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GMOA extends Friday strike to private hospitals

Apr 5 (Island) Secretary of the GMOA, Dr Naveen Zoysa warned that the union members would not only strike in govt hospitals but also extend it to the private sector hospitals on Friday. Dr. Zoysa said the union had also invited doctors working only in the private sector to support the GMOA’s fight against the SAITM, which, he said, threatened the patients’ right to life. He said the union had also urged the Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) to back the trade union action. more..

Energy Mafia: Rs. 1.9b loss incurred in 2.5 months from coal deal: ACF

Apr 5 (DM) SL has lost Rs. 1,953 million within just two and a half months from Jan 15 to March 31, this year due to the controversial deal struck with Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Ltd to provide coal to Norochcholai Power Plant, Anti Corruption Front (ACF) said. Advisor of ACF, Keerthi Tennakoon said Sri Lanka has to pay the company US$ 13.75 more for a metric tonne of coal compared to other companies that provide more..

Towards a smart generation for Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (DM) National Youth Convention last week and the SLFP’s Youth Conference on Sunday, April 2 are good signs that the National Govt is moving in the direction of the digital technology era and wishes to produce smart youth for the future. Similar to smart phones and smart technology, we need smart youth who will be creative, innovative, enterprising and committed to the principles of hard and honest work. In addition to these talents, they need to be educated and enlightened more..

Geneva resolution is about prosecutions, not reconciliation

Apr 5 (DM) After the UNHRC 34th session ended in Geneva, the US said it introduced three resolutions that were adopted with broad cross regional support. The list included Resolution 34/1 on Sri Lanka. Statement says that Sri Lanka was one of the 47 co-sponsors of Resolution 34/1. This assertion is extremely disingenuous, if it is made on the basis that the resolution was adopted without a vote in the 47-member HRC. How could any member state of the HRC or friend of Sri Lanka be expected to more..

Prison System Draws Flak

Apr 5 (SL) It is said that the punishment should fit the crime. The purpose of a punishment is fivefold: deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, retribution, and restitution. However, it is upto society as a whole to achieve the right balance when attaining these through its legal and justice system. When it comes to a developing nation like Sri Lanka several factors should be looked into when deciding such issues more..

WPC gets barbecued

Apr 5 (DM) Western Province Council (WPC) UPFA member Janaka Weliwatte yesterday objected to having a Barbeque lunch at the council premises and overturned the Barbeque grill, and some tables and chairs. Weliwatte thereafter had lied down inside the restaurant of the council insisting that he would not get up until the cost of this extravagant lunch was revealed. As this was the final meeting of more..

Automated digital cameras and cloud computing to nab traffic offenders

Apr 5 (ST) Automated digital cameras will soon replace outdated analog CCTV cameras in Colombo City and its suburbs to nab errant drivers. Police CCTV Unit director T.P. Gamlath said the Traffic Police and the Megapolis Ministry were working together in a pilot project that will see cameras being installed at Kirulapone, Kollupitiya’s Pittala –Handiya and the Dematagoda Junction. Pointing out that the CCTV cameras now more..

GMOA takes Kiriella to task

Apr 5 (DN) What Minister Lakshma Kiriella says about the Court of Appeal judgement on SAITM is completely fabricated and the judgment dose not say that SAITM cannot be or should not be closed down. What Minister Kiriella said on behalf of SAITM when he was an opposition MP is now freely available through all social media, GMOA Secretary Dr. Navin De Zoysa said. He said GMOA expects that current Higher Education Minister more..

FNO alleges sneaky Bill to try war heroes

Apr 5 (Island) The Federation of National Organizations (FNO) accused the govt of bringing a  bill to establish a local war crimes tribunal to try the war winning military personnel. It warned that it would pose a serious threat to the country’s sovereignty. Vehemently opposing the bill, FNO Convener Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera said that the Bill would pave the way for a local war crimes tribunal with international links as more..

GMOA to exempt disease hit areas from Friday’s strike

Apr 5 (Island) The GMOA it would exempt disease hit areas from its strike scheduled for Friday against the govt’s inaction against the SAITM. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen D. Zoysa, asked whether doctors could justify their strike at a time the country was affected by dengue, Influenza H1 N1 and a viral flu, he said their strike would not affect those areas. All medical and paediatric wards would function as usual, while more..

