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Graham Ford introduced as SL Head Coach

Road mishaps send 2,430 people to hospital

Feb 3 (Island) Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Palitha Mahipala said that 2,438 people were hospitalised due to road accidents annually. Addressing the media at the Health Education Bureau in view of the International Day for Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons (OMS), celebrated on Feb 13, Dr. Mahipala said that annually there were 6,000 road accidents. Most victims were those who did not wear seatbelts and motorcyclists and pillion riders who did not wear helmets, he added. more..

Teenager arrested over killing boy (6)

Feb 3 (Island) The Sampur Police yesterday arrested a 15-year-old schoolboy over the killing of a six-year-old boy by throwing the latter into a well. The victim with a weight tied to him had been found in a well on Jan. 26, police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara told The Island last night. Sampur police are interrogating the teenager arrested around 1.30 p.m. The Sampur police said the suspect had been playing with the victim for a few hours before the incident. more..

Sri Lanka in talks to test Facebook drones over island: minister

Feb 3 (EN) Sri Lanka is in talks with Facebook to test its solar powered high-flying drones over the island which can provide high speed internet, Minister Harin Fernando said. Facebook's Aquila is a flying wing style drone which will soar in the stratosphere between 60,000 to 90,000 feet above the ground. Drones are expected to stay aloft for several months and can be steered. "New technology coming into SL is positive," more..

Mother of convict in Rajiv murder seeks son’s release

Feb 3 (CG) A mother of a convict in the murder of former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi has sought the release of her son. Speaking to reporters in Kilinochchi, Vetrivel Somini, the mother of Murugan, said that she has launched a campaign to collect over 1 million signatures in Sri Lanka to gather support to secure the release of her son. Somini said that she hopes to collect the signatures and submit the petition to Indian PM Narendra Modi. The mother of the convict said that her son and more..

Keheliya Rambukwella appears at Jaffna Magistrate's court

Feb 3 (AM) Former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella appeared at the Jaffna Magistrate's Court to give evidence over the disappearance of Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganandan. Two activists, who were members of the breakaway faction of the JVP disappeared on Dec 9, 2011. Speaking at a press conference, Rambukwella, the then Minister of Media and Information Minister, told reporters that two activists were in govt custody. He was expected to give evidence based on this statement. more..

Kamindu Mendis: Sri Lanka U-19's ambidextrous asset

Feb 3 (CB) Innovation is the name of the modern-day game and Sri Lanka's U-19 player Kamindu Mendis seems to be ahead of the curve. A soft-spoken 17-year-old from Galle provided a bit of spectacle during Sri Lanka's last group-stage fixture of the ICC U-19 World Cup 2016 against Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka today - as he switched his bowling arm between overs. more..

Pakistan tops Group B after beating SL

Feb 3 (ICC) Pakistan rode on a fine all-round performance by Hasan Mohsin to defeat Sri Lanka by 23 runs in the last league match and top Group B in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh on Wednesday. Mohsin top-scored with 86 and then rattled Sri Lanka with two early wickets as Pakistan fought back after being dismissed for 212 to bowl its rival out for 189 in Mirpur. Pakistan will take on the West Indies in the fourth quarter-final in Fatullah on 8 February. more..

Embilipitiya widow sues police

Feb 3 (Island) 27-year-old widow of a man (29) who had died allegedly due to assault by officers of the Embilipitiya police station, has requested the Supreme Court to order the Attorney General, to indict the officer, who had allegedly committed this crime. In his complaint petitioner Nishamani Munasinghe of Embilipitiya, a mother of an eight year old daughter and expecting her second child, has complained to the Supreme Court, that the ASP of Embilipitiya, aided by the HQI and more..

Video: Name the mystery investor: Bandula

Feb 3 (DM) Joint Opposition requested President to direct the PRECIFAC to look into the details of foreign investors including the mystery Belgian investor, who had invested billions of USDs in Sri Lankan banks without declaring sources of his/her income. The President, in a special Gazette notice gave the PRECIFAC the authority to obtain information relating to bank accounts and details of asset declaration of suspects. more..

