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NGOs screen controversial Sri Lankan civil war documentary

Mar 20 (FMT) Several NGOs co-organised a screening of a controversial documentary on the SL civil war last night, ahead of the sentencing of Lena Hendry who was found guilty of screening the same four years ago. However, the difference was that last night’s screening was done via online streaming, and not with any other form of media, such as film reel, videotape or DVD. The screening last night did not break any more..

Purchase of Russian cancer drugs: Doc summoned by CIABOC over complaint

Mar 20 (FIsland) The CIABOC has recorded a statement from Dr. Rukshan Bellana, President of the Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) in respect of alleged irregular registration of two cancer drugs produced in the Russian Federation. Dr. Bellana complained to CIABOC in December last year in the wake of govt deciding to import Trustuzumab and Bivasuzumab from Russia to treat cancer patients. more..

CSE kicks off multiple investor promotion road shows Down Under today

Mar 20 (FT) In a bid to trigger off a fresh round of investor interest, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) today will kick off a series of road shows in Australia and New Zealand. It is the first concerted capital market-led investment promotion on SL in Australia since the end of the conflict in 2009.  Previously, the CSE conducted a road show in Australia in 2005 and post-war investors in New York, London, Singapore and Mumbai more..

Army contingent, ready for Mali UN assignment conducts training exercise

Mar 20 (SLA) A mega Field Training Exercise (FTX) that complements SL Army to undertake the forthcoming UN Combat Convoy Tasks in MINUSMA - Mali will start off from Kankesanthurai on Monday (27) and cover a distance of about 1166 km across the country during the 9-day long assignment after its preliminary formalities officially commence on Tuesday (21). Hypothetically-designed FTX, code named Ex Harmattan, more..

No reason to delay future PC elections: EC

Mar 20 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya today ruled out the possibility of postponing the elections to the provincial councils when their terms end. He said this amid speculation that the government was planning to postpone the elections to the North-Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils whose term ends in September this year. Mr. Desapirya said he believed that the govt more..

Kalpitiya reef under threat

Mar 20 (DN) Bar Reef in Kalpitiya, which was hit for the second time by a severe coral bleaching event last year, since 1998, is under threat of destruction posing a severe risk to fishing resources, Marine Environmental Specialists cautioned. IUCN Coastal and Marine Programme Coordinator Arjan Rajasuriya pointed out that most of the fish could disappear when the corals get affected, thereby affecting the fisheries industry. more..

Swift action led to peaceful end to hijacking

Mar 20 (SL) Swift action led to a peaceful end to the hijacking of a ship with a Sri Lankan crew by Somali pirates. Foreign Ministry said that int'l assistance, particularly from the US and a Whatsapp call lend to the release of the ship and its crew on Thursday. Sri Lankan crew was expected to return to SL to be reunited with their family members. The vessel Aris 13 that was hijacked by pirates was released along with 8 SL crew more..

On Dayan’s Project Gotabaya, Gunaratnam and moral hypocrisy

Mar 20 (DM) This is a debate about the future of SL; our future; our fate. Which side are you on? Pick one, Dr. Jayatilleka’s Facebook page screams right above his response to my critique. I agree. In his response he calls for non-digression, although such diversion is what his response is all about. None of the issues brought to light were addressed, instead he conflates on the theoretical paradigm of the internantional vs the national, with Gotabaya’s practical sensibilities. more..

Apartheid and the tragedy of the UN

Mar 20 (DM) On Wednesday a UN agency – UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) published a report accusing the state of Israel of imposing an apartheid regime of racial discrimination on the Palestinian people. Apartheid was the legislation of racial segregation imposed by the White South Africans on non-white people in that country. It’s goal was not only to separate South Africa’s white minority from its non-white majority, but to decrease their political power. more..

