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Sri Lanka calls for stricter regulation of Indian medicinal drug exports

Feb 25 (Island) Sri Lanka has requested India to adopt a stricter mechanism to regulate the quality of drugs it exports to Sri Lanka. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the request had been made during his recent official visit to New Delhi as part of President Maithripala Sirisena’s delegation. "While pointing out that we imported around 80% of our medicinal drug requirements from India, I explained to them that there had been instances of drugs exported by some of their pharmaceutical more..

Young man dies of gunshot injuries inside Millennium City

Feb 25 (Island) A young man from the Oruwala area had died inside a house at the Millennium City Housing Complex, Athurugiriya yesterday due to gunshot injuries. The deceased was identified as 22-year-old Namal Chrishantha. There had been five friends with him when he had received gunshot injuries inside a house. They had been arrested by the police and a pistol had been recovered. Initial investigations have revealed that the deceased shot himself while consuming some drugs. more..

Mathews stands by tireless Malinga

Feb 25 (CI) While teams such as Australia and New Zealand have arrived at the World Cup on a cloud of form, and intent to dominate the competition, Sri Lanka have chosen a less ambitious approach. The favourites speak of establishing winning momentum, and rolling forward like a juggernaut, but even back in Nov, Sri Lanka had simply set their sights on peaking at the right time. This is perhaps, in part, a reflection of more..

Jeevan Mendis ruled out of World Cup

Feb 25 (CI) Jeevan Mendis will play no further role in the World Cup, said captain Angelo Mathews, after the allrounder had sustained a mild-to-moderate inner hamstring muscle injury at training on Tuesday. The team had originally hoped the injury would only keep Mendis out for about 10 days, but scans have since shown the damage to be more severe than initially estimated. Sri Lanka have flown out Upul Tharanga to take Mendis' place, and the replacement was approved by the ICC's more..

WC 2015: Ireland beat UAE

Feb 25 (CI) With nuggety wicketkeeper Gary Wilson for company, the big-hitting Kevin O'Brien set right the mess he had left Ireland in with some ordinary plans and bowling at the death. Despite their blitz, Ireland didn't finish the match easy. UAE kept scrapping, and by the time it ended Ireland had only two wickets in hand and four balls to spare. Thanks to the first World Cup and second ODI hundred for UAE, 106 off 83 by Shaiman Anwar, and a World Cup-record seventh-wicket partnership more..

SL in search of convincing performance

Feb 25 (CI) Bangladesh are a point above Sri Lanka and although the World Cup is still at a very early stage, it is hard to imagine both sides envisioning themselves in their respective positions after their first two matches. Sri Lanka didn't look convincing for most of their match against Afghanistan, though they won by four wickets on the back of Mahela Jayawardene's century. They looked slow in the match against New Zealand more..

8,000 dengue cases so far this year

Feb 25 (CT) More than 8,000 suspected dengue cases were reported within the first two months in 2015 and 15 people had died from the disease, Director of the Epidemiology Unit, Dr. Paba Palihawadana said. During the first two months, there were 8,047 suspected dengue cases reported from all over the island. Approximately 46.14% of dengue cases were reported from the Western Province. The highest number of dengue cases was reported during the fourth week of 2015. more..

Yoshitha allowed to join MR security squad

Feb 25 (AM) Sri Lankan Navy has granted permission to the former President's second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa to join the security team assigned to his father. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardena told media a few days ago that Rajapaksa had submitted a request to the Defence Ministry seeking permission to join the security team of former President Rajapaksa. However, he is presently on three months leave of absence. An internal investigation is currently underway more..

AI report notes abuses in Sri Lanka

Feb 25 (CG) Annual report by the London based Amnesty International noted that several human rights violations had taken place last year and the new Sri Lankan Govt must take measures to address those violations. AI’s report provides a comprehensive overview of human rights in 160 countries during 2014, including 29 countries in Asia Pacific where there has been a harsh crackdown on freedom of expression across the region. more..

