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Case against former DIG Vass: Court calls for medical report

Feb 19 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris ordered that medical reports pertaining to wife of former DIG Vass Gunawardena, who was recently named as a suspect regarding a case where six suspects including her husband and son remanded for the alleged possession of firearms. At a previous occasion, the suspect, Shyalali Priyadarshani Perera, the wife of former DIG was noticed to appear in Court on Feb 17. However, President's Counsel Nalin more..

SL Tamils around the world have built an online library to replace one torched in 1981

Feb 19 (Scroll) Seran Sivananthamoorthy is only 25 years old which is why his knowledge of the Jaffna Public Library is limited to memory and anecdote. The library with some 95,000 volumes including the only original copy of the Yalpana Vaipavamalai or the History of the Kingdom of Jaffna was set alight by a mob in 1981 as tensions rose between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities in the prelude to SL’s civil war. more..

Sri Lanka after the Tigers

Feb 19 (FA) The causeway that links northern Sri Lanka’s mainland to Mannar Island is lined with vast military barracks. They have a nicely settled air about them, with painted flowerpots out front and T-shirts drying on clotheslines. Between the army camps are red-roofed cottages peeping through coconut groves and forests. There are no paved walkways—just dust, mud, and some scraggly vegetable patches. They are part of a housing project that the Indian govt funded to more..

ADB funding to top $1.2b by 2018

Feb 19 (FT) Asian Development Bank (ADB) is expecting to increase its funding portfolio by more than $1.2 billion in the next three years to increase Sri Lanka’s chances of avoiding the middle-income trap. ADB Senior Country Economist Tadateru Hayashi told reporters while launching the latest Development Effectiveness Brief report that discussion would take place in the coming months with the National Govt to earmark specific projects in a range of sectors for investment. more..

Ebay targets more export sellers from Sri Lanka as volumes grow

Feb 19 (EN) US-based Ebay said it had tied up with Sri Lanka's HelloCorp to bring in new sellers, as retail export sales form the island have started to grow, despite the lack of remittance services such as Paypal. "We see a very huge opportunity for Sri Lanka in the cross border business," Latif Nathani, a Vice President at Ebay said. There were already 3,000 sellers in Sri Lanka offering around 9000 items for sale, he said. more..

Ambassador Tilak Ranaviraja visits Spain to present credentials

Feb 19 (FT) Ambassador Tilak Ranaviraja presented his credentials to World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Taleb Rifal on 22 January in Madrid. At a discussion which followed the presentation of credentials, Rifal commended the significant contributions made by Sri Lanka to the work of the organisation since its inception in 1946. Further, he also drew reference to the fact that Sri Lanka is one of the most promising tourist destinations with a variety of attractions in more..

Pathfinder Foundation joins Quad+ dialogue

Feb 19 (FT) The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) joined the Quad-Plus forum; comprising Australia, India, Japan and US, which held its third, round in Jaipur, India, the capital of Rajasthan. In 2013, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (Australia), the Heritage Foundation (USA), the Tokyo Foundation (Japan) and the Vivekananda International Foundation (India) met in Canberra, Australia to develop an agenda to address security related issues involving the Indian & Pacific Oceans. more..

IndoZone with 12 countries on the cards

Feb 19 (DN) An IndoZone has been planned under the supervision of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to promote trade among 12 countries. These countries are India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Tanzania and Thailand. The importance of the IndoZone came up after a study showed that the area proposed will have one third of the global population of 9.6 million by 2050 and would more..

Reforms that prevent Sinhalization of Trinco

Feb 19 (CT) Leader of EPRLF Suresh Premachandran addressing the Tamil Peoples Council (TPC) sessions held in Trincomalee recently said "We should table proposals before the Constitutional Reforms Commission that could prevent the total Sinhalization of Trincomalee district in the future; and to ensure a permanent federal political solution." TPC member Gajendrakumar Ponnamblam, expert committee members Attorney-at-Law Kandeepan and Paranthaman, and more..

