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Editorial: Youth voting with their feet

Sep 28 (Island) Hundreds of thousands of youth have left the country since 2009, and most of them will not return, Minister Champika Ranawaka is reported to have said. One may have expected this country to be a better place to live in, after the conclusion of the war, which drove many people away. But the migration of so many youth is proof that successive govts have squandered the opportunities that presented themselves, in peacetime, to achieve development and more..

Tributes to Professor Carlo Fonseka

Sep 28 (Island) My attention has once again been drawn to this subject by the article of Rohana R. Wasala and specifically mentioning my name. I am sorry for the delay in replying due to personal reasons. I have to thank him for his article and the gracious apology. For someone to repeat a mea culpa (my fault) so many times –almost a mea maxima culpa, requires both courage and honesty as well as maturity and humility – (though, I must say, I did feel a bit embarrassed reading it!). more..

Time now for Political Climate Change

Sep 28 (Island) "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!" That was Climate activist Greta Thurnberg (16), addressing world leaders at UN Climate Action Summit more..

The metamorphosis of a hospital

Sep 28 (ST) A glossy black Grand Piano is the piece de resistance on the first floor and suddenly soft, soothing classical music fills the air, while at other times children are drawn to the ebony-and-ivory keys and from their little fingers flow forth the lilting notes of Chopsticks. Grand Piano is not in the lobby of a 5-star hotel but in a hospital which has undergone metamorphosis from an innocuous caterpillar into a butterfly – from a dark and more..

It’s business as usual for bottom-trawling Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka’s waters

Sep 28 (ST) Thousands of Indian fishermen continue to trespass into SL’s northern territorial waters, despite strict new regulations and their poaching activity calls into question a drop in the number of arrests in recent months. Navy units patrolling near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) chase the Indian fishermen away rather than taking them into custody. This has been the reason for the low rate of arrests at mid-sea. more..

Southern Province overtakes Western in Sri Lanka human capital index

Sep 28 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Southern Province had scored 63.3 points in a global human capital index (HCI) developed by the World Bank, putting the area ahead of SL’s Western province which scored 61.8. The HCI looks at both education attainment and health outcomes. The Southern province had a lower per capita income than Western Province which contained the capital and had the most advanced educational institutions. more..

'SLPP policies in tandem with SLFP’s'

Sep 28 (DN) The SLPP policies are the most compatible with the policies of the SLFP and the best option is for both parties to unite, UPFA MP Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told a media briefing yesterday. Siyambalapitiya noted that as no single party could gain a clear majority of over 51% at the election, the SLFP votes are crucial to any party. “SLFP has discussed at length what is best for the party and more..

SLFP, SLPP closer to consensus on GR

Sep 28 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena’s group yesterday indicated that an agreement with the SLPP was possible in spite of the latter paying the deposit of its presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The SLPP paid the deposit on Sept. 20. UPFA National List MP Thilanga Sumathipala asserted that the issue of a symbol shouldn’t prevent an agreement between the SLFP and the SLPP. more..

UGC blamed for lack of vision in handling matters

Sep 28 (DM) Prof. R. Vigneswaran charged that the UGC had flouted proper procedure in removing him from the post of Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Jaffna University in April this year. Prof. Vigneswaran said the UGC had not conducted an inquiry or given him an explanation for his removal. “If they (UGC) received any complaints against me, they should have first conducted an inquiry, interdicted me and issued a charge sheet,” more..

EC divided over Elpitiya poll: Prof. Hoole defends disputed stand, won’t quit

Sep 28 (Island) UPFA National List MP Thilanga Sumathipala faulted Election Commission member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole for taking a stand contrary to that of the Commission in respect of holding the much delayed Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha election. Former Deputy Speaker Sumathipala said that Prof. Hoole’s stand could jeopardise the EC in the run-up to the presidential, provincial council and parliamentary polls. more..

Was Minister Marapana victim of UNP-CIABOC project?

Sep 28 (Island) President’s Counsel W.D. Rodrigo said that one-time Attorney General Tilak Marapana, PC, had been a victim of the CIABOC, which was under political influence. PC Rodrigo, who had been a former Principal of the Law College referred to the circumstances under which Law and Order Minister Marapana had quit his ministerial portfolio for being the counsel for Avant Garde chief Nissanka Senadhipathi. more..

