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The most absurd law of all

May 20 (ST) Those were uncomplicated as well as undulated times. The year was 1985, and cricket in Sri Lanka had just begun to walk, per se. Cricketwise, generally, the best possible combination crossed the boundary line behind the captain, and the administrators assisted the cricketers in whatever manner possible—it was cohesive existence. I still remember, during that time an administrator hogs the limelight only on the day of the annual general meeting (AGM) and, more..

Sri Lanka's tour of West Indies in quandary

May 20 (CB) Less than a week before SL's departure to West Indies, there were fears of the series being abandoned after Cricket West Indies related their shaky financial status to the tourists. Although earlier there were fears that the tour comprising three Test matches being entirely scrapped, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva confirmed that the tour is not in danger. "The most likely scenario is that we might reduce one of the Tests more..

CNN blitz gets conditional approval

May 20 (ST) Govt this week approved the CNN blitz set to promote the destination but subject to certain observations by the Finance Ministry. Tourism Ministry officials said that the CNN campaign was approved at this week’s cabinet meeting but that the amount allocated US$650,000 was an issue as a result the ministry has been asked to follow the procurement guidelines in entering into an agreement on such a campaign. The Finance Ministry has asked the Tourism Ministry to more..

Condom Conondrum

May 20 (Island) A stock of condoms valued at more than Rs. 10 million sent to the Family Planning Association (FPA) in excess due to an oversight in late 2017 was found concealed inside a building within the FPA training center complex at Nainamadama, health officials said. The consignment of 888,000 condoms in 2,220 boxes had not been returned to the Ministry when the lapse was detected by the recipient, but transported to the training facility to be dumped in two rooms more..

Establish automated immigration systems fast: SLAITO

May 20 (SO) Stressing the need for better management of systems and processes at the BIA, Katunayake, SL Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) Chairman Harith Perera said Sri Lanka should move faster on adopting automated immigration systems. “It is a widely held perception among all our industry stakeholders that BIA should be managed more efficiently minimising delays and waiting times. more..

Dockyard seals contract to build two vessels for Iraq

May 20 (ST) Colombo Dockyard PLC (CD) has secured a contract with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) of Japan to build two vessels; Pilot Station Vessel and Buoy Tender Vessel, for General Company for the Port of Iraq (GCPI). TTC and GCPI signed the contract on April 27 in Dubai, CD said in a media release. TTC is a trading and investing company which is also a group company of TOYOTA. By recognising the potential of CD, TTC decided to collaborate with the SL company more..

ADB gives US$453mn for Sri Lanka’s Mahaweli water security investment

May 20 (EN) Asian Development Bank (ADB) is giving Sri Lanka a loan of US$453 million to fund the second phase of a project providing irrigation and drinking water from the island’s main Mahaweli river. The funds will be used to build storage reservoirs, canals and tunnels to divert river water for thousands of farmer families and provide safe drinking water for people living in areas affected by Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program is one of the more..

HRCSL painstakingly vets 204 troops for UN peacekeeping

May 20 (ST) Human Rights Commission of SL is now vetting a list of 204 military personnel nominated by the SL Army for UN peacekeeping missions. This includes a contingent of 49 sent to Lebanon in February without review by the Commission, which hadn’t been told these officers were required to be released early. SL’s deployment of soldiers to the United National Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) without vetting more..

US firm GE engines for Railways

May 20 (ST) General Electric (GE) Transportation has been selected to provide 12 diesel locomotives valued at US$ 48 million to the Sri Lanka Railways, a senior official said. The US Company GE had been selected from among several US, British and Chinese bidders, Railways General Manger S.M. Abeywickrema said. He said that Cabinet had granted approval to buy the locomotives, each of which would cost US$ 4.2 million. Railways Chief said the selected locomatives were the best more..

JVP hits back at Rajitha

May 20 (DM) JVP MP Vijitha Herath rejected the statement made by Minister Rajitha Senaratne where he compared the the JVP with the LTTE and said it was surprising for the minister, who had led a terrorist outfit known as Pra to make such a statement. He said the JVP was a political party that had stood for peoples’ rights, their day-to-day issues and for justice. “JVP was banned in 1981 based on false allegations against us. But we have done our politics together with the people since 1970. more..

