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Voices of Peace: A novel approach to peace and reconciliation

Oct 6 (SO) Nearly a decade after the end of a thirty-year civil war that once racked the island, there are voices still unheard and stories yet untold. With the intent of bringing the conversation of post-conflict reconciliation to the fore, SL researcher and author Sarah Kabir released her book Voices of Peace recently. The launch was held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, Colombo, and was attended by a diverse audience of academics, activists, members of the press, and invitees. more..

When, where and how did separatism originate?

Oct 6 (CT) When we speak of separatism, it is generally referred to as dividing the land area of a country into two or more compartments. It may be religious divisions, language divisions or racial divisions, to be ruled separately. This is the type of divisions experienced by the world in general and SL in particular. In most countries, separatism is prevented by arms and ammunitions by the ruling govts. SL is no exception. It is also evident that separatism sometimes stems from hunger for more..

Sri Lanka’s right to information

Oct 6 (HM) Right to Information (RTI) laws, which seek to promote accountability by enabling individuals to obtain information from public bodies, have become an important political and legal part of democratic movements in Southasia. Over the past two decades, almost every country in the region has instituted such laws, with Sri Lanka enacting it most recently, in 2016. However, even as the country’s RTI Act has more..

An indifferent God?

Oct 6 (CT) I am at a loss to make sense of all this and would like someone to try and help me to understand this. Just now, I watched over Al Jazeera how a pathetic, large-scale human tragedy is unfolding in the Indonesian province of Sulawesi. A 7.5 magnitude colossal earthquake followed by a tsunami has left over hundred thousand people-babes, kids, elderly and the sick included- starving, waiting until international agencies bring food. They have lost their homes. more..

Universal Children’s Day: Perils facing children online

Oct 6 (SO) A report released by UNICEF recently, titled Keeping children safe and empowered online: A study on SL’s digital landscape, indicates that 46.3% of 5,000 children polled had communicated with strangers online, over 15% had shared their private information with strangers, while 28% had met them in person, 18.3% of who had done so without informing family or friends. The report points out that around 27.9% of children online had met people they had first met online. more..

Brain Fry: How digital devices can scramble your child’s brain

Oct 6 (Roar) When 45-year-old Chathurya* gave her 13-year-old son a smartphone, she didn’t see any potential drawbacks. “All his friends are hyperconnected, and considering myself a rather progressive mum, I didn’t buy the argument that people were less connected in the real world because of friendships pursued online,” she told Roar Media. “Furthermore, given the evidence that the skills acquired during gaming helped more..

A response to UK State Minister Mark Field

Oct 6 (Island) I have just completed reading your Op-ed article titled Why reconciliation in SL matters to UK in a SL newspaper, and decided to respond due to some glaring contradictions between what Britain preaches to others and what it does in practice. Some of the contents therein I wish to highlight are: a) The pace of progress on a number of key issues remains much slower than we hoped for b) Finding the truth is fundamental; c) Prevention of Terrorism Act is something I am regularly more..

Issues to assess

Oct 6 (DN) Obviously there are two ways to think of the environment. Firstly the attitude of the poor who is demanding from the surrounding without thinking of the damage done. The other is the civilized with a consciousness about the survival of the environment. This doesn’t mean there’s only one way to divide the attitude of humans to the environment. There are in fact countless ways of understanding and engaging with the world around us. In the entire history humans, more..


Amendments that strengthened the people’s sovereignty

Oct 6 (DN) Another important determination of the Supreme Court which impinged on the Sovereignty of the People was its ruling on the Extension of Life of Parliament. In 1982, this Bill was referred to the Supreme Court by the President in terms of Article 122(1) (b) of the Constitution. The Bill proposed to extend the period of the first Parliament. The Bill was introduced at a time when the life of the first Parliament under the ruling UNP was reaching its end. more..

Edtorial: Dangerous roads

Oct 6 (Island) It looks as if Sri Lankans had a death wish. They drive and ride like bats out of hell. The same goes for the jaywalking fraternity. Cattle and dogs seem to have better road sense; the number of those animals ending up as road kill is much lower than that of the supposedly intelligent bipeds who get killed on roads. As many as seven or eight persons perish daily in about 150 road accidents, which leave about 150 injured. Road accidents cost the state coffers dear. more..

