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John wants more women in tourism sector

Mar 3 (FT) Tourism Minister John Amaratunga pledged to focus on encouraging more women to join the lucrative industry, insisting that the sector has the potential to transform the economy through greater female participation. “In terms of the tourism industry, although it is a female-dominated industry in most of the developed world, in Sri Lanka it remains a male-dominated industry. more..

Double mistakes led to murder

Mar 3 (ST) A case of mistaken identity and a house owner’s failure to check the credentials of his tenant led to his murder by underworld gang members who also shot his wife. Christy Warnakulasuriya, 51, who was suffering from a nervous disorder, and his wife, Karunawathi Perera, were fast asleep at their home in Batapotha, Thalangama last Sunday. A son who usually slept in adjoining room was away on a trip. more..

Office on Missing Persons provides audacity of hope to Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (DM) Let me begin on a very personal note. The first major emotional upheaval I underwent as a result of losing a very loved one, was when I lost my maternal grandfather in December 1968. I was 14 years old at that time. I was inordinately fond of him and he of me, his eldest grandchild. My grandfather had been ailing for some time and his impending demise was expected. Both his children, their spouses and more..

Non-academic staff now threaten to cripple universities

Mar 3 (Island) University non-academic staff members who have been on a strike since Feb 28 now threaten to withdraw from the the voluntary services too unless the govt redress their grievances urgently. Chairman of the University Trade Union Joint Committee Edward Malwattage said that in spite of their trade union action to win several demands including allowances, their members had provided voluntary services in more..

RTI Commission orders release of Draft Disability Law

Mar 3 (Island) On Tuesday (27), the Right to Information Commission ordered the release of the most recent draft law on the rights of persons with disabilities. The Ministry of Social Empowerment agreed to make available the draft law in Sinhala, Tamil and English. This order was made after a right to information application was made by the Int'l Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), through its Exec Director, Mario Gomez, more..

Consultant Gynaecologist debunks claims about sterilization pill

Mar 3 (DN) There is no sterilization pill invented in the world that could make a woman or man infertile by one intake, GMOA Vice President and Consultant Gynaecologist Dr. Sarada Kannangara said. He said fear mongering over mixing sterilizing drugs with food has no scientific base and brushed aside the claims as a canard. At the same time he pointed out that there are much bigger issues people need to worry about, more..

Court says Mahendran has till March 8 to report to CID

Mar 3 (DM) Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne observed that the issuance of a special Court order on CM's former governor Arjuna Lakshman Mahendran was not required because he has till March 8 to report to the CID. She said such move would be considered if he fails to report to the CID at least by that date. Deputy Solicitor General Haripriya Jayasundara prosecuting, informed Court that the order issued on more..

PM urges Singapore-based funds to invest in Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday urged Singaporeans and fund managers based in the city state to invest in Sri Lanka and be part of the new growth story in the Indian Ocean. He extended this invitation during his keynote at this year’s first-ever Invest SL Forum held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore. “We will make SL a strong, stable and resilient economy, and an attractive place to do business. more..

The Cabinet reshuffle: No real takeaways

Mar 3 (FT) Events, as they say in politics, have conspired to force the President to reshuffle his Cabinet, to sharpen Govt and to shine. President Sirisena and the Prime Minister had decided to reshuffle the Cabinet of Ministers to manage the fallout after the recent election. Many new faces were expected to be appointed to Cabinet, with a few changes to existing portfolios. The public wanted a thorough shake-up. Their message after the LG elections was loud and clear. more..

Finding jobs

Mar 3 (CT) A few articles published by this newspaper yesterday, based on the results of a recent World Bank (WB) survey on problems associated with unemployment in the North and the East (NE) is symptomatic of a malaise that is besetting the whole island and not confined to the NE only. The NE is home to about 15% of the island's population, mainly by the country's minority Tamils, followed by the Muslims and lastly the Sinhalese, island's single largest population, more..

