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Geopolitics of Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka postwar challenges in reconciliation

Mar 22 (CT) President Sirisena who survived an assassination attempt several years ago, created the first sign towards true reconciliation by forgiving the LTTE rebel who was a key suspect. He even got the National Anthem to be sung in both languages Sinhalese and Tamil. These are positive signs of reconciliation. PM Wickramasinghe setup an advisory council for Young Global Leaders to advise him recently. From a close administration we have moved into an administration more outward more..

The Western Province Megapolis: A project without clear directions or objectives

Mar 22 (CT) An urban development plan for the Western Province is being undertaken by the newly established Western Province Megapolis department. It is designed according to the features and characteristics of a Megapolis with the Colombo metropolitan region as the core of the Megalopolis. The area under this project is stretching in the shape of a neckless from Negombo in the North and Hikkaduwa in the south, and extending to about 30 km to the east from core area of the project. more..

What’s killing Sinharaja’s shrub frogs?

Mar 22 (SO) Hidden in the Morningside of the Sinharaja Rainforest, an expanse with open grassland-type meadows, rippled by curled cloud forest patches, troughed through by gurgling mountain streams, is a habitat that’s home to several endemic species of shrub frogs. The small-eared shrub frogs, the point-snouted, the whistling ones, the golden eyed, the stripped ones. Spot them if you can. But chances are you never will. more..

A rudderless govt

Mar 22 (GV) Almost 15 months under the present Sirisena-Wickremesinghe rule, the economy is in no good state. Defeating Rajapaksa at the 2015 January 08 presidential polls was not meant to merely abolish the Executive Presidency (which wasn’t done) but also to lift the country out of the economic abyss. In the Maithripala Sirisena manifesto for the presidential elections, he therefore promised. While that is yet to see daylight, the economy during Rajapaksa era wasn’t limp, more..

Disappearances in SL & role of civil society

Mar 22 (GV) It is significant for me to talk about civil society’s role on disappearances at an event organized by Law and Society Trust (LST) because it was at LST that I was thrust into working with families of disappeared persons. Families have always been and will remain central to the struggle against disappearances. They remain my primary inspiration, perhaps the reason I have not been able to give up, even when I often felt like giving up. I remember that on this day, 2 years ago, more..

'Govt needs time to solve all issues'

Mar 22 (SL) While the opposition is accusing the govt of the major issues that the country faces today, Minister S.B. Dissanayake says the govt needs an adequate period of time to solve all these issues. But the public take to the street and protest against many issues. There are primary issues that they are talking about now. The Sunday Leader sought the views of Minister S.B. Dissanayke about these problems and many more that more..

Editorial: Cheers!

Mar 22 (Island) Truncal obesity, which is common among Sri Lankan males, has been attributed to lack of physical exercises. That may be so, but, most of them religiously exercise one part of their anatomy regularly. That is the elbow which, figuratively speaking, they bend very dutifully. Consuming liquor has become the favourite national pastime for men with millions of barrels of firewater being chugalugged annually. National Dangerous Drugs Control Board has revealed that more..

Today is World Water Day

Mar 22 (Island) United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day and It has been held annually since then. This article was written to commemorate the World Water Day which falls on 22nd March. In Sri Lanka, rainfall is the primary source of water. The annual rainfall is around 1800 mm with areas such as Hambanthota and Mannar receiving only about 900 mm and some areas in the hill country receiving about 5,000 mm. In terms of quantity of water received, more..

Boston Lanka: March 18, 2016

'We will celebrate Mother Teresa’s Sainthood with our poor'

Mar 22 (HM) We waited a long time "for this moment, and now we are very happy for this wonderful news that Mother Teresa will be declared a saint in the Year of mercy. Our happiness comes from the fact that here in Sri Lanka many people received blessings, graces and miracles thanks to Mother": With these words, Sister M. Johannes MC, regional superior of the Missionaries of Charity in Sri Lanka, commented on Pope Francis’ decision to canonize Mother Teresa on Sept 4 in Rome. more..