It is regrettable failing to differentiate the war hero and the terrorist: President

May 20 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says that our security forces have not been accused of war crimes in the resolution of the UNHRC as certain media and extremist parties falsely depict. Prez Sirisena said that today such accusations are made by the parties who support the LTTE and living abroad and those who are against the govt and security forces. President stated this addressing the National War heroes day held near more..

Dansel at Vellamullivaikkal & Iyakachchi commemorate memory of fallen war heroes

May 20 (SLA) Army troops serving Vellamullivaikkal areas where the final phase of the humanitarian operations took place in Mullaittivu held a Dansela on Friday on behalf of fallen War Heroes and distributed refreshments among all civilians who were recollecting memories of their departed ones. On the directions of Major General Rasika Fernando, General Officer Commanding, 68 Division, troops with the objective of commemorating their fallen ones until the completion of more..

Housemaids injected with contraceptives: Minister orders probe

May 20 (DM) An immediate inquiry will be conducted into reports about the administration of injectable- contraceptives to Sri Lankan housemaids, Foreign Employment Minister Harin Fernando said. He directed the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) to launch an independent inquiry in the wake of an expose’ published by Daily Mirror on Thursday on injecting the contraceptive Depo-Provera to Sri Lankan housemaids before they are sent for employment to the Gulf countries. more..

President reveals plans to stop him from visiting Iran

May 20 (ST) That international power play has reached newer levels in Colombo was underscored by President Sirisena during his state visit to Iran this week. “They tried to stop me from coming to Teheran,” he told a small group of journalists accompanying him. However, he did not identify who brought pressure on him, whether it came from Colombo-based Western diplomats, local officials or both. more..

Danger: From a Republic, back to a Colony ?

May 20 (Island) Sri Lanka ceased to be a colony and gained complete independence by becoming a Republic in 1972. Can we become a colony once again? Seems impossible, but with current trends in Sri Lanka it is a real danger. Global trends strengthen these moves. If we do not awaken to the danger and act swiftly it may be too late to save Sri Lanka so that it can continue to remain an independent, sovereign republic with a national economy serving & controlled by our people. more..

Forgetting frames

May 20 (Island) A recent tweet by a well-known academic, lamenting the complete loss of conversation history on a messaging app when her phone died, led to a reflection on the ephemeral nature of digital memories, which are often perceived as far more resilient than anything in paper or print. Many if not most readers of this column in the Sunday Island will be from a generation that still has photo albums as material artefacts, with photos taken by those for more..

Sri Lanka’s Road back to Tyranny

May 20 (Island) Lankan democracy is facing a terminal crisis, caught between the Scylla of the IMF and the Charybdis of China. IMF and China are very different animals. But the sum total of their lending practices could existentially undermine SL democracy by enabling the return of the Rajapaksa rule in its most virulent form, a Gotabhaya presidency. Devastating societal consequences of the recent sharp hike in fuel more..

Rajitha’s remarks: Deep concern in Army

May 20 (ST) It’s the week when Sri Lanka marks the ninth year of the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas. Even if the Govt, committed to a stepped-up reconciliation programme, marked it with an armed forces parade, Tamil diaspora groups are observing the event in different world capitals. Perhaps the yahapalana Govt did not want to follow suit with a national event first marked by the former regime. more..

Ministry warns Docs involved in FGM

May 20 (CT) Ministry of Health has stepped in to take disciplinary action against medical professionals found practising or promoting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) without adhering to the stipulated instructions. Family Health Bureau has prepared a document, based on int'l observations made on the ill effects of FGM and has also conducted a consultative meeting with relevant health and non-health stake holders, on this more..

NBRO says 15% resettled

May 20 (CT) The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) yesterday said that so far only around 15% of the project, to resettle around 15,000 families from areas threatened by landslides, at a cost of Rs 21 billion, had been completed so far. They pointed out though resettling people in safer areas and zones, from their original places of residence, is no easy task, they had been successful so far. more..

