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Former CMC Mayor pleads for a house

Feb 9 (CT) "One day I participated in a Shramadana as Mayor. It was adjoining the St. John's fish market. I noticed someone digging a pit on the roadside. It was my father. When he saw me he said 'Good morning, Sir.' I too said, Good morning Uvais, and moved away." Uvais Mohammed Imitiyaz recalled that moment which cut deeply into his heart and his life. Imitiyaz was Mayor of CMC from June 2006 to June 2010. more..

NMDRA heads to roll back?

Feb 9 (Island) Following news reports that heads had rolled at the National Medicinal Drugs regulatory Authority (NMDRA) last week, the Health Ministry accused the GMOA of spreading false rumours to that effect. Health Ministry Spokesman said Health Minister, Dr Rajitha Senaratne was yet to take a decision on the resignation letters tendered by the Chairman Prof Lal Jayakody and the CEO Prof. Krishantha Weerasuriya. more..

Heightened alert for Zika

Feb 9 (DN) An expert working group including community physicians, paediatricians, neonatologists, geneticists, virologists and administrators discussed the need of microcephaly surveillance in neonates and to develop a surveillance format considering the country’s possible risk of Zika virus transmission, consultant community, physician and head of Maternal and Child Morbidity and Surveillance more..

Sri Lanka's former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa is no longer untouchable

Feb 9 (Independent) For victims of alleged war crimes, it was a hopeful moment when the United Nations’ human rights chief, Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, visited the northern districts of Sri Lanka at the weekend. It was the first such visit by a senior UN official for two and a half years to the area worst affected by the country’s 26-year civil war, which ended in May 2009. But for the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Campaign to collect million signatures against war crimes probe launched

Feb 9 (Island) A campaign to collect one million signatures for a public petition against the proposed war crimes investigation commenced at the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihara, Colombo yesterday. Former President Rajapaksa signed the petition first while members of the Maha Sangha chanted pirith. Thereafter, Buddhist monks, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Minister G.L. Peiris, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, more..

CEA gives Rathupaswala factory clean bill of health

Feb 9 (DN) The release of contaminated water by Venigros factory in Rathupaswala has not caused an impact on the qualitative nature of underground water around the Rathupaswala area, the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) informed the Court of Appeal. Submitting a report regarding the quality of drinking water sources around the controversial factory in Rathupaswala area, more..

IGP ordered to compensate commuter assaulted during protest

Feb 9 (AD) The Colombo District Court today ordered the IGP and the govt to pay a sum of Rs 50,000 as compensation to a train commuter who was injured after being assaulted by police during a protest at the Colombo Fort Railway Station in 2014. Duminda Hapuarachchi of Gampaha had filed a case with the court seeking suitable compensation as he was assaulted and injured without cause at the Fort railway station, more..

Video: Probe should be within SL legal system: Champika

Feb 9 (DM) The judicial mechanism where the alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan tri-forces are to be examined, should be carried out in a Sri Lankan legal framework, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. “I emphasize that the Sri Lankan armed forces carried out the war in a legal manner to defeat LTTE terrorism. Hence we can say that these war crimes have been done by LTTE,” he said. more..

Expecting Good Governance from Yahapalanaya

Feb 9 (CT) A group of academics and professionals who advocated for the victory of President Sirisena raised concerns about certain public investment projects. They urged the govt to carry out public investment projects to help the local economy to thrive instead of relying on external parties too much. The said group of academics includes Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya, Prof. Amal Kumarage, Dr. Nirmal Dewasiri, Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan and a few others who were in the forefront of more..

The lion in the Sinhalese imagination: Bestiality, incest & new beginnings

Feb 9 (CT) The use of the idea of incest in narratives of one kind or another for what may be termed its thematic and logical implications is quite common in the texts of many societies, if not indeed of all societies. The Sinhalese use of it in the chronicles is truly a continuation of the uses made of it in other legends and myths as one instrument for the solution of certain narrative problems. In his famous discussion of the structural approach to myth, Levi-Strauss deconstructed more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Missing persons families are distraught

Feb 9 (CT) TNA MP Gnanamutthu Srineshan said if the missing persons are alive and some of them are released to their families, rest of the families of missing persons will be relieved believing that their family members too will return some day. "Govt should avoid playing with human feelings. Families of missing persons take decisions of their own to express their feelings about the loving family members. Thus if the govt solves their issues to a certain extent they may step down more..

