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Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya

Legacy of love

Mar 29 (DN) 111 years ago this day, one of the greatest Sri Lankans of the 20th century was born, in Kalutara. Today we have run out of words to describe a giant like him, because all such names have been overused to describe many people who could not come anywhere near such great men. Dr. E. W. Adikaram was not just a man of the century, he was a MAN of all time. He was a great man because he had a vision, and he tried to lead people by example, and not by empty advice. more..

Basil files FR application against FCID

Mar 29 (Island) A fundamental rights violation application filed by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, complaining of a possible unlawful arrest by the FCID, will be supported in court on June 8, 2016. Yesterday, the petitioner requested the court to grant him time to file further documents to explain his complaint fully. The petition said that the FCID had filed complaints in four Magistrate’s Courts referring to five events involving the petitioner. The allegations were baseless and more..

Joint Opposition off to Geneva

Mar 29 (DN) Joint Opposition will submit a complaint to the Geneva based Inter-Parliamentary Union about alleged harassment, intimidation and injustices they face both within parliament and outside. A joint opposition team comprising of Dullus Alahapperuma, Udaya Gammanpila and Bandula Gunewardene today left for Geneva to meet the IPU hierarchy. MP Alhapperuma said the joint opposition members will meet IPU Secretary General more..

John Amaratunga must be arrested: Dullas

Mar 29 (DM) Joint opposition called for the arrest of Minister John Amaratunga saying he was responsible for the removal of the walking path at Mabola in Wattala. “Minister Amaratunga admitted to having ordered the removal of the walking path which was built at a cost of Rs.80 million. After I saw the news, I thought he will be arrested under the Public Properties Act or produced in Negombo Magistrate’s Court. But nothing has happened so far,” MP Dullas Alahapperuma said. more..

SC grants a leave to 13 undergrads to proceed with FR case against police

Mar 29 (Island) SC granted leave to proceed with the petition filed by 13 undergraduates of several universities, who had complained of police assault in May 2014, when they launched a peaceful demonstration, opposite the UGC. They protested against the reduction of the course duration from four to three years for those reading for Allied Health Science Degrees. Students were beaten by officers of Slave Island police. A good number of them were injured and hospitalised. more..

Sri Lanka rates held unchanged after monetary policy meeting

Mar 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s monetary board held interest rates unchanged after a monthly monetary policy meeting, surprising some market participants who expected a rate increase. Seven out of 13 economists expected the Central Bank to raise rates to tackle high credit growth and pressure on the Rupee, according to a poll done by Reuters. Private sector credit growth was 25.7% in January 2016 compared to 25.1% in December 2015 more..

Dialog TV GO: Dialog Television now on every smart phone

Mar 29 (DM) Sri Lanka’s premier Digital Pay Television Network Dialog Television, announced a quantum leap in its service offering with the launch of Dialog TV GO- a mobile app which empowers Dialog Television customers with the facility to view a range of best in class entertainment channels via their smart phones. Dialog TV GO will provide television entertainment anytime, anywhere – with 42 international and local channels viewable via handheld smart devices. more..

Agonising wait for prisons drug sniffing dogs, news hounds

Mar 29 (Island) A ceremony held at the Welikade Prison yesterday to mark the use of canines to sniff out drugs at the prisons had to be delayed as the Chief Guest, Minister D. M. Swaminathan arrived two and a half hours late. Four sniffer dogs imported from Netherlands were commissioned and they were Bella (5 ½ years), Bluemous (1 ½ years), Darley (1 ½ years) and Lala (5 ½). Prison authorities had to make every attempt to pursue the media personnel attached to private television channels more..

Sri Lanka, rupee, in trouble after Keynesian stimulus

Mar 29 (EN) Sri Lanka has increased govt spending to boost aggregate demand after coming to power in 2015, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe admitted in parliament, as a policies are now being devised to rescue the country from a stimulus fallout. "In 2015, when we built the govt, there was a collapse in aggregate demand," PM Wickremesinghe told parliament. "In that situation in April we raised (state worker) pensioners' more..

