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OHCHR sees Sri Lanka falling short on its commitments by 2019

Mar 22 (SL) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday expressed much regret over the slow progress in establishing transitional justice mechanisms in Sri Lanka. Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights told the UNHRC today that OHCHR welcomes the Govt’s constructive engagement with OHCHR and the human rights mechanisms, including more..

US insists on full implementation of Resolution 30/1, including hybrid court

Mar 22 (Island) The US insisted that Sri Lanka implement the UNHRC resolution 30/1, which calls for the setting up of hybrid court comprising local and foreign judges, including those from the Commonwealth. US Embassy in Colombo has issued the following statement: "We welcome the Govt’s decision to accept our recommendations on full implementation of HRC resolution 30/1 and on accountability for the govt’s, including the security forces, human rights violations and abuses, more..

Number of measures to facilitate private investment: Samaraweera

Mar 22 (DN) SL’s post war economic growth was dominated by a debt funded state driven construction boom, said Minister of Mangala Samaraweera. “This was always going to be an unsustainable growth path and it has contributed to the debt overhang we are grappling with today,” he said speaking at the BOI Networking Session held in Colombo recently. Minister said that over the years, the contribution of BOI companies to the country’s economy has been significant. more..

Sri Lanka tells UNHRC local judiciary capable of advancing justice

Mar 22 (SL) Sri Lanka told the UNHRC that the local judiciary and law enforcement mechanisms are fully capable and committed to the processes of advancing justice to all concerned. Addressing the UNHRC on Wednesday after a written update was made on SL by OHCHR, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana said that SL is deeply committed to uphold the rule of law and to ensure the equal protection of the law to all more..

UNP delegation meets President

Mar 22 (DM) A top-level UNP delegation, led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to have had a closed-door meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday and discussed the political circumstances to be triggered by the No-confidence Motion. According to political sources, the UNP had tried to find a way out of the current crisis situation. The President, at this moment, sounded concerned about the future of the Ministers of his party. more..

Behind a growing social fissure

Mar 22 (Hindu) In Sri Lanka, the relationship between the Sinhala Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority has steadily deteriorated since the end of the civil war. When Mahinda Rajapaksa was in power, much damage was caused when violence was unleashed on Muslims by Buddhist mobs, in Aluthgama in 2014. The new govt, which was elected in 2015 with the support of the minorities, promised an end to such violence. However, the recent attacks in the Kandy district, more..

UNHRC members call on Sri Lanka to set time-bound plan

Mar 22 (SL) UNHRC members on Wednesday raised concerns on the slow progress seen in Sri Lanka on the post war accountability issue. Some countries, including Germany and Switzerland, called on Sri Lanka to set a time-bound action plan to carry out its pledges. Delegations from the UK and the EU were among those who raised concerns on Sri Lanka after a written update was submitted to the UNHRC by OHCHR. more..

JO condemns Ramanayake’s bluster against SC judges

Mar 22 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that he would take necessary action as regards Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake’s comments on Supreme Court Judges during Tuesday’s parliamentary session. Speaker made this observation following an exchange of words the JO and Minister Lakshman Kiriella. Ramanayake, participating in the debate on regulations under the Judicature Act alleged that some SC Judges had given verdicts in favour of thieves and more..

Video: Can’t accept all UNHRC recommendations: SF

Mar 22 (DM) Minister Sarath Fonseka said that all the recommendations made by the UNHRC cannot be accepted as not all the charges were true. He said some charges were exaggerated and were made after the war based on the agendas of a few to sling mud at the country. “There could be exceptions but we are not ready to blindly accept all the allegations brought against the country,” he said. Minister said Rajapaksa administration had aggravated the issue when the war crime more..

Prez flayed for alleged interference in high profile probes, political turmoil

Mar 22 (Island) Purawesi Sanvidhana Ekathuwa, which campaigned for the change of govt in 2015, faulted President Maithripala Sirisena for the failure of the UNP-led administration to fulfil their much touted vow to punish those responsible for corruption and criminal offences committed under the previous administration. Ven. Dambara Amila thera flayed President Sirisena for blocking the judicial process. more..

Listing large companies a must: CSE

Mar 22 (DN) Financial freedom must be given to State owned large enterprises to reach out to capital markets for their funding requirements, said Colombo Stock Exchange CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike. He said this should be done while conducting awareness campaigns among decision makers, trade unions and the general public on the benefits of listing public enterprises and the myths and misconceptions in connection with going public. He was speaking at the Capital Markets more..

MR accidentally sits in Opp Leader’s seat

Mar 22 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa sat on the seat reserved for the Opposition Leader of Parliament by mistake yesterday. Former President Rajapaksa’s seat is next to Opposition Leader R Sampanthan’s in the front row. Rajapaksa arrived in the main chamber shortly after the sittings commenced and went to the Opposition Leader’s seat. Sampanthan and many TNA MPs were not present in the chamber at that time. He greeted Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella as more..