Keeping a lid on cancer in Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (Rotary) When the Rotary Club of Colombo, Sri Lanka, launched the National Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Center in 2004, the clinic operated in a small, rented house staffed by a volunteer doctor and two nurses. Services were basic but effective – physical exams and ultrasound to detect breast cancer and Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. All services were free, and word spread fast among the lower-income patients the center hoped to attract. more..

Former anti-terror top cop puzzled by fuss over singing national anthem in Tamil

Feb 3 (Island) Former Commandant STF and retired Senior DIG Northern Province Nimal Lewke said he could not understand why there was opposition in some quarters to the national anthem being sung in Tamil. "It is not something new. Our first PM D.S. Senanayake appointed a Cabinet Sub Committee headed by late Minister Nissanka Wijeratne’s father Sir Edwin Wijeratne, who was a Cabinet Minister in Senanayake Cabinet to study and submit a report and it was approved way back in 1951." more..

Govt will find opportunities for security forces to perform at international level: Prez

Feb 3 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says govt would find opportunities for Sri Lankan security forces including tri forces to perform at a high international level by finding them more training opportunities abroad to absorb new technical knowledge available in advanced countries in the world. He made these remarks at the passing out ceremony of commissioning of 81 middle-level naval officers of the 53rd batch of Naval and more..

Minister’s BIL director of CSN: Dllas

Feb 3 (CT) A prominent govt minister's brother-in-law, alleged to be on the Director Board of CSN TV Channel, will be spared the political revenge, SLFP MP Dullas Alahapperuma alleged. He made these comments in reference to the raids that took place in the past weeks, initiated by the FCID, which resulted in subsequent arrests. He referred to all those who were imprisoned as political prisoners. "There are two main elements which ought to be addressed in the light of recent events. more..

OIC arrested for stealing wallet at bank

Feb 3 (AD) The officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Kankesanthurai in-training unit, Chief Inspector Kandayya Jeewan Kumara, has been arrested for allegedly stealing an individual’s wallet inside a bank in Batticaloa. A resident of Eragama in Ampara had lodged a complaint with the police regarding the theft of his wallet at a private bank in Batticaloa. Acting on this complaint, an investigation was carried out by police under the instruction of the Batticaloa SSP and the arrest was made. more..

Video: FCID redundant, says Lakshman Yapa

Feb 3 (DM) The procedures of the FCID were not clear, the State Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said today. While addressing a media briefing the minister said, there were several financial fraud investigations in progress. “President Sirisena has empowered the PRECIFAC, while the Police Commission had been appointed and it had been given independent powers as well. These two Commissions are more..

'India, Sri Lanka ties have matured over time'

Feb 3 (PTI) The relationship between India and Sri Lanka has matured over time to include all areas of contemporary relevance, President Pranab Mukherjee said today. Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to the govet and people of Sri Lanka on the eve of the 68th anniversary of their independence. "The ties of friendship between India and Sri Lanka go back centuries and have matured over time to include all areas of contemporary relevance. more..

Largest Buddha Statue in Abhaya Mudra to be unveiled on May 19

Feb 3 (GDI) The largest Buddha statue in a standing posture planned in the Southern Province since the time of Sinhala Kings has been completed by a team of sculptors at the Wathuruwila Wanawasa Sangha Centre (Mulasthanaya). It is due to be unveiled by President Maithripala Sirisena shortly. This Buddha statue carved on stone was first conceptualised by the founder of the Wanawasi Sect, Ven. Wathuruwila Sri Gnanananda Thera. Following his demise in 1986, the onus of making this more..

More fraud uncovered as judge remands Sri Lanka police officer

Feb 3 (EN) The authorities have uncovered financial fraud at the Embilipitiya police as a magistrate remanded in custody the senior officer in charge of the station over the death of a 29-year-old man. Embilipitiya additional magistrate Prasanna Fernando ordered that D. C.W. Dharmaratne, ASP, be held in custody till Feb 17. The suspect was taken before courts ahead of the inquest proceedings into the death of more..

