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Make or break time for economy

Mar 14 (NS) While much speculation was in the air over a possible cabinet reshuffle involving several key ministries President Maithripala Sirisena was out in Indonesia on a visit to attend the Leaders’ Summit of the Indian Ocean Rim Association. As a result, there were no major political developments, except for some skirmish in the Parliament. President returned to the country on Wednesday night. In the home front, concerns of economic woes as well as deteriorating law and order situation more..

Leave no stone unturned to win at home

Mar 8 (CT) First Test match as at the end of day four had the chance of a result and that was a distinct chance of a SL victory. However, one wonders whether with the evening showers that was experienced on day three and four, whether this would be possible. In any event looking back at the game one has to accept that the plans laid out by the Lankans were perfectly executed and to a larger extent the rub of the green going the Lankans way. It was no secret that toss at Galle can always more..

Pesticide related health hazards, SL ranks high in Asia Pacific : Combating CKDu

Mar 14 (SO) The dreaded disease, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is defined as a progressive loss in kidney function over a period of months or years. Each kidney has about a million tiny filters, called nephrons and if they are damaged, they stop working. For a while, healthy nephrons can take on the extra work. But, if the damage continues, more and more nephrons shut down. After a certain point, the nephrons that are left cannot filter more..

Realistic assessment needed of international intervention as an option in Sri Lanka 

Mar 14 (CT) In a change from the past the ongoing session of the UNHRC in Geneva is no longer generating political passion at it did in the past. There is a sense amongst most people that the present govt is on good terms with the international community unlike the previous govt. Therefore they see no real threat emanating from Geneva. This has enabled the govt to engage in a flurry of legislative activities that have not attracted so much of public interest. more..

Editorial: Stench of rotting fish

Mar 14 (Island) Roads are strewn with garbage again. President Sirisena and Minister Champika Ranawaka have promised to solve the garbage problem once and for all. If the public is to take them seriously, they, first of all, will have to fulfil their pledges to cleanse politics, eliminate corruption and grant people the much-needed economic relief. One hopes that the yahapalana govt is not banking on unbearable economic difficulties to make people cut down on consumption more..

NCSL for Sustainable Development

Mar 14 (CT) The Ven. Athuraliye Rathana thera recently established the National Council of Sri Lanka (NCSL) in a bid to bring about the necessary changes and assure the people on setting the govt on the right path. The strategy of the NCSL is to take our country to sustainability and stability. Ceylon Today interviewed, Ashoka Abeygunawardana, the Secretary of NCSL. Following are the excerpts: more..

SL is in balance of payments crisis again

Mar 14 (ST) IMF mission’s latest assessment, released early this week, said, The current account (of the balance of payments) remained stable, but the financial account weakened with the resumption of capital outflows and the country’s net international reserves fell short of the target. In short the country is in a balance of payments crisis with low foreign exchange reserves. The question uppermost in the minds of many must be: Why are we in a balance of payments crisis again? more..

That’s the stuff to give the troops

Mar 14 (ST) Rounds of applause emanated from a school in Polonnaruwa that bears the same name as another in Colombo 7. But let’s leave names out of this lest those with more brittle backbones or none at all, go crying to mummy or the closest primary dealer in Treasury bonds. President Sirisena had told some of the inner circle of SLFP faithfuls (that is those who are on the more lucrative side of the current split) that he was sorry to disappoint certain sceptics who thought he had no backbone. more..

Rajitha Senaratne

Trevor Grant stood with the Tamil people until the end

Mar 14 (CT) Trevor Grant stood with the Tamil people until the end. He stood with them in their hour of need when their govts failed them and world govts had forsaken them. Sadly, Trevor Grant succumbed to cancer on 5th March, his death deeply affecting the Tamil world – victims, refugees and activists alike – who owed him a deep debt of gratitude for his relentless campaign for justice on their behalf. As such, although he first became famous as a great sports writer, and more..

Will FTAs help build a powerful Sri Lanka?

Mar 14 (Island) The economic philosophy propagated by the IMF to any and all developing countries which are unfortunate enough to require its financial bail-outs due to govts living on maxing the credit card, and ending up in Balance of Payments (BOP) crises, or near bankruptcy in plain language, is to comply with its wide-ranging neo-liberal conditionality. These assurances principally include, inter alia, liberalization of markets, largely through free trade, expressed in this day and age, more..

