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Paypal to discuss Sri Lanka inward payments

Feb 1 (LBO) The regional head of PayPal is to have discussions with Sri Lanka’s officials over freeing Paypal inward payments for citizens in the country, Minister Harin Fernando said. “Regional head of PayPal will visit Sri Lanka this Wednesday. He is scheduled to have talks with Central Bank Governor and Finance Minister about this matter,” he said. Paypal is a worldwide payments system that evolved out of the US, more..

Religious observances and fanfare to herald Independence Day celebrations

Feb 1 (ST) The public are cordially invited to mark the 68th Independence Day celebrations to be held under the theme Ekama Deyak- Maha Balayak at the Galle Face Green on Thursday. A military parade in the morning and a cultural event later in the day are the two main events, while a string of celebrations are also due to take place at provincial level. Nearly 9,000 security personnel will participate in military parade more..

Jayalalithaa seeks Modi's intervention to release 15 fishermen, 69 boats

Feb 1 (ENS) Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has sought the personal intervention of PM Narendra Modi in securing the release of 15 fishermen from Tamil Nadu who have been arrested by Lankan Navy and the 69 boats of fishermen which had been in Lanka for a long time. The Chief Minister, in her letter to the PM, said based on her repeated requests and the Govt of India’s efforts all the Indian fishermen who were apprehended by more..

Rajitha sacks NMDRA Chairman and Deputy

Feb 1 (DM) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has directed the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the National Medicinal Drugs Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) to resign from their posts with effect from today, ministry sources said. NMDRA Chairman Prof. Lal Jayakody and Deputy Chairman Prof. Krishantha Weerasooriya were appointed by the minister himself in the run-up to the parliamentary elections last year. more..

The country that supplies eyes

Feb 1 (BBC) To restore sight to damaged eyes, doctors often need to transplant the cornea - the transparent covering of the iris and the pupil - from a donor's dead body. There is a worldwide shortage, but one country, Sri Lanka, is doing its best to satisfy demand, without seeking any reward - at least in this life. Bandages cover Paramon Malingam's right eye. A tear appears in the left one. It is the relief of a very lucky man. more..

Abhayaramaya Cabal mulls pre-independence day protest near Galle Face

Feb 1 (AM) A group supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has planned to stage a protest in front of Presidential Secretariat on Feb 3. Initial discussions in this regard have been held at the Abhayaramaya temple in Narahenpita with the participation of some prominent Buddhist monks, including Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera, the head of the temple. The protest will demand the govt to refrain from arresting war heroes and more..

Bhikku Kathikawath Bill will help safeguard Buddha Sasana: Amarapura Chief Prelate

Feb 1 (DN) Supreme Patriarch of Amarapura Maha nikaya Aggamahapandita Ven. Dauldena Ñanissara Mahanayake Thera noted that the Theravada Bhikku Kathikawath Bill paves the way for the safeguarding and protection of the Buddha Sasana. Issuing a statement in respect of the proposed act for the registration of the Theravada Bhikkhu Kathikawath, the Mahanayake Thera highlighted that more..

Sri Lanka to start Google Project Loon balloon trials this month

Feb 1 (EN) Sri Lanka has signed a one-year deal with Google to start flight trials of Project Loon, a research and development project of the Internet giant aimed at providing broadband access to remote areas using high-altitude balloons. “Increasing Internet access will give a fillip to economic growth,” Minister Harin Fernando said. Equipment for the project has already arrived and Google expects to start more..

Prisons Chief asks for additional security for Yoshitha and others

Feb 1 (Island) Commissioner General of Prisons Nishan Dhanasinghe yesterday said a request had been made to the IGP to beef up police security in the area where former President Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha, Nishantha Ranatunga, Rohan Weliwita and Kavishan Dissanayake were being held in custody. They have been remanded on allegations of financial irregularities at Carlton Sports Network under Money Laundering Act. Commissioner said he had made such a request more..

Pakistan Sri Lanka continue to enjoy excellent relations: Pak Envoy

Feb 1 (HCP) The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Major Gen(R) Syed Shakeel Hussain said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka continue to enjoy excellent relations as there is a strong will on both sides to further develop and promote these relations. Pakistani envoy said this while briefing a delegation of International Relations Department of Preston University, Islamabad Campus, which visited Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka on 1st February 2016, for an interactive session with more..

