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Generational challenges of Northern reconstruction

Feb 18 (DM) A decade after the war, the North continues to be mired in a social and economic crisis, with little light at the end of the tunnel. The liberals address this crisis by increasingly resorting to attitudinal, behavioural and cultural explanations. The vocal Tamil nationalists in turn are either in denial about the crisis or reduce it to victim-hood that requires external intervention for deliverance. Both explanations are historical, problematic and even dangerous. more..

Marie Colvin: Courageous journalist who lost an eye in Sri Lanka and her life In Syria

Feb 18 (DM) Journalists in the line of duty are required to write about different people from all walks of life but it is very rarely that they write about themselves or fellow journalists. It is accepted as part of a scribe’s lot in life. As far as the fourth estate is concerned, it goes with the territory. Sadly, if at all we do write about a journalist, it is only after he or she passes away. It is against this backdrop therefore that I write this week about more..

Sinharaja plunder: Slovak Govt. pays biggest ever fine of Rs. 10.85m

Feb 18 (ST) The Slovak Govt paid a fine of Rs 10.85 million imposed on five Slovak nationals found guilty of illegally collecting endemic animal and plant species from the Sinharaja Rainforest. Environmentalists say the fine is the largest ever imposed under the Fauna & Flora Protection Ordinance. Slovak Govt Officials, who were present in court on behalf of the five men, paid the fine imposed on them and secured their release. more..

Productive workers in SL trapped between neo-serfdom and Samurai graduates

Feb 18 (EN) Sri Lanka's toiling workers in the private sector who stand on their own feet are an unfortunate lot, caught between a neo-feudal Hamu elected ruling class who want to block their entry to the services sector and Samurai un-employed graduates who have created an entitlement culture and are skimming off the fat of the land. The shameless attempt to block less-affluent youth into the three wheeler taxi more..

US says Sri Lanka has important role in Indo-Pacific region

Feb 18 (FT) The United States last week said it attaches great importance to Sri Lanka in the Indo- Pacific policy, given the island nation’s strategic geographic location and economic potential. "We view Sri Lanka as a critical partner in the region and located at the nexus of the Indo-Pacific, Sri Lanka has the opportunity to shape the region’s future," US's Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Acting Principal more..

Govt seeks US$ 48mn credit line from India to develop KKS port

Feb 18 (DM) The govt will obtain a US$ 48 million credit line from India for the development of Kankesanthurai Port, an official said. Secretary to the Northern Development V. Sivagnanasothy said that the Cabinet approval had been secured to proceed with the development of this port in the north for commercial purposes. He said further talks would be conducted with the Indian authorities for the development of it. more..

President calls for national movement to form new govt

Feb 18 (PMD) Bringing forth a new national movement to form a new govt and a new set of programs for the betterment of the country is the main responsibility of all those who love the country today, said President Maithripala Sirisena. The President made these remarks participating as the chief guest at the 22nd Annual Conference of Mahajana Eksath Peramuna held in Colombo today (17). This year is an election year, more..

'Restore damaged religious places'

Feb 18 (DN) Places of religious worship damaged during the war including Temples, Kovils, Churches and Mosques should be rehabilitated and restored to there previous status, Malwatte Mahanayake Thera Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera said. He said the majority of places of worship damaged are Buddhist temples which should be restored to their previous status. more..

Water supply to be privatized

Feb 18 (CT) The govt has decided to enter into a Water Purchasing Agreement, under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project, for the first time in history, to fulfil water requirements of new developments including the Port City, being carried out in Colombo City. However, the top officials, engineers as well as all Trade unions of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) are expressing strong objection against the Govt more..

Civil society grouping vows to defeat Maithri-Mahinda project to restore 18A

Feb 18 (Island) A civil society grouping that campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena at 2015 presidential election has alleged that the President is cooperating with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to restore 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Parliament enacted 19th Amendment to the Constitution in late April 2015 at the expense of the 18th Amendment approved in Sept 2010. Co-convenor of Purawesi Balaya more..

Singer Amal, Nadeemal and 16 suspects to be produced before courts on 27 Feb

Feb 18 (FT) Singer Amal Silva and 17 others in Bur Dubai custody with the notorious underworld criminal and drug dealer Makandure Madush are to be produced before the Dubai Court on 27 February, according to his lawyer Udul Premaratne. Premaratne also said that Amal has refuted any links with the former TID DIG Nalaka Silva who is now in the Welikada Remand Prison over an alleged assassination plot on President Sirisena more..