Assassinations that shocked Sri Lanka

Mar 14 (Roar) The answer to the question how many prominent Sri Lankans have been assassinated? should always be too many, but there have been a handful of politically-motivated killings that well and truly changed the course of this nation, for better or for worse. While all of them are important in their own way for any number of reasons, in the interest of brevity, we shall attempt to list out some of the more monumental of more..

2 navy personnel to be arrested: PHU claims

Mar 14 (DM) PHU claimed that it had received information from CID that two navy personnel, Lt. Commander Prasad Hettiarachchi and N.G. Wickramasuriya, are to be arrested this week to please the separatists who back the govt. It said naval intelligence officer R.P.S. Ranasinghe and another naval ranker Udaya Kumara had already been arrested on baseless allegations on March 3. “Ranasinghe and Udaya Kumara were arrested in connection with abduction & disappearance more..

Dhananjaya set to return for second Test

Mar 14 (Island) Sri Lanka’s decision to play five specialist bowlers and only six batsman for the first Test against Bangladesh surprised everyone, but it turned out to be a masterstroke as all five bowlers contributed towards the victory in Galle last week. It was the first time since Lord’s 2011, that Sri Lanka had played six specialist batsman and even on that instance they had the services of all-rounders Farveez Maharoof and Thisara Perera at number seven and eight. more..

Consistent selection puts Tharanga at ease

Mar 14 (CI) Sri Lanka opener Upul Tharanga has said a consistent place in the national team over the past eight months has empowered his batting, after being picked inconsistently over the past few years. Tharanga's third Test century in Galle comes in the wake of an impressive ODI ton in South Africa last month, and a good tour of Zimbabwe last year. In Angelo Mathews' absence, Tharanga had also been named ODI captain more..

Sea food exports to EU up 171% in November

Mar 14 (EN) Sri Lanka’s seafood exports to the European Union are continuing their rapid recovery since the lifting of the EU ban and rose 171.2% in Nov 2016 from the year before. Total earnings from seafood exports increased 18.2% to $15.8 million year-on-year, in November. Seafood exports were “continuing (their) impressive growth performance since the lifting of the ban on seafood exports from Sri Lanka to the EU,” the Central Bank said. Growth in seafood shipments came on more..

Sri Lankan student launches awareness program on kidney disease in Saudi

Mar 14 (AN) A 16-year-old Sri Lankan student based in Riyadh has launched an awareness program on acute kidney diseases in parts of her native country. Zainab Ifthikar, who attends the English section of Bangladesh International School, founded a charitable foundation dubbed MEI (Motivation Encouragement and Inspiration) in Colombo. She said that she wants to create awareness among the SL community in the Kingdom about the strong prevalence of renal diseases more..

Govt agencies grind $100 m Kantale sugar venture bitter

Mar 14 (FT) The $ 100 million Kantale Sugar joint venture has become a sticky deal for the new investors as bureaucratic red tape and a tug of war between Govt agencies continues to add to an almost two-year-long holdup of the project despite a directive by Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) to hand over the premises. “There is an unnecessary delay in handing over the lands to the company. more..

Price controls on chicken, sugar removed

Mar 14 (DN) The govt has removed price controls imposed on chicken and white sugar. Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Badiudeen yesterday said steps were taken to publish a gazette notification in this regard. He said the decision to remove price controls on chicken and white sugar was taken by the ministry’s Cost of Living Committee after taking into account the consumer demand, the import prices and initial market prices for chicken and sugar. more..

Five U’grads arrested

Mar 14 (CT) Several undergraduates, who were involved in a protest against SAITM. yesterday, were arrested while some were hospitalized. IUSF Convener Lahiru Weerasekara told Ceylon Today that five students were arrested, but they were not aware to which police station those students were taken. Thousands of university students were marching towards the Presidential Secretariat yesterday demanding the govt to abolish SAITM. In order to disperse the agitated students, more..

