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Democracy and conscience of people/leaders

Jul 21 (DN) SL people came to exercise a hitherto unexperienced process of universal franchise in 1931. People began to participate in the choice of those who were to represent them and look after their general well-being at local and national levels, culminating in electing the rulers of Independent Lanka in 1948 and thereafter every five years or so. Thus people began to elect and experience democratic governance through free elections before fairness was made to disappear more..

On allegations made against steering committee of constitutional assembly

Jul 21 (CT) I have obtained permission to make a personal explanation in view of certain statements made in this House yesterday while I was not here, with regard to the work of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly. As everyone knows, there were ten experts appointed to advise the Steering Committee, and all of these appointments were made unanimously by the Constitutional Assembly. That Panel of Experts was requested by Steering Committee, on 16th of Nov 2017, more..

Finally released: Wait for the controversial MMDA report is over

Jul 21 (Roar) “The basic problem we face is that the Muslim male leadership has no idea of the ground realities,” says Aneetha Firthous, a Kattankudy-based activist. “Not once have they sat with a woman to talk about her problems, and the abuse and victimisation she faces.” Muslim women have been campaigning for reforms within the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) for decades, citing human right violations. more..

Facebook’s new misinformation policy for SL

Jul 21 (GV) Recent news reports have surfaced noting that Facebook will be proactively taking steps to remove misinformation that could lead to people being physically harmed. Though long overdue, we welcome this announcement and look forward to learning more from the company. Facebook now seems to acknowledge the impact misinformation can have in certain contexts, especially in countries like Sri Lanka, as noted by CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself in an interview with Recode. more..

Edtorial: Constitution jilmaat?

Jul 21 (Island) Thursday’s parliamentary session, where the Joint Opposition (JO) kicked up a row over the proposed Constitution, reminded us of the late JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. Computer jilmaat is a term Amarasinghe coined to take the shine off Mahinda Rajapaksa’s impressive win at the 2010 presidential election. He said the computer system, used by Elections Department, had been manipulated by the Rajapaksas to get the final result they desired. more..


Govt action against drugs and crime should not violate human rights norms

Jul 21 (ST) Last week’s Cabinet decision to implement the death penalty for drug offenders in death row, lacks clarity. Newspaper reports do not make it clear whether the decision applies only to those who have been convicted of drug related offences, but continue to mastermind drug operations in the country from within the Prisons or, whether it applies to all those on whom the death penalty has been imposed for drug related offences, even if they are not involved in such more..

Addressing The Leadership Deficit

Jul 21 (Island) The frustrations arising from the inability of the Govt to live up to the commitments made to the People, primarily due to the indecisiveness of the current leadership and the deterioration of the law and order situation almost on a daily basis, has prompted voices from the North as well as the South to call for a strong leadership that has what it takes to assure the physical security of the People. Although the references of the models of strong leadership cited more..

Quorum bell rings of corruption

Jul 21 (Island) There were no MPs from the Medamulana Raja Pavula when the New York Times report of China funding the last Mahinda Rajapaksa presidential poll was debated in Parliament this week. The quorum bell had a weird and crooked ring when it failed to gather enough members to continue the debate on an issue the Joint Opposition was largely avoiding. What was worse was that the Govt, elected on a pledge more..

The constitution conspiracy and Sumanthiran’s shenanigans

Jul 21 (Island) In Parliament on Thursday (19), something happened which overshadowed the debate on the extraordinarily lengthy but more than slightly underwhelming New York Times story. What happened was signaled and preceded by a news story in the English language press about a furor in the Constitutional Steering Committee where it was alleged that participants, comprising members of parliament, independent academics and officials had reacted vehemently against a perceived more..

Maharaj bags best figures by a visiting bowler in Sri Lanka

Jul 21 (CI) 0 - Visiting bowlers to have better figures than Keshav Maharaj in an innings in Sri Lanka. Maharaj currently has 8 for 116 going past Yasir Shah's 7 for 76 against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2015. Maharaj's figures are also the best for South Africa against Sri Lanka in Tests, going past the 7 for 81 taken by Marchant de Lange against Sri Lanka in Durban in 2011. 1 - South African spinner with better bowling figures than Maharaj in a Test innings. Former offspinner Hugh Tayfield more..