Report on prison overcrowdind recommends: Commute death sentences

Apr 5 (CT) Report of the Special Task Force appointed by Cabinet to review legal and judicial causes for prison overcrowding has recommended that death sentences be commuted to life imprisonment as a method aimed at easing the crisis of congestion in Prisons. Report was tabled in Parliament by Minister Gayantha Karunatilake. Report states: "As capital punishment had not been carried out since 1976 and more..

Tugs, navy boats fight MSC container ship fire off Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (SLN) Upon receiving a fire distress call from a container vessel, MSC Daniela yesterday (4) the Sri Lanka Navy dispatched two Fast Attack Craft (FACs) on scene to escort the vessel which was plying 120 Nm off Colombo. The two SLN FACs managed to escort the vessel up to 33 Nm off the Colombo Lighthouse last evening and the distance was further cut short by escorting it to 10 Nm off Colombo by this morning. more..

Muslim women in Sri Lanka still 2nd class citizens – by law

Apr 5 (AT) Despite its broadly progressive approach to female empowerment, Sri Lanka holds a dark secret: women in its minority Muslim community are second class citizens – by law. Now, outdated legislation that dates back more than 65 years is being challenged by Muslim women from across the country. Sri Lanka gave the world its first female PM, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, and South Asia its first female, more..

Yahapalana activists against corruption branded traitors

Apr 5 (Island) Deputy Minister Ajith Perera has called those who had accused the ministry of promoting costly diesel power generation at the expense of viable project proposals pertaining to liquified natural gas plants ‘traitors.’ He flayed critics when a journalist sought Secretary to the Ministry Dr Suren Batagoda’s response to front-page story headlined Power sector corruption second only to CB bond scams on The Island more..

Ceylon Chamber, Hayleys in partnership to build Sri Lanka logistics workforce

Apr 5 (EN) Sri Lanka’s main business chamber, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), has struck a partnership deal with one of the island’s biggest logistics firms, Hayleys Advantis, to train young people for jobs in the rapidly growing sector. CCC said in a statement it aims to develop a “competent, productive and skilled workforce and uplift the trade standards within Sri Lanka with the partnership with Hayleys Advantis to nurture talent in the logistics sector. more..

SAITM: The choice is between free education & freedom of education

Apr 5 (CT) On the face of things SAITM appears to be the main issue in the country today. In reality, however, there are much more crucial issues than SAITM that are brewing demanding national attention. Yet, the University students and the JVP, with the weight of the GMOA behind them, have managed to catapult this issue to the forefront and media has followed by blowing it out of proportion. When the University students take up an issue, their version of social justice tends to colour more..

ජල බිඳක් වෙනුවෙන් අරගල කරන යුගයක්?

Hambantota: The freedom swap?

Apr 5 (CT) Applying psychological principles to political strategies is an art in the realm of political science that leaders of the Joint Opposition have excelled in, on and off. But perhaps none has to date matched the move by the JO led by Mahinda Rajapaksa as the sustained opposition to the govt's decision to hand over 20,000 acres of land for two massive development projects in Hambantota, to China. A keen Indian commentator said a week ago that this sounded more like an iron fist more..

Ala Bole arrested for prison bus shooting

Apr 5 (DM) A 24-year-old suspect was arrested yesterday with two mobile phones in connection with the shooting at a prison bus in Kalutara recently. Seven persons including a prominent underworld figure Aruna Udayashantha alias Samayan and two prison officers were killed when a prison bus was shot at in Kalutara on February 27. An unidentified group of gunmen had opened fire at the bus while it was carrying Prisoners from Kalutara Prison to Kaduwela Magistrate courts. more..

Ravi Jayewardene, Prince and Pauper

Apr 5 (CT) An otherwise obvious cliché needs to be reframed to draw out the lessons from the life of Ravi Jayewardene who passed away at the age of eighty whose obsequies will be held on Thursday (6). It is not enough to say that he was the only son of President J.R. Jayewardene. It cries out for far more precise qualification. He was the humble, fearless, bold and wise son of President J.R. Jayewardene, more..

