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SF likely to be appointed minister next week

Feb 15 (AM) UNP National List MP Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka is likely to be appointed a Minister net week. Fonseka was recently appointed to Parliament through UNP national list, to fill the position vacated by the demise of former Minister M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardena. Appointment followed a working agreement signed between the UNP and the Democratic Party led by Fonseka. Fonseka is likely to be appointed Minister of Megapolis for North Central, Uva and Central Provinces, more..

Lankan apprehensions about opening IT sector to Indians

Feb 15 (ENS) Sri Lankan professionals have a range of apprehensions about opening the Lankan Information Technology (IT) sector to Indian professionals under proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). Even doctors, who on the face of it, are not in the IT sector, fear the intrusion of Indians through the provision for the recruitment of IT professionals under ETCA. more..

Russia, Sri Lanka discuss issues of trade and economic cooperation

Feb 15 (ANI) Russia and Sri Lanka held the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation between on Feb 12 in Moscow. Russia and Sri Lanka discussed ways to increase bilateral cooperation at the intergovernmental commission meeting. Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Russian Federation -Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries, Chairman of the Russian part of the Commission more..

Mangala to brief US on progress towards sustainable peace

Feb 15 (CG) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is to visit the US next week where he will brief US officials on the progress made in the reconciliation process. Samaraweera will attend a discussion at the US Institute of Peace on Feb 25, co-sponsored by Heritage Foundation, on how the initiatives to advance reconciliation, post-conflict development and stronger democratic institutions are progressing. Samaraweera told the UNHRC in Sep 2015 that Govt fully recognizes that more..

Navy suspends four Yoshitha supporters over YOO7

Feb 15 (EN) SL navy suspended four sailors who publicly expressed solidarity with the jailed son of former strongman president Rajapaksa. Captain Alavi Akram said the rugby playing sailors were suspended after they displayed Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa's name in a sign of sympathy during a match against the navy just outside Colombo on Sunday. "Navy took disciplinary action against four sailors for expressing more..

Goat makes an ass of the law

Feb 16 (ST) The law, it is said, is a serious thing. It is not to be scoffed at, especially in these days of yahapalanaya when the law is applied equally to one and all and is allowed to take its course wherever that might lead, if it leads anywhere that is. It may, of course, meander like the Mahaweli or get stuck like garbage clogging an antiquated drainage system in residential Colombo. That is not surprising say skeptics who point their accusing fingers at the recent contretemps over more..

Wayamba: 2 Chief Ministers in one province?

Feb 16 (CT) There is open mischief when it comes to electoral seat placements in Wayamba. In particular, the Puttalam District. For years, Puttalam district has remained dwarfed on its electoral rights to Kurunegala district. No matter what…, at the end of any election, Kurunegala district ran away with the challenge cup – the Chief Ministers’ Post!! The two districts, Puttalam and Kurunegala, area wise; Puttalam has an area of 3072, of which Wilpattu National Park, more..

Eyewitness narrates how Liyanarachchi was tortured

Feb 16 (CT) Lawyer Wijedasa Liyanarachchi was abducted and killed in 1988 during the JVP's second insurrection. Now, 28 years later, the only eyewitness who was present during the entire ordeal, Saman Athukorala, narrates how Liyanarachchi was tortured and killed. Q: What is your name? A: I'm Saman Athukorala. Q: Where are you from? A: My home is in Torrington. Q: In Colombo 7? A: Yes. I went to Royal College more..

Govt & not UN is entrusted with task of national reconciliation

Feb 16 (CT) The visit of UN High Commisssioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein went more smoothly than expected for the govt. The weeks before the visit of the High Commissioner had seen President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe making apparently contradictory statements on the issue of international participation in the post-war reconciliation mechanisms, especially in relation to the judiciary and accountability. more..

Good govt requires leaders to put the public good above personal interests

Feb 16 (Island) The late Lee Kuan Yew told a group of civil servants in 1965 Don't change No to Yes. Don't be a fool. If there is a good reason why it is No it must remain No, but tell the public politely. In 2011, I listened To Lee Kuan Yew officially launch his book titled Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going at the St Regis Singapore. He spoke passionately of the need to promote meritocracy. Undoubtedly, his uncompromising stand for discipline, consistency, more..