Akila tells PCoI about providing tabs to students

Sep 28 (DM) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam informed the Presidential Commission that he had submitted 13 cabinet papers on several occasions with regard to providing tab computers for GCE A/L students and their teachers. He said that he had travelled to developed countries like Japan, South Korea and in those countries children used tabs as equipment for educational purposes. more..

UNP lives to fight another day

Sep 29 (SO) The confirmation of the candidacy of Sajith Premadasa from the UNP has provided the Grand Old Party with hope after many decades in the political wilderness. More importantly, it augurs well for two-party democracy in this country, which was being threatened with extinction. To say so is not to take sides in the looming presidential contest. Rather, we wish to elaborate on the dangerous trajectory in which political parties were heading in the aftermath of the collapse of the coalition more..

Choice before the people today is clear

Sep 29 (CT) Ending months of intra-party squabbles, the UNP Working Committee unanimously decided on Thursday (26) to finally nominate Party Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa as its Presidential Candidate to go against Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna's popular candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Accordingly, Premadasa would contest under the UNP-led Democratic National Front (DNF) banner, which would be formed on 10 October during a rally at Galle Face Green. more..

'We have set aside all differences to make our candidate the winner'

Sep 29 (SO) UNP Galle district MP and Minister Vajira Abeywardena says his party has faced much worse situations in the past when selecting Presidential candidates but the latest struggle has resulted in the best option for the DNF alliance led by the green party to win the upcoming election. He said Sajith Premadasa was nominated by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and the minority parties will have faith in his decision. more..

Gloves on and the bell sounded

Sep 29 (Island) With just nine days to go before nominations are received for November presidential election, the UNP which is the major constituent of the ruling coalition, anointed Sajith Premadasa as its candidate on Thursday ending weeks of uncertainty. Party leader and prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, also evinced great interest in the United National Freedom Alliance ticket under which the green party will seek to win the presidency that has long eluded it. more..

Guilty until proven innocent

Sep 29 (ST) The UN has taken what seems a thoroughly egregious decision towards a member-state by suspending the fresh induction of an entire army for its peacekeeping operations due to the recent appointment of an army commander facing hitherto unproven allegations of war crimes. The decision is kicking in the face the Western legal principle of the presumption of innocence and that one is innocent until proven guilty. What is more, it is arguably an unprecedented step of more..

A kidnap attempt that went awry

Sep 29 (CT) Buddha said, Putta Wattu Manussanan which means the most valuable treasure of humans is their children. Parents always want to give the best to their children, and there is nothing wrong with that. In some instances, however, parents not only want the best for their children but want their child to be the best among other children and here comes the problem! Here is a story of a Kapurala's desire to outbeat more..

Unlike father, unlike son!

Sep 29 (ST) My dear Sajith, I am writing to congratulate you on being chosen as the Green candidate to take on Gota at the big race in November. Having cleared all the hurdles put up by some Greens, you must be wondering which is the greater battle, fighting Gota or convincing the Green Man to let you run the race! It is good that you are the Green candidate. If the Green Man ran instead of you, it would have been like a cricket match between Sri Lanka and India: more..

Street wars

Sep 29 (ST) Serapina was livid. She had gone to Fort the other day on some work but had to return due to traffic congestion and some roads being closed due to a protest. Balanna-ko Akke, loku virodhata nisa mata mage veda karaganna bari vuna (See Sister, because of protests I could not get my work done), she grumbled. Den virodhata hema velema, hema thenama thiyanawa (There are protests every time and everywhere, said Kussi Amma Sera. more..


Sajith’s presidential candidacy

Sep 29 (Island) By fielding Sajith Premadasa as its prez candidate, the UNP has put its best foot forward. As a political party, it would not have been feasible to ignore the demonstrations that the Sajith camp put up to prove the fact that he was by far the preferred candidate of the UNP rank and file. For the past decade, UNP’s style of electioneering was to come to an arrangement with like minded political parties to add the latter’s vote to the UNP’s base vote in contesting prez elections and more..

