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Using the war to achieve their own agenda

Mar 18 (SO) Ten years after the end of the Eelam war, one of its key architects in its final phases, former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Karannagoda is being indicted in the Colombo High Court as a suspect in the alleged abduction and disappearance of eleven youth in 2008. Karannagoda filed a fundamental rights application in the Supreme Court seeking to prevent his impending arrest. more..

Don’t open an old sore: Let’s just forget the whole war crime probe

Mar 18 (ST) This coming week, Lanka will make her biannual trek up the Calvary to the Swiss mountains carrying the cross on her back with a litany of war crimes, allegedly committed by her forces during the last years of the 30-year Eelam War, firmly nailed to it. When she finally reaches the Swiss slopes, she will face crucifixion by the western powers unless she can show she has atoned and paid the necessary penance. If she has fallen short in wearing the coarse cloth of the penitent but more..

The mass grave in Mannar: What further studies are needed?

Mar 18 (Island) When construction workers excavating the site of the Sathosa Store in Mannar unearthed skeletal remains in late 2013, they had accidentally found one of the largest mass graves in the country. Radio-carbon dating has now put the skeletal remains to the 15th -18th century. However, TNA and a number of NGOs have called for further radio-carbon dating. It is important to understand how this has acquired more..

The web at 30

Mar 18 (Island) Our wait for a telephone was just a few years. At the time, in the early 90s, we knew of families who were on a waiting list for close upon a decade. I was at school when Sri Lanka Telecom had installed the rotary device. Like the first mobile phones from Motorola to hit Sri Lanka, the unit weighed about the same as and was more akin to gym equipment than anything remotely akin to what is today considered a phone. I was enthralled, and dialled, for no reason than to more..

Edtorial: Red means danger

Mar 18 (Island) The Health Ministry has decided to introduce the Colour Code System (CCS) for packaged solid food items as well. At present, the CCS applies only to soft drinks. It will be mandatory for solid food manufacturers to indicate the sugar, salt and fat levels in their products from April, we are told. The govt is to be highly commended for this move, given the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the No. 1 killer in this country as well as elsewhere. more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

Extensive public consultations a must on Sri Lanka’s counter-terror bill

Mar 18 (ST) In contrast to Colombo’s largely polarized sound and fury on the Counter-Terror Bill, it is refreshing to look at the manner in which South Africa has dealt with uncannily similar dilemmas of balancing national security imperatives and constitutional rights in bringing its counter-terror law into effect more than a decade ago. There are indeed, much in common between South Africa and SL in shared histories of horrific state violence. We have similar legacies of over-broad more..

Heatwave and its ill-effects

Mar 18 (Island) Dept of Meteorology, issuing an Extreme Caution Heat advisory, has recently advised people, living in the Puttlam and Kurunegala districts of North-western province, to remain hydrated and take breaks while trying to stay in the shade as far as possible during the forthcoming few days. Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaithivu, Vavuniya, Trinco, A'pura, Polonnaruwa, Moneragala, Batticaloa, Ampara and Hambantota are the other districts that have been issued more..

Debt drives women to suicide in North & East

Mar 18 (SO) Exorbitant debts from loans provided by Microfinance institutions to failing businesses have pushed at least 170 people into suicide, islandwide, in the past year alone, with the highest suicide rates being reported among women, and area-wise in the Vavuniya, Jaffna and Batticaloa districts, Progressive Peasants’ Congress (PPC) shows. The suicide rates are just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger issue as more..

45th Battle of Maroons Limited Overs Encounter: Nalanda beat Ananda

Mar 18 (DN) Nalanda College beat Ananda College by 16 runs according to D/L rain rule in their rain affected 45th annual Battle of the Maroons limited-over cricket encounter played at the SSC grounds yesterday. It was Nalanda’s third consecutive win in a row in the series. Winning the toss and electing to bat first Ananda were bowled out 197 in 48 overs. Kalana Wijesiri scored 46 and Nadeesha Karunaratne 43. Raveen de Silva took 4 wickets for 50 & Lakshitha Rasanjana took 3 wickets. more..

