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No action on the LLRC

Feb 25 (CT) In addition to piling up problems within Sri Lanka, through the licence allowed to a few favourites, the Rajapaksa Govt failed to take advantage of its unique achievement in dealing with the terrorism that had plagued Sri Lanka for so long. There was no attempt to tell the story of a war fought against tremendous odds, conducted with more decency than the escapades of those who so sanctimoniously criticized us. An effort to tell our story was only made after more..

Minister of Health & Sri Lankan healthcare

Feb 25 (CT) Being a Medical Doctor who was born and bred in Sri Lanka, I am truly disappointed of the news that our Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne flew to Singapore for a medical check up. According to recent reports, Dr. Senaratne visited Lanka Hospitals last week, where he found a minor ailment. Later in the same day, his family flew to Singapore to seek a second-opinion and further medical treatment from Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. more..

Implausibly limber

Feb 25 (SO) John O’Donohue in his Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom told the world You are as young as you feel! But creaking bones, weighty thoughts and an internal system gone haywire, often lead to the elders believing their shelf life is over and they are as old or older than they feel. So, if one was to ask the average 65-year- old grandmother whether she’d like to try out some yoga asanas, answer would no doubt be more..

Are Maithri and Ranil in fear of military coup?

Feb 25 (CT) It was reported that the Commanding Officer in Jaffna, Major General Chagi Gallage, was transferred to Army Headquarters in Colombo last week, following a heated argument with Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Major General was transferred to Colombo following the Foreign Minister's refusal to include two military officers in the committee proposed by the UNHRC in Geneva. The minister's refusal led to a heated argument between the duo, reports stated. more..

American presidential election & The International investigation

Feb 25 (CT) The traffic from Washington, D.C to Colombo has increased dramatically in 2015. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Sri Lanka in May. U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power was in the country in November. Ambassador Thomas Shannon, Counselor of the Department of State and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal were in Colombo in December. For Biswal this was her second visit to Sri Lanka within five months. more..

'North-East unification would be rejected by Muslims'

Feb 25 (SL) SLMC General Secretary, M.T. Hasen Ali said that when the new govt came into power, there was hope of a political settlement on addressing the problems of power-sharing for the Tamil and Muslim people being reached through a new Constitution. However he said that none of these promises are being fulfilled and petty personal issues and ego issues have shrouded the national issues of the country. more..

Giving a voice to our future

Feb 25 (DN) Today, there is a sense of expectation in our country, particularly among the youth. In spite of the confrontational politics, parliamentary chaos, protest marches, and all the disillusionments, the election of the new Govt has resulted in the culmination of young adults' quest for expectations. Sri Lankan youth have clear-cut definite goals. For them, free and fair elections are not ends in themselves but only the best possible means for installing a representative govt that more..

Cyril Wickramage's reflections on life & work

Feb 25 (DN) Some actors flaunt. Some are stars. Some (very few, I must say) get to be engraved for posterity upon death. The rest remain at most famous, who come and go and exhibit to their hearts' content, but pass away. In this regard, those who are humble, down to earth, and free from that insufferable ailment called arrogance are the most able to claim posterity. They have years and decades behind them, awards and statuettes to give them enough reason to brag around. more..

Sudarshini Fernandopulle

Major General! Foreign Minister! Let a thousand flowers bloom

Feb 25 (Island) I wonder why we can’t have real democracy today. There could be an exchange of words as long as there is no exchange of fire between two citizens of SL holding important positions. Is there anything wrong in having a military representative included in the Task Force appointed by the Government to enforce provisions of the Geneva resolution? Though Mangala is our Foreign Minister, he thinks out of the box. I remember Managala saying a long ago, more..

Asia Cup: India beat Bangladesh

Feb 25 (CI) Rohit Sharma is a one-day nerd. He takes his time at the start, gets accustomed to conditions and cashes in only once he is set. India were sent in on a noticeably green pitch in Mirpur and Bangladesh, armed with four fast bowlers, made it as difficult as they could by moving the ball both ways. Shikhar Dhawan failed. Virat Kohli failed. Suresh Raina failed. Rohit could have failed too - he had 21 hard-earned runs when he was dropped by Shakib Al Hasan - but he did what good more..

