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Negligence led to amputation of Achala’s hand

Feb 15 (DM) The investigating committee of specialists who probed the circumstances that had led to the amputation of the left hand of Achala Priyadharshani of the Colombo Law Faculty have determined that it was due to the negligence of the staff of the Matara hospital and various shortcomings in the hospital services. The report was handed over to the secretary of the Ministry of Health last Monday. more..

Sri Lanka seeks US$ 36 million loan from Kuwait Fund to build bridges

Feb 15 (N360) Sri Lanka will receive a US$ 36 million loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arabic Economic Development to construct and rehabilitate 25 bridges of the national road network. The money will go into construct or rehabilitate 09 bridges in the Western province, 03 bridges in the Southern province, 05 bridges in the North Western province, 04 bridges in the Sabaragamuwa province, 03 bridges in the Northern province and 01 bridge in the Eastern province. more..

CMC members against pruning of work force by 4,000

Feb 15 (Island) Most of the members elected to the CMC including the Mayor and his deputy are opposed to a Salaries and Cadre Commission (SCC) proposal that the work force of the Council be pruned by 4,000. Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil recently appointed a committee to look into all aspects of the controversial SCC proposal that the CMC’s work force of 12,000 be reduced to 8,000. The report of that committee is expected to be handed over to the Mayor within the next more..

Anti-impeachment lawyers being hunted countrywide: Lawyers Collective

Feb 15 (FT) Legal activists that rallied against the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake were being hounded in the impeachment aftermath, the Lawyers Collective said. The Collective, which is an umbrella organisation for several legal associations and senior lawyers, said yesterday that all over the country, legal activists were being threatened and intimidated and in some cases, even abducted and released more..

Mangala says anti-Muslim campaign is ‘playing with fire’

Feb 15 (FT) The UNP yesterday charged that the Govt was tacitly sponsoring the anti-Muslim activities of a monk-led Buddhist extremist group operating in the country and warned the ruling regime was effectively ‘playing with fire’. “The Muslim community is the latest target of a racist Govt,” UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera told a news conference yesterday. It was the ruling regime’s latest ploy to win favour with Sinhala Buddhists in the face of mounting economic and international more..

GSK invests Rs. 203 m in state-of-the-art Eno, Iodex Ayurvedic manufacturing facility

Feb 15 (FT) Embarking on yet another milestone, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare – Sri Lanka (GSK) launched the new local manufacturing facility for Eno (Ayurvedic powder for acidity) and Iodex (Ayurvedic balm) with an investment of Rs. 203 million, reaffirming its commitment to the Sri Lankan economy. This comes following the commission of GSK’s manufacturing facility for Panadol tablets in April 2012, with an investment of Rs. 217 million. The new Eno and Iodex manufacturing more..

President to visit Ministries for progress assessment

Feb 15 (DN) President Rajapaksa will visit ministries starting Monday to review work progress. This will include an evaluation of Key Performance Indicators against agreed targets. He will also look into needs and discuss with officials challenges obstructing further development and help formulate plans for the future. The review will also be used to formulate strategies for the govt's 2013-2015 medium term investment programme more..

‘Didn’t support Jurists’ Council on Bandaranayake’

Feb 15 (Hindu) The Supreme Court of Pakistan this week clarified that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had not supported the International Council of Jurists’ (ICJ) position that the recent impeachment of his Sri Lankan counterpart Shirani Bandaranayake was totally legal and in accordance with the prevalent laws of Sri Lanka. Referring to an ICJ statement, the SCP issued a clarification that Justice Chaudhry had not supported the decision to remove Justice Bandaranayake. more..

Moratuwa Uni. reopens next week

Feb 15 (Island) The Engineering Faculty and Institute of Technology, of the Moratuwa University, will re-open next week as the NDT students have given an assurance not to have any confrontations with engineering undergraduates. Addressing a media conference at the UGC auditorium, Moratuwa University Vice Chancellor Prof. Ananda Jayawardena said that the exact date would be decided today after getting the recommendations from the Faculty Board. more..

Govt. won’t reapply for GSP plus facility

Feb 15 (DM) Despite concerns by exporters regarding the impact on losing the GSP plus facility, the govt is adamant that it will not reapply for it, it is learnt. The European Union (EU) cancelled the GSP plus facility given to Sri Lanka in 2010 because the govt declined to implement some of its recommendations to strengthen good governance. Under the GSP+, Sri Lankan exporters enjoyed preferential access to the EU market. more..

