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SAITM: Is it a growing concern?

Feb 3 (CT) The private university concept was mooted in the late 1970’s with economic liberalisation policies. It also takes us to the painful traumatic memories of the late 80’s when hundreds of young men were brutally killed. This was during the reign of terror from 1986 to 1990 with the protest against the Private Medical College (PMC), Ragama. This saga of commercialising medical education continued with eight attempts to form PMC’s over the last three decades. more..

Man convicted in Germany for backing LTTE

Jan 3 (AFP) A Sri Lankan-born man received an 18-month suspended sentence in Germany Tuesday for membership of the rebel group the Tamil Tigers which Germany considers a terrorist organisation. The 53-year-old German national, identified only as Yogendran G. by the court in the northern city of Hamburg, was convicted of having raised funds in Germany from 2007-2009 for the LTTE. LTTE committed a string of attacks more..

National cager team aim for medal at SAG

Jan 3 (Island) The highest achievement a Sri Lanka basketball team have ever achieved is winning a bronze medal at the 1991 South Asian Games which was hosted here in Sri Lanka. Current national team is aiming to win a medal at the forthcoming South Asian Games. The team was announced recently and are training at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. The team has balance between youth and experience with three players namely Roshan Fernando, Roshan Randima and more..

Sirisoma retains crown for 24th year

Jan 3 (CT) Reigning champion K.H. Sirisoma of Sri Lanka Ports Authority retained the National billiards title when he defeat S.H.M. Aslam of Moors SC by six frames to one in the final of the 64th National Championship worked off at the Sugathadasa Stadium Hotel in Colombo yesterday. Aslam was able to win only the fifth frame as Sirisoma sealed the final with ease by chalking up comfortable wins in the sixth and seventh frames to bag his 24th National billiards title. more..

Sri Lanka could oppose Clarke appointment as ICC Chairman

Jan 3 (Island) Sri Lanka could vote against long standing Chairman of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Giles Clarke if he seeks office as ICC Chairman in July this year. Australia and South Africa have already indicated that they will vote against Clarke and during yesterday’s media briefing, SLC was asked for its stance. "We are discussing the matter at the moment and we will decide this week," more..

Tea industry kicks off 2016 with lower sales average

Jan 3 (FT) Tea industry has begun the New Year on a negative note reaffirming continuity of its bearish run. According to Ceylon Tea Brokers, Tea Sale Averages for the Month of Jan 2016 were recorded at Rs. 410.94 per kilo down by Rs. 13.20 from a year earlier. High Growns for the month of January recorded Rs. 411.83 up by Rs 10.11 from January last year. Medium Growns however were down by Rs 4.33 to Rs. 373.80 and Low Growns lower by Rs. 21.61 to Rs. 419.46. more..

Ease of Doing Business forum today

Jan 3 (FT) The Ministry of Finance will be holding the sixth forum of the Ease of Doing Business today at 2 p.m. at the 4th Floor Auditorium of MILODA, Academy of Financial Studies, (Old Times Building), Sir Razik Fareed Mawatha, Colombo 1. Since May 2015, the Ministry of Finance has held five forums and the sixth forum scheduled for today will be chaired by the Honorable Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance. He will be joined by Ministers Rishad Bathiudeen, Malik Samarawickrama, more..

PM reveals of a Committee to sort out issues of young Buddhist monks

Jan 3 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has revealed that a Committee will be appointed to address the issues of young Buddhist monks. The PM said that the Govt had no legal capability of exerting pressure in the drafting of a Bill such as the Bikkhu Kathikawath. The PM made these references when he met 100 young moderate Buddhist monks with the intention of soliciting the contribution of the Govt for more..

Enhancing Bahraini-SL cooperation stressed

Jan 3 (BNA) Advisor to HRH Prime Minister, Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, today received Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce, Risad Badhiutheen, in the presence of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani. Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa stressed keenness to uplift cooperation level with the South Asian countries, including Sri Lanka. He lauded the development seen in the Sri Lankan industrial and tourism sectors. more..

Experts express dissatisfaction

Jan 3 (CT) Experts have expressed their dissatisfaction over the badminton squad selected for the 12th South Asian Games, which will be held from 5 to 16 Feb, even though the selected teams are to leave Sri Lanka today. Further, the experts have questioned about the ethical background of including a 42-year-old in the women's squad while excluding young players who are able to face the challenge. The said lady is engaged in sports administration outside Colombo. more..

