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Won't let students face injustices: MS

Jul 6 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena assures students will not face any injustices within the education sector. President was speaking during a discussion held with the parents of the students of SAITM. The Head of State stressed he did not close SAITM regardless of various concerns and protests as he was concerned of the future of the students. Prez noted prompt solutions were provided to issues surrounding SAITM over the past three years by holding discussions with various factions. more..

India to operate world’s emptiest airport in Sri Lanka

Jul 6 (PTI) India would operate SL’s loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport in Hambantota, Civil Aviation Minister has told SL Parliament. The $210 million facility, 241km south-east of Colombo, is dubbed the world’s emptiest airport due to a lack of flights. India would operate the airport as a SL-India joint venture. The joint venture would see India gain a major stake of the airport, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told the Parliament. more..

Sri Lanka importers call for trade reforms, but wary of foreign experts

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lankan importers struggling in the face of rising nationalism are urging the government to quickly implement trade reforms, but not depend too much on policy experts from overseas. "I wish to make a special request, in fact appeal, that policy makers engage the trade in discussion, use the level of expertise available locally and not depend too much on external help," said Nishan Nanayakkara Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Import Section. more..

TNA to submit adjournment motion

Jul 6 (CT) The TNA is to submit an adjournment motion to the Parliament demanding the immediate repeal of the Provincial Councils (Amendment) Act, No. 17 of 2017 today. Accordingly, TNA MP President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran would present the motion. The motion scheduled to be moved in the House for debate is as follows: “Whereas the terms of office of three Provincial Councils came to an end in October 2017 and whereas no elections to the said 3 Councils more..

'SL may get BOP trouble if rates are cut'

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lanka could have balance of payments trouble if rates are cut when imports are expanding and the current account is widening, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said after holding rates at the June policy meeting. "There is great pressure to loosen policy to boost economic activity when elections are coming," Governor Coomaraswamy told reporters. However pumping money in to the economy was more..

The irrational urge for one folk, one fuhrer, one fatherland

Jul 7 (DN) In the context of an anemic economy and the failure of a democratic coalition to resolve the economic uncertainty and fear people felt, a proud and ancient people, turned to a former Army corporal and in a narrow win, elected the fascists to power. No, not in SL, this was Germany in the early nineteen thirties where the failures of the Weimer Republic and its weak coalition govts created an attraction for the strongman politics and ideology, loosely defined as Fascism, to become more..

The NYT story unstripped much more than it intended

Jul 7 (CT) If not the Rajapaksas, their supporters are certainly perturbed by the New York Times (NYT) article on wrongdoing regarding the China Harbour Engineering Company, which is one of China’s largest state-owned enterprises. The NYT piece has since been dismissed by the Rajapaksas, their spokespersons and the Chinese Embassy in Colombo. The NYT has claimed that the company had paid large sums of money to the election campaign of former prez Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

The many shades of wildlife protection

Jul 7 (SO) With the recent reports of deaths of several animals in the presence of the wildlife officers, blame fell on the department for failing to protect the animals, while the root causes underlying these shortcomings that should be addressed for more effective conservation remains debated.: Last week, a brutal killing of a leopard by the villagers in Ambalakulam, Kilinochchi went viral, where the villagers captured and tortured more..

Vijayakala Vilification

Jul 7 (CT) When writing about ethno-national politics in post-war Sri Lanka, this writer has constantly sought to highlight one point – that there is such a thing called Tamil nationalism. Tamil nationalism is a given, and whether some of us like it or not, it continues to exist and in some quarters thrive. A key component of reasonable steps towards reconciliation involves understanding and acknowledging the existence of stakeholders with colliding and opposed views. more..

Dignity to the Dear Departed

Jul 7 (DN) Disaster strikes us oftentimes, uninvited. Once arrived, it leaves rubble with quite much to attend to. Buildings collapse, and they can be rebuilt. Trees fall down, and they can be replanted. Materials smash up, and they can be repurchased. Can the same be said about the humans? The humans matter above everything else. It wreaks havoc when a post-disaster death toll swells in cancerous proportions. Disasters come with the inevitable consequences of death. more..

