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Wijeyadasa files complaint against Suraksha Insurance

Mar 8 (AD) Presidential Commission of Inquiry has decided to investigate a complaint lodged against a financial irregularity committed through the Suraksha insurance operated by the Ministry of Education. The complaint was filed by UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday. He claims that this insurance has not drawn any benefit for school children and irregularity of Rs 2300 million has taken place as a result. Minister further says that Rs 29 million has been misappropriated by more..

Shangri-la launch for US funded anti-corruption plan

Mar 8 (Island) Director General of CIABOC Sarath Jayamanne, PC, yesterday said that a national action plan for combating bribery and corruption would be launched in Colombo on March 18 under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena. Addressing the media, Jayamanne said that the action plan was formulated following about 50 consultations with relevant institutions, including the parliament. more..

CID officer arrested while accepting bribe remanded

Mar 8 (AD) CID officer arrested in the act of accepting a bribe of Rs 80,000 has been remanded until March 22nd by the Colombo Magistrate. The suspect, who was arrested by the Bribery Commission yesterday, was produced before the Colombo Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. Bribery Commission informed the court that the officer in question has initially solicited a bribe of Rs 513,000 from a businessman to prevent a purported lawsuit against him over a cheque fraud more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 7% in Feb; China arrivals plunge

Mar 8 (EN) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka grew 7% from a year earlier to 252,033 in February 2019, the state tourism development authority said amid a steep fall in Chinese visitors. The top generating markets were India with 13 percent of arrivals, the United Kingdom 12%, China 11% and France and Germany 7% each. Indian visitors had fallen 1.9% to 21,286 and UK had grown 8.8% to 29,750. Arrivals from China had plunged 22% to 28,039 amid traditional Chinese Lunar New Year holidays. more..

Sri Lanka has failed to seize opportunity provided by UNHRC - report

Mar 8 (AD) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet says the lack of progress shows that the situation of human rights in Sri Lanka should remain firmly on the agenda of the UNHRC. In the latest report on Sri Lanka by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), High Commissioner therefore urges the Council to remain closely engaged with the Govt of Sri Lanka and more..

Life in the arts: Saying it in song

Mar 9 (ST) A young girl stands in a corporate office – she is the representation of every artistic person who dreams of having a career in the performing arts. The scene progresses and she is joined by dancers in black and grey, symbolizing the monotony of working in the corporate sector when your heart yearns for something else as Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 is played. This is the opening scene of the concert, ‘A Recital by Dmitri Gunatilake, A Million Dreams; One Act in Song’, more..

Women’s bodies as tools of State control

Mar 9 (FT) Last week men on social media celebrated Women Police Constables (WPCs) being the barrier between student protesters. This was apparently an achievement for gender equality. It is commonplace for Male Police Constables (MPCs) to get all the action of being in the frontlines, while WPCs are often restricted to the offices taking on roles as secretaries, or other such desk jobs. While the latter is true, as WPCs are not often given opportunities to rise in rank, more..

Tourism-elephant conflict: Are Lankan jumbos entertainers?

Mar 9 (SO) The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) is drafting new regulations to incorporate into the country’s Flora and Fauna Act, to ensure the protection of domesticated elephants and use of elephants in tourist related activities, Director General DWC, M. G. C. Sooriyabandara said. The move comes as Sri Lanka emerged as the top country to travel to this year in several rankings, more..

Planning sans science and technology: Life for us is going to be costly if not painful!

Mar 9 (FT) Sri Lanka is in a period of extreme challenge and the reasons are manifold – However, I really do not see whether we understand the way out! Sri Lanka: A country trapped in debt and Repayment of debt – the biggest nightmare for Sri Lanka appearing in news just do not bring comfort to the minds of the citizen. Young ones are growing with the outside in their mind. Globally the situation of emerging nine billion people on planet with all their due requirements more..

Policing the Police: Challenge for newly face-lifted Police Commission

Mar 9 (DM) Some say that the Police have gone to the dogs. Without being so harsh, yet being realistic, we would euphemistically admit that some dogs have got in to the Police force. They are wreaking havoc, abusing power, desecrating the hallowed police uniform, wagging tail at politicos and making people lose their trust in the very concept of law and order. Despite measures aimed at an independent, efficient and non-corrupt Police force, such as the establishment of the Police Commission, more..