Extra time for UNHRC resolution: TNA to oppose it in Geneva

Mar 20 (CT) The TNA opposes the decision, taken by the UNHRC, to give Sri Lanka two additional years to implement resolution 30/1 of 2015, Party MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. "SL Govt has no real intention of implementing the resolution which it co-sponsored in 2015. Both, the President and the Prime Minister have repeatedly said, the govt will not implement a war crimes tribunal or allow foreign Judges to come in. more..

Main Awa gang member caught while hiding in Dehiwela

Mar 20 (DM) A leading member attached to the North-based criminal gang 'Awa' that committed armed crimes in the Jaffna Peninsula has been arrested in the Dehiwela area by a special police team attached to the Jaffna Division, Police said. After a thorough interrogation the police have found a sword which is suspecting to have been used at the gang's criminal activities. Investigation has revealed that the sword-wielding gang that created fear psychosis in the Jaffna Peninsula more..

Govt recruits 1,500 to eradicate dengue mosquitoes

Mar 20 (FT) The Govt has made a policy decision to recruit 1,500 personnel as Mosquito Eradication Health Service Assistants to intensify the battle against dengue mosquitoes. Already 500 Mosquito Eradication Health Service Assistants have been recruited in the Western Province. President Maithripala Sirisena, at a ceremony organised by the National Dengue Eradication Unit of the Health Ministry, yesterday presented appointment letters to the new recruits. more..

Sri Lanka freezes Rajapaksa assets exceeding five billion: FM

Mar 20 (EN) The value of assets seized as part of on-going investigations against immediate family members of former president Rajapaksa exceed five billion rupees (US$ 30 m), according to minister Mangala Samaraweera. Real estate and bank accounts of former president's two elder sons and his minister brother Basil, amount to two billion rupees and money laundering investigations were underway, he said. more..

Athulathmudali plaque vandalized

Mar 20 (CT) A group of students have reportedly vandalized a memorial plaque for a new hostel building, at Peradeniya University, constructed by Ministry of Higher Education, in protest over the move to name the complex after the late Education Minister Lalith Athulathmudali. Vice Chancellor of Peradeniya Uni Prof. Upul Dissanayake is currently leading a team investigating the incident. New hostel building, with 100 rooms and the capacity to give accommodation to over 400 students more..

‘Sri Lanka ranks top in health indicators’

Mar 20 (DN) Sri Lanka enjoys impressive health indicators with a life expectancy for males and females standing at 72 years and 80 years respectively, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. As per WHO Global Report 2016, the incidence of tuberculosis in SL is estimated at 65 per 100,000 population while prevalence and mortality stood at 99 and 5.6 per 100,000 population. Pulmonary TB notifications, which showed an increase till 2011, has remained steady since then more..

Rapporteur calls for transparent justice system in Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (CG) Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers says the administration of justice in Sri Lanka deserves to be more transparent, decentralized and democratic. A report by Mónica Pinto, the former Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers on her visit to SL last year, has been submitted to UNHRC. Pinto visited SL from 29 April to 7 May 2016, at the invitation of the govt, more..

Liberty Cinemas to invest over Rs. 400 m for new multiplexes

Mar 20 (FT) Liberty Cinemas Ltd. will be investing over Rs.400 million to set up and convert its existing theatre circuit with the most advanced technology and take it to more locations around the country to upgrade consumer experiences. The firm has commenced conversion of its extremely popular single screen Liberty Theatre into a multiplex with the most advanced digital formats with an investment of over Rs. 120 million, Liberty Cinemas, Managing Director Imithiyaz Cader said. more..

Digital broadcasting system worth 13.7 bn yen from Japan to Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (Island) Japanese govt is now in the process of assisting to introduce  an Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB) system to Sri Lanka, which is a Japanese standard digital television radio used by the country's television and radios, Director for International Digital TV Policy  Global ICT Strategy Bureau Norifumi Yamaguchi said. "This new system will  replace the old analogue system to the latest  digital system, which will assist SL govt to transfer to this system. more..

