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Nicknames and booby traps

Feb 4 (ST) Laughter echoed across the room when it was revealed that one of the candidates contesting the local govt elections preferred to be called by her nickname Thana kola kapana akka! This happened during an interesting discussion on local elections and new processes at the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) on Tuesday at the Movenpick Hotel, Colombo. There are many concerns about the February 10 poll. Among them is the lack of awareness amongst voters of more..

Sri Lanka made 100 runs too many: Taijul

Feb 4 (CB) Bangladesh spinner Taijul Islam conceded that losing three wickets before stumps on the fourth day can turn out to be costly as it helped Sri Lanka take an upper hand over them on Saturday. Bangladesh are trailing by 119 runs with seven wickets in hand and with the pitch beginning to assist the spinners a lot more than it did initially, the hosts will have to show plenty of grit if they are to emerge unscathed from the match. A wicket to all the three frontline Sri Lankan spinners more..

Independence Day celebrations on a grand scale today

Feb 4 (ST) Sri Lanka is set to celebrate its 70th Independence Anniversary on a grandiose note under the theme, One Nation at the Galle Face Green, today. Several dignitaries including high commissioners, ambassadors and religious dignitaries have been invited for the occasion. The British Royal family will also be represented by Queen Elizabeth’s youngest son Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex & his wife Countess Sophie. more..

Landfill project award based on competitive bids: Ministry

Feb 4 (ST) In response to the story titled Chinese company gets huge contract for solid waste landfill project in the Sunday Times of January 28, 2018, the Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development (MMWD) clarifies that the project to design and build the solid waste sanitary landfill in Aruwakkalu, Puttalam, and transfer stations was not an unsolicited proposal and that there were competitive bids called from local and international design and build contractors. more..

Ambassador celebrates friendly links with Saudi as SL marks independence day

Feb 4 (AN) Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim said that he is glad that his country is celebrating its independence and national day at a significant period as the Kingdom steers activities toward the Saudi Vision 2030. Thassim, whose father, the late M.R. Thassim was his country’s first ambassador in the Kingdom, was speaking to Arab News on the eve of his country’s national day. “We are glad to participate in the Kingdom’s cherished goals toward the Vision 2030,” the envoy said, more..

CID seeks INTERPOL assistance to record Mahendran’s statement

Feb 4 (CT) CID has sought the assistance of the INTERPOL to officially inform former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran to return to Colombo prior to 15 Feb to provide a statement as he was named as a suspect in the Bonds scam by the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court on Friday. CID decision was taken since Mahendran is a Singapore national and is currently residing in that country. CID submitted a 30-page 'B' report more..

‘Anti-corruption HCs will clear cases' backlog in 6 months'

Feb 4 (SO) The new special anti-corruption High Courts would help conclude cases of large scale corruption within six months, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “I am hopeful that the new High Courts on Corruption that have just got Cabinet approval, will help clear the backlog of cases, since they will have specific jurisdiction over complex financial crimes and misappropriation of State assets,” PM Wickremesinghe told the Sunday Observer. more..

Plastic banned at wildlife parks: Law to be implemented from today

Feb 4 (CT) Dept of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) together with the Forest Dept will implement the plastic ban in areas protected by the two departments from today. DWLC Publicity Officer Hasini Sarathchandra said that visitors will not be allowed to bring in plastic and polythene material into areas protected by the Fauna & Flora Protection Ordinance. "Visitors entering national parks & sanctuaries will not be allowed to take in even biodegradable polythene bags because more..

Polls violence continues, but at low intensity

Feb 4 (ST) All forms of election violence including attacks against women candidates and also abuse of public money and resources, are comparatively less in this LG elections, based on data from NGOs that are observing the campaigns. But data can be misleading because not every incident is reported. Complaints also show that there are hundreds of incidents of violence and that women candidates are being targeted. more..

Fishing in troubled waters is now costly

Feb 4 (Hindu) When Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami wrote to PM Narendra Modi last month, voicing concern about Sri Lanka’s recent decision to impose steep fines on any foreign vessel found fishing in the island’s territorial waters, he was simply following his late leader Jayalalithaa’s footsteps. In 2015, she wrote at least 21 letters to the Prime Minister, asking New Delhi to put pressure on Sri Lanka to stop arresting Tamil Nadu fishermen. more..

