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Over exuberant big match revellers produced in court

Mar 4 (Island) 19 big match revellers of a leading school in Colombo on a cycle parade were taken into custody by Slave Island police and Bambalapitiya police and produced before Fort Magistrate and Halftsdorp Magistrate. The had scaled over the walls of two top girls’ schools in Colombo during school hours. They were released on bail. Nine of them were directed to a Children’s home in Makola and handed over to Probation and Childcare officers while others were more..

Rajagiriya accident: Jt. Opp. tells IGP to check CCTV footage

Mar 4 (DM) Joint opposition requested Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon to ensure an impartial and proper investigation into the Rajagiriya accident involving a motorcycle and a vehicle belonging to Minister Champika Ranawaka. In their letter to the Police Chief, joint opposition MPs Shehan Semasinghe, Kanchana Wijesekara and D.V. Chanaka asked whether the police had launched an investigation into the accident, on Feb 28, more..

Pakistan attaches highest importance to relations with Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (CG) Pakistan says it attaches the highest importance to its relations with Sri Lanka. The Special Assistant to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs (SAPM) Syed Tariq Fatemi said this while he was talking to the newly arrived High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Major Gen (Retd) Jayanath Lokuketagodage. The High Commissioner paid a courtesy call on Fatemi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan. The SAPM welcomed Ambassador Lokuketagodage to Pakistan more..

Deshapriya mum on appointment of SF as National List MP

Mar 4 (Island) Head of the National Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya declined to comment on the appointment of DP leader Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka as a MP via the National List. Deshapriya said he could not discuss the matter as it was before the Supreme Court. Members of the NEC are Mahinda Deshapriya (Chairman), Prof. Rathnajeevan H. Hoole and Nalin J. Abeysekera PC. Center for Policy Alternatives has filed a fundamental rights more..

Switzerland notes progress in reconciliation process

Mar 4 (CG) Switzerland has noted progress in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process and has offered support for Sri Lanka’s efforts. A meeting between Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter centred in Switzerland yesterday on the progress in the reform and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka and the expansion of bilateral relations between Switzerland and Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka to withdraw licenses of defunct mini hydro power plants

Mar 4 (LBO) Power Ministry is to withdraw licenses of mini hydro power plants that have been non-operational for more than 2 years. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said a circular in this regard will be issued soon. “There is an issue with mini hydro power plant licensing. Some license holders are selling their licenses underhand. It leads to delays in electricity generation,” he said. He made this comment while speaking at the Kandy coordinating committee meeting yesterday. more..

Russian Navy ship in Colombo port

Mar 4 (SLN) Commander of the Ship Squadron of Russian Naval Ship Epron, Captain 1st Rank Sergey V. Ignatov, accompanied by the ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain 3rd Rank Denis A. Bergs paid a courtesy call on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo on 3rd March 2016. They held cordial discussions on matters of mutual interest and bilateral importance. Mementos were also exchanged to mark the occasion. more..

Chinese tourists outnumber Indians

Mar 4 (EN) The number of Chinese tourists coming to Sri Lanka in February 2016 outnumbered those from India, the island’s main tourism market. Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka went up 19.4% to 197,697 in February 2016 from a year ago, continuing a rising trend in tourists since the island’s ethnic war ended in 2009. The number of Chinese tourists, including those from Hong Kong and Macau, rose 17.4% to 32,186 in Feb more..

Indians arrested by Police for Visa violations

Mar 4 (PTI) At least six Indian nationals have been arrested here for allegedly abusing visa conditions and having links to the ongoing racket involving kidney transplant operations in Sri Lanka. They were arrested around midnight yesterday at Pennyquick Road in the south Colombo ward of Wellawatta, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. The Indians had been arrested for their suspected links to the on going racket involving kidney transplant operations performed in Sri Lanka, more..

Malaysia to ease visa hassle for SL tourists

Mar 4 (EN) Malaysia’s tourism authority has promised to make it easier for Sri Lankans to visit their country by reducing red tape and documentation needed to get visas. “We’re trying to ease visa applications and provide an easier way to travel to Malaysia,” said Daljit Singh, a director of Tourism Malaysia. “Sri Lanka is a very significant market for us.” Just over 51,000 Sri Lankans visited Malaysia last year and Tourism Malaysia is trying to promote the country’s more..