Paradise of the Jokers

Oct 6 (Island) The IGP has certainly been joking in uniform, from meditation to dancing, making one wonder what happens to a decent society and law enforcement. He is the stuff of debate among the top two in the country – President calls him a joker, and the PM is full of praise for his work. Is it any surprise this joker praises the Prime Minister and the so-called yahapalana or good governance that we have? more..

Pitch fixing

Oct 6 (Island) There could not have been a greater advertisement for Test cricket than this summer’s Test series in England. Two evenly matched teams locked horns and battled for supremacy in a series which was of great significance to both sides. Not in living memory have India run so close to winning a series 4-1 instead of losing it by that very same margin in England. It was their batting which killed the dream; not their bowling. But no Indian was heard to say even in passing, more..

Fernando guides Sri Lanka U-19 into final

Oct 6 (CT) Nuwanidu Fernando with a magnificent century (111) under pressure, and followed by a four wicket haul by Shashika Dulshan, the Sri Lanka Under 19 team was able to seal a thrilling 31 run win over their opponents the Afghanistan Under 19 team in a semi-final game in the Under 19 Asia Cup, played in Dhaka yesterday. Fernando in a lone battle for Sri Lanka guided them to 209 for 7, after wickets kept tumbling at the other end. While bowlers led by left arm spinner, Dulshan more..

No extension for Delimitation review committee

Oct 6 (CT) Extending the timeframe of the Committee to review the Provincial Councils Delimitation Report would cause a delay in the PC Polls. This was the contention of the PAFFREL. PAFFREL has written to Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya that the time limit to review the Provincial Councils Delimitation Report should not be extended. However, the committee headed by PM said it would require a further two months more..

Is there an alternative to the Family Background Report?

Oct 6 (ST) A national debate is brewing around the imposition of the Family Background Report (FBR) that bans women with children under five years from migrating for work overseas. Despite being unconstitutional, violating a woman’s right to mobility, contravening SL’s commitments to ratified international conventions and overtly discriminating against women from the lower social class strata, the Govt of SL (GoSL), continues to hang on to the FBR because of the generally held notion more..

Mentally lazy citizens, Mercenary TV, Media and Politics

Oct 6 (Island) The title of this article is perforce unflattering, but there is overwhelming evidence to indicate that it is only small numbers of citizens and TV media in SL to whom the above descriptions would not apply. The bases for this declaration are explained below. The famous American Professor Hardy Cross, who invented the celebrated moment-distribution method for analyzing the behaviour of continuous beams, made a very striking observation in his book Engineers and Ivory Towers. more..

Ratnayake Central, assembled Petes win titles

Oct 6 (Island) Ratnayake Central, Walala stamped their class in the girls’ category with a stunning final act and St. Peter’s, Bambalapitiya dominated the medal hunt as never before with their newly assembled team to win the boys’ title of the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championship concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Friday. Ratnayake Central concluded the championship with a record breaking feat as Sajani Ratnayake, more..

Sri Lanka embarks on fertiliser production utilising Eppawala deposit

Oct 6 (ST) Sri Lanka govt is seeking to reduce the massive fertilizer import bill of Rs. 47 billion and curtail Rs. 33 billion in subsidies per annum by setting up a single super phosphate (SSP) plant making use of the Eppawala phosphate deposit, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. The 7- member expert committee headed by former Senior Professor of Agriculture at Peradeniya Uni O.A. Ileperuma has made this recommendation after a month-long feasibility study. more..

Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott to enter Sri Lanka with The One

Oct 6 (DN) Two leading global luxury hotel brands chains based in USA, The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott will be opening in Colombo in 2022 December at the One Transworks Square (Pvt) Ltd mixed development project, In Colombo Fort. The One luxury project built with an investment of US$ 550 million will be consist of three glass towers set on four million square feet of prime property. “Introducing Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott brands to SL is sure to spark phenomenal interest more..

