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People taking law into their hands due to Govt’s failure: JVP

May 15 (DM) The JVP said some people were attempting to take the law into their own hands because the govt had failed to punish the culprits and stressed the need to arrest the wrongdoers irrespective of who they were or whatever their status might be. JVP General Secretary, Tilvin Silva, told a news conference that the govt should provide true information to the people and pointed out that you could not more..

A portrait by prominent Chinese artist Tang Jian wen was presented to President

May 15 (PMD) A portrait of President Maithripala Sirisena and his family members by prominent Chinese artist Tang Jian wen was presented to the President by him recently at the President’s Official Residence. He made this presentation when a team of SL China coproduction film titled, You Are Always With Me called on the President. Chairman of the SL Foundation, Sarath Kongahage and Direcor of the film, Devinda Kongahage and others were present on this occasion. more..

Sri Lanka boxing looking for Cuban coach to boost medal prospects

May 15 (DN) Sri Lanka’s best chance of winning medals in boxing at international level is by competing in the lower weight classes, according to Dian Gomes, president of the Boxing Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). “People get annoyed when I concentrate on three or four weights. I know heart of hearts that we Sri Lankans cannot produce heavyweight boxers. We can’t last even one minute in the 91kgs, 81kgs or 75kgs against the Russians, Cubans, Kazakhs, Chinese or Mongolians. more..

Mobs destroy SL’s largest pasta factory

May 15 (FT) Sri Lanka’s largest pasta manufacturing facility, Diamond Pasta Limited, which is located in Minuwangoda, was destroyed during the violence on Monday night. The company’s management stated that though Police was called to control the situation, only ten officers had arrived at the scene, and they had been unable to contain the unruly mob, which had numbered well over 200. “Factory is completely decimated, more..

Kishu Gomes resigns from SLTDA

May 15 (CT) Kishu Gomes, who has been functioning as the Chairman of both the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) since Feb 2019, has resigned from his position at the Tourism Development Authority to focus on his role at the SLTPB. Meanwhile, Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga appointed Johanne Jayaratne as the SLTDA Chairman in his stead. Up to the time of his appointment, Jayaratne served as more..

GS Lakshmi appointed first female match referee by ICC

May 15 (CB) GS Lakshmi has become the first ever woman to be appointed to the ICC Int'l Panel of Match Referees. 51-year-old's appointment comes close on the heels of Claire Polosak becoming the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men's ODI. Lakshmi first officiated in domestic women's cricket in 2008-09, and has overseen three women's ODI matches and three women's T20I matches. "To be selected in the international panel by the ICC is a huge honour for me as it opens up new more..

Sri Lanka Cricket go tough on illegal bowling actions

May 15 (ST) Illegal bowling actions have been one of the major talking points in world cricket in the recent past. One of the major instances where a player was called for an illegal bowling action was during the 1995 Boxing Day Test where Muttiah Muralitharan was in the spotlight. He had to undergo several tests in Australia to prove the legality of his bowling action. According to the rules of ICC An Illegal Bowling Action is where a player is more..

ComBank deposits surpass Rs. 1 t in Q1

May 15 (FT) Commercial Bank Group, comprising of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, its subsidiaries and associates, has reported gross income of Rs. 35.501 billion for the three months ended March 2019, an improvement of 12.86% over the first quarter of 2018. Operating profit before impairment charges for the period represented an increase of 4.86% over the corresponding period of 2018. However, operating profit before taxes on financial services at Rs. 6.804 billion reflected a negative growth more..

Terrorism and tourism

May 15 (ST) The Eastern coastal belt of Sri Lanka, stretching about 300 kilometres from Pulmoddai to Arugam Bay was freed from the 30-year long conflict in 2009. The sand beaches and marble beaches as well as lagoons and bays of the Eastern province were gradually opened to welcome tourists. There was intense competition among the investors to invest in hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related facilities on the coastal belt. Jayanath, with whom I had a chat a few days ago, more..

The current crisis: An urgent common sense action plan

May 15 (FT) The most obvious consequence of the Easter Day calamity is the fear psychosis which has gripped our society. Arguably, not even at the height of the war was this feeling as strong and pervasive as it is today. The need of the hour, then, is the removal of fear. This can be done only by the restoration of confidence by practical and credible means. Right now, it is obviously futile to call on foreign missions in Colombo to soften more..

Banning terrorist organisations; Why did it take so long?

May 15 (CT) There is little doubt that the govt’s pussyfooting around for more than three weeks since the horrendous attacks on Easter Sunday, led directly to the violent situation that erupted in some parts of the country over the last few days, bringing Sri Lanka to the brink of another civil war. In the absence of proper national leadership, while political leaders mucked around, trading accusations and shamelessly trying to gain political capital for themselves, radicals on all sides made merry, more..