SL Army rewards Asian bronze medalist Vidusha Lakshani

Sep 29 (ST) Asian Athletics Championships Bronze medalist Vidusha Lakshani was honored by the SL Army at a ceremony held coinciding with the Inter-Regiment annual championships for Netball and Volleyball held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium last Wednesday. Lakshani, who won a stunning Bronze medal at the 23rd edition of the Asian Championships held at the Khalifa Int'l Stadium, in Doha, Qatar in April this year, was givenwith a certificate and a cash prize of Rs 100,000 more..

Candidates decided, yet the battle begins on symbols

Sep 29 (CT) For the first time in a Prez Election in the country, neither serving Prez nor PM is contesting this year. Starting from J.R. Jayewardene, who ran for Presidency as the sitting Prez, R. Premadasa as sitting PM, Chandrika Kumaratunga as sitting PM as well as the sitting Prez and Mahinda Rajapaksa also as sitting PM and Prez, contested in Prez Elections. Ruling UNP finally endorsed Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa more..

Leaving lasting memories in Pakistan

Sep 29 (Island) Pakistan govt has taken security for a cricket team to a new level deploying some 8500 troops and sealing off the five star hotels in Lahore and Karachi where the SL team will stay. As a result, players will have little interaction with the outside world but if they take the trouble to visit the shopping mall in the ground floor of their posh hotel in Lahore – Pearl Continental – they will be able to witness the warmth of Pakistan people. They will not have to pay a single cent for all the shopping they do more..

Kamil Mishara fourth Royal player to win title

Sep 29 (SO) Dynamic Kamil Mishara became only the fourth Royal College player to be crowed the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in the 41-year-old cherished history of SL’s oldest school cricket awards competition. Besides Ranjan Madugalle (1978-79), former Royal, NCC and SL captain turned present ICC Chief Match Referee, the other Royalists to bag the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year main award were Test player Roshan Jurangpathy (1986) and SL poolist more..

Occy hit by Arugam Bay waves

Sep 29 (ST) All eyes were on the water for Heat 16 of Round 3 of the So Sri Lanka Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 event, as the 1999 World Surfing Championship winner and sporting icon Mark Occy Occhilupo paddled out at Arugam Bay for his first heat of the event, yesterday. It was one of the first real looks surf fans got of Occy this week as the legend had been busy hanging out with locals and more..

MCC: Failure of public diplomacy?

Sep 29 (Island) The MCC may be a dead letter now with the passing of their self- imposed deadlines for SL Govt approval. In retrospect, the first mistake was made by the SL govt to put forward the agreements with the US as if they were in a package, two security agreements ACSA and SOFA and the MCC which is an economic agreement, so soon after the April 21 attacks. At best, it may have been an attempt by the US to rescue a govt seen as friendly which was in distress after the shock more..

Tuskers enhance prospects of top four spots in Asia

Sep 29 (ST) Brilliant tackling and good support play enabled the SL Tuskers to repeat their 2nd leg win over Korea when the final leg of the Asian Rugby Sevens Series was continued at the Race Course grounds yesterday. Kevin Dixon stole the show with two fantastic tries that put the Tuskers in the lead. After that there was just no stopping the local team who had the bit between their teeth by then. Ironically, it was the Koreans who scored first after weathering some spirited tackles in more..

Savaged by the Doha heat, Wijayaratne aims at a triple in Nepal

Sep 29 (ST) SL’s only representation at the IAAF Championships, Hiruni Wijayaratne, could not finish the Women’s Marathon worked off at mid-night on Friday in Doha, Qatar. She was one of the 28 runners who fell by the wayside, among a total of 68 runners, as the scorching conditions took their toll, in a sport that rarely sees dropouts at this level. Wijayaratne was severely cramping and sweating due to more..

Chamari Atapattu encourages Sri Lanka to play freely against mighty Australia

Sep 29 (CI) Sri Lanka T20I captain Chamari Atapattu will encourage her team to take a positive approach against Australia and not be overawed by the challenge of facing such a powerful side on their home turf. The three-match series begins at North Sydney Oval on Sunday with the form book suggesting that the matches will be one-sided affairs with Australia pulling away at the top of tree in the women's game after a 12-month period that has seen them win T20 World Cup, beat NZ, more..

