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Notes for a Manifesto: National Interest should frame Foreign Policy

Oct 18 (DM) The previous regime is supposed to have had a disastrous foreign policy which made for terrible foreign relations. That was what the detractors of that regime told us. Today they are in power and their detractors say the same thing: This govt’s foreign policy, like most things, is an unmitigated disaster and this is evidenced by the abysmal state of foreign relations. To get a hang of it all, a simple question would suffice: How does one measure the worth of foreign policy? more..

Human elephant conflict management: Learning from past mistakes

Oct 18 (SO) Elephant habitats are declining and the frequency and severity of the Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) is increasing, calling for alternative approaches to HEC management. Studies undertaken in Sri Lanka have shown that translocation and confinement are not a viable management strategy and jeopardize the survival of SL’s elephants, both within and outside the PAs and with no long term benefit for reducing HEC. more..

Tying political knots

Oct 18 (DN) With just three weeks to go for the Budget, there have been renewed attempts to reconcile the two major factions of the UPFA, despite major differences of opinion surfacing during initial consultations. That President Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa held discussions on this matter is now in the public domain. It is also known that the SLPP faction headed by Rajapaksa and aided by his brother Basil Rajapaksa negotiated from a position of strength at these talks. more..

Edtorial: Of that terminal fracas

Oct 18 (Island) The National Unity Govt is like a patient suffering from an autoimmune disease; it has become its own enemy. Internal problems of the yahapalana administration have come to a head with its heavyweights clashing at Cabinet meetings. The public, burdened with numerous problems, may not care two hoots about the political health of either the government or the Opposition, but the time has come for them to wake up and smell the coffee. The ground is being prepared for more..

Susil Premajayantha

Challenges creating human-centric urban spaces

Oct 18 (DN) Excerpts of a keynote address made by Ar/Plnr Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe at the Sixth Int'l Urban Design Conference. Cities are the manifestation of the cultural, economic and social acceleration that we have experienced throughout our contemporary history. In 1950, about 2/3rd of the population worldwide lived in rural settlements and a third in urban settlements. Today, 55% of the world’s population live in urban areas; a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. more..

Conspiracy between Lotus Towers, Colombo, and Trump Towers, New York

Oct 18 (Island) El Presidente of the Socialist, Democratic Banana Republic of Sri Lanka, in the Indian Ocean, is looking for clean politicians to serve the tear drop island. As the Minister of Nothing To Do cum the Minister for Beer in his esteemed Cabinet, His Excellency, over a Kottu asked me "Minister Jaye, could you please look into this please?" "Of course El Presidente. It is my honour to submit a report and I will", was my reply. After all I am his minister for Nothing To Do. more..

'You can't win a 21-over match with 150 on the board'

Oct 18 (CI) With the top order contributing runs for the first time in four matches, it's the middle order that failed Sri Lanka in the shortened third ODI against England. So said Niroshan Dickwella, the batsman who had given Sri Lanka their fast start, hitting 36 off 25 balls to set the team on course to a score of 58 for 1 by the end of the Powerplay. Just after the 12-over mark, however, Sri Lanka's innings started to wobble. more..

Malik meets Czech leaders

Oct 18 (DN) The business community and the govt officials of the Czech Republic have expressed their interest in making investments in SL in manufacturing for the automobile sector and linking their products to the supply chain to the Indian subcontinent. This was indicated to the Minister Malik Samarawickrama by the Czech business delegation during a recent visit by him to Prague. Minister also met with senior Czech officials to discuss expanding trade and investment more..

Naveen breaks 10-year-old shot putt record

Oct 18 (DN) Naveen Marasinghe of St Joseph’s College established a new meet record in the U-15 shot putt event with a throw of 15.71 meters on the opening day of the John Tarbat Junior Championships worked off at Anuradhapura yesterday. Marasinghe broke a 10 year old record set by Sanjuna Sumanaweera from Royal Institute Int'l School in 2008 of 14.87 meters. Yasiru Lakshan of Anamaduwa Central College secured second place recording 12.23 meters and more..

England take 2-0 series lead over Sri Lanka

Oct 18 (CI) England have taken a 2-0 series lead over Sri Lanka after victory in another rain-affected match in Pallekele. An excellent spell of spin bowling from Adil Rashid and the well-controlled variations of Tom Curran held SL to a total that always appeared significantly under par before Eoin Morgan marshalled a calm and controlled run chase. Victory was perhaps even more comfortable than the margins - more..

