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Is the new constitution a new con?

Mar 15 (Roar) Govt has pledged us a new constitution, an inclusive constitution, an openly drafted constitution, a referendum approved constitution. Last year, whole Govt seemed to be participating in a thorough reshuffle of attitudes, principles, and expectations, with a minimum of stubbed toes. As Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, stated at the 30th Session of UNHRC, The best guarantee for non-recurrence, a political settlement that more..

Campus Torture: The same old cycle !

Mar 15 (Island) After decades of struggling against university ragging (a misleading euphemism for the systematic torture of new entrants) one contemplates the recent hue and cry over a torture house in Peradeniya with some pessimism. It looks as if the campus torture of new entrants had come to stay and might never be eliminated from our universities. One is inclined to make this gloomy prediction for several reasons. The first reason is that generally speaking university teachers more..

Talking ethnic reconciliation with tongues still tied to the past

Mar 15 (SL) Yet another UNHRC session has come and gone. As always, nearer home and afar, Sri Lankan stake-holders to the ethnic issue have said their periodic piece(s). It means nothing to anyone concerned, or anyone who is concerned. There is a difference, though. Over the past years since the UNHRC got involved post-war, the international community too has got used to the mind and method of SL stake-holders. More importantly, the global players too have proved to be quick learners. more..

Bandula Gunawardane

From February to October: The legacy of Russian Revolution & Sri Lanka today

Mar 15 (CT) When we commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the world situation has changed quite dramatically. Capitalism, which those who welcomed the Russian revolution thought would leave the stage of human history, continues to be around, renewing its usual destructive capacities as well. Capitalism has survived many challenges modeled around the Russian revolution. Despite survival and regeneration, capitalism and its legitimacy more..

A school of smart patriotism or smart scoundrels?

Mar 15 (SL) Smart Patriotism is the latest of smart products put up on sale by a street smart academic-politico-diplomat Dayan Jayatilleka. It comes in line with Smart Phones, Smart Casual (Dress Code), Smart girls and boys with polkudu accents and many more things Smart, now on sale. What of the good old patriotism – Breathes there a man with soul so dead and all that like President Maithripala Sirisena declaration of 82 rebellious sons of the Uva, including legendary Monaravila Keppetipola, more..

'ITAK arbitrary actions cause conflict in TNA'

Mar 15 (CT) EPRLF Secretary and TNA MP N. Sivasakthy Ananthan said both leaders Sampanthan and Sumanthiran are taking the most crucial decisions in the TNA. They rarely discuss and obtain the opinions of others of the constituent parties. "We obtained a people's mandate assuring a suitable political solution within a merged North-East; solution for enforced disappearances, political prisoners and lands. However, since of late more..

Editorial: Biggest enemy of democracy

Mar 15 (Island) UPFA General Secretary and Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, on Monday night, made one wonder whether Houdini was his middle name. In an interview with Hiru TV he strove to duck several curve balls on vital issues. He, however, had to admit that it was not advisable to postpone elections though he sought to defend the indefensible by trying to justify the govt’s position that some delimitation issues had delayed the local govt polls. more..

Sellamma returns home after Army occupation

Mar 15 (GV) We first met 83 year old grandmother Sellamma when she was part of a protest fast outside the Puthukudiyiruppu Divisional Secretariat. At that time, her land and house across the road had been occupied by the Army for eight years. She was protesting along with her neighbours, mostly women, whose lands and houses had also been occupied by the Army. Even after a meeting with the PM in the early stages of the protest, they had vowed not to give up their protest, until more..

Being at the mercy of every Tom Dick and Harry: Trishaws that we cannot be without

Mar 15 (SO) In a jam packed city, trishaws are indisputably the easiest mode of transport. People from all walks of life at one point or another have had the good or bad experience of travelling in a trishaw. Tuk tuks are hard to avoid, especially, if you are in a hurry to get somewhere. But, beneath this convenient mode of transport lies a time bomb about to go off. Although a decision by Govt to slash loans and finance facilities for trishaws in more..

Towards an informed water vision

Mar 15 (CT) The three basic substances of our biosphere, Air, Water and Soil share the characteristic that they are all dynamic and vary in quality and quantity from place to place on this planet. However there is what is generally recognized as the optimal range of values for each one of these substances, to render the environment hospitable to life. While my comments today, are focussed on water, it should be kept in mind that they apply equally to the other two. more..

Battle in the deep seas

Mar 15 (NS) The Palk Strait has been a scene of battle for fishermen from Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu for years. The conflict between the fishermen of both countries took a back seat when the war was at its peak eight years ago. But over the years, the clashes between both groups of fishermen, and allegations against the local Navy  attacking Tamil Nadu fisher folk has been on the increase. A massive protest broke out in Tamil Nadu last week after the death of a 22-year-old fisherman more..

Foreign Ministry in touch with agents over hijacked ship

Mar 14 (NR) Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it remains in touch with shipping agents, concerned authorities, as well as relevant Sri Lanka Missions overseas to ascertain further information on the alleged hijacking of a reportedly SL-flagged fuel freighter by pirates. Ministry issuing a statement said it is aware of media reports regarding the alleged hijacking. Ministry is engaged in efforts to verify the alleged incident, more..

