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Govt takes further strides on human rights issue

July 1 (SL) The govt took further strides last week to address the human rights issue by deciding to appoint a committee headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to look at implementing the recommendations on Sri Lanka by the UNHRC in Geneva. Cabinet approved a proposal made by PM, to appoint a committee of Ministers chaired by him and a committee of Officials to assist the main committee in this regard. more..

Multiple gay partners, unsafe sex give rise to more HIV cases among men

July 1 (ST) Unsafe non-monogamous sex is responsible for the increase in the number of men being infected with the HIV, latest report from National STD/AIDS Control Programme shows. Statistics for 1st quarter of 2017 reveals that there have been 73 new infections (males/females) of which around 27 males have contracted the disease by MSM (males having sex with males). This accounts for 50% of the male patients. more..

Canada hopes for solutions for all Lankans

July 1 (AT) This year it takes on a very special meaning as we celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation, says Shelley Whiting, High Commission of Canada to Sri Lanka and Maldives. Canada Day which falls on 2nd July and it is always an exciting and joyful time for Canadians. Shelley Whiting, High Commission of Canada to Sri Lanka and Maldives in her message on Canada Day further says: more..

National programme for child beggars

July 1 (NS) A national network of State authorities was setup last week to tackle the growing issue of street children in Kataragama and Lungamvehera, where the number currently exceeds well over 100 children, ranging from weaning infants to those who are 17-years-old. The Ministry of Women and Child Affairs acknowledged that the issue was a big problem as there were about 175 such children in Kataragama area. more..

Reforms in Sri Lanka urgent but need to limit cost to the poor: WB

July 1 (LBO) SL govt led reforms to improve competitiveness, maintain macro-fiscal stability and strengthen institutions, with broad support in the country, are key to robust economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction, a new World Bank report said. SL Development Update said that the economy and its future direction, despite challenges posed by natural disasters, was satisfactory in 2016. more..

Three-wheelers operate dodgy meters, but debate heats up on fare increase

July 1 (ST) Three-wheeler operators remain far apart on a proposal to raise fares on the basis of rising costs for spare parts and lubricants. Two groups have rejected a proposal by another group to jack up fares to Rs 60 for the first kilometre, an increase of Rs 10. Meanwhile crude oil prices are in bear market territory and have dipped below US$45 per barrel. Regardless of the outcome in the debate on fares, users complain that more..

Asia’s tallest tower to be built in Sri Lanka

July 1 (DM) The World Capital Centre (WCC) signed a US$ 2 billion investment agreement with the Board Of Investment (BOI) yesterday, for the much hyped and long awaited tallest building in the Asian region and the 9th tallest to be in the world. The World Capital Centre also known as WCC is a globally renowned chain with its operations spread across the world and will be the centre of multiple trading & service providing more..

'H'tota deal acceptable to both parties ready'

July 1 (EN) An agreement with China Merchants Port Holdings to run Sri Lanka’s southern Hambantota port is virtually finalized with a solution acceptable to both parties and should be ready soon, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. “I don’t see any major issues now on the table. We’re confident we can finish it soon,” he told Logistics Leaders Evening forum of Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport. more..

Lankan Cricket’s Rebuilding Pitfalls

July 1 (CT) What is strong leadership? If you analyze SL sides that have been in the limelight since 1996, when they won the World Cup from virtually nothing to their credit, and its impact on the game since, one sees that it was the leadership of Arjuna Ranathunga that enabled what followed. We remember how the world of cricket was awed with Muralitharan's bowling as the first wrist spinner to be playing the game and doing it with destructive success. That was until their visit to more..

Video: Tense situation in Muthurajawela

July 1 (AD) A tense situation had prevailed in the Muthurajawela area as protesters attempted to block garbage trucks from dumping garbage in the area today. Police officers had to intervene in order to remove the large number of protesters, comprised of residents in the area, as they attempted to prevent the trucks from entering the site.  Several villagers even proceeded to sleep on the road to block the vehicles from traveling while tensions flared when police attempted to remove them. more..

