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Kumar Sangakkara spearheads Softlogic Life’s passionate initiative

Sep 13 (Roar) What use is a healthy life if we don’t have anything to live for? Pursuing the things we love bring us peace of mind, fulfilment and contentment, said Kumar Sangakkara at Softlogic Life’s new product launch on the 30th Aug, at the Movenpick Hotel, Colombo. Sangakkara talked about passion and having a healthy attitude towards investing time and effort in pursuing passion. Having contentment in what you do makes you happy, he said. more..

National Youth Model UN 2018: We have arrived

Sep 13 (DN) National Youth Model United Nations (NYMUN) is here, yet again to engage and inspire SL youth. NYMUN is a two-day conference that functions as a national simulation of the UN and its affiliated organisations for youth aged 14-30 in Sri Lanka. From 250 young individuals in 2016 and 350 delegates in 2017, NYMUN is launching this session with the hope of engaging 1,500 individuals from various parts of the island. NYMUN 2018 will be held on Sept 29 and 30 in Colombo more..

Rajitha Senaratne

Change must start now!

Sep 13 (CT) President Maithirpala Sirisena in a short period of time has swung his metaphorical sword against the political defects, convicts on death row and criminals accused of financial fraud, taking the Media and the public by storm. Whether or not anyone believes him is a different story altogether as well as whether or not these statements are a feeble attempt at securing a declining voter base. His critics; the international community cried foul for his death penalty stance for convicts more..

New sources of natual rubber

Sep 13 (DN) As we know it, natural rubber, for all practical purposes, comes only from the Amazon forest tree called Hevea Braziliensis. This is a situation that is going to change very quickly – a change that could affect us economically. Hevea Braziliensis was grown on a large scale in Brazil and Peru. In Brazil it was called Para Rubber and in Peru it was called árbol del caucho. With the discovery of the vulcanizing process in 1839, the demand for Hevea latex boomed bringing massive more..

Electoral process: Youth engagement or apathy

Sep 13 (CT) Active youth participation in the electoral cycle, as an electorate or elective candidate, is a question of debate, given the recent trends where youth voter apathy is building up, to an extent. Even though there are many reasons for this lack of participation, one could argue that the youth (aged 15-29 as per Commonwealth Youth Forum Declaration) are being marginalized when taken in the social & more..

Sri Lanka should take up the challenge on LGBT rights

Sep 13 (GV) The Indian Supreme Court’s landmark ruling sweeping a colonial-era law that criminalised same-sex sexual behavior into the dustbin of Indian history has made worldwide headlines. The credit must go, of course, first and foremost, to the brave petitioners, lawyers, and activists in India who led the fight. Supreme Court of India has righted a terrible wrong. We hope it will set a precedent for courts in the Commonwealth and beyond that have similar laws facilitating more..

The right to know

Sep 13 (GV) 70 year old Yogaradhi says she cannot remember when her grandson, Alfred Thinu, went missing, or how. She remembers his birthday, Aug 6, 1992. She also recalls that he was with the family up until Mathalan. “There were more than 200,000 people running for their lives. We don’t know where we lost him in that process. We were around eight to nine persons amidst thousands of people. We didn’t know what was happening. Our heads were heavy with the belongings that we were carrying.” more..

Southern Expressway: Laps up the miles

Sep 13 (SO) “Oh really?” “Yes, you can go to Kataragama from Kottawa in 3 hours” he reiterated. It was one of the important stretches of the Southern Expressway which is under construction. This massive construction site was full of both, local and Chinese workers. Heavy tipper trucks loaded with sand and soil were moving around super-fast. We were at the Andarawewa Interchange point in the Southern Expressway. more..

State, Religion & Rationalization

Sep 13 (CT) Nagananda Kodituwakku, public interest litigator, has drafted a constitution for Sri Lanka. It would be the Third Republican Constitution since Independence if it moves from draft, through discussion, and amendment (if necessary) to ultimate replacement of the Second Republican Constitution and its amendments. He has detailed sweeping changes in judicial, executive and legislative powers, treaty obligation, size of parliament and cabinet, parliamentary more..

The Naga Saga

Sep 13 (CT) Although there is a method to his madness, the editor of the Colombo Telegraph has a distinct mad talent for offering miscalculated visibility to people, elevating them to public personalities, or giving public personalities unwarranted political magnification. His insinuation of Kumar Sangakkara as next presidential hopeful one year ago and his fun speculation of a Ranil-Patali President-PM mix via his Facebook account have both caused more than a political buzz in the Colombo circles. more..

My brother is certainly a contender: MR

Sep 12 (Hindu) The former SL President says he is ready to put past misunderstandings with India behind him, and could lead his party in the 2019 elections The decision on whether to release those convicted for the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE is an internal matter for India to decide, said former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, he indicated that he might have taken a different line from more..

Govt will proceed with the Tech City: Minister

Sep 12 (DM) Despite the organized protest campaigns led by the civil societies and the interested political parties, the Megapolis Ministry will continue with the construction of technology cities. On Tuesday, Movement for protecting Homagama People's Rights carried out a protest march from the Fort Railway Station against the Technological City Development Project that is to be launched in the areas like Malabe, Athurugiriya, Kaduwela, more..