Courier caught with 7.7 kilos of ganja

Feb 9 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the Borella police yesterday arrested a 26-year-old man transporting seven kilos and 740 grammes of ganja from Ambagamuwa to Colombo. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the suspect, a resident of Pitiduwa, Habaraduwa, would be produced before the Maligakanda Magistrate today. Investigating officers said that the suspect was only a courier and he had been given Rs. 17,500 by the main dealer for transporting contraband to Colombo agent. more..

Zeid only said UN can’t seek general amnesty for Tamil prisoners

Feb 9 (ENS) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, has denied that he told the media in Jaffna that he will not ask the Sri Lankan govt to release Tamil detainees. Zeid explained to the TNA here on Tuesday, that he had only said that the UN cannot ask a general amnesty for the detainees. But it can ask for a credible, fair and speedy judicial process to render justice to them. UNHCHR said that the media had more..

Minister wants report whether Yoshitha had mobile phone

Feb 9 (DN) Minister D.M. Swaminathan instructed the Prisons Commissioner General to submit a report whether Yoshitha Rajapaksa had a mobile phone in his possession. He instructed the Prisons Commissioner General to investigate Yoshitha Rajapaksa who is in remand custody at present to find out if he had a mobile phone in his possession. He also instructed to submit the report within two days. He had made these instructions based on a news item which appeared in a newspaper more..

Prasanna calls for disciplinary inquiries against those who helped defeat SLFP

Feb 9 (Island) Disciplinary action should be taken against those who had acted to defeat the SLFP candidate at the last Presidential election, MP Prasanna Ranatunga said. Addressing a meeting of SLFP teacher union members of the Gampaha District, MP Ranatunga said the General Secretary of the SLFP had stated that disciplinary action would be taken against the MPs, provincial councillors and the local govt members who held media conferences and public rallies. more..

Under 19 World Cup: India steamroll Sri Lanka to reach final

Feb 9 (CI) India soared to the final of the Under-19 World Cup, for the fifth time, after their dominating 97-run win against Sri Lanka in the first semi-final. India were tested by Sri Lanka's pacers on a pitch with a tinge of green, but Anmolpreet Singh and Sarfaraz Khan added 96 together, and from thereon there was no stopping India, as they eventually sealed the victory with 44 balls to spare. This means that India now have a shot at more..

Militarization in Sri Lanka Continues

Feb 9 (TD) During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, I (unsurprisingly) saw a lot of military personnel. Many times they were riding around in vehicles. On other occasions the interaction was a bit more personal. In Jaffna, as I was purchasing a new SIM card, a pair of Sri Lanka Army members entered the shop. In Trincomalee, I walked into town to grab the Sunday newspapers. There’s a place I remembered from a previous visit; it’s right by the bus stand. When I got there, two members of the SL Army more..

Fonseka takes oath as MP

Feb 9 (AD) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka took oath as a MP before Speaker Karu Jayasuriya a short while ago, Ada Derana reporter said. The Working Committee of the UNP yesterday unanimously approved Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka for the parliamentary seat left vacant by the death of Minister M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardena. This came after the UNP signed a collective agreement with the Democratic Party (DP) led by the former Army Commander at Temple Trees in Colombo. more..

Galagodaaththe Gnanasara granted bail but remanded again

Feb 9 (CG) General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) the venerable Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera was granted bail by the Homagama Magistrate today over contempt of court charges. However he was remanded till tomorrow for allegedly threatening Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. The monk was remanded last month after he surrendered to the police after more..

Cecille transferred to National hospital

Feb 9 (AD) Former Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala’s wife, Cecille Kotelawala, who was receiving treatments at a private hospital in Colombo, has been transferred to the Colombo National hospital. This came after the CID apprised the Colombo Magistrate that the private hospital where Kotelawala was receiving treatment had no objections to admitting her to the Colombo National Hospital. Cecille Kotelawala who was evading courts, was arrested by immigration officials more..

