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Robber who raided 40 homes arrested with accomplice

Feb 7 (ST) A 21-year-old youth who allegedly raided more than 40 homes late at night was arrested along with his teenage lover in the possession of 35 sovereigns of gold at a safe house in Navagamuwa-Kaduwela yesterday, police said. Suspect, a heroin addict, was on the run for nearly an year and court had issued 16 different warrants for his arrest, Navagamuwa OIC, IP Aloka Bandara said. He said the suspect allegedly raided the houses after midnight when the occupants were asleep or more..

SLC CEO faces allegations

Feb 7 (SL) CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Ashley de Silva is accused of suppressing its employees to his whims and fancies, SLC inside sources revealed. Employees who are on contract basis are treated in a different way when renewing their contract by the CEO. Sources said that they want to know as to why the contracts of those who were performing satisfactory work were not renewed whilst contracts of certain other employees more..

GMOA requests report on kidney racket

Feb 7 (AM) GMOA has requested the govt to give a copy of the report of the five member committee appointed to investigate the alleged kidney racket operated through several private hospitals in Sri Lanka. Releasing the report recently, Chairman of the committee Dr. Jayasundara Bandara said that certain details were uncovered regarding the allegations. However, the investigation was only a preliminary one, he pointed out. Recent media reports from India said that six SL doctors more..

Probe on e-mails reveal links between Yoshitha and CSN

Feb 7 (CG) Investigations into the e-mails sent from the Carlton Sports Network (CSN) have revealed clear links between the TV station and former President Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Minister Sagala Ratnayake said today. He said that the emails revealed that Yoshitha Rajapaksa operated as the chairman of the company and was the main decision maker. Yoshitha Rajapaksa was arrested recently over his links to CSN which is being investigated for money laundering. more..

Tamil leaders call for UN help on 4,000 missing

Feb 7 (AP) Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil leaders on Sunday asked the top U.N. human rights official to help determine the fate of more than 4,000 civilians reported missing in the country's long civil war amid govt's assertion that most of them are probably dead. U.N. official, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, met with the chief minister of Northern Province, center of the civil war, which ended in 2009. Zeid is on a 4-day visit to review measures taken more..

President reaffirms commitment to reconciliation process

Feb 8 (CT) Prior to Independence Day there was an increasing concern about the extent of President Sirisena’s commitment to the reconciliation process. These doubts surfaced with the President’s declaration that there would be no international involvement on issues arising from the war. He followed this up by saying that no war crimes had been committed in Sri Lanka and that the UN report only alleged human rights violations. Both of these assertions were given wide media publicity. more..

Central Bank’s clarification on EPF has unwittingly refuted PM & FM ?

Feb 8 (CT) The Central Bank has issued a clarification, carried by Daily FT in its print edition of 1 February 2016, on the Monetary Board’s alleged failure to publish the annual reports of the EPF after 2012, a concern raised by this writer in a previous article in this series. This alleged failure has been only one of the concerns raised in the article under reference among many failures of the Monetary Board in the recent past as the trustee of EPF. Thus, the bank has been very selective more..

Defending Ven. Gnanasara’s actions

Feb 8 (SO) The BBS is of the view that the recent events that led to the Homagama Magistrate remanding their leader, Ven. Galagodaatte Gnasara Thera, has built a platform to eliminate public prejudice against him. CEO of the BBS, Dilantha Withanage, said the BBS believes there were misinterpretations of the event that took place at the Homagama Magistrate’s Court on January 26 that led to Ven. Gnanasara Thera more..

Meeting a deepening challenge of credibility

Feb 8 (ST) 20th century essayist and philosopher George Santayana’s caustic observation that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it may well have been specifically tailored for Sri Lanka. This is true not only for politicians who are generally characterised by a singularly bovine stupidity but also for many others whose capitulation to political agendas is deplorable. Last year, with the routing of the Rajapaksas, several UN Resolutions committing Sri Lanka to securing more..