'Sri Lanka should open up more than two sectors for ETCA'

Mar 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka should open up more sectors for the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic & Technology Cooperative Agreement (ETCA), a head of regional think tank said. A former telecoms regulator and founding Chair of LIRNEasia Professor Rohan Samarajiva said that construction industry is a one sector that should be opened up for both countries. “I disagree with this ETCA. I think we should open up more than two sectors. I think we should open up construction,” more..

GMOF calls for probing national medicines regulatory authority

Mar 29 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) urged Minister Rajitha Senaratne to appoint an independent Committee to assess the performance of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) since its establishment in June last year. GMOF said that there had been many complaints regarding the escalation of prices of medicines and availability issues. Compared to the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) the pace of registering drugs by more..

Compromise on housing construction leaves war displaced Tamils high and dry

Mar 29 (ENS) The compromise reached by Sri Lankan govt and the Lankan construction industry on the controversial issue of building 65,000 houses for the war displaced in the Tamil-majority Northern Province, has left the affected Tamils with no choice but to live in Arcelor Mittal’s flimsy, pre-fabricated PVC and steel houses, unsuited to the warm climate and culture of North Lanka. Sources in the Sri Lankan builders’ consortium, more..

Policy uncertainty hitting businesses badly

Mar 29 (Island) Policy uncertainty is getting in the way of sound business performance. For example, tax regulations are changed by the state very often. It is bad enough that we have to contend with currency fluctuations, but this atmosphere of policy uncertainty makes it extremely difficult for businesses to plan their operations in a systematic and productive manner. We were promised policy consistency but this has not happened, CEO Carmart Ltd. Yasendra Amerasinghe said. more..

One million rupees for every life lost at sea

Mar 29 (DN) Fisher folk must be protected, Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said, promising a compensation of Rs. one million for every life lost at sea. He added however that he was against illegal fishing method, saying the use of prohibited surukku and laila fishing gear in alarming proportions must be controlled. Addressing a meeting with fisher folk in Tangalle he warned that fishing in such a manner would cause the fishermen a loss income in the near future. more..

JVP to meet AG over Matale mass grave

Mar 29 (DM) The JVP has decided to meet the Attorney General before appealing against Matale Magistrate’s decision on the skeletal remains recovered from a mass grave at the Matale hospital premises. Based on chronological report of the Beta Analytics Archaeological Laboratory in Florida, in the US, the Matale Magistrate’s Court held that the skeletal remains were those of a group of individuals, who died before 1950. more..

Details surface about man hold peacock

Mar 29 (DM) Details have been revealed about the person seen holding a dead peacock on one hand and an air gun on the other which had gone viral on social media, Wildlife Conservation Department Spokesperson said. According to a statement recorded by police the man’s wife had said that her husband was not involved in the killing of the peacock. “Peacock was accidently knocked down by our vehicle while we were on our way for Mass at Wennapuwa Church on 2015. more..

Video: Assault on past student; Police to obtain TV footage

Mar 29 (DM) Galle Chief Magistrate granted permission to Police to obtain TV video footage of a Southland Vidyalaya's former student who was assaulted while filming the protest by past students and parents yesterday at the Galle bus stand. Permission was granted on the basis of a report alleging abuse threats and criminal harassment committed against a woman. Some 200 past students and parents called for the cancellation of the transfer of the Principal of Southland more..

Minister Amaratunga to reconstruct walking path

Mar 29 (DM) Minister John Amaratunga today assured that the walking path along the left embankment of Kalu Ela at Mabole, Wattala, that was removed several days ago, would be reconstructed soon. Minister said that he had no personal involvement with the matter. “First of all I wish to categorically state that I have no personal involvement in the matter, my involvement is purely to ensure well-being of people of Wattala,” more..

Govt blames former regime for economic crisis

Mar 29 (CG) Govt blamed the former regime headed by then President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the economic crisis in the country. Minister Harin Fernando said that current Govt has been forced to look for ways to settle the loans taken by the former Govt for high interest. He said that while some people are accusing current Govt of not initiating enough development projects since taking office last year, the reality is that Govt is working on ways to settle the loans taken by the former Govt. more..

