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SL slammed over response to riots

Chandi Malli & wife remanded in assault case

Mar 13 (Island) Kaduwela Acting Magistrate on Saturday remanded till March 13 Southern Provnicial Councillor H.K.Kasun alias Chandi Malli and his wife charged with assulting and injuring a 177 route bus driver at the Talangama -Koswatte junction. Driver Milinda Sugathapala was released on Rs. 200,000 surety bail. The prosecution had complained against the victim. Police told court that the victim had parked his bus opposite the bus terminal obstructing the road. more..

Dinuk H. appointed new Chairman of COYLE

Mar 13 (FT) Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) announced the appointment of Dinuk Hettiarachchi as its new Chairman, following its 19th anniversary celebrations held on Saturday at the Ballroom of Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo. Hettiarachchi is the Managing Partner of Nihal Hettiarachchi & Co., a leading auditing and accounting firm in Sri Lanka. He is also the Chairman of 3DH International Group of Companies with a diversified portfolio comprising of more..

Mahanayake proposes inter-community committees to tackle ethnic disputes

Mar 13 (Island) Most Venerable Mahanayake of Malwatte Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera, during a discussion with a group of MPs on Saturday, proposed that inter-community committees be established at Buddhist temples to tackle the problem of communal violence. The all-party parliamentary group led by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya called on the prelate to seek his advice more..

Kandy’s Battle of Blues and Battle of Babes on March 16-17

Mar 13 (DN) Postponed 101st Battle of the Blues between Trinity & St. Anthony’s will take place on March 16-17 at Asgiriya Stadium. For these two schools there are no games bigger than this clash. St. Anthony’s and Trinity are the two of the oldest colleges and this encounter is also the sixth oldest Big Match in SL. This season both schools are evenly balanced with good records going into this match. Trinity have been in good form, without losing a game, they have won six. more..

Beware of offers of trips to Oz, Sri Lankan refugees warned

Mar 13 (TOI) The Tiruvallur district administration has put up a notice at the Sri Lankan refugee camp in Gummidipoondi urging the inmates to be cautious about agents promising to take them to Australia by sea as most of them abandon the refugees off Christmas Island in Pacific Ocean. The notice includes a letter from the Australian govt, written by the air-vice marshal, detailing several restrictions on taking in refugees and later granting them citizenship. more..

JO demands PSC for impartial investigation of communal unrest

Mar 13 (FT) Party Leaders will today decide on the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the incidents of communal unrest in various parts of the country in recent weeks. The JO in Parliament last week called the House to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to investigate the riots that occurred in Ampara and Kandy districts. “A Parliamentary Select Committee will be practical and more..

Key witness claims he was threatened

Mar 13 (DN) Businessman Gehard Mendis, 74, a key witness in the alleged extortion case filed against three accused including MP Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife yesterday informed Colombo High Court that Prasanna Ranatunga while he was serving as the Western Province Chief Minister in 2015 had threatened him over the phone demanding the rest of the money involved in a land deal. Attorney General (AG) had filed indictments against former Western Province CM more..

Lankan maid shot dead in Saudi Arabia

Mar 13 (SG) A SL woman was killed by gunfire in Buraidah Saturday morning. A Saudi man who was accused of opening fire on the woman later committed suicide by shooting himself. The dead woman was identified as Priyanka Jayashanker, 42, who worked as a housemaid. Her body was kept in hospital morgue in Al-Ras for further legal procedures. Police received information about the incident Saturday morning. Saudi man killed the SL maid inside his house with a hunting rifle. more..

Bar Association goes to SC against establishment of Anti-Corruption High Court

Mar 13 (FT) Bar Association filed a Fundamental Rights case against the proposed amendments to the Judicature Act to establish a Permanent High Court at Bar, opposing the proposed move to remove the decision-making process of instituting criminal proceedings from the Supreme Court. The proposed amendment transfers this power to the Attorney General and the Director General for the CIABOC. more..