South African way of approach

Feb 18 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 3-day visit to Northern Province last week was significant in many ways as the PM while focusing on the progress made in the post-war reconstruction and livelihood activities, expressed his views boldly on establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) similar to the approach adopted by SA to bring an end to apartheid by asking for forgiveness through telling the truth and regretting over the past to strengthen peace and reconciliation. more..

Several roads in Colombo closed from 7pm

Feb 18 (NR) Vehicular movement along Sri James Peiris Mawatha, the Slave Island Roundabout to the Pittala junction will be restricted from 7pm today owing to the Nawam Perahara of the Gangarama Temple. Police requested motorists to resort to alternate routes. Accordingly vehicles travelling through Sir James Peiris Mawatha from Colombo, Fort and Slave Island have been advised to resort to Union Place, Ibbanwela Junction, Townhall Roundabout and then Colpetty. more..

T.K. Azoor

Ranil and I belong to the same class: Sacked ex-fake director J’Pura Hospital

Feb 18 (CT) In a queer move yesterday, the sacked ex-fake director of Sri J'pura General Hospital (SJGH) has boastingly shared some pictures of himself and his wife under allegation for financial fraud of over17 million rupees of public money, having evening tea at the Temple Trees with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his wife Maithree Wickremesinghe. Susitha Senaratne, ex-acolyte of Rajitha Senaratne was illegally appointed as Director SJGH in 2015 under Yahapalana more..

SL growth profile: Arrest moving down the staircase immediately to avoid ...

Feb 18 (FT) Sri Lanka Development Update for 2019 was released by the World Bank last week. This document contains a review by the bank’s residential staff of the present state of the country’s economy and the risks it faces in the immediate future. Behind the diplomatic language it has used, there is are two strong messages it has delivered to the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, the present Good Governance Govt and any govt that may come to power in the future. more..

Rugby kid assault: St. Peter’s College Okay; World Rugby says NO

Feb 18 (CT) St. Peter’s College Bambalapitiya in a shocking communique condoned the behavior of their appointed rugby coach Sanath Martis, when he was caught on video assaulting one of its own student rugby players in full public view recently. The video which went viral on social media both in Sri Lanka and also reached global audiences, even left officials of World Rugby shell shocked, as their appointed Educator more..

What to do in Galle: A laid-back long weekend destination

Feb 18 (SCMP) Never mind that Lonely Planet put Sri Lanka at the top of its 2019 list of must-IGs. Or that Galle – officially a city, but with the feel of a supersized village – has been lumbered with Unesco heritage status. Variously under the thumb of Dutch, Portuguese and British colonialists, it’s been a thriving little port since Ibn Battuta (the Arab world’s answer to Marco Polo) passed by in the 14th century. Galle draws its zeitgeist from its seaside fort, whose coral-and-granite walls more..

Pest certification puts brakes on grape exports to Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (IE) Export of grapes to Russia and SL has halted midway in the season over stronger pest control requirements from the destination countries. While export to the more lucrative European and UK markets continues, overproduction has led to collapse of prices at the farm gate level. Vilas Shinde, chairman of the Nashik-based Sahyadri Farms, a Farmers Producers Company (FPC), said plant quarantine issues have been raised by both Russia and Sri Lanka. more..

PM directs officials for speedier resettlement of Jaffna Muslim IDPs

Feb 18 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed authorities in Resettlement Ministry and Divisional Secretariat to make arrangements to speed the resettlement process of displaced Muslim families of Jaffna. This is the first time in three decades that the Jaffna’s displaced Muslims, since their plight of expulsion in 1990, are hearing good news on their future. Among the 20,000 Northern Muslim families expelled more..

Chainsaw machine registration to commence tomorrow

Feb 18 (DM) Registration process of all chainsaw machines being used in the country will commence from tomorrow (20), Ministry of Defence announced. The registration will end on Feb 28. According to a decision taken by Ministry of Defence on the orders of Prez Sirisena, it is mandatory to register all chainsaw machines that are being used in the country. This is aimed at controlling deforestation caused by illegal felling of trees using chainsaw machines, and to regulate the felling of trees, more..

