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Maithripala Sirisena

Building resilience: Responding to cyber violence in Sri Lanka

Feb 2 (GV) She strikes a pose for the camera; arms akimbo, looking determined, her gaze locked into the distance. Watching her, the group laughs and shouts words of encouragement. The atmosphere is light and supportive. Yet, just five minutes later, one of the girls being photographed talks about the anxiety she feels, whenever she posts photos of herself online. I feel like everyone’s watching everything you’re doing. Even what you wear… it sends a message,” Deshani Dharmadasa more..

Natural rain water drainage in Colombo

Feb 2 (Island) In the past good or bad the rain water flowing across the ground in Colombo, eventually found its way into the Beira, and through over flows into the sea or were directed to out falls into the sea. Pollution into the Beira through illegal outlets have been curtailed and outlets for rain water are maintained. There is an outfall into the sea located adjacent to the old House of Representatives and President’s office. It functioned well as it regulated, controlled & maintained water level in Beira. more..

Toxic stationery, toys

Feb 2 (SO) A few days ago, (Jan 23) The Sri Lanka Customs took an unexpected forward step in the path towards eliminating sub quality toys and stationery imports into the country to mark International Customs Day 2018. It destroyed goods worth over Rs 130,000 including toys, stationery, phone accessories, pharmaceuticals and automobile parts. All of them were counterfeit pirated goods, part of a large haul of such goods said to be valued at more..

Eshan Pieris wins Rotax Invitational Race in Malaysia again

Feb 2 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Eshan Pieris once again lived up to his billing as one of Asia’s best karters by winning the Rotax Invitational Race 2018 held in Malaysia last week. This came hot on the heels of his brilliant performance at the X30 Asia Cup 2018 held on the preceding weekend in Bandaragama, Sri Lanka where he took second place in the senior category in a hard-fought race with his nemesis Prassetyo Hardja of Indonesia. Driving in the DD2 class, the Qualifying saw Eshan, more..

Special committee recommends fewer athletes

Feb 2 (CT) The five-member committee appointed by Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara for the Selection of the contingent for the Commonwealth Games 2018 had recommended to reduce the number to 33 athletes from the original list of 88 proposed by the National Olympic Committee. Accordingly, the committee had recommended not to send athletes for Badminton, Cycling, Gymnastic, Table Tennis and Rugby stating lack of performance in those sports. more..

Sri Lanka's civil war through a Tamil lens

Feb 2 (AJ) Jude Ratnam was five years old when he fled the SL capital, Colombo, with his family. In 1983, tensions between Sri Lanka's majority-Sinhalese govt and minority Tamils erupted in a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009. The bloody conflict claimed about 100,000 lives, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and left indelible scars on the nation. In 2006, Ratnam enrolled to study cinema and filmmaking. more..

Nimali clinches Asia Indoor bronze

Feb 2 (CT) Despite the frustrating air ticket drama the other day, middle distance specialist Nimali Liyanarachchi sealed the Bronze medal in the 800m at the Asian Indoor Athletic Championship which started in Tehran, Iran yesterday. Nimali clocked 2 minutes 10.83 seconds and finished just 0.02 seconds behind China's Silver medallist Zhiying Hu. Another Chinese athlete Chunyu Wang won the Gold in 2 min 09.30 sec. Gayanthika Abeyratne who won the Gold medal in 2:05.12 sec more..

Another high performance programme inaugurated by SLC

Feb 2 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is focusing on inculcating a culture of sound nutrition and a fitness regime across the first class and for emerging cricket players in Sri Lanka, in order to produce cricketers, who can consistently perform at the highest level in the game. Rob Chave, SLC's Manager of Physical Performance who is operating from the High Performance Centre at Khettarama Stadium says in order to realize the objective, SLC is currently working towards encouraging more..

Royal couple lays foundation stone for SLTA’s new Tennis Complex

Feb 2 (DN) Prince Edward Earl of Wessex and Countess Sophie who will be the chief guests at Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day celebrations representing Her Majesty the Queen made a historic visit to the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) yesterday to lay the foundation stone for a modern tennis complex at Green Path. The proposed tennis complex will have five indoor and six floodlit outdoor courts with all modern facilities, more..

