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When civilized politics give in to racial bigotry

Mar 10 (DN) As fanatic communal flames burnt alive the humanity, reason, and sanity in a series of violent incidents in Ampara and Kandy, lawmakers of both the Govt and Opposition closed ranks in Parliament to condemn and mourn, but all in all it was too little, too late. Teldeniya and Digana in the central hills were on fire as Parliament commenced its bi-weekly session on Tuesday and most regrettably the situation had gotten out of hand as acts of violence spread fast more..

What does a horny frog do?

Mar 10 (Island) It was inaudible at first but one gradually became aware of the multitude of throaty croaks that made for the frog call music of the evening. The Jetwing auditorium, Colombo 7, where the book was launched, was adorned with cardboard frogs peeping from leaves, in keeping its title. It was against this backdrop Ishanda Senevirathna launched his maiden book, a photographic guide to frog-watching. The first copies of The Peeping Frogs of Nuwara Eliya were presented by more..

The huge farce of reconciliation

Mar 10 (Island) The violent clashes in the Kandy District come more than three years after the election of a govt that said much about peacebuilding, accountability, and reconciliation. In fact, reconciliation was the keyword in the Yahapalanaya or good governance propaganda. But what do we have of reconciliation today? We are caught in a wave of extremism, largely Sinhala Buddhist, as well as Tamil and Muslim, which contributes to more..

Manula troubles Thomians, Kalana strikes back

Mar 10 (DN) A brilliant spell of left-arm spin bowling by Manula Perera of Royal College who took five wickets for 43 runs saw S. Thomas’ College collapse for 166 on the opening day of the three-day 139th Battle of the Blues cricket encounter played at the SSC grounds yesterday. By the close however the Thomians had somewhat redressed the balance to a certain extent by capturing three Royal wickets for 33 runs with left-arm pacie Kalana Perera claiming all of them for 16 runs. more..

Corruption can ruin the great moves that Sri Lanka Football makes!

Mar 10 (ST) Almost every sport at an international level and in our own nation too, is time and again, tainted by reports of corruption. Without looking far and wide, the scandals rocking FIFA alone should give us enough food for thought. But that would be too simple, if recent developments in FFSL are anything to go by. Hardly had the ink dried on the words of praise heaped in the media on the arrival of Nizam Packeer Ali; the hosannas speak of a saviour who will resurrect the tarnished name more..

Thailand Week Trade Fair opens investment and development opportunities for Sri Lanka

Mar 10 (FT) Thailand Week Trade Fair kicked off yesterday, opening many investment and development opportunities for SL. Second edition is taking place at the BMICH and will go on till Sunday. Event was inaugurated by Minister Malik Samarawickrama along with Ambassador of Thailand Chulamanee Chartsuwan, Thai Trade Centre Director Jittima Nakamano and EDB Chairperson Indira Malwatte. more..

Govt should take inspiration from business leaders like MAS chairman: minister

Mar 10 (Island) Positive change that has swept through some business entities in Sri Lanka led by progressive business leaders like MAS Holdings chairman Mahesh Amalean, needs to pass through the political decision making process as well, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, said in Colombo addressing the SL Ceramics and Glass Symposium 2018. "We can't afford to become complacent about the status quo as we appear to have hit a plateu. So, we need to take inspiration from top-notch more..

John Keells unit gets land in logistics zone

Mar 10 (EN) John Keells Logistics, part of John Keells Holdings group, will get two plots of land in a reclaimed part of the Muthurajawela marsh designated as a logistics zone. Cabinet of ministers this week approved a proposal by Minister Champika Ranawaka to lease the two blocks of land to John Keels Logistics for 30 years. John Keells Logistics (Pvt.) Ltd. was the highest bidder when bids were called to lease out the two remaining land lots for logistic purposes. more..

It’s about playing smart cricket: Rumesh R.

Mar 10 (CT) High riding Sri Lanka will walk into the middle towering with confidence as the unchanged team take on Bangladesh in the third T20 match of the Nidahas Trophy T20 Tri-Series to be played at R. Premadasa Stadium today. Sri Lanka who were suffering from their highest losing streak in 2017, defeat after a defeat, going down on rankings, getting beaten by Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and etc. more..

