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Video: CNN spotlight for ecologist working to save the Sri Lankan leopard

Jan 18 (CNN) Having endured a bloody civil war from 1983 until 2009, SL is now at peace and developing rapidly. That's good news for the country as a whole, but SL's leopards are under threat. SL conservationist Anjali Watson says that as forests where leopards live are cleared to plant crops and build homes, the big cats are being squeezed into pockets of wilderness that don't connect with each other. more..

Bonanza continues at State expense for Gota’s Californian buddies

Jan 18 (CT) Gotabaya Rajapaksa is continuing to appoint his Californian friends to high ranking positions in his Government, with the latest appointment of Raja Edirisuriya as Chairman of the Urban Settlement Development Authority. Edirisuriya’s appointment follows the nomination of Malraj De Silva as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to UAE and Upul Dharmadasa as Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority. Both De Silva and Dharmadasa, like Edirisuriya are both Californian residents. more..

Price controls no solution to rice crisis

Jan 18 (TM) Rice farmers, and the price of their rice, have always been a political football. For a long time, our politicians and policymakers sold their grief, tears, fertiliser subsidies, and debt-ridden suicides for votes. Govt intervention, without first identifying the unique complications of the rice market, has made the rice farmer poorer for decades. Because of such reasons, people engaged in farming have not been able to move out of the low-income rut & better their lives as long as more..

A'pura hoteliers fear bankruptcy by May

Jan 18 (FT) Anuradhapura Hotels Association said 26 tourist hotels in the area are at risk of bankruptcy by May, as the industry counted rising losses after the ancient city was removed from the tourist map in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks, and for the decade before. They claimed that due to negligence shown towards A'pura in tourism development programs, the tourist industry in the area has continued to deteriorate, more..

Hambantota during 1970 general election

Jan 18 (Island) One day while I was going towards Tissamaharama, my jeep driver showed me a family waiting in front of a house at Debarawewa. They looked like Europeans. They were descendants of Engelbrecht, the Warden of the Yala Sanctuary. Later, I came to know more about them from the autobiography of the former Leonard Woolf, who used to go hunting with Warden Englebrecht regularly. One day the GA got on to the bench as the Magistrate to hear cases as the judicial more..

Reverse sweeping to success or failure?

Jan 18 (Island) While assuring everybody that Mickey Arthur would accept no mediocrity from his players, Ashantha De Mel in a recent interview with Rex Clementine expressed frustration at SL’s batting deficiencies on the recent Pakistan tour, and put it down to lack of mental strength. We believe the truth is a little more complex than that. Developing mental strength requires long term conditioning. Players in SL often struggle to transcend the gap which separates Test cricket from domestic cricket. more..

The age of telephone silence

Jan 18 (Island) Is this the R-R stage of crooked politics? We are suddenly given an exposure to the crafty and deceitful politics. R-R with his One Shot reputation is giving much more than just one shot. It is a chain of telephone call recordings, that we are told is illegal because no recording caution had been given. Recording caution is the stuff of political trickery and speedy legal action today. Did we have a different AG’s Dept in Nov 2018 more..

Editorial: The Blue Purge

Jan 18 (Island) The SLFP needs no enemies; it has its leaders! It is reported to have sacked as many as 40 members for having backed Sajith Premadasa at the last presidential election. Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has also been removed as the SLFP organiser for Attanagalle. What a waltz President Maithripala Sirisena and CBK had, in January 2015, in celebration of the defeat of the Rajapaksas! Five years on, they are at each other’s jugular. more..

Museum of Modern and Contemporary art: A slice of history

Jan 18 (SO) Launch of One hundred thousand small tales at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art SL undoubtedly in a nutshell reveals a slice of history of SL modern and contemporary art. The attractive title of the very first exhibition of the Museum was inspired by the highly acclaimed contemporary Tamil poet, Cheran’s famous poem published in 2003 where he described how a.. …bridge, strengthened by its burden; Of a hundred thousand tales collapses within a single tear. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Memory: Poet - Jean Arasanayagam

Jan 18 (CT) In 1983, I decided to start a literary magazine of my own. I had no regular job for I had resigned my lecturer post at Peradeniya University in 1980 and then, having become Sub-Warden of S. Thomas' in 1981, I was sacked in 1983, after a long period of compulsory leave. I lived by giving private tuition, on the second occasion together with Richard de Zoysa who had also been got rid of by a vengeful Warden. We did not have many students, but those we took were great fun to teach, more..

Human-wildlife conflicts in Sri Lanka

Jan 18 (SO) The human-wildlife conflicts we see today, are as old as the history of the human race. In the distant past when man was a cave dweller, he was subject to attacks from leeches, ticks, insects as well as a number of reptiles and fish. These attacks were an impediment to his way of life. Man also had conflicts with carnivorous mammals and aggressive herbivores. Man, then a hunter gatherer also caused conflicts with wildlife. In ancient times the Sri Lankan state protected animals, birds, more..

