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House of the Crooked - Exposed!

Jan 25 (Island) A good amount of my life as a journalist had to do with covering Parliament. I’ve seen and heard great debates, listened to members skilled in debate, who were rich with humour, satire, ridicule and sarcasm. There were members who spoke for hours on rich content, and some who brought fun to the House within minutes of speech. That was the tradition we had in the early years of independence, coming down from more..

Editorial: Prez and cops

Jan 25 (Island) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is reported to have told the acting police chief that arrests must be made only where absolutely necessary and in strict compliance with the law. Asking the police to carry out their duties and functions without fear or favour, the President has also said arrest is not part of the punishment and results in a serious deprivation of liberty of citizens and other significant implications, such as loss of reputation and standing in the society. more..

Singing the national anthem In Sinhala and Tamil: Celebrating unity in diversity

Jan 25 (Island) Sri Lankans – irrespective of language, ethnicity, religion, social status or caste – are exceptionally good at speaking proudly of the beauty and diversity of their motherland. We speak at length of the wide range of flora and fauna found in our country. We are proud of the cool tea-growing central highlands, the warm paddy-growing lowland plains, the sandy beaches, the rivers, the mountains, the lakes, and the rain forests, to name a few. Then, quite rightly, more..


Daughter of ex-militant Arular of EROS: M.I.A. Mathangi awarded MBE

Jan 25 (CT) Mathangi Arulpragasam who is popularly known in British pop music circles as M.I.A. received the Royal honour of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) to mark Queen Elizabeth's annual Birthday honour. The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William presented the MBE medal for Mathangi's contribution to music at a glittering event held at Buckingham Palace amidst a distinguished gathering last week. The recipient M.I.A Mathangi Arulpragasam was introduced more..

Swiss saga continues: Garnia’s tele-chats with CID

Jan 25 (DN) The intriguing episode of alleged abduction of a local employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo has taken a new turn with the investigations into the telephone calls made by her. Some startling revelations cropped up leading to a strong suspicion of a very sinister motive to slander the govt as it took office in Nov 2019. The alleged abduction of Garnia Barrister Francis hogged the media spotlight, not only in Sri Lanka but in foreign capitals too barely a week from more..

Implement Animal Welfare Bill, urge activists

Jan 25 (SO) Sensing danger, the dog started whimpering and running in the massive cage. But there was no room for escape. The cold-hearted gunman started shooting at the poor animal, while it tried to cry out loud saying, help me. Amid back to back bullets, it tried to stop the gunman by jumping onto him and the man stopped the dog by hitting it with his gun. Then another shot was fired and the dog just laid on the floor in pain. more..

Wonderful twins in town

Jan 25 (CT) A bid to set a world record for the largest gathering of twins in Sri Lanka seems to have failed due to an unexpected large turnout that overwhelmed organisers. Sri Lanka Twin Group had called on multiples across the island to a sports stadium in Colombo to break Taiwan's Guinness World Record set in 1999 with 3,961 pairs of twins, 37 sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. As a result, Sri Lanka may have to redouble its efforts to set a world record in the future. more..

Tourism ahoy!

Jan 25 (DN) I was making my way out of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel lobby when I heard someone calling out my name. It was a heavy European accent and for an uncomfortable moment I could not recognize the caller seated in the lounge chair. Then, it connected, Robert, my old friend from about two decades back, was sitting right in front of me! Twenty years is a long time. I would have had difficulties in recognizing Robert, now much heavier and grey, in a crowd. more..

Palm Oil: Blessing or Curse?

Jan 25 (CT) In Sri Lanka, coconut oil has played a major role in fulfilling the requirement of edible oil stock for centuries. However, with the increasing population and decrease of coconut lands due to various reasons, the production of coconut oil has come to a low. In Sri Lankan culture, coconut is used for daily food preparation and various other purposes. There are times when the country's coconut harvest is insufficient to more..

Book review: Politics & The bureaucracy

Jan 25 (CT) This book deals with the higher bureaucracy in Sri Lanka, and its focus is bureaucratic behavior. It is about local bureaucrats, not those of British origin who historically inhabited the bureaucratic terrain with decreasing density as colonial rule waned. It considers loyalty to a set of rules, rather than to a person, the marker of ideal bureaucratic behavior, one that the vocabulary of sociology calls rational-legal. The change from loyalty to a person to loyalty to a set of rules more..

Ranjan’s Revelation

Jan 25 (CT) Is this a revelation or a nightmare? Let us talk not about heavenly things but things that are earthly and real, a paradise lost, Ketumati, an evil Babylon where gods of the nation are Janus-faced Siamese beasts, two-tongued snakes, and dope-dragons; where murder, rape, sodomy, and embezzlement are committed flagrantly with gusto and impunity. Abominable! Are there any righteous people, at least fifty? I think, if you can find, at least, ten, it will not be destroyed. more..

