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'The country is practicing true democracy'

Mar 2 (SL) UNP MP S.M. Marikkar claims that while the govt is on a positive drive to revive the country from the depths of ruin, there are still some elements who are attempting to bring down the govt through their negative actions. Unlike in the past where the whole govt was compelled to agree with dictatorial leadership and decisions taken by them, today country is practicing true democracy, where everyone has a right to their own views. more..

Of Traitors and Dictators

Mar 2 (NS) These days PM RanilWickremesinghe is an angry man. He is particularly piqued at those who criticise the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India. He takes every opportunity to take a swipe at them, even calling them traitors. A trade union representing doctors and some media outlets have been in the line of fire. Anyone feels a sense of déjà vu? Take your mind back a few years. Mahinda Rajapaksa was President. more..

Sri Lankan politicos are squeaky clean!

Mar 2 (SL) Believe it or not, post-Independence SL politicians have a squeaky clean record – at least on paper! We cannot recall a single politician who hit the headlines with a financial or sex scandal in the past 68 years. Nor have any of them been brought before courts and convicted for offences of sex and money which politicians abroad find irresistible. Have they been true Buddhist Upasakayas in their pure white clothes carrying trays of flowers adhering to precepts of the Dhamma more..

Sarath N. Silva

Will the Western Megapolis be a threat to our national unity?

Mar 2 (Island) The day after the LTTE forces capitulated to the Sri Lankan Army in May 2009, the former President addressed the nation and said that the country had averted the threat of separatist terrorism. Sri Lanka had experienced what we call terrorism before, but the particular nature of the LTTE’s brand of terrorism was branded as one that sought to divide the country. We have come some way since then, inclusive of electing a new President who appears to be very keen to work towards more..

Editorial: Grim Reaper on highway

Mar 2 (Island) The Grim Reaper seems to have gone into overdrive these days. Several fatal accidents have been reported during the past few weeks. Four including three children were killed and three others seriously injured in a trishaw-tipper truck collision on the newly developed Kesbewa-Bandaragama road on Monday. It has recently been revealed once again at a workshop on road safety in Colombo that as many as eight to ten Sri Lankans are killed in road accidents daily. more..

Some imperatives in making a constitution

Mar 2 (SO) Govt's effort to draft a new constitution appears to be dragging its feet. With resolution on framing a new constitution getting postponed and re-fixed and a palpable indecision on the way to go, an impression is being created in the public mind that the project is still groping in the dark. First imperative in framing a constitution is to ascertain the views of the public on provisions to be included in proposed legislation. more..

Eelam war: turning point

Mar 2 (Island) One-time BBC journalist, researcher and analyst, Mark Salter, will launch TO END A CIVIL WAR: Norway’s Peace Engagement in Sri Lanka, at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Colombo, tomorrow. The latest book, by a foreign author, will primarily deal with Norwegian peace initiatives during the tenure of the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga/PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Salter has dealt substantially with the contentious issue of an alleged deal more..

Kohli's T20I average in 2016: 103.66

Mar 2 (CI) 3: Number of fifty-plus scores for Virat Kohli against Sri Lanka in T20Is, in as many innings. He had scored 68 off 48 in Pallekele in the 2012 World T20 and 77 off 58 in Dhaka in the 2014 World T20 final before making an unbeaten 56 off 47 in this match. His average of 100.50 is third highest among batsmen with 200 or more runs against a team. 7: Man of the Match awards for Kohli in T20Is - joint highest among India players. Yuvraj Singh has also won it seven times. more..

India defeat Sri Lanka to reach Asia Cup final

Mar 2 (CI) Virat Kohli stroked his third fifty in as many T20s against Sri Lanka to send his team cruising to the Asia Cup final, after a tight bowling performance had restrained the opposition to 138 for 9. Kohli arrived with India wobbling at 16 for 2 in the fourth over, but soon enlisted Suresh Raina, then Yuvraj Singh, for support, in what was eventually a comfortable chase. The winning runs were hit with 4 balls and 5 wickets to spare. more..

