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FUTA hits out at govt's inability to curb violence

Mar 9 (DM) Federation of University Teachers' Association (FUTA) said the govt’s inability and reluctance to enforce the law against perpetrators of communal violence had led to the serious escalation of communal tensions. FUTA Assistant Secretary Dr Athulasiri Samarakoon said in a statement that the govt should enforce the law strongly and impartially against perpetrators of such communal violence, as well as more..

Mob rivalry spills blood on public streets

Mar 9 (ST) A series of shootings over the past few weeks, some in broad daylight, on busy streets and on public transport, have raised concerns over a rise in underworld rivalry that is putting the lives of ordinary people at risk. The concerns were expressed after many incidents of killings were reported over the past two weeks from Tangalle to Hulftsdorp in Colombo, from Polgahawela to Thalangama with pistols more..

Sri Lanka issue internal: China

Mar 9 (CT) China's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang responding to Sri Lanka's situation from Beijing on 7 March said that it was an internal issue and expressed confidence that the Govt of Sri Lanka would be able to bring the situation under control. China is Sri Lanka's second largest tourism market, according to latest data, which is as per January's tourism figures. Tourism is SL's third largest foreign exchange earner. more..

Kandy violence leads tourists to cancel visits

Mar 9 (DM) The religious and communal violence that erupted in Kandy could end up stymying the momentum built up in the tourism industry over the past three months, as signs are emerging that foreign tourists are cancelling their visits to Sri Lanka. Over 80 tourists have cancelled their bookings made at one of the top three travel companies in Sri Lanka, which could possibly amount to a loss of 800 nights, more..

Private sector to come under bribery laws

Mar 9 (Island) CIABOC is in the process of amending existing laws to subject the private sector, too, to bribery laws. Director General, CIABOC, Additional Solicitor General Sarath Jayamanne, PC, said that it was in line with the proposed National Action Plan to combat Corruption (NAPAC). Addressing the media, Jayamanne promised to finalise the NAPAC by June this year. The President’s Counsel was flanked by more..

Army Troops will Ensure Safety to all Communities, Assures Army Commander

Mar 9 (GDI) As normalcy was returning fast, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army went to trouble-torn Kandy this morning (8) and took stock of developments taking place in the aftermath of violence that sparked off in the general areas of Digana, Galaha, Katugastota, Menikhinna, Ambetenna, Akurana, Poojapitiya and a few other affected areas. more..

Hakeem tells govt to issue shoot at sight orders

Mar 9 (DM) SLMC leader Minister Rauff Hakeem asked the govt to issue shoot at sight orders to enforce the police curfew in the affected areas. Mr. Hakeem said there were lapses initially in dealing with the situation, but the incidents could not be solely blamed on the govt. He said there were problems in the preparedness in facing the violence of this scale. SLMC leader urged the govt to probe the failure on the part of the intelligence more..

Free Wi-Fi but Facebook fails

Mar 9 (FT) Just one thing today. TGIF. Hope together with the rest of pluralism embracing Sri Lanka that Jumma brings some measure of a just peace to the troubled administrative district that is home to the Buddha’s most treasured relict. But who’s to know what’s really happening on the ground? Save (of course, or perhaps) the Police, STF or Army, and the vulgar mob with their pusillanimous sponsors. Maybe there is a false sense of serenity in the absence of stirring more..

Don’t wait for India to intervene again!

Mar 9 (CT) TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran during a recent event in Jaffna had pointed out that India's guidance was a must for the aspirations of the Sri Lankan Tamils to be fulfilled. India's involvement in the country's 30-year war continues to evoke mixed emotions and responses from the various segments of society. While some are of the view that another country should not interfere in our issues, there is also a view that the problems can only be solved with India's involvement. more..

Austin Fernando

Video: Govt failed to control riots, don't blame the Police: MR

Mar 9 (DM) Though some ministers blamed the police for their failure to control the prevailing tense situation, the Police is also part of the govt, former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa said. He said that the govt should be held responsible for the events that take place in the country. “This shows the Govt’s inability. It has failed to control the riots,” he said. He said during his tenure, order and proper system were in place and did not allow incidents to spill out of control. more..

