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Essays of a lifetime by Prof. Carlo Fonseka

Mar 1 (CT) There was a time when science was just one endeavor among many for the great scientists of the world. For example, Isaac Newton was a true polymath – a celebrated master of astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, physics and theology1. Another polymath was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, more popularly known by his pen name Lewis Carroll. He was an Oxford mathematician, Anglican theologian, musician, author, publisher and political scientist to whom is attributed electoral more..

Doctors, Medical students… Members Only

Mar 1 (NS) Once upon a time in SL youngsters aspired to become doctors because they wanted to help people. But today all this appears to have changed. It seems that a good many of them simply want to help themselves. And now a segment of them appears determined to stomp on anyone else hoping to enter the medical profession. Chronicle of the opposition to a private medical school has gone on unabated for too long now. It is not as though the country’s medical sector has become more..

Norochcholai coal power plant: Pollution goes on unabated

Mar 1 (ST) The adverse repercussions on the environment leading to climate change, due to pollution from the Norochcholai coal power plant, as reported, is an exaggeration, as the CEB has taken all precautions and preventive measures to minimize environmental pollution. “The stories fabricated in the media and by various eco-groups are blatant lies as one could visit the site and get a clear picture of what is happening. more..

State reforms as a domestic policy imperative

Mar 1 (GV) Earlier this week, Parliament debated, on an adjournment motion by the TNA, the unresolved issues of the North and East, namely dealing with the effects and the causes of the war. The former requiring specific reconciliation measures, and the latter reforms of the Sri Lankan state which enables the state to accommodate the full diversity of society. The attention of the Sri Lankan polity will also be focused internationally at the UNHRC, where at its general sessions more..

Of political signatures that stay and (don’t) go away

Mar 1 (CT) Politics has as much to do with the past as with the present. That’s a given. Natural. Nothing out of the blue there. It also has to do, however, with forgotten pasts and forgotten enmities, with people who come together for the flimsiest and the most expedient reasons and with people who go their own separate ways because of the ideals they espouse. Again, nothing out of the blue there. We do not remember those who live, we remember those who died. more..

'JO members could also contest under SLFP banner'

Mar 1 (CT) Minister Faizer Mustapha, PC, said that SLFP members in the JO could also contest the forthcoming Local Govt polls under the SLFP banner. They can do that anytime. After all, they have not said that they are not SLFPers, Minister said. He also said that, despite the clarion call for Constitutional Amendments and a new Constitution, powers devolved to Northern & Eastern PCs have not been made use of. more..

Abandoned soldiers of a forgotten war!

Mar 1 (CT) The disabled servicemen have taken to the streets in protests yet again. This would make it their fourth attempt to get a proper pension. One would have thought an issue for disabled servicemen to take to the streets would be volatile enough to make the govt shake in their shoes. Men without limbs, some prostrate in makeshift beds, have all the sensation media craves. Men who have lost their limbs fighting a war that ravaged the country for 30 years have all the fodder for more..

Rajitha Senaratne

Ministers, did you understand Maithri’s motives?

Mar 1 (CT) "The President needs the assistance of Parliament to dilute the powers of Executive President. That is because it is the Parliament which has the power to amend the Constitution. Yet Parliament was unable to effect this change for the last twenty years. It is the President who is the leader of the main party that should provide the leadership to pass the Constitutional Amendment with a two-thirds majority. For that the President should take the initiative to reach more..

Editorial: Iron Ladies to the fore

Mar 1 (Island) The belated yet welcome presidential probe into the bond scams has taken a dramatic turn with the surfacing of a mystery gazette, on the sale of Treasury bonds, published with former President Rajapaksa’s name thereon nearly two years after his defeat in Jan 2015. The govt has, true to form, sought to defend the indefensible. President Sirisena has been praised for the special bond probe. But, the fact remains that he sided with the bond thieves in 2015 for political expediency. more..

Sri Lanka could be let off the hook at UNHRC

Mar 1 (BDN) Despite heavy lobbying by human rights groups against giving any reprieve to Sri Lanka, island nation is likely to be let off the hook at the current session of the UNHRC due to exigencies of international politics, diplomats stationed in Colombo believe. The expectation here is that Sri Lanka will be given more time to meet its commitments contained in the UNHRC resolution which it co-sponsored in Sept 2015. more..

