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Democracy in peril or what?

Sep 3 (ST) As college students many decades ago, we were taught that Ceylon’s parliamentary system was largely based on the practices and conventions of the British House of Commons. The Commons, we were told, is the Mother of all parliaments. Boris Johnson, Britain’s current prime minister went to Eton College and Oxford University very much later. But he does not seem to have learnt the history of the evolution of the British parliament. Nor does he seem to value the institution which is more..

Economy, security & supremacists

Sep 3 (CT) The most disappointing and disturbing fact about the prez race so far is the absence of any statement or discussion about the state of the economy and measures to promote economic growth. Only the JVP candidate has at least referred to the need for a new economic direction and his party’s readiness to deal with it, if he is elected. Neither Gotabaya Rajapaksa nor his other would be challenger Sajith Premadasa (if nominated), nor anyone else in the campaign has even more..

Jaffna International Cinema Festival: Transcending cultural & political boundaries

Sep 3 (SO) The malicious, grief stricken memories of the 30-year-old civil war, the Palmyrah tree, the taste of Jaffna chicken curry savoured years ago - these are the vague, yet inter-related memories that crowd us in the South when someone says Jaffna, due to the very limited encounters and engagements that we have with the peninsular. Although years have passed since the end of the evil civil war, Jaffna is a separate state for more..

SL having hit the crossroads is in dire need of fresh knowledge & change of attitudes

Sep 3 (CT) We have been talking about the 30-year war every day for the last 10 years since the war ended. Isn’t it time to forget the past and talk about the future? Talk about the politics for the future? No one is sure of what we would achieve by frequently reminding ourselves of the war and how we ended and who did it. Wouldn’t it be nice to not think, speak or write about a subject especially, one that is a source of unhappiness, anxiety and dissatisfaction? When do we focus on our future politics and more..

Justice delayed is justice denied

Sep 3 (TM) These days, there is a flurry of activity at the AG's Department, CID, and in Hulftsdorp where special courts have been set up specifically to hear cases against individuals of the last regime. Given how gullible people can be to the usual election rhetoric, one cannot help but notice that the ground is being set for a repetition of the 2015 propaganda, with the only difference being that this time around, cases have actually been filed against some of the suspects while more..

'The younger generation can't be fooled'

Sep 3 (CT) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma was of the opinion that, even the parties who were against Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the beginning, now believe that he is the only candidate who can ensure national security. Q: On 18 August the JVP announced their prez candidate. With that, many anticipate the presidential election to be even more challenging. What is your view? A: At the past LG elections, JVP gained around more..

Rizwan Rafeek: Daredevil on wheels

Sep 3 (Roar) When did you start biking? A: I think I started around the age of 10 or 11 when I cycled to school. I grew up near the Galle Fort and cycling was how everyone got around – waiting for buses and taxis was not common for us. And every day after school instead of going straight home I liked to ride around a bit, exploring different areas nearby. Q: How did cycling to school evolve into mountain biking? A: I think it evolved with my love of discovering new places, new experiences. more..

Editorial: Lucky Pigs

Sep 3 (Island) A govt move to accelerate the Gamperaliya programme by granting more funds to the UNF MPs has irked the JO beyond measure. That the UNF is desperate to boost its plummeting approval ratings with only a few more months to go for the prez election is blindingly obvious. The JO says the UNF MPs are to be given as much as Rs. 100 mn each, and their Opposition counterparts will get nothing, at all. Claiming that the govt has discriminated against Opposition MPs, more..

Pallekandal church inside Wilpattu park issue

Declining trade deficit could improve external finances

Sep 3 (ST) There is a prospect of a larger balance of payments surplus this year owing to the reduction of the trade deficit. The decrease in the trade deficit by US$ 2.1 billion in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year could result in a higher balance of payments surplus and a strengthening of the external finances this year. A higher balance of payments surplus this year could strengthen the external reserves and ease the country’s debt burden. more..

Foreign Policy: The vantage point for the future trajectory of Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (Island) With the advent of state-of-the-art technology and modern communication, the world today has transformed into a global village invariably promoting increased globalization and connectivity amongst countries. With an increased tendency of countries to be impacted by the workings of other countries owing to the thriving rates at which globalization occurs today, a veracious foreign policy that speaks volumes of the state interest, gives primacy to state integrity, national security more..

