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Video: Report on kidney racket handed over to minister

Feb 5 (DM) The investigative report, of the five-member committee appointed to look into the alleged kidney racket involving Sri Lankan doctors, was handed over to Minister Rajitha Senaratne a short while ago. Health Ministry Spokesman Nipun Ekanayake said the ministry will request for police assistance to conduct further investigations into the case. He said action would be taken by the Health Minister based on the report. more..

Tamils ready to take ten steps if Sinhalese took one: Vigneswaran

Feb 5 (AD) Chief Minister of Northern Province, C.V. Vigneswaran, today expressed appreciation of the govt’s decision to sing the national anthem in Tamil at the Independence Day ceremony held in Colombo. He stated that although it is a very small action in the name reconciliation it should be appreciated and that now a background has been created to foster unity and brotherhood between communities. SL has taken a major step towards reconciliation of the Tamils, by allowing more..

Sri Lanka sells Rs 20.7bn in bonds; 2041 bonds at 12.15%

Feb 5 (EN) Sri Lanka has sold 20.6 billion rupees in bond with a 25 year bond maturing in January 01, 2041 sold at a weighted average yield of 12.15 percent, up from 12.09 on January 1. The debt office sold 10.45 billion rupees of 14 year bonds maturing on 15.05.2030, at an average yield of 11.66 percent after offering only 3.0 billion rupees. The debt office sold 10.25 billion rupees of the 2041 bond after offering 5.0 billion rupees. Bids for 4-year bonds were rejected. more..

'World begins to take notice of Lanka’s Indian origin Tamils'

Feb 5 (ENS) After concentrating for decades on Tamils living in North and East SL, also known as Sri Lankan Tamils, the international community, including India, has now begun taking notice of the Indian Origin Tamils (IOT), observes Mano Ganeshan, leader of the TPA and Cabinet Minister for National Coexistence. Ganeshan said: “The growing attention is due to the emergence of TPA; the way the govt is more..

Fisheries ministers clash

Feb 5 (AM) Fisheries State Minister today hit out at Fisheries Cabinet Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, saying that although the Cabinet Minister does not have confidence in him, he enjoys the confidence of the President, PM and the people of Hambantota. Speaking at a press conference, Wedaarachchi said that he was disturbed by the claim by Amaraweera that he is incompetent. Wedaarachchi pointed out that he had stood up to the challenges by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Joint Opp. wants to work independently

Feb 5 (DM) Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya has been requested by Joint Opposition parliamentarians to allow them to work independently in Parliament, MP Kumara Welgama said today. “Personally, I have not yet decided whether to join a new party. But, I will be continuing my work with the Joint Opposition. However, we have requested the Speaker to allow us to continue our parliamentary affairs in an independent manner,” MP Welgama told reporters while leaving more..

TN parties express concern over Lankan Prez's stand

Feb 5 (PTI) DMK and MDMK expressed concern over President Maithiripala Sirisena's reported statement that his country's new constitution will not have the concept of Federation, saying it will affect the ethnic Tamils. Seeking India's intervention in the matter, DMK President M Karunanidhi said Sirisena had in a recent meeting of the SLFP categorically stated that there will be no place for the concept of Federation in new more..

SL-born CEO to receive $11.1 million in one-time payout

Feb 5 (DM) Sri Lankan-born Alere CEO Namal Nawana would receive about $11.1 million in one-time payouts after the Alere’s acquisition completed by Abbott Laboratories, according to media reports. Nawana took over as CEO when Alere founder and former CEO Ron Zwanzger resigned in 2014. He was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Australia. He holds an Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Medical Science degree from the University of Adelaide in Australia and more..

Philippines, Sri Lanka sign MOU on political consultations

Feb 5 (CG) Sri Lanka and the Philippines signed a MOU in Manila aimed at forging greater cooperation and further enhancing relations between the two countries with the Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Rosario stating that the MoU was “an important step towards further deepening the Philippines’ engagement with Sri Lanka.” Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Rosario – who holds the Cabinet portfolio of Foreign Affairs – and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to more..

I didn't influence Embilipitiya widow: Ven. Omalpe Thera

Feb 5 (DM) Rejecting allegations that Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera influenced the wife of Embilipitiya man, who died in a fall, by giving her money, Thera said he only tried to help the woman after a donor from England offered to donate money to the victim’s family. Thera said a donor, Udaya Peiris, who lives in England, had asked the thera over the phone whether he could help the Embilipitiya victim’s family after which more..

'Over 1,400 uni enrollments yet to take place'

Feb 5 (NS) Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) observed that a total of 1,412 vacancies remained in State Universities for the enrollment of undergraduates. Convener of the IUSF, Lahiru Weerasekera said that in the University of Sabaragamuwa alone there were 715 seats yet to be filled. The batches have already started educational activities and therefore there is no point in enrolling students three to four months once the first semester is over, he explained. more..