Responsibility of intellectuals is to join the drive to build the nation: President

Mar 4 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the responsibility of the intellectual community is not to leave the country protesting that the salaries and facilities are not enough, but to join the campaign to build the nation for the sake of the future generations. One should understand that there are problems in any sphere, but they also should understand not only the need for personal benefits, but also the needs of the country, more..

Hit and run accident: Pres Sec defender taken into custody

Mar 4 (DM) A Defender belonging to the Presidential Secretariat was taken into custody by the Kotadeniyawa Police last night in connection with a hit and run accident in Kithulwala on February 25. A 67-year-old woman died from the accident. Police said the vehicle was found abandoned at a residence in Pugoda and no arrests had been made so far. “Police investigations are continuing to ascertain if the vehicle taken into custody is the vehicle involved in the accident,” they said. more..

Vehicle roll-over during Ananda College parade: Six students hospitalized

Mar 4 (AM) Six students of Ananda College were hospitalized following a vehicle roll-over during the Ananda Parade 2016 this morning. The accident took place when a jeep rolled-over near the Public Library in Colombo. 13 students were thought to have been on the jeep when the accident took place. Ananda Parade is held before the annual Battle of the Maroons big match encounter against the traditional rivals Nalanda. This year's big match is to be held over the weekend at SSC. more..

Swiss NGOs warn too early to send Sri Lankans home

Mar 4 (SWI) During his recent visit to Bern, SL’s foreign minister promised his citizens living in Switzerland a safe return to the island. Yet some Swiss NGO groups say it is still much too early for asylum seekers to go back. Around 50,000 people from SL live in Switzerland, mostly Tamils, who fled the island’s 30-year civil war that ended in 2009. Sri Lanka would like them to return and certain Swiss NGOs are alarmed more..

Probe into surgery on wrong knee

Mar 4 (DM) A three-member committee is inquiring into the incident where the doctor is alleged to have operated the left knee of a 14-year-old girl instead of operating on her problamatic right knee, officials said today. Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Palitha Mahipala said he had appointed a three-member committee on March 2 to inquire into this tragedy. “The three-member committee headed by the Kandy General Hospital Director during its investigations more..

Female student stripped by teacher

Mar 4 (DN) A female teacher working in a school in Medawachchiya, Kebithigollewa Educational Zone had allegedly stripped off the school uniform of a female student of the school she was teaching in. The student’s father had a lodged a complaint to North Central Province DIG Ranjith Padmasiri claiming that the teacher had taken the student inside a room and had stripped off her uniform and had touched her body, making the child feel uncomfortable. more..

Sri Lankan Catholics ask president for Good Friday holiday

Mar 4 (UCAN) Catholics in Sri Lanka are asking the country's president to make Good Friday a mercantile holiday so Christians working in the private sector can properly commemorate the day. "[Good Friday] is a public holiday but not a mercantile holiday which means Christians working in the private sector do not enjoy the right to fulfill our religious obligations," said Kumarasiri Fernando, a Catholic teacher from Archdiocese. more..

Manipal Group plans varsities in Sri Lanka, South Africa

Mar 4 (TOI) City-based Manipal Global Education Services Private Limited (MGESPL), a subsidiary of the Manipal Education and Medical Group, will set up a university each in South Africa and Sri Lanka. "About 20% of students joining our university in Malaysia are from Sri Lanka; many are opting for our varsity in Nepal too. Africa has a shortage of doctors and there is demand for quality education, especially in the south and east. MGESPL will offer medical, dental, engineering, humanities and more..

Cashier stabbed during Rs 1.5m robbery in Ja-Ela

Mar 4 (AD) The cashier of a private financial institution in Ja-Ela was stabbed and cash amounting to Rs 1.5 million in his possession stolen by two unidentified men on a motorcycle today. Police said that the cashier was taking the money to a vehicle for transport to make a certain payment when two men arrived on a motorcycle, attacked his with a sharp object and made off with the bag of cash. The victim has been admitted to the Ragama Hospital with injuries. more..

