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UNHRC Resolution: Confusion over who committed to foreign judges

Mar 23 (DM) Ahead of the vote on yet another resolution on SL at the UNHRC tomorrow, an intense debate has taken place on the move for the inclusion of foreign judges in a judicial mechanism to hear accountability and human rights issues during the war time. The new resolution, to be put to vote tomorrow, is just a rollover seeking to extend the timeline given for the govt of SL to deliver on its commitments in previous resolution more..

SAITM students request fair and expeditious solution to predicament

Mar 23 (DN) Students of the SAITM in a press release issued today, called for a fair and expeditious solution to the current predicament that deprive us from completing our internship training to be fully registered medical practitioners. As graduates and students of the MBBS programme at the SAITM, we sincerely urge authorities to provide a fair and expeditious solution to our current predicament, which has and more..

Govt has stopped fighting corruption for its survival: JVP

Mar 23 (Island) The govt had, for its political survival, betrayed the aspirations of the very same people who elected it to power, JVP said. People had voted in the present govt to punish those who misappropriated public funds. One of the main election promises was to bring the culprits to justice. Initially, the govt had looked somewhat keen to make good on its promise, but, now, it had suspended its operations against the corrupt more..

Stock market crashes

Mar 23 (CT) Investor losses went past the Rs 100 billion mark and the benchmark ASPI fell below the 6,000 point level at yesterday's stock market trading, as panicky investors continued to flee the bourse in a sea of rising interest rates, made worse due to speculation that the Central Bank will raise its key interest rates at tomorrow's monetary policy review. Yesterday's investor losses alone were Rs 19.74 bil due to stock market crash. more..

Yahapalana machinations subvert transitional justice

Mar 23 (DM) These are UNHRC days. These are Yahapalana-UNHRC days which are therefore very different from the Rajapaksa-UNHRC days. Both regimes use the same lexicon when it comes to reconciliation. Back then too we heard talk of truth, reconciliation and what not. There are of course differences. The previous regime created conditions to enable such talk simply by defeating the LTTE. This regime says, rhetorically, that it wants to go beyond the rhetoric. more..

Portfolios: Privilege subject over number

Mar 23 (DM) There’s talk in political circles that a cabinet reshuffle is imminent. This can mean many things. If it means that those proven to be incompetent are replaced by those likely to do a better job, it would be a good move. If it means that people with competence in particular fields will get subjects relevant to expertise, it’s good. If it’s about shifting the incompetent and corrupt to different spheres of authority it is not good. If it’s about changes calculated to keep intact a coalition more..

Govt pledges to stay the course at UNHRC

Mar 23 (FT) As JO members led demonstrations outside the UN building in Geneva, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva told the UNHRC convening inside that Govt was determined to stay the course in delivering justice and reconciliation to its people, as the country recovers from a three-decade long civil war.  Deputy Minister told the council that SL had been working on the draft resolution providing a 2-year extension more..

UNP MP sets petition record in House

Mar 23 (FT) UNP lawmaker Buddhika Pathirana yesterday made a record by moving the highest number of public petitions presented by an MP in Parliament at a single sitting. Moving a record number of 33 public petitions, MP Pathirana revealed his plans to set another record as an MP.  “I would set a Guinness World Record by becoming the Parliamentarian who raised the highest number of questions for oral answer in the Parliament of Sri Lanka,” he said. more..

Vital for SL to send message that impunity is no longer tolerated: UN rights chief

Mar 23 (UN) Presenting an oral update on the rights situation in Sri Lanka, top UN official said that a general lack of trust in the impartiality of the justice system in the country regarding past violations and continuing unwillingness or inability to address impunity reinforces the need for international participation in a judicial mechanism. “It is important for the country's future to send the signal that impunity is no longer tolerated,” Zeid Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for HR, told UNHRC. more..

