10 (FT) Renowned Sri Lankan film maker Dharmasena Pathiraja breathed his last on the morning of 28 Jan, 2018 at the Lakeside Hospital in Kandy. The 74-year-old academic cum film director, referred to as Pathi by almost everybody he interacted with, had been ailing for some time. It was only last year that the Information Department organised an event Pathita Panahai (Pathi at 50) to celebrate 50th anniversary of his artistic life. more..

Undiplomatic diplomacy of a Presidency

Feb 10 (CT) The Game Chandiya political rhetoric has now reached its peak with the various contenders fighting for their survival in this insignificant election that is going to elect members for the local govt bodies to administer the grassroots in the country. Plenty of garbage is being unearthed in their attempt to clean up the garbage mess within the councils. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s JO, which has come forth to contest with the pohottuwa symbol, and the JVP are attempting to show more..

Kaluperuma a spin wizard who was lost to Sri Lanka cricket

Feb 10 (DN) Whether it is the spinning magic of Muralitherean in an int'l class of his own, or before the giants in the local scene in Abu Fuard, Niel Chanmugan or Mahinda Athulatmudali, the spinning Magicians have tormented batsmen with nightmarish regularity. Unlike leg spin bowlers, names of off spin bowlers who have tormented and mesmerized batsman come to mind a dime a dozen. And today we honor in this column a spinning wizard in LALITH KALUPERUMA a legend as we look into more..

70th anniversary of SL’s Independence: Our Millennials have their say

Feb 10 (ST) At the dawn of the 70th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence, the Sunday Times Magazine looks at this historic event, the culture and traditions built around it through the eyes of today’s youth. Born at least five decades after Independence, growing up through years of conflict, the experiences and ideas of Sri Lanka’s Millennials reflect how far, they feel, Sri Lanka has come since 1948. more..

One Nation celebrates 70th Independence

Feb 10 (CT) "More than 2,500 years ago a great Tamil poet wrote Every country is my country, every human being is my kinsman. The brotherhood of man and universal love are themes central to practically all religions of the world. From this followed human rights such as the right to life, right to freedom of thought and speech and right to equality between man and man. Though these were the principles embodied in the scriptures of all religions they were not followed in practice more..

Editorial: D-Day

Feb 10 (Island) Sri Lanka is going to the polls today at long last. LG elections, popularly known as mini polls, have assumed national importance because they are long overdue. People’s franchise, which took a severe beating from the postponement of the LG polls on some pretext or the other for about two and a half years, is like a bedridden patient beginning to ambulate. It needs further rehabilitation due to disuse atrophy and the govt had better conduct the Provincial Council polls more..


Pursuing Peace: Condoning of child soldiers by the UN

Feb 10 (CT) Other agencies claiming to contribute to the peace process were not as objective or honest as the Norwegians. Most upsettingly, the impression I had had, that the UN was supposed to serve the interests of its member countries and their people very similar to the indulgent approach of some UN agencies, which seemed ridiculously subservient to the Tigers. The most upsetting example of this was with regard to the issue of child soldiers, where the LTTE had completely ignored their more..

Election forecasting in a land of chaos!

Feb 10 (Island) Can you predict the outcome of a toss of a coin, given enough data and a sufficiently large computer? Can you predict the outcome of the next election if we are given enough opinion polls and a sufficiently large computer? These are of course the sort of questions that might interest many people on the eve of a national election, in a country like Sri Lanka where political fever can end up in blue murder. We all know of astrologers, soothsayers, and election forecasters more..

An ocean of gratefulness still flows

Feb 10 (ST) From atop Inginiyagala, he is the master of all he surveys. Spread before him, to his right is the massive Samudraya (ocean), with its waters, taking on a golden hue, glistening in the setting sun and to his left are lush paddy-fields in their green glory. Awe-inspiring is the Gal Oya Multipurpose Scheme with its heart being the Senanayake Samudraya, still retaining the No. 1 position more than 69 years after it was more..

The power of here: Tamil politics on the morning after

Feb 10 (Island) Whatever the political configuration in the North and East on the morning after, Tamil politics will remain in the dead-end that it has inhabited for 70 years. This is not because such a sad outcome is inevitable, but simply because it is highly probable given the repeated patterns of Tamil politics. On the morning after, mainstream Tamil politics will find that it has a much weaker partner than it did when starting out in 2015. That partner will be unable and even unwilling to more..

Music that goes beyond the bounds of language

Feb 10 (ST) When Bangladeshi band Chirkutt took the stage at the 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival, audiences were treated to a unique brand of Bangla music which may even strike a chord close to home. Many have tried to label the internationally acclaimed band from urban folk, to bluegrass. But the members won’t have any of that. Their influences are infinite. Inspired by life, philosophy, nature Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, and their own folk bards and minstrels, more..

Hooray, for the Crooked and Corrupt!

Feb 10 (Island) If all the loud talk on the poll platforms in these past weeks has given some idea of a major political change after today’s elections, just forget about it. There will be no change. Corruption will remain, and right on top of politics and governance. Those who have promised to eradicate corruption, with a madu valige or a sword have only been trying to fool the voters. The lead player here is President Maithripala Sirisena. more..

PM to participate in WCIT 2018 in Hyderabad

Feb 10 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will participate in the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) which will be held in Hyderabad, India from 19-21 Feb. Indian PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference as its Chief Guest. The event, which is being held in India for the first time, will bring together thought leaders, thinkers, govt leaders and social leaders to share their perception on the change surrounding the sector and in turn help stakeholders understand, prepare and more..