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Acts of great betrayal by Lanka’s leaders

Jul 1 (ST) For good reason and going by past bitter experience, Sri Lankans have learnt to distrust wildly acrimonious statements by their two quarrelling yahapalanaya (good governance) leaders, President Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe as a doomed political entanglement unravels amidst mutual personal distaste. But with acrimony between the two men deepening each day, anti-progressive and in some instances, raw communal and chauvinistic forces are emerging more strongly more..

SriLankan Airlines’ long overdue AGM

Jul 1 (CT) The national carrier SriLankan Airlines (UL) held its long-delayed Fortieth Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Share Holders on Tuesday, June 25 at the BMICH. It was convened to receive and consider the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the financial year ending March 31, 2018. As per Company Law, AGM should have been held on or before Sept 30, 2018. UL violated Sections 133 (1) and Section 167 of the Companies Act. more..

No proof to link Dr. Shafi to criminal activities: CID

Jul 1 (SO) Forty days after Dr. Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital was detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), evidence gathered by the CID showed that the allegations of forcible sterilization by the senior medical officer were based on speculation fuelled by media reports. This week, the Kurunegala Magistrate was told that there was no proof to link Dr. Shafi to more..

Playing political games while doing nothing about anti-Muslim bigotry

Jul 1 (CT) The President is trying to play bait and switch politics. Maithripala Sirisena became president promising to abolish the presidency. He took pride in navigating the passage of the 19th Amendment that was presented as the precursor to abolishment. Now Sirisena is blaming the 19th Amendment as the principal reason for his disastrous presidency. So, he wants to abolish the 19th Amendment. Only he thinks that he is being clever. more..

Architect of the 19th Amendment condemns it as The Curse of Lanka

Jul 1 (ST) If there is one solitary candle that serves to dispel the darkness of Maithripala Sirisena’s otherwise lacklustre rule as President of Sri Lanka, it is the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. When it was enacted due to his strenuous efforts during his first hundred honeymoon days as the newly elected president in April 2015 by a Parliament which voted 215 with 9 abstaining and only one against it, it was heralded as his supreme moment of achievement: his shining hour when more..

An ill-deserved reputation threatens Sri Lanka’s secretive snake

Jul 1 (MB) A general fear of snakes, lack of understanding of reptile behavior, and human encroachment into wilderness areas are putting increasing pressure on a unique snake species found only in Sri Lanka, a new study shows. In a paper published in Vertebrate Zoology after 11 years of field study of the Sri Lankan keelback (Balanophis Ceylonensis), also known as the blossom krait, researchers say more..

Women’s dress code

Jul 1 (CT) The Women’s dress code in Sri Lanka, especially after the Easter Sunday massacre, has become the talk of the town. This was attributed to the carnage carried out by young Islamic Terrorists (Wahhabis) espousing suicide bombers. Being educated and hailing from comfortable families, it remains an unresolved setback as to how those young hearts impregnated with celestial fire were converted into terrorists, and to the extent of completely brainwashing, more..

Edtorial: Let saner counsel prevail!

Jul 1 (Island) Maithripala Sirisena’s presidency is like a skyrocket or ahas gundu with a broken guide stick, zipping in all directions erratically and scaring hell out of the person who lights it. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe must be ruing the day he decided to field Sirisena as the common presidential candidate of the Opposition. The President’s worst critics are the very ones who helped him with his election in 2015, hailing him as an exemplary politician. more..

'අපිට මිලිටරි පාලකයෙක් ඕන නෑ!'

19th Amendment: Gridlock or progressive step?

Jul 1 (CT) The leaders of the UNP, which introduced the 1978 Constitution, described it as the panacea for all political ills of the country since Independence. Political opponents of the UNP saw it as the road to dictatorship and the end to freedom. All Presidents that came into power after J.R. Jayewardene and R. Premadasa climbed to the pinnacle of power on the promise of abolishing the tyrannical Executive Presidency, though none of them stuck to their promises beyond the election date. more..

Direction boards: Confusion worse confounded

Jul 1 (Island) A direction board erected on the side of a road or on a highway is supposed to provide vital destination information to motorists, prior to reaching an intersection. A directional signboard is normally installed well ahead of the intersection on the left hand side of the road or as a gantry sign across the road. Take the direction board illustrated in figure 01, which says that you will come across an intersection ahead and if you turn left and by travelling 4.1 km more..

