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'Sri Lanka and India are the best of friends'

Jan 31 (FT) Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, who represented the Govt of Sri Lanka at the Indian Republic Day celebrations held at India House on 26 Jan, referred to the strong historic cultural ties between the two countries and their equally-strong economic partnership in the modern world. He said: “When India does well, Sri Lanka does well, and when Sri Lanka does well, so does India.” He said Indian investment in Sri Lanka in many sectors was growing and noted with gratitude more..

Trishaw Union withdraws petition

Jan 31 (DN) A writ petition filed by the All Island Three Wheeler Drivers’ Union was yesterday withdrawn before the Court of Appeal following the govt’s decision to issue new regulations to uplift the three-wheel transport service in the country. The All Island Three Wheeler Drivers’ Union had filed a writ petition seeking an order to direct the authorities to implement and perform according to the terms and provisions of the regulations published in the Govt Gazettes bearing Nos.1821/31 more..

Nothing agnst India will happen in Sri Lankan land, waters: Lanka Navy

Jan 31 (DNA) Sri Lanka today assured India that neither will its land nor water around it be used for any activity against Indian interests, amid increased Chinese naval forays into the Indian Ocean. "We assure the Indian govt that nothing against India will happen in Sri Lankan land and waters around it," Sri Lankan Navy chief Vice Admiral R C Wijegunaratne said when asked about the docking of Chinese submarines there. more..

Six New Zealand nationals among eight injured in accident

Jan 31 (DN) Eight persons, including six New Zealand nationals were injured in a road accident on the Colombo - Kandy Main Road at Kalalpitiya, Nittambuwa yesterday. The van proceeding to Kandy with the foreigners had collided with the car. The injured were admitted to Wathupitiwala Hospital. Wathupitiwala Hospital director Dr. Sisira Wijesundera said three foreign males, three foreign females and drivers of both vehicles involved in the accident were admitted to hospital. more..

No inconsistencies in delimitation report: EC

Jan 31 (DN) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said there were no inconsistencies or serious errors as such in the delimitation report submitted by them to Minister Faizer Mustapha, which could in anyway smother the holding of an election. He said so on being asked as to why is that a local poll much awaited by the public had to undergo the fate of being constantly postponed due to finalisation of the report on the delimitation of wards in the local govt areas. more..

Port City gazette presented to Parliament

Jan 31 (FT) Gazette notifications giving sweeping tax concessions for the Port City and a mixed development project at Slave Island have been presented to Parliament by the Govt.  Port City project, renamed the Colombo International Financial City (CIFC), was restarted by the Govt after the signing of a fresh agreement in August. However, the initial exemptions proposed under the Strategic Development Project Act more..

Twists & turns of elusive delimitation report

Jan 31 (DM) The process of demarcating the boundaries of wards of Local Government bodies has turned out to be a ridiculous exercise with the subject minister and the delimitation committee chairman giving various dates for the allotted task to be completed. Delimitation Committee Chairman Asoka Peiris has been giving various dates for handing over of the committee report to Minister Faiszer Musthapha while Minister has been giving various time frames for holding LG elections. more..

MR’s opportune return

Jan 31 (DM) Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa will no longer be hiding behind his couriers of the joint opposition (JO). Last week, he emerged from the shadows of Abeyaramaya to boldly announce at a rally in Nugegoda that after coming to power, he would recover billions that have allegedly been looted by the incumbent govt. His rally at Nugegoda was said to be a very expensive affair: going by the expenses incurred for the number of buses used to transport protestors from distant places to more..

Ministry secretary now accused in coal deal

Jan 31 (SL) Following our last week’s expose on how the Chairman of Lanka Coal Company was removed from his post by the Minister of Power and Renewable Energy levelling allegations that he is responsible for the loss incurred by the govt in purchasing coal, document evidence have now revealed as to how the Minister himself and the Ministry Secretary were allegedly involved in the scandalous coal procurement. more..

Fresh tenders called for rail coaches

Jan 31 (SO) After the rejection of the initial tenders for the procurement of 170 coaches for the Railway Department due to the shortlisted companies’ inability to satisfy tender requirements, Cabinet has granted approved to call fresh tenders to purchase coaches for the Railways Department, Secretary to Transport Ministry, Nihal Somaweera said. The company initially selected for the tender had quoted a higher price than second bidder more..