Sri Lanka’s port sector regulations and policies need to be updated: Arjuna

Feb 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs to conduct open discussions and update its information, regulations and policies to provide solutions for ports and maritime sector issues, Minister of Ports and Shipping said in a statement. “All the information, regulations and policies in the sector should be updated to meet the current requirements of the sector,” Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. He was speaking at the first meeting of Inter-Agency Coordination Committee on Ports, Shipping more..

Chinese restaurants in Sri Lanka gear up for Spring Festival

Feb 9 (Xinhua) China has been a key partner and friend of Sri Lanka since ancient times and with bilateral ties never better and with a large Chinese community now living in Ssri Lanka, Sri Lankans have embraced Chinese culture including the cuisine. As China celebrates its Lunar New Year this week, several star rated hotels and restaurants, mainly in Colombo, have been decorated to celebrate grand event, more..

Senior prefects maul their own colleague

Feb 9 (CT) Cinnamon Gardens Police said that they had settled a case of assault among three prefects of Royal College, Colombo. The incident is said to have taken place on 31 Jan, after the trio had been returning to Colombo after having attended an exhibition in Kandy. A prefect who is said to have been injured in the incident has received treatment from the Kalubowila hospital. Exhibition had been organized by Royal College and a dispute which had risen concerning a cell phone charger more..

Kiriella invits Jt. opposition to join govt

Feb 9 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday invited the SLFP supporters to join the govt without wasting time in the joint opposition. He was addressing a rural road rehabilitation programme at Pathadumbara in Kandy. Under that scheme the development of the Poojapitiya-Dodamtenna road, Karaduwawala-Getathale road, Kasawatta-Poojapitiya road, Malwahinna-Neerella road, Vilana-Pallegama road and Bokkawala-Miliyadda road has commenced at a cost of Rs. 481 million. more..

Concluding remarks by UN High Commissioner Zeid Al Hussein

Feb 9 (OHCHR) Good afternoon, and thank you for coming. I come to you shortly after wrapping up my visit here with meetings with President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe and the Leader of the Opposition, in which we discussed a wide range of issues that will have an important bearing on the future of SL. Since arriving here on Saturday, I have also met Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, National Dialogue, and more..

Sri Lanka war crimes in the spotlight as UN rights chief visits

Feb 9 (IRIN) Sri Lanka's president is unlikely to cave in any time soon to pressure for international participation in a war crimes tribunal, as the UN rights chief urged today. But he could turn the situation to his advantage by offering up less controversial reforms to win back domestic political support and satisfy the international community. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein spoke at the end of a four-day visit to Sri Lanka, where he travelled more..

National anthem was sung in Tamil in 1949 too: Vajira

Feb 9 (DM) The National Anthem was sung in both the Sinhala and Tamil languages at the first Independence Day celebration, Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena said. The first Independence day celebration was held on February 4, 1949 and it was specially mentioned in the invitation card that the national anthem would be sung in the Sinhala and Tamil languages. Therefore singing the national anthem in the Tamil Language is not a big issue. more..

Rajapaksa's new front likely to be launched within two eeeks

Feb 9 (AM) The new political party to be formed by the Joint Opposition could be registered within two weeks, political sources said. A crucial meeting took place last night at former President Rajapaksa's residence at Mirihana to finalize the details of the political party. Joint Opposition has agreed that Rajapaksa must be appointed leader of the new party. Names of his brothers Gotabaya and Basil had been mentioned more..

Siriwardene returns to lead SL Women in World T20

Feb 9 (CI) Shashikala Siriwardene will lead Sri Lanka Women in the Women's World Twenty20 and the preceding T20I series against India, which starts from Feb 24. Siriwardene has recovered from a thumb injury she suffered during the side's tour of New Zealand in Nov last year, which ruled her out of two ODIs and the following T20I series. The squad for India includes uncapped allrounders Hansima Karunaratne and Harshitha Madavi, although the latter will only join squad for World T20, more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka sign MoUs to promote academic, cultural cooperation

Feb 9 (PHC) Pakistan’s largest Private Sector University, Preston University has signed MoU with Sri Lanka’s College of Information Management & Sciences and Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association for collaboration in a variety of fields in an impressive ceremony held at the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo. The High Commissioner of Pakistan Maj Gen ® Syed Shakeel Hussain witnessed the signing ceremony along with the officers of High Commission more..

