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Hospitals geared to handle AH1N1 cases

Jan 16 (DN) All major hospitals have a comprehensive pandemic response plan and are fully prepared to handle any local cases of AH1N1 influenza that requires hospitalisation, authorities said. Authorities however said patients with flu like symptoms should seek professional help without resorting to home remedies. Health officials said although 2 people died following AH1N1 influenza in Kandy, both were patients whose immune system had got weak due to their illnesses. more..

Oshin here next month

Jan 16 (DN) Ayako Kobayashi, who played the role of Oshin in the tele drama Oshin the most famous Japanese TV show in history, will be in Colombo early next month, to open the first ever Japan Expo Premier Sri Lanka 2017, which will be held at the BMICH. Oshin is a household name in Sri Lanka. Oshin dubbed in Sinhala has been relaying in local TV stations for over two decades. Kobayashi played the much loved childhood character of Oshin. Japan Expo SL 2017 will be held from Feb 3 to 5. more..

Video: I will retire soon: Nimal Siripala

Jan 16 (DM) Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that he would soon retire from politics as he didn’t have an intention of hanging on to power like many other politicians. Speaking at a rally, he said that there was a need of new political culture without family political agendas. Emphasizing the need of youth participation in politics, he said that the country was desperately in need of young generation’s participation in politics. more..

No elections before May: EC

Jan 16 (NR) Elections Commission says the impending Local Govt polls cannot be conducted before the 30th of April even if the final report formulated by the National Delimitation Committee is submitted tomorrow. Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said the commission requires a minimum of 75 days to hold the election. Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya noted that preparatory work for the conduct of the Local Government Election is currently underway. more..

Not enough elephants for this year’s perahera: Basnayake Nilame

Jan 16 (AD) We have found it difficult to find enough elephants for this year’s devala perahera, Basnayake Nilame of Kataragama Maha Devalaya D.P Kumarage says. Kumarage pointed out this came after the Department of Wildlife’s move to transfer the domesticated elephants to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage recently. Kumarage made the observation during a press conference held with the participation of the members of Domesticated Elephant Owners’ Association. more..

'Jealous India must rethink opposition to Chinese investment in Sri Lanka'

Jan 16 (PTI) India should rethink its opposition to Chinese investments in SL and join the port development in the island nation instead of feeling jealous, China’s state media said. “It is understandable that the cooperation has left some Asian countries vigilant as media reports suggest that an 80% share of the port, which sits on an important trade route, and land for an industrial zone will be leased to China for the next 99 years,” more..

Constitutional process gives SL a real chance

Jan 17 (CT) The year 2017 is a make or break year for the Unity govt and the Tamil people. In the history of Sri Lanka, an attempt is made for the third time after independence to enact a new constitution to resolve three major protracted issues facing the country. They are (1) devolution of power, (2) electoral reform, and (3) restructuring the executive presidential system. Undoubtedly, devolution of power is the critical and the fundamental element of the constitution making process.  more..

GSP + may be restored but Sri Lanka has to act fast to harness its full benefits

Jan 17 (CT) A report published by the European Union or EU on 11 January 2017 has concluded that Sri Lanka has completed all the requirements needed for it to be granted GSP + status, known in full as EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus. This positive report on Sri Lanka has been filed by EU six years after the suspension of the facility to the country by that powerful economic bloc in 2010. Accordingly, European Commission or EC, the governing body of EU, has proposed that more..

Resettlement in North

Jan 17 (CT) Muslims of Sri Lanka claim step-motherly treatment while resettling them in various parts of the country as well as in the northern peninsula adding that little has been done to rectify the issue due to the lack of infrastructure and adequate funds while the matter is also allowed to prolong further. Tamil speaking Northern Muslims as they are called, left their homes, lands & belongings and fled the area more..

Large scale impunity

Jan 17 (CT) Sri Lankans have suffered serious set-backs for the past several decades due to impunity. It is becoming an increasingly difficult crisis beyond redemption. Government loses billions due to corruption, mismanagement and misappropriation of State funds. There is a conspicuous absence of investigation, justice or punishment. Robert Rothberg, a leading scholar of failed States had said that even when a State is weak, failing, failed or collapsed, more..

