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J. B. Disanayake

Aghast at CBK’s position in war crimes

Feb 3 (CT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK) has stated that there is no need for a war crimes probe and that the need is for a new constitution. I have respected Madam CBK over the years and supported her in many ways. However, in this she is wrong; absolutely wrong! CBK heads the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR). There can be neither unity nor reconciliation when there is no justice for those civilians who were butchered by both sides during the war more..

Croton eating humans

Feb 3 (CT) Mutton eating crotons was, sometimes, an unfair phrase used to describe a certain section of the community in the island, especially in the 1970s, for their alleged illiteracy of the Queen's English. The noun mutton, perhaps, exaggeratedly, imputed that that particular community, did not know the difference between the live animal, the goat, and its meat on the table, identified as mutton. When goats used to eat the fence which sometimes comprised croton plants, more..

Tourist arrivals break record for January

Feb 3 (LBO) Tourist arrivals grew by 13% reaching 219,360 visitors last month, which is an all time record for January, despite the partial airport closure. Ministry has been spearheading efforts to mitigate the fallout from the daytime closure of the BIA in order to facilitate rehabilitation of the two decade old runway. “This performance has laid to rest fears that the partial airport closure will have an adverse impact more..

MR’s security vehicle in mishap

Feb 3 (CT) A security convoy, assigned to JO and SLFP MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, had met with an accident in the Kiribathkumbura area of the Peradeniya Police Division, Police sources said. A defender carrying STF soldiers, assigned to provide security to the former President, had crashed into a three-wheeler at around 6.30 last morning, Police said. The driver of the three-wheeler who was injured in the accident had been admitted to the Peradeniya Hospital. more..

SLFP and govt would protect Auditor General: Dayasiri

Feb 3 (DN) SLFP and the Govt would protect the Auditor General as he is an impartial govt officer, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said. “The Auditor General has rendered a commendable service so far, but if he commits any mistake we would criticize him” the Minister added. “He cannot investigate into treasury bond issuance numbering 2300 occasions at once. It had taken him three months to prepare the report on the inquiry into the questioned Treasury Bond issue. more..

Indian entrepreneurs suggest suitable strategies for industrializing Jaffna

Feb 3 (ENS) Indian entrepreneurs who participated in the Jaffna International Trade Fair held here between Jan 27 and 29, have suggested strategies to industrialize Jaffna and the rest of Northern Province making use of local resources and talent. Amandeep Azad of Azad Engineering Company of Gaziabad, who manufactures small and medium sized machines to process coconuts and make coconut based more..

SL to set up industrial park with India: PM

Feb 3 (EN) Sri Lanka and India will set up a joint venture industrial park in the North Central province, close to the expressway that is being built, PM Ranil Wickramasinghe said. The govt has identified an 800-acre site in Bingiriya, about 76 kilometres from the capital Colombo, to build. PM said Andrapradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and a Sri Lankan firm that runs an industrial estate in Sapugaskande near Colombo were in talks to operate the zone. more..

No fees for right to information requests

Feb 3 (CT) As the Right to Information Act becomes operational today in Sri Lanka after more than fifteen years of struggle by citizens and the media, Colombo Telegraph learns that in terms of the Fee Schedule laid down by the Right to Information (RTI) Commission, no fees can be charged by Public Authorities when RTI requests are submitted. This is a change from many countries elsewhere in the world where a fee has to be paid at the very first stage itself. more..

MIG investigation reaches final stage: FCID yet to get green light for Gota's arrest

Feb 3 (AM) The FCID's investigation into the controversial MIG deal has now reached its final stages, highly placed Police sources said. They further added that the FCID is waiting for the green light from political authorities to arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in connection with the investigation. President last year, announced at a public meeting that he should be kept informed, before arresting high-profile more..

Gotabaya responsible for making Colombo a clean city: SB

Feb 3 (AD) Minister S. B. Dissanayake says that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was responsible for transforming Colombo into a really clean city. He stated that except for Japan no other Asian country has a city as clean as Colombo.  He stated that the cleanness of Colombo city should be replicated across the country and that cities need to be kept clean without littering with even a piece of paper. Dissanayake said that if the people living in cities are ready for this, more..