Fireside Chat 2019, tomorrow at Hilton Colombo

Mar 18 (FT) Fireside Chat 2019 organised by Daily FT, CIMA and ICCSL will kick off tomorrow at the Hilton Colombo. Highlight of the fireside chat this year will be the closing session with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who will discuss some of the key challenges and opportunities facing SL and the way forward. Dammika Perera Chairman Vallibel Group and Vishwas Udgirkar from Deloitte Consulting will also join the closing session to discuss the challenges & opportunities in business sector more..

The de Mel theory on World Cup

Mar 18 (ST) Get the team balance right, ease the pressure, encourage unity and give the players a little freedom–this could be the winning combination for Sri Lanka to become a force to reckon with at the World Cup in June, Chief Cricket Selector Asantha de Mel said this week. The team have won just six out of 17 matches since their Jan 2018 ODI series triumph in B'desh. These include four straight bilateral series defeats. more..

Chinthaka 100m record holder for 17 years

Mar 18 (CT) Born on 18 Dec 1971, Chinthaka De Zoysa represented the Island Nation in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in the 100m event. He was placed 5th in his heat and this was insufficient for the SL national record holder to advance to the next round. Chinthaka was an Army man; he joined the Army in 1990 soon after his A/Ls, and this helped him to commit to serious athletics which he had been excelling at in school. Army gave him strength, determination and hope, to represent SL more..

'Country needs high tech process for FDI data collection’

Mar 18 (DN) Sri Lanka needs to do away from paper based methods, using to capture FDI figures; instead the country should focus on digitizing processes to collect FDI data in order to boost investor confidence and attract more FDIs, Kumudu Gunasekera, and Managing Director at Stax Inc said. He said Sri Lanka is heavily relying on paper based methods to capture FDI numbers and it is essential to come up with digitized processes to collect data to provide accurate information more..

3rd Asian Youth Athletics C'ship: Sri Lanka finish with 2 silvers and 1 bronze

Mar 18 (CT) Quarter-miler Navishka Sandeesh anchored the SL relay team to Silver with another mesmerising 400m lap, while hurdler Amesha Hettiarachchi clinched Bronze, as SL finished with two Silvers and a Bronze at the 3rd Asian Youth Athletics C'ship concluded in Hong Kong, yesterday. SL had high hopes of winning that elusive Gold medal in the boys medley relay after clocking the better time in the two heats, more..

Productive offer for ECT on the cards: Sagala

Mar 18 (DN) Sri Lanka has received a very productive proposal to develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) said Minister Sagala Ratnayaka. Addressing the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers SL (ICS) annual awards ceremony at Cinnamon Lake Colombo last Friday he said,” details of this would be disclosed soon and this would be fast tracked.” He said that they would go for a joint venture model to develop the West container terminal most likely with foreign player. more..

AIA value of new business up 22%

Mar 18 (Island) AIA Group Limited delivered excellent operating performance with double-digit growth across its main financial metrics for the twelve months' ended 31 Dec 2018, including very strong growth in value of new business (VONB) of 22% on a constant exchange rate basis, compared with the corresponding twelve-month period ended 31 December 2017. Several growth rates are shown on a constant exchange rate basis below: Very strong growth in value of new business; more..

Afghanistan calls to ink Investment Pact with Sri Lanka

Mar 18 (DN) Afghanistan has called for the opening of a direct air corridor with Sri Lanka, while Kabul is also keen on an Investment Protection and Promotion (IPP) pact with Colombo to revive the lagging bilateral economic ties. “The Govt of Afghanistan launched the Air Corridor two years ago to take domestic goods to countries in the neighbourhood and beyond the region. As a result in 2018, we exported over US$ 1 b products. more..

National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conflict-Affected Displacement launched

Mar 18 (FT) The National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conflict-Affected Displacement was officially launched by the Ministry of National Polices, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training, Skills Development and Youth Affairs in Colombo recently. This policy, supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), was developed by the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement more..

No valid work visa: Jail terms for 14 Chinese workers

Mar 18 (ST) Fourteen Chinese construction workers without a valid working visa were sentenced to a one-year jail term and fined Rs 50,000 each by Galle’s Magistrate Harshana Kekunawela on Friday. The workers who had arrived on one-month tourist visas were arrested after their tourist visas had lapsed and they were found to be working on a hotel project at Dadella in Galle. The suspects were arrested on March 2 and remanded for two weeks before they were sentenced on Friday. more..

