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Sharp increases in fuel prices after Avurudu

Apr 15 (ST) The refusal by the Treasury to remove taxes on fuel will see sharp increases in fuel prices after the National New Year. These increases will be based on fluctuating world market prices, officials said. A senior Finance Ministry official said it was set to approve a new pricing formula for fuel. This would mean that prices would be reviewed two to three times a year and adjusted according to international market prices. more..

India will be there whenever you need us (If you do things our way)

Apr 16 (CT) Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu recently delivered the 14th Annual Sujatha Jayawardena Memorial Oration at the invitation of the Alumni Association of the Univ of Colombo. His oration stressed on the current status of Indo-Sri Lankan relations based on India’s regional policy of Sabika Sath Sabka Vikas or Progressing and Neighborhood First. Three areas as in relations between the two countries (3 Bs); theBuddhist connection, more..

An opportunity for effective governance or another missed opportunity?

Apr 16 (ST) The failure of the no confidence motion on the PM is a fresh opportunity to usher in political stability, strengthen the govt’s capacity and efficacy and enhance economic development. Failure to achieve a policy consensus and common program for the next 18 months would certainly be suicidal for the coalition partners and a severe setback to the economy at this critical juncture. Although the two main parties that formed the unity govt in 2015 have very divergent views on economic policies, more..

Energy crisis: Private sector to the rescue

Apr 16 (SO) The govt has again resorted to buying emergency power from private suppliers this year due to the delay in adding new power sources to the national grid. Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya speaking at a function in Galigamuwa on Tuesday said, there will be no power disruptions and that the country is not facing any electricity crisis. Meanwhile, Secretary, Ministry of Power and more..

Wag the dog

Apr 16 (CT) Every few Years, the US will find an oil Rich nation in the Middle-East to bomb and destabilize no matter what the reasons are(Iraq by Bush; Libya ruined by Obama). Media in the US will never talk about the suffering of innocent civilians in those invasions or destabilization efforts that are a direct result of those interventions. Instead, the heinous gas attack in Syria will cause the media to echo the words of the administration without asking the hard questions. more..

Time to re-sit Uni cut off marks test

Apr 16 (ST) Take a bow, Aneesha Fernando, Colombo 7 Ladies College 16 year old girl who was declared an island ranker at last Dec’s GCE O/L exam after results were announced last week showing she had not only swept the board with all A’s in all nine subjects but also had scored the highest marks in all subjects sat. Congratulations. But Aneesha was not alone. There were three others from Colombo, Nipuni Herath of Devi Balika, Risini Kumarasinghe of Samudra Devi and more..

‘WHO appreciates Sri Lanka health system’

Apr 16 (SO) World Health Organization (WHO) marked its 70th anniversary on World Health Day that fell on April 7. This signified a special occasion for Sri Lankans, since WHO chose Sri Lanka as the location to commemorate its birth. An excerpt from an interview with Minister Rajitha Senaratne on the significance of the event and progress of the health sector. Q: What was special about World Health Day being held in SL? more..

Will Sirisena drive towards anarchy or safety?

Apr 16 (CT) A popular expression in North America is Who is driving the bus?, it means who is in charge? Most of us travel by bus and they are the bane of our lives. The private buses competing with each other for passengers, stopping everywhere to pick up people, but refusing to stop for them to get off are universally hated, but it is something we have to put up with. Buses being so much a part of our lives, I thought it would be good to use the bus analogy to describe the politics of today. more..

Re-restructuring of SriLankan Airlines: Whatever it means!

Apr 16 (CT) Therein lies a lesson for the new Chairman and board of directors of SriLankan Airlines. One of the new directors has already announced that the airline can be turned around in three years. Godspeed to him and his colleagues. After flying nowhere for three years, PM’s economic whiz kids have now decided to fly somewhere. That is not discouraging. It is not that encouraging either! Instead of relying on what the newspapers reported, let us hear what the corporate more..

Derana Kalagame Awrudu 2018

Christell Clinic on fast track to completing 1,000 PRP treatments in Sri Lanka

Apr 16 (Island) Christell Clinic, Sri Lanka’s most advanced cosmetic skin care centre, is on the fast-track to completing 1,000 platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies since it first began offering treatments in 2014. PRP therapy which utilizes patients’ own blood, is an avant-garde procedure used to regrow hair, repair injuries and treat various skin related problems with minimum side effects. Since establishment, Christell Clinic has rapidly gained a reputation for offering more..

