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'No part of the country belongs exclusively to one ethnic group'

Mar 29 (DM) Professor Emeritus of Sri Lanka History K. M. de Silva, in a detailed email interview, challenges the claim that the north and the east are the exclusive homeland of Tamil speaking people. Instead, he said no part of the country could be claimed exclusively by any ethnic group. Prof. de Silva served at the Peradeniya University from 1969 to 1995. He is also the Director and Executive Director, International Centre for more..

'Tamils have valid claim for homeland'

Mar 29 (DM) Emeritus Professor of History S. Pathmanathan, discusses the origins of settlements in Sri Lanka and argues for the Tamil Homeland concept from a historian’s point of view. Prof. Pathmanathan, who is also the Chancellor of Jaffna University, said both the Sinhalese and the Tamils have a common identity. Q: How do you analyse the origin of Tamil settlements in the north? more..

RTI 2 months old but public still face hurdles

Mar 29 (ST) Close to two months after Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) law became operational in Sri Lanka, the continuing absence of a clear direction on the part of the Govt’s implementing agencies is making it harder for citizens to access information, despite the law being ranked third best in the world. Govt’s Right to Information website, inaugurated with much fanfare by President Sirisena recently contains some listings in more..

Push for action on top brass despite arrest of soldiers

Mar 29 (SL) The arrest of three soldiers on Friday in connection to the Rathupaswala shooting incident brought a sigh of relief to the families of the victims. A strong call was issued on Friday to arrest those who issued the orders to the Army to launch an attack on the protesters who were demanding clean water in 2013. Prominent Rathupaswala monk, the Venerable Theripaha Siridhamma Thero said more..

Open letter to President and PM…

Mar 29 (DM) Dear Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister, It is time we took stock of our current situation. Waiting for another year or two would be far too late. I am not writing this letter to enlighten you, though there might be a slight chance that you do once you finish reading this humble missive. It is to remind you of the various promises both of you extended towards the people of my country at the hustings prior to Jan 8, 2015. Please lend me the time and your ears, which I am sure more..

Caution not to strike premature body blows on RTI

Mar 29 (DM) Sri Lankan activists who rushed precipitously to file Right to Information (RTI) requests for the Assets Declarations of the President and the PM may learn a wise thing or two from their Indian counterparts. Quite different to what is sought to be made out in certain quarters, the now common practice for Indian politicians to declare assets was not because of a single RTI petition expecting automatic compliance. On the contrary, this was a result of sustained and hard activism more..

Dy Governor adds to mounting evidence against Mahendran

Mar 29 (DN) The reasons given to the Tender Board by former CBSL Governor Arjun Mahendarn on the decision to accept 10.5 billion worth bids at the questioned Treasury Bond auction is debatable, Presidential Commission observed. This observation was made when Deputy Governor ex-officio Tender Board Chairman P. Samarasiri explained details on the Tender Board meeting which was held on Feb 27, 2015. more..

Parliament Mafia keep on fighting each other neglecting the people

Mar 29 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa fermented division within the UNP rendering it helpless while most of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) members are from UNP, Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. He said the majority of the SLPP MPs who were in the UNP defeated during the previous govt and that the district rally Beginning of a Revolution organized by the JO at Habaraduwa was not a threat to us. “The damage has been done to them. more..

Video: Govt wasted $4.3 billion: Bandula

Mar 29 (AD) MP Bandula Guawardana stated that the current govt had wasted over $4.3 billion to prevent the Lankan rupee from depreciating.  He further added that although the current finance minister promised to bring the buying price of the dollar down to Rs.130 within a week, it is still at Rs.154. Bandula elaborated by saying that the money used to bring the buying price of the dollar down come from the selling foreign currency reserves to the money market. more..

'H’tota Port deal: Violation of Constitution'

Mar 29 (DM) The JO said the Hambantota Port agreement was unethical, beneficial to China and violates the Constitution. It said the China Merchants Port Holdings, which would receive 80% of the shares would be in a position to decide which ship enters the port and which ship should not. “Only the govt has the right to make such decisions. Allowing a private company to take these decisions affects the sovereignty & integrity of SL,” more..

65 TUs harnessed against SAITM

Mar 29 (CT) If the govt fails to provide a swift solution to the SAITM issue and resorts to further foot-dragging, the GMOA will harness the support of an estimated 65 trade unions in a plan to launch continuous strike action in the course of the coming week, GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen de Soyza said. He warned that in early April the country will experience a series of labour union strikes initiated by GMOA and supported by 65 other trade unions who have demanded the closure of SAITM more..

Fish processing plant for Mattakkuliya

Mar 29 (CT) A fish processing plant of international standards is to be set up in Mattakkuliya. Plant would be established within the premises owned by the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation in Mattakkuliya at an initial cost of Rs 75 million. Following the lifting of the fisheries ban on Sri Lanka, by the European Union, some 32 fish processing factories were restarted across the island, providing a significant amount employment, to meet the demands of the international market, more..

