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Political rhetoric leaves minorities insecure

Teacher unions ask Akila to look into plight of rural schools, too

Mar 7 (Island) Teachers’ unions frowned on Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam’s proposal to appoint managers to handle the administration of national schools. They said they considered it an attempt to further weaken schools. "Kariyawasam has stated that he wants to appoint managers to schools with more than 1,000 students and managers and assistant managers to schools with over 2,000 students. "There are 785 schools that have over a 1,000 students & 192 schools with over 2,000 more..

OIC Calls upon Sri Lanka Govt to take immediate action to protect Muslims

Mar 7 (SPA) The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed serious concern over the repeated incidents of violence by extremist mobs against Muslims in Sri Lanka on 28th of Feb and 4th of Mar. The reports of several attacks in Ampara, Kandy and Digana on mosques, businesses and homes during the past week are deeply regrettable. In a statement, OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen called upon the govt of Sri Lanka to take concrete steps to address more..

Stand together, be wise: Cricket legends request

Mar 7 (DM) Cricket legends Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara today condemned the recent acts of violence reported in the country and requested the people to stay together and to stand strong at tough times. Sangakkara in a tweet said there should be no place for racism and violence in the country. “No one in SL can be marginalised or threatened or harmed due to their ethnicity or religion,” more..

Singaporeans should defer non-essential travel to Kandy, Sri Lanka: MFA

Mar 7 (CNA) Singaporeans are advised to defer all non-essential travel to district of Kandy amid communal clashes there, said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a travel advisory today. A curfew is in place in Kandy, a popular tourist destination, after days of anti-Muslim riots killed at least two people and destroyed dozens of homes and shops. Schools across the district remain closed as the govt ordered more troops to restore order and stop the unrest from spreading. more..

Lankan man critically injured in machete attack in Paris restaurant

Mar 7 (TL) A man was attacked with a machete and reportedly scalped as he ate dinner with his wife at an Indian restaurant in Paris on Monday night. Diners at an Indian restaurant in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital witnessed the shocking scene on Monday night when a man, who was also eating at the restaurant, was attacked and reportedly scalped at his table. The incident, which took place at a restaurant 8.30pm on Rue Cail, a street well known for its curry restaurants, more..

Islamophobic narratives inflame Sri Lanka communal tensions

Mar 7 (DW) Violent clashes between Buddhists and Muslims have forced Sri Lanka to impose a state of emergency. Despite the move, the govt appears uncertain about how to respond to the violence, says analyst Alan Keenan. The Sri Lankan govt on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for 10 days to rein in the spread of communal violence after Buddhists and Muslims clashed in the Indian Ocean nation's central district of Kandy. more..

Fifty shades of green UNP’s election blues

Mar 8 (CT) In the recently concluded LG polls, there were only a few bright spots for the country's oldest political party, the UNP. Among them was the Jewel in the Crown - the Colombo Municipality - which UNP, led by Rosy Senanayake won handily, winning 60 of the 66 seats from the Wards, raking in over 46% of the votes cast. But, behind this sweep was the ugly truth, that Senanayake's team was hampered by the fact that one of UNP's stalwarts in Colombo was under a cloud. more..

I died but I don’t know why

Mar 8 (CT) Four Muslim youngsters had brutally assaulted an innocent Sinhala Buddhist youngster in Teldeniya; a town that is situated nearly 20 km away from Kandy. A few days later the innocent victim succumbed to his injuries at the ICU in the Kandy Teaching Hospital. The crime is despicable and inhumane, not only because it’s a murder, but because it’s a murder that’s uncalled for, unjustified and ruthless. No doubt the criminals have to pay for it, and this is the time we should stand united more..

'This LG election result is special, 80% voted'

Mar 8 (CT) State Minister Vasantha Senanayake says that those around the PM should be held responsible for the current status of the Party. We cannot go to the villages again with the present UNP policies. Q: After the recent Cabinet Amendments, all statements by you to the media have been contentious. Are you trying to criticize the govt while being in govt, planning a cross over? A: No. Actually, it is not good to under estimate more..