Queen Elizabeth extends wishes on Independence Day

Feb 3 (DM) Queen Elizabeth II in a message on Sri Lanka’s 69th Independence Day has extended her best wishes for the good fortune and happiness of the people of Sri Lanka in the coming year. “It gives me great pleasure to send Your Excellency Maithripala Sirisena my congratulations on the celebration of your National Day, together with my best wishes for the good fortune and happiness of the people of Sri Lanka in the coming year,” the Queen said in the message. more..

Tamil Nadu seeks Modi's intervention for release of fishermen

Feb 3 (PTI) TN govt today sought the Centre's intervention for the release of 14 Indian fishermen arrested by SL navy on Sunday, and raised the issue of financial package for the community. "Yesterday's arrest showed Lankan authorities had resorted to familiar tactics of harassing and intimidating fishermen from TN while they fish in their traditional fishing waters in the Palk Bay," Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said more..

Health Minister cancels tender for importing cancer drug

Feb 3 (AD) Minister Rajitha Senaratne today stated that the tender granted for the importation of the cancer treatment drug Nimotuzumab, has been cancelled as per his instructions. He said that the cancellation was a direct consequence of the numerous complaints that were made against the company responsible for the importation of the drug, with regard to alleged misconduct.  Police investigations are underway to look into the accusations made against the company more..

Video: Parachuter injured during Independence Day rehearsals

Feb 3 (AD) A Sri Lanka Navy officer has reportedly been injured and hospitalized due to an accident during the Independence Day rehearsals at the Galle Face Green in Colombo this morning (3). The incident had occurred while navy personnel were rehearsing parachute drops from a helicopter. The navy officer, who reportedly sustained severe injuries to his legs in the incident, has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital and is receiving treatment in the ICU.  more..

Taxi driver wins case without lawyer

Feb 3 (DM) A trishaw driver who defended himself in the Gampola Magistrate Court was acquitted of all charges levelled against him, by Magistrate Chandani Meegoda. Gampola Police had filed action against him on charges of driving under the influence of liquor and obstructing the duty of the police on April 20, 2014. The case had had first been heard by then Gampola Magistrate Upul Rajakaruna and later by present Magistrate more..

De Villiers hopeful pitch will not aid SL

Feb 3 (CI) Wanderers will look like the Wanderers on Saturday, which is hardly startling news except if you saw it two weeks ago during the second T20 between South Africa and Sri Lanka. The surface was dry, cracked and took turn, the hosts criticised it for resembling Colombo, Sri Lanka had them in the spin and levelled the three-match series. There will be none of that again. Even if groundsman Bethuel Buthelezi has not been given any instructions, he would have heard stand-in T20 skipper more..

Raviraj's daughter to enter politics From TNA

Feb 3 (AM) Praviinaa Raviraj, 25 year old daughter of former MP and lawyer Nadarajah Raviraj, is to enter politics. She has decided to join politic, following an official invitation by the TNA. She is to take membership of the party soon. TNA sources also said that she would receive a post in charge of youth affairs. She will be contesting in the next general election, on the TNA ticket. Praviinaa is a past student of Bishop's College and recently returned from UK more..

Sri Lanka arrests seven over conch theft

Feb 3 (BBC) Police in eastern SL have seized a rare right-handed conch shell which they suspect was going to be sold illegally. Seven people are in custody after appearing in court, charged with trying to sell the 18-inch shell. Police say the conch might have fetched $70,000 (£60,000). Its sale is banned under an international convention. It is feared that SL is emerging as a hub for the illegal export of rare seashells. more..

FR against Hambantota framework agreement fixed for support

Feb 3 (DN) The Fundamental Rights petition filed by MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara seeking an order to quash the Framework Agreement entered into by the Govt of Sri Lanka with two Chinese companies was fixed for support on February 13 by Supreme Court. When the petition was taken up, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam appearing for the Sri Lanka Port Authority informed Court that the MOU pertaining to the Hambantota harbour had been signed in 2012. more..