SLIIT students learn vital life-skills via Viramaya 2018

Mar 10 (CT) The student community at SLIIT has the unique advantage of not only gaining knowledge in a specific area of study but also experiencing other non-academic areas that help them to hone important life-skills and become confident, well-rounded, creative individuals. Every year, Faculty of Computing Student Community at SLIIT stages an extravaganza of the performing arts that bring out into the open, latent creative talents of the students, in the area of classical music and dancing. more..

SC refused leave to proceed with petitions against EC decision to postpone PC polls

Mar 10 (FT) The Supreme Court this week by majority decision refused to grant leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petitions complaining of the purported postponement of the Provincial Council elections. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justices Sisira J De Abrew and Nalin Perera. The majority decision refused to grant leave while the Chief Justice dissented. Gamini Marapana PC with Navin Marapana and Kausalya Molligoda appeared for more..

Despise communalism: Sathyagraha in Colombo

Mar 10 (LT) A Sathyagraha campaign to protest against the communal clashes that occurred in Digana area in Kandy District and the attempt to spread communalism in other areas was held at Viharamahadevi Park today (9th). Sathyagraha organized by the JVP was participated by a large crowd including representatives of civic organizations, artists, university lecturers and professors, Bhikkus of National Bhikkhu Front more..

Sri Lanka made minimal progress on UNHRC resolution: Verité Research

Mar 10 (LBO) SL govt has made minimal progress towards the fulfillment of its commitments in UNHRC resolution on SL, research firm said. Verité said in a report that only 2 out of 36 commitments saw an improvement in their implementation status in recent months. “Since March 2017, govt lost ground in the fulfilment of five commitments,” it said. These commitments include the establishment of accountability mechanisms, and the prevention of attacks against religious minorities. more..

Japan assures fullest support in Sri Lanka maritime security

Mar 10 (DM) Chief of Japanese Defense Staff Admiral Katsutoshi Kawana today assured President Maithripala Sirisena that the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force would extend its fullest support to ensure Sri Lanka’s maritime security, the President’s Media Unit said. It said Admiral Kawana called on President Sirisena at his residence today. “The Admiral agreed with the President’s request for increasing training opportunities for Sri Lanka Navy personnel in Japan. more..

JVP asks Muslim leaders to decry extremism in their community

Mar 10 (Island) JVP yesterday in parliament called on Muslim leaders to raise their voices against extremists in the their community. JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake said there were extremists in both Sinhalese and Tamil communities and that was also true of the Muslim community. Many Sinhalese and Tamil people speak against the extremism and extremists in their communities. However, none of the Muslim politicians more..

Chief Govt Whip concedes there are bogus budget proposals

Mar 10 (Island) Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka told Parliament that though there was a proposal to grant loans on concessionary interests for ornamental fish business in Budget 2016, funds for that had not been allocated. He made this remark in answer to an oral question raised by JO MP Bandula Gunawardena during the parliamentary session yesterday. Gunawardena asked whether there was a list of individuals or institutions for whom the govt granted loans on concessionary interests as more..

Kandy Clashes: Diluted intelligence services failed to update govt

Mar 10 (DM) Joint opposition MP Gamini Lokuge said yesterday the recent communal clashes could have been prevented if the government had obtained the services of the intelligence agencies. He told parliament that the govt had imprisoned or interdicted most of the officials of these services over various allegations. "Several capable officers of the intelligence services are in prison now. If the government had obtained their services, incidents like this would not have happened," more..

Interpol red notice to be sought on Arjuna M.

Mar 10 (Island) Former Governor of the CB Arjuna Mahendran, wanted in connection with Treasury bond scams perpetrated in 2015 and 2016, has again ignored Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne’s order that he appear before the Director, Criminal Investigation and make a statement. Mahendran was first ordered to report to the CID on or before Feb. 15 following the arrest of his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius, more..

'Pakistan, SL need to revive SAARC forum'

Mar 10 (PT) Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka need to work together to revive the SAARC forum as a vibrant platform for regional cooperation. Speaking to SL High Commissioner, Major General (R) Jayanath Perera, Abbasi said that both the countries enjoy friendly relations in all areas and stressed that it needs to be further strengthened. PM also conveyed his warm regards to the leadership of Sri Lanka. more..