Erroneous call, and Pandya's three in three

Mar 2 (CI) Thisara Perera charged R Ashwin in the penultimate over but the offspinner slipped one past his bat, and it looked like an easy stumping for MS Dhoni. There wasn't a big appeal and the leg-umpire Shozab Raza gave it out. At first glance, it seemed that Raza was correct but replays showed that Perera had his bat back inside the crease before Dhoni had broken the stumps. It was a rare decision from an on-field umpire in the query for a stumping or run-out, and ultimately an erroneous one. more..

ETCA: Turning India from threat to opportunity

Mar 2 (Island) A section of Sri Lankan society instinctively reacts to India in a manner it does not, with regard to any other nation in the world. While Sri Lankans, like any island people are generally outward looking, well-travelled and open to the world, when it comes to our giant neighbor, the response amongst some of us is mildly xenophobic. Perhaps the political association of India with Sri Lanka's ethnic problem and its longstanding principled position that devolution of power is more..

Video: Need a leader to represent Buddhist monks: Gnanasara Thera

Mar 2 (DM) From any point of view Buddhist monks in recent history have lacked a strong leader, compared to other religions, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said. “We have leaders in our two Nikayas. As every other religion has its own leader, Buddha Sasana also needs to have a leader to represent all the Buddhist monks,” Thera said. “President we have is a SL Buddhist but he is presented as a nominal figure,” more..

Soldier shoots himself

Mar 2 (Island) A 20-year-old soldier who shot himself on the right arm and the chest while on duty at No. 253, High Security Zone, East Palali, on Monday is being treated at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. The soldier, a resident of Walpola, Medawachchiya, had shot himself with his T-56 assault rifle. The reason why he had shot himself was not known, police said. A lengthy statement had been recorded by the Palali police from a Corpral, who had been an eyewitness to the incident. more..

Conserving and popularizing wild fruits in SL

Mar 2 (TE) Modern practices mean that more than ever, people are disconnected from nature, writes Damitha Rajapakse. In Sri Lanka - a biodiversity hotspot which is full of endemic plants with unique properties - a conservation programme is under way to teach the new generation about the rich heritage of native fruits which surrounds them. Sri Lanka is a country with rich biodiversity - about 3,368 plant species belonging to 1,294 genera and 132 families have been identified. more..

India-Pakistan conflict prevented South Asian integration: CBK

Mar 2 (IANS) The conflict between India and Pakistan has for long prevented integration between the South Asian countries, former SL president Chandrika Kumaratunga said here on Tuesday. Speaking at the inauguration of the three-day Raisina Dialogue, a global conclave on geo-politics and geo-economics here, Kumaratunga said that while cooperation and economic integration proceeded very fast in the rest of the world, more..

Central Bank to sell USD200mn worth development bonds

Mar 2 (LBO) The Central Bank will issue US$ 200 million of development bonds with a tenor of 3 months, 5 months, 1 Year and 2 Years 1 month to local and foreign investors. The Debt Department said the subscription will be at a floating rate of 6 month LIBOR for USD plus a margin through competitive bidding or at a fixed rate to be determined through competitive bidding. Minimum investment is US$ 100,000 with additional investments in multiples of US$ 10,000. more..

Pakistan to ship $50,000 worth of fans

Mar 2 (PT) GFC Fans, one of the leading electric fan manufacturers in the country, is going to ship fans worth $50,000 to Sri Lanka, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) announced. The company received the order while participating in Pakistan’s first single-country exhibition in Sri Lanka. The event, held from January 15-17, 2016, was organised by the TDAP, a govt body responsible for promoting exports. Gujrat-based GFC began manufacturing electric fans in 1954. more..

Wettimuny slams past cricket administrators

Mar 2 (DN) Former Sri Lankan Test cricketer and interim committee chairman Sidath Wettimuny blamed past elected administrators of Sri Lanka Cricket for the national team's poor performances in international cricket today. Commenting on Sri Lanka's 23-run loss in the Asia Cup match to Bangladesh at Mirpur on Sunday, Wettimuny said, "I have always said that before long we would lose to Bangladesh. more..

Susil or SB for UPFA Gen. Secy

Mar 2 (CT) Ministers Susil Premajayantha and S.B. Dissanayake are said to be hot favourites competing for appointment as the next General Secretary of the UPFA, said UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. He said this was still under discussion adding that a finite decision on the appointment would be made very shortly. The position of General Secretary of the SLFP lead UPFA has been vacant since the death of Professor Wishwa Warnapala last Saturday. more..

