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Unhappy is the land that needs a hero

Oct 22 (CT) Unhappy is the land that needs a hero is the heavy-hearted response of Galileo to his pupil Andrea when the latter furious with the Astronomers recantation tells him Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero. Bertolt Brecht wrote his epic play on the life of Galileo in the twilight years of the Weimar republic when its democratic chaos was nearing its end. Electoral, success of the Nazis had made Hitler the Chancellor of Germany. He introduced this specific exchange on heroism more..

Unhappy is the land that needs a hero

Oct 22 (SO) The relationship between India and SL has seen many ups and downs in the past – from high points such as the agreements of 1964 and 1975 relating to Tamils of Indian origin in SL or the demarcation of maritime boundaries which confirmed the Sri Lankan ownership of Katchathivu in 1976, and reaching lows such as India’s Parippu drop violating our soverignity in June 1987, or President R Premadasa’s quit notice to the IPKF & cancellation of SAARC Summit in 1991. more..

Despite EIA report and protests: Govt ploughs through Aruwakkalu landfill project

Oct 22 (SO) We need development, not garbage, read a placard held by one of the young demonstrators at the demonstration against the upcoming Aruwakkalu Sanitary Landfill project in Wanathavilluwa, Puttalam, this week. Today marks the 23rd day of the 100-day resistance launched by the Clean Puttalam campaign led by the area’s District Inter-Religious Committee at Colombo Face in Puttalam. more..

The kill bite of Sri Lanka’s proposed counter-terrorism act

Oct 22 (ST) There is a clever but devious strategy employed by big cats on the hunt for a kill. Three or more may approach a wary prey from one direction resulting in the attention of that unfortunate animal being focused on the group danger whereas a single predator will creep unobserved from a completely different direction and within seconds, aim for the neck of the target, administering the kill bite as it were. Perhaps this somewhat grisly analogy may not be completely apropos when more..

Foreign policy and development of a Nation

Oct 22 (CT) Diplomats from 23 countries from Asia, Africa, The Middle East, Latin America, and Austrasia met on 15 Oct 2018 in Colombo as part of an economic diplomacy programme (EDA), primarily focusing on the Sri Lankan economy, with special emphasis on its emergence as a hub in the Indian Ocean, while exploring rich history and culture, showcasing Sri Lanka as a knowledge centre. Veteran diplomat Ravinath Ariyasinghe, the Acting Foreign Secretary, ably assisted by more..

Victim’s families ignore LTTE atrocities

Oct 22 (CT) Rear Admiral Dr Sarath Weerasekera (SW) dropped a bombshell, recently, at an event organized by the Eliya at Homagama. Since 2017, the Eliya had been addressing the educated masses in various districts. These events mainly aim to highlight the dangers of the new Constitution that is in the pipeline, as well as the consequences of various Amendments made presently to the existing one. more..

Wiggy flexes muscles!

Oct 22 (CT) In the backdrop of NPC’s first five-year period coming to an end next week, Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has now flexed his muscles challenging even the very people who had brought him to politics. CM Canagasapapathy Viswalingam (CV) Wigneswaran became very popular with Northerners when he was chosen as the President of Kampar Kalagam, a foremost literary organization that originated in Jaffna and established its literary activities in Colombo in the mid-nineties. more..

Alleged land grabbing by the security forces

Oct 22 (Island) In view of the significance accorded in recent public debate and discussion on the subject of land grabbing in several conflict-ridden countries of the Third World it is necessary to devote attention to a series of facts that are of crucial relevance to a balanced understanding of the related situation in Sri Lanka. The phenomenon referred to as land grabbing lacks definitional clarity. In many writings of recent times (Keely, 2009; Borras,, 2011; ; Rulli, et. al., 2013; more..

ලියනගේව ඉවත් කරන්න කොන්දක් නැති මෛත්žරී රට ගැන මොන කතාද?

Sirisena touches a raw nerve with assassination plot claim

Oct 22 (ST) It was not the best of all goodwill messages from Lankan President Sirisena to Indian PM Narendra Modi that Ranil Wickremesinghe would have wished he carried with him tucked in his inside coat pocket when he took flight on Thursday to New Delhi to meet his Indian counterpart and present Lanka’s credentials to be its closest neighbour’s best friend. For the situation was dynamite and threatened to blow up the carefully cultivated friendship since 2015 between more..