Vandalising Buddha Statues: Suspects remanded till Feb 27

Feb 18 (DM) The suspects in remand custody in connection with vandalizing statues of the Buddha in several areas in the country were produced before Mawanella Magistrate Upul Rajakaruna and further remanded till Feb 27. One of the suspects is a woman. The 11 suspects on remand were produced in court by prison officers and four others by the CID. Another two suspects arrested for providing accommodation to main suspects were produced in court and all of them were remanded. more..

Akila Dananjaya returns for South Africa ODIs

Feb 18 (CI) Spinner Akila Dananjaya has returned to SL's squad for the five ODIs in South Africa. However, it is understood that his availability is to subject to clearance of his bowling action from the ICC. He was officially banned from bowling in int'l cricket in December, after an independent biomechanic assessment found his flex beyond the permitted 15 degrees. Chandimal, who had been dropped for Test series in a shock move, more..

South Africa Women storm to six-wicket win, sweep SL series 3-0

Feb 18 (CI) Four wickets for Suné Luus and an unbeaten fifty from Mignon du Preez helped South Africa storm to a clinical 6-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI in Potchefstroom on Sunday. With stand-in captain Luus grabbing 4 for 30 in eight overs and Nadine de Klerk contributing an even more economical 2 for 30 in her 10-over stint, the visitors were bundled out for 139 in 44.2 overs, their lowest score of the series, after winning the toss and opting to bat. more..

Sri Lanka reaffirms wildlife protection ahead of global conference

Feb 18 (EN) Sri Lanka's tourism and wildlife minister reaffirmed to protect wildlife and end illegal trade of endangered species ahead of hosting the 18th conference of the parties (CoP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in May and June. “Sri Lanka's resolve towards eradication of the menace of illegal trade of endangered species is well documented and we remain firmly committed to the protection of all species," more..

Sale of ETI foreign investors: Depositors to get USD 16M end of this month?

Feb 18 (CT) With regard to the sale of assets of the EAP Holdings, the owners of Edirisinghe Trust Investments Finance Limited (ETI), in a press release, stated that, on reaching agreement on price, a sum of USD 54 millon has been received by the ETIF to date and the proceeds received thus far were paid to ETI and utilized to settle deposit holders. The balance is to be completed before end of this month. more..

MV Beijing Bridge under AGI Service makes maiden call at JCT

Feb 18 (FT) MV Beijing Bridge under its AGI Service made the maiden call at the Port of Colombo’s Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) controlled Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) on 13 Feb. In order to mark the vessel’s maiden call at the Port a plaque exchange was also held between SLPA Additional Managing Director Upali De Zoysa and MV Beijing Bridge Captain Rodie Barcoma. Welcoming MV Beijing Bridge at SLPA, Upali De Zoysa stated that SLPA being the land lord and more..

Ja-Ela UC flares up over Gamperaliya funds

Feb 18 (DN) Ja-Ela Urban Council (UC) members questioned the UC Chairman at the monthly meeting held on Feb 7 about the money the govt has allocated to the Council under Gamperaliya programme. SLFP Member Anne Marcus questioned about the number of projects under the Gamperaliya programme and the money received for them. Chairman Shammika Dias responded that the UC has 61 projects at a cost of Rs. 3,86,9007. UNP member Thushantha Perera said more..

Ranil blasts Northern Provincial Council

Feb 18 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, while speaking at the Kilinochchi District development review meeting, blamed the Northern Provincial Council authorities, saying that they have almost become inactive towards the problems faced by the people in North. The meeting was held on 15 Feb at the Kilinochchi District Secretariat. Speaking further the PM said that it is SL Army, which involves in civilian activities more..

Video: Sapling of Sri Maha Bo Tree gifted to Thailand

Feb 18 (AD) A sapling of Sri Maha Bo Tree has been sent over to Thailand today (18) under the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena. Reportedly, this sapling was gifted to remark the coronation of the new king of Thailand King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The coronation of the new king is scheduled to be held tomorrow morning (19) and the Bo Tree sapling was sent off to Thailand from the Bandaranaike International Airport at around 12.30 a.m. this morning. more..

