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Video: Three fishermen from Mullaitivu go missing at sea

Mar 13 (AD) Three fishermen who set out to sea from Nayaru in Mullaitivu despite warnings of strong winds have been reported missing, police said. The missing fishermen, aged 24, 48 and 50, are residents of Bangadeniya in Chilaw while they had set out to sea in a fishing trawler yesterday. Mullaitivu police said that a search operation has been launched with the assistance of the SL Navy to locate the missing fishermen. Meteorology Department yesterday issued a severe more..

PAFTA urges govt to act in principled manner

Mar 13 (Island) The Peradeniya University Arts Faculty Teachers’ Association (PAFTA) expressing its shock over the recent violence in Kandy, urged the govt to act in a principled manner, conduct impartial inquiries and take decisive action. PAFTA also appealed to the heads of religious orders and other community organizations that provide leadership to various communities to express their condemnation to the violence which threatens the inter-ethnic amity. more..

Sri Lanka's recent conflict only benefited int'l groups: Kunanayakam

Mar 13 (DM) The recent conflict between the Sinhalese and the Muslims will benefit the int'l community especially the US which had proposed that SL should adopt a federal constitution, SL's former permanent representative to the UN, Tamara Kunanayakam said. She claimed that though the recent riots had weakened the reconciliation process of the govt, they had buoyed the int'l community which was planning to more..

I am even suitable for premiership: John

Mar 13 (DM) Minister John Amaratunga said he was even suitable for the post of prime minister as he was the second longest serving MP after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said he was not concerned about it and added that he would neither request for such posts nor accept even if it was offered. “I'm the second longest serving MP after Mr. Wickremesinghe. I'm not bothered whether such a post was given or not. We will not go begging for posts. I will not accept it even if I was offered more..

Chicken pox shuts down Uva Wellassa Uni

Mar 13 (NR) The Uva Wellassa University has been closed indefinitely due to the spread of chicken pox. The Registrar of the University said 28 students have contract the disease and have been hospitalised. The Registrar meanwhile said the daily functions of the University have been hindered due to the protest launched by non-academic employees of the University. Accordingly an announcement will be made of the scheduled date of when the Uva Wellassa University will reopen. more..

A front-row take on Sri Lanka’s perilous journey to stability

Mar 13 (AT) Following Sri Lanka’s peaceful independence from Britain in 1948, relative calm ensued for decades – but that was followed by a quarter century of civil war along ethnic lines that raged between Sinhalese govt and LTTE, from 1983. Hostilities finally ended in 2009, and with open elections in 2015 resulting in the presidency of Maithripala Sirisena, the restoration of democracy and freedoms is well underway. more..

Remove all restrictions on Internet: SL startup founders

Mar 13 (AD) The startup community of Sri Lanka called on the govt to identify individuals and groups that use social media to promote hate and bring them to justice, instead of censoring the Internet in the country. SL’s startup founders condemned the violence that has recently taken place in certain parts of the country. We may be Muslims, Tamils, Burghers and Sinhalese “We may be Muslims, Tamils, Burghers and Sinhalese. We may practice Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.” more..

IAEA chief to visit Sri Lanka tomorrow

Mar 13 (AD) The Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on Wednesday (14) for a one day official visit on an invitation extended by Govt of Sri Lanka. During his stay in Sri Lanka, Director General Amano will visit National Center for Non Destructive Testing (NCNDT) and Sri Lanka Gamma Center of Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board which are two scientific centers established with collaboration of IAEA. more..

'Police did nothing until it was too late'

Mar 13 (Island) NFF spokesman Mohammed Muzammil said the Digana violence could have been easily thwarted had law enforcement authorities deployed sufficient strength there as a precautionary measure. He said so when inquired from him whether he had been in Digana on the day of the incident. Muzammil said that he was there for his brother’s wedding. "I was born there and Muslims always enjoyed good relations more..

Protest in Manchester against violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (Island) Members of Manchester’s Sri Lankan community gathered to protest against violence directed at Muslims in SL. More than 200 people attended the march in Manchester Piccadilly yesterday (11). They called for an end to the rioting that has taken hold over the last few days in the central district of Kandy. The BBC has reported that Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency following several attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned shops. Faizah Farook, from Great Lever, more..