Kesrala Gunasekara

50% of oranges, apples and grapes contain pesticides

Mar 3 (DN) Tests carried out by Govt Analyst’s Department had revealed that 50% of the test samples of oranges, apples and grapes collected from the local market contained pesticides. Dept Director General A. Weliangage said these three types of fruit contained a pesticide known as Chlorpyrifos. About 30% of the grape samples tested had contained an insecticide known as Profenofos. Public Health Inspectors collected the above fruit samples from markets at various places in the country more..

Police net several suspects with heroin and Kerala ganja

Mar 3 (Island) Police have arrested several suspects including a woman along with small quantities of heroin and a stock of Kerala ganja during raids conducted on March 1. Acting on information received from the public, Mount Lavinia police arrested a 35-year-old person, resident of Ratmalana, with two grams and 380 mg of heroin. At Maharagama, police took into custody a 59-year-old person with 19 g and 380 mg of heroin. Maharagama police arrested another person with two g and 530 mg of heroin. more..

City of Kandy could be beautified at minimal cost: UN expert

Mar 3 (ST) Professor Marcos Finka, Director of the Center for Excellence of the European Union and a member of the Panel of Experts with UN Habitat said ‘Kandy is an enchanting City and could be beautified with little expense via co-operation with the business establishments. “If the people involved in developing the city request business establishments to take down their larger than life hoardings, the city would look much better,” Professor Marcos said. more..

Bribery granted more time to file charge sheet

Mar 3 (DN) The Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday granted further time to the Bribery Commission to file a charge sheet against former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and two others. This is for allegedly committing a Rs. 53.1 million fraud while importing sports equipment during last Presidential Election. The Bribery Commission was directed to file a charge sheet against the accused on May 15 by Chief Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara. more..

Sri Lankan tea giant eyes expansion in Gulf region

Mar 3 (AB) Sri Lanka's Dilmah, one of the world’s leading tea brands, is looking to further expand operations in the Middle East region. Dilmah said in a statement that it is planning to enhance its sales in the Middle East by end of 2018 through tie-ups with five-star hotels, other regional airlines, and launching exclusive t-Lounges. For the last three years, Dilmah and its group companies have been posting sales figures of $66 million every year on an average, more..

Questions mount over police arrest procedures in wake of recent deaths

Mar 3 (ST) Case of a youth who died while allegedly trying to evade arrest by police has again raised concerns over the apparent failure of officers to follow basic procedure. When the body of 20-year-old Nalinda Kasun was found in a Piliyandala canal on Feb 17, angry relatives and area residents blamed Kahathuduwa Police for his death. According to a friend of Kasun, he had allegedly jumped into the canal from a bridge in fear after two policemen in civvies had tried to arrest him. more..

Law and Order Portfolio Fonseka most suitable: SLFP

Mar 3 (CT) SLFP says that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka is the most suitable person to be entrusted with the Law and Order Portfolio. SLFP General Secretary Minister Duminda Dissanayake said, though there has still not been a reshuffle of Ministries held by SLFP MPs, Party was still hopeful that it would take place soon. He said that the final decision on any reshuffle of Cabinet Ministers rests with the President, and thus far he was yet to give any positive indication towards that end. more..

Three UNP Ministers request Prez: Don’t dismantle EMC

Mar 3 (CT) Three frontline Ministers of the UNP met the President on 28 Feb night and requested him not to dismantle the Economic Management Committee (EMC), which was headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Based on reports, UNP Ministers who made this request were Malik Samarawickrema, Kabir Hashim and Mangala Samaraweera. Premier too had participated in the 90-minute-long discussion. President took the decision to dismantle this Committee at the Cabinet meeting held on 27 Feb. more..

ACPBA wants to run buses on kerosene

Mar 3 (DM) All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) said they would request the govt to use kerosene as fuel for buses instead of diesel. ACPBA Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said that about 30% of private buses in the country were now using kerosene. “Using kerosene as a fuel for buses has now become a trend among private bus operators. Bus engines have been designed to use diesel, but the diesel engine mechanism could also modified to be operated with kerosene,” he said. more..

Strict action against improper garbage disposal

Mar 3 (NR) The Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Council says strict action will be taken against those who dispose garbage improperly in and around Colombo. Speaking during a special media briefing at the Ministry subject Minister Faiszer Musthapha requested officers in charge of the disposal process to refrain from being politically influenced. Meanwhile several officials of the Colombo Municipal Council were also present during the discussion. more..