Last night of the Buddha

Mar 22 (DN) The Blessed One passed away, realizing Parinibbana at the Sala Grove of the Mallas, on the bank of the river Hirannavati, in the vicinity (Upavattana) of Kusinara on the Full Moon Day of the lunar month Vesak (May), Saturday at Night in 543 BCE. Blessed One lay down on his right side in the lion's posture in a couch with the head to the north between the Twin Sala Trees, resting one foot upon the other, and so disposed himself, mindfully with full awareness. more..

Today is Medin Full Moon Poya day

Mar 22 (DM) The message that the Buddha had arrived spread in a few minutes all over in Kapilawattu like a whirl-wind, creating an environment in and around King Suddodana’s palace to assume a pleasing atmosphere as to welcome the Buddha. Kaludai, Buddha’s lay-life friend was successful in convincing the Buddha to set out from Rajagahanuwara to Kapilavasthupura with a large retinue of Bhikkhus, which led to four most more..

World T20: Australia beat Bangladesh

Mar 22 (CI) Flaws in Australia's World T20 campaign remained evident in a scrappy victory to effectively eliminate Bangladesh from the tournament in Bangalore. Adam Zampa and Usman Khawaja produced noteworthy performances at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, but others were less convincing ahead of more demanding meetings with Pakistan and India. Bangladesh never quite seemed confident enough to push through for victory, particularly after the the loss of Taskin more..

Root-cause for the downfall of SL Football

Mar 22 (ST) Let me first of all congratulate the sportsmen and the sportswoman who won medals and those who performed extremely well to bring fame and glory to Sri Lanka at the South Asian Games held recently in India. However when our football team beat the host nation India by one goal to nil in the qualifying round, we had some hope that our footballers too will bring a medal which end-up as a day dream when they lost to Maldives 3-0. Winning & losing is part and parcel of sport, more..

How Sanga has failed to look to the end

Mar 22 (Island) Former great Kumar Sangakkara was offered the post of SL’s High Commissioner to UK on the day he retired from the game, six months ago. Yet, he settled to be part of Sri Lanka’s selection panel instead of the prestigious diplomatic post. Since retiring, he teamed up with Kevin Pietersen to help English county Surrey get back to the top division of county cricket. Then he played a crucial role in helping SLC in obtaining more..

Does Sri Lanka have public policies?

Mar 22 (DN) The answer to the question maybe off course, it does. I also certainly believe we do. why is so much spent primarily on consultancies writing policies which do not refer to what existed previously? As an example in a project over 5 years with a budget equivalent to 5Mn$ a sum of 2.735Mn$ has been the direct cost of the Consultants on a policy set in place by Cabinet in 1990 (not on internal displacement). Public officials enter service with degrees and more..

SL refugee alleges illegal detention at camp

Mar 22 (Hindu) K. Dhayabararaj, a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee lodged at the Tiruchi special camp who is on an indefinite fast since Thursday, has alleged that his family is under illegal custody at the Special Quarantine Camp in Mandapam, Ramanathapuram district. When contacted, his wife Udayakala claimed that she was suffering without money and food for her three little children and officials were not extending any help even as her health condition was deteriorating. The camp was closed to more..

'It is definitely not all over for us'

Mar 22 (DN) There is a limit to what a captain can do and Angelo Mathews is having a torrid time trying to get his rather inexperienced lot of troopers (with the exception of a handful) playing together as match-winning unit. Time is certainly running out for Sri Lanka as they try to sort out their own shortcomings in the ongoing ICC World T20 tournament where they are the defending champions. So far Sri Lanka has won one more..

India pumps Rs 50 mn for two craft villages

Mar 22 (DN) India will invest Rs. 50 million to build two craft villages in the South and the North in a bid to assist the craft industry in Sri Lanka. According to an official from the Indian Embassy the first craft village which has already been built will be opened in Tissamaharama next month. “The village spanning over one acre will also have training facilities and is expected to be among key places of visit for tourists passing the area”, she said. Second village will be built in the Jaffna city more..

CSE wins global HR Excellence Award

Mar 22 (Island) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) won the award for "The Most Innovative Use of Training and Development "at the recently concluded World HRD Congress in Mumbai, India. Attracting participation from organizations representing over 100 countries, the Global HR Excellence Awards recognize organizations and HR professionals for excellence in HR strategy and people management. Diverse training needs and unique operational requirements call for more..

