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What happened to me happened to Maithri as well: MR

Jan 16 (DM) Former Prez Rajapaksa said same fate had befallen on both him and Prez Sirisena, because both of their tenures of presidency had been reduced by at least one year. He said he made a mistake by calling for prez election 2 yrs prior to his tenure was expired. “I call it a sacrifice. When things go wrong, let’s call it a sacrifice. (laughter among people). I was labelled as a dictator back then. Whose the dictator now? more..

Tamil Nadu collects nearly 40,000 books for Jaffna library

Jan 16 (DC) To replenish the resources of Jaffna Public Library in Sri Lanka which had lost its rare collections of books and manuscripts to a fire in 1981, the directorate of public libraries has so far collected nearly 40,000 Tamil books from general public and educational institutions. Tamil Nadu govt has launched a drive to collect one lakh Tamil books for the Jaffna public library in October. “We received books through our readers, general public and educational institutions. more..

Amaraweera refuses helicopter, returns on SLAF flight

Jan 16 (DM) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, who had refused a private helicopter, had returned on an SLAF routine flight this morning from Palali. The pilot of the private helicopter, which carried the Minister to Palali, had reportedly lost way to the runway and had been airborne for over 45 minutes searching for the Palali runaway to land. Minister had come to Palali to attend a Thai Pongal function, however had requested the support of the Air Force following the incident. more..

After SC rules five years, President still under fire for asking the question

Jan 15 (FT) President Sirisena has continued to be at the receiving end of strong criticism, even after the SC put an end to speculation about the duration of his term on Sunday. PMD confirmed that the 5-judge bench of the SC which held a public hearing on the question posed by Prez Sirisena about whether his term would end in 5 or 6 years, had communicated its decision to the President that he could hold office for a period of 5 years more..

CA defers all 8 LG Petitions for today

Jan 16 (FT) The Court of Appeal fixed for today eight similar Writ Petitions on the rejection of nomination papers over the issue of female candidates. Justice Shiran Gunaratne postponed the matter for today as the bench comprised President of the Court of Appeal Justice L. T. B. Dehideniya, who has been promoted to the Supreme Court. The matter remained listed for yesterday before Justices Dehideniya and Gunaratne. SLPP, SLFP and UPFF have filed the Writ petitions. more..

Revisions to Sri Lankan map after 18 years

Jan 16 (GDI) Department of Survey General has taken steps to revise the geographical map of Sri Lanka after 18 years. The new SL map which consists 92 maps in 1: 50,000 ratio is in progress, Survey General P.M.P. Udayakantha said. During this 18-year period, the geography of the country had undergone several developments including territorial changes adding new Colombo port city. The map, which is developing with satellite technology will be included to the website of more..

Licence of pilot who flew Minister suspended

Jan 16 (DN) Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the licence of the pilot who had flown the civilian aircraft that transported Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and his delegation to Palali without a proper flight plan and endangered the lives of his passengers. A newspaper report was published claiming that the Air Force had flown the Minister to Palali and that the pilot had been uncertain of the route to his destination. more..

Houston Marathon: Hiruni shatters SL record

Jan 15 (CT) US based SL marathoner Hiruni Wijayaratne rewrote SL record book shattering the Sri Lanka Women's marathon record when she finished 8th at the Houston Marathon on Sunday. Hiruni clocked an astonishing 2h36m35 s renewing her personal best by 7 minutes and shattering the SL record by almost four minutes in freezing weather where it was 2C when the race started. Previous record was set by Geethani Rajasekara (2:40.07 min) in 2015. more..

TNA office attacked in Mannar

Jan 15 (Island) Manthai police in Mannar have received a complaint that the TNA office and the house of a candidate in the adjacent area were attacked last Sunday. The candidate has complained that banners, posters and buntings kept in the party office were all destroyed and stones and bottles were thrown at his house. When the inmates of the house came out the attackers lit firecrackers before fleeing in a vehicle. TNA has claimed the attackers are EPRLF supporters. more..

Chinese billionaire invests in SupremeSAT

Jan 15 (FT) Cai Xiaoru, Forbes listed young billionaire of mainland China, has signed the partnership agreement and committed to invest $ 30 million into SriLankan satellite company SupremeSAT through his Shenzhen listed company Tatwah Smartech. Agreement signing was concluded in Colombo, paving the way for SL’s only satellite company to go global using the expertise and resources of the new-found investment. more..

'Protest in Parliament premeditated by JO'

Jan 15 (FT) Increasing the pressure on the Speaker to take disciplinary action, the JO yesterday admitted to planning the protest that erupted when PM Ranil Wickremesinghe presented the statement on the bond report to Parliament. JO MP Udaya Gammanpilla said that the group had been unofficially informed that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya would not be tabling the bond report in Parliament despite agreeing to do so at a party leaders meeting the previous day. more..