'Paranagama probe mechanism a possible solution'

Feb 16 (SO) Sir Desmond de Silva, Queen’s Counsel of the UK, is an eminent British jurist who later had a career in international legal activism, serving on various international bodies dealing with critical judicial and legal issues pertaining to international crisis situations and country hot spots. He has been previously picked by UN to produce a report on international law violations and was Chief Prosecutor of more..

Yahapalanaya Vs Ohey Palayang govt

Feb 16 (SL) I have to acknowledge my gratitude to a friend who shall remain nameless for coining the second term appearing in the title of this piece. I believe he very accurately described the dismissive attitude that our current govt has adopted towards those who put it in power and its attitude towards those it claimed to represent in Sri Lanka. The increasing equivocation of this lot is, at least, something that our recently-deposed would-be Emperor could not be accused of. more..

Accountability and a Political Solution

Feb 16 (GV) In a recent article, Ram Manikkalingam – a member of the SL President’s Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) – argues that Sri Lanka must not prioritize accountability for mass atrocity crimes until a new constitution addressing Tamil autonomy is formulated, and that international human rights advocates must stop giving precedence to war crimes trials over other forms of reconciliation. Interestingly, Manikkalingam’s advice is targeted at ‘international human rights more..

Face the Nation

Expolanka posts Rs. 563 mn PBT for 3Q of 2015/16

Feb 16 (DN) Expolanka recorded a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs 563 million for the third quarter of the financial year posting an overall profit growth of 14% in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous financial year. Recorded profit attributable to equity holders for the third quarter was Rs. 344 million. The recorded PBT for the nine months that ended in Dec 2015 was Rs 1.6 billion with an overall profit growth of 69% in comparison to the corresponding period last year. more..

Editorial: Silencing songs and criticism

Feb 16 (Island) There has been brouhaha over an operatic rendition of a golden oldie on the Independence Day. The female vocalist concerned has received loads and loads of bouquets and brickbats. She may not have expected this kind of reaction. She, however, should not be dejected. In this country bus baila and kottu music have ruined people’s taste. Today, we carry, on the opposite page, a letter by a former civil servant praising her and that is enough proof that the country is more..

Sri Lanka's Silva lining

Feb 16 (FA) In the year since Sri Lanka's strongman president Mahinda Rajapaksa was ousted from power, a new coalition govt has tried to form a national economic and political consensus. One of its leading lights is Dr Harsha de Silva, a former economist and politician who was an outspoken critic of the previous regime. De Silva is regarded as one of the country's foremost up-and-coming politicians. more..

Pleasant surprise and bonus

Feb 16 (CT) My focus today is naturally on the T20 series between India and SL currently happening in India. At the time of writing it is one game all and the third and final match due to be played. At the outset one has to remember and also accept that SL were the underdogs going into the series with so many seniors either injured or rested. Selectors did have a tough task to put a decent squad together to pose a challenge. Let's also not forget that India is easily the top T20 side in the world. more..

Softlogic Group revenue tops 15 bn in 3Q

Feb 16 (DN) Softlogic group revenue reported a strong growth of 43.8% to near Rs. 16 billion while the cumulative revenue has increased 51.7% to Rs. 42.1 in the third quarter of FY2015/16. The contributors to the Group's outstanding performance were primarily derived from its fully owned subsidiaries in the Retail (33.3% contribution to Group topline) and ICT (29.7% of Group revenue) sectors followed by Healthcare Services (17.3%) and Financial Services (16.0%). more..

SriLankan drops Rome but ups viable services

Feb 16 (FT) SriLankan Airlines announced suspension of thrice weekly flights to Rome but contrary to fears has not altered services to other destinations in Europe. Previously the travel and tourism industry had concerns over the national carrier scaling down flights to Paris and Frankfurt. Current nine flights per week to London will continue and four flights to Paris were retained whilst Frankfurt will get an additional service. more..

Video: Dark clouds that overshadow two myopathic sisters

Feb 16 (DM) Stella Young, the Australian comedian, journalist and disability advocate once said, “The thing about disability is that you adapt, you do what works for you.” Yet at times there are so many difficulties in the form of the lack of financial support, marital failure, lack of a good educational backing, apart from being disabled, that the situation becomes so desperate, that adapting is no longer an option without external support. Dilini Sewandilka and Nisansala Sajini, 26 and 24 respectively, more..

