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Pacific Partnership 2018: Mercy in Trinco

May 10 (SO) Colossal. Over 32 meters at the beam and 272 meters in length, it is a super tanker converted into a hospital ship. The largest hospital ship in the world and the 4th largest ship in the US Navy USNS Mercy rests in the Trincomalee waters. She is on a mission of mercy. One which helps countries such as SL in the Indo-Pacific region to be better prepared in disaster situations like Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, more..

An uneven playing field: Bisliya Bhutto

May 10 (GV) Initially, Bisliya, a women’s rights activist based in Puttalam and researching on female participation in politics, didn’t want to enter the arena herself. Her interests lay more in working to get more women elected in the first place. Yet one of her mentors submitted her name for nomination. She decided to pursue it, knowing full well the problems she would face as a result. The initial list for her party in the relevant ward had no women on it. more..

Threat or opportunity?

May 10 (CT) Since 2000, Ethiopia, where the African Union is headquartered, has been a major recipient of Chinese loans, with financing for dams, roads, railways and manufacturing plants worth more than US$ 12.3billion, more than twice the amount loaned to oil-rich Sudan and mineral-rich Congo. The One Belt One Road (OBOR) concept, while raising some concerns, especially among the former colonial powers who ruthlessly ravaged Africa and Asia when they had the opportunity, more..

The End

May 10 (ST) "I have faith in the cinema and in the country. I owe my life to the cinema. I would have been in exile if I did not come back to my homeland and get back my identity. I’d like to be reborn in this country even with all the problems around us. There is no other country like Sri Lanka.” This was Lester James Peries speaking at the Presidential Awards in Feb 2000. While he felt local cinema was facing a grave crisis he said more..

Miles to go before I sleep

May 10 (DN) May Day in Sri Lanka always has political connotations and is an opportunity for the major political parties to showcase their strength. Despite the traditional May 1 holiday being postponed, this year was no different with UNP, SLFP and its offshoot, the SLPP jostling for pole position. In the context of recent political developments such as the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the decision of 16 SLFPers to sit on opposition benches more..

Non-science of politics in Cabinet shuffle

May 10 (DN) What is possibly the longest reshuffle of the Cabinet and other ministers has ended with hardly any signs of the use of science in the task, as promised so often in the wait for these changes. There are many questions that could be raised about science, if any, used in the allocation of portfolios, and the combination of subjects. The wider issue that has prevailed is the politics of continuance or survival of governance. The new ministers are tasked to take the govt till more..

Dayasiri Jayasekara

Editorial: Beating wild jumbos with broomsticks

May 10 (Island) Supreme Court is reported to have deemed the National Audit Bill (NAB), consistent with the Constitution. That may be so, but what is being flaunted is a heavily diluted version of the original Bill, which was aimed at strengthening the position of the AG. The govt amended the NAB drastically lest the AG should have more powers and be able to act independently. So, one should not be so naïve as to expect the NAB to help bring about transparency in the public sector. more..

My Bondi Beach

May 10 (Island) Bondi Beach is my favourite place in Sydney or even in Australia. It was my former colleague Hon Consul General for Sierra Leone in Sydney, Dustin Hoffman look alike , Ron Wakil who first introduced me to Bondi, though we all know about it. On a Saturday, morning Ron took me on Bondi to Bronte walk which is nearly seven Kilo Meters. I fell in Love with Bondi instantly and am still in love with Bondi. I even wanted to move my residence to Bondi and tried to get more..

Tips on building your first home

May 10 (Roar) Having the choice of developing, styling and transforming property into your perfect home is a life goal for many. However, ambitions and financial reality don’t always go hand in hand. But home loans make building a dream home a reality. It goes without saying that obtaining a loan and building a house will be very stressful. Nonetheless, a measured approach to your loan will reduce stress levels and, indeed, set the more..

Joes clinch Under-19 cricket title

May 10 (Island) Skipper Jehan Daniel top scored with 86 runs and Dunith Wellalage came up with a good double of 42 runs and four wickets as St. Joseph’s beat Trinity on first innings to clinch the Inter School Under-19 Division I cricket tournament title at Colts ground on Wednesday. Commencing the day with nine wickets in hand and 265 runs behind the Joes’ first innings total, Trinity could muster only 173 runs as Wellalage and Gamage bowled well to secure a big first innings lead. more..

