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Why is President silent on Gintota violence?

Dec 1 (CT) Why President Maithripala Sirisena remains silent and indifferent towards the well-coordinated attacks on Muslims in and around Gintota? The mobs burnt Muslim owned houses, shops and looted valuables besides attacking mosques? Putting things together Muslims in the area now begin to suspect that these attacks by hired hooligans were planned and coordinated with police, STF and politicians. According to reports face covered outsiders to more..

Ranil at bay: An annotated version

Dec 1 (CT) The Pronouncements of the Prime Minister, annotated to give a better picture of how the bond scam happened Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Pale Fire, the memoirs of a king in exile, uses a brilliant technique of adding notes to the narrative. These tell us much more about the king than the narrative, and I thought that perhaps the nation needs to know more about what Ranil was actually up to during the bond scam and in giving answers to the questions he was asked more..

Language and the Internet in Sri Lanka

Dec 1 (Roar) Internet is an integral part of our lives. Most of us will be at a computer or mobile device, during the day, using the internet as our source of information. In fact, research shows that the younger you are, the more likely you are to forego conventional sources of information, such as books and tv, in favour of the internet. It’s also supposed to be a free and open source of information. more..

Effervescent thespian

Dec 1 (DN) It was the firm belief of legendary Dramatist, renowned Actor, Lyricist, Translator and Author late Henry Jayasena, Shakespeare’s memorable phrase All that live must die passing through nature to eternity and to every man upon the earth death cometh soon or late. He, who possessed an effervescent personality, initially standing tall on the modest unsophisticated Lumbini Theatre in the early 1960s. He had confessed numerous times as a much-adored more..

Neutral foreign policy: A tight rope walk

Dec 1 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena keeps foreign policy analysts guessing all the time. It was only last month that many analysts came up with their textbook prediction that he had antagonized the United States and its Middle East friends like Saudi Arabia, when he paid a State visit to Qatar. Before the dust of criticism settled down, President Sirisena undertakes another State visit - this time to South Korea and the so-called foreign policy experts are totally baffled as they are not sure whether more..

Tattoo parlours or parlours of death?

Dec 1 (DN) In the aftermath of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka awarding a total of Rs 800,000 – Rs 600,000 as compensation and Rs 200,000 as cost--to the British national Naomi Coleman who was arrested and deported for having a Buddha tattoo on her right upper arm recently, tattoos have returned to the limelight. Supreme Court said her fundamental rights had been breached and that a Magistrate could not more..

Breathing new life into the startup ecosystem

Dec 1 (Roar) Roar Tech is catching up with a whole raft of Sri Lanka’s most successful tech alumni who have built companies and products internationally. First up is Dilshan Kathriarachchi, current Chief Technology Officer at EQ Works, ex-CTO and President of Addictive Mobility, and now a large-scale investor with his new company Half Life. Dilshan left Sri Lanka in 2007 to study Computer Science at York University, Toronto (Canada), and has since built companies around the world. more..

Editorial: Sinners casting stones

Dec 1 (Island) Govt politicians and their rivals go for one another’s jugular at the drop of a hat and, as such, it is widely thought that they never see eye to eye on anything. But, there are instances where they cooperate. In a rare moment of unity, govt and Opposition MPs got together, on Wednesday, to bash an institution to their hearts’ content. They tore the CIABO to shreds. Politicians may flay the anti-graft commission for public consumption so as to make themselves out to be champions of more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Five questions with the only planetary scientist based in Sri Lanka

Dec 1 (Roar) Hiruni Dassanayake is a young planetary scientist, based in and working from Sri Lanka. An avid follower of the National Geographic and Smithsonians, she has presented Mars mapping research at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in 2015. Dedicated to her career, Dassanayake states that her lifestyle revolves around the work she does. Here, she speaks about the unique work she does, and what it is like to be a female planetary scientist in Sri Lanka. more..

Contradictions in approaches to nation building

Dec 1 (Island) A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry reported in The Island of Oct 27, 2017 states: "What this means is that the new govt of Sri Lanka pledged to reassert lost sovereignty by taking ownership of processes that were in the international domain by bringing them to the local domain, and that the govt of Sri Lanka as a Sovereign state that is responsible for all its citizens, and responsible to uphold the rule of law, democracy, and justice, would take responsibility for credible more..