Post-war discourse must be sensitive to emotional impact on survivors

Feb 8 (Island) Sri Lanka has recently embarked on the difficult process of coming to terms with three decades of a deeply divisive war that has affected hundreds of thousands of lives. Processes are being established by the Sri Lankan state to establish truth, accountability, justice and reparations in relation to its armed conflict(s) and prevent recurrence. Inevitably, such initiatives involve facing up to the terrible suffering caused by the actions of the main parties to the conflict. more..

Only authorities have power to develop bus transport: LPBOA

Feb 8 (CT) Today trade union talk focuses on the transport sector. Ceylon Today interviewed the President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA), Gemunu Wijeratne, who spoke about many aspects of the private bus industry. During the interview he stressed that it is the authorities, who have the power, hence instead of bus owners it is the transport authorities, who can take steps to develop bus transport industry. more..

Editorial: UN under fire

Feb 8 (Island) The UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention has ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has taken political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, has been subjected to deprivation and a breach of human rights. It has also suggested that he be paid compensation. The knee-jerk reaction of the British govt has been to dismiss the report as ridiculous and launch a bilious attack on the UN. Assange is in this predicament because he has ruffled the Eagle’s feathers. more..

The question the Rajapaksas ask the nation

Feb 8 (ST) Pass the wet hanky, folks. These are not the best of times for the Rajapaksa Family after having lived it up for a decade or more in the best of all possible worlds that undiluted power created and total ignorance of the decadent other side of the mid day moon that had once shone on them, led them to gulp the bewitching vadakaha sudiya to the full in the belief the good times would last forever. If last year was bad enough with the bottom falling out on their pedestalled lifestyle more..


Main reason for the downfall of sports in Sri Lanka is lack of competition

Feb 8 (ST) “The lack of competitions is the main downfall of Sri Lanka sports,” this is what Sopahia Dharmasena, nee Marasinghe has to say about the downward trend that exists in Sri Lanka sports today. Sopahia was a star in five sports during the 70’s. Her sports: netball, volleyball, athletics, badminton and football. She is a double national having represented Sri Lanka at netball and volleyball. When the first Netball World Cup took place in England in 1963, more..

Doping offence: Yasir suspended for 3 mo

Feb 8 (CI) Pakistan legspinner Yasir Shah has been handed a three-month suspension by the ICC after he pleaded guilty to breaching the ICC's Anti-Doping Code that relates to the presence of a banned substance in a player's sample. The bowler will be available to play again from March 27, once the retrospective penalty ends. The three-month penalty was backdated to Dec 27, when Yasir was provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance, an ICC release said. more..

I am sad: Gota

Feb 8 (CT) Q: What are you doing these days? A: I am constantly visiting FCID, BC, and PRECIFAC probing allegations. I have time to read books. I am also talking to journalists often beside visiting temples on invitations. Q: How is to be out of politics after serving the country for almost 10 years? A: That is a mistake. I did not do politics. That is not in me although I come from a family of politicians from the 1930s. more..

Labour cost not critical to attract multinationals: economist

Feb 8 (LBO) Inter-country differences in labour cost do not seem to explain differences among developing countries in their success in joining global production networks, an economist said. Global production networks or GPN refer to interrelations among global firms specializing in different segments of a given product. These networks focus on vertically integrated global industries such as electronics, electrical goods, automobiles, and surgical equipment and more..

‘Sri Lanka should opt for MFTAs to enter global value chain’

Feb 8 (Island) Sri Lanka should promote multilateral free trade agreements (MFTAs) rather than bilateral free trade agreements with other countries in order to get into the global production value chain, a top economist said. "A large part of global electronic goods, ranging from computers to mobile phones, are now assembled in one country with components brought from different countries. Therefore, SL also should get into this type of global value chain by promoting multilateral free trade agreements more..

Academics, Professionals frustrated

Feb 8 (CT) The group of academics and professionals who advocated the victory of President Sirisena urged President to take initiatives to ensure efficiency in public investment projects. In a letter to the President, the group of academics and professionals claimed that the govt had deviated from the good governance principles and continue to commit the mistakes of the previous govt in the process. "It was reported that contracts to more..

