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Medical dons countrywide blame govt. for not solving SAITM issue

Apr 7 (Island) The Federation of Faculty of Medicine Teachers’ Associations (FFMTA) has pledged their solidarity with the unions and civil society organisations campaigning against the SAITM. A press release issued by FFMTA, said: "We, trade unions of the academic staff of State medical faculties, have been extremely disturbed by the negligent approach of the authorities to solve the crisis pertaining to the SAITM issue. more..

Island wide protests a success: GMOA

Apr 7 (NR) The GMOA says the island wide protest launched this morning against the SAITM is a success. Member of the Central Committee of the GMOA Dr. Haritha Aluthge said emergency services are in operation as per usual. Aluthge said the island wide protest launched by the GMOA was a success, adding the protest has covered all state hospitals across the island. Doctors and trade union members from various parts of the country more..

Wimal Weerawansa released on bail

Apr 7 (NR) The Colombo Fort Magistrates Court today ordered the release of UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa. He was released on a cash bail of 50,000 rupees and two surety bails of 500,000 rupees each. MP Wimal Weerawansa was also barred from travelling overseas. MP filed six bail applications before Courts with a final bail application filed at the Court of Appeal. Fort Magistrate’s Court and Colombo High Court more..

Airport reopening expected to revive growth in arrivals

Apr 7 (FT) The reopening of the BIA on the scheduled date of 6 April has been praised by the country’s tourism authorities. Minister John Amaratunga said that the airport reopening would help reverse the negative trend in arrivals witnessed in the last two months. “We have been building the momentum and watching the numbers grow but unfortunately the airport closure came upon us at the peak of the tourist season and more..

Sri Lanka ropes in Chinese banks to help sell sovereign bond

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lanka has included two Chinese lenders among a group of international investment banks that is to lead-manage a sovereign bond of up to $1.5 billion. Last year, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Citicorp were appointed to help sell the sovereign bond. This year, two Chinese banks, including ICBC, have been included in the group, a source familiar with the matter said. SL has already conducted investor meetings at several financial centres to update buyers of economic developments. more..

Sri Lankan battlefield moves to Geneva UNHRC!

Apr 7 (CT) 34th session of the UNHRC has just concluded, allowing Sri Lanka another two years to implement the UN HRC resolution 30/1. In every meeting held with VIPs including diplomats, myself and a few others made it very clear that whether it is given 2 years or another 20 years, the present govt or any other govt in SL will not implement 30/1. Especially a war crimes inquiry with international judges, prosecutors and lawyers. As soon as the resolution was passed in Sept 2015, more..

පොලීසිය රණවිරුවන් දඩයම් කරන්නේ නැහැ

Balancing democracy with stability

Apr 7 (CT) Sri Lanka's move towards full democracy, post 8 January, 2015 is astonishing. The only country in the Asian region which may be ahead of it on this score may be Japan. Ironically, in the immediate aftermath of World War II in 1945, it was war destroyed Japan, destroyed first by Colonel Dolittle of the US Air Force's (USAF's) illegal incendiary bombing of Tokyo, followed by the even greater inhumane destruction by the atom bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki by more..

Kalutara Shooting: Another suspect arrested

Apr 7 (NR) Another suspect has been arrested over the shooting on a prison bus in Kalutara last month. Police said the suspect was identified through CCTV footage following investigations carried out by the Kalutara Crimes Prevention Unit. The suspect is said to have been involved in organising the van that was used to carry out the attack. A vehicle in the possession of the suspect was also seized. During interrogations police uncovered that the suspect was involved in the distribution of heroin more..

Navigating postnatal mental illnesses in SL

Apr 7 (Roar) Pregnancy was the best thing that ever happened to Kavindi*, a secondary school teacher, who had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for nine years. The arrival of the long-awaited baby was met with much elation from her family, but something did not feel quite right to Kavindi. She could not sum up the appropriate amount of affection for the warm, plump little bundle that was placed in her arms. more..

