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Vijayakala bloom in southern politics

Jul 7 (Island) "Let’s all Hail Vijayakala", shouted the Pohottuva Team in the current political circus. "Come on, don’t you think it must be Hail Gota, our own Dahami Sinhala Hitler?" asked some members. "No. No. Hail Vijayakala… just think of what she has done to help Mahinda Mama. She has pushed the New York Times to the background" said a Pohottuva Team leader. "You must also understand that she may soon get more..

Travel: the gardens of the Bawa brothers

Jul 7 (Island) It took a while to find Brief, the garden designed by the Sri Lankan writer and artist, Bevis Bawa, in 1929. There was no obvious signpost on the main road, so asking directions, I turned off onto a small side road in a bid to locate it. This put me in a landscape dense with tropical greenery, littered with coconut palm groves. Here and there, flashes of red and peach hibiscus flowers and the flaming leaves of tall croton bushes made startling splashes of colour in the monochromatic green of more..

From his first brush with Kandyan art to a bigger canvas

Jul 7 (ST) S. H. Sarath was born and grew up in Weligama, where his imagination was coloured early by the sea, the beach, nature and communal village life: the pola or the village market with its colours, pungent smells and noise- and the exotic devilry of midnight exorcism rites. A regular sight was Kushtarajagala, the stone carving of a deity from the ancient Anuradhapura period, staring enigmatically by an old road with a face tantalizingly full of secrets. Seated in his house in Colombo, more..


Edtorial: Wonder of Asia

Jul 7 (Island) Sri Lanka is being marketed overseas as the Miracle of Asia. We usually do not take advertisers’ hyperbolic diction, replete with magniloquence, seriously, but we concede that our land like no other is truly a wonder, for it has survived crooks and hypocrites of every political hue for decades. Scientists have expounded the theory of multiverse or a realm of several universes. Similarly, we seem to have several parallel govs. The Finance Ministry, controlled by the UNP, more..

Food for thought inspired by Nigella

Jul 7 (ST) Quite curiously, about 400 Sri Lankans managed to all be on time and at Cinnamon Lakeside by 11.30 a.m. sharp. That speaks volumes of the cultural impact that British celebrity TV cook and writer Nigella Lawson has had all around the world. Despite a hefty price tag for a 40-minute conversation followed by brunch, the event presented by Cinnamon Life was sold out and the room was packed! There has never been a more complicated time to be in the culinary industry more..

'Sri Lanka is 22nd in global suicides list'

Jul 7 (CT) National Institute of Health Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Sajeewana Amarasinghe, said that the suicide rates in Sri Lanka had improved with the country being listed at No. 22 in the Global Suicides List, in sharp contrast to being at No. 2 in 1995. Dr. Amarasinghe holds an MBBS Degree from the University of Peradeniya and a MD in Psychiatry from the University of Colombo and has had his overseas training as more..

Dignity to the Dear Departed

Jul 7 (DN) Disaster strikes us oftentimes, uninvited. Once arrived, it leaves rubble with quite much to attend to. Buildings collapse, and they can be rebuilt. Trees fall down, and they can be replanted. Materials smash up, and they can be repurchased. Can the same be said about the humans? The humans matter above everything else. It wreaks havoc when a post-disaster death toll swells in cancerous proportions. Disasters come with the inevitable consequences of death. more..

Vijayakala Vilification

Jul 7 (CT) When writing about ethno-national politics in post-war Sri Lanka, this writer has constantly sought to highlight one point – that there is such a thing called Tamil nationalism. Tamil nationalism is a given, and whether some of us like it or not, it continues to exist and in some quarters thrive. A key component of reasonable steps towards reconciliation involves understanding and acknowledging the existence of stakeholders with colliding and opposed views. more..

The many shades of wildlife protection

Jul 7 (SO) With the recent reports of deaths of several animals in the presence of the wildlife officers, blame fell on the department for failing to protect the animals, while the root causes underlying these shortcomings that should be addressed for more effective conservation remains debated.: Last week, a brutal killing of a leopard by the villagers in Ambalakulam, Kilinochchi went viral, where the villagers captured and tortured more..

The NYT story unstripped much more than it intended

Jul 7 (CT) If not the Rajapaksas, their supporters are certainly perturbed by the New York Times (NYT) article on wrongdoing regarding the China Harbour Engineering Company, which is one of China’s largest state-owned enterprises. The NYT piece has since been dismissed by the Rajapaksas, their spokespersons and the Chinese Embassy in Colombo. The NYT has claimed that the company had paid large sums of money to the election campaign of former prez Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

The irrational urge for one folk, one fuhrer, one fatherland

Jul 7 (DN) In the context of an anemic economy and the failure of a democratic coalition to resolve the economic uncertainty and fear people felt, a proud and ancient people, turned to a former Army corporal and in a narrow win, elected the fascists to power. No, not in SL, this was Germany in the early nineteen thirties where the failures of the Weimer Republic and its weak coalition govts created an attraction for the strongman politics and ideology, loosely defined as Fascism, to become more..