ECB defend poor scheduling of SL series

Oct 18 (CB) The ECB has defended the scheduling of the five-match ODI series in Sri Lanka during the country's monsoon season by blaming the packed international calendar. England finished their home season on September 11, the final day of the fifth Test against India at The Oval, and the players had a three-week break before they left for Sri Lanka on Sept 30. With SL's tour to New Zealand starting on Dec 8, the five ODIs, one T20I and three Tests plus warm-up games of England's tour more..

Ethir cautions SLC over neglect of education of Under-19 cricketers

Oct 18 (Island) Olympian and Asian Games gold medallist Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam commended the decision taken by St. Joseph’s College and the parents of Dunith Wellalage to prepare for his O/L and forgo playing for SL U-19 against Bangaladesh in the ongoing series. While pointing out the importance of schools cricketers getting necessary tutoring during lengthy residential training camps, Ethirveerasingam praised the decision taken by the Darley Road school. more..

Economic challenges an opportunity for change: PM

Oct 18 (FT) Current challenges faced by Sri Lanka’s economy should be viewed as an opportunity to push forward dynamic change to transform into an export-oriented economy, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday, insisting that the countries that change fast will be best equipped to get through the crisis. Speaking at the SL Retail Forum 2018, Wickremesinghe acknowledged Sri Lanka was constrained by external risks of more..

4.88mn. kilos of tea auctioned last week; lowest since March 2017

Oct 18 (Island) Last week 4.88 million kilos of tea were auctioned, reported Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers Ltd, the lowest on record since March 2017. These results were not surprising, trade sources commented, because of the low crops recorded in the Western Districts, influenced by extreme monsoon conditions. Besides, Uva had severe dry weather, reducing crop further. Some plantations in Uva reported yields as low as 10 to 15 kilos for the month of August. more..

U-19 Cricket: Bangladesh restricted to 309

Oct 18 (CT) Bangladesh who had scored 209 runs for 3 wickets in 58 overs at close on day one, were bowled out for 309 runs in 96.1 overs yesterday at the NCC. Right arm medium paceman Chamindu Wijesinghe was the most successful bowler with 4/68, while Ashen Daniel, Sandun Mendis and Rohan Sanjaya chipped in with 2 wickets each. In reply Sri Lanka had scored 65 runs for one wicket at close. Overnight batsmen Tawhid Hridoy and Shamim Patwary could not add to their score and were the first to go. more..

Mom wants me to quit politics: Senasinghe

Oct 18 (DM) Denying the bribery allegation over the high-speed railway project, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that his mother had asked him to leave politics due to continual issues coming towards him. He said that he was forced into politics; however, he had scored well and secured more votes gradually. He said that though it was difficult to do politics he couldn’t give up and let down his voters. more..

'Get Sri Lanka to release fishermen'

Oct 18 (DC) Expressing deep concern over a SL court imposing a fine on eight Tamil Nadu fishermen for fishing in the Gulf of Mannar, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami urged PM Narendra Modi to direct the external affairs ministry to register India’s strong protest and take steps to secure the release of all the 16 arrested fishermen. The SL court had imposed fine of SLR 60 lakh (INR 26 lakhs) each on eight fishermen from Thoothukudi district in the state who were apprehended by more..

Cabinet agrees to appoint JWT for Rs 314M

Oct 18 (CT) The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal by Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs John Amaratunga to award the much-delayed Comprehensive Tourism Promotional Campaign to New York-based J Walter Thompson (JWT) for Rs 314 million. The much-delayed Digital Marketing Campaign and the Comprehensive Destination Promotion Programme were planned to be launched in Sept 2017. However, both programmes faced several issues, including bureaucratic delays. more..

Assassination bid: DIG interdicted

Oct 18 (Island) The National Police Commission (NPC) yesterday interdicted DIG Nalaka Silva. The 7-member NPC, headed by P.H. Manatunga, by letter informed IGP Pujith Jayasundera of its decision. Secretary to the NPC Saman Dissanayake said that the NPC deliberated and decided on the matter within hours after Public Administration, Management and Law and Order Ministry recommended more..

