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UNHRC: Mangala slams Mahinda

Mar 20 (Island) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has criticized former Prez Rajapaksa for challenging the Geneva Resolution on the basis of disclosure made by Lord Naseby in the House of Lords. Samaraweera issued the following statement in response to Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa’s statement dated 17 March 2019 instructing the govt on what its position should be when UNHRC that is at present meeting more..

Edtorial: Moment of truth for Singapore

Mar 20 (Island) Prez Sirisena thundered, at the launch of the five-year anti corruption plan of the CIABOC, in Colombo, on Monday. Visibly incensed, Sirisena made no bones about the fact the CIABOC had to get its act together. He stressed the need for prosecuting big-time politicians as well if the country’s war on bribery and corruption was to reach fruition. He revealed what he called sinister moves being made to put paid to his efforts to tackle the twin evils––bribery and corruption–– more..

Australia follows up with big exercise in the wake of US setting up logistical hub

Mar 20 (Island) Nearly a decade after Sri Lanka brought the war against the LTTE to a successful conclusion, Australia, a key member of the US-led military alliance, has included SL in a major Indian Ocean military exercise - the first of its kind involving the war-winning military. SL crushed the LTTE, in May 2009, following a nonstop two years and 10 months long combined security forces offensive, launched in Sept. 2006. Australia will launch the exercise, involving seven countries, more..

Face the Nation

The strength of democracy on trial

Mar 20 (DN) The opposition is demanding that elections should be held without any delay. However, State indicates several problems which were given, among which most important was the slowness of instituting electoral reform, the length of the delimitation process etc. Opposition claims these are bogus excuses to cover the wariness of the regime. It appears that this govt has concluded that it is futile to go for elections without substantial changes in the constitution. more..

Sustainable energy in SL: An uphill battle?

Mar 20 (SO) According to a joint report by the UNDP and the ADB - Assessment of SL’s Power Sector – 100% Electricity Generation through Renewable Energy by 2050, Sri Lanka is hoping to achieve 100% renewable energy use by 2050 to meet its projected electricity needs. In an endeavour to use only renewable energy for electricity generation, there has been significant political willingness to adopt domestically produced renewable energy as the country’s primary source of energy. more..

When being a new mother does not make you happy

Mar 20 (Roar) This is a hard story to tell. It was harder to share, she said, let alone retell it. When Senuri*, 27, found herself pregnant, only a few weeks after marriage, she was furious. From being the carefree girl she once was, Senuri recalls how she became a completely different person. At a time when she was supposed to be elated, she recalled an irksome individual, provoked at the slightest change. more..

Continuing culture of impunity: The Karannagoda case

Mar 20 (SO) Since we are also currently discussing the head of expenditure for the Supreme Court, I wish to raise a few points. Last month when we had a debate in Parliament, there were members from both sides who said the SC is independent now – see how they ruled in Nov and Dec. Therefore, they said we don’t need international judges for accountability. They said our judges are independent, and that has been established. We can go on with any inquiry with regard to more..

Angampora – 5000 years of combat tradition: A Response

Mar 20 (CT) I refer to the article under the heading Angampora – 5000 Years Of Combat Tradition by Mr. Dishan Joseph (DJ) in the Sunday Observer. I wish to express my contrary views to his proposition that Angampora is a traditional “indigenous Martial Art of Sri Lanka that has withstood the test of time”, as stated by him, for following reasons: 1. By the word indigenous, it is presumed that he implies that it is an original Sinhala Martial Art form and it has 5000 years of combat tradition. more..

Unhygienic food outlets: Is monitoring the answer?

Mar 20 (SO) The commercial capital of the country, Colombo is home to some 600,000 residents and another 500,000 floating population. The busy lifestyle and excess income especially of the middle class have paved way for the city to have 1,054 food outlets to be exact, ranging from petti kade (kiosk) to high end restaurants. In the last couple of weeks, by raids or surprise inspections as the Chief Medical Officer of the CMC, more..

Hybrid delegation to turn down hybrid courts

Mar 20 (CT) While the top two leaders of the country disagree on most of the issues, they patched up their serious differences on the issues faced by Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. During the discussion held with President Sirisena, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana agreed to lead the delegation, which includes Dr. Sarath Amunugama and Northern Governor Suren Raghavan as Prez’s nominees. However, this compromise was arrived at after the initial damage was done. more..

On reading a picture

Mar 20 (CT) “The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single picture.” This particular picture appeared in Colombo Telegraph on 12 Feb. 2019; I shared my reaction privately with some of my contacts including, as a courtesy, Colombo Telegraph Editor who suggested that I rework the material with the possibility of it being uploaded. Unsatisfactory health has hindered an earlier response. more..

'No resolution against SL at the UNHRC'

Mar 19 (NR) Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera says there has been no resolution tabled against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, and neither has there been a resolution against Sri Lanka since 2015. Issuing a statement in response to a statement by Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Samaraweera said the Rajapaksa govt spearheaded a resolution at the UNHRC calling it a victory resolution and more..

