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The case for foreign judges in a judicial mechanism in SL: Countering falsehoods

Mar 29 (GV) In a few weeks, Sri Lanka marks a decade since the end of its brutal war, but its long legacy of abuses remains unaddressed. Decades of inaction, denial and silencing have contributed to and exacerbated a culture of impunity that protected perpetrators and at times, even promoted them. In 2015 the Govt of SL signalled a change from the past when it officially recognised the need for a comprehensive strategy of addressing past wrongs, finding answers, providing reparations and, more..

Questionable FDIs, money laundering & EU blacklist

Mar 29 (CT) Hard on the heels of the top headline news item Smooth start for FDI: Govt. in Sri Lanka’s only stand-alone business journal Daily FT on March 20 giving pride of place to a purported $ 3.85 billion investment for an oil refinery in Hambantota where the Sultanate of Oman is to have a 30% stake comes the DENIAL from Salim al-Aufi, Under-Secretary in Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas by stating “It came as news to me, I don’t know who is signing the cheque for $ 3.8 billion.” more..

The pink tuk-tuks of Sri Lanka empowering and protecting women

Mar 29 (AJ) Lochana is 10 years old. Every morning, he gets up and lights an incense stick, which he places in a three-wheeled auto-rickshaw parked outside the family home in SL’s coastal Southern Province. The vehicle is a bright shade of pink and as the fragrant smoke fills the interior, Lochana says a prayer for his mother’s safety and prosperity. Jega raised Lochana as a single mother. more..

Practicality of federalism

Mar 29 (Island) The present constitutional reform process in SL is driven entirely by the Northern lobby which is one reason why it has failed to get off the ground. The Muslims and the Up-country Tamils are largely indifferent to the reform proposals. There is little or no appetite among the Sinhala population as well for the devolution proposals that go hand in hand with this constitutional reform process. Sinhala majority which sees the devolution proposals in the new constitution as a stepping stone more..

Increasing level of poverty among Lankans

Mar 29 (CT) In the past JVP was classified as Che Guevara people. It was bad for both the JVP and heroic Che Guevara. In 1971 JVP youth fought for the common man against bourgeois State power in the style of anarchists of Germany and Narodniks of Russia in the 19th century. However, in 88/89 they were doing dirty work for Sinhala chauvinism. Leaving all that past behind, Anura has given a path in mass democracy. They became better politicians without violent terror. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Kusumasana Devi: Twice the consort, never the queen

Mar 29 (DN) Kusumasena Devi (1581-1613) survived during one of the worst periods in Sri Lankan history. It was a period of perilous wars, political mayhem, inordinate evil ambitions, conspiracy and strategic negotiations. During this period Sri Lanka was a triumvirate (ruled by three): Kotte, Sitawaka and Senkadagala. Jaffna remained independent. Kotte was under the grips of the Portuguese and the ruler of Kotte, Dharmapala (1551-1597) was a puppet king under them. more..

Rising indulgently to criticism and bored look at the nation

Mar 29 (Island) Vinod Moonesinghe criticized Cassandra severely, somewhat at length, in the Opinion Page of The Island of Monday March 25. Yet to her it was a mere carping whine. Hence the indulgence mentioned in the title and the couple of days taken to respond. Why quote European Classics? Vinod M was critiquing her article where the cartoonist Jeffrey’s picture of two huge legs got her quoting Shelley and Shakespeare who wrote sharply on legs – men’s, and in power. more..

Health Ministry mobile phone survey on NCDs to commence soon

Mar 29 (DN) According to the WHO, NCDs are estimated to account for 75% of total deaths in Sri Lanka. In Oct 2015, the UN Interagency Task Force on NCDs conducted a mission in Sri Lanka and concluded that the epidemic of NCDs has now become a serious economic as well as public health issue in the country, and is fuelled by tobacco use, unhealthy diet, excessive consumption of alcohol and physical inactivity. more..

Need for getting facts right

Mar 29 (Island) Samarasinghe dismisses notion of taking Lanka to ICC thanks to Ranil was the headline given by The Island (27) to a prominently figured front page news item referring to remarks made by the UPFA MP Mahinda Samarasinghe in Parliament the day before. The first two sentences of The Island report reads: "Sri Lanka could not be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) thanks to PM Rani Wickramasinge not signing the Rome Statute in 2002, UPFA MP said. more..

Edtorial: Grey giving way to Black?

