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Muslim MPs may vote against PM if not violence controlled: Haree

Mar 8 (DM) Muslim Ministers and MPs would be compelled to vote in favour of a No-Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in the event such a motion was brought if the Government was unable to control violence against Muslims in Kandy, Deputy Minister H. M. M. Harees told Parliament. "We will be compelled to vote in favour of a No Confidence Motion against the PM-if such a motion is brought to Parliament- if he failed to visit the affected areas and resolve issues more..

Call for all-party conventions: JHU tells Prez

Mar 8 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka requested Prez Sirisena to call for all-party and multi-religious conventions in the wake of the tense situation in the country. He said an isolated incident triggered communal violence and that such incidents take place in the country regularly. While stating that effective measures should be taken to prevent such events from aggravating further, minister recommended establishing a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) unit in every police station to more..

Govt grapples with communal chaos

Mar 8 (FT) As flames engulfed more homes and shops in different parts of Kandy, President Maithripala Sirisena rushed to the hill capital yesterday to meet with religious leaders and Govt officials, in a bid to quell the situation. President Maithripala Sirisena, who was due to hold a meeting in Anuradhapura, rushed to Kandy when a fresh wave of attacks occurred in Akurana and Katugastota around noon yesterday. more..

Women’s role in governance; the time is now

Mar 8 (DM) The world today marks International Women’s day amid an unprecedented int'l me too movement to curb sexual harassment or assault of women in areas ranging from the highest places to public transport and also for gender justice in salaries paid to chief executive officers and other females. Among those on the sexual harassment or assault list are highly placed personalities including US President Donald Trump and Hollywood king maker Harvey Weinstein who has been more..

Danger of a blank canvas in tense times

Mar 8 (DM) Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe in recent statements have alluded to people fishing in troubled waters for political gain. It’s an it’s not us kind of position to take. Safe. Dangerous too. We all know how the UNP of J.R. Jayewardene used that line to proscribe the JVP and clamp down on the entire Old Left after deploying the party’s trade union arm, JSS, to attack Tamils in July 1983. An unpopular govt whose incompetency on all counts is no longer a secret typically loves communal more..

'Society has been regressing in its attitude towards women'

Mar 8 (DM) Prof. Savitri Goonesekere is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Colombo. She was its first female Vice Chancellor and first female Professor of Law. Goonasekere is an internationally acclaimed academic and her range of expertise includes women’s rights. She spoke about various issues that affect women and law reform. She said very little law reform has taken place in the recent past in terms of upholding more..

Surging ethnic tension eclipses political events

Mar 8 (DM) Communal violence, sparked by the death of a 41-year-old man, overshadowed the political developments that were to unfold this week. A motion for the vote of no confidence against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, a political rally by the JO and a decision on the appointment of a Law and Order Minister were the likely events that were eclipsed by violence that raged in Kandy and neighbouring areas since Monday. more..

Aranayaka Victims Left in the Lurch

Mar 8 (DM) A group of men and women sit under a thatched hut, just outside a temporary camp hidden in plain sight, in the town of Dippitiya, Aranayaka. The dilapidated hut is home to 14 families when the sweltering heat inside their tents is unbearable. The women sit accompanying their children with cloth covering their heads, as the shelter does little to give them cover against the scorching sun. more..

Have degree, can drive tuk-tuk

Mar 8 (ST) Educated beyond the jobs available to them and with skilled work dwindling, more and more youth are trapped in dead-end employment as three-wheeler drivers with little chance of improving their prospects. Meanwhile, the country loses as skilled youth go overseas in greater numbers in search of jobs. Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said that in two years the Govt had created 430,000 jobs in the service sector in urban areas more..

Digana-Kandy racial riots: What you need to know

Mar 8 (Roar) Sri Lanka is in the midst of a state of emergency. The govt imposed it on Tuesday (6), following incidents of racial violence in the Kandy-Digana area. This means that normal constitutional procedures are set aside, and the police and military powers are heightened, allowing them to arrest and act at will. Racial tensions have been simmering these last two months, especially after a Muslim restaurant was mobbed in more..

