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Megapolis unfolded: Champika on progress made so far

Apr 8 (NS) With the onset of the new govt, Megapolis has been a much used term, almost like a panacea for all economic ills of our country, but unfortunately ordinary folks seem to be at a loss where its true economic significance is concerned. Probably this fact in mind, the ministry in charge of the subject last week organized an event mainly for the media heads where the subject minister Champika Ranawaka himself made a comprehensive presentation on what more..

Mullikulam: Renewed struggle to regain Navy occupied village

Apr 8 (GV) On the 8th of September, 2007 the entire village of Mullikulam was unceremoniously evacuated by the Military with the promise of enabling their return within 3 days. Ten years later, these villagers are yet to be allowed to return to their homes and engage in their traditional livelihoods. Since their eviction from Mullikulam in 2007, the Navy North-Western Command Headquarters has been established there, occupying the entirety of their village. more..

Curious crustaceans: Fascinating crab stories from long ago

Apr 8 (Roar) When we Sri Lankans think of crabs, we invariably think of the edible kind from our seas and lagoons that make such a scrumptious meal. A whole culinary culture based on crab has taken root in the country, as is evident in the number of restaurants around Colombo alone that specialise in meals featuring these crustaceans. There’s Ministry of Crab, Crab Company, and Fat Crab to start with. more..

Mental Health: It’s nothing to be ashamed of

Apr 8 (DN) As WHO prepares to commemorate World Health Day with the theme Depression: Let’s Talk, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on mental health services in Sri Lanka and how to prioritize mental health in future. Sri Lanka’s transformation of mental health services over the past 15 years has been nothing short of remarkable. Since the devastating tsunami in 2004, the country has experienced a dramatic change in the provision of mental health services, with increased more..

From Hippocrates to Hypocrisy

Apr 8 (Island) I share with many millions of people in this country (who may not even know what the letters SAITM stand for) a certain indifference to the SAITM controversy that seems to be occupying so much media attention at this time. I have never been a teacher in that medical school and no child of mine ever been educated there. Having never done private practice in a lifetime as a health professional neither do I feel at all threatened that those who have actually been educated more..

Inside Sri Lanka’s National Mental Health Institute: A Photostory

Apr 8 (Roar) The day is humid, but overcast. We arrive an hour earlier than intended and stand outside the tall, white, colonial-style building. It looks every bit like an ordinary, govt hospital ‒ and it is. Contrary to popular opinion fuelled by misconceptions of mental health, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) located at Angoda is clean, calm, serene, and well organised. 30 wards are spread over the area like a network more..

United Nations’ Drugs and Crime Agency Regional Chief meets Mangala

Apr 8 (FT) Sergey Kapinos, Regional Representative for South Asia of the UN Organisation on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), presented credentials to the Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday. Samaraweera noted that given the strategic location of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is vulnerable to be utilised as a transit point for drug trafficking. He commended the Southern Route Partnership initiative undertaken by the UNODC to counter heroin trafficking in more..

Aus-SL U19 series: All you need to know

Apr 8 (Cau) Get up to speed with our comprehensive guide to the six-match series featuring Austraila's brightest young talent. Australia Under 19s and Sri Lanka Under 19s will play a six-match series in Hobart, featuring one three-day game and five one-day matches. The three-day match kicks off on Saturday at 9.30am local time at Kingston Twin Ovals, followed by the 50-over matches on April 13, 15, 18. 21 and 23 - which also begin at 9.30am AEST. more..

Sri Lanka give ultimatum for sloppy fielders

Apr 8 (Island) They didn’t quite use the words Disce aut Discede, but Sri Lankan cricket bigwigs have given an ultimatum to the members of the national cricket team that sloppy fielding will no longer be tolerated. The hard hitting message was conveyed at the tail-end of the disastrous bilateral series against Bangladesh. The national cricket team was unofficially ranked as the worst fielding unit in the world after poor catching cost them more..

RTC’s Magic Million gallops off on April 16

Apr 8 (Island) Excitement reaches a peak on 16th April 2017, with all the year’s work converging into one challenging event – the RTC Magic Million- which is the biggest and most challenging racing event of the year. The RTC Magic Million Race Day is billed to produce unfettered excitement, stated RTC CEO, Wayne Wood. Track conditions are predicted to be good going for the 16th of April, stated Clerk of the course, Stipendiary Steward and jockey trainer Sinclair Marshal, more..

