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Interim committee if stay order is given for SLC elections: Sports Minister

Feb 15 (DN) Sports Minister Harin Fernando stated that they would have no alternative but to appoint an interim committee if a stay order is given preventing the Sri Lanka Cricket elections from being held. The elections are scheduled for Feb 21. Two candidates contesting the forthcoming SLC elections Mohan de Silva and Ravin Wickremaratne had their nominations rejected by the Election Appeals Committee and more..

Tender for bags boomerangs: Lanka Phosphate incurs Rs. 20 mn loss

Feb 15 (DN) The Lanka Phosphate Limited in Eppawala has incurred a Rs. 20 million loss by purchasing high price bags to pack fertiliser. The Chief Internal Audit Unit of the ministry has revealed that the loss incurred in the tender process where low price bids were neglected to buy 120,000 bags for 2019. The bags were bought at Rs 47.74 each. However, tenders had been presented for low rates as much as Rs 39.30 by a company of the six companies that submitted bids. more..

Four more banks obtain enjoining orders against MTD Walkers

Feb 15 (FT) Four leading Banks in SL, namely Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, Sampath Bank, and Nations Trust Bank, this week sought for Enjoining Orders against MTD Walkers, a listed company engaging in infrastructure-related businesses including civil engineering, heavy engineering, electrical engineering, pile construction, power generation, real estate development, marine engineering and trading of heavy equipment and in multidisciplinary engineering activities in SL more..

Speaker calls for polls on schedule

Feb 15 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya stressed the responsibility on the part of the govt to hold elections as scheduled. He said that elections should not only be held in a free and fair environment but on time. Speaker said so in his brief comments at an event organised by the PAFFREL at the BMICH to celebrate its 30th anniversary. He twice emphasised the need for scheduled elections to take place. more..

Proteas Women seal Sri Lanka whitewash

Feb 15 (CI) South Africa sealed their series against Sri Lanka with a 30-run win in the second game in Potchefstroom. Captain Chamari Atapattu powered Sri Lanka's chase with a boundary-laden 94, but no other Sri Lanka batsman reached fifty and the visitors were bowled out for 231 in pursuit of a revised target of 262 in 47 overs. The visitors lost eight wickets for 63 runs, after a 110-run second-wicket stand. The hosts were without their captain, Dane van Niekerk, who was ruled out for more..

Video: MR could even nominate Shiranthi as presidential candidate

Feb 15 (DM) Minister Navin Dissanayaka said yesterday that opposition and SLPP de-facto leader Mahinda Rajapaksa could even nominate his wife Shiranthi as the presidential candidate of the joint opposition because he is the sole decision maker on this subject on behalf of the JO and the SLPP. He said that the UNF would take a collective decision on the UNF candidate after consulting all constituent parties of the UNF, minority parties, Pradeshi Sabha and Provincial Council members & UNF MPs. more..

Steyn's for-four helps South Africa extend advantage

Feb 15 (CI) South Africa extended their lead to 170 by stumps on the second day of a fast-moving Test at Kingsmead, but lost four wickets in the process. This kept Sri Lanka just about in the game, their persistence with the ball making up a little for their brittleness with the bat as their top order offered flair, but little substance. Kusal Perera's 51 was the top score in their 191. Dale Steyn collected 4 for 48, moving ahead of more..

Independence: Its meaning and a direction for the future

Feb 15 (Island) The seventy first anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence was celebrated on the fourth of February. Independence should mean that the Sri Lankan nation is free to self-determine who and what they want to be as a nation and charter their destiny. The question is whether Sri Lanka is free enough to make such a determination. Thus independence day becomes a day of retrospect for us to look back to consider whether we have used our independence wisely or not, more..

Keshav Maharaj's progress stalls as South Africa settle for pace prowess

Feb 15 (CI) South Africa are ranked No. 2 in Tests, have the most fearsome phalanx of quicks on the planet, a serviceable top order, and are, in general, an outstanding fielding side. Despite a regular loss of wickets late on day two at Kingsmead, they have imposed themselves on Sri Lanka, and have achieved a strong position in the match. This is roughly how this Test was supposed to go, so no real surprises, right? Except maybe a minor one. South Africa's dominance has been achieved more..

What ails the BIA?

Feb 15 (SO) Often in our houses, the entrance and the living room are the cleanest and most visually pleasing areas in the entire house, simply because we believe beauty and cleanliness in the front says it all. The prime gateway to the country, the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is the entrance to not just another country but to the world’s best travel destination for 2019, as hailed by world famous travel magazine Lonely Planet. more..

Edtorial: The law is an ass

Feb 15 (Island) Sri Lankans, desirous of having the rule of law restored, must have said, the other day, a la Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist, The law is an ass. We argued, in this space, recently, that though the govt claimed that everyone was equal before the law, the ruling pigs, like the swine in Orwell’s Animal Farm, were more equal than others. Present-day leaders came to power, making a solemn pledge to create a utopia, but we are still living in the same old dystopia, where politicians in power are more..