Majoritarian threat to peace in Sri Lanka

Mar 10 (ET) Ethnic and communal riots in Sri Lanka targeting the country’s Muslims, who account for 7% of the population, threaten post-civil war peace and stability in the country. If the govt does not crush the Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism that has led to the attacks on Muslims, it will turn against the Tamil minority sooner rather than later, resurrecting ghouls from the civil war. The violence, though concentrated in and around the city of Kandy in the country’s Central Province, more..

Govt mulling legislation for social media

Mar 10 (DM) In the aftermath of communal clashes, govt is hoping to introduce fresh legislation to ensure a code of conduct for the operation of social media websites in line with international best practices, Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. He said that he spoke to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in this regard and that the PM had asked him check out how these networks operate in the countries such as Germany & Britain. more..

Rajitha under fire for contracting Indians to wash hospital linen

Mar 10 (Island) The GMOA called for a Presidential intervention to halt the outsourcing of the laundry in govt hospitals to an Indian Company. GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge warned that all health service trade unions would unite in fighting against such projects. Dr. Aluthge said the parties involved in washing hospital linen had been registered with and certified by the Health Ministry after calling for tenders. They were experienced and met the required standards. more..

Video: PC member and his wife arrested over assault on private bus driver

Mar 10 (CT) Southern Provincial Council member M.K. Kasun and his wife were arrested by the Thalangama Police after the duo assaulted a bus driver. Kasun is the son of notorious thug Chandi Malli of Beliatte and a supporter of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). The incident was captured on camera by a person in a bus at the Talangama-Koswatte junction. The video shows Kasun attacking the bus driver along with his wife who is seen brandishing a pistol. more..

Curfew after reviewing security situ today

Mar 10 (DM) The decision to re-impose the curfew in the Kandy administrative district today would be taken after reviewing the security situation in the affected areas because the situation in the district was improving and fast returning to normal, SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. He said though there were no incidents reported during the day, night curfew from 8 pm yesterday was imposed in areas other than more..

Excise Ordinance amended

Mar 10 (FT) Parliament approved amendments to the Excise Ordnance on Thursday prohibiting the tapping of coconut and palmyrah trees without obtaining licences and allowed tapping only the kithul tree for toddy without a licence. The new law will come into effect from 1 April 2018. Moving to the second reading debate on the Bill, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne held that the Govt was committed to reducing the use of alcohol every step of the way, making use of issuing licences. more..

Global Tamil Forum calls for stern action

Mar 10 (Island) Global Tamil Forum (GTF) expressed its dismay that a concerted effort was being made by extremist elements from the Sinhala Buddhist community to spread falsehood and hatred, and to instigate destruction and violence against the Muslim community of Sri Lanka. Issuing a statement, the GTF said: "The violence occurred in the Ampara and Kandy districts during the last two weeks, which involved deaths, and destruction to properties and places of worship of more..

4th day of big brother muzzling social media

Mar 10 (Island) As Sri Lankans spent the fourth day without access to the social media and instant messaging services, Purawesi Balaya, a Civil Society Organization accused the govt of blocking those social media sites instead of taking action to identify the wrongdoers. Co-convener of Purawesi Balaya Gamini Viyangoda stressed that the blocking of all social media platforms and instant messaging services clearly showed the govt’s inability to more..

Women, Water and Wewas

Mar 10 (DM) March 8 was not only World Women’s Day, it was also World Kidney Day and with Sri Lanka still facing a virtual kidney disease epidemic in the North Central province and other areas, the day had special significance for our country. According to the International Society of Nephrology (ISN), chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health crisis with adverse outcomes of kidney failure and premature death. CKD affects about 195 million women worldwide and more..

Modern nation-state: A blow from Digana

Mar 10 (DM) Sri Lanka’s nation-building process, it appears, is a farce and the state-building process a failure. The communal tension in the past ten days, first in Ampara and then in Digana, Kandy, when seen together with the three-decades of separatist war and seven decades of ethnic disharmony between communities, tells us that Sri Lanka is yet to become a modern-nation state. A nation’s development is assessed not by the number of highrise buildings or flashy cars on the road, more..