Cause of 35% of perinatal deaths not identified

Mar 3 (Island) President, Perinatal Society of SL, Consultant Community Physician, Dr Kapiala Jayaratne, said that annually 48,000 miscarriages and an average of 3,250 perinatal deaths occurred in SL. Addressing the media, at a seminar conducted in view of World Birth Defects Day, Dr Jayaratne, said the number included 1,700 still births 1,550 neonatal deaths (during the first four weeks after birth). However, the cause of over 35% of perinatal mortality had not been identified yet. more..

Ven Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thera passes away

Mar 3 (DM) Chief incumbent of Sri Sambodhi Viharaya, Colombo and founder of The Buddhist TV channel Venerable Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thera passed away at the age of 54. Educated at Royal College, Colombo, the Most Ven. Thera, read for a Masters Degree at the Uni of Kelaniya; and proceeded to be of Dhamma Service, as the Chief Incumbent of the Vajirarama Dhamma School in Bambalapitiya. more..

Infertility: Can Dhamma vanquish avijjaa?

Mar 4 (SO) Racist bias makes minds fertile ground for illusion, delusion and paranoia – in short, a form of avijjaa. Lord Buddha taught that avijjaa is the root cause of dukkha and can spark suspicion, fear, anger and hatred among many other forms of negative thoughts and behaviour. For a society that celebrates the flourishing of the Dhamma on this Thrice Blessed Isle it is utterly paradoxical that this same society frequently displays the triumph of avijjaa and its most violent outcomes. more..

Garbage Politics

Mar 4 (CT) Deaths due to the last year's Aluth Avurudu (14 April) tragedy caused by the collapse of the man-made Meethotamulla garbage mountain stood at 31, while at least 10 were listed as missing. Ten months after this tragedy and 20 days after the UNP/UNF-SLFP/UPFA Govt's shock landslide defeat at Local Govt polls to SLPP Leader and UPFA MP and former President Rajapaksa, Colombo Municipal Commissioner V.K.A. Anura was made the sacrificial lamb for this disaster by more..

'LG polls result: Rebuke, not repudiation'

Mar 4 (SO) The aftermath of the LG election has been fraught with political tension and the uncertainties of coalition politics. Leading civil society activist and Secretary of the Consultative Task Force on Reconciliation mechanisms, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu says these confusions must not be allowed to overshadow the 2015 mandate for democratic and constitutional reforms. “The country hasn’t given up on the reforms more..

Lifting the glyphosate ban

Mar 4 (Island) The reported decision of the National Economic Council (NEC) to lift the ban on glyphosate, a weedicide that was widely used in this country previously, though not yet officially communicated to those concerned nor formally gazetted will no doubt be widely welcomed, mostly by the tea industry. Minister Navin Dissanayake went on record when the ill-advised ban was first imposed several months ago that he hoped to have it lifted. But he did not succeed in his more..

Politicising the Lasantha Wickremetunga murder investigation

Mar 4 (Island) On Jan 8, 2009, it was a diplomat in the Indian High Commission who phoned me and said that Lasantha Wickremetunga had been shot dead. I was out of Colombo at the time and was not able to go to the Kalubowila hospital where he had been brought following the attack. I was one of those who had a personal debt to Lasantha which I was never able to repay. Later at the Barney Raymond’s funeral parlour where Lasantha’s remains lay before being taken to his house in Battaramulla, more..

'25% female representation in LG bodies: Interesting juncture in history'

Mar 4 (CT) Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR), Virginia Gomes, visited Sri Lanka following the recent Review on SL by the Committee in Geneva in order to discuss its findings & observations. Committee monitors implementation by States of one of the main international human rights treaties, International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights. more..

Some advice for Green Man

Mar 4 (ST) My dear Green Man, I thought I must write to you even though you are in Singapore because everyone is talking about you, your job and how Maithri is treating you, especially after last Sunday’s reshuffle that was supposed to put the country back on track but instead made most people lose the little hope that they had. Green Man, you must surely know that voters at the last election gave you and your party a rude wake up call. What they told you was that they did not like more..