Defeating conspiracy against judges

Jan 17 (CT) There has been a concerted effort by the NGOs, both here and abroad, to scandalize our Judges and attack, in a most dastardly manner, the institution of the judiciary. When the attack began, we were ruled by a govt, which was considered anti-Western, pro-Russian and Left leaning. So, it was a Western agenda to destabilize the entire govt machinery, including the three pillars of democracy, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. There were enough and more reasons for more..

'People are sick of the same old faces'

Jan 17 (CT) Senior lawyer Gomin Dayasiri has been a vocal critic of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), especially regarding the manner in which the Constitutional Reform process is being conducted. Ceylon Today sat with Dayasiri to obtain his views on Constitutional Reform and the due process. Q: There is a lot of work going on regarding a new Constitution. Do you think we need a new more..

Editorial: Towards a police state?

Jan 17 (Island) Rajapaksa govt stood accused of militarising society. Intoxicated with power it went so far as to order a military crackdown on a civilian protest against the contamination of groundwater by a factory in Rathupaswala in 2013. It looks as if the yahapalana administration, which came to power promising to demilitarise society, were trying to create a police state. It blatantly abuses the judicial process and the long arm of the law to suppress democratic dissent. more..

Oh justice where art thou?

Jan 17 (ST) That was great, simply great. That pretentious oracle in this miracle of Asia has spoken. Of course it might have been far better for the reputation of this nation had the Justice Minister taken a vow of silence. But then since Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe seems to make a rather heady mix of his two-prong portfolio I suppose it would be presumptuous to expect him to fulfill our earnest wishes. So Rajapakshe while seemingly upright in praising righteous turn the judiciary more..

Asanga Abeyagoonasekara

Central Bank’s monetary and exchange rate management policies and its independence

Jan 17 (ST) The Road Map: Monetary and Financial Sector Policies for 2017 and Beyond presented by Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy on January 3rd was of special significance as it was an honest and realistic assessment of the economy, as it spelled out forward looking monetary and exchange rate policies and underscored the need for strengthening the Central Bank’s independence. Admittedly the issues with respect to monetary and financial policies envisaged, more..

Right to information on rainfall & food supply

Jan 17 (Island) Sri Lanka’s agriculture is almost exclusively rain dependent. Unlike in India, there is no thawing snow to feed the rivers or large volumes of ground water, except in Jaffna, to provide irrigation water. This makes rainfall a very important factor in SL agriculture. What we normally call irrigation water too is rain derived. In an average year by this time, Maha rains have tapered off, water reservoirs and the rivers are full or near full and the rice fields are in crop & approaching maturity. more..

The 58 preconditions to obtain GSP+

Jan 17 (Island) The govt has been ecstatic at being granted GSP+ again by the European Commission. It hasn’t however revealed the conditions it has agreed to in order to get this trade concession. In this context, two documents are of interest to us. The first of these is the Report on assessment of the application for GSP+ by Sri Lanka by European Commission dated 11 Jan 2016 (Staff Working Document 474) more..

Rupees and Sense

Jan 17 (ST) Firstly I must confess that I am no fan of media colleague Daya Abeysekera’s long-running Rupees and Sense programme on ITN because of its pro-govt slant (no offence to you Daya!) though I have occasionally watched it. It may have changed under the Yahapalana regime. However,  I would like to borrow the title  which struck me as appropriate for today’s conversation on a simple lesson: Making people understand economics. Or to put it more bluntly, economics lessons where more..

Ransika takes 4 wickets as SL U19 crush Zim

Jan 17 (Island) Sri Lanka U-19 cruised to an eight wickets victory over Zimbabwe U-19 after rattling the latter’s batting line up for 66 runs in the third match of the Tri National Youth tournament at Cape Town on Monday. Avishka Fernando scored an unbeaten 27 runs to see SL U-19 reach the target with 37 overs to spare. Deciding to bowl first pacemen led by P. de S. Kularatne’s Nipun Ransika delivered early blows to reduce Zimbabwe to 23 runs for five wickets in the first ten overs. more..