Shamindra Ferdinando

Health Minister says Rs. 132 bn drained out of country to study medicine abroad

July 1 (Island) Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said that Sri Lankan students spent annually Rs. 132 billion to study medicine in foreign medical faculties. He said the govt had developed the existing medical faculties. Steps would be taken to construct more hostels for university students by the end of 2018, he said. All those who were eligible to study medicine could not enter university. Only 17% of them were able to do so. 83% of them were left out. If there was a medical faculty prepared to more..

June inflation edges up to 6.1%

July 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's inflation as measured by the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) rose 6.1% in June from a year ago, edging up from the previous month's 6% increase. On a month-on-month basis, the CCPI rose 1.6% in June, compared with last month's 0.9% increase. Core annual inflation, which excludes fresh food, energy, transport, rice and coconuts, rose 5.1% in June compared with the previous month's 5.2% gain, the index with a new base year of 2013 showed. more..

A vaccination to prevent cervical cancer

July 1 (ST) It has been a long-felt need in the battle against cancer, which now becomes a reality to safeguard the girls of Sri Lanka who will take their place in society as wives and mothers. The Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry is set to include the vaccine against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) through the National Immunization Programme to prevent cervical cancer shortly, in a much-lauded effort. more..

Univ. of Moratuwa closed: 87 dengue cases, one death

July 1 (AD) Students’ union of the Moratuwa University claims that around 87 students of the university have contracted dengue fever so far and that one female student has even passed away as a result of the disease. In wake of this situation, a group of students also staged a silent protest in front of the university demanding authorities to provide immediate solutions. President of the union, Chaminda Kithsiri, said that although the administration was notified of the situation more..

Attitudes of the educated affect economy of country

July 1 (DM) Education was taken over by the State by privatization of schools in the name of free education, a political decision, considered a good move to make free education available to all citizens.  A grievous mistake was made by making the medium of education Sinhala Only. Dropping English converted the country into a Third World within a few years. The country is still struggling to get over the backlash. We as Ceylon were economically ahead of all countries in Asia more..

Sri Lanka seek way out of the abyss

July 1 (CI) Test and ODI series losses to South Africa could be put down to unfamiliarity with conditions. The Test loss to Bangladesh could plausibly be explained by Bangladesh's rise. The group-stage exit at the Champions Trophy was not completely unexpected either. But a big home defeat to the 11th ranked side, who had lost to Scotland earlier in the month, is more difficult to explain. It appears the most compelling sign yet that more..

Dickwella fined for attempted Mire stumping

July 1 (CI) Niroshan Dickwella has been fined 30% of his match fee, and handed two demerit points, for a stumping attempt in the first ODI against Zimbabwe that was deemed to be contrary to the spirit of the game by match officials. The incident had occurred in the seventh over of Zimbabwe's innings on Friday. Dickwella gathered the ball, and waited many seconds for Solomon Mire to leave the crease, before finally breaking the stumps, long after Mire had completed the shot. more..

Malinga out of second ODI with illness

July 1 (CI) Sri Lanka will be without Lasith Malinga in the second ODI against Zimbabwe, with the seamer having contracted viral influenza and being recommended 48 hours of rest following medical assessment. SLC also said that left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan had missed the first ODI due to the same illness. Malinga is currently five wickets short of 300 in ODIs, five short of becoming the fourth SL bowler to the mark after Muralitharan, Vaas and Jayasuriya. more..

Interview: Muttiah Muralidaran

July 1 (DM) No cricketer has courted controversy as much as Muttiah Muralidaran did during his international playing career. To many he was a genius but for some he was a cheat. ICC recently inducted Muttiah Muralitharan, the greatest off-spinner of all time to the ICC Hall of Fame for his contribution for cricket. Murali ended his international career as the highest wicket taker in Tests (800) and ODI (534) ending more..

