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SL marks 10 years since end of civil war

May 18 (IANS) As Sri Lanka on Saturday marked the 10-year anniversary since its brutal civil war came to an end, the country finds itself again at a crossroads following the Easter Sunday bombings that ripped through the nations fragile peace and fuelled some of the islands worst fears of returning to violence. The island nation was set to commemorate the end of the bloody armed conflict between the govt and the LTTE. more..

SL: Impunity fuels recurrence of violence

May 18 (AI) On the tenth anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s three decade-long internal armed conflict, Amnesty International calls on the govt of Sri Lanka to end impunity and put accountability for crimes under international law and human rights violations and abuses at the heart of its transitional justice process. The horrific Easter Sunday attacks on 21 April 2019, that killed more than 250 people at 3 churches and 3 hotels, more..

Insurance firm refuses to cover cancelled holiday to Sri Lanka

May 18 (TG) A family whose planned summer holiday to Sri Lanka will have to be cancelled have expressed disbelief after their travel insurer refused to cover their losses, but told them they would be uninsured if they went ahead. Sam Williams says his annual travel policy with Ecclesiastical turned out to be worthless after it emerged it would not cover the cancellation of his trip in the wake of the Foreign Office more..

Amended Bill to regulate madrasas to be presented to Cabinet: PM

May 18 (FT) An amended version of the Madrasa Education Regulatory Bill to regulate madrasas will be presented to Cabinet following discussions with the Attorney General’s Department and the Muslim Affairs Ministry, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He said discussions with stakeholders, including the Muslim Affairs Ministry and AG’s Dept will continue, and the amendments would be included in a fresh draft more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa confirms presidential run in anxious Sri Lanka

May 18 (AJ) Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, accused by rights groups of war crimes during the final months of Sri Lanka's long-running civil war a decade ago, has confirmed he plans to run for the presidency in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks that have shattered the country's uneasy peace. Rajapaksa, the brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, told Al Jazeera that he would stand as more..

Discriminatory fund allocation in East: GMOA levels allegations against SMH Cassim

May 18 (CT) Govt doctors yesterday alleged that State Minister of Health (SMH) Faizal Cassim was negatively impacting the health services of the Eastern Province with his racist activities. In a letter to President Sirisena, Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Haritha Aluthge claimed that GMOA branch unions in the East had informed the GMOA’s Executive Committee regarding Cassim’s discriminatory conduct towards health services of the East. more..

Extreme weather puts traditional livelihoods in peril in Sri Lanka, studies warn

May 18 (MB) For Nataraja Kumar, 47, a fisherman from Guru Nagar, a sleepy coastal village in Sri Lanka’s north, it’s no longer possible to continue with his traditional livelihood. “I went fishing as a 10-year-old boy with my father and grandfather. But I will not train my son to be a fisherman. There’s no fish to catch,” he tells Mongabay. Fishing is Kumar’s only life skill, and he has five mouths to feed. Having failed to eke out a living more..

Sri Lanka forex reserves drop in April after bond repayment

May 18 (EN) Sri Lanka's forex reserves had dropped US$ 416 million to US$ 7,212.7 billion in April 2019 from 7,629.2 billion rupees in March, official data showed. In April 2019 Sri Lanka had to repay a US$ 500 million sovereign bond. Foreign reserve values could go up because of interest earned on the dollars, inflows to the govt or private sector, which exceed outflows due to weak domestic credit. more..

PC polls: EC wants govt to intervene

May 18 (DM) Elections Commission wants direct intervention by the govt to conduct provincial council polls before the presidential election and has sought a meeting with Prez to take a final decision on this matter. Election Commission Chairman, Mahinda Deshapriya said that the EC met Speaker on May 9 and PM on the 16th and discussed the possibility of holding PC polls before the prez election expected by the year end. more..

SL's war 10 years on: Finding Father Francis

May 18 (BBC) It's been 10 years since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. For thousands of people, missing family members and friends are a constant reminder of the trauma of the conflict. This is the story of Father Francis. On 18 May 2009, a brutal conflict which lasted almost three decades came to an end. It's estimated that at least 100,000 people lost their lives. Many thousands are still missing. War was fought along ethnic more..

Let’s mark Vesak in a Dhamma way sans extravagant comedy

May 18 (DM) Commercialism, in the recent past hijacked the commemoration of the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha, initially through temples and Buddhist organizations and gradually in a direct approach, labelling a brand name to call it, Vesak kalapa. They exhibit numerous varieties of ‘Dhatu’ or relics from temples as a crowd puller. If all Buddha relics spread across the Earth were brought together, the height of the enlightened one would measure few more more..

Vesak: A turning point for inter-religious unity

May 18 (DM) Amid the tight security in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday suicide bomb massacres and the backlash three weeks later, SL celebrates Vesak today. This thrice-blessed day marks the birth, enlightenment and death (parinibbana) of Siddhartha Gauthama the Buddha. Due to the security situation, Vesak this year will be more spiritual and largely confined to temples where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take part in Prathipatthi poojas, Aamisa more..

