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Who should deal with the human-elephant conflict?

Apr 11 (roar) It was 2:30 a.m., in rural Anuradhapura, when M. Dharmasena woke to the sound of his wife’s piercing screams. Before he could react, a deafening roar of brick and glass drowned her out, as a young male elephant bulldozed the side of his house. The elderly farmer, along with his wife and two children, was lucky to escape unscathed. But the encounter left their house destroyed, & to make matters worse, more..

Sri Lanka’s Most Valuable Brands to be released this week

Apr 11 (FT) The publisher of leading business magazine LMD, Media Services, has announced that the 2017 special edition of the Brands Annual will be released to supermarkets and bookstores later this week. Published in collaboration with the UK-based Brand Finance, the all-encompassing special issue features Sri Lanka’s most valuable brands, in addition to the most loved brands in the country and leaders in other categories such as conglomerates, exporters and multinationals.  more..

Reconciliation incomplete without understanding

Apr 11 (NS) Thirty years of war and the eight years that followed the end of fighting has resulted in the biggest challenge for SL in the form of reconciliation. Yes, it is the most commonly used terminology in the post war scenario, but achieving it is no easy task. Over the years, many programmes and plans were proposed, discussed, and implemented in order to ensure that the country does not go back into the darkness it was a few years ago. One key aspect which was discussed was reconciliation. more..

දියවන්නා ඔයේ බෝට්ටු සවාරිය

SLFP & SLPP: Enemies, rivals or allies?

Apr 11 (Island) UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is mightily helped by the confusion in the ranks of the SLFP and Oppositional forces in general. SLFP voters and the broader constituency of non-UNP (or non-hardcore UNP) voters are being sent three messages, all of which are wrong. The three messages come, NOT from Mahinda Rajapaksa but from President Sirisena, ex-president Kumaratunga and architect-strategist of breakaway SL Podujana Peramuna, Basil Rajapaksa. more..

A shameless trade union

Apr 11 (NS) This Friday, the trade union of the majority of doctors in govt hospitals, the GMOA staged an island-wide strike protesting against the SAITM being granted recognition. The propaganda war is in full force. GMOA claims the strike was a huge success. It accuses the govt of dragging its feet over the SAITM issue and colluding with that institution to enable it to gain recognition, without subscribing to the minimum standards set out by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). more..

'Rajapaksa sought advice from McGuinness'

Apr 11 (CT) Indika Perera, attorney at law and the former Director – Programme for Initiative for Political and Conflict Transformation (INPACT) spoke about Martin McGuinness, the legendary Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader, who passed away a few weeks ago, and his involvement in the Sri Lankan peace process. In the first months of Mahinda Rajapaksa's tenure as President, Perera who played a key role more..

It is the media stupid

Apr 11 (ST) Politicians and others in search of a scapegoat to cover their blatant abuse of power, privilege and deplorable conduct find the media a convenient peg on which to hang their dirty linen. This is not a recent phenomenon. But it is increasingly becoming a major tool in today’s blame game. Nor is it a game played only in Sri Lanka by decrepit and fading politicians, ambitious young bucks and lacklustre individuals who find the greatness thrust upon them sits uneasily on more..

Balance of payments difficulties reflect structural weaknesses

Apr 11 (ST) The current crisis in the balance of payments and the low external reserves of the country are symptomatic of fundamental weaknesses in the structure and performance of the economy over a period of time. Balance of payments (BOP) crises will continue to recur if bold decisions are not taken to remedy the fundamental weaknesses in the economy. Although the BOP deficit of US$500 million (499.7 million) in 2016 was appreciably lower than the 2015 BOP deficit more..

New Inland Revenue Act hits a sang : President calls for discussion

Apr 11 (SO) The need for having discussions on the proposed Inland Revenue Act was highlighted at the Inland Revenue Department AGM held last week. President Sirisena, who was present at the meeting said, he is aware of the shortcomings in the proposed Act, and that it should be discussed with all stakeholders and sorted out. Commissioners of the Inland Revenue Department however criticized the proposed Act saying that it only fulfils more..

Sri Lanka must NOW begin the task of filing charges & establishing a hybrid court

Apr 11 (CT) In the wake of a hybrid judicial mechanism being rejected outright by Sri Lanka, this article digs in, regardless of its unconscionable behavior, to examining what SL must do NOW, the obligations the country promised to deliver and its blatant duplicity, the Council’s missed opportunity in Geneva and what should have been the outcome of the 34th session as a result of Sri Lanka’s wilful non-compliance and to exploring the avenues for justice available for Tamils. more..

To SAITM or not to SAITM: Is that the question?

Apr 11 (CT) For some it appears so. For any of them who are rational, it must instead be: can medical education be provided by the private sector? After all, SAITM also awards other degrees as a UGC recognized higher education institution. Many of the arguments for abolishing SAITM are actually calls for reversing some 25 years of private tertiary education in Sri Lanka! The issue has been so politicized, that for the uninitiated, the issue actually is: what is the question? more..

