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Taking care of Timepieces: Inside one of Colombo's last clock repair shops

Jul 11 (Roar) There are little shops in Fort and Pettah in Colombo which often go unnoticed, for most of these shops are hidden between much larger and newer establishments. Trust Watch Works on Sri Baron Jayathilake Mawatha in Fort, is one such place. The shop is run by Lenus Peiris, and he has made a living for himself and his family over the past ten years by making, selling, and repairing antique & modern clocks more..

Chinese Whispers: On corruption and the Hambantota port

Jul 11 (GV) On July 2, 2018, Hiru TV aired footage from two press conferences hosted by the SLPP during its 6:55 pm broadcast. During the press conference, the members of the JO reacted to a story run by the New York Times, which focused on the deal around the Hambantota Port to illustrate the argument that China’s Belt and Road initiative was exploitative and left countries like SL struggling with debt. (Belt and Road initiative involves China underwriting infrastructure investment more..

Vijayakala’s controversial statement: Principal focus where ideals clash

Jul 11 (DN) During the past few weeks, we have seen comments from both the North and South yearning for a more authoritarian govt to regulate the country’s law and order. Former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran created an uproar among Southern politicians when she asked that the LTTE be brought back to ensure the safety of women and children in the North and East. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya referred the matter of Maheswaran’s statement to the Attorney-General and more..

Dayasiri Jayasekera

Editorial: Probe them all

Jul 11 (Island) The UNP is calling for a probe into The New York Times (NYT) story that China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), funded Mahinda Rajapaksa’s last presidential election campaign. It has also demanded a parliamentary debate on the issue. It has got hold of something to bludgeon the JO/SLPP with. Ironically, the UNP, which tried to sweep the bond scams under the carpet in spite of the availability of irrefutable evidence, is now demanding a probe into more..

Birth of Uncle-Nephew Politics

Jul 11 (DN) On that fateful night of December 5, 1906, 22-year-old Francis Dixon Artygalle, one of the wealthiest men in the island, heir to lion’s share of the Artygalle inheritance, was talking to a visitor at the Pettah residence of C P Dias, Principal of Wesley College and City Father. A gunman standing behind shot him at point-blank range. Being rushed to hospital in a critical condition, causing great public interest and excitement he succumbed to injuries on the following day. more..

'People’s problems ignored'

Jul 11 (CT) JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa says that this Govt should be sent home very soon. Q: Whatever problems there are in the country, the main topic now is who will be the next Presidential Candidate. Is the JVP procrastinating so that once the perahera is gone they can support someone who will be contesting? A: According to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the Prez Election will be held in 5 years’ time. more..

Politics of Selective Memory

Jul 11 (Island) Reading Ms Vijayakala Maheswaran’s statement at a public meeting in Jaffna on 2nd July 2018 reminded me of two popular aphorisms on history and the past. They deal with humanity’s propensity to not learn from the past. In the first of these, Margaret MacMillan observes, "we can learn from history, but we can also deceive ourselves when we selectively take evidence from the past to justify what we have already made up our minds to do." The second, often attributed to more..

Gotabaya, Viyathmaga, 13A & Me

Jul 11 (CT) Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara writes that After the 2015 Presidential elections, for reasons better known to DJ, he approached GR and joined Viyath Maga. That’s a blatant lie. As Dullas Alahapperuma and Matale mayor Mohammed Hilmy will attest, “After the 2015 presidential election” I met ex-President Rajapaksa at Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa’s residence of January 10th and rolled out a recovery strategy centered on Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament. more..

Power of trolls in SL’s social media space

Jul 11 (SO) The drastic rise in the number of politically-motivated trolls and bots in SL’s online social media space has demonstrated a potential capacity to undermine democratic electoral processes by influencing voters at a future election, digital media analysts opine. According to a Jan 2018 report by Groundviews, this presents unique challenges for, amongst others, election monitoring bodies, which are traditionally geared to more..

Political Iftars have ruptured the sanctity of their observances

Jul 11 (CT) Party politics and power politics are the twin scourges the SL Muslims are faced with in what the Muslim society sees as the hegemonic display of strengths of some group (s) over the others contrary to the teachings of Islam. Ramadhan fasting (any fasting for that matter) has two sanctioned events, one at the start of the fast each day (taking of the pre-dawn meal) and the other is the time of breaking the fast known as Iftar which is done by taking date fruits plus water first followed by khanji more..

Three and a half years of democratic gains and disappointing economic performance

Jul 11 (ST) Today marks three and a half years of the coalition govt. Although there have been significant gains in democratic governance and political freedom, it has been a period of economic disappointment of below 5% economic growth. Since the present regime took office on Jan 8, 2015, economic growth has been declining. The economy grew by only 4.8% in 2015, 4.5% in 2016 and 3.1% in 2017. This year’s first quarter’s growth was only 3.2%. IMF expects economy to grow by 4% more..