Hiru TV: Balaya

Singing the national anthem in Tamil

Feb 1 (CT) During the last Cabinet news briefing it was said that President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe will consider submissions at Wednesday's Cabinet meeting and come to a joint decision as to whether the National Anthem will be sung in both Sinhala and Tamil at the coming Independence Day celebrations. Already, the Cabinet Sub-Committee on National Reconciliation has proposed that the National Anthem be sung in both languages on 4 February although more..

Homagama protest: two monks remanded

Feb 1 (AD) Two Buddhist monks, who were arrested for allegedly involved in the violent protest near the Homagama Magistrate’s Court, have been remanded until Feb 9. The suspects were produced before the Homagama Magistrate this afternoon. Six more individuals will also be surrendered to the police tomorrow, it was reported. A tense situation was arisen in front of the Magistrate’s Court as a group of about 200 monks and civilians had gathered there in protest over the diction to more..

Video: Joint Opposition to boycott Independence Day celebrations

Feb 1 (DM) Members of the joint opposition will boycott State functions including the Independence Day celebrations on Feb 4 to protest what they described as the suppression by the Govt, MP Dinesh Gunawardena said. He accused the govt of carrying out a political witch hunt against its opponents and acting against the norms of good governance and democracy. “Therefore, we will boycott State functions more..

Drunken mother’s bid to throw her baby out of train thwarted

Feb 1 (Island) A group of commuters in a Panadura bound train from Colombo acted swiftly and saved the life of an infant when her drunken mother attempted to throw her out of the train. The commuters later handed over the Gypsy woman and the infant to the Moratuwa police. According to the police, the woman in a state of inebriation. The woman had boarded the train at Angulana. A number of Gypsy families visited the woman at the police station. more..

We the People & They the Maha Sangha

Feb 1 (CT) Recent events demonstrate that the saffron robe has now become the instrument of choice of an emerging ochlocracy – the refined term for mobocracy. In this land like no other, the ill-natured and the capricious outnumber the good natured and the cautious in politics of the street. Politics of the street in the age of digital communication gives them a head start that others cannot match. A militant monk who delivered a homily on Theravada Jurisprudence as more..

Govt working on reconciliation: PM

Feb 1 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe inaugurating the Commonwealth Asia Regional Seminar for parliamentarians in Colombo clarified about how foreign judges could participate in the accountability mechanism. "Composition of Supreme Court is decided by the constitution. So who can be members of the final body is decided by the constitution and they have to be citizens of SL. more..

Yoshitha’s arrest not motivated by political revenge: Harin

Feb 1 (AD) There was no intention of taking political revenge through the arrest of former President’s son Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Harin Fernando says. “Yoshitha Rajapaksa will be freed if he is not guilty. There is no point of warring about his arrest if he hasn’t done anything wrong,” he added. “First, they accused the Govt of not taking action against the offenders. As we act, they call it a political revenge,” he said. more..

Ministers should use social media for engagement: CPA media survey

Feb 1 (LBO) A new media survey by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) reveals that govt Ministers should utilize social media tools to keep in touch with the general public. “42.2% of respondents believe that it is necessary for Government Ministers to use social media to interact with the public, while 26.2% believe that it is somewhat necessary,” a top-line report titled Consumption and Perceptions of Mainstream and Social Media in the Western Province said. more..

Singing National Anthem in Sinhala, Tamil no issue: Minister

Feb 1 (DM) Minister Vajira Abeywardana today said singing the National Anthem at the 68th Independence Day celebrations at Galle Face in Sinhala and Tamil was not an issue because the Constitution clearly states that Sinhala and Tamil are national languages and as such it could be sung in both languages at any State function. He said that the singing of the National Anthem in Tamil was not a new phenomenon because more..

Injunction order sought to prevent political meetings at Abhayaramaya Temple

Feb 1 (AM) Chief Incumbent of Purvaramaya Buddhist Temple in Kirulapone today filed a petition with Colombo District Court, requesting an injunction order against the holding of political meetings and trade union meetings at Narahenpita Abhayarama Viharaya. The Abhayaramaya has been the centre of activity of the Joint Opposition which backs former President Rajapaksa. Press conferences are held at Abhayaramaya by Joint Opposition stalwarts regularly. more..