Young talent against experience

Apr 16 (ST) This was the topic of the telephone conversation I was engaged in on Wednesday. My (Thursday) deadline had changed because the printing of the newspaper had been brought forward, ahead of the Sinhala and Hindu New Year (our chaps at the printing presses who churn out millions of newspapers daily need a break, no! What about the printing machines; it’s stop the presses for once, at this delightful time of the year). Anyway as I was saying, it was human resource pundit more..

Battle after battle in CMC

Apr 16 (ST) The local councils are meant to be the miniature legislatures of the country and the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is showing the way how true that is. Already, CMC is imitating the national Parliament with a heated contest for the post of Leader of the Opposition. Again, the SLPP with 23 seats is the second largest party after UNP in the CMC and is demanding the post, which is not a post prescribed by law, more..

2018 Davis cup & National team development

Apr 16 (ST) Sri Lanka’s first appearance in the Davis Cup (DC) was in 1953. In that era, few countries played DC, and there was only one global group event. Our team against Netherlands was Hilden Sansoni (Captain), Douglas Fonseka and L.P. Ernst. The DC competition has 135 nations and is played in 7 tiers. This places Tennis in an intense perspective. Nations will have to gear up with a great deal of thought, groundwork and intense development methodologies. more..

Navy assists distressed foreign sailing ship

Apr 16 (SLN) SL Navy's Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel SLNS Sayurala assisted a foreign yacht named Sandetie which had distressed in deep seas 72 nautical miles off Galle Light House yesterday (14). The yacht was in distress due to an engine failure and after receiving this information SL Navy promptly dispatched SLNS Sayurala for the rescue of the yacht in distress. The rescued ship with its crew was towed to Galle harbour and subsequently handed over to a private shipping company more..

State apathy continues amid drowning tragedies

Apr 16 (ST) Sri Lanka counted yet more deaths – mainly of young people – by drowning in inland rivers and in the ocean in recent months, while the govt appears unmoved by the tragedies and is delaying the implementation of a national plan that has been recommended by professionals. While the Govt lay idle, fate was unkind to several young people early this month. Sherline Benaz, 26, Madhushan Priyankara, 28, Gajani more..

Ceylon Biscuits bridges academia-industry gap

Apr 16 (SO) Munchee, the flagship brand of Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), recently supported the Association of Food Science and Technology (AFST) aligned to the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Sri J'pura, in a novel initiative to bridge the gap between industry and academic research. CBL as the main sponsor of Optimus’18, organised by AFST, highlighted the growing importance of the food industry and university in collaborating, sharing knowledge more..

3 spill gates of Udawalawa Reservoir opened

Apr 16 (DM) Three spill gates of the Udawalawa Reservoir were opened today owing to the heavy showers experienced in catchment areas, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. The DMC requested people living in the downstream to be vigilant of rising water levels. DMC Deputy Director Pradeep Kodippili said the showers experienced in and around the catchment areas were reportedly reducing. However, he said more spill gates would be opened if the rainfalls continue. more..

The struggle goes on...

Apr 16 (CT) The only certainty in their lives was uncertainty – not knowing how long they will live – as they fought someone else’s war for almost 30 years willingly or otherwise. Nine years after the end of Eelam war between LTTE & SL armed forces, while many things in the country have changed, from infarastructure to a comparatively peaceful environment sans bomb attacks, one thing remains unchanged for them. more..

379 admitted to NHSL during New Year

Apr 16 (DM) A total of 379 people were admitted to the National Hospital in Colombo during the last two days of 13 and 14, Hospital’s Deputy Director General Dr. Kumara Wickramasinghe said. He said the number of accidents reported during the New Year had decreased by 3% in comparison to the same time last year. However, 172 people were receiving in house treatment- a 10% increase compared with the previous year. 121 people had been admitted from road accidents more..

Fire breaks out in Karapitiya Hospital

Apr 16 (DM) A fire broke out at the main laboratory of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle this evening, the Police said. They said no casualties were reported in the fire and the damage caused to the properties had not been evaluated yet. Meanwhile, Hospital Director Dr. Jayampathy Senanayake said fire had erupted in a room attached to the hospital laboratory. However, the fire has been doused by the firefighting units preventing further damage. more..

