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Endemic but endangered: 5 butterflies of SL

Mar 28 (Roar) There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in total across the world, and they are distributed across all continents except Antarctica. Sri Lanka alone is home to 245 different species of butterflies ‒ out of which 26 species are endemic, while the rest of them are migratory butterflies who travel to the island throughout the year. A majority of these butterflies can be found in the foothills up to more..

Ranil’s reckless radicalism

Mar 28 (Island) Mao Zedong once famously chided a group of young loyalists, saying, You say you want to make a revolution, but you don’t know where the bourgeoisie is! The bourgeoisie is in the party!  Similarly, I have long wanted to see an anti-systemic movement and struggle (to use my old professor, the iconic Immanuel Wallerstein’s concept) but have not known where the most anti-systemic element is, in this country. That is until now. But I have changed. I have had an epiphany. more..

CA Sri Lanka launches first ever financial reporting quiz

Mar 28 (LBO) For the first time in the country’s history, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) will launch a financial reporting quiz with the aim of enhancing the knowledge of aspiring accountants from across the country to ensure the students will have the necessary knowledge on the topic, when they commence their career as professional accountants. CA Quiz and Effective Communication Contest which will be held later this year also aims more..

Face the Nation

Fake Prophets and Prophesies

Mar 28 (SL) The Biblical adage of Prophets not being recognised in their own country, today can be well appreciated in Sri Lanka. Their prophesies have gone wrong. By prophets, we mean the political kind, not our traditional prophets, the astrologers, who are  given the formidable task of predicting our whole lives, results of wars, cricket matches, matching couples horoscopes and of course elections. We are referring to exclusive political prophets: those who call themselves more..

Editorial: When sailors buoy coffers

Mar 28 (Island) The govt, caught in a mega debt crisis, is desperate for funds and apparently doesn’t care where they come from. Time was when the traffic police considered it their bounden duty to make roads safe by preventing accidents. They did everything in their power to discourage reckless driving and jaywalking. But, today, they seem to think their raison d’etre is to raise funds for the state coffers by way of fines instead of preventing road mishaps. more..

Rewarded for sensitizing the rights of the disabled

Mar 28 (CT) Last week, young Sri Lankan, Krystle Reid won the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year Award for 2017. Reid, who is the co founder of the Enable Lanka Foundation (ELF), shared some thoughts on the award, on winning, and her views on enabling youth of the country. Q: Describe this Commonwealth Award you have won and its significance? A: Since 2012 the Commonwealth has been recognizing more..

Speaker speaks out against unruly behaviour by some MPs

Mar 28 (ST) It’s three months since Parliament adopted a Code of Conduct for MPs, but that hasn’t made things easier for Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. This week, once again, and for the umpteenth time, the Speaker had to remind the country’s MPs on the need to behave in a manner befitting the high office they hold, and desist from behaving in a manner which does little to improve their image in the eyes of the public. The latest words of advice from the Speaker came on Friday when, more..

The tragedy of the common class

Mar 28 (CT) Last week I sketched out the political content of the Professional Nationalist class (or ProNats). I can’t vouch for their sincerity, but I think I can vouch for the disjuncture between their aims and their social conditioning, a disjuncture that has historically felled other similar political cliques in the past, both here and abroad. This week’s column is a sweep (or rather an attempt at a sweep) of a more common class, also political in nature but more discernible in the context of our country, more..

Thirsting nation Cries for Water

Mar 28 (NS) Many Sri Lankans attribute the vagaries of the climate to the caprices of the weather gods.  It seems that the time has come again to appease those incensed deities. The nation is experiencing its worst drought in five years which has pushed 900,000 of its citizens into acute food insecurity. Worst-affected by the drought have been farmers and those relying on agriculture for income. The World Food Programme (WFP) says more..

Why we can’t attract more foreign investments

Mar 28 (ST) The insufficient and decreasing inflow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) is most disappointing. FDIs have been declining from US$ 1070 million in 2014 to US$ 970 million in 2015 and it was only US$ 445 million in the first nine months of last year. Furthermore, most FDIs have been in property development and the hospitality industry rather than into export manufacturing. Sustained economic growth of 8% or more that would double per capita incomes in about ten more..

Education is not a commodity: But it is and it should be negotiable

Mar 28 (CT) Education is not a commodity has been a popular view almost universally held by Sri Lanka’s student community in higher learning institutions. For them, it is non-negotiable. Even some university academics at the country’s state universities have been ardent proponents of this view. This view held by them is now a public commodity found everywhere. It could be found on the placards which students wave at people when they stage streets demonstrations. more..

Video: I'm going to form a new party: Mervyn

Mar 27 (DM) Former minister Mervyn Silva said he hoped to launch a new political party which would be open for politicians who had faced injustice because of the actions of their political parties or leaders. “If someone has had to face injustice like what happened to me, I invite them to join us. I thought of forming the party not for me but for those who faced injustices for political reasons. I will not be the leader of party. I will be the chairman. more..

