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Political expediency and its toll on ethnic harmony

Mar 5 (SO) Are ethnic tensions raising their ugly head again? We have to pose the question in the context of the incidents that occurred in Ampara this week where several Muslim owned shops and an eatery were set on fire because the latter was allegedly introducing tablets that induced sterility to unsuspecting customers. What was implied was that there was a sinister campaign to undermine the Sinhalese community. The hypothesis was that these so-called sterility tablets were more..

Editorial: Adding insult to injury

Mar 5 (Island) The whole world saw, on Dec. 10, 2016, the then Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne rough up journalist Roshan Gunasekera, during a workers’ protest at the Hambantota Port. Gunasekera moved the Supreme Court against Wijegunaratne over the assault. The wheels of justice turned at a snail’s pace as usual. Nearly 15 months after the incident the Navy has unconditionally regretted inconvenience caused to Gunasekera. One is baffled. more..

The battle for water

Mar 5 (CT) Recent protest over Rs 18 billion Rajanganaya Tank Pipe Borne Drinking Water project to Tambuttegama in the Raja Rata dry zone is not due to fears that water for irrigation would be affected, but is due to other reasons, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) Deputy General Manager North Central Province (NCP) Vajira Wijeratne told this reporter on Friday (2). more..

Flawed education system

Mar 5 (Island) Since the 1960s the whole system of education has been flawed. Genuine educationists have been by-passed. Politicians who know next to nothing about education have taken over. They have messed up everything complicating education with the aid of some Teachers’ Unions that have prioritized the security of the en-masse recruited unqualified and untrained teachers who have been their subscribers. Qualified, experienced and well motivated teachers have been left behind and more..

Shehan retains two mile sea swim title

Mar 5 (CT) South Asian Gold medallist Dilanka Shehan from Nalanda and Kaushalya Woshani from G/Ginthota MV emerged winners of the men's and women's Open events respectively at the 81st two mile sea swim meet concluded at Mt. Lavinia yesterday. Dilanka clocked 39m 46 second to retain the title while Vimal Kumara (41:47) and J. Induwara (41:52) both from SL Army secured second and third places in the men's race. Sheneshi Herath from Visakha Vidyalaya (46:36) and more..

SL's cricket searching for its own Nidahas

Mar 5 (CB) In the immediate aftermath of the ravaging civil war of 1996 that had left the country in utter dismay, cricket attempted to soothe some wounds. Led by Arjuna Ranatunga, the batch of 14 individuals rallied around each other to bring to the country its first ever World Cup. That Sri Lanka had failed to go beyond the first round in the previous five editions of the World Cup, made the achievement so much more momentous. more..

Sri Lanka to cut import tax on fish bait

Mar 5 (EN) Sri Lanka, a country whose exports have been dampened by import taxes, will cut taxes on squid and milkfish in a bid to provide fish bait at rates competitive with the rest of the world. SL's long-line fishing fleet uses at estimated 7,000 metric tonnes of squid, milkfish and flying fish as bait, with about 3.000 metric tonnes coming from local sources. The cabinet had approved cutting import taxes on squid and milkfish to make the long line fishery sector competitive. more..

Impact of past and present irrigation works on reconciliation

Mar 5 (Island) Although there was a degree of awareness of the stupendous irrigation monuments built by our ancient Kings to make the land fruitful, as stated in the Mahavamsa, it was the pioneering work of dedicated and committed British Surveyors and Governors such as Sir Henry Ward in particular, during early British colonial Ceylon who first recognized the potential of these centuries old relics that were buried in the tide of the jungle. Their records & observations became foundation more..

89th Battle of the Maroons: Another draw despite individual brilliance

Mar 5 (DN) Ananda’s stylish right-hander Kamesh Nirmal scored a magnificent unbeaten century and Nalanda skipper Lakshitha Rasanjana made a fine 72 but despite their efforts the 89th Battle of the Maroons cricket encounter ended in a draw at the SSC yesterday. Match came to a conclusion soon after Nirmal had reached his hundred off 137 balls inclusive of 13 fours with Ananda on 252-7 in their 2nd innings. more..

