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Chained Prince suffers at place of prestige

Jan 21 (DM) As a Buddhist country, Sri Lanka’s temples undoubtedly practise Metta (Loving Kindness) meditation and chant the Metta prayer, wishing all beings to be happy and most importantly free of suffering on a daily basis. But it is appalling to see the same places inflicting pain and allowing living beings to suffer while in captivity. Recently, footage of Myan Kumara, the elephant at the Bellanwila Temple being more..

Exam official harasses Muslim girl students

Jan 21 (RN) A group of Muslim Girl students have complained that an Examinations Department official harassed them while they were sitting a public examination in Colombo on Sunday (19). The students say they were berated for wearing hijabs, a head covering which also covers their ears. The incident took place during the Efficiency Bar – 2 Exam for Development officers which was held at St. Paul’s Girls’ School, more..

Pettah Floating Market, World Market to get face-lift

Jan 21 (DN) The Govt will take urgent steps to develop and transform the dilapidated and neglected Pettah Floating Market, the World Market and the International Gem and Jewellery Trade Centre into a tourist paradise once again, Urban Development State Minister Gamini Lokuge said. He disclosed this during an inspection tour of the area on Friday. The State Minister was accompanied by Hambantota District MPs more..

Ranja, wad of bubble gum spit away by leadership? Or a cow boy who herded cattle?

Jan 21 (DM) Is Ranjan Ramanayake, a wad of bubble/chewing gum spit away by the leadership or an actor in a Hollywood Cow boy film of 1940s-50s, playing the role of a cattle herder on horseback on ranches in Texas and North America, who also performed a number of other tasks? Whatever he may be, Ranjan has exposed wrongdoers risking his own interests with alleged phone recordings one after another more..

Youth skills development way forward for a future-ready workforce

Jan 21 (DM) Sri Lanka has long been regarded as a model of a successful welfare state - yet it has for decades faced major challenges in providing employment and meeting the aspirations of youth. The World Bank, in one of its reports, quotes two reasons for youth unemployment in Sri Lanka. (1) Competing hypotheses of unemployment and (2) Inaccessibility of quality education and training. World Bank classifies the first reason into three categories: more..

Eventually, an outspoken President for SL!

Jan 21 (DM) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa must be commended for his outspokenness in some cases compared to other leaders of the country including his brother and former Prez Mahinda Rajapaksas. Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his recent visit to India told an Indian Tamil journalist representing the Chennai based The Hindu on Nov 30 that he did not believe in devolution of power as a solution to the same issue. Prez echoed this sentiment back home as well during a meeting with newspaper more..

PM promises action after probe reports on phone tapes

Jan 21 (DN) Action will be taken concerning the controversial call recordings made by MP Ranjan Ramanayaka once the 10 investigation teams inquiring into the matter reveal their findings, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Addressing the heads of major TV and radio channels at Temple Trees yesterday, PM also expressed his confidence that the Chief Justice would take action against those judges more..

Promotional messages: TRCSL pushes for opt-out options for mobile users

Jan 21 (ST) The telecom regulator has ordered all mobile service operators to include an opt-out or unsubscribe option free-of-charge so that users receiving unsolicited promotional messages can choose to stop receiving them. The decision covers unsolicited promotional messages that the mobile service providers themselves send or are conveyed by third parties, said Oshada Senanayake, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL). more..

Viyathmaga Governor Seetha Arambepola violates constitution to make bucks

Jan 21 (CT) Prez Rajapaksa’s Viyathmaga member and Governor of Western Province Seetha Arambepola is in stark violation of the constitution of SL and continues profiting in her professional capacity. Seetha Arambepola is an ENT surgeon by profession and was appointed as Governor of Western Province from Dec 2019. However Governor Arambepola despite functioning as the Western Province Governor can still be consulted as an ENT surgeon every day at Golden Key more..

Nobody should be given two-thirds majority, which destructive: JVP

Jan 21 (Island) Sri Lankans are now waking up to the political reality, says JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake. The 46-year-old MP said that two months after the formation of the current govt, the people have realised once again that they have been swayed by some promises and their aspirations will never be fulfilled. Ratnayake, explaining his assessment of the current political situation, said that the govt had let down the people who voted for it. more..

EU Ambassador visits the Northern Province

Jan 21 (FT) Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Sri Lanka Denis Chaibi visited the Northern Province from 15 to 17 Jan. Ambassador Chaibi launched an EU-funded demining project implemented by HALO Sri Lanka during a visit to the Muhamalai minefield on 17 Jan. EUR 2.5 million grant will support mine clearance in Muhamalai, SL’s densest and one of the largest and most complex minefields in the world, as well as training of mine clearance personnel. more..

Pakistan’s New HC presents credentials

Jan 21 (PHC) Pakistan’s new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Major General (Retd.) Muhammad Saad Khattak presented his credentials to President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President Office on January 20, 2020. During the audience with Sri Lankan President, High Commissioner conveyed best wishes of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to the President and people of Sri Lanka. He affirmed the desire to further strengthen fraternal ties between the two countries. more..

