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Gota’s Freedom to Live no joke

Mar 1 (DM) The Daily Mirror on 12 Feb 2019 carried an interview with Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who believes he is the ideal candidate for the next Presidential Election. He is being paraded by a few ex-military officers supposed to be Professionals, who believe he can be projected as the Sinhala Buddhist war hero to collect all Rajapaksa votes. If Gotabhaya’s memory isn’t short as Prabhakaran said it is with Sinhala people, more..

Video: Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero acquitted

Mar 1 (AD) Venerable Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero has been acquitted by the Colombo High Court from the case filed over the alleged possession of an elephant calf. Colombo HC today delivered the verdict in the case filed against the Thero. The court acquitted the popular Buddhist monk from all charges filed in the case. The case against Thero was filed by the Attorney General in 2016 for the alleged illegal possession of more..

Sarath slams Ranil, Mangala over Geneva treachery

Mar 1 (Island) Former Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara flayed PM Ranil Wickremsinghe for declaring during a recent visit to the North that both the LTTE and the Security Forces perpetrated war crimes. Addressing the media conference by Eliya at Kirulapone, Weerasekera recalled the circumstances under which the then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on the instructions of PM more..

GMOF wants medical internship issue resolved

Mar 1 (DM) The Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) appealed to the political hierarchy to help resolve the issue surrounding the Supreme Court interim injunction against awarding internship appointments to medical graduates from State universities on 26 Feb. GMOF Vice President Dr. Ruchira Saranapala lamented that three medical graduates from the medical school of the SAITM had filed a fundamental rights petition claiming more..

Customs adopt smokescreen to bust beedi racket

Mar 1 (ST) A suspect who obtained bail from Colombo’s Additional Magistrate after he was produced before him for allegedly making a false declaration to clear 12-tons of imported beedi leaves, has been remanded following an objection to the bail. The reversal of the bail order came after the Customs’ Central Investigation Bureau officials made representations to Additional Magistrate Lochana Abeywickrema that a Magistrate more..

Sumanthiran explains how he bought four wheel drive vehicle

Mar 1 (Island) TNA MP and attorney-at-law M.A. Sumanthiran claimed that the previous govt had lifted the ban on the sale of vehicles bought by lawmakers in terms of special duty free scheme available to them. Jaffna District MP, denying that he had sold a vehicle bought on MPs’ duty free scheme, said that having entered Parliament in 2010 on the TNA National List he bought a four wheel drive at Rs 6.5 mn more..

Portuguese couple slammed for hanging out of moving train in SL

Mar 1 (DM) A Portuguese travelling couple has defended themselves after they were slammed for hanging out of a moving train in Sri Lanka just so they could capture the perfect picture for Instagram. The couple had taken the snapshot of them riding along the train tracks of Ella, in Sri Lanka in February. The photograph shows Raquel clutching onto the rails with her whole body hanging out - as her boyfriend Miguel leans out of more..

No Govt delegation to Geneva for March session: MFA

Mar 1 (CT) There will be no Govt delegation flying to Geneva, Switzerland to be present at the UNHRC 40th Session, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said. MFA Spokesperson Saroja Sirisena said that after a discussion held in this regard, the MFA had advised SL's Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, to take over the task of handleing it with his team of councillors more..

Indo-Pakistan War

Mar 1 (CT) The recent Indo-Pakistan undeclared but conventional war entered its third week yesterday after a suicide bomb attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police on 14 Feb. Indian Air Force (IAF) jets in retaliation pounded Islamist militant targets, where those militants, said to be behind the attack, allegedly operate from the Pakistani province of North-West Frontier, since known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which borders the Muslim majority State of more..

What went wrong with Sri Lanka?

Mar 1 (FT) The independence movement of Sri Lanka cannot be regarded as a genuine independence movement initiated for liberating Sri Lanka from British dominance. The freedom it gained for Sri Lanka also cannot be considered a realistic freedom. Indian independence movement had a clear understanding and a vision on the true meaning of liberating India from British domination. But the independence movement of SL did not have a pragmatic approach as to how it should more..

