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SL in talks for refinery at Port of Hambantota

Sep 28 (ME) Sri Lanka's agreement to lease the port of Hambantota to a Chinese state-owned enterprise could soon blossom into a much larger economic development strategy. Colombo is reportedly in talks with two unnamed Chinese firms for the construction of a $3 billion oil refinery near Hambantota – a larger investment than the value of the port itself. Mangala Yapa, a director on Sri Lanka's Board of Investment, told Reuters more..

Second heart transplant successful

Sep 28 (DN) The second successful heart transplant operation was carried out by a team of 20 specialist doctors at the Kandy General Hospital on Sept 27. The operation took nearly 6 hours to complete. The beneficiary of the heart transplant was Sachini Sevvandi (19) of Aluthgama who had been warded at the Hospital’s Cardio Thoracic Unit for nearly 7 months due to a week heart. more..

Prices of essential goods must not be increased: President

Sep 28 (PSL) A special discussion was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena regarding the prices of the essential food items at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (27). During this meeting it was revealed that the traders in the private sector decide the prices in order to keep huge profit when importing rice into the country and the President instructed the Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to hold discussion with more..

Medical Faculty deans to discuss transferring SAITM to SLIIT

Sep 28 (DM) The deans of eight medical faculties are to meet today (28) at the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to explore the feasibility of transferring the ownership of the SAITM to Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) based on the restructuring module recommended by the five-member Presidential Committee chaired by Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva, reliable sources said. more..

Extend hospitality to Rohingya refugees

Sep 28 (CT) Tens of thousands of Sri Lankans are refugees who have been accepted by welcoming, sympathetic communities across the world. There are Sri Lankan refugees now well settled in many countries from New Zealand to Africa and Europe, North and South America. India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh have also welcomed many Sri Lankan refugees. They come from all communities, Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burgher and from all social and economic classes as well as more..

Discrimination in Sri Lanka: The reality

Sep 28 (FT) Following is the speech delivered by Dr. Nalaka Godahewa at the 36th session of the UNHRC in Geneva on 27 Sept: Mr. President, a myth has been spread over the years, that there is discrimination against Tamils in Sri Lanka. Out of a population of 22 million people in SL, 11.2% are Northern Tamils while the upcountry Tamils who came to SL during British colonial times, are about 4.1%. But these are not the only minority communities in SL; 9.3% are Muslim. more..

Hemantha Warnakulasuriya

RTI laws would strengthens citizens, freedoms

Sep 28 (EN) Sri Lanka's right to information law is strengthening democracy and hands of citizens changing the balance of power long-held by the officialdom by suppressing information, the govt said. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said democracy, reconciliation and development, the three pillars of the administration was helped by the right to information law. Media Secretary R H S Samaratunga said officials wielded enormous power over the people and sometimes when more..

MFSAC at odds with Presidential Committee Report on SAITM

Sep 28 (DM) Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee (MFSAC) said yesterday they could not agree with the Presidential Committee Report on SAITM. MFSAC Acting Convener Susitha Priyankara said that they had no faith in this report which was headed by Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva. “Although the committee promised to make the report following discussions with relevant authorities, they never sought our opinion. They have not even considered opinion of GMOA. more..

New evidence heard in Wasim Thajudeen murder

Sep 28 (NR) The Attorney Generals Department today informed court of further revelations pertaining to phone calls that were made from the Presidential Secretariat, on the day of the murder of ruggerrite Wasim Thajudeen. Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Rathnayake presenting submissions before Colombo Additional Magistrate said that further investigations will be carried out pertaining to calls made from the Secretariat. more..

Treatment of Rohingya refugees inhumane: JVP

Sep 28 (NR) JVP today termed the incident of Myanmar Rohingya refugees housed in temporary shelters in Mount Lavinia being harassed by a group of individuals including Buddhist monks was inhumane. Issuing a statement the party politburo said irrespective of the manner in which racial or religious discrimination is portrayed, it must always be condemned. Statement added harassment faced by women and children who were also within the refugee group, was not a situation that more..