Daraz Group joins the Alibaba ecosystem

May 10 (Island) Daraz Group, a leading e-commerce company in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal announced that the company was fully acquired by Alibaba to become a member of Alibaba Group. With the acquisition, Daraz will be able to leverage Alibaba’s leadership and experience in technology, online commerce, mobile payment and logistics to drive further growth in the five South Asian markets that have a combined population of over 460 million, 60% of which more..

Youth Weightlifting team barred from competition

May 10 (CT) The SL team of five weight lifters was barred from competing at the Asian qualification trials in Uzbekistan by the organizers as the athletes failed to properly update the Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS), thereby shattering the youth lifters dream of participating at Youth Olympics 2018. ADAMS was designed by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to keep track of more..

Lanka Masters Women stickers to make World Cup debut

May 10 (DN) For the first time a Sri Lanka Masters women national hockey team will be competing in the Master’s World Cup to be held in Barcelona, Spain from 27 July to 5 August. Officials from Sri Lanka Masters Hockey Association (SLMHA) announced the participating team at a press conference held at the Duncan White Auditorium yesterday with Minister of Sports Faiszer Mustapha and patron of SLMHA Rauff Hakeem, Minister of City Planning and Water Supply present. more..

Singapore-SL yoy trade up to $1.4 bn

May 10 (DN) Sri Lanka’s newest Free Trade partner in the world, itself a major economic hub, hinted its ambitions to leverage the new Sri Lankan economic partnership as a springboard towards the rising South Asian market. “Many Singapore businesses see Sri Lanka as a gateway to South Asia” announced President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) Roland Ng yesterday in Colombo. SCCCI has 5,000 corporate members and more than 160 more..

Sri Lanka's training camp to begin with pink-ball practice game

May 10 (CB) SL's cricketers left for Kandy on Wednesday (9) for an 8-day residential training camp that gets underway the following day at the Pallekele Int'l Stadium. Training camp is in preparation for the upcoming tour of West Indies and will begin with a practice match which is scheduled to begin at 2 PM local time under lights using a pink ball. Last Test of the 3-match series, in Barbados, will be a day-night pink ball Test. more..

House e-voting system restored

May 10 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that the parliament’s malfunctioning electronic voting system had been fixed and it could be used. During the Parliamentary session on March 23, the e-voting system recorded a vote of Minister S.B. Dissanayake, who was not present and failed to register the vote of Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The party leaders later appointed an independent committee to look into the matter. Following recommendations of committee, more..

53 Tea factories come under spotlight

May 10 (CT) The inquiries for the 53 factories that were found adulterating tea with sugar/glucose are to start today, and will continue for a 3-week period, according to Tea Commissioner E A J K Edirisinghe. “We cannot take any action in terms of cancelling the licences of these factories until we complete the inquiry process. However, at the moment it was very unlikely, and we do not suspect that these 53 factories are continuing to mix sugar with tea, as authorities are stern on this matter,” more..

Rs. 18 b supplementary allocation presented to Parliament

May 10 (FT) A supplementary allocation of a total of Rs.18 billion was presented to the Parliament yesterday to keep the House informed of the expenses incurred during 1-31 March, provisioning 61 different programs and purposes. The key allocations, which were looking for House approval, includes Rs.3.4 billion for the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways to settle the outstanding bills for the project of extensions of more..

Ten major bridges on national road network rehabilitated with JICA concessionary loan

May 10 (FT) Rehabilitation and reconstruction of 10 major bridges which were in structurally weak condition, have been completed and will be ceremonially vested with the public on 11 May by Minister Kabir Hashim. The main event will be held at the scenic Polwathumodara Bridge in Matara, and will be attended by the Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka and Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office, and many Ministers and dignitaries more..