Mar 29 (Island) The incumbent govt’s plans to attract foreign investment seem to be jinxed. Everything apparently goes wrong for UNF on the investment front. Before the last prez & general elections, yahapalana leaders bragged that Volkswagen had agreed to set up a factory in the Kurunegala District, and thousands of the youth would benefit therefrom. Their much-advertised claim turned out to be a lie and the promised car factory came to be dubbed the hoaxwagen project! more..

Thilanga wants rich sports bodies to support poor associations

Mar 29 (ST) Former President of SLC Thilanga Sumathipala has proposed to the Minister of Sports, Harin Fernando to request all rich sports bodies to make a monetary contribution to the Sports Development Fund to help those less affluent sports bodies. Sumathipala has suggested that such well-to-do associations with handsome annual grants from their respective global bodies, could contribute a percentage from their earnings to more..

Mahanama-DS cricket encounter from today

Mar 29 (DN) With both sides comprising Sri Lanka under 19 cricketers the 13th Battle of the Golds annual cricket encounter between Mahanama College and DS Senanayake College promises to be a high scoring game at the P Sara Oval today and tomorrow. The past 12 encounters has produced only one winning result with 11 matches ending in draws. The solitary win in the series was achieved by DS Senanayake in 2014 under the leadership of Sri Lanka cap Binura Fernando. more..

All-time Sri Lanka World Cup XI

Mar 29 (CI) The Sri Lanka top order virtually picks itself. The 1996 player of the tournament Sanath Jayasuriya? Yes please. Tillakaratne Dilshan, who hit six fours in an over off Mitchell Johnson in the 2015 event, and averages over 52 in World Cups? You'd be mad not to pick him. Kumar Sangakkara (four consecutive hundreds in a World Cup), Aravinda de Silva (who produced one of the most incredible counterattacks in one-day history - his 66 in 1996 semi-final) & Mahela Jayawardene more..

Lanza, Amaratunge in heated exchange

Mar 29 (CT) UPFA Gampaha District MP Nimal Lanza and Minister John Amaratunge engaged in a heated argument over an alleged fraudulent land sale by the Chairman of the Wattala-Mabola Urban Council with the help of politicians in the area and Council workers. Lanza, while presenting written and video evidence to be included in the Hansard, called for a CID investigation into the alleged fraudulent land deal by the Chairman of more..

Battle of the Golds Netball encounter: Visakha and Sujatha inaugurate new duel

Mar 29 (ST) The inaugural Motwani Challenge Shield Netball encounter — the Battle of the Golds between Visakha Vidyalaya Colombo and Sujatha Vidyalaya Nugegoda, will be played at Race Course ground in Colombo today at 9am. The inaugural Battle of the Gold event is hosted by Sujatha Vidyalaya and the responsibility of hosting will change from one to another annually. This is the curtain raiser match in the annual encounter which is planned to be held in the years to come more..

'UK encourages recognition of high value of women’s and girls’ sports'

Mar 29 (DN) British High Commissioner to SL, James Dauris, met with Sri Lanka Women and England Women cricket captains before the final of the 3-match England-SL T20 series, on Thursday (28), at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium. The High Commissioner took the opportunity to congratulate both captains, Chamari Atapattu and Heather Knight, on a successful series in Sri Lanka and expressed the hope that women and girls’ sport would continue to grow in both countries. more..

Govt sticks to denial on power crisis

Mar 29 (FT) The Govt yesterday staunchly denied Sri Lanka was embattled in a power crisis, insisting that power supply would return to normal in a few days, and blamed previous Govts for not adding additional power to meet growing demand. UNP MP Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, rejecting the motion at the Adjournment Time on Power cut in the country, proposed by the UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, more..

Dharmasoka hold the edge over Devananda

Mar 29 (Island) Arch rivals Sri Devananda College and Dharmasoka College are playing in two contrasting Divisions in the premier Under-19 Schools cricket tournament. But the two teams have produced close contests more often than not when they encounter each other at the annual Big Match. This year’s Battle of the Blues of Ambalangoda too is likely to produce a keen tussle when the two teams meet Saturday and Sunday at the De Soysa Stadium Moratuwa. more..

