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Kidding whom about the kidney racket?

Apr 7 (CT) The medical profession in Sri Lanka has been having a muddied, if not outright dirty, chequered history of botched surgical operations, medical blunders and misadventures, the GMOA and Nurses' Unions deserting post to walk out on anti-govt demonstrations over the past four decades or more, on wild escapades which have had nothing to do with health issues. There was the tawdry case of a Muslim woman's leg being amputated in a Gampaha District Hospital when more..

Sri Lankan PM’s visit expected to iron out Sino-Sri Lankan divergences

Apr 7 (GT) Sri Lanka's PM Ranil Wickremesinghe kick started an official visit to China from Wednesday. One of the big questions of his tour is whether the two sides will nail the divergences down over the Beijing-funded $1.4 billion port city project in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. Ever since the country's new govt was formed in January last year, Sino-Sri Lankan relationship has experienced some fluctuations, which have been reflected in the suspension of the port project. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka shares post near 7-wk closing high on retail investor buying

Apr 7 (Reuters) Shares rose for a third straight session on Thursday to post their near seven-week closing high, as retail investors bought beaten-down stocks, though continued foreign outflows on worries over macroeconomic stability weighed on sentiment. Foreign investors offloaded a net 197.4 million rupees worth of equities, their sixth straight session of selling, and extending the year-to-date outflows to 3.24 billion rupees. The benchmark stock index ended 1.06%, more..

Indian working as carpenter illegally found to be suffering from malaria

Apr 7 (Island) Govt Dental Surgeon’s Association (GDSA) said an Indian working as a carpenter in Nuwara Eliya was suffering from malaria. The GDSA said it had warned the government that there would be an adverse health and social impact on the country if the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) was signed with India. Media spokesmen for GDSA, Dr Chandana Jayakody said the GDSA mentioned that if Indian citizens came to Sri Lanka through proposed more..

Video: Mervyn Silva regrets leaving UNP

Apr 7 (DM) Former Minister Mervyn Silva today said that he regretted his decision to leave the UNP upon an invitation extended by ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga. He said he would have embarked on a fine journey with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe if he hadn’t left the UNP. He also said he was one of the people who played a key role in electing the Yahapalanaya govt but today he was left with nothing. more..

Trader, helper found dead

Apr 7 (Island) The Kataragama police yesterday morning found two mutilated bodies lying on the bank of a canal near Maru Wanguwa at Sella Kataragama on the Buttala Road. Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the victims aged 45 and 50 had been traders. They were identified as Premaratne of Muni Yammagama, Tissamaharama and N. Saman Jayantha from the same village. The Police found the motorcycle the victims had ridden. No one had been arrested, police said. more..

Video: Heroin haul: 13 remanded; Boy sent to Children’s Home

Apr 7 (DM) 13 suspects including nine from Iran, two from Pakistan and two from Singpaore, arrested over the heroin detection in the southern seas, were today ordered to be remanded till April 19 by the acting Colombo Fort Magistrate Aruni Attigalle. The Police Narcotics Bureau produced fourteen suspects before the Magistrate, including a 12-year-old Iranian who was ordered by the Magistrate to be sent to the Makola Boys Children’s Home considering a request by Prison Authorities. more..

Top customs official linked to illegally imported vehicles?

Apr 7 (AD) Despite the undue pressure exerted by a top official in the Department of Sri Lanka Customs, a group of officers have succeeded in uncovering information regarding a stock of vehicles imported to the country while evading taxes. The vehicle parts had arrived at the Colombo Harbour inside a 40ft container on the 18th of March, 2016. Customs officers yesterday opened the container to examine the contents and more..

The cosmetics of constitutional reform

Apr 7 (CT) The constitutional reform process has been placed on top of the national agenda, with much fanfare. This is even as the country is rapidly sinking into an inexorable debt-ridden financial crisis and broad sections that had voted for the Sirisena-Ranil dispensation are questioning the honesty, ability and credibility of the new National-Unity govt. So, what is the urgency for constitutional reform? In my analysis, the current constitutional reform process reflects a desperate measure to more..