Edtorial: Of those RAW deals

Oct 22 (Island) The adeptness of SL politicians at concocting grassy knoll theories is quite remarkable. They see a conspirator behind every bush and attribute all their failures to conspiracies. Not that foreign spy agencies have no presence in this country, but our political worthies see more devils than vast hell can hold. Prez Sirisena landed himself in an embarrassing position, last week, over an alleged claim that India’s spy agency, RAW was behind a conspiracy to kill him. more..

Club premier tournament back on track

Oct 22 (ST) A forum of senior stakeholders of Sri Lanka cricket has managed to talk to Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha to revive SLC’s club cricket tournament which at present is in a state of abeyance as a result of election conundrum that has taken precedence over all other subjects. Right now SLC is sans all appointed committees that help to keep the tournaments working — and on Thursday it seems the stakeholders more..

Bairstow in race against time to be fit for Sri Lanka Tests

Oct 22 (CB) Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out of the fifth ODI and the one-off Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka because of an ankle injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed on Sunday (21). The opener suffered ligament damage after twisting his ankle in a game of football during a training session. "The scans have revealed he has a right ankle ligament injury. He will be monitored and assessed on a daily basis by the England medical team in SL and a further update will be given more..

Dialog and Ericsson to establish 5G Innovation Center

Oct 22 (Island) Dialog Axiata PLC in partnership with Ericsson, along with the Ministry of Telecom, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment, signed a MoU to establish SL’s first state-of-the-art 5G Innovation Center. The first of its kind in the country, the Innovation Center will encourage Sri Lankans to collaborate and create next generation IoT and ICT innovations and serve the country’s digital footprint through strategic partnerships, stimulating entrepreneurship and more..

Herath to quit in Galle

Oct 22 (Island) Following on the footsteps of several SL cricket greats, veteran Rangana Herath has decided to end his Test career in Galle against England next month. This means that the 40-year-old will only play one Test of the upcoming three match series that gets underway on the 6th of Nov. Herath, who has undergone multiple surgeries on both his knees, in recent times has been wary to play all three games of a series. more..

Sriyani Kulawansa: Sri Lanka’s best Hurdler

Oct 22 (CT) Born on 1 March 1970 in Melsiripura, Ragedara in the Kurunegala District, Sriyani Kulawansa is probably the best Hurdler the Island Nation has ever produced. She represented Sri Lanka in the 1992 Olympic Games held in Spain at the young age of 22. The 1996 Olympic Games held in US saw her advancing to the quarter-finals of the 100m Hurdles event as she registered her personal best timing of 12.91 sec. Her final Olympic Games were the 2000 Sydney Olympics. more..

3,560 arrested in countrywide raid

Oct 22 (DM) A total of 3,560 people were arrested for various offences and another 6,020 had been charged with traffic violations during a four-hour special countrywide raid carried out by the Police this morning. Raid was carried out from 3 am to 7 am today (21) and more than 18,000 Police officers took part. Among those were 1,124 with open arrest warrants issued on them. 992 persons were arrested on charges of peddling drugs and illegal liquor while 920 arrested over various crimes. more..

Govt to train 5,000 cyber security experts

Oct 22 (FT) In an effort to improve cyber security, Telecom, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Ministry will bring all Govt organisations under the SL Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT), train 5,000 cyber security experts and work to become a cyber security hub in the region. Cabinet approved the proposal presented by Minister Harin Fernando to implement the cyber security strategy which more..

Ceramics and Glass Council wants Govt support to expand exports

Oct 22 (FT) Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council believes expansion is possible through product diversification and technology transfer to substantially raise export revenue and regain lost ground in international and domestic markets, if provided with Govt support. Listing a number of requests at their 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM), the SL Ceramics and Glass Council last Friday called for Govt intervention to strengthen and support the industry to move forward. more..

Sri Lanka, Australia reaffirm commitment to combat transnational crime

Oct 22 (GDI) Govt of Australia has affirmed its commitment to support Sri Lanka in capacity building and legislative reform to combat people smuggling and other transnational crimes. At the 5th Session of the Australia-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group (JWG) on People Smuggling and Transnational Crime held recently in Colombo, Sri Lanka reiterated its commitment to combat transnational crimes and share the knowledge and experiences with Australia. more..

