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Local elections had nothing to do with changing govt

Mar 9 (Island) Elections were held, results announced, why then is there so much upheaval since then? The general discussion post local govt elections had largely been around change of govt, change of the PM and regrouping of the political parties. It is clear when one follows the public discourse on the results of the recent elections that the general public and in particular the politicians have not understood the significance of LG institutions as service agents to implement more..

What exactly is going on in Sri Lanka?

Mar 9 (GN) The curfew imposed in Kandy has been temporarily lifted on Thursday following days of violence against Muslim minorities in the tourist town. About 50 people broke into Mohammad Ramzeen's small restaurant in the town of Pilimathalawa on Wednesday night while the curfew was in effect, destroying nearly everything they found. Buddhist mobs are still sweeping through Muslim neighborhoods in SL's central hills, more..

Towards a non-racist future

Mar 9 (CT) M. Jaffer, an Ettankattai resident was despairing. “The main junction is going up in flames. At the same time, the authorities are folding their arms and watching,” he complained. Jaffer says that about 20 minutes after the shops were set ablaze, a few Muslim boys from the area had flung stones at the attackers in retaliation. “At that time we heard the Army personnel telling their colleagues,they are beating our people; bring your weapons and come here,” the Ettankattai resident related. more..

Smart phones and stupid govts: Blocking social media as Sri Lanka burns

Mar 9 (GV) Struggling to contain a spate of Buddhist-led attacks on minority muslims, Sri Lanka’s govt imposed temporary blocking of social media and chat applications on March 7. This followed the reintroduction of Emergency Regulations, for the first time since 2011. The TRC has ordered all telecom operators to restrict access to Facebook, Viber and Whatsapp across the country for three days. This is to prevent the spread of communal violence, news agency quoted more..

'Extremism gaining strength and moderation weakening'

Mar 9 (SL) The recent LG elections and statements made by the govt as well as some of their actions have been seen as having a negative impact on the reconciliation process. Tamil diaspora groups like the very influential Global Tamil Forum in London have expressed frustration at how the unity govt has progressed since 2015 despite showing a lot of promises. TSpokesman of Global Tamil Forum, Suren Surendiran said more..

Economic implications of corruption

Mar 9 (ST) “Do you know how those businesses have been doing so well?” The question was raised by someone in the group recently referring to some businesses and business locations. We, a group of friends meeting after sometime, were chatting about corrupt practices by politicians and bureaucrats. Some of us were curious to know the answer to that question from the same friend, who had lots of inside information over these open secrets. “Don’t think it is because they import and sell more..

Be astute statesmen and responsible citizens

Mar 9 (DN) The ugly heads of ethnic tension and communal disharmony raised themselves this week as the govt clamped down hard on unrest in the Central Province, even if its own political course remained unclear almost a month after the LG elections. At the time of writing, the declaration of a state of emergency had been announced for a period of seven days following clashes in Digana and Teldeniya which had the potential to escalate into a conflict between the Sinhalese and more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Unbeaten Thomians meet former team mate in Royal line up

Mar 9 (Island) Going by the records of past few Royal-Thomian encounters, comparing and contrasting the teams appear to be a futile exercise as the euphoric atmosphere or the sentiments surrounding the historic battle seem to transform the teams to such an extent that underdogs emerge victorious and favourites eat humble pie. Comparing these two teams ahead of today’s 139th Battle of the Blues appears to be more complicated as teams playing at two different levels are pitted more..

China's poverty reduction effort sets example for Sri Lanka, world, says expert

Mar 9 (Xinhua) China's successful poverty alleviation program is an ideal example to follow in reducing poverty levels in Sri Lanka, an association head said. Over the past 40 years, China has made remarkable progress in the areas of education, housing, health care and social security to improve its people's livelihood, said Indrananda Abeysekera, president of the Association for SL-China Social and Cultural Cooperation. "We need to send experts to China to study rural development more..

Battle of the Blues: 139 years of grand sporting history

Mar 9 (Roar) The Royal-Thomian Battle of the Blues will soon see its 139th iteration. Being an undeclared holiday for the young and old of both schools, its clear to say that this is one of the most anticipated events in the school calendar. Countless expatriates plan their holidays around this time of the year just to return to SL to witness this match. This is the second longest uninterrupted cricket series in the world more..