New Ceylon Chamber Chief Dr. Hans sends clarion call

Jul 1 (FT) Business leader and telecom industry icon Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, who on Friday was elected as the new Chairman of the country's premier private sector lobby group, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, called on the private sector to unite in driving desired change and for the Govt to facilitate the fostering of national harmony, law and order with transparent, constructive policy frameworks. more..

Knocked out SL and WI focus on life after World Cup

Jul 1 (CI) How have SL performed in this World Cup? It's not a straightforward question to answer. They had won just 12 out 53 completed ODIs between the start of 2017 and the start of this World Cup, and were led in the tournament by someone who had last played an ODI in the last World Cup. The same team managed to topple the pre-tournament favourites, and despite just two wins and two points from two washouts, had a chance to make it to the semi-finals before England more..

Malinga versus Gayle: One of cricket’s finest rivalries

Jul 1 (Island) Both SL and West Indies, former champions of the World Cup, have blown hot and cold in this edition of the tournament. But when they lock horns today (Monday) here at Chester-le-Street in Durham, a lot of fans will be looking for one keen contest. Lasith Malinga and Chris Gayle are two of the oldest players in the competition. The Jamaican will turn 40 this year while the southerner will be 36 in seven weeks time. Despite the age, they still remain match winners and more..

'Middle order doesn't have confidence'

Jul 1 (CI) Softer than marshmallow, slower than a tortoise, SL's middle order has had a poor tournament. Across five team innings, Sri Lanka have five half-centuries, but two each are from openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera. Nos. 4-7, in 20 combined innings, have contributed only one fifty: Angelo Mathews' unbeaten 85 against England. Worse even than that output, has been their rate of scoring. more..

WC 2019: India beat England

Jul 1 (CI) Jason Roy was back, despite not being fully fit. Jonny Bairstow was back to his monster-hitting mode. Liam Plunkett was back in the XI in a tactical swap, replacing Moeen Ali, and took out Virat Kohli in a chase of 338. New England got their wobbling World Cup campaign back on track at Edgbaston, outbatting and outbowling India, clad in new, orange-and-dark-blue jerseys. If England can follow up their 31-run victory on Sunday with another win against New Zealand on Wednesday, more..

Govt to introduce several concessions for int’l airlines

Jul 1 (DN) The govt in a bid to attract more airlines and additional flights would be introducing a series of concessions for international airlines at the Colombo International Airport soon. These include special concessions on ground handling, fuel charges as well as a waiver of the embarkation tax from US$ 60 to 40, Minister John Amaratunga said. “These proposed concessions will help more international airlines to look at Sri Lanka more positively,” he said. more..

Two ex-police officers get 10 years jail for torture in High Court retrial

Jul 1 (ST) Two former Police officers were sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined Rs. 50,000 each in a retrial by the Negombo High Court on Friday, after being found guilty of torturing an individual in custody at the Wattala Police Station in 2002. The victim, Gerard Perera, was shot and killed in Nov 2004, while he was pursuing legal action against the officers who tortured him. AG had indicted four accused — Suresh Gunasena, more..

Sri Lanka in the headlines for wrong reasons: German envoy

Jul 1 (DM) German Ambassador Joern Rohde said Sri Lanka was unfortunately again in the headlines for the wrong reasons. In a series of tweets, Ambassador said it could have been a fantastic year for the SL tourism industry after Lonely Planet in Oct 2018 announced Sri Lanka to be the travel destination for 2019. “Then the good news was quickly overshadowed by the equally unnecessary constitutional crisis followed by the horrible Easter Attacks and the communal unrest more..

SLTPB Board to meet tomorrow to fast track tourism revival

Jul 1 (FT) SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Board of Directors will meet tomorrow to firm up the remaining measures in fast trackingtourism revival, following the setbacks caused by the Easter Sunday terror attacks. Top on the agenda is global public relations and the marketing campaign conceptualised by JWT, which was approved by the Cabinet two weeks ago. With support from JWT, the SLTPB will roll out the two-month PR campaign by mid-July and the six-month global marketing more..