Double trouble: Too many show for Sri Lanka twins record bid

Jan 21 (AFP) A SL attempt to set a world record for the largest gathering of twins may have failed Monday after an unexpectedly large turnout overwhelmed organisers who vowed to try again. Organisers from the SL Twins group had called on multiples across the island to pack a sports stadium in Colombo to try to break Taiwan's Guinness World Record set in 1999 of 3,961 pairs of twins, 37 sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. more..

Brother Charles Anthony’s Sihinaya show banned on court order

Jan 21 (DN) Galle Chief Magistrate issued an injunction restricting the holding of a musical entertainment Sihinaya by Brother Charles Anthony Thomas scheduled to be held at the temple premises of Imaduwa Paragoda Rajmaha Viharaya in Ahangama, Galle. Manager of Abigail Production and two Buddhist monks namely Ven. Devalehinda Ajitha Thera and Ven. Paragoda Samitha Thera were cited in the injunction. Magistrate issued the above order in consideration of submissions more..

Govt tells SMEs to submit moratorium applications by 31 Jan.

Jan 21 (FT) The Finance Ministry yesterday called on all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) wishing to avail themselves of the Government’s moratorium to submit their applications to their relevant bank branches before the end of this month. The deadline for the applications is 31 January, the Finance Ministry said in a statement, pointing out that SMEs that had taken loans less than Rs. 300 million were eligible to have their loans restructured under this program. more..

German court convicts man over killing of Lakshman Kadirgamar

Jan 21 (AP) A German court convicted a SL man Monday of accessory to murder in the 2005 killing of SL's foreign minister for providing his assassins with crucial information. The regional court in Stuttgart concluded that the defendant, previously identified only as Navanithan G. in line with German privacy rules, had tipped off members of the Tamil Tigers separatist group about Lakshman Kathirkamar's whereabouts. more..

Sri Lanka to sign double taxation avoidance treaty with Turkey

Jan 21 (DN) Sri Lanka and Turkey will sign a double taxation avoidance agreement that seeks to improve transparency in tax matters and help curb tax evasion and avoidance. The agreement would be signed on Wednesday, by the Commissioners General of Tax of the two countries in Turkey, Commissioner General of IRD, Nadun Guruge said. Guruge who is already in Turkey said, such an initiative would help improve the flow of investment, trade activities & tourism sectors. more..

Bandula calls for export of Educational Services

Jan 21 (DN) Govt would soon introduce new policies make SL a regional education hub for South Asia, said Minister Bandula Gunawardana. Minister said that he would put in place policies to create hubs such as the Biyagama Economic Zone for the export of services. Gunawardana was speaking at the launch of a Commemorative stamp for the CIMA on Jan 17. CIMA Chairman Amal Ratnayake was also at the event. Gunawardana said that when Sri Lankans think of exports, they tend to more..

Sri Lanka ranked above India on Global Social Mobility Index

Jan 21 (AD) Sri Lanka has emerged as a leader in social mobility among the eight South Asian nations in a report of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020. The report has ranked 82 countries of the world on the basis of Global Social Mobility Index 2020. “Social mobility can be understood as the movement in personal circumstances either upwards or downwards of an individual in relation to those of their parents. more..

Norway hosts panel discussion on clean energy investments in Sri Lanka today

Jan 21 (Island) The Norwegian Embassy in Colombo in partnership with the Uni of Jaffna and the Western Norway Uni of Applied Sciences is hosting an expert panel discussion titled A new Decade: Investing in Clean Energy in SL - Drivers and Barriers today at Galle Face Hotel. Both Norway and SL are committed to decrease carbon emissions and to increase the use of clean energy technologies to tackle future energy demands. In 2018, Norway and SL established a clean energy consortium more..

Yala Tusker Gemunu sacrifices his tusk to Nandimithra

Jan 21 (DM) Yala National Park today confirmed that the majestic tusker known as Gemunu in the Yala sanctuary had lost its remaining tusk following a tussle with another tusker known as Nandimithra, who is known to be a frequent visitor to Yala originates from the jungles of the Sithulpawwa area. One of the Safari Jeep Drivers who was on a tour near the Mahasilawa Bungalow in Yala had spotted Gemunu sans its tusk. The remaining tusk was about two and a half inches long and more..

Sri Lanka tops the world in supporting breastfeeding women

Jan 21 (Island) SL has clinched top slot as the nation in the world for supporting breastfeeding women. According to Director General of Health Services, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, inadequate breastfeeding costs the global economy nearly USD 1 bil each year. This loss is due to lost productivity and healthcare costs. Breastfeeding mainly benefits child health, women’s health and also prevents future non-communicable diseases. more..

National Chamber launches online platform to promote SL's exports in global market

Jan 21 (Island) An online portal titled has been launched by the National Chamber of Commerce of SL to support SL companies in promoting their products and services in the global market. A press release states: Sri Lanka is best known currently for its tea, rubber, coconut products and apparel in the global market while the country has many other unique products that only Sri Lanka can offer, most of them eco friendly and made by small manufacturers. more..