Video: Sri Lanka is not falling into a Chinese debt trap: PM

Sep 12 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is in Vietnam, has said he didn't believe that Sri Lanka was falling into a debt trap caused by high-interest Chinese loans. On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on Tuesday, Mr. Wickremesinghe has told the CNBC that, “We are dealing with China. There are a fair amount of Chinese investments. There are China loans…I can't see it as a threat,” more..

Sri Lankan airline jettisons cashews after Sirisena's nut rage

Sep 12 (EN) Sri Lanka’s hugely loss-making national carrier Sri Lankan withdrew cashews from aircraft after President Maithripala Sirisena’s public outburst that the nuts served onboard were not fit for human consumption. An airline source said no sooner Sirisena went public with his negative review of Sri Lankan airline’s onboard snacks, the carrier started pulling out stocks of all cashews. The offending product had been bought from more..

Video: Milk packets: Govt should take responsibility: JO

Sep 12 (DM) The JO said the govt should take the responsibility and resign over the incident where milk packets containing poisonous substance were distributed among the protesters of the Janabalaya Kolombata held last Wednesday. JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma told a news conference that the same govt which came into power guaranteeing people to provide toxin-free food had mixed a poisonous substance to the milk packets more..

'Military campaign was against LTTE and not against the Tamils'

Sep 12 (Hindu) In a major public speech delivered here on Wednesday former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa reached out to the Tamil community and said that the war of 2009 was against terrorism of LTTE and not against the community. Mr Rajapaksa hit out at his international critics and said that allegations of human rights abuse against the victorious SL military is false. “We did not at any time, wage an ethnic war: more..

SLFP wants issue referred to Speaker

Sep 12 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, in his capacity as the head of the Constitutional Council would have to examine the conduct of its members, SLFP spokesman Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said so in response to The Island query whether Constitutional Council member Radhika Coomaraswamy could endorse UN condemnation of Myanmar over its alleged war crimes accusations especially more..

Indian settlement in Vanni: Canard says govt

Sep 12 (Island) Minister and SLFP spokesman Mahinda Samarasinghe strongly denied NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa MP’s claim that 250 Indians had been settled in the Vanni. Samarasinghe alleged that Weerawansa was making an attempt to deceive the public. He said since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, approximately 10,000 Sri Lankans who had fled the country returned. more..

Find your own water sources for projects, property developers in Colombo City told

Sep 12 (ST) Property developers, particularly those building condominiums in Colombo city, have been told they must find their own water sources by installing high volume, deep tube wells for future projects due to depletion of treated water provided through the mains supply, said Minister Champika Ranawaka. The Water Board this week warned consumers to use water sparingly due to the ongoing drought, which has caused more..

'We will fight for an SLFP govt with MR as PM'

Sep 12 (DM) Daily Mirror spoke to SLFP rebel group front liner and former Minister Dilan Perera on politics, forthcoming PC, Presidential and Parliamentary polls and group’s preparation for the challenges etc. Q: How about your group’s preparation for the forthcoming PC polls? A: Our group of 15 MPs minus one from the original 16, who quit the Yahapalana Govt on April 11, are now working hard to ensure the victory of the joint opposition at more..

Janabalaya Kolombata & social media disconnect

Sep 12 (DM) Janabalaya Kolombata, the tag line for the protests, masterminded by Namal Rajapaksa was on an impressive marketing campaign at least on social media. Weeks ahead of the day, social media had been mobilized, while grassroots level meetings were taking place in every nook and corner, or so it seemed. There were sticker campaigns, poster campaigns and social media had been deployed full throttle. By fifth mid-morning Janabalaya Kolombata looked like more..

17 years after 9/11, civilization is a triumph

Sep 12 (DM) When the LTTE choppers started hovering over the Colombo night skies on April 26, 2007 when the nation was busy watching the Cricket World Cup finals, the Sri Lankans got its closest experience to September 11, 2001. We lost the match and also the hope of war victory. The world’s most sophisticated terrorist outfit was calling shots here as never before. Al Qaeda carried out attacks with hijacked planes, the LTTE had its own air wing. Just like it happened after Al-Qaeda attacks more..

US$ 5.5 Million Fraud: SLC Chief Finance Officer says his e-mail was hacked

Sep 12 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has informed investigators looking into one of the biggest financial scandals in the country that his e-mail had been hacked. Last Friday, Sony Television who own the television rights for the upcoming bilateral series against England, informed SLC about a suspicious move to redirect finances the company owed to SLC to an offshore account. more..

Sri Lanka budget gap contained by June 2018, despite weak revenues

Sep 12 (EN) Sri Lanka's tax revenues grew 3% to 845.3 billion rupees in the six months to June 2018, and current spending grew at a faster 8% to 995.6 billion rupees, but the budget deficit was down in real terms, official data show. Total revenues with non-tax revenues of 75.3 billion rupees (up 32%) grew 5 percent to 920.8 billion rupees, and current spending of 995.6 billion generated a revenue deficit of 74.8 billion rupees, for the half year, up from 42 billion rupees a year earlier. more..

