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UNHRC funding: Largest voluntary donor US says it does not make such contributions

Jun 27 (Island) US Embassy in Colombo says the United States does not make voluntary contributions to the UNHRC. It said so when it was asked by The Island whether the Trump administration withhold funding to the Geneva body now that the US has quit the UNHRC. UNHRC member US quit the Geneva body after calling it a cesspool of political bias over its handling of issues pertaining to Israel. However, sources quoting official UN data, pointed out that 40% of the UNHRC budget was more..

St. Peter’s, Ratnayake MMV overall relay champs

Jun 27 (DN) SL Schools Relay Championship organized by Education Ministry held at Vincent Dias Stadium in Badulla came to a successful end yesterday with St. Peter’s College with a tally of 118 points winning the Boys’ overall championship and A Ratnayake MMV with 127 points taking the Girls’ title. Final day saw over 20 records being lowered with the total number of records for the 3-day competition reaching a staggering 38. more..

Nat Audit Bill debate and vote next week

Jun 27 (CT) The National Audit Bill, a key pledge of the Good Governance Govt, is to be debated and taken for a vote in Parliament during the course of next week, UNP said. UNP MP Thusara Indunil added this would be a milestone in the SL anti-corruption movement and would contribute to mitigate massive financial frauds. “This is long awaited moment. Along with the Right to Information Act, this also can be considered as victory for democracy and . more..

Beetles will converge once again on July 1

Jun 27 (ST) Volkswagen Beetle Owners’ Club have come up with a fun-filled day of activities to celebrate this year’s Annual World Volkswagen Day Celebrations to be held on Sunday the 1st of July. This year too, the Heritages will come together to partner this worldly heritage event with the Mount Lavinia Hotel and the Galle Face Hotel having sponsored the start and the Grand Finale of the celebration. Over 100 Volkswagens are expected to participate at this year’s celebration. more..

Sri Lanka top global safety destination for women travellers

Jun 27 (DM) The People’s Daily newspaper of China selected Sri Lanka as the top global safety destination for women travellers in 2018, in a recently concluded contest, which combined the results of expert reviews, ratings and popular votes. Sri Lanka topped the list of 20 countries that were selected, including USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Switzerland and the Maldives, more..

‘Approvals in 30 minutes to launch foreign investment ventures in Indonesia’

Jun 27 (Island) It takes take just 30 minutes to complete all processes and documentation before approvals for foreign investments are granted in Indonesia at present. On this being done there would be no delays, to ensure businesses commenced quickly. There are some forms that would require personal attention. These are quite simple; subject to these forms being correctly filled, there would not be delays that would stifle progress in commencing businesses, ambassador more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka in Jordan holds community ifthar

Jun 27 (FT) Embassy of Sri Lanka in Amman, together with the members of the SL community in Jordan, celebrated an ifthar service at the Embassy premises Jordan on 9 June. SL expatriates representing different faiths attended the event. Addressing the gathering, SL’s Ambassador to Jordan A.L.M. Lafeer briefly explained the significance of Ramadan. He said that the broad thinking behind Ramadan is teaching Muslim brothers and sisters not only self-discipline more..

Handle Chinese mega-projects with care, IMF tells Sri Lanka

Jun 27 (EN) IMF has told Sri Lanka to handle Chinese mega-projects like those under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with care. To reap the benefits of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, SL should carefully manage large-scale capital projects, the IMF said in the latest assessment by its executive board of its program with SL. It noted that SL has undertaken important investment projects under the BRI, including the Hambantota Port more..

CPC hosts first-ever ifthar ceremony at CPSTL

Jun 27 (FT) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga stated that development of the country is fuelled by the peaceful co-existence between the different ethnicities in Sri Lanka. He made this review during an ifthar ceremony held at Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Ltd. (CPSTL) in Kolonnawa, recently. CPSTL organised this ceremony under the advice of Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga. Workers of Islamic faith from CPC and CPSTL participated to break the Ramadan fast at this historic event. more..