'Privatization of medical education: We have not given up the battle'

Dec 1 (CT) In the wake of Govt's resolution to abolish the SAITM, parties that took up cudgels against the SAITM private medical institution emerged victorious and put an end to the protests. Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, President of the GMOA said that this cannot be considered a victory over the battle that the interested parties have been fighting. Commenting on the proposed Constitutional Amendments & impinge on healthcare sector, more..

AIDS Foundation of Lanka commemorates World AIDS Day 2017

Dec 1 (Island) World AIDS Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide since 1988 on the 1st of Dec to refocus and raise awareness among the People, as well as in the Govt and other Allied Agencies which augment the efforts of the State, to sustain with increased vigor the drive to curtail the relentless spread of the infection. The disease which was officially recognized as AIDS in 1981 in the US, has becomes incethen, a global epidemic sparing no country from its devastating path. more..

PickMe introduces unique pricing structure for three-wheelers

Dec 1 (DM) In a strategic move to bring greater benefits for drivers and patrons, homegrown taxi hailing service PickMe reduced its three-wheeler fares to Rs.33 per km, from a previous fare of Rs.35 per km.  The decision was made following a comprehensive study done on the trip patterns of local tuk-tuk (three-wheelers) passengers which brought to light the reason for most taxi-riding grievances of both driver and passenger. While some passengers needed to get from A to B more..

'Temperament lacking in our batsmen'

Dec 1 (DN) Asanka Gurusinha, the former Sri Lanka batsman who played a pivotal role as a solid number 3 for many years and helped the country win the 1996 cricket World Cup is of the view that the present crop of batsmen lack the temperament to play long Test innings. Gurusinha a master of denting some of the best bowling attacks in the world paved the way with his batting for strokemakers like Aravinda de Silva and more..

Raise environmental standards: EU

Dec 1 (EN) Sri Lanka should introduce high and consistent environmental standards as part of measures to attract foreign investors in to the island, European Union representatives told a forum on investments and stronger economic ties. The call was made at the fourth EU - Sri Lanka dialogue between the EU Embassy and embassies of representative countries of the Union at the ministry of development strategies and international trade, Board of Investment of SL said. more..

A gulf wider than the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka

Dec 1 (IE) Bhai, pehle do din ke tickets nahi hain. Teesra din ka milega. Snap came the reply: Teesra din tak match jayega kya? The conversation between a young ardent fan and a very-busy man at the ticket-kiosk closest to Feroz Shah Kotla summed up the mood of the Test series between India and Sri Lanka, the third of which begins on Saturday. Barring the opening day of the first Test at the Eden Gardens, where Suranga Lakmal enjoyed the spell of his life, it’s been India who have held more..

Sri Lanka sees emerging tensions between Buddhists and Muslims

Dec 1 (Nikkei) Across Asia, religious fundamentalism is posing a growing threat to liberal society. Even Sri Lanka, a country that has only recently emerged from a bloody civil war involving religious as well as ethnic differences, may once more be at risk. Islamist militancy is generating the most headlines. In Bangladesh, for example, liberal commentators have been killed by alleged Islamic fundamentalists. more..

Over 51% likely to embrace new forms of payments: Visa

Dec 1 (DN) Over 51% Sri Lankans are likely to embrace new forms of payments and 68% find convenience and security of digital transactions driving the adoption, a Visa survey said. Visa, world’s leader in digital payments technology, announced an independent study, conducted in collaboration with YouGov, which measure the consumer sentiment around digital payments in SL. The study observed a growing inclination among consumers (51%) in favour of adopting more..

Electric Vehicle Club highlights shortcomings in budget proposals

Dec 1 (DN) The plans to improve electrical vehicles could fail if meaningful steps are not taken by the governmen, the Electric Vehicle Club of Sri Lanka said. Co-founder and Interim Committee Member of Mahisanka Abeywickrama Electric Vehicle Club Sri Lanka however thanked Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera for taking measurements to improve the electric vehicle usage in Sri Lanka in 2018. “Also the plan of removing all fuel vehicles from 2025, imposing the carbon tax, more..