Kills disabled son and commits suicide

Mar 19 (CT) A father who murdered a nine-year-old disabled child and threw him to the Thambadola Falls has committed suicide by jumping into the same falls. The deceased were K.K. Nishantha aged 45 and Rashmika Lakmal who were residents of Meegahathenna, Polgampala. As per the preliminary investigations, it has been revealed that the person who has committed suicide has had dispute with his wife over her not preparing food herself for him on 17 March, Police said. more..

CITES Colombo Confab to counter int’l trade threat to survival of species in wild

Mar 19 (Island) 18th Conference of the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), is scheduled to be held in Colombo, in May, with the participation of nearly 4000 representatives from 183 countries. The CITES aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of species in the wild. It accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants. more..

Sri Lanka quarterly growth slows to near four-year low on political crisis

Mar 19 (Reuters) SL’s last quarter economic growth slowed to a nearly 4-year low, govt data showed, as a 51-day political crisis took a toll on the industrial sector. Colombo posted 1.8% growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, slowing from 3.45% the previous three-month period, its slowest pace since early 2014. The industrial sector, accounting for more than a quarter of the economy, contracted 3.6% in the 4th quarter of 2018, more..

Govt. and Opp. MPs pressure Excise Dept. to issue licenses to Aloysius’ distillery

Mar 19 (DM) JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa said that some govt and opposition MPs were pressuring Excise Department officials to grant licenses to a distillery owned by Arjuna Aloysius to extract toddy from 38,000 coconut trees in Beruwala. He said that six politicians including ministers, former ministers and MPs on both sides of the House govt and opposition side were among them. The MP said only one and half litres of toddy could be extracted from a single coconut tree and that this was a move more..

India, Lanka to hold joint military exercise from 26 March

Mar 19 (ANI) Exercise Mitra Shakti which is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India and Sri Lanka will be conducted from March 26 to April 8 for the year 2018-19, in Sri Lanka. Troops from 1st Battalion the Bihar Regiment of the Indian Army and Gemunu Watch Battalion of Sri Lankan Army would be jointly undertaking the exercise. "The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and more..

Video: Police fire tear gas and water cannons at uni. students

Mar 19 (AD) The Police have fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse a mob of protesting university students at Ward Place, Colombo. A protest march has been launched by the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) in front of the UGC at Ward Place. The protest was to object the cut back of recruitments to the University of Sabaragamuwa. The march commenced from the Colombo Fort Railway Station today. more..

Trishaw driver who made sexual gestures to woman remanded

Mar 19 (DM) A trishaw driver who had made sexual gestures to a woman who was driving a car on March 15, was remanded till April 1, Police Spokesman said. He said the trishaw driver was arrested under the Section 345 of the Penal Code which stipulates that whosoever, by assault or use of criminal force, sexually harasses another person, or by the use of words or actions, causes sexual annoyance or harassment to any other person commits the offence of sexual harassment more..

Activist grouping embarks on drafting a land policy

Mar 19 (Island) A People’s Commission on Land, an initiative by a group calling themselves the People’s Alliance for Right to Land (PARL), concluded its sessions at Moneragala yesterday. The Land Commission comprises Ermiza Tegal, Attorney-at-Law, Colombo, Ganeshalingam Ganesh, Activist, MONLAR, Maskeliya, Godfrey Malarnesan, Activist, Maatram Foundation, Vavuniya, Iromi Perera, Researcher, Colombo, Jansila Majeed, Women’s Rights Activist, Women’s Action Network, more..

Indigenous medicine: Research to prove efficacy: Rajitha

Mar 19 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne, said that his Ministry had provided the field for research in indigenous medicine at the Ayurvedic Research Institute in Nawinna so as to prove the scientific basis of traditional and Ayurvedic treatment methods. Fielding questions from the media, following the launch of the Int'l Healthcare Exhibition - 2019 website in Colombo, he said that Western medicine had a scientific source more..

Shameful emphasis by CIABOC DG: Prez

Mar 19 (CT) Prez Sirisena said that it is a disgrace to emphasise that the CIABOC has failed to punish some major suspects, which shows the discrepancy when enforcing the law against big fish and small fry. He said this in response to Director General of the CIABOC, President’s Counsel Sarath Jayamanne’s comment saying the CIABOC has failed to obtain convictions on major suspects due to the lack of evidence. These concerns were raised at the launch of the National Action Plan for more..

SL will see more mid-cap M&A deals: MTI

Mar 19 (FT) According to MTI’s Corporate Finance and Investment Banking practice, over the next two years Sri Lanka is likely to witness a strong pipeline of mid-cap M&A deals. Commenting on what is driving this, MTI CEO Hilmy Cader said, “There is a multitude of inter-related reasons. Mid-size companies, after a long period of high double digit organic growth, are experiencing flat organic growth. The only way for these companies to achieve quantum growth and economies of scales more..