Sri Lankan bill to ban bottom trawling to be passed this month

Mar 14 (ENS) A bill to ban the pernicious practice of bottom trawling, which will affect thousands of Sri Lankans and Indians fishing in the sea between Sri Lanka and India, is to be passed by the Sri Lankan parliament by March end, TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran said. “My private members bill has been converted into a govt bill, and has been gazetted. It will now be bought to parliament on March 17 and passed later this month,” more..

HNB saga takes new twist; Harry J wants Dinesh as director

Mar 14 (DM) Business tycoon Harry Jayawardena appears to be pushing for the appointment of ex-Commercial Bank Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody to the board of SL’s second largest private bank, Hatton National Bank (HNB), amid a legal battle to bring in a new overseas investor that has requested rights for a vacant director seat. Accordingly, an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) called by HNB shareholders Stassen Exports, Distilleries and Milford—all three controlled by Jayawardena, more..

Sri Lanka adds value to coins

Mar 14 (EN) Sri Lanka's Central Bank said it will issue a new one and five rupee coins made out of stainless steel, instead of the current steel coins planted with brass. "The edge lettering of the Rupees 5 coin has been removed in the new stainless steel coin," the bank said in a statement. "All other specifications including dimensions and designs of the above said coins remain same as of Rupee 1 coin and Rupees 5 coin that have been issued since 2005." more..

Stir ends, Rameswaram fisherman laid to rest

Mar 14 (ENS) Seven days after a young fisherman was allegedly gunned down, the protests against SL Navy was called off and funeral of the deceased held on Monday. Thanking the youth for holding a peaceful protest and funeral procession, the leaders of the protest said they will decide the next course of action after a meeting with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) representatives. Though there was a confusion among more..

Arrest possible for recognisable offence: AG

Mar 14 (FT) When the fundamental rights petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa came up in the Supreme Court, the Additional Solicitor General said that the investigation against him was continuing and that if there was a cognisable offence against him, the integral part of such an offence was a mandatory requirement for an arrest. Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kothagoda, appearing for the respondents, and Attorney General also told more..

Nurses fall sick for 48 hours

Mar 14 (Island) Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) yesterday launched its 48-hour sick note campaign. It said its trade union action had been a huge success. Administrators of several hospitals in the Western, North Western, North Central, Central, Northern & Eastern provinces, contacted for comment, said trade union action had not crippled the services. 620 nurses out of 820 rostered for yesterday’s morning shift had reported to duty. Nursing services in wards and theatres more..

Bus priority lanes project draws mixed reactions

Mar 14 (DN) The implementation of the pilot project on priority lanes for passenger buses in the Rajagiriya area yesterday morning was met with mixed reactions. While the new rule caused traffic jams in some areas, there was less traffic than the usual during rush hour in other areas. There was heavy traffic from Battaramulla to Rajagiriya while the traffic significantly eased from Rajagiriya to Fort. A majority of the public interviewed more..

Presidential Secretariat refutes media report on India visit

Mar 14 (DN) Presidential Secretariat announces that there is no scheduled visit by President Sirisena to India in the next few days. The Ceylon Today stated last Friday stated that President is due to attend a ceremony to be held in Nalanda University in Bihar in India with the spiritual leader Dalai Lama. That report is incorrect and it has not verified any basis of the reported visit. Presidential Secretariat further confirms that President will not make any visit to India near future. more..

Video: Ex-war criminals try to protect human rights now: Gotabaya

Mar 14 (AD) Those who committed war crimes have now become the champions who attempt to act as guardians of human rights, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa says. He also pointed out those who endorsed to the LTTE are now with the TNA. “These are the kind of people who raise their voice to safeguard human rights now,” he said. He also slammed the UK’s PM for turning a blind eye to the alleged war crimes committed by by the British soldiers, while more..

No official body scrutinizing decisions of Public Debt Dept prior to Feb. 2015

Mar 14 (DN) There was no official body to scrutinize the decision making of the Public Debt Department and the Tender Board prior to 2015, Presidential Commission to probe into bond scams observed. The decisions were brought to the limelight following the questioned Treasury bond issuance on Feb 27, 2015, it was also observed. The observation was made following a statement given by the Director of more..

