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Kandy unrest: Almost 70% investigations completed

Mar 16 (DN) Almost 70% of the investigations into the clashes which occurred in Kandy have now been completed and the balance investigations will be completed soon, Security Chiefs informed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. They also requested the Prime Minister to keep the Emergency regulations in force without revoking them until the investigations were fully completed. Security Chiefs made this request more..

Two SC Judges recuse themselves from hearing Writ petitions

Mar 16 (DM) Two judges of the Supreme Court yesterday recused themselves from being members of the Bench hearing the Writ petitions against the decision of the Bribery Commission to institute proceedings against former Chief Justice and incumbent superior court judge. When the Writ petitions were taken up yesterday before the Bench headed by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justices Buwaneka Aluvihara & Nalin Perera declined more..

'Govt. unlikely to seek change in Geneva path'

Mar 16 (Island) SL’s former Permanent Representative in Geneva Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam asserted that the govt was unlikely to seek reappraisal of Geneva Resolution 30/1 on the basis of Lord Naseby disclosure in Oct last year. Kunanayakam made the observation when asked her whether she could suggest how the Geneva process could be reversed and the likelihood of the govt using Lord Naseby’s defence of SL more..

Sinister motive prevents govt. from solving university problem: FUTA

Mar 16 (Island) There was no need for university lecturers to join the strike launched by the non-academic staff because the university system had already come to a standstill, media spokesperson for FUTA, Dr Chaminda Abeysinghe said. The universities did not have water or electricity due to the non-academic strike which had been going on for two weeks, he said. According to Dr Abeysinghe the unions had more..

Lasantha murder: Ex-DIG involved in concealing evidence

Mar 16 (DN) Former Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara who is currently in custody, had been involved in concealing evidence and displacement of the diary of journalist Lasantha Wickramatunge and for the removal of pages of the police report, the CID told court yesterday. This was revealed when the case relating to Lasantha Wickramatunge’s killing was taken up at Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court yesterday. more..

Swiss Tiger trial has cost over USD 4 million

Mar 16 (Island) An eight-week Swiss trial of 13 financiers accused of funnelling money to the LTTE has cost CHF3.79 million ($4 million). The verdict is now expected in June. "The trial of the Tamil Tiger leaders in Switzerland ended Wednesday in Bellinzona. The verdict is expected to be handed down on June 14 by the Federal Criminal Court. Citing the multi-million-franc cost of the trial, Jean-Pierre Garbade, lawyer for defendants, more..

Open warrant issued for Udayanga’s arrest

Mar 16 (AD) The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today issued an open warrant for the arrest former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, who is absconding, to be executed through Interpol. The warrant calls for the arrest of the suspects and to produce him before the court. Interpol last month issued a Red Notice on the former SL Ambassador, as a person wanted by the Sri Lankan authorities. more..

State apparatus can tackle issues

Mar 16 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said the Government will bring in new regulatory mechanisms to monitor social media in the aftermath of the Kandy unrest. The impact of social media on the events, surrounding the unrest was widely discussed following various posts that were shared which were alleged to have fuelled hatred between communities. Even though the Govt had restricted access to several social media platforms, including Facebook, Viber and Whatsapp, more..

Communal violence in Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (FT) The aim of this article is to explore the communal violence in Sri Lanka and find out the root causes and mechanisms to solve such conflicts in the future. Communal violence is not a new phenomenon in the country. Throughout history there have been many incidents of communal violence among the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim ethnic groups. However in the post conflict era, religious violence has become very common between the Sinhala & Muslim ethnic groups. more..

ලෝක ක්ෂය රෝග මර්දන දිනයේ...

Human Rights Commission bats for freedom of expression and right to information

Mar 16 (CT) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has written to Austin Fernando, Secretary to the President, pointing out that ‘any future policy regarding the regulation of social media to deal with hate speech must strike a balance so that freedom of expression and the right to information are restricted only within the legal limits.’ The HRCSL, through its Chairperson Dr Deepika Udugama also stated that the organization had received several complaints from more..