From traditional degrees to accelerator programmes: Coding in Jaffna

Mar 9 (Roar) Nearly ten years since we marked the end of the civil war, the landscape in Jaffna is changing — and not just in terms of tourism development. Eager to advance digitally, and with the ambition of becoming a regional Silicon Valley, Jaffna’s IT scene is growing fast. The region’s digital growth can be attributed to the Yarl IT Hub, which fosters startup ecosystems, helps youth network, and more recently, attempted to address more..

She can do it!

Mar 9 (CT) On 21 July 1960, Sri Lanka made history by electing the world’s first non-hereditary woman Head of State in modern history, a truly magnificent feat commended to this day; it even got political observers in America talking after Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, showing how a progressive western nation had lapsed at what an ‘up-and-coming’ democracy managed to achieve more than 50 years ago. But in spite of breaking that glass ceiling, more..

The modern rice bowl

Mar 9 (SO) Recently, after visiting the Alikota Ara reservoir near Wellawaya, we were heading back to Wellawaya town, which is a flourishing agricultural region in the country, when I caught a glimpse of farmers harvesting paddy in the scorching sun. What caught my attention was them using machinery for the harvest instead of the age-old method of water-buffaloes and manual labour. For generations, paddy farmers have employed traditional methods to preserve indigenous paddy seeds. more..

Gevindu Kumaratunga

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe: Performance versus promises

Mar 9 (Island) The writer’s article titled President Maitripala Sirisena: Performance versus promises appeared in two newspapers on 16 Feb 2019. There was one inadvertent error in that article that requires correction, namely, that it was Sri Lanka Telecom and not the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to which President Maithripala Sirisena (MS) had appointed one of his brothers. However, the inference about the nepotistic nature of the appointment is not affected by this error. more..

Edtorial: Blues of the Prez

Mar 9 (Island) Close on the heels of President Maithripala Sirisena’s revelation that some foreign diplomats had tried to meddle in the appointment of the Cabinet has come his lament that nobody in the govt listens to him. Poor President! We thought he was a tough guy capable of even taming the underworld. Speaking, at a book launch, the other day, in Colombo, President Sirisena decried what he called the mindless destruction of the environment in the name of development. more..

Rise of the Sirisena Naadagama

Mar 9 (Island) Are we beginning to see a new trend in Presidential Governance? What exactly will the special Presidential Trio sent to the UNHCR – in Geneva do? Will Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe and Northern Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan, be a rival team to the official SL diplomatic team led by our Ambassador in Geneva? There are contradictory and rival attitudes here about the UNHCR’s Resolution on Sri Lanka, more..

SL hope for better fortunes in Eastern Cape

Mar 9 (Island) Sri Lanka have returned to the Eastern Cape where they created history a fortnight ago by becoming only the third country to win a Test series in South Africa. Kingsmead Cricket Ground in Durban, the venue for the thrilling one wicket win in the first Test, will host the third ODI on Sunday and then the teams will travel further south for the fourth ODI at St. George’s Park, in Port Elizabeth, the venue for the second Test, hosting the next ODI. South Africa are 2-0 up in the series more..

Sri Lanka team bus attack 10 years on

Mar 9 (DN) On 3 March 2009, the Sri Lanka cricket team were in Lahore, Pakistan. It was the third morning of another Test match. Shortly before 09:00 local time, just outside the Gaddafi Stadium, 12 gunmen ambushed them. Six policemen and a driver escorting match officials were killed. The attackers were armed with assault rifles, grenades and rocket launchers. England coach Trevor Bayliss and his assistant Paul Farbrace, both then working with Sri Lanka, were on the team bus. more..

The law should apply to Karannagoda: SF

Mar 9 (DM) The law should apply to former navy commander Wasantha Karannangoda if he had done anything wrong, Field Marshal and MP Sarath Fonseka said during the debate on the second reading of the Budget. He said the former navy commander should be penalized if he was found guilty on the charges which he was facing. “Karannagoda should be dealt with under the law if he is had ordered the abduction and more..

SL Women squad picked to meet England

Mar 9 (CI) Sri Lanka have returned to more experienced options for their forthcoming three-match home ODI series against England, picking allrounder Hansima Karunaratne, and fingerspinners Sugandika Kumari and Inoshi Priyadharshani. All three games will carry points towards the ICC Women's Championship. Following a modest Women's T20 World Cup campaign last November, Sri Lanka had named a new-look limited-overs side for the tour of South Africa. more..

