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Human-Elephant conflict must end

Jan 19 (CT) As humans and elephants are equally valuable it is imperative that the human-elephant conflict that has reached high levels today has to be ended sooner than later. Prez Rajapaksa promised people in Medirigiriya last Saturday that he will bring a permanent solution to the Human-elephant conflict soon. The Asian elephants of yore lived from the Euphrates and Tigris to the Yangtze-Kiang. The elephants in Asia are now restricted to SL, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, more..

Hafeel Farisz’s lesson

Jan 19 (CT) I can’t remember how I met Hafeel Farisz. It must have been my writing. There was a time when I wrote on nearly everything and anything. I still do, but back then the brakes were missing; I just went on, unrestrained. One of the delights of writing nonstop is that it puts you in touch with people from nearly every shade of life. They send you their comments about the columns you’ve typed, encouraging you to continue and advising you on where to slow down and show restraint. more..

Public smell a Rat in RAT charges in Ratnapura

Jan 19 (CT) Role played by doctors, nurses & other health professionals for the well-being of patients and the general public, in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, is truly commendable. However, if someone who represents the same field by pledging to serve the people makes the COVID- 19 or its victims an additional source of income, it is a great injustice to the people, as well as a disgrace to those in the sector they serve. more..

Colombo ETC embers glowing; Bureaucratic incompetence?

Jan 19 (CT) Crucial infrastructure projects remain in the focus of many sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and financial conglomerates. Dubai Ports World has a $ 3 billion looking for investment across Indian Ocean logistics sector. UAE Investment companies have signed up with China Development Bank for a $ 10 Billion joint venture. A tech town is in the offing near the UAE port of Jebel-Ali with an investment of $ 600 million from Alibaba to develop mobile apps and Robotics. more..

Not all detainees are equal: Class, ethnicity and the prevention of terrorism act

Jan 19 (GV) Kanagasabai Thevathasan is a 64-year-old prisoner I met while I was at the Human Rights Commission of SL. Twelve years have passed since he was arrested, more than ten of which he has spent in prison. Thevathasan began fasting unto death on 6 Jan 2021, which he called off on 16 Jan for three weeks after promises were made by the prison authorities to speak with the relevant authorities to expedite his cases. Thevathasan is currently appealing his conviction under PTA more..

President’s Counsel Sarath Jayamanne retires after a celebrated career

Jan 19 (SO) President’s Counsel Sarath Jayamanne wore many hats. Starting as a State Counsel at the Attorney General’s Department in Feb 1989 he has come a long way, passing many a milestone in his celebrated career to retire on Jan 15, 2021. He was invited to be the Director General (DG) at the CIABOC when everything there was in turmoil. President’s Counsel Jayamanna became the DG immediately after Dilrukshi Dias more..

Managing COVID-19: A lay perspective

Jan 19 (ST) One year after the appearance of the COVID-19 virus, the world has come to terms with the fact that the virus is not likely to go away in the near future and will be around for some time longer. In such a context Govts the world over including our own have to work out how to manage the virus while at the same time opening up the economy. The considerations that apply to the more economically advanced countries will obviously not apply to the less affluent ones when striking the correct more..

Growing nuts or going nuts

Jan 19 (ST) What in the names of all the deities is going on? And in this resplendent isle too! It is bad enough that envious eyes are cast in our direction hoping to grab a few chunks of what was once our sacred land to plant a port here and coal plant there. Of course there is no need to mention a few bakshees here, more yuan there and slippery rupees somewhere else that make the wheels of financial machinery turn as smoothly as Shanghai silk to the touch. more..

රසායනික පොහොර නැතුව වවලා ලංකාවට...

Infrastructure facilities in our schools

Jan 19 (Island) We are all ever so proud of our Free Education System. Mainly due to the foresight of politicians of the past, such as Dr C.W.W. Kannangara, and perhaps many others in the education sphere as well, our system of education has provided distinctive opportunities for all children in our land, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, ethnicity and wealth. The far-sighted vision of our education system is to provide optimal educational facilities to each and every child of SL nation. more..

One Mile Challenge among top attractions in Sports Ministry’s new initiative

Jan 19 (Island) One Mile Challenge, a road running event, is among a series of talent identification competitions which is set to attract the interests of track enthusiasts when the Sports Ministry and its affiliate the Dept of Sports Development launch a new initiative Pubudamu Kreeda Tharu. Pubudamu Kreeda Tharu is a competition based talent identifying initiative which will be conducted in each district. The programme is aimed at identifying and developing talent for various sports. more..

