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Foreign judges won’t be allowed under any circumstances: Kiriella

Mar 9 (Island) The govt had made it clear to the international community that Sri Lanka would not permit foreign judges to try war heroes or any other, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. He made this comment in reply to a question by UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekara in Parliament. MP, claiming that the govt had consented to allow international judges by co-sponsoring the UNHRC resolution in 2015, questioned whether govt was planning more..

Treat women and girls with respect

Mar 9 (DM) At any level of society, the decision-making process is flawed when it lacks the feminine qualities and characteristics such as patience, resilience and inner courage. Across the world, this is a widely-held viewpoint, though some male chauvinists – downgraded and degraded in the modern age -- still promote male domination and abuse of power. Unfortunately, since Jan 2016, US President Donald Trump has given encouragement to male chauvinistic groups though more..

Why SL should reject ultra-rightwing politics

Mar 9 (DM) Global considerations are ever present. A trend towards nationalism in Europe and the US is visible. Narrow-minded politicians are busy making more and more promises to gullible constituents expecting that they would, at least in the short term, overwhelm the more sophisticated arguments for compromises and accommodations on reconciliation and harmonious living among diverse groups of populations. The Ultra-Rightwing politics seems to be gaining ground, more..

Is Mahinda playing fair by Gotabhaya in the Presidential candidacy issue?

Mar 9 (DM) Is former President Mahinda Rajapaksa playing fair by his younger brother Gotabaya as far as the presidential election candidate issue is concerned? This question has popped up in the minds of many observers of SL’s political landscape in recent times. Although the Rajapaksa brothers present an outward image of monolithic unity, the political grapevine has hummed many times about strong political differences more..

Gota’s petition: AC Justice Kumudini recuses from the case

Mar 9 (DM) Justice Kumudini Wickramasinghe yesterday recused herself from the Court of Appeal Bench, which was constituted to hear the writ petition filed by former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The writ petition challenges the order of the permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar which has taken up for hearing the case in connection with D.A. Rajapaksa Museum. Bench comprising Justices Kumudini more..

Into the Beast they went, to shine a light on its treasures

Mar 9 (ST) Perpetual darkness and absolute stillness! Into these big voids under the earth, never-ever speared by sunlight, has a small group ventured through very narrow openings, to bring to the more faint-hearted Sri Lankans like us, the wonders of dark caves. “We are entering the Beast,” says one as the Sunday Times views a short video and it is not just for the thrill of a daredevil adventure or to experience adrenaline-rush more..

Sri Lanka has been ranked number one in South Asia in Graduate education

Mar 9 (Island) Sri Lanka has been ranked number one in South Asia for providing graduate education according to career guidance. This was revealed, at a meeting between Minister Rauff Hakeem and a delegation from the Sri Lanka wing of the World Bank, at the minister’s office in parliament, on Wednesday. Dr. A.R.A. Hafeez, Media Secretary to. Minister Hakeem said in a media statement: more..

She's a lawyer ... A thespian ... And now a State department woman of courage

Mar 9 (NPR) Marini de Livera's plays are not for the faint of heart. In her home country of Sri Lanka, the pro bono lawyer has found that crimes against women and children often take place behind closed doors — in homes, orphanages and schools. With her traveling theater group, de Livera seeks to shed light on the human rights abuses in her country by putting the violence on stage, front and center. more..

SL slams new difficulty in doing business as official star ratings lose relevance

Mar 9 (EN) SL's budget has proposed a new restriction on smaller hotels, blocking them from getting on an online booking engine unless they are registered with a state tourism regulatory agency, with archaic star ratings increasingly losing relevance. Tourist Development Authority has been on a re-regulatory drive forcing hotels to get its own star rating and register with it, making it more difficult to do business more..

25 UNP backbenchers to defeat President’s expenditure head

Mar 9 (DM) UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra said more than 25 UNP backbenchers were prepared to defeat the President's expenditure head. She told parliament that Prez Sirisena had allocated half of the funds for him than what was allocated for all the ministries in the budget. "President claims that he is a simple man. But he should show it by practice," she said. Rs. 13,560 million had been allocated for more..

