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Rajitha wants regulations on private hospitals implemented

Sept 9 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has issued instructions to his Ministry officials to ensure that the regulations on private hospitals are being implemented. Several decisions had been taken during discussions between Minister Senaratne and institutional heads under the Health Ministry. Senaratne stressed that the Investigation and Flying Squad Unit should take necessary steps to carry out those inspections to ensure the quality of service provided by private hospitals. more..

Fisheries Ministry starts work on three fisheries harbour jetties in South

Sept 9 (Island) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry has taken steps to develop three jetties in the Southern Province at a cost of Rs. 317 million. Accordingly, the development of Kudawella, Mirissa and Galle jetties would commence on Monday, Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He had given necessary instructions to the officials of the Project Implementing and Monitoring Unit of Development and Rehabilitation of Fishery Harbours, more..

SriLankan Airlines pilot work-to-rule could disrupt flights

Sept 9 (EN) SriLankan Airlines said a work-to-rule campaign by its pilots union, protesting against the suspension of a pilot who refused a breathalyzer test, could disrupt flights. Airline Pilots’ Guild of SL is demanding the re-instatement of the suspended pilot, identified as Captain Jayasekera, which the airline said is contrary to both aviation regulations and company procedure. The national carrier said that it recently more..

Shares end down, dragged by large caps

Sept 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's benchmark index fell for the third straight session on Friday, dragged down by large caps, as investors stayed on the sidelines amid confusion over falling bond yields, stockbrokers said. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.11% lower at 6,494.86, its lowest close since Aug. 1. The bourse had fallen 0.68% last week, posting its third straight weekly loss. "Downward trend is continuing as investors are still in profit-taking mode," more..

Low grown tea prices at two-year high

Sept 9 (EN) Although Sri Lanka’s tea output is lower this year compared with last year, prices have picked up at the Colombo auctions, with the price of mainstay low-grown teas hitting a two-year high, brokers said. Given the limited availability of tea at auctions, overseas buyers are following quality very closely and all well-made teas were absorbed at attractive prices. “The weekly low-grown auction averages moved up quite sharply during the month of July surpassed Rs500 a kilo at sale No: 33 more..

I'm Ready to play: Malinga

Sept 9 (CT) Former Twenty20 skipper and pace attack spearhead Lasith Malinga was seen training during practice sessions with the National Squad ahead of the second T20 match against Australia at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Malinga was seen even bowling at the nets to Kusal Mendis and Chamara Kapugedera in the middle and earlier he had expressed his strong desire to be part of the team which will more..

Case against Keheliya, 2 others fixed for trial

Sept 9 (DN) The case against former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and two others was re-fixed for trial on October 4 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Artigala. The three are accused of allegedly causing unlawful loss to the govt, by purchasing 600 GI pipes using Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation’s (SLRC) funds during the previous Presidential Election. The fourth and the fifth witnesses in the case were advised to appear in Court on next hearing date to give evidence. more..

Central Bank says no new licenses for finance companies

Sept 9 (LBO) Central Bank says it will not issue new licenses for finance companies and, as a result, licenses of existing companies will have a higher market value in the future. Releasing a statement, Central Bank said this is a key factor in encouraging new investors. A good number of investors with overseas links are in negotiation with the bank to infuse fresh capital for troubled finance companies. “CB is aware that certain parties who have the vested interest in taking over more..

Thajudeen’s body parts: EX-chief JMO seeks SC to prevent his arrest

Sept 9 (DM) Supreme Court today fixed to be mentioned on Sept 23 the fundamental rights petition filed by Colombo's former JMO Ananda Samarasekera requesting Court to prevent his arrest in connection with the loss of Wasim Thajudeen's body parts. The Bench comprised Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Nalin Perera. The petitioner cited Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine Secretary Anura Jayawickrama, more..

Necessary amendments for National Sports Act Ministry’s work completed

Sept 9 (CT) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara confirmed that all necessary work of the Ministry of Sports regarding amending the National Sports Act (NSA) had been completed by 7 Sept. He stated that if differences of the NOC Constitution and the NSA are not sorted out and amendments not enacted before 8 Sept, there was the danger of the IOC bringing sanctions against Sri Lanka. He said a panel had also been formed to further amend the NSA which was first enacted in 1973. more..

