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Judges must be accountable

Mar 16 (CT) The edited text of a presentation made at the Conference of Chief Justices and Presidents of Supreme Courts and Constitutional Courts of Africa convened by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, in Cairo last week. Although two Sri Lankans were intimately involved in the processes that led to the formulation of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct, the Sri Lanka Judiciary remains one of the few judiciaries in the world that have failed to more..

'Political hand behind communal unrest'

Mar 16 (SO) After the Govt’s attempts to control the tense situation that erupted in Digana and the suburbs, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake says, immediate steps have to be taken to stop promoting religious extremism, communal unrest and hate speech. He said, some politicians are behind these riots to fulfil their narrow political objectives and spend a huge amount of money to instigate such violence. more..

Dousing the embers of communal hatred

Mar 16 (DN) Peace is slowly returning to the troubled Central province after a week of communal discord that saw the loss of two lives and the destruction of property- and the imposition of a countrywide State of Emergency as well as a ban on several social media platforms. The events highlighted in no uncertain terms that, despite the bitter experiences of a thirty year war in the North and East of the country, communal hatred is still alive and well. It also confirmed that more..

Peculiarities of labour shortage in Sri Lanka

Mar 15 (ST) If things did go right since the end of the separatist war in 2009, Sri Lanka would soon be faced with a shortage of labour – more of skilled than unskilled labour, according to a study that I myself undertook for the ILO in 2011. Employment projections of the study were carried out by my colleague, Dr. Mahinda Pushpakumara, who came up with future employment to have reached eight million by 2015, and over nine million by 2020 with increased demand for skilled labour. more..

The big maize revolution in Kotiyagala

Mar 16 (SO) Come March, the sleepy hamlet of Kotiyagala, nestled in the Siyabalanduwa DS area in the Moneragala district, turns a spectacular shade of light brown. It is the maize cultivation harvesting season in the area. In one of the maize fields, we met D.M. Karunapala, 54, a professional farmer, who pulls out a gunny bag amid the maize plants in his field. With a smiling face, Karunapala begins the exercise of plucking more..

Digana: No communal conflict, but organised anti-Muslim violence by outside forces

Mar 15 (ST) Kandy district which was paralysed for the past one week is slowly limping back to normal due to the heightened law-enforcement measures by the authorities. After a declaration of a State of Emergency, daily curfews, closing of schools, restrictions imposed on social media and the meticulous investigation leading to the arrests of over 100 persons by the Police, tensions have eased. The attacks on Muslim business places as well as mosques have drawn the attention of more..

Meritocracy inalienable from good governance

Mar 16 (DN) A leading newspaper which is 100-years-old, quotes in today’s (March 13, pg 5) newspaper a Minister to say that Scientific Cabinet reshuffle after President returns. During the recent past the topics of much interest, discussion and debate have been on Constitutional amendments, National / Unity Govt, Electoral Reforms, investigations on abuse, bribery and corruption, Cost of Living and Local and National elections. Many an article have been written and published more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

National crisis and violent ethno-religious extremism

Mar 16 (Island) What is the truth about what just happened and may yet happen again, in SL? As Deng Xiaoping said seek truth from facts. And what are the facts? Firstly, that violence is the main internal/domestic threat to the country. Secondly, that all violence is extremist but not all extremism is violent. Thirdly, collective violence in the name of ethno-religious ideology has so far manifested itself among the Sinhalese. Fourthly, that however provocative the ethno-religious extremism more..

Castration of the Minor Judiciary

Mar 16 (Island) When so-called constitutional experts try to tinker with the Constitution drafted by persons of the calibre of A.J. Wilson, they make a mess of it. The country is in chaos as the President’s powers have been reduced. Constitutional Council is a farce, to say the least. When presidential recommendations for promoting the senior most police officer as the IGP and the senior most officer at the Attorney General’s Department as the AG are ignored judges are the worst affected. more..

'Bowlers have to step up on good pitches'

Mar 16 (DN) Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurusingha said that his bowlers will have to step up because the pitches prepared for the Hero Nidahas T20 tri-series matches have been very good. Hathurusingha was reflecting on the shocking defeat Sri Lanka suffered at the hands of Bangladesh even after posting a total of 214 which is normally considered a winning score. But in this instance Bangladesh stunned Sri Lanka more..

