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‘Agriculture Ministry to return to Govijana Mandiraya by month’s end’

Jan 23 (GDI) Agriculture Minister Chamal Rajapaksa affirmed that the Agriculture Ministry would be shifted by the end of the month from the DPJ building in Rajagiriya to its original building, Govijana Mandiraya. He said negotiations are under way with the owners of this building, and that legal provisions are being looked at to see if the owners of the building could be persuaded to end the lease and release the Agriculture Ministry from the agreement, which is due to lapse in Mar 2021. more..

Jaffna med student killed by her husband, police reveals

Jan 23 (AD) The reason behind the murder of the female medical student in Jaffna has been revealed to be a family dispute, stated the Police. A final year medical student (29) at the University of Jaffna was stabbed to death near the Pannai Lagoon in Jaffna, last afternoon. The murder suspect is the 30-year-old husband of the student who is serving as a soldier at the Paranthan Army Camp. Police had arrested the suspect immediately after the murder along with the murder weapon. more..

Dry weather worsens CEB’s financial woes

Jan 23 (Island) CEB burdened with a mountain of loans totaling more than Rs. 200 billion, was managing with a daily income of about Rs. 500-600 million, sources said. The daily electricity demand that was between 35 and 38 GWh had jumped to 44 to 45 GWh due to dry weather countrywide, sources said. "We have to cover up a deficit of 300MW," a senior Electrical Engineer said. "CEB has fuel stocks for two to three days and in case the CPC stopped fuel supply, we are in trouble," an official said. more..

Rishad Bathiudeen’s brother remanded

Jan 23 (AD) Former Northern Provincial Councilor Rifkan Bathiudeen has been remanded until the 06th of February, under the orders of the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. Rifkan Bathiudeen, a brother MP Rishad Bathiudeen, was arrested by the CID over a forged land deal and was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate today. Reportedly, Rifkan Bathiudeen had sold a 40-acre land in Talaimannar owned by another person to a private company under a false deed. more..

Sumathipala slams Ranjan’s match-fixing allegations

Jan 23 (DM) Refuting match-fixing allegations levelled by MP Ranjan Ramanayake, MP Thilanga Sumathipala told Parliament that none including the ICC made such remarks. “The ICC which has an office in Colombo had never levelled any match-fixing allegation against present cricketers. One should not use my name to sling mud,” he said, referring to claims made by MP Ramanayake that he had in his possession voice recordings which revealed match-fixing by MP Sumathipala and proved cricketers were offered money. more..

Ranjan still hasn’t tabled phone recordings at parliament: Deputy Speaker

Jan 23 (AD) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake has, reportedly, not tabled any recordings of his phone conversations at the parliament as of yet. The Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri mentioned this today. On Tuesday, MP Ranjan Ramanayake, issuing a statement at the parliament on the matter of leaked phone recordings, stated that he will table the recording at the parliament. Meanwhile, MP Harsha de Silva, yesterday stated that Ramanayake has handed over 15,000 phone recordings to the parliament. more..

Upul Jayasuriya

Our heritage is Kandyan law; not Roman Dutch law as Rathana Thero thinks

Jan 23 (FT) There were four bills presented by private members to the Parliament on 8 Jan (one bill is to be presented) which were already advertised in the gazette. They were to repeal the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act No. 44 of 1952; to repeal the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act No. 13 of 1951; to amend the Marriages (General) Ordinance No. 19 of 1907; to amend the Marriages Registration Ordinance; and to introduce a minimum age of marriage in SL. The first three were/will be presented to the Parliament by more..

Inflation & Polls

Jan 23 (CT) Islandwide inflation on the eve of an expected snap Parliamentary Poll rose to a 24-month high to 6.2% year-on-year (YoY) last month (Dec 2019) led by food inflation, data compiled by the DCS which keeps abreast of such price movements showed. A figure higher than this last took place in Dec 2017, a figure of 7.3%, on the eve of the LG Polls of Feb 2018,then, too led by food inflation, where the main proponents were high rice and coconut prices, caused by a prolonged drought. more..