Navy nabs 13 local fishermen engaged in illegal fishing

Mar 14 (SLN) Naval personnel attached to the North Central Naval Command arrested 13 local fishermen who engaged in illegal fishing practices using explosives, at two separate locations. Accordingly, a group of naval personnel attached to SLNS Gajaba in Mannar arrested 4 local fishermen engaged in illegal fishing using dynamite in the sea area of South Bar yesterday. During the arrest a dinghy, a GPS unit, a diving mask, a 225 m long fishing net, 2 pairs of diving fins used for fishing activities more..

Centenary Celebration of the Great Russian Revolution held

Mar 14 (PSL) A special event was held to celebrate the centenary of the Great Russian Revolution 1917 at the BMICH under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, yesterday. The keynote address was delivered by Prof. Jayadewa Uyangoda under the theme “The heritage of the Russian Revolution from February to October and Sri Lanka today”. The President also visited the exhibition organized in line with the centenary celebration. Ministers and MPs, including the PM, more..

GMOA Executive Committee will meet next week to decide future action

Mar 14 (DN) Executive Committee of the GMOA will meet next Thursday to decide stern future action to be taken in connection with the attacks on medical students and other students who protested against SAITM, GMOA Secretary Dr. Navin De Zoysa said. Addressing a press conference he said that GMOA vehemently condemn the attack on innocent unarmed students. “It is the sole responsibility of the govt to prevent such more..

Bangladesh confront form, selection calls for landmark Test

Mar 14 (CI) The bigshots of the Bangladesh Cricket Board are arriving to much fanfare, soaring rhetoric about South Asian brotherhood abounds. Mementos are being polished, showmen are practicing their lines for the presentation: the celebrations for Bangladesh's 100th Test are all set to go, but after the politically-minded have lavishly slapped each other on the back, there is some cricket to be played as well. It is the plight of Mahmudullah that will have most Bangladesh fans aflutter. more..

Sri Lanka’s first resident envoy to Ethiopia appointed

Mar 14 (CG) Sri Lanka’s first resident Ambassador to Ethiopia, Sumith Dassanayake, has presented his Credentials to the President of Ethiopia Mulatu Teshome at the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa. Ambassador Sumith Dassanayake is also the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the African Union. The Credentials ceremony at the National Palace included a brief meeting with the President, guard of honour and playing of the national anthems of the two countries. more..

'We have the winning mentality at home'

Mar 14 (CI) SL's most recent Test outing may have been the chastening 0-3 result in South Africa, but, where home Tests are concerned, there is a great deal of belief, acting captain Rangana Herath said. There has always been a disparity between Sri Lanka's home form and their overseas returns, but this has been especially pronounced over the last two years. While they have lost nine of their previous ten away Tests - not counting more..

Stray cattle to be seized from today

Mar 14 (DM) Stray cattle in the Western Province, who have no owners, will be captured by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development from today. Ministry said the move was made due to the increasing number of fatal accidents, public disturbances and traffic congestion caused by these roaming herds. Committee appointed to identify road blocks to development in the Province had found the cattle were a major nuisance. Project was launched by Ministry in collaboration with UDA. more..

EU court rejects case against Tamil Tigers terror label

Mar 14 (AP) European Union's top court has rejected an argument by people accused of collecting funds for Tamil Tiger rebels that activities by the group shouldn't be classified as terrorist acts. SL's civil war ended in 2009 when govt forces defeated the rebels, who fought to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils. In the case reviewed by European Court of Justice, 4 people in the Netherlands had their assets frozen on the basis that Tamil Tigers were involved in terrorism. more..

EU asks Sri Lanka for concrete progress on rights ahead of GSP+ decision

Mar 14 (EN) European Union has underlined the need for concrete progress on human rights ahead of discussions in Europe over approving GSP+ trade concessions to Sri Lanka in May. "…[T]he EU drew attention to the importance of Sri Lanka making prompt and concrete progress in fulfilling international commitments on human rights and labour rights and environmental protection,"  joint statement released after more..

Tender board members skeptical about their fate

Mar 14 (DM) CB's Public Debt Department Superintendent Raja Nanayakkara told the Presidential Commission on CB bond sales that members of the Central Bank tender boards were cautious and skeptical as to what would happen to them after the bond sale of Feb 27, 2015 on which the commission was appointed. He expressed this view in response to a question on the situation in the Central Bank after that bond sale by the Commission judge Prasanna Jayawardene. more..

SAITM: COPE summons committee members appointed by former regime

Mar 14 (DM) As a means of facilitating its inquiry into the SAITM issue the COPE has summoned all those who served in the various committees appointed by the previous government to appear before COPE on March 20. It includes the committee members appointed by the then Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena — a member of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Cabinet — to inquire into the SAITM issue. The committee members, appointed by the then health minister, more..

'Govt trying to stop diarrhea with loincloth'

Mar 14 (LT) “There are agitations everywhere; students have taken to the streets on behalf of the people against SAITM. Rs.12.5 million has to be spent for a medical degree from SAITM. Do we have so much money? This is why students have taken to the streets against SAITM. Doctors too have taken to the streets to agitate against SAITM. They agitate to maintain a good health service. For, degree holders that come out of SAITM more..