Chandimal has a task on hand

Feb 8 (Hindu) Dinesh Chandimal has an onerous task on hand; to motivate an untested side in international cricket and find ways to compete with the Indians in their backyard and even spring a surprise on the home team. How will the young captain view an Indian side that will not have Virat Kohli in the team? Chandimal would like to enter the fray as an underdog in the three-match Twenty20 series to be played at Pune, Ranchi and Visakhapatnam before the two teams prepare more..

Tough task ahead

Feb 8 (CT) 68th anniversary of Independence Day was followed by the visit of Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Sri Lanka. On both occasions the focus was on the process of the implementation of the UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka adopted at the Sept 2015 Session in Geneva. President Maithripala Sirisena, said last month that a leader should not take the easy way out, but should take the most difficult path in the long-term interest of the country, more..

Cardinal denounces Sinha le campaign

Feb 8 (DN) Cardinal Malcom Ranjith denouncing the Sinha le campaign as very divisive has said attempts to divide is totally unacceptable at a time when there should be total focus on uniting the people. The Cardinal expressed these views when a delegation from Minister A.H.M. Fowzie called on the Cardinal at the Archbishop House on Friday. “This is a very divisive move and it is not a good thing for the country. more..

Experts urge early resolution of Kashmir issue at international seminar in Colombo

Feb 8 (FT) The speakers of the International seminar to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day in Sri Lanka unanimously emphasised the need for early resolution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people and UN resolutions of 1948 and 1949, as lasting peace in the world, especially, in the South Asian region cannot be guaranteed unless the Kashmir issue is resolved. Several high profile SL and Pakistani experts including Dr. Zulfiqar Qureshi, more..

Shangri-La says 50% of luxury apartments snapped up

Feb 8 (FT) Hong Kong-based leisure group Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts confirmed that One Galle Face Residences had reached 50% sales since its launch in May last year. “The post launch response of investors and buyers has been excellent. Our sales gallery had very frequent visitors from all walks of life. In terms of our apartment sales, we have reached 50% and are also looking at more prospects coming in on a daily basis. The majority of the sales are from local investors, more..

Public urged to make complaints on political interference: Ravi K.

Feb 8 (CG) Public have been urged to make complaints if there is political interference at independent institutions. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said everyone must get together to create a new SL following the political and social change in the country. He said that Govt is keen to ensure the law is fully implemented. He said that police is now able to operate independently unlike before where there was political interference. more..

Tourism kicks of 2016 with record arrivals in January

Feb 8 (FT) Sri Lanka tourism has got off to a record start in 2016 with January arrivals notching up an all time high of 194,280. The record figure for the month of January is a growth of 24.3% over 2015 arrivals of 156,246. In 2014 January arrivals amounted to 146,575 and in 2013 the figure was 110,543. China is the rising star with arrivals more than doubling to 26,083 from 11,735 in January last year. Indian tourists remained number one with 28,895, up by 26%. more..

ETCA will hit engineers most: OEA chief

Feb 8 (SO) According to govt sources, Information Technology, marine services and ship-building industries would be initially opened to Indian professionals under the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). Exposing Sri Lanka’s Information Technology field to India may result in foreigners having access to confidential and sensitive country specific information, President, SL Engineering Association, Palitha Abeywardena said. more..

Free ambulance service from Wednesday

Feb 8 (CT) Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said the free ambulance service will be initiated by Wednesday. He said, "A dream is about to come true. Results of strategy, dedication and hard work of many are about to be realized. Recruitment for Phase 1 of the Free Ambulance Service is scheduled to begin this week. Walk in interviews for short listing persons for training as Emergency Response Technicians & Pilots will be held at more..

Footwear and Leather exports up by 300%

Feb 8 (DN) As the footwear and leather (F&L) industry mirrors several aspects of apparel industry, apparel experience could be adopted well in F&L sector, said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen addressing inauguration event of 8th Footwear and Leather exhibition at BMICH, Colombo. Total F&L exports that stood at $36 million in 2011 surged by 300% in 2015 to $110 million in which 78% of 2015’s total exports were footwear. “Our footwear and leather exports in 2015 increased to $110 million more..

