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Govt silent as BBS continues its holy war

May 22 (SL) The Govt has come under fire for remaining silent as the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) last week continued its own version of a holy war  ridiculing Muslims and even the chief prelates. Muslims expressed concerns over the manner in which BBS General Secretary, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, was making open statements against the minorities which could threaten the peace between the two communities. more..

GMOA: Service oriented or sympathy harnessed?

May 22 (DM) We have always been good at political slogans. Api Wenuwen Api, created to advertise the previous regime’s all-out war, was hugely successful. It was very clever psychology too, gift wrapping a very self-centred idea (api standing for the majority) as an altruistic social exercise when the whole idea was rooted in a completely selfish Me generational thing. This became abundantly clear by the way the Rajapakse regime cut the cake after the war was won. more..

The monsoon is back, will the floods follow?

May 22 (DM) On 18 May, the long drought the country had been facing came to an end. The rains came and came, and came in an abundance. In fact 89.9 mm of rain fell in a few hours. Before the rains came, the situation was getting so bad a few religious groups had taken to praying for rain and calling on the Gods to perform miracles.    The govt meanwhile, called on the populace to prevent waste of the precious commodity and minimize its use for essentials only. more..

Sri Lanka set for long awaited shake up

May 22 (EN) SL's cabinet and state ministers have been asked to attend a meeting at the President's Office in Colombo today fuelling speculation that the long-awaited reshuffle of the govt was likely to go ahead. Centre piece of the change is swapping finance and foreign portfolios, according to sources close to both Prez & PM. Cabinet changes were initially mooted in early March, but coalition politics held up the process. more..

Mangala, Ravi to swap portfolios

May 22 (DM) Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake are to swap portfolios in a Cabinet reshuffle scheduled to take place this morning at the Presidential Secretariat, it is learnt. Mr. Samaraweera will take oaths as Finance Minister and Mr. Karunanayake as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. PM notified a few of the proposed changes to the UNP parliamentary group at a meeting conducted late last night at Temple Trees. more..

BBS leader commences then abruptly halts fast over possible arrest

May 22 (FT) In a strange turn of events, hard-line leader of the Bodu Bala Sena Organisation Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero commenced a fast at the Malwathu Maha Vihara premises yesterday, protesting attempts by the Police to arrest him, only to call it off within hours. The Thero claimed he ended the fast following a request by the prelates to take into consideration the investiture ceremonies of young monks that are to take place in Kandy during the week. more..

Muslim MPs to meet President ,PM to stop BBS campaign

May 22 (DN) Muslim MPs in the Govt have collectively decided to meet the President and Prime Minister to urge immediate intervention of the two leaders to stop the BBS campaign that instigates communal tensions. UNP MP M.H.M. Navavi said they hope to hand over a letter signed by all Muslim MPs to the President today seeking an appointment with him as Prez was to leave for Australia on Tuesday. more..

Scotland make history with Sri Lanka win

May 22 (AFP) Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross both scored hundreds as Scotland beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets at Beckenham, southeast England, for a historic success on Sunday. The victory was Scotland’s first over a full member of the ICC — one of the sport’s leading 10 Test nations — in any format. Sunday’s fixture was not a full one-day international but nothing could take the shine off Scotland’s day in a fixture that forms part of Sri Lanka’s preparations for more..

Defence Secretary to Germany as envoy?

May 22 (CT) Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, is likely to be appointed as SL's envoy to Germany, a top Govt source said. He said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already sent Hettiarachchi's credentials to German Govt for approval. Defence Secretary confirmed that he was already aware of the development. "However, I do not know when this will take place. The German officials also have to ratify and accept this appointment," Hettiarachchi stated. more..

SAITM ready to toe the official line subject to SC decision

May 22 (Island) SAITM acknowledged and provided the following views regarding the govt’s policy decisions to improve standards of medical education, in Sri Lanka subject to SC proceedings on the case filed by SLMC:  "Management of SAITM will be co-operating with the policy decisions presented by the Govt and the suggestions made by President Sirisena. Primarily among these is the recommendation to more..

Field Marshal says no withdrawal of security forces from North

May 22 (Island) Former war winning army commander and current Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that the govt would not dance to the tune of every Tom, Dick and Harry; it would not withdraw the security forces stationed in the north. Fonseka said: "We will not give in to pressure from Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran." Fonseka said that Wigneswaran was making a vain attempt to urge the government to withdraw forces from the North. more..

US condemns attacks against mosques in SL

May 22 (FT) Condemning the attacks on mosques in Sri Lanka, the United States said it expects the Govt to take immediate measures against the attacks. Issuing a Twitter message, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap denounced attacks on any religious place. The Ambassador was responding to the petrol bomb attack on the Kurunegala Maligapitiya Jumma Mosque on Sunday morning. The Police are investigating the attack on the church hall which is used for education activities. more..

Gnanasara Thera likely to be arrested today!

