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Fundamentalism creeps into Muslim international schools

Feb 15 (CT) Ilma International, a leading Muslim private girls school in Colombo Sri Lanka, has been preaching a fundamentalist Islamic ideology to its children. The school, housed at the heart of Colombo has for decades provided Islamic education to Muslim girls. However, deviating from traditional Sri Lankan and South East Asian Muslims, the school together with many other such Muslim schools spread around the country have deviated to Salafist-Wahabist teachings more..

Over 2000 delegates at Lions Clubs International forum in Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (DN) Over 2,000 delegates will participate in the 44th Lions Clubs International, (ISAAME Forum) from Nov 30 to Dec 3, at the BMICH. Organiser of the event, CDC Events Managing Director Imran Hassan, said this event will attract delegates from across India, South Asia, Africa and Middle East countries and will be major boost for the tourism and conference market (MICE). “We will also provide the participants an opportunity of visiting the multitude of tourist attractions available in Sri Lanka more..

CID quizzes GMOA over printing mistake

Feb 15 (DM) Weeks after the Indian media claimed that of an alleged kidney racket where Sri Lankan doctors were involved in, the doctors of the GMOA are now under a cloud because of an investigation launched by the CID over a printing mistake in a booklet launched by the GMOA in 2012. GMOA had launched the booklet titled Establishment of Specialist registry and introduction of an evolution procedure for foreign medical more..

Embilipitiya policeman assaulted

Feb 15 (CT) Although 18 days have passed since the Embilipitiya Magistrate had ordered the Police to arrest 21 officers connected to the alleged murder of a youth in Embilipitiya only one person has been arrested so far. The reason given by the Police is that they are still questioning officers attached to the Embilipitiya Police who are facing allegations of killing a youth during a clash at a party in the area last month. A senior Police official said that some of the statements given by more..

Lankans abroad request for video conferencing to submit proposals

Feb 15 (DN) A number of requests have been received asking to facilitate the video conference technology for Sri Lankans living overseas to submit their proposals on the making of the new Constitution, Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms chairman Lal Wijenaike said. "This request has been informed to PM's Office," he said. Wijenaike said if necessary facilities are provided, the Committee was willing to listen to the views of Sri Lankans living abroad. more..

Call for new political party: Ex UPFA LG members

Feb 15 (DM) A bulk of former UPFA local govt members, at a special summit, called for the formation of a new political party as an alternative to SLFP. SLFP is the largest and key ally of UPFA. UPFA is virtually divided at the moment with one faction switching its allegiance to former President Rajapaksa and the other to President Sirisena. Nearly 2500 members who served in dissolved local authorities or more..

Eco-education and eco-spirituality

Feb 15 (DM) Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, essentially an imported Western concept dedicated to romantic or personal love. This year and in the years to come, we are called upon to go beyond what is largely a transient romantic fiction and commit ourselves to revive our selfless sacrificial love for the environment, because Mother Nature is facing the catastrophe of being destroyed by a selfish, greedy and wicked world system. Minister Champika Ranawaka—in a powerful more..

Rajapaksa’s HR dirty bomb, ticking, ticking…

Feb 15 (DM) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein concluded his four day visit with what was widely seen as a conciliatory note: He conceded that the involvement of foreign judges was a contentious issue here and added that whatever the recommendations of his office - which is mandated to do so by a UNHRC resolution agreed to by Sri Lanka -- ultimately it is Sri Lanka’s sovereign right to decide. Of course, he had some damning things to say about more..

Elephant in the room

Feb 15 (CT) The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein left with a positive attitude after completing his four-day visit. However, will the report on Sri Lanka he will be presenting to the UN Council on the progress or lack of it next June, and again in March 2017 be very impressive? He has passed the ball to the other side of the court victims must be satisfied end of the day, he said, in the alleged more..

AG directs to arrest Uduwe Thera

Feb 15 (DM) The Attorney General has directed to arrest Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera and produced before the Court for illegally keeping a baby elephant at the Alan Mathiniyaramaya Temple, Polhengoda, CID has informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Nishantha Peiris. CID had also informed that the AG had directed them to record a statement from the Uduwe Thera before the arrest of the Thera. more..