Aravinda tells Govt to walk the talk

Mar 29 (CT) A former cricketer-turned-businessman called on the Govt to walk the talk and achieve its ambitious goals, while being mindful of certain actions that could hurt the Sri Lanka private sector. IDEAL Motors Deputy Chairman, Aravinda De Silva, addressing the launch of Mahindra’s BS4 (Euro4) vehicles in Sri Lanka, said, “The Govt should walk the talk.” He pointed out that the Govt needed to have a clear goal and a well-suited plan to better Sri Lanka’s future. more..

SL urges energy saving as blackouts pinch

Mar 29 (AFP) Sri Lankans endured a third straight day of blackouts Wednesday, with families sleeping outdoors to escape the heat and businesses stockpiling fuel as a crippling power shortage grips the island. Authorities warned Sri Lankans they must slash their energy use in coming months or face extensive power cuts as a severe drought bites into hydroelectricity production in the Indian Ocean nation of 21 million. more..

Sri Lanka firms eye converted residences to cut costs amid slowdown

Mar 29 (EN) Some Sri Lankan firms are likely to move from high-end office buildings to residential units within or outside Colombo as they get hit with a sluggish economy and political uncertainty, a property developer said. "Some companies aren't getting high revenue with the current economic conditions," RIL Property Plc Executive Director Hiroshini Fernando said. "Last year was very volatile. due to political conditions. This year; it's hard to predict anything in our economy." more..

Sri Lanka plans to compete with higher-wage countries amid currency collapse

Mar 29 (EN) SL has to compete with a set of countries which have higher wages, instead of trying to beat low-wage nations like Bangladesh and Myanmar, Minister Harsha de Silva said, as the Central Bank depreciated the rupee to cut real salaries of the people and lower living standards. "We have two choices," he said. "One is to go down and take salary cuts and say we will become a low wage producer and then compete with the Bangladeshis, compete with Myanmar people more..

Govt. slammed for delaying Budget-linked reports

Mar 29 (FT) Opposition lawmaker Bandula Gunawardana criticised the Govt for delaying crucial reports, including the basis of expenditure and revenue targets of Budget 2019, as well as details of its policy focus, and contended the Opposition was hampered from fully participating in the ensuing debate. According to Standing Order 121 (4), the Committee on Public Finance should present within six weeks of the tabling of more..

IT innovations can push local startups to global markets

Mar 29 (CT) Sri Lanka can boost its low rate of domestic start-ups entering global markets through innovations in the field of IT, noted Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. He made this observation at the Sri Lankan launch of myCliniq, an innovative medical practice management software app by a New Zealand-based IT startup at Hotel Taj Samudra on 27 March. “Sri Lanka’s growing service, technology, finance skills-base, and the IT-BPM sector, makes it a key candidate for a regional startup hub,” more..

Trincomalee harbour's development potential seen as remaining unexploited

Mar 29 (Island) Sri Lanka has not harnessed its development potential where the Trincomalee deep water harbour is concerned even after 10 years since the civil war came to a close, First Secretary (Development Cooperation) Australian High Commission in SL, Dr. Thomas Davis said. "Trincomalee harbour is considered one of the best natural deep water harbours in the world and could be developed as a major international trade and investment hub in the region, Dr Davis said more..

Mano, Azeez acted on govt directive; Mangala to set the record straight

Mar 29 (Island) Mano Tittawella, in his capacity as the Secretary General of Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) instructed Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva A.L.A. Azeez to accept the latest resolution 40/1 on behalf of govt of Sri Lanka. Tittawella was appointed, on March 29, 2016. In Aug 2017, as senior advisor to Finance and Media Ministry. more..

Speaker approves putting Fonseka’s privilege issue before ethics committee

Mar 29 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed Parliament that the issue raised by UNP lawmaker Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, requesting to re-establish his pension, allowances, and other privileges, can be brought before the Committee on Ethics and Privileges. Raising a privilege issue on Wednesday in Parliament, Fonseka challenged that military tribunals held during the tenure of the former Govt were responsible for cancelling his pension, due after his military service. more..

Seized narcotics stocks to be destroyed publicly on April 1

Mar 29 (DM) Narcotics stocks seized by the local law enforcement authorities, which ended judicial process, would be destroyed publicly on April 1, Prez Sirisena said. Prez said he had ordered the relevant authorities to destroy narcotics stocks in an open and transparent manner. The first such instance was when a stock of 928 kg of cocaine, which were seized during raids by Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) was publicly destroyed at the premises of Katunayake Export Zone more..

