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2017 sinks to slowest economic growth in 16 years

Mar 21 (FT) The country’s economy in 2017 had grown by only 3.1%, the slowest rate in 16 years and lower than the 4.4% achieved in 2016, as per data released yesterday. GDP for 2017 (Jan to Dec) at constant (2010) price has reached Rs. 9,315,488 million while GDP value reported for 2016 was Rs. 9,034,290 million. The four major components of the economy - agriculture, industry, services and taxes – more..

Policy blunder causes govt Rs 3 billion tobacco revenue

Mar 21 (DN) Tax revenue from Tobacco to the govt coffers have dropped by Rs 3 billion and this is expect to continue, said Founder Research Intelligence Unit (RIU) Roshan Madawela. Speaking at a Research Forum he said that the govt targeted Rs 105 billion of tax revenue from Tobacco. Madawela said that today tax on Tobacco and other overheads has resulted in the increase of a cigarette price by 257%. “With SL currently having the highest cigarette prices in Asia Pacific region (PPP) more..

Video: Sri Lanka's Office of Missing Persons seeks disappeared

Mar 21 (AJ) The office has been set up to locate thousands of people still missing seven years after the defeat of separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. An Office of Missing Persons has finally opened in Sri Lanka, nine years after the end of its civil war. The office will have powers to investigate the unexplained disappearances of thousands of people in decades of fighting that ended in 2009, but it will not have the power to prosecute anyone suspected of committing crimes. more..

Counsel supporting Judicature Act Amendment Bill speak of its merits

Mar 21 (Island) The present Judicature Act was about forty years old, situations had changed for the worse and remedies had to be found. Dr. Jayampathy Wickramarathne PC, told the Supreme Court yesterday, when he supported an intervenient petition in favour of the proposed amendment to the Judicature Act. Dr. Wickramarathne, President’s Counsel said that by the proposed amendment to judicature act. more..

No-confidence vote: JO divided

Mar 21 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) parliamentary group members are divided on the no-faith motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. There were heated arguments at JO’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday. Parliament sources said dissenting views had been expressed by the JO members over submitting the NCM. JO MP Ramesh Pathirana, Nimal Lansa, Prasanna Ranatunga and Kumara Welgama severely criticized the decision to move the no confidence motion against PM. more..

TNA leaders urged to quit

Mar 21 (CT) Relatives of Missing Persons staged a protest in front of the ITAK Party Office, situated at Stanley Road in the Jaffna Town, urging that Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and the rest of the TNA to resign from their positions. The protestors blocked the entrance of the ITAK office claiming the leaders of the Pwarty have failed to fulfil the promises. The protest was staged on Monday in front of ITAK Office when they were not allowed to meet Prez Sirisena during his Jaffna visit. more..

Non-declaration of assets: Fine to be increased to Rs 100,000

Mar 21 (DN) A minimum of Rs 100,000 fine has been proposed to the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act for non declaration of assets and liabilities. The current penalty for such offence is Rs 1,000. CIABOC Director General Sarath Jayamanne said far reaching amendments have been proposed to the current law of assets declaration which was last revised in 1988. Providing false information in the declaration more..

Yala Toilet Frog named after departing Tea Board chairman

Mar 21 (FT) A team of Indian and SL scientists led by Dr Sonali Garg of the University of Delhi has discovered that a frog commonly found in Sri Lanka’s dry zone in fact represents a new, previously-unrecognised species, which they have named Uperodon rohani. The scientists explain that This species is named after Rohan Pethiyagoda, in recognition of his contribution to biodiversity studies in India and Sri Lanka, especially on frogs and fishes. more..

Junior National’s postponed due to Sugathadasa track relaying

Mar 21 (CT) Junior National Athletics Championship which was to be held from 27th to 29th March has been postponed to 2nd April due to delays in the re-laying of the new Synthetic Track at the Sugathadasa Stadium Colombo. The new dates for the Championship will be from 2nd to 4th April. Junior National Championship which will be staged in four age categories (U-16, 18, 20 and 23) will be worked off as a selection trial for Under 20 athletes to be included to the Sri Lanka team more..