Scout jamborees in Jaffna for first time

Feb 15 (Island) Eight thousand scouts along with their masters from all the districts of Sri Lanka will participate at the Jamboree to be held in Jaffna from 20-26 February at Municipal Grounds and adjoining areas. This is the first time a National Jamboree is being held in Northern Province and also coincides with 100 years of scouting in Jaffna. The Theme of the Jamboree is Friendship and Understanding, according to more..

Mahindananda lands himself in big trouble

Feb 15 (SL) Following the arrest of Yoshitha Rajapaksa on charges of money laundering, it is learnt that several other bigwigs of the former Rajapaksa regime are now on the list waiting to join him in prison for their alleged involvement in money laundering. One of these is former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage who is accused of a string of frauds reportedly committed from the time he became Health Minister in Central PC in more..

'Minimum 25% seats for women'

Feb 15 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe Saturday said the media organizations should not misuse their license issued by the govt to insult women or for destructive criticism. The Premier recalled the state of women's representation at Parliament when the former President Rajapaksa was in power. "There were six seats allocated to women while 7 seats were by the Rajapaksa family," he said. more..

Controversy over 65,000 houses; Cabinet appoints sub committee

Feb 15 (ST) A Cabinet subcommittee was appointed this week to study a proposal to award a contract to a French company named ArcelorMittal to build 65,000 houses for war-affected civilians. The subcommittee was set up after Minister Sajith Premadasa objected that the estimated cost of each house — at Rs 2.18 million — was too high, authoritative sources said. The Minister had maintained that he could build more..

India eyeing bridge or undersea tunnel to link Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (LM) India, after signing a road transport agreement with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, is said to be considering an ambitious bridge or undersea tunnel linking the Indian mainland with Sri Lanka. India was mulling the project after Asian Development Bank (ADB) suggested that India look at a project linking Sri Lanka, minister Nitin Gadkari said, a platform where special invitees interact with Mint staff. more..

National Consultations to inform design of reconciliation mechanisms launched

Feb 15 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Saturday launched the national consultations that will inform the design of reconciliation mechanisms, at the District Secretariat in Jaffna. The Consultations will be designed and implemented by a Task Force consisting of leading public personalities appointed by the Govt –Manouri Muttetuwegama (Chairperson), Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu (Secretary), more..

Ravi rubbishes media report on govt's financial policies

Feb 15 (DN) An hour or two before leaving for Germany on an official visit yesterday, Minister Ravi Karunanayake hurried into holding a press conference over what he described as rather anti-national statements to have been made against the govt by a weekend English newspaper. Karunanayake said lashing out at the newspaper that it has published disingenuous and seriously damaging statements about govt more..

President Sirisena leaves for Germany

Feb 15 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena left for Germany this morning on an official visit. During his visit to Germany the President is expected to secure economic and development benefits for Sri Lanka, the President’s office said. A special ceremony will be held under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to welcome the President on February 17. President Sirisena is scheduled to visit the German Parliament and more..

A task force for reconciliation mechanism

Feb 15 (CT) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera launched a task force for reconciliation in Jaffna last Friday. The new task force comprises ten eminent personalities from various fields led by Ms. Manouri Muttetuwegama. Ten-member task force comprises prominent political analysts, members of the legal fraternity and an expert on the social issues in the Peninsula, Prof. Daya Somasundaram, who had contributed immensely risking even his life writing on more..

Sri Lankan stocks end lower on rising rates, economic worries

Feb 15 (Reuters) Shares edged down for the sixth straight session on Monday to close at a more-than-three-week low, as rising domestic interest rates forced investors to stay off risky assets while concerns over global worries also weighed. Main stock index ended down 0.27% at 6,266.17, its lowest close since Jan 20. It fell 1.9% last week. Foreign investors were net sellers of 169.6 million rupees worth of shares, extending year-to-date net foreign outflow to 345.7 million rupees more..