Zeid calls for foreign judges but Sri Lanka says it will avail of foreign expertise

Mar 23 (ENS) Zeid Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the UNHRC on Wednesday, that Sri Lanka must appoint foreign judges to the judicial mechanism it is to set up to try war crimes cases. But the Sri Lankan Representative, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, avoided using the term foreign judges in his reply, and instead said that Sri Lanka will take foreign expertise and assistance. more..

London attack: Five dead in Westminster terror attack

Mar 23 (BBC) Five people have died and at least 40 were injured after an attacker drove a car along a pavement in Westminster, stabbed a policeman and was shot dead by police in the grounds of Parliament. The dead officer has been named as PC Keith Palmer, 48, a husband and father. PM Theresa May said the attack was sick and depraved and struck at values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech. The attacker has not been named by police. more..

Rajinikanth to unveil housing scheme in Jaffna

Mar 23 (Hindu) Actor Rajinikanth will hand over to Tamils keys to 150 homes built for them by Gnanam Foundation on April 9 in Jaffna. While the rehabilitation of displaced Tamils is still a contentious issue, actor Rajinikanth’s visit to Jaffna is likely to attract a huge crowd as he is also expected to speak at a public meeting organised in Jaffna. Foundation, which has been named after Lyca Group chairman S. Allirajah’s mother, has constructed at a cost of Rs. 22 crore. more..

Sri Lankan opposition to foreign judges worries US; UK stresses devolution

Mar 23 (ENS) At the on-going session of the UNHRC at Geneva on Wednesday, US expressed concern over the SL govt’s statements against having foreign judges in the judicial mechanism it is to set up to try war crimes cases. But the UK laid stress on the importance of devolving power to the Tamils to bring about post-war reconciliation. William Mozdzierz, US representative said that govt’s statements more..

World Water Day: U.S. embassy helps provide clean drinking water in rural SL

Mar 23 (USE) Students and teachers from Keselpotha Maha Vidyalaya in Uva Province joined representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to inaugurate a rainwater harvesting system at their school, providing clean drinking water year-round.  Since 2012, USAID has partnered with local organizations to build more than 1,000 such systems in rural schools, and households in drought & flood-prone districts of North, East & Uva Provinces. more..

Sri Lanka should develop timetable for full implementation of its UN commitments: HRW

Mar 23 (HRW) Human Rights Watch acknowledges the SL govt’s engagement with the international community, including with the UN’s special procedures, over the last two years. We share however the concerns expressed by High Commissioner Zeid at the slow pace of progress in implementation of UNHRC resolution 30/1. The promised office on enforced disappearances has yet to be established, although enabling legislation was passed in June 2016. more..

UNHRC final week gets dramatic as pro-MR ex-military officer makes appearance

Mar 23 (FT) Final week of UNHRC session got off to a dramatic start, after former UPFA MP Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera made an appearance in Geneva and locked horns with Tamil hardline groups at a side event at the Palais des Nations on Monday. He made an intervention during the event, claiming that SL troops had not committed war crimes & alleging that many LTTE perpetrators in crimes had also been acquitted in court. more..

AA to send 12 Athletes for Asian Grand Prix

Mar 23 (CT) Athletics Association (AASL) will send 12 athletes to the forthcoming Asian Grand Prix series to be held in China and Chinese Taipei in April. Team will consist of 7 male and 5 female athletes together with Badra Gunawardana and Pradeep Nishantha as Manager and Coach. South Asian record holder of 100m, Himasha Eashan who is currently training in Jamaica will return for the three leg series as competition season in Jamaica only starts in mid June targeting IAAF WC. more..

Cherantha sets new swim record in Malaysia

Mar 23 (DN) Sri Lankan national swimmer and FINA Scholarship holder Cherantha de Silva set up a new Sri Lankan National Record in the 200 meter Butterfly event with a time of 02:05.10 seconds at the 53rd MILO/PRAM Malaysia Open Swimming Championship 2017 held in Pusatakuatik Hang Jebat, Melaka from March 9 to 12. Cherantha bettered his own 200m butterfly Sri Lankan record of 2:07.74 secs which he established at the South Asian Games selection trial in Dec, 2015. more..