Video: SLFP Dy. Ministers ready resign from Govt: Muttuhettigama

Jan 3 (DM) Deputy Minister Nishantha Muttuhettigama, who visited remanded Yositha Rajapaksa at the Welikada prison, said that the FCID had no legal powers and they as Deputy Ministers appointed by the SLFP were ready to resign from their portfolios if political witch hunt by FCID was not stopped. He said they were going to discuss with President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe over the matter. more..

Hutch CEO commends TRC for new Flat Rate determination

Jan 3 (Island) Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), the country's telecom regulatory authority has established a new flat calling rate from 1st Feb, 2016. The old dual on-net/off-net tariff structure charged mobile subscribers twice the rate for calling off-net compared to calling on-net. This caused a lot of confusion and difficulties to mobile subscribers as they had to pay excess rates to call their friends and family who happened to be using another network. more..

Witness: Speaker’s permission required to submit Sajin’s assets declarations

Jan 3 (Island) Deputy Secretary General of Parliament, who appeared before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court as a witness said permission should be obtained from the Speaker to submit assets declaration of former UPFA MP, Sajin Vass Gunewardena. Thereafter, the trial against Vass Gunewardena before Magistrate Aruni Attygalle, was put off for May 17, 2016. CIABOC had complained to Court that former MP, had failed to declare assets for years 2011, 2012 & 2014. more..

Everybody should protect environment for well-being of all beings: President

Jan 3 (PSL) “All parties should get together to fulfill the responsibility to protect the environment for the well-being of all beings including humans”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He pointed out that if the people continue the degradation of environment, they will have to carry oxygen containers for their surveillance. “Nobody can neglect the timely responsibility to protect the environment”, he added. more..

Female tourist found dead in hotel room

Jan 3 (CT) A Bulgarian tourist was found dead in her hotel room in Moragolla, Aluthgama. The tourist, aged 28, had arrived in Sri Lanka for Ayurvedic treatment and was due to stay until 15 February. The management of the hotel she was staying at, had summoned the police when the guest had not come out for some time, and also not responded to their knocking. On opening the door in the presence of Police officers attached to the Aluthgama Police, she was found dead. more..

3 Bulgarians arrested in ATM scam in Galle

Jan 3 (DM) Three Bulgarian tourists who had illegally withdrawn money belonging to other people using forged ATM cards, were taken into custody by Galle police. Police had launched an investigation after receiving a complaint from the manager of a state bank in the Galle town that a scam to steal money from ATMs was under way. They had tracked down the suspects and arrested them with some difficulty. Customer had earlier complained that his ATM card had been seized by more..

Indoor nets project illegal: Thilanga

Jan 3 (CT) Just after the election of the new office bearers, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decided to cancel the indoor nets project started by the previous Interim Committee where they had laid foundation stones and had started the process of building three indoor nets at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Pallekele and in Dambulla. Earlier, former Interim Committee Head, Sidath Wettimuny had blasted SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala more..

Sushma Swaraj to visit Sri Lanka on Friday

Jan 3 (DM) Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from February 5-6 for the Ninth Session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission. The India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission, co-chaired by Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Minister Swaraj will be held on Feb 5 in Colombo. India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission was established in 1992 as an effective mechanism to address matters pertaining to bilateral cooperation between the two countries. more..

GMOA President says he was wrongfully maligned

Jan 3 (Island) President of GMOA Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the inability to differentiate between two specialties in medicine had led to certain parties maliciously accusing him of being involved in an alleged kidney racket. Responding to a question raised by the media regarding his alleged involvement in a kidney racket Dr. Padeniya said malicious propaganda against him was being spread by some people who did not know the difference between neurology and Nephrology. more..

TISL troubled by Finance Minister’s no questions policy

Jan 3 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) yesterday said it was perturbed by the recent moves of the Minister of Finance, encouraging inward remittances into Sri Lanka from investors (local, foreign and even mystery investors) on a no questions asked basis, as a first step in creating a financial centre in Sri Lanka. Finance Minister invited investors to park their deposits, including funds presently in Switzerland and more..