Renuka Herath passses away

Mar 14 (Island) Opposition Leader of the Central Provincial Council and former Minister of Health Renuka Herath passed away yesterday at the Kandy General Hospital. She was 72. Renuka Herath was born on 07 September 1945. She was a teacher by profession before contesting elections from the UNP. She was first elected to Parliament in 1977 from the Nuwara Eliya District. She held several ministerial portfolios. She was the Health Minister under president R Premadasa. more..

Meeting with Prez on SAITM cancelled

Mar 14 (CT) A meeting scheduled for yesterday, between President Maithripala Sirisena, the deans of all medical faculties, GMOA representatives, Ministes Lakshman Kirielle and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, to discuss issues regarding the SAITM was cancelled by the Presidential Secretariat, GMOA General Secretary Naveen de Soysa said. During the meeting, stakeholders were to express their concerns, opinions and suggestions for a resolution to the SAITM issue. more..

Govt says no new commitments after Zeid’s report

Mar 14 (CG) Govt says there will be no additional or new commitments for Sri Lanka arising from the report on Sri Lanka by UN High Commissioner for human rights, Zeid al-Hussein which was submitted to the ongoing 34th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva. Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said Sri Lanka will undertake a two-year extension of the timeline for fulfilment of commitments made in Resolution 30/1. more..

Mystery surrounds retired female teacher’s death

Mar 14 (DN) Police have launched an investigation into a woman found lying unconscious with her hands tied, near an abandoned house in Moragahahena, Panadura. Police had taken her to Horana Hospital but she died upon admission. The woman is identified as a retired school teacher named Kondarige Mangalika, 58, a resident of Welmilla in the Moragahahena area. It was around 5 am when police found her lying unconscious under mysterious circumstances. more..

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce demands talks on new Sri Lanka tax law

Mar 14 (EN) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has said the govt should have public consultations before presenting its new Inland Revenue Bill that is to be implemented next month. “Given the wide implications of a new Act governing the Inland Revenue regime on business operations and investor confidence, we believe consultations with the private sector are important prior to finalizing a new statute,” a statement said. It referred to a statement by an IMF team that more..

SAITM Issue: SLMC moves SC against Appeal Court decision

Mar 14 (Island) The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) yesterday filed an appeal application in the Supreme Court, requesting that the Court of Appeal order of Jan. 31, 2017, making it mandatory for the SLMC to provisionally register, under Section 29/2 of the Medical Ordinance, the medical graduates of SAITM, be set aside. The Court of Appeal also ordered the Public Service Commission to permit SAITM medical more..

If we don’t care, our freedom is fake

Mar 14 (DM) In many countries, people today celebrate, Your Freedom Day focusing on what freedom means to us with the thrust being to draw international attention to at least 30 million people caught in modern human slavery. Event comes at a time when, according to UN, world is facing its worst humanitarian crisis with tens of millions of people facing starvation and famine in Africa. Worst affected are in South Sudan & Yemen where bloody conflicts are adding to the catastrophe. more..

M12M: Speak out and act for clean politics

Mar 14 (DM) The March 12 Movement was set up two years ago for clean politics, good governance, more checks and balances to consolidate democracy and to eventually move towards a just society. The Movement is seeking the support of civic-conscious citizens, the State and private media groups for the 25-day countrywide campaign starting on March 13 to achieve the vision and goals which the people voted for at the presidential election on January 8, 2015. more..

Underworld behind land excavation racket

Mar 14 (SL) A land excavation racket being carried out in Minuwangoda with the support of a leading underworld figure in the area has been unearthed. The Sunday Leader visited Minuwangoda and witnessed first-hand the  land excavation taking place in the area on a large scale. President Maithripala Sirisena had last year ordered a crackdown on land excavation in the area. According to the residents in the area, more..

Northern displaced families get new houses at Nallinakkapuram Housing Project

Mar 14 (MoD) Another batch of 33 displaced families living in welfare centres in Jaffna was provided with new houses at the newly completed Nallinakkapuram Housing Project in the Jaffna Peninsula. 33 beneficiary families were provided with ownership documents during a simple ceremony held on Friday. Housing project is an extension of the Keeramalai Housing Project and is completed under 2nd phase of the project. more..