Don’t allow foreign intervention in our affairs: JVP

Mar 20 (LT) Any human rights violations committed during the war period should be investigated and punished only through an internal judicial process states the JVP. This was stated by the General Secretary of JVP Tilvin Silva addressing a meeting held in Vavuniya. He said, “There is no agreement within the govt. The left hand is unaware of what the right hand does. They have brought in an issue that doesn’t exist in our country. more..

Chinese Defense minister to arrive today

Mar 20 (Reuters) Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan left on Sunday for official visits to Sri Lanka and Nepal, the Defence Ministry said, trips that could unnerve neighbouring India. China is vying to increase its influence in Nepal, which serves as a natural buffer between China and India, challenging India's long-held position as the dominant outside power in the landlocked nation. China has also invested heavily in Sri Lanka, funding airports, roads, railways and ports, more..

SEC releases Capital Market Vision 2020

Mar 20 (CT) The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) released the Capital Market Strategy 2020 on Friday (17). What follows is the full text of the plan: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) releases the Capital Market Strategy 2020, a comprehensive transformative plan for Sri Lanka's capital market, with the intention of providing strategic clarity to market participants and the general public. The significance of ensuring more..

Rebels take over Ratnapura SLFP lawyers’ association

Mar 20 (Island) SLFP rebels have taken over the SLFP lawyers’ association in the Ratnapura District as the rift between SLFP factions widens. Ratnapura District UPFA MP Ranjith de Zoysa said that the SLFP lawyers’ association had been transformed into the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) lawyers’ association with attorney-at-law Walter Perera as its Chairman. Perera held the same post in the SLFP lawyers’ association. more..

Pakistani women parliamentarians strong, assertive: Sri Lankan Minister

Mar 20 (APP) SL Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage termed Pakistani women parliamentarians strong and assertive as compared with the other countries in South Asia. “They were playing vital role for changing lives of women at grassroots level in the country,” she said this while talking to APP. Sri Lankan Minister, who came to Pakistan to attend International conference on Role of Women Parliamentarians in Strengthening Democracy and Social Justice said that more..

West Otago dairy farmer shares expertise

Mar 20 (Stuff) West Otago dairy farmer Marloes Levelink says she has 3 jobs, but she still volunteered her time to share her knowledge with SL dairy farmers. Levelink milks 400 cows with her partner Jonathan Verkerk at Kelso, in West Otago, and they have been Fonterra shareholders since 2002. She also provides training and advice for farmers and rural professionals on herd management, feeding, cow behaviour and housing and enjoys working with people from more..

President opens SLFP political academy

Mar 20 (PSL) “The country needs not the politicians who say yes for everything, but young politicians who say that is not the way, this is the correct path", says President Maithripala Sirisena. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of Deshapalana Shasthralaya (political academy), inaugurated by the SLFP Youth Front today (19) at the SLFP Headquarters. “There is no need for songs of hosannas for the govt in the future. more..

Sri Lanka women ruggerites create history

Mar 20 (DN) Sri Lanka women's rugby team who played a sensational brand of sevens rugby shocked everyone to emerge Cup champions at the Borneo 7's rugby tournament held in Malaysia. In the final they beat Thailand Women by 12 points (2 tries, 1 conversion) to 5 (1 try) to become the first Sri Lanka women's rugby team to win a Cup championship in the country’s rugby history. The win was achieved under head coach Sudath Sampath, a former Sri Lanka national sevens captain. more..

Herath calls for more technology for DRS

Mar 20 (Island) Captain Rangana Herath has asked the administration to give more meat for Decision Review System (DRS) following his team’s shocking four wicket defeat to Bangladesh at P. Sara Oval on Sunday. DRS system used by Ten Sports and endorsed by SLC doesn’t include the snickometer or the hotspot, vital tools that detect edges by batsman. SLC has to pocket out the expenses for those two vial tools and the board has been aloof towards using the latest available technology. more..