SL worst in Moody’s Asia Pacific ratings

Jan 15 (CT) Global credit rating giant Moody's Investors Service says that of the 24 sovereigns that they rate in Asia Pacific, only Sri Lanka has a negative outlook as of January 2018. Releasing its 2018, Asia Pacific rating outlook Report, Moody's stated that capital outflows are a channel of vulnerability in countries such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Mongolia, adding that frontier markets are vulnerable to interest rate and currency shocks. Of the 24 countries rated in Asia Pacific, more..

Tourism industry slams govt for inconsistent policymaking

Jan 15 (FT) The tourism industry yesterday slammed the Government for its inconsistent policymaking and expressed confusion over the uncertainty on the opening hours of liquor shops. On 11 January, the Department of Fiscal Policy of the Ministry of Finance issued an extraordinary gazette notification announcing that steps have been taken to revise the business hours of all licensed liquor shops in SL listing the new business hours. more..

Strengthening Sri Lankan SMEs in exports vital for development: Eran

Jan 15 (LBO) SL’s plans to increase the contribution made by smaller-scale businesses to exports and lift foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2018 were both topics of conversation at a meeting held recently between minister Eran Wickramaratne, and a team from Oxford Business Group (OBG). During the talks, he said the budget for 2018 included measures aimed at bolstering support for SMEs as part of broader plans to hand them a bigger role in SL’s economic development. more..

Industrial production improves 4.6%

Jan 15 (Island) SL’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) in the month of Nov 2017 has improved by 4.6% from 104.3% in Nov 2016 to 108.9% in Nov 2017. According to provisional data comparing change from Nov 2016 to Nov 2017, manufacture of coal and refined petroleum products rose by a sharp 26.5%, manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations by 17%, manufacture of machinery & equipment by 15.2% and manufacture of textiles by 12%. more..

NOCSL conundrum continues

Jan 15 (ST) The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka is governed by the dual jurisdiction of the Olympic Charter and Sri Lanka’s Sports Law, senior legal experts said this week, contradicting the position taken by NOCSL Secretary-General Maxwell de Silva. The incumbent NOCSL General Secretary maintains that the domestic body does not fall under the purview of the Sports Law but the Olympic Charter which more..

Dickwella in for IPL auction

Jan 15 (Island) As many as 1,122 players have registered themselves to go under the hammer at the upcoming player auction later this month for The IPL tournament. Lasith Malinga will lead Sri Lanka’s entourage that includes ODI captain Angelo Mathews, the exciting Niroshan Dickwella and all-rounder Thisara Perera. This is the largest number ever in the 11-year history of the richest and the world’s most popular T20 League, owned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). more..

Sri Lanka drop Samarawickrama

Jan 15 (Island) SL have dropped promising top order batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama for the two match Test series against Bangladesh. Samarawickrama, who made his Test debut against Pakistan during the tour of UAE, played all three Tests against India and finished with 74 runs in six innings. The 22-year-old is one of the brightest prospects around having finishing the last domestic season as the highest run getter. His close-in fielding earned the praise of former Indian more..

JVP press conference

Overlapping school cricket plans by SLC and MoE

Jan 15 (ST) The futuristic and timely schools cricket development programme was launched last week under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, but sans the customary pomp and pageant. At a juncture when the schools sphere is growing in quantity sans quality, a group of cricket doyens grouped to bring about some sanity to this segment of the game that has been the feeder point to the national grid through its history. Besides the customary officials of SL Schools Cricket more..

SL Economic Association elects new executive committee

Jan 15 (DM) The AGM of the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA) was held on Jan 11th 2018 at the auditorium of the Economic Department of University of Colombo. A new Executive Council of SLEA for 2018 was elected unanimously at the AGM. Dr. Upananada Vidanapathirana was re-elected as president. Rev. Prof. W. Wimalarathana, Chandradsena Maliyadda, Dr. Lochana Gunaratna, Dr. Sarath Rajapathirana, Dr. Lloyd Fernando, Raja Korale, M.B. Kiriella, Nihal Rodrigo were more..

Do not be afraid to play your shots, Hatu tells Mendis

Jan 15 (Island) Many are the cricketers who have attributed their transformation into more effective players to coach Chandika Hathurusingha. Having promised the fans to start playing the SL brand of cricket soon, the 49-year-old has been moving about forming the nucleus that will help the team to get back to their glory days. Watching Sri Lanka play one-day cricket last year was a painful experience. more..

Economics of the double tongue

Jan 15 (ST) Recently, one of my colleagues, an Economics Lecturer, Indrajit Aponso, was explaining to me how disciplined drivers lose against reckless drivers. It is customary that road indiscipline has become a hot topic so that everyday many including all types of media have something to say about it. I remembered speaking on the same subject to another friend, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith who happened to tell me about his observations. Motorists are confused because more..

Sisters Nikini and Nethmi excel in Karate

Jan 15 (ST) Two sisters – 18-year-old Nikini Jayalath (grade 13) and 14-year-old Nethmi Jayalath (grade 9) are promising Karate players studying at Sri Sangamitta girls national school Matale. By now they have achieved several victories in martial art at all island open karate championships held during the year 2017. Nikini won a gold medal for her first place in the U/21 kumite while her sister Nethmi was successful in winning a bronze medal for her 3rd place in U/15 kumite at more..