JVPer claims paddy sold to distillery at Rs 28

Mar 27 (CT) The proposed distillery at Kalkudah had been provided with 4,000 Metric tons of paddy from the Mattala warehouse, Samastha Lanka Govijana Sammelanaya organizer and JVP PC member Namal Karunaratne claimed. He added that the distillery being set up by Arjun Aloysius in affiliation with the Mendis liquor Company, was provided with the paddy at Rs 28 per kilo. Suspicions have arisen over this distillery being set up in the centre of Amparai, Devahuwa & Polonnaruwa Districts, more..

Protests in Jaffna against cancellation of Rajinikanth's trip

Mar 27 (PTI) Hundreds of people today rallied in Jaffna to protest against TN politicians under whose pressure superstar Rajinikanth cancelled his visit to the island nation where he was scheduled to hand over houses to displaced ethnic Tamils. Protestors belonging to different parties, including the TNA, gathered near Jaffna's iconic Nallur Kovil. They held placards with slogans against the TN politicians. The 66-year-old actor was scheduled to hand over the houses built by Gnanam Foundation more..

European Investment Bank team looks for Sri Lanka investment opportunities

Mar 27 (EN) The European Investment Bank (EIB) will send a high-level delegation to Sri Lanka to explore new opportunities for future investment on a three day visit later this week at the start of a South Asia tour. A high-level delegation from the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank, will make a three day official visit to Sri Lanka later this week at the start of a South Asia regional tour. more..

Tigers circle wounded prey

Mar 27 (CI) A win in a landmark Test, post-match calls from the prime minister, outstanding performances from debutants, seniors producing their best work - this hastily arranged tour was only supposed to be the postscript to Bangladesh's high-profile visits to NZ and India, but now has the makings of a dream tour. Consider how dominant SL have been against Bangladesh in the past. Muralitharan's record is sometimes attacked for containing too many Bangladesh wickets. more..

Dickwella out of series with hairline fracture

Mar 27 (CI) Niroshan Dickwella has been ruled out of the ongoing ODI series against Bangladesh after suffering a hairline fracture in his left hand. Dickwella had sustained the injury on Sunday, at training. Though it was originally thought to be a minor injury, he had had trouble gripping his bat on Monday. Subsequent X-rays then confirmed the fracture. Team manager Asanka Gurusinha said that while the injury was minor it may take a couple of weeks to fully heal, which also puts more..

Sri Lanka wants to reduce China’s stake in strategic port deal

Mar 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's govt wants a Chinese company to agree to cut its stake in a strategic port project by up to a quarter, as part of a renegotiation aimed at blunting public and political opposition to the deal. After signing an agreement in Dec, state-run China Merchants Port Holdings had been expected to pay $1.12 billion for a 99-year lease on an 80% stake in Hambantota port - part of Beijing's ambitious plans to create more..

Video: 'Making a controversy over Rajinikanth's visit does not make sense'

Mar 27 (TN) Actor R Madhavan spoke on the recent political debate that broke out over superstar Rajinikanth’s proposed visit to SL and stated that it does not make sense to create a controversy at this point of time and that Rajinikanth, though he has taken a decision to avoid controversy, has made his stand very clear by asking people not to politicise his visit. “We must understand that we are very vulnerable as actors. It is unfair that social issues get linked to us before the release of a film. more..

The real reasons behind China's big investments in Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (Forbes) What’s China doing in Sri Lanka? Officially, it’s building the country’s infrastructure. Like the ports of Colombo and Hambantota, which have left the country heavily indebted. Unofficially, China is setting up outposts in the Indian Ocean as part of Beijing’s broader strategy to secure the passage of Middle East oil through the Strait of Malacca and counter American naval hegemony in the region. China has increasingly come to rely on the Middle East for its oil needs, more..

Interim order against appointing a military officer as Sports Director of Edu Ministry

Mar 27 (DN) Supreme Court today issued an interim order staying the appointment of Colonel Manjula Kariyawasam as the Education Director of the Ministry of Education until the final determination of a Fundamental Rights petition is filed challenging his appointment. Supreme Court made this order pursuant to a Fundamental Rights petition filed by Sri Lanka Educational Administrative Service Professional Association. more..

Sri Lanka at ASTINDO fair 2017

Mar 27 (AM) Indonesian Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya ceremonially inaugurated Sri Lanka’s tourism stall at Astindo Fair 2017 on Friday morning (24) at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in Indonesia. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Jakarta, Dharshana Perera, Embassy Officials, Sri Lankan tour operators / companies joined in the opening ceremony. This is the first time Sri Lanka is participating at Astindo. Six prominent Sri Lankan travel and tour companies - Lanka Sportreizen, Deluxe Vacations, more..

Train strike suspended

Mar 27 (DM) The 24-hour trade union action scheduled to be launched by the Locomotive Engineering Operators from midnight today has been called off, Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry announced. The token strike was organised seeking several demands including salary anomalies and it has been abandoned due to the moves made by the Ministry to resolve the matters of locomotive operators, Locomotive Engineering Operators Union (LEOU) said. more..

