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US quitting UNHRC significant to Sri Lanka

Jun 22 (CT) US on Wednesday, made a surprise move by removing itself from the UNHRC alleging that the international body was acting against Israel with regard to the conflict with Palestine. The UNHRC has been a hot topic in SL since 2009, and after allegations of human rights violations and war crimes gained momentum internationally. SL’s relationship with the UN has not been rosy ever since these allegations took centre stage in March each year during UNHRC sessions. more..

2 arrested with LTTE flag, uniform & bombs

Jun 22 (DM) A uniform, a flag, bombs and several military types of equipment belonging to the LTTE were taken into police custody last night while they were being transported in a three-wheeler at Peraru junction Oddusuddan, Mullaitivu. Police said that two individuals including the driver of the three-wheeler were arrested, while the third suspect had escaped. The incident occurred when several traffic police officers on night patrol had chased after the 3-wheeler which they had ordered to stop. more..

ජාත්යන්තර සූපවේදී කුමා පෙරේරා

Why we’re not so keen to keep nepotism in the family

Jun 22 (FT) Some years ago, when the then President of Sri Lanka came in for calumny for having his son accompany him in a prominent way to a UN summit, a few of us partially sympathised with his plight. I mean to say: if I was head of state of a newly-minted island-nation or some banana republic like Belarus, I would take my offspring with me wherever I went. Especially if the little woman wouldn’t come, didn’t make the cut, couldn’t find the time. There is not much merit in the comfort more..

Suwaseriya Foundation to become a raeality

Jun 22 (CT) The 1990 Suwaseriya Foundation Bill, to provide immediate and effective pre-hospital care in a safe and clinical working environment, until a patient reaches the nearest healthcare provider, was passed with Amendments in Parliament yesterday, without a vote. Opening the debate on the Bill, State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva said that amidst many mudslinging and threats, the Suwaseriya service has come a long way. more..

Rumble in a Khaki Jungle

Jun 22 (DM) “My two children suffering from Diarrhea are warded at the hospital. I have no money. My wife is blaming me and inquiring whether I am coming home? I am now fed up with this job sir”. This was what we overheard when we visited the Miscellaneous Complaints Section of a police station recently. The complainant was being made by a police Constable who was about 45 years. At the receiving end was the OIC of more..

Govt to go ahead with exploitation of Eppawela rock phosphate deposit

Jun 22 (Island) The Eppawela rock phosphate production plan, which ran into stiff resistance some years ago, is likely to be implemented with the government taking action to commence the production of Single Super Phosphate (SSP) by utilising the Eppawala phosphate deposit next year. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday assured that the initial cost of commencing the production would be borne by the government. It has been estimated to be Rs. 2 billion. more..

Govt to upgrade mortuaries and enhance forensic knowhow

Jun 22 (CT) International Committee of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka is to sign a MoU with the Ministry of Health today with the view of upgrading the facilities of mortuaries island-wide and strengthening the technical capacities of forensic professionals. The signing is to take place at 10 a.m. today at the Institute of Legal/Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. A source at the Committee noted that the facilities of mortuaries (where autopsies are performed) in 25 Districts would thus more..

Fact-checking, filtering mechanisms mooted to combat Sri Lanka fake news

Jun 22 (EN) Mechanisms for fact-checking and filtering out harmful content need to be developed to counter fake news and hate speech in Sri Lanka, experts have suggested at a national security forum. There was a general agreement by participants at the forum held by the Institute of National Security Studies in Sri Lanka, that in the event of unrest, temporary social media blocks are not a permanent solution. more..

Visiting US defence scholar pays courtesy call on CDS

Jun 22 (Island) Dr. Geoffrey F. Gresh, Department Head of International Security Studies - National Defense University in Washington, D.C and Associate Professor at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA), paid a courtesy call on Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne on Wednesday (20) at the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS) at BMICH. He was accompanied by LTC Douglas Hess, Defence attache, US Embassy. more..