'SL may get BOP trouble if rates are cut'

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lanka could have balance of payments trouble if rates are cut when imports are expanding and the current account is widening, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said after holding rates at the June policy meeting. "There is great pressure to loosen policy to boost economic activity when elections are coming," Governor Coomaraswamy told reporters. However pumping money in to the economy was more..

TNA to submit adjournment motion

Jul 6 (CT) The TNA is to submit an adjournment motion to the Parliament demanding the immediate repeal of the Provincial Councils (Amendment) Act, No. 17 of 2017 today. Accordingly, TNA MP President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran would present the motion. The motion scheduled to be moved in the House for debate is as follows: “Whereas the terms of office of three Provincial Councils came to an end in October 2017 and whereas no elections to the said 3 Councils more..

Sri Lanka importers call for trade reforms, but wary of foreign experts

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lankan importers struggling in the face of rising nationalism are urging the government to quickly implement trade reforms, but not depend too much on policy experts from overseas. "I wish to make a special request, in fact appeal, that policy makers engage the trade in discussion, use the level of expertise available locally and not depend too much on external help," said Nishan Nanayakkara Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Import Section. more..

India to operate world’s emptiest airport in Sri Lanka

Jul 6 (PTI) India would operate SL’s loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport in Hambantota, Civil Aviation Minister has told SL Parliament. The $210 million facility, 241km south-east of Colombo, is dubbed the world’s emptiest airport due to a lack of flights. India would operate the airport as a SL-India joint venture. The joint venture would see India gain a major stake of the airport, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told the Parliament. more..

Won't let students face injustices: MS

Jul 6 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena assures students will not face any injustices within the education sector. President was speaking during a discussion held with the parents of the students of SAITM. The Head of State stressed he did not close SAITM regardless of various concerns and protests as he was concerned of the future of the students. Prez noted prompt solutions were provided to issues surrounding SAITM over the past three years by holding discussions with various factions. more..

Ranjan wants AG to audit party funds

Jul 6 (Island) Auditor General should be given the power to audit political party funds, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake told Parliament. Ramanayake participating in the debate on the National Audit Bill said AG should be vested with the powers to examine political party funds as none of the parties revealed the amounts they got from various persons, and how they had spent those funds. "AG should be given powers to examine where the parties get funds for their election campaigns, more..

Over 3000 refugees have left for Sri Lanka since 2015: TN

Jul 6 (PTI) More than 3,000 Sri Lankan refugees, who had been staying in India, have left for their home country since 2015, the Tamil Nadu govt said today. The largest number in this regard was reported last year, at 1520, said a policy note of the Public Department, a portfolio held by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, tabled in the state Assembly. The refugees had been repatriated with the assistance of the UNHCR, it said. more..

Sri Lanka state retailer delays formula price hike; LIOC allowed to go ahead

Jul 6 (EN) Finance ministry said the state fuel distributor is delaying a price hike under a formula until next week, amid queries in parlaiment whether President Maithripala Sirisena had thrown a money wrench into the reform. In Sri Lanka, state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Lanka IOC, a publicly traded company distributes fuel. The finance minsitry said a committee which is empowered to decide the price under the formula had sat on July 05, and decided on the hikes. more..

Confusion over Sri Lanka fuel price hike

Jul 6 (EN) Fuel stations were pumping petrol and diesel Friday afternoon with prices unchanged while a lawmaker asked questions in parliament whether the President Sirisena had buckled a cabinet approved pricing mechanism. MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake asked in parliament Friday whether Prez had ordered a price increase decided last night had been reversed. Under the cabinet approved mechanism prices were expected to be changed on the third month after an initial hike in May. more..

PM to visit Singapore

Jul 6 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe will be visiting Singapore on Sunday to attend the World Cities Summit, Singapore Int'l Water Week and Clean Environment Summit Singapore 2018. During his visit the PM is also scheduled to meet the PM of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy PM, Former PM Goh Chok Tong and High level dignitaries of Singapore Govt. more..

Tokyo court defies Justice Ministry in ordering asylum for Sri Lankan man

Jul 6 (JT) The Tokyo District Court on Thursday made a rare order to the state to grant asylum to a Sri Lankan man who had his refugee application declined by the Justice Ministry despite an earlier successful lawsuit. The 58-year-old plaintiff, who declined to be named, is a member of the ethnic Tamil minority. He applied for refugee status in October 2006, believing his life was in danger after SL police suspected him of collaborating with a Tamil rebel group during the civil war more..

