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Cabinet minister eying for tender

Feb 10 (CT) Ceylon Today on 12 January reported that the govt has initiated the first phase of a plan to build 65,000 houses for the people affected by the war in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, according to State Minister for Resettlement M.L.A.M. Hizbullah. Accordingly, the State Minister said even though the need is for a greater number than the above mentioned, in the first phase 65,000 houses will be built. more..

Zeid irked over foot-dragging

Feb 10 (CT) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein expressed concerns in talks with Opposition and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan in Colombo over delays in the resettlement of IDPs in the North. Hussein was briefed by TNA leader on the humanitarian issues to be resolved in the North and East. Sampanthan accompanied by TNA MPs Mavai Senathiraja, M.A. Sumanthiran, D. Siddarthan more..

JVP Leader demands action over alleged kidney racket

Feb 10 (Island) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake speaking in Parliament demanded to know from the govt what action it would be taking with regard to the kidney racket involving local doctors. He also demanded that the report compiled by a committee that investigated the issue be tabled in the House. He said that a serious kidney scam involving Sri Lankan doctors and Indian racketeers had been highlighted in the media and more..

Private sector needs to be more mindful of disaster risk

Feb 10 (EN) Sri Lanka’s private sector needs to be aware of risks posed by disasters as it affects investment decisions, a senior officer of the govt Disaster Management Centre said. The emphasis has changed from a previous focus on disaster management to disaster risk reduction now, said Anoja Seneviratne, DMC’s Director of Mitigation, Research and Development. Increasingly, govt and private sector organisations were looking for ways to identify risks before disasters occur, more..

Near & explosive danger: The Sinha-Lç campaign & Those crusading righteous

Feb 10 (CT) I recently received (unsolicited) a series of images presenting striking scenes of the Sinha-Lç protests against the denigration of Sri Lanka and the threats (imagined and real) looming over the island from the pressures of the (so-called) international community. These demonstrations intertwine with the emergence of a front dedicated to the defence of the motherland, namely the mawbima suräkîmu organization, which has its very own web site where an evocative line from more..

Kidneys going cheap in poor estate community

Feb 10 (IPS) One and half years ago, Johnson, a 20- something youth, hailing from Sri Lanka’s tea plantations, received an unusual request. The caller, someone Johnson knew casually, made an offer for his kidney. “It was for a half a million rupees (around US $3,500),” he said. Johnson thought for a while and agreed. Mired in poverty and without a permanent job, half million was something he could only dream about till then. more..

Tea industry: The way forward

Feb 10 (CT) There seems to be only two solutions for the beleaguered national tea industry at present, those being value addition, promotions by participating in international trade fairs and scaling down costs of production with mechanized plucking at least in the low grown areas where there are acute labour shortages. It is an open secret that Sri Lanka's tea industry is riddled with imbroglio after imbroglio. The buying power remains, though diminished, in the five key markets such as more..

Matara hit men strike in Minuwangoda

Feb 10 (Island) A 32-year-old man was shot dead by two assailants who had arrived from Matara. The victim was identified as Pincha Hewage Ruwan Suminda. Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the killing had taken place around 9.45 p.m. The assailants had been identified though they had fled the area after gunning down the victim, police said. Investigations have revealed that the victim had been drinking with two of his friends when he was gunned down. more..

SriLankan Airlines reviewing Airbus A350 deal; criminal probe on

Feb 10 (EN) Sri Lanka is reviewing a deal to acquire eight airbus A350 aircraft which was to be deployed on loss-making long haul routes to Europe and criminal probe was ongoing, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "We are discussing with Airbus whether the A350s could be changed to aircraft suited for regional routes," he told parliament. Cancelling order would force to pay a penalty of US$ 1.2 million per aircraft. more..

South African frigate on maiden mission to Colombo

Feb 10 (CT) The South African Ship (SAS) SPIOENKOP, one of four Valour Class frigates of the South African Navy, will pay a Goodwill Visit to Sri Lanka on 12 Feb. This is an historic first visit by a South African naval vessel to Sri Lanka since the advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994. The SAS SPIOENKOP participated in the International Fleet Review, hosted by Indian Navy in Vishakhapatnam from 3 to 9 Feb followed by the Multinational Naval Exercise IBSAMAR, more..