Arrest warrant on Southern Province CM

Feb 3 (AD) A warrant has been issued by the Galle Magistrate’s Court for the arrest of Chief Minister of Southern Province Shan Wijayalal de Silva. The warrant was issued by Magistrate Nilupuli Lankapura on Wednesday (03) morning as the Chief Minister failed to appear before the court in connection with an election violation case. However, an Attorney-at-Law who appeared on behalf of the Chief Minister apprised the Magistrate that his client is currently on an overseas tour. more..

BBS demand release of Gnansara Thera

Feb 3 (DM) Members of BBS and other Buddhist organisations held a demonstration outside the Buddhist Affairs Ministry this evening obstructing the traffic demanding the release of Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, who is in remand custody. After the demonstration, members marched towards the President’s House to handover a petition. Ven. Gnansara Thera was remanded on charges of contempt of court till Feb 9 by the Homagama Magistrate. more..

Video: Those who oppose FCID have skeletons in their cupboards: JVP

Feb 3 (DM) Those who call for the abolition of the FCID and most of those who have visited former President’s son Yoshitha in prison are ones who should be behind bars, JVP said. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the deputy ministers who claimed that the FCID was illegal and should be abolished are ones who have been involved in various corrupt deals. "These people have got scared after Yoshitha’s more..

Queen Elizabeth greets Maithripala for Independence Day

Feb 3 (CG) Queen Elizabeth II has sent a greeting to President Maithripala Sirisena on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s Independence Day. “It gives me great pleasure to send Your Excellency Maithripala Sirisena my congratulations on the celebration of your National Day, together with my best wishes for the good fortune and happiness of the people of Sri Lanka in the coming year,” she said in her message. Ending 133 years of colonial rule, Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, gained independence from more..

I’m not a State Witness: Sajin

Feb 3 (CT) Former UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardene emerging from Colombo Magistrate's Court after a hearing told reporters that he had not turned State witness. Former Coordinating Secretary to UPFA MP Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that though various media channels had claimed that he had turned State witness, former MP said there was no truth in it. However, pressed by reporters to comment on a statement made by Minister Ranjan Ramanayake of him being used as a more..

Video: SF joins UNF

Feb 3 (DM) DP led by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka today joined UNF after signing an MoU with the UNP- leading party of the alliance. Though there were strong speculation that Field Marshal Fonseka was to be appointed to Parliament to fill the vacancy created by the demise of Minister M.K. A.D.S. Gunawardene and would be given a Ministerial portfolio, both parties said no final decision had been taken on these matters. more..

PM clueless about SAARC cultural centre

Feb 4 (CT) I am writing this as the founding director of the SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC) referring to a remark made by the Hon Prime Minister at the recently concluded Galle Literary Festival. The PM awarding the DSC prize for Literature in South Asia has questioned the role played by the SAARC Cultural Centre for the development of literature in the region and slammed the SAARC Cultural Centre for doing hardly anything for culture or literature. Had PM obtained required information more..

The National Anthem in Tamil, or not?

Feb 4 (CT) Almost a year ago, a debate sprung from Valaalai in Jaffna as to whether the National Anthem ought to be sung in Tamil too. Although not as deeply rooted as other problems, reasonable conjecture has gathered that the Tamil version must be permitted. The debate lost traction in the wake of many other burning issues such as corruption, the budget and the rising crime rate, but was once again revived as the Independence Day draws closer. While I am not opposed to National Anthem more..

Know your poison

Feb 4 (SO) Accurate, detailed and well-researched medical information on poisoning is not easy to come by. Getting that information free is even harder. But things are changing with the launch of the poison information website by the National Poisons Information Center(NPIC) which provides easy access to this information. Discussing the events leading up to this revolution in poison information in Sri Lanka, more..

The 1948 independence revived

Feb 4 (DN) We remember that the Independence of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then known) was gained on Feb 4, 1948. The UNP was founded on 6 Sept 1946 by amalgamating three right-leaning pro-dominion parties from the majority Sinhalese community and minority Tamil and Muslim communities. It was founded by Don Stephen Senanayake, who was in the forefront in the struggle for independence from the United Kingdom, having resigned from the Ceylon National Congress more..