Sri Lanka to go head with price formula; ad hoc policy may end

Jul 10 (EN) Sri Lanka is set to implement a fuel price hike by formula, which was reportedly scuttled by Prez Maithripala Sirisena last week, in a development that can help improve long term economic and currency stability. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera implemented the price formula after detailed discussions and gaining cabinet approval and not through an arbitrary policy. Market pricing fuel is a policy advancement more..

Sri Lanka to implement death penalty on drug traffickers

Jul 10 (DM) Minister of Buddhasasana Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said today the cabinet of Ministers had decided to implement the death sentence for drug traffickers including those who were already being sentenced to death in prisons. He said the decision of implementing the death sentence could have been carried out during the past fifteen years. The cabinet of ministers had taken this collective decision considering the recent deaths and a large amount of drug imports more..

Govt to defuse pro-LTTE mindset in North

Jul 10 (DM) Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Deputy Minister of Law and Order Nalin Bandara Jayamaha and IGP Pujith Jayasundara are to visit North on Thursday to defuse the pro-LTTE mindset in the area. Deputy Minister Jayamaha said that he will visit North together with Minister Madduma Bandara and JGP Jayaundara to look into the recent violent incidence in the area and to defuse the pro LTTE mindset among the people in the area. more..

Fuel prices to go up from midnight today

Jul 10 (DM) A decision has been taken to increase fuel prices of CEYPETCO outlets from tonight, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Accordingly, Petrol (Octane 92) will be increased by Rs.8 to Rs.145, Petrol (Octane 95) will be increased by Rs.7 to Rs.155, One litre of Auto Diesel increased by Rs.9 to Rs.118 and One litre of Super Diesel will be increased by Rs.10 to Rs.129, price of Kerosene will remain at Rs.70. more..

Bangladesh ‘A’ team makes poor start against Sri Lanka

Jul 10 (NB) Bangladesh A team made a disappointing start in their third and final four-day match against ther Sri Lankan counterparts as they were bowled out for 167 runs in 62.3 overs in their first innings at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. Sri Lanka also had a similar start in their first innings as they made 78-3 at stumps on the first day’s play after Mustafizur Rahman, Soumya Sarkar and Nayeem Hasan bagged one wicket each for the hosts. more..

AG orders to investigate VIjayakala’s statement

Jul 10 (AD) Attorney General has instructed the IGP to conduct investigations into the statement made by former State Minister VIjayakala Maheswaran regarding the LTTE. Speaking during a state event held in Jaffna on July 2, she had said that the LTTE should be resurrected for the freedom of the Tamil people. If Tamil people want to live freely, the LTTE should raise their hand again, she had reportedly said. Several parties including sections of the UNP had demanded action against Maheswaran. more..

Sri Lanka arrests first cop killer monk

Jul 10 (EN) SL Tuesday arrested a Buddhist monk who allegedly strangled a police officer investigating a paedophilia charge against him at a temple in the Ratnapura district. 53-year-old unarmed police Sergeant was killed by the 37-year-old monk who resisted arrest at Gallanda temple, was identified as Konwellay Dhammasara. He had evaded court summons to answer allegations of child sexual abuse, more..

Case against Namal postponed to July 31st

Jul 10 (AD) Trial against MP Namal Rajapaksa and six others over the alleged purchase of stocks using misappropriated money has been postponed until July 31, on the orders of the Colombo High Court. The case was slated to be taken up before the HC Judge Sampath Abeykoon, today. As the prosecution informed the court of the absentia of a witness due to health reasons, the case was postponed to July 31, and the Magistrate ordered the prosecution’s witness to appear at more..

A billion dollars of hotels under construction in Sri Lanka

Jul 10 (EN) Sri Lanka has a billion dollars worth of approved hotels under construction and another US$ 200 million of projects which are yet to start building, the island's tourism authority said. Between Nov 2010 and March 2018, the SL Tourism Development Authority had approved US$ 2.9 billion of hotels. About 1.65 billion worth of hotels, with 8,932 rooms are already in operation. The billion dollars of projects under construction will add another 7,261 rooms. more..

Herath may retire from international cricket in November

Jul 10 (CI) Rangana Herath may retire from international cricket in November, following the three-match Test series against England. Provided he plays every Sri Lanka Test until then, he will finish five Tests short of 100. Herath had earlier retired from the shorter formats in order to lengthen his Test career, but now, aged 40, he believed it was time to consider stepping away from all formats. "Maybe my final series will be more..

India will adopt a three-pronged strategy to check China influence

Jul 10 (HT) India will adopt a broad, three-pronged approach to deal with China’s increasing engagement in the South Asian and Indian Ocean neighbourhood — track Beijing’s activities carefully; pursue its own projects and commitments; and educate and advise neighbours on the consequences of engaging with China. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj laid out this approach at a meeting with top diplomats posted in the neighbourhood last Tuesday more..

Indian woman accused SriLankan Resident Manager of sexual harassment

Jul 10 (Island) An attempt had been made to reach a negotiated settlement with an Indian woman who had complained that the SriLankan Resident Manager in India had harassed her, Secretary of SriLankan Airilines Dalreen Thirukumar told the PCoI probing irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka. In answer to a question she said she had been to India to negotiate with the Indian woman in 2014. She said a case had been filed in a New Delhi court. more..