Vandalizing archaeological sites - Cabinet approves upping fines, jail terms

Mar 9 (DM) Cabinet has approved the enactment of fresh legislation to increase fines and jail terms for those convicted of vandalizing archaeological sites and artefacts. As such the minimum fine for such offences will be increased from the present rate of Rs.50,000 to Rs.500,000 and the maximum to two million rupees. The new piece of legislation will be enacted as an amendment to SL Antiquities Ordinance No 9 of 1940. more..

Would give ear-splitting slap to anyone asks whether joining UNP: CBK

Mar 9 (DM) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga said she would give an Ear-splitting Slap to anyone who asks whether she would join the UNP. “I have many a time said that I would never join the UNP nor any other political party. In the recent past there were attempts by interested parties and individuals to push me into the UNP on the pretext of discrimination meted out to me within the party. more..

Right time to abolish executive presidency: JVP

Mar 9 (AD) The JVP says the time was right to bring in the 20th amendment to the Constitution to abolish the all-powerful executive presidential system of governance. The JVP, the main mover of the motion seeking abolishing of presidency, held a series of discussions with the main opposition leader and former Prez Rajapaksa to seek his support to bring in the 20th amendment to abolish the executive presidency. more..

Does she travel safe?

Mar 10 (SO) Sexual harassment is a grave violation of human rights. However, harassment of women and girls in public transport has become a common incidence in SL society. The excuse, be it the perpetrator, the responsible persons of the public transport or the passengers is the crowded conditions of our public transport. But, should it be so, questions an exhibition bringing the tormenting experiences of victims to light, in a bid to break the silence and eliminate sexual harassment of more..

CIABOC: Courage, Not Funds

Mar 10 (CT) The Nineteenth Amendment (19A), passed in Parliament in April 2015, has ensured the certainty of the separation of powers between the Executive and the Legislature. It was underscored by the recent judgments delivered against the Executive by Court when he tried to usurp the powers of the Legislature vis-à-vis the 26 October Political Coup. 19A also spawned the CIABOC, which is only answerable to Parliament and not to the Executive. more..

Mixed views on Budget 2019

Mar 10 (SO) SO interviewed a cross section of Govt and non Govt politicians to get their views on Budget 2019. Govt law makers said Budget 2019 has taken into account the real economic situation of the country while giving some sort of relief to a section of people who were marginalised. They said the Budget has been presented within the framework of a long and medium term plan to empower the people more..

The supreme irony

Mar 10 (Island) Good governance activists, The Friday Forum, have noted three months after the event what it has called the supreme irony of a PM and cabinet taking oaths of office declaring and affirming before a president who had himself broken that oath that they would act in accordance with the constitution. The president’s political coup last October – it was no less than that – entailed illegally and unconstitutionally dissolving the incumbent parliament. more..

The UNHRC façade

Mar 10 (ST) The in your face policy contradictions, political contradictions and political manoeuvres that the country is witnessing locally have now been exported. President who was keen to reverse a 2015 Govt decision (which he claims was taken without his knowledge) to co-sponsor the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 calling for an investigation into what happened during the final stages of the 2009 military campaign against the LTTE and reconciliation efforts thereafter, has not been able to get his way. more..

Game that was set up to trap Karannagoda

Mar 10 (CT) Leading President’s Counsel, Romesh de Silva, revealed in a statement to the Supreme Court last Thursday that the Attorney General and the Police are not carrying out their officially designated duties but are working together with separatists and NGOs, and dancing to the tune of unpatriotic politicians, to discredit the country. De Silva, PC, said this when he made submissions before the Supreme Court, on behalf of more..

30 years in politics, picking winners & losers

Mar 10 (ST) My dear Khema’s boy, I thought I must write to you because you seem to be on all the front pages these days, what with celebrating 30 years in Parliament and presenting budgets in quick succession. In recent times, we haven’t seen and heard of one man so much in so little time, without doing anything special at all! The fact that you celebrated 30 years in Parliament is, I suppose, special for you. A day before that, our first ever appointed MP or chit MP as they were called more..