President urged to appoint special task force on trade liberalisation of goods and services

Jan 17 (ST) The appointment of a Presidential Task Force to examine all issues pertaining to trade liberalisation in goods and services – vis-à-vis the debate over the import of labour – has been strongly urged by the Organisation of Professionals Association (OPA). It is also urging the Govt to ensure that Sri Lankan nationals own 100% national retail trade in goods and services. Request has been made by the OPA, more..

Petronet keen on Sri Lanka LNG regasification facility

Jan 17 (EN) Sri Lanka is one of the countries where India's biggest gas importer Petronet LNG says it expects to invest in with plans for a regasification facility on the island within the next three years. The company has said it would spend up to $3 billion in the next five years to expand overseas. Petronet managing director Prabhat Singh told Reuters that over the next three years the company would be investing 100 billion rupees to set up LNG regasification capacities in Bangladesh, more..

Can Sri Lanka turn it around in T20s?

Jan 17 (CT) After a humiliating 3-0 whitewash against South Africa, Sri Lanka can now only hope for better results in the shorter format, which can at least ease the pain a little of Sri Lankan fans as well as players. The first T20I of the series will be played at Centurion on the 20th followed by Johannesburg on 22nd and Cape Town on 23rd before move to the five match ODI series which will start on 28th from Port Elizabeth. No matter how great things are said and done about Test cricket, more..

GA determines Musaeus fire an act of arson

Jan 17 (Island) Govt Analyst had determined that the fire that broke out at the Musaeus College auditorium on Nov 4 in 2016 was caused by someone pouring kerosene on its stage and setting fire to it, Cinnamon Gardens police reported to Colombo Chief Magistrate. Submitting an additional report to Colombo Chief Magistrate, police said that as the Govt Analyst had said someone used kerosene to start the fire, they would more..

Anura Tennekoon: A luminary of cricket

Jan 17 (DN) I had the privilege of meeting Anura Tennekoon at the local Mecca of cricket at the SCC, recently. He was my captain when Ceylon Schools played against the All India Schools, in Colombo in the mid sixties. Anura went on to captain Sri Lanka with distinction where as I went to UK looking for greener pastures. It is interesting to note that the Indian Schools team included players in the caliber of Eknath Solkar and Surinder Amarnath who went on to represent India. more..

Unqualified volleyball coaches shortlisted

Jan 17 (CT) In a blind side move the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation has shortlisted coaches who have violated the Sports Law of the country to fill existing vacant national coaching positions. The Federation recently held interviews to select coaches for the Sri Lanka Senior, Junior and Youth Volleyball Training Pools, and the list of names of the coaches selected has been submitted to the Minister of Sports for his approval. However, former veteran volleyball player more..

SL athletes stopped dead on track

Jan 17 (CT) Cabinet Paper submitted recently by Minister of Sports for the reconstruction of the Sugathadasa Stadium along with the name of the successful bidder has been rejected at the Cabinet meeting. According to minister money is available for the project but no action can be taken until Cabinet approval is received. Tender that was called had specific instructions about how the selection of the contractor should be made. more..

Royal Ceramics to spend Rs1B on expansion

Jan 17 (CT) Sri Lanka's listed Royal Ceramics (RCL) plans to invest nearly a billion rupees to expand its production capacity, RCL Managing Director, Nimal Perera said. "We are planning to expand our production capacity around 35% or 1,700 square meters per day with this additional investment", he said. According to Nimal Perera,RCL's present production capacity is around 4,600 square meters per day. The company said that its board of directors had decided to proceed more..

Some are trying to tarnish the achievement of getting back GSP plus facility: President

Jan 17 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says some section of the society acting in an uncivilized manner to prevent the prestige and respect gained by the Govt, with the decision of the EU to revive the GSP plus facility, to SL. The President expressed his regrets regarding a newspaper article published stating that the EU offered GSP plus to Sri Lanka based on a promise of establishing a federal system in the country. President also said that he repeatedly request media institutions to, more..

Govt will adhere to principles of good governance: President

Jan 17 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena opted for a pragmatic approach to the concept and asked that his government do their best to adhere to principles of good governance amidst challenging circumstances. “When you take the current govt, some people look at it and say ‘Yahapalanaya’ with pride while some say it with ridicule,” the President said. President Sirisena was speaking at the launching of the book more..