Junior National Athletics Championship: Throwers’ day as records tumble

Sep 3 (Island) Emerging thrower Rumesh Tharanga of St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya shattered Charith Kapukotuwa’s long standing discus throw record to give Junior National Athletics Championship an ideal start as day one of the competition witnessed half a dozen new meet records at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Monday. Bishops College thrower Ovini Chandrasekara, Pete’s sprinter Hirusha Hashen, more..

Ambassador Pradeepa Saram presents credentials to King Hamad of Bahrain

Sep 3 (FT) The newly-appointed Ambassador of SL to Bahrain Pradeepa Saram presented Letters of Credence to King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, of the Kingdom of Bahrain on Tuesday (27) at Al-Sakhir Palace, Manama. The ceremony was attended by the Royal Court Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Royal Protocols Chief. The credentials ceremony included a Guard of Honour and the playing of the National Anthem of SL. The Guard of Honour was followed by the presentation of credentials more..

High Commissioner Mallimaratchi presents Letters of Credence to Namibia President

Sep 3 (FT) Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner of South Africa accredited to the Republic of Namibia presented Letters of Credence to President of Namibia Dr. Hage G. Geingob on 22 August at State House, Windhoek, Namibia. High Commissioner along with the Australian High Commissioner and six Ambassadors; Angola, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Kuwait, Iceland and Korea were warmly welcomed by the Namibian President and the Deputy of Namibia, Dr. Hage G. Geingob; Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. more..

Exporters must evolve past GSP+: Govt

Sep 3 (FT) Exporters will have to evolve past preferential trade access to the European Union (EU), which has helped exports withstand the impact of the Easter attacks, as they could be phased out as early as 2023 due to Sri Lanka becoming an upper-middle income country, officials said yesterday. Addressing a seminar titled Sri Lanka’s Exports to the EU: Impacts of GSP+, Dept of Commerce Acting Director General more..

SLPP defends crossovers

Sep 3 (FT) The SLPP defended giving membership to MPs Dilan Perera and S.B Dissanayake, insisting it was done with good intentions and would not derail ongoing coalition talks. Responding to a statement made by the SLFP criticising the SLPP on recruiting its two MPs, Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said they would continue talks with the SLPP. He also said the SLPP would not do anything that would be disadvantageous for talks with the SLFP, adding that his party was fully committed to more..

SL Vs NZ T20I: Spotlight on SL's youngsters

Sep 3 (CI) There are no certainties when it comes to the T20 captaincy, but for now Lasith Malinga is the man entrusted with the build up to the T20 World Cup next year, and he's clearly in a mood to experiment. In the first T20I, Malinga wanted to have a look at the batting. So although he acknowledged that bowling first might have been smarter (given the difficulty involved in defending a score with a wet ball), he wanted to give his young batting order a free hand. more..

'Leave nation to intellectuals, not family'

Sep 3 (DN) Leaving the country’s decision-making process to an intellectual majority will serve the future interests of the country and its people better without allowing a family coterie to decide the country’s fate at their breakfast table, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He was speaking to the news media on Sunday during an inspection tour of development activities underway around the Beira Lake. more..

Mendis confident SL can bounce back

Sep 3 (DN) Kusal Mendis who made the highest individual score in the first T20 international with a fluent 79 is confident that Sri Lanka will be able to bounce back and win the second match of the series to be played at the Pallekele International Stadium here on Tuesday. Mendis’ assessment of Sri Lanka’s chances comes from the fact that the pressures created within the team for places amongst the players is bringing out the best from the playing eleven. more..

NOC enters into futuristic sports MoU

Sep 3 (CT) The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka entered into a fruitful sports agreement with Satoshi Matsui, the Mayor of Hashima City Gifu Prefecture, Japan a NOC news release states. NOC's Secretary General Maxwell de Silva signed this MoU looking beyond the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This multi-faceted agreement has many features that would help Lankan athletes who are due to participate at the Olympics and install certain programmes beyond the Games. more..

Half of new expressways to be done by year end: RDA

Sep 3 (FT) Half of the ongoing expressway work will be completed before the end of this year, whilst the RDA is firming up moves to expedite the rest. “At present we are developing about 200 km of expressways and of that we are completing about 105 km within this year,” RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriyarachchi said. Speaking at the Understanding the MCC Compact forum organised by the SL-US Business Council more..