Govt’s election strategy through the budget

Mar 10 (Island) The national budget for 2019 was presented by the finance minister last week without explaining to people why the economic indices after 2015 were so dismal compared to the economic indices before 2015. Even though the minister of finance spoke of having inherited a ticking time bomb (in economic terms) from the previous govt, indicators show that we entered the phase of a ticking time bomb only after the yahapalana govt came into power in Jan 2015. more..


Reflections on education Reflections on education

Mar 10 (ST) Last Wednesday, a long line of parents were seen standing outside the gate of a prominent school in Colombo. Armed with files and documents, they were waiting to be called inside, to hand over applications to gain admission for their 5-year-old children to Grade 1 next year. Every year, more than 300,000 are admitted to Grade 1 in schools across SL amidst a huge tussle to get into the more prestigious schools in Colombo. While admission is supposedly free given SL’s free education more..

Don’t kill natural talent: Michael Holding

Mar 10 (Island) The countries that possess weapons of mass destruction are feared by all and sundry. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is the most dreaded man in the world at the moment as he is believed to be armed to the teeth with nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons. So was Clive Lloyd. He ruled the cricketing world with an iron fist capable of striking at anytime. His weapons being – Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall. more..

President Sirisena yearns for a new govt

Mar 10 (CT) He noted that the new govt should be able to understand what happens in the country both politically and economically, adding that the party and the person in charge should not be key factors. Prez Sirisena explained that for this to happen everyone who wants a better tomorrow should come together and join hands. He hinted at the possibility of a General Election being held before Prez Election this year at a meeting more..

Budget: Hard economics, safety nets, gender friendly

Mar 10 (SO) At last, the country has a full Budget for the current year but introduced months behind schedule thanks to the political machinations and ensuing constitutional crisis at end 2018. Of course, in a democracy, there can be many reasons for delays in legislating a national budget – as events in the USA, UK and other democracies, rich and poor, go to show. For the citizenry, however, the challenges involve both delay in the introduction of annual Budget as well as delays or failures more..

Dr. Chula elected to the South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Central Board

Mar 10 (Island) South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Sub Zone Assembly was held on 6th March at Chancery Pavilion Hotel, Bengaluru, India. Hagop Khajirian - Executive Director, FIBA Asia, stressed on the importance of the SABA Sub Zone for the activities of FIBA Asia and commended the SABA sub zone for their commitment towards the activities of the FIBA Asia with difficulties. President Ahamed Hafiz (Maldives) and the Secretary General A. Sarker (Bangladesh) thanked more..

Sri Lanka hope for turnaround as South Africa look to sew up series

Mar 10 (CI) Tests may have thrown up a surprise for the ages, but two games in, the ODI series is going roughly as expected. SA have prospered on the back of excellent performances from the usual suspects: Quinton de Kock has made 175 runs so far, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi have nine wickets between them, and Imran Tahir has been indomitable through the middle overs. SL, meanwhile, have been woeful in what has more..

AIA summons EGM to consider revised Rs. 2,500 per share offer to delist

Mar 10 (Island) AIA Insurance Lanka has summoned an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders on March 27 to consider a resolution for a final revised exit offer of Rs. 2,500 per share against the Rs. 1,000 per share previously offered. In a circular to shareholders the company advised that it does not contemplate making any further voluntary delisting offer and in the event of the revised offer being rejected, its parent will explore other options of restructuring SL operations. more..

Yamaha Talaimannar Tour exploring Adam’s Bridge

Mar 10 (CT) The adrenaline junkies of our country were confronted with a memorable blood-pumping experience on an adventure tour, a very rare moment of fun and frolic for the first time in history at a stunning event from AMW with the support of Sri Lanka Navy. AMW was ready to make an ample display of what their YAMAHA WAVE RUNNER could do. For this purpose they assembled owners to demonstrate to enthusiasts what this Water Craft could thrillingly perform, media release said. more..