Demolition of the Mullivaikkal monument: Fires doused, embers linger

Jan 19 (TM) The controversy that surrounded last week’s demolition of the Mullivaikkal monument at the University of Jaffna, built to memorialise the war dead, was indicative of the fragility of the country’s reconciliation process. The initial demolition led to a chain of events which included a protest, involvement of armed forces, a plea to international govts, and finally the reconstruction of the monument. more..

Badminton: National coach resigns after inquiry finds him guilty on misconduct

Jan 19 (ST) After an inquiry has recommended stern action against national badminton coach Shimal Aponso for his involvement of allowing, leading and encouraging three players to consume alcohol during the Lanka Shuttle Challenge 2020 — a franchise tournament played last month, he has tendered his resignation. An inquiry was initiated following a complaint made by Sudath Janapriya — the father of 16-year-old Kaviru Janapriya — alleging that the said coach has influenced more..

Stats: England's winning streak in SL, and captain Root equals Cook, Strauss

Jan 19 (CI) 5 - Successive wins for England in SL. The streak started in April 2012, in the second match of the series - an eight-wicket win in Colombo which helped them level the two-Test series 1-1. On their next tour, in 2018-19, they swept SL 3-0, before the seven-wicket win today. 1 - Instance of England winning more consecutive matches in a country overseas - they won the first eight Test matches they played in South Africa, from 1889 to 1899. England also won their first five Tests in Bangladesh. more..

SL skipper admits woeful batting costs test

Jan 19 (Reuters) SL stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal admitted a woeful batting performance in the first innings cost his team the first test against England at Galle International Stadium. England won the test by seven wickets on the last day on Monday to record a fifth successive test victory in SL. The home team won the toss and were looking to put a large total on the board but their batsmen contrived to give away their wickets more..

Editorial: Macho Neanderthals

Jan 19 (Island) Some female local govt members have come together to form a front against discrimination and harassment they face in their councils. They have called upon all female representatives throughout the country to sink their political differences and join forces to safeguard their rights. This initiative deserves encouragement and assistance from everyone. It is heartening that female councillors have decided to go public with their grievances instead of suffering in silence more..

Sri Lanka hockey in tragic ruin in the hands of a privileged few

Jan 19 (SO) SL has produced several sportsmen who excelled in various sporting disciplines. Hockey was right up there which dominated until the late 80s in this tiny Island-Sri Lanka also known as the Pearl of Indian Ocean. Tragically the sport is now in a pathetic state more or less like an orphan as there is no one to take care of it. A game which has a proud history of over 4,000 years was initially launched and dominated by the Englishmen. It later gradually spread into the Asian region. more..

CSE performance sets stage for next level of development: Cabraal

Jan 19 (FT) Market performance has proven SL’s depth and, together with other Govt policies, sets the stage for the country to aspire to the next level of development, State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. State Minister was the Chief Guest at the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants, titled Abnormal: Navigating Through Shattered Norms. Speaking at the event Cabraal argued that Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) more..

Three million jobs reinstated due to reopening of airports

Jan 19 (DN) The SL Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) welcomed the govt decision to open up the airports for commercial operations this week and was elated that 3 million jobs, both direct and indirect employment opportunities will be reinstated. “We are very happy to note that the Govt has decided to re-open Sri Lanka for Tourism from this week. This will benefit the approximately 3 million dependents of the tourism industry with direct and indirect employment”, more..

French Ambassador visits Colombo Dockyard

Jan 19 (FT) Ambassador of France – SL and Maldives Eric Lavertu, Secretary to the State Ministry of Warehouse Facilities, Container Yards, Port Supply Facilities and Boats and Shipping Industry Development D.D. Matharaarachchi and Embassy of France Economic Counsellor Jean-Alexandre Egea paid a courtesy visit to Colombo Dockyard PLC (CD) recently. The Ambassador undertook this visit as part of the recent contract inked between the Colombo Dockyard and more..

Test, Trace, Treat: Putting Sri Lanka’s pandemic management mantra into practice

Jan 19 (WB) Sri Lanka’s extensive network of public healthcare workers has been the underlying force behind the country’s pandemic response. This series of articles, beginning with the Puttalam District, aims to capture the ground realities of pandemic management, from the perspectives of public health workers around the country. “COVID 19 came to Puttalam before it reached other parts of the island,” more..

