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'SAITM issue will be resolved soon'

May 16 (DN) The political authorities are now moving towards a solution that can be acceptable to the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) with regard to the SAITM issue, SLMC President Prof. Carlo Fonseka said. He said the SLMC is not the only stakeholder in the SAITM case.” Now the political authorities are taking steps to fulfill the requirements pointed out by the SLMC in connection with SAITM. In July 2015, the SLMC sent a team to SAITM for an inspection and more..

MR-Modi talks: Indian HC consulted me: Prez

May 16 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday lashed out at ‘those who had called upon the people to hoist black flags on Vesak Poya Day in protest against Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit but met the Indian leader at night.’ The President said that the Indian High Commissioner had asked him whether the organizers of the black flag campaign should be allowed to meet PM Modi. "I told the Indian envoy they should be allowed to do so," the president said. more..

China’s Belt and Road Initiative beneficial for Indian Ocean’s socio-economic success: PM

May 16 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinge declared that China’s Belt and Road Initiative will provide the much needed hard and soft connectivity in the Indian Ocean required for rapid economic and social development and its success will depend on the maintenance of long-term stability in the region. PM made this observation in his speech at the second session of Leaders’ Roundtable of Belt & Road Forum more..

NCPC in turmoil: Governor foils JO’s takeover bid

May 16 (Island) North Central Governor P.B. Dissanayake yesterday declined a request by a group of provincial Councillors loyal to former President Rajapaksa to replace Chief Minister of the North Central Province Peshala Jayaratne Bandara with S.M. Ranjith. Of the 22 member UPFA group, 17 have backed the rebel move. UPFA-run NCP comprises 33 members. The rebels made their move in the wake of Ranjith quitting his ministerial post in protest against President Sirisena more..

7,400 letters on missing persons: Govt opts to keep mum: Anandan

May 16 (CT) TNA MP Sivashakthi Anandan says that though 7,400 letters, related to those who had disappeared during the separatist war, had been submitted to President Maithripala Sirisena, there had been no response to the issue thus far. Anandan made these remarks at a protest, in Vavuniya, being conducted by the relatives of those who had disappeared from the North during the height of the war. He said: "The relatives of those who had disappeared during the war more..

Commission sittings turn tense; CB document leaked

May 16 (Island) When the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the alleged bond scams resumed its sittings yesterday, the atmosphere turned tense once again. The situation arose when the Counsel appearing for the key suspect and former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran, Chanaka de Silva, submitted to the Commission a confidential document belonging to the Central Bank. more..

Unity Govt speaking in different voices

May 16 (DM) The SLFP faction in the govt has decided to appoint its own Cabinet spokesman, indicating the increasing differences it has with the UNP. The immediate cause for the decision seems to be the clash between co-Cabinet spokesman and Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne and Labour Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne over a suggestion reportedly made by President Sirisena on countering trade union action.  In the wake of a series of protests by various groups and more..

Timely call to ban weapons that destroy mankind

May 16 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena on April 27 cracked open one of the most horrendous problems confronting mankind-the world’s endless wars. Inaugurating a conference on Islamic reality and contemporary challenges in Colombo he pulled out an issue often kept under the carpet not only by the world’s powerful leaders but also by a major part of the Western media. He said: “Peace talks must be held with weapons manufacturers rather than with the warring parties. more..

UDA to sue CMC over Meethotamulla tragedy

May 16 (ST) Urban Development Authority (UDA) is to seek damages from the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) over destruction caused to its land in Meethotamulla, used as a garbage dump. Minister Champika Ranawaka said that land belonging to the UDA, which the CMC had used as a garbage dump, was worth an estimated Rs 1,500 million. “They have been forcibly dumping garbage on UDA land, we intend to take legal action more..

Wildlife officers complicit in ticket fraud

May 16 (SL) Wildlife officers have been found to be complicit in a ticket fraud at the main wildlife sanctuaries. Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera has issued instructions to appoint a committee to investigate this fraud. It is said that the ticket fraud has been taking place at the Yala and Udawalawe sanctuaries. The fraudulent activity involving tickets issued to enter the national parks is said to be taking place at all national parks. more..

