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Banned Josephian rugby player to make public apology; suspended from college

Jul 9 (ST) Tharindu Maduranga, St. Joseph’s College centre, was slapped with a ban of two years by the Disciplinary Committee of the SL Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) last Thursday, for assaulting referee Priyantha Gunaratne after the Singer Schools League match against Royal College. But Nalaka Weerakkodi, head Coach of St. Joseph’s, has acted promptly to iron matters out more..

ADB, RDA astonished by voluntary land donations by Southerners for road-building

Jul 9 (Island) Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Road Development Authority (RDA) officials engaged in building the integrated road network (iRoad) in rural areas in the Southern Province were astonished by the voluntary land donations by villagers to build new roads adjacent to their lands in the deep South despite deep emotional attachment to their ancestral lands. "We found it amazing when compared with rich affluent society in Colombo and other cities who wouldn't give up an inch of more..

Reflections on the economy’s long term growth and development

Jul 9 (ST) Reflecting on the long-run economic development of the country is hardly appropriate in the current state of the economy when a recovery or a moderate growth is all that can be expected. Nevertheless, achieving a higher sustained economic growth is what the nation has failed to achieve but must aspire to attain. The preconditions required for an economic take-off are the same as for the immediate economic recovery. These are peace, security, political stability, more..

Sri Lanka: The Power of Coexistence

Editorial: Making Colombo bike-friendly

Jul 9 (Island) The city of Colombo is getting chaotic by the day. Traffic congestion is worsening and air pollution levels are rising. Some expensive gentrification projects, carried out by the former government, have helped beautify the ageing city to some extent, but its burning problems remain unsolved, one being its dilapidated foul sewer system. The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has launched a programme aimed at easing traffic congestion in the city. more..

Saying no to a vassal state

Jul 9 (ST) So Washington’s envoy here thinks the media is faking news. The other day Ambassador Alaina Teplitz did an imitation of her president, the irascible Donald Trump who thinks media commentaries that trash him constitute fake news and only he is capable of truth. If Trump’s ambassador to Colombo is intent on following in her president’s footsteps, it is her business. But if she is as uninformed and ready to criticise the media as purveyors of blatant misinformation then more..

'PSC established to clear Bathiudeen'

Jul 9 (CT) UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe says, if a fair investigation isn’t carried out on Rishad Bathiudeen, JO will definitely bring in another No-Confidence Motion. Q: Certain Muslim Ministers who resigned from their posts, once again accepted them, what do you think about that? A: We did not accuse all Muslim Ministers neither did we ask them to leave. But they all resigned to free the accused, Rishad Bathiudeen. more..

An institution that reached the People

Jul 9 (DN) It was the end of 1977, and a new Govt, with the promise of economic liberalization, and the removal of controls and restrictions hitherto inhibiting public life, had come in to power, raising new hopes and aspirations amongst the people. The economic policies and strategies of the new Govt were a marked departure from those which had pervaded the nation till then. A star-studded Cabinet of Ministers under President J. R. Jayewardane had taken over the reins of Govt. more..

Justice denied for Trinco 5

Jul 9 (GV) The Trinco 5 case, involving the murder of 5 students on a beach in Trincomalee on 2 January 2006, is an emblematic case of impunity in Sri Lanka. The case became well-known thanks to the courage of Dr Manoharan, the father of one of the students. Dr Manoharan knew the security forces were involved with the killings and testified at an early inquiry. International human rights organisations joined with local activists to demand justice for the Trinco 5. more..

The People vs. Ali Roshan

Jul 9 (SO) An elephant never forgets they say. A remarkable conjuction of elephant and human memory that occurred in the middle of a glittering perahera in 2015 has contributed to the ongoing prosecution in our first ever elephant trafficking case that will hopefully bring to book the most notorious of suspect gansters. Animal rights activists are watching with fingers crossed the progress of the Colombo HC trial-at-bar against accused more..

I love that word relationship. Covers all manners of sins, doesn’t it?

Jul 9 (Island) Every year, for close upon two decades, on Christmas Day, I watch Love Actually. There is a scene in it where Hugh Grant, playing the British PM, takes on the American President, played by Billy Bob Thornton. The trans-Atlantic relationship between the UK and US, in the film, is strained by the American Prez’s lewd remarks on and sexual harassment of a member of the British PM’s staff. And while today, life not just imitates art, but is stranger & more violent than what film depicts more..

19th amendment will correct itself at end of President’s current term

Jul 9 (CT) As his presidential term draws to its close President Maithripala Sirisena is making it clear that he is not ready to quit the political centre stage without a fight. The president’s thinking appears to be more in accord with the words of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas who wrote, “Do not go gentle into that good night…” The president is reported to be on the verge of asking the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion regarding when his term of office actually ends. more..

Sri Lanka coach vows to stay on despite World Cup exit

Jul 8 (AFP) Chandika Hathurusingha insisted Monday he would remain SL's cricket coach despite pressure to step down after their World Cup exit, but ocial sources said a shake-up was planned. Sri Lanka started the tournament as outsiders and nished sixth of the nine teams, registering one of their three wins against the world's top-ranked ODI side, hosts England. Local media reported that Sports minister Harin Fernando was unhappy more..