Young woman saved from Kandy lake

Jan 17 (Island) During a boat-ride on the Kandy lake on Monday a young woman jumped into the lake but was rescued by her lover and the power boat operator. The couple joined the boat ride at mid-day and on the way the 22-year-old girl proposed that both should jump into the lake. The lover (23) refused and the girl jumped. The girl from Paragammana area in Kegalle is reported to have met the lover in Kandy after a lapse of some time. Preliminary inquiries have revealed that boy more..

Rice shortage during New Year predicted

Jan 17 (Island) Commissioner General of Agrarian Development M. A. Sunil Weerasinghe warned that there would be a severe shortage of rice in April as more than 20% of paddy cultivation had been destroyed by the prevailing drought. Around 200,000 hectares of paddy paddy fields had been saved from the drought so far but the yield from them would not be sufficient to meet the demands, he said. Usually paddy is cultivated in around 750,000 hectares during the main cultivation season Maha, more..

Video: Youth not interested in Politics, Parliament: EC

Jan 17 (DM) The country's youth between the ages 16 to 30 years are not in favour of the present election system, casting of votes, registering for votes and the Parliament, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. Having interviewed several youth, he said the Elections Secretariat figured out that the youth did not care about politics in the country. “There was an interest created regarding PC elections more..

NCE welcomes EU proposal to restore GSP+ facility

Jan 17 (DN) The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) has commended the Govt on its success in regaining the GSP+ facility, to boost exports from Sri Lanka. The NCE notes with great satisfaction the success of the Government in regaining the GSP+ facility, which will undoubtedly boost the stagnating trend of Sri Lankan Exports to facilitate accelerated Economic Development through the achievement of ambitious National Export Targets. more..

Woman drowns while taking selfie on eve of university admission

Jan 17 (DN) An A/L student who was to be admitted to the university later this month, met with a tragic death while using her mobile phone for a selfie standing on a rock close to the sea. She was in the process of taking a photograph of herself standing on the rock when she missed her step and fell into the sea. The incident took place in Valaithottam on Sunday. The victim was identified as P. Pradeepa, 20, of Valaithottam Mawadichenai in Serunuwara Police area in the Trincomalee District. more..

President calls for UN, FAO and WFP drought relief help

Jan 17 (FT) The UN and its affiliated bodies yesterday assured President Sirisena that they would extend their fullest cooperation to the Presidential Task Force to provide drought relief. Top level UN officials, including UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Una McCauley, World Food Programme’s (WFP) Representative and Country Director for SL Brenda Barton and FAO Chief Technical Advisor more..

Lottery sellers to meet Chandrika

Jan 17 (CT) All Ceylon Lottery Sellers Association (ALCLSA) is to meet former President Chandrika Kumaratunga tomorrow in a bid to find solutions to their issues, after discussions with representatives from the Lotteries Board, aimed at reducing the price of a lottery ticket to Rs 20, ended in deadlock. Krishantha Marambage, Chairman of the Association, said that they will continue with their island-wide strike. "We will meet State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane today more..

Stalemate over Demarcation Report

Jan 17 (NR) Ministry of Local Govt & Provincial Councils says it has not been officially informed that National Delimitation Committee will hand over its final report today. However on an earlier date the Chairman of the Delimitation Committee, Asoka Peiris said the final report which bears the signatures of all the members of the committee will be handed over today. Chairman said the representative of UNP in the committee S Misbah had not signed the report as of last evening. more..

Reserve Jan 22 to combat dengue: Cardinal

Jan 17 (DN) Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday appealed to all priests in the Colombo Archdiocese to dedicate January 22 for combating the spread of dengue. Archbishop made a very special appeal to all priests in the Archdiocese to spend time on January 22 as a special day of prayer and activity to help curb the spread of dengue among the people. The full text of Archbishop’s appeal: more..

Controversial FB page takes down girlie pix

Jan 17 (DM) The controversial Facebook page which had published pictures of young girls and lured viewers who were sexually attracted by them, had taken down its photos by yesterday evening, the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) said. CERT Information Security Engineer Roshan Chandragupta said they had received emails complaining about the page and requesting action. “We have informed the Facebook administration about the page. more..