Canadian PM offers support to accountability process in Sri Lanka

May 20 (SL) Canadian PM Justin Trudeau today offered Canada’s full support to the Govt of SL and those working to ensure that efforts towards reconciliation, non-recurrence, peace, and justice on the island are realized, and that international and domestic commitments on accountability, transitional justice, and ending impunity are met. In a statement issued to mark the ninth anniversary of the end of the war in SL more..

Police investigators still sifting the ashes from the embers

May 20 (ST) Police investigations into the 2012 fire that gutted the Colombo Kachcheri at Dam Street, causing the loss of valuable documents, as well as over Rs 92 million in material losses, remains inconclusive, with investigators still at a loss, if the fire was accidental or deliberate. According to the latest report submitted to the Colombo District Secretariat (CDS), by the Office of the Senior DIG Western Province, more..

New Constitution: First draft to be presented on Thursday

May 20 (SO) The first draft of the new Constitution will be presented to the Steering Committee on Thursday, May 24, after much interruption, TNA MP, M. A. Sumanthiran said. The presentation will take place after the expert panel, advising the steering committee, concludes and finalises the draft during its meeting due to be held tomorrow.“ “It will not be the final draft, because yet there are areas we need to reach full consensus. more..

Reparations Bill ready, compensation for war-affected people

May 20 (ST) The Cabinet approved the draft Reparations Bill setting up the Office of Reparations is now in the final stages of drafting. The proposed law will enable all SL citizens, including families of Police and Security Forces, civilians in what were known as border villages, and the north and east and elsewhere in the country to submit claims for compensation if they were affected by the three decade long northern insurgency. more..

Can't compare JVP with LTTE: Champika

May 20 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka said yesterday the JVP could not be compared with the LTTE. He said this at the 2018 Virudana Ranaviru Upahara or commemoration of war heroes organised by the JHU at the Mihindu Seth Madura in Attidiya. The minister said though the JVP was responsible for a large number of political killings, it never conducted any mass killings or destroyed religious places of worship. more..

President jumps on the war hero band wagon

May 20 (EN) President appeared to hitch his political fortunes to nationalism and reflected glory from the military victory over separatists as he commemorated the annihilation of the Tamil Tigers. Addressing a military ceremony marking the ninth anniversary of defeating LTTE, President Maithripala Sirisena criticised his own state-run media for insufficient adoration of troops. He ticked off govt-run media outlets for not singing more..

Mullivaikal Commemoration: Growing, and Tenth Year In 2019

May 21 (CT) Mullivaikal Commemoration on 18 May 2018 is touted as a memorial for all those civilians massacred there. Few can quarrel with that. The army thinks it is to honour the Tiger fighting forces that were massacred. That again is legitimate since however brutal the Tigers were, those who loved them have a right to mourn and certainly find out what happened to them. When reports initially emerged of the extent carnage and the use of cluster bombs and chemical weapons from more..

Breaking or Remaking? – Significance of the royal wedding

May 21 (CT) The Royal Wedding we saw recently, carries levels of meaning. Not the least is that it exhibited an inherent flexibility of a public social and political instrument- in this case the Royal Monarchy. Perhaps, the monarchy had learnt lessons from the tragic death of Diana. But being ready to learn is itself demonstrative of the quality of suppleness. In confronting an external threat to its known way of life, the British Monarchy had two options: one was to let it break asunder; more..

'Meaningful power sharing only path to lasting peace'

May 21 (SO) On the ninth anniversary marking the end of the conflict, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran in a wide ranging interview, calls for a speedy resolution of issues affecting the people of war-battered Northern and Eastern regions, along with action on abolishing the Executive Presidency and completing the Constitution making process. Q: Are you positive that the Constitution making process can be completed within more..

A bunch of hypocrites masquerading as followers of Hippocrates!

May 21 (SO) Old habits die hard. That is why the dominant trade union of doctors, GMOA launched an island-wide strike on Thursday and then hailed it as a huge success. What was the strike against? Apparently, it was a protest against a govt decision to enter into a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore! The next announcement we might hear is that the GMOA is staging a strike in support of private bus operators. Surely, the welfare of drivers and conductors must be as important to more..

