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Has anti-muslim hate gone mainstream as Mahinda Deshapriya says?

Mar 24 (CT) The Daily Mirror (20th) carried a rather alarming and distressing news-item on its’ front page. The headline of this news-item read The claim that a majority of Sinhalese were against the recent attacks on Muslims is wrong… Most Sinhalese happy about recent attacks, reporting a speech delivered by a prominent civil servant Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya (MD), interestingly at a workshop on ethnic harmony on the theme’ building bridges’ at SLIDA. more..

Chinthana named flag bearer for Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (CT) Commonwealth Games Gold medallist weight lifter Chinthana Geethal Vithanage will be the flag bearer for the SL team at the 2018 Edition of the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, some 12 years after his golden lift. Vithanage who won Sri Lanka’s last gold medal at the Commonwealth Games also sealed another silver medal at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Weightlifting continued to provide medal hopes for Sri Lanka with Sudesh Peiris winning a silver medal in 2010 more..

Bicycaley… Bicycaley…

Mar 24 (Island) Some politicians own only a push bicycle when they come to politics, but later obtain Benz cars. Don’t think of becoming such politicians: PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. This was the PM’s advice to the newly elected UNP members of the Colombo Municipal Council. Looks like he wants them to remain bicycle politicians, and not come anywhere near the privileged politicos of parliament. Ranil W is one who knows the ride in politics. more..

Celebrating our homegrown musical genius: Victor Ratnayake

Mar 24 (Island) According to Prof Sunil Ariyaratne, supreme scholarly authority on Sinhala Music, in our whole recorded history of some 2600 years, Pundit Amaradeva (1927–2016) must be reckoned as the Creator of the musical tradition called Sinhala Music. It was Pundit Amaradeva who gave the amalgam constituting Sinhala Music its final solid form. As his Magsaysay Award citation notes, his music "… reflects a unique synthesis of the country’s varied heritage combining the influences of more..

Junior National Athletics Championship rescheduled once again

Mar 24 (Island) Athletics Association of Sri Lanka has postponed the Junior National Athletics Championship by three weeks just a day after announcing the details of the four-day event. This is due to delays in completion of the construction work at the Sugathadasa Stadium. The twice delayed championship will now be conducted from April 23 to 26 at the Sugathadasa. "We are advised to conduct the event after the track obtains the approval of the IAAF. We have no other alternative. more..

Five Koombiyo-esque tales of political intrigue from Sri Lanka’s past

Mar 24 (Roar) Politics is not without intrigue, as is evident in political thrillers like House of Cards, and, closer to home, Koombiyo, the political crime series that is making waves in Colombo. In one of the latest episodes, leader of the opposition Dudley Maldeniya (played by the brilliant Peter de Almeida) enlists the help of chief protagonist and mastermind Jehan Fernando (Thumindu Dodantenne) to fashion a union more..

Transitional justice in Sri Lanka: From denial to delay

Mar 24 (TD) At the ongoing 37th Session of UNHRC in Geneva, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore reiterated her concerns over the slow progress on the human rights situation in SL. While presenting the High Commissioner’s report on promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in SL, Gilmore stated that in absence of willingness by the govt to tackle impunity and gross violations of human rights, HC’s office calls upon the member states to exercise more..

Perpetual subsidiary Mendis FR fixed for 28 March

Mar 24 (FT) Fundamental rights petition filed by Perpetual Capital Holdings subsidiary W.M. Mendis & Company, to lift a Central Bank-imposed freeze on their accounts on the grounds that it is impacting their business, has been fixed for 28 March by the Supreme Court. Distillery company W.M. Mendis & Company has filed a fundamental rights violation petition before the Supreme Court, contesting the restriction on its accounts by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank. more..

Catholic women's group calls to legalize abortion in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (UCAN) Some Catholic laywomen and doctors in Sri Lanka are demanding changes to the country's legal framework as they push to decriminalise abortion in the face of heavy opposition from local bishops. Feminist Catholic Network (FCN) recently signed a petition in support of proposed legal amendments that want to expand on current provisions in cases of rape, incest and serious fetal impairment. more..