Genetech to identify the mysterious animal

Mar 2 (DM) Blood samples from the animal found in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve by Wildlife officials on Monday were sent to the Genetec Institute in Colombo for identification. The animal which is believed to be from the species of Mongoose has not yet been clearly identified. The WLD said the animal had no tail and its fur was yellow and brown. The Genetec Institute’s gene tests would soon identify whether the animal is a kind of deformed mongoose species. more..

Proposed Mobitel-Hutch deal halted

Mar 2 (CT) Govt has decided to temporally halt the Mobitel-Hutch deal until a fresh valuation is made, govt 3-member tender board head and Power and Energy Ministry Secretary Dr. Suren Batagoda said. "We have advised the govt Technical evaluation committee to obtain a fresh independent valuation because previous valuations were controversial," he said. It was learned that global accounting giant KPMG more..

Colombo’s demining plan ambitious

Mar 2 (Hindu) The goal set by the Sri Lanka govt to make the country free of mine impact by 2020 is very ambitious but is essential, Ananda Chandrasiri, Director/Programme Manager of the Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony, an NGO working in the area of demining, said on Tuesday. Mr. Chandrasiri, formerly a Brigardier in the Sri Lanka Army, said the govt was pursuing the matter with utmost efforts and interest. Terming the track record of Sri Lanka in demining a very good story, more..

Cost of erosion control increasing in Sri Lanka coastal regions

Mar 2 (EN) The cost of controlling erosion in Sri Lanka’s coastal region, which generates almost half of economic output and are critical for the vital tourism industry has been increasing in recent years, a new study has said. Due to coastal erosion, critical infrastructure, human settlements, the livelihood of rural people and two major sectors, tourism and fisheries, are severely affected, according to the study published by the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA). more..

Video: Stopping Port City Project has affected credit rating: Gammanpila

Mar 2 (DM) Govt move to halt the Port City Project funded by the Chinese Govt which is considered the fastest growing economy in Asia has resulted in downgrading Sri Lanka's sovereign credit rating to B+ from BB- by Fitch Ratings, opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed. He said neither the US nor Britain had ignored projects initiated under Chinese President Xi Jinping because they have realized the significance more..

Japan grants Rs.177 m for demining in NP

Mar 2 (FT) Govt of Japan provided Rs.177 million as grant aid to two organisations for humanitarian demining in Northern Sri Lanka under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP). The two grant contracts were signed between Ambassador of Japan Kenichi Suganuma and Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony Sri Lanka (DASH) Director Ananda Chandrasiri and Mines Advisory Group (MAG) Regional Program Officer Bethan Davies at Embassy of Japan more..

FBI, Scotland Yard won’t respond: CID

Mar 2 (CT) CID informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court that CCTV camera footage of the assailants of Wasim Thajudeen will be sent to Canada shortly. Court had on 7 January ordered the CID to send five video copies of the CCTV camera footage supposedly showing the killers of the rugby star to a state-of-the-art foreign laboratory for detailed study and report. But though two months have lapsed since then, the videos still remained in Police custody even up to yesterday. more..

Angry farmers take to streets, demanding subsidised fertiliser

Mar 2 (Island) Agricultural activities ground to a halt in many parts of the country yesterday as farmers protested against the govt’s move to replace fertiliser subsidy with a voucher scheme. Paddy farmers in the Kantale, Kaudulla, Medirigiriya and Rajanganaya settlement schemes yesterday withdrew from their duties in farmer associations, while more than 3,000 farmers in the Ambalantota in the Hambantota District and more..

Special teams to ensure strict adherence to traffic laws by three wheels, motor cycles

Mar 2 (DN) A fresh circular has been issued by the DIG Traffic to deploy special teams to ensure strict adherence to traffic laws by three wheel drivers and motor cycles. The circular has also issued instructions to strictly implement the existing law limiting number of passengers in a three wheeler to three, DIG Traffic, Amarasiri Senerathne said. The circular comes in the wake of a fatal accident involving a three wheeler, which killed three children and an adult. more..