Dreary draw in Jaffna Big Match as batsmen dawdle

Mar 9 (DN) The 113th Battle of the North cricket match between St. John’s and Jaffna Central ended in a tame draw at the Jaffna Central College grounds yesterday with neither side making any positive attempt to force a result. Jaffna Central in reply to St John’s first innings of 181 scored 195 after resuming at 59-2. Iyalarasan Kamalarasa top scored with a patient 77 off 239 balls (8 fours) in contrast Viyaskanth Vijayakanth who hit a rapid 41 off 35 balls with 3 sixes and 1 four more..

SriLankan celebrates Intl. Women’s Day with all-female crew flight

Mar 9 (FT) In recognition of International Women’s Day, SriLankan Airlines operated its first all-female crew flight from Colombo to Singapore and back. UL306 of 8 March landed in Singapore carrying more than 170 passengers onboard. The flight was piloted by Captain Simran Ghumman and First Officer Maneesha Nambuge accompanied by purser Miranda Rodrigo and cabin crew comprises Lakmini, Sumudu, Onella, more..

SC re-issues EC notice on petition seeking PC polls

Mar 9 (FT) Supreme Court directed the Petitioners to re-issue notice on the Election Commission and deferred the Writ Petition for 29 March. Bench comprised Justices Sisira J. De Abrew, Prasanna S. Jayawardena and P. Padman Surasena. The Writ Petition was filed by six petitioners, the members of Sathya Gaveshakayo (Truth Seekers) organisation. The Petitioners cited the Election Commission, its Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, its members Nalin Abeysekara and Ratnajeewa Hoole as more..

140th Battle of the Blues: Thomians in command, Royal fight for survival

Mar 9 (DN) A superb partnership of 91 runs of 108 balls by two left-handers Umayanga Suwaris and Kalana Perera took S.Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia from a hopeless 169 for 8 to a commanding total of 296 all out in their first innings on the second day of the three-day 140th Battle of the Blues cricket encounter against Royal College played at the SSC grounds yesterday. By the close the Royal who were dismissed for 158 in their first innings had wiped out the deficit of 138 scoring 148 for the loss of 4 more..

Norwegian Minister too busy to meet MR

Mar 9 (Island) Norwegian Embassy spokesperson in Colombo, said that the Norwegian State Secretary Marianne Hagen had not been able to meet Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa due to her extremely tight schedule. The spokesperson was responding to The Island query regarding the UPFA MP Keheliya Ranbukwella complaining about Hagen not meeting Rajapaksa. The embassy spokesperson said: more..

No room for robbers: Chandrika

Mar 9 (DN) There is no room for robbers and theft in accordance with Bandaranaike Policies exercised in the SLFP, former Prez and one of SLFP Advisors Chandrika Kumaratunga said. She highlighted that no SLFP politician can be a thief or engage in robbing public wealth. She was addressing the National Women’s Celebration at Viharamahadevi Park. “With the noble Bandaranaike policies, SLFP politicians especially the political leaders cannot be thieves or associate thieves,” more..

Marini de Livera among ten IWOC awardees

Mar 9 (GDI) SL’s Marini de Livera will be among ten extraordinary women from around the world feted at the Annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards at the US Department of State by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver special remarks at the ceremony. Now in its 13th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award recognises women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for more..

Iwasuwa Athi commences…

Mar 9 (CT) Launching the first in a series of 10 public rallies, titled Iwasuwa Athi (Enough is enough), from Kandy yesterday, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said the good governance Govt has failed to live up to the expectations of the people. He also said, the Govt had spent the first half of its regime blaming his Govt for every failure and are now trying to save face by blaming his 51-day tenure in Govt from Oct more..

Global quality expert to lead Sri Lanka’s consumer protection campaign

Mar 9 (DM) Sri Lanka’s national consumer protection is to be led by an internationally accredited quality professional and a leading academic in management science. “With this appointment, we leverage your local and int'l experience for our consumer protection,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, while handing over the letter of appointment to Dr. Lalith Senaweera (PhD in Management-USA, MBA-Colombo, BSc Hons- SL), 9th Chairman of the CAA more..

How to succeed as SL’s top woman entrepreneur: Honesty, hard work, and ...