Profile of a scholar prelate

Feb 4 (ST) Ven Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thera entered the Bhikku order on Feb 20, 1956 as a pupil of the then Bellanwila Raja Maha Vihara Chief Incumbent Bellanwila Sri Somaratana Nayaka Thera. Having received his initial education at the Molligoda Pravachanodaya Pirivena, he entered the Vidyalankara Maha Pirivena for further studies in Buddhism. After graduating with honours from the Kelaniya and Sri J'pura Universities, he entered the Uni of Lancaster in Britain in 1977, more..

LG polls’ outcome would decide govt’s future

Feb 4 (ST) With just 5 days to go for LG polls, a joke doing the rounds on mobile phones this week is about an old American, a Russian and a Sri Lankan talking to God. When will my country come out of the recession asked the American and god replied a hundred years. He cried saying I will not live to see that day. The Russian wanted to know when will my country become prosperous? He cried too lamenting he will more..

Lanka at 70: Political circus interrupts the country’s constitutional odyssey

Feb 4 (Island) As the country marks the seventieth anniversary of independence, its principal political leaders are out-clowning one another and turning the whole political system into a circus of clowns. There is no other charitable way to describe what the President, PM and former President are doing in a desperate three-way shootout – to either produce the best scorecard or avoid the worst scorecard for their respective parties and alliances in the LG elections next Saturday. more..

Snatches of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2018

Feb 4 (Island) As has always been the case, the four days of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival (FGLF) appealed to, and satisfied the love of literature; aesthetics with short immersion in drama and film; savouring the ambience of the crowded space around the Hall de Galle and Fairway Pavilion; meeting and greeting friends and acquaintances and living within the Fort for a couple of days and moving around. There were the alternate sessions, but not too many frustration-inducing more..

UPFA gang vandalises statue of Uva-Wellassa hero

Feb 4 (ST) Political rivalries can sometimes claim the most surprising of victims. An example is when a group of UPFA supporters ran amok in Bibile town this week and vandalised a statue of celebrated patriot and hero of the Uva-Wellassa Rebellion, Bootawe Rate Rala. The vandals had broken and destroyed the statute’s sword and also damaged the statue by attacking it with rocks. The events had allegedly taken place after more..

Get on with total bottom trawling ban say conservationists

Feb 4 (ST) SL passed laws to ban destructive bottom trawling in July last year but the laws are yet to be enforced and might even be watered down. Rich marine habitat is being damaged by bottom trawling in the Puttalam and Kalpitiya lagoons and in the north, including Jaffna. United Small Fisheries Association of Kalpitiya says there are 23 boats carrying out mechanised bottom trawling in the Puttalam lagoon itself. more..

Rapid deforestation leading to unbearable heat

Feb 4 (CT) Environmentalists warn that if the deforestation continues at the current rate, temperature of SL would be close to around 40 Celsius by the year 2030. Environmentalist and Executive Director of Centre for Environmental Studies, Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam said that the real percentage of SL forests is currently 16, despite the claims of Govt that it is 25% and if the current deforestation rate continues it can be 13% by year 2030, more..

With Sri Lankan port acquisition, China adds another pearl to its string

Feb 4 (CNN) When Sri Lanka's govt first looked to develop a port on its southern coast that faced the Indian Ocean, it went not to China, but to its neighbor, India. Then-SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he urgently needed funding to transform the harbor of his home town and asked Indian officials for help with the project. New Delhi showed little interest in funding a costly and massive port construction project more..

Artists rally for A village sans corruption

Feb 4 (LT) The artists who are attached to Inception of Change organization held a press conference under the theme A village sans corruption at Solis Hall yesterday (2nd). Author Kamal Perera, Gypsies Leader Sunil Perera, Author Keerthy Welisarage, Author Gunassena Vithana, Renowned Artist Nadeeka Guruge, Renowned Artist Jagath Manuwarna, Director of Photography Dhanushka Goonetileke, Cinema Director more..