Video: I’m suitable to run for Presidency: Welgama

Jul 1 (AD) UPFA MP Kumara Welgama says that he will quit the nominal posts in the SLPP and work with the SLFP. He stated that SLPP has already informed him of their candidate for the presidential election. He says, although it is said that he is removed from SLPP leadership of Badulla District, there is no need for such measure since he never took the membership of the party. Welgama said that he supported the SLPP due to more..

Video: Narammala PS Deputy Chairman remanded for assaulting constable

Jul 1 (AD) The Deputy Chairman of the Narammala Pradeshiya Sabha who was arrested over an assault on a Police officer has been remanded, stated Ada Derana reporter. Accordingly, he will be under remand custody under the 03rd of July as per the order of the Kuliyapitiya Magistrate’s Court. The Deputy Chairman was arrested earlier today (30) over assaulting a constable at the Narammala Police Station. The assaulted police constable is currently hospitalized for treatment. more..

Video: Yala drowning: Mother in ICU passes away

Jul 1 (AD) Mother who was receiving treatment at the ICU of a private hospital, Colombo after a family drowned in Yala beach, Kirinda, has passed away, last night (29). A family of four from Hatton was rescued after being swept away in a current at the Yala beach on 23rd June. However, father (38) and two daughters, aged 4.5 and 7 years, passed away at the hospital. Mother (33) was transferred to the Ampara hospital via a helicopter and subsequently, the relatives transferred her to a pvt hospital more..

Mannar Magistrate orders forensic report on skeletal remains

Jul 1 (Island) A fresh controversy has arisen over the Mannar mass grave site following a magisterial order that experts who carried out excavations provide a forensic report on the skeletons they had dug up before July 31. Prof. Raj Somadeva of Kelaniya University confirmed that the court had issued the order, but there were issues with carbon dating reports issued by a Florida lab on samples sent from Mannar mass grave site. more..

Prisoners’ Welfare Association chief asks Prez not to rush to hang

Jul 1 (Island) Chairman of Prisoners’ Welfare Association and former Justice Minister Milinda Moragoda has, in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, called for reforming the justice system instead of resuming judicial executions. In the letter, Moragoda argues that the capital punishment will not permit a guilty person to rehabilitate himself or herself and in a context where the justice system is being questioned for its various lapses and shortcomings the implementation of more..

Curtain falls on National Drug prevention week today with President as the Chief Guest

Jul 1 (FT) The island-wide National Drug Prevention Week under the patronage of President Sirisena coinciding with the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking saw the completion of its final day successfully yesterday. The main ceremony of the week long campaign will be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium today with the participation of Prez as the Chief Guest. In parallel to the Int'l Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking observances on 26 July, more..

Public servants’ salary increases effective from today

Jul 1 (CT) The proposed salary increment and other allowances for public servants by Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his Budget 2019 are effective from today (1). All public servants are to receive an additional monthly allowance of Rs 2500, allowance for security forces will be increased, anomalies of 500,000 pensioners will be removed, allowance for the differently abled will be increased and number of recipients of kidney patients’ more..

Video: Good balance between President and Parliament: Patali

Jul 1 (AD) Currently, there is a good balance between the president and the Parliament, says Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. The Minister expressed these views following an observational tour in Kataragama, this morning (30). The 19th Amendment has done a great service for the democratic human freedom in the country, according to the Minister. Ranawaka says, since the President’s powers have been curtailed through this, it has had a positive impact on the country. more..

In a matter of hours, Sri Lanka out of World Cup contention

Jul 1 (AP) Dimuth Karunaratne and his SL squad were still in contention at the Cricket World Cup when they practiced on the eve of their group game against West Indies. They were out of contention before the sun set Sunday, when England beat India at Edgbaston. It was a payback of sorts from the tournament hosts. Lasith Malinga-inspired upset win over England at Leeds on June 21 revived SL’s prospects of reaching the semifinals, and also opened the door for Pakistan & Bangladesh. more..

Video: Madush revealed 7 politicians who engaged in political rackets: Rajitha

Jul 1 (AD) Makandure Madush has revealed names of 7 cheap politicians who had engaged in political rackets, according to Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Among the four are from the governing party while the other three are from the opposition, he stated. Senaratne says that he will reveal these names to the public after the ongoing Cricket WC ends. He further said that one of the politicians mentioned by Madush is an more..