Sharma’s diplomatic skills put to the test

Feb 15 (DM) Unwittingly or not, Kamalesh Sharma is a name that hit the headlines of the Sri Lankan media this week. The visiting Secretary General of the Commonwealth, an Indian national, was caught in the eye of a storm over the venue for the next CHOGM meeting. Colombo is scheduled to host the summit in November this year. However some countries, most notably Canada and to some extent Britain, are pushing for a change of venue on the basis that Sri Lanka’s human rights more..

Editorial : This land is our land

Feb 15 (CT) In 92 days, Sri Lanka will mark the 4th anniversary of a famous victory that ended a destructive three-decade war. Given the prevailing sense of triumphalism, which seems to have a lifespan longer than the famed Duracell Bunny, it is not difficult to understand why four years on, the victor-vanquished divide seems to be expanding, with post-war developments stuck at the starter point. The defeat of terrorism promised much for a country that had suffered too much pain more..

Private sector trade unions draw battle lines with govt

Feb 15 (SL) Private sector trade unions have commenced a campaign against the govt’s failure to intervene in securing a salary hike for private sector employees since 2005. The private sector employees, consisting of a 6.5 million workforce, make the largest contribution to the country’s economic growth, and yet earn a minimum wage far less than public sector employees. Given that the cost of the market basket has increased to Rs. 47,600 in more..

Police indifference virtual ‘complicity’ in chief monk’s killing

Feb 15 (ST) Ven. Metihagatenne Wimalawansa Thera, the slain chief incumbent of Sunandopanandaramaya in Moratuwa, wrote to President Rajapaksa in October last year that his life was under threat from a local politician and that the area police were not acting on his complaints. With his allegations continuing that his complaints were not investigated, the chief monk also attached a complaint by the more..

Muslim, Sinhalese neighbours defend communal harmony

Feb 15 (KSA) Mohamed Ifthikar, 59, has lived in the Colombo suburb of Kelaniya for more than 30 years along with his wife and two daughters. He has many Sinhalese neighbours, and never had any problems with them. Now, he fears activities by an organisation dubbing itself Bodu Bala Sena, or "Buddhist Force," will drive a wedge between the primarily Buddhist Sinhalese, who make up 74% of Sri Lanka's population, more..

Plea in Madras HC to shut Indian mission in Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (ENS) The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has reserved its orders on a writ petition seeking to close down the Indian High Commission and Embassy at Sri Lanka and to recall its ambassador as a mark of International protest. Solai Kannan, Madurai district president of Hindu Makkal Katchi, filed a writ petition in the Madurai Bench through his counsel Peter Ramesh Kumar stating that India had voted against Sri Lanka more..

'Beware when purchasing condiments etc'

Feb 15 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC) yesterday warned retailers and the public to beware when purchasing spices and condiments used for food preparation from wholesale dealers at the Manning Market as they could be contaminated. Chief of the Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that close attention should be paid to the colour more..

War on cannabis in the Udawalawe area

Feb 15 (CT) The Police Special Task Force (STF) yesterday deployed a Beechcraft belonging to the Air Force, to map-out all the cannabis cultivations in the Udawalawe area, in order to destroy them one by one. The STF collected the information and photographed the areas identified as cannabis cultivation with the aid of the Beechcraft. They have been able to discover cannabis plantations worth millions of rupees more..

Wimal calls for sweeping changes at Finance Ministry

Feb 15 (Island) Minister Wimal Weerawansa on Wednesday alleged that the country would never have been able to defeat LTTE terrorism had Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa acted like Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. He accused Dr. Jayasundera of taking unilateral decisions on critical issues regardless of consequences. The former firebrand JVPer was speaking at a ceremony at the Maharagama more..

Police stand their ground, clear ex-commando of wrongdoing

Feb 15 (Island) The police have thwarted an attempt by some politicians, representing the Moneragala District, to engineer the transfer of DIG M.R. Latiff, the senior officer in charge of the area. Police on Wednesday cleared DIG Latiff of misconduct while strongly endorsing ongoing police action against politically influential criminal elements. SSP Prishantha Jayakody confirmed the decision taken by the headquarters. more..