Sarath N. Silva files petition against PC Elections Bill

Sep 28 (AD) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva today filed a petition challenging the legality of the Provincial Council Elections Amendment Bill, which was recently passed in Parliament. The former CJ had filed the petition with the Supreme Court, requesting the court to determine that the bill was unlawful.  The Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament with a two-thirds majority on September 20, with 154 voting in favour and 43 against. more..

'Govt could have averted Uma Oya issues'

Sep 28 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that from winning the war against terrorism to building highways, harbours and power plants, his govt did many things that previous govts had only been able to dream about, but never implement. Uma Oya was one such project, he says.  Issuing a statement regarding the controversial Multi-Purpose Project, aimed at generating hydropower and water for more..

Sri Lanka, you have a right to know!

Sep 28 (WB) Today, the world marks the International Day for the Universal Access to Information. Fittingly, we in Sri Lanka, celebrate 7 months since the Right to Information (RTI) Bill was enacted.   The product of a slow and steady reform process, RTI is a milestone in Sri Lanka’s history. Yet how many citizens know about its benefits? As open access to information takes international center stage today, I’m hoping SL’s Right to Information Bill, one of the world’s most more..

July exports up 14% to $1bn, trade gap widens

Sep 28 (EN) Sri Lankan exports grew almost 14% to 1,016 million US dollars in July 2017 from a year ago, the second time this year they exceeded a billion dollars, central bank said. But the trade deficit widened in July 2017 compared to the same month of 2016 due to higher import expenditure with tourist earnings declining marginally while workers’ remittances increased. “The growth in exports was mainly driven by industrial exports followed by agricultural exports,” a statement said. more..

Sri Lanka imposes tougher visa sanctions on North Koreans: Report

Sep 28 (DM) Sri Lanka recently imposed enhanced visa restrictions for North Koreans entering the country in compliance with the U.N. Security Council's sanctions against North Korea's nuclear and missile development. According to its implementation report for Resolution 2321, sent to the Security Council on Sept. 15, SL govt said it has imposed stringent visa requirements on all North Korean nationals who wish to enter SL. more..

Ministry wants fmr. Welikada Prison Hospital ACMO investigated

Sep 28 (DM) Ministry of Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation said yesterday that it would request the CID to investigate the former Acting Chief Medical Officer (ACMO) of the Welikada Prison Hospital, Nirmalie Thenuwara. A top ministry official said the Prisons Department had already launched a separate investigation into the allegations levelled against the former ACMO. Thenuwara is also being investigated by the Health Ministry and the minister had instructed more..

Former Nittambuwa Sri Sangabodhi College Principal indicted

Sep 28 (DN) The Director General of CIABOC yesterday filed indictments in Colombo High Court against former Principal of Nittambuwa Sri Sangabodhi College in connection with a Rs.50,000 alleged bribery incident which took place in 2016. The accused Bandusiri Kumarasinghe was arrested by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption on February 24, 2016 while soliciting a bribe of Rs. 50,000 from a parent to enrol a Grade 6 student to the school. more..

CCD instructed to probe Mt. Lavinia Rohingya refugee incident

Sep 28 (AD) It has been reported that the Acting IGP has instructed the Colombo Crimes Division to probe the incident that ensued on September 26, when a group of radical monks and activists violently threatened 31 Rohingya refugees who were residing in a safe house in Mount Lavinia.  A group of activists along with several radical monks surrounded a residence that was being occupied by Rohingya refugees more..

Judge says Vijayakala’s action led to Swiss Kumar’s escape

Sep 28 (CT) One of the Vithya murder Trial-at-Bar High Court Judges, M. Illanchelian, pointed out that State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran's action to release the 9th accused, Mahalingam Sasikumar alias Swiss Kumar, when he was captured by the civilians in Velanai, had helped him to escape from Police custody. Judge Illanchelian, in his own 350-page judgment, agreeing with the opinion of other two Judges said, that on 17.5.2015 people in Velanai had caught Mahalingam Sasikumar, more..

