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British war ship in Sri Lanka, boost for defence ties

Jan 29 (CG) The British war ship HMS Defender is paying a routine visit to Colombo to take on stores and fuel before continuing with her duties in the Indian Ocean. This is the first time in four years that a RN warship has visited Sri Lanka, a country with which the United Kingdom shares a long military history, the British High Commission in Colombo said. The British High Commission said the Ship’s visit now is a welcome signal of the closer defence relations the two countries are developing. more..

Video: Sand removed from ASP’s swimming pool

Jan 29 (DM) The sand placed in the swimming pool at Businessman A.S.P. Liyanage’s residence in Rajagiriya was being removed this morning under the supervision of Colombo Crime Division (CCD) Chief Vijith Gunaratne and Rajagiriya Police. Mr. Liyanage had on an earlier occasion complained to the police about reports that gold and cash was hidden in bags under sand. He requested IGP to investigate whether former President more..

TULF calls for the unity of all Tamil speaking people

Jan 29 (CG) TULF has called on all Tamil speaking people to unite for one goal. TULF General Secretary V. Anandasangaree said that the country as a whole is in a much confused state, if not at least various ethnic groups are. Anandasangaree says there is a general feeling that it is the general interest of the Tamils that is now suffering due to the disunity among the Tamil groups and Tamil political parties. He says the TNA, although not properly functioning for a lengthy period is misusing more..

Traffic plan during Independence Day rehearsals

Jan 29 (DM) Traffic will be restricted on roads along Galle Road near Galle Face in Colombo on Jan 30, 31 and Feb 2 due to the Independence Day ceremony rehearsals, Police said. Vehicles will not be allowed to enter from the Ceramic Junction and on the roads adjacent to the Army Headquarters in Slave Island will also be closed for several hours with only military vehicles will be allowed in. The 68th Independence Day celebrations will be held on Feb 4 at 8 am at the Galle Face Green, more..

Australian homes of Sri Lankan linked to IS raided

Jan 29 (Age) Counter-terrorism police searched two Melbourne homes on Thursday that are reportedly linked to an Australian man who has posed as a physiotherapist working in an Islamic State hospital in Syria. The houses in Meadow Heights and Craigieburn were searched by police looking for information about Mohomed Unais Mohomed Ameen. Australian Federal Police confirmed Victorian Joint Counter Terrorism more..

Three people arrested over Mawathagama girl's death

Jan 29 (AM) Three suspects have been arrested over the death of a 13-year-old girl in Mawathagama. The girl's body was discovered at an abandoned house in Palgaspitiya, Mawathagama last night. Her family and residents of the area launched a search yesterday when the girl had failed to return home after she left her home in the morning. Police said that the body was found inside the kitchen of the house and that the cause of death has not been ascertained yet. more..

Strike forces National Hospital to outsource medical lab tests

Jan 29 (Island) The National Hospital said it had taken steps to outsource laboratory tests during the token strike of medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) of the hospital demanding the annulment of a punishment transfer given to the former Secretary of the Professions Supplementary to Medicine, Saman Jayasekera. NHSL Director, Dr. Anil Jasinghe said there had been a drop in the number of lab tests ordered during strikes. MLTs of Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to more..

Unemployed graduates extend their protests to Batticaloa

Jan 29 (Island) Unemployed graduates some of whom are currently performing a Sathyagraha at Kandy and Matara started another protest in Batticaloa yesterday demanding jobs in the public sector. Secretary of Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG) said present govt, too, had not honoured the pledge given at a discussion with a committee appointed by PM to provide them with jobs. more..

Ex-Defence Secretary’s FR application re-fixed for argument on May 25

Jan 29 (Island) Supreme Court re-fixed for argument, on May 25, fundamental rights violation petition filed by the former Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who has complained to the Court about an imminent arbitrary decision. Bench comprised Justice Priyasarth Dep, Justice Priyantha Jayawardene and Justice Upali Abeyratne. Justice Jayawardene has declined to hear the case. The petitioner has alleged that FCID questioned him in respect of a baseless allegation more..

