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Face the Nation

Tamils: The deficit of trust

Mar 19 (CT) The crisis of modern democracy is profound. It is also one that is relevant to the Lankan experience of the Judiciary and the concept of justice as we have known them over the past 15 years or more in this country. Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little says Arundati Roy, adding that the crisis factor appears when "the free market has reduced them to commodities available on sale to the highest bidder". Before this government came to power more..

Sri Lanka and the born-again Commonwealth

Mar 19 (ST) Interestingly, if not ironically, the British Govt having voted to exit the European Union (EU) in accordance with the wishes of a majority of its people, is now looking forward – or maybe looking back – at the Commonwealth once again. The 53-nation Commonwealth, the third largest global grouping, next only to the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement, was often contemptuously dismissed as a club living in the somewhat inglorious past of the British Empire serving neither man nor beast. more..

No one is scared of Rajapaksa now

Mar 19 (SL) The govt wants to standardise the education system in the country. Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that it is better to set up high quality private universities in Sri Lanka as that would save foreign exchange for the country and will also generate new opportunities. Kariyawasam said the govt has plans to implement several projects to develop the education system in the country. more..

Ruffling feathers

Mar 19 (Island) Whether public interest activist Nagananda Kodituwakku will succeed or not in his attempt to end the long-running practice of enriching legislators by the issue of duty free permits must await the determination of a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJ Priyasath Dep. However that be, Kodituwakku’s efforts certainly enjoy the support of public opinion which successive govts have totally ignored in continuing to bestow this benefit on the political class. more..

PM argues for greater naval role in Indian Ocean

Mar 19 (CT) With Somali pirates seizing a Comoros-flagged oil tanker which had eight Sri Lankan crew members on board, the first hijacking since 2012 has once again revived the necessity in ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean, and other regions. Foreign Ministry, in the immediate aftermath of the release of the Sri Lankan crew on board the oil-tanker Aris 13, without demanding any ransom, an extremely unusual phenomenon, noted that international military together with more..

'One of the worst mudslinging campaign in the history of Association elections'

Mar 19 (SO) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) recently concluded its election with Attorney at Law, Udaya Rohana de Silva emerging victorious. The Sunday Observer sat down with the newly elected President of BASL to seek his plans for ameliorating the Bar. De Silva, a student of Ananda College, was subsequently called to the Bar in 1983. He has held office as Treasurer (2001-2003) and Secretary (2008-2010) more..

Politicos & Medicos are servants of People

Mar 19 (SL) The recent rumpus in parliament about senior parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena defying orders of the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and being suspended from attending sessions of parliament and a section of the medical profession not observing normal procedures following an order made by courts and contesting it in covert ways have focused public attention on their impact on two vital institutions of democracy, parliament and the courts. more..

Success in Geneva

Mar 19 (SO) While much of the govt and Sri Lankan society is increasingly focussing on our post-war future with its prospect for prosperity and stability, certain groups are focussed on what is going on in Geneva, Switzerland, where the UNHRC currently sits in its 34th session. At this meeting last week, Sri Lanka successfully collaborated with its supporting countries to present the draft for a new resolution on the country that will provide for another two years to implement the country’s commitments more..

NPC resolution sent to UN human rights chief

Mar 18 (AD) The Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council, C.V.K. Sivagnanam, has forwarded the resolution adopted by the NPC with regard to the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 Co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in 2015, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein. The Resolution, which was sponsored by TNA council member M.K. Shivajilingam, was adopted by the Northern Provincial Council more..

Norwegian Embassy and UNDP provide support to resettled communities in Palaly

Mar 18 (Island) Knut Nyfløt, the First Secretary to the Royal Norwegian Embassy to Sri Lanka, Mohamed Muzain, the Programme Manager of the UNDP Sri Lanka Governance of Local Economic Programme and Vethanayahan, the District Secretary of Jaffna, recently visited the resettled areas of Palaly North of Tellipalai DS division to hand over completed infrastructure facilities to the families in the area, a press release issued by the UNDP said yesterday. more..

Stop landfilling and building on reservation land: Farmers in Kataragama

Mar 18 (ST) Farmers’ Associations in Kataragama have petitioned the Environmental Unit of the Presidential Secretariat alleging that their cultivation plots adjacent to traditional irrigation tanks are being indiscriminately destroyed to make way for the fast expanding tourism industry. They allege marshy wetlands are being filled to build hotels, rest houses and restaurants and that around 1000 acres of irrigation land would be destroyed if this landfill continued. more..

Govt amends H'tota Port Project Agreement

Mar 18 (DM) the govt is reported to have amended the agreement with China Merchants International Ltd. on Hambantota Port Development Project with the inclusion of a proposal, among others, for a 60% equity swap instead of 80% as proposed in the initial agreement. Cabinet Committee on Economic Management is said to have discussed amended version at its meeting this week. more..