Asst Gov reveals how MB minutes were altered at behest of Dy. Governor

Mar 23 (Island) Testifying before the Special Presidential Commission, Assistant Governor of the Bank and Secretary to its Monetary Board H. S. Karunaratne yesterday said the minutes of the Monetary Board meeting held on March 6, 2015 had been altered on the instructions of Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri. Karunaratne said he had altered the minutes according to the directives of Samarasiri and sent them to him. more..

Sri Lankan woman held for trying to smuggle drugs in India

Mar 23 (TOI) In the biggest ever haul of amphetamine by Bengaluru Customs at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), sleuths have recovered 1.64 kg of the contraband worth over Rs 64 lakh from a Sri Lankan woman who was smuggling it in the guise of manure. Fathima Azeeka Junaideen, 39, was intercepted in the early hours of Saturday when she was to take a connecting flight to Colombo after landing at KIA on Friday on a Jet Airways flight from Chennai. more..

JO accuses govt of plotting to sabotage Habaraduwa rally

Mar 23 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) accused the government of plotting to sabotage its Habaraduwa rally on Saturday. Galle District MP Ramesh Pathirana said the relevant authorities had given permission for the rally, but the Habaraduwa police had informed them on Tuesday that the event could not be held. He said the SLFP had removed him and Galle District MP Mohan Priyadarshana de Silva as organisers of Akmeemana and Ratgama electorates respectively in view of the rally. more..

Chagie denied Australian visa over war crimes allegations

Mar 23 (Island) Australia has deprived Maj. Gen. Chagie Gallage of an opportunity to visit his brother, an Australian citizen on the basis of unsubstantiated war crimes allegations against SL Army. Australia has found fault with Gallage for being in command of 59 Division from May 7, 2009 to July 20, 2009. In response to inquiries made by Gallage, Australian HC has stated that troops under his command certainly committed war crimes more..

German Embassy brings mobile school lab teutolab to Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (DM) Learning by doing was the motto of three German scientists who conducted workshops with school children in Maliyadewa Kurunegala, St. Patrick’s College Jaffna and Musaeus College in Colombo. “We never had science lessons like this before,” said an excited student after the workshops. “Although the scientists explained things to us, we were allowed to do everything ourselves. We measured the exhaust fumes of a three-wheeler. We cleaned dirty water and more..

Ruhuna Uni organizes symposium on civil and environmental engineering practices

Mar 23 (DM) The 5th International Symposium on advances in civil and environmental engineering practices for sustainable development (ACEPS-2017) is the annual international symposium organized by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DCEE) of Faculty of Engineering, University of Ruhuna. This year’s event was successfully held in 16th Marchat the Faculty of Engineering, University of Ruhuna, Galle. This int'l symposium was jointly organized by more..

Sri Lanka to investigate crooked judicial medical officers

Mar 23 (EN) Two judicial medical officers who provided false autopsy reports in high profile murders will face criminal investigations and they will also be reported for professional misconduct, govt said.  Doctor Sunil Kumara who conducted the post-mortem examination on Lasantha Wickrematunga in Jan 2009 ruled he had been shot dead, but a fresh autopsy in Sept showed that he had been stabbed to death. more..

New Securities Exchange Act gets Cabinet nod

Mar 23 (FT) Securities Exchange Act, Economic Service Charge, Immigrants and Emigrants Bill and Foreign Exchange Bill all received Cabinet approval to be revamped yesterday as the Govt worked to strengthen and update regulations within the country’s legal system.  Securities Exchange Act, containing seven parts, includes giving wider powers to the Securities and Exchange Commission to better regulate capital markets and intervene in markets to instill greater credibility, more..

Sri Lanka’s poor fielding: is it due to surplus of wicket-keepers?

Mar 23 (DN) Is Sri Lanka’s key fielding problem due to the surplus of wicket-keepers in the team? This was a moot point that was raised the Daily News reliably learns at a meeting of the Sri Lanka hierarchy with the national team cricketers and key support staff that took place on Tuesday night at the end of the two-Test series against Bangladesh. The series was drawn one-all with Bangladesh securing their maiden Test win over Sri Lanka in 18 Tests at the P Sara Oval, more..