Ministerial capers

Apr 5 (CT) A Cabinet Minister, claiming to be a person who's close to the President, was literally caught with his pants down by his wife, while frolicking with a woman at his office in Colombo recently. He was however, saved by the bell, because his alert secretary, after having had received a call from the minister's wife, who said that she's on her way to the ministry, at once informed the minister of these developments. Minister had then pushed the woman into a nearby closet more..

AG informs SC of provision of drinking water to people affected by Uma Oya

Apr 5 (DN) The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that the two remaining drinking water projects out of three targeting the people affected by Uma Oya Multi-purpose Project are to be completed by May this year. The Attorney General made these remarks consequent to a Fundamental Rights petition filed by Centre for Environmental Justice, and four individuals, including M.D.P. Manatunga, who are residents of the Bandarawela area, affected more..

Missing chapter of PM's autobiography: Perpetual bought bonds with EPF billions

Apr 5 (EN) Perpetual Treasuries, a controversial gilt dealership linked to ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran's son-in-law had borrowed billions of rupees from the Employees Provident to pay for its bond purchases, a commission of inquiry heard. To pay for bets made at auctions of March 29 and March 31, Perpetual Treasuries had borrowed 6. billion rupees through two repurchase deals from the EPF, more..

Sri Lanka signs agreement with German hospital on cooperation in medical field

Apr 5 (Xinhua) Health Ministry signed an agreement with a German hospital to improve collaborations in the field of medicine. The agreement has been signed between the ministry and Germany's Heidelberg University Hospital. Minister Rajitha Senaratne and Irmtraut Gurkan, administrative director and vice-chairman of the Board of the Heidelberg University Hospital made the agreement with the intention of developing collaborative programs in the field of medicine, more..

Sri Lanka removes ad-hoc tax concessions; new incentives for SMEs

Apr 5 (LBO) Finance Ministry has removed ad-hoc and unproductive tax concessions offered by various agencies and under various regimes from the new Inland Revenue Act. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said in a cabinet decision that govt policy is to broaden the income tax base by removing excessive tax incentives/expenditures and thereby raise govt revenue. Accordingly, all income tax incentives are proposed to be streamlined and will solely be based on the investment made on capital assets, more..

Sri Lanka's alternative facts on bond sales

Apr 5 (EN) Govt Tuesday resorted to the latest Donald Trump tactic of offering alternative facts to defend Arjuna Mahendran who is accused of insider dealing when he headed the Central Bank. Govt loyalists side stepped the findings of the COPE during a debate initiated by the JVP and went onto the focus on the alleged corruption during Mahinda Rajapaksa's decade in power. Govt's anti-corruption activist and deputy minister Ranjan more..

Sri Lanka fined for slow over-rate

Apr 5 (ICC) Tharanga has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee, while his players have received 10 per cent fines Sri Lanka has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate against Bangladesh during the first Twenty20 International in Colombo on Tuesday. Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fine after Upul Tharanga’s side was ruled to be one over short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. more..

SriLankan Airlines to resume normal operations from Friday

Apr 5 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines will resume normal operations throughout its global route network from 7th April 2017, the Airline said in a statement. With effect from Friday, passengers may arrive at the airport three hours before scheduled departure time of their flights. “SriLankan wishes to express its gratitude to all its stakeholders for their patience and assistance during this period.” “Especial gratitude for valued customers, all of the airline’s staff who worked tirelessly to limit the inconvenience more..

Most of country’s economic woes self-inflicted under present regime: JO

Apr 5 (Island) The JO lashed out at the govt for its plans to sell key state assets while blaming the previous administration for the economic woes of its own making. MP Bandula Gunawardena urged PM to reveal the total amount of the loan that the govt had to pay back for the Hambantota Port. Gunawardena said PM claimed the country had to pay the loans obtained by former President Rajapaksa and sought to justify the sale of more..

No risk of H1N1: Rajitha

Apr 5 (NR) Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne has denied reports that Qatar has imposed a travel ban for those who wish to visit Sri Lanka due to the spread of the H1N1 virus. Minister speaking at the weekly Cabinet media briefing this afternoon said the H1N1 virus was another form of influenza. Minister Senaratne said H1N1 was a form of fever, cough and cold, the symptoms of a normal virus. He said children, expectant women and kidney patients must be extra cautious. more..