'Military has retained its tight grip on North'

~Feb 15 (DM) Alistair Burt the Parliamentary undersecretary of state at the foreign and the Commonwealth office in an opinion column on Sri Lanka said that despite the “fading of the manifestations of conflict, the root causes are not”. “Whilst the manifestations of conflict are fading, the root causes are not. The military has retained its tight grip on the north. Yes there are fewer soldiers on the streets, but the Army’s presence is still more..

Shelling not caused by the Army-report

Feb 15 (DM) Sri Lanka Army’s court of inquiry report, that was handed over today revealed that the instances of shelling referred in the LLRC report were not caused by the army, the govt information department said quoting the Army spokesman. The full statement issued by the Directorate of Media-Sri Lanka Army: The Army Court of Inquiry appointed by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya more..

Monk’s killing: Four suspects identified

Feb 15 (Island) Four of the ten suspects, in the February 2 killing of a monk in Moratuwa, were identified at an identification parade held at the Moratuwa Magistrate’s Court yesterday. The ten suspects were arrested over the killing of Ven. Matigahatenne Wimalawansa Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Egodauyana Sumanandopananda temple, on the night of Feb. 02. They were produced at the parade by the Colombo Crimes Division. CCD Director SSP D.R.L. Ranaweera said that more..

Jumbos still mum on deputy leaders

Feb 15 (Island) The UNP Working Committee met, yesterday at Sirikotha, with no mention being made of the proposed appointment of several Deputy Leaders. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal to appoint three Deputy Leaders, which had been opposed by some party seniors, was not raised at the WC meeting. With the names of Sajith Premadasa, Ravi Karunanayake, Lakshman Kirielle and Kabir Hashim being mentioned for the second rung leadership and objections having been more..

WikiLeaks: 'MR had no intention of going to war'

Feb 15 (CT) “Palitha said that he had spoken on the phone that morning to Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, and that Hanssen-Bauer, despite the setback, was still optimistic. The Govt, Palitha said, would reply soon to Solheim’s five questions, and the answers would all be affirmative. The govt, he said, would not renege on previous agreements. President Rajapaksa, he said, had no intention of going to war. more..

Editorial: Restore a patient-friendly health service

Feb 15 (DM) Two shocking incidents in two private hospitals recently highlight the need for the government to regulate what is happening in the growing number of private hospitals and medical clinics where patients are known to be paying high consultation fees while expensive drugs are being prescribed and non-essential tests are being done. This is happening though a law was passed several years ago to set up an authority to regulate the work of private hospitals. more..

Is the country willing to go the whole nine yards?

Feb 15 (CT) I was intrigued by an article authored by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka last week, where he argues quite lucidly, as he always does, for what seems to be a four-tiered ‘roadmap’ to counter the present regime. I would rather call it a roadmap than a manifesto. I am sure Dayan, the prolific wordsmith, would agree with me on the usage of the lingo. The basic presupposition of his ‘roadmap’ is a ‘regime change’. As a neutral observer, Dayan presents his arguments for such a regime change more..

'Splitting TNA and ruling tactic never will occur'

Feb 15 (OU) “We will not at all permit to the tactic of splitting the TNA. Govt's such conspiracies will not react on us.” Such statement was made by TNA MP Mawai Senanthiraja. The TNA arranged a media conference Wednesday in Jaffna. All the ten MPs for Jaffna district attended the conference. The development committee meeting which was held in Jaffna on the leadership of President, only some MPs were invited more..

Goafest 2013: South Asian advertising festival

Feb 15 (GDI) Speaking on GoaFest2013 Laila Gunesekere Martenstyn, President IAA Sri Lanka Chapter stated: "Goafest is an opportunity for our Sri Lankan creative agencies and individuals to stand out from the region’s best work. Over the years the Sri Lankan advertising and communications industry has grown leaps and bounds and today you see our work featured globally. I would like to thank Arvind for being here to help us raise the bar amongst the advertising advertising fraternity. more..

Country music concert to raise funds for Sri Lanka children

Feb 15 (LBO) An annual country music concert will be held for the 25th time in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo to raise funds for needy children with European and US performance along local artistes performing, its organizers said. Colombo-base Country Music Foundation said its 'Country Roads' festival is the longest running concert of its kind in South Asia. It was founded by Feizal Samath, a journalist and Juragan Majid, a marketing professional. This year's concert more..

