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JVP urge govt to restore social media without delay

Mar 14 (DM) The JVP today urged the govt to immediately restore social media networks without suppressing the media and causing a serious violation of the peoples’ democratic rights. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said people who use social media for general communication and professional activities were hugely inconvenienced because the govt had not taken any steps to lift the ban imposed on social media in the wake of more..

Rs. 15 m limousine with love

Mar 14 (DM) Charming beauties adding colour, gaiety and a flavor of romance to the life of some of the political elite is no news. There is a senior politico known to have a soft corner in his heart for any young cutie and his latest conquest is said to be a dashing beauty who has taken a career in modelling. The maiden gift the young cutie has received from the senior politico is a limousine worth about Rs.15 million and the vehicle importer has already delivered it to her. more..

I introduced internet to Sri Lanka: PM

Mar 14 (AD) PM Ranil Wickramasinghe said he is responsible for introducing internet connection to Sri Lanka for the very first time. Wickramasinghe made this statement while participating at the opening of newly built swimming complex of Isipathana College, Colombo. “I took steps to introduce internet to Sri Lanka back when I was the PM in 1993. I went to USA and signed an agreement with USA Vice President Al Gore and obtained internet connection to Sri Lanka.” more..

Sarath Weerasekara petitions UNHRC over false report

Mar 14 (AD) Former Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera says that he will submit a complaint against the UNHRC and the High Commissioner regarding the resolution passed based on a false report. He requested the UNHRC to halt implementing the resolution on Sri Lanka until his petition was heard. Speaking at 37th session of the UNHRC, Weerasekara said that the implementation of a resolution based on a false report more..

Application deadline for student loan extended

Mar 14 (AD) The deadline to submit student loan applications has been extended until March 20, Secretary to Higher Education & Highways Ministry D.C. Dissanayake said. Govt had decided to offer a loan of Rs. 800,000 to 2016 GCE A/L qualified students who have not received adequate scores to enter into govt universities and instead are perusing higher education through private institutions. “Ministry has already commenced calling applications for the student loan scheme. more..

Lankan Muslims in Japan praise President’s efforts to strengthen ethnic harmony

Mar 14 (DN) Representatives of the SL Muslim community living in Japan said they highly appreciate the untiring efforts of President Maithripala Sirisena and the govt to strengthen ethnic harmony. They said so, when some representatives of the SL Muslims living in Japan, called on the President, who is on a state visit in Japan, at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo yesterday. The representatives noted that eventhough certain persons level baseless allegations against more..

Alleged Police negligence and complicity: HRCSL investigations underway

Mar 14 (CT) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is presently investigating complaints pertaining to Police complicity and negligence, which had allegedly taken place during the mob violence in the Kandy District last week. Chairperson of the HRCSL, Dr. Deepika Udagama also made a request to the public to supply the Commission with specific details concerning the times and locations where more..

The end of the Facebook ban

Mar 15 (CT) Sri Lanka’s ban on Facebook and other social media channels was not the way to end a sudden increase in communal violence on the island – but lifting the ban this week will not deliver a solution either. Technology bans are meaningless. The men of violence will always find ways to share their hate, by paper if needed – police raiding a suspect’s office in Kandy reportedly found thousands of leaflets designed to incite anti-Muslim attacks. more..

Anti-Muslim riots in SL: Riots of the other

Mar 15 (CT) Anti-Muslim conflagrations that shook the country last week began when Kumarasiri, a Sinhalese Buddhist, died after an attack of a group of Muslim men in Teldeniya, Kandy. Neither, the deployment of 7000 security services including police and army or the declaration of state of emergency had impeded the occurrence of communal disturbances in the outskirts of Kandy town. Consequent to the death of the Sinhalese man, extremist group within the Sinhalese more..

'Sri Lanka tops list in successful demining'

Mar 15 (SO) The visiting UN special envoy on anti Personnel Mine Ban Convention Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein says, if Sri Lanka can sustain the political will and the upward trajectory that it currently shows in mine clearance activities, he was certain the country will be free of anti personnel landmines in a few years. The Special envoy said even though the 2020 target was quite challenging, Sri Lanka was in a good footing more..