Editorial: Rape of democracy

Mar 9 (Island) SC has refused to grant leave to proceed with several fundamental rights violation petitions against the PC Elections (Amendment) Act. The petitioners’ attempts to have the despicable law reviewed by the SC were praiseworthy, but it was patently clear at the very outset that their efforts had the same chances as a cat in hell in reaching fruition. For, the Constitution does not provide for post enactment judicial review of legislation and the aforesaid Act is now a fait accompli. more..

Dhawan, Unadkat brush aside Bangladesh

Mar 9 (CI) An underwhelming display with the bat cost Bangladesh their opening game in the Nidahas T20I Trophy as India overhauled a target of 140 with six wickets and eight balls to spare. Shikhar Dhawan hammered his second successive fifty to lead a straightforward chase. Bangladesh would rue the fact that none of their batsmen could post such substantial scores. Liton Das and Sabbir Rahman just about made it to the 30s. Tamim, Soumya & Mushfiqur couldn't even get into the 20s. more..

A stunned community tries to heal

Mar 9 (FT) Smoke still rises from charred remains of the pinewood logs at Zilmiya Timber Mills in Mullegama, Ambatenna. The owner’s brother, A.M.B. Halfleen, stands on a half-burnt log, surveying the damage. His bloodshot, sleep-deprived eyes take it all in, as he struggles to set aside his anger and assess the gravity of the situation. Scores of logs have all but turned to embers and the machinery has been burnt more..

Battle of Kotte commences today

Mar 9 (DN) The 41st Battle of Kotte between St.Thomas’ College, Kotte and Sri Jayewardenepura M.V. (Formerly Christian College), Kotte will be worked off today and tomorrow at the Colombo Colts grounds. Kotte Thomians are captained by Deshan Perera and will have Charuka Dilshan as his deputy. Rev.Fr. Rector Nilantha Uduwaka is the Principal of St.Thomas’ College, Kotte and the team is coaced by Jerome Chandrasekera. Sri J'pura M.V. will battle under the captaincy of Buddika Chaminda more..

Two strong teams enter 68th Battle of Golds

Mar 9 (Island) A closely contested match is what could be expected when formidable Prince of Wales meet arch rivals St. Sebastian’s today and tomorrow in the 68th Battle of the Golds at De Soysa Park. Not many Big Matches see SL Under-19 players compete against each other. The fans of Moratuwa are blessed to witness for yet another occasion some of country’s top cricketers compete in the annual encounter. The Sebs have two Sri Lanka Under-19 players in their camp in left-arm more..

BBS lashes out at Govt

Mar 9 (FT) The BBS criticised PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, charging that he had failed to resolve the communal unrest in a swift manner, despite being both the Prime Minister and Minister of Law and Order. Gnanasara thera said that PM had failed miserably in his posts and should have taken stronger action to prevent the clashes that unfolded during the last several days. “I see the PM as a useless, talentless, weak & spineless fool. more..

112th Battle of the North: St. John’s 217, Jaffna Central 43/1

Mar 9 (DN) Jaffna Central College scored 43 runs for one wicket against St. John’s College Jaffna on day one in the 112th Battle of the North annual cricket encounter played at Jaffna Central College grounds yesterday. Jaffna Central won the toss and elected to field. St. John’s bowled out for 217 runs in 77.1 overs. Devadas Sheropan scored 65 runs and Alshan Dinushan scored 31 runs. Theivendram Dinoshan scored 28 runs. Viyakanth Viyaskanth took 4 wickets for 41 runs and more..

Rs. 11.3bn Austrian loan for Sri Lanka water supply projects

Mar 9 (EN) UniCredit Bank of Austria has agreed to provide 61 million Euro (about Rs11,285 million) in loans to build a water treatment plant and new pipelines in Sri Lanka, Ministry of Finance said. A 3,500m3/day water treatment plant and other infrastructure will be built under the Kirama Katuwana Water Supply Project in Colombo district. It will supply drinking water to around 31,000 people living in Katuwana and Walasmulla Divisional Secretariat areas including more..