Sports Minister cuts sod to inaugurate Bogambara synthetic track

Sep 3 (DN) Minister Harin Fernando cut the first sod to inaugurate the construction of a Rs. 37 million synthetic track at the Bogambara Stadium, Kandy yesterday. Cabinet Minister Lucky Jayawardena also took part at the ceremony. The Mayor of Kandy Kesara Senanayake, Thilina Tennakoon, president of the KDCA, Government Agent/Provincial Secretary, Tissa Karunaratne, Dinuk Wijeratne, Officer in charge of Sugathadasa Stadium, Sarath Wijesinghe, MMC Kandy, S.K. Gajanayake, more..

Elephant House partners with Warner Bros.

Sep 3 (TM) Elephant House Ice Cream, has partnered with Warner Bros. to introduce a new range of ice creams to the local market, a press statement said. The partnerships allows Elephant House Ice cream to launch popular and iconic superheroes inspired ice creams for kids and movie geeks. Accordingly Elephant House has launched two exciting new ice cream products. Warner Bros. is a global leader and a world famous broad based entertainment company who are the owners more..

SLAF brings pleasant childhood memories

Sep 3 (AF) 4th SLAF Aviation Contingent in MINUSCA carried out 4 major Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC) activities and several drug donation programmes during the last month in order to support the local people and to bring pleasant childhood memories to the children who are victims of conflicts in several villages situated around Bria, Central African Republic. This has benefited more than 1000 boys & girls of ages under 8 years. more..

We were lucky to win: Santner

Sep 3 (DN) Mitchell Santner said that New Zealand were lucky to win the first T20 International against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele Stadium on Sunday after they chased down a target of 175 to win by five wickets with three balls to spare. Shortly before the rain came New Zealand had lost the last of their recognised batsmen Ross Taylor for a dominant 48 off 29 balls and required 31 off the last 19 balls. Santner scored 14 not out of those runs off eight balls and with Daryl Mitchell (25 n.o.) more..

AASL sets up special trial for selected events

Sep 3 (CT) Athletics Association (AASL) has decided to conduct a special trial for selected events to give athletes who are close to the required IAAF World Championship qualification standard another chance to achieve the standard, or improve their world ranking position to within the first 32 of the event, in order to be selected for the World Athletics showpiece. World C'ship will be held from 27 Sept to 6 Oct, and only Marathoner Hiruni Wijayarathne has achieved the required standard so far. more..

Video: PC polls cannot be held under previous election system, SC informs Prez

Sep 3 (AD) Supreme Court has informed the President that the PC elections cannot be held under the previous election system or the Provincial Councils (Amendment) Act. Issuing a statement, Secretary to the Prez Udaya Seneviratne said the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court had unanimously agreed on the verdict. SC has informed Prez that the election cannot be held under Provincial Council (Amd) Act more..

Important step towards reaching trading hub goal in South Asia

Sep 3 (DN) Concrete efforts and effective measures need to be taken to give a further flip to existing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Germany, said Andreas Berg, Deputy German Ambassador in Sri Lanka. As part of strengthening ties between the two countries, Germany has offered Euros 27 million to Sri Lanka this year, in different fields of development cooperation. One successful aspect in this regard is the Germen-SL partnership in the vocational training sector in Sri Lanka. more..

Port Access Elevated Highway begins construction next week

Sep 3 (FT) The $300 million ADB funded Port Access Elevated Highway will commence construction work next week. “The construction work of the Port Access Elevated Highway linking the Kelaniya new bridge with Colombo Port City will commence on 10 September,” RDA Chairman Nihal Ranjan Sooriyarachchi said. The new elevated highway will connect Inguru Kade junction to Port City is expected to ease traffic congestion, improve connectivity, and facilitate trade logistics more..

If assumed presidency, Sajith should have a free hand: Ajith

Sep 3 (DM) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa should have a free hand in working for the nation if elected as president, Non-Cabinet Minister Ajith P. Perera said. “Mr. Premadasa will not be made a puppet candidate. No one will be able to say that he will be fielded as a dummy and that he will follow anyone’s advice. The notion that the next president will not have powers enjoyed by the previous heads of state is false. more..

