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Don’t play it again, Sam

Feb 26 (CT) Mr. R. Sampanthan has let himself, his cause and his people down. I have always regarded him as the last of the old-school parliamentarians whom I used to watch as a boy, from the press gallery in the old Parliament building near Galle Face, with the blue light atop the flagstaff switched on when the House was in session. His command of the English language, stentorian delivery, his persona of an irascible gentleman all combined to make him a figure of respect and admiration more..

Back to square one: What next?

Feb 26 (CT) In spite of the landslide victory to the SLPP at the local polls, the acrimonious campaign between the MS-RW couple, driven almost to the verge of permanent divorce, and the theorization of constitutional pundits and soothsayers about the future design of the govt, the country is back to square one with the same faces and with the same policies. How much of pressure from international players like India and the US was brought in to save the MS-RW matrimony one can only guess. more..

Lasantha Wickrematunge Assassination: CID closes in on top cop

Feb 26 (SO) The arrest of a former top cop in connection to the assassination of The Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge is imminent after groundbreaking testimony from a senior police official leading the murder investigation blew the case wide open, inside sources from the CID said. Investigations by the CID had found that the high ranking officer had played a role in concealing evidence in connection to more..

Western interests Keeping Maithri -Ranil alliance alive

Feb 26 (CT) If after 70 years of democracy, installed by the British, we are at the brink of having our country broken into pieces, we should realize the way we handle issues is wrong. Even before the British departed, certain Tamil politicians had already taken cudgels against what they termed as the Sinhala govt. It was their deliberate mismanagement of affairs that led to the creation of terrorism in the North & East, which was exploited by India for their own political survival more..

Confusion and chaos seem to reign!

Feb 26 (SO) These days there is a lot of soul searching in the two main political parties, the UNP and SLFP as to why they lost the LG election, and one is blaming the other while their common rival, the SLPP revels in its victory. Various reasons- and scapegoats- have been identified: the Central Bank scandal, economic hardships imposed on the people, the inability to prosecute those suspected of corruption in the previous regime, and so the list goes on. more..

Soldier in bus blast was heading for duty

Feb 26 (CT) A grenade explosion inside a packed private operated passenger bus at a location in Kahagolla, Diyathalawa early Wednesday that left 19 persons injured, some critically, has prompted some eerie questions with little or no answers. At the centre of the bloodied incident is a Staff Sgt. who is alleged to have been in possession of the grenade when it went off prematurely sending shrapnel flying more..

The Consumer and Gas Prices in Sri Lanka

Feb 26 (CT) The consumer in SL is not organized as in other parts of the world in protecting and enhancing their due rights under the legal system. They accept whatever is given by the trader, manufacture, industrialist, and the State regulator – that is the Consumer Affairs Authority – in the absence of a vigilant and a powerful consumer movement. In the UK the consumer movement and media (with the magazine WHICH, the powerful consumer magazine) are in the forefront more..

Its wake up time

Feb 26 (SO) How the hullabaloo last week ah? Siripala was sipping coffee enjoying the dilemma. Is it Peter or Paul who rules us?” was the question, and the answer seemed to be, it should be Tom instead. Only in Paradise isle that we could have such confusion no. Peter and Paul have mucked up in style, there can be no doubt. What Amendments and Right to Information and Press Freedoms and Ministerial resignations and Freedom of the Judiciary for Siripalas like me, men? more..

පට්ට රැඩිකල් වූ අගමැතිට උණුසුම් සුබපැතුම්

Packeer Ali’s unenviable task for Sri Lanka's Football

Feb 26 (ST) For almost an year, when the Sri Lanka cricket team was in the receiving end even against low-ranked opponents SLC administrators made a bold move by raking in world renowned coach Chandika Hathurusinghe as Head Coach. Fortunes did not change overnight, but by today results have beginning to show. In a somewhat similar move, Football Federation of SL have made, probably one of the boldest approaches in the recent years, by appointing Packeer Ali as Head Coach. more..

Unconstitutionality of the unity govt

Feb 26 (Island) The fallout from the LG elections has led to many questions that need to be addressed by the nation and Parliament. They relate to the fate of the so-called unity govt, a phrase that was coined to best describe the questionable formation of the present govt. This has given rise to headlines in the print media, such as Unity Govt to Forge Ahead, Unity Govt Cannot Continue – Non-renewal of MOU, and yet another that states Speaker to Rule on National Govt. more..