Editorial: An attempt at hara-kiri?

Mar 16 (Island) Speculation is rife in political circles that the govt will do its damnedest to postpone provincial council (PC) elections, which it fears to face. (Once bitten, twice shy.) Opposition predicts that the yahapalana leaders, suffering from what may be called polls phobia, will prevent the passage of the provincial council delimitation report, currently before Parliament, thereby causing it to be reviewed so that the PC polls, which were due last year, can be put off further. more..

'If Shakib is not fit, it is a desperate measure'

Mar 16 (CI) Chandika Hathurusingha has not been shaken by Shakib Al Hasan's surprise re-entry in to Bangladesh's squad, but he does have a warning for his old team - or is it a little psychological agitation? SL coach said playing Shakib would be a great move, if he is fully fit. But if he is not, it becomes a sign of desperation. Shakib had in fact been expected to recover from his finger injury weeks ago, with the allrounder himself suggesting he would be ready by the end of February. more..

Blue Green Revolution in Sri Lanka fades as fertiliser subsidy backfires

Mar 16 (ST) SL Govt has been forced to bring back the previous chemical fertiliser subsidy scheme as farmers countrywide have vehemently rejected the cash for fertiliser programme aimed at creating a blue green agriculture revolution. The plan to convert the subsidy to a cash allowance of Rs. 25,000 a year to encourage farmers to move away from using chemical fertilisers was one of the reasons more..

Lanka wins contract with world’s largest sea plane fleet

Mar 16 (Island) Trans Maldivian Airways is the primary customer of Ceylon Aeronautical Services (CAS), SL’s premier MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) organisation established soon after the successful conclusion of the nearly three decades long war. Trans Maldivian Airways operates the world’s largest sea plane fleet consisting of nearly 50 Canadian built De Havilland Twin Otter aircraft capable of ensuring safest and fastest transportation for the 1190 archipelago of Maldives. more..

Lucille Wijewardena to be new Tea Board Chairman

Mar 16 (FT) Leading business figure Lucille Wijewardena is tipped to be Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman, with the Govt preparing to formalise his appointment, the Daily FT learns. The Founder Director of Regency Teas Ltd, Wijewardena is the Director of Softlogic Capital Ltd., Chairman of Softlogic Stockbrokers Ltd. and Managing Director of Anuga Holdings Ltd. In his career of 35 years he has held many senior management positions in the areas of finance and general management. more..

Tobacco retailers vent about their problems; want due consultation

Mar 16 (FT) Tobacco Retailers Association (TRA) came out in unison to air its grievances over prospects of a further dip in business owing to what it sees as impending irrational and unfair regulations by the Health Ministry. The TRA members, who include tea boutiques, eateries and grocery shops, said the sale of cigarettes to those above 21 years of age helps to push their primary business of selling food, etc. and further restrictions would have more..

Sun, sambol, and string hoppers

Mar 16 (Hindu) My first meal in Sri Lanka was a bit of a daunting affair; a smiling waiter brought a plate full of 30 string hoppers and kept it on my table. He was clearly not impressed when I could eat only three with the fish curry he served it with. I walked out of the restaurant with an apologetic expression. The scene repeated itself the next day when I ordered kothu roti — a fried rice kind of dish made with chicken, vegetables and chopped godhamba roti (local flat bread made with wheat). more..

Percy Abeysekera official website launched

Mar 16 (Island) World famous cricket cheerleader Percy Abeysekera is now online with his dedicated personal website with the assistance of Percy’s long-standing employer ACL. The ceremonial launch of the website was made at the R. Premadasa Stadium during the previous SL versus India T20I on Monday. The homepage of the web displays Percy’s famous lines, I’m Percy, but I have no mercy, for those cricketers, spectators and adminstrators, who are lazy. more..

Malik woos top Japanese investors

Mar 16 (DN) Japanese businesses must take advantage of Sri Lanka’s strategic location, preferential market access into key economies, and be an early mover in the country’s new growth drive, remarked Minister Malik Samarawickrama at an investor forum in Tokyo. He was speaking to a forum of over 300 Japanese businesses alongside the visit by President Maithripala Sirisena. He recalled Japan’s enduring partnership in Sri Lanka’s more..