Free banking period Sri Lanka currency notes issued in multiple locations

Jul 1 (EN) SL (then Ceylon) had issued currency notes at multiple locations ranging from Colombo and Galle to plantations districts of Haldemulla and Nuwara Eliya, during the free banking era of the island, an expert said. Under free banking more than one bank could issue notes, which would circulate in parallel. A free bank typically issued notes, with a promise to pay back a specific weight in silver or gold (a convertibility undertaking), depending the metallic standard in use. more..

Video: Father of two injured in assault by Ginigathhena police

Jul 1 (AD) A 28-year-old individual who has been allegedly assaulted by officers at the Ginigathhena Police Station has been admitted to the Ginigathhena District Hospital over injuries to a leg. Reportedly, the assaulted father of two who had arrived at the Ginigathhena Police station at around 11.30 am today (30). At the Police station, he had gotten involved in a hearing of a complaint lodged on a financial transaction between his sister and another woman from the area. more..

UNP against death penalty: PM

Jul 1 (EN) UNP is against carrying out the death penalty, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said, as President Sirisena has said he had signed four death warrants on convicted drugs offenders. Taking life is against the policies of the UNP and he is unable to support the move, PM was quoted as saying at a speech on June 30. The opposition group led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, JVP & TNA was also against it, more..

PM says NEC cannot hold PC polls in Sept.

Jul 1 (Island) There is no possibility of holding the provincial council elections in September this year, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has told the leaders of constituent parties of the UNF and the UNP backbenchers, at Temple Tree, yesterday. The PM said that he had held no discussions regarding it with Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa or any other leader of a political party represented in Parliament. Earlier, the head of the Elections Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya told media more..

Illicit alcohol consumption up by 300%: WHO survey

Jul 1 (DM) The consumption of illicit alcohol in the country has grown by 300 percent during the period between 2003 and 2016 while the legal alcohol consumption has increased only by 50%, according to a survey conducted by the World Health Organisation. Consumption of illicit alcohol in Sri Lanka constitute 40% of the total consumption of alcohol, the survey further reveals. While expressing dissatisfaction over the poor enforcement by the Dept of Excise, WHO Global Status Report more..

Video: CPC trade unions to halt fuel supply to CEB from midnight

Jul 1 (AD) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) trade unions say that the supply of fuel to the CEB will be suspended from midnight today (30). This decision has been taken over not allowing the reconstruction in the remaining 140 meters of the fuel pipeline running from Colombo Harbor to the Kolonnawa warehouse. However, Minister of Petroleum Kabir Hashim stated that the PM agreed to resolve the issue within the coming days. more..

ACSA, SOFA, sale of Lanka and US proxy war with China

Jul 2 (DM) After every hustings, when the administration changes hands from a SLFP-led administration to one led by a UNP govt, opposition political parties, trade unions and even civil society organisations have accused the UNP-led regimes of selling vital sections of the economy to either the private sector or to foreign interests. More recently, the country has been witnessing a different type of sell-off of its assets. During the JR Jayawardene era, the then UNP-led regime was forced by India to more..

SLFP on course to obliteration, As nation faces constitutional crisis

Jul 1 (DM) Our sister paper Sunday Timesreported on its first page that CBK who celebrates her Birthday on June 29, was in London to receive an award presented by Search for Common Ground’ for her “vision, courage and commitment to peace and reconciliation.” SWRD Bandaranaike, who’s ‘Sinhala Only’ policy, which in a way, was at the root of the Sinhala-Tamil divide that continued with devastating results, was the leader of Sinhala Maha Sabha [SMS] and a Minister in more..

Redress 19A flaws with 20A: Dr Jayampathy

Jul 2 (SO) Refuting criticism of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, senior constitutional lawyer and UNF MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne who was regarded as the brains behind the 19th amendment, rejected arguments that it was an evil piece of legislation, while stressing that the constitutional amendment enacted within the first four months of the Yahapalanaya Govt’s term was not his prerogative. more..

So now we have a duped president

Jul 2 (ST) What strange times we live in. Only last week this column mentioned that funny things happen here and elsewhere. We drew a distinction between funny ha ha!, meaning laughable and funny curious meaning strange, broadly speaking. Unlike in most other countries, our politicians like to engage in theatrics. They like to exaggerate or minimise the significance of events or their statements or those of others, depending on what is politically advantageous. more..