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In search of the missing thousands

Feb 20 (Hindu) The small group of Tamils that met top Ministers in Colombo on February 9 conveyed one thing emphatically— their patience was wearing thin. All the members of the group that had travelled nearly six hours by bus from Sri Lanka’s Northern Province to Colombo have been searching for their missing relatives for many years. Their sons or daughters or spouses went missing during, and in some cases, more..

Focus the Red Lights; Nagarasobhanis need recognition for legalised sex trade ?

Feb 20 (DM) Gauthama Buddha not only accepted an invitation for alms by Ambapali, but acknowledged a donation of ashram by the lady sex-worker of Vaisali. On another occasion the Buddha used a corpse of a prostitute to convey a message to those who patronised her services by spending thousands of Kahavanu for a night. He first auctioned the carcass, there were no bidders—next he offered it free, yet there was no response : perhaps they gained insight over repulsive more..

It’s time to end the crisis in Palestine

Feb 20 (DM) ON Nov 29, 1947, in its collective wisdom, the UN General Assembly via Resolution 181 planned the carving up of what was originally Palestine, into two states - the state of Israel and the State of Palestine. The partition plan allocated 55% of what then constituted Palestine to Jewish settlers who constituted around 30% of the population, and 45% to Palestinians who constituted 70%. The plan specified borders for new Arab and Jewish states and an area of Jerusalem which more..

JO defends MPs’ right to accept perks and privileges

Feb 20 (Island) Joint Opposition heavyweight MP Bandula Gunawardena has strongly defended the right of lawmakers to receive massive duty exemptions as well as newly introduced Rs 100,000 special allowance though the national economy was in dire straits. An irate MP Gunawardena emphasized that lawmakers shouldn’t be deprived of legitimate perks and privileges endorsed by parliament. more..

Sexual harassment case: Lankan official deported from Hawaii

Feb 20 (CT) A Sri Lankan official with the Disaster Management Ministry, who was attending a course in Hawaii, USA, has been deported after being allegedly accused of sexual harassment involving an American woman. Secretary to the ministry, S.S. Miyanawila said that after his return the official will have to face an internal investigation. Necessary legal action will be taken if he is found guilty. The annual conference at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Centre more..

Top WTO experts in Colombo to discuss technical barriers to exporting

Feb 20 (Island) Two leading experts from Geneva are in Colombo for today’s pioneering session hosted by Department of Commerce to work on one of the most technically demanding barriers for Lankan exporters, called by global trade as Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures-in simpler terms, quarantining and technical barriers. Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen under whose direction work began on Sri Lanka’s SPS measures way back in Sept 2014 in Colombo more..

Bankrupting Sri Lanka with corruption: Samurai to the rescue: PM

Feb 20 (DM) Sri Lanka would overcome its foreign currency payment, which will reach a staggering USD 4.08 bn (About Rs.560 bn) by end of this year, USD 5.7 bn (Rs.570 bn) by end 2018, through Samurai Bonds and by swapping of debts, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. A samurai bond is a yen-denominated bond issued in Tokyo by non-Japanese companies, and is subject to Japanese regulations. more..

Two more Army men roped in

Feb 20 (CT) Two more Army Corporals who were arrested in connection to the abduction, assault and illegal detainment of journalist Keith Noyahr in 2008, were remanded yesterday until 3rd March after being produced before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate's Court. Police said that the suspects were arrested by a special investigations unit of the CID. Meanwhile, an Army Major and two Army soldiers arrested last Saturday in connection to the incident were remanded till the 23rd of this month. more..

India, Sri Lanka cruise to mend ties

Feb 20 (ENS) India and Sri Lanka are ready to make way for better ties by resuming a ferry service from Kochi to Colombo. “The ferry service is mooted between Kochi in Kerala to Colombo. We are finalising the modalities and working out if it would be purely a passenger service. To make it economically viable, we will include freight service,” a Ministry of External Affairs official said. More than three decades ago, the shadow of the ethnic strife in the teardrop island had adversely impacted more..