CEB will proceed with coal plan

Dec 1 (CT) Having more coal power plants is necessary for Sri Lanka to avoid future power crisis and in this respect CEB will back commissioning more coal power plants despite the opposition against having coal plants by many quarters in society, said a high ranking industry expert. He noted, "Those who oppose coal power plants do not realize the extent to which the existing coal plant came to country's rescue during more..

November inflation eases slightly to 7.6%

Dec 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's inflation in the 12-months to November 2017 was 7.6%, with consumer prices rising 1.2% in the month, the third straight month, the index has risen, official data shows. The Colombo Consumer Price Index grew from 120.8 points to 122.2 points in the month of December. Central bank generated balance of payments crisis and currency collapse, in 2015/2016 by printing money to cut rates while the state budget deficit expanded and private credit picked up. more..

LG polls to be held in early February: Elections Chief

Dec 1 (AD) Elections Commission said that the notice calling for nominations for the remaining Local Govt bodies is to be issued on Dec 4, 2017. Elections for all the LG bodies is expected to be held in the early part of Feb 2018, Chairman of the commission Mahinda Deshapriya said. The commission last week decided to hold polls for 93 Local Govt institutions which are not affected by the issue of the delimitation gazette notification and with no legal obstacles to hold elections.  more..

Tourism Minister assures more concessions to industry

Dec 1 (DM) In addition to the concessions granted to the tourism industry through Budget 2018, the Ministry of Tourism Development has also made other specific requests to the Finance Minister. These requests include reverting to the previous excise licensing hours, credit facilities for the trade and other concessions. This was revealed by Minister John Amaratunga during his address at the Institute of Hospitality SL more..

Forgot his helmet when he vanished with stolen coconuts

Dec 1 (DM) It is reported from Saliyawewa Kandauda of a motorcyclist who fled with a bag of 20 Coconuts worth Rs1,600 without making payment, forgetting his Helmet worth Rs 2000, in the rush. As related by the shop owner, a middle aged motorcyclist who visited his shop had inquired about the price of Coconuts that were for sale at the shop. Shop owner's wife had stated each coconut was Rs 85. Motorcyclist sought a reduction in price saying he's taking them for a religious function. more..

Opposition mounts against Indian footwear entry

Dec 1 (ST) Pressure is mounting against the entry of an Indian footwear manufacturer into the domestic Sri Lanka market with local shoe manufacturers and private sector companies jointly opposing and, now joined by trade unions. Sources at leading footwear manufacturers like DSI and Bata who provide subcontracts to local manufacturers to supply their needs, say local manufacturers will be serious affected. When the issue was raised at the request of local manufacturers at more..

Power outages islandwide: Two days to restore supply CEB

Dec 1 (CT) The CEB says that it will need at least two more days to restore the electricity supply to all areas hit by power outages owing to the severe weather condition which battered parts of Colombo, its suburbs, the Southern, Central and Uva Provinces since Wednesday night. The public should take extra precaution and avoid exposed power cables that have been uprooted as a result of the severe weather. more..

Korea hikes bilateral concessional loans to SL to US$ 500 million

Dec 1 (Island) Korea has increased bilateral concessional loans for Sri Lanka, from US$ 300 million to US$ 500 million, as the two countries celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations. Extension of the Framework Agreement (FA) for Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) entrusted with Korea Eximbank, was signed in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena, in Seoul on Thursday. more..

Kohona implores Sri Lanka to make full use of OBOR

Dec 1 (CT) Veteran Sri Lankan diplomat and Colombo Managing Director of Hairong International Ltd of China, Dr. Palitha Kohona, implored Sri Lanka to make optimum economic use of China's One Belt One Road, as it sits right in the middle of it. He was delivering the welcome address of the inaugural Sri Lanka Economic and Investment Conclave (SEIC) 2017 at the Kingsbury Hotel on Tuesday night. The event was sponsored by Hairong International Ltd of China. more..

Decision to revisit resolution in the hands of UNHRC members: UNSG Spokesman

Dec 1 (Island) UNHRC could revisit resolution 30/1 titled Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in SL top UN official said. US resolution, co-sponsored by SL was adopted on Oct 1, 2015 without vote. Farhan Aziz Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for UNSG António Guterres said that decisions regarding actions taken by UNHRC were solely in the hands of the members of Human Rights Council. more..