SL Deaf cricketers in for financial boost

Apr 8 (NS) Cricket has proved to be a fusion to the differently able, and that the country’s deaf cricketers have been quick to seize the opportunity since the Sri Lanka Deaf Cricketers Association (SLDCA) was formed in 1995 speaks of the turning around effect to life sports can impart. The best manifestation of that fact was a band of enthusiastic deaf cricketers drawn from island-wide, trekking into the Sri Lanka Cricket Headquarters (SLC)  Friday afternoon.  more..

Ministers step out to marketplace to quell rumours

Apr 8 (FT) As the Sinhala and Hindu New Year season looms closer, top Ministers in charge of economy and trade jointly stepped out to the marketplace to quell consumer fears and debunk speculation of any looming shortages. They also promptly reassured consumers of uninterrupted food, commodity and essential supplies during the forthcoming New Year season. “Rice stocks have increased; sufficient stocks are now available more..

Sri Lanka embarrassed in Hong Kong with two heavy defeats

Apr 8 (Island) Sri Lanka sevens rugby team’s dreams of sealing a place in the next year’s World Seven Series shattered in the space of two hours as they were handed two heavy defeats by Chile and Hong Kong in the opening day of the World Seven Series qualifiers in Hong Kong Stadium in Hong Kong yesterday. Sri Lanka were dominated 31-5 by Hong Kong in the second match as only the wing three quarter Anurudda Wilwara was able to score the sole try for Sri Lanka. more..

Breaking the Silence on Depression: Challenging Task for Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (IPS) Mental health has been emphasized as a core component of health by the WHO since the late forties. For many years however, safeguarding mental health remained on the backburner. But mental health issues started gaining priority regionally and globally in the mid-nineties, thanks to a WHO Report titled Bridging the Gap. After this landmark report, a diverse area of mental health was explored, and evidence based initiatives and interventions came into action. more..

Local Govt elections under the new electoral system: President

Apr 8 (PSL) President Sirisena said that he hopes it will be possible to hold LG elections under the new electoral system this year. He made these comments at the closing ceremony of the March 12 Movement which made for creating a better political culture in the country held at BMICH. Although earlier LG elections were held according to electoral system, inaction of Delimitation Committee has caused present issues. more..

IIHS gives tablets to nurses

Apr 8 (NS) International Institute of Health Sciences (IIHS) last week went paperless by distributing tablet computers among their nursing students. The event was participated by over 30 students of the nursing programme, the Deputy Chairman of IIHS Dr. Kithsiri Edirisinghe and the Dean, Dr. Nihal de Silva. Dr. Edirisinghe said that the idea behind distributing tabs was to link the students with the wealth of knowledge that is available online and to make it accessible at all times. more..

'Arjuna’s compliment is very encouraging'

Apr 8 (DN) Bangladesh’s leading all-rounder and former Shakib Al Hasan has described the recently concluded tour of Sri Lanka as one of the best because it was played overseas. “To do well in Sri Lanka is rare. We drew in all three formats, which is a big thing for us. It is one of our best series, since this is an away tour,” said Shakib who was named Man of the Match at the end of the second T20I played at the R Premadasa Stadium on Thursday which Bangladesh won by 45 runs. more..

SC moved to obtain duty free vehicle data: Prez, former prez among beneficiaries

Apr 8 (Island) In spite of the 19th Amendment that guaranteed people’s right to information, in addition to the much touted Right to Information (RTI) Act, SC had to be moved recently to obtain data pertaining to duty free vehicles imported by politicians, Nagananda Kodituwakku said. After having failed to secure relevant information twice late last year, petitioner sought SC’s intervention in accordance with Article 126 of Constitution. more..

IFC, govt of Australia partner to support more jobs for women

Apr 8 (Island) IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced the Women in Work program, in partnership with the Govt of Australia, aimed at providing Sri Lankan businesses with strategies and tools to create more and better private-sector employment and business opportunities for women. The four-year, $11.5-million program, funded by the Australian Govt, was launched by Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells more..