Cargills sees upswing in December quarter

Feb 19 (EN) Cargills (Ceylon) Plc, country's largest retail chain saw revenue grow 19% to 18 billion rupees in the Dec 2015 quarter, indicating a strong pick-up in domestic demand. Cost of sales rose at a slower 16.9% to 16 billion rupees and gross profits were sharply up 40% to 2 billion rupees. The group reported earnings of 485 million rupees for the quarter slightly down from 478 million rupees a year earlier. But most of last year's profits came from a capital gain, not operating results. more..

Sri Lanka inks agreement with France’s Total for oil exploration in east coast

Feb 19 (FT) Govt yesterday signed an agreement with Total S.A., a French multinational integrated oil and gas company, to explore for offshore oil and gas. Minister Chandima Weerakkody signed a Joint Study Agreement (JSA) with Total yesterday to explore two ultra-deep water blocks off the east coast. Ambassador of France Jean-Marin Schuh and French Embassy officials, Secretary to the more..

International TPM Summit 2016 opens today in Colombo

Feb 19 (DN) The International TPM Summit 2016 will commence today in Colombo under the theme Developing Capability for Sustainable Growth. Thilak Pushpakumara, President of Association of TPM Practitioners will make the keynote address opening the summit. Also panel discussions with prominent intellectuals in the region will be held with presentations on successful stories of leading organizations in the region and technical papers and presentations. more..

SF gives pep talk to national cricketers

Feb 19 (DN) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was a surprise visitor to the Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters yesterday where the Sri Lanka Cricket Executive Committee chaired by president Thilanga Sumathipala held a meeting with the Sri Lanka national team bound for the Asia Cup and World T20. Field Marshal was invited by Sumathipala to address and motivate the team ahead of the two mega events where Sri Lanka will be defending their titles. He held informal discussions with more..

Released detainees refused IDs

Feb 19 (CT) Regional govt officials in the North and East have prevented some of the released detainees, who had spent a number of years imprisoned under PTA, from obtaining national identification documents, Executive Director of Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR), Rajith Tennakoon said. "Regional officers have prevented this and this prevents these detainees from re-integrating with the social mainstream" more..

Second victim dies in hospital

Feb 19 (CT) The man who received severe injuries in the shooting incident near the Balapitiya Magistrate's Court on 16 Feb, succumbed to his injuries yesterday at ICU of the Colombo National Hospital. The victim has been identified as Rasika Chaminda Kumara, 30, a resident of Kaikawala, Induruwa. The shooting claimed one other life on the day of the shooting. Magisterial inquiry into the death of the first victim was conducted by Balapitiya Magistrate while the post- mortem was more..

SLFP seniors asked to hold their guns

Feb 19 (DN) The young SLFPers are requesting the seniors not to squabble and accuse each other in public. SLFP Youth Wing President Shantha Bandara said that the senior SLFPers should behave in an exemplary manner. Exchanging heated words among the members of the same party is damaging to the party. He said that the SLFP is a prestigious political party which bought freedom to the country thrice and a party which produced three Presidents to the country. more..

Malaka’s night club ban continues

Feb 19 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris refused an application to permit the son of former Minister Mervyn Silva to visit night clubs in the metropolis. Malaka Silva in a petition to Court stated that as many of his friends' social gatherings were held at night clubs in the city, he has been forced to stay out at car parks of such night clubs due to the injunction slapped on him by the Court against him visiting such places. more..

Move to reduce broking firms

Feb 19 (CT) Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) move to increase the stock brokering sector's minimum capital adequacy ratio will encourage sector consolidation, CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike said. He expected this to result in the number of existing stock broking companies to come down to 15, from the current number of 29. "Prevailing low turnover market conditions definitely dampen stock broker revenues, so we must always encourage sector consolidation", he said, more..

Sri Lanka’s largest solar power plant by Laugfs takes off ground

Feb 19 (DM) Laugfs Power (Pvt) Ltd held the ground breaking ceremony and foundation stone laying for the largest solar power plant in the country, to be set up with an investment of around Rs.5 billion. The 20MW facility at Hambantota will be constructed by international experts deploying European technology. SL currently depends on fossil fuel based electricity generation for over 60% of its annual electricity requirements, with over Rs. 66,160 million spent on fossil fuel sources in 2014. more..

