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Now SOFA agreement with US

May 19 (ST) Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana raised concerns of the Sri Lanka Govt — during his visit to Washington DC this week — with his US counterpart, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, on the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the two countries. SOFA is another controversial agreement the US was proposing to Acquisition and Cross Services Agreement (ACSA) signed first in 2007 & renewed in 2017. more..

Malinga most hammered IPL bowler

May 19 (SO) Lasith Malinga finished the 2019 IPL by conceding a whopping 438 runs from 12 matches while taking 16 wickets and conceding an economy rate of 9.76 runs per over in the tournament which is the highest conceded by any bowler in the top 25 rankings at the end of the League. Playing for the Mumbai Indians Malinga conceded 20 runs in his third over or 16th over of the innings in the final against Chennai Super Kings that Jasprit Bumrah had to overcome in the following 17th over more..

Video: Civilians killed in war remembered at Vellamullivaikkal

May 19 (AD) A commemoration was held at Vellamullivaikal today (18), in memory of the Tamil civilians who were killed in the war. Vellamullivaikal was used as a human shield by the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran during the final battle of the war. The commemoration, organized by the TNA and the student union of the University of Jaffna, was held at Vellamullivaikkal beach. Police officers had been deployed to the event to beef up the security at the site. more..

Strengthening financial stability after Easter attacks

May 19 (ST) Sri Lanka will be taking austerity measures to strengthen financial sector stability in the wake of economic instability inflicted in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday terror. Treasury has already tightened fiscal policy controlling govt expenditure while diverting the cash flow towards meeting out defence expenses. A sum of around Rs.4.12 billion has been set apart for current defence spending in addition to Rs.393 b more..

Glyphosate under fire from San Francisco to Sri Lanka

May 19 (AFP) The active ingredient in Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup is glyphosate, one of the world’s most widely used herbicides that has become highly controversial because of claims of its links to cancer. A San Francisco court this week ordered Bayer-owned Monsanto to pay more than $2 billion in damages to a couple who claimed the product caused their cancer, in the third such ruling since August 2018. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer more..

Video: 762 inmates granted Presidential Pardon for Vesak

May 19 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has granted presidential pardon to 762 inmates detained over minor offences today (18), in view of the Vesak Poya Day. The ceremony granting pardon for the prisoners was held at the Welikada Prison Grounds this morning. 736 male detainees and 28 female detainees from 30 prisons across the country, including 117 inmates of the Welikada Prison, 62 inmates from the Pallekele Open Prison, 55 from the Mahara Prison, 50 from A'pura Prison, more..

GK saga nears the end after a decade of depositor sufferings wler

May 19 (ST) The last lot in the official list of disgruntled depositors of Golden Key Credit Card Co Ltd (GK) will be getting their 41% repayment of their security deposits soon signalling the end of an over 10-year saga tainted with sorrowful memories, deception, back-stabbing and political interfering. The Treasury will release Rs.500 million to make repayment for 64 security deposit holders remaining to be paid from the financial allocation made more..

1st ODI between Scotland and Sri Lanka in Edinburgh abandoned

May 19 (ST) The first ODI between touring Sri Lanka and hosts Scotland was abandoned after torrential rain washed out hopes of beginning the match at Edinburgh yesterday. The match was scheduled to begin at 11.00am local time (3.30pm SL time) but rain continued up until 12.30pm, when the cutoff of number of overs begin. Match officials inspected the ground more than once and finally decided to abandone the game, after going through a final check at 8.00pm SL time. more..

Sri Lanka bank on Mendis

May 19 (Island) Sri Lanka chased down a historic series win in Port Elizabeth in February, Kusal Mendis batted like Roy Dias. Those straight drives off Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada with stunning wrist work made people to marvel his batting. In the absence of the team’s two senior most batters – Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal – Mendis took it upon himself to finish the job. His unbeaten 84 won him the Man of the Match award as SL became the first Asian nation to win a series more..

Chinese workers recalled after attacks

May 19 (ST) As a crippling effect of the recent bombings and racial attacks, Chinese companies involved in as much as 40 per cent of construction in the country, have recalled some of their key staff while most other blue collar workers don’t turn up for work, industry officials say. Supervisors and top management including engineers, etc were immediately recalled by the main Chinese companies after bomb attacks more..

Hemas Hospitals takes legal action against fake news

May 19 (AD) Hemas Hospitals has again been victimized as a result of fake news being circulated among the public. Over the past few years, certain individuals with disruptive intentions have circulated a fictitious leaflet alleging that Hemas Hospitals is providing discounts for patients of a specific race or faith. Hemas Hospitals would like to state that this is not true. This fake news is a result of a bogus leaflet which was circulated in the Thalawathugoda area in 2015. more..