Speaker wants religious sectors to speak out against sectarianism

Mar 9 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya while condemning the recent incidents in Kandy and elsewhere, called upon leaders of all religious sectors to speak out against those who attempt to divide SL on sectrarian grounds. Jayasuriya in a statement said that the sudden surge of violence against Muslims clearly was not representative of any grassroots communal tensions. “These citizens, equal under our law have lived in harmony more..

SL Journalists for Global Justice condemn communal violence

Mar 9 (FT) Sri Lankan Journalists for Global Justice (SLJGJ) expressed its deep concern over what it described as unfortunate incidents of communal violence in Ampara and Kandy and urged the Government to ensure law and order and for civil society to rally for greater unity in the country. SLJGJ President Jayatilleka Silva said communal violence posed a serious threat to the peaceful co-existence of different ethnic and religious communities and destablised the country, more..

Record apparel export revenue on the cards

Mar 9 (DN) Sri Lanka will have a record export revenue from apparel re exports this year, said Secretary General of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Tuli Cooray. Speaking after the opening of the international textile and garment expo in Colombo organized by CEMS-Global USA, a multinational exhibition organizer yesterday he said that last year the total revenue earned from apparel exports were US $ 4. 8 billion and so far in 2018 earnings were at US$ 450 million. more..

GL exposes Western agenda

Mar 9 (Island) Chairman of SLPP Prof. G.L. Peiris highlighted how even a well known British newspaper and an INGO were distorting the unfortunate incidents here to suit their agendas. The text of Prof. Peiris’ statement: The London based The Guardian carried an article on its web edition last Tuesday about the incidents in Kandy where Alan Keenan of the International Crisis Group had been quoted as saying more..

President’s message on International Women’s Day

Mar 9 (GDI) Today (8) is International Women’s Day, a global recognition of women’s achievements, and govts around the world are marking it in different ways. It is a time to promote women’s rights, celebrate female achievements and inspire gender equality movements. It is a day that aims to celebrate the achievements of women in all arenas: social, economic, cultural, political and personal, as well. Theme this year is #PressforProgress and is based on a push for gender parity worldwide. more..

Concerned Lankan overseas workers urge Govt. to contain current crisis

Mar 9 (FT) In the wake of the rising violence against Muslims in some parts of Sri Lanka, the country’s expatriates living in the region are to submit a request to President Maithripala Sirisena to provide adequate security to their families back home. There are some 1.5 million Sri Lankans living in the region, which includes a substantial number of Muslims who have come to work leaving their families back home. On Wednesday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed more..

'Riots in Kandy and Ampara: MPs involved should be exposed'

Mar 9 (CT) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake demanded that Govt reveal the names of the MPs who were allegedly involved in the communal riots in Kandy and Ampara. Dissanayake referring to the claim made by minister Rajitha Senaratne that two MPs, two members of a new political party and a secretary of a MP had been involved in communal riots, stressed that Parliament has the right to know who the two MPs are. more..

New Minister says no political hand behind violence

Mar 9 (Island) New Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara yesterday said that there was no political hand behind the violence in Kandy. Maddma Bandara who assumes duties today said that those sowing seeds of racial hatred leading to clashes would be severely dealt with and, would not allow such incidents to take the country to a dark era again. Police would also mete out severe punishment to those spreading falsehoods and rumours leading to disharmony among races, more..

PNB nabs two persons with 2.6 kgs of heroin

Mar 9 (DM) Two suspects were arrested by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) with 2.6 kgs of heroin valued at over Rs. 25 million during a raid in Kaduwela. The police said the suspects, aged 53 and 55, were arrested near the Kaduwela bus stand in Nawagamuwa on Wednesday (7) evening following a tip-off received by the PNB that they were travelling in a three-wheeler. Initially, the PNB recovered 249 grammes of heroin that had been in the possession of the suspects while more..

PM assures return to calm

Mar 9 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, delivering his customary update on security, yesterday said calm had largely returned to the Kandy District and assured that directives to provide security as well as other public needs including food supplies had been issued to return the area to normalcy as soon as possible. He said unrest had been reported in Katugastota, Alawathugoda and Pujapitiya on Wednesday night but more..

Singapore issues travel alert

Mar 9 (CT) Singapore, an insignificant market for tourism to Sri Lanka, is the latest to issue a travel advisory. Its Foreign Ministry in a communiqué issued on 7 March, advised its citizens to be careful when visiting Kandy, the area where the recent Sinhala-Muslim disturbances took place. Significantly, due to the latest developments, only five countries have thus far issued travel advisories on the island. They are Singapore, the UK, the US, Australia and Canada. more..

