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A bold stance

Mar 1 (SO) The previous UNF Govt took the rather unfortunate step of co-sponsoring a UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka brought by the Western powers. This could have opened the door to foreign interference in our domestic affairs especially by having foreign judges to try our war heroes. Having realised the dangers posed by this resolution, Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa proposed that Sri Lanka should withdraw from such resolutions. Now Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has informed more..

Where do we go from here?

Mar 1 (CT) Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena on Wednesday, 26 Feb, officially declared Sri Lanka's decision to withdraw from the co-sponsorship of Resolution 40/1 on Promoting reconciliation, accountability and HR in Sri Lanka. He also assured the Govt's stance of engaging in a local mechanism, more specifically, of appointing a Judge of the Supreme Court, to review the Commissions of Inquiry (COI) held in the past on alleged human rights violations. more..

Dropping charges against LTTE suspects : Malaysian AGís action condemned

Mar 1 (SO) The action by Malaysian Attorney General (AG) to drop criminal charges against the LTTE suspects could lend a new lease of life to the LTTE remnants, trying to regroup worldwide, a senior SL diplomat said, cautioning that the implications of this decision will be long lasting. A week ago, Malaysian AG, Tan Sri Tommy Thomas took action to drop all charges against 12 people who were accused of supporting the LTTE, more..

COVID-19; no point in Commissions after omissions

Mar 1 (ST) With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading globally, causing public anxiety across continents and disrupting economies and the daily lives of people, the UN health agency, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued its highest alert. Asking all nations to wake up, get ready, the WHO chief stressed every govtís duty to their citizens and the world to get ready. Local health authorities, led by the Minister no less, were quick to claim victory by clearing one patient. more..

Rooting out ragging

Mar 1 (TM) The thugs masquerading as student unionists are up to their old tricks once again it seems. Terrorising innocent students fresh out of school and deriving sadistic pleasure in the process has been the hallmark of these misguided youth who are well known for putting education on the back-burner in favour of establishing political control over their peers. Thuggery and sadism are only a means to an end which ultimately is to brainwash students into following their warped political ideology. more..

Rice monopoly thrives

Mar 1 (CT) Rice being the staple diet of Sri Lankans is a must in every home, be it rich or poor but sadly the escalating price of rice on the one hand and the drop in quality on the other, has left the consumer at their wits end. Govt says farmers and middlemen were responsible for the rice mafia but when Ceylon Today spoke to stakeholders it seems otherwise. We carry below the views expressed by Farmer Association heads s who are quick to more..

Polls Chief thunders

Mar 1 (Island) Chairman of Election Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya, has threatened legal action against those who violate the ban on election posters, cutouts, etc. He issues this warning, before every election, religiously, but it goes unheeded. He has to put his foot down and ensure that candidates who violate the election laws are brought to justice. Besides, SL elections usually entail a huge environmental cost. The last presidential election is the exception that proves the rule. more..

Battle for control of the UNP

Mar 1 (Island) The govt decided, last week, not to sign Millenium Challenge Corporation Agreement as it stands at present. However the govt spokesman stated that if the US was willing to amend the agreement to eliminate the clauses deemed unfavourable to SL, they may consider signing it. This appears to be the most rational approach one can take to the matter. Some time ago, there was a seminar at the BMICH. It was addressed by both proponents & opponents of MCC Agreement. more..


Seasonal patriotism for political opportunities

Mar 1 (ST) My dear Shavendra, I thought of writing to you when I heard that Uncle Sam has imposed a travel ban on you and your family from travelling to their country. Apparently, this is on the basis of there being allegations against you about what you did during the final stages of the Eelam war more than ten years ago. Although we donít know yet what your thoughts are on this matter, the reaction to this declaration has been two-fold: some are rushing to hail you as a patriot who was instrumental in more..

The elephantís swansong amidst election calls

Mar 1 (TM) Once again the much-anticipated news following the conclusion of the UNP Working Committee (WC) meeting last Friday (28) was that there was no news; another episode turning into an anticlimax for the UNPers, their supporters, and the media. Each week, the WC meeting commences on the premise of being the most decisive one that would result in reaching the final verdict, but the outcome is the announcement of yet another date for a meeting. After Fridayís WC meeting, more..