When Motorola pulled out due to political instability

Mar 24 (ST) In the field of Economics, there is hardly any need to give an introduction to Prof. Premachandra Athukorala, who served as a Professor in Economics at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. I am also proud to be a student at one time to learn economics from him. I was astonished by the Story of Motorola – the international brand name in electronic industry, as Prof. Athukorala explained to me during the time I stayed with him at ANU. more..

Sri Lanka launches its dedicated student and youth online platform

Mar 24 (Island) International Student Identity Card (ISIC) - a UNESCO endorsed lifestyle and photo identity card for students and youth launched its new online platform the first ever for the local market, dedicated to benefits and discounts. "The main objective of creating this site is to offer students and youth real and tangible discounts on air travel, accommodation and other products and services that enrich a student’s lifestyle. Additionally, we have book now and pay later options more..

Tourism stakeholders back Govt ad campaign to counter Kandy impact

Mar 24 (FT) In the aftermath of the communal upheaval in Kandy, tourism industry stakeholders are wholly supporting the promotional campaigns the Govt plans to rollout from next month to counter the impact of the clashes. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) this week announced that it was gearing up for a $ 650,000 CNN advertising campaign to woo travellers from all over the world in a bid to revive more..

Financial sector safe from defunct finance companies

Mar 24 (FT) ETI Finance Ltd. and Swarnamahal Financial Services PLC, which are now in distress, have little impact over the entire financial sector in the country, Govt confirmed to Parliament yesterday, requesting depositors to be less worried about their investments. “These two companies, ETI Finance and Swarnamahal Financial Services, hold 0.13% of the entire financial services sector,” Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament. According to the Govt, a management committee has been more..

Chakka: The gift that keeps on giving

Mar 24 (Hindu) The name Jackfruit originates from the Malayalam name Chakka, which Garcia da Orta, a Portuguese scholar, wrote as Jaca in 1563. It later became jackfruit in English. Chakka in Malayalam originates from Che-Kai, meaning a group of green fruits (kai) joined together. One jackfruit has many individual fruits joined at the core with a spiky green jacket. The name changes to idi-chakka (panasam apakvam in Sanskrit) when tender, and chakka-pazham in Sanskrit) when it is a fruit. more..

E-voting error throws House into turmoil

Mar 24 (Island) A tense situation arose in Parliament yesterday evening when the Active Liability Management Bill was taken up for the second reading vote as the digital screen indicated that Minister S. B Dissanayake had voted though he was not present in the House. The final vote count said that the Billhad received 53 votes in favour and 33 against. When Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced the result and more..

International Buddhist Cultural Centre of Islamabad re-opened by President

Mar 24 (PSL) The International Buddhist Cultural Centre situated in the Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad, Pakistan, which was renovated recently, re-opened by President Maithripala Sirisena, today (23). President Sirisena who is on a two day visit to Pakistan in response to the official invitation from the Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain came to the Buddhist International Centre of Islamabad which is the only remaining Buddhist shrine in the capital. The President who obtained blessings by more..

Little Hearts Pens and Pencils immensely contribute to the big-hearted project

Mar 24 (DM) In September 2017 DSL Enterprises (Pvt.) Ltd. announced their support in the funding of the Little Hearts Project by introducing the Speed Little Hearts Pens and Camlin Little Hearts Pencils. 20% and 13% of the earnings from the sales of these custom products were to be donated to the project. Completing the first phase of the donation within a few months, DSL announced the handing over of Rs. 20 million to the Little Hearts Fund at a media conference held more..

Harsha takes SEC to task

Mar 24 (DN) State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva severely criticised the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its failure to bring to book any of the persons responsible for fraudulent practices at the Colombo Stock Exchange over the past years. State Minister taking part in the Parliamentary debate on the Demutualization of the Colombo Stock Exchange Bill, pointed out that the SEC has not acted against anybody who more..

Only according to local law: Kiriella

Mar 24 (CT) The process on transferring the ownership of television and radio stations, belonging to the EAP Group of Companies, is being monitored by the Central Bank and the Treasury and therefore, it will not exceed the local law, Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella said in Parliament. Kiriella, on behalf of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, responded to the question raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake on 23 January under the Standing Order 23/2. more..