Recycling sidelined: Recyclers hit out at official lethargy on mounting problem

May 16 (ST) The recent Meethotamulla disaster has once again drawn attention to the importance of recycling to solve the country’s mounting garbage problem, but recyclers charge that they are getting little support from authorities, who have not gone beyond repeated assurances. The irony, as pointed out by those in the recycling industry, is that although there are sufficient number of companies engaged in more..

Sri Lanka legal cigarette sales plunge 29%; tax revenues up

May 16 (EN) Legal cigarette sales fell 29% in the March 2017 quarter from a year earlier, Ceylon Tobacco Company said amid indirect evidence of an active smuggling after a tax hikes last year. Sri Lanka upped excise taxes and also re-introduced VAT on cigarettes in the last quarter of 2016, which some analysts considered a too sharp hike of taxes on smokers. In Sri Lanka, interventionists, consider smokers & alcohol more..

Video: No country helped SL to overcome economic crisis: PHU

May 16 (DM) Though the President and the PM had said that Sri Lanka has won the hearts of the International Community, no foreign country has offered help to save SL when it’s confronted with the economic crisis,” PHU said. It said real friends are the ones who come forward in their hour of need but no such friend had helped SL today. “What’s the point of a friendship if it won’t open up a country’s market for our products, more..

Quality Assurance Authority to assess private universities

May 16 (DN) The govt hopes to set up a Quality Assurance Authority (QAA) to ensure that private institutes of higher education maintain the required standards. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said the draft bill on the Authority had been approved by the AG’s Department and will be submitted for Parliamentary approval soon. He said the QAA is to be an independent body which will assess standards of all private universities more..

Software engineer arrested with Rs. 7mn valued ecstasy pills

May 16 (CT) Narcotic officers attached to the Department of Excise made a major breakthrough last night, when they arrested an Information Technology Security Head of a leading Systems Management Company and busted a haul of over 5000 ecstasy pills in his possession. The nabbed quantity of the drug is estimated to have a street value of over Rs 15 million with each pill been sold out in the open at Rs 3000 each. more..

Rights group warns a MR return must not be ruled out

May 16 (ICG) Two years into President Maithripala Sirisena’s term, Sri Lanka’s fragile hopes for lasting peace and cooperation across party and ethnic lines are imperilled. Despite significant achievements in the coalition govt’s first nine months, progress on most of its reform agenda has slowed to a crawl or been reversed. As social tensions rise and the coalition slowly fractures, it is unclear whether it can push its signature more..

GMOA asks President to intervene

May 16 (Island) The GMOA called for a presidential intervention to revealing the govt’s position on the SAITM to the Supreme Court. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen D. Zoysa said the union would write to the President regarding the matter seeking his intervention as regards an issue which could have been resolved much earlier. He said the Ministers of Health and Higher Education should submit the proposals on SAITM before SC more..

Video: EU says SL to get GSP+ from Friday

May 16 (AD) The European Union says that re-granting of the GSP+ trade concessions to Sri Lanka will be effected from May 19. This was announced by Tung-Lai Margue, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, said today. “This opens huge potential for number of small and medium enterprises as well who may be until now haven’t even thought about the EU market,” he said. more..

Better late than never

May 16 (CT) Sri Lanka is ever so famous for doing things several years after it would have been most appropriate. The current Govt of Sri Lanka, as its many predecessors, has shown disinterest in making no change at all in the country. Whatever it does, it's always late or a move that is incredibly useless. Same goes for the way things are handled regarding the SAITM. It is common knowledge that issues regarding the SAITM could have been resolved since its inception back in 2008. more..

Puswedilla, medical mercenaries & regime change

May 16 (CT) The strike called by the GMOA with the support of about 30 odd trade unions in the health, education and transport sectors proved to be just another Puswedilla. They only used their licence to kill by depriving the poorest in Sri Lanka of medical attention. Now, they are threatening to strike again, with more venom. They do this while they enjoy all the perks and privileges offered by the State including license to practice in private hospitals.  more..