Series of programs in Polonnaruwa to mark Poson Poya

Jun 27 (FT) A series of programs will be held in Polonnaruwa today under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena to mark Poson Poya day. At present the historic Dimbulagala Aranya Senasanaya is being developed under the Pibidemu Polonnaruwa (Awakening of Polonnaruwa) District Development Project commenced under the guidance of Prez Sirisena. The new Piriven building complex and the Sangawasaya, built at a cost of Rs. 150 million, will be opened by Prez tomorrow. more..

NFF to welcome any Govt defector

Jun 27 (CT) NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said they are willing to welcome anyone defecting from the Govt. He revealed this at a press conference yesterday, prior to which an hour-long deliberation, with representatives of the 16 UPFA MPs, who defected from the Govt, including MPs Susil Premajayantha, Dilan Perera, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Chandima Weerakkodi and others, had taken place. more..

Sri Lanka’s May tea production up 11%

Jun 27 (DM) SL’s tea output rose 11.04% in May from a year earlier, aided by good agro-climatic conditions and lower production in the previous month, the state-run Tea Board said. Production in the first five months of the year rose 4.76% from the same period last year. The tea output fell 15.3% in April from a year earlier, with the industry officials attributing the decline to a high base effect and more public holidays this year. “The May production is high due to several reasons, more..

Influenza would rise again towards year end

Jun 27 (Island) Influenza would raise its head again in November, December and January, warns Prof. Sujeewa Amarasena of Karapitiya Medical Faculty. He said that infulenza had been reported in the months of May, June, Nov, Dec and Jan every year during the past ten years but recently there had been a severe condition in the Southern Province. Addressing a meeting held at the Galle District Development Committee on Monday, Prof Amarasena said that there should be more..

Allegations malicious and baseless: Kabir

Jun 27 (DM) Some activists of civil organizations were making baseless allegations misusing the freedom of expression ushered in by the incumbent Govt, Minister Kabir Hashim said. “Those allegations against me were malicious and baseless,” he said. “Today they have the freedom to make allegations. But there should be a base for these allegations. I am sorry to state that those activists as well as media, more..

UNP has many candidates: MP Indunil

Jun 27 (DM) The UNP had enough alternate candidates to field at the next Presidential Election if the present party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe declined to contest, Govt MP Thusara Indunil Perera said. He said that his party had several alternative candidates to field, unlike the JO, which solely depended on the members of the Rajapaksa family. “UNP could always field Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa as the candidate and put forward Minister Navin Dissanayake if Mr Premadasa more..

Harsha hits back at Cabraal

Jun 27 (FT) State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, responded to allegations made in yesterday’s edition by former CB Governor Ajith Cabraal of purported manipulation of the country’s GDP. The following is Dr. De Silva’s statement: I read with amusement the fiction by Mr. Ajith Cabraal in your esteemed newspaper today making wild allegations against an imaginary organised group of politicians and senior officials for having carefully manipulated GDP figures every quarter since 2015. more..

Sri Lanka beat West Indies by four wickets to draw Test series 1-1

Jun 27 (CI) The Pereras - Kusal and Dilruwan - put on a luck-filled but plucky 63-run partnership to haul Sri Lanka to victory on the fourth afternoon of the third Test. There were heart-stopping moments for Sri Lanka in this session, particularly when their best batsman Kusal Mendis was hit in front of the stumps before the team could get off the mark on the day. But although Jason Holder completed an outstanding 5-wicket more..

US pullout from UNHRC must have no bearing on SL’s commitments: NPC

Jun 27 (Island) National Peace Council commenting on the US withdrawal from the UNHRC said that it should not be seen as an opportunity to evade our commitments or a lessening of international pressure on Sri Lanka to do what it ought to do. Claiming to be an independent and non-partisan organisation, NPC issued the following statement: The departure of the US from the UNHRC is a regrettable blow to a global institution which has been mandated to protect and uphold human more..

Police hunting for armed gang following incident involving STF

Jun 27 (Island) Police have launched an operation in the South to track down several persons who had fled following a gun battle at Wilpita on the Akuressa-Kamburupiya road on Monday at 7.45 pm, a senior police official told The Island. Having received information regarding the presence of an armed group in the Kamburupitiya area, on Monday, elite police commandos had mounted a road block at Walpiya to check traffic on the Akuressa-Kamburupitoya road. The official said: more..