LSSP leader raises alarm over PM’s proposal

Apr 7 (Island) Veteran Trotskyist and Leader of the LSSP Tissa Vitarana said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was out to make Sri Lanka a puppet of the USA like the Philippines and many others by having US military baseshere. Following is the text of Prof. Vitarana’s statement titled, PM’s proposal a major threat to Sri Lanka’s Independence: The report on the front page of the Island of 5th April 2016 (not of 1st April) is a cause for grave concern. more..

Wasting Rs. 31 million of people's hard earned money on govt's image building show

Apr 7 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says Govt will take action to establish a National Farmers’ Incorporated Council, according to a proposal approved by the Parliament to get the active participation of the farmer community and to receive their views and suggestions in making decisions relating to the field of agriculture as well as in formulating budget proposals. more..

Govt fixes prices on 33 lab tests; including CT, X-ray scanning done by private sector

Apr 7 (Island) Health Ministry said it had taken steps to impose a price cap on 33 laboratory tests carried out in the private sector. Health Ministry would assess the lab services provided by private hospitals and determine reasonable prices. Health Ministry Spokesman, Nipun Ekanayake, said the Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr Palitha Mahipala had said that a review committee headed by a Senior Assistant Secretary had been appointed to monitor private hospitals. more..

Pajet Road renamed as Mahagama Sekara Mawatha

Apr 7 (PSL) President Sirisena presided over a ceremony to rename Pajet Road at Stanmore Crescent Junction, Colombo 7 as the Mahagama Sekara Mawatha, as a tribute for the great service rendered by Mahagama Sekara to the country. At the invitation of the President Pandith Amaradeva also joined in unveiling the plaque bearing the name of Mahagama Sekara Mawatha and Gazette notification in this regard handed over to Ravindra Mahagama Sekara, son of Sekara. more..

Ven. Warakagoda Gnanarathana Thera new Asgiriya Mahanayake

Apr 7 (DM) Anunayaka Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera was appointed as the 22nd Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siyam Nikaya today. The post of Mahanayake of the Asgiriya chapter fell vacant following the demise of the most venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Maha Nayake Thera. Election of new Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter was held today. more..

'More opposition members set to join govt'

Apr 7 (CG) More opposition members are set to join Govt, Parliament was told. Minister Gayantha Karunatillake said some opposition members have expressed interest to join the Govt. He said that at present there are 47 cabinet Ministers, 20 State Ministers and 25 Deputy Ministers in the Govt. Yesterday two opposition members extended support to Govt and were made Deputy and State Ministers. The Minister insisted that all appointments have been made in line with the Constitution more..

Sri Lanka navy arrest 9 Indian fishermen

Apr 7 (Xinhua) SL navy arrested nine Indian fishermen for poaching illegally in the island's northern seas on Thursday. One Indian fishing trawler was also taken into custody and the arrested fishermen along with the trawler were handed over to the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Jaffna, in the north, for onward action. The arrest comes a day after SL govt decided to release 99 Indian fishermen who were in SL custody for illegally poaching in SL's territorial waters. more..

Sri Lanka to join one road, one belt scheme; 500mn Yuan grant from China

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lanka will participate in China's one road, one belt scheme and become a trade hub in the Indian Ocean with China investing and managing ports, airports and an industrial zone in the South of the island. "Both sides had an in-depth exchange of views on relations and practical cooperation and reached much consensus," Xiao Qian, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Asia department said after more..

IGP N. K. Illangakoon protected dignity of office: President

Apr 7 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says Mr. N.K. Illangakoon, the outgoing IGP, was an exemplary character for the Police officers to emulate as he fulfilled his duties and responsibilities in protecting the dignity of his office. President made these remarks when IGP N. K. Illangakoon called on him to formally inform his retirement at the President’s Official Residence, today . During the meeting, President appreciated the great service rendered by Mr. N. K. Illangakoon as more..

