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Society’s approach to death penalty is a barometer of its humanity

Jul 16 (SO) My father, Mahanama Samaraweera MP, knew two people who were to be hanged for murder. They were from Matara, his electorate. So, like everyone else in the district, he also knew something that most of the country didn’t: these two individuals were convicted and sentenced on false evidence. They were to go to the gallows; to be hanged for crimes they had not committed. The experience of his constituents despair, and the grave injustice inherent in putting to death more..

To hang or not to hang?

Jul 16 (SO) After allocutus the lights and fans of the Court house are switched off and the court-crier cries out for all to rise as the court is to pass death sentence. The High Court Judge reads the sentence ordering the accused to be taken to the Welikada Prison and within the four walls of the prison that on a day and time appointed by the President that he hangs by the neck until he is dead. In the olden days the judge will, before passing sentence wear a black cap and after sentence break more..

Call of the gallows

Jul 16 (SO) On June 23, 1976, J.M. Chandradasa became the last Sri Lankan to be hanged at the Welikada Prison. Following an ad hoc Govt decision to resume executions, Prisons officials are already busy compiling lists of eligible death row prisoners, and engaging in the gruesome exercise of importing rope and other equipment and announcing hangman vacancies. Prez’s decision to resume judicial executions more..

SL’s problem of finding an efficient hangman

Jul 16 (ST) Curiously, each time that Sri Lanka announces that it would put an end to the country’s more than thirty years moratorium on implementation of the death penalty, an immediate practical problem surfaces for the administration of Welikada Prisons. This is the insuperable difficulty of finding a competent hangman in order to carry out the task. On the last occasion a few years ago that this flurry of excitement was evidenced, the individual who had been taken on for this more..

Edtorial: Lajja!

Jul 16 (Island) Doctors have threatened to stop performing heart surgeries, at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital (KTH), owing to a defect in the airconditioning system, as we reported the other day. An intensive care unit has been seriously affected by the defective AC plant, with patients dying of infections. The critical importance of post-surgical care cannot be overemphasised. Why Dr. Namal Gamage, a respected cardiothoracic surgeon, and his team have decided to stop more..

කොන්ත්රාත් ක්රමයට UNP වූ විමල්

Execute them, says the Archbishop: Hang the lot, says Bodu Bala pope

Jul 16 (ST) Coming from Prez Sirisena, well known for his rhetorical flourishes spurred by his new found urge to portray himself as a no nonsense leader of iron, his speech this Wednesday in Kandy when he declared he will sign the death warrant and hang those convicted drug dealers sentenced to death by the courts but commuted to life and spared the hangman’s noose thereafter by him, came as no surprise. It was only to be expected. Given the failure of his advisors to bring to his notice more..

Irresponsible use of language or intellectualist misrepresentation ?

Jul 16 (Island) The Midweek Review feature article under the title Hitler Reincarnate – And SL’s Presidential Stakes by Susirith Mendis embodies the soft soothing voice of wisdom, that got drowned in the cacophonous ‘sound and fury’ raised in the wake of the Asgiriya Anunayake Ven. Wendaruwe Upali thera’s Hitler remarks made in the course of a sermon delivered at an alms-giving conducted at the residence of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, a potential presidential candidate for 2020. more..

Army moves to relocate troops into Jaffna Fort meets stiff resistance

Jul 16 (SO) Its recent request to relocate several small camps in the Jaffna peninsula into the historic Jaffna Fort, is threatening to set off a new wave of protests against the heavy presence of armed forces personnel in the formerly embattled region. The controversial relocation plans have re-energised residents strongly opposed to continuing militarisation of the Northern Province nearly a decade after the war ended, while more..

Big follies of the ICC

Jul 16 (Island) The suspension of the SL skipper with a fabricated charge of bringing the game into disrepute is an act bordering on arrogance, when the fellows at the ICC are the villains who ought to be suspended for bringing cricket into disrepute. Their endless tampering at the way the game is played; errors of judgement, insatiable appetite for innovation have become a joke. I have met their kind in my journey through life's ups and downs, and fought them, solo cum solo, numerous times. more..

