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SLSFTA poses challenge to policy autonomy

Jan 15 (CT) The Professor W.D. Lakshman Committee appointed by Prez Sirisena to evaluate the SL Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) which was continuously criticized by professionals during the Yahapalana govt. In the face of strong requests made by professionals, this report has been publicised on the Presidential Secretariat website on 21 Dec 2018. According to this report, the committee comprising of more..

Happy Thai Pongal!

Jan 15 (Island) Cosmic phenomena has baffled mankind since time immemorial. Sun worshipping or Heliolatry was one of the most widespread forms of worship ever. Historical evidence suggests that sun-worship was practised by the Africans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indonesians and of course Indians. Tested by time one ritual of sun-worship survives to-date in the form of Thai Pongal, celebrated today by Hindus the world over. Thai Pongal marks the Indic solstice when the sun enters more..

Four years of a National Govt: Political change and economic disappointment

Jan 15 (ST) The fourth anniversary of what was a defining moment in the country’s political history passed by without much notice or celebrations. It was like a wedding anniversary of a marriage on the rocks. Jan 9, 2015, however, marked an end of a dictatorial autocratic family regime. The new govt restored the rule of law and democratic institutions. The political change was also unique in the history of the country as the two main political parties united to rule the nation. more..

මාධ්ය ඇත්තටම ජඩද ?

Edtorial: Legal education and crime

Jan 15 (Island) The crime rate is increasing alarmingly though attempts are being made, in some quarters, to have the public believe that there has been some improvement in the law and order situation. Hardly a day passes without several incidents of violence being reported. Two men were gunned down in Wattala, in broad daylight, on Sunday. The police have manifestly failed to take on the netherworld of crime and drugs the way they should. Fault, however, is not entirely theirs. more..

That murder most foul

Jan 15 (ST) Ten years have passed. The tears have dried except in the eyes of those to whom Lasantha Wickrematunga was very near and dear. The tears have gone but not the memories of an intrepid journalist, a bundle of energy often mixed with mischief and determined to follow the trail like a blood hound in pursuit of the scent. Ten years after his brutal murder, candles were lit once more, white and yellow flowers laid and prayers said in silent memory of a husband, father, brother, more..

Thai Pongal: Festival of harvests, with offerings to the Sun God

Jan 15 (SO) Hindus in SL celebrate Thai Pongal Day - culturally and traditionally the festival of harvests, on Jan 15. Some celebrate Thai Pongal for two or three days, depending on whether they are farmers, business people or those engaged in other trades. The Hindus of the North and East celebrate the festival with much hope of materialising their dreams and aspirations as the spirit of the festival calls for. more..

Reporting on identity in the Sri Lankan media: Ethics and errors

Jan 15 (GV) It was a Muslim youth who got them involved in the [drug] trade. A Tamil man who tried to enter Singapore with forged documents has been arrested. It is not uncommon to read headlines of this nature in SL print media, with perpetrators of a crime or their suspects being identified by race. In Sinhala, Tamil and English media alike, the race or ethnicity of an individual engaged in or suspected of criminal activity is often highlighted, even when it is not central to the news story, more..

When justice delayed would not be justice denied

Jan 15 (SO) Tuesday, January 8 marked a series of significant events. It was the 120th birth anniversary of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the country’s fourth PM and founder of the SLFP. It was also the fourth anniversary of the election of President Maithripala Sirisena as President. Finally, it was the tenth death anniversary of the assassination of journalist and Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. The first two events were commemorated with a sense of celebration. more..

A work of art, in all its granite glory

Jan 15 (ST) The gentle scent of incense pervades the air and the calming chant of Om floats forth interspersed by the ringing of bells with the flickering flames of numerous oil lamps beckoning people into the dim-recesses within therein an ancient world of rites and rituals opens up, spreading an aura of serenity and peace. It is the Sri Ponnambalavaneswarar Devasthana simply known as Gal Kovila/Palliya more..

Response to evasive CBSL Governor Indrajit

Jan 15 (CT) The response of the Central Bank of SL (CBSL) on behalf of its Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy to my article Governor Indrajit & EU 'Blacklist' On Money Laundering is a crude master class on PREVARICATION. In the Comments section of the Colombo Telegraph Kalinga describes it aptly as A confession of dereliction of duty and due diligence by so called govenor of CB. CBSL does not source the response to any particular official which is norm in CREDIBLE organizations. more..

Why Gota gave me a Gotler feeling

Jan 15 (CT) It is no accident that presidential- candidate hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa holds his Viyathmaga meetings in bourgeoisie spots. Once, it had been Shangri-La. Last Saturday (12), it was had been Waters Edge. Gota’s speech offered nothing to relieve the endemic poverty, pain and suffering of 80 per cent of our people. The thoughts about the poor and downtrodden were distant from his horizon. The one theme that emerged is his Hitler-like will to power. Get to that exalted seat. That’s it. more..