E-bikes at major Colombo trade show in Aug

Mar 5 (ST) CEMS –Global USA, a large exhibition organiser especially in the garment and textile machinery, plans to organise an exhibition in Sri Lanka of motorcycles and e-bikes in August this year. In the meantime, CEMS is holding three international exhibitions for the textile and garment sector of Sri Lanka from March 8 to 10 at the SL Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) in Colombo. S.S. Sarwar, Group CEO, Conference and Exhibition Management Services Ltd more..

Royal-Thomian encounter rescheduled

Mar 5 (AD) The Battle of the Blues between Royal College, Colombo, and St. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, has been rescheduled to Friday (9), Saturday (10) and Sunday (11). The decision has been taken as a mark of respect for the Late Venerable Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thero’s funeral arrangement which is set to take place at Independence Square on Thursday (8), announced Chairman of Joint Organizing Committee Hashan De Silva. more..

Listed firms on good behaviour after Watch List

Mar 5 (ST) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) after renaming the default board as Watch List with effect from January 2018 and enforcing the procedures to the CSE listing rules has seen better behaviour by listed firms, officials say. ”Now they are better and ‘on time’ with disclosures,” a CSE official told the Business Times. Also now the number of firms that don’t disclose on time are lower and the compliance is high, he added. more..

A keen tussle with vintage cricket expected for the Big One

Mar 5 (ST) The Battle of the Blues is more of a tradition than a game of cricket that is enacted in the middle. It’s an excuse for those who are residing overseas to make at least a week’s break from their day-to-day drudgery and be with the boys. For almost all it’s a reunion and a travel back in time without the aid of a time machine. Yes, of course simultaneously, it’s going to be a gruelling encounter when the schools Royal and S. Thomas’ test their cricketing skills for the 139th occasion. more..

Fisheries Minister upbeat over SL achieving Rs. 50 b in seafood export by year’s end

Mar 5 (FT) As SL’s pro-growth reforms gather pace, capitalising on impending trade and economic partnerships, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry expressed optimism over achieving ambitious seafood export revenue of Rs.50 billion by the end of this year. “Last year we had record foreign exchange revenue of Rs. 28.68 billion from fish exports and we are confident that this year we will be in a position to double that amount to Rs. 50 billion,” more..

Sri Lanka to establish accepted professional status for electricians

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s power regulator said it will establish an accepted professional status for electricians in the country through accrediting their qualifications and experience. The proposed mechanism was developed by Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) in collaboration with the Institution of Engineers (IESL), Tertiary, Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and Construction Industry Development Authority more..

Namal Rajapaksa attends Commonwealth conference on preventing sexual violence

Mar 5 (TG) MP Namal Rajapaksa was a controversial participant at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Forum in London this week, taking part in discussions around conflict resolution and preventing sexual violence despite his continued denial of human rights abuses committed by Sri Lankan troops. His attendance raised criticism amongst Tamil diaspora groups and human rights organisations, which comes despite Mr Rajapaksa’s support for a SL military offensive more..

SriLankan taken to courts over in-flight duty concessionaire

Mar 5 (FT) SriLankan Airline’s in-flight duty free concessionaire DFP (Canada Ltd.) has filed legal action claiming $ 750 million in damages for breaching the five-year agreement granting the company exclusive rights and refusal to release its stocks from the bonded warehouses. Claiming that the National Carrier which now carries out its own in-flight duty free operation has done so breaching the agreement with the company which should be afforded the first right of refusal, more..

PM to power stock market takeoff

Mar 5 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday for the first time met with capital market stakeholders on the sidelines of a successful Invest Sri Lanka Forum in Singapore, listening to a host of issues and assuring to speed up implementation. In a proactive move, Premier offered an audience to the Lankan capital market delegation attending the forum in Singapore at the Four Seasons Hotel. more..

FTA with S’pore to impart biz openings to SL

Mar 5 (DN) Singapore-Sri Lanka FTA is a clear demonstration of Sri Lanka’s commitment to re-integrate into the global economy and bring more economic opportunities for its businesses and the people of Sri Lanka, said Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore S. Iswaran. Speaking at the Invest Sri Lanka Investor Forum in Singapore last Friday he said that for Singapore, this agreement marks another step-forward in their commitment to free and open markets, and more..