Vessel monitoring improves Sri Lanka fisheries sustainability

Jun 22 (EN) The introduction of a Vessel Monitoring Service (VMS) to track fishing boats in SL waters has improved the sustainability of the island’s fisheries industry, an official said. Sri Lanka now has good regulations to ensure all fishing is done sustainably, Sashimi Fernando, chief sustainability officer, Tropic Fishery, a tuna fish exporter, told a business conference about the potential of the blue economy. This was after a govt crackdown on illegal fishing which had prompted more..

Three judges appointed to Sri Lanka’s special high court

Jun 22 (AD) Chief Justice Priyasath Dep has appointed three High Court Judges to hear cases in the country’s first Special High Court Trial-at-Bar which will be established to try high-profile financial fraud and corruption cases. The special Trial-at-Bar will comprise three High Court Judges Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Rajaratne. Cabinet approval had been granted to establish three anti-corruption more..

DSG made respondent gives evidence in appeal filed by Duminda Silva

Jun 22 (Island) Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige, appearing for the Attorney General, made a respondent in the Application of Appeal filed by accused appellant Duminda Silva said that Inspector Harischandra, in his evidence at the High Court Trial-at-Bar, said there had been a conflict between Duminda Silva and Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Harischandra had been in the security detail of Duminda Silva. Harishcchandra said he had seen to it that Duminda Silva and more..

Education Minister says severe shortage of math and science graduate teachers

Jun 22 (Island) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that there was a severe shortage of qualified teachers in G.C.E A/L Science and Mathematics streams in the entire country because the majority of degree holders who specialized in such subjects did not apply for teaching vacancies. To address the issue, he hoped to present a Cabinet Paper in the near future proposing granting a special allowance for teachers who teach Science & Math subjects to attract more degree holders more..

Gnanasara Thero granted bail

Jun 22 (AD) General Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero has been granted bail by the Homagama Magistrate’s Court. He was ordered released on two personal bonds of Rs 500,000 each by the Homagama Magistrate Sudesh Ranatunga, who also barred Ven. Gnanasara Thero from leaving the country. The magistrate ordered to notify the Immigration and Emigration Controller regarding the decision. more..

Rajarata University closed indefinitely

Jun 22 (AD) University of Rajarata has been closed until further notice as per a decision taken by the administration of the university. This decision was taken after several students had entered the administration building of the university yesterday and forcibly stayed inside, said the VC Prof. Ranjith Wijewardena. Accordingly, all students in hostels have been notified to leave the hostels before 10 a.m. today. It was reported that the Students’ Union had been called for more..

Colombo Port makes record gains in Q1

Jun 22 (FT) Colombo Port is hopeful for a profitable year after kicking off 2018 by recording a 28% increase in revenue in the first quarter compared to 2017. “This is a phenomenal increase by any standards and we expect it to continue. At the very least we should be able to maintain the profit made last year,” Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. The entity has recorded a 5% increase in revenue in the first quarter, recording Rs. 11.04 billion compared to last year’s Rs. 10.55 billion more..

Govt to probe Kilinochchi leopard killing

Jun 22 (CT) The govt said a special investigation will be conducted into the killing of a leopard in Ambalakulam, Kilinochchi. The matter was taken up for debate in Parliament by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake. He said the assault and killing of the leopard by several youth has led to much controversy today and questioned what measures Ministry of Wildlife is preparing to take regarding the matter including to call for an investigation more..

Sri Lankan businesses gain protection from influence, not strategic value: IMF

Jun 22 (EN) Some of Sri Lanka’s most protected companies gained their protection through high tariffs and tax breaks from effective lobbying rather than strategic value or capacity to employ people, the International Monetary Fund has said. The most protected segments of the economy benefit from both high tariffs and paratariffs, the IMF said. In addition, some sub-sectors have a third layer of protection on their inputs through selected tax holidays or exemptions. more..

Regaining GSP+ Seafood exports increased by 125%

Jun 22 (CT) The fisheries industry comprises close to 2% of the GDP, contributes value addition of more than US$ 1,300 million, creates 222,000 direct jobs and supports more than 191,000 households, a statement, quoting a speech made by Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera at a symposium on Sustainable Development Goals held in Colombo yesterday, said. He also said that with the reinstatement of the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) last May (2017), more..