Aloysius & Palisena bail request rejected

Mar 9 (NR) The revision bail application filed by Owner of Perpetual Treasuries Limited Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena, arrested and remanded over the controversial Treasury bond issuance, has been rejected by the Colombo High Court. NewsRadio Court Correspondent said the order was issued by High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne. Two bail applications tabled by the petitioners were previously rejected by the Fort Magistrates Court on the 16th of February. more..

SL steps up security ahead of Friday prayers

Mar 9 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops and police stepped up security around mosques ahead of Friday prayers amid fears that anti-Muslim riots that have left three people dead could spread across the country. Most Muslim-owned businesses in the island nation remained shut on Friday in protest at attacks by Sinhalese groups so far concentrated around the central city of Kandy, police and residents said. more..

Sri Lanka’s electronic media opted to douse the fires instead of fanning the flame

Mar 9 (AD) The Broadcasters’ Guild of Sri Lanka says that country’s electronic media stands together in the decision to act responsibly in the current situations and to douse the fires of ethnic hatred purported by very few, instead of fanning the flames. Secretary of the guild and Deputy Chairman of TV Derana Mr. Laksiri Wickramage stated that they want to get together and do whatever possible to make sure that this kind of thing will not happen again in the future. more..

Curfew in Kandy administrative district during the night

Mar 9 (AD) A curfew will be imposed in the Kandy administrative district, excluding the Kandy Municipal Council area, from 8pm today until 5am tomorrow. Curfew imposed from 6pm yesterday was lifted at 6am today. Curfews were imposed within the district on several occasions in the past couple of days due to the tense situation which had prevailed in Kandy since Sunday. Police said that a peaceful atmosphere currently exists in the Kandy district and that the area is fast returning more..

Case stories of labour migrants from the North

Mar 9 (FT) Over the last few days, this series has been exploring the issues surrounding labour migration from Sri Lanka, particularly the north. Here are the personal life stories behind the phenomenon. The people living in the post-war north, who feel impelled to migrate for socio-economic reasons. Selvaraja Krishnakumar (30): He is the sole breadwinner. He went five years ago to Qatar where he does construction work, more..

Can Bangladesh turn their form around against resurgent Sri Lanka?

Mar 9 (CI) Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are at opposite ends of the confidence spectrum as they face up in the Nidahas Trophy. Bangladesh haven't won an international match since Jan 23, since when they have lost two ODIs, two Tests and three T20s on the trot. Sri Lanka on the other hand have looked like a different unit, following their successes in Bangladesh. Their five-wicket win over India showed where their confidence currently stands. Their chase against India, more..

'Take action against those inciting racism'

Mar 9 (NR) State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva requests Prez Sirisena to appoint a Presidential Commission to take action against individuals inciting racism within the country. Expressing his views in Parliament today he said social media networks that have been temporarily blocked will be re-activated by tomorrow. He said Facebook and WhatsApp have been blocked for only 72 hours and once it times out on Saturday the public can access these social network sites again. more..

Sri Lanka's revival all about smart options

Mar 9 (CI) It is not aggression that Sri Lanka has recently prioritised, but cricketing wit. Following an extremely disappointing year in limited-overs cricket, Sri Lanka has begun 2018 brightly, winning the tri-nations series and their three T20 internationals in Bangladesh. Instrumental to those victories has been a resurgent top order. The likes of Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga and Kusal Perera have all struck important innings, more..

Social media blockage to be lifted tomorrow

Mar 9 (DN) The blockade imposed on Facebook and other social media networks will be lifted by Saturday, said State Minister Harsha de Silva. He said that false and malicious content are spread through social media as anything can be said or spread through social media. ‘Trolls and bots manipulate social media sites to spread false and inflammatory news in an apparent effort to stoke political and ethnic divisions on a large scale. Hence it is difficult to control social media as more..