'SL targets three million tourists in 2019'

Jan 14 (EN) Sri Lanka is targeting three million tourists for 2019 Minister John Amaratunga said, after missing a 2.5 million target for 2018 partly due to a political and economic crisis triggered by Prez Sirisena. "We are targeting three million tourists this year," he said at the launch of an online entry permit service for the country's national parks. SL drew 2.3 million tourists in 2018 up 10.3% from a year earlier, missing a target of 2.5 mil more..

SLPP opposes proposed new Constitution

Jan 14 (DM) SLPP said it was unreservedly opposed to the proposed move to bring a new Constitution as it would create more problems rather than solving the existing ones. SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said that he called on the Mahanayake Theras of Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters during the weekend and briefed his party’s position. He said the SLPP would oppose the new Constitution both in and outside parliament. He said the MPs had no idea about the contents of the Constitution, more..

Bugs at MC: Superior hall shutdown, says CMC

Jan 14 (DM) The superior cinema hall of the Majestic Cineplex (MC) has been closed down after bugs were found in several seats inside the theatre, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said. “After I received the complaint this morning, I inspected the theatre together with a team of officials including a pest control officer, only to find bug infested seats. This discovery forced me to instruct the MC management to close down the cinema. more..

Visitors to Sri Lanka national parks to get online entry permits

Jan 14 (EN) Ministry of Tourism Dev. & Wildlife Conservation has launched an online entry permit service for national parks to make the process people-friendly and to manage over-visitation. "With e-ticketing we are going to put a system into wildlife parks," Minister John Amaratunga said. "Before, some foreigners had to queue up for hours. That was not welcome, so we put this system up to get rid of the problem." more..

Man arrested after sexually abusing dog in Balangoda

Jan 14 (AD) A person from Massenna area in Balangoda has been arrested by Balangoda Police over the charges of killing a pet dog by sexually abusing it. Reportedly, the perpetrator had stolen his neighbor’s pet dog and sexually abused the said dog at his house, last night. Subsequently, the pet owner’s son had gone to the neighbor’s house to check on the cries of the dog heard from the place. When the son he had arrived at the house, he had witnessed the suspect committing the crime more..

Sri Lanka trade school graduates finding more formal jobs: ADB

Jan 14 (EN) A growing proportion of graduates from Sri Lanka's trade schools are finding formal jobs, with most of them being hired by the private sector, a study by the ADB has found. The schools taught a variety of skills ranging from carpentry to information technology. A study covered students passing out from technical and vocational education and training (TVET) schools between 2011 and 2016. "The job placement rate of TVET graduates improved from 47.5% in 2011 to 54.5% in 2016, more..

Industrial production in Sri Lanka slows amid political crisis in November

Jan 14 (EN) Industrial activity in Sri Lanka has slowed in November with lower food production and despite growth in apparel manufacturing from a year earlier, in month when the country was gripped by a political crisis, data from state statistics office said. An Index of Industrial Production compiled by the Census and Statistics Department fell 1.2% to 107.3 points in November from a year earlier. more..

Kelani Bridge entry temporarily closed tomorrow

Jan 14 (AD) Vehicular traffic on the road from the New Kelani bridge entry towards the Kelanitissa Roundabout will be restricted over maintenance activities. The route will be closed from 8 am to 5 pm, tomorrow (15), according to the Police. Reportedly, the road will be closed due to the installation of high-voltage power cables. All heavy vehicles en route from Katunayake to Colombo on the expressway are requested to use the Peliyagoda interchange, stated the Police. more..

Steep rise in alcohol-related deaths

Jan 14 (CT) Rs 880 million was spent per annum on the consumption of alcohol and tobacco including Rs 360 million on hard liquor, Rs 130 million on soft liquor such as beer and Rs 390 million on cigarettes. In terms of cigarette consumption, 1,725,000 persons above the age of 15 including adults and 6,000 children between the ages of 10 and 14 use cigarettes daily. In terms of gender, the figure is 28.4 per cent of males above 15 years of age and 0.45 per cent of females above 15. more..

Procurement guidelines shelved

Jan 14 (CT) Govt is attempting to delay presenting the Gazette Notification on new State Procurement Guidelines prepared by the National Procurement Commission (NPC) in May 2018 to Parliament for approval. A highly placed govt source said the reason for this delay is due to a higher level of transparency demanded through these Procurement Guidelines when carrying out govt procurement processes. more..

Rajitha unafraid of presidential commissions

Jan 14 (AD) Minister Rajitha Senaratne says that he is not afraid of the proposal to appoint a special commission to investigate the allegations of fraud and corruption within the country’s health sector in the past 4 years. GMOA, speaking to reporters yesterday following a meeting with Prez Sirisena, had said that the Prez agreed to appoint a special commission to investigate the allegations. In response to this, Minister said that many presidential commissions had been appointed in the past more..

Case against Wimal postponed to March

Jan 14 (NR) The Colombo High Court today decided to postpone the hearing of a case filed by the CIABOC against MP Wimal Weerawansa, until the 27th of March. The order was issued by Colombo High Court Judge Pradeep Hettiarachchi. During today’s hearing, officials attached to the Bribery Commission have requested court to grant permission to access the computer system of a private bank in which several accounts in question were maintained by MP Weerawansa. more..