Security increased at temples around the city

May 18 (CT) A top security official said heavy security will be given to some of the country’s major Buddhist shrines such as the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura and the Kalutara Bodhi in view of Vesak Poya which falls today. He said the Tri-Forces and the Police will provide security to thwart possible attacks from Jihadist terrorists. “We have also increased security at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya and more..

President's Vesak message

May 18 (DN) Born in the Kingdom of Shakya of Bharath Deshaya, in the sixth century B.C., Prince Siddhartha attained Enlightenment at the shades of Bodhi at Buddhagaya and Passed Away at the Sacred Sal Uyana of Kusinara and this day of Vesak, which is triply blessed by those sacred events of the Buddha, is celebrated with much devotion and faith, states President Maithripala Sirisena in a Vesak message. The message: “Strolling along the banks of rivers, more..

PM cautions UNP media on releasing all information on terror suspects

May 18 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday advised the UNP Communications Wing to be cautious when releasing information to the media, because it could jeopardize ongoing investigations into the recent attacks on churches, hotels, houses and business establishments. Addressing members of UNP Communications Wing, he said that they should assist the Police and army who were engaged in tracking down the suspects responsible for the violence. more..

Sectoral committee suggests conversion into public-private institute

May 18 (DM) Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resource Development has discussed the conversion of the Shariya Uni in Batticaloa into a public-private institution with the uni management. The members of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resource Development include Professor Ashu Marasinghe, Rohini Kumari Wijeratne and S. Viyalendran, who all visited more..

PM's Vesak message

May 18 (DN) Vesak Full Moon appears in the sky as the dark clouds of terror cast a shadow over our nation. There is a sense of anxiety and grief throughout society. In such troubling times, the sublime teachings of The Buddha shows us the way to unite spiritually and find common purpose in our humanity, states PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in a Vesak message. The message adds: “The Enlightened One taught us the path to liberation of the mind. It is relevant to each person more..

‘Buddha’s teaching is more relevant today’

May 18 (DN) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa states Buddha’s message is even more relevant in the 21st century than it was two and a half millennia ago in his Vesak message. Full message: “Vesak is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar. It is a day Buddhists across the world revere the Birth, the Enlightenment and the Parinibbana (passing away) of the Buddha is celebrated this year with a heavy heart. “Penning this message down less than a month from tragic attacks on Easter Sunday, more..

Church suspects attempt to divert public attention from Easter Sunday carnage

May 18 (Island) Deliberate attempts were being made by influential interested parties to divert public attention away from the Easter Sunday carnage, the worst ever single act of terrorism in Sri Lanka directed at civilians, a senior spokesperson for the Catholic Church said. Nearly 260 persons perished in coordinated attacks on three churches and three Colombo hotels. Well organised attacks on the Muslim community more..

Buddha’s teachings inspire whole world: UN Secretary General

May 18 (DN) I extend best wishes to all celebrating Vesak, a sacred occasion to millions around the world. On this day marking the Birth, Enlightenment and Passing of the Buddha, all of us, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, can reflect on his life and draw inspiration from his teachings, states UN Secretary General António Guterres in a Vesak message. The message: “In a time of growing intolerance and inequality, Buddha’s message of non-violence and service to others is more relevant than ever. more..

President promotes 38 senior army officers

May 18 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces has promoted 38 senior army officers to their next rank in commemoration of National War Heroes’ Day, which falls on Sunday (19). The promotions have been made on the recommendations of the Ministry of Defence and Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake. Accordingly, two Colonels of the SL Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF) more..

'Light a lamp for fallen war heroes'

May 18 (CT) The military will commemorate the 10th Anniversary of eradicating the brutal terrorism that plagued SL for nearly 30 years in a grand manner and noted that it respects the right of every citizen of this country to remember or commemorate any civilian killed during war as long as it is within limits of the law. Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake said that while over 20,000 military members sacrificed more..

Switzerland troubled by Sri Lanka tensions

May 18 (SWI) Switzerland’s ministry of foreign affairs has expressed deep concern over the recent flare-up in tensions in SL. It urged the govt of the South Asian island nation to “do everything in its power to safeguard and strengthen the peace and stability in the country.” The appeal comes on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the end of civil war in SL. The conflicted last 30 years and claimed tens of thousands of civilian victims. More than 50,000 Sri Lankans thought refugee in Switzerland. more..

Sale of lotteries declines by 50%

May 18 (CT) President of the All-Ceylon Lottery Dealers Association (ACLDA), B.S.S. Marasinghe said the total sale of lotteries in the country has declined by 50 per cent since the 21 April Easter Sunday attacks. He said the sale of lotteries countrywide had seen a drastic and sharp decline with the people not venturing out to cities due to the prevailing situation. Agent who had sold around 5,000 lotteries daily had since 21 April seen sales being reduced from 2,080 to 1,820 per day. more..