'Govt will have to take up IPKF’s culpability with New Delhi'

Mar 8 (Island) Secretary to the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu said that it would be the responsibility of the govt of SL to take up accountability issues pertaining to the Indian Army here with New Delhi. Saravanamuttu said so when The Island sought an explanation as to capacity of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) to inquire into the conduct of the Indian Army more..

SAITM’s continuation as usual except new student admissions

Mar 8 (DM) The GMOA said the proceedings at the SAITM was continuing as usual except the new student admissions despite the govt’s policy decision to abolish it. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that the academic activities including the holding of examinations were still conducting in the SAITM in an unlawful manner. He said the govt had already declared a policy decision to abolish SAITM and more..

Kandy unrest: Chief Prelates seek protection for temples

Mar 8 (CT) The Chief Prelates of Buddhist Sects had on 6 March made representations to the Police and also at Ministerial level, seeking protection for temples in certain areas in the Kandy District where the Sinhalese are a numerical minority and are therefore isolated. Representatives of the clergy and political leaders had met on 6 March at the Kandy District Secretariat, subsequent to which the Chief Prelates issued a statement more..

Curfew in Kandy administrative district to be lifted

Mar 8 (AD) The IGP has ordered to lift the curfew imposed from yesterday in the Kandy administrative district at 10 am today (8). In accordance with the people’s request to remove the curfew for a short period to attend their essential activities including purchasing of food and other items, President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to remove the curfew from 10 a.m. and re-impose at 6 p.m. in the Kandy District, more..

Ranjith Madduma Bandara new Law and Order Minister

Mar 8 (AD) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara was sworn in as the new Minister of Law and Order this morning. He received his appointment letter from President Sirisena, this morning at the President’s residence. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Secretary to the President Austin Fernando were also present on this occasion. Madduma Bandara is the current cabinet minister of Public Administration and Management. more..

Enough is enough!

Mar 8 (CT) We have been there before and we are headed for the precipice once more as mobs maddened by racism violently begin to rip us apart. In July 1983 after 13 soldiers were killed by Separatists in the North, mobs in Colombo ran amok, looting and murdering, and many of us who were witnesses to the carnage can remember that the Police and Armed Forces on duty – except for a few – just looked on and did little. That opened up the wider SL ethnic conflict between the State more..

Build long-term unity and achieve progress

Mar 8 (FT) Undue dominance exercised by the Executive President over the Parliament for several decades has been a serious drawback in Sri Lanka. Opposition too has been weakened and rendered ineffective by the President. Furthermore, the enthusiasm to learn parliamentary practice and procedure of MPs and lack of knowledge have also been a major cause for the deterioration of standards both in Parliament and the country. The elected representatives have deliriously failed more..

Faraz Shauketaly & Bandula Jayasekera

Video: STF colludes with goons who perpetrated anti-Muslim violence

Mar 8 (CT) Colombo Telegraph is in possession of video footage that show members of the Special Task Force (STF) of the Police Department or SL Army in cahoots with those who have perpetrated violence against Muslims in Kandy district. The video clearly shows the assailant humiliating his victim, bragging about what he did, while STF/Army personnel look on and laugh. He is heard saying ‘It is because of what I did to you that you now find yourself on the streets, isn’t that so?’ more..

Muslim organisations convey support to President to restore peace in country

Mar 8 (PSL) The leaders of Muslim organizations extended fullest support to President Maithripala Sirisena to establish a peaceful atmosphere conducive for all the Sri Lankans to live in peace and harmony. These sentiments were expressed during a meeting held by the President, with the members of Muslim organizations, yesterday at the President’s Office to discuss the current situation prevailing in the country. President, pointing out that only a small group of extremist elements more..

'EC has nothing to do with criterion for woman representation in LG bodies'

Mar 8 (DM) EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, speaks about the current electoral system and its consequences in the aftermath of the elections to the local authorities. Q: What is your view on the new election system? A: It is a system having both merits and demerits. But, it is not appropriate for the Election Commission to criticize an electoral system signed into law by Parliament. We are only entrusted with the task to more..

