On the ‘deep state’ and an indecisive government

Oftentimes, the examples cited in support thereto include the much praised 17th Amendment to the Constitution. For example, why did these democratic ‘transformations’ in 2001 and 2015 leave untouched the ‘deep state’ of Sri Lanka’s political patronage system and a ‘tamed’ public sector bureaucracy that thrives best when an insecure Government is in power? A selective reading of history would make us believe that the Rajapaksas were the only villains in dismantling the 17th Amendment. The ‘deep state’ and the CTABut worse consequences may yet ensue as a result of tortuous wriggling by an uncertain and chaotic political coalition. The potential of a ‘deep state’ security sector establishment to push for laws strengthening its heavy hand is now clear.

April 16, 2017 02:03 UTC

‘Weli Kathara’ digitalised

‘Weli Kathara’ digitalised View(s):Sri Lanka’s first Cinemascaope film, ‘Weli Kathara’ debut direction by visionary filmmaker Dr. D. B. Nihalsinghe was recreated with the digital technology and was screened at National Film Corporation theatre recently. This outstanding film which is included among the ten best Sri Lankan films was also considered as the South Asia’s second Cinemascaope film. Shot in Point Pedro, “Weli Kathara” was a box office hit and it was first screened on October 27, 1971. Scripted by Tissa Abeysekera, the film stared Gamini Fonseka, Suweenitha Weerasinghe and Joe Abewickrema in the lead roles. The film restoration was initiated by Four-In-One Institute and it is considered as one of the Ten Best Sri Lankan films of all time.

April 16, 2017 02:03 UTC

Athulugama’s rare feat

Athulugama’s rare feat View(s):Charles Indika Atulugama achieved a rare feat by becoming the first ever Sri Lankan to represent the Emirates Touch Rugby team at the upcoming World Masters’ Games 2017 to be held in Auckland, New Zealand. After leaving school he joined Malaysian Airlines and continued to play cricket at Mercantile Cricket Association (MCA) tournaments representing Hemas Group. Soon he realised that Rugby is becoming his passion and joins the Fly Emirates Touch Rugby team. He transforms into a versatile player by representing the Fly Emirates team at the Phuket 10s in 2016 as a centre. Touch Rugby at World Masters’ Games is being held under three age categories — Over-30, Over-40 and Over-50.

April 16, 2017 02:03 UTC

Pakistan PM says he is shocked by blasphemy killing

WorldPakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said he is "shocked and saddened" by the killing of a university student accused of blasphemy against Islam, BBC reported. Blasphemy is a highly sensitive and incendiary issue in Pakistan. Critics say blasphemy laws, which allow the death penalty in some cases, are often misused to oppress minorities. The murdered student has been identified as Mashal Khan, who was accused of posting blasphemous messages on social media. Mr Sharif, who has supported a wide-ranging crackdown on blasphemous content on social media, condemned the attack, in his first statement on Thursday's killing.

April 15, 2017 17:48 UTC

Sharjah Police arrest Lankan man for the stabbing of a Lankan woman

Sharjah Police has arrested a 38-year-old Sri Lankan man for stabbing a 28-year-old Sri Lankan woman to death in her residence in Maysaloon a... Features & Analysis82-year-old DJ Granny thrills crowds on Tokyo’s club scene(REUTERS) By day, Sumiko Iwamuro runs a Chinese restaurant, where she has worked for six decades making fried dumplin...Peterite Easter Cantata – A 25-Year LegacyThe Silver Jubilee of the Peterite Easter Cantata will be a sublime celebration of grateful Thanksgiving to the Risen...Shakespeare in the Village with 'The Workshop Players'Following the success of last year’s Shakespeare in the Park Festival, The Workshop Players presented Shak...Amarillo School of Music - annual production on todayThe Amarillo School of Music was established in 2007 by Dharshan Wijesooriya, a well known figure in the entertainmen...

April 15, 2017 07:18 UTC

Death toll at the Meethotamulla garbage dump rises to 10

NewsThe death toll at the Meethotamulla garbage dump has risen to 10, local media reported. Many more are feared buried under the rubble. A section of the garbage dump at Meethotamulla yesterday collapsed on residents burying as many as 50 houses. President Maithripala Sirisena ordered the tri-forces immediately to engage in rescue operations. The injured have been taken to the Colombo National Hospital.

April 15, 2017 07:07 UTC

Search and rescue operations at Meethotumulla continues

NewsMore than 50 houses have been damaged and at least seven persons injured with several others reported missing after a part of garbage dump in Meethotumulla collapsed, officials said. A search and rescue operation is continuing late into the night in the area assisted by army, airforce STF and the police. Villagers claimed that some of their relatives were reported missing, but other reports said the people had run in different directions and they were still trying to account for them. President Mithripala Sirisena has directed that all assistance be provided to the affected persons. Police have appealed to the public not to visit the area to witness the damages or the search operations as it was causing inconvenience for the search and rescue operation.

April 15, 2017 06:56 UTC

Lyca village declared open without Rajinikanth

NewsA village developed by Lyca for Sri Lankans affected by the war was inaugurated on Wednesay, days after Kollywood icon Rajinikanth cancelled his visit to the site, India Today reported. Lyca is owned by a Sri Lankan and its village has as many as 400 houses. It also happens to be producing 'Superstar'Rajinikanth's next film, Enthiran 2.0. Rajinikanth - along with North Province Chief Minister C V Vigneshwaran, and Opposition leader Sumantharan - were supposed to attend the inauguration of the village on Wednesday. But it wasn't to be - the veteran actor called off his visit following protests by Tamil groups in India.