IMF expects strong Budget 2019

Oct 22 (FT) IMF expects a strong 2019 Budget given SL’s medium-term challenges amidst aspirations to accelerate socio-economic growth. “Sri Lanka would need a strong 2019 Budget, aiming at further fiscal consolidation, to secure debt on a sustainable downward path and support investor confidence as large debt repayments are coming due,” IMF’s Mission Chief for Sri Lanka Manuela Goretti said. more..

Indonesian naval ship on a goodwill mission

Oct 22 (SLN) Indonesian Naval Ship Kri Usman Harun arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit yesterday (20). The ship was welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval customs, upon her arrival. A group of officials from the Embassy of Indonesia in Colombo was also present on the occasion. The vessel that is 95m long and 12.7m wide, has a displacement capacity of 2,300 tons. The ship’s crew which includes 100 members is scheduled to take part in several friendly more..

Prisoners protest against deployment of STF

Oct 22 (Island) About 200 inmates of the Angunakolapelessa jail staged a rooftop protest yesterday against the deployment of the STF at the prison. The inmates got onto the roof of the two storeyed building and the communication tower of the prison and shouted slogans, displaying placards. The protesters called for the removal of the Superintendent of the Angunakolapelessa prison. About 50 STF commandos have been detailed for the protection of the prison facility. more..

Whistleblowing policy at Central Bank

Oct 22 (ST) A Whistleblowing Policy and a Code of Conduct for all employees at the Central Bank (CB) have been introduced, in line with recommendations made by the recent Presidential Commission on Treasury bonds. The CB, in a public notice on Monday, said these measures were part of the legal function being strengthened with measures to increase resources and the internal audit function has improved its coverage and depth more..

Video: RAW doesn’t need to assassinate politicians of neighboring countries: SF

Oct 22 (AD) Minister Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka says that he doesn’t believe that a professional organization such as India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) would attempt to assassinate politicians of a neighboring country. He mentioned this following an event held in Kelaniya area. RAW is an intelligence unit which has a high level of professionalism, said the Minister. It is not an organization built on the mentality of assassinating neighboring politicians, he added. more..

Govt to ban tuition classes during school hours

Oct 22 (NR) Assuring to end the Tuition Mafia, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam today said the country’s competitive examinations should not be tailor-made to facilitate the tuition class culture. He said, the Examination Commissioner General has been instructed to formulate exam papers based on the accepted curriculum. Minister added that competitive exams, like the A/L, O/L and Grade five scholarship exams must be set according to the accepted curriculum and more..

Govt urged to probe massive gold imports

Oct 22 (Island) JO called for a thorough probe to identify racketeers involved in importing gold for the Indian market via Sri Lanka. Over USD 1 billion had been spent over the past 16 months to import gold into Sri Lanka and a substantial part of such imports ended up in India. JO MP Bandula Gunawardena alleged that the clandestine operation was being carried out at Sri Lanka's expense. He said that his efforts to obtain the names of more..

Don’t blame the messenger

Oct 22 (Hindu) On October 17, a front-page report, Sri Lankan President Sirisena alleges that RAW is plotting his assassination, in this newspaper became the subject of wild speculation on social media. Some commenters wondered how such a story could find a place in a respected newspaper. There was a striking element that linked all the critical comments against the story: suspicion of the journalist’s account but belief in the half-hearted official denials. more..

Two more elephants dead and one injured in collision with trains

Oct 22 (AD) Two elephants have been killed and another elephant was critically injured in two train accidents. Two wild elephants collided with a night mail train travelling from Colombo to Kankesanthurai, last night (20). One of the elephants was killed in the accident while the other elephant was critically injured. The accident has taken place at around 12 midnight. Another elephant was killed in collision with the Meenagaya train en route to Batticaloa from Colombo. more..

'Information given to The Hindu by four Cabinet Ministers'

Oct 22 (CT) Four Cabinet Ministers had provided information, to the reporter of The Hindu newspaper, regarding the statements allegedly made by Prez Sirisena against India and China. They are linked to RAW intelligence service and information about them will be made known in the future, said Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. He added that newspapers recently reported that the Prez made adverse comments against India & China. more..