Legalise cannabis growth for medicine, say traditional medical practitioners

Jan 19 (FT) The Federation of Traditional Medical Practitioners of SL Chairman Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero yesterday called on the Govt to legalise the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes. Addressing a media briefing in Colombo, Nalaka Thero averted that even Lord Buddha had identified cannabis as a plant with medicinal benefits. The Chairman was joined by the Secretary of the Federation, Dr. Sarath Kotteyawatte and Dr. Anil Jayaweera, along with more..

GTF backs action against Lanka on the human rights front

Jan 19 (Island) Welcoming the TNA, TNPF and TMTK pushing for maximum possible action against the SL govt at the forthcoming 46th session of UNHRC, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) spokesperson Suren Surendiran said: “Tamil community has waited for nearly 11 years for justice with successive govts fooling them with various commitments. This current govt has publicly disowned any commitments made to the int'l community and now wants another commission to review findings of the various more..

Bitter truth of Hingurana Sugar factory revival

Jan 19 (ST) The revival of the Hingurana Sugar factory under SL‘s first private partnership initiated during Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime in 2007 ending a 15 year closure has now been turned around to a profitable joint venture with efficient management. Sugarcane farming has become the economic mainstay of villagers at present after a long time reawakening Galoya valley in Ampara with unprecedented development activities that more..

SLT-Mobitel powers latest Park & Ride city bus service with connectivity solutions

Jan 19 (FT) SLT-Mobitel announced their partnership with the SL Transport Board to provide Wi-Fi connectivity and branding for the new Park and Ride city bus service, a novel concept developed by the State Ministry of Transport. The inaugural launch of the first-of-its-kind luxury bus service was held on 15 Jan under the patronage of Prez Rajapaksa, Minister of Transport Gamini Lokuge, State Minister of Transport Dilum Amunugama, SLTB Chairman Kingsley more..

Cinnamon Legends and D Triangle Export Night 2020

Jan 19 (FT) Cinnamon Legends Ltd. and D Triangle Ltd. celebrated another successful year despite immense challenges and held their Export Night on 23 Dec 2020 to appreciate spice suppliers, employees and other stake holders. Cinnamon Legends Ltd. is one of the leading value added spices exporters in Sri Lanka which manufactures over 120 products including organic spices and food, beverages and tea, health supplements, essential oils, personal care, beauty care, giftware, etc. more..

Eran calls for stock market caution

Jan 19 (FT) SJB MP and former State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne called on share market investors to proceed with caution, warning of potential pump and dump schemes. Wickramaratne that, following a recommendation by the PCoI on the bond scam, the Central Bank had carried out five forensic audit reports. One such report investigated the transactions made by the EPF over several years, more..

Borrowing costs reach historic lows: CB

Jan 19 (DN) The Average Weighted Lending rate has hit a historical low due to the policy by the Central Bank. CB Governor Prof. W D Lakshman assuring investors that a low rate regime would continue along with other policies that incentivise investment in the economy. Prof Lakshman said, “Interest rates are at historic lows and the policy is to maintain that regime. The objective of the economy is to sustain investment. In SL, we have a long history of high-interest rates. more..

Businessman detained for sharing defamatory posts on FaceBook

Jan 19 (DM) CID yesterday informed Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that it had obtained a detention order from the Defence Ministry to interrogate Businessman Fazal Mohammed Nisar for 3 months, who was earlier arrested for sharing defamatory posts on Face Book. Fazal Mohammed Nisar was arrested by the CID on Jan 11 and ordered to be remanded till Jan 18. When the case was taken up before Colombo Chief Magistrate Mohammed Mihail, Magistrate ordered the CID to inform more..

Triple cluster rises to 49,901, with 674 persons testing positive for COVID-19

Jan 19 (FT) Triple COVID-19 cluster that emerged from Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, and Prisons yesterday expanded to 49,901 patients, with 674 persons testing positive for the virus. 627 associates of the Peliyagoda cluster tested positive for COVID-19, along with 45 arrivals from Cyprus and two arrivals from the UAE. The country’s total COVID-19 patient count yesterday rose to 53,750, which, in addition to the triple clusters, more..