Protecting wetlands: Lessons from Sri Lanka and Maldives

Feb 2 (WB) SL & Maldives share much more than the tag of tourism hot spots, beautiful beaches, and similar cultural traits. Both island nations have a range of unique environments that are rich in biodiversity and serve a myriad of ecosystems functions. Both countries are home to rich wetlands that contain a variety of fauna and flora and benefit the ecosystem, including flood protection, water purification, and natural air conditioning and provide food and support to local communities. more..

Singer revenue tops Rs. 51.5 billion despite tough business conditions

Feb 2 (Island) Singer (SL) PLC announced its Group results for the year ended Dec 31, 2017. The results showed an increase in Group revenue of 9.8 % compared to the previous year, with Group Revenue exceeding Rs. 51.5 Billion in spite of tough business conditions. The continuous drought in the dry zone resulted in a sharp drop in the harvest eroding the purchasing power of a large segment dependent on agriculture. Customer purchasing power was further affected by increased VAT, more..

Amnesty for illegal foreign workers: 15,447 Lankan illegals in Kuwait

Feb 2 (CT) Some 15,000-plus Sri Lankans living and working illegally in Kuwait will now have the opportunity to leave that country without being penalized during a month long amnesty, offered to foreign nationals, the industry said. There are an estimated 15,447 Sri Lankans working and living illegally in that country at present and they should use the amnesty to return home or risk heavy penalties or even jail terms, more..

Empire teas clinch awards at National Tea Awards

Feb 2 (Island) Empire Teas, the premier tea exporter ranked among the top three in the country added two further laurels to its name at the recently concluded National Tea Awards organized by the Sri Lanka Tea Board. Having closed out a successful year, Empire Teas clinched the accolades for the second largest Bulk Tea Exporter and the second Highest Foreign Exchange Earner. Following a difficult year for the tea industry in 2016, where production volumes and revenue figures more..

IPS highlights the importance of developing skills in Sri Lanka graduates

Feb 2 (IPS) While Sri Lanka has been performing well at the primary education level, significant policy gaps exist when it comes to secondary and tertiary education, IPS revealed recently. IPS research indicates that only 35% of the age 15 and above population has completed upper-secondary education in Sri Lanka, and only 13.3% had completed tertiary education. Meanwhile, the Labour Demand Survey (LDS) conducted by the Department of Census & Statistics has found more..

National Economic Council to draw input from multiple stakeholders

Feb 2 (FT) The newly-established high-powered National Economic Council (NEC) is to draw inputs from multiple stakeholders to ensure sound policies to steer socioeconomic growth. Its Secretary General and Chief Economist Prof. Lalith Samarakoon said that the council, which is chaired by Prez Sirisena and also includes PM, will shortly appoint an advisory board akin to a think tank focusing on four themes more..

Too late for Ravi to resign; damage already done: Ranjan

Feb 2 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said it was too late for UNP assistant leader Ravi Karunanayake to step down because the damage had already been done to the party. He said what the Bond Commission said in its report about Mr. Karunanayake had tarnished the image of the UNP and this would result in the party losing the floating votes. However, deputy minister said he would extol party leadership for initiating action to remove Mr. Karunanayake from post of assistant leader. more..

Walkers Colombo Shipyard launches fourth vessel Sea Gulf 3

Feb 2 (Island) Walkers Colombo Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of MTD Walkers PLC, has successfully completed the construction of its fourth vessel, a 10 ton bollard pull tug Seagulf 3. The Tug designed and constructed entirely by in-house team of highly skilled naval architects and engineers under the guidance of Dr. Sarath Obeysekera, Managing Director of Walkers Colombo Shipyard, was launched on 25`h January at the Walkers Colombo Shipyard in Mutwal Harbour. more..

EC warns against voter buying

Feb 2 (FT) The Election Commission (EC) cautioned the public against falling prey to election fraudsters, warning of severe action against anyone who was caught buying or selling votes. With monetary rewards already being offered by some candidates for votes to be cast in their favour, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya is taking steps to implement stricter laws at polling stations during the upcoming Local Govt Elections. more..