JVP press conference

Khuram Shaikh murder: convicts’ appeals to be heard on March 5

Mar 1 (AD) The hearing of the appeals filed by five convicts including the former Chairman of the Tangalle PS, Sampath Vidanapathirana, who were sentenced over the murder of British national Khuram Shaikh and the rape of his Russian partner in 2012, has been postponed to March 5th. The appeals were taken up before the Court of Appeal Judges Shiran Gunaratne and Priyantha Fernando this morning . Colombo High Court had imposed 20-year rigorous imprisonment on 5 convicts more..

National Govt a tricky proposal: Eran

Mar 1 (FT) State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne stated that though he is on board with the formation of a National Government, he is not in favour of increasing the number of members in the Cabinet. “The proposal to form a National Government is a tricky one, as it also proposes to increase the number of Cabinet Ministers, and it is my opinion that the number of Cabinet Ministers need not be increased unnecessarily,” Wickramaratne stated. more..

Banks exceed revised SME lending targets

Mar 1 (EN) SL banks have exceeded revised lending targets for micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) under programs with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), officials said. "At first, we set some targets because there was no previous data, and we later revised these targets," ADB Financial Sector Specialist Takuya Hoshino said i. "These targets were exceeded," he said. ADB had given US$ 100 million in credit to more..

Wartime disappearances: Karannagoda will be charged in HC: ASG

Mar 1 (Island) Supreme Court, yesterday, re-fixed for support on March 7 the fundamental rights violation petition filed by the retired Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda. The wartime Navy Chief, in a petition filed in the Supreme Court, alleged the CID was to arrest him in violation of his right to liberty. Additional Solicitor General, Viraj Dayaratna PC, who appeared for the AG told the Court that investigations against Karannagoda were over and he would be shortly indicted more..

2019 budget allocates Rs.2.5bn for 1990 ambulance service

Mar 1 (LBO) SL’s govt has decided to allocate over 2,500 million rupees from the next budget for the 1990 ambulance service, launching the service in Kandy, its founder Minister Harsha de Silva said. The service is currently in operation in eight provinces and it is expected to launch the service in the Eastern Province by April this year covering the whole country. “We position these ambulances in police stations because when we wanted to introduce this service, more..

Sri Lanka real estate prices seen stabilizing

Mar 1 (EN) Land and apartment prices in Colombo are becoming stable in a sluggish housing market, as vertical living gets further out of reach for the average Sri Lankan due to protectionist taxes and lack of financing, a property developer said. "There has been a slowdown in the number of transactions in land," John Keells Group Property Sector Head Nayana Mawilmada said. "Apartment sales have been sluggish," more..

Lalkantha arrested for drunk driving

Mar 1 (AD) JVP politbureau member K.D. Lalkantha has been arrested by Anuradhapura Police over a motor accident that had taken place today, Police said. It was reported that the accident occurred on the Anuradhapura-Kurunegala main road at around 2.45 p.m. this afternoon. JVP member had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Cab driven by Mr Lalkantha has, reportedly, crashed against a motorcycle and two women have sustained injuries in accident. more..

Chainsaw registration deadline extended

Mar 1 (AD) Time period given for the registration of chainsaw machines has been extended until the 15th of March, says the Ministry of Defence. Accordingly, all state-owned, semi-govt, private-sector institutions or privately owned chainsaw machines, should be produced at the nearest police station and a registration permit obtained. After registering, a special license and a number will also be issued for identification purposes. Registration of chainsaws was recently made mandatory as more..

Women’s Day celebrations in Anuradhapura

Mar 1 (GDI) Secretary to the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, Darshana Senanayake said that operating hours of the women Help Line 1938 will be extended for 24 hours for providing assistance and relief for the receiving complaints related to all forms of discrimination against women including harassment, abuse and violence. Women help line 1938 which is currently operated from 8.30 am to 5 pm are due to activated for 24 hours. more..

PHU files complaint on alleged govt-assisted vehicle disassembling racket

Mar 1 (AD) Deputy Leader of PHU Madumadhawa Aravinda today lodged a complaint before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on an alleged vehicle disassembling fraud which has incurred Rs 6500 million. He says that this loss was incurred through a vehicle-disassembling racket which had allegedly received the govt’s assistance. The complaint was filed at the PCoI to investigate into allegations of corruption and malpractices that had taken place from 15Jan2015 to 31Dec2018. more..

