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‘No point in attracting any FDI for projects that don’t produce returns’

Jul 14 (Island) During a panel discussion at the Saman Kelegama Memorial Conference, State Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva denounced protectionist policies, noting the importance of diversifying SL’s export basket. He warned that Sri Lanka cannot remain competitive in the goods basket that the country is focusing on today, given the high costs of production. He also claimed that there was no point in bringing in FDI for more..

Time allocated to teaching English in state schools seen as insufficient

Jul 14 (Island) About 150 govt schools are in the Aptis programme but the 90 minutes per week allocated to teaching English in state schools are insufficient if we are to enter the global world for communication. Additionally, avenues for employment and the possibility of career satisfaction and development would be more realistic if English learning was pursued. Young people would be globally mobile, in an atmosphere of acceptance, both professionally and socially, more..

Dhananjaya named Sri Lanka U-19 captain

Jul 14 (CT) Dhananjaya Perera, of St. Joseph Vaz College Wennappuwa, was named captain of the SL Under-19 four day squad to face India Under-19. He becomes the first cricketer from St. Joseph Vaz to be appointed captain of a SL U-19 team. Dhananjaya has represented the SL Under-19 on tours to Malaysia and New Zealand for the Asia Cup and Youth World Cup. Two Mahindians, Navod Paranavithana and Nipun Malinga and two Antonians Navodya Vijayakumara and more..

Aruna’s dream of a medal ends in semis

~Jul 14 (CT) The golden boy, Aruna Darshana had to bow out from the individual 400m race at the World Junior Championships when he finished fifth in the semi-finals in Finland on Thursday. Competing from lane six in the toughest semi-final of three, Aruna clocked 46.8, which was much below his Asian Junior winning time of 45.79 or South Asian Junior winning time of 46.55 seconds. It was possible that cold weather more..

K-Pop World Festival in Colombo today

Jul 14 (Island) The K-POP World Festival 2108 would be held at the Bishops College Auditorium in Colombo 3 today, commencing at 4 p.m. Korean Ambassador Heon Lee said that in recent years Sri Lankans had shown a keen interest in Korea and its culture, a feature of which was K-dramas and K-POP, that the younger generation of many countries enjoyed immensely. "In response to this love for Korean culture, we have organised the K-POP World Festival for the last 4 years more..

Visulmina Samanga SL’s sole Canoeist

Jul 14 (ST) Visulmina Samanga of SL Army will represent Sri Lanka at the Int'l Canoe Federation (ICF) Junior and Under-23 Canoe Sprint World Championship 2018 to be held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from July 16-30. Sumanga is scheduled to undergo a ICF training camp in Bulgaria, prior to the tournament. Samanga, the sole Sri Lanka representative was an automatic choice as he has won Gold at the National championships, and Silver in the Open Category in U-23 C1 1000m, more..

Ayurveda Expo 2018 opens

Jul 14 (FT) The three-day Ayurveda Expo 2018 opened yesterday at the BMICH creating a platform for the indigenous sector. The seventh edition of the show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and concludes on Sunday. The exhibition contains several stalls with the medicine and other related equipment on treatment on how to prevent or cure non-communicable diseases like diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and even cancer which more..

Janabalaya Kolambata on August 17: Namal

Jul 14 (DM) Janabalaya Kolambata, a massive anti-govt protest campaign organised by the joint opposition, will be held on August 17 in Colombo, MP Namal Rajapaksa said. He said the joint opposition, the SLPP and the Podujana Youth Front would gather a large crowd and bring them to Colombo on August 17. “The protest will be held against the govt’s arbitrary actions, selling of national assets and weak fiscal policies which have resulted in the collapse of the economy. more..

The beggar’s wound and the poultice to cure it for good

Jul 14 (ST) Have you ever heard of the beggar’s wound? As the saying goes, the wound never heals. May be, for the beggar, it’s a means to earn a living, but for others, it’s a discomforting sight, where you would rather cross the road and use the opposite pavement, just to get away from that gruesome sight. This similitude may sound harsh but, it’s the stark truth. For the ICC, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is its beggar’s wound. Nearly a quarter-century ago in 1996, Sri Lanka pulled a rabbit out of more..

Thoughts from a fictitious SA batsman: This isn't how it was supposed to be in SL

Jul 14 (CI) Wait, hang on. This is not how it went when we played these strokes last time. Remember that game in Johannesburg? Ah, what a Test. Our quicks were so good then, and these Sri Lankan batsmen so fearful, they were practically racing each other back to the dressing room. Three days, that's all we needed to win the match. And we did it looking so strong, and athletic, and manly, almost like we were the jocks in one of those more..

Proteas don’t play off-spin well: Dilruwan

Jul 14 (Island) Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera took 16 wickets in a two match series the last time the Proteas were in Sri Lanka in 2014 and he continued to torment the tourists claiming four wickets in their first innings of the first Test here in Galle. The tourists were bowled out for their lowest total against Sri Lanka – a paltry 126 - eclipsing their previous lowest total of 168 in Durban in 2011. Speaking to journalists after the day’s play, Perera felt that the South Africans don’t play off-spin too well. more..