Sirisena hits SLAS with home truths

Mar 29 (FT) Delivering some home truths, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday took the cream of SL’s public sector to task for making tough demands from the Govt on salaries and other perks, but failing to deliver on critical services efficiently to develop the country. The President, speaking at the 36th SL Administrative Service (SLAS) AGM at Nelum Pokuna, held back no punches on a range of issues, which included the behaviour of more..

Raghavan says regrets misquotations

Mar 29 (CT) Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan stated that he regretted if any misquoting and misrepresentation had taken place with regard to certain media reportage on an interview he had given to the press about his participation at the UNHRC session in Geneva. “It has been brought to my attention that there has been some media reporting on the press interview I gave about my participation at Council Session and a subsequent reaction from OHCHR to the same. more..

Two ministry expenditure heads defeated: Will be re-submitted: Minister Kiriella

Mar 29 (DN) All Expenditure Heads of Megapolis and Western Development Ministry and some Expenditure Heads of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Govt Ministry were defeated in an unexpected move during the committee stage of the Budget 2019 yesterday. A Division was called by UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena at the last minute while the House was passing several expenditure heads of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils more..

Deal for new Sri Lanka oil refinery will take at least a year to finalize: investor

Mar 29 (Reuters) An agreement to build a proposed $3.85 billion oil refinery in Sri Lanka will take at least a year to be finalized as its main investor, India’s Accord Group, says it is yet to recruit partners and conduct an assessment of the plan’s viability. Comments add to confusion about the project, which was announced last week by the SL govt as the nation’s largest single foreign direct investment ever, but has since been more..

A divided Sri Lanka and the UNHRC Report

Mar 29 (DM) Sri Lanka may consider being granted two years to implement outstanding matters from the previous UNHRC 2015 resolution (30/1) as a slight victory, but it has to sort out the tussle in progress between parties supportive of the commission’s recommendations and those opposing them, back at home. President Sirisena is clearly against the resolution co-sponsored by the Govt of SL and brought about by countries like Britain, Germany, Macedonia, Montenegro & Canada. more..

Where are People in these Expert talks?

Mar 29 (DM) Daily Mirror on Thurs (21), carried a very detailed and exhaustive analysis on SL’s Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and their returns in terms of economic gain titled Sri Lanka FTA debate: What have we gained and what can we achieve. This was by two eminent personalities. One an academic, Prof. Premachandra Athukorala and the other Dr Dayaratna Silva a diplomat, very familiar with the WTO. Their conclusions included: “The available evidence on the role of FTAs in attracting more..

Experts to hand over report on how best to tackle drug rehabilitation

Mar 29 (ST) Prez Sirisena will, next week, receive an expert report on improved rehabilitation programmes for the rising number of drug addicts. The report complied by a nine- member Consultative Committee, set up under the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention, has evaluated the domestic mechanism, and on the President’s recommendation, has studied the drug rehabilitation systems of Singapore and more..

Local rhetoric amidst submission to foreign pressure

Mar 29 (DM) Both the current and the former Govts have been lying to the people in respect of their respective dealings with the UNHRC. Both the govts have been attempting to say that they have not been succumbing to the pressure by the world’s human rights body, despite both having been submitting to it. Opposition MP and former Minister Sarath Amunugama who travelled to Geneva last week as a nominee of the President in more..

US official doc clears SL of civilian deaths

Mar 29 (AT) Instead of agreeing to collaborate with the UK to adopt Resolution 40/1 in March – an extension of Oct 2015 30/1 Resolution which imposed on Sri Lanka a mechanism of hybrid court investigation to ascertain the truth about civilian casualties during the Eelam War (2006-2009) IV – SL delegation headed by Foreign Minister Marapona, following the impressive official statement rejecting hybrid mechanism, more..

Nearly 49% of Colombo’s water wasted

Mar 29 (GDI) Nearly 49% of water supplied to Colombo is lost due to leakages in the distribution pipe system, incurring a considerable loss to the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, Deputy General Manager of the Colombo Water Supply Service Project Abdul Rasheed said. He also added that the projected funded by the ADB will ensure that 60% of all pipes in Colombo are replaced. more..

Ravi promises uninterrupted power supply during Avurudu season

Mar 29 (AD) There will be no power interruptions during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, says Minister Ravi Karunanayake. He stated this addressing the media following the religious observances including a Pirith Pan Poojawa held at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. This was organized by the CEB to seek blessings to end the prevailing power crisis. He requested the general public to more..