No loss to Iran due to Uma Oya project halt: Opp Leader’s Office

Mar 1 (CT) Iran has not incurred any loss due to the one-and-a- half-year halt in the Uma Oya project funded by the Iranian Govt upon the current Sri Lankan Govt’s assumption of power, stated the Iranian Ambassador to SL Mohammad Zaeri Amirani in a press release issued from the Opposition Leader’s Office. Amirani stated this during a special meeting held with Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at the latter’s official residence in Wijerama during the morning of 27 February. more..

Wijeyadasa wants CoI appointed to probe activities of CC

Mar 1 (DM) Former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said he would make a request to Prez Sirisena to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to probe the behaviour and activities of the Constitutional Council (CC) as it has been totally politicised. He added that members of the CC did not have the authority to reject nominations of the Executive for judicial positions and questioned the qualifications of CC members to reject the names of more..

Informal sector employment: WB figures contradict Govt

Mar 1 (CT) A World Bank (WB) study on jobs, including informal employment, released on 25 Feb, contradicted informal employment numbers in comparison with Govt data. The WB study, which covered the period from 2007 to 2015, said that about 80% of all employment was in the informal sector, i.e. without any EPF cover, with no signs of abating. However, according to Census Dept, number employed in the informal sector, in the period 2007 to 2015 had fallen by 14% more..

Sri Lanka can totally win the World Cup (as long as SLC continues to screw up)

Mar 1 (ESPN) Sri Lanka's greatest results have largely been unexpected. They won the 1996 World Cup as rank outsiders, at a time when their cricket board had less than US$6000 at its disposal. In 2014 they won a World T20 after dropping their captain halfway through the tournament, while simultaneously in the midst of a contracts standoff with their board. This month, arguably their greatest Test series victory ever was achieved despite such a gigantic list of handicaps that it would take more..

Video: Sujatha Daruwo programme to protect children from drug menace

Mar 1 (AD) Prez Maithripala Sirisena has said that the Sujatha Daruwo programme will commence from March 15, as a special programme of the National Drug Prevention Project to protect the new generation and the school children from the drug menace. He made these remarks participating in the opening ceremony of the new building of SL Anti-Doping Agency, yesterday. This new building is located at the Block D of more..

Indian High Commissioner meets Opposition Leader

Mar 1 (AD) Indian High Commissioner to SL Taranjit Singh Sandhu has called on Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning. THigh Commissioner has briefed the Opposition Leader on the recent escalation of the conflict between India and Pakistan. He has further told the Opposition Leader that India has no issue with Pakistan, neither politically or economically. The Opposition Leader has then appreciated the Indian govt for approving funds for Sampur coal power plant more..

UL Chairman did CEO’s job, signed MoU for Rs. 146 billion deal

Mar 1 (Island) Former SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremesinghe had signed an MoU with Airbus, in 2013, to the tune of Rs. 146.1 billion, though agreements worth over Rs.100 million should be signed by the CEO, as per the procurement policies of the company, Head of Group Legal Affairs at SriLankan Mayuka Ranasinghe told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka, yesterday. more..

More than 25 children handed over to troops with LTTE parents

Mar 1 (CT) Tamil Mothers of the Disappeared in Kilinochchi have appealed to the UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights ahead of the review on Sri Lanka that they had personally and voluntarily handed-over many of their family members, including babies and children, to the SL Security Forces at the end of the war in May 2019 in reliance on assurances that they would be safe. They noted that it is almost 10 years more..

SLNS Sayurala arrives the island on completion of successful tour

Mar 1 (SLN) Sri Lanka Naval Ship Sayurala which left for Pakistan from the Colombo harbour on last 02nd February to take part in the Naval Exercise AMAN 2019, the biennial exercise hosted by the Pakistan Navy, on successful completion of her Naval exercise, arrived the island today (28). On arrival, she was welcomed in compliance with naval traditions. The multilateral naval exercise AMAN 2019 was held in Karachi, Pakistan from 08th to 14th February. more..

SriLankan cancels flights to Pakistan until March 4th

Mar 1 (AD) Flights between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be halted until March 4th, says SriLankan Airlines Media Spokesman Deepal Perera. This flight cancellation is due to the decision taken by the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan to temporarily close the country’s airspace until March 4th. The airline is closely monitoring the situation and will take measures to recommence the flights between Sri Lanka and Pakistan soon after the Pakistani CAA reopens its airspace, more..