Flemingo opens new departure store at BIA

Sep 28 (DM) Flemingo Duty Free has opened its new departure store at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka, announced CEO, Flemingo Duty Free, Sri Lanka, P.K. Thimmayya at a press conference held in this connection.  Flemingo Duty Free was awarded the new contract for ‘Core Category’ Duty Free at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka in March and the new concession is for a period of five [ 5] years effective 15th of March, 2017.   more..

Dimuth 93, Chandimal 60* carry SL to safety

Sep 28 (CI) Following the nightmare that was the series against India, SL's batsmen applied themselves, saw out Yasir Shah, resisted Hasan Ali's reverse swing, & mustered a day of unexpected competence in Abu Dhabi. Instrumental to fitting this innings with a backbone was Dimuth Karunaratne, whose 93 was the latest in a string of valuable innings this year. SL had threatened to collapse again, going to lunch at 61 for 3, more..

3 SLFP Provincial Council members resign

Sep 28 (AD) Three SLFP Eastern Provincial Council members have decided to resign from the SLFP and to join Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna. The MPs W.D. Weerasinghe, T.M. Jayasena and Chandra Thewarapperuma announced  regarding their resignation at a media briefing held at Ampara  today. “This would be our last media briefing as SLFP MPs. We will be joining former President Rajapaksa to form a new government in the future. It is sad to see President Sirisena destroying more..

Despite rains under: A third of demand met

Sep 28 (CT) Current South-West (SW) monsoonal rains are impacting on Sri Lanka's hydro-electricity generation, with the 300 megawatt (MW) Laxapana Hydro-Electricity Power Complex (HEPC) running at 80% capacity and the 75 MW Kukule Ganga HEPC at 100%, official sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. However, the 800 mW Mahaweli HEPC is currently functioning at a mere 8-9 per cent capacity as the SW monsoonal rains' impact on this complex is marginal, the official said. more..

Sathosa cuts prices of several goods from midnight

Sep 28 (DM) Lanka Sathosa today decided to reduce the prices of several essential goods including seven rice varieties and sprats from midnight. Its Chairman T.M.K.B. Tennakoon said the president had instructed Sathosa to reduce the prices of essential food items specially rice as much as possible. Sathosa had decided to reduce the price of nine varieties of rice and sprats from midnight and all Sathosa outlets would be more..

2018 budgetary allocation for defence questioned

Sep 28 (NR) The LSSP representing the Joint Opposition has expressed their dissent over the allocation of a significant portion of the 2018 budget for defense. Chief Secretary of the party Professor Tissa Witharana raised a question as to why so much is being spent on defense when there was no conflict in the country. He said in his capacity as the Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera noted that the highest allocation of the 2018 budget would be set aside for the defence ministry more..

Legal actions against parents of underaged drivers

Sep 28 (DM) Plans are on the process to take legal actions against the parents of underaged drivers, National Council on Road Safety Chairman Dr. Sisira Kodagoda said. He said that the parents or guardians who allowed children below the age of 18 to drive should be at the receiving end of the issue and tragedy behind it and added parents and guardians should be aware of the risk and illegality of the action. “We have to look into this matter seriously. The safety of children depends on more..

First abolish SAITM without reference to alternatives: GMOA

Sep 28 (DM) GMOA today said that the SAITM should be abolished as the initial solution to this issue without referring to any other alternatives. While referring to the Medical Faculty Deans discussion on transferring SAITM to SL Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soyza said that a solution should be given to the students in the SAITM secondarily following the abolish of SAITM. more..

New constitution project: A ritique

Sep 29 (CT) A Constitution is a home, not a prison. It’s a home for an island-wide family of free citizens, not a prison for convicted communities. While the Report of the Steering Committee presented by the PM is intellectually shoddy and farcically dishonest, it deals with a very serious issue at a very serious moment. Therefore it can neither be ignored nor rejected out of hand. The Report endeavors to address the most serious long-term issue facing Sri Lanka and one of the most serious issues more..

New constitution & Same old underwear

Sep 29 (CT) Several times in my life, I have been met by people carrying pamphlets and trying to inform me that the religion they follow and the God they worship are the correct way to heaven. They would fervently preach that Gold loves me and is doing all his best to help to come over all my troubles. Once I had severe financial difficulty (I always have but this time it was severe) and I thought time has come for me to let the God into my life. more..