'Not an ounce of human talent will be wasted'

Feb 2 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged not to waste even an ounce of human talent in Sri Lanka when he addressed employees of WNS Global Services (Pvt) Ltd, one of the pioneer IT-BPM operators in Sri Lanka. Quoting Parakramabahu the Great that not one single drop of water would be allowed to flow to the sea without being fully utilized, Wickremesinghe said his govt would employ a similar approach towards the country’s talent pool. Premier said that IT and related industries more..

Parliament debate won't be concluded on Feb 6: Speaker

Feb 2 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya stressed that though Parliament would take the bond report and the PRECIFAC report for debate next Tuesday (6) as decided by party leaders, that does not mean that the debate would be concluded the same day. Mr. Jayasuriya in an announcement pointed out that it was up to the party leaders to allocate more dates to debate the two reports if they so desired and added it was pertinent to clarify on the comments made by certain media institutions more..

Feb 10 LG polls: Monitors decry threat to deny funds to councils won by Opp.

Feb 2 (Island) PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi assured that he would take up with National Election Commission (NEC) the contentious issue of ruling coalition threatening to deny funds for those councils won by SLPP at LG polls. The Island sought an explanation from Hettiarachchi, who also represents March 12 Movement meant to restore public confidence in the electoral system more..

Hollywood actress and UNICEF Goodwill envoy Ashley Judd here next week

Feb 2 (FT) Award-winning Hollywood actress, writer, and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd, will be in SL for a short mission next week. During her visit to SL, Judd will engage with women and girls from different backgrounds, to learn about their livelihoods and views on gender-based violence. She will also meet with stakeholders from the public sector, private sector, and donor community, to highlight the importance of investing in the reproductive health and rights of people. more..

SLFP will never allow stripping of MR’s civic rights: Dilan

Feb 2 (FT) State Minister Dilan Perera says that the SLFP will never agree to the stripping of civic rights of former President Rajapaksa or anyone else. He stated that as long as Prez Sirisena is the leader of the SLFP, nobody will be allowed to do so as it is not the policy of the party. He also claimed that a massive political conspiracy is being carried out by SLPP and UNP behind the scenes in order to weaken the program being carried out to strengthen the SLFP-led alliance, before the election. more..

Harsha defends govt economic policies

Feb 2 (FT) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva came out fighting for the UNP’s management of the economy, insisting that the party had managed to stabilise the economy over the last three years while asserting that the reins would not be taken over by President Maithripala Sirisena. Minister said that one of the main tasks of the current Govt was the repayment and management of national debt. more..

Bribe costs Constable his civic rights

Feb 2 (DN) A Police Constable was yesterday sentenced to ten-years-Rigorous Imprisonment and ordered to be deprived of his civic rights for seven years by the Colombo High Court after he was found guilty of accepting a bribe. The accused Jayasiri Dissanayake was further ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 20,000 by High Court Judge Gihan Kulathunga for accepting a bribe of Rs. 20,000 to avoid legal action being taken against a resident of Dematagoda for having a dengue mosquito breeding place. more..

HC extends freeze on PTL accounts

Feb 2 (DM) The Colombo High Court yesterday made an order extending the freeze of all bank accounts of the Perpetual Group associated with Arjun Aloysius by one month, sources said. Following an application made by the Attorney General on behalf of the CID, the High Court extended the order made last week by the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the CBSL freezing the operations of bank accounts of all 24 companies within the Perpetual group. more..

SLFP mulls ousting Ranil as PM after polls

Feb 2 (Island) SLFP yesterday said under the current circumstances a new Prime Minister should be appointed, replacing incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe after the conclusion of LG polls on Feb. 10. SLFP Spokesman State Minister Dilan Perera said such a move would be possible if the UNP faced an electoral setback. If UNP obtained a majority it wouldn’t be possible to achieve that objective, he added. more..

Much to celebrate on RTI

Feb 2 (DM) Amidst the Govt’s Independence Day events and excitement over next week’s elections to341 local councils, quiet and gradual steps in bringing about a better standard of governance have gone almost unnoticed during the previous months. Tomorrow Sri Lanka marks one year of the operationalization of the Right to Information Act. There is much to celebrate about RTI. Globally acclaimed as the third best RTI law and the first in the region, Act’s impact on the public service more..