A top heavy executive

Mar 8 (CT) I had planned to go on with an account of Ranil's disastrous tenure of the PM's post in the first few years of this century. But the absurdity of the Cabinet reshuffle of 25th February has prompted me to explore what can only be described as his sheer callousness, with regard to the promises made as well as the interests of the country. I had initially thought to ignore that particular farce. But when, three days after he had been appointed State Minister for Prison Reforms and so on, more..

An open letter to Auditor General

Mar 8 (Island) On the day that campaigning ended for the recent local govt election, the Auditor General, Gamini Wijesinghe, made some explosive statements about Sri Lanka’s state of indebtedness. Public attention has since focused on more sensational happenings and the AG’s statement has been all but forgotten. However, some days ago, former Auditor General Sarath Mayadunne wrote an article to a Sinhala newspaper upholding the incumbent Auditor General’s statement. more..

The beast rides again

Mar 8 (GV) Even as I write these words, Kandy is burning. Muslims, their homes and their properties are being targeted in the name of Buddhism, within shouting distance of the Temple of the Tooth. If the custodians of the Tooth Relic, the chief prelates of Malwatte and Asgiriya, look out from their windows, they’d probably see the smoke from the fires, if not the fires and the fire-makers. There is no greater perversion of Buddhism more..

Iceberg model of drug addiction

Mar 8 (DN) Delivering the keynote address at the launch of the Gama hadagamu- the rural drug prevention programme, President Sirisena said that one of the main obstacles to the Govt’s efforts to end rural poverty was the drug addiction among the youths and low-income families. He added that a concerted effort with the cooperation of all those concerned, is the need of the hour. President has justifiable grounds to be concerned because the statistics are devastating. more..

Sri Lanka yet perceived as corrupt

Mar 8 (DN) In February, the annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2017 was released by Transparency International, the global civil society organisation leading the charge against corruption. Like its name implies, the CPI tracks perceptions of corruption worldwide, specifically in a country’s public sector. From the outset, Sri Lanka appears to have made some progress. Of the total 180 countries—ranked from least to most perceived corruption—SL has moved up 4 places this more..

Palitha Range Bandara

Instrumentalization of Islamophobia: Provoking Islamist terrorism: Who benefits?

Mar 8 (CT) The recent spate of attacks on Muslims is the latest manifestation of Islamophobia in Sri Lanka. Such violence cannot but have the effect of radicalizing Muslim youth and marginalizing Muslim moderates. We have come one step closer to the emergence of Islamist terrorism in Sri Lanka. So far we have experienced a ghastly increase in Islamic religious fundamentalism within the Muslim community, especially but not exclusively in the East. more..

139th Battle of the Blues: Thomians hold the upper hand

Mar 8 (DN) S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia will hold a slight edge over Royal College and are confident of holding the upper hand and pressing for a win when they meet their traditional rivals in the 139th Battle of the Blues three-day cricket encounter which will take place at SSC grounds from tomorrow. This match is played for the prestigious D. S. Senanayake Memorial Shield. Mount Lavinia boys are famous for their fighting qualities and they last proved what the Thomian grit more..

Stroke Unit, NHSL carves historic niche in mechanical clot retrieval

Mar 8 (SO) 7.15 a.m Feb 27, 2018: A 56 year old female from Kadawatha is brought to ward 15 of the newly updated Epilepsy building at the National Hospital Colombo. Unable to talk, her right side showing signs of weakness, she displayed the classic symptoms of a sudden stroke. On arrival, a trained team goes into immediate action. Moving fast with the disciplined precision of an army drill operation, they lose no time in preparing more..

Editorial: Tackling fanaticism

Mar 8 (Island) The govt says it has managed to douse the flames of communal violence in the Kandy District, but the situation is far from normal. The savage fanatics responsible for plunging the country into chaos thrice during the last few months are capable of striking at will. Troublemakers have shown a remarkable ability to regroup and carry out attacks. A recrudescence of racial attacks either in Kandy or in some other parts of the country is, therefore, within the realms of possibility. more..

