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What the LK domain registry hack means for all of us

Feb 27 (Roar) You may recall a recent uproar on social media, shortly after Independence Day, when the domain appeared to have been defaced, redirecting users to a site that detailed ongoing social issues. At first, it seemed like the typical website defacement that has been known to take place around important dates on the Sri Lanka calendar (not that this is something to be relieved about). more..

Will SL emulate UK’s Overseas Operations Bill? (Service Personnel and Veterans)

Feb 27 (DM) As a democracy built on British parliamentary model, it is nothing new that Sri Lanka emulates legislative work of the House of Commons of the UK in evolving legislation here. During the time of the former govt, fresh initiatives were taken in working out the Counter Terrorism Bill to be enacted repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act, a proposal envisaged even in the 30/1 resolution adopted by the UNHRC in 2015 with co-sponsorship of Sri Lanka under the then govt. more..

UNHCR should focus on the sovereignty of the oppressed not of the oppressors

Feb 27 (CT) Most countries when confronted with human right violations in their countries they hide behind the sovereignty principle of the UNHRC. Most recent case is the report on human rights violations by the SL govt. Besides the human rights questions related to 30 year civil war, 2021 preliminary report sent to SL, it is reported prominent charges have been raised on the 20th constitutional amendment, military appointments to civil administration etc by the new govt more..

වත්මන් දේශපාලන තත්ත්වය | සටන

Geneva circus is back in town

Feb 27 (CT) Since the end of the war in 2009, every year, come January, February, the SL Govt starts scrambling to respond to the Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva. Once the sessions are over, other priorities take over. This has been the cycle for the past 12 years. Yet, problems on the ground remain largely unsolved. As I write this, the Foreign Minister has made his statement in response to the High Commissioner’s report and member States are expressing their stance on Sri Lanka. more..

The Unthinkable!

Feb 27 (Island) A global pandemic shutting down most economies and resulting in over half a million deaths, would have been dismissed as science fiction and not even science fiction written by the likes of Arthur Clark or Isaac Asimov. It would have been categorised as bad, cheap, and even rubbish fiction. However, the unthinkable has happened and we are in the middle of it, and it seems the great dominant human race is only just barely even stevens with the Virus. more..

Scholar-politician spent a contented life

Feb 27 (ST) A Sinhala scholar, author and lyricist, known for his literary bent, the veteran Haputale politician, W.J.M. Lokubandara, former Speaker, had wanted his last rites to be an example to others, his family says. He died from the coronavirus disease at the age of 80 at the IDH last week & was cremated at Kotikawatte crematorium. Son Udith said that his father had asked that roads not be closed for his funeral cortege. more..

UNHRC sessions: What SL should have done

Feb 27 (DM) UNHRC is in session and SL is among the countries that have come before its scanner. It is a slur on SL’s reputation when it is being lumped together with big time human rights violators such as Israel, Syria and North Korea, with member-state after member-state taking the floor to act like prosecutor, the jury and the judge. They do so as though they have not done any sins. There is no motto to adore the UNHRC’s dove and olive branch logo, which, together with the colors used, more..

Lanka’s Ambassador in Geneva set to align with world’s worst human rights violators

Feb 27 (CI) Candauda Arachchige Chandraprema better known in para-military circles as Thadi Priyantha (Large Priyantha) and current Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva has aligned SL with some of the worst human rights violators in the world. We can confirm that on Ambassador Chandraprema’s recommendation the Foreign Ministry has granted approval for the SL delegation in Geneva to intervene at the UNHRC in support of Syria, Eretria, Belarus and several other more..

Mini World’s End in Madulsima: Better safe than sorry

Feb 27 (TM) In early Feb 2021, it was reported that a person who had gone on an excursion to Mini World’s End in Madulsima had gone missing. Unfortunately, the gentleman’s body was later discovered by military officers after a 3-day search, after inspecting nearly 200 feet of the precipice. Prior to the pandemic, Mini World’s End in Madulsima was known as an extremely popular camping spot for many travel enthusiasts and more..

Sajeewa Chamikara; where are you?

Feb 27 (DM) SL is a preferred destination for foreign tourists because of the greeneries and the lushes environment visible in most locations. They know little of about the wanton destruction of forests that is taking place; much to the dismay of environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts. There were much protests and loads of newspaper articles written on deforestation that’s happening, but the govt remains unconcerned. There are allegations made against state officers who are more..

Commission report: Back to square one

Feb 27 (DM) When the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was appointed in 2010 by Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa, the New York based HRW said in a statement “SL has a long history of establishing ad hoc commissions to deflect international criticism over its poor human rights record and widespread impunity. Since independence in 1948, SL has established at least 10 such commissions, none of which have produced any significant results.” more..

Recommendations of Easter attack commission beyond given mandate: SLFP

Feb 26 (AD) SLFP stressed that the final report compiled by the PCoI which investigated the Easter Sunday terror attacks has presented its conclusions and recommendations beyond its given mandate. A statement issued by the Executive Committee of SLFP today said the PCoI was appointed to uncover local and foreign involvement in the attacks and identifying the objectives of those involved and more..

