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Thilanga Sumathipala

Radiologist couple blessed with quadruplets

Feb 19 (Island) Quadruplets were born to a radiologist couple early this week at Kandy General Hospital. All are girls. Happy mother is T.K.D. Piyumani (31) radiologist of Kandy General Hospital on Monday. Piyumani is the wife of the Wasantha Abeyratne, Radiologist of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s Hospital, Peradeniya. The mother and the babies are in good health. Piyumani delivered her first child, also a girl, three years ago. She and her husband are residents of Kulugammana more..

SLFP can’t get rid of me that easily: MR

Feb 19 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared that even though some were trying to chase him out of the SLFP, they will not be able to get rid of him that easily. Speaking to reporters on Thursday soon after giving his statement to the PRECIFAC, Rajapaksa in response to reporters who asked if he was part of a new party said, “I am in a party, and that is the SLFP, even though they are trying to chase me, they won’t be able to get rid of me that easily.” more..

Sri Lanka faces military insubordination during reconciliation drive

Feb 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's govt came face-to-face with military insubordination at a very high level when Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited Jaffna to launch a website for ethnic reconciliation. The usually unflappable Samaraweera was surprised by the tone of Major General Chagi Gallage when he visited Jaffna soliciting public views on a new reconciliation mechanism after decades of war. more..

Joint Opposition condemns govt over media suppression

Feb 19 (AD) Joint Opposition today condemned the govt’s actions with regard to the suppression of media after using the promise of right to information to come into power. Without any hesitation the govt has now kicked the ladder which helped it to climb up, UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma said in a statement. He charged that the incumbent unity government, which had made free media and right to information its primary promise, firstly hunted media organizations and journalists by more..

Iranian Ambassador calls on Chief of Defence Staff

Feb 19 (GDI) Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Zaeri Amirani called on the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunatilleke at the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff yesterday (18). Ambassador was accompanied by Colonel Ebrahim Rohani, Military Attaché, of Embassy of Iran. During the cordial discussion, the Ambassador and Chief of Defence Staff exchanged views on matters of bilateral interest and recalled the longstanding relations between Iran and Sri Lanka. more..

Joint Opposition strongly opposes new deal with India

Feb 19 (Xinhua) SL's opposition on Friday said that it has decided to strongly oppose a proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ECTA) with India. A statement by the opposition, which includes some members of the political party headed by President Sirisena, said that an economic and technical pact with India will make sense if SL can obtain from India some technical or economic input which more..

Bitter pill of shanty demolition

Feb 19 (CT) The tense situation that prevailed in Thotalanga over the last two days caused much inconvenience to a number of people. In response to media queries, Chairman of the UDA Ranjith Fernando said that houses had already been given to those who lived in Thotalanga prior to the demolition of the old shanties. Hence, he said, those who caused a furore over the demolition did so with no justification. According to the UDA, it had already given houses to the 262 families who were more..

Secular fundamentalism in one-eyed overkill

Feb 19 (CT) Because of such incidents as the Charlie Hebdo killings in Jan 2015 and the recent assaults in Paris in Nov 2015 those living in Western countries today are only too aware of the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists. A tiny minority from within a specific strand of Islam known as Salafi has etched its fundamentalism within world consciousness. Ironically, but in fact meaningfully, the term fundamentalism took root in the English language from its Christian expressions more..

'ITCA Agreement will not endanger Sri Lankan IT sector'

Feb 19 (GDI) Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva refuted allegations that the proposed Information Technology Consulting Agreement (ITCA) with India will not endanger the jobs of Sri Lankan IT professionals. Addressing a media conference today Minister de Silva said that Indian IT professionals will not have a chance of opening up their businesses in Sri Lanka and to become threat to local IT professionals. more..

LG forum to hold countrywide public meetings

Feb 19 (DM) After the Negombo event, the forum of local govt members loyal to former President Rajapaksa, has decided to conduct public gatherings covering all Grama Seva Divisions in the country. They held a confab last Sunday and called for the formation of a new political party as an alternative to the SLFP. Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said these local govt members would now have public meetings covering all the villages. Besides, he said there would be further more..