Tissa Vitharana topples common opposition

Feb 1 (LT) A journey could be undertaken only with the SLFP and the SLFP should not be weakened by attempting to create another political party says the Leader of the LSSP Prof. Tissa Vitharana. The common opposition aka Mahinda faction has stated majority of the parties in UPFA would form a new party. However, Prof. Vitharana’s statement indicates that only a group that includes Weerawansa and Gammanpila is behind the attempt. more..

'Sri Lankans should not fear Indians'

Feb 1 (PTI) Sri Lankans, particularly the majority Sinhala community, should not get paranoid over unfounded fears of Indians swarming their country whenever a bilateral trade agreement is proposed, minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Addressing the India-Sri Lanka Society, Samaraweera was critical of the majority Sinhala community for raising unfounded fears over the Indian influence in Sri Lanka. more..

One law for Ven. Gnanasara, another for Macrae: Ravana Balaya

Feb 1 (CT) There is no law enforced against foreign documentarian, Callum Macrae who criticized the military in a recent lecture given in Jaffna, Ravana Balaya charged. Elsewhere, General Secretary of the Ravana Balaya, Ven. Iththekande Saddhathissa Thera said although there was no Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, its content was being signed by India and Sri Lanka, part by part, adding that soon even daily wage labourers could be out of employment. more..

Signature campaign launched to secure Ven. Gnanasara’s release

Feb 1 (Island) Collection of 2.5 million signatures to a petition urging the govt to release Venerable Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera remanded for contempt of court was launched in Kandy on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of people from all walks of life including members of Sangha signed the petition under the Bodhi Tree in front of the main entrance to the Mahamaluwa in front of Queen’s Hotel, Kandy. Seventy-year-old W.D. Gunawathie, mother of Gnanasara Thera, too signed it. more..

Video: Joint opposition visits Yoshitha and four others at Welikada

Feb 1 (DM) At least 15 members of the joint opposition including Dinesh Gunawardena, Wimal Weerawansa, Gamini Lokuge, Bandula Gunawardana, Dallas Allahapperuma and Johnston Fernando visited Yoshitha Rajapaksa and the four others remanded at the Welikada prison. They were remanded on Saturday on charges of a financial fraud at Carlton Sports Network (CSN). MPs Pavitra Wanniarachchi, Rohitha Abeygunawardana, more..

National list vacancy: Party Leader, Committee to decide on nominee

Feb 1 (DM) UNP General Secretery Kabir Hashim said today person who to be named to fill the vacancy created by the death of former Minister M.K.D.S. Gunawardene would be decided by the party leader and the committee appointed for this purpose. Clarifying the recent article by Daily Mirror titled, "UNP to nominate SF to Parliament: Kabir," he said no final decision had been made on the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to Parliament through the UNP national list. more..

Kiriella defends Theravada Bhikku Registration Bill

Feb 1 (Island) It was not to control the Maha Sangha that the Theravada Bhikku Registration Bill had been introduced but to empower the respective heads of Nikayas and the Sangha Councils to take appropriate moves for the benefit of the Sangha, said Minister Lakshman Kiriella at a meeting held to felicitate Dhamma School teachers who contributed long term service to Dhamma education in Kandy. The meeting took place at the Kandy YMBA Auditorium chaired by more..

Organization for missing relatives urges Independence Day mourning

Feb 1 (CT) Representatives of the organization for finding missing relatives from all eight districts of the Northern and Eastern provinces had urged the people to observe the upcoming Independence Day as a mourning day as the existence of their relatives is yet to be established and investigated. On the upcoming 68th Independence Day of SL on 4 Feb, in all the eight districts of Northern and Eastern Provinces, more..

Traders protest to save Public Fair

Feb 1 (DN) Over 1,000 traders at the Anuradhapura Public Fair yesterday launched a massive protest claiming that some authorities at the Municipal Council were trying to sell the land where the fair is located, in the guise of developing it. The traders claimed that around 400 of their colleagues at Anuradhapura Pola, (the country's largest) have been displaced due to a portion of the land given to third parties. A trader speaking on behalf of his colleagues said that more..

