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'We as a country are poor in every aspect'

Mar 28 (SL) Prof. Desmond Mallikarachchi, who always yearns and acts for achieving good governance, expressing his views on the issues we raised to him on the present govt. He said that all Sri Lankan governments never have a viable economic policy for the country. “We as a country are poor in every respect, in humanity as well as in economy; our politics is just taking loans and settling them,” he said. more..

Reading a book on private & public morals

Mar 28 (CT) Since it’s said that Buddhism is not a religion but a philosophy and, even more, a structure of moral advice and injunction, the book’s [The Power of Ideals: The Real Story of Moral Choice] subject will be of interest to readers. The book is about moral commitment, with morality defined as “the realm of social actions, intentions, emotions, and judgements aimed at providing benefits (and preventing damage) to people, society, and the world beyond the self”. more..

Can Sri Lanka’s RTI law make a difference?

Mar 28 (ST) For those inclined to greet this week’s tabling of Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) Bill in Parliament with exuberant joy, a note of caution must be struck. As a first premise, this law is certainly essential in order to achieve the minimum necessary in responsible governance. Its appearance in the House is despite the unenviable political quagmire that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe leadership appears to be getting itself into. That must be welcomed. more..

Swaminathan scotches rumours

Mar 28 (CT) A controversy has arisen over the Mittal housing project with speculations that it will be given to local contractors. It was also mentioned that some local contractors are using their political clout to upset the project approved by the Cabinet. When spoke to Minister D.M. Swaminathan on this matter, he said Arcelormittal which is building houses in Jaffna are not only providing them to the IDPs but also more..

Editorial: Parliament Jokes

Mar 28 (Island) A Sinhala flick with the above title became a box office success some years ago. It is no longer heard of. But, we are not short of rib-tickling parliament jokes, thanks to our MPs, the latest being the much-talked about code of ethics for legislators. We reported on Saturday that copies of the draft code of ethics would be distributed among party leaders for their perusal and comment shortly. Will those who do not care two hoots about the Penal Code and the Highway Code, more..

Depriving the poor of water!

Mar 28 (SL) When one of the elements necessary for the very survival of any being is toyed with, it is time to cry halt to corruption at every level, particularly the local one where a simple task becomes a life-threatening one. I live near a settlement of what can accurately be described as displaced persons and, since that term is going to raise a few hackles among those who believe that Sri Lanka is in fact Nirvana, let me relate some relatively recent history. more..

Face the Nation

Hyde Park: Place of lost souls and causes as resurrection grounds?

Mar 28 (SL) Colombo’s Hyde Park is a place of lost souls and political causes. Even before Independence revolutionaries from London and home-Philip, NM, Colvin, Pieter, Leslie and Bernard in their red shirts strode the stage of Hyde Park breathing fire and thunder swearing to smash the capitalist class to smithereens and usher in a socialist revolution. As journalists we have reported on these entertaining performances from the late sixties till recent times. more..

Cinnamon Life to be ready by 2019

Mar 28 (DN) The much awaited Cinnamon Life mixed development project will be ready by end of 2019, John Keells Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunewardene said. He said the proposed casino project, which was to have been included in the project, did not have any negative bearing on the construction. “The casino project is not our brainchild. We were just renting our space to operate it,” he said. He however said that personally he thinks that a casino operated by more..

Some thoughts on the new budget proposals

Mar 28 (Island) Govt’s new Budget proposals impact significantly on every segment of society. The implications of these proposals, and their practical effect, are worthy of serious reflection. I. The Need for Certainty and Stability. As a preliminary point, it needs to be said that the main feature of a Budget should be certainty and predictability of consequences. Especially at a time when there is an urgent need for more..

Schools’ Rugby gets underway

Mar 28 (ST) Schools rugby is season has begun. Games take a break for the Holy Week and there will be two more breaks for the New Year and for Wesak seasons. Considering the heat wave the country is facing the breaks are good. Even without a heat wave breaks is good for young athletes who are being pushed to an extent of near exhaustion in the quest of performance. First week saw those who were at the last line last year emerging as serious contenders: except Dharmaraja who stood more..