SL reps fall out at parallel Geneva session

Mar 19 (AD) A tense situation has emerged among several Sri Lankan representatives at a session held in Geneva concurrent to the 40th session of the UNHRC. These parallel sessions were held with the participation of TNA MP S. Shritharan and NPC member M.K. Sivajilingam. However, a heated argument had broken out between MP Sritharan and several other Sri Lankan representatives yesterday. more..

Govt under fire over land laws

Mar 19 (CT) The Govt came under fire yesterday over an alleged plan to amend the land laws of the country, to establish a land bank in order to facilitate acquiring lands for a special economic zone in a 200 km corridor connecting the Colombo and Trincomalee Ports. UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa, also alleged that under this programme lands from seven Districts will be acquired and once established only the law of the United States of America (US) will prevail in this corridor. more..

Ranjan says his Cocaine allegations are still valid

Mar 19 (AD) State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, addressing media personnel, stated that his statement regarding parliamentarians using Cocaine is still valid. He points out that his statement that certain members of the parliament use Cocaine was perceived by the public as a false statement. State Minister states that he leveled these accusations against certain Ministers who are a part of the current Cabinet and some who had been part of Cabinets of the recent past. more..

Sri Lanka to regulate water fittings imports, manufacture

Mar 19 (EN) The govt is regulate import and local manufacture of water fittings to improve quality and reduce excessive leaks owing to use of non-standard equipment, Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) said. A statement said the PUCSL has drafted standards and regulatory systems for water fittings to ensure that only quality water fittings are manufactured in SL, imported, and available for sales in the market. more..

Construction of US$ 3.85bn oil refinery to start this month, exports US$ 7bn

Mar 19 (EN) Sri Lanka will begin construction of a US$ 3.85 billion oil refinery on March 24, which can export up to US$ 7 billion of refined products a year when in full operation, officials said. The refinery will have a capacity of 200,000 barrels per day and is slated to be the biggest foreign direct investment project in the country, Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara said. The refinery is a joint venture between Silverpark International (Pvt) Ltd, based in Singapore which hold a 70% stake more..

High Commission in India to mark Tripitakabhivandana Week

Mar 19 (GDI) The High Commission of Sri Lanka in India in collaboration with Buddhist organizations has organized a number of programmes to mark the Tripitakabhivandana Week, declared to mark the occasion of initiating the process in order to declare the Theravada Tripitaka, the sacred scripture of Buddhists, as a World Heritage. The first programme of the Tripitakabhivandana Week was held under the patronage of the SL’s High Commissioner to India Austin Fernando. more..

Johnston cleared of assets non-declaration cases

Mar 19 (AD) The Bribery Commission has withdrawn four cases filed against MP Johnston Fernando regarding non-declaration of assets. In turn, the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court has discharged MP Fernando of the relevant charges. The case was taken up before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, this morning when the officials representing the Bribery Commission requested permission from more..

Ex-Navy bosses appointed for top Maritime posts

Mar 19 (SLG) Recently retired Commander of SL Navy Admiral (Retired) Sirimevan Ranasinghe has been appointed as the Secretary to the Ministry of Ports & Shipping & Southern Development, today. Meanwhile, Admiral (Retd) Daya Sandagiri, ex-commander of SL Navy has been appointed as the Chairman of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd. Sanadagiri who has been accused of several misconducts of power during his tenure as the head of the country’s naval force is over 10 years more..

Nagananda apologises: Full text of the Chief Justice’s ruling

Mar 19 (CT) Public interest litigant Nagananda Kodituwakku who was banned from practicing as a lawyer for three years by the Supreme Court yesterday. The three-member bench, Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justices Sisira De Abrew and Prasanna Jayawardena issued the order against Kodituwakku over a defamation case filed in 2015. Kodituwakku was charged with contempt of court after he behaved in an unruly manner before former AC President Judge Vijith Malalgoda. more..

Karunarathna Paranawithana

Brave Act

Mar 19 (CT) SLPP Embilipitiya Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) Chairman M.K. Amila was recently sacked by the Election Commission (EC) on the advice of the Attorney General for assaulting two Policemen attached to Panamure Police Station, Ratnapura, whilst engaged in their official duties in 2013. Amila’s case follows, the case where previously former Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana (UPFA) was sentenced to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment by Court for murder and rape more..

The last straw in local politics today

Mar 19 (FT) I don’t despair easily. But a sense of desolation has overtaken me. Since it is abundantly clear that the last of the statesmen is dead and gone in SL today. However much you may hold out hope that some knight in shining armour or street-wise Hercules will come to deliver us from all evils, it is pie in the sky. Therefore let us resolve ourselves to our fate with a sense of humour and the traditional resilience that helps us islanders cope with the realities of political hubris and hypocrisy. more..