Sri Lankan women sell kidneys to repay loans – Dozens commit suicides

Sep 12 (AFP) Sri Lankan war widows and women in former conflict zones are being forced to sell their kidneys to pay loan sharks, a UN expert said Tuesday, urging govt intervention. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the UN’s independent expert on effects of debt on human rights, said that debt collectors were also demanding sexual favours. “Women are at times exposed to psychological and physical violence by these collectors …,” he said in a statement after a visit to the island nation. more..

Tourist VAT refund to draw luxury retail investments, shoppers

Sep 12 (EN) The new value added tax (VAT) refund scheme for tourists could help draw investments by international retailers to Sri Lanka as well as foreign visitors keen on shopping, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. “The tourist VAT refund scheme is a 2018 Budget proposal which will provide a significant boost for the tourism sector and the retail sector,” he said. Neighbouring countries including Thailand and Singapore more..

Navy helps stranded endangered whale shark

Sep 12 (SLN) The naval personnel attached to SLNS Gotabhya in the Eastern Naval Command rescued a Whale Shark (Rhincodon Typus), stranded on the Alampil beach in Mulathivu and helped it swim back into the deep sea. Acting on information given by Mulathivu Fisheries Inspector Mohan Kumara to the Naval Detachment Alampil, the distressed Shark was guided for about nautical miles into the sea by Naval personnel attached to SLNS Gotabhya under the guidance of more..

Poor economic management causes fuel price increase: Bandula

Sep 12 (DM) Govt had to increase the prices of fuel due to its poor economic management, MP Bandula Gunawardana said. He said the incumbent Govt did not have a long term economic policy in place. “There is a prevailing economic crisis caused due to the rupee depreciation,” Dr. Bandula said. “The Govt has been unable to provide the advantage to the people in such a situation where the World Market price of fuel remains in a lower percentage than that in the precious regime,” he said. more..

'Bald Army Commander looks like Idi Amin'

Sep 12 (DM) Rift between Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and Army Commander Mahesh Senanayaka escalated again with the Field Marshal drawing similarities between the Army Commander and Idi Amin because of their choice of bald hairstyle. “The Army Commander acts with a distorted mind. He should know how to maintain his hair like a respected public officer. He is bald, like Idi Amin," more..

Train fares hiked

Sep 12 (CT) Sri Lanka Railways has decided to increase train ticket fares with effect from 1 Oct. Although there has been no change in the minimum train ticket price of Rs 10, the distance that can be travelled for the ticket has been reduced from nine kilometres to seven. The revised fares are as follows: the price of the Colombo Fort – Badulla third class ticket will be increased from Rs 205 to Rs 275; the Colombo Fort – Kandy third class ticket will be increased from Rs 110 to Rs 140; more..

Journalists barred from covering Johnston’s case

Sep 12 (Island) The case against former minister and MP, Johnston Fernando and two others would be taken up today at the Kurunegala High Court. They have been indicted with misappropriating Sathosa funds to the tune of Rs. 5.2 million. The two other suspects are Fernando’s private secretary Mohommad Lahir and former Laksathosa Chairman, Nalin Fernando. When the case was taken up yesterday, journalists were not permitted inside the court to cover the proceedings. more..

UDA workers up-in-arms over anniversary tamashas

Sep 12 (CT) UDA workers are up-in-arms over a series of tamashas which have been planned to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the UDA, which falls on 27 Sept, at a cost of a staggering Rs 25 million. A majority of the workers said the wanton misuse of public money could have been set aside to improve and develop the city instead of being wasted on a one-day tamasha. Meanwhile, UDA workers claim that when more..

88 SL migrants arrested seas off Negombo

Sep 12 (DN) The Navy foiled an attempt by 90 Sri Lankans to sail to the Reunion Island yesterday. Navy Spokesman Dinesh Bandara said, personnel attached to a Fast Attack Craft belonging to the Western Naval Command, during their patrol to curb transnational crime in the territorial waters nabbed the 90 suspects on board a suspicious trawler plying in the Western seas off SL. “Having spotted a suspicious trawler about 40 nautical miles west off Negombo, two Fast Attack Craft on patrol more..

Prez to attend Trump’s anti-drug summit

Sep 12 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena is to participate in an international summit organised by US President Donald Trump on tackling the global illegal narcotics trade. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, addressing media at the SLFP headquarters yesterday, said that President Trump would be holding an international summit with the participation of world leaders on extensive and long-term measures that could be adopted by nations to address the illegal drug market. more..

SLFP blames Janabalaya protest leaders for disgracing party HQ

Sep 12 (FT) The SLFP blamed the leaders of the JO and the SLPP for allowing the Janabalaya protestors to disgrace the party headquarters while marching past it. SLFP General Secretary Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa accused the leaders who organised the Janabalaya Kolombata protest - who themselves are from the SLFP, of allowing protesters to hoot and shout at the party headquarters during the procession. more..