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Hot air, as usual, to douse fires of communal violence

Mar 12 (ST) As the fires of communal violence burned across several areas in the Kandy District, Lawmakers attempted to put up a united front in Parliament this week. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya led the call for unity and called upon religious leaders to raise their voices against racism, and condemn those bent on dividing the country on communal lines. The scheduled business of Parliament for Tuesday was put on hold for an adjournment Motion to discuss the incidents of violence targeting more..

UNOPS to work with Govt to incorporate intl. best practices in improving project delivery

Mar 12 (FT) A high-level roundtable on International Project Management Best Practices for Effective Project Delivery was organised by UNOPS to key decision makers in the Govt of Sri Lanka on 26 February. This meeting was organised to share best practices and lessons learnt in project management from the UNOPS global and local experiences to improve Sri Lanka’s project delivery. Secretary to the Treasury Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga attended this occasion as Chief Guest. more..

Eyes wide open on Chinese media invasion in Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (SL) While Chinese investments started to pour in from the time Mahinda Rajapaksa became President and got close to China, concerns were raised that China was working underhand to make use of SL to meet its military and political goals. However both the past and current Govts dismissed speculation that Sri Lanka was soon going to be used as a base by the Chinese to achieve a hidden agenda. more..

Policing security, or securing Police?

Mar 12 (Island) It is sad that the nation should be burning in the flame of communal hatred and racist violence all over again, a decade after it was slowly but surely learning to leave it all behind. Sri Lanka was possibly ready (?) to open a new chapter in the short, post-Independence history, which is less than a page-long in the longer and larger SL story, when this blot has appeared. Credit should go to the govt leadership for acting decisively, even if belatedly, to curb the violence, more..

Stop. Enough. No more

Mar 12 (Island) Friday Forum is appalled by the continued violence that has been witnessed in many parts of the country, and especially in the Kandy district, in the last few days. We express our solidarity with the families of the victims who lost their lives in this senseless carnage and with those who have suffered property damage. We unreservedly condemn the attacks on private property and mosques. We also express our solidarity with the Muslim community which more..

139th Battle of the Blues ends in a draw

Mar 12 (DN) Vice-captain Kavinda Madarasinghe who is expected to lead Royal College next season came to his school’s rescue with an unbeaten knock of 58 off 86 balls (9 fours) to force a draw against traditional rivals S. Thomas’ College, Mt Lavinia in the 139th Battle of the Blues encounter that ended at the SSC grounds yesterday. The draw meant that Royal the current holders retain the DS Senanayake Shield for another year. more..

Forex reserves rise to US$7.9bn in Feb 2018

Mar 12 (EN) Sri Lanka's forex reserves rose US$ 244.35 million to US$ 7,914 million in Feb 2018 from a month earlier, amid slower credit, though monthly purchases from commercial banks slowed, official data showed. The central bank bought US$ 93 million in forex markets from commercial banks in the month, a down from US$ 191 million in January. Gross official reserves also include dollar reserves held by the Treasury and are not limited to the assets of the monetary authority. more..

‘More ships could be attracted for servicing’

Mar 12 (DN) Although nearly 200 ships pass through Sri Lankan territorial waters daily, the country has done little to attract them to offer services, said Chairperson Institute of Charted Shipbrokers (ICS) Anoma Ranasinghe. Speaking at convocation held in Colombo, organized by the Institute of Charted Shipbrokers Sri Lanka branch, she said that local maritime and logistics services need to be developed broadly and expansion of port services was also important. more..

Sri Lanka shines at ITB despite Kandy crisis

Mar 12 (FT) Destination Sri Lanka was a hot favourite at the world’s leading travel and trade show ITB, which opened in Berlin, Germany last week. The event is the largest global tourism platform connecting more than 180 countries with thousands of potential buyers from all parts of the globe. Although news of the events in Kandy over the past few days overshadowed the grand opening of the Sri Lanka Pavilion, it did not dampen more..

Our bowling was below par: Chandimal

Mar 12 (DN) You win some, you lose some is a famous idiom that is used by sports teams to indicate that it’s not possible to win all the time. That would aptly apply to Sri Lanka when Bangladesh pulled off a stunning five-wicket win chasing down what looked like a match winning total of 215 on Saturday to throw wide open Tri-nation T20I series. Sri Lanka looked to be well in the driver’s seat when they racked up an imposing score of 214-6 ala brilliant half-centuries from the two Kusals more..