Malinga confirmed as captain

Jan 3 (CT) After several speculations regarding the one captain policy for all formats of the game and the change of captaincy for the World T20, SLC yesterday reconfirmed that star fast bowler and Twenty20 World Cup winning Captain, Lasith Malinga will lead Sri Lanka till the end of World T20 2016 to be played in March in India. Test and ODI Skipper Angelo Mathews has been appointed as the Vice-Captain of the team for the T20, while Dinesh Chandimal too, will assist the side and more..

President gives more powers to PRECIFAC

Jan 3 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has empowered the PRECIFAC to obtain Information relating to bank accounts and details of asset declarations made to Inland Revenue Department, of suspects accused of serious frauds and corruption without prior approval. President has assigned these powers to PRECIFAC in a special gazette notification following a request by the commission that its investigations were getting delayed due to the time involved in obtaining more..

Video: I have not been invited: MR

Feb 3 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said that, though the govt had finalised arrangements to hold the 68th Independence Day celebrations, he had not yet been invited to the event. He also said that the joint opposition had decided to boycott the event. “Even if we are formally invited we will not participate in it,” he said. “Does the opposition have enough freedom to celebrate Independence Day?” he asked. more..

Basil hauled before FCID again

Feb 3 (CT) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa has been summoned to appear before the FCID this morning. He has been summoned for questioning in connection with a series of allegations including the purchasing of a one-and-a-half acre extent of land and house in Orugoda, Gampaha, for a sum of Rs 30 million, constructing two buildings worth Rs 80 million, purchasing 17 acres of land worth Rs 64 million in Malwana and purchasing another house valued at Rs 120 million. more..

MiGs won’t roar again, Mi-24 gunships to miss Independence fly-past

Jan 3 (Island) SL’s treasured MiG 27s will never fly again. The No 12 MiG squadron played a pivotal role in the war against the LTTE until the suspension of the jet operations during the final phase of the offensive. SLAF spokesperson confirmed that MiGs wouldn’t join the Kfirs and F7 jets at the independence day fly-past. F7s acquired from China in early 2008 remain the newest jets in SLAF’s possession. No 12 squadron carried out 854 sorties during eelam war IV (Aug 2006-May 2009). more..

JVP, JHU demand action against Emil Kanthan

Jan 3 (Island) JVP and JHU urged the govt to enforce the law against LTTE Finance Manager Emil Kanthan on all charges including the alleged deal with then Presidential Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005. JHU Spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that several intelligence officers were being held over Ekneligoda disappearance without evidence, but warrants against LTTE members had been dissolved. more..

Whither NMRA?

Feb 3 (DM) During the past few decades, after Prof. Senaka Bibile’s essential medicines policy was scrapped under pressure from the United States Govt and transnational pharmaceutical corporations, the health sector has become one of the biggest profit-making businesses. In October 2005, the then Govt approved comprehensive proposals to revive the Senaka Bibile principles through a national medicinal drugs policy. This comprehensive plan was worked out by Prof. Krishantha more..

Who will prevail? The PM or the President?

Feb 3 (DM) President Sirisena has followed up his important BBC interview on accountability with a lengthier one on Al Jazeera. The BBC interview evoked a swift, sharp reaction from Human Rights Watch, the Global Tamil Forum,the New York Times,and the US Ambassador to the UNHRC—as well as the Sri Lankan PM himself. Samantha Power took a swipe on missing persons and impunity. Ban-Ki-Moon weighed in, supporting international participation in the judicial mechanism. more..

Demi-God of the plantations falls from glory

Feb 3 (SL) Highly influential politico during the fallen Rajapaksa regime, former Minister Arumugam Thondaman – the self-proclaimed saviour of the plantation workers – is now being exposed, having deceived the people he represents. Indian Govt in 2009 had handed over 40 TATA City Rider buses on two occasions to Ceylon Worker’s Congress (CWC) for the benefit of plantation workers in Central and Uva Provinces. more..

U.N. top official’s visit not related to Geneva resolution: Colombo

Feb 3 (Hindu) This week’s visit by top UN official for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to Sri Lanka has nothing to do with the review of the implementation of the Geneva resolution, according to SL govt. Mr. Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, will be here in the country during Febr 6-9. It was he who told the media in Sept that “our investigation has laid bare the horrific level of violations and abuses more..