Havoc in the hills: A reflection

Mar 15 (GV) The shameful acts of violence against the Muslim community in the Kandyan hills, were possible because the violence unleashed against the Muslim community in Ampara and Aluthgama and several other places had been tolerated for too long. If not, the aftermath of the senseless killing of a Sinhala man by some Muslims at Teldeniya, would not have gone so far. Unacceptable as these and any acts of violence are, this tragic narrative is not about violence only. more..

LG elections and lessons to be learnt

Mar 15 (CT) The political turmoil and the prolonged period of uncertainty in Sri Lanka that followed the 10 Feb LG Elections appear to have subsided, but the urgent measures needed to address its causes are yet to be taken. If those causes are to remain in the coming years, the future of the current regime and the country could be doomed for a long time to come. It is no secret that since coming to power, the two main parties in the regime have been trying to out manoeuvre each other. more..

'Country facing a tragedy not a crisis'

Mar 15 (CT) Senior Professor Ariyaratne Athugala of the Department of Mass Communication, Kelaniya University, Faculty of Social Sciences says, Education and Health are subjects controlled by the mafia. Q: How do you explain the present crisis situation in the country? A: This is not a crisis. This is inability coupled with silence that has moved beyond a crisis. This is a confused chain of activities. more..

Beat invisible Glaucoma

Mar 15 (DN) Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world and the most common cause of irreversible blindness globally. (Most common cause of blindness is Cataract which is reversible). It is estimated that 4.5 million person globally are blind due to glaucoma, and that will rise to 11.2 million by 2020. It silently robs your eye sight even before you feel it. It happens due to progressive damage of the Optic Nerve which is irreversible. more..

Birth of hate politics

Mar 15 (DN) UNP manifesto at 1953 Parliamentary elections, referring to the highly subsidized rice ration of two measures [aprx 2 kilos] per week, per person at 25 cents a measure stated, as long as Sun and Moon exists it will remain intact –They won comfortably. 1952/53 financial year saw depleted foreign reserves; a severe economic crisis followed; catalysing the crisis was the end of Korean War boom; govt was forced to impose unkind cutback in subsidies. The alien term HARTAL meaning more..

Mujibur Rahuman & Dilum Amunugama

Communal discord, a gauge of democratic underdevelopment

Mar 15 (Island) Sri Lanka could be said to have narrowly escaped a second racial holocaust, thanks mainly to the outspoken opposition to such a cataclysm by sections of this country’s citizenry. The country owes a huge debt of gratitude to these sections for standing firmly and courageously against another racial pogrom, this time against the Muslim community, and for their inspirational advocacy of communal harmony. If not for these efforts, SL would have descended into more..

Editorial: Ban backfires

Mar 15 (Island) The government has incurred the wrath of all netizens by unnecessarily extending its ban on social media. It has buckled under pressure and begun relaxing the draconian restrictions at long last. But, its digitally enhanced image has suffered irreparable damage. There seems to be no end to its bungling. True, some fanatics abused several social media platforms, especially Facebook, to disseminate incendiary propaganda and incite communal violence. more..

In awe of Sidewalk Broadway

Mar 15 (DN) Wikipedia describes Dr. Gamini Haththotuwegama in the following manner. “He was a Sri Lankan playwright, director, actor, critic and educator. He is widely known as the father of modern street theatre. He is among the most influential directors of post independent Sri Lanka.” Therefore it is quite obvious that it was with considerable trepidation that I accepted the invitation because more..

Who surveys the land?

Mar 15 (Island) There is an on-going dispute of several months duration which has escaped public attention due to the avalanche of crises that has descended on us Sri Lankans over the last months. This dispute relates to an American company named Trimble Inc. which has offered to do what the Survey Department of SL usually does, at a cost of 154 million rupees, amidst vehement protests by the General Surveyors’ Association (GSA) of Sri Lanka, which in desperation at being ignored, more..

Rohit Sharma smashes India into T20 final

Mar 15 (CI) Powered for the first time in the tournament by Rohit Sharma's runs, India bided their time, kept wickets in hand, and blasted 79 off six overs towards the end to make 176 for 3 - a score that proved 17 runs beyond Bangladesh, despite another fifty from Mushfiqur Rahim. Batting in partnership with Rohit, Suresh Raina also contributed a vital 47 off 30 balls, their second-wicket association running for 102 runs. On the slowest pitch of the tournament so far, more..