Election heat building up despite Ranil-Sajith battle over symbol continues

Mar 1 (CT) Two major withdrawals were announced by the Sri Lankan Govt in the past week. The first was the pre-announced withdrawal from the co-sponsoring the Resolution 30/1 (Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in SL) adopted at the 40th Session of the UNHRC in 2015. The second one was the withdrawal from entering into the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact with the US. more..

Gurusinha the scholarly Number 3 sri lankan

Mar 1 (SO) The long awaited inter-school big match season has just begun. The big match season gives a new rhythm as the schoolboys and their old boys get proactive with excitement and renew loyalty with true feelings for their schools. The big match season and the venues are the annul meeting places for old boys of their respective schools to meet, greet and swap yarns, especially those who have domiciled abroad flying down for the big occasion. Most of the old boys living overseas plan to make their more..

Sri Lanka Women suffer their third defeat

Mar 1 (CI) India's spin bowlers strangled Sri Lanka, leaving an obligingly small target for Shafali Verma and her team-mates to run down and so take Harmanpreet Kaur's team into the T20 World Cup semi-finals with an all-win record after the second of two matches at Junction Oval on Saturday. Radha Yadav's career-best 4 for 23 was well supported by Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma on a slow surface that afforded variation in pace off the pitch if no extremes of turn, more..

Lankans set for the kill as series shifts to Pallekele

Mar 1 (ST) With the series already in their bag, Sri Lanka will look to go for the kill and sweep the three-match ODI series when they faced a demoralised West Indies team in the final ODI on Sunday at the Pallekele Int'l Cricket Stadium. Sri Lanka snatched a nail-biter in the opening game at SSC before a dominant performance on Wednesday ensured them an unassailable 2-0 lead, severely denting the confidence of the tourists. more..

Mendis will go onto become worldís number one, says De Mel

Mar 1 (Island) Young batsman Kusal Mendis has turned a new leaf in 2020 becoming the teamís most consistent batsman and Chairman of Selectors Ashantha De Mel believes that the patience shown with him is starting to pay off. Mendis scored a hundred in the second ODI against West Indies at Suriyawewa as Sri Lanka took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. "Kusal Mendis is the best player we have. You watch him play and you can see that. He is a top player. more..

Momentum with Sri Lanka as West Indies look to end barren run

Mar 1 (CI) For both these teams, ODIs are perhaps their weakest format. Neither gave themselves a great chance of making the semi-finals in last year's World Cup, and both have poor bilateral form, winning only two of their 10 previous series. As SL move to the dead rubber at Pallekele after winning the series in Hambantota, however, they may feel they are the more resurgent outfit. The second ODI was almost the perfect game - one of their openers hit a hundred, and a middle-order man joined more..

Of winning hearts and fulfilling big dreams: the rise of Kavisha Dilhari

Mar 1 (CI) A Dilscoop for four in the penultimate over of a nervy chase against India in just her second international match made heads turn. A wily run-out in her delivery stride to dismiss South Africa's Sune Luus for leaving the crease at the non-striker's end became a talking point. Only a year into her international career, SL's spin-bowling allrounder Kavisha Dilhari had made quite the splash with her pluck, more..

Annual 2 mile sea swim: Seneshi & Oneli win

Mar 1 (ST) Long distance swimmer Seneshi Herath recorded a hard fought victory in the Open Womenís title and Oneli Yahampath won the Junior Girls title in the 83rd Two-Mile Sea Swim organized by the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLAASU) on day one of the competition in Mount Lavinia yesterday. Herath, a student of Visakha Vidyalaya Colombo, overcame challenging conditions to finish the two-mile course in 1 hour 01.20 minutes at the picturesque Mount Hotel Bay in the morning. more..

Thurstan - Isipathana ends in Draw

Mar 1 (CT) Bhawantha Jayasinghe, of Thurstan College showed his all-round prowess on both days in the 57th Annual Big Match between Isipathana College and Thurstan College at the SSC grounds yesterday that ended in a draw. Thurstan retain the Blackham Wijewardena Memorial Trophy as holders having won it at the last encounter. Thurstan bowled out Isipathana for 210 runs in 59.2 overs on day one. Left hander Savindu Uthsara scored a valuable 70 runs. more..

Sony questions transparency as SLC looks for new TV deal

Mar 1 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had to re-launch their tender process for broadcasting rights following an unsuccessful bidding process, as their long time broadcasting partner, Sony Pictures network (formally known as Ten sports) withdrew at the last minute. But, what raises eyebrows is the letter which Sony sent where they have questioned the transparency in SLC's bidding process while stating that SLC's response to their queries more..