Sri Lanka T20I moved from Delhi to Ranchi

Jan 29 (CI) The Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) has informed the BCCI that it will not be able to host the the second Twenty20 international between India and Sri Lanka. The match, scheduled to be played on Feb 12, has been shifted to Ranchi, one of the venues on the BCCI shortlist. Last week, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur had sent DDCA a stern email asking them get the requisite clearances from the various civic authorities necessary in order to host the match. more..

Megapolis: The City of Dreams

Jan 29 (DN) The much talked about Western Megapolis is being launched today by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe. The Minister in charge of the subject, Champika Ranawaka speaks of the 15 year plan designed to transform the Western Province to an economically sustainable state of the art spatial structure, with eleven different zones. Q: What is Megapolis and how would such a project help Sri Lanka? more..

Sri Lankan shares rise to near one-week high

Jan 29 (Reuters) Shares rose for a second straight session on Friday, hitting near one-week highs as local investors picked up battered large-cap stocks. The main stock index ended 0.32%, or 20.16 points, higher at 6,340.05, its highest since close since Jan 25. The index has fallen over 8% so far this year as foreign investors, unnerved by global concerns over China's economy, have cut their exposure. "Local investors were largely active on the bourse," TKS securities said in a note to investors. more..

Video: MR arrives at PRECIFAC

Jan 29 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) today. He arrived at the commission for the inquiry on the alleged default of payment of money to the ITN for the advertisements during 2015 Presidential Election campaign. Mr. Rajapaksa was questioned regarding this matter on several previous occasions more..

'Sri Lanka deepening trade agreements, exploring China FTA'

Jan 29 (LBO) SL is deepening its free trade agreements with India and Pakistan, and negotiating an FTA with China, minister Malik Samarawickrama said. “PM Modi’s Make in India strategy will create opportunities for linking into new and expanding value chains in domestic as well as multinational companies operating in India,” he said. He was speaking at the Invest in East 2016 International Investment Promotion Forum. more..

Ramanya Nikaya wants Kathikawatha Bill adopted with amendments

Jan 29 (DN) Theravadi Bhikkhu Kathikawatha Bill is a result of requests made to the govt for a long time by the Mahanayake Theras and members of Karaka Maha Sangha Sabhas. Its adoption with amendments will be of great assistance towards the future progress of the Sasana, said The Most Ven. Napane Pemasiri Mahanayake Thera of Ramanne Maha Nikaya. "This Bill had today elicited favourable and opposing views among the laity and clergy and therefore subjecting it to a wide dialogue and more..

Mischievous hand behind Jaffna University posters demanding Buddhist shrine

Jan 29 (Island) Posters pasted at the University of Jaffna compound a few days back demanding the construction of a Buddhist shrine in the premises were not initiated by Sinhala undergraduates, a source at the University said. He described it as a mischievous act initiated by some outside party to create division among communities. "We are open to views of the Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala undergraduates and they can speak to the top people of the University at any time," more..

Video: Rs 40 billion-Megapolis Development Plan launched

Jan 29 (AD) The launching ceremony of the Western Province Megapolis Development Plan was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, today at the Independence Square. According to this development plan, the entire Western Province, which includes the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara, will be developed as a mega town, based on the Colombo City. more..

Cry, Chaos!

Jan 30 (CT) I read in Colombo Telegraph the claim by PM, Ranil Wickremasinghe, that the previous President and his supporters are forming, fomenting and are about to unleash a new fascist Buddhist movement. It reminded me of Shakespeare’s history play, Julius Caesar (Act 3, Scene 1) from which I adapt and quote a few lines: Shout Chaos!, and then let loose the dogs of violence and destruction. Blood and destruction shall become normal, and all pity will be choked by evil deeds. more..

Stop the spread of Zika now

Jan 30 (CT) Newborn babies with abnormally small heads or microcephaly in Brazil have taken the world by storm as news of Zika virus, which causes such birth defects, spread like wildfire until it became a household name. World Health Organization (WHO) this week said the level of alarm was extremely high and that they expected close to four million people to be infected with the virus around the world by the end of the year. Our own Health Ministry at home has issued a Red Alert on more..