Mar 9 (WB) This Int'l Women’s Day I chose to have a conversation with a lady who is recognized as the leading SL woman entrepreneur, Mrs. Aban Pestonjee. Her story is an inspiration to youth (male and female) and women who are afraid of failure and taking risks. Starting from a modest home-based business, 50 years ago, today Aban is a household brand name that is island wide in SL. The company employs people from different walks of life in diverse jobs from street cleaners to more..

No more Kandy Night Bazaar

Mar 9 (DN) Instructions were given to immediately close down the weekly Night Bazaar at Dalada Weediya in Kandy, Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. The Minister made this comment when UNP Kandy District MP Velu Kumar raised concerns on the new Night Bazaar in close proximity to the Dalada Maligawa. Minister Kiriella agreeing with MP Velu Kumar said the Malwathu and Asgiri Chief Prelates have also more..

Raghavan to take public concerns to UNHRC

Mar 9 (CT) Those wanting to have their concerns taken up at the ongoing UNHRC sessions in Geneva, Switzerland, can submit their concerns in writing to Northern Governor Suren Raghavan on 13 March, at the Chief Minister’s Office in Kaithady, Jaffna. The public or public organisations can handover their written concerns to a special unit that will function at the Northern Chief Minister’s office during the Governor’s Public Day scheduled to be held on 13 March. more..

Comrade KP passes away

Mar 9 (Island) Communist Party of Sri Lanka yesterday announced with profound grief the passing away of Comrade K.P. Silva, former General Secretary of the party. His remains lie at Jayaratne Funeral Parlour, Borella, and the funeral will take place on 11th March, 2019 (Monday) at the Kanatte Cemetery. The remains of the late leader will be taken to the Communist Party Headquarters, Borella, at 10 AM on Monday 11th. K.P. started his career as a worker at the Leather Factory. more..

Thorough training for all untrained teachers

Mar 9 (DN) The govt has created a framework for future education by providing key facilities such as trained teachers, building facilities, health insurance, new technology and the 13 year compulsory education, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Addressing a ceremony to award the National Diploma in Education certificates to 3,000 new teachers held at the Temple Trees yesterday, PM said the present govt during the past 4 years more..

Sri Lanka’s women want to work—and thrive in the workplace

Mar 9 (WB) It’s International Women’s Day today, and there is a lot to celebrate in Sri Lanka and beyond. Being a woman, mother, sister, aunt – name it, it’s something women wake up to daily and they love it. None of them question about being enumerated for these roles. We marvel and revel in the roles. But make no mistake. Women are also very capable breadwinners, contributors to the economies, innovators and entrepreneurs amongst many other roles. more..

Dr. Athukorala awarded Dr. APJ Abdulla Kalam Pride of Nation award

Mar 9 (CT) Dr. Abdul Kalam College of Management Technology, India, in partnership with Viswam Campus, Sri Lanka, conferred SL marketing professional Dr. Rohantha Athukorala the Pride of Nation award 2019 for his outstanding contribution to the country and for standing up for good governance, even giving up key jobs in the public sector to fight corruption. “Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India, was an aerospace scientist who was later on known as the missile man, more..

Tri-forces join fight against drugs

Mar 9 (FT) Following directives from Prez Sirisena, tri-forces have joined the SL Police and the STF to aid in fighting drug smuggling. At a joint media briefing yesterday, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne said that the tri-forces were fully geared to assist the Govt’s initiative to control the drug menace in Sri Lanka, which had shown an alarming increase during the past few years. more..

Bones unearthed at Batti housing project

Mar 9 (CT) Batticaloa Magistrate A.C. Rizwan on Thursday (7), ordered the human skeletal remains, found at Sathurukondan-Sinna Savukkadi in Batticaloa, to be sent for a medico-legal examination,. Skeletal remains were first found on 6 March at Sathurukondan when a resident dug his land, which was in a housing scheme constructed by the National Housing Authority, to construct a well. Batticaloa Police arrived at the scene to conduct investigations following the discovery. more..

Jaffna to get Olympic-standard aquatic complex

Mar 9 (FT) A foreign donor is interested in constructing an Olympic-standard aquatic sports complex and requested the Policy Development Office of PM’s Office to find a suitable location in Jaffna. Jaffna Govt Agent has recommended certain lands for this purpose. After inspection, the land belonging to the Manipay Pradeshiya Sabha, the Sellamuthu Playground, has been selected as suitable. After negotiations with the Manipay PS, it was proposed by the donor that more..