Mominul stars as Bangladesh ensure a draw

Feb 4 (CI) Mominul Haque became the first Bangladesh batsman to score two hundreds in the same Test, and Liton Das hit 94, having partnered Mominul in a 180-run stand, but have not quite seen themselves to safety. With 31 overs remaining in the final session, they have five wickets in hand, and lead by 81 runs. Another 10 overs of sensible batting - preferably by the not out pairing of Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain more..

Photo, video ban at polling stations; number of counting centres slashed

Feb 4 (ST) Taking photographs or videoing stages of marking ballot papers or marked ballot papers inside postal voting centres or in polling stations is prohibited, Election Commission has decided. Accordingly distribution or publishing of photographs of marked ballot papers through print, electronic, social or any other media has been prohibited. Commission said it would issue permission in writing when more..

Medical degrees: Minister issues regulations for minimum standards

Feb 4 (ST) Regulations for the maintenance of minimum standards of medical education have been issued by Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne. They come after months of controversy over the medical degree programme at the SAITM, with the GMOA and university students strongly protesting against SAITM degrees. The regulations have been made in consultation with the Sri Lanka Medical Council and on the consideration of more..

Udayanga detained at Dubai airport

Feb 4 (DM) Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga had been reportedly detained at the Dubai Airport this morning, while in transit to the United States, sources said. He was to be handed over to the Dubai Police by the immigration officers. Udayanga Weeratunga, was accused of being the centre of a probe into the acquisition of MiG-27 fighter jets from Ukraine, while he was also accused of more..

Video: Arjun Aloysius & Kasun P. arrested

Feb 4 (AD) The owner of Perpetual Treasuries Limited Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena who were arrested by the CID earlier this morning, were taken to CID headquarters to record their statements , said Police Spokesman. They were arrested by CID officers who arrived at their respective residences in Colombo, today. On Friday, the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court named former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, more..

Noxious political actors and an election that is uninspiring

Feb 5 (ST) As furious competition for votes in the forthcoming local government elections reaches fever-pitch, hostility (real or contrived as the case may be) between the bedraggled actors that strut on Sri Lanka’s political stage has become positively noxious. We may look in vain for inspiring policy driven speeches of the past or at the very least, for an honest owning up to mistakes made and genuine contrition therein. Instead, what we have is braggadocio & shifty evasion quite apart from more..

LG political campaigns as mirror of existing political culture

Feb 5 (CT) A democratic election is a process in which people are involved closely interacting with the contesting candidates, their political parties/groups, party leaders and other campaigners. The culminating act is voting. One may argue that the process is more the other way round, the people mostly being mere spectators of the gimmicks, before the election day, and the real actors being the candidates, parties, leaders and their supporters (or henchmen). more..

'New electoral system, totally fair'

Feb 5 (SO) Minister W.D.J. Senewiratne says, whether the new electoral system is beneficial to the SLFP or not, the new system is grossly fair. He said, at present there are no clashes among party supporters and the election expenses of all candidates have been brought down to a minimum. Similarly, people are relatively free now as they don’t have to experience the annoyance of listening to various meetings all over SL. more..

Caged Independence

Feb 5 (CT) Freedom. That is what one associates with independence. Freedom from alien subjugation, domination and exploitation. Christian List and Laura Valentini write in a recent paper that freedom must be understood as ‘[i]ndependence. Like republican freedom, it demands the robust absence of relevant constraints on action. Unlike republican, and like liberal freedom, it is not moralized’. My beloved father remembered very well that he, born in 1943, had to observe the flag ceremony in his more..

Raigamaya and Gampolaya

Feb 5 (Island) My title, in no way, is intended to cast aspersions on the good people of Raigama or Gampola but simply to remind the readers of a folk tale; one that is supposed to have happened during the time of Sinhala kings which came to my mind watching the antics of our two great leaders. Raigamaya and Gampolaya were traders, friends but competitors, who went from village to village selling betel leaves and arecanuts. Each, without knowing what the other was up to, decided to more..

'TNA working according to govt agenda'

Feb 5 (CT) Tamil political parties of the North and East are going through a period of flux with new alliances forming at a dizzying pace. Leader of EPRLF Suresh Premachandran who walked away from the TNA says that it has failed to fulfil its promises and is calling on the people of the region to support his new alliance. The new group called the Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA) brings together TULF lead by V Anandasangaree, more..