Navy earns Rs.1bn from Avant Garde operations

Apr 7 (DM) Navy said that it had earned an income of Rs. 1 billion from the operations of Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMSL) during the period from Nov 13, 2015 to April 06, this year. Navy had carried out a total of 2,689 moves at Galle harbour and earned an income of Rs. 980 million while Rs. 30 million of income had been earned from 105 moves in Colombo harbour. Govt in early November decided to handover the operations of the controversial AGMSL to the Navy. more..

Walking path constructed at 10 times more than the current cost

Apr 7 (CG) A walking path in Wattala which was the focus of controversy recently, had been constructed at 10 times more than the current cost, Minister John Amaratunga said today. He said that various individuals with vested interests have been attempting to implicate him in the removal of the walking path along the Wattala-Mabole Kalu Ela left embankment during the past two weeks. more..

China, Sri Lanka keen to push Colombo port project - Chinese diplomat

Apr 7 (Reuters) China and Sri Lanka are both determined to push forward with a stalled port project in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday following a meeting between the two country's premiers. Sri Lanka ordered a review of the $1.4 billion Colombo port city project last year, citing irregularities in the award of the contract to state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) by a previous govt. more..

Sri Lanka to ink framework economic deal with China

Apr 7 (EN) SL will sign a deal to work towards a framework economic, investment and technology agreement with China similar to one proposed with India, during PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s official visit this week, deputy minister Harsha de Silva said. “What we mainly need is investment from China since we have too much debt,” he said. According to the proposed agreement, SL and China will jointly prepare a medium and long-term development plan on investment, economic and technological more..

Video: Military security of MR and Gota will be replaced: Hettiarachchi

Apr 7 (DM) Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that military personnel deployed for former President Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa's security would be removed and replaced gradually, as deploying military personnel for VIP security is illegal. “Police and Special Task Force personnel, who are responsible for the security of VIPs would be deployed for the security of more..

India’s fear of encirclement groundless says Chinese daily, as Ranil arrives for talks

Apr 7 (Hindu) India’s ties with Colombo are casting a shadow on the visit of Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremasinghe who arrived in the Chinese capital on Wednesday to reboot a longstanding relationship with Beijing. Within hours of Mr. Wickremasinghe’s arrival, the state-run Global Times newspaper ran an op-ed that focused on India as a factor in Beijing-Colombo ties. Analysts say that the 1.4-billion dollar Port City Project in Colombo, which has been cleared by the Sri Lankan govt, but more..

Sri Lanka grants amnesty period to handover illegal firearms

Apr 7 (Xinhua) Govt on Thursday announced an amnesty period to surrender illegal firearms after a rise in the country's crime rate. The Defence Ministry said in a statement that a general amnesty period starting from April 25 to May 5 had been declared and any persons who possess firearms illegally are requested to hand them over to the nearest Police Station. Sri Lanka has in recent months been battling a high crime rate including gang related shootings and robberies which has led to more..

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka looks to restructure $8 bn China debt

Apr 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's PM will seek to restructure some of the cash-strapped island's $8 billion Chinese debt, Colombo said Thursday, as he met his Chinese counterpart in Beijing. As it faces a spiralling debt crisis that has forced it to seek a bailout from the IMF, SL's govt is hoping to convert some of its loan burden into stakes in infrastructure projects. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe also hopes to resolve more..

An addendum to my views on PM’s visit to China

Aprt 8 (CT) Since I wrote on PM’s China visit, I re-read the jewel of the book Down Memory Lane left for me by my senior public service colleague, T.B.M. Ekanayake who was the first Commissioner of Registration of Persons, which his daughter sent me acting on a last request made by her dying father. Among the gems he has left behind through that book is one relating to the reference I made to formal institutionalisation of trade/economic relations with India following with more..

Monetary Board being caught in The Devil’s Alternative?

Aprt 8 (CT) When the Monetary Board of the Central Bank was due to announce its monetary policy decision in March 2016, the market had expected it to tighten the policy by increasing interest rates. The market’s predictions had been based on the logical economic choice which the Board would have made to lift the economy out of the prevailing foreign exchange crisis. But the policy review statement announced had proven the market wrong. Instead of tightening the monetary policy, more..

