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Cosmetic changes in Cabinet wonít do

Feb 27 (CT) On Sunday President Maithripala Sirisena carried out a minor re-shuffle of the Cabinet of Ministers in the Unity Govt. The changes, which appear to be among the UNP members of the Cabinet fall short of the public's expectations as the people wanted a radical makeover. First we must see why any changes in the Cabinet are necessary. It appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to the drubbing the ruling coalition received at the recently concluded LG elections. more..

Heavy showers bring relief from drought

Feb 27 (Island) There were heavy rains yesterday in the central highlands, bringing an end to a drought which had plagued the areas around reservoirs, according to Meteorological Department. Last week a group of Thai experts arrived in Sri Lanka to investigate the possibility of creating artificial rains in those areas as water levels of several in reservoirs had receded drastically. Rainy weather is expected to continue in the coming days due to an atmospheric disturbance more..

Bond Scam saga

Something happened out there, but whatís going on in here right now?

Feb 27 (FT) I have a confession to make. Yours truly has really lost track of whatís happening in the arena we call national politics. There was an election, you say? Well, that much I know, being a journalist (self aware nod). There was a falling out among star-crossed political bed-mates? Say, you donít have to be an astrologer to have seen that coming Ė although some jilted lovers seem to have seen stars. There was a flurry of political, legislative, and constitutional high-jinks in which more..

Egyptian driver murders Sri Lankan maid after love affair

Feb 27 (EI) An Egyptian twenty-two-year old driver is being held in custody for four days over charges of killing a 54-year-old Sri Lankan maid who worked in Egypt after a love affair had transpired between them. The suspect, Mahmud R, admitted during interrogations by Giza prosecutors the details of the story which ended with the maidís murder. The suspect and the maid worked for a former police officer who resided in the Fifth Settlement during which an affair took place between them, more..

Where are they? Office of Missing Persons is yet to be made operational

Feb 27 (CT) This week was quite emotional for all the relatives of missing persons as they commemorated the first anniversary of their struggle to find the whereabouts of their missing loved ones. On 20 Feb, the relatives of missing persons and civil societies from the North and East gathered at Kilinochchi Kandasamy Temple premises to stage a silent protest to inform the entire world that their struggle to find more..

Most railway related mishaps occur at level crossings with alarm and light systems

Feb 27 (Island) Around 80% of accidents at level crossings happened at sites where there red lights and alarms, Secretary of Railway Engineers Association (REA) K S R R Ariyaratne said. In 2014, 36 accidents had taken place at such level crossings and two persons had died. In that year three other accidents took place on crossings with signal lights and bamboo gates and one person died. In 2015, 46 accidents took place at level crossings with alarms and light systems, causing 10 deaths. more..

Video: Body of missing boy found in Iranawila jungle

Feb 27 (AD) Body of a 9-year-old school boy who was reported missing 2 days ago has been recovered from a jungle at Iranawila area in Chilaw. Boy is suspected to have been abducted and murdered by an unidentified individual. Deceased, Sudeera Normal, 9, a resident of Samidugama in Iranawila, was reported missing on Sunday. CCTV camera of a shop in Iranawila had recorded footage of boy being accompanied by a certain unidentified individual on the day of his disappearance. more..

Calf injury rules Mathews out of Nidahas Trophy

Feb 27 (CB) Angelo Mathews' frustrations with injuries continue as he has been ruled out of Nidahas Trophy tri-nation tournament with a new injury. Mathews has played just one game since being reappointed as SL's white-ball captain in January before returning home from Bangladesh with a hamstring injury. 30-year-old has been doing rehabilitation in Colombo to get fit for the forthcoming series, but sustained a calf injury more..

Wennappuwa ASP arrested on bribery charge

Feb 27 (AD) ASP in charge of the Wennappuwa area in Chilaw has been arrested by officers of the Bribery Commission for allegedly soliciting a bribe of Rs 30,000. The police office in question had requested for a bribe of Rs 40,000 from the owner of an Ayurveda massage center in the Wennappuwa area in order to operate the establishment without any hindrance. He had later agreed to reduce the sum to Rs 30,000 and was arrested while accepting that bribe on the Negombo-Divulapitiya road. more..