Why Sri Lanka is snapping up Japan's used eco cars

Feb 3 (Nikkei) These days, visitors to Sri Lanka's largest city are in for an unexpected juxtaposition of old and new: On the one hand, colonial-era architecture and other vestiges of British rule; on the other, an abundance of shiny Japanese hybrids cruising the streets. The sight came as something of a surprise to this reporter. After all, this was not Japan or the U.S. West Coast, where pervasive environmental awareness has created an more..

Negombo protest: traffic disrupted for over six hours, trains halted

Feb 3 (Island) For want of a clear strategy to handle street protests, a large group of fishermen on Monday blocked the Colombo-Negombo road as well as the railway track at Kurana for over six hours causing inconvenience to public. Among the affected were students of schools in Negombo area. Police refrained from dispersing the protesters. Instead, vehicles were diverted through circuitous route thereby causing a massive traffic snarl. more..

NMPWH accuses govt of dancing to tunes of hostile forces

Feb 3 (Island) The National Movement for Protecting War Heroes (NMPWH) said the present govt was dancing to the tune of the West, India and pro-LTTE groups operating overseas. General Secretary of the NMPWH and Kalutara District MP Jayantha Samaraweera said that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein would visit Sri Lanka early this month to expedite the international war crimes probe. more..

JVP says policemen are a frustrated lot, denied promotion and poorly paid

Feb 3 (ST) Moving the Adjournment Motion on the conduct of the Police in the recent past, Chief Opposition Whip and JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka said there are nearly 10,000 vacancies in all ranks of the Police force. “No measures have been taken to fill them for many years. There is a growing level of frustration among police personnel. They are not given due promotion. Many are in the same rank for over 10 years. more..

'Gammanpila has contract with UNP to divide SLFP'

Feb 3 (DN) We will never allow anyone to divide the SLFP. MP Udaya Gammanpila has undertaken a contract with the UNP to divide the SLFP,” Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He said Gammanpila has recently stated that the SLFP should be divided with the aim of defeating the UNP. But, I must say to him that if the SLFP is divided, the UNP will win," he added. "The SSLFP will assist in the process of drafting a new Constitution as more..

Zika screening now on at BIA

Feb 3 (DN) Sri Lanka is ready to face the Zika virus. Screening is now being done at the BIA and the testing will commence in the Medical Research Institute from next Friday, Director General, Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. According to him, Zika tests are carried out in India. Sri Lanka obtains laboratory services from India. Arrangements have also been made to educate the public and health staffs on the disease. more..

Pharmacists slam Pharmaceutical Mafia

Feb 3 (CT) General Secretary of the Society of Govt Pharmacists (SGP) Ajith Thilakarathna slammed the pharmaceutical mafia for being 'responsible for the resignations of National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), Chairman Prof. Lal Jayakody and its CEO, Prof. Krishantha Weerasuriya.' Earlier reports said they submitted their resignations at the behest of Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. more..

Dulanjalee tells MR where to get off

Feb 3 (DM) Dulanjalee Premadasa, the daughter of former president R. Premadasa, in a hard hitting letter addressed to former president Rajapaksa, said the latter should not drag her name to a case in which she was not accused of "You are well aware that I am innocent. You seem to think that you have a right to play around with my name when you have run out of excuses. This is unacceptable and dishonourable. more..

Is new Constitution necessary?

Feb 3 (CT) The commitment made by the Yahapalanaya Govt, which assumed office after 8 Jan 2015 presidential polls, in deference to the pledge given to the founder Convener of the National Movement for Social Justice – the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, was the abolition of the Executive Presidency, electoral reforms and devolution of power. If these are the three criteria which were promised and to be pursued with, then, what is required, are amendments to current more..

Which is blacker? Dulanjalee’s kettle or Mahinda’s pot?

Feb 3 (CT) These are days when the Russian novel is compulsory reading. Three principal works that come to mind are War & Peace followed by Brothers Karamazov and Crime & Punishment. This essay is about a Cherry Orchard where many trees were felled and no one talks about it even in these enlightened days of good governance. To begin with I must inform the readers something immensely important and rivetingly relevant to our current concerns on reforms in public life and more..