Fiat justitia! Hizbullah, the former Eastern Province Governor, is also absent in most other Sri Lankan politicians. But the Thajudeen family, like many others, has gone through the mills of Sri Lankan justice and learned bitter lessons. It is one battle worth fighting because, while politicians come and go, it is institutions that form the foundation of governance. And it is they that will ensure justice does not become even more of a joke here than it already has.
Nauchalee Rajapakse: National netballer and sporting champion View(s):In our continuing series, following the National Netball Team throughout their preparations for the World Cup, this week we features Nauchalee Rajapakse who in a team full of champion athletes, is one of the best all-round sportspeople Sri Lanka has produced. During her O/Ls she was selected for the National Netball Senior Pool, however, shortly after this, she paused her National level netball career to focus on finishing her schooling (she continued to compete at the District level). In that same year, she was also drafted back into the National Netball Pool. She won Sri Lanka University’s Sports Association colours in netball, basketball, and volleyball, and was awarded four times the Best Sportswoman at Sabaragamuwa University. She transfers these skills easily onto the netball court where she can be heard motivating and encouraging her teammates,then inspiring them with her skills.
Shuttler Sachin (23), Swimmer Akalanka (19) Alliance Finance’s National treasures View(s):Sachin Dias, who was a member of the National Badminton team that won Sri Lanka’s first medal at the Sudirman Cup held in Malaysia, is a future medal prospect for the country. At the Sudirman Cup, Sri Lanka were Group 3 champions, beating Slovakia, Lithuania and Switzerland. Dias and Goonathilake won their ties, turning it into a memorable tournament for Sri Lanka. The sporting career of 23-year-old Badminton star Dias is being supported by AFC, a respected finance company in Sri Lanka. Peiris, who competed at last year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games, is now the undisputed champion in his age group.
The arrival of Anubudu Mihindu Himi or the Light of Lanka By Dr. P.G. The arrival of Mahinda Thera in the island was neither a myth nor an accident. Acknowledging the contribution the Thera Mahinda made here, the people called him the Light of Lanka (Lanka pradeepo).Vessagiriya 2 inscription of the 10th century refers to him as Anubudu Mihindu Himi.To this day in the island he is better known by that honorific. According to the criteria laid down to qualify to be a world heritage site Missaka Pabbata stands tall. It is high time the authorities move to get Missaka Pabbata declared a world heritage site.
The dawn of Poson and the significance of Thanthirimale By Chris Edirisinghe View(s): View(s):On Poson Poya we commemorate the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka centuries ago. It was on a Poson Poya day that Arahat Mahinda had a momentous encounter with the King at Mihintale. Religious observances at Poson were traditionally centered in Mihintale and in Anuradhapura. Aloka Pooja for the 16th time With the Aloka Pooja conducted by Wijeya Newspapers, Thanthirimale has today become an important place of worship for Buddhists. This year the Aloka Pooja is being held for the 16th time on June 15, 16 and 17.
Lanka’s Rs.1 trillion revenue collection target, a distant dream By Bandula Sirimanna View(s): View(s):Sri Lanka’s revenue collection target of Rs.1 trillion by 2019/2020 through the expansion of the tax payer base in the country, while adjusting indirect and direct tax has become a distant dream owing to weak tax administration at present, official forecast revealed. Tax administration has been weakened due to the failure in necessary development of the Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS) on time in 2017/2018 spending more than Rs. But political factors can stand in the way he noted pointing out that it was an open secret that professionals dodge income tax. According to IRD data, tax revenue recorded an increase of 2.5 per cent to Rs. This was due to the combined effect of the marginal increase of tax revenue from VAT, Excise duty, PAL and SCL and the decline in revenue collected from withholding tax, Excise duty on petroleum products, CID, CESS and Telecommunications Levy.
So close yet so far: The broken link between Odisha and Sri Lanka By Tissa Migara View(s): View(s):Can you mark the state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) on a map of India? And yet, there is arguably no other Indian state that has such historical links with Lanka as the State of Odisha. And Odisha itself is where the Great Emperor Ashoka fought the last of his battles — at Kalinga. While the Odisha State government advertises its tourism attractions over CNN, it has to upgrade its vast potential in ‘Buddhism tourism’. This forgotten history has to be reconnected as both Sri Lanka and Odisha have been engrossed in their own politics over the years.
Homeless Carrom Federation driven from pillar to post By Lakshman Ranasinghe View(s): View(s):Just a few more days left before the Carrom Federation of Sri Lanka (CFSL) has to vacate its present premises housing its headquarters in Kohuwala, as the Lease agreement expires at the end of this month. But the CFSL President says the World Championship and the World Cup are above all. According to the CFSL President, players are severely handicapped, as they have no place to practice. Sri Lanka will lose a golden opportunity of hosting the Asian Carrom Championship, if they fail to find a suitable, well equipped building. The CFSL President paid a glowing tribute to the present MoS Secretary, who is taking a keen interest to solve this longstanding problem.