Magical Kohli steers India into semi-finals

Mar 28 (CI) Is there a finer chaser in world cricket than Virat Kohli? MS Dhoni perhaps? It was a good thing for India the two of them were together in the dying stages of their quasi quarter-final against Australia in Mohali. Dhoni's men progressed to a semi-final, against West Indies, and ended Australia's World T20 campaign, and the international career of Shane Watson, with a chase of impeccable timing led by Kohli. Set 161 for victory, India saw their required run-rate more..

Longer wait for elder citizens seeking higher interest on finance company deposits

Mar 28 (ST) Confusion continued for the umpteenth time in the arena of higher interest rates for senior citizens in finance companies as this 2016 budget proposal continued to elude those eligible. Not surprising since the higher interest scheme for senior citizens has been dogged by issues ever since its introduction in the Rajapaksa budget of Oct 2014. This week, Central Bank said it is yet to receive a Treasury circular, more..

Missed opportunities with Conservatives and Liberals in Canada

Mar 28 (Island) I wouldn’t know what the High Commission in Ottawa did at the time. However, I along with the democratic Sri Lankan Canadians tried my best to build bridges and make connections with the right thinking Canadian MP’s. Though PM, Stephen Harper took an antagonistic stance on Sri Lanka later, I always thought it would be good for him and President Rajapaksa to meet. I tried to arrange a meeting through the good offices of David Sweet, MP for Ancaster-Dundas- more..

Will ghosts of Sydney haunt Sri Lankans?

Mar 28 (Island) Remember the last time Sri Lanka and South Africa met on the cricket field? It was the ICC World Cup quarter-final at Sydney Cricket Ground last year. South Africa, the perennial chokers were under pressure against a Sri Lankan side boasting of much experience. But the result was an anti-climax. Before the game, it was said that the Sri Lankans needed to be cautious of South Africa’s fast bowlers. However, the spinners won the game for Proteas. more..

A would-be Wi-Fi paradise

Mar 28 (BN) Sri Lanka has enjoyed an era of strong economic growth since its bloody, 26-year civil war ended in 2009. To keep it going, the govt is trying to make the island nation a technology hub. It’s investing in new undersea Internet cables, putting money behind startups, and working with Microsoft to embrace cloud computing. It’s also been wooing Google and Facebook to host tests for some of their most ambitious experiments, from self-driving more..

Paranthan Chemicals plays key role in the provision of safe drinking water

Mar 28 (ST) State-owned Paranthan Chemicals Company Ltd said this week that it was associated with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board in the provision of safe drinking water for generations of Sri Lankans by fulfilling chemical requirement in water purification. Issuing a statement to coincide with World Water Day which was marked on March 22, the company said that it is a pioneer and market leader in the chemical industry functioning under the purview of Ministry of more..

HNB’s Rs. 7 b debenture draws over 600 applications

Mar 28 (FT) Hatton National Bank’s Rs. 7 billion debenture issue, which was oversubscribed, had drawn over 600 applications. The bank issued 40 million subordinated unsecured redeemable rated debentures of Rs. 100 each with an option to issue a further 20 million and 10 million debentures in the event of oversubscription of the preceding amounts. The entire issue was snapped up with Rs. 7.4 billion worth of demand from 617 applicants. The majority 611 had been applications by payment by more..

Journalists from South meet counterparts in North to build reconciliation

Mar 28 (SO) A mission to show solidarity with the journalists of the North, was how Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka described a govt-supported delegation of journalists from the South of the country to Jaffna yesterday. Minister said that it was the first time that such a mission of post-war professional solidarity is being undertaken with official govt support. more..

Access Group enters healthcare industry, acquires Ninewells Hospital

Mar 28 (FT) Pioneering maternity and child health care services provider Ninewells Hospital has been acquired by Access International, one of the fastest growing conglomerates in Sri Lanka. With a diversified portfolio of sectors ranging from Engineering and Information Technology to Property and Healthcare, Access International ventures into the Hospital Sector with the aim of ensuring the well being of the community. With this acquisition, Ninewells will be steered by more..