Real GDP growth to rise to 4.4% in 2018: First Capital Research

Mar 24 (DN) Following a series of weather related shocks in 2017, SL economy is gradually normalizing with the real GDP growth projected to rise to 4.4% in 2018 according to First Capital Research. This positive trend is mainly supported by the recovery in agriculture and industry. Inflation is projected to revert to around 5% by end of 2018, as food prices stabilize. On a YoY basis food category inflation decreased to 6% and non-food category inflation stood at 3.8%. more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka sign three MoUs to enhance mutual cooperation

Mar 24 (AAP) Pakistan and Sri Lanka Friday signed three MoUs to enhance the bilateral cooperation in the fields of youth development and training of diplomats as well as civil servants. The MoUs were signed at the PM’s House during the SL President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit. Both PM Abbasi and SL President Sirisena witnessed the signing ceremony. The first MoU between the Foreign Service Academy of Pakistan and more..

Ravi blames CB for economic crisis

Mar 24 (DM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake yesterday slammed the Central Bank saying it was responsible for the bond scam and the present economic crisis. “The President, PM, the former president and the politicians are blamed for the economic crisis but no one speaks of the wrong doings which Central Bank officials are involved in" the MP said. He said the Central Bank officials were to be blamed for the interest rate hikes. “Can a person run a business by borrowing at 16%" more..

Malik blank on city hotel project

Mar 24 (FT) A project to construct and operate a new city hotel, which was gazetted by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, was questioned yesterday at Parliament under section 22 (3) of the Standing Orders. Although the gazette was tabled by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Minister Malik Samarawickrama was unable to explain the project in detail, along with the tax concessions proposed. Minister, in response to JVP MP Bimal more..

Liability Management Act passed

Mar 24 (FT) Despite chaos reigning in Parliament once again, the much awaited Active Liability Management Bill was passed by the House yesterday with the Bill receiving a comfortable majority of 51 votes for and only 2 against. The Joint Opposition staged yet another protest, following a technical glitch in the electronic voting system. When the Bill was put to a vote around 6 pm, it initially received 53 in favour & 33 against. more..

Two die from poison gas inhalation

Mar 24 (CT) Dambulla Police yesterday said that a male and a female worker, attached to a factory situated in Pannampitiya, Dambulla, involved in producing spices for export, had died following the inhalation of a poisonous gas. The two victims have been identified as Madushan Jayawardene (19), a resident of Pannampitiya, Dambulla and Nirosha Dilrukshi (30), a mother of one and a resident of Embulambe, Dambulla. Police said that the factory was being operated day and night more..

Sunil asks Navin to reveal bitter truth about sweet tea

Mar 24 (Island) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti has called on Minister Naveen Dissanayake to name the 53 factories responsible for mixing glucose and sugar with tea leaves. In a letter addressed to Minister Dissanayake, MP has said: Minister stated in national media on March 15 that 53 tea factories had been detected mixing sugar and glucose in their products. According to the news item, the detection had been made by the officials of the SL Tea Board coming under the purview of the Minister. more..

US, Norway to ensure full implementation of Geneva resolution

Mar 24 (Island) The TNA and UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) claimed that they had received assurances from the US and Norway to guarantee the full implementation of Geneva resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in Oct 2015 and the subsequent Resolution 34/1. Geneva Resolution among other mechanisms to address accountability and transitional justice specifically calls for establishment of war crimes court more..

Woodman, spare that precious tree

Mar 24 (DM) This week, the world marked the International Day of Forests with the theme being Forests and Sustainable Cities. The UN in a statement said global celebration of forests provided a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us. The UN has revealed some vital facts. Forests and trees store carbon, which helps mitigate the impacts of climate change in and around urban areas. more..

What kind of a nation are we?

Mar 24 (DM) Kandy was burning. The pinnacle of the teachings of the greatest Teacher in human history, who preached Ahimsa (non-violence) is being desecrated and the shame and ignominy that burning has caused have become our contemptible DNA. Religion in the hands of pagans is just another deadly device to hurl at those who don’t believe in the same faith. In a macabre spectacle of treachery and religious dishonesty, what has moved our people towards sublime heights has been more..