Motorists snap fingers at lane laws despite 500 cases filed By Kasun Warakapitiya View(s): View(s):The rain was being used as an excuse by motorists to break the lane law. Pix by Ishanka SunimalThe “lane law” became effective from Monday but most motorists ignored them whenever traffic police were not present. Since Monday, police have filed cases against 500 errant motorists, Deputy Inspector-General (Traffic) Senior Superintendent Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The lane law requires motorists to stay in a specific lane instead of overtaking as they please. “Each day, we file at least 15 court cases against drivers who break the lane law,” Sub-Inspector Prabath Kaluarachchi said in Kotahena.
More than a fighting chance for little hearts By Kumudini Hettiarachchi Sri Lanka’s first-ever Human Heart Valve and Tissue Bank at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) for Children will help save the lives of many children suffering from congenital heart diseases View(s): View(s):All set. (See box)Commonly known as blue babies, these children suffer from cyanotic heart disease, which results in a low blood oxygen level. They form about 7-10% of those affected by congenital heart disease, it is learnt. The calculation is simple but for the families who have children with congenital heart disease it is heart-breaking. Pulmonary atresia Pulmonary atresia is a form of heart disease in which the pulmonary valve does not form properly.
Theatrics in the ‘Kussiya” View(s):In the past two to three years, various characters have sprung to life in this column, discussing the vagaries of the weather, gossip in the village, political happenings to – last but not least – the health of the economy and business developments. As I watched Kussi Amma Sera, her comrade-at-arms Serapina and down-the-lane gossip Mabel Rasthiyadu in conversation under the Margosa tree with these thoughts, the phone rang. Jolly-mood economist friend, Sammiya, short for Samson, is another character who evokes laughter whenever he calls with his jokes-laced economic issues. His usual opening words in a sentence, “I say …” are always good to hear since his conversation is witty as he wades through economic issues with an interesting choice of words. As if reading my mind, Kussi Amma Sera walks in with a second cup of tea for me, saying: “Mahattaya, oya me davaswala liyanne monawda (What are you writing these days?
A lower trade deficit this year could result in a higher BOP surplus. This can only be achieved by a much lower trade deficit than last year’s US$ 10.3 billion and the previous year’s US$ 9.6 billion. The trade deficit must be brought down to about US$ 8 to 8.5 billion to make a dent in the external financial position. There is a prospect of a reduced trade deficit this year, if the decline in the trade deficit to US$ 1.7 billion in the first quarter and the sharp decrease in the March trade deficit continues. Every effort must be made to enhance this reduction in the trade deficit to increase the balance of payments surplus.
ERP to take Sathosa out of the woods View(s):State-owned Lanka Sathosa Ltd (LSL)’s retail store network of 403 outlets currently running at a loss is set to be revamped with the introduction of a new sophisticated system, a Finance Ministry report revealed. The new sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system has been devised to increase the asset base in the company covering the entire outlets, warehouses and the Lanka Sathosa Head Office. Lanka Sathosa has signed a four year contract with USAID on staff training and development on training the trainer basis. An exclusive training centre will be set up for the 4000 strong staff to provide a better service for consumers countrywide. Lanka Sathosa currently functioning under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is facing allegations of financial misappropriation in importing 257,000 metric tonnes of rice during 2014/15.
Lotus Tower fails to bloom on time due to irregularities By Bandula Sirimanna View(s): View(s):Sri Lanka’s landmark 350-metre tall Lotus Tower slated to blossom in 912 days by 2015 following its ground breaking in November 2012 is still to see the light of the day owing to irregularities and embezzlements during the construction process. The land on which the Lotus Tower was erected had not been vested in the TRC by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) even by May 2018. However, in terms of the loan agreement, the period for the disbursement of the loan was due to be ended by August 18, 2016. The company has been entrusted with the task of establishing the television tower, and the Entertainment Centre as a public company under the ownership of the TRC. By reason of impossibility of establishing a company in terms of the Telecommunication Act, action had been taken to lease the Lotus Tower to a property Management Company as TRC has no powers to set up a public company.
Logistics Conference to set Lanka on right track By Sunimalee Dias View(s): View(s):Sri Lanka is hoping its logistics industry could be doubled capturing a significant space through the expansion of the ports and this is the main aim of holding the two-day Colombo International Logistics Conference scheduled on August 1. “We are promoting warehousing and distribution hub” for Sri Lanka through this conference, he explained. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka said that logistics is a key part of the master plan for the Colombo Port. At the same meeting, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Kishu Gomes said that Sri Lanka saw a 70 per cent drop in arrivals in May compared to the same month last year. Sri Lanka Logistics and Freight Forwarders Association (SLLFFA) Jagath Pathirana said that they ensured the supply chain continued to function even with air freight as there was a good infrastructure and workforce in place.