NFTH provides free treatment during GMOA strike

Apr 8 (DM) Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) came to the rescue of patients who were inconvenienced by the strike launched by GMOA, Dr. Bimantha Gunasekara said. “We have decided to provide treatment including medical tests and in-patient facilities free of charge until the strike was over. We hope it will be a relief to patients,” he said and added that they have also set up a special unit to treat patients suffering from dengue and influenza free of charge during this period. more..

Mahendran decided to accept bids upto Rs.10 bn: CB official

Apr 8 (Island) Inland Operations Director of the Central Bank P.W.D. Rodrigo testifying said Chairman of the Tender Board P. Samarasiri had on Feb 27, 2015 told of the tender board that the decision taken by the then Governor of the CB to accept bids upto Rs. 10 billion at the treasury bond Auction had to be carried out. Director of Public Debt Department Deepa Seneviratne had informed the Tender Board that then Governor had visited more..

Revision bail application by Anura Senanayaka fixed for June 2

Apr 8 (DN) The Colombo High Court yesterday fixed for June 2 to consider the bail revision application filed by Western Province former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake arrested and remanded over his alleged role in the cover up of evidence in the former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen murder. However, Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake raised objections to release the suspect on bail at this juncture citing that police were yet to conclude investigations into the incident. more..

China, Sri Lanka pledge to advance strategic cooperative partnership

Apr 8 (Xinhua) China and SL agreed on Friday to further advance their strategic cooperative partnership. When meeting with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said China and SL have enhanced exchange of high-level visits over the two past years, and the two sides have expanded pragmatic cooperation and steadily pushed forward major projects within more..

GMOA strike: patients left in the lurch

Apr 8 (DN) The usually crowded waiting rooms of the Colombo National Hospital (CNH) were deserted yesterday as the GMOA and 100 other trade unions launched the 24 hour strike against the SAITM. Thousands of patients seeking treatment at Govt hospitals were left in the lurch. This comes in the wake of the AHINI outbreak and high Dengue prevalence in Trinco and many other districts. Patients caught unaware of strike more..

Bangladesh can win next World Cup: Arjuna

Apr 8 (CT) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga is of the opinion that if Bangladesh can keep their focus on the game and protect their mentality it won't be long before Bangladesh win the next World Cup. He stressed that Bangladesh Cricket Board is very well focused on the game than the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. Minister expressed these concerns while addressing a media briefing, comprised of Bangladesh media personals that came to cover the recent series, Sri Lanka VS Bangladesh. more..

President in secret meet with 3 JO MPs

Apr 8 (CT) President Sirisena had held a secret discussion, yesterday, with JO Leader Dinesh Gunawardena and two other MPs, sources said. They said this particular discussion had taken place at the President's Official Chamber in Parliament. Besides Dinesh Gunawardena, JO MPs Bandula Gunawardene and Wimalaweera Dissanayake had attended the discussion. The three MPs had pointed out to the President that the sudden change of policies & recommendations when allocating more..

Labour Minister admits: EPF unsafe

Apr 8 (Island) The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is without protection even under Central Bank (CB) as evident from the recent bond scams, it will however not be removed from the CB supervision, Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne says. A special investigation commissioned by the Monetary Board of the CB has revealed that bond scams under the current govt have caused a staggering loss of about Rs. 10 billion to the EPF. more..

Potential medical marvels of genomics

Apr 8 (DM) With medical doctors going on strike again yesterday and making tens of thousands of poor patients suffer, the diagnosis is that a national health policy combining allopathy or Western medicine with the age-old healing processes of Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Acupuncture and other preventive or curative systems need to be worked out for SL. Minister Rajitha Senaratne, speaking during a television dialogue on this issue said that at the request of World Health Assembly, more..

Free education from start to finish Doctors are paid to work full time in govt hospitals

Apr 8 (DM) I have said this before and let me say it again. There’s nothing called free education as the GMOA and their IUSF allies shout. The cost of education is borne privately by individual parents in 78 schools (excluding 25 special education schools / SL Education Information - 2013) and by the State with tax payers’ money in all public schools. It is common sense that around 10,000 govt schools with 217,000 teachers, administered through district and zonal education offices cannot be run by more..