Bangladesh's best struggle against Sri Lanka

Feb 25 (CI) 6: Number of teams Bangladesh have never beaten in the World Cup; Sri Lanka are one of the sides along with Australia, New Zealand and West Indies. Canada and Kenya - who haven't made it to this World Cup - have also defeated Bangladesh in World Cup matches. 0: Number of times Bangladesh have beaten Sri Lanka in 16 games in which they have batted first. All four of Bangladesh's wins to date have come while chasing a target. Bangladesh have a win-loss record of 4-16 more..

CPC new price formula further delayed

Feb 25 (Island) A new price formula for petroleum products and electricity would be further delayed as such moves would hamper the progress of the debt burdened Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). The CPC debt amounting to Rs. 500 billion prevented it from reducing the diesel and petrol prices further, an official said. Unionists said diesel and petrol prices could be slashed by about Rs. 15.00. The petrol consumption had doubled and the diesel consumption had increased more..

National govt a gimmick: UPFA allies

Feb 25 (DM) UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara today criticized the National Unity Govt Concept and said it was a political gimmick by the UNP to make the UPFA powerless. Flanked by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena and PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila, Mr. Nanayakakara said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe aspires to continue functioning in his post for a longer period by introducing such a concept. more..

Six cops arrested for death of suspect

Feb 25 (Island) Six police personnel including a sergeant attached to Sooriyawewa police station were arrested by a special police team led by an Assistant Superintendent of police after a suspect arrested on Feb. 19 for possessing 19 bottles of illicit liquor fell ill in police custody and died at the Hambantota hospital on Feb 22. One of the six witnesses in the case, a 55-year-old, M. Jayadasa, too, met with an accident in the early hours of yesterday and died. more..

Shashi further remanded

Feb 25 (AM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapiya ordered police to remand Shashi Weerawansa further until March 4, this afternoon. Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Shashi weewansa was arrested at a private hospital in Malabe last Sunday over the charges of obtaining diplomatic and general passports illegally. She had submitted birth certificate with forged names and dates of birth to obtain those passports. When she was producesd before the court yesterday more..

Cabraal defends deal with Strauss-Kahn

Feb 25 (EN) A deal with ousted IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was made get advice on making Sri Lanka a financial centre, former Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. He said the Central Bank's monetary board was unanimous in hiring Strauss-Kahn and Sri Lanka and to advice on the required laws, practices, procedures and conditions as well as safeguard necessary to draw global investors. more..

SL concerned over Maldives' situation

Feb 25 (PTI) Sri Lanka today expressed concern over the political turmoil in Maldives, saying it hoped differences among all stakeholders will be resolved peacefully. Without making any direct reference to former Maldivian President Nasheed's arrest, the foreign ministry said Sri Lanka, as a friendly neighbouring country was concerned about the recent developments in Maldives. "It is hoped that all stakeholders in Maldives will resolve their differences in a peaceful manner, more..

Rajiv and Faizer to meet President

Feb 25 (AM) Former State Minister of Aviation Faizer Mustapha said that he and former State Minister of Higher Education prof. Rajiva Wijesinha are likely to meet President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss matters with regard to their positions in the govt. Mustapha resigned from his ministerial position two weeks ago and Prof. Wijesinha too has decided to resign from his position in protest of what he terms as undue interference by the cabinet minister. Commenting on the matter Mustapha said more..

Action against ten National school principals

Feb 25 (DM) Education Ministry said action was being taken against ten national school principals and teachers for allegedly violating the circulars which ban the collection of funds for school admissions. It said a large number of complaints had been received about instances of such funds being collected. Investigations carried out so far had confirmed that ten schools including four Colombo schools had been found to have collected more..

UN under-secretary general to visit Sri Lanka

Feb 25 (AM) UN spokesperson for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said that Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is to visit Sri Lanka on Saturday. Addressing the daily press briefing, she further said that Fetlman will meet senior officials of Sri Lankan govt, political parties and civil society groups. “This will be his first visit to Sri Lanka, and he looks forward to discussing with SL leaders various issues of mutual concern” Dujarric added. more..