'SL must come to terms with past tragedies'

Mar 29 (FT) Insisting that as a sovereign state the final decision with regard to the 23 March Geneva resolution rests with Sri Lanka, Minister Mangala Samaraweera reaffirmed the Govt’s commitment to move forward with the two-year extension. To this end, he said, the contours of the proposed Truth-Seeking Commission (TSC) are currently being worked out. “PM has been consulting different experts. more..

His protests were eyewash

Mar 29 (DM) A certain politico raised a hue and cry against the biggest ever PPP development project about to be kicked off shortly. The purohita turned his office overlooking the choppy seas striking the Breakwater into an operational headquarters of a sustained campaign against the deal with a leading company from a powerful country. However, a rumour swirling at the time also said that the campaign was a boru-show or eyewash. Some people who believed that more..

HRCSL begins probe today

Mar 29 (CT) A complaint made to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) by the Salawa Army Camp Collective, relating to the explosion at that camp last year, will be taken up at the HRCSL today for a special inquiry. Secretary of the Collective said, inquiry will focus on the complaint into the alleged injustices that the victims were compelled to suffer when their damaged and destroyed assets were being assessed for purposes of estimating compensation payments. more..

EIB pledges to support for Sri Lanka

Mar 29 (FT) European Investment Bank (EIB) pledged to support Sri Lanka with its new investments and in sectors that are crucial for the transformation of the country. The high-level visiting delegation from the EIB, led by its Vice President Andrew McDowell, stressed that the organisation intended to strengthen relations with key partners in Sri Lanka and to enable more engagement in supporting future projects in the country.   more..

Weerawansa in remand since January on suspicion: Vasu

Mar 29 (Island) Leader of the DLF Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the govt should request the courts to release leader of NFF Wimal Weerawansa in remand since January as his arrest was not lawful. "He had been taken into custody only on suspicion." he added. Nanayakkara said Weerawansa had been remanded without any charges. He said the hunger strike was not urging the govt to release him from remand prison but to protest against burning issues in the country, more..

Kusuma Cooray honored for work in U.S.-Sri Lanka relations

Mar 29 (UH) Kapiʻolani Community College Professor Emerita Kusuma Cooray was honored by the U.S. Pacific Command for her work as Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka from 2001 to 2017. Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, presented Cooray the Distinguished Public Service Award on March 24 at the U.S. Pacific Command Headquarters, Camp H.M. Smith, in acknowledgement of her distinctive accomplishments and services as Honorary more..

Patali calls for amendment to university district quota system

Mar 29 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka has asked that the 40-year-old district quota system for universities be amended instead of promoting SAITM as the solution for the problems caused by the district quota system. The best solution to overcome the district quota system, he said would be to expand the existing govt medical faculties and have a quota for fee levying students. “Those who have been disadvantaged more..

Sangaree demands Sambanthan’s resignation

Mar 29 (DN) Secretary General of TULF, V. Anandasangaree in a letter to Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan, has asked that Sampanthan submit his letter of resignation from the position of Opposition Leader, if the govt fails to deliver on its promises to the Tamil people within a period of two weeks. “The Tamils have reached their limit of tolerance, but not now, it happened long ago. They are now forced to come to a decision to demand your resignation from the office of more..

Whither human rights in Sri Lanka?

Mar 29 (Hindu) From the time SL’s civil war ended in 2009, int'l actors have infused narratives of the war with stories of human rights abuses. Eight years since, it has only become clear how irrelevant current human rights campaigns are to the war-torn people and their struggles. This is not for the lack of inhuman wrongs done by the state and others — there are plenty of them in SL as in the rest of the world. Rather, it is the singular focus on international human rights intervention that is killing more..

Visakhian is all island first in O/L exam

Mar 29 (DN) Anuki Pasquel of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo obtained the first place at the G.C.E O/L examination 2016. S. M. Munasinghe of Mahamaya Balika Vidyalaya, Kandy obtained the second place while Sugath Ravindu Sanwara of Ananda College, Colombo 10 and Dimuth Mirissage of Rahula College, Matara obtained the third place. Pabasara Herath obtained the fourth place while three students have obtained the fifth place. more..

People’s Bank to lend $ 42.6 m for Laugfs’ $ 71.5 m LPG Terminal in Hambantota

Mar 29 (FT) Laugfs Terminals Ltd. is to obtain $ 42.6 million (Rs. 6.6 billion) for its LPG Terminal which is under construction at the Hambantota Port. The terminal, whose total cost is $ 71.5 million (Rs. 11 billion), has a storage capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes with export and import facilities. Laugfs said it is to obtain long-term banking facilities up to the limit of $ 42.6 million from People’s Bank to finance the project.  In this regard, Laugfs Gas Plc has agreed to provide more..

Tea and tourism featuring in Sri Lankan strategy to promote business ties with China

Mar 29 (Island) Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga’s visit to Quanzhou, China, promoted a reciprocal visit from the Chinese company, The Boarding Mountain Travel Company (BMTC) situated in Quanzhou, Fujian Province. Officials of this company were in Colombo last week, invited by the minister to further cement ties for increased visitor influx from Quanzhou to enhance Chinese traveler arrivals to Sri Lanka. more..