'No minister involved in Kandy incidents'

Mar 22 (DN) As investigations into the riots in Kandy continue, Minister Rajitha Senaratne strongly insisted that no minister in govt was involved in the incidents which unfolded earlier this month. Instead, he said five members of the SLPP have been arrested or investigated with regard to their role in the riots. From March 4 to 18, 314 persons have been arrested for committing racially motivated crimes in Kandy. more..

Sri Lanka to promote smallholder agribusiness partnerships

Mar 22 (Island) As a part of the government’s Vision 2025, Sri Lanka will promote smallholder agribusiness partnerships (SAP), said Austin Fernando, Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka. He made these remarks as the Chief Guest at an international knowledge-sharing conference on Innovative Models for Inclusive and Sustainable Agribusiness Development through Public Private Producer Partnerships (4Ps) held in Colombo on Wednesday (21). more..

Replanting the forests: One wild mushroom at a time

Mar 22 (UNDP) When she was a girl, Nilanthi Kumarasinghe would fill a bowl with salt and chilli powder and head into the forest. Her parents were worried it was unsafe, but to her those were halcyon days. She and the other children ran wild, spending lazy afternoons climbing trees to pluck fruit, both sweet and tart; laughing and talking as they ate them with chilli powder. “We grew up relying on the resources of the forest. We found things there that we could not find anywhere else,” more..

Govt says dedicated to winning hearts and minds for reconciliation

Mar 22 (FT) The goal of reconciliation is not embodied in infrastructure projects but in winning the hearts and minds of people who are in dire need for assistance to heal their wounds, Prez Secretary Austin Fernando said. “It is a matter of the heart and mind. A heart to act and mind to think in reconciling the difficulties we are facing today,” he said at a ceremony to launch a four-year program on reconciliation held yesterday. more..

Major stake in Serendib Engineering sold to Singaporean concern

Mar 22 (Island) The ownership of the CSE listed Serendib Engineering Group changed through a crossing or arranged transaction. Navara Capaital who owns 76.4% of shares of Serendib Engineering Group sold its entire share holding for Rs. 197 million to a Singaporean based company. Navara Capital Head Harsha de Silva said that they sold 75% of its stake/shares or 24.3 million shares to a Singaporean company for Rs. 197 million because they thought it was a timely decision and more..

Kuwait Airlines sponsors Basketball Referees Association

Mar 22 (Island) Kuwait Airlines, the national airline of Kuwait and an Airline with a storied history in Sri Lanka, has added yet another milestone to its illustrious presence in the country by being the first airline to sponsor the SL Basketball Referees Association. Since the inception of its operation in Colombo in 1972, Kuwait Airways has established and built up a reputation of being a progressive and ever-expanding airline and in this spirit, has embarked on the sponsorship program with more..

National inflation slows to 3.2% in February

Mar 22 (EN) Inflation in Sri Lanka, as measured by the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) slowed to 3.2% in Feb 2018 from 5.4% in January, on a year-on-year basis. The slowdown was mainly owing to the high base that prevailed in Jan 2017 as well as the monthly decline in food prices in Jan 2018, supported by the favourable supply conditions. The change in the NCPI, measured on an annual average more..

Domestic cricket revamped with Provincial Cricket

Mar 22 (Island) Following up on the recommendations of a high profile committee to revamp domestic cricket, Sri Lanka Cricket will conduct the Inter-Provincial Tournament later this month. Four teams – Colombo, Kandy, Galle and Dambulla – will play each other once with the top two teams progressing for the finals. A committee comprising former captains Anura Tennekoon, Aravinda de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara along with former Chairman of more..

Second reading of Active Liability Management Bill postponed

Mar 22 (FT) The Govt postponed the second reading debate of the Active Liability Management Bill which was scheduled for debate yesterday. According to Minister of Public Enterprise and Kandy Development and Leader of the House of Parliament Lakshman Kiriella, the differences in opinion has led the Govt to delay the debate, which needs more consideration. Challenging the sudden change in the Govt’s plans, Chief Opposition Whip, JVP MP Anura Dissanayake demanded an explanation. more..

Garbage dumping racket at over 35 locations inside forest reserves

Mar 22 (SL) A racket to dump garbage at over 35 locations inside forest reserves has been uncovered. Wild elephants and many other animals die of garbage poisoning that they consume daily around the island. Besides elephants, cattle, land monitor (thalagoya), deer, and other animals are also killed from consuming garbage. Minister, Ravindra Samaraweera said that one of the locations found where garbage is being more..

Editorial: Debt hyperloop on track

Mar 22 (Island) The govt is cock-a-hoop about the Supreme Court determination that the Active Liability Management Bill is consistent with the Constitution. The path has now been cleared for the passage of the controversial Bill in Parliament and the launch of what may be called SL’s debt hyperloop. There will soon be a borrowing frenzy and the country’s debt situation will take a turn for the worse irrevocably. It is the public who will pay through the nose to repay massive loans to be drawn. more..