'FCID probes not linked to SLFP discipline'

Feb 25 (NS) Q: The SLFP Central Committee recently decided to take action against its members who had acted against the party principles. Can you explain as to what action would be taken? A: The decision to take action against members who violated party principles was taken by the SLFP Central Committee. There have been instances where actions have been taken based on the party constitution, against those who had more..

Editorial: Baby ETCA with Raja Yoga

Feb 25 (Island) Never a dull day in Parliament! Its proceedings are a form of public entertainment which in most cases is suitable for adult audiences. Usually, one hears the names of animals and expletives during commotions which pass for debates. But, on Tuesday, we heard something different. Parliament was informed of a child birth expected to happen in the near future. The baby, already named ETCA, had a Raja Yoga, said a wisecracking PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Experienced SL a test for UAE's T20 cred

Feb 25 (CI) After the 2-1 loss in India, Sri Lanka have a chance to ease their way into the Asia Cup by taking on the UAE in their first match. The return of the captain Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara will give the team a major boost as they look to start gathering themselves ahead of the World T20, where they have a title to defend. Sri Lanka have a well-balanced side for these two tournaments with an experienced batting line-up consisting of more..

'HRW Asia Head violating my human rights'

Feb 25 (FT) Human Rights Watch Asia Head is violating my human rights, charged Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who is back in political limelight after taking oaths as a UNP National List Parliamentarian last week. According to the former Army Commander, Human Rights Watch Asia Division Executive Director Brad Adams has no right to point a finger or brand Fonseka as a criminal without credible inquiry or investigation. more..

Restraining order on Sri Lanka Cricket

Feb 25 (DM) The Colombo District Court issued a restraining order on Sri Lanka Cricket, until March 9, against putting into operation its decision not to recruit foreign cricketers to the Premier League Cricket Tournament. Colombo District Judge T.D. Gunasekera issued this restraining order on Sri Lanka Cricket after considering the submissions and perusing the documents submitted to court by Counsel Kaushlya Nawaratne on behalf of the Baduraliya Sports Club. more..

Mithali Raj fifty lifts India to series win

Feb 25 (CI) Mithali Raj anchored India Women's chase with a steady fifty and lifted them to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series against Sri Lanka Women in Ranchi. Chasing 108, India were reduced to 27 for 4 in the seventh over before Raj and Anuja Patil combined for a 77-run stand to rescue the hosts. India lost Vellaswamy Vanitha, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma in successive overs, before wrecker-in-chief Inoka Ranaweera trapped Veda Krishnamurthy in more..

Will it be déjà vu for President Thilanga?

Feb 25 (ST) I remember the smiling faces of all Lankans irrespective of them knowing the intricacies of cricket or not. On March 17, 1996, the entire country was rejoicing after the tiny island nation won the ICC World Cup beating those baggy-green-capped guys Down Under by seven wickets. The elation lasted for a while. From almost the oblivion, in no time the Lankans had converted themselves into pin up boys. more..

LOLC transacts USD 247 mn loan for lending purposes

Feb 25 (Island) Sri Lanka's LOLC Group has borrowed US $247 million from three syndicated loans, led by FMO, a Dutch development agency, and Asian Development Bank, for purposes of lending to its customers, officials said. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said at the event that this was a landmark transaction marking the placing of confidence in the LOLC Group, due to proper governance. This project will greatly the assist the micro finance and SME sector in the country. more..

Sampath Bank introduces Missed Call Banking

Feb 25 (DM) In keeping with its longstanding recognition for coupling convenience with technological innovation, Sampath Bank is adding yet another service to its existing mobile banking facility. Sampath Missed Call Banking is a SMS-based notification service that provides account holders with an instant and secure means of obtaining their account balances to their mobile phone via SMS notification. To use this service, account holders must subscribe to more..

Inaugural Presidential Sports Awards ceremony scheduled for May 13

Feb 25 (DN) Presidential Sports Awards Ceremony has been organized for the first time at BMICH on May 13 on the directive of President Sirisena and under the guidance of Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara. At this ceremony, life time awards will be presented by President to Sri Lankans who have made the most substantive contributions or achieved success in SL sports for the year. Awards are categorized as follows Kreedabhimani, Kreeda Deshoththara more..

