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A peace mission during the riots

Mar 14 (SO) Muruthalawa: On Tuesday night (6), Waturakumbure Dhammaratana Thera patrolled the streets of the Muruthalawa village in Yatinuwara, even as violent mobs rampaged through the streets in other parts of the Kandy district. Together with 10 men from the village, the Buddhist monk walked through the village from dusk to dawn, to prevent violent incidents against its Muslim residents. more..

Credibility & stability need a change of PM

Mar 14 (Island) Addressing the govt front bench in 1971 in the wake of the April Insurrection, with only a handful of MPs on his side, the Leader of the Ceylonese Opposition JR Jayewardene explicitly echoed Cromwell’s famous exhortation to the Long Parliament as it departed: "In the name of God, go!" Six years later, the electorate endorsed him. Today in 2018, the UNP, govt and the Parliament should say the same to PM Wickremesinghe—the Long Leader of the UNP. more..

Mindfulness in policy making, governance and diplomacy

Mar 14 (CT) Mindfulness - is it meditation? Or vice versa? The term, mindfulness, resulted from the great Oriental scholar, Professor Rhys Davis,' efforts to translate the Pali Sati Pattana to English. The term has remained despite its obvious limitations but has undergone an expansion in scope. Meditation is linked to mindfulness. But mindfulness as practiced today can be described as just one of the many forms of meditation or a derivation or a modernized contemporary version. more..

Ranjith Madduma Bandara

Every why hath a wherefore

Mar 14 (Island) Attempts to make sense of the regrettable incidents of communal violence last week are frustrated by the level and content of commentary on the events. In fact, the lack of depth in analysis is as disappointing as the communal violence itself. Specifically, political commentary and discourse on the diabolical problem of communal violence seem to be taking place within boundaries that seems to have not changed since the Muslim Vs. Buddhist and Christian riots of 1915: more..

Preventing irreversible damage to kidneys

Mar 14 (DN) Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a gradual loss of kidney function over a period of months or years. Damage to kidney tissue in CKD is irreversible and progressive even if the cause is eliminated. Causes may vary and typically there are no symptoms in early disease. Symptoms usually appear when more than 70% of the kidney functions have been lost. Therefore, waiting until symptoms appear is not the right approach in CKD. It is roughly estimated that there are more than 60,000 more..

Racism looms: Where is the PM?

Mar 14 (CT) There are no strong religious roots in Sri Lanka, but there are many blind followers. This has been noted since the British period, when communal riots broke out on many an occasion. We have had wars fought, and leaders murdered, all for the clamour of racism. The latest saga unveiled in Teldeniya, Kandy and the current tensions have escalated fears of a renewed backlash against the Muslims. more..

STF brutality against Muslims in Digana

Mar 14 (GV) As Sinhalese – Buddhist mobs were escalating violence against Muslims around Digana on March 5, the Hijrapura mosque in Digana had just finished afternoon prayers around 4 pm that day. As usual, devotees were talking to each other outside the mosque, after the prayers. A few had continued to pray inside the mosque. Suddenly, a jeep full of uniformed, heavily armed men had arrived in a jeep and a couple of motorbikes and surrounded the mosque. more..

Trade deficit expands despite export growth

Mar 14 (ST) Despite an impressive export growth last year, the trade deficit of US$ 9.6 billion was the country’s highest trade deficit. Although exports reached a record high of US$ 11.4 billion, imports increased to US$ 21 billion. The high propensity to import has been the underlying cause for large trade deficits. Imports exceeding exports has been a regular feature of the country’s trade balance. In the 67 years since 1950 there were only 5 years of a trade surplus. more..

Sri Lanka takes lead in prison reform in Asia

Mar 14 (DN) Sri Lanka this year will host the Asian Conference of Correctional Facilities, Architects and Planners (ACCFA) at which officials and planners of correctional facilities in 16 countries will come together to discuss how best to design a prison. Prisons Commissioner Thushara Upuldeniya spoke of the plans for restructuring Sri Lanka’s prisons and of our journey towards reform, which has made us a shining example more..

Here comes Sajith Premadasa!

Mar 14 (CT) It is beautiful to see this younger leader defend his besieged team, at last. The other day, Sajith Premadasa made a stirring speech suggesting that the previous defeated family regime was behind all the recent riots. He was addressing some housing scheme launching meetings in a number of electorates. Sajith shot into the open and lambasted those who pretend to be patriots, and true Sinhala Buddhists, in order to create conditions for their political resurrection. more..

Is there no limit to insanity & paranoia?

Mar 14 (CT) Malinda Seneviratne is very sophisticated in camouflaging his racism and majoritarian mindset. He takes refuge under semantics to play with words, to hide his racism. I want to salute House Leader Lakshman Kiriella for his human kindness and calling for an apology by the Sinhalese knowing well he will be roasted as a traitor among Sinhalese Buddhists by the likes of Malinda. Malinda is accusing the govt of harassing and vilifying the intelligent service. more..