Sri Lanka remains stagnant in Corruption Perceptions Index 2019: TISL

Jan 23 (AD) Sri Lanka remains stagnant in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), compiled by Transparency International (TI), the global coalition against corruption, says the SL subsidiary of the Berlin-based organization. Sri Lanka has scored 38 on the CPI 2019 retaining the same score from the previous year; on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The country’s score also places SL behind Bhutan (68) & India (41) more..

Prez GR won't accommodate defeated candidates on NL

Jan 23 (Island) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the overall deterioration of parliament was a cause for concern. He said it was the responsibility of political parties to field decent candidates at parliamentary polls and it was up to the people to reject those whom they deemed unsuitable. He said so when he was asked by The Island to comment on the unprecedented crisis caused by UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake and more..

Aluthgamage says Ranjan tried to pressure his ex-wife

Jan 23 (Island) Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told a media briefing at the PM Office that UNP lawmaker Ranjan Ramanayake had tried to pressure his ex-wife to testify against him. Aluthgamage said the conversation between his ex-wife and Ramanayake had taken place, in 2015. Referring to Ramanayake's speech in Parliament, on Tuesday, the govt spokesman said that though Ramanayake said all his telephone more..

UNP defends 19A, questions Govt. roll-back efforts

Jan 23 (DM) The UNP yesterday renewed calls for the Govt to halt plans to repeal the 19th Amendment, citing the need of the constitutional provision to maintain a balance of power between the different arms of Govt. UNP Senior MP Lakshman Kiriella pointed out that the Amendment was done with a broad consensus of both UNP and the UPFA MPs, many of whom are still Members of Parliament and minority representatives. more..

Video: Cabinet approves minimum guaranteed price for paddy

Jan 23 (AD) Cabinet of Ministers has approved a minimum guaranteed price of Rs. 50 per 1kg of paddy, with a recommended moisture level, from the harvest of Maha season. This was announced during the meeting held this morning to announce the Cabinet decisions. The govt expects a total of 3 million metric tons of paddy from the harvest reaped during the Maha Season. As a principle, govt does not import paddy, more..

Maithri to contest General Election

Jan 23 (CT) SLFP confirmed that Party Chairman, former Prez Maithripala Sirisena will join the General Election race under the SL People's Freedom Alliance (SLPFA) formed by the SLFP and SLPP. Reiterating that Sirisena will not quit active politics, SLFP MP Weerakumara Dissanayake said, Sirisena will seek the people's mandate once again from his Polonnaruwa constituency. The SLFP and SLPP are currently having negotiations more..

Video: Three busted while attempting to smuggle out gold worth millions

Jan 23 (AD) Two youths and a 15-year-old have been apprehended at the BIA for attempting to smuggle out gold biscuits and jewellery worth nearly Rs. 50 million. The officers of Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) attached to the BIA had made the arrest early this morning (23). The two youths, aged 26 and 33 years, were identified as residents of Dematagoda and Grandpass areas while the minor is said to be from Kegalle. more..

Baku tragedy: High degree of urgency to regulate foreign study offers

Jan 23 (ST) In the aftermath of the tragic deaths of three Sri Lankan students in Azerbaijan last week, the Govt has decided to take immediate measures to introduce a regulatory mechanism for agencies involved in placing students in foreign universities. Higher Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said a meeting would be held next week at the Ministry with all stakeholders, including education consultancies involved in more..

'Art widens our understanding of society'

Jan 23 (DM) A festival of three plays, written and directed by dramatist Rajitha Dissanayake, will commence tomorrow and continue on 25 and 26 Jan at the Lionel Wendt. The event marks 25 years of Dissanayake’s plays being performed at the Wendt. It starts with Sihina Horu Aran (Dreams Robbed), which will feature an all-new cast. On 25 Jan is Hithala Gaththu Theeranayak (A Well-Made Decision), and the festival ends on 26 Jan more..

There’s plastic in our fish!