GMOA has no right to interfere in SAITM issue: Kiriella

Apr 10 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kirella criticized the GMOA saying it had no right to interfere in Sri Lanka’s medical education. He said that the matter connected to the provisional registration of medical graduates, who passed out from SAITM would be addressed by the govt in consultation with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). He said the GMOA was merely a trade union and had no right to interfere in this matter and more..

'Even those who pass GCE A/L end up as trishaw drivers'

Apr 10 (Island) Some youth who scored top marks at the GCE A/L examination end up as three-wheeler drivers owing to lack of career guidance and shortcomings in the education system, says State Minister Ravindra Samaraweera. He said: "Many people say that there are no jobs or there is a lack of job opportunities in the country. The truth is that we do not produce people with skills for the available jobs. more..

More than 50% inmates are mere suspects!

Apr 10 (Island) More than half of the persons held in prisons throughout the country were not convicts reveals a task force appointed by the Cabinet to find solutions for the problem of overcrowding of prisons. Prison data reveal that there are currently 9,552 unconvicted persons in remand custody and they constitute more 52% of the total prison population. It is an unnecessary contributor to overcrowding, says a report of more..

Hambantota Port deal amended again

Apr 10 (DM) Cabinet Sub Committee appointed to work out guidelines for leasing out the Hambantota Port, had taken up for consideration, among others, a proposal to reduce the lease term from 99 years to 50 years, it is learnt. Committee headed by Minister Sarath Amunugama met last week. There were a number of proposals put forward to the committee seeking to amend the original draft of the agreement to hand over more..

Poaching crisis: Lanka expresses its displeasure at India’s failure

Apr 10 (ST) Sri Lanka has expressed disappointment over the failure by the Indian authorities to honour the pledges made at the last round of joint Indo-Lanka talks on the fisheries issue. Fisheries Ministry Secretary Rani Adhikari, who headed SL delegation at the talks held on Friday in Colombo, said she requested the Indian delegation to implement the agreement reached during the previous round of talks to increase patrolling more..

Rajitha promises to reveal all killings, corruption and frauds during MR govt

Apr 10 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has warned the JO that information pertaining to all killings, corruption and fraud perpetrated by the previous Rajapaksa administration would be revealed within the next couple of months. Dr. Senaratne, who was a Cabinet minister of the Rajapaksa govt switched his allegiance to the UNP in Dec. 2014 in the wake of Maithripala Sirisena, who decamped to challenge Prez Rajapaksa more..

Dousing a mega ship fire

Apr 10 (CT) Navy spokesman Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge talks to Ceylon Today on how the fire aboard the container vessel MV Daniela which broke out on Tuesday morning, was jointly doused by the Navy, SLPA and the Indian Coast Guard vessel It was on Tuesday (4), Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) Colombo, had received a fire distress call from the local agent of MSC Daniela as the vessel more..

Yah(m)palanaya or Y(w)ahapalanaya?!

Apr 10 (CT) Hot on the heels of the govt messing up with the UN by agreeing to co-sponsor the UN resolution with the US which was extensively debated in this column just last Monday, then comes another a piece of dangerous legislation which is already tabled in the House of Parliament. That is a Bill which is aimed at punishing the heroic members of the Armed Forces who successfully and at great sacrifice and zealous & passionate more..

Navy accused of concealing evidence

Apr 10 (SL) Sri Lanka Navy is once again exposed for their involvement in abducting Tamils to collect ransom and the present Navy Commander for concealing evidence. Despite of President Sirisena’s assurance that he will not protect those found guilty of acts that are not connected to national security but involved in killing media personnel, sportsmen and the civilians, Navy Commander Ravindra Wijegunaratne more..

'Difference of opinion among the rulers'

Apr 10 (DM) There are many who foresee an explosion of the govt close at hand. Minister Champika Ranawaka deals with this matter and other allied crucial subjects. Q: However much you all attempt to hide the disagreements within the govt, it is now clear these attempts were in vain. How do you respond to this? A: There is no dispute within the govt, there is only a difference of opinion on the issues. With the present freedom of Media, more..

Wanted: Presidential Commission on GMOA

Apr 10 (DM) These views are aimed at addressing public interest issues affecting the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. Becoming an hub for education in South Asia -although belatedly- can help Sri Lanka earn billions of dollars in foreign exchange, through enrollment of foreign students in Law, Medicine, Agriculture, Information Technology, Engineering, Accounting, Business Management and Marketing to name a few. Adding new courses can also contribute towards upgrading the more..

The US missile strike on Syria

Apr 10 (DM) On Thursday, US President Donald Trump ordered US warships in Persian Gulf to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a scarcely used Syrian airbase in Idlib from which Syrian warplanes purportedly carried out chemical attacks which killed numbers of civilians including children. Charges of past chemical attacks against the Syrian people by the Bashar al-Assad regime led to past US President Obama to draw a redline threatening military response in the event of a chemical more..

Hambantota port ball now in SL's court: Malik

Apr 10 (CT) SL Govt is likely to seal the deal with China, on the Hambantota Port, by the end of April, Minister Malik Samarawickrema said. He added, The delay is on our side and the ball is in our court. He said that the delay in signing the strategic investment deal with China was due to Sri Lanka having to decide what could be agreed upon. He asserted that there was no pressure at all from Chinese Govt to proceed with the agreement more..