‘It is important to constitutionalise ESC rights’

Mar 24 (DM) Constitutionalizing ESC rights means having framework laws, legislations, monitoring bodies to implement, ensuring access to justice for those whose rights have been violated Virginia Brás Gomes is the Chairperson of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which is a body comprising 18 independent experts that monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social more..

Call to renovate tanks to avert drought disaster

Mar 24 (ST) Brace yourselves for hotter days to come as chilly mornings and heavy showers will gradually cease, weather experts predict. The country is experiencing the tail-end of the north-east monsoon (Dec to Feb) and the beginning of the inter-monsoon between March and April. Meteorology Dept said from today (18) onwards, there would be fewer showers, more evening thunderstorms and warm days. more..

Children’s cardiac critical care complex built at tremendous cost idles

Mar 24 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne told Parliament that the Little Heart Project initiated to build a Cardiac and Critical Care Complex at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital to treat children afflicted with Congenital Heart Diseases was in a dilemma due to a tug of war between anaesthetists and surgeons. Responding to a question raised by JO MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Senaratne said that total amount of funds meant for the more..

Residents rise against 10-storey apartment complex in Etul Kotte

Mar 24 (ST) Twenty-six residents of Etul Kotte have filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal opposing the proposed unlawful construction of a ten-storey apartment complex that they say will increase the threat of severe flooding in their area. They also maintain that the developer, Home Lands Holding (Pvt) Ltd, is seeking to build the 45-unit complex on a marshland covered with wel aththa (pond apple) trees and habarala which more..

Bail applications of Arjun & Kasun on 29 Mar

Mar 24 (FT) The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed for 29 March the Revision Bail Applications filed by Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) beneficiary owner Arjun Aloysius and its CEO Kasun Palisena. The matter came up before Justice Shiran Gooneratne yesterday. Both Aloysius and Palisena filed their applications last week through their Attorney-at-Law Sanath Wijewardane, citing FCID OIC Sunil Priyantha, CID Director more..

'Some members have been bought over'

Mar 24 (DN) Minister John Amaratunga blamed the new electoral system stating that even when UNP had claimed a resounding victory for the Negombo Muncipal Council, it could not form a council with the people’s preferred representatives. Commenting on the election of Dayan Lanza of the SLPP as the Mayor of the Negombo MC through an open ballot, despite despite the UNP claiming victory at more..

'India had reservations about my govt, that will change now'

Mar 24 (IE) Three years after he was swept out of office, Mahinda Rajapaksa, SL’s former President, thinks he is in with a chance to return to power. Last month, the SLPP, the party loyal to him, made a stunning comeback with a massive win in local body polls. And early this month, Rajapaksa’s rival and successor President Maithripala Sirisena had to declare a state of emergency for more than a week after Buddhist-Muslim clashes left more..

Indian HC celebrates ITEC Day and Int’l Students’ Day’

Mar 24 (Island) Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu Thursday noted that last year, for the first time, the entrance examination for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technologies was held in Colombo enabling Lankan students now to participate in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test to pursue medical education in India. more..

Civil Society groups cry foul

Mar 24 (CT) Civil Society Organizations (CSO), including NGOs and those involved in social service, social protection and volunteer services, decried a Government move to amend the Voluntary Social Service Organizations (Registration and Supervision) Act, No. 31 of 1980. They described it as an attempt to muzzle their activities and clear the path for further fraud and corruption. more..

Lanka IOC increase fuel prices

Mar 24 (AD) The Lanka IOC has increased fuel prices with effect from midnight yesterday. Accordingly, the price of 92 octane petrol has increased by Rs 9 per liter and the price of diesel has increased by Rs 5 per liter from midnight yesterday. However, no steps have been taken to increase the price of Super Diesel and octane 95 petrol, IOC sources said. Meanwhile, Lanka IOC has taken measures to increase the price more..

Using Parliament to destabilize nation

Mar 25 (SO) Instability is opportunity, for some. Political instability is sought by those who want to grab power by any means; especially, when they are desperate to avoid the looming repercussions of their own past depredations. And no major Opposition group in our entire parliamentary history has more reason to avoid such prosecutory action for plunder and political repression than the so-called Joint Opposition, which has now tabled a motion of No Confidence against the PM. more..