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Wickramabahu reminds govt of its hypocrisy

Feb 22 (Island) President and PM went all over the world telling that there were no political prisoners in Sri Lanka but they had forgotten the fact that leader of the FSP Kumar Gunaratnam had been incarcerated for more than 100 days, NSSP Leader Dr Wickramabahu Karunaratne said. Addressing the media after joining the FLSP continuous Satyagraha opposite Fort Railway Station yesterday to mark the 100-day completion of the protest to secure the release of Gunaratnam more..

Paddy Marketing Board starts buying paddy

Feb 22 (CT) Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) commenced its paddy purchases from the Ampara District maha 2015/16 paddy harvest at its Thambattai stores premises in Thirukkovil Divisional Secretariat on Wednesday in the presence of a large gathering of farmers, PMB officials and other govt officials. Farmers in Akkaraipattu and Sammanthurai are very busy at the moment harvesting their paddy and a hive of activity is going on right now. more..

'Solution under unitary system is not viable'

Feb 22 (CT) Constitutional reform within the framework of a unitary form of govt and Buddhism as State religion would not help Tamils to get a reasonable political solution, according to Kavindran Kodeeswaran, Ampara District TNA MP. He further stated that Sinhala politicians in the southern part of the country have been submitting their recommendations based on unitary of govt, State religion as Buddhism and declaring Sri Lanka a Sinhala State. more..

Health Minister’s condition a mystery

Feb 22 (Island) Health Ministry lashing out at rumour mongers said that Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had merely visited Lanka Hospitals on Friday morning for an annual check-up during which it had been revealed that there were minor health complications which needed attention. Ministry Spokesman issuing a communique on Minister’s condition said that he had decided to leave for Singapore on the same day as his friends and family including President and PM had urged him to more..

Video: Govt takes credit for our projects: MR

Feb 22 (DM) Govt was deliberately delaying the implementation of development projects proposed by the UPFA govt so that it could later claim that the projects were its own, alleged former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said govt was attempting to claim the ownership of such development projects but that the people knew who was really responsible for them. He was referring to a visit to Hambantota by PM to inspect more..

'When monks are taken into custody, Chief Sangha Nayakas should be informed'

Feb 22 (DN) When Buddhist monks are taken into custody, there should be a mechanism to inform the Chief Sangha Nayakas of their Nikayas, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday. Addressing a media briefing, the minister further said when Bhikkus are arrested even during a civil disturbance there should be a proper procedure to notify the Chief Sangha Nayakas of their respectives Nikayas. We must protect Buddhist Bhikkus in this Gautama Buddha era, he added. more..

Constitutional reforms: Rajarata Medical Faculty dons make proposals

Feb 22 (Island) A group, comprising senior staff members of the Rajarata University Faculty of Medicine, has handed over a 14 proposals to the Committee on Constitutional Reforms at Anuradhpura district secretariat. Under the proposal number 13 they have requested a two-thirds majority of Parliament and a two-thirds majority at a referendum for govts to enter into agreements which are considered injurious to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, unitary character, territorial integrity, more..

German team here in March

Feb 22 (DN) A high level govt delegation from Germany will visit Sri Lanka in March to explore investment opportunities in the country, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Following the Investor Forum and Road Show held in Germany last week, parliamentary team is to arrive in the country in the latter part of March to assess the investment climate and possible avenues of investment in Sri Lanka, Karunanayake said. more..

'Not possible to return Katchatheevu to India'

Feb 22 (PTI) Asserting its sovereignty over Katchatheevu, Deputy Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran said it was not possible for the island nation to return the islet to India. "Katchatheevu is part of Sri Lanka according to an agreement and hence it was not possible to give it back to India," she said. As per the 1974 and 1976 agreements, India had ceded Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka. On the fishing rights of Indian fishermen in Katchatheevu, she said both the nations must work together more..