Dial 1987 for CEB

Mar 22 (DM) CEB had activated a new hotline (1987) in response to charges that the CEB emergency lines were out of order during a crisis. Residents of Dehiwela and Mount Lavinia were doubly inconvenienced this week when calls to 0114418418, the number for Interruptions to Electricity Supply, went unanswered. The calls, which were answered by a voice machine directed callers to check their trip switches and pay more..

One-way traffic system in Kandy scrapped

Mar 22 (Island) The one-way traffic system on Peradeniya Road and William Gopallawa Mawatha, Kandy implemented about a fortnight ago was scrapped yesterday. Kandy Mayor asked for reason for the sudden return to the old system said Kandy MC being a democratic institution had to heed opposition to the one-way traffic system imposed with good intention to ease the traffic congestion as an experiment. Majority of those who raised objections to one-way traffic were traders. more..

Better water, sustainable agriculture and better lives for Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (Island) Today marks the World Water Day 2016 under the theme Water and Jobs. The theme focuses on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers' lives and livelihoods - and even transform societies and economies. In this article to mark the day, IPS Researchers Chatura Rodrigo and Athula Senaratne explore the challenges faced by agricultural livelihoods, which employ a majority of Sri Lanka's rural sector and identifies measures to overcome such challenges. more..

Video: Prelates call for probe on Ven. Sobitha Thera's death

Mar 22 (DM) Alleging that the death of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera who headed the Movement for a Just Society Head had not occurred due to natural causes, several well-known Buddhist monks requested for the appointment of a high powered commission to look into the matter. The request was made by Ven. Muruttettuwe Ananda Thera, Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera and Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera. more..

Mother, her toddler son found dead in well

Mar 22 (Island) A 32-year-old mother and her one-and-a-half-year-old son were found dead in a well in Periyapalai on March 19. Police conducting investigations suspect the woman may have plunged into the well with her son. The postmortem revealed that the woman, identified as J. Dayajini, and her child had drowned. Police said the woman’s husband, an attendant attached to the Pallai Rural Hospital, and her father had not been at home at the time of the incident. more..

Doctors to be doubled in Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (DN) The number of specialist doctors serving in Sri Lanka will be doubled soon. Arrangements have already been made to achieve this under the direction of Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. A total of 3,078 specialist doctors are required for Sri Lanka but only 1,577 are serving in the country at the moment. There is a shortage of 1,501 specialist doctors, he said. A total of 16,100 doctors serve in the country while more..

Joint Opposition claims govt ineligible for $1.5 b IMF loan

Mar 22 (FT) Joint Opposition argued the govt is unqualified to enter into the expected $ 1.5 billion loan arrangement with IMF due to the present economic crisis in the country. MP Bandula Gunawardena claimed SL has a minus economy or minus growth because it is struggling to repay its debts. He also insisted such an economic downgrade was taking place because of the inappropriate economic policies of the govt. more..

Sri Lanka tea plantations improve harvests with mechanization

Mar 22 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) say experiments with mechanization like use of shears for harvesting tea has led to better yields as they struggle to improve labour productivity amid losses caused by low prices. “The Regional Plantation Companies are assisting workers to improve productivity through various means, as it is critical for the sustainability of the country’s plantation industry,” said Roshan Rajadurai, Chairman of Planters’ Association more..

Two female undergrads hospitalised due to ragging

Mar 22 (DN) Two girls undergoing residential training at the Sippukulum Zoological Institute, Mihintalaya were hospitalized after being ragged by senior students. The new comers claim that they were subjected to physical ragging by the seniors who had allegedly entered the ladies hostels forcefully at nights armed with clubs. According to fresher students, a group of senior students had ragged the female students after entering their hostel on Friday. more..

FR to have info on medicine labels in Sinhala, Tamil

Mar 22 (DN) A Fundamental Right petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking an order directing health authorities to ensure all labels and packaging containing information pertaining to the medicines, medical devices and borderline products are in Sinhala and Tamil, both being the official, national and administrative languages of SL. Petition had been filed by Lionel Guruge, a senior researcher at CPA. more..