Emergency scared Chinese and Indian tourists: Ukwatte

Mar 13 (CT) Govt's decision to declare a countrywide State of Emergency, following the carnage in Kandy last week, has caused fear among Chinese and Indian markets, as far as tourist arrivals are concerned. The Chinese and Indian markets are relatively new, unlike the traditional European markets such as Germany, France and the UK, incumbent Chairman of both, the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and that of the Mount Lavinia Hotel, Sanath Ukwatte, said. more..

Med. students’ parents complain to BC

Mar 13 (DM) Parents' Union of Medical Students (PUMS) made a complaint to the Bribery Commission stating that UGC and the Higher Education Ministry had shied away from its responsibilities when enrolling students to SAITM. Executive member of the Union Asoka Ranwala said both the UGC and the ministry had granted approval to students who did not meet the basic qualifications required for the study of medicine. more..

Restriction on Viber to be lifted at midnight

Mar 13 (NR) Department of Govt Information says the temporary restriction of access imposed on messaging app Viber will be lifted at midnight. Issuing a statement, Information Dept said the decision to remove the restriction imposed on Viber was taken after considering the difficulties encountered by those employed overseas to communicate with their families in SL. Furthermore, the govt said it also took into consideration the hardships caused to the business community, more..

Sri Lanka wins Most attractive tourist destination award at GITF

Mar 13 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau represented by Chinthaka Liyanaarachchi, Head of China Desk together with the active facilitation of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Guangzhou participated in the Guangzhou International Travel Fair (GITF) from 1st – 3rd March 2018. Travel and Tour Representatives from fifteen companies and Sri Lankan Airlines participated in this year’s Trade Fair to promote Sri Lanka as an attractive and superior travel destination. more..

Video: Social media ban to be lifted by Friday: Harin

Mar 13 (AD) Restrictions imposed on accessing social media and messaging platforms will most likely be lifted by this Friday (16), Minister Harin Fernando said. He said that discussions are currently underway with relevant parties regarding the matter. He stated that taking into consideration the various views being expressed with regard to blocking social media and messaging platforms, steps will be taken to remove more..

Is there no limit to insanity & paranoia?

Mar 14 (CT) Malinda Seneviratne is very sophisticated in camouflaging his racism and majoritarian mindset. He takes refuge under semantics to play with words, to hide his racism. I want to salute House Leader Lakshman Kiriella for his human kindness and calling for an apology by the Sinhalese knowing well he will be roasted as a traitor among Sinhalese Buddhists by the likes of Malinda. Malinda is accusing the govt of harassing and vilifying the intelligent service. more..

Here comes Sajith Premadasa!

Mar 14 (CT) It is beautiful to see this younger leader defend his besieged team, at last. The other day, Sajith Premadasa made a stirring speech suggesting that the previous defeated family regime was behind all the recent riots. He was addressing some housing scheme launching meetings in a number of electorates. Sajith shot into the open and lambasted those who pretend to be patriots, and true Sinhala Buddhists, in order to create conditions for their political resurrection. more..

Sri Lanka takes lead in prison reform in Asia

Mar 14 (DN) Sri Lanka this year will host the Asian Conference of Correctional Facilities, Architects and Planners (ACCFA) at which officials and planners of correctional facilities in 16 countries will come together to discuss how best to design a prison. Prisons Commissioner Thushara Upuldeniya spoke of the plans for restructuring Sri Lanka’s prisons and of our journey towards reform, which has made us a shining example more..

Trade deficit expands despite export growth

Mar 14 (ST) Despite an impressive export growth last year, the trade deficit of US$ 9.6 billion was the country’s highest trade deficit. Although exports reached a record high of US$ 11.4 billion, imports increased to US$ 21 billion. The high propensity to import has been the underlying cause for large trade deficits. Imports exceeding exports has been a regular feature of the country’s trade balance. In the 67 years since 1950 there were only 5 years of a trade surplus. more..

STF brutality against Muslims in Digana

Mar 14 (GV) As Sinhalese – Buddhist mobs were escalating violence against Muslims around Digana on March 5, the Hijrapura mosque in Digana had just finished afternoon prayers around 4 pm that day. As usual, devotees were talking to each other outside the mosque, after the prayers. A few had continued to pray inside the mosque. Suddenly, a jeep full of uniformed, heavily armed men had arrived in a jeep and a couple of motorbikes and surrounded the mosque. more..