FSP Leader accuses govt. of duplicity

Feb 25 (Island) FSP leader Kumar Gunaratnam said incumbent govt’s political duplicity had become evident in its moves to deport him while calling upon those who had fled the country for political reasons to return home. Gunaratnam says the higher echelons of govt had repeatedly called upon those who had left the country to escape political victimisation to return home. "I am one such person but the very same govt has got its legal experts to deport me to Australia." more..

Sri Lanka to learn reconciliation experience from South Africa

Feb 25 (IANS) A high-level delegation from South Africa will brief Sri Lanka this week on South Africa's experience in reconciliation and nation-building, Sri Lanka's deputy foreign minister said. The delegation led by South Africa's International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo is undertaking a five-day visit to Sri Lanka. Mfeketo will meet her counterpart and other important role-players more..

Sirisena and Ranil gird up Loins to face threat from Rajapaksa

Feb 25 (ENS) Shaken by the successful rally staged by pro-Rajapaksa elements at Nugegoda on Feb 18, President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe are girding up their loins to face a perceived threat from former President Rajapaksa in the June parliamentary elections. Alarmed by the fact that some MPs of his own SLFP had attended the rally, Sirisena called a meeting of party MPs and reprimanded those who attended the rally and those leaders who allowed party men to attend it. more..

Sri Lanka's Dec trade deficit widens sharply

Feb 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened 39.8% to $787.6 million in December from $563.4 million a year earlier, central bank data showed. December exports edged up 2.2% from a year earlier to $1.01 billion, surpassing the $1-billion mark, while imports gained 15.9% to $1.8 billion. For 2014, the trade deficit widened 9.1% to $8.3 billion from $7.61 billion a year earlier, while the $76-billion economy recorded a balance-of-payment surplus of $1.38 billion last year, up from more..

SF files case to regain parliamentary seat

Feb 25 (DM) General Sarath Fonseka filed a Writ application in the Court of Appeal seeking a Court Order to enable him to sit and vote in Parliament and exercise his powers, privileges and immunities as a Parliamentarian. He cited the following as respondents: Former Parliament Secretary General Dammika Kitulgoda, former Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, Parliament Secretary General Dhammika more..

Genocide resolution & Geneva gambit

Feb 26 (CT) Chief Minister Wigneswaran attempted to explain away the NPC’s ‘Genocide’ Resolution by saying it was not directed against the present administration but rather against its predecessor. He was not telling the truth, to put it mildly. The Resolution has a specific target and that target is unveiled in the very title. The Resolution goes into the record under the title “Sri Lanka’s Genocide Against Tamils”. Thus the charge is not against Mahinda Rajapaksa—not that this would more..

Broad-base 100 days programme

Feb 26 (CT) It is heartening to see the new Government making an honest attempt to implement the Hundred Days Programme, (HDP), they highlighted as an election promise. However honest their intention may be, the implementation appears to be lagging behind day by day and caustic remarks on the delays are on the increase. It is manifestly unfair to hold the new-comers down to the exact dates indicated. There should be no quarrel, if the trend of implementation shows an honest more..

Port City comes under heavy flak

Feb 26 (SO) The Colombo Port City project is coming under heavy flak as political higher ups and environmentalists were crying foul of the project. The fate of the controversial US $ 1.5 billion deal to construct the Colombo port city, is running more into a political and diplomatic issue as PM Ranil Wickremesinghe appointing an expert committee to investigate into the details of the controversial project before taking any final more..

DJ's speculations hardening attitudes

Feb 26 (CT) I read the speculations of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka about the purported concealed agenda of the TNA to first dismantle the Sri Lankan State by converting it from an Executive Presidency to a Westminster type Prime Ministerial system. DJ speculates that after that is done the TNA would revive the demand for a separate State. Strangely, DJ has failed to speculate on what would happen if the UNHRC holds an inquiry and reaches the conclusion that there were in fact genocide, more..

Will Maithri be a Nasheed and Ranil turn a Waheed?

Feb 26 (CT) The media reported on Monday that former Maldivian President Abdul Nasheed was arrested on terrorism charges. The fate of Nasheed is a lesson for Maithri and Ranil who leads the present govt. Today, the President of Maldives is Abdullah Yameen, half brother of former President Abdul Gayoom who ruled Maldives for 30 long years until Nasheed and Waheed joined to oust him. After ousting Gayoom, both Nasheed and Waheed crossed swords for Presidency. more..