Plans to disconnect traffic lights from main grid

Mar 2 (DM) We are contemplating whether to disconnect traffic lights from the national grid and connect them to an independent source to prevent traffic congestion that occur during a power failures similar to what happened last Thursday, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. He said according to the reports he had received the countrywide power failure which knocked out the traffic lights as well had caused havoc on almost all major roads with the Western Province being the worst affected. more..

Video: Alleged fraud of Rs. 16M. through illegal appointments

Mar 2 (DM) Financial fraud amounting to Rs.16 million had been committed by making illegal appointments to the govt sector, including to the state school sector, said secretary of CTSU, Mahinda Jayasinghe. After lodging a complaint with Anti-Corruption Secretariat against Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam regarding illegal appointments to govt sector, he said minister had made such appointments to National schools more..

Billionaires on mission to save Planet Earth

Mar 2 (DM) With Planet Earth facing its worst ever ecological catastrophe, some of the world’s super-billionaires led by Bill Gates have come forward to invest hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change and discover or develop renewable sources of clean energy. World’s big companies and multi-millionaires or billionaires had earlier been content with corporate social responsibility which social justice analysts have described as more or less crumbs-from-the-table cases. more..

Tamils, the North and the State

Mar 2 (DM) When we discuss in our high-sounding socio-political conversations of reconciliation or accommodation, we simply mean a genuine feeling of empathy, based fundamentally on compassion and kindness. Whether one is a Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim or a Burgher, reconciling oneself to the feelings, ambitions and desires of the other is not an easy human endeavour. Centuries-long myths have taken their toll and prepped the hearts and minds of our people. more..

Proposed constitution loses the new tag

Mar 2 (SL) It was expected to be a new Constitution but after much debate and deliberations, the word new has been removed from the amended Resolution to convert Parliament into a Constitutional Assembly. Word new was removed mostly as a result of pressure exerted by the SLFP which is part of the cohabitation govt. A vote on the Resolution was to be taken in Parliament last week but instead a debate took place on amended more..

Beware: Wonder drugs developing resistance a deadly problem

Mar 2 (ST) Let’s not make a powerful and helpful friend, a terrible foe. This was the strong and clear message that came to the fore at a robust discussion on a grave concern not only in Sri Lanka but all over the world. In the eye of the storm are the wonder drugs that changed the course of medicine – antibiotics. Gradually, due to over-use and misuse, some bugs against which these wonder drugs are being used have turned super and more..

Countrywide blackout: No follow up action yet

Mar 2 (CT) Sri Lanka experienced yet another countrywide blackout last Friday. The entire country was plunged into darkness beginning around 2 p.m. which was attributed to inclement weather and lightning strikes on Polpitiya-Kolonnawa transmission line. Even PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered a full scale probe. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has ruled out sabotage although the causes for the disaster have not been more..

CSE to create dollar denominated board

Mar 2 (DN) For the first time a special US$ dollar denominated board will be set up by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) targeting foreign investors from the region, CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka said. Speaking after Lanka ORIX Leasing Company (LOLC) rang the opening bell to commence trading at the CSE yesterday Kulatilaka said that this has been actively accepted by Maldivian and Bangladeshi investors. more..

ETCA panic unfounded: Sujeewa

Mar 2 (FT) The proposed Economic and Technical Cooperative Agreement (ETCA) with India needs to be viewed beyond the vilifying exaggerations made against it for quick political mileage and contrary to the general perception, ETCA is not the umbrella agreement that decimates almost all services and professions in Sri Lanka, said State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe on Monday. more..

Magistrate in hot water

Mar 2 (DN) The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has sought an explanation from Magistrate Thilina Gamage over the incident where he allegedly attempted to barge into the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala and obstructed the work of its officials. Highly placed sources of the Commission said that the JSC had sent a letter to the Magistrate, demanding an explanation over the controversy. more..

RTI Bill in House on March 8

Mar 2 (DN) The Right to Information Bill will be presented to Parliament on March 8 for the first reading, Mass Media and Parliamentary Reforms Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana said. The deputy minister said the much-awaited Bill would officially be included in the agenda of Parliament next Tuesday after the first reading is moved. He said all Provincial Councils have endorsed the draft Bill referred to them. more..