SC determines Active Liability Management Bill consistent with Constitution

Mar 21 (FT) Supreme Court has determined the Active Liability Management Bill is not inconsistent with the Constitution, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament, paving the way for crucial legislation for better debt management. Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs moved the Active Liability Management Bill on 19 Feb in Parliament with the aim of authorising the raising of loans within the country or offshore more..

Kasun says wife acted in defence

Mar 21 (DN) Southern Provincial Council Member K.K. Kasun who is in remand over an alleged assault case attended a meeting of the Southern Provincial Council yesterday escorted by prison guards. Council Chairman Somawansa Kodagoda presided. Kasun describing the assault incident said a group of 20 people including the bus driver began assaulting him and his wife only tried to come to his rescue. He said his wife had to get remanded due to her affection towards him. more..

One remanded for spreading hate online

Mar 21 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara yesterday remanded, till 3 April, a suspect charged with spreading comments, social media sites, aimed at inciting hatred and disharmony among different communities. Suspect was identified as A.K.S. Perera, a resident of Gampaha. He was arrested by the CID following a complaint lodged by the State Intelligence Service on 12 March. S.K. Senaratne, appearing for the CID, told the Court that at the time of the arrest, suspect had informed the Police more..

Senior Cabinet Ministers urge President, PM to work together

Mar 21 (DN) Several high ranking Cabinet Ministers urged the President and PM to work together and iron out their differences if any for the betterment of the country. As a No-Confidence Motion looms over the PM in Parliament, Minister Champika Ranawaka had submitted a Cabinet Paper highlighting the way forward for the govt. The last Cabinet Paper, the 59th paper was a political one, said Minister Mano Ganesan said. more..

‘Overwhelming response by local investors for Batticaloa Investor Forum’

Mar 21 (Island) SEC and CSE conducted the 8th domestic investor forum in the series of island wide forums titled Kotas Welanda Pola; Nagarayen Nagarayata. The forum was the second Tamil language based programme in the series and was held on March 17 at the East Lagoon Hotel in Batticaloa. The programme was concluded on a successful note with the attendance of over 200 participants. Audience included businessmen, lawyers, engineers, doctors and various other more..

Relocation of FlySmiLes Service Centre to Colombo 3

Mar 21 (Island) FlySmiLes, frequent flyer programme of SriLankan Airlines, has relocated its Service Centre, in order to provide an enhanced service to its members in SL and around the world. New FlySmiLes Service Centre is located at Iceland Business Centre No.30, Sri Uththarananda Mawatha, Col 3. It is open for business Mon-Fri from 0830-1700 hours, including Public and Mercantile holidays. FlySmiLes Call Centre can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0197 333333. more..

The One begins voyage in Colombo with US$ 500 mn investment

Mar 21 (FT) Ultra luxury, state-of-the-art hospitality, breathtaking surroundings, signature amenities, world-class dining experiences, three towers comprising two luxury hotels (a total of 473 keys), a luxury retail mall, a commercial office complex which will be the last word in corporate ambience and style, as well as 638 beautifully-crafted apartments, located on 4.3 acres of prime real estate, will undoubtedly position more..

SLR yet to obtain Rs 9.78 M from Pvt Co

Mar 21 (CT) Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) is yet to obtain a sum of Rs 9.78 million from a private firm, on a contract granted to them to renovate railway carriages and attach them to trains, to offer a luxury service to tourists, Deputy Minister Ashoka Abeysinghe said in Parliament. He made this revelation, responding to an oral question raised by UNP MP Lucky Jayawardana. MP queried as to whether all the payments due from the private institution, to which those carriages were more..