Gunaratne to be elected SLR President uncontested

May 10 (CT) Former SL forward, Lasitha Gunaratne, is the front runner for the post of President of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) after nominations were closed on Tuesday evening. Lasitha Gunaratne, who is currently serving as the Vice President of SLR, will contest against incumbent President Asanga Seneviratne at the election scheduled to be held on 30 May. Gunaratne beat Seneviratne 16-4 at the elections held by Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) to select their candidate for more..

SLFP crossover group to form formidable Opposition: SB

May 10 (FT) SLFP MP S. B. Dissanayake, who along with 15 other SLFPers crossed over to the Opposition on Tuesday (8), asserted that the group would join with other Opposition parties in Parliament to form a formidable movement against the Govt and the UNP. Dissanayake made these remarks in Parliament yesterday (9), while addressing the House on behalf of the 16 rebel SLFPers, adding that their numbers would more..

Lanka IOC losses narrow in March on higher sales, lower costs

May 10 (DM) Lanka IOC PLC (LIOC) saw its losses narrowing during the quarter ended March 31, due to the strong increase in sales while the company committed to keep its costs in check as the oil prices in the global market made notable gains during the previous 12 months. The local unit of Indian Oil Corporation Limited reported a net loss of Rs.92 million or 17 cents a share for the quarter, compared to a Rs.652.1 million loss or 1.22 loss per share reported in corresponding period, last year. more..

Director General Indian Coast Guard calls on Commander of the Navy

May 10 (SLN) The Director General of Indian Coast Guard Vice Admiral Rajendra Singh who participated in the 3rd Staff Talks between senior officers of Indian Coast Guard and Sri Lankan Coast Guard, called on the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Sirimewan Ranasinghe at the Naval Headquarters today (9). Upon arrival, he was accorded with a Guard of Honour in accordance with naval traditions and received by Commander Western Naval Area Nishantha Ulugetenna. more..

CB Chief tells global equity investors time to focus on Sri Lanka

May 10 (FT) Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy yesterday invited foreign equity investors to focus on Sri Lanka as prospects look better, with a framework for strengthening the economy in motion following stabilisation measures undertaken. Speaking to a group of over 60 foreign institutional investors (FIIs) brought together to Colombo by leading stock broking firm CT CLSA, Central Bank Chief said the stabilisation more..

PUCSL awaits policy paper on Energy Generation

May 10 (Island) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) was waiting for the policy paper on Sri Lanka Energy Generation, which had been approved by the Cabinet yesterday to continue its negotiations on the Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP) 2018-2037 with other stakeholders of the power sector, a spokesperson for the PUCSL said. A discussion, yesterday, at PUCSL with the participation of Secretary to the Ministry of Power, Suren more..

First Cabinet paper to promote organic farming

May 10 (DN) The first Cabinet paper to promote organic farming will be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers next week, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. The Ministry has taken measures to promote organic farming to cater to the rising demand for organic products in the local market. “The demand for organic products in the local market is in a growing phase. So organic farming should be expanded to provide opportunities for farmers to earn more income,” he said. more..

Professionals want Singapore FTA presented to Parliament

May 10 (FT) A cluster of seven professional organisations called on the Govt to present the recently signed Singapore-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to Parliament and step up engagement with professionals on other trade deals to be signed in the future. Representatives of the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL), Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA), Institution of Incorporated Engineers Sri Lanka (IIESL), more..

Rs 1B for SLTB workers’ EPF arrears

May 10 (CT) Govt yesterday presented a supplementary estimate seeking the approval of the Parliament for an expenditure of Rs 1 billion to settle the unpaid Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). Approval was sought to spend a sum of Rs 2.9 billion as recurrent expenditure from the Supplementary Allocation for March 2018. Another Rs 15.07 billion had been allocated as capital expenditure. more..

'Same law applies to all under this govt'

May 10 (DN) The same law applies to former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran and former Russian Ambassador Udayanga Weeratunga, Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala said. Making the winding up speech on the Judicature Amendment Bill in Parliament, minister said there is no preferential treatment to anybody before the law under this Govt, unlike in the previous administration. “There were accusations of a Bond scam. Two persons are now behind bars more..