RPC’s rosy plans insufficient to assure true sustainability

Mar 13 (DN) Regional Plantation companies (RPCs) at every forum, make vain attempts to give a very rosy generalized picture of their plans, investments and performance but these are barely sufficient to assure true sustainability, said Minister Navin Dissanayake. There is a serious crisis blooming in the plantation sector and those troubled RPCs cannot take an ostrich approach and heap self-praise on themselves. He was addressing the first seminar on Sustainability of Plantation more..

Uni non-academic strike continues

Mar 13 (CT) State University students and academics are distressed over the continued protests carried out by university non-academic staff for the13th day in a row. Activities and day-to-day functions of universities have since been halted. University Trade Union Joint Committee Chairman Edward Malwattage said that the Committee intends to continue their protests until a fair solution is given by the authorities. He explained that the indefinite strike was launched to demand more..

Voices grow against social media ban

Mar 13 (FT) State-imposed thorny ban on social media looks set to drag on till at least Thursday (15), after a high-level meeting yesterday failed to agree on a timeline for restrictions, despite numerous pleas from the private sector, rights activists and top diplomats. Prez Secretariat hosted a meeting of all stakeholders, including TRC officials, who issued a directive to telecom companies to ban social media apps such as WhatsApp, Viber & Facebook more..

Communities come together to repair burnt down Muslim hotel in Anamaduwa

Mar 13 (FT) Anamaduwa Traders’ Association and residents in the area with the assistance of the police have renovated the Madeena Muslim Hotel in Anamaduwa, which was destroyed in a petrol bomb attack, and reopened the establishment Sunday night. The Muslim-owned business was burnt down by the petrol bomb attack by an unidentified group at around 2 a.m. In a sign of solidarity among the business owners and residents following the incident, people from all communities joined more..

FaceBook says in contact with Sri Lanka to identify, remove hate speech

Mar 13 (DM) Responding to Sri Lanka's temporary ban on social media including Facebook, the company has said it is in contact with the SL govt and NGOs to support efforts to identify and remove hate speech. “We have clear rules against hate speech and incitement to violence and work hard to keep it off our platform. We are responding to the situation in Sri Lanka and are in contact with the govt and NGOs to support efforts to identify and remove such content,” Facebook has said more..

Punishment for offences committed by children: Age limit raised from 8 to 12

Mar 13 (DN) The age limit of 8 years under which no act of a child is considered an offence is to be increased to 12 years shortly by way of an Amendment to the Penal Code. Govt last Friday gazetted a bill to amend the Chapter 19 of Penal Code to give effect to the above revision of the age limit. According to the Bill “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under 12 years of age. Nothing is an offence which is done by more..

JO trying to muster majority for no-faith motion against PM

Mar 13 (Island) A date for submitting the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has not yet been decided on, SLPP says. SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris told the media that several politicians in the UNP had requested more time to pledge their support for the no-confidence motion. It was not about the date on which it would be submitted to Parliament but about its success. Therefore, it would take some time to get the support of the majority, he said. more..

No need to extend State of Emergency after Thursday

Mar 13 (DM) Ten-day clamped down on last Tuesday (6) will not be extended from midnight Thursday (15) as the country has fully returned to normal after sporadic communal clashes last week in Kandy and elsewhere, Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. He said he did not think it was necessary to continue the State of Emergency any further. “I had a discussion with the IGP and senior police officers this morning to assess the current security situation in the country. more..

Unblocking social media: President to decide today

Mar 13 (CT) Prez Sirisena will take a decision today on whether to unblock Social Media, official sources from Prez Secretariat said last evening. President is on an official visit to Japan and is expected to communicate his decision to the Chairman of TRC today. Ban was imposed after Police found that extremist groups were spreading hate against minority communities on their facebook pages and other social media sites. more..

Will enough be done to erase the scars of the Kandy turmoil?

Mar 13 (DM) The ethnic violence mainly in Kandy District and sparsely in several other districts has subsided, if not ceased. But the scars will certainly remain for a long time. Now the authorities including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have given details of damages to the lives and the properties incurred by the violence while announcing the details of their preparations for the reparations including paying compensations to the victims who were mainly Muslims. more..