‘Election delay a violation of people’s rights’

Mar 14 (NR) Chairman of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya says the delay in the conduct of elections is a violation of people’s rights. The Chairman of Elections added he has not been intimidated by any individual pertaining to the upcoming LG election. He said the Elections Commission is not in favour of postponing an election. Deshapriya said there was no need for the govt to intimidate him. He said it is the public that blames him for delaying the election, more..

Ex LTTE woman, 3 other nabbed

Mar 14 (DM) A rehabilitated woman cadre and three others in her company were arrested by the Wellawaya Police on suspicion yesterday, when President Sirisena attended a ceremony in Kotaweheragala in Wellawaya to issue title deeds for State land to beneficiaries. The main suspect was from Mullaithivu area and others were residents of the Kotaweheragala area. Investigations had revealed that 35-year-old former LTTE cadre had been attached to LTTE Police in 1998-2002 more..

'Arrest of Indian fishermen will continue'

Mar 14 (DM) Govt would not stop arresting Indian fishermen and trawlers if they crossed the IMBL and engaged in fishing in Sri Lankan waters, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said any Indian fishermen would be arrested if found fishing in SL waters and all captured trawlers would be confiscated. “About 5,000 Indian trawlers enter in to our waters and take our resources forcibly, destroying our maritime resources,” more..

Female unemployment rises

Mar 14 (CT) The unemployment rate among females had increased from 7.3% to 7.6% during the third quarter of 2016, latest Labour Force Survey Bulletin shows. Of the third quarter of 2016, total unemployment rate had declined from 4.6% to 4.5%, while the unemployment rate of males had declined from 3.1% to 2.7%. The youth unemployment rate (age 15 – 24 years) in third quarter 2016 is 21.6% and that reports the highest unemployment rate among all other age groups. more..

Doctors turn violent, attack hotel employee

Mar 14 (DM) A group of doctors had reportedly assaulted the employees of a hotel in Tissamaharama and damaged property after a party held there. Police heard that the doctors, who serve in hospitals in Tissamaharama and Lunugamvehera, were annoyed with one of the hotel employees, who they suspected to be videoing the party. Charuka Madusanka, the hotel employee, complained to the police about the assault. He said, “I received a video call. While I was answering it, more..

'SL should price energy on formulae quickly'

Mar 14 (EN) SL has to start market pricing energy at state enterprises sooner rather than later, Minister Eran Wickramaratne said as crude and refined petroleum like butane and propane rose sharply over the last quarter of 2016. "Price formulae on energy and gas and will be introduced by the govt," he said. "Sooner we implement it, the better." After crude and refined products collapsed in in early 2016, price have risen in the last quarter. more..

He knew the worth of personal touch

Mar 14 (PM) A local politico eyeing a chief purohita’s post had reportedly accompanied a high political authority on an official foreign visit at his own expense. Politico had purchased his air tickets and personally borne all other expenses in his bid to be in the company of the high political authority during the latter’s sojourn abroad. Our country’s envoy in the host country is said to be an in- law of this local politico and he had facilitated this arrangement. Local politico had later confided to more..

‘No intention to privatise CPC, CEB, SriLankan Airlines’

Mar 14 (DN) Ministers and Ministry Secretaries assured that the govt has no intention to hand over the CPC, CEB, SriLankan Airlines to the private sector. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said the government will not privatize the CEB. He said no Cabinet paper was presented for such a proposal. He said there is no need to privatise a profit earning institution. He said the CEB earned a profit of Rs. 15 billion in 2015 and a considerable profit had been earned in 2016. more..

Ugly head of Islamic radicalization continues to terrorize Kattankudy

Mar 14 (CT) The ugly head of Islamic radicalization which has been plaguing Kattankudy for many years, has once again raised its head to terrorize innocent civilians in the area, with the latest incident seeing several people severely injured due to a clash between two groups, including the radical Thawheed Jamath, where the groups attacked each other with swords and knives on Friday during a lecture. more..

Jacqueline to start a restaurant in Mumbai

Mar 14 (PM) Jacqueline Fernandez, who already owns a restaurant back home in Colombo, is all set to start one in Mumbai now. Back in her hometown, the 31-year-old actress has teamed up with chef Dharshan Munidasa with her fi ne-dining restaurant, Kaema Sutra, which opened on July 14, 2014. The furniture is colonial Lankan, its focal point is the authentic SL Miris Gala or Grinding Stone, with the carefully designed Open Kitchen. The cuisine draws inspiration from traditional local cuisine to more..

My SAITM Story

Mar 14 (CT) I am Shabnam Sambriya Wallin, a final year Medical student from the 5th batch (the 1st batch to be UGC approved) of the Faculty of Medicine at SAITM. I completed my secondary education at a leading International Girls’ School here in Colombo where I sat for my Edexcel London O/Ls and A/Ls. The decision to go through a private education system was not something that I made but I’m very grateful to both my parents and teachers for opening up a world of opportunities to me. more..