SL,SA out to salvage pride after early exit

Mar 28 (CI) There were no visible tears when Sri Lanka were knocked out of the World T20, but to see Angelo Mathews and his men speak, and to read their tweets the next day, there is clearly some hurt. More than one member of the team has expressed a feeling of letting the whole country down. As doomed as this Sri Lanka campaign had always seemed, pain still struck when failure became tangible. For someone like Mathews, this is the first time in his career the team is exiting more..

'We didn't deserve a semi-final place'

Mar 28 (DN) Angelo Mathews admitted that his team didn't deserve a place in the World T20 semi-finals because the way they played. Sri Lanka, the defending champions were knocked out of the semi-finals when they lost their Group 1 match to England by 10 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla grounds here on Saturday. Result was heartbreaking not only for Sri Lanka but also for South Africa who needed an England defeat more..

Sri Lankan refugee ends indefinite fast

Mar 28 (Hindu) A week after resorting to an indefinite fast demanding his release from the special camp in Tiruchi, Sri Lankan Tamil refugee K. Dhayabararaj gave up the agitation late on Friday night following the intervention of senior officials who promised to help. While Dhayabararaj is lodged in the special camp in Tiruchi, his wife Udayakala was detained in the special quarantine camp in Mandapam, Ramanathapuram district. Claiming that the detention was illegal since more..

CH17 to introduce Marhaba Privilege concept

Mar 28 (FT) With over 350,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers in the UAE of which a significant number of them with over 5 years of service, CH17 has commenced discussions with focused social and work groups in the UAE for the introduction of a unique Privilege Scheme akin to the UAE’s popular Marhaba concept. Aimed at encouraging increased remittance to Sri Lanka by this high-net white collar segment, CH17 is now developing a fully integrated welfare program to recognise, reward and more..

Abbott defends cosying up to Sri Lanka

Mar 28 (AAP) Former PM Tony Abbott has defended his decision to cosy up to the then-Sri Lankan strongman president as part of his efforts to stop the flow of asylum-seeker boats. In a 3700 word essay published over the weekend in the Quadrant, Mr Abbott hailed his call not to join the "human rights lobby against the tough but probably unavoidable actions taken to end one of the world's most vicious civil wars". more..

SLFPers increasingly heckle their ministers

Mar 28 (Island) SLFP members on Saturday prevented UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera from addressing a meeting in the Baddegama electorate. Amidst strong protests, Minister Amaraweera left the premises. MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama made a desperate bid to persuade supporters to allow the newly appointed UPFA General Secretary to address the gathering. Subsequently, Minister Amaraweera accompanied by his bodyguards left the premises. more..

Police after schoolboys who stoned vehicles on expressway

Mar 28 (Island) Millaniya Police have launched a probe to apprehend some schoolboys who pelted stones at vehicles playing on the Southern Expressway last Friday evening. Three buses plying from Maharagama to Galle were damaged when the unruly students threw stones at them at Karagastota. Windows of the buses were damaged. Police said they had already received information regarding three of the miscreants between of 15 and 16 years of age involved in the incident and more..

Vehicle bonanza for MPs as country plunges into economic crisis

Mar 28 (CT) In an obvious mix up in priorities, the Yahapalanaya govt continued to shower the 225 MPs with bonanza after bonanza, while slapping the public with more taxes and price increase in essential items. In the latest bonanza, the Cabinet approved a proposal to provide an extra vehicle each to the MPs, which is expected to cost the govt a colossal sum running to several hundred million. more..

VOA for Lankans visiting Indonesia?

Mar 28 (DN) For the first time Indonesia will offer visa on arrival (VOA) to Sri Lankans from next month. An official from the Indonesian Business Council said improved relations between the two countries, peace in Sri Lanka and the open policy to woo more travellers to Indonesia has helped Sri Lanka gain this on arrival facility to Sri Lankans. An official from Mihin Lanka said they are the only airline that operates daily direct flights from Sri Lanka to Jakarta and more..

SL press urges fresh blood after T20 exit

Mar 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's press on Sunday called for fresh blood in the national cricket side after the reigning champions crashed out of the World Twenty20 at the group stages. Sri Lanka suffered a narrow 10-run defeat to England on Saturday, with the 2014 trophy winners being bundled out of the tournament after a disastrous showing at the recent Asia Cup. Local Sunday Times blamed a selection crisis on the eve of the tournament for Sri Lanka's poor performance, which also saw them more..