Azath Salley's phone recordings to Govt Analyst

Jan 24 (CT) The PCoI appointed to investigate into the Easter Sunday attacks, yesterday, issued an order to the Govt Analyst to submit a report within 14 days about the authenticity and clearness of a phone recording presented by former Governor Azath Salley to the Commission. The Commission further ordered Salley to appear before the Govt Analyst, ifrequired, and assist this process. This order was issued after Salley presented and more..

Plastic waste may have been sent to Malaysia via SL: Environmentalist

Jan 24 (Island) It was highly unlikely that Sri Lanka was the actual country of origin of the container of plastic waste which is to be sent here by Malaysia, Executive Director of Centre for Environmental Justice, Hemantha Withanage said. He said the Customs Department should coordinate with the Malaysian authorities, identify the consignee and question the company on the issue. "It is possible that someone imported plastic waste from another country and re-exported it to Malaysia. more..

Wimal questions Judge Pilapitiya’s arrest

Jan 24 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa today blamed the AG for wrongly requesting that Judge Gihan Pilapitiya be arrested. Mr Weerawansa questioned why the AG has wanted Mr Pilapitiya arrested when he had refused to do what MP Ranjan Ramanayake had wanted him to do. “Mr Pilapitiya has complained against MP Ramanayke to the Judicial Service Commission and the police. How is it that the person who lodged a complaint was arrested," he asked. more..

EU EOM presents final report on SL polls

Jan 24 (NR) EU Election Observation Mission today tabled its final report on the 2019 Prez Election, that stated an electoral process well managed by the Election Commission and a peaceful campaign on the ground contrasted with divisive rhetoric, hate speech and disinformation in traditional and social media. Mission also raised concerns over the lack of laws pertaining to expenditure during more..

Jipped dairy farmers denied PCoI report

Jan 24 (Island) Dairy farmers who testified before the PCoI probing allegations of large scale corruption in the previous govt, on irregularities in a subsidized scheme to introduce high-yielding imported pregnant cows from Australia in 2017, yesterday, complained that their attempts to secure a copy of the PCoI report through an RTI application had failed. The last govt distributed 3,030 substandard milch cows imported from Australia and distributed among 46 investors. more..

Pakistan’s Naval Chief to visit Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (PHC) Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi NI (M) is scheduled to visit SL on the invitation of SL Navy commander, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva from Jan 25-29, 2020. During his stay in SL, Naval Chief will meet Commanders of the Navy, Army, Air force and Defence Secretary. He will also call on PM of SL. Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi joined Pakistan Navy on 13 January 1979 and undertook initial training at Britannia Royal Naval College more..

Video: Easter Sunday Attack - Ex-prez should be arrested: Range Bandara

Jan 24 (DM) UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara called for the arrest of former president Maithripala Sirisena and said as the then commander-in-chief he held the prime responsibility for the Easter Sunday carnage. He said that Mr. Sirisena could be arrested because he did not hold legal immunity anymore. “It is Mr Sirisena who had given instructions not to summon former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, former state minister of more..

Director General appointed to Multipurpose Development Task Force

Jan 24 (AD) Major General (Reitred) Nanda Mallawaarachchi has been appointed as the Director General of the govt’s Multipurpose Development Task Force, says PMD. This appointment comes weeks after the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to establish a Multipurpose Development Task Force as a Govt Department enabling to provide 100,000 employment opportunities for qualified low income youth. more..

Govt won’t withdraw facilities provided to TNA leader

Jan 24 (Island) Govt says it has the highest regard for MP R. Sampanthan and will not withdraw facilties made available to him. During the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa, maximum security had been provided to Sampanthan and all the MPs from Northern Province, said Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. In response to a matter raised by former Opposition Leader and Leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan regarding his official residence, he said, "It shows that we have not been more..

Video: Ajith Prasanna remanded over contempt of court

Jan 24 (AD) Colombo High Court today remanded Major (Retired) Ajith Prasanna until the 7th of February over contempt of court charges. The order was delivered by High Court Judge Dhammika Ganepala when Ajith Prasanna appeared before the court complying with a notice issued on him yesterday. The judge has ordered the prison superintendent to direct the defendant to the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) more..

Lawyers protest against AG’s influence

Jan 24 (TM) A silent protest was organised by a group of lawyers in front of the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court against Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera’s order to arrest Embilipitiya High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya. The protesters claimed that it is not in the AG’s scope or jurisdiction to deliver such an order against Pilapitiya. The AG yesterday ordered the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) to obtain a warrant for the arrest of the interdicted Embilipitiya High Court Judge. more..

Govt has not controlled the Rice Mafia: UNP

Jan 24 (EN) The UNP today blamed the Govt for failing to control the rice mafia in the country. Addressing the media, UNP MP Mujibur Rahman pointed out that the rice being sold at Rs. 98 is not suitable for human consumption. “No matter what the Government says, the rice sold at Rs 98 is not in a condition for the people to consume. Whilst consuming the rice sold at Rs 160 and Rs 165 the Ministers ask the people to consume rice priced at Rs. 98 which is only good for horses” he said. more..