Graham Ford hopes T20 loss will have a positive effect on Sri Lanka

Feb 16 (DC) Graham Ford’s second innings as coach of the Sri Lankan team began in style but the “inexperienced” team could not sustain the momentum in the remaining two games going down 1-2 to India in the three-match T20 series on Sunday. Ford believes the loss against a strong Indian team would be a huge learning curve for his young side ahead of the ICC World T20 to be played in India in March-April this year. “Hopefully it (the series loss) does have an effect. more..

Unemployed graduates to stage big protest today in Colombo

Feb 16 (Island) Unemployed graduates’ associations will demonstrate today in Colombo Fort demanding that the govt fill the vacancies in the public sector with their members. They have planned a protest march from the Technical College Junction around 12.30 pm to the Fort Railway Station. Convener of Combined Union of Unemployed Graduates, said that the govt had not honoured its promise to more..

Sri Lanka in race to plug gaping holes

Feb 16 (WI) It is quite ironic that Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are scoring runs for fun in Twenty20 leagues across the world while young Sri Lankan batsmen are struggling to cope with their retirement from international cricket. The numbers say it all. Since Jayawardene and Sangakkara bowed out of T20 International cricket after Sri Lanka won the World T20 title in 2014, the islanders have lost seven of 10 matches played in the format. The results are similar in ODIs too more..

New twist to CKD

Feb 16 (CT) The ills or causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be traced to irrigated cultivation, a physiologist told this reporter. Waters from the Mahaweli which originate from the hills where the island's tea lands are located, find these waters contaminated by the fertilizer used on the tea lands, alleged Dr. Kamal Gammanpila. These mainly phosphate based fertilizer, which contain Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic (As) and Lead (Pb) which are harmful if imbibed over and above permissible limits, more..

Sri Lanka High Commission in London commemorates 68th Independence Day

Feb 16 (IL) High Commission of Sri Lanka in the UK commemorated the 68th Independence Day celebrations on 4th Feb 2016. The proceedings of the official ceremony in the morning commenced with the hoisting of the national flag by Acting High Commissioner Sugeeshwara Gunaratne in the backdrop of the sound of the ceremonial drums (magul bera) followed by the singing of National Anthem. more..

Bandu and Bindu asked to settle among themselves

Feb 16 (DM) The Colombo Chief Magistrate today invited the two parties to arrive at a settlement over the inquiry against Bindu Bothalegama, who is alleged to have violated the performing rights of the complainant, veteran actor Bandu Samarasinghe. The Magistrate also directed Mr. Bothalegama to provide a statement to the CCD about the other parties who were allegedly involved in guiding him to imitate the veteran actor and had published DVD films. more..

Ruwan, Dinidu win silver in boxing

Feb 16 (CT) Ruwan Thilina (bantam weight 56kg) and Dinidu Saparamadu (light welter 64kg) were able to secure Silver Medals after both competitors were beaten by India's Shiva Thapa and Manoj Kumar respectively (0-3) in the men's boxing finals of the 12th South Asian Games (SAG), worked off at Shillong, India yesterday. Thilina beat Namat Ullah of Pakistan in the quarter-finals and N.K. Shukrollah of Afghanistan to reach the final. Saparamadu beat Shek Aslam of Bangladesh and more..

Google Project Loon balloon enters SL

Feb 16 (AFP) Google's balloon-powered high-speed Internet service known as Project Loon began its first tests in Sri Lanka Monday ahead of a planned joint venture with Colombo, the country's top IT official said. One of three balloons that will be used in the trials entered Sri Lankan airspace Monday, ICTA chief Muhunthan Canagey said. "The first balloon entered our airspace this morning. It was launched from South America." more..

‘Hotel sector starved of skilled staff’

Feb 16 (Island) The Sri Lankan hotel sector is now facing an acute shortage of skilled English speaking hospitality staff with the opening of new star class hotels in Colombo and other areas. Ceylon Hotel School cannot meet the demand for such personnel, member of the European Parliament Niranjan Deva Aditya said. "Very soon, five or more top five star hotels are coming up in Colombo and we don’t have good cooks and other well trained English speaking staff to man those new hotels, more..