JO Parliamentary Group to meet today to discuss no-confidence motion against PM

Mar 5 (CT) JO Parliamentary Group will meet in Parliament tomorrow to deliberate on a possible No Confidence Motion (NCM) on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. This follows a social media report, quoting NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa as having said that there would be a No Confidence Motion against the PM before 6 March. "What is known at this stage is that the constituent parties of the JO will be meeting in Parliament on Tuesday and we will be deliberating the course of action on that day," more..

Top officials’ dream of BMW or Benz comes true

Mar 5 (ST) Senior public officials including Ministry Secretaries are in luck’s way: They will be getting new car permits with high duty cuts and unlimited values, in some cases at almost zero duty. Govt has completely overhauled the senior public sector official’s duty slashed car permit scheme by removing the upper ceiling of the vehicle value while offering unprecedented tax relief for permit holders. Some economists said the costly move more..

Chinese shops mushrooming: President

Mar 5 (DM) President Sirisena has raised concerns about the mushrooming of Chinese shops throughout the country, at the recently held Cabinet meeting. Chinese shops have increased in numbers in Colombo and Kandy and convening of Chinese shop owners to Sugathadasa Stadium on Tuesday is an disadvantage to the local shop owners, President has told the Cabinet. Actions taken by the former Minister of Finance has distanced the minor shop owners of the country from the govt more..

SLFP MPs divided on three lines of thinking

Mar 5 (DM) SLFP is reportedly divided on three lines of thinking with a dozen of MPs toughening their position that they should team-up with former President Rajapaksa and another similar number wanting to proceeds with the unity govt with some internal adjustments, it is learnt. In the third category, there are seven SLFPers trying to join the UNP for their future political activities. SLFPers, who want to quit the govt, have already indicated their position to Prez Sirisena about their position. more..

No-faith motion against PM to be moved shortly

Mar 5 (Island) Signatures of MPs would be collected for the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe this week in Parliament, a senior UNP member said. He said they would collect signatures of both govt and Opposition members. Parliament was scheduled to meet this week and the required number of signatures could be obtained easily, he added. UNPer said a large number of UNP MPs and Opposition MPs more..

UGC assures no curtailment to Mahapola or bursaries

Mar 5 (FT) UGC Chairman Dr. Mohan de Silva in a statement said that it had not curbed the Mahapola beneficiaries or bursaries given to university students around the country. UGC had already distributed the bursary payments to beneficiaries who had commenced studies (2016/2017 study year) at the universities of Sri J'pura and Moratuwa. In addition, it said that the UGC has provided Mahapola and bursaries for students in all faculties who started education in Jan/Feb this year, more..

Video: Chilaw kidnap and murder suspect arrested

Mar 5 (AD) Suspect over the killing of the 10 year old boy at Iranawila in Chilaw was arrested at Nayaru fishing village in Mullaitivu today (4). Suspect was identified as a 52-year old Jude Fonseka. Susith Nirmal, 10, resident of Samidugama in Iranawila, was reported missing on Sunday (25). His body was later recovered from a jungle at Iranawila area in Chilaw, on Feb 27. Autopsy revealed that the child was sexually assaulted and death was caused due to more..

Ampara attacks: Govt launches probe into Police inaction

Mar 5 (CT) The Govt has launched a special investigation into complaints of Police inaction and the submission of an incomplete 'B' report on the attack on several buildings in Ampara on 27 Feb. Ministry of Law and Order, in a media communiqué yesterday, said that the Govt would provide compensation for the damages caused to private properties, and for the renovation of shops and the mosque damaged during the incident. more..

The Democrat: Republic battle in Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (DM) The best argument against democracy, is a five-minute conversation with the average voter – Winston Churchill Democracy is said to be a form of govt where people elect their own govt based on the majority vote. The political minority, be it social, ethnic or religious has a relatively limited say in a Democracy. Republic is a system which addresses this inadequacy. It has either a charter or a constitution that safeguards the minority from being under-represented or eclipsed by majority. more..

The Rajapaksa Populism

Mar 5 (DM) LG elections last month and their aftermath continue to have their reverberations. While some politicians and political analysts critical of the Rajapaksa camp find solace in the fact that the Rajapaksa-backed SLPP got less than 50% of the vote, I believe it was a significant victory for the former President-backed party, and one with serious consequences. The dangers are not so much about whether Mahinda Rajapaksa will make a comeback, or what's in store for national polls ahead. more..