Keep dreaming, little brother

Mar 20 (CI) Ah, Bangladesh, come, come. How are you little brother? Is it still okay to call you little brother? I mean of course your country has a bigger economy, and far more people, and you keep taking textile manufacturing contracts off our companies, but in cricket you are still not that big, no? I don't mean to offend you, but you have to admit, you have never won a Test match againt us. Remember how Sanga used to demoralise more..

How a team meeting changed Bangladesh

Mar 20 (CI) It was an hour-long meeting that prompted a change in attitude, body language and energy over the five days at the P Sara Oval. The meeting was an effort to trigger introspection after the 259-run defeat in Galle, and the disappointments of the first three months of 2017. Coming into this Test, early 2017 had been an extension of the heartbreaks of 2016 for Bangladesh. Close calls had left them with nothing, most infamously in Bangalore last year, where they conjured up more..

Sixteen years, 18 tries, one win

Mar 20 (CI) In 2001, Bangladesh first played a Test against Sri Lanka. Sixteen years on, there are a host of milestones to celebrate in the same country. 3: Wins for Bangladesh in 46 away Tests prior to their 4-wicket win over SL at P Sara Oval. Their previous win away from home was against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2013. Their two other away wins came during their tour of West Indies in 2009. 9: Wins by Bangladesh in 100 Tests. Their previous win was against England at Mirpur in October 2016. more..

'Poor catching, batting cost us, not complacency'

Mar 20 (CI) Rangana Herath, the SL captain, said he was confident of defending 191 in the fourth innings, although they would have liked more runs to work with. Herath has been the central figure in each of Sri Lanka's five most recent home victories, when they have bowled out visiting sides for 171 (West Indies), 161, 183 and 160 (Australia), as well as dismissing Bangladesh for 197 in Galle. more..

Tamil leadership marred by internal battles

Mar 20 (NS) Debate on a suitable mechanism to probe allegations of war crimes during the final stages of the war has once again intensified with UNHRC sessions underway in Geneva. One party calls for int'l involvement while the other objects to it. Govt too has said that it would not allow international judges to be part of the mechanism. Minister Mangala Samaraweera stated that SL’s Constitution will have to be amended if foreign judges are to be allowed to be part of the mechanism. more..

Editorial: The cost of killing savage killers

Mar 20 (Island) Last week’s reduction of the murder conviction of Royal Marine Sergeant Alexander Blackman, currently in jail for shooting an injured Taliban terrorist in Afghanistan in 2011, to manslaughter is of interest to all countries faced with accountability issues. Five judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court in London overturned the original judgment against Blackman on grounds of diminished responsibility. They held that Blackman had suffered from quite exceptional stressors. more..

Combined Naval Forces supported by 31 nations put on alert

Mar 20 (SO) Our next stop is Somalia. This is not a safe area. But don’t worry, the international naval forces are there and we don’t expect anything bad to happen, the Chief Engineer, Jayantha Kalubowila, of Aris -13, the UAE managed bunkering tanker, told his wife in Sri Lanka. The seasoned seafarer’s predictions, made minutes before the vessel left Djibouti shore on March 8, was destined to prove wrong this time. more..

Western remedies for Sri Lanka's ills: Lessons from history

Mar 20 (Island) Sri Lanka commemorated a dark day in its long and proud history earlier this month. We recalled the cession of our sovereignty to King George III of Britain following the signing of the Kandyan Convention on 2/3 March, 1815 in the historical Audience Hall. On 1 March, 3017, in the same Audience Hall, President Sirisena made the much belated pronouncement to remove from the list of traitors in the govt Gazette those who had valiantly but vainly struggled against more..

Yet another imaginative proposal to privilege the police

Mar 20 (ST) Tortuous dance of some in Govt to ensure that a suspect in police custody is not allowed legal counsel at the earliest opportunity is indeed painful to observe. Latest amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act suggested by Ministry of Justice reflects this reluctance exceedingly well. Now, instead of the earlier harebrained proposal that the access to legal counsel can be given to a suspect only after police interrogations are concluded, we have more..