Pilots Guild accuses SriLankan Airlines board of gifting CEO Ratwatte a scholarship

July 1 (CT) Airline Pilots Guild of SL has accused the entire Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines of violating company procedures and awarding CEO Capt. Suren Ratwatte, complimentary training and rating to the fly the Airbus 320 aircraft which is now costing the tax payer approximately US $ 50,000. In a hard hitting letter addressed to Capt. Rajind Ranatunga the Head of Flight Operations, ALPGSL President Capt. Venura Perera, raised many questions regarding more..

SAITM issue could have lasting impact on medical education: FUTA

July 1 (DM) The FUTA warned that issues involving the SAITM would have a lasting impact on medical education in State universities, leading to a delay in the conduct of degree courses. FUTA Additional Secretary Dr. Athulasiri Samarakoon said that many university students now boycott lectures to participate in protests against SAITM and that this had been going on for too long. “This will State universities badly, leading to considerable delays in students passing out more..

GMOA to complain against Neville Fernando

July 1 (DM) The GMOA said that it would file a complaint with the IGP Pujith Jayasundara on Monday against SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando regarding alleged threats issued by him to the doctors, while speaking to media outside the Presidential Secretariat last Tuesday. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said Dr. Fernando had made these alleged threats after a discussion held with a Secretary to the President over more..

Amended charge sheets against Johnston

July 1 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate permitted Bribery Commission to amend charge sheets pertaining to five corruption cases filed against former Minister Johnston Fernando and two others. This is for allegedly causing a Rs. 40 million unlawful loss to the govt by employing 153 employees of the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) for election work during the period 2010 to 2014. Accordingly, cases against former Minister Johnston Fernando, former CWE Chairman more..

Donald takes a shot at SLC after Zim loss

July 1 (DM) Former South African cricketer Allan Donald on Friday took a shot at his former employer—Sri Lanka Cricket following SL’s shock six-wicket defeat to Zimbabwe in the opening game of the five-match ODI series in Galle on Friday. Donald who had a two-month stint with Sri Lanka Cricket as the bowling consultant was cynical about Sri Lanka Cricket’s handling of Graham Ford issue. “Great start to the series from @ZimCricketv beating @OfficialSLC at a canter today. more..

Sri Lanka’s public health crisis

July 1 (Hindu) For a long time, Sri Lanka has been a leader in the region in two key areas – public health and civic conservancy. But over the last year, the country is facing a major challenge in both, the most visible manifestation being the recent dengue epidemic that has claimed over 200 lives in the island. One tragedy closely followed another. In April, a massive trash mountain in suburban Colombo collapsed, killing 32 more..

Health Minister sees hope for cancer patients with new US drug

July 1 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said cancer patients could have hope in the future with the development of a drug (Keytruda) in the United States to genetically treat patients with cancer. Dr Senaratne said the drug was able to treat the cancer causing gene. Cancer held second place amongst the Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Sri Lanka. According to the most recent statistics over 16,000 new cancer patients were registered for treatment during the year 2010. more..

18 SLFP MPs to decide on leaving Govt after meeting President

July 1 (NR) Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando says 18 MPs from the SLFP will defer a decision on whether to leave the govt till they meet President Sirisena. He said the group of MPs were not satisfied with certain policies of the govt. Minister TB Ekanayake had warned that 18 members of the govt will leave in Sept. However Arundika Fernando said there was no certain decision on the matter yet. He said, “several Ministers and MPs of the SLFP are unhappy with certain policies of govt”. more..

TN minister D Jayakumar writes to Sushma Swaraj, seeks release of Indian fishermen

July 1 (PTI) Tamil Nadu finance minister D Jayakumar Friday requested External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take steps for the release of Indian fishermen along with their boats from Sri Lankan authorities. He said Sri Lanka's policy of abduction of Tamil Nadu fishermen and their boats and their non-release, indicated its intolerant attitude and scant respect for diplomatic efforts taken by the Centre. more..

Uma Oya project: Norwegian experts to arrive in August

July 1 (PSL) President Sirisena says the Govt will be looked into the future activities of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development project while giving priority to the maintenance of daily life of the public without any hindrance. He made these remarks participating in a special discussion on the problems faced by the people affected by the above project, held at the President’s Official Residence, yesterday.  Representatives of the Civil Organizations also participated more..