Anuradhapura Narco Head apprehended for drug trafficking

Jan 19 (CT) Head of the Narcotics Unit of the Anuradhapura Crimes Investigation Division was arrested yesterday, on charges of engaging in heroin trafficking using the eZ Cash system. The Inspector was arrested along with 77 heroin packets, ten mobile phones and several NICs. The suspect is a resident of Matale. The arrest was made by A'pura HQI CI Sanjeewa Mahanama at about 11.30 a.m. in Kawarakkulama, A'pura. Suspect has been serving in A'pura Divisional CID for about one-year. more..

AG advises Parliament that Ranjan should be disqualified

Jan 19 (EN) Attorney-General Dappula de Livera has informed the Secretary-General of Parliament that Ranjan Ramanayake is not eligible to occupy his Parliamentary seat because of his conviction for contempt of court, a matter the Opposition will contest. Media reports quoted the AG’s spokesman as saying that the ruling has been conveyed to Parliament and that another SJB candidate, the next in the preferential list from the Gampaha District should be nominated to the seat. more..

Junior health workers threaten strike

Jan 19 (TM) Embarking on trade union action today, joint health services staffers attached to hospitals have threatened to go on strike unless several demands are addressed, with the protest to be conducted today to issue a final warning to the Govt. Today’s protest will be conducted by the Joint Health Workers’ Union (JHWU) and will be carried out for an hour in front of 16 hospitals in connection with 10 demands more..

6 more deaths bring Covid death toll to 270

Jan 19 (FT) Six COVID-19 deaths were confirmed yesterday, bringing the total number of COVID-19-related deaths to have occurred in the island to 270. A 63-year-old individual from Dehiwala yesterday died of bronchopneumonia developed due to COVID-19. The individual tested positive for COVID-19 while receiving treatment at the Negombo District Hospital. He was then transferred to Iranawila Treatment Centre, where he passed away. A 65-year-old individual from Ratnapura more..

ECT deal with India: Mangala backs Prez

Jan 19 (Island) Amidst growing opposition to the SLPP govt agreement on the East Container Terminal (ECT) with India, Mangala Samaraweera, who served as foreign and finance ministers in the previous administration has backed Prez Rajapaksa’s stand on the issue. One of the strongest critics of the Rajapaksas said that Prez Gotabaya proved his party wrong by reaching consensus on the Indian investment. Samaraweera pulled out of the SJB Matara District list for more..

Stock market soars to all-time high

Jan 19 (FT) Colombo stock market yesterday became the world’s best performing among primaries as it soared to all-time level, breaking a 10-year-old record, with heightened bullish investor activity propelling turnover to over Rs. 12 billion for the second consecutive session. As per a sample of global primary indices Bloomberg listed CSE with 16.95% return at number one followed by S&P/CLX IPSA (CLP)TR with 9.45% gain. more..

Provincial councils and sovereignty

Jan 19 (FT) There is a very interesting observation. Whenever I express myself against the Provincial Councils, Dayan Jayatilleka springs into action and starts jiggling without any rhyme or reason, just like the manner in which a rat snake reacts to kerosene oil. In an opinion piece in Daily FT on 22 Dec 2020, Dayan Jayatilleka accuses what he terms the ultranationalist Far Right and myself whom he calls a notorious hawk, for expressing opposition to the 13th Amendment and the PC system. more..

SL’s rebound: A conversation with leaders

Jan 19 (FT) I have been thinking about what Sri Lanka practically needs in order to properly rebound and move forward. In dialogue with the Chairperson and Managing Director of Unilever here, Hajar Alafifi, we discussed how transitioning out of lockdown mania ought to leverage that increasing economic viability. Hajar’s global perspective was invaluable, as is Unilever’s as the largest FMCG and Multinational in SL. We expanded our discussion to include Rolf Blaser, Group Managing Director more..

ධම්මික පැණිය බීපු මන්ත්‍රී ට මොකද උනේ ?

Proposal for recruiting lawyers as CIs discarded

Jan 19 (Island) Public Security Minister, retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, and Justice Minister Ali Sabry, yesterday, against the backdrop of a controversial proposal to recruit a group of 150 lawyers as Chief Inspectors, and discussed ways and means of coordinating their efforts against crimes, corruption, etc. During the discussion the Ministers discarded the proposal for recruiting Tamil-speaking lawyers as Chief Inspectors as that didn’t find favour with many, including the BASL. more..