Bringing Sri Lanka to town

Feb 8 (GT) Every year they fulfil their pledge. Every year, it gets bigger and better. More and more Sri Lankans converged to celebrate the Independence Day of their country and the show was grand. Colourful cultural performances and the happy skits were reminiscent of the general mood of the people celebrating their 68th Independence Day. More singers, performers and artistes came from Sri Lanka this year than before to make the day a special one for SL community living in Qatar. more..

IMF positive but insists SL needs to do more

Feb 8 (FT) IMF has expressed its satisfaction over the recent economic performance of Sri Lanka but insisted the country has to do lot more especially in terms of reducing the Budget deficit to better manage external and internal risks. Fresh assessment follows conclusion of an IMF staff visit last week to discuss recent economic developments and policies for the year ahead. Team met with Govt and Central Bank officials, more..

Lankaputhra: FCID hands over files to AG

Feb 8 (DM) FCID has handed over files to the AG on an investigation done on default loans at Lankaputhra Bank which had exceeded Rs 2 billion. Lankaputhra Chairman Lasantha Goonewardena said investigations were carried out by the FCID on 17 individuals and organizations who had defaulted loans worth Rs 2 billion. The investigations have revealed that loans have been given without following proper procedures few years ago. Statements have been recorded from more..

Army officer, civilian killed in car-bowser collision in Kandy

Feb 8 (Island) An army officer and a civilian were killed in a road accident at Getambe on Peradeniya, Kandy road in the early hours of yesterday. Two others were injured. The car in which the deceased were travelling hit the rear of a stationary tractor trailer fitted with a water tank opposite the Kandy Municipal Water Refinery at Getambe. Major Buwaneka Jayasundera (41) and R.S.S. Gunasekara (41) of Yatiwawala Katugastota had died in the mishap, Kandy Traffic police said. more..

Joint Opp. won’t accept foreign judges, rejects Paranagama recommendation

Feb 8 (Island) Joint Opposition last evening rejected a recommendation made by the Maxwell Paranagama Commission (report on the second mandate of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Complaints of Abductions and Disappearances) in respect of inclusion of foreign judges in a Sri Lankan court to investigate alleged atrocities committed during the last phase of the Vanni offensive. more..

Wijeyadasa objects to NL seat for SF

Feb 8 (Island) UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has agreed to take a final decision on appointing DP leader Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to Parliament through the UNP national list only after a discussion with the UNP Working Committee, according to party sources. Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe during a recent meeting between UNP ministers and the PM had pointed out that giving a UNP national list seat to Field Marshal Fonseka was illegal, sources said. more..

UNHRC chief turns down CV’s request

Feb 8 (DM) A request made by Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran to intervene and release the LTTE suspects on remand was rejected by UNHRC Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein today. The Chief Minister had made this request when he met the UNHRC Chief this morning. Reportedly, Prince Hussein had rejected the request claiming that the releasing of suspects should be carried out according to a legal procedure regardless of the government which is in power. more..

Govt seeks to indict Yoshitha, Nishantha in HC

Feb 8 (Island) Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake yesterday said that the police would seek the Attorney General's approval to indict six persons including Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa arrested on a charge of money laundering. The Carlton Sports Network (CSN) was launched in March, 2011. The newly established FCID arrested Lt. Rajapaksa, Nishantha Ranatunga, Rohan Weliwita, Kavishan Dissanayake, Ravinath more..

Pro-FCID protest prevented from reaching Devale

Feb 8 (Island) Police on Saturday prevented pro-govt activists from entering Seenigama Devale, where members of Joint Opposition dashed coconuts seeking gods’ intervention to stop on-going FCID probes. Police had first warned pro-govt activists carrying placards backing FCID action not to proceed towards Seenigama devale. When those leading the protest insisted on the right to confront members of Joint Opposition, police told them the force would be used to disperse them. more..

SL nominates Amari Wijewardena to UK

Feb 8 (DM) The government has nominated the Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC Chairperson Amari Wijewardena as the new Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London, UK, sources said. The name of Ms Wijewardene has reportedly been submitted to the Parliament’s Committee on High Posts for approval. The post fell vacant following the resignation of Dr Chris Nonis in 2014. Sugeeshwara Gunaratna is the Acting High Commissioner in London, UK. more..