Rambukwella could lose SLC contract

Mar 12 (Island) Ramith Rambukwella could lose his SLC contract following his arrest Friday night for allegedly assaulting two university students. The player is charged for drunk driving and assault. Rambukwella, who has represented Sri Lanka in two T-20Is was arrested in 2016 as well for drunk driving. A few years ago, he created a mid-air panic traveling back from West Indies with Sri Lanka ‘A’ team on a British Airways flight when he tried to open the cabin door at 35,000 feet. more..

Govt should hold reform course: IMF

Mar 12 (FT) Sri Lanka’s economy is projected to grow by 4.4% in 2018, the IMF has said in its latest update but warned reforms, including a fuel price rise earlier tabled for March, remain critical to strengthen debt repayment capacity, improve state enterprise performance and put the overall economy on a stronger footing. An IMF staff team led by Manuela Goretti visited Colombo from 27 Feb-9 March to hold discussions for more..

SL Muslims in UK stage protest in London

Mar 12 (FT) Sri Lankan Muslims living in the UK staged a demonstration in London on Saturday at the famous Hyde Park Garden in front of Sri Lanka’s High Commission in the UK and the British PM’s official residence. They demanded rightful protection of minority Muslims in Sri Lanka by the Govt. They condemned anti-Muslim attacks that took place in the Kandy District last week and Ampara District in the previous week and called for the safety and security of their community in Sri Lanka. more..

Multi-communal dialogue among Sri Lankan expats in Saudi to promote harmony

Mar 12 (FT) Following the recent violence against Muslims in SL, SL Ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Azmi Thassim, said that a multi-communal dialogue among SL expats in the Kingdom was to be organised in the Saudi capital to further strengthen understanding among all ethnic groups living in Saudi Arabia. Envoy was addressing a large section of the expat community which had assembled at the embassy to present a petition to President Sirisena urging him to take immediate action to more..

Chandimal ban for two matches: Sri Lanka take on India again today

Mar 12 (CT) Sri Lanka will be without their skipper Dinesh Chandimal when they take on India once again in the fourth T20 of the Nidahas Trophy to be held at R. Premadasa Stadium today. In absence of Dinesh Chandimal, all rounder Thisara Perera has been appointed to lead the SL team in the next two games. Perera led the team in the T20 series in Pakistan last year followed by T20 and ODI series in India before he was removed and Angelo more..

Team of 139 for Commonwealth Games: 79 athletes, 21 coaches and 19 officials

Mar 12 (CT) National Olympic Committee has selected a total of 79 athletes, 21 coaches and 19 officials for the Commonwealth Games 2018 to be held in Gold Coast, Australia from 4 to 15 April. Former NOC Treasurer Gamini Jayasinghe has been named Chef de Mission of the team, while Vice President Sumith Edirisinghe, (who received a court injunction to represent his Hockey Association), was named General Team Manager along with Chandana Perera, while more..

GSLF meets British Defence Minister, hands over report

Mar 12 (DM) A 3-member delegation of the Global Sri Lankans Forum (GSLF) has expressed to the British Govt their concern over the current security of Sri Lankans living in the UK in the aftermath of the Brigadier Priyanka Fernando incident. Their sentiments were intimated to the British Govt when they met with British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State & Minister for Defence People & Veterans, Tobias Ellwood on Sunday. At the meeting, GSLF handed over a report to the Minister. more..

Solar Alliance can bring about solutions to create a greener, cleaner, healthy world: Prez

Mar 12 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena expressed confidence that the International Solar Alliance (ISA) would showcase the power of the countries in this Alliance to bring about solutions to create a greener, cleaner and a healthy environment for people of this world. Addressing the Founding Conference of the ISA Summit in New Delhi today (11), he said the deliberations of the Conference will navigate the joint efforts of countries in more..