Heat wave: Be cautious on dehydration: CNH

Apr 10 (DM) The high temperature in the island may affect the children and the elderly people causing dehydration, the Colombo National Hospital (CNH) warned today. The prevailing heat had affected people severely causing many health issues, especially skin diseases and eye diseases. When contacted, CNH Deputy Director Dr. Samindi Samarakoon said that people should take a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration. She also advised people to avoid exposure to direct sunlight. more..

India sends water, rice as Sri Lanka faces severe drought

Apr 10 (ENS) With Sri Lanka staring at one of the worst droughts in the last four decades, India has provided an emergency assistance of water and rice to the Island country. The govt has already handed over eight water bowsers to Sri Lankan authorities and the consignment of rice would be delivered soon. “In response to a request from the Govt of SL for drought relief assistance, Govt of India has announced the decision to provide 8 water bowsers and 100 metric tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka. more..

Country's reserves plunge: Govt bleeds 175% of Samurdhi funds

Apr 10 (CT) The country's reserves were bludgeoned by a massive US$ 514.81 million last month to protect the rupee, thereby bringing down the island's reserves by 9.14% to US$ 5,119.85 million, latest official data showed. On the basis, that the average buying price of the exchange rate for telegraphic transfer (TT) among banks on Friday was Rs 150.03 to the US dollar, a sum of US$ 514.81 million is equivalent to Rs 77 billion. more..

Docs reject govt formula, promise bitter medicine

Apr 10 (Island) Dr. Nalinda Herath, spokesman for GMOA said that it was not agreeable to the proposals by the govt by way of solving the SAITM issue. He warned that if the govt implemented its proposals, which he said, were loaded in favour of the SAITM, country would be plunged into chaos. He said the govt had to agree to the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) conditions. He stressed that the govt should take over not only the Neville Fernando Hospital, but also the SAITM Medical Faculty. more..

If Wimal can, so can Tamil political prisoners: Mano Ganeshan

Apr 10 (DM) The Tamil youth held under detention as political prisoners, could be given bail in the same way Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa was granted bail, Minister Mano Ganesan had urged President Maithripala Sirisena in a letter. According to the letter that had been sent to Tamil media by the Ministry, Ganesan had requested the President to make arrangements to grant bail to Tamil political prisoners and to rehabilitate them and release them into society. more..

SLMC’s minimum standards draft ready

Apr 10 (DN) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has completed drafting the minimum standards for medical education on Friday, Dr. Upul Gunasekara said. Dr. Gunasekara, a member of the SLMC, said that in accordance with the Medical Ordinance, the SLMC is to send the standards to all  medical faculty boards for observations and recommendations. “There are eight State medical faculties and more..

SL’s oldest cricketer Bertie Wijesinha dies

Apr 10 (DN) Sri Lanka’s oldest living cricketer Bertie Wijesinha breathed his last yesterday. He was 96. Bertie Wijesinha was a household name in Sri Lanka whether it was as a cricketer, coach, writer or commentator, he was versatile in every field. Wijesinha celebrated his 68th wedding anniversary with wife Dorothy on March 30 and a few days later he was admitted to Sri J'pura Hospital for pneumonia where he passed away. In recent years Wijesinha’s health had been deteriorating more..

Public Power Generation Programme’s phase 2 begins

Apr 10 (Island) JLanka Technologies, together with The Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB), successfully concluded a forum and networking reception aimed at promoting the second phase of the public power-generating programme Surya Bala Sangramaya (SBS). The event titled The Key Aspects of Utility Scale Solar PV Project Planning’, was facilitated by the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, CEB and the SL Sustainable Energy Authority, with an objective to clarify how to successfully more..

Fresh controversy in judiciary in the wake of Kannan affair

Apr 10 (Island) NUA leader Azath Salley alleged that close on the heels of the raging controversy over the naming of Ramanathan Kannan as High Court judge, Jaffna, under controversial circumstances, the yahapalana administration had interfered in the proposed appointment of the new President of the Court of Appeal. An irate Salley flayed the yahapalana rulers for following the Rajapaksas much to the disappointment of more..

Super start for Provincial Cricket Tournament

Apr 10 (Island) The long awaited Inter-Provincial tournament got off to a cracking start yesterday with Kandy recording a thrilling one wicket win while the game between Dambulla and Colombo ended in a tie. Chasing a target of 290 to win, Colombo slumped to 104 for six and were facing a heavy defeat. But captain Dinesh Chandimal teamed up with 19-year-old Wanindu Hasaranga and came up with a rescue mission adding 172 runs for the seventh wicket. more..

National Law Week draws large crowds

Apr 10 (DN) The Legal Aid Commission in collaboration with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and the Ministry of Justice organized the National Law Week Programme 2017 under the theme Justice for you from Feb 27 to March 5. This is a significant annual event organised by the BASL with projects, workshops and activities focusing on initiating dialogue in the legal arena and educating the public, law students, legal and other professionals on laws applicable to them. more..