UN notes Lanka at an important stage in its post war recovery

Mar 4 (CG) Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide to UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon, Adama Dieng, says SL is at an important stage in its post war recovery. He told the UNHRC, during the ongoing 31st session, that Sri Lanka has a chance to make things right by investing in reconciliation and an impartial accountability process that would restore confidence and reduce the risk of recurrence of the past violence. more..

Societies, Constitutions & Social Dynamics

Mar 3 (CT) A constitutionally based system of governance in a society is about the politics that prevail in that society. Politics is about the people who rule and the people who are being subject to that rule. Academically speaking, a bourgeois democratic society should subject everybody in that society to its supreme law, which is its constitution. Of course, a constitution is a piece of paper on which the socio-economic and political objectives of the ruling elites are written. more..

Rajapaksas in the dock

Mar 5 (CT) Sri Lanka govt while going through the difficult process of implementing the UNHRC resolution to carry out a credible justice process to inquire into the alleged war crimes during the Eelam war seems to have run into bit of trouble over the issue, at least with sections of the armed forces. According to a report in the Sunday Times, foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera had assured security force commanders and divisional commanders that the govt would protect more..

'If we all join the govt, SLFP vote will go to other parties'

Mar 5 (Island) The ongoing crisis within the SLFP reached a new high with the removal of Prasanna Ranatunga, Dilum Amunugama and several others from their electoral organiser positions. Such purges have been occurring from time to time since last year, and at each stage there has been a contraction of the space available for Rajapaksa loyalists in the SLFP. MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage talks about the crisis with SLFP more..

Two strong teams, but can Battle of the Maroons produce a result?

Mar 5 (Island) Arch rivals Ananda and Nalanda both have in their ranks some leading cricketers in the schools cricket arena. Some of them have either gone on to represent the country at Under-19 level or have almost made it to the national Youth team. But, will these formidable teams led by Nisal Francisco (Ananda) and Dasun Seneviratne (Nalanda) be able to end the disappointing series of draws at the 87th Battle of the Maroons starting at the SSC today. more..

Love, Life and Reconciliation on a War-torn Island

Mar 5 (CO) The perethaya, a creature in Buddhist mythology which can never satisfy its appetite having a pin-hole for a mouth, is the hungry ghost of the title of this novel. It is also a memorable metaphor for its subject matter: the kind of greed which can start wars. Set in Sri Lanka and Canada, The Hungry Ghosts is a coming-of-age story which follows its protagonist, Shivan Rassiah, in his quest for identity and reconciliation with his dysfunctional family. more..

'Within a unitary constitution power sharing is not possible'

Mar 5 (SL) Many of the promises given to the people especially the Tamil community have been broken by the govt, charged former TNA MP Suresh Premachandran. He said the two main parties in the national govt, don’t share the same vision and therefore there is conflict, which has affected everyone. In an interview he said the TNA in its election manifesto had promised the people to bring a somewhat federal constitution. more..

Protests, Demands and Pleas

Mar 5 (NS) The end of the 30-year-old conflict not only opened the roads towards the North, but it did also provide the much-needed space for the people themselves to come out and express their grievances. The various commissions and committees appointed by the govt provided the platform for the affected people to express their feelings, their demands, and their grievances after many years. Even though several years have passed since the war came to an end, more..

Political lessons of the fertilizer subsidy

Mar 5 (NS) A large number of farmers in several provinces staged protest marches against the govt’s decision to pay cash in lieu of the fertilizer they get under the subsidy scheme. From the govt’s point of view the measure is aimed at giving the farmer greater option on how much of fertilizer he is going to use as excessive use has been responsible for many a health issue. In the long run, the measure is also expected to encourage farmers to use more organic fertilizer shifting to more..

Face the Nation

SLFP house cleaning as Govt tackles ETCA and more

Mar 5 (DN) The removal of 22 electoral organizers by the SLFP last week gave a clear indication of speeding up party reorganization in keeping with the strategies and policies of President Maithripala Sirisena, against the continuing rivalry and obstructionism by the pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa groups within the party. The subsequent meeting of the SLFP's Central Committee indicated there could be more disciplinary action against those who do not fall in line with President Sirisena, more..

Precifac Or Presi- Whack?