Ex-president Rajapaksa visits Kandy

Mar 9 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Kandy today and met the Anunayake Theras of the Malwathu and Asgiriya Chapters, the Muslim Moulavis and Hindu Priests at Lohan Ratwatte's residence in Mahiyawa and discussed ways and means of restoring peace in Kandy. The Anunayake of Malwatte Chapter, the Ven Niyangoda Sri Vijithasiri Thera and Anunayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, the Ven Venderuwe Upali Thera said all communities should live in peace and more..

Sri Lanka should take lead in de-mining efforts: Prince Mired

Mar 9 (NR) Special Envoy on Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Prince Mired Al-Hussein has welcomed SL’s engagement towards achieving a country free of anti-personnel mines and encouraged the country to take the lead to get other countries in South Asia to follow suit. Special Envoy today called on Prez and PM. During his meeting with the President the Envoy expressed his gratitude to the President and people of Sri Lanka for more..

South Africa will build Mandela statue in Jaffna

Mar 9 (Island) South Africa has proposed to erect a statue of Nelson Mandela in Jaffna. According to a statement issued by the Office of Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray, the proposal was made by South African High Commissioner in SL Ms Robina Marks. Statement quoted Cooray as having welcomed the proposal. Cooray also received an invitation from Marks to send a delegation comprising representatives of all communities to South Africa to study the situation there. more..

Eran says time has come to change laws that discriminate against women

Mar 9 (Island) The time had come for amending certain laws to eradicate gender-discrimination against women in Sri Lanka, State Minister Eran Wickremaratne told Parliament. Participating in the Second Reading Debate on Excise (Amendment) Bill, he said that Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had recently brought in a Special Gazette notification to lift the ban on women buying alcohol with the intention of removing gender discrimination against women. more..

All-woman crew flies Air India flight to Sri Lanka on International Women’s Day

Mar 9 (FT) To mark the occasion of International Women’s Day, Air India, the iconic airline of India, operated an all-woman crew flight to Sri Lanka yesterday from Chennai to Colombo and then from Colombo to New Delhi. The flight was piloted by Captain V. Roopa and Captain Nimisha Goel, accompanied by cabin crew Ria, Zena, Ritika, Tianaro and Haritha. Ramesh Babu and Neha Singh from the High Commission of India welcomed more..

PAFTA calls for impartial inquiry

Mar 9 (Island) The Peradeniya Arts Faculty Teachers’ Association has called for an impartial inquiry into Kandy violence. The following is the text of the statement issued by its President Prof. Arjuna Parakrama: "PAFTA expresses its shock at the recent spate of violent incidents that have engulfed parts of the central province and unequivocally condemns all acts of violence, stoking the fires of ethnic division, disharmony and downright hate and hostility. more..

SL banks to join small business loan scheme

Mar 9 (EN) Ten Sri Lankan public and private sector banking institutions are to sign up for a government loan scheme to give start-up capital or funds for expansion to small and medium enterprises. The programme implemented by the govt with the aim of securing funds for capital and working capital requirements of small and medium scale entrepreneurs provides funds up to a maximum Rs.50 million with a 10 year repayment period. The Cabinet of ministers this week approved more..

Australian HC calls for gender equality, empowerment in Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (FT) As Sri Lanka posts one of the lowest female workforce participation rates of any comparable country, Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson yesterday called on all stakeholders to promote gender equality and empowerment to unleash the potential of women in business. “Sri Lanka’s female workforce participation rate stands at 35%, one of the lowest rates of any comparable country. more..

UN political officer pleased with reconciliation process

Mar 9 (MoD) Visiting UN Under-Secretary General (USG) for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman met the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Kapila Waidyaratne at the Ministry today. During the ensuing discussion matters relating to the national reconciliation process including land release was taken up for discussion. The USG was briefed on the progress of the reconciliation process and its current status. Mr. Feltman was pleased with the actions taken in this regard. more..

