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Operating theatres to work round the clock

Sept 5 (CT) Health Ministry is looking at the possibility of collaborating with the private sector to keep operating theatres functional around the clock, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Speaking at a function to provide technologically advanced brain surgery equipment to National Hospital, noted that very often operating theatres in govt hospitals are closed around 4.30 p.m. as many consultants leave for private practice. more..

Lankans to be fined Rs 400,000

Sept 5 (CT) All foreign employees in Saudi Arabia who vacate their posts without due notification will with effect from 1 Sept 2016 be fined of Rs 400,000 according to new laws introduced by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Saudi Arabia. A SL Bureau of Foreign Employment source said, Sri Lankans wishing to cut short their contracts and return to SL henceforth without adequate notice will have to pay 10,000 Saudi Riyals as compensation to get possession of their return visas. more..

SLC head-hunts for new trainer

Sept 5 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is currently in search of a new Head of Strength and Conditioning (Trainer) as Michael Main who worked in this position has left the country during the ongoing Australia tour for his new position at Warwickshire County Club after working for 16 months with the SLC since April 2015. Currently Dilshan Fonseka who had been the Trainer of the Sri Lanka Under-19 and Sri Lanka 'A' Team is carrying on in this position until the SLC fills this vacant position. more..

Police transfers two HQIs, 12 OICs

Sept 5 (DM) Two HQIs and 12 OICs including Bambalapitiya, Kelaniya and Maharagama OICs had been transferred with immediate effect based on service requirements, the Police Headquarters said today. Accordingly, Gampaha HQI Chief Inspector (CI) B.G. De S Kalinga has been transferred to the Colombo Division while Kalmunai HQI CI A.W.A Gaffar has been transferred as Gampaha HQI. more..

To National Security Council after probe

Sept 5 (CT) Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi stated that the alleged story of State Intelligence Officer's smuggling weapons to the underworld will not be brought before the National Security Council until inquiries into the matter are concluded. He stated that several inquiries are being conducted into the matter by several and their reports will be presented to the President once inquiries end. "I heard about the story on a news broadcast. more..

Video: Rohitha Abeygunawardena requests permission to go abroad

Sept 5 (AD) UPFA MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena has requested to release his passport and sought permission to travel abroad. The request made through a Counsel when a case filed against him over non declaration of assets and liabilities was taken up for hearing at the Colombo High Court today. The Commission to Investigate Allegation of Bribery or Corruption filed the case over the allegation of failure to declare his assets estimated at Rs. 41.2 million. more..

Video: Five detained over alleged assault of Sri Lankan envoy to Malaysia

Sept 5 (TS) Five people have been arrested over the alleged assault on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim Ansar at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Selangor CID chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Adnan Abdullah confirmed the arrests but declined to divulge the details of the five individuals. The case is being investigated under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting, he said Monday. more..

Battle of the Bikini, Burquina & Diya Reddha

Sept 6 (SL) Lounging in our hansiputtuwa on a lazy monsoonal morning, our thoughts drifted to the beautiful blue sea in the French Rivera where that flimsy garment, the bikini, is battling an intruder to the beach, the Burquina. The bikini has withstood for decades those crusty, pious moralists who don’t like exposure of feminine curves in public. It is now fighting a new opponent, an intruder to that sea coast, the Burquina that provides far less exposure. What is the power the bikini has to have more..

Tat trivial, but there are two sides, after all

Sept 6 (SL) Govt may still have done well by setting up an Office of the Missing Persons (OMP), that too under a parliamentary law, to probe war-time disappearances. This is so despite valid and not-so-valid criticism on the concepts and contents of the legislative move, replacing an Executive creature of the kind under the predecessor Rajapaksa dispensation. Whether or not the current move is to deflect international attention ahead of the September session of the UNHRC. more..

'Now it is one Sri Lankan Nation'

Sept 6 (SL) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam commends the efforts of President Sirisena that his achievements have put the country in the right direction, especially when taken into account the massive destruction the Rajapaksas left in the country. He said, “Now, even the USA President Barack Obama is happy about the initiatives of the UNP-SLFP led govt. The duo Maithri and Ranil has shown the world how to do politics for more..