Withholding of evidence: SF should be arrested: Udaya

Mar 27 (DM) Field Marshal and Minister Sarath Fonseka should be arrested and put in jail on charges of withholding evidence on the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunge in 2008, MP Udaya Gammanpila said today. He said the minister should be arrested just like what happened to former DIG Anura Senanayake who was arrested on charges of withholding evidence in the killing of rugby captain Wasim Thajudeen. more..

Youth knocked down by Megapolis SUV hospitalised after partial recovery

Mar 27 (Island) Sandeep Gunawardena, the youth who received serious injuries when his motorcycle collided with an SUV belonging to the Megapolis and Western Province Development Ministry, last year, was admitted to National Hospital for another surgery yesterday. The victim had been recuperating at home after he was discharged from the Rehabilitation Hospital at Ragama some months ago. Doctors, treating him, said he would have to undergo surgery as some devices, more..

Archives and evidence room of Balapitiya High courts broken into

Mar 27 (DM) The archives and evidence room of the Balapitiya High courts, where some 300-500 confidential documents related to court cases were kept, has been broken into, sources said. Police said that there were around 300-500 confidential documents related to court cases at the time of the robbery. A court official said there had been some documents connected to cases of murder, rape and theft in the room. Details regarding the amount of missing documents were yet to be revealed. more..

Harin Fernando

Workshop on flood risk management

Mar 27 (DN) A workshop on Flood Risk Management organized by the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University's Faculty of Engineering, with the collaboration of three German universities, was held recently. The resource persons were Prof. Robert Jüpner, University of Kaiserslautern, Prof. Juergen Jensen, Research Institute for Water and Environment, University of Siegen, Prof. Achim Schulte, Freie University of Berlin, and Prof. Wolfgang Breit, University of Kaiserslautern. more..

Indian naval ship INS Darshak in Colombo

Mar 27 (SLN) The hydrographic survey ship, INS Darshak of the Indian Navy arrived at the Port of Colombo today on a training visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in compliance with naval traditions on her arrival. The Commanding Officer of Darshak Captain Peush Pawsey paid a courtesy call on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle at the Western Naval Command Headquarters and they held cordial discussions. more..

Sri Lanka state credit surge to new high in January 2017, private down

Mar 27 (EN) SL's credit to govt from the banking system surged to 141 billion rupees in Jan 2017, in what could be an all-time high, while state enterprises also continued to borrow, though private credit slowed sharply. Private credit fell sharply to 17.9 billion rupees, down from 78.7 billion rupees a month earlier. Whether it is temporary crowding out due to large state borrowings or a more sustained trend is not clear. more..

Sri Lanka banks, tech firms urged to co-operate to push e-commerce

Mar 27 (EN) Banks need to co-operate among themselves and with technology companies to encourage greater use of digital transactions, Channa De Silva, CEO of LankaClear. He said LankaClear, an electronic clearing house owned by banks which handles inter-bank funds transfers and provides links for a common automated teller machine network, was keen to encourage digital transactions and reduce use of cash. “We’re also interested in identifying why things are not more..

Wimal unable to attend court due to poor health

Mar 27 (NR) Prison officers have informed the Colombo High Court, that Leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa cannot be produced before court today, due to his poor health condition. Court was informed of the matter by the Director of the new Magazine Prison and the Chief Medical Officer of the Prison Hospital. A case has been filed against Former Deputy Minister Mohammed Mustapha, pertaining to an incident where he allegedly attempted to bribe present Spokesman more..

We didn’t ask Rajinikanth to cancel Sri Lanka visit, says VCK

Mar 27 (DC) Refuting Lyca Production’s charges, VCK and TVK said their motive was not to oppose Rajinikanth’s visit to Sri Lanka, but only asked him to reconsider his trip since the atmosphere was not conducive.  “Our motive is not to oppose Rajinikanth or Lyca or seek publicity. If Lyca thinks so, it is sheer imagination,” VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan said, while appreciating the superstar for his maturity in understanding more..

Maligawa Road will remain closed: Kiriella

Mar 27 (CT) The road adjacent to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Maligawa Road, will remain closed to vehicular movement as long as the present govt is in power, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. "Certain factions are circulating false rumours that the road will be opened to the public again," he said stressing that these rumours were false. Minister then accepted that the traffic congestion in Kandy was an issue and requested the public to be patient until a proper solution is found. more..

Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the China debt trap

Mar 27 (AT) The influx of Chinese economic assistance into Sri Lanka and Cambodia has raised questions regarding the intentions behind these massive loans. While China may still be considered a developing economy, its current strategy of providing soft power loans and aid to its regional neighbors is reminiscent of the tributary system that the country employed back in its empire days. Cambodia is one of China’s closest international partners and diplomatic allies, as well as more..