Uniting the North and the South

Mar 4 (ST) Last Sunday’s Cabinet reshuffle was a damp squib; and now, the DIGs are shivering in their boots more than anyone else fearing that the one-time Army Commander turned politician might be their Minister; and the President continues to hold back on his part of the reshuffle deal. With the hullabaloo domestically, and the National Govt in a state of shock and paralysis following LG polls, the happenings at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva have gone off the radar, somewhat. more..

Explore Sri Lanka with Tikiri

Messing with education

Mar 4 (ST) It was raining cats and dogs, just like the popular expression, for a few days this week. However, what intrigued me most was that the rain was accompanied by strong, angry winds, once again taking away a few roofs with it (as it did some months back) as friends told me later. “Machan, the Gods must surely be angry with Sri Lanka,” one friend, obsessed with bad Karma, said over the phone. Watching the heavy drops of rain accompanied by gusts of wind, more..

When things fall apart

Mar 4 (SO) Political events that followed the LG election of Feb 10 as well as last week’s mini cabinet reshuffle have re-energized Sri Lanka’s public discussions on changing the dynamics of current politics. Regular media reporting of actual events as well as the never ending speculation about possible twists and turns in politics, no doubt sharpened the intensity of public debate. Yet, there have also been many instances where the line of demarcation between fact and fiction, more..

'Some murderers, thieves named war heroes'

Mar 4 (CT) Prez Sirisena, we asked you to handover those who were (allegedly) involved in the Treasury Bonds scam to the Police and not to do otherwise has been the most popular post that went viral in SL social media ever since PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the Minister of Law and Order at the recently held Cabinet reshuffle. PM who remained composed on surface despite being pressurised to step down from more..

No one is indispensable

Mar 4 (Island) When Steve Waugh was dumped as ODI captain with less than 18 months to go for the World Cup, there was a hue and cry in Australia. Trevor Hohns, the Chairman of Selectors was a targeted man. Australia were the defending champions and Waugh is an iconic figure in Australian cricket. Comparatively, Hohns played less than a handful of Test matches for Australia. The Aussies embraced an aggressive youth policy for the shorter formats of the game overlooking more..

Ananda fightback after early blues

Mar 4 (ST) A heroic knock of 58 by Ananda’s Lahiru Attanayake and two superb spells of medium fast bowling by Nalandians Suhanga Wijewardene and Chaminda Wijesinghe highlighted an evenly poised first day’s play of the 89th Battle of the Maroons cricket encounter at the SSC Grounds yesterday. Put into bat Ananda went into lunch with 67 for 6 wickets. While wickets falling around him Attanayake stood alone for Ananda countering the onslaught of Nalanda pacies. more..

Katchateevu comes alive in all its magnificence

Mar 4 (SO) Katchateevu St. Anthony’s Church annual feast this year was a great success, with nearly 9,000 devotees from both, India and Sri Lanka attending on Feb 23 and 24. There were some 1,900 Indian devotees, mostly fisher folk, and about 7,000 Sri Lankan devotees visiting the shrine, besides a large number of journalists, from India and Sri Lanka, and several dignitaries and Navy top brass. more..

Supreme advice on when to retire from the game

Mar 4 (Island) 3-nation Nidahas trophy T-20 tournament is now on our doorstep – due to start on Mar 6 and continue until Mar 18. Indian Board has decided to rest six of their star players, and not due to injury either, out of this bash. If media reports are to be taken into account, skipper Virat Kohli, former skipper M.S. Dhoni, all-rounder Hardik Pandiya, pacemen Bhuwaneswar Kumar and Jaspreet Bumrah, and Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav will be giving this tour a miss. more..

Joes hold on to force a draw

Mar 4 (ST) The Battle of the Saints turned out into another stalemate as in spite of St. Peter’s dominating the proceedings their traditional rivals St. Joseph’s holding on to force a draw ending day two on 237 for 8 in the 84th encounter concluded at the P. Sara Stadium yesterday. The Peterites who came into the game as the underdogs had their rivals struggling for survival in both the innings on day one. The Petes had the Joes batting in tatters on 68 for 4 before the Josephian captain more..