Precious beyond precious

Jan 30 (SO) Fabled for her precious stones since Biblical times when Queen Sheba received precious local gems from King Solomon, there should be no surprise that Sri Lanka, with its 2500 years of gemming history, heralded New Year 2016 with the sparkling discovery of the world’s largest Blue Star Sapphire, the Star of Adam. A local gem merchant a fortnight ago went on record saying that he possessed the world’s largest Star Blue more..

Sampanthan goes Scottish

Jan 30 (CT) The first high profile meeting of the TNA chaired by its leader R. Sampanthan with the participation of all TNA MPs, Provincial Councillors from North and the East including Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran was held in Kilinochchi last week. Being the first high profile meeting of the year following the problematic situation that surfaced within TNA in the latter part of last year with formation of Tamil People's Council (TPC) chaired by CM C.V. Wigneswaran, more..

Sampanthan’s descent to politics of surrender

Jan 30 (CT) Sampanthan is the leader of TNA – composing EPRLF, PLOTE, TELO, and ITAK. All these parties in their names are carrying the political slogan endorsing the demand of the Tamils Tamil Eelam, since the 1976 Vaddukkottai resolution, Tamil govt or Tamil rule implying the liberation of Tamil to achieve this objective. The constitutional legislation introduced by J.R banning separation and any one advocating it is punishable for the offence of treason, has put a brake on more..

'Reserving 6% of GDP for education is a spoof'

Jan 30 (CT) As corruption in school admissions to Grade One erupted into the public sphere once again at the start of the new year, General Secretary of Ceylon Teachers' Services Union, Mahinda Jayasinghe explained the prevailing issues in the education system in a comprehensive point of view made up of perspectives of administrators, academic staff, students, parents and the society. more..

Consumer prices ease in January; core inflation at 32-month high

Jan 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s consumer prices in January rose 0.9% from a year earlier, slowing from the previous month’s 2.8%, data showed on Friday. However, annual core inflation hit a 32-month high. On a month-on-month basis, Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) fell 0.2%. In Dec, it rose 0.3%, slowing from a 10-month high of 1.4% in the previous month. January inflation, as measured on a 12-month moving average basis, was 0.7%, easing from Dec’s 0.9%. more..

Homagama incident highlights urgency of Kathikawath Bill

Jan 30 (Island) The scenes outside the Homagama Magistrate’s court highlights more than ever the need for the speedy passage of the Kathikawath Bill that is before parliament. Registered bhikku Ven. Galagodatte Gnanasara Thera was arrested and remanded in relation to several charges including contempt of court amidst chaotic scenes outside the courthouse with unruly monks staging a sit down protest and one even threatening to set himself on fire unless Ven. Gnanasara was released. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

The Embilipitiya death, GSP Plus and a challenge for Yahapalanaya

Jan 30 (GV) Sumith Jayawardena would not normally be a household name. But his sudden and violent death in Embilipitiya following an altercation and clash between guests and the Police at a social function, has become an issue of national interest and indicates the challenges of implementing Yahapalanaya. The story line in Embilipitiya is not unfamiliar in Sri Lanka. There is a clash between citizens and agents of the state, a citizen (or citizens) dies and life goes on. more..

Editorial: From traitors to racists

Jan 30 (Island) Politicians, intoxicated with power, vent their spleens on their critics the way tipplers heap abuse on the rocks they stumble over. Rajapaksa govt had many such elements, Mervyn Silva being one of them. They branded those who refused to toe their line traitors. The critics of the present administration are vilified as racists. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was in action in Parliament on Thursday! He flayed the media to his heart’s content. more..

Police brutality in Embilipitiya

Jan 30 (CT) Near the entrance to the Embilipitiya Police Station, there is a statue of the Buddha. Before it, there is a board with a stanza of the Dhammapada. The meaning of the Pali stanza is that the crimes committed against an innocent person may come to the perpetrator like the soil thrown over the head may fall over the thrower. All officers are expected to read and understand it but some may have missed it. more..

Independent directors blew whistle on Entrust

Jan 30 (ST) Independent directors at beleaguered Entrust Securities PLC (Entrust), a primary dealer in the money markets, had blown the whistle last year when they had got wind of Entrust’s financial woes through an internal grapevine, well-informed sources said. On October 29, 2015 the three independent directors Dr. Nalin Jayasuriya, Kishan Nanayakkara and Manohara Thilakawardena had discovered through inside information that there was a liquidity issue at Entrust. more..