Task force appointed to take tourism to $ 10 billion target

Jan 21 (FT) In a bid to transform tourism into a $ 10 billion industry by 2030, a seven-member top level task force, comprising key State sector stakeholders, has been appointed. The 7-member task force, appointed by Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, is headed by Tourism Ministry Secretary Marina Mohamed, while other members include Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Director General Chandani Werapitiya, more..

PM assures boost for stock market

Jan 21 (FT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa assured stockbrokers that the Govt would prioritise the development of the stock market to improve attracting investment to the country. During a meeting with the members of the Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA), Rajapaksa had insisted that the prolonged decline seen in Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) over last 4 years would be reversed by fresh policies, more..

Sajin’s case fixed for February 11

Jan 21 (DN) The case filed against former UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena over a money laundering charge was yesterday fixed for February 11 by the Colombo High Court. The case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga. At a previous hearing, the indictment was handed over to the accused and accused was released on a cash bail of Rs. 500,000 and two sureties of Rs. 5 million. He has been indicted by the AG on the charge of money laundering more..

SLC distributes 8,000 balls to Schools

Jan 21 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket last week completed the distribution of 8,000 cricket balls, to cricket playing schools, who are taking part in the ongoing Under-19 School Cricket Tournament. The Ball Distribution Scheme, which saw a significant investment was conducted under the guidance of the President of SLC, Shammi Silva and the Executive Committee in collaboration with the School Cricket Association. The distribution was conducted in two phases and more..

Two big banks escape Central Bank penalties

Jan 21 (TM) Two leading banks that did not comply with the Average Weighted Prime Lending Rate (AWPR) cut requirement imposed by the CB before the stipulated time period have escaped from penalties of the CB, only being subjected to name-shaming. SL’s largest private bank Commercial Bank of Ceylon and country’s second biggest state bank People’s Bank failed to comply with the requirement as they fell short more..

PickMe’s Tharindu Kumarage wins scholarship to Arizona State University

Jan 21 (ST) Tharindu Kumarage, a Consultant Research Engineer at PickMe, recently received a scholarship to pursue his PhD at Arizona State University (ASU) in the US. A talented product of Royal College Colombo, Mr. Kumarage was a part of the CSC 13th Batch at the Computer Science Dept, Uni of Moratuwa, graduating in 2017 with a first class, and joined PickMe in early 2018. He has since been deeply engaged with Collaborative Filtering in Mobility-on-demand systems, and is now pursuing his doctoral studies at ASU, more..

Rugby referees swimming against tidal wave of critics

Jan 21 (ST) SL rugby referees may not be considered world class. This honour goes to Nizam Jamaldeen and Dilroy Fernando, who officiated at the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens held in Dubai in 2009. However, the present crop of young referees are equal to the task performed by experienced foreign officials invited to blow key matches this season. A past president of the SL Society of Rugby Football Referees (SLSRFR) says it is unfair to bring foreign referees to officiate ostensibly to ease pressure on local referees, more..

Lasith takes 5 but Zim in control

Jan 21 (CI) Lasith Embuldeniya completed a second 5-wicket haul in Test cricket, and Sri Lanka's attack finally made headway, but Zimbabwe still ended day two in a position of strength in Harare, thanks in part to a late SL wicket. Nine batsmen fell on Monday in total, in comparison to the two on the stolid first day. The pitch was beginning to show hints of deterioration and life. Where there had been virtually no spin on more..

Editorial: Jobs for the youth

Jan 21 (Island) One cannot bring oneself to oppose the govt decision to employ all unemployed graduates besides thousands of not-so-literate youth from poor families. Those young people desperately need jobs to build their future. One can only hope the powers that be will not lose sight of the need to adopt a long-term strategy to address the issue of graduate employment, which is mainly due to the fact that successive govs have failed to ensure the employability of graduates, more..

Could we at last put the horse in front of the cart as a revised concept for urban planning

Jan 21 (Island) After a decade of talking about the lack of real urban planning in the country and raising these issues in three articles questioning the suitability of high rise construction and living in a tropical city, in a series to The Island on The cart before the horse urban planning concepts prevalent today. The issues raised about a statutory abrogation of the city, wholesale to the developer, who is only interested in his profits and not about the city as a holistic visual entity was raised. more..

Travel Girl: Nuwara Eliya

RPCs don't welcome Rs 1,000 wage hike

Jan 21 (CT) Plantation workers greatly welcomed the Rs 1,000 wage increase announced by Prez Rajapaksa in his Thai Pongal Day message. The increase means that Rs 250 would be added to the current daily wage of Rs 750 (basic plus Rs 50 Price Share Supplement). The Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) did not welcome the message in the same manner and 19 RPCs are up in arms inquiring as to how on earth this could be implemented when they quote tea production more..

An update on Sri Lanka's lost opportunities

Jan 21 (CT) Annihilating the Demons of Sri Lanka: An Unfinished Story, by veteran Indian journalist Apratim Mukarji (Konark Publishers New Delhi-Seattle 2019) updates Sri Lanka's lost opportunities to pull together, solve its national ethnic question, and move on to making itself a genuinely integrated democracy. Almost everything written in the 214-page book is meticulously sourced and presented in a reader-friendly and stylish way by Mukarji, who had served in Sri Lanka more..