Ethiopia, Sri Lanka vow to further strengthen economic ties

Sept 9 (EH) Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom, who was in Sri Lanka to attend the WHO South East Asia regional meeting met with SL President Sirisena Wednesday during which the two sides vowed to further strengthen economic relations. During the meeting, Dr. Tedros emphasized the historic and traditional cordial relations Ethiopia has with SL and thanked the President for opening an Embassy in Ethiopia to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries. more..

SL failed to address the causes of the conflict

Sept 6 (CG) SL failed to address the causes of the conflict in a manner that would guarantee durable peace, meaningful reconciliation and non-recurrence, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He said that divisions in society were becoming deeper along religious and ethnic lines, freedom of speech and expression were curtailed, and fear and intimidation pervaded society. “Our nation which had been more..

Dons to probe quality of expressways built by former regime

Sept 9 (DN) The PRECIFAC has engaged dons of Engineering faculties of three universities to seek expert opinion about the quality of expressways and highways built by the previous regime in connection with an investigation launched by the commission about these expressways and highways built spending billions of rupees. Dons attached to the Moratuwa University are conducting this study regarding expressways and highways in the Western Province while more..

Sri Lanka targets at least 300,000 Chinese tourists this year

Sept 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is targeting at least 300,000 Chinese tourists this year as China has now become the largest market for tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka, Tourism Ministry said. Ministry said that already 132,842 Chinese Tourists had arrived in the island country during the first two quarters in 2016 and the numbers were expected to increase. SL has become a popular tourist destination in the Indian Ocean region after the end of its conflict against Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009. more..

Development decisions cannot be postponed: President

Sept 9 (PMD) President Sirisena says the decisions that should be taken regarding the development of the country cannot be postponed under any circumstances. If that happened the people of the country will suffer from the poverty, the President pointed out this participating in a ceremony held at the Jaffna Central College, today. During the ceremony the President further said that the swift measures will be taken to ensure more..

Indian arrested with Rs.10mn worth heroin

Sept 9 (DM) A 31-year-old Indian man was arrested by the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) officers yesterday while attempting to smuggle in heroin worth Rs.10 million to the country. The suspect was arrested at the arrival lounge of the Katunayaka Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) yesterday afternoon. The suspect, who is a businessman, had arrived from Chennai, India. The haul of heroin which weighed 1.4 kg was found concealed around his waist in polythene bags. more..

AG indicts Tissa Attanayake

Sept 9 (DM) AG today indicted former UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake in the Colombo High Court on charges of publishing a letter with forged signatures of the then common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena and the then opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe during 2015 presidential election campaign. He was indicted on three counts under the Penal Code, International Political and Civil Rights Convention and the Presidential Election Act. Earlier, Colombo Fort Magistrate more..

'Finance ministry officials blocking 90% tax on Tobacco, Cigerettes'

Sept 9 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said certain officials in the Finance Ministry were sabotaging the govt’s effort to control the use of tobacco and cigarettes by scuttling the cabinet proposal to increase tobacco tax to 90%. “A joint proposal was made to the Cabinet by President Sirisena and me to increase the tax on tobacco to 90% with the Finance Ministry wanting to study the proposal and submit its observations. more..

Cache of ancient fire arms discovered in Matale

Sept 9 (DM) A cache of ancient fire arms were unearthed today during excavation work for the construction of the Matale District Administrative Complex. They said investigations were being carried out to ascertain the era to which these weapons, in a derelict and decayed condition, belonged to. Matale Magistrate S.B.H.M. Sesiri Herath was present at the site. Further investigations are continuing under the direction of Matale Police Hq OIC Priyantha Abeysinghe. more..

Dematagoda Chaminda transferred to Bogambara

Sept 9 (DN) Chaminda Ravi Jayanath – or, Dematagoda Chaminda, sentenced to death for the murder of former MP Bharatha Laksman Premachandra, was transferred from Welikada Prison to the Bogmbara Prison this morning. The move was a safety precaution, sources said. Former MP Duminda Silva was also to be transferred to Bogambara, but this move has been delayed. Duminda Silva and four others sentenced to death yesterday were brought to Welikada Prison. more..