Uni students as agents of change

Feb 26 (ST) Not mere platitudes or lip service but concrete action is what the UGC has been dishing out along with its academic content to all of the 15 state universities spread across the country. With a sharp spotlight on gender equity and equality and ragging, the zero-tolerance policy against ragging and sexual and gender-based violence within the universities, both among students and staff, is being strengthened. more..

More on Jennings and Peradeniya

Feb 26 (Island) Travellers entering the University of Peradeniya from the roundabout in front of the Botanical Gardens and passing through the monumental structures such as the Wijewardene Hall, Jayatilaka Hall, Shirley D’Alwis Roundabout, Arunachalam Hall, Three Arch Bridge and the Arts Theatre can now see a new monument at the turn off to the University Senate Building opposite the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge. It is a statue erected to honour the memory of Sir Ivor Jennings. more..

Editorial: Of that rib-tickling curtain raiser

Feb 26 (Island) We witnessed the first part of the much-awaited Cabinet reshuffle yesterday. State Minister of Foreign Affairs Wasantha Senanayake lost no time in describing it as a comedy. It was a curtain raiser. We will be treated to the farce proper shortly. President Maithripala Sirisena has, with the help of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, shuffled the pack and dealt out jokers to the public. People’s needs are different. They are struggling to keep the wolf from the door. more..

Private sector borrowed less in 2017

Feb 26 (FT) Country’s private sector borrowed less last year as the economy slowed down amidst a tight monetary policy whilst CB expects an upturn in 2018 with the business community carving a greater appetite for bank lending. Private sector credit expanded by Rs. 617 billion or 18% in 2017 though the rate of growth slowed down compared to 26% in 2016. Volume of private sector borrowing was down by Rs. 137 b in 2017. more..

Kandy retains Clifford Cup

Feb 26 (DN) Rugby legend Fazil Marija hung up his boots yesterday ending a 15-year legendary playing career as Kandy SC scored a superb 21points (3 tries, 2 penalties) to 7 (1 try, 1 conversion) win over Navy Sports Club in their Dialog ‘A’ Division Clifford Cup knock out Rugby tournament finals played at CR & FC grounds in Longden Place, thus winning the Clifford Cup. Kandy were leading 8-nil at the breather. It was Kandy’s three quarters who paved the way for this victory. more..

EU-SL Investor Dialogue resolves important matters

Feb 26 (FT) The meeting was co-chaired by Minister Malik Samarawickrama and Ambassador of the European Union to SL, Tun Lai Margue. The meeting was held with the Embassy of the European Union, the embassies of the member states of the European Union and the BoI of SL to address various outstanding matters relating to investment in Sri Lanka and the European Union. The participants from the European missions represented France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania & UK. more..

Annual feast of St. Anthony’s held on Katchathivu

Feb 26 (Island) The annual Feast Mass of the St. Anthony’s Church on Kachchativu island was celebrated on Saturday with thousands of Indian and Sri Lankan Catholic devotees attending. This year’s feast marked the second of its kind conducted at the new church built by the Sri Lanka Navy. For the first time in history, the Feast Mass was held in Sinhalese as well and it was conducted by Bishop of Galle Diocese Raymond Wickramasinghe. more..

Will this coalition govt ever learn?

Feb 26 (ST) In the aftermath of SL’s LG elections, a weary sense of resignation weighs heavier in the scales than lingering (if not hopeless) optimism. As President Sirisena dons white and is back again to his accustomed role of preaching morality and the virtues of good living to the restive populace, the fire breathing persona in blue promising to spearhead a new corruption fight on the election platforms a month ago appears to have disappeared not with a bang but with the proverbial whimper. more..

The Crucifixion and the Resurrection

Feb 26 (ST) It’s what you might call the near death experience. The crucifixion of the coalition govt on the cross of a people’s verdict two weeks ago. Its interment thereafter and its resurrection this Wednesday. For eleven excruciating days SL had no govt. As the results of the LG elections trickled in that Feb 10th night showing a swing to the Peiris party of Rajapaksas’ lotus hopes and turned into a flood by Sunday morning confirming that Pohottuwa Party had excelled beyond expectations more..