India rest in-form Kohli for T20 series v SL

Feb 1 (Reuters) India are resting batting mainstay Virat Kohli for the three 20-over matches against Sri Lanka this month with an eye on the Twenty20 World Cup on home soil. Kohli, the world's top-ranked Twenty20 batsman, enjoyed a prolific run of form to help India complete a 3-0 series whitewash in Australia. With M.S. Dhoni's men kicking off their bid for a second Twenty20 World Cup in six weeks, the team have decided to rest Kohli who was top-scorer in the series in Australia. more..

Video: Family members visit Yoshitha

Feb 1 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa’s second son Yoshitha, currently in remand custody at Welikada Prison was this morning visited by his mother Shiranthi, brother Rohitha and several politicians this morning. MP Namal Rajapaksa has said that they had trust in the local judiciary strategy. He was expressing views to the media after arriving at Colombo Remand Prisons to visit the group including Yoshitha Rajapaksa. more..

BASL to file action against Ven. Gnanasara

Feb 1 (CT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has decided to file action in the Court of Appeal against BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanassara Thera who is currently in remand custody facing charges of contempt of Court. The General Secretary of the Association, senior lawyer Ajith Perera said yesterday (31), since the Thera has on several occasions conducted himself in a manner that is tantamount to contempt of Court, this case is to be filed. more..

Joint opposition sees hidden agenda behind Zeid’s visit

Feb 1 (CG) The joint opposition claims the hidden agenda behind the upcoming visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, is to setup a war crimes court in Sri Lanka. Joint opposition member Wimal Weerawansa says the war crimes court will be used to take action against the soldiers and former President who saved the country from terrorism. Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will visit the North during his visit to Sri Lanka which begins on Saturday Feb 6. more..

Court removes warrant and Red Notice on Emil Kanthan

Feb 1 (CG) Colombo Special High Court today removed the warrant and Red Notice on former top LTTE member Emil Kanthan. The warrant and Red Notice was removed after a lawyer appearing for Emil Kanthan assured that his client will produce himself before the police soon. Emil Kanthan was accused by the current Govt of having links with former Govt led by Mahinda Rajapaksa. Govt had accused former President Mahinda more..

A suggested overall framework for reconciliation discourse

Feb 2 (CT) The author is sharing this writing, with a suggested over all framework for reconcilation discourse in Sri Lanka. It is meant to provoke thought and discussion. Responsiblity for this view is the author’s alone. The village where I was born, for all purposes, looked very quiet and peaceful. However, an internal structure of discrimination was inbuilt into the social ethos of this village. The structure of internal violence was built on the basis of caste discrimination. more..

Indo-Lanka kidney fiasco

Feb 2 (CT) Kidney is one of the main precious organs in the human body making urine, remove excess water, controls body chemicals/ toxins, controls blood pressure, keep bones healthy, help make red blood, controls mineral potassium, blood acidity and many other factors for a healthy life. For long and healthy life Kidney Is as important as the Heart that pumps blood for the body to function. Many external and internal factors responsible for the damages caused to the Kidney leading to more..

'We are looking at a pay hike and a new look police'

Feb 2 (SO) The govt is contemplating sweeping reforms to modernise the police service, including a 40% pay hike, aimed at salvaging the police image and winning back public trust, new Minister of Law and order and Southern Development, Sagala Ratnayaka, said. In an interview with the Sunday Observer, Minister Ratnayaka said a proposal to set up an independent mechanism to inquire into police matters is also on the cards. more..

Wide ranging reforms in higher education vital for economic surge

Feb 2 (ST) Reforming higher education is a challenging task. However difficult reforming higher education is, the country cannot achieve a significant thrust in economic and social development to be a modern developed nation without a wide range of qualitative improvements in higher education. Dr. Harsha Aturupane provided a blue print of the necessary wide ranging reforms in higher education in his Gamani Corea Memorial Lecture titled Enriching and Accelerating more..

Bigotry’s abbot goes beyond the pale of legal redemption

Feb 2 (ST) He may not have realised it yet, perhaps it may take some time for the light to shine through his burly, black, boorish brawn, but BBS Chief Gnanasara Thera is, no doubt, the darling of the foreign missionaries who use his mug to portray the ugly face of Buddhism. Neither may he have fathomed it yet, but he is also the pin up boy of the Tamil Diaspora who use his racist acts as the choreographed steps and his hate filled words as heady music to dance their Eelam Rhapsody more..