The DEHIWELA where I grew up

Jul 14 (Island) We used to hang on the half-wall which bordered the premises and watch, until our parents came and dragged us away, by our ears. To make matters even more interesting, the owners expanded their business activities and introduced hostesses who lived on the premises. In the evenings, these employees would cycle up and down the lane in various revealing attire. To say we came of age and became very worldly, long before we should have been, is an understatement! more..

Isn’t it time to hang politicians, too?

Jul 14 (Island) There are new employment opportunities opening in the country – for hangmen. The prison authorities are already calling for applications for two hangmen. Why stop at two? There are so many persons involved in drug trafficking in our prisons, engaged in a fruitful business from within those walls. Why not many more hangmen, (and even hangwomen), to make it gender equal? It will give a big boost to more..

The Coal Power Lobby

Jul 14 (Island) A recent article in The Island on coal demonstrates that scum, like cream, rises and the important thing is to be able to differentiate between the two. There is no doubt that we have some of the best electrical engineers in the world, and they should be recognised as the cream of our engineering talent; the problem lies in those who use them to justify what is essentially not an engineering problem. One could term such people pseudo engineers, those who use populist slogans to more..

Pursuing Peace Rehabilitation without Reintegration

Jul 14 (CT) There was another area in which we did much vital work in the period before the war ended, but that too in the end fell prey to rival ministerial ambitions. This was the question of Rehabilitation of former combatants, for which we formulated a policy with the assistance of the Int'l Labour Organization. When it became clear that plans needed to be formulated without waiting for the war to end, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe took the lead in setting up the Consultancy. more..


Edtorial: A Perpetual Problem

Jul 14 (Island) A revelation that Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. (PTL) sponsored an event conducted by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has made the legal fraternity squirm. We reported yesterday that the PTL was among the companies which sponsored the three-day Law Asia 2016 Golden Jubilee Conference in August, 2016. The second bond scam had been committed by that time and the PTL was already under a cloud. Besides, the media had given wide publicity to its illegal operations. more..

Rice, banana leaves and lamprais

Jul 14 (CT) The response to one of my articles titled Burgher Community in Sri Lanka, some time, ago has been appreciated by many of my Burgher friends both abroad in Australia and in Sri Lanka. My good friend, Egerton, decided to comment on it, in typical old school Sri Lankan English as he put it by saying thus: “My friends join me in saying a big thank you to you for your ever interesting, highly informative, authentic, brazenly outspoken and lucidity of style of your column, more..

Beach beauty turning into a beast

~Jul 14 (CT) Sri Lanka’s beautiful shoreline is as long as 1,700 kilometres with Exclusive Economic Zones, eight times larger than the total area of its land (65,610 km), but the beauty is turning out to be beastly with plastic litter dumped on the beaches and into the sea. In Negombo, some 3 to 4 feet of solid garbage is dumped in the shallow waters and that is the pathetic state in many parts of the country. more..

Call for the hangman in the politics of today

Jul 14 (DN) Is the hangman’s noose a new image for popularity by the govt? Prez Sirisena is very keen on its revival, and the Cabinet, which he heads, has given the approval to hang prisoners convicted of drug offences who carry out such business from prison. Is this a message that would draw public support? Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the govt would consider activating the death sentence on convicts of extremely cruel and heinous crimes such as rape and murder, after carrying it out on more..

Muslim political leadership

Jul 14 (SO) Historically speaking, wealth & piety had been the two legitimisers of Muslim leadership in this country. Wealth came from two sources, inheritance and trade. Of the two, trade is closely linked with the origin of Islam. For instance, the Prophet himself was a trader, his first wife Khadija was one of the wealthiest trading magnates in Mecca, and so were a few of the Prophet’s closest friends and followers. Quran itself uses commercial terminologies as metaphors to impart its messages. more..

Davena Vihagun (Burning Birds)

~Jul 14 (FT) Filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara is a bright star in the cinematic firmament of Sri Lanka. His second feature film Davena Vihagun (Burning Birds) is currently being screened in SL. Film completed in 2016 has been shown at several international film festivals over the past two years. Just like Pushpakumara’s first film Igillenna Maaluwo (Flying Fish), his second feature film too has earned much kudos internationally. more..

SL must not reintroduce the death penalty

Jul 14 (CT) On June 15th 1999, Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam gave a speech in Parliament condemning the proposal by the Kumaratunga govt to reintroduce the death penalty. In light of the recent announcement on the part of the Maithripala Sirisena govt to reintroduce the death penalty, “with plans to execute 19 death row prisoners convicted of drug-related offences,” Neelan’s words, in condemnation of the death penalty, seem more relevant now than ever before. more..

Reds, Greens & The Seasonality of colors

Jul 14 (CT) Prof Michael Dear, Professor Emeritus in the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, once taught a class on postmodernism in the Geography Department, University of Southern California. At the end of the semester, he asked people where they believe they are now located ideologically. Most said postmodernism. Kanishka Goonewardena, then doing fieldwork for his PhD dissertation and was auditing that class, said Marxist. more..