Ranawaka told to ensure all displaced shanty dwellers are given apartments

Feb 19 (Island) The UNP has instructed Minister Champika Ranawaka to ensure that all the people who had lost houses at the Kadeema Watte were given alternative accommodation. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said his party had not purposely hurt any shanty dweller in the area who protested demanding alternative houses as the land where they had put up temporary shelters had been acquired by more..

Australia to assist in pvt. sector job creation

Feb 19 (Island) Australia is to give a boost to the Sri Lankan private sector by assisting in the creation of jobs. The Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie who concluded her stint in Sri Lanka recently, said that trade in services was where she saw the real breakthrough taking place, particularly in tourism and education. "In the future, Australian development cooperation will be used to help create job opportunities in the private sector for unemployed women and men", more..

MR makes another visit to PRECIFAC

Feb 19 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at the PRECIFAC yesterday. He arrived at the Commission for the inquiry on the alleged default in payment of money to the ITN for his advertisements during the 2015 Presidential Election campaign. At present there is a need for a new political party as there is no Opposition party in the country. All belonging to a same party in Parliament and there is no one to represent the public view. It is not fair, Rajapaksa said. more..

Germany will give every support to build Sri Lankan economy

Feb 19 (PSL) Minister of Economic Affairs of Germany Mr. Gerd Muller assures that the Govt of Germany would give every possible support to build the economy of Sri Lanka. He made these remarks when he met President Maithripala Sirisena today (18) in Berlin. Before this meeting two MoUs were signed to enhance the economic and technical cooperation between Germany and Sri Lanka. more..

Defendants asked to file objections in cattle slaughter case

Feb 19 (DN) The Colombo District Court yesterday, ordered the Minister of Justice and Buddhist Affairs and the Attorney General to file objections regarding a lawsuit which sought an order directing the authorities to introduce a methodology which would avoid pain and minimize the sufferings of cattle slaughtered at abattoirs in Sri Lanka. The defendants were ordered to file their objections on or before May 3. Colombo District Judge T.D. Gunasekara made this order, more..

Only Sri Lanka signs up for India’s Saarc satellite plan

Feb 19 (TOI) More than a year after PM Narendra Modi first mooted the idea during the 18th Saarc summit held in Nepal in 2014, only Sri Lanka has formally agreed to join the Saarc satellite project. An Isro official said that the remaining six members, including Pakistan, have so far only given their approval in principle. Official said that the apprehension of those who have not formally joined the project is that the mission will give India an upper hand among the Saarc members more..

GMOA office-bearers running after Rajapaksas: PM

Feb 19 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe accused the GMOA for being the cat's paw of the Rajapaksa regime. He was making a special statement at Sirikotha yesterday. The PM said the GMOA was working to appease Rajapaksa, adding that he has evidence to prove it. "When the current office bearers of the GMOA were running after Rajapaksas, we got a mandate from the people. more..

Eye-opener on eyesight

Feb 19 (DM) In the Daily Mirror editorial last Wednesday we highlighted a shocking report by TI’s British branch which exposed the extent of corruption in the worldwide pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors, warning that this posed a danger to the lives of millions of people. According to the report, worldwide 70% of people said they had paid a bribe when dealing with the medical sector and 45% believed medical and health services to be corrupt or extremely corrupt. more..

What is the current process of the good governance?

Feb 19 (DM) A year has passed by since the present government came to power, and so many changes have taken place within then. The budget was passed, independent commissions have been formed, and a new FCID has been established and new measures have been taken to take the country towards prosperity and recognition. From the day the FCID was established, it has been bringing culprits for many financial frauds before justice, though some who do not still agree with more..

New Chairman for Insurance Corporation?

Feb 19 (SL) Employees of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) have called on the govt to appoint its Executive Director Bangsa Jayah as its Chairman and bring back the Corporation under the Finance Ministry. The UNP affiliated Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) (SLIC branch) claims that unless it is brought back under the Finance Ministry, its progress is diminishing and this will finally lead to privatisation. more..