Conflict-affected women in Sri Lanka: Still waiting for answers

May 21 (GV) There has been a marked increase in female-headed households in the North and East of the country as a consequence of the war in SL concluded in 2009. Women in SL sometimes refuse to identify themselves as head of their households as they fulfil a father’s role for their children. They then become the chief householder of their residence. A considerable number of women victims of the war are very young – some of them are those who got married when they were as young as more..

Rising number of foreign workers cause concern

May 21 (CT) SL’s image makeover during the recent past has also brought with it a number of foreign labourers, mostly working at construction sites that are prominent in the heart of the city. Workers of foreign nationalities waiting on the roadsides in the mornings and evenings, is a common site along the Galle Road in Colombo. Many of them are construction workers. The influx of foreign labourers from more..

Contestations of victimhood and flawed patriotism

May 21 (ST) Somewhere, someone remarked to me this week that patriotism is at its most virulent when stalking the minds and intellects of human beings rather than when it cloaks itself in the deceptively heroic guise of (most always) men waging war against each other on the battlefield. That remark may well be true. Is it overstating the case to say that nine years after fighting between the LTTE and the state military ended in the Wanni, SL’s ethnic communities are no closer to each other more..

The lessons Maithripala should learn from Malaysian Mahathir’s example

May 21 (ST) Malaysia’s new PM Mahathir stepped forward ten days ago to present in person the evidence to support the claim of the young at heart: that age is just a biological number, At the age of ninety plus two, when others of his same vintage would not ponder buying green bananas at the supermarket fearing they would kick the bucket before the fruits ripen and turn yellow, Mahathir bin Mohammed, after serving a 22-year stint as Malaysia’s PM whose reign ended in 2003, more..

අපේ නිදහසට කැපවුණු සියල්ලන්ට අපේ ආචාරය!

China, India and the Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Challenges

May 21 (Island) Today, dragged behind in the development race by 30 years of terrorism, (terrorism resulted in $200 billion in lost opportunity costs for Sri Lanka) mismanagement, credibility gap, and increasingly poor governance, the country, with the economy struggling, is seeking to attract foreign investments to fast track its economic development. When the new government was elected to power in 2015, misguided attempts were made to attract Western resources through more..

Editorial: Commemorating the dead

May 21 (Island) There has been a real hullabaloo over the commemoration of the LTTE cadres who perished in the final battle of the Vanni war. There is nothing wrong with commemorating the dead so long as commemorative events are not used as rallying points to revive terrorist groups and promote their macabre causes, which are a threat to the civilised world. Several attempts to revive the LTTE have been reported since its defeat in 2009. Last month, a Tamil Nadu court sentenced more..

The Lost City of Zed: Lanka’s link

May 21 (Roar) In March 2018, the magazine Nature Communications published an article by a team of archaeologists from Exeter University. Team had been investigating possible ancient settlements in the Amazon’s upper Tapajós Basin, using a variety of modern techniques, including satellite imagery. They discovered 81 sites from the pre-Columbian era (about 1250-1500 A.D.). The remnants of several hundred ancient more..

‘ICT Sector to become US$ 5 bn industry by 2022’

May 21 (DN) The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) said that they are working with the key stakeholders of the ICT industry to make it a US$ 5 billion industry as envisaged in the Vision 2022 of the Govt. Secretary General of the NCE Shiham Marikar, said that ICT sector also has the potential to become, a 200,000 direct job providing sector and also to enable the launch of 1,000 startups. National Exports Strategy (NES) which is to be presented to the Cabinet shortly for approval more..

Johann, Arjuna appointed to SriLankan Airlines Board

May 21 (FT) Top professionals Johann Wijesinghe and Prof. Arjuna de Silva have been appointed to the SriLankan Airlines Board of Directors. The duo will make up the new seven-member SriLankan board headed by former senior banker Ranjith Fernando tasked with restructuring the national carrier. Other members of the Board are Mano Tittawella, Susantha Katugampala, Dr. Roshan Perera and Kapila Jayampathi. For Johann it will be of homecoming of sorts as he worked at more..