Energy regulator seeks public views on Sri Lanka’s long term power plan

Mar 1 (Island) Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL), the electricity regulator of the country, has opened the platform for the general public to air their views, suggestions and inputs for the Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP) submitted by the CEB. This sustainable energy plan is targeted towards 2018-2037 with the increasing energy demand of the nation taken into its assessment. "This is the first time that we are opening the platform for public comments more..

Students shun nutritious food and dairy due to raft of social and cultural factors

Mar 1 (DR) Students in Sri Lanka are not eating healthy diets and are shunning school milk programmes due to social and cultural factors, and until these are tackled the country's double burden of malnutrition will remain, experts say. Other factors for poor diets include problems around education, living conditions, and govt health policies. Researchers from Oxford University, University of Colombo, and Australian National University found that consumption of fresh eggs and milk more..

Is Sri Lanka facing an economic crisis?

Mar 1 (Roar) In Sept last year, we discussed the possible means of escape from the looming debt trap or balance of payment crisis that Sri Lanka was on the brink of. We owed the world (and still do) a colossal Rs. 9.5 trillion in domestic and foreign debt, and the threat of a possible default still looms large. Govt’s attempts to service this debt, so far, has yet to yield any real results, and despite the IMF generous loan of USD 1.5 billion and more..

Parliament Mafia: MPs, Permits and Perfidy

Mar 1 (Island) There must be many like me, rejoicing at the RTI Act, which established its serious intent by disclosure of the perfidy surrounding the matter of Duty Free vehicle Permits issued to MPs. Much yet clearly remains to be exposed – as it is astonishingly stated that many more transfers have been effected, informally and avoiding scrutiny by the registering authority. Detailed information must be secured. Some may have simply flogged their permits. We await them all being exposed. more..

Two Pereras back in A team

Mar 1 (CT) Dashing opener Kusal Janith Perera and all rounder Thisara Perera have been included in the Sri Lanka A team for the first three ODIs against England Lions which begins on Thursday at Dambulla. The team will be lead by all rounder Milinda Siriwardane and will include Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasooriya, Kithuruwan Perera, Charith Asalanka and premier league highest run scorer Sadeera Samarawickrama who was not selected to SL Test squad despite more..

Gunaratne, Dickwella named in Test squad

Mar 1 (CI) Batsmen Asela Gunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella have been named in Sri Lanka's squad for the two-Test series against Bangladesh, following their success in limited-overs internationals over the past month. Gunaratne hit two match-winning fifties in the recent T20 series in Australia, and had also struck a maiden ODI hundred in South Africa earlier in the month. Dickwella, meanwhile, has been effective at more..

Haturusingha influenced my career: Herath

Mar 1 (Island) Sri Lanka’s interim Test captain Rangana Herath paid a tribute to his mentor Chandika Haturusingha, who invited him for Moors Sports Club when he was a 19-year-old. Herath, after a successful school career at Maliyadeva Vidyalaya, Kurunegala, joined John Keels Holdings. Chaminda Haturusingha, Chandika’s younger brother was playing for the same firm and it was he who introduced the left-arm spinner to Chandika. "I played with Chandika for ten years at Moors. more..

Peterites go out as firm favourites

Mar 1 (DN) Joseph’s College Maradana for the Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc Challenge Trophy will be played at the P. Sara Oval on Friday and Saturday. Of the 82 matches played so far the Peterites have won on 10 occasions. According to form of the two teams St. Peter’s led by dashing batsman cum Sri Lanka national under 19 player Lakshina Rodrigo who is the son of famous cricketer Priyalal Rodrigo, will be coming into this game full of confidence and with a slight edge as they are unbeaten more..

Gura to be Cricket Manager

Mar 1 (Island) The unsung hero of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup campaign, Asanka Gurusinha is set to join Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) shortly. He will join the national team ahead of the Bangladesh series as Cricket Manager while veteran Ranjit Fernando will function as Team Manager. Gurusinha, 50 and nicknamed Gura, currently lives in Melbourne having migrated to Australia in 1996 at the prime of his career, at the age of 30. more..