Jan 23 (DM) At the Daily Mirror, we believe that climate change is one of the greatest threats that we, as Sri Lankans, will face in the future. Therefore, we intend to provide our readers with local and international content with the objective to educate and inspire. We would also like to learn from our valued readers about any ongoing initiatives in making SL a more sustainable nation. We aim to explore sustainable ways of living more..

Ranjan R: Campaigner or attention seeker?

Jan 23 (DM) Lawmaker Ranjan Ramanayake has a way of bouncing back from hopeless situations. He made his critics sit up and take note when he highlighted on (Tuesday), during a fiery speech delivered in Parliament, certain issues ranging from MPs holding bar permits, drug trafficking, horse racing, match-fixing and a key name in the alleged bond scam offering him a bribe. The parliamentarian said that he has voice recordings from telephone conversations to prove these claims. more..

Continuing saga of the audio clips

Jan 23 (DM) With his interdiction on Jan 7, on the orders of acting Police Chief C.D. Wickramaratne; former CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekera became the first casualty in the sordid audio-clip saga. He was followed soon after with the interdiction of Baddegama Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and on Tuesday, with the approval of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the JSC interdicted Embilipitiya Judge Gihan Pilapitiya. more..

Forensic Audit report: PDD blamed for carrying out Mahendran’s verbal instructions

Jan 23 (Island) Forensic Audit Report on the Treasury bond issuances of the Central Bank of SL (CBSL), from 2002 to Feb 28, 2015, observes that the direct placement method was discontinued on verbal instructions issued by the then CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Governor Mahendran’s decision to discontinue the direct placement and opt for the auction method facilitated the Treasury bond scam, on Feb 27, 2015, report says. more..

Health Ministry considers non-toxic chlorophyllin for dengue control

Jan 23 (FT) Health Ministry is considering using a non-toxic and sustainable chlorophyll product to control dengue mosquitoes in the country. This measure was being considered following discussions with German specialist Prof. Donat Peter Häder. While studies will be conducted to ensure the substance can be used successfully in SL, Prof. Häder has shown that even a small quantity of chlorophyllin, a semi-synthetic derivative of chlorophyll, can be used to destroy more..

Norwegian envoy to open Sri Lanka's first floating solar plant in Kilinochchi

Jan 23 (MENFN) The Norwegian Ambassador to SL Trine Jøranli Eskedal, will open SL's first floating solar plant in Kilinochchi on Friday. The floating solar plant is a result of the research collaboration since 2017 between the University of Jaffna and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo. 'Norway strongly believes that increased access to clean energy will reduce poverty, improve health and mitigate climate change. more..

Now Ranjan wants two days bail to table his evidence

Jan 23 (Island) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake said in parliament that he would request for two days bail for him to table all the evidence in his possession with regard to phone records scandal. He said that he was in a difficult position to table those material as he had promised on Tuesday as he was still in remand custody and do not have access to the said evidence which were safely stored at a private bank. more..

Court summons former Navy Commander and 14 others

Jan 23 (FT) Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar issued summons for 14 individuals, including the former Commander of the Navy Admiral (Retd) Wasantha Karannagoda, to appear before the Court on 24 January over the alleged abduction and enforced disappearance for eleven youths in 2008. The 11 youths had been abducted in Colombo and the suburbs between 2008 and 2009. The CID alleged that the youths were abducted for ransom & later disappeared by alleged perpetrators. more..

CEB extends closing date for 104 MW supplementary power tender

Jan 23 (FT) CEB has extended its closing date for 104 MW of supplementary power from 16 Jan to 30 Jan. This brings the 104 MW tender closing date in line with the 96 MW tender which also has a closing date of 30 Jan, Power & Energy Ministry said. Tenders, published for 104 MW and 96 MW separately, were for a duration of 12 months, but a letter dated 8 Jan issued by the Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) stated that approval was granted for a duration of 30 months. more..