'Sri Lanka is 22nd in global suicides list'

Jul 7 (CT) National Institute of Health Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Sajeewana Amarasinghe, said that the suicide rates in Sri Lanka had improved with the country being listed at No. 22 in the Global Suicides List, in sharp contrast to being at No. 2 in 1995. Dr. Amarasinghe holds an MBBS Degree from the University of Peradeniya and a MD in Psychiatry from the University of Colombo and has had his overseas training as more..

Food for thought inspired by Nigella

Jul 7 (ST) Quite curiously, about 400 Sri Lankans managed to all be on time and at Cinnamon Lakeside by 11.30 a.m. sharp. That speaks volumes of the cultural impact that British celebrity TV cook and writer Nigella Lawson has had all around the world. Despite a hefty price tag for a 40-minute conversation followed by brunch, the event presented by Cinnamon Life was sold out and the room was packed! There has never been a more complicated time to be in the culinary industry more..

Edtorial: Wonder of Asia

Jul 7 (Island) Sri Lanka is being marketed overseas as the Miracle of Asia. We usually do not take advertisers’ hyperbolic diction, replete with magniloquence, seriously, but we concede that our land like no other is truly a wonder, for it has survived crooks and hypocrites of every political hue for decades. Scientists have expounded the theory of multiverse or a realm of several universes. Similarly, we seem to have several parallel govs. The Finance Ministry, controlled by the UNP, more..


From his first brush with Kandyan art to a bigger canvas

Jul 7 (ST) S. H. Sarath was born and grew up in Weligama, where his imagination was coloured early by the sea, the beach, nature and communal village life: the pola or the village market with its colours, pungent smells and noise- and the exotic devilry of midnight exorcism rites. A regular sight was Kushtarajagala, the stone carving of a deity from the ancient Anuradhapura period, staring enigmatically by an old road with a face tantalizingly full of secrets. Seated in his house in Colombo, more..

Travel: the gardens of the Bawa brothers

Jul 7 (Island) It took a while to find Brief, the garden designed by the Sri Lankan writer and artist, Bevis Bawa, in 1929. There was no obvious signpost on the main road, so asking directions, I turned off onto a small side road in a bid to locate it. This put me in a landscape dense with tropical greenery, littered with coconut palm groves. Here and there, flashes of red and peach hibiscus flowers and the flaming leaves of tall croton bushes made startling splashes of colour in the monochromatic green of more..

Vijayakala bloom in southern politics

Jul 7 (Island) "Let’s all Hail Vijayakala", shouted the Pohottuva Team in the current political circus. "Come on, don’t you think it must be Hail Gota, our own Dahami Sinhala Hitler?" asked some members. "No. No. Hail Vijayakala… just think of what she has done to help Mahinda Mama. She has pushed the New York Times to the background" said a Pohottuva Team leader. "You must also understand that she may soon get more..

Kannadi Kapuwa flees village after scam exposed

Jul 7 (DM) A middle aged man who had no permanent employment had left his village and worked as a helper of a Light Reader (penakaru) of a devalaya in a distant village. He was entrusted with odd jobs but was barred from handling money that came as offerings to the devalaya. After some time, this man decided to start his own devalaya and came to back to his village with the required items like photographs of deities, bells etc. He opened a devalaya next to his house. more..

Eligibility of officials: Playing with laws to court sports disaster

Jul 7 (ST) I was still enmeshed with the proposition of how to convince the local authority about the current cricket impasse and how it would impact the game’s future, when my friend Panduka Keerthinanda, a lawyer who has taken up the subject of Sports Law as his pet subject, kicked in an angle to my mind — and I am still reeling. To be honest, I did not gather the real impact of the Keerthinanda argument immediately, but after a few cuts and bruises – yes, I did. more..

SLC shambles lead to postponement of Lankan Premier League

Jul 7 (CI) Lankan Premier League (LPL) will be scrapped this year, effectively because no functional board exists at SLC to organise the tournament. Russel Arnold, the tournament director, is understood to have had little support or direction from the few administrators remaining at SLC, over the past few weeks. He announced on Twitter that the LPL was postponed. The tournament was due to begin mid-August. more..

High hopes as Dharshana leads SL team to Junior World Championships

Jul 7 (Island) Sri Lanka is fielding probably the best team in its history for the IAAF Under-20 World Championships which will be held from July 10 to 15 in Tampere, Finland. The 11 member team consisting medal winners at the recently held South Asian Junior Athletics Championship and the Asian Junior Championship is captained by Weera Keppetipola National School, Akuramboda sprinter Aruna Dharshana. Dharshana won the men’s 400 metres gold medal with a new meet record more..