Video: LG polls should be held using PR system: JVP

Feb 20 (DM) JVP said the local govt election should be held using the Proportional Representation System used earlier as it would be delayed further if the authorities decided to conduct it under the First Past the Post system that was proposed recently. JVP leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the Chairman of the Election Commission had informed that at least 56 amendments needed to be made to current more..

Northern Coop farmers group gets Fair Trade Certification

Feb 20 (ST) After five years of operations, the Vavuniya North Fruit Growers Cooperative Union continues to grow and increase profit. Over 10,000 metric tons of Red Lady papaya have already been exported and over US$2 million (Rs. 300 m) earned by farmers in export earnings, according to a media statement by ILO Colombo, the foster-father of projects to help northern farmers. In recent weeks, the cooperative achieved a major milestone by becoming the first cooperative in Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lankan scientists come up with microbial fertiliser

Feb 20 (Island) Scientists backed by the National Institute of Fundamental Studies and the National Research Council have found an alternative for chemical fertilizers thereby increasing the harvest and saving the country billions in foreign exchange. "This revolutionary product, which is a world’s first from Sri Lanka, can replace up to 50% of chemical fertilizer usage in major commercial crops and increase yield by up to 20-30%. The new product known as Biofilm Biofertilizer more..

WHO gives blessings to Sri Lanka’s first Consumer Protection Lab

Feb 20 (FT) The rallying call for Sri Lanka’s much-needed Consumer Product Test Lab received a sudden boost when the specialised agency for public health across the world threw its support behind the initiative on 16 Feb. “This will assure the speed and high quality of market product testing and lab reports of Sri Lanka’s CAA,” said WHO Representative in SL Dr. Jacob Kumaresan on 16 Feb in Colombo, while in discussion with more..

SL’s gem exports to China set to increase

Feb 20 (Island) In the wake of the Free Trade Agreement between China & Sri Lanka to be finalized in 2017 and of the recently signed Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) & Guangdong Gems and Jade Exchange (GDGJE), it’s on the cards that Sri Lankan gem exports to China, the world’s largest gem importer enjoying the lion’s share, that is, 76.8% of the world gem market - In financial terms, China’s gem imports more..

Govt has not misused even a cent: Thalatha

Feb 20 (Island) Minister Thalatha Athukorale recently said that the leader of the NFF and UPFA Colombo District MP Wimal Weerawansa is in remand prison because he is suspected of misusing state property. Addressing the masses at the opening of the Vilgamuwa Model Village in Matale she said when the govt is getting rid of corruption certain elements charged with corruption get hurt and feel very bad about it. She said this govt had not misused a cent from state funds. more..

Tamil factionalism a key factor in Kepapilavu, Vavuniya agitations

Feb 20 (ENS) Factionalism within the multi-party TNA has been at the root of the on-going agitations in Kepapilavu and Puthukudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu district and the just concluded stir on the issue of disappearances in Vavuniya. Vavuniya agitation was directed by the EPRLF led by Suresh Premachandran and Sivasakthi Anandan against the current leaders of TNA, especially M.A. Sumanthiran and Charles Nirmalanathan of the ITAK, and more..

Blame it on others: Methodology to re-pay debt taken by previous govt: PM

Feb 20 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe says that the Govt is implementing a methodology to re-pay the huge debt taken by the previous Govt. PM mentioned this while vesting in the public of a housing project built for the people affected by the landslides of Arananayaka Saama Sara Mountain The housing project was built with the assistant of Rhyno Roofing Products Company for the people in Elangapitiya and surrounding villages, affected by landslides of Saamasara Mountain. more..

'Sri Lanka in no rush to sell sovereign bond'

Feb 20 (EN) Sri Lanka is in no rush to sell a sovereign bond, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, but cabinet approval was obtained to raise up to US$ 1.5 billion in sovereign bonds this year. He said after getting cabinet approval, the next step was to do road shows to update investors. "We just got the (cabinet) approval to do so," Karunanayake said.  "We are not running after it, we will see what the best position is to do so." He said Fitch Ratings has upgraded more..