Throwing stones from glass houses

Feb 5 (CT) TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran has announced that he would take legal action against EPRLF MP Sivasakthi Anandan for accusing of each TNA Parliamentarian accepting bribes to the amount of Rs 20 million from the Govt to vote in favour of Budget 2018. As the accusation against the TNA MPs of accepting bribes from the Govt has become a talking point in the backdrop of the last lap of Local Govt election campaigns in the North and the East, Sumanthiran denied the accusation at more..

Runners, Royalty and Rali Palam

Feb 5 (Island) In January 1948, the long evening of colonialism was drawing to a close in that smug little model Crown Colony of Ceylon. The dawn of Independence glimmered ever brighter on the horizon. For us, however, freshly released from the bondage of schoolboyhood on passing the Uni Entrance exam, what shone even brighter was the prospect of undergradhood and the imagined bliss of sauntering along the shadowy green aisles of Thurstan Road with lovely lasses. more..

Independence Day Celebration

Medi shocker: Brain dead girl’s organs removed whilst still alive

Feb 5 (ST) Ten vital questions: To what extent can doctors play God and give last rites to the brain dead by ripping their body parts? FIRST THE SAD FACTS: Twenty four year old Jeewanthi Alwis, the mother of a child, attended a wedding of a family friend with her husband last Saturday night, the 27th of Jan. On their way home they met with an accident. Her husband died on the spot. With the benefit of hindsight, it can be safely presumed, he was the lucky half to have succumbed to his more..

Players offer contrasting views on Chittagong pitch

Feb 5 (CI) Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium can now be added to the list of recent venues (others being the MCG and the Wanderers) in which either the batsmen or bowlers had absolute advantage over the other. By the end of the Test match, in which both sides thought every morning that the pitch would break up over that day, players from the two teams had differing views on it. While SL opener Dimuth Karunaratne said he did not think this was a good track for the well being of Test cricket, more..

An interview with Sarojini Charles, The DG of Sri Lanka Customs

Feb 5 (Roar) This interview was translated from Sinhalese. Read the original one over here on our Roar Sinhala page. In September 2016, Sri Lanka Customs saw the appointment of a female Director General: Sarojini Charles. Having grown up in the war-stricken region of Jaffna, she is now one of the few Sri Lankan women in a position of authority in an important economic institution of the country. more..

Editorial: Children of a lesser god

Feb 5 (Island) The 70th Anniversary of Independence has just been celebrated with pomp and circumstance. Govt leaders are waxing eloquent on what they call their outstanding contribution to national progress while their counterparts in the political wilderness are heard lamenting that their service has gone unappreciated. The incumbent rulers have declared that they cannot maintain the Trincomalee oil tank farm built by the British. That storage facility is now up for sale. more..

NOC calls for nominations

Feb 5 (CT) Nominations are called from the NOC Sri Lanka for the election of office bearers, which is to be held on 23 Feb at the NOC Auditorium. Nominations should be sent on or before 16.00 hours on 9 February together with an affidavit and curriculum vitae of the nominee, to reach the Chairman of the Election Commission, c/o National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka, Olympic House, 100/9F, Independence Avenue, Colombo 7. The full names of the representatives and more..

Davis Cup Tennis in Colombo: Sri Lanka fights, yet loses to Thailand 2:3

Feb 5 (Island) Sans the services of their key player, Harshana Godamanna, all expected a one-sided affair yet Sri Lanka gave the visiting Thais a fight for their money when the young-look hosts carried the tie till the last rubber on Sunday (4), in their Asia-Oceania Zone Group-II 1st Round Davis Cup encounter, sponsored by BNP Paribas, at the SLTA clay courts, Colombo. Thailand which featured a top-500 singles player more..

Australian personal budget management service to enter Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (Island) MyBudget Pte Ltd, Australia’s largest and most trusted firm for providing personal budget management services has announced that it will be officially entering Sri Lanka and expanding its operations in November 2018. The company will set up an offshore development centre subsequently, where a team of Sri Lankan Software professionals will contribute to MyBudget’s expanded platform from the Colombo-based technology development center. more..