Racism looms: Where is the PM?

Mar 14 (CT) There are no strong religious roots in Sri Lanka, but there are many blind followers. This has been noted since the British period, when communal riots broke out on many an occasion. We have had wars fought, and leaders murdered, all for the clamour of racism. The latest saga unveiled in Teldeniya, Kandy and the current tensions have escalated fears of a renewed backlash against the Muslims. more..

Preventing irreversible damage to kidneys

Mar 14 (DN) Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a gradual loss of kidney function over a period of months or years. Damage to kidney tissue in CKD is irreversible and progressive even if the cause is eliminated. Causes may vary and typically there are no symptoms in early disease. Symptoms usually appear when more than 70% of the kidney functions have been lost. Therefore, waiting until symptoms appear is not the right approach in CKD. It is roughly estimated that there are more than 60,000 more..

Every why hath a wherefore

Mar 14 (Island) Attempts to make sense of the regrettable incidents of communal violence last week are frustrated by the level and content of commentary on the events. In fact, the lack of depth in analysis is as disappointing as the communal violence itself. Specifically, political commentary and discourse on the diabolical problem of communal violence seem to be taking place within boundaries that seems to have not changed since the Muslim Vs. Buddhist and Christian riots of 1915: more..

Ranjith Madduma Bandara

Mindfulness in policy making, governance and diplomacy

Mar 14 (CT) Mindfulness - is it meditation? Or vice versa? The term, mindfulness, resulted from the great Oriental scholar, Professor Rhys Davis,' efforts to translate the Pali Sati Pattana to English. The term has remained despite its obvious limitations but has undergone an expansion in scope. Meditation is linked to mindfulness. But mindfulness as practiced today can be described as just one of the many forms of meditation or a derivation or a modernized contemporary version. more..

Credibility & stability need a change of PM

Mar 14 (Island) Addressing the govt front bench in 1971 in the wake of the April Insurrection, with only a handful of MPs on his side, the Leader of the Ceylonese Opposition JR Jayewardene explicitly echoed Cromwell’s famous exhortation to the Long Parliament as it departed: "In the name of God, go!" Six years later, the electorate endorsed him. Today in 2018, the UNP, govt and the Parliament should say the same to PM Wickremesinghe—the Long Leader of the UNP. more..

A peace mission during the riots

Mar 14 (SO) Muruthalawa: On Tuesday night (6), Waturakumbure Dhammaratana Thera patrolled the streets of the Muruthalawa village in Yatinuwara, even as violent mobs rampaged through the streets in other parts of the Kandy district. Together with 10 men from the village, the Buddhist monk walked through the village from dusk to dawn, to prevent violent incidents against its Muslim residents. more..

Editorial: An unholy mess

Mar 14 (Island) One month has elapsed since the conclusion of the Feb. 10 mini polls, but the much-awaited gazette, announcing the names of members elected to local govt institutions, hasn’t yet been published. Various excuses are being trotted out for the delay. True, there were some issues such as the allocation of seats for women but they could have been sorted out within a few days if the govt and the election authorities had really cared to do so. Mind you, it took the yahapalana leaders only more..

Stability achieved in yahapalana style

Mar 14 (Island) The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration, struggling for its survival in the wake of a humiliating drubbing the three-year-old coalition had suffered at the Feb. 10 LG polls, received a much needed respite, thanks to the massive ethnic violence, in the Kandy district. President Maithripala Sirisena has promised to establish a presidential commission to inquire into the circumstances leading to the violence that couldn’t be contained until the Army moved in. more..

No automatic entry to Olympic related sports in future

Mar 14 (ST) In future, there would be no automatic entry to Olympic related events. The NOCSL has been notified that affiliated sports bodies need to prove their participation criteria within the next two weeks for the forthcoming Asian Games. National Olympic Committee Secretary General Sri Lanka Maxwell de Silva said, “Hereafter there would be no automatic inclusion to any of the Olympic related events from Sri Lanka. more..