Tree planted by Che in Horana saved by a whisker

Mar 18 (Island) Kalutara District Crime Division sleuths’ timely intervention last week saved a valuable mahogany tree, planted on the Yahala Kele rubber estate in Moragahahena, Horana, by Argentinean revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara when he visited Sri Lanka 58 years ago. Suspects had been able to fell several mahogany trees near the valuable tree which is in records as the only surviving tree in the world, planted by Che Guevara. Suspects had used chainsaws for illicit felling. more..

PMB stores overflowing with paddy: NE officials a boost

Mar 18 (ST) Despite the govt’s rush to import rice, the Govt Agents and officials in the Northern and Eastern province claim that there are millions of kilos of paddy being hoarded in stores belonging to the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB). The highest is reported to be in the Ampara district with 12 million kilos being stocked followed by Kilinochchi where five million kilos of paddy is being hoarded. In Mullaitivu 4.2 million kilos of paddy is being held while in Vavuniya it is 2.8 million kilos more..

Flower cultivators given a boost

Mar 18 (CT) Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife Sumedha G. Jayasena said that about ten persons are engaged in growing flowers for their livelihood and in order to spread the cultivation of flowers, which can bring in a high income, across the island, the Department of National Botanical Gardens has launched several programmes. She was speaking at a function held at the Moneragala Cultural Centre recently. more..

Sri Lankan products promoted in Brazil

Mar 18 (GDI) Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil organized a series of promotional activities from 6th-9th March in Salvador, the Capital of the State of Bahia, Brazil with the intention of expanding the commercial relations. The State of Bahia is the seventh largest regional Economy of Brazil whose GDP is estimated to be over USD 95 billion. General Jagath Jayasuriya, SL Ambassador in Brazil and his team had an exclusive meeting with Rui Costa, Governor of Bahia & key officials of the State Govt more..

H1N1 in Male: SriLankan to activate safety procedures

Mar 18 (DM) With the outbreak of the H1N1 flu in the Maldives, the SriLankan Airline has activated Communicable Disease Procedures on its flights that are being operating in and out of Male, Srilankan Airline today said. Concerning the advice issued to the general public by the Maldives’ Health Protection Agency (HPA) has restricted the travel movements to their country. While an official said that the crew would be wearing face masks and will provide a face mask to any passenger who more..

Sri Lanka general's book becomes war crime dossier: FM

Mar 18 (EN) Anti-SL activists have snapped up retired army general Kamal Gunaratne's tome to buttress their allegations of war crimes against govt forces, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. 741-page Road to Nandikadal published by Gunaratne the day after he retired from the army, was a catalogue of atrocities committed by govt forces since early 1980s, he said. Setting fire to homes of Tamil civilians, killing innocent more..

SL, US navies conduct medical camp

Mar 18 (Island) SL Navy together with its US counterparts conducted a medical camp in Matara, on Thursday. The event was organised by Minister Mangala Samaraweera and US Ambassador to SL, Atul Keshap, with the participation of SL and US naval personnel under the Pacific Partnership 2017. The event was attended by a large number of people, who were able to consult SL and US Naval medical personnel on various health issues. Medicine was distributed among the patients more..

Ex- UC member grilled

Mar 18 (CT) A former Kaduwela UC member and two others were grilled by the CID, in connection with the recent attack on the Black Maria, at Kalutara, which resulted in the death of noted underworld criminal Samayan and six others. Police sources said that the former Kaduwela UC member, who is alleged to have spoken at length on the phone with another gangster known as Angoda Lokka and his acolytes, both, before and after the killing of Samayan, had been released more..

Pacific Partnership 2017 concludes on successful note in Hambantota

Mar 18 (SLN) Pacific Partnership 2017 made its initial mission stop in Hambantota, with the arrival of US Naval Ship Fall River on 07th March 2017. On successful completion of a string of community service and social responsibility projects, the mission of Pacific Partnership 2017 concluded on a successful note in Hambantota today (17). The event was graced by the Chief of Staff of the SL Navy, Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe more..

Attempt to smuggle drugs to Malaysia via Sri Lanka busted

Mar 18 (BM) A Tamil-speaking Malaysian national, aged 58, was arrested at Kempagowda International Airport late on Thursday night and 2.05 kg of ketamine worth Rs 40 lakh was seized from him. The man was identified as Gopal Ram. The zonal unit of the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) conducted the operation reportedly based on a specific tip-off that a ketamine consignment was to be smuggled to Kuala Lumpur via Bengaluru. Initial investigation suggests that more..