China keen to provide assistance to Sri Lanka within its capacity

Mar 29 (CG) China is keen to provide assistance to Sri Lanka within its capacity, the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said. The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka donated thirty computers to the Surya Foundation Education Center in Gampaha. Mrs. Wu Xiaoling, wife of Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mrs. Vasantha Jayasuriya, Chairperson of Surya Foundation, and directors of Surya Foundation as well as one hundred student representatives attended the ceremony. more..

'Officials who execute their duties in a proper way will never have to face investigations'

Mar 29 (PSL) “Today, some persons in the public service are refraining from signing for documents due to a fear that they will have to face investigations against the financial crimes”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. “But the officials who execute their duties in a proper manner will never have to face such investigations”, he added. President stated that the govt is prepared to be with the govt officials who fulfill their more..

Trade unions agree to discuss their problems with Labour Minister

Mar 29 (Island) Trade unions represented in National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC), which met yesterday, decided to discuss their problems with Labour Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne immediately. President of Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) Wasantha Samarasinghe said that 14 trade unions were represented in the NLAC and eight of them had participated in the discussion. He said their proposals for the new Constitution would also be handed over to the Labour Minister more..

Moves to restore lost prestige in foreign service

Mar 29 (DN) The govt is implementing short and long term plans to restore the prestige and opportunities that the country lost due to political appointments made by the former Rajapaksa regime to the foreign service, govt sources said. Sri Lanka has been able to build strong relations with a number of countries today since all diplomatic appointments in the foreign service have been made considering qualifications and not political relationships. more..

Video: Govt introduces reward system for low electricity consumption

Mar 29 (AD) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera says that power cuts will not be imposed during the upcoming festive season. However, he said, that the electricity demand had unnaturally surged in the month compared to March last year. He stated that prevailing dry weather conditions has caused certain issues in the power supply and that is the reason why the demand of 2300MW cannot be met despite the capacity for generating 3900MW. more..

Sampur: Documentary trailer

Mar 30 (GV) Thousands of individuals from across Sri Lanka have been displaced for years, some multiple times. For over a decade, the Centre for Policy Alternatives has documented issues related to displacement and returns, advocating reform and litigating on unjust and arbitrary practices. Two cases CPA has followed closely for years, supporting litigation and advocating land releases and durable solutions include the areas in the Jaffna district and in Sampur, Trincomalee district. more..

From pan to fire

Mar 30 (CT) When winning the World Cup '96 the team was chosen on the basis of going into the race with a balanced side, there was no victory dream. But, when it was time to go and get that elusive win, there was a team that was made ready to go at it. Just think of the strategy then, with the mandatory fifteen over rule field restriction rule that was introduces for the 1996 game. When, the rules were changed, and letting only two fielders outside the thirty yard circle in the first 15 overs more..

Below the critical line

Mar 30 (SO) Paying homage with a gilded pot of water to the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura, may not be much of an energy policy, yet this is what officials were doing last week - praying for rain - which according to folklore, parched and cracked lands would be blessed with rain and an impending energy and water crisis will be alleviated. Senior Engineer and Director of Major Dams at the Mahaweli Authority, S.R.K Aruppola, more..

Sri Lankan stock market volatile

Mar 30 (SL) Recent statements by several economists and investor communities have indicated major concerns regarding the future functionalities of SL stock market. In the limelight of Sri Lanka getting downgraded by Fitch, many parties have speculated that the Sri Lankan economy will have to face strong opposing 0headwinds in the near future. Since the Fitch ratings downgraded Sri Lanka, the Colombo stock market has been under severe criticism by several parties. more..

Dais open for the Diaspora

Mar 30 (NS) In a bid to create an understanding between all communities in the country, the Govt and several other institutions which campaign for peace and equality, have been associated with several islandwide programmes, trying to bring all people together. Sri Lankan population consists of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and a few others. All the major communities have some common features in terms of language, common words, cultural values, rituals, etc,. more..