Thomians in Royal toast: Break a win-less 12 year period to record seven wicket victory

Mar 10 (ST) S. Thomas’s College pulled off a convincing 7-wicket win over archrival Royal College in their 140th Battle of Blues big match which ended at SSC ground last afternoon. Left with a simple target of 122 with ample time, the boys by the sea raced to the target in 20 overs with Shalin de Mel scoring an unbeaten half century. Thomians got off to a flying start with skipper Sithara Hapuhinna and de Mel sharing 56 runs for the first wicket more..

Hindu College, Colombo triumph by 71 runs

Mar 10 (ST) Hindu College, Colombo defeated their traditional rivals Hindu College, Jaffna by 71 runs in their 10th annual Battle of Hindu Inter-School Big Match which concluded at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo yesterday. Hindu College, Jaffna were bowled out for just 84 runs in their second innings after they were set a victory target of 155 runs in this low-scoring encounter. Earlier, Hindu College, Colombo went on to snatch a close first innings lead following some useful contributions from more..

MCC survey: 86% of fans prefer Test cricket

Mar 10 (CI) Test cricket is dying? Think again. The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) announced on Saturday that an overwhelming 86% of fans prefer watching the five-day matches compared to the limited-overs versions, many of them saying Test cricket was the ultimate form. The longstanding custodians of the game wanted to assess the popularity of the longest format against the limited-over versions and put out a survey. Here are its major findings. more..

Vehicle acquisition for State institutions rises

Mar 10 (ST) Treasury has incurred heavy expenditure in acquiring vehicles for state institutions although it has floated a new operational leasing scheme to reduce cost, the recent report of the Public Finance Committee revealed. Although the vehicle maintenance cost was Rs.3.3.billion during 2016 and 2017, expenditure on the Operational Leasing method of sourcing vehicles has increased by Rs. 3.3. billion, more..

RPCs arm-twisted for Rs. 50 more

Mar 10 (ST) The Govt has been able to arm-twist the plantation companies into paying a further Rs.50 to tea estate workers. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday held discussions with Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayaka together with the other industry stakeholders like the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) in a bid to ensure they could pay the additional Rs.50 to workers. Naysayers, the RPCs have been dismissive of any further pleas from workers for a wage hike of Rs.1000 and more..

Embuldeniya suprised at Sri Lanka call up

Mar 10 (SO) Lasith Embuldeniya, the newest spinner to enter the ranks of the SL team, was surprised that he received a call-up very early in his career having made his Test debut against South Africa last month. “Every cricketer has a dream to be part of the national team but I never thought I could reach that level as soon as I did,” said Embuldeniya who nudged the selectors with some sterling performances during the domestic inter club season as well as in a series against Ireland A. more..

Budget 2019: Challenge in its implementation

Mar 10 (ST) Contrary to expectations, 2019 Budget was not totally a populist one. This was also confirmed in a BT email poll this week, which covered a cross section of the population and revealed that only slightly over half (57%) believed it was a populist budget. To the question, Is it a populist budget ahead of elections this year? 33% of the respondents said No while 10% were Undecided. more..

Ranil seeks to undo Sirisena’s oily decision

Mar 10 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is considering undoing the Presidential ruling banning palm oil cultivation in the country following an environmental report. During a meeting with Minister Navin Dissanayake and the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) on Thursday the PM has ageed to have another look at lifting the suspension on the cultivation of palm oil. Companies have stated that they have run into a loss of nearly Rs.500 million based on the seedlings and plants idling in more..

An old party looking for a new lease of life

Mar 10 (Hindu) Political crisis that gripped SL for nearly two months towards the tail end of 2018 had different costs for different political actors, depending on who they were and what they did during that time. But if there was a chief casualty of the developments in those turbulent seven weeks, it was, arguably, the SLFP, one of the two prominent political parties of the country. With former President and party leader Chandrika Kumaratunga having stepped aside from mainstream politics, more..

Finance Minister comes out with no handouts Budget with a vision

Mar 10 (ST) Finance Ministers usually find their hands tied when presenting the budget in the eve of elections. But Minister Mangala Samaraweera came out of the shell with a vision for the country highlighting schemes that would be launched by the govt shortly. Samaraweera after completing three decades in politics presented the 2019 budget offering benefits for the needy for their upkeep and assisting youths, to stand up more..