Rambukwella back playing cricket after arrest

Mar 14 (CI) Ramith Rambukwella is back playing domestic cricket after being released on bail on Saturday, with SLC yet to make a decision on what disciplinary measures - if any - will be imposed. Arrested on Friday night for assault and drunk driving, Rambukwella has since had the assault charges dropped, having come to a settlement with the complainants. The drunk driving charge remains however; he is due in court on Tuesday. Although initially an SLC official told more..

Pathfinder Foundation participates in Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue 2018

Mar 14 (FT) Indian Maritime Foundation conducted the 2018 edition of the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue recently in New Delhi, India. Admiral Dr. Jayanath Colombage, Director of the Pathfinder Foundation’s Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives and Center for the Law of the Sea, attended the conference and emphasised the importance of collaboration and cooperation in securing the Indian Ocean, because no single country could fully meet the challenges on its own. more..

‘It was not a Sinhala-Muslim clash, it was a mob attack on Muslims’

Mar 14 (Hindu) Minister Rauff Hakeem and the leader of the SLMC, a prominent Muslim political party. A lawyer and a senior MP, he represents Kandy district, which recently witnessed violent attacks by Sinhalese mobs that claimed at least two lives and destroyed many mosques, Muslim-owned shops and homes. The episode has left the island’s Muslim minority, who make up about 10% of the population, in shock. more..

Slow over rates is unpardonable

Mar 14 (DN) When you are appointed the captain of your country along with it come responsibilities, and one of them is to ensure the team plays the game in the right spirit and discipline is maintained at all times. If a captain gets copped for slow over rate and thereby gets suspended for one match or a number of matches he is being unfair by the team he leads and the country he represents. It is the duty as the captain to ensure his bowlers bowl the number of overs within the stipulated time limit more..

‘Ceramics blooms to 50 b rupee industry’

Mar 14 (Island) The local ceramics industry has grown to a 50 billion rupee concern and it would not be long before, given current progress which was an on – going phenomenon, the industry would soon grow to 100 billion rupees. The private sector was involved in the industry and had enabled it to progress to its current stature. Additionally, it sustains the employment of about 22,000 workers, said Minister Sarath Amunugama, at a ceramics and glass symposium last week. more..

National schools obtain Rs. 13 mn from students

Mar 14 (Island) In 2016, 52 national schools had extracted Rs. 13 million from their students for various maintenance and school events after an Education Ministry circular legitimised such practices, teacher unions alleged. Secretary of the CTU Joseph Stalin said the 2016 AG’s report on the Ministry of Education revealed that the 52 national schools had recruited 307 non academic staff members and paid their salaries using more..

Fitch local boss calls for financial services sector consolidation

Mar 14 (DM) Fitch Ratings Lanka CEO and Country Head Maninda Wickramasinghe last week said Sri Lanka has too many banks, insurance and finance companies, much more than the country needs and the proliferation of such companies has left scant scope for efficient use of the limited capital in the country. “Does Sri Lanka need 25 insurance companies, 58 finance companies and so many banks? I mean, do we really need them?” he asked a gathering of professional management more..

Tennis: Sri Lanka continues momentum in both tourneys

Mar 14 (DN) Sri Lanka continued their winning streak in the Junior Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Pre-qualifiers when they beat Tajikistan with a comfortable clean sweep win (3-0) in their Group ‘D’ tie at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts yesterday. Meanwhile the Lankan lasses followed their fellow Junior Davis Cup lads in the Junior Fed Cup Asia/Oceania pre-qualifiying Group ‘A’ opener at the same venue, thrashing Maldives in a whitewash victory (3-0). more..

Japan- Sri Lanka Investment Forum under President’s patronage

Mar 14 (PMD) An Investment Forum was held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, today (13) under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena to take Sri Lanka- Japan partnership to new heights as well as to bring more Japanese investments. Investors and entrepreneurs from both countries attended this Investment Forum and attention was drawn regarding further strengthening the economic ties between the two countries. more..

Proposed VAT on condominium sale, detrimental: Chamber

Mar 14 (DN) The proposed 15% VAT on the sale of condominium housing units with effect from April 2018 will have a severe negative impact on the industry, said Secretary General and CEO, Chamber of Constriction Industry, Nissanka Wijeratne. He said the current construction cost in Sri Lanka is the highest in the region. “If you take the cost per square foot, it’s more than that of Dubai or even Singapore,” he said. Wijeratne said that with the increase of VAT being added to the cost, more..