Dhammika makes strong case for national strategy for AI

Mar 18 (FT) Business leader Dhammika Perera last week made a compelling case for why Sri Lanka should urgently prepare a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a progressive move to address multiple socio-economic problems, warning failure would make the country a laggard. Inspired by one and half years of self-learning with inputs from international data scientists, Dhammika spent 2 hours at Computer Society of SL more..

DFCC opens first super branch in fort

Mar 18 (DN) Development finance bank, DFCC set up its first super branch at the Lake House building in Fort on Friday. The branch was opened by Chairman Royle Jansz. CEO Lakshman Silva, DFCC Director and Chairman of Lake House, Krishantha Cooray, Manager of the branch, Jude Muttiah, senior management of DFCC Bank, branch staff and a large gathering of customers and well-wishers were also present. Tastefully designed and aesthetically pleasing, branch offers more..

Sri Lanka to host Epica Awards for first time

Mar 18 (CT) The Sri Lankan Chapter of the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As) has partnered with the globally renowned Epica Awards to launch a special edition of the awards for the first time in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Epica Awards Event will take place on 16 and 17 August 2019 and will include a one-and-a-half day conference featuring sessions and workshops by local and int'l creative industry professionals, culminating in the Awards ceremony, more..

Future of SLPP-SLFP grand alliance in the making uncertain

Mar 18 (Island) The outcome of talks between the SLPP and the SLFP, for a grand coalition against the UNP was in the balance. The SLPP and SLFP are scheduled to meet again on March 21 following their first round of talks on March 14 at the Opposition Leader’s Office. SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris and SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera led the two delegations. more..

Residents demand removal of Navy’s Silavathurai base

Mar 18 (Island) A protest has been launched by a group of persons, demanding the immediate removal of the Navy base at Silavathurai, Mannar, the scene of many battles during the war. Sources in the area said that residents had launched a campaign after the Navy ruled out the possibility of vacating the base, crucial to security operations in the region. Sources said that there had been protests there some time back. Protests resumed about ten days ago. more..

70% rise in Iran's non-oil exports to Sri Lanka

Mar 18 (FT) Iran traded 150,893 tons of non-oil commodities worth $108.53 million with Sri Lanka during the 10 months to Jan. 20 to register a 52.84% increase in tonnage and a 4.35% decrease in value compared with last year's corresponding period, data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show. Iran’s exports to Sri Lanka stood at 133,208 tons worth $38.82 million, up 78.46% and 69.37% in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year. more..

Colour codes mandatory for confectioneries

Mar 18 (CT) In a bid to curb the rising diabetes menace, the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicines has made it mandatory for all confectioners to indicate the sugar, fat and salt level in their products through colour codes. The printing of colour codes on the labels of confectioneries will be mandatory from 2 April. Gazette notification in connection with that will also be issued. more..

Bridging the gap between urban development and architectural heritage

Mar 18 (FT) Delegation of the European Union in collaboration with the Embassies of Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, as well as the British Council will host the 2019 edition of Living Heritage with a one-day conference on Valuing Cultural Heritage: A Cross-Cultural Perspective on 25 March at the Jubilee Room, Galle Face Hotel from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cities everywhere deal with the challenge of how to balance urban development against cultural heritage conservation. Urban settlements more..

Wiggy’s Tamil Political Alliance is not a registered party: TNA

Mar 18 (DM) Former NPC Chief Minister C.V Wignesawaran’s Tamil Political Alliance is not a registered political party, TNA MP M. A Sumanthiran said. MP Sumanthiran said that he was unaware whether there was such a political party although former NPC Chief Minister Wigneswaran had said so. Apparently, no one was aware whether there was such a political party. If it was a political party formed by him it ought to be registered in the first place, he said more..

Major shake-up in Police

Mar 18 (CT) The National Police Commission yesterday endorsed the immediate transfer of 21 senior Police officers, in what is seen as a major shake-up in the Department. The group included two Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) five Superintendents of Police (SPs) and 14 Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs), a spokesman with Police Hq said. He added that the transfers were made according to more..