Should tourists stay away from Sri Lanka?

Mar 9 (Independent) March is an excellent month to visit Sri Lanka, since the weather is sunny and dry. The tropical island welcomes around 200,000 British tourists each year; the UK is behind only China and India in the number of visitors it sends to Sri Lanka. But in 2018 the month has begun with inter-communal violence in a key tourist area. These are the key questions and answers for prospective travellers. Between 1983 and 2009, a long and bloody civil war was fought between the govt more..

Tremors for tourism!

Mar 9 (FT) The country’s tourism industry has been dealt an immediate blow by recent violence in the Kandy District, with hundreds of cancellations of hotel bookings, sending tremors within the sector as February arrivals showed a healthy 20% growth. Several leading operators of city hotels and resorts confirmed to the Daily FT that the past two days have triggered hundreds of cancellations of immediate bookings. more..

Conspirators within the govt: NFF

Mar 9 (DM) The recent sporadic incidents of violence had been created by a well-known gang with govt patronage, NFF National Organizer, Jayantha Samaraweera said. He said it was a deliberate act of the govt to create turmoil in the country with the intention of diverting the people's attention from the prevailing political and economic instabilities. “It is a well known secret as to who is involved in creating communal violence in the country. We are ready to disclose the truth more..

Ven. Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thera cremated with state patronage

Mar 9 (DN) The cremation of the Sambodhi Viharaya Chief Incumbent and founder of The Buddhist TV channel, Venerable Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thera, was held yesterday afternoon at Independence Square, under state patronage. Funeral procession left the Sambodhi Viharaya at 2pm and arrived at the Independence Square around 2.45 pm. Ven. Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Anunayaka Thera, Ven.Kotugoda Dhammawasa Mahanayaka Thera, more..

Kandy violence: TID nabs Prime suspect and 9 others

Mar 9 (CT) The prime suspect allegedly involved in instigating racially motivated mob violence in Digana and Teldeniya in the Kandy District was arrested yesterday, along with nine others, by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of the Police, thus restoring normalcy in the Central Province. Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara, said the 10 suspects were arrested in Digana and Poojapitiya yesterday morning. more..

We belong to humanity

Mar 9 (DM) The Nobel Prize-winning American novelist Earnest Hemingway in his famous book, For Whom the bell Tolls wrote an equally famous if not immortal truth that, “I belong to humanity and every person’s death diminishes me”. The depth of this perception needs to be understood by people. Essentially we belong to humanity and the other identities or labels we carry end in the grave. These include labels of race, social status, professions, castes and others. more..

A racial riot taken as a political football

Mar 9 (DM) When the Amnesty International (AI), the London-based NGO working on human rights issues around the world listed Sri Lanka among countries unsafe for Muslims in its latest report titled The State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 a fortnight ago, at least the Muslims in SL did not believe it. They did not take it seriously in spite of their mosques, business establishments and homes having been attacked in the past by mobs occasionally in various parts of the country, more..

How should a multi-ethnic country respond to ethnic tensions?

Mar 9 (DM) It’s not a good thing to mess with a sore wound and likewise the recent uprisings have made things a lot bitter than expected. While many factors contributed to intensify the situation it’s important to note that Sri Lanka, to begin with, is a multi-ethnic country. As we saw the end to a thirty-year ethnic conflict, it’s the duty of every citizen to ensure that such memories are never brought back. more..

President instructs authorities to stop fragmentation of coconut lands in NWP

Mar 9 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed relevant authorities to stop immediately giving permission on fragmenting coconut lands in North Western Province. Further, President advised Provincial Council, Urban Council and the Coconut Development Authority (CDA) to make necessary procedures if there is any essential requirement for fragmenting coconut lands. President stated this during a special more..

Irregularities in appointing provincial principals: Governors to be summoned: Karu

Mar 9 (CT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday, said in Parliament that he would summon the Governors to inquire about the irregularities which have occurred in appointing principals for provincial schools. Speaker made this remark when Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam complained that provincial authorities do not take steps to appoint principals who have been selected by holding an examination during the Oral Question Round. more..