Do not let our children’s future be ruined by getting caught up in a racial conflict

May 15 (CT) As an economist, I’ve spent most of my career exploring ways in which Sri Lanka can be developed and modernized to meet its full potential. I’ve expressed my views on the approaches we must take to get there; some have agreed with those views and others haven’t. That’s the beauty of living in a democracy; we can respectfully agree to disagree and live together in unity despite our differences. However, the democracy we live in has now arrived at a critical juncture more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Man behind students’ success

May 15 (DN) It was the office of the Aluyatavela Maha Vidyalaya in Girandurukotte off Mahiyanganaya. The office was little, but well-organised. “You can take a rest here,” an organising committee member said while leaving the place. What is routine around this type of place could be seen happening there. A little girl came in and went towards the cubicle of the Principal. She waited near the entrance until she received permission. The Principal saw her and then said, more..

Stopping Islamophobia

May 15 (DN) The senseless attacks on Easter Sunday shook the nation and sparked a wave of anti-Muslim hysteria that is in danger of going out of control. There is a tangled jumble of emotions and causes that need to be sifted through to understand the problem. The fears arise from: The entirely unexpected nature of the attack (there being previously no Muslim-Christian animosity). The unknown nature of the threat. Since ISIS is involved apprehension that local Muslims are more..

Hamilton Canal is dead!

May 15 (ST) Here and there, the skeleton of a fish bobs on the surface of the water, starkly white against the black or is found entangled in the grasses edging the bank. There are no birds because the fish and other crustaceans are dead. The water too is still, having taken on the colour of murky black, whereas earlier it had been flowing clear and transparent. The Hamilton Canal is dead! Many blame it on a massive discharge more..

Conspiracy theories

May 15 (CT) The suicide bombs that caused such mayhem on Easter Sunday were packed with ball bearings, iron nails, and the explosive TATP, all hallmarks of the way the Islamic State likes to commit mass murder. Nevertheless, many were ready to cast doubt on IS being the culprit. IS usually quickly claims the credit for such carnage, but the group’s Amaq News Agency waited until 23 April. Even Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith spoke of an invisible hand behind international forces. more..

Random Musings

May 15 (GV) What does ail thee Sri Lanka? Is it, as Bishop Heber once notoriously stated, that it is a land where every prospect pleases but only man is vile? We could dismiss his views as those of a 19thcentury Colonial master regarding his subjects. But then, we have done everything we can to prove the veracity of his words since Independence. To recount briefly there was the Sinhala only act of ’56, the race riots of ’58, the violent JVP uprising in the early ‘70s, posing an armed challenge to more..

Left behind: Child survivors of Easter terror

May 15 (SO) Lying bandaged and bruised in sparse hospital beds or trying to pick up the pieces after a devastating tragedy ripped their worlds apart, they all have a story, each one as heart wrenching as the next. Eighty one children were injured in six suicide bombings on April 21, many of them while attending Easter Mass at popular churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, and at least six were orphaned more..

Appoint Presidential Commission

May 15 (CT) Acting Defence and Law and Order Minister Ruwan Wijewardene on Monday did what his uncle President J.R. Jayewardene did not do 36 years ago that led to the July ’83 riots and Sri Lanka’s bloody and destructive 26-year separatist war that followed thereafter, by declaring an islandwide curfew in the backdrop of Sinhala-Muslim riots that took place in the Wayamba Province and in the Gampaha District, that day. Wijewardene was made Acting Minister, more..

Food for thought: Counter–Terrorism Act

May 15 (FT) There is an ongoing debate these days in the Parliament as well as among the interested circles in our country about the introduction of a new bill, the Counter Terrorism Act, advocated by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Naturally, the subject remains focused on by all and sundry due to the horrendous happenings on Easter Sunday which shook the whole world. The revelations made by the security forces deepen interest more and more because the country is reminded of an era more..

Dehiwela suicide bomber radicalised by hate preacher in UK

May 14 (DM) One of the Sri Lankan suicide bombers was allegedly radicalised by hate preacher Anjem Choudary. Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed, 37, was the link between Islamic State and the bombers, according to security services. A security official told the BBC: 'He was completely radicalised and supported the extremist ideology. I tried to reason with him. 'When I asked him how he got into this… he said more..

Video: Security in NE, a matter for Army to decide: TNA

May 14 (DM) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan said on Sunday that it was left to the Army Commander to decide on the security in the North and East if something untoward happens there and as such there was no point in him (Sampanthan) commenting on the matter. “Should anything untoward happens, it is the Army which needs to decide on the action to be taken. There is no point in me commenting on that. The Army Commander will decide on that,” he said. more..

CICT invests in dangerous goods storage facility

May 14 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) said it has opened a Dangerous Goods Storage Facility (DGSF) at Colombo port with an investment of US$ 1.5 million (about 265 million rupees). A statement said the facility is South Asia’s most advanced IMDG storage which will enhance Port of Colombo’s capabilities and reputation. The facility is a sophisticated storage yard for cargo classified under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. more..