Woman dies on her way to Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (DM) A 55-year-old Sri Lankan woman was found dead in a flight which came to BIA from Saudi Arabia this morning, the airport duty manager said. According to him the victim had died while returning to Sri Lanka after serving as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia. The woman was identified as Hasham Begam and she was a resident of Elaboda area in Pannala. Her husband was also working in a foreign company. The duty manager said the woman was on her way to Sri Lanka on a Kuwait Airways more..

Sri Lanka protectionist firm demands more controls on consumers

Apr 7 (EN) D Samson Industries (Pvt) Ltd, a footwear maker already enjoying protection, has demanded further controls to prevent consumers from buying cheaper shoes despite taxes of up to 285%. Sri Lanka's shoemakers have already lobbied politicians for high tariffs and controls to keep prices of shoes high, abetted to eliminate foreign competition and corner poorer consumers. D Samson Industries told an Ease of Doing Business forum at the finance ministry that more..

Video: Three dead, 203 hospitalized over food poisoning in Ampara

Apr 7 (AD) Two women and one man have passed away after being admitted to the hospital over a food poisoning incident.  The incident had occurred after the food served at a church service at the Wannegamuwa Mosque, 10th Colony, Damana, Ampara, putting 203 in hospital.  Out of the 203,120 individuals have been discharged from hospital. The affected individuals have been admitted to the Ampara hospital, and more..

PM visits Japan next week

Apr 7 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will be visiting Japan from 10th to 16th April. PM will meet his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe during his visit. Govt of Japan has announced that they are looking forward to the visit which they believe will serve to further strengthen the friendly relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. The Premier will be accompanied by Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe, Ministers Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Malik Samarawickreme, MP Prof Ashu Marasinghe, more..

Sri Lanka tea prices hit new high in March

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lankan tea prices continued their rise in March this year with the Colombo auction average for the month the highest ever, brokers said. Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said the March 2017 monthly average at Rs638.76 a kilo was Rs 226.74 or more than 50% higher than a year ago. It was the highest average for a calendar month, the brokers said in a report. “It is also relevant to note that this records a gain of Rs. 41.91 over the previous best of Rs.596.85 achieved in Feb 2017.” more..

Neville Fernando Hospital to come under Health Ministry

Apr 7 (AD) With the view of resolving the controversial SAITM issue, the govt has proposed to bring the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital under the Ministry of Health, whilst allowing it to continue to run as a teaching hospital. A statement was issued by the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways today, revealing the position of the govt regarding the issue of the SAITM. The govt has taken the following more..

COPE asks Health Ministry to submit details on Herticad

Apr 7 (DM) COPE has ordered the Health Ministry and the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) to submit clinical and purchase details of the questionable Russian-made Herticad vaccine on May 24 on reports that the vaccine was harmful to cancer patients. “We have summoned officials of the Health ministry and the SPC to inquire into the quality of the vaccine,” COPE Chairman Sunil Hadunnetti said. The questionable nature of the drug has raised concerns in the political arena more..

Ravi K. is hyperactive lately?: All liquor stores will be closed: Ravi

Apr 7 (NR) It was revealed in Parliament today that steps are being taken to shut down all liquor stores. Speaking in Parliament, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said over 5000 liquor stores and restaurants have been issued liquor licenses in the island thus far. He said investigations are currently underway into places in close proximity to schools and places of worship that have been issued liquor licences. He said when the good governance govt was elected into power, around 1500 liquor stores more..

New Inland Revenue Act: President to address concernes

Apr 7 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisen said he would hold a meeting with all stakeholders to discuss the concerns raised on the new Inland Revenue Act, after the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year. The Inland Revenue Commissioners Association yesterday severely criticized the proposed new Inland Revenue Act and said its enactment would make redundant at least 80% of the new RAMSIS system. more..

Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act to be amended

Apr 7 (Island) The govt has in keeping with its pledges to the UNHRC, decided to amend the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act, to permit people to testify from abroad, without being physically present in SL courts. UNHRC last month re-adopted its Resolution on Accountability Issues in Sri Lanka, arising from the war and granted the govt two more years to implement it. Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal by Minister of Justice Wijayadasa more..