Getting away with road murder

Sept 6 (DM) Meeeeoooowwww screeched Tommo, a pussycat as he spun the wheel of a new hybrid limousine belonging to his mistress Joy Perera. He did well to avoid a three wheeler scraping away some brand new skin off Joy’s four-wheel pride. Thuhooooot, hooted pussy’s companion, Ooty, an owl cringing in the front seat. “The damn fool; who gave that maddo a licence to drive that thing? His wife or his keep?” The bird with its heart going pit- a- pat to a fast jive was livid with rage. more..

Media exposés that irk our ministers

Sept 6 (ST) There is hardly a politician who does not pay homage to the concept of media freedom, at least in countries that call themselves democracies. Politicians, particularly those aspiring to higher office will burn incense at the altar of media freedom and portray themselves as defenders of the faith. All this is in the hope of winning public acceptance and hallelujahs from international institutions advocating freedom for the media. Why, some even proclaim a willingness to shed their last drop of blood more..

Storm in the Tea cup

Sept 6 (SO) A slump in demand which began with the global economic crisis in 2008 has been exacerbated by unrest in the Middle East and Russia which consume 60% of Sri Lanka's tea exports. Last month, export volumes for tea declined to 21 million kilograms, the lowest figure in 14 years and total tea production is likely to fall under the 300 million ton mark in 2016 - back to levels seen around the year 2000. more..

Create an accountable State

Sept 6 (DM) Parliament is a key institution in our democracy. Didn’t we form govts of politicians, by the politicians, for the politicians since 1970s? They had disregarded Constitutional obligations too, to achieve their selfish motives. They created a culture of impunity. They have done irreparable damage to the country and the social order. Making political space for all parties and building up good understanding between the two major parties in the country now is a sine qua non. more..

Editorial: Curiouser and curiouser!

Sept 6 (Island) President Sirisena waxed eloquent at the SLFP’s 65th session in Kurunegala on Sunday. Calling upon all SLFPers to unite, he made a solemn vow to form an SLFP govt. The SLFP, he said, would contest the next local govt polls under its own hand symbol. Is it that the UPFA is now kaput? Or, does the President want UPFA constituents to contest under the SLFP symbol? Intriguingly, President has said he was still an SLFP member when he contested last presidential election, more..

Duminda Disanayake

Tax reforms vital for success of national development plan

Sept 6 (ST) In one of his budget speeches Dr. N.M. Perera, one time Finance Minister, said that you can’t even fry an egg without money. It was his way of emphasising the importance of revenue for the country’s budget. The government is facing a severe revenue crunch owing to inadequate revenue collection. Unless the govt is able to increase revenue much above recent amounts, the proposed National Economic Development Plan will remain a theoretical construct. more..

Democracy, not devolution, the only solution for the ethnic problem

Sept 6 (Island) I want to establish in this article that in the contemporary world of multi-ethnic nation states democracy has to be regarded as incomplete and flawed unless it includes measures for the safeguarding of ethnic minority interests, measures regarded not as supplementary but as integral to the democratic order. This applies to the vast majority of nation states today as there are only four, according to other reckonings not more than twelve, states that are mono-ethnic. more..

McGrath comments on injuries to Sri Lanka’s fast bowlers

Sept 6 (ST) Fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath praised the efforts of Australian fast bowlers for keeping up their reputation against Sri Lanka in the ongoing series on subcontinent tracks that are more friendly for spinners. His extol was more on Mitchell Starc, who ended up as the second best bowler with 24 scalps next to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who ended up with four victims more. more..

He is set to go ahead with the mega deal

Sept 6 (DM) A political authority responsible for a state undertaking tasked with facilitating public mobility is set to wrap up a mega transaction at the cost of several billions of rupees to the govt coffers. This state undertaking now being run at a huge loss depends on Treasury funds even to meet its EPF and ETF commitments, they say. The political authority is dead set on purchasing at least 500 buses from a company in a neighbouring country at one go regardless of the huge cost involved. more..

ICC rankings: Sri Lanka retains 6th place

Sept 6 (DN) Australia and England have consolidated their positions on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings after completing identical 4-1 series victories over their respective oppositions in the series which ended on Sunday. Australia scored a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final match in Pallekele, while Pakistan earned a 4-wicket consolation victory in the final match of the series in Cardiff. However, the Cardiff victory was not enough to prevent the green shirts from more..