'MR spent Rs 38.5 M on his Russia tour!'

Mar 29 (CT) Minister Managala Samaraweera lashed out at the Rajapaksas, stating that they had spent enormous amount of State money, but failed to convince the international community on the resolution brought against them, but the current govt had handled the entire resolution diplomatically. He said, the last regime managed to secure the support of only 12 countries, against strong resolution brought against SL, more..

People’s Bank Group posts record results

Mar 29 (FT) People’s Bank announced an impressive financial performance for the FY 2016, with all Key Performance Indicators showcasing a striking upward trajectory in the group’s performance. Group posted a PBT of Rs. 25.4 billion, an increase of 5.4% which provides an example of the group’s unwavering commitment to broaden its vision, action and impact. 19.2% growth seen in a PAT of Rs. 18 billion, increasing from Rs. 15.1 billion, further reiterates this promise. more..

ECB Bunbury XI loses opening match

Mar 29 (DN) ECB Bunbury XI started their short tour of Sri Lanka with a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka Under 16 development squad at the Colts grounds. Having elected to bat first the tourists found themselves under pressure through some excellent new ball bowling from Niduka Malshith and Ashan Dilhara (man of the match). From 19 for 5 it took good application from the tourists to reach 134 with Hamidullah Quadri (Derbyshire) and Sean Sullivan (Essex) showing the way. more..

Mendis special washed off

Mar 29 (CI) The second ODI between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was called off due to incessant rain in Dambulla. Play was called off at 8.45pm, an hour and 15 minutes before the cut-off time. It was an anti-climax after the game was shaping up to be an intense contest. Kusal Mendis' maiden ODI hundred took Sri Lanka to a formidable 311, but Taskin Ahmed's hat-trick in the last over capped off a fine last 10 overs for B'desh. more..

Lankan U19 cricketers leave for Tasmania

Mar 29 (DN) Sri Lanka under 19 team comprising 20 cricketers left for Tasmania on Monday to play seven matches against an Australian Under 19 team. Side captained by Kamindu Mendis of Richmond included several schoolboy cricketers who had performed well in the current season. The team is coached by Roy Dias and comprises among the support staff former Chaminda Vaas as the fast bowling coach and former SSC stalwart Mahinda Halangoda as manager. more..

Tharanga's double hit, Taskin's reflexes

Mar 29 (CI) Is it a mere coincidence that Mushfiqur Rahim's work behind the stumps has improved following the team management's decision to remove him as permanent Test wicketkeeper? He did miss a stumping during this game but he showed fine awareness for most parts, as he did during Bangladesh's historic 100th Test in Colombo where he was a last-minute wicketkeeping replacement. In the third over, he called loud and early, and seemed to endlessly chase a top edge from more..

Dreams buried deep: A story of gem mining

Mar 29 (roar) It is a gloomy Sunday morning. From the Gorakala bus stop, a turn off the Ratnapura – Horana main road leads down a narrow road, muddy after the previous night’s heavy rain.  A quiet, uneventful walk of 2.5 km leads to a semi-forest area, with a paddy field to the right. Another 500 metres away is what we have come in search of: a gem mine. The owner agrees to let us photograph the mine and the mining process, more..

Cabals behind the UNHRC inquisition

Mar 29 (Island) 34th sessions of the UNHRC have just ended, and another resolution on Sri Lanka adopted Resolution A/HRC/34/L.1 requests the Commissioner and his special procedure mandate holders to strengthen their technical assistance to Sri Lanka on the promotion and protection of human rights, truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability. More importantly perhaps, the resolution calls for a written update on the implementation of resolution 30/1 (of 2015) at 37th session of UNHRC, more..

Weerasekera and Tamil Diaspora go head to head

Mar 29 (SL) Former head of the Civil Defence Force, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara and the Tamil diaspora went head to head in Geneva last week as both sides looked to counter the resolution on Sri Lanka which was eventually adopted at the UNHRC. The tense feeling between both sides was clearly evident when Weerasekara and members of the Trans-National Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) delivered statements at the 34th session last week. When Weerasekara was delivering his more..

Prof Deepthi Samarage

Editorial: An exercise in futility

Mar 29 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent statement at a public function in Hambantota that Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera would be given a different portfolio has fuelled speculation that a Cabinet reshuffle is imminent. Hambantota District, the President said, had two ministers (Cabinet and Provincial) and a deputy minister in charge of fisheries. It may be recalled that President Sirisena’s bete noire, Mahinda Rajapaksa began his arduous journey up more..

And they learned nothing from history

Mar 29 (DN) Sri Lanka’s the first private medical college, North Colombo Medical College (NCMC), was started during the reigns of President JR Jayewardene pioneered by Dr. Dankande Muhandiramge Heennilame. Dr. Heennilame toying with the idea of establishing a private medical college since seventies pointed out the dire need of revamping medical education in Sri Lanka. He strongly believed that the trajectory of medical education should change with times and more..