Constitution making in Sri Lanka: Will it go the Nepalese way?

Feb 25 (HT) Sri Lanka does not have as many ethnic groups as Nepal has as their numbers exceed one hundred each in Nepal. There are two ethnic minorities: Tamils and Muslims. Their proportional representation can be secured if not already. Sri Lanka had definitely taken an epoch making decision to have a constitution instead of amending the present constitution for President M Sirisena believes that a new nation is born with a new constitution. more..

Commercial Bank ends 2015 with solid bottom line growth

Feb 25 (Island) Commercial Bank has recorded profit before tax of Rs 17.144 billion for the 12 months ended Dec 31, 2015, a year in which it strengthened its positions in SL and Bangladesh. A carefully managed performance saw SL's private bank attain solid growth across all business lines to improve pre-tax profit by a healthy 8.94% over the preceding year and achieve net profit of Rs 11.903 billion for 2015, a growth of 6.47% despite lower margins, reduced capital gains & higher tax more..

JVP Leader takes up issue of severe shortage of fertilizer

Feb 25 (Island) Farmers countrywide were undergoing many hardships as there was a severe shortage of fertiliser, but govt had failed to take any action to arrest the situation, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament. "Farmers have taken to the streets crying out for the attention of the govt to get their fertilizers, but in vain," he said. "PM, Minister of Agriculture & Minister under whose purview the Paddy Marketing Board more..

NZ PM promises top class rugby coach

Feb 25 (DN) New Zealand Premier John Key yesterday promised to send a top-class rugby coach to assist the Sri Lankan national team. Key, currently in Sri Lanka had made the promise following a request from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Harin Fernando during a luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister at Temple Trees yesterday. "Key promised to ask current All Blacks rugby coach Steve Hansen to coach our national side once he steps down," Fernando said. more..

NOC controversy deepens

Feb 25 (CT) At the recently concluded South Asian Games held in India, the Sri Lankan contingent consisting of 484 athletes and 250 officials was the largest ever, totalling almost 700. In addition to the genuine officials that were included, many who were not in this category too were included. It should be highlighted that the officials list had not been made public. According to information received, there had been certain people who weren't required for the Games but got the National Olympic more..

Who’s covering up facts, asks Magistrate

Feb 25 (CT) CID on Tuesday informed the Homagama Magistrate's Court that the very first voice tape connected with the suspect soldiers serving at the Army Camp in Giritale who had abducted missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda had conspired to kill him after the abduction. SSP Shani Abeysekera presenting evidence on behalf of the plaintiff Sandya Ekneligoda, said that first conspiracy meeting more..

16 deported from Australia arrested at BIA

Feb 25 (DN) 16 Sri Lankans deported from Australia were arrested at the BIA by the CID in Katunayake when they were returning, Police Media Unit said. "All of them were males," PMU added. According to the CID they had allegedly gone to Australia by boat in 2012. The suspects are residents of Valachchenai, Udappuwa, Batticaloa, Chillaw, Wennappuwa, Kalawanchikudi, Adimuneyi, Arachchikattuwa and Negambo. They are to be produced before the Negambo Magistrate more..

Petroleum Minister to tour Tehran

Feb 25 (CT) Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody will be visiting Tehran next month in connection with resuming oil imports from Iran. Sri Lanka used to virtually get all of its oil from Tehran previously, but this was seemingly discontinued after the West imposed sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme. However, these sanctions were lifted last month. The official was a part of the Iranian delegation led by Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian who arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday. more..

RADA audit files vanished without trace

Feb 25 (DN) When CID requested the audit files in connection with auditing conducted at RADA, then Deputy Auditor General said there was no audit done at the RADA by the department. "He said that on the instructions of then Acting AG", SL Audit Examiners' Service Union President H.M.K. Herath said. He said AG's Department audited RADA and there were files but now nobody knows what had happened to those files. more..