Video: Social media ban to be lifted by Friday: Harin

Mar 13 (AD) Restrictions imposed on accessing social media and messaging platforms will most likely be lifted by this Friday (16), Minister Harin Fernando said. He said that discussions are currently underway with relevant parties regarding the matter. He stated that taking into consideration the various views being expressed with regard to blocking social media and messaging platforms, steps will be taken to remove more..

Sri Lanka wins Most attractive tourist destination award at GITF

Mar 13 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau represented by Chinthaka Liyanaarachchi, Head of China Desk together with the active facilitation of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Guangzhou participated in the Guangzhou International Travel Fair (GITF) from 1st – 3rd March 2018. Travel and Tour Representatives from fifteen companies and Sri Lankan Airlines participated in this year’s Trade Fair to promote Sri Lanka as an attractive and superior travel destination. more..

Restriction on Viber to be lifted at midnight

Mar 13 (NR) Department of Govt Information says the temporary restriction of access imposed on messaging app Viber will be lifted at midnight. Issuing a statement, Information Dept said the decision to remove the restriction imposed on Viber was taken after considering the difficulties encountered by those employed overseas to communicate with their families in SL. Furthermore, the govt said it also took into consideration the hardships caused to the business community, more..

Med. students’ parents complain to BC

Mar 13 (DM) Parents' Union of Medical Students (PUMS) made a complaint to the Bribery Commission stating that UGC and the Higher Education Ministry had shied away from its responsibilities when enrolling students to SAITM. Executive member of the Union Asoka Ranwala said both the UGC and the ministry had granted approval to students who did not meet the basic qualifications required for the study of medicine. more..

Emergency scared Chinese and Indian tourists: Ukwatte

Mar 13 (CT) Govt's decision to declare a countrywide State of Emergency, following the carnage in Kandy last week, has caused fear among Chinese and Indian markets, as far as tourist arrivals are concerned. The Chinese and Indian markets are relatively new, unlike the traditional European markets such as Germany, France and the UK, incumbent Chairman of both, the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and that of the Mount Lavinia Hotel, Sanath Ukwatte, said. more..

Protest in Manchester against violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (Island) Members of Manchester’s Sri Lankan community gathered to protest against violence directed at Muslims in SL. More than 200 people attended the march in Manchester Piccadilly yesterday (11). They called for an end to the rioting that has taken hold over the last few days in the central district of Kandy. The BBC has reported that Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency following several attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned shops. Faizah Farook, from Great Lever, more..

'Police did nothing until it was too late'

Mar 13 (Island) NFF spokesman Mohammed Muzammil said the Digana violence could have been easily thwarted had law enforcement authorities deployed sufficient strength there as a precautionary measure. He said so when inquired from him whether he had been in Digana on the day of the incident. Muzammil said that he was there for his brother’s wedding. "I was born there and Muslims always enjoyed good relations more..

IAEA chief to visit Sri Lanka tomorrow

Mar 13 (AD) The Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on Wednesday (14) for a one day official visit on an invitation extended by Govt of Sri Lanka. During his stay in Sri Lanka, Director General Amano will visit National Center for Non Destructive Testing (NCNDT) and Sri Lanka Gamma Center of Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board which are two scientific centers established with collaboration of IAEA. more..

Remove all restrictions on Internet: SL startup founders

Mar 13 (AD) The startup community of Sri Lanka called on the govt to identify individuals and groups that use social media to promote hate and bring them to justice, instead of censoring the Internet in the country. SL’s startup founders condemned the violence that has recently taken place in certain parts of the country. We may be Muslims, Tamils, Burghers and Sinhalese “We may be Muslims, Tamils, Burghers and Sinhalese. We may practice Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.” more..

A front-row take on Sri Lanka’s perilous journey to stability

Mar 13 (AT) Following Sri Lanka’s peaceful independence from Britain in 1948, relative calm ensued for decades – but that was followed by a quarter century of civil war along ethnic lines that raged between Sinhalese govt and LTTE, from 1983. Hostilities finally ended in 2009, and with open elections in 2015 resulting in the presidency of Maithripala Sirisena, the restoration of democracy and freedoms is well underway. more..

Chicken pox shuts down Uva Wellassa Uni

Mar 13 (NR) The Uva Wellassa University has been closed indefinitely due to the spread of chicken pox. The Registrar of the University said 28 students have contract the disease and have been hospitalised. The Registrar meanwhile said the daily functions of the University have been hindered due to the protest launched by non-academic employees of the University. Accordingly an announcement will be made of the scheduled date of when the Uva Wellassa University will reopen. more..

I am even suitable for premiership: John

Mar 13 (DM) Minister John Amaratunga said he was even suitable for the post of prime minister as he was the second longest serving MP after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said he was not concerned about it and added that he would neither request for such posts nor accept even if it was offered. “I'm the second longest serving MP after Mr. Wickremesinghe. I'm not bothered whether such a post was given or not. We will not go begging for posts. I will not accept it even if I was offered more..