Shaheed beats defending champion Cooray

Mar 21 (CT) Shaheed Hilmy beat defending and national champion Chamil Cooray of Seylan Bank (2-1, 25/14, 05/25, 25/10) to clinch the GRAND SLAM Championship -2018 held at the Carrom Federation, Kohuwela from 17-19 March . Shaheed is old boy of Royal College, Colombo and this is his first victory at National Level Yashika Rahubaddha of SL Air Force clinched the women’s title beating national champion Joseph Roshita of SL Navy (2-0, 25/14, 25/16). more..

Mahela emphasises the need to embrace significant changes

Mar 21 (ST) As Sri Lanka’s woes continue to grow in international cricket, former SL cricket skipper Mahela Jayawardene urged local cricket authorities to embrace the significant changes taking place in world cricket to be a competitive force in international cricket. SLC has been under fire from most quarters with many past and present cricketers uniting in their call for a radical change to existing first class structure more..

Muturajawela and housing scheme: Historical perspective

Mar 21 (DM) A news item in the Daily Mirror of Mar 15, titled Private Co. grabs Muturajawela land for housing scheme, has caused alarm to environmentalists who feel that the rich biodiversity of this wetland would result in irreparable and extensive damage to the fauna and flora especially the migrant bird life. Muturajawela area is identified to contain peat, which is a low form of coal that could be used to generate electricity. I shall in this short report try to trace more..

‘Inadequate funds for R&D preventing SL from turning out new export products’

Mar 21 (Island) "Although Sri Lanka has enough scientific research personnel with lots of skills and knowledge, the inadequate allocation of funds for Research and Development (R&D), to mainly SL universities, is the main factor preventing SL from coming out with new products for the export market, a local specialist in the manufacture of herbal medicine said. "Sri Lanka is a country with rich bio-diversity but the sad part is that the relevant authorities are paying less attention to R&D. more..

Rumeshika improves on her personal best in 100 metres

Mar 21 (Island) Former St. Joseph’s Balika, Kegalle sprinter Rumeshika Rathnayake beat her personal best in the 100m sprint at the Sydney Grand Prix as she clocked 11.51 seconds to improve on the previous mark of 11.60 seconds. She also came close to beating her personal best in 200m with a time of 23.62 seconds. It was a great achievement for Rumsehika who has surmounted many obstacles in her career. more..

The Shakib episode and its consequences

Mar 21 (DN) The smooth functioning of the Hero Nidahas tri-nation T20 series was sullied by an incident involving Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan which to say the least was outrageous and left a black mark on Bangladesh’s cricket internationally. A captain or a coach getting upset at an umpiring decision is not new in cricket or sports in general but one cannot recall an instance of a captain calling his players off because of his disagreement with the umpire’s decision. more..

Editorial: Putin, Jinping and Lankan kingpins

Mar 21 (Island) The outcome of Russia’s presidential election came as no surprise. President Vladimir Putin has secured a landslide victory and a fourth term. There has been a muted response from the western bloc to his spectacular win and that is understandable. But Russians have obviously done what they think is good for them and their country. Russia, or any nation for that matter, needs a strong leader capable of defending its interests with might and main. Putin fitted the bill and became more..

Discovering SLML’s treasure trove

Mar 21 (ST) Nestling within a historic building is a rare treasure trove of knowledge coming down the ages. Ordinary is the door within the home of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), Wijerama House, in Colombo 7 which gives entry to the Sri Lanka Medical Library (SLML). Walk through this door and an enthralling world of books, collected since 1844, opens up, transporting the reader to unimaginable arenas. more..

Govt’s women’s quota a total success

Mar 21 (Island) The numbers are out. The new Local Authorities system designed to have 25% women is a resounding success. Local Authorities Elections Ordinance required nominations to be on two lists – List 1 for the Wards, consisting of 60% of the seats of a local authority, and List 2 for the old Proportional Representation (PR) system making up the remaining 40%.Ten percent of the ward nominations had to be of women and 50% of the whole should have been of women. more..