President returns after successful visits to Germany & Austria

Feb 22 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena who made two state visits to Germany and Austria respectively, arrived in Sri Lanka this morning (21). During his visit in Germany he met the Federal Chancellor Anjela Merkel and the President of Germany Joachim Gauck and had fruitful discussions to enhance the cooperation between the two countries in various fields. He also had bilateral discussions with the Foreign Minister Frank Walter and Economic Affairs Minister Gerd Muller. more..

Jt. Opp to seek clarification from National Election Commission

Feb 22 (Island) Joint Opposition, on Saturday, reached consensus that a decision on formation of a new political outfit couldn’t be delayed in spite of the govt indicating that LG elections wouldn’t be held this year. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa met members of Joint Opposition on Saturday. Among those present were Joint Opposition Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, former Ministers G.L. Peiris, Basil Rajapaksa and more..

The fine art of economic diplomacy

Feb 22 (DM) resident Maithripala Sirisena apparently having learnt the fine art of economic diplomacy or diplomatic economics, returned to Sri Lanka yesterday with a planeload of economic and trade agreements with Germany and Austria. Rising from the ashes of the second world war, Germany has emerged as Europe’s economic superpower -- and President Sirisena was well aware and well advised on this dimension when he met the powerful German Chancellor Angela Merkel, more..

NZ ready to help Sri Lanka Achieve its goals

Feb 22 (DM) It takes an incredible amount of grace, ambition and willingness to ask tough questions for a country to move on from conflict. And it takes strong leadership, both from the Govt and civil society, to rebuild a country and provide its people with the opportunities and quality of life they deserve. In 2013, when I first travelled to Colombo the questions centred on Sri Lanka’s recent past. This year, I bring a trade delegation representing some of NZ’s largest business interests, more..

The eviction of reason

Feb 22 (DM) Not too long ago, when in the name of development, the economic prosperity of Colombo and city beautification, slums and shanties as well as other areas described as urban blight were bulldozed, there were howls of protest. The howlers mostly wrote in English. They deconstructed development. They talked of high-handedness. They spoke of illegality, the violation of human rights and decried the uncivilized, more..

CEB in spotlight over power plant purchase

Feb 22 (SL) Energy sector experts are questioning the recent move by the CEB in purchasing a 15-year old 60MW mounted power plant for Rs. 641 million or 571 million yen. The 60MW Barge Mounted Power Plant (BMPP) was owned by Colombo Power Private Limited (CPPL) which had a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with CEB since June, 1, 2000. CPPL, an Independent Power Producer (IPP) was established in 1998 more..

Probe uncovers road building scam in Kotte

Feb 22 (EN) A probe initiated by Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva has uncovered a scam where road contractors in his electorate defrauded public funds with bad construction and rigged quality tests to prevent the discovery. There had been complaints about bituminous pre-mix (carpeting) paving of Park Lane and 60th Lane in Nawala and Jayanthi Mawatha in Atulkotte and the probe had uncovered evidence that more..

Demand for separate Muslim Province is vital: Dawood

Dec 22 (DM) Muslims cannot give up their demand for a separate Muslim Province, SLMC Chairman Basheer Segu Dawood said at a discussion held in Kathankudy on Saturday in the context of submitting their proposals to the new constitution to be enacted. He said that it was not prudent to step down from the demand of a separate province for Muslims. "The Tamils had demanded self-determination. more..

Indian fishermen won’t hold protest in Kachchativu

Feb 22 (ST) Indian fishermen will not go ahead with a proposed protest in Kachchativu today, following last minute talks Sri Lankan fisher leaders held with their Tamil Nadu counterparts, the Sunday Times learns. Indo-Lanka Fishermen’s Welfare Forum Advisor S.P. Anthonymuttu told the Sunday Times he urged Rameshwaram Mechanical Fisheries Craft Association President N. Devadas not to use more..

'MR resorted to black magic during tail end of tenure'

Feb 22 (DN) Astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena revealed that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his latter stage in office resorted to various black-magic without his knowledge and carved and pricked thorns to a statue of common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. He made these revelations to Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake via phone in between a media conference at Parliament Members' more..