Anti-Muslim violence in Amparai & Kandy

Mar 10 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Minister of Law and Order on Feb 25th. It was a stop-gap measure. Premier was only expected to be in charge of the portfolio for two weeks until a new Minister was appointed. The fortnightly stint as a caretaker Minister, however, proved to be a terrible ordeal amounting to a baptism of fire for the new Law and Order Minister. more..

Religious leaders denounce violence

Mar 10 (DN) The Congress of Religions comprising leaders from the Buddhist, Christian, Islamic and Hindu faiths while denouncing in the strongest terms, all those who resort to intimidation, thuggery and violence, urged the govt to take prompt action to bring the perpetrators to justice. The religious leaders in one voice urged the govt to enforce the law in a manner that safeguards the security and dignity of each and every citizen more..

Top-post dispute may dampen Epidemiology Unit’s disease combat task

Mar 10 (ST) As controversy has erupted over the topmost post of the Epidemiology Unit with shouts of protests in health circles, there are also strong fears that Sri Lanka’s much-commended public health system is set to crash with the next outbreak of disease. This follows the appointment of a non-technical, non-specialist medical administrator to the post of Chief Epidemiologist of the Health Ministry more..

Akila: Qualified principals not appointed to provincial schools

Mar 10 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament, that he would summon provincial Governors to inquire about alleged irregularities in appointing principals to fill vacancies. Speaker said so when Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam complained that provincial authorities did not take steps to appoint principals, selected through an examination. There had been many irregularities in the process of more..

Rahman ashamed of being govt MP

Mar 10 (Island) UNP MP Mujibur Rahman said in Parliament that he was ashamed of being a MP of the current govt. Rahman said that though the current govt had come to power flaying the former regime for shielding racist organisations like the BBS, it had not taken any action against racism and extremism. "Headquarters of the BBS was opened under the former regime and with the participation of Defence Secretary Gotabaya more..

Harsha, Dinesh clash over FB

Mar 10 (Island) Aheated argument erupted between State Minister Harsha de Silva and JO Parliamentary Group Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament yesterday over a Facebook page. While De Silva was speaking during the parliamentary session Gunawardena got up to leave the Chamber. De Silva asked Gunawardena not to leave the Chamber. more..

Immediate probe needed to identify links of arrested suspects: Champika

Mar 10 (DM) Impartial investigations should be conducted immediately over the suspects who were arrested recently for propagating hate sentiments among the public, to identify connection of any political or religious conspirators involvement and prevent such incidents from continuing in the future, Jathika Hela Urumaya General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranwaka said yesterday. more..

Northern village women in claws of microfinance monster

Mar 10 (ST) Karadikundu villagers keep track of their multiple loans by naming each after the day of the week on which the respective collectors come. So there are Monday loans, Tuesday loans and Wednesday loans — and others. Situated at Pooneryn in Kilinochchi, this tiny fishing hamlet is caught in a debt trap of massive proportions. Women have flocked towards microfinance loans chiefly to buy equipment more..

Normalcy returns to Kandy

Mar 10 (DN) Public life in Kandy which had been disrupted over the past couple of days due to ethnic tensions is now returning to normalcy. Businesses which had been shut for the last three days, opened yesterday, after Police curfew was lifted at 6.00am yesterday and transportation services were also seen to be getting back to normal. Govt offices too opened their doors after being shut for the last three days. more..

President orders probe into anti-Muslim riots

Mar 10 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena Saturday announced an investigation into anti-Muslim riots that spread in central Sri Lanka prompting the authorities to declare a nationwide state of emergency. A panel of three retired judges will probe the breakdown in law and order in the picturesque hill resort of Kandy and also recommend compensation for the victims, Sirisena's office said in a statement. more..

Question the Police

Mar 10 (CT) The recent violence in Kandy, now brought under control, is an example of the importance of the need for the Govt to invest in good intelligence which could have prevented such incidents from taking place. If intelligence was good, the events that took place a few days ago leading to at least two deaths, several being injured and damage to public and private properties would never have had taken place. Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, referring to these incidents, more..