Sri Lanka's Buddhists mark somber Vesak after Easter Sunday attacks

May 19 (Reuters) Buddhist Sri Lankans marked the festival of Vesak in low key celebrations on Saturday amid heightened religious tensions in the Indian Ocean nation following the deadly Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 250 people. Vesak, a festival that commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha, is celebrated on a full moon day in May, with the festivities extending for at least a week. But the typical colorful lanterns and brightly-lit shelters with more..

IOC warns Sports Minister in exercising his power

May 19 (ST) International Olympic Committee (IOC) has warned the Sports Minister not to exercise his powers under the existing Sports Law until it is revised as it goes against the basic principle of 'responsible autonomy’ of the Olympic Movement. The warning comes in the wake of Sports Minister’s decision to appoint interim committees to a number of National Federations including the Archery and Judo Federations more..

OPA interacts with the government to help restore normal economic activity in SL

May 19 (Island) Easter Sunday terror attacks have caused a serious setback to SL’s economy. The country is floundering with public life and professional organizations still seeking normalcy to function within their usual routines, says Saman Warusavithana, President-elect of the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA). The pervading atmosphere of gloom has badly affected the economy because of the uncertainty enveloping the country, he told a news conference more..

When a Cambrian shot to fame

May 19 (SO) The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year produced its first ever Cambrian who won the top award in Sahan Wijeratne who sported the crown in 2002 some 24 years after the inauguration of the event. The promising cricketer from Prince of Wales became the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 2002, the third in the new millennium after Kaushalya Weeraratne of Trinity College, Kandy in 2000 and Kaushal Lokuarachchi more..

Avishka vs ICC: Battle is on

May 19 (ST) At the end of the first day’s play against Australia during the second Test in Canberra, Avishka Gunawardene, SL’s stop-gap batting coach, was in the team hotel when two ICC anti-corruption officers walked in and asked for his mobile phones. They said they were following instructions from headquarters. He did not hesitate. He led them to his room, and after telephoning his wife in SL, he handed over both phones. more..

Jinadasa hopes for skills boost in Botsawana tour

May 19 (CT) Asian title winning National Netball Coach Thilaka Jinadasa is aiming for another miraculous performance at the forthcoming World Cup as the Sri Lanka team leave for the world’s 18th ranked Botswana tomorrow for a friendly series which Jinadasa hopes will help players to boost their skills ahead of the World Championship. “I’m satisfied with my team and the selections, and I’m very thankful to the Sports Ministry for organising a friendly tournament ahead of the World Cup. more..

Sumathi Dharmawardena promoted as Additional Solicitor General of AGD

May 19 (ST) Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) Sumathi Dharmawardena, who was instrumental in preparing the proposed match-fixing Law, has been promoted Additional Solicitor General (ASG) of the Attorney General’s Department. He is a member of the Appeal Board of the Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency. In addition, he advises the Ministry of Sports with regard to Legal matters, including drafting new legislation to prevent corruption and match-fixing in Sports. more..

Take tough decisions: Former President

May 19 (CT) Former President and incumbent Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa in an interview said, a terrorist of religious extremism doesn’t really have a religion. His beliefs don’t represent a religion or a race. Q: The country is yet to return to a state of normalcy following the Easter Sunday attacks. As former President, do you see at least some sort of a peaceful state? A: This is a very unfortunate situation. more..

Raising hopes

May 19 (ST) Bleary-eyed, I was woken up by the shrill rings of the landline. As I picked it up, I was distracted by the barking of the neighbourhood dogs. Looking out of the window, I could see they were disturbed by the presence of Kussi Amma Sera, Serapina and Mabel Rasthiyadu engaged in a conversation at the gate – this time not as usual under the Margosa tree. Pity, because the Margosa tree conversations gave a lot of food for thought and ideas for the column. more..

We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now

May 19 (ST) My dear Velu, I am writing to you after a very long time. I thought I should, even though you are now in the Land of Never Return. That is because it is exactly 10 years to the day since you left us, meeting your end in a watery grave at Nanthikadal. You may want to know how we are, since that fateful day 10 years ago. You will be annoyed to know that since your departure, we had almost 10 years of peace. I say ‘almost’ because it lasted a month less than 10 years, more..

ශ්රී ලංකා ඉංජිනේරු බලකායේ සුනඛයින් ii

The aftermath

May 19 (SO) Aftermath is the entirety of all consequences of a disastrous event. In the stupor of grief following Easter Sunday, it now seems that we have not ceased to finger our foulest wounds as the Russian poet observed in her poem written a century earlier in 1919. When confronted with a mindless mass murder in the most horrific fashion what do we do? The natural response of those who witnessed the horror from a distance as well as those who survived the event at more..

What the SL Muslim community lacks

May 19 (Island) An obviously spontaneous outbreak of violence over a Facebook post in the Chilaw town in the Puttalam district, soon resulted in several non-spontaneous and obviously organized attacks on Muslim-owned shops and business establishments in places like Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya and Dummalasuriya in the neighbouring Kurunegala District and also in places like Minuwangoda in the Gampaha district. While the clash in Chilaw, which is supposed to have sparked off more..