Geneva debacle: Negligence on the part of war winning govt

Mar 21 (Island) Geneva-based UNHRC meets thrice every year in regular sessions – in Feb-Mar, June, and Sept. The ongoing 37th Session of the Council convened on Feb 26 will conclude on March 23. Having considered the implementation of Resolution 30/1 of 1 Oct. 2015 co-sponsored by the govt of SL, the Council, at its 34th Session (27 Feb – 24 Mar 2017) adopted Resolution 34/1 on 23 March 2017. By this Resolution, the Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner to continue to more..

Udaya Gammanpila

People's sovereignty and Judicial power

Mar 21 (DN) The concept of sovereignty has a different connotation in the field of international law. When the term sovereign is used by writers on international law, it describes the position of a State – whether a State is independent or whether it is subject to foreign domination. On the other hand the sovereignty’ in the municipal law involves a discussion of the extent of the law making powers of the main legislative authority. The Independence Constitution was construed by more..

Recovering the human

Mar 21 (DN) The govt has made education compulsory for thirteen years and plans to make Sri Lanka a hub of education. If properly done, it has the potential of making many individuals conscious of humanness in themselves and in all others. This enables them to coordinate their complex relationships in an acceptable way and bring about a well-ordered civilized and cultured society which will contribute to further the progress of the people of Sri Lanka and Asia. more..

The Sapumal Foundation: A relic of the illustrious ’43 group

Mar 21 (Roar) On a quiet by-road in the heart of Colombo, is a faded old house in which hang paintings by the famed ‘43 Group of artists. The house, once owned by Harry Peiris, is now the Sapumal Foundation—a gallery of art and other memorabilia. A series of interconnected rooms reveal myriad works of art—the private collection of Peiris, who was the secretary of the ’43 Group, from the time of its formation, till the very end. more..

SL’s problematic past with commissions of inquiry: Are we repeating mistakes?

Mar 21 (GV) On March 21, 2018 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will provide an oral update to the UNHRC on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and the status on the commitments contained in UNHRC Resolution 30/1 which was adopted in October 2015 and extended by Resolution 34/1 in March 2017. While some progress has been made on these commitments, including the recent operationalisation of the OMP; the enactment of domestic legislation more..

Anti-Muslim violence: Through the scorched frames

Mar 21 (CT) I walked into a pocket of Muslim houses in a village in the district of Kandy with a tiny voice in my head seeking for splinters of something to hold on to as hope; amid the burnt homes and livelihoods. It seemed almost unnatural and unforgivable that I had sought so. For what I encountered, beyond the scenes of destruction, was a bitter cry far more critical and sad. It was evident we have, as a community and as a country, passed the threshold to yet another mayhem of more..

'Kandy communal unrest: We must learn lessons from our past'

Mar 21 (SO) Chairperson of Valpola Rahula Institute and Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Kelaniya Univ Ven. Galkande Dhammananda thera stressed the importance of healing a nation that has been exposed to terrorism and violence for over three decades, in the aftermath of the Digana riots. Citing the serious setbacks the country suffered as a result, Ven. thera said, govt must take the Digana lesson seriously, more..

SL: Learning to deconstruct modern myths

Mar 21 (CT) Not small are the tragedies Sri Lanka has witnessed because of the irrational beliefs of the masses. The modern myth we have created regarding the purity and the supremacy of the Sinhala Buddhist hegemony has gained so strong a stance in the society that every logical proposition made against it through facts, scientific evidences, statistics, and simple common sense are proving to be unable to eradicate the perception from the social consciousness. more..

My Brother, the Other

Mar 21 (GV) In the aftermath of further ethno-religious violence in Sri Lanka, stories are shared and explanations attempted, with each person trying to make sense of what is happening around them. People dwell on how in the good old days everyone lived together peacefully. The meme Keep Calm We are all Sri Lankan [1] is shared on social media in the hopes of reminding each other that we are united. That what has happened has been a sort of nightmare we can all wake up from. more..