Medical students will receive Mahapola stipend: MTF

Mar 8 (Island) Board of Trustees of the Mahapola Trust Fund (MTF) has decided to resume the payment of Mahapola stipends to state medical students who had resumed academic activities since Nov 2017, says Addl Secretary to Ministry of Development Strategies & Int'l Trade. Ministry has said that Mahapola stipends due from Nov 2017 onwards will be made immediately to all eligible state medical students who resumed academic activities following prolonged lecture boycott. more..

Church of Ceylon calls on the Govt to restore peace

Mar 8 (DN) Presiding Bishop of the Church of Ceylon Rt Rev. Dhiloraj Canagasabey in a statement called on the govt to take urgent steps to bring a halt to the criminal activities taking place in several parts of the country. Bishop of Colombo also urged the govt to take stern actions against those who are involved in thuggery and violence. “Those who suffered harm and damages must be compensated and minority groups reassured that they cannot be used as scapegoats and more..

Video: Fonseka slams appointment of new Law and Order Minister

Mar 8 (AD) Minister of Regional Development Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka has strongly condemned the decision to appoint Ranjith Padduma Bandara as the country’s new Minister of Law and Order. Speaking to reporters today, the former Army Commander said that fellow UNP minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara is a good friend and that the latter was not even aware he was to be given the ministerial portfolio when more..

Will control tense situ if given Law and Order Ministry: Range

Mar 8 (DM) Minister Palitha Range Bandara told Parliament that he would bring the prevailing tense situation under control if he was given the Law and Order Ministry for two weeks. “Clause 89 to 96 of the penal code gives police the provision to open fire at those violating the law. I heard the Menikhinna Police had opened fire in the air to control the situation. Police should fire at lawbreakers and not at birds in the sky. If police are not aware of the penal code, then it is time they study it. more..

Foreigners can use passport as curfew pass

Mar 8 (DM) Foreign travellers in the country could use their passports as a curfew pass during the curfew in Kandy District, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said today. Earlier today, the Authority said the situation in Kandy was improving and the area is fast returning to normalcy. “The Sri Lanka Tourism continues to work with all industry stakeholders to ensure tourists and travellers are safe and secure as they travel throughout Sri Lanka,” the SLTDA said. more..

SLTDA calls on tourists to avoid Kandy

Mar 8 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) yesterday urged tourists to avoid travelling to Kandy while industry stakeholders expressing concerns hoped that the situation would improve in the near future. “In the wake of the curfew imposed in the administrative district of Kandy, SL Tourism recommends tourists and travellers to avoid travelling into Kandy in the next 24 hours,” more..

EU calls for swift justice against perpetrators of hate crimes

Mar 8 (AD) European Union (EU) today called for the perpetrators of hate crimes in Sri Lanka to be swiftly brought to justice and make every effort to promote understanding and harmony between communities. “The recent attacks on communities are very worrying,” a joint statement issued by EU Ambassadors in SL said. “It is important that the Govt and the security forces take urgent action against hate crimes and ensure that the perpetrators of such actions are swiftly brought to justice.” more..

GTF calls on international community use all its leverage against Sri Lanka

Mar 8 (Island) Global Tamil Forum has called on the international community to use all its leverage to ensure accountability and reconciliation has not reached a dead-end in SL. It said in a media release issued a few days before the setting up of OMP: The warning signs are all there. Almost nine years after the end of the war and two and a half years after co-sponsoring a UNHRC resolution calling for comprehensive transitional justice measures, Govt of Sri Lanka has not taken more..

TNA rips into Govt

Mar 8 (CT) TNA yesterday, criticized the Govt for preparing the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Act sans retrospective application. During the Parliamentary debate on the Bill, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said, he does not think that SL Forces committed any offence in their war against the LTTE. "Forces acted according to the instructions given by the Govt. more..

We all are safe here, says Muralitharan

Mar 8 (DO) World's highest wickets taking bowler in Tests, Muttiah Muralitharan says all his family members are safe in Kandy. Speaking exclusively over his mobile 24 hours after the Sri Lankan govt has declared the state of emergency, Muralitharan said, "our countrymen are safe everywhere in Sri Lanka. There is nothing to worry as such as it was only a minor incident happened". Muralitharan now lives in Colombo but his other siblings and parents live in Kandy. more..