Several irregularities at TSHDA

Apr 8 (SL) Several irregularities are alleged to have taken place at the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority (TSHDA). According to reports posts at the Authority have been filled by unqualified individuals. Making political appointments has been a common occurrence under all the govts since independence. Yahapalana govt is no different. According to officials at the Authority, employees who have refused to more..

Patients as hostages

Apr 8 (NS) The strike launched by the GMOA on Friday against the SAITM came under severe criticism where academics said that the action was against the fundamentals of the people. Academics strongly criticized the move of the GMOA and student unions who had left the patients stranded. “The doctors are taking the patients to ransom,” Senior Counsel Udaya Rohan De Silva pointed out. more..

Move to protect forests adjoining Wilpattu triggers diverse reactions

Apr 8 (ST) Environmental groups have welcomed the declaration made on March 24 under the Forest Conservation Ordinance to protect more than 40,000 hectares, but locals are demanding that the presidential extraordinary gazette notice be revoked. Secretary to the President, P. B. Abeykoon on Friday met with some of the stakeholders including the Forest Conservator General, officials from the Wildlife and more..

Severe punishment sought on activist for showing Lanka film

Apr 8 (FMT) Not satisfied with the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court imposition of a RM10,000 fine on Lena Hendry, the public prosecutor is now filing an appeal for a more severe punishment. New Sin Yew said that his client had receive a letter informing her of the decision to appeal. “Yes, the prosecutors are appealing the RM10,000 fine. Lena received the letter informing her of the matter,” he was quoted as saying, more..

Governors, CMs favour abolition of Concurrent List

Apr 8 (NS) Both, Provincial Governors and Provincial Chief Ministers expressed favour with regard to the abolition of the Concurrent List. Among Provincial Governors include those affiliated to the ruling UNP govt while among the Chief Ministers are those affiliated to the governing SLFP. The Ninth Schedule of the Constitution contains List I, which is Provincial Councils List (subjects under this have been fully devolved to Provinces), more..

Agri, bio-sciences faculties ignored by students without job prospects

Apr 8 (ST) There are no jobs in Sri Lanka for agriculture, veterinary, and biological science graduates and few are seeking higher education in these streams, putting relevant faculties of 21 universities in peril. In the past five years, admissions to these streams have  fallen, a panel has found. In 2013-2014, students who registered for these programs numbered 1,798 and in 2014 -2015 the number fell to 1,455. more..

FCID to trace Udayanga’s residential address

Apr 8 (DN) The FCID conducting investigations into the controversial MiG aircraft transaction, informed Court that they have sought the assistance of Interpol to trace the residential address of former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga who is currently living in UAE. The FCID informed Court that they were yet to ascertain Udayanga’s exact address in UAE and further said steps have been taken to execute warrant more..

Interest waning in scrapping SL's presidency

Apr 8 (EN) Maithripala Sirisena romped to power on the back of a promise to scrap the presidency, but two years later the country does not appear to consider it a priority. Many are more worried about the economy and corruption. A survey by the CPA involving 2,000 people across the country suggests that almost two thirds believe there are far more important issues than the promised constitutional reforms. more..

Increase Palk Bay patrol, Colombo tells New Delhi

Apr 8 (Hindu) Sri Lanka on Friday asked India to increase the patrol of the Palk Bay to prevent Tamil Nadu fishermen from trespassing into Sri Lankan waters, even as it expressed positive signs on the likely release of detained Indian trawlers. “The meeting was very useful. We are happy that India is really committed to its assurance of phasing out bottom trawlers and has taken constructive steps. We are very hopeful of finding a more..

Mystery purchase of huge rice stock caused Rs 15 billion loss

Apr 8 (Island) An investigation by parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE has found that govt coffers have suffered a loss of 15 billion rupees due to Sathosa importing rice without cabinet approval during the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa govt, Parliament was told. Chairman of the COPE, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti tabling a report of a probe said the auditor general had noted that Cabinet had given approval to import 50,000 more..

SAITM: opportunities, challenges

Apr 9 (SO) Govt’s proposal on resolving SAITM problem, coming as it does after painstaking and painful negotiation & consultation, is an opportunity accompanied by some challenges. Govt’s decisive plan of action on the SAITM problem announced to Parliament last week has, whatever its possible weaknesses, provided the nation with a solution that ensures those sectors most concerned, of some equitable redress while providing a framework to address the problem comprehensively. more..