Video: Protest in Kandy leads to tense situation

Feb 19 (DM) A tense situation prevailed in Kandy when one group of people demanded that the Kandy-Mahiyangana Road opposite the Dalada Maligawa be opened while another group demanded that this stretch of road be kept closed. The protest had led to traffic congestion in the area. Police dispersed the protestors and no injuries were reported. This road had been kept closed since the terrorist attack on the Dalada Maligawa. more..

President arrives in Austria

Feb 19 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena arrived at the Vienna International Airport, yesterday for a three-day State visit. Ambassador Dr. Bettina Kirnbauer, Chief of Protocol of Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria warmly welcomed the President at the Airport upon his arrival. When the President and the delegation arrived at the Hotel Kepmpinski in Vienna, they were received by more..

Shares end 9-day fall; turnover surges

Feb 19 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed higher on Friday, ending a nine-session losing streak, with turnover rising to an over-three-week high on block deals in Textured Jersey Lanka. However, analysts said rising domestic interest rates and global economic worries still remain the main risks. The benchmark index closed 0.67% higher at 6,250.78, edging up from its lowest close since April 29, 2014 hit on Thursday. It has fallen 2.87% in the last nine sessions through Thursday. more..

ITAK taken to SC over separatism

Feb 19 (Island) Supreme Court yesterday, reserved the order in respect of the petition filed by H.K. Chandrasoma of Kelaniya, citing as respondents, Mavai S. Senathirajah, the secretary of the ITAK of Jaffna and the Elections Commissioner. The petitioner had said that in the absence of an explicit statement in the ITAK’s Constitution that it did not have the goal of caving out a separate state, the inference to be drawn was that it aimed at establishing a separate state in Sri Lanka. more..

Belgium to support Lanka’s efforts to regain GSP+ concession

Feb 19 (ST) Visiting Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of Belgium Pieter De Crem assured the govt that Belgium will extend its support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to regain GSP+ concession. Secretary De Crem made a one day official visit to Sri Lanka yesterday which marked a new chapter in SL - Belgium relations. During the visit Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva, and Secretary Pieter De Crem, held bilateral talks. more..

Sri Lanka shippers told mis-declared cargo could disrupt supply chains

Feb 19 (EN) The International Maritime Organisation has told Sri Lankan shippers supply chains could get disrupted if shipping lines refuse to load containers whose weight is not properly verified as required under a new rule effective in July. The new rule on verification of cargo weight was prompted by notable casualties among merchant ships in recent years and major incidents related to mis-declared container weights, said Loukas Kontogiannis. There were economic consequences such as more..

Sri Lanka sells 1 and 2 year bonds

Feb 19 (EN) Sri Lanka has sold 294 million dollars of 13 and 26 month bonds floating rate bonds which will pay up to 424 basis points above the 6-month London Interbank Offered Rate, sharply up from last year. Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDB) styled bonds are offered mostly to resident investors who are allowed to hold dollar deposits. Key buyers include banks who borrow abroad at lower rates and buy into the govt bonds. Debt office said it accepted 247.15 million dollars out of more..

Sri Lanka today is ready for business: Prez

Feb 19 (PSL) “We want to develop the core of a competitive economy and we’re now ready for business” said President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, addressing the Sri Lanka – Germany business forum yesterday. Marking the last event in his tour of Germany, President addressed a full house audience of Germany’s leading businesses highlighting the importance of mutual collaborations that would benefit the people and businesses more..

Sri Lankan govt vows to fight AIDS, leprosy

Feb 19 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt on Friday vowed to control the spread of HIV/AIDS and leprosy which was on the rise in the island nation. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the objective of the govt was to lower the disease prevalence in 5 years. Over 1,000 leprosy patients were detected in Sri Lanka by November last year while over 150 people were detected with HIV/AIDS. The majority of victims infected with HIV/AIDS were between the age group of 25 to 45. more..