Question over Coca-Cola expansion project Rejected in India; welcomed in Lanka

Jan 31 (DM) At a time when Sri Lanka is looking at ways to preserve water and its natural resources, various multi-national stalwarts too are claiming territory. One such multi-national that made headlines in this way is the Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, which held discussions recently to request for an expansion project. Amidst closing down operations in India following protests over extensive extraction of ground water and thereby more..

Days are numbered for destructive trawling in Sri Lanka

Jan 31 (ST) Trawling, the notoriously destructive fishing method, in which nets are dragged by fishing vessels along the sea floor, are expected to be outlawed in Sri Lanka. Fisheries Ministry is expected to submit a bill to the parliament by early next month to ban trawling. Many countries have banned trawling due to its destructive nature. Trawling captures even fingerlings and alters the seabed. “Those who are engaging in trawling more..

Health Ministry meeting goes berserk

Jan 31 (DM) Sri Lanka Society for Medical Laboratory Science (SLSMLS) President Ravi Kumudesh charged that Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soysa had threatened him during a meeting held at the Health Ministry yesterday. Mr. Kumudesh said he was invited for the meeting which was held to discuss about the organizational structure of the hospital laboratory last morning. more..

I will not apologise: Ranjan

Jan 31 (DM) An unwavering Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said that he had not done anything wrong and therefore, he would not apologise to the Divulapitiya Divisional Secretary. He expressed these views in response to the protest carried out by the Gampaha District Administrative Services Association (GDASA) yesterday against him for allegedly using strong words in public against Divisional Secretary. more..

Special Tribunal to investigate corruption

Jan 31 (SO) A Bill to establish a Special Tribunal to investigate corruption will soon be presented in Parliament after redrafting and incorporating the suggestions made by the Attorney General considering its constitutionality, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said that the Govt is expecting the suggestions of the Legal Draftsman Department this week. He said the Bill to establish a special Tribunal or special commission to more..

No links with Ranil says Karuna

Jan 31 (CT) Former Minister and LTTE Eastern Province leader Karuna Amman says that if he decides to engage in politics in the future it will only be under former President Rajapaksa and no one else. He stressed that under no circumstances will he ever link up with either UNP or its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Amman stated that there was no use in doing politics with a person who linked to country's biggest ever frauds more..

Hello Corp case: FCID allowed to check bank accounts

Jan 31 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate today permitted the FCID to check the bank accounts of company known as Hovell Constructions in the inquiry being conducted under the Money Laundering Act against Namal Rajapaksa and five others for purchasing Hello Corp shares from questionable funds. The FCID said it had earlier filed two separate cases against the suspects on charges of obtaining Rs.30 million from more..

SAITM medical degree is lawful: Appellate Court

Jan 31 (AD) The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) is legally eligible to issue medical degrees to the students, the Court of Appeal has ruled on Tuesday. The Appellate Court has also directed the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to give provisional registration to medical students passing out from SAITM. The verdict was announced when the Writ Petition filed seeking an order questioning more..

Kalabala @ Yahapalanaya

Jan 31 (CT) Two years in to Yahapalanaya, major cracks have emerged with the partners of the historic nuptial that took place in January 2015 between the UPFA and the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG). Time has come for a decision to be made whether to continue to live together, divorce and get in to a new partnership or find some same sex partners! The most vociferous ones are the Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists who crossed over and joined Maithripala Sirisena more..

An advertisement for independence

Jan 31 (CT) Recently I was asked to suggest a good tagline for Independence Day. The selling point was the main theme engendered by Feb 4, freedom. Such taglines, however, are notoriously difficult to come up with, so after days of thinking and scribbling, I was given an idea to pursue: instead of freedom, we’d opt for a different theme. That theme would be the perennial problem we encounter every Feb: the fact that we take our own Independence Day (and what it stands for) for granted. more..

අනේ අපේ සල්ලිවලට මොක ද වුණේ...?