Elpitiya PS polls on 11 Oct

Sep 3 (CT) Election Commission sources said that LG Election to the Elpitiya PS is scheduled to be held on 11 Oct. It is reported that necessary arrangements are being made to issue the Gazette Notification in this connection. The SC last week ordered the Election Commission to hold the election to this Pradeshiya Sabha without a delay. Election Commission sources added that even though LG Election was held on 10 Feb 2018, Elpitiya election is planned to be held 11 Oct, more..

Sajith’s faction disregards call by PM

Sep 3 (DM) Despite the request made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for the cessation of agitation seeking presidential candidacy to Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa, the faction loyal to him has decided to proceed with their public rally scheduled for Sept 5 in Kurunegala. They have also convened the party’s local govt representatives to Colombo for a meeting as part of their campaign demanding prez candidacy to Mr. Premadasa. more..

Crossovers could damage coalition talks: SLFP

Sep 3 (FT) SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara faulted the SLPP for recruiting its members, saying it created unwarranted tension between the two parties which were currently engaged in coalition talks ahead of the upcoming Presidential Elections. SLFP National List MPs S.B Dissanayake and Dilan Perera obtained SLPP membership last week. Responding to the development SLFP has decided to take more..

Video: Elephant shot by hunters fighting for its life

Sep 3 (AD) An elephant who was roaming the Manampitiya Flood Plains National Park is currently fighting for its life after being shot multiple times by hunters. The elephant is presently in critical condition and is lying on the ground unable to stand within the farm belonging to the National Livestock Development Board at Kanduruwela. The eight foot tall elephant, who is believed to be around 15 years of age, has sustained multiple gunshot wounds to its abdomen. more..

Video: What would happen if Gotabaya becomes President? :Mujibur

Sep 3 (AD) If SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins the election the country will be insecure, according to the UNP MP Mujibur Rahman. He pointed out that Gotabaya Rajapaksa held the post of Defense Secretary as a special appointment and the media freedom, personal freedom, civil freedom was obstructed during that time period. He said that journalists were assaulted and media institutes were attacked and harassed during that time. more..

SLPP, SLFP agree to abide by key provision in 19 A as talks enter crucial stage

Sep 3 (Island) The SLPP and SLFP have reached a consensus on three crucial issues including the limit on the number of Cabinet ministers in keeping with the 19th Amendment. The 19th Amendment, enacted in early 2015, has restricted the Cabinet to 30 unless Parliament ratifies the formation of a national govt. SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris, said that a consensus had been reached on the need for a new electoral system more..

Enforced disappearances unlikely to end any time soon

Sep 3 (DM) Enforced disappearances are a recognizable problem in developing countries, including those in South Asia, even though many of these countries have modern democratic institutions. State-backed abductions are tacitly accepted as a necessity on grounds of national security and political stability. Indeed, enforced disappearances are now part and parcel of the degenerate political culture of the developing world, including South Asia. Countries in South Asia accept that more..

Quarter Life Crisis; Life at 25

Sep 3 (DM) Move on mid-life crisis. The quarter life crisis is gaining ground. Addicted to phone and social media, often distracted, endowed with plethora of choices yet sunk in apathy towards most of them - be they higher studies or other plans, the life predicament at 25 or around the time is becoming increasingly tough to be sorted out alone by a young adult. The crisis at mid- twenties which can even run up to mid- thirties, has therefore started drawing the attention of psychologists more..

‘The average citizen is a very disempowered person’

Sep 3 (DM) Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement founded by Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne has empowered rural communities for generations. Acknowledged as the most broadly embedded community-based development organisation network, the Movement seeks a no-poverty, no-affluence society through community-based work and volunteerism. Sarva translates to All and Udaya to Awakening, hence the theme Awakening of All. more..

Sri Lanka seeks assistance in preventing violent extremism

Sep 3 (MFA) Sri Lanka has sought expertise in preventing violent extremism from the Global Community Engagement & Resilience Fund (GCERF), in the post Easter Sunday scenario where violent extremism has become the biggest threat to national security. At the invitation of the Foreign Ministry, the Executive Director of GCERF, Dr. Khalid Koser was in Sri Lanka from 27–30 Aug, and met with more..