Rajitha to visit Singapore for check-up

Feb 19 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne will leave for Singapore tonight for a medical checkup on medical advice, the minister’s spokesman said. The minister was earlier admitted to a private hospital in Colombo where the doctors had advised him a period of bed rest. “However, the minister is scheduled to participate in a seminar in India on Monday and therefore it was advisable to visit a hospital in Singapore on the way to India,” spokesman Nipun Ekanayake said. more..

Sri Lanka to collect corporate taxes online from next month

Feb 19 (LBO) State tax collector will gradually move out of manual tax administration by launching the first phase of RAMIS next month. Starting from March, six tax types namely VAT, SVAT, CT, NBT, PAYE and WHT will be collected under Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS). Inland Revenue Department expects to collect over 95% of the total tax revenue through first phase of this project which more..

Joint opposition condemns PM's views on media

Feb 19 (DM) The joint opposition today criticized the statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe concerning the media and said the statement was more a threat than a mere statement. Former Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said one of the key pledges made by the newly elected govt was to establish media freedom but govt leaders were openly pointing fingers at media personnel while threatening them. “Members of the present govt criticized some of our actions with regard to more..

Authorities clueless about Nepali woman deported from Sri Lanka

Feb 19 (MR) Malati BK, 38, was refused entry by the Sri Lankan immigration authorities and was deported from the country on Feb 7. She was placed on a Colombo-Kathmandu flight of Air India that was set to land at the Tribhuvan International Airport via New Delhi. After the flight arrived in Kathmandu, the staff of Air India handed over Malati's passport and a copy of her ticket to the immigration officers at the TIA, but she was not with them. Although Air India's passenger list shows Malati as a passenger, more..

We have a right to express our views: GMOA tells PM

Feb 19 (DM) A day after the Prime Minister hit out at the Govt Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) and certain media institutions, GMOA said it hoped PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would realize that as a professionals’ association it has the right to express its views on any relevant matter. Rejecting the PM’s claims that the GMOA was backing former president Rajapaksa, GMOA said it was disappointed over Premier's statement. more..

Thotalanga drama and the politics behind

Feb 20 (NS) The recent drama at Thotalanga where people living in unauthorized dwelling houses protested against their eviction was, in a way, a manifestation of an ugly aspect of politics in the country. On the face of it one may see only the illegality of occupying state-owned land and the ugliness that it adds to the beauty of the city. In reality, there is much more to it and a lot of politics behind all these illegal occupations. Most of these settlers have come to occupy state land with more..

SLFP crisis, UNP trajectory & inglorious 11

Feb 20 (CT) Is PM Wickremesinghe’s UNP Govt going its usual route, bringing the usual consequences in its wake? While I appreciate the social liberalization, the opening up and relaxation – grandly and mistakenly called freedom—that has accompanied and always accompanies the electoral fall of an entrenched regime, the UNP has once again misread or forgotten the necessary prerequisites for the preservation of that opening. DS Senanayake understood three truths: more..

DIY dialysis

Feb 20 (SO) For Soysa Jayasekera of Habarawa, Girandurukotte, life was never a bed of roses even before he was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu). He died of a heart attack at around 2 a.m. on Feb 10 at the age of 55. Hours before his death, he spoke to this writer, sitting outside his half-built house, surrounded by his family, and many grandchildren, about how well he felt after more..

What's holding back the FCID?

Feb 20 (SO) Remanding VIPs on reports from the FCID is the hottest topic today. In April, last year, Basil Rajapaksa (BR) was arrested at the airport on his return from a sojourn abroad and remanded on some charges little known to the people who witnessed the ailing ex-minister carried between hospital and court in an ambulance, creating deep sympathy in the public mind. A judicial hearing into BR's alleged crimes has not begun in earnest so far, while the sympathy created for the fallen more..

Vijaya Kumaratunga in retrospect

Feb 20 (CT) Leader of the TNA Leader R. Sampanthan welcoming the appointment of Reginald Cooray as new Governor of the Northern Province mentioned that the govt has made an appropriate choice by appointing a person with liberal views as the Governor of the Northern Province. Beginning his political career in the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party (SLMP) founded by the late Vijaya Kumaratunga, Reginald Cooray always expressed his views in favour of political more..