Dilshan reveals he was forced to give up Sri Lanka captaincy

Sept 6 (IC) Retiring veteran Tillakaratne Dilshan has revealed that he was forced to bring to an end his stint as captain in 2012 by the then chairman of selectors. In a recent interview, Dilshan said he was given a choice to quit captaincy or be removed. "I received a call from chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel and he said: 'Dilshan you should voluntarily give up captaincy or you will be removed'," Dilshan disclosed. more..

Dilshan: Age did not wither, nor custom stale his infinite variety

Sept 6 (ST) In a recent press release regarding the retirement of TM Dilshan, a mere couple of months shy of his 40th birthday, current Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews said his contributions to the game are “on par with those of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.” Admittedly Dilshan, the right-handed batting all-rounder, has thrilled us all with his exciting stroke-play, scored centuries in all three formats of the game, captained the country, bowled off-spin, kept wickets, more..

Mobitel dials for healthcare biz with Rs. 733 m bid to buy eChanneling

Sept 6 (FT) Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel is dialing for more business by foraying into the healthcare business with a Rs. 733 million bid for pioneering venture eChannelling. The Company announced a voluntary offer to buy an 87.6% stake or 106.97 million shares at Rs. 6 each from major shareholder Senior Marketing System Asia Ltd of Singapore (SMS). Mobitel will also buy the remaining shareholding within the total issued capital of 122.131 million shares of eChannelling. more..

Northern Province Investment forum beacons investments

Sept 6 (DN) More Indian investments together by govt and private sector is envisaged for the Northern Province said Consulate General of India in Jaffna, A. Natarajan. Speaking after the recently concluded first ever Northern Province Investment forum organized by Governor of Northern Province Reginald Cooray in Jaffna he said already an Indian steel manufacturing and fish net manufacturing company has set a factory in Jaffna. more..

High level of awareness on controversial issues

Sept 6 (ST) The working class and other middle and lower segments of society in Galle have shown a surprisingly high level of awareness on the Colombo Port City, the Central Bank bond issue and the coal tender compared to those in Colombo, a BT-RCB poll this week revealed. The poll tackled some fundamental issues of awareness. Respondents were asked whether they were aware of the Central Bank bond issue, the coal tender, the re-awarding of the highway contracts for Kandy-Colombo, more..

President awarded WHO Award for Excellence in Public Health – 2016

Sept 6 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena received the Award for Excellence in Public Health – 2016. This annual Award has been established to recognise outstanding leadership and exceptional achievements in public health by individuals. WHO South East Asia regional Excellence in Public Health. Dr. Poonam Singh, Regional Director of WHO mentioned this prestigious award is presented to President Sirisena for his exceptional contributions strengthening Health services more..

Public awareness on development issues

Sept 6 (ST) Many issues have confronted the public over the past year like the Central Bank bond issue, the coal tender, highway contracts and the Colombo Port city project among many others. How the public perceives these projects was the focus of this week’s BT-RCB poll. Most of the additional comments came from street interviews in Galle and Colombo. Here is condensed version of the streets comments from the RCB poll. more..

ADB in US $ 50 m private placement in HNB

Sept 6 (Island) Hatton National Bank (HNB) is to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to obtain shareholder approval to allow the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to invest US $ 50 million in a private placement, taking a stake of up to 10 percent of the bank’s ordinary voting shares. "An HNB stock exchange filing states that it sees the ADB as a strategic investor and that the money will be used to strengthen the bank’s balance sheet and support overall business growth, more..

NCP Badminton Association hoodwinks mother association

Sept 6 (CT) The North Central Province Badminton Association has avoided paying money that was due to the Sri Lanka Badminton Association on behalf of the shuttle cocks used during the North Central Province Badminton Tournament games played at the Mike Cook and North Central Province Indoor Stadiums located in Anuradhapura. NCP Badminton Association which organized this tournament had, accordingly obtained a certain quantity of shuttle cocks (ACE2) worth approx Rs 150,000 more..

PM for common health programme for SAARC, ASEAN countries

Sept 6 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said it was time for all to get together and implement one common health programme for SAARC and ASEAN countries. “We have to look at possibilities for cooperation, coordination, exchange of ideas and single programme for these two regions to provide a better health service and a better life for the people,” he said. Addressing the inauguration of 69th Session of WHO Regional Committee more..