Devdutt, Pawan, Aryan shine in drawn game

Jul 16 (ST) The India U19 trio Devdutt Padikkal, Pawan Shah and Aryan Juyal tuned up by cracking quick fire half tons in their drawn warm up match against the Sri Lanka U19 Board XI side concluded at the NCC ground. The trio retired after making contrasting knocks with Devdutt cracking a 82 ball 75, while Pawan hit a run a ball 70 and deputy skipper Aryan made a 54 in 50 balls for India U19 to end with a formidable score of 384 runs in reply to SL U19 Board XI’s 253 for 7 declared. more..

Inconsistencies on ICC’s part: Lankan trio begs for least possible punishment

Jul 16 (ST) SL cricket captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha have blamed match officials of misleading them during the controversial ball tampering saga in the second Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies in St. Lucia. The trio pleaded guilty for a level 3 spirit of cricket offence after play was stopped for two hours during the third day of the drawn Test, but they have maintained more..

Cultural knowledge, practice and prescriptions: Are we losing them?

Jul 16 (Island) Culture is what defines us. We are embodiments of our culture. Our way of life is defined by cultural prescriptions, values, norms & customs that have been internalised during our years of growing, learning, working & living. Culture is a framework of knowledge, wisdom, ritual and accumulated prescriptions for this worldly (and other worldly) issues that human kind face universally and in specific localities. Irrespective of the changes that we face due to external influences, more..

Sino Lanka joint venture to manufacture solar panels

Jul 16 (DN) Infinity Energy Company, one of the leading solar panel manufactures and exporters in China has set up a joint venture with a local company- Helio Energy Lanka Ltd, Battaramulla, to manufacture and export solar panels and invertors for the export market. It is a BOI approved project and the two companies would jointly invest US$ 15 million. The company officials said a manufacturing plant is being set up in Madampe, Chilaw and the production will begin in September. more..

Export fraternity says plea for new era has fallen on deaf ears

Jul 16 (FT) Exporters last week said that their plea to usher in a new era had failed to move the Govt into action, as the country seems to be stuck in political limbo with a wait-and-see mindset. “Time and again the Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (EASL) has stressed the importance and need for a strong and positive political will and vision to drive the exports sector of our country to reach its full potential. more..

France wins 2018 FIFA world cup

Jul 16 (NYT) They waited until it was over, until the fireworks shot into the sky and the rain soaked them to the skin, until that glistening trophy was safe in their hands and golden confetti sparkled in their hair. Only then, once France’s players knew they had emerged triumphant from a World Cup of chaos and abandon, a tournament that defied expectation and prediction, did they succumb to the wild spirit of the last month and do the one thing they, and they alone, had managed to avoid. more..

Sri Lanka Juniors find it tough at world finals

Jul 16 (CT) SL junior Men’s 4x400m relay team finished eighth, in the finals of the IAAF World Junior Championship, clocking 3 minutes 09.38 seconds in Tempere, Finland yesterday. The race was won by France in a time of 03:04.5 seconds beating USA who dropped the baton during the first change over. This was the first time that any Sri Lanka relay team went up to a world level final. Sri Lanka team had the potential to run below 3 minutes 07 seconds given their individual time but more..

Sri Lanka –Singapore FTA comes under barrage of criticism

Jul 16 (ST) Deceiving the whole country, Sri Lanka’s economic independence has been handed over directly to Singapore forever and indirectly to other countries by the Ministry of Development Strategies Int'l Trade (MODSIT) through the implementation of the SL–Singapore Free Trade agreement (SLSFTA) with effect from May 1, political party leaders and professionals alleged. more..

Ratana Thera vows to protest against lifting of glyphosate ban

Jul 16 (Island) UNP parliamentarian Ven Aturaliye Ratana Thera yesterday vowed to conduct street protests against the govt if it removed the glyphosate ban totally. Ven Ratana Thera told The Island that he was not aware whether the government had lifted the glyphosate ban for all crops. The Cabinet had some time back lifted the ban for tea and rubber, he said. The gazette notification was not clear whether the ban would be lifted for all crops, the thera said. more..