Video: Mass grave with 38 skeletons discovered in Mannar

Jul 13 (AD) A mass grave with 38 skeletons has been discovered in Sri Lanka’s former war zone, officials said today. Skeletal remains of around 38 people have been found during the ground digging to build a new construction at the old cooperative store site in the northeastern town of Mannar. Following the discovery in late March, the site was kept under the supervision of Mannar magistrate M Prabhakaran for further digging. more..

Indian fishermen being charged under Sri Lanka's new fishing law want to be pardoned

Jul 13 (IT) In the last one week, 12 fishermen have been taken into custody by the SL Navy. The 12 fishermen were produced before the court and the judge who had earlier said that the fishermen will be tried under the Sri Lanka's new fishing act postponed the case for tomorrow stating that there were four more fishermen whose case needs to be heard. Hence, Judge Judeson postponed the hearing for tomorrow. Indian fishermen who have been taken into SL custody are now pleading more..

1000 Tanks - 1000 Villages development program commenced

Jul 13 (GDI) The Ministry of Agriculture has decided to develop all tanks that have been abandoned without being utilized under the program Thousand Tanks - Thousands Villages program. The massive program to redevelop 1000 tanks commenced yesterday at the Galkadawala tank bund at Maha Giriulla in Nikaweratiya under the patronage of the Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera and Deputy Minister Indika Bandaranayake. The 1000 Tank 1000 Village program is operative more..

Sri Lanka and India discuss progress on projects, fishermen issue

Jul 13 (SL) Sri Lanka and India today had talks on the progress on Indian funded projects as well as on the fishermen issue. PM Ranil Wickremsinghe met Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale today and had wide ranging discussions. Wickremsinghe assured India that several Indian funded projects will get off the ground this year. Both sides also discussed matters related to the proposed ETCA. more..

Court orders release of 16 TN fishermen

Jul 13 (PTI) A court in Sri Lanka today ordered the release of 16 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the island nation's navy recently for crossing its territorial waters, a fishermen association leader said here. According to State fishermen association president, N Devadoss, the judge imposed certain conditions including one that if the released fishermen were found and caught by the SL navy in their territory again within five years they would be detained in prison for one to two years. more..

'Existing electoral system for PC elections'

Jul 13 (NR) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) says the impending provincial council elections should be held under the existing electoral system. Leader of the SLMC, Minister Rauff Hakeem claims the demarcation report submitted on provincial councils will further complicate the electoral process and delay the conduct of polls. He said Minister of Local Govt and Provincial Councils should be held responsible for the continuous delay to conduct elections for three councils. more..

President considers reducing 15% levy on gold imports

Jul 13 (PSL) A meeting was held between President Maithripala Sirisena and the representatives of the Gem & Jewellery industry at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday. During this meeting it was discussed in detail regarding the issues prevailed in the industry, which is playing a pivotal role in the national economy by bringing foreign revenue, and regarding the steps that should be taken to develop the industry. more..

email scams targeting exporters US$3 M lost to econ in 2017: SLCERT

Jul 13 (CT) Over US$ 3 million was lost to the economy in 2017 due to various electronic mail scams that target local exporters, SL Computer Emergency Responsive Team (SLCERT) reported. Director of Operations at the SLCERT, Rohan Palliyaguru speaking at a seminar on Transnational Organized Crimes in SL, at the Bandaranaike Centre for Int'l Studies (BCIS), noted that with the country’s rapid expansion towards being a central hub in the Indian Ocean, SL will continue to more..

British MPs launch motion on ending arms sales to Sri Lanka

Jul 13 (Island) British MPs have launched an Early Day Motion on the UK’s weapons sales to SL, calling for the immediate end of all arms exports to Colombo. The motion, brought forward by Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey, "notes that SL remains on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s list of countries with serious human rights concerns and that an estimated 200,000 military, police and intelligence personnel remain in NE region resulting in a repressive militarised environment". more..

Karunaratne proved Galle surface not unplayable: Amla

Jul 13 (CI) Get your defense in order, but when the ball is there to hit, make sure you score. That's Hashim Amla's advice to himself and his teammates after an abysmal second day, in which they found themselves 6 for 51 at one stage, before eventually crashing to 126 not out. As is often the case in Galle, the spinners have ruled, and the ball is pouncing off the dusty surface. The conditions are difficult, but as Dimuth Karunaratne has more..

Sexual harassment: Two PCs arrested

Jul 13 (CT) Two Police Constables attached to the Narahenpita Police were arrested yesterday, over allegedly sexually harassing a woman. The two PCs were arrested following a complaint lodged on 11 July. The complainant had reported that the two officers had attempted to obtain a bribe from a man and a woman, who were talking inside a vehicle in the Narahenpita area. The two officers, who were off-duty, had threatened to take action against the couple for inappropriate behaviour and more..

Namal tells court he was ill, hence no show

Jul 13 (DN) Filing a motion before Colombo Chief Magistrate’s court, MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday informed that he was unable to appear before the FCID on June 24 as per a bail condition into a magisterial inquiry, since he was suffering from an illness. FCID had filed a B report in Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court (No.3) against five suspects, including MP Namal Rajapaksa for their alleged involvement in money laundering amounting to Rs.15 million in a company owned by more..