The mess that is LG election

Mar 5 (DM) The recent Act to provide 60% First-Past-Post and 40% Proportionate Representation at the LG Elections, was carelessly drafted and then irresponsibly accepted by all political parties. What the method of calculation provided in it leads to is a 100% proportional allocation. All parties that contributed to the drafting and enactment of this charade should now be held accountable. Seats in Pradeshiya Sabhas were increased, more..

1,700 stillbirths, 1,550 infant deaths reported annually in Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (DN) Annually, 1,700 still births are reported and another 1,550 infants die within the first week of their birth in Sri Lanka, Past President of the Perinatal Society of SL, Consultant Community Physician Dr. Kapila Jayaratne said. The majority of the deaths are reported from premature babies. The reason for over 35% of still births and the deaths of newborns are yet to be found out. Congenital diseases are one of the common more..

Journalists demand public apology from ex-Navy Chief

Mar 5 (Island) Provincial correspondents demand that former Navy Commander and current Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne apologise in public for assaulting a provincial journalist on Dec. 10, 2016 at Magampura port in Hambantota. President of the Provincial Journalists’ Association Kanchana Piyadasa says the former Navy Commander assaulted the provincial journalist of Hiru TV more..

Sunday morning tuition class ban still not implemented in CP

Mar 5 (Island) Private tuition classes should be banned on Sunday morning to allow children to attend Dhamma schools, said the most venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratna Mahanayake Thera. Private tuition classes were a vey lucrative business, but there should be a limit to collecting money, said the most venerable Mahanayake Thera, adding that the private tuition masters should realise that character building more..

CMC commissioner defiant after Governor fires him over garbage disaster

Mar 5 (ST) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Commissioner V.K.A. Anura has been permanently removed from his post following the recommendations made in the one-man presidential committee report that probed the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump, Western Province Governor K.C. Logeswaran said. Mr. Logeswaran noted that the Governor had the absolute power to appoint and remove a commissioner in terms more..

GSLF wants Dr.Nimalka Fenando removed from OMP

Mar 5 (DM) The Global Sri Lankan Forum (GSLF) vehemently condemned the appointment of Dr. Nimalka Fernando as one of the Commissioners to the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and requested the President to remove her from the OMP. In a statement addressed to Prez Sirisena, it said they condemned the appointment of Dr. Fernando on behalf of all Sri Lankan patriots living across the world. more..

Demo against vandalism of Hindu temples

Mar 5 (CT) A mass demonstration was held yesterday in protest against the attacks carried out on Hindu places of worship in various parts in the Northern Province. Several Hindu organizations, Hindu religious leaders and representatives of various temples had participated in the demonstration, carrying the Nanthi (Bull) flag, the symbol of Hinduism. Hundreds of Hindus chanted slogans against attacks on Hindu places of more..

Controversial Bills lead to land scam

Mar 5 (CT) The Legal Draftsman's Department has prepared two controversial Land Bill drafts, based on a proposal from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM), regarding the distribution of State lands free of charge to plantation companies. These two Bills have been named as Special Provisions and State Lands Bank Drafts. According to sources, Govt is attempting to use the Draft Bills to hand over more..

CMC Commissioner’s removal: Workers to protest today

Mar 5 (CT) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) workers have decided to stage a walk out today in protest against the wrongful removal of Municipal Commissioner V.K.A. Anura. A collective of high ranking CMC officers said that 17 trade unions will commence a protest in front of the Council in the morning today. They claim that the Colombo Municipal Commissioner Anura was removed from office on false grounds and more..

Special Envoy on Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention meets foreign minister

Mar 5 (NR) he Special Envoy of the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention, Prince Mired Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan has expressed hope that Sri Lanka would become a strong advocate for the Convention. The special envoy, who is on a visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Government, called on Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana on Monday (5). “Congratulating Sri Lanka for acceding to the Convention, more..

Dhammika Perera: Economist par excellence

Mar 5 (FT) Humans who forget that they are wired as economists Dhammika Perera, businessman, entrepreneur, wealth-creator and many more, admits humbly that he has never been formally trained as an economist. But, that is an under-assessment, since there is an economist living in every species. Nature has wired every species with the core of economic principles, the desire to get the best out of the least. This principle is followed to the letter by every lower level species. more..