PM meets Norwegian business community, looks into automated warehousing

Oct 6 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is on an official visit to Norway, has met with the business community in Oslo Wednesday. During the meeting organised by a SL and Norwegian businessmen engaged in trade between SL and Norway, the PM focused on how to broaden and systematically maintain the business activities between the two countries. Drawing attention of the PM to the problems that have more..

Lankan Tamil fisherman knocks on DLSA door, again

Oct 6 (Hindu) With the Public (SC) Department not responding to the Collector’s request for repatriation of SL Tamil fisherman A. Mariyadoss, the latter has again knocked on the door of District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) for relief. When the district-level Joint Interrogating Committee (JIC), chaired by the then Collector S. Natarajan. held that no case was made out against the fisherman and recommended his repatriation, Mariyadoss, 37, thought that decks had been cleared for his repatriation and more..

Thalatha tells TNA there are no political prisoners

Oct 6 (Island) Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale has denied TNA claim that there are still political prisoners nearly a decade after the conclusion of the conflict. Minister has stressed that there were persons convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) or being tried or still held pending investigations. UNPer was responding to a query raised at a media conference on Thursday. She said that the TNA had been briefed of the situation at a meeting attended by PM Wickremesinghe, more..

Not against free trade but SL must have proper FTAs: GMOA

Oct 6 (FT) The GMOA this week called on the Govt to develop a properly-formulated International Trade Agreement Policy before entering into Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with any country to ensure SL’s interests are well protected. “It is not saying no to a FTA, but no FTAs without a properly-formulated national trade agreement policy. If SL can have a proper policy on int'l trade, we can go for FTAs without any worries and be able to more..

British HC’s residence to be solar-powered

Oct 6 (FT) British High Commissioner’s residence in Colombo, Westminster House is now powered through solar energy. They are proud champions of renewable energy in SL. The installation will provide solar energy of almost 300 KWH each day. The project was declared open by visiting Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field MP on 5 Oct. British HC James Dauris said: “We are delighted to be able to combine the latest in green technologies with more..

Moeen ready to embrace expectation in SL

Oct 6 (CI) England haven't had a full tour of Sri Lanka since 2012, and though for many in their squad the heat and humidity are a fresh experience, Moeen Ali has done it all before - twice. Moeen was part of England's 2014 seven-ODI tour of the island of course - the tour in which it was England, not Sri Lanka, who had the captaincy crisis, and the poor one-day record, and the terrible run leading up to the following year's World Cup. But even before then, Moeen had had a bite of more..

Sri Lanka rail investor seeks duty free helicopter imports, subsidized electricity

Oct 6 (EN) An investor proposing to make high-speed trains in SL has asked for a range of concessions including duty free import of helicopters, ships and vehicles, liquor licenses, over 4,000 acres of land and subsidized electricity. The island’s BOI, which gives investors incentives like tax breaks, said the wide range of concessions sought was one of the reasons the govt was taking time to access and approve the proposal by more..

Gang rape of Korean girl: Magistrate’s Court has no jurisdiction to assist in probe

Oct 6 (DN) Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne observed that the Magistrate’s Court had no jurisdiction to assist in the investigations on the gang rape of an 18-year-old Korean girl allegedly committed by three SL youth in Korea in 1998. It was observed when the matter was brought up before the Court yesterday. According to the ‘B’ report filed by the CID, Korean Police Officials had investigated into the alleged accidental death of an 18-year-old Korean girl who died on more..

Australia shutters notorious offshore asylum camp

Oct 6 (AFP) A notorious Australian immigration detention camp on remote Christmas Island has been shut, the govt said on Friday, hailing the success of its hardline policies in ending a flood of asylum-seeking boat people. The facility on the Indian Ocean territory some 2,300 km northwest of the Western Australia city of Perth had been the site of riots, deaths and alleged rapes and self-harm since it was opened in 2008. “The centre has now closed, with around 30 remaining detainees more..

Mitigating economic, political crises: UPFA committee to work out strategies

Oct 6 (DM) UPFA led by Prez Sirisena has appointed a committee to work out the steps to be taken to mitigate the current political and economic crises in SL and submit a report in a week. UPFA executive committee met on Thursday. Its main constituent party is the SLFP. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardane, who attended the meeting, said that the committee comprised representatives from UPFA allies. more..