Sri Lanka banks risk profile stable: S&P

Apr 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's banking industry risk profile is stable on improving economic prospects and regulation, despite non-performing loans being expected to rise in 2018, S&P, a rating agency said. Banks will experience some fallout from aggressive growth in the past few years with non-performing loans expected to rise in 2018, but the risk profile remains stable with economic prospects seen improving, agency said. more..

Lack of professional diversity in politics

Apr 16 (CT) Today’s politics is more about selling your ideas than arguing them. A profession that was once aspired and reserved by lawyers and attorneys have now switched sides into business. An informal study done by a group of journalists into the professions of SL MPs revealed that the majority of parliamentarians have identified themselves as businessmen. This study however, had its limitations as not all MPs have revealed their professions in their applications. more..

A Sheikh came visiting but our Turks are shirking in Paradise!

Apr 16 (ST) AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and his entourage paid their traditional visit to Football House (FH) as they do with all the Asian MA’s, particularly when AFC elections are nigh and the flock must be kept happy and content. Nothing wrong with that! With AFC Chief Administrator in tow, Sheikh Salman would have also had the opportunity to see at firsthand, the so called Vision 2030 Strategic Plan and how much of an eyewash it is, if he took the trouble to more..

'Legacy of the May Day belongs to working masses & left parties only'

Apr 16 (LT) Int'l Workers’ Day falls on the 1st of May. The JVP, as usual, has organized a gigantic May Day demonstration and a rally. An issue has come up regarding the legacy of the May Day. May Day is a day of the working masses. It is a day the working masses all over the world carry out struggles to win their rights. It belongs to the working masses and the left parties only. Capitalist parties in our country too celebrate the May Day. more..

Sri Lanka: Pearl of the Indian Ocean

Apr 16 (JC) Our first Shabbat as husband and wife was always going to be memorable. But lighting the candles among tea plantations in Sri Lanka is something I’ll never forget. After making a quiet Kiddush, we sat down to dinner on the terrace of our room at Ceylon Tea Trails in Hatton, looking down from our 1,250 metre high viewpoint across the rolling hills and rows of tea bushes. It seemed right that this special moment should take place during our favourite stop of our honeymoon on more..

BIA immigration office ceiling collapses

Apr 16 (DM) A section of the ceiling of the Immigration Office at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) collapsed on Friday due to heavy showers an official said. The Official at the BIA said that following the incident, three out of ten Immigration counters were shutdown pending the restoration of the ceiling. According to the official, the ceiling of the BIA had collapsed in several sections on many previous occasions on account of heavy rainfall. more..

Welikada Prison Riots: CoI recommends prosecution of 6 high-ranking officials

Apr 16 (CT) 2015 Committee of Inquiry which probed into the Welikada Prisons incident of Nov 2012 has recommended that six high ranking officials previously attached to Ministry of Defence, State Intelligence Service, Prisons Department and the Sixth Gajaba Regiment of the Army be prosecuted under the Penal Code. Committee of Inquiry into the Welikada Prison Incident – 2012 has recommended more..

Minor cabinet changes, major reshuffle after President returns from London

Apr 16 (ST) President Sirisena on Thursday swore in three SLFP members and one UNP member as ministers to act for those who resigned, pending a major cabinet re-shuffle. It will take place after he returns from London where he will attend the CHOGM. He leaves on Sunday. Those who took oaths, will be in charge of new subjects in addition to their current portfolios. They are Malik Samarawickrema — Social Empowerment, Welfare, Kandyan Heritage, Labour relations; more..

What is China doing to Pakistan? The same thing it did to Sri Lanka

Apr 16 (Forbes) One day, China will turn Pakistan into its own semi-colony, as it did recently with SL. China has been nice to Pakistan, on the surface that is. It has been building the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will connect Western China with the Indian Ocean, provided of course that India will allow it. That could certainly benefit Pakistan, helping the country make a big step forward, from an emerging to a mature economy, creating a lot of jobs in the process. more..