Stocks end weaker; turnover hits 23-mth low

Feb 10 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged down for the third straight session on Wednesday, with turnover slumping to a 23-month low, as investors stayed off risky assets on concerns over rising domestic interest rates. Shares moved in line with regional peers which fell on worries over the health of global banks, particularly in Europe, pushing investors into safer assets such as the Japanese yen. The main stock index ended 0.13% weaker at 6,364.40, its lowest close since Feb. 1. more..

Video: 3 persons shot dead in Wellampitiya

Feb 10 (AD) Three persons have been shot dead in the Wellampitiya area last night. The gunmen are alleged to have arrived in a three-wheeler and after the shooting fled the area. The shooting had occurred at around 11.55pm last night in the Gewal Vissa area in Wellampitiya. The deceased have been identified as a 19-year-old youth, a 24-year-old youth and a 49-year-old man. They were rushed to the Colombo National Hospital with critical injuries more..

Teenage boy found dead with hands bound

Feb 10 (AD) The body of a 15-year-old boy, who is suspected to have been abused and murdered, has been found inside a hut at Marapana, Galinna in Ratnapura police division. Police said that the discovery was made this morning and that the boy’s hands were bound with a cloth strip while he had died under suspicious circumstances. The deceased has been identified as Anjana Kumara, a resident of Marapana in Galinna. Ratnapura Magistrate is to conduct the magistrate’s inquiry more..

Emirates SkyCargo wins award in India

Feb 10 (Island) Emirates SkyCargo has been named International Air Cargo Carrier of the Year at the Economic Times Logistics' Awards in India. Organised by The Economic Times, India's largest financial daily and the world's second largest financial daily after The Wall Street Journal, the awards aim to recognise excellence in logistics that can set benchmarks for the respective industries in India. KPMG India, one of India's largest auditing and advisory company, more..

No severe BOP crisis in Sri Lanka: PM

Feb 10 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe denied that there was a severe balance of payments crisis in the country and said he will make a statement to parliament in early March on discussions with the IMF. "We have discussed with the IMF and are continuing discussion," PM told parliament. "We have also discussed with other experts. In the short term we will have to borrow. more..

An artist’s view of the conflict in Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (SI) It is difficult to separate Sri Lankan artist and archaeologist Jagath Weerasinghe’s body of work from the island's recent conflict. After all, they’ve almost run on parallel tracks. The Sri Lanka Civil War began right around the time Weerasinghe started to find his niche as an artist in the 1980s – and played out in the background for the next three decades. Weerasinghe was one of four artists whose works Theertha International Artists Collective, an artist-led non-profit from SL, more..

Ex-LTTEers refuse rehabilitation

Feb 10 (DM) 14 ex-LTTE cadres, arrested on charges of criminal activities and later granted bail refused to undergo a period of rehabilitation when the case was taken up by Colombo Additional Magistrate. TID officers told the Magistrate that rehabilitation was a means of concluding the cases against the suspects. However Senior Counsel K. Ratnavel appearing for the suspects told Magistrate that his clients were innocent and they did not wish to undergo rehabilitation. more..

Video: 'No need for any int’l investigation'

Feb 10 (DM) JHU said there was no need for an international investigation into alleged war crimes during the last stages of the armed conflict because the current govt had re-established democracy, good governance and the rule of law. JHU WPC member Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said any allegations of war crimes should be investigated through a domestic mechanism because all State institutions more..

Gnanasara thera remanded till Feb 16

Feb 10 (CG) The General Secretary of BBS the venerable Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera was further remanded today till February 16 by the Homagama Magistrate today in connection to allegedly threatening Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. Gnanasara Thera was granted bail by the Homagama Magistrate yesterday over contempt of court charges. However he was remanded till today for allegedly threatening Sandhya Eknaligoda. more..

Video: Pillayan further remanded

Feb 10 (DM) Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, who was arrested in connection with the murder of ex-MP Joseph Pararajasingham, has been further remanded until Feb 24. Suspect was further remanded after being produced before the Batticaloa Magistrate today. Pillayan was arrested on Oct 11 when he arrived at the CID to give a statement in connection with the assassination of late Tamil politician, who was shot dead more..