නෝර්වේ රටෙයි, ලංකාවෙයි දේශපාලනයේ වෙනස

Brilliant Bailey can't halt Sangakkara and co

May 16 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara's classy unbeaten 124 helped Surrey to a comfortable 66-run win on Duckworth-Lewis against Hampshire at the Kia Oval after a brilliant unbeaten 145 by George Bailey had dramatically rallied the visitors to 271 for 8. When rain arrived just before 6pm Surrey were in sight of a crushing conventional victory at 238 for 2 from 38 overs in reply, and well ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis target. Sangakkara added 93 at a rate of seven runs an over for the second wicket more..

Correct connection sees him home safe and sound

May 16 (DM) This Johnny who once served on the personal staff of a former political heavyweight was lucky enough to get an overseas posting and was serving in a diplomatic mission abroad when a arrest warrant was issued for his alleged complicity in a serious fraud.  Soon after the regime change here, Johnny skipped the host country for parts unknown.  Lady Luck smiled on our man again when he managed to pally up with the sibling of a leading political authority here and thanks to more..

Sri Lanka to add 500MW by 2018 to meet growing electricity demand

May 16 (EN) The CEB plans to add 500MW of capacity next year to meet fast-growing demand for electricity with more than half coming from oil-based plants, the energy regulator said. While least-cost is a major concern in installing new power generation plants, environmentally friendliness has been added in identifying technology options in the generation mix of the next 20 years, according to an updated long-term generation plan of the CEB. more..

Video: Extremists will have no place under the Maithri reign: Ravi

May 16 (AD) Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim extremists will have no place under the Maithri reign, Minister Ravi Karunanayake says. He attended the foundation-laying ceremony for a new three-storeyed building at the Cathedral Boys’ School in Kotahena in the morning today, where he proceeded to make this statement. Karunanayake also condemned M.K. Sivajilingam’s announcement of holding a memorial day on the 18 of May for the Tamil citizens of the North that lost their lives, more..

Petitioner yet to trace Lanka e-News editor’s address

May 16 (DN) The Supreme Court was informed today that the petitioner is yet to trace the correct address of Lanka e-News website editor Sandaruwan Senadheera who is residing in UK. President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya appearing on behalf of the petitioner who filed 14 contempt of court cases made these remarks when the contempt of court applications for allegedly publishing defamatory articles which appeared in Lanka e-News defaming the judges from the Apex Court to more..

Largest vessel of Aussie Border Force in Sri Lanka

May 16 (DM) The Australian Border Force’s largest patrol vessel Ocean Shield arrived in Trincomalee Port today as part of an official visit to Sri Lanka. This was the first visit by an Australian Border Force vessel to Sri Lanka and recognises our long-standing record of close cooperation to stamp out people smuggling across the region. Ocean Shield is just one of Australia’s extensive fleet of offshore vessels that conduct far-reaching patrols and responds to more..

Govt should resign if they can’t pay off loans: Bandula

May 16 (AD) If the govt is complaining that they cannot pay off local and foreign loans and the interest accumulated, they clearly cannot run the country and should therefore resign, MP Bandula Gunawardana states. “The govt continues to blame the instability of the economy on the debts incurred by former President Rajapaksa. However, with the fall in world oil prices, govt gained a profit of USD 4378 million in the year 2016. Even with such a sum at hand, if they still cannot pay off the loans, more..

Cabinet proceeds with meeting despite PM’s absence

May 16 (AD) A cabinet meeting, headed by President Sirisena was held in the morning today at the Presidential Secretariat Office. All ministers were invited to attend the cabinet meeting. However, previous reports indicated that this particular cabinet meeting would not be taking place as the PM was on a visit to China. Several media outlets also reported that the President had made the decision not to hold the meeting due to changes in certain ministerial positions. more..

China to maintain friendly policies to Sri Lanka

May 16 (CD) It's a long-term and strategic choice for China to maintain its friendly policies toward Sri Lanka, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday, while calling for efforts to push forward major projects. Xi highlighted the close ties during a meeting with SL PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing from Sunday to Monday. Noting that this year marks the 60th anniversary of more..