UN urged to assist Lankan refugees in TN to return home

Feb 18 (Island) The UN has been urged to assist SL refugees in Tamil Nadu to return home. The UN Resident Coordinator in SL Hanaa Singer called on the Governor of the Northern Province Dr. Suren Raghavan at his office in Jaffna. The discussion was focused on the land and houses in the Northern Province and SL refugees in India. Under the direction of the President Sirisena, lands and farms in Northern Province which were occupied by SL Security Forces are being released more..

Video: Suspect re-remanded for evading customs duty payment

Feb 18 (AD) A suspect who had evaded paying Rs 40 million Customs duty and was granted bail earlier, has been re-remanded until 25th of Feb. The order was issued by Colombo Magistrate’s Court today. He was produced before the Colombo Magistrate on Feb 16 and was released on bail. However, Colombo Additional Magistrate has ordered to void the bail release order, as it was delivered mistakenly. more..

CC yet to gazette rules on making appointments, promotions: PHU

Feb 18 (DM) Constitutional Council (CC) had not yet issued a gazette notice on the procedure that would be adopted in making appointments and promotions, PHU said today. MP Udaya Gammanpila said the rules published in the gazette notice should be presented in parliament within three months. “According to the 41.G.3. clause of the constitution, the Constitution Council shall have the power to make rules relating to the performance and discharge of its duties and function. more..

Petition seeking SC order calling for PC polls filed

Feb 18 (AD) A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court, requesting it to order the Elections Commission to hold Provincial Council elections immediately. Reportedly, the petition was filed by the Sathya Gaveshakayo (Truth Seekers) organization. Election Commission, its chairperson and the members have been named as the respondents of the petition. Petitioners have stated that the incumbent govt has been postponing the PC elections by pointing out the process of more..

President instructs to reduce registration fee on small-scale businesses

Feb 18 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena pointed out the importance of implementing the Gramashakthi People’s Movement aiming at uplifting the underprivileged people in the urban areas in the future. The week commencing from today has been declared as the Gramashakthi National Week to accelerate the distribution of benefits from the Gramashakthi People’s Movement. The Gramashakthi People’s Movement more..

Basil’s edict turns screws on Sirisena hopes

Feb 19 (ST) Politicians by nature are open-mouthed people. That is not necessarily bad, if what emanates from that space surrounded by teeth is sensible and it is helpful to the people who helped elect them in the first place. But often it is unadulterated crap. Listen to the screaming contributions of Wimal Weerawansa from public platforms and the almost daily sermons of Udaya Gammanpila, the leader of some nondescript political party, preached at media gatherings more..

Fight against wildlife trafficking: CITES in SL

Feb 19 (CT) From pangolins to elephants, from tropical timber to birds and snakes: Wildlife trafficking is one of the largest illegal global trade sectors and generates billions of USD per year. Since 1975, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) provides a framework for the sustainable trade of wildlife and ecosystem products. The parties to the convention meet every three years, and the host for the 18th Conference of the Parties more..

After four years in foxholes: Gota’s first trial-at-bar

Feb 19 (SO) An unanimous ruling last Monday (11) by the 3-judge Bench of the Permanent High Court Trial, dismissing objections filed by President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva against the court’s jurisdiction to proceed with the trial of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and six others for charges including criminal misappropriation of Rs. 33 million of public funds for the construction of a mausoleum for Rajapaksa’s parents, may be turning point more..

Constitutional Council & Independent Commissions part of transition to rule of law

Feb 19 (CT) Prez Sirisena has been joined by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and by other opposition members in denouncing the institution of the Constitutional Council and the independent commissions established under the 19th Amendment. They have attributed many ill effects as flowing from these institutions. These include repeatedly defying the president’s wishes, being corrupt, creating chaos, being partial to members of minority religions and even of being culpable more..

Sri Lankan Malays: Vibrancy on the decline?

Feb 19 (CT) At the time of Independence, Ceylon was home to more than twenty different ethnic minorities, however, the chaotic chain of events that has unfurled, since, has led to the gradual decline in the population of several ethnic groups that have helped weave Ceylon’s multicultural mosaic. The Ceylon Malay community is one such notable ethnic group that has been facing a relentless demographic decline and their numbers have plummeted, falling by approximately 8% a decade. more..