පැතිකඩ දේශපාලන වැඩසටහන

A way out for SriLankan Airlines

Feb 15 (CT) If the govt is serious about rescinding the uneconomical and extravagant re fleeting program of SriLankan airlines, the solution is staring it in the face. The response in parliament by the PM to a question by JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi on SriLankan Airlines is a sobering reminder that this govt is yet to decide its aviation policy and what it plans to do with debt ridden national carrier. It is also a disturbing forewarning that the govt is yet to evolve its strategy for global connectivity more..

'Present-day leaders intolerant of dissent'

Feb 15 (Island) Minister Navin Dissanayake says the present day political leaders do not entertain dissent in the Cabinet and did not like the ministers who tell the truth. Addressing the launching of the Kaprukata Arunalu project at Rasnayakepura in Kurunegala, Minister Dissanayake his late said father former Minister Gamini Dissanayake had expressed dissent when late President J.R. Jayewardene sought Cabinet approval to deprive SLFP leader Sirimavo Bandaranaike of her civic rights. more..

Police fairy tales exposed in court: FLSP

Feb 15 (AM) Kegalle police’s fairy tale on Kumar Gunaratnam’s arrest came undone today at the Kegalle Magistrate’s Court, Front Line Socialist Party Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda said. Kegalle police gave evidence today over the arrest of Gunaratnam on Nov 4, 2015. The Police claimed that they had not known Gunaratnam’s house and had reached there only on a tip off. more..

Volunteer teachers stage protest

Feb 15 (CT) Volunteer teachers of Northern Province staged a protest recently in front of the office of Northern Chief Minister urging for permanent appointments. Voluntary teachers who have been serving for 10 years in Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Thunukkai, Vavuniya and Madu education zones participated in the protest. Protesters said although a cabinet paper was passed to recruit 700 cadres to permanent category, it has not been implemented, as yet. more..

Small companies appeal to President on Rs60,000 levy

Feb 15 (LBO) A collective of small and medium scale private companies have appealed to the President to reduce certain levies imposed on them through the 2016 budget. In a letter to President, head of this SME grouping, Gunapala Banda Konara has asked to repeal the proposal of charging a voluntary winding up fee of 60,000 rupees from companies. Grouping says it seems to be unfair considering the main reason of companies being wound up voluntarily is only when more..

Sri Lanka mulls shifting coastal urban rail track inland

Feb 15 (EN) A plan to make Sri Lanka's capital Colombo into a megapolis of 9 million people by 2040 has suggested shifting an existing coastal railway track to create valuable unobstructed beachfront has been proposed. The structure plan proposed a feasibility study to divert the railway track from Panadura, South of Colombo to Colombo Fort railway station and reserving land for a possible shift of the track. more..

Homagama protest: four more surrendered

Feb 15 (AD) Four more monks including Ven. Ittakande Saddatissa Thera of the Rawana Balaya National Organization and President of the Sinhala Ravaya group Ven. Akmeemana Dayarathana Thero have surrendered to the Homagama police. Monks have surrendered to the police for allegedly involving in the violent protest near the Homagama Magistrate’s Court on Jan 26. A tense situation was arisen in front of the Magistrate’s Court as a group of about 200 monks and civilians had gathered more..

Media freedom under siege: NFF

Feb 15 (DM) NFF said media freedom was under siege brought about by the several threats being made by the current govt. MP Jayantha Samaweera told a media conference that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had made strong statements against the media. “When this govt assumed office it claimed that it will assure media freedom, but what’s happening now is quite different. It has accused journalists and reporters in public and described them in demeaning terms. more..

'Threatening Speaker, symptom of the times'

Feb 15 (Island) Speaker of Parliament receiving death threats for not recognizing the Joint Opposition as an independent group in Parliament bore testimony to the situation in the country, Minister Sajith Premadasa says. Addressing a ceremony to distribute Visiri housing loan certificates among 530 homeless families in the district, minister said the previous regime had ended LTTE terrorism and should be given the credit for that. more..