China commends SL for promoting and protecting human rights

Feb 26 (DM) China has commended the govt of SL for its efforts to actively promote and protect human rights, advance sustainable economic and social development, improve people's living standard, protect the rights of the vulnerable groups, advance national reconciliation and combat terrorism. Chinese Permanent Representative in Geneva Ambassador CHEN Xu extended China's strong support to SL in his official statement in the Interactive Dialogue on the OHCHR Report more..

Prez to open Gampaha Wickramarachchi Uni of Indigenous Medicine next week

Feb 26 (FT) Started in 1929 by Ayurveda Chakravarti Pandith G.P. Wickramarachchi, as a centre of learning Siddayurveda tradition of medicine with 20 students, Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute, currently affiliated to the Uni of Kelaniya, serves as one of the leading university institutes of Ayurveda education in SL. With the mission of becoming a global centre of excellence in indigenous medicine, the institute will be launched as the Gampaha Wickramarachchi Uni of more..

No official statement yet regarding permitting burial of Covid dead

Feb 26 (EN) There is yet no official statement confirming that the regulations stipulating the mandatory cremation of the remains of all Covid 19 victims have been amended to include burial although an amended gazette was circulated on social media. The decision by the Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi confirming the decision comes in the wake of a strong statement from the Organisation of more..

STF’s attempt to nab Navy Ruwan with heroin fails

Feb 26 (DM) An attempt to lure underworld suspect Athurugiriye Navy Ruwan to a trap by the STF personnel was failed when the suspect had fled after abandoning his vehicle in Wattala last evening. Ganemulla Police arrested three suspects including two women for possessing minor quantities of heroin and learned that they were getting them from Athurugiriye Navy Ruwan. The police with the assistance of STF then used the arrested suspects as decoys and telephoned the main suspect more..

Sri Lanka to grow 3.6% in 2021, deficit could reach 10.8%: ICRA

Feb 26 (EN) SL’s economic growth would recover to 3.6% in 2021, from a contraction in 2020, while the budget deficit may hit 10.8%, from 11.1% in 2020, ICRA, a rating agency has said. Revenues may recover to 9.6% of GDP in 2021 from 9.2% in 2020 but expenditure would remain around 20.4% from 20.3%, agency said. SL has projected revenues of 2 trillion rupees for 2021 but it may not be able to reach the target. Capital expenditure may be curtailed from projected 1 trillion levels, more..

SL puts Chinese Covid-19 vaccine on hold

Feb 26 (ANI) Sri Lanka has put Chinese Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine on hold and will use India-manufactured Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to inoculate 14 million people, a govt spokesperson Dr Ramesh Pathirana has said. According to him the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm has not yet completed phase 3 clinical trials, reported Daily Mirror. Dr Pathirana further said that the complete dossier pertaining to more..

Five new COVID-related deaths in Sri Lanka

Feb 26 (AD) Sri Lanka has confirmed 05 more COVID-19 related deaths, Director-General of Health Services confirmed today. This brings the country’s death toll from the virus to 464. Details of the recently-reported COVID victims are as follows: 01. A 69-year-old man from Nawadagala area – He had been under medical at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. After testing positive for the virus, he was transferred to Homagama Base Hospital where he passed away yesterday (25). more..

'Prez, PM were amenable from the beginning'

Feb 26 (CT) Leader of the National Congress MP M.L.M. Ataullah said he had held talks with both Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa on numerous occasions over the burial issue of COVID-19 victims. He said both leaders were in favour of burials but the health officials continued to remain with the strict stance of mandatory cremation for all. The MP also said during the Govt Parliamentary Group meeting held on 9 Jan chaired by the PM, he had insisted on the importance of taking a concrete decision more..

Cricketing legends batting for road safety

Feb 26 (DM) From the multiple Tsunami Appeal Matches in 2005, to the Big Appeal for the Bush fires in Australia last year and the annual Breast Cancer Awareness internationals in Australia and South Africa, cricket has rarely shied away from rallying some of the sport’s biggest names, of the past and present, for charitable causes. In an attempt to address a pressing problem in India, the Road Safety World Series was launched last year, more..

End of forced cremations for coronavirus victims restores dignity for Muslim burials: AI

Feb 26 (AI) Responding to the Sri Lankan authorities’ decision to end the practice of forced cremations for victims of COVID-19, Yamini Mishra, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, said: “This is a long overdue but welcome move by the Sri Lankan authorities. Forced cremations, which should never have been carried out in the first place, have denied the Muslim community the right to say goodbye to loved ones in accordance with their religious beliefs. more..

Kiriella relates how astrologer helped WJM become Speaker

Feb 26 (Island) SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that an astrologer had helped former Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara become the Speaker by predicting the auspicious time for the vote to be taken. Participating in the Condolence vote on the former Speaker Kiriella said: “When the day came to elect the new Speaker from the Opposition we fielded WJM. We did not have enough votes; nor did the govt. The previous day, we took WJM to a famous astrologer to see whether he would more..

