SportOn an invitation from The Dubai Table Tennis Academy, UAE, Bank of Ceylon Table Tennis team left the island to Dubai on April 24 to participate in a friendly tournament. Bank of Ceylon sponsored the tour comprising of players displayed unique talents at All Island and Nationalised Services tournaments. Imalsha (General Secretary), C. Amarasinghe (Deputy General Manager), D.M. Gunasekera (General Manager), D.N.L. General Manager), Maureen Jayawardene (Secretary Table Tennis), Kushanthi Ariyaratne, Charith Rajapakshe, Sameera Rajaguru, Chamal Atapattu, Tharuka Beligala, Charith Udagedara, Isuru Bandara, D.R.
Monument to all things Kandyan From the building’s architecture to the artifacts within it, the recently renovated Kandy National Museum is a must see, says Randima Attygalle View(s): View(s):Ear droplets adorned with the most exquisite gems tell a tale of love, lust and tears. The swords of Kandyan metal flash with rebellious air and Keppetipola Disava’s flag still flies high. The recently concluded refurbishment and conservation effort at the Kandy National Museum entailed an investment of around Rs 20 million, Director, National Museums, Sanuja Kasthuriarachchi told the Sunday Times. The number of exhibits had also been increased giving a broader insight into aspects of Kandyan living. From there, the collection was re-deposited at the then pallewahala which was the chosen location to open the first branch of the National Museum in 1942 under then Director, National Museum of Ceylon, Dr. P.E.P.
The oval-shaped ball is getting wonky View(s):In the streets, it is a public outcry and traffic snarls. As Round II of Schools Rugby begins, there will be much shouting and name calling. Alas, it is not, as we have seen with our performance at the “so called Rugby World Cup qualifiers”. The question is, whether the presiding one in sport will hunt the mice or brush it under the carpet, like the Fiji issue and the World Rugby Fine. Vimal Perera is a former Rugby Referee, coach and Accredited Referees Evaluator IRBÂ Â Â Â
Changing boots View(s):My dear Field Marshal,I really didnâ€™t think I would have to write to you again so soon but here you are, in the news once again. The entire country is talking about a new appointment for you after Maithri is said to have suggested this. To begin with, there is a major problem about this announcement: it was made by none other than Rajitha. Iâ€™m not sure what the whole truth is, but some say that they thought Maithri was a joker anyway. Whether you are to be offered such a post or not, it is heartening to know that Maithri and John discuss their dreams!
Health Minister sending big delegation for WHA View(s):The Health Ministry is sending a large delegation of 16 to the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva in a clear departure from previous years when just two officials and the Minister would attend. Sri Lanka’s delegation will be headed by Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Others in the party are Dr. P Sathiyalingam, Provincial Health Minister for the Northern Province; Anura Jayawickrama, Secretary to the Ministry of Health; Dr. J.M.W. Jayasundara Bandara, Director General of Health Services; Dr. S.C. Wickramasinghe, Acting Deputy Director General (Non Communicable Diseases) and Director of Health Information; and Dr. B.V.S.H. Beneragama, Deputy Director General (Medical Supplies) and Deputy Director General (Laboratory Services) and Chairman of Antimicrobial Resistance.
Bavaria to play role of match maker for Sri Lanka SMEs By Bandula Sirimanna View(s): View(s):Germany’s largest state Bavaria and Sri Lanka will boost trade and investment links and promote joint ventures in technology, tourism and small and medium –sized enterprises under a new initiative agreed upon by the two parties. “Companies in both Sri Lanka and Bavaria should profit from this match making arrangement, promoting mutual investments and economic cooperation,” he added. “We are keen to cooperate with Sri Lanka in the mission to tap SME potential,” he said. Since 2009 tourism is steadily growing in Sri Lanka, he said adding that German tourists who visit Sri Lanka are not those who come on tour packages. Mr. Hammer met Rohan Pethiyagoda, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board; Paddy Withana, Chairman – Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau; Upul Jayasuriya, Chairman/BOI and Jeevani Siriwardena, Director General Sri Lanka Export Development Board during his visit.
Bopitiya dump stirs up garbage danger, anger By Kasun Warakapitiya View(s): View(s):In its haste to dump garbage anywhere but Meethotamulla following the deaths and devastation on April 12, the Government is stirring up more anger across the city. Residents of Bopitiya are up in arms over the garbage being dumped in Muthurajawela, a part of a wildlife sanctuary. Residents and environmentalists say the area has been contaminated after several days of garbage dumping by the Colombo Municipal Council. Within the land, backhoes were seen excavating sand, while a part of the site was being used to dump garbage. An official of the Agrarian Services, said 40 foot craters have been dug to dump waste.