Mar 5 (Island) What is the dashed nut that struck the Secretary of PRECIFAC to cause his sudden removal from office, sorry non-extension of service? There are many who must have been dashing coconuts and making various other offerings, with prayers and incantations to divine or demonic forces to save prevent them being called up to PRECIFAC – the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, more..

Death on the tracks

Mar 5 (SO) Human error or mechanical failure? Which is the real culprit in train accidents? Railway authorities attribute human error as the main cause of accidents, which could be prevented if people are alert and follow instructions, but admit in some instances train accidents occur due to mechanical failure, human error or due to both. Train accidents are caused due to derailment or at level crossings, either protected or more..

Wahhabism is power-worship

Mar 5 (Island) I want to argue in this article that Wahhabism is not as generally thought an atavistic movement designed to take Islam back to the middle ages in reaction to modernity but a movement meant to cope with modernity, and that its strategy for that purpose is to transform Islam into an ideology of power-worship. My thinking on this subject has in its background the fact that I read some decades ago in a great novel by Montherlant, something to the effect that the typical modern man, more..

Editorial: Waiting for polls

Mar 5 (Island) National Elections Commission (NEC) members including its Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya on Thursday sought to explain the delay in conducting the local govt elections. He cited some technical problems as the reason and undertook to hold the mini polls once they were sorted out. Deshapriya will have to make good of his pledge and live up to his reputation. Elections must not be put off unnecessarily. The country had to pay a very heavy price for the arbitrary postponement of more..

Asia Cup: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (CI) The first ball of the match, Mohammad Amir struck Dinesh Chandimal's pads with a late and quick inswinger, raising hopes of a contest. It panned out, however, into a dead rubber between two sides who made plenty of errors, with Pakistan chasing down 151 with six wickets in hand. The end was farcical, too, as Nuwan Kulasekara dropped a straightforward chance at mid-off from Shoaib Malik, to give away the winning run more..

Love’s labour lost

Mar 5 (CT) Edith, young, pretty and 22, was a typical girl from a conservative Christian background. Having a penchant for fashion, she was considered the style icon within her circle of family and friends, always a step ahead of others when it comes to the latest trend. She was known for her modest outfits and admired for activism within the church. Her beauty, congeniality, and style were the key selling points of any marriage proposals that were proffered to her. Thus, her parents selected a partner more..

The return of Dilshan's midas touch

Mar 5 (CI) Mohammad Amir has had a habit of landing his very first ball at the very last spot a batsman wants it. A week ago, he nearly took out Rohit Sharma with a searing yorker. Tonight he pinned Dinesh Chandimal's front pad with a full and fierce inswinger even as the batsman was barely ready to play a shot. The lbw appeal was shot down on height. The final ball of the over was a wide half-volley and Chandimal bashed it through cover. Usually, bowlers tend to err at more..

'Patience and faith in the side will bail us out'

Mar 5 (Hindu) The rebuilding process that Sri Lanka is going through seems to be timed a bit too late and poses some threat to its aspirations of retaining the World T20 title, feels stand-in captain Angelo Mathews. As a key figure in the Island nation’s present line-up, Mathews is also a part of the think tank, being the skipper of the Test and ODI sides. There was a hint of despondency in Mathews’s tone when he spoke to The Hindu more..

Sri Lankan treats

Mar 5 (DH) Cinnamon. Cinnamon. Cinnamon. Does it sound like a random repetition? Not quite. If you are in Sri Lanka’s Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon that sits smug next to miles and miles of cinnamon plantation, where executive chef Julinda Pushpakumara throws cinnamon into cubed parow fish, you’d know you are in Indian Ocean’s teardrop, where spices run the kitchen and cinnamon is the monarch. Nutmeg. Pepper. Chillies (60 kinds with varying degrees of fire!). Coriander. more..

Sampanthan’s concern over China

Mar 5 (CT) Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan who generally speaks on the North and East political and humanitarian issues in his capacity as the Leader of the TNA, for the first time has expressed his concerns over the attempts made by China to have a foothold in Trincomalee with the construction of a coal power plant in Sampur located in the region. Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force of Britain identifying the natural harbour of Trincomalee as the best location to build more..