Video: Kosgoda Tharaka and 2 others arrested in hospital after Matara shooting

Jun 22 (AD) Three members of the criminal gang involved in today’s robbery at the jewellery shop in Matara, including underworld figure Kosgoda Tharaka, have been arrested after they were hospitalized with gunshot wounds. The suspects were arrested after being admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital. One of the suspects, Kosgoda Tharaka, is an underworld figure wanted in connection with murders & several other crimes. more..

Golden opportunity to find new co-sponsor: HR activist

Jun 22 (DM) Sri Lanka has the golden opportunity of finding a new co-sponsor and going in for an alternative and interim UN resolution as the US has pulled out from the UNHRC, said Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa, former Commissioner of Human Rights Commission. Commenting on the latest development, he said the US-Sri Lanka sponsored 2015 resolution in a nutshell says that SL forces committed war crimes and therefore, a hybrid court should be established to investigate charges. more..

Rangana Herath set to miss WI 3rd test due to injury

Jun 22 (NR) Experienced spinner Rangana Herath has sustained a finger injury and set to miss the 3rd Test against West Indies. Herath who was dropped for the controversial second Test against the West Indies in St. Lucia had reportedly injured during a practice session in Barbados. Sri Lanka Cricket said, “Herath has split his web between right hand’s 4th and 5th finger during a practice session held ahead of the third test.” Akila Dhananjaya replaced Herath in the playing XI more..

Chandimal, coach, team manager charged for causing delay

Jun 22 (CB) Dinesh Chandimal, SL's captain, coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha have, on Friday, admitted to conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game, breaching Article 2.3.1, a Level 3 offence, which could have them suspended for two Tests, an ICC release stated. The trio was charged by ICC chief David Richardson for their involvement in Sri Lanka's refusal to take to the field in St Lucia more..

Bureaucratic excellence through commitment

Jun 23 (CT) Every year 23rd of June is remembered and commemorated as the birth anniversary of that great visionary leader of our time, Ranasinghe Premadasa, who kindled the hopes and aspirations of the people of this country, especially of the poor and the disadvantaged. But to us, veterans in the Housing Ministry, it was more than his birthday. It was the opening day of the annual Gam Udawa exhibition. Gam Udawa exhibition, which commenced in Ampara on a modest scale, more..

Why support Trump’s cesspool on Human and Children’s’ Rights?

Jun 23 (DN) Reconciliation and Religion, Human Rights and the Robe of the Sangha, have pushed the political divisions within the Govt and the Opposition somewhat to the rear this week, with the politico-tactical and media reverberations on the US withdrawal from the UNHRC and the refusal by Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera to wear the prison uniform for convicts, known as the jumper. There are strong demands emerging that Sri Lanka should now consider removing its more..

Crucial repairs to petroleum pipelines in limbo

Jun 23 (SO) Despite a strong direction by a three-member Cabinet Sub-Committee in November 2017 to reconstruct and make operational SL´s main pipelines which carry refined petroleum products from the Colombo Port to the Kollonnawa storage tanks, within three months of the order from the Cabinet, Ceylon Petroleum Storage and Terminals Ltd, (CPSTL) has been unable to carry out the necessary repairs. more..

National Unity Govt needs to govern with more consensus

Jun 23 (CT) In the past two weeks there have been indications that the govt parties are trying to sort out their differences. SLFP National Organiser, Minister Duminda Dissanayake has said that contrary to views expressed by some SLFP members, there were no discussions during the recent SLFP Central Committee meeting about the party trying to quit the National Unity Govt. At the same time the JO appears to have ruled out the possibility of reunification of SLFP under Prez Sirisena. more..

Election contributions revelations: Scandal or crime?

Jun 23 (SO) Shock waves hit the Sri Lankan political scene in the past few weeks, with different MPs admitting to having accepted what was described as campaign donations from Perpetual Treasuries Limited, a company implicated in what is arguably the most sensational financial debacle of recent times – the case of the Central Bank treasury bonds. As the news broke, many who had claimed positions of integrity fell from grace, and had to take defensive positions. more..