Provincial officials to boycott workshop by LG Ministry

Feb 22 (DM) At a meeting of Chief Ministers and Provincial Education Ministers it was decided that provincial officials could not be used like puppets by the govt and as such a decision was taken not to allow them to participate in discussions and workshops arranged by the govt without obtaining the consent of Provincial Council concerned. This was decided at a discussion that took place on Friday (19). more..

Sri Lanka to purchase oil from Iran

Feb 22 (DM) Govt was planning to revitalise its oil purchases directly from Iran in the context of United States lifting its economic sanctions on that country, a Minister said. Govt had to suspend its fuel imports from Iran after US imposed economic sanctions a few years ago. However, the sanctions have now been lifted following the change of govt in Iran. Asked how the govt would pursue oil related transactions with Iran, more..

CA Resolution to be amended

Feb 22 (DN) The govt has agreed to bring in amendments to the Resolution for the appointment of the Constitutional Assembly considering the proposals submitted by the Joint Opposition, SLFP group representing the govt and the JVP. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that they have received a copy of the revised Resolution, which had accommodated the amendments proposed by the three groups. more..

GSP+ application before June

Feb 22 (CT) The government will be filing a fresh application for the reinstatement of the General System of Preference Plus (GSP+) to the European Union before June 2016. "We will be filing the fresh application between March and June and we are very confident that it would be reinstated by January 2017," State Minister for International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe told Ceylon Today. more..

Exemplary President

Feb 22 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena's official visits to Germany and to Austria have highlighted his simplicity and his determination to cut down expenses when he goes on foreign tours. As there are allegations against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members of not settling their dues which run into several millions of rupees for using the National Carrier SriLankan airline for their foreign tours, President Maithripala Sirisena has been exemplary in being economical with more..

Harper Lee dies: Mockingbird & Reconciliation education

Feb 22 (CT) Harper Lee, the celebrated author of To Kill a Mockingbird, has peacefully died on the 19th Feb, two days ago, at the age of 89, at a nursing home not so far from the house where she had grown up, in Monroeville, Alabama, and also the impressive setting for her passionate novel, the fictional Maycomb. I don’t know about Monroeville, but know quite well of Maycomb and its surroundings. I first came across this novel along with another interesting but obscure one, more..

පැතිකඩ දේශපාලන වැඩසටහන

Sustainability of consensual politics

Feb 22 (CT) The consensual governance and policy making and its association with the multi-party arrangement since Jan 2015 are firmly established today. Although there were a few initial hiccups, the major stakeholders have understood the rationale of the new arrangement. One recent example is how the Minister of Fisheries and his deputy sorted out their major differences after airing them in public. When you study the multi-party arrangement, one can see that more..

Sampath Bank December net profit up 15%

Feb 22 (EN) Sampath Bank said Dec 2015 quarter net profit rose 15% to 1.5 billion rupees from a year ago supported by a sharp rise in fee income although bad loans grew. Interest income rose 14% to 10.7 billion rupees while interest expenses rose 19% to almost six billion rupees with net interest income up 8.8% to 4.7 billion rupees, according to audited accounts. Net fee and commission income rose almost 25% to 1.5 billion rupees in the Dec 2015 quarter from the year before. more..

Can French technology solve the biggest problem in North?

Feb 22 (CT) The war between the security forces and the LTTE lasted for nearly 30 years. During this time many people, especially in the Jaffna District, were either killed or wounded. However, after the war concluded in 2009, resettlement of IDPs in the Northern and Eastern provinces became a major issue. The people in Jaffna lost their houses because of the terrorist activities launched by the LTTE. more..

Sajith tells people not to allow opposition to topple govt

Feb 22 (Island) Minister Sajith Premadasa said that the opposition parties were planning to launch a rebellion against the govt to capture power and people should not let them achieve their goal. "The opposition parties defeated twice in recent elections are now conspiring to instigate people against this govt. They hope to muster the support of people by accusing it of entering into anti-national trade agreements. If they succeed in their endeavour that will mark the end of our programme to create more..