'Federalism will unite the country'

Mar 30 (CT) Former Chief Minister of merged North and East Varadaraja Perumal said Right to Self Determination should not be only given to Tamils but to people in every region of this country. Autonomy in every region is a must for the govt to deliver efficient development to the people. "The latest Constitution in Nepal can be a very good model for Sri Lanka. Some 500-600 regions have been united in India for the past 60 years as more..

CC as a mere rubber stamp

Mar 30 (Island) The police seem to be rudderless. They are also accused of having become a law unto themselves. Their victims include not only the rights-conscious city dwellers but also the Veddhas in far-flung areas. Yesterday, we reported that a violent suspect, in a state of inebriation, had inflicted serious injury on a police officer by biting the latter’s genitals. We wish the injured officer speedy recovery. But, we hope one should be forgiven for bluntly asking how the police can be more..

Bore-wells & salinity in Jaffna

Mar 30 (CT) Fresh water supplies and arable land are at risk due to indiscriminate digging of bore wells resulting in saline water extraction. Simple methods for mapping the depth of usable water are proposed that can be used to guide well-depth and prevent significant environment degradation. This information can also be used to estimate available groundwater for human use. Recently, there has been a trend in drilling bore wells in Jaffna Peninsula to extract groundwater for domestic use. more..

Royal shame: Story of Sasanka Jagath

A NATO role in failed Norwegian peace bid and costly propaganda projects: A response

Mar 30 (Island) Once again I find myself in the position of replying to your columnist Shamindra Ferdinando, this time with respect to his column A NATO role in failed Norwegian peace bid and costly propaganda projects. In a column peppered with grandiose, and in several instances unsubstantiated claims, I will confine myself to commenting on those that relate specifically to the role of the Norwegians in Sri Lanka – subject of my recent book To end a civil war: Norway’s peace engagement, more..

Gamini Dissanayake: The miracle-maker; The Robert Kennedy of Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (CT) Gamini Dissanayake’s birth anniversary fell on March 20. Commenting on the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963 in Dulles, Texas, Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, stated thus: “So much of the deep lingering sadness over President Kennedy’s assassination is about the unfinished promise, unspoken speeches, unfulfilled hopes, the wondering about what might have been.” Those words would have been truer about Gamini more..

Sri Lanka to issue up to $3 b sovereign bonds amid debt, looming crisis

Mar 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is planning to return to international capital markets to issue international sovereign bonds and raise up to $3 billion, Central Bank said. Govt is in negotiations on an IMF loan for up to $1.5 billion to avert a BOP crisis. “The issuances in single or multiple tranches would be in US dollar and Chinese Renminbi (Panda/Dim Sum) with a fixed coupon and medium to long term maturities where non-resident investors more..

Egypt Air drama throws back to Sri Lankan's hijacking

Mar 30 (EN) The hostage drama aboard an Egypt Air plane carried out Tuesday by a lone man claiming to wear a suicide jacket was similar to a successful hoax pulled off by a Sri Lankan nearly 34 years ago. The hijacker, who officials said was motivated by personal reasons and who had reportedly claimed to be wearing an explosives belt, was detained after several tense hours at Larnaca airport where the plane had landed. The bomb claim was a hoax. TMan had reportedly wanted to more..

Greater prominence for Commissioner General of Inland Revenue

Mar 30 (Island) Certain provisions in the Companies Act No.7 of 2007, which were amended, have been presented to Parliament. These have given prominence to Commissioner General of Inland Revenue. Govt gazetted the draft Bill on March 10, 2014. The amendments that have been proposed by the Bill affect two areas of legal procedure. First, they generally enlarge the procedure to be followed by private companies when submitting their annual returns to the Registrar of Companies. more..

Food hogging MPs, staff to be tamed

Mar 30 (Island) MPs and Parliament staff members should be made aware of food mannerisms, especially their grotesque style of consuming food and overeating which could be one of the main reasons why they became ill, Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said. Sumathipala who chairs a committee to be set up soon to look into the matters connected with food preparation and to ensure quality food was served in Parliament more..