Journey to equal grounds: LGBTIQ community faces many challenges

Jan 16 (CT) SL's record of a low prevalence of people living with either HIV or AIDS is being maintained but experts warn that negative attitudes towards people falling within the LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning) spectrum remain and that it hinders programmes to help patients. According to 2016 estimates, SL's prevalence of HIV is at 0.1% with 4,000 adults over 15 yrs of age living with HIV. more..

Discrimination in 2018: It’s the little things that matter the most

Jan 15 (Island) Google in Sri Lanka now defaults to Sinhala. Whenever you access a Google Form, the interface by default is in Sinhala. Whenever you use Google Maps, road, place and now even names of famous buildings, are rendered in Sinhala. Search for Chunnakam, close to Jaffna, and Google Maps translates the place name, in Sinhala, to Hunugama - wrong on so many levels. There is no Tamil place marker either. Jaffna gets a Sinhala label as Yapanaya, but no Tamil place name, more..

Technology-related violence against women and girls in Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (GV) There is little research done on technology-based violence against women in Sri Lanka. In addition, there are no trilingual, easily accessible, open-source resources for digital security, key because many leaks occur due to lack of understanding about security measures to ensure privacy online. Research shows the varied impact of online harassment can be felt offline. The stigma has even driven young girls to suicide in SL. Attempts to report violations to Facebook more..

Face the Nation

Editorial: Interesting times

Jan 15 (Island) The SC has decided that the length of President Sirisena’s term is five years. Why the President ever sought an opinion from the apex court on that non-issue is baffling. Any layman with a nodding acquaintance with the 19-A would have told him he had lost one year of his term and he had to come to terms with that fact. President Sirisena’s right to consult the SC cannot be questioned, but it certainly was a mistake for him to be seen to be desirous of holding office for six years more..

MMDA: Personal Narratives – 8

Jan 16 (GV) This is the seventh in a series of videos conducted by sister publication Maatram, highlighting the difficulties faced by women under the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA). Article 16 of the constitution states that existing written and unwritten laws, such as the MMDA, will continue in force even over constitutional law. There is currently a campaign for the reform of personal laws, with some calling for the repeal of Article 16 altogether. more..

'No political solution for Tamil grievances in sight'

Jan 15 (CT) Northern Minister of Women Affairs, Ananthy Sasitharan said the Int'l Community had taken a different stance over humanitarian issues in Sri Lanka, thus letting down the war-affected people. "We were under the impression that US High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid al-Hussein, would somehow help us to find a solution to our grievances. However, his recent stand & statements were in total contrast to more..

Will the economy achieve growth exceeding 5% this year?

Jan 16 (ST) The economy is expected to achieve a higher growth than last year. The projected growth rates range from 4.5 to 5.5%. Growth in the global economy is expected to support Sri Lankan exports and enhance industrial growth, while improved weather conditions are expected to revive agricultural output. Governor of the CB, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, when unveiling the Road Map for 2018 on Jan 3rd, disclosed that CB projects the economy to grow by 5 to 5.5% this year, more..

Standing diplomacy on its head

Jan 16 (ST) In my college days, I remember reading a book of essays by the great American satirist and cynic S.J. Perelman. That collection of essays titled Crazy like a Fox turned me into an instant admirer of this humourist who was a regular contributor to The New Yorker. My mind was thrown back to the Perelman era making me wonder what he would have said had he followed with increasing wonderment the passing comedy called diplomacy in SL and the antics of some who profess to more..

PM meets youth parliament members

Jan 16 (SO) Members of youth parliament met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees to discuss their problems last week. Here are their questions and the PM’s answers. Q: PM, in place of the present competitive education system in the country what steps will be taken by the govt to elicit the innate talents of each student? A: It is an important question. We should weigh the pros and cons of the competitive exam system more..

Is Sri Lanka a killing field full of toxins where people die of chronic disease?

Jan 16 (CT) The claim that Sri Lankan soils and its agricultural produce are full of toxins, and that it is a killing field is an attractive slogan for those foreign agents who compete with Sri Lanka’s agricultural products. It is also a useful cry for those who want to destroy the rural landscape and replace it by an urban Megalopolis. Tea, rice and most leafy vegetables and grains accumulate toxins from the soil during the plant’s period of growth, and the toxin accumulation in the rice grains or tea leaves, more..

We can’t let oddities & lapses of this Govt distract from our Yahapâlana goal

Jan 16 (CT) “President Sirisena must leave aside any private adventures and re-dedicate himself to represent the promised revolution that alone will awaken our nation. If he doesn’t, the struggle will continue into the future in probably violent phases- engulfing him, his men, and the country. The simple logical reason is that that yahapalanaya is a must and the current contradictions must lead to that Hegelian dialectic.” Yes, lot’s of funny things are happening on the govt side giving more..