Sri Lanka’s online trade portal goes live

Jul 21 (FT) Completing a major milestone in its WTO Trade Facilitation Plan and kicking off one of the biggest projects in its international trade history, SL officially unveiled its Trade Information Portal (TIP) yesterday. “Sri Lanka Trade Information Portal (SLTIP) is prioritised for implementation in the WTO TFA plan for the country, and it is also an integral part of the trade policy and export promotion strategy more..

The DEHIWALA where I grew up

Jul 21 (Island) Wally's Studio (still in existence) was where we went, when we had to get our photographs taken. There were no instant picture booths in that era. When I had to sit for my Ordinary Level Examination, it was to Wally's that I went, to get my mug-shot for the Postal ID Card. I still have it with me. The quality of the picture is still the same. Opposite Wally's, on the sea-side was the Dehiwela YMBA (also still in existence). This was the home of the Registrar of Marriages, more..

It was written in the stars: Maharaj

Jul 21 (CB) Galle has obliged Sri Lanka to churn out another dustbowl on the usual road that SSC is. To simplify matters further, they win the toss as well and the openers get themselves half-centuries each. Keshav Maharaj has had ten toiling wicketless overs, getting milked at 3.5 runs an over. He doesn't even have the company of Tabraiz Shamsi's mystery from the other end, with the Proteas deciding an extra batsman to be more useful in plugging their weaknesses. more..

Samaraweera satisfied with batting effort

Jul 21 (Island) SL’s batting coach Tilan Samaraweera said that he was satisfied with the effort of his batsmen after Sri Lanka finished the opening day of the second Test match on 277 for nine at SSC yesterday. Openers had given SL a solid start adding 116 runs for the first wicket but there was a slump as the hosts lost 3 wickets in the afternoon session and 6 more in the final session. "I think you have to give credit to SA bowlers. more..

Construction industry rings alarm bells over heavy taxation

Jul 21 (CT) Shortage in skilled construction workers, high land prices and heavy taxation on construction materiel were the top three issues faced by the SL construction industry at the moment, local constructors have stated in a real estate survey by Colombo based Research Intelligence Unit (RIU). “Respondents were asked to rank the top three issues faced by the construction industry. Over 56% of the respondents said labour shortage was the number one issue faced by the industry”, more..

Absence of SLC domestic inquiry rather intriguing: Former SLC official

Jul 21 (DN) “Whilst we have all seen the ICC verdict on the ball tampering incident and with regards to the Spirit of Cricket that took place in the Caribbean last month, it is indeed intriguing to note that SLC has not initiated a domestic inquiry of its own to ascertain the facts of the case,” observed a former SL Cricket official. “The harshness of the punishment imposed by ICC only goes to show how seriously the Int'l body has viewed the conduct of our team Management and the Captain. more..

Govt debt write-off only for North and North Central provinces: Eran

Jul 21 (FT) The relief package by the Govt for families caught in the microfinance debt trap will initially only be effective in the North and North Central provinces, State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Govt is expected to announce the decision to write off microfinance loans worth over Rs. 1 billion given by State and private finance institutions tomorrow in Jaffna. The program will not be extended to the Eastern Province, more..

Grassroots golf programme targets 800 players

Jul 21 (CT) The HSBC Future Lions Programme which was initiated last year in five islandwide locations, namely Welisara, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Anuradhapura and Kilinochchi, with the participation of over 300 school children, has almost come a full circle said Dirk Flamer-Caldera, a member of the Future Lions organizing sub-committee. The programmes in Welisara, Anuradhapura and Kilinochchi continued throughout the year thanks to the generosity of Sri Lanka Golf Union. more..

'Galle Stadium should remain a Test venue'

Jul 21 (DN) Galle boasts of a rich cricket heritage with the first school match played at this same venue (then known as the famous Galle Esplanade) as far back as May 1888 between Richmond College Galle and All Saints College Galle. The first International cricket match was played at the Galle Esplanade in 1952 against MCC. The Galle Cricket Club now 143 years old is one of the oldest and famous cricket clubs in Sri Lanka affiliated to Sri Lanka Cricket as a Controlling Club. more..