Compensation for Uva-Wellassa rebels

Mar 1 (CT) Those whose properties were confiscated by British colonialists for taking part in the 1818 Uva rebellion will also be removed from the list of traitors, a member of the five-member committee set up to evaluate the list, Dr. Pradeep Weerasinghe said. He noted that primary preference was given to those who lost their lives or were deported during the Uva–Wellassa struggle when striking names off the list of traitors and declaring them national heroes, while more..

Contempt action on Ven. Gnanasara: Charge sheet read in Open Court

Mar 1 (FT) Court of Appeal overruled the preliminary objection by the Respondent Ven. Gnanasara Thero with the contempt matter against him and charge sheet was read in the open Court. The Bench comprising Justice Vijith Malalgoda and Justice Padman Surasena fixed the matter for argument on 16 May. Court of Appeal on 27 Sept directed the Attorney General to consider to amend the summons if necessary against Ven. Gnanasara Thera with particulars of his alleged offensive more..

JICA kicks-off study to formulate plans for developing Kandy city

Mar 1 (LBO) UDA together with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today commenced a study to formulate detailed plans for developing historic Kandy city. The study will formulate the urban development vision and detailed urban plans towards enhancing the attractiveness of Kandy as a historic and touristic city. JICA said that the study is conducted under their technical cooperation and they will also support more..

42,100 kg of rice sans MRP caught in Pettah

Mar 1 (FT)  As the month of February came to a close, Sri Lanka’s apex consumer protector the CAA reported 2,064 monthly raids on errant rice sellers across the country. In the 48 hours ending 27 Feb 42,100 kg rice hoarded by errant sellers were also netted. “Rice sellers are also required to obey Maximum Retail Prices imposed by CAA,” stressed Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on 28 Feb. He was in discussion with his top officials on 28 Feb on the latest raids by the CAA under him. more..

‘Way forward for exchanges in South Asia’

Mar 1 (Island)  First of all let me begin by thanking the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) for hosting this important event and for the invitation extended by SAFE for me to deliver the keynote address. I believe this is a much needed platform to deliberate on the Way forward for Exchanges in South Asia which is the theme of this year’s forum. South Asia remains the fastest-growing region in the world as reported by the World Bank with economic growth forecasted to accelerate more..

UK parliament debates Sri Lanka's progress in human rights issues

Mar 1 (UKP) British parliament debated the human rights in Sri Lanka and the 34th session of the UNHRC, as Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Geneva apprised the Council of the progress the country has made in fulfilling the key promises made by the Govt in 2015 to address accountability, human rights protections and reconciliation. Opening the debate Conservative MP James Berry, chairman of the all-party more..

UK says give Sri Lanka time to fully implement resolution

Mar 1 (CG) British Govt told UNHRC to give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution. British Minister for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alok Sharma, told the Council during the high-level segment he welcomes Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s constructive engagement at the UNHRC. “We must give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution and post-conflict measures required to embed stability, more..

Ravi bound for Welikada: PHU

Mar 1 (CT) Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) warned Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, that he should be prepared to go to jail shortly, for having allegedly produced bogus documents concerning the sale of Central Bank Bonds during the term of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was the then Finance Minister. PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila said that Karunanayake would have imprisoned had the charges been brought against Karunanayake during the last presidential election. more..

We will go the distance: Mangala tells UN

Mar 1 (FT) In the face of mounting criticism about the pace of reform and setbacks in the transitional justice process, Sri Lanka told the UN yesterday about dilemmas the Govt was confronting as it attempted to lead a war-torn and divided country on a journey of reckoning with a violent past. Govt of Sri Lanka was facing fire from extremists on both sides of the ethnic divide as it grapples with delivering on its reconciliation more..

Heroes of 1818 rebellion to become patriots today

Mar 1 (GDI) The historic ceremony to declare about 82 heroes of the 1818 Uva-Wellassa Rebellion, who were sentenced to the capital punishment and were expatriated, as patriots will be held today in Kandy under the patronage of President Sirisena. President will sign the gazette declaring these 82 heroes of the 1818 rebellion as patriots at this historic ceremony named Uththamaabhiwandana, which is organized by Department of Govt Information. It will be held at 4 p.m. at the Magul Maduwa in Kandy. more..