Authentic Sri Lankan experience sells, says tourism industry

Jan 30 (ST) The changing climate of tourism has impacted on Sri Lanka’s formal and informal sectors with more travellers wanting to live the experience on a budget tour while being environmentally conscious as well. These were brought to the fore at a discussion on Tourism Sri Lanka: Mass market or High end conducted by the Sunday Times Business Club on Tuesday at The Kingsbury in Colombo. It was the first meeting at the club’s new host hotel, The Kingsbury Colombo. more..

East secures over US$ 550 mn in FDIs

Jan 30 (DN) The Eastern Province has secured foreign direct investments to the tune of over US$ 550 million subsequent to the Invest in East Forum held at the Galadari Hotel. Forum concludes today. The mentor behind the project, Eastern Province Chief Minister Naseer Ahamed said the response for the event was far more than what they expected. “This is because of good planning and presentations we made on more..

A yellow peril on the rise

Jan 30 (Island) Term Yellow Peril was coined by German Emperor Wilhelm II in 1895, and about the same time it referred to what Americans saw as the threat or menace of Chinese immigrants who came as coolie slaves or labourers; it was later extended to the Japanese, notably in the US, due to Japanese military expansion in the 1940s. There is a new Yellow Peril on the rise in our own country. It is the peril from a robe that is far removed from the teaching of compassion it is expected to more..

Mass protest abandoned

Jan 30 (CT) A delegation from civil society groups which met the President and the PM last week before deciding to take to the streets over the govt's failure to fulfil its pledges to the people during its first year in office, says they have decided to shelve their plans temporarily. It is reliably learnt that a few powerful ministers had also decided to support the efforts of these civil society groups to take to the streets in protest against the govt. These talks which were held on 29 Jan had ended on more..

SAITM yet to conform to SLMC requirements

Jan 30 (NS) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has said that the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe was yet to conform to the standards described by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). Secretary, GMOA, Dr. Nalinda Herath said that they had previously organized picketing campaign opposite the Awissawella Hospital and added more campaigns would be organized in future in more..

Common Oppn condemns PM's statement

Jan 30 (DN) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma said President Maithripala Sirisena, Free Media Movement, Western countries and the SLFP should reveal their position over the statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament with regard to the conduct of some journalists and media organisations. "The members of the common opposition condemn this statement. It is an attempt to intimidate and frighten the journalists," he said. Alahapperuma said the statement made by more..

TPC proposals today

Jan 30 (NS) The Tamil People’s Council (TPC) is set to come out with its proposals for a durable solution to the national issue today, sources said. The proposals were drafted by a sub committee appointed by the leadership of the TPC last month. While the content of the proposals were not revealed by the TPC, its co-chair and Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran said that it would complement the demands of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). more..

India invites Sri Lankan businessmen to Make in India

Jan 30 (HCI) High Commission of India organized a road-show in Colombo on Jan 29, to invite Sri Lankan businesses to participate in the Make in India Week, to be held in Mumbai from Feb 13-18, 2016. High Commission's social media portal on India-Sri Lanka Business Forum was also launched on the occasion. Minister of State for Home (Rural), Public Health, Agriculture and Horticulture, Marketing and Tourism of more..

Sri Lanka seen as a possible maritime hub in South Asia

Jan 30 (Island) Sri Lanka has a high potential and all the advantages to be developed as the economic hub of Asia and as a maritime hub of the region, Secretary General, Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Co-Operation Dr. Hiran Jayawardena said. "Sri Lanka has all the potential to become a maritime hub when considering the geographical location of the country and the highly sophisticated Colombo port. Therefore, it is not an impossible task to become a maritime hub in the region, more..

Women in Parliament: Increased Participation - Strengthened Democracies

Jan 30 (FT) The High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Shelley Whiting, yesterday launched the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Initiative which brings leading women parliamentarians from Afghanistan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka together for a two-day series of meetings and discussions in Colombo on opportunities for enhanced women’s political participation in the region. The Colombo component of this initiative is being organised by more..