The patience of Rajapaksas; Response to Nalin de Silva

Mar 13 (DM) This is in reply to Dr. Nalin de Silva’s interview in Daily Mirror, dated March 6. Dr. de Silva raises various issues here, but I wish to respond to him only on two counts: Basil Rajapaksa caused Maithripala Sirisena’s defection to the opposition in the run up to the presidential elections in 2015 and SLPP should have been formed before the general elections in Aug 2015. These two seem to have a sizeable following in the un-enlightened sections of the society at large as well. more..

Colombo is our beloved city: Rosy Senanayake, First female mayor of Colombo

Mar 13 (Roar) The long overdue Local Govt elections were held on Feb 10, 2018, during which the newly-formed SLPP won, defeating the more established UNP and SLFP. In the city of Colombo, however, the right-leaning UNP received the most amount of votes, making candidate Rosy Senanayake the first female Mayor of Colombo. Roar Media caught up with Rosy Senanayake to talk to her about more..

We don’t want anyone harmed in the name of Kumarasinghe; only want justice...

Mar 13 (ST) M.G. Kumarasinghe (41), the lorry driver whose death triggered a spate of attacks on members of the Muslim community in areas around Kandy, was a mild mannered man who divided his time between work, family and religious activities. In the far flung village of Posgohuwa in Meda Mahanuwara, the closely knit extended family of Kumarasinghe is trying to come to terms with the death of the man who was the bread winner more..

Have we learnt a lesson from Digana ?

Mar 13 (DM) Last week, when I wrote about the looming danger of fringe Sinhala Buddhist extremism, it was all quiet in Kandy, at least on the surface. But, those who were privy to local intelligence should have known about simmering tension in the area after the death of a Sinhalese lorry driver who succumbed to injuries after being assaulted by a group of drunken Muslim youth. The govt as usual did nothing to sooth the unrest. more..

Victim-centeredness guiding principle: OMP

Mar 13 (NR) Office of Missing Persons says victim-centeredness will be a guiding principle for the operations of the OMP. Chairman of the Office President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris issuing a statement said the Office will establish a credible, efficient and strong institution, which over a period of time will be able to provide relief to the many affected persons and communities. Peiris accordingly said the OMP will examine both civilians & combatants, more..

Govt leadership to technology adoption, digital transformation is key: Microsoft

Mar 13 (FT) Global giant Microsoft’s Asia Head of Legal, External and Corporate Affairs Antony Cook was in Sri Lanka recently on an official visit to meet with Govt officials, customers and staff. Antony brings with him many years of experience in digital transformation policy covering Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Daily FT met up with him to find out Microsoft’s progress and growing engagement in Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka's decision to reduce batting strength backfires

Mar 13 (CB) Having started off the Nidahas Trophy tri-nation tournament in style with a five-wicket win over India, Sri Lanka find them being pushed to the wall following back to back defeats at the hands of Bangladesh and India and their last game on Friday - against Bangladesh - will turn out to be a virtual semi-final. Sri Lanka were involved in the highest successful run chase at R. Premadasa Stadium in their first game as more..

UNP will field new presidential candidate: Dilip

Mar 13 (DM) State Minister for Fishery and Aquatic Resource Development Dilip Wedaarachchi said yesterday that steps would be taken by the UNP to field a new candidate for the forthcoming Presidential Election and defeat the boasting Lotus flower bud (Pohottuwa). He said "there are certain political conditions that emerged through the prevailing crises in the country. We feel that UNP supporters are going away from us. more..

Ramith Rambukwella’s driving license suspended

Mar 13 (AD) Colombo Additional Magistrate today ordered to temporarily suspend the driving license of Ramith Rambukwella, who was arrested on drunk driving and assault charges. SL cricketer, who is the son of former minister Keheliya Rambukwella, was arrested by Narahenpita Police on Friday night (9) after he hit a motorcycle while driving under the influence of alcohol in Nawala and then allegedly assaulted the two persons more..

Japan’s Emperor Akihito warmly welcomes President Sirisena

Mar 13 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena, who is on a state visit to Japan to further strengthening the long standing bilateral relations between the two countries, met with Emperor Akihito today (13). President Maithripala Sirisena and First Lady Jayanthi Sirisena were given a warm welcome by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko when they arrived at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Later, both the leaders engaged in a cordial discussion. more..