No approval from PUCSL to buy emergency power from ACE Power Embilipitiya

Apr 16 (CT) Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator has not granted its approval for the state-owned electricity generator, CEB to extend the agreement with 100 MW ACE Power Embilipitiya power plant. To date, CEB has failed to secure approval from PUCSL and the total process has opted out from the approved method stated in Section 13 of SL Electricity (Amendment) Act, more..

Iran ratifies extradition treaty with Sri Lanka

Apr 16 (MNA) Iranian MPs approved an extradition treaty between Iran and Sri Lanka on Sunday. A total of 203 lawmakers were present in today’s parliament session, and the bill was ratified by 153 Yes votes, 11 No votes, and 7 abstentions. Treaty which includes an introduction and 21 articles will allow Iran and Sri Lanka to exchange convicts and the related documents. According to the MPs in the session, there are dozens of Iranians and SL nationals kept in the two countries' prisons. more..

Sri Lanka to strengthen healthcare services

Apr 16 (GT) Sri Lanka plans to strengthen primary healthcare services to relieve the congestion at hospitals providing treatments at tertiary level as the general public prefers to receive treatment from the tertiary level hospitals. The govt says that even though there are around 970 primary level hospitals in Sri Lanka, there is a trend among the general public to bypass this network of hospitals and to move towards the hospitals providing treatments at tertiary level. more..

Sri Lankan wins lawsuit against UK Health Service

Apr 16 (DM) Catastrophic injuries suffered by a baby boy were the direct result of his refugee mother's poor grasp of English, a top judge has ruled. And now the eight-year-old is in line for multi-million-pound NHS compensation because midwives were negligent in failing to tackle the language barrier. Judge Martin McKenna said medics at King George's Hospital, London, ended up effectively ignoring Sinthiya Rajatheepan's more..

Iranian Speaker to visit Sri Lanka, Vietnam to discuss Syrian situation

Apr 16 (MNA) Iran’s Parl. Speaker Ali Larijani heading a delegation has left Tehran for Vietnamese capital Hanoi to discuss bilateral and international issues, particularly the Syrian situation after the recent US-led strikes. Heading a parliamentary delegation, Ali Larijani will also make a visit to Sri Lanka following his stop in Vientnam. Larijani said the aim of his visits is to expand bilateral relations in various fields, and to promote parliamentary cooperation with the two countries. more..

Special programme to promote potato cultivation

Apr 16 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says a special programme will be initiated to improve industries related to potato cultivation. Speaking at an event in Nuwara-Eliya the PM said he expects int'l recognition for potato based products manufactured in Sri Lanka. He stressed the potato crop in SL has been used to produce exports which have high demand among the international community. PM also said the govt expects to increase its income through tourism industry more..

Video: Amunugama tips of a new plan for a common programme with UNP

Apr 16 (AD) Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that SLFP is preparing an initial document for a common programme together with the UNP. President Maithripala Sirisena on April 14, appointed a committee comprising five SLFP Ministers to look into the future actions of the National Unity Govt The committee was headed by Minister Sarath Amunugama and SLFP General Secretary Minister Duminda Dissanayake more..

A future for GMOs in Sri Lanka

Apr 17 (DN) Genetically modified organisms are a big story in India. More than 90 percent of India’s cotton crop, which is one of the largest in the world, is genetically modified for pest resistance. But, nearby Sri Lanka doesn’t have a significant presence of GM crops or GM food at all. In fact, according to available govt data, there aren’t any GM crops or products being produced or sold in the island. That does not mean there couldn’t be in the future, though. more..

Vacancy notice for a new (girl) friend

Apr 17 (CT) In the philosophical novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Irish poet, writer, dramatist and journalist Oscar Wilde, Dorian Gray, a wealthy gentleman with unparalleled physical beauty is painted by an artist called Basil Hallward. This portrait is kept in an attic, hidden, and in exchange to the physical ageing of Dorian Gray, the picture ages and manifests in itself the sins of Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray lives an ever youthful hedonistic life of depravity and sin and more..

'Reprieve only if SLFP Ministers vow not to work with Pohottuwa again'

Apr 17 (SO) Home Affairs Minister Wajira Abeywardana says, the UNP which naturally keeps pace with the changing situations have already appointed a 12 member politburo to study the existing party structure and recommend the necessary reforms to fulfil the aspirations of the rank and file. Minister said, the secret of the party’s survival to date is basically attributable to its resilience to take up challenges. more..