Psychosocial programs for children in war-torn Sri Lanka show good results

Apr 7 (AD) Different psychosocial rehabilitation programs for children have somewhat different results, due to differences in resources, methodologies and objectives. But a much more significant difference appears when comparing rehabilitated children with children who have not undergone any rehabilitation at all. This is shown by a study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. "Different programs for taking care of traumatised children have different effects. more..

Education Minister under fire for ‘stupid’ decision to change school uniforms

Apr 7 (Island) National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP) lashed out at Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam for his decision to change the school uniforms claiming that it was a foolish decision taken by the Education Minister. Former Human Rights Commissioner Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa noted that the issue at hand was of national importance. Comparing the decision of changing the colour of pedestrian more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 3.4% in Q1, March down 2.5%

Apr 7 (LBO)  Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 3.4% in the first 3 months to 604,953 with gains seen in the East-Asian market, while arrivals in March dropped 2.5% to 188,076 year on year. Arrivals from China rose 12.9% to 22,172, while a significant increase was seen in Indonesian visitors with a rise of 82.9% to 3,677. However, dips were seen across South Asia. Arrivals from India dropped 10.3% to 27,075 while Maldives dropped 10% to 8,076 in March together with a drop of 10.4% from Pakistan. more..

He bearded the lion in his den

Apr 7 (DM) High-powered committee piloting the country’s economy met the other day for deliberations on some pressing issues. Among those present at this meeting were Second in Command in yahapalanaya, purohitas in charge of subjects directly related to the finances and trade and several consultants considered economic wiz-kids. While on the subject of taxes being levied on exporters, most participants requested the holder of the public purse to re-consider a certain more..

GMOA disagrees with solutions for SAITM

Apr 7 (NR) GMOA says it does not agree with the 4 decisions taken by the govt to solve the issue surrounding the SAITM. Media Spokesman for the GMOA Dr. Samantha Ananda said the govt has not taken into consideration any proposals tabled by GMOA pertaining to SAITM. He further said the association had not yet officially received the proposals tabled by the govt adding that the association put forward 5 proposals to Court, more..

Strict action against those who misuse sports funds

Apr 7 (NR) Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara says strict action will be taken against individuals who misuse public funds via sports and sporting institutions. He said laws must be implemented where it is deemed necessary in order to punish those who exploit sports and steal form them, adding that information in this regard has been provided in the Sports Act and regulations. Minister added that he believes sports associations will follow these rules and regulations in future. more..

Colombo 7 cop turns robber at Viharamahadevi park

Apr 7 (EN) A constable attached to the Cinnamon Gardens police station was arrested on Thursday after he snatched a gold chain from a woman at the Viharamahadevi park. The constable was caught by the victim's husband and several civil defence force personnel who chased after him and grabbed him near his workplace – Cinnamon Gardens police station - on Thursday evening. The unidentified constable was held at his station and was due to be taken before a magistrate on Friday. more..

Trinco oil tanks to be leased out to India

Apr 7 (DM) After deliberations involving President Sirisena and Indian High Commissioner Taranjith Singh Sandhu, govt has decided to lease out the Trinco Oil Tank Farm for development jointly with India, a Minister said. In the lower farm, there are 14 tanks currently being used by Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC). However, there are 84 tanks in the Upper Tank Farm that are not being used at the moment. more..

President laid Foundation stone for new OPD

Apr 7 (PSL) The foundation stone laid for the nine storied OPD complex in National Hospital with the funding of China by the President Maithripala Sirisena today. Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference also joined this occasion. To reduce the rush of the National Hospital, the main hospital in SL and the Asia’s largest hospital, a request was made to Chinese Govt to grant this building while the President acted as Health minister. more..

Sri Lanka gets Japanese help for bridge maintenance

Apr 7 (EN) Japan has started a program to help Road Development Authority (RDA) do proper maintenance of bridges  on the island’s rapidly expanding road network, including gifting a vehicle. “Maintenance of bridges is especially important not only in terms of protecting infrastructure assets constructed with public funds, but also in terms of public safety,” said Fusato Tanaka, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office. more..