Rajitha claims 80 anti-govt website, Fb accounts operated from one place

Mar 12 (Island) The govt and civil society groups clashed with health minister Rajith Senaratne on Saturday over the blanket restriction on social media in the wake of the Kandy ethnic violence. The latter alleged that about 80 anti-govt websites and Facebook accounts operated from one place. He said that those websites and Facebook accounts had been used to cause racial and religious tensions. Minister said so addressing a public gathering at Paiyagala, Beruwela. more..

Father, four children drown

Mar 12 (Island) Five persons of the same family drowned when a boat capsized in Periyakulam Lake, Nilaweli yesterday. There was only one survivor, police said. Two of the victims were girls. The incident occurred around 11 a.m. yesterday while the victims were collecting lotus flowers and leaves for a religious event. The bodies were taken to the Nilaweli hospital for the post-mortem. The dead have been identified as DThangarasa (43), his daughter TSangavi (9), S Perathvi (7), more..

President meets with Indian PM

Mar 12 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena after attending the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in New Delhi met with the Indian PM Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Indian PM said that the participation of the SL President in the ISA Summit is a privilege and requested the President to extend his assistance in delivering the message of the ISA Summit to the world. PM recalled that during past few years more..

Enterprising Sri Lankans bypass TRC restrictions

Mar 12 (Island) Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) is looking at the possibility of preventing individuals bypassing restrictions on social media platforms through virtual private networks (VPN), TRC Media Manager said. The increasing use of VPNs to bypass restrictions on social media platforms and methods to prevent this had been extensively discussed on Friday. However he said he was not aware whether a final decision was taken on the matter. more..

Two suspects who had links with Makandure Madush arrested

Mar 12 (AD) Two suspects who allegedly had connections with the underworld figure known as Makandure Madush were arrested in Matara by the STF officers today (11), police said. CID and STF are conducting further investigations with regard to the firearms and drugs which were in possession of the suspects at the time of their arrest. Meanwhile, The Interpol issued notices for the arrest of two underworld leaders Kosgoda Sujee and Makandure Madush last December. more..

TNA asks govt to fulfil Geneva commitments

Mar 12 (Island) Contrary to pledges given by the govt that it has reached some consensus with the UN and it is not under pressure to set up a hybrid war crimes court here, the TNA has reiterated that Sri Lanka should be held accountable for the implementation of its own commitments in line with Geneva Resolution 30/1 adopted on Oct 1, 2015. Resolution envisages hybrid court comprising local and foreign judges, including those from more..

Fresh anti-Muslim attack in Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (EN) A Muslim-owned restaurant was vandalised in Sri Lanka Sunday despite a nation-wide police alert against hate crimes after last week's ethnic riots provoked a state of emergency, officials said. Attackers smashed the Madeena Muslim Hotel restaurant in the north-western town of Anamaduwa, 130 km north of Colombo in the early hours of Sunday, police said adding that they were treating it as a hate crime. "Police constables had been deployed to guard the area, more..

President on China's Belt and Road plan

Mar 12 (NHK) Sri Lanka's president has warned that China's Belt and Road economic initiative should not be allowed to pose a threat to the international community. Maithripala Sirisena made the remark in an interview with NHK ahead of his visit to Japan on Monday. He will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his stay. Sirisena won the 2015 presidential election by defeating pro-China incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sirisena pledged to uphold a well-balanced foreign policy. more..

UN condemns anti-Muslim attacks in SL

Mar 12 (AFP) UN's political chief on Sunday condemned anti-Muslim violence that has targeted mosques and businesses in Sri Lanka as he wrapped up a three-day visit to the island-nation. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman urged the govt to bring the perpetrators of the violence and hate speech to justice. Feltman, who met with Muslim leaders to show solidarity during his visit, more..

With so many sunny days, great potential for Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (DM) With the govt having virtually brought under control the ethnic tension and violence in some areas of the Kandy District, President Sirisena on Saturday left for India to attend the inaugural ceremony of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit in New Delhi. He was invited by India’s PM Narendra Modi and France’s President Emmanuel Macron to participate in this First Conference of the ISA. Around 500 Heads of State or govts and other representatives of several countries are more..

Forging a future of non-racist co-existence

Mar 12 (DM) M. Jaffer, an Ettam kattai 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 Ettam kattai resident related. more..

