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Hospitals hit by acute medicine shortage

Feb 6 (CT) An acute shortage of medicines has hit govt hospitals islandwide, Health Ministry sources said. There is a dearth of drugs for heart, kidneys, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and gastritis. Though there are 21000 kidney patients in Anuradhapura, the One alpha medication that is necessary to treat them has been in short supply for the past two months, the sources said. Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe, former Director of Medical Supplies has been recalled to more..

Video: Appoint a competent AG soon, civil unions say

Feb 6 (DM) The National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) today urged the govt to immediately appoint a talented and independent person to the post of Attorney General which was vacated by acting AG Suhada Gamlath. Professor Sarath Wijesuriya said that the legal institutions in the country were still not strong enough even though they had spoken several times to the President and the PM regarding this matter. more..

Video: Rehabilitated LTTE cadres sing National Anthem in Sinhalese

Feb 6 (AM) A group of rehabilitated former LTTE cadres sang the Sri Lankan National Anthem in Sinhalese yesterday at a National Day function at Paranthan in Kilinochchi District. Commanding Officer of the Civil Defence Force in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Colonel Rathnapriya Bandu organized this event, where several dozen LTTE cadres took part. Meanwhile, the Tamil version of the National Anthem was sung at the main National Day event in Colombo more..

Shan Wijayalal De Silva released on bail

Feb 6 (AM) Shan Wijayalal de Silva, the Chief Minister of Southern Province has been released on bail by the Galle Magistrate’s Court today. An arrest warrant was issued on Chief Minister because he failed to appear before the Court when a case against him was taken up for hearing at the Galle Magistrate’s Court on 3rd Feb. A case was filed against Chief Minister and two others on charges of violating election laws, by distributing leaflets with the intention of influencing more..

SL has to trim budget deficit urgently: IMF

Feb 6 (EN) Sri Lanka has to trim its runaway budget deficit urgently to and raise more taxes, the IMF said, as the central bank continued to print money to accommodate state spending, driving credit up and pressuring the currency. An IMF mission that ended a visit to Colombo on Feb 5 said the budget deficit is likely to overshoot the target and the economy was at risk from the gap and the need to borrow from domestic and foreign markets. more..

Political party symbol changed

Feb 6 (DN) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya confirmed that the symbol of a political party by the name Ape Sri Lanka Nidahas Pakshaya has been changed to a Lotus bud. He said this party was registered with Elections Dept several years ago and its symbol was a cricket bat. Nomination list of this party for the Jaffna District was rejected at the last election. "Any party can change its symbol ahead of Parliamentary election and this party had changed its symbol last August," more..

DIG Vass’ wife summoned by Court

Feb 6 (CT) Additional Colombo Magistrate, Nishantha Peiris, issued summons to the wife of former DIG Vaas Gunawardene, Shyamali Perera, who is an accused in a Case pertaining to possession of harmful weapons, to be present in Court on 17 Feb. The Additional Magistrate also ordered the CID to deliver the summons to her in person. The accused had filed an appeal in Colombo High Court pertaining to the Case but HC Judge MBS Moraes threw out the appeal. more..

Yoshitha to remain in the Navy

Feb 6 (NS) FCID’s current investigation into Yoshitha Rajapaksa’s suspected involvement in money laundering will have no immediate bearing on his career in the Navy as a Lieutenant. Navy Spokesman said though Yoshitha was connected with a number of matters, he was yet to be charged. The FCID investigation into Yoshitha’s alleged involvement in financial fraud is a civil one, he noted, adding that elsewhere, more..

'Only qualified and talented recruited'

Feb 6 (DN) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said he has not employed a single rogue at his ministry but only qualified and talented persons. He said that neither a family member nor a relative has been employed by him. He said that if anybody including media personnel lodge a complaint, he would not hesitate to investigate without delay and remove them if they were proven guilty. Amaraweera made these observations yesterday in response to a question at a press conference. more..

Liberalizing foreign currency accounts seen as positive

Feb 6 (Island) The Central Bank's move to ease restrictions on remitting and transacting foreign currencies with immediate effect is a good decision. This would help to increase the foreign exchange inflow to the country to some extent, a top economist said. "The govt should liberalize the financial sector, subject to proper regulatory mechanisms, to become a financial hub in the region. This is quite a suitable move when our foreign remittances and reserves are in a declining state, more..