Sri Lankan shares steady in dull trade

Feb 5 (Reuters) Shares ended steady on Friday in thin trading volume as investors awaited cues on the macro economy amid a rise in interest rates and as global economic concerns dented sentiment. The main stock index ended 0.03% firmer at 6,404.64. Stockbrokers said local participation was low as some investors were on holiday in the short trading week. Markets were closed on Thursday for independence day. "Interest rates are slowly picking up and the market is concerned over that," more..

Kidney racket: Minister to get final report today

Feb 5 (AD) The final report prepared by the five member committee appointed to investigate into alleged kidney transplant racket involving Sri Lankan doctors will be handed over to the Health Minister today. The committee was appointed by the Director General of Health Services Dr Palitha Mahipala on Jan 23. The composition of the three-member committee initially appointed was changed under the instruction of Minister Dr Rajitha more..

Many more proposals on new constitution expected

Feb 5 (Island) Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms expects many more submissions but it has only six Tamil-speaking members to handle the anticipated load today and tomorrow at Vavuniya, which has a population of 179,000, a majority of whom are Tamils. "Although we expect many written and oral submissions in Vavuniya, I’m confident we can manage with my six efficient Tamil speaking members," Chairman of Public Representations Committee on more..

Look into our woes, urge Ampara farmers

Feb 5 (N) Problems faced by Ampara district farmers in selling their paddy should be looked into, members of the Uoorakkai Farmers' Committee of Thambiluvil said. They said action should be taken by the officers to solve these problems or else they would be compelled to give up paddy cultivation in the future. It is alleged that paddy farmers of Uoorakkai Kandam face several issues when selling paddy to the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB). Uoorakka Farmers' Committee president more..

What’s next?

Feb 5 (CT) Sri Lanka and India are to ink the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ECTA) before the end of this year, as stated by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Invest in the East Forum held in Galadari Hotel. On the same day, Institution of Engineers of Sri Lanka (IESL) held the first press conference of Organization of Engineering Associations and vowed to deploy maximum pressure against ECTA. more..

Kumar Gunaratnam re-remanded

Feb 5 (DN) Activist of the FSP Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Kumar Gunaratnam was re-remanded till Feb 27 when he was produced before Kegalle Magistrate today. Gunaratnam who possess the Australian citizenship, was arrested on Nov 4 by Kegalle Police at Anguruwella for staying in the country in violation of Immigration and Emigration laws without a visa and later handed over to the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to seek a court order for his deportation. more..

95% SLFP members will join us: MR

Feb 5 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed that he was not be a part of the official State Independence Day celebrations, although he has been invited to participate in them because he feels that his freedoms have been violated. "My freedoms are violated, my son and my friends are imprisoned, so how can I attend an Independence ceremony with a sense of freedom even if I am being invited?" Rajapaksa asked. He told reporters at the Abhayarama Temple in Colombo, more..

Sri Lanka and Maldives priorities for human rights for the UK

Feb 5 (CG) Sri Lanka and Maldives are priorities for human rights for the UK, the Deputy British High Commissioner to SL and Maldives, Laura Davies said. In a blog posting she said that to work on human rights issues in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the High Commission has access to the Magna Carta Fund, a strategic programme fund dedicated to tackling the root causes of human rights violations overseas. more..

PM hopes to strengthen relations with China in Chinese New Year

Feb 5 (Xinhua) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he hoped to renew and strengthen the relations between China and Sri Lanka this year. In a message sent to Xinhua, greeting the people of China for the Chinese New Year which falls on Feb. 8 this year, Wickremesinghe said that he was pleased to offer his greetings for a peaceful and prosperous New Year to the Chinese people on behalf of all Sri Lankans. "May we truly be able to renew and strengthen the warm and cordial more..

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to make official visit

Feb 5 (CT) It was reported, recently, that UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein would make an official visit to Sri Lanka on Saturday in order to monitor the situation in Sri Lanka and the effort of the country to implement the proposals of the resolution passed at the last UNHRC sessions held in September. As the govt made a lot of pledges to the international community regarding promoting reconciliation and deliver justice to those who faced injustice due to the war, more..

Sushma Swaraj calls on Sri Lankan PM

Feb 5 (IANS) Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday, first day of her two-day visit to this island nation. A warm wlecome by a close neighbour. EAM @SushmaSwaraj calls on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees, external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted along with pictures of the two leaders. She was received on her arrival here by her SL Minister of more..

Fisherman injured as SL Tamil fishermen attack boat

Feb 5 (PTI) A fishermen from a coastal hamlet in this district suffered an eye injury when his Sri Lankan counterparts, also Tamils, allegedly pelted stones at his mechanised boat at Neduntheevu off the island nation. Two of his colleagues with him however escaped unhurt in the attack which took place late last night. Sekar, Assistant Director of Fisheries, said that Mansoor, suffered eye injuries as the Sri Lankan fishermen, who were also tamils, pelted stones at their boat more..