A Rightful fight for education

Aprt 8 (DN) As an administrative professional working for SAITM and even before joining SAITM, I have been observing the SAITM saga going on for the last five to six years. I was trying my best to find some logic behind the varying arguments against SAITM but utterly failed. The following points need consideration. Is SAITM enrolling lower grade students for medical degree? SAITM enrolls only 75 students per batch more..

Joint Opposition's fear psychosis

Aprt 8 (SO) The so-called Joint Opposition (JO) led by the family of the old brigade did not take long to spring into action after its two -times defeat to the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe- led uprising. The family intuitively realised that what they were going to observe was much more than another team taking over for a change in a typical democratic game. The frenzy and febrile shouts since the Rajapaksa defeat is to be understood. So are the hysterical responses popping up now and again, more..

60th anniversary of 1956 Revolution

Aprt 8 (SO) Contemporary politics in Sri Lanka is a heady mix of clashing policies and personalities, but the history of political parties here is even more fascinating. Rising from the fiery embers of the struggle for freedom from the British, local political parties had to transform their agendas to suit a post-independence Sri Lanka. The first political party in Sri Lanka (and now the oldest) is the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) which was established on December 18, 1935. more..

Editorial: Diyawanna Kolam

Apr 8 (Island) It may be wrong to argue that our lawmakers do not render any service at all to the country in return for their salaries, perks and privileges. They are more sinned against than sinning. Their biggest service to the nation is helping preserve two traditional art forms, to wit, nadagam (operatic folk drama) and kolam (mask dancing). No, they do not do so by allocating sufficient funds for Department of Cultural Affairs or University of more..

Explore explosives mindfully

Aprt 8 (DN) The discovery of a suicide kit and explosives in Chavakachcheri has led to significant concerns about the status of the country's security and its handling by both the govt and the Opposition has raised more questions than answers. Police had recovered a suicide jacket, four claymore mines, three parcels containing around 12kg of explosives, two packets of 9 mm ammunition and two battery packs which were wrapped in a Sinhala newspaper published on Jan 29, 2008. more..

Preamble to sustainable development

Apr 7 (DN) The adoption by the UN in 1986 of the Declaration on the Right to Development (the Declaration) was the culmination of a long process of international campaigning for human rights. From the beginning, the idea of human rights as an international concern was perceived as an integrated whole consisting of all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The idea of integrated human rights as an international concern was first declared in more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Can we produce better estimates of urbanization in Sri Lanka?

Apr 8 (IPS) SL has a visibly high rate of urbanization and ambitious plans for further urbanization through the envisioned Western Region Megapolis Project. Nonetheless, the latest official statistics indicate that only 18.2% of the population lives in urban areas. This does not reflect the true level of urbanization in SL. World Bank notes that while urbanization data in SL are much debated, there is consensus that the country is urbanizing faster than the statistical figures suggest. more..

SriLankan lures more biz with unique book now pay later online move

Apr 8 (FT) SriLankan Airlines has unveiled its newly revamped website with vastly improved features that are aimed at providing an enhanced customer service experience from the very first moment a person visits the site. Launch of the new website to the media on Wednesday was uniquely in-flight experiential at the plush Empire Cineplex at The Arcade at the Independence Square. SriLankan hopes to increase internet bookings to around 20% from current 14% more..

Politicos want more cake while people scramble for crumbs

Aprt 8 (SL) It was proposed in parliament to bring in an amendment to increase the salaries of Ministers and MPs. It was also decided to grant them new vehicle permits. While some MPs are of the view that a pay hike for MPs will help prevent corruption, others believe this proposal itself is akin to offering a bribe. The public burdened by a high cost of living as they are, have voiced their displeasure over a pay hike for MPs. more..

CSE woos foreign investors with clarity in classification

Apr 8 (FT) In a bid to woo more foreign investors, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and S&P Dow Jones Indices yesterday jointly launched 31 S&P/CSE Sector and Industry Group Indices. Taking a step forward to internationalise the stock market and increase visibility, CSE Chairman VajiraKulatilake said he expects this move to increase the chances of the Colombo Bourse being a regional player with stronger comparability measures. Noting that the move would put more..