Galle issue has become a political football

Jul 21 (Island) Galle Int'l Cricket Stadium issue has now become a political football, Sport Minister Faizer Mustapha told Parliament. He said that the issue of whether the Stadium is a threat to its adjacent UNESCO World Heritage monument, Galle Fort, had first become a political tug-o-war. Now the entire issue been converted into a political football to score political goals. "We should protect our national heritage and in this case more..

Rs. 2 billion compensation given to Mawanella residents

Jul 21 (FT) The Govt has paid Rs. 2 billion compensation to families in Mawanella who lost their livelihoods due to development projects in the area. Minister Kabir Hashim has secured the compensation after he went on an inspection tour of the city trade centre and the bus terminus in Mawanella, which are being modernised. Minister further said that compensations were not paid by the previous Govt to the people who lived by the sides of the roads which were reconstructed. more..

Meters for tube wells to monitor usage: Palitha Range Bandara

Jul 21 (FT) Govt plans to fix meters to tube wells and wells exceeding 12ft in diameter to safeguard the groundwater table and reduce excessive use of water by industries, State Minister Palitha Range Bandara told Parliament yesterday. According to the State Minister, with the recent drought, people drilling tube-wells have threatened the water table. However, the measures proposed by the Govt will enable the Water Board to remotely monitor the use of water. more..

'Heroin killed British rugby players in SL'

Jul 21 (AFP) Two English amateur rugby players had taken heroin just before their deaths while in SL, a court was told Friday as it ordered the arrest of those responsible for selling the narcotics. Concluding inquests into the deaths, Colombo Fort magistrate ruled that Thomas Howard, 25, died from heroin poisoning while Tom Baty, 26, overdosed. Police had previously told court that duo had been sold highly contaminated heroin more..

India U-19 win first Test by an innings

Jul 21 (Island) Sri Lanka Under-19 suffered an innings and 21-run defeat as the middle-order managed to last just over one session to be bowled out for 324 runs in their first Youth Test against India Under-19 at the NCC grounds, Colombo on Friday. The hosts commenced the day with their backs to the wall as they needed 168 runs to avoid the embarrassment of an innings defeat. The overnight batsmen took the score beyond the 200 runs mark without being parted and more..

'I was a peace consultant for LTTE and SL'

Jul 21 (TS) Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy has brushed aside allegations linking him to terrorist group LTTE. The allegations surfaced after a photo of him and pro-LTTE politician V. Gopalasamy was circulated online. Dr Ramasamy explained that he was invited to be a peace consultant between the Sri Lankan govt and LTTE back in 2003 when he was a professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in the field of Political Economics and Int'l Conflicts Management. more..

JO alleges TNA plot to delay PC polls further

Jul 21 (Island) Top JO spokesman Dullas Alahapperuma, MP, accused Leader of the Opposition and TNA R. Sampanthan of backing the UNP-SLFP project to indefinitely postpone the scheduled PC polls. "We are seriously concerned about the TNA bid to involve India in the operation," Alahapperuma said. He pointed out that the TNA statement issued soon after Sampanthan had met Indian Foreign Secretary more..

Power Upgrade: disruptions expects at times

Jul 21 (DM) The CEB would upgrade 132 kilovolt (kV) cable network system that feeds electricity to the entire Greater Colombo in a bid to reduce the wastage of power during transmission and distribution. Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy Media Secretary Pathum Pasqual said the upgrade was essential and would be conducted on Friday (27) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Ministry also announced that during the upgrade, power supply in the feeding areas would be disconnected. more..

PC Polls on 5 Jan: Party Leaders

Jul 21 (CT) Party Leaders reached a consensus yesterday, that Provincial Council (PC) Elections could be held on 5 January 2019, if Parliament reaches an agreement before the end of October. They came to this conclusion during the Party Leaders’ meeting held at the Parliament Complex to discuss steps to be taken to hold PC Polls without further delay. Party Leaders, the Chairman of the Elections Commission (EC), Attorney General, Chairman of the Delimitation Committee and more..

Power Ministry grants special permission to pay ACE Embilipitiya sans PUCSL approval

Jul 21 (FT) The controversy over power purchases from ACE Embilipitiya deepened this week, with the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry granting special approval to the CEB to make payments for outstanding bills since signing the agreement in April 2018. After receiving the approval from the Ministry Secretary Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda, the CEB has made a payment of Rs.850 million for purchases during month of April, more..