Stay order preventing action against Gotabaya further extended

Feb 27 (AD) The stay order issued by the Appeal Court, preventing the FCID from taking action against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa under the Public Property Act, has been further extended until March 23. FCID had lodged a case against the former Defence Secretary for the misappropriation of public funds for the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa museum under the Public Properties Act. Rajapaksa had filed a writ petition with the Court of Appeal seeking more..

Gotabhaya points finger at Fonseka over Lasantha killing

Feb 27 (EN) Former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has attempted to shift the blame to his army commander Sarath Fonseka over the assassination of editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and asked police to investigate on those lines. Responding to an Economynext report, former defence chief said the then army commander Fonseka when Wickrematunge was in charge of military intelligence more..

Sri Lanka sells Rs. 30 billion in 12-month bills, yield up

Feb 27 (EN) Central bank sold 30-billion rupees of 12-month bills at the weekly auction Tuesday with the average yield rising 14 basis points to 9.59%, data from the state debt office showed. The central bank offered 8 billion rupees of 3-month bills, 9 billion rupees of 6-month bills and 13 billion rupees of 12-month bills. The central bank accepted the entire offered quantity from 12-month bills. Market analysts say it is not the best practice to accept higher than offered volumes, more..

Govt is without an iota of political decency, says FSP

Feb 27 (Island) Sunday cabinet reshuffle is nothing but further evidence of the govtís political incorrectness, FSP says. "The govt is not politically correct. If it has an iota of political decency, it should have resigned by now considering the humiliating defeat it suffered two weeks back. Instead, it seems to hide behind reshuffling its cabinet. What we witnessed Sunday was actually a reshuffling of a pack of knaves. Itís same old wine in same old bottles, only the labels have been changed. more..

Tension in Ampara town

Feb 27 (DM) Four shops and a place of religious worship were damaged and three people injured in a clash between two groups in Ampara town and is said to have flared up after some tablets were allegedly found in a meal served by a wayside restaurant to a customer. The incident had first taken place at the restaurant in the vicinity of temple junction in Ampara on Monday night and the officers of the Ampara Police had come to the scene more..

Sri Lanka eyes Jeddah tourist market

Feb 27 (TA) Sri Lanka Tourism has embarked on a promotional roadshow in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as part of an ongoing effort to boost the number of tourists visiting the island from the GCC. A delegation of Sri Lanka Tourism officials as well as Sri Lankaís leading hotels and tourism stakeholders gathered at the Radisson Blu hotel on Feb 26 to meet with Jeddah's leading travel and tourism companies. A total of 14 industry partners from SL-based aviation, tourism & hospitality entities more..

Bringing back MR not the solution: JVP

Feb 27 (NR) The JVP says granting power to another Rajapaksa rule is not a solution to the present political instability. MP Bimal Ratnayake speaking to the BBC said the govt should identify the peopleís mandate and work in future. The MP said though both parties attempted neither President Maithripala Sirisena nor PM Ranil Wickremesinghe could fulfill the attempt to establish a standalone govt. MP Ratnayake noted both parties have agree to continue the govt. more..

Establishing LG bodies postponed

Feb 27 (AD) The establishing of Local Govt institutions, for which elections were recently held, has been postponed until March 20 on the request of the Elections Commission, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said. He made this announcement during a press conference held today. The 8,325 new members elected to 340 LG bodies at the election held on Feb 10 were expected to assume duties in their respective local bodies on March 06. more..

NCPA notices increase in instances of corporal punishment in schools

Feb 27 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) yesterday said there was an increase in the number of instances of corporal punishment in schools. NCPA Chairman, Marini de Livera said such punitive measures were counterproductive. It would adversely affect the relationship between students their teachers and their principals, she said. Instead, they had to potential to promote deviance among the students subjected to corporal punishment. more..

Court orders gang leaderís body to be given to wife

Feb 27 (DN) Wattala Magistrateís Court had issued an order that the body of underworld figure Dadalle Manju who was shot and killed by the STF last week during a raid, be handed over to his wife. The Wattala Police had sought court assistance with regard to the handing over of his body, as his wife and mother were each demanding the body. Therefore, the body was kept at the Ragama hospital mortuary, pending the court verdict. Meanwhile, due to hostility between the two more..