How the Constitutional Council vets judges, IGPs, AGs and others

Feb 15 (SO) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, who also serves as Chairman of the Constitutional Council, on Friday tabled in Parliament a report of the Council setting out its duties, activities and the criteria by which the Council recommends and approves appointments to key positions under the terms of the Constitution. The Constitutional Council was set up in July 2015 through the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, which introduced Chapter VII A to the Constitution. Prior to the 19th Amendment, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Rather satisfied view of less chaotic SL

Feb 15 (Island) Cassandra endured shivers going down her spine and then bouts of relief when she watched Hard Talk on BBC, Saturday 9 February. She greatly admires Stephen Sakur, who interviews on most of this programme. In this particular interview he was conversing with an Ex-Supreme Court Judge of Venezuela who is in exile in Miami. Sakur pointedly asked him how he was to be believed when only a couple of months ago he was much with Nicolas Maduro & within his govt. more..

The Political Economy of Drugs

Feb 15 (CT) Almost all the newspapers carried banner headlines about the arrest of Makandure Madush by Dubai Police at a party held in a six-star hotel in Dubai. It was said that Makandure Madush has been the key figure behind many a crime executed in Sri Lanka in the last decade or so. As usual, all the politicians are trying hard to get the credit of the arrest of Madush. At the same time the politicians are trying to prove appearing on media that they have no links whatsoever with him. more..

'Ranil is a twisted democrat'

Feb 15 (CT) JVP Leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, says a candidate will be put forward for the Presidential Election, through a broad alliance that will be set up, with the intervention of the JVP. Q: For a considerable time, JVP has been preparing policy plans with a National Intellectual Council. This time too, it is being prepared with a difference. You are not successful because you do not have power, isn’t that so? more..

Smartness without smartphones

Feb 15 (DN) Would our children be smart enough to survive without the internet or smartphone in near future? The word smart we use to describe Smartphone, is not a mere word but an acronym. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. According to the survey done by Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), the primary motivation of SL youth for using social media is maintaining relationships or, in other words, keeping in touch with friends and families. more..

Gota says two behind Lasantha murder: Who was the other?

Feb 15 (CT) The Daily Mirror newspaper of 12th February carried an interview with Gotabaya Rajapaksa nestled in the front section. The interview would have been better placed in the TV section. The infantile explanation was straight out of Aesop’s Fables. Gotabaya says that Lasantha murder, Keith torture and assault and the Prageeth Ekneligoda disappearance were done by two people. Who? He does not say. Is this the humbug that we want as a President of this country? more..

Demonism and Witchcraft in Sri Lanka as seen In 1865

Feb 15 (Roar) Despite the advances that Sri Lankans make in this modern age, the beliefs that Sri Lankans have in the supernatural runs deep and unshakeable. This was demonstrated publicly in October 2017 when the Captain of the national cricket team, Dinesh Chandimal stated that he received blessings from a sorcerer ahead of a two-match series against Pakistan and that was what led to the team’s victory. more..

Constitutional commitment

Feb 15 (DN) Whatever the policy differences they have, the two high ups in the ruling hierarchy, President and PM were unanimous in their public pronouncements that there is no possibility to submit a draft constitution to the current Parliament of which the term will expire in August 2020. Prez Sirisena, allaying the fears that the unitary status and the place given to Buddhism in the constitution were in danger, clarified that no proposal has been submitted so far to the Cabinet or the P'ment more..

MMDA, ACJU, Politicians & Women

Feb 15 (CT) It is ten years since Justice Saleem Marsoof (JSM) and his committee was appointed to review and make recommendations to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), passed originally in 1951 and amended in 1954, 1955, 1965 and 1969 before becoming Law No. 45 in 1975. Neither in drafting the original Act nor in its subsequent amendments Muslim women were ever consulted. It was all a male affair. The need for further reforms to the Act in order to reflect more..

President appoints committee to address issues in tea industry

Feb 14 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a Special Committee to present solutions after studying the short and long term issues related to the tea industry, including the wage issue of the estate workers. The President’s Media Division (PMD) said this committee was appointed yesterday (13) during a special discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat regarding the wage issue of the plantation workers. more..

Navy-STF thwart illegal migration attempt

Feb 14 (DM) Navy and STF today arrested 24 Sri Lankans including two alleged masterminds behind the human trafficking racket when they were attempting to illegally leave for the Reunion Island via sea route. Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said the 22 suspects were arrested at a lodge in Siyambalanduwa following a tip-off. SP said at the time of their arrest, the suspects were planning to leave for the Reunion Island via sea route. Three women and four children were among those arrested. more..

Dialog, LECO to launch Lanka’s first IoT based Smart-Grid Solution

Feb 14 (Island) Dialog Axiata, Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) and Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy announced the deployment of an innovative Internet of Things (IoT) enabled smart-grid solution to introduce Prepaid Electricity Metering to SL at the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Asia Industry Forum 2019. The event was inaugurated by Minister Ravi Karunanayake. The solution, developed in collaboration with the Dialog Mobile Communications Research Lab at Uni of Moratuwa, more..