May 22 (CT) General Secretary of the militant monk movement BBS Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera is likely to be arrested today. Over the past two weeks hate crimes perpetrated against minorities escalated to 19 incidents when a petrol bomb was thrown at a mosque in Kurunegala, causing severe damage to property. Last week Gnanasara Thera stormed in to the Ministry of National Co-existence Dialogue and more..

First ever govt expenditure report for 1Q in Parliament this week

May 22 (FT) Govt’s first ever expenditure report for the first quarter of this year is to be presented in Parliament this week following Cabinet approval last week. Report was prepared in line with the 2017 budget proposal to present quarterly reports on Govt spending. This is the first time any Govt is presenting such a report, which will enable MPs and the public to track the Govt’s spending and the performance of each ministry. “This is keeping in line with endeavour to follow good governance more..

Family of British yoga instructor left fighting for life after horrific Sri Lanka crash

May 22 (Sun) Ivana Tensek’s devastated family are now desperately trying to raise £50,000 to bring her back to London and cover her medical costs. The yoga teacher and keen surfer was forced to undergo a 12-hour operation after the severe collision last Thursday left her with broken bones in her legs, pelvis and hands. She is now in a critical condition in a Sri Lankan hospital and her family are trying to get her home so she can receive the best care possible. Close friend Yenabi Talitha-Cumi more..

Positive start for exports in 2017

May 22 (FT) Sri Lanka’s exports, which have suffered two consecutive years of negative growth, have bounced back in the first quarter of 2017, registering a modest yet welcome 2% gain. Export Development Board’s Policy and Strategic Planning Division said that January-March 2017 merchandise exports amounted to $ 2.7 billion, up 2% from the same period of last year. In the first quarter of 2016, exports were down by 5.4% more..

First Vesak Pandal in New Delhi

May 22 (SO) Vesak celebrations in New Delhi would further augment the historic Indo – Sri Lanka socio-cultural linkages and the time tested goodwill between the two peoples as amply manifested during the visit of PM Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka for the UN Vesak Celebrations last week, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam stated, while the Indian Minister of State Kiren Rijiju welcomed a significant leap in New Delhi’s cultural calendar symbolizing one of India’s greatest gifts to mankind – Buddhism. more..

Sri Lanka’­s middle-income status preserved by housemaids and unskilled labour

May 22 (Island) Migrant worker remittances have mainly contributed to the surplus in the nation's secondary income account which is earned by unskilled and housemaid categories, the Central Bank's Annual Report 2016 reveals. CBSL Annual Report further notes that the surplus in the secondary income account mainly backed by these worker remittances have helped in cushioning the deficit in the trade and primary income accounts of the current account to a certain extent. more..

National Integration and Reconciliation Ministry spends frugally

May 22 (CT) At a moment when a series of events threaten the reconciliation and ethnic harmony of the country, it has been revealed that Ministry of National Integration & Reconciliation has only spent 13.4% of their capital budgetary target for 1st quarter of 2017, on the actual expenditure at the end of Q1 of 2017. What is remarkable is that the Rs 8 million spent as capital expenses amounts to 0.4% of the total capital allocation for 2017. more..

Buddhist delegation leaves for Pakistan to attend 2nd Vesak Festival

May 22 (PHC) On the invitation of Govt of Pakistan, a 34-member delegation, led by Venerable Kanumuldeniye Chandavimala Mahanayaka Thero, comprising senior Monks/Religious Scholars, Govt Officials and pilgrims left for Pakistan to attend the Vesak Festival at Taxila hosted by Govt of Pakistan for the second consecutive time May 21-24. Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Dr. Sarfraz Sipra and other officials of the HC were there to see-off the delegation at the BIA. more..

Google IO extended Confab, powered by Dialog, draw record crowds

May 22 (CT) Google IO Extended, the largest developer conference organised outside the US by tech giant Google, took place in Colombo last week as the Google Developer Group of SL joined hands with Dialog's Ideamart Team for the second consecutive year. This year's event was further enlivened by the Innovation Exhibition that ran parallel to the conference, which also included a robot battle for the first time in SL; providing a platform for robotic engineers to showcase more..

Cabinet reshuffle today; Will heads roll?

May 22 (Roar) Following weeks of speculation, Yahapalana Cabinet will finally be reshuffled today, with two key and at times controversial UNP Ministers trading places as a result. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake will reportedly be appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs, while incumbent Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will take his place as Minister of Finance, in addition to being handed Media portfolio which has more..

Indian Naval Ship Sumedha in Colombo

May 22 (SLN) An Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel of the Indian Navy, Indian Naval Ship INS Sumedha arrived at the Colombo harbour on a 3-day official visit today (21). On her arrival, SL Navy welcomed the visiting ship in compliance with naval customs. During the stay of INS Sumedha, its crew is scheduled to take part in an array of programmes including; training exercises, display of cultural performances and friendly sporting events organized by their Sri Lankan counterpart. more..

SLPI sets up a Hot Desk for journalists

May 22 (FT) Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) has launched a Hot Desk, giving journalists on the move a place and computer to do their work. The computers were donated by Rangana Fernando in memory of his late father Elmo Fernando, who was the former BBC correspondent in Sri Lanka. The computers were handed over at a ceremony held at the SLPI on 16 May, to launch the biography of the late Elmo Fernando. Minster Gayantha Karunathilaka was the Chief Guest. more..