Suspected cop killer given hero’s welcome in remand prison

Jun 27 (Island) A hero’s welcome was accorded to underworld gangster Kosgoda Tharaka, who was sent to Angunkolapalessa remand prison for killing a policeman at Matara. A party had also been thrown as part of the welcome. Tharaka was carried on the shoulders of the inmates of Angunakolapalessa prison in a procession. Welcome ceremony had been organised under the instructions of Makandure Madush, more..

No torture under any circumstances

Jun 27 (DM) Yesterday was the United Nations Day in support of victims of torture with the world body saying that torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. According to the UN, despite the strict prohibition of torture under int'l law, torture persists in all regions of the world. Concerns about protecting national security and borders are increasingly used to allow torture and other forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment. more..

If Gota heeds to sermon & becomes a Hitler

Jun 27 (DM) Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has skeletons though, may not be in his closet, but wherever white vans had dumped victims during his abduction prone tenure as the Defence Secretary. But, not even by a long shot did he go any close to Hitler. Last week, when a high priest publicly urged him to become a Hitler, it was not clear whether the aspiring presidential candidate took it as a compliment or as a personal affront. The Anunayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, Ven Vedaruvey Upali Thera has more..

'Glyphosate without adjuvants not very useful'

Jun 27 (DM) It’s a concern which divides govts, scientists and NGOs across the world, yet Glyphosate has the world’s highest production volumes of all commercial herbicides. The concerns over Glyphosate being a probable carcinogenic, among others, have not deterred agrochemical lobbyist and scientists from deeming it safe for commercial agriculture. Should consumers still be apprehensive about this weedicide? more..

Study recommends tobacco cultivation ban introduced over 4-year period

Jun 27 (FT) A recent study on the impending tobacco cultivation ban and its effect on tobacco farmers has recommended that the Govt provide financial assistance to tobacco farmers to diversify into other crops while ensuring that tobacco cultivation is phased out instead of implementing an immediate ban. The research, carried out by Green Space Consultancies headed by founder Dr. Chathura Rodrigo, proposes that the ban is more..

Never-ending dilemmas!!

Jun 27 (DM) Today, we live in a world on the brink of annihilation. A world gone mad with power-hungry people, disasters both natural and augmented, ferries sinking, volcanic hazards, floods, earthquakes, drugs, flights catching fire or airplanes going down, and additionally a record of 68.5 million people displaced worldwide. In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organised greed always defeats more..

Rajitha, Kumara show promise for the future

Jun 27 (CI) So you didn't watch Sri Lanka's Test tour of the Caribbean. Perhaps the matches were played at inconvenient times. Or maybe the sight of all those empty stands may have made you nauseous. But the series, which fittingly finished 1-1, was compelling throughout, swinging one way and then the other. Here are five things that made it brilliant. Almost without question the visual delight of this series, more..

Will take stern action if PC polls delayed: EC

Jun 27 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya at a meeting with the representatives of the political parties decided to request Minister Faiszer Mustapha in writing not to delay the elections to the Provincial Councils any longer, it is learnt. Mr Deshapriya reportedly vowed to take stern action if the elections were postponed. He said he would try all possible means to ensure that the elections were conducted in time. more..

Sandhya Eknaligoda complains to President

Jun 27 (CT) Sandhya Eknaligoda, wife of missing Journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, alleged that Adviser to the President, Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera was continuing to threaten her and her children, despite the conviction of the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, earlier this month, in relation to intimidating her at the Homagama Court. Sandhya Eknaligoda noted that in the aftermath of the conviction of more..

MR’s group opposes special status for Northern CM, demands early PC polls

Jun 27 (Island) SLPP Chairman and top JO spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris on Monday strongly opposed any special arrangement between the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt and the NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to put off elections to the NPC. Prof. Peiris emphasized there couldn’t be such an exclusive agreement between the govt and a particular provincial administration especially against the backdrop of more..

Northern CM opposes using soldiers for development projects

Jun 27 (DM) The govt's decision to deploy army personnel to reconstruct abandoned tanks in Vavuniya was opposed by the Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran and other Tamil MPs when this matter was discussed at Tuesday's Vavuniya District Development Committee meeting. The meeting was presided by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen with the participation of Deputy Minister Kader Masthan, Mr. Wigneswaran, TNA MPs, more..