244: lowest successfully-defended target at P Sara

Mar 18 (CI) 244: The lowest target successfully defended at P Sara Oval - by the hosts against West Indies in 2015-16. Sri Lanka are 139 runs ahead with two wickets in hand. The scoring rate on the fifth day in the last five Tests here has been an average of 3.00 runs an over, with a wicket falling every seven overs. 2: Number of hundreds by Sri Lanka openers in Tests at P Sara Oval before Dimuth Karunaratne. The previous hundred was made by Roshan Mahanama (151), more..

Parliament mafia bankrupting SL: The truth about supplementary scam

Mar 18 (LT) The supplementary estimate presented to Parliament regarding govt expenses for the month of January has divulged very important information. While nearly 5 million people from 1.2 families were affected due to the drought Rs. 50 million was allocated on 14th January as extra expenses for the Ministry of Disaster Management. Rs. 24000 million has been allocated to restore financial companies that tumbled down more..

Delimitation gazette today

Mar 18 (CT) The amended gazette notification pertaining to the Delimitation Committee report, will be released today ahead of the anticipated 2017 Local Govt polls. Only the gazette notifications in English and Sinhala languages are to be released today while the gazette notification in Tamil is still being finalized and will be released shortly thereafter. Secretary to the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Govt Kamal Padmasiri stated that the gazette notification relating to more..

Sri Lanka exporters get full pavilion

Mar 18 (CT) Sri Lankan exporters will have access to the one billion plus Chinese export market when the 31st China-Dalian Imports and Commodities Fair takes place in mid May 2017. The exhibition will take place at the Dalian World Expo Centre between May 11 and 14, with a large number of countries expected to participate. It was only last Thursday that the China-Dalian International Chamber of Commerce and the Sri Lanka International Business Council endorsed an MoU between more..

Karunaratne battles but Bangladesh can dare to dream

Mar 18 (CI) The Test is tantalisingly poised. Sri Lanka, holders of a proud home record, have stretched their lead 139 runs thanks largely to two centuries: of runs from Dimuth Karunaratne and of balls by Dilruwan Perera. But Bangladesh, playing in a landmark game of their own, can rightfully consider themselves in control of the contest after picking up 8 wickets on Saturday. The day ended on a sour note for Bangladesh after umpire more..

Permits of fishermen killing dolphins to be cancelled

Mar 18 (Island) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Director General of Fisheries Department to terminate the permit of the beach seine operator involved in killing twelve dolphins. Minister Amaraweera has ordered the Director to carry out further investigations into the case. Last Thursday (09), Police Crime Prevention Unit of Trincomalee, acting on a tip-off, arrested nine fishermen alleged to have killed twelve dolphins. The suspects were nabbed when more..

Only one-sixth of eligible students gain university admission: Grero

Mar 18 (Island) More than 150,000 students qualify for university admission annually, but only 27,000 can be accommodated in state-run universities, State Minister of Higher Education Mohan Lal Grero said. He said others, numbering around 130,000 were left out and some of them opted for vocational education and related areas in the governmental institutions. He was addressing a seminar organised by the Agriculture Faculty of the Peradeniya University, under the theme more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

UNP hopes to appoint three deputy leaders

Mar 18 (DM) UNP seniors are expected to meet next week to discuss the proposal to appoint three deputy leaders to the party, sources said yesterday. They said the proposal to make changes to the party came up at the working committee meeting held on March 8 and at this meeting it was also decided that senior party members like Ranjith Madduma Bandara and several others including Minister Sarath Fonseka should be appointed to the working committee. However, the final decision on more..

Govt planning to sell key institutions: C.B.

Mar 18 (DN) Former Minister and MP C.B. Rathnayake alleged that the government was planning to sell key government institutions such as SriLankan Airlines, Colombo Port, CEB, CPC and Water Board citing they were inefficient and suffering losses. He said it was an utter lie to claim that they were being sold due to their inefficiency and losses. CPC earned a profit of Rs.9 billion last year while the Sri Lanka Ports Authority earned a profit of Rs.10 billion. more..

ඉතිහාසයේ ප්රථමවරට හෙද හෙදියන් සඳහා පීඨයක්

Colombo Swimming Club plagued with corruption

Mar 18 (SL) Colombo Swimming Club- the only free hold club in SL with an elite membership, which was earlier under British management, is now plagued with corruption the members complain. Accusations have been leveled against the Committee Members and the Additional Trustees for not taking any action against the allegations leveled against the Club President until a strong worded letter was sent to the Club General Secretary recently by one of the senior members requesting to hold an inquiry. more..

Climbing mountains, to develop football

Mar 18 (CT) There was the case of an Ex-national football player who was faced with a critical financial situation and circumstances arising from it had turned him into a grave digger to feed his family. At the time this man was severely criticized by the financial manager who was an ex- president of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL), for publicizing his story in newspapers, blaming him for his situation, dug out by none other than himself. According to what was said by more..