Lawmakers say parts of CB forensic audit missing

Jan 23 (FT) Lawmakers called on the Speaker to ensure all details of the CB’s forensic audit reports are released, after some sections and annexures were found missing in the CD distributed to MPs. Lawmakers from both sides, bringing the issue to the attention of the Speaker, held the full report should be made available in soft and hard copies without delay. UNP MP Harsha de Silva, who collected a copy of the CD containing more..

SME organisation appeals for extended moratorium deadline

Jan 23 (FT) SL’s Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) has called for the deadline of the landmark loan moratorium for SMEs offered by the Govt to be extended as most companies would struggle to reach the existing deadline of 31 Jan, statement by the Industry and Commerce Ministry said. “We praise the Govt for its determined action last Dec to revive domestic SMEs by suspending recovery of loans obtained by the sector,” said COSMI Founder President more..

Private medical centers owned by doctors to be censused

Jan 23 (AD) A census will be carried out in relation to the number of private medical centers owned by the doctors, stated Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, addressing the parliament. Furthermore, the MP stated that the census is scheduled to commence on the 1st of May. A census on the number of private medical centers owned by doctors was last conducted in the year 2017 and there were 657 medical centers recorded as registered. Wanniarachchi also highlighted that more..

Jobs for 100,000 unskilled youth: Seventh month training course

Jan 23 (DN) Govt’s ambitious programme to mobilise the country’s cohort of unskilled youth has got under way with the announcement of implementation mechanism yesterday. All recruits to the proposed Multi-Purpose Development Task Force will be absorbed into the permanent cadre of the public service from October 1 following a seven-month training programme. Govt has called for applications from more..

Easter bomb suspect: DNA samples of Sara don’t match, CID tells court

Jan 23 (Island) CID told the Kalmunai Magistrate’s Court, that the DNA sample of Sara, an Easter bomb suspect, and the one obtained from a mangled body believed to be of hers, in a hideout, did not match. Sara is believed to have been killed in her hideout in a suicide bomb blast at Sainthamaruthu following the Easter bomb blasts. DNA samples were obtained from the remains of 16 suspects found at the bomb site. Magistrate I.N. Riswan instructed the CID to conduct further investigations more..

Govt seeks WFP assistance to reduce post-harvest loss

Jan 23 (AD) Visiting Assistant Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme Manoj Juneja paid a courtesy call on Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday (21) at the Office of the Leader of the House of the Parliament. Welcoming the visiting Assistant Executive Director, Minister Gunawardena appreciated the WFP’s close cooperation with SL and recalled assistance rendered in times of need, especially during Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 and during severe droughts. more..

Companies say imported milk powder safe, contrary to GMOA claims

Jan 23 (FT) Fonterra Brands SL, Maliban Milk Products and Diamond Milk Products in a joint statement said they were deeply concerned about claims by the GMOA that imported milk powder from New Zealand was harmful for consumption and reiterated the need to separate fact from fiction to prevent causing unnecessary panic and fear among the SL public. The importers stressed that there was an unsubstantiated more..

Navy assists apprehension of 03 suspects with stock of Kerala cannabis

Jan 23 (SLN) The Navy, with the assistance of the Anti-Narcotics Bureau, managed to apprehend 3 suspects who were transporting about 176kg of Kerala cannabis in a bus in Palaviya area, Puttalam. As part of another effort of the Navy that is throwing its full weight behind operations to make a drug-free society, Northwestern Naval Command and Anti-Narcotics Bureau of Puttalam conducted a search operation in Palaviya area, Puttalam & intercepted a suspicious bus plying on Puttalam–C'bo road more..

World Taekwondo head visits Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (DN) President of the World Taekwondo Federation, Dr. Chungwon Choue, will arrive in Sri Lanka today to empower Lankan children and youth through Taekwondo. Dr. Chungwon Choue is due to celebrate the achievements of Lankan Taekwondo children who have a shortage of facilities in the society and to appreciate athletes who triumphed at the recently concluded SAG Games. Korea is the home country to Taekwondo and the sport is practiced by many people around the world. more..

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