Video: Govt maintains direct contacts with underworld: Dullas

Mar 1 (AD) Joint Opposition accused the govt of maintaining contacts with the underworld figures. JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma pointed out with the present situation, certain underworld figures who had fled the country during the previous govt have returned. “The govt maintains direct contacts with them,” he said. MP also pointed out, this circumstance poses a threat to the safety of former President Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

JO wants Finance Minister sacked for lying

Mar 1 (Island) MEP MP Dinesh Gunawardena urged President to remove Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake from his current position for being a liar who misled the public and therefore he was not suitable to hold that position. In a statement issued by Finance Minister Karunanayake he has accused former president Rajapaksa over the failure of the CB to gazette treasury bond issues and comply with proper procedure. more..

COI on bond scam to visit CB today

Mar 1 (FT) The members of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI), looking into irregularities in respect to the issuance of Treasury bonds, will visit the Central Bank today and witness the auction process as part of its investigation. Secretary to the Commission notified Governor of CB that three members of the COI, accompanied by representatives of the Attorney General’ s Department assisting them, would visit Central Bank to ascertain the procedure adopted more..

SAITM shooting: Dullas claims top MP behind attack

Mar 1 (CT) JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma says that the person behind the premeditated attack on SAITM University CEO Dr. Sameera Senaratne is not a regional politician but a frontline MP, who is noted for his dealings with the underworld. MP said he hoped that the Police would have the spunk to expose the MP concerned instead of placing the blame on a regional politician. He added that the onus for revealing the truth, behind the staged incident, currently lies with the PM and more..

MR can’t be implicated in bond scam by issuing gazette in his name-top lawyer

Mar 1 (Island) Senior lawyer Chrishmal Warnasuriya, said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had been the minister of finance and policy planning of the previous administration, couldn’t be implicated in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) bond scam currently under investigation. Issue in question is the CBSL decision to accept Rs. 10 bn worth of bonds as against the advertised amount of Rs.1 bn. more..

Should culprits be charged under Anti-Ragging Act or for attempted murder?

Mar 1 (DM) How do you describe a group of senior students forcibly taking freshers to an isolated house in the dead of night, stripping them naked, and assaulting them for no reason? Aren’t they brutal criminals? Why should they be described as raggers just because they are uni students? But that is how things stand. 15 Peradeniya Uni students were arrested last week at a house in Galaha while they were allegedly torturing the freshers under the guise of initiating them into university life. more..

Hang down your head in shame need not be Tom Dooley

Mar 1 (DM) Faults lie in keeping mum to suffer in silence: watching holders of high office thwart the law is a prime injustice uncontained. Do not take sprats on - when the whales are there for the asking. Most fear, understandably: few don’t. Come on guys, to the forefront. The Constitution is crystal clear [Article 111 (2) (a)]. The President of Sri Lanka, on the recommendation of the JSC, makes the appointment of High Court judges. In doing so, it is imperative that the JSC consults more..

'Outdated economic policies cannot deliver the goods'

Mar 1 (DM) Dr. Sarath Amunugama discusses the current economic and political situation of the country and the debt trap Sri Lanka is in right now. Q: The unity govt announced that Sri Lanka was in a debt trap of Rs. 9 trillion by the time it took over the administration from the MR regime. What is the current position? A: According to the CB figures, the total outstanding govt debt as at end of August 2016 was Rs. 9,316.569 billion. more..

'Military victory over LTTE The first step towards the broader goal of reconciliation'

Mar 1 (DM) Former Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, in an exclusive interview with by email, affirms that Sri Lanka is important to India not only on geopolitical reasons but also as a multi-ethnic democracy. He was part of the troika mechanism established in India and Sri Lanka for diplomatic engagements for vital and crucial decision making during the last phase of the war that ended in 2009. more..

Suspected Facebook friend turned rapist gathered trove of child porn

Mar 1 (ST) Two youth who allegedly raped a girl and her sister and extorted money from them after building up a friendship via Facebook are being held in remand custody until March 9. The suspects were arrested by the Cyber Crime Division of the CID this week after the victim’s father made complaint. A senior officer investigator said the chief suspect and his friend, both aged 24, are from Meethotumulla, Kolonnawa. more..