Over $ 16 b investment projects under discussion with Singapore: BOI

Jul 16 (FT) Sri Lanka is gearing to reap the benefits of the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore, with four mega projects being discussed by the Board of Investment (BOI). According to the BOI, the projects with a total investment value of over $ 16 billion in manufacturing mainly for exports are the first projects to realise since the Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA was implemented on 1 May. The largest of these is an export-oriented oil refinery valued at $ 14.8 billion in Hambantota. more..

Concern over Sri Lanka judiciary; slide into dictatorship

Jul 16 (EN) A SL citizen's rights group has expressed concern over recent calls for a dictatorship and an emerging trend where courts are issuing orders to prevent arrests. Friday Forum, a group of concerned citizens said there was a common thread in calls for a Hitler by Venduruwe Upali Thero, a senior Buddhist monk, a call by Vijayakala Maheswaran, a legislator in the north for the return of Tamil Tiger rule. more..

'Bus fare hike if govt failed to meet demands'

Jul 16 (DM) The All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) said that it would go for a bus fare increase if the Govt failed to look at their demands favourably. Speaking to the media at a press briefing in Gampaha today ACPBA Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said that buses incurred losses due to the recent fuel price increase. “Short distance buses incur a loss of Rs.750 daily and Rs. 22,500 monthly, while long-distance buses incur a loss of Rs.40,000 monthly,” he said. more..

Plantation workers want more

Jul 16 (ST) Plantation workers are demanding a living wage to be paid to workers in line with the existing cost of living in the country. During discussions between the estate sector trade unions on Friday, the workers’ representatives said they want the Regional Plantation Companies (RPC) to increase their basic wages to ensure they have a living wage in line with the existing cost of living, Ceylon Workers Congress representative Arul Swamy said following the meeting with TUs. more..

FSP Leader asks why JVP has gone silent on govt rogues it helped to bring to power

Jul 16 (Island) Frontline Socialist Party Leader Kumar Gunaratnam told a meeting in Kandy on Saturday that the Sri Lanka-Singapore Agreement was a danger to the country. Even labourers from neighbouring countries could come to Sri Lanka through Singapore, Gunaratnam said. Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP) leader said foreign workmen would create a problem of unemployment among the Sri Lankan workers. more..

National Export Strategy to be launched on July 19

Jul 16 (DN) National Export Strategy (NES) is a fantastic opportunity for the private sector and the government to work together and the NES target is achievable, Harin De Silva, Chairman, Export Association of Sri Lanka (EASL) said. He said the govt in collaboration with exporters has put together a fantastic document (NES) which will be launched on July 19. He however cautioned that govt should drive it and there should be a political will that comes from the top to execute the plan. more..

Economic sentiment continues to deteriorate: Survey

Jul 16 (FT) Sentiment surrounding the economy remained dim in June, according to the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey, as almost all respondents believe that the state of the economy will stay the same (55%) or deteriorate (44%). In terms of business prospects, 12% and 14% of those polled expect to witness improvements in the short and long terms respectively with survey respondents expressing a range of views. One executive finds it difficult to say if more..

Death Sentence: List of 18 submitted to Justice Ministry

Jul 16 (DM) A list consisting names of 18 convicts, who were sentenced to death for drug-related crimes, had been submitted to the Justice and Prison Reforms Ministry, Prisons Commissioner Thushara Upuldeniya said. List was submitted on Friday evening. Security inside the Prisons had been beefed up to curb drug smuggling by convicted drug traffickers. He said Prison Dept had also limited meals brought by outsiders more..

Edu. sector to disrupt due to a token strike

Jul 16 (DM) Country’s education sector to disrupt due to an islandwide token strike by Education Administrative service officers, school principals and teachers on Thursday (26) urging the Govt to suspend 1,014 appointments made under the political victimization scheme immediately. Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin said despite the strong trade union protests, around 1,014 individuals were promoted to Sri Lanka Education Service. more..

President arrived in Rome

Jul 16 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena arrived at Fuimicino International Airport in Rome today (15)to attend the 24th session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) and the 6th World Forest Week organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. He was received by a special representative and officials. The 24th session of COFO and the 6th World Forest Week will explore the contributions that forests can make to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). more..