CEB chairman, engineers’ union wires cross forcing former’s resignation View(s):Anura Wijepala resigned as Chairman of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) last week, because he could not support the Engineers’ demand, accepted by the Power and Energy Ministry, to place the utility’s Internal Auditor (IA) under the purview of its General Manager (GM), instead of the Board of Directors. “It was against my conscience,” Mr Wijepala, an engineer and lecturer at the University of Moratuwa, told the Sunday Times. However, the Ministry backed the demand of the CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU), and he could not comply. It was also against the CEB Act, which provided for both branches to report to the GM. The GM is the most independent officer in the CEB, the spokesman claimed, adding that the Chairman was a political appointment.
Herman Gunaratne’s latest book launched View(s):â€˜Godâ€™s Secret Agent â€“A Battle against Dark Forcesâ€™ by Herman Gunaratne was launched at the authorâ€™s Mirissa Hills home on Sunday, April 16. The picture shows Mr. Gunaratne presenting a copy of the book to its editor Charlie Keeler. Mr. Gunaratne is also the author of four previous books -The Plantation Raj, For a Sovereign State, Tortured Island and The Suicide Club. Pic by Samad Careem
Acute labour shortage in Lanka; 200,000 foreigners working here View(s):By Kasun WarakapitiyaForeign workers, both with and without work visas, are arriving in Sri Lanka with the country facing an acute labour shortage, a cabinet minister said yesterday. Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told the Sunday Times that an estimated 200,000 strong foreign labour force was in Sri Lanka. “We are facing a labour shortage even for simple tasks such cleaning up a well or harvesting, thereby creating a market for foreign labour. Last year, the BOI received requests for over 8,000 work visas, but some come here for work with tourist visas. Otherwise, the money we earn will be spent on food which is expensive in Sri Lanka,” one worker said.
Is FFSL deep in the quagmire? By Naushad Amit View(s): View(s):The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) has called for an ‘Emergency Council Meeting’ today at 9.00am at its Main Auditorium at Football House in Torrington. The agenda and letter of invitation signed by the present Secretary General of FFSL, E. Balendra Anthony is daylight robbery in terms of administration according to Football experts. According to experts the intended ‘Emergency Council Meeting’ becomes ‘unconstitutional’ according to two regulations — the amended Sports Law No. In addition on the same day (April 25) the FFSL General Secretary has sent another letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FFSL U.L.
New anti-terrorism law undermines RTI View(s):The word ‘Espionage’ dropped, but originally listed offences reintroducedBy Namini WijedasaThe Counter Terrorism Act policy framework approved by the Cabinet this week has reintroduced offences originally listed under “espionage”– whilst merely removing the word “espionage” from the document. All these provisions were included in the original 57-page policy framework that this newspaper first published in October 2016. Confidential information has a broad definition under the CTA policy framework. It would also prevail over the RTI Act because the draft CTA states that once enacted it will have priority over past laws. The full version of the Policy and legal framework of the proposed Counter Terrorism Act of Sri Lanka
Public sector polls candidates not allowed back at posts View(s):Public sector employees who resign from service to contest elections will not be able to return to the same position they held, the Public Administration Ministry has announced. Ministry Secretary J.J. Rathanasiri told the Sunday Times that the ministry secured Cabinet approval recently since it has become a bad practice in the public service where defeated candidates return to the same post. “However, they can join in any other public institution to serve the public but they cannot return to the previous post they held,” he said. Officers are now required to submit an appeal to the ministry if they are considering returning to the public service. This move came as the Government was taking steps to hold the long due local polls this year.
No Mahapola scholarship for undergrads boycotting lectures, says UGC View(s):By Damith WickramasekaraUniversity undergraduates boycotting lectures, as part of ongoing protests against the South Asian Institute of Technology & Medicine (SAITM), will have their Mahapola Scholarships suspended, the University Grants Commission (UGC) said. UGC Chairman Mohan de Silva told the Sunday Times that the UGC had been notified by the Mahapola Higher Education Trust Fund (MHETF) that, undergraduates boycotting lectures for almost three months, as part of the anti-SAITM protest campaign, will have their Scholarship Grant suspended. Prof de Silva said universities had been instructed to give a list of the undergraduates who have been boycotting lectures. At present, an undergraduate holding a Mahapola Scholarship receives Rs 5,000 per month. MHETF Acting Director General Parakrama Bandara said: “Medical faculties have started identifying undergraduates who are boycotting lectures and would suspend their scholarships,” he said.
Trio to perform Russian Masterpieces View(s):May 2nd will see the Lionel Wendt Theatre resound to the strains of Tchaikovskyâ€™s monumental Piano trioâ€”a work which the composer himself doubted would ever be written. Russian pianist Maxim Puryzhinskiy, who thrilled Colombo audiences with his performance of Rachmaninovâ€™s Piano Concerto No 2 last year, returns to make up one third of the trio performing this work. Tchaikovsky wrote the trio in two large movements: a massive sonata-allegro and an extended set of variations. The Russian Masterpieces concert takes place on May 2nd at the Lionel Wendt Theatre and is presented by the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka and sponsored by the Earle De Fonseka Trust as part of the Trustâ€™s Chamber Music Concert Series. Box plan and tickets are available at the Lionel Wendt.