Murali woke Sangakkara up to watch cartoons together

Jul 7 (CC) Muralitharan and Sangakkara revealed some little-known facts about each other during the third season of Viu’s What The Duck, hosted by Vikram Sathaye: Murali, for example, informed that “He [Sanga] collects things and he loves doing that. He will collect watches, whiskeys and all the drinks. But the only thing he doesn’t like collecting is trophies. He throws them away or gives it to people. He doesn’t have a single trophy. All of them have been given away to people.” more..

Captains to challenge match officials on ball tampering ahead of Tests

Jul 7 (DN) Two captains who have been caught and punished for ball tampering South Africa’s Faf du Plessis and SL’s Dinesh Chandimal were of the opinion that they should get clarity on what sweets are allowed and what is not on the field of play when the two-Test series commences at Galle on July 12. “It is important to say that I am not clear yet on that matter. My opinion on it is a lot straighter. They (the ICC) still haven’t said more..

PHDT spends Rs 1.4 bn for housing, infrastructure development in 2017

Jul 7 (DN) The Plantations Human Development Trust (PHDT) has invested Rs. 1.4 billion in estate housing and infrastructure development projects during 2017. PHDT that implements social development programmes to enhance the quality of life of the estate communities is made of a tripartite coalition of Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), Plantation Trade Unions (TU) and the Govt of Sri Lanka (GOSL). During 2017, the organisation oversaw the completion of 1,045 houses more..

Tamil Diaspora stands in solidarity with Tamil families of the disappeared

Jul 7 (TG) An independent collective of Tamil-Canadian activists organized a rally in Toronto on Saturday, June 30th, 2018 in solidarity with Tamil Families of the Disappeared who were reaching 500 days of continuous roadside protests across the North-East of SL. This rally kicked off a series of international rallies in London, Zurich, New York, Berlin, Vancouver, Belfast and Sydney the same week. Hundreds attended protests in their respective cities and supported the call for int'l pressure more..

New Presidential Media Awards to encourage credible journalism

Jul 7 (FT) Govt launched the Presidential Media awards, calling for entries for 50 categories across all forms of media, including press, TV, radio and websites, in its latest efforts to promote credible and professional journalism. Minister Mangala Samaraweera, speaking at the launch of the new awards, emphasised the focus of the Govt in promoting impartial, balanced and truthful reporting across all mainstream media to more..

Maersk extends store-to-door integrated logistics service to Sri Lanka

Jul 7 (EN) Danish shipping line Maersk plans to offer its new store-to-door service in Sri Lanka, under a global strategy to become an integrated transport and logistics company, controlling freight movements from beginning to end. It will simplify the supply chain for client and enables them to focus on their core business,” Mearsk Lines Managing Director for South Asia Steve Felder said. The new 'store-to-door' delivery service, under which Maersk group’s shipping line, terminal, and more..

GDP growth for 2018 could be around 5 per cent says CBSL Governor

Jul 7 (Island) Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said GDP growth for 2018 could be around 5%, if all economic fundamentals are in place. However, 2018 first quarter GDP growth recorded 2.3% due to unfavourable weather conditions; drought in one part of the country and floods in other parts. "According to the provisional estimates released by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), SL economy grew by 3.2%, year-on-year, in the first quarter of 2018, more..

NTUC to launch protests demanding monthly wage for estate workers

Jul 7 (CT) National Trade Union Centre (NTUC), said it will commence protests demanding a decent monthly wage for estate sector employees, who currently do not have that facility. NTUC Chairman, K.D. Lal Kantha, speaking at the 20th anniversary celebration of the NTUC, held at the Public Library premises, said “Estate employees islandwide have requested for a monthly salary scheme, and though the Govt promised to more..

Media Orgs ordered to submit unedited footage of Vijayakala’s speech to Police

Jul 7 (FT) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court ordered electronic and print media organisations to submit all unedited version of the recordings of the controversial statement made by the former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran to Organised Crimes Division. Accordingly, under section 124 of the penal code, the order was given to News Editors of Rupavahini, ITN, Swarnavahini, Hiru, Derana, Siyatha, Shakthi, Suriyan, TNL, and DAN TV electronic media outlets, more..