Posters supporting Vijayakala displayed in Jaffna

Jul 6 (AD) Posters bearing slogans supportive of former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran, who recently resigned from her post over a controversial statement regarding the LTTE, have been posted in several parts in Jaffna today. The posters display Tamil slogans which when roughly translated reads: “Politics without any personal benefits. Maheswaran gave his life for the Tamil people then, Vijayakala gave up her ministerial post for the Tamil people today. She is our leader.” more..

Sri Lanka holds rates, amid external jitters

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lanka has held its main policy rate at 8.5% in June amid global jitters, which has triggered outflows from capital markets, the central bank said, with inflation ticking up slightly. "Short term interest rates increased recently responding to the prevailing deficit liquidity conditions in the domestic money market," central bank said. "Yields of short term got securities displayed mixed movements in recent past, more..

Navy rescues 3 Somalian fishers

Jul 6 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy Ship Nandimithra rescued 03 Somalian fishers stranded at sea about 115 nautical miles off Galle Lighthouse today (5). Upon receipt of distress call from the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of a Somalian fishing vessel along with 03 persons onboard lost at sea, the Naval Headquarters promptly dispatched SLNS Nandimithra with a team of Medical Assistants to the location by 5.20 p.m. yesterday (4) to rescue them. more..

Honored to have enjoyed CBK’s wise counsel: Keshap

Jul 6 (DM) Outgoing US Ambassador Atul Keshap called on former President Chandrika Kumaratunga today and said he was honored to have enjoyed her friendship and always-wise counsel during his tenure in Sri Lanka. “What a delight to enjoy a lively and insightful exchange of views when I paid a farewell call on President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. I am honored to have enjoyed her friendship and always-wise counsel during my tenure in Sri Lanka,” ambassador tweeted. more..

Udaya Seneviratne assumes duties as Secretary to President

Jul 6 (AD) Mr. Udaya R. Seneviratne assumed duties as Secretary to the President this afternoon at the Presidential Secretariat, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said. A Senior Civil Servant with more than 26 years of service, he has served in various capacities in govt ministries and departments. He has previously served as the Secretary to several ministries including the the Ministry of Mahaweli more..

Dictatorial market economy

Jul 6 (FT) Speech made by Gotabaya Rajapaksa earned the attention of many and it was criticised by many. Both the speeches projected a continuation of the existing market economy and there were certain emphasises made such as continuation of the system with the focus of the people while safeguarding our sovereignty and cultural heritage which is true and no one can object to it. However there were contradictions as well of the two speeches. more..

Former MP V.K. Indika passes away

Jul 6 (AD) Former Hambantota District UPFA MP V.K. Indika has passed away at the age of 51. He had passed away at his Colombo residence last night. He was a former member of the Southern Provincial Council and a former Provincial Minister. He served as a Provincial Council Member from 1990 - 2003. He was the Provincial Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation from 2003 -2004, Provincial Minister of Sports, Rural Development and Youth Affairs from 2004 - 2009 and more..

කවුද මේ බස්වල යන මන්ත්රීවරු?

MR must make statement on US$ 7.6 mn funding: Marikkar

Jul 6 (DN) Colombo district UNP MP S.M. Marikkar said yesterday that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should make a statement in Parliament on whether he received US$7.6 million from China Harbour Company for his election campaign in 2015. Addressing a media briefing yesterday, he said that Rajapaksa’s henchmen like Wimal Weerawansa should also say whether the former President received this money from China Harbour company or not. more..

Teachers mould the future

Jul 6 (CT) Education is the backbone of a society or a nation. Today, education has evolved into a business, owing to the paramount importance given to it, due to the competitive environment we live in. Students today, despite being equipped with the latest technology and the ability to gain access to it, are burdened with educational activities that eat up most of their week. It has come to a point where a day in a student’s life does not start at school, but at a special class in wee hours of the morning. more..

President wants fuel price reversal

Jul 6 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the Ceylon Petroleum Cooperation to reverse the fuel prices that were increased at midnight. The Head of State has instructed officials to ensure fuel is distributed according to the previous prices. The Ministry of Finance at midnight increased a litre of 92 Octane by Rs.8 to Rs.145, 95 Octane by Rs.7 to Rs.155 and a litre of Lanka Auto Diesel by Rs.9 to Rs.118. more..

No recruitment without Treasury approval

Jul 6 (CT) Cabinet recently approved a proposal that the respective Boards and management staff would be held responsible if recruitment of employees to the public sector is made without the approval of the Management Services Department of the Treasury. This was said by Secretary - Ministry of Finance, Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga at a seminar for SOE Chairmen in Colombo yesterday. more..

No lands to be forcibly obtained: Megapolis Ministry

Jul 6 (CT) Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development stressed that in order to build the Techno City of Homagama no land will be forcibly taken over by it. Ministry emphasized that through the Homagama Techno City Project (HTCP) only investments will be provided to the country and no lands will be sold to foreigners, Ministry Secretary, Nihal Rupasinghe, addressing reporters, after a protest by residents of Homagama opposed more..