Canada deeply concerned by violence in SL

Mar 8 (DM) Canadian govt said it was deeply concerned by the recent inter-communal violence in Sri Lanka and urged all sides to engage in inclusive dialogue and exercise restraint to ensure peace and stability. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said; “Canada is deeply concerned by recent inter-communal violence in Sri Lanka, in which Muslims were targeted. Canada urges all sides to engage in inclusive dialogue and exercise restraint to ensure peace and stability. more..

Sri Lanka Feb 2018 tourism arrivals up 19.3%

Mar 8 (ET) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 19.3% from a year earlier to 235,618 in Feb 2018 with a surge in visitors from China. Top 10 tourism generating markets accounted for nearly 70% of all tourist arrivals into Sri Lanka in February. Tourists from China, the top generating market, soared 42.3% to 35,929 in February while Indian visitors increased 25% from a year earlier to 32,914. Arrivals from the UK grew 18% to 23,817. more..

Video: Govt benefitted from communal violence: PHU

Mar 8 (DM) The govt has benefitted from the recent acts of violence in the country, PHU said. PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila said that the pressure on political parties including the UNP to remove PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from his post had now been suppressed due to the spree of terror attacks instigated by communal violence. “The JO will not be benefitted from these incidents in any manner. We, as the SLPP, have won the majority of votes the Sinhalese in the recent election. more..

81 suspects arrested over Kandy violence, four during curfew

Mar 8 (DM) 81 suspects, including 10 personnel who had allegedly created communal disharmony using social media, had been arrested by the Police so far over violent incidents in Kandy. The 10 suspects were arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID). He said 71 suspects were arrested on charges of violent incidents, while four were arrested for violating the curfew. “Those who violated the curfew were remanded till March 21 by the Kandy Magistrate’s Court. more..

Sri Lanka's embattled private teaching hospital up for sale

Mar 8 (EN) Sri Lanka's Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital belonging to the country's only private medical school is up for sale valued at 3.55 billion rupees. The immediate sale of the 1,000-bed hospital is based on a govt valuation. A loan from Bank of Ceylon for 2.5 billion rupees can be transferred, an advertisement placed by the hospital said. Teaching hospital is part of Sri Lanka's embattled private medical school, SAITM. more..

Person dies after getting stuck in elevator at Gampaha Hospital

Mar 8 (AD) One person has reportedly died following an accident after getting stuck inside an elevator due to a power outage at the Gampaha District General Hospital. A sudden power outage had occurred at the hospital at around 2.00pm today (8) and as a result of this the elevator was stuck between the 5th and 4th floors. Among the people stuck inside the elevator at the time of the incident included a man, his and child, another woman and a hospital employee. more..

Ampara: Carbohydrate clumps; not sterilizing chemical: Govt Analyst

Mar 8 (DM) The particles that were found in food at an eatery in Ampara, which was earlier rumoured to be sterilizing chemicals, were clumps of flour, Govt Analyst reported to Police. “They were contents of carbohydrates,” Govt Analyst said. According to Govt Analyst the particles could be considered as a made of carbohydrate. Earlier, a person who had parata at the said eatery had circulated the incident in social media claiming that it was a sterilizing chemical, following which several violent more..

Buddhist mobs sweep through Sri Lanka’s Muslim neighbourhoods

Mar 8 (AP) Buddhist mobs swept through Muslim neighbourhoods in SL's central hills, destroying stores and restaurants and setting homes on fire despite a curfew, a state of emergency and a heavy deployment of security forces, residents said Thursday. In the small town of Pallekele, mobs ignored the curfew that was supposed to keep them off the streets and used gasoline bombs to burn four homes, said Mohamed Nazar. more..

Anti-Muslim Violence: Are all citizens in Sri Lanka treated as equals?

Mar 9 (CT) I want to pose the question, Sir, as to whether we have reached a stage when people think that the law enforcement authorities can be taken for granted and that the law enforcement authorities are not a deterrent to whatever activities they are engaged in? Non-observance of the rule of law can only result in chaos in governance. I do not wish to exacerbate the situation by making any remark that may not be moderate, but I do want to pose the question as to whether more..