Minister Arjuna’s Natural Gas Company plan goes for a six

Feb 26 (ST) An ambitious plan to establish the SL Natural Gas Company Ltd under Petroleum Resources Development Ministry to handle operations of natural gas industry in SL has been shot down on the directions of Prez Sirisena recently. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has submitted a cabinet proposal to set up this company to promote and facilitate the use of natural gas as a source of energy in power, transport, industries, more..

Villagers affected by Uma Oya Project: SC permits Bar Association to intervene

Feb 26 (FT) Supreme Court permitted Bar Association of SL to be an intervenient petitioner in the fundamental rights petition with regard to Uma Oya Project. SC on 7 Dec 2017 directed the Uva Province Director of Agriculture to expedite the payments of compensation before Feb 28 to the affected farmers for their loss crop loss as a result of Uma Oya Project. Court on July 4 directed that pipe-line water should be supplied before 31 Dec 2017 to the villagers who are adversely affected by more..

Hiruni sets new SL record in Half Marathon

Feb 26 (CT) National Marathon record holder Hiruni Wijayarathne renewed her own Sri Lanka half marathon record when she clocked 1h 14m and 07s to win the half marathon of the Mesa–Phx Marathon held at Arizona, USA yesterday. Hiruni who clocked 1 hours 17 minutes and 34 seconds four years ago in 2014, renewed her own personal best by more than three minutes here to set a new SL record. Earlier in the year she clocked 2h 36m 35s (a SL record) and she qualified for the forthcoming more..

No foreign kidneys transplants in SL: Rajitha

Feb 26 (DM) Health Ministry has suspended kidney transplants in Sri Lanka with kidneys obtained from foreigners and also requests private hospitals not to charge any fee from those who come forward to donate organs or pay for their organs, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He added that these decisions were taken following the controversy surrounding the selling of kidneys by Indians for kidney transplant surgeries more..

Worker remittances down 1.1% in 2017

Feb 26 (CT) Worker remittances during 2017 declined 1.1% to US$ 7.16 billion from US$ 7.24 billion recorded during the same period of 2016, as remittances in December declined for the fifth consecutive month this year. Remittances during December last year declined 1.9% to US$ 671 million, from US$ 685 billion recorded during the same month in 2016. Central Bank attributed the decline in remittances to slower growth in economic activities and adverse geopolitical conditions more..

IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo concludes on a high

Feb 26 (CT) Olivier Godart of UAE emerged the winner of the Ironman competition in the men's category at the Ironman contest held in Galle Face Colombo yesterday. Davide Rossetti (Italy) was second and Francisco Gabriel (Spain) third. Ling Er Choo of Singapore emerged the winner in the women's category. Ushakova Svetlana (Russia) was second and Brittany Campbell (Australia) third. SL Wonder of Asia IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo commenced at 6.15 a.m. with 880 more..

Hambantota Port: Final tranche of US$ 580M on May 9

Feb 26 (CT) The final payment of US$ 580 million, for the Hambantota Port joint venture, is expected to be paid by China Merchants Port Holdings Company on 9 May, Minister Mahinda Samarasighe said. He said in addition to the US$ 1.12 billion which will come in, just for this year, the China Merchants Port Holdings Company has earmarked US$ 160 million for infrastructure development in 2018, and US$ 600 million for more..

UAE, Lanka discuss services for human trafficking victims

Feb 26 (GT) Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, DFWAC, has received an official delegation from SL to learn about the foundation's experience in protecting and caring for victims of violence and human trafficking and its role in raising awareness. During the visit, the delegation was briefed on the most important psychological rehabilitation methods used by DFWAC with the victims of violence and human trafficking, in addition to the various services provided to them, more..

Prez condoles demise of Ms. Una McCauley

Feb 26 (PSL) President Sirisena expressed his heartfelt condolences over the death of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in SL, Ms. Una McCauley. In a message of condolence to the UN Secretary General António Guterres, President stated that Ms.Una MaCauley was a talented professional who served in Sri Lanka with a thorough understanding regarding the vision of the UN. President also recalled that she had worked hard with a great determination, more..

Reshuffle a farce, says state minister

Feb 26 (Island) The much-awaited Cabinet reshuffle, which was to address the disagreements between the two coalition partners of the unity govt and adverse public opinion on its progress, has come under fire in some quarters. The mini reshuffle also took place behind closed doors. It was the first time journalists were not invited to cover a reshuffle. State Minister Wasantha Senanayake (UNP) described the reshuffle as a comedy, more..