Professional agitation pushes govt into discussing ETCA

Feb 19 (ST) Govt is to enter into a wide consultative process with professionals, Business community and trade unions before finalising the proposed Economic Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India, aimed at exchanging trade services including labour, between the two countries. For this purpose Govt has agreed to set up a joint working committee comprising representatives of 45 professional bodies more..

Opposition hell-bent to get govt through native deities

Feb 19 (DM) President Sirisena, during the last few days, had both gained and lost. The gain was in the international arena when he undertook a state visit to Germany, the first by a SL Head of State in 43 years. The last Tuesday is visit was seen as a major stride in his renewed efforts to build economic and political ties with the western world, a relationship that had remained strained somewhat during the previous rule. more..

Cosmopolitan to debut in Sri Lanka today

Feb 19 (EN) Cosmopolitan, a magazine for young women encouraging them to live their lives to the fullest, will be launched in Sri Lanka today in a partnership between Hearst Magazine International and Colombo-based Capital Media. The magazine, published in 74 countries, has a combined monthly print and digital audience of more than 100 million, and is the first major global magazine brand to launch in Sri Lanka. more..

Rs. 2,35,000 a phial drug causes a tug of war

Feb 19 (Island) More accusations were leveled at the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) with the shortage of a named-patient drug at the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama. Informed sources said said that the problem had cropped up as the drug had not been re-registered by the NMRA. It was usually recommended for head-neck cancers. Therefore, it had been out of stock for the past few months more..

Excise-STF bust unauthorised foreign liqour distribution centre

Feb 19 (Island) Excise Department and the elite STF on Wednesday seized approximately 800 bottles of foreign liquor during a raid conducted at Fife Road, Colombo 5. A senior Excise Department spokesperson said that a team comprising Excise and STF personnel had taken three vehicles into custody along with the consignment of liquor estimated to be worth about Rs. 4 mn. more..

LPBOA wants professional body to implement joint timetable

Feb 19 (DN) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) has proposed that a separate professional body should be established to regulate and implement the proposed joint time table project between Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and private buses. LPBOA Chairman Gamunu Wijeratne said that the only way to develop the public transport system is to implement the joint time table project. more..

Video: Ranil has no right to threaten media institutions: Anura

Feb 19 (AD) As frequencies necessary for media institutions for broadcasting are provided by the govt and they are public property there should be a formal process to act if they do not function for the benefit of the people. However, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe has no right to threaten media institutions and he should immediately withdraw the statement he made regarding Derana channel says Leader of JVP Anura Dissanayaka. more..

Embilipitiya man’s death due to excessive bleeding: JMO

Feb 19 (AD) The Judicial Medical Officer’s report has confirmed that injuries and severe internal bleeding combined with shock as the cause for death of the youth following a clash with police in Embilipitiya. Embilipitiya Additional Magistrate informed court regarding cause of death following the conclusion of the postmortem exam. Magistrate instructed the CID to conduct investigations accordingly, arrest suspects more..

Shirani Bandaranayake acquitted from corruption case

Feb 19 (AM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today ordered former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake to be acquitted and released from a case filed against her by the CIABOC. This order was given after the commission informed court that it was not willing to proceed with the case. Bandaranayake was accused of not declaring her assets and liabilities during the years 2010 to 2012 when she was the Chief Justice. more..

Sharma, Krishnamurthy hand India clean sweep

Feb 19 (CI) Medium-pacer Deepti Sharma followed up her four-for in the previous game with figures of 6 for 20 to help India Women to a comfortable seven wicket win against Sri Lanka Women in Ranchi. The victory gave India a clean sweep in the three-match series and pushed them to fourth place on the ICC Women's Championship points table. Sri Lanka got off to a solid start after opting to bat, with the openers adding 33 before Sharma took two in two to spark a spectacular collapse. more..

Engineering to the rescue: Fighting kidney disease in rural Sri Lanka

Feb 19 (PO) Backed by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an interdisciplinary, student-led team from New Jersey Institute of Technology is building a low-cost water filter for villagers in the north central farming region of Sri Lanka who are suffering from high rates of chronic kidney disease. The heavy metal-laden fertilizer they apply to their fields is considered a likely cause, and their drinking water a possible vehicle for the contamination. more..