Video: Underworld activities getting a small help from politicians: MR

Jun 27 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that a dangerous situation has been created in the country due to the underworld activities which are taking place with the backing of politicians. “These things are happening with a small help from politicians,” he said, while adding that there was no underworld during his time. He stated that the fact that Chief Incumbent of Kiriwehera Temple in Kataragama was shot more..

China gave $7.6 million for Mahinda’s re-election bid: report

Jun 27 (EN) A Chinese company paid $7.6 million for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election bid in 2015, New York Times reported this week raising the possible payments to more than six times what was originally thought. The NYT said it found evidence showing that the $7.6 million had been paid from the China Harbour’s account at Standard Chartered Bank to affiliates of Rajapaksa’s campaign, much more than the $1.14 million more..

Machang, whither 30/1 now?

Jun 28 (CT) Responding to a blogger, who addressed him as Machang in Sinhala, Atul Keshap, outgoing US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, used the same Buddy slang and said that if we responded to every inaccurate news story that appears, we would have little time for anything else. The reference of course was to a media story that Machang Atul had told former Prez Rajapaksa at his farewell call that the US would not let the latter’s brother and war-time Defence Secretary Gotabaya more..

Ensuring transparency in public procurement

Jun 28 (CT) Generally, a Govt in any country is the largest stakeholder of assets. This is no exception when it comes to SL. Govt of SL (GoSL) is the major business entity in the country either being a profit making source or service oriented arm. Nowadays, GoSL engages in procurement by its own or through private participation where the latter is termed quite extensively as Public Private Partnerships (PPP). In order to procure goods, services, or works, the GoSL governed by more..

'I do not know where I stand'

Jun 28 (CT) Excerpts from an interview with Senior Vice President of SLFP Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. Q: You said you will not participate in any SLFP conference ever again. Does this statement mean that you have already divorced yourself from the Party in a decisive manner? A: Actually, what I intended from that statement was not the opinion you voiced. I have worked with the SLFP for 35 years. It is our ancestral home. more..

All is not lost for distraught Sri Lankans

Jun 28 (Island) People of SL in toto are so distraught with the present govt that, comparing with relative demerits, they show preference for the once bogey Rajapaksas for rescue from the present predicament. This govt only caters for MPs, their kith and kin and cronies who, like pigs wallowing in cesspits, are scavenging the body politic and delivering nothing at all to the people. The Rajapaksas, with all the horrors, did deliver some of the things that the majority people seem to more..

The Bracegirdle embarrassment

Jun 28 (DN) Mark Anthony Lyster Bracegirdle began his career as a trainee at Relugas Estate in Madulkele, in Matale District, under Superintendent H D Thomas. The horrible condition of the estate workers life really shocked him. The imported shipments of labour from South India had to walk hundreds of miles from Thalaimannar to the central hills, a tough trek across the country’s dry zone where thousands died on the way. Don Philip Rupasinhe Gunawardena, the son of more..

A matter of detail

Jun 28 (ST) The tiny things, the little detail, mattered immensely to him. As the birth anniversary on June 23 of people’s politician Ranasinghe Premadasa passes once again, a senior medical administrator flips back the pages of time and recalls his encounters with him as a young doctor. Mr. Premadasa who was killed in a May Day bomb blast 25 years ago, was the Prime Minister back in 1980 when Dr. S. Terrence more..

Edtorial: Liberate prisons

Jun 28 (Island) A suspect allegedly involved in killing a policeman in a shootout following a botched jewellery shop robbery, in Matara, has been given a hero’s welcome in a remand prison, according to our front-page lead news item yesterday. The underworld figure was carried on the shoulders of other inmates in a procession on the orders of his boss who is at large. This kind of display of utter contempt for the law of the land, on a heroic scale, can be taken as proof of the increasing power more..

Time to codify contempt of court?

Jun 28 (SO) Just two years back, in 2016, Singapore crystallised its common law on contempt of court. Singapore’s then Law Minister K. Shanmugan was quoted saying, “the codification of the law will ensure that every one receives a fair trial, and public confidence in Singapore’s legal system is not eroded by baseless attacks on the courts’ integrity.” Here at home, our laws on contempt are based on Common Law guided by British Law. more..