Galle Stadium under the radar once again

May 22 (ST) Advisory Mission sent by ICOMOS has recommended that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) take the under mentioned action to preserve the Outstanding Value of World Heritage site of Old Town of Galle and its fortifications and while keeping the Galle International Cricket Stadium functional. It is understood that SLC has called upon its architects to make the required alterations as recommended by advisory panel. more..

Anitha, Ayesha, Ajith to make Int'l debut

May 22 (CT) Hammer Thrower Ayesha Maduwanthi, Pole Vaulter Anitha Jegatheeswaran and Decathlon athlete Ajith Karunathilaka will compete in their first international championship as they have been included in the eight member SL team for the forthcoming Thailand Open Athletics Championship to be held from 12-15 June. This is the first instance in the athletics history of Sri Lanka where a female hammer thrower has been given an int'l competition when Ayesha competes in Thailand Open. more..

In search of quality Football coaches

May 22 (ST) A game of Football basically, involves players, coaches, referee and spectators. Each category on its own is important, but woven together, the game necessarily, becomes richer in quality. While the game has developed from humble beginnings to that of a major national sport, we have not produced coaches in proportion to this growth. Only quality coaches could produce quality players. The ideal situation is for each school, club to have a trained coach, be it in the highest division or more..

Mumbai clinch third IPL title in last-ball finish

May 22 (CI) This was, barring a WWE-style rebirth, Rising Pune Supergiant's last ever IPL game. They made sure it went the distance, all the way to the last ball, despite keeping Mumbai Indians down to the lowest first-innings total in an IPL final. Somehow, Pune managed to drag a chase of 130 to the last ball. The first ever IPL final had come down to the last ball too. Then, nine years ago, Sohail Tanvir pulled L Balaji for a single more..

Editorial: Left right?

May 22 (Island) It looks as if the UK were emulating SL where attractive promises in election manifestoes are concerned. Instead of addressing core policy issues the UK is faced with, Conservatives and the Labour Party are busy trying to endear themselves to voters by offering to liberate the masses from the clutches of big businesses; they have also promised enhanced welfare measures. As the article on this page today points out, their manifestoes resemble shopping lists, as it were, more..

Attacks on Islamic places of worship and properties go unabated despite assurances

May 22 (Island) The patience of SL Muslims is at a breaking point and can certainly boil over if the govt does not take any immediate positive steps to bring the rabble mongers to book we are likely to see more bloodshed than the butchery that happened during the thirty years of civil strife between the Sinhala and Tamil communities. Vested interests, probably foreign wants to see our beautifully country in turmoil once again. The latest of the attacks on a Muslim business in Wennapuwa more..


The Second Coming of Modi with the Indian Gospel of Salvation

May 22 (ST) Hallelujah! It was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Second Advent to Sri Lanka. And even as he stepped foot on the newly made tarmac at Katunayake’s Bandaranaike International Airport last Thursday evening, he would have whiffed in the hot breeze that blew from abroad, the distinct touch of strong soy sauce; and, no doubt, wondered what a difference two short years can make to the culinary choice and habits of a nation and how fickle taste buds can be. more..

The draft CTA is of concern to all Sri Lankans, without exception

May 22 (ST) The perception that Sri Lanka’s proposed Counter-Terror Act (CTA) will affect only those of one community or another engaging in terrorist activities and is therefore, of incidental concern to the citizenry at large is a misapprehension that is most unfortunate. Let us be clear. Vaguely drafted laws that seriously abuse civil liberties are not selective as to the categories of individuals to whom they apply. If Sri Lanka has learnt anything during all its painfully more..

Eligibility criteria stiffer than in State Uni: SB

May 22 (CT) Minister S.B. Dissanayake, himself former Minister of Higher Education, during whose tenure was brought in the SAITM says that standards of SAITM students are far higher than the State University students. He also rubbished claims of GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya who said that there were students with three A/L Passes at SAITM, adding that there were students with three ordinary passes in more..

The bane of the political gravy train!

May 22 (NS) IT is amazing how flippant some people are with money when they know it isn’t coming from their wallet. Our nation’s MPs have never had it so good so long as they don’t have to slap their own leather billfolds to pay for their obscene extravagances. Meaning they have no qualms about hopping aboard the gravy train at the expense of the taxpayer. During the last landmark election the present administration, the Unholy Alliance promised good governance, more..

Culturing fear & hatred in the Sinhalese mind: An open letter to Sinhalese

May 22 (CT) My dear Sinhalese Brothers and Sisters, You are all aware of the gradual corruption of a great teaching, by some rogue monks who pretend to protect Buddhism and the Sinhala race. Have you given some thought that it is time to make your voice heard and rise up to stop this menace. I am certain that you also understand well the opportunistic politicians who support such activities. They want to fool the average Sinhalese that they are pro-Sinhala Buddhist.  more..