Independence not an accident: Muslim leaders put country before self

Feb 4 (GV) A Small Island of many people, wrote S.J. Thambiah, in his lucidly written book, Sri Lanka–Ethnic Fratricide and the Dismantling of Democracy ‘whose political machinery is running down in an environment of increasing fragmentation and factionalism. The hopes of yesterday.. have become fast evaporating fantasies’. Peter Kloos in Democracy, Civil War and the Demise of the Trias Politica in Sri Lanka attempts to understand how and why such hopes and aspirations of more..

'Citizens’ views in constitution making important'

Feb 4 (CT) While the discussion on the Constitution has been raging on in Parliament, CT spoke to Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), Coordinator, Lionel Guruge on the importance of having civil society engagement in the Constitution making process. Guruge said this time around it was important that we design a Constitution for all and not just for a privileged few. more..

Editorial: Independence

Feb 4 (Island) Today, we are celebrating Independence, which is said to have been won from the British way back in 1948. Lofty ideals are bandied about in an atmosphere of pomp and circumstance, the most prominent among them being unity, amity, reconciliation and national progress. We are treated to an overdose of rhetoric and patriotic outpouring. Politicians make fiery speeches besides a symbolic display of military hardware and colourful parades to boost more..

Christ, Constitutions and Community

Feb 4 (Island) The essence of Jesus’ teaching on the law is the sovereignty of all humans. When confronted with the oppressive nature of the then Jewish (Sabbath) law, He declares that the purpose of the law is not to suppress humans but serve them. In practice this teaching upholds the supremacy of humans and human wellbeing above all else and serves as the non-negotiable ingredient that shapes and undergirds all constitutions. Correspondingly the degree of human more..

JVP press conference

Maithripala Sirisena and the morning after political honeymoon

Feb 4 (Island) With days turning into weeks and weeks into months, President Sirisena appears to have realized that power is ultimately the primary concern of politics and political leadership. What necessarily follows from this is also the realization that to sustain a good govt in trying times one has to engage in practices which are antithetical to the very idea of good governance. Ever a contradiction to the ordinary mind, this is an uncomfortable reality in politics. more..

Three hearty cheers for the Dare Devil PM

Feb 4 (Island) As SL’s Minister for Nothing to Do, I was fast asleep in my bed room at the parliament in Kotte that afternoon when my phone rang. I woke up suddenly cursing everyone for disturbing me. It was President Maithripala Sirisena. He asked me, "Jaye, did you hear any noises a while ago. I heard some disturbing news. Immediately, call the Wildlife Department, cleaners, Buddhist priests, Exorcists, Devil Dancers and do everything possible. Don’t worry about payments. more..

The evolution of Tuition Posters

Feb 4 (CT) The competition among students to get good results in the G.C.E A/L exam opens up a large market for private tuition institutes located in the urban suburbs of Colombo. In order to recruit students, these institutions and their respective instructors put up poster advertisements which are omnipresent in suburbs such as Nugegoda. These posters advertise all sorts of classes from Chemistry, Physics and more..

Pakistan launches high-octane T20 cricket league in UAE

Feb 4 (AFP) Pakistan is set to launch its first franchise-based Twenty20 league in the UAE on Thursday as its cash-strapped cricket board seeks to boost revenues and reverse the national team's slide in the game's shortest format. The long-awaited first edition of the Pakistan Super League follows two previous attempts that fell through over a lack of sponsorship and the suspension of international cricket at home in the wake of a militant attack on the SL team almost 7 years ago. more..

Yahapalanaya at 1: Is transitional justice in crisis?

Feb 4 (GV) In Oct 2015, Sri Lankan govt took a giant stride towards reconciliation when it co-sponsored a historic resolution at the Human Rights Council. Despite howls of protest from fringe elements within the Sinhala and Tamil community who opposed it, the Resolution was defended stoutly by mainstream members of both ruling parties, SLMC and TNA at a two-day Parliamentary debate also in Oct. However, as I noted in an article published last year, govt’s attempt to fudge the question of more..

Independence Day Messages

Feb 4 (DM) Message by President Maithripala Sirisena: On this day, as we celebrate the 68th anniversary of our Independence, we are proud of the progress made towards safeguarding the freedom, sovereignty, territorial integrity of the nation and strengthening national reconciliation and economic and political rights of all our citizens. This occasion is of special significance because we commemorate dawn of freedom more..