Consolidated Fund to help additional state spending

Mar 1 (ST) Govt is set to withdraw a sum of Rs.367 billion from the Consolidated Fund under the direction of Prez Rajapaksa to settle outstanding bills of the previous govt and to ease the economic burden of the people during the upcoming Sinhala & Tamil New Year. This situation has arisen following the govtís recent withdrawal of the amendment to Vote on Account (VOA) with a limited budget of Rs.1470 billion, and no other recourse to raise funds other than dipping into Consolidated Fund. more..

No Chinese tourists, no promos

Mar 1 (ST) Sri Lanka travel agencies and tour operators are facing a crisis as the numbers from China have dwindled to nearly zero. Industry sources said currently there are no Chinese travellers visiting Sri Lanka clearly impacting on the tourism industry. The Chinese govt has also issued a clampdown on travel agencies there to drop all travel overseas. Numbers released by agencies indicated that tourist arrivals from Feb 1-24 this year are 176, 102 which is a drop of 18.48% more..

SL paying Japan since 2012 for BIA delay

Mar 1 (TM) The delay in commencing the construction of the second terminal at the BIA has forced the SL Govt to pay commitment charges and front-end fees to Japan for eight consecutive years. This stunning revelation was made to The Sunday Morning Business by the Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Limited (AASL) and JICA, the fund provider of this terminal project, which has been receiving these payments. more..

Video: Countryís security is fully ensured, says Army Chief

Mar 1 (AD) Commander of the Army Lt Gen Shavendra Silva has reassured the public that SL is safe and sound and that the countryís security establishment is fully geared to fend off any further threats. Prez convenes the security council every week and discusses matters pertaining to security, he added. The country is highly secure and the President along with the Defence Minister look into these matters, hence the security apparatus is in place to do the needful more..

Video: Foreign Minister-led delegation returns from Geneva

Mar 1 (AD) The Sri Lankan delegation led by Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has returned to the island after attending the 43rd session of the UNHRC in Geneva. They reached the island at around 4.10 pm this evening (29) on board a flight belonging to the Emirates. The Foreign Minister yesterday (28) met the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and reiterated the SL Govtís decision to withdraw from co-sponsorship of resolution 40/1 and the basis for doing so. more..

Foreign Minister meets UN human rights chief

Mar 1 (MFA) Leader of the SL delegation to the 43rd Session of the UNHRC, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena met the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet this afternoon (28). Minister reiterated the Govt of SLís decision to withdraw from co-sponsorship of resolution 40/1 and the basis for doing so. He recalled that, one year ago, his predecessor the former Foreign Minister had more..

Hot weather: Met Dept. asks people to remain extremely cautious

Mar 1 (DM) Dept of Meteorology has issued a hot weather advisory to 11 districts including the North-Western, Western, Southern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces and Mannar warning people to be extremely cautious. It asked people to take plenty of fluids, take breaks and remain in the shade as often as possible and advised those caring for the elderly and the sick who are indoors to take extra precautions and not leave children unattended. The advisory identified Mannar, Puttalam, more..

Navy nabs heroin worth more than Rs. one billion off Galle

Mar 1 (EN) More than a billion rupees worth of narcotics have been seized off the seas of Galle on Saturday the countryís Navy said. The approximate weight of the haul was around 68 kilograms of Heroin and 50kg of Ice, reports said. The haul is yet to be properly weighed and valued. He said that the Navy was on a joint operation with other law enforcement agencies including the Police Narcotics Bureau when a suspicious vessel was searched and the drugs allegedly found on board. more..

Paying Ranilís bills: Govt. asked to pay over Rs. 120 m to foreign consultancy firm

Mar 1 (TM) Former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who headed UNF-led Yahapalana Govt, has left bills amounting to millions of rupees to be paid by the new Govt headed by Prez Rajapaksa. Several bills including payments due to a foreign consultancy firm and for air travel have now come to light with payments now being sought from the Govt. Opposition Leaderís Office has reportedly forwarded a letter to the Ministry of Industrial Export more..

EC permits jobs during campaign

Mar 1 (ST) National Election Commission has given the green light for the Public Administration Ministry to go ahead with a programme to provide jobs to more than 40,000 graduates even if it runs into a period of elections. Ministry Secretary said they were planning to expedite the delivery of appointment letters and hoped to have a special postal service on Sundays for this purpose. This was after the NEC sought clarification on the proposed job schemes, interviews and appointments. more..