Blue notices for Moril and Kosgoda Sujee over Sri Lanka’s largest heroin haul

Mar 1 (AD) Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today issued open warrants to be executed through Interpol for the arrest five major drug dealers including Moril and Kosgoda Sujee in Dubai, in connection with the largest ever heroin haul discovered in Sri Lanka. Interpol is to issue Blue Notices for the arrest of the Dubai-based Sri Lankan drug traffickers who suspected to have sent the heroin haul to Sri Lanka. more..

Prof. Tissa Vitarana cornered in Nallur!

Mar 2 (CT) LSSP General Secretary Prof. Tissa Vitarana was faced with a barrage of questions when he attended an interactive session titled Present day SL politics and future at the Jaffna Managers Forum which is situated in Nallur,historic area surrounded by the remnants of the Kingdom of Jaffna along with the statue of Chankili, the last King of the kingdom. The event which was held last Saturday was presided over by former CM of the merged N&E Province Varatharaja Perumal. more..

Ignorance & Deceit: Many faces of Taylor D.

Mar 2 (CT) Taylor Dibbert is an example of one stream in American academia: armed with a liberal arts degree, peace corps experience and links with the Pacific Forum, HR agencies and such personnel as Frances Harrison, he has now taken on Michael the Lord Naseby via an article in the Daily Financial Times of 21 Feb 2019 entitled On Lord Naseby’s Sri Lanka whitewash. His essay is a shining example of intellectual arrogance and contention by ASSERTION. more..

Beyond the Blackboard: Is Montessori a viable alternative to the mainstream?

Mar 2 (Roar) Over half a century ago, in 1944, Italian physician Dr. Maria Montessori arrived in Sri Lanka with her son Mario Montessori to conduct a series of classes on an alternative education system. And although the term Montessori is used liberally today, it refers to that very specific system of alternate education that Montessori developed for pre-school children in the early 20th Century. more..

Tamils’ hopes fading: Every village is Sinhalese? Râghavan sacked?

Mar 2 (CT) In 2015 nearly all Tamils had hoped for a new era. Govt co-sponsoring UNHRC Resolution 30/1 increased our hope that we Tamils would be included in SL and that those who murdered us and raped our women (including our murdered women) would be punished. Soon however our hopes were dashed. No foreign judges we were told in reversal. We were reminded of the torture trial where the local judge gave a 7-year prison sentence and immediately suspended the sentence; more..

Trivializing checks on Executive power

Mar 2 (CT) Procrastination with regard to the Standing Orders Committee had been bad enough, earlier. But I could not be sure that it was deliberate, for I also recognised that, the fuss over Priyani Wijesekera had generated a lot of hot air. Dhammika Kitulgoda, who had been her predecessor, brought in from outside when she had been the Deputy, was irritated by the Speaker’s refusal to have her advise the Committee. Having moved away to become Secretary to the Constitutional Council, more..

'UNP cannot be Sirisangabo every day'

Mar 2 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella says, some of our people criticised the President publicly and later begged for his forgiveness. Q: Isn’t the UNF or rather the UNP scared of elections? A: Scared of which election? Q: In six Provincial Councils, elections are long overdue and even in those, elections are not held; isn’t it because you are scared of elections? A: We are not scared of elections. We won the Presidential Election. more..

UNHRC: The right road ahead for Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (DM) It is the time of the year when nations convene in Geneva to assess the world’s human rights situation. Can a nation escape scrutiny by saying the rules of fair play do not apply in love and war? But what English poet John Lyly first said in his romantic novel Euphues in the 16th century does not apply in modern times where human rights purists argue that not only war, but even love needs to be regulated. A nation’s degree of civilisation is determined not so much by its history, more..

SL’s political system: Failure of governance

Mar 2 (GV) Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a booklet, launched by Advocata Institute at the Asia Liberty Forum on March 1, 2019. This essay examines failures of governance in SL. Although discussed within the context of State Owned Enterprises (SOE), they affect many other aspects of public life. The weaknesses in the governance of SOEs stem from those embedded within the larger political system. These problems can be assessed by an examination of the political system, more..