Video: Bombs went off even during our time, but people weren’t in fear: Mahinda

Jul 8 (AD) Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa states that, currently, the people in the country are living with a fear of terrorism. He mentioned this attending an event held in Wariyapola, Kurunegala. He says that bombs went off even during his tenure; however, the people had not lived in fear. Even before 10 years have passed since 30-year fear subsided, the people have to live in fear, stated Rajapaksa. He further said that a govt that cannot ensure national security more..

Twelve nabbed in Excise Facebook raid

Jul 8 (CT) A group of 12 youngsters was taken into custody along with an assortment of narcotics during a raid on a facebook party, at a night club in the Thalawathugoda area, late Saturday, Excise officials said yesterday. The raid was carried out on a tip-off from the general public, they said. They added that those arrested were all below the age 25 and had gathered at the night club through facebook contacts. The group was later produced before the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court & released bail. more..

SL cuts costs for airlines to revive tourism

Jul 8 (EN) Sri Lanka will reduce aviation fuel prices, ground handling charges and embarkation levy to lure back airlines which cut flights after April’s suicide bombings, with the highest gains for the most frequent carriers and biggest aircraft. The ground handling charges, aviation fuel, and embarkation levy will be reduced for six months, SL Tourism Development Authority said. Aviation-related discounts aim to encourage airlines to more..

Massive forest fire breaks out in Sri Lanka

Jul 8 (Xinhua) SL Airforce on Monday dispatched a Bell 212 helicopter to douse a massive forest fire which broke out in the Maragala Mountain area in Moneragala, in the Uva Province over the weekend. Till Monday noon, over 500 acres (an estimated 2.023 square km) of forest area was burnt to ashes and hundreds of fire fighters were deployed to douse the flames. Fire fighters said the fire may have erupted due to the excessive dry weather prevailing across the island country. more..

B'desh given security clearance to tour SL

Jul 8 (CB) Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed on Monday (July 8) that they have been given security clearance to tour the Sri Lanka for a 3-match ODI series. There were some concerns raised by BCB to travel to the island nation following the terrorist attacks in April. However, after Sri Lanka Cricket promised to provide highest security for them, BCB decided to send their own security team for inspection. 'We are happy with the security plan that they provided for the tour,' more..

President’s fmr chief of staff & ex-STC chairman served indictments

Jul 8 (AD) Permanent High Court at Bar today served indictments on the President’s former Chief of Staff I.H.K. Mahanama and the former Chairman of the State Timber Corporation (STC) Piyadasa Dissanayake who were arrested while accepting a bribe of Rs 20 million. Bribery Commission served 14 indictments against the defendants and named 46 individuals as the witnesses of the case. more..

UNP MP tells Ven. Rathana to leave Muslims alone

Jul 8 (Island) UNP MP Mujibur Rahman says that Muslim lawmakers are capable of addressing issues concerning their community and there is absolutely no need for UNP National List MP Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera’s intervention. MP Rahman said that they didn't want Ven. Rathana to intervene in the contentious issue of Madrasas as well as Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act. UNPer was responding to Ven. Rathana’s call for action against Madrasas and allied matters following Easter Sun. attacks. more..

Video: I wasn’t aware US representatives inspected lands in Jaffna: Ruwan

Jul 8 (AD) Foreigners cannot obtain the ownership of lands in Sri Lanka as they wish, State Minister of Ruwan Wijewardene has stressed. Responding to a question raised by the media persons, state minister further said he was not aware of the fact that a delegation of US representatives arrived in Sri Lanka to inspect the lands in Jaffna, however, he had heard certain rumours in this regard. Wijewardene added that he had already informed the Defence Secretary to report to him more..

Fmr. Army Int. officer remanded over assault of Upali Tennakoon

Jul 8 (DM) Former Army Intelligence Officer Lalith Rajapaksa who was arrested by the CID over the assault of former Chief Editor of Rivira and Divayina newspaper Upali Tennakoon, was remanded till July 21 Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. The suspect was remanded after he was produced before the Gampaha Magistrate's Court today. Corporal Rajapaksa was arrested at his residence in Hanwella last night. more..

Amazon Web Services to help train 50,000 Sri Lankans in AI, cloud computing

Jul 8 (EN) AWS Educate, a unit of Amazon Web Services (AWS), will help train 50,0000 Sri Lankan students in cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) in the next two years in collaboration with a local industry group. SL Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) said it was collaborating with the AWS through its global AWS Educate program to train the engineering and non-engineering students by 2022. AWS Educate is Amazon’s global initiative to provide students more..

Jaffna People’s Forum for Coexistence denounces BBS Kandy forum

Jul 8 (FT) Jaffna People’s Forum for Coexistence in a statement has denounced the BBS forum in Kandy yesterday. Following is the full text of the statement: We have condemned the targeting of the Muslim community after the Easter Sunday attacks, and taken forward initiatives for coexistence. In this context, the mobilisation in Kandy organised on 7 July 2019 has created widespread fear amongst the Muslim community. The circulation of hateful discourses and riots against the Muslims more..