Those above 70 to be released from jail

Oct 22 (CT) Prisons Department has commenced a programme to release prisoners who are over the age of 70 years and have been incarcerated for a long period. Prisoners who had not been involved in crimes such as rape, robbery, and murder and who have, during their long term, behaved well, are to be released. This programme is a concept of Minister Talatha Atukorale. With a view to ascertain the prisoners who will come within this category, Ministry has appointed a committee. more..

Bikini furore rocks Habaraduwa

Oct 22 (CT) Habaraduwa Police yesterday said they were forced to place signboards with a message to foreign visitors to dress modestly while in public places, following repeated requests from local groups that included the clergy, schools and villagers. An official with the Habaraduwa Police said that the move was aimed purely at informing foreign visitors on the local sentiments and culture, and it was not intended to offend any particular person and if that was the case then it is regretted. more..

Shanghai Museum claims finding Chinese ceramic in Lankan ruins

Oct 22 (CD) Archaeologists from Shanghai Museum have unearthed a large number of ceramic pieces, most of which appear to be have been made in China, from the Allaippidy ruins in Sri Lanka. This shows the links that existed between China and other countries through the ancient maritime Silk Road. Discovery was announced on Sept 29. Archaeological team set out on its first overseas mission to SL in August, more..

JO admits UNP-led govt can muster a two-thirds anytime

Oct 22 (Island) The JO said that UNP-led govt could comfortably muster a two-thirds majority in parliament anytime. JO MPs Bandula Gunawardena and Sisira Jayakody acknowledged that the grouping never had a chance to thwart the passage of the controversial Reparations Bill meant to set up Office for Reparations in parliament two weeks ago. They said so when the media repeatedly asked for an explanation why the JO couldn’t ensure all its 69 members to vote against the Bill. more..

Education modernization project begins today

Oct 22 (DN) The World Bank-funded Education Modernization Project will begin today under the patronage of Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. The World Bank has agreed to provide US$ 100 million on a concessionary credit facility for the Project to strengthen and modernize both primary and secondary education systems in the country. The project will be implemented during 2018 – 2024. Under the project, steps will be taken to modernise the curriculum in relation to more..

China brought in to probe Sri Lanka’s India-backed assassination plot

Oct 22 (EN) Detectives investigating the alleged Indian-backed plot to assassinate Prez Sirisena have failed to uncover any incriminating conversations and have called in Chinese expertise for mobile phone analysis. The man who exposed the alleged plot, a former air force and army deserter Namal Kumara, had told investigators that his recordings of phone conversations with a DIG had been mysteriously deleted. more..

Undermining the rule of law

Oct 22 (DM) On Oct 16, President Sirisena donated a sum of rupees one million to the family of a police sergeant Sanath Gunawardana, who went berserk at the Thebuwana police station, pointed his T-56 assault rifle at OIC of the station and stormed out onto the public road endangering the lives of the public. It took officers of the STF to disarm the enraged police officer. During the ensuing struggle, the sergeant fired his weapon which fortunately did not harm members of the public who were more..

Indian judgement on LGBT rights: Can Sri Lanka follow same path?

Oct 22 (DM) With a revolutionary judgement, the Indian Supreme Court last month abolished laws that criminalized sexual activities between individuals of same-sex. The panel of judges headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that criminalization of same sex relationships by Section 377 of Indian Penal Code was contrary to the Constitution of India, and that it violated fundamental rights of individuals especially the Articles 15 of Constitution which guarantees explanation that more..

Army withdraws peacekeeping team’s chief from Mali

Oct 22 (ST) SL Army will comply with a UN request to withdraw the Commanding Officer of its peacekeeping contingent in Mali but will appeal the decision and, if the Lieutenant Colonel is cleared of charges, seek his reinstatement. The UN on Friday requested the SL Govt to immediately repatriate the Commander of its UN peacekeeping force in Mali, following a review of his human rights background. more..

JO backs Minister Wijeyadasa’s move: Reveal all defaulters, including lawmakers

Oct 22 (Island) The JO yesterday backed Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse’s move to pressure university academics and officials to repay what they owed to the state, by publishing the names of defaulters as well as guarantors. JO MP Bandula Gunawardena said that he believed tangible measures should be taken to recover loans. Gampaha District MP Sisira Jayakody refrained from commenting on the issue. more..