Largest collection of cave paintings found at Siyambalanduwa

Feb 3 (Island) Latest Archeological investigations have found the largest collection of primary cave paintings at Siyambalanduwa in the Moneragala District recently. The ongoing archeological studies had been accelerated by applying latest technologies under a concept of subject minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. Archeological experts engage an excavation at Wettambugala, Kuleyaya in the Siyambalanduwa DS area found around 200–300 paintings and it is the largest collection. more..

Video: Can’t solve Tamil issue by chasing me away: CV

Feb 3 (DM) NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said that the Tamil people’s issues couldnot be solved by chasing him away. Replying to a statement made by Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, he made this remark at a function held in Vavuniya to declare open new two-storey building of the Vavuniya South Sinhala Pradeshiya Sabha. “Minister Jayasekara recently said that I should be banished from Northern Province. more..

Hope leaders will understand the true meanings of freedom: MR

Feb 3 (AD) On this year’s Independence Day, it is my hope that our political leaders will make an attempt to understand the true meanings of freedom and sovereignty, former President Rajapaksa says. All politicians should ask themselves on this 69th independence day whether we gained independence from colonial rule only to divide the unitary state that even the colonial powers had left intact when they left, into unviable provincial units and to sell every valuable national asset more..

Cabinet reshuffle?

Feb 3 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have agreed on the need for a cabinet reshuffle, Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Atukorale said. Speaking to the media in Kantale today, She said that now is the best time for a cabinet reshuffle. The Minister said that a reshuffle would mean some Ministers will get different portfolios to what they hold at present. Atukorale says she sees nothing wrong in a cabinet reshuffle and no Minister should be worried about it. more..

Foreign Minister meets Ethiopian President

Feb 3 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera called on Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome, at the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa. Sri Lanka is working on new policy of restoring friendship with traditional friends and allies, and building stronger relations with the African region. The decision to set up a Sri Lankan consulate in Ethiopian was made with Ethiopia emerging as the diplomatic and political capital of Africa, more..

Memo One On Reconciliation

Feb 4 (CT) It is a commonplace in reviews of the ethnic conflict at the popular level of web comment for the blame to be heaped on our politicians in the past, and particularly on SWRD Bandaranaike. This is over-simplistic. Such processes are complex and demand a multi-factorial analysis. The focus on ideologues also neglects structural factors that contributed substantially to the deepening of pre-existing ethnic identities/loyalties in the post 1945 era [note 1945]. more..

When will SL become a country of unity ?

Feb 4 (CT) Sri Lanka, being a multi-racial country, has different aspects of culture and way of living. The Centre with the majority race cannot understand the aspirations of the other minority races. What is required is a co-ordination between the Centre and the Units. Centre should realize that the minorities are also a segment of the country’s population and as such they are also close partners in the collective decision making. The Centre in the USA, Canada, India, Malaysia, Switzerland, etc, more..

'GSP is a chocolate coated cyanide capsule'

Feb 4 (CT) UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane says that the govt has brought the economy to such a quagmire that there is no hope of recovery. Here, he is in conversation. Q: What are your thoughts on the Treasury Bond Scam and what are the real economic losses? A: There was never a secret and there is nothing to hide. On the day of it happening, within hours and minutes, all the money markets, stock markets and more..

On the edge of a precipice

Feb 4 (DN) The pot of water is boiling. The crab in it is swimming, oblivious to the predicament that awaits it. The predicament of our people and the country at the present juncture also looks similar. We are on the edge of a precipice. The economy is in disaster mode. The fact is we are a heavily indebted nation. In fact it has been so for some time. In 2015 our total external debt was US$ 44.8 billon. A leading economist disclosed at a seminar that debt commitments would double in 2019. more..

Bangladesh Coast Guard Ship Tajuddin at Trinco port

Feb 4 (SLN) Bangladesh Coast Guard Ship Tajuddin arrived at the Port of Trincomalee on a goodwill visit today (3). The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Hasan Tarikue called on the Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah at the Eastern Naval Command Headquarters followed by a cordial discussion. Mementoes were also exchanged to mark this occasion. more..