Joint Opposition to be disbanded if ...

Mar 28 (Island) UPFA MP Ranjith de Zoysa said that the Joint Opposition would be disbanded if the govt could prove its claim that the Rajapaksas had billions of US dollars stashed in offshore accounts. He said that Joint Opposition would swiftly collapse in case such allegations against former President could be substantiated. MP said that he would gladly accept whatever disciplinary action ordered by President more..

SL now has many powerful friends: Prez

Mar 28 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena says Sri Lanka was once one of the most isolated nations internationally but now it has been transformed into one that is accepted worldwide, with many powerful friends. President tweeted saying the people elected him with the hope that he will deliver what he promised in his election manifesto. He says the unity Govt ushers an alternative to politics torn apart by party divisions since independence. He also noted that former President Rajapaksa more..

'Forensic audit to trace financial records'

Mar 28 (DN) A forensic audit is to be conducted to trace missing financial records, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. According to him 220 files with records on a large number of agreements concerning large scale projects have gone missing. "The files on details on loans, costing and planning of major projects and other confirmation records of projects have gone missing," minister said. Investigations will be conducted against 10 to 15 key officers holding responsibility, more..

Power cuts and drinking water shortage loom

Mar 28 (DN) The water levels of reservoirs used for hydro electricity have gone down to critical levels, making it difficult for CEB to meet the current demand. The continued usage of the two reservoirs may lead to drinking water shortages in the Western Province, CEB Engineer’s Union President said. CEB has been generating electricity from Castlereigh and Maussakele reservoirs, to meet the increase in demand, more..

It’s Paradise Lost for tourist guides

Mar 28 (DM) Outsiders think of tourism as a glamour industry. Insiders know better. Those who work as tourist guides or receptionists or drivers are seen as cannon fodder by tour agents driven by the profit motive. Tourists are sacred cows, while they are here, and Sri Lankans who cater to them in hotels or take them on tour in cars, vans or coaches are expendable. The situation was never rosy for local staff even decades ago, when Sri Lankan tourism had its golden moments. more..

Mother Lanka’s call: Use less power, less water

Mar 28 (DM) Necessity is not only the mother of invention but also initiative. As we sweat and struggle through the hottest ever heat waves in our history -- the blazing result of global warming and climate change -- we may have to face daily power cuts and water cuts soon. Civic-minded and patriotic people instead of cursing the darkness or dryness need to light a candle and be like a spring in the desert. While National Govt works out its own solutions, every citizen needs to more..

Nearing island-wide electrification, Sri Lanka to focus on quality and reliability

Mar 28 (OBG) As the only South Asian nation with near-100% grid connectivity, Sri Lanka has shifted its focus in recent months toward boosting the reliability and quality of electricity supply, as well as revising its tariff structure. Efforts to integrate the country’s electricity grid with the Indian subcontinent should also serve longer-term sector interests, as Sri Lanka eyes regional energy trade to smooth price fluctuations. more..

Sri Lanka airport to double capacity with Japanese aid

Mar 28 (EN) Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a deal to lend Sri Lanka 56 billion rupees to fund the expansion of its main international airport. New passenger terminal building of BIA is planned to be open in 2020 and will enable it to handle 15 million passengers a year and ease congestion. BIA handled 8.5 million passengers in 2015 & exceeded its capacity of 6 million passengers a year. more..

Govt plans in place as Lankans return in numbers from TN

Mar 28 (ST) Govt has formulated a comprehensive national policy to step up the resettlement process in the former war torn areas with the voluntary return of thousands of Sri Lankan refugees living in Tamil Nadu. Ministry Rehabilitation Resettlement Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy said that during the course of this year, the Govt is expecting the return of at least 30,000 Sri Lankans living in special camps in South India. more..

Govt housing projects in North face stiff resistance

Mar 28 (SL) The resettlement process in the North had run into a sticky situation after the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) decided to oppose any housing project in the North which did not have the approval of the council. A Resolution in this regard adopted by the council last Thursday has been dispatched to President Maithripala Sirisena. NPC members said that the Resolution states that a proposed project to construct 65,000 houses more..