What’s so special about Chandika H.?

Mar 15 (Island) In international cricket, you cannot be a team in transition for too long. The loss of stars, or big players, especially if they go chronologically close to each other, is bound to have a major impact. But the test of the robustness of a country’s cricketing ecosystem, is how quickly they can absorb these losses and bounce back. For SL, transition phase from the departure of the likes of more..

Sri Lankan athletes take wing to Australia

Mar 15 (CT) Eight athletes took wing to Australia yesterday for a training period ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 which begins on 4 April. Manager Nimalsiri Hewawithanage and Coaches Sunil Gunawardana and Kingsley Gunathilaka accompanied the team. The 800m duo Gayanthika Abeyrathne and Nimali Liyanarachchi, Coach Sajith Jayalal and Luiz Miranda did not go with the team and will travel on the 30th. Marathoner Hiruni Wijayaratne, who lives & trains in US, more..

Lankan lasses record second whitewash

Mar 15 (DN) Sri Lankan Junior Fed Cup team registered their second clean sweep victory in the Asia/Oceania Pre-qualifiers when the beat Vietnam in a convincing fashion 3-0 in a Group ‘A’ tie at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) courts yesterday. Lankan lasses won their opener against Maldives by a similar margin on Tuesday and lead Group ‘A’ with two wins. Significantly Lankan girls showed much promise to win all three matches of their tie against Vietnam in straight sets. more..

Colombo Port gets competitiveness boost

Mar 15 (FT) Terminal operators of Colombo Port yesterday made a bid to improve its efficiency by signing a landmark MoU to unload excess ships of their competitors if berths are available, reducing waiting time for clients. Agreement, which was signed in the presence of Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, seeks to improve Colombo’s competitiveness by reducing the time ships would have to wait outside the port to be unloaded. more..

ADB recommends equity fund to support Sri Lanka small businesses

Mar 15 (EN) Asian Development bank (ADB) has recommended the SL govt set up a fund to provide risk capital to support the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises which do not have adequate access to finance. The fund would aim to support SMEs that have built stable business models and also possibly start-ups that are cash flow positive. ADB has suggested the Ministry of Finance consider operationalizing the fund as a pilot project that could be expanded based on more..

Malabe: Sri Lanka’s fastest growing residential & IT hub

Mar 15 (Island) Malabe is a suburb of the greater Colombo area, in the Colombo district, Western Province of Sri Lanka. A predominantly residential area Malabe is now rapidly expanding into an information technology and higher education hub in the Greater Colombo area. Malabe lies in close proximity to both Colombo, the financial capital of Sri Lanka and Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte, the administrative capital hence the large residential population. more..

Facebook expresses concern over SL ban

Mar 15 (AFP) Facebook said Wednesday it was responding to Sri Lanka's concerns over incendiary material shared on its platform and hoped internet restrictions imposed during anti-Muslim riots last week would be lifted soon. The govt has refused to end an island-wide blackout on Facebook until the tech giant agrees to take quicker action to remove hateful content. Sri Lanka blocked the social network after police warned more..

Greek meets Greek: Trinity Vs St. Anthony’s

Mar 15 (Island) Two left arm spinners – Vimukthi Nethumal and Nimnaka Jayatilleka – are expected to hog the spotlight, when the 101st Trinity-St. Anthony’s match takes place at the Asgiriya Stadium on the 16th and 17th. One presumes that the track will be a good one for batting with both teams having line ups that run deep, the pressure will be on the bowlers to contain. Thus, the two left armers will have a crucial role to play. Hasitha Boyagoda, the Trinity skipper has moved a few notches more..

Australia says Sri Lanka best partner in tackling people smuggling

Mar 15 (DM) While claiming that Sri Lanka is perhaps Australia’s strongest partner in tackling maritime people smuggling, Australia today said it will gift three Port Class vessels to the Sri Lankan Coast Guard later this year. Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson said every people smuggling boat that has departed Sri Lanka attempting to reach Australia has failed in the last four years. He expressed these views at a ceremony held in Galle yesterday more..