SL’s accidents rate on par with developed countries: One person killed

Sep 29 (SO) Two little children were playing in the garden when one of them began crying loudly. Rushing out of the house to find out what caused the little one’s pain filled cry, her mother noted with horror that the air rifle they had been playing with had accidentally misfired and a pellet had pierced the child’s head. After initial treatment at the Kegalle hospital he was rushed to Peradeniya hospital where a trailblazing surgery more..

Rohingya and Refugee Law in Sri Lanka: Rumours spread on social media

Sep 29 (CT) The Rohingya crisis has reached unprecedented proportions and the Rohingya are beginning to flee the country they call home. While Bangladesh and Pakistan have been their most sought destinations for refuge, India, Sri Lanka and other countries too have had a few encounters with the Rohingya. SL in particular has received only a very small number of refugees belonging to the Rohingya community, yet the agitations have been aplenty from a re-emerging extremist lot. more..

SF as both Good Cop & Bad Cop

Sep 29 (CT) It was vastly entertaining, while away, to read Sarath Fonseka's latest interpretation of history. He typically weighed in when Jagath Jayasuriya was attacked in Brazil, to claim that he had been trying to investigate Jayasuriya for war crimes when he was removed from the post of Army Commander. This was not a reason he gave when he resigned from the post of Chief of Defence Staff. Amongst the reasons he cited, there were two that related to the role of tough guy that he had more..

Dearth of sign language translators: Experts

Sep 29 (NS) With the Govt proposing to afford legal recognition to the sign language, experts on disability studies highlighted issues pertaining to the lack of sign language translators and the lack of awareness and conversant knowledge of sign language, the latter leading to the isolation of the deaf community. There are approximately 389,677 citizens who are deaf and others who experience severe loss of hearing, more..

Editorial:  Sari pota and child rights

Sep 29 (Island) The issue of a group of schoolgirls holding a three-kilometre-long fall (or pota) of a record-breaking osari in Kandy last week continues to be flogged hard. Central Province Governor Niluka Ekanayake has ordered a probe to find out who was responsible for involving those children in the event. An investigation is also being conducted by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) into the incident, which has irked all those who are concerned about children’s rights. more..

FriMi is here to replace your wallet

Sep 29 (Roar) The FinTech space in Sri Lanka is one that’s in clear need of disruption, and that’s where apps like FriMi come in. If you want a quick and easy way to manage your finances, and travel around without the need to carry a wallet full of cash and cards, then this is the app you are looking for. FriMi is an app powered by the Nations Trust Bank that is looking to bring about disruption to Sri Lanka’s FinTech space, by combining the services of online banking and the ease of payments more..


Do not misunderstand the voice of SLFP coalition partner

Sep 29 (DM) With Reference to the column under the headline Irony of SLFP Members Pulling out of govt over corruption by Ranga Jayasuriya which appeared in Daily Mirror of Sept 12; Minister Susil Premajayantha has sent the following response. The writer has been misled by somebody without knowing the real facts of the discussion some SLFP ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers had with the President, after he had a meeting with SLFP Central Committee members and more..

National Youth Sports Festival 2017: Vidusha leaps 13.07m in muddied run up

Sep 29 (CT) Vidusha Lakshani produced the best performance of the day with a leap of 13.07m to seal the women's triple jump title at the National Youth Sports Festival 2017 in the rain dampened track in Anuradhapura yesterday. First day of the youth meet was hampered by heavy rains early morning as well as the entire day and it was nearly impossible to produce good performances. Men's long jumpers leapt taking just 11 steps as the run up for long jump was heavily hampered by the rain. more..

Dimuth shines as Sri Lanka savour unremarkable day

Sep 29 (CI) A nothing day the scorecard will tell you. Not even close to three runs an over. No hundreds. Two boundaries in the entire morning session where cricket's bloodlust is such that two sixes off one ball will not satiate it, and not many more over the rest of the day. Where was the intent? The aggression? What is 227 for 4 at the end of a day on which you won the toss and chose to bat? What is this; win the toss & bat draw? more..