Video: Colour code system for salt, fat level in food: Rajitha

Sept 9 (AD) Minister of Health Dr Rajitha Senaratne today said that displaying the levels of salt and fat in food products via colour codes will be made mandatory in Sri Lanka. He stated that the govt has already introduced the traffic lights system for sugary drinks and in addition to this they have already informed the soft drinks industry that a taxation system will be introduced for products with high levels of added sugar. more..

Background & nature of crisis within SLFP

Sept 10 (CT) UNP and SLFP became the two main competitive parties in post-Independence SL. UNP-led govts have ruled the country only 30 years but the SLFP has extended its control over 34 years since the formation of the first independent govt of local people in 1947. The country was under the control of both the parties during 2001-2004 and after Jan 2015. SLFP lost two consecutive elections in 2015, following a long stay in power, and the party faced an internal crisis after the defeat. more..

After the Moon visit

Sept 10 (CT) In a recent article I inveighed against the foreign presence in our ethnic problem, which I believe has been far too intrusive. A convincing illustration of my charge was provided by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who at the final stage of his recent visit surprised us all by throwing diplomatic decorum to the winds and kicking the rice pot. I must explain to non-SL readers that my oblique reference is to the Sinhalese proverb, The parting devil kicks the rice pot. more..

'Rajapaksa: A stumbling block'

Sept 10 (SL) Leader of the TELO and Deputy Chairman of Committees in Parliament Selvam Adaikalanathan says President Sirisena is doing his utmost to put Sri Lanka on the map once again. He stressed that unfortunately former President Rajapaksa and the joint opposition have become a stumbling block to President Sirisena. “Those who lost their powers are going all out to hamper the efforts of President Sirisena more..

Road to Nandikadal and Moon walk in Jaffna

Sept 10 (CT) Major General Kamal Gunaratne, who had been one of the field commanders of the final phase of the battle against the LTTE and made the outfit to meet its waterloo at Nandikadal in Mullaitivu, with the death of its illusive leader Prabhakaran, released his autobiography titled Road to Nadikadal on his retirement last week. Gunaratne's book Road to Nandikadal more than highlighting Sri Lanka Army's remarkable victory over one of the most deadliest militant outfits in the world, more..

Expectations for a positive change

Sept 10 (DN) Parliament was visibly shaken over the adverse news of mob attack on the SL envoy to Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, when it met this week. The attack was condemned in the strongest possible manner by both the Govt and Opposition legislators. They were all on the same page that the Malaysian law enforcement authorities should bring the perpetrators to book without delay. SL High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim Ansar and his Second Secretary more..

Whither The Govt?

Sept 10 (SL) Present political environment in Sri Lanka has received mixed reviews. While some have seen it as progressive, others consider it as a mess. Since national govt is novel to Sri Lanka, many hold different views on if the country is going in right direction under the good governance. Two main political parties, the UNP and the SLFP, joined together to form the national govt. Prof. Desmond Mallikarachchi, Former Head, more..

Families of missing want independent mechanism

Sept 10 (SL) Over 200 family members of persons gone missing due to enforced disappearance from different parts of the country, who assembled as the National Delegates Conference of Affected Families’ on the Int'l Day of the Disappeared last week, resolved to lobby the govt and international community for a better efficient and independent mechanism than the OMP to investigate the missing. They were critical and voiced disappointment in how the OMP Bill was pushed through parliament more..

Rs. 330 m from Japan for school meals in north through WFP

Sept 10 (FT) The Govt of Japan has decided to provide Japanese Yen 230 million (approximately Rs. 330 million) as food grant assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka for school meals in the Northern Province through the World Food Program’s (WFP’s) Food Assistance Program. From 2012 to 2015, the Govt of Japan has provided food grant assistance amounting to 740 million Japanese Yen to the Govt of Sri Lanka through the WFP in order to sustain the Schools Meals Program. more..