73-year-old woman abandoned near OPD

Feb 15 (DM) A woman in her late seventies was found abandoned outside the Colombo South Teaching Hospital OPD, Hospital Director Dr. Asela Gunawardhane said. He said the elderly woman’s physical condition was good but was suffering from short term memory loss. The doctor said she was not in need of hospital treatment because she was not suffering from any serious illness. “We have informed the Maharagama police about her situation based on the information given by her. more..

Mahinda lied about party chairmanship: SB

Feb 15 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave up the SLFP chairmanship over personal issues, or not because he loved this country nor the party, Minister S.B. Dissanayake says. The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (15). The Minister claimed the former President had to give up party chairmanship amid corruption and fraud investigations initiated aiming his (Mahinda Rajapaksa’s) family members. more..

Sri Lanka mulls closing Ratmalana airport

Feb 15 (EN) A plan to make Colombo into Megapolis of 9 million people has proposed developing a domestic airport in the city to serve budget carriers or converting the land into real estate development. Airport in Ratmalana suburb is used by the military, training schools and smaller private aircraft. "Govt has been contemplating to redevelop the airport into residential and commercial development as more..

Two women taken in for using another’s ATM card

Feb 15 (Island) Two women of Rakshawa Estate in Panwila police division were arrested by Panwila police following a complaint of theft of money using an ATM card belonging to another person. The who person who lost the card reported the loss to the bank concerned. The bank manager grew suspicious when the two women came to him complaining that they could not withdraw money from the account with the ATM card in their possession. more..

Missing Persons Commission expects short extension

Feb 15 (CG) Presidential Commission on Missing Persons says it expects a short extension of the duration of its term in office from today to complete some of its unfinished work. The duration of the commission’s term in office ends today but the chairman of the commission Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama said that he has yet to receive notice from the President’s office if the term has been extended. Maxwell Paranagama however said that he expects a short extension of the duration. more..

Parliamentary Oversight Committees: Powers to summon CMs, provincial ministers

Feb 15 (DM) Parliamentary Oversight Committees, which are to be established shortly, will have the power to summon chief ministers and the provincial ministers whenever necessary, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. At a workshop to educate MPs on the proposed Oversight Committees, the PM said giving wide powers to the oversight committees including the power to summon chief ministers & provincial ministers more..

Germany initiates resolution backing GSP plus for Lanka

Feb 15 (CG) German Govt has initiated a resolution at the EU Parliament supporting Sri Lanka to regain the GSP plus trade concession. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany Karunatilaka Amunugama said that Germany is satisfied with the latest developments in Sri Lanka. He says German Govt feels Sri Lanka must be rewarded for the progress made on several issues by giving the country the EU GSP plus trade concession. He was speaking to a group of journalists from Sri Lanka more..

Standard Chartered lead sponsors Sri Lanka Investment Summit in Singapore

Feb 15 (LBO) Standard Chartered will lead sponsor the Sri Lanka Investment Summit to be held In Singapore on 15 March 2016. This inaugural event, presented by FinanceAsia, will showcase and highlight the country to potential international investors. Event will build on the successes of previous investment forums organised by FinanceAsia for other countries. The summit will furnish an opportunity to meet with leading govt officials and top private sector CEOs for more..

SLC likely to scrap zonal first-class tournament

Feb 15 (CI) The zonal first-class tournament scheduled for March and April by the previous SL Cricket board is unlikely to go ahead this season, newly-elected SLC secretary Mohan de Silva has said. New board affirmed its commitment to a provincial model, but were unhappy with the composition and structure of the proposed zonal tournament. This means the ongoing Super Eights four-day tournament is likely to be the only more..

President visits Nippon Maru Ship

Feb 15 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena visited the Japanese cruise ship Nippon Maru, which arrived at the Colombo Port. President also engaged in cordial discussion with the youth on board representing various nationalities and asked about their experiences on this journey. The ship, Nippon Maru carrying over 200 youth annually voyage around the world to build reconciliation, peace and friendship among the nations. The ship arrived at the Colombo Port, yesterday. more..