Tea crop seen increasing as rains return

Mar 16 (EN) Tea production, which has been hit badly in recent years by bad weather, is seen increasing in the months ahead with the return of rains. “Welcome showers have been reported in most plantation districts since last week bringing an end to the hot, humid and dry weather conditions that prevailed during the first quarter of this year,” John Keells Ltd. said. Inter-monsoonal rains experienced will grow in intensity until the onset of the South Western monsoon in June. more..

No Confidence Motion against PM next week

Mar 16 (NR) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the No Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will be tabled before Parliament next week. The former President made this statement during a discussion held with foreign correspondents in SL. He also said the present govt will be toppled in the near future. MP Rajapaksa said he is not ready to take over the govt under the current political situation adding more..

More backing for university non-academic staff strike

Mar 16 (Island) Chief Organiser for the Workers’ Struggle Centre (WSC) in Colombo Duminda Nagamuwa pledged his outfit’s support for the countrywide university non-academic staff strike launched on Feb. 28 Nagamuwa said all workers should be given a pay hike as the cost of living had skyrocketed. Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and Chairperson of the UGC had signed an agreement on August 8, 2016, promising to meet the demands of more..

Rear Admiral Ananda Guruge summoned to Court

Mar 16 (NR) Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today ordered the Commander of Navy to produce Rear Admiral Ananda Guruge before Courts pertaining to the abduction and disappearance of 11 youth in Colombo in 2008. Rear Admiral Ananda Guruge has been ordered to appear before court on the 23rd of March to record a statement. Order was issued by Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. Statement is scheduled to be recorded pertaining to abduction of 11 youth in Colombo in 2008. more..

Govt trying to outsource surveying to US company: Surveyors

Mar 16 (DM) Govt Surveyors’ Association (GSA) today resort to a countrywide indefinite work stoppage claiming that there was a move to hand over several operations of the SL Surveys Department (SLSD), the second oldest department of the country, to a US-based company. GSA President Duminda Udugoda referred to an attempt to transfer the duties of the SLSD including Land Information System (LIS) and more..

Rohitha’s corruption case fixed for further trial on March 21

Mar 16 (DN) Colombo High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne yesterday fixed for March 21, to record further evidence in a corruption case filed against former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena. This is for the alleged unlawful acquisition of assets estimated at Rs.41.1 million. On an earlier occasion, the High Court had overruled preliminary objections raised by former Minister against the Bribery Commission's decision to amend charges and decided to proceed with the trial. more..

CA extends order staying proceedings into Basil's almanac case

Mar 16 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday further extended its Interim Order staying any further proceeding into the controversial almanac case heard before Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga currently presiding over Court No.6 until May 10. Court of Appeal President Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Shiran Goonaratne made this order consequent to a Transfer Application filed by former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Govt ends search for foreign partner for Srilankan

Mar 16 (DM) Govt has decided to stop looking for a foreign partner for the national carrier SriLankan Airlines. Accordingly, sources said the new plan is to hand SriLankan over to a local public-private venture. This decision had been reached after listening to the views expressed by trade unions and employees of SriLankan and govt advisors. Newly appointed Minister of State Enterprise Development Lakshman Kiriella is expected to monitor more..

Sri Lanka must bring redress to victims of violence on all sides

Mar 16 (AT) Sri Lanka's ferocious civil war against the LTTE came to an end in 2009, resulting in a death toll of more than 80,000 people and many citizens who remain disappeared. While the end of the war -despite its means and methods fought- was received with relief not only in Sri Lanka but also by the international community, many hoped that the island would enter an era of sustainable peace, reconciliation and development. But these hopes and expectations were scattered more..