'New taxes to be legislated by April'

Feb 26 (FT) In a bid to improve policy clarity, the Treasury yesterday said it is putting the finishing touches on a slew of taxes announced in Dec 2019 and Budget 2021 to be placed before Cabinet and finalised ahead of April to give businesses a clear start for the next tax year. Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle said that the Finance Ministry was working to legislate tax changes announced shortly after Prez Rajapaksa was elected, as well as more..

Land values in Colombo district rise 4.6%

Feb 26 (EN) Property in Colombo district had risen 4.6% in the second half of 2020 from a year earlier according to a Land Valuation Indicator tracked by the central bank. Residential values had grown 4.7%, commercial 4.5% and industrial 4.6%. In the second half of 2019 land values had grown 10.3%. Compared to the first half of 2020, land values in the Colombo district had grown 2.5%. The residential LV I had grown 2.6%, Commercial 2.5% and industrial 2.5%. more..

Feeble Feb. for CSE after jubilant Jan.

Feb 26 (FT) After a jubilant January, Colombo stock market has recorded a feeble February, suffering a 13% dip, whilst turnover was half of what was experienced in the previous month. The market saw second consecutive day of positive close with ASPI up 104 points or 1.4% and the S&PSL20 index up by over 2% or 67 points. Turnover was relatively better at Rs. 3 billion. NDB Securities said the ASPI and the S&P SL20 lost 13.75% and 15.58% respectively in February, whilst more..

India-SL air travel bubble in final stages

Feb 26 (FT) An air travel bubble between SL and India aimed at boosting tourism is in its final stage, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said. He said another round of discussion to resume flights and to launch a travel bubble between SL and India was discussed with Indian HC Dr. Gopal Bagle, Aviation State Minister D.V. Chanaka, Tourism Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi, Aviation State Ministry Secretary Madhava Devasurendra and more..

Ex-Senior DIG Anura Senanayake passes away

Feb 26 (AD) Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake has passed away this afternoon. Anura Senanayake had joined SL Police in 1973 as a Sub Inspector. He was then promoted to the rank of Inspector 8 years later. In 1985, he received a promotion to the post of Chief Inspector. He has served as the OIC of Weerangula, Veyangoda, Kilinochchi, Ragama, Welikada and mirihana police stations. Senayayake also held the post of State Information Officer in Colombo, Mount Lavinia, Batticaloa, more..

Four police officers interdicted over assault on law student

Feb 26 (AD) Four police officers – 03 Constables and one Inspector – have been interdicted for allegedly assaulting a law student at the Peliyagoda police station. Several offices attached to Peliyagoda Police had reportedly assaulted a law student named Migara Gunaratne yesterday. The victimized student was identified as the son of former Central Province Governor, President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne and the brother of Attorney-at-Law Charitha Gunaratne. more..

Video: US calls for strategy & timetable to implement OHCHR report’s...

Feb 26 (AD) US has urged SL to make public a strategy and timetable for the implementation of recommendations in the report compiled by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. Daniel Kronenfeld of the US mission in Geneva informed the UNHRC that the United States shares the concerns of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Sri Lanka. more..

Seven suspects arrested over Rs 3.8 million gold jewellery heist

Feb 26 (AD) 7 suspects who are in connection with a gold jewellery robbery at Trincomalee have been taken into custody yesterday. On the 8th of Feb, a group of robbers had broken into a shop located in Trincomalee town and ran off with gold jewellery worth Rs 3.8 million. Investigations revealed that the robbers had arrived in a boat via sea area near Koneswaram and fled through the same route after the heist. The main suspect who orchestrated the heist has been identified as a 35-year-old more..

Lankan exporters receive crucial support to enter EU-market

Feb 26 (Island) SL exporters are getting crucial support from key institutions in Europe to successfully meet with the standards the European importers require when importing goods and services from SL. These sustainability standards are partially politically driven, but they are also more and more consumer and industry driven. Besides, in line with the existing official legally binding standards, European importers require more and more consumer and industry driven standards more..

Maithri Gunaratne’s son allegedly beaten by cops, claims brother

Feb 26 (DM) Attorney-at-law Charitha Gunaratne, son of former Central Province Governor Maithri Gunaratne said his brother Migara Gunaratne was allegedly came under assault by a group of policemen at the Peliyagoda Police Station. Charitha said his brother was brutally beaten by at least ten cops when he went to give some food for his client who is detained at the Police Station. He alleged that the policemen more..

SL invents face mask that destroys viruses

Feb 26 (FT) A new face mask that destroys viruses including COVID-19 was unveiled in Parliament yesterday under the patronage of PM by a team of specialists from the Uni of Peradeniya following a long period of research. Introducing this new face mask, Senior Professor of Chemistry Gamini Rajapaksa who conducted the research presenting the mask to the PM said that this mask was made of three layers and was the most technologically advanced face mask in the world. more..

SC will take final decision: Ali Sabry

Feb 26 (CT) Minister of Justice, Ali Sabry, said the decision to institute criminal proceedings against former President Maithripala Sirisena, according to recommendations of the PCoI into the Easter Sunday attacks, was up to the Supreme Court. It could decide if Presidential immunity continued after the tenure of the Presidency adding that the Courts were in the best position to interpret the Constitution. The PCoI in its final report recommended that criminal proceedings be instituted against more..