Durdans asked to show cause for admitting Sicille

Feb 5 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today directed Durdans Hospital Director to submit a report by Feb 8 as to why Lalith Kotalawela’s wife Sicille, a suspect in the alleged misappropriation of Rs.4.3 billion by F&G Property Developers, should be treated at a private hospital and not at the National Hospital. Magistrate also directed the hospital to submit to Court a report on the history of the suspect’s illness. On the request of the suspect and her specialist doctor, more..

Professor J.B. Dissanayake

Leading Muslim woman says Quran does not bar females from democratic politics

Feb 5 (Island) The Holy Quran does not impose any strictures on Muslim women contesting elections, a Muslim Women’s rights activist and educationist said. Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum (MWRAF), Jaime Ismail, in answer to a question raised by The Island said: "The All Ceylon Jemmiyathul Ulama (ACJU) has absolutely no role to play in this regard as Islam has held aloft the rights of women and empowered them in every way to uphold democracy and good governance." more..

Our Son Yoshitha!

Feb 5 (CT) Madame Shiranthi and former President Rajapaksa grieved for their son with tears in their eyes when Yoshitha was remanded. He has been incarcerated on financial irregularities, money laundering and other charges of breach of Navy rules during the previous presidency. Yoshitha’s arrest (hopefully) should be just the beginning of the Rajapaksa tears, as the “shit has begun to hit the fan”. Little do the Rajapaksas realize that there was a family and nation who loved Wasim more..

CB liberalizes foreign currency accounts

Feb 5 (GDI) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) announces that the restrictions on remitting and transacting foreign currencies have been eased with the immediate effect. "Foreign currencies can henceforth be remitted out of NRFC, RFC and RNNFC accounts and FEEA for any purpose and prior approval need NOT be obtained for such remittances", CBSL said. Up to USD 10,000 or its equivalent can be withdrawn more..

BIA targets Singapore-bound passengers to deter human smuggling

Feb 5 (ST) Sri Lanka is to step up screening procedures of foreigners and locals travelling to Singapore via BIA, following revelations that Colombo was being used as a hub for smuggling human cargo. The issue was a subject discussed by the Defence Ministry, Immigration officials, Airport Aviation Authority and SriLankan Airlines officials. The move came as a report submitted at the discussion showed that at least six persons more..

Singing national anthem in Tamil receives mixed reactions

Feb 5 (Island) The govt yesterday went ahead with its decision to have the national anthem sung in both Sinhala and Tamil during 68th Independence Day celebrations at Galle Face, Colombo in spite of opposition to its move in some quarters. President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Chief Justice K. Sripavan, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and TNA leader R. Sampanthan, who is also the Leader of more..

Unemployed graduates threaten to take to the streets unless ...

Feb 5 (Island) Unemployed graduates threatened to take to streets if the govt did not solve their problems within two weeks. Addressing the media at the Centre for Society and Religion at Maradana, Convener of the Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG) Dhammika Munasinghe said there were 32,000 vacancies in the public sector according to govt information, but no action was being taken to fill them. more..

Megapolis plan aims for flexible working hours

Feb 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s recently unveiled Megapolis plan of development envisages flexible working hours as one aspect of transport demand management to address Colombo traffic congestion. “Flexible working hours can be introduced in public and private institutions to spread peak load of traffic flow,” the Megapolis masterplan states. “Employees can adjust their working time without any more..

Neville Fernando Hospital offered to Govt by chairman

Feb 5 (DM) Chairman of the SAITM in Malabe, Dr. Neville Fernando said he offered the Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital to President Maithripala Sirisena to be used as a semi-govt hospital. He said the decision was made by him after realizing that poor patients, who come for treatment to his hospital, could not afford to pay for hospital charges. President was recently informed by Dr. Fernando regarding his offer through a letter, more..

Till collection at Kalutara Bodhiya taken by trustees

Feb 5 (SL) Following the revelation of how the Chief Incumbent ship of Sri Abhayarama Temple Narahenpita had been obtained unlawfully by Ven. Muruttettuwe Ananda Thera deceiving the lawful Chief Incumbent Ven. Pathberiya Wimalagnaga Thero, it has now come to light how the ownership of the sacred Kalutara Bodhiya had been unlawfully obtained by a Trust that comes under a group of laymen. more..

54% schools have dengue breeding sites

Feb 5 (DN) Health authorities found that over 54% of schools have dengue mosquito breeding sites. In addition, 40% of religious institutions and 36% of construction sites have either dengue larvae or dengue mosquito breeding sites, Director General health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. 5,263 dengue cases had been reported countrywide this year and the death rate has gone down to 1.5%. 58 dengue deaths were reported last year. more..

CEB notches Rs. 20 bn profit

Feb 5 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had recorded a profit of Rs. 20 billion in 2015 due to the increase of hydro-power generation with the heavy rains in the catchment areas, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. The board was now in a position to handle its finances without being a burden on the country. CEB would also invest in a wind-power project to be established in Mannar to generate 100MW, he said. more..