April 14, 2017 06:16 UTC

Malaysian envoy fears for safety wants hearing of assault trial transferred to KL

NewsSri Lanka High Commissioner Ibrahim Sahib Ansar fears for his safety if he has to testify in the Sepang Sessions Court in an assault trial. The High Court in Kuala Lampur was told the case needs to be transferred to the Sessions Court for the envoy's safety and convenience, The Star online reported. Ibrahim was assaulted at the airport after sending off Daya Gamage, the country's Primary Industries Minister, who was in Malaysia for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties.

April 14, 2017 05:48 UTC

U.S. Envoy Quotes Alleged Sexual Abuse Allegations by Lankan troops in Haiti; Says U.N. Peacekeepers Must Be Punished for Sexual Abuse

NewsAn Associated Press investigation into a child sex ring in Haiti involving Sri Lankan peacekeepers has prompted an appeal by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday urging all countries that provide troops for U.N. peacekeeping missions to hold soldiers accountable for sexual abuse and exploitation, TIME reported. Nine children in the Haiti sex ring — some as young as 12 — allegedly told U.N. investigators how Sri Lankan peacekeepers offered them snacks or money for sex. One boy alleged he slept with as many as 100 soldiers, averaging about four per day. The details of the sex ring were part of a larger AP investigation of U.N. missions during the past 12 years that found an estimated 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and U.N. personnel around the world.

April 14, 2017 05:37 UTC

United passenger dragged from plane has concussion, broken nose: lawyer

World(REUTERS) The United Airlines passenger dragged from a plane in Chicago in an incident that sparked international outrage and turned into a corporate public relations nightmare suffered a concussion and broken nose and will likely sue, his attorney said on Thursday. "For a long time airlines, United in particular, have bullied us," Thomas Demetrio told a news conference in Chicago, outlining the potential causes of action they may pursue against United and the city of Chicago. Chicago runs the airport and the city's department of aviation employs the three officers who dragged Dao off the plane. Demetrio said Dao had told him that being dragged down the plane aisle was more terrifying than his experience fleeing Vietnam in 1975. Demetrio and a second attorney, Stephen Golan, said neither they nor the family had heard from United yet.

April 13, 2017 17:37 UTC

Prime Minister meets JICA Chairman Shinichi Kitaoka

NewsPrime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on an official visit to Japan met with the JICA Chairman Shinichi Kitaoka on Tuesday at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, government news portal reported. He said that the initial reports on megapolis plan for Kandy as well as the light rail system are being prepared.Discussions regarding assistance for the setting of higher educational institutions as well as a cultural center in Bogambara, the statement said.

April 13, 2017 06:00 UTC

Peterite Easter Cantata – A 25-Year Legacy

Music, in its many captivating forms from plaintive Gregorian Chant and the symphonic magnificence of Palestrina to the hypnotic spellbinding romance of Rachmaninov, Chopin, and Liszt has been at the heart of Peterite leisure. This same DNA has created a younger generation of illustrious musicians – Dilip Seneviratne, Yohan de Alwis, Ishan Denipitiya all versatile and imaginative pianists. This traditional evening of joy and thanksgiving owes its origin to the untiring dedication and loyalty of the Peterite Choral Director of the 80’s and early 90’s Priyanthi Seneviratne. Hers was a vocation of dedication and love in continuing a 50 year tradition of choral perfection. It was her brainchild to inspire the choir leavers at the time to continue their singing tradition which led to the formation of the Peterite Chorale – an inspiration to a host of other past pupil choirs.

April 13, 2017 05:48 UTC

Sri Lanka will keep ports unavailable for military activity, PM says

News(REUTERS) Sri Lanka will make sure no military activity is conducted at its ports, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Tokyo on Wednesday, as China invests heavily in roads and harbours on the island nation. "We want to ensure that we develop all our ports, and all these ports are used for commercial activity, transparent activity, and will not be available to anyone for any military activity." China's investments in transportation infrastructure in Sri Lanka are considered part of its ambitions to build maritime routes to the oil-rich Middle East and on to Europe. Sri Lanka sits near shipping lanes through which much of the world's trade passes on its way to China and Japan. "To make this happen, it is indispensable for Sri Lanka to achieve sustainable growth as a hub, and develop ports that are open to all."

April 12, 2017 14:37 UTC

Puducherry government to seek Centre's intervention to release Indian fishermen

NewsThe Puducherry government on Tuesday assured that it would seek the Centre`s intervention to secure the release of six fishermen, arrested recently by the Sri Lankan Navy on drug trafficking charges, Indian media reported. The assurance was given by the Puducherry Agriculture Minister R Kamalakannan when he met the fishermen of 11 hamlets who are on an indefinite strike since April 3, condemning the arrest of their colleagues. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had already urged the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka to take steps to secure the release of the innocent fishermen, he said and appealed to the protesters to suspend their agitation and resume fishing. "The Chief Minister has now proceeded to New Delhi...He has planned to meet the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister and will take up this issue with them," he was quoted as telling the family members of the arrested fishermen, according to the NYOOOZ website. On April 2, the Sri Lankan Navy had arrested six Karaikal fishermen off Neduntheevu in Sri Lanka for allegedly possessing 13.5 kg of cocaine valued at over Rs 16 crore.

April 12, 2017 07:30 UTC

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