Drop the showy stuff and help sports

Feb 16 (CT) All are happy now that our athletes have performed well at the South Asian Games 2016. There were several negative comments earlier to these victories, on various matters. But the positive question is: are we satisfied with this regional win? Questions about the positive gains with the money spent, especially on the number of officials taking off with the team, also can be suggested as constructive criticism. It is a very infectious disease that has caught more..

Video: PM’s office pressuring CID: GMOA

Feb 16 (DM) The GMOA claimed that the CID had received several telephone calls from the PM’s Office pressuring the CID to speed up investigations against the GMOA. GMOA Spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa said the doctor, on whose complaint the CID initiated investigations had previously been a GMOA member and a strong supporter of a very powerful minister in the present Yahapalanaya govt. more..

Govt trying to pressurise me: MR

Feb 16 (DN) Former President Rajapaksa said that Govt is trying to pressurise him by summoning him before various commissions daily. "Sending me to the electric chair is better than exerting more pressure on me," he said. Rajapaksa added that the media has taken a back seat when it comes to reporting the wrongdoings of govt, after they were criticized by govt. "Some policians are in the habit of harshly criticizing media personnel who are then reluctant to tell the truth to the people," more..

TN fishermen attacked by Sri Lankan navy

Feb 16 (PTI) 10 Indian fishermen suffered internal injuries when Sri Lankan navy personnel allegedly attacked them in the sea near Katchatheevu today. Police said the fishermen from Rameswaram were attacked with iron rods and ropes while fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India in the 1970s. One of the fishermen, Anthony, who was injured in his fingers, had been admitted to a hospital at Ramanathapuram. President of the Rameswaram Fishermen's association, more..

Yoshitha seeks bail in High Court

Feb 16 (DN) Five individuals including Yoshitha Rajapaksa, arrested and remanded for alleged money laundering at CSN, sought bail from the Colombo High Court through bail revision applications. The bail revision applications will be taken up for support on Feb 17. Through these revision applications, petitioners sought an order against Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court refusal to grant bail and argued that there were no justifiable more..

Umpires at the receiving end

Feb 16 (CT) A couple of poor umpiring decisions marred the third Twenty20I between India and Sri Lanka played in Visakhapatnam on Sunday and Twitter came hard at the umpires for their calls during the Sri Lankan innings. In the last ball of the opening over, R. Ashwin once again went up, this time for an LBW appeal and the umpire took his time and raised the finger though Tillakaratne Dilshan walked nodding his head but it looked close. In Ashwin's third over, more..

No special flights for President

Feb 16 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena left for Germany yesterday around 9.37 am in a normal passenger plane. He will be away for five days and visit Austria as well. This is the first time a Sri Lankan head of state is visiting Germany in 43 years. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to welcome the President at a special ceremony tomorrow evening. He will be accorded state honours. The President was scheduled to visit the German Parliament, more..

Thajudeen killing: CCTV footage still in court custody

Feb 16 (CT) It was revealed at Colombo Chief Magistrate Court, that despite a month has lapsed since Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris having ordered the CID to send video copies of CCTV footage containing the stills of assailants of former Sri Lanka rugby star Wasim Thajudeen to a foreign country for further examination, they are still languishing at the judiciary. more..

Don't come back Australian Navy tells Sri Lankan asylum seekers

Feb 16 (TVNZ) Secret interviews with asylum seekers being held in Indonesia appear to confirm allegations that people smugglers were paid to turn back while trying to reach Australia. The claims first surfaced in an Amnesty International report last year involving a boat believed to be heading to NZ. Two young Sri Lankan parents, who risked a dangerous high seas journey to escape conflict, say Australian Navy gave them a message while allegedly paying off the people smugglers to turn back. more..

Nearly 3/4 of MPs missing from vital workshop

Feb 16 (Island) Only 62 MPs attended the inaugural session of the three-day workshop yesterday to increase MPs’ awareness of sectoral oversight committees to be set up at Parliament though all 225 MPs had been invited to participate in it. Among those 62 MPs who attended there had been nine UPFA MPs of the opposition, nine TNA MPs and 44 government MPs, an MP attended the session said. None of the JVP MPs attended the workshop organized by Parliament. more..