Barriers or failures : Is the spirit of entrepreneurship missing in Jaffna?

Feb 4 (DN) It is one of the biggest trade fairs to come to Jaffna. Over 60,000 people have visited the 350 stalls in the three days the Jaffna Int'l Trade Fair was held last week. Crowds thronged the stalls, admiring the merchandise and indulging on all the food stalls, few however have made use of the opportunity to build trade links and improve their businesses. Answer is simple- there are few entrepreneurs left to invest. more..

Why Sri Lanka will never be Singapore

Feb 4 (FT) If I had a dollar for every time somebody said Sri Lanka should be like Singapore, I’d be a rich man. The odd thing is most of those people have never visited Singapore. Somehow we are made to believe Singapore as the perfect development standard, a utopian state where everything is so organised, a chewing-gum-less world, and a heavenly place where its people live happily ever after. But that’s a different debate. There is an urban myth that father of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew more..

Independence and Muslim support

Feb 4 (CT) Crucial Muslim support facilitated the process of Sri Lanka gaining independence from British in 1948 and help end almost four and half centuries of European colonial rule in the island. Many still remember the leading role played by Muslims leaders such as Dr. T.B. Jayah, Sir Razik Fareed, Dr. M.C.M. Kaleel and Dr. Badiuddin Mahmud in the constitutional reforms of this country and their enthusiastic support for the demand of the Dominion Status and independence. more..


Sri Lanka-UAE: Paving the route to a harmonious relationship

Feb 4 (KT) Many freedom struggles of humankind have aggrandised the story of human progress. We Sri Lankans too have inherited a long history of such struggles that brings forth memories of grief and glory, from the times of our Kings to that of modern democracy. The nation is indebted to our forebears, whose selfless sacrifice of sweat and blood has brought about the freedom in which we breathe today. It is at a challenging and decisive moment, that we celebrate the 69th Independence anniversary this year. more..

Independence and lost opportunities

Feb 4 (NS) Sixty-nine years have lapsed since our country got its independence from Britain. Every year we have been celebrating it. Each time as the day approaches many questions come into our minds. One of the legitimate questions is whether independence has served its intended purpose. From the people’s point of view how much of their expectations have been met. In many areas there seem to be gaps. When we look back, it is mostly a case of lost opportunities. more..

Sri Lanka’s South African safari a disaster

Feb 4 (NS) The way the Sri Lankan cricket team is faring on the current tour of South Africa has raised many questions on how the sport has been taken care of by the self-styled guardians over the past decade. The Test series has been lost 3-0 and now it looks as if the team could suffer a 5-0 drubbing in the ODI series given the 2-0 lead that South Africa has taken in the 5-match series. One need not seek a fortune teller to know more..

Gunning for Sumanthiran

Feb 4 (CT) Plans to assassinate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran, who is a confidant of TNA Leader and Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan, have been unearthed by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) with the arrest of five suspects. The preliminary investigation carried out by the TID has brought to light that the assassination plot was hatched with the involvement of certain pro-LTTE activists abroad. more..

Playing politics with Sumanthiran plot

Feb 4 (DM) The news on the assassination attempt on MP and TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran that was broken by the Daily Mirror on Jan 21 has put many political parties in a difficult position. According to the news item and the feature article by veteran journalist D.B.S. Jeyaraj, who is domiciled in Canada, the plot to harm the TNA’s rising star had been hatched by the Norway based LTTE activists and many people seem struggling to corroborate it with their ideologies. more..

Govt has plans to win future challenges in health sector: President

Feb 4 (PSL) President Mathripala Sirisena says Sri Lanka has been acknowledged as a country which has been freed from Malaria, elephantiasis and polio in its task to produce healthy people. He said the current govt has plans to win future challenges in the health sector. President was speaking at a ceremony to open the newly built cardiac and thoracic unit of the Cooperative Hospital of Galle today (2). more..