E-talking books replace Braille

July 1 (CT) A set of electronic speaking books is set to be introduced for the first time here for the benefit of visually impaired students. This novel form of book was introduced to the academic fraternity at an event attended by Sri J'pura University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sampath Amarathunga. The books cover subjects such as psychology, social science, political science, economic science and Buddhist literature with 33 of them recommended for university studies. more..

Austin Fernando: New secretary to The Prez

July 1 (CT) Reputed Civil Servant Austin fernando to be appointed as the Secretary to the President. Secretary to the President P.B. Abeykoon has resigned yesterday. Meanwhile, Austin Fernando had resigned from the post of the Governor of Eastern Province on the 22nd of June and the President has accepted his resignation on the 27th of June. According to the sources President has last night singed the appointment letter. more..

Menacing public health: Dengue or GMOA?

July 2 (SO) Sri Lankans, today, would be forgiven if they wonder which of the two plagues menaces public health more: dengue or the GMOA? Today, they seem to be the most frequent infliction on the people’s health. Bouts of dengue are interspersed with bouts of sudden work stoppages by govt doctors throughout the whole country. The on-off strike status of the GMOA is such that it waxes and wanes every few weeks or months, just like the frequent dengue epidemics. more..

Mass murder by Doctors?

July 2 (SL) It is high time National Unity Govt awoke from its democratic slumber and commenced governing the country. The writing is on the wall quite clearly. Mahinda Rajapaksa who was thrown out by the people two years ago has not only clearly said that he will topple this govt before the end of the year but has set in motion the modus operandi for him to grab power. Some medical practitioners with their half-baked education, unable to think for themselves, are Rajapaksa’s willing tools. more..

Dengue plague goes berserk

July 2 (SO) As the current dengue epidemic, the worst in decades relentlessly surges towards its peak next month, as the South west monsoon readies itself to lash its fury countrywide, health officials are hurriedly putting in place several strategies to contain the further spread of the disease, which since the beginning of this year till the time of going to print, has a total of seventy thousand clinically positive cases identified more..

Good old days

July 2 (Island) Harking back to the good old days is not something confined to Sri Lankans. People in most part of the world nostalgically look back to a time that is no more and that, surely, is very much a part of human nature. Last Sunday we ran a piece lamenting the loss of the old Ceylon Civil Service that attracted two responses we run today. One correspondent, who was not a member of the CCS but an aspirant to that service like most bright university graduates of that time, more..

The Politics behind the BBS

July 2 (CT) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) in its very name suggests something approximating, if not exceeding, a show of force. Specifically, and paradoxically, Buddhist Force! Last week the BBS said it would very possibly be sooner or later registering its own political party to fight for the Buddhist Cause because political parties cannot be depended on to achieve that end, whatever that might be. BBS enjoyed impunity under the Rajapaksa regime and now it would seem that more..

'Lakshan claims to have factual evidence'

July 2 (CT) Human rights lawyer Lakshan Dias asserted that he has factual evidence of churches being intimidated by hate groups and that he can, when necessary, produce evidence to support his claim. He went on to note that the mainstream media is biased and distorts facts, thus incidents of hate crimes are either under reported or distorted. Dias recently came under scrutiny when Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe accused him of more..

SriLankan: Going down; not up

July 2 (ST) One of the key promises of the electoral campaigns of the then Opposition in 2015 was that a new administration under Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe would, not only eliminate corruption, but hold those suspected of it in the past to account. On both counts, this Govt has failed. The promised transparency in procurement has not come about. There are instances of tender guidelines being so specifically drafted that only favoured bidders qualify. more..

Rude politics

July 2 (ST) My dear Dayasiri, I thought I should write to you because you seem to be always in the news these days for a variety of reasons- whether it is running after Susanthika to prevent her from selling her silver medal, arguing against private medical schools or even commenting on the girth and worth of our national cricketers. Now, you have got Malinga suspended for one year because he responded to your public criticism of our cricketers. You seem to have taken things personally more..