Will support Law & Order Ministry: SF

Jul 10 (NR) Minister of Wildlife and Sustainable Development Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka says the Ministry of Law & Order will be provided maximum support to quell the underworld. Minister said he is prepared to support any action which does not take the law into its own hands and acts in good faith. He said the Police must act with justifiable intent adding he was aware of incidents in his own area where Police have taken people more..

SC grants leave on liquor petition

Jul 10 (DM) Supreme Court yesterday granted Leave to Proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition challenging the Excise Notification imposing a restriction on female employees in liquor industry as discriminating against them. The bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justices Buwaneka Aluvihara and Vijith Malalgoda. The matter is fixed for hearing on February 6 next year. Women’s rights groups and activists are up in arms lamenting that the impugned notification is more..

President’s former Chief of Staff and former STC Chairman further remanded

Jul 10 (AD) President’s former Chief of Staff H.I.K. Mahanama and former Chairman of the State Timber Corporation (STC), P. Dissanayake who were arrested while accepting a bribe of Rs 20 million has been further remanded until 13th July. When the case was taken up today, the attorney representing the defendants mentioned that they will be applying for a new bail plea. Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake responded that since he had already rejected bail, more..

Hitler comment backfires on Sri Lanka cricket commentator

Jul 10 (EN) Cricket commentator Roshan Abeysinghe faced an avalanche of protests online after he called for Hitler-style authoritarian rule to control crime, tweeting that no one appeared to be in charge of law and order. "Looking at the killings in SL, I sometimes wonder who is in charge," he said on Twitter. "SL truly needs a Hitler to put these elements in their places and not the compassionate govt that once we wanted." more..

Physical, spiritual development both important: President

Jul 10 (DN) The country needs extensive programmes to develop the spiritual values of people similarly to conducting development programmes to uplift physical resources, Prez Sirisena said. Prez said to build a society with goodwill, kindness and humanity, all of us should fulfill our duties to make people, who were away from the religious environment, close to the religious places. He made these remarks participating in the ceremony to unveil the cetiya pinnacle of more..

Free tabs for A/L students: Limits and opportunities

Jul 10 (FT) Tabs for A/L students and 13 years of education for all are two promises from the 2015 election manifesto of the UNP. Both are game-changer promises, but a promise in a manifesto is only a starting point. Bureaucrats have to expand the ideas as policies and implement. A policy document on 13 years of education was shared widely early this year at an event held at the National Institute of Education. As for the tabs concept we are yet to see a policy document more..

Blood Bank boils, Medical Officers call for director’s blood

Jul 10 (CT) Medical officers of the National Blood Transfusion Services launched trade union action on Monday protesting alleged corruption, administrative irregularities, defamation of professionals and harassment of medical officers by its quasi director, Dr Rukshan Bellana. It was the first time since the Blood Bank was set up in 1950 that this vital and life-saving service has come to a halt, in this instance the case against more..

Former UNP Gen. Sec. says Vijayakala’s utterance a disgrace

Jul 10 (Island) Former General Secretary of UNP Tissa Attanayake said in Kandy over the weekend that the former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran’s call for reviving the LTTE was a disgrace and that the authorities should have taken a decision regarding her statement by now. A decision should be taken instead of delaying appropriate action, former UNP General Secretary told the media after calling on the prelate of Asgiriya Most Veneralble Warakagoda Sri more..

Sri Lankan industry told to face competition, no protection

Jul 10 (EN) SL’s govt is committed to further opening up the economy and industry must be ready to face competition, not demand protection, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. “Your industry too has to face up to the issue of protection versus competition, that prices cannot always be controlled and it has to be competitive” he told the 48th AGM of the SL Shippers’ Council. Foreign participation is a necessity in an integrated and globalised world, Wickramaratne said. more..

ෆයිසර් මුස්තාෆා ක්රිකට්වලට තර්ජනයක්

Seven missing fishermen found

Jul 10 (NR) The seven SL fishermen reported missing over several days while at sea have been found. The group of fishermen were found safe in seas off the Maldives by the Maldivian Navy. The Department of Fisheries said the vessel the seven fishermen are on is returning to SL. The fishermen who set out to sea on the 14th of June did not maintain any contact since the 29th of June. The group of fishermen are between the ages of 26 and 51 and residents of Hikkaduwa, Telwatta more..

Is this a crime wave ?

Jul 10 (CT) It would seem that we are in the midst of a crime wave as daylight assassinations in crowded places are being reported daily. Yesterday, a Local Govt Council Member was shot dead on busy Sea Street in Colombo. On Sunday two gunmen directed a hail of bullets at a shop on Jampettah Street also in Colombo killing two and seriously injuring two others. These killings come just weeks after the father of cricketer Dhananjaya de Silva, Ranjan de Silva also a newly elected Local Councillor more..