India ready to address Sri Lanka’s concerns on economy pact

Feb 6 (Hindu) India has come forward to host a workshop later this month in Colombo on the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement to address concerns on the side of Sri Lanka. This was one of the outcomes of the ninth session of the Joint Commission here on Friday. Foreign Ministers of India and SL, Sushma Swaraj and Mangala Samaraweera, were present. Workshop would also address issues more..

Respect for law and order essential

Feb 6 (DM) There was a time in the recent past when ruling party politicians were considered to be above the law. When a British national was killed and his Russian girlfriend was sexually abused in public by a group led by a local politician, even Prince Charles had to intervene to force the authorities to arrest the suspects and it took almost one year for the long arm of the law to reach the culprits. Now the ruling party politicians are being arrested, sometimes after more..

The international community need not worry about matters of state interest: President

Feb 6 (DM) UN Human Rights High Commissioner Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is to visit Sri Lanka today. Unlike during the visit by his predecessor Navanethem Pillay in 2013 there is no agitation by any group against Zeid’s visit, in spite of the fact that the possible agitators, the so-called patriots are in the Opposition now. However, former President Rajapaksa’s group in the Parliament, the Opposition that opposes everything done by the govt attempted to embarrass the govt during more..

Patriotic Tamils hail Mother Lanka as Sri Lanka Thaayae in their mother tongue

Feb 6 (DBS) Sri Lanka known as Ceylon gained Freedom from Britain on Feb 4th 1948. I was born six years later in Independent Ceylon on May 21st 1954. Ceylon became a Republic and changed her name officially to Sri Lanka on May 22nd 1972.Sri Lanka celebrated her 68th anniversary of Independence on Feb 4th 2016. The official commemorative event was held at the Galle Face Green. Highlight of the day was more..

India needs to urgently engage with Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups:GTF

Feb 6 (ENS) India has so far, kept powerful Diaspora groups at an arms length, preferring to deal with the main Tamil political party TNA for engagement with the community. Spokesperson of the London-based Global Tamil Forum, Suren Surendiran said that India should urgently open a formal dialogue with Lankan Tamil diaspora groups to strengthen moderate voices at this critical juncture in the reconciliation process. more..

Forged asylum papers: BASL insists that Britain should reveal names

Feb 6 (ST) The Bar Association of SL has asked British High Commission to disclose to the Supreme Court and to the BASL the names of persons who, claiming to be attorneys-at-law, have provided false documents or certifications to Sri Lankans seeking asylum in Britain. BASL has also said British HC had not divulged the particulars of such persons “despite BASL having previously requesting the officials of HC to do so”. more..

Top UN human rights official arrives

Feb 6 (AP) The top U.N. human rights official arrived Saturday in Sri Lanka on a four-day visit aimed at reviewing the measures taken by the island-nation to investigate alleged atrocities committed during the long civil war that left tens of thousands dead. The visit by Zeid Raad al-Hussein follows last year's resolution at the U.N. human rights body that required foreign judges to assist Sri Lanka in the investigation. more..

Swaraj offers Sri Lanka help to set up IT park

Feb 6 (ENS) Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has told her SL counterpart Mangala Samaraweera that India is ready to assist Sri Lanka set up an Information Technology (IT) Park to attract foreign investments. Swaraj disclosed this after inaugurating an exhibition of India's achivements in the IT sector chistened The Rise of Digital India here on Saturday. She had mooted this idea at the 9th meeting of more..

'Sri Lanka against bottom trawling'

Feb 6 (DN) SL govt will emphasise to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that Sri Lanka in no way accepts bottom trawling by Indian fishermen in SL waters, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said that in a situation where SL govt banned a variety of fishing nets, known by locals as Laila and Surukku which is far less harmful than bottom trawling, the Sri Lankan Govt cannot tolerate bottom trawling. more..

JVP petitions against Sampur power plant

Feb 6 (Island) JVP yesterday complained to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) against proposed Sampur coal-fired power plant, claiming it would adversely affect thousands of people resettled in the area after the war. Convener of JVP led Voice of Eastern People (Negenahira Janatha Handa) organisation Arun Hemachandra said the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project had more..