Jayantha Jayasuriya to be appointed AG

Feb 10 (AD) Constitutional Council (CC) today recommended the name of President’s Counsel Jayantha Jayasuriya to the post of Attorney General, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said. He is expected to be sworn in as the 29th Attorney General before the President. The current Senior Additional Solicitor-General, Jayasuriya has served in the AG’s Department for over 32 years. President appointed Suhada Gamalath, P.C, as Acting AG more..

'Sinha-Le campaign not work of MR'

Feb 10 (DM) Leader of the Opposition of the Matale Municipal Council, Daljin Aluvihare, said rumours that the sticker Sinha-Le pasted on trishaws and many other vehicles was an act instigated by former President Rajapaksa, would tarnish the image of the former president. He told the monthly meeting of the municipal council that a group of politicians who were out to arouse communal feelings, were responsible for such short-sighted acts but the fault was attributed to former President. more..

Jathika Sampatha first lottery sold to Prez

Feb 10 (PSL) The first ticket of the lottery Jathika Sampatha which is to be issued with the objective of further improving of the benefits given through Srama Vasana Fund affiliated to the Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations, was sold to President Maithripala Sirisena today. The lottery was sold to the President by Minister W.D.J. Senavirathne. It is expected to raise five million rupees contribution for Srama Vasana Fund from this special lottery issued more..

Video: UNHR Chief malicious, unfair: GL

Feb 10 (DM) Statement made by UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein at a media briefing, on the judicial process into alleged war crimes committed by SL tri-forces was malicious and unfair, Joint Opposition’s spokesman G.L. Peiris said. He said that “motive of UN High Commissioner was not to prevail justice and equity for the victims, whose human rights have been violated, but to fulfil certain political agendas,” more..

Film on assassination of Mahatma Gandhi being shot in Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (ENS) Solar Eclipse: Depths of Darkness, an action-packed thriller based on the dark conspiracy to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi is being shot in Sri Lanka. The film featuring Om Puri, Nasser and Ananth Naranayan Mahadevan among a host of international stars, is co-produced by the Indian-owned Nugen Media of Dubai and the veteran Lankan film maker Chandran Rutnam, whose Film Locations Services, has made Lanka a preferred location for shooting Hollywood movies. more..

Govt committed to post conflict reconciliation process

Feb 10 (CG) The Govt is committed to the post conflict reconciliation process, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Sweden Damayanthie Rajapakse said. She said this while participating at a ceremony held at the Sri Lankan Embassy premises in Sweden to mark the 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka, the Foreign Ministry said today. A large gathering of Diplomatic community and Senior Officials representing the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden attended the event. more..

Theravada Kathikavatha Bill requires 2/3rd majority & referendum: SC

Feb 10 (AD) The Supreme Court determines that the proposed Theravadi Bhikku Kathikawatha (Registration) Bill contravenes the constitution of Sri Lanka. Therefore the bill requires approval from two-thirds majority in Parliament and a public referendum in order to be enacted. However, the bill can be approved with a normal majority if the sections repugnant to the Constitution are omitted, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said more..

Speaker receives death threats on joint opposition issue

Feb 10 (CG) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya says he received death threats last night over his refusal to recognise the joint opposition as a separate group in Parliament. Speaker told Parliament today that he was not shaken by the threats and maintains his position on the issue. Jayasuriya had yesterday refused to recognise the joint opposition as a separate group in Parliament and this led to an uproar in the House. Joint opposition member Dinesh Gunawardena, more..

BOI briefs Ambassadors on investment

Feb 10 (LBO) The BOI organized a special programme for 57 Non-resident Heads of mission and Defence Advisors and Defence Attaches who were visiting Sri Lanka to attend the 68th Independence Day celebrations in Colombo. The group which consisted of many Ambassadors and High Commissioners was visiting different parts of the Island under a programme organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The group visited the BOI’s Koggala Export Processing Zone and more..