Sri Lankan gold winning kick boxer makes koththu rottie for a living

Sep 29 (SO) Kumudu Prasanna who created history by winning the first-ever gold medal in kick boxing held in Bangkok, Thailand is now working as a Koththu (food) maker in the Horana area. Prasanna, who hails from Horana, was unable to pursue higher studies and has no regrets about it, as he became a successful Thai kick-boxer, a sport with a high risk of sustaining physical injuries. He said he was never afraid to fight but his biggest fight now is that he is facing a huge crisis to survive with the basics. more..

Commercial banks impose service charge on ATM users

Sep 29 (ST) Commercial banks are collecting a massive sum of over Rs. 130 million daily by levying a service charge of Rs. 5 from credit or debit card holders for every financial transaction using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). The banks used to levy an additional charge of Rs. 2 for the receipt issued via ATMs for money withdrawals or account balance inquiries. Although this money is being levied by banks as service charges for more..

Sri Lanka discusses obstacles placed on it’s Peacekeeping Contribution to UN

Sep 29 (MFA) Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha who is presently leading the SL delegation to the 74th UN General Assembly Session, on Friday (27) met with Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under Secretary General of the UN Department of Peace Operations (USSG/UNDPO) at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss obstacles placed on SL’s Peacekeeping contribution to the UN. Upon the Foreign Secretary seeking clarification on statement made on 25 Sep more..

UNF leaders formally agree to contest polls under swan symbol

Sep 29 (DM) The leaders of the political parties aligned with the UNP met yesterday with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and officially endorsed the decision to contest the presidential elections as a front, under the swan symbol, Daily Mirror learns. These parties work with the UNP as the United National Front (UNF) currently. In addition to the PM, nominee for prez candidacy Sajith Premadasa and Chairman Minister Malik Samarawickrama attended the meeting on behalf of the UNP. more..

Video: Number of dead female elephants found in Habarana climbs to 7

Sep 29 (AD) The carcasses of two more female elephants have reportedly been found in the Hiriwadunna reserve in Habara, during a joint search operation by wildlife officers and security forces, bringing the total number of elephants found dead under suspicious circumstances in the area to seven. Wildlife officer had discovered the carcasses of 4 wild elephants yesterday (27) while another female elephant more..

Lankan envoy visits Brandix facility in India

Sep 29 (SO) Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India, Austin Fernando who visited Visakhapatnam the southern port city, to attend the Sri Lanka-India Joint Naval Exercise, SLINEX 2019, also visited the Brandix Apparel Park, the largest Sri Lankan investment in India. The High Commissioner met the senior management of the Park and its CEO Rear Admiral (Rtd) Neil Rozairo. High Commissioner Fernando is the first senior SL Govt official to visit the Park since it was set up 12 years ago. more..

Video: Ex-Customs DG & Add'l DG remanded

Sep 29 (AD) Former Director General of SL Customs Jagath P. Wijeweera and the former Customs Additional Director General Tharaka Seneviratne have been ordered to be placed in remand custody until Oct 8. The FCID yesterday arrested the two suspects on charges including criminal breach of trust. Mr. Wijeweera was arrested at the Sri J'pura Hospital and Mr. Seneviratne was arrested at the Badulla General Hospital. They were receiving treatment in those hospitals more..

NIC smart card white- collar scam exposed

Sep 29 (ST) In what appears to be a major white collar scam, top officials have been found to have misled the Cabinet by submitting a false report for the procurement of one million pre-printed smart cards to Dept of Registration of Persons with the aim of siphoning off around Rs. 60 million. Ministry of Internal and Home Affairs and PCs and LG has called quotations from Just in Time Technologies Ltd, pre-supplier as a re-order more..

Loan price controls to hurt banks: Moody’s

Sep 29 (EN) Sri Lanka’s price controls on lending rates, which comes in the wake of a currency collapse and a spike in bad loans, will hit banks whose profits are already under pressure, Moody’s a rating agency said. SL’s soft-pegged central bank, which generated yet another currency collapse in 2018, due to contradictory money and exchange policies (juggling with domestic and external anchors) in a state failure, has slapped price controls claiming a market failure critics say. more..