‘Kerawalapitiya Phase 2 tender still in limbo’

Mar 16 (DN) The presence of LTL Holdings, an 100% locally owned company is a big issue for all the foreign companies collectively, said Ravindra Pitagalage, CFO, LTL Holdings. In the past there were severe competition from European companies but now the entire picture has changed with companies from India and China entering the fray. “The issue is these competitors are typically low priced and low quality and LTL has to compete with them with a high quality service or a product,” more..

Cabinet nod to set up Reparation Office

Mar 16 (DM) Following the establishment of the Office on Missing Persons, the govt has decided to constitute a Reparation Office to pay compensation to the families of victims of war, victims of civil unrest, enforced disappearance or victims of human rights violations. A proposal made to the cabinet in this regard by PM got the cabinet nod last week. With the establishment of the Office for Reparations, all Sri Lankan citizens will get the opportunity irrespective of their race or religion, more..

SL becomes socially democratic again!

Mar 16 (FT) After days of intense pressure to lift restrictions on social media, President Sirisena yesterday issued instructions to unblock Facebook, effectively ending the ban that came into effect last week, following discussions with Facebook representatives. Two regional level representatives from the social media giant held meetings with the President’s Secretary Austin Fernando, who is also the Chairman of TRC, more..

‘SL has high use of internet, smartphones but very low on e-commerce’

Mar 16 (DN) SL’s internet and smartphone use has grown to a considerably high level in recent years but e-commerce users among them are still low-with unsatisfactory penetration. Meanwhile, Geneva’s International Trade Centre has called for expanding Lankan e-commerce payment facilities beyond present set of few, large financial institutions so that more Lankans can get online to transact. “Despite the high rate of smart phones, social media use and the high potentials for e-commerce more..

‘Financial Intelligence Unit, a jolt to real estate business’

Mar 16 (DN) The abolition of value-added tax (VAT) on real estate transactions, easing of cash restrictions, dismantling of overlapping regulations in the construction sector would attract more FDI into real estate sector, said Ravi Abeysuriya, Group Director of Candor. Abeysuriya said the introduction of 15% VAT on apartment sales with effect from April 1, 2018 and the introduction of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) reporting of cash transactions on apartment purchases more..

Protest at UN against anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka demands minorities' protection

Mar 16 (IANS) SL Muslims and supporters have demanded that the world organisation act to ensure that minorities are protected in the island nation and those behind the recent violence against their community are brought to justice. About 250 people joined a demonstration outside the UN organised on Wednesday by The Association of SL Muslims in North America (Tasmina), which asked the UN to intervene and hold the SL govt more..

Senior Additional Solicitor General Murdhu Fernando appointed to Supreme Court

Mar 16 (ST) Senior Additional Solicitor General Murdhu Fernando was appointed a Supreme Court Judge by President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday (9). Justice Fernando served in the Attorney General’s (AG) Department for 37 years, and was also the head of the Civil section. She started her practice as an Attorney-at-Law in 1983, under Eardly Perera P.C. Subsequently, she joined the Law Commission as an Assistant Secretary before joining the AG’s Department in 1985. more..

Seychelles seeks Sri Lanka’s technical support to improve fisheries industry

Mar 16 (FT) High Commissioner of Seychelles in Sri Lanka, Conrad Mederic, has requested State Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Dilip Wedaarachchi, to provide Sri Lanka’s technical support to improve the ice-making process which directly affects the fisheries industry in Seychelles. Seychelles High Commissioner made this request when he met State Minister Wedaarachchi at his ministry on Wednesday. Wedaarachchi assured Seychelles HC more..

Looters as Rulers: Govt will soon correct itself and deliver goods: PM

Mar 16 (DM) The govt will soon correct itself speedily and deliver what the people need just after the Sinhala and Hindu New Year, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. PM expressed these sentiments at the opening of the new belfry and the golden fence around the sacred Bodhiya at Sri Anandaramaya in Kegalle. "We said we would do many things. We were not able to implement some of the things as promised and could not more..

Enforced disappearances Bill passed in breach of presidential assurance: Thera

Mar 16 (Island) Ven. Induragare Dhammarathana Thera, on behalf of Mahajana Rajjya Sabhawa, has requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya not to certify the Bill for the protection against enforced disappearances enacted hastily in Parliament on March 7. Alleging that the Bill hadn’t been passed properly, Thera has sought a meeting with Speaker Jayasuriya to discuss the matter. Thera has pointed out that a vote was taken in Parliament in spite of Prez Sirisena’s promise to Buddhist clergy more..