Stock exchange launches sustainability guide for listed firms

Mar 16 (EN) The Colombo Stock Exchange has launched a guide for listed Sri Lankan companies to help them address environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their capital market communications. “As sustainable investing continues to gain momentum among financial market participants, ESG factors are increasingly outlined by leading institutional and retail investors from around the world as vital determinants of investment decisions,” a statement said. more..

Uni. non-academic staff strike to continue

Mar 16 (DM) The work stoppage carried by University Non-Academic staff would continue as the discussion held with PM’s Office ended without a solution this afternoon, University Trade Union Joint Committee Chairman Edward Malwattage said. PM’s Coordinating Secretary Dadallage failed to provide a satisfactory solution to the issue. He said the union had no interest in attending any more discussions and more..

SLC releases book on Jagmohan Dalmiya

Mar 16 (IANS) Recognising his contribution to the game over the years, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), on the occasion of the country's 70th independence anniversary, released a book on former BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya titled A Tribute to Jagu. While SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala lauded Dalmiya's role in bringing Asian solidarity, he specifically mentioned how Dalmiya stood by SL in 1996 and sent a combined team after Australia and the West Indies refused to send their teams more..

Kalu Ganga reservoir to be completed by the end of this year

Mar 16 (Island) The construction work of Kalu Ganga reservoir would be completed by the end of this year, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. Kalu Ganga reservoir is a part of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Development project, which was commenced in 2007 by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Moragahakanda reservoir was commissioned in January this year to provide water to people in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee District. more..

Geneva ITC calls for opening of Sri Lanka e-commerce gateways

Mar 16 (FT) Sri Lanka’s internet and smartphone use has grown to a considerably high level in recent years, but e-commerce users among them are still low. Meanwhile, Geneva’s International Trade Centre has called for expanding Lankan e-commerce payment facilities beyond the 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 more..

Draft of No-Confidence motion against PM

Mar 16 (AM) A draft of the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is now being circulated among the political circles. The no-confidence motion is based on the PM's involvement in the appointment of former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his inability, as the Law and Order Minister, to contain violence in kandy. The no-confidence motion is so far signed by 22 JO MPs. JO Mps said a group of UNP MPs too were ready to sign the no-confidence motion. more..

Mini terracotta lion statue found from Sigiriya

Mar 16 (CT) A statue of a lion, made from terracotta, has been unearthed from a recent excavation in the northern water conduit of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Director General of the Central Cultural Fund (CCF) Prof. Prishantha Gunawardena said. According to Prof. Gunawardena, several other antiques, including terracotta clay pots, beads and antiques made from iron had been found from the excavation. He said, “For centuries, there have been several theories regarding lion statue of Sigiriya. more..

Gnanasara Thera’s Japan visit not pre-planned: BBS

Mar 16 (DM) While rejecting claims made by several officials, BBS CEO Dilanthe Withanage said Ven Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera’s recent visit to Japan was not pre-planned or not aimed at the official visit of President Sirisena. He said Ven. Gnanasara Thera planned to visit for Japan for the renewal of his Resident Visa offered by Japanese govt, before the expiry of due date. However, his scheduled visit was got late more..

Namal offers coaching help to a girls’ rugby team in Kashmir

Mar 16 (Hindu) In an unlikely collaboration, Sri Lankan MP and rugby player Namal Rajapaksa has offered coaching help to a girls’ rugby team in distant Kashmir. “I have spoken to senior Sri Lankan coach Ronnie Ibrahim, and we want to offer whatever support we can to the young team,” Mr. Rajapaksa, a former captain of SL’s national rugby union team, said. Following a report by New Delhi-based World is One News on a Kashmir girls’ rugby team, Mr. Rajapaksa tweeted: more..

Central Province Governor criticises law enforcement officials

Mar 16 (NR) Governor of Central Province Niluka Ekanayake has criticised the purported inaction by law enforcement officials during the recent unrest reported in Kandy. Several private properties were torched during communal violence reported in Kandy last week. Allegations were also levelled against police officials for the failure to curb the spread of violence. Over 200 persons were arrested for their involvement while the govt also imposed a state of emergency to maintain more..