SB clarifies why MR called a snap election

Apr 5 (AD) Pressure arose from the proposed war crimes probe by the UNHRC against Sri Lanka was among the reasons why the former President had to call a snap election, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He pointed out Sri Lanka would had been labeled as a country that committed war crimes if the election was delayed. “The got of Mahinda Rajapaksa and he himself were aware that a list containing the names of 46 persons including four politicians were mentioned in the war crimes report,” more..

Sri Lankan joint venture wins Rs2.5bn central expressway consultancy

Apr 5 (EN) A consortium of Sri Lankan firms has been awarded a Rs2.5 billion consultancy contract to supervise the first stage of the Central Expressway construction, a 37 kilometre stretch linking the town of Kadawatha to Mirigama. The contract for the joint venture of Resources Development Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, Green Tech Consultant (Pvt) Ltd and Consulting Engineers and Architects Associated (Pvt) Ltd was approved more..

DNA report on body parts recovered from SAITM sent to Court

Apr 5 (DN) A DNA report pertaining to 26 body parts recovered from the SAITM institution in Malabe has been sent to the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court by ENETECH institution. The parcel containing the DNA report is to be opened in the presence of Additional Magistrate J. Trotsky today. On a previous occasion, the Court had ordered the CID to take necessary steps to send 26 body parts recovered from the SAITM institution in Malabe, for a DNA report to ascertain whether more..

Sri Lanka benchmarked among 55 tech ecosystems: ICTA

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been benchmarked among 55 technology startup ecosystems in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017, the island’s ICT agency said. Although SL did not rank among the top 20 ecosystems in the world, the island was compared positively to four startup clusters in the Asia Pacific — Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, New Zealand and Seoul. “Govt of SL is working hard to offer universal access to broadband infrastructure and mobile connectivity to its citizens, more..

Video: UNP to finalise reorganisation after New Year

Apr 5 (DM) UNP working committee has decided to finalize it's reorganization after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, general secretary Kabir Hashim said today. He said that changes to the party will be made at the next working committee meeting which will be held after the New Year. Asked whether reorganization was postponed because of any opposition by any member of the party, he said no one has spoken against more..

Sri Lanka-China cooperated irrigation project to improve lives of local farmers

Apr 5 (Xinhua) Sinhala Pedige Athanayake, a Sri Lankan farmer in his late 50s, is now enjoying his life to the fullest. Sitting under a shade in his house, Athanayake resides in a small village located between Anuradhapura and Trincomalee. In a few months, Athanayake will be moving out of his house and settling in a new village. The land he owns will soon be filled with water as part of the mega Yan Oya Irrigation Project, which is a Sri Lanka-China cooperated project, more..

Incorporation of local bodies to be completed next week

Apr 5 (Island) The incorporation of Local Govt bodies would be completed by next week, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said in Parliament. He said so when UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma asked him when the gazette in that regard would be published. Incorporation means declaring the number of members in each of the local councils. Alahapperuma pointed out that the Elections Commission was unable to declare LG Elections until Minister published the relevant gazettes more..

Video: JO supports GMOA strike on Friday

Apr 5 (DM) The joint opposition today announced that they would support the Govt Medical Officers’ Association’s (GMOA) decision to engage in a country-wide strike on Friday against the controversial SAITM issue. JO Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena speaking at a media briefing said the govt had continuously postponed its decision on the SAITM despite being held responsible to provide a solution. more..

Will take it up with India if IPKF culpable: AI

Apr 5 (DM) If the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) personnel were found culpable of disappearances in Sri Lanka, the issue would be taken up with the Indian Govt, Amnesty International (AI) General Secretary Salil Shetty said in Colombo today. During a news briefing, the visiting General Secretary was asked whether the AI would take up the issue with the Indian govt if it was found that IPKF was guilty of cases of disappearances during its stay in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990. more..

Ranil won over people through his Royal Breeding: Rajitha

Apr 5 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had won over people not by changing his attire or religion, but by his royal conduct and breeding, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday. Senaratne, speaking at the launch of the book Ranil Wickremesinghe – A Political Biography by Dinesh Weerakkody at the BMICH, attended by a representative gathering including President Maithripala Sirisena, said that Wickremesinghe had the strength of character to be who he was – a liberal humanist, more..