Quake report by Wednesday: Mines Bureau

Mar 18 (DN) The seismic report on Saturday’s tremor experienced in Badulla is expected to be concluded by Wednesday for research and comparison purposes, Director General of Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, Dr. C.H.E.R. Siriwardana said. He said the bureau has sent a team to estimate the impact of the tremor. They are stationed in Badulla, Hali Ela, Passara, and Nuwara-Eliya areas. The magnitude of the earthquake was 3.5 on the Richter scale. more..

Registrar General Dept, Land Registrar launch one day service

Mar 18 (FT) The service of registering land documents and birth certificates in one day without payment was launched on Saturday under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. One day service of registering movable and immovable property and issuing of a national Birth Certificate prepared according to international standards were commenced. The program was launched simultaneously at 36 regional offices of the Registrar General’s office and the new service will be more..

Video: Mahinda tells what stand SL should take in Geneva

Mar 18 (AD) Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa states that Sri Lanka should no longer co-sponsor resolutions against the country at the UNHRC. Issuing a press release titled The stand Sri Lanka should take in Geneva, he says that the govt will be co-sponsoring another resolution against the country at the UNHRC in Geneva. He points out that by co-sponsoring Resolution 30/1 previously, more..

Terrorism, hate speech and religious bigotry

Mar 18 (DM) On Friday (16), New Zealand, known best for its sheep and wide-open country sides, literally exploded onto the world stage when a white supremacist gunman coldly and deliberately opened fire on Muslims at prayer in two mosques. Forty-nine persons, including children, were killed and dozens of others wounded -- eleven of them seriously by Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist terrorist. The perpetrator, was apparently radicalized over a period of time more..

Budgets in uncertain times

Mar 18 (DM) With Provincial, Prez and Parliamentary elections looming over the next year, these are uncertain times. With the Budget for 2019 itself delayed by four months due to instability within the Govt and political crisis late last year, the Budget Speech and its proposals reflect a tentative agenda. Indeed, the Budget is neo-liberal in rhetoric, but populist in substance. Budgets provide a succinct view of the Govt’s economic plans over one year, and this year is going to be an even shorter more..

'CEB hires 5,900 staff, mostly from Kegalle'

Mar 18 (EN) State-run CEB had hired about 5,900 staff during the past four years mostly from the Kegalle district taking the total to 26,800, power minister Ravi Karunayake said. Sri Lanka's state owned enterprises have been used as 'job factories' with the burden falling on the people who pay taxes to make up for losses, or higher prices for the output if it is a monopoly. CEB has a monopoly on the power sector, more..

Forex reserves drop to US$ 6,005 mil in Feb

Mar 18 (EN) SL's gross official reserves dropped to US$ 6,005 million in Feb 2019, down US$ 147 million from US$ 6,152 million in Jan 2019. Foreign reserves are down US$ 1.9 billion from a peak of US$ 7,914 billion reached in the current credit cycle which started with the end of a 2015/2016 balance of payments crisis. Gross official reserves also includes fiscal reserves and do not consider monetary liabilities. more..

UNP confident of passage of Budget 2019

Mar 18 (Island) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara, said that the UNP was confident of securing required parliamentary approval for budget 2019 at the final vote on April 05. The senior UNPer pointed out that in spite of repeated attempts to undermine the govt had been defeated. Minister said so in response to The Island query whether unified UPFA posed a threat to the govt. more..

State-run CEB loses Rs 25 billion in 2018

Mar 18 (EN) State-run Ceylon Electricity Board has lost 25 billion rupees in 2018, including 11.5 billion rupees of finance charges, while the losses have been funded with more bank loans. CEB has posted provisional revenues of 229.35 billion rupees slightly up from 223.7 billion rupees a year earlier. Power costs were 165.26 billion rupees and other direct costs were 87.7 billion rupees, generating an operational loss of 12.6 billion rupees. more..

We have launched a digital economy: PM

Mar 18 (DN) Our govt has taken steps to create new revenue from local and foreign sources through advancements in the digital economy, and today, we have taken the first step towards setting up the digital economy, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He was speaking at the launch of the one-day service for registration of land deeds, at the Registrar General’s Office in Battaramulla on Saturday. more..