Protection of minority rights must include sexual minorities: NPC tells govt

Jan 31 (CT) According to the UNHRC, the legal obligations of States to safeguard the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people are well established in international human rights law on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently agreed int'l human rights treaties ratified by Sri Lanka, says National Peace Council. Issuing a statement today the NPC has called on the govt to take steps to repeal those sections of the Penal Code more..

S.B. congratulates Dr. Neville

Jan 31 (AD) Minister S.B. Dissanayake has congratulated the Chairman of the SAITM Dr. Neville Fernando after Tuesday’s Appellate Court ruling. While speaking to reporters in Colombo, Dissanayake also went on to say it was him who granted permission to the SAITM, though a gazette, to issue degrees in the first place. “There are over 400,000 students in international schools in Sri Lanka. There are not eligible to enter into state universities,” he underlined. more..

Astrologer Vijitha Rohana arrested

Jan 31 (NR) Astrologer Vijitha Rohana Wijemuni who made false predictions regarding the fate of President Maithripala Sirisena has been arrested. Vijitha Rohana is due to be produced before Court shortly. Vijitha Rohana is said to have predicted the death of President Sirisena on social media. Astrologer, a former sailor, is also known to have attacked visiting PM Rajiv Gandhi with a rifle butt in 1987. more..

PM opens SOE to make electricity metres

Jan 31 (EN) PM Ranil Wickramesinghe has set up a state enterprise as a joint venture with a Chinese company to produce electricity metres for two state run power utilities. The factory, Ante LECO Metering Company (Pvt) Ltd, is a 70% subsidiary of Lanka Electricity Company (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka's second grid operator. The joint venture partner is Ante Metering Company Ltd of China. The firm was set up in Bandaragama, the home constituency of Deputy Power Minister Ajith Perera. more..

Weerawansa seeks bail from Colombo HC

Jan 31 (AD) A bail application has been filed seeking the release of MP Wimal Weerawansa with the Colombo High Court. The application was filed by a Counsel who appeared on behalf of Weerawansa today. Former minister Weerawansa, who was arrested on charges of misusing state vehicles, has been remanded until Feb 7. Weerawansa is accused of misusing several vehicles belonging to the presidential secretariat, during his tenure as the Minister of more..

Video: Govt now suffering from Gotabaya phobia: Gammanpila

Jan 31 (AD) Leader of PHU Udaya Gammanpila says that the true killers of journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga need to be brought to justice. He alleged that instead individuals who pose a political threat to the govt area being identified and suppressed. He said that now the purpose of the investigations into the former Sunday Leader founding editor’s murder is to target former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

Public Admin assaults weren’t disputed during UPFA govt: Indunil

Jan 31 (NR) The UNP charges that individuals did not raise their concerns against public administration officers during the term of the UPFA led govt. Speaking at a media briefing at Sirikotha, MP Thushara Indunil commented on the dispute between Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and the Divisional Secretariat of Divulapitiya. MP said Deputy Minister Ramanayake merely presented a question asking how anyone would react to a particular assault. more..

GAC Sri Lanka, Hemas to build logistics facility

Jan 31 (TA) GAC Sri Lanka has partnered with Hemas Transportation to build an integrated logistics facility in Muthurajawela Industrial Zone in the western part of Sri Lanka. The facility will comprise a state-of-the-art distribution centre, a container yard and a 15-acre warehouse, said a statement from the company. A ground-breaking ceremony attended by PM Ranil Wickramasinghe, was held yesterday, it said. Facility is expected to be operational by early June 2017 & distribution centre by Feb 2018. more..

Biswal, Power, Malinowski replaced, a slap in govt's face: JO

Jan 31 (DM) The replacement of key US State Department officials such as Samantha Power, Nisha Biswal, Tom Malinowski and Susan Rice who were interested in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, is a slap aimed at the Sri Lankan Govt, joint opposition said. MP Dullas Alahapperuma said this move shows that new US President Donald Trump had no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. more..