Video: President must officially ask Sípore to extradite Mahendran: JO

Feb 27 (DM) Prez Sirisena should officially request the Singapore Govt to extradite former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran to SL, who is allegedly connected to the bond scam, JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma said. He said having been issued a notice over Mr Mahendran to appear before the CID before March 8, the CID had reportedly mentioned that Mr Mahendran was not present in the given address in Singapore. more..

Hambantota port will not be used as military base, says Army Chief

Feb 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka's southern port, Hambantota, will not be used as a foreign military base, Sri Lankan Army Chief Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne clarified today at the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue 2018 at the Manekshaw Centre. Wijegunaratne assured of no such action to take place in the Sri Lankan harbours and waters which would jeopardise India's security concerns. He further reiterated Sri Lanka's stand on not entering into any military alliance with any nation. more..

'Govt blamed for current state of anarchy'

Feb 27 (AD) Maithri-Ranil govt has caused a state of anarchy in the country which will lead to the inability of establishing the local govt institutions until the end of the Sinhala & Tamil New Year, CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. He said that the problem of establishing the LG institutions will not be resolved until it is decided who will form alliances with whom. He stated that even the recent Cabinet reshuffle only managed to cause even more chaos in countryís political situation. more..

SL leave Malinga out of Nidahas Trophy

Feb 27 (CB) Despite impressive returns in domestic cricket, fast bowler Lasith Malinga has failed to force his way back into SL's T20 squad for the upcoming Nidahas Trophy. Selectors named a 20-member preliminary pool ahead of the tournament but the 34-year-old Malinga wasn't part of their plans. SL's domestic T20 competition began on Saturday (24) and Malinga featured in all games of NCC. Although he has taken ten wickets in more..

Ignoring crime prevention is a SL policy

Feb 28 (CT) The idea of good governance in Sri Lanka seems to be Ė to make lot of good promises and thereafter to ignore all of them. This is not only an internal policy, but this seems also to be our international policy particularly with regard to the UNHRC. Of course, when you do these kinds of things it is not possible to prevent it from being unnoticed. Human Rights High Commissionerís report on SL this year, clearly indicates High Commissioner has seen through both sides more..

How Ranil sabotaged English medium

Feb 28 (CT) Now that it looks like we have Ranil to stay for a few months more, it may be instructive to examine how he often cannot help cutting off his nose to spite his face. What happened way back when he was Prime Minister came back to me when he set up two years ago a committee to look into vocational education (naturally without consulting the minister concerned). It was noted that one of the problems with regard to employment was the lack of English amongst those trained, more..

Rain-making no longer a job for the Gods

Feb 28 (SO) From ancient Greeks, Africans and to Tibetans and Hindus, rainmaking was an act of the Gods. Mythologies around the world identify specific Gods or Goddesses associated with rainmaking, with divine or supernatural powers to manipulate weather. In Greek legends, it was God Zeus, the ruler of the heavens, who commanded rain, clouds, thunder and lightning. According to Hindu lore, more..

Those elected first to make demand

Feb 28 (DN) Usually, elections held in most countries provide a reason to rejoice. We recently held elections for 341 local authorities (24 MCs, 41 UCs, 276 DCs). The total number of members in LG has been increased from 4,486 to around 8,356 members. The voter, this time around, cast a single vote for his or her party of choice at the ward level and was not required to choose a candidate of choice. What followed was unrelated to local govt, local governance and local issues. more..

The greatest Cricket match ever

Feb 28 (DN) Itís the big match season. Thurstan-Isipathana game is already done. The older big matches will follow and there will be dozens more which were inaugurated more recently in the coming weeks. SL cricket team performed well and thereís hope that better times are ahead, especially under the new coach Chandika Hathurusinghe. We can talk about other things of course, but letís doff our caps to King Cricket for a moment. Iím not sure how it is now, but back in the day come big-match more..