Vasu demands action on frauds during CBK time

Jul 7 (FT) Vasudeva Nanayakkara wrote to the IGP demanding to know why no investigations have commenced on the number of fraudulent business agreements which were later overturned by the Judiciary, even two years after his written complaint. With copies send to the Heads of the CID, FCID and the Director General of CIABOC, MP Nanayakkara demanded to know why no action has been taken on the cases outlined which were carried out during the former Prez Chandrika Kumaratunga’s terms. more..

Vijayakala’s resignation no excuse for AG to drop criminal proceedings

Jul 7 (Island) State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran’s resignation over her recent call for the LTTE’s revival is no excuse for Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya not to indict the Jaffna District MP in Court of Appeal, top constitutional affairs lawyer Manohara de Silva, PC, says. He said so when The Island sought a clarification whether legal proceedings were now required in the wake of her voluntary resignation. more..

Bid to re-open Dalada Maligawa Road: SC re-fixes petition for support on 5 Oct

Jul 7 (FT) Supreme Court this week re-fixed 5 Oct for support on granting of leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition filed in a bid to re-open the portion of the A 26 road (part of which passes along the Kandy Dalada Maligawa). The matter came up before the Bench comprising Justices Sisira De Abrew, Lalith Dehideniya and Murdu Fernando. J.C. Weliamuna PC appeared for the petitioners in the main petition namely K. Keerthi, H.M. Dayananda, J.M. Mahinda and more..

CB Governor says loss suffered by EPF from bond scams calculated; won’t reveal

Jul 7 (Island) The loss suffered by the EPF in the Central Bank bond scams had been calculated, CB Governor Dr. Indrajith Commaraswamy said. He however said as the matter was sub judice, he didn’t intend to reveal how much the amount was, but it would come to light in the future. Coomaraswamy said that he was not attempting to withhold any information, but the legal procedures prevent him from revealing to the media the position with regard to the EPF monies. He said he had requested the AG’s Department to more..

PM wants MR to answer NYT in Parliament

Jul 7 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, dared former Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa to make a statement on The New York Times report in Parliament. PM said that he would not permit the Opposition to challenge media personnel as his govt had ushered in media freedom and would protect it. "We are against threatening journalists. Going beyond intimidating and killing Sri Lankan journalists, now The New York Times editor and others have been threatened and more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin offers 28 Buddha statues to Frohnau Buddhist Temple

Jul 7 (FT) Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin offered 28 Buddha statues to the Theravada Buddhist Temple in Frohnau, Berlin on 26 June. The event also marked the first program to be conducted by the Embassy to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of SL-German diplomatic relations. This meritorious act was initiated by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany Karunasena Hettiarachchi and was assisted by the members of the Suwatha Kawaya of Independence Square, Colombo 7, more..

JVP asks govt whether consumers can get refund for false price hikes

Jul 7 (Island) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake asked whether the govt would repay the consumers who had bought fuel at increased prices from midnight Thursday until a sudden withdrawal of that decision at noon yesterday. He made this query bringing to the attention of the House that the Prez had revoked the fuel price increase and decreed that they be sold at the previous prices. He asked for a clarification from the govt over the confusion, and more..

Bond scam exposures to be ignored?

Jul 7 (Island) Announcing Presidential Media Excellence Awards 2018, Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the media couldn’t be reined in by imposing restrictions. Addressing the media, Samaraweera emphasized that censorship was certainly not realistic and counter-productive. Samaraweera was flanked by State Minister Eran Wickramaratne and Dy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanne. more..

The Dehiwela where I grew up

Jul 7 (Island) On 21st June 2018, William Grinding Mills finally put up shutters, grinding to a halt. Not only was it an iconic landmark, it was a true and trusted establishment patronised by everyone. Although located in Dehiwala (9A, Galle Road, Dehiwala), those living all over visited them to get their condiments pounded, ground, mixed or to buy their freshly prepared products. As a kid, I remember accompanying my mother there and, as a teenager, cycling from home with condiments to be more..

Prez updated on gem and jewellery industry

Jul 7 (FT) Representatives of the gem and jewellery sector met with President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday to appraise him of the challenges faced by the industry and discuss several proposals by the Gem and Jewellery Authority. Prez met industry representatives at the President’s office where he was updated about the issues. During the discussion, the issues arisen due to the 15% of import tax was discussed along with several proposals from the National Gem and more..