Govt’s friendly foreign policies will continue: President

Mar 9 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena says the govt will continue to carry out its friendly foreign policies. President made this statement during the meeting held with the visiting United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. President Sirisena stressed the govt will continue to gain the assistance of the UN to execute future economic plans. Issuing a statement the President’s Media Division said the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs more..

IMF staff concludes the 2018 Article IV mission with Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (IMF) A Concluding Statement describes the preliminary findings of IMF staff at the end of an official staff visit (or mission), in most cases to a member country. Missions are undertaken as part of regular (usually annual) consultations under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, in the context of a request to use IMF resources (borrow from the IMF), as part of discussions of staff monitored programs, more..

The Sinhala-Buddhists will hit us next in 2020

Mar 10 (CT) This is so easy, so predictable. Even a five year old Muslim kid would make this prediction effortlessly. Anything that’s psychologically overwhelming becomes easily predictable through a process known as conditioning. Classical conditioning whose teachers are many today, is the first type of learning to be discovered within the behaviorist tradition. The major theorist in the development of classical conditioning is Ivan Pavlov and his contemporary Sigmund Freud. more..

Is SL at the cusp of a second ethnic conflict?

Mar 10 (CT) The on-going sectarian violence is a result of frustrations that have been building over time boiling over. A few trigger points were required to bring the economically disenfranchised youth onto the roads. The extremely unfortunate death of a Sinhala youth, the Wandha Pethi saga and the recent election result which has been interpreted as a sign for the extremist Buddhists to take back control have all contributed to the tipping point. The rural Sinhalese youth are frustrated because more..

Where the Peacocks dance: A photostory

Mar 10 (Roar) These photographs were taken in the jungle areas of Trinco, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, and Kilinochchi. Hindu god Katharagama used it as his coach and horses, riding around in colourful splendour. Two of them, necks intertwined, gild the portal of the inner sanctum of the Temple of the Tooth. Queen Elizabeth the First ate it on special occasions, its feathers adorning the dish. And the Afghan kings named more..

What’s in a name?

Mar 10 (CT) If you read the newspapers published in Sri Lanka, you will be surprised to see that many people want to change their names for reasons only known to them. Most people change their full names, others only a part. Whatever it is, name-changing seems to be a new trend. Sometimes I wonder why anyone should change their names given at birth. It may be that some names do not click or their names spell disaster according to numerology or astrology. more..

Sri Lanka’s Racial Amity and Co-existence

Mar 10 (CT) Media reported that a comprehensive National Policy on Reconciliation and Co-existence, prepared by the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation was launched at a ceremony held at the Regal Cinema in Colombo recently. A film titled Thundenek was also screened. Participating at the event, President Maithripala Sirisena said that all citizens must unite together to conquer the challenges against the peace and reconciliation. It was pointed out that the reconciliation is more..

Freedom Principle demonstrated in Colombo

Mar 10 (ST) In confluence with the 70th anniversary of Ceylon’s Independence from British rule, was the marking of seven decades of diplomatic relations betwixt Washington and Colombo; that was the compelling rationale for the US State Department to arrange that the US Embassy in Colombo host the visit of trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and the International All Stars for a series of performances offered the people more..

Address root causes of conflict in society

Mar 10 (DN) Kandy is reportedly calming down. Violence that was seen in many areas, especially Digana, Teldeniya and Katugastota has been largely curbed. The efforts to restore complete peace in the region, and understanding between the Sinhala and Muslim populations will need much more concerted action by the leaders of the communities and govt. It will require strong efforts to prevent this crisis moving to further areas of communal unrest and confrontations that cannot be the goal of more..

Editorial: Plutonium meeting Uranium

Mar 10 (Island) US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet the Rocket Man of Asia or North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to powwow on nukes in May. It looks as if he, with enough and more problems to contend with on the domestic front, had been waiting for an invitation from his North Korean counterpart for talks. The event will be like plutonium meeting uranium! The world is on tenterhooks for the outcome of the meet to be held. Sanity seems to have prevailed at long last after a prolonged more..