65th Independence Day celebrations in Seoul, South Korea

Feb 15 (IL) Celebrations of the 65th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka and the 35th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea To mark the above significant occasions, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul organized four outstanding events in South Korea with the participation of a large number of Sri Lankan nationals, Koreans and foreigners. more..

Attempts to espouse communal hatred condemned

Feb 15 (GDI) While the UNP is reported to have held secret talks at the Parliamentary complex with the Bodhu Bala Sena Organization, Muslim Ministers have warned against attempts being made to espouse hatred between the Sinhala and Muslim communities. It is reported that a special discussion between representatives of the Bodhu Bala Sena and some UNP Muslim representatives had been held in the Parliamentary premises on Tuesday and the members of Bodhu Bala Sena had more..

Tukatech Trains 1000th CAD Operator in Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (VS) “Tukatech brought Digital Pattern Making to Sri Lanka” quoted Ashroff Omar, Chairman Brandix at the Annual General Meeting in 2006, but it was Anil Hirdaramani from Hirdaramani Group who brought Tukatech to Sri Lanka in 2004. Most companies had CAD systems yet no one made Digital Patterns. On 27th December, 2012 Tukatech trained the 1,000th CAD operator. “We now have the largest pool of trained CAD operators in Sri Lanka. They have advanced training on more..

Let’s make ‘Valentine’s Day’ a day of struggle to achieve true love – Bimal

Feb 15 (LT) ‘Valentine’s Day’ is a day a struggle had been carried out on behalf of love, company owners should not be allowed to commercialize this day but it should be made a day that fights obstacles that have been placed against love at present time said the National Organizer of Socialist Youth Union (SYU) and JVP member Bimal Rathnayaka. He said this participating at the cultural performance held at the Galle Face green more..

President desire to meet Sambanthan

Feb 15 (OU) President Mahinda Rajapakse has given an invitation to meet TNA Leader R.Sambanthan. Political circles notify that the invitation may have been given in the intention to deal with the crisis cropped up in Geneva and in the objective of defeating activities processed to abstain from holding the Commonwealth nations leaders conference held in Sri Lanka. R.Sambanthan has proceeded to India for an eye surgery. He celebrated his birthday on last 5th in India, more..

Pillay says no date for Lanka visit

Feb 15 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says a date for her visit to Sri Lanka has not yet been fixed, Inner City Press reported. “Let’s see in the March session when they come over if they’ll fix a date,” Pillay exclusively told Inner City Press. She was referring to the Sri Lanka delegation scheduled to attend the UN Human Rights Council session in March in Geneva. In November last year it was reported that Pillay will visit Sri Lanka in January. more..

Sri Lanka thrash South Africa to finish 5th

Feb 15 (WI) Shashikala Siriwardena starred with both bat and ball as Sri Lanka turned the tables on South Africa with an emphatic 88-run victory in a fifth-place play-off clash in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 today. The victory was set up by Chamari Athapaththu and Eshani Kaushalya, who led Sri Lanka’s much-improved batting performance to help post a score of 244 for seven in 50 overs after opting to bat. more..

Hakeem pledges solution

Feb 15 (CT) Minister Rauff Hakeem, pledged to provide a solution to the issue pertaining to the Law College entrance exam results, after holding discussions with the Incorporated Council of Legal Education (ICLE). He made the promise at a special meeting held at the Ministry of Justice on 13 February, under the mantle of Lawyers for Good Governance (LGG), in the presence of the law students and their parents. Addressing the gathering, Minister Hakeem said, more..

Sri Lanka raises US$ 152 million by issuing bonds

Feb 15 (N360) Sri Lanka has raised US$ 152 billion by issuing three year tenor ‘Sri Lanka Development Bonds’, at the market determined rate of US$ 6 month LIBOR + 400 basis points. The offer, which was opened on the 8th of February, initially only aimed at raising US$ 60 million. However, the issue has been oversubscribed by 2.5 times, thus resulting in the Debt office accepting all bids. “In view of the high demand by the investors, the Govt decided to accept US Dollars 152.12 million”, more..

65th Independence Day celebrations in Washington DC

Feb 15 (IL) The Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC celebrated the 65th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka with a spectacular cultural evening at the University of the District of Columbia on Saturday (9). Approximately 1000 Sri Lankan – American community members and distinguished invitees including US Congressmen, senior govt officials and Washington based Ambassadors witnessed the more..