FCID records statement from Sarath Ekanayake

Feb 22 (DM) FCID today recorded a statement from Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake over a financial irregularity at the Department of Co-operative Development. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said Mr. Ekanayake arrived at FCID in the morning and left at noon. Investigations are continuing to ascertain the exact amount of the financial irregularity but said it amounted to some millions of rupees and that statements had also been recorded from several others on this matter. more..

Indian NGOs upset over MP’s seminar participation

Feb 22 (TS) Various Indian NGOs in Malaysia are upset over Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto’s participation in a human rights seminar in Sri Lanka, Tamil dailies reported. The seminar, which was organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat in partnership with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Parliament of SL, took place from Feb 1 to 3 in Colombo and saw attendance by MPs from the region. more..

'UNP will win LG polls regardless of symbol'

Feb 22 (DM) The UNP is confident of winning the upcoming local govt elections even if it contests under a symbol other than that of the elephant, MP Nalin Jayamaha said. He dismissed the claims made by the opposition that the local govt elections were being postponed because the ruling party was afraid of losing and said the UNP would win even if it contested under the elephant's tail as a symbol. Mr. Jayamaha said the local govt elections were being delayed because the Govt was keen to more..

Outsiders want to divide SLFP, says SB

Feb 22 (AM) The non-SLFP members of Parliament who won seats contesting with the SLFP want to divide the party now, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He said that former President Rajapaksa has also insisted that he will not leave the party. However, some non-SLFP MPs of the UPFA have joined together in an attempt to divide the SLFP, he said, in an apparent reference to the Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Dinesh Gunawardena. more..

Provincial Chief Ministers blame govt for lack of funds, teacher shortage etc

Feb 22 (Island) Chief Ministers and Minister of education of the Provincial councils at a meeting in Kandy found fault with the govt for not providing provinces with enough funds for education. The chief ministers and the education ministers complained of the shortage of teachers, lack of funds and failure to confirm the acting principals and directors in service. Chief Minister of Central Province Sarath Ekanayaka said more..

GMOA considers strong action against PM's comments

Feb 22 (AM) The GMOA is expected to meet tomorrow to consider further action following serious allegations levelled at it by the PM and several other ministers in govt. Members of several other trade unions in the health sector are also expected to take part in the meeting. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe recently slammed the GMOA repeatedly, alleging that it is against the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement with India because it was a pro-Rajapaksa union. more..

Operation to arrest Gota’s additional secretary who fled the country

Feb 22 (LT) It is reported that assistance is to be sought from Interpol to arrest Ms. Damayanthi Jayaratna who secretly fled the country while serving as the Additional Secretary to Minister Vajira Abeywardene. Damayanthi Jayaratna has been accused of being involved in corrupted Avant Garde dealings while working under former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. She is also accused regarding a fraud of more than Rs.2000 million in bringing explosives to more..

Ashraff's son slams Dawood over Muslim State remarks

Feb 22 (DM) Responding to a statement made by SLMC Chairman Basheer Segu Dawood with regard to a separate Muslim State, the party’s late founder M.H.M Ashraff’s son Aman today said that his father’s mandate was solely for a united Sri Lanka, undivided by any means. Mr. Dawood had said that the SLMC’s stance was that the Muslims need a separate Province and the SLMC late founder too had endorsed it. more..

No deal with UNP, Rajapaksa insists

Feb 22 (AM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa insisted that he was not prepared to govern the country with the partnership of the UNP. Speaking at an event in Hambantota, he also said that he is steadfastly keeping with the SLFP founder SWRD Bandaranaike's policies. Meanwhile, he also criticised PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, insisting that he was contradicting his words by his action. Although he says that all must work together, he is attacking all who do not agree with him, more..

Anuja Patil's cameo, three-for sinks Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (CI) Anuja Patil produced a cameo with the bat to lift India Women to 130 and then struck three times with the ball to apply the chokehold on Sri Lanka Women's chase in Ranchi. Her all-round effort sent India 1-0 up in the three-match T20 series. Anuja struck in the first over of the chase, removing Yasoda Mendis for 8. She soon dismissed the other opener, Chamari Atapattu, for a seven-ball duck. Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Deepti Sharma all built on the early strikes more..