Gifts of art for a master garden

Jan 18 (ST) Lunuganga- the Italian-tropical garden where a puckish Hindu Pan cavorts with a leopard and Greek youths- was Geoffrey Bawa’s greatest gift to his island home. It is, above all, a place that inspires- from Michael Ondaatje who used its deep sepia peace and beauty to leaven his tale of wartime grimness in the novel Anil’s Ghost, to Laki Senanayake who left, on an old wall, a typically epic mural with a patina of green moss: more..

Should politics be separated from religion?

Jan 18 (Island) It is very well known that oil and water do not mix. But it is not an absolute fact. Anyone with ‘kitchen’ experience knows well, how hot oil reacts explosively even to the tiniest amount of water. On the other hand, tiny fat globules evenly distributed in a watery environment makes a life-giving, delicious and nourishing drink––milk. Politics and religion. Are they like oil and water? If so, will they be an explosive mix or a life-giver, enriching human experience? more..

Local fashion to take bigger strides with CFC

Jan 18 (ST) Launched just before Christmas, the Colombo Fashion Council (CFC) aims to promote, inspire and represent the best fashion and design talents in Sri Lanka to reach greater heights. With the number of students pursuing fashion as a career growing rapidly, an increasingly innovative fashion industry has opened up. CFC aims to pave the way for the industry to tap into these potential talents and encourage them to develop their skills. The Colombo Fashion Council will comprise more..

Meet some of Sri Lanka's Wikipedians

Jan 18 (Roar) In the consensual hallucination we also call cyberspace, there exists what science fiction writer Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (27) describes as a digital panopticon—none other than one of the most frequented websites in the world, Wikipedia. “Think about it,” he tells me, at a crowded restaurant in Colombo, attempting to shape with his hands a panopticon. Everyone is watching. And it’s true. The inherent nature of Wikipedia more..

Constitutional amendments: A blast from the past

Jan 18 (GV) The current constitution of SL is commonly referred to as the JR Constitution due to the nature of its inception. Its birth and enactment have a long and convoluted political history. Although the constitution bestowed too much power in the Executive in what may be termed wilful blindness to the implications of such power in the hands of an individual – especially one who becomes progressively unhinged and despotic in office – one positive aspect of it was more..

Royal Institute: Defence Secretary rules above Supreme Court

Jan 18 (CT) Whilst continuing to make a mockery of the existing Judiciary under Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s govt, the authorities of Royal Institute riding on the powers of the current Defense Secretary Retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne, continue to blatantly disregard the Supreme Court order and operate its branch illegally from its Nugegoda premise. Despite ignoring the SC ruling passed by the three judge bench in April 2019, the Director of Royal Institute Nirodha Bandara more..

Five accused in Avant-Garde case released; Senadhipathi granted bail

Jan 17 (AD) Five accused in the Avant-Garde floating armoury case have been released from the case by the Permanent High Court-at-Bar. Accordingly the judge bench decided to release Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd, Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd, former Rakna Lanka Chairman Major General (Rtd) Palitha Fernando, Major General (Rtd) K.B. Egodawela and former Senior Additional Secretary to the Ministry more..

Video: Ranjan produced before court for unlicensed firearm case

Jan 17 (AD) MP Ranjan Ramanayake, who is in remand custody, was brought to the Nugegoda Magistrate’s Court by prison officers for the case filed against him over the possession of a firearm without a valid license. Police had searched Ramanayake’s home in Madiwela, on January 4, under a search warrant and seized a firearm, 127 live ammunition, 2 laptops, 4 external hard disks, 5 hard disks, 164 various more..

Video: Ex-Akuressa PS chairman Saruwa Sunil sentenced to 15 years RI

Jan 17 (AD) Former Chairman of the Akuressa Pradeshiya Sabha, Saruwa Liyanage Sunil, has been sentenced to 15 years rigorous imprisonment by the Colombo High Court, over the rape of an underage girl in 2012. He was arrested by the Children and Women Bureau of Matara Police in July 2012 in connection with allegations of molesting a 14-year-old girl. The sentence was delivered today by Colombo HC Judge Adithya Patabendi, more..

Hirunika claims second recording maliciously edited

Jan 17 (DM) UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra claimed that the leaked second phone recording clip said to be of her and MP Ranjan Ramanayake was maliciously edited and vowed to take legal action against those who published the clips. She said the content and voice in the second leaked phone recording was maliciously edited. “I appeal to people to listen to the two recording clips which were said to be mine more..

Exports dip continues but 11-month haul stays up

Jan 17 (FT) SL’s export earnings in the first 11 months of 2019 rose by 1.7% to $10.7 billion from a year earlier, the EDB said. However, the total merchandise exports recorded for the month of Nov 2019 was down by 3% or $30 million to $950 million. The latest external sector performance data released by the CB showed that earnings from merchandise exports declined marginally by 0.2% (year-on-year) to $977 million in October. more..