Night of the broken glass

May 19 (CT) The two armoured trucks roared down the street raising a cloud of dust and ash as they reached the smoldering eastern end of the Minuwangoda Town, which had, on the previous evening, been targeted by heavily armed mobs hunting for Ethnic Muslims and their homes and establishments. Perhaps the armoured trucks, loaded with soldiers in full battle gear and armed to the teeth, had arrived much too late simply more..

Metta in a violent world

May 19 (ST) Vesak, celebrated by the Buddhist world and marked by the United Nations due to the efforts of a Sri Lankan Christian Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, is being observed in this country in a sombre way this year. The reverberations from the Easter Sunday multiple bombings on churches and hotels still resonate throughout the country; the Government trying desperately to avoid more mayhem by those responsible for the April 21 attacks. more..

A Vesak thought

May 19 (Island) Vesak could not have dawned on this trouble-torn land at a better time. The occasion, when the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha are commemorated, is the time for self-reflection and pursuit of inner happiness which is not attainable without love and compassion towards others. The most important of the achievements of ancient Lankans inspired by Buddhism was popular morality, which has sadly been in decline. more..

The Bulathwatte bewilderment

May 19 (SO) Army Intelligence Major Prabath Bulathwatte has been back in the spotlight after Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake stunned civil society in a television interview last week, announcing that the officer, who was interdicted for allegedly running the white van squad responsible for a slew of attacks against journalists, had been reinstated into a team under Senanayake’s more..

Look within for solutions

May 19 (CT) Remember Arun Sitharth Maithreyan, the Tamil youth from Jaffna who came into the limelight a few months ago? The AVAA Group’s member’s appearance before electronic media came at a time when the said group was alleged being behind a number of incidents that took place in the North and the East, most memorable of such incidents being the killing of two policemen who were on duty in Vavunathivu. (It was later revealed that the group of extremists who carried out more..

A long war against racism

May 19 (SO) Ten years ago, Sri Lanka finally ended a bloody conflict that spanned three decades. It is particularly tragic that the week preceding this milestone was marked by calls to guard against a repeat of July 1983, which likely sparked the full-blown war over Tamil separatism. Before the riots of July 1983, the LTTE numbered a few dozen scrappy militants operating largely in Jaffna. For four long days, the mobs pillaged and killed. Some estimates claim up to 3000 Tamils were killed, more..

SL marks 10 years since end of civil war

May 18 (IANS) As Sri Lanka on Saturday marked the 10-year anniversary since its brutal civil war came to an end, the country finds itself again at a crossroads following the Easter Sunday bombings that ripped through the nations fragile peace and fuelled some of the islands worst fears of returning to violence. The island nation was set to commemorate the end of the bloody armed conflict between the govt and the LTTE. more..

SL: Impunity fuels recurrence of violence

May 18 (AI) On the tenth anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s three decade-long internal armed conflict, Amnesty International calls on the govt of Sri Lanka to end impunity and put accountability for crimes under international law and human rights violations and abuses at the heart of its transitional justice process. The horrific Easter Sunday attacks on 21 April 2019, that killed more than 250 people at 3 churches and 3 hotels, more..

Insurance firm refuses to cover cancelled holiday to Sri Lanka

May 18 (TG) A family whose planned summer holiday to Sri Lanka will have to be cancelled have expressed disbelief after their travel insurer refused to cover their losses, but told them they would be uninsured if they went ahead. Sam Williams says his annual travel policy with Ecclesiastical turned out to be worthless after it emerged it would not cover the cancellation of his trip in the wake of the Foreign Office more..

Amended Bill to regulate madrasas to be presented to Cabinet: PM

May 18 (FT) An amended version of the Madrasa Education Regulatory Bill to regulate madrasas will be presented to Cabinet following discussions with the Attorney General’s Department and the Muslim Affairs Ministry, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He said discussions with stakeholders, including the Muslim Affairs Ministry and AG’s Dept will continue, and the amendments would be included in a fresh draft more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa confirms presidential run in anxious Sri Lanka

May 18 (AJ) Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, accused by rights groups of war crimes during the final months of Sri Lanka's long-running civil war a decade ago, has confirmed he plans to run for the presidency in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks that have shattered the country's uneasy peace. Rajapaksa, the brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, told Al Jazeera that he would stand as more..

Discriminatory fund allocation in East: GMOA levels allegations against SMH Cassim

May 18 (CT) Govt doctors yesterday alleged that State Minister of Health (SMH) Faizal Cassim was negatively impacting the health services of the Eastern Province with his racist activities. In a letter to President Sirisena, Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Haritha Aluthge claimed that GMOA branch unions in the East had informed the GMOA’s Executive Committee regarding Cassim’s discriminatory conduct towards health services of the East. more..