Video: Iraj’s FB fan page suspended: Says he suspects govt

Jul 8 (DM) Popular music artist Iraj Weeraratne's Facebook fan page which was followed by over 1.1 million followers had been suspended last Friday and the singer raised concern whether his anti-govt sentiments may have led to the suspension of the page. He said he couldn’t think of any other reason to suspend his fan page other than his views which were critical of the govt. "I fear I may not be able to get the page back. more..

Sri Lanka to sell aviation fuel at Chennai prices to boost tourism

Jul 8 (EN) SL's state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation will be asked to sell aviation fuel at prices equal to Chennai airport in a bid to boost tourism after Easter Sunday blasts, state information office said. The cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to also take additional steps to boost tourism. SriLankan Airlines will also be asked to cut handling charges. A 10 dollar hike in the embarkation tax to 60 US dollar proposed by the budget will also be halted. more..

Former Rakna Lanka Chairman arrested

Jul 8 (NR) Former Chairman of Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd. Victor Samaraweera has been arrested by the CID. Samaraweera was arrested after he surrendered to the CID today. Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd. falls under the purview of Avant Garde Maritime Services. The Acting IGP Chandana Wickramaratne last week informed the Senior Deputy Inspector General of the CID, to act on the advice directed by Attorney General Dappula De Livera pertaining to the eight suspects named more..

Tainted fuel supplier back in business

Jul 8 (TM) Govt has awarded a tender for long-term fuel supply to energy trader Vitol Asia (Pte.) Ltd., which on several occasions was purported to have supplied substandard fuel oil and diesel causing engine malfunctions to state-owned vehicles, locomotives, cranes, and power plants. The Govt Information Department late last month announced that Vitol has won the tender to supply diesel and petrol for a period of eight months from more..

CID to probe alleged killing of 20 persons under Sharia law

Jul 8 (DM) CID will probe the remark made by Ven. Medagoda Abayathissa Thera that some 20 people had allegedly been executed under Sharia law in Sri Lanka, Police Spokesman said. He said Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne today instructed the CID to launch a probe in this regard. Addressing a mass rally organised by the national movement against Wahhabi extremism, he alleged there were more than 20 people who were summoned to death in the Eastern Province under Sharia law. more..

Do not panic over social media reports in South: MOD

Jul 8 (DM) The Ministry of Defence urged the general public of the Southern Province not to panic over the bomb threat rumour. Reports said that the people in the Southern Province have been panicking as a result of some social media reports about Bomb Threat. The MoD said that the Security Forces and the Police were in full control. Ministry said they were in close collaboration with security enforcement authorities and were alert to all such information and continuously analyzing more..

Nearly 10 hotels closed

Jul 8 (TM) Nearly 10 hotels have shut down due to the non-arrival of tourists since the Easter attacks in April, the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) said. THASL President Sanath Ukwatte said that most hotels were facing difficulties following the terrorist attacks in April and as a result, some of the hotels had no choice but to close down but continue to pay salaries to the staff. “Even though tourists are arriving from countries more..

Laotian busted at BIA with over 2.5kg of Ice

Jul 8 (AD) A Laotian national has been arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) while in possession of 2kg 623g of Crystal Methamphetamine also known as Ice. The contraband was reportedly hidden inside a false bottom of the suspect’s luggage. The arrest was made by the officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) attached to the BIA, SP Gunasekara said further. The 25-year-old Laotian national has arrived at the BIA from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia more..

7-judge bench appointed to consider FR petitions against IGP & Hemasiri Fernando

Jul 8 (AD) A fuller Bench comprising seven judges of the Supreme Court has been appointed to hear the petitions filed against IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defense Secretary claiming that they had violated fundamental rights by failing to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks. The Judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya will comprise of Justices Sisira de Abrew, Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna Jayawardena, L.T.B. Dehideniya and Murdu Fernando. more..

සේවක අර්ථ සාධක අරමුදලට හොඳ තත්ත්වයක්

SL’s elevation to upper middle income status

Jul 8 (FT) The World Bank, in its 2019 country classification release, has elevated Sri Lanka from a lower middle income country to an upper middle income country. This has been based on the average income of a Sri Lankan, known in economic parlance as the gross national income or GNI per capita, passing the threshold of $ 3,996 set for upper middle income countries. As at 1 July 2019, a Sri Lankan on average has earned an income of $ 4,060, a little above this threshold, more..

Pedal power for better living

Jul 8 (CT) Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake and Netherlands Ambassador in Sri Lanka Joanne Doornewarrd have embarked on a multifaceted event to create awareness on ensuring a pollution-free Colombo city under the title `Car-Free Colombo’ and the event could be considered a timely one as far as not only ensuring a pollution-free Colombo city but also making the city dwellers to be health conscious by focusing on cycling and walking. Car-Free Colombo is primarily focused on more..