Indian who complained against Mahanama, other receives death threats

May 10 (Island) The Indian investor who complained that President Maithripala Sirisena’s Chief of Staff, I.K. Mahanama and Chairman of State Timber Corporation P. Dissanayake, had allegedly taken a bribe from him, has informed the Cinnamon Gardens Police that he has been receiving death threats. On Tuesday morning, an unidentified person visited the Indian businessman’s office, in Colombo 07, and gave his more..

Video: Tear gas used on IUSF protest against SAITM

May 10 (AD) Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse a protest organized by the Inter University Students’ Federation and Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee. The protest commenced from the University of Kelaniya, urging authorities to provide a sustainable solution to the issues pertaining to the medical faculty of SAITM. The protesters later marched towards the UGC. The police Anti-riot squad was deployed and barriers were placed beside the UGC by the Police more..

RTI to be included in school and university education curricula

May 10 (CT) Ministry of Finance and Mass Media intends to introduce the Right to Information (RTI) Act into the SL education curricula, Additional Secretary of the Ministry, Thilaka Jayasundara said. Jayasundara revealed this at the International Conference on the Right to Information, held in Colombo at the Institute of Policy Studies. “We will be incorporating the RTI Act into the school curriculum of Grade 10 and 11 as a part of the subject in Civics Education. more..

Sri Lanka creates special courts for Rajapakse-era graft

May 10 (AFP) SL's parliament Wednesday voted to set up special courts to try multi-billion dollar graft cases under former president Rajapakse. The move aims to accelerate several high-profile cases following criticism over the slow pace of justice since President Sirisena came to power in 2015 promising to stamp out corruption. Parliament voted 119-52 to create high courts to take up white collar crimes and reduce more..

Let’s not foget The introverted child

May 10 (DM) With never ending monthly tests, term tests, govt tests and tuition classes that run up to late evenings the life of a child in Sri Lanka has turned out to be quite torturous. Pushed by parents, teachers and societal expectations to be the best and be on the list of 9As at the O/L and 3As at the A/L exams, has become a game of all or nothing. On top of that, there now seems to be another challenge. While on the one hand we are getting more and more into the South Asian culture more..

And it all began with Sinhala Only ok?

May 10 (DM) The root cause. People like to throw that phrase around when talking about problems and their resolutions. It’s a decent enough proposition, the assumption being that if root causes are identified and fixed, not only will the problem be sorted but its reincarnation, so to speak, would be preempted. The problem with root causes is that it naturally takes us to the past. That’s about history and archaeology, literally and metaphorically. This takes us to readings, subjectivity, more..

Executive Presidency needed for country’s sovereignty: Medagoda Abhayatissa Thera

May 10 (DM) Q: All the leaders have pledged to abolish the executive presidency since 1994. JVP has taken an initiative to abolish it this time. What are your views? A: It is a popular political topic and slogan. There is no constructive benefit for the country from it, though. This is, in fact, a rotten political topic. Under the pretext of abolishing the executive presidential system, country is now driven down path of separatism. more..

Lankan doc heads Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health

May 10 (ST) His forte is genetics but armed with his laptop, his passion has always been computers. This is how the Head of the Human Genetics Unit of the Colombo Medical Faculty, Prof. Vajira Dissanayake, came to be in the very thick of it when the Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health (CWCDH) was launched recently at a prestigious event in London, UK. It was amidst many eminent leaders that CWCDH was launched more..

Why the fear; When can we except answers?

May 10 (DM) The Cabinet has been shuffled and reshuffled but no one is happy! The burning question is why are they so afraid to give Law and Order to Sarath Fonseka? Let’s take a look at the President’s Chief of Staff facing violent corruption charges and sabotage of US$100 million for over 2 years, manipulation of discarded machinery scrap iron etc, and yet was made Chief of Staff! What a hideous gaff! more..

How should the media report suicide & rape?

May 10 (Roar) What comes to your mind when you remember media reports of rape and suicide? Photographs of the victims, including their names? Gruesome details of how it happened, along with quotes from the family? The photographs and names might help to humanize the story a bit, but it is also a massive violation of the victim’s—and the family’s—privacy. Publishing these details could also lead to stigmatisation, impeding more..