Tamil representatives meet President

Oct 18 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the govt would extend every possible assistance to streamline the developmental activities in the North and East to provide maximum benefits to the people. He said this during a discussion with the representatives of TNA this evening (17) in Parliament. The issues pertaining to development activities and the need for streamlining them and adverse affects of inclement weather were discussed during the meeting. more..

Indian HC meets Prez

Oct 18 (Island) Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Taranjit Singh Sandhu yesterday met Prez Sirisena in the wake of media reports of an alleged Indian assassination attempt on the SL leader. The Presidential Media Division (PMD) and the Foreign Ministry in statements issued yesterday assured there was no basis for these reports. "PMD wishes to clarify that the President has not mentioned any involvement of an lndian intelligence service in the alleged plot to assassinate him. more..

Johnny, two others acquitted in CWE case

Oct 18 (DN) MP Johnston Fernando and two others were acquitted and released by Kurunegala HC judge Menaka Wijesundara citing contradictory evidence yesterday. They were accused of misappropriating Rs 5.2 million in Co-opearative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) funds in the run up to the NWPC election in 2013. Attorney General had alleged that Johnston Fernando as the then minister in charge of CWE had ordered more..

Sri Lanka slips in competitiveness ranking

Oct 18 (FT) Sri Lanka has slipped to the 85th position in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Index from 81st in the previous year. Out of 12 broader pillars, Sri Lanka had improved in terms of infrastructure, health, ICT adoption, skills, and market size, but lagged in the other factors, such as institutions, macroeconomic stability, product market, labour market, financial system, business dynamism, and innovation capability. In South Asia, India topped by being ranked at 58th, more..

CB confirms receipt of $ 1 b from China Development Bank

Oct 18 (FT) The Central Bank yesterday confirmed that the $1 billion Foreign Currency Term Financing Facility (FCTFF) from China Development Bank had been received to strengthen reserves and potentially help steady the rupee. Bank said Govt of SL invited to submit proposals from int'l and domestic banks and investment houses for a FCTFF denominated in US Dollar (USD) or Japanese Yen (JPY) or Euro or of their combination up to a limit of $US 1,000 million in March 2018. more..

No new proposal to handover ECT Development to India

Oct 18 (DM) No new Cabinet proposal had been submitted by PM or any minister to handover the Colombo Port’s East Container Terminal (ECT) development to India. Reports earlier said President and the PM had a showdown at the Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting as the President was opposed to a proposal made to handover ECT Development to India. Highly placed sources at the Govt yesterday rejected the reports and said more..

Govt rules out electricity tariff hike

Oct 18 (Island) Electricity tariffs could not be changed without the approval of the Public Utilities Commission, the govt said. Minister Gayantha Karunathillake, said that the Electricity Act prohibited introducing price formulas similar to the one for fuel. "In the case of electricity, any increase or reduction in tariffs, had to be assessed and approved by the Public Utilities Commission," he stressed, adding that no decision had been taken to hike rates. Minister Rajitha Senaratne also said more..

Sri Lanka to revoke bikini ban

Oct 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Wednesday promised to revoke a bikini ban raising eyebrows at a popular seaside resort, as the authorities urged tourists to wear what they want at the beach. The signs erected by local police at Habaraduwa Beach, about 130 km south of the capital Colombo, depicted a pair of western women in bikinis crossed out with a red "X". "According to Sri Lankan culture, please dress in an appropriate suit," it stated, declaring bikinis improper. more..

India seeks clarifications from Sri Lanka

Oct 18 (EN) India has sought clarifications from SL President Sirisena over his reported remarks that India’s external intelligence agency was plotting to assassinate him, officials said. Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu called on Sirisena on Wednesday, a day after reports of his claim that the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s foreign spy outfit, had planned an assassination. more..

Rajitha refutes media reports on RAW plot

Oct 18 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne refuted media reports that stated that President Sirisena had informed Cabinet that the RAW was plotting to kill him. President had only noted that certain groups were trying to insinuate that the Indian arrested in the attempted assassination plot case was an agent of the Indian Intelligence Agency; RAW, Minister said. “Through this they are trying to create issues between India and SL, the President had said,” he said at the weekly Cabinet media briefing. more..