Double trouble for Sri Lanka in Geneva following Kandy violence

Mar 13 (SL) Sri Lanka faces twin pressure at the UNHRC currently meeting in Geneva as a result of the violence in Kandy. The Council commented on the situation in Kandy last week and is expected to raise the matter further this week and next week. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, delivering his annual report and oral update in Geneva last week at the 37th session of the UNHRC, said that more..

The winds of change in SL? Rajapaksa’s charisma and foreign factors in SL politics

Mar 13 (LSE) The local election results created an unexpected political storm in the country. The landslide victory marked by Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s newly established political party SLPP has disorientated the two main political parties of the island. However, local elections were delayed for a longer period due to various reasons. 8326 local councillors have been elected from this election for 24 municipal councils, 41 urban councils and 275 Local councils which more..

Wanted: Authentic leaders to restore humanity

Mar 13 (FT) Much has been said about the sad incidences in the Hill Capital. No sensible human being will endorse such acts of shameful violence, irrespective of provocation or justification. Much has also been said about the actions taken to restore law and order. My attempt is to highlight the role of leadership in the face of a crisis. Authentic leaders are in high demand in ensuring prompt action towards restoring humanity. Leadership literature is full of fancy jargon and multitude of more..

Geoffrey Alagaratnam

Continued ban on social media draws friendly fire from Colombo diplomats

Mar 13 (CT) Sections of the diplomatic community that has by and large supported the Govt’s crackdown on the freedom of expression following communal rights have now said it’s time the ban on social media was lifted. Australian HC Bryce Hutchesson tweeted, “Time, overdue, to lift SL’s blanket blocking of key social media platforms – a blunt instrument.” Earlier US Ambassador Atul Keshap said that it was hate-filled people and not social media per se that were to blame. more..

NCE calls for decisive action by Govt. over recent civil unrest

Mar 13 (FT) National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) in a statement yesterday said it was deeply concerned regarding the civil unrest which prevailed in certain parts of the country recently. Chamber said it is strongly of the view that the actions of certain elements, which led to the recent civil unrest, would have been backed by groups with extremist political ideologies, who have as their objective disruption of economic activities, and the wellbeing of the ordinary citizens of our country, more..

Violent extremism shows its seeds can grow anywhere

Mar 13 (DM) Their desperate faces stared at the houses and shops torched and destroyed in Digana, Teldeniya & Ambatenne areas. By March 10, as the curfew was lifted in Kandy, various groups of people started visiting the troubled areas. Local and international media personnel were seen taking photographs and interviewing the victims affected by this violence. But these victims continued to pose one question, more..

Sri Lanka fret over Kusal Mendis's fitness

Mar 13 (CB) Already handicapped by several injuries, Sri Lankan have more worries with concerns over the fitness of top-order batsman Kusal Mendis. 23-year-old hobbled off the field after attempting to cut down a boundary while fielding in the deep during Sri Lanka's six-wicket loss to India on Monday (12). Earlier, he had top-scored with 55 runs as Sri Lanka posted 152 in a rain-reduced game. Mendis is nursing a quadriceps muscle strain and the medical staff are monitoring him. more..

RTI still being under-utilized

Mar 13 (CT) Sri Lanka's much-vaunted Right to Information (RTI) Act passed just over a year ago is still being under-utilized by the members of the public. This revolutionary law, first proposed by the UNP Govt in 2002, was nixed by the People's Alliance Govt that followed it, after President Chandrika Kumaratunga staged a Constitutional Coup, forcing the then Ranil Wickremesinghe administration to fall. We are the last to enact the law in the region. more..

Sri Lanka assures China it will actively participate in Belt and Road

Mar 13 (SL) Sri Lanka has assured China that it will actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese Embassy in Colombo said. The assurance was given when the Chinese Ambassador to SL, Cheng Xueyuan met Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana for talks, the Embassy said. Both sides exchanged views on bilateral political, economic and trade relations as well as international and regional cooperation. more..