This digital library is preserving Sri Lanka's Tamil literary heritage

Jun 23 (Roar) Over the course of history, the world has seen countless pieces of its heritage vanish forever with no chance for recovery. Vast contingents of knowledge are continuously being lost- to the passage of time, to natural causes like disasters, insects and mould, and to acts of war and unrest. Every time a palm-leaf manuscript crumbles with age or a mob-driven fire consumes a center of learning, the world loses an irreplaceable part more..

When Trump gets hurrah on Human Rights

Jun 23 (Island) This looks like a week of cesspool delight. Donald Trump is the hero of those wallowing in the cesspool of anti-minority delights here, with the decision of the United States to withdraw from the UNHRC, very much a bad word in our political debates. Trump’s echo ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the UNHCR is a cesspool of political bias, referring to its poor support for human rights, just as the Trump cheer leaders here are calling us to follow Trump and withdraw from more..

Editorial: Driver’s responsibility

Jun 23 (Island) It never rains, but it pours. Misfortunes come like football fans who turn up in hordes and run riot. Argentina was reeling from a humiliating draw in its opener with Iceland in the ongoing FIFA World Cup tournament when it suffered a body blow at the hands of Croatia, which beat it three zip, in Russia’s beautiful Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, on Thursday. La Albiceleste went down like the Titanic. It is said to be their worst defeat in a World Cup match since 1958. more..


Why vote at the next Presidential & Parliamentary elections?

Jun 23 (CT) If voters vote at the next election, they could be electing a President who cannot lead, and could be electing one political combine or the other and the country will have the same set of politicians and the same system that elects them. Voters therefore will have to decide whether they wish to continue with this charade, and if they do decide to vote, then, they too will be part of this charade. The known Devil is better than the unknown idiots seems to be the prevailing view more..

Balm for body and mind

Jun 23 (ST) Two months after the unexpected demise of her beloved brother, Sharadha Manickawasagar decided to enrol in a yoga class. It was a trying time for her family and her. She was feeling depressed and couldn’t focus on anything. But once she started attending her yoga class regularly, things began to change for the better and she was able to refocus on her life. That was eight years ago and since then Sharadha has been a regular at Anand Yoga Centre in Colombo more..

Pettah Multimodal Transport Hub launched

June 23 (DN) The Pettah Multimodal Transport Hub project, a keystone of the various public transport systems servicing the city’s central business districts, was launched yesterday. Minister Champika Ranawaka, hosted the inaugural meeting for this with the private sector, the directors of all main development banks, and the French Ambassador in Colombo. The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development has more..

Yahapalanaya: Comedy continues!

Jun 23 (Island) When I wrote Raigamaya and Gampolaya just before the last local govt elections, I thought it was impossible for the state of affairs to get much worse. I am proved wrong; well, things have got worse and the comedy continues. Sorry, I should call it a tragi-comedy, with apologies to the populace that has to tighten belts, regularly, with no hope in sight, witnessing helplessly ramping corruption destroying the country, while politicians get enriched. more..

The story of Lankan-born Mars 2020 engineer

Jun 23 (SO) SL born aerospace engineer working at NASA’s prestigious Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Melony Mahaarachchi is part of the design team working on the Mars 2020 Rover which will attempt to find signs of past life on the Red Planet when it ventures into space. This is the story of how she got there despite a late start to her career When Melony Mahaarachchi interviewed at SpaceX in 2010, she was asked a question that would make most candidates go into panic mode: more..

Sri Lanka stare at series loss after 15 years

Jun 23 (Island) West Indies and Sri Lanka – both sides, once cricket-crazy islanders now in for some downward trend, meet each other in the third and final Test, a day-night match, today, for the Sobers – Tissera Trophy at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. Two young sides, sans any big names in their ranks, are on a transition, analysts say. Yet the hosts are having a chance of creating history, in two ways; one by playing more..

No alcohol at Sugathadasa Sports Hotel

June 23 (DN) Minister of Provincial Councils, Local Govt and Sports, Faiszer Musthapa has banned alcohol selling at the newly renovated Sugathadasa Sports Hotel that will be opened shortly. In a statement the Minister said: “I took a decision to stop the sale of alcohol at the Sugathadasa Sports Hotel, simply because so many of our young ‘uns patronise this stadium. I believe that it does not relate well with our nation’s culture and values and clearly is not aligned with my personal belief. more..