Files held up on January ’15 coup attempt at Temple Trees

Feb 25 (FT) Investigation report files on the controversial coup attempt launched within the Temple Trees premises on the morning of 9 Jan 2015 are now held up at AG’s department, Ministry of Law and Order informed Parliament yesterday. In the absence of the AG’s advice the Govt is unable to proceed further. “The extracts relating to the investigations have been referred to the Attorney General seeking legal advice under reference number CR1/08/2015 on 16 Jan 2016. more..

Confusion over whether Google Loon Wi-Fi is free or a paid service

Feb 25 (ST) While on one side Google successfully launched its first test in Sri Lanka by deploying a Google Loon balloon over the central province, on the other hand the general public and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are confused as to whether it will be a free Wi-Fi service or not. When contacted ICTA CEO Muhunthan Canagey for clarification, he said, “Google Loon is not a platform to obtain free Wi-Fi for anyone. It will be free up to a certain limit & will be charged when you exceed that limit.” more..

Kolonnawa garbage dump contains 23.5 mn. tons of trash

Feb 25 (Island) Minister Susil Premajayantha told Parliament that the 300-foot-tall Kolonnawa garbage dump contained more than 23.5 million tons of trash. Around 800 tons of garbage was added daily to the dump and the area no longer could hold the amount of garbage brought there. He said the situation was worse than expected as a section of the garbage dump had collapsed on three houses recently burying them completely. more..

Dayasiri flays SLC for retaining expensive lawyers

Feb 25 (Island) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera told Parliament that Sri Lanka Cricket had obtained the services of private legal firms at an enormous cost though it could have obtained the same service free of charge from AG’s Department. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake demanded to know the exact amount of money spent by SLC on private legal firms. Minister said that he did not have the figures at the moment, but he had initiated an inquiry and once it was over the House would more..

12 Tamil refugees to return to SL tomorrow

Feb 25 (Hindu) In the next batch of voluntary repatriation, 12 Sri Lankan refugees, living in various camps across the State, would be leaving for Colombo from Tiruchi on Friday. Their repatriation is being assisted by the UNHCR and financially supported by the German Consulate in Chennai. “I came here with my family in 2006 when there was trouble in my native Trincomallee due to the conflict [civil war]. We fled Sri Lanka by boat and reached Arichamunai near Rameswaram. more..

NZ announces new dairy initiatives in SL

Feb 25 (Scoop) PM John Key launched two significant dairy development projects in Colombo this afternoon, aimed at supporting Sri Lankan dairy farmers and boosting New Zealand’s role in Sri Lanka’s dairy industry. Agreement was reached at a meeting between Mr Key, SL President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe and other Cabinet ministers. “SL Govt is making real progress as it undertakes a significant more..

Public transport: First step towards green schools

Feb 25 (DM) While we commend the national government’s evolution into Hi-Tech digital education, and equally important area is eco-education -- essentially to teach the children how to reduce global warming, air pollution and other dimensions of the ongoing ecological crisis. A related disclosure was made in Beliatta yesterday. Police said they made a surprise check on schools vans and found that more than 70 of them were not following the regulations of having a matron more..

Thotalanga squatters and doctors of GMOA have something in common: Self interest

Feb 25 (DM) Last week residents of a large slum in Thotalanga blocked the Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Bridge to protest against an alleged arbitrary order to vacate their slums and move to new apartment blocks that have been built for them. A week before that, members of several professional unions held a protest march in Colombo against the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). And day in day out, university students continue to unleash venom against more..

Thotalanga protesters and their struggle for shelter

Feb 25 (DM) After a huge commotion which aroused public interest, convincing the higher authorities to look into the matter, Kajimawatte has returned back to normal. Yet, traces of violence could certainly be observed by the ones who visit the dilapidated site. It is merely an eyesore to see the inhabitants seated outside their demolished houses. There is another line of houses adjoining Kajimawatte which they call more..

Vote on CC deferred for SLFP approval

Feb 25 (DM) The vote on the motion to initiate the Constitution making process had been postponed till SLFP headed by President Maitripala Sirisena approved its amended version at its Central Committee in a week, it is learnt. It was discussed at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting chaired by the President. The motion seeks to appoint a committee of the entire House called Constitutional Assembly to work out the new Constitution. more..