982 out of 1,500 complaints processed

Mar 22 (CT) The PRECIFAC has already placed emphasis on investigating 982 complaints out of 1,500 that has so far been received by it, their sources said. Secretary of PRECIFAC H.W. Gunadasa said that they have already decided to further streamline inquiries related to those 982 complaints. He said that out of those 982 cases, investigations related to 42 cases have already been finalized and that a further 621 cases have been rejected, because they do not fall under more..

Canadian and Japanese help for power woes

Mar 22 (FT) Japanese technicians have conducted tests on CEB transformers which exploded recently and have sent samples to Japan for further tests while the Canadian Govt has proposed electricity generation using LNG. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that the Japanese technicians are from the company which supplied the transformers to the CEB. The Japanese company is expected to submit a report in a few days on what caused the transformers to explode. more..

Video: Power blackout report on Wednesday

Mar 22 (DM) The report with short term solutions to prevent blackouts had been finalized and it would be submitted to the President on Wednesday Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. “The cause for the sudden island-wide blackouts and the solutions to these issues will be submitted to Parliament on Wednesday. It will also be submitted to the special project proposals on prevention of more..

'Govt lacks expertise to take country forward'

Mar 22 (DN) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa connecting via Skype video conferencing told a meeting held between Sri Lankans living in Japan and the members of the Joint Opposition that the govt in Sri Lanka is unable to take the country forward as it lacks required expertise. He said those who are in the govt said it was they who ended the war, had been in the Army for more than 35 years. They could not improve national security. On the contrary, it was worsening. more..

Farmers go to court seeking guaranteed price for paddy

Mar 22 (Island) A writ application filed in the Court of Appeal by a group of 58 paddy cultivators asking for a guaranteed price for paddy will be supported on March 29, 2016. The petitioners have said the price paid to the cultivators for a kilo of paddy (nadu) is only Rs. 18 while a kilo of nadu rice is sold at Rs. 80. Part of this profit does not accrue to the farmer, petitioner has argued. The respondents are Paddy Marketing Board, Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake & connected authorities. more..

Million dollar theft: Travel ban on 6 Sri Lankan directors

Mar 22 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate imposed a travel ban on six directors of Shalika Foundation, Sri Lanka in connection with the theft of $ 81 million from Bangladesh Bank's accounts. Accordingly, Magistrate ordered the Immigration and Emigration Controller not to allow company directors including Shalika Perera, Miyurin Ranasinghe, Pradeep Rohitha, Shantha Walakuluarachchi, Sanjeewa Bandara, more..

Water and jobs: Thirst for this theme

Mar 22 (DM) With two-thirds of the earth’s surface covered by water and the human body itself consisting of 75% water, this is watertight proof that water is one of the prime elements needed for life on earth. Water circulates through the land just as it does through the human body, transporting, dissolving and replenishing nutrients and organic matter, while carrying away waste material. An average adult body contains 42 litres of water and with just a small loss of 2.7 litres more..

What we do make us what we are

Mar 22 (DM) In Sri Lanka, there had been two insurgencies in the South, led by the JVP. And a war too that lasted 30 years. These had unfortunately destroyed not only our economic assets but also precious human lives as well. Both JVP and LTTE drew support primarily from rural youth. It is indeed sad that our rulers have neglected their primary duty and did not take the trouble to explore the reasons why the youth remain frustrated. Another vulnerable group comprises elderly people. more..

Jumbo issue rumbles on

Mar 22 (SL) Chief Incumbent of the Rajamaha Viharaya Kotte, the Ven. Aluthnuwara Anuruddha Thera is being accused of not informing the Department of Wildlife Conservation about the death of the 25-year-old temple elephant, Hemantha, last week and for burying the carcass in secret. Director General, Department of Wildlife Conservation (WDC) Chandrasiri Bandara said that although it is mandatory to inform the department of any more..

VAT hike will gouge consumers

Mar 22 (ST) Govt’s plan to raise VAT on goods and services by 4% will have a ripple effect on the economy with the consumer being burdened with the extra cost, businesses said. Although essential items will be VAT-exempt the VAT increase on all other consumer products from 11-15% will push up prices of imported food, services and manufacturing and building materials, National Chamber of Commerce President Thilak Godamana said. more..