Dual citizenship for domiciled Sri Lankans

Feb 6 (DN) Minister S.B. Navinna invited all Sri Lankans domiciled overseas to witness for themselves the change and social transformation that has taken place in the country after the new govt came into power. Thousands of Sri Lankans have been made permanent residents of foreign countries due to many reasons that included the conditions that prevailed in the country in the past such as education, employment & marriage. more..

UNP, SLFP agreed on UN resolution

Feb 6 (DM) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the UNP and the SLFP were on the same wave length with regard to the Geneva resolution on Sri Lanka. He said the Govt was confident that Sri Lanka could convince UNHR High Commissioner Zeid Ra-ad Al Hussein that Sri Lanka was on the right track in addressing the concerns raised by the UNHR on Human Rights violations when he visits Sri Lanka today. more..

Sri Lanka requests IMF bailout to tackle budget deficit

Feb 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka has made a formal request for an IMF bailout package to aid its struggling economy after a sharp slowdown in growth and with its budget deficit widening, officials said Saturday. The IMF confirmed the island nation had asked for assistance, but did not give details on the value of a potential programme or say whether it would grant the request. "The IMF has received a request for a program with Sri Lanka," more..

President sends greetings to China ahead of Chinese New Year

Feb 6 (Xinhua) President Maithripala Sirisena has sent his greeting to Chinese govt and its people for the Chinese New Year which falls on Feb. 8. "It is with great pleasure that I extend my warm good wishes to everyone celebrating the Chinese New Year in the People's Republic of China and around the world," Sirisena said. "The celebration of the Chinese New Year is steeped in history, tradition and custom and is the most important celebration for Chinese people in many parts of the world." more..

Three NCP Ministers summoned by Presidential Commission

Feb 6 (Island) PRECIFAC has recently summoned three North Central Provincial Council Ministers who are alleged to have misappropriated funds in purchasing 12,500 multipurpose filters to provide drinking water to kidney patients in the province. Among those are Health Minister K.H. Nandasena, Irrigation Minister H.B. Subasinghe and Agriculture Minister R.M.P.B. Ratnayake. The Commission has summoned as witnesses N.H. Mahesh, an officer attached to State Trading Corporation, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Dinesh breaks coconuts

Feb 6 (CT) Dinesh Gunawardena, MP is an old friend and neighbour of mine. A good man he is, and I always respected him. His Dad was a youthful hero for me. However, it is with a mixture of amusement, bemusement and dissapointment that I observe his behaviour since the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa. The newspapers report that he has organised a trip to the Seeni Devale in a little island in the South noted for occult practices and black magic performed by desperate persons to more..

What ails bus transport?

Feb 6 (CT) Buses are an essential part of passenger transport in Sri Lanka. It is not only just the cheap transport. It is also the most effective mode of transport for a small country with a high population density. The current ownership and management structure dates back to the late 1970s. This model of single bus ownership is now outdated and not suitable for a bus population of over 20,000. This is manifest in the number of issues that have remained unsolved for many years even though more..

Neighbour takes Prasanna to task

Feb 6 (SL) A neighbour residing next to the Former Western Province Chief Minister/UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga, Ranjeevi De Silva, complains about being inconvenienced and harassed by the actions of the MP, who she claims is using his powers to intimidate and push his way around the neighborhood. Ranjeevi had even on prior occasions complained and The Sunday Leader reported on the MP allegedly occupying more..

Fonseka Vs Rosy for the vacant seat

Feb 6 (CT) UNP leadership is not yet decided on the possible candidate to fill up the vacant national list position, whilst the party members stay divided on the issue, party sources said. Two potential candidates to fill this vacancy are Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and Rosy Senanayake, it is learnt. Both were unsuccessful candidates at the last general election where Fonseka’s entire party received only 28,626 votes from the total country and 5238 votes from the Colombo district. more..