Hotels Association of Sri Lanka vehemently condemns recent spate of violence

Mar 16 (FT) Sanath Ukwatte, the President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka which was one of the largest beneficiaries of peace returning to the country in 2009, stressed the importance of unity among all communities for Sri Lanka to move forward. “The Tourist Hotels Association vehemently condemns any kind of violence in the country and urges the Govt to tighten laws and take stern action against the perpetrators immediately,” he said in a statement. more..

New law to disclose conflict of interests and relationships

Mar 16 (DM) The Bribery Commission is to give more teeth to the penal code soon by introducing a new law to Disclose Conflict of Interests and Relationships which will filter the roles of all law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and politicians in a bid to curb corruption and nepotism. CIABOC will draft the new act to bring the law into effect keeping in line with treaty of UN Convention against Corruption, signed in 2003. more..

‘Power struggle in govt facilitates glyphosate imports despite ban’

Mar 16 (Island) Lukewarm attitude of senior members of the govt, starting from PM, had created a situation where shipments of banned herbicide glyphosate kept coming to SL, environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara said, commenting on SL Customs detecting one metric tonne of the banned substance. The shipment has arrived from India as loose cargo. The importer claimed these packages contained yarn. Imports and use of Glyphosate are banned under Import & Export (Control) Act. more..

No-faith motion backed by ministers: MR

Mar 16 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that many Ministers had expressed willingness to support the proposed no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. "They are close to the Prime Minister", he said. Rajapaksa expressed confidence that the no-confidence motion would succeed. The former further said that a number of political parties had agreed to support the no-confidence motion during discussions with them. more..

Medicos nail infertility canard

Mar 16 (DN) There is no contraceptive pill which is known to exist that can cause infertility or sub fertility by simply being added to food, Consultant Physician Dr. Upul Dissanayake said. Addressing the media, a group of independent senior medical specialists said there are no known sterilisation pills in the pharmaceutical sector known to the medical profession that can cause permanent infertility. more..

What a shame! Human slavery continues

Mar 16 (DM) In today’s world -- widely considered a global village with instant mass communication, the marvels of modern technology and unpredictable or unbelievable possibilities in the oncoming era of artificial intelligence -- it is shocking to know that there are about 50 million human slaves, with at least 10 million of them being children. Wednesday (14) was My Freedom Day a worldwide mission sponsored and coordinated by CNN, setting an example to the mass media more..

No political will, No answer to unrests

Mar 16 (DM) The very blame-game among the politicians, especially between the UNP and the SLPP on the recent attacks against Muslims is an indication that Sri Lankan politicians are not serious about any kind of ethnic strife, leave alone finding solutions to them. Their objective is not finding solutions, but to gain political mileage out of anything. Almost all political parties, especially the two main political parties in the country, the UNP and the SLPP claim that the attacks against more..

New election system confusing: Douglas

Mar 16 (DM) EPDP leader and MP Douglas Devananda spoke about the latest political trends in the North, confusions created by the new election law and his expectations. Q: What do you think of the outcome of LG polls? A: In Jaffna, there are three main parties that can be taken into account, namely the TNA, AITC and EPDP. TNA is an amalgam of a few parties. It got 150 members elected. more..

Cornered to Unite

Mar 16 (DM) These are no conflicts between Sinhala & Muslim communities. There would not have been human stories of Sinhala Buddhist citizens in conflict areas immediately and voluntarily stepping in to provide safety and security to Muslim families and property, if this conflict were between communities. Sinhala people have not been part of these savage attacks led by few stray Buddhist monks and other extremist thugs. more..

Officialdom’s dereliction of duty caused avoidable disaster: Report

Mar 16 (ST) A number of govt authorities and their senior-most officials were aware of the imminent danger posed by the Meethotamulla garbage dump, to area residents, but through their negligence, they failed to take whatever immediate steps necessary to avert the imminent disaster, states the one-man Presidential Committee chaired by Retired Judge Dr Chandradasa Nanayakkara, appointed to probe Meethotamulla tragedy. more..