Port City introduces livelihood support for fishermen in Negombo fisheries division

May 16 (Island) A number of development programs to improve the livelihood of fisher folk and provide them with financial benefits have been launched by the Colombo Port City in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development.  The programs were launched earlier this month at a ceremony attended by Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera as Chief Guest, according to Port City project media release.  more..

SL to set up regional centre on cyber security: Harin

May 16 (DM) A regional centre with the task of ensuring cyber security in the Asian region will be set up in Sri Lanka in partnership with Windows Operating System Microsoft, Minister Harin Fernando said today. He told journalists that discussions were being held with Microsoft with a view to setting up the proposed regional centre. “It is essential to ensure cyber safety worldwide because cyber warfare is going to be the order of the day even more important than military warfare,” more..

Development of Maduru Oya right bank this year: President

May 16 (PSL) President Sirisena says the govt has already implemented large number of mega projects for the development of the irrigation and agricultural sectors in the country. He added that the development work of the right bank of Maduru Oya which is another mega irrigation project will be implemented this year. President also stated that the renovation of 600 historical tanks in the districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala and Trincomalee more..

'Buddha’s philosophy is basis of ties between Nepal and Sri Lanka'

May 16 (HT) Former President of SL Chandrika Kumaratunga paid a courtesy call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari, who is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka. In the meeting, President Bhandari expressed her confidence that her visit will further strengthen the age-old friendly bilateral relations between the two countries, taking to a new height. She expressed that the bilateral friendly ties and cooperation between the country of Highest Peak Mt Everest and the country known as more..

India must cash in on the change in Sri Lanka’s earlier pro-China tilt

May 16 (HT) Through a combination of bad luck and poor calculation SL has emerged as a point of contention between India and China. It is not a source of military confrontation, for all the noises about submarines that may or may not be docking in Colombo. It is not even a source of diplomatic sparring. SL made itself a geopolitical concern, it did two things that small countries should avoid. One, it sought to play a China card to fend off Indian pressure over a political settlement more..

President requests public & private sectors as well as politicians to join hands in combating dengue

May 16 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena requested public and private sectors as well as politicians to  join hands in fulfilling their respective duties to combat the spread of dengue virus around the country. The President also requested all the politicians to provide their proactive contribution in giving essential facilities for the programmes initiated islandwide to prevent  spread of dengue virus. more..

Eight loan schemes to enhance deprived departments

May 16 (DN) Govt has introduced eight loan schemes with concessionary interest rates to enhance deprived departments, Finance Ministry Development Finance Department Director General A.M.P.M.B. Atapattu said. Rs 4,475 million was allocated for these schemes this year under the Divi Udana programme. Among them are Ran Aswenna and “Govi Navoda” loan schemes for those involved in the agricultural sector, Riya Shakthi loan scheme for those involved in school transport service, more..

PM appreciates Chinese and Sri Lankan book publishers

May 16 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he appreciates the efforts of Chinese book publishers Association as well as Sri Lankan Book publishers Association to exchange and strengthen the cultures of the two countries. He made these comments today (16) when he met the members of the Chinese Book publishers Association and had discussions in Beijing. Under the exchange programs of the two associations, Chinese books are published in Sinhala and Vice versa. more..

Modi’s chopper flies back after emergency blessing

May 16 (EN) An Indian helicopter which broke down during PM Narendra Modi’s Sri Lanka visit returned home Tuesday after replacing some vital engine parts and a blessing from the Temple of the Tooth, official sources said. The Ukranian-built Mi-17 helicopter was grounded at Asgiriya in the district of Kandy since Friday and was repaired with spare parts flown in from India, the sources said adding that the return journey was not without drama. more..

GMOA reveals SAITM has enrolled new students

May 16 (DM) Violating the govt’s ruling on the SAITM that was recently announced by the Presidential Secretariat, the SAITM has enrolled students for a new academic year, GMOA revealed today. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath told a news conference that the government’s stance on the SAITM has differs time to time and without a proper study the Presidential Secretariat has issued the notice where it said student enrollments has to be suspended temporally. more..