CEB nabs 2,704 power pirates

Feb 6 (Island) CEB Special Investigations Unit had nabbed 2,704 power pirates last year. The CEB had collected over Rs.170 million from the raids throughout the country, the ministry said in a media statement. Of that amount Rs.160 million has been recovered as lost revenue and Rs.13 million as legal costs, the ministry said. The govt had been able to provide continuous electricity supply to 98% of the people and hoped to reach the 100 percent mark by April 2016, the statement said. more..

Sri Lanka pickpockets rob nut crooks

Feb 6 (EN) Dozens of politicians and their supporters had their pockets picked while they dashed coconuts at the Seenigama temple to invoke curses on the FCID. The mass coconut dashing was off to an inauspicious start when police arrested three people who had allegedly stolen coconuts from a nearby plantation to be used at the unorthodox ritual. Meanwhile, the organisers of the mass-curse event used loud speakers to appeal for more..

Matthew wins gold and sets new record; Machiko grabs silver

Feb 6 (AD) Sri Lanka’s Matthew Abeysinghe won a second gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games in the men’s 100m butterfly swimming event. Matthew Abeysinghe won a Gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle swimming event and managed to set a new South Asian record. It is SL’s first gold medal at 12th South Asian Games which is being held simultaneously in Guwahati and Shillong in India from Feb 6 to 16. Abeysinghe was clocked at 1:52.28 which is a new South Asian record. more..

Sarath Fonseka won't be given law and order ministry: UNP confirms

Feb 6 (AM) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka will not be given Ministry of Law and Order, highly placed govt sources confirmed. They said Fonseka would be given responsibilities with regard to the welfare of war heroes and their families. It was widely speculated that Fonseka would be given the Law and Order ministry, overlooking the Police Department and other institutions concerning the law and order. "There is no decision to place the Law and Order Ministry under Fonseka. more..

Along the SL coast, it's a haven for turtles

Feb 6 (ENS) No where else can one see such a plethora of thematic tours as in the sun-kissed island nation of Sri Lanka. With wildlife biodiversity in plenty and protection of habitats, this island is a haven for nature tourism. Be it land mammals or marine animals, people flock to see them in their natural surroundings and it is heartening to see the involvement of the local communities who have become protectors of more..

IGP says no basis for allegations

Feb 6 (ITN) IGP N.K. Ilangakoon says there is no basis for allegations levelled against the Police. The IGP pointed out that police get praised and blamed during the process of protecting law and order. He mentioned this while declare opening the residential patients building of the Kundasale Police Hospital. IGP N.K. Ilangakoon said that they work always according to the conscience. He said that they will not protect individuals or officers who have committed offences. more..

Over 700 flock to SL Independence Day celebrations in New Delhi

Feb 6 (Island) A record number of more than 700 prominent Indian citizens and foreign diplomats attended Sri Lanka’s 68th National Day celebrations in New Delhi today. A reception-cum-lunch was hosted by SL High Commissioner to India Esala Weerakoon and his wife Krishanti at the high commission. Welcoming the guests, Weerakoon said the year 2015 was marked by bilateral visits by top leaders of both countries. While President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe and more..

Video: India must take action to stop bottom trawling – TNA tells Sushma

Feb 6 (AD) A delegation of the TNA, led by Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, today met with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Colombo and discussed the immediate needs of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, TNA leader said that the matter of land issues, the excessive presence of the military particularly in the North, resettlement, rehabilitation, livelihood, housing and so on more..

Biggest cruise ship calls at Hambantota

Feb 6 (Island) The biggest cruise ships in the World, MS Rotterdam will call at the Hambantota Port for the first time tomorrow. With the arrival of MS Rotterdam, the number of passenger ships that had been received by Hambantota port would be increased to 14. The increasing number of tourist vessels calling at the Hambantota port would add to the country’s economy. "Kirinda, Kataragama, Sella- Kataragama are studded with many places of archaeological importance. more..

SL envoy says hard choices had to be made

Feb 6 (CG) Sri Lanka was at a crucial juncture where hard choices had to be made, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Canada, Ahmed A. Jawad said. He said this at an event held at the Official Residence of the High Commissioner in Ottawa to mark Sri Lanka’s 68th Independence Day. It was attended by a large number of Sri Lankan Canadians representing all communities. Religious discourses on the theme of national unity were delivered by the Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic more..