'Banned substance Glyphosate sold illegally'

Sept 6 (CT) Senior Lecturer at the Rajarata University Medical Faculty Dr. Channa Jayasumana said that, authorities have not yet focused their attention on the banned powder containing the toxic chemical Glyphosate being brought into Sri Lanka, illegally. Dr. Jayasumana further said, that although the media reveals the information he provides, since responsible authorities do not show any response, on Monday there will be a written submission to the Pesticides Office. more..

How Sri Lanka became malaria-free

Sept 6 (TOI) Even as Delhi is reeling under rising mosquito-borne illnesses, tiny Sri Lanka, among the most malaria-affected countries not long ago, has today been certified malaria-free+ by the World Health Organization (WHO). After the Maldives, Sri Lanka is the second country in WHO's South-East Asia Region to eliminate malaria. Sixty years ago, Sri Lanka was one of the most malaria affected countries. And since Oct 2012, indigenous cases of malaria there have come down to zero. more..

WHO regional head raises Zika alarm

Sept 6 (Island) WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, Dr. Poonam Singh urged all countries in the region to increase surveillance for vector born diseases such as Zika. Addressing the media, following the inauguration ceremony of the 69th session of the WHO Regional Committee for South East Asia at the Nelum Pokuna, Dr Singh said that the vector Aedes mosquitoes were already present in the region, preventive measures should be more..

Phone of UNESCO's Chief husband robbed

Sept 6 (DM) A mobile phone worth over Rs. 45,000 belonging to the husband of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova had been stolen from at a five-star hotel in Colombo during her recent visit to Sri Lanka, police said. However, the police arrested a suspect-a drug addict- from Slave Island area yesterday in connection with the robbery. Fort Police launched an inquiry, after the husband of the UNESCO’s top officer lodged a complaint stating that his mobile phone had been robbed while more..

MS betrayed SLFP’s philosophies says MR

Sept 6 (FT) Upon returning to Sri Lanka from Malaysia, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday charged that President Maithripala Sirisena had betrayed the SLFP’s strategies by co-governing with the UNP and extending the agreement. Responding to Sirisena’s request to gather around the SLFP to strengthen the party’s roots, Rajapaksa said that as long as the SLFP followed the instructions of the UNP, the party could not be strengthened. more..

World Bank gets bullish on Sri Lanka

Sept 6 (FT) World Bank appears to be getting more bullish as it committed $ 187 million for Sri Lanka for three key projects including supporting the Govt’s push for economic reforms. It extended a $100 million credit from International Development Association (IDA) to support govt’s economic reform program. SL has been making steady progress on economic reforms, with the Govt aiming to create more..

Lankaputhra Development Bank Board expels Chairman

Sept 6 (FT) Lankaputhra Development Bank (LDB) Board yesterday expelled its Chairman Lasantha Goonewardena following the ruling for the same by the Monetary Board. Following the move the Board appointed Director Ranil Fernando as the Acting Chairman. Despite alleged moves by Goonewardena to scuttle the oust, the Board had managed to comply with the Monetary Board directive. Chairman had participated at the Board meeting yesterday and had later walked out. more..

Six schools closed: 6,876 teachers marking A/L papers

Sept 6 (CT) The second phase of the evaluation of 2016 GCE A/L answer scripts commenced yesterday according to the Department of Examinations. A spokesperson from the Department of Examinations said that the department's evaluation activities will continue until the 18 of this month. The third phase of evaluation is scheduled to be conducted from the 19 to 10 Oct. In order to conduct the evaluations of 2016 GCE A/L answer scripts, six schools will be entirely closed. more..

Rajapaksa says attack on Lankan envoy was against govt

Sept 6 (PTI) Former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa dubbed as one against the govt the attack on SL envoy in Malaysia who was mobbed by a group of protesters allegedly linked to the LTTE for hosting him. The attack on High Commissioner Ibrahim Ansar at Kuala Lumpur Int'l Airport was allegedly carried out by LTTE sympathisers, who were protesting against the visit of Rajapaksa, under whose leadership the Lankan troops defeated more..