PM’s Meelad–un–Nabi Message

Dec 1 (DN) Muslims all over the world believe that Prophet Mohamed was the Last Prophet, the one who preached a message of goodwill and peace to the world, stated PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his Milad Un Nabi message. “He lived a life exemplary to his followers, filled with kindness, love, compassion, fellowship and sharing. “He brought unity and peace to Medina in Saudi Arabia, which at the time was torn by sectorial violence and strife. Today, all Muslims gather at Medina, more..

President’s Meelad–un–Nabi Message

Dec 1 (DN) Sri Lanka is a country where people of different communities, cultures and religions live in peace and harmony. It demonstrates the joys of humanity in diversity living in coexistence and harmony, stated President Maithripala Sirisena in his message marking Milad-un-Nabi. "Since ancient times, this wonderful land has been displaying peaceful coexistence through various religious and cultural ceremonies. All these events which are celebrated under the state patronage more..

Looters as Rulers: Plans to investigate pre-2014 bond sales: PM

Dec 1 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament that the Govt plans to investigate bond issuances before 2014 that were in the form of direct placements, borrowings made without obtaining Parliamentary approval, and allegations of insider trading at the stock exchange during the Rajapaksa regime. PM, delivering a statement explaining his presence at the PCoI on the controversial CB bond issuance more..

Bribery Commission files indictments against Wimal

Dec 1 (DN) Bribery Commission yesterday filed a fresh corruption case in the Colombo High Court against former Minister and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, for the alleged unlawful acquisition of money and assets, estimated at Rs.75 million within a period of six years while serving as a Minister, during the former regime. Director General of the CIABOC alleged that the former Minister had committed this offence by way of undeclared assets between Jan 1, 2009 to Dec 31, 2014. more..

Storms wreak havoc, leave seven dead

Dec 1 (Island) Gale force winds accompanied by torrential rains which lashed most parts of the country especially the Southern Province and the central hills on Wednesday caused havoc, leaving seven persons dead and hundreds of others homeless. The seven deaths were reported from Badulla, Galle, Wattala and Kiribathgoda, according to the DMC. A 50-year-old motorcycle rider died on the Kuruwigolla-Ambalama road in Madolsima area when a tree fell on him and more..

7 dead as nature’s fury lashes Sri Lanka

Dec 1 (CT) Cyclone Ockhi swept through the country on Wednesday and Thursday killing seven persons, leaving some others missing, destroying buildings, uprooting trees, knocking out power lines and causing many millions of rupees in damage. By last evening the tropical cyclone was 340 km West of Colombo heading for the Arabian Sea. However, country will continue to experience heavy showers for another day or two, but more..

AIDS victims; they have a fundamental right to good health

Dec 2 (DM) Today is World AIDS Day and the UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé in a statement says the UN is highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.  The right to health is a fundamental human right. Everybody has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as enshrined in Int'l Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  more..

Female candidate percentage May result in Dummy candidates

Dec 2 (DM) The recent amendments introduced to the Provincial Councils Elections Act and the Local Authorities Elections Act have made it mandatory for the political parties and the independent groups contesting elections to include 30 percent and 25% of female candidates in their nomination papers respectively. All political parties seem to be struggling to find candidates, not to raise the female participation in politics but to fulfil this legal requirement. more..

BIG HOAX called Change

Dec 2 (DM) In Zimbabwe, RM walked in as the PM of independent Zimbabwe, respected and revered as their liberator. In Sri Lanka, MR walked out, still honoured as the Sinhala hero, having won a 30-year-war against Tamil separatism. But the two were ousted from power in two different ways. The ouster of RM was cheered on the streets of Harare as Zimbabwe’s second independence. The ouster of MR was applauded in Colombo more..

Looking back fondly: Ho Gana Pokuna

Dec 2 (CT) The ideology that pervades our movies is an ideology of commitment – secular, cosmopolitan, sometimes contrived, rarely felt – and they tend to constrict your vision. There’s an intense desire on the part of their directors to talk about social problems, to let us know that there are people out there who are suffering in want. It makes us want to cower before their vision, full of intentions but also full of a rift between those intentions and their production values. more..