Video: Nominating three names violates 19A

Feb 9 (DM) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) said it was a violation of the 19th Amendment for President to nominate three names to the post of Attorney General. “Constitutional Council is only empowered to state whether the person nominated is suitable to be appointed to the post. It does not have the authority to select one official from among several others,” NMSJ member Saman Rathnapriya said. more..

Massive bird racket bared

Feb 9 (CT) A massive racket has been bared where some unscrupulous elements are breaking the nests of a protected bird named Edible Nest Swift (Thurithaya- Collocalia Unicolour) living in the three mile stretch of the tunnel of the Hatton-Singimale railway line where they are sold for soup in five-star hotels here and overseas. The racket has been bared by both railway employees and residents of the area who walk along the tunnel of the railway line. Residents of the area allege that more..

Indian engineers go jobless

Feb 9 (CT) A recent survey has revealed that 80% of Indian engineers are facing unemployment. The engineers are not equipped with the requisite qualifications or the knowhow needed for the jobs. According to The Times of India engineering degrees had been offered to 150,000 candidates from over 650 universities in 2015 alone. However, there is a dearth of qualified engineers. Secretary of GMOA Dr. Nalinda Herath said, "The biggest concern is that most Indian professionals more..

UNHR Chief meets the President and PM

Feb 9 (ITN) Visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has met President and PM. Attention was drawn to several important matters during their discussions. UN Human Rights Chief who is on a four day official visit called on President Maithripala Sirisena. The meeting was held at President’s Office. Present at this meeting was Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Eastern Governor more..

Sobitha: Real architect of Jan 8th revolution

Feb 10 (CT) During the early years, late Rev. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero was best known as at most venerated prelate, uniquely eloquent in Dhamma discourses most appealing to the learned as well as not so learned audiences all over the island. Despite the resounding admiration and appreciation received, he never ever exploited them either to gain cheap popularity or fame and never ever for any personal benefits. It is possible that Rev. Sobhita Thero might have believed that more..

Politics of locating Tamil women in post-war context

Feb 10 (CT) Gender Sensitivity has been an important topic in Sri Lankan academic circles as well as many other scholarly spaces for decades. As a result of immense efforts by feminists as well as civil society activists, we as a society have achieved women’s rights to a considerable level. However, politics of locating woman in the post-war Sri Lanka is not a space of innocence. In the dialogue forums where women have been locating in war and post-war spaces, the attention is more..

'Tamil people are deprived of their lands'

Feb 10 (SL) The land issue in the Northern Province is the most pressing issue that needs to be addressed and the govt’s approach in dealing with this issue has been deemed slow. The leader of the opposition of the NPC and senior member of the EPDP, S. Thavarajah said that since the conclusion of the war in May 2009, there is no security threat in the country. He said that the security forces are still in occupation of lands more..

What independence for whom?

Feb 10 (SL) I expect that today, Feb 4th, when I write this, is as good a time as any to hark back to the year, 1948, when this first became a day of significance in the Sri Lankan calendar. As a tyke as I subsequently identified as being in the development phase of a contrarian, strongly influenced by my two almost-adult Trotskyist siblings much older than myself, I tend to take the popular leftist slogans of the time as being close to some kind of political gospel proclamation. more..

Witch-hunt or poetic justice?

Feb 10 (SL) A small boy one day brought a pencil home from school. His mother never asked him: Son, from where did you get this? On the second day he brought an eraser home. His mum kept her calm and stayed quiet. The boy continued his habit increasing its severity and ultimately it became a problem to the whole school unil he became a dropout. His mother never said anything against her son’s wicked habits. One day he was caught by the king’s men for breaking into palace to steal. more..