Drastic drop in dansal numbers: PHIs

May 18 (CI) There will only be 92 dansal this time around in the Western Province, a first in recent times, the Association of Public Health Inspectors (PHI) said. PHIs said the reduction in dansal was due to the current situation in the country, following the Easter Sunday blasts. Meanwhile, 6,000 dansals were registered last year throughout the country, the number has drastically reduced this year according to the PHI. more..

Economic sentiment declines: Survey

May 18 (FT) Sentiment surrounding the economy continued to deteriorate in April with a mere 9% of respondents saying it will improve in the next 12 months in the latest monthly survey for LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence (BCI). A businessperson remarked at the time of the survey in early April that “although the rupee has appreciated slightly, it is still not performing well. Due to this, import prices remain high, taxes need to be paid on imports and the margins that our business can maintain more..

CA adapts to Automation

May 18 (DN) “Almost 98.7% of tax preparers have a chance of being automated. 93.5% of accountants and auditors routine work will be handled by machines,” Past President Chartered Accountants SL (CA), Lasantha Wicramasinghe said. Wicramasinghe was the chief guest at the Certificate Awarding Ceremony of the Corporate Level Soft Skills Programme organized by CA Sri Lanka. The award ceremony was for additional modules developing the soft skills of candidates at more..

Sri Lanka social media ban lifted

May 18 (EN) Sri Lanka's TRC lifted a temporary social media ban Friday evening. The state blocked access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp and Viber on Monday, amid rising racial violence against Muslims in response to the Easter Sunday bombings. This was the third time social media was banned following the bombings. Some critics have blamed the govt for the social media ban, saying that it has not more..

SLT records highest ever quarterly profits

May 18 (DN) During the first quarter of 2019, the Sri Lanka Telecom Group reported a Net Profit of Rs.2.20 bn which is the highest ever during the first quarter of any year, with a remarkable 86.8% YoY growth compared to the same quarter in 2018. The outstanding results were largely driven by healthy revenue growth coupled with cost control initiatives. Profits were further backed by Rs.172 mn FOREX gain reported during the quarter, in contrast to the profits negated by Rs.294 mn FOREX losses more..

World Cup 2019 winners to get US $4 million

May 18 (CI) The winner of the 2019 men's World Cup will walk away with a monetary reward of US $4 million, with the runner up getting half the amount ($2 million), as the ICC, on Friday, announced details of the total prize money on offer for the 10-team tournament. The total prize money of $10 million will be the same as it was in the 2015 World Cup, which was contested among 14 teams with Australia defeating New Zealand to take the trophy and the winner's cheque. more..

Sri Lanka begin World Cup campaign today

May 18 (Island) Having spent ten days in the UK acclimatizing to the conditions, national cricket team will feature in their first game of the long tour when they take on Scotland in an ODI today in Edinburgh. The two match series is preparation ahead of the World Cup campaign that beings early next month. These two games will give an opportunity for the SL management to decide on their composition for the WC campaign. more..

ICJ calls on SL to conduct impartial probe

May 18 (FT) Int'l Commission of Jurists (ICJ) condemned the series of acts of violence directed against the Muslim community, in the aftermath of the Easter attacks on 21 April in SL directed at churches and other places, in a statement. In the most recent attacks on 13 May, at least one person was killed in anti-Muslim mob violence in Nattandiya. In addition, various attacks have resulted in the looting and destruction of mosques, Muslim-owned businesses and houses in several parts of more..

Priyanjan to captain both ‘A’ team squads

May 18 (CT) The Sri Lanka ‘A’ team will take wing to India on 21st May under the captaincy of Ashan Priyanjan to participate in a tour comprising two four-day matches and five one-dayers. Priyanjan, who has been a regular performer for Sri Lanka, has been named as the captain after his recent impressive batting performances. He will lead both the four-day and limited over teams. SL ‘A’ team Captain Ashan Priyanjan stated: “We cannot consider the Indian team easy, they have more..

'Terror will slow growth & raise credit risks'

May 18 (FT) The tragic Easter bombings in SL will result in lower economic growth this year and could increase external financing pressures, Fitch Ratings said in their latest update, but indicated such pressures were mitigated by the Govt’s continued adherence to economic policies that have enabled Sri Lanka to get its IMF program back on track. Last month’s bombings, which targeted major hotels in Colombo as well as churches, more..

Edtorial: Bombs and mobs

May 18 (Island) It was heart-warming to hear a group of prominent Muslims appeal for sanity and coexistence, on Thursday. Giving a joint media conference, Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, Ferial Ashraff, Kabir Hashim and Ali Sabry, minced no words when they condemned the Easter Sunday bombings; they said that by no stretch of the imagination could the perpetrators of such heinous crimes be considered followers of Islam. They recalled their community’s service to the nation since the times of more..

A way to live and a way to die

May 18 (DN) What is Buddhism? Is it a religion or a philosophy? A true Buddhist would accept the basic Buddhist analysis of life as one that accommodates the teachings of the Buddha. It involves no dogmatism, no form of worship. One could say it is a code of morality, a way of life as it were. The Buddha with his infinite wisdom discovered the fundamental disease affecting all men and women, the unsatisfactory nature of all phenomenal existence. It was he who raised the veil and more..

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