70 years of Independence: We need to move from confrontation to compromise

Feb 2 (DM) It’s now 70 decades since the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ broke free from the bondage of colonial rule. Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), which was subjected to one of the longest periods of foreign occupation from 1505 to 1948, had a very smooth transition to the democratic parliamentary system. In contrast to many other colonies both in the region and beyond, there was no violent struggle for independence nor was the transfer of power marred by racial or religious turbulence. more..

Who stole the anti-corruption drive?

Feb 2 (DM) A whole week was spent or wasted for a debate on the Parliamentary debate over the reports of Presidential Commissions on the controversial CB bond tractions between 2015 and 2016 and serious frauds committed during the previous regime. Two reports, though accidentally as Prez Sirisena claimed were handed over to him by the members of the two Commissions almost at the same time (within a week). more..

‘We aren’t eager to split the Unity Govt'

Feb 2 (DM) Minister Mano Ganesan spoke about the importance of the LG Elections and the future of the country. Ganesan, who is also the leader of the TPA, said that his party had grown and is a force to be reckoned with. Q: Against the backdrop of diatribe between the UNP and SLFP, what do you feel about the future as a leader of a minority party aligned with the Govt? A: I am worried, but not excited. more..

Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thera hospitalised

Feb 2 (DM) The Ven. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thera was admitted to the Kalubowila Hospital this morning after he was injured in an alleged attack by the temple’s elephant. A Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya spokesman said the monk was found lying near the elephant after having slipped while feeding the elephant in the morning or pushed aside by the animal. The monk was rushed to the hospital by the devotees who were present more..

7 iconic teledramas in SL’s television history

Feb 2 (Roar) It was only 39-years ago that television was introduced to the tiny isle of Sri Lanka. Businessmen Anil Wijewardene and Shan Wickremasinghe established the country’s first television station—the Independent Television Network (ITN), which started broadcasting on 15 April, 1979. ITN remained independent for two monthly only, before the govt of SL, under the aegis of President J.R. Jayawardene, took over more..

Attacks on female candidates: A landmark achievement turns sour

Feb 2 (DM) Over the past weeks female candidates have been subjected to attacks ranging from verbal abuse, psychological abuse to physical violence. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has received 34 complaints regarding violence against females during elections. In total 421 complaints have been received regarding election violence. However, activists point out that the number could be more as more..

Female politicos get chance to prove their worth

Feb 2 (ST) Sri Lankan women contesting the local elections in large numbers amid obstructions and challenges this year will take a step towards greater political empowerment, while also being seen to be tools of powerful political backers rather than those committed to serving the people. Some civic groups believe candidates also have a responsibility to help improve the political culture in the country. more..

Rajapaksas won't be treated differently if guilty of wrong-doing: PM

Feb 2 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that everyone including the Rajapaksas will be dealt with in the same way if they are found guilty of any wrong-doing. PM said this while speaking at an UNP election rally. “The policy of the UNP is to not take sides but to take action against wrong-doers without considering whether they are Rajapaksas or anyone else if they are found guilty of a crime,” he said. more..

China's shadow looms large in Sri Lanka local election

Feb 2 (Nikkei) On Feb. 10, Sri Lankans will go to the polls to vote for their local representatives. But the outcome of these village elections will have much wider repercussions as they will ultimately determine if China will play a bigger role in Sri Lanka's development. The battle for Sri Lanka's heartlands is being fought out by the country's twice defeated pro-China former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and the incumbent more..

Video: Avant-Garde case: HC rejects Gotabaya’s petition

Feb 2 (AD) The Colombo High Court today rejected the petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa seeking to discharge him from the Avant-Garde case. The Bribery Commission had filed a case against 8 defendants including Rajapaksa accusing them of causing Rs. 11.4 billion in losses to the government by allowing Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd to maintain a floating armoury. more..

CID files B Report over bond scam, cites Mahendran, Aloysius

Feb 2 (DM) CID today filed its first B Report in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s court over CB bond scam inquiry citing Arjuna Mahendran, Arjun Aloysius, Kasun Palisena and the Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) as suspects. Subsequently, Magistrate ordered former CB Governor Mahendran to appear in the CID before Feb 15. Magistrate directed the CID to send a notice to Mr. Mahendran via the Singapore Police. more..