Constitutional Council a corrupt and biased institution: Wijeyadasa

Feb 14 (DM) Former Minister and MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the Constitutional Council (CC) was one of the most corrupt institutions in the country and stressed the need to abolish it. He said that it was clear that the CC did not take correct, impartial and reasonable decisions when making recommendations. “President is not allowed to appoint the Appeal Court President. In most instances when the CC made approvals, it has not taken correct, impartial and reasonable decisions. more..

Taxpayer’s money should not be used to pamper planters: Activists

Feb 14 (Island) The 1000 Movement, a collective of trade unions and grassroots activists who are keen to have the daily wage of estate workers increased to Rs. 1,000, alleged that the govt was attempting to help maximise the profits of estate sector companies at the expense of the average taxpayer. Chinthaka Rajapakshe, moderator of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR), said that the govt would allocate money from the 2019 budget to give the workers a Rs. 50 wage hike. more..

Two youngsters arrested for taking photos on a stupa in Mihintale

Feb 14 (AD) Two young men have been apprehended over taking photographs while standing on a stupa at Mihintale Raja Maha Viharaya. Reportedly, a 20-year-old and an 18-year-old have been arrested in this manner. According to the Police Media Spokesperson, the youngsters, apprehended by the Archaeological department officials, have been handed over to the Mihintale police station. They arrestees are slated to be presented before Anuradhapura Magistrate’s Court. more..

Growth of beedi a great source for taxation to enhance State revenue

Feb 14 (FT) There is need for greater regulation and control of the beedi industry to prevent under-aged smoking and enhance revenue to the State, finds a report released by the Social Development Network (SDN), which adds that the beedi trade can no longer be considered a cottage industry given its extent and reach. A survey carried out by the not-for-profit organisation estimates over 2.5 billion sticks of beedi to be manufactured annually, employing 8,000 families islandwide. more..

Bugs become a menace on trains: Railways Official

Feb 14 (DM) The Railways Department had received complaints from several commuters that there were bugs inside compartments. Dematagoda Railway Motive Power Sub Department Senior Mechanical Engineer Sarath Bandara said, the several commuters had been bitten by blood-thirsty bugs and it could pose a big threat for the service. The sub Department had been tasked with cleaning the infested compartments by the Railways following the complaints. more..

Asanka Nanayakkara

Sri Lanka now needs visionary leaders

Feb 14 (FT) In Sri Lanka, our political leaders have forgotten that we had elected them to represent our interests, care for our welfare and to drive the country to greater heights. It is sad that they had forgotten that aspect altogether. It appears they think that they have been elevated to such dizzy heights to further their interests and of their kith and kin. The success of all political leaders depends on their ability to run governance well. The problems of governance that more..

Legislate for Whistleblowing

Feb 14 (CT) Prison Reforms Minister Thalatha Atukorale was quoted in this newspaper’s yesterday’s edition as having said that Prisons Department officers and Police officers were among those detained by Dubai Police early this month. She was probably referring to the arrest of drug peddler Makandure Madush in Dubai earlier this month. Prisons comes under Atukorale while Police controversially functions under SLFP/UPFA Leader and Prez Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Video: CID reveals Nalaka de Silva’s ties with Madush & Amal Perera

Feb 14 (AD) The CID has informed the court yesterday that former DIG Nalaka de Silva, who was arrested in connection with the alleged VIP assassination plot, has had close ties with singer Amal Perera and Makandure Madush. CID further said that investigations are being carried out with the international police to unveil more information on the nexus between Makandure Madush, Amal Perera and former DIG. more..

SL Consulate in Dubai not willing to appear for Amal, son

Feb 14 (DM) Counsel Shabdika Wellappili, who went to Dubai yesterday to represent well-known singer Amal Perera and his son Nadeemal, said the Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai had rejected a request made by him to allow his to appear for them on behalf of the Sri Lankan Govt. The Counsel said the request was rejected because it did not think it appropriate for him to be allowed to appear just for two of the accused. more..

Young murder suspect trips up in bid to erase bloody trail

Feb 14 (ST) A young man from Homagama may be involved in three murders — a class mate’s, a driver’s, and a Japanese woman’s — police believe. The suspect Sandun Senanayake, 25, is in remand custody. He is believed to have taken hurried lessons from a friend to drive, while the body of the car’s driver lay in the back seat, police say. The suspect wanted to learn quickly so that he could drive a long distance and get rid of the body, more..

Sri Lanka labour supply to shrink, female workers can fill gap

Feb 14 (EN) SL's labour supply will decline over the next few decades which will lead to slower growth, but getting more female workers to the labour force will help mitigate the shock, officials said. Out of the total workforce, only about 35 to 36% are women, a phenomenon that has not changed much over the last 20 years. Sri Lanka has a labour force of 6.67 million. Changing policies can help ease the entry of more..