She asked India to Fall in Love with Sri Lanka

Mar 8 (Island) It was 14th Feb - Valentine’s Day. I got an invite from Saroja Sirisena, our Consul General to attend Sri Lanka’s Independence Day Celebrations held in Mumbai. (Most of our Missions overseas hold two events. One on 4th Feb with the staff and the other for outside guests and the staff on another day). Invitation itself was very impressive. I asked myself how Saroja managed to get Mumbai’s prestigious Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya more..

Govt proposes clause to exclude Lankans from extradition in new Bill

Mar 8 (FT) The Clause on extradition in the Protection Against Enforced Disappearances Bill would require amending to clarify and ensure that it did not apply to SL citizens, Govt said in Parliament yesterday. Following objections raised by the Opposition, Minister Tilak Marapana, said that the phrase excluding Sri Lankans should be inserted in Section 8 of the Bill, to allay any doubts that the legislation could be used by a foreign state to more..

Justice Priyantha Jayawardane declines to be a member of Bench

Mar 8 (FT) Justice Priyantha Jayawardane declined on personal grounds to be a member of the Bench hearing the writ petition against the decision of the Bribery Commission to institute proceedings against a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardane, Prasanna S. Jayawardane and Lalith Dehineniya yesterday fixed the petition to be mentioned on 15 March. Sri Lanka Bar Association President U.R. de Silva PC filed the petition seeking to quash more..

India look to make up lost ground against depleted Bangladesh

Mar 8 (CI) Almost everyone remembers that Bangladesh-India match. World T20, 2016, Bangladesh need two runs from three balls to knock out the hosts. Instead, a senior batsman allows his emotions to get the better of him, and India pounce to claim a heart-stopping one-run victory. Two years later, Bangladesh players are still asked questions about this match. Have the wounds from that game healed? Will the World T20 clash play on their minds if they find themselves in a similar situation? more..

JVP press conference: Theldeniya Issues

'First 6 overs had a great impact on the game'

Mar 8 (DN) Man of the match Kusal Perera said that the first six overs decided the fate of the first match in the Nidahas trophy T20 tri-series between Sri Lanka and India played at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday. Sri Lanka won that game quite handsomely by five wickets thanks to Perera’s early onslaught on the Indian bowlers that saw his team run up their best ever power play T20I total of 75/2 in the first six overs. In comparison India managed only 40 in their power play overs. more..

SLT and University of Peradeniya sign MoU

Mar 8 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom entered into a landmark agreement with the University of Peradeniya to carry out collaborative ICT research projects as well as to establish a new state of the art R & D centre at Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Peradeniya. The MoU was signed recently at the University by Prof. Upul B. Dissanayake, Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya and Tilak De Silva, Chief Business Innovation Officer of SLT. more..

Parliament flares over Digana unrest

Mar 8 (FT) Parliament yesterday altered its agenda for the day to hold an urgent adjournment debate on the recent communal unrest in the country in light of the clashes in the Kandy District. Following a party leaders meeting, it was decided that the scheduled debate on the Anti-dumping and Countervailing Bill, initially debated on 11 Dec 2017, would be postponed to a later date. Commencing the debate, JVP leader Anura Kumara more..

Anti-Dumping Bill passed

Mar 8 (Island) Parliament yesterday passed the Safeguard Measures Bill and the Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Bill with Amendments. The Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Bill aims to protect local industries and manufacturers from the goods imported to Sri Lanka without control. The Safeguard Measures Bill provides for the conduct of investigations and the application of safeguard measures on products imported into Sri Lanka. Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Bill more..

Three out of six Laugfs subsidiaries to be individually listed on CSE

Mar 8 (Island) Leading local corporate Laugfs Gas PLC will be segregated, with three out of its six subsidiaries to be individually listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) from April 1 this year. Laugfs Power Ltd, Laugfs Leisure Ltd and Laugfs Eco Sri will be separately listed on the CSE to maximize the valuation of each unit, chairman of Laugfs Gas PLC W.K. H. Wegapitiya told the media on Tuesday at a briefing held at the Hilton Colombo Residencies. 'Following the un-relatable existence of more..