SriLankan Airlines charged penalty of Rs 84.5 Million by Bank

Oct 6 (CT) The SriLankan Airlines Limited (SLA) was charged a penalty of USD 735,000 (equivalent to Rs 84.5 million) by the Mashreq Bank for not meeting their obligations as per the covenants set out in the loan agreement between the Bank and the Airline, SLA Head of Finance Yasantha Dissanayake said yesterday. The witness, testifying before the PCoI, further said that the Airline had obtained the aforementioned loan facility of USD 175 million. The witness attributed these penalties to more..

Norwegian Foreign Minister commends SL’s progress on peace and reconciliation

Oct 6 (FT) Norwegian Foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide has commended Sri Lanka for continuing to set an example to the world on peace and reconciliation tackling difficult challenges faced in the process. Foreign Minister Søreide said Sri Lanka is a valued partner for Norway and assured Norway’s full support to the peace and reconciliation program when she met with the visiting SL PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at the state visitor’s official residence in Oslo yesterday. more..

War crimes: SLFP vows Prez won’t succumb to pressure

Oct 6 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe insisted President Sirisena wouldn’t give in to Western pressure under any circumstances. Samarasinghe, the former human rights envoy of the previous Rajapaksa administration said so when the media sought an explanation as regards the continuing UK intervention in post-war SL. He said that Prez wouldn’t allow external interference in accountability issues more..

Speaker clarifies procedure for appointing members to the Constitutional Council

Oct 6 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya explaining the procedure for appointing members to the Constitutional Council said he will send nominations to the President as soon as he receives the list. The official tenure of the ten-member Constitutional Council, Sri Lanka’s constitutional authority, ended on 21 Sept and under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Constitutional Council is the responsible body to appoint members to the independent commissions such as more..

Govt assures cautious stabilisation of Rupee

Oct 6 (FT) The UNP claimed that the Coalition Govt is focused on using minimal foreign reserves to manage the currency crunch, assuring that the ongoing measures will cautiously stabilise the rupee. MP Harshana Rajakaruna revealed that past exercises of defending the rupee had adverse effects on the rupee and the entire economy. “We cannot use our entire foreign reserves to stabilise the rupee. In 2012, the past regime spent $ 4 bil to defend rupee, but it still depreciated by 15%. more..

Nalaka, Namal summoned to court

Oct 6 (CT) DIG Nalaka de Silva and the Director of the Anti-Corruption Force, Namal Kumara, were yesterday ordered by Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne to appear in Court on 8 October. The order was given in connection with a case filed on an alleged plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris and more..

It is better to fail than to cheat

Oct 6 (DM) Yesterday was World Teachers’ Day, with the theme being The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher. The UNESCO in a statement says Oct 5 marks the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO-UNESCO recommendation concerning the status of teachers. According to UNESCO, this recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers. It also sets standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, more..

Analysing pros and cons of Karu J as next UNP Presidential Candidate

Oct 6 (DM) Karu Jayasuriya’s political career started in mid-nineties. Karu, born on Sept 29, 1940, came to limelight after he became the Mayor of Colombo from 1997 to 1999. His expertise as an able private sector executive would have played an indispensable part during his tenure as Mayor of Colombo for him to be considered amongst the best of Colombo’s Mayors of all time. It was during his time that the city of Colombo looked like a typically clean and utterly habitable city at all-comers. more..

President Sirisena pressured into backtracking at UN in New York

Oct 6 (DM) The perplexing political conduct of SL President Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena has in recent times defied many norms and values of conventional politics. The turns, twists and turnarounds of the President are unfathomable to many. So uncertain have been Maithripala’s political moves and manoeuvres that the only certainty about Sirisena that anyone could be certain about is his uncertainty. more..

Solutions derailed while elephants die on tracks

Oct 6 (ST) A Rs. 10 million funding project to prevent wild elephants being killed by trains has been stymied by a lack of ideas, departmental infighting and indecision, with many elephants still dying in violent collisions as they cross tracks in search of food and water. SL Railways and the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) are the implementing bodies for the pilot project, with finance allocated by more..