Video: I'm now better prepared for a fresh fight: Wimal

Apr 7 (DM) If PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had intervened to bail him out, it means it was the PM himself who had ensured he remained in remand custody, NFF Leader and MP Wimal Weerawansa said after he was released on bail today. Responding to questions asked by journalists the MP who was released on bail after being remanded for 87 days said the news which says the PM has intervened to bail him out more..

Maithri’s gazette on lands adjacent to Wilpattu National Park

Apr 8 (CT) On 24 March 2017 President Sirisena signed a gazette notification, during his official visit to Russia, declaring around 100,000 acre lands adjacent to Wilpattu National Park as forest conserves. The inevitable question is why it was signed in Russia in such mighty hurry as if the whole world was coming to an end. Why didn’t he sign it in Sri Lanka. This controversial gazette, signed without taking into consideration the rights of Muslims refugees from the area, more..

President Sirisena & Mahinda Rajapaksa are in the car permit scam!

Apr 8 (CT) It is a hard truth that no country can move forward when those hold office and exercise people’s Executive and Legislative power are absolutely corrupt. However, it is very unfortunate that in the case in Sri Lanka, where the people are being ruthlessly and openly abused by utterly corrupt politicos, who attempt to show the outside world that in Sri Lanka the rule of law prevails. However, the track record of the new regime for the last two years proves otherwise. more..

'I don't need positions to work'

Apr 8 (NS) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam contends that the rupee will be controlled using the money generated from the port. He made the remarks at a discussion regarding issues that have arisen in the country, in the governing party and the education sector and the solutions pertaining to them. Q: It is been said that the country’s situation isn’t good for the govt, isn’t it? A: No. There is nothing of that sort. more..

SAITM struggle and the search for remedy

Apr 8 (NS) Medical doctors have a special place in society. They belong to a profession which is revered, and at times worshipped. Yes, they are next to God. They should be serene, relaxed and put the patients at ease. Their job is not easy. They protect lives. Every man and woman would have been at the mercy of a doctor at one point in time. But since of late, these very doctors and undergraduates seem to callously disregard the patients & their lives taken sides on the roads more..

Editorial: Sob-stuff

Apr 8 (Island) We may have thought we were a nation of happy campers, living in the present moment without caring a damn about the future. After all, we are said to be known the world over for our beaming smiles––simpers and smirks as well––, aren’t we? But, sadly, the findings of the latest World Happiness Report (WHR) don’t support this widely held view. Sri Lanka is among the least happy countries in Asia; it is ranked 120th in the world. Sob! Sob! Sob! more..

Malik outlines national export strategy

Apr 8 (FT) The Govt’s vision is for Sri Lanka to be the next economic success story in Asia. Thus, exports play a vital role, if not the only option available for the country. Although the fundamental aspects have been discussed at almost all forums and throughout the past decades, Sri Lanka has not been able to reap the benefits of exports for a number of limitations. Sri Lanka’s growth since independence had high level of volatility with more..

Galle Face brings power change closer

Apr 8 (Island) Mahinda Rajapaksa makes repeated boasts that the Yahapalana Govt of National Unity will be toppled before the end of this year. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says MR has made such forecasts earlier, but they were never realized. The JO team was in glee over getting Galle Face Green for their May Day Rally. What is the cause for such joy…Will you be able to get a crowd to fill the Green? JO Nana, who is all out to see the fall of Ranil, was the first to respond. more..

Wiggy now thinks differently?

Apr 8 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran made a mind boggling speech, for the first time in a practical manner, realizing the ground realities of the Northern Province, since he became the first Chief Minister of the Province in Oct 2013. Wigneswaran's speech at the newly opened centre for local products in Jaffna last Tuesday was a treat for the right thinking Tamil political think tanks who think that the confrontational attitude in dealing with the political and humanitarian issues of N&E more..