Sri Lanka's recent conflict only benefited int'l groups: Kunanayakam

Mar 13 (DM) The recent conflict between the Sinhalese and the Muslims will benefit the int'l community especially the US which had proposed that SL should adopt a federal constitution, SL's former permanent representative to the UN, Tamara Kunanayakam said. She claimed that though the recent riots had weakened the reconciliation process of the govt, they had buoyed the int'l community which was planning to more..

PAFTA urges govt to act in principled manner

Mar 13 (Island) The Peradeniya University Arts Faculty Teachers’ Association (PAFTA) expressing its shock over the recent violence in Kandy, urged the govt to act in a principled manner, conduct impartial inquiries and take decisive action. PAFTA also appealed to the heads of religious orders and other community organizations that provide leadership to various communities to express their condemnation to the violence which threatens the inter-ethnic amity. more..

Video: Three fishermen from Mullaitivu go missing at sea

Mar 13 (AD) Three fishermen who set out to sea from Nayaru in Mullaitivu despite warnings of strong winds have been reported missing, police said. The missing fishermen, aged 24, 48 and 50, are residents of Bangadeniya in Chilaw while they had set out to sea in a fishing trawler yesterday. Mullaitivu police said that a search operation has been launched with the assistance of the SL Navy to locate the missing fishermen. Meteorology Department yesterday issued a severe more..

Sri Lanka assures China it will actively participate in Belt and Road

Mar 13 (SL) Sri Lanka has assured China that it will actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese Embassy in Colombo said. The assurance was given when the Chinese Ambassador to SL, Cheng Xueyuan met Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana for talks, the Embassy said. Both sides exchanged views on bilateral political, economic and trade relations as well as international and regional cooperation. more..

RTI still being under-utilized

Mar 13 (CT) Sri Lanka's much-vaunted Right to Information (RTI) Act passed just over a year ago is still being under-utilized by the members of the public. This revolutionary law, first proposed by the UNP Govt in 2002, was nixed by the People's Alliance Govt that followed it, after President Chandrika Kumaratunga staged a Constitutional Coup, forcing the then Ranil Wickremesinghe administration to fall. We are the last to enact the law in the region. more..

Sri Lanka fret over Kusal Mendis's fitness

Mar 13 (CB) Already handicapped by several injuries, Sri Lankan have more worries with concerns over the fitness of top-order batsman Kusal Mendis. 23-year-old hobbled off the field after attempting to cut down a boundary while fielding in the deep during Sri Lanka's six-wicket loss to India on Monday (12). Earlier, he had top-scored with 55 runs as Sri Lanka posted 152 in a rain-reduced game. Mendis is nursing a quadriceps muscle strain and the medical staff are monitoring him. more..

Violent extremism shows its seeds can grow anywhere

Mar 13 (DM) Their desperate faces stared at the houses and shops torched and destroyed in Digana, Teldeniya & Ambatenne areas. By March 10, as the curfew was lifted in Kandy, various groups of people started visiting the troubled areas. Local and international media personnel were seen taking photographs and interviewing the victims affected by this violence. But these victims continued to pose one question, more..

NCE calls for decisive action by Govt. over recent civil unrest

Mar 13 (FT) National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) in a statement yesterday said it was deeply concerned regarding the civil unrest which prevailed in certain parts of the country recently. Chamber said it is strongly of the view that the actions of certain elements, which led to the recent civil unrest, would have been backed by groups with extremist political ideologies, who have as their objective disruption of economic activities, and the wellbeing of the ordinary citizens of our country, more..

Continued ban on social media draws friendly fire from Colombo diplomats

Mar 13 (CT) Sections of the diplomatic community that has by and large supported the Govt’s crackdown on the freedom of expression following communal rights have now said it’s time the ban on social media was lifted. Australian HC Bryce Hutchesson tweeted, “Time, overdue, to lift SL’s blanket blocking of key social media platforms – a blunt instrument.” Earlier US Ambassador Atul Keshap said that it was hate-filled people and not social media per se that were to blame. more..

Geoffrey Alagaratnam

Wanted: Authentic leaders to restore humanity

Mar 13 (FT) Much has been said about the sad incidences in the Hill Capital. No sensible human being will endorse such acts of shameful violence, irrespective of provocation or justification. Much has also been said about the actions taken to restore law and order. My attempt is to highlight the role of leadership in the face of a crisis. Authentic leaders are in high demand in ensuring prompt action towards restoring humanity. Leadership literature is full of fancy jargon and multitude of more..

The winds of change in SL? Rajapaksa’s charisma and foreign factors in SL politics

Mar 13 (LSE) The local election results created an unexpected political storm in the country. The landslide victory marked by Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s newly established political party SLPP has disorientated the two main political parties of the island. However, local elections were delayed for a longer period due to various reasons. 8326 local councillors have been elected from this election for 24 municipal councils, 41 urban councils and 275 Local councils which more..