Sri Lanka’s geostrategic location important to Japan

Mar 12 (DM) A leading Japanese academic Prof. Narushige Michishita, spoke about the relationship between Japan and Sri Lanka. Prof. Michishita, who is Director of the Security and International Studies Programme of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, said that Japan greatly values its relations with Sri Lanka. Q:How does Japan view its relations with Sri Lanka? A: Japan and Sri Lanka have enjoyed more..

'Sri Lanka has made remarkable progress in mine action'

Mar 12 (DM) The Special Envoy on Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention Prince Mired Al-Hussein, about the progress made by Sri Lanka in mine action work. Sri Lanka acceded to the Convention on Dec 13, 2017. The Convention will enter into force regarding SL on June 1, 2018. Sri Lanka will be required to formally report before the Convention on any mined areas under its jurisdiction or control, or any stockpiled anti-personnel mines more..

Five frogs endemic to the Hill Country

Mar 12 (Roar) Sri Lanka is home to a surprisingly large number of frogs—to 119 different species, to be precise. Of these, 103 of them are endemic, making Sri Lanka widely recognised as a hotspot for amphibians. Sadly, they aren’t just endemic. Many of them are endangered and critically endangered. Being highly sensitive to pollution, chemical pesticides, and loss of habitat, are just some of the major threats faced by more..

'Extremism should be wiped out'

Mar 12 (DN) Extremism should be totally wiped out from the country. When the Armed Forces and Police are available to protect and safeguard the public there is no need for other auxiliary Balasenas or Balakayas to offer them protection, the Most. Ven. Tibbotuwawe Sri Siddharatha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter said. Prelate said what the Maha Sangha ought to do was to join hands with devotees more..

Me, my sister have completely forgiven father's killers: Rahul Gandhi

Mar 12 (PTI) Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi have completely forgiven his father Rajiv Gandhi's killers as they find it difficult to hate people. During an interaction with IIM alumni in Singapore, Gandhi spoke about the assassination of his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv and said that it was a price that the family knew they had to pay for taking a stand. more..

Speaker warns of Middle-eastern repercussions

Mar 12 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday warned of a possible repercussion on the employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in Middle- East countries if the racially motivated attacks against certain communities continued. Addressing a gathering of ministers, parliament members, religious leaders and businessmen of all three communities at the Central Province Governor's office in Kandy, more..

President visits Japan to further strengthen Japan- Sri Lanka ties

Mar 12 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in Japan today with the aim to further strengthening the long standing bilateral relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. The President, after successfully concluding the two day official visit to India, commenced his visit to Japan. A special delegation of the government of Japan warmly welcomed the President and the Sri Lankan delegation at the Narita Int'l Airport in Tokyo. more..

Central Expressway bid winner Taisei official arrested for rigging in Japan

Mar 12 (ST) Japanese prosecutors have arrested an official of Taisei Corporation–which is set to win a multibillion rupee contract for the third section of SL’s Central Expressway (CEP III)–in an ongoing bid rigging investigation. On Tuesday, Japan’s Infrastructure Minister Keiichi Ishii told a news conference that he would consider excluding Taisei and other companies facing the charges from bidding for public construction projects more..

Restrictions on social media entail tremendous economic loss: CHR

Mar 12 (Island) Restrictions imposed on social media platforms had led to a significant economic loss and created a negative social impact, Centre of Human Rights (CHR) said. Social media platforms are mainly used for commercial purposes and interpersonal communication and only a small percentage of people use it to criticise the govt. CHR Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said: "Govt, unable to stomach criticism or more..

Social media restriction likely to be lifted today: Harin

Mar 12 (DM) Minister Harin Fernando said today that restriction on the use of social media sites such as Facebook would most probably be lifted by tonight. He told Dailymirror that the ministry and the TRC are in discussion with the Facebook service provider about filtering social media. “It takes longer period to remove some posts such as hate speeches and child pornography published on the Facebook in Sinhala. more..

Govt has to meet its commitments

Mar 12 (CT) Sri Lanka is currently going through its most volatile period in terms of political stability and communal and racial harmony. Post LG Polls, Unity Govt was faced with the daunting task of re-establishing its authority and public confidence which it had lost owing to its own actions and inactions. Int'l Jurist and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay last week said that she had hopes on the Govt that it would deliver on its undertakings to UNHRC. more..