Asela 84* caps stunning series win for SL

Feb 20 (CI) Asela Gunaratne orchestrated a remarkable heist to seal the T20 series for Sri Lanka with a match to play, stealing an outrageous victory over Australia in the first international match ever played at Geelong's Kardinia Park. For the second time in three days, Sri Lanka reached their target from the final ball of their chase, but whereas at the MCG they had needed only 18 off the last three overs, here they needed 48. more..

Hard to defend against Gunaratne: Finch

Feb 20 (CI) Sixteen off the last over would be a daunting enough challenge for any batsman in a Twenty20 chase. Sixteen an over for the final three overs is something else entirely. And yet Australia's captain, Aaron Finch, said he felt that while Asela Gunaratne remained at the crease, Sri Lanka still had a chance of achieving their goal, an assessment that turned out to be accurate, to the delight of thousands of Sri Lankan fans at Geelong's Kardinia Oval. more..

Atapattu to the fore as SL seal WC spot

Feb 20 (Island) Sri Lanka women are through to the ICC Women’s World up in England and Wales later this year as Chamari Atapattu guided her team with a fantastic batting display against Bangladesh at NCC yesterday. Atapattu scored 84 off 114 deliveries with eight fours and a six. Bangladesh, who needed a big win if they wanted to pip Sri Lanka to the last available spot for the World Cup, showed the stomach for a fight. But in the end, it mattered little as a sensible performance more..

Harry distills perfect blend for Sri Lanka

Feb 20 (FT) Outspoken business tycoon Harry Jayawardena on Saturday distilled a perfect blend for the future success of SL via privatisation of certain loss-making state enterprises that continue to be beset by political interference and mismanagement. The frank and proven advice was shared at the 25th anniversary celebrations of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL), which Jayawardena acquired as State Distilleries more..

Lions strike after setting Sri Lanka A 365

Feb 20 (CI) England Lions set an imposing target and then took two early wickets on a rain-interrupted third day of the first unofficial Test with SL A. Having recovered from 85 for 6 to post 215, Tom Curran removed Dimuth Karunaratne with the first ball of the 4th innings and Toby Jones had Sandun Weerakkody, SL A's top-scorer first time around, lbw for 16. Tom Curran and his brother Sam had played a central role with the bat, too, having extended their 7th-wicket partnership to 62. more..

SriLankan Airlines: Pilots vote Yes Ffor industrial action

Feb 20 (CT) Members of the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka have voted in favour of going in for industrial action if their request for a meeting with their Chairman, Board of Directors and Minister of Public Enterprise regarding the alleged Unacceptable conduct of the Senior Management is not been granted. The vote ending yesterday was agreed to be conducted through SMS by its members when they met on the 16th of February 2017 at an emergency meeting. more..

Tears, threats, anger: Drive mixed emotions on SAITM issue

Feb 20 (SO) In 2009, the South Asian Institute of Technology & Medicine started out as a twin-program, with one-half of its medical course conducted locally, and the rest abroad via a Russian university affiliated to the Institute. Today, the green fee levying private medical college at Malabe founded by Dr Neville Fernando, a pioneer in private medical education in SL, has turned into a simmering ground of confusion, anger, rage. more..

Sri Lanka's perfect record in Australia

Feb 20 (CI) 36: Runs Sri Lanka needed off the last two overs, which they chased down, the most by any team. Australia needed 34 off the last two overs against Pakistan in the 2010 World T20 and pulled off a similar heist. 411.11: Asela Gunaratne's strike rate of his last nine balls. He smashed 37 runs, including three fours and four sixes. He had scored 47 off his first 37 balls with three fours and a six. 1: Number of higher scores than Gunaratne's 84 not out by a batsman at No.5 or lower more..