Video: Names of members elected to LG bodies

Mar 16 (AD) The notice declaring names of the members elected for the Local Govt institutions of 10 districts was published today by the Elections Commission. The members elected each ward at the recent Local Authorities Election - 2018 for the Hambantota, Kilinochchi, Matara, Puttalam, Monaragala, Anuradhapura, Rathnapura, Kalutara, Matale and Polonnaruwa disitrcts have been released. more..

Maturing a fledgling democracy

Mar 17 (CT) If there’s a single overarching lesson the Local Govt Polls of February 2018 has taught us it is this: united we stand, divided we fall. Before the month passed us by, this has been underlined in the tragic acts of mob violence against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. What is significant though, is that even a previous regime that arguably bred this kind of communalism has been forced to distance itself from this particular phenomenon, and even condemn it. more..

Social Media: New front in media freedom

Mar 17 (DN) As the violence that affected parts of the Kandy District quietly moves into the history of ethno-religious confrontation in the country, society is faced with a new situation and issue of considerable importance that arose from the violence of recent days. It is the issue of handling Social Media, which brings a whole new area of the freedom of expression and the rights of Internet users into the considerations of politics and govt. SL has undergone many years of censorship more..

67th Anniversary : Air Force reaches out to people of Sri Lanka

Mar 17 (DN) SL Air Force (SLAF) celebrated its 67th Anniversary on March 2 without much pomp and pageantry, instead reaching out to the people of SL, whom it serves, to let them see and experience what the Air Force is doing, what it was capable of doing, and where it is heading. Equal emphasis was given to fostering reconciliation and unity and assisting those whose needs the Air Force had the wherewithal to fulfil. more..

Sri Lanka: The human rights crisis in the Tamil North & East

Mar 17 (CT) I am a Sinhalese from the majority community in Sri Lanka. I have campaigned for the past 70 years for the Tamil people to live with equality, dignity, safety and without discrimination. I cannot think of any time in the past seven decades that the outlook for the Tamil people has been more disastrous than it is today. Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) politicians are simply incapable of addressing the major human rights problems faced by the Tamil people. more..

The political culture, not Facebook, is the problem

Mar 17 (GV) Organized mob violence against minorities has been a feature of the political landscape in Sri Lanka for several decades. In fact, one could say that it has become part of our political culture. Thus blaming Facebook and other social media is a way of avoiding facing up to some hard but simple facts. In all such mob attacks, the idleness or complicity of the Police have been amply documented. Clearly this cannot be due to fear or incompetence alone. more..

Wanda Pethi, Digakalliya and the violence in Ampara

Mar 17 (FT) Sri Lanka, struggling for long to recover from the debilitating effects of a protracted civil war and progress resolutely along the road to economic prosperity, suffered a tremendous setback in the last days of February and early days of March with the outbreak of organised anti-Muslim violence. Ethno-religious neo-fascist elements formed themselves into mobs and unleashed a terrible spree of violent attacks more..

The courthouse gets a dramatic twist

Mar 17 (ST) In less than a week the curtains will go up on a production that will be staged after a lapse of close to three decades. Presented by the Sri Lanka Law College, the last time that the budding lawyers explored a more theatrical path was incidentally with the same play- Witness for the Prosecution. Based on a short story by Agatha Christie, the play, while a homage to the Queen of whodunits, is also a chance for the budding attorneys to invite audiences into a dramatic more..

When victims are many & beneficiaries none

Mar 17 (DN) Shock waves generated by mob attacks on Muslims in Ampara, Digana and few other places in the Kandy district still reverberates in our ears and fills our hearts with remorse. Though normalcy has been restored at a heavy price, an uneasy peace reigns in the hill capital. If one peruses the media he or she could discern a variety of interpretations as to what happened as well as how and why it happened. Though violence originated in response to 2 isolated incidents, more..