BASL cautions govt against any excesses under emergency rule

Mar 8 (Island) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) warned the govt to ensure that only those who were really involved in the acts of violence were arrested under the emergency regulations. On Tuesday, Prez Sirisena declared a state of emergency countrywide for two weeks in the wake of communal violence in Kandy. BASL Prez U. R. De Silva, PC stressed that Prez had the authority to declare a state of emergency, more..

SL must act firmly on anti-Muslim violence

Mar 8 (Hindu) The sudden spurt in violence targeting Muslims in Sri Lanka may only be limited in comparison to previous racial attacks in the island, but it is serious enough to cast a dark shadow on ethnic relations. That it has caused enough concern and disquiet to warrant the imposition of a state of emergency across the island is a reflection of the prevailing precarious situation. This is the first time since 2011 that Colombo has had to invoke emergency provisions to bolster the security more..

Facebook responding to Sri Lanka situation

Mar 8 (LR) Facebook is actively monitoring and responding to the situation in Sri Lanka, where fake news and hate content on social media is being used to fuel communal tensions. In a statement e-mailed to the social media giant said it was removing Sri Lanka hate content as soon as it was made aware of it. SL’s President declared a state of emergency for seven days following violence in the central Sri Lanka. The incident was sparked after more..

What is triggering communal violence in SL?

CMC trade unions on strike from today over removal of Municipal Commissioner

Mar 8 (Island) The Trade Union Collective of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) warned it would resort to a continuous strike from today (08) if the Governor of the Western Province did not take action to annul the removal of V.K.A. Anura from his post as the Municipal Commissioner. In a letter signed by 17 CMC trade unions the trade union alliance has said that in addition to the CMC the Kotte, Kolonnawa, and Kotikawatte Mulleriyawa local govt bodies as well as the SL Army and more..

‘Irresponsible social media usage detrimental to stock exchange activities’

Mar 8 (DN) The practice of using social media platforms to disseminate information without any restrains or responsibility is ushering in a harmful trend and it will be detrimental to the stability and the movement of the stock exchange activities, said Prof. Maithree Wickramasinghe. Prof. Wickramasinghe made these observations at an event organized to ring the opening bell for trading at Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018. more..

Looters as Rulers: Abolition of CCEM: Ranil requests more time for observation

Mar 8 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested for more observation time from the Cabinet of Ministers before approving the Cabinet Paper related to the abolition of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) under him, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said. "Therefore, it has not been approved during this week's Cabinet meeting, but it might be reconsidered in the next Cabinet more..

Help Desk to crackdown acts of sabotage

Mar 8 (DM) A 24-hour help desk has been established at the office of the Chief of Defence Staff where any information that the public believes could be helpful to the govt to help crackdown on acts of sabotage or any action thought to endanger national security could be reported. Director General of Dept of Govt Information, Sudarshana Gunawardana said that although the govt had taken the necessary steps to control the situation, the security forces have received information that more..

Ready to help Govt to restore normalcy: MR

Mar 8 (DM) Former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday assured that his party was ready to support the govt in their hour of need to restore normalcy in the country. Addressing a hurriedly arranged news briefing at his residence in Colombo last evening, Mr. Rajapaksa said JO Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardane had phoned both the President and Prime Minister in this regard. “We have no problem about offering our fullest support to the govt, if it requires our assistance. more..

Violence reported from Ambatenna, Pujapitiya & Katugastota: At least 2 deaths

Mar 8 (CT) A 24-hour curfew was imposed under emergency regulations in the Kandy Administrative District yesterday, following several isolated violent incidents, which resulted in at least two deaths being reported. At least two deaths were reported in the Kandy area yesterday due to mob violence. An individual had reportedly died of a heart attack when a mob had stormed into his shop. A second death more..