Global Mindfulness Summit held under the patronage of President

Feb 26 (PMD) The opening ceremony of the Global Mindfulness Summit held today (23) at SL Foundation Institute, under the patronage of President Sirisena. This event, organized by the Sati Pasala Foundation will be held until 25th of Feb in Colombo. Mindfulness is defined as having a focused mind and concentrated in the present. To propagate this, Sati Pasala programme has been started among the school students. This global summit provides a platform to all the scholars more..

Kohli, Dhoni and key bowlers rested for Nidahas Trophy

Feb 26 (CI) Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni have been rested from the Nidahas Trophy, a T20I tri-nation series in Sri Lanka in March, also involving Bangladesh. Rohit Sharma was named stand-in captain of India's 15-man squad, with Shikhar Dhawan his deputy. India also rested several other limited-overs regulars in fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav and allrounder Hardik Pandya. Kuldeep had missed the three T20Is in SA with an injury. more..

A pointless reshuffle: MR

Feb 26 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the Cabinet reshuffle was pointless as there was nothing new in it, while observing that removing the portfolio of Highways from the Minister from Kandy was a loss to the Kandy people. He criticized the LG Elections Act under which the recent elections were held claiming that the new LG election law has created a mess in many local govt bodies as no party more..

Video: Fire breaks out at shop in Kottawa

Feb 26 (AD) A fire has broken out at a vehicle spare parts shop in Kottawa, a short while ago. The fire brigade has reportedly dispatched several fire trucks to held douse the flames. The cause for the fire or the damages caused by it has not been ascertained yet. The fire broke out a warehouse with vehicles spare parts stored inside. He said that the flames had destroyed most of the place and also the property inside. Kottawa Police is conducting an investigations. more..

Pakistani rice exports to arrive in Sri Lanka

Feb 26 (Island) Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) is going to send a high-profile trade delegation to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines, said REAP Senior Vice Chairman Rafique Suleman. Speaking at a meeting with REAP managing committee members and leading rice exporters, he briefed the participants about the recent development during the event of Gulf Food and REAP’s International Buyers Award, Dubai. He expressed hope that this event will play vital more..

Mixed musings over mini-shuffle

Feb 26 (FT) President and PM yesterday effected the first round of Cabinet changes confined to portfolios of the coalition’s main partner, UNP, which evoked mixed reactions. The much-anticipated swearing in of the Cabinet took place last afternoon but it was devoid of a full reshuffle as President Sirisena said more changes were in the offing in two weeks. What transpired was a UNP reshuffle and the nation will have to more..

Cabinet reshuffle: would it be a beginning of a new Yahapalanaya?

Feb 26 (DM) After about two weeks of a political melodrama - filled with tension and turmoil or even elements from a detective fiction novel - the drama came to a climax yesterday with the swearing-in of new Cabinet Ministers, State and Deputy Ministers. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was also provisionally appointed as the new Minister of Law and Order, Lakshman Kiriella as the Minister of State Enterprise and Kandy Development, Kabir Hashim as the Minister of Higher Education and Highways, more..

PM Cannot be removed: 19A Clear and Unambiguous?

Feb 26 (DM) Insertion of 6:- A new Article 33[a] in the Constitution says, ‘The following Article is hereby inserted immediately after Article 33, and shall have effect as Article 33A of the Constitution:- 33A. The President shall be responsible to Parliament for the due exercise, performance and discharge of his powers, duties and functions under the Constitution and any written law, including the law for the time being relating to public security,’ HE’s wings clipped? more..

‘Need parliamentary election without delay’

Feb 26 (DM) Nationalist Movement activist Gevindu Cumaratunga, analysed the current political situation in the country. Q: How do you rate the recent election results? A: Like the British colonial rulers crippled village leadership of our country after the Kandyan rebellion, present Govt undermined the local leadership after assuming office in 2015. Govt delayed the local elections for 3 years and denied village level political more..

New App for heritage sites in Sri Lanka

Feb 26 (DN) YuSit is a French company specializing in cultural heritage enhancement. By developing innovative mediation tools for cultural sites all over the world, they help the local entities to make the best use of the richness of their heritage, in order to fulfill the wishes and needs of both foreign and local visitors. Daily News spoke to Managing Directress of YuSit, Claire Delalande who elaborated more on YuSit more..