Sri Lankans in Wuhan told to evacuate to safer areas

Jan 24 (DM) Foreign Relations Ministry has urgently informed the SL Embassy in Beijing to immediately contact the 40 SL students studying in the Wuhan Province as well as some SL nationals employed there, and make arrangements to evacuate them to safer areas as Chinese officials locked down the city following the rapid spread of the Wuhan Pneumonia. An urgent discussion between Higher Education Minister more..

Conservationists decry Sri Lankan decision to arm local groups against elephants

Jan 24 (GV) Activists in Sri Lanka are concerned after the government announced plans to issue firearms to a newly formed civil defence force tasked with protecting farmers from elephants. There are an estimated 7,500 wild elephants in SL and human-elephant conflict is a burning issue for local farmers. Elephant habitats are shrinking as humans are slowly encroaching on their roaming spaces. Having no place to go, these animals end up destroying crops in farmlands in their search for food. more..

SriLankan takes precautions to lessen risks of coronavirus outbreak

Jan 24 (AD) SriLankan Airlines has implemented a series of precautionary measures to mitigate the risks from the current coronavirus epidemic in the Far East, with the safety and well-being of its valued passengers and staff being of paramount importance. The cabin crew and other relevant staff of SriLankan Airlines have been briefed on the actions to be taken on board and at airports, especially in the Far East. Airline is also in contact with relevant aviation and health authorities more..

Yasantha Kodagoda approved as SC justice; AHMD Nawaz as Appeals Court President

Jan 24 (AD) Constitutional Council (CC) on Friday approved the recommendation to appoint President’s Counsel (PC) Yasantha Kodagoda as a Supreme Court justice. Prez Rajapaksa had made the recommendation to the Constitutional Council last week. PC Yasantha Kodagoda was appointed the President of Appeals Court on the 28th of March last year. The Prez recommended Mr. Kodagoda to the Supreme Court to fill more..

Census of population and housing in 2021

Jan 24 (AD) An extraordinary gazette notification has been issued pertaining to a census of population and housing that is scheduled to be conducted in 2021. Minister of Finance, Economy and Policy Development PM Mahinda Rajapaksa issued the extraordinary gazette notification yesterday, by virtue of the powers vested in him under Section 2 of Census Ordinance. Dept of Census and Statistics said that preliminary work with regard to the 15th census of population and housing in SL more..

BOI signs agreement with Knitline Apparels

Jan 24 (AD) Board of Investment of SL signed an Agreement with Knitline Apparels Ltd to set up a manufacturing plant. Knitline Apparels will be setting up a high tech garment factory specialized in the manufacturing of flat knit fashion apparel. Under this Agreement signed recently the Company will manufacture knitwear such as pullovers, dresses, sweaters and beanies in SL. The agreement was signed by Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of the BoI & Riz Onies CEO of Knitline Apparels. more..

JVP demands action against all white-collar criminals behind bond scam,...

Jan 24 (EN) Armed with evidence presented in the recently-tabled forensic audit report, JVP demanded that former Central Bank governors Arjuna Mahendran and Ajith Nivaad Cabral be tried in court in connection with the so called bond scam. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, who chaired the COPE that probed the alleged bond scam, accused what he called a ring of white-collar criminals hailing from influential families of committing more..

Cops bust international gang moving ganja from AP to Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (TOI) Mahabubnagar police on Thusday busted an international ganja peddling racket and arrested four persons who were transporting the contraband from Andhra Pradesh to SL. Police seized 180 kilos of ganja worth Rs 21 lakh from the possession of the accused. The gang was using RFID tags to track the contraband during its transit across int'l waters. The arrested were identified as P Satish from Madurai, K Kalyan from Hyderabad, M Ajith of TN’s Theni and G Surendran more..

Judge wants writ application against Bathiudeen referred to different bench

Jan 24 (Island) Court of Appeal re-fixed for Jan 27, Writ Application filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice, complaining against the deforestation of the Wilpattu jungle. The petitioner had alleged that Rishad Bathiudeen, MP for Mannar District had attempted to settle Muslims in the area, as they had been allegedly displaced from the Northern Province. The deforestation, badly affects the environmental balance in the area. It is detrimental to the animal and the plant life in the area. more..

Rusirupala Tennakoon

Editing our souls for justice

Jan 24 (CT) Now that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a Presidential Committee to probe all allegations of crime committed by members of the former government during their tenure, the next few weeks will go into collecting data of such allegations and other related details that are necessary for the prosecution of such allegations. That in itself will see scores of people experienced in the specific types of cases being deployed to collect data. more..

Foundations of incivility

Jan 24 (FT) Lack of advanced political consciousness and democratic discipline can be considered as one of the main reasons for the crisis and the failure that SL is facing. This can be considered a situation that has prevailed since independence. SL gained independence without having to make a serious social struggle for it. None of the pioneering political leaders who emerged when Sri Lanka entered the modern age had any knowledge or deep understanding of more..