Iranian film Mr. Habib screened in Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (IRNA) The film was screened with English subtitle for those interested in the Iranian cinema. In the beginning of the program, the audience were presented with a documentary about the 41st victory anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iranís cultural counselor in Sri Lanka has made the necessary coordination with the SL officials so that an Iranian film will be screened in the country each month. Mr. Habib is the story of a respectful and emotional relationship between more..

COVID-19: Tough measures on the cards; Italy returnees tested negative

Mar 1 (ST) Two Sri Lankans who returned from Italy, now at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), have tested negative for COVID-19 as fears mounted with more countries across the world falling under the onslaught of the new coronavirus. The screening process underway at BIA. Passengers on direct flights from China and now also from South Korea and Italy to SL are channelled through more..

Make or break decision for UNP today on eve of Parliamentary dissolution

Mar 1 (EN) The UNP will hold a make-or-break Working Committee meeting tday, to decide on which symbol the Alliance it leads for the upcoming Parliamentary General election will use. The factions in the party one led by Parliamentary Opposition and Alliance Leader Sajith Premadasa and the other led by Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe are in a fight to control the formation. Last week a committee made up of equal numbers of members from the two factions was appointed to work matters more..

Parliament to be dissolved tomorrow: Caretaker govt to function

Mar 1 (SO) Speculation was rife that the 8th Parliament of SLwould be dissolved by midnight tomorrow for the country to go for fresh elections to elect a new Parliament. Gazette Extraordinary will be issued announcing the dissolution of the present Parliament at the end of the completion of four-and-a-half years in terms of the provisions of the 19th Amendment. When the present Parliament is dissolved, the country will be run by a caretaker Govt with Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM and more..

Ranil-Premadasa battle continues over symbol for new alliance

Mar 1 (ST) Political parties fielding candidates at the April 25 parliamentary elections have been told of new guidelines, in keeping with the latest election laws by Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya last Wednesday. Polls propaganda, other than rallies, he has declared, should be carried out through the print and electronic media. Idea is to avoid confrontations by different factions, create a calm atmosphere more..

Geneva withdrawal: As Namaste turns nasty & Coronavirus attacks markets

Mar 2 (CT) Last Monday, Modiís India bowed to the divine in (Namaste) Trump. The namaste turned nasty even before Prez Trump left India after his whirlwind trip. Deadly serious Hindu-Muslim clashes broke out in New Delhi. Trump returned home furious, blaming the media for exaggerating (as he sees it) the coronavirus threat and triggering stock market collapses in the US and around the world. In Geneva, Dinesh Gunawardena, Sri Lankaís first Foreign Minister with a leftist pedigree, more..

USD 16.8 million bribe @SriLankan Airlines: Response to Eran Wickramaratne

Mar 2 (CT) Former Minister of Finance and line Minister for SriLankan Airlines (UL) for eight months from March 13, 2019, Eran Wickramaratne took part in the Face the Nation talk show on TV 1 last week. Faraz Shauketaly moderated the program. The other panelists were Chrishmal Warnasuriya, a former UL Pilot turned lawyer, Asoka Obeysekera, Executive Director of Transparency Int'l, and Capt. Gihan (GAF) Fernando, a former UL pilot and President of Aircraft Owners and Operators Association. more..

Ayurvedic doctors left in the lurch

Mar 2 (CT) In Sri Lanka, the study of Ayurvedic medicine is painstaking and based on the centuries-old indigenous knowledge base, natural environment and cultural archives. Human civilisation dates back more than 30,000 years and those who lived in caves, lived in the wild and used many wild plants for food and medicine. Sri Lanka's indigenous medicine is also believed to have links with the 30,000 year-old native inhabitants more..

Ampitiye Rahula Maha Thero

Mar 2 (Island) The University of Peradeniya has a Buddhist temple today, thanks to the vision of Rev. Ampitiye Rahula Maha Thera who passed away a few days ago, at the age of 106 - a rare gift of age bestowed only on a very few people. The university had a beautiful Stupa built in 1962 according to a plan provided by Professor Senarath Paranavithana, Professor of Archelogy. This Stupa was completed by the Committee of Buddhist Teachersí Assoc, headed by Prof D.E. Hettiarachchi. more..