'Intensive teacher training improves quality of education'

Feb 26 (CT) State Minister for Education, V. Radhakrishnan is tasked with reforming the plantation education sector, a demanding duty which cannot be completed within 100 days. He however said, his plan was to set up a foundation from which a future govt could build on and that foundation starts with teachers. Most plantation school teachers were only educated up to their A/Ls and thus the first priority was to get better more..

A fiasco at the Kadirgamar Institute?

Feb 26 (NS) It was indeed a rude shock to learn that Asanga Abeygoonasekera, who was the Director at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, had been removed as he had been considered a ‘Political Appointee’, this brings up the question as to the matter of defining who a political appointee is; is it a person who has been appointed only because of his or her political connections (the jobs for the boys syndrome?). Someone appointed without following accepted procedures for whatever is more..

A trivial response to curb crime

Feb 26 (NS) The focus of the Police has once again turned on full face helmets which became a contentious issue last year with many criminals donning such helmets in a bid to conceal their identity. While the Police were determined to implement the law prohibiting such helmets, this decision was, however, met with much opposition from many parties. According to SSP Ajith Rohana, however, implementing the law has now become the need of the hour due to the sudden rise in more..

Farewell Reception to Dr. Palitha Kohona

Serves two masters, CBSL, management: Dilemma of FX market

Feb 26 (CT) The foreign exchange (FX) market has to serve two masters, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and its management, that is its dilemma, market sources said. While CBSL released the cap on forwards premia on Tuesday, however, it is keeping a watch over prices by moral suasion, by allowing the exchange rate (ER) to trade only within a band ranging from Rs 133.20-133.50 to the US dollar up to one week's forwards in interbank trading, they said. more..

Abortive 3rd coup without a case – II

Feb 26 (Island) So, the govt and the media went to town about the conspiracy by the Rajapaksas to retain state power by staging a virtual coup. In the meantime, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, on its own motion, took a serious view of the fact that Chief Justice Mohan Peiris was present at Temple Trees, in the wee hours of the morning, when the whole country was waiting for the Jan 8 presidential elections results to be announced. They wrote to Mohan Peiris requesting him to more..

'No compromise on 100 Day Program'

Feb 26 (NS) Ajith P Perera is a UNP MP from Kalutara District. He was a foremost critic of the former govt and after the election of Maithripala Sirisena as President, he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Perera spoke about the future of the govt and the mechanism of a domestic inquiry on alleged war crimes during the war. Q: Certain matters pertaining to the 100 Day Program are getting delayed. more..

South Africa wants Sri Lanka's aqua culture expertise

Feb 26 (CT) Director Asia of the visiting South African business delegation to Sri Lanka Tieman Furter, invited Sri Lankan businessmen to bring their rich aqua-culture experience to South Africa. "This should be a two way opportunity. We have a lot of resources that the world could make use of; Sri Lanka has a lot of experience in aquaculture. We would like your expertise in this field," he told a news conference at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce yesterday. more..

'Sri Lanka will defend rupee, has enough FX reserves'

Feb 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will defend the rupee currency and has enough foreign exchange reserves to prevent any further depreciation, Finance Ministry Ravi Karunanayake said on Wednesday. The rupee lost 1.4% of its value against the dollar between the start of the year and Feb. 20 and dealers say the currency remains under downward pressure on persistent demand from importers for dollars. Foreign currency reserves fell 13.2% to $6.28 billion in January alone, central bank data showed, more..

The traitor and the patriot!

Feb 26 (FT) In 2009, some months after the war ended, media personnel were offered military tours of Prabhakaran’s ‘luxury’ bunker and swimming pool deep inside his hideout in Mullaitivu by the defeated regime. Subsequently, bunker was turned into a special exhibit on the ‘war tourism’ trail, for first time visitors from the island’s south to marvel at the slain Tiger Leader’s opulent lifestyle. Today regime’s own extensions inside premises more..