Police arrest 23 for targeting Muslims after Easter bombings

May 14 (Reuters) SL police arrested 23 people on Tuesday in connection with a spate of attacks on Muslim-owned homes and shops in apparent reprisal for the Easter bombings by Islamist militants that killed more than 250 people. Soldiers in armored vehicles patrolled the towns hit by sectarian violence this week as residents recalled how Muslims had hid in paddy fields to escape mobs carrying rods and swords, incensed over more..

Xi: China supports Sri Lanka in counteracting terrorism

May 14 (CGTN) Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized that the Chinese govt and people stand firmly with the Sri Lankan people and resolutely support Sri Lanka in safeguarding its national security and stability. President Xi made the remarks while meeting with his SL counterpart Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday in Beijing. Both sides need to maintain the high-level dialogue regularly, promote cooperation in jointly building the Belt and Road, facilitate law-enforcement more..

Court calls for postmortem of Kochchikade bomber

May 14 (AD) Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Officer has been ordered to submit a post mortem report on the death of Alawdeen Ahamed, who carried out the bomb attack at the Kochchikade church in Kotahena. The magisterial inquest into the death was held before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne and the relatives of the bomber including his parents had been witnesses at the event. The father of the bomber stated that his 22-yr-old son had completed basic law education more..

Don’t take citizens for fools: Wimal

May 14 (CT) UPFA MP and NFF Leader, Wimal Weerawansa yesterday, claimed that the Govt still does not have a Joint Operations Command Centre (JOCC) in the Police to deal with terrorists. He said, “The country today is at a very crucial point. More than 250 lives have been lost, and it’s a joke if we think we are safe amidst that. The President is saying that there are only 150 terrorists and that 80% of them have been caught. more..

Improved student turnout observed today

May 14 (AD) Despite the low turnout of students that was observed yesterday (13) as the primary classes at govt schools reopened for the second term, the attendance of students had considerably increased today (14). However, at certain schools, the attendance of students had passed 50%, according to school principals. An increased turnout of students and teachers was observed at schools in Colombo and suburban areas, Anuradhapura, Ratnapura, Polonnaruwa, Badulla districts. more..

SL and Gambia establish diplomatic relations

May 14 (Island) Sri Lanka and Gambia have established diplomatic relations between the two countries with effect from May 10, Foreign Ministry said. The Foreign Ministry said that upon the signing of an Agreement by Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN and Lang Yabou, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Gambia to the UN on 10th May 2019 in New York, the Govt of SL and the Govt of Gambia more..

The Martyrdom Myth

May 14 (DM) Submerged in our current encounter with terrorism, devastation and anger provoke us to impulsively ascribe suicide bombing to the lunacy of the bombers themselves, or to something inherent in the ideals of the bomber’s ethnic or religious group- which to those of us on the outside is blatantly brutal, inhumane and regressive. The world however, having witnessed her fair share of suicide attacks, has challenged this more..

Islandwide police curfew from 9 pm

May 14 (AD) An island-wide police curfew will be enforced from 9 pm today, says Police Media Spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara. The curfew will be in effect until 4 am tomorrow. Meanwhile, a 12-hour police curfew will commence within the North Western province from pm today and it will last until 6 am tomorrow morning. The police curfew will be imposed within the Gampaha Police Division starting from 7 pm. The curfew is set to be lifted at 6 am tomorrow. more..

UNP: PM should act for President

May 14 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe should be vested with full powers in the absence of President Maithripala Sirisena, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday. With reference to the Easter Sunday terror attacks, Kiriella said that when Prez Sirisena was in Singapore at the time, Premier was faced with too many restrictions. He said that when the PM wanted to summon the Security Council, he was not permitted to do so. Kiriella also said that they had not been informed of Indian warning more..

Gazette issued banning three groups including NTJ

May 14 (AD) The govt has issued an extraordinary Gazette notification proscribing three organizations in SL. National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) and Willayath As Seylani have been banned accordingly. Prez Sirisena has issued the relevant Gazette notification under the Public Security Ordinance. On April 27th, using the powers vested with him under regulation 75(1) of the Emergency more..

US envoy wants Male and Colombo to cooperate to defeat terrorism

May 14 (Island) The US has urged the Maldives and SL to collaborate to defeat terrorism. Ambassador of the US to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Alaina Teplitz encouraged the Maldives to cooperate with all nations to prevent terrorist acts from taking place and stressed that there is ever more a need for collaboration between the Maldives and Sri Lanka, than there ever was, Male-based RaajjeMV reported. "This is the moment for all nations to be reminded of the need to work together. more..

Brother of British teenagers killed in SL bombings hopes to raise £500k for victims

May 14 (ES) The brother of the British teenagers killed in the SL terror bombings is aiming to raise £500,000 to help victims' families. David Linsey, 21, lost his sister Amelie, 15, and brother Daniel, 19, when one of the seven suicide bombers struck the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo on Easter Sunday. More than 300 people were killed in the attacks, including eight British nationals, which targeted churches and hotels across the country. 21-year-old Oxford graduate has already raised £78,000 more..

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