'Justice finally being served'

Feb 20 (CT) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake who was a strong critic of his own govt for not pursuing cases of corruption against the former regime, said he was now confident that justice was finally being served, "There is no political revenge here, it is simply the law following due process", said Ramanayake. Q: Was Yoshitha Rajapaksa's arrest politically motivated? A: The peoples' govt which was established for more..

Editorial: CIABOC’s volte-face

Feb 20 (Island) Colombo Magistrate’s Court acquitted former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake following the withdrawal by the CIABOC of its complaint against her. CIABOC’s action has lent credence to its critics’ claim that it instituted legal action against the former CJ at the behest of those who had gone to the extent of manipulating the parliamentary select committee process to oust her. Ironically, some of those responsible for holding a kangaroo court and more..

Rise of ignorance as the bliss of politics

Feb 20 (Island) There was plenty of proof that ignorance is bliss in the largely uninformed criticism of Kishani Jayasinghe and even rude attacks on her for that special rendition of Danno Budungey at the recent Independence Day ceremonies. The ignorance was mainly in not knowing that Danno Budungey had been sung many years before the currently known and popular Amaradewa version of the song – way back in the first quarter of the last century, at the Siri Sangabo Natakaya, more..

National Scout Jamboree 2016 - Jaffna

Good governance or efficient public administration

Feb 20 (CT) All governments must be efficient in addition to being representative. There is no formal thinking about efficiency in governance in our politics or administration. There is also little or no reflection on the process of efficient governance, although keep condemning it as full of red tape. Much of our Public Administration including the Ministerial level is not planned. But the people know when there is efficient governance and when there is not. Hardly anybody would say that the so-called more..

Radio Ceylon, the trailblazer that was!

Feb 20 (Island) In spite of the likelihood that I may be accused of dwelling on the glories of our bygone days, a favourite pastime of ours, I would fail in my duty if I do not share what I discovered, by sheer accident, about an institution I was associated with in my youth. Listening to Radio Ceylon on a valve radio with a creaky sound, in spite of a huge aerial drawn across the two tallest coconut trees in our garden, was the main source of entertainment in our childhood. more..

SL to lose Russia’s tea market to India?

Feb 20 (NS) Sri Lanka is at the risk of losing its position as Russia’s biggest tea import destination, to India in 2015 as statistics up to Sept 2015 suggest the island had exported a mere 26,570 Metric Tonnes (MT) of Tea although its neighbouring country exported 5,430 MT more than Sri Lanka. Ceylon Tea Brokers opined that the fall in SL’s tea exports was largely due to the turmoil in the oil exporting countries in the Middle East more..

Siri Gunasinghe: Revolutionary figure in modern Sinhala literature

Feb 20 (Island) Siri Gunasinghe, who turned 91 on Feb 18 is an unforgettable figure in modern Sinhala literature. He has not been a prolific writer. But what he has produced as a critic, poet and novelist made a great impact on the Sinhala literary scene in the 1950s and 60s. As the generation of Sinhala readers of that time would remember he galvanized us into realising that there were many ways of looking at the life around us; there were other ways of literary expression than what we were used to more..

SLT Campus initiates Presidential Scholarship scheme

Feb 20 (Island) Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC) initiated its Presidential Scholarship scheme as a corporate responsibility initiative under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. The epistle was handed over by Chairman Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and SLT Campus, Kumarasinghe Sirisena to Maithripala Sirisena, along with T C Dissanayake Secretary to Ministry of Higher Education and Highways and Ranjith G Rubasinghe, CEO of SLT Campus (Pvt) Ltd. more..

There's more to it than meets the eye

Feb 20 (DN) There's more to playing Under 19 cricket at international level than playing first eleven cricket at school. That was the hard truth that emerged from SL's performance at the recently concluded U-19 World Cup held in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka finished 4th in the overall standings losing to India in the semis and then to Bangladesh in the play-off for third place. "Batting was the main thing we were not getting that extra 30-40 runs. more..