US govt proposes $31 million aid to SL

Feb 10 (PTI) The US govt has proposed a $31 million financial aid to Sri Lanka to encourage reconciliation efforts and support anti-corruption activities as the Island nation is undertaking major reforms after the historic political transition. "Following the historic political transition after Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2015, US assistance to Sri Lanka has entered a new era," said the budgetary proposals sent by more..

Constitution making in Sri Lanka: Some theoretical reflections

Feb 11 (CT) This article attempts to propound some theoretical reflections on constitution making. The present govt of Sri Lanka have been engaged in a historically important venture to reform constitution with the aim of addressing socio-economic and political problems of the country. It is also widely anticipated that the new constitution would address the long-standing grievances of the Tamil minorities those who severely affected by the protracted civil war. more..

NPC passes unanimous resolution against its agriculture minister

Feb 11 (CT) The Uthayan newsper reported yesterday (9) that a unanimous resolution has been passed in the Northern Provincial Council against its Agriculture Minister Ayngaranesan, at its monthly meeting. The reasons given are in summary : His actions relating to the, 1.Irranaimadu water supply scheme. 2.Parthenium weed eradication program. 3.Pallai wind power generation scheme. 4.Well water problems in Chunnakam. 5.The scheme to desalinate sea water in Maruthankerni. more..

Thushara still keen to bowl fast

Feb 11 (CT) Thirty-three-year old Thilan Thushara started his career from Balapitiya representing Leo Sports Club at a young age. His fast bowling prowess caught the eye of Fast Bowling Coach Rumesh Ratnayake who sent him to the MRF Fast Bowling Academy to be trained by the legendary Dennis Lillee. His career blossomed after he joined NCC and has represented the National U-19 School Team, Sri Lanka 'A' Team and more..

Money Laundering

Feb 11 (NS) What does Money Laundering mean to you? It sounds a white-collared crime alright, but what does it really denote? Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Central Bank of SL ( defines money laundering as ‘the process by which proceeds from a criminal activity are disguised to conceal their illicit origin. Money launderers send their illicit funds through legal channels in order to conceal their criminal origin & convert them into legitimate assets.’ more..

An open letter to HRH Prince Zeid Al-Hussein

Feb 11 (GV) Your Highness Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, In your capacity as UN Commissioner for Human Rights, I write to your Highness with much hope and confidence that the office of the UN Commission For Human Rights will provide and protect the human rights of Sri Lanka’s multi ethnic, multi religious and multi cultural population. Your Highness, as you are well aware, all three communities in this country, i.e. the Sinhalese, Tamils & Muslims suffered in numerous ways more..

'Unity Govt must go full five years'

Feb 11 (SO) As the nation prepared – with much fuming over road closures in central Colombo – to celebrate Independence Day on February 4, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who has re-emerged into national prominence with her pivotal role in last year’s dramatic regime change, was deeply reflective on key national problems. The former President presented the country and the current national leadership more..

Mixed views on new political alliance

Feb 11 (NS) It is a prerequisite that SLFP Members unwilling to contest the forthcoming LG and PC elections under the leadership of Chairman of the Party President Maithripala Sirisena form a new political party prior to forming and joining a new political alliance with the joint Opposition parties, MP Udaya Gammanpila said. He said he had in the media presently only heard MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa comment more..

Editorial: Thus spake Zeid

Feb 11 (Island) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein said nothing new on Tuesday. He only reiterated, more or less, what the architects of the UNHRC resolution had said prior to its passage in Geneva last year. Hussein need not have taken the trouble of coming all the way here, spending UN funds and his precious time which could have been used for finding ways and means of mitigating the devastating fallouts of crises in Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq etc. more..

Minister Harin Fernando

Shrillness of nonsensical cultural politics and the social history of a song

Feb 11 (GV) The latest news from Sri Lanka’s often bizarre domains of cultural politics is that Buddhism is under threat along with Sinhala culture. This however, is not due to the corrupt and violent politics that still remain the hallmark of the country’s mainstream politics or because of the unethical and anti-doctrinal work of marauding Buddhist monks who have become storm troopers causing bodily harm to people, disrupting court proceedings and vehicular traffic in the country putting Hitler’s more..