Dunk sets the stage alight

Feb 20 (CI) Only one cap was presented, but there were three debuts in this match. Fast bowler Jhye Richardson was playing his first match for Australia in any format, umpire Sam Nogajski was standing in his first international fixture, and Geelong's Kardinia Park was making its maiden appearance as an international venue. And the results? Mixed. Richardson bowled with impressive pace and claimed a wicket with his third ball. Nogajski was at the centre of a strange moment when more..

'It was like we were playing in Sri Lanka'

Feb 20 (CI) A partisan Melbourne crowd played its part in Sri Lanka's exquisite series victory, Asela Gunaratne said after his unbeaten knock of 84 from 46 balls in only his sixth T20 international propelled Sri Lanka to their 174 target in Geelong. Partisan because although the first two T20s were ostensibly away matches, Sri Lanka's limited-overs games in Melbourne have long attracted booming support from large SL population in the city. more..

Foster reconciliation, abandon discrimination

Feb 20 (Island) There are many instances where the constructive attempts supported and much publicized by the govt in power today are overshadowed by many practically disruptive and unsettling actions of others. The President, PM and some members of the Govt may be launching and promoting a process of reconciliation by calling upon all the citizens of Sri Lanka to a renewed awareness of justice and exhorting and encouraging all to re-establish the bonds of fraternity and more..

Pretender to Jaya’s corrupt throne, Sasi’s power lust jailed for ten years

Feb 20 (ST) Things nearly went a little too far in the manner succession takes place in the Asian region when a charismatic leader bids the world the last farewell. Lanka started the trend first when Sirimavo Bandaranaike was called from her Rosmead Place residence to Temple Trees to assume the premiership following the assassination of her husband SWRD. India went a step further when upon the death of her PM Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira seamlessly stepped into his more..


Win over Australia put bad dreams behind

Feb 20 (CT) Bad dreams sometimes can haunt you though some of them could just disappear with a new day. Then a brand new reality can dawn on you giving you hope and expectations for the future. The recent cricket played by the Sri Lankan National team could be described in such a manner. After a forgettable and poor tour of South Africa, the team has started off the short tour of Australia with a bang winning the first T20 game in a series of three. It may be still early days with two games to go more..

Protests proliferating by the day

Feb 20 (SO) As announced on a news telecast on a TV channel, the number of protests that day matched its date -15th. The announcer said, there were more than 15 protests in various locations across the length and breadth of the island – Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Peradeniya and Colombo of course. Inevitably, one protest was by university students; the others were by various groups, including disabled soldiers and pensioners. Appropriately, yet coincidentally, the program more..

'I like to talk to diehard Sinhala chauvinists'

Feb 20 (CT) Nothern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran said, " We need to have the North and East merged to avoid Sinhalisation of the North and East. Today Sinhalisation is taking place at a rapid rate". Q: The second of the Eluga Thamil series was held in Batticaloa recently. People say it's the name that is different from Pongu Thamil that was hosted by the Tigers. Isn't it the same concept; awakening the Tamils to fight for a cause? more..

Editorial: CID’s Nelsonian eye

Feb 20 (Island) The CID has woken up like Rip Van Winkle. It has arrested three military intelligence personnel including a major over the abduction of the then Associate Editor of The Nation newspaper, Keith Noyahr, way back in May 2008. The suspects have been remanded. We have been urging the CID, all these years, to seek the assistance of Noyahr, who fled to Australia with his family following his abduction, to nab those responsible for harming journalists because more..

The crisis of constitution-making 

Feb 20 (CT) Sri Lanka needs constitutional change but not a change of Constitution. A little Political Economy and a touch of class can help in comprehending what’s going on and why. Why a new Constitution/Referendum while an economic crisis looms? Because the economic crisis stems from the same mindset and agenda as the drive for a new constitution. Both originate in the neoliberal globalization project of the current UNP leadership, which necessitates weakening of the state more..