Justice Jayawardena denies his daugther worked at TT

Jul 21 (Island) Supreme Court judge Prasanna Jayawardena said that his daughter had never worked at Temple Trees while he functioned as a member of the PCoI that inquired into alleged treasury bond scams. Justice Jayawardena said so when The Island sought a clarification from him as regards claims being made in some quarters that his daughter served at Temple Trees and, therefore, there was serious conflict of interest. Prez Sirisena appointed the commission in January 2017. more..

Railway work-to-rule campaign from Sunday midnight: Union

Jul 21 (DM) The Railway Technical Services Trade Union Committee (RTSTUC) yesterday said that they would launch a work-to-rule campaign from Sunday (22) midnight. Union’s Secretary Kamal Pieris said that the Sarath Amunugama Committee had not come up with solutions to their problems. A four-member ministerial committee headed by Minister Sarath Amunugama was appointed on Dec 13, 2017 by President Maithripala Sirisena to look into the grievances of railway employees. more..

Alleged move to oust President: UNP, TNA MPs hit back at accusers

Jul 21 (Island) UNP MP and constitutional lawyer Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne and TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran rejected the allegations that they had influenced the Expert Panel report on constitutional amendments. Making personal explanations in Parliament, they said they had not incorporated their views into the documents that had been submitted by the experts. MP Sumanthiran rejected the allegation of forging more..

Mandela & Trump Degeneration Syndrome

Jul 21 (DM) With the United States (US) President Donald Trump turning the world order downside up and behaving in a dangerously unpredictable manner that one US Intelligence Chief describes as treason, the United Nations on Wednesday celebrated the 100th birthday of the legendary South African Statesman Nelson Mandela. The UN in a statement says the Centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life, legacy, and to follow his vision to make the world a better place. more..

Groggy govt and its fallout

Jul 21 (DM) Some smart guy who first stuck the label Good Governance on this unpalatable coalition perhaps guessed it could be the joke of this generation. Or perhaps thought once the Rajapaksa regime was replaced by this motley group of politicians, anything was Good Governance. Whatever way the Good Governance label came to be stuck on it, three years plus six months under it has only been horribly peaky. It seems Ministers are there in this Govt to decide and more..

Black July: Thirty-fifth Anniversary of 1983 Anti-Tamil Violence

Jul 21 (DM) One of the darkest chapters in the sphere of Sri Lankan ethnic relations was the widespread anti-Tamil violence that occurred thirty-five years ago during the fourth week of July in 1983. Although the tragic history of post-independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka were subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983, the anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 more..

The narcotics situation in Sri Lanka is serious, says STF Chief

Jul 21 (ST) A two-year-old case where the navy and police arrested an Iranian trawler carrying 101 kilograms of heroin is dragging on because the accused have retained senior lawyers who keep challenging the navy in open court citing legal technicalities, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne said this week. “We catch all these people who have two milligrams or two grams of heroin,” he said, more..

Avoidable mishaps leave thousands of children scarred

Jul 21 (ST) Preventable accidents that harm children have been increasing in homes and schools and health official say parents are being irresponsible. Last year, more than 39,000 children were brought into the Lady Ridgeway Hospital alone for treatment for falls, cuts and burns and the like. The director of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Dr Kumara Wickremasinghe, said many accidents are avoidable. more..

Hundreds of uncared-for elderly escaping unbearable lives

Jul 21 (ST) Increasing poverty, unbearable financial burdens amid rising costs of living, chronic diseases, and lack of care from the state for those in their twilight years, and broken family bonds, are among factors prompting hundreds of Sri Lanka’s elderly to end their unhappy lives. Suicides among elders have been rising, statistics show. Last year, 231 persons over the age of 71 years ended their lives, 210 were men. more..

Sri Lanka exports up 9.8%, tourism grows 6.2% in May

Jul 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's merchandise exports rose 9.8% from a year earlier to US$ 841 million in May and tourism grew 6.2% to US$ 240 million, while remittances fell 3.4% to US$ 580 million, the central bank said. The main merchandise and services exports totaled US$ 1.744 billion. Merchandise imports rose 7.7% to US$ 1,857 million. The rest of the trade deficit (current account deficit) is usually driven by financial inflows more..