PM launches Gamperaliya accelerated rural development program

Jul 16 (DM) The demand for consumer goods had gone down as a result of money circulation decline in the country, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. However, he assured that the Govt had decided to pump in money into the villages through the Gam Peraliya programme under which maintenance of tanks would be handed over to farmers. PM said this while speaking at the launching of Gam Peraliya in Nikaweratiya more..

Prices of bakery products up by Rs. 5 except bread

Jul 16 (ST) Bakers have warned of a price increase in bread within two months if they are not granted concessions over bakery ingredients. The all Ceylon Bakery Owners Association, which represents the bakers, issued the ultimatum yesterday. President of the All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association, N K Jayawardena said that they will raise the price of a loaf of bread by Rs10 if they were not provided concessions on necessary ingredients and items used for baking. more..

Damning US report reveals Lankans in NZ subjected to forced labour

Jul 16 (CT) The foreign employment services sector distanced itself from a damning US report that SL women and children were dumped into forced labour in NZ, Egypt, Pakistan and elsewhere. Relevant State officials could not be reached for comment. “When there are such international reports that are adverse to the sector in general and the country in particular, the entire garbage is dumped on the legitimate foreign employment service providers although this should never be the case”, more..

Most drug dealers cannot be hanged due to their appeals

Jul 16 (Island) Prison authorities have prepared a list of 18 death row inmates for hanging and it is to be submitted for Prez’s signature, but some of those have appeals against their convictions pending. The 18 inmates, convicted of repeat drug offences, were at Welikada, Mahara & Angunakolapelessa. Notorious drug lords such as Wele Suda and Susei, who have been accused of operating drug cartels from death row were more..

Panama Papers exposed leaders, criminals, celebrities...

Jul 16 (DM) Former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials upon their arrival in Lahore on Friday night (13), and subsequently whisked away to Islamabad on a chartered flight. In July 2017, just when Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif was a year away from becoming the first premier to complete a full term in office, he was ousted. The country’s Supreme Court disqualified him from office and referred more..

A Glass of Fresh Milk

Jul 16 (DM) Sri Lanka is considered a lower middle income country by its donors, but many of its children remain hungry. In some schools that I visited in the North, teachers told me that a noticeable number of children are motivated to come to school because of the mid-day meal. Some children they say, even take a part of their lunch for those hungry at home. After the war, the World Food Programme and the Govt have had many such school meal programmes in the North. more..

MPs Cars: An astonishing ruling by CIABOC

Jul 16 (Island) Newspapers report an astonishing ruling by CIABOC, that the hawking of vehicles imported Duty Free by MP’s for astronomical figures, is not precluded by Law! In fact, some MP’s have not even bothered to import a vehicle but just sold their permits. CIABOC sees nothing wrong with this either. That this has caused a loss of many millions by the country does not seem to matter. Some have comically justified this as a more..

Police list more offences for Spot fines

Jul 16 (CT) Ten new traffic offences, named by the Police, came into effect yesterday, thus increasing the existing number of traffic offences with a penalty of fines from 23 to 33. With the offences that came into effect, total liable for spot fines for traffic offences rose from 23 to 33. Spot fines for traffic offences will range from the minimum of Rs 500 to the maximum fine of Rs 3,000 for exceeding speed limits. more..

CEB DGM interdiction: GM refutes allegations

Jul 16 (CT) The General Manager (GM) of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), A.K. Samarasinghe, refuted allegations made by DGM, (Energy Purchasing), Engineer Sujeewa Abeywickrama regarding his interdiction. The GM pointed out that the DGM had been interdicted because he violated rules and regulations of SL Transport Commission while carrying out his personal business and in addition had several cases filed against him. more..

Sri Lanka national physical plan ready to enhance connectivity

Jul 16 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt prepared an updated national physical plan to further enhance local and international connectivity, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. The move was part of govt efforts to create a dynamic environment for businesses and investors, he said at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards held in Colombo. The awards offer “an opportunity for the finest SL developers to join the ranks of more..

Sri Lanka to bring income tax law changes in 6 weeks

Jul 16 (EN) Sri Lanka will bring amendments to a new income tax law within six weeks to iron out problems that have cropped up during implementation which will include some tweaking of personal income taxes, ministers have said. "We have witnessed some problems during the implementation of the law. We are already correcting these," Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told reporters last week. more..