Tuk drivers demand regulatory body, accuse Minister of buying time

Jan 17 (RN) A collective of three-wheeler driver associations have requested Minister Mahinda Amaraweera to establish a provincial-level regulatory authority for three-wheelers engaged in passenger transport services, Ministry announced today. Representatives of the associations recommended the introduction of a uniform to identify professional, full-time three-wheeler drives from other individuals driving more..

HC to decide next week on revision application against Rajitha’s bail order

Jan 17 (AD) Colombo High Court states that the decision on whether notice will be issued to hear the revision application filed by the Attorney General, against granting bail to MP Dr. Rajtitha Senaratne, would be announced on January 21. This was when the revision application was taken up for consideration before High Court Judge Manjula Thilakaratne today. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris appeared on behalf of the AG more..

Inland Revenue flashes red light as firms charge wrong VAT

Jan 17 (EN) Inland Revenue Department officials said they have found businesses which have been charging Value Added Tax (VAT) above the reduced rate of 8%, and legal action will be taken against them. “There’s a complaint that the tax benefits are not going to the public and since Tuesday, we have been investigating various businesses,” Deputy Commissioner General Tax Administration H.M.W.C. Bandara said. Prez Rajapaksa, who cut tax more..

Ranjan’s disclosure likely ground for defence against BASL-filed defamation case

Jan 17 (Island) Attorney-at-law Crishmal Warnasuriya pointed out that leaked audio and video links containing conversations with judicial officers could be a key element in UNP lawmaker Ranjan Ramanayake’s defence in high profile defamation case against him filed by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) last year. The contempt of court case filed against the then State Minister Ramanayake for allegedly casting more..

Why only Ranjan?

Jan 17 (DM) Many govt politicians and supporters rightly claim that the alleged conversations between UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake and certain police officers and judges would erode public confidence in law enforcement authorities and the judiciary. The irony is that it is the same politicians and pro-govt media that give wide publicity to what is said to those conversations which would definitely help erode public confidence. more..

The poverty of protest

Jan 17 (DM) I find it useful to distinguish between two kinds of radicalism; that which tries to eradicate the structural causes of social injustice and that which glosses over such causes and simplifies them, presenting a stark, black-and-white, dichotomised world where injustice is attributed to one institution or one person. I’m not sure whether the latter can be considered radical, but in the interests of keeping matters simple, I’ll leave it there. In any case that shouldn’t bother anyone. more..

Will SL tourist industry perform in rap style?

Jan 17 (DM) SL’s tourism industry is screaming for a shot in the arm and the present regime has heard this call loud and clear. We all know how the tourist industry was badly affected following the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings. Travel warnings were issued after the series of bombings; which resulted in tourist arrivals dropping by up to 70%. Occupancy at hotels dropped by 85%. All what happened last year ridiculed the naming of Sri Lanka as the world’s top tourist destination for the year 2019. more..

Video: UNP meeting ends without decision on party leadership

Jan 17 (AD) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa have decided to meet early next week to decide on the party Leadership. MP Navin Dissanayake mentioned this to the media following the special parliamentary group meeting held this evening. The UNP Parliamentary Group meeting has ended without a conclusion on the party leadership. more..

Chinese investment sought to expedite construction work

Jan 17 (DM) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has sought Chinese investment for construction of the Kaduwela-Meerigama stretch of the central expressway and the expedition of work on the extension of the southern expressway up to Hambantota. PM handed over a list of investment proposals to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi when he called on him on Jan 14. Govt is planning to obtain a loan from EXIM bank of China. The 2010/2015 govt led by Mr. Rajapaksa more..

SLFP to back Gotabaya at general election

Jan 17 (DM) The SLFP today decided to support President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the upcoming parliamentary election to secure a two-thirds majority in parliament, SLFP Spokesman MP Weerakumara Dissanayake said. MP said this decision was made at the SLFP Central Committee meeting held today with the unanimous consent of the SLFP members. “We will be working towards supporting Prez Rajapaksa to obtain a two-thirds majority in Parliament,” he said. more..

CB forensic audits must be made public: TI

Jan 17 (NR) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has called on Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya to disclose to the public and MPs, the content of the forensic audits of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Transparency International SL issuing a statement said they are concerned by the decision of the Attorney General to advise the Speaker against circulating the report openly amongst MPs. more..

Debt ridden CEB to get more credit from CPC

Jan 17 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) senior officials say that they had no issues with increasing the credit limit to CEB from Rs 80 billion to Rs 90 billion if Power and Energy Ministry endorsed it. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that since CEB and CPC both came under his purview he could manage matters without hindrance. CEB had asked for an increase in the fuel credit limit granted to it by the CPC to Rs 90 billion through the Power and Energy Ministry. more..

51 MPs back Sajith at informal vote

Jan 17 (Island) A meeting of the UNP parliamentary group convened yesterday to discuss the request by supporters of Sajith Premadasa that he be appointed the party leader, ended with current leader Ranil Wickremesinghe announcing that he, Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith would sort out the issue among themselves next week. At the outset of the meeting at Sirikotha, Wickremesinghe had announced that 95% of those he had spoken to, had advised him not to call for a vote more..

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