Country ruled by politicians not by law: GMOA

Mar 23 (DM) GMOA on Wednesday wrote to IGP Pujith Jayasundara requesting for his immediate intervention to punish the wrongdoers in connection with the issues of the SAITM in Malabe. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that at present authorities related to the SAITM were attempting to go above the law. “The Police has still not taken any action against SAITM CEO Dr. Sameera Senaratne, even though more..

Five things Bangladesh got right in Colombo

Mar 23 (CI) Mehedi Hasan made two telling contributions to Bangladesh's effort in the Colombo Test. His superb offbreak bowling removed Upul Tharanga and gave Bangladesh an important breakthrough on the fourth day. But it was on the fifth day when his presence of mind made an even bigger difference: Dilruwan Perera was becoming a hard proposition. When he had a misunderstanding with Suranga Lakmal, Subashis Roy threw poorly to the bowler's end, where Mehedi collected more..

Editorial: Drought, drought, go away!

Mar 23 (Island) We have just celebrated this year’s World Water Day (March 22) during a severe drought, which has affected more than 1.2 million people including 365,232 children. If the weather gods show no mercy to the hapless public the situation is sure to take a turn for the worse; it is feared that a humanitarian emergency is on the horizon—absit omen! UNICEF has sent out an appeal internationally for funds to help the drought-hit Sri Lankans, according to media reports. more..

Major General Mahesh Senanayake, 50th Chief of Staff in the Army

Mar 23 (SLA) Major General N.U.M.M.W Senanayake RWP RSP USP psc, more popularly known as Mahesh Senanayake, currently serving as the Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SFHQ-J), has been appointed as 50th Chief of Staff (CoS) of the Sri Lanka Army. Major General Senanayake who has been the Commander, Security Forces - Jaffna since 28 Jan 2016 is also the Colonel of the Regiment, Special Forces. more..

Sabbir 72, Mahmudullah 71* in Bangladesh's warm-up defeat

Mar 23 (CI) Mahmudullah hit an unbeaten 71 off 68 balls and strode into some form in Bangladesh's practice match against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI, but his half-century could not see the visitors through as they lost by two runs, chasing 355. Also making fifties in the high-scoring encounter were Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Kusal Perera, Sandun Weerakkody and Dhananjaya de Silva. In pursuit of the President's XI's 354 for 7, more..

D.S. Senanayake's 65th death anniversary : Statesman without equal

Mar 23 (DN) The first PM of Sri Lanka was Don Stephen Senanayake. He was born on Oct 20, 1883 at a remote village titled Botale, Meerigama. His father was Mudaliya Don Speter Senanayake. Mother's name was Dona Ketherina Elishabath Perera Gunasekara. D S Senanayake had two brothers and a sister. Parents adopted their children according to a Buddhist background. However, Senanayake was educated at St. Thomas Christian College in Colombo. more..

Harsha de Silva

A friendship so near and far

Mar 23 (NS) Chandran Rutnam first met Gamini Fonseka in 1956. Rutnam was one of the first to be hired for production work on Bridge on the River Kwai. His only qualification at the time was the fact that he was a serious film buff, willing to work for little or no pay. Rutnam was hired as a substitute assistant to Eddie Fowlie, the Property Master of the film until the official assistant arrived from London. In Kitulgala, Rutnam was introduced to Dan Durairaj, Sesha Palihakkara, Vijay Abeydewa and more..

'My Father was my inspiration'

Mar 23 (NS) In 1956, on a historical day Rekawa was being filmed in Hiriyala in the Kurunegala district. The scene was about some patients waiting in a queue to see the doctor. The director, Lester James Peries, felt that the crowd was not enough to fill the queue and thought of asking a dark-skinned technical assistant to the camera crew to join the queue. The young dark-skinned lad who joined the queue that day ended up as the doyen of the Local Silver Screen. more..