Govt to launch Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy

Mar 15 (FT) State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said the Govt will soon unveil a new Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy 2018 – 2022, while insisting that many changes will be implemented by the end of the month to strive to have a better doing-business climate in Sri Lanka. Echoing that entrepreneurship is crucial for a country’s prosperity at the launch of Sri Lanka’s first integrated entrepreneurship platform, more..

SL move up in Global Happiness Index!

Mar 15 (FT) Sri Lanka has moved up in the latest Global Happiness Index, to 116 from 120 in the previous year. Sri Lanka was ranked 43rd in the sub-category of best improvers from 2008-2010 to 2015-2017. Sri Lanka’s score in the 2015-2017 ranking released yesterday was 4.471, up from 4.440 previously. Finland came on top in the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) 2018 World Happiness Report, which ranked 156 countries according to factors more..

SLTDA downsizes January 2018 arrivals

Mar 15 (CT) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) revising its arrivals figure for January this year, reducing the number of arrivals by 8,000 and said that only 238,924 visitors arrived in the country, posting a growth of 8.9% compared to 219,360 welcomed during the same month last year. In its first report issued in February said that arrivals increased by 12.6%. In February this year, SLTDA said that the country had welcomed nearly 246,972 tourists to the country in January. more..

Japanese –Sri Lankan state leaders agree to strengthen bilateral ties

Mar 15 (PMD) Japanese PM Shinzo Abe stated that he would work towards providing funds without loans anytime possible while giving assistance to the development progammes of SL. Official meeting betweenJapanese PM Shinzo Abe and President Maithripala Sirisena was held today (14) in the afternoon during his state visit to Japan where the Japanese PM mentioned these facts. Moreover the Japanese PM ensured more..

Minister instructs Chef de Mission be changed

Mar 15 (CT) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara has instructed National Olympic Committee (NOC) officials to change the Chef de Mission, Gamini Jayasinghe, and General Team Manager Sumith Edirisinghe from the Commonwealth Games contingent, as both of them had received Injunction Orders from Courts. Jayasinghe the former NOC Treasurer and former Secretary of the Hockey Association, together with NOC Vice President and former President Sumith Edirisinghe, more..

Bribery Commission seeks SC for revision of order staying MC proceedings against ex-CJ

Mar 15 (FT) The Bribery Commission has filed revision application contesting the Order dictated by acting Chief Justice Eva Wanasundera staying the proceedings in the Colombo Magistrate’s Court against former Chief Justice Mohan Peiris and the incumbent Superior Court Justice A.H.M.D. Nawaz filed by it. It cited former Chief Justice Mohan Pieirs, Incumbent Superior Court Judge Nawaz, BASL President U.R. De Silva, Attorney General and other as Respondents. more..

UNP alleges bid to sabotage Anti-Corruption HC

Mar 15 (Island) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is among four parties that have challenged Judicature Amendment Bill, which seeks to establish an Anti-Corruption High Court as recommended by Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on Legal Affairs (Anti-Corruption) and Media. The Sectoral Oversight Committee headed by UNP MP Ajith Mannaperuma explored the ways and means of expediting major cases. more..

Uni non-academic staff still not working

Mar 15 (DM) The University Trade Union Joint Committee (UTUJC) said that the work stoppage by the non-academic staff of state universities would continue in the absence of a positive response from the authorities regarding their demands. As a result 15 State universities and other institutions under the UGC are at a standstill for the fifteenth day as at yesterday. UTUJC Chairman Edward Malwattage said they had launched this work stoppage over six demands relating to their employment, more..

New Mission Director for USAID arrives in SL

Mar 15 (CT) The new Mission Director of the USAID, for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Reed J. Aeschliman, assumed duties on 5 March. His arrival corresponds with the start-up of several new initiatives and more than Rs 4.5 billion in programmes that advance youth employability, the rule of law, and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. "We are fortunate to have Aeschliman join the US Embassy team as we celebrate 70 years of partnership between the US and SL," said US Ambassador Atul Keshap. more..

SC to consider four petitions against Judicature Bill

Mar 15 (DM) he Supreme Court would consider four petitions against the Judicature Bill tomorrow under a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep. SL Bar Association, SLPP’s Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris, National University Teachers’ Association Secretary Prof. Channa Jayasumana and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardane have petitioned the Supreme Court. Prof. Peiris said the purpose of this Bill was to set up more..