A look at ancient medical techniques of SL

Feb 28 (Roar) Spanning back thousands of years, the field of medicine in Sri Lanka has been a constantly evolving sphere of science and tradition. Sri Lanka had its own form of holistic medicine known as deshiya chikitsa; over the centuries this form of medicine was influenced by the ayurvedic medicine of India and is still practised by modern day ayurvedic doctors in the country. As stated in the book History of Medicine in SL, more..

A threat to quit unholy alliance

Feb 28 (Island) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, on Feb 19, 2018 declared that those who had joined forces to oust the then President Rajapaksa, at the Jan 8, 2015 prez election would never get together again. An irate Dissanayake warned SLFP leader President Sirisena not to entertain the hopes of securing a second five-year term. JVPer also warned UNP leader, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, that he would never be the President. more..

Will the next president stand up, please?

Feb 28 (Island) If anyone wants any proof that much of the nationís polity is shocked beyond immediate recovery at the nation-wide LG poll results, it is here. Despite their long years as election analysts, whether or not they are MPs and/or politicians, many of them have continued to harp on the LG poll percentages of individual political parties to argue that this man or that can or cannot become President again. Unwittingly or otherwise, former Prez Rajapaksa is at the centre of many more..

UNP MP Nalin Bandara

Blooming errors in Sampanthanís Eelam-bud thesis

Feb 28 (CT) In politics, Malinda Seneviratne is the junior sibling of Dayan Jayatilleka. They have many things in common. They both suffer from the majoritarian mindset and supremacist ideology. They see no merit in devolution/sharing of power. Both are allergic to the word federal or federalism because both think rather ingeniously that it will lead to separation. Despite his faults, LTTE leader remains popular among the Tamils even now. He passionately believed in more..

Political stability, policy certainty and agreed economic policy programme imperative

Feb 28 (ST) Political instability and confusion after the LG elections have been detrimental to economic growth. A stable govt and an agreed economic programme effectively implemented are prerequisites for economic development. Continuing political instability affects investment, international borrowing costs, capital outflows and economic efficiency. It is imperative that a stable govt is established for the next two years and that economic stabilisation and growth is not compromised. more..

Most Lankan CEOs upbeat, but labour shortages a cause of concern

Feb 28 (FT) Almost three-quarters (73%) of high-level executives interviewed for the inaugural edition of the Business Barometer: Sri Lanka CEO Survey carried out by Oxford Business Group (OBG) were bullish about local market conditions for 2018, in a sign that the impact of last yearís challenging weather conditions on the economy is easing. As part of its survey, the global research and consultancy firm asked more..

Feb 10 verdict in historical context

Feb 28 (Island) As has been observed by many, the electorate recorded a wholesale abandonment of the false promise of yahapalanaya at the February 10 LG elections. The collective in power however, has refused to concede the irrefutable repudiation of the 2015 fraud by the public as an indictment of their dishonesty. Continuing attempts by motormouths like Rajitha Senaratne to attribute their rejection by the electorate to the failure to jail the Rajapaksa family shows an unwillingness to more..

Artificial Rain and power of deity magic

Feb 28 (Island) It is reported The Ministry for Power and Energy is to set up an Artificial Rain Department, to provide relief to the agricultural sector during drought. This reminds me, in 1980ís a team led by Senadipathy, the then Commercial Manager CEB was sent to Vietnam for a similar training, and on their return an experiment was carried out which was a total failure. The reason, as reported by CEB, was Sri Lanka being a small island the winds carrying moisture laden clouds fell more..

Co-operativesí assets close to Rs. 3 billion

Feb 28 (FT) The asset base of Sri Lankan cooperatives has increased to nearly Rs. 3 billion ($ 18 m). Co-ops are no longer charitable but they too should now compete in the liberal market economy. ďCooperatives are no longer charitable organisations and they have to compete with other institutions in a liberalised market economy. Accordingly, cooperatives may formulate proper strategic plans to sell their products/servicesĒ more..

Editorial: Needed: A national govt

Feb 28 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, UPFA leader Mahinda Amaraweera and others of their ilk would have us believe that their national govt is still valid. There are arguments for and against the legitimacy of the present joint administration, which was formed in 2015, for a period of two years. It is, in our book, like a commodity past the expiry date being kept on a supermarket shelf. Can Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration be called a national govt more..