Video: Azath Salley responds to accusations from Anula parents

Jan 14 (AD) Governor of Western Province Azath Salley says that he will not let children in his province become helpless. He mentioned this with regard to a protest conducted by parents of Anula Vidyalaya, accusing the governor of threatening its Principal. A Dhamma school, which was previously conducted within the premises of Anula Vidyalaya in Nugegoda, has discontinued using the school as its venue, since 6th of Jan. more..

JVP ready to reveal to court assets of Weerawansa

Jan 14 (Island) The JVP, said that it was ready to submit to court a list of properties owned by their erstwhile colleague cum JNP leader Wimal Weerawansa, if he failed to comply with the Colombo Commercial High Court order, to pay a Rs. 10 million as damages to JVP’s General Secretary Tilvin Silva. JVP Central Committee member Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala said the lists of Weerawansa’s properties had been submitted to the CIABOC. more..

Prez made a cash donation to student, who is ranked 1st in Polonnaruwa district at A/Ls

Jan 14 (PMD) Prez Sirisena has made a cash donation of one million rupees to the student Akila Wijerathne of Medirigiriya National College, who is ranked first in the Polonnaruwa district in the Arts Stream at the GCE (A/L) Exam, at the Presidential Secretariat, today, for the benefit of her future education activities. Principal of the school, Mr. H.R Wijerathne, the father of the student and Mrs. Kumuduni Pushpalatha, the mother of the student participated on this occasion. more..

Cabinet approval to make Tripitaka a world heritage

Jan 14 (AD) President’s proposal to make the Tripitaka of Theravada Buddhism a world heritage has received the approval of the Cabinet. Recently, on 5th Jan 2019, the Tripitaka was declared a national heritage. President Sirisena, at the ceremony held to proclaim the Tripitaka a national heritage, stated that the next step would be to declare it a world heritage. Theravada Pitaka composed of the Sutra Pitaka, Vinaya Pitaka more..

Sri Lanka frozen out of IMF meeting

Jan 14 (EN) Meetings between top Sri Lanka finance officials and the IMF has been delayed amid heavy snow in the US capital Washington. Minister Harsha de Silva, said in a that meeting have been re-scheduled after bad weather, closed the capital. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was also due to meet IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday which falls on nighttime in SL. Sri Lanka has seen balance of payments trouble due to maintaining more..

Dilshan explains why he joined SLPP

Jan 14 (AD) SL’s former cricket captain Tillakaratne Dilshan says that he decided to join the SLPP in order to serve the country’s young people. Speaking to reporters following an event in Kadawatha, the former cricketer said that he has still not made a final decision as to whether he will formally enter politics and contest any elections. However, joining with the SLPP and helping to create a younger generation that would benefit the country is our only objective, he said. more..

No board, no Chairman: Tamasha by J’pura hospital stooges with Rajitha

Jan 14 (CT) A dinner was organized by the fake director of Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH) to “review and recognize the hard work and commitment of all senior staff for all consultants, executive staff and unit heads” on Friday (11). This event was held with the attendance of the Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne at the Grand Monarch Thalawathugoda, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. more..

Seeking IMF support is necessary, but ailing economy needs permanent treatment

Jan 14 (FT) A high-level delegation led by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has left for Washington DC to meet IMF’s high-ups. The purpose? To negotiate for the restoration of the Extended Fund Facility or EFF temporarily suspended by IMF following the political uncertainties caused by the man-made constitutional crisis of October 2018. The economic fallout of the crisis, though ignored by President Maithripala Sirisena and his PM protem, Mahinda more..

Many caution Sirisena against joining forces with racist, divisive groups

Jan 14 (CT) In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said she would not betray the principles they stood by on Jan 8, 2015. Kumaratunga, in her letter, had urged Sirisena to give leadership to fulfil the promises given to the public at the last Presidential election. Kumaratunga had made it clear that she did not approve of Sirisena’s plans to form an alliance with the group rejected by the majority of SL voters at the last Presidential more..

Election or Constitution? Malinda & Faraz

Four police teams to probe Wattala shooting

Jan 14 (AD) Four special police investigation teams have been deployed to probe the shooting incident that took place near the Aiyyan Sapirimale Kovil Hekitta road in Wattala. At around 3.30 p.m. yesterday (13), several unidentified persons, who had arrived in a car, had fired shots at persons travelling in another car. The two front-seat passengers had succumbed to injuries while the female on the back seat had survived the incident. The police have commenced investigating more..

Rise in alcohol related deaths

Jan 14 (CT) Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention (PTFDP) has made a startling revelation on the steep rise in alcohol-related deaths and on the massive amount of money spent on alcohol and tobacco. According to PTFDP, the alarming rate in the deaths due to the consumption of alcohol has been recorded as 60,000 and the deaths due to tobacco has been found as 70,000 annually in the country. Apart from the threats emerging due to alcohol & tobacco, narcotics. more..