Modi’s Office on assassination plot allegation

Oct 18 (Island) Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Office yesterday said President Sirisena had, in a telephone conversation with the Indian leader, denied media reports that he alluded to Indian involvement in an alleged plot to assassinate him. Full text of the statement issued by PM Modi’s Office: "President of SL Maithripala Sirisena called PM Modi on telephone today. "The President of Sri Lanka stated that he categorically rejected the reports in sections of media about more..

President sacks boards of the BOI, Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank

Oct 18 (LBO) Media and political sources say the announcement of the dissolution of the boards of directors of the Board of Investment (BOI), Bank of Ceylon (BOC) and Peoples Bank is imminent. These actions have come as a surprise move on behest of Prez Sirisena. Chiarman of BOI is former Etisalat CEO Dumindra Ratnayake, while BOC Chairman is Ronald Perera, and People’s Bank Chairman is Hemasiri Fernando. more..

Today's realities

Oct 18 (DM) GRIM!!! Lots of Humans, Less Humanity, More Degrees, Less Common Sense, Lots of Facebook Friends, No Best Friends, Big Houses, Small Families, High Income, Less Peace of Mind, Designer Watches, No Time, High IQs, No Emotions, Advanced Medicine, Poor Health, Gone to the Moon, Neighbours Unknown, Numerous Affairs, No True Love!!! These are the STARK REALITIES BUT THERE IS MORE!!! No Ethics, No Generosity, No Feeling for Underprivileged, more..

Stop the madness; We’re not your morning spit!

Oct 18 (DM) Politicians have got used to using the public as if they own them. At the same time and in the same vein, the public also responds in a welcoming manner that beguiles a probing mind. The response from the public to the timely use of rhetoric and sloganeering from politicians is being noted not only in the dirty and nauseatingly stinking slums in the urban and suburban sectors, but it is also palpably present in the cocktail circuits in the more sophisticated corners. more..

'Middle Class is not a progressive class'

Oct 18 (DM) David North the Chairman of the Socialist Equality Party in the US and the theoretical leader of the Fourth International, which bases its ideology on Leon Trotsky and the Internationalism contained therein sat down with the Daily Mirror for an interview. The Author and international socialist spoke of a wide range of issues of which excerpts are published below. Q: David, we welcome you to this interview, I believe more..

'Education Ministry is an insurance fraud'

Oct 18 (CT) Value of 2700 million insurance fraud took place in the education ministry and the Minister of education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Director of Education, Renuka Peiris and all the top chairs of the Education Ministry are responsible for wasting public revenue worth 2700 million alleged General Secretary of Ceylon Teacher’s Association, Joseph Stalin during a press conference held by Ceylon Teacher’s Union. more..

Cheap, low octane petrol for three-wheelers next month: Minister

Oct 18 (DM) A new petrol type would be introduced only for three-wheelers for low cost by next month, Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. Speaking to the media he said, the new petrol had a lower-octane value. “After I assumed duties as the Petroleum Minister, several major plans had been taken place to make new petrol type, which can be introduced to the market at a low cost,” he said. more..

Twists and turns in W.M. Mendis & Company investigation

Oct 18 (DM) The investigation conducted by the CID into the controversial Treasury bond saga has now taken a new twist after three employees of W.M. Mendis and Company and their attorney-at-law alleged that the CID and senior officers of the AG’s Department of fabricated witness statements and intimidated witnesses. W.M. Mendis is not directly a suspect company in the bond investigation, but the company became more..

We are conducting several investigations in Sri Lanka: Alex Marshall

Oct 18 (DM) The ICC’s head of Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) Alex Marshall has said they are investigating several people in Sri Lanka connected to cricket-- from inside and outside of cricket. These people could be current players, ex-players, administrators, senior officials, people outside the game. His comments come just days after the ACU charged Sri Lanka’s cricketing legend Sanath Jayasuriya with more..

Cabraal-led Expert Committee for economic crisis: JO

Oct 18 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had decided to appoint a Special Economic Committee headed by former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, to look into the economic crisis in the country, and to provide recommendations, the Joint Opposition (JO) said. JO member MP Wimal Weerawansa told a news conference that a decision had been taken in this regard during JO’s Party Leaders’ meeting more..