It was Hamlet without The Prince of Denmark

Mar 22 (Island) It was breathtaking and breathless to all when India required 5 runs from the last ball if they were to clinch the Nidahas Trophy 20-20 cricket tournament at the R. Premadasa Stadium. As Sir Henry Newbolt’s famous lines seemed to echo: "There was a breathless hush in the Close tonight, ten to make and the match to win…….. "Only, in this instance it was six to make and the match to win in one ball. Furthermore host Sri Lanka was not in the picture as Bangladesh and India were more..

From night watchmen to guardians of the city: The evolution of Sri Lanka Police

Mar 22 (Roar) We’ve all had our encounters with the Police, be it for traffic violations or incidents of public security. But what do we really know about the officers charged with upholding law and order? We see khaki-uniformed patrolmen at every traffic stop, but do we know what institutions and legalese put them there in the first place? While SL has always had a traditional systems of governance, it was the Dutch who first more..

Sri Lanka Football: Fat Cheques for some but no hope for poor kids!

Mar 22 (ST) In our KornerKick feature in November 2018, we made a plea for resurgence in Youth Football without which we thought the future of Football in Sri Lanka will be destined to a bleak future. It is apparent from recent reports that Youth Football is the last thing on the minds of our FFSL big wigs whose preoccupation appears to be globetrotting, periodic tamashas and lining one’s pockets, if the grim exposure in the ST column last weekend was anything to go by. more..

Governor Indrajit: Shameful to avoid response on money laundering

Mar 22 (CT) Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy was appointed Governor, Central Bank with great expectations to clean up and give it credibility after its ignominious conduct in recent times where the egregious Bond Scam (prior to him assuming office) figures prominently. One wonders whether the CBSL has learnt anything from the Bond Scam and other misdemeanors going by the example of the European Union designating Sri Lanka as a high risk country for money laundering subsequent to more..

Mahindananda Aluthgamage

Marginalized community of tsunami victims

Mar 22 (DN) Fourteen years since the tsunami hit Sri Lanka, many of its victims in the South complain that they are yet to receive reprieve from the government and that many of the houses they were given have now fallen into ruin, due to poor construction and mismanagement. The majority of these victims have now turned into a forgotten community and they state that the govt only remembers them when it is election time. And for the last 14 years they have been forgotten by more..

When Japanese Bombed Colombo in 1942

Mar 22 (DM) During World War II Sri Lanka had a dominating power and control of the Indian Ocean and it was strategically important as a stepping stone to India. Following the attack on Pearl Harbour, the East Indies fleet of the Allied forces was rushed to Trinco, the world’s best natural harbour. The other airbases at that time were the Koggala, Ratmalana and China Bay in Trinco. Sir Geoffrey Layton arrived in March 1942, as the Commander-in-Chief of Ceylon, who more..

'Govt can’t be toppled by winning LG elections'

Mar 22 (CT) State Minister Palitha Range Bandara says, “A govt cannot be changed through a LG poll, without understanding that, different people are saying different stories. Our people too were deceived by those stories and are acting according to them...” Q: As at today there is a visible political instability in the country. This instability occurred after the LG Elections result. What has happened to the govt which had a 2/3rds majority? more..

The reality of Sirisara Uyana: Redefining apartment living in Colombo

Mar 22 (GV) On March 15, at around 7.45 pm, a fire broke out inside a fifth floor apartment at the Sirisara Uyana complex in Dematagoda. Sirisara Uyana is one of the high-rises built by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) for the working class poor of Colombo who were evicted or forcibly relocated there. It was declared open in November 2014 and has 12 floors and 780 apartments. The complex is visible from Baseline Road as one passes Welikada Prison on the right. more..

The importance of regulating social media

Mar 22 (CT) The restrictions on social media and subsequent lifting of restrictions brought the issue of the need to regulate social media to the surface once again. The issue came up because social media usage multiplied rapidly and it became a tool that could be utilized by certain elements for purposes such as instigation of racial or religious hatred, violation of privacy and unchecked slander. The most popular social media site, Facebook started as a high tech company, but more..

No such thing as sterilization pills

Mar 22 (SO) The country should accept the verdict of the Govt Analyst that the substance found in the food in the Ampara restaurant was a ball of starch, insist a group of Sri Lanka’s top physicians. “We are 100% sure that the so-called pill was starch, the medical professionals told a media briefing last week, adding that there was no scientific evidence to prove that a pill could render human beings sterile. more..

Legacy of Prof. Ludowyk

Mar 22 (Island) This beautiful and moving elegy, I consider a fitting prelude to my words and thoughts in memory of the magister magistrorum, Evelyn Frederick Charles Ludowyk, Professor of English of the Ceylon University College and the University of Ceylon from 1936 – 1956. I did not have the good fortune of being a student of the great man but nearly all of my teachers at school and University and several of my close senior friends are those who directly benefited from him during what more..

Why Ranil is still needed

Mar 22 (CT) The JO move to pass a vote of no-confidence in the PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe, will come a cropper. Ranil knows that best as he has tersely told a group of opposition pollies (Australia slang for politicians), “Come on! present the motion in Parliament and we will defeat that.” His own UNP MPs, he advised not to panic over the motion because it has not even been presented to the Speaker. In his 40 year-long political history Ranil has never been observed panicking. more..