New species of mosquito in Lanka

Jan 31 (CT) While the World Health Organization (WHO) has named Sri Lanka as a country that has completely eradicated Malaria, a new species of mosquito which is much harder to eradicate has been detected, Anti Malaria Campaign Director, Dr. Hemantha Herath said. This specie has been detected in wells in the Pesalai Talaimannar Islet, and the scientific term for this mosquito is Anopheles Stephens. This mosquito is the main carrier of malaria in India, more..

Courting at public expense

Jan 31 (DM) A high-up of a state-run body operating air travel is said to be showering comforts and goodies at public expense on his ladylove employed in the administrative department of the institution. The high-up is so infatuated with the young cutie, he would go to any length to grant any favour she asks and is lavishly buying her expensive perfumery, cosmetics, jewellery and handbags, say the employees. Meanwhile, some employees are in the habit of approaching this female employee more..

Electricity consumers to get interest on security deposits

Jan 31 (EN) Public Utilities Commission of SL has ordered state-run electricity utility to pay interest on security deposits of consumers from Jan 2017. CEB accounts show the money collected from consumers as security deposits on which interest must be paid was Rs 10 billion by end-2014. PUCSL said it has approved an annual interest rate of 8.93% for the security deposits (amonthly rate of 0.715%) for 2017, more..

Two Ministers meet leading Belgian and European companies

Jan 31 (GDI) Ministers Ravi Karunanayake and Malik Samarawickrama recently concluded a one day official visit to Brussels. Two Ministers met with leading Belgian and European companies at a business roundtable hosted by Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) and engaged in a productive interactive dialogue. These companies expressed keen interest to develop commercial ties with SL following the recent announcement by European Commission on the restoration of the GSP+. more..

Inflation in Colombo picks up to 5.5% in Jan

Jan 31 (EN) Consumer price inflation in Colombo rose to 5.5% from a year ago after having risen 4.5% in December, the govt’s statistics department said. Prices rose 1.2% during the month, up from a rise of 1% in Dec 2016, data showed. The 12-month moving average of the Colombo Consumer Price Index rose to 4.3% in January from a 4% rise a month ago. The core CCPI index moved up to 7% in Jan 2017, the highest in just over a year, from 5.8% in Dec 2016. more..

A new program to eradicate Dengue: Prez

Jan 31 (PSL) President Sirisena says he would introduce a new programme for eradication of Dengue in addition to the existing dengue prevention programmes. He requested the assistance from all citizens in the country make this programme a success. President was speaking at a ceremony to open the new building at the National Dental Hospital and to lay the foundation stone for another building for the hospital today. more..

Video: Another spot for gourmands

Jan 31 (LT) A luxury restaurant said to be owned by a son of a powerful minister in the govt was declared open by President Sirisena yesterday. Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa and his wife too joined Mr. Sirisena in cutting the ribbon to open the restaurant. Among the invited guess for the opening ceremony were the head of controversial Avant Guard Nissanka Senadhipathy, Ministers Harin Fernando and Vajira Abeywardene, Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala & President’s son Dham. more..

Video: Petrol bomb attack In Jaffna

Jan 31 (AM) Members of a motorbike gang carrying knives and swards has attacked a shop in Jaffna, last night. In a a one minute and 58 seconds long CCTV footage that has been released shows a gang member throwing a petrol bomb at the shop. Two people have been injured from the attack. The group were on three motorbikes who fled the scene soon after carrying out the attack. The suspects are yet to be identified. Jaffna police to carry out further investigation. more..

Govt will execute it’s responsibility for security forces: President

Jan 31 (PSL) “The govt will extend its highest respect to the security forces; army, navy, air force and the police and will execute its responsibility to strengthen them to help to win their future challenges, gratefully remembering their commitment made through many a sacrifice during the period of conflict”, says President Sirisena. President made these remarks at a ceremony held today (30) at Sinha Regiment in Ambepussa more..

UNP restructuring process to commence tomorrow

Jan 31 (NR) The restructuring process of the UNP is scheduled to commence tomorrow. MP Kavinda Jayawardene said the party will educate supporters on the restructuring process. The first phase of the programme was initiated in Anuradhapura under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Concurrently the Working Committee of the UNP appointed a committee focused on the restructuring process. The committee covers political, media and the party administration. more..