Weakening The Center through covert federalism: Reading Sampanthan’s spin

Sept 10 (SL) What Mr. Sampanthan did not say in Matara recently was as important as what he did say. What he said was as follows: “This Constitution is going to be a framed with the framework of a united, undivided and indivisible SL. We do not want this country to be divided. But the people want power to be devolved within the regions. The power that is required to maintain the unity and territorial integrity of the country, Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force will be under the control more..

Restructure our foreign policy establishment

Sept 10 (Island) Diplomacy has undergone a major change in recent times, particularly with the dawn of the Information Age, pushing the Industrial age into history. Yes the Information Age and Social Media have indeed transformed the nature and practice of Diplomacy. Today, with International Trade, Finance, Environment, International Security and int'l conflicts coming to the forefront of international relations, the very nature and practice of Diplomacy, which is concerned with more..

Together in trust

Sept 10 (ST) For a brief moment in time, one of the commonest scenes across the world is replayed on Wednesday morning – a ball is flung and an excited dog catches it in its mouth and human and pet engage in a friendly tussle. This heartwarming human-dog encounter we are witness to is not in a garden or a park but in the centre of a minefield in Mahamailankulam off the northern side of Vavuniya -Horowpothana Road. more..

Public-private partnership, the way forward

Sept 10 (NS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe recently told Parliament that unless there was a partnership between the private and public sectors, SriLankan Airlines, the Mattala Airport and the Hambantota Port would have to be closed down. He said that the volume of debts obtained on behalf of these institutions were too heavy for the govt of Sri Lanka to pay back especially as all of them were making heavy losses. This is definitely an indictment on the ability of the govt to run business. more..

What Ban Ki-moon visit means to us

Sept 10 (NS) He came, he saw, he concurred, but did it mean anything at all for SL? Last week’s visit of UNSG Ban Ki-moon is being hailed by the powers that be as a great diplomatic victory for SL but is it, really? True, there was nothing controversial about moon’s visit this time around, in stark contrast to his previous visit in 2009. That was undertaken barely a fortnight after the war with the LTTE had ended, when the world was coming to terms with the enormity of what had just happened. more..

Record Maxwell fifty powers Australia sweep

Sept 10 (CI) Sri Lanka had been changing their side every match and Australia had already sent several men home, but like a well-heeled theatre troupe, the players that remained delivered the same performance they seemed to have given many times over this series. Sri Lanka won the toss again, batted again, did well for a little while, but mainly collapsed to a modest 128 for 9. Australia were disciplined with the ball, and athletic more..

Editorial: Subservience at its worst

Sept 10 (Island) It is being argued in some quarters that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s recent comment, in Colombo, drawing a far-fetched comparison between the Vanni war and acts of genocide in Rwanda and Srebrenica has inflicted severer damage on Sri Lanka’s image than anything else. We are convinced otherwise. True, the UN Chief should have acted responsibly without making such statements. Had he dared say anything of that nature about the US or any of its allies, more..

Warner hails Australia's 'scrappy' successes

Sept 10 (CI) The ball still spun, and the sell-out crowds bayed for Sri Lanka, but Australia have comfortably won the limited-overs series playing scrappy cricket, captain David Warner said. Warner took Australia's reins when the ODI series was tied 1-1, but has won each of the five matches since then. His team has been particularly impressive in the T20s, winning the first by 86 runs, and the second by four wickets with 13 balls to spare, despite having lost six wickets for 27 runs. more..

Dilshan, a firestarter to the end

Sept 10 (CI) So before Tillakaratne Dilshan has even left the building, he has tried to set the place on fire. There were the veiled accusations about lack of support from team-mates, after his final ODI. We shouldn't dig up old grievances, he had said at the time. Moments later, he found himself unable to resist digging them up. In Sinhala interviews since, the beefs have grown in number, and have become less veiled. more..

Dy minister urges tripling of local exports

Sept 10 (Island) Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva, Chief Guest at the Annual General Meeting of the Industrial Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) held recently said imports of goods and services will not be stopped. He informed members present that, on the other hand, it was within their mandate to triple exports. ‘Be bold and do what needs to be done. Think of Sri Lanka as an Indian Ocean country. Not as a country in the South East Asian region. more..